31th May: We present below comments from car racers at the FIA/FIM-E Main Event held at Santa Pod Raceway last weekend:
Whilst Top Fuel was won by Antti Horto, his third win (thanks Chris Hobson for info) with a PB 3.8099/305.01 against Ida Zetterström, it was Ida who made the headlines when in her first round bye she ran the first 3.7s Top Fuel run in European drag racing history. A few days ago she published her first vlog on Youtube which runs to 26 minutes and gives the viewer a great insight about her testing session in April. "Stepping out of my comfort zone big time with this video and sharing a bit of my journey with you all, I hope you like to come along for the ride this year!" In her FB recap from the Main Event Ida wrote "First round out today (Friday) resulted in a little fireball. The guys got her ready for round 2 which looked better until I ran into tireshake down track.
We sit put as #1 qualifier at the moment with a 4.14 from our fireball run, but we will try to improve tomorrow!" On Sunday, she said "We did manage to improve slightly on our time from a 4.14 to a 4.08 on a early shut of run. Had a cylinder out so it started dancing around at the top and wanted to pull towards the wall so I got off the throttle. Our last run of the day got delayed quite a bit and all Top Fuelers ended up having issues pretty much straight from the hit. We are getting ready for raceday and as our 4.08 puts us as the nr.1 qualifier we will have a solo in E1 tomorrow." Then after her barrier breaking run on Sunday, "We freaking did it! New European record with a 3.782 and my first 300mph run at 301.92 mph. What a TEAM!
Commiserations go to Susanne Callin's team with an engine damaging fireball in the first qualifying session, then, after a huge effort to prepare for session 2 to have a similar looking situation, then being shut down before session 3 and early tyre shake in session 4 and the losing effort against Antti. Things will get better.
Sandro Bellio's uncontested win in Top Methanol gave was his sixth, moving him top on wins in the Methanol combined class (info from Chris Hobson). Sandro ran like he had regularly raced the car rather than a 32 month break since his last pass to a best of 5.48/265 new track speed record. Linn Fløysvik's difficult event started the previous weekend in Gardermoen when an attempt on the TMFC track record resulted in broken rods, an engine explosion and a lifted blower. The race was on just to make it to the Main Event. She commented "I'm overwhelmed by all the people offering to help us make it to Santa Pod in time for the Main Event. The dragracing community is amazing. Amazing is also our dream team that put in a lot of work to make this happen!"
Assembling the parts to rebuild the engine was even more difficult than usual in Europe. The team had to grind down their camshaft to 54 mm so that theor thrust bearings fitted. On the first day of qualifying she wrote: "Today we continued to have lots of problems with the engine. When we fixed one problem another one showed up. Our hard-working team didn't quit, and this evening we fired up the engine and everything worked well." But by Saturday, she was ready: "We had a soft setup on the car just to check that everyting worked, so the ET was only 5.96 seconds. But we're very happy to see that the engine works great and we didn't breaak anything."
Linn's final qualifying run resulted in tyre shake, and on the Sunday she and Sandro were given a time trial when engine problems resurfaced: "We started with a test run (Q5/semi final got cancelled) and lifted the blower. We picked the engine apart to figure out the reason why this happened and didn't have time to put ut back together before the final. The run felt good right until the blower popped. On the positive side, it doesn't look like anything broke except for the front window, a fuel line and the blower belt. And we are the runner-up (or last place, however you choose to see it) All in all not a great weekend for us, but at least we made it, worked really hard and got the car out on the track." Full marks for effort and we hope to see Linn back at the Euro Finals.
In Pro Modified we witnessed amazing consistency from Jan Ericsson at the Doorslammers, running four 5.8s in succession to win. He went one or rather 0.1 better at the Main Event by running four 5.7s back to back to keep his 100% elimination record during this visit to the UK. Supercharger supplier Mike Janis commented "What a day for Mike Janis Superchargers across the pond at Santa Pod Raceway in England! Jan Ericsson qualifies #1 and sets the European record with a 5.72 @ 250mph and then wins the race! #clutchguysmatter (Jan has a Leanders clutch) Way to go to your entire team! Mike Janis Superchargers had 5 of the final 8 cars left in eliminations! Truly blessed! This is why we work so hard, for moments like this!"
Other cars had good races, semifinalist Bruno Bader had a new PB of 5.880, his first 5.8s run, and quarter finalist Nick Davies a new PB of 5.874. Wayne Nicholson had a new speed PB in a losing effort in round one, a creditable 6.18/234.96. In qualifying Bobby Wallace had a new PB in his Camaro of 5.959, sponsor Jon Webster had a new PB of 6.204 but with mechanical problems it was still a development meeting for him. He said "Nick and Paul Evans of Edge Performance Transmissions worked really hard to build the transmission for us between the Doorslammers and the Main Event, and they were up against it with such a small window, but they turned it around and the transmission worked flawlessly throughout the meeting. The damage we sustained was engine related caused by a glitch in the fuel system."
European Drag Racing Videos posted footage of Andres Arnover from the Fast Ford Racing Team in his Twin Turbo FIA Pro Modified Mustang. "Andres had a wild ride and a fantastic driving job when he had an parachute issue at the top end of the racetrack at 246.46 mph. Glad to see that he and the car is ok." Nick Davies commented "We tracked down the misfire from the Festival of Power, and got our ‘bracket car’ back with a string of healthy 5s. We then suffered from another gremlin in the 2nd round against Andres when the win was there for the taking. Congratulations to him and to Jan Ericsson for showing us all how to do it. Thanks, as ever to our partners, supporters and everyone at Europe’s best drag racing facility."
David Vegter was event runner up and reported "We need some time to fine tune the new (Noonan) engine but there is a lot more power in there. other Netherlands based teams went out early. Pro Dutch Racing (Michel Tooren) reported: "We are on our way back home after an difficult weekend at Santa Pod Raceway. this weekend we struggled with getting the right setup for the car to go fast. After losing the first elimination round in a close race against Kev Slyfield we came back and saw that we have hurt the engine pretty bad, so that’s very unfortunate. Overall we had a fun weekend with a lot of laughs and we learned a lot. When we are back home we will fully assess the damage and go from there."
Marck Harteveld was the victim of a Christmas tree malfunction that resulted in two first round pairs needed to be rerun. The Voodo Hemi driver said "Unfortunately we had a red light with the re-run, better luck next time. Next time wil be at Tierp Arena in Sweden..." We certainly hope so Marck.
In Nitro Funny Car, Jason Phelps was victorious with his only full run in the Hawk Racing Supra after apparent clutch malfunctions in all four qualifying sessions. He comes out of the event second in championship points, with two more rounds to go.
Sportsman classes had some incredibly close races. In Track Worx Comp Eliminator Dan Williams won after one of the closest races in drag racing history against team mate Spencer Tramm in the semi final. Runner up was the Fraudster C20LET Mk1 Escort team of Kev Jenkins. They wrote after an engine destroying run at the Doorslammers "Going to be a busy few days to get this back up and running." By Thursday, their replacement identical spec engine had been installed and all was "as if nothing ever happened". The Main Event was a lot more successful for the team both competition and performance wise. After a tyre rattling first run it all came good with "7.63 at 181 mph, still getting a bit of shake with a 1.19 60ft."
Then after a great run in the third session Kieran said "after struggling yesterday with tyre shake it all came together on this run where we smashed our previous PB of 7.62 with a 7.39 at 183 mph.
"Unofficially we believe this is the UK record for a 4 Cylinder Doorslammer over a 1/4 mile until we can back this time up. The qualifying session after was on for an identical time but it got loose midtrack so the run was aborted."We backed up Saturday's 7.39 with a 7.34 at 186 mph with a 1.07 60ft and we were through to Round 2 of eliminations. Unfortunately went red in the final by 0.03 seconds but what a weekend after last week. 7.47 at 184 mph in the final with a 1.09 60ft. All new PBs at every increment and Comp Eliminator Runner Up at the FIA Main Event, we’ll take that!
A summary of Peter Nee Super Pro ET came from their Facebook page: Back from the class a long but excellent FIA Main Event, think you will all agree Super Pro put on an amazing show! 13 cars 0.00x off in qualifying, amazing! Congrats to Joe Kellett on his second win this year, and Nick Good on the runner-up spot!
Our first award was from the STP Springspeed Nationals. It was for best losing package in eliminations. This went to AC Bell with a 0.0912 pack. Nice job! Off the trailer for this weekend went to Peter Walters, who threw down a perfect 0.0001 off dial and then managed to keep hold of it for the rest of qualifying. Scott Hauser and Thomas Haas tried their best also posting perfect runs. Pete won £200 for his efforts and the new rosettes courtesy of The Premier Rosette Company, thanks guys!
The big prize was for average dial-in difference in qualifying. It was a close fought battle with the top 5 all having a 0.030 or better average. But it was Thomas Haas who smashed qualifying leaving him with a 0.012 average, incredible! It was great to see Natalie and Thomas back with us and we hope they return for the European Finals!
The class bounty was on Billy Gane's head, who was beaten by Joe Kellett in the semis and as he won the event, the Bounty for the Summer Nationals will now be on Joe (again!) Well done everyone, brilliant weekend once again. We will see you at the Summer Nationals after a short break!
Modurdtang Pro ET was won by Simon Gough who commented "With all that’s going on away from the racing we didn’t know if we was going to make the event. We managed to turn up a day late and after two runs we made into the field. Ended up 24th in qualifying. But we took the event win. Big thank you to my sponsors. Big thank you to my wife Sharron who gives me 100% support and love at all times. Big thank you to Jeff Bull Race Engines for yet again providing me the engine to do this. Big thank you to my son, as without him being here this weekend I wouldn’t have done this. Crew chief of the weekend . Huge thank you to Kenny (Kane) huge part of the team. (Not going to lie). Main event 2022 in Pro ET, been there, done it, got the t shirt.
In B Fast R Super Comp Paul Hudson wanted to send "A big thank you to Jon Webster for getting me out of a hole at Santa Pod on Thursday at the Main Event. "After a great Q1 in Supercomp with the dragster (8.91@162) we got the car ready for Q2 when, in the fire up road, we looked at the left front wheel and thought “that looks odd!!” and saw that the wheel was tilted in at the top. Looking closer we found the “A” arm had split near the weld. Jon stepped up to the plate and welded the arm up for me, even though he was prepping his car! That allowed me to continue racing through the weekend although the “wibbly wobbly” handling was nothing to do with the repair (blame the driver).
"When we returned to the pits after round 2 of eliminations we found a few problems with the car so I may not make the Summer Nats but I will try my best!Again thanks Jon!
Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas winner Andy Dibley wrote: FIA Main Event done and third times the charm! Challenging first few days qualifying with the wind throwing us curved balls making dialling in the throttle stop really hard work. Ended up qualifying 6th with a 9.919. First few rounds in eliminations we had no idea really what to put in the box and really just had to do a good job of cutting a light and driving the top end. By the time I met Dave ‘Is this still available’ Fulton in the Semis we could sort of see where the car was at. Finals against Tim was a cracking race with good lights and a tight top end to finally get the win this season!
Once again thanks to my dad for giving me the chance to do this! Also to Tony and Dave at TMC Tony Morris Carburetors for sponsoring the class. Also to all the other racers and crew in Super Gas, you couldn’t find a better bunch of people to race with, 5 days at the track, the humour and banter really does help! See you all at the Summer Nats!
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Elliot Day said "The Main Event, wow. Was great to get the Willys back into the 8s and was great to catch up with everyone. Me and Dad cannot thank Paul Evans and Nick Evans enough at Edge Transmissions for all of their hard work and impeccable service. Well done to Andy Bond for taking the event win and was great to race Anthony Piggsy Higgs and Antony Wilkins. Another thank you to Al Mac for all your advice. Bring on the summer nats!"
Antony 'Butch' Wilkins wrote after his first time out in his Chevy 210: "Big shout out to the guys and gals in the Topspeed Street Eliminator class for making us feel so wanted last weekend.
We started the weekend with a measly 14.9 best and ended up on 12.60 off the foot brake in drive. I even won a couple of races! More to come yet but at 4000lbs, it’s never gonnna be a top contender. We had a blast and the cruise was awesome, so to all those people out there who have talked about it for years, come and have a go, you won’t regret it!"
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racer Dan Weir won his second race and congratulations to him. The points are tight at the top as Mackenzie Love wrote: "After winning the Festival of Power but lots of minor issues at the Springspeed Nationals, we knew we had to come back hard for the championship as we're doing so well this season. And boy oh boy we done good.
After 9 tough rounds of qualifying, a 0.0226 put me 16th! Next up was race day. Round 1 matchup with the number 1 qualifier Harry Peters with an incredible 0.0007 light. We take it easy on the tree with a 0.140, kept the nose out in front, feathered the throttle and bam, win light comes on. A bye in round 2 sees us through to the quarter finals. Bye run, ran it out the back door for good data, as I knew round 3 was gonna be tough and wow wasn't it!
Luke Fulton and I round 3, quarter finals. In the pairing lanes getting kitted up, us drivers and teams wishing each other the very best of luck and was time to race. A nice 0.09 for luke on the tree and out of nowhere I pull a better light in elims than I did in qualifying, a 0.0210. I pull away and I know Luke is gonna catch me fast and boy he did. Neck and neck from 330ft - 8th mile not knowing who's gonna turn on the win light. We cross the finish line and Luke unfortunately breaks out miniscule by 0.004 so automatic win to me.
Then we meet Dan weir in the semi final. We had Dan also in the final at Easter. Again, pull into the pairing lanes wish each other best of luck. Jump in our cars and we're ready to go. We have a nice 0.06 light to Dan's 0.09. I genuinely knew this was gonna be close. We cross the finish line and Dan takes the win. But get this, only 0.02 win margin to Dan. So it was close. Definitely gave you a run for your money Dan Weir. Massive congratulations for the event win buddy. Was awesome to watch!
And just like that, our brilliant day was over. Was only 1 round short. Still, really really good championship points. 560 in total that event topping me off with 1,860 championship points so far. And Luke Fulton with 2,020, only 160 points between me and Luke. Very very tight indeed.
30th May: Happy Birthday for today to Super Pro ET racer Steve Johnson, Pro Stock crew and Wild Bunch crew chief-in-waiting Ian Hart, longtime bike crew member and constructor Jan Smit, doorslammer racer Nathan Hulkes and Top Fuel Bike race Dave Newbery. Have a great day all.
A recent addition in our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet is the Top Fuel Bike of Nick Milburn being sold turnkey. If you're interested, contact Nick via the details in the swap meet ad.
It was great to see Chris Orthodoxou back at the Doorslammers and Main Event, if you want to follow his racing activities he has launched a website appropriately called a class=nounderline target="_blank" href="https://hemiviper.com/">hemiviper.com, where you can see pictures of his current and previous race cars and their history, plus links to social media.
FIA/FIM-E Main Event results.
30th May: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's FIA/FIM-E Main Event held at Santa Pod Raceway:
FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Antti Horto 3.8099/305.01 def. Ida Zetterström 15.5828/35.98
FIA/MSUK Pro Modified: Jan Ericsson 5.7944/246.89 def. David Vegter 5.9093/225.62
FIA Top Methanol: Sandro Bellio 5.8848/262.00 def. Linn Floysvik no show
Nitro Funny Car: Jason Phelps 4.6395/201.49 def. Steve Ashdown 5.1398/171.09
Track Worx Comp Eliminator: Dan Williams 9.8678/131.35 (10.38) def. Kev Jenkins 7.4748/184.34 (7.80)
Fast R Super Comp: Markus Ochsner 8.9397/146.64 def. Steve Field 9.0180/148.14
Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas: Andy Dibley 9.9811/145.33 def. Tim Moore 9.9786/143.39
Peter Nee Super Pro ET: Joe Kellett 7.5763/177.75 (7.50) def. Nick Good 7.4499/178.51 (7.47)
Modurstang Pro ET: Simon Gough 8.5311/153.11 (8.50) def. Dave Fulton 9.9855/137.68 (9.90)
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Andy Bond 7.2377/208.99 def. Antony Higgs 7.7101/176.44
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Daniel Weir 8.1305/78.55 (8.08) def. Luke Mugridge 8.1333/80.64 (8.13) DQ red
FIM-E Top Fuel Bike: Rene van den Berg 6.4190/205.22 def. Mark Smith 6.8807/182.88
FIM-E Super Twin Top Fuel Bike: Martijn de Haas 6.6682/210.89 def. Samu Kemppainen, no show
FIM-E Pro Stock Bike: Martin Bishop 7.4869/177.80 def. Aswin le Noble broke
FIM-E Super Street Bike: Daniel Lencses 7.0883/166.04 def. Steve Venables 7.2108/217.18
FIM-E Junior Drag Bike Cup: Hollie King 11.0559/57.17 (10.95) def. Meg Talbot 8.0651/82.42 (7.95)
The event was held under mainly sunny skies but in cool temperatures which resulted in many records being broken. The number of European visitors, whilst still well down on pre-Brexit times, was higher than any times in the last two years, and there are indications of steps being taken to help with customs restrictions for visitors from Scandinavian countries, who are hit harder by the financial cost of such restrictions. More anon on this, but in the meantime any gaps in the programme were made up for by stellar performances and crowd-pleasing exhibition vehicles.
Subject to official ratification, the following European records were set:
FIA Top Fuel ET: 3.782, Ida Zetterström
FIA/Motorsport UK Pro Modified ET: 5.724, Jan Ericsson
FIM-E Super Twin Top Fuel Bike ET: 5.999, Samu Kemppainen
FIM-E Super Street Bike ET: 6.741, Donát Dániel Lencsés
FIM-E Super Street Bike speed: 225.76, Donát Dániel Lencsés
The following European quickest and fastest side-by-side records were set:
FIM-E Super Street Bike ET: Steve Venables 6.8000 v Jake Mechaell 6.7982 (eliminations round 3)
FIM-E Super Street Bike speed: Jake Mechaell 207.20 v Daniel Donat Lencses 225.52 (qualifying session 4)
The following Santa Pod Raceway track records were set:
Top Fuel ET: 3.7825, Ida Zetterström
Top Fuel speed: 318.75, Antti Horto
Top Methanol Funny Car speed: 265.13, Sandro Bellio
Pro Modified ET: 5.7245, Jan Ericsson
Super Twin Top Fuel Bike ET: 5.9992, Samu Kemppainen
Super Street Bike ET: 6.7418, Donát Dániel Lencsés
Super Street Bike speed: 225.76, Donát Dániel Lencsés
In addition the unofficial world record for an Electric Vehicle was set by Hans-Henrik Thomsen of 6.619 ET and 206.24 speed. Eric Teboul, in his retirement year with his rocket bike re-set his Santa Pod Raceway best ET for this machine at 5.1754.
Congratulations to Modurstang Pro ET racer Dave Cherrett who won the Eurodragster.com/Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award of £50 supported by Cath and Tig Napier and to Peter Nee Super Pro ET racer Peter Walters who won the Eurodragster.com/Twister Racing Perfect ET award of £50 supported by Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield. An elimination day one-off Eurodragster.com/Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award of £50 went unclaimed.
Congratulations also to Track Worx Comp Eliminator racers Dan Williams and Spencer Tramm who won the Bob's Photo Finish Award of £50 each posted by sponsor and longtime Eurodragster.com supporter Bob Roberts. Dan and Spencer's finish line margin was a barely-believable 0.000019 seconds or 0.04 inches.
The sole incident of the weekend, albeit a nasty looking one, occured when Nitro Funny Car racer Kevin Chapman suffered a suspected stuck butterfly in the injector hat due to the burst panel coming off after the launch, the car coming round, going into the wall head first with the resultant fuel tank explosion. The impact separated the body from the chassis which went across the track with Kevin safely strapped in but upside down. Kevin, uninjured, extracted himself and after a checkup at the medical centre was released. We wish Kevin all the best for a recovery and hope to see him back at the track soon.
Thanks to David Anniwell of the Santa Pod Timing Crew for sending us detailed timing data, including test day results, which we have posted to our timing data area which you can see by clicking on Data, then Timing Data at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. Official results can be seen at Santa Pod's Official Results Site.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored FIA/FIM-E Main Event reports, results and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. Please join Simon in thanking Julian and Diana for their hard work over the race weekend, and well done to the Santa Pod Raceway track crew for maintaining a record-setting racing surface throughout.
We look forward to publishing racer comments on the event tomorrow.
Melbourne Raceway results.
30th May: Congratulations to the winners at the Melbourne Raceway German, Japanese and Mini race at the weekend:
Nostalgic Pro Stock: Rod Spry (Kawasaki H2 836cc) 7.01/105 def. Kevin Melling (Kawasaki H2 750cc) DQ red
Race Legends:Colin Fallows (Triumph 1969 650cc) unopposed
Oldschool USB Stock: Mickey Blackburn (Suzuki 1100 EFE) 7.04/111 def. Mick Varey (Suzuki GSX 1100e) 7.43/100
Oldschool USB Modified: Alan Seeley (Suzuki GSX 1160cc) unopposed
Straightliners No Mercy Shootout: Ashley Hodgson (Yamaha RD 350cc) 6.92/105 (6.80) def. Leigh Williams (Hayabusa 1300cc) 6.77/114 (6.55)
Straightliners No Mercy Shootout - Scooters: Eric Cope (Lambretta 248cc) 8.98/59 (8.40) def. Stephen Holt (Lambretta 290cc) 10.22/54 (9.00)
No Mercy Shootout - Juniors: William Mountford 12.91/50 (12.67) def. Jack Taylor 12.64/50 (12.47)
Many thanks to former editor Tog for supplying galleries of 390 on-track and off-track pictures for both Saturday and Sunday which you can find by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link at the top of any Eurodragster.com page.
Thanks to Martyn Greathead of the Straightliners Timing Crew for posting timing data and results, which we have uploaded to our timing data area which you can see by clicking on Data, then Timing Data at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. These results can be seen at Straightliners' results repository.
30th May: Happy Birthday for today to former Pro Modified and Super Street Bike racer Danny Cockerill, ET Bike team member Suze Morris, Outlaw Anglia team member Aaron Springford and VW Pro and Super Comp racer Arndt Putzmann. Have a great day all.
BDRHoF announces 2022 gala.
25th May: The directors of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame are pleased to announce that the annual Gala Awards Dinner for 2022 will take place on Saturday 12th November. The venue once again will be the 4-star Oatlands Park Hotel at Weybridge, Surrey. The identities of this year’s new Members will be revealed during Santa Pod Raceway’s Dragstalgia weekend (8th-10th July) and their induction into membership will be the centrepiece of the Gala evening in November.
Table reservations for the Gala (£70 per person) may be arranged via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 01933 279102. Hotel rooms may be reserved for the occasion at special rates (£104 single, £124 double, bed & breakfast) by telephoning the hotel directly at 01932 847242 and quoting the code BDRHoF2022.
The directors are delighted to welcome two new appointments to the Hall of Fame’s management. Santa Pod Raceway commentator Colin Theobald has agreed to serve as an Adviser specialising in sponsorship and fund-raising matters. Frank Brachtvogel will add a wealth of motorcycle drag racing knowledge and experience to the Selection Panel’s annual deliberations over the selection of new Members.
John Hobbs book published.
25th May: Author and photojournalist Keith Lee has announced the publication of his new book on British drag bike legend John Hobbs.
"I am very pleased to announce that at long last, my new book: John Hobbs and the Age of the Twins is available to order.
"This is a personal look back at the racing times of John and his competition in a classic age of drag bike racing. It looks back closely at those racing years - and the events that unfolded during them.
"The book also looks at how sprinting developed under the NSA, and the migration of many riders into drag racing in the UK, as this new sport progressed. There are over 90,000 words in the limited edition hardback work, along with more than 360 photographs in this 208 page companion work to the Mister Six book - but this time focusing on the leading light from the two-wheeled side of the sport."
Published by Keith Lee Images, the book is only available for UK delivery via the author’s web site, which can be reached via the web link: johnhobbsbook.co.uk.
Mister Six's fiftieth anniversary.
25th May: Keith Lee, author of the Mister Six book, has been in touch regarding a special racing anniversary - and some related news about Paul Harris Racing:
Whitsun has always been a big event at Santa Pod, and 50 years ago on May 29, 1972, Dennis Priddle would forever become known as Mister Six, when he became the first six second drag racer outside of North America. Dennis drove the 392 blown hemi powered JWR/208 slingshot to record 6.995s - and would carry on running sixes once he had breached that barrier.
Fast forward to the present day, and we have sadly lost Dennis himself, but his legacy lives on. Paul Harris is nowadays running the Priddle tribute Monza-bodied nostalgia funny car. It is a car which Dennis himself had practical expert involvement with, as he and old crewman Brian Star Savidge were responsible for the major task of preparing and fitting the body shell.
Paul Harris sent me a picture of the finishing touch which has just been added to the car. Last time out, Paul ran into the sixes in the Monza. Dennis had told him that when he clocked a six, it was the time to add the Mr Six logo. This has now been done, and fittingly in time for the anniversary. Next run out for the car this year will be at Santa Pod for Dragstalgia.
One important point should be made about Paul’s body of choice. Obviously a number of fans enjoyed seeing the car in it’s original guise, as the Chi-Town Hustler, and would like to see it back again. It has to be appreciated that Paul’s focus has always been on preparing and competing in a suitable tribute car to his racing hero. The Monza was his only focus, but the Omni body was a happy bi-product. So the Monza is the only possible choice for his number one event of the year. However, Paul did say that the Omni will make another appearance at some point, as the bodies can be swapped over.
Pateman's ruby racing anniversary.
25th May: Congratulations to Brian Pateman who is celebrating his fortieth anniversary of UK drag racing, and many thanks to him for sending us a retrospect of his time in several classes in the sport:
Well that was an interesting 40 years since our first event at the 21st Annual Big Go event in May 1982, the reason that I decided to compete was because I needed to practise race craft to give myself a better chance at the £500 prize money available for the fastest street car at the Garys Picnic. I decided that I would skip the roadster and production classes and go straight into modified to learn from the best.
I drove to the track with my bird Julie in my Firebird, slicks in the back and tent in the boot, the car should have been C modified but I actually weighed it with everything in and managed to get it into B modified which gave me a worse handicap. That was it then, competing with the bandits of the day, 19 cars including Clive Mechaell, John Mullan, Alan O Connor, Dave Collis, Dave Warne, Graham Barrs, Sylvia Hauser, Chris Wicks, John Wood, Ron Kiddell, Derek Knight, etc, etc...
The program shows 111 entries with Alan Herridge driving Hellbender and Gladiator, Clive Page driving Panic, Russ Carpenter in Glacier Grenade, Bob Jarrett in Stripteaser, Geof Hauser, Phil Evans, Steve Dunn in Production and Steve Green and Phil Bennett in Roadster to name a few Respect to Steve Johnson and Leonard Paget who were both there and are still competing and anyone else who is eligible for the 40 year list. It has been a blast, joy and pain, hard work, great laughs and long friendships.
Thanks to my wingwoman Julie for being there with me all that time,George and Stef and all the other people that have helped us on the way.
Highlights for me:
1984: NOS kit fitted and the first win at Garys Picnic , winner quickest street car at Blackbush, TV appearance on Saturday Superstore with Cheggers and car displayed at Earls Court Motorfair as quickest street car. A low 10 second run was unbeatable at the time but now 7 seconds isn't enough as Andy Bond keeps reminding me. The street racing scene was great fun with the Swedish cars coming over for the Doorslammers and trips to Mantorp Park to compete there.
1989: With a new John Webster front end we moved up to Super Gas racing with big fields of cars and a 3 track championship with 3 rounds at each track.
1990: 2nd place in the RAC drag Championship at Pall Mall.
Super Gas was well organised, had sponsors Mac Tools, Crane Cams and Torco oils thanks to Dave Grady and Lesley Digby, very social and all the racers children got on well, we had trips to Karlskoga and Hockenheim organised by Terry Gibbs. We scored 5 Super Gas National Championships and 3 Super Comp National Championships.
Next we moved up to Super Pro also being well organised by the Walters family for some sportsman tree action with big fields of cars in the UK, Hockenheim and Clastres, all very competitive.
Right then, let's crack on and continue with some Super Pro Racing and hopefully a PB without the huge wheelstand!
Dark Horse goes lame.
25th May: Many thanks to Lee Huxley for sending us his account of what is proving to be an up and down year for Team Dark Horse:
After a successful 2021 campaigning the borrowed Nova in Pro E.T, it’s safe to say it’s not been plain sailing for Team Dark Horse at the start of 2022. After many years of mostly trouble-free racing, our problems started during the first round of eliminations at the Festival of Power. After the burnout Lee had issues selecting first gear so shut down. On returning to the pits the gearbox was pulled out and we discovered some chunks of metal in the gearbox oil. The gearbox was subsequently delivered to Zane @ Zannetec on the Monday morning (thanks to Somerset boys Ricky & Bobby). It was discovered that we’d managed to chew a set of gears, which Zane kindly took from his dragster and had them fitted into the gearbox by the Monday lunchtime – superb service as always!
With Lee on holiday until the Wednesday before the Spring Speed Nationals, the gearbox was collected from Zane’s on the Tuesday and delivered to Dark Horse HQ for fitting on the Thursday evening.
Annoyingly, after running the car around the pits we were still experiencing issues with the gearbox. After missing the first qualifier it was decided that it needed to be removed…again. Thank you to Richard Walters for taking a second look and discovering a tiny bit of one of the broken gears which was blocking a valve in the valve body. With a team thrash to get the gearbox fitted in time for the final qualifier of the day, finishing the day #34 but with a 32 car field we still had work to do. Saturday brought a day of some of the most frustrating rain we’ve experienced but we eventually made it for what would be the final qualifier of the event – improving to qualify #20.
Eliminations on the Sunday saw us go three rounds – beating Marie Mills, Al Schofield and Dave Cherrett – so all was well with the gearbox. However in round 3 of eliminations, on backing off the car took a dive, forcing Lee to shut down as something did not sound right. On towing back to the pits the engine was stripped where we discovered that we’d damaged a valve, meaning we wouldn’t make the semi-final against Dan Holloway and it would be touch-and-go if we would make the Doorslammer in three weeks’ time.
After round 2 this left us #13 in the points – we joked this was unlucky for some but there was more to come...
On reviewing the damage it was decided that the heads could be cleaned up as well as going with the current pistons, however making the Doorslammers was still going to be tight as we needed to wait on a new set of valves to be delivered from America. Thankfully the heads were skimmed and fitted with new valves (Thanks to Trevor Hirst @ ASD Race Engines) by the Tuesday following another six hour round trip to collect them from Doncaster. By Thursday evening Dark Horse was going to make the ball after all...
Saturday morning at the Doorslammers and our first test run produced a 9.645 suggested all was well with Dark Horse. We then managed to knock out John Bean, Nic Williams, Jens Konnecke and Tim Stanbury before taking out Billy Gane in the semi-final, a re-run of last year’s final with Dark Horse taking the win this time around. The final saw us beating Jon Turner (thanks to his redlight). We’d won the Big Bracket (the only team to have done so twice). What an achievement, after all the hard work to get there and the £5k prize money certainly helped towards fixing the damage we’d managed to do so far this year.
The great thing with the Doorslammers is the Sunday gives you a chance to go again – so the aim was to go as far we could – we even took it easy on Saturday night! Though it would prove that luck wasn’t on our side second time around! On meeting Dave Cherrett (the team curse in 2022) in the second round a 10.0452 on a 9.63 dial-in meant we couldn’t catch the Dark Revenger and also that something was not quite right with the engine. A check of the top end showed nothing untoward but on removing the sump shards of metal were discovered. With further investigation showing damage to bearings on #1 and #5 plus damage to the crank.
So after 13 years of solid service, multiple Pro E.T championships and 16k’s worth of prize money at the Doorslammers events it was decided the current engine has served its time and will be retired (potentially in Lee’s work van). We’ll now be sitting out the Main Event whilst Trevor Hirst puts together our new engine. Fingers crossed we’ll be ready for the Summer Nationals for our first venture into Super Pro E.T where hopefully Timmy Hines will be looking down on us to see his engine run the ¼ mile once more.
A huge thank you to all our sponsors; Blackpole Recycling, JGM Flooring, Bradfords Building Supplies, PJ Home Improvements, M F Hydraulics, B A Hirons, Blackpole Powder Coating , ASD engines, VP Fuels, Mark Twigg Heating Services, GG Holloway and Sons, SB Plumbing and Heating, Hafren Environmental Associates, Willis Westcott Roofing Supplies, Maverick Diagnostics, Zannetec and Serck Motorsports.
ACU points posted.
25th May: ACU UK Drag Race Championship co-ordinator Ian King has posted the ACU UK Drag Bike Championship points positions following the Springspeed Nationals which you can see by clicking here.
Ian says "Congratulations to Shawn Buttigieg for resetting his own ACU UK ET record with a run of 6.7349 secs, backed up within 1% by a `too quick’ 6.6450 secs.
"I’d like to take this opportunity once again to thank all the Santa Pod Raceway and SPRC staff for their fantastic work to make this another successful and enjoyable event. I look forward to seeing you all again this coming International Championship weekend."
Remco's Main Event preview.
25th May: Many thanks to photojournalist Remco Scheelings for sending a preview of the FIA/FIM-E Main Event:
The Main Event kicks off the FIA European Drag Racing Championship at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend. After a two-year hiatus due to the corona pandemic in which the main European drag racing title fight had to be cancelled, it is finally time for action again. Anita Mäkelä (Top Fuel), Sandro Bellio (Top Methanol), Jimmy Ålund (Pro Stock) and Jan Ericsson (Pro Modified) took the titles in 2019 and are thus still the reigning champions. Who will be present in England at the start of the season, who are the contenders, are new names emerging, or are the well-known favourites returning to their familiar roles?
The FIA European Drag Racing Championship certainly does not have a smooth and flashy restart. Several riders have thought over the past two quiet years about whether they still wanted to continue, while retaining or finding sponsors in these uncertain times is no easy task either. An additional major problem for the title fight that affects both rounds held in England is of course Brexit. All the additional customs formalities, cost, effort, time and money, and while this is 'only' annoying for drivers from a number of countries, for drivers from Sweden, where many teams traditionally come from, and Denmark, this is an almost insurmountable problem.
Teams from these two countries have to deposit 35% of the value of their entire racing operation at customs, which amounts to tens of thousands of euros. This amount will only be refunded at the end of the year if it appears that all 'exported' goods have also returned to their own country. Since no one can afford this, this has a major impact on the number of participants in the opening round of the FIA European Championship at Santa Pod. Only two Swedish drivers will be present, with Jan Ericsson taking care of his business in a roundabout way and Susanne Callin has always kept her car in England and is therefore unaffected by the Swedish rules.
It is hoped that this extremely annoying situation can be resolved in the foreseeable future so that all Swedish and Danish participants can return to the European Finals in September.
The FIA European Championship will have just four races this year. The Finnish round was dropped very early because the track did not yet meet all FIA requirements and the corona crisis did not do the organizers any good either. Recently, the round at Tierp Arena to be held in June also had to be removed from the calendar. The attractive Tierp Arena complex has been up for sale for some time and although negotiations with a buyer appear to be in the final stages, time has run out to host another major FIA event. The prospects are brighter for the championship round at Tierp Arena in August. The result is that after The Main Event there is a huge hole in the calendar. The title fight will then only continue in Tierp in mid-August.
The Top Fuel class will in any case get a new champion as title holder Anita Mäkelä has taken a sabbatical. The Finnish who dominated the title fight in the years before the corona break has not yet made a decision about her sporting future. She may be making a comeback as a driver, but it could also be as a team owner and a new driver behind the wheel.
In any case, it is certain that a rider from Rune Fjeld Motorsport will take home the win in the Main Event and as all three drivers of this team also account for the entire championship, one of them will also take the title back. . The threesome already took action at the Festival of Power over the Easter weekend and were satisfied with the results of the test runs. Whichever of the three decides the battle in his or her favor, it will in any case be their first Top Fuel title.
Most experienced rider is Antti Horto. The Finn will be racing in the new colors of his own team Eagle Top Fuel Racing, but will rent the car from RF Motorsport. Susanne Callin returns to the track in the familiar livery of Slick Tricks Racing and already clocked 4.07 seconds over the Easter weekend.
However, based on the times driven, the class debutant Ida Zetterström must be considered one of the biggest contenders. The Finnish, who comes from the island group of Åland, previously competed in the Junior Dragster and Super Street Bike classes. Last September, while making a license run necessary to obtain the license, she set a time of 3.86 seconds on the clocks. Over the Easter weekend, Zetterström clocked a time of 3.837 seconds at 'just' 264 mph, a fraction above the European record. If the conditions cooperate a little during the Main Event, it is therefore very likely that for the first time in Europe, a 3.7 seconds will appear on the scoreboard.
The list of missing names from The Main Event is unfortunately long. Jndia Erbacher is concentrating on next year as business activities after the corona crisis demand more attention. The Swiss will only start in Hockenheim this year. Stig Neergaard is one of the victims of the Danish Brexit rules, misses the English matches and doesn't start his season in Tierp until mid-August.
Although all but one Swedish racers are missing, the Pro Modified class with sixteen participants has not only a full field, but also a nice international field with riders from seven different countries. Jan Ericsson is the reigning champion and defends his title with his orange Camaro.
Most competition for Ericsson could come from the Netherlands. David Vegter, Michel Tooren and Marck Harteveld will compete in the entire championship and that cannot be said of every driver. Vegter has finished in the top five and even top three of the championship several times. The already fast Camaro has been to Andy Robinson Race Cars in England this winter for repairs and updates, while some technical updates have also been made. Tooren already clocked 5.9 seconds over the Easter weekend at Santa Pod and eventually also won the race for the Motorsport UK championship. A first European win would be a new highlight for the Pro Dutch Racing team.
Harteveld previously won the Motorsport UK Pro Mod title and will drive the full European Championship for the first time this season. The beautiful Voodoo Hemi Racing Superbird has already surprised before and is fast enough to go for the win. Less known, but certainly a favourite, is Andres Arnover. The Est already set records in the Competition Eliminator class and last year at Tierp with his new weapon for the Pro Modified class, a turbo Mustang GT500 '67, almost out of the blue clocked a 5.886 seconds.
Back with a vengeance is the Swiss Bruno Bader with his trusted, but completely rebuilt, Gothem City Corvette. Marcus Hilt is the second Swiss in the field, while Jean Dulamon is of course also there again. The Frenchman has solved his problems with the nitrous oxide engine for a while and is now also able to regularly show a 6.0 seconds on the scoreboard. In England, the German Norbert Kuno will make his first serious meters with his new Dodge Avenger.
In addition, no fewer than seven English drivers are present. Unfortunately, there probably won't be one for the full championship and with that, they have no chance for the title. The fastest Briton and a contender for victory is Andy Robinson. The builder of Pro Mods and other race cars already clocked fast times over the Easter weekend. But Jon Webster, Nick Davies, Kev Slyfield and Bobby Wallace are also fast and can therefore provide surprises. John Tebenham also has big plans with a newly purchased blower on his Corvette. Finally, there is Wayne Nicholson, who had problems at Easter but also improved his personal best.
Sandro Bellio won his first FIA European Championship Top Methanol in 2019 and was the first Belgian to win a European Championship title in drag racing. The fast Belgian will defend his title this year with the Monte Carlo, which is of course again fully run by the family.
Competition comes from Linn Fløysvik in the Karlsen Motorsport Ford Mustang. The young Norwegian made an impression on her debut a few years ago and now that the Mustang has been provided with the necessary updates and a new engine, she will drive a full European championship for the first time. It was still a question of whether Fløysvik would make it to The Main Event because last Friday in Gardermoen, Norway, a connecting rod failed during the first test run, after which the entire engine broke down. Fortunately, there were plenty of spare parts in stock and with some help from other racers, the Norwegian team can now travel to England.
The three Swedish Top Methanol Dragsters of Jonny Lagg, Tony Bryntesson and Daniel Jedborn will not be present in England due to customs rules and, like the German Silvio Strauch, will only come into action in Tierp. It is very quiet around the brothers Timo and Dennis Habermann, but they will probably only be seen again in Hockenheim.
The biggest victim of the Swedish Brexit rules is the Pro Stock class. The class has been completely dominated by Swedish riders for years and because none of them dare to cross the road, the Pro Stock class is missing at Santa Pod. Jimmy Ålund, Robin Norén (new car), Michael Malmgren, Stefan Ernryd, Sampsa Palos, Richard Sundblom, Lasse Britsmar (in the ex-Norén car) and all the other Pro Stockers will next be racing at Tierp in August.
Now that the rights of the FIM Europe Drag Bike European Championship have also been transferred to Drag Racing Europe, both the FIA and FIM classes compete in their championship rounds at the same events. The exception is Kauhava, where the FIM does and the FIA does not.
The Top Fuel Bike class has nine participants at Santa Pod, including one Dutchman with Rene van den Berg. Favorites include Swede Rikard Gustafsson and Briton Neil Midgley, starting this season to drive the bike previously raced to titles and records by Ian King and Filippos Papafilippou. Midgley has already set some fast times, but whether he is able to keep the experienced Gustafsson behind him, the first race will tell.
There are five participants in the Super Twin Top Fuel Bike class, with the Belgians in the majority with two riders. Favorite is Marcus Christiansen, but the fast Dane has formidable competitors in the Finn Samu Kemppainen and the Dutchman Martijn de Haas. De Haas has already won the European title three times and will want to repeat it this year. Chris van Nimmen and Marc van den Boer may not immediately be favorites, but they can provide surprises.
Pro Stock Bike also has five participants, including one Dutchman with Aswin Le Noble. From England, Martin Bishop and Martin Newbury will join, while France will also face two fast drivers with Simon David and Bertrand Maurice.
Perhaps the most exciting class will be Super Street Bike again. Times have shot down in recent years and there doesn't seem to be an end to that this year. Hungarian Daniel Donat Lencses suddenly turned out to be the fastest driver on the field at Easter, even faster than the previously unbeatable Steve Venables. However, the Brit is facing increasingly formidable competition from home with Alan and Ross Morrison, Jake Mechaell and Gary Bowe. Add to that the speedy Dane Mogens Lund and a number of other well-performing English riders and excitement and fast times are guaranteed. Margot Schmidt is the only Dutch representative in the twelve motorcycle field. Schmidt still had the necessary adjustment problems with the new combination in the first two races, but if these have been solved, she can also report to the front.
The Junior Drag Bikes also compete under the FIM flag. Unfortunately there are only three participants in this case, but with Anouk Burgering one Dutch.
As usual, the Main Event also sees many classes competing for points for the various British and club championships. Although most classes are more than perfectly filled, Brexit also proves to be an obstacle here; here in the past between five and ten Dutch participants made the crossing, this is now limited to just one. Only Stevan Reffeltrath will defend Dutch honor in the Sportsman classes and will compete in the thirteen-car Super Gas field.
FIA/FIM-E Main Event Perfect Awards.
25th May: £200 is up for grabs at this weekend's FIA/FIM-E Main Event courtesy of Eurodragster.com and our sponsors.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com/Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET racer Chris Redshaw at the STP Springspeed Nationals. The money will be paid to the first racer at the event to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available in all classes during both qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Cath and Tig Napier of Modurstang Pro ET team Bad Habit Racing.
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available in Signing On or from Eurodragster.com staff.
The Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award supported by Andy Hadfield and the Twister Race Team has been reset to £50 after it was won by Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas racer Collin Morrice at the STP Springspeed Nationals. The money will be paid to the first racer at the event to run +0.000 on index or dial-in. The Perfect ET Award is available in Peter Nee Super Pro ET, Modurstang Pro ET, B Fast R Super Comp, Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), and Eurodragster.com Junior Drag Bike. but will only be awarded for the first Perfect ET of the weekend. The Perfect ET Award is presented in association with Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield of the Twister Race Team.
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect ET Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available in Signing On or from Eurodragster.com staff.
Bob's Photo Finish Award, which is presented in association with Eurodragster.com sponsor Bob Roberts, will award £50 each to the racers involved in the closest race of eliminations at this weekend's event. At the STP Springspeed Nationals the Award was won by JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike racers Dan De'ath and Joe Elliott.
The closest race will be decided upon distance rather than time since, for example, 0.001 seconds at 230 mph is further than 0.002 seconds at 110 mph. For this reason the official timing data will need to be consulted so the winners will be announced here on Eurodragster.com as soon as possible after the event and the winners will then be contacted for their preferred method of payment. The award will be paid on green light drag races only, and not on bracket races where there is a breakout.
Bob's Photo Finish Award is open to all classes during eliminations only and although Eurodragster.com decals are not mandatory we would appreciate if it they are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available in Signing On.
Nick Good Motorsport Main Event update.
25th May: Many thanks to Nick Good for sending an update on his team's participation in this weekend's FIA/FIM-E Main Event and a significant anniversary:
Nick Good will be racing the NGM Lucas Oils Worthy Dragster in Super-Pro at the 2022 Main Event this weekend. Parts supply issues have kept a few cars from the track recently but hopefully the blown dragster should be race ready for Santa Pods Summer Nationals in July.
The Springspeed Nationals was a special event for the NGMotorsport team, it marked the tenth anniversary of our partnership with Lucas Oils. I can't believe that time has gone so quickly!
We have been honoured to have this relationship with such a prestigious company with a rich heritage in our sport. Also proud they should have faith in us to represent them in the best way possible.
This year in addition to their usual support we received a Bonus Box full of Lucas products, some familiar and some new ones we wouldn't normally come across through the racing program. We'll be trying and reviewing these through the season.
The number of Event and Championship wins in those ten years is no coincidence, to win you need reliability and the best lubricants and oils available and that's exactly what Lucas Oil provides. Like it says on the box "It Works" !!
Melbourne Raceway's Japanese, German and Mini race.
25th May: This weekend 28th-29th May (entry from 14:00 on 27th May) racing takes place at Melbourne Raceway for the Straightliners, National Sprint Association and Melbourne Raceway championships in cars and bikes in competition, Duck All Prep racing for cash prizes and run what ya brung. Racing features Japanese, German vehicles and Minis in addition to the .
To register for competition, you will need to go to straightliners.events, where you will need to complete a Melbourne Entry Form. All competitors, cars and bikes, should complete this form. You can also buy entry racer or spectator tickets by clicking on the relevant link on the Events Page.
Spectators will be welcome for £15 per day on the gate, camping for £35 per person. Track action will take place from 10am to 5pm, and in the evening there will be bands playing in the brand new clubhouse alongside fund raising auctions.
Entry fees are £80 per day (£130 for the weekend) for one competition excluding Duck All Prep, £15 per day (£30 for the weekend) for an additional vehicle/class, and £125 per day (£215 for the weekend) for Duck All Prep (including run what you brung and driver entry). Crew entry costs an additional £12.50 per day (£25 for the weekend). If you don't have a competition licence, one is required (unless you are doing RWYB) which costs £15 for the event.
Spectator tickets are 1 day £15, weekend £30 and camping £35. Under 16s get in free and don't need a ticket if accompanied by an adult. Dogs are also allowed if kept on a lead. Gates are open at 8am, parking, grandstands and pit access is free. RWYB tickets are available at Race Control on the day as well, you can sign on any time after 10.30am.
The Duck All Prep competition, held on both 28th and 29th May, is heads up, no prep, first to the finish line wins, with cash up for grabs and top three trophies for each category. All pairings are pulled out of the hat for eliminations until the finals in each category. The categories are:
Pro AWD: Modified, competition tyres, interior removed.
Street AWD: Factory appearance, full interior.
Pro Rear Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres, interior removed.
Pro Small Tyre Rear Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres maximum height 30 inches maximum tread width 11 inches, interior removed.
Street Rear Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior.
Pro Front Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres, interior removed.
Street Front Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior.
Super Pro Comp: Pure competition vehicles, altereds, rear engine dragsters, front engine dragsters and funny cars. where the driver is seated in a central postion in the vehicle.
Entry is still open, click on straightliners.events.
Former editor Andy "Tog" Rogers will be attending the race to provide galleries on both days and we will publish results courtesy of Straightliners timekeeper Martyn Greathead.
On the subject of Melbourne Raceway media from Powerfest continues to arrive. The latest postings are from: Team-1320.com's Urban Junkies tie-up.
25th May: Thanks to Chris Bates, driver of the Jon Webster-built Mitsubishi Airtrek which has so far seen Run What Ya Brung action but will evetually be headed towards Sreet Eliminator as Team-1320.com:
A big thanks to David Higgins of Urban Junkies Motorsport clothing for the continued support with our Mitsubishi Airtrek Street Eliminator race car.
We are delighted to be displaying the Urban Junkies logo on the car. You will fund Dave of Urban Junkies Motorsport at most of the big events at Santa Pod Raceway selling apparel such as Hoonigan, Gas Monkey, Alpinestars, Fox etc. Urban Junkies Motorsport will be at this weekend's FIA Main Event at SPR.
25th May: Happy Birthday for today to Super Pro ET racer Laura Grace Turburville-Wilson, Super Street Bike racer Yannick Richard and Supercharged Outlaw dad Tush Usher, we hope you all have a great day!
Video from VP Racing Fuels Doorslammers has been posted. Kieran has posted some great footage of the European FWD class to his Mk1Kieran Youtube channel. Also Thomas Cook Abbott has posted footage about Tony Underhill's race whose 99 Problems he was crewing for at his TCA Racing Youtube channel.
You can see photo galleries from the Doorslammers posted by Paul Bryan at his and in a Facebook album. Paul says "It was a great weekend marred by a couple of racing incidents, thoughts are with the drivers and their families, also a few breakages, down to some hard racing!".
24th May: We were sorry to hear from Geoff Stilwell that 1980s Pro Stock Bike racer and Funny Bike pioneer Graham Nash has recently passed away after a long battle with cancer. Son of Santa Pod timekeeper and fellow Pro Stock Bike racer Allan Nash, Graham had a major influence on the progression of drag racing as a racer, builder and adviser.
Graham's first competitive ride was a Suzuki powered PSB. Graham and Alan then built the Kawasaki Cloud Nine Pro stock bike for Geoff Stilwell and it raced under the NCK racing banner. NCK were the Kawasaki main dealers in the Coventry area and had signed up as many US distributorships as he could, including Orient Express, Kosman, Vance & Hines, and "Superbike" Mike Keyte, supplying many racers.
On a trip to the USA Graham bought through Jack O’Malley at Orient Express the Kosman framed Funny Bike, taking his focus away from PSB. It was when they were visiting Isky that “T Willie Hutchins” of Isky cams gave the bike its name. In 1982 Graham was a winner of the Superfresh Catering NDRC Top Fuel Bike Performance Cup with Rice Burner which had a Turbo charged Kawasaki motor.
With business booming and a deal with TVR to tune their circuit racing cars, Graham hung his leathers up at the end of 1984, but was back in 1988 when John Clift built a more advanced Funny Bike, based on a GSX100E and Suzuki powered. At the 1989 World Finals, Graham had one of his most memorable races. The final, between Paul Willis and Graham was the quickest Funny Bike race ouside the U.S.A. with Willis running a 7.33/179 holeshot over Nash's 7.21/187.
We send our condolences to Grahams's family and friends.
Nostalgia Nationals class entry deadline on Friday.
24th May: Thanks to Max Frost Events Coordinator at Santa Pod Raceway who has an important update for racers wishing to attend the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals on 3rd-5th June. Max says:
"The closing date for Racer Entries is this coming Friday at 5pm! If you're planning to race in Gasser Circus, Nostalgia Superstock, Outlaw Anglia or Supercharged Outlaws, get those entries in! Visit the website to enter."
Wild Bunch and Modified 100e racers, as well as anyone wanting to run whose vehicle is pre-1973 in origin, should enter online before the event under the normal RWYB link and will be organised by your usual co-ordinator.
With great power comes great...speed.
24th May: Many thanks to Jet dragster racer Julian Webb for sending the story behind his new Jet Dragster, named Spiderman.
About four years ago the team decided that we needed to upgrade our car to stand any chance of running anywhere near the speed and times that Fireforce 5 runs.
Rather than opting to purchase a car from America, we decided to build an entirely new dragster so it could incorporate some ideas we had for its design build. You will notice we are running front wing and rear cannards and the car also has a flat floor and numerous other features built into it.
With a huge amount of help and advice from Martin Hill of Fireforce, a new chassis and body were commissioned from Hauser Race Cars. Martin Hill found us a J60 turbine in America and arranged for it to be shipped to the UK. Whilst awaiting delivery of the engine, Martin lent us a spare turbine and tailpipe to allow Geof Hauser to build the chassis around it.
Rather than buy off-the-shelf wheels and hubs, we asked Graham Sykes at GSPE to hand make the hubs and wheels allowing us to run a better quality wheel bearing suitable for high speeds in the hope that we may attend landspeed events with the new car if all goes well.
Once the rolling chassis was completed, it was transferred to the Fireforce workshop where Martin set about the final build and undertook the task of mounting all of the valves, solenoids tanks etc that are needed and then connecting everything together.
The livery design was created by Pete Walters, with some input from Pryzm paintwork but the final artwork being beautifully applied by Scott Airbrushwork.
The name of the new car has come about for a number of reasons. Roy Webb the senior member of the team ran a Competition Altered in the 1980s called Spiderman and with Webb as a surname the family were often called Spiderman at school and work so it was decided that a new Spiderman should be created as a thank you to Roy for his input and help over the years.
We would like to thank everyone who has helped design and build of Spiderman but a special thanks must go to Martin Hill because without his help, advice and input this new car wouldn’t have been built. His attention to detail is outstanding and we hope people appreciate the quality of his workmanship and that of all involved.
Midgley takes win at Springspeed Nationals.
24th May: UK Top Fuel Bike rider Neil Midgley took the next step in his developing career winning his first event riding his Puma Engineering machine with a solid win at the ACU UK Championship event at Santa Pod, the Spring Nationals.
Following modifications to his seating position to improve his overall control and stability since the last meeting the Colchester based rider made solid progress with the King Racing & Cannon Motorsports team collaboration despite a weather affected qualifying session.
Midgley finished qualifications in second place behind Top Fuel Bike veteran Steve Woollatt and faced third qualifier Al Smith on the unique PBR Rocket machine in round one.
Unfortunately for the Nottingham rider, Smith encountered some traction issues but he would need to have broken into the fives to overcome Midgley’s strong but early shut off 5.9202 secs at only 199.75 mph.
The final was effectively the veteran versus the newcomer, but Midgley left hard and first whilst Woollatt was off the throttle as he saw his opponent rapidly disappearing into the distance before rolling off unopposed. A first event win on the multi championship winning machine for Midgley and the combined team of Mike Vickers, Ian Carruthers, Martin Brookman, Marius van der Zijden and Team Principals Ian King and Chris Hannam bodes well for the future.
The next event for the team is the first round of the FIM European Championship `Main Event’ at Santa Pod Raceway on the 27th-29th May where early season title favourite Rikard Gustafsson makes a welcome return to the UK shores alongside a full field of other top teams in the class including the fast leaving turbo Funnybike of Stuart Crane.
Pictures courtesy of Callum Pudge.
The team are proud to be supported in their world class performances by their blue-chip partners:
APE - The world’s most innovative manufacturer of aftermarket parts for race bikes;
COMETIC GASKETS - The Premier Manufacturer of racing gaskets;
GATES - The world’s most trusted name in drive belts, hoses, and hydraulics;
GOODRIDGE - The most innovative and the best in fluid transfer systems;
JE PISTONS - The world's premier manufacturer of high-performance forged pistons;
KIBBLEWHITE PRECISION MACHINING - The highest quality valve train components available;
LUCAS OIL PRODUCTS INC – High performance engine & gear oils second to none in the racing industry;
MRE - Leaders in trackside support for drag race components and air shifting systems;
MTC ENGINEERING - Manufacturer of clutches for the fastest motorcycles in the world;
NGK SPARKPLUGS UK – The world’s number one spark plug manufacturer;
PAR WILLEN – Master webmaster and proprietor of HarleyDrags.com;
PRO ALLOY MOTORSPORT - The UK’s leading fabricator of alloy tanks, intercoolers, and radiators;
VANSON LEATHERS - The most iconic brand in motorsport leather goods;
WEB CAMSHAFTS INC - Simply THE company for Top Fuel Bike camshafts;
WORLDWIDE BEARINGS - The world’s leading supplier of ceramic bearings for racing; and
ZODIAC - Europe’s largest supplier of performance and aftermarket HD parts.
Redrum Racing licenses.
24th May: 8.50 Bike racer Alex Gordon has been in touch to tell us about his first race in the class, now one of the most competitive in UK drag bike racing:
We got the opportunity to use the Hayabusa on loan from Churchward Car Sales back in September 2021, the bike was mostly ready but needed going through after standing for a few years, me and my dad (Glenn Pallant) picked it up took it back to the workshop and eventually got the bike presentable and race ready, to get the bike ready we got help from Brad at BTC Moto and Sean at Big CC racing.
I ran two run what ya brung meetings with the bike which, considering my lack of biking experience at the time, did seem daunting at first. But after the first couple of passes I felt really at home on the bike, and everything about myself and the bike just became faster and smoother with each pass, although I ran no quicker than 9.4s.
By the time I was ready, the Festival of Power had come and gone, which meant that my first race would be at the Springspeed Nationals. Coming into that meeting, I was yet to have my license signed off, run an 8 second pass or even turn the boost controller on, again making it seem like I had a mountain to climb. I ran the test day on the Friday and after a few runs it was looking like a handful of issues were going to put a stop to my plans. But after some advice from a couple of racers and making various set up changes, we finally got the run where everything came together more or less, and we dipped into the 8s, quick enough to get my license signed and put me in the show which was unbelievable.
I’ve been around the track for a few years and I’m no stranger to being on the start line but it still came as a shock to me when realising how different it feels to actually be lining up as a racer.
Saturday came and slowly but surly we started nibbling away at my ETs through qualifying until Q4 when in the burnout the sprocket carrier sheared all six teeth off leaving me with no drive. Back in the pits we pulled it all apart and pretty much straight away we had been offered spare parts to use for the weekend. We very grateful and were blown away by the support in the bike pits. We got it all back together, completed qualifying and went on to lose a cracking race against Gary Malone, but all in all I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. From start to finish it was nothing but laughs, making new friends and memories with my dad.
I need to say a huge thank you to Brad O’Connor, Sean Mills, Jake Mechaell, Brad Head, Andy Haley and anyone else that made my entry into 8.50 as enjoyable as possible.
VP Racing Fuels Doorslammers racer comments.
24th May: We present below comments from racers following the weekend's VP Racing Fuels Doorslammers. During the event racers were finding the track grip extraordinary and the result was 49 racers recording personal bests which we have placed in a table by class:
In VP Racing Fuels Pro Doorslammer, Jan Ericsson dominated the class, qualifying #1 with 5.8473/244.18 and then running four consecutive 5.8s passes, all at more than 240mph to win the £10,000 prize. The final between Jan and runner up Bruno Bader who won £4,000 was a cracker.
Tony Underhill, who suffered severe front end damage to his 99 Problems Willys Sedan in a high speed collision with the wall said: "Not how we wanted the weekend to go but I’m ok, the car and safety equipment did exactly what it was supposed to do, big thanks to all tha Santa Pod Raceway team and medics they are truly the best, thank you for all the kind comments, we will take stock and build back one way or another, thank to you to my team you are all incredible Joseph Underhill, Kelly Underhill, Brad Head, Thomas Cooke Abbott, Charlotte Cooke Abbott James Woodsford, Chloe Carter and Tony Underhill." We wish Tony and the team all the best and hope to see him back.
Wildcat Drag Racing's Darren Peart posted: "After rolling the car just 2 weeks ago we somehow managed to get the car turned around for Doorslammers 2022 and ran a 7.82@173mph. Although we lost first round this was an amazing weekend for us!
We would like to thank everyone involved in getting the car back on track in such a short amount of time." Darren's race in round one was a close one, Wayne Nicholson eventually passing him in the back half of the track.
Wayne's Lucky Devil Corvette team posted: "What a great weekend Santa Pod Raceway we had a few issues with having too much power, believe it or not! But we will be back ready to race at the main event this weekend! Big thank you to our amazing team! without you non of this is possible!"
Pro Street had Andy Bond winning the final against Ashley Cooper's nine second Transit, appropriate enough for the Transitmania show taking place at Santa Pod. The class included some True Street cars, who valiantly tried to keep up with the Street Eliminator style vehicles, with PBs for four of them (see table).
European FWD Front Wheel Drive had expanded to almost 40 entries, after the enthusiastic support from announcer Luke Stevenson and his Facebook page. Ahmed Jamshaid aka Big Man Ting Performance who had a new engine. Ahmed posted: "It still hasn’t sunk in but we done it, the car worked like a dream, the best weekend we have had in a very long time with great people.
"Street Racers rolling road tuning & remappings, stick ya chest out, you made this happen, I appreciate the time and effort you put in, all I had to say to Gordon was I will drive the car, you don't worry, you send in All the boost and that's what happened, all the dots got connected.
"Big up ya selfs, all the crew that was involved, the late nights, sleepless nights, stressing in the morning missions, blood and sweat we had to put in. Sean Prout, Ryan Omarni, Wendell Brand, Adam Mcgraw, Liam Garratt, Brad Sheppard, Kritz Chand and Garagep3 Parts UK.
"We ran some PBs, 9.01 being our fastest at 169mph, the 8s are there but we didn't want 8s at the weekend, if it came it was a bonus this weekend was more about consistency.
"It was a pleasure racing in Doorslammers Santa Pod Raceway alongside great racers. The Santa Pod crew put on a great show, the man himself Luke Stevenson all the hard work you put in for these fwd class European FWD, thank you. My family that supports me unconditionally I appreciate your words I cant even describe."
Craig Evans driving the Raggy Conversions Corsa, wrote: "Well what a weekend at Doorslammers. Best weekend at Pod of the year in my eyes, the atmosphere in the FWD pits was ace, good laughs all weekend. Car done well, qualified 6th out of 42 cars even though it had to go back to the old 600bhp set up. First race was probably the best race I’ve ever had in the car, against Manajah Wells' all motor Civic, in round 1 I just got him at the end with 0.4s between us. Round 2 I drew Matt Davison in his 700hp D16 Civic, another really close race but just didn’t have enough to pass him, that was me out but that’s racing, bring on next year when we will be back bigger and stronger. Class weekend though and car is still in one piece."
The 4 Cylinder class was won by Alex Leiserach in his VW Bay Single Cab pickup. Constructor and Eurodragster sponsor Robinson Race Cars posted: "A huge congratulations to Alex Leiserach and the Second Coming Single Cab for not only winning the 4 cylinder class at the Doorslammers this weekend, but also for setting a new PB of 9.01! Absolutely amazing performance! If you have not seen this machine yet then check out our build gallery, this is a 4130 RRC chassis with dual wishbone suspension front and rear, a turbocharged Pauter motor running FuelTech USA ECU and Precision Turbo & Engine turbo, tuned by RJ Volks performance."
Alex's victory came at the cost of several quicker cars going out with heartbreaking problems or just plain weirdness. In round one Kev Jenkins' Fraudster Mk1 Escort suffered major engine damage that left the team head scratching: "We’re out with a mechanical failure. Not sure what it is yet but the car went up in smoke, windowed the block and wiped out the entire bottom end, Kev & Neil are stripping it down now. Cause unknown, just one of those things. We’ll be back, Main Event 2022 coming up! Going to be a busy few days to get this back up and running. 7.70 at 178 mph is all we had this weekend before it went bang in Round 1. Gutted!"
Kev's crew chief Chris Todd racing his Subaru powered Fiesta Mk1, posted "Doorslammers 2022, what a ride!, struggled with a new clutch set up all weekend but somehow ended up in the finals with Alex Jesus Leiserach, unfortunately I was a bit keen and pulled a red light (instant lose) leaving Alex to power on for the win in the awesome Second Coming Single Cab, congratulations to Alex and his team who grafted really hard for the whole event!, huge thanks to everyone who helped me make the event and over the weekend, Jo Peters, Jake Todd, Kevin Jenkins, Jordan Peters, Stephen Guirey, Paul Wright, and my valvetrain sponsor #supertechperformance, Looking forward to Doorslammers 2023!"
Richie Webb of RJ Volks Performance suffered a premature parachute release in round 2 after losing a part from his Beetle Cabriolet in his round one victory.
6 Cylinder was won by Joe Bristow in his Golvo Volvo engined Golf which earlier had run its first eight second pass, against Dave Henderson's Audi RS3. Joe won the race on a holeshot.
The hero of the Williams Bros Speed Shop Big Bracket on Saturday was Jon Turner, a man who has more than paid his dues to British drag racing but whose career balance of "The thrill of victory ... and the agony of defeat" was distinctly weighted in favour of the latter. Jon, who was runner up and £2,000 better off had the bonus of a bye in the semi final on Saturday but, would you believe it, the car failed to start. Enter many sportsman racers willing the genial Jon to carry on, including his final round competitor (and eventual winner) Lee Huxley with dad Brian stepping in, an errant fuse being the culprit. Lee was the eventual winner of the Crew girl Georgina Smith posted: "Brilliant weekend had at doorslammers! Well done to all the teams...Thank you Jon Turner for letting me crew/dial you in and even when the car played up big time and the driver f****d up...soooo much fun was had...Big shout out to everyone that came to the rescue getting the old girl to start... shows the true meaning of a drag racing family...Oh, back to the real for 2 days...Then back to do it all over again...Roll on Wednesday, when I can say LET'S GO RACING!"
Tim Stanbury, after his first race since September 2019, posted: "Great weekend at Santa Pod Doorslammers one of my absolute favourites on the calendar (ever since 'Gary's Doorslammers' from the '80s). Got to see old friends share much laughter and a wicked full English breakfast this morning Herb style. Car was great, felt weird being back in the chair first time since Sept '19. Last run was the best 9.10 on a 9.10 but transbrake didn't release properly so that was that. Quarter finals at least on Saturday. Back home to Devon we went. Pictures include Rachel and Stuart 'the crew' who put me up for the weekend too."
Scott Lewry summarised the event succinctly: "Doorslammers 2022 what a weekend! Awesome to catchup with so many faces from the drag racing family. Some awesome racing and the usual banter. Too many people to tag but massive congratulations to my brother Ahmed Jamshaid for taking the FWD Doorslammer title and another well done to Mr Boost Matt Davison on the runners up slot 2 very consistent very fast ghey Hondas well done boys. Race of the weekend for me was Craig Evans and Manajah Wells awesome! Well done to all the other racers repping the FWD where as we all know noone really like us lol See you all soon! A quick shout out to Luke Stevenson the guy is pretty much the only one who's investing and actively trying to promote us all in the FWD scene keep it up mate!"
THe final word goes to Luke Stevenson's crew member Robert Lindsay: "What a bloody awesome weekends racing, if you love motor racing, but weren't at Doorslammers, why not?? Get it in your diary for next year!...Now, where's that after sun?"
23rd May: Happy Birthday for today to Pro Modified racer Kev Slyfield, have a great day Kev!
We are in catch up mode with European events, however you can see video of last weekend's Malta Drag Racing Association May QTM Hal Far race at Motors MT Facebook page, and videos of individual runs at MDRA secretary Konrad D'Anastasi's Youtube channel, with playlists available.
VP Racing Fuels Doorslammers results.
23rd May: Congratulations to the winners at the VP Racing Fuels Doorslammers held at Santa Pod Racewat at the weekend:
Pro Doorslammer: Jan Ericsson 5.8872/242.88 def. Bruno Bader 5.9272/239.88
Pro Street: Andy Bond 7.0270/208.94 def. Ashley Cooper 11.3451/140.70
European FWD Front Wheel Drive: Ahmed Jamshaid 9.0123/169.17 def. Matt Davison 9.7123/155.24
4 Cylinder: Alex Leiserach 9.0108/151.60 def. Chris Todd 12.770/70.47 DQ red
6 Cylinder: Joe Bristow 9.064/158.48 def. David Henderson 9.0591/158.56
Williams Bros Speed Shop Big Bracket #2: Lee Chiles 10.007/134.04 (10.01) def. Billy Gane 8.6217/157.37 (8.63)
Williams Bros Speed Shop Big Bracket #1 (Saturday):Lee Huxley 9.5966/138.52 (9.56) def, Jon Turner 10.2409/134.08 (9.98) red
The event was held in conditions that got warmer and less windy as the weekend progressed. As it was a 'lifestyle' event, no official records were set, however many personal best runs were made, and we plan to analyse the data for these and publish a table tomorrow.
Sadly there were some incidents to report. Luis Silva, driving Helder Pereira's newly rebuilt Batmobile Seat Ibiza TDI made a test pass on Friday late afternoon and the car made a move after the finish line, colliding with the right hand wall at around 130mph. Luis was carefully extracted from the car and send to hospital where he is recovering with a broken shoulder blade and severe bruising; we wish Luis a speedy recovery. On Saturday Tony Underhill in his newly painted and refreshed 99 Problems Willys was making a hard run when the car went hard left into the wall again at speed. Tony avoided a collision with the right wall and got out of the car under his own steam, later thanking the SPR safety crew who in both crashes were on the scene immediately.
There was also some mechanical attrition and we wish all the best to Kev Jenkins, Lee Huxley and Joel Kerr as they fix mechanical breakages that occured during the course of the weekend, as we move into a busy time of the season.
Thanks to David Anniwell of the Santa Pod Timing Crew for sending us detailed timing data, including test day results, which we have posted to our timing data area which you can see by clicking on Data, then Timing Data at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. Official results can be seen at Santa Pod's Official Results Site.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Festival of Power reports, results and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. Please join Simon in thanking Julian and Diana for their hard work over the race weekend, and well done to the Santa Pod Raceway track crew for maintaining a great racing surface throughout.
We look forward to publishing racer comments on the event tomorrow.
Feature: Interview with VP Racing Fuels' Freddie Turza.
23rd May: A few weeks ago, Editor Simon had the opportunity to conduct an interview with Freddie Turza, Technical Manager at VP Racing Fuels which we publish today, just a few days before Freddie flies over from Lexington, North Carolina to attend the FIA/FIM-E Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway.
Freddie joined VP Racing Fuels in 2008 following a 12 year period where he was employed by two prominent NASCAR teams as head engine builder and general manager. His role at VP Racing has included developing and refining the range of racing fuels, lubricants and additives manufactured and sold by VP, working with race teams and engine builders to ascertain their requirements for these products so as to produce outstanding performance.
The interview covers a wide range of drag racing topics, including customers in the US and Europe, product development - and that most tricky of subjects, the future of nitromethane in our sport.
You can read the interview with Freddie at this link at this link in our Features section, which you can see a list of at this link or by clicking on News, then Festures on the main menu above.
We thank Freddie for his time, Tom Davis, VP Racing Fuels' UK & European Business Development Manager for arranging the interview and Jim "JR" Kelly for editing assistance.
23rd May: We were saddened to hear of the death yesterday of US drag racing presenter and announcer Dave McClelland. Dave, or "Big Mac" as he was affectionaly known, was 85 years old and had spent 60 of those years in the broadcasting business, many with Diamond P Productions, whose videos were the link, for many drag racing fans from Europe and further afield, with the sport in America, before the advent of the internet and video streaming. (click on photo for Motorsports Hall of Fame of America video tribute)
Dave was first on the mic at Central Missouri State College where he studied acting and singing (we have yet to see evidence of the latter), and after working for local radio he became a drag racing announcer in 1959, covering the 1961 U.S. Nationals. In the early 1970s he joined the NHRA full-time in the promotion and public relations department which he did for seven years. In 1973 he became host of NHRA events on television and announcer at NHRA National events which he did until he retired in 2003, partnering with soulmate and fellow announcer Steve Evans.
Producer/Director of Diamond P John Mullin recalled Dave's dedication: "Those early years could be painful. They included all night edit sessions driven by the understanding that the syndicated network we had fashioned (some 90-100 stations per race coverage) was expecting to start airing the finished product just six or seven days after the actual race was concluded. Live and sameday-turn-arounds on any network was not possible simply because ESPN, for one, did not yet exist, and CBS, NBC and ABC weren't about ready to disrupt their coverage of golf, baseball and other stick-and-ball products even though, interestingly enough, that ad-hoc syndicated network at one time covered more households of the country than did NBC.
"Dave, therefore, was expected to deliver a top-notch, engaging race call throughout each show during the wee hours of the morning after three or four days of all night editing...think taking a final exam after six days of very little sleep, and then being expected to deliver a full-on demonstration of your mastery of the subject at 3:00 AM. Dave not only accepted that challenge, he relished it!
"David McClelland was truly a one-of-a-kind broadcast professional. He was also a truly decent human being. Television and racing are both pursuits noted for their respective ability to eat their young. Internal, often aggressively nasty, politics abide in each and avoiding landmines is often problematic. David solved that problem by simply refusing to enter into such matters. In all the years that I spent around NHRA, I never heard him utter one harsh word about anyone, and I never heard anyone cast aspersions in his direction. That, in itself, sets him apart from most."
As well as announcing NHRA events he lent his voice and organising skills to many other drag racing events, running two tracks including the famous Dallas International Motor Speedway; over the years he won numerous awards including the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame Founders' Award in 2005 and SEMA Industry Icon Award.
We send our deepest condolences to Dave's wife Louise who he married in 1958 and all his family and friends.
23rd May: Happy Birthday for today to drag bike photographer Kelvin Fagan, Straightliners motorcycle champion Maxine Taylor, Outlaw Anglia racer Wayne Power, Outlaw Street racer Arnie Pamment and Gadney Motorsport's Chris Gadney. Have a great day all.
Congratulations to expat Norwegian Top Alcohol Dragster racer Julie Nataas for winning the Lonestar Nationals NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, South Central Division, event at Texas Motorplex on Saturday. Julie's Randy Meyer-owned car won her ninth LODRS Wally by qualifying third with a 5.562/262.99, then defeating Todd Bruce, Chase Copeland and Steve Collier. Julie's best run was 5.372/266.81.
19th May: This weekend, the modern version of Doorslammers has its fourth running at Santa Pod Raceway following the cancellation of the 2020 event and 2021's being delayed until September. This year's prize fund has been more than doubled from £40,000 to £90,000. Here is a preview of what you can expect to see in competition:
Pro Doorslammer, sponsored by VP Racing Fuels, has a 16 car field with a prize pot of £20,000 with £10,000 to the winner. As in previous years there is a fascinating mix of Pro Modifieds and quick sportsman doorslammers doing battle. Last year's winner Bruno Bader from Switzerland in his Corvette got to grips with the track quickly, followed by Kev Slyfield (Thunderbird) who was runner up (see picture). Sweden's Jan Ericsson (Camaro) (see picture) will be wanting to run a 5.7s to equal or better his 5.7891/247.82 PB and so will David Vegter from the Netherlands (Camaro) who with a PB of 5.8046/240.30 is knocking on the door. Other 5s runners are Andy Robinson (Camaro) who is starting to run similar times to his previous Camaro with more in the bag, and Andres Arnover from Estonia, who is bringing his 5.8s Mustang out for the first time since a big fire last August at Tierp (PB set there of 5.886/247.99).
As well as the EU racers, we will be delighted to see Chris Orthodoxou back with his Pro Mod spec Dodge Viper, also Joel Kerr who has rebuilt his Pontiac Starchief after it destroyed an engine putting the car into the wall in September 2020. John Tebenham will be ready with the Fabulous Lightning McQueen Corvette, plus new Mike Janis supercharger, as we saw in yesterday's update, and Darren Peart is undertaking a speedy rebuild to try to get his Wildcat Cortina Mk3 back on track after rolling it at Melbourne two weeks ago.
Each of the other classes has a prize pot of £10,000 with £5,000 to the winner, the Williams Bros Big Bracket having the prizes both on Saturday and Sunday.
Pro Street was highlighted last year by a memorable final round burn down (see picture) between eventual winner Dave Mace (Vauxhall Cresta) and Andy Bond (Chevy 210), who had won in 2019. The pair are back this year, however the appearance of Al McSweeney (PB 7.5961/182.81) and Brian Pateman (PB with nitrous, 7.9403/169.21) will give Dave some competition.
Front Wheel Drive sponsored by the European FWD Facebook group. This class has always had the largest entry and this year's car count of 41 is no exception. Predicting a winner in this class is almost impossible as the vagaries of FWD traction issues and mechanical or driveline failure can strike at any moment. In other words, not necessarily the quickest car on paper will win. Stephen Ray (Astra Van) (see picture) won in 2018 and was runner up in 2021, however his PB of 10.1604/141.63 has been bettered by several.
Nevertheless we anticipate the attraction of running quick in open qualifying will inspire several PBs. Chris Backshell's Renault 5GT (see picture) is the quickest runner at 8.8798/167.91, as this is his first Doorslammers we will see if he can go quicker on the well prepped Doorslammers track. A couple of drivers are knocking on the door of the eight second bracket. 2019 runner-up Calvin Skerritt (Honda Civic) has a PB of 9.1187/167.29 which he will be keen to better, and Ahmed Jamshaid has a new engine in his Honda Civic and his PB with his old engine is 9.1897/154.67.
4 Cylinder has been dominated in the last two events by Kev Jenkins who was winner in 2019 and 2021 in the Fraudster Mk1 Escort (powered by a C20LET Vauxhall engine) (see picture), with its PB of 7.6314/181.30 and almost 40 years of racing experience in the driving seat. Kev has to be favourite to win, however the competition comes in numbers with a 23 car entry. Quickest of the rest are Richie Webb's VW Cabriolet (7.9739/169.17) and 2018 winner Chris Todd's Subaru powered RWD Fiesta Mk1 (8.8120/161.31) with Lee Connor's Lotus Elise also an eight second runner at 8.9256/152.65.
Welcome to Denmark's Jack Krügel (see picture) who is racing a Nissan Pulsar 4G63, running on methanol and has recorded a best of 8.7510/169.41, running in a variety of classes in Scandinavian competition.
Others competing who have entered all three Doorslammers are Taz Racing's Darren Scannell (Ford Escort Mk1 Cosworth) and Adam Skinner (Fiat 126 powered by Toyota MR2 turbo).
6 Cylinder has its remit increased from five, six cylinder and rotary engines to now include electric engined cars as well. Cue the debut of Black Current Four, the brainchild of professional electric motor suppliers Sam and Olly Young. This being the first event the new car is running at, don't expect the 8.282/159.09 performance of the Black Current 3 (which met its demise five years ago in a top end crash), however the engineering of the new car will surely be something to wonder at.
Performance-wise, Austrian Hubert Strengberger's Audi TT (see picture) is back and repaired after the car went on its roof at the 2020 VW Drag Days, his PB is 7.528/187.07, a second quicker than his competitors, and we'll see how he will use this advantage to try to claim the winner's prize. Mark Moseley is the most successful racer in this class with a win in 2018 and runner up in 2019, however Hubert and Germany's Oliver Hubajn (VW Golf) will be tough to get around.
Other debuts in 6 Cylinder include Joe Bristow's Golvo (Volvo-engine Golf) and Dave Henderson's Audi RS3 which holds track records at both ends of the country (Crail and Perranporth, Cornwall). A very late entry comes from Youtubers The Rocky and Buzz Show, Rocky Bhattel and Buzz Singh, who provide a comical take on supercar and top speed racing culture, running Rocky's Joker R35 GT-R with its aftermarket 2000hp engine (see picture). Shakedown runs will be the order of the day, to sample their brand of humour go to their Youtube channel (language advisory).
As before there will be two Big Brackets, sponsored by Williams Bros Racing; action starts with one practice session on each of Saturday and Sunday before the first round draw is made, with first round buy backs available for losing competitors. 2018 had Collin Morrice defeating Billy Gane on Saturday, and Lee Huxley defeating Jens Könnecke on Sunday. 2019 had one Big Bracket and Nic Williams won the £10,000 prize over Lee Huxley. 2021 was Keith Herbert over Peter Lane on Saturday (see picture) and Billy Gane over Lee Huxley on Sunday. Unsurprisingly all of the above are entered for this year's competition; with the closeness of dial in racing, it would be rude to single out any racer as a likely winner.
A warm welcome goes to Big Bracket competitors from the EU Christophe Burfeindt (Germany, '63 Chevy Nova), Thomas Bublitz (Germany, Chevy Nova), Thomas Haas (Switzerland, Plymouth Valiant), together with Jens Könnecke (Germany, Oldsmobile Rocket 88).
The weekend will be three events in one, because as well as the competition in Doorslammers, there will be VW Breakout, a relaxed VW Festival with plenty of VW (and other marques) Doorslammer Drag Racing, RWYB, Show & Shine and music; and Transitmania, a show for enthusiasts of Ford's legendary Transit Van, modified, classic or campers. It's sure to be a heck of a party so get yourself down to Santa Pod Raceway. Tickets, in advance only, can be bought at Santa Pod's ticket site.
18th May: Happy Birthday for today to former Funny Car racer and Old School Stocker racer Charlie Draper, Junior Dragster racer Luke Fulton, 8.50 Bike racer Joe Elliott, German Supercharged Outlaw racer Walle Strobel and Swedish nostalgia nitro slingshot racer Caj Carlsson. Have a great day all. A belated 80th Birthday greeting to former Pro Comp racer Gerry Andrews, we hope you had a wonderful day Gerry!
Our good friend Tony Thacker has written an article on the SCTA Land Speed Racing last weekend at El Mirage which you can see by clicking on the link to go to the Torqtalk blog.
STTG report from Malmö.
18th May: Many thanks to photojournalist and Super Twin Top Gas president Mike Kraaij for sending us his full pdf format report on STTG at the Cramo Nationals, Malmö Raceway last Saturday. You can download Mike's full report at this link.
The bikes had their first qualifying pass on Saturday. "It was a bit windy but the track was getting there on Saturday. Jörg Lymant from Germany qualified first with a 4.924 on the 1/8 mile track, and moved on to the 2nd round of qualifying. "Martin Buhler came all the way from Switzerland and respresented the class together with fellow Swiss Olaf Menzi. Martin was 2nd qualified in session 1 with an 5.415 with his immaculate Turbocharged V-Twin, working on finding a solution to get off the line.
"The track was tricky in the first 60ft and all racers looked at their set-up to run the best ET they could in the second session. Jörg ran a 1.12 60ft which was great, but his bike took out the timing blocks on his second pass. Olaf Menzi did some drifting (see picture, but mantained control and had a great save.
A sunny Sunday had the final qualifying session in the morning. Mats Larsson was out with technical issues, Jorg Lymant maintained his #1 spot and was the the only rider to qualify in the 4's. The final qualifying list (speeds in mph) was:
The first round saw the winners go through, with Jörg Lymant running a bye, Jan Malmberg (win) over Anders Jensen, a bye run for Martin Buhler when Olaf Menzi broke and Jorgen Godske winning on reaction time (a virtual holeshot) against Malte Foit. The semi final saw Jan Malmberg defeat Jörg Lymant, and Martin Buhler defeat Jorgen Godske, with Jan defeating Martin in the final.
You can see photos from the event at this Super Twin Top Gas Facebook album.
JT's blower installed.
18th May: Many thanks to sponsor, Pro Modified, and this weekend, Pro Doorslammer racer John Tebenham who has sent in this photo of his new Mike Janis supercharger now mounted atop his 521ci engine of the Fabulous Lightning McQueen '53 Corvette, and shown in spy pictures and in our story on 13th May.
JT says "We are going, are you? Massive thanks to Luke and Andy at Robinson Race Cars. Who wouldn’t want to drive this bad boy? See you at the Doorslammers. Johnny Bee Good."
You can follow JT at the Jt Racing Facebook page.
Gardermoen Spring Nationals this weekend.
18th May: Norway's Gardermoen Raceway hosts its Spring Nationals this weekend 20th-22nd, and with a higher number of Pro competitors in an entry of 121 vehicles, the focus will be on how the quicker cars and bikes perform as well as the sportsman competition.
The Top Methanol dragsters of Swedes Tony Bryntesson (pictured left) and Jonny Lagg will be making passes, and the Top Methanol Funny Car of Linn Engan Fløysvik (pictured center), who became a mum last November, will be making an attempt on the Gardermoen track record for her class before travelling to Santa Pod Raceway for the Main Event. In Pro Modified, Stian Rusånes' 1941 Willys and Finn Richard Sundblom whose Chevy Cobalt is usually seen in Pro Stock, will be matching up.
Picture credits: Tony Bryntesson: Patrik Jacobsson; Linn Engan Fløysvik: David G. Wilson; Jan Sturla Hegre: Mike Kraiij
Bike classes also feature pairs of racers. Top Fuel Bike has Jan Sturla Hegre (pictured right) on his Kawasaki/Puma against Finnish racer Mikko Rajaniemi's Sirpa machine. Super Twin Top Fuel Bike has Cato Oddmund Waale of Hawaya Racing making his debut with Hans Olav Olstad who will be crew chief, having recovered from serious injuries sustained last year. Cato's competition is Julia Wagner who made her debut in the now-defunct Nitro Bike Shootout last year. Super Street Bike has the Kawasaki of Kenneth S. Laget up against the Hayabusa of Dag Wagenius.
There is a full field of other cars and bikes scoring points in the EDRS Championship, with three in Top Doorslammer included.
Gardermoen will be hosting four races for 2022, the Summer Shootout on 25th-26th June being the first time sportsman bracket racing is held on an eigth mile length at the track, then the Drag Challenge from 4th-7th August and Drag Finals 7th-9th September. You can see more detail and results at the ndrg.no website (in Norwegian).
18th May: Happy Birthday for today to Funny Car legend Harlan Thompson. Have a fantastic day Harlan!
Our Doorslammers event coverage page has been updated with a printable list of entries. Also, we have been looking at personal bests and previous competition performances for heads up classes at previous years' events and plan to run a preview of this year's event in tomorrow's update.
Puma Engineering customer's world record.
17th May: Thanks to Puma Engineering owner Ian King for highlighting his company's role in a much-feted record set at the weekend at last weekend's NHRA NAtional event.
Puma Engineering, manufacturer of the worlds quickest and fastest motorcycle engines, congratulates Larry “Spiderman” McBride and his team for delivering the fastest motorcycle pass in drag racing history on Saturday at Virginia Motorsports Park during the weekend’s Virginia NHRA Nationals.
McBride’s amazing terminal speed of 268.38 mph was the fastest pass in wheel driven history, eclipsing his previous record of 265.95 mph set in 2021. McBride also ran a 5.61 second ET on the run during a Top Fuel Motorcycle exhibition at the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series event in Virginia.
McBride’s record pass alongside another standout Top Fuel rider and fellow Puma customer David Vantine made a huge impression at event, showing the large crowd what they have rarely seen, the quickest and fastest motorcycles on the planet. Their impressive side by side run has also turned into a spectacular hit online, already attracting more than 1.5 million views across NHRA’s social media channels in less than 48 hours.
See McBride’s amazing run and post run interview at this link.
AMC Dessau Cup this weekend.
17th May: On 21st-22nd May, the first round of the AMC Dessau Cup for 2022 (the first time this contest has occured since 2019) will take place at Zerbst Airport.
On Friday 20th May arrival of racers will take place from 4 p.m, and the track will be open on Saturday from 10am-6pm and on Sunday from 10am-2pm. You can see the entry list at this link (pdf document) which looks healthy. Classes represented are Pro ET (9.00-11.99), Sportsman ET (12.00-13.99), Public race (12.00, 13.00, 14.00 indexes), Sport Compact (9.00 and 10.00 indexes), Super Gas (9.90), ET Bike (9.00-13.99), Super Gas Bike (9.50), Junior dragster and Junior Drag Bike.
A Test & Tune was held on 30th April-1st May and European Drag Racing Videos have posted some footage from it, including Mario Bellio and Stefan Schneider (Doc Snyder) Spectator admission is €15 (Sat & Sun) and €5 on Sunday only.
The next meeting on 25th-26th June will include a FWD Shootout. This will feature a 32 car field again this year, anyone who wants to join can register using WhatsApp 0173/1742923 with the full name of the driver, make/model/engine of the vehicle, a picture of the vehicle. The entry fee will be €35 (payment only after invitation). Registration closes on 29th May, and approximately a week later there will be an online draw via livestream where the 31 drivers will be drawn who can be there.
For more information see the AMC-Dessau web site at www.amc-dessau.de.
Agrinio's second round of Pan-Hellenic championship.
17th May: On the long weekend of 20-21 and 22 May Agrinio Raceway opens its gates for the 2nd race of the Pan-Hellenic Dragster auto-moto Championship under the auspices of OMAE-AMOTOE. There will be ideal temperatures for racing and therefore a big field of competitors is expected and fans were implored "Get ready for a weekend full of record breaking and crazy racing."
Those wanting to compete can enter via this link (Motorcycles) and this link for cars.
Included in the list are the quick FWD cars of Georgios Gkitsis (Peugeot 106 (pictured), best 9.136/157.74), Spyros Skamnelos (Opel Corsa, best 9.428/153.63) and Dimitris Zachos (Seat Leon, best 9.6990/155.88). (Information from drdb.eu and the European FWD leaderboard.
Feature: Lions Automobilia.
17th May: Many thanks to retired editor Tog who has taken time out of his Finally the 2020 Birthday Trip tour of the U.S. Midwest and Left Coast to visit and supply a feature on the Lions Automobilia museum at Rancho Dominguez, California 90221.
The Lions Automobile Foundation and Museum were founded by Rick Lorentzen, a local businessman who grew up a stone’s throw from the legendary Lions Drag Strip which operated in Wilmington, California, between 1955 and 1972. The Museum, which opened in 2019, is in Rancho Dominguez close to the location of the fabled strip and is housed in a building with a modest frontage in an area of light industry. The Foundation also hosts automotive events, organises youth programmes, and provides guest speakers and workshops.
The Spirit of Lions Drag Strip opens with a recreation of the Lions start area complete with flying Christmas Tree. In this area can be found amongst others the Ohno, Lew and Gonzales slingshot as well as Pure Hell and Pure Heaven Fuel Altereds lined up beneath a simulacrum of the Tower complete with Steve Evans at the microphone.
You can see Tog's feature, with 170 photos of the museum and exhibits, at this link in our Lucas Oil-sponsored Features section, which you can see a list of at this link or by clicking on News, then Festures on the main menu above.
Editor's note: to go to the museum web site lionsautomobilia.org for booking from Europe, you will need a VPN connection, as the site has geographical restrictions and only allows direct access from a US-based internet connection.
17th May: Happy Birthday for today to Super Pro ET racer Tom Atkinson, Pro ET racer Nick Mugridge, Super Street Bike racer Mark Hope and Swedish racer and Fawlty Towers guru Anders Bostic Envall. We hope you all have a marvellous day.
Expat Dutch Top Fuel racer Lex Joon has given an interview to NHRA.com about his career in the US. To see the interview, go to this link.
Carter at SPR for record anniversary.
16th May: Four-time FIA European Top Fuel Champion Andy Carter, will return as a guest to the World-famous Santa Pod Raceway at this seasons FIA European Championship first Round.
Carter, who ended his career as the highest FIA Top Fuel points scorer along with multiple track records and 8 Championships in the sport, will be with other Top Fuel legend Barry Sheavills on the Motorsport UK stand signing autographs and giving away posters throughout Saturday 28th May.
Caroline Holden, Commercial Manager of SPR commented: "With the 20th anniversary of the first side-by-side 4s and 300mph runs, it’s great to have Andy Carter back at Santa Pod. Andy always gave 100% in his 29 years in drag racing whether on track, or at a promo event and it was a pleasure to work with him.
Andy Carter commented: "I had won the Championship in 2001 and during that season we only had one engine, so all season it was a case of not pushing it too hard and just getting to the other end first to get points, In 2002 I only had a budget for the Pro Fuel Shootout, the two Santa Pod Raceway FIA rounds and the Germany FIA round so, missing three FIA rounds, I didn’t think I could win the Championship but I could push the car harder and not worry about the motor so much. After Saturday qualifying, I was no.1 with a strong 5.07 at 297mph. During the briefing with Crew Chief Eddie Corr, it was decided that if the track got slightly better, we would run 300 mph, but with Sheavills and Kim Raymond hot on my tail, we decided to make small changes anyway to make it slightly more aggressive, so the clutch timers were speeded up, we let it have a little more fuel and put another degree in the mag and that was more than enough to get the job done!
Photos: Burnout before that historic pass; the crew finish their work, then both cars run in the 4's at over 300 mph; Barry Sheavills and Andy Carter. Above: Scoreboards after the historic runs courtesy Rose Hughes.
Eurodragster.com reported on that day: "News Flash! In today's first round of Top Fuel qualifying, Andy Carter and Barry Sheavills have run Europe's first side-by-side fours and even more importantly Europe's first 300 mph passes. Barry recorded 4.970/304.71 and Andy 4.897/303.07. So, as it stands, Andy is on for the ET record and Barry for the speed record."
Barry was officially the first to run 300 mph in Europe as he got to the finish line first, by 0.211 seconds, although he redlit by 0.002 seconds - but of course, that doesn't matter in qualifying.
For more information on Andy Carter and his achievements in the sport please visit www.andycarter.net.
Gasser Circus round 1 2022.
16th May: Many thanks to Gasser Circus co-ordinator Nick Brooke Langham who has provided a report on round one of the class's 2022 championship, held at Melbourne Raceway last weekend:
The Gasser Circus season got underway at Melbourne Raceway, on Saturday 7th May. This was a whole new adventure for the Circus, with it being our only heads up round and first outing on a 1/8th mile track. It turned out to be an event which was highly successful and well supported with 12 Gassers in the pits.
For nearly all the drivers, this was the first time we had trundled across the wide open expanses of the fields and service roads to reach the Yorkshire strip. We were greeted by Melbourne staff, who greeted us with warmth, enthusiasm and directed us to the Gasser Circus pit area. Here we rapidly set up camp as a gang of ominous rain clouds prepared to attack the site. When their contents hit the ground, it brought a very wet conclusion to Friday.
When Saturday morning arrived so did membership of a new club which was quickly titled The Blue Cub. This referring to the colour of highlighter used to identify all the divers who had failed to complete all the required pre-race documents, most falling foul of visiting the NORA site.
Scrutineering soon followed and with all cars passed, we were ready to attend the driver’s startline meeting. Here we were welcomed and advised about how the strip operates and we were all reminded that this was no prep, and perhaps a steady first run was in order. This seemed a good suggestion, but when the Gassers arrived in stage, so did the racer mentality, and as the tree dropped so did a heavy right foot in all the competing Gassers. Yes we lost traction but we had a blast, and as the day progressed so did the levels of grip. However, Ray Irish in his Gas Junkie Willys pickup resorted to changing to a different set of slicks to gain more traction. Billy Jones in his Willys Coupe Grumpy Grizz, went a different way and with the assistance of his crew (Stacey) they were utilising grip juice. However, the one thing we all noticed was that sense of wanting to accelerate past the 1/8th mile finish line, this took a while to subside.
Following the jet car in afternoon, issues with the timing gear meant times were not being recorded, but from the earlier passes qualifying positions were established, with Steve Matthews and his Honky Tonkin 57 Chevy taking the coveted spot with a 6.39.
Within the pit, there were some very happy people with their days work. Martyn Hallam, had arrived with a blower on top of his Hemi, and it was performing really well. Especially pleasing when you have travelled from Plymouth to race! Adam Kruczynski had a new powertrain combo in his Mellow Yellow 55 Chevy and both were being eased into their new life on the strip. Sean Milsom Ain’t Misbehavin had his recently refreshed rear end working well, especially notable as he was leaving the line with his front wheels in the air. A trio of Austin Devon’s, at times looked like an Austin showroom, with Simon Glenn in his Straight Shooter pickup, Graham Barton in his saloon High Anxiety and myself in Nogbad the Bad. Arguably the biggest smile was on the face of Gasser Circus debutant and sponsor Simon Prest, who was keen to race his recent Californian import the Rocket. Acquired from International Gasser Circus member Dale Snoke. Simon enjoyed lining up against another car built by Dale, the Identity Crisis Mopar of Brian Gibson. Brian was to end his day not so positively as an error in prep with the bonnet pins was soon amplified as the car left the line. The bonnet lifted up and bent back over the roof, the scoop leaving two creases in it. Thankfully no damage was suffered to the screen.
Saturday night delivered freezing conditions, but by Sunday morning the temperature had risen a little. Tom Margesson driving The Tinsel Town Hustler Pop, was up against number 1 qualifier Steve Mathews. With it being heads up, he knew it would be a challenge and reflected later on the run ‘I thought I might just get the win and kept the throttle mashed to the bulkhead. Then I saw the big bad Chevy reeling me in with that big block power and past he came’! Eliminations soon concluded and by mid-afternoon we were down to the semi-finals, where Graham Barton in his consistent ‘High Anxiety’ Austin Devon had a bye to the final and Martyn Hallam in his Willys was up against Sean Milsom and his Morris Van. Both Gassers left the line hard, Sean with his front wheels again in fresh air, when they hit the tarmac Martyn and Sean were still side by side, Sean edged ahead as Martyn backed off as something in the car sounded off. Sean taking the semi-final win.
When the Gassers came down to run the final, Graham knew his had a tough job on his hands and so it proved as both cars left the line, Sean edging ahead a position he held as the cars flew across the finish line. Sean winning with a 6.85 @ 109mph, and Graham exceedingly close with a 6.94 @ 101 mph. It had been a great final which concluded and befitted a great weekend.
Steve Matthews in his Honky Tonkin 57 collected the number 1 qualifier winnings from sponsor The Rocket Racing Team. A superb achievement despite picking up a puncture in a slick, which Kwik Fit in York fixed. Then it was time for the winner’s superb trophy and winnings from Gasser Circus sponsor Neil Melliard to be presented to Sean Milsom. Our thanks to him and also to Renegade Fuels and Serck Services. The weekend was a great success, and the our thoughts now turn to Round 2 at the Nostalgia Nationals at Santa Pod, where the Gasser Circus returns to its traditional dial in racing.
Images: Alexandru Radulescu & Jungle Pat.
Rivanazzano hosts first meeting for two years.
16th May: Thanks to Marcus Münch of Drag Race Union for posting results of the Super Pro ET and Pro ET qualifying and eliminations held over the weekend at Rivanazzano Dragway, Italy, the Wide Open Spring Nationals.
The classes running for points in the DRU Championship at the event were Super Pro ET and Pro ET, the Wide Open Spring Nationals being the third race in the series. Santa Pod Raceway's Festival of Power had Ronnie Mercer as the only registered Pro ET DRU points scorer and Brian Pateman and Billy Gane the only registered Super Pro ET DRU points scorers. Springspeed Nationals only had Ronnie and Billy scored points.
With 29 cars qualifying for Pro ET and 22 for Super Pro ET with seven sessions, there was a tight field as expected. In Super Pro ET, the winner was Angel Romero Cordobes (Chevy Camaro) who qualified 10th, defeating Manuel Kreiter (Pontiac Firebird) in round one, Alan Duerr (Alfa Romeo GTV) in round two, Mike Bruchmueller (Chevy Camaro) in round three, no.1 qualifier Alex Halter (Plymouth Roadrunner) in the semi final and Raffaele Corneo ('71 Dodge Demon) in the final round.
In Pro ET the top 16 qualifiers were less than 0.1s over their dial. Jean-Luc Arnaud in a 1970 Ford Maverick qualified first and he went on to win the racem with a bye in round one, defeating Laurent Levi (Mecury Gasser) in round two, Oliver Carli Sacco ('69 Chevy El Camino) in round three and Widmann Armin (Chevy Camaro) in the semi final before racing Mirco Bettin (Pontiac Firebird) for the event title.
As well as Super Pro ET and Pro ET the race had street classes A1, A2, and A3 Pro and Junior Dragster, making a total field of 80. Congratulations to the organisers for attracting such a field after the two year break.
The next race at Rivanazzano Dragway (which is about 45 miles south of Milan) is the Hills Race #18 on 9th-11th September 2022. You can enter by going to the track website at rivanazzanodragway.it. There is plenty of media from the event at the Hills Race by AMP Drag Race Italy. Facebook Group.
Image: P Thurner (far lane) vs R Willinger (near lane) in Pro ET action. Captured from Oscar Rossi video.
16th May: Happy Birthday for today to Wild Bunch racer Dan Boone, former Pro Stock Bike racer Dave Beck and former Street Eliminator racer Paul Foote who is celebrating his 60th today. Have a great day all.
The Straightliners Championship points have been updated which you can see at the Straightliners results repository. They include points from the weekend from Llanbedr which you can see at Best Sunday times, No Mercy Shootout and 6.00 Class eliminations. As well as the bikes in attendance, Taz Racing made the journey, with Chris Skinner (Fiat 500), Kevin Preston (Austin pickup) and John Dewey ('57 Chevy) winning trophies. Competitors remarked about the smoothness of the surface.
Santa Pod Raceway have posted a Facebook album of 123 photos from the weekend's Jap Show 22 Although primarily a lifestyle event, there were a few racers testing for Doorslammers and six Outlaw Street cars who won by default a OS vs Supercar shootout when the latter were all no-shows.
Media from Melbourne Raceway's Powerfest continues to be posted and thanks to photographer Ashley Dale who has posted to his Flickr account for Saturday and Sunday.
Stilwell licenses at El Mirage.
15th May: Yesterday at the historic lake El Mirage in California, Land Speed Racer and Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell took his 7707 blown fuel modified roadster to a speeed of 200mph, the exact target set for him by the Southern Californian Timing Association, to earn his license for the venue.
"The conditions are pretty challenging", said Geoff. "The temperature is 104F (40C) in the shade (where you can find it - Editor) with no wind. No wind is not as good as it sounds as when you drive down the track, the dust hangs in the air and slows you down.
The lake bed however was looking as good as it ever has, better than his last trip to it in November 2021. "We are in the middle of a terrible drought in the Los Angeles area, even when it rains it is never enough.
Geoff's car which was run in an earlier incarnation by the late Mike Kuhl and Carl Olson with their friend Don Bowman, was familiar to the crowds on hand. "Once we had set up our pit and fired the car up, folks were coming by, saying "it sounds fantastic" and "didn't you win the outstanding engineering award at the Grand National Roadster Show?" That's out of hundreds, I realised.
"We left our hotel at 06:15 for a half hour drive to the track and then had a drivers' meeting at 07:30. Then it was a case of waiting to be called. There are not as many cars there as I was expectin, the financial crisis caused by Covid and the price of oil has hit the U.S. just as badly, diesel is now $7 per gallon and petrol $5.55. So, without much sponsorship and prize money, the teams have to keep their eye on costs.
Geoff planned for two runs on Saturday. His licensing run which you can see on this Facebook video, was a textbook one. Geoff had to run between 200 and 210mph and his ticket read 200.18. "The tyres were spinning all the way down and I had to pedal it. When we got back to the pits we prepared for the second run and changed the blower pulley to go 250 (top speed yesterday was 248) but then we found a fuel line leak. We took it apart three times and eventually got it sorted but the track closed just as we were dropping the car from its stands.
"We had a large group of visitors yesterday including Carl Olson who got to sit in his old car, Steve Gibbs who was kind to host me and Ron Hope on his Nitro Revival channel and Bob and Sharon Muravez. Huge thanks to my team including John Beck, Donny Cummins, Paul Bowman, Mick Jenkins, Pauly Rivera and Tony Thacker.
"We will be first in the line on Sunday to run at 8am, and will get to the track by 06:00."
Good luck and stay safe to Geoff. You can see action from El Mirage at which Land Speed Racer and Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell will be making runs later in his 7707 Blown Fuel Roadster by going to lsrlive.com from 8am Pacific/4pm British Summer Time.
Update 18:00: Well done to Geoff who ran a 215.78 on his second and final pass of the meeting. Geoff commented "Not as fast as we wanted but all is good. No more runs today sadly as we have a problem we can’t fix at the track. So packing up and taking it back to Pomona!"
15th May: Happy Birthday for today to photojournalist Remco Scheelings, whom we look forward to seeing at the FIA/FIM-E Main Event, nitro Daimler dragster legend Robin Read, former Junior Drag Bike champion Liam Holgate, retired FIA Top Fuel and TMFC champion Mikael Kågered, Outlaw Anglia racer Paul Hensher and Top Methanol Dragster racer Daniel Jedborn. Eurodragster.com hopes you all have a great day whereever you are.
FIA/FIM-E Main Event racer update.
14th May: Many thanks to to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us details of track opening and signing on at the FIA/FIM-E Main Event being held on 26th-29th May, including scrutineering times.
The main gates to the track will open at 08.00 on Wednesday, 25th May.
Wednesday, 25th May:
09.00-18.00 Signing on office opens (this is an update to the posted Final Instructions)
09.00-18.00 Scrutineering for cars at the Scrutineering building
Racers planning on testing on 25th May are reminded that entries are limited to 100, and they will need to enter the test day in advance at a fee of £75. Entry can be made by phoning Santa Pod on 01234 782828.
Thursday, 26th May:
07.00 Signing on office opens
07.00-15.00 Sportsman Car Scrutineering at the Scrutineering building
09.00 Scrutineering for bikes at the Scrutineering building
09.30 Track open for sportsman qualifying
15.00 FIA Pro Class scrutineering (at pit bay) - see additional list for details
Friday, 27th May:
07.00 Scrutineering & Signing on open
09.30 Track open for qualifying
10.00 Scrutineering for bikes
Saturday 28th May:
07.00 Scrutineering & Signing on open
09:30 Track open for qualifying/ eliminations
Sunday 29th May:
08.00 Scrutineering & Signing on open
09:30 Track open for eliminations
The detailed running orders and printable entry list can be seen in our event coverage page.
VP Racing Fuels contingency scheme.
14th May: Santa Pod Raceway track manager Darren Prentice has announced a contingency scheme with VP Racing Fuels for two sportsman classes of UK drag racing.
"We would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that VP Racing Fuels and Old Hall Performance have established a contingency scheme for Pro ET and Junior Dragster.
The scheme runs over any of the SPRC National Championship events, and the cars must be wearing VP Stickers throughout those events. VP Racing stickers can be collected from the Signing On office or the Pod Shop.
Also feel free to pop along and join the VP Team who will be pitted opposite the Pod Shop over the Doorslammers and Main Event weekends when they will be happy to offer advice and answer to any of your technical questions on any of the VP Racing Fuels range.
The event winner will receive:
NSRA previews Nostalgia Nationals.
14th May: Thanks to Alan Martin of National Street Rod Association for information on the Nostalgia Nationals to be held on the weekend of 3rd-5th June:
With less than one month to go, it’s time to give you the lowdown on this year’s Nostalgia Nationals.
After a two year break due to Covid cancellations, we are back with a bang over the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, 3rd-5th June. As well as all the usual on track action from our Pre ’73 RWYB entrants, the quarter mile will echo to the massed ranks of Wild Bunch, Nostalgia Superstock, Outlaw Anglia, Supercharged Outlaws and Gasser Circus, with the added attraction this year of the Modified 100E Challenge.
To help celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee, we have a live large screen in the Show’n’Shine paddock, featuring celebration events and a healthy dose of live track action to keep you entertained. Added to that we have secured three flypasts by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. There will be a Spitfire and Hurricane on Friday at 12pm, a Spitfire on Saturday at 15.40pm and a Lancaster on Sunday at 15.13pm, so keep a lookout for them.
When the racing finishes, be sure to check out the Fuellers Bar, where Friday night sees Big Jim and the Alabama Boogie Boys playing live, followed by Vincent Flatts Final Drive on Saturday.
Don’t forget to check out the NSRA stand, where the Committee will not only be on hand to chat about this year’s NSRA 50th Anniversary celebrations and membership but will also be able to sell you some official NSRA merchandise. They will also be keeping an eye on the RWYB entries, looking for candidates for the ‘Quick Six’ trophies. They don’t have to be the fastest, or the shiniest, just seen to have entered into the spirit of the event and hit the quarter mile.
Don’t forget to come and say hello at the Nostalgia Nationals merchandise stall and grab a T shirt, mug or poster or two. Just be quick, as always, demand is high and when they’re gone, they’re gone.
To book your tickets online visit www.nostalgianationals.com. Early discount ticket sales close at 5pm on May 27th, after which standard rates apply, so get in quick.
We’ll see you at the track.
14th May: Happy Birthday for today to Nostalgia Funny car crewman and dad Gary Kay, Junior Dragster racer Dan Weir and Pro ET racer-in-waiting Josh Duncan. Have a great day guys.
You can see action from El Mirage at which Land Speed Racer and Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell will be making runs later in his 7707 Blown Fuel Roadster by going to lsrlive.com from 8am Pacific/4pm British Summer Time.
At the NHRA Virginia Nationals yesterday, which was affected by rain for much of the day, the first round of nitro qualifying was able to be held before the rains returned. Expat European Lex Joon is currently qualified 13th with a 4.161/215.41 but not without problems in preparing for the run. "It was a busy day at the racetrack today. What seemed to be a regular warm-up before the actual run ended up in a thrash pulling a cylinder head after we found a broken valve spring. But with our NeverQuit team attitude we got our car on the starting line and got a check out pass into the books. The chassis works perfectly after the latest update; we are ready to get things moving forward." Good luck and stay safe to Lex for two more qualifying sessions today.
VP Racing Fuels partners with SPR for Doorslammers.
13th May: £90,000 is up for grabs when Santa Pod Raceway presents its annual Doorslammers race in association with Eurodragster.com sponsor VP Racing Fuels. Entries from across Europe are expected to challenge for the record prize fund.
‘Doorslammer’ is a drag racing term for any car with functioning doors – a ‘tin top’, in circuit racing parlance – so no dragsters, altereds or roadsters are invited. But that doesn’t preclude machines that pack a mean punch. At the top level, any saloon-car resemblance may barely be skin-deep.
As Associate Sponsor of the event, VP Racing Fuels is also the Official Fuel Supplier for the venue and Title Sponsor of the Doorslammers’ premier race class, Pro Doorslammer. These heavyweights attract the most attention – brutal machines radically different from any ‘tin top’ seen on a circuit. The no-holds-barred shoot-out pits Pro Modifieds – which otherwise contest national and European championships – against any other outlandish vehicle whose owner considers it fit for the challenge.
In place of the usual, seeded qualifying ladder, elimination pairings are drawn at random before each knockout round until the last two contestants left standing dash for the cash.
It’s truly a matter of “run what ya brung… and hope ya brung enough”.
Alongside the headline VP Racing Fuels Pro Doorslammer class, the Doorslammers weekend features five other heads-up categories – Pro Street, True Street, Front-Wheel Drive, 6-Cylinder and 4-Cylinder – plus separate daily Big Bracket competitions on Saturday and Sunday, all racing for hefty cash prizes.
VP Racing Fuels can be purchased online at www.santapodshop.com or directly from the Santa Pod on-site “Garage” shop. Pre-orders are welcome too by calling the telesales team at Santa Pod Raceway on +44 (0) 1234 782828.
VP Racing Fuels is best known as the World Leader in Fuel Technology®, fuelling champions in virtually every form of motorsport on land, sea, and air since 1975. The company operates internationally with businesses including race fuels and lubricants, consumer small engine fuels and automotive additives, and licensed retail fuel stations. VP’s partnership with Santa Pod provides availability of its products to all racers competing at the renowned British venue. For more information, visit VPRacingFuels.com.
Doorslammers 2022 takes place at Santa Pod Raceway, near Wellingborough NN29 7XA, from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd May. Full information and advance booking facilities are available online at santapod.co.uk or by telephone at 01234 782828. Advance admission prices start at just £25 per day, with kids aged 5-15 at £5 per day – advance booking only, no admission on the gate. There is free paddock access and overnight camping is free with multi-day tickets.
Pictured: Andy Robinson and Jon Webster who will both be in action at The Doorslammers.
Spy picture solved.
13th May: Many thanks to new sponsor John Tebenham for revealing the spy pictures published on Sunday and yesterday were of his new Mike Janis supercharger, described by JT as "one of the best blowers in the world".
JT added "Upgrades done. Blower. Block. Oil system. Doorslammers bring it on, we are in this to win!
"A quick flash back to last years Doorslammers, a fantastic video posted by Shift Light TV, of how tough these crazy cars are to drive. On the first run you can see I leave absolutely buried full throttle and it starts a whole lot of shaking. So as I come past the camera, the butterflies are completely shut, then I stamp straight back on it which is brave in one of these, so it actually snapped the rose joints on the wheelie bars and still went a booming 227 mph. Great commentary.
"The 2nd run against The wicked Simon Barlow, great guy to race, these monsters have problems racing things that aren’t pro mod. I made the decision to let him leave first, right or wrong? It’s my car my choice. Yeah, never saw him.
"I have blown our trumpet loud but be warned this blower is so state of art it’s really going to take time and runs to get it too fly. Please come and support us, we are selling t-shirts and posters if you would like to help. Even Flash is coming back (the one and only Tracey Island) A massive thanks to Signseen and RJF Motor Homes for stepping up to sponsor us for these two crazy weekends, see you there, JT."
You can see video by clicking on the image, or at this link, watch JT live and buy his Johnny Bee Good t-shirts at The Doorslammers on 19th-21st May at Santa Pod Raceway. You can follow JT at the Jt Racing Facebook page.
Mosquitos, France race coming up.
13th May: The Mosquitos Drag Race organisation in France have been organising events since 2012, however for us in the UK have been overshadowed by the ATD and their events at Clastres. Now, a publicity push and new web site at www.mosquitos-drag-race.fr highlights their next race which is on 11th-12th June at Aérodrome de Saulieu-Liernais, 21430 Liernais, France, and documents their history.
Mosquitos Drag Race describe themselves as a collective serving Drag-Racing, and the team have held events at Saulieu-Liernais since 2015. The runway at the Côte d'Or venue, originally grass, had originally been used by François Mitterrand's helicopter coming to visit Bernard Loiseau and his famous restaurant (still open and only £574 for the night of 11th June). It then went from 800 to 900m, and was paved to facilitate the landing of a jet. Local contacts have been invaluable, such as the Mayor of Liernais or the director of the aerodrome, giving unfailing support.
Previous events were held at Guiscriff, in Morbihan at the La Seu d'Urgell track in the Catalan Pyrenees (held in association with Spanish drag racing organisation Fuerza Libre Competición), and originally at Saint Yan Airport. 16 events have been held since the organisation was formed, and average spectator numbers are 1500, not at all bad for sportsman racing.
Mosquitos' new web site has a pdf registration form (entry costs €150 until June 05, 2022, no on-site registrations), regulations for RWYB (in French) and other details. Public entry is €10 for one day and €15 for both days, under 16s get in free. There are three racing categories, Original (Street), Modified (Super Street) and Outlaw (Comp).
Sponsor partnerships are available, linked, directly or indirectly, to the world of motorsports. The wording of the blurb, almost worthy of Voltaire, is notable:
Our purpose: The world is changing: we are accompanying these upheavals. Let's stay active and vigilant that our sport of acceleration is not seen as “non-essential”. Let's convince so that our dragsters continue to be “on the track”!
Our values: Conviviality, sportsmanship...and the pleasure of seeing beautiful machines – old or recent, from the quietest to the fastest. To include the greatest number of men and women in access to our races, in complete safety everywhere on the territory.
And together? Drag racing is our passion and we communicate it. In the face of adversity, there is strength in numbers: it is together that we will advance on this track.
Aérodrome de Saulieu-Liernais is in the east of France near Dijon, racers from the UK will have a six hour plus drive once negotiating the crossing, however the venue is closer to Switzerland, Germany and even Italy.
To contact Mosquitos Drag Racing the web site has a contact form.
13th May: Happy Birthday for today to MSD Europe Dick Koster who reaches the milestone of 50, 8.50 Bike racer Jasmine Cordelle, Super Pro ET racer Alan Didwell, former Pro Modified racer Urban Johansson, and Norwegian Pro Modified racer Stian Rusånes, who will be racing at the upcoming Spring Nationals at Gardermoen next weekend.
Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell, at the 7707 workshop in Pomona, met with fellow Land Speed Racer and Fuel Altered pilot Ron Hope for the "Hook Knows" show fronted by Steve Gibbs with daughter Cindy Gibbs behind the camera, to discuss their respective land speed and nostalgia drag racing careers. You can see the highly entertaining result on Facebook by clicking here. Good luck and stay safe to Geoff at El Mirage this weekend, we hope to have some links to live streaming in tomorrow's update.
Welsh drag racing weekend.
12th May: This weekend on 14th-15th May, the Welsh drag racing weekend will be taking place including two motor cycle championship rounds, Straightliners and National Sprint Association. The event to be held at Llanbedr Airfield will also include 1/4 mile run what you brung, 1/2 mile top speed, 1/4 mile roll racing, 1/8 mile cash Duck All Prep shootout and motorcycle championships. Camping is available on Saturday and online bookings are open.
To book you need to fill in a Llanbdedr entry form first. Then for car entry go to this link, or bike, scooter or junior racers go to this link. Spectators can get tickets by clicking on this link.
Llanbedr Airfield offers a long and smooth surface and is less than 150 miles from Manchester and Birmingham. Nearby is Snowdonia National Park, some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK, and the tourist village of Portmeirion.
Introducing E Monster Drag Racing.
12th May: In the Main Event entry list, a new name is included in the Pro ET field. Here is the the background on Josh Duncan's 100e project:
The car, named E Monster Drag Racing, is owned and driven by Josh, new to drag racing as a driver, who started his dream 3 years ago now with the help of his dad Steve. They set about a building a 1954 Ford 100E squire (ex Clencher owned by Duncan Scott and driven by Steve Harrison) which was put together over the 2019-20 winter months ready for the start of the next season's 100e Challenge at Santa Pod Raceway.
The car was running a standard 454 Big Block Chevy with a Turbo 400 auto transmission, the first time out was great fun and a great learning curve, but the bug for wanting to go faster bit. However covid struck.
With no racing, Josh made the decision to become a full Motorsports UK licenced racer. The car was sent to Jedd at Shortys Fabrication Shop for a full 8.50 sec-tagged chassis build. While there, the 454 engine was also sent off to Trevor Hirst for a full race spec build. The engine, now displacing 466 ci, is a soild lifter motor running on C12 race fuel, yet to run in the car down the track.
Once the chassis was finished at Jedd's we then got offered a sponsorship by Mark Scarlett and family at Scarwood Bodyworks, Colchester, for a brand new paint job, But wow, what a difference it made, instead of the boring satin black it was in Kawasaki Ninja Green. Josh has high hopes for the car and will be at the Main Event at the end of this month, competing in Pro ET for the first time, and and putting on a show for the fans with the debut of the rebuilt car.
Josh and Steve would like to thank everybody involved in the build of the car and all those who gave advice and guidance. They would also like to thank all the sponsors for their support as drag racing isn’t a cheap hobby. These comprise Surrey & Berkshire Scaffolding Ltd, Surrey & Berkshire Cleaning Services, Scarwood Bodyworks Colchester Ltd. The team are also offering sponsorship advertising on the car to help them progress through their racing career and moving forward with the car, send Josh an email if it is something that interests you.
12th May: We received this spy picture with the caption "Blowing our cover".
If you know more, or have a spy picture of your own to send, please contact us at email@example.com.
Super Twin Top Gas season starting this weekend.
10th May: The 2022 Super Twin Top Gas season is starting next weekend with the Cramo Nationals at Malmö Raceway in Sweden 13th-15th May. Eight STTG bikes have registered and we've some details on them:
12th May: Happy Birthday for today to a man famous for his diversity of race cars Matt Wright, VW Pro racer Danny Pike, and the effervescent Sören Svensson, engineer and crew chief for brother Peter's 5.7s Top Fuel Bike.
Video from Melbourne Raceway's Powerfest last weekend has been posted to Youtube. You can see the Duck All Prep action courtesy organiser Lee Child, and startline/trackside shots from Spottedmotors.
Simon Letley of VeeDub Racing has posted video of last month's Santa Pod Raceway GTI Festival, including a pit walk, driver interviews and track footage. The vlog format of these videos is highly recommended viewing.
Merryweather's triumphant return.
11th May: Many thanks to Banzai Supercharged Outlaw racer Ian Merryweather for an account of his weekend at Melbourne Raceway with the newly-rebuilt car:
Eyup, just back home on the Isle of Man after a fantastic debut weekend at Melbourne with the new 2022 Banzai. The IOM locked down back in March 2020 so our racing stopped, our last race being the Hot Rod Drags at Santa Pod back in Sept 2019. How long will this Covid go on for we asked so during 2020, we waited. Moving onto Feb 2021 and maybe light at the end of the tunnel. Nope, candle blew out, lock down again. Enter the plan take 2021 out and build a new chromoly chassis for the car. Into 2022 all done and ready for event 1 at Melbourne in May.
Firstly the venue, well everyone has nailed it with all of the quotes posted on Monday. All we can say is flat caps off to all at Melbourne/Straightliners who grafted all weekend to put on an amazing weekend for us all to enjoy, all the thousands of donations given by all the Dragracing public and the powers that be who have made this happen for us all to enjoy for many years.
With a new chromoly chassis in the car, we really were testing Lee Child, BUT as it ran straight and true, is much more comfortable to sit in and control when the 'I aim to misbehave' attitude kicks in, we thought we'd give it a go and entered the Duck all Prep.
The car truly was a plesure to drive on the no prep track which was not ideal on Saturday after the over night rain and overcast sky. Obviously dry, but no heat in the track. Unfortunately a timing glitch gave us no times for the 4 runs we made Saturday, but we made the semi's in the Duck All Prep against undefeated so far this season Pel Norman. Pel taking the win and the final again. Nice one Pel, 5 in a row I believe, TT invite cancelled!
Sunday though was a complete change for the better and for ourselves. Sunny and warm, the track was sure to improve and it did. A problem for Mark Todd after the burnout gave us a bye in rd 1 so I decided to give it a 1st gear launch. Although not perfect the car ran arrow straight to a 5.59 at 137mph, well chuffed we were. Into the semis against Pel Norman 'oh bugger'. A great 5.50 136mph against Pel's 5.66 144mph took it and the undefeated Duck All Prep King was out! TT invite reinstated Pel. A rather loud 'Eeh by gum thas beaten me', 'whey aye bonny lad' was heard by the top end fire crew.
So into the final against Justin Wooler with the 67 Camaro who we defeated in the 1st round on Saturday. A 5.75 at 139mph enough to take the win against Justin's 5.89 125mph.
Purely Belter! A huge win for us back home on my old stomping ground. Can't wait for the next event in June. We will certainly be back as soon as possible. Bookings in for our sailings over for the June and October events.
To my crew Lee Merryweather, Selena Merryweather, Steven Jack Russell Robert Merryweather, Peter Astell-Burt, Phil Wall, our class sponsors Good Vibrations Jim Maher James Maher, Mark Harwood at PlasFloor, Brian Purdy (Top-Coat) a HUUUUGE THANKS, love you all xx. Ta'ra.
SPR's feast of motorcycle drag racing.
10th May: Three stories illuminate the feast of motorcycle drag racing promised for the FIA/FIM-E Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway, 26th-29th May:
Battery power has a more obvious practical future than rocket propulsion and the first time Denmark’s Hans-Henrik Thomsen brought his electric bike to Santa Pod, in 2020, he set a new world record for elapsed time at 6.869sec. Last year he lowered it to 6.740sec in Sweden. Now he eyes the 201.37mph terminal speed record set 10 years ago by American Larry McBride, and matched coincidentally on four wheels earlier this year by another American, Steve Huff. In drag racing’s sound world, an electrical whirr and the squeal of rubber on concrete count as pure silence, but stand by for plentiful noise if Thomsen scores his goal. This won’t just be the quickest, fastest quarter-mile electric bike on the planet, but the quickest, fastest electric vehicle full stop.
On the competitive racing front – and at the louder end of the sound spectrum – there’s a first confrontation since 2019 promised for the quickest and fastest nitro-burning Top Fuel Bikes in Europe. Sweden’s speed record-holder Rickard Gustafsson (250.55mph) takes on Britain’s multi-championship-winning Puma bike (5.662 seconds) newly piloted by Neil Midgley. Veteran racer Midgley dipped straight into the 5-second zone on his first outing on the bike last month. Gustafsson makes his first Santa Pod appearance since Covid took hold. The pair won’t have the limelight all to themselves. Seven other TF Bike entrants will jostle to steal the show.
For those who prefer bass notes to their bike racing, five thumping nitro SuperTwin Bikes visit from Europe, again for the first time since 2019. Meanwhile, there’s a new intensity to the gunfire crackle of SuperStreet Bikes’ spooling turbos. Road-going motorcycles to all appearances, even lacking the customary wheelie bars, these phenomenal machines can clock 6-second passes at over 200mph. Last season Steve Venables found fellow Britons Jake Mechaell and Alan Morrison Jr. emerging to challenge his longtime pack leadership. Now Hungary’s Dániel Lencés has raised his game with a new bike from America and promptly set new ACU record figures of 6.776sec/218.97mph. With Lencés absent at the last race, Mechaell beat Venables in the final, 6.872sec to 6.873. SuperStreet Bike alone is worth the price of admission.
Alongside these highlights, The Main Event provides a complete, four-day programme of championship drag racing, on four wheels as well as on two, across the full array of classes ranging from the kids racing Junior Dragsters and Junior Bikes to the grown-up, 10,000-horsepower Top Fuel Dragsters. The Main Event takes place from Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th May 2022 at Santa Pod Raceway near Wellingborough NN29 7XA. Detailed event information is available at santapod.co.uk. Pre-book tickets online at santapodtickets.com or by telephoning the Box Office at 01234 782828. There is no admission on the gate. Adult prices begin at £20 and children aged 5-15 cost £5 per day.
Pictures from Santa Pod Raceway: Rocket bike – Eric Teboul, Electric bike – Hans-Henrik Thomsen, Top Fuel Bike – Neil Midgley, SuperStreet Bike – Stephen Mead.
10th May: Be sure to tune into the Nitro Revival Facebook page at 9pm UK time (1pm Pacific Standard Time) where Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell is interviewed by event organiser Steve Gibbs on Land Speed Racing, show trophies and much more.
Melbourne Powerfest quotes.
10th May: Many of the comments posted on social media about Melbourne Raceway's Powerfest at the weekend focused on the recent improvements to the venue with the friendliness of officials and staff, and we've summarised them below (pictured right: Daniel Oxford's Flathead powered Model T, driven on Saturday by Manx Norton tuner Fred Walmsley)
Former racer and York Dragway official Mick Bettison wrote: "Had a great family day out at Melbourne today, our first visit for several years. I virtually lived there in the ‘80s as a racer, PDRC Chairman, RAC rep, Race Director and general dogsbody and I loved every minute. But gradually as the track, facilities and ideas of improvements slowly sank into decline the interest and enthusiasm followed. In spite of living within four miles of the track, our family haven’t paid a visit for many years.
"Today was out first days visit and what a revelation it was. Even in the heady days of the late ‘80s when we were running 32 car fields in Super Gas, I never saw so many spectators, racers, families at the venue. And they were all enjoying themselves! It was not only a great day out, it was pretty emotional, meeting loads of old friends and several new ones.
"If my old mate Dave Grady could have seen all that was going on, he would have been over the moon. He spent years trying to persuade the promoter to organise more entertainment and sales and food outlets, as in the ‘midway’ ares of the American tracks. Today it was all there, including things for the younger family members to enjoy.
"All I can say is that I’m unbelievably impressed with what has been achieved in such a short time and thank Trevor, Al, Flav and ALL the other enthusiasts who have worked so hard to bring the venue back to life. I hope that it will continue to progress and bring more people into the sport. Keep moving forward but above all else, keep it FUN."
"Supercharged Outlaw racer Lee Gallimore was delighted to run a PB in the eighth and wrote: "Just like to say a massive thanks to the track crew and Straightliners team for a fantastic track and brilliant weekend. The facility is better every time we go. We made a few changes to our car set up and start line procedures. We had two set up runs on Sat, unfortunately the timing system failed, but I managed to get a first gear launch to hook up which was great and to feel the car getting to the track was great.
"Sunday we got down track and ran our new wheels up PB of 5.20/139 mph. I went over and had good luck at the centre line which was fine then came back and managed to drive into the chutes nicely and land with out the big bouncer, happy days.
"Massive thanks to my track crew Liam, John and Jock, top lads, great team work. Great to catch up with great friends and see the supercharged outlaws putting on a great show, it’s all good guys, see you all soon."
Outlaw Anglia racer Colin Millar who encouraged a group of six from the class to attend, ran a best of 5.86/124 on his first time at the track and wrote: "Just in the door from what can only be described as a fabulous fantastic enjoyable weekend at Melbourne Raceway, thank you to Trevor Duckworth and the whole team for putting a huge effort in so people can come and enjoy themselves, the Outlaw Anglia boys and girls had a ball as I’m sure everyone else did too, chuffed to bits to get down in the fives and tuning the car to the track was very new to us but I think we done good, thanks as always to crew chief Aaron Springford and my wee Lynn Purvis for all they do and thanks to everyone that bought a 30 year anniversary OA tee shirt, we will be back." OA racer Gary Bird revealed it was 21 years since he was last racing the same car at the track, so it was welcome back for Gary.
Mark Todd, driver of the awesome Freight Train Pontiac GTO, wrote "Just back from a fantastic weekend at Melbourne Raceway. We were made to feel so welcome by the friendly staff and to see the improvements Trevor Duckworth and team have made was seriously impressive. Having lost a track you realise just how important it is to support Melbourne enabling the growth and investment needed. With the new clubhouse under construction and tarmac secured to improve the pit surface The future certainly looks bright.
As for the racing, well we had a damp start. Having spent many late nights preparing the car everything was last minute meaning we didn’t arrive till late Friday and unloaded In the pouring rain. Our woes were exasperated by the fact our onboard generator packed up and despite a team effort (thanks you know who you are) it couldn’t be fixed. Thankfully the drag racing family stepped up to the plate and neighbour Keith freeman allowed us to share the generator. (Very important when you have a freezer full of charge cooler ice).
Surely that was the last of our bad luck but no there was more to come. On the Saturday morning whilst warming the car up we noticed the oil pressure was down on its normal reading. With the Engine having been freshly rebuilt at EDA we aired on the side of caution and immediately killed the engine. Thankfully Ben from EDA was attending the event and helped solve the issue which was simply a case of changing the oil Phew cheers Ben.
"With oil changed we went to reverse the car out only to lose the brake pedal. At this point We honestly thought this wasn’t meant to be.
"A mad rush to locate the culprit fitting and bleed brakes left us late for the first round but again the drag racing spirit came to our rescue with Pete Youhill holding back for us. Having never run a slick or no prep before The car had a very conservative tune up. To our surprise the car dead hooked and went straight as an arrow with traction not being an issue. We lost by a cars length which against one of the fastest no prep cars in the country was very encouraging.
"From that point on the tune was gradually increased with the car going quicker each pass. Last pass of the weekend netted a 5.54@137mph which was one of the quickest door car passes of the weekend and to say we are pleased is an understatement.
"Big Thanks to Pat Byrne, Dave Rudd and Craig Dixon for all the help crewing. Great to meet all the Duck all Drivers/teams and Thanks to Lee Child for organising the Duck All Prep Series. Watch out for the next event, come join the party and support the growth of this venue. Thanks to MikeB and Pudge for the great on track shots and big thanks to our sponsors Serck Motorsports."
More Melbourne Raceway photography has been posted on social media, if you do Facebook, you can see pictures from DA Photography (Dave Allison); the Flickr page of Steve Purdon (aka Bad Yeti Custom Print), and videos from the Youtube channel of Melbourne Raceway Drag Racing UK.
7707 readies for El Mirage.
10th May: Land speed racer and Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell is now in Los Angeles preparing to take his 7707 blown fuel roadster to El Mirage at the weekend:
"With the SCTA Landspeed Season opener at El Mirage less than a week away life is very busy at the 7707 Raceshop.
"Starting with our attendance at the Grand National Roadster Show in Los Angeles in January. Wow what a week that was. The show opens on the Friday at Noon and we were scheduled to bring 7707 in on the Wednesday. However a last minute change by the organisers wanted us to bring the car in to the main hall on the Tuesday evening. Well, 3 hours later we managed get the car in position in the main hall. We had a joint stand with our good friends at “Mick’s Paint”. Saturday was crazy busy with loads of people asking about the car and “yes the motor really does make 5000bhp”. Anyway we had no idea the cars had all been judged and Sunday afternoon we gathered in Hall 1 for the prize giving. As we walked in Tony Thacker shouted at me……”You won an award”……really? Anyway…. I wandered up to the front thinking it was a wind up and yes I had won the outright award for “Outstanding Engineering” …. Over 800 cars !! I was shocked. Then a few moments later my name got called again and I had won the overall class. More shock. I was so proud and I cannot thank Mick Jenkins Team at “Mick’s Paint” for all their hard work on the car.
"So after that it was get the car to the raceshop and start checking over 7707 to make sure it was ready for El Mirage in May which seems a long way off in January but, when you are wanting things made or repaired the time seems to fly by. Back in November we had discovered a small leak in one of the rear wheels. Nothing major but needed to be sorted. Our all round Crew Member Tony Thacker took the wheel and tyre on a 2 hour trip to “Nates Tires” in Los Angeles. These guys are brilliant and are one of the few places that can balance a wheel and tyre to 500mph. We needed them to find out why the tyre was losing air. Well believe it or not the guys discovered a piece of salt had got down inside the valve and had corroded the seal. Salt is so destructive but $20 later it was fixed. We also ordered some spare rear tyres at the same time which should see us through El Mirage and Bonneville Speedweek. We can go through a pair in one run quite easily especially if we get a lot of wheel spin which for 7707 is not difficult. We will have 8 sets with us and fingers crossed we don’t strip them each run.
"Another job taken care of was making some alterations to the floor pan under the motor. Engineering wizard Pauly Rivera changed the way the floor pan is fixed so we can get easy access to the Oil Pan and the bottom end of the motor. At the same time this was all happening “Scratching Genius” Brad King created a picture of the race car going down the salt on the rear trailer door. It looks fantastic. Then we have new team Crew shirts that have been designed and made by Eric Alton of LR Apparel in LA.
"On top of all of this Landspeed Motor Guru John Beck of “Vintage Hot Rods” in Chico, California has been building up our stock of spares which hopefully if we have them we won’t need them. But we have been through the motor and all we have changed is one of the blower pulleys to increase the overdrive. Other than that all is good and we are now ready for El Mirage on the 13th – 15th May.
"At this point I need to thank a few people:- Mick Jenkins and the whole crew of Mick’s Paint for building me an incredible race car. Tony Thacker who looks after everything. John Beck of Vintage Hot Rods, Chico with Paul Bowman and Donny Cummins for all the work on the motor. Also big thanks go out to ARP Racing Products, Simpson Race Equipment, Schott Wheels, VP Racing Fuels for all their help along the way. Not forgetting Nick Davies, Rob Loaring and Scotty Barnes who will be crewing the 7707 Blown Fuel Roadster at Bonneville Speedweek in August.
"The 7707 Landspeed Team will be arriving en mass at El Mirage on May 13th. We then have to set the pit up and get the car through “Tech inspection”. There will be a live feed from Saturday via the SCTA website. Go to www.scta-bni.org or if you have access to facebook the 7707 team will be posting updates. Just search “Geoff Stilwell”. We will have a few guests dropping by over the weekend so you never know who might be on the feed."
Odyssey Battery Drag Racing's VP Racing Fuels revelations.
10th May: Many thanks to Chris Redshaw of Odyssey Battery Drag Racing who have supplied us with a review of the VP Racing Fuels products they have been using this year with some great results.
"We run our junior dragsters only on VP Racing methanol and have noticed a vast change in the running of our Junior Dragsters, the running temperatures of the Juniors being more controlled leading to a better and more consistent running time with this.
"We also run M2 Upper Lube this has been the best thing we have ever done, we have saved so much time cleaning out our fuel systems and also when we have opened our carburettors we have noticed how much more clean they are. We have had no jellying in our fuel pumps or carburettor, also we have not had to change the fuel lines on any of the cars as they have stayed nice and soft. After years of racing we will never go back to running anything else.
"In our Sportsman ET car (winner at the Festival of Power), we have been running VP Racing's race-ready Stay Frosty Coolant which does not have glycol. This has been a absolutely amazing change that we have done. The running temperatures on the mustang have been absolutely amazing, getting up to a running temperature faster and staying there. It has made the car so much more consistent and runs so much nicer down the track.
"We also use Stay Frosty coolant in our everyday car. It is a classic Mercury Grand Marquis with this, we have seen such a big improvement. The car sits in traffic with no alterations to the temperature and runs so much nicer on the motorway. This is the best change I have ever done to any of my cars and will be running all my vehicles on Stay Frosty, it is so much worth the extra effort to put it in the coolant system.
"A massive thank you so much to VP racing for their absolutely amazing products.
"If anyone would like to ask any questions about any VP Product please come and see us in the pits, where I will be happy to chat."
10th May: Happy Birthday for today to Super Street Bike racer Steve Wood, Nostalgia Superstock racer Andy Holmes, VW Pro racer Lee Cordery and Supercharged Outlaws racer Leo Knight. Have a great day all.
A reminder to racers that entry for The Doorslammers closes on Friday. To enter, go to Santa Pod Raceway's Doorslammers entry page.
Melbourne Raceway Powerfest a huge success.
9th May: Congratulations to the winners at the Melbourne Raceway Powerfest at the weekend:
Duck All Prep (Saturday): Pel Norman ('73 Ford Capri) 5.85/137 def. Pete Youhill (Pontiac Firebird) N/T
Duck All Prep (Sunday): Ian Merryweather (Topolino altered) 5.75/139 def. Justin Woolner (Chevy Camaro) 5.89/125
Gasser Circus (Sunday): Sean Milsom (Morris Z Van) 6.85/109 def. Graham Barton (Austin A40 Devon) 6.94/101
NSCC (Sunday): Sandra Lee Wood (Ford 100e) 7.62 def. Shaun Wilson (MGB) N/T
Pro ET (Sunday): Bob Molden (Peugeot 205) 6.53/110 def. Steven Unsworth (Ford Mustang) N/T
No Mercy Shootout (Sunday): Chris Graily (Suxuki GSXR 750cc) 7.56/102 (7.40) def. Andy Higham (Deofol 500cc) 7.67/98 (7.27)
No Mercy Shootout - Scooters (Sunday): Mike Pacey (Lambretta 230cc) 9.43/72 (9.40) def. Eric Cope (Lambretta 248cc) DQ red (8.50)
No Mercy Shootout - Juniors (Sunday): Elliot Holden 20.36/28 (19.89) def. Amy Wolstenholme 13.31/43 (13.52) breakout
With over 150 entries across both days, the weekend's Melbourne Raceway Powerfest was a huge success, a large crowd and racers enjoying the challenge of racing on the unprepped eighth mile surface.
Many thanks to Paul and Dave Evans aka The Mad Welshman for supplying a gallery of 330 pictures for both Saturday and Sunday which you can find by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. Paul and Dave's gallery include a sequence of the unfortunate accident of Darren Peart's Cortina Mk3, which are published with permission from Darren.
Thanks to Martyn Greathead of the Straightliners Timing Crew for posting timing data and results, which we have uploaded to our timing data area which you can see by clicking on Data, then Timing Data at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. These results can be seen at Straightliners' results repository.
As well as our galleries, media has been posted from Sunday at the following links: DA Photography (Facebook page), Rick Swaine (Facebook album). See yesterday's update for Saturday media postings. We will report back with racer and spectator quotes tommorrow.
SPRC points update.
9th May: Thanks to SPRC points co-ordinator Yvonne Tramm who has published the current SPRC championship points to the SPRC website. You can also see the points from our Points Standings page which can be accessed via our main menu by clicking on News, then Points Standings.
8th May: We received this spy picture with the caption "well blow me down".
If you know more, or have a spy picture of your own to send, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media from Melbourne Raceway Powerfest.
8th May: The nostalgia oriented classes of British drag racing, along with street based classes, visited Melbourne Raceway at this weekend's Powerfest, which continues today, to add to the diverse group of regular racers.
Visitors included Supercharged Outlaws, Outlaw Anglia, Gasser Circus, Nostalgia Superstock, Outlaw Street and National Street Car Club members. There were cars that had been rebuilt or not seen for some time, suh as Mark Todd's Freight Train (now supporting slicks which it will use at The Doorslammers later in the month), Ian Merryweather's Banzai Topolino (rebuilt with a new chassis) and Gary Atkinson's new Topolino destined for Super Comp. A third Topolino present was Adam Clayton's Firecracker Racing supercharged hemi engined Supercharged Outlaw, the first outing for the team since last year's Dragstalgia and many thanks to team member Malc Short for sharing videos and photos with us which we have posted to our Eurodragsterholics Facebook page.
We will be posting a photo gallery thanks to Mad Welshman Paul Evans, and sharing results of the event in tomorrow's update. In the meantime you can see other Facebook media from the event posted by Pudgey's Pictures (Callum Pudge), Kelli Barrett and Mike Burrowes.
We were sorry to learn that Darren Peart had an incident in his Cortina Mk3 which left the track 100ft out and rolled over in the adjacent field. Darren is perfectly ok, the safety equipment working fine, however the car will need a rebuild before seeing the track again. We wish Darren all the best.
8th May: The VW Drag Racing Club have posted a number of videos from the STP Springspeed Nationals including qualifying and eliminations, which you can see at the VWDRC TV channel.
Malta Drag Racing Association secretary Konrad D'Anastasi has posted videos of yesterday's Run What Ya Brung at Hal Far Raceway to his Youtube channel at this link.
The Main Event: Championship drag racing and family fun.
7th May: Santa Pod Raceway rolls international championship drag racing and a full family entertainment programme into a single, spectacular weekend package at The Main Event from 26th to 29th May.
A trio of Top Fuel Dragsters and a quartet of fuel Funny Cars highlight the fast and loud end of the on-track action, abetted by three Nostalgia Funny Cars, four Jets and a rocket-powered motorcycle from France. It’s not the first time that Eric Teboul has threatened to retire his record-setting rocket bike, but this may be the last time his astonishing, 280mph two-wheeler traverses the Santa Pod quarter-mile.
On four wheels, Top Fuel Dragster entries from Sweden and Finland will bid to break the 300mph barrier once again while four bellowing fuel Funnies battle it out in the second round of the Funny Car Cup.
Pro Modifieds are drag racing’s most powerful ‘doorslammers’ – ‘tin tops’ in circuit racing parlance – and Sweden’s reigning FIA European champion Jan Ericsson returns to Santa Pod for the first time since wrapping up the title there in 2019, the last time it was contested before Covid-19 set in. The final-round opponent whom Ericsson beat on that occasion to secure the crown, French veteran Jean Dulamon, is another contender on the full 16-car entry list bidding for early-season victory. Racers from the Netherlands, Switzerland, Estonia and Germany join seven of Britain’s best in a race also combined with round two of the Motorsport UK British Drag Racing Championship.
On two wheels, Top Fuel Bike offers an intriguing rematch between Europe’s quickest, fastest wheel-driven motorcycles. Sweden’s speed record-holder Rickard Gustafsson (250.55mph) takes on Britain’s multi-championship-winning Puma bike (5.662 seconds) newly piloted by Neil Midgley. Veteran racer Midgley dipped straight into the 5-second zone on his first outing on the bike last month. Gustafsson makes his first Santa Pod appearance since 2019. The pair won’t have the limelight all to themselves. Seven other TF Bike entrants will jostle to steal the show.
For those who prefer bass notes to their bike racing, five thumping nitro SuperTwin bikes visit from Europe, again for the first time since 2019. At the opposite end of the sound spectrum – silence – Denmark’s Hans-Henrik Thomsen and his electric bike set a new quarter-mile world record (6.869sec) on their first Santa Pod appearance in 2020 and, with fresh battery power on tap, will bid to bury that mark this weekend. This is not just the quickest electric bike on the planet, but the quickest electric vehicle full stop.
Alongside these highlights, The Main Event provides a complete, four-day programme of championship drag racing across the full array of classes ranging from the kids racing Junior Dragsters and Junior Bikes to the grown-up, 10,000-horsepower Top Fuelers.
And should anyone fancy a break from the frantic track action, there’s a circus in town.
Happy’s Circus presents four professional shows a day on Saturday and Sunday in a colourful, 600-seat Big Top, all included in The Main Event ticket price. It’s the latest addition to Santa Pod’s array of off-track family entertainments which include spectacular Live Action Arena shows (Monster Trucks, stunt driving and riding), aerial displays (RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Jump Dogs parachute team) and the full panoply of funfair attractions, sideshows, rides, night-time music and performances, not to mention open paddock access for a close-up view of all the racing machinery.
The Main Event takes place from Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th May 2022 at Santa Pod Raceway near Wellingborough NN29 7XA. Detailed event information is available at Santa Pod's website . Pre-book tickets online at the Santa Pod tickets website or by telephoning the Box Office at 01234 782828. There is no admission on the gate. Adult prices begin at £20 and children aged 5-15 cost £5 per day.
Hans-Henrik goes for EV speed record at Main Event.
7th May: Danish electric vehicle engineer and ET record holder Hans-Henrik Thomsen and his True Cousins, #1 in Electric Drag Racing team, have announced they are going after the overall speed record for electric vehicles held by Steve Huff Motorsports and the electric motorcycle speed record held by Larry "Spiderman" McBride, Orange County Choppers and Lawless Industries, Ltd.
Thomsen writes, "Team True Cousins is for the first time ever heading to the Santa Pod Raceway (UK) with both Silver Lightning and TC-X. This event runs 4 days from 26th-29th May at Santa Pod Raceway. It is also the 1st round of the European Championship and up to 30,000 spectators are expected.
The big goal will be to try to make "The Double" world record with Silver Lightning, where we will first and foremost try to take the speed record (final speed at the finish line) which currently is 202.52 mph = 325,65 km/h and is held by Steve Huff in his rail dragster "Faster Than Cancer".
And at the same time, we will seek to get a 6.5s ET, which requires an improvement of at least 0.15 sec compared to our own current record of 6.74. We hope that we can finally get the TC-X to get the directional stability that it has been lacking for several years now. Conditions could not be better with four race days at such a wide and well-prepped course as Santa Pod."
Santa Pod Raceway surface grind update.
7th May: James Oliver of NEM Plant Limited has announced that his company's work on grinding the surface of the Santa Pod Raceway concrete start line is to continue down track:
"Following the successful trial of our concrete grinding system to provide a more abrasive surface to the start line, Santa Pod Raceway have asked us to continue with grinding the full quarter mile of racing surface. This will be done in sections between events to allow time to remove and replace the rubber surface."
7th May: Happy Birthday for today to Wild Bunch crew member for Rebel and Wrathchild Hayley Fyfe, and to Super Twin 'Beast' team member and former Mantorp Park administrator L-o Jonsson. Have a great day!
Today will be the previously announced FIA Scrutineers day at Tierp Arena. L-G Eriksson of ME Racing Service AB announced "We will be there to help out with our knowledge about chassis and safety. We have the Green Goblin Pro Mod with us, without body, so it will be easy to see the chassis and other parts, and we have parts in our trailer to show as well. There is a big interest for this day with scrutineers from 9 countries, Greece, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, England, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Thank you FIA Dragracing for this initiative, it will be a long and good day."
Photojournalist Steve Moxley has published a report from the STP Springspeed Nationals on the ACU senior bike classes at the ACU website. Steve's report is as detailed as ever and includes many snippets on the highs and lows of championship contenders.
Stilwell to appear on Nitro Revival show.
6th May: Many thanks to Nitro Revival sponsor and land speed racerGeoff Stilwell for letting us know about his forthcoming appearance on Steve and Cindy Gibbs' Facebook live show on the Nitro Revival Facebook Group.
Many readers of Eurodragster will know the words "Nitro Revival", Steve Gibbs and his daughter Cindy spend hours upon hours getting cars organised for this fantastic event which this year will be held on the 5th-6th November 2022 at the iconic Irwindale Raceway in Los Angeles. For those on Facebook please go to the Nitro Revival group for updates which this year will be coming thick and fast - or check out Eurodragster for more updates.
For anyone who already follows Nitro Revival you will know that Steve and Cindy Gibbs host a chat show on Wednesday afternoon’s at around 1pm LA time (21:00 BST). Some very famous names have taken part and these are all available on the Nitro Revival page if you want to play catch up. Well, on May 11th the show will be coming live from the 7707 Raceshop in Pomona, Los Angeles. I am very proud and honoured to be taking part in the show. I will be there with a very special guest and I recommend that you check out the time difference and make sure Wednesday evening in the UK you tune in. We will be chatting about many things including Drag Racing and the Nostalgia Scene in the UK, and Landspeed Racing. Also, with the El Mirage Season Opener race on the 13th-15th May we will be giving a guided tour of 7707.
Last year the Nitro Revival had over 60 Top Fuel cars all fire up at the same time. They will have In-N-Out Burgers there on the Friday night and more famous names that you can shake a stick at from the past and present. For your Christmas Treat, book a flight to Los Angeles and take in this incredible event. You won’t regret it. Oh, and don’t forget to tune in to Nitro Revival on Facebook 11th May at around 1pm LA Time (subject to nearby traffic conditions).
In the next few days we will post news about Geoff's forthcoming trip to lake El Mirage in California to run his 7707 blown fuel roadster at the SCTA Season Opener.
Green light for June EDRS Sweden Nationals at Tierp Arena.
6th May: Thanks to Kjell Petterson for an update on the EDRS Sweden Nationals on 17th-19th June 2022, which replaces the FIA/FIM event originally planned for the same weekend. Kjell has emphasised that registration for the event is open and racers are urged to help make it a good event by sending their entries immediately on www.dragracing.eu.
"The wait has been long, but now we can finally welcome you all back to racing at Tierp Arena completely without restrictions. The well-established series promoter Speedgroup, together with NDRS Motor Club, is organising a major drag racing competition within the Summit Racing EDRS series, on the same weekend that our first 2022 European Championship competition was planned, 17th-19th June.
"We welcome the audience and teams back after a far too long wait for competitions completely without restrictions. Since the date was already included in our EDRS calendar, we considered it important to take the initiative to enable the implementation of the competition. We organize and promote the EDRS competition series and it is important to ensure that all our competitions can be conducted in the best way as planned," Micke Gullqvist, chairman of the Speedgroup's board.
"It's a fantastic bunch of talented and very committed employees that I work with, and we try to have fun while our ambition is to make the events a good experience for all parties. Conducting an event of this kind is teamwork, where competitors, officials, organizers, clubs, facilities and promoters work in symbiosis to the good of everyone. So we look forward to conducting a competition in the Summit Racing EDRS series and hope that both competitors and audience choose to participate, support and visit us” said Kjell, Competition Leader of the NDRS Motor Club.
"We have full confidence that Speedgroup, together with NDRS Motor Club, will deliver a competition at the very highest level. Whilst the Arena is in the middle of a sales process, this race will be a good opportunity to secure a summer highlight for our teams and visitors, but above all for motorsport as a whole in Sweden. An extra big welcome to all the new Junior Dragsters & Junior Drag Bike teams who have not yet had the opportunity to experience Europe's coolest motorsport facility!" said Christopher Hamilton, President of Tierp Arena AB.
Frequently asked questions
So will there be an European Championship competition in June anyway? No, this race is part of the Summit Racing EDRS series but will run the same weekend as the EM was intended. Several of Europe's best teams will be on the spot, but they're not part of the European Championship series.
Will there be a good race in June? Yes, we can promise that!
When do you open for ticket purchases? Admission and camping tickets for the event will be released via Tickster shortly at this link and on the Tickster portal.
Who's going to be driving? Registered competitors will be shown on the entry list.
Will the campsite be open? Yes, for both teams and visitors.
Will the restaurant be open? Yes, but no serving of alcohol this weekend.
Will there be an European Championship competition in August? We are close to nailing a good setup even for the European Championships in August. But there are many pieces that are going to fall into place and as the sales process of Tierp Arena runs parallel, it means that we need a little more time before we can officially go out with the setup.
How can we get in touch with you regarding the event? At the moment, we can only answer emails as follows. Attention! Tierp Arena cannot answer questions regarding the event, we refer to the email addresses and organizers below.
Hal Far update.
6th May: This Saturday, Hal Far Raceway in Malta hosts its run what ya brung, traditionally a fortnight before the respective championship event. Due to work on the track, the first round of the championship is being held on 20th-21st May, the earlier March round not taking place due to grip juice supply issues and an general election taking place.
Now track prep is under way and the 7th March RWYB will undoubtedly be busy.
6th May: A Happy Birthday for today to FIA Drag Racing Commission chair Lars Pettersson, to slingshot dragster racer-in-waiting Andy Hill, and to Gasser Circus racer John Gibson. Have a great day guys.
Our good friend Remco Scheelings has published an interview with Top Methanol Funny Car racer Sandro Bellio which you can read on the Drag Racing Europe Blog presented by Speedgroup at this link.
Springspeed Nationals racer comments - bikes.
5th May: We have gathered racer comments on the STP Springspeed Nationals from social media for bike classes and present them below with our photos.
In Banks Night Club Top Fuel Bike, Neil Midgley won the final, defeating Steve Woollatt (pictured left below) who had problems off the line. Neil shut off early having run a 5 earlier. His teams said: "The Lucas Oils Cannon Motorsports team set up at Santa Pod for round 2 of the ACU TFB championship, working well to keep the world class Puma machine in top condition to give the rider confidence to do his job.
Once again we started with a 0.98 60ft and 330ft check out pass for Neil to check the new seat and foot peg location and all ok so far.After running a 5.92 in the semi finals Neil ran 6.77 and won the final at Santa Pod, clicking off the throttle at 3.5 secs into the run. Thanks to the super teams for keeping the Puma world class machine making rounds, with only Lucas oil and NGK spark plugs changed between rounds.
Al Smith with the PBR Rocket (pictured right below) had a difficult event, as reported by owner and engineer Phil Baimbridge:
"It's said that you can only be disappointed as far as your expectations - and the PBR team (Al & Joo Smith, Andy Kirk, Neill Curtis and I) had high expectations as we attended the Springspeed Nationals at Santa Pod.
"The spare cylinder head has been finished for over a year, but we’ve never had the need to run it – so it was installed for this event. This head has several detailed design revisions compared with the original head and still has the original design individual exhaust valve seat inserts - the objectives were to check out how the design changes affected operation and performance and to assess whether the valve seat inserts would cope with the heat load (not having been subjected to the abuse the original cylinder head has suffered).
"Of course, we also wanted to continue refining our fuel system and clutch settings to tease out the good number that we know is in there. The motor had been stripped and inspected after the Festival of Power. It was good to find straight rods and gudgeon (wrist) pins. Couldn’t find anything to explain the high leak down on #1. New valve seats had “settled” a little; nothing that wouldn’t be expected. Changed #2 & #3 bottom main bearing shells (they weren’t on the point of failure…..but while I was in there).
Al and Andy rebuilt the motor (with all the same bits) and installed cylinder head #2. I attempted to install the distributors and found that the rotor arms needed modifying to clear the distributor caps and while I had it apart machined the distributor cap seats to clear the more robust tang fixing on the rotor arms without having to shorten nuts and bolts.
Arrived at the racetrack and prepped the Rocket. Fired up to make sure everything ran OK, checked ignition timing and then allowed the motor to cool prior to re-torquing the cylinder head.
Q1: Al performed a good, controlled burn out and went into stage. The Rocket launched OK, but stopped pulling soon after leaving the line, so Al shut down. 1.07 to 60’. The data logger showed that cylinder #3 lost fire at 0.5s and we also lost oil pressure (down to 35 psi) at 0.85s, just before Al closed the throttle. Found that the main ancillary belt, that drives the oil and fuel pumps and both magnetos, had lost its teeth for around half of its length. We rarely completely lose fire on a cylinder; the 4 valve, twin plug configuration behaves like two separate combustion reactions within the same cylinder (I know that it is hard to believe). In this case #3 lost fire completely and the exhaust gas temperature plummeted – so we concluded that this was a symptom of the ancillary belt failure. The pumps seemed to turn OK so we just replaced the ancillary belt. We pulled the sump and checked the big end shells (changed all of the top shells) and completed our normal between run routine ready for Q2.
Q2: Pretty much the same as Q1 – #3 lost fire at 0.7s and Al shut down just before 2 seconds. 1.05 to 60’. Fuel pressure and flow were at the levels that we would expect prior to the throttle being closed and the oil pressure was good until the engine stopped rotating – so we were surprised to find that we had stripped the teeth off the ancillary belt again. We now knew that we had two problems – one causing #3 to stop firing and another damaging the ancillary belt. Tracked the ignition problem to poor concentricity between the rotor arms and distributor caps - straightforward to rectify, but not at the racetrack. The most likely cause of the ancillary belt damage would be the oil pump.
The weather forecast for the Saturday was scrap so we decided to call it a day and strip and rebuild the Rocket then. (In the event the weather wasn’t as bad as forecast – no rain – but it was so cold that all of the fuel bikes elected not to run).
"So we had a long Saturday checking the big end shells (changed #1 & #2 top shells), removing cylinder head #2 and installing cylinder head #1 and stripping and rebuilding the oil pump (we found that a scavenge non-driven gear was tight on the shaft, so a lot of polishing and scraping to repair it). Got it all finished early evening and fired the motor – all good.
"E1: Good burn out, but then had to wait a relatively long time for our competitor to stage. Al hit the throttle and the rear tyre span almost immediately (the racebike had moved about 2 feet). Al kept the throttle on for about 1.25s, hoping it would hook up to chase our arch-rival Neil Midgley, but of course it didn’t and the engine sat at 9200rpm at high fuel flow and with at least one side of each cylinder firing throughout. The ropey old used ancillary belt was also intact.
Everybody was disappointed, but we know that this clutch setting is “borderline”, the track was very cold (we measured the track temperature at 32C/90F), a relatively long wait after the burn out and a tyre due to be changed (we had intended to change the rear tyre on the Saturday evening, but were all too tired out). I try to look at things philosophically – we went to check out a new cylinder head and found a problem which we can now fix. Performance-wise the head behaves similarly to the original head, at least for the early stages of the run – we still need to check it fully heat soaked. With coldish temperatures and limited track preparation it was always going to be a challenge. Just got to learn to manage our expectations.
Thank you to our Sponsors (Burlow Engineering, FIE, B&J racing and APE) for their continuing support, all of our followers for their interest and Santa Pod for the progressively improving venue.
A bit of a break (but lots of work to do) before our next outing at the Main Event 26-29 May. See you at the races.
Taylors Trophy Super Street Bike was won by Jake Mechaell despite some issues. He said "Wow, what a roller coaster of a weekend. After the test day and first two qualifiers, something seemed off and it turned out we had damaged no.2 cylinder again! The decision was made to pull the motor and build another cylinder head to try and figure out the issue before the Main Event.
"Working through the night to 5am Sunday morning the motor was rebuilt and back in the bike. Thanks to Brad and Leo for lending a hand and sticking with me till the early hours. Changes were made after looking through the data and the final qualifying pass showed we were back on track.
"Lots of fine tuning during eliminations gave us a new PB of 6.87 @ 209.9mph and then winning the final with another 6.87 with an unbelievable 1.17 60ft, 3.03 330ft and 4.50 660ft! Thanks to my sponsors and supporters for everything they’ve done for me."
In a three bike Leeks Landscape Funny Bike field, Dave 'Rocket' Peters came out the winner on his Riggerboot Express Suzuki GSX 1428cc machine. Dave ran a PB for speed of 188mph coupled to an ET of 7.3194 in an exciting final where Louis Davies, having run a 7.0380 in the semi final, was quicker all the way to half track, and then slowed as fuelling problems from a stuck solenoid set in. Louis was running his normal engine whilst the Wicked Wench team is building a 1640cc 2 valve per cylinder motor for the FIM-E Main Event. Also pleased with performance was Roger Moore who ran a 7.5968/173.72 in qualifying, PBs for his bike career.
Suzukiperformancespares.co.uk Comp Bike was won by Shawn Buttigieg from Malta, running a fantastic new track record 6.6450/219.06 on a semi final bye, then 6.7349 to set the ACU ET record for the class. Storing his bike in the UK, Shawn has his eyes on the Comp Bike championship and his margin on the rest of the field puts him in pole position for a trophy come the end of the season.
In JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike, a tremendously tight class, won by Jay Roe with three 8.5s and one 8.6s run, Dan De'ath said "Back from a mega weekend, what a weekend it was. Testing on Friday revealed I still had a problem with the gearbox so a 6pm decision to remove strip and replace the gearbox Friday night and engine back in before calling it at midnight was a long one! But it worked just fine. Massive thanks to everyone for the offer of help and parts and the hard working crew that is Danny Cockerill and Steve Splinter Nash for all their assistance this weekend! Shame I let it all down on a tune up error in the finals or who knows how it could have ended. The bridesmaid this time, well done to Jay Roe for taking the win, thanks to Bradley O'Connor, Garry Bowe and Dave Bowe for all of your assistance.
Atlantic Fluid Tech 9.50 Bike saw the only incident in the race, when Brett Cordelle came off his Hayabusa on launching in the semi final of competition. The bike narrowly avoided Brett and slid down the track for about 100ft. It was a scary looking incident, with medical attention fortunately coming rapidly, followed by a visit to the medical centre for observation. Sister Jasmine Cordelle wrote "Brett is home, badly bruised and in pain but resting up. Thank you from all of us as family how much support we have received and kind well wishes towards Brett. When things like this happen it really does remind you how much of a family community racing is." We all wish Brett a speedy recovery and a return to the track soon.
In a double breakout, Rick Sawatzki (pictured left) was the winner over Dave Hall in the final, Rick celebrating his 28th victory in his racing career.
Blood Cancer UK ET Bike was won by Gary Hester. Class co-ordinator Suze Morris wrote "Great weekend of racing, with more new faces to the class too! Well Done to Gary and Robbie Dobbie for getting through to the Final, gutting for Robbie with the tiniest of breakouts, but congratulations to Gary on collecting the Victory trophy." Gary Hester summed up his Springspeed Nationals: "Number 1 qualifier and event winner. Personal best ET and speed 8.73 at 150 mph. That doesn't happen every day!"
In Eurodragster.com Junior Drag Bike, Lyra Humber enjoyed her first win against the much quicker machine of Casey Holgate. "Another great weekend of racing, nice to see Sam Hope back at this event, and we welcomed Grace Pollen into the Juniors. Plenty of qualifying with Hollie King being number 1 and Maggie Smallman no 2. Eliminations saw Hollie with a bye, Meg Talbot against Casey, Maggie against Sam and Grace against Lyra. Casey took the win against Meg, Maggie won against Sam and Lyra won against Grace.
The semis saw Hollie against Casey with Casey taking the win, and Lyra against Maggie with Lyra taking the win. Finals saw Casey vs Lyra and a massive well done to Lyra for taking the win! Well done to all juniors this weekend with PBs and breakouts. We would also like to wish previous Junior Brett Cordelle a speedy recovery, hope you feel better soon.
Meg Talbot wrote: "For someone who has been extremely tired this event and winning wasn’t a priority, I think I’ve done pretty well. PB after PB after PB. Test day I smashed out an 8.04 then during qualifying I got my first ever 7 second run. The thrill of that bike is insane. I want to say a huge well done to Casey Holgate for being the runner up and having great sportsmanship. Also a huge huge HUGE well done to Lyra for her first win this season! And to everyone else you did amazing! Thank you to Liam Holgate for helping me all weekend, Jay Roe, Richard Sawatzki and to all my sponsors. Believe me it means a huge amount!"
NSA riders set records frenzy at WZ sprint.
5th May: Sprint riders from the National Sprint Association gathered en masse for the first two day weekender at ‘WZ’ otherwise known as Westonzoyland Sprint Strip last weekend in deepest Somerset, writes NSA commentator Jerry Cookson.
With the old wartime airstrip in prime condition for another season's worth of unprepped eighth mile sprinting as the afternoon progressed to its final conclusion no less than eight class track records had been reset or established. But, the highs quickly turned to lows as by early dawn, rain of the more persistent variety had arrived in the county to put an end to everyone’s Bank Holiday Sunday playtime without a wheel or engine being allowed to turn over in anger.
With a revised race format in place where all runs/times made on the day counted towards the overall results, rather than the traditional six timed runs, the NSA’s quickest and fastest pensioner Pete Ford (pictured, photo by Carol Jenkinson) of Blackdragon Motorcycles fame not only blitzed his own 750cc class record once but twice on the sixth and final run of the day. By dialling in the machines progressive horsepower from the blown 750 Suzuki Bandit its stunning capabilities on every pass was quickly recognised, and by the third outing the bike started to ‘black stripe’ more than ever across the first 60feet while not smoking its rear tyre to the tune of 6.056 followed by a 5.980 and then the record run of 5.905s at 126.86 mph for the class win. Outstanding performances indeed which had the assembled crowd wanting more!
And more they got courtesy of Andrew Boswell’s 1200cc Harley Sportster drag bike ‘Gonzales’. Missing in action the previous weekend at Dakota Raceway due the illness, the Cornish based B&H Motorcycles team led by dad Haward, were certainly amped up as the start of the hunt for that ‘WZ five’ began while chasing for yet another Unlimited class win. Built by Andrew and Brother Terry in 2015 the bike had steadily been getting faster as the day progressed from 6.0’s to a lone 5.999s at 118 mph recorded late in the afternoon to earn Andrew with yet another class win.
Other key highlights came from Steve Everett’s Hayabusa taking another class win in the Over 1000cc Road Legal category with another bunch of low 6s resulting in a 6.061 to rewrite his own class track record set last year at 6.114s to stay ahead of Paul Uzzell’s Suzuki Katana by almost half a second; 6.466.
In the Classic Non Jap classes (Up to 500cc and Over 500cc) records were broken first by Andy Webb’s 350cc Aermacchi and the Triumph Trident of Southern Champion Jasper Joy. Complete with its Scottish pedigree as a road racer in the hands of Ronnie Niven as well as competing in 13 Manx Grand Prix’s and 4 Classic TT’s in the seventies, Andy used all six runs perfectly to end the day with a 9.320 ticket from the Italian bike made originally by an Italian aircraft manufacturer of the same name.
Built from a box of bits in just two weeks in the upper class, Jasper Joy spent the afternoon fending off Neil Siddle’s T140 Bonneville for class and track honours when his T160 Trident cruised to a 7.710 over its previous best of 7.759s.
In the Unlimited Vintage Post 1946 class, Amanda Taylor’s pristine and show-worthy 1957 650 Triumph established a new course record on the bikes only ten second pass of the day, 10.826s. Amanda used to sprint a 750cc Hagon Triumph last year but that honour in 2022 has been handed down to another family member Tim Taylor. In fact it looked pretty cool in the pits sitting alongside another family sibling; that of Ronny Taylor’s 250cc 4 stroke BSA Hagon complete with its period blue fame and white nose cone. Competing in the Junior classes Ronny ran a day’s best of 9.741 to override Micky Ball’s 10.217 record set on a Honda NSR although on this occasion Micky wasn’t far behind with a useful looking 9.787 to be placed second over brother JJ for third.
Long time sprinter and trials rider Martin Bracey knocked a small margin off his 50cc Racing class record as his Aprilia RS50 ran its first 11.696s to rewrite his own 11.7 record set last year at WZ.
Finally, having under gone a year’s worth of R&D, Dave Langley’s unique centre hub steering 1000cc Yamaha R1 sidecar built by Paul Lumley has started to reap the awards when the outfit eclipsed its own 3 Wheeler class record by turning an 8.805 and lowered it further to an 8.751 at 87.56 mph.
The NSA Championship moves up north to Yorkshire’s Melbourne Raceway this weekend followed by a visit to mid Wales the following weekend May 14th/15th to the Snowdonia Flight School at Lanbedr Airfield where there will be two days of quarter mile drag racing, sprinting and half mile record breaking. Car classes are also in the mix with a 1/8th mile Heads Up Cash Shootout. For further info check out the Welsh Drag Racing Weekend page on Facebook.
You can see Jerry's and Carol Jenkinson's photos from Westonzoyland Sprint Strip by going to our gallery by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link at the top of any Eurodragster.com page, and to view a full set of results click here to access the National Sprint Association’s Results web site page. Event coverage is sponsored by John Woolfe Racing.
European FWD to sponsor FWD class at Doorslammers.
5th May: Thanks to Santa Pod Raceway events co-ordinator Dan Melrose and European FWD promoter Luke Stevenson for a sponsorship announcement for the Doorslammers on 20th-22nd May:
Santa Pod Raceway is pleased to announce that European FWD have become the official class sponsor of Front Wheel Drive at The Doorslammers. European FWD is celebrating 10 years of promoting FWD racers, events, and companies; from Bracket racers, Heads-Up contestants to general Run What Ya Brung’ers.
“We are ecstatic to be able to take the reins of the Front Wheel Drive class at the Doorslammers and make it truly the European FWD class”, said European FWD owner Luke Stevenson. “10 years ago we started with just 6 nine-second cars, to now where we have the European FWD league table which is hotly contested each year including over 150 racers now in the 9 second club or quicker. Could Doorslammers 2022 see the very first 7 second FWD pass in Europe?”
As part of their sponsorship, European FWD are hosting a raffle draw here one lucky winner will win two VIP Hospitality tickets to The Doorslammers. On top of that, one racer will also have their Doorslammers race entry paid for by European FWD.
Tickets and race entries are still available for The Doorslammers on May 20th to 22nd, with more info available at thedoorslammers.co.uk.”
You can also enter a raffle to win two Weekend tickets that include camping, VIP Hospitality with two seats in the VIP balcony above the startline, two European FWD Caps and T-Shirts. Tickets are just £10 and the draw will be on Thursday 12th May. Enter by clicking here.
Springspeed Nationals racer comments - cars.
4th May: We have gathered racer comments on the STP Springspeed Nationals from social media for car classes, and present them below with our photos.
In Track Worx Competition Eliminator, won by Spencer Tramm for the second race in a row, Williams Bros Racing, under which banner Spencer competes. Spencer said "There's an old saying, if you surround yourself with good people, good things will happen. Thanks to Dan Williams, Nic Williams, Keith Williams, Lorne Denny and Kirstie Tramm I'm 2 for 2, points leader and pretty much speechless (rare I know)."
Williams Bros Racing added "We completed the new paintwork and engine upgrades to Spencer’s ’69 Camaro before FoP and we are extremely proud of the outcome of the car both in looks and performance with Spencer hitting new personal bests throughout both events of over two tenths! Dan Williams also had a great couple of weekends in his ’69 Chevelle being no.1 qualifier in both events and coming runner up both times too! The car has been running great times with his signature wheelstands we all know and love. Nic Williams has been running great in his Frost Green ’69 Camaro, coming in at no.3 qualifier at SpringSpeed and losing out in the semi finals to Dan.
"Our next event is the Doorslammers in a couple of weeks’ time for the Big Bracket race, we hope to see you there where we will have more T shirts and hoodies for sale too!"
B Fast R Super Comp, a class that Europeans should be deservedly proud of for its diversity of entries, was won by rookie Richard Tunstall in his small block Chevy 355 ci engined Brogie roadster against a field of altereds, doorslammers, slingshots and the more usual rear engined dragsters. He said "a special thank you the Jeff Bull, Belinda Bull, Paul Letchford, Dave Townsend, Jedd and Gemma Guy, Brett for all the advice, Jon Giles, morning tea and chats, Collin Morrice, Sandy Morrice and family, Simon Fulton, Tim Adams, and Jon Morton for the winning cake . If I forgot anyone thank you!
"Also a massive thank you to my amazing crew chief for the weekend Jazmine Tunstall, and crew Maxwell house, and my wife Rebecca Todd for her amazing golf cart skills lol. In another post Richard paid tribute to his stepdad when he said "I wish you had been here to see that Kevin Cerasale x RIP buddy".
Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas was won by Collin Morrice in his '69 Camaro after qualifying #1 winning the Perfect ET award sponsored by Team Twister and Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield. Collin said "Super Gas was quite literally the perfect weekend, first qualifier we managed the perfect 9.900 so that gave us the no.1 spot. The car picking up a tenth in Super Pro meant we had a head scratch and a calculated guess for the throttle stop. We then went on to win the meeting with some great races along the way.
"It’s lovely to be back, thank you to everyone who has said it over the last couple of meetings, it means a lot. Huge thank you to Jeff Bull, had a few issues on the return, hopefully we’re almost there with it, so grateful to have his, and Belinda's, support!" Collin thanked his family and brother "Stuart, constantly been on the spanners since the season started, keeps me in the zone and more importantly on my toes!"
Jim Massey, crewman for Billy Gane, winner of Peter Nee Super Pro ET, commented "We won it, beating Ron Bartlett in the final, unluckly for Ron as he had a great meeting Knocking out some big players to get there. I would just like to thank Dave and Billy Gane for trusting me to do the dail ins for them. Bill drove brilliantly all weekend with some great reaction times.
Among the thanks, Jim said that "Alex Gordon who usually crews for Billy,had his first meeting racing a 8.50 bike, got his license testing Friday and went on to run 8.60's and cut some good lights. He narrowly got beaten in the first round, brilliant job mate. Also like to thank and the Santa Pod staff for putting on a great meeting."
Ron Bartlett said "What a weekend, a few adjustments with the wheelie bars and we qualified 2nd. Probably had the hardest path to the final ever! I beat last year's champion [Daniel Giles] in round 1, managed to win the bounty £50 taking out the last event winner [Joe Kellett] in round 2, beat multi champion [Scott Hauser] in the semi finals. However, it was not to be in the final, the car rolled back out of stage and by the time I got back in and on the transbrake, Billy Boy was long gone (well done Billy Gane Racing, awesome). We managed 3 PBs in eliminations best now email@example.com!
"Thanks to everyone that cheered me on, means a lot. Massive thanks to my crew who were just awesome all weekend. Doorslammers next!"
Dan Holloway and his new Rattler altered won Modurstang Pro ET. He said "It’s days like today that you remember! Only went and took my first event win in Pro ET! In my second event! Had some luck thrown my way but at the end of the day you can only race who’s next to you, and I can be happy with the races that were won today en route to the final.
"Qualifying was again tough, with Rattler still trying to kill me, so we hatched a plan which we really should’ve thought of earlier and that was to launch off the line in 2nd gear rather than the aggressive 1st gear. Talk about a totally different car and driving experience to what I was used to in unpredictable wheelies and bouncing upon descent, I felt I could now start to properly race and try turn on some win lights. I’ve spent most of my life watching the guys and gals of Pro ET race their cars, and it’s one tough ol’ class, so to now be racing with them is a bit surreal and have nothing but respect for them all!
"The weekend was also signed off with my better half Holley also getting to the final in her class, so this power couple went home happy with a trophy in each hand! All the time and effort me and Dad Adrian have put in was made well and truly worth it with the support of car owners Dave King and Stuart King; we’ve got ourselves a hot rod! Till the next one!
2021 Pro ET champion Lee Huxley had a tough weekend and wrote "Disastrous weekend for us. Started out with gearbox issues but between Zane Zannetec and new found friends Richard Walters and crew, that was sorted. We qualified 18th but we were in one piece. Went through 3 rounds beating Marie Wills, Alan Schofield and Dave Cherrett to make the semi finals, only to find out we had engine damage. "Hopefully we’ll be back shortly but without my family, crew and my sponsors it wouldn’t be possible so thanks to all involved."
Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET was won by Gary Lake, running as Homa Drag Racing. He said "What a day, first bank holiday Monday to be racing and rode my luck all the way to the win! Qualifying was excellent by all sportsman ET competitors as usual and we were 0.04 off which put us 9th. "There were almost perfect RTs, perfect ETs and lots of close races plus a lot of big breakouts as the track was super quick. Hope to see you all at Summer Nationals!"
VW Sportsman was won by Phil Jones, his Audi A3 1.8T aptly named Dragon Wagon. Phil's son Connor competed in the same class in a VW Beetle, although a father-son matchup didn't happen during the event. After a bye in round 1, Phil defeated Justin Folley, Paul Robinson, John Crawford and Laurence Clark to win the event.
Graham Fairhead in his Type 3 Fastback won VW Pro. His team Misfit Racing said "Finally home from a long but amazing weekend at STP Springspeed Nationals. After 5 qualifying runs Graham held 3rd out of 13 going into race day. E1 defeated Jonathan Newell, E2 defeated Ian Dale, E3 defeated Ed Keech (CASE Racing) taking Graham into the final against Jacob Bailey which was won with a a perfect ET to take the win and all were great races. Has been an amazing weekend with lots of consistent 11.3 passes and we can't wait until the next one."
VWDRC chair and Santa Pod announcer Luke Stevenson is likely still on cloud nine after breaking into the eights in his Sechs Toy dragster with a 8.918/147.14. He said "Thanks to Robert, Andy, Lee, Jamie for the usual excellent crew work, Gordon FuelTech UK dealer, Streetracers being on hand for remote tuning and making this happen. Daniel Hoot Recruit for sponsoring the now world's fastest stock block 12v Vr6 powered vehicle. To VWDRC for all the usual support, Chaos crew Darren, Robin for letting me badger them for Co2, Kevin Pro-S-Fittings UK for supplying the part to keep the Co2 in and anyone else that helped. Roll on Main Event for first round fodder in Comp Eliminator."
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster was won by Luke Fulton. Team member Amy Homewood commented "We met some tough competition in the rounds and the races were close! Luke showed some great driving at the top end and it paid off, well done!"
Runner up Purdie Hadfield commented "What a weekend Springspeed Nats! Qualified 11th on Saturday with at 0.03 light, ended up against Teddy Sullivan for round one and after some problems with his car I gained the win. I then raced Dan Weir, a very close race indeed, and one I wasn’t expecting to win!! Well done Dan.
"Then I pulled my close mate Harley Coulsell, fair to say I was a bit nervous for that one. A double breakout for us, with me being -0.0007 off my dial in. I luckily ended with a bye into the final. This is where I raced Luke Fulton (aka my nemesis). My car decided speed was the way and so I broke out by -0.01. "I came home with a runner up trophy. Very chuffed. Well done Luke you did amazing this weekend!
"Thank you to Santa Pod Raceway and crew for providing amazing track conditions through the weekend. And thank you to my amazing mum and dad for supporting and providing these opportunities for me, I love you both so much. See you all at Main Event!"
NEM UK Nostalgia Superstock had a first time winner in Pete Dodd driving the Metamorphosis Camaro previously wheeled (wheelied?) by Modurstang head honcho Mike Lacey. Class organiser Don Scott, said "What a great weekend of racing, first event of the year and we found really good consistency earning us number 2 qualifier and through to the finals to take the runner up position to Pete Dodd who took the well deserved win.
We had a problem during qualification with the torque converter bolts coming slightly loose and ruining their threads, but Pete Wiseman kindly donated the bolts out of his car as he had damaged his transmission and was sadly out for the weekend. Jack Bishop kindly popped the bolts back in and we were up and running in no time.
"I know its a bit of a cliche, but I could not have achieved this result without my brilliant crew Yvonne and Grace, aka 'Donny's Angels', they are so thorough, and Grace's ability to crunch the numbers is truly outstanding, thank you both so much. Massive thanks go out also to all the Santa Pod staff for all the dedication and hard work ... and of course for a great track! So number 2 in the Championship is a great start for us, cant wait to get out there and do it all again." Grace Roaf, crew member for Don, said "So happy for Don Scott qualifying #2 and getting to the Final. Such a consistent racecar today - all 4 runs within .02 of each other. The first time I can remember #1 and #2 qualifiers meeting in the final and Kiwi in #3 getting to the Semi-Final as well - this UK Nostalgia Superstock class is getting so close. Bring on the Nostalgia Nationals next month to do it all again.
The winner of Springbridge Direct Wild Bunch was Bob Hawkins, owner of the class sponsor, in his nitro fuelled Time Travel II slingshot. He said "A massive thank you goes out to all my crew and also to Santa Pod Raceway for all their amazing efforts and patience this weekend and of cause to the Pod the safety crew for keeping us all safe. And yes, we won the STP Springspeed Nationals Springbridge Direct Ltd Wild Bunch round and also took the WB best reaction spot prize in the process! Following a number of new problems sorted out on Saturday and Sunday we are at last starting to see the engine coming around to running more consistently so we now a a good baseline to build up on. (Bob's time was an early shut off 7.401/140.71). Very well done also to runner up and formidable opponent Pete Peter Brown and his whole team, great effort!"
Come back tomorrow for comments by bike racers.
Springspeed Nationals media.
5th May: In addition to our own galleries by Julian, Diana and Paul Lanyon, you can see media of the Springspeed Nationals at the following links:
Gasser Circus 2022 sponsors.
5th May: Thanks to Gasser Circus co-ordinator Nick Brooke-Langham for an update on class sponsors and its 2022 calendar.
"With the new Gasser Circus season only a matter of days away, (Round 1 at Melbourne Raceway 7th – 8th May) we are proud and delighted to confirm the continued support and sponsorship from Melliard’s Modern Lettering, Rocket Racing (Simon Prest), The National Street Rod Association, Renegade Fuels and this year we welcome Serck Services. The Gasser Circus are so grateful for the support, it is invaluable and adds significantly to the rounds of racing that make up the Gasser Circus Showdown.
This year the Championship will be contested over 6 rounds of action packed racing, with many of last year’s protagonists returning to battle. They will be joined and challenged by several new Gassers, eager to get in on the action. This has all the makings of surpassing last years on track action, bring it on.
The 2022 Gasser Circus dates are:
Powerfest, 7th-8th May, Melbourne Raceway NSRA Nostalgia Nationals, 3rd-5th June, Santa Pod Raceway
Retro Show, 18th-19th June, Santa Pod Raceway
Dragstalgia, 8th-10th July, Santa Pod Raceway
Mopar Euro Nationals, 29th-31st July, Santa Pod Raceway
Hot Rod Drags, 16th-18th September, Santa Pod Raceway
Gasser Circus – Racing the Dream.
Jndia sitting out most of 2022.
4th May: Top Fuel racer Jndia Erbacher has announced that she will be limiting her 2022 competition to the NitrOlympx at Hockenheim on 26th-28th August but will return to the full FIA European tour in 2023.
"First of all I wanted to thank everyone for the nice messages I‘m getting every day! We miss all of you as well, the fans, the teams and the racing!
"Unfortunately I have to tell you that we won‘t run the full championship this year. We will definitely race at Hockenheim Nitrolympx and hope to see all of you there! Covid gave us a hard time and several things changed during this time. Bussines got a hughe priority during these days. The situation with Brexit also makes it way harder for us to get with the trailer to the UK.
"Parts shortage is a whole other point. I‘d love to give you guys another answer there and yes, we tried as hard as we could to make it a full 2022 season.
"But in the end I decided together with the team to focus full on the 2023 season and come back faster and stronger than we have ever been! My heart is bleeding since I know I won‘t have the chance to live my lifes biggest passion to the point where I would like it to be. But let‘s keep an eye out for 2022 who knows, maybe some miracles are happening and things will happen. Sending all of you lots of love and don‘t forget us! We‘ll be at the Nitros and def. back in 2023."
STP Springspeed Nationals results.
3rd May: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's STP Springspeed Nationals held at Santa Pod Raceway:
Track Worx Comp Eliminator: Spencer Tramm 10.9408/118.93 (11.55) def. Dan Williams 10.0275/130.17 (10.61)
Fast R Super Comp: Richard Tunstall 8.9491/132.84 def. Leah Kellett 8.8960/163.68
Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas: Colin Morrice 9.9256/148.15 def. Andy Dibley 9.9308/140.70
Peter Nee Super Pro ET: Billy Gane 8.5348/155.22 (8.52) def. Ron Bartlett 8.2060/166.04 (8.19)
Modurstang Pro ET: Dan Holloway 9.2448/132.02 (9.10) def. John Bean 9.6020/144.78 (9.52)
Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET: Gary Lake 14.1555/90.64 (14.05) def. Holly Walters 15.5549/90.69 (15.48)
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Luke Fulton 8.1670/79.65 (8.16)def. Purdie Hadfield 8.0477/80.36 (8.06) breakout
NEM Plant UK Nostalgia Superstock: Pete Dodd 9.1889/146.68 (9.14) def. Don Scott 9.6202/140.73 (9.63)
Springbridge Direct Wild Bunch: Bob Hawkins 7.4014/140.71 (6.85) def. Pete Brown 9.0966/151.64 (8.65)
VW Sportsman: Phil Jones 15.2231/90.87 (15.45) def. Laurence Clark 13.7913/96.03 (13.62) red
VW Pro: Graham Fairhead 11.3002/115.93 (11.30) def. Jacob Bailey 10.2219/115.52 (9.99)
Banks Night Club Top Fuel Bike: Neil Midgley 6.7794/143.07 def. Steve Woollatt 24.4663/27.42
Taylors Trophy Super Street Bike: Jake Mechaell 6.8720/205.34 def. Steve Venables 6.8733/218.03
Leeks Landscapes Funny Bike: Dave Peters 7.3194/188.07 def. Louis Davies 8.1759/108.30
Suzukiperformancespares.co.uk Comp Bike: Shawn Buttigieg 6.7349/198.00 def. Graham Dance, no-show
JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike: Jay Roe 8.6144/137.28 def. Dan De'ath 8.9018/125.96
Atlantic Fluid Tech 9.50 Bike: Rick Sawatzki 9.45554/145.76 def. Dave Hall 9.4363/147.12
Blood Cancer UK ET Bike: Gary Hester 9.1469/147.10 (8.80) def. Robbie Dobbie 10.1984/129.15 (10.20)
Eurodragster.com Junior Drag Bike: Lyra Humber 15.6760/49.20 (15.60) def. Casey Holgate 8.5802/80.11 (8.30)
Subject to official ratification the following records were set:
ACU Comp Bike ET: 6.734, Shawn Buttigieg
The following Santa Pod Raceway track records were set:
Comp Bike ET: 6.6450, Shawn Buttigieg
Comp Bike Speed: 219.06, Shawn Buttigieg
Many thanks to Andy Marrs who has supplied an updated UK & European Bests table which you can view by clicking here or by going to Data, then UK & European Bests in the main menu.
Congratulations to Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET racer Chris Redshaw who won the Eurodragster.com/Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award of £50 supported by Cath and Tig Napier and to Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas racer Collin Morrice who won the Eurodragster.com/Twister Racing Perfect ET award of £50 supported by Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield.
Congratulations also to JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike racers Dan De'ath and Joe Elliott who won the Bob's Photo Finish Award of £50 each posted by sponsor and longtime Eurodragster.com supporter Bob Roberts for the closest finish of a green light and non-break out race. Dan and Joe's finish line margin was 0.0035 seconds or 9.44 inches.
Thanks to David Anniwell of the Santa Pod Timing Crew for sending us detailed timing data, including test day results, which we have posted to our timing data area which you can see by clicking on Data, then Timing Data at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. Official results can be seen at Santa Pod's Official Results Site.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Festival of Power reports, results and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. Please join Simon in thanking Julian, Diana and Paul Lanyon for their hard work over the race weekend, and well done to the Santa Pod Raceway track crew for maintaining a great racing surface throughout including the cold, windy and drizzly Sunday.
We look forward to publishing racer comments on the event tomorrow.
FIA race suit recertification rules.
3rd May: Thanks to FIA Technical Consultant Frans Steilberg who has issued a notification about driver race suit recertification rules:
The SFI Spec for Driver Suits states that all jacket and pants or driver suits that meet the SFI Spec 3.2A/10 or higher (3.2A/15 or 3.2A/20) must be recertified on a five-year interval. Suits with those higher ratings have SFI patches that indicate the year of manufacture or the year of the last recertification. (Please be aware that the five-year recertification period includes the year displayed on the patch)
Below are the recertification dates for the different year patches currently available:
For recertification, owners of driver suits should contact the original manufacturer to be informed about their procedures for returning the suits for inspection and recertification.
On driver suits with sewn-in arm restraints, the date stamped on the arm restraints is a reference date for the manufacturer and has no bearing on the suit's expiration date.
Drag Race Madness Drachten Internationals.
3rd May: Drag race Madness Drachten Internationals 2022 is the all-encompassing name of the event that brings drag racing back to Drachten Airport, writes Remco Scheelings.
Not only in the past two corona years, but also before that it threatened to become quiet around the renowned drag races in the Frisian venue. From 10th-12th June, fast cars and motorcycles will once again take over the airport and transform the runway into Dragstrip Drachten again.
After a period in which it was unclear who would now take the lead in organizing the drag races at Drachten Airport, the corona pandemic ensured that it became completely silent at Drachten Airport, where drag races at national and international levels had taken place had been for decades.
That silence is now coming to an end. At the initiative of DRAG NL, the renowned Drachten Internationals have been revived. The competition portion and timekeeping are in the trusted hands of the Dutch Hot Rod Association (DHRA), while 402 Automotive, known for its many popular car-related events, takes care of promotion and ticket sales. The municipality of Smallingerland, which Drachten falls under, is also behind the restart of the drag races at the airport. In a recent council meeting, after years of uncertainty, clarity was given about the destination of the site. Stichting Vliegveld Drachten is responsible for the operation of the airport, whereby in addition to the existing users, new initiatives will also be developed and it was explicitly stated that there is and will remain room for drag races now and in the future. With a successful Dragrace Madness Drachten Internationals, there are opportunities to organize multiple events and even a full Dutch drag racing championship in the coming years.
The Drag Race Madness Drachten Internationals, which will be held from 10th-12th June, will once again bring a variety of fast and spectacular drag race cars and motorcycles to Drachten. Race cars are in the Pro ET and Super Pro ET classes, and to top it all off is the Extreme Outlaw class. This is where the most extreme and supercharged vehicles come into action. In addition to participants from the Netherlands, teams from Germany, Belgium, England and France are also expected. Of course, the Junior Dragsters will also not be missing from the program, because youth is the future.
From the DHRA, the various street legal classes, ranging from 'regular' street cars to Wild Street, will have competition over the quarter mile. Various engine classes will be present. The range of bike classes varies from Junior Drag Bikes and Street Legal Bikes to the ultra-fast Pro Bikes.
But besides the competitions, there is much more to see and experience at the Dragrace Madness Drachten Internationals. The well-known German Gerd Habermann will provide shows with one of his Jet Cars, a car powered by an aircraft engine. In addition, well-known supercars such as Lamborghinis and McLarens will be on display from other 402 Automotive Madness events. If they dare, they may even go head-to-head on the drag strip against the real drag racing cars.
Dragrace Madness Drachten Internationals is putting drag racing in the Netherlands back on the map and, partly due to the statement from the municipality of Smallingerland about the future of Drachten Airport, can ensure that drivers and fans can enjoy spectacular and exciting races again in the coming years on the quarter mile.
Both registration and ticket sales for the Dragrace Madness Drachten Internationals are now open. For this, see: www.dragracemadness.com.
Pers back on track - at Tierp.
3rd May: Many thanks to Mark 'Animal' Bodimeade of Speedghost Motorsport for updating us on Patrik Pers' immediate racing plans, which sadly exclude attending the FIA/FIM-E Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway:
As promised, we have tried our upmost to resolve our problems with regard to bringing our race team to England for the Main Event. Sadly this is still not doable through no fault of our own, so therefore we have decided to give up on the idea short term, and will not be entering our Nitro Funny Car for this race. We know a lot of fans were looking forward to seeing us, so we apologise in advance.
We are however, going to attend the EDRS race at Tierp on 16th to 19th June where we will test the car for the first time. We look forward to seeing you all there and hopefully we will be putting some good runs in.
3rd May: Happy Birthday for today to Junior Drag Bike builder and crew Simon Holgate, Outlaw Anglia racers Kim Harrison and Rob Nixon, and Trakbak Racing project development consultant Richard Foster-Turner. Have a great day all.
Thanks to photographer Patrick O'Connor who has uploaded 112 photos to his Facebook album. We will publish tomorrow further links to photo collections from the weekend, so do let us know if you've some you would like listed.