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31st July: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway:
MSA Pro Modified: Andy Robinson 6.1451/234.88 def. Marck Harteveld 6.1290/234.88
JT Construction UK Top Sportsman Heads-Up Race: Dave Moore 6.8353/198.896 def. Kev Perkins 7.6382/157.94
JT Construction UK Top Sportsman Fast Bracket: Paul Letchford (8.00) 7.9665/161.35 b/o def. Simon Boot (9.60) 9.3711/146.66 DQ b/o
Nostalgia Super Stock: Dave Billadeau (10.71) 10.6918/126.14 b/o def. Clive Dandridge (14.21) 14.1589/95.02 DQ b/o
Gasser Circus: Ray Turner (12.35) 13.1215/80.35 def. Brian Gibson (11.00) 14.1750/101.18 DQ red
Congratulations also to Gasser Circus racer Martyn Hallam who won the £100 Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award with a 0.0007 Reaction Time in qualifying. The Award has been reset to £50 for the Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored reports, pit notes and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
30th July: Good luck and stay safe to Maja Udtian of the Islanders Drag Racing Team who plans to complete her Top Fuel Dragster licence at Gardermoen today. Terje Håkensbakken tells us that Maja pulled a 0.97 sixty foot time on her first pass on Friday and then ran a half pass yesterday.
Good luck and say safe also to Robin Lantz who is licencing in Stefan Gunarsson's injected-nitro Top Methanol Dragster at Tierp Arena. You can stay in touch with Maja's and Robin's progress courtesy of the webcasts above.
Congratulations to Sverre Dahl who becamse Europe's latest five-second Top Fuel Bike racer with a 5.98 and then 5.93 in qualifying at Gardermoen. First of many we're sure.
Best wishes also to Adam Flamholc who escaped uninjured from a top end crash in eliminations at the NMCA-NMRA Super Bowl at Route 66 Raceway. The Corvette is badly damaged but Adam is not and we look forward to seeing him back at the track doing the usual proud job of representing Europe.
Warpspeed for Hockenheim.
29th July: Thanks to Brin Tourle for forwarding us a pre-NitrOlympX update from the UK's Warpspeed Racing drag bike team:
Stuart Crane (Funny Bike): At the Main Event at Santa Pod everything went really well. The bike ran beautifully and straight as an arrow. I have not made any changes to the bike, just gone through the motor, a clean and freshen up, an oil change and routine maintenance. All the changes we made over the winter made it a new bike. Went down the track straight and a lot smoother to ride, so now we can start adding more power. As I run the Firestorm I can load two settings in the bike which allows me to choose as I go down the track.
My goal this season is to run a 6.8 or lower. At the Main Event the bike was showing the potential to so it as I ran PB after PB, my best sixty foot, eighth, thousand foot and quarter. So at the next meeting in Germany I'm hoping to run a new PB but there's no way I could do this without my team, my crew and our sponsor MPM Oil.
Mark Smith (Pro Stock Bike): Well, where do I start? We changed a lot on the bike over the winter break so we came up to Santa Pod on the Wednesday before the Main Event and met the Warpspeed team to get in some testing and data on the Thursday. We are running a Firestorm and had no base settings. Then came race day so got everything done on the bike, made my first pass and everything seemed to be OK. On the second run I did a burnout and the bike didn't sound right so I killed the motor as I didn't want to break it. I didn't make that run as I lost all of my valve clearance. Dale Leeks sorted that out for me but I didn't get any more runs in that day. Next day first run, did my burnout, got to the line, light went green and away I went. Half way down the track and the motor let go and broke so that was the end for me.
I had some spare time on my hands so changed the motor over ready for Germany and sent the broken motor back with Stuart Crane to be fixed and put back together. Fingers crossed everything will go smoothly at the next meeting in Germany.
I would like to thank all my team, crew and our sponsor MPM Oil and Draper Tools. Without you guys I wouldn't be going to Germany.
Dale Leeks (Funny Bike): We went up to Santa Pod on the Wednesday night to do some testing on Thursday, as we had made a few changes over the winter. The test runs went well and we got some data. I wasn't happy with my first pass on the Saturday so we changed some data and set-up to see if it would help. On the next run the bike was going well but at the top end the engine didn't sound right. I got back to the pit area to see what the problem was and after looking over the motor I discovered it had suffered damage at the top end so that was me out.
The front half is getting much stronger every pass and showing that the big numbers are there if I put in the missing pieces of the puzzle. In Germany we could get that long-awaited six-second pass. To throw a spanner in the works if racing the nitro motorcycle wasn't enough I fractured my leg in a sky-diving incident six weeks before the NitrOlympX. I have had to seek out specialist services to get the bone repair accelerated with laser treatment in the hope that I can get on the bike and do the business pain-free in Germany.
I would like to say a big thank to MPM Oil for their continued support of the team through our European Championship tour.
We couldn't thank our sponsor MPM Oil enough for all their support over the years. They have taken us forward to Germany and supply us with the best products on the market today including top end oils, and their support helps us to match products most suited to our motors. Richard Stevens at MPM also supplies us with sealants, cleaning products and merchandise and our race awning. A lot of companies out there would find it hard to beat their products and knowledge. Check out their web site at www.mpmoil.nl.
From £907 to £1000?
28th July: Emma Doyley of Captain Caveman Racing writes with a huge Thank You to everyone who supported the cake sale in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support over Bug Jam weekend:
We raised a total of £907.05! To anyone who bought cake, stuck stickers on their cars, or simply chucked some money in the pot - thank you.
The support from our friends in Sportmans ET was unbelievable. Unfortunately Gill Medley wasn't able to make it to BugJam but everyone involved did an amazing job of keeping our spirits up over the weekend. A big thank you to the the Clueless Racing team for letting us take over their pit space to hold our cake sale. Thanks must go to Andy Dibley and Eurodragster.com for their very generous donations to the fund after all racing was rained off (You are very welcome - Ed).
Last but not least, thank you to anyone and everyone who baked cakes, the amount of cake was unbelievable and kept the cake sale going over all three days of Bug Jam.
I'd really like to push the total amount raised to £1000, so we will again be taking the car stickers and money pots to the Mopar EuroNationals this weekend. If anyone is feeling generous, please help push us over the £1000 mark.
28th July: Dick Koster of Eurodragster.com sponsor Post en Dros says that the company has a container at Hoosier which is scheduled to leave in two weeks and which has plenty of space for more tyres. "If racers need new tyres for this season or want to stock up for next season then please place an order via my E-Mail address firstname.lastname@example.org", says Dick. Price enquiries can also be sent to the same address.
The EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship is at its halfway point for 2017 and Norway's Gardermoen Raceway is the third track and third country in the Series. Samu Kemppainen, Mogens Lund and home favourites Thomas Lysebraaten Olsen and Jan Sturla Hegre are the leaders in their respective categories after two races, but as at Tierp and Alastaro they will face tough competition. You can read more courtesy of our good buddy Remco Scheelings on the Drag Racing Europe Blog by clicking here.
We have a birthday on the Eurodragster.com team today. Please join Kirstie, Tog and Julian in wishing Pit Reporter, Blog Editor, Links Editor and Photographer Simon a very Happy Birthday. Have a great day buddy.
DFDS ferry discount continues.
28th July: With the NitrOlympX fast approaching photo-journalist Andy Willsheer has been in touch to remind racers that discounts are available on ferry sailings with DFDS.
There is no rate increase in 2017, however in line with DFDS Group policy on all routes a charge has been introduced for each additional driver or passengers. The concessionary rates still offer a considerable discount when compared to DFDS' standard freight tariff and, until further notice, each driver and passenger will be able to take advantage of a free main course offer in the Freight Drivers Road Kings restaurant on board their vessels.
You can download the booking form by clicking here for PDF version or clicking here for Word version.
For more information about DFDS check out their web site at www.dfdsseaways.co.uk but to benefit from the Santa Pod Raceway discount please be sure to use the form, not the web site, to make bookings.
A Kalitta Collective at BDRHoF Gala.
28th July: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is proud to announce that Connie kalitta, Doug Kalitta and Jim Oberhofer or Kalitta Motorsports will be attending its 2017 Gala Awards Dinner to be held at the Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, Surrey on 18th November, and that they will be offering a special charity auction prize for bids to raise funds for the BDRHOF Benevolent Fund.
The prize on offer is a package of two event tickets and Kalitta Motorsport VIP Hospitality tickets to the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, Florida from 15th-18th March 2018. In conjunction with BDRHoF sponsors DialAFlight, the prize includes two return flights from UK to Orlando and seven-day car hire. Up to £500 towards hotel cost booked through DialAFlight is also offered. The prize can only be used at the 2018 NHRA Gatornationals.
In order to bid for this fantastic prize valued at over £2,000, you will need to hold a ticket for the 2017 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner. Bidding will take place in sealed envelopes to be circulated on the day of the dinner and collected during the event. Bidding is open to all attendees except the Board of Directors and Selection Committee of the BDRHoF. The highest bidder will win, and in the event of a tie, the winner will be selected by drawn lot.
BDRHoF Sponsor Partner and international liaison officer Geoff Stilwell said "This is a fantastic prize and we are hugely grateful to Kalitta Motorsports and DialAFlight for their generosity in enabling us to create a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are lining up other amazing prizes for the Gala Dinner so every guest will have several chances to bid."
Jim Oberhofer, Vice President of Operations for Kalitta Motorsports, said "We are thrilled to be attending the BDRHoF Gala awards dinner and the chance to provide hospitality in return for two lucky winners of the charity auction was too good to miss. Congratulations to the BDRHoF for making all this possible."
Connie Kalitta: It takes a special kind of man to run one of the most successful Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster teams on the American drag racing scene while also operating one of the world's largest and award-winning cargo airlines. But 79-year-old Connie Kalitta is such a man. His drag racing career spans seven decades during which he has guided nephew Doug Kalitta and his late son, Scott Kalitta, to victories and Championships. In fact, since its launch in 1959, he or his teams have won six World Championships and over one hundred national event titles. Somehow he also found time to prime Shirley Muldowney's drag racing career, as featured in the film Heart Like A Wheel.
During the 1960s Connie moved steadily up the ranks, first as a Top Gas Dragster driver and then in Top Fuel. It was in Top Gas that Kalitta's Bounty Hunter nickname was coined. He painted a list of drivers he vowed to defeat with a large Wanted at the top and as he beat each one on the list he crossed off the name like a gunslinger, earning the name Bounty Hunter'. He later moved into Funny Cars when match racing Funnies became lucrative.
Connie was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1992 and is the first recipient of the NHRA's Lifetime Achievement Award. He continues to compete at the top level of drag racing on a massive scale, currently fielding a five-car team. His nephew Doug Kalitta gave up a solid driving career in open-wheel sprint cars and midgets to take over a Top Fuel driver's seat. Other Top Fuel dragster team members are Troy Coughlin Jr and Shawn Langdon. JR Todd and Alexis DeJoria drive the team's Funny Cars.
Doug Kalitta is the nephew of Kalitta Motorsports' owner and multiple drag racing Champion Connie Kalitta. Doug formerly raced in USAC events, becoming 1991 USAC Rookie of the Year in the midget series, and winning the 1994 Championship in the Sprint Car category. In a successful USAC career he won twenty one USAC events: fourteen in midget races and seven in sprint competitions. In 1998 he switched to drag racing, successfully driving a Top Fuel Dragster for Kalitta Motorsports. He is fifth on the all-time Top Fuel wins list, netting forty two career wins with eighty eighth career final rounds and winning the NHRA Finals at Pomona in 2016. His quickest Elapsed Time for 1000 feet is 3.686 seconds and his fastest Terminal Speed is 331.85 mph. He also finds time to operate airline Kalitta Charters.
Jim Oberhofer is the Crew Chief for the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster driven by Doug Kalitta, and Vice President of Operations for Kalitta Motorsports, a business with which he first became involved in 1983. Jim's father Dave campaigned a Junior Fueller as well as a Top Fuel Dragster in the 1960s and 1970s so drag racing is in Jim's blood, and in 1988 he joined Kalitta Motorsports full-time, working with Dick LaHaie after 1993 and later Ed 'The Ace; McCulloch. He met his wife Tammy there but sadly she succumbed to cancer in 2013. Jim's daughter Ashley and his brother Jon also work for the business and his book Top Fuel For Life has been much acclaimed. He is a sought-after speaker and media commentator talking about building a successful drag racing team and dealing with family tragedy. Alongside his responsibilities with one of the most successful teams in drag racing, he also finds time to take part in competitive ballroom dancing.
The BDRHoF is now taking reservations for the 2017 Gala Awards Dinner by E-Mail at email@example.com or by telephone on 01933 279102. This year the tickets are priced competitively at £65 which includes a pre-dinner reception. The event always sells out well in advance, so if you would like to join us for the occasion we suggest you make your reservation sooner rather than later. On receiving your reservation you will be given the procedure to book rooms at the negotiated room rate that includes breakfast and VAT as well as parking.
On-going news about the Gala, sponsors and other events in which the BDRHoF is involved will be published on the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame web site at www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk, on Eurodragster.com, and on Facebook and Twitter.
Web site updates.
28th July: Chris Eyre has updated the European Nostalgia Funny Car web site with a write up from the amazing Dragstalgia including videos and photos by Neil Dilkes and Andrew Green. "A massive Thank You to the Santa Pod crew for getting the track dry to enable all sessions of the Cannonball to run", says Chris. "Thank You also to SPR timing team for the numbers and thank you as always to the Eurodragster.com team for the excellent coverage (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed)". You can check it out at euronostalgiafunnycar.jimdo.com.
Paul Lister has updated his Drag Car Anon site with pictures from the FIA Main Event and Dragstalgia. You can take a look at www.dragcaranon.co.uk.
Bug Jam racer credit.
27th July: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall says that racers entered in competition at last weekend's rained-out Bug Jam are to receive a credit against entry at a future event:
Following the cancellation of racing at Bug Jam 31, Santa Pod Raceway and SPRC are offering a £30 credit to all Sportsman racers who were due to compete at the event. The credit can be used at any permitted race event up to and including Bug Jam 32 next year.
SPRC will also be carrying over last weekend's prize fund to Bug Jam 32, so next year's Bug Jam will automatically be a double prize fund event for all of the Sportsman classes. The reason for holding the prize fund to next year is that this year's UK National Finals already has a double prize fund after the SPRC Summernationals was not completed.
If you have any queries about SPRC event entry then please contact Ian Marshall at SPRC on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
50 Shades of Macmillan.
26th July: Reigning UK National Sportsman ET Champion Andy Dibley has been in touch with an update about the weekend's 50ShadesofRacing.com Reaction Time Award:
Thirty four of the thirty eight drivers took part, each put £5 in the hat which topped the prize fund up to a grand total of £220!
When Saturday was rained off it became apparent that the Award could possibly come down to just two qualifying runs. Rain further delaying racing on Sunday, and word spreading round that there would only be a one-shot qualifier, meant there could be a lot at stake on just one run: thirty eight drivers trying to make a thirty two-car field and one person picking up a handful of cash.
Sadly, due to the persistent rain, racing was called and after speaking to all the drivers the prize fund was given to Alan Medley to include in the already-brilliant total made for Macmillan Cancer Support at the Sportsman ET Cake Sale (Several hundred pounds - Ed).
26th July: On behalf of Jake Charman and herself, Lizz Charman has asked us to say a big Happy 50th Birthday to her "Crackers" (Unquote - Ed) husband, Top Fuel Bike racer Kev Charman. Sure thing Lizz, have a very Happy Birthday Kev.
Continuing the recent thread of when the first drag race took place, photo-journalist Mike Collins thinks that there is a good case for Florida 1902 being viewed as the date. You can check out Mike's pretty tight reasoning by clicking here (PDF format).
UK Pro ET racer Brian Huxley has been in touch to recommend the Engine Super Coolant manufactured by Eurodragster.com sponsor Lucas Oil Products. "We are blown away by how good it is", says Brian. We used it in the V8 Ford motor of our Dark Horse Mustang and we found that it works excelllently. We can recommend it to anyone with overheating problems - one bottle was enough to do the job in our car."
Mopars Perfection extended.
26th July: We are very pleased to announce that Cath and Tig Napier of the UK's Bad Habit Racing Pro ET team, who sponsor the Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award, have extended coverage of the Perfect Light Award at this weekend's Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway. Ordinarily the Award is available in National Championship classes but this weekend the Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award will be available in JT Construction Top Sportsman, the Gasser Circus and Nostalgia Super Stock as well as in MSA Pro Modified.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been increased to £100 after it could not be won at Bug Jam. The Award will be paid in cash to the first racer in MSA Pro Modified, JT Construction Top Sportsman, the Gasser Circus or Nostalgia Super Stock to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available during qualifying and eliminations, not RWYB, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £125 for the Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the Open Sport Nationals.
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals will be available in the Signing On office from Friday morning or from the Eurodragster.com office in Race Control (entry via Spectator Bank side stairs only).
26th July: Race fans are spoilt for choice for webcasts this weekend.
First up is the NDRG Drag Challenge from Gardermoen which starts tomorrow (Thursday) and whose webcast commences on YouTube on Friday. You will be able to tune in by clicking here.
Starting at lunchtime on Friday is Eurodragster.com's Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast from the Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway. Broadcast will commence just before the track opens, which is scheduled for 12:00 midday, and will continue so long as the track is open each day. You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Mopar EuroNationals Event Index, which includes links to the official entry lists and webcast, by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Our buddies at Nitro FM will also be streaming at www.eurodragster.com/nitrofm, and of course broadcasting at the track on 96.2 FM, from 07:00 Friday morning.
The RaceStar Nats takes place at Tierp Arena on Saturday and Sunday and the guys at Nitroz.se will be providing a webcast which you will be able to watch at www.nitrozplay.se.
Don't forget that you can find a comprehensive list of drag racing webcasts from around the planet on the excellent 1320Online web site at www.1320online.com.
Event entry update.
25th July: Many thanks to Paul Marston for forwarding us Version 4 of the official entry list for JT Construction UK Top Sportsman which takes place during this weekend's Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out the UK Top Sportsman entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Thanks also to Ian Marshall for forwarding Version 1 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM European Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 7th-10th September. You can check out the European Finals entry list by clicking here. Entry closes on 11th August after which entry, if accepted, may be subject to a Late Entry penalty. You can download the official entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
Feature: Bowling Green Blog.
24th July: The latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products is Rob Loaring's account of the Havoc Fuel Altered team's recent successful outing at the National Hot Rod Reunion at Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Rob's highly-entertaining and informative Blog commences with pre-event work in the workshop shared with the Rat Trap team and continues to the end of the race.
You can check out Rob Loaring's Bowling Green Blog by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Bug Jam rained out.
24th July: No qualifying or eliminations took place at the weekend's Bug Jam at Santa Pod Raceway after rain washed out competition sessions on both Saturday and Sunday. RWYB took place on Friday and for a while on Saturday before the weather took over.
Obviously neither the Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award nor the Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award supporting Bloodwise were won and so have been increased to £100 for this weekend's Mopar EuroNationals and to £75 for August's Open Sport Nationals respectively.
In the absence of a single competitive pass the £100 prize money for Eurodragster.com Sportsman ET was added to the money collected at Friday's coffee and cake morning in aid of the Macmillan Cancer Fund, and the box of Quality Street which was also up for grabs was passed to Alan Medley to give to wife Gill who was unwell at the weekend. The 50 Shades of Racing prize for Reaction Time was also put into the Macmillan pot; there will be more about this shortly.
Saturday's RWYB was marred by the top end crash of Sam and Olly Young's Black Current Beetle, however Sam was thankfully unhurt and set some sort of record for exiting a car.
We were able to post three galleries; you can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Event Coverage by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
24th July: John Goodman, to whom thanks for the picture also, writes that the new PBR Top Fuel Bike designed and built by Phil Baimbridge took to the track for the first time at Shakespeare County Raceway at the weekend. Ridden by former Top Fuel Harley rider Al Smith the unique three-cylinder machine performed a couple of noisy burnouts to allow him to get used to the feel of the Baimbridge designed and built machine. An attempt at an eighth had to be abandoned after an oil feed came loose after the burnout. The team are very happy with the results of testing and John can confirm that it has a unique sound and is very loud.
Staying on two wheels, Kerryanne van den Berg has been in touch with an urgent request for a five-speed auto gear and shift drum for Bobby Frazier's Comp / Pro Stock Bike. If you can help then please contact Kerryanne on 07703 343534.
We have no less than three birthdays today. First up is a very Happy Birthday to Heaven & Hell and Earsplittenloudenboomer team member, Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member and Contributing Photographer Grace Roaf. Have a lovely day Grace. By one of those nice coincidences which you get all too seldom it is also the birthday of Grace's mum Mary Roaf. Happy Birthday and hope you have a lovely day too Mary. Finally another big Happy Birthday to our good friend Lotta Andersson. Have a lovely day Lotta.
Bennetts join the Posse.
24th July: UK blown-alcohol altered team Bennett Racing are delighted to announce their latest team sponsor, Pit Posse Motorsports:
Pit Posse Motorsports are an on-line retailer and manufacturer of motorsport and motorcycle accessories, tools and trailer / garage / shop accessories and more, upporting some of the top racers and race teams in the game including Trey Canard, Justin Barcia, Haiden "Danger Boy" Deegan, Traders MX Racing, and now Bennett Racing.
Barrett Smith, Regional Sales and Marketing Director, said "We're delighted to have our name associated with one of the best and well-known drag racing teams in Europe. They have two phenomenal cars which are very exciting to watch."
Bennett Racing are grateful to all at Pit Posse and we're really looking forward to the future working with them!
Won the Circus, won the Wars.
22nd July: The Gasser Circus reached a new milestone over Dragstalgia weekend with the biggest field ever assembled: no less than twenty six Gassers were on the plot. Nick Brooke Langham writes:
The ranks of cars waiting to do battle were boosted by four Gassers which had made the long trip from Sweden and the ever present and popular Laurent Levi hauling in from the South of France. Qualifying looked like it could be a frantic affair and upsetting as ten Gassers would miss out on Sunday!
Mechanical gremlins were set to reduce the field with Gas Guzzler and Honky Tonkin' not making it down the fire up road. Old Harper made it down but sadly did not make it through the burnout.
The stars of qualifying were definitely the Swedish drivers as they brought a whole new meaning to the term "Rolling burnout". More often than not they burnt out until mid-track but Stefan Flodell in his Chevy Nova and Kjell Anderson aka Lufson in his 1956 Crown Victoria on occasion hit the 1000-foot mark. The stands, starting crew and fellow racers loved it.
Unfortunately once qualifying was done only two of the Swedish cars were in the show with Bengt Eriksson's 57 Chevy Rattler and Lufson in his Dog Catcher 56 Ford. Missing out on the UK side were a few regulars more used to racing on Sunday, with Bad n Blown, Gas Junkie and Sean Milson in his Ain't Misbehavin Morris missing out on Sunday. He however had the consolation of being one of the five quickest UK cars and he would along with Honky Tonkin' 2, Psychedelic Relic, Wragged Wedge and The Mighty Mouse be representing the UK in the Gasser Wars! This was a heads up race against the five European Gassers.
With rain affecting chunks of Saturday, Santa Pod took the decision to extend racing until 9:00 pm. At around 7:20 the ten Gasser Wars cars were in the fire up road paired up and ready for battle. First up was the pairing of Katie Booth and Stefan Flodell who did another huge rolling burnout. As the lights dropped both cars left greens on the tree but by three quarter track Katie was ahead a lead she held over the line the UK going up 1-0. The second pair were already burning out with Lee Pike in Honky Tonkin' 2 deciding he needed to get in on the rolling burnout show, and a very fine half-track burnout followed. In the other lane Leif Ostberg in his Sharp Teeth Barracuda had warmed his slicks. When the two cars left, Honky Tonkin' was on one with the UK going up 2–0.
Next up was the Dog Catcher, a 1956 Ford Crown Victoria, with the crazy Kjell (Lufson) Anderson behind the wheel. He knew he had to register a win for the Europeans or it was all over. He did his by now customary rolling burnout and Tim Holmes in his Wragged Wedge Dodge patiently waited until the Ford was backing up before commencing his burnout. The cars ran hard but the honour of the Swedes was upheld with Lufson taking the win it was now 2–1. Sean Milsom and Laurent Levi were next up with the both burning out at the same time. Sean's reaction to the tree was somewhat slow, he later confirming he intentionally did this as he did not want to hand the win out on the start line with a cherry. Sean was now chasing down the ever-fast Laurent, at the lights he had just edged ahead, this meant that the UK Gasser Circus had just secured an unassailable lead in the Gasser Wars 3–1.
As eyes turned to the final pair something was missing, the '57 Chevy of Bengt Eriksson, as Merv Barnett was already warming his slicks but the nearside lane remained empty. Unfortunately Bengt had issues in the fire up road when his 57 Chevy refused to start. This was later traced to a faulty relay. This left Merv on a solo pass which concluded the Gasser Wars in the favour of the UK with a 4-1 win. Just as well it wasn't penalties!
Back in the pits the two sides celebrated with a bottle of bubbly putting in a brief appearance, and as the bubbles vanished the Gasser Circus barbecue was underway. The racers and crews gathered around and in just over ninety minutes we had fed over one hundred people. The socialising and bench racing went on well into the next day.
Sunday was race day and within the Gasser Circus pits preparations were underway for a full day's racing. Two of our Swedish visitors who had not qualified would still get to keep on running, tagging on at the end of each round of eliminations. This was to prove costly for Bengt and his 57 Chevy Rattler and a lot of work for the start line crew, as the car was just about to emulate its name. As Bengt prepared to race Hoch in the B & G Falcon his launch was followed by a metallic-based bang and exiting under the car was a contorted, twisted and split propshaft and various parts of the diff! Afterwards Bengt was quite philosophical about it and still had a smile on his face, especially as he rode back up the fire up road with the propshaft gaffa-taped across his pushbike with the gear drive and pinion shaft occupying the shopping basket on the front!
Lufson in his Dog Catcher Crown Victoria then suffered an issue with its transmission as he lost out to Katie Booth in The Mighty Mouse Pop. Laurent took on Goldrush driven by Kev Strevett and lost, Kev would then face the winner of the clash between Mick Allen in Horrid Henry or Tim Holmes in Wragged Wedge. Kev would race and win against Tim advancing his golden car to the semi-finals. Mighty Mouse took on B&G racing with B&G coming out on top, it stayed that way when they raced Goldrush. This time Ty Strevett was driving and he laid down a huge burnout. This filled the car with tyre smoke and as Dad Kev tried to fan it out of the car by means of the driver's door, he was directed to move away. He complied, but the car was till packed full of smoke and as Ty edged towards the line he could not see the Christmas Tree. Somehow he staged and as he flew down the strip you could not really see him because the car was in a white out inside! B&G Racing had no such problems, and took the win.
On the other side of the ladder it was the battle of the Willys brand with John Gumble's Willys pickup, this weekend piloted by Tom Margessen, and the 33 Willys of Martyn Hallam. Tom was getting a good handle on the car and soon put Martyn on the trailer. Harvey Turner was driving father Ray's Green Onions 55 Chevy and he was up against Lee Pike and Jerry Denning in their Honky Tonkin' 2 Nova. Harvey is consistent and it showed when the lights at the finish line lit up as they did over his lane. Next up were the Gibson brothers, in a re-run of the final from Nostalgia Nationals, but this time in Round 1 of eliminations. The brothers always run hard against each other, and when they got to the top end John had the win, but did he? First round elimination threw up a glitch with the Santa Pod system, with some cars were receiving, not only a win light but the words 'winner' on their timing slip, which in a few cases was not correct. John had in fact broken out so actually lost to Brian. I hoped I may have been one of these as in my first round race in Nogbad the Bad, I had dialled in 11.66 and ran 11.66 but lost. The slip was correct and closer review showed that Merv Barnett in the other lane was the winner, treeing me off the line!
Stefan tagged on at the back of eliminations but was nursing his engine. This curtailed his next rolling burnout to half track! When he got back to the pits he was surprised when he was the recipient of a pair of upholstered racing seats donated by another sponsor of the Gasser Circus, Matt the Stitch who chose Stefan to receive them due to his awesome rolling burnouts.
Back on this side of the ladder, Tom in Rat Poison saw off Brian in Identity Crisis and Merv in his light blue Pop brought an end to Harvey's afternoon in Green Onions. The second semi-final had Merv taking on Tom in the 38 Willys pickup, however Tom's luck was about to run out, with Merv putting in yet another supremely fast and consistent mid ten-second run.
With the 5:00 pm curfew fast approaching, the final pair burnt out and we realised this was not only a Bristol final but also a battle of the Grandads! Merv Barnett in his gorgeous period Pop, and John (Hoch) Grant in the B&G Racing Falcon. Both cars left hard on clean passes, they were side by side all the way, the win light coming on in Merv's lane. A quick look at the times confirmed that Hoch had run faster than his dial in. Despite this the team deserve a big pat on the back, as the engine having spun bearings at the previous meet was still in pieces on Wednesday night.
A delighted Merv picked up his Winners Trophy and the tools supplied by one of our sponsors Speedking. Laurent Levi picked up the Number 1 Qualifier Voucher and the Gasser Circus proudly collected the Gasser Wars trophy on the start line.
It was a weekend of winners, as we got to race with some fantastic like-minded visitors from Sweden and France and make a whole new bunch of friends along the way. Gasser Wars 2018 anyone?
The Gasser Circus wish to thank the Santa Pod crew who kept all the racers safe, the backroom team and commentators for all their hard work. We also want to say thank you to all the drivers who visited from Sweden and France and our sponsors the National Street Rod Association, Speedking and Matt the Stitch.
Nearly set for the salt.
22nd July: Further to his news item of 22nd June, Land Speed racer and sponsor of various drag racing parties Geoff Stilwell of Beech Underwriting has been in touch with an update on his racing trip to Bonneville Speed Week:
Following my quick trip to the Rat Trap race shop a few weeks ago to get the seat cell poured, Brian Hope has really been burning the midnight oil to get 7551 Landspeed car ready plus fitting in races with the Rat Trap Fuel Altered in Canada and elsewhere. The newly freshened motor is ready with its new dry dump system, electronic fuel injection and of course the Procharger. The new on-board computer system has to have a new wiring loom which will take time to wire up and we need to make sure that everything on the car is compliant with the SCTA construction rules so we don't have any surprises on any record run.
The salt at Bonneville has really improved over last year and this year we will have four courses on which to run compared to three last year. Joining us on our quest this year will be Nigel and Jordan Payne (junior drag racer) plus Eurodragster.com reporter Simon plus a number of our US friends including Bob and Sharon Muravez, Carl Olson, Steve Gibbs, Ed McCulloch, Al Teague and Marvin Graham to name a few.
Make no mistake, this project takes up a lot of time so many people give their time and input to make this happen. I thank my family for letting me do this. Ron and Brian Hope and the Hope family for everything they have done to make this happen. Plus I need to thank 'Genius' Ed Iskenderian the Camfather for coming onboard and helping put together a very special cam just for this motor, Technocraft Cabinets for kitting out our trailer, Rat Trap Racing LSR and not forgetting Bob and Sharon Muravez whose help, encouragement, advice and support has been endless.
The whole project is being filmed for TV and should be going to air later this year so, many thanks go to Ray Iddings, known for filming the IHRA NitroJam seriesm for taking on this project . Clips will be uploaded as soon as we can.
If anyone wants to follow our project then please visit www.scta-bin.org. Bonneville Speed week starts on 12th August and there will be a live feed. We will be reporting on our adventures while we are there. If anyone else is making the trip come to find us and say hello.
Web site updates.
22nd July: Our good buddy Remco Scheelings has updated Drag Racing Europe Blog with a review of Janne Koskinen's first outing in EDRS Pro MC Pro Stock Bike at the FHRA Nitro Nationals, a début which had both good and bad aspects. Sensationalists who compete to post bad news on Facebook feigning concern for the victim and / or who get on our case for not webcasting the aftermath of accidents might like to read and digest the views of one such victim, i.e. Janne, on the subject. You can take a look by clicking here.
Paul Bryan has posted a huge Dragstalgia gallery on his Flickr site at www.flickr.com/photos/paulbryan_photopedia.
21st July: Many thanks to Paul Marston for forwarding us Version 3 of the official entry list for JT Construction UK Top Sportsman which takes place during next weekend's Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to our good buddy, His Worshipful Protuberance The Very Reverend Sir Neville Mottershead ODE. Have a great day Nev.
No Prep, no problem.
21st July: Paul Marston has also been in touch on behalf of the organisers of the Gearhead Garage No Prep Nationals at North Weald to express sincere thanks to everyone who participated and spectated:
The first No Prep Nationals to be held in this country was blessed with great weather and some awesome competitors, and was a success by any standards. The format was very simple: £125 to enter, two test hits, eighth mile, no times and no speeds, numbers out of the hat to determine the pairings. Heads up, first past the post, there was no way of telling who was going to win.
The final paired Dave Wiggins in his Matt Black Chevy II against head honcho of Taz Racing Chris Skinner in his diminutive SBC-powered Fiat 126. Dave took it by a nose - it was very, very close and needed the finish line video camera to separate them.
A special Thank You goes out to Jeff and Belinda Bull of Jeff Bull Race Engines who threw in another £250 cash on top of the posted prize money of £1000 cash for the winner and £100 for the runner-up.
From what we can tell, everyone was happy. It was great fun and there was a lot of close and entertaining racing. You can see the short film shot and edited by Aaron Springford on YouTube by clicking here.
Thank Yous go out to Tony Huck and his crew at Maitland Racing for hosting us, the velvety commentary tone of the legendary John Price, all the No Prep competitors for making it such a great event, Mick Pusey at Gearhead Garage for the one-off event T-Shirts, Jeff and Belinda Bull of Jeff Bull Racing Engines for the extra cash, all the PMR crew who ran the event so smoothly, and last but by no means least Aaron Springford for the filming and Grace and Tog from Eurodragster.com for support and coverage (Thanks! You're welcome - Ed).
We hope to be at North Weald next year but would also consider other venues. So if anyone fancies some of the most exciting racing you will ever witness, contact us: all we need is about a quarter mile of anything flat! We will take it from there and the crowds will love it. Contact Paul on email@example.com or call 07831 650230.
Allard Awards still open.
21st July: Entries for the 2017 Sydney Allard Media Awards for Written and Photographic Journalism will be closing on 31st August.
If you are a writer, photographer or producer of videos posted on YouTube, amateur or professional, and have not yet entered then you are urged to do so before it is too late as the deadline cannot be extended. Entries must reflect coverage of British drag racing and associated activities during the twelve months ending 31st July.
The winning entrant in each category, together with a companion, will be invited to attend the Hall of Fame Gala on 18th November where they will receive a crystal trophy in recognition of their achievement.
Full entry details are available on the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame web site at www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk, and you can download the official entry form (Word format) by clicking here. Completed forms should be E-Mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the relevant attachments or links.
Event entry update.
20th July: Entry is now open for the APIRA MSA / ACU Open Sport Nationals, a round of the UK National Drag Racing Championships, ACU UK Drag Bike Championships and other series, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 26th-28th August.
Official entry forms can be downloaded from the track's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk. Racers are encouraged to pay their entry fee by bacs rather than credit/debit card or cheque as this cuts down on administrative charges and time. APIRA's account details can be found on the entry forms.
Mopar EuroNats racer update.
20th July: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for forwarding us details of the arrangements for next week's Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway.
Friday 28th July
09:00 Gates open for the weekend
11:00 Signing On office opens
12:00 Track opens for Run What You Brung (DVLC licences only)
14:00 Scrutineering commences, no specific order (details)
20:00 Signing On office closes
Saturday 29th July
08:00 Signing On office opens
08:00 Scrutineering commences, no specific order (details)
10:00 Track opens
Sunday 30th July
07:30 Signing On office opens
07:30 Scrutineering commences
10:00 Track opens
The official MSA Pro Modified entry list has been updated and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Running orders for MSA Pro Modified and JT Construction UK Top Sportsman are managed by the organisers and will be posted when available.
No race vehicle motors are to be fired up before 09:00 or after 20:00 on any day of the event including Friday's RWYB. Before 09:00 on any day vehicles should be pushed or towed to Scrutineering, not driven or ridden. Non-observation of curfew will result in exclusion from the event.
Only race officials and SPR staff are allowed in Race Control whilst racing is underway. Should racers wish to raise any matter with race officials then please do not visit Race Control; please firstly see the Race Secretary who is based in Signing On.
Colour commentators are requested to come to Commentary only when their class is at the head of the lanes, to vacate Commentary as soon as their class has run, and not to bring guests to Commentary with them.
The Eurodragster.com office at the Bankside end of Race Control is similarly out of bounds during racing except to Eurodragster.com staff, Zeon TV crew and racers or crew collecting Perfect Award money.
Pursley takes Street Racer title.
20th July: Chris Murty has been in touch with a review of the recent 40th Street Racer Championship at York Raceway:
As the sun rose on Sunday morning and weary racers made their way out of their caravans or tents, there were three recent Street Racer winners ready and waiting in the pits: Russ Pursley with his nitrous Chevrolet-powered Dutton, Ian Walley and his turbo big-block Ford Cortina and Simon Boot and the Blown BBC Bootlegger Camaro. All three were on brand new street tyres which made qualifying very interesting with tyres not yet bedded in, meaning the drivers really had to drive their cars.
After three rounds of qualifying, Simon Boot was in the #1 spot with a 10.03, Russ Pursley with a 10.05 in #2, wild card and unknown racer Ged Jefferson with his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution #3 with 10.06 and Ian Walley #4 with a 10.2. The top three were within three hundredths of each other, this laid out what was going to be a thrilling Street Racer Championship.
Round 1: Peter Richardson in his Honda Civic sporting cheater slicks, which are allowed for FWD, was the only FWD representative in the top eight and was up against Ged. Pete was out the traps with a 0.5 Reaction (on other timing equipment would be 0.0) but lost out, running 11.7 to Ged who chose that moment to run a new PB of 9.6. The rest of the Street Racer competitors were unnerved by the wild card, it was clear this wasn't going to be a three-horse race. Simon Boot was paired up with Andy Crolla and his Camaro, Simon got his nose ahead and did what he needed to do, running a 10.7 to Andy's losing 11.8.
Ian Walley was up against Brian Coward's Subaru floor-panned Escort. Brian knew he needed to cut a good light to be in a position to be competitive, but unfortunately he set off before the green, handing the win to Ian who was still trying to get the car back to where it was last event, running an off the pace 10.7. James Murray in the Rover V8 powered Cortina estate running Megasquirt and nitrous v Russ Pursley who found form, winning comfortably with a 9.6, James running a new PB of 11.6.
Round 2 (semi-final): Simon Boot vs Ian Walley. A replay of the 2016 Street Racer Championship final - both cars ran 10.7 in the previous round, both drivers frantically adjusting suspension, tyre pressures, doing everything they could to get the best out of their vehicle. Both drivers not wanting to red light and let the car do the racing, both reactions were 0.97 (0.47), both sixty foots were 1.7 - Simon just started to get his nose in front at the eighth markers with a 6.7 to Ian's 6.8. Simon then opened the lead and took the win running 9.9 to Ian's losing 10.4.
Russ v Ged - both cars ran 9.6 in the previous round, so on paper it was going to be another close race. Ged was out the traps first, Russ' sixty foot was better though with a 1.5 to Ged's 1.6. At the eighth markers, Russ had stretched the lead to four tenths - a 6.1 to Ged's 6.5. Ged didn't lose any more ground and went through the traps with a 9.8 but losing to Russ' 9.4.
The final: As is now traditional, the Street Racer Championship final was the very last run of the day. Both finalists were busy tinkering and changing their set-ups, then it was final time. The crowed stayed back and the other racers came down to watch.
Burnouts done (both drivers preferring a rolling burnout), both backed up, chute pins removed, rolled in to stage, revs up, lights dropped...
Russ was out of the traps first but only by eight thousandths of a second (0.7708 to Simon's 0.7788 ). Russ got the better sixty foot with a 1.6 to Simon's 1.7. He stretched out the lead at the eighth with 6.4, Simon had to pedal to straighten the car, following Russ with a 6.6 eighth mile. With Russ just in the lead the next stage of nitrous unsettled the car and he had to pedal it straight, Simon caught up and they were now neck and neck through the finish. Both drivers had no idea who had won as they went through the traps, they turned around at the bottom of the track and returned for the presentation. The scoreboards showed 9.83 for Russ and 9.83 for Simon. Only the win light gave us an indication of the winner.
Congratulations to Russ Pursley - the 40th Street Racer Champion winning with a 9.8340 and commiserations to Simon Boot, who narrowly missed out, losing with a 9.8391.
Thank you to all our sponsors for helping us raise the £1000 prize fund: Blue Bar Caterers, AB Auto Performance, Evil Tuning, La Racing Parts, Max Car Care, Nationwide Electrical Ltd, Northrace Speedshop, Performance Unlimited and The Turbo Shop. Thanks to Aford Award and the PDRC.
Pictures courtesy and copyright Richard Smith.
And the prize goes to...
19th July: Regular and / or attentive readers will know that Eurodragster.com will be sponsoring Sportsman ET at this weekend's Bug Jam at Santa Pod Raceway. Today we are pleased to announce exactly what it is that the winner will receive.
The winner of Eurodragster.com Sportsman ET at Bug Jam will receive a box of Quality Street. As if that is not enough, the winner will also be presented with £100 cash. In the event that eliminations do not complete the cash and the box of Quality Street will be presented to the number one qualifier.
Racers please note that to win the money and the confectionery Eurodragster.com decals must be carried, one on each side of the vehicle. Eurodragster.com decals are available in Signing On and from the Eurodragster.com office.
Don't forget that Andy Dibley and the Fifty Shades of Racing team will be posting a prize for the weekend's best cumulative Reaction Time in Eurodragster.com Sportsman ET, with up to £250 potentially up for grabs. You can read more about that on our news update of 21st June.
19th July: It has been called the Burnout of the Century and if you weren't at Dragstalgia on Friday to witness Arne Kallevik's tremendous smoker for yourself then we are pleased to present this clip from our Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast. If you watch full-screen then you should be able to spot Arne's right head gasket saying "Enough!" as he passes the 330-foot reflector.
Many thanks to Andy Marrs and SPRC's timing crew for forwarding the official Timing Data from Dragstalgia, which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Jay, Michelle, mum and dad and the rest of the team at Orange Pop racing would like to wish a massive Happy Birthday to UK Serck Motorsport Outlaw Anglia racer Simon Barlow. "Have a great day Simon and a wonderful year ahead", they say, adding "See you all back on the track soon".
Editor's note: We have a small backlog of news which we will clear on the next update, but we always have room for more so please keep the news coming to email@example.com.
Bug Jam Perfect Awards.
19th July: This weekend's Bug Jam at Santa Pod Raceway is the latest event in the 2017 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme. £125 is on offer for perfect performance.
The Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been increased to £75 after it went unclaimed at Dragstalgia. The Award will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds in competition. The Perfect Light Award is available to racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £100 for next week's Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the Mopar EuroNationals. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Bad Habit Racing (Cath and Tig Napier, Pro ET).
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 the Signing On office or from the Eurodragster.com staff.
The Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award supporting Bloodwise has been reset to £50 after it was won by ET Bike racer Joe Elliott at the SPRC Summernationals. The Award will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to run an ET to the thousandth of a second on dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available during qualifying or eliminations in VW Pro, VW Sportsman and Eurodragster.com Sportsman ET, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect ET of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway in July; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the Open Sport Nationals. The Perfect ET Award is presented by Derek and Fiona Flynn of Eurodragster.com sponsor Gold RV in support of Bloodwise; you can donate to Bloodwise at www.bloodwise.org.uk.
To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers are required to carry Eurodragster.com / Bloodwise decals, one on each side of the vehicle. If you pull an event's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals then there will be no discussion; we will not pay out and the next person to pull a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals. Decals are available in the Signing On office.
Bug Jam racer update.
18th July: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for forwarding us details of the arrangements for this weekend's Bug Jam at Santa Pod Raceway.
Please note that the gate times have changed from those detailed on the final instructions.
Thursday 20th July
12:00 Gates open
21:00 Gates close
Friday 21st July
09:00 Gates open for the weekend
12:00 Track opens for RWYB (NB DVLC licences only)
14:00 Scrutineering opens, no class order (details)
19:00 Track closes
Saturday 22nd July
08:00 Signing On office opens
08:00 Scrutineering opens, no class order (details)
09:30 Track opens for RWYB (NB DVLC licences only)
15:00 RWYB ends, track closes for prep
16:00 Track opens for qualifying
20:00 Track closes
Sunday 23rd July
08:00 Signing On office opens
08:00 Scrutineering opens
09:30 Track opens for qualifying and eliminations
The provisional running orders are available and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Please note as ever that running orders are subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.
No race vehicle motors are to be fired up before 09:00 or after 20:00 on any day of the event including Friday's RWYB. Before 09:00 vehicles should be pushed or towed to Scrutineering, not driven or ridden. Non-observation of curfew will result in exclusion from the event.
Junior racers please remember the rule about pushing vehicles back to the pits once through the arch beside Scrutineering.
Only race officials and SPR staff are allowed in Race Control whilst racing is underway. Should racers wish to raise any matter with race officials then please do not visit Race Control; please firstly see the Race Secretary who is based in Signing On.
Colour commentators are requested to come to Commentary only when their class is at the head of the lanes, to vacate Commentary as soon as their class has run, and not to bring guests to Commentary with them.
The Eurodragster.com office at the Bankside end of Race Control is similarly out of bounds during racing except to Eurodragster.com staff, Zeon TV crew and racers or crew collecting Perfect Award money.
Diapers at the NitrOlympX.
17th July: Frans Steilberg has been in touch with an important message for Sportsman racers running at the NitrOlympX at Hockenheim in August:
All Pro ET and Super Pro ET cars running 9.90 or quicker must have an accepted lower engine oil-retention device (diaper). A belly pan may be used in lieu of a device attached to the engine; the belly pan must extend from frame rail to frame rail and extend forward of the harmonic balancer and rear of the engine block and must incorporate a minimum two inch high (51 mm) lip on all sides unless specified in Class Requirements.
A non-flammable, oil-absorbent liner is mandatory on the inside of the retention device in order to prevent oil spilling out.
If you have any further questions regarding the technical rules at the NitrOlympX please contact Frans at firstname.lastname@example.org.
17th July: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway:
Nostalgia Cannonball final: Ramon van der Weurf 6.3594/216.13 def. Tony Betts 6.5146/214.87 DQ red light
Nostalgia Cannonball 3rd-4th: Tim Garlick 6.7469/155.79 def. Robin Read 6.6920/199.89
Slingshot Showdown: Bob Hawkins 6.6604/194.72 def. Joe Bond 11.8367/50.66 DQ red light
Serck Motorsport Outlaw Anglia: Jedd Guy 8.0398/154.68 def. Mick Taylor 8.5121/159.06
Nostalgia Super Stock: Adam Nowak (10.94) 10.9732/120.12 def. Lee Chiles (11.03) 11.0416/122.49 DQ red light
Gasser Circus: Merv Barnett (10.49) 10.5385/125.48 def. John Grant (11.67) 11.6614/115.93 DQ breakout
Wild Bunch Top Four: Bob Morgan, Des Taylor, Liz Malcolm, Jim Tanner
Nostalgia Pro Stock Bike: Andy Lambert 8.9888/147.60 bye
Spirit of 1976 Award (presented courtesy of Peter Crane): Claire Meaddows
Best Back-Up Girl / Guy: Jemma and Nicole, Serck Motorsport Outlaw Anglia
Burnout of the Weekend: Arne Kallevik, Slingshot Showdown
Moment of the Weekend: Radio-controlled Fuel Altered hits the wall
Low ET: Tim Garlick, Nostalgia Cannonball
Driving Job of the Weekend: Henri Lübke, Supercharged Outlaws
Spirit of Dragstalgia: Giedrius Jurevicius, Invitational RWYB
Wheelstand of the Weekend: Vito Versluys, Outlaw Flat Four
Best Appearing Team: Team Ballbreaker, Wild Bunch
Best Appearing Vehicle: Jamie Faulkner, Wild Bunch Altered
The Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award was not won and so has been increased to £75 for this weekend's Bug Jam at Santa Pod Raceway.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored reports, results, pit notes and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Bradbury inducted into Hall of Fame.
15th July: A special British Drag Racing Hall of Fame ceremony has been held on the start line at Santa Pod Raceway to induct former Santa Pod Raceway Chief Starter and BDRHoF Honorary Chairman and Stu Bradbury. It had to be special because, to protect the integrity of the selection process, the rules of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame prevent those on the Selection Board and the Management Board from being inducted. However it was felt that in the case of Stu these rules needed breaking and with the unanimous backing of both Boards, the Honorary International Ambassadors, ten randomly-selected existing inducted members and BDRHoF Benefactor Geoff Stilwell, he was presented with his crystal trophy along with a special certificate.
Few personalities in British drag racing are as well-known and respected as Stu Bradbury. For years he served as Chief Starter at Santa Pod Raceway and subsequently became Founding Chairman of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, which has since achieved international acclaim.
Stu discovered drag racing in 1964 not at one of Sydney Allard's International Drag Festival events, but at a famous stately home, Woburn Abbey. Performing in a pop group at a function there, he stumbled across a display organised by the British Hot Rod Association, then a sparse group of enthusiasts with a dream of organised drag racing in the UK. The hot rods and dragsters on show struck a chord with Stu and he joined the club, beginning a love affair with drag racing that has lasted over fifty years.
In 1965, Stu and his parents provided accommodation to Club Chairman John Bennett while a permanent drag strip was being developed on Podington aerodrome, a disused wartime base located near Stu's Wellingborough home. Stu himself lent a hand building Europe's first permanent drag racing venue, christened Santa Pod Raceway.
Santa Pod opened in 1966. Stu spent non-race weekends digging and painting, while his first race day job was crowd control. The following year he was promoted to Deputy Starter and then Chief Starter in 1968. Stu encountered his first American racers when the American Commandos team visited Santa Pod in 1966, and Scandinavian, Dutch and even South African entrants followed. Stu controlled the line when Don Schumacher and Paula Murphy brought over their Funny Cars in 1973 and when Don Garlits made his historic appearances in 1976 and 1977. Many other US stars he started included Tony Nancy, Raymond Beadle, Gene Snow, Don Prudhomme, Sammy Miller and TC Christenson.
Stu even spent time on America's NHRA start line with Buster Couch. Alongside these drag racing stars, show business personalities became involved and Stu's circle of friends encompassed many household names.
In 1990 Stu quit as Chief Starter to join then-employer John Woolfe Racing in a venture to develop Long Marston Airfield into an NHRA-sanctioned track. Local planners thwarted the full plans, but the track continues today as Shakespeare County Raceway. Stu joined UK parts supplier US Automotive on its launch and also assisted Top Fuel Dragster star Andy Carter.
Remembering departed friends, in 2005 Stu and several colleagues founded the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, his chief focus since then, together with the restoration of Europe's first dragster, Sydney Allard's 1961 Allard Chrysler. He has lent support to Santa Pod's Dragstalgia meeting, now Europe's premier nostalgia drag racing event.
Stu's personal credibility has helped his team develop the BDRHoF into today's internationally-respected organisation. Sometimes fighting ill health, but always supported by wife Bev and daughter Genna, Stu has continued the task of preserving the names of those who helped create the sport in the UK. Stu Bradbury – an inspiring individual who truly deserves to be in the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
Profile by Robin Jackson and Brian Taylor
British Drag Racing Hall of Fame 2017.
14th July: The British Drag Racing Hall Of Fame continues into its twelfth successful year and is pleased to announce the 2017 intake. Nominees are eligible by dint of having raced, owned, designed, built, maintained, prepared, promoted, officiated, supported or taken part in British drag racing in any capacity, having been involved for at least twenty years, or having made a significant and recognisable contribution to the sport.
The 2017 inductees are:
LAWRIE GATEHOUSE Profile by Simon Groves
For over half a century Lawrie Gatehouse has contributed much to drag racing in the UK. His story started with sprinting a Triumph Bonneville, however things changed after his first contact with drag racing at the Blackbushe Drag Fest meeting in 1964. He had learned of the American racers coming over and was "Amazed and dumbfounded" at what he witnessed. He became one of drag racing's regular photographers contributing to magazines like Autocar, Motor, Autosport, Custom Car and National Drag Racer. He then took a few years away from drag racing to start his own company Process Systems International. His training as a professional mechanical engineer provided the foundations for business success and this gave him the resources to return to the sport with some bold new ideas.
Lawrie initially sponsored a few teams but in 2004 he renewed his acquaintance with Ollie Burn, whom he knew from the 1970s. Ollie inspired him to get more closely involved with a class for which he always had a passion – Fuel Altereds. Lawrie conceived and formed the Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association with the prime aim to put on a show like it used to be when he was in the US. The first meeting for the NFAA was Easter 2005 and, later, as many as fourteen teams competed, with Lawrie providing run money to contribute to the teams' running costs.
He then turned to race car ownership and had the legendary Chaos Fuel Altered built from scratch in twelve weeks at the start of 2006. John Wright was the original driver and Crew Chief, experiencing the car's evil handling. It usually ran mid- to high sixes, but got away from John at Shakey and a new chassis was in order - with which John recorded even quicker runs. Gary Page was the next driver of Chaos but the aerodynamics of the car still made it a handful with it rolling twice more, each accident requiring a new chassis.
The turning point came with the involvement of Jason and Roy Phelps in constructing a lighter body with improved aerodynamics. Nick Davies drove the car until it was retired at the end of 2015. Its PBs were 6.08/232.76.
It is for his contribution to photo-journalism both here and in the US, the formation and running of the NFAA, and creation of the quickest Fuel Altered in Europe of its day, that Lawrie Gatehouse is inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
PIP HIGHAM Profile by Graham Beckwith
Pip Higham's first introduction to Drag Racing was in 1964 when a round of the International Drag Fest took place at Woodvale. After crewing for Fred Whittle of Shutdown competition altered fame at early UK drag races he switched to two wheels and in the early 1970s was competing as a rider with a selection of his own machines, a Rickman Triumph, a Honda and a triple Kawasaki.
There followed a series of giant killings with a Suzuki GS750 during 1977 as he made a name for himself in production drag racing and record breaking at Elvington the following year.
The quest for more performance saw the development of a Suzuki GS1000 followed by a GSX in subsequent years - racing across Europe and ultimately America, during which time he also campaigned a turbo-charged Suzuki Funny Bike alongside his regular stable.
The background for all this success revolved around Pip's own business, the Village Bike Shop in Manchester, where he provided a service for those who wished to go that much quicker than the rest. Built following the successes of his previous Street class rides, where Pip had become first European into the ten-second bracket and then the first rider ever into the nines, The Deuce, a VBS development producing 160 bhp from Pip's own tuning parts, ran in the 9.0 second bracket many times at terminal speeds up to 154 mph for the quarter mile. With backing from Heron Suzuki GB, Texaco and Superbike magazine, he did more than his fair share to establish Pro Stock Motorcycle racing in Europe.
The Brighton Speed Trials saw Pip take The Deuce GSX1100 to an incredible 160 mph through the beams. In the course of its competitive life this bike saw racing at Santa Pod, Brighton, York, Le Mans, Paul Ricard and Monza along with several regional events. The stablemate for The Deuce at this time was the innovative Suzuperbike, a turbocharged B-class Gasser which lay claim to a best ever 9.00/152 from just 1176 cc. Pip's incredible career continued with winning the Pro Stock Bike class three years running at Le Mans, on board a VBS Suzuki. He also built and prepared the late Chris Hampson's ACU Championship winning Turbo Suzuki.
He made a significant contribution to the future of drag racing in the North when he became the catalyst that brought together sponsors, workers, fund raisers and contractors to create a new quarter mile tarmac track at York Raceway capable of holding the best of Europe's racers. The result of his efforts has enabled PDRC and York Raceway to hold safe and successful drag racing events on the original strip to the present day. It is for his support and enthusiasm for bike drag racing as a competitor and a builder, plus his help in establishing drag racing in the North of England, that Pip Higham is inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
STEVE WOOLLATT Profile by Keith Lee
Steve Woollatt has successfully raced in the top tier of drag bike racing for some thirty years. He started in 1976 riding a Z1 Kawasaki. It ran low twelve-second times and was the catalyst for racing a full season the following year during which he won his first Street Bike Eliminator. The following year saw him win five more and by this time he had fitted the Kawasaki motor into a distinctive Egli frame. The desire to go quicker led to purchasing a part-built blown Kawasaki drag bike that was believed to be the first of its type to be built in the UK. With help from Pat Neal, the Daytona Motorcycles sponsored machine was completed and running in 1979. Reliability on nitro was a major issue so the pair decided something better was needed.
In 1980 they fielded their completely new entry – a distinctive blue metalflake B/Fuel machine that raced in the Top Bike Eliminator. It quickly hit the mid nine-second bracket, and over a number of years of development it ran a best of 7.8/175, winning on its final appearance in the Pro Fuel class of the late 1980s. Steve was then offered a ride on the Fuel bike of fellow rider Phil Baimbridge. Enjoying the experience he took up the offer to purchase the bike and still rides it today. Phil has remained a big help over the years, as numerous developments to produce ever more power have been made.
Over the years, Steve has won no fewer than fifteen ACU Top Fuel Bike Championships on that bike, known as The Dealer. One of the highlights of his many years of racing was cracking the sixes and 200 mph in the early 1990s. Since those days times have improved to a best of 6.19/228 in Top Fuel Bike, making him the third quickest British rider of all time. His best sixty-foot time is an impressive 0.97 seconds!
Steve really made the headlines in September 2014, when he featured in an amazing race against Fil Papafilippou at the FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod. An out of control Fil changed lanes under full acceleration - and crashed into the side of Steve's bike at high speed! Somehow the Greek rider ended up hanging on for dear life to Steve's wheelie bars. Totally unfazed, Steve rode his own monster bike safely to a standstill, to the immense relief of his unexpected passenger, who escaped with just minor tyre burns! This unsettling incident happened in the first round of eliminations, but it did not stop the fearless Woollatt going on to win the final!
With help from his hard-working team, this low-budget veteran racer shows no signs of slowing down in the premier league of two-wheeled racing. It is for his long and successful career in the top echelons of drag bike racing that Steve Woollatt has been inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
JOHN AND LESLEY WRIGHT Profile by Simon Groves
John and Lesley Wright have substantially influenced the direction of drag racing in the UK. In 1985, after racing a series of cars since 1973, John commenced his involvement with the sport's organisational side. As Chairman of the Midland Drag Racing Association he helped overhaul the safety rules, race licence procedures and the introduction of log books for cars. In 1988 he joined Anthony Hodges as Track Manager at Long Marston. The track was renamed Avon Park Raceway in 1989 and in the same year John published Fire Up magazine, which became an international journal of the sport. In 1991, with Ron Clark, John promoted the Pro Comp Classic.
He was an active Committee member of the Avon Park International Racers Association and around the same time was a founding member of Santa Pod Racers Club, representing APIRA and sat on the RAC sub-committee. After a period working with Stu Vallance, Jonathan Lovett and Oyver Jacobsen, he commenced a successful period as Crew Chief for Swedish racer Viveca Averstedt which culminated in 1998 with two events in the USA running a best of 4.88/271 – at that time, the quickest run ever by a European team. He went on to work with Alan Jackson, Knut Söderqvist, Tony Betts and Smax Smith. Between 2002 and 2005, with Darryl Bradford, he owned and tuned the Wildside Top Fuel car. Following this from 2006 to 2009, he was Crew Chief and driver of the Chaos Fuel Altered, recording a 6.195, then Europe's quickest Fuel Altered pass.
Lesley Wright (née Digby) grew up locally to Santa Pod. She and Allan Herridge became partners during the period when Allan was Track Manager at Santa Pod, and her job was to hand out the pit gate money to racers. After Allan's passing, Lesley joined the BDR&HRA Committee to represent Street classes, and with Al O'Connor undertook a tour of the US in 1988 attending seventeen NHRA events. After a further US tour in 1990, which was documented in Fire Up magazine and seeing bracket racing first hand, Lesley promoted it in the UK, joining the newly-formed SPRC committee. She also gained sponsorship for the Super Gas Drag Racers Association.
By the mid-1990s Lesley was full time SPRC Secretary and she masterminded its formation into a Limited Liability Company to protect its members. She worked with the Technical Committee to revise the drag racing rule book that John had worked on a decade previously which introduced SFI safety measures to Europe. In 1997 she and John were married and Lesley became the lynchpin of the Wildside and Chaos crews. Lesley was also involved at the start of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame. It is for John's and Lesley's work in helping to create a stable and safe platform for drag racers that has lasted over twenty years, their achievements in promoting the sport and competing at the highest level, that John and Lesley Wright are inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
KARSTEN ANDERSEN AND PER ANDERSEN Profile by Tog
On a trip from Denmark to Mantorp Park in the late 1980s, fellow Car Club members Karsten Andersen and Per Andersen noticed a Comp Eliminator dragster for sale. The rest is history.
After alternating drives in the Comp Dragster Karsten and Per were invited to join the Top Fuel team of fellow Dane Jens Nybo. Jointly calling the shots, they tuned Jens to European series wins preceding the FIA era and then the first FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Championship in 1996.
Kim Reymond bought Jens' dragster in 2002 and, tuned by Karsten and Per, took that year's FIA Championship. In August 2003 there was a sign of things to come at Gardermoen in Norway when the team didn't bother with the 4.8s but went straight from 4.9s to Europe's first 4.7-second run, followed a few weeks later by the shot heard around Europe, Kim's 4.645/317.56 in qualifying at the 2003 FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, although an injury sustained at the hit of the parachutes ended Kim's racing career. In 2005 Karsten and Per assisted Swedish Top Fuel racer Tommy Möller to runner-up spot in the FIA Championship.
Karsten and Per started their own Top Fuel operation in 2006 with a state-of-the-art dragster imported from the USA and driven by Swedish Pro Modified standout Håkan Nilsson. Håkan set an ET record of 4.830 seconds and won that year's FIA Championship before retiring. UK legend Andy Carter stepped into the dragster and Karsten and Per tuned him to the FIA Championship in 2007 and 2009, equalling Kim's 4.645 ET then in 2010 setting his third quarter-mile record of 4.572 seconds, which will never be broken.
Karsten and Per shipped the car to America for several events with Norway's Thomas Nataas in the seat before returning to Europe. American star Tommy Johnson Jr drove the dragster in 2011, setting a 1000-foot ET record of 4.008 seconds and building a clear Championship lead before a licence suspension ruled him out mid-season. Thomas returned to the seat and won the FIA Championship in 2013. Thomas set three speed records, finishing with a best of 316.40 mph, and amassed the most Championship points in 2014 before a controversial points reallocation after a licence suspension robbed him of the European title. As a result Karsten and Per withdrew from European racing and sold the dragster to US racer Scott Palmer.
Karsten continued in racing, working with Sweden's Jonnie and Johan Lindberg in Top Alcohol and Fuel Funny Car on the NHRA Tour, whilst Per retired from racing to develop his business although remaining involved in a local Car Club.
Tuning seven Top Fuel Dragster racers to a long list of European Championship titles, event wins, round wins, and ET and speed records is one of the most outstanding achievements in the history of European drag racing and it is for the tuning skills and tactical nous which generated this success that Karsten Andersen and Per Andersen are inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
Members of the Hall of Fame receive a 'Bootsie', a trophy encapsulating an image of the late Allan 'Bootsie' Herridge, a man who put so much into British drag racing, together with an exclusive commemorative pin. They join the élite list of inductees from previous years and will be listed on the official British Drag Racing Hall of Fame web site which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the British Hall of Fame link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
The Hall of Fame trophies will be presented at the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala Dinner at the historic Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge on Saturday 18th November. Reservations can be made for the Gala by E-Mail at email@example.com or by telephone on 01933 279102. This year the tickets are priced competitively at £65 and this includes a pre-dinner reception and table wine. The event always sells out well in advance, so if you would like to join us for the occasion then we suggest you make your reservation sooner rather than later. On receiving your reservation you will be given the procedure to book rooms at the negotiated room rate which includes breakfast and VAT as well as parking.
The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame could not exist without practical help and support from sponsorship partner Beech Underwriting Agencies, major sponsors US Automotive and Santa Pod Racers Club, and event sponsors Lucas Oil Products UK, DialAFlight, Institute of Professional Drivers, Atlantic Fluid Tech, Rat Trap Racing, Straightliners Events and Kelsey Media. Thanks also to the Pennine Drag Racing Club, Avon Park International Racing Association, Aptitude and Prop Portfolio for their support.
Trophy picture courtesy and ©Ian Messenger
Dragstalgia: The Ever-Presents.
13th July: Eurodragster.com Pit Reporter Simon has been working hard researching and identifying potential Event Coverage victims at Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway, and has again compiled a list of those racers who have attended every Dragstalgia.
The 2017 Dragstalgia Ever-Present List is:
Simon has also compiled a list of Dragstalgia débutants which you can check out by clicking here (PDF format) and a webcast and spectator bank Spotters' Guide to Dragstalgia contestants which you can check out by clicking here (PDF format).
You will be able to check out Simon's Dragstalgia pit notes on our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Dragstalgia Event Coverage Index by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
SPR Junior Fun Day entry.
14th July: Entry is still open for Santa Pod Raceway's Junior Drag Racing Fun Day which returns for a fifth year on Thursday 24th August. Donna Finnegan writes:
Since the first Junior Day, held in 2013, almost 13,000 spectators have attended the event with over £9,000 being raised for various charities. Our chosen beneficiary for 2017 is the Helping Harry Trust based in Daventry. Harry suffered severe brain damage after a traumatic birth and as a result he now has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy along with many other complex needs.
As always, the track action is dedicated to the Junior racers and the entry form is still available for Junior Dragster, Junior Funny Car and Junior Drag Bike racers wishing to take part on the day. The entry form can be downloaded (PDF format) by clicking here. Racers will need to telephone the Santa Pod office on 01234 782828 to book their race voucher (outside the UK +44 1234 782828). There is a sign-on fee of £20 which will go towards the Helping Harry Trust. Any forms submitted without payment will not be entered into the event.
For more information on the junior day and The Helping Harry Trust, please visit www.santapod.co.uk/e_junior_day.php.
More money for UK Top Sportsman.
14th July: Paul Marston writes that the prize fund has increased for JT Construction UK Top Sportsman which takes place during the Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway on 28th-30th June:
The prize money for the Heads-Up race has doubled courtesy of John Tebenham. So the prize fund now stands at £1000 cash for the winner, £750 for the runner-up, and £500 to both semi-final losers. These are guaranteed amounts regardless of car counts. The Fast Bracket race will still enjoy the usual Top Sportsman purse which is based on car count. It's the richest, toughest, hardest-fought Sportsman doorslammer event on the calendar where everyone who is anyone comes to beat the best to prove that they are the best. The very best Sportsman doorslammer teams will be there fighting it out for the money, the trophies and the kudos of having won the event.
The format remains the same. Friday Fast Bracket Race with buy-back for first round losers, run to conclusion. Saturday, relax and enjoy the day or join in the RYWB. Saturday night the one shot qualifier for the sixteen-spot Heads-Up eliminator with eliminations on Sunday. Early entry is available and included in your entry is an electric hook-up for the whole weekend.
This is an outlaw race so as long as you have the correct safety equipment, which does not have to be in date as it does at MSA events, then you can race. Other than safety there are no rules, no weight minimum, no engine size capacity, nitrous, turbos, prochargers, superchargers or even all of them. You use a normal driving licence as at RWYBs, you go not need a race licence. This is an event run by racers for racers, so don't delay enter today - there is still time, entry is not closed, we will keep it open as late as we can.
Last year this was one of the very best events with flawless track conditions. The Pro Mods run at the same event so you know the track prep will be up to the usual high Santa Pod standards.
You can check out the Version 2 of the JT Construction UK Top Sportsman entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
For more information please E-Mail our new address firstname.lastname@example.org (the old address is dead thanks to Orange), Facebook UK Top Sportsman, or call 07831 650230.
Special thanks to all our marketing partners new and old, Eurodragster.com (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed), the Mopar guys for hosting us and Santa Pod management for all their help. Last but by no means least, thanks to all the Top Sportsman crew who come together once a year to make this run smoothly. See you there... bring it on!
14th July: Good luck and stay safe to the UK's multiple FIM Europe Top Fuel Bike Champion Ian King who is contesting this weekend's third round of the USA Drag Bike Championship, the Manufacturers Cup, at the new eighth-mile facility at Galot in North Carolina. Results will be available at Dragbike.com, Stripbike.com, and on Ian's Facebook page.
Our good buddy Remco Scheelings has updated the the Drag Racing Europe Blog with a report of the highlights in EDRS Pro Motorcycle classes at the FHRA Nitro Nationals at Alastaro. You can check it out by clicking here.
The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr site with two large galleries from the Saturday of the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can take a look at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
Northern Summer Nationals review.
13th July: Chris Murty has been in touch with a review of the recent Northern Summer Nationals at York Raceway:
All our racing took place on the Saturday, as Sunday was going to be dedicated to the Street Racer Championship.
In American Super Stock, Dave Billadeau got #1 in qualifying running a 10.5800 on a 10.58 dial in, Kris Thoburn took the number two spot in a borrowed Mustang. Both Kris and Dave made their way through the ladder to meet in the final, a sharp reaction of 0.52 gave Kris the edge – Dave, having to wait 5.5 seconds before the green, knew not to be too keen otherwise he would risk a red light, set off 0.64 after the green and went on to take the win.
In Sportsman ET, Kris' form continued, getting all the way to the final to meet CJ in his £50 Subaru. CJ knew Kris was pulling excellent Reaction Times all day and had to find a little more, but found too much and red lit, gifting the win to Kris.
In Pro ET, Team Nowak took the #1 spot in qualifying and got themselves to the final, where they met Mia in the Wraith Chevrolet pickup. Two excellent Reaction Times, but team Nowak lost some time down the track, giving Mia enough to get her nose in front and keep it there. Current Championship leader Richard Granger met reigning Champion (and current number two in the Championship ) Lee Chiles in round 1 - a breakout from Lee let Richard though to the semis where he lost out to Mia.
In Super Cup, reigning Champion and current leader Paul Grainger and the Ford Anglia was sat in the # 1 spot in qualifying and met Mason Griffiths with his LS1-powered rail In the final. Paul kept his nose in front, taking the win.
In JDM-DRC, CJ took the #1 spot in qualifying, but had a huge breakout in the first round. It was a Lexus battle in the final, as Shaun Rounthwaite and his V8 Lexus met Dave Smith in his Lexus, a red light for Dave gifting the win to Shaun as he lengthened the lead in the Championship.
In Pro FWD, new racer Ricky Barker joined the pack with his turbo Peugeot. Just running the engine in hetook out Lee Opey in the UK's fastest Punto in the semis, but did not have enough to beat Pete and his Civic in the final.
In Hot Rod, Terry Morgan and the Morris that won the war met Derek Beck and his TVR in the final, with Derek taking the win.
We have another double round of all of our race classes at our UK National Hot Rod Reunion (and fortieth birthday!) on 27th-28th August.
NitrOlympX Junior Dragster harnesses.
12th July: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has been in touch with a message for Junior Dragster racers attending the NitrOlympX at Hockenheim in August:
Following discussion with Frans Steilberg of the Tech Crew, please note that Junior Dragster harnesses will be inspected to the current UK spec of five years from the date of manufacture. Dates must be stamped on the harnesses in order to comply.
Web site updates.
12th July: A couple of great YouTube videos have been released in the last day. First up is the coverage of the recent Gearhead Garage No Prep Nationals at North Weald which you can check out at www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6nEmoLQ1Ss.
In addition Helen and David at Zeon TV have released the latest Web TV coverage of the MSA Pro Modified round at the SPRC Summernationals. You can check out Zeon TV's programme at www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hmt5TSyCcg.
FAO Super Street Bike racers.
11th July: Job Heezen, former Supertwin racer and now Technical Advisor to the FIM Europe Drag Racing Commission, has been in touch with a message for European Super Street Bike racers:
At Alastaro last weekend I had a good meeting the Super Street Bike racers about the rules for 2018. Riders from Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK and Denmark were able to discuss matters related to the rules. It was an open and interesting conversation and I am planning to hold a similar meeting at the FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, preferably on the Friday night.
This would be the final round of consultation as the rules have to be finished before the start of October.
I would like to invite everybody who would like to take part in the discussion, or who thinks that they can make a valuable contribution, to come to the meeting. Please E-Mail me at email@example.com so that I know who will be coming and so that I can arrange a place to meet.
At the same time I'd like to invite racers in all FIM Europe classes to come up with suggestions for the rules in their specific class. If you have any comments then please talk to me at the track or E-Mail me at the above address. This will help us make better rules for everyone.
Don't get me wrong: we are not necessarily looking for more rules. Keeping the rules as they are, or less rules, are both an option too.
Dragstalgia racer and fan update.
11th July: Many thanks to James Forster of Santa Pod Raceway for passsing on details of the arrangements for this weekend's Dragstalgia:
Santa Pod Raceway's gates are open to those with racer tickets only between 12:00 and 21:00 on Thursday (13th). All those booked in to race should have racer tickets. Those with General Admission tickets will not be allowed in on Thursday.
Santa Pod's gates will then be opened to all at 08:00 on Friday for the duration of the event.
Friday's, Saturday's and Sunday's event schedules including provisional on-track running orders are now available and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Please note that, as ever, these running orders are provisional and subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by the organisers.
The usual noise curfew applies: no race motors are to be fired up before 09:00 or after 20:00 on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
Thanks to Nigel Taylor for letting us know that the A43 Silverstone by-pass is a no-through road between Friday and Sunday due to the British Grand Prix, so please plan an alternative route.
Finally a reminder that Eurodragster.com will be announcing this year's inductees to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame at 12:00 midday on Friday, coinciding with the scheduled start of the RWYB.
Another Perfect Dragstalgia bonus.
11th July: We are very pleased to announce that Cath and Tig Napier of the UK's Bad Habit Racing Pro ET team, who sponsor the Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award, have again requested that we post the Award at this weekend's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway. The money will be on offer during Saturday and Sunday.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racer Harley Jay Darby at the SPRC Summernationals. The Award will be paid in cash to the first person to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available to all, whether in the organised classes or Invitational Run What You Brung, during Saturday and Sunday (NB Not during Friday's RWYB - Ed) but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for next week's Bug Jam at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for Bug Jam.
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried, although we understand that this may not be possible on period-correct vehicles. Eurodragster.com decals will be available in the Signing On office from Friday morning or from the Eurodragster.com office in Race Control (entry via Spectator Bank side stairs only).
An old-school reunion.
11th July: Participant Dave Gibbons says that those who neither contested nor attended last week's inaugural Gearhead Garage No Prep Nationals at North Weald Airfield missed out on something truly special and fun:
No-prep racing is getting big in the USA, and while this was not on the scale of Street Outlaws there were similarities. The event was the brainchild of Paul Marston, who already runs the UK Top Sportsman doorslammer event at the Mopar Euronationals each year. With the blessing of Tony Huck, the organiser of the North Weald Test and Tune sessions, a plan was formulated.
There was none of this "Banging the light" you get on TV, the traditional Christmas Tree being utilised for the start so there was at least no question over "Jumping". However we were only running over the eighth-mile, no times or speeds were recorded, and the winner was declared by the eagle eye of Gary Springford backed up by video recording. After two practice hits the pairings and lane choice were pulled from a bag. And with only fourteen cars making it on the day there were a couple of handy bye runs (but not for me).
Having had experience of racing back in the day on airfield tracks such as North Weald and Blackbushe - yes, I am that old (Not just you - Ed) - it was great to get back to the old way of doing things. An event held and completed in one day - five hits in as many hours - has immense appeal, back to using grip juice and actually having to pedal a car to control the traction.
Being only eighth-mile and with a £1000 winner-takes-all prize fund, it brought out a couple of cars you might not otherwise have seen and no-one had it easy. It was anyone's race to win. We were racing the track as much as each other, and I can't say that I knew any of my opponents - I don't think they knew me. There were none of the probably-totally-scripted (Probably? - Ed) arguments seen on Street Outlaws, but there was plenty of banter and gamesmanship in the form of "I've got a problem with my car" type statements to put the opposition off-guard.
I drove the Paul Marston Racing Whoopass Monza and ended up going out in the semis with a red-light, however in my defence Paul repeatedly told me "You won't go red here" and after pulling a red on the second practice run he made some adjustments to the car saying "Now you definitely won't go red"! Hmmm.
Thanks to Paul Marston Racing and the team for organising the event and to Paul for inviting me to drive the Monza. Also event sponsor Gearhead Garage, Tony Huck at Maitland Racing for allowing us to infiltrate the event, Super Crew Seff Whitlock and Sam Marston for looking after me and the car, and finally congratulations to Dave Wiggins who took home the pot.
All in all a terrific day which I hope will be repeated soon. I haven't heard anything negative about the event, and I know Paul is investigating opportunities.
The retirement is off!
11th July: On return from an outstandingly successful test session at Santa Pod Raceway Karl Harrison writes with a mid-season review for Rod Harrison and the NUA / RKS Top Methanol Dragster team. "Where do I begin?", says Karl. A quick overview of the start of the season is a good place:
We arrived at Santa Pod for the Festival of Power to carry out some pre-season testing, but we didn't really achieve anything as we were plagued with gearbox issues all weekend. A massive thanks to Steve Woollatt for loaning us his only spare B&J sprag. We came away from that meeting very frustrated and unhappy with the weekend's runs. As a team we could only look forward and hopefully upwards to the FIA / Main Event. We resolved the problems with the gearbox and arrived at the Main Event feeling hopeful that things would be back to normal. Sadly this didn't happen. As most of you know, for the whole of this event we were chasing electrical problems and we ended up only getting one run with no issues, in the first round.
It was time for a major rethink. Dad wasn't happy driving the car, the crew had lost all their enthusiasm, and it was looking like we were going backwards instead of forwards. We had a team meeting and Dad proposed that we changed back to using a three-speed transmission and clutch set-up. A three-speed B&J transmission was purchased from Habermanns, and we already had a new Crower clutch. Once we had gathered all the small components required we set to and got it all fitted.
The first procedure was to fire the car up on its stands to see if everything worked correctly and to ensure that we had three gears. The next decision was to ring Santa Pod to see if we could test the car at the BMW Show / RWYB. At this point we would like to thank all the staff at Santa Pod who were working to enable us to attend, and an extra thanks to Bob Day and John O'Shea for their efforts prepping the track, you guys made our weekend.
We arrived at the startline for our first run and things were looking promising, unfortunately there was an issue with the timing system so we didn't get a timing ticket plus the datalogger decided not to play ball. Having got the car back to the pits we carried out a full service and on Saturday evening enjoyed the rest of the evening with Rob Elsom and his crew. Sunday morning arrived and Dad decided he was ready to put in a full pass.
We warmed the car up and again arrived at the start line. The car was fired up, I signalled Dad forward for his burnout, the burnout was perfect and the car reversed back to the start line, the normal checks were carried out and the car was put into stage. Dad then went up on the revs, the lights ran and he was gone. Everybody had their eyes glued to the gantry and what came up was just amazing, a PB 5.74/234 with a 0.96 sixty foot. To say we were delighted would be an understatement. Having got the car back to the pits Andy, Abby and Jacko carried out the service of the engine, Jono checked and cleaned the oil filter and refilled it whilst Tasha and I removed the gearbox, dismantled the clutch, reassesed the measurements and reassembled it ready for the next run.
We arrived at the start line for the 2:30 pm slot. Permission had been given for Mum to run against Dad in her Pop. Mum was waiting for Dad to do his burnout then they both went into stage. Unfortunately Mum got shut down with a water leak (well spotted John), so back to the other lane. Dad went up on the revs, took the green light and launched. The launch was incredible, it was an arrow straight run and what came up on the gantry sent us all into orbit: 5.63/250 with a 0.93 sixty foot. We had smashed every PB we had ever run. I don't really know nor can describe what was going through my mind on the startline. Having got the car back in the pits and on the stands, Mum downloaded the datalogger which had worked perfectly and has given us some impressive data to use next time out.
What a fantastic weekend we had. As always a massive thanks to our super crew Andy, Abby, Jacko, Jono, Lisa and a special thanks to Tasha for putting up with the countless hours I spend in the workshop and helping with doing the dirtiest job on the car... the clutch! I must also give a huge thanks to Dave Wilson for the countless hours he has spent on the phone with me for our clutch tune-up and also Timo Habermann and the whole Habermann family for their help and assistance and for supplying us with a superb three-speed transmission.
So what's next then? We had hoped to return to Hockenheim but due to work commitments and the lack of finance, bearing in mind the amount spent getting the car to where it is now, we have had to make the decision not to attend this year. So our next outing will be the European Finals. The good news is that we have talked Dad into not retiring at the end of this year (Yay - Ed) and to carry on for another season. The whole team are delighted about that and are looking forward to the rest of this year and next.
Last but not least a sincere Thank You to our sponsors NUA. If there are any individuals or companies who would be interested in sponsoring the UK's only Top Methanol Dragster then please contact Rod on 07798 644186.
Ålund doubles up again.
11th July: Sweden's Jimmy Ålund again raced in both Pro Modified and Pro Stock at the FHRA Nitro Nationals at Alastaro. Pär Willén writes:
As has been the case this season, Jimmy ran a solid set of qualifying rounds in Magnus Petersson's Old 51 Chevrolet Business Coupe Pro Mod. Every round worked out as planned and Ålund ended up in the #2 qualifying spot with an elapsed time of 5.97 seconds. "Qualifying was good", said Jimmy. "The car did what we expected including testing of settings from which we learned". There were some engine issues after qualifying concluded and the team worked into the evening with the result a stronger car for eliminations.
Jimmy won E1 with an ET of 6.01 seconds but ran into trouble in the quarter finals. "The car overpowered the track with the result was that I pedalled" says Jimmy. "It was a wild ride going all over the track and that of course led to losing the race."
Jimmy qualifed well and set both ends of the Alastaro track record in Pro Stock during the weekend. The new ET record is now 6.59 followed up by a speed record of 340.32 kmh (211.46 mph). Jimmy won the quarter finals with a strong ET of 6.63 seconds together with the track record speed, and was set for more of the same in the semi finals but it was not to be. "We were doing great all weekend up to that point when one of those unpredictable electrical gremlins showed up", says Jimmy. "As soon as I let out the clutch I was in trouble and the weekend was over".
Summarising the weekend, Jimmy says "We have two very strong cars and highly skilled teams and we are more than satisfied with our qualifying efforts. Unfortunately, we need to get Lady Luck on our side when it comes to going through every rounds on the Sunday. But, of course, that's racing."
The next event for Jimmy Ålund is in FIA Pro Modified at the NitrOlympX at the Hockenheimring, Germany. Jimmy will leave the Pro Stock car at home for that race and will fire up the Old 51 for the first round of qualifying on Friday morning, 19th August. "As always, we can't wait to get there and put more rounds in the car in front of the record crowd which is the trademark of the NitrOlympX", says Jimmy.
Summit Racing Equipment is sponsoring both the Old 51 Pro Mod and the Summit Racing Pro Stock Camaro this season. The Old 51 Team and Jimmy Ålund Pro Stock Racing Team are very grateful for the continuing support from such a great company.
11th July: We have a birthday on the Eurodragster.com team today (Tuesday): please join Tog, Simon and Julian in wishing a very Happy Birthday to our Photographer, Sportsman ET racer and Fox Hunt winner Kirstie. Have a lovely day Kirstie and see you on Friday. Happy Birthday also to Track Announcer, comedian and all-round top bloke Graham Beckwith. Have a great day Graham.
Hockenheim prepping to prep.
10th July: Since the Rico Anthes Quarter Mile attracted record times like a strip of fly paper during the 2016 NitrOlympX the directors of Hockenheim-Ring GmbH, and the race organisation led by Race Director Jerry Lackey, have again teamed up with Santa Pod's and SPRC's "Lane Whisperers" Darren Prentice and Ian Marshall to prep the track this year:
Starting on 7th August Ian and Darren, in close collaboration with Hockenheim's Head of Track Michael Vogel and crew, will drag slicks over the asphalt, then grind, drag slicks again, spray hundreds of litres of glue, check, and then so it all over again until by 18th August the quarter mile asphalt lanes will have been converted into pure traction for the up to three hundred participating teams from across Europe.
Race Director Jerry Lackey is looking forward to the NitrOlympX. "We welcome all classes Pro or Sportsman as we have for over thirty one years", he says, "and we will invest all of our efforts to provide our racers with a track which is the best of the best."
As in previous years, teams which bring used slicks for use on the drag strip will receive a team ticket for each tyre.
At this point we would like to take the opportunity to put an end to a rumour: over the first sixty feet the glue is not hand-massaged into the asphalt in small circles with small brushes. If you have the opportunity to watch one of the track preparation sessions (indicated in the running order) the complexity of the job will become evident.
Double your numbers.
10th July: This weekend's Dragstalgia ar Santa Pod Raceway includes the second running of the Slingshot Showdown with an entry double the size of last year's contest. Slingshot racer Mark Bishop writes:
Going from six slingshots to twelve is quite a jump and should make for some interesting and fast racing. With four front-engined cars making the trip from Sweden and one from Norway there will be a great opportunity for the fans and the UK teams to see and race these guys for the first time. We look forward to meeting Caj Carlsson, Rolf Nilsson, Magnus Larsson, Leif Andersson and Arne Kallevik.
This year we also have Dave Nelson, Roy Wilding and Mick Hannah joining us. Last year's runner-up car is back again to have another go, but in the hands of new owner Steve Johnson who has already got to grips with car running low sevens. Also returning is last year's Champ Joe Bond for whom everyone will be aiming, especially Bob Hawkins who has just had the front of his chassis rebuilt and a bigger motor than last year's between the rails.
Finally that leaves us, in the Grey Vegas slingshot having switched fuels from C14 to E85 at the end of last year and dropping a few tenths off our best time at the Flame and Thunder Show. We have produced some T-Shirts this year and they will be on sale in our pit at only £12.
10th July: Further to yesterday's news item, Ian Turburville writes that UK legend Dennis Priddle will be reunited with his legendary, record-setting Donovan Hemi #144 at Dragstalgia this weekend. The motor, which formerly resided in his Mr Revell as well as his STP Avenger and Don Garlits' Swamp Rat 21 held the record as the world's quickest slingshot for nearly twenty years, now resides in the True Blood slingshot built and raced by Ian and daughter Laura for Bloodlines Racing. It will be on display in the historic display marquee and will be cackling several times over the weekend along with Wild Bill Sherratt's American car.
Congratulations from her Eurodragster.com colleagues to Photographer and Sportsman ET racer Kirstie who took the ladies' Fox Hunt Gamblers' race at Shakespeare County Raceway yesterday (Sunday). Driving Andy Przybyl's Subaru Legacy Kirstie qualified #1 and took the event win against Holly Baldwin. Kirstie's eagerness for fruit robbed her of the overall Bracket Gamblers' title against Neil Lalouette to whom congratulations also, and to Leo Lester who took the title in the bike event.
We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to APIRA race official Pat Salt. Have a great day Pat.
Mister Six goes to Dragstalgia.
9th July: Keith Lee writes that UK legend Dennis Priddle will be making his first visit to Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway next weekend:
Europe's first six-second drag racer, and a member of both the British and International Drag Racing Halls of Fame, will be taking in the atmosphere at this great nostalgia drag racing event over 14th-16th July. Dennis is particularly looking forward to being able to watch one of his old team members, Brian Savidge, in action in his beautifully-prepared black '32 roadster during Friday's RWYB session.
Dennis' own racing career started more than fifty years ago, and exactly forty years back he was in the hot seat of the well-loved Olavi Knuutinen Monza funny car which he had just completed building down in Somerset. He was busy setting records, and had some fierce battles with the late Bootsie Herridge in Sweden and at Santa Pod during July 1977. These were a major highlight for race fans. All these years on, Dennis might also get to see that selfsame Monza body still in action at Dragstalgia in the hands of Wild Bunch racer Phil James.
The Slingshot Showdown will be something to catch Dennis' attention at Santa Pod, as it was in this class that he set a world quickest elapsed time of 6.04 seconds in his Mr Revell dragster - a mark which remained unbeaten for so many years.
Currently the subject of a book being written about his colourful racing career, titled Mr Six - The Story of Drag Racing Legend Dennis Priddle, Dennis is coming to the event with book author Keith Lee, who should pick up a few more amusing stories during the long journey. Over the weekend, on Saturday and Sunday, Dennis will be joined by a number of other drag racing heroes in the signing sessions organised by the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
9th July: We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to photographer and occasional Eurodragster.com Coverage Team member Callum Pudge. Have a great day Callum.
Web site updates.
9th July: Continuing the Nostalgia theme, Chris Eyre writes that the Euro Nostalgia Funny Car page has been updated with a report, videos and pictures from the SPRC Summernationals. "It was great to see the cars running so strongly", says Chris. "Not long until the next non-points event, Dragstagia, where five FCs are entered for the Nostalgia Cannonball. A great event for lovers of old school racing". You can take a look at the Euro Nostalgia Funny Car site at euronostalgiafunnycar.jimdo.com.
Photo-journalist Dick Parnham has updated his Flickr site with some excellent 1970s shots from Blackbushe, which you can check out at www.flickr.com/photos/dickparnhamdragracing.
8th July: Terry Chandler, philanthropist extraordinaire and enthusiastic supporter of professional drag racing – best known as the lady backing Don Schumacher Racing's Make-A-Wish and Infinite Hero Top Fuel Dragsters and Fuel Funny Cars – sadly passed away in Florida on 27th June aged 65 after a short battle with brain cancer. Mike Lintern writes:
Make-A-Wish grants adventurous wishes to children with serious or life-threatening conditions, while the Infinite Hero Foundation, combats mental and physical issues facing returning military heroes and their families, both charities receiving valuable support by Terry and family via the funding of DSR cars carrying their liveries in recent years.
The UK's FGR Motorsport Fuel Funny Car team were introduced to Terry by Don Schumacher at this year's NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville and from that meeting sprung a tie-up which has led to the team's Gladiator Fuel Funny Car carrying the Make-A-Wish banner for its UK operation.
Both the FGR Motorsport team and Santa Pod Raceway, who are jointly hosting the first visit to the track by Foundation "Wish Kids" at Bug Jam later this month, extend their sincere condolences to Terry's family for their loss.
Thanks to Mike Collins for letting us know that you can read tributes to Terry on NHRA.com by clicking here and a feature on Autoweek by clicking here.
Picture courtesy and ©Andy Willsheer
8th July: Unfortunately continuing on a sad note the UK Outlaw Anglia pits will never be the same again following the death of Phil Middleton's friend and crew, the legendary Scott, after an illness which from his behaviour you would never know he was suffering. A strong guy and one of our irreplaceable characters who always had everyone in stitches. Our deepest sympathies to Scott's family and to Ginner and his other friends.
A big Thank You to those Eurodragster.com readers who quickly took the fund-raising effort for Santa Pod Raceway's Medical Centre in memory of Ben 'Panda' Butler over £1000. Your News Editor can't go into details of how he knows but the bank definitely has room for more so if you would like to contribute in Panda's memory then check out yesterday's news item.
Many thanks to Producer and all-round good egg Julian Parsons for letting us know that Nitro FM will start its Dragstalgia broadcasts at Santa Pod Raceway at 18:00 this Thursday (13th). Broadcasts will then commence at 07:00 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You will be able to tune in at the track on 96.2 FM and elsewhere around the planet at www.eurodragster.com/nitrofm.
We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to UK Super class racer and Al's Gasser Super Gas Shootout organiser Jon Giles. Have a great day Jon.
Coffee + cake = cancer beaten.
8th July: Eurodragster.com Photographer and Sportsman ET racer Kirstie tells is that a Charity Coffee Morning is to be held in the Eurodragster.com Sportsman ET pits at Bug Jam on Friday 21st July:
Our Coffee Morning on the Friday is to raise money for Macmillan, the cancer charity. As you may know, a very special lady in the Sportsman ET ranks, Gill Medley, has recently been diagnosed with cancer and after a swift meeting between myself and Alan Medley at the SPRC Summernationals we began to hatch a plan!
The best plans always involve cake, coffee and drag racing.
We are holding the Coffee Morning on the Friday as we are all there setting up anyway, and we aren't qualifying until the next day, so it seems the perfect time. It also means that we can eat cake without the hazard of our dial-ins suffering! Cake donations would be most grateful and extremely welcome but even better would be for everyone, whether Eurodragster.com Sportsman ET racer or not, to come and eat the cake for a small fee.
Thank you to Clive and Jane McCready who have already offered the loan of a water urn for drinks and to a family friend of Alan's who will be making fresh samosas. If anybody can help with donations of cake, biscuits, coffee machines or anything which you would like to donate, please do get in touch. If anybody has a table which they could lend for a morning, this would be extremely helpful too. Alan and I are both on Facebook or you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whilst the Coffee Morning is going on, Alan will be organising a slot drags elimination in which you can compete for a donation (Oh, hello - former Slot Drags racer Ed). The track is 1:64 scale which is about Matchbox size and is thirteen feet long. It is equipped with Christmas Tree, red light sensors and win lights. Alan says that he has a choice of cars but people are most welcome to bring their own if they so wish, the more the merrier!
Hope to see you all there and supporting a great cause. Together we will beat it.
Reunited and it feels so good...
8th July: UK Fuel legend Gary Page will be reunited with his biggest love when he straps in to the seat of Mark and Jackie Hawkins' new Panic Fuel Funny Car at Bug Jam at Santa Pod Raceway on 21st-23rd July. Gary has been crewing with various Top Fuel Dragster teams for several years, most recently with Liam Jones, but has dearly wanted to get back into a car himself.
"This has been a long time coming but now it's two weeks away I'd better start worrying about it!", Gary told Eurodragster.com. "Mark and Jackie have put so much money into it. It's a brand new chassis which has never been on a race track so it should be perfect. But if you get in a brand new rental car you still want to know how it works, you want to know if the cigarette lighter works, you want to know how the cruise control works. And I need to get back into it, I need to make familiarisation passes and get my licence signed off again. Hopefully it will be like riding a bike - you can't compare it to my last drive, the Chaos Fuel Altered, that was like riding a pair of roller skates compared to a Funny Car!"
Gary says that no-one wants him to do well more than his Rune Fjeld Motorsport colleagues. "I enjoy working with them and they are all chuffed for me", he said. "But it's good to be back on the other side of the fence. Mark's crew are all young guys and they are very good and enthusiastic. They are clever kids and you need younger guys coming into the sport. Mark and Brett are overseeing it all but the three of us are getting a bit long in the tooth now. I hope I won't let them down."
The team are loading up the trailer this weekend and will be at Bug Jam early on the Friday (21st). The plan is to put in a sixty foot launch as early as possible and then maybe a 330-foot pass and then to take everything apart and inspect it. "It'll be good to get back out there and see what we can do", said Gary. "It has been a bit of an epic getting there."
As well as Gary strapping in to Panic the Bug Jam entry list has been further enhanced with the addition of Kevin Kent in the West Ten Motorsport Fuel FC. You can check out the Bug Jam entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Event entry update.
7th July: Many thanks to Paul Marston for forwarding us Version 1 of the official entry list for JT Construction UK Top Sportsman, which takes place at the Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway on 28th-30th July.
You can check out the JT Construction UK Top Sportsman entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
For more details about JT Construction UK Top Sportsman E-Mail Paul Marston at email@example.com, call 07831 650230, or search for UK Top Sportsman on Facebook.
Thanks also to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 2 of the MSA Pro Modified entry list for the Mopar EuroNationals, which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Today (Friday) is the official closing date for MSA Pro Modified at the Mopar EuroNationals after which entry, if accepted, may be subject to a late entry penalty. You can download the official entry forms from the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about SPRC event entry then please contact Ian Marshall at SPRC on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
500% for Panda... we can do it.
7th July: On behalf of herself, Lizz Charman and Suze Morris SPRC Pit Marshal Caroline Boncey has been in touch to ask Eurodragster.com readers to help to obliterate the target set for a fund set up in memory of late safety crew member Ben 'Panda' Butler.
As you can see at right, Panda's partner Natalie set up a Just Giving account in his memory to benefit Santa Pod Raceway's Medical Centre, of whose services Ben was known to avail himself occasionally. Natalie set a target of £200 which was easily beaten; at time of writing the fund has reached £795 or 395%. We reckon that £1000 or 500% is achievable in such a good cause.
If you would like to donate to Santa Pod's Medical Centre in memory of Panda then please visit the Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/santapodmedcentre.
In addition Oscar, Lizz and Suze asked us to thank all of the racers and crew who had their photos taken with the two toy pandas at the SPRC Summernationals, and to Nigel Hale for taking them on the Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator Cruise. "It meant a lot to us all, and especially to Natalie", they say. You can check out the Panda Album by clicking here.
Dragstalgia bike preview.
6th July: Keith Lee has been in touch to give us a heads-up on what we can expect on two - and three - wheels at next week's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway:
Once more, Santa Pod will resound to a super mix of old style drag bikes in the NSA Shootout during an action-packed weekend. One always hopes to see some new additions to the mix, and once again we should get to see just that. Headlining the entries will be no less than six of the double-engined bikes, led as always by John Hobbs on The Hobbit. Jeff Byne has been busy freshening up his double Triumph; while Gary Norman has been beavering away with the help of the Baskerville family to really improve both show and go aspects of not one, but two doubles to run over the weekend!
One of the most unusual bikes ever built is Drag Waye, which is powered by a blown VW car engine. Shown before at Dragstalgia, the aim for restorer and rider Terry Homan is to take the bike up the strip this year. With similar styling to a slingshot dragster this former World Record holder will be something to watch. Terry is a glutton for punishment, as he is also working flat out to bring another bike back to the track, which I remember first watching in 1967. Dennis Allen's Ram Rod was a very successful supercharged Triumph of the period, and is still owned by Dennis. Both bikes will be welcome additions to the original machinery which forms the majority of the NSA class at this event. Definitely a pair of entries that I am really looking forward to seeing in action once again. The Methamon sidecar outfit, which predates the Drag Fests, will again be piloted by Chris Illman, along with an original passenger in the form of Sheelagh Neal. It is especially good to see Pip Higham back out again this year, after an unfortunate off in 2016 when a wheel adjuster broke on the Orient Express.
I am pleased to announce that we will have representatives from both Holland and Sweden at the event. Jan Honee will surely get that elusive eight-second run on his 500 Jawa this time, while Björn Eriksson is bringing over his recreation of a 70s style Harley to run. They will add to the diversity of engines which were such a feature back in the early days of the sport.
An additional group has been included by event organiser James Forster this time around in the form of a Nostalgia Pro Stock class, which is a welcome move. It was the class which brought the late Brian Johnson to the fore, before he embarked on his hugely successful Top Fuel Bike career. Nick Pepper has previously run with the NSA group, but this year should have four or five other Pro Stock Bikes to have a go against.
In the Historic Marquee, I always try to attract something different to display. This year we will be able to enjoy one of my all time favourite bikes. Mick Hand's little twin cylinder Honda was the noisiest bike you were ever likely to hear on a drag strip, and mighty quick. Justin Newell will be out on track once again on his neat Hagon Weslake Triumph, while also showing the restoration progress on the Honda which is now in his possession. The aim is to have it running once again, initially in original 250 cc form - so Dragstalgia 2018 it is then, Justin! Joining the Honda will be the double Triumph of Kev Fields, along with an interesting exhibit which has not seen the light of day since 1974!
I can't wait for the event to start. As a bike and car enthusiast of a certain age myself, I'm looking forward to catching up with a lot of old friends, and taking in all the action at another brilliant weekend of Dragstalgia.
Smax rocks Jersey.
6th July: Having beaten Tony Schumacher in E1 at the NHRA New England Nationals this becoming the first Englishman to win an NHRA Top Fuel round in forty years, ex-pat UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Smax Smith and the Leverich family headed for Englishtown although Smax made a side trip on the way:
After Epping I worked for two days then got up early on Wednesday morning to join Jake (our bottom end guy) to drive to New Jersey to see the Iron Maiden concert. We had ten backstage passes so I took five of Scott Palmer's crew as they had done nothing but help us, and Shockwave's Lee Webb who was to help us over the weekend. It's a shame that Aidan couldn't make it due to work commitments after being away at Epping. It was cool driving down Martin Luther King Boulevard then pre-drinks at the hotel, then we headed to the venue for the sold out concert! Security took us to the party room for free drinks and we met lead guitarist Adrian and few a others before going to our very good seats for the show. The place was rocking and an excellent visual and light show. We then went to pub across the road and met Ron Capps and couple of the Schumacher team for drinks - a great night.
Up early the next morning for brekky and a short drive to Englishtown to work on car as we had thrown it together for second round (which we missed) at Epping. We wanted to go through it all properly. Jake repaired the blower cover and our two piece intake and I fixed up the throttle cable and clutch linkage whilst Gary and Dan did the heads and stands. Then we went to the Texas Steakhouse and back to the room for a good sleep.
Next morning up early for brekky and back for more work on the car to get ready for Q1 at 4:30. We fired up and did our mind blowing two nitro whacks of the throttle and watched everyone lose their minds! We towed down and faced Shawn Langdon, did a good burnout and Lee backed me up perfectly but by the time I was pre-staged motor didn't normal. I launched to a lazy sixty foot then it picked up but felt like it nosed over so I lifted, but again the throttle held open for a second, obviously wounding the motor. Still we qualified number eight and beat Shawn with a 4.92 at a slowing 162 mph.
Back in the pits all was revealed. We had put on different stands, rockers and pushrods but four pushrods had mismatches with the rocker adjusters which destroyed them and as soon as it dropped a cylinder it mixed up and torched a head gasket and head. The block was ok but it pulled on the main studs and damaged a cap where the side bolt goes in and hurt the cam, so we decided to put our last block in albeit it was just bare. We worked hard all day Saturday to get ready for E1 on sunday morning then left the track after a pint at Scott Palmer's pit!
Up early again but the fire-up curfew was 10:00. We discovered that the blow-up against Tony Schumacher had pulled the thread inserts in the blower so the front of the injector was lifting causing air to get in when I lifted throttle. So we had a mad thrash to repair but at least we found the sticking throttle issue - phew! This happened at exactly the same time at the same race last year and I faced Steve Torrence in E1 too... weird!
Two nitro whacks later we were ready to run three seconds at 300 mph. I dashed off to the driver introduction and got a huge cheer for being #13 qualifier!
We got ready to race our friend Steve Torrence but Gary reminded me that if we were getting beaten then shut off as we don't get anything for first round loser and if we blow up and oil the track it's a $4000 fine this time. Gary was right of course but as a driver I was bummed. Stevo shot off to a 3.83 so I lifted before the eighth to a 4.83/177 but the car was perfect, no damage, and left on eight cylinders so we had a good car for the Nitro Nats in Toronto last weekend.
Smax will be in touch about the Nitro Nats very shortly.
Web site updates.
6th July: Our good buddy Remco Scheelings has posted two FHRA Nitro Nationals reports on the Autosport.nl web site. As usual there is a race report which you can check out by clicking here and a report of "Other things I saw" which you can check out by clicking here.
The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr gallery with pictures from the Saturday of the Street Drags Public Track Day at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can take a look at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
Event entry update.
4th July: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for forwarding us the final version of the official entry list for Bug Jam, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 22nd-23rd July (RWYB Friday 21st and until 15:00 Saturday). You can check out the Bug Jam entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Thanks also to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 1 of the MSA Pro Modified entry list for the Mopar EuroNationals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 28th-30th July. You can check out the Mopar EuroNationals Pro Mod entry by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
This Friday (7th) is the official closing date for the Mopar EuroNationals after which entry, if accepted, may be subject to a late entry penalty. You can download the official entry forms from the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about SPRC event entry then please contact Ian Marshall at SPRC on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail email@example.com.
An Anniversary to remember.
4th July: Serck Motorsport Outlaw Anglia racer Colin Millar writes that the class' 25th Anniversary party took place at the recent NSRA Nostalgia Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. Colin is a self-contained party, but on this occasion a large number of others were permitted to play:
The word went out to all past, present and future people engaged with Outlaw Anglia to come along and enjoy what is one of the best classes in drag racing. Most of us made the effort to get to the track Thursday evening and we set about making a large area for the party. With Simon Barlow's large awning and a number of large party tents it was quite a spectacle when it was all pulled together.
Up and about early on Friday, not forgetting why we were there: to race in Outlaw Anglia. We made sure that those who would be racing on Saturday had their cars all ready to go, but the guys with street-legal cars were taking advantage of the time and venue to take part in the Ford Pop Shootout, which was the root of the class and how it all began twenty five years ago.
It was an early morning cruise into Stratford upon Avon with a good eight-car field, all sounding strong but in full street trim with the exception of a few wheelie bars sticking out: Mark Bracking in OA70, Barry Woodford in his alternative but beautiful blue Pop pick-up, Ian Tweddle in OA95, Lee Taylor in OA98, Gary Hill in OA107, Danny Wilson in OA 108 and finally Ronnie Mercer in OA 109. Everyone went out and everybody returned safe and sound. The Shootout started at midday and the two fastest cars would race each other on Saturday on a heads-up, first to the finish win. The bragging rights went Ian Tweddle who won with Lee Taylor a close second. Jerry Cookson of SCR had even organised some medals which was a very nice touch. All of the boys had chipped in a tenner with the winner getting the prize fund and in true OA style Ian gave all his winnings to the Al's Gasser fund which was a great gesture I thought (Hear, hear - Ed).
By this time the general layout for the party was in place including speakers that were twice my height and all the hardware you need to entertain five thousand people, a big thanks to Pete Rollinson for his efforts. Needless to say we... well the royal we, that's Ginner and myself, decided to have a test run on Friday night to ensure that the sound system was man enough for the big party. DJ Ginner and DJ Millar hit the decks. Serck Motorsports Graham Smith and his good lady Rachael had unfortunately parked nearby in their motorhome and in the morning they informed us that both his plates and his teeth could be heard rattling into the early hours. Of course I think he was exaggerating.
Roll on Saturday and everyone was buzzing for a great day's racing with a ninteen-car field, as Barry Woodford had unfortunately damaged a piston and was unable to run. We had a lot of great racing with a big surge in new PBs both in ET and speed - all of the racing information can be found on the race report for the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals in the News section of the Serck Motorsport Outlaw Anglia web site at www.outlawanglia.co.uk.
After the racing we set up ready for the big party. The food was collected form Lee Hillier, a local butcher in Stratford Upon Avon whom we must thank for fantastic-quality home-made food. Lee Taylor was ready with two huge coal barbecues and had no idea he would be cooking for most of the night as the queue just never seemed to go down. We must have fed at least 250 or more... I had no idea that Outlaw Anglia was this big or maybe we just fed the whole of Shakey (Can I take a wild stab in the dark - Ed). Al's Gasser's bucket was placed at the end of the food table and instead of paying for anything we asked those attending if they could make a donation to Al's fund and this was done very generously. I have to thank everybody for this.
The cakes were fabulous as well. Raych made a fantastic large Outlaw Anglia cake and lots of individual Outlaw Anglia cup cakes. There was also a cake made in the form of Al's Gasser, unfortunately I never found out who made it. We even had Outlaw Anglia chocolate biscuits and Outlaw Anglia lollipops thanks to the Woodford family.
Once everybody was fed and watered we fired up the music, initially quietly to get people's taste buds going and then slowly cranked up the sounds, Peter Rollinson's boy Jake was on the decks and doing a great job. Then we had a real treat for everybody: Eleanor Sideway came on stage and sang for us for around an hour, and for those who have never heard her before she is truly fantastic, thank you Eleanor. Back on the decks and by this time the party was in full swing and it was getting hard to get a space far less a seat. The kids had an area to allow them to play and they enjoyed every minute with young Jake Bracking winning the prize for the most autographs collected on the Saturday, well done Jake! With the help pof all fo the kids young Freddie headed up a collection fund to sell stickers he had collected and raffled off some prizes with all the proceeds given to Al O'Connor who was very much touched by this kind gesture. As expected the party went on into the small hours but as the Outlaw Anglia drivers were up early we were all tucked up before midnight, honest (Bzzz! Bullshit - Ed).
All in all the party was a great success and yet another demonstration of how the drag racing family get together and put on such a fantastic event for everyone to share and enjoy. I've been asked to do the next Twenty Five Year party in 2042. It's long enough away to allow me to forget all the stuff you have to do!
Sunday was a good day with great racing and fantastic burnouts and close heads-up racing from all in what is the spectacle of Serck Motorsport Outlaw Anglia drag racing.
It was very unfortunate that we ran out of time and couldn't fully finish the meeting but that's what makes racing. It was a great meeting with no major incidents, which is what everybody at the track wants, with the exception of Rob Slater trying to cut down most of the grass at the top end of the track. We were all glad to hear that Andy Bond is on the mend and we all wish him a speedy return.
The special one-off Outlaw Anglia 25th Anniversary T-Shirts and hoodies were available at the Nostalgia Nationals. We are trying to ensure that everyone has one; we still have some more and we will have these available at Dragstalgia, which is the next Serck Motorsport Outlaw Anglia event. With a stunning twenty one-car Outlaw Anglia field we are all looking forward to Dragstalgia and one thing is for sure: we will put on a show which can only be delivered by everyone involved with Outlaw Anglia.
Party pictures courtesy and ©Callum Pudge
Guess the outcome...
4th July: Nigel Taylor writes that Arthur Bonner will be back in the seat of the Detroit Spinner at Dragstalgia, one week before his 76th birthday, and that there will also be a special guest driver behind the wheel of the Prefect for one run:
Arthur is thriving on the thought of the Prefect, now running its 555ci Dart motor, taking to the quarter at such an iconic meeting. The Spinner, originally built in the 1970s, is still running its rare Fairbanks gearbox, MGB front suspension, 1½ ton steel body, nine-inch Ford rear end with 4:88 gearing, and its original ECA 46 race number!
For the second run on Saturday the Spinner will be handed over to Andy Frost, who is used to going fast in Red Victor 3 with all its stability and technology, but how will he cope with the shed-built Prefect?
The Detroit Spinner Racing Facebook page is open to anyone who wants to predict what time and speed Frosty will run. Obviously we will always encourage you to go onto the Red Victor 3 page, donate to the RV3 team and take a guess at the time and speed which Andy is likely to run in an unknown car.
We would like to thank all of our sponsors who have made this possible!
4th July: With four weeks to go before the SPRC / BDRC / Hockenheimring team start to prep the Rico Anthes Quarter Mile for this year's NitrOlympx, a reminder that a crew ticket worth €60 is on offer for each used slick which racers donate to the NitrOlympX organisers. All you need to do is to inform the team in the Signing On office and your slick(s) will be picked up from your pit and exchanged for a crew ticket.
Many thanks to Geoff Stilwell for forwarding this picture of Le Mans winner Johnny Adams trying out the Rat Trap Fuel Altered for size under the gaze of owner and driver Ron Hope at the weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Staying with Nostalgia and back to Dragstalgia and Eurodragster.com will be announcing this year's inductees to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame at 12:00 midday next Friday (12th), coinciding with the scheduled start of the RWYB at Dragstalgia. Longtime readers will recognise a change from the midnight Friday / Saturday announcement of previous years.
Thanks to our good buddy Steve Moxley for letting us know that his and wife Julie's FIA / FIM Main Event report is now available on the ACU web site at www.acu.org.uk, and that he also has an APIRA Springspeed Nationals feature now showing in the July 2017 issue of Custom Car magazine.
We have two birthdays today. First up, a Happy Birthday and hugs to Santa Pod Racers Club official Kathy Taylor. Have a lovely day Kathy. Happy Birthday also to six-second street-legal racer Andy Frost. Have a great day Frosty.
Also on the subject of birthdays we would like to wish all of our friends and readers in the USA a Happy 4th July. Have a great day guys.
Gun for hire.
4th July: Top Fuel Dragster tuner and professional engineer Eddie Corr tells us that the drag racing bug is niggling away at him again and that he is available for work for race teams whatever they run:
Within the drag racing world I tuned Top Fuel cars for almost twenty years, including two European Championships with Carter Motorsport and a third with Lex Joon. I tuned the joint first car to 300 mph in Europe and a few European records along the way. I also have NHRA experience and tuned the car which beat Tony Schumacher in Round 1 of Chicago in 2009.
Outside drag racing I have also worked in the World Rally Championship and Formula 1 working for Porsche, Lotus, Williams and Prodrive. With extensive engine and chassis experience I can turn my hand to anything from normally-aspirated petrol engines to turbocharged or supercharged engines, and any oxygenated fuels or additives. I also have experience of chassis tuning and motorcycles.
My experience includes everything from training and leading a crew to the actual building, commissioning, testing, and race tuning of the car. Basically I can bring something to any team, no matter how large or small. Rates are negotiable depending on programme.
If you are interested then please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in touch with Eddie.
Your Sunday winners.
2nd July: Congratulations to your Pro winners at this weekend's FHRA Nitro Nationals at Alastaro: Duncan Micallef (FIA Top Fuel Dragster), Timo Habermann (FIA Top Methanol), Åke Persson (FIA Pro Modified), Bengt Ljungdahl (FIA Pro Stock), Teemu Kettula (EDRS Pro MC Supertwin), Thomas Lysebraate Olsen (EDRS Pro MC Pro Stock Bike) and Mogens Lund (EDRS Pro MC Super Street Bike). You can find full Pro and Sportsman qualifying and results of what was an eventful weekend on the FHRA web site at www.fhra.fi.
Many thanks to Åsa Kinnemar for forwarding us the post-FHRA Nitro Nationals standings in the FIA European Drag Racing Championships. You can take a look at the FIA points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page which you can reach by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Congratulations also to Dave Wiggins who won the inaugural Gearhead Garage No Prep Nationals at North Weald in a close race with Chris Skinner over an untimed eighth (right). The guaranteed £1000 prize money was increased to £1125 to the winner and £225 to the runner-up courtesy of an additional £250 posted by Jeff and Belinda Bull of Eurodragster.com sponsor Jeff Bull Race Engines.
Congratulations also to Hussain Cetin and Bobby Semple who won North Weald's own Quick 8 FWD and Quick 8 Bike eliminations.
You can check out our No Prep Nationals report and No Prep Nationals and Test and Tune galleries, which are presented in association with John Woolfe Racing and which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
2nd July: Kerry and Jacques Jeyes asked to add their own good wishes to our own love and hugs to Podington Pea Diana Macrae whose birthday it is today. Hope you are having a lovely day DD.
1st July: Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Andy Bond has been in touch to thank all of those who came to his aid after his crash at the SPRC Summernationals:
I'd like to say thank you to the fire, safety and medical staff at the track. I'm grateful for their speedy response and diligence when removing me from the car, particularly Paul Bowman for his endeavours to ensure the car stayed complete. Also thanks to all involved in moving the car from deep in the field so carefully. Thanks to Darren Prentice for his help and for allowing my family to stay at the track during this time.
Big thanks both to my solid crew and to the Redneck boys for all their efforts in loading the car without any further damage. Apologies to all racers for cutting their meeting short.
Many thanks to all who have contacted me with their good wishes.
We're both a bit battered, bruised and uglier than ever but, after taking a few months out to get in shape, we'll be back.
A Stocker in waiting.
1st July: Stock racer-in-waiting Carla Pittau, currently at Alastaro where husband Rick McCann is racing in Stock / Super Stock, writes that there is a lot of waiting in a drag racer's life:
Waiting for parts, waiting for the new workshop to finished, waiting for the new workshop's heating system to be installed, waiting for the machine shop, waiting in the pits to be called, waiting in the lanes during an oildown, waiting in the motorhome for the rain to stop, hurrying up and then waiting... and then there is waiting for a Stocker to be finished.
As I write I'm on the ferry from Kapelskär to Naantali, on route for the FHRA Nitro Nationals, and I'm waiting for the sea journey to be over. Of course it seems that the traffic between Sweden and Finland has increased of late, so I couldn't get on the Tuesday ferry and had to book for the Monday; this means that we will be in Finland on Monday night and will have to wait until Wednesday, somewhere, before we are allowed in the pits at the track.
If you are waiting for something at the moment perhaps you can kill some time reading my piece about waiting.
The season started abruptly for us: no sooner had we settled down in the new workshop than we started taking apart Rick's two Super Stock engines, hoping to be able to make one out of two. The first one, a 400ci SBC, was built by Rick Watters with heads prepared by Gary Hettler, and as a combination had many problems. We bought it with much hope and expectations as it was owned by the then GT/CA record holder, Byron Setters. Nobody bothered to tell us that it was a combination that he never managed to get to work well and that he bought it for a song. We were very disappointed as we started to learn the ropes of legal Super Stock engine building. Although in the GT class you are allowed to use an engine from a different model year than your car, the heads must be the originals which came with the engine in that year. In other words, if you use a 1975 Chevy Small Block, you must use the original iron heads which were used on that engine in 1975, and if by an unfortunate set of circumstances that particular engine came with a Rochester Quadrajet, that's the carburettor you have to use. Period.
We managed to tune the Quadrajet to the best of our abilities and in fact the much-maligned carb revealed much more race attitude than it is credited for, and the heads made a fair amount of power, but they leaked. They leaked because they are old, they are porous, and they are carved to a millimetre of the water passages to try and extract as much power as humanly possible within the strict rules of Super Stock - this is NHRA Super Stock, not the UK version which shares the name but none of the rules. The size of the valves must be stock, the volumes must be stock. NHRA tech will measure the volume of the combustion chambers, the intake ports and the exhaust ports, and all of them must be the same as the stock heads would have been. So for every ounce of material removed from one place, some material must be reapplied somewhere else. The wizardry consists in knowing where to remove and where to apply to make the heads flow to the best efficiency. However, even if you obtain the best possible result, if your heads leak and you spend most of your time repairing them, you are not going to go rounds. We repaired them with gas tank sealer and JB Weld and they leaked again after the first season, so we sent them back to the States, they were repaired and they leaked after a couple of meetings, we had them repaired in England with a super-duper indestructible ceramic coating, and they leaked again after a few meetings more.
In between repairs we managed a best of 0.56 under index, which normally places us around twenty fifth or twenty sixth position in qualifying, and of course we wanted more.
This is a real problem for many racers who use this combination, not just us; so many complained to NHRA that perhaps replacement heads should be allowed. This is indeed allowed in some classes, normally in Super Stock only, and it means that you can use any within a list of equal performance aftermarket heads which NHRA have specifically approved for your combination. NHRA still have not issued any such list for the 1975 400ci SBC, but they made a concession: they re-rated the combination at 319 hp, down from 324... big deal. In plain speak, this means that the minimum weight for our combination went down from 3086 lbs to 3041 lbs.
In the meantime we had acquired a second engine, another 400ci SBC built by John Gulius which at least this time came quite cheap and together with two carburettors, a torque converter and a Scott McClay transmission. We dropped it in last year and went racing, leaving the leaking heads behind. Unfortunately this second engine made a bit less power than the first and we suspected that the first block may have been a better one. The quest for power with these engines resembles trying to get blood out of a stone, but it is amazing to open one up and find that the friction is so low that the rotating assembly almost turns if you blow down one cylinder. Low tension rings, magic cylinder honing and tweaking the oil rings, as well as seriously low weight pistons contribute to the ease of rotation, preserving your horse power and allowing it to travel further down the drive train to your rear end. The biggest restriction to this are the fierce valve springs, which are needed to keep in check the aggressive cam profiles which are thankfully allowed. We therefore thought that perhaps using the first block with the non leaking (yet!) second heads might be a step in the right direction, and this we proceeded to do as soon as we had a viable workshop.
We measured very carefully and established that there was plenty of piston to valve clearance and that we could use the same intake, we had the block re-honed by local wizard Raymond Karlsson, got a set of bearings, a rebuild kit, and put it together just in time to leave for the Main Event with a couple of days to spare, as we intended to put it through its paces at the Williams Brothers' new dyno. The day at the dyno was very fruitful, and with some tuning, by the end of the day, we managed to get over 600 hp. Sadly the performance at the track did not match our expectations, the track was tricky and the tyres past their best, and the only saving grace was that Rick managed to go two rounds before the rain stopped play.
We had to wait (!) until the Tierp Internationals before we could tweak the engine to give us a bit more, and the qualifying runs there confirmed that horsepower is not all of the story when you are chasing ET. Retarding the cam timing had indeed improved peak HP, but although it looked like the torque sacrificed in the process was minimal and that we certainly did not need more at the launch, when we tried advancing it the ET immediately responded, showing that as well as improving max torque the four degrees' advance seemed to improve mid range, with the top end staying almost unchanged. However we are still only 0.50 under index (well in fact 0.4982 under) so we still have to match the previous performance, never mind improving.
We are now going to do some more testing and tweaking at Alastaro and will hopefully find a little more power, but the future of Rick's Super Stock racing might change if we finally decide that it's just too hard to make this work with the current NHRA rating and perhaps we should go to a more competitive combination. Meanwhile we wait... for my car to be finished. An ex-Pro ET seasoned bracket car, but which stayed as faithful as possible to her Stocker stance, the 1970 Camaro was always a prime candidate for the jump up to NHRA Stock. The stock chassis with nine inch tyres and Caltracs, Small Block and GM ten bolt rear has gone a best of 9.54 seconds on the quarter mile with a 1.28 sixty foot, not bad for an old girl weighing 3150 lbs despite the fibreglass doors, front fenders and hood. However Williams Brothers Racing have done a complete frame off restoration and the car should be ready... sometime in the future... for her Stock debut.
Nothing left to do but wait, I guess, before I can talk about her new personality. But it's OK, I am a drag racer. I have a lot of experience of waiting...
Walters' season so far.
1st July: Super Pro ET racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Peter Walters has been in touch with a report of his first two outings in the Gold RV / PWRD / RW Custom Paint Super Pro ET dragster:
After a not very successful 2016, with many engine breakages and transmission issues, Walters Motorsport decided to park their blown Small Block dragster for the 2017 season to rebuild the car and change the engine combination to a big block Chevy. The original plan was for Pete's sister Holley to make her racing début driving the family's Mustang in Sportsman ET. Then to make the season even more fun-filled, Derek Flynn of Gold RV, long time supporter of Pete's racing, stepped up and offered Pete the chance to drive his six-second dragster. Due to Derek spending most of the year so far in a hospital gown, we unfortunately didn't make the Festival of Power, but we are glad he is back to full health now! We agreed to miss the Springspeed Nationals and début at the FIA Main Event in May.
Thursday testing was successful, with the new engine combination running well. We had a couple of twitchy half passes but the early numbers looked good, so we were ready for Friday's qualifying. Back to launching off idle and footbrake, Pete's sixteen years of experience came into effect and he ripped off a perfect 0.0000 Reaction Time to take the Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award. After a day's qualifying we ended up in twenty fourth qualifying position running a 7.166 on a 7.10 dial-in.
Saturday didn't quite go to plan. After damaging various parts in the transmission and zinging the motor, we found a few valvetrain issues Saturday night. We sat down and discussed whether to call it a day or to drive back to Hampshire to get spare parts. Pete's longtime crewman Mick Slocombe stepped up and took the six-hour round-trip with Derek's wife Fiona, returning at gone one in the morning!
We woke up early Sunday morning and got to work on changing the parts, firing the motor just a few minutes before we were called. "Derek, Dad (Richard), Mick and Chris, really pulled all the stops out and worked amazingly together to get it finished, I couldn't have been more proud", said Pete. We pulled down to the line and after Derek checked the lanes he asked Rich to rub the six off leaving a 7.10 on the wing. The car launched hard and went straight down the groove to give us an incredible 7.1000 run to go into the unassailable #1 qualifying position. "When the crew gave me the ticket it was easily one of my career highlights, I'm not one for words anyway, but I was speechless when reading it", said Pete.
We went into eliminations as the #1 qualifier, and matched up with Mick Howling in Paul Marston's dragster. We dialled 7.16, Pete pulled his usual 0.02 light and caught Mick, backed off the throttle, then dabbed it again, but too much... 7.148 breakout, our weekend was done! We came away from the Main Event happy, the car worked well and the team worked even better!
The SPRC Summernationals soon came around, and we were raring to go. A few adjustments to the tune and we were aiming for 6.9s, but a heavy headwind put the sixes on hold for now. Our three runs on Saturday resulted in a 7.064, 7.085 and a 7.069, we ended up in #2 spot, 0.009 off the dial-in. The weekend's Super Pro ET Group special award was for best package in qualifying. On the final run Pete pulled a 0.016 light, coupled with 0.009 off the dial to leave us with a 0.025 package taking the big trophy and the prize money.
Eliminations came round quickly Sunday morning and we were paired with Laura Turburville. Pete tree'd Laura with a 0.020 to her 0.094, caught at the top end, lifted (properly this time!) and ran a 7.131 on a 7.06 to take the win. A Round 2 bye left us in the quarter finals with four other ex-Junior Dragster racers. We faced Brad Jackson in the Lucas Oil dragster, but Pete threw it all away, leaving too soon by 0.04, so our weekend was done.
We are hoping for a top ten finish this year, and two good points hauls have helped. The next event for the dragster will be the FIA European Finals where we hope to go some rounds, and run some six-second passes.
The Walters Motorsport Mustang had a lot of problems at the first three events, but after finally finding the issue it was super consistent at the Summernationals, with Holley running between 17.99 and 18.06 all weekend. A first round win against the 2016 Champ and #1 qualifier Andy Dibley gave her some confidence. A poor light (not helped by Pete's advice) and a 0.003 breakout in the second round put us on the trailer, but fun was still had by all. Pete will be piloting the family Mustang at the Bug Jam and Holley will be returning to the seat at the Open Sport Nationals in August.
Pete would like to thank Derek and Fiona of Gold RV, Peter Walters Race Design and Rich Walters Custom Paint for the support this season, as well as the whole team for their continued efforts.
Just as we coded and posted this news item it became Pete's birthday so a big Happy Birthday Pete, have a great day.
1st July: Nick Brooke-Langham writes that there was thrilling conclusion to Round 2 of the Gasser Circus Showdown on Sunday when brothers Brian and John Gibson brought their cars to the line at the Nostalgia Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway:
Brian and John had occupied opposite sides of the ladder. John and his' 55 Chevy Crowd Pleaser took the semi-final win over Sean Milsom and his nine-second Morris Van Ain't Misbehavin', Sean lighting the red bulb having made it to the semi without the normal aid of his transbrake. Brian in his Identity Crisis Dodge took his win in the semi-final by the narrowest of margins with an 0.126 win over #1 qualifier Nervous Nick, i.e. me, and my Austin Devon Nogbad The Bad.
The final looked set to be just as close, and this was even more assured when the brothers decided to place identical 11.19 dial-ins on their back windows. Both went into their burnouts with Brian staying in his a little bit longer ensuring that he not only got his tyres nice and sticky, but also that he created a shroud of tyre smoke which encircled his car as it edged into pre-stage.
The brothers left together both leaving behind green lights, with the wheels on John's '55 scrabbling in the air as he shifted into second. The brothers stayed side-by-side all the way down the quarter mile with everyone in the stands, like the siblings, focused on the finish line. As they crossed the stripe the win light glowed bright in Brian's lane, and the boards showed that John had broken out with an 11.14. The final was a fitting way to conclude what had been a brilliant weekend.
A huge Thank You to our sponsors the National Street Rod Association and Speedking, and to the guys and girls at Shakey who made the weekend possible and kept all the racers safe.
Roll on Round 3 at Dragstalgia, when the Gasser Circus take on Gassers from Sweden.
1st July: Many thanks to Donna Finnegan of Santa Pod Raceway for forwarding us a couple more pictures from the Goodwood Festival of Speed including a shot of Donna herself with SPR colleagues David Warren, Robin Jackson and Will Thompson, and Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson with his Pro Modified Camaro on the stand of his sponsor NGK Spark Plugs.
Robin Jackson tells us that the Summer 2017 issue of the Motor Sports Association's quarterly MSA Magazine features Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Mark Todd as the subject of its Weekend Warrior column, illustrated with a striking photograph by Matt Woods.
Rene Martin asked us to say a big Happy 35th Birthday to photographer David Beitler of Speedseekers. We are very happy to do so, have a great day David.
Further to Wednesday's news item, our good friend Alan Currans tells us that he has posted an update to Keith Lee's Blog about the writing of his book on Dennis Priddle. You can take a look at wwwtheaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
Also updating a Blog is Liam Lodge who has decided to add posts about the golden era of each class in the FIA European Championships to his site at liam66europeandragracing.wordpress.com. Liam's first Golden Era post is about Top Methanol Funny Car in the early 2000s.
The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr gallery with pictures from Saturday of the Yanks Weekend / Gary's Picnic at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can take a look at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
K&N Filters back the Bennetts.
1st July: Luke Bennett writes that as sponsors of Bennett Racing's blown-alcohol operation since 2005 K&N Filters are no strangers to the drag racing scene, so when the team approached them about changing from their outdated conventional panel style oil filters K&N Filters jumped at the chance to not only supply but to make sure it was the correct filter for this harsh environment:
And so began many conversations to ascertain which style of filter would be right for two supercharged Chevrolet-powered, methanol-burning altereds with a combined horsepower of around 5,000. Factors which K&N needed to consider were:
Lindtek join VP distributors.
1st July: Eurodragster.com sponsor VP Racing Fuels has announced a new partnership making Lindtek.dk APS its newest distributor for the European market. Based in Østbirk, Denmark, Lindtek will distribute VP's full line of race fuel blends throughout Denmark, with plans to expand distribution to northern Germany later this year.
"We're excited to partner with Tom Lindstrøm Petersen and his team at Lindtek" said Marc Wesler, International Regional Manager for VP. "Besides operating a successful and well-respected business, Tom and his family have been involved in racing for many years. In fact, at the third round of the Danish Rally Championships recently Lindtek fuelled the winner of the Historic class with VP's R5 race fuel. They truly know motorsports, and we anticipate they'll provide a big boost to our European business, particularly in the rally, motocross and vintage racing markets."
"After a bad experience with race fuel sales in the past, we became aware of VP Racing Fuels and were impressed with its reputation, quality and breadth of its product line" said Tom Lindstrøm Petersen, Owner and CEO of Lindtel. "We believe it's a great fit for our business and we look forward to working with VP for many years to come."
More information about Lindtek and its inventory of VP Racing Fuels products is available online at www.lindtek.dk. More information about VP Racing Fuels is available at vpracingfuels.com.