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European Drag Racing News
31st August: FIM/UEM European Pro Stock Bike Champion Roger Pettersson is only fourteen points behind Öivind von Essen going into next weekend's FIA European Finals, and Crew Chief Roger Lyrén thinks that the season finale could see the tightest-ever PSB field in Europe.
"It couldn't be a better competition than it has been this season, with a different winner in every race!", says Roger. The class has really stepped up to professional standards with an eight-bike field at every event. When we started this season we knew that competition would be really tough, and it has been."
The Veidec-sponsored team had more work on their hands this season with a new bike which arrived just before the Ford Nitro Nationals at Alastaro. "We got the bike on 18th June and there are still about another 250 hours' work to do on the chassis!", says Roger. "We worked day and night but we had no time for testing before we left Sweden. The bike was not ready so the whole team worked all three days in Finland to get it ready. We got a few passes in before the rain stopped us. The next step was Mantorp Park, the bike started to run well, we recorded 1.12 and 1.13 sixty-foot times which was very promising, and we did win the race, one of the best races we have ever won.
"The last parts for the new engine arrived from Byron at Vance and Hines Motorsport on the Monday before Gardermoen, and the engine was ready to race on the Tuesday. With the Mantorp win in the bag and Gardemoen always having good track conditions, we thought we had the combination to run really good numbers. But what happened? Five qualifying runs spinning the tyre - what's going on? The set-up was totally different. That wasn't the end of our problems, in the first round we won but broke the shift shafts in th egearbox and it was locked. The next run was one and and a half hours away, we changed the gearbox and readied the bike in an hour and twenty minutes - good training for the new crew. On the second run we had tyre shake and so we lost against Vesa Rautio.
"After all the problems we decided to do something totally different for the race at Hockenheim, and it paid off with a 7.42/288 Kmh, with the hot Hockenheim conditions we were very satisfied.
"So now we have the European Finals, and with fifteen bikes entered I think we will have the quickest and tightest PSB field ever in Europe. We are very excited about this season and will do all we can to win our seventh Championship, but racing is racing and anything can happen.
"I want to thank my crew: Henrik Carlsson, Lars Eriksson, Jorgen Tornstrand, and Karl Lyrén; Roger Pettersson for riding and of course our wives Lina, Malin, Sara and Lotta. They have all done a great job this season. Our sponsors are a big part of this, without them we cannot race: Rickard Palsson at Veidec has done a great job for us, Beta Tools make very good tools, MotoSpeed support us with engines, Suzuki Sweden provide engine parts, Valvoline supply special oils, Spidi the riding leathers, Dynatek the electronics and computers, Vance and Hines Europe the exhaust pipe, Super Twin supply welding and frame work, Wiklunds Akeri look after the bus, Schneiders MC, Electrobyron, Kjeller and lots of other people and companies - we could not do this without them."
European Finals snippets.
31st August: Swedish Top Fuel Dragster racer Susanne Callin appeared on Swedish TV last night, says Christer Abrahamson of Svensk Dragracing. "Susanne was interviewed on the very popular Friday night show I afton Lantz (no, not Peter Lantz, but Annika Lantz, well known TV personality)", says Christer. "As usual Susanne made a good impression both for herself and for the sport, including some promotion for the European Finals."
Swiss Top Methanol FC racer Dezsoe Krivan has had to withdraw from the European Finals after suffering engine damage at the Nitrolympics. "We'll see you in 2003", says a "sad and angry" Dezsoe.
The official entry list for the FIA European Finals has been updated with the latest entries. You can view it by clicking here or via our Event Coverage link. Thanks to Paula Marshall for passing it on to us.
Santa Pod Raceway's pits have seen some attention this week with a new stretch of tarmac between the grandstand and the Pod Shop block, and between the Pod Shop and the top end toilet block, doubling the depth of hard standing. The service road has also been resurfaced from the spectator-side security gate to the pit side of the barn. ©Eurodragster.com
Kuutniemi tests at Alastaro.
31st August: Finnish Funny Bike racer Asko Määtä has written with news of Top Methnaol FC racer Jarmo Kuutniemi's testing at this weekend's Finnish Finals at Alastaro.
"Friday's testing went in a way we didn't want", says Asko. "We had one run. The car launched well for the first foot and then it started to jump like a kangaroo so Jarmo shut off. Now we know one more thing and our attitude for Saturday is that it can only get better.
"On the bike side, Friday was a weird kind of day for Finnish racers. First, Petri 'Kalix' Kalttonen cruised the ex-Raikkonen Top Fuel Harley in his first pass to respectabe 7.69 at only 169 mph. This was on soft tune-up with 92% nitro. The bike was fat from the start and went more fat towards the end. Still a very good time for a bike which is kind of old and a totally new rider! Secondly, it seems that this race will be a Finnish TF Harley Champions' race (instead of actually being a Comp Bike race) as Jaska Salakari is riding his old bike. Burnouts were Jaska-like, long and thundering (the bike, not Jaska) but he had primary belt problems on the run, so no time to mention. Third: The best is still coming on Saturday and Sunday. There'll be ex- European Champ Juha Hillman with his ex-Kizer/Orient Suzuki Funny Bike (I did the fuel system last week, it hasn't been better since the early 1990s). I'll still bet on him!"
You can stay in touch with events at Alastaro on the Finnish Hot Rod Association web site at www.fhra.fi.
Talbots pleased to be back.
31st August: Pat and Stephen Talbot made a welcome return to Super Pro ET at last weekend's Fallnationals, after a long absence caused by engine damage to the Manumit Computers dragster. The weekend went better than Pat and Stephen thought possible.
"What a great weekend", says Stephen. "We thought that we would only do a few test passes ready for the European Finals, but all of the servicing and rebuild work done at very short notice gave us a better weekend than we could possibly have hoped for. Breaking out in the semis in Super Pro after a year away was not a bad start!
"A big thanks to ICE for the engine rebuild, Hauser Racing for the work on the rear end and lots of parts, Al O'Conner for the gearbox refresh and all of the other guys who worked on the car over the last six weeks to get us there after a nine month wait. Pat and I would also like to thank all of the people who welcomed the Talbot Racing/Manumit Computers Dragster and the Sanity Assassin Toyota back to Shakespeare County Raceway at the weekend. We lost count of all of the public and racers who said "Ut's great to have you back".
"Finally we would like to thank all of the team: Ray, Robin, Jason, Mike and Lisa, and a special mention to John Everitt who got the Toyota a new car best of 9.71 and also a perfect run, 9.80 on a 9.80 dial-in, and still only qualified second Pro ET. It's great to be back - see you all at the European Finals."
Racers to the rescue.
31st August: Wild Bunch racer Mark Coulsell has been in touch to thank everyone who helped him out after a coupler broke in his Limited Funz slingshot at last weekend's Fallnationals.
"The car broke in the first round eliminations on Sunday and I thought that my racing was over for the weekend", says Mark. "On inspection we found the coupler had broken. Jim Seward's crew tried to weld the part on site but they weren't happy about the strength of the repair, so it was off to Roy Wilding's workshop in Birmingham (thanks to Sarah Howells for the loan of her car) to find a new piece and have it machined to fit. Special thanks to Roy who after working an eighteen hour day still gave up his evening to help. Thanks also to everyone at the track, especially Andy Gosling and Paul Vickers, who helped with both the dismantling and rebuilding. Monday was a much more successful day as I went through to win the event in the Wild Bunch!"©Eurodragster.com
Super Series 2002 Champions.
30th August: We are indebted to Super Series Points Co-ordinator Simon Groves for sending us the final standings in the 2002 Super Series Championships, and to National Association of Supertwins co-ordinator Sue Beneke for the final standings in the Super Series part of the NAST Championships. Congratulations to the 2002 Super Series Champions:
Super Pro ET: Martyn Jones
Pro ET: Carla Pitau and Rick McCann
Sportsman ET: Al Platt
Super Comp: Martin Curbishley
Super Gas: Frank Mason
Super Street: Dave Cherrett
Junior Dragster: Holley Glassup
Super Modified: Danny Cockerill
Wild Bunch: Mark Coulsell
Outlaw Anglia: Rob Stone
Top Fuel Bike: Steve Woollatt
Pro Stock Bike: Nick Pepper
Funny Bike: Neil Midgley
Comp Bike: Klaus Brinkmann
Super Street Bike: Tony Clark
9.90 Bike: Paul Morris
10.90 Bike: TJ O'Brien
Supertwin Fuel: Jamie Millership
Supertwin Gas: Rich Davies
Supertwin Modified: Dave Bartz
Supertwin Street: Les Harris
You can see the full Super Series Championship results on our Points Standings page. ©Eurodragster.com
UK Championship standings.
30th August: Standings in the UK National Drag Racing Championships after the weekend's Super Series Fallnationals are now available on our Points Standings page, courtesy of Points Co-ordinators Simon Groves and Yvonne Tramm.
We are also grateful to National Association of Supertwins co-ordinator Sue Beneke for passing us the latest standings in the NAST Championships, which are also available on our Points Standings page. ©Eurodragster.com
European Finals entry closed.
30th August: Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Paula Marshall has been in touch to let racers know that entry to next weekend's FIA European Finals is now closed to Sportsman racers. "If I don't know that your entry is coming, then it is too late", says Paula. The number of entries is now a touch under 280; we will publish an updated entry list very shortly. In the meantime you can see the initial entry list by clicking here.
Paula has also asked racers to be prepared for some eliminations to take place on the Saturday evening as some classes, most notably 9.90 Bike, have huge entries. We hope to bring you provisional running orders soon. ©Eurodragster.com
Take the seat of a TMD!
30th August: Santa Pod Raceway's International Race Director Darren Prentice has announced some more outstanding lots for the Charity Auction which is to be held at next week's FIA European Finals.
Amongst the latest items the American Car Imports Racing Top Methanol Dragster team are offering the chance to sit in the 5.5-second TMD during a warm-up on the Sunday of next weekend's race, whilst for two-wheel fans, Steve Woollatt and the Dealer Top Fuel Bike team are offering a day as a crew member at a race in 2003. Peter Schöfer Racing have donated a large signed photograph of their Top Methanol Dragster, whilst Andy Carter's Crew Chief Eddie Corr has donated two spark plug's from Kent Persson's first European four-second pass, and two spark plugs from Andy Carter's 4.897 pass at this year's FIA Main Event.
Bids are already being accepted. To see the list of items, current bid status, and details of how to donate or bid items, check out our Charity Auction page by clicking here, or by clicking on the European Finals Charity Auction link on the left hand side of any Eurodragster page. ©Eurodragster.com
European Finals snippets.
30th August: FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Championship leader, Denmark's Kim Reymond and his team are ready to fight "The best we can" for the #1 plate next weekend. "The car has a new-style TFX block", says Kim, "and we are looking forward to a good side-by-side run in the final!"
Sportsman ET racer Darren Hulkes has been in touch to let us know that he will be attending this Sunday's Run What You Brung at Santa Pod Raceway to get in some pre-race testing.
The view from Parkinson's lane.
30th August: Following on from Gary Malin's first-hand account of his accident at Shakespeare County Raceway at the weekend, we have heard from John Parkinson whose Every Penny dragster T-boned Gary's rail.
John started by telling us that he is OK, considering. "I got out of hospital last night", he said. "I am fine and the only lasting damage is to my left eye which has a blood clot on the eye-ball, but the doctors tell me that it will settle and should not leave me with any loss of vision in that eye. My head took a severe beating inside my helmet, even though it was the correct fit. So thanks once again to the superb safety equipment which our sport insists upon I am, apart from being very bruised in places I never knew I had, remarkably fit and well."
John then described his accident from the driving seat. "Gary left the tree like a scalded cat, and I sat there as my lights ran down to the green. It wasn't a very quick launch but I nailed the throttle and took off after Gary. Everything was normal as I crossed the line, I got off the pedal and hit the chute release. The car just seemed to hook right and I was suddenly staring at the front half of Gary's car, and yet I appeared to be off the ground at this point. I pulled hard on the butterfly to try and avoid Gary, but there was no response - and then I hit him.
"The next thing to come into view was the sky, and a feeling similar to when I rode the reverse bungee at the Bulldog with Wendy Baker - I just seemed to be going up and up. Then came the almighty thump which slammed my helmet into the cage and according to the doctor gave me the problems with my eye. The car came back down and rolled a few times, I was at this point geing thrown like a rag doll all over the place. I remember opening my eyes and thinking 'sod this'. I had for some strange reason grabbed hold of my seat belt just above the adjusters and was hanging on to them for dear life.
"When the car finally stopped, I was on my right side and could hear the engine running> I remember thinking 'Better turn that off' reaching for the ignition switch and killing the motor. As I released my harness and slid out onto the tarmac I caught a glimpse of the front end and thought 'That's going to take some repairing'. I lay there on my back and wiggled everything to see if it was still connected and it all felt good. A face appeared in my visor asking was I OK and did I hurt anywhere. I felt like saying 'Only in my wallet' but that's not what those superb paramedics want to hear. I told them that I was OK apart from my left side by my knee and the thumping in my head.
"Those guys and girls do a superb job believe me. I would rather not have found out the way I did, but their attention to detail and skill at the scene were beyond description. I thank each and every one of them for their care and support and, once they saw I wasn't badly injured, their humour. I gave them a slight scare as they rolled me onto the back board, they turned me towards the car and everything stopped when I said 'Crap!'. The doctor asked what the matter was and I replied 'Where is the gearbox?'. You can imagine their response, but it was a badly-needed bit of humour to show them that I was OK.
"I caught sight of a few of our unsung heroes as I lay there, the FAST crew hovering behind the medics ready to assist in any way they could. Thank You guys and girls, you did your usual sterling job. I hope I didn't leave too much mess for you. I will be round to thank you all.
"It was in the medical centre that I learned that Gary was up and walking and appeared to be OK. It was such a relief to me to know that he was OK that my first flood of tears started - there were more after, believe you me. I want to thank everyone who shouted good wishes as they transfered me to the ambulance - I heard you Bev, but couldn't see you.
"I want to finish by saying a huge Thanks to Mark, Phil, Scottie, Karen and all the members of the Dog Squad for their help and support; to all the people who donated money to the repair of the car; to Marrianne and Gus for bringing my stuff to hospital; to my crew, especially Bob, Paul, Paul and Rick - sorry for wrecking the car guys, but you know we will be back; and lastly to Paul Stubbings and Wendy Baker for picking me up while in hospital - they brought me good news and laughter when I needed it most - thats what friends are for. Thank you any one I've missed, and once again Sorry Gary."
Bilsport Nats pictures.
30th August: Dragster Australia's European correspondent Ivan Sansom has very kindly sent us a number of photographs from the Bilsport Nats at Stockholm's Tullinge Raceway earlier this month, to complement the race reports which he sent at the time. You can check out Ivan's pictures by clicking here. If you would like copies of any of Ivan's pictures then you can E-Mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. ©Eurodragster.com
The view from Malin's lane.
29th August: UK Super Pro ET racer Gary Malin, who was involved in a very nasty two-car crash with John Parkinson at Shakespeare County Raceway on Monday, writes to let us know that he is OK and to give us the view from the right hand lane.
"I was very keen to cut a light - perhaps too keen, as I pulled a cherry", says Gary. "However, the dragster hooked up and gave us a 1.26 sixty-foot. As always the dragster ran straight, and as it had all weekend ran a consistent 9.10. We needed a tenth and had been told that by removing the rear wing we would gain it, but we refused to compromise on safety so the wing remained on. At the finish line I went through my normal shutdown procedure, pulling the chute and staying away from the brakes as always.
"Suddenly, John's dragster ploughed into the side of my dragster with an almighty bang, puncturing the side and narrowly missing the battery and fuel cell. This impact sent me and my dragster rolling about eight times into the field, with John's dragster going end to end a few times, then rolling many times landing on its side in half.
"Bob tells us that the cause could possibly be that number five plug spat out, allowing methanol and oil to hit the rear left slick leaving John along for the ride, and me helpless to avoid what was about to happen.
"Bob also says that John had a brain scan yesterday, and thank heavens all is well. However, they are concerned about the retina being detached, but the good news is that he is up and about.
"We would like to thank the FAST team and all the staff at Shakespeare County Raceway for their prompt attention to both myself and John. I would also like to thank my crew, including Paul Wright who contributed so much to getting the car right for this weekend. Lastly a very, very sincere Thank You to everyone who showed their sincere support with kind words and donations, and a special thank you to Kenny Coleman who will know why! Cheers Ken."
Gary's wife Lin adds that the team would like to hear from anyone who may have video footage of the crash. "We would very much like to know what happened", says Lin, "but I suppose no one will ever know. If anyone has any video then we will foot the bills for postage and duplication". If you do have video of Monday's crash then please E-Mail us at email@example.com and we'll put you in touch with Lin.
Drachten entry is huge...
29th August: We are indebted to Gerda Dijkstra of Lex Joon Racing for sending us the official entry list for this weekend's Finals at Drachten in Holland. "There are 145 entries", says Gerda. "Especially the week before the European Finals I didn't suspect that there would be so many, but the more the better. This is the biggest race this year, usually the July race is the biggest but I believe that the racers have been spreading the word that there is a nice track in the north of the Netherlands. The weather for this weekend looks good too, 23 degrees on Saturday and Sunday. So lets have a great race weekend!"
You can view the entry list by clicking here, and you can check out the Explosion Drag Racing Club web site at www.explosion.nl.©Eurodragster.com
...and Dutch SG Championship is close.
29th August: Robert Joosten writes with news of the Dutch Open Super Gas Championship, whose next round is at this weekend's Drachten Finals.
"After the last race in the series, which was at Hockenheim, Robert Joosten (runner-up) leads the Championship with his Bad Nova by fifty points from Paul 'The Kid' Vrind. Anything can happen! The Dragten Finals are up this weekend, and next weekend the final of the Aeries will be held at the European Finals at Santa Pod.
"We hope to expand the series to a European Super Gas Championship in 2003. There are much racers from Germany, France, UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and even some Swedich and Finnish racers who would like to race in a European Championship and we are looking at how to realise this. For example there must be some kind of travel money so that racers can come to the different tracks. We need help and sponsors to make this happen."
If anyone would like to get involved in backing a European Super Gas Championship then you can contact Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can find out everything you need to know about the Dutch Open SG Championship on the official web site at www.supergas.tiscaliweb.nl.©Eurodragster.com
North Herts FC already ready.
29th August: The UK's North Herts Engineering Fuel Funny Car team are already well into their preparations for next week's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, which is the final round of the 2002 British Nitro FC Championship. The team took a new engine set-up to the Super Series Fallnationals at the weekend, with mixed results but room for optimism.
"We wanted the car to run a bit better, but it's not the same car any more", says driver Gary Page. "We pulled a huge wheelie on the first run, because the clutch settings were the same as before the mags were uprated. On the last run one of the fuel pumps shut off - the new fuel pump levers are very shiny and slippery and one slid shut. We had lots of niggly little problems."
The car has been serviced and Gary tells us that it is ready for next week's race at Santa Pod. "Mark (Hawkins, car owner - Ed) has re-teflon'd the blower and done some work on the clutch. The new datalogger is working well, it proved that the blower wasn't doing too much...we may as well have had an egg whisk on top of the engine!"
Racers: Don't hesitate to send your FIA European Finals previews to us at email@example.com and we'll publish them here.
Pels goes into overdrive.
29th August: Dutch Supertwin Top Fuel Bike racer Ton Pels has made some changes to his fuel pump set-up going into next week's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. The Zodiac Racing team have had a busy summer but blew away Ton's personal bests and set a new European speed record at Mantorp Park in July.
"After two problematic days of qualifying at Mantorp, Ton and Vincent (Crew Chief - Ed) discussed the qualifying passes one by one and came to the conclusion that the small changes they made did not give the expected results", says Monique Pels. "The engine needed a more drastic change to the injection system to get more power. Therefore they made bigger changes than they ever had before.
"In the first round of eliminations on Sunday this resulted in a personal best of 6.63/335.99 Kmh. The speed of 335.99 was 5 kmh more than the existing terminal speed record but needed to be backed up within one per cent. In the second round Ton defeated Per Bengtsson with a 6.66/336.45 Kmh (209 mph). The new speed record was set! In the final round Ton met reigning European champion, Charley Karling from Sweden. Ton had been the strongest Supertwin rider all day, but holding the bike in stage he felt the front brake going away. As the Mantorp run-off area is the shortest in Europe (less than 550 metres) his first thought was to kill the engine at the start line but he decided to make a half pass in case Charley had problems or could not make a full pass himself. Ton had a better light and left the line hard. At mid-track he was still in the lead but had to shut off the engine and Charley came storming by to take the win.
"We were however very happy with the results at Mantorp and the new European speed record (although the latter only lasted for six days when Charley reset the record at Gardermoen). After the succes in Sweden, the next two races were less fortunate for the Zodiac team. At Gardermoen and Hockenheim the team coped with numerous mechanical problems, for example broken rocker arms, faulty new tyre, broken chain, broken primary belt, broken starter motor, broken sprockets and more. In spite of all these mechanical problems, Ton still made it to the semi-finals at Gardermoen and came second in the Supertwin Cannonball Challenge at Hockenheim and so barely missed the final of the Nitro Bike shootout between Supertwin Top Fuel and Competition Bike.
"After interpreting some of the computer data from the Hockenheim event, Ton and Vincent decided they will start out with an overdrive unit on the fuel pump (18% overdrive) at the European Finals. Let's see where that gets us...
"At the European finals we hope to get back on track and translate the power we found in Sweden into low ETs and high terminal speeds again, instead of breaking parts and going all over the track due to a faulty tyre. We would like to end this season with good results!
"Zodiac Dragracing would like to thank their sponsors Zodiac Performance Products for Harley Davidson; Supertrapp Performance Exhaust Systems, Accel Performance Ignitions and Arlen Ness Quality Motorcycle Products from California Craftsmen. We would also like to say a special thank you to Piet Mom for sending us a video of our personal, which you can find on our web site at www.zodiac.nl/dragrace/video.htm.
Carter signs Finals sponsor.
29th August: Following yesterday's news that FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter will be contesting the FIA European Finals, the Carter Motorsports team have announced an event sponsorship deal with IPA Print Associates.
"IPA have been involved with the team throughout the year, and were delighted to offer their continued support", says Carter Motorsports PR Dan Welberry. "They will be using the event to launch their new website which can be www.ipaprint.com. They will also have a new brochure which will be available from the Carter Motorsports pit.
"We would also like to thank the Discount Doublecab Centre for the supply of our tow car for the weekend. We look forward to seeing you all at the track!"
You can find the Carter Motorsports webs ite at www.andycarter.net. ©Eurodragster.com
Web site updates.
29th August: The guys at Dragsterworld have updated their web site with photographs from the weekend's Super Series Fallnationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. Webmaster Gary Cottingham tells us that a report will be posted soon. Check out the pictures at www.dragsterworld.com. ©Eurodragster.com
Boye returns to Santa Pod.
28th August: Danish racer Martin Boye is to return to Santa Pod Raceway to compete in Pro ET at the FIA European Finals. Martin previously attended Santa Pod as Crew Chief for Jens Nybo's Top Fuel Dragster team.
"I'm looking forward to coming to England again to race in that great atmosphere", says Martin. "Since Jens stopped Top Fuel racing I have always wanted to get back to the Pod. So I'll have to bring my own car, a '63 Impala with 603 ci engine and some nitrous, to be there again and fulfil one of my biggest dreams. This time I will be racing in Pro ET. I have never done any bracket racing before, so that will be fun!" ©Eurodragster.com
Experience the ACI dragster.
28th August: Computer game fans will be able to see the American Car Imports Racing Top Methanol Dragster on display and meet team members later this week at the Sony Playstation Experience at Earl's Court in London.
"The dragster will be on display on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week", says Crew Chief Andy Bissett. "Each of the team will be there at some point over the three days". We understand that the dragster is to be displayed in the foyer of the show, which is a pre-Christmas showcase for the latest games for the Playstation 2, which is one of the team's sponsors. The show is open to the public and has two sessions per day.
You can find more details about the Playstation Experience on the Playstation web site at uk.playstation.com, and for the latest news from the American Car Imports Racing pit check out the team's official web site at www.americancarimportsracing.com. ©Eurodragster.com
VHT at RWYB.
28th August: Santa Pod Raceway's track manager Kjell Pettersson has been in touch to let racers know that the track is to be sprayed with VHT at this Sunday's (1st September) Run What You Brung. This is the last RWYB - and thus the last chance to test - before the FIA European Finals.
Sunday's RWYB is of course open to the public. For £9 entry and a further £13 and the production of a valid DVLC licence to sign on, you could find yourself sharing the pairing lanes with Pro and Sportsman racers and getting in as many runs down the track as you can fit in. Racers please note that competition licences are not valid for RWYBs, however all safety rules appropriate to the class of vehicle should of course be followed. Gates open at 8:00 am, and the strip will be open from about 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more details including additional safety rules (for example when crash helmets are mandatory in cars) check out the Run What Ya Brung page of Santa Pod Raceway's web site at www.santapod.com.
Eurodragster will be reporting live from Sunday's RWYB as the curtain-raiser in our American Car Imports-sponsored coverage of the FIA European Finals. We will also be reporting on the final round of the Halfords Search For A Drag Star contest.
Racers: If you plan to test at this Sunday's RWYB then don't hesitate to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll let your fans know on the next news update. ©Eurodragster.com
Woollatt takes in the sights.
28th August: 2002 ACU UK Top Fuel Bike Champion Steve Woollatt had a weekend to remember at the Super Series Fallnationals, running a string of awesome 6.6 and 6.5-second passes at over 200 mph to take the title. The Dealer team had some work to do in the run-up to the race, said Crew Chief Chris Powell.
"We repaired the damage which occurred at the Bulldog Bash", said Chris. "The fault was in the blower drive: the shaft was previously modified but unfortunately broke in half further down, taking the bearings and other bits and pieces with it. A new shaft was manufactured by our ever-faithful and reliable machinist Alan down in Cheltenham. The only other scare we had was water ingress into the data logging system after our visit to the 'car wash' during the Bulldog. We had to make eleventh hour repairs to the circuit board."
Chris attended a wedding on Saturday so tuning guru Phil Baimbridge oversaw the operation, and by the end of the day Steve was leading qualifying at 6.730/200.69. On Sunday, Steve pulled out a 6.622 at 208.33 mph, a new personal best speed. "I thought that was a quick one when I looked round and saw everything going past real quick", Steve reportedly said afterwards. "I want to know what on earth he was doing looking round! There could have been another tenth in it!", said Chris.
Chris also had some words for the track crew. "A lot of racers commented on the condition of the track at the weekend and we can definitely confirm that Terry, Bruno and all the crew did an absolutely sterling job, we had no problems whatsoever making the Fuel Bike stick to the ground."
Chris asked us to pass on his thanks to the rest of the Dealer team. "Thanks to Phil Baimbridge on the fuel system, the other Phil for the fetching and carrying, and to the ever hard-working Jackie for looking after the crew.", he said.
Fil's fantastic weekend.
28th August: Philippos Papafilippou, the first Greek racer to compete at a UK race event, tells us that he had one of the most enjoyable weekends of his life at the Super Series Fallnationals at the weekend.
"I would like to thank everyone who participated in this event at Shakespeare County Raceway because they gave me one of my best weekends I had in my entire life", says Fil. "The atmosphere in the pits and during the race was so amazing and friendly, that it made me feel more than perfect. I would like also to thank my friends Jim and Charlie Draper and his team for helping me a lot, and making me feel that I was not alone. Without them I might be lost somewhere in the pits! Many thanks also to Tony Betts for his help on Monday."
Fil told us a little more about drag racing in Greece. "I have many more drag racers - four Fords, one GM Buick, and a Honda Integra - in my drag racing team which is probably the strongest team here in Greece. Next year we are hopefully going to start building a proper European FIA-standard drag strip (and you know that Greece is a sunny country without lots of rain!), because at the moment we are racing on military airfields. This means that nobody can do sixty feet in less than 1.7-1.8 seconds."
You can find out everything you need to know about drag racing in Greece, including videos of Fil's race cars, on the Dragster Greece web site at www.dragster.gr. Meanwhile Fil is getting ready to take part in the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod in September together with two more Greek racers and a large number of Greek fans!
28th August: UK Fuel Funny Car racer Smax Smith has been in touch to apologise to his fans for his non-appearance on track at the weekend's Super Series Fallnationals.
"Smax and the Fuel Records/JAT/Yankwheels nitro team would like to say a big Thank You to all the fans who supported our troubled weekend, and sorry to Terry Gibbs and everyone else who was disappointed with our inability to qualify", says Smax. "It was all down to a stupid oil leak which we tried all weekend to fix, but it turned out to be a fault in the block, which is being sorted out by Davey from Hyperweld. Thanks to all the team for the hard work, and to Graham for the grub!
"Congratulations to the Doyles for winning Pro ET at York Raceway and winning the £100 which my business Fastco UK put up, only to give it back to help us get ready for the Finals at Santa Pod. What an amazing thing to do - it feels great to be so well supported by the fans. Darren Price of the Rotbox Rodders sent us £200 to help the cause, which again is just great - thanks mate.
"I've gotta thank Knut Söderquist for helping out this weekend and of course top tuner Al Jackson. See you at the Finals!"
28th August: It was only a day ago, but a couple of race teams have already posted Super Series Fallnationals reports on their web sites.
First up is the Showtime Fuel FC team, who won the latest round of the British Nitro Funny Car Championship at the weekend. Crew member Chris Dossett has posted a full report and a few pictures at www.showtimeracing.co.uk. The Showtime web site is also the host for the Championship's official web page; you can find a link on the Home Page.
Top Methanol Dragster racer Lindsay Deuchar has updated his LA Racer web site with an account of his Fallnationals. Lindsay didn't seem overly satisfied with his weekend when we spoke to him on Monday and his report explains why. Check it out at www.laracing.co.uk.©Eurodragster.com
Carter to race at Finals.
27th August: FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter has announced that he is to contest Top Fuel at the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway on 6th-8th September, bringing the TF entry up to eight.
"The deal was done with Rune (Fjeld, car owner) about ten minutes ago" said Andy, speaking on the phone early this afternoon. "It's great for the sport to have eight Fuellers at the Finals. I'm looking forward to it! I would like to thank Rune for the deal to drive at the Finals and also for this weekend."
The news comes after the second victorious weekend in a row for the Carter Motorsports team. Last week Andy took the Top Fuel shootout at the Nitrolympics in Hockenheim, and this past weekend Andy won another TF shoot-out, 3-0 against Sweden's Susanne Callin, at the Super Series Fallnationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. If you were tuned in to our race reports from the weekend, you will have read that Andy put in a couple of straight, hard passes and a launch. Andy tells us that it wasn't quite as simple as that.
"On the first run I had to pedal", he said, "but when I did it took off very smoothly. On the second run it shook violently off the start line and I couldn't get out of it so I shut off - and it was a single anyway. On the last run I had bad shake, I could see Susanne out of the corner of my eye but her tyres were going up in smoke so I pedalled and off it went!"
Andy's Crew Chief Eddie Corr was very pleased with his driving job at the weekend, and Andy also won an accolade from Rune Fjeld. "At the end of the weekend Rune shook my hand and said well done", said Andy. "To have Rune shake my hand and compliment my driving means a lot to me."
Andy's web site at www.andycarter.net has been updated with a detailed and very interesting account of his victory at the Nitrolympics - don't miss it.
Force donates to Finals auction.
27th August: US Fuel Funny Car legend John Force is the latest racer to donate items for Santa Pod International Race Director Darren Prentice's Charity Auction which is to take place at the FIA European Finals.
John has donated five baseball caps with his autograph and "102 wins" inscribed upon them, and two of the caps have additionally been inscribed with the messages "To the Queen, keep up the good work" and "England rules". John has also donated two 1/24 scale 2002 Mustang FC models, which are again autographed and inscribed with "102 wins" and each has an additional message.
"I am very grateful indeed to Bill Sherratt and Tom Hoover who talked to John Force on our behalf", says Darren Prentice.
The American Car Imports Racing Top Methanol Dragster team have donated a piston from their 5.507-second pass at Gardermoen, and Andy Carter has donated autographed T-Shirt, cap, posters and mouse mats. We also happen to know that the American Car Imports team have another auction item lined up which anyone would give their right arm for - stay tuned for that one.
We have now set up a page for the auction, which contains full details of how to bid and/or how to donate items. You can view the Auction page by clicking here, or by clicking on the EUROPEAN FINALS CHARITY AUCTION on the left hand side of any Eurodragster page.
MSA Championship standings.
27th August: MSA British Drag Racing Championship (for Top Methanol) co-ordinator Dave Alexander has posted the final standings in 2002 Championship on the European Top Methanol Racers Association web site at www.etmra.com. "Rob Turner, the current FIA Top Methanol Dragster Champion, has won the British Championship for the sixth consecutive year, and seventh time in total", says Dave. Congratulations to Turner Racing and indeed to all of the teams in the British Championship. ©Eurodragster.com
European Bests updated.
27th August: Our good friend Andy Marrs of TSI Timers has updated his lists of European best performances with the latest batch of record-setting runs including those by Peter Schöfer and Dave Wilson at Gardermoen.
Andy has compiled three lists of records for the 2000-2002 seasons plus a separate record list going back as far as 1990. You can view the lists by clicking here, or by clicking on the European Bests link on the left hand side of any Eurodragster page. ©Eurodragster.com
26th August: Andy Carter took the Top Fuel Dragster match race at the Super Seriies Fallnationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. Racing against Sweden's Susanne Callin, Andy took the match race 3-0, setting new track records of 5.191 seconds and 288.46 mph in the process.
John Spuffard won the British Nitro FC Championship round with a 5.858/234.38 from Gordon Smith who got off the throttle early in the final, after running a new personal best of 5.576 in the first round.
Rob Turner and the Netcall Telecom-sponsored Turner Racing team provisionally secured the MSA British Drag Racing Championship with runner-up spot in eliminations, taking a new track record of 5.614 seconds whilst class winner Dave Wilson took the track speed record at 252.81 mph in the American Car Imports TMD.
Steve Woollatt provisionally secured the ACU UK Top Fuel Bike Championship with a string of 6.5 and 6.6-second passes.
Wendy Baker took the Fuel Altered shootout 2-1 against Jim Seward (or 3-1 depending upon whether Saturday was a race or a practice - Ed).
In other classes we saw side-by-side 7.4s in Pro Stock Bike, a 7.4 in Super Modified, our first Greek contestant, and the return of some familiar names in various classes.
Pro ET racer Rob Elsom took the Eurodragster.com Perfect Light Award with a 0.500 Reaction Time yesterday. The Perfect Light fund now stands at £50 and will next be up for grabs at the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway.
Unfortunately the weekend was marred by a horrifying two-car top end crash involving Super Pro ET racers John Parkinson and Gary Malin. Both racers are OK, their cars are beyond repair.
Congratulations to the Fallnationals class winners:
Fuel Funny Car: John Spuffard 5.858/234.38 def. Gordon Smith 8.587/102.97
MSA Top Methanol: Dave Wilson 5.688/251.40 def. Rob Turner 5.756/240.64
Super Pro ET: Martyn Jones (7.58) 7.610/173.75 def. Steve Johnson (7.60) 7.550/163.64 breakout
Pro ET: Carla Pitau (10.66) 10.691/127.48 def. Kev Taylor (10.95) 11.105/124.65
Sportsman ET: Al Platt (13.35) 13.403/94.54 def. Richard Davis (12.45) 12.432/104.90 breakout
Super Comp: Tim Adam 8.947/135.14 def. Martin Curbishley 8.964/149.01
Super Gas: Peter Lane 9.920/140.62 def. Tim Adam 9.905/146.10
Super Street: Conrad Stanley 10.923/128.57 def. Dave Cherrett 10.856/102.97 breakout
Junior Dragster: Holley Glassup (8.75) 8.778/72.00 def. Joe Bond (9.65) 9.731/65.22
Super Modified: Danny Cockerill 7.481/181.45 def. Rob Smallworth NTR (rolled through stage)
Custom Car Street Eliminator: John Ricketts 11.046/110.02 def. Steve Pateman 8.550/170.45 red light
Outlaw Anglia: Paul Hensher 9.133/153.06 def. Jeff Meads 9.245/155.17
Wild Bunch: Mark Coulsell (10.55) 10.612/118.73 def. Tom Coe (11.50) 11.557/111.94
Top Fuel Bike: Steve Woollatt 6.595/208.33 def. Ian King 12.479/62.07
Pro Stock Bike: Chris Hope 7.606/173.08 def. Nick Pepper 7.663/168.54
Funny Bike: Neil Midgley 7.356/177.17 def. Tim Blakemore 8.825/101.58
Comp Bike: Klaus Brinkmann 10.044/78.67 def. Andy Newcombe broke
Super Street Bike: Graham Dance 8.435/157.89 def. Mark Fisher 8.803/166.67
9.90 Bike: Paul Morris 9.942/129.31 def. Mark Hammond 9.781/141.07 breakout
10.90 Bike: TJ O'Brien 11.044/112.22 def. Glenn Randles 10.944/112.22
Supertwin Fuel: Jamie Millership 7.586/175.10 was unopposed
Supertwin Gas: Rich Davies 9.775/131.20 def. Sefton Whitlock 9.901/127.48
Supertwin Modified: TJ O'Brien 10.455/127.48 def. Dave Bartz 10.647/124.65
Supertwin Street: Les Harris 10.813/125.00 def. Dave Jones 11.185/120.32
Super Series Championship points co-ordinator Simon Groves is working on the final positions in the 2002 Championship; stay tuned for those.
You can see the weekend's reports and pictures by clicking here, or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page. ©Eurodragster.com
Nitro FC points standings.
26th August: We are indebted to British Nitro Funny Car Championship co-ordinator Jim Broome for giving us the provisional points standings after this weekend's race:
1. John Spuffard 353 points
2. Gordon Smith 271 points
3. Gary Page 188 points
4. Smax Smith 91 points ©Eurodragster.com
2002 NDRS Champions.
26th August: Our good buddies at Svensk Dragracing have updated their web site with the final standings in the 2002 Nordic Drag Racing Series (with the exception of NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified which has one round left, at the FIA European Finals) and reports and pictures from the weekend's NDRS Finals at Gardermoen.
Check it out on the Svensk Dragracing web site at www.dragracing.se. ©Eurodragster.com
FIA European Finals entry.
23rd August: We are grateful to Paul Marshall of Santa Pod Racers Club for giving us a first look at the official entry list for the FIA European Finals. Paula asked us to remind racers that entry is officially closing today.
"Take a look at the entry list", says Paula. "If you don't see your name on there and you either think it should be there or you would like it to be there then please contact me as soon as possible. You can download the entry form and fax it to us, or if you would like me to fax you an entry form then please call."
You can contact Paula at Santa Pod Racers Club on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or fax her on 01933 355558 (outside the UK +44 355558). The entry form is available on the Entry Forms page of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
You can view the current FIA European Finals entry list by clicking here.©Eurodragster.com
Starkotter Mats recovering...
23rd August: Starkotter Top Methanol FC crew member Mats Dehn is at home and recovering after emergency appendix surgery in Germany, where Leif Helander and the team were contesting the FIA round at the Nitrolympics. Mats was rushed to hospital on the first day of the race after his condition became life-threatening.
"I felt sick on the drive to Hockenheim on Thursday", says Mats. "We went to a hospital in Hamburg, and they thought it was my stomach so they gave me some tablets. On Friday I was worse, I went to see the track doctor and he sent me to hospital. I was in hospital at 10:30 and was out of emergency surgery by 3:00. My insurance company flew me home last Wednesday."
Talking from his home this morning, Mats told us that he is getting better by the way and that he hopes to be travelling to Santa Pod with the Kaxig-sponsored team for the FIA European Finals.
"I would like to say a big Thank You to everyone", said Mats. "The guys on my team told me that all of the other racers and everyone else were very concerned about me and were constantly asking them how I was. I am much better, thanks to everyone for their concern and I will see you soon!"
We are sure that everyone will want to join Sharkman and Tog in wishing Mats the very quickest of recoveries.
...hospital won't stop Asko either!
23rd August: If you were tuned in last week, you will remember that our good friend Finnish Funny and Super Street Bike racer Asko Määttä would be crewing for Top Methanol FC racer Jarmo Kuutniemi at Finland's Motorpark and that he promised us a report. Mats was not the only crewman receiving the attention of the medical profession last weekend, as Asko relates.
"I am sorry that I couldn't send you news from the track, because I had to go into hospital", says Asko. "I'm now back in business - although I'm still at hospital, I am OK and have a web connection through my mobile.
"Jarmo Kuutniemi's testing last weekend went quite well. He made three passes, but lost traction and had to pedal on each. His best time was 6.32 at 227 mph. We damaged some valve stems and couple of valves, but it's OK. Jarmo is quite happy with his progress and believes that he will turn the world on its axis next time! We are going to continue testing at the Finnish Finals at Alastaro. There we'll make some chassis and wheelie bars adjustements, take a lot more power out of the TFX/Walt Austin power plant, and see what happens. The doctors said I can be there too!"
This just goes to show that Eurodragster's correspondents won't let anything stop them from filing their reports! Again please join Sharkman and Tog in wishing Asko a rapid recovery and thanking him for going pretty far out of his way to bring us the news.
Schöfer sets track record.
23rd August: German Top Methanol Dragster racer Peter Schöfer, who currently leads the FIA European TMD Championship, reset Hockenheim's TMD track record at the Nitrolympics in a match race against the UK's Rob Turner.
"Both teams made real good runs", says Gittli Koller of Peter Schöfer Racing. "We set a new track record with a 5.68, and the spectators enjoyed it a lot! We hope that there will be more Top Methanol Dragsters running at Hockenheim next year, hopefully all of us in an FIA round. Now we're looking forward to the European Finals, I hope that our luck continues!"
The Peter Schöfer Racing web site at www.p-s-r.com has been updated with two video clips from Hockenheim.
23rd August: UK 9.90 Bike and 10.90 Bike team Manor Racing are to become just a 10.90 Bike team with the announcement that Ian Warren is to retire from Racing. A recent injury has put an end to the Q8-sponsored racer's 28-year racing career.
"Ian has enjoyed the highs and the lows of drag racing", say Manor Racing. "Ian has won many meetings including the 1998 European Finals, 1998 and 1999 Super Series Finals, and what must have been one of the most weirdest race wins at last year's October Meet when Jamie Sneddon’s lanyard come out at half-track whilst leading by a mile, but Ian was lucky to win due to a massive wheelie on the start line, and would not have had any chance of winning if it was not for Jamie’s misfortune. Ian has also won and come runner up in the SPRC and APIRA Championships.
br> "The lows include the two-year absence from racing due to a badly broken and shattered leg. Ian’s main regret is that he will miss the good competition and will not be able to go head to head with Jaime Sneddon on another balls-out race, sod the time index eh Jamie?
"There is good news on the horizon. Ian is not giving up completely but will manage the team alongside his wife Angie. The team will have a new rider on Ian’s 9.90 bike alongside Ian’s son David, who will carry on racing the 10.90 bike. Manor Racing will announce the new rider at the European Finals but we are sure that he will carry on the winning ways."
"I would like to say thank you to all the competitors past and present, and officials from both SPRC and APIRA, for the memories and happy times while racing", says Ian. ©Eurodragster.com
£50 for Perfect Light.
23rd August: This weekend's Super Series Fallnationals is the latest round in the 2002 Eurodragster.com Perfect Light Award. The prize money will be awarded to the first racer to record a perfect Reaction Time, 0.400 or 0.500 as appropriate, during either qualifying or eliminations (but not open practice).
This weekend's Perfect Light fund has been reset to £50 after Swedish Junior Dragster racer Emil Leijer took the 1500 SEK prize at the Sko Uno Drag Festival. If no-one pulls a perfect RT at Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend then the prize money will be increased to £75 for the FIA European Finals; if the prize is won at this weekend's race then the prize fund will be reset to £50.
Good luck everyone!©Eurodragster.com
VWDRC On Tour.
23rd August: In 2001 the Volkswagen Drag Racing Club made their annual outing to Shakespeare County Raceway on the August Bank Holiday weekend. Thirteen teams made the pilgrimage and Steve Lee made it to the final round of Sportsman ET, only to break the gearbox on the start line.
"This year the Club wanted to show the support of their racers for the Warwickshire track by again bringing some of their finest to the Fallnationals this weekend", says Spencer Tramm. "We have cars in all three of the bracket classes. Paul Jackson is our lone entrant in Super Pro. The Jackson family's Proteus III dragster is a regular 8.3 second runner. Paul currently leads the VW Pro points and is looking forward to mixing it up with established Super Pro ET racers Steve Johnson, Martyn Jones and Barry Giles.
"Pro ET has two of our finest. Russ Fellows is one of the Club's most successful racers, from the old days of Street through Super Street and now in Pro. Russ is only 20 points behind Paul Jackson in the Pro class championship. The second is 2000 Pro champion Jim Smith. Jim in his www.plainlazy.com car is fresh off a win in Spa last weekend, but won't want a repeat performance of this meeting last year when he totally destroyed his engine on the first pass.
"Sportsman ET has the largest contingent of racers with five of the top ten in VW Sportsman. In first place is Natasha Garcia who is in her rookie year. Natasha already has her first win under her belt winning the Big Bang meeting in a seventeen-car field in her Custard Tart Beetle. Currently lying in third is Neil Davies in his Headstraight car; Neil won the Summer Nationals title and is looking to improve upon his first round exit here last time. In seventh place is Club Chairman Cath Bishop who is in her new Beach Buggy; in ninth is Steve Lee who by his standards is not having a great year, he will look to regain the performance he had here last year. In tenth is Martin Ayton in his Scirocco: Martin is having a year like Steve's, after a runner-up finish in the Championship last year, Martin has yet to win a round of racing in 2002. The last car is Wayne Allman who runs a front-engined Beetle with a 460ci big block Ford engine in the new Alternative Engine class. Wayne's car runs down in the low twelves and is looking to break into the elevens this weekend."©Eurodragster.com
Bruiser chained down and salivating.
23rd August: The ChryslerCard PT Bruiser is salivating at the thought at getting back onto the track at this weekend's Fallnationals, says Paul Marston. "We have to keep it chained down at the moment, just as well it doesn’t need feeding until we get to the track, none of the crew are brave enough to go in with Bruiser", says Paul. "With the repairs carried out and the gremlins hopefully removed, everyone at Paul Marston Racing is looking forward to a solid performance to kick off our four events in four weeks starting this weekend.
"Everything that can be done has been done in preparation for the forthcoming events, this includes the refitting of our primary ATI-supplied Powerglide 'Ultimate Glide' gearbox after it was returned to our friends at ATI for a service. The service and technical help we have received from ATI has been second to none, the distances involved have made no difference to their service. As the Ultimate Glide was completely freshened we needed to confirm some pressures and settings with ATI when we fired up and ran a systems check at the workshop. Their technical department was only a phone call away and gave us the answers we needed."
The Bruiser is once again entered in both Super Pro ET and Super Comp. After discussions with Paul and the crew, Logistics Manager Dave Kalisz made the decision to double-class at the Fall Nationals. "The crew proved that it was possible at the last event, they worked really hard and had some well-earned success, there is a risk but I want track time", says Dave. "There are still some aero package additions which we need to evaluate. We need the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser in the best possible shape for Brighton Speed Trials. The Bruise really likes the track surface at Shakespeare County Raceway. It hooks up really well - Paul pulled a .403 reaction against Mark Flavell last time. After reaching both finals at the Mid-Summer Nationals the standard is set and this is really our last chance to get this work done before testing the Brighton Speed Trials set-up at North Weald next week."
Paul and the team will be joined by Anthony Middleton from ChryslerCard this weekend. "Everyone has worked really hard preparing for this event", says Paul. "I would like to thank all the crew at Paul Marston Racing for their efforts, and Chrysler UK for making this a reality - without you guys none of this would be here and thank you for your continued support. Thanks to ChryslerCard for coming on board this year, MAC Tools, ATI Performance Transmission, 76 Racing Fuels and Oils who also joined us this year - their technical help has been invaluable - Jeep Club for their support with logistics and fabrication. Last but not least thanks to new crew member David Gibbons from Rough Diamond Racing for his invaluable experience in setting up our in-house engine development. Special thanks must go to Eurodragster for all their help and coverage including the imminent launch of our own web site. Without you guys we would all be blind, deaf and dumb (oh, give over - embarrassed but grateful Ed).
"We believe Drag Racing in the UK, and for that matter Europe, is currently entering an exciting new phase. We are already looking at our strategy for the 2003 season with exciting new developments, opportunities and potential new sponsors. More details will be released over the coming months." ©Eurodragster.com
Fallnationals Super Comp preview.
23rd August: Paul Marston has very kindly sent us a preview of this weekend's Super Comp action at the Fallnationals at Shakespeare County Raceway.
Tim Adam decided to hit the European circuit this season so has not contested all rounds. Tim has a wealth of experience and a competitive Brogie Roadster, and is and double classing in Super Gas as well as Super Comp. As long as the performance is there in that alcohol-fed small block, expect to see Tim possibly go all the way to the final round.
Zane Llewellyn is fresh from competing in Hockenheim, as long as the wear and tear has not taken its toll over the past month. Expect Zane to be in devastating form, seat time is king by this time of the season and Zane has had a bumper helping in that department. With the perceived advantage and experience he will be a tough guy to take out.
Current points leader Martin Curbishley has with a healthy cushion. Things will have to go horribly wrong to prevent Martin from collecting his first Championship of the year. Worse has happened and with so many good drivers around, Martin will have to earn it. A good qualifying spot will be essential to clinch that title. Another driver who runs Super Gas as well as Super Comp.
Shaun Lathan makes a welcome return to Shakespeare with his distinctive grafitti-style paint scheme, always a tough competitor, but has yet to run a eight second pass. The smart money would be on Shaun having a surprise up his sleeve. If that is so Shaun would immediately be a very dangerous adversary in an early round.
Dave and Sarah Day have had a tough season so far with their far from predictable roadster. A lot of work and testing has gone into the race car over the summer break and with consultancy from Jon Webster they hope to be on top of it. They have a first class crew and have won a National event this year, if it all comes together everyone should watch out.
Paul Knight has worked really hard on his current combination and has enjoyed consistency throughout the current season. Paul usually goes a round or two at most events and has racked up a healthy points tally.
A real veteran, Mark Flavell was winner of the last event held at SCR so has his sights set on being the spoiler and snatching away Martin Curbishley's crown. Running a dragster, Mark usually qualifies well: look out for tactical qualifying here as taking Martin out could well be in their game plan.
George Chiarella loves to race! Fresh back from Hockenheim, providing there is no damage in the supercharged small block Chevy which nestles in George’s beautiful race car. The team has the potential to beat anyone, they have worked really hard this year and enjoyed every moment - as well they should, it’s what it’s all about.
Paul Marston was runner-up at the last event at SCR in both Super Comp and Super Pro ET. The team will be looking to go one better in both this time around. With a chance of catching Mark Flavell for second in the points you can be sure that the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser will be looking to make a solid start to what is a busy schedule for them over the next month (see above - Ed).©Eurodragster.com
Web site updates.
23rd August: Gareth Evans has been in touch to let us know that he will be posting end-day reports and pictures from this weekend's Fallnationals on his UK1320 web site at www.uk1320.com.
Swedish Pro Mod racer Håkan Nilsson's web site has been updated with a report and pictures from the Nitrolympics at Hockenheim. Team member Ulf Stadig's report is very interesting and the pictures are fascinating showing not just the racing but pitside shots as well - and don't forget that astounding rear-window video! Check it out at www.nilssonmotorsports.com. ©Eurodragster.com
Grateful Cooper back at weekend.
22nd August: UK Funny Bike racer Ken Cooper is planning to race at this weekend's Super Series Fallnationals despite an in-depth conversation with Hockenheim's guardrail at the Nitrolympics.
"On only my fifth pass back on the bike after my back operation, the bike spat the exhaust off and went under the bike", says Ken. "With the pipe jammed under the engine the bike would not steer. It careered out of my lane, through the 1000-foot blocks into the left lane and then hit the wall, sliding along the wall and coming to a stop. Ouch! I stayed on the bike but my leg took most of the impact.
"The bike is fairly untouched and I hope to be out this weekend at Shakespeare County. I would like to thank everyone for their concern and get well wishes.
"We should have a full Team Cooperized outing this weekend with the Hirebusa being ridden by rookie 'John Boy', Brian (Biffa) Bowen on the 9.90 Fat Kat, Tony Clark on the Lethal Weapon - Europes fastest Super Street Bike - Europe's fastest woman Helen Curran on the Paul Rose Motorsports Pro Stock Bike, and myself Europe's fastest nitrous bike in Funny Bike. Come and see us at our new pit area behind the stands."
You can stay up-to-date with all the news from Team Cooperized on their official web site at www.cooperizedracing.com.
22nd August: Eurodragster will of course be covering this weekend's Super Series Fallnationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. Our American Car Imports-sponsored coverage is planned to start with pit notes on Saturday morning and then frequent updates during each day and a Photo Gallery posted at the end of each day. We will of course post a direct link to our coverage on Saturday morning but the event coverage index page is already in place; you can reach it by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.
It's not too late to buy tickets or make plans to attend the Fallnationals where you will be able to see a Top Fuel Dragster shoot-out between Andy Carter and Susanne Callin, the British Nitro FC Championship, the final round of the MSA British Drag Racing Championship (for Top Methanol), Fuel Altered match race, rounds of the UK National and ACU UK Drag Bike Championships, Custom Car Street Eliminator, Outlaw Anglia, Wild Bunch, National Association of Supertwins and more.
Action starts at 10:00 am on Saturday and 11:00 am on Sunday and Monday. For more details about Shakespeare County Raceway check out the track's official web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com, and for ticket bookings call Obsession Motorsports on 01483 236262.©Eurodragster.com
Lyrén excited about Finals.
22nd August: Reigning FIM/UEM European Pro Stock Bike Champion, Sweden's Roger Pettersson put up a good showing against his faster peers at the Nitrolympics at Hockenheim at the weekend, making it to the final of the Pro Comp Bike bracket against Funny Bike racer Peter Bossert. The Veidec-sponsored racer's Crew Chief Roger Lyrén wrote with an account of the team's weekend.
"The goal of the trip was to get in some testing, but also to race at the biggest race in Europe", said Roger. "When we debuted our new two-valve engine at Gardemoen we had big problems to find a baseline because this new engine has so much more torque, we spinning the tire to hell! So we really needed some runs to find settings. We decided to intall a totaly new clutch setting for this engine, and even on the first run we saw that it worked with a 7.58. On Sunday the hot sun was extreme, 97 degrees, an altitude of 2700 and thirty per cent humidity. In the second run we ran 7.50 spinning the rear tyre, and then in the final we found the right clutch setting, running 7.42/287 Kmh - we lost to Peter Bossert but he has a faster Funny Bike.
"So it's all very exciting for the European Finals. I can't wait to go there, if the weather conditions are good then I would be very surprised if the European record was not reset. I want to thank all the Italian bike riders and crew for a very nice weekend at Hockenheim, we all had a lot of fun!"
NDRS Finals preview.
22nd August: This weekend sees the final round of the 2002 Nordic Drag Racing Series in all classes except for NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified, at Norway's Gardermoen Raceway. Our good friends at Svensk Dragracing have updated their web site with a preview of this weekend's race and a detailed run-down of the possible outcomes in the NDRS. Christer Abrahamson tells us that the web site will be updated hourly from Gardermoen at the weekend.
The web site at www.dragracing.se has also been updated with a new Photo Gallery showing the other side of Drag Racing, from the Sko Uno Drag Festival at Mantorp Park; don't miss the rogues' gallery of the webmasters of three of Europe's leading Drag Racing web sites.
Meanwhile it has also been confirmed that the NDRS Prizegiving Ceremony and Banquet is to take place at the Hilton Infra City, just outside Stockholm, on Saturday 26th October. Be sure to keep that date clear in your calendar!©Eurodragster.com
Finals TF field starts to build.
22nd August: FIA European Championship promoter Keith Bartlett has been in touch to let us know that the Top Fuel Dragster entry for next month's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway currently stands at seven, with more TF racers expressing an interest (we've heard about an eighth, too - Ed). Stay tuned as we hope to carry the official entry list, which promises to be huge, as soon as possible after entry closes. You can read more details about the FIA European Finals including ticket prices on Santa Pod Raceway's web site at www.santapod.com. ©Eurodragster.com
Finals auction update.
22nd August: Further to Monday's news item, Santa Pod Raceway's International Race Director Darren Prentice has been in touch with more items for the Charity Auction which he and wife Nicola are organising at the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway in September. The complete list is now as follows, with the latest items at the top:
What to do if you want to donate items: Darren and Nicola would be very grateful indeed for further donations. If you would like to donate an item then please send an E-Mail to email@example.com with details. ©Eurodragster.com
Motorgraphic design die-casts.
22nd August: Innovative motorsports design company and Eurodragster sponsor Motorgraphic have been commissioned by one of the world’s leading die-cast model manufacturers to produce a pit full of new race transporter designs featuring some of the UK’s top drag racing teams. The highly detailed 1:64 scale collectibles will be available from November and retailed globally in 2003.
Motorgraphic boss John Andrews revealed that the project has now reached the pre-production stage and will be ready for catalogue shots next week. "The new range will feature at least three teams along with other formulas outside of drag racing", he said. "We are very excited with this opportunity to promote British drag racing to a much wider audience and plan to expand on the concept over the coming months."
Motorgraphic specialise in the production of sponsorship proposals and other related material for the motorsports industry. Their clients include race promoters such as Obsession Motorsports Ltd and the BRSCC along with numerous drivers, riders and teams.
For further information on Motorgraphic, visit their web site at www.motorgraphic.uk.com or call on 0117 946 7052 (outside the UK +44 117 946 7052).©Eurodragster.com
Web site updates.
22nd August: Patrik Jacobsson has updated his SMK Trollhättan web site with pictures from the Scandinavian Dragracing Series event at Säve, just outside Gothenburg. "A small problem at the race was that there were too many people in the restricted photo area, so some pictures aren't so good", says Patrik. We've taken a look and they are just fine! Check out the pictures at www.smktrollhattan.com/dragrace/racepics.htm.
The Old Fifty One Top Doorslammer team's web site at welcome.to/old51 has been updated with photographs and results from the Scandinavian Dragracing Championship round in Gothenburg. ©Eurodragster.com
Carter the target in TF shoot-out.
21st August: FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion and Nitrolympics Top Fuel shoot-out winner Andy Carter has very little time to rest on his laurels as this weekend he faces Sweden's Susanne Calin in another Top Fuel shoot-out at the Super Series Fallnationals at Shakespeare County Raceway.
"Well, what a weekend!", says Andy. "It was really hard on my crew, starting with getting up at 2:00 am on Friday to catch their flight, then limited sleep all weekend and over ninety-degree heat to work in. Now we are getting ready for the Fallnationals at Shakespeare County. In fact, we actually started the minute that the car came back into the pit bay after the Nitrolympics final.
"The Fallnationals is a race where I have everything to lose and Susanne has everything to gain. I'm there to be shot down, but I will be doing my hardest to try to get the 3-0 win as I did against Barry Sheavills two years ago.
"Hopefully we can also better the outright track record which I have held since August 2000, and get the outright speed record back from Spuff, who took it from me in 2001, but all these things are so easy to say and so tough to do. One thing is for sure - we will not be taking Knut and co for granted, but just in case he has forgotten the last four races which Carter Motorsport have contested, we were winner at the 2001 European Finals, winner of the 2002 Pro-Fuel shoot-out, runner-up at the 2002 Main Event and now winner at the Nitrolympics!
"I'm looking forward to seeing all the great spectators at Shakespeare County, hopefully they will come over to say hello and buy a poster (posters have been reduced to £1 for this event and we have some great mouse mats on sale for £4).
"I would like to say thanks to all the great people I have behind me at Carter Motorsport, they work so hard, also thanks to anyone who has helped me (there are to many too list) in any way, it really is appreciated."
You can find Andy Carter's web site at www.andycarter.net.
Joon gets it straight.
21st August: Dutch Top Methanol FC racer Lex Joon and his team are surprised with their standing in the FIA European Championship, says crew member Gerda Dijkstra. Lex is in second place after the Nitrolympics and has a chance of taking the title at the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. "We didn't suspect we'd be this far up the Championship", says Gerda. "If you'd have told us last year that we had a chance of the Championship I would have said 'Yea, right'!".
"It was very hot at Hockenheim", says Gerda. "Because of that, and because the track was new, we put in a soft tune-up to start qualifying. We ran a 6.0 and we were happy with that top start with. On Friday evening we had a choice between taking it nice and easy, or rebuilding our other engine which had been repaired following damage in Sweden. The guys decided to rebuild the engine, and I think they wished they hadn't because they didn't finish until Saturday morning!
"We ran a 5.94 in the second qualifying session, and then we sat out the third session because we were second qualifier at that point and we figured that six cars wouldn't get ahead of us and put us out of the eight-car field. We just checked everything and then we went out again in the last session. Lex had the car tuned for a 5.8, but a little oil got on the slicks and they spun so it was only another 5.94.
"In the first round of eliminations on Sunday, Jorg Johnsson pulled such a good Reaction Time that we were thinking 'Oh no', but Lex got there first with a 5.87, which was the low ET in TMFC all weekend - the first time that Lex has ever had low ET. But in any case Jorg hit the timing equipment at the top end. In the semis against Leif Andréasson, we forgot how hot the track was. It was 94 degrees in round one but 124 degress in round two! The track was too warm and we couldn't get the horsepower down. Lex did a four hundred metre burnout but still went up in smoke.
"One thing we tried at Hockenheim was a new way of lining Lex up on the start line. Lex has to do what we say because he thinks he's lined up straight and he's not! The new routine worked very well. The crew worked very hard indeed all weekend - it amazes me how they go on and on when they don't get any sleep!"
You can find a report on the Nitrolympics by our good friend Remco Scheelings on Lex's official web site at www.lexjoonracing.nl.
'Pro Mod' finally wins Pro Stock!
21st August: Michael Malmgren and the AC Delco Racing Pro Stock team were very pleased to finally win a Pro Stock elimination at the Nitrolympics at Hockenheim. Michael usually has to race the six-second Camaro in Pro Mod, and has won the class there on a number of occasions, but this time FIA Pro Stock contested the event in Germany.
"This was our fourth win in a row at Hockenheim so naturally we consider Hockenheim our fauvourite track", says crew member Magnus Cato. "Being the modest guys we are we wouldn't say that we dominated, but we sure had a lot of experience to put into the qualifying efforts. Our best run, 7.04/198, was as perfect as it could be considering the very warm track and the somewhat slippery startline, and we put it down in the first elimination run. Long before we went to Hockenheim we decided to play it safe and to be conservative, no more foolish things in eliminations.
"We now have a well-deserved break from racing, and will just carry out a major overhaul on our car and bus. After the European Finals we are heading for Frankfurt to park the whole operation at the shop of our very good friend Gerd Habermann, because we are scheduled for the Automechanika show in Frankfurt on 17th-22nd September. And if everything is sorted out by then, we will leave the bus at Gerd's place to return in October for the event in Greece. We are very enthusiastic about going to Greece, it will be a blast!"
You can find the official AC Delco Racing web site at www.acdracing.net.
Hockenheim SSB clean-up.
21st August: We are very grateful to Mark Wiseman for passing on news of the weekend's Super Street Bike action at Hockenheim. "It was another clean-up for the Brits", says Mark. "Dave Smith (now known as Team Excess) won the final against Richard Stubbings in the closest race of the weekend. Dave's crew went wild on the start line as the result sunk in. Tony Clark came third, clutch problems seemed to be the reason. Graham Dance suffered with a misfire which took out a valve in an early round, G and crew worked hard to replace the head, only to find out later, during a clutch inspection after another round, that the crank had broken, end of story. Pete Bellenie struggled all weekend and only just managed to qualify, but luck was not on his side."
You can find more news of last weekend's two-wheeled action at Hockenheim on the Pit Lane Gossip page of the King Racing web site at www.kingracing.com, including a report and picture of French TF Bike racer Eric Teboul's new rocket-powered bike which clocked a very low six-second checkout pass after covering the eighth in 3.9 seconds at over 200 mph! Here's hoping that Eric will be bringing the rocket bike with him to the European Finals...
Ian King would also like to hear from anyone who has pictures of his own Top Fuel Bike in action at Hockenheim at the weekend; if you have any pictures then please E-Mail Ian at firstname.lastname@example.org. ©Eurodragster.com
Smax gets tooled up.
21st August: If you were tuned in yesterday then you will have read about the theft suffered by Fuel FC racer Smax Smith and Vince Andrews, which could have put Smax's Fallnationals participation in doubt. We were very pleased to hear from Smax that he now has another toolkit.
"Colin North of Teng Tools has gone out on a limb to help us out with tools for next weekend's race", says Smax. "We have agreed to run Teng logos for 2003 but get the tools now - this is more than amazing, as the theft of our tools and spares has knocked the wind out of our sails! Teng are great tools with a lifetime guarantee!" ©Eurodragster.com
Smith takes Spa VW win.
21st August: Whilst a large contingent of Drag Racers were over at Hockenheim, two Volkswagen racers were competing at the 12th Annual Bug Show run by the Belgian Buggy and VW Club, writes Spencer Tramm. The racing takes place at the Spa Francorchamps circuit over an eighth of a mile and on a very steep incline. Jim Smith in his www.plainlazy.com Beetle took the win in Pro Stock, running times in the 6.90 range, and Martin Taylor in his VW-powered Fiat 500 took third place in the Super Street class. Both teams would like to thank Jean-Marie and his team of marshals for making the weekend such a good one!©Eurodragster.com
Super Series Championship outcomes.
21st August: We are very grateful to UK National and Super Series Championship points co-ordinator Simon Groves for sending us this breakdown of the possible outcomes of the Super Series, which ends witht his weekend's Fallnationals at Shakespeare County Raceway.
Super Modified: Rob Smallworth leads Graham Ellis by only 2 points, with Danny Cockerill a further 96 points behind. Graham would just need to qualify 3 places ahead of Rob and go as far in the eliminations as Rob to gain the championship. However, if Danny qualifies better and goes one round further than Rob and Graham, he will win the championship.
Super Comp: Martin Curbishley leads Mark Flavell by 300 points with Paul Marston a further 220 points behind. Mark needs to win the event and have Martin qualify poorly and go out early to have any chance of winning the championship, but if Mark goes out early and Paul wins, he could grab runner-up spot.
Super Gas: Frank Mason has all but clinched the championship as he leads Paul Hudson by 500 points. Frank would have to fail to qualify and Paul win the event to lose out.
Super Street: Leigh Morris leads David Cherrett by 280 points with Team Top Banana a further 200 points behind. David would have to win the event and have Leigh qualify poorly and go out early to have any chance of winning the championship.
Super Pro ET: Mick Cheley leads Barry Giles by 200 points with Martyn Jones a further 110 points behind. Barry is however not on the entry list and Martyn needs to qualify better than Mick, win the event and have Mick go out in the first round him to deprive 'Cheerful Cheley' of the championship.
Pro ET: This is even more competitive than last year with five cars contending for championship honours. Any one of Robert Doyle, Team Heaven and Hell, Team Top Banana, Rob Elsom and Steve Wells could win the championship as they are within a spread of 240 points. With a record entry of 33 cars in this class alone, there will be lots of points up for grabs.
Sportsman ET: Al Platt has a lead of 410 points over Mark Anderson which, barring upsets in the 23 car field will likely secure him his second championship in a row.
Junior Dragster: Holley Glassup is 200 points ahead of Ricky Emms with Nicholas Mugridge a further 140 points back. Ricky needs to go two rounds further than Holley and have a better qualifying position to win the championship.
Outlaw Anglia: Congratulations to Rob Stone, who is Super Series champion with a margin of 550 points over Cliff Griffin.
Wild Bunch: Peter Yates is 320 points ahead of Tom Coe, with Mark Coulsell and Andy Murphy both a further 120 points behind. Tom would need to win the event and have Peter qualify poorly and go out in the first round to get the championship. If Mark or Andy finish well, either could grab second place
9.90 Bike: Jamie Sneddon is only 70 points ahead of Paul Morris, with Dave Hall a further 360 points back. Paul needs to qualify better than Jamie and go one round further to win the championship.
10.90 Bike: Darren Winnard is only 50 points ahead of TJ O'Brien, who needs to qualify better than Darren and go one round further to win the championship.
Custom Car Street Eliminator: Steve Pateman leads Steve Neimantas by 275 points. Steve Neimantas needs to finish at least 2 rounds ahead of Steve Pateman to win the championship.
Top Fuel Bike: Either Steve Woollatt or Ian King could be Champion.
Funny Bike: This is a tight championship as Dave Holland leads Neil Midgley by 70 points with Shaun Branch and Tim Blakemore respectively a further 120 and 135 points back from Neil.
Competition Bike: Jerry Collier is 80 points ahead of Philip Leamon, with Andy Newcombe a further 60 points back. Any of these could receive the championship trophy.
Pro Stock Bike: Nick Pepper is favourite to win, being 190 points ahead of Martin Bishop, with Helen Curran a further 50 points back.
Super Street Bike: Congratulations to provisional Super series Champion Tony Clark with a lead of 730 points ahead of likely runner-up Graham Dance, who is 280 points ahead of Richard Stubbins.
You can see the full Super Series placing on our Points Standings page, which you can view by clicking here, or by clicking on the link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.
Team TIL in a Frenzy.
21st August: Te UK's Team Titanium International Limited Funny Bike team were back out on the track at the weekend's Suzuki Frenzy at Santa Pod Raceway, getting in some track time with a rebuilt motor before this weekend's Super Series Fallnationals. Sponsor and team member Nigel Hoskison kindly dropped us a line to tell us how Dave Holland and the team fared.
"We had been invited by Tony Jakeman of Suzuki GB to do some demonstration passes. We only arrived on Sunday morning as a result of some last minute engine work on Saturday. The engine, apart from the pistons, was almost brand new and had been built from the bottom up over the past two weeks by Dave and Martin Peck. This was the last time Martin was able to help as by the time you read this he will be on his way to New Zealand (Heartfelt plea once again for anyone interested in the job of “engine man” for Team TIL). Regular crew chief, Brian, was unable to attend and had handed “download” duties to me, more of that later.
"One of our sponsors, Earls Performance Products, had their new product leaflet, featuring a picture of Dave in action, available for the first time. You will be able to pick one up from our pit for the remainder of the season or contact Earl’s direct. To the action, the bike was set up soft for the first run, to go easy on the engine and to scrub in a new rear slick. It finished up as a very conservative 8.5 with Dave reporting it felt lumpy. A download was not felt necessary so my debut was delayed. More power was dialled in for the second run. The bike struggled off the line and coasted to a halt around mid track. Back in the pits the smell of fried clutch was unmistakable, and a piece of selector fork was also rattling around the housing. It looked like this had broken during the burnout and when Dave had engaged what he thought was first on the line it was actually second or third, launching had burnt out the clutch. The clutch and selector were replaced for a third run, a sedate pass at 8.9 with a lack of power. No download was available as I threw two switches, instead of one as instructed! Leakdown showed number one was high which was traced to a nipped up ring.
"To finish the day off, Dave rode his old Super Street Bike which current owner Adam Lancaster had brought to the RWYB. This was a familiarisation run for Dave as Adam has kindly agreed to loan Dave the bike again to defend the title he won last year at the Brighton Speed Trials (to be held on September 14th this year). Finally, a thank you to Tony Jakeman and his team at Suzuki GB and to Caroline Day and the Santa Pod organization for putting on a great day for both racers and spectators.
"The Suzuki Frenzy had been the team’s first track action for six weeks, but was also the start of a hectic few weeks starting this weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway. It looks like Terry Gibbs has put a great meeting together and I personally look forward to this event as it was at this event two years ago that I first saw drag racing 'live' and met up with 'Dutch Dave'! We were hoping to have a spare motor which has been upped to 1500 cc from our normal 1425 cc, but that will now have to wait as not all the parts are on hand, and some machining work will not be completed in time. So we will be relying on the engine we used last weekend, rebuilt by Dave without the aid of a safety net, which drew the comment from crewman Neil that "We will treat this weekend as a camping trip and if the bike starts it will be a bonus" (another plea for an engine man to join the team).
"The Championship is finely poised with Dave and Shaun Branch tied for first place with Tim Blakemore and Neil Midgeley in pursuit. We would like to put in a good early qualifier and take it from there. That’s Plan A. As always, we expect qualifying to be pretty close for the eight elimination spots so we may have to revert to Plan B, when we have decided what it is! Whatever happens we are looking forward to a great weekend, see you there."
Llewellyn home from tour.
21st August: UK Super Comp racer Zane Llewellyn has arrived back form the first stage of his seven week tour pretty much intact..."That's if you disregard ripping the side out of the trailer at Mantorp, the trailer brakes seizing on and setting fire to the bearing grease on a German autobahn and the oil pump pickup snapping off on the 460 before the second qualifier at Hockenheim, resuting in a bit of a thrash Saturday night and only one qualifying run under my belt on the most inconsistent track I've ever raced on - although you can't expect too much from a new track and believe me it will be good next year."
In the run-up to this weekend's Fallnationals Zane and his family will be flat out repairing and checking the dragster and all of their equipment. "We've made some fairly big changes to the set-up of the dragster over the last four weeks, so we're looking forward to trying it out on the English tracks", he says. "We came off the trailer with an 8.925 or 4 at all three tracks in Scandinavia and Germany, proving the consistency we now have in the chassis, and a couple of changes to sort out the recent inconsistent reactions should make us harder to beat.
"With regard to our fellow travellers abroad, it was great to see Tim Adam in Sweden and Tim and Dave Cherrett in Norway with us for the first time, Marko Lantto and Antti Kivinummi travelled down to Hockenheim from Finland and Oysten and Yngve Solberg returned to Germany from Norway. Not to mention the usual Brits who travel to Hockenheim. I hope this is the tip of the iceberg, maybe coupled with Robert Joosten's efforts with the European Super Gas championship this year, which has encouraged a few Dutch racers to travel to England for the European Finals, 2002 will be seen as the year that European Sportsman racing started to grow big. If only we could travel over the sea as cheap as we can now fly!"
You can find Zane's accounts from his travels and a lot more on the Bootsoop web site at www.bootsoop.freeserve.co.uk.
Look out for Terri's grin!
21st August: UK Pro ET racer Teresa Lee is hoping that she and husband Ian have seen off the last of the gremlins which have accompanied her rookie year in her beautiful blown Escort van. We could see Terri wandering the pits with a huge grin on her face if everything goes right at the Super Series Fallnationals this weekend.
"I think most people have seen what a disastrous first year I am having so far", says Terri. "We have managed to either wreck or damage our block, pistons, heads, torque converter, supercharger and now, after a test at the Suzuki Frenzy on Sunday, some lifters and push rods after a rocker stud came loose. Hubby is confident that we will still get to Shakespeare County this weekend as we have not managed to make it there this year - not for the want of trying.
"It has been very frustrating watching other racers going down the track, going back to the pits and just refuelling for the next round, when all we seem to do is be taking some thing to bits or putting the van back on the trailer and with no major sponsor every thing takes time. But we have been encouraged and told to persevere by fellow racers, many having told us of their first few years of trials and tribulations, which we are now experiencing. I knew that this would be a learning year but I never thought it would ever be as bad as this.
"I just can't wait for the day when we have a strong, fast and straight run. I will be the happiest girl in the pits. The rest of the year will just be just used to try and set the van up properly - we hope!
"Lastly I just want to say Thank You to those people who have had nice things to say about the van, and a big Thank You to everyone who has helped with their nice comments and words of support and last but not least to Richard and Helen and brother-in-law Steve 'Wheels Up' Wells."
Even harder Backdraft.
21st August: UK Wild Bunch racer 'Crazy' Chris Hartnell can't wait to try out the new slicks on bis Backdraft slingshot at this weekend's Fallnationals, as he is confident that they will help him to smash his personal best yet again.
"We started off the season great with Personal Bests at the first event, and have been running regular 9.2s since then, with wheelies on most launches", says Chris. "For the past few events, we have been playing with the fuel system to try to gain some more performance, with moderate results - raising the best speed to 139 mph and lowering the E.T. to 9.236.
"One of the highlights of the year so far was our trip to the Goodwood Festival of Speed' in mid-July, to be a part of the historic dragster display on the cricket pitch. We had the honour to park between "The Commuter" and the Beaulieu Allard, not to mention a host of other fantastic drag racing vehicles. The whole weekend was just amazing!
"We're really looking forward to the Super Series Fallnationals because we have some brand new Hoosier rear slicks on Backdraft now, so we're hoping to get into the 140+ mph range and run 9.1s, 9.0s...or even a very high eight would be great!"
The team's official web site at www.backdraftdragracing.co.uk now has a new-style picture gallery and downloads a lot faster, courtesy of Ed at demonscream.com. "Have a look!", says Chris.
Fatty becomes a father.
21st August: We are always very pleased to run birth announcements on Eurodragster.com, so we were delighted to receive this from Ian Hook of UK Custom Car Street Eliminator team FB Racing.
"After a wait of nearly nine months FB Racing are pleased to announce the birth of a new baby. Weighing in at around 2300 pounds she was officially born (or, as we say, MoT'd) at 09:14 on Monday 19th August in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Father and baby are doing fine (although Fatty's walking a bit funny). The doctors at the Moternity unit have recommended a diet of Super Plus unleaded with a dash of N2O and octane booster (and some tarmac!). The christening is planned for this Saturday and will take place at Shakespeare County Raceway, Warwickshire, and anyone wishing to see the new addition will be welcome to the font (OK, pits). Amongst all the celebration there is a small note of controversy in that Fatty is refusing to name the mother. It is suspected that the baby is the product of a relationship that goes back some seven or eight years and which was flaunted in front of many people at places such as Shakespeare County and Santa Pod. The family remain tight lipped."©Eurodragster.com
Marston's relaxing weekend.
21st August: If you were tuned in last week you will recall that Paul Marston Racing is having a busy time both at and away from the track, with events to attend on several consecutive weekends. The ChryslerCard PT Bruiser's latest appearance was at the UK PT Cruisers Owners Club 2nd Annual PT Picnic in the Park, at Billing AquaDrome.
"We must say a huge thank you to everyone in the club for a great weekend", says Paul Marston. "The show was a success: well attended, lots to see and do with not only us, but the Sony XPLOD ICE Demo Cruiser and the O2 Cellnet (Big Brother) PT Cruiser also in attendance. For such a new car club the show was brilliant, and their hospitality was second to none. They were exemplary hosts and I enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with fans away from the sometimes-frenetic activity at the race track. Answering questions in such a pleasant relaxed atmosphere, I made some good friends here this weekend and I look forward to seeing them again at the drag strip.
"It was very interesting that a great number of PT Cruiser owners are avid Drag Racing spectators. Weather that is because of the interest generated by the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser has attracted them to our beloved sport or that Drag Race fans buy them is impossible to tell. Either way it reaffirms that there is a direct link between this great little car from Chrysler and Drag Racing.
"The show and shine was judged by the Head of Chrysler UK himself Simon Elliott, who took a very long time deliberating over the PT Cruisers in attendance, not just glossing over the unenviable task. Simon Elliott is a fan himself, with a silver PT Cruiser as his wife's daily drive, what else? Thanks should go to Chrysler UK for supplying a marquee in case of the wet stuff, the local Chrysler dealer Westaways of Northampton for the excellent barbecue, the UK Cruiser CC and everyone else who attended."
Banquet deadline approaching.
21st August: This Friday, 23rd August, is the deadline for ticket bookings for the post-FIA European Finals Banquet, which takes place after eliminations on the Sunday of the race. After the meal, trophies will be presented to the 2002 FIA European Champions, the 2002 FIM/UEM European Champions, the 2002 NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified Championship, and the 2002 British Nitro FC Championship. The evening will then be turned over to the legendary (it says here) Jenson de Groover and his dancers who will provide a disco into the small hours. For more details check out the official booking form which you can view by clicking here (PDF format), or call Santa Pod Raceway on 08700 782828 (from outside the UK, +44 1234 782828).©Eurodragster.com
Web site updates.
21st August: UK Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Andy Frost has updated his Red Victor 2 Racing web site at www.redvictor1racing.co.uk with a report about his proposed trip to Finland next season to race at the Nitro Nationals. Andy also needs help from Eurodragster readers. "I need some video footage of Red Victor 2 to put on my web site and on my Finnish friend's web site at run.to/makkes.garage. They all want to see and hear Red Victor 2 in action before I get there! Also I need to hire an enclosed trailer and a truck to pull it for the end of June - mid July 2003". If you can help with either of these then please E-Mail Andy at email@example.com or visit him at Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend.
Editor's note: Apologies for the late posting of today's news update. As you have seen we had a huge amount of news today - in fact this is the biggest ever daily update since Eurodragster started in 1998 - and the day job just got in the way...©Eurodragster.com
First auction lots announced.
20th August: Santa Pod Raceway's International race Director Darren Prentice has, as promised, written with details of the first items to be pledged for the auction which he and wife Nicola are organising at the FIA European Finals to benefit the baby unit which cared for their son Owen. "We are very grateful to everyone who has already pledged items for the auction", says Darren. The first lots are as follows:
What do to if you want to bid: send an E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org specifying Auction Bid as the subject of the mail. State clearly for which lot you are bidding, and the amount of your bid in GBP. An list of items and the latest bids will be posted periodically.
What to do if you want to donate items: Darren and Nicola would be very grateful indeed for further donations. If you would like to donate an item then please send an E-Mail to email@example.com with details. ©Eurodragster.com
Jarrett keeping busy.
20th August: The UK's Showtime Fuel FC team go to the Super Series Fallnationals at Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend with a comfortable lead in the British Nitro FC Championship, but Crew Chief Bob Jarrett tells us that he and the team won't be taking it easy over the next few weeks.
"We are all looking forward to a fantastic race at Shakespeare County Raceway", says Bob. "It seems a long while since our last event, but it's going to get pretty intense soon with the European Finals just two weeks after the Fallnationals. In fact I will only be home for a week in between. Driver John Spuffard has been hard at work with displays and shows, and I have been gathering up some much-needed replacement parts after the last two events."
Bob also revealed that US Funny Car legend Tom Hoover will be joining the Showtime team at the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod; we will have more news about that closer to the event.
You can stay in touch with all the inside information from the Showtime pit on their official web site at www.showtimeracing.co.uk, and for news of the British Nitro FC Championship check out www.showtimeracing.co.uk/championship.html.
Smax suffers theft.
20th August: UK Fuel FC racer Smax Smith is asking for the help of Eurodragster readers as he has been the subject of some unwelcome attention a few days before the next round of the British Nitro FC Championship at Shakespeare County Raceway.
"On Sunday night (18th August) thieves broke into my trailer and stole all of my tools and spares", says Smax. "The trailer was locked in the car park of the Wynot Inn in Essington (near Wolverhampton). If anyone is suspicious of any hard core parts or Teng tools being sold, especially in the Wolverhampton area, a call to Vince Andrews on 07815 749568, or myself on 07967 7389089, or the cops will be appreciated. And a reward will be given!
"Luckily I had taken the motor home to get ready for this weekend, but we have a lot of stuff missing. If anyone out there can help out, or get us a sponsor to help offset this theft, we will be over the moon. We are down but not out!"©Eurodragster.com
'Sting's rookie loving it.
20th August: The UK's B'Sting Wild Bunch team are having an enjoyable season and can't wait to get back on the track at the Fallnationals, says team member Barry Bohannon.
"Our driver and sponsor Andy Murphy is having the time of his life in his rookie year in the J and A Murphy/Bowker and Holt Utilities B'Sting Topolino altered", says Barry. "He had one Test and Tune in April to get used to the the car before going in at the deep end in Super Series '02 competition.
"The Spring Nationals saw lady luck smiling on us with a #5 qualifying spot on what was, in fact, Andy's third observed run to get his licence. The APIRA officials were happy that the third observed run was competent enough and got us a special mention for our professional approach! Round one was a bye because our round one opponent, a lethal A35-bodied altered named Dorset Horn driven by one of the sport's nicest blokes, Dick Sharp, sadly broke. Round two was a squeaker against our good friend and pitmate Mark Coulsell in the Limited Funz slingshot. Andy went five hundredths under his dial-in, 12.65 on a 12.70, and from where we were standing it looked like you could have chucked a blanket over the pair of them at the stripe. So we went on the trailer with grins from ear to ear!
"The Midsummer Nationals was also blessed with good fortune, with nothing less than number one qualifier! Round one was a bye, in round two we faced Chris Hartnell in his Backdraft Junior Fueller...gulp! We had lane choice and opted for the left lane. Good call, at the hit Chris was on a wild one and took the scenic route to the stripe, allowing Andy to take the win! We were all going mental back on the start line, whoopin' and high fivin', we felt like we'd just won the US Nationals at Indy! So in his second race since gaining his licence Andy was now faced with a semi-final! Pulse rates were off the clock as we towed to the pairing lanes, mental checklists had 50 ticks against each item. Our opponent was Tommy 'Gun' Coe in the Psycho slingshot, himself having had a similar run of fortune in his rookie year in '01 and, on his day, wired to the tree. We had a plan to maximise our handicapped start of just over a second and all was going well until Andy touched the throttle to stage, an error we put down to nerves. The car jerked through both beams and put both lights out before Andy could grab the brake, it was too late for Andy to react to his mistake, Scott quite rightly brought the tree down as Tom had both rows lit, and our semi final result was a very bright red PAR 38 bulb!
"We're looking forward to the Fallnationals because 1. We want to 'threepeat' insofar as we want to go rounds; 2. We get to see not only all our Wild Bunch friends and friends in other classes (Hi Shaggy and Nikki!) but a whole bunch of Pro teams; and 3. Shakespeare County Raceway is such a cool place to spend a weekend!"
More track time for Growler.
20th August: Fellow Wild Bunch racer Mark Turton is also looking forward to the Fallnationals to get more track time in his new Growler altered, a replacement for the original which rolled out earlier this season.
"Unfortunately the wheel shake which caused me to shut down at the Nostalgia Nationals still has not been isolated", says Mark. "However we have managed to narrow the search down to a couple of things. We entered the Super Series Fallnationals with the hope that Growler would be 100%, however as we couldn't run the car at Santa Pod at the weekend we were unable to give the car the strip test. This will not, however, stop us attending, and with a full team including Leigh Turland who has rejoined after a break, we should be able to sort the problem. The chassis builder will also be there to help and point us in the right direction. But I will say that if the car is not running properly after two qualifying runs, we will retire from the competition to allow a fair and competitive match for the others running in the Wild Bunch bracket.
"Once again I would like to say Thank You to everyone who has helped, and to the companies which have supported and helped with finance: Gulls Nest Holiday Chalets and my newest sponsor J Byne Haulage who have kindly taken on my transporter servicing, repairs and MOT work. J Byne Haulage are a Haulage/Tipper/Grab/Skip Hire firm at present based in Watford. They offer an A1 service with very competitive prices. For information on their services contact Jack or Dave on 01923 671777.
"On a final note I was very pleased to see Gary Malin back in the seat of his new rear engine dragster at the Suzuki Frenzy, after the incident which totalled his Straightline Maniac Pop earlier in the year. Good luck to Gary and his family for the future, and we'll see you at the Super Series."
You can read more about the Dog Squad team on their official web site at www.growlerracing.co.uk.
Malin heads for the eights.
20th August: ...and no sooner does Gary Malin get a mention than Gary himself writes with the latest from his pit.
"As you know we rolled the Pop in April, and have come back with a 252-inch dragster", says Gary. "We have made some test runs for our upgrade licence, running 9.2/144 just for our opening hand. We have got some tuning and some RPM to put into the motor, because we have entered Super Pro ET at the Fallnationals, which only leaves us two tenths to find to even qualify. I must admit that I took some gee-gees out of the motor to try and get used to the car because it was a new experience and I didn't know what to expect. There is loads of RPM left as well as trans brake RPM and of course timing and fuel.
"We will make the eights and qualify at Shakespeare County on Saturday!" ©Eurodragster.com
20th August: Pro ET racer Steve Wells has had some damage to fix on his crowd-pleasing Pop pick-up before the Fallnationals. "Having spat the pinion out of the axle at an exhibition at Brooklands - which was a shame as their were a lot of people who had never seen a drag racer run before - we are now fixed, and topped up with Torco oil from camauto.com. We have also altered the clutch again to try to make it softer, as we still havent got that nine - only a 10.05."
A number of racers, race cars and race officials were at the Midwest AAC Show Cheltenham racecourse last weekend to promote the Fallnationals (right). Dave and Hils Grabham with Freddy's Revenge, Chris and Lee Hartnell with Backdraft, the FB Racing team with their rebuilt CCSE '34 Ford, and the new owner of a Wild Bunch-bound Opel GT spent the weekend handing out leaflets and talking to fans together with some of the APIRA marshals and FAST team.©Eurodragster.com
Web site updates.
20th August: Our good buddies at Svensk Dragracing have updated their web site with reports and results from Finland's Thule Nationals and the Linde Open, together with the points standings in the Nordic Drag Racing Series after these events and the NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified round at the Nitrolympics. "Some competitors have quite a big points lead in their classes, but there is no class which is 100% decided. We are really looking forward to exciting battles in the coming events at Gardermoen and Santa Pod!", says Erik Zettervall of Svensk Dragracing. Check it out at www.dragracing.se.
The FB Racing web site at www.fbracing.co.uk has been updated with the latest standings in the Custom Car Street Eliminator Championship.
Eurodragster staffer Sharkman has updated his personal web site Sharkman's Top End Tales with pictures from the weekend's Suzuki Frenzy at Santa Pod Raceway. Sharkman was on observed runs with a new lens and you can see the results of his latest credit card accident at www.topendtales.com. ©Eurodragster.com
Gustavsson takes Gothenburg purse.
19th August: We have heard from a delighted Peter Lantz who tells us that his cylinder head mechanic, and good buddy of the Eurodragster staff, Johan Gustavsson (right) is considerably richer after taking the Bracket win at the Gothenburg Motorfestival. Johan is usually seen backing Peter up from his burnouts and giving him the all-clear to stage, but away from the Top Fuel pits he has raced Super Street and other classes for some years.
"Johan won a 64-car field and took the 50,000 SEK prize", said Peter. "That's not bad! Johan and Per-Anders Strömberg co-own the car and drive an event each, but Johan was driving this time. The money is intended to be used to further his interest and skills in motorsport - which it will if he gives it to me!". We rather suspect that Johan's long-standing partner (and also good Eurodragster buddy) Linda will have something to say about this although Peter tells us that she is very happy with Johan's win. Congratulations Johan!©Eurodragster.com
Long break nearly over for Frost.
19th August: UK Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Andy Frost is raring to go at next weekend's Super Series Fallnationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. The break since the last round, the SPRC Summernationals, has been too long for him, Andy says.
"Since the last meeting I have completely rewired the Nitrous system so that there is no repeat of the 'slower with NOS' scenario of the first two races.", says Andy. "I've also fitted a progressive controller for the first stage of NOS, so that I can put a big sniff in from the start line instead of from 330 feet! I've also fitted a MSD 7-AL3 ignition system, a super hi-flow valve for the NOS bottle and a new MSD HVC pro power coil to replace the drag pro power coil which go so hot on the cruise! So hopefully I can go out and run some better numbers than last time - or go slower, you never know!
"Hopefully the car will survive this next meeting as, along with a few others from CCSE, I've entered Super Pro ET at the FIA European Finals to get some much needed track time on one of the best tracks of the year. It should be interesting to see if we can give those dragster racers a run for their money on treads, pump fuel and through the mufflers!"
Andy says that the first half of the season had its ups and downs. "The biggest downer was not being able to start the car in the garage at the Shakespeare County round - the biggest up must be the last round where I actually managed to get to and past the first round in one meeting! It seems like five minutes since I was working until midnight every night to make the Main Event, but already it's almost September!
"As I've been so busy of late this little review will give me a chance to say thanks to my sponsors and to some people without whose help I wouldn't be ready now. Firstly Thank You to my sponsors who are Knight Racing Services, Sussex Auto Parts, West Midlands Accident Repair Centre, Aldridge Trimming and Voss Engineering. There are countless people who've helped so I won't be able to mention them all, so sorry to the people I miss. Thanks to Tony Grayston (Crew Chief); Dave Williamson, Bradley Cooper and Deb (crew); Steve Potter; Peter Knight; Ian Evans; Spoons and the 'firm'; Ian Jackson; John Sleath; Mike Parsons; Martin Curbishley; Mark Gredzinski; Andy and Kate Robinson; Ken Britten; all the photographers who taken their time to catch Red Victor2 in glorious colour; and last but not least all the people - over ten thousand in a year - who visit my web site to follow Red Victor 2's progress."
You can find Andy's web site at www.redvictor1racing.co.uk.
Curtis follows best practice.
19th August: Fellow CCSE team No Manners Racing have also been hard at work on their nine-second Thames 100E van ready for this weekend's Fallnationals.
"We had a little bit of a slow start to the beginning of the season, due to the engine taking longer to find its way home than expected", says driver Allen Curtis. "We are pleased with the output - and we are happy with the results at this stage, especially with the 9.8 which the van has now run with just a touch of Nitrous and a gearbox which had passed its use by date. The clutches had worn out so much, they looked like steels! We think that all in all the team have done pretty well considering.
"We have now rebuilt the gearbox with extra clutches and tighter clearances. Obviously with that set-up we are hoping for further improvements, with just the gearbox alone. This doesn't include extra NOS which is available - we have only dipped our toes in the water so far - so we know there is a lot more to get out of her yet.
"We have still more improvement planned before the end of season, hopefully at the final round. We know from dyno tests at EDA that the headers which we are currently using are too small for a normally-aspirated engine, never mind a NOS engine. The primaries on our new set will be 1/4 inch bigger. We will not be running the new headers at the Fallnationals, as we will not know the degree of improvement from the gearbox. So rather than have two new changes to deal with, best practice suggests that we take one stage at a time.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors NGK Spark plugs and Central Auto Supplies. We would also like to canvass for new sponsors, big or small. If any one is interested, please send an E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org."
Allen and Amanda Curtis' web site at www.nomannersracing.co.uk tells you everything you could want to know about the van and the team, including news, pictures, team history, achievements and more.
FIA, NDRS Pro Mod results.
19th August: The FIA-class winners at this weekend's Nitrolympics were Micke Kågered (Top Methanol FC) and Michael Malmgren (Pro Stock). Lars Olsson took the win in NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified. Points standings in all three Championships will be available soon.
You can find a full account of Micke Kågered's successful weekend on his official web site at www.kagered-racing.com, full reports and results of Top Methanol FC on the Svensk Dragracing web site at www.dragracing.se, and the Nilsson Motorsports team's Pro Mod report on their official web site at www.nilssonmotorsports.com.
Full results in all classes will be available on the official Nitrolympics web site very shortly at www.nitrolympics.de.
Editor's note: Our best wishes go to UK Funny Bike racer Ken Cooper whom we understand had a spill at Hockenheim yesterday. We further understand that Ken is basically OK. We look forward to seeing you back on the track very soon, Ken.©Eurodragster.com
Web site updates.
19th August: UK Top Methanol Dragster racer Lyndsay Deuchar has posted on his web site a brief preview of next weekend's Fallnationals, which is the final round of the 2002 MSA British Drag Racing Championship. Lyndsay has also changed the format of the videos on the site to AVI to make them more widely viewable. "No more zip files!", he says. You can find the LA Racing web site at www.laracing.co.uk.
The official web site of UK's Freddy's Revenge Supercharged Outlaw team has been updated with a detailed report of their outing at last weekend's Bulldog Bash, which was a weekend of mixed fortunes for them. Check it out at www.freddysrevenge.co.uk.
Chris Dossett has been in touch to let us know that he will no longer be updating his Trakbyte's UK Drag Racing History web site on a bi-weekly basis. Regular readers will know that Chris is a member of the Showtime Fuel FC team and runs their web site and the British Fuel FC Championship site too, so time really is at a premium for him. "The site will still be updated regularly, but on a more infrequent basis", says Chris. "I have now set up a mailing list to keep people informed and have taken the liberty of adding the names and E-Mail addresses of many of the regular visitors and contributors to the site. There is a double opt-in system running with this list so those people will have the option not to subscribe to the list. The latest update at www.trakbytes.com features a number of photos from the Blackbushe Dragfests in 1964 and 1965." ©Eurodragster.com
Carter takes Nitrolympics TF title.
18th August: FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter has won the Top Fuel shoot-out at this weekend's Nitrolympics at Hockenheim. Speaking on his mobile phone from the Hockenheim pits, Andy filled us in on the details.
The shoot-out format was four qualifying passes, of which the best three would count, and the two racers with the best aggregate ETs would race in the final.
The Top Fuellers had two open practice sessions, which were contested by Rico Anthes and the US' Brady Kalivoda. The first qualifying session was scheduled for 4:00 pm yesterday, but this was cancelled. "There had been a long oildown and we would not have been able to run and then get the cars turned round in time for the night session", said Andy. "The format was changed to three qualifying sessions, taking your two best runs". The next session was at 7:30 pm last night and went as follows:
Andy Carter 5.28/465 Kmh
Barry Sheavills up in smoke at the start, 11.56/137
Brady Kalivoda half-pass, 5.59/291
Rico Anthes 10.67/124
This morning everyone was ready to step up on a track which Andy tells us started out loose on Friday but which has been steadily coming around as the weekend has progressed. The first of today's two TF qualifiers took place in thirty-degree temperatures and went as follows:
Andy Carter 5.03/468 Kmh
Barry Sheavills 5.05/460
Brady Kalivoda broke, 22.01/74
Rico Anthes 5.07/462
"The 5.28 in the first round was a conservative tune-up for the track conditions", said Andy, "but we stepped it up for this morning's first run and we may step it up a little for the next run which is at about 4:00 this afternoon.".
The third and final round of Top Fuel shoot-out qualifying went as follows:
Rico Anthes 5.13/458 Kmh
Andy Carter up in smoke off the line, 13.54/116
Barry Sheavills smoked tyres at half-track, 5.57/381
Brady Kalivoda no show, steering malfunction
This meant that Rico Anthes (5.07 and 5.13) and Andy Carter (5.03 and 5.28) went into the final, with a B final between Barry Sheavills and Brady Kalivoda.
Andy took the final and the Top Fuel shoot-out title with a 5.13/460 Kmh as Rico Anthes redlit away any chance of winning, running a 5.19. "It was very close at the end", said Andy, "although Rico had of course redlit". Andy was ecstatic and not a little relieved as his participation in the final round was a close thing. "We ran out of time in the pits", he said. "We didn't have time to warm it up on fuel. When we started it up for the final, the engine took thirty seconds to go to fuel and then died. By the time we got it started, Rico had done his burnout and was coming back. I had to do a quick burnout and get back as quick as I could."
Brady Kalivoda took the B final with an early shut off 6.0; Barry Sheavills did not show.
Andy asked us to say a big Thank You to Terry and Tina Gibbs for making it possible to go to Hockenheim, which we are very happy to do.
More Nitrolympics updates.
18th August: As well as Andy Carter's mobile phone, a number of web sites are keeping us up-to-date with the action at Hockenheim.
Now on-line from Hockenheim is UK Super Comp racer Zane Llewellyn, who has qualified #1 in the class. His reports can be found at www.bootsoop.freeserve.co.uk. Zane's reports join those on the official Nitrolympics web site at www.nitrolympics.de, the Svensk Dragracing web site at www.dragracing.se (with Micke Gullquist as guest reporter, and doing a fine job of it too), on Top Methanol FC racer Micke Kågered's web site at www.kagered-racing.com, and on the Nilsson Motorsports web site at www.nilssonmotorsports.com. ©Eurodragster.com
Search For A Star pictures.
18th August: Dave Nelson of the Drag Torque web site has kindly sent a few pictures from the Aylesbury and Northampton rounds of the Halfords Search For A Drag Star promotion, which will ultimately see one lucky winner racing in Junior Dragster at the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway.
"Northampton was attended by Jon Webster, the car of Ian and Paula Marshall, and suprisingly Tony Hill with his CCSE Lotus", says Dave. "It was a very busy day with a lot of interest being shown in the race cars, and a lot of entries into the contest. A local radio station came at about 1:30 and inteviewed Jon Webster, Sarah from Halfords and the fastest driver of the day. A local newspaper reporter also came about mid day and it was even on NTV, featuring interviews with Sarah and (I believe) Jon, and also shots of the radio-controlled cars in action and of course Jon's CCSE with the motor running. Jon drove to and from the event in the race car, and at about 1:00 pm we heard the familiar sound of Tony Hill's Lotus entering the car park, lots of heads turning (including mine). Tony had not been booked for the event, but when he turned up one of our guys asked if he wanted to park with the display vehicles. He replied that he had only popped in for an oil filter after fitting a new box in the Lotus, after having a fair amount of trouble with the current one all season. It was really great to see him! Aylesbury was attended by Allen Curtis and Mark Turton with the Dog Squad. There were plenty of entries into the contest."
You can view Dave's pictures from Aylesbury and Northampton by clicking here.
P&G/PLR confirm Finals trip.
17th August: If you were tuned in on Monday you will have seen that Pelle Lindelöw and Peter Lantz were working on funding to bring their combined Top Fuel Dragster team to the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway in September. We were very pleased to hear from Pelle that after a lot of phone calls, calculations and planning the P&G/PLR team will be making the trip from Sweden for the last round of the FIA European Championship.
"It was with big relief this morning that we put the last pieces of the puzzle in place so that we could go ahead with planning for the event", says Pelle. "There are still a few pieces missing, but at least now we know we have a puzzle and an idea of what it should look like when it's finished. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Optima Batteries for their understanding in our struggle to find the budget for the trip."
Pelle tells us that there is still sign space on the car if any sponsors would like to come on board. "We haven't funded everything yet", he says. "We can still take sponsorship for this event - or for a longer period, anything is possible...". Anyone who would like to offer the P&G/PLR team sponsorship can contact us at email@example.com and we'll pass it on.
Meet The Drivers again.
17th August: Thanks to British Nitro Funny Car Championship co-ordinator Jim Broome for letting us know that there is to be another autograph, question/answer and gladhanding session with the Fuel FC drivers for the fans at next weekend's Super Series Fallnationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. The previous session at the FIA Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway was very successful indeed with a very large number of fans taking the chance to meet their heroes.
You will be able to meet the drivers at the North Herts Engineering Fuel FC pit between 10:00 am and 11:00 am next Sunday, 25th August. "Depending upon qualifying sessions, the teams may have to go straight into warm-ups afterwards", says Jim.
For more information on Shakespeare County Raceway, including directions to the track, check out the official web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com, or to book tickets contact Obsession Motorsports on 01483 236262 (outside the UK, +44 1483 236262).
Bells ring in Sweden.
17th August: Christer Abrahamson of Svensk Dragracing has been in touch to let us know of two happy events in Sweden today. The first is nuptials in the Konola Racing pit as Crew Chief Sussy Björkman is at last making an honest man of driver, Captain Holeshot himself, Jari Konola. Also getting married today is ex-racer Johnny Nilsson.
We are sure that everyone will want to join Sharkman and Tog in wishing Sussy and Jari, and Johnny and his fiancée, the very best for the future. ©Eurodragster.com
Web site updates.
17th August: Six months in the making and after endless late nights the new Avon Park International Racers Association website finally lives. With a new APIRA logo from John Andrews of Motorgraphic, and APIRA now in their tenth year, it was decided that a fresh look web site for their anniversary would be a fitting gesture. The fate of the new website lay very much in the hands of resident Shakespeare County Raceway webmaster Ozzy Ewing and Press and Publicity Officer Jeremy Cookson, who first decided that the website should add value to any Drag Racing enthusiast. This has been achieved with interactive forms, and a new racers' database is planned towards the end of the season allowing each racer to update their Commentators' Sheets and have a look at their timing data on-line. "All in all this is a very special website and would not exist if it were not for the original programmers from Eurodragster.com who hosted and developed the original APIRA website, for which we thank them", says Ozzy. You can find the new APIRA web site at www.apira.org.uk. ©Eurodragster.com
Watch the Nitrolympics.
16th August: The Nitrolympics at the newly-upgraded Hockenheim kick off today, and both of the official web sites have a link to the frequently-updated webcam so that you can tune in if you can't make the gig. You can find the link to the webcam at the bottom of the Home Pages at both www.dragster.de and www.nitrolympics.de.
Results will be available at the end of each day at www.nitrolympics.de, and our good friends at Svensk Dragracing are also posting results courtesy of Pro Mod racer Micke Gullquist who is at Hockenheim tuning a couple of cars. You can find the results at www.dragracing.se, and results and news of the NDRS Bilsport Pro Mod round should be available at www.promod.nu.
Finally, Top Methanol FC racer Micke Kågered's web site at www.kagered-racing.com is also to be updated with results during the weekend. ©Eurodragster.com
Q8 on the Manor.
16th August: The UK's Manor Racing 9.90 Bike and 10.90 Bike team have announced a sponsorship deal with Kuwait Petroleum International Lubricants (UK), who are providing Ian and David Warrn with the Q8 SBK Fully Synthetic Motorcycle Oils Range. The team's first appearance carrying the Q8 Oils branding will be at this weekend's Suzuki Frenzy at Santa Pod Raceway where the race bikes will be on the Q8 Oils stand within the Suzuki Village, and will also be appearing on the track in the Q8 Oils Challenge. "Everyone is welcome to come along to see the full range of Q8 Motorcycle Oils and talk to the Q8 staff over the weekend", says David Warren. ©Eurodragster.com
Think Pink, win stuff.
16th August: Fellow UK 10.90 Bike racer Sandra Chaplain is running a contest on her web site with a whole bunch of prizes up for grabs.
"To commemorate Jubilee year and as a thanks to all the drag racing fans and racers for all the support over the years, the Team at Think Pink Racing are running a free competition" on their web site", says Sandra. "The prizes are varied, some courtesy of the team and others courtesy of our sponsors, and include Think Pink race jacket, baseball hats; Buffs, Goodridge brake line kit, Loctite products; plus Vouchers for: high street shops; Velosport motorcycle spares; Hyperbolt anodised aluminium bolt kits; SubZero clothing; Web site hosting; tickets for events at Shakespeare County Raceway and Santa Pod Raceway, and more. As we have a number of prizes and plan to introduce more between now and the end of the season, we will make more than one draw. The competition is easy to enter and is open to everybody."
For your chance to win, visit the Think Pink Racing web site at www.thinkpinkracing.co.uk.
SPR urgently need demo vehicles.
16th August: Just as we went to post this news update, Santa Pod Raceway have been in touch asking for two- or four-wheeled vehicles to run at the Suzuki Frenzy this Sunday (18th August). "Any racer is welcome, and we will be able to pay for the right applicant", says Rick of Trakbak Racing.
Any racers interested in running at Santa Pod on Sunday should firstly contact Caroline Day at Santa Pod on 08700 782828, or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org. ©Eurodragster.com
15th August: The Thule Nationals at Finland's Motopark, which is one of three Nordic Drag Racing Series rounds this weekend, sees the return of Finnish Top Methanol FC racer Jarmo Kuutniemi. Jarmo's return means one less competitor on two wheels as Funny Bike and Super Street Bike racer Asko Määtä takes his place on the TMFC crew.
"Jarmo broke the chassis last Autumn and it is now repaired", says Asko. "On my side - fuel, ignition etc. tune-up - the car is ready to fly to new records. The car has a new engine combination with a screw charger, dry sump, four-stage fuel timer, refreshed dual mags and more."
Asko tells us that Jarmo is planning to race in at least some of next year's FIA European Championship dates, or maybe the whole series. "He's going to have to do that without my help, though, because I'll be racing myself with the bikes", says Asko. "But we'll be co-operating on the tour anyway."
Asko has promised to keep us in touch with Jarmo's progress this weekend.
You can find a preview of this weekend's three NDRS rounds (Thule Nationals, the Linde Open and Pro Mod at Hockenheim) on the Svensk Dragracing web site at www.dragracing.se, and more details on the Thule Nationals on the Finnish Hot Rod Association web site at www.fhra.fi.
Söderquist pleased with tough tracks.
15th August: Knut Söderquist, owner of the Carbon By Design stable of Top Fuel Dragsters, has declared himself delighted with the preparation of race tracks all around Europe, most recently at Tullinge where Micke Kågered took the 2002 Swedish Top Fuel Tour title last weekend.
"This year we've run at Santa Pod - excellent, Piteå - the same, Mantorp - excellent considering the bumps, Gardermoen - excellent, and Tullinge - fantastic!", said Knut. "Micke and I would like to say a special Thank You to Lelle, the promoter at Tullinge, for a well-organised race with a friendly atmosphere and personal service. And the track was prepped to US standards, the finish line was as sticky as the start line, just awesome!"
Knut said that Top Fuel racing in Europe is beginning to get tough because of the standard of tracks everywhere. "Every track is so good now", he said, "we got used to marginal tracks, so now we're having to work harder."
The Carbon By Design team's next outing is at next week's Super Series Fallnationals at Shakespeare County Raceway, where Susanne Callin will be racing against Andy Carter. Knut said that Susanne's car should approach the performance of that driven by Micke Kågered, which has run in the 4.9s at 305 mph this year. "Susanne's car now has the same stuff as Micke's car", said Knut. "When Robin Read was racing the car in Norway we found a bad earth on the coil - we think that that is why the car hasn't performed. We've ordered a load of new stuff and it should be on the car in time for next weekend."
For Knut the Fallnationals is a return to a track which he has visited before with Harlan Thompson, Andy Carter and Alan Jackson. "The race at Shakespeare County should be real good - we're there to run hard, not to test", he said. "We always run the best we can!"
Super Modified points update.
15th August: Provisional post-Bug Jam points standings in the UK's Super Modified class are now available on the official Super Modified web site at www.eurodragster.com/supermod. ©Eurodragster.com
Happy Birthday Rico!
15th August: Nitrolympics promoter and Top Fuel Dragster racer, Germany's Rico Anthes, has more than one of the biggest races in Europe to celebrate this weekend: we understand that Rico is celebrating a special birthday to start this weekend's festivities in the right manner. Sharkman and Tog would like to wish Rico a the Happiest of Birthdays and we are sure that everyone else will do so too. ©Eurodragster.com
Mäkelä back in 2003.
14th August: Finnish Top Fuel Dragster racer Anita Mäkelä has confirmed that she will not venture out onto the track again until 2003. Right at the start of this year Anita said that she and husband Tommi Haapanen, himself a former Top Fuel pilot and now Anita's Crew Chief, would be taking most or all of 2002 out to expand their already-sizeable chicken farm. The work is coming along just fine but will not be finished in time to race this year.
"The new laying house will be ready on time, but this summer has shown that we made the right decision to skip racing this year", says Anita. "Tommi has worked sixteen-hour days, seven days a week, like all of the other men. When Mantorp came close I asked Tommi if we could go, and with his black and tired eyes he laughed and said that maybe that would have been the last step in killing him!
"After we have finished the new laying house, we need to extend one of the rearing houses. So I am sorry to say that we won't be coming to Santa Pod in September. But we will really need some rest after this year, and we don't know any better way to relax than with some nice tough nitro runs!" ©Eurodragster.com
Ripley under glass.
14th August: After one outing with an altered body on his chassis, the UK's Doug Ripley has put the Funny Car body back on and will be racing in Top Methanol at next week's (24th-26th August) Super Series Fallnationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. The news has been welcomed by racers and fans alike, says Crew Chief Cliff Gould.
"We at CC Racing didn't know the car was liked so much", says Cliff. "We have been we have been very busy, putting the body back on properly and making a few other modifications. We are waiting on some engine parts at the moment, so we will have a bit of a thrash getting the car ready for the Fallnationals. But we will be there!
"We are looking forward to racing in TMFC again, although we did have some fun with the altered body on, into the sevens on our first full pass, and we also got some very good clutch information.
"We're looking forward to seeing everyone at Shakespeare County Raceway."
Racers: send your Fallnationals previews to us at email@example.com and we'll publish them here. ©Eurodragster.com
Fallnationals entry list.
14th August: The entry list for next week's Super Series Fallnationals is now available, courtesy of APIRA Club and Race Secretary Wendy Talbot. As well as the headlining Top Fuel Dragster, Fuel FC, Fuel Altered, Top Methanol and Top Fuel Bike classes the list shows very healthy numbers in almost all classes with Pro ET, Sportsman ET, Super Street Bike and Comp Bike particularly well-subscribed.
Click here to view the Fallnationals entry list. ©Eurodragster.com
BBCi feature Fallnationals.
14th August: The web site of BBC Coventry and Warwickshire is another to give the Fallnationals a plug today, as the Sports section of the web site has a feature on the Fuel FCs. Although there is the odd mistake (a new nickname beckons for Gordon Smith - Ed), only the already-converted will know; the piece is enthusiastic and should help to attract more spectators.
You can find the BBC Coventry piece at www.bbc.co.uk/coventry/sport. ©Eurodragster.com
UK National points standings.
14th August: The latest standings in the UK National Drag Racing Championships are now available courtesy of points co-ordinators Simon Groves (APIRA) and Yvonne Tramm (SPRC).
Click here to view the UK points, or click on the Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page. ©Eurodragster.com
Search for a Star report.
14th August: Eurodragster reader Jon Crawford popped along to today's Halfords Search for a Drag Star event at Halfords in Northampton, and kindly sent us this report.
"The delicate sound of thunder came to a busy Northampton retail park this afternoon, as the latest of Santa Pod Raceway's Search For a Star promotions arrived at the Riverside branch of Halfords. A steady stream of youngsters, and their summer holiday weary parents, were surprised to come across a display of some of the region's best Sportsman drag racers. An area of car park had been cordoned off, and a short course marked out for the first stage of the contest, the eventual aim of which is to put a youngster into the seat of the Santa Pod Raceway Junior Dragster. The lucky winner will literally be thrown in at the deep end with entry into the biggest drag race outside America, the FIA European Finals in September. The first stage of the selection process was a short time trial, using 1/16th scale remote control Rally Cars, the winner from each location going ahead to the next stage, which is to be held at Santa Pod. DragTorque's Dave Nelson, who also works for Halfords, was very pleased with the turnout and commented "Of course I have had a go, the only trouble is they won't let me enter!"
"The display of dragsters consisted of the Santa Pod Junior Dragster, Ian and Paula Marshall's Highlander Super Modified Camaro, and John Webster's sensational CCSE Mustang, which was drawing admiring glances from the local Hot Hatch brigade. Around one o’clock, a familiar sound was heard across the car park, and Tony Hill’s CCSE Lotus rumbled into the car park, coming to a halt very neatly next to a startled looking young lady in a Hyundai, whose face had to be seen to be believed!
"The local press were all very impressed with the display, with local television and radio in attendance during the day."
There are two more chances to catch the Search for a Drag Star; today at Halfords in Peterborough at Mallory Road, Boongate, and tomorrow at Halfords in Harlow on The Oaks Industrial Estate. ©Eurodragster.com
Want to be a media star?
14th August: Caroline Day of Santa Pod Raceway has been in touch seeking racers to appear at SPR's pre-FIA European Finals Press Day, which takes place at the track on Wednesday 4th September. "All are welcome, especially those with passenger seats!", says Caroline. "You can put in as many passes as you like on the day."
If you would like to take part in the Press Day then please contact Caroline Day at Santa Pod on 08700 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828) or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org. ©Eurodragster.com
Web site updates.
14th August: The official web site of the UK's American Car Imports Racing Top Methanol Dragster team has been updated with Crew Chief Andy Bissett's account of their recent Scandinavian tour, on which they took the win in Sweden, and runner-up and a new European speed record in Norway. Andy's reports are always eagerly awaited and these don't disappoint with a great mixture of detailed information and humourous anecdote. Check it out on the Race Reports page at www.americancarimportsracing.com.
Eurodragster staffer Sharkman has completed the move of his personal web site Sharkman's Top End Tales and normal service has been resumed with the posting of no less than 280 photographs from the Sko Uno Drag Festival at Mantorp Park. "A huge thanks to Nikki Pilkington for becoming the latest member of the Adopt a homeless Shark Club", says Sharkman. You can find Sharkman's web site at www.topendtales.com. ©Eurodragster.com
Joon can't draw breath.
13th August: After a dramatic axle breakage and near-win in Sweden and victory in Norway, Dutch Top Methanol FC team Lex Joon Racing hardly have time to draw breath before they are back in action.
"We're doing two things at once at the moment - preparing everything for Hockenheim this weekend and then the Dutch Finals at Drachten on 31st August-1st September, where Lex will be making demo passes", says Gerda Dijkstra of LJR. As Lex and Gerda are involved in the organisation of the Drachten race the workload is even more than it appears. "There is only one weekend between Hockenheim and Drachten, and there are always things which need to be done at the last minute. Then after Drachten there are the European Finals at Santa Pod. We're having a busy season, but we love it!"
"The Dutch Finals is the last race of 2002 in the Netherlands", says Gerda. "After the big success of the Drachten Internationals in July, we know that many racers will come to Drachten Airfield. We have the final round of the European Top Gas Series, and the Dutch Open Super Gas Championship which is very exciting."
You can find out more about the Dutch Finals on the Explosion club's web site at www.explosion.nl, and you can catch up with the diary of Lex's Scandinavian tour on his official web site at www.lexjoonracing.nl. ©Eurodragster.com
Web site updates.
13th August: The official web site of the UK's Showtime Fuel FC team has been updated with a report and pictures of the #2 Funny Car's recent residence at Myltons, together with a preview of the next round of the British Nitro FC Championship which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on August 24th-26th. Check it out at www.showtimeracing.co.uk.
Markus Ek has updated his web site with a large number of photographs from the weekend's Scandinavian Dragracing Championship and Swedish Top Fuel Tour round at Tullinge. You can find Markus' site at www.mek.nu.
Fredrik Karlsson has updated the DTE Racing web site with a report and photos from the popular Comp Eliminator team's weekend at Tullinge. Fredrik tells us that he has also posted some miscellaneous photographs. You can find all of this on the DTE Racing web site at www.dteracing.com.
The Swedish Pro Street News Magazine at www.spn-photo.com has been updated with over 400 photographs from Tullinge. Webmaster Hasse has asked us to pass on his thanks to the Olds51 team and Magnus Petersson for transport to the track. ©Eurodragster.com
Charity Auction at European Finals.
12th August: Santa Pod Raceway's International Race Director Darren Prentice and his wife Nicola are to organise an auction at the FIA European Finals to benefit the baby unit which cared for their son Owen after his early arrival.
"We would like to say a very big Thank You to every one who has sent us cards, presents and E-Mails for Owen", says Darren. "He is now at home after being in the special care baby unit for seven weeks. He is doing well and putting on the weight. It was a very difficult time for us both, but with your encouragement and good wishes we now have our bundle of joy at home.
"So while I am on this subject I would like to announce that at the European Finals I am going to hold an auction during any downtime to raise money for the special care baby unit. If any race teams would like to donate items, for example autographed caps, T-Shirts, jackets, so that I can get John Price and Graham Beckwith to auction them, then please E-Mail me via email@example.com.
"The money will go to a truly worthy cause. As items come in I will post a list so that people can put in reserve bids."
There you go, folks, you know what to do. Eurodragster have already pledged to donate items (probably framed photographs), please do anything you can to help either by donating or bidding. ©Eurodragster.com
Kågered wins TFT again.
12th August: Sweden's Micke Kågered has won the Swedish Top Fuel Tour for the second year in a row after victory at Tullinge Raceway yesterday. Micke ran in the fours in the first round of eliminations and got very close indeed to 300 mph in both the first round and the final. Tommy Möller ran his first four-second pass in round one which was celebrated by inordinate head-shaving amongst the team. Our guest reporter Ivan Sansom was again at Tullinge yesterday and sent us this report, starting with some of the other classes:
The final round of the Swedish Super Twin Top Fuel bike championship went, some what inevitably, to Charley Karling. With a change of slick and clutch settings, the Uddeholm-backed rider was much happier with the track today and made short work of the opposition, with a 6.81/270.5 Kmh (shut off at 1000 feet) in the first round, a 6.71 in the heat of the day, and a new track record for crotch rockets at 6.55/347.7 over Per Jern's 7.39. If Charley can match the short times from the Main Event and the recent big end numbers it wouldn't be too much of a surprise to see him in the six twenties come the European Finals.
Top Doorslammer was a somewhat puzzling affair, with Freddie Fägerström shutting down after a storming burnout in the second round, and then two byes in the semis as Patrik Pers and Kent Trennemann both took green lights and then rolled back out of stage for a brief cool down. The final saw Pers storm to a 6.75 decision over Trennemann's 6.83.
Racing had a number of "interesting" hold ups, a rolling Super Small Block entry ended up with the peculiar sight of SPR's holidaying Chief Safety Officer Bob Day carrying out track repairs with the blunt end of an axe! And then to coin a phrase we had "Invaders from the planet Cloud" (©Pricey and Beckwith double act) when an errant parachutist, minus an inflated canopy, touched down at extreme velocity just to the right of the top end lights. Fortunately, the somewhat dazed interloper was little the worse for wear.
The first round of eliminations on the Top Fuel Tour saw Monica Öberg and Tommy Möller match up, although a bout of tire shake ended the race for Monica early as she shutdown to a 9.17/152 Kmh. In the other lane Möller was having a ball, with a nice big picturesque wheelie and a pulling 4.98/451.1 Kmh - the first four second pass at Tullinge. And the crowd went wild, though possibly not as wild as the respective partners of the Lorentzon and Möller team when they return home with somewhat crude haircuts as the team's first four was celebrated with an impromptu head shaving session. In the next pair, Peter Lantz furiously boiled the hides away from the start line on a mid twelve, whilst Micke Kågered shot to a 4.98 at a huge 481.7 Kmh. Fortunately for Åsa, the hair clippers weren't on hand in the Bahco Tools/Quaker State Oils pit!
The third/fourth place run-off saw Lantz bounce back with a nice 5.06/472.8 to take third place over Monica's 5.36/405.7, and possibly change his mind about the Optima Batteries team's appearance at the European Finals in September. Peter wants a four second ticket badly! Tommy Möller then realised that creating space in his helmet wasn't that good an idea as he launched into fierce tireshake (Tommy's bloodshot eyes told the tale afterwards), but kept his foot in whilst churning the slicks on a 5.59/429.9. This left the door open for Micke to take the event win and the Top Fuel Tour title for 2002 with a consistent 5.03/472km/h.
Once again, the Top Fuel Tour hasn't disappointed for entertainment and numbers. Hopefully, some of the whispers about new cars and new combinations will come to fruition in 2003.
And finally, a customary round of cheers to Lelle and the Tullinge crew, all the racers who took time out for a chat, and to Stefan Boman for the lifts from the track. Hopefully, we'll get to see you next year.
You can find reports and stats on Micke Kågered's web site at www.kagered-racing.com, and stats for all classes on the Scandinavian Dragracing Championship site at www.nitroz.se/sdc. ©Eurodragster.com
P&G/PLR to attend Finals?
12th August: Pelle Lindelow has very kindly sent us the inside view of yesterday's Top Fuel Tour eliminations from the point of view of the combined P & G and Peter Lantz Racing team. The team's progress yesterday has encouraged them to investigate contesting the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway in September.
"As you know by now, we didn't win this time. After breaking another blower belt yesterday we decided that we had to do something. We borrowed a used 14 mm blowerbelt and pulleys from Lorentzon/Möller and put them on the car, backed the cluch a little bit and gave it another try in the run against Micke Kågered. Same story again: up in smoke close to the hundred meter mark. Now there was a serious disappoinment in the team and we would have preferred to pack the car in the trailer and go home, but there was of course one more run, against Monica Öberg in a run for third spot.
"We decided that we had to do something drastic, or forget about it. So of course we did the first. Less clutch, more of everything else, and what happened? 5.06 seconds and 472 kmh (294 mph). Nice and clean all the way. What a nice way to end the race. There was a tendency to smoke the tires (but it never happened of course) so we are not there yet, but we did at least get the answers to questions which we had been asking for a couple of races now. Peter mentioned after the run that the car pulled hard all the way to the finish line. It was a fantastic feeling for all of us and finally the proof that the car has a lot of untapped potential.
"With that last run the situation changed 180 degrees regarding a possible trip to the UK for the European Finals in September. It's not a fact yet but at least we know that we have a race car again, and not an extremely expensive smoke generator. We will use the next few days to find out if, where, when, how much, etc and after that try to find the necessary funding to go again. We will start the chase today and by the end of the week we should be able to to say yes or no. Actually the cost of transportation is one of the toughest hurdles so that's what we will start with this morning." ©Eurodragster.com
12th August: The latest update to Swedish Pro Mod racer Håkan Nilsson's web site is one of the most incredible in-car videos you will ever see. Filmed at Gardermoen on a 6.49/217.92 pass, the video shows the view out of the back window of the car during the burnout (look out for Roger Johansson's burnout in the other lane) followed by the pass. The video is that effective that your news editor felt g-forces tugging at him whilst watching!
Check it out on the Videos page of the Nilsson Motorsports web site at www.nilssonmotorsports.com. ©Eurodragster.com
Hal Far Night Event report.
12th August: Anthony Borda, President of the Malta Drag Racing Association, has very kindly sent us a report of this weekend's Night Event at Hal Far. It was an action-packed weekend, as Anthony relates.
"The Malta Drag Racing Association organised one of the best quarter mile races ever held at Hal-Far Raceway. There was a lot of work to be done to prepare for this event since we had almost a two-month break. The track had to be washed down all the way and prepared for better traction as well as the usual preparations. Thanks to all of our helpers, the track was in great condition and results spoke for themselves with new records and personal best times.
"For this night event, we saw lots of exciting races through the whole three-day event. Mario Borg of Borg Brothers Racing Team and John Ellul of Elbros Racing Team, stole the show giving the spectators their money's worth, by making not less than seven runs between them. As well as these these two brilliant competitors, there were more races who gave a good show too. We could say that in Malta we broke the European record once again, that for sixty feet, by Mario Borg with his Small Block Top Methanol Dragster clocking an amazing times of .897 and .902 respectively. The Top Methanol class final, which was between Mario Borg and John Ellul, gave the spectators what they wanted to see with Mario Borg taking the first spot and breaking his own national record once again, by clocking a qualifying run of 5.977 and backed up with a 5.979/202 final run.
"Another promising young driver, Alan Desira, with his small block Chevy V8/NOS Dragster, had the opportunity to run under eight seconds as predicted. He ran 7.9 seconds in a qualifying pass. As usual, there was David Bonavia with his Peel'n'Go Cosworth Methanol Dragster running 7.8 seconds. This time David wanted to go faster than ever but luck wasn’t with him, having turbo problems. There was another show when we saw Emanuel Mangion in his Altered Escort Cosworth and Alan Camilleri in his Altered Sierra Chevy V8 small block both running low eights. One has to mention that Alan Camilleri recorded a 1.12 sixty-foot in the race between them. Another competitor who took first place in not less than three classes is an Englishman named Jason Martin. His best elapsed time in his Super Street Escort with NOS was 10.2 seconds. One has to mention that the weather was not that good for drag racing, at over eighty five per cent humidity.
"You can’t mention everybody who took part in this event, but I would like to thank all the teams, drivers and helpers who took part. We were getting lots of thanks and job well done from all the spectators, who liked the idea of having a big screen and so had the facility to all the races from start to finish. For all this, I would like to thank once again, Super 1 TV station and Mr. Mark Vassallo and his team."
You can read results and stay up to date with all the latest news on the huge Maltese Drag Racing scene on the MDRA web site at www.maltadragracing.com. ©Eurodragster.com
Möller joins four-second club.
11th August: Just in from Tullinge Raceway in Stockholm is the news that Swedish Top Fuel Dragster racer Tommy Möller has joined the European four-second club with a pass of 4.98 in the first round of eliminations in today's Swedish Top Fuel Tour round. Congratulations to Tommy, Kenneth Lorentzon and the team. Micke Kågered has also been into the fours this morning with a 4.98 at a fraction under 300 mph.
You can stay in touch with events at Tullinge on Micke Kågered's web site at www.kagered-racing.com. ©Eurodragster.com
The view from P&G/PLR.
11th August: We are indebted to Pelle Lindelöw for sending us the following detailed Top Fuel qualifying report from Tullinge even though he had a Top Fueller to look after. Over to Pelle:
Fantastic weather and sun from a clear blue sky. Temperature almost 30 degrees and a perfect track, what more could you ask for? Time for the first round of qualifying.
12.15 First qualifying session: All qualifying runs are solo runs today, first out was Monica Öberg. 5.36 with an early shutoff. Nice and clean and no problems what so ever. A nice feeling for Dan and Monica after the disaster in Piteå. Second run was Micke Kågered and his bad luck carried on from Mantorp. After the burnout and launch the throttle cable fell off and the run was over. The car left well, so it was a real shame that it happened. There is still another session so Micke will be out again. Third out was Tommy Möller. Tommy had a nice and clean run, and recorded a 5.29 without any problems. The last run was Peter Lantz. A lot of work has been done since Mantorp and it was with great interest that we watched Peter's run. This time the car went approximately 1.2 seconds before it lost traction. One tiny step against a full run. Next round will be at 17.00 and I'll be back!
17.20 Second qualifying session: Tommy Möller had a problem getting the car ready in time when they discovered that the cam gear on the crankshaft was hurt and needed to be replaced. Although they tried hard to get the car out again, they didn't make it as the qualifying session was over at 18.00. So three cars lined up for the second round of qualifying. The first pair Monica Öberg against Peter Lantz. Finally, after all our struggles, the P&G/PLR car left the line as it should and Peter caught Monica who had a better start. But just before midtrack the blower belt gave up again. The computer reading afterwards showed that the car did better in the first one hundred metres than it did on the 5.08-second run at Piteå. Monica's blower belt also gave up, but later on the run, so she recorded 5.78 seconds. Micke Kågered had a solo run, and at last everything worked perfectly, all the nuts and bolts in the right place and Micke ran 5.006/478 Kmh (298 mph - Ed)! That is of course a new track record at Tullinge, and also makes Tullinge the second fastest track in Sweden after Piteå.
There were no problems with any of the cars after the runs, so the teams could concentrate on the poor pig which had been waiting on the charcoal bed for six hours. ©Eurodragster.com
Tullinge report #2.
11th August: We were also grateful to receive from Dragster Australia's European correspondent Ivan Sansom a report about yesterday's events at Tullinge. As both Pelle and Ivan went to a lot of trouble to get their reports to us, we thought it only considerate that we should publish both in full. Here's Ivan's take on day one of the Bilsport-sponsored event:
The shift of the Tullinge round of the Top Fuel Tour and the SDC is paying dividends this weekend, both in terms of the event entry and, as if by some divine intervention, glorious weather which is bringing the Stockholm drag racing faithful to the track in droves.
Headlining the meeting, as it has done for the past four years, is the booked-in show of the Swedish Top Fuel Tour, featuring series leader Peter Lantz; Micke Kågered with the first four second 300 mph car in Sweden; Mantorp winner Tommy Möller, now heavily backed by Pennzoil; and Mönica Oberg returning following her spectacular clutch explosion at the Pite round.
At the end of Saturday's two qualifying sessions, Kågered leads with a spectacular five flat at 478.3 Kmh to set both ends of the track record, bettering Peter Lantz' 5.05 from 1999. Clean and pulling hard to the finish line is the best way to describe this run, and certainly an improvement on the Quaker State/Bacho Tools team's first attempt which went west after 60' when the throttle cable snapped.
Tommy Möller lies a somewhat distant second with a single shot 5.29/453.4, black-tracking for virtually the whole run with a very rich motor. Engine woes kept Möller in the pits for the second round. Swedish veteran, and I'd still wager one of the top two fuel drivers in Europe, Monica Öberg is in third with a 5.36/415.3 - reacting to a haze of tire smoke at 100' with a superb pedalling job, "Just a little lift" commented Monica. The Lantz juggernaut which was undefeated at Tullinge whilst Peter was behind the wheel of his own PLR operation will have to step up considerably tomorrow after a tyre-smoking eleven- and belt-throwing ten-second pass. Given the combined experience in the now-combined Lantz-Lindelöw pit, Kågered will have to be at his very best tomorrow to avoid a first round upset.
Amongst the other classes, Charley Karling leads the Swedish Super Twin Top Fuel field with a mid seven, and M. Lundqvist had a very expensive introduction to Top Methanol Funny Car with a body lifting blower explosion at about 200 feet. Top Doorslammer will prove to be a real dog fight in eliminations with Kent Trenneman and Patrick Pers running easy six seventies, only to be topped by a superb 6.62 from Freddy Fagerström - and yep, the half track burnouts from the black and flamed pickup still bring the house down.
Eliminations might see ETs drop as the weather forecast is for slightly more cloud cover (I know the back of my legs are looking forward to this), it wouldn't be too much of a surprise if fours at 300+ form tomorrow's headline (right again, Ivan - Ed) - no doubt bringing a bigger smile to SDC promoter Lelle's face, particularly if the trackside is as packed with spectators as it was today. ©Eurodragster.com
Woollatt's one-run Bash.
11th August: UK Top Fuel Bike racer Steve Woollatt's Bulldog Bash weekend was over after one run, on Friday afternoon, writes Crew Chief Chris Powell.
"What a day!", says Chris. "We were eventually called out to the starting box at around 5.30 pm with Ian King running next, I think that everyone's eyes were skyward watching a huge great storm cloud. Steve made his pass; all looked OK, the launch was good and hard, from the start line I saw a puff of smoke at half-track and Steve shut off, I assumed that this was just the tyre lighting up and that he had shut off. After the years around the sport I should have known by now not to assume anything.
"Just as Ian King was about to make his pass the heavens opened - and I mean they opened, I could not see driving my bike down the end of the track to bring Steve back! We came back down the track aquaplaning most of the way, what a scary ride! Everything was drenched, it looked like the pair of us and the bike had been through the car wash.
"Unfortunately worse was yet to come, the puff of smoke was not the tyre at all: severe damage has occurred to the end of the supercharger drive, and it is hanging at a very peculiar angle and making even worse noises as it is rotated. This means an end to our racing weekend at the Bulldog, it is not a spare part that we carry and we need to return to the workshop to assess any further damage and dry off the bike.
"Our next outing is again at Shakespeare County Raceway for the Fallnationals over the Bank Holiday weekend and it would appear that we have an awful lot of work to do between now and then.
"Good luck to all the other demo classes, and to Dick in the rail. We hope the weather holds off." ©Eurodragster.com
Web site updates.
11th August: The guys at Dragsterworld went along to Santa Pod Raceway yesterday to check out Peter Wacker's new Bel Air Pro Mod, which he drove to a low-seven second shakedown pass at the Ultimate Street Car event. The car has got to be seen to be believed, and you can find pictures and a brief report in the 2002 Reports section of the Dragsterworld web site at www.dragsterworld.com. ©Eurodragster.com
Anthes on Hockenheim.
10th August: One of the busiest guys in Germany right now has to be Rico Anthes, promoter of next weekend's Nitrolympics at Hockenheim. The legendary event features Top Fuel match racing, FIA Top Methanol FC and Pro Stock, a round of the NDRS Bilsport Pro Mod Series, Fuel and Pro Bike shoot-outs, Supertwin Top Fuel, the penultimate round of the European Top Gas Series, Sportsman classes and more. This year's Nitrolympics take place on a relocated and relaid track, with a number of other improvements made to the facility.
Rico very kindly took time out from his busy schedule to bring us right up to date on next week's event. We started by asking about the track upgrade. "We started planning in July 2001, and work started in January of this year", said Rico. "The start line has moved back one hundred metres. We now have two hundred and fifty metres of dedicated drag strip, and the circuit part of the track has also been relaid so the Formula One guys have better traction! The track has been widened to eighteen and a half metres, and there is a new collection area and return road, which will benefit the racers because they can get back to the pits much more quickly. There are new grandstands, and a big TV screen at the start line."
One of the most eagerly-awaited pieces of news about the Nitrolympics is the list of participants in the Top Fuel Dragster shoot-out, so we asked Rico if he would reveal this year's line-up. "The USA's Cory Lee was originally booked, but then he got a job with an NHRA team so he will be running at Brainerd next week", said Rico. "Cory got us Brady Kalivoda. He will be racing Andy Carter, Barry Sheavills and myself."
Rico's own state-of-the-art Top Fueller made its first appearance at last year's Nitrolympics, but it has had some attention in the interim. "The car has twenty thousand dollars of new stuff", said Rico. "I missed the first four and the first three hundred by fractions, so I want to be the first to five hundred kilometres per hour (a touch over 311 mph - Ed). Rune says it's possible!"
Rico said that there are only three thousand tickets left for next weekend. "They are going fast", he said. "For some reason, Sunday is always the day which has tickets left. One of the sponsors has bought seventy tickets for the VIP lounge on Saturday, but none for Sunday!"
For the first time in some years, the Nitrolympics includes a round of the FIA European Championships, although only for two classes, Top Methanol FC and Pro Stock. We asked if this would increase to the full four FIA classes in 2003. "It depends how things develop", said Rico. "This year we have twelve Top Methanol Funny Cars for an eight-car field, but only six Pro Stocks for example. So we will see how it develops before we decide about next year."
Rico was particularly impressed with the twenty-car entry in Pro Mod. "We have all the best Swedes, Europeans and English - it's going to be real good!", he said.
You can read more on the official Nitrolympics web sites at www.nitrolympics.de and www.dragster.de. ©Eurodragster.com
Andréasson wants revenge.
10th August: FIA European Top Methanol FC Champion Leif Andréasson made a bizarre exit from last weekend's eliminations at the Drag Challenge at Gardermoen when he was shut off on the start line for a rule infringement.
"Our team is embarrassed and hungry for revenge after the nasty mistake in the first round in Norway", says crew member Anders Magnusson. "Yes, we all missed that the diaper wasn't on the engine, and you aren't allowed to run without it as Ian Marshall (Chief Starter - Ed) spotted and pointed out to us after the burnout. The Team is in a results slump right now. We've had some bad luck, but we've added new crew members and we are testing new parts and combinations - John Force's Crew Chief Austin Coil calls it 'Experimental mode. We'll see if the tables turn and we get victories in Germany and England."
You can read more on the Andréasson Motorsports web site at www.andreassonmotorsports.com. ©Eurodragster.com
Malmgren's wild ride.
10th August: Another race team not at their best in Norway last week were Sweden's AC Delco/Malmgren Racing Pro Stock team. "We didn't look good in Gardermoen as we lost traction at the top end", says crew member Magnus Cato. "Mike wisely lifted, in my video I can see both sides of the car! We are still trying to find what really happened, or maybe we are just stupid (er, I think not - Ed). However, we are really looking forward to the German round where we will try to gain some ground in the points chase. The car looks like something out of Scrapheap Challenge but it's OK."
Magnus also tells us that the AC Delco team may be headed for Greece in October for a race and exhibition. "There are a couple of days between the race and the show, I hope there is warm weather in Greece in late October", says Magnus.
The team's official web site at www.acdracing.net has been updated with an account of their visit to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Magnus tells us that pictures will be added shortly. ©Eurodragster.com
Fallnationals biggest since 1996.
9th August: The Super Series Fallnationals at Shakespeare County Raceway on 24th-26th August is shaping up into the biggest race at the Warwickshire venue since the FIA round held there in 1996, say organisers Obsession Motorsports.
As previously mentioned, a Top Fuel Dragster match race between FIA European Top Fuel Champion Andy Carter and Sweden's Susanne Callin is one of the event's many headliners. Tina Gibbs of Obsession quoted Susanne's car owner Knut Söderquist as saying "We are there to race, not to test. Susanne is very keen to beat Andy!". Terry Gibbs of Obsession added that subject to negotiation there may yet be a third Top Fuel Dragster at the event, and also said "Obsession Motorsports would also like to thank Kim Reymond, Anita Mäkelä and Darryl Bradford for expressing an interest, but in the end none of them could make it due to work and other commitments".
SCR Press Officer Jerry Cookson revealed in a press release on Wednesday that two Fuel Altereds will be bringing their unique brand of racing to the Fallnationals. Jim Seward in Harry The Spider and Wendy Baker in The Mob are to have a best of three match race with the first round on the Sunday and the second and third rounds on the Monday, with the possibility of test passes on the Saturday. "These two Fuel Altereds now have tags so they can run at MSA-sanctioned events", said Terry Gibbs.
The Fallnationals is also the third of four rounds of the British Nitro Funny Car Championship. At present, five Fuel FCs are lined up to compete. In the final round of the MSA British Drag Racing Championship, seven Top Methanol cars are ready for battle with the Top Methanol FCs of Steph Milam, Dennis Wratten and a re-rebodied Doug Ripley taking on the Dragsters of Rob Turner, Dave Wilson, Lyndsay Deuchar and Doug Bond.
On two wheels, the Fallnationals is the final round of the 2002 ACU UK Top Fuel Bike Championship, which may see the début of Jon Morton's new bike. For a full preview of the ACU Championship classes check out the Pit Lane Gossip page of the King Racing web site at www.kingracing.com.
Amongst the Sportsman racers, Pro ET and Custom Car Street Eliminator have their largest fields ever at SCR with the Wild Bunch and Junior Dragster also attracting sizeable fields. "This is potentially the biggest race at Shakespeare County Raceway since the FIA round in 1996, and it's an almost completely UK entry, which is an accolade", said Tina Gibbs. Entry to the event officially closes on Saturday (10th August) after which entry is at the organisers' discretion and will attract a late-entry fee.
Terry Gibbs asked us to pass on the following notice to racers: with effect from the Fallnationals, the head of the fire-up road has been moved back about three car lengths, because of spectator comments about visibility around the start line. The first grandstand, next to the VIP area, has now been designated the grandstand for racers, families and crew. The number of crew on the start line for certain classes of vehicle will also be lowered to cut down on numbers congregating around the start line. "This will be explained in the Final Instructions", said Terry.
Tickets are £15 Saturday, £18 Sunday and £20 Monday; under-16s go free. For more details or to pre-book tickets contact Obsession Motorsports on 01483 236262 or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terry and Tina Gibbs also revealed to us the dates which have been offered to Obsession Motorsports for events at Shakespeare County Raceway in 2003. They are:
Woollatt ready for Bash.
9th August: UK Top Fuel Bike racer and current ACU Top Fuel Bike Championship leader Steve Woollatt will be putting in demonstration passes at the Bulldog Bash at Shakespeare County Raceway starting today, says Crew Chief Chris Powell.
"We are up at Shakey this morning and, obviously very dependent upon the weather, we plan to put in two passes today and two again tomorrow", says Chris. "The demo classes are running betwwen 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm both days. We have set up the bike in very much the same form as we did on the 6.60 pass at the last Run What You Brung at Santa Pod. The only major difference is in the clutch department, you know only too well how the street tyres will strip the track, but you never can tell what will happen.
"Ian King will be with us both days, and will hopefully have overcome some of the gremlins which besieged him earlier in the season, if everything works out we should be able to put down some side by side passes.
"We are being supported at this meeting by the John and Sheila from Born to be Wild paintworks who will also have their fabulous looking bikes on show.
"I am returning home tonight and I will E-Mail you again on the ups and downs of the day, hopefully more ups than downs!" ©Eurodragster.com
JDs look to better 2001.
9th August: UK Junior Dragster racers Adam Gleadow and Joe Bond are ready to depart for next week's Nitrolympics at Hockenheim, and they are looking to better a feat from 2001, says Adam.
"The English Junior Dragster invasion on the Nitrolympics is ready to roll!", says Adam. "We will be leaving England on Tuesday to venture across Europe to take part in the eight-car invitational field at the new Hockenheim quarter mile. We are looking for the same level as success as last year, just with both cars in the final, Super Street style!"
Be sure to tune in to Eurodragster News tomorrow (Saturday 10th August) since we have been talking with Nitrolympics promoter Rico Anthes about the upgraded Hockenheim track, the Top Fuel shoot-out, 500 km/h, the FIA at the Nitrolympics, and more. ©Eurodragster.com
Web site updates.
9th August: German Top Methanol Dragster racer and current FIA TMD Championship leader Peter Schöfer's web site has been updated with a report of the team's visits to Mantorp Park and Gardermoen, where he won one race, was runner-up in the other, and set new records along the way, Check it out at www.p-s-r.com. ©Eurodragster.com
Ready for TFT round 2.
8th August: Pelle Lindelöw has very kindly sent us a preview of this weekend's second and final round of the 2002 Swedish Top Fuel Tour, which takes place at Tullinge Raceway in Stockholm. Pelle starts by summing up the outcome of Top Fuel Dragster at the Sko Uno Drag Festival.
"After the Sko Uno Drag Festival end two weeks ago the situation for the participating teams in the Top Fuel Tour has changed a lot. When we left Piteå, Peter Lantz had run low fives, Tommy Möller had traction problems, Monica Öberg was missing a complete clutch and bellhousing, and Micke Kågered was looking to repeat the fantastic 4.93-second run. Tommy Möller's unexpected but well-deserved victory at Mantorp turned all "expert" opinions upside down. The 5.04 run on Sunday was a real jaw-dropper together with the outcome of the final against Barry Sheavills. More than one team would agree that the Mantorp track is a tricky one. But this weekend it's time for the Bilsport Drag Nats at Tullinge Raceway and it's a totally new ballgame again."
"We were very disappointed after the Sko Uno race", says Peter Lantz. "The fact that we had a really strong attempt in the Friday evening qualifying, when the blowerbelt gave up, showed us that the car can perform. The rest of the attempts went up in smoke, without giving us the chance to repeat the performance from Piteå. When we had the car back in the shop again and summed up the weekend weekend we saw that we had used hardly anything but bearings, plugs and fuel. But we would have preferred a real repair job if we could have performed better - now we will do our utmost to find the performance for the Tullinge race. We have a new blower, and everything has been carefully prepared so that the other guys will not be given anything for free. My son Robin is competing in Junior Dragster again, so it's going to be another busy weekend. Robin and I were on Swedish national television the morning after Mantorp, so we really hope that people will come to Tullinge this weekend to see us again."
"The car is back in one piece again after the spectacular 'firework show' in Piteå, say Monica Öberg and Crew Chief Danne Söderberg. "Thanks to Gary Burgin we've managed to get hold of a new bellhousing and the rest of the stuff needed to get everything ready for the race. Actually we where lucky that it didn't suffer more damage than it did, except for the bellhousing everything reparable and the car is now in the trailer ready for the 1800-kilometre return trip to Stockholm. The first run in Piteå was 5.2 seconds on a very soft combination so we have no worries that we couldn't repeat and improve upon that. The biggest problem at the moment is that we a are little bit short of mechanics, but thanks to Pelle's joint effort with Peter there are some spare mechanics we can borrow at Tullinge, so Leffe Hamberg will take the 'diver' role this time. The Top Fuel community is like a big family - one time you borrow a bearing, the next time you borrow a diver. Most important is that the show goes on and we are all helping each other to make it work."
Tommy Möller is still very happy after the victory at Mantorp. "We had a fantastic weekend and only consumed the usual parts plus a blowerbelt, as we did in Piteå, so this season has been really good up to now. The 5.04/447 kmh at Mantorp was a real vitamin injection for us. Now we have the proof that the car is capable and that all problems we had last year are gone. Actually we sent in the entry form for the FIA European Finals yesterday; if you'd asked us a month ago we wouldn't have been that sure about it, but now we want to go there again knowing that we can beat anyone. But first there is a race to run at Tullinge and we are really excited about it. Personally I'm looking forward to this as we have the car running well, and I'd like to meet Peter in the final to make us even for his victory in Piteå."
Micke Kågered's car is ready and the bolt is back on the motor again. "We are back with the same set up as in the pairing lanes at Mantorp two weeks ago", he says. What Micke is referring to is the quarter-inch bolt on the fuel pump snout which was missing before the first elimination round at the Sko Uno Drag Festival. "The oil was literarily flooding out of the motor and of course there was no way to cure the problem in the starting area. It's the most frustrating way to be put out of competition and I never want to experience that again. After five seconds work and ten cent in the pits the car was ready again, what a disappointment. We had run 5.02 in qualifying and had loaded for bear in the elimination. But to see it from the positive side we now have a chance for revenge at Tullinge. The track used to be good, and with more runs on it from more cars and bikes this year I'm convinced that we can run the four-second run we failed to record at Mantorp."
You can read more about this weekend's Scandinavian Dragracing Championship round, the Bilsport Drag Nats, at www.nitroz.se/sdc. ©Eurodragster.com
Smax and Outlaws at the Bulldog.
8th August: This weekend's Bulldog Bash at Shakespeare County Raceway sees the usual demonstrations from racers as well as all of the the two-wheeled action.
Fuel Funny Car racer Smax Smith is making what is becoming a traditional trip to the Bulldog. This year, though, it's not just the Mainline Menace which will be enjoying his attention. "I have new mags coming and my TFX secret weapon in", says Smax. "I'm going to try to improve on last year's 6.0 which was pedalled twice. I'm also going to try to be the fastest thing there ahead of Martin Hill and his swoopy Fireforce Jet FC! It's my birthday on Friday so I have to juggle partying hard and staying sharp for the racing. I'm also helping Dicko with my Astral Projection Top Methanol Dragster which is now painted in Hell's Angels colours. It's going to be a wild weekend!"
Paul Wright tells us that there will be eight Outlaw Anglias on hand at the Bulldog Bash:
European Finals entertainment.
8th August: Kelly Ingall of Santa Pod Raceway has been in touch to ask us to remind racers that there are three weeks left to book VIP hospitality at the FIA European Finals, which take place on Friday-Sunday 6th-8th September. The Finals final deadline is Friday 23rd August. For more details you can click here (PDF document), E-Mail Kelly at email@example.com or call her on 08700 782828 (from outside the UK +44 1234 782828).
It has also been announced by SPR that legends in their own downtime, the Carwash 70s disco (that's 70s music, not music for the over-70s - Ed), will be providing the groove at the FIA European Finals Banquet after the race finishes on the Sunday night. The Banquet is led by the presentation of trophies to the winners of the 2002 FIA European Drag Racing Championships, 2002 UEM European Drag Bike Championship, 2002 NDRS Bilsport Pro Mod Series and the 2002 Nitro Funny Car Championship. For more details click here (PDF document), E-Mail Santa Pod at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 08700 782828 (from outside the UK +44 1234 782828). ©Eurodragster.com
European bests updated.
8th August: Andy Marrs of TSI Timers has updated his chart of European best performances. He has also produced record charts for the 2001 and 2000 seasons together with a chronological record list. You can find all of these on our expanded European Bests page which you can view by clicking here, or by clicking on the European Bests link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.
Andy would be very pleased to hear from anyone with additions or amendments; you can contact him by E-Mail at email@example.com ©Eurodragster.com
Web site updates.
8th August: Swedish Pro Mod racer Håkan Nilsson's web site at www.nilssonmotorsports.com has been updated with a report and pictures from last weekend's Drag Challenge at Gardermoen. "We had a little bit of a hard time in the beginning with our confidence over our new engine, but after that we started running some good numbers and almost everything went in our favour" says crew member Ulf Stadig. "I got some information from the Veidec Racing team boss Rickard Pålsson over how his boys are doing and right now the Veidec Racing division is:
# 1 in the Pro Mod Series.
# 2 in the European Championship for Pro Stock Bikes.
# 1 In the European Championship for Super Sport 600 Roadracing.
# 2 and 3 in the Synsam Trophy Super Sport 600 Roadracing.
# 1 in the Swedish Championships for Crosscarts.
"Pretty impressive isn't it?? Could be a nice year for Veidec Racing!"
Patrik Jacobsson wrrites with news of an update to the SMK Trollhättan web site. "There are some pictures from our Saab-only Run What You Brung. It included everything from 25 BHP two-stroke cars from the 1950s to new up-to-date cars". You can find the pictures at www.smktrollhattan.com/dragrace/racepics.htm.
Eurodragster staffer Sharkman is in the process of moving his personal web site to a new server, so Sharkman's Top End Tales will be unavailable for a few days. "Once the move is complete I will kick things off again with 280 pictures from Mantorp. Watch Eurodragster for news on go live", says Sharkman.
Editor's note: Apologies for the late posting of today's news update. Your news editor's wife has been in hospital; she came home today and is A-OK, thanks to everyone for their good wishes. ©Eurodragster.com
Wacker ready to roll.
7th August: Swiss Pro Mod racer Peter Wacker is to take delivery of his new '57 Chevy race car in time to test at this weekend's Ultimate Street Car event at Santa Pod Raceway.
"I just ordered the tickets to cross the channel to UK with an empty trailer on back of my motorhome", says Peter. "The reason? I will picking up the newly-built Pro Mod from Robinson Race Cars on Friday, and I will make some checkout runs at the Ultimate Street Car event on Saturday and Sunday. The car is finally ready, see the two-week-old picture (right) taken when the car was still in the paint shop. The car looks great on the outside and inside it is state of the art, hopefully for six-second runs..."
Peter quotes constructor Andy Robinson's wife Kate as saying "Andy is really happy with the way the car is going together - he told me that it is the best car he has ever built (including the Studebaker!)".
Peter's previous '57 will also have its first outing in the hands of its new owner, the UK's Dave Hughes, this weekend. "After hopefully successful shakedown runs, Dave and his mechanic Andy Kennedy are, like me, heading for the Nitrolympics at Hockenheim to check out Rico Anthes' new race track", says Peter.
You can find more pictures of Peter's beautiful new race car on his official web site at www.roofers-toy.ch.
As if two Pro Mods weren't enough, Chris Ware of Trakbak Racing tells us that amongst the many other attractions at the Ultimate Street Car event at Santa Pod this weekend is the Super Comp Calibra of Shaun Lathan, who will be putting in demonstration passes and taking a lucky contest winner for a passenger ride. You can find full details of the USC on its official web site at www.ultimatestreetcar.co.uk. ©Eurodragster.com
Page wants record back.
7th August: UK Fuel Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster racer Gary Page had an eventful weekend at Gardermoen. For the second time in two races, Gary almost ran out of track after running a huge terminal speed. "I ran 294 or 295 against Kim Reymond, but I almost went into the catch net at the end of the track", said Gary. "I wondered where the top end crew were, but when they got to me they said that they'd had to put out a fire on Kim's car and they figured that I was OK!"
Gary told us that he was staged crooked on his first qualifying pass, and that the car black-tracked all the way down his lane in his narrow defeat against Kim. In both cases, though, his long experience showed as he still ran low ETs and high speeds in Rune Fjeld's #2 car.
Gary's stablemate Barry Sheavills, who ran Europe's first 300 mph pass earlier this season, just lost to Kim Reymond in the final after qualifying #1 with a 4.98/303. Gary gave us the inside story: "Barry's clutch came in too quickly in the final and the engine dropped two cylinders", he said. Barry also took away the Eurodragster.com sticker speed record from Gary, who had himself taken it from Peter Lantz at Mantorp Park a week before. "I want to get that Eurodragster speed record back from Barry!", he said.
Gary faces a busy couple of weeks, as he will be working with Mark and Jackie Hawkins and the North Herts Engineering Fuel FC team to prepare the Funny Car for the next round of the British Nitro FC Championship which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway 24th-26th August, and he is also fitting in a trip to next week's Nitrolympics at Hockenheim with Barry Sheavills. Stay tuned for news of both! ©Eurodragster.com
Biggest SDC event ever!
7th August: From SHRA StockholmPresident Arne Skogg comes news of this weekend's Scandinavian Dragracing Championship event at Stockholm's Tullinge Raceway, which includes the second and final round of the Swedish Top Fuel Tour.
"Friday 9th August is the opening day for the annual Scandinavian Dragracing Championship at Tullinge Raceway", says Arne. "The races start on Friday 9th at 13.00, Saturday and Sunday from 9.00 to 18.00. Top Fuel will race only Saturday and Sunday. Entrance is 100SEK (€10) Friday, 200 SEK (€20) on Saturday and Sunday.
"This is the greatest, largest, meanest event which has taken place within the SDC. We will have the Top Fuel Tour (Top Fuel dragsters), the official Swedish Championship in Super Twin Top Fuel Bike with European record holder Anders 'Charley' Karling, Top Doorslammer, Competition, etc. We are expecting almost 300 participating cars and bikes.
"We are promising a weekend soaked with nitro, methanol and nitrous. Will we see the first four-second run at Tullinge Raceway? Will we have a new European Record in Top Fuel Bike? Will the Top Doorslammers defend the Raceway against the visiting Pro Mods and Pro Stockers? These are the questions which will be answered before dusk on Sunday.
"The track is prepared, the officials are prepared, the cars and bikes are being prepared. Come and join us at Tullinge Raceway!" ©Eurodragster.com
No sleep 'til October.
7th August: Paul Marston and the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser team are facing one of their busiest periods of the year as they gear up to attend seven events in the next nine weekends. These events come on top of the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Mopar Euronats at Santa Pod Raceway so the active run is actually even longer than that.
The ChryslerCard-sponsored team had some changes to try out on the engine and car at the Mopar Euronats, after the ex-Pro Stock motor suffered damage at the Super Series Mid-Summer Nationals. "It is always a worry no matter how much you check and double check after the motor has been in pieces", said logistics manager Dave Kalisz. "Dave Gibbons, Paul and I fired the reassembled motor for the first time on the Wednesday prior to the Mopar EuroNats. There were some minor problems but those were quickly fixed and we then ran a full systems check, everything checked out fine. Final prepping of course included a complete fluid change for the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser, replenishing them all with 76 Racing Oils and lubricants."
"At the 2001 Mopar EuroNats we ran a new Personal Best with the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser, it sure would have been nice to do the same this year", said Paul Marston."We were defending champions of the Fastest Time By A Chrysler trophy and we had our work cut out to retain it. There were reportedly some heavy hitters showing up this year, but you can be sure we would be giving it our very best shot. The plan was, time allowing, to introduce some modifications to the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser to assess their effectiveness, this would have included some aerodynamic updates.
"We were, however, unfortunately visited by the gremlin monster all weekend. Ian Bishop was running low eights in his Mopar-powered Avenger and it was a shame that we never had a crack at him. The whole crew worked real hard all weekend trying to solve the problem, but I have to admit that it had us beat on the day - we tried everything but could not get the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser to run eights, let alone a low eight. We just had one of those weekends where nothing works, everyone gets them, it simply was our turn. I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to the fans who came to see us run some good numbers, we had big plans for this event but that's racing. Ian Bishop and his team did a heck of a job: the track was tricky and Ian got down it every time. That was outstanding, it's just a shame we were not right with him keeping him honest."
The PMR team had a lot of visitors from DaimlerChrysler head office during the Euronats weekend. "They came and watched our progress with interest - the Mopar Euronats was the perfect event to attend to see us in action because there is plenty of track time available", says Paul. One sponsor representative in particular had reason to enjoy his weekend. Anthony from ChryslerCard, who was on hand to answer questions regarding the discounts and virtues of owning his product, was the PT Bruiser's latest passenger, or victim as Paul has it.
"I had a long stern chat with the crew, and they promised that there would be no repeat of what happened to that nice journalist Alistair Weaver, who was the last passenger we carried. I told them that the passenger is here to enjoy the ride - not, I repeat not for the crew to enjoy the passenger! The other tiny thing I thought needed pointing out to the crew was that Anthony is 6' 4" with a good rugby prop forward physique - need I say more? I reminded them that Anthony may be strapped in the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser as tight as a drum whilst on the track but that when we got back someone would have let him out! With the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser not launching with its usual gusto I ran it out the back door instead, that sure got Anthony’s attention! Anthony was a great passenger and did exactly what he was told, although he had no choice really, I found out afterwards the crew had done his harness up so tight that he couldn't speak!"
Another sponsor guest at the Mopar Euronats was Gary Springford from Jeep Club, who brought along a rather unusual off roader for its first trip down the hallowed surface at Santa Pod. Paul tells us that unfortunately the 383ci small block-equipped Shogun broke its axle on its maiden pass. "Gary stayed for the rest of the event and enjoyed his first visit, he will be back!"
Paul asked us to thank everyone from the MMA for organising the event and for inviting him along, and to thank all the crew at Santa Pod for such a well-maintained track over the hottest weekend of the year. "Also thanks to Dave Gibbons we have a lead on our problem which hopefully we should have solved before the next National Event at Shakespeare County Raceway August Bank Holiday.", says Paul. "We would also like to thank all our sponsors as without you guys we would be lost: Chrysler UK, ChryslerCard, MAC Tools, ATI Performance Transmissions, 76 Racing Fuels and Oils, Jeep Club, all the crew at Paul Marston Racing who work so hard, and last but not least everyone at Eurodragster, thanks for doing such a great job, we owe you big!"
The ChryslerCard PT Bruiser's next appearance is at this weekend's Picnic In The Park at Billing Aquadrome organised by the UK Cruiser Club, followed by the Super Series Fallnationals, North Weald Finals, FIA European Finals, Brighton Speed Trials, UK National Finals, and finally the Doorslammer International at Shakespeare County Raceway. ©Eurodragster.com
Cool Green heading for USA.
7th August: UK Junior Dragster team Cool Green Racing are going to be heading to the USA at the end of November to compete at the fifth annual Peach State Nationals at Silver Dollar Raceway just outside Atlanta, Georgia. The event, which takes place on 29th-30th November, is a special race exclusively for Junior Dragsters. Top prize is a $10,000 bond and because of the interest the entry limited to five hundred! Ten slots are put aside for invited teams and Cool Green were delighted to receive one of those invites.
The plan is for the team to ship their existing engine back to the USA where Phil McGee is going to freshen the internals and also do some more work in order to produce the power to let the team run in the 7.90 category if they so choose. The freshened engine will be mated with an all new-chassis which Half Scale Dragsters will be building for the driver Ricky Emms to run at the event. Dad Chris tells us "The plan is to ship the motor back to the UK after the event, but the chassis will stay in the States with a view to our running it over there again at least once next year". ©Eurodragster.com
Database needs new webmaster.
7th August: From our good friend Tommy Nilsson in Denmark comes the shock news that he is to give up the reins of his European Drag Racing Database, which for a number of years has been the authoritative source for records, personal bests, event results and Championship standings.
Any interested parties should contact Tommy by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org (serious enquiries only).
Sharkman and Tog are stunned by Tommy's announcement. We have always viewed Tommy and his Database as one of the indispensable guides for fans and racers alike - we always turn to the site to check our facts. Tommy's contribution to the sport is wide-ranging from helping to organise races, not just in his native Denmark but all over the continent, to involvement in the FIA. Whatever Tommy does in future, we have no doubt that he will make as big a success of it as he has his time in drag racing. ©Eurodragster.com
7th August: Our good buddies at Svensk Dragracing have updated their web site with post-Gardermoen points standings in the FIA European Championships. You can find the points at www.dragracing.se. Whilst there, don't miss Christer Abrahamson's diary entry for last weekend!
The King Racing web site at www.kingracing.com has been updated with post-Gardermoen standings in the FIM/UEM European Championships. "After a wonderful weekend in plenty of sunshine is it now time to look for the final in England", adds FIM/UEM Championship co-ordinator Lars Andersson. "We had a very nice weekend, and from the weather point maybe too nice. The track was in excellent condition - maybe the best in Europe. In Super Twin Anders 'Charley' Karling set new records in both ET and speed. He had an excellent run late on Saturday with a speed of 356 km/h but that one is not backed up. Per Bengtsson won the event with an excellent time of 6.6 seconds.
"In Competition Bike the Norwegians really are back! Sverre Dahl made some very good passes but Jon Leret's come back has resulted in two out of two possible wins. Jon runs 6.5s as if it was nothing. Pro Stock Bike resulted in an unexpected final between Öivind von Essen and Vesa Rautio - the Swedish dominance was broken. Öivind was the lucky winner and made it two victories for Norway at Gardermoen. But there were four bikes which ran 7.4 seconds in qualifying - maybe was it too warm for the Pro Stock bikes and that was the reason why we did not have a new record.
The European Finals at Santa Pod will be the race to decide the Champions. It is only in Super Twin that we can predict the winner. In the other classes we must wait." ©Eurodragster.com
Web site updates.
7th August: Returning Swedish Top Fuel Dragster racer Peter Lantz's web site has been updated with the latest news from his joint TF venture with fellow Swede Pelle Lindelöw, including a review of the Sko Uno Drag Festival, a preview of this weekend's Top Fuel Tour round at Tullinge, and photographs from Mantorp Park. Check it out at www.plr.nu.
UK Super Comp racer Zane Llewellyn has checked in from Scandinavia where he is undertaking the first few of several dates on his 2002 European tour. Zane hit problems trying to post updates in Norway but now has it cracked having re-crossed the border. "I have posted what would have been my nightly updates from Gardermoen and will continue for the next five weekends as we continue on tour", says Zane. "Next stop is this weekend's Danish Open at Vandel, the first update will be on Friday night (9th August), telephones permitting!". You can find the Bootsoop web site at www.bootsoop.freeserve.co.uk.
Eurodragster staffer Tog has updated his personal web site Tog's Drag Racing Page with 321 pictures from the Sko Uno Drag Festival. Due to pressure in his day job Tog has posted 640-pixel proofs as a stopgap until he gets the time to post the 800-pixel versions. As well as the usual start line and off-track pictures, Tog's Mantorp set includes a number of parachute and other top end shots. Check them out at www.togsdragracing.com/2002skounodragfestival. ©Eurodragster.com
Joon's historic win.
6th August: Dutch Top Methanol Funny Car racer Lex Joon made history at Gardermoen on Sunday as he became the first Dutchman to win an FIA Championship round. "It was a hard job but we did it!", said Gerda Dijkstra of Lex Joon Racing, speaking on her mobile phone on the road to Gothenburg. "We've worked many years for it but it finally happened. I think we surprised a few people!"
Lex and his team faced a thrash at the Norwegian track to put their spare engine into the Splitfire-sponsored FC. This was on top of a thrash the previous weekend at Mantorp Park when the rear end broke in a dramatic semi-final. "We worked all day on Friday and then spent Saturday looking for the set-up", said Gerda. "We were number seven and it was to be an eight car field - if two cars went faster than us then we were on our way home. Lex went out and ran 5.833, a new Personal Best ET and speed, quicker even than his runs in the USA. From the start line the run looked smooth and straight, but afterwards Lex told us that we didn't want to know what it was like from the inside!"
Lex took round one of eliminations with Leif Helander suffering problems in the other lane, but the fun really started in the semi-final. "We were the second pair", said Gerda. "We had lane choice and we were lined up behind Urs Erbacher when his blower belt broke and took out an oil line and he oiled almost the entire length of the track. After the cleanup we changed lanes, and Lex won on a holeshot because Dan Larsen's run was quicker."
Because of the oildown, Lex's final round contestant Micke Kågered had turned his TMFC round by the time Lex returned to the pits from his semi. "Micke came over to us and asked if we were ready", said Gerda. "Lex put his hand on the engine and said "It's still warm, let's go"! But we were given two hours to get the car ready. In the final I was so nervous that I had trouble jumping the guardrail after the burnout. There wasn't much water in the bleach box so there was no smoke in the burnout, just clutch dust. Lex got away first but the clutch was slipping, and we knew that Micke's car had a big top end. We could see Micke getting close and we were thinking "No! No! No! No! No!". I saw the win light, and it was a beautiful light. Lex said that he could see the finish line and he wanted to reach out and pull it closer, but then he knew he had won and he was celebrating so much that he almost forgot to pull his chutes! He turned off the track on two wheels!"
Gerda said that Micke Kågered couldn't believe that Lex was using one of his old engines. "Micke was very surprised. We beat him with his old engine, his old body and his old chassis! We made six passes on the spare, with old rods, new pistons and crank. In fact some of the crew went back to Holland after the race in Sweden to pick up the crank. Lex wants to thank all of the guys for the great job they did, working to four o'clock in the morning and then getting up early again to carry on. We would also like to thank Arvid Grodem for receiving our parts from the USA so that we could fix the car."
The FIA European TMFC Championship is now very close. "Lex is two or three points behind Urs Erbacher and about twelve points behind Micke Kågered - one round and we're back together", said Gerda. "It's going to go all the way to the European Finals but we will be at the next round at Hockenheim!"
You can find Lex's official web site at www.lexjoonracing.nl.
Racers: Don't hesitate to send your Drag Challenge reports to us at email@example.com and we'll publish them here. ©Eurodragster.com
Full Star Search schedule.
6th August: Thanks to Caroline Day of Santa Pod Raceway for sending us the current full schedule for the Halfords Search For A Drag Star promotion, which starts tomorrow. Kids, be sure to bug your parents to take you along to one of these promotions because you could end up at the wheel of a Junior Dragster in competition at the FIA European Finals! Get yourself along to one of the below Halfords branches between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm:
Kids: If you're going along to take part in the Search for a Drag Star and would like to write a news item for Eurodragster about your day, drop us a line in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org. ©Eurodragster.com
NDRG Drag Challenge results.
5th August: Kim Reymond (Top Fuel), Peter Schöfer (Top Methanol Dragster), Lex Joon (Top Methanol FC), Jan Murén (Pro Stock), Jon Leret (Comp Bike), Per Bengtsson (Supertwin Top Fuel Bike) and Öivind von Essen (Pro Stock Bike) were the FIA and FIM/UEM class winners at the NDRG Drag Challenge at Gardermoen Raceway in Norway at the weekend. Håkan Nilsson took the win in NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified. The points standings in all of these classes are very tight going into the FIA European Finals next month although TMFC and Pro Stock have an additional round at the Nitrolympics at Hockenheim in a couple of weekends.
You can find full qualifying and elimination results on the Svensk Dragracing web site at www.dragracing.se, news on the Norsk Dragracing Gardermoen web site at www.norskdragracing.com, team updates from Kågered Racing at www.kagered-racing.com, Karling Racing at www.karlingracing.com, and full Pro Mod qualifying and elimination details and comment on the EPMA web site at www.promod.nu. ©Eurodragster.com
Karling takes Saturday headline.
4th August: FIM/UEM European Supertwin Top Fuel Bike Champion Anders Karling took the headline at the Drag Challenge at Gardermoen yesterday with a 6.529 backed up by an earlier astounding 6.457/346 Kmh (215 mph) to reset his own European ET and Ton Pels' speed record. It was a record-setting day in Norway with no less than four European records set.
Barry Sheavills also took his share of the limelight with another four-second, three hundred mph pass, 4.98/488 Kmh (303 mph), to lead Top Fuel qualifying from Championship leader Kim Reymond. Barry took the Eurodragster.com sticker speed record away from stablemate Gary Page with that pass. Also of note are the Top Methanol FC field which has six FCs in the fives after qualifying, and Sverre Dahl's 6.284 at a huge 368.60 Kmh (229 mph) in Comp Bike qualifying.
You can stay in touch with news from Gardermoen on the Norsk Dragracing Gardermoen web site at www.norskdragracing.com, and full qualifying stats for each class are available on the Svensk Dragracing web site at www.dragracing.se. In addition, Micke Kågered's web site at www.kagered-racing.com and Anders Karling's web site at www.karlingracing.com are being updated from the track. ©Eurodragster.com
Cohen: more to come from Grumpy.
4th August: Anthony Cohen, team owner of the American Car Imports Racing Top Methanol Dragster and sponsor of Eurodragster.com's event coverage, expressed himself absolutely delighted with Dave 'Grumpy' Wilson's 5.507/259.11 pass in qualifying at Gardermoen on Friday.
"We knew that if the conditions were right would would run quick in Gardemoen", said Anthony after the run, adding "The car has more potential in it!". Anthony is also very satisfied that in terms of performance the car is at the same level as those cars competing in Top Alcohol Dragster in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series in the USA. The American Car Imports team will try to back up both the ET and MPH record run during the weekend but their focus is on winning the event, to move up the points standings in the FIA Championship and to give their sponsors and fans outstanding performance. Anthony would also like to pay tribute to Dave and the rest of the team for their immense hard work and dedication.
Since Anthony spoke the ACI team have taken the European TMD terminal speed record at 410 Kmh (255 mph), backed up by Friday's 419 Kmh. Germany's Peter Schöfer has however thrown down the gauntlet to the ACI team by backing up a 5.558 in qualifying, which now stands as the European ET record. However no-one is betting against a new ET record by the end of today's eliminations.
Thanks to Malcolm Francis of Air Sea Logistics for passing Anthony's comments to us - Ed. ©Eurodragster.com
Coco under Doctor's orders.
4th August: Andy B of the Never Again Drag Racing team followed doctor's orders, which resulted in new bests for the Coco Connection Camaro at last weekend's Mopar Euronats at Santa Pod Raceway.
"We had a problem at the Classic American Nationals with the valve covers blowing a fine oil mist on to the headers, which resulted in large amounts of oil smoke", says Andy. "We saw the Doctor, Jeff Bull, who prescribed a dose of collection bottles to be added to his 489cu BBC baby. We took the doctor's orders and lo and behold produced a new personal best ET for the Coco Connection Camaro. The new ET was 9.747/136.43 mph, an improvement on the previous best of 9.808.
"The trans brake burned out so we are hunting about for parts to repair that (try our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet - Ed), but we are extremely happy with the results from Doctor's medicine. Thanks to Jeff Bull firstly for putting Coco back in the nines and secondly for pointing us in the right direction." ©Eurodragster.com
Growler a Star, too.
4th August: UK Wild Bunch racer Mark Turton has been in touch to let his fans know that the Growler team will be joining the CCSE contingent at one of the Halfords promotional days.
"Growler (Once Bitten - Still Smitten) and Zak Attak will be showing at the Halfords Aylesbury store, which is at Broadfield Retail Park, between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm next Thursday (8th August) as part of the Search For A Drag Star", says Mark. "As well as promoting Halfords we will be there to prove that Nostalgia race cars can be restored and built to a sportsman standard to race in competition, in seven weeks, on limited funds, helpful friends and parts on loan from very nice and considerate people.
"Thank You to a lot of people, especially to Paul Stubbings and Wendy Baker for the loan of the Highway Patrol Funny Car chassis, to Scott for his undivided help and support, and to Chris Hartnell for helping with the rebuild and supportive words especially as he was in the other lane in the incident in May, of course there are all the others as well. So as well as for Halfords and Santa Pod Raceway we will be there for and on behalf of the Wild Bunch, Eurodragster, APIRA, Badboys Imagin, Feel the Noise, and all the other organizations which make the sport a great one."
For more about the Growler Racing team, check out their web site at www.growlerracing.co.uk. ©Eurodragster.com
Web site updates.
4th August: Mark's fellow Wild Bunch racer Tony Smith has updated the official web site of the Cunning Plan altered with the latest news and some new photographs in the Odds and Ends and My Photos pages. Check it out at www.cunningplan.btinternet.co.uk. ©Eurodragster.com
Grumpy leads Gardermoen stories.
3rd August: Dave 'Grumpy' Wilson put in the quickest and fastest Top Methanol Dragster performance ever seen in Europe in yesterday's first day of qualifying at the NRDG Drag Challenge at Gardermoen. Grumpy took advantage of what is traditionally a fast track to record 5.507/416.998 Kmh, which converts to 259.11 mph, in the American Car Imports-backed TMD. Both time and speed will be new European records by quite some margin if backed up. At time of writing this performance would qualify Dave #1 in Top Fuel Dragster but doubtless that small matter will be corrected during today's qualifying sessions!
Robin Read (Top Fuel), Urs Erbacher (TMFC), Michael Malmgren (Pro Stock), Jon Leret (Comp Bike), Anders Karling (Supertwin Top Fuel Bike) and Öivind von Essen (Pro Stock Bike) lead the rest of the FIA and FIM/UEM classes after day one, with Thomas Nataas leading Pro Mod.
You can stay in touch with news from Gardermoen on the Norsk Dragracing Gardermoen web site at www.norskdragracing.com, and full qualifying stats for each class are available on the Svensk Dragracing web site at www.dragracing.se. ©Eurodragster.com
Curtis also on Star search.
3rd August: Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Allen Curtis is the latest racer to announce that he will be supporting the Halfords Search For A Drag Star with a personal appearance at one of the five promotional dates. The Halfords scheme will give one lucky winner the chance to race in Junior Dragster at the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway in September, and Halfords stores are also selling discounted tickets to the race as part of the promotion.
"The No Manners Racing Team and their Thames 300E van will be at the Halfords Aylesbury store, which is at Broadfield Retail Park off the A41, between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm next Thursday (8th August)", says Allen. "It looks as if the ever-popular Custom Car Street Eliminator cars will be at three of the five store displays."
You can find more details about the Halfords Search For A Drag Star promotion on Santa Pod Raceway's web site at www.santapod.com, and you can find out more about Allen Curtis' nine-second van on his official web site at www.nomannersracing.co.uk. ©Eurodragster.com
Web site updates.
3rd August: The DTE Racing web site at www.dteracing.com has been updated with news and pictures from the Comp Eliminator team's weekend at the Sko Uno Drag Festival. Webmaster Fredrik Karlsson tells us that the site update also includes Top Fuel pictures and that he will be posting pictures of Pro Mod and Comp Eliminator very soon.
Editor's note: Thanks to everyone who has written to sympathise with the non-arrival of Sharkman and Tog's luggage on our return from Sweden. We are pleased to be able to tell you that all bags are now back with us. Absolutely no thanks to Ryanair. ©Eurodragster.com
Page: Rune to get me into the Fours.
2nd August: UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Gary Page is looking forward to his first-ever four-second pass at the Drag Challenge at Gardermoen this weekend. He came very close indeed and almost hit 300 mph with a track record 5.013/477 Kmh at Mantorp Park last weekend. That pass also won Gary the Eurodragster.com sticker speed record, which was previously held by Peter Lantz.
"That was my personal best ET and speed", said Gary. "Not bad for my second pass in the car that weekend! I only just got it stopped in time, though - I had one wheel on the grass at the end of the shutdown area. You don't realise just how fast those cars are going". Gary tells us that car owner and Crew Chief Rune Fjeld has something special lined up for him this weekend. "Rune said he'd try to get me a four-second run", he said. "It would be nice to run a four and go over three hundred."
The news that Robin Read has joined the Top Fuel line-up in Norway was welcomed by Gary, but it has thrown out his calculations. "Four cars makes it more interesting for the Championship", said Gary. "But I had all the combinations worked out in my head for three cars!".
Our good buddies at Svensk Dragracing have posted a preview of the Drag Challenge on their web site at www.dragracing.se, and you can find the entry list and more news on the Norsk Dragracing Gardermoen web site at www.norskdragracing.com. ©Eurodragster.com
Personal Best for Callin.
2nd August: Gordon Callin has been in touch with a summary of how daughter Susanne Callin's weekend at Mantorp Park went. Susanne was of course behind the wheel of Knut Soderquist's Nitro Fish top fuel car. "The team is very happy with the performance of the car and the driver. Susanne feels comfortable with the car and the car is still in one piece and we had a great time" says Gordon. "Susanne made her personnel best pass Sunday during eliminations, but unfortunately it wasn't enough, though Susanne did leave before Gary. Gary ran a 5.01 against Susanne's early shut off 5.38. We are happy though, as we all know Susanne is only eighteen years old and a rookie in top fuel and still learning. Susanne has the future ahead of her competing in TF so there is no rush, it’s better to do everything properly and build up the experiance for the years to come. We would also like to take opportunity to thank all our sponsors who made this weekend possible particularly Johnny Nilsson from Autoart who was with all weekend.
We also want to wish Robin Read all the best competing In Norway in 'our' car. Robin is a great driver and a personal friend to us, so we know that he will keep it in and show them that the Nitro Fish rules (and be nice to the car).
Next race for Susanne will be a match race against Andy Carter at the Fall Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway, 24-26th August and then we are looking forward to the 5th FIA TF round at Santa Pod September 6th-8th. " ©Eurodragster.com
Big Screen for Hal Far.
2nd August: The night event of the 8/9/10th of August at Hal Far Raceway in Malta is one of the Maltese Drag Racing Associations biggest races of the year and this year its going to be better than ever, with a big screen being set up at the track to allow spectators to watch all the action. "For this occasion, we at the MDRA, with the help of Mr Mark Vassallo, of Super One TV/Radio station, are going to have a big screen installed at the track for the spectators. This will mean that everyone will get the opportunity to watch all the races. In addition to this the whole event is going to be shown live on Super One TV. This TV station is being and has been very helpful to Malta Drag Racing Association, throughout the years." Says president of the MDRA, Anthony Borda.
Anthony goes on to reveal a little about some of the racing the fans can expect to see; "This event is going to be a great event for us because we will have the opportunity to watch almost every local competitor and around ten Italian Pro Stock bikes, which will be competing against each other. Some of these Italian riders have already participated in Santa Pod FIA event this year. Having a big screen and have the possibility to watch every race from start to finish, it's something special for all the spectators coming to this event, which will be one of the best organised." ©Eurodragster.com
Fall Nationals entry closing.
2nd August: APIRA race secretary Wendy Talbot would like to remind all racers that 10th August is the closing date for entries for the Fall Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. the race itself is held over the 24th-26th August. Should racers need to contact Wendy after the 5th August please use 07889 342422 as she will be away from home for a few days. ©Eurodragster.com
Frost joins search for a star.
2nd August: Following on from Wednesdays news item about the "Search for a Drag Star" competition, Andy Frost has been in touch to let us know that as part of the event at the Halfords store, White Lion Retail Park, Dunstable he will be taking along his Red Victor 2 Custom Car Street Eliminator Vauxhall. The car will form part of a display promoting the sport and Andy says "If theres any Street Eliminator fans in Dunstable, make sure you come and say hello, I'll be there from 10am - 4pm." ©Eurodragster.com
Web site updates.
2nd August: Bob & Anni of feel-the-noise.com have had a particularly busy month. Not only have they completed the uploading of photos from the Goodwood Festival of Speed, British Mini Showdown and the Bug Jam, but they have now posted some of Bob's snaps from the Mopar Nationals. Anni's Mopar photos will follow after the weekend (Royal Mail permitting).
As if that wasn't enough, all bike classes have been updated and expanded and are now available from the main index page.
Webmaster Bob would like to reassure readers that the very latest anti-virus software is in use at feel-the-noise.com. Anyone receiving a virus appearing to have come from Bob or Anni should be aware that this is likely to be a variant of the Klez virus which has the ability to "spoof" the sender's address. The virus is unlikely to have come from feel-the-noise.com, more information is available from the home page.
Hasse over at SPN Photo has updated the gallery from the Sko Uno festival at Mantorp Park with new images by Ulf Nyberg.
The official website of the Fireforce Jet funny car team has been updated with the latest news on the team. ©Eurodragster.com
Read returns in Norway.
1st August: The UK's Robin Read returns to the seat of a Top Fuel Dragster at Gardermoen Raceway this weekend when he takes the wheel of the Carbon By Design Top Fuel Dragster in the fourth round of the FIA Championship. "I got the call on Tuesday", said Robin. "Whenever the phone rings and it's Knut Soderquist (car owner - Ed) or Alan Jackson then it's going to happen! It takes about a nanosecond to consider an offer like that and accept it". Robin was originally due to be in Liverpool on business this weekend. "It was technically difficult but somehow I managed it!", he said.
Robin's last outing in Top Fuel was in the Pro Fuel Shootout at this year's Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway, in the CBD dragster which was driven by Susanne Callin at Mantorp Park last weekend. "Susanne ran 5.2 in the car, with a cylinder out and off the throttle at 4.7 seconds", he said. "It's going to be a stout bash - Kim, Barry and Gary Page all ran in the 5.0s last weekend and Knut will want me to run hard". Robin feels that he will get straight back in the saddle. "You don't forget how to do it", he said. "I've had no practice on the lights recently but I get a go at kissing the Tree in qualifying, and it doesn't matter if I redlight then."
Robin has a lot of respect for his competitors but thinks that the field is wide open. "You need luck on your side", he said. "With three cars of that performance and three drivers of that calibre, anyone can win - and that's what makes it fun!".
You can read more details about this weekend's race on the Norsk Dragracing Gardermoen web site at www.norskdragracing.com. ©Eurodragster.com
The Hairy Greek God is almost back....
1st August: Despite the Eurodragster reporting team of Sharkman and Tog being busy at the Sko Uno Drag Festival in Sweden our spies have been keeping us informed of goings on at the Mopar Euronationals at Santa Pod where, as we revealed on the 12th July, the hairy Greek God Chris Orthodoxou was making his return to quarter mile action.
Well almost anyway! Owing to unforeseen engine development problems, the eagerly anticipated appearance of Chris' 1967 Dodge Dart "Reservoir Dodge" failed to materialise at the 2002 Mopar Nationals. Instead the crowd were treated to several excellent displays of showmanship in the burn-out box from his 500hp 1972 440-6pak Plymouth Cuda, which Chris offhandedly refers to as his "reserve shopping car", and the racing was followed by an evening of equally outrageous behaviour live on stage in the Santa Pod marquee with his ass-kicking (At least we think it said ass kicking, our spies hand written notes were difficult to read! - Ed) band "Executive Relief".
Unaccustomed as he is to stealing other peoples thunder, Chris informs us that "I'm getting fed up winning all the time, having cameras & microphones shoved in my face everywhere I go. I need some competition. I've won so many trophies already, I thought I'd let another lesser mortal have their brief moment of glory, that's the real reason I didn't bring the Dodge......" (We think he's fibbing - Ed).
His press secretary Max Clifford commented, "Chris is very sensitive to being called a liar and he promises to fix the Dart" ©Eurodragster.com
Web site updates.
1st August: Our good friends over at Svensk drag racing have recovered from a very busy weekend to update the site with the latest points standings in the NDRS championships, taking into account the results from the Sko Uno Drag Festival at Mantorp Park. ©Eurodragster.com
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