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European Drag Racing News
31st August: UK Wild Bunch racer Phil Sweeney took his first event win at the Allstar Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway, setting Personal Bests, winning Wild Bunch spot prizes, and winning the Eurodragster.com/LA Racing Parts Perfect ET Award into the bargain. Phil understandably says that he and his team had a fantastic weekend in his Antisocial slingshot.
"Not only was the weather great but the track was top notch which helped us get a new PB ET of 13.03 and new mph best of 100.43", says Phil. "This was my first ever MSA event in my first season of racing with the Wild Bunch so we assumed we'd be first round casualties. Going past the first round was more than enough but to progress to the final and win the event against Crazy Chris Hartnell in the stunning Backdraft slingshot with a perfect dial in was overwhelming. To bag the Eurodragster.com Perfect ET prize money was a big bonus and my thanks to go to Tog and Sharkman and LA Racing Parts for sponsoring it.
"We also won the Wild Bunch spot prizes for Best Reaction, Closest to Dial In and Best Slingshot, so to say we came away happy would be an understatement! All that remains is to thank my crewman Tony and girlfriend Abby for helping and supporting me. My thanks go to Chris and Claire Hartnell for running the Wild Bunch, especially Claire who never stops on raceday to make sure the class runs perfectly. Thanks again to all the other Wild Bunch members for their encouragement, it's great to be part of a class who are so welcoming to new members and who are so much fun to race with.
"Lastly if anybody has video footage of the eliminations and finals we'd be very interested to hear from you. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org."
Close to a clean sweep.
31st August: 2005 UK Street Eliminator Champion Colin Lazenby almost swept the board at the weekend's Allstar Nationals, taking the 2005 Championship, #1 qualifying spot, and setting National ET and (repeatedly) Speed records over the three days of the event. Although Andy Frost deprived Colin of a full house, the Pinnacle-backed racer was very pleased with the outcome of the weekend.
"I spoke to Darren Prentice early on Friday morning, and he assured me that the track was in great shape", says Colin. "What an understatement. Darren and his team prepped the track to the best standard we've seen in ten years, no BS. I'm only sorry now we that didn't put in a bigger tune...
"On the off-the-trailer 8.6 the tyres shook, they shook that hard that I unintentionally shifted into second because my right hand - the bad one, did I mention my disability? - was restign ont he shifter. On the second run the motor stuttered at the top end of first gear, I shifted into second (intentionally this time) and that cured it. At 181.52 mph, I knew we had a real chance of another speed record. However the oil pump belt was off the crank pulley and the alternator belt had been thrown completely.
"On the third, and final run of Saturday we ran 181.48 mph, this time with a definite stumble in the same place. The boys believed me this time and opted to investigate the problem. Two small changes were in order. The track had certainly come round as Darren had indicated it would. On the arrow straight, uneventful 8.12 pass the oil pressure light came on again just as I crossed the stripe. I killed the motor and coasted to the end of the track (Hi Nigel). The burning smell coming from under the hood was cause for concern.
"MSA's Glen dropped our kid off and we discussed the potential motor damage, this was before he told me what we'd run. Completely unaware of the performance, I almost didn't care about the potential damage. The oil pump belt was long gone and the alternator belt was wrapped tightly around the crank pullies - hence the smell. I can't remember why we aborted the second run on the Sunday, but I'm sure we did. Leaving for the cruise was hot and with the single exception of a minor glitch with Ray's car uneventful. Don't know why (or how) Wilf missed the turning back to the track though I'm told Stratford is quite nice this time of year.
"In the first run against Ron Haslett's Mk III Cortina (sorry Ron) we lost the last of our alternator belts. Back in the pits we made an ajustment to use a different length belt. As the car came down off the jacks we nipped the oil cooler line and oil pee'd out everywhere. We by-passed this and removed the cooler. We couldn't pump the nitrous as our pump had packed up and the parts ordered previously had failed to materialise. Thanks to the FB Racing for the loan of their pump - hey, did you boys check if we gave you the right one back?
"Just prior to our semi-final bye we fired the car only to realise the flex plate/convertor bolts had come loose, again. I still can't believe we're the only ones who can hear it and trust me, the sound is quite distinctive. Sensibly, we opted to idle down the track. This handed Frosty lane choice for the final, and we had a fifty five minute thrash to pull the trans. No time to check the lash, fuel pressure or to make any tuning changes. Sportsmanlike, Frosty knew and waited. By the way, many thanks to Andy Kirk for loan of a 22460 oil filter, I'll make sure this is washed out and handed back to him. Another item ordered but not delivered.
"Now, for the final. For whatever reason the burnout was short, and as Eurodragster.com race fans will know we don't normally go for big burnouts anyway, so the short one suited us. It must have thrown Frosty though as he deep staged. My heart sank for him as I rolled into full stage. See how you like being Tree'd Frosty...however at the sixty foot clocks the motor coughed, and all I could do was watch as Frosty ran his best ever ET.
"The 365-mile journey home was not too moody, having achieved # 1 qualifier and new ET and speed records. Once again Luke and Garry made all the right tuning calls when it mattered. They like looking after the glamour end of the team in any case. Me and our kid? Well, we handle all of the crap mundane jobs though it's fair to say we have an almost perfectly balanced, and very hard-working crew. Does anyone ever see us not working (No - Ed)?
"Many thanks to Steve Clark at Nimbus Motorsports for our Torco Oils and Lubricants deal, we almost used all of our stocks this weekend Steve! Thanks to Clive Bond at Ultimate Race Cars for building us the most reliable engine in the class, and of course thanks to Luke's dad Andy Robinson who built us safest car in the class, in his garage, at home.
"Hopefully, we'll see a fuller field at the National Finals, and here's to another great track. Finally, well done to Lee Child and Kev Elliott, the formula for this weekend was almost perfect."
Halfway to a nine.
31st August: UK Outlaw Anglia racer Simon Barlow was another to record a Personal Best at the weekend as his Orange Pop didn't just stick its nose into the tens but went almost halfway to a nine. Team member Jason Yates dropped us a line to tell us how the weekend went.
"We were running low elevens all day Saturday and one on Sunday, and couldn't get the ten we so desperately wanted", says Jay. "It all came together on the last run. We had made a few changes and checked the car over. Simon did a good rolling burnout, plenty of smoke, then the car looked fantasic as it left the line, wheels up, then down, then up again. The run was quite straight, looking good at the eighth mile, and at the top end the board lit up 10.54/125. We went wild on the start line, and all the marshals were congratulating us. It was a fantastic run. Some of the crowd were even cheering us as we walked back to the pits. Andy Frost was also very impressed by our run.
"We wanted to run our first ten and we did it in style by running a comfortable pass, probably the best weekend of our year so far. We would like to say a huge thank you to Andy Frost for all the help he has given us to run the ten. We would also like to thank the other racers who congratulated us, it means so much. Now we can look forward to the European Finals and hopefully improve our times."
Määttä wants that win.
31st August: This weekend's Finnish Finals at Alastaro is also the final round of the 2005 Nordic Drag Racing Series and the tight points contest has forced three top Funny Bike racers from Sweden and Norway to join Finish Funny Bike racer Asko Määttä at the track.
"Despite my earlier season problems, for me this is nothing but a race to do better numbers and to win", says Asko. "The job we've done with my Funny Bike at and between the races and especially in the last few weeks can't fail to make the situation the way I want it! Someday the gremlins are gone as always happens sooner or later in the great sport of drag racing.
"I know that Baldie's Gun III must fly deep into the sevens especially against Jens Gran with his mid-seven second Suzuki, if Jens is at all in the form he has been for a couple of years. And there are other very tough racers too, for example Supertwin riders competing in FB according to the Finnish rules such as Petri "Kalix" Kalttonen with his blown "V-Rod", now equipped with a totally different and more reliable ignition system than he had at the UEM races at Mantorp and Gardermoen. The two other TF Harleys competing are ridden by "Mid-Seven" Kari Parikka and Kari "The Gremlin" Nätkin who you should never underestimate.
"This weekend will be a very tough one for anyone who wants to win Funny Bike and my team of Jani, Rutanen and Mika and I want to be the ones to do it.
"Special thanks to all of my sponsors Pro Turbo Systems, Kopparin Kukka, JAO Jyväskylän aikuiskoulutus and JMK Jyväskylän Moottoriklubi."
Other companies please copy...
31st August: UK blown-alcohol altered team Bennett Racing have proudly announced that Konica Minolta is the latest addition to their impressive list of sponsors.
"Konica Minolta are one of the world's largest producers of cameras and photocopiers, with many office locations all over the world they are market leaders in their field", says Luke Bennett. "I approached them about seven months ago, and secured the deal after several E-Mails and phone calls. This is not a product sponsor, as there is not a lot of call for a photocopier on the track, but financial help which will grow from year to year. We are very proud to be sponsored by a major blue-chip company and we are lookign forward to a long and successful partnership. I hope that other large companies take notice and follow Konica Minolta into the sport.
"This takes our list of sponsors to twenty two, eleven of whom I have secured in this season alone. I would also like to thank Chris Baker for all his help and support over recent months."
For further information check out the Bennett Racing web site at www.bennettracing.moonfruit.com.
Update on Paul Satchell.
31st August: Beth Satchell has been in touch with an update on the health of her husband, UK race official Paul Satchell, who suffered a heart attack last week.
"First of all I would like to thank everyone who has been in contact and sent their best wishes to Paul, it really means a lot to us both", says Beth. "Paul is currently stable in our local hospital after suffering a heart attack last Wednesday, and is waiting for a transfer up to St Georges Hospital in London where they will find out exactly what is wrong via an angiogram and hopefully get him fixed and back on his feet. There is no timescale for this at the moment, so he is just stuck on the ward in a holding pattern until he is moved.
"Paul is particularly fed up that he missed the Allstar Nationals - as you all know Paul is a part of the furniture at Shakespeare County! I don't know if he will be back working for the Hot Rod Drags, I doubt it as things stand at the moment, but we are hoping to be there to see everyone if his health and doctors allow it."
We are sure that everyone will join Sharkman and Tog in sending Paul their best wishes for a rapid and full recovery and a speedy return to the track.
Kirk runner-up, wife gets plastered.
31st August: UK Super Modified Championship Co-ordinator Barbara Kirk has been in touch to thank everyone who came to her aid when she suffered an injury on the start line at Shakespeare County Raceway on Monday.
"As my husband Andy performed that spectacular launch against Kev Perkins in the Super Mod final, I got so excited that I too launched myself into the air", says Barbara. "Unfortunately my left foot had become stuck to the track and as I went up my foot stayed firmly glued, rupturing my achillies tendon in the process. I am now in plaster for the forseeable future.
"Special thanks go to Darren Prentice and Lee Child who so gallantly escorted me to the medical services (The Allstars Mule Stunt Team doing charity work, how showbiz - Ed). Thanks also to everyone who has expressed concen, your support is very much appreciated. The real irony is that my husband launches himself down the track at 170 mph and I'm the one who gets hurt. Take note ladies, support your man at your peril."
31st August: The On2Wheels event at Santa Pod Raceway on 24th September is a Championship round for the National Association of Supertwins. Entry is open until 15th September and the official entry form is now available on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
This Saturday's (3rd September) Peak Performance Day at Santa Pod Raceway is the last PPD of the year and the last chance to test before the European Finals, says David Jones of Santa Pod Raceway. "Peak Performance Days provide a cost-effective way of testing with lots of track time and pit-space, with a full track preparation to race standard", says DJ. "Places are restricted to a maximum of one hundred and are available on a first-come first-served basis. This event is open to both cars and bikes. For full details visit www.rwyb.co.uk/performance.htm or telephone 01234 782828."
Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall who has forwarded the final version of the FIA European Finals entry list. You can view the Finals entry list by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting any of the FIA European Finals links.
9.50 Bike and Supertwin Modified racer John Hackney has been in touch to thank everyone at Shakespeare County Raceway for their efforts at the Allstar Nationals. "Thanks to Ozzy and his race officials for their excellent work at the weekend", says John. "This is from me and I guess all of the racers too, what an excellent meeting. Thanks also to Darren (Mr Universe) Prentice and Jon Cross for the excellent prep on the track: not too sticky, just perfect!". John's comments echo those of many racers who have said that the weekend's event was one of the best ever held at SCR.
Many thanks to those readers who have taken the effort to send feedback on the new format of our Event Coverage. So far the comments received are overwhelmingly in favour of the new design. Please keep the feedback coming.
Allstar Nationals track records.
31st August: Shakespeare County raceway Press Officer Jerry Cookson writes that Chief Timekeeper Wayne Schreier has confirmed the track records set at the Allstar Nationals. COngratulations to:
6.565s - Danny Cockerill
216.71 mph - Danny Cockerill
8.120s - Colin Lazenby
183.37 mph - Colin Lazenby
Top Fuel Bike
219.17 mph - Steve Woollatt
Pro Stock Bike
7.168s - Dave Beck
184.27 mph - Dave Beck
6.867s - Tim Blakemore
184.80 mph - Gary Jones
Super Street Bike
7.808s - Steve Venables
141.56 mph - George Laycock
9.302s - Tony Legg
177.79 mph - Chris Stebbings
Web site updates.
31st August: Our good buddy Gwynn has updated his Slimboy Fat web site with some excellent photographs from the weekend's Allstar Nationals. "What a great weekend that was, all the VW guys were saying it too", says Gwynn. "We need more shows like that at Shakey". You can check out Gwynn's work at www.pbase.com/slimboyfat/allstar_nationals.
TMD stays within FIA.
30th August: FIA Drag Racing Commission President Carl Olson has been in touch to inform us that the FIA Drag Racing Commission has elected to retain the Top Methanol Dragster category within the FIA European Drag Racing Championship in 2006. As regular readers will recall, the future of TMD as an FIA Championship class was under review with a proposal to remove its Championship status in 2006 due to be voted on by the FIA World Motor Sport Council in October.
"Because this decision merely perpetuates the policies which were in effect in 2005, it is not subject to FIA World Motor Sport Council review or approval", says Carl. "The key to the ongoing inclusion of this category within the Championship will be the continuation of the strong numbers of entries which have supported the 2005 Championship, in stark contrast to the 2004 season during which some events were conducted with as few as three entries."
Subject to Council approval, the tentative plan is that Pro Mod will also be contested as an FIA European Championship class at all 2006 FIA European Drag Racing Championship events. "There will be sixteen-car fields, and the purse and travel compensation figures have been agreed to by the organisers", says Carl. "The proposed supplemental regulations covering Pro Mod are currently being submitted to the FIA World Motor Sport Council for approval at their next meeting."
Torsten Dahl's funeral.
30th August: Tim Read tells us that the funeral of the late Torsten Dahl is to take place in Kungsbacka (just south of Gothenburg) at 13:00 on Friday 16th September.
"Should anyone from the UK wish to attend I would be grateful if they would let me know so that I can pass on some idea of numbers", says Tim. "If it is significant, accomodation is available at 125 SEK per night."
If you plan to attend Torsten's funeral then please contact Tim on 01491 652681, mobile 07803 163684 or by E-Mail at email@example.com.
30th August: Åsa Kinnemar of Sweden's Kågered Racing Top Fuel Dragster and Top Methanol Funny Car team tells us that the TMFC (right) is for sale. "I am afraid it is too soon to reveal our plans for next season yet including the reason the car is up for sale, so that still have to be news to come", says Åsa. If you are interested in acquiring this proven FC then you can find more details on the Kågered Racing web site at www.kagered-racing.com.
UK Funny Bike racer Stu Chamberlain has been in touch to let us know that his disappearance from the weekend's Allstar Nationals was due to serious engine damage. "The inlet manifold exploded due to the piston detaching itself from the conrod, jamming open the inlet valves and igniting the fuel and nitrous", says Stu. "It's probably ended my season."
UK Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association racer Dave Grabham says that his Freddy's Revenge altered is on the jig at Andy Robinson Race Cars, being repaired after the devastating wheelie at the SPRC Summernationals. Dave adds that the Freddy's Revenge web site at www.freddysrevenge.co.uk has been updated with spectator-side pictures from the Allstar Nationals as well as pictures of the hot rods and customs in attendance at Shakespeare County Raceway over the weekend.
The weekend's Allstar Nationals was the first event for our the new page design of our Event Coverage. We would welcome the opinion of Eurodragster.com readers on the new format so that we can make any changes before we start our coverage of FIA European Finals week. If you have any comments or constructive suggestions about the new design then please drop Tog a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allstar Nationals results.
30th August: Congratulations to the winners at this weekend's Custom Car Magazine Allstar Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway:
Super Modified: Kev Perkins 7.631/179.76 def. Andy Kirk 7.853/174.30
Super Pro ET: John Everitt (7.89) 17.236/39.19 def. Rick Cooke (8.50) 8.700/132.73 red
Pro ET: Bob Molden (10.30) 10.069/133.59 def. Neil Hunter (10.55) 10.574/130.10 red
Sportsman ET: Steve Phillips (12.53) 12.608/109.74 def. Dan Page (14.10) 14.053/88.70 b/o
Super Comp: Paul Knight 9.251/134.79 def. Chris Johnson 9.200/145.01
Super Gas: Conrad Stanley 9.939/136.30 def. Spencer Tramm 9.881/117.95 b/o
Super Street: Leigh Morris 11.101/117.70 def. Paul Spiers 11.231/122.49
Street Eliminator: Andy Frost 8.231/175.16 def. Colin Lazenby 27.570/30.12
Junior Dragster: Collin Morrice (9.45) 9.496/66.86 def. Holly Mitchell (9.40) 9.522/69.98
Wild Bunch: Phil Sweeney (13.18) 13.180/92.42 def. Chris Hartnell (8.95) 8.916/145.00 b/o
Outlaw Anglia: Paul Wright 7.979/175.60 def. Pete Moore 9.246/147.36
VW Pro: Glynn Morgan (11.55) 11.679/102.40 def. Nigel Green (11.80) 12.988/105.83
VW Sportsman: Chris Bray (18.30) 19.102/55.96 def. Holly Baldwin (17.33) 17.403/73.94
VW Alternate Engine: Spencer Tramm (9.87) 10.475/107.84 def. Darryn Coleman (11.70) 12.238/109.40
Top Fuel Bike: Steve Woollatt 6.508/213.93 bye, Steve Carey no show
Funny Bike: Tim Blakemore 7.173/180.04 def. Chris Hall broke
Pro Stock Bike: Dave Beck 7.168/184.27 def. Len Paget no time
Comp Bike: Gary Jones 7.690/180.97 def. Roland Chaplain 8.474/148.18 red
Super Street Bike: Steve Venables 7.994/192.87 def. Dave Smith 8.690/144.47
9.50 Bike: Fred Furlong 9.667/144.44 def. Steve Coombs 9.672/138.91
Supertwin Fuel: Chris Stebbings 8.868/125.03 bye
Supertwin Gas: Andy Smith 9.523/138.85 def. John Floyd 10.781/119.02
Supertwin Modified: Tony Legg 9.316/152.83 def. John Hackney 10.031/137.51
Supertwin Street: Dave Jones 10.088/132.51 def. Ian Radanke 11.280/130.36
Junior Drag Bike: Harry Steadman (9.60) 9.870/60.24 def. Scott Collier (13.00) 17.450/32.33
Congratulations also to this year's Ultimate Power Champions:
Super Modified: Ellis Racing
Super Pro ET: John Everitt
Pro ET: Ron Bartlett
Sportsman ET: Ian Petrie
Super Comp: Paul Knight
Super Gas: Frank Mason
Super Street: John Grant
Street Eliminator: Colin Lazenby
Junior Dragster: Jay Hauser
Wild Bunch: Sarah Howells
Outlaw Anglia: Mark Pointer
VW Pro: Glynn Morgan
VW Sportsman: Chris Bray
VW Alternate Engine: Spencer Tramm
Top Fuel Bike: Steve Woollatt
Funny Bike: Chris Hall
Pro Stock Bike: Dave Beck
Comp Bike: Gary Jones
Super Street Bike: Steve Venables
9.50 Bike: Fred Furlong
Junior Drag Bike: Harry Steadman
Supertwin Fuel: Chris Stebbings
Supertwin Gas: Andy Smith
Supertwin Modified: Tony Legg
Supertwin Street: Dave Jones
Norway's Thomas Nataas won two of the three scheduled Top Fuel Dragster match races against Darryl Bradford, the quickest pass being a pedalled and out-of-shape 5.471 at a huge 281.46. Gordon Appleton and Danny Cockerill also wowed the crowds with four Pro Mod match races, Danny taking Low ET of 6.565 and High Speed of 216.71 whilst Gordon put in one of the most fearless driving jobs of the weekend, refusing to get off the pedal despite hitting shake and going out of shape in yesterday's first race.
Subject to official ratification Colin Lazenby took the year's first UK National Championship when he won the Street Eliminator title on Saturday, and Dave Beck the 2005 ACU UK Pro Stock Bike Championship.
Subject to official ratification a number of National records were set at the Allstar Nationals:
Super Modified speed: 180.53, Kev Perkins
Street Eliminator ET: 8.120, Colin Lazenby
Street Eliminator speed: 183.37, Colin Lazenby
Super Street Bike speed: 195.24, Steve Venables
Supertwin Modified ET: 9.302, Tony Legg
A large number of track records were also set and those will be detailed within the next couple of days.
Congratulations to VW Sportsman racer Paul Day and Wild Bunch racer Phil Sweeney who won the Eurodragster.com/Speedflow Perfect Light Award and Eurodragster.com/LA Racing Parts Perfect ET Award respectively.
Click here to view our American Car Imports-sponsored Allstar Nationals coverage, or click on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Beck blasts into 7.1s.
30th August: UK Pro Stock Bike racer Dave Beck reset the European best mark for Pro Stock Bike yesterday with a blistering 7.168 at 184 mph to take the Allstar Nationals even win at Shakespeare County Raceway. As well as setting a new performance benchmark, the win against Len Paget resulted in Dave Beck securing his seventh ACU National Championship.
Dave was quick to thank the many people who have supported him. “This new level of performance is the result of the efforts of many", says Dave, "and once again I must thank Roger Upperton who put this record-setting motor together – you have to remember that this is one very skilful man in a small workshop in Yorkshire, putting together motors which compete with motors from some of the big name US tuning shops. I would also like to thank Jay Regan at MRE, Paul and Kevin at Fast by Gast, and Rick Ward at Ward Performance for their help and advice, plus my pit crew Charlotte and Stephen. Steve Conway at Bikes of Brighton, Nimbus Motorsports, Torco Oils, Cam Coat, Jim Long Engineering, Web Cam, Dyna, PMFR, PR Factory Store and Racepak have also supported me throughout this journey as well. I would say a special thank you to Darren Prentice and the track crew for delivering a great racing surface throughout the weekend.”
The subject of Dave's 2006 racing schedule has also been the subject of much discussion, with many people asking when Dave would be seen racing in the European Championship. “It is an attractive idea in some respects, and it is flattering to create such interest,” commented Dave, “but I have had some great years in the ACU Championship and have enjoyed the support of Shakespeare County Raceway and Santa Pod teams. I am also very fortunate, thanks to Jay Regan, to compete in the most competitive class in the sport, the Pro Mod class run by those great people at Prostar. My racing budget is very tight, and to race at the UEM events would mean not doing justice to my current commitments, and that just wouldn’t be fair to all the people who have got me here. If I can find sponsors to back me for the 2006 Main Event and European Finals, you will see me there, but if not I’ll enjoy another very enjoyable year in the ACU and Prostar Championships.”
Pressed on the European Pro Stock Bike scene, Dave remarked “People always mention Roger Pettersson, and he is a very fine racer. But Anders Abrahamsson, Anders Larsson, Martin Bishop, Chris Hope and the rest of the guys are awfully fast – it’s a very competitive series. We know our bike can run into the 7.1s at UEM weights, possibly quicker, so I’m confident we can compete, particularly as there are a number of things I want to modify over the winter. But equally if I race there, I need to do it justice for my support team, the race organisers and all the race fans, and that takes professional preparation, which in turn needs cash. So if anyone wants to sponsor me at these high profile events, that would be great, I’ll turn up ready to race, and to race hard!”
As well as Beck’s winter bike tuning plans, he is also expanding his tuning parts and engine building business. Dave has recently been appointed distributor for Velocity Racing turbo kits, and Ward Performance, the makers of Vortex cylinder heads.
Ellul highlights at Hal Far.
29th August: The Malta Drag Racing Association has organised the fifth event of the season this weekend, under a night race under the lights, says MDRA President Anthony Borda. "This will be the last Night Event for this season, although we have two more daytime events this season, one in October and one at the end of November.
"During this event, everything went very well from every aspect. John Ellul (Banzai) with his Fontana Top Methanol Dragster stole the show at the very end of the three-day programme, when he recorded his best ever Elapsed Time of 5.73 seconds and winning the DTA Class. Everyone was happy for the team after a couple days of hard work on this dragster. Some bad luck was chasing them this time, but the work paid off in the end and every crew member and all their helpers were overjoyed with the ET. Congratulations to all the Elbros Team on their achievement. They will do their utmost to better this ET at our next event.
"As well as John Ellul, there were other competitors who did very well, such as Alan Zammit in an Escort Cosworth who registered a best run of 7.8 seconds; Jason Martin, an Englishman residing here in Malta, registered a 9.8 second run in his two-litre Pinto Escort with nitrous; Jason Camilleri in his RS Turbo Escort registered a stunning 9.9 seconds; and there were Paul Pace and Karim Cassar battling together and both registering a good Elapsed Time of 11.1 seconds. There were plenty more competitors who did well and I would like to say congratulations to all of them for their efforts and making this event another successful one.
"Pictures and results will soon be available on our web site at www.maltadragracing.com."
Lorentzon and the three enemies.
29th August: Kenneth Lorentzon of Sweden's Lorentzon and Möller Top Fuel Dragster team are preparing for the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway where Tommy Möller is one of five Top Fuel racers with a chance at the 2005 FIA European Championship. Crew Chief Kenneth brought us right up-to-date with the Swedanes' progress since July.
"At Mantorp Park we were third and showed good performance", said Kenneth. "We ran a great eye-opener 5.09 at the Press Day, lifting the blower at about four seconds, a problem that we have had for some time now. At he race a couple of 4.8s sec with the blower off at about the same place. Number one qualifier and went one round, which gave us some points but the rain robbed us on the rest. And so did the promoters, shame on you guys, could say a lot about this episode. At Gardermoen we had a good performance again on Friday, 4.95 and 4.86 and still with a blower which annoyed us by lifting. Good enough for number one but then back to same scenery: rain, rain and then came some rain and that was the end of that.
"Back to the Top Fuel Tour at Stockholm's Tullinge Raceway. It used to be a fairly good race track, but it needs some massage right now. We still have the track record of 4.98 which we set in 2002. In the first round up in smoke at about ten feet, in the second round up in smoke just before 330 feet. The third round was rained out and in the fourth round third/fourth place we ran a 5.03 at just 220 mph - my second-worst enemy struck again: The Blower Belt, destroying a really good run, 0.879 at sixty feet and 3.20 seconds and almost 260 mph at eighth mile mark. We have three enemies: the first is the weather, the second is blower belts, and the third is Lex!
"The European Finals is just twelve days and counting. Again it is down to five cars which can win, it is just exciting. We will be laying down two ground-shaking runs at the Press Day to set the pace and to stay ahead of the rest of the pack. But with eleven cars anything can happens, there will be no freebies."
Kenneth also said that he was pleased to read about the performances at last week's Nitrolympx at Hockenheim, on what was previously known as a difficult track. "High 4.8s, excellent!", he said. "I've been there three times, first with my Pro Mod Chevy Coupe with Tommy at the wheel, in 2003 in Top Fuel for the first time where we ended up in the final and 2004 in the winners' circle. All three times it has been closer to a parking lot at a super mall than an FIA Championship track but now they are hauling ass down there. It has always been more show than go, but maybe Rico has listened to racers and decided to prepare a race track for the racers and spectators. The Hockenheimring is just a fantastic facility and a great atmosphere, a true race track. I hope we will see it in the Championship next year. And just a reminder to the promoters, work together and it will benefit all of us. It is us you are selling, without us you're history."
Woollatt turns on the power.
29th August: UK Top Fuel Bike racer Steve Woollatt has been making great progress with a revised fuel system and clutch set up on his PBR Puma during qualifying at the Allstar Nationals, says Phil Baimbridge.
"Following a couple of shake-down passes to dial in the revised set up Steve progressed through qualifying with a 6.605/208, 6.507/212 and a 6.420/219.17", says Phil. "The final run represented new personal bests for Steve for both ET and terminal speed - the 219.17 beat the track record at Shakespeare County Raceway and confirms Steve's position as owner of the most powerful motorcyle in the UK.
"On the last pass the Dealer machine picked up nearly 45 mph over the second eighth, suggesting that lower ETs will follow as the clutch set up is refined. Congratulations to Steve and the Crew (Phil, Mark, Jackie, Toni and Dave - and not forgetting Wilf) for a job well done."
Llewellyn exorcises rain demons.
29th August: UK Super Comp racer Zane Llewellyn has been in touch from Holland to let us know that his rain jinx seems to have ended at Drachten.
"There was rain on qualifying day but race day has been lovely with sun and great air of two hundred feet", says Zane. "The track has not been the best - good to the eighth then pretty loose - and it's been difficult to dial in - the best we managed was 8.95 although that was good enough for third place.
"We got through the first round, but went out in the second round with an 8.899 breakout - slightly gutted as the next round was a bye into the final!
"We are now having a compensatory Dutch beer or two and keeping in touch with the Allstar Nationals on the net - let's hope the rest of the Bristol Doorslammers keep the side up. Good luck to Bob Lees, Hoch Grant, Conrad Stanley and of course the apprentice Anna Stanley."
Smax seeks backers.
28th August: If you have checked out the FIA European Finals entry list you will have noticed 2003 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Smax Smith making his second appearance of the year in the McDonald brothers' Top Fuel Dragster. Smax tells us that he is still seeking funding for the Finals.
"Funding was hopefully going to come from my longtime friends the Bulldog Bash crew", says Smax, "but unfortunately they cannot do the Finals. This has thrown a curve into our battle plans, so I am making a desperate plea to race fans. Does anyone know any companies or individuals who would like to sponsor a Top Fuel Dragster at a televised event for a very small contribution or the purchase of certain spares. The coverage could be substantial and an invitation to join our pits to see the workings from the inside of a Top Fuel monster is part of the. I am a former FIA Top Fuel Champion so the bonus marketing could be very beneficial to an entrepeneur! If you can help then please contact me via my web site at www.smax.co.uk.
"A big thanks goes to MPM Oil who have already sponsored us for race oil, to the Net Factory for the web site, and also to Fastco-UK. Our great team are poised and ready for action, the car is 100% finished and will be at the track - we need funding to give us a chance of qualifying or even a win. Please try to help."
28th August: Swedish Top Fuel Dragster racer Jöran Persåker has reconstituted his crew going into the FIA European Finals. "The team is now tuner Alan Jackson, Crew Chief Bill Schultz, myself as Assistant Crew Chief (Bill's shadow), clutch technician Mark Turner, and mechanics Peter, Sue and Darren", says Cliff Gould. "I would also like to thank Sue Collins for the use of her workshop to get the dragster ready for the Finals."
Sam Freeman has been in touch to alert us to the theft of Australian Top Doorslammer racer Wayne Price's race operation. The race car's body was found burned out but the chassis and engine are still missing. The engine includes a number of easily-identifiable parts therefore it is thought that the thief may try to sell it outside Australia. For more information check out the Dragster.com.au web site update at www.dragster.com.au/modules/news/article.php?storyid=705.
The UK's Discovery Channel is broadcasting the first of two programmes named Big Big Bikes at 22:00 tomorrow (Monday 29th). This first programme includes the feature on UK Top Fuel Bike racer Ian King which was filmed at Santa Pod Raceway earlier this year. Ian tells us that in the programme he explains the reason why he races, how a Top Fuel Bike functions, and what it is like to ride a 1000 horsepower machine to over 200 mph in six seconds.
King Racing press release.
28th August: UK Top Fuel Bike racer Ian King was once again thwarted in his attempts to put a greater margin of points between him and the chasing pack at the penultimate round of the European Drag Racing Championship at Hockenheim, Germany.
Following his back to back wins in the British and Finnish rounds of the European Championship, both the Swedish and Norwegian rounds suffered an early end of competition due to the weather, and it was hoped that Germany would not suffer the torrential rain sweeping central and northern Europe bringing destruction and some loss of life in the aftermath.
The Twentieth Anniversary of the NitrOlympx had much to offer. The usual 50,000 plus spectators, the spectacular Night Show, comfortable pit garages, and one of the best tracks in Europe. In addition, last year’s problems with track preparation seemed to be a thing of the past as the involvment of two NHRA track specialists seemed to turn the track around with low six second Top Fuel Bike numbers and four second Top Fuel Dragster passes testament to their work.
As the qualifying passes were not ordered, King and his friend and racing colleague Roel Koedam of the Netherlands elected to run each other for all four qualifying passes on both the Friday and Saturday, providing the crowd with a great side by side six second passes each and every time. It also gave the two riders in first and second place in the championship respectively a chance to check each other’s reaction times and staging techniques.
King saved the best until the last session. A tremendous pass by both riders bought the crowd to their feet and saw King smash the Hockenheim motorcycle track record and clinch number one position for eliminations with a stunning 6.319/215.9 mph to eclipse Koedam’s 6.404/224.7, also his best pass of qualifying.
It seemed that King now had the chance on race day to clinch the crown but, alas it was not to be. The warm and sunny skies enjoyed during the previous two days disappeared come Sunday, and the rain set in. Although the track eventually dried by mid afternoon it was already too late for the track officials who had called the event at 14.30 deeming the wet shutdown area too dangerous for the motorcycles.
A disappointing end to the event, but one that means the Championship crown is down to the wire with the decider at the final round of the Championship at Santa Pod, England.
King Racing’s next event is the Mosten Raceday in Denmark on 2nd - 4th September.
Callin to race at European Finals.
26th August: Sweden's Susanne Callin is to contest Top Fuel Dragster at next month's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, bringing the Top Fuel entry to an all-time record of eleven. Susanne will be driving the car from Knut Söderquist's Carbon By Design stable which she last drove at the Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park, and which she will also be driving at the FIA Invitational in Bahrain in November.
"The car suits Susanne perfectly", says Susanne's dad Gordon. "All the buttons and levers are in her reach so she feels comfortable and safe in the cockpit. We had the car runnig well at Mantorp Park so the crew (Mark, Kevin, Rob, Mac, Alan, The King and myself) will see to it that the car will be even faster and consistent to take on all the other competitors at the European Finals. We will try to make the best of it and hopefully make some good runs, and you never know there might be an upset or two when the race is over."
Susanne will also be driving the Rod and Race/Callin Racing Two Seater Dragster at the European Finals Press Day the Wednesday before the race, and will be driving both the Top Fueller and the Two Seater at the Invitational in Bahrain.
SuMo beyond the call!
26th August: Ian, Paula and Holley Marshall have been in touch to dispel the rumours about their Highlander Super Modified Camaro which was damaged in a crash at last weekend's Nitrolympx. Ian is of course fine and the incident proves yet again that when misfortune strikes there is no-one like drag racers for coming to your assistance.
"The damage is limited to the front end panels and radiator supports", they say. "With the impending rebuild problems of finding panels and of course paint and then having to pay for it all we were due to set off home back to Blighty. At this point however things took a major change. Not only did the SuMo guys have a collection between themselves but also decided that we should have the prize fund put together by Rico Anthes (cheers Rico). We were also invited to the Banquet at the end of the weekend where we were presented the prize money by Rico. At this time Danny Cockerill decided to chip in a considerable sum to our 'rebuild fund'.
"As things currently stand our car may well be back on the track at the National Finals. Body parts are being delivered from Sweden to the European Finals and the car is booked in for paint with Martin Curbishley. The only thing left to do is see if the boys at Webster Race Engineering can work their magic after the Finals.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people (in no particular order): Terry and Tina Gibbs and Obsession Motorsport, Andy Hone and all of F and M Racing, Graham Ellis and team, Steve Rawlings and team, Matt Wright, Danny Cockerill and Rico Anthes. We would also like to thank Marie for all her help in towing and startline duties and Andy Willcox for his hard work, not only working late on the car but also working all day on the start line.
"To end on a positive note - what an excellent event, great track and new personal best of 8.27 at 166 mph. Roll on Nitrolympx 2006."
Feldthusen takes on the NFAA.
26th August: The NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway on 17-18th Sept will feature seven Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association altereds, including the NFAA's first Scandinavian guest, says series Co-ordinator Lawrie Gatehouse.
"Sweden's Kenneth Feldthusen will be shoeing the beautiful modified '34 Chevy Roadster (right) powered by a methanol 463 ci KB engine which has run 6.745/326 kmh this year", says Lawrie. "Also in attendance will be The Mob, Time Warp and Harry the Spider in AA/FA, with the BB/FAs represented by points leader Clayton Round in Rebel 'T', Bob Glassup's Extreme Racing, and Bennett Racing's new and untried combination in their superbly-painted Topolino.
"All of the teams have new, uprated equipment (for which read 'expensive') and are eager to put on a good show and enjoy themselves, which is what is supposed to be all about."
Mystic Phil's crystal ball.
26th August: UK Comp Bike racer Phil Leamon will be sitting out this weekend's Custom Car Magazine Allstar Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway as he will be looking after his wife who will be recovering from an ear operation. However, Phil says that to keep himself occupied he has polished up his crystal ball and has gazed into its depths to bring us an exclusive preview of this weekend's Comp Bike action.
CB1, TJ O'Brien: The tall Irishman with the posh English accent (when in Ireland) is the current Comp Bike Champion. The Dream bike is certainly making the horsepower, running pretty close to Funny Bike times and speeds. Reliability of the gas nos combination at the end of the day is going to be the deciding factor to him retaining his crown. Has always done well at SCR so just nudges Gary Jones as my predicted winner here. Odds 2-1.
CB9, Gary Jones: Another tall racer (Aren't they all - Ed) but this time an Englishman from the South Coast. Looks to have the ACU Championship just about in the bag, but as the saying goes many a slip between lip and cup. Some people said that this high tech, fuel injected, computer controlled, methanol burning turbo charged bike would never work. How wrong could they be. Hats off to both Gary and Dave Friend, this bike really is the future. With a new chassis the potential of this combination is just staggering...sixes here we come? Odds 3-1.
CB3, Vaughan Foster: If it wasn't for bad luck Vaughan would have no luck at all! Having being spat off at high speed a couple of seasons back at the Pod and spent a fortune putting together a new bike and engine combination. The bike has hardly turned a wheel in anger the whole of this season. The best rider at producing long smokey rolling burnouts deserves better. Lady luck could just be hitching a ride for a change. Odds 4-1.
CB4, Nick 'Shaggy' Daniels: The Shaggy has a combination very close to mine. An ex-Pro Stock chassis with a small engine using a humble amount of gas proves you don't have to go overboard to get eight-second performance. However to win he will have to cut killer lights, be super reliable and find at least five tenths...not asking too much then! Odds 5-1.
CB15, Andy Newcombe: Having struggled with an ill-handling short wheel base bike last season, the bike was transformer from...er...not the most pretty specimen in the class, into a long wheelbase, swoopy-clothed (that includes the rider) beauty! Engine still seems to be the weak link with this combination. This Yamaha engined big carb turbo methanol burning bike seems to burp and stutter up to the eight and then take-off like a scalded cat. Sounds fantastic in the pits though - but don't they always. Odds 6-1.
CB7, Dave Peters: The friendly Cumbrian has been missing from most of this year's events. Having a super straight tracking Dave Branch chassis is a good start, but to get these turbo charged, big tyre bikes moving, you need lots of BHP. I'm sure the right combination is just around the corner given time. Odds 10-1.
CB13, John Roberts: Been absent from most of this season and probably just needs to blow the cobwebs out of the turbo. Needs track time to find a competitive combination. Would be delighted I'm sure to run consistently in the nines. Odds 20-1.
Predictions: Winner TJ O'Brien; runner-up Gary Jones; Low ET 7.622, TJ O'Brien; High Speed 178.32, Gary Jones.
To all Comp Bike competitors and indeed all fellow racers have an enjoyable and fun-packed Allstar Nationals.
We're sure that everyone will join Tog and Sharkman in wishing Phil's wife a rapid recovery from her operation.
26th August: Shakespeare County Raceway is not the only track to host a race this weekend as the Dutch Finals takes place at Drachten tomorrow and Sunday (27th-28th). The eXplosion club web site at www.explosion.nl contains details on the Dutch Finals including pit plan, entry list, schedule and more: click on Event updates for more.
A very Happy Birthday for yesterday to UK Wild Bunch racer Crazy Chris Hartnell who is doubtless on the road to Shakespeare County Raceway for this weekend's Championship round. Hope that you had a great day, Chris.
Hoping to avoid the hat-trick...
26th August: On their way to Drachten for this weekend's Dutch Finals are UK Super Comp racer Zane Llewellyn and his partner Anne, who have been rained out at their last couple of events.
"After the disappointment of the rain off at Mantorp we were hoping for better things at Hockenheim", says Zane. "The track was excellent for our car, good enough for #1 qualifying spot and running really consistently. It wasn't too hot and we were able to dial in really well with only three qualifying runs, and the big (for us!) prize money of €1000 looked to be within our grasp, in theory anyway!
"As you will have seen from other reports the rain didn't allow any racing on Sunday, and it was really frustrating when the rain-off was called when the sun came out.
"We have spent the week on holiday along the Rhine and are now at a campsite about fifty miles from Drachten, anxiously watching the sky - which at the moment is a mixture of grey clouds and clear blue - and obsessively checking the weather on our mobile phones. If Drachten is rained off we suggest everyone takes their umbrellas to the FIA European Finals at the Pod, because we're going there too (If it does happens, we will prevent you from entering Santa Pod - Ed)!"
Zane adds that he will be updating the Bootsoop Racing web site with the usual detailed reports and pictures on his return to the UK.
Great Hockenheim weekends.
26th August: Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Andy Robinson had a great weekend in his blown-alcohol Pro Mod at the Nitrolympx, says Bob Roberts. "The car ran great, it's a great venue and we got a trophy even though the Cannonball didn't complete", says Bob. "FIA Top Methanol Dragster Champion Dave Wilson was with us all weekend and his input was invaluable in getting the car to run right. Dave's knowledge and experience is unparalleled, I guess he has quite a few tricks still up his sleeve but he's shared enough with us to keep us thinking for a while. Many thanks to Dave". You can find a photo diary of Gus' weekend in the Racing - Current section of the ARRC web site at www.robinson-race-cars.co.uk.
Super Modified racer Steve Rawlings says he is still in shock, but that he would like to say thanks to a few people. "Firstly, Thank You to Rico Anthes for the opportunity to race, the great track, the warm and generous welcome; Andrea who looked after so well; Ray Rice and the track prep guys and girls; Terry and Tina Gibbs for arranging the trip; Matt Wright for the loan of the tow truck; Ashley Bell for the loan of the trailer; Mick Slocome (Crew); all the Super Mod boys and girls (what a great bunch of people): Miko the wet dog and that very nice German policeman who pulled us over south of Aachen to look over the car along with two van loads of his comrades and half a dozen truckers in the services; and lastly a big thank you to the German race fans who really took to the Super Mods. Hope to see you all next year."
Bostic sticks to promise.
25th August: If you were tuned in late last week you will recall that our good buddy Anders Envall was headed to Mantorp Park to make an attempt on his own world ET record for towing a caravan, this time using his ten-second Chevy Impala SS as a tow vehicle (right). We're very pleased to say that Anders broke his record, and he wrote to tell us all about it.
"Since I had a small fire in the engine bay before Tullinge I couldn't go there and sort out my new four-link", says Anders. "So it was not adjusted at all when arriving at the Solifer Super Weekend at Mantorp. There were other things which needed to be solved or adjusted. So when it was time for the record runs I thought "This won't work at all".
"It spun and spun. When I hit full throttle it spun but car went straight on because of the stabilising Solifer T1 caravan. It spun because of the four-link was not sorted out and becaue the total weight was 6770 lbs: 4350 lbs for the Impala SS and 2420 lbs for the Solifer T1. But someone or something just made the time and speed a little better than in 1982, 16.29/85.14 mph (137 kmh). Everybody was happy and I was relieved! The backup run was 17.02/83.90, more spinning but the engine ran better.
"The Solifer T1 was fantastic for stabilisation and was completely undramatic. I even forgot about it when concentrating on all the instruments and the spin, and it worked like a parachute chute after the finish line!
"I was aiming for fourteens and 100 mph if I hadn't had the engine bay fire a week before then it could have happened. Next time...but now for the European Finals!"
25th August: UK Sportsman ET racers Jon and Karen McGarrigle have been in touch to thank everyone who helped them at last weekend's Webster Race Engineering Test Day at Santa Pod Raceway, where they carried out their licencing passes.
"Particular thanks must go to Darren, Jon, and Bob of the start line crew, and to Sam and Paul Marston for their patience, support and encouragement when we were learning how to stage the car correctly, from both inside and outside the car, and also when performing our observed runs and subsequent practice runs", says Karen. "Thanks also to Jon Webster for providing us with the opportunity to gain our race licences outside of the pressure of a competitive race event, and to everyone else there who made us feel very welcome. We had a superb day at the track and went home to Wales with smiles a 'Quarter Mile wide!"
Karen and Jon will be sharing the driving of their Z28 Camaro under the team name Quarter Smile Racing, with Jon first out at this weekend's Allstar Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway, and they look forward to seeing everyone there.
Join the Parade of Power.
25th August: Drag racing is taking to the streets of Wellingborough next Friday, 2nd September, with the Parade of Power organised by Santa Pod Raceway which commences at 7:00 pm.
"Race cars and bikes are due to drive through the streets of the sleepy market town to help promote the FIA European Finals, and no doubt to create quite a stir in the process!", says Rick Cuthbert of Trakbak Racing. "If any racers are interested in taking part in this historic event, please contact David Lloyd-Jones at Santa Pod on 01234 782828 or E-Mail email@example.com.
"In addition, drivers and riders who want to take part in the following day’s Peak Performance Day at Santa Pod will get a very special deal on their testing. The Peak Performance Day is still accepting entries, and it’s a great opportunity to test in time for the European Finals, with loads of track and pit space for the serious racer. Call 01234 782828 to book your space, or see the Peak Performance Days link at www.rwyb.com.”
£100 for the Perfect Allstars.
25th August: This weekend's Custom Car Magazine Allstar Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway is the seventh event in this year's Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards scheme, with a total of £100 up for grabs.
The Eurodragster.com/Speedflow Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Niklas Andersson at the Veidec Festival. The money will be awarded to the first racer this weekend to record a perfect Reaction Time of 0.000. The Award is open to all classes and is available during qualifying or eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the weekend. If the Award is not won this weekend then the prize fund will increase to £75 at next month's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway; if the Award is won then the prize fund will be reset to £50 at the FIA European Finals. The Perfect Light Award is jointly presented by Eurodragster.com and high-performance hose and fitting manufacturer Speedflow, whose web site you can find at www.speedflow.co.uk.
The Eurodragster.com/LA Racing Parts Perfect ET Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Pelle Norén at the Veidec Festival. The money will be awarded to the first racer to run to the thousandth on their index or dial-in during qualifying or eliminations. The Award is open to all ET classes, all Super classes, Junior Dragster, all VW classes, the Wild Bunch, 9.50 Bike and Junior Drag Bike, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect ET of the weekend. If the Award is not won this weekend then the prize fund will increase to £75 at next month's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway; if the Award is won then the prize fund will be reset to £50 at the FIA European Finals. The Perfect ET Award is jointly presented by Eurodragster.com and performance supplier LA Racing Parts, whose web site you can find at www.laracingparts.com.
Smith makes his Plans.
25th August: UK Wild Bunch racer Tony Smith has been inspired by yesterday's Allstar Nationals Wild Bunch preview to write to "Get in my side of the story".
"As I knew I was going to have to miss the second York event for my son's wedding, I was hoping to amount enough points for it not to matter", says Tony. "More by luck than anything else, I managed three firsts, including my first MSA event win at the Summernationals, and one second in the first four events. I managed to get fourteen points ahead of second place runner Sarah Howells and sixteen points ahead of Mike Cresswell. I knew that Sarah was going to Tom and Jenny Coe's wedding on the same day as my son's wedding, all I had to worry about was Mike.
"Well done to Mike for winning the York event, putting himself only six points behind me, but with a five point a bonus for attending all rounds (and I can't see Mike not getting to the last two). Mike is in theory now only one point behind me going into this weekend's round. Now with fourteen cars in the class for this weekend's Allstar Nationals and a few of them very consistent, I am not hedging my bets in any way. I will be doing my best, I still hope to be in the running for the last of the Wild Bunch events, the UK National Finals at Santa Pod.
I wish everyone in the Wild Bunch, and all the rest of the racers, all the best for this weekend."
25th August: Danish Top Fuel Dragster racer Rene Hersland would be pleased to hear from any Eurodragster.com reader who has photographs of his passes at Hockenheim on Saturday, especially during the Night Show. Rene is offering a free T-shirt for good pictures. You can contact Rene by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Paul Watson has asked us to wish a very Happy Birthday to Pixie, clutch crew on Jamie Sneddon's Honda Blackbird Super Street Bike and Crew Chief on Paul's DynoSpeed Developments Pro Stock Bike. We're very happy to do so, have a great day Pixie.
Attention UK Pro ET racers.
25th August: Approximately half of the Pro ET racers entered for this year's FIA European Finals are not registered for the Pro ET sponsorship scheme, which means that they are not entitled to win the #1 Qualifier bonus payout, voucher prizes and trophy, says Pro ET racer Marius Blackburn.
"Don't waste the chance to win the cash (approximately £100), vouchers from WASP, Hauser Race Cars and Alley Jax, and a nice trophy to polish too!", says Marius. "All you need to do to register and be in with a chance is to pay a small fee - £5 per year/£10 for European Finals - carry the class sponsors' decals on your car, and try to be #1 qualifier. You may help to attract and keep more sponsors for next year.
"Carl Burton of English Rose Racing has done all the hard work in getting the sponsors involved, all you have to do is download the registration form from the Pro ET web site at www.pro-et.co.uk, contact Carl Burton by E-Mail at email@example.com or telephone 01733 840819. Dont waste this opportunity, get qualifying! You've got to be in it to win it!"
Jade at the Bulldog.
25th August: The UK's Jade Racing Supertwin and Junior Drag Bike team had a great weekend at the recent Bulldog Bash, says Sharron Collier.
"We went with mixed feelings about how it would go", says Sharron. "First of all we couldn’t take the H2 as on the Monday before we were due to leave we discovered the crank cases were cracked and unusable. These are the hybrid H2 / Z1000 cases welded together, so it's not just a case of swapping them. So with H2 out of action for the foreseeable future, we hastily got RD ready. The last time Jerry rode the RD was August 2003 when he broke the American record for an RD on nitrous oxide, the record was 9.38 and Jerry ran 8.89. He had always wanted to have another bash at it one day, as he went through the top end with the clutch in, and in fifth gear, due to holing a piston! What could RD do under power? Then of course there was Scotty, a Junior had never run at the Bulldog before, how would he go on? And Skye, still just six months old, and although an old hand at meetings and RWYBs, the close proximity of the Bulldog pits could prove too much for her, and I had the car on hand if I had to take her home.
"But what a weekend it turned out to be. Scotty was a star, he loved doing his demo passes complete with rolling burnouts, and got huge rounds of applause which brought tears to our eyes! He especially liked towing Jerry back down the track, although he wouldn’t look at the crowd or wave because he was ‘concentrating on riding’! Skye was absolutely fine, and thanks to the kindness of the great people in Race Control I actually got to watch all of Scott and Jerry’s runs. This made a huge difference to my weekend, I can’t say thank you enough to Jan, Ozzy, Jeremy, Wayne, Hazel and Julie.
"We did struggle with the RD though. We have had to change fuels recently and the RD did not like the new stuff. We were trying to make it carburate better, and then hit a couple of technical problems also. It was so maddening because we had taken the H2 to some test weekends to set that up, and if we had known we would have taken the RD instead and got it running the numbers as it usually does. With the H2 out of action until next season, Jerry now has a bee in his bonnet to get the RD on song, to see how far into the eights he can get it. We shall be out testing soon.
"Once again Shakespeare County was an excellent track, excellently organised. In light of recent events, Jade Racing fully support the track and Lee Child. Maybe without the presence of Top Methanol Scott will get all his five qualifiers in this weekend, so thank you for that fellas! Thanks again to all the track staff and the Hells Angels for a fantastic Bulldog."
Hersland loves Hockenheim...
24th August: Danish Top Fuel Dragster racer Rene Hersland has been in touch to thank Nitrolympx promoter Rico Anthes and crew for a fantastic weekend. Rene went to Hockenheim to continue his licencing which we understand went very well.
"The Autobremsen Top Fuel Team would like to thank Rico and his crew", says Rene. "Hockenheim being a 'poor track' is now history. Rico gave us all a fantastic track - nursed by American specialists - to have all the fun we could ask for. Not to mention the German crowd, doing waves and making a lot of noise every time one of us did a huge burnout.
"Nobody - not even American specialists - can control the weather, so unfortunately the race had to be cancelled late on Sunday. But we in the Danish Top Fuel team would love to see Hockenheim back in the FIA series in 2006."
...as do the Habermanns...
24th August: Our good friend Oliver Kläffling has been in touch with a report of Werner Habermann Racing's weekend at the Nitrolympx at Hockenheim. Oliver starts by telling us what Top Methanol Dragster racer Timo Habermann thought of his burnout and launch in one of Rico Anthes' Top Fuel Dragsters.
"The feeling is unbelievable, the power in your back", said Timo after the successful run. Under the eyes of Top Fuel icons Rune Field and Gary Page, Timo not only got applause from the stands but also from the pits. The Top Fuel drivers were as one: Timo Habermann is a talent behind the wheel.
But that was not enough for the Werner-Habermann-Racing team. It is unusual for motorsport, but Saturday evening was a sentimental moment: Grandfather Heini Habermann competed against his grandson Dennis during the Night Show. It was a very special race for both: the last active drag race which grandfather Heini would compete in, whilst it was his début in Super Comp class for sixteen year old Dennis. "He is my grandson, and he gets everything from me", smiles grandpa Heini, "but he has to fight for the victory - he has to earn it”. And Dennis did earn it: not only did he win against his grandfather, but at 8.11 seconds he went eight tenths under the class index. "The boy has my genes!", said an excited Heini Habermann in the shutdown area, embraced his grandson Dennis, and got back into the yellow Ford T dragster for a last round back to the Hockenheim pits.
And then there was the normal racing, this year in Competition Eliminator. Top Methanol was not running for the 2005 NitrolympX, so the team decided to modify the UniFit Top Methanol dragster for participation in Competition Eliminator . “We cannot put the full power to the track, but we are optimistic to meet the expectations of our fans”, said team owner Werner Habermann. And the fans expect a lot, since the team holds the European AA/D record with this dragster.
Friday started with much room for improvement, which the team managed in the second qualifier, running 7.355 seconds and indicating a positive trend. After analysing the computer data the team further lowered this time to 7.14 seconds on Saturday, which meant a good third place for the coming eliminations. Again, the crew was back to work, studying the numbers and making set-up changes so that everyone was confident of running a good elimination on Sunday.
Unfortunately Sunday was rained out so the quest for the right set-up remained unsolved. But Timo performed a 6.96 demo run in unstable weather conditions - a confirmation of the good work the team did over the weekend, getting closer to their European record of 6.76 seconds.
...and the Super Mods.
24th August: The UK's Super Modified teams had a great time at Hockenheim from start to finish, says Terry Gibbs of Obsession Motorsports. "The hospitality that was extended to us, especially by Andrea, was second to none", says Terry. "The facilities as usual were great. A huge amount of interest was generated in the Super Modified cars, not only from the public but also from other European competitors.
"We would like to express our thanks to Rico and his crew for allowing us to attend this year's Twentieth Anniversary. All of the Super Mods have expressed their desire to return next year. The results were as follows:
Winner: Graham Ellis
Runner-up: Andy Hone
Third: Kev Perkins (in Obsession)
Fourth: Steve Rawlings
"It was a shame about Ian Marshall's incident but it didn't seen to dent his enthusiasm. A big thanks to Mark Pointer, his efforts to race with the Super Mods was not to be despite his gallant efforts, hopefully next year Mark."
Allstar Nationals entry, pit plan.
24th August: We are indebted to APIRA Club and Race Secretary Wendy Talbot for sending us an updated version of the official entry list for this weekend's Custom Car Magazine Allstar Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. Promoter Lee Child has also forwarded us the Pit Plan for this weekend's race.
You can check out the Allstar Nationals entry list by clicking here.
Lee has asked us to inform racers that there will be a car trailer park at SCR this weekend to make more room in the pits. You can view this weekend's pit plan by clicking here.
Allstar Nationals scrutineering.
24th August: Glenn Stockton has been in touch to let us know the planned order of scrutineering at Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend. "We will be visiting each class in their respective running order as usual", says Glenn. "If you are out first please be up and ready from 08:00."
SCR: Exit Top Methanol.
24th August: One significant change in the Allstar Nationals entry list is the withdrawal of both Top Methanol racers, Lindsay Deuchar and Steph Milam. If you were tuned in last week you will have read that Lee Child of promoter LA Performance Services welcomed the return of Top Methanol to Shakespeare County Raceway after the racers raised concerns over track safety at the start of the season, but Lindsay Deuchar says that there must have been a misunderstanding.
"My entry form was accompanied by a letter which clearly stated that my entry was based on the assumption that the track satisfies the UK Top Methanol racers' requests as agreed by Lee Child and Dave Wilson subsequent to the SCR track inspection in April of this year", says Lindsay. "I talked to the APIRA Race Secretary on Wednesday evening and unfortunately I was informed that these concerns have not been addressed. It is therefore with deep regret that I had no option but to withdraw my entry."
Lee Child of LA Performance Services says that this is the end of Top Methanol racing at Shakespeare County Raceway. "At the time I spoke to Eurodragster I personally had no idea that there was even a chance that Lindsay would withdraw so my welcome was genuine", says Lee. "Had I been aware of Lindsay's proviso then I would not have said what I did.
"There is no concern about the track: John Symes of the MSA has been to Shakespeare County Raceway to inspect the track and as everyone will remember it was passed. If individual racers have concerns then they have the choice not to attend.
"This doesn't make the sport look very good. We have tried to conduct this in the correct manner but conducting these affairs on the internet does not make for good publicity. I think I have been patient but enough is enough. Top Methanol will no longer be included in the Ultimate Power Championship and there will be no further discussions about the running of the class at Shakespeare County Raceway. There is nothing more to discuss with this group of racers."
Allstar Nationals Wild Bunch preview.
24th August: Wild Bunch Co-ordinator Claire Meaddows has been in touch to update us on the progress of the Nostalgia racers' tenth anniversary season and to preview this weekend's Custom Car Magazine Allstar Nationals.
There are three series being contested at the Allstar Nationals: the Ultimate Power Series, Wild Bunch Series and Real Steel Series. And we have a field of fourteen cars entered! This event is the final round of the Ultimate Power Series, which sees Sarah Howells in the Destiny’s Angel altered leading, ahead of Tony Smith in The Cunning Plan Minivan altered, and Mike Cresswell in the Living the Dream slingshot in hot pursuit. Still in with a shout of Top Two placings are Helen Smythe in the Hell’s Belle altered, Chris Hartnell in the Backdraft slingshot, and Darren Law in The Wicked Lady rear-engined dragster, who has the same number of points as Chris at 240. But with a possible 780 points up for grabs, there is definitely still all to play for!
This event is round six of seven in the Wild Bunch Series, and things are getting very intense now! Tony Smith has still held onto his commanding lead, despite missing the UK Northern Nationals at York to attend his son’s wedding - many congratulations to David and Nicole from all the Wild Bunch. Tony now leads by six points over ‘Psycho’ Mikey Cresswell, who is looking to improve on last year’s third place in only his first season of racing. Mike is a full seven points ahead of Smokin’ Joe Stevens, but right behind Joe in joint fourth place Crazy Chris Hartnell and the purple ladies Helen Smythe and Sarah Howells, all on twenty two points! And with a point available for each round of competition, and points available for first to fourth places, things could really get shaken up this weekend! With Tony Smith eager to take the coveted WB 1 spot for the second year in a row, the rest of the Bunch will be hot on his heels to get the #1 trophy for the Tenth Anniversary year!
We would like to take this chance to thank our main sponsor Real Steel, who have recently renewed their contingency sponsorship of our class for the second half of this season. Many thanks to them for their support over the last few years, it is much appreciated. The Real Steel Series is also finely poised, and this is round eight of ten. Again, Tony Smith is leading over Mike Cresswell. In third place is Sarah Howells who has a ten-point margin over Chris Hartnell, with several racers champing at the bit to break into the Top Four - in fact I’d be surprised if some drivers hadn’t set off for the track already!
At this event, we welcome Sid Slattery in the Destiny slingshot and Phil Sweeney in the Antisocial slingshot for their first ever MSA competition event, and welcome back Alec Coe for his first MSA event with the Coe and Mortimer Shy Talker blown slingshot. Alec and Crazy Chris in Backdraft are hoping to match up for a couple of side-by-side eight-second qualifiers. We also welcome back Darryl Howells for his first MSA event this season with his newly rebuilt engine in the Chemical Reaction slingshot, he will be looking to set some PBs, maybe even against wife Sarah in Bernie Nicholas’ Destiny’s Angel altered. We also welcome back Roy and Angi Wilding. Roy has managed to install a newly-rebuilt engine in wife Angi’s Chariot of Fire altered after the old engine let go at the Mini Nationals...fair play, Roy!
So this will really be an exciting event for all and we are all looking forward to running some good times and having some good close races. Can’t wait!
24th August: Paul Watson of Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Dynospeed Developments has been in touch with a very simple explanation of Super Street Bike racer Jamie Sneddon's entry in FIM/UEM Top Fuel Bike at the FIA European Finals. "Jamie just wants to go Top Fuel - maybe we will turn it up a bit", says Paul of the seven-second Honda Blackbird. Paul has now also entered his own Pro Stock Bike so it will be a busy weekend for DSD with these and the 9.50 Bikes which Paul supervises.
The Swedish Dragracing League had its final round at the Linde Open with the exception of Junior Dragster which has one round left to contest at Västerås, whilst the Nordic Drag Racing Series has one round left to contest, the NDRS Finals at Alastaro. You can see the SDL and NDRS points standings and the Linde Open results on the Svensk Dragracing web site at www.dragracing.se.
Having returned from Hockenheim, Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall has kindly forwarded us Version 7 of the official FIA European Finals entry list which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting any of the FIA European Finals links.
Lazenby adds local colour.
24th August: UK Street Eliminator Championship leader Colin Lazenby made an appearance much closer than usual to his Stirling base at the weekend when he drove his street-legal eight-second, 180 mph Pinnacle-backed Chevy at Scotland's Crail Raceway. Colin dropped us a line to let us know how he got on.
"After arrival I paced the track (as we do each year)", says Colin. "480 paces, for me, to the finish line and 430 paces to the end of the track...I say 'end' but in truth there are several rows of tyres and twenty feet of grassed area before the barbed wire fence and a fifty foot drop to the coastal static caravan park below.
"We were up early on Sunday. The track crew set up the timing equipment from around 7.15 - impressed, well yes, and truly it was a real shame that there was no gluing or sledding taking place at the same time. The gates opened officially at 9:00 with racing starting around 9:30. We went through our usual pre start-up procedure: warm the oil, prime it, fire it. We brought it up to temperature then stopped it to check the lash - all was good. We spoke to the commentator, asking him not to refer to the as a "drag car" as he always does (So it's not just me who hates that - Ed), we forewarned him of an 11:00 checkout pass, and the first passenger was our Brian.
"Burnout, triple purge, then turn off the juice (we never run with the gas at Crail) a slippery twelve-something and I never shifted third. Our kid crapped his pants. Next run scheduled 13:30, next passenger sister-in-law. Same routine but she wet herself in the burnout, surprisingly she was OK on the run. I pulled third, but only because the shift light came on, and I was braking a hundred feet before the finish line.
"Just before the third run, Willie asked if we would run against the quickest AWD Scooby. I said no, we have nothing to prove. Willie resists, but gives in eventually. Third run 16:00 and a pal of Garry's (Coull, sponsor - Ed) asked that his boy took a ride, I agreed, making sure that dad understood the risks. Again the same routine, pushing a little harder but still on the brakes a hundred feet before the finish line, this netted a reasonable 10.1.
"We packed up knowing that nines are possible, keeping a degree of safety in mind, we'll save this thought for next time. An E-Mail from Willie on Monday confirmed that he was more than happy with the show. We slept soundly in our beds."
Colin has this season been using a promotional banner (right) supplied by Martin Wright Associates and says that Martin will give racers a good deal. "The banners are exceptionally well made and priced around £200 plus VAT", says Colin. "Conveniently packaged in their own carry case they serve as a great display tool. You can even add as much BS as you like, though it's fair to say all of our notes, comments and performance stats were factual! Should anyone be interested in purchasing a banner then please contact Martin Wright at Martin Wright Associates either by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01325 369919. Please mention the recent Chevy banner and you'll get the same great deal."
Koedam Racing Nitrolympx report.
24th August: Marius Van Der Zijden, Crew Chief for 2004 FIM/UEM Top Fuel bike Champion Roel Koedam, has been in touch with his regular post-event report, this time from the weekend's Nitrolympx at Hockenheim:
Track preparation has always been a very difficult subject in the past on the otherwise superb facility. This is partly caused by the nature of the track and because of the late clearing of the track for its typical drag race preparations. For this year there was a different approach. Firstly the weekend before they were allowed to organise a street car drag race, hoping that at least would lay some rubber. Secondly the track became available for preparations a few days sooner and they hired two guys from the NHRA for their expertise.
We welcomed Dakota Leathers on board as our special personal sponsor for this event.
Friday was the first day of qualifying and it was a warm and sunny day. Everybody was very curious about this year’s track conditions. Giving the track preparations it looked hopeful. But then again at the end of the day the time slips would tell. For our first attempt we gambled on rather good conditions and selected a matching tune-up. With a sixty foot time of 1.13 it left the line decently (or actually given the circumstances quite well) but somewhere around three hundred feet it instantly smoked the rear tire real bad. Roel feathered the throttle but it went up in smoke again and he decided to abort the run. A 7.22/275 kmh was our first result. We obviously overpowered the track. The other thing that we learned is that the clutch worked again (see our previous Team Report). The grip at the start line was reasonable good, but further down the track there was still some work to be done. For our second attempt of that day we took some clutch out at the point where it went up in smoke. The sixty foot time was exactly the same and it didn’t smoke the tyre resulting in a 6.58/331. For the spectators it looked a good and clean run. The insider however, could notice that the bike was a little loose all the way and Roel had to work real hard. Nevertheless we were top qualifier of day one.
The ETs we ran indicated that the track conditions were not bad at all. Though not super conditions yet, it was much better then ever before and it would certainly improve during the event. This year’s track preparations seemed to pay off. Early Friday night the sky got real dark and a gusty wind pulled over the Hockenheim area. The rain showers which followed us all year long found their way to Hockenheim as well and again it started pouring down. Luckily it became dry during the night but the temperatures dropped down a few degrees. Saturday therefore started as a grey and cloudy day. To our surprise it got better and better as the day went along. At the time of our next qualifying pass the weather conditions were good. Once again we ran against Ian King. The run was a spectacular side by side pass, running 6.48/348 for us and 6.52/335 for Ian. We both improved our previous ETs and remained first and second qualifiers. Looking at our data recorder we learned that we had underestimated the track conditions. Obviously the track hadn’t suffered too much from the rain.
For our last attempt we decided to add a “little bit of everything” i.e. a little more clutch, a little more fuel and a little more nitro. All this hoping that the weather wouldn’t make a turn on us. That didn’t happen and in fact it turned into a nice day. Once again we made a spectacular side by side run together with Ian King. Our changes brought us a little improvement as we managed to stop the clocks at 6.40/361. Our opponent however pulled a magnificent 6.31/347 out of his hat. This made him top qualifier and put us on the #2 spot. Our top end speed of 361 kmh improved our previous track record of 358. The run data showed that our clutch was going back and that the track had improved again. In our opinion there was lots of room for improvement especially in the clutch. We had planned to take the clutch out anyway.
Sunday morning started as a cool, grey, cloudy day and yes you got it right, it started raining. Later that day the skies cleared a little bit but the damage was already done. The hard-working track crew started to work on the track, but they weren’t able to dry the full length of the braking area (a second track dryer would certainly have helped, but was not available). As it was not safe for the bikes, the organiser was left with no other choice than to cancel the eliminations.
As the cars (equipped with parachutes) can reduce their speed drastically without stepping on the brakes it was decided to give the spectators at least some demo runs. Ironically in the show that followed some of the fuel cars ran new track records. On top of that the weather improved during the rest of the afternoon, but it was already too late. It was a shame that now that there was finally good traction, it was the weather which spoilt the fun. For the third event in a row we were beaten by the rain!
Our chances for a fifth European Championship are just theoretical and I’m afraid we have to wait for next year to try it again. As long as I can remember the Championship points have never been so low because of the limited number of eliminations rounds. Our last race last over here in Europe will be at England’s Santa Pod Raceway on 8th-11th September. The plan is to charge hard at this last event, for once hoping that England’s reputation as a country where it rains quite a lot doesn’t come true this time. The coming weeks will be very busy again, as straight after Santa Pod the bike and equipment will be shipped from England to Bahrain.
Nitrolympx FIM/UEM review.
24th August: FIM/UEM European Championship Co-ordinator Lars Andersson has been in touch with the latest of his regular event reviews, this time from the weeknd's Nitrolympx at Hockenheim:
The event was the same as the two last events this year. One stupid word, rain. At 15.00 on Sunday the race was officially cancelled due to the fact that the braking area was not dry and we were all sure that it would not dry fast enough. But at 16:00 the track was perfect and even the braking area was dry enough to race. Due to the fact that we had cancelled it one hour earlier, it was impossible to race then, but with a little luck we could have raced one round. The decision taken at 15:00 was the right one, no-one at all to blame.
First of all the preparation of the track was good this time and on Saturday several racers told me that they had underestimated the track. If it was due to the help of the two Americans from NHRA or if it was due to hard work from the track crew is up to others to say. This time there was also better organisation at the track. Most things worked well. Maybe there was still a little bit too long between each pair during qualifiying and I am sure that the street cars and bikes could be run more effectively. But the qualifying on Friday and Saturday was good. Ian King and Roel Koedam were the fastest in Top Fuel Bike and made all their runs side by side. The last one was very good, Ian on a 6.3 run and Roel on a 6.4 run. Peter Bosset from Switzerland also made some good passes with a 6.8 the fastest. Joey Bon had some problems and Eric Teboul did not have any success at all. His Rocket Bike works much better than his Fuel Bike.
In Pro Stock Bike we had the best qualifying on a long time. Roger Pettersson ended up the fastest but for a time was it Anders Larsson. Stavros Syrachnos did what nobody could think of and did qualified #3. We did have one more Greek on the list and one more in qualifying. Why have they not turned up in more races this year - we do have a problem with the long distance from Greece to northen Europe but I do hope that they will come to more races in the future. Anders Abrahamsson and Martin Bishop were numbers four and five. They was both waiting for the race because the fight is still on for the Championship even if Roger Pettersson is leading at the moment, and second spot is totally open between them. Len Paget and Örjan Gustavsson ended up the list just ahead of Chris Hope that who not qualify this time.
Ton was the number one qualifier in Supertwin, just ahead of Ronny Aasen and new for this year Lorenz Stauble and Hans Olav Olstad who were all down in the sixes. Joacim Reimer was just outside the sixes this time and Gunther Sohn is coming along. Ending up the qualifying were Thomas Sulek and Herman Jolink on his Ducati.
This is almost the story from Hockenheim. The facilities are the best of all of the tracks. The public is the biggest and makes the most noise. The track was good this time. Hopefully will it also be a Championship race next year, we need a track in the central Europe just to make it easier for riders from southern Europe to race in the Championship. This is very good.
One more thing: the Night Show was a big success. A lot of people were screaming and shouting for everything which was moving on the track. This is how to make the crowd happy. The Finals at Santa Pod the second week in September will be very interesting. Hopefully will we have a lot of racers at that event.
You can see the latest FIM/UEM European Championship standings (Excel format) by clicking here or by clicking on the Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page, or on the King Racing web site at www.kingracing.com.
Champions' champions update.
24th August: Our good buddy and honorary Eurodragster.com staff member Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe has brought his FIM/UEM Champions' Champions table up to date following the weekend's Nitrolympx at Hockenheim.
Andy tells us that Fim/UEM notables at the Nitrolympx were:
* Roger Pettersson passed 2500 points
* Roel Koedam passed 2000 points
* Ian King took fifth spot from Steve Woollatt in the all time Top Fuel Bike standings
Possibilities at the next FIM/UEM round, the FIA European Finals, are:
* Svein Gottenberg needs twenty six points to reach 1000
* Ton Pels needs five more points than Roel Koedam to take #2 spot in the all time FIM/UEM standings
* Ton Pels needs one point to reach 2000 in all FIM/UEM competition, or forty eight points to reach 2000 in Supertwin
* Steve Woollatt needs twenty six more points than Ian King to regain fifth spot in the all time Top Fuel Bike standings
You can see the detailed European Champions' Champions tables by clicking here or by clicking on the Champions' Champions link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Allstar Nationals running orders.
23rd August: We are indebted to Ozzy Ewing for forwarding us the provisional running orders for this weekend's Custom Car Magazine Allstar Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway:
Click here for Saturday's running order
Click here for Sunday's and Monday's running orders
Racers in all classes please note the Riders and Drivers Meetings detailed on the running order. As ever running orders are subject to alteration due to weather or track conditions or any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.
An Allstar cast.
23rd August: With a great team and great sponsors behind us for the coming event at Shakespeare County Raceway, the Wright Racing Top Fuel team really do have an ‘all star’ cast for the Allstar Nationals, says the latest press release from the UK's Wright Racing Top Fuel Dragster team. Since June’s headline-grabbing, flame-shooting run, the super team of Tony Pearson, Sean Milsom, Simon Prest, Simon Dei Rossi, Clive McGibbon, Stuart Delf, Lee Giles and Tom Digby have been very hard at work repairing the damage and upgrading other equipment in order to take the win.
With Norway’s Thomas Nataas in as the surprise replacement for Andy Carter, driver Darryl Bradford is as eager as ever to get back behind the wheel, and with the scheduled best of three match race hopes to spoil the Batmobil's weekend at SCR. “John and Lesley, together with our co-operative sponsors John Woolfe Racing and LA Racing Parts have spent a lot of money this year and we’re going to go all out to win it!", says Darryl. "It’s very difficult to tune a 7000 bhp Top Fuel car these days and we’ve had to catch up on bigger fuel pumps and a digital retard ignition controller but we think we are there now. At least Lesley is praying that we are! With the great track prep and perfect racing surface we really want to do it! I feel for Andy not being able to run at the weekend, but whoever is in the other lane definitely won’t have an easy time!
“In addition to the names mentioned above we’d like to give an extra special thanks to Kathy Taylor for all her help and support, not to mention forthcoming crew duties over the weekend, Sally, Derek, Teresa and Hannah and a special thanks to Lee Giles. Lee is a professional race crew mechanic and came to us in 2003, after having worked with a National Hot Rod team and also a Formula Renault team. As we didn’t race last year he then went to Palmer Audi and did a full season tour. Earlier this year he was full time crew on a GP2 car and he’s soon going to be off working for an A1 GP team! Thankfully during his down time he’s more than happy to put the hours in on the Top Fuel car!
"Our ‘Allstar’ sponsors to whom we are indebted to are Royal Purple Motor Oil, Flint Insurance and Mass Racing Engines. With the great entertainment lined up by both Lee Child and Custom Car’s Kev Elliott, it’s sure to be a hot summer bank holiday weekend!"
Carter explains absence.
23rd August: 2004 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter has been in touch to explain his withdrawal from the weekend's match race at Shakespeare County Raceway.
"Firstly, I must say sorry to Lee Child and everyone who was hoping to see the B & Q/Carter Motorsport Top Fuel Dragster this weekend. After attending another match race last weekend in Germany where we ran a strong and early shut off 4.97, I must take a step back and get 100% focused on why I’m doing all this.
"For me racing is all about points and winning the FIA European Top Fuel Championship for a third time. We are lying fourth at present and if I can qualify well and win at the Finals then make no mistake that will happen. To take on the likes of Tommy, Micke, Lex and Thomas we need to have three motors and a host of other pieces sitting ready and waiting. Hopefully we will use only one engine, but the equipment needed to go rounds must be ready. That is going to take this weekend and most of next weekend to prepare. I must prioritise what is most important to my team and sponsors at this stage of the season and after discussions with B&Q representatives and my Crew Chief Ben Allum we feel the decision to spend the next two weekends preparing is the right one for all parties involved.
"I not quite sure how yesterday's statement on Eurodragster.com came about as the Rune Field stable has six engines between Thomas and myself, and I have two complete motors and one short motor in my spare/show car. Of course we have a spare engine but have chosen not to fit it.
"Thomas Nataas will be taking my place in the match race, he has a bang up to date car which off the top of my head has run as quick as 4.87 and at least 303 mph. So if they can get it hooked up spectators could see some good numbers, although of course I’m hoping my track record will stay!
"I hope that everyone has a great weekend and I'll see you at the Finals."
23rd August: Whilst we were away at Santa Pod at the weekend, our good friend Oliver Kläffling kindly sent us pit notes from Germany's Habermann Racing Team who were putting on a great showing at the Nitrolympx. We were unable to post the notes at the time but you can read Friday's pit note (PDF format) by clicking here and Saturday's pit note by clicking here.
Swedish Comp Eliminator racer Torben Stenström says that he will not be attending this year's FIA European Finals because of low numbers in the class, and thus won't have a shot at repeating his victory last season. "There are no cars and it's a lot of money so I won't be coming", says Torben. "I'll see you next year".
23rd August: For those who couldn’t attend the previous races, there is one last opportunity to enjoy the 2005 French Association Trophée Dragster Trophy, says Frédéric Pueyo.
"On 10th-11th September we will run the ATD Trophy Finals at the Vichy Charmeil airport, together with the official French FFM Motorcycle Dragsters Championship Finals", says Frédéric. "We welcome European teams as well as individual racers, and of course every enthusiast for the meeting at a very low admission rate!
"This race is a quarter mile, with a professional timing and tickets system, but you will also enjoy a huge American car meeting, with muscle cars, classic cars, and American trucks; Harleys and custom bikes-friendly meeting; a thrilling stunt bike show; an exciting jet car demonstration; live music; and on-site food and camping facilities.
"There will be three public classes, Street Run A, B and C with indexes of 12.00, 13.00 and 14.00 seconds ,and Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street. You will get an average of eight to ten qualifying runs before the race itself. And, of course, we pay a bonus to the top three in every class!
"You will find more details and entry forms in the ATD section on our partner’s web site at www.francedrag.com. For those who need assistance, please send an E-Mail in French, English or Spanish to email@example.com.
"The French Association Trophée Dragster a racer-operated association, dedicated to drag racing: our goal is to promote drag racing, and we are all racers. Remember, we are racers working for racers, and our priority is yours: drag racing!"
Web site updates.
23rd August: Thanks to our good buddy Patrik Jacobsson for letting us know that the Racebilder web site at www.racebilder.nu has been updated with Jonas Torstensson´s pictures of Saturday's drag race at Arvika in Sweden.
The official web site of the UK's Bennett Racing blown-alcohol altered team has been given a make-over which Luke Bennett tells us will make it more user-friendly. Check it out at www.bennettracing.moonfruit.com.
22nd August: We were very shocked and sad to hear from Joan Larsen of the death of Torsten Dahl in a traffic accident. Torsten was Crew Chief on Dan Larsen's Top Methanol Funny Car between 1997 and 2004 and was previously Crew Chief for Bjorn Ardin, and was widely known and respected for his tuning skills.
"During his years with us Torsten became our very good Swedish friend", says Joan. "He always helped us out and did not hesitate to come to Koege to give a hand for a couple of hours, when needed, before he went home again. Torsten had a very clever mind, he invented and worked out the fuel system which is on our car now."
Torsten was planning to attend the FIA European Finals next month as a spectator to cheer Dan on, and Dan and Joan have already vowed to make Torsten proud at that race.
You can read more of Dan and Joan Larsen's tribute at www.funnycar.dk.
We are sure that everyone will join Tog and Sharkman in sending Torsten's family and friends their very deepest sympathies. Torsten will be much missed and will be in our thoughts at the Finals and forever afterwards.
Send for the Batmobil!
22nd August: Just as we went to post this update, we heard from Lee Child of LA Performance Services of a change to this weekend's Top Fuel Dragster match race at the Custom Car Magazine Allstar Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway.
"Andy Carter is now not able to race because he damaged an engine at Hockenheim and won't have a spare for this weekend", Lee told Eurodragster.com. "Thomas Nataas in the Batmobil is taking Andy's place in the match race against Darryl Bradford, and the B & Q dragster will still be on display at the track."
As we say, this was a last-minute update - stay tuned for more details.
Ultimate Power outcomes.
22nd August: This weekend's Custom Car Magazine Allstar Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway is the final round of the 2005 Ultimate Power Drag Racing Championship. Championship Co-ordinator and honorary Eurodragster.com staff member Simon Groves has been in touch to give us a run-down of the Championship outcomes:
The best news is that car and bike counts are up in nearly all classes. One exception to this is Super Modified where the class' debut at the NitrolympXX has reduced the entry level somewhat. Congratulations go to Kev Perkins (Oldsmobile Cutlass) who is provisional Champion. In Super Pro ET, however, a large fourteen-car field means that leader Barry Giles could potentially get caught by any of Ian Tubb, Martyn Jones, Rick Cooke, John Everitt or Derek Flynn, all of whom are 240 points or less behind Barry.
Super Comp looks like a two-way battle between leader Paul Knight and Chris Johnson who lies only 120 points further back. In Super Gas, Frank Mason has a healthy lead over Ron Bartlett; Malcolm Francis, Conrad Stanley and Spencer Tramm are still in with a mathematical chance, should Frank encounter problems. John Grant has a 240 point lead over Dave Cherrett in Super Street, these two having a large points advantage over third placed Bob Lees.
The Pro ET entry is twenty three, meaning that up to 960 points are up for grabs. Ron Bartlett (Anglia 105E) has a 150 point advantage over John Atkinson (Ford Cortina Mk 1 Estate) who will need to qualify better and go two more rounds than Ron to get the championship. Team Top Banana ('32 Ford Model B Roadster) and Joe Stevens ('23 Model T Altered) will be there to pick up the pieces.
In Sportsman ET, Ian Petrie (Vauxhall Cresta PB) has a substantial advantage over Cath Bishop, with Paul Bishop and Nick Gay also in with a shout in the sixteen-car field.
Congratulations to Glynn Morgan who is provisional VW Pro champion as a number of contenders will not be appearing to challenge his substantial lead. VW Sportsman is a diferent story with twice as many cars as previous rounds held here this year. Paul Herbert is closely followed by Chris Bray and Holly Baldwin, who is in her rookie year at the tender age of sixteen. VW Alternate Engine is again dominated by Spencer Tramm, with Matt Attwood the sole potential challenger.
There are nineteen Junior Dragsters entered and with five rounds of racing the championship is wide open. Daniel Giles, Jay Hauser, Matthew Seamarks and Nick Mugridge are leading the way, but there may be some upsets!
In Street Eliminator, congratulations to Colin Lazenby who has focused on the UK Championship and had a very strong year. The Wild Bunch Championship is led by Sarah Howells but Tony Smith, last year's Champion, and Mike Creswell could catch her. In Outlaw Anglia, Paul Hensher leads Mark "Hooligan" Pointer by 250 points, a ten-car entry meaning that Mark can challenge for top honours if Paul goes out early (anyone for tactical qualifying Mark?).
In the bike classes, Steve Woollatt is the form rider in Top Fuel Bike but Steve Carey is improving in performance at every meeting. Funny Bike has been dominated by Chris Hall with Stuart Chamberlain and Paul Knapp only having a theoretical chance of catching him. Pro Stock Bike is closer than one might expect but Len Paget needs to do a lot to catch the quickest man in Europe in the class, Dave Beck. In Comp Bike, Gary Jones has a 230 point lead over Phil Leamon.
Super Street Bike sees the first seven second runner Steve Venables ahead of Mark Fisher and Jamie Sneddon. An eleven-bike field will ensure tight competition between these three for the championship. In 9.50 Bike, Richard Hann has a 180 point lead over Richard Sawatzki with Steve Coombs a further 80 points behind. With twelve bikes entered the lead could change to either of these. In Junior Drag Bike, Jake Carruthers has a 55 point lead over fellow second generation rider Andrew Irvine with Harry Stedman a further 85 points back.
Congratulations to Chris Stebbings for winning the Supertwin Fuel Championship. In Supertwin Gas, four-stroke rider Andy Smith on a Suzuki TL1000 will be challenged by two-stroke man John Floyd, who remarkably won the Shakespeare Nationals on his Yamaha RD350 500cc machine. Tony Legg has been dominant in Supertwin Modified as has Dave Jones in Supertwin Street.
You can view the Ultimate Power Championship standings going in to this weekend by clicking here or by clicking on the Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Nitrolympx fights the rain.
22nd August: The weekend's Nitrolympx at Hockenheim were affected by rain, with the FIM/UEM eliminations cancelled and only the demo classes able to run yesterday (Sunday). You can check out the weekend's qualifying and results on the Nitrolympics web site at www.nitrolympics.de.
Andrea Wucher of Swirzerland's Fat Attack Racing tells us that Urs Erbacher (Top Methanol FC) and Lorenz Stäuble (Supertwin) both had an enjoyable time at Hockenheim. "Lo ran a new personal best of 6.79, qualifying third right behind Ton Pels and Ronny Aasen", says Andrew. "Lo clicked off about one second before the finish line. The first round would have been against Günther Sohn - a very interesting pairing...
"After two Cannonball rounds Urs was leading with a 6.05 and a 6.01. Arvid Grødem had a 6.04 but couldn't make the second round. After the FIM classes were cancelled due to the rain the organisers decided to have one show run with all the Pro classes in the Cannonball. The plan was for a burnout and a strong launch as they couldn't dry the run-off area all the way down. But that was only the plan! A great show from Urs waiving to the crowd through the top hatch, after a great side by side burnout with Arvid. The Funny Car hooked up at the start line, so why get off the throttle if things were going well. Urs had to pedal a few times but ran under full power up to the finish line. The crowd loved it! For all of the Funny Car timings have a look at our web site."
Top Fuel Dragster Cannonball runner-up Lex Joon says that on the weekend's showing he would like to see the Nitrolympx readmitted to the FIA European Championship schedule. Lex was runner-up to Brady Kalidova whose 4.87 just pipped his 4.88 but Championship leader Lex says that he is in very confident mood going into the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway in a couple of weeks' time.
"We need Hockenheim back in the FIA Championship", says Lex. "The track was very good, in fact I think most racers underestimated it! The team did a good job on the track and running as much as they could and Rico (Anthes, promoter - Ed) treated everyone very well.
"We've run a 4.7 and 4.9s in the dragster and people said we'd skipped the 4.8s, so we ran the 4.8 at Hockenheim!", adds Lex. "There was an oildown so we ran single-lane, and Rico told us that the end of the shutdown area was still damp so we should put on a good show but he was not expecting us to make a full pass. Brady went first and ran 4.87 and so we knew that the track was good. I clicked off at 1000 feet and ran a 4.8 and I heard that Rico was dancing up and down on the start line!"
Lex says that he and the MPM Oil team had made no changes to the car since Gardermoen. "We didn't change a thing, we didn't hurt one part where it seems a lot of other racers did, and now we can go to the European Finals and go for a 4.7 in qualifying!", he says.
The excellent European Supertwin web site at www.super-twin.com has been updated with qualifying standings and provisional points.
Finally Eurodragster.com would like to thank Nitrolympx promoter Rico Anthes and PR Christine Calwer for inviting us to the event. We were unable to attend due to Tog's previous commitment (see below) but we were very grateful for the invitation and there is always 2006...
Junerud on Supertwin proposals.
22nd August: Swedish Supertwin racer Stefan Junerud has been in touch with comments on proposed class rule changes which were discussed at Gardermoen.
"In the late 1990s the blower bikes made their big breakthrough and it showed that a number of teams had learned how to treat some of the engine problems the blower itself creates", says Stefan. "Gerard Willemsee had already showed us that it is possible to run fast even with a small blower engine. It is now three years since the blower Twins were regulated to have a maximum displacement of 2000 cc, just to keep the blower bikes' power advantage down and to keep the rules simple.
"Today there is no domination by the blower twins, either in the points tables or during race events. Qualifying shows that there usually is a fair mix of un-blown bikes and blowerbikes. The "end of year" results also show that there is an even mix of both kinds. The largest reason is mostly because the un-blown bikes have radically raised their performance and durability during the last five years. The race results, good or bad, which both type of bikes bring out, is the result of what the teams do themselfves with the aid of their knowledge and the resources that they have. There are actually no smart short cuts in either type of bike to reach success. You have to work hard!
"The existing rules that we have today are not fully being used by the un-blown bikes today, i.e. the 3000 cc limit. The choice of ignition and data recorders is also free to everybody. Everyone has the freedom to develop his own ideas and thoughts regarding the management of the bikes as long as it is within the rules. The choise between an un-blown or blown Twin is free. It is a choice which is ofen made because of burning interest, motivation and resource, but can also be because of inspiration from other sources. The complexity of a blower bike usually demands a tremendous effort plus a much bigger risk of engine breakdowns.
"The summary of the above, and bearing in mind that the world's fastest Supertwin is actually an un-blown bike, shows that it is not necessary to apply any further restrictions to blower bikes, which will only lead to the loss of numerous blower bikes. I hope to see the big injected Twins against the blower Twins in the future."
22nd August: Christer Håård says that entry is now open for the Winternationals which takes place at Meca Raceway on 16th-18th September. "There is a 200-team limit", says Christer. "The last day for registration is midnight on 12th September and cancellations will be accepted until midnight on 13th September. We are setting a maximum entry because there is a very large interest for this event and we simply don’t have the pit space available for more teams! Meca Raceway is expanding and next year we will have 29880 square metres of pit area! The extra space will act as parking space during smaller events". You can find the entry form at www.srif.se/Anmalan%20formular%201.htm.
Also upgrading again is Santa Pod Raceway where preparations are underway to lay more tarmac in the pits. We understand that the 9.50 Bike and Junior Dragster areas will be hard standing in time for the FIA European Finals.
UK Super Pro ET racer Paula Atkin and husband and Crew Chief Stan returned to the track at yesterday's Run What You Brung at Santa Pod Raceway, preparing for her competitive return at the FIA European Finals. Paula made a couple of gentle passes to get used to the car again, the Ford looking very smart in its Mark Gredzinski paintjob.
Shakespeare County Raceway Press Officer Jerry Cookson would like to get in touch with Liam Maltby, who owns one of the original Dealer Team Vauxhall Chevette-bodied Comp Altereds. If you are tuned in, Liam, or if you know Liam, then please contact Jerry by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to Tammy Dry of Liverpool who won Santa Pod Raceway's contest to win a copy of the print Sign Of The Times. Dave Jones of Santa Pod Raceway thanks everyone who entered and adds that the print is still available either in the Pod Shop at the track, or via Santa Pod's web site at www.santapod.com. "Don't delay, as the limited editoin prints are going fast", says DJ.
22nd August: UK Super Gas racer Nev Mottershead kept a promise on Saturday when Eurodragster.com News Editor Tog drove his newly Valvoline-sponsored Toyota Supra (right) into the nines at the Webster Race Engineering Test Day at Santa Pod Raceway. Longtime readers will know that Tog has driven Nev's car before, at last year's Halloween Showdown at Shakespeare County Raceway, but that the damp conditions were not ideal for single-digit ETs. There were no such problems on Saturday as Nev and Crew Chief Andy Williamson tuned Tog to successive Personal Bests of 10.249/129.41 and 10.009/130.77, and then the promised nine-second pass at 9.897/131.15.
"After the Halloween Showdown Nev said that he thought we had unfinished business since he wanted me to run a Nine in his car first", says Tog. "He said that when the opportunity arose we should re-convene so that I could run the nine, and he invited me to join him at Saturday's WRE Test Day. Nev went first with a 10.0 and a 9.9 and then it was my turn. Nev took a long time and a lot of care to take me through the operation of the car and by the time he had finished I was happy that I knew what I was doing and what to expect. He even cannibalised an innocent rubber mat to pad out the brake pedal when I said I was a little worried about the amount of leverage I could apply, and it was the little touches like that which made me feel so comfortable in the car. And of course the cushions made a return!
"I wasn't just someone who had been asked to drive the car for fun that day, I was a team member. I was asked for feedback after each drive which went into the tuning calls for the next run, and I had feedback on my own performance, Nev being much more patient and understanding with me than some would have been!
"Nev and Andy gave me a car which gave me a good kick off the start line and ran strongly and smoothly all the way, and just as importantly wanted to go in a straight line under braking. By the third run I was very comfortable indeed and was happy to go as quick as Nev thought I could handle. I knew the third run was good when I let go the transbrake and the landscape jumped up and rushed at me but obviously I didn't know the ET. When I got back to the collection area Nev said "I'm sorry I couldn't get you the 9.9 I promised...but it was a 9.89!". I was, and am, stunned and delighted and all the credit goes to Nev and Andy.
"In the early 1980s Tony Thacker, in what I still think is the best article ever written about driving a race car, said that every second you go under ten seconds feels twice as fast and I can tell you that he was right. I ran 10.342 only three months ago and that extra 0.445 seconds completely changed the complexion of the run.
"Huge thanks go to Nev for the offer for which most fans would give their right arms, to Nev and Andy for giving me such a strong and safe ride, and to their wives Libby and Sharon for the hugs, encouragement, tea, and amazing curry! Thanks also to Fay Fischer for the continued loan of her firesuit and safety equipment, to Jon, Jeanette and Shelby Webster for their support and encouragement, and to Pete, Kim, Leah and Joe Kellett for their encouragement.
"A special thanks also to my Eurodragster.com partner Sharkman for being there for me as well as for the photographs, and to all the race officials at Santa Pod for cheering me on.
"To paraphrase Tony Thacker's parting shot in his article, I'm not sure about a Funny Car but has anyone got a Top Fueller they need driving?"
20th August: Germany's Hockenheimring is this weekend hosting the twentieth running of the Nitrolympx, one of Europe's biggest drag races, which features the fifth round of the FIM/UEM European Drag Bike Championships as well as Top Fuel, Fuel/Top Methanol Funny Car Cannonball, Pro Mod, Super Modified and Super Street Bike Shootouts, and racing in Comp Eliminator, Super Comp, Super Gas, Junior Dragster and Public classes.
Qualifying continues today, and end-day results are being posted on the Nitrolympics web site at the end of each day www.nitrolympics.de.
The Top Methanol Blog is being updated live from Hockenheim on the Habermann Racing web site at www.werner-habermann-racing.de. By all accounts Timo Habermann's burnout and launch in one of Rico Anthes' Top Fuellers was a revelation both for Timo and for watching Fuel racers, well done Timo!
Allstar classics and legends.
19th August: Lee Child of LA Performance Services has announced that UK Pro Mod racers Gordon Appleton and Danny Cockerill will be match racing their blown-alcohol Pro Mods at next weekend's Custom Car Magazine Allstar Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. The six-second doorslammers will be racing twice on Sunday (28th) and twice on the Monday.
"It's great to have the true hot rods of drag racing at the Allstar Nationals", says Lee. "The sixties Camaro and fifties Chevy make the perfect match race for the theme of the event."
Lee has also confirmed that one of Pip Higham's Village Bike Shop drag bikes will be appearing in the display of historic race vehicles, with more vehicles yet to be confirmed: stay tuned for the definitive list.
If you were tuned in on Wednesday you will remember that we promised to bring you more news on the special guest flagman for the eighth-mile drags which will be taking place on another of the facility's runways on Saturday afternoon. Today we are able to reveal that Custom Car magazine Editor Kev Elliott has arranged for Santa Pod Raceway's legendary former Chief Starter Stu Bradbury to brandish the flag on the cross runway.
For more details about the Custom Car Magazine Allstar Nationals including ticket prices, check out Wednesday's news item.
When you said drag racing...
19th August: Sweden's Anders Envall tells us that he is aiming to break a world record at Mantorp Park this weekend. Anders is already on the list as having one of the world's quickest and fastest SS Impalas but tomorrow he is out to reset his own world ET record of 16.59 towing a caravan.
"Leisure company Solifer hold Super Weekends for their customers, dealers and suppliers", says Anders. "This year the theme is Racing and they have hired Mantorp Park for many activities: visitors can drive around the circuit, try out the drag strip, and more. One of the highlights of the weekend will be my record attempt.
"Jan Phersson from Umeå, who you will know from his Viper race cars, works for the agency who market Solifer. Jan called me over the winter and asked if I would ike to try a record run again after twenty years, and since I already had it in mind I said yes!"
If you were tuned in a few days ago you will have read that Anders suffered an engine bay fire just as he completed the rebuild of his Impala, but although the damage has been repaired Anders has had little chance to give the car a run out. "I haven't tried the SS out at on drag strip yet", he says. "I have today to test at Mantorp and if I'm lucky I can begin running the caravan which is a T1, their latest and coolest model, which weighs 1100 kg.
"Tomorrow the timing system will be up and running, there will be TV crews and magazines there, a couple of thousand spectators in the grandstands and yours truly. Gulp!"
We're sure that everyone will join us in wishing Anders all the best for tomorrow's record attempt. Anders has promised to let us know how he gets on.
Tested Turner set for SCR.
19th August: UK Super Pro ET racer Nigel Turner has suffered some engine woes since his competitive début in the dragster at the start of this year, but Crew Chief David Taylor tells us that things are starting to come together with a successful test last weekend.
"We have had to rebuild the entire bottom end with new crank, rods, sump and pump", says David. "We also had a few pounds taken off the block by Connaught Race Engines who also balanced the engine for us. We have made changes to the transmission but we are keeping those firmly under our hats!
"We tested the car for the first time at Santa Pod last weekend with excellent results. The first run was just a roll through in second gear to make sure that all was OK with car and with Nigel. For the second run we decided to go for a burnout and run to half track. After a short burnout the run went well with a 1.189 sixty foot time. On the third and fourth runs we tried for full passes but as the car shifted the tyres lit up on the unprepared track.
"Senior mechanic Philip Turner and I are very happy with the performance at this stage, and we are looking forward to racing at Shakespeare County Raceway next week where Nigel hopes to better his previous best of 8.56."
Web site updates.
19th August: The official web site of the UK's Street Eliminator class has been updated with a preview of next week's Custom Car Magazine Allstar Nationals. Check it out at www.streeteliminatoruk.com.
Björklund tames the Bomber.
18th August: Regular readers will know that Finland's Mad Bomber Racing sold their Meyer-built Top Methanol Dragster and trailer to fellow Finn Mats Björklund's MB Motorsports at the end of 2004. Included in the deal was technical support for the new owner for the 2005 season and previous owner and Crew Chief Simo Patoharju, who has tuned a number of Top Methanol racers to Championships and records, has been in touch to let us know how Mats and the team's first season has shaped up so far.
"The plan was to take it easy in the first season", says Simo. "The goal was set at making the licencing runs and running at least three races, and hoping to get Mats into the 5.9s without any major breakage.
"The licensing weekend in Alastaro went well. Mats got his licence running a Personal Best of 6.14/374 kmh. Both the new MB Motorsports team and the advisers from Mad Bomber Racing were quite satisfied with the weekend, altough the first few days at the track were quite hectic because of limited number of team personnel available. So far so good, no mechanical damage and Mats was now a licenced driver.
"Mats' first race for Mats was the Finnish FIA meeting, held at Alastaro at the beginning of June. The first couple of runs were tried with similar settings on the dragster as in the final licencing runs. The outcome was quite poor, 6.26 and 6.34 passes. Something was obviously not right, and since Jari Halinen had made a 6.10 test run at the previous meeting at Alastaro we started to wonder if Mats was comfortable in the cockpit.
"Looking at the mediocre sixty foot times and the slow rise in boost on launch we came to the conclusion that Mats wasn't pushing the gas pedal down completely on the launch. After a check-up we noticed that he couldn't reach far enough to completely depress the pedal. The fuel system management is activated by a pneumatic switch located under the gas pedal. Obviously, the system was activated too late on the previous runs, slowing the car down considerably. Mats had been trial fitted into the dragster earlier in the year and he had been comfortable with all the pedals and levers at that time, despite being a bit shorter than Jari. Well, in full race trim with safety belts tightened up was obviously a bit different.
"After we moved the gas pedal two inches back, Mats recorded his new PB, a smooth 6.04/380 qualifying him fifth. In the first round of eliminations he faced Rob Turner but unfortunately an oil hose broke early on the run and Mats had to shut off.
"Next on the calendar was the FIA race at Mantorp Park. The first qualifying run was wasted when a battery connector vibrated loose shutting the engine off after burnout. On the next run everything went well and Mats made his first five-second run, a 5.94/392, qualifying him fifth again. On Sunday Mats got to run against Krister Johansson. Mats had some problems holding the dragster in stage, and he almost rolled thru the beams. This distracted him so much that his reaction time was quite poor and the shifts didn't take place as planned, slowing the car to a 6.26 despite a more aggressive set-up. Despite the loss we were still satisfied with the weekend, no major breakage and Mats was getting more and more comfortable behind the wheel.
"Onto Gardermoen and the first and only qualifier went fairly well, 5.8/397. The speed was there but the ET was a bit of a disappointment, and unfortunately the rest of the weekend was rained off so we didn't get a chance to give Mats another try.
"Overall the whole season has gone on a positive note. Performance-wise we are pretty much where we planned to be, and Mats is constantly improving on the driving constantly. We look forward to the season-ending Alastaro race at the beginning of September, where we are hoping to improve Mats' PB a little.
"I want to thank all the Mad Bomber Racing team members who have helped us get Mats and his team in the right direction. A special thanks goes to Henkka Turunen, Riku Nieminen and Jarmo Roivas for their efforts in the engine department, after Mats' engine guys couldn't make it to the last two races. A big thanks goes also to Mats and his team for being such good pupils, and getting everything organised."
You can find out more about MB Motorsports on the team's very well-presented official web web site at www.mbmotorsports.fi.
Habermanns ready for Hockenheim.
18th August: Oliver Kläffling, PR for Germany's Werner Habermann Racing, has been in touch with an update in advance of this weekend's Nitrolympx at Hockenheim.
"Dennis Habermann, who was sixteen this month, will perform show runs at the Nitrolympx in his Super Comp Dragster", says Oliver. "In 2006 Dennis will officially compete in Super Comp.
"The team can confirm that a Top Fuel test with Timo Habermann is planned tomorrow (Friday), but that heavily depends how much on schedule the event is. Of course Timo is looking forward to the experience and we will keep you updated on what is happening.
"We have launched a "TM/B" - Top Methanol Blog - on our home page at www.werner-habermann-racing.de which will be kept updated with team news and photos over race weekends, starting with the Hockenheim Nitrolympx this weekend."
18th August: Santa Pod Raceway's PR and Marketing Executive Jo Reed tells us that entry is now closed to the FIA Eurpean Finals Press Day. Those racers who have applied will hear from Jo early week.
Many thanks to FIA European Championship Co-ordinator Kjell Pettersson for sending us the official FIA Championship points after the NDRG Drag Challenge. You can view the FIA points (PDF format) by clicking here or by clicking on the Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
We have another dual birthday today. First up is a very Happy 50th Birthday to UK Top Methanol Dragster racer Lindsay Deuchar who reaches the landmark today. Hope you have a great day, Lindsay. Happy Birthday, too, to James Hands who is thirteen today. Have a good one James.
Champions' champions update.
18th August: Our good buddy and honorary Eurodragster.com staff member Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe has brought his FIA and FIM/UEM Champions' Champions tables up to date and has pointed out the latest highlights and coming attractions.
"So far this year, Leif Andréasson passed 3000 FIA points at Alastaro and Rob Turner reached 2000 points at Mantorp Park", says Andy. "Ton Pels took top spot from Anders Karling in the all-time Supertwin standings at Gardermoen.
"Possibilities at the next FIA round, the European Finals, are:
* Niclas Andersson needs twenty three points more than Dave Wilson to take fourth spot in the all-time FIA points standings
* Andy Carter needs nineteen points to reach 1500
* Tommy Möller needs to score forty one points more than Micke Kågered to take third spot in the all-time Top Fuel standings
"Possibilities at the next FIM/UEM round, this weekend's Nitrolympx, are:
* Roger Pettersson needs eleven points to reach 2500
* Roel Koedam needs twenty four points to reach 2000
* Svein Gottenberg needs twenty six points to reach 1000
* Ian King needs to score four points than to take fifth spot in the all-time Top Fuel Bike standings
* Anders Karling needs to score sixteen points more than Ton Pels to take back first place in the-all time Supertwin standings
"The real fight is for the top spot in the all-time FIA standings. At the end of 2004 Micke Kågered was in top spot with 3572 points, a lead of seven points over Michael Malmgren. After this year's FIA Main Event Micke had extended his lead to twenty four points (3625 to 3601), but then following Alastaro Michael had sneaked in front by four points. The gap was closed to just two points after Mantorp Park but now stands at five with Michael on 3756 to Micke's 3751.
"I would like to say a big Thank You to Lars Andersson for sending me detailed FIM/UEM results from before 1998."
You can see the detailed European Champions' Champions tables by clicking here or by clicking on the Champions' Champions link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Allstar Nationals: The returns.
17th August: The official entry list for next week's (27th-29th August) Custom Car Magazine Allstar Nationals is now available courtesy of APIRA Club and race Secretary Wendy Talbot and amongst other highlights includes the return of Top Methanol to Shakespeare County Raceway. Promoter Lee Child of LA Performance Services also tells us that SCR will be returning to grass roots with a flag-start eighth-mile drag strip in operation on another runway on the Saturday afternoon, with hot rods invited to take part.
2004 Ultimate Power Top Methanol Champion Lindsay Deuchar and the UK's fastest-ever female drag race Steph Milam will be contesting the MSA British Championship round at the Allstar Nationals. "I am very pleased to welcome the series Champion and a UK record holder back to Shakespeare County Raceway" says Lee Child, who jointly sponsors Eurodragster.com's Links pages through LA Racing Parts.
"We will also be featuring the Top Fuel match race between Andy Carter and Darryl Bradford, and Roger Goring will be providing his own brand of entertainment in the Firestorm Jet Funny Car."
"We are also pleased to welcome Steve Woollatt and Steve Carey after their great performances at the Bulldog Bash", adds Lee. "As you know Steve Woollatt came within a whisker of the track speed record at the Bulldog and Steve Carey was a squeak from running his first Shakespeare County Raceway six, so it will be great to see these two records broken at the Allstar Nationals."
In association with event sponsor Custom Car magazine, a display of historic race cars and hot rods is to be held in its own marquee with Gonzo the Great and Money Hungry lined up for the drag racing display and mroe to be advised, and a collection of hot rods some of which have not been seen for twenty years. There is also a rod and custom show which rodders are invited to turn up and enter, as well as a burnout contest which will be held during the exhibition session on Sunday. For more details contact Lee on 01803 554308.
Whilst qualifying takes place on the drag strip on Saturday afternoon, the National Street Rod Association will also be running flag-start eighth-mile drags on another runway between 12:00 and 15:00. "We're going back to grass roots", says Lee. "A Saturday, a length of tarmac and a flag - it doesn't get more hard core! The drags are open to pre-1965 hot rods, there is no charge, just bring your hot rod and hit the strip!". Lee tells us that the flag is to be brandished by a very special guest starter - stay tuned for details.
The Allstar Nationals features the next Championship rounds of the UK National and ACU UK Championships, the Wild Bunch, Outlaw Anglia, Volkswagen Drag Racing Club, National Association of Supertwins, and Junior Drag Bike. Advance tickets are available until 22:00 next Wednesday (24th) from the LA Performance Services Credit Card Hotline on 01803 550306 (outside the UK +44 1803 550306):
You can check out the official Custom Car Magazine Allstar Nationals entry list by clicking here.
The monster truck!
17th August: UK Super Pro ET racer Matthew Wright tells us that he is very pleased indeed with the progress of his Chevy truck (right, click on picture for large version) which is being rebuilt from the ground up at the Skunk Works of B+J Nostalgia Race Cars. Further up the country Matt's engine made some impressive numbers on the dyno at Knight Racing Services on Monday.
"Bill Felstead and Johnny Hall are doing a great job" says Matthew, who sponsors Eurodragster.com's Home and News pages through Gleeson Wright Security. "They have worked very hard indeed on the car. I'm putting the pressure on because I want to run at the European Finals!". The CDS chassis has been built from scratch and B+J are tinning, wiring and plumbing the truck so that it leaves the workshop turnkey. "I will have the name of B+J Nostalgia Race Cars on the door of the truck", says Matt. "We have a sponsorship deal and I think the truck will make a great promotional vehicle for their work". Fibreglass doors, stepside boxes and tailgate are being provided by Andy of South Coast Creations who came to the aid of Ashley Bell after his Cobra suffered a fire at the FIA Main Event.
"This truck has lots of tricks not seen in the UK, some quite radical", says Johnny Hall. "The car came off the jig on Monday ready for Matt to have his final fitting before the last welding is done. We bowed to the pressure of building a doorslammer - we vowed we wouldn't do it, but guess what...we are loving every minute of it. Loads of phone calls and E-Mails, loads of visitors every day to see the truck as word has gone around the grapevine very quickly. It proves we have made the right decision."
Matt took the truck's engine to Knight Racing Services on Monday accompanied by engine builder and Super Mod racer Andy Hone, and the engine again made some big numbers. "We found we had a cracked carb manifold, but Malcolm at Knight Racing Services welded it up", says Matt. "On the first dyno run we made 978 horsepower and we weren't leaning on it at all. We set up the Dominators and made 1020 hp at 6500 rpm without gas, and 1002 ft/lb or torque at 4500 rpm. There's plenty of power there: nitrous will give us another two hundred horsepower, progressive will give us a lot more!"
Matt asked us to say a big Thank You to Andy Hone who burnt the midnight oil last week to finish the engine, and to Peter Knight, Malcolm, Jay, Nigel and Jacko at Knight Racing Services for their help. "I can understand why Peter Knight has such a good reputation", says Matt. "He always does us a great deal and his machining work is second to none, I can highly recommend it."
Matt will be running the truck in Super Pro ET for the rest of this season and says that he hopes to get it into the eights. "If it doesn't, I've always got the blue bottle!", he says. meanwhile he is towing Andy Hone's Super Mod to Hockenheim for this weekend's Nitrolympx. "I'd like to say Good Luck to all the Super Mod racers", he says.
Barlow just misses out.
17th August: UK Outlaw Anglia racer Simon Barlow had a good weekend running in exhibition at the Bulldog Bash despite not quite making it into the tens with the Orange Pop, says crew member Jay.
"We didn't run a ten, but we enjoyed running the Powerglide and getting used to it", says Jay. "Our best time was an 11.1/117. The track was good on Friday, when we had to runs. The engine cut out on the first run so we got pushed back. The second run was much better, launching hard and quite a straight run which was the 11.1. On Saturday, Andy Frost came and put some bigger nitrous jets in and checked the car over, and he put a ten-second set up in the car. Unfortunately it started raining mid-morning and continued to rain for the rest of the day.
"On Sunday we had one run and the track wasn't good at all. It launched very very well, wheels up, but it got a bit out of shape so Simon got off it and ran an 11.2.
"We all enjoyed the weekend, even the relatives from America who came over for the event. We can't wait for the Allstar Nationals where we will definitely run a ten! We would like to thank Andy Frost for coming to help on Saturday."
17th August: UK Top Fuel Bike racer Ian King is making the mainstream press again this Friday courtesy of an article in Victor Mayhew's motorcycle column in UK national newspaper The Sun. "With a circulation of over fifteen million readers, The Sun provides a great opportunity to bring our sport to a whole new audience", says Ian. "They also plan a follow up with Victor riding a bike on the Santa Pod quarter mile. However he still seems to think he will be able to race my Top Fuel Bike, as he said "Surely it would be OK in just first and second gear only?"!"
Web site updates.
17th August: Our good buddy Erik Zettervall has updated the Svensk Dragracing web site with the results of the weekend's FHRA Radio City Nats and the latest NDRS points update. "It seems like it's pretty much decided in Stock/Superstock for Yrjö Wallius, and in Comp for Janne Ahonen", says Erik. "But it's going to be an exciting battle in the other classes". You can check it out at www.dragracing.se.
Finals Sportsman entry closing.
16th August: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall has been in touch to let racers know that Sportsman car and bike entry to the FIA European Finals will be closed at the end of the working day today (Tuesday).
"I will be accepting those entry forms which I know are on the way, but I will not be accepting any more Sportsman entries after today", says Paula. "I appreciate that it is a couple of days before the official closing date but the numbers are such that we have to close now."
If you have any queries then please contact Paula on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625). You can check if you are on the current FIA European Finals entry list by clicking here, or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting any of the FIA European Finals links.
Bennetts at their Peak.
16th August: UK NFAA team Bennett Racing will be testing their blown-alcohol Topolino at the Peak Performance Day at Santa Pod Raceway on 3rd September, says Luke Bennett.
"We have recently received two new Lenco gear sets and internals, as the previous gears were a bit too much for the extra horsepower we are making", says Luke. "We have also replaced the rear end gears as these were too high too. We also have a lot of little bits for the fuel system, all new hat and inlet lines, new barrel valve, filter, and reworked overall system. There are lots of other new parts to go on the car so there is lots to do before the test day.
"We will be carrying on from the Nostalgia Nationals as we only got a launch that weekend. We hope to get in three runs, probably a launch, half pass, then a thousand feet, then see what it does at the Hot Rod Drags.
"I am currently working on another sponsor - and have been for six months so far! - and hopefully I'll soon be able to announce something, but it's a big one!"
Stay tuned for another very special piece of news about the NSRA Hot Rod Drags.
King Racing press release.
16th August: UK Top Fuel Bike racer Ian King was thwarted in his attempts to put a greater margin of points between him and the chasing pack on the final leg of the Nordic tour. Following his back to back wins in the British and Finnish rounds of the European Championship, King travelled to Sweden and Norway for the traditional events held over consecutive weekends with hopes of clinching the title early, but bad weather at both tracks resulted in an early end to competition, and little change in the relative positions of the leading riders.
King had bittersweet memories on his return to Mantorp Park, Sweden. As current holder of two European records set at the picturesque track in 2001, but also recipient of painful first degree burns after his bike exploded in flames in 2003, his first qualifying run on the track with a notoriously short braking area saw King click off very early at a comfortable 6.93 seconds at 156.8 mph. The second session saw him improve to a 6.675 at 187.157 – good enough for second qualifying position, but the third (and what turned out to be the final) qualifying session saw King improve slightly to a 6.640/197.90 but drop to third qualifying position.
Finals day saw King paired with Sweden’s Mikael Andersson in the first round. A 0.070 to 0.196 reaction time was in Mikael's favour off the start line but King quickly caught and passed him, feathering the throttle towards the finish line before backing off early with a 6.848/188.45 mph. This put King into a plum semi final against Roel Koedam, and a chance to extend his points lead with a win over the Dutchman laying second in the points. However, it was not to be as the weather took a turn for the worse and persistent rain delays saw the meeting end before the next round could be run due to environmental time curfews.
The following weekend’s round at Amcar Raceway, Norway suffered even worse weather and only one day of qualifying. King ran a comfortable 6.53/213.8 for position before the heavens opened for a full three days and the event director had no option but to curtail the meeting.
However, despite the opportunity for King to clinch the Championship early had been lost, the relative points positions of the leading riders remained the same and King travels to Hockenheim, Germany for this weekend's penultimate round of the prestigious European Championship with a commanding points lead.
King Racing are proud to be supported in their 2005 campaign by: Mickey Thompson Tires, Gates Power Transmissions, Performance Machine, Pinnacle Autoparts, Wackyshack Paintshop, Turboville.com, RSG Customize, House of Kolor UK, Murdoch Racing Enterprises, Goodridge UK, Vanson Leathers, White Line Cycles (Athens), Cometic Gaskets UK, Aerotek Fasteners, Straightline Racing, Pixeleye Design, Web Camshafts, Mark and Jackie Hawkins, Ivan Sansom and Rose Hughes, Kath Taylor, Obsession Motorsports and Pro Alloy Motorsports.
16th August: Mid West AAC President Les Sanderson tells us that all drag race vehicles, even non-runners, are invites to this weekend's Mid West Show at Cheltenham Racecourse. "Promote drag racing and have a laid-back weekend with some outstanding entertainment", says Les. "Bring plenty of promo stuff for your sponsors and drag racing". For more information check out the Show web site at www.mid-west-show.org.uk or contact Les at Les.email@example.com. "Hope to see you all this weekend", says Les.
We understand that German Top Methanol Dragster racer Timo Habermann will be performing a burnout and a launch in one of Rico Anthes' Top Fuel Dragsters at the Nitrolympx at Hockenheim on Friday. The UK's Gary Page will be driving the car in exhibition at the Nitrolympx on Saturday and Sunday including a pass under the lights during the Saturday Night Show.
A couple of birthday wishes; first up is a very Happy 18th Birthday to Nev and Libby Mottershead's daughter Leah who celebrates that landmark today. Hope you have a great day, Leah. A very Happy Birthday for yesterday (Monday) to Jo Holland of Motorsport News who has been giving drag racing lots of exposure since she started with the newspaper. Hope you had a great day when you finished work, Jo.
Bulldog Bash report.
16th August: Although over four hours of continuous rain on Saturday prevented any of the booked-in demonstration racers from taking to the track at this year’s 19th annual Bulldog Bash at Shakespeare County Raceway, a full day was had by all with two Hour of Power sessions together with stunt shows from Terry Grant and the Vertical Brits, writes SCR Press Officer Jerry Cookson.
The Outlaw Anglias once again proved to the biking community what could be done with one of Henry Ford’s finest. Topping the charts as ever was ‘The Guv’ Paul Wright. Following a couple of entertaining and sometimes sideways burnouts in the shovel-nosed 555 ci Alco Pop, Paul completed two 7.8 second flyers at 180 plus mph. Also registering high nines was Mike Callan, Cliff Griffin and the man known as ‘The Professor’ Al O’Connor.
Also keeping the crowds entertained with some spectacular side-by-side rolling burnouts was another pair Henry’s finest, but this time from the sixties, John Atkinson’s big blocked Mk1 Cortina Estate and Ron Bartlett’s 105E Anglia. Although Ron was hoping to have use of the recently plumbed-in nitrous system at the weekend, the Warwick racer still managed a pair of his customary wheels-up 9.7s to John’s pair of low nines, the best being a 9.141 at 147.14.
The ever-popular Fuel Altered were there too with Clive Mechaell's Hot Rod from Hell 23 T adding to the mix of Mickey Moore and Wendy Baker. After an expensive rebuild together with a replacement block, The Mob put down a mid eight-second 1000 foot pass. However, minutes before the second session Crew Chief Ollie Burn sidelined the car following the loss of oil pressure. Wendy Baker entered into another Time Warp while driving her ’32 Bantam-bodied altered. After a very strong but wayward burnout, it was found after the run that the car was suffering from a bent front axle. In his one and only appearance of the year, Clive Mechaell ran a 7.356/184.52 from the 500 ci Keith Black powered altered which was later preceded by a spectacular right then left driving job using both lanes to close the show Sunday.
The McDonald Brothers were in attendance with the Bulldog Bash Top Fuel Dragster performing engine starts and teardowns. They even fired up the car Saturday night before Terrovision were due to perform their last-ever set on the main stage.
The snowmobiles, which could have been adapted to run as jet skis on Saturday, certainly made for a day of varied entertainment, and a first for Shakespeare County Raceway. In preparation for demo runs at Hockenheim’s Nitrolympx later this week, Swede Thomas Pettersson and Brit Max Croot made the journey to Stratford and both laid down some excellent nine second track marking quarter’s, the best being a 9.813 at 127.13 mph by Thomas.
On the bike front the two Steves Woollatt and Carey certainly showed what horsepower on two wheels can be achieved with their respective Top Fuel mounts. Dealing out the numbers like they were going out of fashion Steve Woollatt ran two spectacular six-second laps, a 6.625/208.08 followed by a 6.609 at 214.83 which was just two miles per hour away from Brian Johnson’s existing track record of 216 set six years ago. There were plenty of smiles in the Carey camp when Steve very nearly ran his first ever SCR six with a 7.010 at 195.69 onboard the Purple Princess fuel burner.
Also creating a lot of mile per hour was Tim Blakemore on board his Kawasaki UK backed Funny Bike. Following two attempts to kill Sponge Bob and his mates, Tim unleashed a best ever 7.176/185.80 from the new machine. A delighted Tim said afterwards that a six combination is very definitely in there and that the rest of the Funny Bike brigade had better watch out in a weeks time at SCR’s Allstars meet.
It was not such a good weekend for the visiting Genesis Racing Top Fuel Harley Team from Netherlands, and in particular for rider Stefan Ivonovitch who on Friday was celebrating his fiftieth birthday but unfortunately on the same day the team's 157 ci Hammer-built V-twin kicked a rod out in the burnout.
Also making their annual pilgrimage to the Bulldog was Team Hellgium of Chriss Van Nimmen and TG33 with their respective European Top Gas Bikes. After his final round appearance at the recent MPM International at Drachten last month Chriss ran several mid nine second rides, the best being a 9.478/132.36, while TG33 ran a 9.048/144.19.
Super Street racer Steve Venables put his 1200cc Kawasaki ZX12R through its paces to record a 7.941/185.17 while Supertwin Top Fuel veteran Steve Clutterbuck toasted his left riding boot following a top end flash fire while riding his fuel burning 114ci Harley to a 10.98.
Of the 2780 runs logged by the track's computer, the quickest and fastest overall out of the over-subscribed RWYB categories was Gary Day’s Suzuki street bike. Turning mid eights all event long, his Suzuki GSXR ran an incredible 180.88 mph in 8.576 seconds to take the Unlimited trophy.
As always the Fireforce Jet Funny Car team entertained the masses of bikers who packed out the stands on Friday afternoon with their customary flame and thunder shows that rocked the Race Control building! With both jets running Martin Hill whacked out a stunning 5.980/269.51 while Tony Baker pushed the Mustang to a 7.244/229.67.
However, besides all the drag strip entertainment, bands and sideshows, there was one little boy who captured the hearts of all the bikers watching the drags on Friday afternoon. On every occasion he came out to the startline burning out the rear tyre with his 50 cc Junior Jade drag bike, eight year old Scott Collier was given the biggest cheer and applause which could be heard all over the facility. We could even hear the applause inside Race Control. On Sunday, Scott even out dragged his dad, ‘big Jerry’ while riding George Laycock’s Suzuki TL1000. Well done Scott. Another great advert for the future of British drag racing.
If you want to capture or even relive the Bulldog experience before next year's 20th Anniversary Bash, satellite/cable channel Men and Motors (136 Sky, 409/109 NTL, 286 TeleWest and 38 Freeview) will devote a full hour's worth of programming from this years event on Wednesday 17th August starting at 19:00 with repeat showings on Thursday. See local listings for further transmission details.
UK favourite crashes in USA.
16th August: Rick Hough’s famed Nanook, one of the three visiting Fuel Altereds at last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, crashed during qualifying for the 34th annual Pepsi Nightfire Nationals at Firebird Raceway at the weekend, writes SCR Press Officer Jerry Cookson.
It would appear that when Rick was on his last pass of the evening the altered shook the tyres hard two hundred feet down track and slapped the wall knocking Rick unconscious. Still under power, the car came across the track, hit the right guardrail almost head on, flipping the car a couple of times before landing the right side up. With the emergency crews there in seconds, Rick was airlifted to St Al’s hospital by air ambulance.
Reports state that Rick has bad concussion, and is drifting in and out of consciousness but he does not have any swelling to the brain. He has a cracked vertebra in his neck and a partially collapsed lung from the hit, but no other broken bones.
We're sure that everyone will join us in sending a speedy Get Well message to Rick from all his new found British fans since June of last year.
Web site updates.
16th August: The official web site of 2004 NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified Champions Nilsson Motorsports has been updated with team member Ulf Stadig's report on Håkan Nilsson's outing at the Veidec Festival, some new photographs, and a video clip of Håkan running a 6.39 under the lights at Santa Pod last year. Check it out at www.nilssonmotorsports.com.
Danish Top Fuel Bike racer Finn Asserbo has a new web site at www.dragbiker.com. Finn's Danish-language site is packed with information and pictures and features team run-down, photo and video galleries, race calendar, results, bike specs, race and team history and more.
Thanks to our good buddy Patrik Jacobsson for letting us know that the results of the weekend's Swedish Competition Championship at Tullinge can be found at www.sbf.se/pdf/resultat/2005/DR/DR_2005_SM_Competition.pdf.
"Are there any Dennis Priddle fans out there?", asks our good friend Alan Currans of the Acceleration Archive. "If so, you will be pleased to learn that the seventh page of Top Fuel Dragster pictures has been added to the Alan Currans Collection and this includes no less than twenty one pictures of The Master and his cars. Also included are (appropriately enough) eight pictures of Houndog 8 and six shots of Clive Skilton's Third Revolution and Castrol Revolution cars. The ladies are not forgotten either with thirty pictures of Roz Prior, Liz Burn and Tina Page. Another addition to the site is a Google-powered search facility which is long overdue given that there are now 2,929 pictures on the site (with plenty more to come!)". Check it out at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
Weekend event coverage.
14th August: Two events this weekend are being covered on-line. First up is the Radio City Nationals at Finland's Motopark, which has returned to the drag racing fold after two years. You can read our good buddy Hannele Höydén's excellent live coverage at www.fhra.fi/fin/index.php?page_id=136.
The Bilsport Drag Nats is taking place at Stockholm's Tullinge Raceway this weekend and you can find live results by clicking on SDC Tullinge 2005 at www.postol.se/sdc. The Kågered Racing web site at www.kagered-racing.com is also being updated with Top Fuel results from Tullinge.
Another Page turns to racing.
14th August: Dan Page will become a second-generation drag racer at the Allstar Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway when he contests Sportsman ET. Twenty-year-old Dan, son of Dave Page of the legendary Panic team, and nephew of Top Fuel racer Gary Page, will be making licencing passes in a Mitsubishi GTO owned by stepfather Jon Morton.
"I used to race karts and have a National B licence, but this will be my first time drag racing", Dan told Eurodragster.com. "I have helped Jon with his bikes and his race car over the years, but after crewing all my life it will be nice to have a go. The Mitsubishi should run thirteens."
Dan added that Mort's GTO will of course be carrying Panic stickers.
14th August: Lesley Wright tells us that Mummy Stone, widow of Dennis, has sent her thanks for everyone's sympathy towards her and the family. "Mummy Stone said she had received many expressions of sympathy and it was deeply appreciated by all her family", says Lesley. "She said that many racers had been very kind to her and she asked me to pass on her thanks to all them."
Our good buddy Hanski took a moment out from posting event coverage from Finland's Motopark to ask us to wish a Happy Birthday for Friday (19th) to longtime starter, race director, and former driver Jarmo "Jamppa" Tolvanen, who will be fifty on that day, and Finnish Hot Rod Association President Tapio Väljä who celebrated his birthday yesterday. "The FHRA Crew did their traditional congratulations (and somebody got cream cakes in their faces)", says Hanski. Hope you had and have great days, guys.
WRE Test Day entry still open.
14th August: Tomorrow (Monday) is the last day for entry at normal price for next Saturday's Webster Race Engineering Test Day at Santa Pod Raceway.
Webster Race Engineering Test Days feature a track prepped to event standard as well as full marshal and safety cover. Catering is also available on-site throughout the day. The track is open betweeen approximately 10:00 and 17:00 with a half-hour break for lunch.
As from Tuesday an additional £25 late entry fee will be payable, if entry is accepted. You can download the official WRE Test Days entry form (Word format) by clicking here. For more details about the Test Days, call Webster Race Engineering on 01933 315236 or check out the WRE web site at www.webster-race-engineering.co.uk.
Web site updates.
14th August: Reigning FIA Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter's web site has been updated with Andy's personal diary of his trips to Sweden and Norway for the Veidec Festival and NDRG Drag Challenge. Andy's diary gives an entertaining account of life on the road with a Top Fuel operation and if you're in any doubt about the courage of a Top Fuel Dragster racer then check out Andy's comments about his wife Sarah! Get yourself a tall coffee and check out the report at www.andycarter.net.
Another long haul for Envall.
13th August: Sweden's Anders Envall has confirmed that he will as usual be contesting Pro ET at the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway in September. "Nothing unusual about that", you might think, "so are forty other racers", but Anders is driving his Chevy Impala SS to Santa Pod all the way from the Best Damn Garage In Town in Gothenburg.
"I'll be on a twenty four hour ferry from Gothenburg to Immingham", says Anders. "From there it's half the distance to Santa Pod as from Newcastle where I usually come in - 200 km to 400 km. I'm a little more chicken now and I've learned - I have all the phone numbers of tow truck companies in the south of England".
Anders' Impala has run a best of 10.80 and 126.87 mph despite weighing in at 4261 pounds, which puts it amongst the quickest SS Impalas on the planet, but since we last saw Anders at Santa Pod the car has undergone a major overhaul. "We couldn't begin work before mid-May because the Garage wasn't ready until then", says Anders. "The engine Jeezus, a blown and injected 396 stroker has been overhauled and of course had a change to a crank with BB-size snout since the other broke on the ninth outing at Santa Pod last year. A home-made crank support will hopefully stop it from happening again. The rear end is completely new with an Alston Chassisworks 9" Prisma housing and Strange everything. Most important is the adjustable four-link to get traction again.
"Last year I had difficulties even at Santa Pod spinning the tyres for fifty metres or more when I finally had the power. Therefore I didn't better my best ET which I set with the left front wheel in the air at Santa Pod in 2003. This time I hope to be close to my goal of running in the nines, then I can call the tow truck with a smile."
Anders is usually accompanied by wife Agneta in an RV and son Axel variously in the Impala and the RV, but Anders says that the family are on a tight schedule at for the Finals. "Axel is beginning school the week before the race, and we don't want him to miss too much", says Anders. "He'll be flying over with Agneta for the race weekend only. His girlfriend Lauren Somerville (daughter of Paul Somerville of Chris Johnson's Woftam Racing - Ed) is waiting for him..."
You can read all about Anders' Impala, his drag racing escapades and a lot more on the highly-entertaining Blackout Full Size Racing web site at www.blackout.nu.
Web site updates.
13th August: The UniFit Top Methanol Dragster Team of Werner Habermann Racing has finished the complete redesign of their web site at www.werner-habermann-racing.com. "On top of the new look the also contains much more information than the previous page, featuring a newsletter, a shop and a monthly chance to win an item from the race shop signed by team members", says Oliver Kläffling. "The current content is available only in German, but all future breaking news will be published in English as well. In the coming months, and especially in the 2006 season, we will also adapt the "real world" presence of the team to the new graphic design."
T to go.
12th August: The latest car to leave the workshop of the UK's Draper brothers is this beautiful blown BBC altered (right, click on picture for large version) which Charlie Draper tells us is shortly to be put up for sale.
"The car was Nigel King's car which Jim drove in Super Pro ET a season ago", says Charlie. "The chassis was built by Chris Isaacs and tagged to 7.50 but we are updating it to go quicker. The car has an all-moly chassis with fabricated nine-inch floating rear end with new SFI wheels. The engine has all the usual race parts installed and the box is a super duty Powerglide with Deadenbear safety housing and SFI shield, and the torque converter is a special bolt-together unit. We will be changing the injector for a bird catcher as the item in the picture was borrowed from one of our team (thanks Duncan) whilst we were waiting for ours to arrive. The candy red paint was applied by our good friend Lee, who is having a very radical blown street T bucket built at our shop in Essex."
Jim Draper will be driving the car for fun at the Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway in September, after which the altered will be for sale. If the car doesn't sell then Charlie says there is a Plan B. "We were going to put in a hemi T but things didn’t pan out the way we had hoped, so we held fire on that option", he says. "If we don’t sell then it could still happen."
Charlie says that he is happy tinkering with different projects and cars and visiting his friends in Malta. "We have four other cars on the go at present", he says, "two for ourselves and two for friends so we are kept pretty busy."
Seven millimetres to seventh.
12th August: UK Junior Dragster racer Peter Walters has acquired a new carb for his J & W Racing Junior Modified Dragster which he hope will propel him into the 8.5s over the eighth.
"We bought the new carb from engine builder and parts supplier Fred Craw", says Peter. "Our original carb was 33 mm and the new carb is 40 mm. It looks massive compared to the old one! We will be fitting it this week, ready for the Allstar Nationals."
Peter's current Personal bests are 8.647 seconds and 74.82 mph. "My main aims this year are to run an 8.5, 75 mph, and finnish in the top ten in the Championship", he says. "So far I am eighth, twenty points behind seventh place and 160 points behind sixth so I am pretty confident of a top ten finish.
"The new carb should definitely give us a quicker terminal speed, so 75 or 76 shouldn't be far away, and maybe it will just give us the edge to run a 8.5...hopefully!"
New lease of life for Shockwave.
12th August: Following a very good showing on the FastCar/Clarion stand at Ultimate Street Car last weekend, and three successful meetings with new sponsors, the UK's Shockwave Fuel Funny Car will be attending the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway in September, says the team's latest press release.
These meetings have given the team a new lease of life and enough funding to put out a strong show for the finals and a huge sponsorship package for the 2006 season. This has been achieved by solid hard work and a true belief that Shockwave should and will be number one for a long time yet. In addition, a huge growth in the class would be fantastic, for not only the teams but also the promoters and the fans alike.
The emergence of some quality companies and innovation will take Shockwave forward to a new stronger position and a very professional approach from now on. The lined-up sponsors are to be announced in the next couple of weeks, but these are guaranteed sponsors. Shockwave are pleased also to announce a new team Operations Manager, who will be responsible for carrying through all the sponsors and marketing the team in a truly professional fashion and whose identity will be published in due course. We are proud to have worked hard for the last two years in trying to gain and getting involved with serious sponsorship and now that hard work has paid off. Let's dangle that carrot!
Shockwave Racing have also launched a brand new website at www.shockwaveracing.co.uk The site is still currently under construction but will be regularly updated with all the latest news from the Shockwave pits!
12th August: Following two rounds of back-to-back racing at York Raceway, the UK's National Street Car Challenge is now wide-open says Shaun Wilson, Editor of the Hot Rod Gazette.
"Racing at SantaPod a week earlier, a number of faster drivers suffered breakages which allowed the rest of the field to close the points gap considerably", says Shaun. "At York the conditions really levelled up the times and brought about some exceptionally close racing, spreading two events over two days. Points leader Mick Wilkes in the matt black two-litre Viva suffered yet another gearbox failure on day one, and although he had brought spares and was able to repair in time for the second day, it saw his points lead diminish to an almost negligible 250 points, ahead of Al Williamson’s ’54 Chevy Stepside. Al’s misfortune at Santa Pod came good at York, and the demise of Mick’s gearbox saw Al taking a bye run through to the finals on the first day and a semi-final finish on the second. He’s now just nudged ahead of twice-winner James Murray’s Pro Street Cortina Estate.
"The race is hot between third and seventh place too, with competitors swapping overall placings at every meeting - it’s that tight. A total of fifty-one cars are entered for this year’s series of events which includes race meets, cruises and shows. Fastest man in the pack at present is Russ Pursley in a 350 Chevy-powered Dutton, having clocked a number of 10.1s in full street trim. The slowest car in the pack, John Payne’s Dodge Daytona, is currently running mid-sixteens but thanks to consistency he is holding onto a strong seventh place.
"The NSCC is one of the most colourful and diverse classes in British drag racing, and one of the few classes which you cannot win solely on ETs. The next round is at York Raceway on 25th September, before the finals at Shakespeare County Raceway in October."
Stay tuned to Eurodragster.com for updates, or read all about the action on and off the track in the Hot Rod Gazette.
Web site updates.
12th August: A quick link to the FIA European Finals entry list is now available by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting any of the FIA European Finals links.
UK Super Comp racer Zane Llewellyn has been in touch to let us know that he has updated his Bootsoop International Drag Racing Team web site with a report on his recent trip to Sweden, a number of hot rod pictures on the Bristol Streetrods pages, and a quick mid-season preview of what the Bristol Doorslammers are doing heading into the second half of the year. Check it out at www.bootsoop.freeserve.co.uk.
UK Wild Bunch racer Adam Charnley and budding photographer and graphic designer James Hands have gone into partnership on a new design business offering a free logo and livery service to Sportsman racers. "Not only will this help racers out but it will help James and I, as I’m an Engineering student and James wants to be a Graphic Designer when he is older", says Adam. "By us creating models for you we will also be improving our CAD and design skills, it's a win-win situation!". You can access AJ Racing Design's web site at www.freewebs.com/ajdesign.
Hersland for Hockenheim, Vandel.
11th August: Denmark's newest Top Fuel Dragster racer Rene Hersland says that he is planning to appear at next week's Nitrolympx at Hockenheim. Although there are still some issues to be finalised Rene says that it should be possible to make the date in Germany with a view to acquiring his licence ready to compete in the 2006 FIA European Championship.
"Learning this car from the tiniest washer to all the pneumatics and becoming familiar with its functioning has been quite a job", says Rene. "Even though I have been drag racing for twenty years, it's quite another car from what I have been used to."
Rene tried to arrange to make licencing runs at the Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park, but in accordance with FIA rules which prohibit licencing passes at Championship events this was not allowed. "We were very disappointed not to be allowed to make practice runs at Mantorp Park", he says, "since it seemed like there was all the time in the world during the Thursday and Friday.
"But all of us in the team are looking forward to the race at Hockenheim, and hopefully to get licenced ready for the next season. Over the next three weekends everyone will be busy with races."
Besides his many other activities Rene is on the board of the National Dragracing Club of Denmark, who are currently preparing for a huge race at Vandel, in the middle of Jylland, on 9th - 11th September. As well as his official duties Rene will be making exhibition passes at the event. You can read more on the NDCD web site at www.ndcd.dk and on Rene's business web site at www.bilxperten.dk.
Brings moves on.
11th August: Hans Brings, Crew Chief for Dutch Pro Mod racer Henri Joosten, has announced that he is to leave the team. Hans has worked with Henri for more than twenty years.
"The time has come to move on", says Hans. "I want to thank Henri for the great time we had together. I really enjoyed it and hope that we can extend our frienship for at least as long as we raced together.
"I also would like to thank our fellow competitors, the Santa Pod officials for making me feel at home whenever I visited the Pod, and of course Eurodragster for doing a great job in keeping us informed. Even when there is nothing to report. Great job (Thanks! - Ed)!
"I'm proud to say that I have been part of a very special bunch of people."
Freeman on his way.
11th August: If you were tuned in to Eurodragster.com News over the weekend you will have read, courtesy of John Hackney, that UK Super Pro ET racer Sam Freeman clocked a mid eight-second pass in his altered at the Ultimate Street Car event at Santa Pod Raceway. Sam says that he is now getting some reliability from the car.
"The altered is consistently running 8.5s at about 150 mph", says Sam. "I wish I could say the same about my personal consistency! I've completed my observed runs and got my licence signed, and have put in an entry for Super Pro ET at the Allstar Nationals at the end of August.
"I would like to say Thank You to Chris Bishop for putting it in my head in the first place and helping out ever since; to my partner Lindsey for putting up with me and providing the tea whenever needed; to Ben (13), learning fast and keen to get in a Junior digger; to Steve Warner and the rest of the Pod crews for their patience; to Rick Cuthbert for demo car status at the RCS and USC shows; and to Keith Ridley for the help and advice. Thanks also to so many others for the encouragement."
Sam would be pleased to hear from anyone with pictures of the car at either the Retro Car Show or USC, especially launch or front-on shots. If you can help then please drop Sam a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
11th August: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for sending us an update to the official FIA European Finals entry list, which you can view by clicking here. The entry list will remain on the same address between now and the race, so we recommend that you Bookmark that page, and rather than running this same news item on a daily basis we will insert a version number and the date into each list we receive so that you can keep track of updates.
Many congratulations to Santa Pod Raceway PR Caroline Day and her partner Paul on the birth of their daughter. Santa Pod's Marketing and Sponsorship Executive Joanna Reed tells us that the as-yet-unnamed girl arrived at 2:00 this morning (Thursday), tipping the scales at 6 lb 2 oz, and that both Caroline and her daughter are doing well. We're sure that everyone will join Sharkman and Tog in congratulating Caroline and Paul and in welcoming their daughter.
Web site updates.
11th August: Santa Pod Raceway's web site has been updated with a number of new Windows Wallpaper files. You can get directly to the Wallpaper page on the Santa Pod web site at www.santapod.co.uk/g_desktops.php.
Eurodragster.com Photo Editor Sharkman has updated his personal web site Sharkman's Top End Tales with a huge number of photographs from last week's Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park. You can find Sharkman's web site at www.topendtales.com.
So what will Andréasson do?
10th August: When Eurodragster.com broke the news last Friday that Swedish Top Methanol Funny Car racer Leif Andréasson had made a test pass in one of Knut Söderquist's Top Fuel Dragsters at Gardermoen, fellow racers and fans alike wondered whether this meant a new direction for the Kamasa Tools-backed team.
Leif himself investigated a Fuel FC over the last closed season and pitside gossip at the time also reported him having exploratory talks with Knut about going Top Fuel. Leif's test pass at Gardermoen last Friday took everyone by surprise, but with a seat available in a bridled and saddled Top Fueller following Darryl Bradford's decision not to drive the opportunity presented itself and Leif accepted Knut's offer to see how he liked it.
Team member Anders Magnusson tells us that on his pass, supervised by Knut and his English crew but supported by members of his own team, Leif did everything right from the burnout onwards, with only one minor 'moment' when Leif almost missed putting the car on the high side, but this was down to unfamiliarity with the method of driving a Fuel car which is quite different from a Top Methanol car. "We only expected Leif to go to sixty feet, but he went to three quarter track with a beautiful smooth pass", says Anders. A 5.867/262.32 kmh time slip was the result, with Leif comparing the difference between the Top Methanol FC and the Top Fueller to the difference between taking a boat out on a stormy day and taking it out on a calm day.
As we reported on Saturday, Knut described Leif as "A natural". It now only remains for Leif to decide upon his future plans, and to make his licencing passes if he decides to move up to Top Fuel, but what is certain is that he will be back in the seat of the Kamasa Tools TMFC at the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway in a few weeks' time.
You can read more on the Andréasson Motorsports web site at www.andreassonmotorsports.com.
Allstar Nationals still open.
10th August: Entry is still open for the Custom Car Magazine Allstar Nationals which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 27th-29th August. The Allstar Nationals features the next Championship rounds of the UK National and ACU UK Championships, the Wild Bunch, Outlaw Anglia, Volkswagen Drag Racing Club, National Association of Supertwins, and Junior Drag Bike.
Entry forms for the Allstar Nationals are available from the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com, or contact Club and Race Secretary Wendy Talbot on 01379 740100.
On the exhibition front the Allstar Nationals sees the return of Top Fuel Dragster match racing to SCR with 2004 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter in the B&Q dragster taking on Darryl Bradford in the Wright Racing Top Fueller, and Roger Goring in the Firestorm Jet Funny Car.
Event sponsor Custom Car magazine promoter LA Performance Services are also presenting a rod run, historic rod, custom and race car displays and a burnout contest. Entertainment includes two live bands and the usual panoply of trade stands will be on-site.
Tickets are available from the LA Performance Services Credit Card Hotline on 01803 550306 (outside the UK +44 1803 550306):
Stay tuned for further announcements about the Custom Car Magazine Allstar Nationals.
FIA European Finals entry reminder.
10th August: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall has been in touch to remind racers about closing dates for September's FIA European Finals.
"The Pro closing date was yesterday (9th) and so Pro racers are now officially into late entry", says Paula. "Of course we are still accepting Pro entries but the late entry fee is applicable. Sportsman entry closes on Thursday of next week, 18th August, after which late entry will be payable by Sportsman racers too."
Paula has also confirmed that as on previous occasions any class which attracts more than thirty two entries will have to qualify for a thirty two-vehicle elimination.
You can see the current version of the FIA European Finals entry list by clicking here. If you have any queries about entry to the FIA European Finals then please contact Paula by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
10th August: Our good friend Hannele Höydén will be reporting live from this weekend's Radio City Nationals at Finland's Motopark, which has returned to the drag racing fold after two years. You will be able to read Hanski's coverage, starting Saturday, at www.fhra.fi/fin/index.php?page_id=136
UK prospective Wild Bunch and Pro ET racer Adam Charnley tells us that he had a pleasant surprise when he put the new manifold onto his Cougar Racing altered. "It took twenty kilogrammes off the car - I had to re-check the weight four times because I didn't believe it!", says Adam. For more details and pictures check out the Cougar Racing web site at www.freewebs.com/cougarracing.
We'd like to wish a very Happy Birthday to our good friend and Eurodragster.com sponsor Fay Fischer. Hopefully Fay will put Speedflow aside for a while to enjoy her day with partner Ian and daughter Grace, who send their love. Have the very best of birthdays, Fay!
The weekend's Ultimate Street Car at Santa Pod Raceway will be remembered as a year of real variety and a true festival of modified motoring, says Rick Cuthbert of Trakbak Racing. "We had '50s-style hot rods through to lowriders, Jap street racers and the ever popular hot-hatch", says Rick. "A big Thanks goes out to the racers who came along and put on a great show - we’re sure you enjoyed yourself!". The event web site at www.ultimatestreetcar.co.uk has been updated with winning times for the Run What You Brung competition, a full report, and a selection of picture galleries.
Koedam Racing Drag Challenge report.
10th August: We are grateful to Marius Van Der Zijden, Crew Chief for 2004 FIM/UEM European Champion Roel Koedam, for forwarding his usual post-event race report, this one from the weekend's NDRG Drag Challenge at Gardermoen:
Unfortunately the weather outlook for this weekend was not too good. According to the meteorologist Friday should be a sunny day while Saturday and Sunday promised “light rain”. But than again maybe...well we just had to wait and see and grab the opportunities as they came. Now that it seems that we’ve solved our engine problems, it’s back to the more usual technical routine stuff like nursing exhaust valves and sorting out the clutch.
As predicted Friday was indeed a beautiful day with even some sunshine. This explained the need to run both qualifying passes that day. For the first one we left the bike tune-up as we had prepared it for the semi finals round of Sweden a week before. It looked a reasonable opening run showing 6.61 at the timing board. From our point at the start line it seemed that something went badly wrong at three quarter track as we saw orange flame coming from one exhaust pipe and some smoke on the left hand side of the bike. When we picked up the bike it appeared that the smoke came from a broken primary drive belt which was being fried by the crank pulley. The data revealed that it happened just after the eighth mile marker. A leak-down test showed that the flame that we saw from one of the cylinders was caused by a burned exhaust valve. That in turn was set in motion by a piece of porcelain broken from a spark plug and nestling itself in between the valve and the valve seat.
Putting on a new belt was just a matter of time and work, replacing the valve and repairing the valve seat was a little more time consuming. Nevertheless it was fixed in time for the late afternoon session. We also wanted to have a closer look into the clutch as it didn’t do what we told it to do, but there was not enough time left to take it apart. We had to settle for a “quick and dirty” solution and see if it would bring any improvement. The time of 6.36 on the scoring board was better but still not as good as we expected. The time slip displayed an even slower sixty foot time. Looking on the data recorder it showed that there were no changes at all in the clutch graph, despite our last minute change. The engine itself looked fine again. It kept us on the #2 spot after day one.
As we were not happy the way the clutch reacted (or better didn’t react) to our changes, we decided that it was time to take it out for a closer look. We found two things that we didn’t like and they certainly had a major effect on the clutch. With the outcome of this we were in full confidence, which could not be said for Saturday’s weather. The latter became oh so true as it started raining during the night and continued during most of the Saturday. The good part was that there was no need to get up early and that we had the luxury of staying in bed a little bit longer. When we finally got up we discovered that what seemed to be the best spot in the (tight) pit area was at the same time at the lowest point. Our pit area was completely flooded! We spent most of the morning sweeping water and building dykes but hey...isn’t that what we Dutch are famous for?
It remained cold and rainy all day long and at 16.00 they called it a day. We remained the #2 qualifier. Sunday was a little better in that respect that it was drizzling instead of pouring down. It didn’t improve, so at 13.00 there was nothing left for the hard working guys from Gardermoen Raceway than to cancel the meeting.
Now that we’ve finally got the bike running like it used to, it is a little frustrating that for the second time in a row it’s the weather conditions which prevented us from running elimination rounds (and possibly scoring Championship points). There are two more Championship meetings left. The first is in two weeks at Germany’s NitrolympX on the famous Hockenheim circuit and in September we have the final round at Santa Pod Raceway in England. Finally it seems that the invitational trip to Bahrain in November is on. In a later issue of our Team Report we will get back on this subject.
Web site updates.
10th August: The latest version of the official entry list for next week's Nitrolympx at Hockenheim can be found under Starterliste at www.nitrolympics.de.
The official web site of the UK's Real Steel Street Eliminator has been updated with a report from the latest round at the Bug Jam as well as updated Championship points standings. Check it out at www.streeteliminatoruk.com.
Racers sought for Finals Press Day.
9th August: Santa Pod Raceway's PR and Marketing Executive Joanna Reed has been in touch to invite racers to make demonstration passes at the FIA European Finals Press Day, which takes place at Santa Pod on Wednesday 7th September.
"The Press Day takes place between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm", says Jo. "If you are interested in taking your car or bike down the track it's a great chance for free track time, and a great way to give drag racing the opportunity to appeal to a wider audience.
"Please note that only racers entered for the European Finals will be able to take part, and priority will be given to those who are able to take passengers."
If you are interested in taking part in the European Finals Press Day then please contact Jo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coleman and Tubb bucks-up.
9th August: "Some people just can’t help being Champions" said Kenny Coleman, after the Tubb and Coleman partnership walked away with the $1000 'Fistful of Dollars' after a convincing win at York Raceway's Super Pro Shootout at the weekend, writes Mark Flavell.
"Ian beat Steve Neimantas in a close-run final hastily brought forward to dodge an impending rain storm", says Mark. "Both Chris Round and I went out in round one, defeating the track, in Chris’s case the only car with a clutch, probably too much too soon. I on the other hand being somewhat of a horsepower junkie couldn’t resist the opportunity to try a little Fuel and with twenty per cent nitro on board blazed the hides off it trying to pedal a car going every which way except the direction it was supposed to be going. On and off it twice but I was still only beaten by inches but that’s all it takes. Steve went arrow-straight and took the win.
"The final looked to be threatened by a sky full of heavy black clouds moving in so was run early. Ian in the left hand lane getting it straight down the middle taking the win against Steve’s Aston this time fighting for grip.
"It was an excellent weekend full of great humour and banter with a lot of leg-pulling. "A relaxed good laugh" would sum up this event where the barbie was as important as the race car."
9th August: Congratulations to Stuart Meads whose Mini is surely the quickest and fastest ever with a 9.91/133 at Ultimate Street Car at Santa Pod Raceway at the weekend. Stay tuned for more as we will be talking to Stuart very shortly.
Also running at Ultimate Street Car was UK Junior Dragster racer Matthew Seamarks who clocked bests of of 10.580 seconds and 60.08 mph at Santa Pod testing the new Jr Race Car ZR4 engine in the Gingerman Racing Junior. "We had a small problem in the afternoon when the fuel cell tap fell out of where it sits and we had a leak", says Matthew.
Smax Smith's family have asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to Smax for today. No sooner said than done guys, have a very Happy Birthday Smax and we hope to see you soon.
Also on the birthday front, Annick Chaplain has asked us to say Happy Birthday to Lee Kirk, which we are very happy to do. Hope you have a good day, Lee.
Web site updates.
9th August: Frode Larsen has been in touch to let us know that the excellent Super Twin Dragbike Association web site at www.super-twin.com has been updated with photographs from the recent events at Mantorp Park and Gardermoen. If you like your Supertwins whether on nitro or gas then this web site is a must-see with results, points, sponsors, links and much more including a page for each race team.
Coming hot on the heels of the all-Dutch motorcycle gallery on Alan Currans' Acceleration Archive web site is an all-American extravaganza. "There were quite a few visits by US riders in the 1970s and 1980s and they were the cream of the cream", says Alan. "How does Tom 'TC' Christenson, Danny Johnson, Marion Owens, Ken Annesley, Bo O'Brochta, Jack O'Malley and the late Elmer Trett sound? The only thing this page hasn't got is Mom's apple pie. There are no less than forty pictures so settle down and enjoy. You can access them all under Alan Currans Collection then page eight of Motorcycles on the Site Map at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
NDRG Drag Challenge report.
8th August: We are indebted to Ronnie Krabberød of Norway's Right On magazine for sending us a report of the weekend's NDRG Drag Challenge at Gardermoen:
The fourth round of this year's European Drag Racing Championship at Amcar International Raceway, Gardermoen, Norway saw record-breaking performances during Friday's two rounds of qualifying. With the biggest number of European Championship competitors ever in Norway we all really looked forward to three even tougher qualifying rounds on Saturday and Sunday's elimination. Sadly we got none of it. Both Saturday and Sunday were totally rained out, and the three European speed records which were underway in Top Fuel Bike, Pro Stock Bike and Top Methanol Dragster could not be backed up.
Roger Pettersson ripped off a 7.385/303.50 kmh in Pro Stock Bike with Anders Abrahamsson as his closest opponent with 7.430/292.94 kmh followed by Anders Larsson 7.487/291.43 kmh and Martin Bishop 7.525/276.64 kmh.
Sverre Dahl roared to a 6.257/382.88 kmh in Top Fuel Bike straight off the trailer. Sverre's run was even more impressive taking into consideration that he has to leave the line very gently because of the gearbox crushing power in his engine. In his second qualifying run the team stepped up a little bit to back up the speed record but the sprags in the gearbox gave in halfway for the fourth time this year. Roel Koedam took second position with a 6.365/350.26 while Ian King grabbed third with 6.548/343.82 kmh. Peter Andersson Ström was last in the six second bracket with a nice 6.710/346.52 kmh.
Dave Wilson kept his grip on Top Methanol Dragster. His 5.487/421.00 kmh well covered the rest of the seven car field. Peter Schöfer followed with 5.543/416.21 kmh. Krister Johansson saw nice progress with his injected nitro dragster. A new set up produced 5.583/404.65 kmh taking spot number three in front of Rob Turner's 5.597/408.49 kmh.
Top Fuel also produced big numbers from the start. Tommy Möller kept up his Mantorp pace and grabbed position number one with a 4.860/443.00 kmh in front of Lex Joon's top end slowing 4.941/383.10 kmh and Thomas Nataas' top end speeding 4.996/472.10. Andy Carter was close to a four with 5.064/450.17 while the four CBD cars all experienced trouble. Micke Kågered was quickest with 5.393/348.57. Top qualifier Tommy Möller was very happy with the Gardermoen track and was prepared to go for a record breaking 4.60 on Saturday. The rain unfortunately killed the attempts, but Tommy was really looking forward to coming back to "the record track".
Supertwin saw a very strong 7.153 bump spot after only two "nasty" rounds of qualifying. Per Bengtsson was back on top with an impressive 6.739/324.09 kmh in his second race this season. Ronny Aasen followed in second with a soft starting and strong ending 6.763/339.63 kmh in front of Svein Olaf Rolfstad who had repaired his blower engine after the DNQ experience at Mantorp a week earlier. Svein Olaf's 6.766/324.53 kmh should be the start of something big, promised the smiling Santa Pod-winning Norwegian. The Zodiac-guys Ton Pels 6.773/335.12 kmh and Svein Gottenberg 6.995/312.89 were the rest of the six-second guys while Hans Olav Olstad 7.014, Joachim Riemer 7.015 and Stefan Junerüd 7.153 made the rest of the very strong eight bike field. The two six-second racers Trond Alm, last year's winner with a 6.83, now 7.172 and Lorenz Stauble 7.421 were ready to jump up. With three more rounds of qualifying this could very well have been the first six-second Supertwin field in Europe.
Most of the Top Methanol Funny Car teams were struggling. Urs Erbacher was quickest with 5.853/401.72 with Dan Larsen as the only guy to follow Urs into the fives with 5.881/395.76. Arvid Grødem grabbed third spot on his home track with a 6.069/376.90 while the rest of the field was well behind their usual pace.
Magnus Hansson led the nine car Pro Stock field with a 6.992/318.63. The low pressure weather was not giving the Pro Stock teams anything extra. Micke Malmgren missed Magnus with only 4/1000 of a second with 6.996 and the higher 320.40 kmh speed. Jimmy Ålund 7.010/319.59 and Jan Murén 7.043/319.79 were close.
The Drag Challenge also saw some spot-on numbers in the Sportsman classes. Lisa Johansen Bjerke clicked off a perfect .500 reaction time in Junior Dragster while Bjoern Terje Nordin ran 9.900 in Super Gas and Morten Dalen 8.900 in Super Comp.
We were all looking forward to some stunning runs the rest of the weekend. Usually the last qualifying round on the Saturday evening at Amcar International Raceway Gardermoen is the most nerve-wracking thing in European drag racing. This year we unfortunately missed that fun and excitement. Instead the heavy rain drowned the pits and the strip and the only thing to do was to look at the rain and put the kettle on while the organizers were laying down every effort to prepare the strip for racing. They were running a huge water-sucking truck borrowed from the international airport day and night. The huge "vacuum cleaner" sucked up 6,000 litres of water on almost every run up and down the 1200 meter strip. The jet dryer also worked overtime and the organizers had a truckload of fuel for the rig. But when the track was almost dry the sky opened up again.
At around one o'clock Sunday we all understood that we just got beaten. Next year we'll kick back with more records at Gardermoen. Don't you miss it!
Full Pro qualifying stats are available on the NDRG web site at www.norskdragracing.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=42.
NDRG Drag Challenge FIM/UEM review.
8th August: We are indebted to FIM/UEM European Championship Co-ordinator Lars Andersson for sending us his usual post-event review, on this occasion from the weekend's NDRG Drag Challenge at Gardermoen:
Two weeks in row with rain is the worst that can happen in drag racing. We had a wonderful Friday with sun and one of the best track in Europe.
It all worked very well. In Pro Stock there were some very nice times. Roger Pettersson ran 303 kmh and was number one qualifier. Anders Abrahamsson was straight after him and on Friday evening we were all excited over what would happen on Saturday.
It was the same in Top Fuel Bike. Sverre Dahl made a 382 kmh run and that is a long way over the European record. Roel Koedam has finally got his bike to run well. With Ian King, Nils Ole Lund and Peter Andersson Ström in the race we could have had a very nice Top Fuel race also.
In Supertwin we were all waiting for the first elimination ladder where you had to run sixes to qualify. On Friday evening we had five sixes and five people who were close and could easy run sixes.
But this was the race in Norway. On Saturday morning it was raining and we looked at the weather radar and we had rain around us all the time. On Sunday it was a little bit better at first but we knew that some heavy rain was scheduled for the afternoon. So the only thing we could do was cancel the race. This was not good. The people at Gardermoen needed some spectators to pay for everything and to be able to continue. They need to make some investment urgently. Norway is one of the best tracks in Europe but the facilities are the worst. We cannot continue to have it like this in a Championship race. No showers, not enough possibility to was your hands. Not enough toilets and their maintenance is poor, garbage cans which were full on Friday and only getting more full over the weekend. A lot of gravel in the paddock and not enough asphalt. When rain comes is it like walking on a beach. There is a tent for beer and food but you need rain boots to get inside it. I am sorry to say this but if things do not change before next year then I think that we will not have a race in the future.
But now we all wait for Hockenheim. Hopefully Rico Anthes and his crew will manage to prepare the track this time so that we have a good and safe race. With a smaller race next weekend it sounds good for the preparation.
We have a very nice system with the points awarded even after a race like this in Norway. We still have a lot of people who can win the Championships even if Ian King is the one I would guess on in Top Fuel, but in Pro Stock and Supertwin it will be open.
Youc an see the latest FIM/UEM points standings by clicking here (Excel format), by clicking on the Points Standings page on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page, or on the King Racing web site at www.kingracing.com.
Orange on show.
8th August: UK Outlaw Anglia racer Simon Barlow and the Orange Pop team are looking forward to this weekend's Bulldog Bash at Shakespeare County Raceway where he will be one of eight OA racers racing in exhibition.
"We will be racing with the new Powerglide which Andy Frost built for us at the beginning of the year", says team member Jason Yates. "The new box is finally in and we can't wait to use it for the first time. We want to run our first ten-second pass as our current PB is 11.03, but that was with the turbo 350 box. We would like to thank Andy Frost for the help he has given us, and also for putting the Nitrous on the car."
8th August: Christer Håård has been in touch to tell us that entry is still open for the Meca Winternats which takes place at the eighth-mile facility in Malmö on 16th-18th September. An English-language invitation and entry form is available by clicking here (PDF format).
Many congratulations to UK Wild Bunch racer Tom Coe and his bride Jenny (right) who were married on Saturday. "I would like to thank everyone who sent wishes, and would also like to wish Tom and Jenny a very happy life and to hurry up and get back to racing in Psycho as I don't want Tom showing me up too many times in the new car", says Alec Coe. We are sure that everyone will join us in wishing Tom and Jenny every happiness for the future.
Web site updates.
8th August: Our good friend Carl Wadkin-Snaith tells us that the UK Junior Drag Bike site at www.juniordragbike.co.uk has been updated with a profile of the first Scandinavian rider. "Though not strictly speaking part of the UK Junior scene, I would be happy to hear from any other Juniors in Europe who would like to have their profile included on the UK site", says Carl. "Hopefully rules can be standardised throughout Europe and we may have International events before long. Just starting? Then check out the Autojumble page where you can find details of Andy Irvine's bike, currently for sale."
Drag Challenge rained out.
7th August: 12:35 Thanks to our good friend Gittli Koller for letting us know that the NDRG Drag Challenge has been officially called off due to persistent rain.
A number of web sites have been providing live updates from Gardermoen over the weekend:
First up is the Kågered Racing web site at www.kagered-racing.com which is being updated by Team Manager Åsa Kinnemar with round-by-round results and comments in both Top Fuel Dragster and Top Methanol Funny Car.
Joan Larsen is updating Dan's web site with Top Methanol FC results and comments; you can find Joan's reports at www.funnycar.dk. Also updating on TMFC is Kenneth Hellén who is posting comments from the Velocity Performance Group at www.vpgroup.se/forum/index.php?a=topic&t=11.
Gittli also sent us the Top Methanol Dragster qualifying after Friday's second session:
7th August: Smax Smith has been in touch from Canada to say that he was gutted to hear of Dennis Stone's death.
"On behalf of all the Smax team we want to send our best wishes to all who knew Dennis, as that guy was solid", says Smax. "He recognized that when I was a rookie alky guy, he encouraged me to carry on even with no cash! He was always there with friendly advice and encouragement. I hope that wherever he ends up he's happy - rest well my friend."
7th August: Our good buddy John Hackney has been in touch from Santa Pod Raceway to let us know about the exhibition passes which took place at Ultimate Street Car yesterday. Danny Cockerill clocked a best of 6.82/162 in his repaired Pro Mod, shutting off at three-quarter track. Fellow Pro Mod racer Ian Bishop recorded 7.18/184 whilst Super Mod racer Craig Gibbs clocked 8.26/157. Mark Pointer pulled two hundred foot burnouts before both his runs with a best of 8.30/160 in his Super Pro ET van, and Sam Freeman ran a best of 8.51/151 in his altered.
Web site updates.
7th August: Dennis Kieselhorst has been in touch to let us know that issue eighteen of Dragracer magazine is now available. For more details including ordering information check out the magazine's web site at www.dragracer.de. "You can order from England for €3.90 plus €3 shipping", says Dennis. "Please E-Mail email@example.com."
If you are into model drag racing then a great site to check out is the Rhine Valley International Raceway web site at www.slotdragster.com. The 1/24 scale slot drag strip in Dornbirn, Austria, has a track record of 0.524 seconds at 79.14 mph and hosts a number of classes at each race. The web site is presented in both German and English and features track details, rules, classes, race reports with photographs, and more.
Updates from Gardermoen.
6th August: 16:00 Thanks to Gittli Koller, Kenneth Hellén, Joan Larsen and Monique Pels for passing on the news that it has been raining very hard at Gardermoen today; in fact we now understand that qualifying has been called for the day.
Monique Pels also kindly sent us the standings in Top Fuel Bike at the end of yesterday's first day of qualifying:
First up is the Kågered Racing web site at www.kagered-racing.com which is being updated by Team Manager Åsa Kinnemar with round-by-round results and comments in both Top Fuel Dragster and Top Methanol Funny Car.
Joan Larsen is updating Dan's web site with Top Methanol FC results and comments; you can find Joan's reports at www.funnycar.dk. Also updating on TMFC is Kenneth Hellén who is posting comments from the Velocity Performance Group at www.vpgroup.se/forum/index.php?a=topic&t=11.
Monique and Vincent Pels kindly sent us the standings in Supertwin at the end of yesterday's first session of qualifying:
...And then there were three.
6th August: Knut Söderquist's four-car Top Fuel Dragster team is down to three for this weekend after Darryl Bradford stepped out of the fourth dragster following yesterday's first qualifying session at Gardermoen.
"Darryl didn't feel comfortable in the car", Knut told Eurodragster.com last night. "It's a disappointment because I brought the rig all the way here and now the car will be standing idle this weekend, there were other drivers interested also and as you saw with Susanne last week the car is going very well. I am not sure what we will be doing with the fourth car now; I don't know whether not it will be at the European Finals."
Knut said that the CBD team didn't have the best of days in qualifying yesterday. "It really isn't our year with Jöran Persåker's car", he said, "nothing is going right. We have just finished making some drastic changes to Micke Kågered's car to add some more mechanical horsepower. Gary Page's parachute came out in the burnout, that's just bad luck."
One thing which did go well yesterday was a test pass by Top Methanol FC racer Leif Andréasson in the Top Fueller which Darryl vacated. "Leif has wanted to take a ride in a Top Fueller for a long time and he was a natural", said Knut. "It was a very nice pass indeed, dead straight, a 5.8 half-pass which would have been a 4.9 if he had gone all the way."
'Slammers still sought.
6th August: Terry Gibbs of Obsession Motorsports has been in touch to let us know that there is still time for a couple of doorslammers to join the Super Modified exhibition at the Nitrolympx in Hockenheim on 19th-21st August. If your car has doors and can run between 7.80 and 8.50 then it does not have to be a Super Modified to join in the fun.
"To date the following drivers are competing", says Terry Gibbs. "Andy Hone, Steve Rawlings, Graham Ellis, Ian Marshall, Kev Perkins and Mark Pointer. It's not too late for two other racers to join us. If you have a doorslammer that runs 7.80 to 8.50 come and play with the Super Mods, you don't have to be 100% Super Mod legal.
"Don't be shy - it is a good deal and assistance is available for travel costs. I have all the paperwork, just phone me on 01483 236262."
Third WRE Test Day beckons.
6th August: Bookings are still being taken for the next Webster Race Engineering Test Day which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday 20th August.
Webster Race Engineering Test Days feature a track prepped to event standard as well as full marshal and safety cover. Catering is also available on-site throughout the day. The track is open betweeen approximately 10:00 and 17:00 with a half-hour break for lunch.
Entries will be accepted up to four days before the Test Day; after this deadline an additional £25 late entry fee will be payable if entry is accepted. You can download the official WRE Test Days entry form (Word format) by clicking here. For more details about the Test Days, call Webster Race Engineering on 01933 315236 or check out the WRE web site at www.webster-race-engineering.co.uk.
6th August: Congratulations to Jon and Jane Crawford on the arrival of Grace Clarice Jane Crawford who said hello to the world on Thursday. "Grace weighed in at 8lb 4oz, and is nearly as perfect as her mum", says Jon. "Both mum Jane and baby are doing well, whilst daddy has declared it to be "Beer-O'Clock". Those who know us well will know what a journey the last couple of years have been. Suffice to say, Jon and Jane are delighted with their new daughter, and the boys are looking forward to meeting their baby sister". We're sure that everyone will join us in congratulating Jon and Jane on Grace's arrival.
Direct from Gardermoen...
5th August: 20:35 Thanks again to Christina Bodén for sending us the standings in Pro Stock after the second qualifying session at Gardermoen:
18:00 Joan Larsen has kindly been in touch with the Top Methanol FC standings after session two of qualifying at Gardermoen:
14:40 Many thanks to our good friend Gittli Koller of Peter Schöfer Racing for passing on the Top Methanol Dragster qualifying after the first session at Gardermoen:
14:30 Gerda Dijkstra has let us know that Leif Andréasson has just made a 5.8-second licencing pass in one of Knut Söderquist's Top Fuel Dragsters. Stay tuned and as soon as we know more you'll know.
14:00 We are indebted to Joan Larsen for sending us the results of the first round of Top Methanol Funny Car qualifying at the NDRG Drag Challenge at Gardermoen, which started today:
Just the beginning for Joon.
5th August: A delighted Lex Joon says that everything came together for the MPM Top Fuel Team at Mantorp Park last Sunday. Current FIA Championship leader Lex ran the fourth-quickest pass in European Top Fuel history at 4.788, taking out reigning Champion Andy Carter in the first round of eliminations.
"We're over the moon with the first round win, with the 4.7, and with extending our lead in the Championship", says Lex. "There was a lot at stake and we could easily have lost it."
Lex says that he knew that the MPM car was set up for something special on Sunday morning. "Before the run I called Max back three times to tighten my belts", he says. "I knew that the car would be making a good run and that I would be pulling both chutes at once - it really hits when they both open at the same time. I said to Sharkman on Sunday morning that I wanted to get a lead off the line and that's what happened."
Lex strapped a 0.108 to 0.301 holeshot on Andy but from where he was he needed reassurance. "The lights went down and I hit the throttle and as I went past I kept looking at the Tree to make sure that I could see it was green and not red!", says Lex. "The next thing I saw was the eighth mile. We thought we had the right lane figured out, but the car had been pulling its front wheels up at the bump at the eighth and I couldn't pedal it there. Eddie (Corr, Crew Chief - Ed) gave me some ideas on the phone but the car stuck to the ground anyway. Eddie asked me afterwards if the front wheels came up and I said "I don't know, I was looking for the finish line!".
"The car nosed over at a thousand feet but this was a race and I knew that Andy would drive through the back door to run me down. Andy is the Champion and he can always pull something out of the hat. He does his job and the team do their job. So I had to stay on the throttle. It was the straightest I have gone in this car, and our first full pass, and it was exactly how you described it in your race report. As long as the car keeps going no-one can catch you. This car is so strong and I am starting to get used to driving it. We know there is more in there but we were trying to be safe and run a full pass."
Lex says that the MPM team suffered the minimum of damage at the weekend and that this was in no small part down to his crew. "We broke nothing apart from one head gasket, and we threw a blower belt but that was my fault", says Lex. "My crew made no mistakes at all, and I know I can rely on them. They are now turning the car round in eighty minutes and are getting better and better all the time."
The track crew are also due their measure of credit for the weekend's performances, says Lex. "We can only run the numbers we did because of the fantastic track crew. Rain or oil, they did a fantastic job and I never had any concerns about running in a lane they had just cleaned. When we got there on Thursday I went and looked at the track and it was obvious why Tommy Möller had run a 5.0 at the Press Day, and I was confident that we would run good numbers. Knowing that the track crews do such a great job means that we can just carry on where we left off. Knowing this car, and knowing my crew, we could take the track records both in Norway (4.764 - Ed) and Santa Pod Raceway (4.645 - Ed)."
Lex is now looking to this weekend's NDRG Drag Challenge at Gardermoen where he hopes to consilidate his Championship lead and put in some more spectacular times. "Eddie says that this is just the beginning!", says Lex. "It's nice to be taking European Top Fuel to the next level. It's good to see Tommy Möller doing well too, we are the two private teams. As things look now it will be good in Norway and very good at Santa Pod. We'll show the fans just how fast this car can go! Eddie will be there this weekend, and we only have six rounds left in the 2005 Championship so we need to go rounds, but I have told Eddie that if the car wants to run 4.7s then he should let it.
"We would like to close the whole deal with a really good time and give the other teams something to think about over the winter."
5th August: Swiss Pro Mod racer Marcus Hilt says that his first outing in his TMRC-built '63 'Vette (right), at Turtmann, went well. "The car feels and responds really well, and we are happy to back on track after last year's setback", says Marcus. "The Trouble Racing Motorsports Team is ready for the first outing in the Pro Mod Thunder race at the Nitrolympx. If everything goes as expected then we also plan to compete in the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod". Marcus now has his own Team page on the European Pro Mod Racers Association site at www.promod.nu.
Fahad Taqi of the Bahrain Drag Racing Club says that the Club's Chief Starter Yasser Abdulla, or "Mr Disqualified" as he is known in the Kingdom of Bahrain, loved the professionalism and dedication to safety shown by Ian Marshall and Annette Heleander at mantorp Park last weekend. "Yasser said that he will take home that dedication and knowledge so, people, it's time to listen to Yasser or be disqualified!", says Fahad. Yasser has also launched a web site at www.yassrey.com featuring his pride and joy pick-up.
UK Top Methanol Dragster racer Lindsay Deuchar is seeking crew members to work on his five-second dragster. "The car is based in the Barnsley area and anyone wishing to apply should be reasonably local, as your help will be required for one or two nights in the week and at weekends during the race season", says Lindsay. "Although previous experience of working on a race car/fabricating/machining would be an advantage, it is not essential as appropriate training would be given to the right people. Absolutely essential qualities are reliability, availability, dedication and enthusiasm - contact me only if you possess all of these!". If you are interested then you can contact Lindsay through his web site at www.laracing.co.uk.
A large number of mourners from the racing community came to pay their respects to Dennis Stone at his funeral in Corbets Tey yesterday. Racers from the 1970s to the present day joined family members and friends for a service which included some anecdotes from Dennis' days in drag racing which despite the solemnity of the occasion had everyone laughing. We'll never forget you, Dennis.
Tog and Sharkman would like to say a big Happy Birthday to our good friend Libby Mottershead, hope you are having a great day Libby and you will get your hugs in due course.
Drag racing and points north.
5th August: This weekend, all drag racing points north as the UK's York Raceway hosts the 28th Annual Street Racer Championship - the must-do for the fastest road cars - the annual Super Pro Shootout currently featuring Ian Tubb, Chris Round and Mark Flavell (keen to take the track record back from Chris) in dragsters and door-slamming Steve Neimantas in his Aston Martin, and rounds of the Wild Bunch and the National Street Car Championship.
York Raceway PR Howard Holmes sent us the Pennine Drag Racing Championship points standings leading into this weekend's event:
Bradford drives in Norway.
4th August: UK Top Fuel Dragster race Darryl Bradford will be contesting this weekend's NDRG Drag Challenge at Gardermoen in one of Knut Söderquist's Carbon By Design team of Top Fuellers.
"I was at Mantorp as usual watching and had no idea this would be possible", says Darryl, "but after a conversation with Knut and a late phone call on Tuesday I realised that with a bit of rapid organisation I could contest the next round at Gardermoen.
"I am really grateful to Knut for the chance to drive, especially as the car ran so well in Sweden. Plus I owe John and Lesley Wright a huge thank you for giving me the weekend off from preparing the Wright Racing Fueller for our next outing at Shakespeare County Raceway on August Bank Holiday weekend. It’s really important to get as much track time as possible to keep your reactions sharp."
Darryl has promised to keep Eurodragster.com posted through the weekend and asks fans to be sure to say Hello if they are passing the CBD pit at Amcar Raceway this weekend.
Editor's note: Thanks to Derek Todd for his help with this news item.
Good and bad for Fat Attack.
4th August: Andrea Wucher has been in touch from the camping ground in Karlstad with the Fat Attack Top Methanol FC and Supertwin team's views on their weekend at Mantorp Park.
"We are very pleasend with the performance of our Supertwin Team", says Andrea. "A consistent performance in the sixes, and good reaction time from Lorenz Stauble in the first round of eliminations, giving Ronny Aasen a hard time. Urs Erbacher lost in the first round; it was a long time ago that this happened to us. After Niclas has send his E-Mail or SMS or whatever he did there in pre-stage and finally decided to race, we lost by five hundredths of a second. Urs had to use all his power to hold the Funny Car in the lights to avoid a red light.
"So we were not unlucky that the race was stopped, we only lost twenty points to Dan Larsen.
"On the camp ground in Karlstad we have had a great time with Dan and Joan Larsen, Martin Lundqvist and his father, and Jörgen Leanders. Drag racing is the right sport for the Turners, as flying model aircraft is really not their strength. Congratulations to Rob Turner on his fiftieth birthday!"
4th August: Fahad Taqi, General Secretary of the Bahrain Drag Racing Club, says that he thought he was in paradise at Mantorp Park at the weekend.
"Being in between two Top Fuel cars was like heaven", says Fahad. "And not just that: to my left was Europe's best, Andy Carter, and to my right Lex Joon. It was a dream come true and then god wanted to tease me more by watching a 4.788 run, I felt my soul leaving my body!"
Fahad says that everyone who attended the Veidec Festival from the Kingdom of Bahrain was very honoured and happy to be a part of the event. "It was 110% perfect", says Fahad. "Even the weather did not affect the speed and passion of everyone's love for this fast-growing sport which in my own opinion will be bigger than Formula One...yes F1. Keith Bartlett has made it what it is and will be the major driving force behind this success.
"The Bahrain Drag Racing Club was very pleased to be a part of the confirmation of their participation in the November Drag Festival and also hosting the first round of the 2006 FIA European Drag Racing Championship. The Kingdom of Bahrain will welcome all the drivers and crew with open arms and the BDRC and BIC will work side-by-side to make this event a big success.
"I would like to end with my thanks to everyone who made this event and big success, and I would like to personally thank Keith Bartlett, Kjell Pettersson, Tomas Pettersson, Peter Larsson, Annette Heleander and Darren Prentice."
Fahad also tells us that the Pro Mod members of the team coming to November's Invitational in Bahrain will have some local competition. "The Mcdonalds Team from the State of Kuwait have just purchqsed a 1963 Corvette powered by a Pat Musi 707 ci engine, the car is expected to run in the low sixes", he says. "Bader Alahli, a United Arab Emirates resident and an upcoming Middle East Champion contender has purchased a '41 Willys from Marc Dantoni in the United States. The car (right) is powered by a 707 ci Pat Musi engine and has clocked a best of 6.4/216.06.
"It's going to be hot in the Middle East with these cars and many more on the way."
Web site updates.
4th August: Continuing the Bahrain theme, the Pit Lane Gossip page of the King Racing web site at www.kingracing.com has been updated with news of the arrangements being made for racers attending the November's Invitational in Bahrain.
Our good buddy Erik Zettervall has updated the Svensk Dragracing web site with the latest points standings in both the Nordic Drag Racing Series and the Swedish Dragracing League. "It will be a close battle in the final races to be the Champion in almost every class", says Erik. Check it out at www.dragracing.se.
The official web site of the European Pro Mod Association at www.promod.nu has been updated with a Team page for Switzerland's Rolf Amman and his Blown Nugget Coupe.
Carter congratulates Joon.
3rd August: 2004 FIA Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter has congratulated Lex Joon on his 4.788 run in eliminations at the Veidec Festival on Sunday. Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe has confirmed that Lex and Andy's race was the quickest side-by-side race in European drag racing history with Andy running a 4.953 in the B & Q Top Fueller to Lex's 4.7 in the MPM Oil-backed car.
"It was a great run by Lex, well done to him and his crew", says Andy. "It was great to be involved in another quickest side-by-side run, as I was involved in the previous two quickest races as well. It must have been a great race for the spectators!". As it happens Andy has run one of only three quicker passes in European Top Fuel history, his 4.760 at Mantorp Park last season, with Kim Reymond accounting for the others.
Andy makes no excuses about his defeat in Sunday's race. "Rune Fjeld, Ben Allum and my crew gave me a great car all the way through the event", he says. "We just got outraced. Lex's reaction was a lot quicker than mine and to be honest I could have run a zero reaction time and he would have been hard to beat. It's great to see Lex stepping up in performance and I am really pleased for him."
3rd August: Gordon Callin of Callin Racing has been in touch to thank everyone who helped his daughter Susanne to get back into a Top Fuel Dragster. Susanne had an eventful weekend at the Veidec Festival, setting a new Personal Best ET in qualifying and setting a new track record for distance beyond the gravel trap after her parachutes failed on the same run, but Gordon says that it was nice to be back in Top Fuel.
"Special thanks to Jöran Persåker who sponsored us with the nitro, Mantorp Park for helping us enter the event, King Knut Söderquist, Alan Jackson, and of course our crew", says Gordon. "Mark, Kevin and Scotch Rob did a really good job to get the car down the track with three good runs. Unfortunately the blower belt broke in the first round handing the win to Thomas Nataas.
"We would also like to thank all of the track personnel for the way they took care of Susanne and the car when she went through the gravel trap. I hope to see you all again next year."
3rd August: Many thanks to FIA European Championship Co-ordinator Kjell Pettersson for forwarding us the post-Veidec Festival points standings in the FIA European Championships. You can view the FIA European Championship points (PDF format) by clicking here, or by clicking on the Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Thanks also to Andy Marrs for sending us an updated table of Europe's quickest side-by-side runs, now including the weekend's race between Lex Joon and Andy Carter. You can view the table by clicking here, or by clicking on the European Bests link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Many congratulations to Swedish Pro Street racer Lars Enlund and his bride Marina on their recent marriage in Orsa. Peder Eneroth of Svemo Dragracing tells us that like a true racer Lars wore his racing leathers for the event (right). We're sure that all of Eurodragster.com's readers will join us in wishing Lars and Marina a long and happy marriage.
Congratulations, too, and a very Happy 50th Birthday to UK Top Methanol Dragster racer Rob Turner. Rob is currently in Karlstad, the traditional stop between Mantorp Park and Gardermoen, and we understand that he is nursing a headache after starting his birthday celebrations last night. Hope you have a great day, Rob.
Koedam Racing Festival review.
3rd August: We are indebted to Marius Van Der Zijden, Crew Chief for 2004 FIM/UEM Top Fuel Bike Champion Roel Koedam, for sending us his regular post-event report, this time from the weekend's Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park:
Our testing in Drachten taught us a lot, especially in which areas we didn’t have to look. Even before we left Drachten we had a new plan of attack. This required a lot of action from several parties. We were already familiar with a tight time schedule, as once again there was just over a week left before the bike had to go in the transport to Sweden. On top of that we also had to make sure to carry enough spares as the weekend following Sweden will be the Norwegian Championship round and the bike stays in between those events in Scandinavia. New parts were flown in during the week, and everybody involved worked lots of overtime once again.We received all the parts in time and the bike was 90% finished when we rolled it into our race trailer.
Despite the excellent weather in the northern part of Europe over the last few weeks, the outlook for the race weekend was not too good. Lots of grey spots on the weather map in the Mantorp area. Friday however turned out to be a rather good day. First we finished the bike. When fired, all sounded well as usual. We had learned in the meantime that if we would still face problems, they would not occur sooner than in the burnout or the following run. Knowing that the first fifty metres of the run would be very critical, we were all very tense - nothing like us. We had decided that we would make a short burnout followed by a half pass. During our testing in Drachten it already started spraying oil mist out of the catch tank after 150 metres, so a short run would tell us enough without risking too much.
Can you imagine the relief when we didn’t spot a single thing going wrong in that pass. When we arrived at the end of the track to pick up the bike there was a thumbs-up and big smile on Roel’s face. All went well and not a single drop of oil in the crankcase ventilation hose to the catch tank! It looked like we had made the right decisions about our engine problems this time. Still a little bit anxious, we towed the bike back to the pit area for the usual maintenance and a closer look. That revealed nothing new, all was as it was when we first looked.
We were now in for a full pass. A “full pass” at Mantorp Park for us means never “driving it out of the back door” as the run-off area is still not long enough according to most riders and drivers. We also wanted to make that pass on Friday as the weather for Saturday didn’t look too good. When we made the pass late Friday afternoon, all seemed well again and a 6.50 appeared on the timing board. The relatively low top end speed of 310kmh (192 mph) indicated an early click-off. Once again no traces of oil anywhere except where it should be. The data-logger revealed the click-off was at 5.6 seconds. As we still had some unknown factors (i.e. new parts) in the engine, we decided to take the cylinder head off and pull the pistons for a closer inspection. It looked like our problems were virtually solved and that we had found a good material / tune-up combination to continue with. Our 6.50 put us on a provisional # 1 spot.
For Saturday there were two more qualifying rounds scheduled. We went back to our old habit and decided to go for the last session, gambling that the conditions would suit us better. In the third qualifying round Sverre Dahl’s 6.45 bumped us to the second spot. Judging by his top end speed of 364 kmh (228 mph) he kept the throttle open all the way. Unfortunately the last session rained out and therefore we remained the #2 qualifier.
It continued raining all night and still was on Sunday morning. Towards the end of the morning it looked like the eliminations could start after all. The sun came through and it even got nice and warm. Our initial call for the first round was at 14.00 but by the time it was our turn it was already 16.00! We had adjusted the clutch to be a little more aggressive and won this first round with a 6.39/323 (201mph). So far this was the quickest ET of the meeting (and it remained so). It was a very bumpy ride due to track conditions. Given that we momentarily lost some traction at the bumps and that it was again an early click off , we are very happy with the results. On top of that the engine didn’t show any signs of stress at all. What more could we ask for after all the problems we went through during the first meetings of this season.
By the time all of the first round eliminations were finished it was already well past 17.00! Due to a time curfew the organizers had to stop further racing, despite their efforts trying to extend the curfew. We might not have been happy with this situation, but we fully understood that difficult decision. The good part of it is that we finally made a major breakthrough in the fight against our engine problems as we began to see the bottom of our bag of tricks. Once again we owe a big Thank You to our sponsors Zodiac and Goedhals for playing a major role in solving our engine problems!
At this point we also like to congratulate our friend and fellow racer Ton Pels who celebrated his 35th (!) anniversary in drag racing on 2nd August.
The next event on the calendar is this coming weekend at the superb track at Gardermoen in Norway. In the meantime we very happily say "We are back!".
Web site updates.
3rd August: The official web site of the UK Super Modified Racers Association at www.supermodified.co.uk has been updated with a report from the Bug Jam. "I'd like to thank Kev Perkins for keeping us updated with the points standings", says Lee Kirk.
With this year's NDRG Drag Challenge a couple of days away, Victor Olsen has whetted our appetites with a number of excellent video clips from the 2004 race. Check it out at www.ixal.net/modules.php?name=Downloads&d_op=viewdownload&cid=6.
Thirty five years of Pels.
2nd August: Many congratulations to reigning European Supertwin Champion Ton Pels, who celebrates his 35th anniversary of drag racing today, 2nd August.
Ton's drag racing career has known many highlights. Countless wins, many National Championship titles, three European titles and first European (and third in the world) to do 200 mph on a Harley are some examples. The Zodiac drag bike has also been Europe's fastest and quickest naturally aspirated motorcycle for many years.
Ton's team - know as Zodiac Racing for the last 20 years - is a family run operation, run by Ton, his wife Marianne, son Vincent and daughter Monique. Son-in-law Bert also does maintenance on the bike at the races when necessary and the last few years three generations of the Pels family have attended races.
For a photo impression of the last thirty five years check out the special page at www.zodiac.nl/dragrace/35years.htm. The photos not only give a great view of motorcycle dragracing through the years, but is also a kind of family photo album of the team.
Veidec Festival FIM/UEM review.
2nd August: Many thanks to FIM/UEM European Championship Co-ordinator Lars Andersson for sending his regular post-event review, in this case of the weekend's Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park:
On Thursday it was National classes only and that worked well. On Friday we had two rounds of qualifying without any big problems. On Saturday it was darker in the sky but we did the first round and started on the next. Pro Stock Bike managed to finish but then started it to rain. So we had to cancel the last round for Supertwin and Top Fuel.
On Sunday morning it was raining so we started at 14.15 and with all the car and bike classes we were only able to do one elimination round before it was too late for the local environmental regulations. But there are some things to mention. In Pro Stock Bike we had very good times. Anders Abrahamsson and Roger Pettersson fought for the number one qualifying spot. Chris Hope, Anders Larsson and Martin Bishop didn't give up so easily and were also running good times. New rider Örjan Gustavsson showed all of us that he also wants to do something, he is just waiting for the next race.
In Top Fuel Bike Roel Koedam is back now that he has got his engine to work as it should. Peter Andersson Ström had made a new crank and is also back in business. Sverre Dahl managed to run a new track speed record, Eric Teboul had some problems so he did not qualify. But with Ian King and Nils Ole Lund we had five good bikes in eliminations.
In Supertwin the Swedes were back again. Anders 'Charley' Karling showed that he is one of the strongest. He was the number one qualifier and did also won his first race. Per Bengtsson showed that he is also a strong runner but had some trouble in eliminations. But the fight for the Championship looks to be between Ronny Aassen and Ton Pels.
Now we are waiting for the next race at Gardermoen in Norway. Hopefully we will have better weather this weekend.
You can see the latest FIM/UEM Championship points by clicking here or by clicking on the Points Standings page on the left-hand side of any Eurordagster.com page.
2nd August: Many thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for sending us the timing data from last week's Bug Jam at Santa Pod Raceway. You can view the Bug Jam data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Well done to Peter Nilsson of Stockholm who won the European Pro Mod Association's Veidec Festival bump spot contest with a guess of 6.687, only seven thousandths (66.61 cm if you're in the majority who trust our maths - Ed) off the actual bump spot of 6.680.
Many thanks to those who have been in touch with kind comments on our coverage of the Veidec Festival which was produced in association with our buddies at Svensk Dragracing. We are considering making a change to the Photo Galleries in future Eurodragster.com Event Coverage to the format used at the weekend, i.e. a smaller number of pictures each day, but every picture captioned. If you have any views on this then please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chrissy O's transformation.
2nd August: Having sold his popular Reservoir Dodge, the UK's Chris Orthodoxou took his trusty 440 'Cuda street car to the weekend's Mopar Euronationals at Santa Pod Raceway to have some fun. Chris dropped us a line to let us know how he got on.
"I removed the six pack and fitted an M1 manifold and 850 dp Holley - the car is transformed!", says Chris. "This car weighs 3700 lb and is street legal other than the slicks. I've owned her since 1981 and she's running better and quicker than ever, achieved by years of development. Set up as it would be when I used to bracket race her, she amazingly went 11.612, 11.612 and 11.612! Yes, three identical times in a row...so god help you lot if I come out bracket racing again next season. After that, I did a few more runs playing about with shift points etc and ran PBs four times in a row: first the 11.612, then 11.58, then 11.47, then an astounding 11.36. I went home with a great big smile!
"It was also confirmed as the quickest original street car of the weekend. To win this, the car has to be all steel, non-tubbed, no nitrous, original axle, leaf springs etc. But I couldn't get the trophy as there is a maximum slick size of 10.5 inches, and my fifteen-year-old slicks are 11 inches. Believe it or not, some sad bloke actually carried out a secret inspection of my car and went running to the organisers to point this out. The strange thing is that I didn't even know I was in the class to begin with. When I heard of all this going on, I offered to swap wheels with him and kick his arse again, but the offer was turned down. Nuff said!
"It was a great weekend: very busy, some beautiful and very fast muscle cars, it only rained twice and we had about three hours total down-time. Congratulations to the organisers, Tony Oksien, Jim Wilson, Tim Holmes etc. on another great job done. We're already looking forward to next year's event. Also big thanks to my wife Angella, mate John Ball and drummer Mick Hamilton for their help all weekend. As well as Mark 'Nipper' Stevens, Nick Orr and Cliff Turner."
Longtime fans will remember that Chris plays in rock band Executive Relief and he says that their gig on Saturday night went down very well. "We played for about two and a quarter hours and the crowd were going wild - the huge ammount of beer swallowed helped", says Chris. "Remember the chorus re-wording of our event anthem, Sharp Dressed Man (by ZZ Top): "Every girl's gagging for a Mopar Man"..."
Mopar Euronationals report.
2nd August: Although isolated pockets of moisture failed in their bid to interfere with the running of the weekend’s twelfth running of the Mopar Euronationals at Santa Pod, the three day muscle car festival exceeded all expectations again with plenty of track action culminating in the show’s legendary burnout competition, writes Jerry Cookson. With the show predominantly a Chrysler affair, many view the EuroNationals as the numero uno in European muscle car festivals for all the other legendary brands as well as the Pentastar products.
Chrysler has produced some of the most desirable and collectible cars to hit the tarmac let alone a drag strip, so it didn’t take long for the famed quarter mile strip to become the weekend’s focal point of interest as time trials began early Saturday taking in four categories; Stock Appearing, Original King of Street, King of Street and Unlimited King of Street as well as the Fastest Mopar award.
Taking the Stock Appearing award for the second time in succession was Glynn Biggs ’68 Dodge Charger R/T. Soon to be splashed all over Channel Five’s ‘Fifth Gear’ programme duking it out with one of the new Bentleys, Glynn posted a best of 13.562. Also keeping hold on a trophy from the 2004 event was Paul Fleckley driving the Klotz Racing Fuels ’64 Plymouth Fury logging times of 11.482 seconds at 116.27 mph.
A change of ownership for the King of Street title went to Dave Billadeau’s might 572ci aluminium Hemi GTX (10.277s) while the Unlimited King of Street award headed back across the channel to France in the boot of Dider Billaut’s low ridin’ Pro Street ’70 Challenger. Despite having all manner of camera trickery suckered to the car at all conceiveable angels, Didier rattled of several 9.4s at 140 mph to keep at bay Steve Neimantas' unfinished mega cubed Hemi Charger (9.536) and Jerry Smith’s rapid Plymouth Belvedere (9.881).
Fastest Mopar belonged to three-peat winner Ian Bishop. Packing over 550 cubic horse’s of Mopar power under the hood of his Pro Modified Dodge Avenger, early in the weekend Bishop encountered several wayward rides until late Sunday afternoon he hit on the big numbers – 7.449/182.07. Participants' Choice went to Mick Payne’s blown ’66 Dodge Coronet, the ‘Artful Dodger’. Complete with its CBD scoop and high-pressure blower Mick hammered the quarter mile to the tune of 8.425s at 152.26 mph.
The Burnout competition attracted ten entrants all giving it one hundred and ten percent more than they should but in the end it was a straightforward decision made by the fanatics in the stands who awarded York Raceway regular George Childs (’69 Road Runner) this year's title over Alan Rush.
In a special Surrey Muscle versus Taz Racing Shootout organised by Jason Gilmore, Taz Racing took four wins over Surrey Muscle’s four and in the QuarterMileHigh.com Replica Shootout for vehicles with a Stock/Super Stock or AFX appearance, the final went to Dave Bailey’s ten-second Chrysler Valiant over the ‘Blu-by-Yew’ Plymouth Satelite.
In addition to racers running under the Pentastar banner, there were several other notable national championship drivers and teams putting the weekend to good use. Topping the list was Mark Pointer’s ‘Hooligan’ Fordson van running a new personal best of 8.104/165.58, Street Eliminator standout John Sleath taking his Audi as low as 8.263/174.99 and Jeff Bull taking a rare outing in wife Belinda’s Chevy Camaro and running it as low as 8.404/158.44.
Jon Morton was sharpening his reflexes yet again with some killer reaction times and some high eight second laps (8.822s) in his Super Comp Camaro, while Junior graduate Stuart Morrice began learning the craft of Super Gas from class stalwart Malcolm Francis with his new ride, a ’69 Chevy Camaro and finished the weekend test with a very rapid 9.098/150.52. Also there with his very attractive fifties Chevy Pick-up, sporting Super Pro ET numbers, was Lee Darby. Lee turned the keys over to engine builder Jeff Bull who carded a slightly quicker time than Lee at 9.157/147.07. Martin Hill also made a couple of passes for the excited crowd in FireForce 2 to the tune of 6.031/258.50.
Northern Nationals fill the gap.
2nd August: This weekend's (6th-7th August) UK Northern Nationals at the UK's York Raceway is one of the North's biggest drag racing events of the year and features the 28th Annual Street Racer Championship, writes PR Howard Holmes.
"On Saturday 6th there's qualifying for the forth rounds of Hot Rod Challenge, Air Cooled Eliminators, Northern Drag Racing Championship (Pro ET, Sportsman-ET and Super Class). There's also the Super Pro Shootout qualifying as detailled by Mark Flavell earlier on Eurodragster.com, and there are qualifying and eliminations for Round 4 of American Super Stock.
"It'll be great to see John Sleath campaigning the Hot Rod Challenge after a new PB at the Mopar Nationals, his Audi now garnished with Gedore tools graphics. And speaking of the Mopar Nats, Simon Boot's Road Runner, now running in the elevens, will be hunting points in American Super Stock, as will others now that points leader Dave Billedeau is in Florida for this weekend's two rounds! And speaking of Mopar Nats, Nige Bender drove his Jaguar XJS (with 454 ci) to the Pod from Manchester, ran a nine and drove back, and got twenty miles per gallon! Watch out for Nige in pursuit of the title of 28th Street Racer Champion. It's a highly sought prize, let's hope we see more new faces and new machinery again this year.
"John Sleath won't be contesting his current title as the Street Racer Champion this year. The rules are very particular: the winner of each elimination has to go to straight back to the fire-up lane for the next round of eliminations and that's very real street! So who's going to take the Street Racer Championship title away from John Sleath this year? It's up for grabs and the door is wide open. There are rumours of a $24 millon dollar prize fund, enough to rebuild four Lee Majors, but this has yet to be corroborated. However, we'll try to get details of real prize funds and current points standings to you prior to the event.
"Straitjacket Hamilton will be returning to York for the next round of the Air-Cooled Eliminators, with a fresh motor that now pushed his Beetle into the nines. The Wild Bunch will also be staging their next rounds of the Nostalgia drag racing series across the weekend and the National Street Car Challenge will be shooting its fifth round.
"Nationally, the UK drag racing season is a bit quite at the moment. So if you're yearning to race, York Raceway is the place. We're all looking forward to a fantastic weekend."
Web site updates.
2nd August: The official web site of the European Pro Mod Association at www.promod.nu has been updated with results and post-events points standings from the Veidec Festival, as well as some three hundred on- and off-track pictures from the weekend's event.
Our good buddy Alan Currans has been in touch with news of the latest update to his excellent Acceleration Archive web site. "The seventh Long Lost John Woolfe Racing Archive page has now been published and it is an all Mr Revell affair. Mr Revell was the name given to the slingshot top fuel dragster imported from the USA in 1973 by John Woolfe Racing and driven by the legendary Dennis Priddle. It recorded the world's fastest time for a front engined car of 6.04 seconds and this record stood for decades before the nostalgia drag racing movement took off in the US. It was one of the last front engined cars built and, as you will see from the many pictures, it was a really beautifully put together piece of work. To end the page there are some shots of the aftermath of when Mr Revell had a bit of a coming-together with a rear-engined Pro Fuel Dragster at Snetterton one afternoon". Check it out at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
The UK's Darren 'Leadfoot' Husssey has updated the Small Time Racing web site with the latest updates from the workshops of the two-car Ford Falcon and Anglia team. You can find Darren's site at www.smalltimeracing.co.uk.
UK Pro ET and Wild Bunch racer Adam Charnley has updated his Cougar Racing web site with renderings of his Altered in its Topolino guise as well as Windows wallpapers. Check it out at www.freewebs.com/cougarracing.
The official web site of the UK's Freddy's Revenge NFAA altered has been updated with a selection of pictures from last weekend's Worthing Sunny Sunday Rod, Custom and American Car Show, along with a selection of pictures of unusual cars and engines from various events. You can find the Freddy's Revenge site at www.freddysrevenge.co.uk.
Veidec Festival curtailed.
1st August: The weekend's Veidec festival at Mantorp Park was stopped after yesterday's first cycle of Pro eliminations and two rounds of NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified. Several hours of rain disrupted Saturday's Pro qualifying and Sportsman eliminations and delayed the start of yesterday's racing. After the rounds of Pro and Pro Modified eliminations had been completed race officials had to stop the event due to the local curfew.
The 2005 Veidec Festival had all the makings of a classic, with track records and Personal Bests repeatedly broken throughout qualifying and eliminations. Amongst the highlights were Lex Joon's 4.788 in the first round of Top Fuel Dragster eliminations, the quickest-ever European Pro Modified field with a bump spot of 6.680, Anders Karling blowing away the track records on his return to European Supertwin competition, and Mikael Nord's incredible index-blasting mid six-second passes in his Comp Eliminator Nova. The loss of the fourth Pro qualifying session on Saturday produced some DNQ shocks as did some early exits in yesterday's eliminations.
The track records set over the weekend were as follow:
FIA Top Methanol Dragster ET: 5.435, Dave Wilson
FIM/UEM Top Fuel Bike speed: 364.04 kmh, Sverre Dahl
FIM/UEM Supertwin ET: 6.546, Anders Karling
FIM/UEM Supertwin speed: 345.54, Anders Karling
FIM/UEM Pro Stock Bike ET: 7.321, Anders Abrahamsson
You can view the joint Svensk Dragracing/Eurodragster.com Event coverage by clicking here, or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
We would like to say a huge Thank You to Erik Zettervall and Christer Abrahamson of Svensk Dragracing for their help, and to all of the officials of Svensk Dragracing and Fredrik Ström and L-O Jonsson of Mantorp Park for their help and hospitality during the Veidec Festival. Thanks again also to David Taylor of Flint Group Insurance for providing Eurodragster.com with travel insurance.
Thanks also to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for sending us an updated FIA statistics summary including the results of the weekend's Veidec Festival. Andy tells us that the weekend's notables were:
TMFC1 for sale.
1st August: FIA European Top Methanol Funny Car Champion Urs Erbacher has put his Championship- and record-holding Firebird up for sale. Urs says that he has not finalised plans for his next ride but that what is certain is that he is not quitting.
"It depends upon the sale of the Funny Car, but I might buy a new Top Methanol Funny Car or I might go Top Fuel", Urs told Eurodragster.com at Mantorp Park yesterday. "I personally prefer the Funny Cars but I want to go quicker and faster and there is only one way to do that, and that is Top Fuel. But if I bought a Top Fueller I wouldn't just need the car: I would need a new trailer because this one won't fit a Top Fueller, and of course my crew would need to learn. I might also take a year off to work on the Supertwin Bike."
Urs will run the car until the end of this season before handing it over to a buyer. "I am going to Bahrain in November - maybe someone there would like to buy it!", he said.
Urs said that he is very happy with the performance of Lorenz Stauble on the Fat Attack Supertwin. "Lorenz is a brand new racer and he has already run low sevens and sixes", said Urs. "He needed to work on his reaction times because this was all new to him, bit I gave him a practice tree to take home and he has used it every day for a couple of weeks, and now he is pretty fast!"
If you would be interested in acquiring the Fat Attack Top Methanol FC then you can contact Urs via his web site at www.fatattack.ch.
A bit quicker than the Junior!
1st August: Former Junior Dragster racer Stuart Morrice made his first runs in the Morrice family's Super Gas Camaro (right) at the weekend's Mopar Nationals at Santa Pod Raceway. Collin Morrice dropped us a line to tell us how well Stuart got on.
"On his first run up the track Stuart ran a nice steady fourteen-second pass", says Collin. "The second and third runs were half-passes with a 1.25 sixty foot time, using the transbrake for the first time, and a 5.92 at the eighth - a lot quicker than Junior Dragsters! - he then rolled through to eleven-second passes.
"On the fourth pass Stuart drove to a thousand feet and ran 10.3/133. On the last run of the weekend, Stuart wanted to put in a good pass to make the weekend perfect, and he did that too. On this run he kept his foot in it for a full pass, putting 9.098/150.52 on the boards!
"Stuart would like to thank everybody who helped to make the weekend possible: Jeff and Belinda Bull, Malcolm Francis, John Morton, Geof Hauser and Mike Smith."
Junior Drag Bike arrives in Sweden.
1st August: Sweden's first Junior Drag Bike race took place in Gothenberg last weekend, says Peter Eneroth of Svemo Dragracing.
"The first riders out were Alex Eneroth on a Winnerscirkle and Janicke Enlund on a Honda 125 (right, picture courtesy and ©Lars Anderssson)", says Pedda. "The Swedish Motorcycle Federation SVEMO is promoting Junior Drag Bike, hopefully to race a series in a couple of years. Four teams are already race ready, the two others owned by Anders Abrahamsson (Pro Stock Bike) and Robert Carsson (Pro Mod Bike). With Crew Chiefs like that, this is going to be fun!".
For more information about Junior Drag Bike contact Peter at email@example.com.
1st August: We would like to wish a very Happy Birthday to Swiss Top Fuel Dragster racer Peter Beck. Hope you're having a great day, Peter.
Web site updates.
1st August: Our good buddy Patrik Jacobsson tells us that the Racebilder web site has been updated with some four hundred pictures from the weekend's Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park. Check it out at www.racebilder.nu.