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31st August: UK Funny Bike racer Steve French has been in touch to let us know how he managed to dismantle a Kawasaki in one easy step at Shakespeare County Raceway at the weekend.
"Firstly apologies to the track staff at the weekend for my first-ever oil down, sorry guys/girls", says Steve. "Just four and a half seconds after launch the rod on #1 got frightened of the dark and decided to window the block. Although from the picture (right) it's more like a patio door. This was shortly followed by the now-escaped rod enjoying a brief but totally destructive session of carving off the left hand side of the engine.
"Casualties include the cases top and bottom, the block, liner, piston, frame, alternator, shifter, oil breather, oil line and nitrous line (Would it be quicker to tell us what's left? - Ed). Whilst this was happening and, not to be left out, the inlet valve on #1, having being stopped short in its progress into the cylinder, caused the cam lobe to snap, followed by the cam chain. Hey ho, never mind, the headlights still work.
"I will be back at the FIA European Finals with the only other Pro Mod nitrous Kawasaki engine in the UK."
Baynton's bad brake.
31st August: Steve French was not the only racer to suffer a nightmare at the Open Sports Nationals. Pro ET racer Paul Baynton had big problems even making it to the track:
We live just south of Gatwick and were making good progress until the roadworks on the M40 and a slight traffic jam. The camper started to be sluggish on pull-away and eventually the front brakes jammed on. We managed to crawl to the hard shoulder and called the breakdown service, which took almost an hour to turn up. Thanks to Phil Toppin for stopping but unfortunately there was little he could do. By the time the breakdown service turned up the brakes had cooled down. I was asked to follow him to his base where he would check the brakes over.
Unfortunately the traffic was still slow and by the time we had got off the M40 the brakes were sticking again. We eventually got to the garage by which time we could manage about 15 mph. As I turned in, the camper was engulfed in smoke and oil was dripping from the engine. On opening the bonnet we discovered that the oil pressure line had broken pumping a couple of pints of oil all over the engine! This was quickly fixed and the brake problem identified. I was offered a temporary fix of spacing the master cylinder away from the servo a fraction which released the pressure and allowed the pedal to return to normal. This we took so that we could get under wayagain. We hooked the trailer back on and set off again. We got about a mile down the road and the fan belt snapped, great! At this point I proceeded to kick the crap out of the front of the camper! Fortunately I did have a spare fan belt and we were soon under way again. We finally arrived at SCR at 19:00 and managed to be scrutineered within half an hour.
On Saturday morning we had trouble firing the race car up, nothing new for me really! The car was not running right and the first run of 12.95 proved that something was wrong. We soon found that the centre of the distributor cap had burnt out. A big thank you to Ian Brown who came to my rescue with a spare cap. With this fitted the car was still not running right, by which time Neil Hunter had come to help. The fault was quickly identified, plug leads 2 and 4 round the wrong way, oops! Once this had been put right we were back running 11.1s.
On race day we were paired against fellow Mk1 Capri owner Charlie Chivers. Although I got to the line first I ran 11.170 on an 11.18 dial in. Charlie on the other hand ran 10.499 on an 10.48 dial in. Congratulations Charlie on a good race.
We then started to load up. Trying to move the camper, it was again clear that the brakes were not right, as the slightest touch practically hurled me through the windscreen. We finally got loaded and the weight of the race car and trailer seemed to settle things down, the return trip was a much better and uneventful three hours. We are now trying to sort the brake problem ready for the European Finals.
A big Thank You to all those who helped me this weekend and to all the SCR crew for a great job.
Taxi ride to the last five.
31st August: Paul's opponent in round one, Charlie Chivers in the Taxi Express, had a better weekend.
"On the Saturday and Sunday we could not set a timed run in qualifying no matter how hard we tried", says Charlie. "Then we tried something different on the car and lowered our ET and bingo, on the very last run we put in a 10.485 on a 10.48 dial-in and were #3 qualifier.
"On Monday we had sunshine and showers, all credit to the track staff for keeping the meeting going for as long as they did. We got through two rounds and were on our way to the last five cars and a quarter final run against Ian Atkinson in the Menace when the heavens opened. We will never know if we could have gone onto the semis and the final, but what a feeling for a rookie team to get as far as we did.
"Many thanks for all the help and advice from several teams, and to the track staff for trying very hard to keep the meeting on."
Open Sports Nationals 9.50 Bike report.
31st August: The Open Sports Nationals was more akin to duck racing than anything else, but in between the torrents an exciting weekend's racing and events unfolded amongst the 9.50 Bike contingent, writes Chris Jones of Team Breakout:
Saturday saw Andy Bird of Team Breakout (now 2006 APIRA Champion) hit the #1 spot with a 9.57/130. Although his reactions were OK, he was definitely either snoring or dreaming of the Dinner Dance trophy as his sixty foot times were below the usual. But with the gearbox fixed from the last event and the later-tightened-up spark plugs (it's the little things!) the bike saw him through to some good times. Paul Coombs (Happy) from the Hyena crew kicked into #2 with a 9.64/137 on his big 4-0, he doesn't yet need to trade the Gixxer in for a zimmer quite yet. Paul once again put in good consistent times, coming into this round sixth in the National Championships.
Boycie (Chris Reed), somewhat fed up with melting engines in Super Street Bike, decided 9.50 was a better option and so went on to melt the engine on c Chunk's (Hyena Martin Walker's) Bandit, which took him out for the rest of the weekend. Bad luck mate, sure you'll have it sorted for the next one. Ed Smiley, who is now well and truly on the button, took the Young Gun mantle from Andy Bird and put in a 9.44 breakout, but with a bit of wheel spin in the next round of qualifying went into #2 spot with a 9.62/141. Ed now seems to have a good measure of the bike and is putting in consistent times, though coming into this round in eleventh in the Championship should improve position with performances like this.
Following on from the Saturday night festivities at the Hyena camp, Sunday saw a well-welcomed sunny day. Andy Bird (now Team Breakout's old gun) didn't improve in the early qualifying rounds on his 9.57, but did see Richard Sawatzki on his Busa slip into #1 spot with a 9.55. This was a clear shot over the bows from Richard who is presently snapping at the heels of Andy Bird in the National Championship, only trailing by some 450 points, and with it all to play for looked set for another showdown between the guys at the top of the field.
Sunday also saw a country mile breakout from Andy Haley with a 9.13 on his Busa, later commenting "Don't think I need the gas after all" and pulling a 9.51 aspirated. Later rounds saw a successive eroding of the 9.5 index with Andy Bird putting in a 9.53 against boss (Richard Hann) who despite checking his bottle for the five thousandth time, forgot to turn it on when it mattered, disaster! Andy's glory didn't last as Richard Sawatzki, next out, shot a 9.52 back at Andy. Both then gasped as the confident young gun Ed Smiley came out and showed them both a 9.51, well ridden Ed. Geoff Connor (Team Breakout's flagship) continued to be blighted with clutch problems as per the last event, which unfortunately for Geoff didn't help in getting anywhere with the boys at the top this weekend. Geoff vowed to get it sorted once and for all in a bid to improve on his ninth position in the Championship and show all these kids how it's done.
Not much to show in eliminations as with the return of dark clouds and much of the wet stuff we saw only one round before the race was called due to the bad weather. It was great to see the appearance of Fred Furlong in the 9.5 camp this weekend, obviously well on the road to recovery, he is expecting to be race ready for the next round, welcome back Fred. Another great weekend and we are all looking forward to the next round, where I myself may have eventually put the gremlins to bed on my own bike for some fun on the track.
Thrills and no spills for NFAA.
31st August: Entertainment was the name of the game for the Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association at the Open Sports Nationals, and it was adjudged that plenty was provided, writes Series organiser Lawrie Gatehouse:
Aided by a superbly-prepared track, thanks to Bruno and the track prep team, nearly everyone recorded personal bests. We try to co-ordinate the burnouts and staging as one part of the show. By matching previous or last round ETs, we also aim to provide close side-by-side racing to the stripe. This past weekend we achieved most of our aims with some cracking duels, with only inches in it at the lights.
With only three Nitro cars available, the cackle factor was limited, but not before Jim Usher in The Mob recorded his first 200+ mph run, with a 7.142/202.60. This was quickly followed by that elusive six in the next round at 6.982/205.45. Everyone appreciated the achievement, after only twenty runs in the car and congratulations flowed for Jim, Ollie and all the crew. Tony Betts, sporting an all-new combination in Venom, had teething problems in the pits with various oil leaks, but made it out for round four. A very smoky burnout followed, but disintegrating valves and fuel pump caused a mini firework display out of the headers, sidelining the team for the rest of the event.
Chaos missed the first round, to enduring embarrassment, when we couldn't get the car out of the trailer after the tail lift hydraulic hose burst at a critical moment. Problem overcome John Wright, shoeing the altered for only the fifth time, laid down a stout 7.063/164.25 - a three-quarter pass as John felt a couple of cylinders go away. Inspection in the pits revealed a number of bent exhaust valves and pistons that had departed prematurely. There is plenty of potential in the combination and Chaos expects to be knocking on the doors of The Mob and Venom very shortly.
Clayton Round and the Rebel 'T' team, sporting very attractive new shirts, was his usual consistent self, with passes of 7.201/186.44 and 7.195/186.09 - aiding his points chase. Xtreme Bob Glassup stunned all of us with a three tenths improvement to lay down a PB of 7.056/186.92. Bennett Racing had their problems. New pistons were found to be incorrectly profiled, causing Luke, Cliff and the crew many hours of tedious hand grinding of valve relief’s and domes. Having said that, they tried very hard to put on a show and had some good competitive passes against Clayton and Bob.
Freddy's Revenge, now being assisted by Norm Wheeldon, helped Dave Grabham to improve by over a second, culminating in a significantly higher terminal of 170.55 in 8.39. The team were, rightly, elated and are sure that improvements will continue as they start to run the numbers. Joe Bond was getting to grips with the 426 ci motored Nuthin' Fancy, having had only ten runs including the licensing passes. Round five paired Joe with Xtreme Bob and was interesting, to say the least. On the green, Bob blazed the tyres (trying for a second burnout perhaps), whilst Joe was out of the hole like a scalded cat. Just past the Tree, the car reminded Joe and all of us, just how unpredictable they can be, veering sharply left across the centre-line, up on two wheels and the headers. Joe reacted quickly, got back in his correct lane, still with his foot hard down and got very close to the Armco. Bob Glassup, meantime, got the power to the deck and sailed past for the win, which was automatic in any case. Joe controlled the out-of-shape car very well considering and it's all part of the learning experience. However, a half mile run on a quarter mile track is probably not the best way to win races, even if it was spectacular.
Unfortunately, rain showers halted play after only one round on Monday, in spite of the valiant efforts by all the APIRA personnel. The trophies, kindly donated by Touch FM, were awarded to Bob Glassup as the winner and Clayton Round as runner-up - awarded for the quickest ETs up to round five, on the basis that only those that could have made the last and final round could have been in the finals.
This was, without doubt, the best-ever NFAA event so far and we look forward to upcoming meetings, when we aim to battle and thrill in a similar fashion.
Santa Pod update.
31st August: Darren Prentice has been in touch to let us know that tomorrow's (Friday's) Peak Performance Day has had to be cancelled due to unavoidable circumstances. Saturday's Peak Performance Day will still take place as planned.
If you've ever fancied the full VIP treatment at Santa Pod, want to have a great day out with workmates, family or friends, and like the idea of hot food, cold beer and the legendary Santa Pod hospitality, then Kelly Dormer tells us that you have until tomorrow afternoon to book a hospitality package for the FIA European Finals. Prices start at £119+VAT per person. For more details check out Santa Pod Raceway's web site at www.santapod.co.uk/h_main.php, or to book your place call Santa Pod Raceway on 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828).
31st August: UK Tech Inspector Geoff Martin has been in touch to ask if any Eurodragster.com reader has any information about the origins of UK Fuel Altered AA/FA 10 which was last seen at the then-Avon Park on 10th September 1994. "It seems that the was a Funny Car previous to this", says Geoff. "I believe it then went to France owned by Max Agus. The names "Crazy Jake", Jon Lovett and John Dowse are in there somewhere too". If you can help then please drop Geoff a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forrest smashes Jap best.
31st August: Lee Child of Eurodragster.com Links sponsor LA Racing Parts and LA Performance Services has been in touch to congratulate Scotsman Andy Forrest on his quickest ET for a Japanese car in Europe of 9.19/158, which he clocked at York Raceway last weekend on a track with whose preparation Lee had helped. Andy's street-legal Subaru Impreza had previously run a best of 9.30 at Santa Pod Raceway a few weeks before.
"Steve Murty, owner of York Raceway, wanted some input to improve his track and invited me up for the Bank Holiday weekend", says Lee. "I arrived on Saturday lunchtime and the first thing I did was to walk the track. With both lanes inspected l set off to work. York Raceway has limited track prep equipment compared to Santa Pod Raceway and Shakespeare County Raceway. I did the most l could, which was nothing compared to the track prep l did when Keith Cowie stopped the clocks at 9.38/158 when he was attending Rotorstock at SCR in 2005.
"Sunday morning dawned with a inspection of the track and then it was sprayed with glue to finish it off. A good indication of the track was when Andy Forrest started running low 9.8s in each lane. With ETs getting quicker and quicker the Subaru driver went 9.33 and then 9.309. Andy Forrest's goal was now a 9.2, a quick lick of glue on the start line and then history was made with a 9.19/158. With the Subara Impreza fitted with Mickey Thompson ET Street Radials, you know you are going to see some quick times. The story does not end there, a number of people who visited York Raceway ran new Personal Bests over the weekend.
"A big thank you goes to Steve Murty and family plus all the crew at York Raceway for making me welcome, l really enjoyed it. I don't know when I will be at York Raceway again but I wish them all the best. Roll on the Jap Show in October at Santa Pod, l think we will see more than one Jap car running eights."
Web site updates.
31st August: In the latest entry in his exclusive Racer Blog, FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Lex Joon describes the novel experience of aquaplaning in a Top Fuel Dragster. You can check out Lex's blog by clicking here or by clicking on the Racer Blog link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Bob Roberts has updated the web site of Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Andy Robinson Race Cars with a new page at the covering the Pro Mod team's recent visit to Gardermoen. "There also some video clips by new team member Ryan, small format for now but they will be replaced whenever my ISP decides to re-connect me", says Bob. You can find the ARRC web site at www.robinson-race-cars.co.uk.
Nathan Lediard has posted pictures from last weekend's Right On Street Finals at Gardermoen on his web site at www.dragfoto.no.
Jouni Vesterlund has given the Dragrace.fi web site a make-over. The great-looking site, which concentrates on drag bikes, has a new base colour and other small changes have been made around the site. Check it out at www.dragrace.fi.
Weekend event coverage.
31st August: Two of this weekend's events are being covered on-line. First up is the Defa Finals at Alastaro, which being covered by our good friends Hannele Höden and Jouni Vesterlund. As usual you will be able to find the car coverage at www.fhra.fi and the bike coverage at www.dragrace.fi.
This weekend is the last chance for racers to test prior to the FIA European Finals and Eurodragster.com will be covering both Saturday's Peak Performance Day and Sunday's Run What You Brung in association with American Car Imports. Our coverage will consist of end-day Photo Galleries both tomorrow and Sunday, and the Webster Race Engineering/MPM Oil webcam will be on-line all day both days and will be scheduled to post a picture every two minutes. We will post a direct Home Page link to our coverage when it commences, but in the meantime you can view the Event Index page by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting the Pre-FIA European Finals Peak Performance Day or Run What You Brung.
30th August: We were very sorry to hear from Andy Bennett of Never Again Racing of the death of James Dawson, a popular member of the Acton Hot Rod Association, at the age of only nineteen. Andy writes:
My heartfelt thoughts go out to Chris Dawson and his family over the loss of their son James. I have spent the day in shock over the news sent to me by Chris last night. Chris, James and I all shared in something special, a 1979 Z28 Camaro, not just a car but something that created a friendship that continued.
Chris and James came up on the train to North Manchester for an expedition to the wilds of a sleepy Lancashire town, not knowing if they needed to bring Sherpa Tensing. James was really into the journey into the back of beyond as we picked them up from Burnley train station. His eyes lit up when he saw the Camaro and the other car in our garage (at the time a 1965 Impala SS). Chris drove the car all the way home, not to test the car's reliability but as an adventure for young James, the car was I'm sure bought to bring a doting father and son closer together.
My heart goes out to Chris and family, sincere thoughts buddy.
We're sure that everyone will join us in adding their own deepest sympathies to James' family and friends.
Racers launch Speedgroup AB.
30th August: A new company formed by European racers to promote the sport is having its official launch today at the Onsdagsbuset at Sweden's Härnösands Motorpark after being under development for the best part of a year.
Speedgroup AB aims to develop drag racing in Europe working together with promoters, track owners and sponsors. A large number of the European Pro racers from all eight car and bike classes own the company whilst Carl Holgersson is Managing Director and Gunnar Jansson chairs the Board, both of the latter having wide business experience.
"We will see several racers and some sponsors at the launch", says Carl Holgersson. "Ulf Leanders, Charley Karling and Leif Andréasson are driving non-stop from Hockenheim! Mats Eriksson and Håkan Fällström will turn also be theer and Monica Öberg, who is on the brink of becoming a co-owner, and will most probably turn up as well. Our web site is on its way but you can see some details at www.forcewebs.com/speedgroup/start.htm."
29th August: Shakespeare County Raceway Clerk of the Course Richard Warburton has asked us to express his thanks to all the crew at Shakespeare County Raceway for their exceptionally hard work at this weekend's Open Sports Nationals. "Everyone worked as a team and battled against the elements without stopping", says Richard. "A real big thank you, I am very proud of them all."
Also full of praise for SCR are VW Sportsman racers Paul and Lynn Cox who spent the weekend spectating for a change. "Thanks to track staff for keeping the racing going, and also to the commentators for keeping us informed", they say. "Nice to watch all classes of racing again as we were not racing ourselves this weekend."
Congratulations to Sweden's Julia Staflund (right) on setting a new record for being a "rookie" for the shortest period. Julia gained her Junior Dragster licence on Saturday, qualified #6 on Sunday right behind brother Hampus, and took out #1 qualifier Albin Frank in the first round before going on to win the Autumn Championship at Pite Dragway.
UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Barry Sheavills has had his seat fitting in Rune Fjeld Motorsport's new Top Fueller, which he will be driving in the Top Fuel Exhibition in Bahrain. "It fits like a glove!", Barry told Eurodragster.com.
V-Rod Destroyer racer Criss Van Nimmen of the Drag Team Hellgium is encouraging bike racers to enter September's Custom and Tuning Madness event at Belgium's Spa Francorchamps circuit. Criss says that this event is to be Belgium's first quarter-mile drag race, featuring a prepped track and organisation by the very competent eXplosion crew. "I have talked with the organisers about the V-Rod Destroyer Cup and Supertwin Top Gas, and I am signed up", says Criss. You can find more information at www.abc-events.be.
Mark Newby says that subscriptions are coming in steadily for Eurodragster.com News sponsor 440 Yards magazine. "Readers can purchase just the October issue to see what it is like if they don't want to commit to a subscription", says Mark. "The price is £3.00 + 75p P&P (Click on picture at right for more details). Since announcing the change to a primarily drag racing magazine we have had considerably more interest! But we need to see enough demand for the magazine by 8th September - if that doesn't happen we will be providing a 100% refund to subscribers and buyers of the October issue and will cease publication."
Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe has sent us an updated sheet of European Bests now incorporating Neil Midgley's new ACU Funny Bike speed record. You can view the updated sheet by clicking here or by clicking on the European Bests link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Santa Pod update.
29th August: Jo Reed of Santa Pod Raceway tells us that there is still time for racers to join the Parade of Power and static display in Wellingborough Town this Friday evening (1st). The Parade of Power is an annual event to promote the FIA European Finals and proved very popular on its first running last year.
"All racers who take part in the Parade and static display will be entitled to free entry to the Peak Performance Day at Santa Pod this Saturday", says Jo. If you are interested then please contact Jo at email@example.com or call 01234 782828.
Jo has also asked us to thank all of those racers who volunteered for next Wednesday's FIA European Finals Press Day. "We now have enough vehicles so we will not be able to accept any more volunteers", says Jo. "Thanks to everyone who got in touch."
Finally, Sarah of Santa Pod Raceway tells us that this Friday is the deadline for advance orders for admission and grandstand tickets for next week's FIA Euroopean Finals. Online orders at www.santapod.com will close at 5:00 pm on Friday, and the credit card hotline at 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828) closes at 6:00 pm.
Chrissy O in "show off" shock.
30th August: UK Super Pro ET racer Chris Orthodoxou has returned from wowing scrutineers, photographers and the crowd at the Nitrolympx at Hockenheim. We get the idea that Chris acted completely out of character, doubtless allowing the famous Hockenheim atmosphere to carry him away:
We arrived Hockenheim circuit at about 5:00 pm Wednesday after leaving in convoy from Guildford at 3:00 on Tuesday morning. We set up camp and put the Viper in the Grand Prix pit garage and stood gazing in wonderment at the luxurious conditions which had been provided for us. The scrutineers were more interested in my giving them details of who built and painted the car, the engine output, performance etc. That done and dusted we spent the rest of Thursday cruising the circuit in the truck, to see the layout of the strip and the run-off area and also taking in the fact that we were actually driving on a Grand Prix track where the likes of Clark, Hill, Stewart, Andretti, Fittipaldi, Lauda, Senna, Piquet, Prost etc had driven!
Friday was horrible. It pee'd with rain all day and nothing ran on the track. On Saturday morning photographer extrordinaire Andy Wilsheer forced me into a photo shoot for Chrom und Flammen magazine (But surely their readers will already have seen our feature - Ed). He got some fantastic pics of the car with the grandstands and circuit as a back-drop. During the photoshoot we were got called down for our first qualifier. Tina Gibbs was going mad trying to find us to get down the fire-up road, unbeknown to her we were over the far side of the circuit doing pictures. But we made it back no problem and made our first run of 8.13/167 which put me in fifth spot. The second qualifier was at dusk and there was a fantastic atmosphere at the start line. The crowd was massive - like a Wembley Cup Final. They went berzerk when anyone did a good burnout, so I did one! Right over the start line for about fifty feet. Showing off is usually so not like me. I ran 7.973/167 for a Personal Best which also put me in #3 spot. Saturday night's start line show - jet cars, stunt riders, light show etc was quite spectacular but dampened a bit by the crappy weather.
On Sunday morning I was drawn against Mark Pointer in the first round. My burnout went wrong for some reason, spun terribly off the line, and to add to my problems Mark pulled his first seven-second run of the weekend to take me out narrowly 7.93 to 8.02. The git! No, seriously, I couldn't have lost to a nicer bloke. He progressed on to the final, losing out to Graham Ellis. He also won the award for Best All-round Achiever, voted for by all the Super Mod racers, which he thoroughly deserved.
We managed to get loaded up quite quickly, luckily just before a further mid-afternoon monsoon hit us. But I then missed the Super Mod team photos as my car was already in the trailer. Sorry guys. We made our way back to Calais via Holland and Belgium, following Paul Mander and his crew towing the Plymouth Arrow and passing through some more dreadful rain storms en-route, arriving at the port at 3:30 am on Monday. We were back in God's country (Hindhead), unloaded, fed the cat and sitting down having a cup of tea by 10.30 am.
I must express my enormous thanks to Tina Gibbs for all her efforts and time organising everything for us. We all appreciate how much aggro she's had to deal with for this event - including her start line negotiations with the promoter! I never actually got to see what we bought Tina as a Thank You present but she did nearly burst into tears when we presented her with it. Also thanks to Paul Mander for guiding us back to Calais, Kev Perkins and Ian Marshall for their time, Mick Coombs for almost twisting my arm into making the Viper Super Mod legal, and Mark Pointer for keeping us in fits of laughter. And especially to my wife Angella and mate Mick Hamilton for all their help.
30th August: Also in grateful mood is UK Wild Bunch racer Phil Sweeney who managed to make the weekend's Open Sports Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway with his Antisocial slingshot despite suffering damage at the UK Truck Show the previous weekend.
"We busted our gearbox at the Truck Show", says Phil. "We had a quick chat with Iain Malcolm of Apsley Transmissions (01442 259982) and Jus '4' Fun Pinto-powered Pro ET dragster fame", says Phil. "Iain offered to help us out by rebuilding our box for us in time for the weekend, and he worked late into Wednesday night to get the box done for us, and we are very pleased and grateful to him.
"We then discovered on Thursday night that the clutch plate was destroyed, meaning another setback. A new plate was eventually sourced on Friday morning via Wild Bunch sponsor Real Steel. We got to the track in good time but unfortunately the new clutch plate was proving a little violent on the launch which messed with our consistency a little, but we aim to come back at the UK National Finals. Incidentally our slingshot is currently for sale in the Swap Meet to finance our 2007 plans.
"Finally a big thanks to my crewman Tony Roberts for his help in getting the engine and gearbox back in on Friday afternoon, with the car complete within an hour or so of starting."
A triumphant return.
30th August: UK Pro Stock Bike racer Paul Watson of Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor DynoSpeed Developments says that his return to Hockenheim, where he won the sixteen-bike FIM/UEM Pro Stock Bike field, was a dream come true.
"It is ten years since I had been there and to win the first-ever UEM sixteen-bike field was fantastic", says Paul. "There was a lot of competition there, the Greeks had come in force, with ex-Vessa and Gast motors and all with good chassis, the ex-Petterson Veidec bike, this was no easy field. Then there was the team from Italy who quickly got on the pace.
"The track was prepped by the guys from the NHRA but the weather was against us, again we took clutch out to stop the wheelspin and netted a 1.14sixty foot, we also managed new PBs of 152 mph in the eighth and 183 mph at the finish so we know the power is there.
"There was a lot of controversy on the other side of the ladder (See below - Ed) and I guess there should be some disscusion about this because this should never happen again.
"I am very grateful to my crew: Pixie who worked so hard both on and off the bike without whose help none of this would be possible, and Jason Macan of JM Motorcycles - this is his first year crewing and he has done great. The DSD team would like to thank all from Team Motospeed for all their hospitality and a special mention to Roger Lyrén who tirelesly helps everyone in the PSB pits, from helping to put engines together to giving advice on tune-ups to supplying parts at great prices so a big Thank You to my friend Roger.
We will be doing the Press Day at Santa Pod next Wednesday then we will be joined by my old crew Kev Simmons and Mark King for the weekend. We are so looking forward to the European Finals.
"The bike is still for sale - I have been aproached by a few people so if you're interested then you'll have to be quick."
Nitrolympx FIM/UEM report.
30th August: FIM/UEM European Championship Co-ordinator Lars Andersson has sent us his regulat post-even review, this time of the weekend's Nitrolympx at Hockenheim:
I arrived at Hockenheim on Thursday and carried out the official inspection of the track, which is valid for three years. I was a little bit concerned because there had previously been some problems with the track, however the NHRA officials that had worked there told me that is now fine and indeed it all worked out well. There were some small issues but let's take it one step at a time and I think that it will all work very well in the future.
At the officials' meeting at the start of the event we decided that due to the big field, we should have a sixteen-bike field in Pro Stock Bike, if the qualifying times allowed. The bump spot time according to the rules had to be no more than 120% that of the top qualifier. Thank you Rico Anthes (Promoter - Ed) for this decision.
The event started with Friday being rained off. There was no racing at all on that day, and the worst thing was that the weather forecast was for rain over the whole weekend. On Saturday morning there was still water in the air, but the sun came out and the track started to dry. So at 12.52 we started the first qualifying session for the UEM bikes. It ended at 13.28, so in just thirty six minutes we managed to run all the bikes. After this session we had not fulfilled the regulation times for a sixteen-bike field in Pro Stock. But with a little bit of luck and some good work from the track team, we managed to have a second qualifying session too.
I must say at this point that these were some of the best ever times in Hockenheim. Everything worked fine for us. I know that many others were a little bit angry that the bikes had priority. But the bikes were the only classes with an official Championship at the event.
A decision was made to run the first elimination round on Saturday evening. So we had a fifteen-bike field according to the rules. This gave the number one qualifier a solo run in the first round of eliminations. But in that round there were some small mistakes which almost destroyed the whole race. The marshals in the burnout area called Anders Jakobsson for his solo run with Len Paget standing in the other lane but in the following pair. However, the timing crew put both these riders in the computer. Only Anders Jakobsson moved forward to stage at the sign of the starter. It was only at this point that the timing crew realised that it was a solo run. So they reset the pairing and this caused the tree to red light and cease functioning. Anders started and ran, but since this was a solo run there is no way he should have had a red light. The next pair, Örjan Gustavsson and Len Paget, were then signalled to stage, even though the tree was still red. The bikes both went up on rpm, and then the riders had to wait for the timing crew to reset the tree. The green light eventually showed and Örjan stalled due to the fact that his clutch was too hot.
In the future there should be better communication between the starter, the timing crew and the marshals. Yes, I understand that the rain was threatening and everyone wanted to run the racing as quickly as possible, but we should not risk anything. Also it should be clear who decides to start up the bikes. One more pair, and the fourth pair (which I personally think not should have run because the track had started to get wet), then the race was stopped as by that time the track was wet and unsafe to race on. Here, we also had a little bit of confusion between the track crew as to who should take this decision.
After this there was a lot of discussion. Was Anders Jakobsson through, since he had a red light, and was the second pair okay? To make matters worse, in the computer there was no time for Anders' run and in the second race the crew had put Örjan's number in Len's lane and the number P9 (not the number of any rider at all) in the other lane. The crew made the decision that Anders was okay and that Len was okay.
On Sunday morning, after a delay for track drying, we continued the racing. There were some problems getting the track dry, and I made a personal inspection just before the race started; maybe I delayed the race for one or two minutes, but the track needed this. Everything worked fine. We ran all the bike classes, maybe too fast because after them there was a break as no cars were ready to race. Then we went into the second round of elimination for the Pro Stock Bikes. Again, we had some small problems with the timing gear, so no times were recorded. Anders Jakobsson and Len Paget went into stage, Len got a red light and Anders' bike launched for a few metres and stopped dead. I later checked and found that race control had decided that Anders was the winner. Again, nothing was in the computer because it was not ready. So I went and had some lunch. Coming back later, I saw that the elimination sheets showed incorrectly that Len was now the winner. I asked how this had happened and they could only tell me that the Anders was the winner. After discussing it and according to the rule book we did not have any winner at all because you must cross the finish line under the bike's own momentum.
In the semi final, there should have been a solo run for Vellani from Italy and the next pair of Anders Abrahamsson and Paul Watson. But Len Paget had been looking at the incorrect elimination sheet and was standing ready to race. I talked to several people and nobody wanted to interrupt the race. Then the promoter went to talk to Len. After this, the promoter told me that he would let Len race; maybe he also said some not so nice things as well, but that is another story. Vellani took the win and also Paul Watson, so it was Paul and Vellani in the final. Paul took the win, so he is the first winner in many years in an sixteen-bike ladder in Europe.
At the post-race officials' meeting the Hockenheim officials proposed that we should change the official ladder after all, and take Len out. So the final ladder, approved unanimously by the meeting, had a solo run in the semi final.
In the other classes was it much easier. In Top Fuel Bike you could just say "Roel Koedam rules". All his times were in the low six-second zone. His qualifying time was 6.22, and in the first round of eliminations he ran a 6.19. The eliminations had Rickard Gustavsson in the other side of the ladder to Roel. In the semi it was Rickard against Finn Asserbo from Denmark. This was the first time in the semis for Finn. Rickard took the win, so it was Rickard against Roel in the final. Roel won, but Rickard ran a 6.6, so he was also satisfied.
In Supertwin, Jaska Salakari from Finland ran a 6.9 in qualifying. When Jaska gets fully acclimatised to racing this bike, it will go very fast. The semi final was Lorenz Stäuble against Ronny Aasen and Stäuble was the winner. In the other it was Jaska against Charley Karling. Jaska crossed the centre line and so Charley was the winner. So it was Lo Stäuble against Charley in the final. Both left the start line well but we then heard both bikes slowing down before the finish, and it was Charley crossing the line first.
This makes the next event at Santa Pod very interesting. Ronny Aasen, Lorenz Stäuble or Anders Karling can all win the Supertwin Championship and it could be decided in the very last race!
This is almost the story from Hockenheim. The facilities are the best of all of the tracks. The crowd is the biggest and makes the most noise. The track was good this time. Hopefully will it be a Championship race next year too. We need a track in central Europe just to make it easier for riders from southern Europe to race in the Championship. But, as the story shows, we need better communication in the starting area to avoid problems in the future.
The finals at Santa Pod in two week's time will be very interesting. Supertwin qualifying will be extremely interesting. Pro Stock will also be exciting, but the Championship is almost already decided. In Top Fuel Bike it looks good for Rickard Gustavsson, but Luigi Feretti can do something at least on paper.
You can view the latest FIM/UEM Championship points (Excel format) by clicking here, or by clicking on the Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. You can also find the FIM/UEM points plus drag bike information and news on the King Racing web site at www.kingracing.com.
Hands up if you're happy!
30th August: Dutch Pro Mod racer Robert Joosten chose the right moment to win his first event as the Pro Dutch team had eighty five VIPs watching him contest the Pro Mod Thunder competition at the Nitrolympx at Hockenheim.
"As the weekend went on, the rain came down more and more", says Robert. "With all those VIPs in the stands and nothing to show, it didn't look good. On Sunday the sun came through and we went quickly from low to high! Our first run on Sunday was a troubled 6.99 which had our VIPs putting their hands over their eyes as the Pro Dutch Corvette (right) came very close to the wall.
"The second run was a straight down the groove 6.501/357 kmh which put us in the top qualifier position, and the VIP were waving their hands above their heads. The best was saved for last, in the final the Pro Dutch Corvette ran a 6.476/359 which was a win, a new Personal Best, and a new Dutch Pro Mod speed record! The VIPs were tearing down the grand stand at this point!
See you guys at the Finals, where we hope to close our rookie year in style."
European Top Tens update.
30th August: If you were tuned in to Eurodragster.com News on 13th August you will recall that our good buddy Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe had sent us an update on the all-time FIA and FIM/UEM Championship Top Tens. With the Nitrolympx completed and only one event left in this year's European Championships, next week's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, Andy has been in touch with some last-minute updates:
Web site updates.
30th August: Chris Gray and Marius Blackburn, who run the Escape From Reality '23 T in Pro ET in the UK, have had their web site re-vamped. The work has been done by longtime crewman and team number cruncher Bob Regis, who also runs the Pro ET web site. The very professional-looking site contains recent race reports as well as pictures of previous cars run by the team, going back as far as 1986. "We wish to thank Sharkman for the use of his shots of the current race car, Bob for doing the site, and all the guys'n'gals out there for supporting or running in this class, making it the best class in UK drag racing", says Marius Blackburn. "We've got room for more pictures so if anybody out there has anything we can use, we'd love to hear from you". You can contact GB Racing via their web site at www.gb-racing.co.uk.
Peter Donaldson has updated his photography site with a large number of photographs from the weekend's Open Sports Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway, and in the very last shot manages to blow a secret about this coming weekend which your News Editor wasn't keeping that well anyway. You can check out Peter's pictures on his nicely-laid-out site at peterdonaldson5305.fotopic.net.
Our good buddy Patrik Jacobsson has updated the Racebilder web site with pictures from the finals of the Marie Memorial Race, the finals of the Mellan Svenska Streetrace Cup, in Dala Järna. "It was also a Top Doorslammer shootout which was won by Benny Strand", says Patrik. "Johan Gustavsson (Wotcha mate - Ed) set a new track record of 4.36/265 kmh". You can see Patrik's shots at www.racebilder.nu.
The Readers' Gallery section on Alan Currans' excellent Acceleration Archive continues to go from strength to strength with the addition of Gallery 18 to the site. "The new Gallery mainly features the work of Austrian drag racing fan Josef Grabl and includes a fine selection of fuel, alcohol and hydrogen peroxide-powered cars of the late 1970s and early 1980s", says Alan. "To round off this page there are the last two pictures ever taken of the famous Pegasus Top Fuel Bike before it went off to its present home in the National Motorcycle Museum. How do I know this? They were submitted by none other than Pegasus' co-owner and rider Ian Messenger". You can check out the latest update at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
Graham Rice, more commonly known as one of Jon Webster's fabricators at joint Eurordagster.com webcam sponsor Webster Race Engineering, is also a keen photographer and has now compiled web site of his pictures taken at Santa Pod over the 2006 season. The site also contains a gallery of kart racing, a sport in which Graham has been involved since the age of thirteen. "I'm sure the idea of racing round in circles making yourself dizzy won't appeal to most of your readers, but they might be worth a click!", says Graham. You can find Graham's pictures at www.gjrphotography.fotopic.net.
Blakemore breaks 200 mph.
29th August: Tim Blakemore became the UK's first 200 mph Funny Bike racer during yesterday's eliminations at the Open Sports Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. Tim clocked 200.71 mph during round one but was robbed of the chance to back it up for a record by heavy showers yesterday afternoon.
"It did surprise us, but it's been in there all the time", Tim told Eurodragster.com. "We didn't turn up the boost, we have just started fine tuning. Up to now we've spent our time solving stupid problems. Even this weekend our sixty foot times have been suffering - we've been running Street bike sixty foot times."
Tim said that he didn't know that he had made a historic pass but that the Kawasaki-backed bike was flying, literally. "It felt effortless", he said. "The front end came down and I knew it was travelling at some speed. I always know that the bike is going fast when I hit the bump in the shutdown area and the bike flies and I fly! I didn't know I had gone over 200 mph but when Neil Midgley stopped after his run he he came and told me and shook my hand. He was the first into the sixes and I wanted the first 200 mph! These alky bikes can do it with ease and there is a hell of a lot more in there yet."
Tim asked us to thank Wendy Clutterbuck, Paul Rose and all of his crew. "The rider gets the glory but they do the hard work", he said.
Open Sports Nationals rained out.
29th August: Yesterday's eliminations at the Open Sports Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway were eventually rained out after a heavy shower struck at four o'clock and then again at half past four. The track crew and race officials never stopped trying to dry the track to continue the event but the rain won out in the end.
Two finals were run:
Top Fuel Bike: Steve Carey 7.213/182.09 def. Ian Turburville 7.781/179.45
Pro Stock Bike: Dave Beck 7.982/159.60 bye (Paul King no show)
Subject to official ratification, a new ACU UK Funny Bike speed record of 199.89 mph was set by Neil Midgley, who backed up the record about a minute and a half after Tim Blakemore recorded the UK's first 200 mph Funny Bike pass (see above). Neil actually broke the speed record twice over the weekend as the 199.89 initially backed up a 195.91 mph pass on Sunday.
Pro ET racer Chris Newsam won the £50 Eurodragster.com/LA Racing Parts Perfect ET Award with a 10.850 on a 10.85 dial-in during qualifying, which put him into #1 spot.
You can view our American Car Imports-sponsored reports and pictures by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and select the Open Sports Nationals.
Our good buddy Gareth Evans has also been posting end-day galleries on his UK1320 web site at www.uk1320.com.
2006 APIRA Champions.
29th August: The weekend's Open Sports Nationals was the last of the three rounds of the 2006 APIRA Championships. Congratulations to the 2006 Champions:
The Champions and runners-up will be presented at the joint APIRA/SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation in February 2007.
29th August: Our good buddy Magnus Cato and friend Tomas have asked us to congratulate Ulrike Golde on winning Super Comp at Hockenheim. "I also want to say a big Thank You to Ulrike and to Gerd Habermann for being so nice and welcoming to us during our visit", says Magnus. "Unfortunately Gerd couldn't do his Jet Car tricks during the night show due to an exploding battery, but all in all we couldn't have a better time because we're with the jets."
A big thumbs-up to UK Outlaw Anglia racer Simon Barlow who offered Chris Kenny the use of his Orange Pop to complete his licencing after Chris damaged his engine in his own car at the Open Sports Nationals. Chris was very grateful but declined the offer because of conscience issues if he damaged Simon's recently-fixed ride.
Never trust a forecast!
28th August: Yesterday's weather forecast was terrible but the day just was perfect at the Nitrolympx at Hockenheim, says Mathias Wienand:
Eliminations started at 10.30. Top Fuel Bike was won by Roel Koedam winning over Rickard Gustafsson. Roel's best ET of the weekend was 6.19 and on the other runs he recorded consistent 6.2s. It's sad that he has sold this incredible bike. Paul Watson won the Pro Stock Bike race in impressive style. Anders Karling took the Supertwin title.
Peter Schöfer did some 5.6-second bracket racing during the Top Methanol Cannonball running the same ET three times in a row. In the final he took out Ulf Leanders. The Top Fuel Challenge was won by Thomas Nataas with a nice 4.9-second run. Siw Nystad only had one very promising-looking run but she had to shut off early.
The Pro Mod Thunder was won by Robert Joosten against Marc Meihuizen who suffered bad tyre shake. Robert ran a very impressive 6.45.
UK Snowmobile racer Max Croot tells us that he clocked a new best for a European snowmobile at Hockenheim. "I ran my snowmobile in the show class", says Max. "I raced against a Super Gasser on Saturday night on the damp track and he spun 180 degrees alongside me at the eighth, which was interesting to say the least! On Sunday morning I had a solo run with the nitrous turned up and netted an 8.80, a new outright European record for a snowmobile, but at the cost of two melted pistons which locked the motor at the top end - again a very exciting moment. It is already stripped and should be together next week ready for more action."
Qualifying and elimination results from this weekend's Nitrolympx are available on the Nitrolympx web site at www.nitrolympics.de.
Nitrolympx Super Mod results.
28th August: Marie Herbert-White Kindly sent us details of yesterday's Super Modified eliminations at the Nitrolympx:
Craig Gibbs 7.82 def Andy Chilton red light
Graham Ellis 7.99 def Mick Coombs 8.29
Steve Rawlings 7.87 def Ian Marshall 8.73
Mark Pointer 7.93 def Chris Orthodoxou 8.02
No sooner did we get back to the pit boxes and we were being called out again for the semi finals:
Graham Ellis 7.74 def Craig Gibbs 7.85
Mark Pointer 8.38 def Steve Rawlings 10.24
Final: Graham Ellis 7.73 def Mark Pointer 8.334
Mark did some damage to his turbocharger in the semi finals but improvised to get to the final.
Matthew Wright sponsored a Top Achiever award in memory of Terry Gibbs. This consisted of a trophy and £100. All ten drivers voted and the worthy winner was Mark Pointer who with only half an hour to go before the first round found that he had dropped a push rod, but still managed to get the car back together and reach the final. His burnouts were also spectacular!
Super Mods at Hockenheim...
27th August: Marie Herbert-White has kindly been in touch again from Hockenheim with news of yesterday's Super Modified qualifying:
We had some sunshine yesterday and our first qualifying round went without incident. The top three were:
Andy Chilton 8.577
Mick Coombs 8.261
Matthew Wright 8.964
Congratulations to everyone on their PBs.
...in difficult conditions.
27th August: Mathias Wienand tells us that the Nitrolympx is really suffering from the weather but that the organisers and racers are giving it their best.
"The Sportsmen only got one qualifying run as the weather still sucks and caused long breaks throughout the day", says Mathias. "Sadly John Tebenham crashed, hitting the wall after it seems that he slipped on his own oil after something broke. Top Methanol and Top Fuel were not able to race, but they did some burnouts on a completly wet track and Peter Schöfer ran a nine-second run in severe weather. The UEM bikes qualified and Roel Koedam set a new track record of 6.22."
Qualifying and elimination results from this weekend's Nitrolympx will be available on the Nitrolympx web site at www.nitrolympics.de.
27th August: We were very sorry to hear from Dave McKenzie and Mark Windridge that their friend and sponsor Tony Thompson has died suddenly at the age of 51.
"Tony Thompson owned Scratch Match auto repair center in Grimsby and was a keen hot rodder who was just getting into drag racing", say Fuzzie and Fettler. "He owned and drove a '34 Plymouth hot rod and was to run at the Hot Rod Drags next month.
"We as a team got to know Tony when he approached us and offered to sponsor our altered Alkyoneus. He was a top class bloke and a respected member of the Northern hot rod scene. Tony will be sadly missed our thoughts go out to his family at this time."
We are sure that all of our readers will join us in adding their own deepest sympathies to Tony's family and friends.
If wet, get silly.
26th August: Mathias Wienand has been in touch from Hockenheim to let us know that yesterday's first day of the Nitrolympx was rained out, but that the mood in the pits was still good. This is confirmed by Marie Herbert-White who wrote to let us know that the UK Super Modified racers have been improvising brilliantly with some commendable silliness to pass the time.
"It soon became apparent that Team Ellis were very bored!", says Marie. "As many of us know from previous experience this can be dangerous, expensive and entertaining for everyone else. Luckily, a mini-moto vendor was willing to part with five of his mini-motos for a sum of Euros. Once purchased it was little boys at Christmas with the first race being who could build theirs first. This was won by Gareth Ellis.
"This was followed throughout the day with several races around the pits (right) and generally terrorising the locals (bear pit included). Following on from the Bug Jam the Stig once again got to leave before everyone else."
Schöfer: Forgotten where he lives?
26th August: Also currently at Hockenheim, German Top Methanol Dragster racer Peter Schöfer has hardly been at home recently.
"After returning from Gardermoen we went to an event called the Bike-and-Music-Weekend near Nürnberg", says team member Gittli Koller. "It was mainly a bike meeting with popular bands, for example Boss Hoss, but in the last few years there have been more and more US Cars as well. They had a show programme which we were part of. Peter did four burnouts and the crowd loved it."
The PSR team went on to make demo passes at Kunmadaras in Hungary. "Kunmadaras is about 150 kilometres east of Budapest and about 400 km Austria", says Gittli. "It is a former Russian military base, and one of the biggest airbases the Russians built in Hungary. There are several runways, and the one which is the racetrack about three and a half kilometres long and seventy metres wide. It is all-concrete with the typical square concrete paving which is used at airfields. There are guardrails for half of the length of the track.
"Last weekend's event was mainly a bike race and there were just four dragsters there making demo runs: two Hungarian cars - a Super Comp dragster and a VW Käfer - as well as Germany's Silvio Strauch with a Comp Eliminator small block dragster and ourselves. The event was part of the Hungarian Drag Bike Championship and they run Street classes (two- and four-cylinder bikes) with a big field of competitors as well as Top Gas bikes and Competition Bikes. The promoter told me that they are very interested to have a UEM Championship round.
"I would guess that there were twenty thousand spectators over the weekend. It is always hard to guess but I can say that the place was packed. The spectators were very interested in the dragsters.
"Peter made four demonstration passes and we were kind of surprised how sticky the track was on the first burnout. There was not much smoke. We learned from that and used more water the next time. Peter lauched very carefully because the track was not prepared, but he ran 6.4s and 6.5s on all four runs with speeds around 220 mph.
"This weekend we are at Hockenheim, where we are part on the Top Methanol Cannonball race which features both dragsters and Funny Cars. As well as Peter we have Timo Habermann, Leif Andréasson, Ulf Leanders, Arvid Grødem, Jürgen Nagel, Deszoe Krivan and Danny Bellio. We are going to have four rounds and we really hope that the rain stops soon."
Open Sports Nationals updates.
25th August: Curbishley Automotive is the latest to join the list of trophy sponsors for this weekend's Open Sports Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. Martin and Ruth Curbishley will be lending their names to the Super Gas awards together with a £50 cash prize to the winner. "From all at Shakespeare County/APIRA, thanks to Martin and Ruth", says Marketing Manager Jerry Cookson.
Jerry has forwarded us the final version of the entry list for this weekend's Open Sports Nationals. You can view the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting the Open Sports Nationals.
Eurodragster.com will be reporting live from the Open Sports Nationals in association with American Car Imports. Our coverage will feature regularly-updated reports on the on-track action and a photo gallery at the end of each day. As Simon works on the SCR timing crew and thus is quite busy enough there will be no pit notes this weekend.
The Webster Race Engineering/MPM Oil webcam will be on-line as long as the track is open and is scheduled to post a picture every two minutes at least until we have time to investigate SCR's new broadband connection.
We will post a direct Home Page link to our coverage as soon as it commences tomorrow, but in the meantime you can access the Event Index, which includes a link to the provisional running order as well as to the official entry list, by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting the Open Sports Nationals.
Readers outside the UK please note that this is a three-day event as Monday is a public holiday in the UK.
European Finals Banquet tickets.
25th August: Geoff Myers of Trakbak Racing has been in touch to let us know that, Pro racers having been notified through their class reps, there is still a limited number of places left for the FIA European Finals Banquet and Prizegiving which takes place after racing on Sunday 10th September. An invitation to attend the Banquet is now open to teams racing at the FIA European Finals.
The Banquet takes place at Hinwick House (opposite the entrance to Santa Pod Raceway at the end of Airfield Road) and commences with a three-course dinner, followed by the Winners' Trophy presentations for the FIA and FIM/UEM European Championships then live music from a Queen tribute band and DJ. Hinwick House will be open from 9:00 pm but the start will be delayed if racing is running late: the estimated start time will be an hour and a half after the last final of the day. Smart dress is requested.
Tickets are £36 per person if booked and paid for before 30th August. Additional tickets may be available after that date and during FIA European Finals weekend weekend (7th-10th September) at £40 per person.
You can print or download the booking form (PDF format) by clicking here, or contact Geoff Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0208 852 5005 (outside the UK +44 208 852 5005).
Simpson sponsor Juniors.
24th August: Simpson Race Products through Hauser Racing have announced sponsorship of UK Junior Dragster effective from this weekend's Open Sports Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. Winners, runners up and under-thirteens in a new award will receive vouchers for race products along with goodie bags of T-Shirts, caps etc. Prizes will also be awarded for National Championship placings at the end of the season.
"This is a great way of introducing brand loyalty to future drag racing competitors and we have to thank Simpson for their initiative", says Geof Hauser. "We will be stocking Simpson products for grown-ups and their cars too! I will have catalogues and price lists at Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend."
You can find the Hauser Racing web site at www.hauserracing.com or call 01933 312735.
Back to outshine the incumbent?
24th August: Eagle-eyed readers of the entry list for this weekend's Open Sports Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway will have noticed Craig Owen listed for Super Pro ET 551 instead of Mark Flavell. Mark tells us that he has found something else to do for part of this weekend and so Craig (right) is back in the car, hopefully to repeat the success of his last outing.
"Fresh from the Total Seal Shootout at the Drachten Internationals, Crew Chief Craig Owen will be driving this weekend as my wife Ann and I are going missing on Sunday to see the Rolling Stones in Sheffield", says Mark. "After last year's very enjoyable August Bank Holiday meeting, we didn't want to miss out on the excitement of the event so I asked Craig if he'd pilot the car and I'll join Steve, Mally and Sam as crew.
"Last time Craig drove, at the 2005 Main Event, he did really well taking out several big hitters before falling in the semis, and he also eclipsed the team ET record. This weekend we'll be pulling out all the stops gunning for our first six-second ET. I'll even wear a pair of those trousers if we do! Sam the Buggy man has a big birthday this Saturday so we'll all be in party mode - as if we aren’t normally."
Nicholson waits still longer.
24th August: Also on the Open Sports Nationals entry list for this weekend but unfortunately absent is Super Pro ET racer Wayne Nicholson whose return to racing in his new Lucky Devil Corvette has been bedevilled by absent parts.
"After waiting for essential parts for the driveline, we have been told that they won't be here until after this weekend", says Wayne. "We will now have to wait until the pre-European Finals weekend to test the car and familiarise ourselves with it. To say that we are deflated is an understatement!
"It's been three years since we lost everything on our way to the European Finals, so another week or so won't make a difference, but it's still frustrating! Thanks to everyone for all of their good wishes - I think some of our friends are just as frustrated as we are."
24th August: Santa Pod Raceway Track Manager David Lloyd-Jones tells us that he has had a number of enquiries from racers about hiring portable toilets for the FIA European Finals. "I have spoken to A Plant Accommodation and they have quoted a price of £100 for a portable toilet for the weekend including cleaning", says David. "If any team is interested then please E-Mail me at email@example.com. Orders must be placed by 5:00 pm tomorrow (Friday)."
UK Super Comp racer Belinda Bull of Eurodragster.com Swap Meet sponsor Jeff Bull Race Engines will be selling T-Shirts at the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod in September. The T-Shirts, designed by Darren West of Eurodragster.come Home and News sponsor Power Race Graphics, come in M, L, XL and "a few" XXL and cost £12.50. "Thanks to Darren for doing such a great job on the design" says Belinda. Click on the picture at right for a larger version.
The third annual Bracknell Breakfast Run takes place at Bracknell Frankie and Benny's restaurant on Sunday 10th September, says Keith Harman. The last Run was attended by some fifty rods and customs which perfectly complimented the diner's US theme including 1950s music. There is even a special Rodders' Breakfast Menu. For more information or to express interest in attending call Keith on 07770 371475.
Celebrating his birthday tomorrow, but on today's news update so that he sees it before leaving for Shakespeare County Raceway, is UK Wild Bunch racer Crazy Chris Hartnell. "Lots of love from me and all the family, and good luck at the Open Sports Nationals!", says Claire Meaddows. Have a great day tomorrow Chris and we'll see you at SCR.
Claire is the latest correspondent to say embarrassingly nice things about your News Editor's commentary at the UK Truck Show last weekend. Tog claims not to remember saying "This car has two parachutes because it is twice as fast" when Bert Englefield ran but would like to say a big Thank You to everyone who has written.
Strand shoots for own record.
24th August: At this weekend's Right On Street Finals at Amcar International Raceway Gardermoen, Vidar Strand will take a shot at his own record for the world's fastest BMW, writes Ronnie Krabberød of Right On magazine:
Vidar ran a stunning 7.83/293 kmh in the VS Motor BMW M3 (right, picture courtesy and ©Hans Martin Høydahl) at Tulling in Sweden earlier this summer and now he is aiming to move that record another step further. Teammate Tommy Ove Björk built the almost street-legal car a couple of years ago but without an engine the car stayed in the garage. Last winter Tommy and Vidar joined forces as Vidar decided to drop his plans for a BMW-powered Funny Car and instead installed his brutally-powerful 3.9 litre BMW six in Tommy's M3. The results came instantly. In the car's third outing Vidar recorded 7.83, half a second faster than the old record for the world's Fastest BMW.
The twin-turbo VS Motor BMW six cranks out 1426 hp and 1610 Nm and as the car weighs less than 1100 kg, the speed potential is obvious. The car is purpose-built for drag racing with a two-speed Powerglide and a Ford nine-inch with four-link in the rear. The all-steel car has all original-steel bodypanels and glass windows and, except for the missing headlights and the two huge exhaust pipes through the front fender, the car could fool anybody as a hot street car.
The Right On Street Finals is the biggest street car race in Norway with more than one hundred street cars plus fifty Top Sportsman and Sportsman racing flat-out on the quarter mile all weekend. Amcar International Raceway Gardermoen will as usual be well-prepped and Sverre Kahrs is one of the drag racers who will use this weekend to test his 6.52-second '53 Corvette Pro Mod.
The Right On Street Finals divides street cars into five classes: front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, four wheel drive, Beetle and V8, and the winners can call themselves Norway's Fastest. For Top Sportsman, Sportsman and Junior Dragster the Right On Street Finals is also the final race in the Norwegian Championship.
For more details check out the Norsk Dragracing Gardermoen web site at www.ndrg.no.
Web site updates.
24th August: Eurodragster.com Photo Editor Sharkman has a truck thing going on on his personal web site Sharkman's Top End Tales this week as the latest update is a gallery from last weekend's UK truck show. The update includes a few shots of some of the race cars at the event, but the main focus is on the racing trucks and on Sharkman's star of the show, Malta's Tommy Agius with the full-on drag race truck. "One of the Pro ET racers there said "I wonder if we could get him in Pro ET, he's running the right numbers"!", says Sharkman. You can check out Sharkman's pictures at www.topendtales.com.
Kristina takes the Challenge.
23rd August: The final round of the 2006 FIM/UEM Snowmobile Challenge was held in Sundsvall at the weekend and Kristina Blomquist took the title, writes Championship Co-ordinator Lars Andersson:
Sundsvall Raceway is a former military airfield which the club has bought and is transforming into a perfect drag strip. After a lot of small problems from environmental to other aspects the airfield is now working and is very good. First you have to go on a gravel road for several kilometres before the forest opens up and you are on a drag strip.
The event was very nice. This time we had ten snowmobiles and that is very good. We had four rounds of qualifying and after that Ove Eriksson was the first qualifier and Urban Eriksson second. Kristina Blomquist, who was leading the Challenge after Norway, was number five. In the first round she won her elimination and through that secured the Championship.
The winner of the race was Ove Eriksson from Urban Eriksson. We did of course have new quarter mile records from this event, of 9.103 seconds (Ove Eriksson) and 233 kmh (Erik Coldevin). I do hope that this will be an annual thing because it is growing fast and public likes it.
You can see the final standings in the 2006 FIM/UEM Snowmobile Challenge by clicking here or by clicking on the Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Siw does Hockenheim.
23rd August: Rune Fjeld Motorsport is one of the teams making the trip to Hockenheim for this weekend's Nitrolympx and Rune's dynamic duo includes one of this year's new faces, writes Ronnie Kraberrød of Right On magazine:
Thomas Nataas, currently number two in the FIA European Top Fuel Championship, is accompanied by RF Motorsport’s rising new star Siw Nystad who made her Top Fuel début at Exporama Drag Challenge at Amcar International Raceway Gardermoen. Siw brilliantly took out Micke Kågered in the first round on a holeshot and then left him in the dust with a sparkling 4.96/496 kmh in her very first full pass in Top Fuel Dragster. Unfortunately the young lady, only twenty years old, was not able to make the next round of eliminations, but still she was stunned by her first real race in Top Fuel and very, very happy with her results.
Siw Nystad will not race at the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod. Team owner Rune Fjeld has instead chosen to run two of the team’s cars at Hockenheim, and the two Norwegian drivers will later be joined by Barry Sheavills for a very tough eight-car Top Fuel field in the third car in Bahrain in October.
Open Sports Nationals updates.
23rd August: MSA Scrutineer Glenn Stockton has also been in touch to let us know that scrutineering will be available to early arrivals to Shakespeare County Raceway on Friday, commencing at 5:00 pm and continuing until dusk.
Beth and Paul Satchell have kindly forwarded us the provisional running order for Saturday's first day of qualifying. You can view the running order by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting the Open Sports Nationals. Please note that as ever the running order is provisional and is subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.
Beth and Paul have also forwarded us a slightly amended Pit Plan, which you can view by clicking here. Racers please note the instructions on the pit plan.
In addition to yesterday's news item about trophy sponsorships, Derek Flynn of Gold RV has pledged an additional £100 to this weekend's winner in Super Pro ET, provided that the winning run is achieved in the Gold RV lane (left lane).
Also further to yesterday's news item, in addition to the Perfect Awards Scheme Eurodragster.com are sponsoring the trophies for this weekend's winners in Pro ET and Comp Bike.
OJZ head up sponsorship deal.
23rd August: UK Pro ET team 587racing.com are pleased to announce a new sponsorship agreement with OJZ Engineering. OJZ have custom-fabricated some stunning headers for the 587racing.com dragster (right, click on picture for large version), built out of polished stainless steel with two-inch primaries and 3.5-inch merged collector, truly a work of art.
OJZ Engineering are specialists in tube manipulation and the fabrication of bespoke automotive exhaust components and systems for almost any application. Based in North Nottinghamshire between Newark, Lincoln and Worksop, they are ideally located to serve almost all the major conurbations across the UK. Their hours of business are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday, and 8:00 am to 12.30 pm on Saturdays.
OJZ Engineering was originally established in an attempt to fill a gap in the UK custom component market catering for customers who, by the nature of the type of car they drive, cannot purchase standard off-the-shelf parts to put on it. Even if this were to be the case, then the cost would almost certainly be prohibitive. This is where OJZ step in. Due to recent heavy investment in automated CNC plasma cutting equipment and mandrel bending machinery and tooling, OJZ are able to offer customers high quality, bespoke products at a reasonable cost due to the elimination of any marked-up prices by "the middle man".
OJZ's facilities include CAD drawing and design of individual components, mandrel and compression bending on tube sizes up to and including three inches, tube-end forming and swaging, and CNC plasma cutting of up to 25 mm thick stainless steel. They offer a variety of exhaust and automotive components for almost any application, whether it be performance/race car/bike builders, custom car/bike builders, kit car enthusiasts or industrial sectors alike. With over twenty five years of engineering expertise OJZ believe in providing quality UK-engineered products and services at the right price, and as OJZ do not import cheap components and products from Asia, they are able to offer customers not only highly competitive prices, but the highest quality products tailored exactly to their needs, when they need it.
Whatever your requirements, whether you are in the automotive industry, an enthusiast, retailer or an OEM, OJZ can provide a tailored solution to your requirements.
The 587racing.com Pro ET dragster will be at the Open Sports Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway this coming weekend with the new headers on show, and the team say that visitors should feel free to come to their pit for a chat.
You can view a video clip of the new headers being tested at www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD-l6mzIBKI.
Double figures for RSSE...
23rd August: Entries have continued to come in over the last few days and the Real Steel Street Eliminator UK field now stands at a healthy ten cars for the coming weekend's Open Sports Nationals, writes Ian Hook. This is the penultimate round in the Championship's seven-race series and is the last visit to Shakespeare County Raceway in 2006 for Europe's quickest street-legal cars.
Ian Hook and the FB Racing team have a chance to unofficially take this year's title, their victory at last month's Bug Jam having given them a very big lead in the Championship. Their biggest challengers are the Chevy Thunder team of reigning champion Colin Lazenby whose nightmare of a season continues with a nail-biting wait for parts to repair the wounded 706 mountain motor in the '56 Chevy. In true street racer fashion Colin has pledged to rebuild the motor in the pits if necessary!
In third place and making superb progress with his new combination is long time SE racer Alan Simms. He débuted his blown big block Chevy-powered Cresta at Shakey earlier this year and has gone progressively quicker, finishing as runner up to Ian Hook at the Bug Jam, a result which moved him into third place, just seventy points behind Colin Lazenby. With Steve Nash missing until possibly the last round both John Walden and Jerry Charles will be hoping to leapfrog the fourth placed man as they battle for that position themselves. Hairy John's one hundred per cent attendance record may just tip the balance his way as there's a potential five hundred-point bonus waiting for him at the next round.
Alex McIntosh will also be looking for a move up the table in the absence of Jon Webster but he'll also have one eye on his reaction times. The Street Eliminator Perfect Light competition has been the sole property of Ian 'Fatty' Hook for the last five years but at the last meeting the lead was taken off him by Alex, although it takes four decimal places to split them! This meeting also sees the return to Shakey of Ray Tucker in the 'Vette - now another eight-second street car - Jason Weir in the Suburban, Ron Haslett in the Cortina (after a lot of help and support from crew, fellow racers Colin and Ann-Marie Lazenby and sponsors Insane Creations) and Wilf Stacey who was frustrated when mechanical problems prevented him racing after qualifying for the Bug Jam.
Once again watch out for plenty of eight-second action from these real street cars and perhaps some more Personal Bests of which there have been plenty this season. Thanks are due to the class sponsors Real Steel and associate sponsors Finch's Fleet Services, Webster Race Engineering, American Car World (who have also sponsored the trophies for this round), Eurodragster.com and last but not least Comet Clothing.
...as FBs tilt at the title.
23rd August: It's been a long time since UK Real Steel Street Eliminator team FB Racing have been in the running for a Championship win - nine years in fact, says Ian Hook.
"Back in 1997 we were lying in second place in Street Eliminator (CCSE back then) when a blown transmission prevented us from even qualifying", says Fatty. "We're in a much better position this time but I know from painful experience how easy it is to break something and end up missing out. So yes, I'm nervous, but also excited. And if we can secure that number one position win (even if it is unofficial until the final round) at what I consider my home track I will be delighted.
"With our 8.17 at the Bug Jam having been run with a relatively gentle launch set-up we do hope to go a little quicker this weekend but don't expect too much. The bigger jets we have ready to go in our Highpower nitrous system (which has performed beyond all expectations since its installation) will be staying firmly locked away unless we have made sure that the '34 will be running with #1 on the wing endplates next year.
"The '34 has done a few street miles over the weekend, firstly getting Richard Warburton to the registry office in Stroud for his marriage to Rachael (best of luck to you both for the future), and then driving home from the Mid West American Car Show at Cheltenham Racecourse on Sunday, where the number of times I had to answer "Do you really drive it on the road?" were countless! But she's now back in my garage and despite a wheezy number one cylinder still sounds superb.
"The weekend should be exciting so get yourself along to Shakey to see the quickest street-legal cars in Europe strut their stuff!"
Torque about York.
23rd August: There are a number of very quick modified cars now running at York Raceway in its 2NZ Shootouts (if you're over a certain age, 2NZ is the SMS abbreviation for "tuners). The new Z-class was recently introduced for modified production cars that are capable of running 10.50-second or quicker over the quarter mile, however achieved. York Raceway has put up £500 the first modern tuned car to run a nine the Yorkshire track. Howard Holmes says that as the competition has hotted up, and particularly as it looks like a number of cars will be vying for it this Sunday at York's Hot Car Spectacular, the rules, terms and conditions have been updated a little to ensure fairness for all those aiming for that nine.
A summary of the rules is as follows:
"Japanese Import Specialists Distinctive Cars will be brining their DCY car down on the Sunday with the intentions of running a nine second quarter mile. "I will also be bringing my 600+ R32 GTR to run on the day too, just to see what sort of time it can get", says George. We're also hoping they will able to demo their D1 drift car which competed at Silverstone last Sunday.
"So, for the enthusiasts of the seriously advanced modified cars, we should have some exciting racing and some thrilling times this weekend, with the Hot Car Spectacular on Sunday 27th August and the GTi Spectacular on 28th August. Although, speaking for myself, what would make a nine-second run from a modern car even more thrilling would be an eight-second run from a Coronet in the other lane. But I may be just showing my age?"
23rd August: Liz and Iain Malcolm of the UK's Jus '4' Fun Pro ET team were very grateful to be invited to the UK Truck show at Santa Pod. "The truck racing was great as was the static display, some of the paint jobs were outstanding", they say. "The truck drivers showed a lot of interest in drag racing and we hope to see some of them at future meetings. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable event and gave us a good opportunity to test our dragster prior to the European Finals. Thanks also to Wild Bunch racer Mark Hartnell for the side-by-side Pinto-powered race."
UK Wild Bunch racer Luke Bennett would be grateful to hear from any Eurodragster.com reader with pictures of his "subtle" wheelie at the UK Truck Show on Sunday. If you have any shots then please drop Luke a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our good friend Patrik Jacobsson has unearthed a fascinating video clip of the then-new Saab Turbo stretching its legs at Mantorp Park in 1977. Presented by Raymond Baxter (One of your News Editor's heroes - Ed), the clip shows the Saab taking on all comers up the drag strip, which although twenty nine years younger at the time is still clearly identifiable, and then being taken for a drive around Sweden most definitelyat or below the speed limit. Check it out at video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7948937708386117642.
Linda's Pro Mod rush.
22nd August: If you were tuned in to yesterday's Swift Snippets you will have read that Norway's Linda Thun Tønseth gained her Pro Modified licence in Jan Arve Nygård's Corvette at Sundsvall at the weekend. Linda told Eurodragster.com that Pro Mod is a real rush.
"I'm so excited, finally I got my licence!", said Linda who previously raced in Super Comp. "It was something in between violent and gentle. There is a lot more to remember and to do during the run than I was used to in the dragster. But that is just what I needed right now - it started to get boring in the dragster, so this is really what I want to do in future.
"The car was set up to run a six, but the clutch didn't do what I wanted, so it ended up a 7.14/323 kmh (Good enough - Ed). At the end of the day Jan Arve set a new Personal Best speed of 356 kmh on a 6.42."
Linda said that if she is to race then she needs sponsors. "I will be in Nygård Motorsport next year as well", she said. "Jan Arve is going to race in the FIA European Championship, and if I'm lucky I get to race outside the FIA events."
Linda asked us to thank the Nygågard Motorsport team. "They are the best!", she said. The team's web site at www.nygardmotorsport.com has been updated with some new photographs.
The prodigal returns.
22nd August: The recent Finnish Championship race at Motopark Raceway included the comeback to drag racing for a talented and experienced Mika Määttä, son of Funny Bike racer and regular Eurodragster.com correspondent Asko Määttä.
"Mika is the former Junior Dragster pilot/pioneer back in the 1980s", says Asko. "Have a look at National Dragster around October-November 1989 for a two-page full colour article about him and a couple of Junior Dragsters I built in the mid 1990s. After that he worked as an assistant and, from Mantorp 1991, as a mechanic for me over five years both in Super Twin Top Gas Harley and Top Alcohol Funny Car. Since that he’s been a mechanic and a clutch man for Jarmo Roivas in 1995, and from 1996 to 2004 for Japa Kuutniemi’s Top Methanol Funny Car. The picture is of Mika and I adjusting the wheelie bars of 1990 European Competition Bike Champion Juha Hillman’s Funny Bike in the late 1990s, we did that as well.
"Now Mika is back in the business as the Baldie Racing Funny Bike’s Crew Chief and clutch man. And he now says that I am on a trial period for him! I hope I can stand it. And what a comeback Mika made: it took only two passes to get the clutch sorted out on a bogging engine and we had some quite fine starts from the line and also a good sixty foot. The time slip says 1.004 sixty foot, believe or not, I don’t. Anyway I had some problems on the ignition and fuel systems all weekend. We made five full passes to eliminate the various reasons for the problems and have now only two left, of the kind we couldn’t sort out at the track.
"As a summary we had kind of a successful weekend and I hope that the remaining problems have already been solved. I've had a delivery of the necessary parts from Schnitz Racing (thanks to Connie) so that I can test the Baldie’s Gun III Pro Turbo Suzuki before the Finnish Finals at the beginning of September. You must always remember the nature of this sport: some years everything goes on OK and some years nothing goes as it should or as you hope.
"Pro Turbo System Oy from Pori, Finland is also delivering two different kind of turbos for the Finnish Finals: a modified Garrett GT40 and a GT37, so I can hopefully test those before next season's opener at the Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod or at Meca Raceway in Malmö.
Special thanks to my all sponsors and supporters: Pro Turbo Systems, Jyväskylän Moottoriklubi JMK, Kopparin Kukka, Jyväskylän aikuisopisto JAO, Baldie Racing and Media Relations, Schnitz Racing; and especially to my wife Tepa as well as to my son Mika and his wife Tiina, not to forget their doggie Mona. Also regards and thanks to Roald Dogge of the Netherlands who sold me an Orient Express five-speed Pro Mod gearbox: after fixing the first gear secondary bearing three years ago it has worked perfectly. Before the Motopark race I checked it and only polished some washers, it’s bulletproof!"
Open Sports Nationals updates.
22nd August: Shakespeare County Raceway Marketing Manager Jerry Cookson and Clerk of the Course Richard Warburton have been in touch with more updates about this weekend's Open Sports Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway.
Racer tickets have been posted out unless SCR were asked to hold them at the gate. If racers have not received their tickets by Friday morning then please contact SCR on 01789 720180 or E-Mail email@example.com. If racers require additional tickets then they are available at a reduced rate by calling or E-Mailing as above and confirming their entry details.
There will be an early morning briefing for APIRA/SCR marshals in the first grandstand next to VIP at 8:30 am this Saturday (26th). All marshals except Pit Control personnel are required to attend.
There will be a mandatory Drivers and Riders and crew meeting in the end grandstand commencing at 9.00 am on Saturday. "All are required to attend as there may be certain issues that might concern you and your team", says Jerry.
A big Thank You to the following who have sponsored this weekend's trophies:
Touch FM: Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association
Gold RV: Super Pro ET
Motorshack: Super Comp and Super Street Bike
Shakespeare County Raceway: Super Street
JJ Motorsports: Junior Dragster and Junior Drag Bike
American Car World: Street Eliminator
440 Magazine: Outlaw Anglia
C & P Hot Rod Tees: Wild Bunch
Volksworld Magazine: VW Sportsman, VW Pro, VW Alternate Engine, Outlaw Flat Four
Turboville.com: Top Fuel Bike
Shakespeare County Raceway: Funny Bike
Streetfighters Magazine: 9.50 Bike
Hollie B/Studio 64: Supertwin Gas
Supertwin Street: Compupay
If you would like to sponsor a trophy at the Open Sports Nationals then there is still time to talk to SCR at the contact details above.
The Open Sports Nationals is the latest eligible event in the 2006 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards scheme. A total prize fund of £100 is available.
The Eurodragster.com/Speedflow Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Super Street racer ET Jörgensen 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 goes unclaimed at the Open Sports Nationals then it will be increased to £75 for the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50. 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 Super Comp racer Mikael Nilsson 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 index and dial-in classes and is available during qualifying or eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect ET of the weekend. If the Award goes unclaimed at the Open Sports Nationals then it will be increased to £75 for the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50. 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.
22nd August: UK Pro Stock Bike racer Paul Watson of Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor DynoSpeed Developments urgently needs to get hold either of Steve Wood of Motorshack or of some SV05 fuel for his appearance at Hockenheim this weekend. Grumpy is leaving for Germany tomorrow (Wednesday), if you can help then please call him on 07711 670197.
Racers are reminded that Santa Pod Raceway are seeking volunteers to appear at the FIA European Finals Press Day which takes place on Wednesday 6th September. If you are interested in running at the Press Day then E-Mail Jo Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org with all relevant details about your vehicle including a photograph and whether you are able to take passengers. Only racers entered for the FIA European Finals will be considered and priority will be given to those able to take passengers.
UK National 9.50 Bike Champion Fred Furlong, who was injured in a top end crash at the FIA Main Event in May, is on the entry list for the FIA European Finals but tells us that he is not sure that he will be fit in time. "I've got my fingers crossed", he says. Good luck with that, Fred. Meanwhile the Furlong Tyres web site at www.furlongtyres.com has been updated with some new pages including one about a new product, the Baxley Sport Chock, which is particularly suitable for drag bikes without a side stand.
UK Funny Bike racer Ken Cooper has a suggestion for a contribution to the Pat Ginn Appeal. "If all the racers agreed not to take their modest winnings from the Open Sports Nationals this weekend, then the whole prize fund could be donated to Pat's appeal", says Ken. "This would be a quick and easy method to raise money without putting a hand in your pocket. Would anybody have any objections to the idea?". Ken adds that he is handling the sale of TJ O'Brien's Funny/Comp Bike; if you are interested then you can contact Ken by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 07976 254999.
Thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our very own Simon for passing us the latest UK National Championship standings for Super Modified after their round at the Bug Jam. You can check out the Super Mod points by clicking here or by clicking on the Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
A jovial Jim McGhee sent us this amusing picture of a well-known cartoon duo cunningly disguised as three members of a UK Pro Mod team (click on picture for large version). So who's going to hit whom with a socket wrench or frying pan...
Herman Zijlstra has been in touch with a poser for our readers: "Which racer on the European Finals entry list was racing in 1978?". Herman says that he thinks that there is only one. We think we know the answer but if you have any thoughts then please E-Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll pass them on. Herman says that he may bring a small prize to the Finals for the winner.
APIRA Championship outcomes.
22nd August: This weekend's Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway will be a full round of UK National Championship racing which will also be the climax of the APIRA Championship. The three-round track championship, which had its first two races way back in April (as already seen on Sky Sports), is open in many classes with only one sewn up. Simon has been looking at the points and has produced this analysis of the possible outcomes.
The sewn-up class is Super Modified, where the class will be 'playing away' at Hockenheim so it's congratulations to champions Team Ellis (Oldmobile Cutlass) and runner-up Andy Kirk ('67 Chevy Camaro). In Super Comp, VP Racing Fuels-sponsored Paul Knight (Pontiac Trans Am) is well in the lead, but second place will be a close contest between Shaun Lathan (Vauxhall Calibra), Chris Johnson (MG ZS) and class rookie Matt Gatland (Vauxhall Firenza). Matt Gatland also features in Super Gas and is class leader here by less than a round of racing from Brendan Clancy (Chevy Nova) and by one round from old team-mate Tim Adam (Brogie Roadster). Paul Marston Racing's #1 team car, the Dodge Dart driven by Tethys, lies in fourth place. In Super Street Bristol Doorslammers' John Grant (Ford 100E) has a couple of rounds' lead over Dave Cherrett's Dark Revenger Ford Model A Panel Van and these are out in front of the rest of the competition.
Nick Spence has a tiny lead over Barry Giles and Martyn Jones in Super Pro ET, and Rick Cooke is another couple of rounds back in a close Championship. A strong field of sixteen of these six- to eight-second cars will be one of the highlights of the weekend. Lee Huxley in the Top Banana Pro ET '32 Ford Roadster has a couple of rounds' advantage in points terms against Gary Springford in the Paul Marston Racing Monza who is less than one round ahead of the Team Heaven and Hell Camaro. In Sportsman ET, Geoff Cowley in his Camaro Z28 has an advantage over Nick Gay in the Metro Pickup. Junior Dragster is a real squeaker of a Championship with Peter Walters leading and being chased by Nick Mugridge, Ross Norris, Charlotte Watts and Rebecca Evans.
Street Eliminator has Colin Lazenby (Chevrolet 210 Sedan) in a potential Championship position with Ian 'Fatty' Hook as his primary competition. In Outlaw Anglia, Paul Wright looks good for Championship honours as he has a sizeable lead over Steve Wells who will not be present . In the Wild Bunch, Helen Smythe (accompanied by Pooky and Penny), is ahead of Sarah Howells, both ladies running '23 T altereds. VWDRC classes have only had one round at SCR so far this year owing to the Big Bang at SPR coinciding with the Shakespeare Nationals and therefore the track Championships are wide open. In VW Pro, class leader Nigel Green is absent, leaving Glynn Morgan, Neil Ellis and Martin Charles each with a chance of the title. VW Sportsman sees Paul Herbert leading Graham Fairhead and Martin Ayton, with Richard Merriman and Simon Funnell less than one round further behind. With eleven cars entered, it could almost be anyone's Championship. The running of VW Alternate Engine, like VW Pro, was rain-affected at the season opening Power Nationals and Ian Sewell, Andy Raw and Matt Finney will be fighting a battle for the Championship with the other runners.
Top Fuel Bike points leader Stefan Iwanowitsch has elected not to make the trip over from Holland, leaving Ian Turburville with a real chance of his first Championship with Steve Woollatt not due back until the European Finals. In Funny Bike Neil Midgley is in a strong position, two rounds ahead of Tim Blakemore who will need to need to win the event and have Neil qualify poorly and go out first round to gain the Championship. Kevin Charman looks assured of the Comp Bike Championship with Andy Newcombe absent and Phil Leamon 160 points behind in a somewhat depleted field. Third-placed Nigel Barker has a very real chance to gain the Super Street Bike Championship with Steve Venables and Jamie Sneddon both strutting their stuff at Hockenheim, Gary Drury also in with a shout at the runner-up spot if he does well. In 9.50 Bike Andy Bird is 200 points ahead of Fred Furlong, who may be returning to competition at the European Finals.
In Supertwin, Duncan Hocking looks good for the Fuel title on his vintage Weslake machine with Chris Stebbings sticking to the Gas class this weekend. Supertwin Gas has record-setting John Floyd with a big lead over Stebbings and in Superwin Street, Dave Jones on the V-Rod Harley is looking good. Supertwin Modified? They're back, and it's going to be a one-shot Championship! Scott Collier has the lead over Andrew Irvine in Junior Drag Bike and could become one of the youngest Champions ever.
Web site updates.
22nd August: UK Rocket Dragster pilot Carolynne Campbell has launched a web site at www.laffin-gas.com. The very nicely-designed site tells you everything you could want to know about the Hybrid Rocket Dragster including history, technical details, team biographies and more. "If anyone has any suggestions, corrections etc then please contact us via the web site", says Carolyn.
Nigel Holland has updated his photographic web site with pictures from the weekend's Truck Show at Santa Pod Raceway. "It was an awesome sight seeing these huge lumbering beasts do 100 mph down the strip", says Nigel. "I spoke to a number of drivers and they certainly got a kick out of it. Some of them had never been to a drag strip before but they soon got the hang of it and put on a really good show". You can see just how good at www.nigelholland.co.uk.
UK National Junior Dragster Champion Jay Hauser has put together a video showcasing the new NHRA Drag Racing computer game, which you can view at video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7312541496977659911. "I hope that everyone likes the video and if anyone would like to give me any feedback or advice for my next video, please E-Mail me at email@example.com", says Jay.
Open Sports Nationals updates.
21st August: We are again indebted to Jerry Cookson for sending us an updated official entry list for this weekend's Open Sports Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can view the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting the Open Sports Nationals. If your name doesn't appear on the entry list then please contact Jerry at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Thanks also to Beth and Paul Satchell for forwarding us this weekend's Pit Plan, which you can view by clicking here. Racers please note the instructions on the pit plan.
Jerry Cookson also tells us that following the demise of the planned eighth-mile drags at the Open Sports Nationals Shaun Wilson, racer and editor of the Hot Rod Gazette, will be organising and sponsoring the Show and Shine part of the three day Bank Holiday festival and has very kindly put up four trophies: Looks Not Bucks, Spirit of Hot Rodding, Best Nostalgia Rod and Best Of Show.
"Unlike many car shows, when we do the judging there are no points deducted for road-rash, rubber splattered up the rear quarter or anything that makes the car look like it's been driven for the sheer fun of it", says Shaun.
Launched in 1995, the Hot Rod Gazette has been a mainstay in the world of hot rodding, drag racing and genuine street racing with the promotion of the National Street Car Challenge and the sponsorship of car shows up and down the country. Shaun drives and races his own '68 Chevy Camaro and is still building a Deuce Coupe and a 1969 Ford Thames 300E van soon to be kitted out with an injected Pinto motor.
There will also be a display from many of the Midlands-based National Street Car Challenge racers who regularly support Shakespeare County Raceway, together with a cruise to a local pub. The cruise will also form part of the Hot Rod element of the Open Sports Nationals. The Show and Shine trophies will be presented in front of the grandstands before the national class finals are due to run on Monday.
Custom Car magazine will again be involved in the Open Sports Nationals by sponsoring trophies for Best Appearing Race Car and Best Appearing Crew. Shakespeare County Raceway would like to thank Kelsey Publishing's Phil Weeden, editor Dave Biggadyke and Tony Beadle for their continued support of the Warwickshire quarter mile.
The latest issue of Custom Car features a detailed four-page write-up of Marc Meihuizen's '37 Chevy Business Coupe Pro Mod from lens man and graphic artist Mark Gredzinski. Also getting the feature treatment is world renewed 'kustom car guru' George Barris, creator of the Batmobile, Munster Coach and the Pontiac GTO conversion of the Monkeemobile. Race coverage includes the NSRA's Nostalgia Nationals from Shakespeare County Raceway, Riverside's Wet and Wild weekend, the return of Gary's Picnic to Santa Pod, and more. Priced at £3.30, the September issue is available now at all leading news outlets.
21st August: Congratulations to Swedish Fuel Funny Car racer Leif Helander who clocked a new Personal Best of 5.49/376 kmh at Sundsvall Raceway yesterday (Sunday). "It was a very safe run with the chutes out early and a soft tune-up", team member L-O Jonsson told Eurodragster.com. "We opened up the engine afterwards and it still looked new". The Starkotter team are now headed to this weekend's Nitrolympx at Hockenheim.
Congratulations also to UK Super Pro ET racer Nev Mottershead who set a new Personal Best of 5.48 for the eighth-mile at the Toyo Tyres Series event at Malmö's Meca Raceway at the weekend. The next stop in the Valvoline-sponsored Toyota Supra's European Tour is the Nitrolympx.
Final congratulations for today go to Norway's Linda Thun Tønseth who Christer Abrahamson tells us gained her Pro Mod licence at Sundsvall in Jan-Arve Nygård's Corvette Pro Mod. We will be hearing more from Linda shortly.
Stuart Oliver reversed the result of Saturday's first-ever British Truck Racing Association drag race when he took the final of yesterday's second eliminator 14.673/99.59 to Dave Jenkins' 14.744/95.16 at the UK Truck Show at Santa Pod Raceway. Stuart's winning margin was 0.021 seconds or 35.17 inches. Tommy Agius and the Maksar Racing Team didn't have such a good day yesterday as the eleven-second Volvo truck's transmission broke on its first run of the day.
Eurodragster.com News sponsor Motorsport News is campaigning to have a corner at the Thruxton Circuit named after World Land Speed Record holder Andy Green to complement other corners on the circuit named for LSR holders such as Noble, Campbell and Seagrave. You can sign an online petition to Thruxton at www.petitiononline.com/corner.
Pat goes to Hockenheim.
21st August: Matthew Wright has been in touch to let us know that Pat Ginn will be joining the Gleeson Wright Security team at this weekend's Nitrolympx at Hockenheim, where Matt will be racing his supercharged pick-up.
"Firstly, after a nail-biting wait for permission from the doctors Pat has been allowed to come to Hockenheim with myself and the crew, which now comprises Sue, Andy Thetford, TJ and Pat", says Matt. "We have been allowed to tag along with the Super Mod guys. Thanks to Tina and Craig Gibbs of Obsession Motorsport. I know this was on Pat's wish list and I'm honoured to have been the one to fulfil her wish.
"I have to say thank you all so, so much for all the E-Mails I have had offering support for the Pat Ginn Appeal. As soon as Barclays Bank give me the account number I will give it to Eurodragster.
"I'm not going to say too much as I'm sure that Pat and TJ would rather tell the world themselves but would Mark Pointer of Hooligan fame please stand up and take a bow - you, sir, are one of the kindest gentlemen I'll ever have the pleasure of knowing, thank you so very much for what you and your lovely wife have done for Pat and TJ.
"Whilst on the Thank Yous I'd like to thank Bill 'Fester' Felstead for the hard work he as done on my truck over the last week. I'd also like to thank my girlfriend Sue, little Matt, Regan, Jamie, Ashley, and big Gary Gleeson for looking after things while we are away."
Web site updates.
21st August: In the latest entry in his exclusive Racer Blog, FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Lex Joon describes European drag racing's debt to Gary Burgin and looks forward to the Night Show at this weekend's Nitrolympx at Hockenheim. You can check out Lex's blog by clicking here or by clicking on the Racer Blog link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Our good buddy Patrik Jacobsson has updated the Racebilder web site at www.racebilder.nu with pictures from the weekend's Toyo Tyres Series event at Meca Raceway.
Also updating from the weekend is Peter Donaldson who has updated his photographic web site with pictures from Saturday's action at the UK Truck Show at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Peter's shots at peterdonaldson5305.fotopic.net.
UK Truck Show update.
20th August: Dave Jenkins won the British Truck Racing Association's first-ever drag race on day one of the Truck Insure-sponsored UK Truck Show at Santa Pod Raceway yesterday (Saturday). After qualifying #1 at 14.575/95.13 Dave met Stuart Oliver in the final and took the win 14.686/92.62 whilst Stuart recorded the first 100 mph terminal speed of the weekend at 15.418/100.41.
One of the undoubted highlights of the day was the first UK appearance of Malta's Maksar Racing team with their eleven-second Volvo truck (right). Tommy Agius made a number of runs preceded by wild crossed-up burnouts and recorded a best so far of 11.172/122.67 to the cheers of the spectators.
Haslett holds Charity raffle.
20th August: UK Real Steel Sreet Eliminator racer Ron Haslett says that plans are coming together for a raffle at the Charity Coffee Morning in his pit on the Saturday of the UK National Finals.
"The Coffee Morning on 30th September will raise money for the Macmillan Cancer Fund and for the Pat Ginn Appeal. We are going to hold a raffle on the day, so we're looking for prizes. So far we are planning to take some of the winners out on the Cruise on the Saturday night, and we have an artist doing a picture of all the cars and he has offered to do a picture of a car of the winner's choice as a prize. We are looking for more prizes so that we can sell as many tickets as possible. The tickets will be £1 each and will be sold on the Friday and on the Saturday.
"I'd also like to say a big thanks to my crew, Insane Creations in France, and good friends and fellow racers Colin and Ann-Marie Lazenby as without their help and rallying-round we would not be at Shakespeare County Raceway next weekend."
If you would like to donate a prize to the raffe then you can contact Ron at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flynn backs out.
19th August: UK Super Pro ET racer Derek Flynn of Eurodragster.com News sponsor Gold RV has had to withdraw from next weekend's Open Sports Nationals due to a bad back. Derek is particularly disappointed that he won't be able to run in the Gold RV lane at Shakespeare County Raceway.
"As anyone who has ever met or watched the Gold RV team race knows, we normally never give up and race flat out"", says Derek. "We should be flat out getting the car ready for the Open Nationals, with plans in place on how to make the car go faster, quicker and more consistent, but this time the car is running great - never better (well done team) - and it is me who is flat out as I have been laid up with a rather painful back problem for a while now.
"It would be unsafe and very uncomfortable for me to race at present and I doubt I could even get in the car, let alone get out in a hurry, so unfortunately our first 200 mph run in the Gold RV Lane that we want so badly will have to wait. We are all very disappointed this will be the first event we have ever missed since we started racing!
"Hopefully I will have recovered enough to at least come and support and cheer everyone on - well, all those in the Gold RV lane anyway!"
We're sure that everyone will join us in wishing Derek a very rapid recovery.
19th August: UK Pro Stock Bike racer Paul Watson of Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Dynospeed Developments is returning to Hockenheim for next weekend's Nitrolympx after an absence of ten years.
"My memories of the great Super Gas days were fantastic, it's always been a great event to be at", says Grumpy. "My crew Pixie, Jason and Steve are all there for the first time so we are all looking forward to it. The European Pro Stock Bikes are really getting quick now so we need to start turning the motor up. We have had loads of input from the States so a big thanks to Ray at MSD, Vance and Hines, Antron Brown and Craig Treble for all their help and advice, but in particular to Roger Lyren of Motospeed who tirelesly helps everyone in the Pro Stock Bike pits.
"Track permitting we hope to be in the 7.4s at least, if we can stop the immense wheelspin we keep having we should progress quite well. Good luck to all the Super Street Bikes which are going - it should be a great event."
FIA European Finals entry closed...
18th August: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall has been in touch to let us know that the number of entries for the FIA European Finals has now gone above 300 and that entry to the event is now closed.
"The only entries which will now be accepted are those from racers to whom I have spoken and which I know are on the way", says Paula. If you have any queries then please contact Paula by E-Mail at email@example.com or by phone on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
You can view Version 7 of the official 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 the FIA European Finals.
...Bike Weekend entry open.
18th August: Paula Marshall has also asked us to remind bike racers that next Friday (25th August) is the closing date for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 16th-17th September.
The Extreme Performance Bike Weekend is an ACU UK Drag Bike Championship round for Funny Bike, Pro Stock Bike, Comp Bike and Super Street Bike, a UK National Championship round for 9.50 Bike and 10.50 Bike, and a Championship round for the National Association of Supertwins.
You can download the entry form from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
OK, so what goes wrong next?
18th August: UK Pro Mod racer and Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Andy Robinson's trip to Gardermoen showed the highs and lows which make drag racing so addictive, says Bob Roberts:
The team assembled at the track on Thursday afternoon with problems still to solve after a frustrating weekend at Mantorp Park. Starter problems had caused the team to push start the car which of course led to disqualification. First job then was to rebuild the starter motor using parts shipped direct from the USA and try to determine what had gone wrong. ARRC run a front-mounted starter which uses a three-lobe dog clutch to engage a similar fitting on the front of the crank. The Mantorp starter dog was in three pieces and had damaged the housing. Rebuilding with one of the replacements was relatively easy but problem determination was not so easy. However the car started well enough in the pits so all was ready for first qualifying on Friday morning.
Imagine our surprise when the car wouldn't start so we quickly decided to bump it to get a run and some kind of handle on track conditions. In fact we bumped it twice as we were shut down after the first start. Thanks to Gordon Appleton's crew who provided most of the grunt. As an aside it turns out to be quite easy to start this way although poor old Luke had to run backwards squirting fuel into the butterflies and trying to keep out of the way when it started. Unfortunately the car shook the tyres hard at a hundred feet so Andy shut it down. Back in the pits all was revealed, the replacement dog had cracked after only two starts. Scratching our heads we fitted the second replacement which managed only half a start before shearing. We found that the front mounting for the starter allowed for some misalignment so we fixed that and adapted a borrowed starter dog for another try, this didn't throw out enough to engage the crank dog so would not turn the engine.
After a detailed inspection we realised that our original rebuild might not have been correct so we cannibalised another starter, borrowed from the Turners, to fit our situation. This arrangement managed one start to great jubilation but failed a second try to despair. We now had just about every spare starter of our type at the track and still had not solved the problem so drastic action was called for. Most other Pro Mod teams use a conventional side-mounted starter although they force twenty four volts through it to give enough grunt to turn the big engine and blower. We decided to look at fitting one of these but there were one or two obstacles:
Race day dawned with some optimism. Pro Mods were the first to run and sadly the Lindahl brothers tagged the barrier in the very first race so we all had to sit back and wait for repairs, and it was hot in the staging lanes by this time. Anyway Andy won the first round but routine between-round maintenance showed that the jury-rigged ring gear was failing so emergency repairs were made which got us through the second round. A further new ring gear (from Sverre Kahrs) was fitted for the semis and worked perfectly. The problem was that we had some tyre shake on the run, buzzed the motor a bit with the result that several of the valve springs showed up weak when checked. What to do now? Less than an hour between rounds didn't seem to leave enough time to do anything but doing nothing was not an option. After unsuccessfully trying a device for changing springs without removing heads we decided to swap the heads for two we had already built up for just this situation. Remember that to do this you not only have to remove and replace the heads but also the blower and its drive has to be removed together with disconnecting what seems like dozens of fuel lines. A bare thirty five minutes later the job was done, a real testimony to experience and team work. And what's more the car ran even better after the change, a personal best ET of 6.24 and a European speed record of 229.43 mph which was backed up by earlier runs.
The fairytale ending would be to win the meeting but sadly that was not to be, but runner-up was quite an achievement in the circumstances. Thanks are due to all those already mentioned, to Dave Wilson and his crew and to Markko Lantto and his crew for help and materials in our time of need. I think it's fair to say there was justifiable elation in the ARRC pit at the end of Sunday. To overcome a series of what looked like insurmountable obstacles and get to the final round, then run the numbers we did, is a tribute to the whole crew and their team work. Just let's have a quieter time at the European Finals.
Apologies to anyone I've missed or who lent us something other than described...there wasn't time to make notes.
Rapid ZaNNetec save the day.
18th August: UK Outlaw Anglia racers Aidan and Chris Kenny had a lot of fun at the weekend's Bulldog Bash at Shakespeare County Raceway until the gearbox gave out, but thanks to ZaNNetec Motorsport the Bristol Black Anglia will be racing with the Outlaws at the UK Truck Show at Santa Pod this weekend.
"We blew the Powerglide gearbox on the Saturday afternoon - not bad for seven seasons", says Chris Kenny. "We only had Second gear, and we missed the last demo session. We took the car home on Sunday afternoon, after recovering from the evening's entertainment (with lots of beer and great music). We removed the glide from the car took it straight to ZaNNetec Motorsport for diagnosis on Monday evenint, and before we had even got home we had a phone call from Zane Llewellyn saying that the gear set was broken, but that we could come and pick it up on Tuesday evening (right). Now that is quick service - if you have any problems you can contact ZaNNetec through their web site at www.zannetec.com."
Sharp-eyed readers will have spotted Chris' name and not Aidan's on the entry list for next week's Open Sports Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. "We have been planning for the new car for a while but due to change of jobs and money factors we haven’t been able to race it until now", says Chris. "Aidan will keep his ZaNNetec chopped Pop and will race at the European Finals and the Hot Rod Drags before parking it for the rest of the year to have a new engine and rear wing fitted for sometime next year. I will drive the ex-Neil Grant Super Street car, also built by ZaNNetec Motorsport, in Pro ET and Outlaw Anglia for the rest of the season. The car is still the same as when Neil except that the wheels are now chrome (sorry Neil) and it has had some work done by Neil Grant and ZaNNetec to make it legal for the ET classes, so a big Thank You to them and to all the rest of Bristol Doorslammers for all of their help.
"If you want to see what else is going on in the Bristol Doorslammers and the Bristol Hot Rods then visit www.zannetec.com and follow the links."
A Touch of NFAA.
18th August: Ahead of next weekend's Open Sports Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway is pleased to announce that Touch FM, the race track's new media partner, is to sponsor the winner and runner-up trophies for the Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association who will be headlining the sixth round of the National Championships, writes SCR's Marketing Manager Jerry Cookson.
"Adverts for next weekend's event have started to air today on the Coventry and North Birmingham stations and will continue to late Saturday, so I'm hoping that the added advertising will bring new spectators in to the Warwickshire drag strip."
Jerry adds that further trophy sponsorship for the UK National Championship classes will be announced early next week along with the races running orders and pit plan.
Blakemore's Zodiac sign-up.
18th August: Bristol-based Tim Blakemore Racing are extending their association with all things fast by becoming the latest dealership for Zodiac racing products. "The range of products is immense with even nitro parts available off the shelf!", says Tim Blakemore. "We are also S&S and Kuryakin main dealers so look no futher for all your performance Harley needs.
"Tim Blakemore Racing has seen yet another revamp of the dyno room and the addition of new engine build suite and service bays. We also have full custom build facility and machine shop with specialist Japanese and Harley Davidson engineers and technicians.
"Also involved is our in-house custom spray shop TJC Design, full blasting and powder-coating facility and new diamond cutting suite (available nowhere else outside the USA". For enquiries call 0117 904 2216.
18th August: Very best wishes to Shakespeare County Raceway Clerk of the Course Richard Warburton and his partner Rachael who are to be married in Gloucester today (Friday). Richard will be travelling to the wedding in Ian Hook's Real Steel Street Eliminator '34 Coupe.
Web site updates.
18th August: The winner of the amateur photographic competition is announced in this week's edition of Drag, Rod and Classic Review magazine at www.drcreview.com, and there was one image in particular which captured the interest of the judges as soon as it was posted. Hot Rodder Steve Fletcher has built some stunning cars over the years and his latest Grand National Roadster Show winning Ford woody is no exception. Read how this six-year in the making project, took on America and won. Of interest in the Headlines section this week comes news of the spectacular exit of Chevy's HHR racer at Bonneville, an update on the forthcoming Trip to America organized by Trailfinders and the reavailability of Geoff Jago's glassfibre bodies for street rodders and drag racers.
UK Tech Committee meeting.
17th August: MSA Drag Racing Technical Committee Chair Phil Evans has been in touch to let us know that a Technical Meeting is planned for the evening of Wednesday 20th September, and that he would be pleased to hear from anyone with items for the agenda.
"The venue is to be confirmed but will probably be the Elstree Moat House Hotel at South Mimms", says Phil. "If anybody has an issue of a technical nature about the existing rulebook or wants to put forward some new ideas I would be delighted to hear from them so that I can put the items on the agenda. We also discuss safety items to do with vehicle or track regulations and I extend an invitation to the proposers to attend the meeting in order to present their points of view in person and the matters can be debated fully by our knowledgeable Committee."
If you have any items for discussion then Phil can be found with daughter Becky's Junior Dragster at the Open Sports Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway and at the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Santa Pod's stand in.
17th August: Santa Pod Raceway have announced that they will again be bringing in a second grandstand for the FIA European Finals, which takes place on 7th-10th September. The stand was hired in for the FIA Main Event and proved very popular, running from about 150 feet to 330 feet and separated and set back from the existing stand for clear sight lines. Click on the picture at right for a panorama of the view from the second stand at the FIA Main Event (Next time we'll get Pete Roberts to do it properly - Ed).
Grandstand seats can be booked in advance by calling Santa Pod Raceway's ticket hotline on 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828). Event tickets are also available via the hotline or on-line at www.santapod.com. Advance deals are available until Friday 1st September after which date event tickets and grandstand seats will be available on the gate. VIP hospitality bookings are also still available and can be made by calling Kelly Dormer on 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828).
Version 6 of the official entry list shows a racing entry of 293 plus the Fireforce 3 and Firestorm Jet FCs and the Havoc blown-alcohol altered running in exhibition. Today (Thursday) is the closing date for Sportsman entry at normal fee, as well as the closing date for bookings for power in the pits. You can find the entry form and power booking form on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
"Don't forget that we've got plenty of other activities going on such as stunt drivers, Fun Fair, kids' entertainment area and live music", says Jo Reed of Santa Pod Raceway. "Access to the pits is free, camping is free for multi-day ticket holders, and parking is free for all."
For more details about the FIA European Finals check out Santa Pod Raceway's web site at www.santapod.com.
Exporama Drag Challenge report.
17th August: Our good buddy, photo-journalist Roger Gorringe has kindly sent us a report and pictures from last week's Exporama Drag Challenge at Gardermoen's Amcar International Raceway. Roger's report was actually sent to us a week ago, but his E-Mail was one of those caught up in the server problems experienced by our ISP Selfnet. However we were sure that our readers would still be interested to see Roger's work even though the event results are long published.
You can check out Roger's report and some great shots by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Koedam Racing Bulldog Bash report.
17th August: Marius Van Der Zijden, Crew Chief for the Netherlands' Koedam Racing Top Fuel Bike team, has been in touch with his latest event report, this time from the weekend's Bulldog Bash at Shakespeare County Raceway:
A few teams were invited to perform some demo runs and we were one of them. The journey to the event was sort of a homecoming tour for our bike as we passed the village of Crick which is the birthplace of the world class Puma cases, and also because this is the track where the bike made its very first run back in 1994. It was the first time for us in twelve years and felt good to be back again.
We were treated like real guests and were pitted in the start line area. During daytime the noisiest pit ever with all kind of bikes performing burnouts just twenty five meters away from us. On the other hand, during nighttime it was an enclosed area far away from the live (hard rock) bands and about the quietest pit ever. We were quite lucky with the weather as after some weeks of extreme heat, the rainy days were here again. But not so in our area. There was reasonably nice weather during race days (Friday and Saturday).
Our schedule was to perform two demo runs on each day. The track looked quite OK to us and we took the advantage of trying out some new clutch settings. For our first run on Friday it was set up rather mild to inspect the track first. It left well but developed tyre shake just after the sixty foot mark and went up in smoke. Roel had to back it off and opened it again then clicked it off just before the finish line. It was a nice straight run of 6.6/177mph. The crowd loved it. Unfortunately due to an error we had no run data.
Our second pass of that day was scheduled for the beginning of the evening and we had stepped up the clutch just a little. We wanted to gather some data first. Unfortunately the primary drive belt snapped right at the hit of the throttle. The bike moved an inch, about the shortest pass ever in our career. Possibly the belt was hurt too much by the previous tyre shake.
Saturday started a bit cloudy but eventually turned into a sunny day. Other than replacing the drive belt there was no harm done and we had left the bike's set-up pretty much the same. The only thing we did was to take some power out by stepping down a bit on the nitro percentage. It was a bit lazy from the line but otherwise an effortless nice strong run, which was clicked off at 5.7 seconds. The timing boards showed 6.39/204, nearly touching Brian Johnson’s 6.32 track record.
In the meantime we felt that the run-off area was safe enough to keep it open all the way and we stepped up the clutch just a little bit. In our last scheduled demo run the engine ran fine in the burn out and during staging, but as soon as the light turned to green and Roel opened up the throttle, it dropped a cylinder and started misfiring. When it finally picked up, another drive belt decided it was more than enough under these conditions and gave away as well. These primary drive belts act as a sort of 'fuse' in the driveline. In a good set-up they can transfer much, much more power then they were originally designed for, as long as their rotation is even. Dropping cylinders and tyre shakes are critical for their lifespan. Later we checked over the complete bike and everything was found to be OK. We were very low on the nitro percentage that day in order not to overpower the track. The engine simply dropped a cylinder because it was too rich for those conditions.
Unfortunately that concluded our show appearance of that weekend, as on Sunday we travelled home again. Despite it all it was a nice weekend with good memories, but above all we think the crowd loved our show.
Our next appearance will be at during the Nitrolympx at Germany's Hockenheim on 25th-27th August. This will be the fourth and penultimate round for the European Championship.
Open Sports Nationals entry.
16th August: We are indebted to Jerry Cookson for sending us the official entry list for next week's Open Sports Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. Jerry has asked that if you have sent an entry form for the event but your name doesn't appear on the list then in the first instance please contact him at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The entry list will be updated early next week along with a Pit Plan and Running Orders for Saturday's and Sunday's qualifying.
You can view the official Open Sports Nationals entry list by clicking here.
Malmgren on the sponsor tour.
16th August: Michael Malmgren and the Lahega Racing Pro Stock team have a busy schedule of sponsor appearances before September's FIA European Finals, says team member Magnus Cato.
"This weekend we will go to the famous Vallåkra meet to display the Pontiac with our main sponsor Lahega", says Magnus. "Lahega will show their wide range of products and Michael will be making demonstration passes. The next stop will be the annual Truck Show at Elmia Fairgrounds in Jönköping on 25th-27th August where we will boost Lahega's products together with Volvo Trucks. If you attend any of these shows, make sure to stop by and check out the car and meet Michael and Lahega's representatives.
"You can also get a close look at the body work we've done on the car since the crash. We just got the new front clip but it's not yet on the car yet.
"On a personal note my good friend Thomas and I are going to the Nitrolympx at Hockenheim to join our dear friend Gerd Habermann's team. We haven't missed this race for nineteen years! My first race there was in the Competition ranks in 1989, running an A/A dragster. Hopefully this nice track will host an FIA event again soon."
16th August: Racers wanting to test before the FIA European Finals are reminded that the Peak Performance Days take place at Santa Pod Raceway on Friday-Saturday 1st-2nd September. On-line entry and more details are available at www.santapod.com.
Those readers who are also interested in Land Speed Records can keep up to speed with Andy Green's diesel streamliner record attempt in the JCB Dieselmax on the project's official web site at www.jcbdieselmax.com. The last update we read reported that Andy had had the streamliner up to 220 mph in testing at Bonneville before next week's official record attempt.
We have a couple of birthdays today. Firstly a Happy 60th Birthday to our good friend Christine of the UK's Team Twisted Wild Bunch team, hope you have a great day Christine and we'll see you at the party at the Truck Show. Secondly a very Happy Birthday to another good buddy, Theresé Hällsten of Svensk Dragracing. Hope that you are enjoying the cake-only diet Tezzii, and be sure to have a good day.
A wag amongst our readership who wishes to remain anonymous has pointed out an amusing juxtaposition in the FIA European Finals entry list, namely that the first two names in Super Gas are Frank and Spencer. Older UK readers will understand why this is reasonably funny although we think that the NFAA should be at the event since the door would then be open to add an "Ooh, Bettsy".
Our ISP Selfnet have finally come clean and admitted that there has been a problem with Eurodragster.com's E-Mail service over the last week or so. We know that a number of E-Mails went astray or were bounced back during this time so if you have sent a news item and it has not been published then please re-send it to our backup address which is email@example.com.
Pat and TJ's pride.
15th August: TJ O'Brien says that he can't believe the love which he and partner Pat Ginn (right, with friend) have had from the drag racing family in recent weeks.
"I sent in a couple of E-Mails about Pat but couldn't let you all know the heart-breaking news on Tuesday, so our very close friend Matt Wright from Gleeson Wright Security wrote in on my behalf - thanks Matt", says TJ. "He set up the Pat fund and he has already had loads of money sent in for a camper van for Pat - thanks. If you know Pat she is never still, always looking after all the racers cooking breakfast for all the bike pits and a lot of the cars as well. Even though she has a limited life span left I asked her what she wants to do with it. Her first answer was go drag racing, what a hero. So I want to get a comfortable camper with a bed and a shower so that Pat can rest and we can travel to see her family around the UK when wants. I got a phone call to-night from Hooligan (Mark Pointer - Ed) saying that he will pay for a van for us to take to Hockenheim which Pat has always wanted to do, so we will do it, thanks mate.
"Pat and I have decided to use all the money we get from you guys to set up a fund for all the drag racing family, and if we use any I will replace it personally. Ken Cooper bought my bike even though I blew it up, thanks Ken. My van is for sale together with all my drag racing gear, I need the money for Pat.
"Pat's chemo and radiotherapy will be starting in two weeks and will finish in December so we will miss the World Finals in the USA. But Pat wants to go there in January. Jay Regan from MRE E-Mailed and said "Pat, you've got to get well, 'cos we can't handle TJ" which was a common theme in all the E-Mails, I don't know why. Everyone who has written, cra and bike racers and some we've never met, say they always know Pat because she always has a beautiful smile in the fire up lane. You are so right, she is great! We've never been so proud to belong to you all and we love you."
The latest news on the Pat Ginn Appeal is that a bank account is being set up this week. Matt Wright says that he will let us know the details as soon as they are available. Matt also says that profits from the sale of his new T-Shirts - see PRG provide the Wright design on our update of 7th August for details - will be donated to the Appeal. "Order your shirt now!", he says.
In addition some readers have suggested that an auction is set up and we have already had a few pledges of auction items, so we are at work on organising that. Again stay tuned for details.
Came off in my hand...
15th August: The UK's Team Turboville are recovering from an exhausting three weeks of crewing and racing in Sweden, Norway and finally the Twentieth Bulldog Bash:
In Sweden I was crewing for Ronny Aasen as usual but at the same time I was helping Ulf 'Skutt' Nylen with his fabulous new Supertwin. Skutt's bike took three years to build and it shows, it is like a piece of fine jewellery, fantastic. It is a complete 'Weekend' chassis with a PRP motor from Aasen Racing. We had great fun with Ronny placing second and Skutt fourth. Ronny was getting serious air time as usual which meant some pretty scary shut down scenes and Skutt got into the sevens but burned his leg quite badly. Leif Andréasson is coming to his rescue with some old Funny Car boots to protect him in the future.
Norway was a blast and the track was awesome. The Club did a great job with the whole event and were rewarded with a big crowd which should help them, well done to all. The final of Supertwin was incredible and was not only for the event win but was the decider for the Norwegien Championship between Ronny and Svein Gottenberg. They both shot off together and were side by half track when Gottens bike went fat dropping a cylinder. Ronny didn't know this of course so punched the button for second gear determined to win. Disaster struck at that moment when the handlebar snapped off completely, it's called "Doing a Furr", with rear brakes attached!
Ronny calmly grabbed hold off the fork leg and kept it nailed for a spectacular win! He had earlier run a record 6.65/342 kmh in front of an ecstatic home crowd to make it the most memorable round in years. Let us hope it is a UEM round again next year.
I learned a lot crewing for Ronny and put it to use at the Bulldog Bash. We were pleasantly suprised at the track condition which Bruno had quickly prepped for us between the Bulldog RWYB sessions but were a little cautious not wanting to damage anything straight away. I donned my new Simpson helmet, did a short burnout, and nailed it. It left well and was pulling hard and straight when it went very rich at half track almost stopping the bike dead. I sailed on to the shutdown area convinced it was a slow run only to be told by the next racer that I had run my first seven! We then went and loaded it more but got too greedy and spun the slick off the line. The bike was backed down for the next two runs on Sunday but a strong crosswind kept blowing us all into the timing gear so we had to shut down in the eights. Huge thanks must go to the Crew Chief of the year, Brum, who also had fun on Chris' Destroyer. He enjoyed his first outing with slick and wheelie bars but said it wasn't as fast as his Triumph.
We all had a great time and celebrated my seven and Stefan's birthday long into the summer night culminating in the biggest firework display anyone had ever seen!
Team Turboville will be out again at Shakespeare County Raceway over the August Bank Holiday for the next round of ACU Top Fuel Bike. I will be with Ronny at Santa Pod for the European Finals and should have my bike on display at the Simpson stand where you can get all your great Simpson products. Helmets available by pre-order only, OK!
Mr Spokehead is kept in the mix by Custom Chrome, Red Line Oil, S&S Cycle, Jim's, Fast Lane Cycles, Curbishley Automotive, Gates Belts, Zodiac, Sprint Dampers, Rush Racing, Arias Pistons, King Racing, PSI Ltd and Sure Shot Sprayers.
Motorshack in the right at SCR.
15th August: Shakespeare County Raceway officials are pleased to welcome Warwickshire based Motorshack as their new right lane sponsor. The new sponsorship commences with next weekends Open Sports Nationals, and will run in conjunction with Gold RV's continued sponsorship of the left hand lane, writes SCR's Jerry Cookson.
Motorshack proprietor Steve Wood says "We are delighted to be getting more involved with sponsorship as we provide a regular trackside service at Shakespeare County with both Klotz and VP Racing Fuels. Also we have recently introduced the nitrous refill service.
"Motorshack is becoming increasingly involved with drag racing and we welcome the opportunity to be associated with, and to help support the track."
Also, through its VP Racing www.vpracingfuels.com activities, Motorshack sponsors a number of UK National event competitors including last years Super Comp Ultimate Power Champion Paul Knight as well as British Supercross rider Ryan Mason. Further more Motorshack have pledged there support for next weekends trophy sponsorship programme at the Open Sports Nationals by putting there name on the Super Comp and Super Street Bike winners and runners-up trophies.
This further involvement of Motorshack marks another major move in the promotion of Shakespeare County Raceway as a leading drag racing venue in the UK, adds Jerry.
To find out more about Motorshack's services to motorsport, visit www.motorshack.com or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
15th August: Bahrain's newly-formed Super Racing Team (right) is about to kick off the 2006-7season with some serious cars says our good friend Fahad Taqi. "Team Founder and Chief Jamal Thani said that he is looking forward to this year events, and that with some new set-ups and professional driving skills of the team things are looking very bright", says Fahad. "The team's hero driver Khalid Janahi, who has clocked 10.6 in a streetable Corvette, has announced that he can't wait to mix it up with the best and that he is ready for a good season. He wishes his competitors Moh'd Al Shomilie and Yasser Shamis all the best."
Holland's eXplosion Club have asked us to explain again that the Goodridge Dutch Finals were cancelled because after the Drachten Internationals the local government cleaned the temporary track and used a chemical which didn't only remove the rubber, but also the bitumen, leaving the track like a gravel pit. Both KNAF and KNMV disapproved the condition of the track, leaving eXplosion with no other option than to cancel the Finals. Everyone who bought tickets through the pre-sale ticket option on the eXplosion web site will receive their money back in four weeks.
Members of the media who wish to attend this weekend's UK Truck Show at Santa Pod Raceway and who do not have SPR media passes are asked to E-Mail or Fax their accreditation request to email@example.com or 01775 723723 as appropriate, including details of the publication represented, by midday tomorrow (Wednesday). If you have any queries then please call 01775 723723, and for more details about the UK Truck Show check out www.uktruckshow.co.uk.
Tim Blakemore Racing have been in touch to let us know that Wendy Clutterbuck's best at the Bulldog Bash was 9.213/136, knocking on the door of dad Steve's best of 9.1 on that machine. Wendy hopes to get into the eights at next week's Open Sports Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway.
UK Wild Bunch team Northern Quarter Racing have announced a sponsorship deal with American Auto Club International and Top Billing Events. Elliott Jones tells us that the Ragin' Cajun altered will be on static display at the AACI All Clubs Rally at Billing this weekend and then aim to finish the rebuild of the engine before heading for the NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway to put down some serious numbers.
Editor's note: We were more than a little concerned to hear from one of our regular contributors that a news item sent to Eurodragster.com had bounced back to him after five days reporting "Delivery time expired". Obviously we never received that piece and now we are wondering what else has gone astray. As far as we know we are currently up-to-date on news so if you have sent a news item and it has not appeared here, or if you have written to Tog, Sharkman or Simon and not had a response, then please re-send your E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Trip to America welcome.
15th August: Guests of Drag Racing USA - The Trip To America will now enjoy an extra-special "Welcome To Pomona" at the NHRA Motorsports Museum, courtesy of the Museum's British-born Executive Director, Tony Thacker, writes Robin Jackson of Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Blueprints For Travel:
On 8th November, the Museum will host the American Racing Wheels 50th Anniversary Gala, when the great and good of drag racing and hot rodding assemble to salute the famous marque and celebrate its half-century of service to the cause. Mr Thacker has kindly extended a personal invitation to guests of The Trip To America to join many of the sport's most prominent figures at this exclusive, private gathering on the eve of NHRA's Auto Club Finals.
The Museum will host other events too during the Finals weekend. Friday's "Night Of Champions" is a public forum for fans to converse with a panel of top NHRA racers fresh from the day's qualifying action. Saturday's Racing Collectibles Show runs from 12:00 noon to 10:00 pm - admission tickets will be provided to Trip guests.
As a special bonus, Mr Thacker is arranging for Trip guests to see behind the scenes at the legendary SO-CAL Speed Shop, for sixty years one of the great institutions at the heart of racing and rodding, with a gleaming array of machinery constantly under construction and restoration and the very latest in automotive arts, crafts and techniques on view.
The Trip To America welcomes drag racing enthusiasts from all parts of Europe, and beyond, and is presented by Trailfinders, the UK's leading independent travel company. The full Trip departs on 24th October and attends NHRA's races at Las Vegas and Pomona, plus the SEMA Show. Mini-Trips are also available to each destination individually. Full information and contact details are available at www.trip2america.co.uk, or by clicking on the Trip To America logo at left.
New guests will continue to be entered in the Special Prize Draw for an invitation to spend a day at the races with Don Schumacher Racing. Please see the web site for details.
Web site updates.
15th August: Our good buddy Patrik Jacobsson has updated the Racebilder web site with a large number of pictures from the weekend's Bilsport Drag Nats at Tullinge. "Both Stock/Super Stock and Super Small Block made some really nice high wheelstands, and Monica Öberg ran 5.07 in Top Fuel", says Patrik. The picture at right speaks for itself. You can check out Patrik's superb pictures at www.racebilder.nu.
Peter Donaldson has updated his photographic web site with pictures from Saturday's Forza Italia at Santa Pod Raceway. Peter's excellent shots can be found at peterdonaldson5305.fotopic.net.
Appeal set up for Pat.
13th August: If you have been tuned in to Eurodragster.com News over the last few weeks you will have read that our good friend Pat Ginn has been in hospital with a brain tumour and was awaiting the results of a biopsy. Pat and TJ O'Brien's longtime friend Matthew Wright has been in touch to let us know that Pat's condition has been diagnosed as incurable and that he is setting up an appeal to make the rest of her life as comfortable as possible.
"Pat is a fighter - fit, strong and determined", Matt told Eurodragster.com. "She will be having chemotherapy and radiation treatment to try to keep it at bay. But in between sessions of treatment Pat wants some freedom. So I am starting an appeal to get the money together for a camper so that Pat and TJ can go out for days in comfort, go and visit family and so on.
"It's payback time. Everyone knows that Pat is always the first there when someone else needs help. When Scary had her crash, and when Ashley Bell had his fire, Pat was straight out onto the spectator bank with a bucket and collected a huge amount of money."
As well has having been a close personal friend of Matt's for more than ten years Pat works for Gleeson Wright Security, and Matt and friend and business partner Gary Gleeson have started the ball rolling with a substantial donation to the Appeal. Matt tells us that Pat has had many generous offers.
We are sure that all of Pat's friends in the racing community be they racers, officials, fans or whoever will want become involved. If you wish to make a donation to the Pat Ginn Appeal or to help in any way at all then please E-Mail email@example.com. All E-Mails will automatically be forwarded to Matt who will be co-ordinating the Appeal.
Kuljetus Pekka Laine Nats coverage.
13th August: Our good buddies Hannele Höyden and Jouni Vesterlund are reporting live from Finland's Motopark where the Kuljetus Pekka Laine Nats are taking place.
You can find car-class coverage at www.fhra.fi/fin/index.php?page_id=208 and bike-class coverage at www.dragrace.fi.
Pers' first TF outing.
13th August: Swedish Pro Mod racer Patrik Pers made his first Top Fuel Dragster outing at Stockholm's Tullinge Raceway yesterday (Saturday) as part of his preparations for the Top Fuel Exhibition at the Bahrain International Circuit in October. It was also the first outing for the beautiful new paintjob on the dragster (right, click on picture for large version) which is part of Knut Söderquist's Carbon By Design operation.
"Patrik felt very comfortable in the car and his only regret was he couldn't do more this weekend", team member Mark Bodimeade, aka Animal, told Eurodragster.com "Unfortunately his Swedish Championship commitment was more important this weekend. Patrik would like to thank Knut for the opportunity of a taste of Top Fuel in Bahrain, and we will wait and see what the future holds."
"Patrik's run was picture-perfect, he did everything required", said Knut Söderquist. "We had a mild set-up in the car and the tyres shook. And the paint is wild! I would like to thank Patrik and the crew for their hard work. I am looking forward to having them with me in Bahrain and hopefully next year."
13th August: UK Pro Mod racer Ray White sent us this snatch-shot of Adrian and Dave, the hard men of UK Pro Mod, somewhat spoiling their image by ironing Gordon Appleton's crew shirts at Karlstad camp site in Sweden. "Note the beer behind the iron (clearly visible in the large version) - not all toil", says Ragin' Ray. "They would have had their pinnies on but they were in the wash."
American Car World Street Racer Series racer Monkeyboy has been in touch to encourage his fellow SRS racers to attend the round being held at next weekend's UK Truck Show at Santa Pod. "It's the first big event we have been invited to, so let's go and put on a show in front of 14,000 people", he says. "Good luck to all the other racers and big thanks to Pete Thornton and Richard Nicholls for running the Series."
European Top Tens latest.
13th August: Our good buddy and honorary Eurodragster.com staff member Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe has been in touch with an update to the lists of all-time FIA and FIM/UEM Top Ten points earners. With one FIA round and two FIM/UEM rounds left this year, this is how things stand:
Michael Malmgren and Micke Kågered have both passed 4000 points in FIA competition. Both have taken part in every year of FIA competition, Michael with an average of 365 points per year, Micke with an average of 364.81. Michael is now ahead of Micke by seven points in all-time FIA points. Three other drivers have taken part in all eleven years of FIA competition: Niclas Andersson, Dave Wilson and Rob Turner.
At this point in the season Lex Joon has taken #9 from Smax Smith in Top Fuel, Jimmy Ålund has taken #5 from Jacob Ferrer in Pro Stock, and Dave Wilson has passed 3000 points scored in Top Methanol Dragster.
In FIM/UEM competition, Anders Karling has passed 2000 Supertwin points, Svein Gottenberg has passed 1000 Supertwin points, Joachim Reimer has taken #10 from Willem Been in Supertwin, and Anders Abrahamsson has taken #10 from Vesa Rautio in Pro Stock Bike.
At the FIA European Finals:
Bulldog Bash updates.
12th August: Shakespeare County Raceway's Marketing and PR Manager Jerry Cookson is kindly sending us updates from this weekend's Bulldog Bash at SCR:
19:00 With the twentieth anniversary running of the Bulldog Bash nearly complete the star of the final demonstration show was rapid French rocketeer Eric Teboul. If the assembled audience thought that yesterday's 5.8 was impressive, Eric fuelled the bike for one more crack and took it past the thousand foot mark and passed the beams in 5.757/198.78 mph. At the eighth mile the machine was still accelerating to 216.98 mph much to the appreciation of the ecstatic crowd. Roel Koedam snapped another drive belt at the 330 foot mark.
Kawasaki UK man Tim Blakemore saved his best performance till last with an arrow-straight 7.228/173.25. Wendy Clutterbuck powered her fuel Harley to a career best 9.386/130.16, but the best performance from the Harley V-Rods came from Steve Woody Wood who rode his borrowed machine to a 9.947/131.75.
Closing the show as usual were the two Team Fireforce Jet Funny Cars. Coming back from event duties at Santa Pod, Martin Hill's Fireforce 3 just made it back in time to run a 6.431/244.59 to Tony's 7.018/231.31 in Fireforce 1.
15:00 Despite a severe cross wind, and sometimes head wind, at Shakespeare County Raceway the run count so far has exceeded 2000 with half the day still to go.
Topping the overall RWYB times is Phil 'Woody' Wood taking his rapid Big CC converted 1400 cc Busa to 8.582/171.67 mph. Brum, crew hand for Ian Turburville's Top Fuel Harley, had an outing on Chris Van Niemen's V-Rod Destroyer and ran it to an impressive 10.31/133. Also taking a turn on a loan Destroyer from Cheshire Harley Davidson was Phil Wood who put down an impressive 10.094/133.
Highlights from the third session of Pro demos came courtesy of Fuel Bike rider Roel Koedam and The Mob's Jim Usher. Number crunching for the overall track record for Fuel bikes Roel Koedam took the approach of a short burnout which on the run resulted in an effortless 6.393/204.16. However, Jim Usher took the alternative approach with another long John Force type burnout, which resulted in a personal best of 7.888/182.41 but at the expense of two pistons, one on each bank, sidelining the altered.
Outlaw Anglia administrator Paul 'The Guv' Wright wheeled the Alco Pop into the sevens again with a 7.930/173.10. Second quickest was a 9.84 from Ray Guy's Shorty's Hot Rod whilst Rob Stone made significant progress with his new toy as he drove his Mopar powered Pop to a best of 10.237/131.15 mph.
Ian King ripped off a 6.838/184.44 pass on his Top Fuel Bike but at the expense of a piston when the motor leaned out yards before the finish, and birthday boy Holland's Stefan Ivanowitch (fifty one years young today) pounded out an 8.116 on his fuel Harley. Rounding off the show was Tony Baker in Fireforce 1 at 7.133/230.75.
Go see for yourself...
12th August: Ian Atkinson and Daz Selwyn took their AFX-lookalike The Menace and Pandemonium to the Northern Nationals at York Raceway, and Ian has been in touch to thank Steve Murty and team for the warm welcome. "What a fun, exciting and surprising weekend we had", says Ian.
"We had been quite apprehensive about our decision to race at York, but as we had not raced there we thought we'd give it a try and see for ourselves. We had travelled for six hours when we pulled into the main gates. I looked at the road to the pits and I thought to myself "What have I done?", bumpy with potholes and a few obstacles which took me back to how the Pod entrance used to be.
"We were greeted in the pits with warm smiles and everyone was willing to help us unload our cars. What a surprise when we walked the track, it wasn't the standard of Santa Pod's but it wasn't as bad as we had heard. It wasn't completely smooth and I did have to grip the steering wheel a little harder, the return road was something else to talk about, but it was a good weekend's drag racing. My sixty foot times were slightly down, but the terminal speed was up and I was quite consistent with my regular times at the Pod and Shakespeare County Raceway.
"On Saturday Daz was presented with Best Appearing American car, and on Sunday he came third in the American Super Stock round. I on the other hand kept pulling cherries, D'oh!"
"Anyone who is reading this and hasn't raced at York should give it a go. OK it's back to basics and you haven't got the facilities of the Pod and SCR such as showers, a bar and a variety of different foods, but we had a brilliant weekend's racing and it was great to meet a lot of new faces as well as Pod and SCR regulars. We will try to visit the track at least once if not more a year. If more people support York Raceway we could have more of a National sport, not forgetting how the Pod and SCR started out."
12th August: Racers are reminded that next Thursday, 17th August, is the deadline both for Sportsman entry to the FIA European Finals at normal entry fee and also for booking power in the pits. You can find race entry and power booking forms on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
SPRC Secretary Paula Marshall has sent us the third version of the FIA European Finals entry list, which you can view by clicking here. As the updates are arriving frequently we will not run this same news item every day: you can stay up-to-date with the entry list by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting the FIA European Finals page, which has a link to the entry list.
Linda Thun Tønseth tells us that she is headed to Sundsvall Raceway next weekend to make licencing passes in Jan-Arve Nygård's Corvette Pro Mod. "I am really excited", says Linda. Linda also says that the Nygård Motorsport web site at www.nygardmotorsport.com has been updated with new photographs with more to come including an update to the English-language section of the site.
Jerry Cookson will again be sending us updates from the Bulldog Bash at Shakespeare County Raceway today, with the first due early afternoon.
Ronnie Krabberød of Right On magazine tells us that he is always amused to read Pro racers' comments on starters. "Some racers say they are too slow and some racers find them too fast", says Ronnie. "That is just the way a professional starter should be: totally unpredictable and run the show the way he or she likes to do it, just as it says in the FIA book. Racers should not 'count cards', drag racing is about reaction. If you red light or fall asleep why not blame the one responsible?"
440 Magazine shifts gear.
12th August: Following its success since the launch issue was published six weeks ago (achieved in part by the magazine's sponsorship of the NFAA at their Nostalgia Nats appearance), the publishers of Eurodragster.com News sponsor 440 Magazine have been canvassing opinion from readers. Based on the feedback received - over four hundred E-Mails, each responded to personally, of which 401 were positive and just four negative - the following enhancements are to be made with effect from the next issue, published in October:
There is a caveat however. Mark says 440 Magazine is a business, not a hobby, and that more subscriptions are needed to obtain the critical mass required to make the future of the magazine viable. "We're not necessarily after making profit, although that would be nice", he says. "But we do need to at least cover the costs, and provided we have enough subscriptions by 8th September, the drag racing magazine that enthusiasts are asking for will be established".
So what happens if the required number of subscriptions don't materialise by the specified date? Mark is forthright. "Quite simply, we refund the full amount of all subscriptions received and close it: I have other business interests which need attention and can only afford to do so much towards the common cause here. If the drag racing community really does want its own magazine, I have every confidence we will see evidence of it over the coming weeks. If they don't then we won't!"
A full array of stories is already lined up for the October issue, but the publishers are still seeking contributors prepared to submit the following articles for possible inclusion:
Web site updates.
12th August: Frode Larsen has updated the Super Twin Drag Bike Association web site with the latest points standings in the FIM/UEM European, Scandinavian, Swedish and Norwegian Championships, and has also updated some of the Rider pages including Jaska Salakari's page. If Supertwins are your thing then you really need to take a long look at the STDBA web site at www.super-twin.com. Frode would be pleased to hear from Supertwin racers with information updates.
Eurodragster.com Photo Editor Sharkman has updated his personal web site Sharkman's Top End Tales with a humungous set of pictures from the Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park. You can check out Sharkman's pictures at www.topendtales.com.
Jon Best has updated his Best Intentions web site with up-to-date pictures of the construction of his slingshot dragster, a finalised specification page, and an Anatomy of a Digger page. You can find all this at www.bestintentions.co.uk.
Bulldog Bash updates.
11th August: Shakespeare County Raceway's Marketing and PR Manager Jerry Cookson is kindly sending us updates from this weekend's Bulldog Bash at SCR:
20:00 With over 1500 runs logged to end the first day's action for the Twentieth anniversary Bulldog Bash at Shakespeare County Raceway the high point of the second session belonged to the Rocket Bike of mad French man Eric Teboul and the two Jet Funny Cars from the Fireforce team.
With an eerie silence surrounding the Raceway Eric, who normally fuels up the bike for eighth mile passes, pounded the quarter mile in 5.873 seconds at 197.70 mph. Even by the half track mark the bike powered through the beams with incremental figures of 3.769s at 221.95 mph. What's in store for tomorrow, everyone's now asking.
For the more conventional riders, Roel Koedam broke the drive belt just past the startline, Ian King put in a straight and true 7.298 and Steve Carey once again inspected the right hand guardrail at close quarters at three quarter track and shut it off to an 8.007.
Chris Hall took his 1600 cc Suzuki into familiar low seven second territory with a 7.081/183.85, Wendy Clutterbuck powered up for another mid-nine on her Fuel Harley, despite wearing a BBC camera pack, and Chris Van Nyman laid down another 9.915/133.39 on his Belgian-owned V-Rod Destroyer.
The Mob's fuel pilot Jim Usher this time laid now a fairly conservative burnout followed by an 8.317/177.69, and in the Outlaw Anglias, The Guv Paul Wright kept it the right side up with an 8.092/168.49.
As always to finish off a day's quarter mile entertainment were the two Jet Funny Cars of Tony Baker and Martin Hill. Side-by-side flame and thunder shows followed with Martin getting to the other end first in 6.241/262.73 to Tony's 7.150
15:00 Day one is now in full swing with over one thousand runs logged so far in the busy RWYB sessions.
The demonstration hour from some of Europe's leading riders was very entertaining with FIM/UEM Top Fuel Bike rider Roel Koedam logging 6.637/177.96. Roel is confident that Brian Johnson's track record of 6.352, set in 1999, will go by the end of the weekend. Steve Carey on board the Purple Princess fuel burner was second quickest at 7.424 followed by Ian Turburville's 'Mr Spokehead' 160ci Overkill Harley McClure tribute bike with a thousand foot 7.799/165.73.
Funny Bike rider Tim Blakemore rode, for the first time on a drag strip anywhere in Europe, what is reputedly the most powerful Street Bike, a Kawasaki ZZR 1400cc to a 10.183/140.46. Apparently, after the run he's still learning how to ride a street bike on a race track!
Wendy Clutterbuck, one of only two Top Fuel Harley riders in Europe, rode her machine to its second quickest ever run 9.492/136.73, despite pulling to the right at a thousand feet.
Also on the property are a couple of menacing European Cup Harley V-Rod Destroyers, the quickest so far coming from the Dutch Hellgium camp at 9.949/125.30.
Fuel Altered racer Jim Usher laid down a John Force-type 660-foot burnout in The Mob, much to the delight of the crowd, and ran his quickest so far 8.277/169.60. Martin Hill in the Fireforce 3 Chevy Lumina-bodied Jet Funny Car closed the show with a 6.367/253.35.
Erbacher: Where it came from.
11th August: Switzerland's Urs Erbacher became the fastest Top Fuel Dragster racer in European history when he clocked 514.29 kmh (319.63 mph) in 4.747 seconds, also Europe's second quickest-ever run, in the first round of Top Fuel eliminations at Gardermoen on Sunday. Urs redlit away the chance to back up either the ET or the speed for a new European record and Håkan Nilsson went through to the semi-finals and himself set a new ET record of 4.830.
Eurodragster.com conducted a mini-interview with Urs about his stunning pass.
We had an update from Andrea on Saturday, and she said that you had found a problem and were waiting to see what effect the cure had. What was the problem and was it just fixing that problem which resulted in the 4.7?
The problem was in the valvetrain. The rocker arm stand, where the the oil goes through to the rocker arms gallery, was damaged and so there was not enough oil in the left side gallery. So the problem was a valvetrain problem. It had been there since the last qualifying run in Sweden and we suffered from that problem since the first elimination round at Mantorp. Before that we ran consistent 5.0s and all of a sudden we had our engine problems back.
How far into the run did you realise it was going to be something special?
After I passed the eighth-mile mark I realised that I was on a fast run as the car pulled away all the way down. After I opened the parachutes I also knew that it is was faster than ever before. I am glad that I have well-trained chest muscles but even so I felt negative Gs on my body.
Did you know you had redlit, and what did you say when you realised?
We qualified at Mantorp with a 5.03 second run. In Gardermoen we had the engine problems I mentioned above. Håkan Nilsson has run 4.8s, so I thought that the best ET we could run was 5.0 seconds like in Sweden. I decided that I must leave on a holeshot otherwise Håkan would win anyway. I tried to be quick on the lights but it was not the same Super Starter Guy as in England (Ian Marshall) and I was way too early. I think he hit the starter button because he was so scared when I hit the throttle and heard me going! When I stopped Håkan told me about the red light and then I was really disappointed because haven't pulled many red lights in the last twenty years. But after my crew came down and told me the ET and speed everything was forgotten and we were happy that the car was now running.
So after a few events this year and all the ups and downs, how does you like Top Fuel?
It’s a lot of work for everybody. My team works really hard. We didn't want to rent a car or an engine operation: we wanted to learn by ourselves and this takes a little time, and of course a little bit of money, but now we have found a combination that works. Also we decided to run 85% nitro with the new tyres and it works now! I would like to thank my whole crew for the very hard work they do, and that they always believed that we can do it. Special thanks to my guy from the states, Glenn Mikres. They tuned the evil machine to this great numbers. We hope we have now found the base for more consistent runs and we will do everything to win the Nitrolympx at Hockenheim and the European Finals. When it goes, it feels really fast!
"We would like to congratulate Håkan Nilsson and his team on the new ET record", added team member Andrea Wucher. "It was great to run the quickest and fastest side-by-side run in Europe. We are looking forward to some more thrilling runs at the European Finals at Santa Pod. In the meantime Håkan, Karsten, Per and the team have some time to improve at table football, and they really do need to improve."
11th August: It's a new month and the shelves of Graham Rennie's American Auto Mags are filling up fast with new titles including the very latest copies of Vintage Fuel and Drag Racing Action, writes Jerry Cookson.
Issue 4 of Vintage Fuel features event reports from the Pomona Nitro Nationals, Speedworld's 1320 Show and a two-page report from Shakespeare County Raceway' American Car World Nationals written and photographed by Dave Dick. Featured racers include Queens of the Quarter Mile (includes a profile of the NFAA's Wendy Baker), a history of Pete Miller and his Drag Cartoons, and a racer profile about nostalgia Fuel slingshot racer Mendy Fry and clutch girl Michelle Read and her role with the Lil'Nate Funny Car. Copies are now available priced £4.25.
With the current hive of activity on the NHRA front, the September issue of Drag Racing Action carries features and profiles and the Gospel According to Top Fuel standout Morgan Lucas, taking care of the Pedregon Brothers Tony and Cruz, graduating up the ranks with Greg Standfield, and race features with the Huntsville Outlaws, talkin' live with Mr Nitrous Mike Thomas plus loads of tech articles. Drag Racing Action is priced at £4.95 per issue.
The September issue of MG Enthusiast carries a detailed of UK National Super Comp Champion Chris Johnson and his MG ZS, again photographed at Shakespeare County Raceway. Copies are available at WH Smith and other leading newsagents.
Web site updates.
11th August: Hans Karlsson has updated his Hassebilder web site at www.hassebilder.se with pictures from Wednesday evening's Test and Tune at Meca Raceway, including shots of the UK's own Nev Mottershead and Malcolm Francis of Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Air Sea Logistics taking a turn on the Malmö eighth-mile.
The family which plays together...
10th August: Sweden's Christer Gustavsson says that his daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Jonas Dantanus have had a very successful 'Summer swing'. Christer is now getting in on the act himself, taking the seat of Jonas' Challenger and already having a measure of success.
"Jonas and Jennifer raced five weekends in July with very good results", says Christer. "As you may have seen Jonas has taken a very big lead in Super Street in the Nordic Drag Racing Series. He has won four races and is in the lead in both the NDRS and Swedish Dragracing League, is unbeaten in the NDRS this year, and has only lost once in the SDL. His win/lose record in the NDRS is 13-0 and 14-1 in the SDL.
"Jennifer is climbing up the Junior Dragster standings in both NDRS and SDL and we are waiting for the points to see where she stands. As you know, Jonas and Jennifer won their classes at the Veidec Festival and I think it is something special that our small team went home with the trophies in two classes (Hear, hear, well done - Ed).
"Jonas will be taking time out until the NDRS Finals in Malmö and so I am driving at some races this month. I was runner up in Gardermoen and will also drive at the 'Marie Memorial Race' in Vansbro."
Gullquist stays in the chase.
10th August: Swedish Pro Modified racer Micke Gullquist has had a great couple of weekends, winning the Swedish FIA round and Swedish Championship at Mantorp followed up with a win at Norway's FIA round at Gardermoen last weekend.
"The racing was incredibly tight all the way and the top half of the field were all potential winners, says Micke. "I'm very proud to be part of the incredible Pro Mod class with so many great racers running so fast in their show car-quality hot rods.
"At Mantorp we had put some new parts on the 'King Kong' engine, changing the torque curve totally. We struggled with the tune-up before getting down the track in the third round of qualifying and later ending up on pole after the final session. It's just amazing how they can take the track from totally clean of rubber to something that good in a week (Hear, hear - Ed)!
"We were weak in the first half of the track, but I was able to run them all down and pass them at about a thousand feet. I raced Freddy Fagerström in the second round and he told me "I didn't see you and at a thousand feet and I thought it was cool, but then suddenly I was shocked to see something red pass at high speed". We went on to win the final against Urban Johansson, driving by again before the finish line.
"At Gardermoen the track was better than our tune-up liked again, but we finally fixed it before the last qualifying run, squeezing in to second place behind Andy Robinson. We then seemed to get stuck on 6.30 times for a while, but were finally able to convince our car to go a bit quicker, leading to 6.2s in the last two runs and finally winning over a red-lighting Andy Robinson. We badly needed these wins to be able to stay in the points race for the Championship at the European Finals.
"The guys in the team have done a great job. I couldn't do this without my main guy Micke Grimberg and Kenta Alm, Janne Carlsson, Thomas Mohlin and Mette. Thanks also to Anders Holm who was a great help at Mantorp. Last but not least I want to thank our partners who have been supporting us such as NordicLAN, Lucas Oil and IVT."
FIA European Finals entry.
10th August: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall has forwarded us the first version of the official entry list for the FIA European Finals and has asked that racers who have already entered the event check that their name appears.
"This list is as it stood after yesterday's (Wednesday's) mail was processed", says Paula. "I have received a couple of illegible faxed entries so if you have entered by fax and your name is not on the entry list then it may simply be because I could not read the fax, so please contact me. If you have entered by mail before the last few days and your name is not on the list then please also contact me."
You can view Version 1 of the FIA European Finals entry list by clicking here, and if you have any queries then you can contact Paula Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
FIM and FIM/UEM racers are reminded that today is the closing date for Pro entry at the normal fee.
10th August: Understandably the subject of recent speculation, UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Andy Carter has been in touch to reassure his fans that he is still racing. "I will not be competing at the European Finals but I will be back next year", says Andy. Andy told us that he will release a statement in his own time but in the meantime Andy's web site at www.andycarter.net has been updated with very informative Veidec Festival reviews from team members Eddie Corr and a slightly choleric Jan Broersma.
Racers are invited to take their vehicles to the American, Custom and Classic Car Show at Thruxton Circuit between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm on Sunday 3rd September. The event is held in conjunction with Carolina Classics and is in aid of the UK charity Enham. Traders are also welcome to set up for £50. If you are interested then please contact Liz Cosgrove on 01264 345848 between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm Mondays to Thursdays.
10th August: If you were tuned in to yesterday's Eurodragster.com News you will have read about the weekend's Street Xtreme Festival at Malmö's Meca Raceway. Here is Simon's regular run-down of other European events this weekend:
The twentieth Bulldog Bash starts today and runs until Sunday at Shakespeare County Raceway. The UK's biggest biker party features Top Fuel Bike and Supertwin action including Willem Been, Stefan Ivanovitch and Roel Koedam from the Netherlands, Steve Carey, Ian King, Ian Turburville and Steve Woollatt from the UK, and Chris van Nimmen from Belgium. Eric Teboul brings his Rocket Bike from France and the Fireforce Jet FCs also feature. and Eric Teboul with his rocket bike from France, plus jet funny cars. Run What You Brung, custom bike shows and some fufteen live groups will make for the usual memorable event.
The Motopark at Virtasalmi in Finland hosts the FHRA's Kuljetus Pekka Laine Nats including Pro Mod, Outlaw, and Comp as well as all Sportsman car and bike classes. The entry list can be found at www.fhra.fi/fin/index.php?page_id=195. Regular correspondent Asko Määttä will be racing his Funny Bike whilst Arto Höylä (Top Methanol Dragster) and Seppo and Sami Saapola and Kristian Nyström (Pro Mod) will be appearing. The event starts on Saturday with eliminations on Sunday.
On Saturday Santa Pod Raceway hosts a lifestyle event for Italian Cars, the Forza Italia Italian Car Day supported by Italian car magazine Auto Italia. Included are RWYB for Italian cars, traders, side shows, demos including Bob Glassup's blown-alcohol Topolino and manufacturers Ferrari and Lamborghini. More information at www.santapod.co.uk/e_italia.php.
Web site updates.
10th August: The official web site of the UK's Real Steel Street Eliminator has been updated with a report of the latest Championship round at July's Bug Jam at Santa Pod Raceway. Check it out at www.streeteliminatoruk.com.
It seems that there is nothing like a looming deadline to get people into action, and this week's closing date for the amateur photographic competition on the Drag, Rod and Classic Review magazine has prompted a bumper crop of entries. "There are some more truly great images for you to enjoy in the latest and final instalment", says Editor Andrew Kirk. "Mark Ashman from the NASC has been in touch with information about this month's major street rodding event, The Nationals, which takes place over the weekend of 25th-28th August. Finally, hot rodder Dan Boone has been in touch to tell us about a cool new front-engined digger. You can find this all at www.drcreview.com.
Sheavills eyes opportunity.
9th August: If you were tuned in to Eurodragster.com News last week, you will have read the Swift Snippet revealing that Barry Sheavills is to return to Top Fuel racing as one of the team of eight racers taking part in the Top Fuel Exhibition at the Bahrain International Circuit in October. The 1998 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion will be the only British racer on the team, and he told Eurodragster.com that he was on car owner Rune Fjeld's list for Bahrain to begin with.
"It was originally five of Knut Söderquist's cars and three of Rune's including the old car in which Andy Carter and I both won our Championships", said Barry. "I had the old car and I was working on it to bring it up to 2006 spec and I was also doing some cosmetic work. Then it changed: Siw Nystad was going to Bahrain in Rune's new car and I wasn't going to race there. But since Andy Carter is now not going, Siw is now driving the car Andy raced and I get to drive the new car which has already run some big numbers."
Barry said that for him personally it will be fantastic to get behind the wheel of a state-of-the-art Top Fuel car again, and that the trip to Bahrain could help his plans for a return to racing in Europe. "I have not driven for a while but hopefully it will be like getting back on a bike only faster!", he said. "It's a shame I won't be able to run it at the European Finals but you need money to live and as a lot of other people have also found out you can't spend all of your own money on racing. Hopefully racing in Bahrain will give me a bit of a kick start to get funding to run that car on the European Tour in 2007 - I see it as a major opportunity to get sponsorship."
Barry will be going to the Nitrolympx at Hockenheim at the end of this month to check out his new ride. "I will get firesuited up and sit in the car to make sure that I fit", he said. "I don't think Rune realises how much weight I have lost - I have been training and dieting. Rune was saying "Come and see the car and see if you fit in it" and I said "There is no way I'm not going to fit in the car"!"
Barry said that he is extremely grateful to Rune Fjeld for the opportunity to race again. "I know the competition for the seat of that car was very hot", he said. "Hopefully I will repay Rune with a win."
SCR gets Touch up.
9th August: Shakespeare County Raceway is pleased to announce the involvement of a new media partner in the form of Touch FM, a division of the CN Group of media businesses based in Carlisle, writes SCR's Marketing and Promotions manager Jerry Cookson.
Commencing with the forthcoming August Bank Holiday Open Sports Nationals two of the CN Group radio stations will be airing a series of adverts in the Coventry (Touch 96.2 FM) and North Midlands (101.6/102.4 FM) areas with the aim of attracting a new crowd not familiar with motorsport events at the raceway. The CN Group operates five additional stations covering local news, weather and information.
"This is fantastic news for Shakespeare County Raceway," says Jerry. "With Touch FM adding a much valued link to a wider audience we expect this association to continue into the branding of other events at the race track later in the year and beyond."
Chris Arnold, Managing Director of Touch FM, says "We look forward to a long and successful media partnership with Shakespeare County Raceway throughout 2006 and the season after that."
During Monday's eliminations, the CN Group will be sending a Touch FM 'Mobile Juke Box' to SCR together with a promotional crew to conduct surveys and hand out car stickers and other promotional goodies for the stations involved. Further still Touch FM have also entered the Open Sports Nationals trophy sponsorship programme with the chosen class to be announced later in the month.
9th August: Malmö's Meca Raceway will be holding its biggest-ever event, the Street Xtreme Festival, from 07:00 to 02:00 this Saturday (12th) writes Martin Olsson. As the name suggests the event is for European and Jap street cars and features street-legal racing with several prizes, styling displays, beer and food tents, live bands and more. Entries include a 1000+ bhp Supra, a 900+ bhp nine-second BMW, and Sweden's fastest Volvo 740. For more details and a link to the Meca Raceway webcam check out www.srif.se.
Andy Nicholls retook the one-month-old UK Front Wheel Drive record from Guy Chamberlain on the Friday of Ultimate Street Car with a stunning 10.844/137.65 at Santa Pod Raceway, says Rick Cuthbert. Andy's turbo and nitrous MG ZR was running on treaded tyres and has had a massive turnaround in performance since the beginning of the season, when breakages made it difficult for him to crack the twelves with his home-built machine. A full USC report and photo gallery can be found at www.ultimatestreetcar.co.uk.
Shakespeare County Raceway wish to remind racers entry is filling up fast for UK National and ACU UK Championships at the Open Sports Nationals which takes place on August Bank Holiday weekend. If you haven't already done so, entries should be addressed to the Club and Race Secretary, c/o Shakespeare County Raceway, Airfield House, Long Marston, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV 37 8LL.
Shakespeare County Raceway have also asked us to say a big Thank You to Geof Hauser of Hauser Race Cars for his kind and sizeable donation of used racing slicks for use on SCR's upgraded rubber sled. Track prep duties are already underway for this weekend's Bulldog Bash where Dutch rider Roel Koedam is expecting to capture Europe's first five second Top Fuel Bike run.
FIA and FIM/UEM racers are reminded that tomorrow (10th) is the deadline for Pro entry to the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. Sportsman racers have one week longer, as entry for those classes closes on 17th August. Entry forms are available on the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc and on the Svensk Dragracing web site at www.dragracing.se.
We are again indebted to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers for sending us an updated list of Europe's quickest and fastest races now incorporating Håkan Nilsson and Urs Erbacher's race at Gardermoen on Sunday. Andy also points out that Håkan Nilsson has now held European records in two separate classes, Pro Mod and Top Fuel Dragster. You can see the updated Quickest and Fastest list by clicking here or by clicking on the European Bests link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
We would like to say a big Get Well Soon to Sam Stretton of Santa Pod Raceway's timing crew who has been in hospital recently. Hope that everything is OK now Sam, and we'll see you very soon for another cricket weekend.
Also on the greetings front a very Happy 30th Birthday to Jo Reed of Santa Pod Raceway. Jo says that she knows she doesn't look a day over twenty-one and your News Editor was brought up never to contradict a lady. Have the very happiest of birthdays Jo and enjoy your surprise weekend (It's OK, she knows about it now - Ed).
Web site updates.
9th August: In the latest entry in his exclusive Racer Blog, FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Lex Joon gives a run-by-run account of his successful weekend at Gardermoen. You can check out Lex's blog by clicking here or by clicking on the Racer Blog link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Nathan Lidiard has updated his web site with a large number of pictures of Friday's action at the Exporama Drag Challenge, with Saturday's and Sunday's pictures to follow shortly. You can find Nathan's pictures at www.dragfoto.no.
FIA Championship points update.
8th August: Many thanks to FIA European Championship Co-ordinator Kjell Pettersson for sending us the FIA Championship points after the weekend's Exporama Drag Challenge at Gardermoen.
Going into the FIA European Finals, the following racers have a mathematical chance of winning the 2006 titles although, as Michael Malmgren did yesterday, some of these would be the first to tell you that miracles will be necessary:
Top Fuel Dragster: Håkan Nilsson, Thomas Nataas, Lex Joon, Håkan Fällström, Urs Erbacher
Top Methanol Dragster: Dave Wilson, Peter Schöfer
Top Methanol Funny Car: Leif Andréasson, Ulf Leanders, Dan Larsen
Pro Modified: Urban Johansson, Micke Gullquist
Pro Stock: Jimmy Ålund, Magnus Hansson, Eero Knihtilä, Michael Malmgren
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.
Greek Championship round 3.
8th August: Our good buddy Elias Vathias of the Greek Dragster web site tells us that the third Greek Championship round finally took place at Serres on 22nd-23rd July after the original date in Athens was postponed twice.
"Despite the very hot weather and the low number of spectators it was a good race", says Elias. The most remarkable results are below."
Auto Open (by position)
1. Makis Nefraim, Pontiac, 8.332
2. Dimitris Androulakis, BMW Funny Car, 8.639
3. Filippos Papafilippou, FIL'S Bad Nova SS, 8.443
4. Dimitris Paschos, Ford Sierra The Punisher, 8.993
Moto Open (by position)
1. Kostas Michailidis, Yamaha R1 Turbo, 8.130
2. Stavros Svrahnos, Suzuki Prostock, 7.914
3. Antonis Zafeiriadis, Gabriel Suzuki, 7.963
4. Kostas Premetis, Suzuki Promod, 8.349
5. Panagiotis Polonidis, Yamaha Exup Turbo, 8.771
6. Charalambos Bousinis, Suzuki Prostock, 8.488
7. Kostas Kyriakopoulos, Suzuki Prostock. 8.971
8. Theodoros Michailidis, Kawasaki ZZR 1100 Turbo, 9.125
9. George Gosios, Suzuki Turbo, 10.785
Auto remarkable time slips by ET
Auto AA2, Stef. Xatzimoysiadis, BMW E30 Evolution, 9.992
Auto BT2, Christos Zagaris, Subaru, 10.106
Auto AT1, Nikos Gasparatos, Honda Civic, 10.443
Auto AT2, Sotiris Pashos, Ford Sierra Cos, 10.723
Auto AT1, Christos Matsoukas, Fiat Uno 1600 16V, 10.998
Auto AT1, Dimitris Roumelis, Fiat Uno 1600 16V, 11.063
Auto AA1, Vagellis Tzanetis, Peugeot 106 Rally, 11.820
Auto AA1, Manolis Pytharas, Citroen AX, 11.996
Auto BA2, Kostas Manioudakis, Honda NSX, 12.045
Auto BA1, Eleni Papadopoulou, Honda CRX, 12.668
Moto remarkable time slips by ET
5, Ioannis Manetas, Suzuki Katana, 8.623
5, Christos Agapidis, Suzuki 1300, 8.886
5, Thodoros Michailidis, Yamaha Turbo 9.236
5, Kostas Memetzis, Kawasaki ZX12, 9.245
5, Dimitrios Nakos, Suzuki GSXR 1300, 9.259
4, Poulos Alexnadros, Honda CBR 1000, 9.426
4, Loukas Kouzouloglou, Kawasaki ZX12, 9.437
4, Theodor. Maliakoudis, Kawasaki ZX12, 9.692
3, Leonidas Vournelis, Suzuki TL 1000R, 10.017
3, Nikos Tzanidakis, Suzuki GSXR 750, 10.242
2.2, Stavros Andreadis, Yamaha R6, 10.288
3, Eleni Reveltzi, Yamaha R6, 10.770
2.1, Nikos Nikolopoulos, Z 125, 12.063
Full results are available (Zip format) on the Greek Dragster web site and a large number of photographs, provided by motorsite.gr, are available at www.greekdragster.com/images/Shows_Races/060723Serres/index.htm.
All the eights in Smax's pit.
8th August: Ex-pat UK Fuel racer Smax Smith has been in touch to give us a quick update of his and son Aidan's exploits, Aidan in his altered and Smax in Spiro Kontas' Fuel Funny Car.
"We took Aidan's altered out last weekend and he ran a number of personal bests culminating in an 11.06/114, all done himself!", says Smax. "Aidan has also been helping on the Fuel Funny Car. We had a good test session with a 4.1/177 at half track and all cylinders lit, but broke the blower belt. Now to add some power!"
Smax confirmed that he will be racing at the FIA European Finals in Stuart and Richard McDonald's Top Fuel Dragster, and he asked us if we could say a big Happy Birthday for today to Aidan. "Aidan is eighteen today, born on 8/8/88", says Smax. Have a very Happy Birthday Aidan, and here's hoping you celebrate with a Ten very soon.
8th August: We are as ever indebted to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers for sending us the official timing data from July's Bug Jam at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out the Bug Jam timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
UK Pro Stock Bike racer Paul Watson of Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor DynoSpeed Developments would be pleased to hear from any reader able to help with advice or assistance on how to get his Crew Chief Pixie from Frankfurt Airport to Hockenheim for the forthcoming Nitrolympx. If you can help then please get in touch with Grumpy at email@example.com.
Murt to the rescue.
8th August: UK Wild Bunch racer Tony Smith tells us that promoter Steve Murty came to his rescue at the weekend's Wild Bunch round at York Raceway after a drive shaft broke on his Cunning Plan altered.
"On the very first run at York, one of my inner drive shafts decided to give up the ghost and nearly sent me into the field on the left hand side of the track. We found the damage when we got back to the pits and removed the diff cover: for those who don't know, I run a Jag IRS and there is a short shaft, a bit like a half shaft, which goes from the diff inside the housing and joins the outer drive shaft.
"We decided that all I could do for the Sunday was to stage and carefully drive down the track for points, but as we were sorting out the car Steve Murty came and asked what had gone. I told him, and he said he would look in his store room. Fifteen minutes later he turned up with a shaft. We dismantled the broken side found that Steve's shaft was the wrong side. He shot off and brought the other side which we fitted and only missed one round of qualifying.
"I managed a third place to keep my lead in the Wild Bunch Championship. Steve said I could hang on the other shaft just in case the other one goes. I would like to thank him for his help and for keeping me in the points. Also I would like to thank crewman Dave for his help in fitting the part about hour and a half.
"It turns out that these shafts were spares for Steve's Vauxhall Estate Wheelie car."
Vehicles sought for Finals Press Day.
8th August: Santa Pod Raceway have confirmed that the FIA European Finals Press Day will take place on Wednesday 6th September between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. Racers are invited to volunteer their car or bike to make demonstration passes to promote drag racing to a wider audience and, as a bonus, to get some more track time.
If you are interested in running at the Press Day then E-Mail Jo Reed at Santa Pod Raceway at firstname.lastname@example.org with all relevant details about your vehicle including whether you are able to take passengers. Please also include an image for use in the press invitation and your contact details.
Please note that only racers entered for the FIA European Finals are able to take part in the Press Day and that priority will be given to those able to take passengers.
Web site updates.
8th August: Our good buddy Patrik Jacobsson has updated the Racebilder web site with a large number of pictures from the Exporama Drag Challenge. "It was a really nice race", says Patrik. "The track was outstanding and all the new European records impressed me a lot. The weather was sunny all weekend and all of the NDRG staff were so polite to us". You can check out Patrik's pictures at www.racebilder.nu.
Exporama Drag Challenge final report.
7th August: Ronnie Krabberød has kindly sent us his final report of yesterday's Pro eliminations at the Exporama Drag Challenge at Amcar International Raceway in Gardermoen:
The Pro Mod class experienced its best-ever race weekend at the Exporama Drag Challenge at Amcar International Raceway Gardermoen with both new ET and speed records, lots of personal bests and super exciting qualifying and elimination. It all came to a climax in the final when Andy Robinson redlit away a 6.246/369.23, the speed being a new European record, to Micke Gullqvist also blistering 6.297/367.35. That gave Micke his second win in two weeks and Urban Johansson's earlier wasted points lead has been heavily reduced. Urban at least grabbed the new ET record this weekend with 6.230.
In Pro Stock Eero Knihtilä didn't manage to distract Magnus Hansson on the start line as he did with Micke Malmgren in the semi. Magnus not only pulled a holeshot on Eero but also outran him with a 7.018/318.58 against Eero's somewhat off-pace 7.073/318.58. With this win Magnus moves to second position in the points before the final at Santa Pod behind Jimmy Ålund.
Top Methanol Funny Car saw Ulf Leanders stepping up in every round. Qualifying second with a 5.84, recording 5.83 and 5.80 on his way to the finals and taking down the points leader Leif Andréasson with a 5.784 which was low ET for the weekend. Leif hit shake and slowed to an 6.89 making the final at Santa Pod a closer fight for the Championship.
Top Methanol Dragster was a Dave Wilson show from beginning to end. Qualifying best with 5.473, he only had a little drop in the solo run in round one with 5.51 before carrying on his 5.4 pace. Points leader Peter Schöfer got a good headtstart in the finals with 0.428 against Dave's 0.497, but Dave caught his opponent with another 5.495/413.79 against Peter's 5.607/416.18. The two leading racers in Top Methanol Dragster swapped positions before the European Finals.
The Top Fuel final was as usual the last race for the weekend. The track may had “gone away” a little bit and Thomas Nataas went up in smoke after 150 metrrs while Lex Joon, who really had found a winning combination for the weekend, stormed through with his third straight four-second blast during elimination with 4.946/467.53.
The 2006 Exporama Drag Challenge at Amcar International Raceway Gardermoen was the fastest, quickest and closest drag race ever in Europe. The organising club NDRG provided the racers with the best track in Europe and the racers paid back with blistering racing and new records in Top Fuel (ET), Pro Stock (speed), Pro Mod (ET and speed) and B/D (ET and speed). NDRG wants to thank all the teams for their fantastic efforts in making this race the best ever in Europe and wish you all very welcome back to next year's Exporama Drag Challenge. NDRG would also like to wish Santa Pod Raceway and Keith Bartlett the best of luck for the upcoming European Finals.
Editor's note: We are sure that everyone will join us in thanking Ronnie Krabberød and Theresé Hällsten for respectively writing and sending us the reports over this weekend. Both already had quite enough to do at the track and both went above and beyond the call of duty to keep us informed. Thanks guys!
Malmgren unhappy at exit.
7th August: New European Pro Stock record holder Michael Malmgren has been in touch with a report of the Lahega-sponsored team's weekend at the Exporama Drag Challenge at Gardermoen. Michael went out in the semi-finals and is not best pleased about the manner of his exit to Eero Knihtilä:
Setting a new European speed record off 324.5 kmh and almost hitting the ET record with a good 6.908 at three thousand feet of air - thanks to Bob Ingles for always making such good power - is pretty stunning especially when the second fastest is Jimmy Ålund as always (also Bob Ingles power) with 6.95/320. All four of our qualifying runs were within two hundredths and between 6.907 and 6.93. No other car had that consistency.
In the first round we had the clutch too loose, the track was better then we thought, and ran only 6.907! We really could have killed the record and should have done if it hadn't been for the mistake with clutch. the second fastest car in first round was Magnus Hansson with a 6.97 so with that in mind we were very proud. In the second round our good weekend was ended by Erro Knihtilä who had a burndown on the Tree by not going into stage and keeping me waiting for over ten seconds. I am surprised that the there was no Autostart on the Tree as that would have give Eero a red light automatically. Also a professional starter which we normally have on all FIA rounds wouldn't let this happen. Anyway I could live with waiting with my engine rpm up, but my clutch couldn't take the heat and when he finally went in and I hit full throttle the car crept and I lost focus for a couple of tenths. As the Starter flipped the Tree right away when he went in I was dead.
I always like to race fair and normally I find that all the Pro Stock racers play it straight on the Tree. Of course you always want to get an advantage at the start somehow but within the rules, but this time I and many others felt that Eero went over the limit, too bad really. I guess they thought "If we can't outrun Michael let's mess him up at the Tree".
As Jimmy lost first round it did open the door again for just a sniff at the title, but then we have to win in England and set low ET and he has to lose in the first round again, which I think would never happen. Let's face facts: Jimmy is too professional and he normally never gives anything away or makes mistakes. He is very consistent. But we had two good side by side races in qualifying where I beat him both times fair and square.
We are still very much looking forward to the Finals and we hope for better air, and we will for sure put numbers on the scoreboard which have never been seen in Pro Stock history!
PRG provides the Wright design.
7th August: When UK Super Pro ET racer and Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Matt Wright's blown Chevy C-10 truck rolls out of the trailer at the Nitrolympx in a couple of weeks' time, the wheelstanding truck will be wearing a new graphic paint scheme designed by fellow Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Power Race Graphics.
"Matt called me with a commission to put some logo ideas together for his and business partner Gary Gleeson's company Gleeson Wright Security", says Darren West of Power Race Graphics. "The brief expanded to a new graphic paint scheme for the truck, to feature the new logo with a view to showcasing the company around the drag strips!"
"I've always had a soft spot for this truck. I first noticed it in black paint with only mild mods back at the 2002 European Finals when it was being used as a Pro Mod racer's team vehicle. That version inspired an illustration which is on the Power Race Graphics web site. The truck has been on a journey of transformation since then, and I was delighted when Matt asked me to work-up some paint scheme ideas for the full-blown race car it is today!"
At the Nitrolympx fans of the truck will have the chance to purchase T-Shirts featuring the wild Stepside in rolling burnout mode. The shirts, also designed by Power Race Graphics, will be printed in a limited number only and will be available from Matt's pit area for £12.50.
Burton on the gas.
7th August: UK Pro ET sponsorship co-ordinator Carl Burton took his English Rose Racing Sierra to the Ultimate Street Car event at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend. Carl says that he saw it as his chance to dip into the nines.
"Our PB was 10.00/125, remember it's only a Rover V8", says Carl. "We spent Friday jetting the carb and making sure things were set up, running 11.20s without gas. One the first run on Saturday I turned on the gas, left the line and the gas never came in. Getting out of the car in the pits I could see that the switch under the accelerator pedal had broken. Repairs made, second run, again the gas never came in. This time we surmised lack of electrickery.
"For the third run we towed down to the start looking very profesional, strapped in and cooking like a curry with no interior fan because I was saving the electricity. Bingo! Off the line, gas on, cocking a wheel in the air - where's Sharky when you need that photo (I can't bring myself to tell you - Ed) - all going great, still pulling strong in second gear then a little flame out of the scoop and the revs dropped. I tapped into third rolling through at 10.88.
"Having done a compression test and found that we'd lost one cylinder we packed up and headed home on Saturday evening, having had a great two days with some sights you just don't see at Championship rounds.
"Thank yous must go to David Lloyd-Jones for letting us run with the bigger boys and to Darren Prentice and all the crew for looking after us."
7th August: UK Real Steel Street Eliminator racer Ron Haslett is planning a coffee morning in his pit on the Saturday of the UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway (Saturday 30th September). The coffee morning will be in aid of the Macmillan Cancer Trust, which is holding its annual National Coffee Morning the day before.
We are indebted to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for sending us an updated sheet of European Bests taking into account all the records set at the Exporama Drag Challenge at the weekend. Click here to view the list or click on the European Bests link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Koedam's TFB goes upside down.
7th August: In the latest update from The Netherlands' Koedam Racing Top Fuel bike team, crew Chief Marius Van der Zijden reveals that Roel Koedam's 6.0-second bike has already been sold:
The Goodridge Dutch Finals scheduled for 18th-20th August looked to become a historic event. Historical it will be, but for a different reason. Let me explain. As Holland doesn't have a permanent dragstrip, we are lucky that we are allowed to use the small airfield of Drachten in the north of our country. There is a permit to run three national events a year. Though it is not much, at least the Dutch fans have the possibility to see some drag racing close to home. This year's Finals looked to be very special with the last round for the European Harley Davidson Destroyer cup and, thanks to Goodridge, a number of Top Fuel Bikes were contracted for the Goodridge Top Fuel Bike Challenge.
We always look forward very much to performing for our National fans, but this time was going to be special. However it is not going to be so. Because Drachten is in the first place an airfield, the rubber has to be removed from the strip after each race weekend. There it all went wrong. For some reason the company hired to take care of this job made a mistake and turned our temporary dragstrip into a gravel track. As there is not enough time left to set things straight, the organiser was forced to cancel the event. Whether there will be a legal action, a new date or the end of our national strip is unknown at this time. In respect to our Final Strike Tour it is unlikely that our bike will ever return to Drachten. Sorry to our Dutch fans!
As you already know our bike would be available for a new owner at the end of this season. Though we have barely advertised the bike, it is already been sold! At the end of our season the bike will go to the land of Oz. Leonard Azzopardi from Sydney will be the lucky new owner of our bike and has bought (at least in our opinion) one of the world's best Top Fuel Bikes.
Leonard currently rides a Suzuki Hayabusa Prostreet bike. He is reported the be first one in Australia to run a seven-second pass on such a bike. Of course it will take a while for Leonard to get used to the power and the different riding style, but we think he has the right approach. Jay Upton, Athol Williams and all you Top Bike guys from Down Under, you better be warned!
NSCC wide open.
7th August: The battle in the National Street Car Challenge opened right up at York Raceway this weekend, writes Hot Rod Gazette Editor Shaun Wilson:
Following engine damage at SantaPod in July, leader Neil Martin in his Mustang 5.0 GT was unable to contest these two rounds, dropping a potential 4000 points and falling from a secure lead. Number three man, James Murray in his ProStreet Cortina Estate, dropped a valve prior to qualifying on Sunday and so he too dropped valuable points and was unable to race.
Combined with a number of breakages within the field came the onslaught of the John Sleath race cars, Moose Hollingworth in the big block Ford Cortina and Nigel Parkin in the 502ci Jaguar. These guys ripped through the field with consistent low-ten second runs and even outed NSCC's big gun Russ Pursley on both days to finish one-two, with Moose taking both victories from Nigel.
The Challenge has now been thrown wide open, with Graham Bell now leading in his '67 Mustang Convertible from Steve Stringfellow in his ProStreet Herald. With the next round not until 24th September at York the drivers will be scrabbling to gain points at various shows and cruises around the UK to bolster their positions. The challenge is open to all street-legal, rear wheel drive cars and mandates that treaded tyres must be used in competition.
Full race reports in HotRod Gazette magazine, or check www.hotrodgazette.com for updates.
Want to join the Parade?
7th August: After last year's successful event, Wellingborough Town Centre Partnership and Santa Pod Raceway are making this year's Parade of Power bigger and better by adding more laps of the one way system around Wellingborough town centre and hoping to attract double the amount of vehicles. Car and bike racers are invited to bring their vehicles to the event on Friday 1st September.
"It will be an evening of power with vehicles taking to the Town Centre for the parade and a static display afterwards enabling local people to interact with the racers and get up close to the cars and bikes", says Jo Reed of Santa Pod Raceway. "If you fancy bringing your vehicle along for a few hours on Friday 1st September and being a part of the Parade and static display please E-Mail me at email@example.com including all of your vehicle's details with an image and, of course, your contact details."
Jo tells us that Santa Pod Raceway will shortly be asking for volunteers for the European Finals Press Day.
Exporama Drag Challenge updates.
6th August: Ronnie Krabberød and Theresé Hällsten are kindly sending us updates of today's Pro action at the Exporama Drag Challenge at Amcar International Raceway in Gardermoen:
Pending Ronnie's final report, the FIA class winners were:
Top Fuel Dragster: Lex Joon def. Thomas Nataas Eliminations (PDF)
Top Methanol Dragster: Dave Wilson def. Peter Schöfer Eliminations (PDF)
Top Methanol Funny Car: Ulf Leanders def. Leif Andréasson Eliminations (PDF)
Pro Modified: Micke Gullquist def. Andy Robinson Eliminations (PDF)
Pro Stock: Magnus Hansson def. Eero Knihtilä Eliminations (PDF)
17:00 The new European Speed record holder in Pro Stock was taken out in the semi-finals at the Exporama Drag Challenge with a holeshot by Eero Knihtilä. Eero's reaction time of 0.433 gave Micke a mission impossible when he dropped for a "nap" with a0.621. With almost to tenths of a second to catch up, Micke really lost the race at the starting line. Micke's 6.987/321 didn't help him much when Eero passed the line in 7.028/320. Eero's opponent in the final will be Magnus Hansson after he took out Peter Dahlin with a 7.04/318.
Andy Robinson got an easy cruise to the finals when Mats Eriksson redlit in the semi-finals in Pro Mod. Andy's 7.04/334 would normally put him on the trailer, but Mats pulled a big red light and gave the win away. In the other semifinals it was really racing for the money. European Championship leader Urban Johansson sat a new European ET record with a storming 6.230/365.35 when he tried to catch Micke Gullqvist who had left Urban with an advantage of 0.089 from the line. Micke also dipped down in the twenties with a 6.282/360 reducing Urban's points lead.
Leif Andréasson and his crew really had to work hard to make it to the semis. The body on the Dodge Stratus Funny Car was damaged after Leif's "trip to the woods" but the team was capable of repairing the body and came out and tried to get lane choice with a 5.87/389 in his solo run, but his opponent in the finals Ulf Leanders outran Dan Larsen with a 5.80/393 which was Ulf's best result for the weekend.
European Championship leader Peter Schöfer will face his closest opponent Dave Wilson in the final of Top Methanol Dragster. Dave Wilson took out a troubled Krister Johansson with a low et 5.498/416. In the other semi Peter Schöfer was too much for Rob Turner with 5.64/413.
Top Fuel was really on the move in round one with five racers in the fours with the losing Uhrs Erbacher's 4.747/514 as the best. All racers came into the semis with four seconds runs, but it was only Lex Joon that managed to keep his pace with a 4.849/467 taking out the points leader and new ET record holder Håkan Nilsson. Håkan slowed to a 5.02/433. In the other semi-finals the two cars from Rune Fjeld Motorsport met. Thomas Nataas waited for Siw's team to get ready but Rune didn't like the sound of Siw's engine after the burnout and decided to turn it off, giving the win to Thomas Nataas, who went into the finals with a 6.51 after going up smoke after 150 metres.
14:45 The new European speed record holder in Pro Mod, Andy Robinson, carried on his pace in the second round of eliminations at Exporama Drag Challenge at Gardermoen Raceway. With a 6.28/365 Andy stormed away from Jan Arve Nygård. Mats Erikssson was given the win when Roger Johansson redlit. Mats' 6.43/360 was not up to his qualifying time but enough to go through to the semi-finals where he will meet Andy Robinson.
The other semi-final will be a match between to two top drivers in the European Championship points. Micke Gullqvist outrun Marc Meihuizen with another 6.30/365 while Urban Johansson slowed down compared to round one with 6.36/361 but it was enough to cover Norbert Kuno.
13:30 Top Qualifier Andy Robinson "cooled down" in the first round of elimination at Exporama Drag Challenge at Gardermoen Raceway with a 6.29/367.35. With that run Andy Robinson backed up his identical speed during qualifying as a new European Pro Mod speed record. Urban Johansson stepped up in his run with a 6.256/367.35 and Micke Gullqvist did the same with 6.30/365 so watch out for more action to come from Pro Mod at Exporama Drag Challenge at Gardermoen.
While Micke Malmgren carried on his fast pace with 6.908 in the first round of Pro Stock, European championship leader Jimmy Ålund was outrun by Peter Dahlin's 7.19. Jimmy had a bad start and had to see his 7.38 never get him by his running opponent.
Top Methanol racer Leif Andréasson had a nasty run in his first round when the chutes fell off the car at the finish line. Leif that went through with 5.79/395 and had a scary trip down the braking area. Gardermoen Raceway has a safety net in the end of the track but Leif tried to avoid that by running into the collecting area that was used before the returnroad was built. Leif is OK and is set to come out in the next round.
The first round in Top Fuel at Exporama Drag Challenge was the fastest ever in Europe. Gardermoen Raceway proved to be the best track in Europe providing grip never experienced earlier. Low qualifier Håakan Nilsson sat a new European ET record with 4.830 while the bump Urs Erbacher redlighted away a stunning 4.744/514.29 kmh (319.56 mph) the highest speed ever recorded in Europe. To bad for Urs but we expect the party will be good anyway! Lex Joon came back after a lot of trouble with a thundering 4.762/473 against Håkan Fällström, while Thomas Nataas cruised past Rene Hersland with an easy 4.97/483. Thomas will have to meet his new team-mate Siw Nystad who in her first round ever of eliminations in Top Fuel outran Mikael Kågered with a 4.96/496! Siw covered Micke from the start line and Micke's engine gave out after 1200 feet. This was also Siw's first full pass and recording a four-second run was like birthday and Christmas Day at the same time.
Exporama Drag Challenge day 2 report.
6th August: Ronnie Krabberød and Theresé Hällsten have kindly sent a report of yesterday's qualifying highlights at the Exporama Drag Challenge at Amcar International Raceway in Gardermoen:
The last qualifying round at Exporama Drag Challenge at Gardermoen Raceway in Norway was dominated by sunny summer heat, blistering racing in Pro Mod, a major upset in Top Fuel and the first full pass of Siw Nystad.
The new Norwegian drag racing queen grabbed sixth position with a 5.48 in her first full pass ever. Clicking off a little early, she gave away a very low five second pass. Siw will meet Micke Kågered (4.96) in the first round and she was really looking to forward to take on the Swedish veteran. Siw said in an interview with Norwegian television that car owner Rune had given her the order to beat Micke and that she had no plan to obey team orders!
Håkan Nilsson came back in the last run in Top Fuel with a 4.86, just settling the order. The speed was not up to the 504 level, so we have to wait until today to have the 500+ speed record. Thomas Nataas was really there to take down Håkan but the engine in the Batman car sounded like a wounded savage and Rune Fjeld turned off the engine (see below - Ed).
Lex Joon found back some of his normal pace with a 4.98 (Lex told us that he shut off at 900 feet - Ed) and changed position with Håkan Fällström facing up with him in first round in Sunday's elimination. Håkan's team-mate Tommy Möller missed the cut, having trouble all weekend, but might have a chance to come back as first alternate.
Pro Mod was the quickest so far in Europe with the first eight car in the thirties, the first fifteen below 6.62 and Andy Robinson hunting both European records with 6.266/367.35.
In the methanol classes Dave Wilson dropped into the forties with a 5.48 while Leif Andréasson missed his aim to hit the 5.7s. Micke Malmgren in Pro Stock has had a superb weekend as he clicked off a couple of more hundredths to a 6.907 declaring that Jimmy Ålund's records were up for grab tomorrow.
The Exporama Drag Challenge proved to be the success the organisers NDRG were hoping for. Full grandstands, lots of publicity in the national media and the superb results were real payback for the effort invested.
Ronnie and Tezzii also kindly forwarded us the final qualifying and today's ladders in FIA classes (PDF format):
Top Fuel Dragster: Qualifying / Ladder
Top Methanol Dragster: Qualifying / Ladder
Top Methanol Funny Car: Qualifying / Ladder
Pro Stock: Qualifying / Ladder
Pro Modified: Qualifying / Ladder
Stats are available on the NDRG web site at www.ndrg.no, and Pro Mod coverage is available on the Results page of the European Pro Mod Association web site at www.promod.nu. Joan Larsen tells us that the usual live coverage on Dan Larsen's web site has been curtailed by a server failure.
On-kill Nataas loses run.
6th August: Norwegian Top Fuel Dragster racer Thomas Nataas lost his final qualifying pass at Gardermoen yesterday when he had to shut off on staging.
"Rune had set the car to kill", Thomas told Eurodragster.com. "When I staged the engine started to pop and bang. It was misfiring so I shut it off. We have traced the problem and fired up the car again this evening so we know that it will be OK for eliminations."
Thomas' 4.943/496.55 of yesterday morning was good for second spot and the speed is above Andy Carter's existing record of 493.04 so Thomas and Håkan Nilsson are both chasing the European speed record. "The half track speed was 413 kmh, so I think we have a decent set-up!", he said. "The track is awesome, I have seen no-on go up in smoke, and the air is still terrible. Andy Robinson ran 6.2 in bad air so the track must be good. The organisers must be happy as they have proven that they can prep a track and today they had their biggest-ever crowd - people were queuing to get in this morning."
Thomas added that teammate Siw Nystad had acquitted herself very well on her 5.48 qualifying pass. "Siw had to shut off early, but it was a nice run", he said. "Torsten Risdal has also made a pass in the third car, he shut off at half track and it was a good run."
Drag Challenge TMD day 2.
6th August: Our good friend Gittli Koller of German Top Methanol Dragster team Peter Schöfer Racing kindly sent us a report on yesterday's second day of TMD qualifying at the Exporama Drag Challenge at Gardemoen:
The third session was about 12:00. Temperature was 88.4 F, humidity 28.1% and the track temperature 40°C. The TMD class wants to welcome Rickard Persson who managed to get his licence right in time to start his TMD career this weekend. Rickard was first out in right lane and ran a 7.88/292 kmh.
Second pair was Timo Habermann and Krister Johansson but Timo didn't run that pass because they disassembled the whole transmission and put new parts in. Krister ran 6.687/369.23 in the left lane but that was not the performance we have seen from him in the past. He told me after the run that they might have found the problem and they will see next round.
Then it was Dave Wilson (left) and Peter Schöfer (right). Dave ran a 5.506/421.05 and Peter a 5.594/416.18. Peter shook the tires again very hard for 0.2 sec but then hooked up again and ran a good top speed. Dave's run was straight and nice. Last pair was Yngve Solberg and Rob Turner. Rob lost his belt after shake and ran 9.687/30.05. Yngve had a 7.389/297.52 and stayed in sixth qualifiying spot.
The fourth session was at 6:00 pm and the track was still at 43 C. The temperature was about 80 F and humidity was 29.3% First was again Rickard Persson (left) who managed to improve again to a 7.433/295.08. Next run was Timo Habermann (left) and Krister Johansson (right). Timo did a short burnout and shook the tyres hard in the run, pedalled again and again and ran a 6.45/371. Krister launched very hard and smoked the tyres. Timo and Krister swiched qualifying spots, Timo was fourth and Krister fifth.
Last pair of TMD qualifying was Rob Turner (left) and Dave Wilson (right). Both did a nice long burnouts. Rob shook the tires hard in low gear and shut it off early, 8.51. Dave shook and drove through it with a 5.473/418.60.
Peter Schöfer and Yngve Solberg didn't run the last session cause of mechanical problems. Yngve broke a lifter and just missed the last session, but he will be fine for today. Peter found a little problem in the engine and decided to double-check everything just in case.
6th August: Swedish Pro Mod racer Micke Lindahl is OK after the Lindahl brothers' Chevy hit the guardrail in this morning's first round of eliminations at Gardermoen. Jan Arve Nygård in the other lane was out of the way having redlit. More details as we receive them.
Congratulations to Sascha Brodbeck of Switzerland's Erbacher Racing Team who has won the 2006 V-Rod Destroyer cup after the Drachten round of the Championship was cancelled. "Sascha is 530 points ahead and it is impossible for the second place to catch him", says team member Andrea Wucher. "Our youngest team has been the most successful so far this season. Let's see who is next."
Editor's note: This weekend's news updates have been written on a very old Windows 98 laptop with no Word and no Acrobat...and have one guess in which formats most submissions have been over the last couple of days. Your News Editor would like to thank Erik Zettervall and Christer Abrahamson for emergency assistance.
Records start to go at AIR.
5th August: Ronnie Kraberrød and Theresé Hällsten have kindly sent us an update from today's first Pro qualifying cycle at the Exporama Drag Challenge:
Håkan Nilsson and his team was almost shocked by the superb traction at Amcar Intrernational Raceway Gardermoen. Running the first 500+ kmh pass in Scandinavia and the second ever in Europe showed that the track can take the 7.000+ hp a Top Fuel engine delivers.
"The car came on like a rocket on the top end but we obviously underestimated the traction on the first half", says Håkan. "4.92 and 504 kmh doesn't really add up. We have two more qualifying rounds so we'll see."
Thomas Nataas raced Håkan Nilsson and seemed like the winner but Håkan nailed Thomas the last 100 meters. "He just stormed by me", says. "It was really impressive. We have to step up considerably to catch Håkan". Thomas is still second qualifier with an easy 5.01/479.
The third round of qualifying in Pro Mod was blasting experience. Andy Robinson jumped from position number twenty to the lead with a 6.266/367.35 kmh, the speed being better than Micke Gullqvist's 367.22 European speed record.
The Pro Mod field showed fierce competition getting into the sixteen car elimination ladder. Currently with one more qualifying round to go, the bump spot is 6.815 Robert Koper. The top eight are stacked between Andy Robinson 6.266 and Marc Meihuizen 6.405.
European Championship leader Urban Johansson also stepped up for this third qualifying round with 6.309/365.50 but still had to see Andy Robinson taking the top spot. Both racers are really eager to take the top honour so the last round will probably give even more fiercer racing. As things develop nobody will be surprised if we have a 6.6 bump after the last round.
Top Fuel stepped up even more in round three when Thomas Nataas took on Håkan Nilsson with 4.943/496.55 against Håkans slowing 4.98/489 compared to his second run. Thomas and Rune Fjeld are stepping up slowly to match the Championship leader.
Micke Kågered also joined the four-seconds warriors with something that looked like a troublefree 4.962/470.59. Håkan F¨llström stepped up with 5.058 and Siw Nystad had her first full pass with a 6.74, shutting off after the eightmile when she drifted towards the guradrail. Siw holds position number six before the last round.
Tommy Möller is really in trouble struggling to join the top eight. Urs Erbacher is also in trouble. He had to shut off before the start in round three and could find himself DNQ'd if Tommy Möller manages his normal pace.
Dave Wilson is also on a record hunt. 421.05 is only 1.87 kmh away from the European speed record in Top Methanol Dragster.
Impressed by Lorentz Stauble's 6.764/331 Ronny Aasen changed the set-up a little bit and took out more on the first half of the track. The result was a new personal best with 6.65. Ronny may have shut off a little bit early because the top speed was only 338 kmh, a bit off the 350+ Ronny has performed earlier this season.
Janne Ahonen, most known for hunting world records in ski-jumping, set two new European records in B/D at 6.985 and 306.38 with his DekkPartner sponsored Eagle Racing dragster. Janne, the Nordic Champion in Competition the last two years, is aiming for his third straight title before he maybe moves to Top Fuel next season.
Exporama Drag Challenge day 1 report.
5th August: Ronnie Krabberød and Theresé Hällsten have kindly sent a report of yesterday's qualifying highlights at the Exporama Drag Challenge at Amcar International Raceway in Gardermoen:
Micke Malmgren set a new European speed record in Pro Stock at 324.34 kmh on Friday's second qualifying round. Micke is also number one qualifier with 6.927 in his Pontiac Grand Am. The European Championship leader Jimmy Ålund had to abort his second run after a 6,980/319.94 in round one. The rest of the Pro Stock field is very close: Magnus Hansson 7.008/319.43 , Kenneth Söderström 7.040/316.16, Eero Knihtilä 7.043/320.24, Tommy Leindahl 7.046/318.15, Peter Dahlin 7.406/303.89 and Jan Palmqvist 10.82/108.
In Friday's second Pro Qualifying the current European Championship leader Håkan Nilsson ran Exporama Drag Challenge's first four with 4.92 and a storming 504.17 kmh (313.33 mph), the first 500+ kmh recorded in Scandinavia. Håkan is heading a troubled nine car Top Fuel field with Thomas Nataas in position number two with 5.01/479 in the race against Håkan Nilsson. Håkan Fällsträm is number three with 5.10/447. The rest of the field were troubled and Urs Erbacher experienced a total meltdown of his engine.
Urs' team-mate Lorenz Stäuble is heading Super Twin with a very impressive 6.76/331 leading Ronny Aasen's 6.82/343. Other impressive results are Dave Wilson 5.52/420 kmh in Top Methanol Dragster, Dan Larsen heads Top Methanol Funny Car at 5.89 just in front of Leif Andréasson's 5.90.
In Pro Modified Urban Johansson is leading the very tough field with an easy 6.34/333. Roger Johansson is regaining the pace in his stunning new Mustang with 6.36. Mats Eriksson ran 6.37 and an impressive 364 kmh. Pro Mod is very tight and Jan Arve Nygård is number eight with a 6.42 after Friday's qualifying!
The Exporama Drag Challenge continues with two more qualifying rounds today.
You can find all of yesterday's results under Resultater on the Norsk Dragracing Gardermoen web site at www.ndrg.no.
Nataas: more air, please.
5th August: Norwegian Top Fuel Dragster racer Thomas Nataas is second after the first day of qualifying for the Exporama Drag Challenge at Gardermoen and says that there is more to come. Thomas clocked 5.01/479 kmh (298 mph) in his first run of the day, second to Håkan Nilsson's 4.92 at a massive 504 kmh (313 mph) which Håkan ran alongside Thomas.
"The air was not that good, it was the same as at Mantorp last Friday", Thomas told Eurodragster.com from Gardermoen last night. "The track is perfect. It was a good run with no damage and we have plenty of computer data to work with. The car felt a bit lazy towards the top end but we are stepping up on timing and blower drive and our first run tomorrow will be perfect! Hopefully there will be better air tomorrow, it was bloody hot here today."
Siw Nystad and Torsten Risdal didn't make it out onto the track yesterday for Top Fuel qualifying, but both cars were completed yesterday afternoon and fired up in the evening so will be running today.
Drag Challenge TMD day 1.
5th August: Our good friend Gittli Koller of German Top Methanol Dragster team Peter Schöfer Racing kindly sent us a report on yesterday's first day of TMD qualifying at the Exporama Drag Challenge at Gardemoen:
The first session was at 13:00 with air temperature of 91 F (33 C) and humidity of 24.2%. The track temperature was about 43 C. Yngve Solberg (left lane) ran a 7.080/309.54 kmh with a nice solid nice run. Timo Habermann (right lane) jumped ooff of the startline with huge tyre shake and he had to abort the run, 13.072/139.51. Rob Turner was on a bye run because Krister Johansson didn't appear but the crew couldn't fire up the car. The last pair was Dave Wilson (left) and Peter Schöfer. Wilson ran a 5.523/420.73 kmh, nice straight run. Peter had an ignition problem and ran 5.735/397.22.
The second session was at 17:40 with an air temperature of 83.5 F and humidity of 31.5%. The track temperature was 44 C. Rob Turner (left lane) ran 5.58 at a new personal best speed of 409 kmh through a little shake. Krister Johansson (right) had big technical problems and just clocked an 8.18-second pass. Timo Habermann (left lane) ran 6.92/293 and is still struggling with his transmission and the start of the run. Ynve Solberg (right) ran a nice straight 7.033/308. Dave Wilson (right) overpowered the track at the start and had a wild run, 8.020/170.29. Peter Schöfer (left) had a great start, a good sixty foot time but left the belt right at half track. The run was still a 5.959/289.
What goes down must come up.
5th August: Switzerland's Fat Attack Top Fuel Dragster and Supertwin team celebrated a maiden victory at Mantorp Park last weekend when Lorenz Stäble won Supertwin.
"Lo was so happy with his first event win and we are very proud of our bike team", says team member Andrea Wucher. "Ronny Aasen told us that he heard Lo screaming through his helmet in the shutdown area. Lo and the team run consistent and fast numbers, his reaction times are great and he stays cool when everybody around is scared because of his riding style. With the win at Mantorp Lo moved into second place in the Championship. Ronny is probably too far in front to be beaten but Lo will do his best to get as many points as possible at Hockenheim and at Santa Pod.
"Urs Erbacher finally got into a final against Håkan Nilsson, but we had to work hard to get there: welding the fuel manifold, changing the engine and repairing the fuel tank, all in about one and a half hours. Håkan and his team were ready in the pits but waited until we were ready for the final run. That is real racing spirit. We didn't have time for a warm-up. We just rushed to the starting line, put Urs in the dragster, started it and off we went. The chances were 50/50 that everything would work fine. Despite all the stress Urs had a good reaction time and the sixty-foot time was not bad. But then the engine gave up and Urs rolled over the finish line.
"Håkan Nilsson and his crew have deserved the win, they ran fast and consistent. Late that night they lost the table soccer tournament against the Erbacher team, but I think they can handle it.
"On Tuesday the whole Erbacher Team went to Gardermoen. Urs will drive another round of the Championship and Lo will compete in the National Championship race to do some testing. Urs started yesterday's qualifying with a big bang and a ruined engine. The good thing is that we found the fault which caused the problems at Mantorp and in the first round yesterday. So we will see today if everything works as planned."
Drag racing reaches Croatia.
5th August: Paul Fischer has been in touch from his newly-adopted home of Croatia to tell us that the gospel of drag racing is spreading ever further.
"This summer is the first year of properly-organised National competition throughout my newly-adopted country of Croatia (I always was a sun worshipper)", says Paul. "At www.402streetrace.com/eng/streetrace_galerija.php?ID=37 you can see the action at last month's round of what's called the national 402Streetrace series when it came to my town of Varazdin, which is about an hour from Zagreb.
"This year's competition will go to ten different towns around the country where there's an airport available to use for a weekend. This year's organisation has upgraded to Christmas Tree starts and the basic trackside start and win/lose finish line beams which has eliminated last year's punch-ups as to who got to the finish line first. The cars are not yet up to much by UK standards although a few ten-second 1970s Simcas are impressive.
"Next year we are trying to start a Super-Series style competition in order to get the racers accustomed to index/bracket racing and give the budget guys a chance to win something. From there, who knows?
"Average summer temperatures of about 28 degrees help, of course, and some decent sponsors such as T-Mobile, Red Bull, Hertz, and Vindija are already committed to this year's programme.
"As an ex-pat, I still miss the whiff of 'fuel' and it was great to meet up with a bunch of my old Super Pro friends at this year's Main Event at the Pod. In the meantime, I predict a few UK cars may be sold to Croatian racers within the next year or two."
5th August: Alex Vourvachis writes with news of two outstanding performances by Greek street-legal cars at the latest race event. "Christos Zagaris with his impresive Subaru Impreza GT (right) managed 10.104/234 kmh", says Alex. "Stefanos Chatzimoisiades with his BMW E30, which uses an M5 in-line six engine achieved 9.992/210 at the same race". More information at www.dragster.gr.
Finnish Funny Bike racer Asko Määttä was very pleased to see the "abandoned" (sic) Funny Bikes win another FIM/UEM Top Fuel Bike Championship round at the Veidec Festival. "And what a way Rikard Gustavsson did it at Mantorp!", says Asko. You can find out about Asko's own plans under Team News/Rumours on his web site at www.dragrace.fi/english.
We would like to wish a very Happy Birthday to our good friend, and one of the official hug suppliers to Eurodragster.com, Libby Mottershead. Libby is in Norway today as Nev is racing in Comp Eliminator at the Exporama Drag Challenge at Gardermoen. Nev has presented Libby with a Personal Best ET of 8.60 so far today and doubtless there will be a party for both reasons. Have a great day Libby, wish we were there.
We have received a large number of enquiries about UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Andy Carter's split with Rune Fjeld Motorsport. We, and doubtless most of our readers, view anything beyond the basic fact as a private matter between Andy and Rune and in line with our editorial policy we will not be publishing any further details until or unless we receive an official statement from either side, nor will we be answering any E-Mails on the subject.
A number of readers have been in touch to let us know that they have written to the UK's Channel 5 about their recent habit of postponing or cutting portions out of the NHRA drag racing broadcasts. In each case Channel 5 have responded that drag racing will always have to come second to the preceding live baseball coverage which may overrun. This week's curtailed NHRA coverage will be re-broadcast next Thursday.
Plenty of weekend action.
5th August: There are several races in Europe this weekend in addition to the Exporama Drag Challenge at Amcar International Raceway at Gardermoen.
Santa Pod hosts the Ultimate Street Car lifestyle event, the largest modified car festival of the year, with RWYB track action, car clubs and displays, traders, music, comedy, top babes, Show & Shine and camping. Entrance on the gate is £50 with £15 for three runs down the famed SPR quarter mile. There are literally dozens of car clubs supporting the event, which promises to be massive.
At Rotenburg in Germany there will be a round of Toyo Tyres Street Eliminator Germany at the Rotenberg Race Days sponsored by Dragracer.de magazine and Pixeleye-racing.com. Entrance at the gate is €35 for racers and €20 for spectators with qualifying on Saturday and eliminations on Sunday. Further details are in German at www.row-racedays.de.
In France at Lurcy Lévis there is a "No Limits" round of the Association Trophée Dragster sponsored by DCR Engineering. Classes being competed include Super Street, Super Gas, Super Comp, Street and RWYB. Action starts at 8:00 this morning and concludes by 20:00 tomorrow. Further details are available here.
Goodridge Dutch Finals cancelled.
4th August: Jan Scheppers asked us to post the following statement about the Goodridge Dutch Finals, due to be held at Drachten on 18th-20th August:
"Last night (3rd August) members of the Governing Board and all class representatives had to take the unanimous decision that the Goodridge Dutch Finals, scheduled for 18th-20th August, is officially cancelled.
"Around 21st July the regular applied cleaning job on the drag strip caused unexpected severe damage to the tarmac.
"The Municipality of Smallingerland (Drachten), the governing board of Airfield Drachten, Dragrace Vereniging eXplosion and many specialists (such as KNAF, KNMV), tried the impossible to go on with this event.
"We feel confident that we have informed you sufficiently
"The Governing Board of eXplosion"
You can find the eXplosion web site at www.explosiondragracing.com.
4th August: Norwegian Top Fuel Dragster racer Thomas Nataas says that the Rune Fjeld Motorsport team have had a busy week since last weekend's Veidec Festival. The team will be fielding three cars at this weekend's Exporama Drag Challenge at Amcar International Raceway at Gardermoen, including another new face for European Top Fuel.
"My car is ready", Thomas told Eurodragster.com last night. "We have to finish Siw Nystad's car, and we also have to finish the car for Torsten Risdal who used to race Comp Eliminator and was curious about Top Fuel. I think we will have all three cars finished tonight - we are just waiting for DHL to deliver a set of front wheels".
As she is a better fit, Siw will be driving the dragster raced by the UK's Andy Carter until his split with the RFM operation at Mantorp Park last weekend, whilst Torsten will be driving the new RFM dragster which has so far this season has been driven by Siw and by Janne Ahonen.
Although he recorded the high speed of the Veidec Festival last weekend at 486.76 kmh (302.46 mph), Thomas was not happy with his semi-final exit to event winner Håkan Nilsson. "We lost traction in the same lane twice in two runs", he said. "We knew that we would have to run a decent four-second pass against Håkan so we couldn't take out too much power. To go up in smoke, pedal for a long time and then run 302 in the first round shows that we have plenty of power. That was with a bad blower too, we have been using this blower for a long time and we have a new one on the bench, but we will use the old blower certainly for the first day this weekend."
Thomas has a history of running fast at Gardermoen and still holds the track speed record. Going into this weekend's race he is second place in the FIA European Championship behind Håkan Nilsson. "Hopefully we have a little bit left to put into this track", he said. "The Championship is close but hopefully I will be in front or at least on equal points going into the European Finals."
Middle Eastern promise.
4th August: Another team hard at work in the week between the Veidec Festival and the Exporama Drag Challenge has been Knut Söderquist's Carbon By Design Top Fuel Dragster team who have been putting together the Top Fueller which Sweden's Patrik Pers will be trying out at Tullinge next week before driving in the Top Fuel Exhibition at the Bahrain International Circuit in October.
"Animal went straight to Stockholm after Mantorp and he and Patrik Pers' crew worked hard preparing the car", Knut told Eurodragster.com. "The motor has been rebuilt with new rods and pistons, and the car has new paint to Patrik's design. I must thank Mark and Patrik Pers and his crew who took time off work this week to go through every single nut and bolt on the car, and it needed it! They have been working their butts off and I am very happy with the job they have done. I hope that Patrik will be one of my drivers next year."
The plan is for Patrik to make a familiarisation pass at the Bilsport Drag Nats at Tullinge Raceway next week (11th-13th August) and then to make a couple more passes in Bahrain before the start of the Top Fuel Exhibition.
Knut also told us that he has had a number of enquiries about attending the event in Bahrain in October and that a package deal may be available for flights, accommodation etc. Details should be available next week but in the meantime Knut would appreciate expressions of interest so that he can gauge the likely attendance. If you are interested in going to Bahrain then please drop Knut an E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exporama Drag Challenge on TV.
4th August: TV coverage of this weekend's Exporama Drag Challenge at Gardermoen Raceway is a hot item, and thirty five minutes' coverage of the race will be broadcast in prime time on the leading Norwegian sport channel SportN, writes Ronnie Krabberød of Right On magazine.
"The coverage will be shown on Wednesday 9th August", says Ronnie. "Turn on the television at 19:40 and you will get full coverage from the fourth round of the FIA European Championship. If you miss the show on Wednesday or want to see it again, then you will get another chance the day after, 18:00 on Thursday 10th August.
"NRK 1, the leading TV channel in Norway, will also run a news report from the race in their Sunday News at 19.00. A longer DVD from the race will be presented later and will be advertised on ndrg.no.
"NDRG will also try to report from the Exporama Drag Challenge through Eurodragster.com during the weekend. Dive in on Europe's leading web site (Oh I say, thanks - Ed) and get the latest news!"
4th August: Whilst we were speaking to Thomas Nataas last night he confirmed that as a result of Andy Carter's split with the Rune Fjeld Motorsport operation Andy will no longer be racing for RFM at the Top Fuel Exhibition in Bahrain and that the UK's Barry Sheavills will now be driving the newest of Rune Fjeld's three dragsters at the event.
Also on the subject of Top Fuel Dragster, Denmark's Rene Hersland is a late entry to this weekend's Exporama Drag Challenge at Gardermoen, having arrived at Amcar International Raceway at 12:30 local time today (Friday).
Alex Vourvachis, administrator of the Dragster.gr web site and writer for X-L magazine very quickly got in touch with an answer to Benni Voss' enquiry yesterday about the quickest Front Wheel Drive car in Europe. "In our country of Greece, Nickos Gasparatos ran 10.235/229.30 kmh with his turbocharged 1.8 Honda Civic (right)", says Alex. "He did 1.561 over sixty feet". So there the matter rests at present but be sure to get in touch if you know any quicker.
Racers are reminded that Thursday 17th August is the deadline for booking power in the pits for the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. The fee is £55 for a 16 amp single phase and £100.00 for 16 amp three phase. There will be a 200% surcharge if power is booked at the event. You can find a booking form on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
Santa Pod Raceway are looking for race cars and bikes to make exhibition passes at the Forza Italia car club event on Saturday 12th August. "Don't worry if your car or bike is not Italian-based", says Darren Prentice. "We are looking for a varied selection to show the wide range of vehicles drag racing has to offer. If you are interested in the track time then please contact me by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01234 782828."
Grumpy likes friendly Mantorp.
4th August: UK Pro Street Bike racer Paul Watson of Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor DynoSpeed Developments says that he had a great time at Mantorp Park and found it a very friendly place.
"We left last Monday and got the ferry from Harwich which was arranged by David from Allsport Logistics", says Grumpy. "We arrived at the Hook a few hours later, drove through Holland and stopped the night in Bremen in Germany. The next day we set off to Puttgarden for the ferry crossing to Demark where we encountered a problem with the ferry people about the crossing and prices. That overcome we entered Demark and crossed it in about two hours to get the next ferry to Sweden. We decided to stop the night before we got to the track where we met Malcolm Francis and Tim Adam who were on their way there too.
"We arrived on Wednesday after the trip to the local hypermarket which is so close to the track and has everything, once there we were kindly shown where to pit by Mia who looked after everyone in the bike pits so a big thank you to her. Once set up we got to work on the bike. We decided to change the way the bike fired the coils and rerouted the ignition leads with some general maintenance too. On Thursday we were scrutineered and chilled and we were joined by Shaun Branch who pitted next to us.
"We took a walk to see the track and wow, I could not believe how uphill it was, then we walked to the finish to see exactly how short the stopping area was, and downhill to boot, so we decided only a thousand foot pass for the first one.
"The first qualifier on Friday was not so good. I guess the hill and braking area were on my mind and the bike launched to the right and crossed lanes - rider error. The second pass was was better, 7.74 shutting off early to test the brakes, we were quite far from a good tune-up as the data proved. This was our first time with the SV05 unleaded race fuel and we were running so rich but safe I guess, and the track was proving tricky. We had a 1.12 sixty foot setting left from the Pod but 1.20 was not so good. We were spinning the tyre quite badly so we took some power out in first gear but only managed an 8.0 and a 1.42 sixty foot, not so great. Only one qualifier left so with some drastic changes we managed a 7.53 and a 1.18 sixty foot, much better and now a good base to tune from.
"We qualified fourth and had Tom Tinndahn with the awesome Buell from G2's George Bryce. This was going to be close, unfortunately I shallow staged too much and when I went on the two-step it pulled back out of stage disqualifying me. I was so disappointed as this was the second time this year this has happened.
"I would like to thank my crew Raging Ray White for taking over Crew Chief duties from Pixie who couldn't be with us, and to Jason Macan of JM motorcycles for all his hard work. Great job guys. Also special thanks to Anders Abrahamson and Anders Larsson who helped out with the SV05 as my order of fuel had not arrived, and to all at Team Motospeed for their help and hospitality. Finally congratulations to Martin Bishop for getting to the finals."
4th August: This weekend Eurodragster.com News sponsor Dragracer magazine is staging the Rotenburg Race Days, which includes the second round of the Toyo Tires Street Eliminator Germany series. Live coverage of Saturday's and Sunday's Street Eliminator action will be available at www.dragracer.tv. If you want to check out the action in the first Street Eliminator round then you can stream forty five minutes of video at www.chevyshop.de/amiforum/Die%20Profi-Raser.divx.
The new issue of the Dragracer magazine is out now. Features include UK Super Pro ET, the FIA Main Event at Santa Pod, John Sleath, King of Europe, the Drachten Nationals, Grand National Dragrace Luckau, Street Eliminator UK and much more. A special price is available to readers outside Germany of €6 including shipping, and a year's subscription is available outside Germany for €38.40. For more details E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the magazine's web site at www.dragracer.de.
Europe's quickest FWDs?
3rd August: Our good buddi Benny Voss says that a new German Front Wheel Drive best was set at a VW tuning event at MZA Luckau at the weekend.
"The Roadrunner Polo (right) is built and driven by Malte Ulrich of East Berlin, and is powered by a turbo VR6 engine with approximately 400 hp", says Benni. "It went through the lights at 10.80/210 kmh. "To improve the traction, it was on slicks and equipped with a wheelie bar, otherwise it is still streetable.
"We thought that it might be the quickest FWD in Europe but Bo Lundvang of Sportbilen.se helped me with my research and told me about a Swedish Golf 1 with VR6 Turbo that has 674 hp and 860 Nm of torque, and that monster does the quarter in a whopping 10.05/237.5 kmh! I would still be interested to hear from anyone about quicker FWD cars in Europe - maybe our friends in the Mediterranean? My E-Mail address is email@example.com."
Pro Mods back on the AIR.
3rd August: The European Pro Mod Racers are back in Norway after a year's absence, and more than twenty teams are heading for this weekend's Exporama Drag Challenge at Amcar International Raceway at Gardermoen. Action kicks off tomorrow (Friday) with two qualifying rounds for all Pro classes, writes Ronnie Krabberød of Right On magazine:
Urban Johansson comes to Norway with a solid lead in the European Championship but the rest of the field are determined to give Urban and his beautiful Corvette '63 a fight for the points. Though Urban seems to have the edge this season with a strong 6.24 record set at Santa Pod Raceway in May, Micke Gullquist showed with victory and a new 367.22 kmh speed record at Veidec Festival that Urban shouldn't expect an easy cruise for the Championship.
Record-breaking is the target for most racers at Gardermoen Raceway. The strip is known for its splendid grip, and most racers performed at their very best the last time they visited Norway two years ago.
"I'm really looking forward to racing at the Exporama Drag Challenge at Gardermoen again" says Jan Arve Nygård, currently number three in the Championship points and presently the fastest on the Nitrous side of the Pro Mod game. "We sat a new personal best of 6.41 at Mantorp but the car is still not performing at its very best. The nitrous system is bugging us but we believe we will soon get there, and we will be very disappointed if we don't run in the 6.30s this weekend. Still the blower guys have the edge just now, and I wouldn't be surprised if we will see the first car dipping into the 6.1s this weekend. The track is probably the best in Europe and I think most teams are really eager to hit the pedal hard!"
Organisers Norsk Dragracing Gardermoen have been preparing the track for record conditions all week, and the weather forecast predicts ten degrees cooler conditions at the Exporama Drag Challenge than at the Veidec Festival. With temperatures in the lower twenties and normal air we could have the record conditions both racers and organisers are looking for.
You can check out the latest FIA Pro Modified points either by clicking on the Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page, or by visiting the European Pro Mod Association web site at www.promod.nu, and you can read more about the Exporama Drag Challenge including entry list and running orders on the NDRG web site at www.ndrg.no.
3rd August: Alex Vourvachis, the administrator of the Dragster.gr web site and writer for X-L magazine, sent us this great picture of a wheelie by Filippos Papafilippou at the last race in Greece. "Fil pulled his Nova about a metre in the air!", says Alex. Click on the picture at right for another shot of Fil's wheelie. Alex had another snippet for us which we will bring you tomorrow.
UK Real Steel Street Eliminator racer Ron Haslett is having a great year, going quicker on every pass and still without nitrous, raising a pile of money for the Macmillan Cancer Trust, and recently appearing on Sky Sports. Now he tells us that a gaming company want to use his wild Cortina in a computer game. "I feel a bit blown away with all the media coverage we've had", says Ron. "I'd like to thank my crew and all of my supporters for their hard work throughout the years, not just at the track". The Cortina will be on display at this weekend's Modified Madness at Beaulieu Motor Museum.
Bob Roberts of Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Andy Robinson Race Cars has been in touch to ask if any Eurodragster.com reader has video of Gus' crew push-starting his Studebaker Pro Mod at Mantorp Park on Sunday. "The team say it was quite easy to start that way, and it led to a pretty impressive speed (best-ever PM speed in Europe - Ed) but there is no plan to adopt it as the normal technique", says Bob. If you can help then please drop Bob a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In response to a number of queries, Eurodragster.com will not be posting live coverage of this weekend's Exporama Drag Challenge at Gardermoen as we are all back at home in the UK. We will of course bring you any news we receive from racers but for results stay tuned to the Norsk Dragracing Gardermoen web site at www.ndrg.no.
The Wild Bunch Trio.
3rd August: Not the name of a band but a busy month for the UK's Wild Bunch who have no less than three Series rounds this month, says Race Co-ordinator Claire Meaddows:
We start the month with a round of our Wild Bunch Series at the UK Northern Nationals at York Dragway this coming weekend, and we are looking forward to our first trip up to that track this season. Then a fortnight later we have another round of our Wild Bunch Series at the UK Truck Show at Santa Pod Raceway on 19th-20th August (commentary by Yours Truly, you have been warned - Ed). This is a new event to us, which will be interesting and should see some more of our members in their Pod débuts. Then one short week later we are at the Open Sports Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway on the August Bank Holiday weekend, another great event.
Two-time Champion Tony Smith and teammate Dave Williams with The Cunning Plan Minivan altered are currently leading the Wild Bunch Series, closely followed by Wild Bunch founder Roy Wilding in his Chariot of Fire altered. Third is Neil Ward in his eight-second Andromeda slingshot, and then we have a tie for fourth place between Sarah Howells in Bernie Nicholas' Destiny's Angel, Joe Stevens in the Back in Black altered and Team B'Sting altered. All these teams and more will be in action throughout August so look out for some close, exciting racing!
To top it all, Real Steel Performance Automotive Products have once again renewed their contingency sponsorship of the Wild Bunch for the second half of the 2006 season so many thanks to Real Steel for their continued support. All three of our August events are rounds of our Real Steel Series, and this is currently headed by two ladies: Helen Smythe leads with the Team Twisted Hell's Belle altered, hotly pursued by Sarah Howells in Destiny's Angel altered. The ladies have been battling it out in recent MSA finals, with the scores being one apiece to date.
For full event details and results, check out the Wild Bunch web site at www.the-wild-bunch.co.uk.
Slicer Evans scoops a 9.4.
3rd August: Consistency was the name of the game for Dave Evans and the Coco Connection team at the Mopar Euro Nats at Santa Pod Raceway, says Andy Bennett of Never Again Racing:
We managed eleven passes over three days, the slowest pass in the high nines, the quickest being a 9.4. We were looking for a new Personal Best but it never came, maybe due to the high temperatures over the weekend, and a scorcher it was - Factor Thirty and still a face as red as a slapped bottom maybe some would say my face its like a slapped bum all the time anyway.
This was the first outing with the Jon and Sharon Hogarth scoop fitted, the cowl induction has been made redundant in favour of the "SID Pro Mod Nitrous Hood Scoop". After a quick word with Jon in the fire up road, it seems we never had the scoop baffle set up just right, so it was back to the drawing board. Andy almost sliced his finger off making the existing baffle plate, a lovely one-inch flapper to the bone which should have been stitched, but because he is such a girl he fixed it back down with string and sellotape instead of going to hospital, the baffle now resigned to the dustbin. Back to the drawing board for next time.
We were not actually testing the driver, the purpose of the weekend was to test and tune the car: different timing, tyre pressures, tweaks here and there trying to dial the car in. So if you thought Dave was asleep in the reaction times, it was intentional, not actually setting off until he was good and ready. Either that or maybe he is becoming geriatric before his time (if he starts going to the toilet in his trousers, then I'll start to worry).
One pass had us all holding our breath, with a tyre pressure set to "hit the wall" psi, Dave veered off left after the launch and ended up about two feet away from the rail, but in good true punk rock spirit he kept his foot firmly planted and drove through it with a 9.6. I dont think we will drop the tyres to "hit the wall" psi again. Still nothing ventured, nothing gained.
On the whole a real success, fine weather, good event, good times. Thanks to all Team Never Again and SID for advice.
Web site updates.
3rd August: Alan Currans has taken his excellent Acceleration Archive web site to the coast for its latest update, a second page of Roger Phillips' photographs. "The only place to be in the recent sweltering temperatures is the seaside - if only that could be combined with a little drag racing action", says Alan. "Well in 1971 Roger Phillips took in a little sea air and fortunately was also on hand for the Brighton Speed Trials which was well supported by a number of drag racing teams including Invader, Stripteaser, Opus One, Gloworm, the Hillbillies, Metronome and many more. The excellent pictures are accompanied by an informative introduction giving the history of the event researched and prepared by Clive Rooms, together with captions by Andy Barrack and Clive Rooms with help from Mike Lintern, John Dickson, John Williamson, Ian Messenger and Paul Jordan from the Brighton History Centre". You can check out the fruits of this collaboration at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
This week's edition of Drag, Rod and Classic Review magazine at www.drcreview.com includes a report on the NSRA Supernationals which took place last weekend at Old Warden near Biggleswade. American hot rodding legend Norm Grabowski was guest of honour and DRC interviewed jovial Norm to find out all about his famous Model T hot rod. In addition, the third batch of photos have been posted in the amateur competition open to drag racing enthusiasts.
2nd August: We were very pleased to hear from TJ O'Brien's partner Pat Ginn who says that she has been overwhelmed by the calls, cards and visits she has had since being diagnosed with a brain tumour last week.
"The surgeon has taken the biopsy and we just have to wait for the results", says Pat. "Hopefully on Monday but we will worry about that then.
"Thank you all for the support you have given TJ and my boys and I will personally thank you all at the track or wherever. When things like this happen it makes you realise how many people need to help each other and just to let you know all know that we will be here for all of you in whatever way we can. I will reply to you all.
"A message to all the guys and girls who are going through problems, and we all know someone, if you are feeling low then call someone and if you are feeling well then tell someone - everyone wants to know.
"Thank you, I'm thinking of you all."
Santa Pod joins the Tour.
2nd August: Obsession Motorsports have welcomed Santa Pod Raceway on board as an associate sponsor for this year's Super Modified Tour to Hockenheim.
"It's great to have Santa Pod Raceway joining forces with us for this event", says Tina Gibbs of Obsession Motorsports. "It highlights Santa Pod's continued commitment to and support for Sportsman racing. On behalf of everyone involved we thank you for your support.
"Santa Pod Raceway join Specialist in Design (SID), Gleeson Wright Security, Oil Control Ltd, Webster Race Engineering, ICE Automotive Racing Engines, Aeromotive, Andy Robinson Race Cars, Power Race Graphics and Allsports Logistics in helping to make this trip possible, and we really are truly grateful to all of our sponsors.
"To find out how your company could be involved, call us on 01483 236262 or E-Mail email@example.com."
2nd August: FIA and FIM/UEM racers are reminded that next Thursday, 10th August, is the deadline for entry to the FIA European Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 7th-10th September. Sportsman racers have one week longer, as entry for those classes closes on 17th August. Entry forms are available on the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc and on the Svensk Dragracing web site at www.dragracing.se.
We are indebted to Svensk Dragracing and Andy Marrs of TSI Timers for sending us the timing data from the weekend's Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park. You can check out the timing data, which for the first time features four decimal places on ETs, by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Many thanks also to Stephen Talbot for his help in extracting the data.
Caroyln Simms has been in touch to ask us to say a big Happy 40th Birthday to Real Steel Street Eliminator UK racer Alan Simms. No sooner said than done Carolyn, have the very happiest of birthdays Al.
Editor's note: Today's news update has cleared the backlog of news which built up whilst we were away in Sweden. If you have sent a news item in the last week and a half and it has not yet been published then please re-send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and it will receive our immediate attention.
Web site updates.
2nd August: Our good buddy Patrik Jacobsson has updated his Racebilder web site with a large number of pictures from the Veidec Festival. "I would like to thank all of the teams for their hospitality", says Patrick. You can check out Patrick's pictures at www.racebilder.nu.
Exporama Drag Challenge preview.
1st August: After a very hot Veidec Festial at Mantorp Park, the European Drag Racing Championship racers are heading for Gardermoen Raceway, Norway and this weekend's Exporama Drag Challenge, writes Ronnie Krabberød of Right On magazine:
The weather forecast seems better than last year when racing both Saturday and Sunday where washed away by heavy rain after a stunning day of qualifying Friday.
The Exporama Drag Challenge 2006 has the largest number of competitors ever and there will be very tough rounds of qualifying to get through to elimination in most classes. In Top Fuel there will be the biggest field ever in Norway with at least nine cars entering. European Championship leader H&aing;kan Nilsson is heading for Norway confident after his first win in Top Fuel at Veidec Festival, but he will meet very tough competition.
Thomas Nataas, racing on home ground, is very eager to repeat his victory from Alastaro and show the Norwegian spectators the real potential in the Rune Fjeld Motorsport Batmobil dragster.
Thomas says "Gardermoen Raceway is a very good track where we can use all the dragster's power. So far this season, we have worked really hard just to get through, but Gardermoen should give us the grip the Top Fuel dragsters need to run some big numbers. We ran 302 mph at Mantorp with only 5.30 ET ("Only"? - Ed), so you better believe we struggled. I think we are going to see the fastest field ever in European Drag Racing at Gardermoen and the European records both in elapsed time and speed are up for grabs! Most racers could and hopefully will run 4.80s and better so this will be a tremendous competition and a super show for the spectators."
The Exporama Drag Challenge will also see the debut of Siw Nystad in Rune Fjeld Motorsports' new Top Fuel dragster. Siw has so far only done some exhibition runs in the new car, but at Exporama Drag Challenge the twenty one year old lady and former Sportsman racer will take on the guys as Liv Berstad did years ago.
Siw says "This will be a new experience for me and I'm very excited and grateful to Rune Fjeld who has given me this opportunity. This is a dream coming true and I shall do my very best to pay back the confidence Rune shows in me and all the knowledge he, Thomas and the rest of the crew have passed on. I ran a 0.875 sixty foot time in a test run at Right On Race & Rock and the launch didn't scare me so I'm really looking forward to doing some full passes, hopefully some four-second runs and the opportunity to race on Sunday, but it will be very hard with very stiff competition."
The Exporama Drag Challenge starts on Friday with racing in all NDRS and Sportsman classes plus two qualifying rounds in all Pro classes.
Malmgren on TV.
1st August: Roger Pettersson of principal sponsor Lahega says that Swedish Pro Stock racer Michael Malmgren made the evening news on Sweden's SVT.
You can look at a on-the-spot report from Swedish National Television at www.svt.se.
"Just as in the previous competition in Finland, the Lahega Pro Stock Racing Team finished this weekend in runner-up spot at the Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park", says Roger. "After the huge crash in the first round of the European Drag Racing Championship at Santa Pod everybody thought the season was over. Based on that, two second places is a big step forward."
Veidec Festival FIM/UEM review.
1st August: FIM/UEM Championship Co-ordinator Lars Andersson has been in touch with his post-event review of the Veidec Festival:
I am now back from the third European Championship this year held at Mantorp Park in sun and more sun. This event was one of the best we have had at Mantorp. The event was so well run it was more often ahead of schedule than behind.
First of all a big thank you to SVEMO and Mantorp Park for the gifts and celebration on my fiftieth birthday on Sunday. For me it is almost normal to celebrate my birthday at Mantorp Park. It is thirty one years since I was first at this event.
First some general things. The track was very good even if it was almost too hot for it. The braking area is too short if you have some small problems - just ask Per Bengtsson. If all is working fine it is okay, but the track does not allow for any problems.
The whole organisation team worked together well . It was very nice to see so many people on both Saturday and Sunday. The grandstands were full. But this year had they put up some barriers so that going in and out in the pits and to the starting area was not a big problem for riders.
In Pro Stock Bike there were nine bikes qualifying and they were all down to seven-second runs. The three Anders were on top as normal. But Anders Larsson had some problems and broke the camshaft and chain. In the eliminations on Sunday was it very exciting. All races were close, or something exciting happened. But in the final it was Anders Abrahamsson against Martin Bishop and Anders took the win. He now has a good lead in the Championship and I feel that he will take it.
In Supertwin we saw a lot of bikes this time. The return of Ulf Nylen was long awaited and he showed that he will be competitive. Joachim Reimer who normally runs very well had a lot of problems and did not make it to the end of the strip after three runs in qualification. In the final it was Ronny Aasen against Lorenz Stöuble and this time it was Lorenz that was the winner. This was good for the Championship which is still alive. But Ronny has a very good chance to secure the Championship at the next event.
In Top Fuel we missed Roel Koedam and Ian King this year. But we still had some Top Fuellers at the race. Eric Teboul and Luigi Feretti had come all the way to Mantorp and Peter Ström was out again with his bike. A welcome return also to Finn Asserbro from Denmark with his six-cylinder bike: he still has a lot of work to do on it but when this one goes well it will be fast. We also had a lot of Funny Bikes and the most impressive was Rickard Gustavsson. The bike's former owner from US, Korry Hogan, was here as an adviser to Rickard. I think that Korry can say that Rickard is doing a good job, ending up as the winner over Peter Str&oum;m in an all-Swedish final. My personal thinking is that Rikard will take the Championship this year if he continues in this way.
These are my short notes from Sweden and Mantorp Park. The next race is in Germany in four weeks. This year are we missing Norway on the schedule. I do really miss this race. It's a very good track and many racers can combine Sweden and Norway with some vacation. I'm hoping that they will solve all the problems and come back next year.
But I will be anticipating Germany keenly now. If the track is like last year will it be a very nice event. I also hope that the weather continues like it has been this year and that we have no problems with rain.
Next weekend will I relax and think of all my friends in Norway.
You can check out the post-veidec Festival FIM/UEM 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. You can also find the points on the King Racing web site at www.kingracing.com.
Eleven-second daily driver.
1st August: Danny Bates of Eurodragster.com News sponsor Adrenaline Race and Performance has been in touch to thank all those involved in the running of the weekend's Mopar Euro Nats at Santa Pod.
"I'd like to thank the organisers for allowing other brands of American vehicles to run", says Danny. "Thanks to these people Adrenaline Race and Performance have managed to achieve the first and only eleven-second pass by a Ford SVT Lightning pick-up truck in the UK, 11.96/113.
"The truck is used every day and runs on Nittos Drag Radial tyres. If anybody has information of a quicker Lightning in Europe we'd love to know for something we have plannned for the future, which will be seen here first at Eurodragster.com."
Fat Boys finish first.
1st August: FB Racing's dream season continued at the Bug Jam where Ian Hook was number one qualifier in Real Steel Street Eliminator UK, won the race and set a new personal best of 8.171/171.
"It had been a real rush to get the car rebuilt in time after damaging the motor in the final of round four (where we lost to Splinter's stunning 8.08)", says Fatty. "In fact, we didn't fire the engine up until the Thursday morning of departure, running the engine in on the RWYB track then changing the oil and filter and retorquing the heads in the pits.
"Our sympathies go out to Colin Lazenby who couldn't run after parts needed for repairs to the big 706 failed to arrive. Believe me we'd rather have raced him than watch him leave early – despite his impromptu rain dance as he loaded the trailer!
"With the rain and crowds our first real action didn't start until Sunday morning when the Pod crew squeezed an amazing four qualifying sessions into a very short space of time. I must be honest, we were surprised at our 8.28 – it was exactly the same tune that gave an 8.39 in the last round – I guess the damage hurt our performance more than we guessed.
"The plan was to take it easy but, with a bye run in round two, we put a little more in and got it exactly right and produced the 8.17. We took a little out after that just for safety's sake but still ran 8.21 in the final.
"We do have a little damage – number one cylinder has quite a high leakdown. However, a lack of funds and the lateness of the season means we'll have to live with it. That's one to cure in the winter, I'll just have to be a little gentle on the old girl.
"Big thanks go to all the other SE racers for a brilliant weekend and a super atmosphere – what a great bunch. Also to Colin for the continued loan of the 'Lazenby-tuned' four-port. Cheers to my crew and thanks for the support to A and E Fire Equipment, the Everest Balti Restaurant, Hot Rod Tees, RS Autoservices, Obsession Motorsports and, of course, the FB Associates.
"I'd also like to say well done to Craig and the Obsession crew for the great result in Super Mod and for finally going faster than me! Good luck in Germany. BTW Craig, street car bits seem to do the business for you – I've got loads of other spares if you want to try any of them out!
"See you all at the Open Sports Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway!"
Get me to the Registrar on time.
1st August: APIRA race official Richard Warburton has contacted us with an appeal for car for his forthcoming wedding.
"Rachael and I are getting married on Friday 18th August and we have been let down on one of the wedding cars", says Richard. "I need a car to transport the best man and myself from Stonehouse, Gloucestershire to Stroud Registry Office and then back to Frampton-on-Severn. The wedding takes place at 15:30 so the car will be needed from about 14:30 until about 16:30-ish. The original car was going to be a 1932 Ford Roadster but due to work commitments the owner has had to back out.
"Preference would be anything with a loud V8 but at this stage I cannot afford to be fussy. Rachael's car is sorted, mid-30s Vauxhall Rod so I cannot be outdone. Driver and partner welcome at the evening reception and fuel money etc will be covered. Please note that Wedding Reception Part 2 will be at the Mid-West Show at Cheltenham Racecourse on Saturday 19th August. If anyone can help please contact me either by E-Mail at email@example.com or call 01453 791818 evenings. Thanks for all your help."
1st August: Congratulations to UK Super Pro ET racer Chris Orthodoxou who broke into the seven second zone for the first time at the Mopar Nats at Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday. Chris ran a 7.97/169 in his stunning new Dodge Viper and backed it up with a 7.99, 7.98 and two 8.00s. On top of this, the car won the 'Ultimate European Mopar' award and Chris also had time to remonstrate with some tired and emotional fans at his band Executive Relief's gig on Saturday night. "All in all a varied and entertaining weekend", says Chris.
Many thanks to Eurodragster.com honorary staff member Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for sending us an updated European Bests sheet including Micke Gullquist's new Pro Modified Speed record of 228.18 mph set at the Veidec Festival. You can view the European Bests by clicking here or by clicking on the European Bests link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
UK Top Fuel licensee Tanya Partridge has asked us to say a big Thank You to Richard Lindahl who responded to her plea here on Eurodragster.com for photographs from her runs at Piteå, and also to Mats of SHRA Luleå for the T-Shirts. "They have all really gone out of their way to help me and I am extremely grateful", says Tanya.
European Championship TV schedules.
1st August: Thanks to Jo Reed of Santa Pod Raceway for sending us the latest schedules for the broadcast of the FIA and FIM/UEM European Championships on the UK's Sky Sports network:
FIA Main Event 2: 03/08/06 17:00 00:30 Sky Sports 2
FIA Main Event 2: 03/08/06 18:30 Sky Sports 2
FIA Main Event 2: 04/08/06 00:00 Sky Sports Xtra
FIA Main Event 2: 04/08/06 07:30 Sky Sports 3
FIA Main Event 2: 04/08/06 12:30 Sky Sports 2
FIA Main Event 2: 04/08/06 19:30 Sky Sports Xtra
FIA Main Event 3: 10/08/06 23:00 Sky Sports 3
FIA Main Event 3: 11/08/06 01:00 Sky Sports 3
FIA Main Event 3: 11/08/06 09:30 Sky Sports 3
FIA Main Event 3: 11/08/06 12:00 Sky Sports 2
FIA Main Event 3: 11/08/06 14:30 Sky Sports 3
FIA Main Event 4: 17/08/06 19:00 Sky Sports 3
FIA Main Event 4: 18/08/06 01:00 Sky Sports 3
FIA Main Event 4: 18/08/06 06:30 Sky Sports 2
FIA Main Event 4: 18/08/06 11:00 Sky Sports 2
FIA Main Event 4: 18/08/06 19:30 Sky Sports 2
FHRA Nitro Nationals 1: 24/08/06 17:00 Sky Sports 2
FHRA Nitro Nationals 1: 25/08/06 01:00 Sky Sports 3
FHRA Nitro Nationals 1: 25/08/06 14:00 Sky Sports 2
FHRA Nitro Nationals 2: 31/08/06 20:30 Sky Sports 3
FHRA Nitro Nationals 2: 01/09/06 00:00 Sky Sports 3
FHRA Nitro Nationals 2: 01/09/06 09:30 Sky Sports 3
FHRA Nitro Nationals 2: 01/09/06 14:00 Sky Sports 2
FHRA Nitro Nationals 2: 01/09/06 19:30 Sky Sports 2
FHRA Nitro Nationals 3: 08/09/06 00:00 Sky Sports 3
FHRA Nitro Nationals 3: 08/09/06 09:30 Sky Sports 3
FHRA Nitro Nationals 3: 08/09/06 12:30 Sky Sports 2
FHRA Nitro Nationals 3: 08/09/06 19:30 Sky Sports 2
FHRA Nitro Nationals 4: 14/09/06 17:00 Sky Sports 2
FHRA Nitro Nationals 4: 15/09/06 00:00 Sky Sports Xtra
FHRA Nitro Nationals 4: 15/09/06 09:30 Sky Sports 2
FHRA Nitro Nationals 4: 15/09/06 14:30 Sky Sports 3
Veidec Festival 1: 21/09/06 18:00 Sky Sports Xtra
Veidec Festival 1: 21/09/06 21:30 Sky Sports Xtra
Veidec Festival 1: 22/09/06 20:00 Sky Sports 3 Digital
Veidec Festival 1: 22/09/06 03:30 Sky Sports Xtra
Veidec Festival 1: 22/09/06 06:30 Sky Sports Xtra
Veidec Festival 2: 28/09/06 17:30 Sky Sports Xtra
Veidec Festival 2: 29/09/06 00:00 Sky Sports Xtra
Veidec Festival 2: 29/09/06 01:30 Sky Sports Xtra
Veidec Festival 2: 29/09/06 11:00 Sky Sports 2 Digital
Veidec Festival 2: 29/09/06 14:30 Sky Sports 3 Digital
Satellite TV schedules are particularly prone to late changes so be sure to keep an eye on your Electronic Programme Guide for last-minute updates.
Web site updates.
1st August: Thanks to Dave McBride for letting us know that photo galleries from the weekend's 2006 Mopar Nats at Santa Pod are now on show at www.moparuk.co.uk.
Andy of Never Again Racing reports that he has totally revamped the team's web site at www.neveragainracing.co.uk, and adds that pictures can also be found on-line at www.impalamuscle.co.uk and www.cococonnection.co.uk.