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31st August: UK Super Street Bike racer Dave Smith has been in touch to thank everyone who contributed towards his 200.07 pass, the UK's first 200 mph Super Street Bike Pass, at Shakespeare County Raceway last weekend:
Thanks mainly to my crew James and Mark, to Fred Furlong for the tyre and a contact at Michelin, also to Richie Brotherton of Richie's Tyres in the USA for help in the setup using the new Michelin Power One, a tyre which is now a direct replacement for the MCR2 with a wear time three times longer.
I just had a gut feeling that it would go real fast and proved myself right as it got better every pass. Those who want to change to to the Michelin will have to be patient with their chassis tune-up to get it right, but it does work well and is worth the effort. To me tuning my bike for the new tyre has been more exciting than using an auto box for the first time, and I can only see it going quicker and faster.
Heezen's Hungarian luck.
31st August: Dutch Supertwin racer Job Heezen has been in touch with a report of his weekend at last week's FIM/UEM Championship round at Kunmadaras:
On the way from Hockenheim we took a few days off and stayed at a camp site near Vienna. It was a typical meeting place for Western European pensioners who decided not to do anything except wash their Toyota's at the on-site car wash. Their days go by with sleeping, eating, resting, eating and sleeping again (The Eurodragster.com staff were there? - Ed). On Thursday we left for the track and when we got to Kunmadaras the contrast couldn't be sharper. On the far side of Hungary, very close to Romania, we arrived in another world. It reminded me of earlier races in the former East Germany, in particular Gross-Dolln. You see all the madness of the cold-war - huge runways, hangers as far as you can see, a complete village isolated from the surrounding area to avoid any contact with the local people. What's left now is just a Russian ghost town with spooky barracks without windows and grass growing onto the roof. I didn't check it out but I would not be surprised if there are still some Russian soldiers left in the buildings who do not know that the cold war is over.
After setting up our camp we started to prepare the bike. Allthough the bike ran a fine 6.9 in Hockenheim on the Sunday, the quickest Supertwin run that day, we discovered a broken intake manifold - almost in two pieces. As Ton Pels, our usual emergency welder in need, had gone home after Hockenheim we had to look for somebody else. Luckely for us our friend Rikard Gustafsson had made the long haul from Sweden to Hungary, brought his welding equipment and was willing to help me out. For the rest of the day nothing out of the ordinary, just the regular things to do.
The first qualifying sessions started on Friday with temperatures already into the 30s C and the track was still a mystery for everybody. The burnout was more or less OK, the start went well but at 330 feet the engine stopped and blew the front cylinder exhaust pipes away. This has not happened before but at that time I didn't see it as a warning. My conclusion was more towards a combination of bad traction and high temperatures, low humidity and lean fuel adjustment. So we made the bike ready for another try, changed the set-up to meet the extreme conditions and went back to the track again. This time the burn-out was even worse but going to the lights the engine ran as usual again. When the light went green I hit the throttle, the bike took off strongly for two metres and then there was a big bang. It happened so fast that I didn't even have the time to close the throttle. Looking at the data it happened 0.2 seconds after the start.
Back in the pits we made the damage report: one cylinder head (front) blew off, both connecting rods bent, exhaust in pieces, one intake- manifold broken plus some minor stuff. Gone was our night's rest, no time to sleep any more. We worked through the night, stopped at four o'clock, went back to work at eight in the morning and finished the bike fifteen minutes before the next qualifying round. At least, that's what we thought.
The last thing we needed to do was to putting the safety straps over the cylinder heads and surprise surprise, they didn't fit any more. With the explosion the steel supports had stretched and bent big time so we couldn't tighten them enough. We had to take the whole thing apart again and started to restore what was left of the supports. Again it was a race against time but we were ready just in time. Because of the restoration job we had no time to dig deep into the reasons why the engine behaved like this so we went to the start line with a lot of second thoughts. I decided to give it a chance as it was our last chance to qualify. We were prepared to shut off the bike at the first sign of disorder and that's what happened, leaving us outside the field.
The bike was still in one piece so now we had more time to think about the possible cause of all this. We checked the usual suspects - ignition, valve timing, cylinder leakage, electrical gremlins, battery - and found no problems there. Then we looked into the fuel system and upon opening the barrel valve, Max found the problem. After cleaning the barrel valve I put the piston back in, adjusted the leakage to the desired percentage and mounted the lines. When adjusting the leakage, I must have turned the piston to the wrong side of the hole. In this position you can set the leakage the same way as usual but now the opening ramp for the fuel curve at acceleration comes in approximately thirty degrees later, making the engine go lean at part throttle. Normally, after the adjustments, you check the position again which I didn't. OK, hold on your comments, we've been punished enough for this !
So there we were, almost a thousand miles from home, outside the ladder, pretty much worn out from the work and the heat, with a bike that was ready to go. On top of that, heavy rain falling on our roof, woke us early on Sunday morning and kept on falling until noon. Allthough the sky was filled with grey clouds it stopped raining for a long period, allowing the track to dry. The track crew sent a message that if the rain stayed away we would be able to start eliminations in one hour. The pits woke up, warmed up the engines, and got ready for an unexpected series of eliminations.
Then, all of a sudden, the tide started to turn for us. One of Matti Vahasaari's crew members came along to tell us that they had damage to their bike and were not able to make the run. This meant that we were back in the race as first alternate, running for sure in the second pairing against Sami Kemppainen. From then on, it was a roller coaster.
We had to make our first serious run on a track that we didn't know yet, no track data available, no clutch settings, nothing. On top of that, the track had been washed out during the night and morning, the temperature was down from thirty four degrees to nineteen degrees and the humidity up from twenty five per cent to a healthy seventy per cent. We put all our theoretical settings in a mixer and went to the start line with the cocktail that came out, knowing that anything could happen, it might fly but it could also head for the guardrail easily. Well, it flew to the end of the track with a 6.934/200 run, the fastest Supertwin run of the weekend. It didn't only make us happy but everybody in the starting area was jumping up and down. And we went straight in the semi's against Hans Olav Olstad.
The semi-final went well too with a 7.16 that put us in the final. Hans Olav didn't make it to the end of the track for reasons that I still don't know (Tune back tomorrow - Ed), his start was OK but he got problems at half track. Waiting at the end of the track I found a problem on my bike, one of the pushrods had a lot of free play. Back in the pits we found out that a cam follower bearing broke causing the loss of power at the end of the track. As the runs were coming quicker and quicker after another it was a race against time once more. Thanks to the Haas Brothers who were willing to lent us their cam follower we had the bike ready for the final. The biggest drawback of the failing cam follower was the fact that our time in the semi's was not as good as we hoped for. Per Bengtsson's time was better and this gave him lane choice which was crucial on this track. The left lane had some tricky spots with irregular concrete which could make the tyre lose traction easily.
The final against Per was one of the most exiting runs this season. I had a slight advantage at the lights, 0.075 to 0.104, and my sixty foot was a bit better too, 1.15 to 1.18. Per was suffering from wheelspin a lot in the first part of the run giving me a nice lead. But then the same happened to me at approximately 400 feet and then again at 1000 feet, where the tyre went up in smoke completely. I think we changed positions two or three times during the run but at the end Per had the better time and won the race.
In the end our weekend was great, what started as a nightmare turned into a beautiful result at the end. We were very close to winning the race but that might have been too much of it. I would like to thank Rikard Gustafsson for his helping hand, without him we wouldn't have reached the final. He didn't have the luck we had this time and broke some very expensive parts, I feel sorry for that.
Get ready for Santa Pod!
Bring on the paper towels.
31st August: After a long lay-off with only one visit to a track in two months - Mantorp Park in July - UK Fuel Altered racer Tony Betts was ready for the Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway:
Team Venom had prepared the car ready for the NFAA round and all looked good. We started the car on the Friday but as we shut it down I smelt a hot plastic smell. On close inspection we realised that the rotors were touching in the supercharger. A phone call to the Wratten Brothers and to my daughter Haley and a spare was on its way up the next morning.
Once fixed we ran it up and all was good, but we had missed the session by ten minutes. This meant we had to make the next two runs as it was a best two of three runs which went into the Final. Our luck was not in as there was another oildown and this meant no run on Saturday, only one run on Sunday, and format would now be the best two runs of two, so we were out.
Although morale was low it was up to some of us to boost the team. Jimmy (Bubbles) Mackenzie had his friend Arnie coming to the track - Arnie is British Powerlifting Champion. What an opportunity to boost morale. Micky Moore stuffed loads of paper towels up the arms of his shirt, he looked like a short tubby Hulk. When Arnie walked into the awning I don't think he could believe his eyes. Welcome to the Snake Pit! The banter continued all weekend and I have never laughed so much. Bubbles was in for it all weekend and took it well. What a great team I have.
On Sunday we were ready for the one and only run we were going to get. We had a new fuel set-up on the car with input from my Crew Chief Kevin, Charlie Draper and Pers Andreason. Venom launched like a Cobra striking with its wheels up in the air and headed for the finish line. A few pedals and she came back down after 300 feet. A 6.9/183 was a good baseline for the European Finals.
Have you seen these men?
31st August: Seven cars made up the B&H Automotive/LA Racing Parts Street Eliminator field at last weekend's Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County, writes Ian Hook:
The line-up included SE rookie Paul Houston with his '67 twin turbo Big Block Chevy-powered Pontiac Firebird and the returning Jason Weir now packing a 2,100 hp Procharged 540 in the '52 Suburban.
Through qualifying Colin Lazenby progressed from a 'gentle' 8.60 to a pole-sitting 8.12. Jeff Meads had the number two spot with an 8.55 and Ian Hook made a strong return with a no-gas 8.95 on only his second full pass on the new 598 Big Block Ford.
Lazenby, Hook, Meads and Houston progressed from the first round, the latter running his first eight with an 8.92. In the semi finals Lazenby put Houston back on the trailer 8.03 to 9.04 whilst Hook and Meads had a very exciting race which went to the driver of the yellow Pop, 8.42 to 8.56. It was all to play for in the final as the winner would re-take the Championship lead. It was Lazenby all the way as he not only took the event win and Championship lead but also became the fourth and final entrant into the Webster Race Engineering Seven Second Club with a 7.95/187 pass.
There were sixty Three Amigos at the annual SE BBQ evening and all entered into the spirit of the Mexican theme, writes Colin Lazenby. The partygoers collectively consumed almost 30 lbs of chicken, burgers, sausages, meatballs and Mexican chilli, though to be fair the FB Racing crew consumed around 25 lbs of this themselves. Did I say the FBs have always been regarded as an ample, well rounded bunch of guys?
Mick the Fish had once again taken on head cook duties though this year the task had been made considerably easier given the afternoon spent on food preparation by Ann-Marie, Jacquie, Diane, Shivey, Claire, Kim and Craig. Mick himself wanted to thank everyone for all their hard work, the decorations, the EZ-E up shelter, courtesy of Mark Todd, but especially the girls (and Craig). We, the class, need to thank Mick the Fish for not succumbing to the pressure of the ravenous FBs, and everyone else, and for not floundering...get it? Mick the Fish, oh why bother...
As I understand it Mick would be more than happy to offer his BBQ cooking services to all-girl hen parties, all-girl volleyball teams and the like - he's made of stout stuff is Mick.
The highlight for me was the hilarity which surrounded the sight of the Wanted posters, all were the creation of Mark O'Hanlon. Davie Murdoch's truck was commandeered as a suitably sized billboard for the postings, and they went down a storm too. My particular favourites were Native American scout, Ian 'Fatty' Hook, the Nancy Boys, none other than Paul Venners and Steve Pat*man. And everyone just loved Wee Willy Winky Jeff Meads in his cute little cowboy outfit.
Never have I been threatened by so much physical abuse by so many individuals – they'll be retributions to this, mark my words. Seriously, many thanks to everyone who contributed on the night. Here's to the SE BBQ night 2010.
Check out the Street Eliminator web site at www.streeteliminator.com for latest standings, news and calendar. The next and penultimate round for the B&H Automotive/LA Racing Parts Street Eliminator series is at the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway on 10th-13th September.
31st August: If you fancy a spot of last-minute testing before the FIA European Finals then Shakespeare County Raceway is hosting a Public Test Weekend on Saturday and Sunday; details at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com. Santa Pod Raceway is hosting VW Action this weekend but the event incorporates a Run What You Brung on Saturday and a Peak Performance Day on Sunday, both of which are open to all; details at www.rwyb.com.
Not so much spy pictures as spying pictures from last weekend's Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. Above left is B&H Automotive/LA Racing Parts Street Eliminator racer Colin Lazenby's '56 being checked out in the pits by at least two members of rival Team P*teman shortly before its first seven-second pass. However, above right is a picture of Colin appearing to be fiddling with Dave Murdoch's Willys shortly before it failed the Cruise. We leave our readers to draw their own conclusions about both pictures.
SCR seeks nostalgia vehicles.
31st August: Shakespeare County Raceway is looking for non-competing nostalgia race cars and bikes to exhibit under cover in a marquee at next month's 21st Anniversary NSRA Hot Rod Drags on 18th-20th September.
"We are looking for any quarter mile machinery which competed in the 1970s to the 1990s", writes SCR's Jerry Cookson. "They don't have to be movers or in pristine condition. Vehicles can be in various states of build but it would be nice to see some of the machines which made our tracks famous in their heyday."
If you have an old race car or bike which you would like to display then please get in contact with Jerry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian Taylor will be signing copies of his UK drag racing history book Crazy Horses at the Hot Rod Drags whilst Sunday features the return a number of legends including some who helped to put the Long Marston venue on the map. For details stay tuned to Eurodragster.com, www.shakespearecountyraceway.com, and the Crazy Horses Blog at the Acceleration Archive.
PMR pupil sets new best.
31st August: Paul Marston Racing's Drag Race School has been steadily working its way through the summer training new drivers at Santa Pod Raceway. The last session at the recent Peak Performance Day featured a new best for the Insanity Vega pick-up, PMR's race car of choice for teaching new drivers:
Just prior to the teaching day, Paul Marston had a few upgrades which he wanted to install on Insanity to make it a little more user friendly and easier to turn round between runs. The aim was better reliability and consistency but School pupil Tony Gibbons was hoping to get close to Mick Howling's best of 10.69 at the SPRC Summernationals where he reached the final round.
The result was that Tony smashed Mick's best out of sight with a footbraked 10.24/127. "It was not supposed to go any faster and a full half second is a lot!", said Paul Marston. "I have to credit Vic Fera at Brevard Cylinder Head, Brevard County, Florida for that one. It’s one of his tricks, way to go Vic!"
PMR would like to thank Matt Seamarks of Gingerman Racing for providing some very professional crewing at short notice at the last teaching session, thanks mate. The classroom bell rings for the last time this year at this Sunday's Peak Performance Day at Santa Pod Raceway. For details of what the Drag School does and what it can do for you check out www.paulmarstonracing.com or click on the link at right.
Web site updates.
31st August: UK Super Modified team Sticky Situation Racing have updated their Blog at www.stickysituationracing.co.uk with a report from the Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway.
Also updating from the Open Sport Nationals is the UK's Chaos Fuel Altered team whose report and pictures you can check out at www.chaos-fuel-altered.com.
Help needed I and II.
30th August: Lee Child of LA Performance Services is urgently seeking two marshals to help at an event in Spain this week. "Because of medical issues with one of our regular crew members we are looking for two extra marshals for the Bug Spain VW event on 4th-6th September", says Lee. "The duration of the trip is this Tuesday evening (1st) until next Tuesday (8th). If you are interested in being part of the crew then please call mee on 07771 590176."
Eurodragster.com is seeking a volunteer to send us a report and pictures from this Friday evening's Parade of Power in Wellingborough. We would require the report and pictures (from a camera rather than a camera phone) as soon as possible after the event, preferably on Saturday, and we can't offer any immediate remuneration apart from your name in lights here on Eurodragster.com and of course our gratitude. If you would like to help then please drop us a line at email@example.com. If you are under 16 then please make sure that your parents know that you are volunteering. If we have more than one volunteer then we will choose the first.
30th August: Finnish Pro Modified team Tami Brander Racing have had to withdraw from the FIA European Finals. The team's Crew Chief Kari Tonteri has had an accident at work, tearing his Achilles tendon, and the team don't want to race without this vital person. As Kari will be out of action for some time the team has also cancelled their entry for the Finnish Championship Final race at Alastaro. Tami Brander Racing will now debut their awesome '67 RS Camaro at next May's FIA Main Event at Santa Pod.
Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding the final version of the official entry list for September's FIA European Finals, which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If you have any queries about FIA European Finals entry then please contact Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Many thanks also to Paula for forwarding Version 2 of the official entry list for September's UK National Finals, which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Entry closes this Friday, 4th September; you can download entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about UK National Finals entry then please contact Paula Marshall as above.
Thomas Hansson has been in touch to ask us to say a big Happy 60th Birthday to Swedish Top Methanol Dragster racer Krister Johansson. "To the best drag racer I know, all the best on your sixtieth birthday", says Thomas. "Happy birthday Krister, sixty but still Timo can't beat you on the Tree."
UK National Finals entry closing.
28th August: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall has been in touch to remind racers that Friday of next week, 4th September, is the official closing date for the UK National Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 26th-27th September. Entry after next Friday, if accepted, will be subject to a late entry fee.
You can check out Version 1 of the UK National Finals entry list by clicking here, and you can download the entry form via the Entry Forms link of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
If you have any queries about UK National Finals entry then please contat Paula Marshall on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail email@example.com.
Like father, like son...
28th August: B&H Automotive/LA Racing Parts Street Eliminator Treasurer and Secretary Ann-Marie Lazenby would like to thank everyone who made son Bradley's Tot Rod runs at this weekend's Open Sport Nationals such a memorable occasion:
Good friends Diane and Wilf Stacey had agreed to bring along Britain's most beautiful Tot Rod, given that Ryan is now almost six feet tall he's long since been unable to fit inside the car. The Staceys had agreed to get the Tot Rod to the track trailered on the back of their camper as they themselves were attending the SE Mexican night BBQ - more on that later (Tomorrow - Ed). We never told Bradley until after Wilf and Diane arrived. He usually hates surprises but on this occasion he was like a kid on Christmas morning when we did tell him.
Bradley's first run took place on the Saturday, this was a check out pass and he was under strict instructions from Wilf to take it easy. Ryan put him on the line. Bradley handled the car exceptionally well running all the way to the finish line and returned to the pits himself. His second run kicked off Sunday's eliminations. He was there at his allotted time and he ran when he was told to. He deep staged (he does it all the time on his PSP) and ran it again to the finish line, 48 mph. His third and final run took place immediately after Sunday eliminations and for this one a large number of spectators remained in their seats. Another deep stage, 0.500 off a Pro tree and a 49 mph run.
Now what worries both Colin and I is that Wilf has been told that he could get three times the power out of the current motor. Now wouldn't that be a sight to see, Bradley leaving the line up on the wheelie bars carrying the front wheels beyond sixty feet...there's a future drag racer in there somewhere, of that we're sure.
To Glenn Stockton, Jerry Cookson and the tireless and hard working Julie Willcox, all of whom had provided their much-appreciated support to allow the runs to take place, I thank you all. Sincere thanks to everyone who helped to make it happen, it means a great deal to both of us.
28th August: Palle Lind writes from Denmark with the news that the Danish Government has ratified the new Terror Law forbidding the possession or use of nitromethane above 40% concentration in that country. "The real bad thing is that they told us that this will become law in the rest of Europe in the near future", says Palle. "We asked what foreigners should do and the answer was that you have to know the Danish law about nitro the same way as you have to know the Danish speed limit". There do however seem to be a couple of possible get-outs in the small print and doubtless the powers-that-be are on the case.
Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding Version 13 of the official entry list for September's FIA European Finals, which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If you have any queries about FIA European Finals entry then please contact Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Thanks also to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for sending us an updated sheet of UK records including Nigel Payne's and Belinda Bull's Super Modified records set at Shakespeare County Raceway last weekend. You can check out the UK records by clicking here or by clicking on the European Bests link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Congratulations to UK Pro ET racer Billy Gane who took his second #1 qualifying spot in a row at the Open Sport Nationals and was presented with £100 cash, £60 Hauser Race Cars voucher and event trophy by Charlie Chivers on behalf of class sponsor Platinum Choice Insurance. For more information about the Pro ET Sponsorship scheme, which is also supported by Motorshack, Toxico, Brize Norton Hot Rod and American Specialist (01993 844144), Real Steel, LA Racing Parts, Performance Unlimited, Cometic Gasket, Total Seal, Engine Data Analysis, Hauser Race Cars, A1 Motor Stores, Inkwell Printing, Penn Autos/Andy Frost Race Transmissions, CP Pistons and South Coast Customs, check out the class' web site at www.pro-et.co.uk.
On the subject of sponsorship, UK Pro Stock Bike racer Dave Beck has asked us to say a big Thank You to Steve Howe of Steve Howe and Sons, traditional joiners and builders, who is one of the sponsors making possible Dave's attendance at the FIA European Finals. No sooner said than done Dave, thanks very much for supporting Dave and the sport Steve.
To add to yesterday's What's on this weekend, Anders Envall tells us that the Skaraborg Street Finals will be held this weekend at the old airfield, now Moholmsstrippen, close to Skövde in between Vänern and Vättern in Sweden. "The quarter mile track has been prepared for the first 100 metres for this two-day event for all types of street cars", says Bostic. "It has been a one-day event for years but now the organisers Motorklubben 402m felt it was time for a whole weekend. All are welcome."
UK Top Methanol Dragster racer Dave Wilson asked us to say a big Thank You to Frans and Christine Steilberg of Werner Habermann Racing for their help after Silverline Drag Racing team member Jim Gray was injured in an accident at Hockenheim. "Frans and Christine were brilliant", says Grumpy. "Frans ran me around, came to the hospital and interpreted, and visited Jim every day. This week I went to pick Jim up and Christine met me halfway between hospital and airport to make sure that we made the return flight. They went way above and beyond normal help and we are very grateful."
Erik Bengtsson tels us that his company Peroxide Propulsion have developed a Hydrogen Peroxide rocket motor intended for small vehicles such as go-karts or bicycles. "As the maximum thrust is over 1000 Newton it should be possible to break a lot of speed records with the motor!", says Erik. "We would be happy to assist drag racing teams on new rocket projects". You can find out more at www.peroxidepropulsion.com.
Back to the FIA European Finals and Santa Pod Raceway tell us that advance ticket sales for the event close at 17:00 UK time next Friday (4th September). You can purchase your tickets and grandstand seats via www.santapod.com or call 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828).
Editor's note: We have day job congestion again today so we have a backlog of news which we shall bring you on tomorrow's update. Stay tuned for that and please keep the news coming to email@example.com.
Welcome ALF Racing grinders.
27th August: We are very pleased to welcome Italian Top Fuel Bike racers Antonio and Luigi Ferretti as sponsors of Eurodragster.com News. ALF Racing have developed a new clutch grinding machine which will doubtless be of interest to racers (click on picture for larger version).
The clutch grinder is designed for sintered car and bike clutch discs. It comes in at 45 cm x 37 cm x 63 cm, weighs fifty kilogrammes, and works on 220v electricity.
For more information either click on the New Grinding Machine logo at left, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call ALF Racing on +39 340 465 8997.
We would like to thank Antonio and Luigi Ferretti very much for their support and we are sure that our readers will repay that support by considering their product when looking for a clutch grinding machine.
An elated team.
27th August: Nigel Payne and the UK's Team Sticky Situation Racing Super Modified team are elated after the weekend's racing at the Open Sport Nationals, despite missing regular Crew Chief Graham Barrs.
"The weekend began with the all too familiar problem of tyre shake off the line and mid track, an issue we have been chasing for many meetings this year", says Sarah Payne. "We knew that the car could sixty foot impressively following a recent Webster Race Engineering Test Day, but following this performance through for the rest of the run was a persistent problem. We had hoped we had solved it for this meeting after making many different adjustments.
"The first qualifying run on Friday left us slightly despondent, only managing a 10.54 whilst the other Super Mods had all managed good solid passes. Back in the pits we made a minor tyre pressure change and we hoped to see some improvement in performance. On the second qualifying run the car launched and flew up the track, not perfect, still a few issues but with an amazing 7.42 ET and a speed of 183.51 mph. At last the car performed like we knew it could. I guess that makes all of my evenings alone while Nigel is tinkering worth it.
"The rest of the weekend confirmed the consistency of the car and backed up the new Super Modified ET record with times within the 7.4s. We left Stratford a very happy team with the bonus of the National Championship under our belt.
"We would like to say a big Thank You to Martin and Ruth Curbishley. Martin kindly stepped in to crew for the weekend in Graham's absence. Your help was much appreciated. Thank you also to all of our sponsors, without whose support we couldn't have progressed this far. Congratulations too to Belinda Bull who ran a new PB and gained the Super Mod speed record, Tim Mugridge and Craig Gibbs who also gained PBs. Oh, and to Jim for his fab fritters! Thank you also to Shakespeare County Raceway for a great track to gain our new records on.
"We look forward to running again at the FIA European Finals."
Bengtsson gains an advantage.
27th August: The new FIM/UEM Championship round in Hungary went just as planned for Swedish Supertwin racer Per Bengtsson and the Beast team.
To have a chance to be European Champion at the end of the season Per had to make up some points on Lorenz Stäuble and that was just what happened in the semi-finals when Per took the victory over Lorenz. Job Heezen, who had big problems during qualifying and found himself outside the ladder on Sunday morning, got his chance as first alternate when Matti Vahasaari's bike didn't make the call. Job got all the way to the final and it was a real battle as Per lost traction half way out and gave it full throttle one more time to find the traction he needed to get the win over Heezen.
"It really was a close final", said a very happy Per after the race was over. "We ran nine runs between 7.00 seconds and 7.20 seconds over the weekend and we knew that we could step it up a little more on Sunday as the track got better. But we didn't want to risk going up in smoke which we almost did in the final. I gave it one more shot on the throttle, it hooked up and we managed to get the win over Job and some very important points.
"A big thank you to all of my crew who worked so well together despite the extremely hot weather (95 Fahrenheit) and a tight time schedule on Sunday because of the delayed start of the elimination caused by rain Sunday morning. I also want to send a thank you to the promoter of the race Josef Hadnagy and his wife Judy for all their enthusiasm, Keith Bartlett ,Geoff Myers and Lars Andersson for planning and making this happen, and the Santa Pod crew for giving us a good and safe race track despite limited resources.
"It feels kind of special to be a part of hopefully a new chapter in European drag racing and we are looking forward to come back to Hungary next year.
"Now we're five points ahead of Lorenz going in to the European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway in three weeks' time. It's a perfect scenario for all the race fans when the Championship will be decided in the last race of the season. And I can promise you that we will do whatever it takes to get the number one plate for next season."
The team will now repair some damaged parts from the Kunmadaras race and have already ordered new spares to be as well prepared as possible before going to England in three weeks' time.
The Beast team wants to thank their sponsors for supporting us in this years Championship: Swedcut, Quaker State, Gates/Lönne, Autoexperten Växjö, Fanhultstvätten Älmhult, Ulvsgården AB, Bentec Engineering and Flexoart.
Beck finds set-up, backing.
27th August: As exclusively announced on Eurodragster.com earlier this week, UK Pro Stock Bike racer and multiple ACU UK Pro Stock Bike Champion Dave Beck is to contest the FIA European Finals in Pro Stock Bike.
"It is going to be an honour to line up against the leading European competitors, including this year's current points leader Ulf Ögge and reigning Champion Fredrik Fredlund" commented Dave, also noting "This is something I have wanted to do for a number of years, but I wanted to make sure I had the right set-up to compete at this level."
A consistent outing at the recent Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County gave the Beck team confidence they could compete at the European Finals. An off-the-trailer 7.24 helped by a good track, plus a 7.23 at 181.9 mph in the final despite very poor air conditions, convinced Dave and his crew of Ric Naylor and Tom Lynskey that they could step it up another notch. "The set-up was consistent despite over 2000 feet of air and we feel that the Santa Pod team will deliver a top-notch track to enable us to go quicker", said Dave.
As well as looking for a consistent tune-up to compete, finances have been a major stumbling block to racing at the highest level in Europe. "We receive great support from our long standing sponsors in order to compete in the ACU Championship, but I haven't been able to stretch to the European rounds as well", admitted Dave. "However I have been very honoured to have a number of anonymous benefactors step up and contribute to the funding for the European Finals. This extra help has made a lot of difference and we are almost there financially. Finally, I would like to thank my wife Charlotte for her support, without which my racing programme wouldn't be possible."
Dave Beck Racing is proud to be supported by MTC Engineering, Ward Performance, Fast by Gast, PR Factory Store, Nimbus Motorsports, Motorshack and Stephen Moon Consulting.
The team is still looking for further sponsorship to complete the support package for the FIA European Finals and interested parties can contact Dave on 07771 652139 or at email@example.com.
Into the zone.
27th August: B&H Automotive/LA Racing Parts Street Eliminator racer Colin Lazenby would like to thank pretty much everyone for his own milestone achievement, a seven-second pass, at this weekend's event at Shakespeare County Raceway:
Self, our kid and Clive Bond had arranged to meet as the gates opened 11:00 on Thursday. We had stuff to do - I put the rockers back on and Clive had the transmission cooler to finish, so that just left the re-mounting, plumbing and wiring all to do, so not much. Oh, don't forget to throw in one rather frustrating journey to home and back before we were done. Late on Thursday we warmed it, primed and fired it and with all OK Clive joined us for a spot of well earned dinner and a very small beer, really officer, before leaving for France. Garry Coull joined us bright and early Friday morning, having left somewhere around the south lakes at 04:00 hrs the same morning.
With the oil warmed and primed we fired it up when we were called and though we never discussed the first of the weekend's tunes we'd gone to the line with a lazy, soft starting point and we rewarded ourselves with a not to be sniffed at 8.60/177.4. Onto the second session, and having had chance to digest the good and bad points of the previous run we made our changes but created a marginal rattling of the tyres (for the first time in fifteen runs) which caught me by surprise but nonetheless found an improving 8.47/178.1. For run 3 on the Friday we made the tiniest of changes to step up to our best run of the day, 8.20/181.4, man those 180+ mph runs feel good. Saturday brought about many challenges for the Shakespeare County Racewat track crew - hey John Cross, thanks buddy - but they stuck with it and in our only session of the day we went quicker still with an 8.12/184.3 mph.
The cruise was hot, no I mean really hot, and aside from the odd mishap it proved to be uneventful for us. Clive's new trans cooler installation had knocked thirty five degrees off the transmission temperature so the Ultimate Race Cara upgrade was hugely successful. I gave a ride to ace photographer Matthew Woods on the last leg of the cruise and I publically apologise for scaring the living daylights out of him - at least he didn't scream, or so he said.
On Sunday we were all greeted by glorious sunshine. We had an earned bye and we used it to our advantage by tuning for something special, we found it too with a beautiful arrow straight 8.09/185.4, incidentally our best ever speed was 185.6 mph. And we realised that we were oh so close to that sweet spot. We had new boy Paul Houston with his Sleath Race Cars twin turbo Big Block in the semis. Garry was happy to step up the tune but knew he had to stay well away from an aborted run, he provided me with an 8.03/186.3 (new Personal Best), damn those pesky turbo motors.
And onto the Finals, Jeff Meads and us again. Now Jeff likes to race, hell, we love to race. Garry and I debated the tune beforehand, Garry got his way and I accepted defeat, at least in the debate. Onto the race itself, no messing about, pre-stage and stage, Jeff gave us a sporting head start and we were off onto another arrow straight run. I knew it was fast, and quick. Just before I got out of the car I received a text from Tog which simply said "Congrats". I packed the chute and headed back. On the return road Ann-Marie flagged me down - I thought I was in trouble - she leant through the window and whispered those sweet numbers 7.95 and 187 mph.
To the team Crew Chief Garry Coull, our Bri my rock, Ann-Marie and Jacquie and for this weekend Richard and Claire, and Leo many thanks. For the words of congratulatory support from every corner of drag racing I have to say we've been pretty overwhelmed. To Andy and Kate and of course Luke of Andy Robinson Race Cars, my chassis builder and some, many thanks. To Steve Clark at Nimbus Motorsports, again a big thank you. Torco octane booster testing is now complete Steve. To Marge and Carl Rossler, for providing me with the best transmission in the world, I thank you. And to Sonny's and Clive Bond, for giving us a motor capable of delivering any tunes we care to throw at it, I thank you. And finally to the guys and gals of B&H Automotive/LA Racing Parts Street Eliminator, you're all completely insane and I love you (weeps uncontrollably).
The FBs are back.
27th August: Fellow B&H Automotive/LA Racing Parts Street Eliminator team FB Racing are as pleased as punch with their first full weekend competing in the series with the new motor in their '34 Ford.
"We ran our first ever all-motor nine and then proceeded to run an eight without gas as well!", says driver Ian Hook. "We went on to an 8.52 on only our third ever full pass on the 598 before being knocked out by Jeff Meads in an absolute thriller of a semi final when the lead changed an incredible four times (almost like something from the movies!). But best of all was that both engine and car have come home in one piece!
We'd like to pass on our congratulations to Colin and the rest of Team '56 on winning the event and breaking into the sevens - it must have seemed an awfully long time after getting so close with the 8.01! Thanks also to Colin and Ann-Marie for the organising the barbie and to Mick The Fish for his hard work feeding us all on Saturday night. A great time was had by all (More about that tomorrow - Ed).
We are really looking forward to the European Finals and we will be trying very hard to better our overall best of 8.17. And after that? Who knows!
Check out www.streeteliminator.com for the latest news from the Series. Updated points tables will be posted before the end of the week.
First time in...
27th August: UK Pro ET racer Brian Huxley has been in touch to explain Top Banana Too's guardrail trip at the Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway.
"We spat out a rear core plug on the start line which resulted in the engine revs going so high that the 460 broke a rod and locked the engine up", says Brian. "Water got under the slicks, I hadn't even had time to shift into second gear, the next thing I knew I was heading for the guardrail. I had just enough time to break and to make sure that everything was switched off and then get the car over to the side of the track. This all happened I think over about two seconds - as I said to the paramedics I'm shaken but not stirred. It could have been worse, it could have happened at half track. Be grateful for small mercies!
"The car isn't too badly damaged, front left wing and left rear wing, the only sad thing is that it was Lee's and my number one engine so we will now repair it and have to put in the number two engine. My other son Marc has a business fabricating roll cages and carrying out chassis work so he can fix the bodywork. So we hope to see you all at Santa Pod Raceway for the European Finals.
"Thank you to all the staff at Shakespeare County Raceway for their fast response and their concern for my safety. Thanks also to all the racers who came up to us and showed concern. All I can say is that we are all a drag racing family. Thanks again.
"Not too bad a record - first time into the armco in twenty eight years."
27th August: 7.002 at 198 mph. Vince Gibbs of the UK's Nosferatu Racing Super Pro ET team knows that you can get closer to a six, but he says that three thousandths is still a tiny amount and only 1.5 mph away from the magic 200 as well. "As my dad would say it's a gnats whisker away, or my mate from up North would be a bit more vulgar (answers on a postcard please)", says Vince.
"We had a cracking weekend at the Open Sports Nationals. We managed to qualify third with Barry Giles and Rick Cooke topping the qualifying sheet. Our first round was against Ashley Bell who had been having major problems over the weekend struggling to get into the bracket and like the true sportsmen they are Ashley and team came to our pit and basically said "You have an easy win so don't try to cut a good reaction time and lose the opportunity to get your six". Thanks guys, as the saying goes what goes around comes around so no doubt you will have some good luck owed to you.
"Our next event is the European Finals at Santa Pod where we will have some new parts to help us in our quest. We are also working on the Nosferatu Shuffle which is a team dance which we will perform when we get the six, so keep your eyes open.
"Thanks to the team Mysterious, Hunch, Igor, Sparks, Pugsley and Wednesday for all of their help and to Mrs Fearless for the fantastic food and support. Thanks to the race fans who visited us in the pits and a big Thank You to our sponsors The Gothic Shop, Dark Cult, Hoosier Tyre, Torco Racing Oils, Hauser Racing, Wipac and Fiery Furnace.
"Lastly well done Andy on winning the Nosferatu Team competition by predicting the closest ET for the weekend with a 6.999. Keep checking our web site at www.nosferatu-racing.co.uk for more competitions, pictures, news, video and much more."
Six seconds, a Chevy on Fuel.
27th August: UK Fuel Altered racer Jon Best has been in touch with a report of his weekend at the Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway, where in the course of one run he blasted into the sixes and took more than three seconds off his Personal Best:
We elected not to run on Friday as we were unsure of the track conditions. Saturday dawned and on inspection the track looked excellent. The rest of the day became a bit hazy, but here's a brief account of what I remember. We were initially down to run at around lunchtime. With the car in a go state on Friday, we ended up being first into the pairing lanes, a bit early. It turned out that due to downtime we'd be waiting a few hours before eventually getting to run. With the track proving quite tricky, and after Bob Glassup nearly cuddled the armco, the right hand lane was the only choice for the rest of the NFAA guys.
When we fired up everything sounded healthy and oil pressure was fine. A small burnout and back-up went to plan, but having backed down the clutch a fair bit, the heat caused the clutch pack and pedal to stick. Eventually it clicked into forward gear, but it took quite a brutal stamp of the pedal to get there. The run itself was fairly straightforward until I went through the lights. I lifted off the gas pedal only to be plastered in oil. Visibility went a little south, so having swept some of the oil off my visor, and avoided the field, I hit the chutes, turned the fuel off, and coasted to a halt.
The fire truck was alongside me before I came to a halt, though fortunately they weren't called into action. Thank you though guys, it was nice to be looked after. When I realised only one chute had deployed, I figured the ET and speed must have been a little below par since I pulled up quickly. When Dave and Mark arrived in the tow car, their words were "That was fine, but it was only a 6.71".
I thought it was some sort of wind-up and demanded a proper answer, but no, it was a 6.711/209.32. My previous PB had been a 10.0 a few months ago so I was more than a little chuffed, and I was holding back the tears when I found a crowd of thirty-odd people in the pits clapping. I was speechless, and still am to be honest. It was the happiest moment of my life, and made every penny and hour spent by myself, Fester and the crew more than worth it. We're finally licensed and can race in the NFAA and have some fun!
We suffered a melted piston and minor damage to a head, along with the body cracking in two places, but it's all fixable, and my oilbath didn't leave me looking any uglier. A huge thank you to the following people for making this weekend, and the rest of this year, happen. My crew Bill Felstead, Johnny Hall, Dave McKenzie, Mark Newman, Dave Eaton, Pit Rat Luke - you're all stars, thank you guys. A big thanks to Paul Stubbings for helping to get us out of trouble on Thursday, we've been chasing air bottle issues since day one, this should be fixed now. Finally, to the best friends in the world I could ever ask for: Adam Gleadow, Joe Bond, Dom Romney and PWB. You guys are awesome.
For the FIA European Finals we have some sponsors on board, who've very kindly helped us both financially and equipment-wise. Ideal Scaffolding, GMS Electrical, and lastly and most recently Wright Guards Security, run of course by my buddy Matthew Wright for whom I crewed a few seasons ago with the Who Dares Wins nitro-burning altered. To our sponsors, thanks guys, we'll do our very best to run the numbers. For anyone wanting to get involved in funding a nitro-burning Chevy Big Block, you can get in touch via the web site at www.fuelaltered.co.uk. Finally, we are in the process of sorting out some merchandising, so for the Chevy nuts out there there'll be some Chevy on Fuel T-Shirts available from our pit at the European Finals. See you there!
27th August: The latest T-Shirt from Eurodragster.com News sponsor Tireshake.com (right, click on picture for large version) comes in all sizes from kids' to XXXL. The shirt costs only €12 and can be ordered via the New link at www.tireshake.com. You will also be able to find Tirehake.com in the Leanders Brothers' Top Methanol FC pit at the FIA European Finals with a limited range of merchandise.
Patrick McPartland and Rich, Nick and The Devil team have been in touch to ask us to say a big Congratulations to Richard Colby on winning the 2009 Outlaw Anglia Series. No sooner said than done guys, congratulations Richard.
27th August: It was another exciting and tough race weekend for Eurodragster.com News sponsor the Erbacher Top Fuel Racing Team at their home track, the famous Hockenheimring.
For Lorenz Stäuble the race was an ideal opportunity to test the set-up for the next Championship round in Hungary as the Hockenheim race was not part of the UEM championship. Urs Erbacher was fighting for points in the FIA Championship race and there was a lot of prestige in it as he is the local hero for many of the drag racing fans on site.
Nitro Bike Thunder qualifying: The Nitro Bikes decide the final pairing in a so called Cannonball race. Four qualifying runs, one void result and the two teams with best average runtime (Top Fuel Bike and Supertwin) are in the final. Without any pressure to chase Championship points Lo and his team went into the competition. The quickest Supertwin run of 6.627 seconds was a clear statement and two tenths of a second faster than their competitors. The strategy and the set-up worked. After four qualifying runs Lo had an average run time of 6.801 seconds for the final.
Top Fuel Dragster qualifying: After four qualifying runs Urs ended up in fifth place with a time of 5.044 seconds on the scoreboard. During the Night Show the team demonstrated what they were capable of: 4.948 seconds, the fastest time of the night runs. The crowd just went crazy. There is no better and more exciting race experience than to feel and hear 2 x 8000 horsepower shooting through the night.
Top Fuel Dragster eliminations: After a long qualifying day Urs was ready for the race on Sunday morning. Risto Poutiainen qualified number four and had lane choice for the first round. This was Urs' destiny. His lane didn't have enough grip to hold the power produced by the Top Fuel Dragster. The rear wheel started to spin at about sixty metres out and Urs had to lift. Despite the better reaction time Urs had no chance to catch up with the Finn. What a pity! The race for the dragster team was over after the first round. But we will take revenge on Risto, that's for sure.
Nitro Bike Thunder final: For the Top Fuel Bikes Ian King qualified for the Final. The direct match between four-cylinder and two-cylinder Nitro Bikes is like comparing apples with oranges. Both are fruits but not the same. But unfortunately the race was over for Lo before the lights ran. During the burnout the engine revs went high and hit the rev limiter which cut off the engine as it is supposed to. But this was the wrong moment for it. It would have been possible to win the race. The overall performance of the weekend shows that the team could be confident about the next race in Hungary where we were to fight for points and defend our lead in the Supertwin Championship.
We would like to say thank you to all our sponsors, families and friends for their support and we are looking forward to seeing you again at the 2010 NitrOlympx at Hockenheim.
What's on this weekend.
27th August: The Autumn Championships takes place at Pite Dragway at Piteåa, Sweden, on Saturday and Sunday. The event, organised by SHRA Luleå, is a round of the Toyo Scandinavian Dragracing Series High Five Points championship. More details at www.shralulea.se.
The UK Northern Nationals will be taking place at York Raceway on Sunday and Monday, organised by the Pennine Drag Racing Club. This event includes Round 5 of the Northern Drag Racing Championship. Sunday features the Modders/Tuners Shootout Round 6, Hot Rod Challenge qualifying, Air-Cooled Eliminators qualifying, Northern Drag Racing Championship qualifying, American Super Stock Round 6 and Run What You Brung. On Bank Holiday Monday there will be Jap Tuners, the final round of American Super Stock, the final round of Air-Cooled Eliminators, the final round of the Northern Drag Racing Championship, the final round of the Hot Rod Challenge, and more RWYB. More information at www.york-raceway.co.uk.
The DEFA Finals takes place at Finland's Alastaro from Friday to Sunday. The DEFA Finals is the final round of the Nordic Drag Racing Series, with the exception of Pro Modified, as well as the Finnish Championship. More details at www.fhra.fi and about the NDRS at www.dragracing.se.
At Gardermoen, Norway on Saturday and Sunday the Right On Street Finals will have an unusual format in that rallycross will be taking place in addition to drag racing. Furthermore, it will be possible for the price of 250 Norwegian Krone to register your car on the gate to run at the event. A full range of Sportsman classes will be running and Erik Wallinder will be making demo passes in the Rimfrost Nostalgia Fuel Funny Car.
On Saturday at Hoškovice–Mnichovo Hradište in the Czech Republic, the final round of Czech National Championship will be taking place. More information is available at www.dragster.cz and at www.cedrag.com.
At Meidl Airport Kft, Fertoszentmiklós, Hungary on Sunday the MGYSZ will be holding a race for capacity-restricted and Special (car and bike) classes as part of the Red Bull Hungarian Championship. More details at www.dragracing.hu, www.dragrace.atw.hu and www.cedrag.com.
Web site updates.
27th August: We have two Blog entries for you today. First up is UK Top Methanol Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Derek Flynn who recounts his latest lap on the drag racing roller coaster, at last week's NitrOlympX at Hockenheim. Also Blogging is Luke Bennett of the UK's Bennett Racing blown-alcohol altered team who tells the tale of the team's NFAA victory at the Open Sport Nationals. As ever you can check out the latest Blog entries by clicking here or by clicking on the Racer Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Ernstl of no surname has updated his gallery site with pictures from the Extreme Bike Weekend in Kunmadaras which of course included the latest FIM/UEM Championship round. You can find Ernstl's pictures at ernstl.dragspace.at/2009/2009.html.
The many Mopar fans amongst our readers will be interested to check out the latest update on on Cedrag.com which features Doc Stinger's Mopar Garage in Voitsberg, Austria. The article makes excellent reading although be prepared to cry tears of pure jealousy when you see just how many Mopars are hanging around the Garage. Check it out at www.cedrag.com.
Joon realises American dream.
26th August: Dutch Top Fuel racer, Blogger and joint Eurodragster.com webcam sponsor Lex Joon has long had an American Dream. That dream was to compete with the best drag racers in the world in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Joon's dream is finally becoming a reality as he prepares his MPM International Oil Company Top Fuel Dragster to make its American début. Joon will be competing at the last two races on the 2009 schedule, the Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the Auto Club Finals at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Joon, the most successful drag racer in the history of the Netherlands, won several class championships before becoming the FIA European Top Fuel Champion in 2005 and runner-up in 2007 and 2008. The highly successful Dutch racer never made it a secret that he hoped someday to compete in the NHRA. Now that dream is happening for the likeable and talented Joon, as he embarks on what is appropriately being dubbed as the Lex Joon Racing American Dream Tour 2009.
"I had the opportunity to race a Top Alcohol Funny Car at the Winternationals in 2000 and I knew I wanted to come back some day", explained Joon. "Then the idea to race in the United States started when we clinched the 2005 Championship. We bought the car from David Baca and I knew we had a competitive car. Racing with the best in the business means you have to give everything you have. This is something I am used to doing but most of the time we are hindered by the condition of the tracks on which we are running. The NHRA is famous for their tracks and the excellent way they maintain them."
In March of this year, the team announced their quest to travel to the United States and compete in the NHRA and now their dream has come true. Major sponsor MPM International Oil Company of Delft, the Netherlands has made it possible for Joon and his team to join the American ranks at the last two races of the year. To add to the excitement Joon and his team will host MPM European guests in pitside hospitality in Las Vegas.
“This opportunity is not only a dream come true for me but it also is the next step in my career”, explained Joon. “There is not a much better place to start your NHRA career than in Las Vegas and then follow it up with racing at the season finale in Pomona.
“I am looking forward to showing our sponsor MPM Oil and their guests how exciting and popular racing is in the United States. I am also looking forward to meeting all the competitors, supporters and fans that have the same bug in their blood that I have. I like to call it the "drag bug". The amount of people you meet is tremendous and I am amazed at how many Americans have European roots and like to talk about it."
Joon has hired Kevin Poynter to oversee the US operation and act as Crew Chief while racing in the States. Joon Racing team member Sebastian Visser will act as Assistant Crew Chief, working closely with Poynter.
“I'm pleased to have Kevin working with us and I know he will fit in perfectly with my crew”, said Joon. “He is a much appreciated tuner in the US and has a good track record of tuning quick runs without breaking parts, which is something for which my team has a trademark in Europe. With Kevin, I am confident we have one of the best tuners on board to send our MPM Oil Dragster on record runs.”
Poynter is currently living in southern California with his wife Terri and daughter Sonja and spends his time customising his home. He has an impressive resumé consisting of handling the responsibilities of Crew Chief for Doug Herbert, JR Todd and David Baca. He was Assistant Crew Chief to John Medlen on Eric Medlen's Funny Car and for five World Championships won by John Force. He also was a test pilot for David Baca. The talented tuner has been sitting on the sidelines impatiently awaiting an opportunity to put his skills to the test.
“Lex and I have been friends for about five years”, said Poynter, “and when he called and asked if I would help him realize his dream, I jumped at the chance. As I've sat at home these past months, I just knew that if I were out there I would be doing my best not to struggle knowing that there are some really talented Crew Chiefs in the wings just chomping at the bit for an opportunity to show what they have to offer. And Lex has given me that opportunity. I am ready to go racing; I just wish he were here and ready to race now. Racing in the States has been Lex's dream and I am going to help him see it through. Lex, Sebastian and I have been putting together a game plan and are looking to test somewhere before Las Vegas. With two races and possibly one test session, we are going to put our best foot forward to represent MPM Oil and Lex's other sponsors.
“I am very excited that Lex has asked me to help him and I plan on taking full advantage of the resources he brings with him. We will be a threat and we are planning to ruin some title hopes. The way Lex runs the car over in the FIA is very similar to the way I ran JR's car and we were able to do some damage with it. So we'll just make a few small changes to Lex's dragster and then let it loose. It's show time and everyone in this program is hungry and I'm ready for war.”
The race car will be shipped from Joon's race shop in Zaandam (the Netherlands) along with spare parts and tools within the next couple of weeks.
According to Joon, “This is a dream come true for me, so we call this trip our American Dream Tour. Drag racing is such a big part of my life and to be able to take my racing to the next level is exciting. I have raced for almost thirty years in a sport that was hardly known in Europe in the beginning.
“Making this trip with my main sponsor MPM International Oil Company is great, especially now that they are interested in following my dream. Not only are they funding our trip, but they also wish to start selling their products in a land of great opportunities. This trip is a good chance to optimise relationships between the USA and Europe. We are looking to offer pitside hospitality at both races, and perhaps we can pique the interest of some European and American companies to support us and help make it possible for us to attend more races next year and keep living our American Dream.”
Failed by a wheel rim.
26th August: Theo Hürlimann of Rolf Ammann's Blown Nugget Pro Mod team tells us that Rolf's crash at Hockenheim was caused by a wheel rim failure.
"During the repair work in 2007 we changed all four rims and wheels because the right side wheels were smashed", says Theo. "In 2008 we raced at Hockenheim and the European Finals and we ran a new Personal Best of 6.385 at the FIA Main Event this year. So we had done three races with the new wheels but a rim broke and the car almost went out of control.
"So there was no problem with the car and no driving error, "just" a broken rim. Next year we will use Fuel wheels as they are stronger.
"The German fans collected about €2500 to help us fix the car! Thanks again to all the fans and spectators. We will be back next year."
26th August: UK Super Pro ET and Comp Eliminator racer John Tebenham left the FIA Main Event with a best of 7.71 and several other 7.7s under his belt, but his departure was early due to a leaking liner. John has been in touch to let us know that he will not be racing his crowd-favourite Lightning McQueen Probe at the FIA European Finals and that the car may be put up for sale.
"With a big rebuild including a big valve head and a bigger turbo, things were looking great on the dyno with loads of power", says JT. "Then the engine seized due to a split block. A new engine was built and dyno'd, then at full chat it snapped the crank, split the block again and broke loads of bits.
"With another massive engine bill the car may be up for sale, turn-key or roller. If it's dry at the FIA European Finals then I will be there to chat about price etc. Or if wet I will be in Australia!"
26th August: The match-ups everyone has been aching to see all these years are going to happen as multiple ACU UK Pro Stock Bike Champion Dave Beck has confirmed that he is to contest FIM/UEM Pro Stock Bike at the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. Dave tells us that his late entry has been accepted, so we can finally see him take on Europe's other finest.
UK Sportsman ET racer John Parker left the weekend's Open Sport Nationals with mixed emotions. "I ran a new Personal Best of 12.71 for the Mustang GT, only to find the diff leaking on the morning of race day", says Billy. "Big thanks to Graham Motler The Caravan Man for sorting out our leaking cover and getting us back on the road - cheers mate. I would just like to tell Spencer that this was not some elaborate plan to avoid the final showdown. Or was it?"
Many thanks to Wayne Schreier for forwarding us the official timing data from the Open Sport Nationals. You can check out the OSN timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Santa Pod Raceway are again offering race teams fully-serviced portable toilets for the FIA European Finals. Each portable toilet costs £100 plus VAT. To book your portable toilet please E-Mail Darren Prentice at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Claire Meaddows and all the family asked us to say a big Happy Birthday for yesterday (Tuesday) to UK Wild Bunch racer Crazy Chris Hartnell. Claire sent the E-Mail well in time for yesterday's news update but as explained below we were not able to post any news yesterday, so apologies to Chris and to Claire for that. Hope you had a good day Chris.
Congratulations to UK Sportsman ET racer Steve Unsworth and wife Sarah of Gecko Racing who were recently married. Steve and Sarah managed to incorporate the drag racing theme into their wedding including the cake at right (click on picture for large version).
Eurodragster.com is seeking a volunteer to send us a report and pictures from next Friday evening's Parade of Power in Wellingborough. We would require the report and pictures (from a camera rather than a camera phone) as soon as possible after the event, preferably on Saturday, and we can't offer any immediate remuneration apart from your name in lights here on Eurodragster.com and of course our gratitude. If you would like to help then please drop us a line at email@example.com. If you are under 16 then please make sure that your parents know that you are volunteering. If we have more than one volunteer then we will choose the first.
Apologies for the lack of a news update yesterday. Your News Editor had to make an unplanned visit to his employer's contingency site and didn't have the necessary access to E-Mail and file transfer. Unfortunately the day off-line has caused quite a large backlog although luckily Tog is not at work today so he will spend the day catching up. Stay tuned for updates from Urs Erbacher, Nigel Payne, Colin Lazenby, Bradley Lazenby, Ian Hook, Vince Gibbs and Jon Best, two Blog updates, and more, and please keep those news updates coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kunmadaras FIM/UEM review.
26th August: FIM/UEM European Drag Bike Championship Co-ordinator Lars Andersson has been in touch with his regular review of the latest Championship round, this time the inaugural Championship event at Kunmadaras in Hungary:
It has been a very exciting weekend. I left Sweden on Thursday and had some small feelings inside me. Would this be a success or not? Would the track be able to race on or not? I had been phoning Darren Prentice who arrived one week earlier and has been working on the track to ask if it was going to be good or not. All he could say was that it was going to be safe.
Arriving in Budapest on Thursday afternoon and I was picked up by Attila Nagy who had earlier picked up Ted Bartlett (UEM Sporting President). Going to the track in sunshine and hot weather was nice. Arriving at the track and meeting Judy who is the wife of Josef, the organiser of the event, made me feel good.
But when I saw the track I was a little bit confused again. But after looking a little bit closer and talking to all my friends that made me feel good again. Also the Hungarian hospitality put me in a good mood.
After the first round there was a little bit of talking with many teams and they all said that the first part of the track was not so good. We made some small changes and in the next qualifying round times started to go down. We to have a three rounds on Friday and times again started to get better. To cut a long story short about the track is it easier to say that the track got better all the time and I am sure that next year can we have some records on the track. It is very flat and has a long and safe braking area. Maybe the track needs to be ground to smoothen out the joints between each concrete block and also to take some of the rough parts away from the track.
Just to talk a little bit more about weather and other things. On Friday it was very sunny and hot, and on Saturday was it even hotter. At least I think so. When we left the track on Saturday afternoon it was 39 C on the thermometer in the car. That is warm. But when we woke up on Sunday morning it was cooler and raining. The rain stopped at noon but it was 16:00 before the track was dry and we could start racing and most of the spectators had left the area. But those people who did stay could see one of the very best events I have ever been to. We managed to finish at around 19:15 and then we also had a big oil clean-up. So it was not so bad. Unfortunately there were not so many spectators who saw this great racing. Most of them were not used to the fact that in drag racing we never give up until it is too dark. But the rest had the chance to see maybe the best race this year.
After qualifying we had some good times. When Ulf Ögge is running 7.32 the track is not so bad. Fredrik Fredlund managed to run 7.41 which is one of his best times this year. Many other people managed to run really good times also. It was very nice to see many of the GreeK riders back at the track. I do understand that it is a long way from Greece to Scandinavia and England but I do hope they will make it again some time because they do have good machines and can make good times. Martin Bishop scared us all when part of his faring came off and the bike jumped almost right against the wall without hitting it. But before we understood what had happened it was wery quiet. At the end of the race it was Ögge and Fredlund in the final, and Ögge won in 7.20 just four hundredths of a second off his record. Now Ulf is leading the Championship by fifteen points so it is all very open before the European Finals. Of cause Ulf has an advantage but anything can happen.
In Superwwin Hans Olav Olstad was the number one qualifier just ahead of Per Bengtsson and Lorenz Stäuble. Job Heezen who was running very well earlier this year did not qualify so he was the first alternate. Just before the start of eliminations Matti Vahasaari realised that his bike could not run so Job had to take his place in eliminations and did this with a six-second run. Job managed to take next win also against Hans Olav. So suddenly the alternate who had big problems on Friday and Saturday was in the final against Per Bengtsson, who had races Lorenz Stäble in the semi final. But after a very exciting race in which they changed place several times Per Bengtsson was the winner of the event. This puts Per Bengtsson in first position before the Finals in England with five points' lead over Lorenz. So if we have Lorenz and Per in the final in England then the winner will be the Champion for 2009.
In Top Fuel Bike Ian King was the winner and the strongest for the entire event. Rene van der Berg and Kai Selkämä tried to give him a match but Ian was strongest. Ian qualified with a 6.79 pass and ran 6.4, 6.4 and 6.5 in eliminations on a new track which had not been used for this kind of racing before. Rickard Gustavsson had many problems with his turbo bike since it must be raced in a very hard way, and this time the track didn't allow it. Hopefully it will be better next year. I do like Top Fuel Bikes but this mix with Funny Bikes and other kinds of bikes is not good. To see Ian racing against a bike which is almost two seconds slower is not racing. We need to do something but I do not know how to make it just Top Fuel Bikes nor how to get all Top Fuel Bikes out at the same time. I must say that Ian King and Rene van den Berg should take big credit for coming to every event this year. Ian King is well on his way to take the title this again year. He only has to come to Santa Pod Raceway and pass the technical inspection to be the winner. Rene van den Berg must then set new records and win the event to pass Ian and that will be very hard since a lot of other bikes will also try to take the record at Santa Pod. Watch out for Peter Svensson and Sverre Dahl.
Finally I must say a big thank you to all people who attended the event; Atilla and Peter from MAMS, Judy and Josef and all the other Hungarian people whose names I do not know but I must say that they are doing very good work; to the people from Santa Pod and Trackbak Racing who did a very professional job; to Keith and Geoff who managed to get everything together in the end; to the Hungarian government who got the money to build the concrete barriers that made the race possible; to Ted Bartlett for not giving up and for spending so much time with me; to all the racers who came to the event and were part of the first Championship event in Hungary. Now can it only get better. We have created history and we are all part of it. Now have we proven that we can get new tracks into the Championship, but it is a lot of work.
The next event will be the European Finals at Santa Pod at beginning of September and I am already waiting for it. We will have some very exciting things coming up. Can Peter Svensson do as he did in Norway and run a five-second time? Will Sverre or maybe Eric Teboul do the same? Or will Ian King end this season with a five-second run? Will Fredrik Fredlund let Ulf Ögge change number plates with him for next year. And in Supertwin will it be Per or Lorenz who will take the number one plate for next year. Hope to see you all at Santa Pod.
You can check out the post-Extreme Bike Weekend FIM/UEM Championship points on our Speedflow-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Web site updates.
26th August: Eurodragster.com Home and News sponsor Power Race Graphics have launched a brand new web site showcasing their popular range of motorsport graphic design services: sponsorship proposal renderings, paint schemes, logos, and design for print. Although vinyl graphics do not feature as a service on the new site, PRG hope to make an exciting announcement shortly regarding the supply of vinyl graphics. Most of the new work is featured but lookout for new paint scheme design updates coming very soon featuring a new blown slingshot dragster and Super Modified doorslammer. Darren West will be introducing a new Sketch Book page to the site and dropping in freehand renderings from the long list of race machines which he has always wanted to get down on paper! You can check out the new Power Race Graphics web site at www.powerracegraphics.com or click on the logo on the right-hand side of the Eurodragster.com Home or News pages.
Our good buddy Markus Münch has updated his SmugMug gallery with shots from the NitrOlympX at Hockenheim. You can check out Markus' pictures at dragstripper.smugmug.com/Dragster/Nitrolympx-2009-Hockenheim.
First with the Open Sport Nationals updates is Jeni Long whose shots you can check out on her Yawning Cat Photography web site at www.yawningcatphotography.com.
Eurodragster.com Reserve Photographer Peter Donaldson has updated his Fotopic gallery with shots from the Open Sport Nationals. You can find Peter's pictures at peterdonaldson5305.fotopic.net or click on the picture below left.
Next up with Open Sport Nationals pictures is Dominic Romney whose searchable archive you can find at archive.modernpics.co.uk or click on the picture above right.
Alan Currans has posted his Open Sport Nationals pictures on his excellent Accerelation Archive at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk. You can go directly to Alan's Open Sport Nationals pictures via the What's New link.
Finally for today's Open Sport Nationals updates, Tubby tells us that the Shakespeare County Racers web site at www.shakespearecountyracers.com has been updated with more than a hundred pictures from the event.
Julian Hunt has updated his gallery with pictures from a Peak Performance Day at Santa Pod Raceway, although he tells us that he can't actually remember which one, as well as shots from the SPRC Summernationals. You can work out for yourself which Peak Performance Day it was at www.julianhunt.net.
FIM/UEM Kunmadaras results.
24th August: Many thanks to Zoltán Hernády for forwarding us the final results from the weekend's FIM/UEM Championship round at Kunmadaras in Hungary:
Top Fuel Bike: Ian King 6.534/355.59 kmh def. Kai Selkamäa 7.064/302.21
Supertwin: Per Bengtsson 7.052/311.42 def. Job Heezen 7.182/312.66
Pro Stock Bike: Ulf Ögge 7.207/297.38 def. Fredrik Fredlund 7.460/292.89
Congratulations to Ian King who Championship Co-ordinator Lars Andersson tells us only has to pass tech at the FIA European Finals to take the 2009 FIM/UEM European Top Fuel Bike Championship after his victory at Kunmadaras.
You can check out the elimination ladders by clicking on the links below:
Pro Stock Bike (PDF format)
Supertwin (PDF format)
Top Fuel Bike (PDF format)
Zoltán also kindly kept us up-to-date with qualifying during the weekend and you can check out all the qualifying details on Saturday's news update.
Bartlett hails Kunmadaras success.
24th August: We have heard from Keith Bartlett, Championship Promoter and commercial rights owner of the UEM European Drag Bike Championship, about the latest round of the UEM Championship which took place in Kunmadaras, Hungary, place this weekend.
"Having just completed a very successful round of the UEM European Drag Bike Championship, a new track and country has been added to the European Drag Racing Championships calendar", says Keith. "Over this past weekend Trakbak Racing have been able to establish the track at Kunmadaras in Hungary as possibly one of the fastest tracks in Europe, plus a facility with lots of potential and a huge future for drag racing."
Both Trakbak Racing and Keith Bartlett had been involved in negotiations and contract discussions for over two years to be able to bring the track and event up to the standard of holding European Championship competition. The first target was reached this weekend with not only the completion of the UEM Championship round, but at the same time being able to prepare a virgin track to become a fast and smooth strip with just ten days of preparation. This followed months of work over the winter of 2008-09 to construct and install concrete barriers and other safety requirements enabling the track to be licensed for UEM European Championship competition.
"I was particually pleased to see that the TBR team, as always, not only gave the racers a good track, but were also able to complete all the eliminations by 7:15 pm on Sunday, despite not being able to start racing until after 2:00 pm due to rain", says Keith. "This only enhances my long-standing belief that the same track crew should be running all the Championship rounds in each country."
The teams were unanimous in their praise of the track and the warm welcome received from the Hungarian club, officials and promoter Josef and Judy Hadnagy.
Keith went onto say that he was delighted that various Government officials and representatives attended the event with a view to its future development. These were the same people with whom Keith and Josef had met back in the spring to continue their support for the investment needed in Kumndaras, having already funded the installation of the concrete barriers. At the event Keith also met with various sponsors seeking to become partners for the Championship round in the future, some of whom will be holding further discussion with Keith and TBR at the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway in September.
"I am confident that we will be holding a round of the UEM European Drag Bike Championship at Kunmadaras in 2010, but the date has to be finalised with sponsors and government official alike", says Keith. "What is certain is that we will not hold a full FIA European Drag Racing Championship round at Kunmadaras in 2010, but we will look to take up ten FIA-class cars for an exhibition event which at the same time will result in the track being homologated for FIA competition.
"I am certain that those who attended the first race in Kunmadaras in 2009 will talk about Kunmadaras '09 for many years to come...and those who did not attend will rue the opportunity they missed."
Open Sport Nationals results.
24th August: Congratulations to the winners of the weekend's Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway:
Super Modified: Nigel Payne 7.475/181.33 def. Tim Mugridge 7.580/180.61 red light
Super Pro ET: Barry Giles (7.52) 7.585/166.92 def. Rick Cooke (8.14) 8.140/169.77
Pro ET: Carla Pittau (9.86) 9.810/135.37 bye, Tig Napier no show
Sportsman ET: Ralph Young (12.98) 13.108/99.57 def. Nick Gay (13.60) 13.527/101.92
Super Comp: Jon Morton 8.942/150.78 def. Brian Pateman 8.896/152.65
Super Gas: Jon Evans 9.944/137.59 def. Rich Davis 10.047/136.44
Super Street: John Grant 10.838/127.84 def. Bob Lees 10.903/132.77 red light
Junior Dragster: Anna Stanley (8.02) 8.019/82.72 def. Charlotte Watts (9.93) 9.847/67.08
Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association: Frank Bennett 7.201/187.93 bye, Dave Grabham shut off
B&H Automotive/LA Racing Parts Street Eliminator: Colin Lazenby 7.957/187.19 def. Jeff Meads 8.394/170.64
VW Sportsman: Chris Bray (15.70) 15.700/71.71 def. Luke Stevenson (14.75) 15.133/84.12
Wild Bunch: Roy Wilding (8.20) 8.248/163.13 def. Ed Yates (9.20) 9.177/143.52
Outlaw Anglia: Richard Colby 8.167/168.15 def. Cliff Griffin 8.504/162.13
Outlaw Flat Four: Matt Keene 10.520/133.03 def. Adele Woodbridge 12.337/113.76
Pro Stock Bike: Dave Beck 7.235/181.94 def. Ray Debben 8.096/168.82
Funny Bike: Gary Jones staged (bye), Chris Hall no show
Comp Bike: Ivan Birch 7.711/173.64 def. Stu Crane 7.616/178.13
Super Street Bike: Graham Balchin 7.503/194.77 def. Rich Stubbins 7.581/194.28
9.50 Bike: Richard Sawatzki 9.531/145.34 def. Richard Beck 9.548/122.82
Supertwin Gas: Chris Mott 9.479/138.28 def. Dave Jones 10.555/101.19
Supertwin ET: Nigel Batsford (13.25) 13.257/98.93 def. Dave Smart (9.80) 9.906/135.73
Junior Drag Bike: Jorden Bissell (10.30) 10.397/62.15 def. Brett Cordelle (11.00) 11.401/67.69
8:50 Bike: Mark Winder 8.748/163.11 def. Rob Lee 10.972/142.91
Subject to ratification the following records were set:
Super Modified ET: 7.428 seconds, Nigel Payne
Super Modified speed: 183.54 mph, Belinda Bull
Congratulations also to Dave Smith on the first-ever 200 mph terminal speed in Super Street Bike with a 200.07 mph blast in the semi-finals. Congrats too to Richard Colby for tying up the 2009 Outlaw Anglia Championship by making the final round, and thanks to Paul Wright for getting in touch to let us know about it. Well done also to Jon Morton who won the Eurodragster.com/Gold RV Perfect ET Award with a 9.900 in Super Gas qualifying.
You can check out our American Car Imports-sponsored Open Sport Nationals coverage by clicking here, or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
24th August: Multiple ACU UK Pro Stock Bike Champion Dave Beck intends to make a late entry to the FIA European Finals after a successful Open Sport Nationals weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway. "We had two thousand feet of air in the final and still ran a 7.2", Dave told Eurodragster.com. "The numbers looked really good all the way down the track so if my late entry can be accepted then I'll enter". Dave added that he plans to test at Santa Pod on the weekend before the Finals.
Sandie Gibb asked us to say a big Congratulations to Mr Mopar John O'Sullivan and his wife Gail who were married on Saturday. No sooner said than done, our very best wishes to John and Gail.
FIM/UEM Kunmadaras qualifying.
22nd August: Many thanks to Zoltán Hernády for forwarding us results from the FIM/UEM Championship round at Kunmadaras in Hungary:
Final qualifying in Pro Stock Bike (PDF format)
Final qualifying in Supertwin (PDF format)
Final qualifying in Top Fuel Bike (PDF format)
Final qualifying in all classes including FIM/UEM (PDF format)
PSB/ST/TFB qualifying session 5 (PDF format)
PSB/ST/TFB all qualifying runs (PDF format)
PSB/ST/TFB qualifying session 4 (PDF format)
Pro Stock Bike after three qualifying rounds:
Supertwin after three qualifying rounds:
Top Fuel Bike after three qualifying rounds:
PSB/ST/TFB qualifying session 2 (PDF format)
PSB/ST/TFB qualifying after session 1 (PDF format)
From Sweden to the USA I and II.
22nd August: Swedish Pro Modified and Top Doorslammer racer Adam Flamholc has sold his 6.2-second Camaro and is headed to the USA to drive his new acquisition in NHRA competition. Adam says that he had a great first year in Pro Mod but that he is still looking to move forward:
My MGP-built '68 Camaro has been sold to a good friend of mine, and I have bought Taylor Lastor's G-Force '67 Camaro. After a week of many hours on the phone with NHRA and Taylor Lastor it has now been decided that my team and I are flying over to Taylor's shop in Texas next Monday. We will work on the car for a couple of days and then leave for the US Nationals. We are all very excited and can't wait for a new US adventure! Hopefully this is not the only event in which we will participate over the Swedish winter. A big thanks to our great sponsors Amalie Oil, YIT, MMR, Motorenova, Custom Graphics, Sunoco Race Fuels who helped to make this happen.
Also headed from Sweden to race in the USA is Fuel FC racer Leif Helander who will be racing the Simpson family's Fuel Funny Car, which is usually driven by Todd Simpson, at the NHRA National events in Dallas on 24th-27th September and in Memphis on 2nd-4th October. Stay tuned for more.
Hanna hunts down the problem.
22nd August: The US' Will Hanna, who tunes the Top Methanol Dragster campaigned by Frøya's Fred Hanssen, says that he has traced the problem responsible for Fred's relative loss of form after the FIA Main Event:
First off, we'd like to compliment the job Brad Hadman did on fixing the car on such quick notice. It goes straighter than it did before.
After Santa Pod, we pulled the motor out of the car which took us to the final to replace the crankshaft. We put the spare in, assuming that everything was the same. As a tuner, I always blame myself first. The car just wasn't running the numbers it should from Finland on, and I just thought I was flat missing the tune-up. Not to mention we got a grand total of three runs from Finland and Mantorp.
We had some troubles on both runs on Friday in Hockenheim. We ran a 5.50 and 5.49 on Saturday, but both of those runs had some sort of problem as well. I knew the car wasn't running up to par with the conditions and started to suspect something amiss in the engine department. We fixed both of Saturday's problems only to see it go a 5.55 in round one to Dave Wilson's event Low ET of 5.41. It snapped a pushrod cup off on the intake side when Fred hit high gear. It busted a lifter in the process, necessitating an engine swap even if we had won, but at that point I knew something was off with that motor.
Upon post race inspection let's just say a major, but simple to fix, problem was found. We have the Santa Pod motor back in the car and we look forward to possibly getting the monkey off our back. Our new Bohr Composites injector is showing a lot of promise along with our new Spitzer Composites wing. Fred did a great job of jumping back in the saddle after the ride he had in Mantorp, and I'm really impressed with how quickly he's taken to driving a Top Methanol Dragster.
See everyone at Santa Pod, maybe we'll have a horse this trip.
21st August: The UK's Team Turboville would be pleased to hear from any German team headed for the FIA European Finals and who might have room in their trailer to bring a Junior Dragster to the UK. "I will be willing to pay for the service of course, and the car will be delivered to your location in Germany", says Ian Turburville. If you can help then please E-Mail Turbo at email@example.com.
Two welcome returns from PMR.
21st August: The UK's Paul Marston Racing have had a busy agenda since the SPRC Summernationals, says Paul Marston:
We have replaced the motor in Grumpy's Dodge with a more punchy powerplant. This was tested at the Mopar Euronats, where else, and the results were encouraging, Mick Howling reported that the motor was more aggressive and snappy. This is due to the extra two points of compression, more camshaft and a very serious pair of heads. Grumpy's Dodge is still our firm crowd favourite, so it's good to see PMR Drag Race School Instructor Mick Howling being so successful, currently leading the UK National Pro ET Championship and now back in his usual ride. Bring on the trumpets!
Meanwhile having finally, after two events, pinpointed the convertor as being the inconsistent faulty piece in the PiranaZ backed dragster, a replacement was flown over from our supplier JW Performance in Rockledge, Florida. They took care of business, supplying us with a spragless eight-inch Pro Tree item. This should prove a deadly piece in an already fast-reacting chassis. Again this was tested at the Mopar Euronationals, after the transmission was collected from Professor Al O'Connor who went through it just to be on the safe side. The PMR PiranaZ Dragster was reassembled in the pits at the Mopar Euros and then tested, picking up nearly half a second improvement just by fitting the new convertor. So that's fixed then!
The eagle-eyed will have noticed a competition entry number at the European Finals which has been missing for a couple of seasons now. Yes the PT Bruiser is back. At time of writing there was still paint shop work and other testing to undergo but one way or another PMR and the Bruiser will be there.
This weekend is the Open Sports Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. The conclusion of the 2009 UK National Championship Season starts here, three rounds including this one to go. Currently leading the National Championship in Pro ET is our very own Mick Howling, meanwhile leading the APIRA Championship in Super Comp is Paul Marston. Let the games begin!
Web site updates.
21st August: Eurodragster.com Photo Editor Roger Gorringe has now updated his Nitro Exposure web site with a gallery of photos from the hot, sweaty and highly successful NitrOlympX at Hockenheim. Most of the photos on Roger's update are on show for the first time not having been included in the live Event Coverage here on Eurodragster.com. To view the NitrOlympX gallery check out www.nitroexposure.co.uk.
Feature: Andy Carter Fans' Q&A.
20th August: FIA European Championship Co-ordinator Kjell Pettersson having worked his mathematical magic, the UK's Andy Carter has been confirmed as 2009 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion: Andy's fourth European Top Fuel title and his second in succession.
Andy recently invited fans to submit questions for a Q&A here on Eurodragster.com and to celebrate his 2009 FIA European Championship we are pleased to present the Feature in association with Stroud Safety and Andy Robinson Race Cars. The Q&As cover technical issues, the run itself, and personal questions.
Click here to read the Fans' Q&A with Andy Carter, or click on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Andy has also updated his Racer Blog with an account of his trip to Hockenheim, his thoughts on his fourth Championship, and a preview of his next road trip. As ever you can check out the latest Blog updates by clicking here or by clicking on the Racer Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
A double celebration.
20th August: The picture at right shows two winning teams at the weekend's NitrOlympX at Hockenheim: FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter with the Lucas Oil / Andersen Racing dragster which was built at ME Racing Service AB in Börlange, Sweden by the two guys in green at the front: Mats Eriksson and son L-G who campaign the Green Goblin blown-alcohol Pro Mod.
Lena Perés says that Mats and LG are very satisfied with their weekend at Hockenheim. "Even though they didn't win the race they took the highest prize anyway by taking the track record as well as the European Pro Mod record at 6.096, a figure which all of the Pro Mod racers have been wishing for", she says. "Who's going to take the first five? That's the next question, and how long will it take?
"Mats and L-G had a kind of a win when Andy Carter took the win in Top Fuel Dragster and he seems to be happy with the chassis. That's what he tells everyone anyway and ME Racing Service AB can't have any better advertising than good words from racers. We're proud to be at your service and we want to thank you all for that."
Rain on Flamholc's parade.
20th August: Swedish Pro Modified and Top Doorslammer racer Adam Flamholc attended the weekend's final round of the Toyo Scandinavian Dragracing Series Top Doorslammer Championship at Sundsvall but had a frustrating weekend:
The track was a bit tricky, but we managed to get to the nmbr one qualifying position. Unfortunately it started to rain on Saturday night, and it kept falling all night, so they cancelled eliminations. Before the event, we had a small chance to reach Niclas Andersson and take top position, but with the rain falling...
This was our first season with a Pro Mod, so it's hard to be to disappointed. We were number one qualifier at four out of five events, we have two track records, and we learned a lot!
A big thanks from me to my great sponsors Amalie Oil, Custom Graphics, YIT, Motorenova, Sunoco Race Fuels and MMR. I'm also very happy to be able to work together with companies like Texas Racing Engines, who provide me with the great powerplant; GPS Race Cars, who built my awesome Camaro; Progressive Performance and Performance Plus who always help out with parts when I need something. And finally a huge thanks to all the guys in my team. They never give up, and are always very hungry to learn new things.
At this time we are planning to travel to the USA and participate at a few IHRA or NHRA events during the winter, I really hope we can make it happen.
20th August: As alluded to above, we are indebted to FIA European Championship Co-ordinator Kjell Pettersson for forwarding the post-NitrOlympX standings in the FIA European Drag Racing Championships and for confirming that Andy Carter (Top Fuel Dragster) and Jimmy Ålund (Pro Stock) have won the 2009 Championships in their respective classes. You can check out the FIA points on our Speedflow-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
German Super Comp racer Ove Kröger is not satisfied with the outcome of his Nitrolympx weekend, says Markus Münch, The new Dedenbear Throttlestop was to be "educated" from scratch, which was the main reason for the DNQ. Ove says that after the third qualifying round the problems were solved with an 8.898, but then due to a delay caused by oildowns the last qualifying round was cancelled. With his best of 9.11 Hotrodove was #19 for a sixteen car field. Ove was not happy to be outside looking in but he and his rodding buddy Tony Brandes had the compensation of driving the last two cars in the annual Hot Rod Parade during the Night Show. A nice burnout and a big foot on the throttle won Ove big applause from the packed grandstands. Ove's next race is at Drachten this weekend where with a working throttle stop he will be a contender.
After the huge sucess of their 2009 drag racing calendar, our good buddies Markus Münch and Mathias Wienand have joined forces again and are putting together a calendar for 2010. The calendear will be in high gloss A3 format and will feature the hottest drag racing action in Europe from the past season as well as all the important dates for 2010. The thirteen-page calendar can be pre-ordered now for delivery at the end of November for only &euro19.90 plus p+p by E-Mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. It is a serious piece of merchandise by real drag racing maniacs for drag racing maniacs.
Not exactly a spy picture but until we saw this shot we had always believed that Swiss Top Fuel Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com News sponsor Urs Erbacher had done his own stunts in the Reality TV series Kings of Nitro. Now we're not so sure...
UK Street Eliminator racer Colin Lazenby would be pleased to hear from anyone who can help with four pairs of 10 x 2¼ brake shoes for a Haulmark trailer. "We are at Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend if anyone has any which we could have and replace", says Ann-Marie Lazenby. "Please contact Colin on 07880 780690 or E-Mail me at email@example.com."
SPR tie up with American Auto Barn.
20th August: Santa Pod Raceway is pleased to announce a new partnership with Peterborough-based The American Auto Barn. The deal, which extends until the end of 2010, includes branding on the famous quarter mile strip to promote the Barnstormer exhaust.
Lorena Hodgson, owner of Auto Barn, said “As we grow our business by manufacturing Barnstormer Performance exhaust systems, we are expanding outside the American car scene, where we've been a leading provider and installer of aftermarket parts and accessories for some sixteen years. Santa Pod is our local drag strip, and I've visited since I was a teenager! Many of our existing customers either race their vehicles at Santa Pod or are regular visitors to events at the track.
"Even in this tough economic climate, Santa Pod Raceway is still a must-attend venue for automotive enthusiasts, with events covering a broad spectrum of motorsports activities. We see Santa Pod not only as a great place to advertise to our existing customers, but also to reach a much wider market and of course it gives us the excuse to go along more often!"
Caroline Day, Marketing Manager of the venue welcomed this latest partnership. "As a specialist importer, American Auto Barn plays an important part in the world of American vehicles and this latest move to launch the Barnstormer exhaust fits perfectly with Santa Pod and its relevant audience."
Barnstormer Performance Exhausts are manufactured at the Auto Barn premises in Peterborough. They provide custom-built solutions for customers requiring a performance exhaust system - with a range of kits for certain vehicles being developed in-house. All Barnstormer systems are built using 409 or 304 Stainless Steel and components from leading performance manufacturers for example, Magnaflow, Jetex and Custom Chrome.
The company is a factory authorized Magnaflow pro-installer operating from fully equipped workshops in Peterborough, offering the wide range of Magnaflow exhaust kits and catalytic converters. The company also offers sales of parts and accessories, servicing and repair facilities for US vehicles and have full MOT and bodyshop facilities available on-site.
You can find out more about The American Auto Barn at www.americanautobarn.com.
Collins sells up.
20th August: Steve Collins writes to tell us that after much soul searching he has decided to put his Pro ET dragster up for sale.
"We've been hoping that we'd eventually have enough time to start racing again but work is still getting in the way and it is becoming apparent in the current climate that a return is still a year or two away at best", says Steve. "By that time I'll be needing something with a bigger seat and a roof that is easier to get into! It will be wrench because for the last forty-plus years I've always had a pure dragster being built, raced or just around the place.
"I started with a couple of small Ford-powered Junior Dragsters which were good enough to win quite a lot in 1969-72 although that may have been because the likes of Harold Bull and John Whitmore were racing in Middle Dragster! I sold the last of those cars to Steve Martyn when I was roped in to help run the NDRC. I may be wrong but I think that is when Steve got his friend Dave Wilson involved! During several years of organising (Vice Chairman), politics (ugh!) and touring the country with the NDRC at the height of its popularity as the Chief Starter, Gill became my permanent pit crew and we were building our new rear engined car with a blown nitro 1500cc Ford. The chassis I think was unique in being the only aluminium monocoque ever to race successfully, eventually getting us down to 10.07 in 1983.
"As well as joining John Whitmore in Middle Dragster we were also racing - and sometimes beating! - the likes of Barry Sheavills, Geoff Martin and Bob Jarrett in the handicapped classes that were run in those days.
"A couple more years just running methanol followed before we decided to go back to basics and started the first version of the Rover-powered car which finally got us into the nines. The class structure had again changed so we found ourselves in the very competitive Pro ET but the friendly atmosphere in the class remains the same as what we found in the early days of the sport. It is just unfortunate that we couldn't race as often as we would have liked."
Charman's Bulldog Bash.
20th August: UK Funny Bike racer Kev Charman has been in touch to let us know how his Bulldog Bash weekend went:
Contrary to belief, we had no problem at all getting in and no trouble getting out either. A few Police were about but nothing worth worrying about! On Wednesday and Thursday we walked about in the rain, getting a bit despondent over the weather, had a bit of entertainment watching the gates open proper and the bikers arrive at the camp site. The mud was horrendous, and although we were a bit smug that were had the caravan with us, we did feel a bit sorry for those camping!
On Friday, as if by magic, the rain went and the sun came out. Then it rained again, and then it was OK. It was a definite reflection on the performance of the bike too. Which having done the first burnout and launched sounded like something out of Loony Tunes. "That's all folks", coughing and spluttering up to the top end. Lizzy collected the bike and we took a look. Turned out to be a loose connection, which we sorted, and went out again, and went even slower!
Race bikes can be a fickle breed. The enormous stress the bike is under on a run is immense, and every now and again something will work loose. Well this was no exception, and it did. Twice! Sorted out the clutch which I had mildly fried, and ready for the following day.
The evening's entertainment courtesy of UFO was excellent, and after a small walk about, called it a night. Saturday came, and the sun was out and the track had been prepped, off we went again. Massive wheel spin and a pleasing 7.3/165, 1.14 sixty foot, not bad for the track! The next run was a 7.5 but still pretty good for the track, and somewhat cooler. Motorhead in the evening: awesome, nuff said!
Thanks go to the Hells Angels for another excellent Bulldog Bash, always enjoyable, and here's to many more. Also to Dicko and Sarah for inviting us, and hope we can come again next year! Thanks also to Chris and Lizz for overcoming the frustrations of crewing for the bike, and now we are looking forward to the next round at Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend.
Web site updates.
20th August: Our good buddy Patrik Jacobsson has updated his Racebilder web site with pictures of qualifying at the weekend's TSDS Finals at Sundsvall Raceway. "It was an outstanding event at a good track with nice people in the middle of nowhere", says Patrik. "Some Top Doorslammer teams ran new PBs on Saturday, but sadly Sunday was a rainout". You can check out Patrik's pictures at www.racebilder.nu.
Open Sport Nationals update.
19th August: Many thanks to Shakespeare County Raceway for forwarding the provisional running orders for this week's Open Sport Nationals, which commences on Friday. You can check out the running orders by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. The Race Director tells us that Pro ET will follow directly on from Super Street to keep drivers in yellow firesuits on their toes. Please note that as ever the running orders are provisional and are subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.
Thanks also to SCR for forwarding Version 3 of the official entry list for the Open Sport Nationals, which you can again check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. This will be the final published version of the entry list but any changes will of course be passed on to race officials at the event.
FIA European Finals update.
19th August: Santa Pod Raceway are again offering race teams fully-serviced portable toilets for the FIA European Finals. Each portable toilet costs £100 plus VAT. To book your portable toilet please E-Mail Darren Prentice at firstname.lastname@example.org; please note that a reply may not arrive until next week as Darren is currently at Kunmadaras.
Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding Version 12 of the official entry list for September's FIA European Finals, which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Last Friday was the official closing date so entry is now subject to a late entry penalty. If you have any queries about FIA European Finals entry then please contact Paula at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
19th August: In preparation for this weekend's FIM/UEM European Drag Bike Championship round at Kunmadaras in Hungary the small team of Darren Prentice, Steve Horn, and David Warren from Santa Pod Raceway arrived last Thursday to get look at the job ahead and to bring the track up to European Championship standards.
"As you can see we were presented with a blank canvas to work with", says Darren. "Using track preparation techniques learnt at the various European tracks the team started the track preparation. We were also joined by two of the Hungarian crew: Zsolti with his Belarus tractor fitted with the newly-acquired sled built by Andy Robinson Race Cars, and also Totya who oversees everything and gets things in the right place at the right time.
"We started by cleaning the area and laying the powders which would soon start to make a safe and quick race track. Now it's all about laying down the rubber and glue to get the race track somewhere near.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank Rudölf Gánya from Toyota Road Service for the loan of a great Toyota Hilux, and also to József and Judy from the S Riders for their hospitality and help while we are here."
Bengtsson: In with a chance.
19th August: FIM/UEM Supertwin racer Per Bengtsson is looking forward to the next round of the Championship in Hungary. After two finals in a row in Finland and Sweden the Beast team have the confidence they need to be a real target for the Championship. After the first three rounds of competition Per Bengtsson and the number one in points, Lorenz Stäuble from Switzerland, are the main contenders for the Championship but both Job Heezen and Hans-Olav Olstad have proven that they are serious competitors with good performance in recent races.
"We were disappointed over our performance at Mantorp Park", says Per. "Going 4.50 over the eighth-mile is just not good enough but we underestimated the race track. That is pretty obvious when we look at the data logging from Mantorp. "We have now found some other factors in the tune up which have been corrected so we have high hopes to improve and place the Beast in the performance zone where it belongs.
"The next round in Hungary is something we really looking forward to. It's always fun to go to a new track and I think the Supertwins can put up a very good show for all the Hungarian race fans. It's important that we as a class can present a good entry when a new track wants to come in the series.
"We would like to say a big Thank You to Top Fuel Bike rider Peter Andersson Ström who will be assisting us on the long trip to Kunmadaras, helping out with driving our couch as well as stepping in over the race weekend if needed. Thank you Peter!"
The Beast team left Sweden yesterday and plan to arrive at the Kunmadaras race track tomorrow afternoon. Seth Petersson and L-O Jonsson will already be there as they are flying today for some sightseeing before the race takes place.
The sponsors supporting the Beast team in the battle for this year's Championship are Swedcut, Quaker State, Gates/Lönne, Autoexperten Växjö, Fanhultstvätten Älmhult, Ulvsgården AB, Bentec Engineering and Flexoart.
Project Zed goes for a walk.
19th August: The UK's Brams Racing took their new Project Zed Nissan 350z for a walk at last Friday's Peak Performance Day at Santa Pod Raceway.
"It was just fantastic to get the new car out on track", says John Bradshaw. "The day panned out pretty much completely as we expected and hoped, with lots of minor niggles surfacing. It was all minor odd electrical gremlins or the odd set-up issue which is bound to happen with a new car with no particular detailed history.
"We are absolutely delighted with the car and the engine looks to be very very strong. Despite the odd gremlin the day was just fantastic as the track really is the only place where they become obvious. We still got three runs in and we now have a detailed list of minor fiddly bits and pieces to work on and datalogging to delve through in detail before the FIA European Finals. I was just delighted not to have broken anything as the last two Test Days with the Skyline have proved expensive!
"It was great for me to get behind the wheel and start the familiarisation process as the car is left hand drive and has a different shift mechanism etc. Without any form of launch and shutting off at the eighth the thing still ran a low ten so we are all excited at the car's potential.
"We will run now on the Thursday of the FIA European Finals to gain additional and valuable seat time.
"Huge thanks to Abbey Motorsport who have worked silly hours to get the car set up since it arrived in the UK, and huge thanks to all the staff at the Pod for providing a fantastic track surface for the Peak Performance Day."
19th August: If you were tuned in to Eurodragster.com News on Monday you will have read that Finnish Top Fuel Dragster racer Tommi Haapanen is to take a turn in the Showtime Fuel FC at the FIA European Finals. Tommi's wife and also Top Fuel Dragster racer Anita Mäkelä has explained all in an open letter to Tommi on her web site at www.anitamakela.com. Anita tells us that only time will show the consequences of Tommi's outing. We guess that Anita hasn't been listening to the same stories as we have, then.
Charlie Chivers tells us that the Pro ET #1 qualifier trophy and bonus at this weekend's Open Sport Nationals is to be supplied by Platinum Choice Insurance Woodstock whom you can call on 01993 810333. Pro ET is also supported by Motorshack, Toxico, Brize Norton Hot Rod and American Specialist (01993 844144), Real Steel, LA Racing Parts, Performance Unlimited, Cometic Gasket, Total Seal, Engine Data Analysis, Hauser Race Cars, A1 Motor Stores, Inkwell Printing, Penn Autos/Andy Frost Race Transmissions, CP Pistons and South Coast Customs.
Have you ever watched drag racing and thought you would like to get involved with a race team but didn't know how? Well, here is your chance: the multi Championship-winning Lucas Oil / Carter Motorsport / Andersen Racing Top Fuel team are looking for someone to join their hospitality / merchandise team for September's FIA European Finals and for the 2010 racing season as well as for promotional events. If you are not afraid of hard work and long hours, and if you would like to be part of Top Fuel drag racing at its very best, then contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
On the subject of FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion-elect Andy Carter, be sure to tune in to tomorrow's news update as the promised Fans' Q&A with Andy, presented in association with Stroud Safety and Andy Robinson Race Cars, is due to be posted. The Q&A makes excellent reading especially if you have always wanted to know Andy's favourite cheese.
Bev and Nigel Batsford have asked us to wish a very Happy 19th Wedding Anniversary to Beth and Paul Satchell. You got it guys, have a great day Beth and Paul.
More Santa Pod on TV.
19th August: In addition to the traditional broadcast of the FIA/UEM Drag Racing Championship rounds, Santa Pod Raceway has also entered an agreement this year to film and broadcast additional events held at the venue with another independent production company. These shows are produced very much as lifestyle shows as opposed to race reports and take a much more lighthearted view of what goes on! They will be first shown on Motors TV on the below dates and then repeated up to eight times:
The Marangoni Fast Show: 19:00 on Wednesday 9th September
Auto Trader Easter Thunderball: 19:00 on Wednesday 16th September
Bug Jam: 19:00 on Wednesday 23rd September
Marangoni Ultimate Street Car: 19:00 on Wednesday 30th September
Broadcast has also been confirmed for Eurosport for a half hour version of these shows but Santa Pod are still awaiting final transmission times. This is a big step forward for Santa Pod and great news for sponsors as an even greater TV audience is reached through events which have never previously been televised.
Excitement for the Wild Bunch.
19th August: The UK's Wild Bunch are really looking forward to this weekend's Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. Nine cars will competing, writes Race Co-ordinator Claire Meaddows:
The event will be the Club's ninth Series Round of the year for contingency sponsors Real Steel (Performance Parts), as well as the third and final round of the 2009 Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars Series and the final of the APIRA series. At the recent York event, Chris Hartnell's second win in a row with the Backdraft slingshot elevated him to the lead of the Real Steel Series, by just one point over the second place RamRaider team, for whom Ed Yates will be driving this coming weekend. Just two further points behind them is Dave Rowlands in the Destiny's Angel altered and, with all three teams entered for the Open Sport Nationals, they are all are guaranteed a top three finish in the Real Steel Series. With two events to go, things are still too close to call, with three further teams all in the running for fourth place, including Gina and Scottie's Tiki Munki Ruby-bodied altered, Team fReQ Racing with the Living the Dream slingshot, and Terry Clifford's Ratcatcher Resurrection slingshot all in the hunt.
The RamRaider team are currently leading both the Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars Series and the APIRA series, followed by Dave Rowlands and Chris Hartnell in second and third places in both. Team RamRaider are guaranteed a top two finish in the Roy Wilding Series, with only Dave able to overhaul them this weekend, whilst there are six or seven teams still in the running for the rest of the top four positions. The APIRA series is still wide open amongst all the nine teams entered, so there's all to play for!
Can Terry score his best performance of the year with the Ratcatcher Resurrection and move up into the top four? Can 'Crazy' Chris wheelie his way into extending his lead in the Real Steel Series with Backdraft, or can Ed reclaim the lead for the RamRaider team? Will Dave Rowlands make his fourth final of the year and overhaul them both in that Series, and claim his second Roy Wilding Series win in a row for the Destiny's Angel team? Will Darren Law be straight back on form with the Wicked Lady dragster and lead the way with his reaction times? We welcome Roy Wilding back amongst the Bunch in Roger Sinclair's S&K Racing' dragster. Roger was one of the first Wild Bunch members signed up by Roy at the very the start of the club in 1995, so it's great to have the team racing with us. Will they earn the event win, or will Phil Sweeney repeat his APIRA series win of last year, in his first event of the season with his Bone Idle altered? Will Neil Ward be consistently back in the eights with his nitrous-boosted Andromeda slingshot? Can young Andy Cresswell achieve his first win in the Living the Dream slingshot? We can't wait 'til Sunday, Sunday, Sunday to find out!
Open Sport Nationals Perfect Awards.
11th August: This weekend's NitrOlympX is the the latest event in the 2009 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards scheme. £125 is on offer for perfect performance.
The Eurodragster.com/Speedflow Perfect Light Award has been increased to £75 after it went unclaimed at the NitrOlympX. The money will be awarded to the first racer this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available all to racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first perfect light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £100 for the FIA European Finals; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the FIA European Finals. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with performance hose and fitting manufacturer Speedflow whose web site you can find at www.speedflow.co.uk.
Although the Perfect Light Award goes to three places, we will not pay out for red lights with zeroes in the first three decimals since a foul is a foul however far in the first non-zero digit may be. So a reaction time of 0.0001 will win you the money (if you're first to do it), but a reaction time of -0.0001 will not.
Decals are not formally required for the Perfect Light Award but of course we appreciate it: you can get Eurodragster.com decals at the track from any member of the Eurodragster.com staff.
The Eurodragster.com/Gold RV Perfect ET Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Super Comp racer Marina Andersson at the NitrOlympX. The money will be awarded to the first racer this weekend to run to the thousandth on their dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available this weekend during qualifying and eliminations in Super Pro ET, Pro ET, Sportsman ET, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Junior Dragster (eliminations only), Wild Bunch, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, 9.50 Bike, 8.50 Bike, Supertwin ET and Junior Drag Bike, but will only be awarded for the first perfect run of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the FIA European Finals; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the FIA European Finals. The Perfect ET Award is presented in association with RV sales and service specialists Gold RV whose web site you can find at www.goldrv.co.uk.
To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers are required to carry Eurodragster.com/Gold RV Perfect ET decals, one on each side of the bike. If you pull this weekend's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals then there will be no discussion; we will not pay out and the next person to pull a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals. The decals will be available from the Signing On office as soon as it opens on Saturday morning; please note that, as is usual with contingency schemes, racers are responsible for requesting or picking up decals when signing on. A list of required decals per class is always on display in the Signing On office.
What's on this weekend.
19th August: The Extreme Bike Weekend at Kunmadaras, Hungary, tomorrow to Sunday includes the next round of the FIM/UEM European Drag Bike Championships. Hungary. The event starts with registration today. On Thursday there will be Sportsman bike qualifying and racing in the final of the Cepsa Futam&aacture;ra Cup. FIM/UEM action starts with qualifying at noon on Friday at then at 15:30 with further qualifying sessions on Saturday at the same times. FIM/UEM eliminations commence at 10:00 on Sunday with finals at 15:45. Details including directions to the track can be found at www.kunmadarasmotorsport.hu.
The Open Sport Nationals takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on Friday to Sunday featuring UK National and ACU UK Chamionships as well as the National Association of Supertwins, Volkswagen Drag Racing Club, Outlaw Flat Four, Wild Bunch, Outlaw Anglia, Junior Drag Bike and more. More details including ticket prices at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com and the official entry list can be viewed by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page
The Cramo Nationals will be taking place at Malmö's Meca Raceway on Friday to Sunday. This race is a round of the Toyo Scandinavian Dragracing Series High Five Points Championship. Racing will be from 18:00 to 21:00 on Friday, 10:00 to 18:00 on Saturday and 10:00 to 16:00 on Sunday. The field includes Top Doorslammer and former European Top Fuel Dragster and Pro Modified champion Håkan Nilsson will be making his next appearance in his '57 Chevrolet Bel Air.
Drachten Airfield in The Netherlands hosts the Goodridge Dutch Finals on Friday to Sunday, in memory of Goodridge Benelux' Jan Augustinus, who passed away a little while ago. The event features Sportman classes and the final round of the European Top Gas Serie. The race is organised by the eXplosion club and more details are at www.explosiondragracing.com. Maikel Gloudemans tells us that Me(n)tal Enterprizes will be broadcasting live at www.doyousee.me/eXplosion including preliminary results on screen. "We're also starting an experiment with SMS text messages for contestants with unofficial race results", says Maikel.
On Saturday and Sunday at Malta's Hal Far Raceway, National Drag Racing Event 4 (Night Event) will take place organised by the Malta Drag Racing Association. Car and bike classes will be included and more details can be found at www.maltadragracing.com.
VW drag racing will take place on the eighth mile at Hungary's Hungaroring tomorrow (Thursday), organised by the HNAA. More details at www.dragracing.hu.
Another one day meeting takes place at Trencín airport, Slovakia, on Saturday. Organised by the HNAA and MNASZ this will be Round 4 of the Slovak drag-bike Bobcat Powerfest series.
On Sunday Kamien Slaski, Poland, hosts round three of four of the Gecko Cup. More details can be found at www.geckocup.pl.
Web site updates.
19th August: Ulf Stadig has renovated the Nilsson Motorsports web site and brought it right up to date with news of Swedish Pro Mod racer Håkan Nilsson's latest outing with his new blown-alcohol Pro Mod. Check it out at www.nilssonmotorsports.com.
Next with the NitrOlympX photo updates is Wolfgang Shick whose excellent pictures can be found at www.wschick.de.
More superb NitrOlympX pictures can be found on Mathias Wienand's Side View Inn web site at sideview-inn.ifp3.com. "Visitors can now buy pictures directly from the web site for a very small fee to make travel to more events easier", says Mathias. "The pictures will be provided via a download link and will be in full resolution, big enough to print posters of almost any size. The advantage is that you get the original picture in the best possible resolution instead of just one copy of a print which might get torn, stained or lost. Now teams can print the pictures as often as they want to. This way teams and the photographer can support each other. I will provide this service for the European Finals as well, of course". Mathias has also uploaded an HD video clip of Eric Teboul's 5.2-second Rocket Bike run to YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=di5xWp4eIhE.
Our good buddy Alan Currans has updated his excellent Acceleration Archive web site with a second set of five articles by Custom Car journalist Mike Lintern. "The cars covered this time are Santa Pod Raceway's Gloworm Funny Car and Firefly Pro Fuel Dragster, Quadrant Racing's Alleycat Fordson van, Kevin Pilling's Pure Seven altered, and Roger Bishop and Bob Messent's legendary Stripteaser Minivan", says Alan. You can take a look at Mike's articles (Fnarr - juvenile Ed) at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
Weekend event update.
18th August: Many thanks to Shakespeare County Raceway for passing on Version 2 of the official entry list for the Open Sport Nationals which takes place at SCR on Friday to Sunday this week (21st-23rd). 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.
SCR tell us that racers who wish to arrive from Wednesday are more than welcome, but that because the site staff are cleaning up after the Bulldog Bash they are requested to queue on the entrance road, and entrance to the pits will opened between 11:00 am and 12:00 on Thursday. Any racer who does enter the pits but does not occupy their allocated pit space will be asked to move.
You can find out more about the Open Sport Nationals on Shakespeare County Raceway's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com.
Majer Gábor of Kunmadaras Motorsport sent us these pictures of work underway to prepare the Kunmadaras track for this weekend's Extreme Bike Weekend which includes the penultimate round of this year's FIM/UEM European Drag Bike Championship:
The track is being prepared by a contingent from Santa Pod Raceway courtesy of Trakbak Racing.
18th August: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding Version 10 of the official entry list for September's FIA European Finals, which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Last Friday was the official closing date so entry is now subject to a late entry penalty. If you have any queries about FIA European Finals entry then please contact SPRC Club Secretary Paula Marshall at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for forwarding us the table of European Bests updated after the NitrOlympX including Mats Eriksson's new ET record in Pro Modified. You can check out the European Bests table by clicking here or by clicking on the European Bests link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
UK Street Eliminator racer Colin Lazenby has been in touch to ask us to wish a big Happy Birthday to his wife Ann-Marie Lazenby. No sooner said than done Colin, have a great day Ann-Marie.
Central Europe latest.
18th August: Thirty three of the forty eight events have now been run in the Central European region since the start of the season, five of these were in July, writes Paul Fischer of Cedrag.com. Wall to wall sunshine greeted each event proving once again how the region has the perfect climate for drag racing.
Following last month's update about video streaming, an agreement has now been reached between the main Hungarian promoter and the streaming website - they are mates after all! - and so on-line video is now an established part of the scene and has already been used succesfully at the July events at Meidl airport (Hungary) and again at Kiskunlachaza (Hungary) for a round of the Hungarian Cational Championship. Another streaming crew were in position in Austria for the Dragster Cup race on the B15 road (yes, it was closed for the event) near Vienna where a number of methanol dragsters and Pro Mods showed up to show the crowds how things should be done.
The first all-Amercian event was held at Fertõszentmiklós (don't even try) where over fifty yanks turned up to make the noise that only V8s can make and fight it out for bragging rights. Unfortunately, the cars were better than the available grip so the best machines were mostly sideways and a low-ten won the event in the shape of Zoltan Kohari and his V10 nitrous Viper. Pre-race favourite Peter Kaldy later raced his Chevy Nova at Kiskunlachaza where some VHT had been applied and he ran a 9.3. - that's more like it. Star of the show was Mike Magrauer's '69 Challenger sporting the same Koffel Pro-Stock motor recently owned by Paul Marston - sadly, Mike was still spinning the tyres at the eighth mile mark.
The Czech Republic held its annual big party, the Pazout Motomejdan show which is as close to a Bulldog bash/Bug Jam event as you could get. Through all the festivities, rock bands and general mayhem, some serious drag bike action took place. Held at Bechyn? airport, located in the south-western region of the country, the racing was hot and the stars in Comp Bike saved the best race of the weekend for the final between home favourite Otto Knebl and visiting Italian racer Davide Ricci. It is our guess that Otto may be a little sad not to have run his maiden sub-eight second pass but his oh-so-close 8.058 was just enough to pip Davide's 8.138. Side-by-side eight second runs is what the fans came to see and these guys didn't disappoint. It was good to see Davide, a stauch and loyal supporter of Central European bike racing, make it to the final after a tough weekend at Kunmadaras recently. Well done to Otto, Davide, Yvona, Carlo and the gang.
Slovakia's race organiser Peter Kovács sent us the results from this month's race at Tren?ín airport. The folks were a little unlucky as the weather played a role in the day's events but, despite that, a full drag race was held and the meeting was competed. In total, 121 racers showed up to race in various classes on the quarter mile track. They were made up of 17 motorcycles and 104 cars. Despite the poor weather, 254 side-by-side passes were completed during the day.
Romanian racers were proud to fully occupy the podium at the AS5 category (Street AWD) at the recent Hungarian National Championship event at Kiskunlachaza. Jeff Csergezan ran a personal best of 11.6, which is good considering the street tyres he has to use and despite the 35 Celsius degree weather. He won the AP3 category (Street AWD + Turbo) against Hadada's Alfa Romeo 155, his usual opponent in the category. Bogdan Bacos took second place in the AS3 category with his Nissan 350Z and Domy from Oradea took the 3rd place in the Test category with his BMW E30, with a best of 13.0. The local Hungarian racers will not have been overly pleased but that's racing.
Editor's note: Only a brief news update today as we are still tired from the trip home from Germany. We have a small backlog which we will clear tomorrow and please keep those news items coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.
17th August: Congratulations to the winners of the weekend's NitrOlympX at Hockenheim:
FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Andy Carter 8.277/151.59 bye, Risto Poutiainen shut off
FIA Top Methanol Dragster: Peter Schöfer 5.474/423.51 def. Timo Habermann 5.589/409.30
FIA Top Methanol Funny Car: Dan Larsen 5.873/387.34 def. Danny Bellio 6.091/389.42 DQ
FIA Pro Modified: Micke Lindahl 6.209/374.33 def. Andy Robinson 6.275/341.01
FIA Pro Stock: Jimmy Ålund 6.812/328.28 def. Richard Sundblom 6.934/327.49 DQ
Nitro Funny Car: Gary Page 5.827/330.58 def. John Spuffard 11.973/126.79
Comp Eliminator: Martin Lundkvist (8.10) 10.061/275.88 def. Robin Sattler (9.65) 9.120/229.56 red light
Super Comp: Rene Ehrismann 8.944/225.04 def. Andre Müller 8.939/247.02 red light
Super Gas: Guido Uhlir 10.027/229.71 def. Mike Poser 10.019/223.98 deep stage foul
Junior Dragster: Thomas Weikum (9.00) 9.026/112.07 def. Lena Romahn (8.45) 8.476/125.02
Public Race: Markus Stegbauer 11.695/198.73 def. Marcus Himmler 13.839/123.72 red light
European Top Gas Serie: Gert-Jan Laseur 7.657/276.58 def. Jesper Thiel 7.754/270.69
Nitro Bike Thunder: Ian King 7.657/193.29 bye, Lorenz Stäuble broke
Pro Bike Eliminator: Len Paget 7.518/282.45 def. Haralambos Bousinis 7.762/278.36
Super Street Bike: Richard Stubbins 7.494/307.91 def. Phil Wood 7.767/301.62
Subject to official ratification Sweden's Jimmy Ålund is 2009 FIA European Pro Stock Champion after his win yesterday, congratulations Jimmy! The UK's Andy Carter is at the very least FIA Top Fuel Dragster Champion-elect after finishing yesterday's eliminations 103 points ahead of Risto Poutiainen. 103 points being the magic number for an event clean sweep, if Andy didn't turn up at the FIA European Finals and Risto won the event and set Low ET then the two racers would be on equal points - but Andy would then win the head-to-head tie-break. So Andy is to all intents and purposes Champion but it is of course sensible to wait for official word from FIA Championship Co-ordinator Kjell Pettersson.
Congratulations also to Swedish Pro Modified racer Mats Eriksson who ran the first-ever 6.0-second pass by a European Pro Mod with a 6.096 during Saturday's qualifying which was backed up for a European record by Mats' previous best run of the event. Congratulations also to Swedish Super Comp racer Marina Andersson who won the Eurodragster.com/Gold RV Perfect ET Award with an 8.900 in qualifying. Eurodragster.com was also presented with a special award by the NitrOlympX organisers for which we are very grateful, as well as for all the help which we received before and during the event. Thanks also to Peter Schöfer Racing for feeding and watering us over the weekend, to Christine and Peter Calwer for organising everything for us, Wolfgang Schick and Yvonne Blaull for transporting Kirstie to the top end, to Benni Voss for putting up with Tog in his office for three days, and to all the racers and officials who helped us.
You can check out our American Car Imports-sponsored NitrOlympX coverage by clicking here, or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
17th August: Finland's Tommi Haapanen is to make test passes in the Showtime Fuel Funny Car during FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. Tommi and Anita would not be drawn on the implications but you can be sure that Eurodragster.com will be there when Tommi makes his runs and we will drag it out of him during his post-run euphoria.
Web site updates.
17th August: First with the NitrOlympX photo updates is Dirk Behlau whose pictures you can check out at www.flickr.com/photos/pixeleye.
Brian Taylor's Crazy Horses author's Blog has been updated with news of the latest sales of his excellent book together with the details of another huge team of drag racing legends due to attend the FIA European Finals and the NSRA Hot Rod Drags. You can check out Brian's Blog on Alan Currans' Acceleration Archive at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
15th August: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding Version 9 of the official entry list for September's FIA European Finals, which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Yesterday was the official closing date so entry from now on is subject to a late entry penalty. If you have any queries about FIA European Finals entry then please contact SPRC Club Secretary Paula Marshall at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
14th August: Top Fuel Dragster is to be run over the quarter mile at this weekend's NitrOlympX. After a week or so of discussions amongst the Top Fuel racers and between the racers and Race Director Jerry Lackey, the decision was finally taken at an eventful drivers' meeting last night to run the full distance.
Swedish Pro Stock racer Jonas Dantanus is not racing at Hockenheim due to engine damage suffered at Alastaro and Mantorp Park. "Both our number one and number two engines are hurt and we are working to make one ready for the European Finals", says Crew Chief Christer Gustavsson. "This is a very disappointing situation for us as we had every intention to try to fight for a top place in the FIA Championship. We wish every racer good luck in Germany, and we hope to see you at the Finals."
The FIA European Finals are creeping up on us and Santa Pod Raceway are already down to limited availability for the Start Line VIP packages, which are £169+VAT. "But for just £119+VAT you can experience our Grandstand VIP packages which are still available" says Jo Harris of Santa Pod. "Great value hospitality with an exhilarating day out for all the family! For all VIP bookings and enquiries, please contact Kelly on 01234 782828 (outside the UK +44 1234 782828). All bookings must be made by Friday 4th September, so what are you waiting for?"
Bashed but happy I.
13th August: International dairy product smugglers Wendy Baker and Paul Stubbings were delighted with the performance of their Time Warp Nostalgia Funny Car at the Bulldog Bash at Shakespeare County Raceway.
"We spent the two weeks before the meeting changing the engine combination completely - liners, pistons and rods - for reasons I won't go into", says Paul. "We managed to get a complete motor together; thanks to Dave Branch, Mickey Moore, Tony Betts, Charlie Draper and Andy Carter for their help and parts.
"We managed two runs at the Bulldog Bash. The first run on Friday was a 7.87/145 off the throttle just after three-quarter track and the run on Saturday was a full pass of 7.37/187. These were only our second and third attempts at a full pass so as you can understand we are slightly pleased!
"Hopefully we can get the car out again a couple more times this year. At present our next planned meeting is the Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway in September. We would like to thank Dicko, Sarah and Chris for organising the demo cars at the Bulldog Bash, and also the track crew who did a superb job of track preparation."
Bashed but happy II.
13th August: UK Supercharged Outlaw racer Lee Gallimore starts his Bulldog Bash account with a big Thank You from all the Supercharged Outlaw teams to the HA and Dicko for the invitation to the event. "We had a blast all weekend", says Lee, "what a great show it was. Thanks!
"I would also like to say a big thanks to the Shakey crew for turning round a great track and working their nuts off all weekend to prep the track so that we could get down safely. A special thanks to Bruno as no matter how far down the track my burnouts would finish - 1000 feet, heh heh heh - he would pop over the rail and watch me back up to the start line. Cheers Bruno. Thanks also to all the Supercharged Outlaw teams: winner with a Personal Best Paul Watts in the No Easy Pick-up, Nobby and Luke, well done guys; Rich Davis, Steve Goode and Nick with Wobble and Mark Needham. Thanks to Dave McKenzie and Eddy, my sons Dan and Scott and my brother for crewing on Red Mist.
"Not to forget LA Commercials-sponsored Red Mist herself, she performed when asked. This is a Small Block Chevy motor with a big heart. She pulled me down the track on the last run of the meeting to a 7.6/176. I had big grin after that run!
"Roll on Bulldog 2010, cheers guys."
13th August: Brian Taylor tells us that the Allard Chrysler Action Group has received a bid of £1000 for the originals of the two paintings created to help to fund the project. As the intention was always to auction the two paintings Brian is accepting bids until Monday 31st August so if you are interested then please get in touch with Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding Version 8 of the official entry list for September's FIA European Finals, which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Entry closes for all classes tomorrow (Friday). You can download FIA European Finals entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc; If you have any queries about FIA European Finals entry then please contact SPRC Club Secretary Paula Marshall at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Editor's note: We are now on our way to Hockenheim for the NitrOlympX which starts at 09:30 European time tomorrow (Friday). This is a very busy weekend for the Eurodragster.com team so results aside this may be the last daily news update until next Tuesday. Please continue to send the news items to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish them when we are able; if a piece needs to be posted on a particular day (birthday etc) then please let us know, with as much notice as possible, and we will do what we can.
Event entry update.
12th August: Many thanks to Shakespeare County Raceway for forwarding Version 1 of the official entry list for next week's Open Sport Nationals, which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Entry is still open and you can download the official entry form from the Downloads page at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com.
Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding Version 7 of the official entry list for September's FIA European Finals, which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Entry closes for all classes this Friday, 14th August. You can download FIA European Finals entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc; If you have any queries about FIA European Finals entry then please contact SPRC Club Secretary Paula Marshall at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
It's still not to late to sponsor one of next weekend's Open Sport Nationals trophies. There are still a few classes available including a couple of opportunities for the Best of. If you would like to get involved and gain a little extra publicity in a cost effective manner then a mere £30 per class will buy you two class trophies together with three days' worth of PA coverage when your chosen class appears on track. Everyone from race shops, media outlets to web sites are welcome to participate. To get involved, or for more details, call 01789 720180 or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eriksson takes Pro Mod SM.
12th August: After twenty five years of drag races on a public road in an industrial area, Lindesberg now has its own drag strip which hosted the Linde Open at the weekend. Lena Perés tells us that the first race was a great success and that the final 2009 Swedish Championship class to be decided, Pro Modified, was contested at the event:
Unfortunately only four cars showed up, but Mikael Gullkvist, Mats Eriksson, Jöran Persåker and Fredde Fagerström put on a good show for the spectators. The Championship was between Mats Eriksson and Micke Gullkvist, but Micke had oil pressure problems and so Mats got the gold medal on a bye. Mats also took the event win.
Lena adds that a video of Ludvig Perés' Junior Dragster pulling a brief wheelie can be found on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGPcNsBpcvI.
Islanders on the road, in the air.
12th August: Frøya's Q8 Oils Islanders Drag Race team are headed for Hockenheim having tested Paul Ingar Udtian's Top Methanol Dragster at the Sunoco Drag Challenge at Gardermoen. Team member Konrad Ree takes up the story:
When we arrived Gardermoen the sky opened and filled almost the whole pit area with water. Luckily the rain stopped for a while and let us unload the car and get the tent settled before it started again. The Gardermoen crew did a great job trying to get the water away from our pit. The weather got better during the weekend so we got to do some racing.
Before the event we had made a deal with Jörgen Leanders to do some test runs with their own design clutch. What a nice piece and thanks to Jörgen for all his help during the weekend. We made some runs over the weekend which gave us a lot of answers and now we are looking forward to Hockenheim.
Thor Larsen has already started the trip with the coach, he left Oslo on the ferry to Kiel yesterday, and the rest of the crew are going by plane today. The Q8 Oils Islanders team will be fielding not just one car but three: Paul Ingar Udtian with the TMD and two Junior Dragsters driven by Maja Udtian and Birgitte Bremnes. We hope to see you all at Hockenheim. Let's have some fun and good luck to everyone.
Selkämaa ready to shine.
12th August: Finland's DB-Team Selkämaa Top Fuel Bike team has high hopes heading into NitrOlympX at Hockenheim because of its special atmosphere and the sheer number of drag racing fans:
After the Veidec Festival at Mantorp we've made several changes to our bike but the most visible of them is the new colours courtesy of our new partner Tuning Studio, one of the leading car tuning and racing part import and distribution companies in Finland. The new paint on our bike was done in Starpaint colours imported by Tuning Studio.
We have also made some technical changes on our bike. The cylinder head has been totally rebuilt and strengthened. In addition, the gear box which broke at Mantorp has been rebuilt with new parts. Big thanks to Per Bengtsson for fast delivery of parts.
So the bike is in good shape now and despite the disappointments at Mantorp we're ready to fight again. We think that we will be able to run even low six second times at Hockenheim if everything goes as planned. Although the Hockenheim event isn't in the UEM Championship going to take the competition seriously and we hope that all of the spectators will enjoy a great drag racing show.
12th August: NitrOlympX marshal Wolfgang Schick tells us that Friday's Junior Dragster meeting at Hockenheim has been moved to 8:30 from 8:45. You're looking for the guy at right. For more details about this meeting, which all JD racers are requested to attend, please see yesterday's NitrOlympX snippets.
Thanks to Andrea Kloss for letting us know that the provisional NitrOlympX running order is now on-line (PDF format) at www.nitrolympx-racer.de/2008/pdf_2009/zeitplan.pdf. Our understanding is that the organisers intend to run Top Fuel Dragster over the quarter mile this weekend.
Santa Pod Raceway still have a few places left for this Friday's (14th) Peak Performance Day. Peak Performance Days feature a track prepped to event standard, start line and safety cover, and limited entry to guarantee track time. On Saturday Santa Pod hosts a Run What You Brung which is of course open to all but if you would like to run on the track don't forget your DVLC. You can find out more about Peak Performance Days and Run What You Brungs at www.rwyb.co.uk.
The scrutineers at the weekend's Bulldog Bash at Shakespeare County Raceway raised no less than £125 for Help For Heroes by parting riders from their loose change in return for taping up their lights and mirrors. Bill Ives, Steve Johnson, Tim Preston, Annette Douglas, Dave May and Les Harris presented the money to Help for Heroes' Liz Murray, Neice Heston, Peter Murray and Jules Turr on Saturday.
The National Association of Supertwins had an excellent weekend at the 23rd Bulldog Bash, says its President Les Harris. "Our club stand had a good selection of drag bikes on display including four Junior Drag Bikes", says Beardy. "We always get new members at the Bulldog Bash and this year was no different. We had six NAST bikes running in the demos putting on a good show. We also had two pages in the event programme and we were very pleased with that. We would all like to say thank you to the HA for having us there."
12th August: Eurodragster.com will be reporting live from this week's NitrOlympX at Hockenheim in association with American Car Imports.
Our coverage will consist of very frequently-updated reports on qualifying and eliminations together with pit notes updated throughout each day and a photo gallery at the end of each day. The Webster Race Engineering/Lex Joon Racing USA Tour 2009 webcam will be on-line so long as the track is open and will be scheduled to post a picture every sixty seconds.
We are hoping to be able to post full qualifying results but we cannot guarantee this until we get to Hockenheim tomorrow and find out what happens when we plug our laptop in to the timing system - hopefully the kind help we have had so far from Olaf of Hockenheim's timing crew will bear fruit. If it does not work out then we will have to go back to manual recording of qualifying which will mean tracking only the top five qualifiers (but which does generate some entertaining sarcastic comments on discussion forums - Ed). On the other hand we may have something special for the Eurodragsterholics during Sunday's eliminations.
We will post a direct Home Page link to our coverage as soon as the event commences on Friday, although the webcam may be broadcasting for a while after we arrive tomorrow. In the meantime you can check out our NitrOlympX event index, which contains a link 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.
11th August: Junior Dragster racers are asked to attend a meeting at the start line at 8:30 on Friday morning, at which race official Wolfgang Schick will demonstrate this year's route back to the pits. Junior Dragsters will not be turning around this year but are to stop by the left guardrail, from where they will be pushed back by the track crew, but full details will be given at the drivers' meeting so JD racers please be sure to attend.
UK Jet Funny Car pilot Roger Goring and the Firestorm team are looking forward to their first outing to Hockenheim. "We are very honoured to be asked to appear at the NitrOlympX and we are looking forward to putting on a good show in front of the German fans whose reaction is legendary", says Roger. "We can't wait to get there! If you are going to the NitrOlympX then please come to our pit and say Hello."
The final official entry list for this weekend's event is available at www.nitrolympx-racer.de.
Sad but true...
11th August: Finnish Pro Mod racer Kristian Nyström tells us that the Alho & Lahdemäa Pro Modified team are out of the running for the rest of this season after suffering engine damage and a fire at the Veidec Festival:
It all went wrong in the last qualifying round on the Saturday. The ET was good but a connecting rod broke just at the finish line - when you are on the edge things like that just happen. And as if that wasn't enough, the motor caught fire when the hot oil poured out. Luckily I managed to steer the car to the Safety Safari guys at the top end and they put the fire out. A big thanks to them for being alert, and a big thanks to Roger Johansson who was beside me and saw my car on fire, and informed his crew on the radio so that they could tell the race officials to have the Safety Safari crew waiting for me. Tack Roger!
The fire took out everything around the motor which could burn. Today when the economy is bad and money doesn't grow on trees, we have to face the fact that we cannot afford to continue racing in Pro Mod in 2009. We will be out racing in 2010, that's for sure.
This was our third year in Pro Mod with the blown-methanol combination. The best ET this year was a nice clean 6.16/374 kmh which we put on the score board at Alastaro in June. It certainly felt good to know that we have a competitive combination. As everyone involved in Pro mod knows, it's not easy and you will always face setbacks when running fast. You just have to work harder and go for your goal. The whole team is confident that we will be very competitive next year, we know that we do the right things.
I would like to thank our sponsors, all the racers, the spectators, all the guys who helped us when we faced problems at the FIA Main Event (Danny Cockerill, Graham Ellis, Patrik Wikström, Kimmo Kokko), Andy Robinson Race Cars for building such a good car, and my crew, especially Tapio Haaksi.
To all you other guys in Pro Mod, show the German crowd what Pro Mod is about!
Olstad's strange weekend.
11th August: For Norwegian Supertwin racer Hans Olav Olstad, the Sunoco Drag Challenge at Gardermoen was perhaps his strangest race yet:
It started with rain, rain and more rain than you can imagine (I'm English, I can imagine quite a lot of rain - Ed). Half of the pit area was underwater, and a big digging machine had to dig a big hole in the field to try to drain some of it away. There was no racing on Friday, but slowly the track dried and they started to prepare the fastest track in Europe.
After lots of waiting because of water bubbling up on the track and some oil from cars and bikes, we got our first session at 15:00 on Saturday. Drag racing is also a challenge of patience! Same problem as before - the engine dropped a cylinder at the top end, and we didn't get a time either. Luckily we got an extra run. Still dropping a cylinder at the top end but I was #3 qualifier. Third run, same thing happened again, the dropped cylinder seems to be a big challenge at the moment. We ended as #4 qualifier. Svein Olav managed to do a nice 6.69 on the new blower bike and was #1 qualifier, Vidar #2 qualifier 7.08, Trond 3 qualifier #7.42. Ronny broke the primary belt and also lifted a head, Erik Frank damaged the crank. Peter Svensson did the best run ever in Europe on his Top Fuel Bike with a 5.93. He also ran a 6.05 on Sunday.
Lots of waiting on race day. The first round was at 13:30, the semi-final 18:45, and luckily the final at 20:00. Svein Olav met Greger, Svein Olav did a burnout from the start line, the bike changed direction and crossed the centre line. Greger lifted both heads. After a long night brainstorming with the crew, we made a serious change to the bike's set-up, ran a nice 7.07 and took out Carsten's 7.81. Then we had a lucky Lorenz in the semi-final - we met Mr Bye. Vidar ran a personal best of 6.99 and took out Matti. Trond also ran a Personal Best 7.14 and took out Skutt (Ulf Nylén).
In the semi-final we ran a 6.81, and finally Lightning was moving in the right direction. Vidar 7.44/318 took out Trond 7.45/317 in a very nice side by side race.
In the final Vidar was fast as a bullet on the Tree and pulled a reaction time which impressed everybody, 0.06. For my part I pulled a 0.14 and that's good for me. I spun the tire from the start line but hooked up pretty well. I was ahead of Vidar at the eighth, and Lightning pulled strongly all the way to a winning 6.99 to Vidar's 7.48.
We are on a good roll at the moment, and we are looking forward to the next UEM event in Hungary.
Special thanks to Espen and Björn from Jessheim Bilskade who served food and provided a nice time for everybody in the tent.
11th August: Just as we went to post this update we heard that UK Top Methanol Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Derek Flynn has been invited to drive Larry Miersch's injected-nitro Top Alcohol Dragster at the NHRA Finals at Pomona in November. Derek has of course leapt at the chance subject to gaining an NHRA licence and approval. Stay tuned for more.
Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding Version 6 of the official entry list for Septeember's FIA European Finals, which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Entry closes for all classes this Friday, 14th August. You can download FIA European Finals entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc; If you have any queries about FIA European Finals entry then please contact SPRC Club Secretary Paula Marshall at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Italian Top Fuel Bike racer Antonio Ferretti is headed to the UK to test having last week completed the crank for his new Top Fuel Bike (below left).
Reinhold Bogaard sent us a picture of this 1/25 scale model of Stefan Winter's gull-wing Mercedes 300 SL race car. "There are not so many of these around", says Reinhold. "The real car will be at Hockenheim, so Stefan promised. The model was built from a 300 SL gull-wing model, involving stretching and smoothing with plenty of putty and rebuilding the chassis with a proper V-8 and as much detail as possible. It took almost as long to build as Stefan's dragster. Luckily it's just a hobby!"
The Dark Ones from UK Super Pro ET team Nosferatu Racing are putting one of their of official Phantom der Nacht team T-Shirts (below right) up for grabs in a contest:
To enter, all you have to do is to visit the Nosferatu Racing website at www.nosferatu-racing.co.uk and follow the Competition link, then predict to four decimal places Vince Gibbs' best ET at next week's Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. "Our best time so far has been 7.0271 seconds, and we are making some changes which may deliver some improvements, but then again maybe not!", says Vince. "Whilst on our site please visit our sponsors without whose support and help we wouldn't dress so well or be knocking on the six-second door. Good luck!"
NitrOlympX Perfect Awards.
11th August: This weekend's NitrOlympX is the the latest event in the 2009 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards scheme. €205 is on offer for perfect performance.
The Eurodragster.com/Speedflow Perfect Light Award has been reset to €60 (£50) after it was won by Junior Dragster racer Sabina Jadersten at the Veidec Festival. The money will be awarded to the first racer this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available all racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first perfect light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £150 for next week's Open Sport Nationals; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the Open Sport Nationals. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with performance hose and fitting manufacturer Speedflow whose web site you can find at www.speedflow.co.uk.
Although the Perfect Light Award goes to three places, we will not pay out for red lights with zeroes in the first three decimals since a foul is a foul however far in the first non-zero digit may be. So a reaction time of 0.0001 will win you the money (if you're first to do it), but a reaction time of -0.0001 will not.
Decals are not formally required for the Perfect Light Award but of course we appreciate it: you can get Eurodragster.com decals at the track from any member of the Eurodragster.com staff.
The Eurodragster.com/Gold RV Perfect ET Award has been rolled over to €145 (£125) after it was unclaimed at the Veidec Festival. The money will be awarded to the first racer this weekend to run to the thousandth on their dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available this weekend during qualifying and eliminations in Super Comp, Super Gas, Junior Dragster (eliminations only), and Public Race, but will only be awarded for the first perfect run of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £150 for next week's Open Sport Nationals; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the Open Sport Nationals. The Perfect ET Award is presented in association with RV sales and service specialists Gold RV whose web site you can find at www.goldrv.co.uk.
Because we do not have any Award decals to take to Hockenheim they are not formally required for this event only; however we would appreciate it if eligible vehicles would carry Eurodragster.com decals, which are available from any member of the Eurodragster.com staff, and if those eligible for his sponsored Award would cheer on Derek Flynn in Top Methanol Dragster!
Web site updates.
11th August: Our good buddy Markus Ek has updated his racing gallery at www.mek.nu/racing with pictures from the weekend's Söderhamns snabbaste at Helsinge motorstadium.
Hockenheim nicely set up for weekend.
10th August: Mathias Wienand tells us that the Public Race Days event on the Rico Anthes Quartermile at Hockeheim was a huge success this year:
Several hundred teams, amateur and Pro, attended the traditional preparatory event one week prior to the NitrolympX. Many new teams showed up for the first time and many new PBs where recorded - a good sign that the track is ready and in good condition for this week's action. And so are the Hockenheim track crew because after a flywheel explosion from one of the quicker private racers (video at YouTube) a 1000-foot oil spill was cleaned up in less than thirty minutes. The incident ripped off the whole front end of the car.
Some of the Highlights included the German Street Eliminator Series in which Micha Vogt in his 1955 Procharged Chevy Bel Air ran low eight-second ETs all weekend and won the final round of the Championship against fellow racer Norbert Schneider in his Chevy Nova. Norbert also tested his Super Pro ET/Super Comp VW Corrado.
German Funny Bike riders Christian Jäger and Thomas Joswig also used the extra track time to get prepared for this weekend's NitrolympX and Michael Heisler took his first steps on his Supertwin which he recently bought from former owner Gunther Sohn of G&R Racing. In Super Street Bike a good nuber of racers entered to keep up with the huge international field of forty two entries this weekend.
Packed Grandstands and endless numbers of cars and bikes showed that the sport is getting a second wind in Germany, and there is more to come.
The Habermanns' Swedish sojourn.
10th August: German Top Methanol Dragster racer and one half of Germany's fastest brothers Timo Habermann has been in touch with a review of Werner Habermann Racing's weekend at the Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park:
After we received a different injector for Timo's car and had to build a new scoop (as seen in a spy picture on Eurodragster.com), we were unsure exactly where we stood with the set-up of our engine. The weekend weather forecast wasn't ideal, so we had to make a decision. On the one hand we could take it easy, but on the other we still needed to put down reasonable times with both cars. Dennis went 5.46/413.50 kmh with a similar set-up to that he used at Alastaro. We knew that he must have qualified and we were happy with his performance. Timo was paired up with Grumpy Wilson and went with a soft set-up went into #3 spot with a 5.54/407.03 whilst Grumpy went into #1 with a flying 5.31 therefore Dennis was in #2 after the first round of qualifying.
We decided to sit Q2 out with Dennis' car so that we could concentrate on finding the right set-up for Timo's car. At that point we were unsure about the injector and the scoop, so we tried some different things for the next run. A 5.58/402 showed we were heading in the right direction but still not quite there. After weighing our options for Timo's car, we decided to put the old supercharger and original injector back on the car to see if we could gain more blower pressure due to the new mid-season restrictions of 1.70 overdrive on our type of blower. Then we put a different set of tires on Dennis' car to see how the car would feel and react. During the run the car was very loose, coming close to the wall and forcing Dennis to lift slightly. He still managed to pull off a 5.52/408.
Then it was Timo's turn. Here the old saying "If it's not broken don't fix it" applied. The old blower sent Timo on a stormer of 0.887 to sixty feet, and 3.304 at the eighth. Unfortunately there was a puff of smoke from the engine and the run ended a 5.52, so we knew something had gone wrong in the second half. Back in the pits we had a broken valve, a damaged piston and sleeve, damaged heads and both burst panels out.
The data from the first half showed us that Timo was on a stormer but unfortunately an intake rocker arm gave up causing a lot of damage. Since we wanted to concentrate on fixing the engine of Timo's car and we were confident both cars had qualified, we decided to sit out the fourth session. After Q4 both cars were still in it. However, we were unsure who our opponents were going to be. As luck would have it, Timo and Dennis were paired up against each other in the first round.
After completely overhauling the engine on Timo's car and doing a regular service on Dennis car, both were ready to give it all they had in the first round on race day. Timo was away first by a margin of only 0.030 to Dennis' 0.103. This was again a very close race between Europe's fastest brothers. Timo pulled off the win again with a time of 5.4371 against Dennis' 5.4372. In the second round Timo was up against the current European champion, Peter Schöfer. Timo was away first with a reaction time of 0.029 to Peter's 0.083 and he kept the lead all the way to the finish line.
In the final round Timo was supposed to meet Dave Wilson again, but then it started to rain and the race was called off. Timo is still leading the FIA Top Methanol Dragster Championship by 48 points and we are looking forward to our local race in Hockenheim this week where our Sponsors UNI-FIT Katalysatoren and Böhm Solartechnik will support us.
Announcing Summer Slam.
10th August: American style show and go returns to North Weald airfield for The Damn Yankees' and Eurodragster.com sponsor LA Racing Parts' Summer Slam on Sunday 23rd August. North Weald airfield, located between the M25 and the M11, is a fantastic venue, well maintained and steeped in history making the perfect day out.
The show will be filled with American classics, awesome muscle cars, mind blowing rods, cool Harleys and radical customs. Loads of show trophies are up for grabs, to be presented after the parade down the quarter mile.
The quarter mile will be open to customs, rods, Harley motorcycles and American-themed vehicles plus any car, van or truck built in the USA. The all-concrete drag strip uses a full Portatree timing system offering reaction times, sixty foot and eighth- and quarter-mile ETs and speeds plus LED scoreboards. The track will be swept and there is the possibility of some traction-enhancing compound being laid down so that drivers and riders using the drag strip can run PBs.
A full day of Test'n'Tune action on the drag strip includes the Teng Tools Quick 16 elimination: if it's got a tax disc you can enter. There will also be an awesome burnout competition to see who can fog out the London drag strip; crowd participation is encouraged so make some noise for the best burnout.
The Summer Slam will also have trade stands, auto jumble, live band, bar, children's entertainer, face painter and children's rides so a great day out for all.
Gates open at 9:00 am. Owners arriving at the show with yanks, customs, rods and Harleys £5.00 per adult , general public £10.00 per adult. Children undre fourteen free if accompanied by an adult. Test and Tune signing on fee, for unlimited runs, is £20.00 per rider or driver (driving licence and crash helmet required). No off-road or children's motorbikes or tot rods allowed on site. For Test and Tune enquires call 01803 554308, or for general enquires call 0208 505 9930.
North Weald airfield on the A414 between Harlow and Chipping Ongar, off Junction 7 of the M11 and not far from the M25. For Sat Nav the postcode for North Weald airfield is CM16 6AA.
Another Orange Pop PB.
10th August: The UK's Orange Pop Outlaw Anglia team had a fantastic weekend at the Bulldog Bash at Shakespeare County Racway as Simon Barlow ran yet another Personal Best, says team member Jason Yates:
We were invited to the bulldog along with five other Outlaw Anglias to make demo runs on for the fantastic Bulldog crowd. The first run on Friday was nice and steady to see what the track was like. In the next two runs we managed 9.40s without using the transbrake. Saturday evening was our final run of the weekend, Simon pulled a huge smoky rolling burnout then went into stage. He used the transbrake but didn't give it as many revs as he normally does. It left the line pretty calm and then all of a sudden the car just hooked and went, straight as an arrow and flying down the track. The board lit up 9.190/148 which is a new PB and I was going wild on the start line!
At the Bulldog Bash all the drivers have to wait at the top end of the track for all the demo runs to be done, so I rang Simon to tell him the good news. I said "What do you think of that run?". He said "It seemed OK, what was it a 9.3?". I replied "No, a 9.1" and then all I heard was Simon cheering and the phone went dead, so he was very happy with that. As we brought Simon back from the top end the crowd were on their feet cheering us for putting a good show on for them. It was a fantastic weekend and now we are looking forward to the Open Sport Nationals.
10th August: Charlie Chivers tells us that there was a good turnout of cars queuing to have there cars tested on the new rolling road at Power Engineering London Ltd over the weekend. "Gino Bernadine and his Pro ET Escort were the stars of the show", says Charlie. "Keith 'Mr Furyous' Herbert and Richard Prior were kept busy with the barbecue. Power Engineering London can test rear wheel drive cars up to 1400 bhp and four wheel drive up to 2400 bhp. They are specialists in all road vehicles and race cars, just give them a call on 01895 255699 and they will be only to pleased to help."
We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to Fay Fischer of Eurodragster.com sponsor Speedflow. We wouldn't wish a slowdown in business upon you, Fay, but we hope that you can find the leisure to enjoy a great birthday. Happy birthday, too, from mum, dad, Lauren and all the White Noise team to UK Junior Dragster racer Vicky Molden. Have a lovely birthday Vicky.
Web site updates.
10th August: In the latest entry in his exclusive Racer Blog, Dutch Top Fuel Dragster racer Lex Joon looks forward to this weekend's NitrOlympX at Hockenheim, at which he is entertaining a huge number of guests and after which he will be making the final decision about his US Tour. As ever you can read the latest Blog update by clicking here or by clicking on the Racer Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Our good buddy Patrik Jacobsson has updated his Racebilder gallery site with pictures from Saturday's Power Street Finals at Malmö's Meca Raceway. Patrik tells us that Håkan Nilsson clocked a number of 4.0s in his Pro Mod at the event and also advises us to check out the yellow Cadillac which managed mid-fives even though weighing two tons. You can see for yourself at www.racebilder.nu.
Hans Karlsson has also updated his web site from the Power Street Finals, in this case with video clips. You can find Hasse's video at www.hassebilder.se.
9th August: Further to yesterday's and Friday's Swift Snippets, Eric Teboul increased his best terminal speed to a new drag bike world record of 251.30 mph on his Rocket Bike on his last run at Shakespeare County Raceway yesterday. Eric's ET was 5.320. Team-mate David Pertue clocked 5.177/216.46 in his Rocket FC only to take a trip into the field off the side of the shutdown area; Tony Byng tells us that David was unhurt and that the car sustained minor steering and bodywork damage.
Turner Motorsport Top Methanol Dragster team member Mark would be pleased to hear from anyone able to give him a lift to the Hockenheimring from Frankfurt Hahn airport this Friday morning (14th). Mark's flight arrives at 9:30 am; if you can help then please call him on 07787 745673.
Eurodragster.com checked the latest frequently-repeated rumour with race officials and word is that as things stand Top Fuel Dragster is to be contested over the quarter mile at September's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. Lex Joon's imminent Blog entry here on Eurodragster.com mentions the possibility of 1000-foot Top Fuel at this week's NitrOlympX, but "possibility" and not "done deal" is our understanding: we have yet to receive official word either way.
8th August: More congratulations to France's Eric Teboul who clocked a world best ET for a bike of 5.304 seconds on his Rocket Bike at the Bulldog Bash at Shakespeare County Raceway this afternoon. Tony Byng tells us that Eric's terminal speed was 243.78 mph which is getting ever closer to the world's best terminal speed for a bike. Congratulations are also in order to Martin Hill who reset the Shakespeare County Raceway Jet FC track speed record with a 5.984/282.49 in the Fireforce 3 Jet FC.
Santa Pod are seeking race cars and bikes for this year's Parade of Power, which takes place in Wellingborough Town Centre on the evening of Friday 4th September. "We are seeking a variety of vehicles from across the race classes to show the spectators what drag racing is all about", says James Forster of Santa Pod. "If you are interested and if your vehicle is able to complete five laps of the town centre then please E-Mail your car/bike details, race class, a photo of your vehicle and a contact number to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. "Unfortunately we have a limit on the number of vehicles so we can't accommodate everybody but nonetheless it's a great night out and we'd love as many of you involved as possible, so get your entries in now!"
UK Fuel FC pilot Gary Page has confirmed that the Mongoose Performance Exhausts/Pennzoil Fuel FC will be appearing at next weekend's NitrOlympX at Hockenheim. "We are looking forward to showing what the car can do", says Gary. "We had a clutch problem at the FIA Main Event which we have now found. I'd like to say thanks to Paul for his hard work. Unfortunately Sue Collins of Mongoose can't be there as she had a holiday booked but we'll go out there and do her proud. I know I'm biased but I'd like to say good luck to Micke Kågered in Top Fuel; he has found the electrical problem from Mantorp Park, so I know he can win and I hope he has a good weekend."
Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding Version 5 of the official entry list for the FIA European Finals, which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Entry closes for all classes next Friday, 14th August. You can download FIA European Finals entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc; If you have any queries about FIA European Finals entry then please contact SPRC Club Secretary Paula Marshall at email@example.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Nataas joins Andersens in USA.
7th August: Denmark's Andersen Racing Top Fuel Dragster team has existed for three years, during which time they have conquered two out of three possible FIA European Championships. Besides that, the team leads this year's FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Championship having made it to the finals in the first three races this year.
From their many victories and Championships, the team's big dream has been to be the first Danish Top Fuel team to race in Top Fuel in the USA, and despite financial crises all over the world 2009 will be the year that this dream comes true, as the team has now closed sufficient deals to be able to confirm that Andersen Racing will be racing in the USA later this year. More specifically, Andersen Racing will be contesting the last two NHRA races of the season at The Strip at Las Vegas on 29th October to 1st November and at Pomona on 12th-15th November.
As you all know, Andersen Racing has a strong and successful partnership with three-time FIA European Champion Andy Carter (and through him Lucas Oil), when racing in Europe. This is a unique partnership which is expected to last for many years. However, when racing in the USA this year, Andersen Racing will be in a new and exciting partnership with another driver: the experienced Norwegian Thomas Nataas, whom many of you will know from European Top Fuel in 2004-2007 as well as his many years in Pro Mod and in recent years Fuel Funny Car.
You can follow the team's preparations for the US Top Fuel Dream Tour, and later the races, results and behind-the scene stories at www.andersenracing.dk. Stay tuned, race fans, this will be an exciting journey!
Laseur into the PSB mix.
7th August: The Netherlands' Gert-Jan Laseur will be joining the fray in Pro Stock Bike at September's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, after the second of two test outings at the NitrOlympX at Hockenheim next weekend. Gert-Jan is likely to put the cat amongst the pigeons, having already run the bike into the 7.3s.
The owner of Laseur Motors Harley Davidson shop in Almere, Gert-Jan has been racing Harleys since 1996. In a spectacular career he was Dutch Super Street Twin Champion in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005, running the first nine-second quarter mile by a street Harley in 2000, getting his bike down to 9.19 in 2005. In 2007 he got the Buell bug, puchasing off E-Bay the ex-Tom Bradfords Marian Pearl Pro Stock Bike which was on sale with a broken motor. Gert-Jan rebuilt the bike in the USA and took the 2007 Euroserie Top Gas Championship in his rookie year with a best of 8.12.
"In 2006 I touched and even sat on Bradford's G2 Pro Stock Buell and it was love at first sight", Gert-Jan told Eurodragster.com. "But that bike was way out of my league, or so I thought. I have been supported since the beginning by Ton 'The Godfather' Pels and Zodiac. I sold my old bike at the end of 2007 and bought from Ton and Zodiac the newest Pro Stock Bike engine from S&S G2. The engine is 160 ci with six-speed automatic gearbox, S&S injection computer and MSD ignition and Racepack datalogger.
"I bought a Kosman chassis in 2008 and received it end of 2008. Together with my father, who has always helped me out with the shop and the race bike and is still going strong at 76, I built a copy of the S&S G2 race bike. We completed the bike in 2009 and ran it for the first time at Drachten. The best result was a 7.34/294 kmh which was very fast for me on a track which was not so good. The bike is awesome to ride and handles very well!"
Gert-Jan's next date is running in Euroserie Top Gas at Hockenheim next weekend, and then his first FIM/UEM Pro Stock Bike race at the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. "I am very excited about that!", says Gert-Jan.
Gert-Jan would like to thank sponsors Eurol Oil and Zodiac, and crew Max Bertrams (financial advice, sponsorship etc), Federico (Crew Chief and starter), Rick (mechanic) and of course his mum and dad.
Blue is the new yellow!
7th August: UK 9.50 Bike racer Phil Pratt will be marking his tenth anniversary in drag racing by re-launching his Suzuki GSXR1000 in its new livery at Santa Pod Raceway on Sunday.
"It's hard to believe it has been ten years!", says Phil. "My first proper race outside a Run What You Brung was the 1999 Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod, which I contested on a Honda CB500. I remember it so well: it was a dial-in meeting, with a field of more than thirty. My great mate Andy Bissett was on hand to help that day, dialling me in with a 13.40, which we stuck with all day long mainly because our shoe-whitener broke. But I managed to take the win thanks to Andy's rather cunning plan, which will remain forever a secret - cheers mate (But I know it, so for a fiver to the usual address etc - Ed).
"That was where the real addiction started. In 2000 I entered 10.90 Bike on a Suzuki RF900. Things have progressed steadily over the years ,although sadly my wages haven't, now I have the GSXR1000 and a couple of rather full trophy cabinets and run in 9.50 Bike. It's a fantastic, and very tough, class to compete in, with some of the friendliest people.
"Even after ten years, I still get the same buzz of excitement from racing as I did when I started out, and I can't see that ever changing.
"I've decided to bring out the new-look bike at a RWYB, instead of an actual race meeting, as it's how I got into racing in the first place. I'm still a great lover of RWYBs: they provide plenty of opportunity to see what the bike is really capable of. The bike still has a completely stock motor and is normally aspirated, and she's quick. I've run her down to 9.04 and up to 154 mph but I'm sure she has more in her if I can just coax it out of her!
"So many people have given me help and advice over the years and I'd like to thank them all. The list is far too long to name each and every one of them, but one or two are a must, including Clive 'California Kid' Mechaell for turning the bike into "A nugget of the purest blue". Of course the biggest Thank You has to go to my Mum for her constant support, both on and off the track. If it wasn't for her I wouldn't even have thought about drag racing. Ssrry for all the extra dusting over the years! Also big thanks to SuZe, who is fast turning into my PR guru, for all her support and the hard work on the new look.
"Let's hope the weather is good on Sunday. Onwards and upwards for the newly-formed PBM racing."
7th August: Congratulations to France's Eric Teboul who has blasted his Personal Best ET with an off-the-trailer 5.483 with his Rocket Bike at the Bulldog Bash at Shakespeare County Raceway today. Tony Byng tells us that Eric's speed was 233.84 mph.
Web site updates.
7th August: The official web site of the UK's Silverline Tools Top Methanol Dragster team has been updated with Dave Wilson's report from a very successful weekend at the Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park, where the team set new European records for ET and speed and ran the highest-ever TMD speed outside the USA. You can check out Grumpy's entertaining Veidec Festival report at www.silverlinedragracing.com.
Notice for racers at NitrOlympX.
6th August: NitrOlympX Race Director Jerry Lackey has issued the following urgent message to racers participating in next week's race:
Due to various technical difficulties our first chance to send out entry confirmations for the 2009 NitrolympX was yesterday, August 5th 2009. All entered participants for whom we have an E-Mail address will also receive an E-Mail confirmation within the next few days. If your name is on the actual list of participants at www.nitrolympx-racer.de then you will know that you are officially entered and that your entry confirmation is on its way.
If your entry confirmation should not arrive in time, then we will have personnel at the main gate with a list of participants in order that you can come to the Race Office at the Sachs-Haus.
NitrOlympX Press Officer Christine Calwer adds that Finland's Janne Ahonen has been added to the entry in Top Fuel Dragster.
6th August: Grant Norris has been in touch seeking up to twenty "Noisy but interesting-looking" race cars for display at the Trax Show at Silverstone on Sunday 6th September. "I can offer free tickets and pride of position in Thunder Alley where every hour or so we would like the vehicles to start up and make some noise", says Grant. If you are interested then you can contact Grant on 07917 529136, and for more information check out the Trax Shows web site at www.traxshows.co.uk.
Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding Version 4 of the official entry list for the FIA European Finals, which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Entry closes for all classes tomorrow week, 14th August. You can download FIA European Finals entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc; If you have any queries about FIA European Finals entry then please contact SPRC Club Secretary Paula Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Thanks to Jonas Staflund for alerting us to the extension of the NDRS Finals from two days to three. The NDRS Finals take place at Alastaro on 28th-30th August, and as ever you can find out more about the Nordic Drag Racing Series at www.dragracing.se, and more about the event itself on the Finnish Hot Rod Association web site at www.fhra.fi.
UK Pro ET racer Phil Toppin left his rapid altered unattended for a moment at the Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway and when he came back he found that either race cars grow up so quickly nowadays, or that someone had decided that Phil needed more cubic inches. "It'll make a good head rest" says Phil. If you know the so-far anonymous donor/plastic surgeon then drop us a line at email@example.com.
Santa Pod Raceway's mascot Nitro The Dragon is now available from The Pod Shop as a soft toy. Measuring ten inches tall (No, it's not Tog inside a costume - Ed), mini-Nitro is an ideal birthday gift for young drag race fans or for those who are just young at heart. You can acquire your very own Nitro for £4.99 plus £2 p+p by calling 01234 782828 or visit the Pod Shop On-line at www.santapod.co.uk/m_categories.php.
What's on this weekend.
6th August: The 26th Linde Open takes place at Lindesberg, Sweden, from tomorrow until Sunday, organised by SHRA Lindesberg. The event features the final Swedish Pro Mod Championship round as well as Junior Dragster, Super Street, Street Bike, Super Gas Bike, and Super Comp Bike. The race is a points round for both the NDRS and Toyo Scandinavian Dragracing Series South. More details at www.shra.nu which includes an excellent webcam.
The 5th Championship Drag Race 2009 will be taking place at Messini, Greece, on Saturday and Sunday, organised by the HMC. The race is a round of the Hellenic Dragster Championship and more details can be found at www.greekdragster.com.
The traditional pre-NitrOlympX Public Race Days event takes place at Hockenheim on Saturday and Sunday. You can find out more on the Hockenheimring web site at www.hockenheimring.com/Default.aspx?tabid=308.
The MK IV Supra Owners' Club Day takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday; more details at www.mkivsupra.net. On Sunday Santa Pod will be hosting a Run What You Brung open to all; for full details check out www.rwyb.com.
At Shakespeare County Raceway the Bulldog Bash is underway and goes on until Sunday. Europe's premier motorcycle show will have drag race demonstrations, Run What You Brung, a custom bike show, live bands including Motorhead and UFO, and more. More details at www.bulldogbash.eu.
Web site updates.
6th August: The official Blog of the Allard Chrysler Action Group has been updated with details of the dragster's recent appearance at Silverstone as well as the latest word about paintings, prints and auctions and more. Check it out under Latest News at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk/acag/acag.html.
Continuing the nostalgia theme, kind of, our good buddy Jon Spoard has updated his UK Drag Racing Nostalgia web site with pictures from the recent Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway. John's superb shots can be found at www.ukdrn.co.uk; whilst there check out the extensive historical photo libraries, video clips and that rarity on the web: an orderly, informative, well-managed and troublemaker-free discussion forum.
Event entry update.
5th August: Shakespeare County Raceway would like to remind all racers that the Open Sport Nationals will take place on Friday 21st-Sunday 23rd August and not over the following Bank Holiday weekend. Scrutineering will take place between 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm on Thursday 20th, and will continue on both Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd for the convenience of any racer unable to attend for the whole event. The entry list, pit plan and Friday's running order will be available in due course, and the official entry form and other information can be found at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com.
Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding Version 3 of the official entry list for the FIA European Finals, which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Entry closes for all classes on Friday week, 14th August; entry after this date, if accepted, will be subject to a late entry penalty. You can download FIA European Finals entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc or from the Power Racing web site at www.powerracing.eu. If you have any queries about FIA European Finals entry then please contact SPRC Club Secretary Paula Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Back to the Open Sport Nationals and Shakespeare County Raceway's track prep team Jon and Alan are on the lookout for any used drag slicks which racers would like to donate for use on the track's rubber sled. "The guys prefer used Goodyears to prepare the surface due to the difference in compounds with other brands", says SCR's Jerry Cookson. "Furthermore, racers based near to the track who are planning on disposing of slicks in the next week or so can drop them in anytime". If you can help then please call 01789 720180 or drop Jerry an E-Mail at email@example.com.
Shakespeare County Raceway are once again offering their popular trophy sponsorship scheme for the Open Sport Nationals. All classes from the UK National and ACU UK Drag Bike and Club Championships are included in the scheme (Apart from Pro ET and Super Street Bike, we've had those away - Ed). If anyone would like to become involved and gain a little extra publicity in a cost-effective manner then a mere £30 per class will buy you two class trophies with winner and runner-up plaques engraved with your company's name, together with three days' worth of PA coverage when your chosen class appears on track. Everyone from corporate companies, race shops, media and web sites are welcome to participate. Banner placement may also be considered for the event at additional cost. The Open Sport Nationals will also again be hosting awards for Best Appearing Car and Bike, Best Appearing Team, and Best Engineered Car and Bike, to be judged by the events commentators and scrutineers. To get involved, or for more details, then call Jerry 01789 720180 or drop him an E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The story of an historic weekend.
5th August: The Team Kendall Racing Top Fuel Bike team made history at the Sunoco Drag Challenge at Gardermoen on Saturday as Peter Svensson recorded the first five-second pass by a European Top Fuel Bike, a 5.938/39.9 kmh. Sören Svensson has been in touch with the story of the team's spectacular weekend:
The team drove up to Gardemoen early on Thursday to be able to unload all our equipment before it got dark, and we finished just before the forecast rain started to fall at about five o'clock. After unpacking we went out on to the strip in the rain to see how the preparation of the track looked, and we all were a bit amazed how good the track looked knowing that the great personnel at the track weren't yet finished due to rain earlier in the week.
The rain kept on falling until Friday around one o'clock on Friday and at that time the organisers decided to postpone the race until Saturday to be able to finish the preparation of the track which turned out to be a very good decision. We checked the track on Friday evening and it looked as if it could take a lot of horsepower, so we decided to step up from the combination we had at the Veidec Festival last week, when we improved our previous European eighth mile records to 4.061/304.79 kmh.
In the first qualifying round on Saturday we spun the tyre from the starting line which created a bit too much rpm for the engine hurting an intake valve, and that was it for this run resulting in only a 7.72. For the second qualifying round we decided to turn down the power and clutch just to be on the safe side, and since this run was planned to be early in the afternoon we decided that this was the way to go. The run was delayed until early evening and the air was getting a lot better and so was the track, so we kept our set-up as it was. Peter staged and then on he went as never before. From behind it looked almost like the run at Santa Pod last September with a 3.91 at the eighth mile, but then at around this point the bike really hooked up the tyre and the engine produced tons of power, shown by high exhaust flames above the bike.
Peter decided to click it off after 5.5 seconds for safety reasons and the scoreboard still showed an astonishing 5.938/359.9 meaning that Peter and the rest of our team just had made drag racing history, producing the first ever five-second run on a Top Fuel Bike outside the USA! More or less everyone at the track went wild knowing that this was something real big!
Anyone reading this can understand that this is greater then anything we ever have achieved during all of our years in drag racing, including the win at the Thunder Nationals at Indianapolis in 1998. What is even more fantastic as that this was done on a bike from 1992 with a lot of the same engine parts such as the crankshaft, engine block/cylinder/head - of course the head has been ported but that's about it. This means that these parts have somewhere between 250 and 300 runs on them!
For the two hours after the five-second run we did a lot of interviews with different media groups and then the team and all of our friends in the pits celebrated until the early morning hours of Sunday.
Sunday morning came and we all had to prepare ourselves for eliminations. We decided to put in a milder set-up than on our previous run to be a bit safe knowing we had a good chance to go to the next round. Peter produced another great run resulting in a 6.067/347.96 win, with an amazing 315.7 kmh/197 mph at the eighth mile showing that despite taking out even more power we could still run faster then the existing European record hold by Roel Koedam. Peter clicked off after 5.4 seconds on this run.
When it was time to run the semi finals we took out a bit more power just to know where the limit was in our combination. Peter made a great burnout as always and took the win over Kenneth Vik with a 6.10/ 337 on a very loose run, blackstriping all the way to 1000 feet where he clicked off the throttle at about 5.3 seconds in to the run. It was now time to meet our good friend Rikard Gustavsson in the finals on his extremely fast Funny Bike, and knowing that his very fast reaction times are sometimes hard to overcome even with a Top Fuel Bike's higher horsepower output we decided to keep our set-up from the previous run. After just around forty five minutes we were called to get to the start line. We finished our preparations just in time and were on our way with a very hot clutch but knowing that it would hook up pretty well.
Both Peter and Rikard made great burnouts and the guys staged, the green light went on and we could see early in to the run that this going to be a good run for both of them with Peter taking the win at 6.056/344 clicking it off at 5.6 seconds and Rikard taking the runner up spot on an amazing run of 6.556/323.87, making this run the worlds quickest side by side run ever yet for a Top Fuel Bike and a Funny Bike!
Getting back home we have received greetings from racers and fans all over the world. Thank you to everyone who believed in us over all these years, helping us with moral support to gain these tremendous results! Encouraged by our results at Gardemoen we have now started to prepare ourselves for the final race of our season at Santa Pod Raceway in September. We can promise you all that we will do everything that we can to run a new European record if the track is in as good shape as it was at the 2008 FIA European Finals.
A big Thank You to everyone who made this possible:
For more information about our team see www.kendallmotoroil.se (in Swedish) or hem3.passagen.se/billet.
Preparing the next Assault.
5th August: The Veidec Festival was a successful outing for Eurodragster.com sponsor Urs Erbacher's Midland Oil Top Fuel Dragster and Midland Oil/Walo Supertwin along with the SCS Junior Dragster, writes Urs' Top Fuel tuner Wayne Dupuy. The team are now elbow-deep in preparations for next week's NitrOlympX at Hockenheim:
It began with the arrival of the container in Switzerland. Everything was intact with no damage to anything so big thanks to Gondrand Logistics.
At the race the Midland Oil car of Team Erbacher performed flawlessly with each and every pass. There were no mistakes by anyone, and the car was very consistent on all five runs and there was no parts damage what so ever. An outstanding job by Urs and the entire Midland Oil Team. So now the first race is behind us it's time to step up to the plate in Hockenheim. The Midland Oil Top Fuel team is looking forward to a great weekend on the 2009 Team Erbacher Kings Of Nitro European Assault Tour!
The Midland Oil/Walo Supertwin with pilot Lorenz Stäuble had a great weekend with the team's bike. He and the team faced a big challenge, only racing to the eighth mile at Mantorp. Lo and the team had some adjustments ot make to the Midland Oil/Walo Supertwin but they did a very good job as the Supertwin got quicker and faster every run. The Midland Oil/Walo team made it all the way to the final round when rain washed out the final eliminations. But for Lorenz and Team Erbacher the European Championship is getting down to a couple of races left with Lo on top of the points. Lorenz would like to say thanks to all at Midland Oil, Walo, and Erbacher Custom Bikes for the opportunity.
Team Erbacher and crew are looking forward to their biggest race of the year at Hockinheim. They have big hospitality with hundreds of guests along with sponsors Midland Oil, HR Springs, SCS Procurement services, Walo, and Erbacher Custom Bikes. And there is still room for any other company which would like to be there to experience the excitement of drag racing. Also there are discount tickets for this sponsor package for fifty or more people. So come on, be a part of the team and join the 2009 Kings of Nitro European Assault Tour.
The team is working hard preparing all three race vehicles for the big race at Hockenheim. Urs Erbacher and partner Oyvind Dahl are in big meetings this week about the future of Team Erbacher in 2010. Urs says we need to get going now on organising 2010. We have some finishing to do here in Europe and in the USA in 2009, but 2010 is going to be here soon and we want to get off and running full speed ahead so we are working on plans now. Europe, USA, Saudi Arabia, Australia, anywhere - Team Erbacher can be there. If we can offer any thing to anyone please contact Urs via www.fatattack.ch or E-Mail me at email@example.com.
Knocking on the door of four!
5th August: Before the 2009 season kicked off, there had been talk in the Carter Motorsport/Andersen Racing/Lucas Oil Top Fuel Dragster camp of the aim to dominate the season. The team's goal was to take the Lucas Oil Dragster to the winners' circle at every race in 2009, writes Team PR Dan Welberry:
I know it's a bold ambition but if you don't have them you won't achieve them, as Andy often quotes ''We're only here to win!'' This obviously sat alongside and went along with Andy's main goal which is to claim an unheard-of fourth FIA European Top Fuel title, which would also set Andy another record of being the first European Top Fuel Driver to achieve the Championship in back-to-back seasons.
Wins in the opening two rounds at Santa Pod, England and Alastaro, Finland had propelled the team to a commanding lead in the FIA Championship and kept them on course for the 'Win each race' ambition. Sweden would only serve to sweeten the season even further but the '3 out of 3' record was not to be, as rain prevented the final round against Risto Poutiainen being run. What a great race this would have been, the win could have gone either way!
The Mantorp Park track is another favourite of Andy's. He has held the track record there since 2004 and he was going into to this year's race off the back of a win at the 2008 event. With some of the bigger names not contesting all the European rounds this year, the door has been opened for some new stars to shine and the Swedish track played host to some outstanding qualifying with Linda Thun Tønseth proving that she was not just there to make up the numbers! Stig Neergaard has been a major force this year too, with some huge performances and a solid Championship position as we head for Germany. Risto Poutiainen is a great competitor and is driving well. It wasn't too much of a surprise to see Risto grab number one qualifier and as we've often said you can never write off a Rune Fjeld-tuned car. It was also nice to see Urs back in the mix for this race. As qualifying positions proved, the European teams have risen to the challenge and stepped up their game for 2009.
We'd like to say thanks to Lucas Oil for their continued support, as well as our many other sponsors Landmeco, Impact Race Products, NGK Spark Plugs, Binamic, Pioneer Print, K&N Filters, Yuasa Batteries, BMRS, Sigma Signs, Rainbow Conference Sets, 3T Creative, Norfolkline, RCS Cables, Teng Tools, CAAR, Autotel, Jerrys, USA Autodele, AACI and Ultimate Airbrush.
Andy is now unbeaten in the last four FIA races and with a substantial lead going into the next round in Germany, the pressure really is on the other racers to close the gap to prevent further history being made by the defending Champion. One thing's for sure: if Andy Carter does go on to take this year's FIA European Top Fuel Dragster title, this really will be a major achievement within the sport.
You can follow our progress in Germany at www.andycarter.net/events/2009 or at www.eurodragster.com/live/2009nitrolympx.
Exhaust Coating PM Challenge update.
5th August: One qualifying round remains in the 2009 Exhaust Coating.de Pro Mod Challenge and Eurodragster.com News sponsor Marco Maurischat tells us that Sweden's Micke Gullqvist has taken over the points lead:
The Challenge is open for the top eight drivers as determined by qualifying points earned at previous FIA European Championship rounds by the top sixteen qualifiers. The first prize is €2000 Euros with €500 for the runner-up. The point system and standings are available at www.pulver-nord.de.
The 2009 Exhaust Coating Pro Mod Challenge will be decided during qualifying at the 2009 FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. If eliminations cannot be completed at this event because of rain or other circumstances the drivers with the best ET after the last elimination round will be the winner and runner up. If elimination cannot be held at all at Santa Pod because of rain or other circumstances the winner and runner up will be the drivers with the best point standing. The winner and runner-up will be presented with their €2000 and €500 at the FIA European Finals.
After four rounds of the 2009 Exhaust Coating Pro Mod Challenge the points standings are as follow:
To earn points and prize money, one decal on both side of the race car is all that is necessary. If any driver does not have a decal, then please contact me at PulverNordGmbH@t-online.de. For further information please visit www.exhaust-coating.de.
Facing a DNQ? Then run a PB.
5th August: Frøya's Islanders Drag Racing Team got into their game on the Thursday of the Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park, writes team member Konrad Ree:
On Thursday the team's Junior Dragsters were qualified #8 ( Maja) and #18 ( Birgitte) in an incredibly tight field. Paul Ingar Uditan was ready to do some good numbers in the first qualifying round of Top Methanol Dragster on Friday, but when he backed up after the burnout a malfunction on the steering placed the dragster across the track and he had to shut off. The team were a bit confused about this problem but they solved it within an hour and the dragster was ready for the second round in the afternoon.
With five cars already in the 5.5s after one qualifying round the team had some pressure on them to tune the car for a fast pass in the same 5.5 range to ensure a good qualifying spot. The car left the line nicely and the run was straight, the time was 5.60/404 kmh and good for the #5 spot. The team was happy with this run until the fueltest, the fuel was not clear and the run was disqualified ! Some problems taking the test from the tank had resulted in some crud and old fuel from the pipelines in the sample - nothing wrong with the type and value of the fuel but disqualified anyway. The Islanders were still not in the eight-car field and the upcoming Saturday qualifying runs were more important than ever.
Third round and the second last attempt to get qualified: unfortunately the outcome was about the same as in Alastaro some weeks ago, the dragster went into heavy tyre shake just after a 0.91 sixty foot time and Paul Ingar needed to lift the throttle. The time of 6.45/381 was not good enough to get into the ladder. So the team were back in the pits again wondering and brainstorming how to overcome the tyre shake problems. The strategy for the last qualifying run on Saturday afternoon was to soften the tune-up of the car and make a safe good pass to ensure a spot in the top eight for Sunday's eliminations. We needed a time below 5.8 to get qualified and Paul Ingar and the crew were under heavy pressure when the dragster entered the track, with 20,000 spectators in the grandstands and a record field of fast Top Methanol Dragsters fighting for the right to run in eliminations the next day. The dragster launched strong and made a straight quick run, the dragster was pulling harder and harder all the way down to the finish line. The time 5.51/414 came up on the scoreboards and the Islanders team went bananas, Paul Ingar was qualified # 5 with a great new Personal Best for ET and speed!
There was a great feeling and atmosphere in the team Saturday night, a new PB and qualified #5 after a lot of struggle to get the dragster in the low 5.5s. The dragster was checked over and prepared for first round of eliminations against Krister Johanson. Krister was qualified #4 with a 5.50 and Paul Ingar #5 with a 5.51 so the elimination run was looking to be a thriller. The Islanders tuned the dragster slightly harder but not too much - still afraid for that scary tyre shakes.
Again the Islanders dragster made a strong launch and a straight strong pulling run, the times on the scoreboards were 5.50/414 for Paul Ingar and 5.43/426 for Krister. Krister was too strong for the Islanders this time, but Paul Ingar ran a new Personal Best again so the Islanders are definitely on the right course with the tune-up of the dragster.
5th August: Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm for forwarding us the post-Bug Jam standings in the 2009 Santa Pod Racers Club Championships. You can check out the SPRC points on our Speedflow-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Mark Turner is offering limited-edition prints of two of his acrylic-on-canvas paintings, entitled Slingshot Heat and Garlits Fever.The first depicts a late sixties dragster chassis twisting launch off the line and the second Big Daddy'sWynn's Jammer warming up for that first 200 mph run. The prints are high-quality, long-life inkjet on 60 cm x 50 cm 200 gsm matt paper, image size 52 cm x 42 cm. Each is hand signed, titled and numbered and Mark tells us that the print quality has really captured the depth of colour and textures of the original. The prints are £25 each plus pound;2.95 UK p+p, overseas postage extra. For more details or to order your prints E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for forwarding us the table of European Bests updated after the Veidec Festival including Dave Wilson's and Peter Svensson's new European records and the new bump spot record in Pro Mod. You can check out the European Bests table by clicking here or by clicking on the European Bests link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
If you have any questions for our Q&A with FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter then you still have time to send them to us. Send your question with your name and country to email@example.com within the next couple of days, and we will aim to post the Feature before the NitrOlympX.
Jolink visits Bechyne.
5th August: European Top Gas racer Herman Jolink made the trip to Bechyne in the Czech Republic for the Open Czech Republic Championship on 17th-19th July, and kindly sent us a report on the weekend's events:
The track is concrete but the traction was not so good. The event was for cars and bikes, also a lot of different kinds of bands played on a big podium and there was a lot of press and TV. On Thursday and Friday there were very high temperatures, above 20 C, but we had rain all day on Saturday and the track didn't dry until after 18:00. On Friday evening we could make some untimed runs, and on Saturday we could make untimed runs for the public and everyone got a lot of applause.
In Super Street Bike the first place went to Ondrej Climciw CR on his Turbo Kawasaki ZX12R, 8.442/286 kmh, second was Charly Anagasti NL on a Suzuki Hayabusa 9.471/269 reaction Klymciw 0.43 and Anagasti 0.144.
Competition Bike qualifying:
1. Otto Knebl CR 8.182/269 on Kawasaki ZX12R with carburettors and nitrous injection. In the UEM Championship Knebl uses a Turbo Kawasaki but at the moment Knebl is faster on his old bike.
2. Davide Ricci I 8.279/240 on a Pro Mod Suzuki with carburettors and nitrous injection. This bike ran 6.8 seconds in the USA.
3. Martin Rehounek CR 8.684/245 on 1680 Turbo Subaru
4. Herman Jolink NL 8.988-248 on Ducati 999 RS (1214). There were two qualifying runs the first 9.017/250 and the second run 8.988
5. Michal Ponca CR 12.065 on Yamaha
Competition Bike round 1: Knebl 8.192/271 bye run; Jolink 9.110/245 beat Rehounek 9.284/245, reaction Jolink 0.169 and Rehounek 0.476. Rehounek had lane choice because of his better qualifying time, the left lane had no good traction but Jolink was first to the finish; Ricci 8.328/231 bye run, Ponca broke.
Competition Bike semi finals: Knebl 8.239/262 beat Jolink 9.395/248, Jolink had traction problems; Ricci 8.875/229 bye run.
Competition Bike final: Otto Knebl 8.085/273 beat Davide Ricci I 8.138/269.
A weekend with the Pros.
5th August: Chris Gray's and Marius Blackburn's Escape from Reality Pro ET altered spent last weekend on display at the Norwich branch of Tyre Pros.
"Centre manager David Berryman wanted something eye-catching on display whilst they were celebrating the tenth anniversary of the outlet", says Marius. "David has had a healthy interest in drag racing for many years now and has made several trips to the States to get his nitro fix! Realising that John Force and Co. were not available at short notice he had to put up with us!
"We had a great weekend meeting up with the Tyre Pros team, and customers and public alike showed a lot of interest in the car especially when we made a bit of noise with it. It's not every weekend you get one of these things running its engine in a retail park in the city centre! We even got to meet a few race fans who went back to the days of Dennis Priddle, Clive Skilton, and all the guys you read about in your latest history book, so we got the opportunity to bench race as well!
"Tyre Pros is amongst the most prestigious tyre retailers in the UK, working to excellent standards in state of the art facilities. Their goal is to be the best tyre retailer anywhere, with customer comfort and care a priority, along with a policy of no hidden extras. There are currently twenty Tyre Pros branches nationwide and are looking to expand upon that. To find your nearest outlet check out www.tyrepros.co.uk.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank David and all his team for their hospitality and friendliness over the weekend, and we can personally vouch for the services they offer."
We don't have lift-off.
5th August: UK Super Modified racer Craig Gibbs has been suffering an issue with a bouncing problem in the Gibbs family's Obsession Camaro. But he tells us that the team are well on the way to solving the problem thanks to help from Andy Wright, Crew Chief for Pro Mod racer Bert Englefield:
The issue develops as Obsession launches, resulting in a continued bouncing motion as the car carries on up the track. After the washout which was Bug Jam, we decided to take the car to the Mopar EuroNats the following weekend for some testing in the hope that we could get to the bottom of the issue. I must thank Ian Blackett of Blackett Photography for producing an excellent slow motion video of the car launching, which really highlighted the issue even more; if anyone wants to know what really happens to their race car on launch, whether or not they have an issue, go and see Ian who is located near the startline at the Pod - it really is fascinating to watch.
On the Friday before the Mopars Andy came down to have a look at the car to see if a solution could be found. Let's just say that it was a late night by the time the car was locked and loaded and ready to go. Andy had found a few issues, and temporary solutions were implemented so that we could go testing. A full baseline of the car was carried out, and she was ready to go. Andy has a lot of experience with the chassis set-up's on some of the Pro Mods currently out there and really knows his stuff.
Come the Saturday I have to say I was a little apprehensive as to what the car might do, how she would react etc so we asked Andy to join us for the day, just in case any adjustments had to be made. But she behaved impeccably, she drove like she was on rails and, more importantly, the bouncing appeared to have stopped. And even better, we ran a new PB for eighth-mile speed at 145.38 on the last run. To get the car to launch straight off the trailer in the way that she did was impressive, thanks Andy.
So thanks to everyone involved, apologies that it was a late one in the end both Friday and Saturday, but I think everyone will agree it was a day well worth spending, and even as a Chevy fan I have to say what a fantastic event!
Smax hits the beach.
5th August: Ex-pat UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Smax Smith and the Leverich Family team went to the IHRA National event in Martin, Michigan with a new block and crank and a trusty five-disc clutch:
With the usual amount of thrashing we were ready for the first qualifier on Friday evening. We were paired against veteran NHRA driver Pat Dakin, pulled into stage and left first with a -0.055 red with all cylinders lot and a decent 0.950 sixty foot time, but the motor shut off at approximately 250 feet so I thought I had lost a belt. I cruised down to qualify and leaned the motor to pick up a bit of ET. When I jumped out the belt was on but it took a while to figure out what quit when motor was still running - no backfire or burst panel gone then found blower studs broken so lost boost and rpm. We figured with our slightly higher compression that we were maybe detonating with 89% nitro so went to Q2 with 84.5%. Also had some rear main damage to just half a bearing on the clutch side so figured the burnout RPMs were too high so we dropped that also.
Went for Q2 against Bobby Lagana Jnr and after firing had to roll the throttle as we had been working real hard to get the clutch neutral perfect, so had to roll throttle ever so slightly to pull forward for a great burnout. I had to do the same to pull into pre-stage but of course it finally decided to start dragging and pulled me into stage. I should have been harder on the brake, but poor Lagana was thrown into a panic to get staged. I ended up on the high side for too long but left first, dropped two cyinders and at approximately 300 feet the motor went out. Back in the pits again we discovered broken blower studs and similar rear main bearing damage. Maybe it wasn't detonation but the clutch coming in too early, dragging down the motor and not making RPMs at the hit. So I moved the first timer ahead a little and changed the first jet to see if this helped the rear main.
Went for Q3 against Terry McMillen and left with a fine 0.081 lite but again dropped two cylinders but they came back because before the eighth mile it made a huge charge but the motor shut off again before 1000 feet. I thought a belt for sure. Crossed the finish line then pulled chutes at 240 mph and shut off fuel. I felt a slight pull from the chutes but quickly realised something wrong because I wasn't slowing, so grabbed the brake but nothing! Gave it a couple of pulls but nothing. I thought "I'm in the sand" so steered into the sandtrap as straight as I could, blasting past Terry who was also in the sand. I was A-OK and suprisingly the car was OK, no front wing damage and didn't roll. Martin has a huge run-off area and a long sandtrap and I used every inch going in there at over 200 mph! I went so far into the beach that was looking for my sunglasses and a pina colada!
It took the safety tow truck a while to winch car out then we were faced with how to get the car back with no brakes. So Aidee steered, Bob drove the tow car at 5 mph, and I walked alongside the car almost a mile back to our pits ready to be the brakes!
All in all it was a great learning weekend but a tough field. The bump was 4.84 and all the heavy hitters were there so we ended up not qualifying but happy that we finally got downtrack finally and it would have been a low five had we not dropped the cylinders at hit and shook the blower off the car again! We finally realised that our problem was just engine vibration as we added the five-disc disc and this is a common problem. Most teams have pads or shim studs to stop the flywheel from moving around too much. We have huge gap behind the flywheel to the motor plate because we spaced our bellhousing back to get the five-disc in so good old fashioned motor shake rattled everything - including the steel brake line from the master cylinder. The chutes were wrapped under the wheelie bar so we will have all that sorted for Epping in five weeks' time.
I've done an interview for Drag Racing Review and was on SpeedChannel last week...Mum, I'm on telly! Now that we have August off, we're going to thrash on the Mainline Menace '35 Chevy altered. Rooz took the motorhome and '69 Chevelle to Grand Bend and saw T Pain and twelve bands as well as going a couple of rounds with the race car. A good weekend for all.
Web site updates.
5th August: Richard Smith has updated his Fotopic gallery with shots of Sunday's action at York Raceway's UK Northern Nationals. Check it out at richardsmith.fotopic.net.
Our good buddy Patrik Jacobsson has updated his Racebilder gallery site with pictures from the weekend's Sunoco Drag Challenge at Gardermoen. Patrik's shots can be found at www.racebilder.nu.
Contest: Win a Eurodragster.com T-Shirt.
3rd August: We are quite often asked why we do not produce Eurodragster.com T-Shirts. The reason is cost and time, but if you would like to show support for your favourite drag racing web site then Benny Edvardsson of Eurodragster.com News sponsor Tireshake.com is offering two Eurodragster.com T-Shirts in a contest to be run via the Tireshake web site. The T-Shirt features a small Eurodragster.com logo on the front and a large Eurodragster.com logo on the back.
Of course, no-one is going to give away a prize of this rarity and value without making you work a little for it. If you would like to be kitted out in a Eurodragster.com T-Shirt then visit www.tireshake.com and look amongst the products for the Eurodragster.com logo. When you find it, then E-Mail Benny at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the web site stating the item number and name where you found the Eurodragster.com logo plus your shirt size and address.
Whilst on the Tireshake web site take the time to check out the huge range of other drag racing T-Shirts, sweatshirts, hood and caps for the discerning fan - remember to support those who support Eurodragster.com. Good luck!
2009 Swedish Champions.
3rd August: Many thanks to Lars Pettersson for forwarding us details of the 2009 Swedish Championships, some of which were decided at the Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park. Congratulations to to the following (click on the class name for full standings):
Competition Eliminator (three rounds):
1. PerErik Lindgren, SHRA Luleå Undercover Bantam
2. Mats Wicktor, SMF Tibro Pontiac Grand Prix (1991)
3. Martin Lundkvist, Hässleholms DRK Chevy S-10 TurboPickis
Stock/Super Stock (three rounds):
1. Uffe Edwardson, SHRA Eskilstuna Dodge Challenger (1970)
2. Lasse Bodén, NDRS Motorklubb Ford Fairlane
3. Pelle Andersson, Svärdsjö MK Chevrolet Nova (1970)
Junior Dragster (five rounds):
1. Mattias Edvinsson, SMK Söderhamn
2. Ludvig Perés, Borlänge Dragracing Klubb
3. Linus Eriksson, SHRA Uppsala
Pro Modified (after two of three rounds):
1. Mats Eriksson, Borlänge Dragracing Club Ford Crown Victoria
2. Michael Gullkvist, SHRA Stockholm Chevrolet Bel Air
3. Patrik Wikström, Orust MS Chevy Camaro
The final Pro Modified round is at Lindesberg this coming weekend.
Veidec Festival FIM/UEM review.
3rd August: FIM/UEM European Drag Bike Championship Co-ordinator Lars Anderssson starts his review of the Veidec Festival with a big Thank You to Kjell Pettersson and everyone in the track team who again managed to make a good track out of nothing:
The track is not getting any better each year and to make it good every time is hard work. But thanks to the experience of Kjell and the others, they managed to make a track this year again. But I am afraid that it gets harder every year to make a good track. Thank you also for all the efforts to not give up even if it looks bad.
In Pro Stock Bike there were nine qualifiers. But the return of Anders Jacobsson stopped directly after the first burnout when the engine broke. So then was it only eight. Fredrik Fredlund ended up as the number one qualifier and Martin Bishop was number two. In the last place did we had Bo Thorselius who returned this year on his old two-stroke Kawasaki. In the first round Fredlund won over Thorselius and Kenneth Vik won over Gabby. Martin Bishop on the other half of the ladder won over Miia-Maria who made her first appearance outside Finland. Anders Abrahamsson, who finally found the problem he had for a long time won over the current Championship leader Ulf Ögge. Ögge had a terrible weekend of problems. If it not was the bike then he had problems with the direction of the bike, it is better to shut off than hit the wall. So in the semi it was Kenneth Vik against Anders Abrahmansson. Two Suzukis against each other.
In Supertwin there turned out to be many explosions and problems. We started with twenty one bikes entered but Roman Sixta did not come after his problem in Finland and Torbjörn Svensson's bike was not ready to race. So we had nineteen bikes which passed technical inspection. After qualifying it was Hans Olav Olstad against his Norwegian friend Matti, and Matti took the win since Olstad had some engine problems, but Matti also had some problems and sprayed the track with oil which took almost an hour to clean up. And there were some more problems so Matti could not race in the next round against Lorenz Stäuble who won over Svein Olaf Rolfstad who scared us all during qualifying when the chain broke and made a cloud of plastic. But for the handy Norwegians it was no problem to fix. It might not have been a show winner but it looked okay. In the other half it was Job Heezen who was number two qualifier against Samu Kemppainen from Finland. When Job's bike stopped it was a win for Samu. But in the next round against Per Bengtsson, who had won over Greger Johansson, Per was too strong and won over Samu. A small note is that in the round between Per and Greger there were some problems with the timing equipment and they had to shut off. When they held the re-run was I very scared since the stage beam was behaving a little bit strangely and I was afraid that we should have some more problems. But nothing happens and there was a good run. So in the semi was it Per Bengtsson against Lorenz Stäuble.
In Top Fuel Bike it was very nice to see so many Top Fuel Bikes again in Sweden. We had six Top Fuel Bikes on-site and some Funny Bikes. The Top Fuel Bikes are starting to get really good. If we just could have the others in Europe coming it would be very good. There are the bikes so we could easy have a full ladder of only Top Fuel Bikes. Peter Svensson was the one in the lead from the first run until the semi-final, setting new records for both ET and speed. In the first run it was Peter against Otto Knebl and with the time of 4.06 and 310 kmh it was an easy win for Peter. In the next pair was it Rikard Gustavsson on his Funny Bike against Peter Ström who was out again on his very nice Top Fuel bike. But Rikard was too fast for Peter who had some small problems. And in the semi it was Rikard against Peter Svensson but then the minus connection on the battery fell off Peter's bike so it was a win for Rikard. Drag racing is always exciting since anything can happen. On that side of the ladder it was just Top Fuel Bikes of very high standard. Sverre Dahl won over Rene van der Berg in the first round and met Ian King who had won over Kai Selekäm¨a. Sverre had the a 4.10 and Ian 4.12 so it should have been a even race in the first round. And to the final went Sverre Dahl and Rikard Gustavsson.
Then the weather decided that that was enough racing. At 16:22 started to rain with some small drops and every time the track was almost ready for racing it started again. And at 21:30 the Race Director decided that it was too late. The braking area was still not dry and it had started to get dark. But I must say that looking at so many people waiting for the track to get dry and helping with it is a very good example of sportsmanship. It was a pity that we did not manage to finish the finals in all classes. We had started with Super Gas Bike and some car classes then the rain came. Just thirty minutes and everything would have been done.
The next race is in Hungary at the end of August. It will be a very exciting thing at this new track. I do hope that the people in Hungary manage to make a good track with some help.
Olstad finds the answers.
3rd August: Norwegian Supertwin racer Hans Olav Olstad got the answers he was hoping for at the Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park:
Lightning is now moving faster than ever and ran a tremendous 4.31 second and 286 km/h on the 1/8 mile, a new personal best. According to Eurodragster.com it was also new track speed record (Sure was - Ed) and the best eighth mile time in Europe this year. It placed us as top qualifier for our first time in UEM.
Qualifying session 1: We expected a better track at Mantorp after Alastaro, so we turned on the clutch cannon again. The bike moved nicely from the start line but started to spin the wheel at 150 metres and dropped a cylinder. Rolled in to 4.64 and second place on the qualifying list. Bengtsson ran 4.52 and was top qualifier. Rolfstad broke his drive chain and had an explosion of parts from the bike, badly damaged the carbon body and frame and the wheelie bar pipe had to be changed. Their team did a great job to repair the bike and they were back on track next day.
Qualifying session 2: We turned off the clutch cannon to avoid more tyre spin, and run a very good 4.42/276 and ended up as top qualifier. It was nice to see the new Finnish teams perform good and also climb on the list. Nice to see Samu, Ismo and Jukka on the ladder at this moment.
Qualifying session 3: With the clutch canon out of business and a nice place on the ladder we played a little bit with the bike and totally changed the clutch cannon set up. Together with Job Heezen we did a tremendous side by side and clocked 4.31/286 to Job's 4.33/276. Wow! That was a happy moment after all the years of trouble.
Qualifying session 4: Adam wasn't in Paradise for long, and some of the gremlins we had in Finland showed up again. There was still something preventing me from opening the throttle fully. 4,68/269km/h. Svein Olav was back on track and ran a nice 4.62, giving him fifth place on the ladder. After some detective work we found out that the shaft in the throttle body was missing grease, that's why the throttle was to hard to open properly.
Lots of the teams had problems. Greger Johansson beow the head twice, Job Heezen blew a head, Charlie blew a head, Martijn de Haas blew a head, Roel Koedam damaged some cam parts. Ronny Aasen was still breaking belts as expected. Lorenz seems to do bullfighting and somehow he always manages to stay on the bike to the finish line. Jaska Salakari was struggling with the new bikes.
Elimination day: Matti and I were first pair out. I flooded the engine immediately from the start line and had to see Matti 4.71 in front on the finish line. At that moment some bad words sounded in my helmet, but congratulations Matti, hope to beat you with a moving bike next time. Matti also made a challenge to the track cleaners when he empted his oil all over the track for 400 metres. When I opened the new greased throttle properly I also properly opened the valve for the nitro and the engine didn't like ten per cent more nitro. Lorenz' 4.44 took out Svein Olav's 5.73, Samu's 4.88 took out Heezen who had to shut off after burnout, and Per's 4.54 took out Greger's 5.08.
In the semi-final, lucky Lorenz had a bye because Matti broke his engine, but did an impressive straight run, 4.41 in his solo. Per's 4.54 took out Ismo's 4.96. The final was rained out.
Bengtsson: Better than expected.
3rd August: Swedish Super Twin Bike racer Per Bengtsson entered the Veidec Festival number two in the point standings right behind Lorenz Stäuble. The team arrived on Wendnesday morning to be able to contend the press conference before the actual race.
After four rounds of qualifaying the Beast held the number three position with 4.435 seconds over the eighth mile. Job Heezen was number two with 4.333 seconds and our good friend Hans-Olav Olstad number one with 4.317 seconds. Olstad also set a new track record for Supertwin with a speed of 286.22 kmh.
In the first round of eliminations Per took out Greger Johansson with a 4.549 run against Johansson's 5.089. Then we were up against Samu Kemppainen in the semis and Per went through with a 4.541 run which was enough as Samu ran 4.968. Our main competitor Lorenz Stäuble was our opponent in the final.
As you all probably know by now rain started to fall just a few minutes before the finals were due to start. The track crew worked with all of their resources for almost five hours but had to give up drying the shut down area at 21:30 when the clock slipped away into the night.
"I must say that the track crew at Mantorp Park really showed us all that they did everything they could to give us the fina lrace of the weekend", says Per. "It's a shame that we couldn't run the finals after excellent racing all weekend. The Beast team underestimated the race track as we could not find the power and ET we hoped for. The track was just much better than we thought which we can see on the computer data log. But at the end of the day we must be satisfied going in to our second final in a row.
"We are now just sixteen points behind Lorenz in the point standings with Job twenty two points behind us so it looks like an exciting fourth round in Hungary in just about three weeks. We are definitely aiming for the Championship and we will do what it takes to get there!
"Talking about Hungary, we still need a second bus driver to make the long trip from Sweden. If anyone is interested in helping us out and joining us on the trip please send an e-mail to email@example.com."
The Beast team would like to thank all of our sponsors who make this possible: Swedcut, Quaker State, Autoexperten Växjö, Ulvsgården AB, Fanhultstvätten Älmhult, Gates/Lönne, Flexoart and Bentec Engineering.
Heezen seeks a padré.
3rd August: The Veidec Festival was a race of mixed emotions for Dutch Supertwin racer Job Heezen, with very high highs and very low lows:
Coming back from Finland we needed to prep the bike for Mantorp as usual and we wanted to make some changes to the fuel system to make the bike easier to tune. This sounds easy but it's easier said than done, especially in a time when the daily job's work is at boiling point. In our business this time of year that means six-day shifts from 8:00 to 23:00 and not much time left for your bike.
Qualifying at Mantorp started well from day one. The first run put us into third and later on we even made second place. The changes we made paid off in better sixty-foot times, during qualifying we went from a 1.14 to 1.13 to 1.12 and finally a 1.110. The third qualifying run was one of the best runs I ever made, a new PB of 4.33, alongside Hans-Olav Olstad who ran a 4.31 and a new track record speed for Mantorp Park! According to Swedish officials, this was the fastest-ever side-by-side eighth mile Supertwin run at Mantorp Park. I had a slight advantage at the lights, 0.1300 to 0.1491, and Hans-Olav had the better time 4.3179 to 4.3330 so the difference at the finish was only 0.004 seconds. These are the runs which make everybody happy: it's good for the racers and even better for the spectators. Allthough I know that not everybody agrees with me when I say that I would rather lose a spectacular side-by-side than win just another run, this is how I feel about it.
In the last qualifying run of the weekend things seemed to go even better than before, the bike left the line stronger than ever before and straight as straight can be. A perfect moment to get back to the essence of drag-racing: when everything seems to be A-OK, something goes wrong. At 2.3 seconds into that run the sprag surrendered, I lost all drive, the engine over-revved and hydraulicked the rear cylinder and blew one head off. Back on our feet again with a big bang. According to some British mechanics who were standing right where it happened, the bike lifted at the bump where the new and old asphalt meet and when the rear wheel came back down on the track at full power, the poor sprag couldn't handle it.
Back to work again: I was very lucky that Ton and Vincent Pels happened to be around the corner and with crew member Mike Kraay the four of us started working on the bike around six and finished the work at around three in the morning. For the third night in a row there was only time for a power-nap but hey, the bike was ready so who cares?
When we tried to fire up the bike in the morning a series of gremlins showed up that I've never seen before:
I started thinking what I might have done wrong in the past. Besides the usual mishaps I couldn't think of anything serious enough so the conclusion must be that I'm not born for luck, but more for hard work, so be it! Maybe I should ask Keith Bartlett if there is a budget for a mobile chapel with a reverend, that might help (Will Hanna's your man - Ed).
Anyway, everything is ready for another round which will start in Hockenheim and after that Hungary. The speed is there so hopefully the times will show up on the scoreboards too.
European Top Gas round 5.
3rd August: The fifth round of the European Super Twin Top Gas Series took place over the quarter mile at Drachten Airfield on 10th-12th July, writes Herman Jolink:
There were 237 racers in car and bike classes. It rained on Friday but on Saturday we had three qualifying sessions until 21:00 but the classes which made the most noise were only allowd to run until 19:00. There were showers the whole day on Sunday and so the race was cancelled. There was a good crowd on Saturday but not so good the other days because of the rain.
Qualifying for Euro Serie Super Twin Top Gas:
Top Gas Championship standings:
14th-16th August: NitrOlympX, Hockenheim D
21st-23rd August: Top Gas Finals, Drachten NL
Stay tuned as on the next update we will be bringing you Herman's experiences racing in the Czech Republic.
3rd August: From Glenn Mathilassi of Norsk Dragracing Gardermoen comes this shot of Sweden's Peter Svensson embarking upon his historic 5.9-second pass on the Team Kendall Racing Top Fuel Bike at Gardermoen on Saturday. You can check out results and pictures from the Sunoco Drag Challenge at www.ndrg.no.
The UK's McDonald brothers have put their Top Fuel Dragster up for sale either turn-key or as a roller. Stuart McDonald tells us that the brothers' plans for 2010 render their Top Fueller surplus to requirements. You can find out what's on offer under Cars For Sale on our Jeff Bull Race Engines and Performance Parts Swap Meet.
Jerry Cookson tells us that Shakespeare County Raceway's US twin track Lebanon Valley Raceway has been through the wars recently having been flooded by water deep enough to cover the trackside guardrails. You can find out all about it under News at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com.
Photographer Neal Reed's drag racing and hot rod photography is to be included in a show named Re-enactment : Retro and Revival Style Today, a free exhibition of photography, fashion and motorcycles, at The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London E1 6QL on 14th-20th September. You can check out some of Neal's work scheduled to be included in the exhibition at www.mensfile.com.
Enter the new Blaze.
3rd August: Not competing this year was a heart wrenching decision for the UK's Nova Blaze Sportsman ET team, but the lead-up to Christmas 2008 left Martin and Lisa Lewis with no choice but to sit tight and see how the recession may have set them back. But now the team have decided the way ahead, writes Jeff Rainbird:
With the job market stabilising, the Nova could be cut up never again to be raced as it was. The decision has been taken to step up and build to ten-second safety stndards and decide the class giving the team the least restriction in the events they would like to contest.
The power plant has yet to be finalised but it will still be front wheel drive with the chance of four wheel drive. The rulebook is written to rear wheel drive application which is a pain as we have to be compliant in RWD which handicap FWD and I really do not like the route that has been chosen to get more front end grip by cars in the USA. The system offers no launch traction enhancement, so we will be radical and the ethos in the team is to keep all thoughts outside the box - think inside the box and you are restricted on six sides.
We ran consistent 14.5s in stock trim, and it was capable of high 13s. The engine will be decided later but the old one will do the job and we have a 16V 2.0 litre motor but we may drop back down to 1300cc or flat four. It really is just a questoin of what is going to be the best way for front wheel drive. Nearly all of the rolling parts are in place, or their location known including the suspension.
So here is the last picture of the old car on four wheels, it was a class-winning friend which gave us many hours of fun and the new one is going to be that much more better.
Round the bend at The Bend.
3rd August: Ex-pat UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Smax Smith's last race date before the weekend's IHRA event in Michigan was in front of his home crowd in Grand Bend, Edmonton. Smax tells us that the Leverich Racing Top Fuel team had dramas with the clutch:
If you read the last report we had to go back to an A/Fuel set-up to make the first round where we smoked the tyres. By the time Bob Leverich got the car back to Michigan we had lost almost a week of prep so a thrash to go through everything left us short on time so we arrived at track with a shaky rear main repair and the A/Fuel clutch!
We ran the first qualifier and the motor was awesome - sounding as good as any car there, but I had no confidence in the set-up and asked for a rev limiter lite in case we smoked at the hit to help me get off it quicker. Guess what - that's exactly what happened. We realised we had to put the management back on so my son Aidee and I set to putting lock up fingers and management together and the Bobby Lagana team loaned us a bunch of fingers. Four hours later we had some sort of spread on clutch lock up while the guys changed cranks as the rear main repair had blocked off the rear main feed hole so they had to fix that. It's lucky that we didn't run because the mag shaft twisted up at the oilpump and would have spelled disaster. We only made ninth qualifier, but only had to run a 10.1 to get in the show and collect $10K and a chance at the race.
We got the weight in the ball park,put the motor back together and borrowed a mag shaft from Larry Dobbs and fired up in time. All worked well and got reverse etc so we pulled down to the lanes for the final qualifier. We noticed that the clutch seemed to be dragging, which was weird because we spent ages getting it right. It started sprinkling so we pulled the clutch covers off and noticed that that the bearing was not going back properly, so maybe over-centring on snoozle pins. Back to the pits for a thrash but decided thta with our recent track record it would be better to forget it and fix it properly. On a brighter note I think that the team is really close and once all the basic stuff is addressed the thing is gonna fly.
IHRA racing is pretty cool, everyone pitches in. After seeing Roland Leong at Edmonton it was great to see Melanie Troxel ans hubby TJ in Pro Mod at The Bend. We also took Roozy's '69 Chevelle, he won his first quarter mile round but ran under his dial-in by eighth hundredths in the next round, but it was great to be a part of that. We partied our heads off, learned a whole bunch and went home with $3K and no damage. It was a bit of a thrash for Michigan but that's what we do.
3rd August: Dan Welberry of Eurodragster.com News sponsor 3t Creative tells us that Bob Glassup's Xtreme Racing team is featured in the latest issue of Retro Cars magazine:
"The photo session was held earlier in the year and featured the Xtreme race cars and crew cars including Lee Johnstone's Blown Baby Hemi Vauxhall Firenza, Steve Wright's Pro Street Camaro, Bob's very first race car (campaigned in Sportsman ET under the Bubblegum guise), his Chevy-powered 1970 Mk 1 Capri, Mark Gales' chromed-out Mk 1 Golf and Holley Glassup's candy Mk 1 16v", says Dan. "The Xtreme rail is photographed in its fresh paint and with its new carbon injection hat, and the Xtreme Topolino gets some attention with its new engine configuration.
"Bob and the Xtreme crew saw this as an ideal opportunity to promote the sport and ot increase interest in drag racing.
"The magazine is on sale until mid-August. Go and grab a copy now from any good newsagent."
Share the NitrOlympX with Erbacher.
3rd August: Swiss Top Fuel Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com News sponsor Urs Erbacher in association with SCS Computer Systems AG is offering sumptuous VIP hospitality at the NitrOlympX which takes place at Hockenheim on 14th-16th August. The VIP hospitality package offers the following features for €400:
Web site updates.
3rd August: Marcin Gwozdz has updated his marcingfx photographic site with pictures from the Mopar EuroNats in high dynamic range imaging. You can check out Marcin's photographs at marcingfx.co.uk.
Drag fans of a certain age will remember the name Mike Lintern. Mike wrote on drag racing for Custom Car magazine starting in the early 1970s, only a few years after the birth of the sport in the UK. Through the good offices of Dave Riswick of John Woolfe Racing, our good buddy Alan Currans has obtained Mike's permission to reproduce the text of his articles on the excellent Acceleration Archive web site. "So far I have added five articles describing the construction and specification of cars of the period. The cars involved are: dragsters - 'Mad' Arthur Christy and Henry Geddes' Hawaian III from South Africa, Brian Ringsell and John Reynolds' Taxi, and Tony Anderson's Trouble; and Competition Altereds - Freddy Whittle's Shutdown and the Ison brothers' Wild Honey. Alan tells is that a number of other articles will be added over the next few weeks but you can find the first tranche via What's New at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
Dick Parnham has updated his Fotopic gallery with additional pictures from the FIA Main Event, which you can check out at dickparnham.fotopic.net.
Svenssons make TFB history.
2nd August: European drag racing history was made at the Sunoco Drag Challenge at Gardermoen yesterday evening when Swedish Top Fuel Bike racer Peter Svensson clocked the first five-second pass by a European Top Fuel Bike. The favourite to achieve the feat since returning to Top Fuel Bike, Peter recorded an astounding 5.938 second pass at some 223 mph at the Norwegian track which has long had a reputation for excellent traction and air.
Our congratulations to Peter and Sören Svensson and the Team Kendall Top Fuel Bike team. As regular contributors to Eurodragster.com Peter and Sören will doubtless have a tale to tell during this week.
You can stay in touch with the news and results from the Sunoco Drag Challenge at www.ndrg.no.
Many thanks to Lin Granlund of Norsk Dragracing Gardermoen for the picture
FIA European Finals entry.
1st August: Both Pro and Sportsman racers are reminded that there are two weeks until the official closing date for the FIA European Finals, which is due to be held at Santa Pod Raceway on 10th-13th September. The official closing date for all classes is Friday 14th August after which entry, if accepted, will be subject to a late entry fee.
You can check out Version 1 of the FIA European Finals entry list by clicking here, and you can download FIA European Finals entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc or from the Power Racing web site at www.powerracing.eu.
If you have any queries about FIA European Finals entry then please contact SPRC Club Secretary Paula Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).
Hadman packing his passport.
1st August: Top Methanol Dragster racer Fred Hanssen took quite a ride at the recent Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park in Sweden. After nearly hitting the wall in the lights his parachutes failed to open, sending him off the end of the short shutdown area. The car dug into the pea gravel, then rolled the Team Islanders dragster four times. Eerily, Fred's teammate Paul Ingar Udtian had nearly the same accident the year before.
While Paul Ingar was able to fix his car and return to competition, Fred was not so lucky. The rolls bent and twisted the front end, ending any chance the team may have had to fix the car at the track. Other damage included destroying the wing and wing stands, and a slight dimple to the top frame rail in front of the front motor plate.
Team Crew Chief Will Hanna, who was racing in the States with Chris Foster's NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car team in Columbus, Ohio, immediately got to work on the phone. He put out an All Points Bulletin and was able to reach chassis builder Brad Hadman at the NHRA National event in Sonoma, California. Will and Brad started to formulate a plan for what it would take to repair the car while Fred transported the car to noted Norwegian chassis builder Jan Arve Nygård's shop in Trondheim. Pictures of the damage quickly confirmed that a front half was necessary. However, the back half will be able to be repaired without any major work. Hadman has fabricated a new set of wing stands in his shop in Tacoma, Washington, and will install when he arrives. If anything could be called lucky out of the mishap, the team had just taken delivery of a new Spitzer carbon fibre wing, but opted to stick with their old wing for the first run.
Brad will arrive on Monday, and expects to be done by Wednesday barring any major delays. As if this wasn't enough work for the team to prepare for the NitrOlympX in Hockenheim, they are scheduled to headline a major car show in Trondheim on Friday and then leave for Germany on Monday. The team is also taking delivery of a new trailer awning from DMP Awnings of the USA, which they will also install.
In other team news, the weekend was bittersweet for Will, as he wrenched Chris Foster's TAFC to top spot with a 5.714 and took home the team's second divisional win of the year with runs of 5.83, 5.73 and 5.74. Chris is currently ranked seventh nationally and one point out of first place in the Division 3 standings despite having attended one less race than Bobby Martin and Mick Snyder, who are tied for first. Will is scheduled to reunite with the team in Germany, as will Danny Main, Joey Ficca and Joseph Satterfield. Fred won the NitrOlympX Super Comp title last year.
Fred's team is also seeking qualified crewm embers who are willing to commit to a full season of racing in 2010. They are looking for someone with experience doing bottom end on the motor, and another crew member to serve as a utility member and help out where needed or fill in if someone can't attend. Interested individuals can E-Mail Will at email@example.com for more information.
Vegas Hustler's early return.
1st August: the subject of our spy picture of 21st July has been revealed to be UK Super Pro ET racer Mark Bishop's Vegas Hustler Topolino, which barring any last-minute problems will be out on track again at the FIA European Finals having been repaired from the after-effects of its wheelie at the Easter Thunderball.
"The quicker-than-imagined turnaround of the rebuild, after our effort to reach the moon, has been achieved with the generous donations from fans, and a very kind loan from my Nan, Peggy Bishop - Thanks Nan", says Mark. "With finances secured the car was stripped down and sent to Webster Race Engineering where she was front halved, headers rebuilt and a set of wheelie bars built and fitted.
"Thank you to WRE for the quick turnaround and once again a job well done. I'll try not to damage your hard work again so soon. With a few more damaged parts to still replace in the next few weeks, we hope to get out and test before the European Finals; if not then we will put it through its paces during qualifying.
"Whatever, I see it as a huge achievement for us even to be back out this year as we just didn't expect to make it."
1st August: UK photo-journalist and graphic designer Mark Gredzinski's latest work is a picture of the Sox and Martin 1970 Barracuda Pro Stock, specifically from 1970 with the early lower bonnet scoop. "It's a 16x20 inch oil on canvas painting of the car burning out in sunny conditions", says Gredzo. "It's about ninety five per cent complete with just some small tidying up to do on the lettering etc. Work has commenced on the team's 1973 Plymouth Duster Pro Stock which is in base coats and I will be doing some more classic doorslammers from the era, with another Mopar and a Bob Glidden Ford in wheels-up launch mode already started."
We understand that congratulations are in order to UK Pro ET racer Dan Page who put in an impressive peformance in Jon Morton's Super Comp/Gas Camaro at the Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod last weekend. Dan laid down an 8.9-second pass launching on the footbrake followed by 8.79 and 8.77 with transbrake launch, very creditable given that so far as we know Dan had only ever made one pass in the car before last weekend. Dan's sister Heide also impressed with an 11.3-second pass in the family's Pro ET Firebird.
Raw power for a PB.
1st August: UK VW Pro racer Andy Raw and his team always enjoy the Bug Jam at Santa Pod Raceway because the VW Beetle Funny Car attracts a lot of attention from the paying public. With a 555 ci motor and torque converter purchased from Spencer Tramm this year's Bug Jam also held the promise of Personal Bests:
We got to Santa Pod on the Friday morning and the pits and the main camp site were full, thanks to Chris Bray who had saved us a space for our set-up. We started to put up our awning and down came the rain. Two hours later we had set up, cold and wet, and started working on the car. At Big Bang we had problems with a damaged flex plate, torque convertor and gear box, but Karl Harrison supplied us with a flex plate and for setting up the engine, thanks to Karl. We thought we all ready to fire up but no joy, the starter motor would not work, just a horrible grinding noise. By this time it was getting late and the beer was calling us all so we called it a night.
We woke up on Saturday to bright blue sky, and the sun was shining, but after we stripped down the starter motor we found it had burnt out the solenoid. With no spare starter motor and at a VW meeting we thought game over. But no, I found that Jeff Bull was at the meeting and as always he saved the day with a new starter, big thanks to Jeff and Belinda. Back in the pits we fitted the new starter and she fired up and sounded grrreeeat.
We were called down for the first round of qualifying and we were paired up with Russ Fellows who has been drag racing his VW Bug for years, and is one of the fastest cars in the VWDRC. With my crew threatening to pack up and go home if he beat me, the pressure was on. We got the car into the burnout pit and the new 555 ci lifted the back of the car as I shifted into second gear and did the best burnout I have done since building the car. On the launch we were both so eager to go that we both redlit. Halfway down the track the car really came into life and I went across the finish line on an 8.88. I was so chuffed to beat Russ that I took my foot of the accelerator too quickly and unloaded the tyres, I got a bounce on at the top end which was quite a cheek-clenching experience.
Back in the pits my crew came with the time ticket and big smiles on their faces and we had run a PB. We had another two rounds of qualifying on the Saturday during which we managed to dial the car in ready for the Sunday, but to no avail we woke up Sunday and it was raining and it didn't stop. The meeting was called off after lunch.
World MR2 best at SCR.
1st August: It's only just been confirmed but the Century Motorsports/Marangoni Toyota-based street and strip racer, driven by TOCA Ginetta G50 Circuit Racing Championship driver Nathan Freke, set a new world benchmark at Shakespeare County Raceway's recent British Mini Showdown and Public Track Day, to become the quickest and fastest road-legal Toyota MR2 outside America writes Jerry Cookson:
In the first of three timed runs on a sunny and warm day in July, in front of a crowd of Mini enthusiasts Freke lowered the existing European best by just two tenths of a second from 10.41, set in November, to 10.2. By the second run Freke blitzed his own European mark in rapid succession with an quicker 9.93 from the 900 bhp sports racer and, for the first time, the Century/Marangoni Toyota had just run the first sub ten second quarter mile outside of America.
However, the icing on the cake came in the third and final run of the afternoon when Freke lowered the world mark by five thousandths of a second to a staggering 9.722 with a terminal speed of 148 mph. Well done Nathan, and it happened here at Shakespeare County Raceway.
Motorsport is the foundation of Century Motorsports business with team principal Nathan Freke still active at the highest levels of car racing. Nathan was the 2006 British Formula Ford Champion, and has since tested and raced in F3, Formula Atlantic, Indy Lights and Sports Cars. This year Nathan is contesting the Ginetta G50 Championship as part of the British Touring Car package of support races at most of the UK's leading circuits where he recently grabbed all three race wins at Donington Park.
Century also put together the quickest Toyota Yaris in the world in a time of 12.6 seconds. Now they've just built and run the quickest MR2 in the world!
You can follow Nathan's progress with the Century Motorsports/Marangoni Toyota MR2 by tuning into the team's web site at www.centurymotorsport.com.
Web site updates.
1st August: In the latest entry in his exclusive Racer Blog, UK Top Methanol Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Derek Flynn is still riding the drag racing roller coaster, unfortunately downhill on this occasion. As ever you can check out the latest Blog updates by clicking here or by clicking on the Racer Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Our good buddy Markus Ek has updated his gallery site with pictures from the Veidec Festival at Mantorp Park. Markus' pictures can be found at www.mek.nu. "Thanks to Hägglund Racing for a place to stay and for good food!", says Markus.