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Editor's Diary archive
30th August: Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding an updated final version of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM European Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway next week. You can check out the European Finals entry list, which contains some significant additions (see below), by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Thanks also to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 1 of the official entry list for the UK National Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 23rd-24th September. You can check out the National Finals entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. UK National Finals entry has been extended to next Wednesday (6th) and entry forms will be accepted at the track on Wednesday. You can download the official entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
Adding Fuel to the fire.
30th August: The largest entry of supercharged, nitro-burning dragsters and Funny Cars for a decade promises a true assault on the senses at Santa Pod Raceway's FIA European Finals next week. The late addition of Mikael Kågered brings the Top Fuel Dragster entry to nine, while Kevin Kent's arrival raises Funny Car numbers to five.
Fourteen blown fuel cars: by current reckoning, that's a staggering sum total of 140,000 brake horsepower about to be unleashed on Santa Pod's carefully primed surface. And that's not counting a pair of Nostalgia Funny Cars on exhibition duty during the weekend – a number also expected to rise.
The battle for Top Fuel Dragster's FIA championship is back on. While Duncan Micallef remained undefeated over the season's first four races, the title's destination looked a foregone conclusion. All that changed last weekend at Tierp. Micallef's first-round defeat and Antti Horto's victory reduced Micallef's lead over the Finn to 51 points, and a similar outcome at Santa Pod could hand Horto the crown by a hair's breadth.
There's a gender war also bubbling up in Top Fuel. One third of the entry is female. Anita Mäkelä will be desperate to salvage some recompense for a season in which she has advanced to the second round only once. At 3.878 seconds and 313.30 mph, she maintains the strongest personal-best figures in the class, and her 3.900-second low qualifier at Tierp's June race remains the year's quickest ET. Jndia Erbacher almost caused a sensation on her competitive Top Fuel début at Hockenheim two weekends ago, losing only narrowly to Micallef in the final. Nineteen-year-old Maja Udtian achieved her Top Fuel licence at Tierp this past weekend and will hope to achieve a similar flourish to Erbacher's on her début in the class at Santa Pod.
There is diversity too in the fuel Funny Car field. American Funny Car stars were familiar figures at Santa Pod in decades past. Now US nitro racer Terry Haddock makes a first UK appearance, piloting Bob Jarrett's Showtime Mustang, the popular car not seen in action for two years. Ranged against him will be Norway's Birgitte Bremnes at the wheel of Roy and Jason Phelps' Gladiator, while Gary Page renews his family acquaintance with another Panic creation, this time the new Dodge Stratus-bodied entry from Mark and Jackie Hawkins. Steve Ashdown and The Undertaker and Kevin Kent's West Ten Mustang complete the quintet.
Friday Evening Nitro will showcase the Fuel cars at their most spectacular. The event's second qualifying session truly lights up the dusk, and there are Jet Cars too, and a fireworks display to cap the show.
On two wheels, there's a chance to witness Top Fuel Bike maestro Rikard Gustafsson taking another pot at the 240 mph barrier. Gustafsson clocked an unworldly 244.70 mph at Hockenheim, a speed too fast to register as an FIM European record in its own right but which served to back up his first-round 240.73 as the new official mark. British Drag Racing Hall of Fame inductee-elect Steve Woollatt will be eager to take on the high-speed Swede, and it's a last opportunity to see Fil Papafilippou's Funny Bike on international duty before the Greek rider embarks on the nitro Top Fuel route next year. Woollatt and Papafilippou will be remembered for drag bike racing's most famous incident at 2014's Euro Finals, when Fil wound up riding on Steve's wheelie bars after a mid-track collision. The video went viral.
Away from the nitro scene but no less spectacular, Fast Freddy is back. Fredrik Fagerström's late Pro Mod entry returns the manic Chevy pick-up for another tilt at the Santa Pod quarter-mile. Pro Mod's twenty two-car entry list brings the class' polar opposites together for the first time: Freddy's truck at one extreme, and Jon Webster's sleek, new, waist-high turbo Mustang at the other. Webster's entry is due to make its competitive début. If its recent test pass at July's Mopar Nationals is any indication, Webster will soon be challenging Fagerström for the title of supreme burnout king. And there's a special welcome back for Roger Johansson, last seen here being helicoptered to hospital after a fearsome finish-line crash at 2016's FIA /FIM Main Event. Johansson débuted his latest monster-motored, nitrous Mustang – a brand new creation from the Rick Jones stable in America – at Tierp in June and clocked a 6.0/240 pass, close to his Personal Best marks, there last weekend.
The FIA-FIM European Finals take place at Santa Pod Raceway from Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th September. Visit www.santapod.com to book tickets on-line and print them out at home, or telephone 01234 782828. If you hurry, you can still catch the discounted advance booking rate which closes at 5:00 pm this Friday. And as ever up to three kids go free per paying adult.
2017 APIRA Champions.
30th August: Many thanks to our very own Simon for forwarding the list of Champions in the 2017 APIRA Ultimate Power Drag Racing Championships. Congratulations to:
Super Pro ET: Rick Cooke
Pro ET: Brian Huxley
Sportsman ET: Andy Dibley
Super Comp: Andy Williams
Super Gas: Andy Harrison
Super Street: Leigh Morris
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Jordan Payne
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Joe Stevens
VW Pro: Jacob Bailey
VW Sportsman: Holly Sanders
Wild Bunch: Phil James
Outlaw Anglia: Colin Millar
UK Nostalgia Superstock: Amy Watkins
Funny Bike: Allan Davies
Super Street Bike: Graham Balchin
Comp Bike: Mick Winyard
8.50 Bike: Ian Chrichlow
9.50 Bike: Richard Sawatzki
ET Bike / NAST: Louis Davies
Junior Drag Bike: Blade Dummer
You can check out the full APIRA Championship points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
30th August: It arrived in time for yesterday's news but we were not in a position to update the file so, with our apologies, a belated Happy Birthday for yesterday to Isaccs and Tramm Pro Mod team member Vince Pinhorn from Spencer, Chris, Rosie, Jedd, Ray and Andrea. Hope you ad a good day Vince.
Entries for the 2017 Sydney Allard Media Awards for Written and Photographic Journalism will be closing tomorrow, Thursday. If you are a writer, photographer or producer of videos posted on Youtube, amateur or professional and have not yet entered, then you are urged to enter as the deadline cannot be extended. Entries must reflect coverage of British drag racing and associated activities during the twelve months ending 31st July. The winning entrant in each category, together with a companion, will be invited to attend the Hall of Fame Gala on 18th November where they will receive a crystal trophy in recognition of his or her achievement. Full entry details are available on the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame web site at www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk.
Editor's note: Copying news and results from us without the courtesy of a credit is one thing, but insults and personal comments from some of the culprits when pulled up on it is something else entirely. Rude and/or aggressive reactions to our trying to protect our hard work, our copyright and our sponsors are on the rise and as a result there is some serious discussion going on about the future both of our Event Coverage and of Eurodragster.com as a whole once this season is finished. If this is the way things are going to go then you can count at least one team member out.
APIRA Open Sport Nationals results.
29th August: Congratulations to the winners of the APIRA Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway:
Super Pro ET: Joe Kellett (8.08) 8.132/167.88 def. Rick Cooke (8.21) 8.205/154.78
Modurstang Pro ET: John Parker (10.90) 10.835/126.70 def. Brian Huxley (9.42) 9.495/131.17 DQ red
Sportsman ET: Andy Dibley (13.50) 13.495/101.91 def. Holly Walters (17.55) 17.516/78.66
Super Comp: Andrew Williams 8.917/147.30 def. Conrad Stanley 8.905/147.32
Super Street: Leigh Morris 10.811/121.71 def. Dave Cherrett 10.562/91.23
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Joe Stevens 8.610/168.82 def. Alan Williamson 8.746/152.65
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Matthew Dowdy (8.90) 8.969/70.31 def. Jordan Payne (7.95) 7.929/83.03 DQ b/o
Serck Motorsport Outlaw Anglia: Colin Millar 9.502/tbc def. Ronnie Mercer 13.854/79.59
VW Pro: Ed Keech (12.30) 13.066/90.88 def. Graham Fairhead (12.99) 13.836/102.26
VW Sportsman: Holly Sanders (14.95) 16.031/70.61 def. John Devlin (14.90) 17.188/87.79
Wild Bunch: Phil James (9.33) 9.375/140.07 def. Terry Clifford (9.12) 9.105/148.36 DQ b/o
UK Nostalgia Superstock: Amy Watkins (9.88) 9.885/138.30 def. Guy King (9.48) 9.473/143.14
Funny Bike: Allan Davies 7.618/148.86 def. Phil Crossley broke
Super Street Bike: Graham Balchin 7.730/187.54 def. Dave Thomas 8.079/181.47
Comp Bike: Mick Winyard 8.211/176.84 def. Scott Collier broke
8.50 Bike: Ian Chrichlow 8.581/162.21 def. Andy Haley 8.464/158.04
9.50 Bike: Richard Sawatzki 9.534/121.98 def. Stacey Reed 9.570/140.38
ET Bike/NAST: Phil Pratt (8.92) 9.020/140.20 def. Peter Austin (9.60) 9.820/140.97
Junior Drag Bike: Blade Dummer (9.05) 9.036/70.75 b/o def. Liam Holgate (9.55) 9.525/66.27 DQ b/o
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored APIRA Open Sport Nationals reports and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Dico Internationals results.
27th August: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's Dico Internationals at Tierp Arena:
FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Antti Horto 3.9982/474.10 def. Micke Kågered 8.0254/135.85
FIA Top Methanol: Sandro Bellio 6.4414/391.30 def. Timo Habermann 7.2229/196.08
FIA Pro Modified: Micke Gullqvist 5.8339/400.30 def. Åke Persson 5.9644/388.87
FIA Pro Stock: Jimmy Ålund 6.5303/342.64 def. Stefan Ernryd 6.5870/333.75
EDRS Pro MC Top Fuel Bike: Jan Sturla Hegre 6.3928/355.03 def. Thomas Pettersson 12.1283/104.85
EDRS Pro MC Supertwin: Marcus Christiansen 6.5970/344.61 def. Tommy Grimes 6.5990/276.21
EDRS Pro MC Pro Stock Motorcycle: Robert Karlsson 6.9740/308.22 def. Fredrik Fredlund 7.0172/304.40
EDRS Pro MC Super Street Bike: Mathias Bohlin 7.4649/307.34 bye, Anders Blanck broke
Comp Eliminator: Daniel Jedborn (7.52) 10.1175/121.98 def. Lasse Britsmar (7.79) no time DQ red
Pro Street: Mats Lusth 7.6073/283.76 def. Peter Nordlund 7.6196/292.05
Super Comp: Matilda Sjöström-Andersson 8.8856/258.25 b/o def. Micke Nilsson 8.8852/260.49 DQ b/o
Super Gas: Patrik Wickman 9.9087/203.16 def. Lina Braathen 9.7792/190.01 DQ b/o
Super Street: Uffe Lundgren 10.9967/184.74 def. Åke Törnqvist 10.9089/181.27
Stock / Super Stock: Per Fagerström (11.48) 11.5480/174.25 def. Mathias Färm (9.43) 9.4752/222.68
Junior Dragster: Oskar Norling (8.09) 8.1457/123.80 def. Patrik Lind (7.98) 8.0510/130.72
Super Comp Bike: Emil Östlund 8.6137/232.26 def. Peter Svensson 8.5554/255.68
Super Gas Bike: Micke Ölen 9.8466/182.49 def. Magnus Pollack 9.7649/226.42
Junior Drag Bike: Eemeli Helkkala (7.90) 8.0129/128.57 def. John Rolfstad (7.50) 7.8152/141.10
Subject to ratification the following records were set. Congratulations to:
FIA Pro Modified ET: 5.833 seconds, Micke Gullqvist
EDRS Pro MC Supertwin ET: 6.291 seconds, Tommy Grimes
Many thanks to Åsa Kinnemar for forwarding us the post-Dico Internationals standings in the FIA European Drag Racing Championships which you can check out on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Dico Internationals reports and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
27th August: The only sure way to stop people from thieving from our Event Coverage is to stop doing the Event Coverage. Discuss.
We have a birthday on the Eurodragster.com team today. Please join Tog, Simon and Kirstie in wishing Photographer Julian, currently working hard at Tierp Arena, a very Happy Birthday.
Open Sport Nationals racer update.
24th August: Many thanks to Tony Smith for forwarding Saturday's provisional running order for this weekend's APIRA Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can check out the running order by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Please note that, as ever, the running order is provisional and subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.
Thanks also to Jerry Cookson for forwarding us Version 5 of the official entry list for the APIRA Open Sport Nationals. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Please note that no entries or changes to entries will be accepted after close of business tomorrow (Friday 25th).
If you have any queries about the APIRA Open Sport Nationals then please contact Shakespeare County Raceway at email@example.com or call 01789 720180 (outside the UK +44 1789 720180).
Open Sport Nationals Perfect Awards.
24th August: This weekend's Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway is the latest event in the 2017 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme. £125 is on offer for perfect performance.
The Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Gasser Circus racer Martyn Hallam at the Mopar EuroNationals. The Award will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds in competition. The Perfect Light Award is available to racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the FIA / FIM European Finals EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the FIA / FIM European Finals. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Bad Habit Racing (Cath and Tig Napier, Pro ET).
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available in the Signing On office or from the Eurodragster.com staff.
The Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award supporting Bloodwise has been increased to £75 after it went unclaimed at Bug Jam. The Award will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to run an ET to the thousandth of a second on dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available during qualifying or eliminations in Super Pro ET, Pro ET, Sportsman ET, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), the Wild Bunch, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Nostalgia Super Stock, 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike, ET Bike and Junior Drag Bike, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect ET of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £100 for the FIA / FIM European Finals EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the FIA / FIM European Finals. The Perfect ET Award is presented by Derek and Fiona Flynn of Eurodragster.com sponsor Gold RV in support of Bloodwise; you can donate to Bloodwise at www.bloodwise.org.uk.
To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers are required to carry Eurodragster.com / Bloodwise decals, one on each side of the vehicle. If you pull an event's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals then there will be no discussion; we will not pay out and the next person to pull a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals. Decals are available in the Signing On office.
Open Sport Nationals racer update.
22nd August: Many thanks to Jerry Cookson of Shakespeare County Raceway for passing us details of the arrangments for this weekend's APIRA Open Sport Nationals:
Friday 25th August
12:00 midday Shakespeare County Raceway's gates open for the duration
17:00 Signing On office opens
17:00 Car scrutineering commences
17:00 Bike scrutineering commences
20:00 Signing On office closes
Saturday 26th August
08:00 Signing On office opens
08:00 Car scrutineering commences
08:00 Bike scrutineering commences
10:00 Track opens for qualifying
Sunday 27th August
08:00 Signing On office opens
08:00 Car scrutineering commences
08:00 Bike scrutineering commences
10:00 Track opens for qualifying
Monday 28th August
08:00 Signing On office opens
08:00 Car scrutineering commences
08:00 Bike scrutineering commences
10:00 Track opens for eliminations
Version 4 of the official entry list is now available and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. The final version of the entry list will be posted on Wednesday or Thursday.
Racer tickets, final instructions, vehicle passes and scrutineering slips have now been sent out to every racer who submitted their entries with an SAE before close of play last Friday. Anyone who posted their entry since last Friday will be able to collect their tickets on arrival at the main gate. If any crew member arrives before their respective racer then to gain entry they must either notify the track beforehand or wait until their driver / rider arrives at the track.
Entry to the pits will commence at 12:00 midday on Friday. If racers wish to arrive on Friday morning, before the pit gate opens, then they are more than welcome to park up and wait. Please note that pit marshals will escort all racers to their designated pit. So please be patient if a queue develops on the entrance road into the pits. Anyone who pits incorrectly will be asked politely to move to their allocated pit space.
Scrutineering will commence for both cars and bikes at approximately 17:00 on Friday. Scrutineering will resume at 08:00 on Saturday. The Signing On office will also open at these times.
Saturday's running order will be posted here on Eurodragster.com later this week. Copies will be available in the Signing On office which will be open between 17:00 and 20:00 on Friday.
Shakespeare County Raceway would like to remind everyone of the safety requirements in the staging and fire-up lanes. No crew members under the age of seventeen may enter these areas. Under-age Junior crew members can still watch their respective teams race from the grandstands which can be accessed from the top of the lanes by the Signing On office. We understand that this may upset some of the Junior crews, however safety is paramount and must be considered at all times. These rules obviously do not apply to under-seventeens who are riding or driving a race vehicle which is in the paring lanes (for which you must either be holder of an MSA / ACU licence or participating in observed runs). All children remain the responsibility of their parent or guardian at all times. Thank you for your co-operation.
Junior racers please remember the rule about pushing vehicles back to the pits once past the Medical Centre.
Please do not start engines before 09:00 or after 18:30 on any day of the event.
Colour commentators are requested to come to the Commentary side of Race Control when their class is waiting to run, and leave Commentary after the class has run.
If you have any queries about the APIRA Open Sport Nationals then please contact Shakespeare County Raceway at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01789 720180 (outside the UK +44 1789 720180).
Statement from York Raceway.
22nd August: Further to previous news items about the future of the UK's York Raceway, we have now received an official statement from Chris Murty:
Since the beginning of the year, the landowner has been made a better offer from a major international parts manufacturer to use the main runway for testing. This means laying a nine mertre wide road down the centre of the rally school, York Raceway pits, York Raceway start line, through the drag strip and the braking area at a cost to the land owner.
As part of the agreement between the parts manufacturer and the landowner, everything has to be cleared from the main runway. That includes the barriers, banking, control tower, cabins, toilets and drag racing.
Negotiations have been underway with Pennine Raceway Ltd, the management company of York Raceway, to keep drag racing on the main runway of Melbourne Airfield, the home of York Raceway for forty years, for at least another ten years.
For York Raceway, or drag racing on the airfield, to continue we must invest money into the facility starting with re-laying a new drag racing surface separate to the surface laid by the landowner on the behalf of the parts manufacturer.
This allows us an excellent opportunity to lay a brand new track, which is overdue, at a cost of £100,000. We have listened to you and decided to double our fund-raising to £200,000 to redevelop the site in other key areas such as new buildings and toilets, which will be agreed between the promoters, the PDRC and any new board directors.
As has been reported, PDRC and Pennine Raceway Ltd have donated £10,000 each and we have already received another £10,000 from individuals. So we are well on the way to a new updated drag racing facility in the UK.
Ways you can donate:
Donations under £500 through our crowdfunding site www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/york-raceway. If the target is not reached then all monies will be donated to charities associated with drag racing / motorsport, due to the way that crowdfunding sites work.
Donations from RWYB / PDRC racers / spectators between £500 and £1,000 to be paid to PDRC's new fund-raising bank account. E-Mail email@example.com for more details. If the target is not reached then all monies will be refunded.
Independent race classes who may have monies to invest between £500 and £1000 to be paid to PDRC's new fund-raising bank account. E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. If the target is not reached then all monies will be refunded.
Sponsorship / VAT-registered businesses between £500 and £10,000 will be invoiced by Pennine Raceway Ltd. For a full sponsorship proposal E-Mail email@example.com. If the target is not reached, all monies will be refunded.
Investors and partnerships over £50,000 please contact Steve direct on 01422 84365.
Flame and Thunder demos sought.
22nd August: James Forster writes that Santa Pod Raceway are seeking a variety of race vehicles for the annual end of season extravaganza that is the Flame and Thunder Show on Saturday 28th October:
Quirky vehicles and those that pull wheelies, and/or are renowned for long smoky burnouts are encouraged to get in touch! Cars quicker than 11.99 and bikes quicker than 9.99 are preferred but please note that we only have a limited number of spaces available for each class so not everyone's application will be successful.
If you would like to be considered for an invitation to this showcase of drag racing entertainment then please contact James on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01234 782828.
Don't forget that vehicles are also sought for display at the Classic Car and Bike Meet at Earl's Barton on Wednesday 6th September and that vehicles attending this event will be positively encouraged to fire up. For more details about the Classic Car and Bike Meet please see our news item of 17th August.
I think it was the leathers...
22nd August: One of the surprises on the official entry list for the APIRA Open Sport Nationals was the appearance of Derek Flynn of Gold RV, sponsor of Eurodragster.com and our Perfect ET Award supporting Bloodwise, in ET Bike. Does this presage Gold RV Motorcycles?
It could, as we now have a collection of twelve bikes. Not only has Gary Jenkins been my Crew Chief throughout my drag racing career, but he has rekindled my love of motorcycles - in particular Triumphs. Gary has five of them and thanks to him I now have four! Most of our collection are classics from 1954 onwards, the newest being my 2014 900cc Bonneville which I am going to be racing at Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend.
I am really excited, and quite nervous, about my drag racing début on a bike. After speaking with Ian Turburville about doing the quarter mile on a bike he gave me contact details for Tony Smith and Les Harris, and we exchanged messages regarding how to get an ACU licence, rules etc. Both have been very helpful, thank you. The rest as they say is history, although when I saw the price of full leathers I thought "Maybe next year"!
However after helping Steve Johnson at Dragstalgia I saw a used suit, reasonably priced, tried it on, and guess what? I am entered in ET Bike this weekend. Fiona is a little worried about my latest exploits but she says I do look the part and she likes the leathers.
Looking to the future, all being well hopefully the Gold RV / PWRD / Walters Motorsport / RW Custom Paint team is going to have a really busy weekend at the UK National Finals as we may be licencing a new Super Pro Driver as well as running Holley Walters in Sportsman ET, myself in ET Bike, and Peter Walters in Super Pro ET.
Read makes history yet again.
22nd August: UK Super Pro ET racer Robin Read reset both ends of his own world bests for a British-motored race car at Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway. Robin got in touch to let us know that it did not come without cost to his blown-nitro Daimler:
Our Dragstalgia weekend started badly on the Friday when we lost a lash cap in the burnout and hydraulicked #8 cylinder. That lifted the head and broke the head studs, pushed the gasket out, and pressurised the water jacket pushing out two core plugs, destroyed the cylinder head-sealing o-ring , crushed the piston and bent the gudgeon pin and con rod.
We decided to load up and return home to repair overnight. We managed to get all of the work done, although we reassembled with a damaged cylinder head face, to which I applied plenty of silicon sealer. We also reviewed our tune-up and decided to calm things down. We put a 990 pump back on, downsized the hat nozzles, and took 21% out the blower.
When we got to the track and tried to fill with water for the warm-up it poured out of the clutch can! When the damage had occurred it had also pushed a core plug out of the back of the engine, hidden behind the motor plate. So we had to remove the gearbox and clutch complete with flywheel and motorplate to replace the core plug. Fortunately there was some rain which delayed proceedings and allowed us to complete our repairs. I also decided to curtail the burnout procedure as it was proving too difficult to control the RPMs.
Our first run on 85% fuel was 7.11/185. We sustained no damage and the motor was clean and tidy. For the next run we upped the fuel to 88% and richened it up on the main, but left all other settings the same. We ran 6.76/196, a world record time and speed! Again the motor was clean and tidy, but we had an issue of some water drips from the damaged head face which was weeping a bit. For the next run we upped the fuel to 90% and richened up the main by ten thou. That run was a 6.89/190 with no problems other than the water drip. The car did feel a bit lazy on that run so for the last run we left everything the same but leaned it out the ten thou on the main. I also packed the area under the head but behind the side panel with tissue to absorb the water drip from the damaged head, plastic tie-wrapping it to anything I could.
The last run was 6.69/199.89... we had beaten the world record for time and speed twice in the same weekend, unbelievable!
We had been working towards a new record for two or three years and had been confident, but the formula had eluded us and we had been disappointed again and again. Several people had said to me that maybe we were at the end of the engine's limitations, but a chance conversation with Andy Robinson whilst ordering parts for the new car started a chain of thought which eventually solved the problems which had prevented the car from performing perfectly. Andy also helped out with some parts which we only had a week to engineer on to the car. As it turned out, the changes were the missing part of the tune up which allowed all the other alterations to play their part.
So, a weekend charged with drama and highs and lows, but one which made history!
The engine has been stripped , inspected and freshened. There were a few issues which we have addressed, but it was mostly in good shape. This weekend the team is headed for York Raceway for the 40th Birthday Hot Rod Reunion. It is a great weekend with an enthusiastic and dedicated bunch of people from the promoter to the organising club and everyone else who works so hard to keep drag racing alive in the North. It is especially significant, too, with the appeal for donations to effect the track changes necessary for a new era at York Raceway.
I would like to thank Andy Robinson, James Forster and my own crew Mark Evans, Bertie Hopkinson, Bill Mears and Ella Chapman for their invaluable input and dedication.
21st August: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's NitrOlympX at Hockenheim:
FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Duncan Micallef 3.997/487.35 def. Jndia Erbacher 4.056/451.12
FIA Top Methanol: Timo Habermann 5.308/430.98 bye, Sandro Bellio broke
FIA Pro Modified: Micke Gullqvist 5.935/394.73 def. Håkan Persson 6.007/385.01
FIA Pro Stock: Stefan Ernryd no time def. Bengt Ljungdahl no time DQ
FIM Europe Top Fuel Bike: Rikard Gustafsson 6.107/383.44 def. Stu Crane 6.929/309.09
FIM Europe Supertwin: Martijn de Haas 6.795/338.04 bye, Marcus Christiansen broke
FIM Europe Pro Stock Bike: Fredrik Fredlund 7.105/306.51 def. Alex Hope 7.406/293.35
FIM Europe Super Street Bike: Rick Stubbins 7.013/330.28 def. Mogens Lund 8.865/154.44
Comp Eliminator: Rene Meierhofer (9.07) 8.410/250.24 def. Robin Sattler (9.65) 9.045/215.68
Super Pro ET: Brian Pateman (8.78) 8.747/253.33 def. Alex Halter (7.92) 7.964/271.30 DQ red light
Pro ET: Gino Bernadine (9.24) 9.283/225.84 def. Karl Geiger (9.49) 9.683/241.56
Super Gas: Stevan Reffelrath 9.961/232.46 def. Gerd Habermann 9.839/193.93 DQ breakout
Super Comp: André Müller 8.907/241.34 def. Marco Leder 9.041/243.43
Junior Dragster: Morgan Wilson (8.08) 8.154/130.32 def. Sara Valesova (8.00) 8.041/131.26 DQ red light
Funny Bike: Kars van den Belt 7.143/298.39 def. Dimitrios Gkosios no time broke
Supertwin Top Gas: Jörg Lymant 7.580/282.15 def. Dirk Waterschoot 9.760/214.17
Subject to official ratification the following records were set:
FIM Europe Top Fuel Bike speed: 387.41 kmh / 240.73 mph, Rikard Gustafsson
FIM Europe Pro Stock Bike speed: 308.25 kmh / 191.54 mph, Fredrik Fredlund
Many thanks to Åsa Kinnemar for forwarding us the post-NitrOlympX standings in the FIA European Drag Racing Championships which you can check out on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored live reports, results and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Julian and Tog are now heading home for long enough to pick up a change of clothes (And more meds - Ed) before heading out to Sweden for this weekend's Dico Scandinavian Internationals at Tierp Arena. Kirstie will be attending this week's Junior Drag Racing Fun Day and Simon and Callum will be covering the weekend's APIRA Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway.
Open Sport Nationals entry update.
18th August: Jerry Cookson of Shakespeare County Raceway has been in touch with a message for racers entering next week's APIRA Open Sport Nationals.
"If you have sent in your entry but are not on the list then please wait for the publication of Version 3 before panicking", says Jerry. "We can only process the entry list as quickly as Postman Pat delivers the mail! Furthermore, if you are intending on paying for your entry by Bacs and have marked the entry accordingly and you haven't yet done so (we know who you are!) then please make sure this part of the entry has been completed by the end of this week."
Entry is still open; official entry forms can be downloaded from the track's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk. Racers are encouraged to pay their entry fee by bacs rather than credit/debit card or cheque as this cuts down on administrative charges and time. APIRA's account details can be found on the entry forms. If you have any queries about APIRA Open Sports Nationals entry then please contact Shakespeare County Raceway at email@example.com or call 01789 720180 (outside the UK +44 1789 720180).
You can check out the APIRA Open Sport Nationals entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Racers invited to promote Finals.
17th August: Santa Pod Raceway are inviting racers to attend an event to help to promote the FIA / FIM European Finals. A bonus is that fire-ups will be positively encouraged:
The Classic Car and Bike Meet has quickly become a firm favourite on the calendar of all automotive enthusiasts. The show, held in Earls Barton on the first Wednesday of every month, welcomes classics and modern classics on two and four wheels alike. You'll find a bit of everything with hundreds of vehicles including American muscle, British classics, modern day supercars, VWs, Japanese monsters, scooters, classic bikes and a whole lot more.
The next congregation falls on Wednesday 6th September, which is the day before the FIA European Finals. So, as the show is only fifteen minutes away from the track, it would be rude if we didn't have a little takeover wouldn't it? Santa Pod Raceway are teaming up with the Classic Car and Bike Meet organisers to have an area within the show to promote the European Finals. So if you're entered for the Finals then you're invited to come along and join the party. We've even got a time to fire up the vehicles to really grab some attention too!
If you'd like to come along and join us at the European Finals display then please contact Jo at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01234 782828 no later than Friday of next week, 1st September, to enable us to book the space.
The Meet opens to the public at 4:30 pm and finishes at approximately 9:00 pm. Exhibitors will need to arrive between 3:00 pm and 4.30pm.
16th August: On the day of late UK Wild Bunch racer Dave 'Sag' Southworth's funeral his friend and fellow WB racer Martin Holgate writes with a tribute:
My wife and I are deeply upset at losing a good friend, Dave Sag Southworth. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to know him and his family as a racer and socially as well.
I first met Sag when I was racing in the Ultimate Street Bike series back in 1985. He still had Jeepers Creepers and it was at a one-off meet at RAF Bitteswell in Leicester. We were chatting about rock'n'Roll and it turned out we both used to go and watch Teddy Boy band Crazy Cavan in the Roundhouse, Newton Hill, Wakefield.
When I switched to drag racing on four wheels I stuck to Jaguar power and Sag had Rover power, so it was always great rivalry on the track, mainly at York, for a few seasons until I had a crash in Barry Giles' old altered Tequila Sunrise. I always admired what could be done with scrapyard parts and little money in their team, and with Elaine's quest for sponsorship the achievements were plenty and the whole family crewed.
We enjoyed the Americana show as well as other events when not at the track. Daddy Cool will be missed by many. Godspeed Sag.
Event entry update.
15th August: Many thanks to Jerry Cookson for forwarding us Version 1 of the official entry list for the APIRA MSA / ACU Open Sport Nationals, a round of the UK National Drag Racing Championships, ACU UK Drag Bike Championships and other series, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 26th-28th August. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Entry is still open; official entry forms can be downloaded from the track's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk. Racers are encouraged to pay their entry fee by bacs rather than credit/debit card or cheque as this cuts down on administrative charges and time. APIRA's account details can be found on the entry forms.
Moores announce retirement.
15th August: The UK's Roger and Dave Moore have announced their retirement from Pro Modified. The brothers' last outing with the Viper was at the recent Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway and the car is now for sale. Roger, Dave and Lucy Moore write:
Our first trip to Santa Pod with a race car was in 1988 with our 400 ci Pontiac-powered Triumph Herald. Much fun was had as the car evolved over the years, culminating in a best ET of 7.87 at 170 mph.
In about 2004 we decided to build a Pro Mod, mainly to keep Andy Robinson quiet as he had been nagging us to enter the class for years! Nine fantastic years have passed in Pro Mod with achievements of first, second and third in the MSA Championship. The dedication and hard work from all the team resulted in a best ET of 6.38 at 218 mph.
Being asked to show the car at the RAC Club rotunda at the 2013 Night Of Champions, when we received our trophy, was a huge honour and was only the second drag racer ever to be displayed in this prestigious venue.
It has been a brilliant journey, lots of hard work and late nights, and many friends made going back many years: Steve Johnson; Martyn Jones and Crunch; Pat and Steve Talbot; Tony and Ray Guy; Gordon and Alan Smith; and Chris Orthodoxou.
From Pro Mod: Andy, whose enthusiasm for every level of the sport is infectious, Kate, Stef and Luke Robinson; Kev Slyfield (get well soon mate), James Woodsford, Clive Phayer; Bert Englefield and Andy Wright (Senior and Junior); Roger Johansson and Alex Olsson who have almost single-handedly kept pro Nitrous racing alive in Europe, thank you for all the advice even though I am a stubborn Englishman who doesn't listen.
From Santa Pod: All the Race Directors from Carlo Gandolfi to Carole Ismail; Ian Marshall; Robin Jackson; Angie Daly and the entire top end crew who are some of the hardest working unsung heroes. Pushing thirty Pro Mod cars round the corner when the whole class has stopped short is no mean feat.
Photographers: Andy Willsheer; Roger Gorringe; Rose Hughes and Ivan Sansom. Thanks for all the lovely photographs which will provide lots of great memories in the years to come.
Jane Moore, who has a birthday at the beginning of September, has spent more years than I care to mention at Santa Pod for it. To all the crew, but particularly to their wives who have let us borrow them for countless weekends, thank you.
Last but not least Tog, Simon, Kirstie, Julian and all the staff at Eurodragster.com who have been a tremendous asset to European drag racing over the years (Thank you, you're welcome - Ed).
I'm sure there are hundreds more people whom we should have mentioned but have forgotten, but that's the problem with getting old.
The Moores' Viper Pro Mod can be found under Cars For Sale on our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet.
15th August: Darren Prentice and Ian Marshall, who are working on the track prep team at Hockenheim, says that the track surface seems to be coming in nicely despite a day and a half of rain before the traditional Public Race Days curtain-opener:
After rain delays on both Saturday and Sunday mornings quite a lot of racing was done with large queues on both days. The event was enjoyed by the large crowds which this race track always seem to attract. A wide and varied range of public cars and bikes, and a very generous sprinkling of race cars and bikes, was just what the track needed to get that all-important racing groove started.
As we write we are now, ironically, basking in the thirty-degree heat trying to get some that final rubber on the track surface. I will leave you with some more photographs from the weekend then you can keep up with the live race reports on Eurodragster.com and via the live Web TV from Saturday.
Once again a massive thank you Michael Vogel and his entire team who have been with us every step of the way working to make this the best possible race. For those of you not lucky enough to be joining us out here at the Hockenheimring we will see you back at the Pod.
Three Englishmen on Fuel.
15th August: UK Fuel Altered pilot Nick Davies says that US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan, where the Havoc team raced this past weekend, is quite a facility:
Concrete quarter-mile; huge, permanent stands; four-storey tower with integral viewing. Quite a place. The Northern Nationals is a huge bracket race with an added Pro show to help crowd attendance. Quarter-mile Top Fuel Dragsters, Nostalgia Funny Cars, Jet Dragsters, even the Precision Turbo Pro Mod Camaro testing for a bit of extra spice!
There were six altereds in attendance: the 'Bowling Green Four' comprising Havoc, Rat Trap, Bradfords and Nanook joined by Mike Hilsabeck's Arizona Thunder and a local big-show style Transformer as a late addition. A one-day deal with a Pro session at 5:00 pm, quick turnaround and a second run at 7:30 pm.
Havoc arrived from Tennessee close to 1:00 pm and we reacquainted ourselves with everything we hadn't seen since the beginning of June! Axle shafts in, new coil fitted, clutch adjusted, pushrods installed and valves set, tyre rollout adjusted, fuel mixed, blower pulley changed back (we were set to 'kill' at Bowling Green just before electrical gremlins). The boys from the UK were ready...
Dave Hough, owner of Nanook, was the ringmaster for the weekend and paired us with our old adversary, Ron Hope in Rat Trap. "Let's get it on lads!".
Into the right lane and the sun shining. Roll into stage and the Tree runs. All-too-familiar cylinders dropped, picked up, then start to haul. Track is good and I see nothing 'til the chutes are pulled. Feels good. All smiles as the crew arrives... 6.34 at 234.99 mph. Nice.
Forget the high-fives, there's another run to make and we have two hours and a crew of three. A point worth making: we have less crew than many but the way Scott, Rob and I work together is enviable to many. Having worked together for five years or so, we have come to an understanding. Things get tight, things get warm but each goes about their business with a common goal. It works.
The 7:30 call comes and we're paired with Nanook. The US team want revenge for the Bowling Green race and have it loaded. The UK team expect it and have a couple of plans of our own. Right lane again, burnout completed and into pre-stage. And sit there. A wise old sage once told me "Protect the clutch! Under no circumstances stage first. If they make you wait, then wait!". And so I wait. And wait. Vincent isn't going in so I move. We leave together, cylinders drop then re-light. Two hundred feet out the little green car stands on its now shorter wheelie bars. For years, the car has driven on its wheelie bars and it's comfortable. The new short wheelie bars aren't dialled-in quite so well yet so when it comes down, the barrier is a little closer than is comfortable. By this time, Nanook is hauling. Give it up.
Nanook went through with a 6.11 and a few sacrificed pistons. They wanted it bad and deserved it. Great team. We came away 1-1 for the weekend and 1-1 against Nanook. All to play for at the finale of our tour, the California Hot Rod Reunion in October. Be there. We'll be racing for Queen and country.
Once again thanks to our tour partners: Beech Underwriting Services, Lawrie Gatehouse and the NFAA, US Automotive, Rat Trap Racing, Lucas Oil, Goodyear Tyres, Motorstate Distributing, Thacker & Friends, the Sherratt family, ARP Fasteners and all the supporters back home for your kind words of encouragement - it is greatly appreciated! Thanks also to all the supporters at home in the UK, whom we also greatly appreciate!
Editor's note: We will shortly be departing for Germany so news updates and Swap Meet postings will be on a best-endeavours basis from tomorrow (Wednesday). Please keep the news coming to email@example.com, though, and we will post when we can. Before anyone pulls Your News Editor up on his oft-stated view that a large proportion of Facebook updates may as well start with the words "Dear Burglar", please note that Eurodragster.com HQ will not be empty and that anyone who fancies taking on a territorially-outraged Mrs Tog is very welcome to try it.
£200,000 to save York Raceway.
14th August: Thanks to Mike L'Alouette for passing on an official statement from the Pennine Drag Racing Club about the future of York Raceway, which we present verbatim:
"Main point; we have an agreement for the use of the facility for at least the next ten years. This is in the form of 7+3 years – this could be extended further.
"Obviously, this now comes at a cost. We need to raise £200,000... We have to resurface the part of the track we use. Estimates have ranged from £90k to £190K alone!
"We also have to remove the Tower and the other buildings. Some can be relocated others will need to be replaced.
"There is a huge amount of work to be done but this is our chance to get the track we want. PDRC will have direct input into what we do / what the track looks like.
"A crowd funding page is being set up for donations. Large donations should be directed via me (firstname.lastname@example.org). We are currently putting together a package of offers from gate entry, lane sponsorship to partnerships. Contact me for details.
"A separate bank account is being set up and all monies donated will go into this account. The account will be controlled by the PDRC Directors Alan Perkins and Marjorie Lyon along with Pete Youhill.
"Should this project fail all donations will be returned – however, we do not envisage this being the case.
"So NOW is the time to stand up and be counted... if you want a track to race on at York from 2018 either donate or find companies to donate, we need to reach the target of £200k very quickly.
"PDRC has pledged £10k, matched by Pennine Promotions already. A further donation of £1000 was put on the table last night from Chris Murty. So we already have £21k, over 1/10th of what we need.
"Over to you!"
Thanks also to Dave Rudd for letting us know that the JustGiving page is now available at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/york-raceway.
14th August: Lee and Sue Johnstone were saddened to hear of the death of their good friend and racing buddy, UK Comp Altered and then bike racer Dave Burfitt. "We raced in the Jaguar heydays of the 1970s and 1980s, with our Apple County Cannon against Dave's Boss Cat", they say. "He was a great competitor on the track but also a great fellow off the track, always a smile and ready to chat. Our paths had not crossed so much of late, but our family and old team-mates hold fond memories of Dave, his car, his team and his family."
On behalf of himself and wife Carolyne, Graham Beckwith writes with memories of late Wild Bunch racer and supporter Dave 'Sag' Southworth. "I first came across SAG at a fairly early Belle Vue show", says Graham. "He wore the famous illuminated belt buckle. When I saw that, I was fascinated by the fact that there could be real, original characters in this world of hot rods and drag racing. SAG was always someone I was pleased to come across throughout my involvement with drag racing. Always an original thinking man, always a top class genuine Northener (despite being a Lancastrian), and always a gentleman. I will miss him deeply. Wherever he is now, I hope they're prepared to Rock and Roll! RIP SAG, you lovely man. Our thoughts are with Elaine and the family."
14th August: Thanks to Andy Marrs and SPRC's timing crew for forwarding the official Timing Data from Ultimate Street Car, which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Thanks to Stephen Billings for letting us know that if you are attending Santa Pod Raceway's Junior Drag Racing Fun Day on Thursday 24th August then you may be affected by roadworks which will close Wollaston Road in Irchester. You can check out a map and more information by clicking here.
The latest addition to our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet is UK Modurstang Pro ET racer James Forster's Mustang. The package on offer looks very reasonable to us and makes a great entry to racing, although the car could also very easily be reverted to street-legal. If you are interested then click on the link above or on the Jeff Bull Swap Meet link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com and take a look at Cars For Sale.
No news update yesterday (Ministering to a sorry-for-herself greyhound and doing Hockenheim pottering - Ed) so we were unable to say a big Happy Birthday to UK drag bike legend Chris Hannam. Hope you had a great day Cannon.
Success at Clastres.
14th August: Didier Canicave tells us that the second round of France's ATD Championships, which took place at Clastres Dragway, was efficiently-organised and turned out perfectly:
The track, the organisation, the timing team and the race officials were perfect, and we had two days of really cool weather with sunshine all weekend. It was a real pleasure after the unlucky Rivannazanno race with two days of rain. More than a hundred racers on two and four wheels came from all over Europe.
The Junior race went to H Redshaw who won the final against C Dubois. Super Street A went to L Mausquet, B to F Peeters' Dodge Challenger, and C for N Chevassus' Pontiac. In Pro ET it was a big battle all weekend for the most popular class and the winner was F Besset with his Chevy Nova in a hard final against F Dubois and his purple Chevy Nova. The big one, Super Pro ET with many cars in sevens, went to P Dubois in his grey dragster against E Baila who had come all the way from Italy with his Chevy Nova.
ATD and Clastres Dragway both showed us that the place has become a real cool European venue for drag racing. All of the racers from drivers from France, Italy, England, Belgium, Holland and Germany went away impetient to return for the next race.
UK Top Sportsman review.
14th August: Paul Marston writes with a review of the Seventh Annual JT Construction UK Top Sportsman event which was hosted at the Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod Raceway:
With twenty five entries from the very best and fastest Sportsman doorslammer teams in the country, and with twelve potential seven-second doorslammers amongst their numbers, it had all the signs of being one hell of an event and didn't let us down.
Freshly-rebuilt and débuting at Top Sportsman were Jack Brewster's Pontiac Firebird now sporting an all-ally New Century-blocked 14-71 Blown Big Block Chevy. The second début in competition was Joel Kerr's Pontiac Starchief, again sporting a BBC with another 14-71 supercharger. Then there was George Chiarella with his '34 Ford Coupe Straight to the Point, sporting a huge 106mm single turbo on an injected LS motor. All in all a star-studded entry list of some of the biggest players in Sportsman doorslammer racing today, capped off by the Moore brothers and their stunning Dodge Viper Pro Mod powered by a 736 ci fuel-injected, nitrous Fulton motor but this time with Crew Chief Dave Moore driving instead of usual shoe Roger. You can find the full list of entries on the Eurodragster.com Mopar EuroNationals Event Coverage page.
Friday's Fast Bracket went five rounds in total and had some seriously close races. Adding to the mix this year was a very strong presence of race teams from York Raceway: Pel Norman, Marc Manning, Spencer Tidswell, 2017 Street Racer Champion Russ Pursley, Simon Boot, and Pete Youhill and Joel Kerr both sporting new rides.
When the dust had settled it was Paul Letchford in his 1968 Camaro and Simon Boot in his Camaro in the final. It was a tough battle with a double break-out and Paul Letchford came out the worthy winner. So the Fast Bracket still holds the distinction of never having had a repeat winner in its nine-race history. Plus for the first time ever we actually got the Fast Bracket done and won on Friday!
On Saturday with nothing scheduled on track until the evening some teams relaxed whilst others joined the RWYB queue to get some practice runs in prior to the one-shot Heads-Up qualifier, which was moved forward due to the threatening weather which was rapidly closing in. At the end of the one-shot qualifier there were, bizarrely, only fifteen cars qualified due to heavy attrition amongst competitors who suffered various woes including Jack Brewster crossing the centre line in his bid and Dave Gibbons recording no time.
Sunday included a stunning array of Personal Bests and storming runs. The out of competition Jack Brewster gave us just a glimpse of the performance potential of his Firebird, smashing into the sevens with a 7.49 with the Firebird's first ever full pull with this combo. In the first round Joel Kerr went into the sevens with a 7.91/171.74 taking out Simon Boot's slowing 10.13/134.57. Pete Youhill kept Simon Gough very honest with an 8.95 to 8.78 with Simon moving on. Marc Manning made a fist of it but his 9.49 with a wounded transmission was no match for Fast Bracket winner Paul Letchford's 8.06/153.63. Spencer Tidswell disposed of Russ Pursley who was however very pleased to have got into the eights for the first time in his SBC-powered Dutton, Russ' 9.0052 losing to Spencer's 8.50/154 mph. Pel Norman had a bye as Dave Wiggins, winner of the No Prep Heads Up at North Weald, was a precautionary no-show with potential valvetrain issues. Pel however showed that he meant business all the way with a blistering 7.86/173. Kev Perkins had a potentially tough round against George Chiarella who is still mapping the fuel curve on new motor combo. Kev took no chances running 7.75/177 to move on. Last pass was a single for Dave Moore with the Viper, Dave now comfortable with the car clicking it off a 6.85/199.
In the second Round Simon Gough with his ever improving new Package destined for Super-class racing was up against Dave Moore and the Viper, Dave prevailed with a 7.02/199 mph but only after Simon took 0.14 off Dave on the tree, which bodes well for Super-class racing. Spencer Tidswell got his marching orders from Kev Perkins, 8.54 played a 7.69, but wait until the Procharger gets figured out and bolted on. Pel Norman had the bye and soloed to another storming 7.84/173.73. Paul Letchford should have faced Joel Kerr but Joel was a no-show, Paul killed the Tree with a 0.02 RT and shut off for a ten-second ET.
Come the semi-finals all of the remaining competitors were in for a good payday, providing that the event was completed, courtesy of John Tebenhams company JT Construction and the Top Sportsman prize fund; semi-finalists were guaranteed £500 cash. First up were Kev Perkins in his trusty Oldsmobile Cutlass and Pel Norman in his 632ci BBC powered Mk 1 Cologne Capri, neither were stellar on the tree but Pel took a 0.03 advantage. Other than that it was Kev all the way, booking his place with a 7.66 to Pel's 7.88. A cracking race nevertheless. In the second semi that Dodge Viper, which had been the picture of reliability, faced Paul Letchford in his 582ci N/A '68 Camaro which had been solidly in the seven-second zone. Pretty even on the tree then it was the Dave Moore in the Dodge Viper all the way, 6.76 played a strong naturally-aspirated 7.95 from Paul.
This set up a final with a pair of nitrous cars. Kev drilled the Dave on the start line with a 0.08 playing a 0.24 but the Viper had 0.05 back by sixty feet and all of the deficit back by 330 feet; from there it just gapped the Oldsmobile more and more. There was also a haze of piston death smoke from Kev's Oldsmobile Cutlass as the second nitrous kit helped the motor eat itself up. Dave's winning 6.83/198 took the win against Kev's wounded 7.63/157.
All of this was done despite some real heavy rain over the weekend: it rained significantly every evening and Santa Pod's track crew really deserve some recognition for forcing this event to be completed and refusing to give in, despite what was thrown at them (and there was plenty of it). The award of the trophies and the giving out of the cash was all completed as quickly as possible as the inevitable weather front finally took its toll, but we got it done. Kev Perkins collected £750 cash and the runner-up trophy. Dave Moore collected £1000 cash and the winner's trophy for his trouble. Semi-finalists Pel Norman and Paul Letchford pocketed £500 cash each, all courtesy of JT Construction and the Top Sportsman prize fund.
There have been a few Pro Mod teams which have tried to win in Top Sportsman and the Moore Brothers and their Shakespeare Engineering-backed Dodge Viper are the first team to actually get it done. Their Viper was the picture of reliability and consistency, never shook and never broke, that is very easy to say but not easy to do. Well done on a richly-deserved win. Kev Perkins put up a very game fight and would have made it a heck of a lot closer have it not been for the sacrifice to the piston gods.
There has still only ever been one repeat winner in the Head-Up race never a repeat winner in the Fast Bracket, which just shows how even the competition is and how hard it is to win this. With numerous new combinations being débuted this year and others in the pipeline, it will be very interesting to see who appears on the entry list for 2018. Over the years the performance of the entries has definitely progressed.
Special thanks go to everyone who has contributed to making Top Sportsman such a solid fixture on the map. This year we would especially like to thank our sponsors old and new who believe in giving something back to the Sportsman racers, John Tebenham and JT Construction for being a great supporter of Top Sportsman, Kenny Coleman at EDA, Jeff Bull Race Engines, Gary Halls Damn Yankees ACC, Gary Springford's Drag Race Engineering, Dave Gibbons' Rough Diamond Engineering, Eurodragster.com for their great coverage (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed), the Mopar EuroNats Committee for hosting us once again, and all of the PMR and Santa Pod crew for running the event so smoothly. Without all of the above there is no Top Sportsman.
Web site updates.
14th August: Norsk Dragracing Gardermoen got a measure of revenge on the weather with a very successful Drag Challenge to make up for last year's event. Our good buddy Remco Scheelings has posted a report on the EDRS Pro MC classes on the Drag Racing Europe Blog and you can take a look by clicking here.
The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr site with more than six hundred pictures from July's Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway. You can take a look at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
Hockenheim track prep report.
12th August: Darren Prentice of Trakbak Racing and Ian Marshall of Santa Pod Racers Club have once again been invited by NitrOlympX Race Director Jerry Lackey to join Michael Vogel and his track preparation team at the Hockenheimring in Germany in readiness for this weekend's Public Race Days and next week's NitrOlympX. Darren writes:
We arrived at the track on Monday of last week to find the track already ground and rubber being applied to the first eighth mile. We were soon joined by the rest of Michael's team Robert Wolfbeiz, Tobias Bardenstein and Heiko Ruder. We made a plan of action then set off to start the many hours of track grooming which lay in front of us.
One of the first surprises laying in wait for us was not one but three brand new tractors - each one which they drove around the corner was bigger than the last - courtesy of Jochen Nerpel who has recently joined the Hockenheim team as the Track / Facilities Manager and who had secured a deal with Claas Tractors of Hockenheim. These machines, each with as much as 400 bhp, have really helped us power up and down the track, easily dragging the sleds behind us and driving in complete comfort. We have also been joined by Michael Behrens and his team from Jade Racing who have brought a counter-rotating machine, which is helping us to apply as much rubber as we can to the track surface.
For the first week we worked through the night as the famous Hockenheim circuit had a full calendar of track hires, so we just turned the floodlights on and hit the track.
At this weekend's Public Race Days the racers will give us an indication of how the track is coming around, ready for the final push of track prep before the NitrOlympX begins. Hopefully we will have time to send an update from the weekend, which normally attract some of the best tuning houses from across Europe as well as racers from around Europe have made the journey early for some pre-event testing.
Event entry update.
12th August: Entry is still open for the APIRA MSA / ACU Open Sport Nationals, a round of the UK National Drag Racing Championships, ACU UK Drag Bike Championships and other series, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 26th-28th August. Official entry forms can be downloaded from the track's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk. Racers are encouraged to pay their entry fee by bacs rather than credit/debit card or cheque as this cuts down on administrative charges and time. APIRA's account details can be found on the entry forms.
Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding Version 4 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM European Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 7th-10th September. You can check out the European Finals entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Standard-free entry closed yesterday (Friday) but entry may still be acceped subject to a Late Entry penalty. You can download the official entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
10th August: We were very sorry to hear of the death of UK Wild Bunch racer and supporter Dave Southworth, universally known as 'Sag'. A testament to Sag's mettle is the fact that even though terminally ill he continued to race, and in fact set a new Personal Best for speed in recent weeks.
Having run an altered named Jeepers Creepers Sag and Crew Chief Alan Grimes built and ran the Daddy Cool dragster, running it into the eights at 145 mph. A longtime supporter and very popular member of the Wild Bunch with whom he raced, Sag posted an annual trophy for Personal Achievement.
Our deepest sympathies to Elaine and to all of Sag's family and friends. If you would like to send a tribute to Sag then please E-Mail email@example.com.
Mini in the Park demos sought.
10th August: The organisers of this weekend's Mini in the Park at Santa Pod Raceway are seeking sub-9.90 dragsters, altereds or doorslammers to make demonstration passes on Sunday (13th). Neale Saunders of Santa Pod Raceway says that participation will involve taking part in the demo sessions on Sunday, but that free access to the track is on offer at Saturday's Run What You Brung if racers wish to make a weekend of it. However you must run on Sunday and your dragster or doorslammer must be a 9.90 or quicker runner.
If you are interested then please get in touch with Neale at firstname.lastname@example.org.
10th August: British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Honorary Chair Stu Bradbury writes that today would be the seventy eighth birthday of the legendary Allan "Bootsie"Herridge. "We miss Bootsie dearly", says Stu. "The legend whose image is featured on the Hall of Fame trophies and after whom the trophy is named. Allan built one of the first dragsters in the UK in 1962 and was inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame in its founding year, 2006."
Event entry update.
10th August: Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding Version 3 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM European Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 7th-10th September now including a cat out of the bag in Fuel Funny Car as US Fuel racer Terry Haddock takes the wheel of the returning Showtime FC. You can check out the European Finals entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Entry closes tomorrow, Friday 11th August, after which entry, if accepted, may be subject to a Late Entry penalty. You can download the official entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
Smoke and nonsense.
9th August: UK Serck Motorsport Outlaw Anglia racer Colin Millar is again headed to Hockenheim to give the locals a show they will never forget:
Early in the year I had a wee chat with Jerry Lackey as he does like the excitement and thrills and spills surrounding Serck Motorsport Outlaw Anglia. We hoped to get six Outlaws put together to head out to Hockenheim which would have been no mean feat. We just about managed five but in the end there were three definite candidates: Jedd Guy, Ronnie Mercer and myself, and we are joined for the weekend by Andy Hadfield in Twister so it will be fun and full of nonsense - not forgetting all our crews as without them we couldn't do what we do.
It's a first for Ronnie and he will just love the event, running in Pro ET with a real big field and I believe only a thirty two-car field for eliminations, fingers crossed for Ronnie. Jedd, Andy and I are all running in Super Pro ET and again it's a tight class with an entry of forty and again going into a thirty two-car field for eliminations. Jedd has been to Hockenheim before but it's a first for running his car there. Andy and I have been before but we will all be rusty running a Sportsman tree, in fact this year I've never run one yet, let's hope that unlike my first year at Hockenheim I don't go on the first amber!
We all set off next Wednesday and we all arrive somewhere across the water the next morning with a hope to meet up somewhere en route to Hockenheim. Hopefully we will all have good journey and get there in plenty of time to get scrutineered and make the eight o'clock cut off for the drivers' meeting, set up camp and relax and enjoy before being out for the early morning call on Friday.
The big bonus for all four of us is that we are all in the Night Show which, if you have ever managed to be there, is awesome and that is a word which really can be used as it should be. Jerry puts so much work into this fabulous evening of entertainment: whether you are a spectator, a racer, a crew member or a marshal it is just the very best.
I wish everybody who is attending or racing at the event the very best of luck; it is one event where we really do just have fun. There is live Web TV running all day Saturday and Sunday, including the Night Show, so keep up to speed with Eurodragster.com and the team for all the information (Thanks Colin - Ed).
If we don't see you at Hockenheim then we will all catch up at Open Sport Nationals, European Finals or the Hot Rod Drags. Be fast and safe everybody.
9th August: Geoff Martin of the UK's Tech Crew, who raced the iconic Oxford Builder Comp Altered, says that he and the late Dave Burfitt both go back to the "Screaming Jag" days. "We used to park together in our seven foot wide pits", says Geoff. "We raced in Holland, twice I think, where he kept his welly in even when on the grass verge. Economic racing for families and socialising was our stock-in-trade back in the 1980s. A big friendly guy with a heart of gold. RIP Dave."
Our good friend Robin Jackson tells us that a report of the Pro Modified action at the Mopar EuroNationals is now available on the official MSA British Drag Racing Championship web site at www.msadragracing.co.uk.
The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame has published the fourth issue of its online magazine HOFtalk which is designed to facilitate communications with members and supporters of the BDRHoF and which is edited by our own Pit Reporter Simon, who is a member of BDRHoF Ltd's Board. You can download the PDF by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page, or you can read it on-screen at www.drceurope.co.uk/hoftalk/issue4.
Aidan Heatley Smith asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to ex-pat UK Top Fuel Dragster racer and regular Eurodragster.com contributor Smax Smith. Our pleasure Aidan, have a great day Smax. A big Happy Birthday also to UK Fuel legend and newlywed Gary Page. Have a great day Gary.
European Top Gas Round 3 report.
9th August: Many thanks to Herman Jolink for forwarding us a report of the third round of the European Top Gas Series which took place over the quarter mile at Drachten on 28th-30th July:
We had a lot of luck with the weather, only a little rain. We had qualifying at 13:00, 16:00 and 19:00 on Friday and Saturday and the last qualifier on Sunday. Top Gas qualifying:
Sunday E1: Lymant's engine stopped after the burnout so he was not allowd to restart, Severa (first alternate as Buehler was broken) bye run 11.817/151. Kras' engine stopped shortly after starting, Braune's engine also stopped shortly after launch, problems with fuel injection. Albers 9.502/203 def. Schleichert 10.537/207; Albers' launch was not so good and he had problems with the strong wind. Malmberg 8.402/256 bye, Brodbeck had a broken gearbox.
Sunday E2: Severa just activated the lights then his clutch burned (bye run). Albers 7.807/261 def. Malmberg 8.511/257, Albers 0.602 RT and Malmberg 0.389.
Final Cord Albers D 9.495/239 def. Janeck Severa CR 10.405/201. RTs Albers 0.397, Severa 0.287. Albers again had problems with the strong wind. 3rd place Jan Malmberg S.
European Super Twin Top Gas Championship after three rounds:
Ready for all comers.
7th August: Nick Davies, Rob Loaring and the UK's Havoc Fuel Altered team are gearing up for the half-way event on their US Tour with a whistle stop at US131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan this weekend. Nick writes:
The meeting is the US 131 Northern Nationals featuring a six-car field of Top Fuel dragsters, an eight-car qualified field of Nostalgia Fuel Funny Cars, Bob Motz's Jet Kenworth and an invited field of six classic Fuel Altereds.
It seems as though the little green Altered from the UK has gained some popularity in the last couple of meetings as our invite list has increased far further than we are able to commit. This time, we are advised that we are joining Ron Hope's Rat Trap, Dave Hough's Nanook, Randy Bradford's Fiat, Mike Hilsabeck's Arizona Thunder and Dave Benjamin's T. It may change, so don't shoot the messenger (Oh, that only applies to Yours Truly - Ed)...
The meeting will give a nod to drag racing traditionalists by featuring the world's fastest race cars competing over the full quarter mile and the bill includes Larry Dixon, Dom Lagana and Pat Dakin, amongst others.
Our own schedule comprises just two runs this Saturday night, 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm. The format for racing is "To be clarified" but, needless to say, we will be flying the flag and trying to add to the scalps already collected. Exhibition? Not for us.
Scott and I will try and keep you updated via FB, Instagram and any other means available including Eurodragster.com.
Thanks, as ever, to our tour partners: Beech Underwriting Services, Lawrie Gatehouse and the NFAA, US Automotive, Rat Trap Racing, Lucas Oil, Goodyear Tyres, Motorstate Distributing, Thacker & Friends, the Sherratt family, ARP Fasteners and all the supporters back home for your kind words of encouragement - it is greatly appreciated! Thanks also to all the supporters at home in the UK, whom we also greatly appreciate!
7th August: Former Comp Altered and Pro Comp racer Tim Claxton was sorry to hear of the death of Dave Burfitt. "What a lovely man", says Tim. "I got on very well with Dave, win or lose. We had a few laughs until we got to the line, then he took his racing seriously. RIP Dave, and my thoughts to his family". Charlie, Jim and Dave Draper add that they too were sorry to hear of Dave's passing and send condolences to his family.
Congratulations and best wishes for a long and happy future to UK Fuel legend Gary Page and his bride Jane Page who were married on the QT yesterday.
Sweden's Team 817 Funny Bike and Super Street Bike team are preparing for next week's NitrOlympX buoyed by PBs at the NDRG Drag Challenge at Gardermoen. "I saw off the previous 6.887 with a 6.831 / 286 kmh off the throttle at 100 feet, and Robert Häggblom ran a clean 7.70/305", says Thomas Pettersson. "We are looking forward to setting more new PBs on the track at the NitrOlympX".
Trakbak Racing and Track Group Europe have confirmed that they will again be providing a free Web TV broadcast from the NitrOlympX. The High Def, multiple-camera broadcast will be available on the Saturday and Sunday of the event and will of course include the Night Show. The link to the Web TV is ready and waiting on our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored NitrOlympX coverage index which also includes a link to the official entry list. You can take a look by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Our good buddy Remco Scheelings has posted a photo review of the NDRG Drag Challenge on the Autosport.nl web site. You can check it out by clicking here.
We continue to receive appreciative feedback for our triple stack of John Woolfe Racing-sponsored event coverage of Dragstalgia, Bug Jam and the Mopar EuroNationals, for which many thanks. As we are quite used to drag racing being gender-blind we didn't give a thought to all four of our photographers at the Mopars being female until it was pointed out to us. Next week's NitrOlympX at Hockenheim will be the first of six straight race weekends' coverage including a double-header of the Dico Scandinavian Internationals and APIRA Open Sport Nationals on the second of the six. Our full Event Coverage schedule including Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcasts can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Smax and the maddening TAFC.
7th August: Ex-pat UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Smax Smith had a weekend off from the long car last weekend and concentrated on son Aidan's Top Alcohol Funny Car at Grand Bend:
We were quietly confident that we had addressed the issues of putting burst panels out before half track as we found that our crank trigger to the msd grid wasn't wired correctly. Aidan came out for his first run and did a perfect long smokey burnout, the car sounded totally on kill. He backed up then staged and brought the rpm to 6500, launched but put out the burst panel out before sixty feet.
The stripdown revealed that we broke an intake rocker so likely backfired the blower. All the bottom end was perfect so a quick fix and turnaround ready for Q2. Again Aidan did a perfect burnout and brought the rpm up to 6500 and launched, but car didn't rev much past 6900, went 400 feet and put the burst panel out. By now was losing my mind.
I decided to run just off the mag and replace kill switch, which I was suspecting, and the points box but rain was forecast for Sunday's eliminations plus the track were getting pissed that we weren't performing, so Aidan said stuff this for a game of soldiers (My paraphrase - Ed) and loaded up and we partied until five the next morning.
On Monday I decided to order a new kill switch from MSD and hey! In the catalogue it said no not use two pole switch on Mag 44 and use a starter solenoid to shut the mag off, so this may have been my problem all along. Damn!
As usual we had a fun weekend but still going through hell with our Funny Car. At time of writing we were scheduled to be back at Grand Bend this weekend with the Top Fueller which has new blower and command module, and a new kill switch on the Funny Car, so watch this space!
5th August: We were very sorry to hear of the death of longtime UK Comp Altered then bike racer Dave Burfitt. Dave's son and fellow racer Andy writes:
Dave started drag racing in 1976 with a Jaguar-powered altered called Expectations, which he then ran in Junior Comp. His first win with the bog stock 3.8 Jag came at only his second meeting at Snetterton, qualifying third and managing to drive around the likes of Tim Claxton and Brian Mondey for the win. In 1977 the car was re-bodied with a Pat Cuss Austin A35 to, in his words, "Hide the awful chassis!". The car then changed names to Boss Cat. Dave enjoyed success with this car in 1978 and in 1979 won the NDRC Senior Comp championship.
In late 1979 there was a change to the Topolino, and a new chassis was bought from the Cross Brothers. The most memorable race with this car was in Holland at the 1984 Zandvoort circuit meeting, run over the eighth mile. Dave managed the Bracket 3 win over John Mullan's Camaro in the final. In 1985 Dave took a year out to build his own house down in Dorset, however during this time Dave he bought a rolling chassis from Andy Muir and the Dart team (formally Norm Wheeldon's Wheel Thing). The same 3.8 Jag motor now, with a few goodies from Jim Tester and a different clutch, was fitted to the above mentioned chassis.
Dave ran this car with success until 1987 when he decided to revisit his love of motorcycling. Riding around Europe and competing in various trials and rallies kept his thirst for competition fuelled.
Forward to 2004 and after helping Son Andy with his 10.90 Bike Dave's passion for drag racing was re-ignited. With the purchase of Fred Furlong's Suzuki GSXR 1100 Dave joined the racers in 10.90 Bike. At the 2004 FIA European Finals Dave took the 10.90 win and Son Andy took the 9.90 Bike win. This would be such a memorable race for both, and the last time that both 10.90 Bike and 9.90 Bike classes would run at the European Finals.
In 2004 Dave finished runner-up in both the UK National Championship and the APIRA Championship. In 2005 Dave added nitrous and a lock-up clutch and moved to the changed-index 9.50 Bike class. Over the next few years Dave would enjoy many memorable races at Santa Pod and Shakespeare County Raceway with Son Andy running in the same class.
Dave will be sadly missed but will always be remembered by us and many others as a kind and loving husband, father, grandfather and friend who would always put others before himself. A quiet and unassuming man who took pride in all that he set out to achieve.
Our very deepest sympathies to Andy and to all of Dave's family and friends. If you would like to send a tribute to Dave then please E-Mail email@example.com.
5th August: Thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding Version 2 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM European Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 7th-10th September. You can check out the European Finals entry list by clicking here. Entry closes next Friday, 11th August, after which entry, if accepted, may be subject to a Late Entry penalty. You can download the official entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
We would like to say a big Happy Birthday with added hugs to Libby Mottershead. Have a lovely day Lady Lib.
Have you seen this caravan?
5th August: UK Supercharged Outlaws racer Jim Usher's caravan was stolen from Wincanton on Thursday night and Eurodragster.com readers are asked to keep eyes and ears open:
It's a Luna Lexon RS twin axle with a few dents on the back rear panel where a deer ran into it. It also has LED lights running all the way down the side. Apart from that it has some silicone marks around the wheel arches where I have taken off the LED lights from the bottom of the van. It's got all our clothes and firesuit ready for the Bulldog Bash next week. Please can you help find it.
Jim can be contacted by Facebook messaging.
Demos sought for Junior Fun Day.
3rd August: Donna Finnegan writes that Santa Pod Raceway are seeking vehicles to make demo passes at the Junior Drag Racing Fun Day on Thursday 24th August:
We are seeking racers with vehicles which run 11.99 or quicker. Admission tickets will be fre eof charge but there will be a sign-on fee of £20 and of course any further donations to our associated charity the Helping Harry Trust are most welcome.
If you would like to make demonstration passes at the Fun Day then please contact Donna at firstname.lastname@example.org before 11th August.
The pitfalls of steel.
3rd August: UK Modurstang Pro ET racer Tim Stanbury says that he will have to sit out the rest of this season:
After eight seasons pushing and pulling my all-steel 1968 Camaro, both at the track and at home, I managed to strain something in the nether regions last year. Of course I'd like to say it followed an energetic session of something else, but the reality was merely an old fart pushing his race car too hard.
A winter of rest seemed to cure that so we commenced the season as usual, aiming to have a crack at all seven MSA rounds. But after a worthy beating by friend and fellow racer Mark Bailey at the SPRC Summernationals I set about loading the car as usual for our long ride home. It started to rain hard, and there I was pushing and shoving the Camaro trying to get it lined up for the trailer, and something went twang. I ignored this message and carried on as usual at home, selling my motor accessories - not an especially vigorous pursuit - and running our farm in my spare time. Four straight days in a twenty five-year-old tractor and something just didn't feel right. So off to the doctor.
I've given myself a hernia, bringing my racing season to an end. Hopefully I'll be back as usual next year.
I want to thank my sponsors Lucas Oil Products, for all their support and understanding. It has been an honour to represent them for the third year. I'll miss all my friends at the track. Have fun, go fast, and stay safe. All you boys and girls with lightweight racing cars just don't know how lucky you are. But I'm sticking with steel thank you.
Street Car Shootout pictures.
3rd August: Many thanks to Bob Roberts for sending us shots of the Street Car Shootout at the weekend's Silverstone Classic.
Ballooning in Canada.
2nd August: Ex-pat UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Smax Smith has been in touch with a report on the appearance of the Leverich family and the Ant Hill Mob at Toronto Motorsport Park's Nitro Nationals:
As defending Event Champion running a 4.84 quarter mile with the belt coming off at 1200 feet we were more than excited to perform in front of our home crowd at my local track. I did a radio interview and a TV interview.
We had some neat developments on the car showing good promise for our first three-second, 300 mph 1000 foot pass. We were scheduled to run at 4:00 and 8:00 but the heavens opened at 4:00 and the rain battered us for three hours. Damn! However the track crew persevered and dried the track but no time for street cars and put the three jets on for the Night Show first! Then came the Funny Cars of Jeff Diehl and Dale Creasy. Dale hooked up and went 900 feet but Jeff broke an oil line and the clean-up took a long time. Then Terry Haddock ran his Funny Car but spun the tyres. I watched as the mist crept up my windshield and knew it was not a good sign.
We were paired with good friend Todd Paton and although we did good burnouts and managed to launch we got out about 400 feet out and both spun our tyres, so we lifted at same time. The data showed we were trying to turn the tyre from the hit! We then partied until 5:00 am.
Up on Sunday morning, Aidan had the clutch done before I got out of bed and we got ready to run the 2:00 pm session again against Todd. We were hoping for good numbers. Aidan belted me in then we did our burnouts and staged. We rocketed off to 280 mph but dropped a cylinder at the hit and mixed them up down track so only produced a 5.20. The throttle also hung for a second again! What we found was the blower which we restripped after backfiring it when we beat Tony Schumacher was eating the new strips so only made 39 lbs boost at the hit. The case is ballooned so Gary has got us another blower which makes 53 lbs boost but we have to wait to Grand Bend this weekend to find out the results.
Meanwhile we had brought Aidan's alky Funny Car along, after addressing a few woes from last season we were excited to get him running fives. The car sounded great. We towed Aidan for the first qualifier, planning an eighth-mile pass unless was it pulling hard.
Aidan did a monster burnout and the car sounded great. Pre-staged brought the rpms up, launched but didn't seem to rev up much and laboured then put the burst panel out at 400 feet. Aidan kept it rolling and qualified. We changed the coil and the mag was fresh from MSD so we played with the wiring on the grid etc. The team did amazing work stripping the whole car, we had hydraulicked and bent number two rod pretty bad but the crank was fine.
We went for the first round on Sunday, again sounded great with a monster burnout. Pre-staged at 6500 rpm and Aidan was away first but again the same thing, the car didn't really rev up and put the burst panel out at 400 feet. Bummer, this is getting stupid. Unfortunately didn't get any data again to see what was really going on so packed up and headed home.
2nd August: Regular readers of our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Event Coverage will know that it has some very faithful fans and we are very pleased to say Happy Birthday to one of those today. James Humphreys, a particular fan of our Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcasts as well as a member of SPRC's timing crew, is seventeen years old today and Tog, Kirstie, Simon and Julian would like to wish James the very happiest of birthdays.
1st August: We were sorry to hear from Mike Lintern that Ted Peddle, one of the founding directors of National Dragways, the original operators of Santa Pod Raceway, has passed away at the age of ninety:
It was in 1965 that John Bennett, Chairman of the British Hot Rod Association, publisher of the club's Drag Racing & Hot Rod magazine and co-proprietor with Ted of the South London bodyshop Spa Engineering, "discovered" the ex-USAAF airfield of Podington.
At the time, the airfield had recently been purchased by local farmer Ernie Braddick and used on occasions for National Sprint Association meetings, though Ernie had plans to break-up the runways and taxiways for the value of the hardcore. But Ernie joined the other National Dragways directors – who also included Bob and Roy Phelps of Fibre Glass Repairs – in a vision of the site becoming the BHRA's permanent drag strip, a project which became reality with the opening of the Raceway in 1966.
Our deepest sympathies to Ted's family and friends.
Of Vipers and lamb shanks.
1st August: Lucy Moore writes that Roger Moore was dragged kicking and screaming from the driving seat of the Moore brothers' Pro Modified Viper to allow tuner Dave Moore and crew Gary Butters to have a go at the Mopar EuroNationals:
Roger never did like sharing his toys as a child. It was an ambitious venture to attempt to get two rookie drivers down the track in one weekend, but with the experience of the team and our never-say-die attitude we were optimistic.
"Weekend" is a loose term considering Roger, Lucy and Dave arrived at the track on Wednesday to set up for the event! The first obstacle was when Dave arrived having been stung on the head by a wasp the day before. His face was so disfigured by an allergic reaction that we were unsure he would be able to race at all. Fortunately, copious use of a bag of frozen peas and a large amount of antihistamine subsided the swelling by the following day.
Dave pulled rank over his ex-apprentice to take the first drive on Friday. His last pass was fourteen years ago in their infamous Triumph Herald; you wouldn't have thought so as he ran a solid eight-second run. Gary was next, looking a bit apprehensive but determined he ran a 7.53, the competitive edge creeping in. Dave jumped back in on an absolutely storming run to make a 6.83/198.08, fantastic!
As the passes continued and experience grew we all began to enjoy seeing them reach new targets with Dave attaining his goal of 200 mph, the crew got used to the adjustments with Roger being on the start line and looking like a lamb shank without roast potatoes. Although the weekend was a bit of fun away from Pro Mod for Dave and Roger, and a reward for Gary after twenty years of excellent crewing, it was fantastic to see Dave win the JT Construction UK Top Sportsman Heads Up Race.
It was great to have longtime crewman Martin Tilley return on Saturday as a spectator and to lend a hand after illness, he has been a huge asset to the team over the years. As well as a huge thanks to him there also are thanks in order for all our dedicated crew members, but particularly those this weekend: Roger 'Chief Whip Cracker', Dave 'Lamb Shank', Jane 'Prosecco', Kane 'Bahlsen Leibniz', Gary 'Double Cheeseburger with Bacon' and Lucy 'The Boss'.
1st August: UK street-legal racer Andy Frost is holding a Five Second Club night in Wolverhampton on Saturday 30th September to benefit his return to Bahrain to race Red Victor 3. A custom car and bike show, live bands, food and a bar will be on offer and festivites commence at 15:00. Tickets are £25, under-12s free. You can find out more on the official flyer; click on the picture at right.
Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our own Simon for posting the post-Bug Jam points standings in the 2017 UK National Drag Racing and Santa Pod Racers Club Championships. You can check out the points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page which you can reach by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Many thanks to Andy Marrs and SPRC's timing crew for forwarding the official Timing Data from Bug Jam and the Mopar EuroNationals, which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.