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European Drag Racing News
28th September: It was an excellent weekend's Sportsman action at Santa Pod Raceway as the National Championships were decided, records were repeatedly broken, and personal bests were beaten in just about every round of competition.
One of the weekend's undoubted highlights was Neil Midgley breaking into the sixes on his Funny Bike with a 6.948 in the semi-finals, which cemented Funny Bike's claim of class of the weekend. As far as we know this is only the second time that a European Funny Bike has ever run a six, Peter Bossert having run the first, and Neil's run was backed up by an earlier 7.016 for a new record subject to ratification. Chris Hope set a new record of 7.404 in Pro Stock Bike, whilst Dave Beck ran an astounding 7.371 in the PSB final and set a new speed record of 178.44 mph. Phil Brachtvogel set a new Competition Bike record of 7.049 on Jon Morton's Top Fuel bike. Also on two wheels but not such good news, popular 10.90 Bike racer Sandra Chaplain took a spill on Saturday when her bike tried to achieve Earth orbit, but Sandra escaped serious injury and was back in competition yesterday.
On four wheels, Steve Pateman achieved the feat of winning a Championship off the track when he won the 2002 Custom Car Street Eliminator Championship by completing Saturday night's mandatory Cruise. Super Pro ET racers Trev Capewell and Chris Johnson gave us a first look in competition of their nicely-turned-out race cars, whilst Dave Wilson entertained with a number of passes in the American Car Imports Top Methanol Dragster, one of which he aborted because "I didn't even know if I was the right way up". Carla Pitau crowned her return to the driving seat of her and Rick McCann's Heaven and Hell Camaro by taking the race and the Championship title (for more about the Championship outcomes, see below).
Pro ET racer Jack Brewster won the final Eurodragster Perfect Light Award of 2002 with a 0.500 in qualifying, which won him £75, whilst Super Pro ET winner Steve Johnson and 9.90 Bike winner Grant Perrin won the Eurodragster/Scorpion Racing awards of a TRS harness and 20 litres of Rock Oil respectively.
The final results in all clases were as follow:
Super Modified: Rob Smallworth 7.637/178.72 def. Danny Cockerill 7.632/174.88
Super Pro ET: Steve Johnson (7.55) 7.798/166.55 def. Barry Giles (7.57) 7.672/169.14 red light
Pro ET: Carla Pitau (10.68) 10.693/119.01 def. Steve Wells (10.07) 10.243/123.34
Sportsman ET: Mark Anderson (13.30) 13.339/102.41 def. Al Platt (13.41) 13.458/103.99
Super Gas: Martin Curbishley 9.941/141.96 def. Tim Adam 9.895/142.47 breakout
Super Comp: Tim Adam 9.015/134.60 def. Zane Llewellyn 8.981/138.91
Super Street: Anne Peck 11.003/129.55 def, Mike Bentley 10.982/132.93
Junior Dragster: Nick Mugridge (12.90) 12.931/48.10 def. Joe Bond (9.45) 9.402/66.01 breakout
Custom Car Street Eliminator: Steve Neimantas 8.769/158.52 def. Steve Pateman 10.044/110.11
VW Pro: Paul Jackson (9.90) 10.051/107.94 def. Scotty Evison (12.10) 12.381/97.52
VW Sportsman: Stuart Hinds (16.20) 16.223/80.33 def. Ian Dale (13.60) 13.512/98.35 breakout
Wild Bunch: Chris Hartnell (10.50) 10.861/121.04 def. Paul Croston (12.40) 12.343/102.60 breakout
Funny Bike: Tim Blakemore 7.198/177.62 def. Neil Midgley DQ crossed centre line
Pro Stock Bike: Dave Beck 7.371/178.44 def. Chris Hope 7.451/177.22 red light
Super Street Bike: Graham Dance 8.274/172.64 def. Steve Venables 8.858/161.89
Competition Bike: Phil Brachtvogel 7.250/182.63 def. Sarah Jane Head 8.922/153.60
9.90 Bike: Grant Perrin 9.912/133.03 def. Hensley Eugenia 10.029/126.53
10.90 Bike: Steve Coombs 12.251/86.78 def. Darren Winnard 11.937/79.64 red light
Supertwin Gas: Rich Davies 9.736/130.91 def. George Laycock 9.714/134.29
Supertwin Modified: TJ O'Brien 10.417/128.34 def. Brian Udall 11.575/120.02
Supertwin Street: Les Harris 10.859/126.11 def. Mark Earrey 130.24
For full reports and pictures check out our American Car Imports-sponsored race coverage, which you can view by clicking here, or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.
Our report on yesterday's action also includes a list of provisional 2002 National Championship winners which were calculated on the fly as eliminations unfolded, but as some of the classes are very tight indeed we will hold off on posting them here on Eurodragster News until they have been officially ratified by the Championship Co-ordinators.
(On the subject of the National Finals, I just want to say a big thanks to Tog for bringing me home to get my spare van keys after the key snapped off in the door lock Saturday evening. Thanks mate - Sharkman)
Shootout prize structure.
28th September: We are very grateful indeed to Tina Gibbs of Obsession Motorsports for forwarding us the entry fee/prize structure for this weekend's Doorslammer Shootout at Shakespeare County Raceway. There are some very substantial amounts on offer for class winners and runners-up at the turn-up-and-race event. All classes will run heads-up on a Pro tree.
Outlaw for cars running quicker than 7.50 seconds
Entry fee: £150
Eight-car field winner/runner up: £2000/£1000
Sixteen-car field winner/runner-up: £3000/£1500
Top Gun for cars running 7.50-8.75
Entry fee: £125
Eight-car field winner/runner up: £1250/£750
Sixteen-car field winner/runner-up: £1500/£1000
Thirty two-car field winner/runner-up: £2500/£1500
Top Sportsman for cars running 8.75-10.50
Entry fee: £100
Sixteen-car field winner/runner-up: £1200/£600
Thirty two-car field winner/runner-up: £2000/£1000
Sportsman for cars running 10.50-11.75
Entry fee: £75
Sixteen-car field winner/runner-up: £750/£400
Thirty two-car field winner/runner-up: £1000/£650
Sixty four-car field winner/runner-up: £1500/£750
Street for cars running 11.75-15.00
Entry fee: £55
Sixteen-car field winner/runner-up: £500/£300
Thirty two-car field winner/runner-up: £700/£500
Sixty four-car field winner/runner-up: £1000/£750
Entry to the track will be £10 each on Saturday and Sunday, or £15 for the weekend which includes camping.
You can read more details about the Doorslammer Shootout in the latest edition of Custom Car magazine, or call Obsession Motorsports on 01483 236262 who can also accept pre-registration, although entries will be taken on the gate on Saturday.
Jade Racing plan for 2003.
30th September: Jerry Collier, team leader of UK Supertwin team Jade Racing has been in touch to let us know what happened at the weekend's race and to give us a sneak preview of their plans for next year.
"The season didn't end on quite the high note we had hoped for with the H2 (which runs in Comp Bike - Ed)" said Jerry. "A nitrous explosion caused by the ignition kill for shifting gear blew all the carbs off the motor and finished our weekend early. We think that we have still finished up second in the ACU championship though, we are very pleased with that considering it was our first year with the bike."
The team are already looking forward to next season as Martin Bishop has confirmed they can run the H2 again in 2003. "It's been great racing in Comp Bike this, year and we look forward to doing it again next year", said Jerry. "We have now got a year's experience with the bike and we hope to freshen the existing motor and build two more for next year, as well as adding a Steve French-prepared five-speed auto box to avoid any more ignition kill-related nitrous problems. We will also be making a big effort to take the existing record for a single-engined two stroke bike which currently stands at 7.97."
The 2003 plan is for the two Supertwin Gas bikes, ridden by Ric Davies and Sefton Whitlock, to repeat this year's feat of finishing first and second in the NAST Championship. "Well done to Ric and Sefton for this year, they have both done really well", said Jerry. Next year Sefton will continue to ride my old Championship-winning machine whilst if all goes to plan we hope to develop a new and bigger engine for Ric's bike."
Jerry finished off by saying that Jade's racing season would not have been possible without the help and support of a lot of people. " I would like to say a big thanks to Martin Bishop for the letting us have the bike, to Steve French for all his help with nitrous and gearboxes, to my wife Sharron for all the help and support, to Andy Haley for bucket loads of spare parts (most of which are going back in buckets!), to Al Smith for the welding, and to Steve Venables for the bottom end. Finally thanks to all the Jade Racing crew for being a great team, and to the rest of Comp Bike for making it so much fun. This year has been a blast, roll on next year!".
You can find the Jade Racing web site at www.jaderacing.com.
Burner poppin' wheels-up Shootout.
27th September: Roger Goring's Firestorm Jet Funny Car and the legendary Ronnie Picardo's equally legendary High Risk Corvette wheelie car are to join the fun at next week's (5th-6th October) Doorslammer Shootout at Shakespeare County Raceway, lending still more of the old-time Saturday Night Special feel to the turn-up-and-race event.
"Yes, as of tonight, I'm going!", said Roger Goring speaking to Eurodragster last night. "We're looking forward to running at Shakespeare County Raceway again". Roger and the Firestorm team have left their engine problems far behind them, with a number of successful eighth-mile shakedown passes at York Raceway followed by quarter-mile runs at the NSRA Hot Rod Drags at SCR a few weeks back. "It went just fine over the quarter", said Roger. "We went above 230 miles per hour. We've got some new parts on the engine so we're taking it run-by-run. Every time we give it a little tweak, and every time it goes a little faster. We're getting there!"
Ever the showman, Ronnie Picardo will be wowing the fans in his usual inimitable manner, putting in quarter-mile wheels-up passes in the historic Corvette Stingray wheelie car. A long-time supporter of drag racing at Shakespeare County Raceway, Ronnie has donated his appearance fee to the event's prize fund. "We are very grateful indeed to Ronnie for his generous gesture", says Terry Gibbs of Obsession Motorsports. "Both Ronnie and Roger are sponsoring the event in one way or another to help to make this first event as successful as possible."
We hope to be able to bring you details of the Shootout prize structure and other organisational details very soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime you can read more details about the Doorslammer Shootout in the latest edition of Custom Car magazine, or call Obsession Motorsports on 01483 236262 who can also accept pre-registration, although it is stressed that you can just turn up and enter at the gate on the Saturday.
Dusting it down and dragging it out.
27th September: After a self confessed "disappointing return to drag racing this year" Rich Fielding will be dusting his bike down and bringing it out again at the National Finals at Santa Pod this weekend to see if he can finally sort out a problem which has been dogging him all year.
"I bought my current bike earlier this year and to date the engine has been fully rebuilt with completely new electrics, ignition and carburetors, and the rest of the bike has been given a through going over with a lot of modifications." says Rich. "For some reason though we have had real trouble keeping oil in the thing!! I have enlisted help from Tim Blakemore, Dave Branch and Ray Debben as well as anyone else in the pits that would listen! As yet we have found no reason for the oil loss so have tried a “shotgun” approach attacking everything that could remotely be causing it.
Tim Blakemore kindly helped me to sort a few things out on the dyno that he uses in Bristol and the bike makes very good power which is a start. We have some extensive plans for next year already, which should see the bike performing a little better and hopefully a lot more reliably"
Rich would like to say a big thank you to Tim Blakemore, Dave Branch, Ray Debben and Dave Beck as well as my crewman Andrew Hunter for their help this year.
Serpent Racing Gets Venom Injection
27th September: UK Supertwin Top Gas team Serpent Racing gets a dose of venom for the UK National Finals at Santa Pod this weekend in the form of a new motor. Rider Barrie Gregory blew his RD400 motor at the Fall Nationals with 2 split pistons and a seized gearbox. Fellow Top Gas rider Ric Naylor of Team RNR stepped in and offered the use of his motor to Barrie for the final round. Ric takes up the story;
"Team RNR made progress this year, getting more power from the engine and setting a new PB but we severely lacked consistency. Getting the bike off the line was becoming more and more difficult as we dialled in more power to catch up the slick shod bikes (Ric was running a street tyre and no wheelie bars - Ed). With everyone else in the class making good progress this year, we quickly became first round fodder. So after the Fall Nationals I decided to retire the street tyred chassis and save my pennies to put toward my new Top Gas bike that is being built for next year.
We know the motor is making very good power and pulls well especially in the second 1/8th but we never had good 60' times. The best it ran was a 10.21 @ 129.8mph with only a 1.6 second sixty foot time so I thought what better way to prove the motor is delivering the goods than stick it in a slick tyred chassis. Who knows, it may even have a 9 second run in it if we can get down to a 1.4 second sixty foot time."
Ric adds that it was Barrie that got him involved in racing in the first place, so Ric felt it was only fitting that he repaid Barrie by loaning the motor. "He's been struggling in the 11's this year, I had a proven low 10s motor sitting on my bench, it's a no brainer and the best part for me is that I get to ride the bike at Flame and Thunder so I can get a feel for what I'm in for next year!"
When asked to comment, Barrie just grinned and said "I can't wait!"
CCSE Championship preview.
26th September: Custom Car Street Eliminator Championship co-ordinator Lee Child has kindly sent a preview of the final round of the street-legal competition, which takes place at this weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway.
John Ricketts took the win at Shakespeare County Raceway in his 8.2 litre big block Chevrolet Anglia, which has placed him in sixth place in the Championship. With the big battle between the two Steves, Neimantas could take the Championship but he needs to get past the stunning performance of Pateman, whose 8.55/173 is now the benchmark.
Sue Jackson and Jeff Meads have been changing their points positions for the latter part of this season, so third and fourth are still undecided. Alan Simms has been consistent and is holding on to the number five position. After a tremendous outing at the last event, Moose Hollingworth will be breathing down Alan's neck in order to keep the number five on his car. John Sleath has a new supercharger on his car and this could really leapfrog him up the points table. The latter half of the top ten is still undecided, but the top candidates are Tony Hill, Allen Curtis and Andy Frost.
Steve Pateman and the 706 Vauxhall take centre stage this weekend when the Bravo television company will be filming him and his amazing performance for a programme to be aired in December. This will include in-car camera shots and filming of the Street Eliminator cruise.
Watson after 8.6s.
26th September: UK Super Street Bike racer Paul 'Grumpy' Watson, who is for a few more days also UK National 9.90 Bike Champion, has some work to do on his nitrous set-up at this weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod.
"I have tried for a couple of meetings to introduce the second stage of nitrous, but I have suffered a few problems", says Paul. "Firstly getting the mixture right, and lately it seems that when I use both stages of gas I can't change gear. This weekend I will try using the second stage when I am in fifth gear. Hopefully that will drop me into the 8.6s. I feel that if I could get the gas in earlier it would probably run 8.4 - not bad for a street-legal Bandit."
Paul's bike has popped up for sale on Eurodragster's Jeff Bull Race Engines Swap Meet in the last few days. "I'm not sure about next year yet", he explains. If it doesn't sell then you can be sure that I will either be back out in 9.90 Bike or if I can get the money or sponsorship I will be back out with a big block running low eights like Brock Davidson!
"A big Thank You to my crew Kim Sawle and Kev Simmons for all their help and support, thanks to Brad at Dynospeed Developments, and thanks to Eurodragster for a job well done (thank you, Paul - Ed)."
Joon loses Old Faithful.
25th September: Dutch Top Methanol FC racer Lex Joon went to the FIA European Finals with a mathematical chance of the European Championship. In the end, it didn't work out that way although Lex and the Splitfire-sponsored team were pleased to come away with a new European ET record, albeit at the expense of an old-faithful engine. Gerda Dijkstra takes up the story:
"We went to Santa Pod with the idea of defending our second place in the Championship, because we didn't think it was possible for us to take first place. Althought it could be done, we needed to win the event. Lex's wish is to win an FIA event at the Pod because he never has, and he sees Santa Pod as his home track with all the fans and the nice track personnel.
"We were more focused on how we could run the car into the 5.7s.During qualifying on Friday we damaged a shaft in the blower, which meant that we could not run the second qualifying secion. We flew in a new part from the Netherlands and worked all night to fix the car for the Saturday. During the third qualifying session we almost did it - but we ran a 5.82 instead of our first 5.7 because we had a problem with our blower, again. But it was still a personal best.
"On Saturday evening when the ladders were complete we knew that we needed to work real hard to defend our Championship place. We qualified third because Leif Andréasson ran 5.72 and Urs Erbacher 5.79. Ulf Leanders had a big rear tyre explosion which damaged the body so much that he could not run in eliminations. This meant that Micke Kåered had to race against Steph Milam.
"Our first race was against Jorg Johnsson. After Hockenheim we knew that he can run real fast. When Lex was almost at the finish line I heard a big bang and saw a big flame under the car - I knew this meant trouble. I saw the 5.77 on the score board, but I wasn't happy. I needed to know how Lex was. At the end of the track I saw him doing the TV interview and Russ was asking him if the damage was big. Lex took the bird catcher in his hands and shook the whole engine. 'Bloody hell!' was all Russ could say. We knew we had a lot of work to do this time. The motor had exploded and needed a lot of repairs. Thanks to the American Car Imports TMD team we managed to be back in time for the semi-finals.
"I know miracles do happen, I learned that this year. But this season we asked too much of our eight-year-old engine. It threw out a rod and that was the end of our European Championship hopes. But we are happy about two things. First that Micke Kågered became Champion after his horrible crash. If we had become Champions we would never have liked the idea that we had won it because he was not there to race himself. And secondly we ran a 5.7!
"When we look back at 2002 we think that we have been the best team of the season. We ran a new personal best at every race, and we always made it to the final or semi-final, and we won a race. We also hold the European record with the 5.77 run, and we set official track records at Shakespeare County Raceway, Hockenheim, Santa Pod Raceway and Drachten.
"Now we are busy getting ready for next year. We need another engine, and maybe some more crew because we are short-handed now. This Saturday we are attending a show here in the Netherlands and then we will be busy talking to our sponsors about 2003.
"We would like to say a big Thank You to the American Car Imports Racing team for their help at the European Finals, and we would also like to congratulate one of our fan club members on the birth of their son Misha."
You can stay up-to-date with all the latest news from Lex and the team at www.lexjoonracing.nl.
Nilsson confirms IHRA trip.
25th September: Thanks to our good friend Christer Abrahamson for passing on the news that NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified Champion Håkan Nilsson is to race in Pro Mod at the IHRA World Finals at Rockingham on 18th-20th October. Crew member Ulf Stadig mentioned on Eurodragster News on 13th September that a trip was in the offing; the Veidec-sponsored team have now arranged transportation for the Camaro and they will be joining fellow Pro Mod racer Patrick Wikström in showing US racers and fans just how professional and strong the class is in Europe.
You can read full details either on the Svensk Dragracing site at www.dragracing.se or on the Nilsson Motosports web site at www.nilssonmotorsports.com.
UK National Finals entry list.
25th September: The official entry list for this weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway is now available, courtesy of Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall.
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 page.
Grumpy out to enjoy himself.
25th September: One unexpected name on this weekend's entry list is that of Dave 'Grumpy' Wilson and the the American Car Imports Racing Top Methanol Dragster team. The record-holding team are taking what they see as the last opportunity to test in 2002, after an oil leak curtailed their weekend at the FIA European Finals.
"We screwed up at the last race, and we didn't get the chance to play with it - that's the long and short of it!", said Dave Wilson. "We didn't get that many runs at the Finals. We thought there's a track there, and there's a car here, we always bellyache that we don't get enough chances to test during the season so let's take the opportunity."
Lateral thinkers had already surmised that this outing was the precursor to another USA trip for the ACI team, but Dave was quick to rebut that theory. "I only wish we were going to the USA again!", he said. "We have a lot of things we didn't have a chance to try out at the Finals, and we know that the track prep will be be good and the weather should be OK - there's never any guarantee at the Flame and Thunder Show."
The team plan to work on the first half of the track. "I don't even know if we'll be doing full passes, or half passes, or what", said Dave. "Hopefully the problems we've had with dripping oil are history. We're going to have a nice, laid-back weekend in a non-pressure atmosphere, and we are going to enjoy ourselves!"
You can find the American Car Imports Racing web site at www.americancarimportsracing.com.
ACU Championship preview.
25th September: We are indebted to ACU UK Drag Bike Championship co-ordinator Ian King for very kindly sending us a preview of the possible outcomes in the ACU Championhips. We are particularly grateful to Ian for his time as he has plenty on his plate preparing his Top Fuel Bike for this weekend's race where he will be running in Comp Bike together with Phil Brachtvogel on Jon Morton's Top Fuel Bike.
Looking forward to the final round of this year's ACU UK Championship, no-one can say that next weekend will be an anticlimax. Although two class crowns have already been settled, no less than ten money-paying medal positions still remain unresolved. Despite the hardships suffered as a result of the slowdown in the economy, a remarkable 67 riders have challenged for this, the biggest drag bike series outside the USA.
Funny Bike is arguably the class of the season. Going into the final round, less than the points of one round of eliminations cover the top four positions. Make no mistake, Neil Midgley, Shaun Branch, Tim Blakemore and Dave Holland all have their eyes on the crown and no one can predict who will come out with the honours. Midgley should have the edge on his proven six-second MRE machine, but can he keep up his late-season consistency? Branch has consistently broken his own PB this year, and the blown-alky combo seems to be both consistent and reliable. Both Blakemore and Holland have proven low-seven second pedigree, but is it enough?
Class veteran Nick Pepper has sewn up the Pro Stock Bike Championship already on his rapid Straightline Racing entry, but who will fill the other two medal positions? Martin Bishop has shown he now has the combination necessary, and Chris Hope's erratic performances to date should not overshadow the potential of his riding skills nor his awesome engine power. Even Dave Beck's failure to show at two of the rounds to date (due to his US riding commitments) have not left him out of the running for the silver medal position. Class rookie Helen Curran should not be discounted either, as the new Trac chassis has given her the confidence to nail the PRM Motorsports machine to a podium finish.
History was set at the last round when German Competition Bike racer Klaus Brinkmann became the first non-UK rider to pick up a Championship crown. But who for the other positions? Jerry Collier looks favourite on his unique three-cylinder nitrous Kawasaki two stroke machine for silver, but both Andy Newcombe on the ex-Nash Riceburner Funny Bike and Philip Leamon are in line for a shout.
Ahh, Super Street Bike. Just when it looked like past champion Graham Dance would be left in Tony Clark's tyre tracks in the hunt for the crown, he ups the ante and moves within twenty points of the class leader for an exciting climax to this season's chase. Mark Fisher looks reasonably safe in the bronze medal position, but Karl Larcombe has a slim but possible mathematical chance of usurping him.
You can stay in touch with all the latest drag bike news from Europe and around the globe on Ian's web site at www.kingracing.com.
Aldred misses race.
25th September: UK Pro ET and Super Comp racer Colin Aldred will miss this weekend's UK National Finals due to business commitments. Colin's European Finals ended early in both classes because of a red light and a stuck purge solenoid. He does however have the solace of being widely regarded as pulling the wheelie of the year at the Easter Thunderball in his Classy Chassis slingshot, and he will still be heavily involved in the UK National Finals as he is posting prizes and sponsorship through his company Scorpion Racing.
As regular readers will know, Scorpion Racing are providing a TRS harness and twenty litres of Rock Oil to the winners of Super Pro ET and 9.90 Bike respectively in a tie-up with Eurodragster.com. That's not all, though, as Colin is backing a fellow Pro ET racer on his return to the track.
"All at Scorpion Racing would like to wish Chris Johnson at Woftan Racing every success at the National Finals", says Colin. "As an added incentive Scorpion Racing is sponsoring Chris for £50 for each round he goes. Good Luck from us all!
"We would like to thank our own sponsors: Delphi Automotive, who now own and distribute a wide range of automotive products - amoungst the well-known brands are Lockheed and Borg & Beck; Direct Lighting for all our logistic needs at race meetings and when not helping us supplying studios and on-site location lighting and film; Total Restraint Systems for our harness and safety equipment; Rock Oil for all our lubrication needs; and the last two for their contribution to the racers' prizes. Thanks for other contributions to Lifeline Fire and Safety Systems, K and N Air filters, Koni Shock Absorbers, Pacet electric cooling fans, and Pirtek Hoses Kings Cross. A big Thanks to all our sponsors and friends."
Pistols at dawn in CCSE.
25th September: UK Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Andy Frost is looking forward to this weekend's UK National Finals after getting so close to the eights with a brace of 9.04s at the FIA European Finals. Andy starts by giving us a run-down of the Championship chase in the highly-popular CCSE class.
"The UK Finals is the last round of the Custom Car Street Eliminator series, where the loudest, baddest and fastest street cars do battle to see who is the king of the street for a year. At the moment Steve Pateman has the Championship in his grasp, only needing to qualify for the first round to secure yet another title, but gnashing at his heels is Steve 'the Greek' Neimantas who will be there to pick up the pieces if the Calibra fails to qualify (something it hasn't done all year). The closest race is for third with Jeff Meads and Sue Jackson one hundred points apart. Don't expect any mercy from those two as they go head to head in combat over the weekend! Trying to throw a spanner in the works will be John Sleath, fresh from his 8.73 at the European Finals (with a shredded blower belt at one thousand feet!). He's looking to prove a point after all the bad luck he has had this season. Also watch out for John Hales in the bad-ass Chevy who is one of the best in the class at the start line and whose car is as fast as anyone's to the eighth - if he sorts out the rest of the quarter then it's Look Out time!"
Andy says that he will be trying to spoil a few weekends with his Red Victor 2. "Fresh from the European Finals with two 9.04/157s we reckon we've finally got rid of the gremlins which have plagued us all year long, and we are now ready to start hitting the motor hard - either that or blow it into orbit! We are also trying to finish in the top ten, something which John Ricketts, Alan Simms and John 'Moose' Hollingsworth are sure to do. Hats off to those three who prove you don't have to have the fastest car to be up there! We will have to do something spectacular at this race if we're going to sneak into that elite group! Worth a mention as well are Allen Curtis who is now in the nines, John Webster who is above us and has only made three meetings, Andy Oliver who is so desperately close to the nines, and last but definitely not least the Fat Boys, who spent all that time getting their car to the track and were then kicked in the groin by the engine woes that they've had. At least the have a spare bullet to come out and play!"
Andy describes his 2002 season as a roller coaster ride. "From missing the first two meetings, then not qualifying for the next two races, and the Nitrous not working for two races, I didn't think I'd have so much trouble with so many things in such a short space of time, but that's racing they say! I'm hoping that the few things I've done since the European Finals should put us closer to the leading pack and maybe pick up something at the end of the year, as long as the pesky thing works!
"If it does, it should please one of my sponsors Sussex Auto Parts who will be en masse at Santa Pod this weekend to watch heads-up street racing at its very best. It will also please my friends in Finland who will be tuned in to Eurodragster's coverage. Make sure you're all tuned in if you're not at Santa Pod, because it's pistols at dawn for the baddest street cars in the UK!"
You can find out more about Andy and his Vauxhall Victor on his web site at www.redvictor1racing.co.uk.
Shootout gaining momentum.
25th September: The subject of doorslammer racing brings us very nicely onto the subject of the European Doorslammer Shootout which takes place at Shakepeare County Raceway on 5th-6th October. Terry Gibbs of Obsession Motorsports tells us that the event is gaining momentum, with pre-registrations almost up to forty in two brackets and above twenty in another, and a number of Pro Mods either entered or intending to enter.
"Although Obsession is co-ordinating, it's a Shakespeare County Raceway event", says Terry. "We all hope that it becomes a regular fixture on the calendar. It's Obsession's way of trying to give something back to the track and the track owners after five years, together with Custom Car magazine and Lee Child, who is organising the sponsorship. Now we need the racers to support it and the fans to turn out, because for the track owners the measure of success is how many come through the gate. It's a new way of presenting an old concept - just turn up and race - and I know that it's going to be exciting!"
Terry tells us that entries are coming from all over, with vehicles more usually seen at the Mopar Nationals and NSRA races pre-registering. "We've got an eight-second Cuda, a blown Dodge Coronet, Graham Ellis' Super Modified, Paul Marston's PT Cruiser and Andy Robinson's Studebaker Pro Mod already registered or intending to come", he says.
It is hoped that vehicles from Europe will attend, and Terry tells us that to make things even more attractive for our continental friends entry is free for participants from outside the UK. "All entry fees are going back to the racers in prize money, and Custom Car magazine are providing winner and runner-up trophies as well as trophies for the Show and Shine", he adds. "Obsession Motorsports would like to thank all of the event sponsors for their support, and I would like to add my personal thanks to Jeff Bull - it's great to have you back on board. What with Tony Gransden, Brian Pateman, Jeff Bull and me it will be like an old boys' reunion!"
We will bring you more Doorslammer Shootout developments as we receive them. For more information on the event either check out the latest issue of Custom Car magazine or check out our news item of 22nd September.
Champion Schöfer heads for Italy.
25th September: FIA European Top Methanol Dragster Champion Peter Schöfer and his team have recovered their dragster from the first floor of the Automechanika show in Frankfurt, and are now busy working on the car to prepare it for demonstration passes at this weekend's Nitro Drag Day at Modena in Italy.
"The show in Frankfurt was a great success for us and for our sponsor Brisk Spark Plugs ", says team member Gittli Koller. The car was a popular attraction at their stand and they had to answer a lot of questions - in fact they had to learn our technical data page by heart!
"We are looking forward to the race in Italy. There will be several smaller classes but there are also some Competition Dragsters, Funny Cars and Pro Mods invited, and there is a show programme around it."
Gittli asked us to pass on the team's thanks for all of the E-Mails and Guest Book entries which they have received since winning the European Championship. "Thank you to everyone who helped us to make our dream come true", she adds.
You can find Peter Schöfer's web site at www.p-s-r.com.
25th September: British Nitro Funny Car Championship runner-up Gordon Smith, Crew Chief and co-owner Dave Bryant, and the Shockwave team have written to thank everyone involved in the Championship in 2002.
"Shockwave would like to thank Eurodragster for their work in helping to promote all the Fuel Funny Cars and their undying hard work for the sport in the UK, where would we be without the likes of you (actually that's the way we view you guys - Ed)", says Gordon. "Thanks to the promoters Terry Gibbs and Keith Bartlett: again without the likes of these people there would be no races for us all to compete in and to watch. Thanks also to all the marshals at both tracks who do a fantastic job in keeping us racers safe and aware at all the meetings."
Gordon promises an FIA European Finals report and season review soon, together with some insights into the Shockwave team's plans for 2003. Anyone who fancies owning a Fuel FC could do a lot worse than to check out the Cars For Sale section of Eurodragster's Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet, where the current Shockwave rolling chassis is currently up for grabs, together with various other parts so that the team can update for next season.
You can find the official Shockwave Racing web site at www.funnycar.uk.com.
Web site updates.
25th September: The official web site of the UK's Freddy's Revenge Supercharged Outlaw team has been updated with a report from the NSRA Hot Rod Drags and the Donny in The Park meeting, where Dave Grabham ran new personal bests of 9.056/148.51 (nice one, Dave! - Ed). Check it out at www.freddysrevenge.co.uk.
The latest update at Feel-the-noise.com will be of special interest to Pro Mod and Pro Stock fans as these sections have been expanded considerably with Anni Valder's photographs from the European Finals, writes husband and webmaster Bob. The Top Fuel and Methanol sections have also been updated whilst work is now well underway on all Bike sections.
Nitro Drag Day 2002.
24th September: La gara NITRO DRAG DAY del 28 e 29 settembre sarà, per motivi di sicurezza, riservata ai soli soci dell'Associazione Italiana Piloti Dragracing ed ai soci ACI, quindi sia per concorrere che per entrare a vedere la gara bisogna essere soci; le volte scorse era possibile fare la richiesta di tesseramento all'ingresso, mentre questa volta sarà possibile solo ritirare la tessera, quindi tutti coloro che vogliono venire a vedere la gara, devono mandare una mail a firstname.lastname@example.org oppure chiamare i numeri 0545-22662 o 335-1368255 o mandare un fax allo 06-233229144 comunicando Nome, Cognome ed Indirizzo per diventare soci sostenitori, entro le ore 24 del 26-09-2002. IL TESSERAMENTO E` GRATUITO e non impone alcun obbligo, inoltre i dati personali raccolti non verranno divulgati, nel rispetto della legge sulla privacy. Tutti i dettagli su programma, orari, iscrizioni e costo dei biglietti su www.dragster.it/NDD2002/NDD2002inizio.htm.
If in doubt, add Nitrous.
24th September: UK Super Street Bike racer Dave Bailey has been hard at work since running a very naughty 8.6 in 9.90 Bike at the FIA European Finals. Dave's Brute Farce bike suffered engine damage but is now ready for the weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod.
"After running a lazy 8.6,the new Paul Wing slider clutch was looking good, with consistent 1.41-second sixty-foot times", says Dave. "Then came the coughing and the flames and not much forward motion...whoops!
"I got the thing home and stripped to discover that all of the ignition pickups had fallen off. Weird, I thought. Then I saw the crank. Was it meant to be in two pieces? Probably not. Better get a new one I suppose, and re-connect the pump, battery and nitrous box, change the exploded battery, and replace the cracked oil pump.
"So now it's all back together, plus another stage of nitrous for launching! I hope it's nice and sticky at the National Finals. The Brute Farce answer to any problem: add more Nitrous! Wayhey!"
Beck's carbon fibre plastic surgery.
24th September: UK Pro Stock Bike racer Dave Beck will be running his new motor at this weekend's UK National Finals, which is the final round of the ACU UK Pro Stock Bike Championship. "I will be running my new 1640", says Dave. "We did run it at the last ACU round but had a carb problem. That is now fixed, so who knows what it will run - I will answer that next Monday!"
Dave tells us that this is the last outing for the bike's current bodywork. "Over the winter I will be changing from the Hayabusa body to a TL 1000 style", he says. "I am in the process of making a mould and should have carbon fiber units for sale by late November. In the carbon fibre range we also have Pro Mod-style GSXR 750 bodies, and we are working on a Hayabusa Pro Mod and a GSXR Funny Bike body. If anyone is interested then please E-Mail email@example.com."
My old man's a fair-weather racer.
24th September: UK Sportsman ET racer Chevy Llewellyn rejoins his father, Super Comp racer Zane, on the track at this weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. Chevy has not raced since the start of this season but he will be carrying the banner for Bootsoop Racing in his Skoda for the rest of 2002.
"I call the Skoda our cold weather car!", says Zane Llewellyn. "The National Finals will be the last meeting for my dragster, the old man is a bit of a fine weather racer these days, but as usual I find it hard to stop the momentum after racing for so many weekends in a row recently. Chevy will be racing the Skoda at the next three meetings to close out the year, ending with the bracket at the Flame and Thunder Show Santa Pod."
Zane is very grateful to his sponsor Alpina for helping to make his seven-week European tour possible. "I'd like to thank Chris Juan of Alpina for his help this year. Because of that we were able to hop over to Drachten for the first time, between the Super Series Fallnationals and the European Finals. I don't know how we're going to top this year's summer tour, but I'm sure we'll think of something!"
You can find out a lot more about the Bootsoop International Drag Racing Team and the Bristol Doorslammers on Zane's very entertaining web site at www.bootsoop.freeserve.co.uk.
SPR Saturday running order.
24th September: The provisional running order for Saturday's qualifying at this weekend's UK National Finals is now available courtesy of Santa Pod Raceway's International Race Director Darren Prentice. You can view the running order by clicking here, or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left hand side of any Eurodragster page.
Please note that as usual the running order is subject to change due to weather, track conditions, or any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.
Two events left for Bruiser.
24th September: Paul Marston Racing are approaching their last two events of the year with the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser; this weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod and the Doorslammer Shootout at Shakespeare County Raceway next week.
"The ChryslerCard PT Bruiser will undergo its usual between-event servicing prior to having the Brighton Speed Trial set-up removed and replaced with the conventional Santa Pod tune-up", says Paul Marston. "As long as no problems show up we expect to build on our strong showing at the FIA European Finals. We advanced to the quarter finals where a 'that’s Drag Racing' occurrence put us out, nevertheless a good solid performance. The team made some solid progress with the 60ft times of the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser, which we can continue to work on. As long as the conditions and time scale permit the aero package will be revised and tested for evaluation. Add to that the retention of our titles at the Frosts Brighton Speed Trials, and we should be in pretty good shape for the National Finals."
Paul tells us that he and his team are also looking forward to the Doorslammer Shootout. "We have entered Top Gun, which is the 7.50-8.75 class", he says "We will, as per the rules, run flat out - no throttle stop. Everyone in the team is looking forward to being allowed to run heads-up in competition against other Super Modified style performance Doorslammers". "This will be our first opportunity to start to develop the all-out performance potential of the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser, so don’t expect too much" adds Crew Chief Steve Brennan. "The Super Mods have on the whole improved their individual performances by about four to five tenths of a second over the 2002 season. Danny Cockerill has shown he can run 7.4s, this time last year he was in the 7.9s. Andy Hone was in the 8.4s and is now running 8.0s. Whatever we run, will be where we work from, but we won’t be worrying Danny, not yet anyway! We are a season of development behind them and don’t run gas!"
"Right now we are on top of our game", says Paul Marston. "The back half of the season has really come around for us, reliability has been good. I really cannot say enough about how hard all the guys in the team have worked. Competing competitively at four events straight back to back - even the NHRA don’t do that, but we did and won the last of the four. I feel really good, I am happy with my driving, relaxed, and comfortable with the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser. I am lighter and fitter that ever, which really helps when the pressure is on and the work is hard. I can stay focused on cutting good lights and driving to the best of my ability.
"Make no mistake - this will be a landmark event, hopefully the first of many. When was the last time we had a Doorslammer Eliminator? Most probably back in the 1980s when the likes of Jeff Manni beat the Swedes in his Mustang at Gary’s Doorslammer International. In years to come, people will be proud to say 'Yes, I competed in the very first European Doorslammer Nationals'. If you have a doorslammer, enter. If not, come and watch history in the making. We will see you there!
"We must take this opportunity to thank our sponsors Chrysler UK, ChryslerCard, ATI Racing Transmissions, 76 Racing Fuels and Oils, MAC Tools, and all the other guys - you know who you are - for all their support over the season. Without you we could not function. Thanks to everyone at Paul Marston Racing, the behind-the-scenes and at-the-track crew, for your exceptional efforts, and of course thanks to Tog and Sharkman at Eurodragster, everyone in European Drag Racing owes you guys big!"
Doorslammer sponsors queuing up.
24th September: An impressive raft of sponsors has been lined up by Lee Child for the European Doorslammer Shootout at Shakespeare County Raceway on 5th-6th October. We mentioned on Sunday that a number of companies were backing the event but Lee, who is also Championship Co-ordinator for the Custom Car Street Eliminator, tells us that several other companies have signed up including his own company LA Racing Parts. The full list of sponsors currently stands as follows:
LA Racing Parts; Dave Eady American Parts Centre; US Automotive; Andy Robinson Race Cars; Chris Isaacs Race Cars; Pro Street Engineering; Nitrous Solutions; Top Gun Nitrous Oxide Systems; Jeff Bull Race Engines on conjunction with Doug Herbert Performance Parts; Motorgraphic; Avon Park International Racers Association; Obsession Motorsports; Shakespeare County Raceway; and Custom Car magazine.
Any other companies wishing to sponsor the Doorslammer Shootout can contact Lee by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UK Championship points and outcomes.
23rd September: The latest, post-European Finals, standings in the UK National Drag Racing Championships are now available on our Points Standings page, courtesy of UK Points Co-ordinators Yvonne Tramm and Simon Groves. With one round left, this weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, some Championships are provisionally clinched whilst others are very close. Simon Groves very kindly gave us a run-down of the UK Championship outcomes:
At the European Finals, the weather gave Sportsman racers a curved ball, finishing the racing after only two or three rounds had been run. Those hoping for a points bonanza from winning over large fields were thwarted and some Championships remain very tight as a result.
Congratulations to Martin Curbishley who has won the Super Comp Championship by a huge margin of over 1500 points in his first year in the class. Brian Pateman is looking good for runner-up, although Tim Adam and Zane Llewellyn are rapidly catching up after missing a number of early events.
Congratulations also to Frank Mason, who has provisionally clinched the Super Gas Championship. The runner-up slot is likely to go to Martin Curbishley over Dave Townsend, Martin having 200 bonus points for attending all rounds.
In Super Street there are only 200 points, or two rounds of racing, between leader Leigh Morris and second placed Dave Cherrett, both of whom are way out in front.
Martyn Jones has an almost unassailable lead over Steve Johnson in Super Pro ET, Martyn having attended all rounds this year. Barry Giles could however catch Steve.
As in 2001, Team Heaven and Hell (last year’s runners up) are locked in a tight duel with Team Tokyo Toy (last year’s Champions) in Pro ET, with only 10 points between them. Bob Doyle is a further 610 points adrift.
Congratulations to Al Platt, who has all but clinched the Sportsman ET Championship for the second year in a row, from Mark Anderson, being 660 points in the lead.
Ricky Emms could be heading to the USA as Junior Dragster Champion, being 450 points ahead of Joe Bond. Joe would need to qualify well and win the event, and have Ricky to qualify poorly and go out early, to have any chance of the championship - a tall order indeed.
In 9.90 Bike Paul Morris is 810 points ahead of Steve Ingham, who will win 200 bonus points for attending all rounds. Steve still has it all to do to take the championship away from Paul.
Glenn Randles is only 50 points ahead of Darren Winnard, so 10.90 Bike could go either way. TJ O’Brien and Lewis Honey are lying in wait should any of these go out early.
For more details on this weekend's UK National Finals, including ticket prices, check out Santa Pod Raceway's web site at www.santapod.com. We hope to publish the official entry list very shortly.
Wells wants wind to break.
23rd September: UK Pro ET racer Steve Wells has one aim at this weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway - to get his fan-favourite wheelying Ford Pop pick-up into the nines.
"We upped the boost by one pound for the European Finals, but the strong headwind during qualifying meant that there was no chance of a nine", says Steve. "On my last qualifier, the line-lock switch on my shifter broke so we fitted a new larger one and thought no more of it.
"Then came race day, the wind had gone, we knew the track would be excellent and we had to race the number one qualifer. With our Championship chances finished, I would have been happy either with a win or with that elusive nine. At the eighth we were four hundredths up on my best run of 10.05, then the new switch on my shifter got stuck on the seat cover, which stopped it from dropping back far enough to get fourth gear. That was that, but at least I didn't break it this time.
"I am now praying for favourable winds next weekend, or I will have to build an aerodynamic car!"
Fat Boys bounce back.
23rd September: UK Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Ian Hook returned to the track at the Super Series Fallnationals in August, after a year-long layoff to rebuild his eighth-second '34 Ford which was badly damaged in a crash at Santa Pod Raceway. Ian's return was not the dream which everyone had hoped for, as the FB Racing Coupe suffered engine damage after putting in some respectable performances for a first outing. However, the Fat Boys of Cheltenham have bounced back and will be racing in CCSE at this weekend's UK National Finals.
"To cut a long story short the casualty list includes a cracked piston, a distorted steel rod, knackered bearings and - possibly the biggest blow - a cracked crank", says Ian. "This was pretty demoralising and we were thinking of calling it a day for this season. However sense (!) prevailed and we've dragged out the old 429 from under the shelf and put that in the car, stock rods and all. Mid-nines would be nice, but don't expect too much from us as those rods won't appreciate too much in the way of laughing gas!
"The event will allow us to learn a bit more about the new car and, more importantly, to have a good time. Despite the problems it was great to be back out for the Fall Nats and we want more!"
You can find out more about the FB Racing team together with all the gossip and Championship standings in Custom Car Street Eliminator on the team's web site at www.fbracing.co.uk.
Racers: Don't hesitate to send your UK National Finals previews to us at email@example.com and we'll publish them here.
Eurodragster awards and coverage.
23rd September: As the final rounds of Sportsman classes were rained out at the FIA European Finals, the Eurodragster.com/Scorpion Racing Award has been held over to this weekend's UK National Finals. A TRS harness and sixteen litres of Rock Oil will be awarded to the winners of Super Pro ET and 9.90 Bike respectively, courtesy of Colin Aldred's performance product supply company Scorpion Racing. We are very grateful to Colin for his continued support. You can discuss your performance product requirements with Scorpion Racing on 0207 485 5581.
This weekend's race is also the final round of the 2002 Eurodragster.com Perfect Light Award. Nobody cut a perfect light at the FIA European Finals, so the prize fund has been increased to £75 which will be awarded to the first racer this weekend to record a perfect Reaction Time (0.400 or 0.500 as appropriate). The Perfect Light scheme is open to all racers in all classes, and is available during qualifying and eliminations but not open practice. Good luck everyone!
Eurodragster will of course be reporting live from this weekend's race. By way of reciprocation for everyone's understanding at not being able to cover the Sportsman racers in any detail at the FIA European Finals, we will be going all-out with our American Car Imports-sponsored reports, with certain classes to be covered fully session-by-session and all others covered in as much detail as our typing speed allows. There will also be the usual end-day photo libraries and pit notes. We will post a direct link to our coverage at the weekend, but you will be able to reach it via the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.
Web site updates.
23rd September: The Swedish Pro Street News Magazine has been updated with the latest news and gossip from the Swedish scene. Check it out at www.spn-photo.com.
Bull joins Doorslammer backers.
22nd September: Jeff Bull Race Engines have joined the list of sponsors of the European Doorslammer Shootout which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway on 5th-6th October. "We are pleased to be sponsoring the event in conjunction with Doug Herbert Performance Parts", says Jeff Bull, who also sponsors Eurodragster.com's free Swap Meet classified advertisement service. "We will be at the track with all the performance Big Block Chevy parts, and we will be giving away some stuff which Doug is sending over."
The Doorslammer Shootout, which is being arranged by Custom Car Magazine with involvement from LA Racing Parts, Super Series organisers Obsession Motorsports, and Shakespeare County Raceway, is an old-style turn-up-and-race event open to all cars with at least two doors. There are five brackets to cater for everyone, all of which are planned to run heads-up on a Pro Tree:
Qualifying takes place on the Saturday and contestants are allowed one change of bracket after their first qualifying pass, either paying the difference or being refunded as appropriate. The thirty two quickest cars go heads-up in a Saturday Night Special after qualifying on Saturday, together with a street-legal eliminator: we understand that racing may be possible into the evening on Saturday. On Sunday everyone is back in the field again with eliminations in all five brackets.
Although the event can be entered at the gate on Saturday, pre-registration is also possible which will guarantee entry in the event of over-subscription on the day. You can find more details including a pre-registration form in the current issue of Custom Car magazine, or from Obsession Motorsports on 01483 236262.
"We would like to wish the organisers all the very best for a successful event, hopefully the first of many", says Jeff Bull. You can get in touch with Jeff Bull Race Engines by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01787 227789.
SPRC points updated.
22nd September: Post-FIA European Finals points standings in the Santa Pod Racers Club Championships are now available on our Points Standings page. Many thanks to Spencer Tramm for passing the points on. We should have the latest UK National points within the next couple of days.
Web site updates.
22nd September: Our good buddy Christer Abrahamson took in yesterday's SMF Västerås/Lazzat event at Västerås, which was a big RWYB for European and American cars and bikes, and has posted some excellent pictures on the Svensk Dragracing web site at www.dragracing.se.
Brighton on two wheels.
21st September: Many thanks to Nigel Hoskison of Dave Holland's primary sponsor Titanium International for finding time in a week of plane and hotel room hopping to let us know how Dave got on when he went to Brighton to defend the crown that he won last year. Normally we see Dave on board a Funny Bike these days but for this event the Funny Bike is considered to dangerous to run so Dave gets back in the saddle of his old Super Street bike for the weekend.
"Team T.I.L made the trip to Brighton in an attempt to retain the trophies we won last year." says Nigel. "We are grateful to Adam Lancaster, who bought Dave's super street bike, for once again loaning back the bike for the day. The unique format of this event means that everyone has a practice run in the morning and 2 timed runs in the afternoon to decide the winner. The top six then run off for a further trophy. Dave had only ridden the bike once since this event last year. The practice run was a "get to know the bike again" run in 9.43 secs at 153mph, which was second quickest behind Suzuki GB test rider, Roger Simmons. Nothing was done to the bike except routine service in preparation for the first timed run.
A slight improvement in ET to 9.40 secs, but down on speed at 147mph. The quickest run was by Comp bike rider Dave Hughes in 9.19 secs. For the second timed run changes were made to the nitrous delay and the timing retard. It did the trick, 9.12 secs at 167mph, which was enough to lift the trophy for the second year running.
The top six run off winner is decided by the biggest improvement on ET from the timed runs. To win this we were looking at running mid eights which was highly unlikely. The top 6 cars ran first, which included Paul Marston in the PT Bruiser. His tremendous rolling burn out had left lots of rubber on the start which Dave lined up on and recorded a time of 9.03 secs, which was the closest anyone has come for a long time to the absolute track record of 8.90 sec.
In addition to the winner's trophy, Dave also won the trophy for fastest time by a Suzuki for a second consecutive year. Overall, a very enjoyable day at the seaside, we are now focusing on the UK Finals in 2 weeks time."
60 foots and sensible heads.
21st September: One of our good mates Paul 'Grumpy' Watson has been in touch to give us his view of the European Finals. We normally find Paul competing in the heads up racing of Super Street Bike but with no Super Street Bike class to run in at the Finals, Paul returned to his roots for a weekend in 9.90 bike. Here's how Grumpy's weekend went;
"Press day was great, I ran 9.80 off the trailer then dialled in a 9.905 and after taking the advice from Sharkman (stop being a poof and get the gas on!) I went on to run a personal best 8.74 @ 159mph, this was due to the big difference that adding weights to the front end made on the launch. On the next run I netted a personal best 60ft time of 1.39, boy that was good as I've known for sometime it was in the bike. Many thanks to Brock Davidson in the USA for his encouragement and advice. Unfortunately I hurt the motor a little so I opted to not run with nitrous for the Euro Final's itself and put my sensible head on and duly qualified no.1 with a 9.904!
I have to mention a special little race between me and my best mate Jamie Sneddon. Anyone who followed 9.90 bike last year would know how close it was last year and so we had a little grudge race after Jamie's favourite saying "do you want some". From the time we left the pits through the wait in the staging lanes you would have thought the next race decided the championship again! With near identical reactions and 60ft's the race was on until Jamie missed a shift and lost with 10.01 to my 9.91. Next time mate!
As for the rest of the racing it was hero to zero for me as I lost to Matt Nixon in round one but only just, 9.87 to Matt's 9.98. If it had not been for an unusually good 60ft I would have run around a 9.93, but still, thats racing! I was very happy to qualify no.1 again as I did at the Main Event, maybe I should go back to 9.90? Finally well done to everyone at the Pod, what a well run meeting and a superb track" Paul adds that he wants to say "a special thank you to Bob Day for all his help at the Fallnationals at SCR, when I had no crew."
Web site updates.
21st September: Despite officially being on holiday at the European Finals, our good friend Erik Zettervall of Svensk Drag Racing took a stroll round the pits with his camera and has posted a gallery on the Svensk web site of his pit side shots. For a different view of the European Finals head over to http://www.dragracing.se .
Couldn't find 5th Gear.
20th September: If you were sat in front of your TV Monday waiting to see Mark Watkins and the Team Clarkson Evans Super Street team on Channel 5's 5th Gear programme following on from our news item on the 14th of September you may be wondering what happened.
Mark tells us that having been in touch with Channel 5 that the programme, which features Vicky Butler Henderson testing a new Bentley Turbo at Santa Pod, has been "Postponed till the start of October" Mark hopes to let us know the new date assuming as he is informed of it by Channel 5. "As well as the filming of the Bentley the did some filming of the Run What You Brung and interviewed some of the drivers. They asked us if we would do a run so that they could film it, and we were originally going to race the Bentley for the final segement of the programme but the rain prevented that." says Mark. (We understand that the programme may also feature footage of a particularly handsome starter at that RWYB - Ed)
Web site updates.
20th September: Eurodragster staffer Sharkman has finally managed to finish and upload his race report and pictures from the European Finals, Sharkman hiding behind the excuse that it is by far the biggest report he has ever written for the reports tardy arrival! Sharkman's site can be found at www.topendtales.com .
Four engines and a wedding.
19th September: Its been a busy few weeks for the American Car Imports Racing team as Crew Chief Andy Bisset explains; "Immediately after crossing the finish line first in the final round of the British championship, the American Car Imports Racing dragster was thoroughly cleaned and polished then transported down to Earls Court exhibition centre in London. For the next week the car would have pride of place in the foyer there in support of the PlayStation Experience. Once the show was over and the car was taken back to our workshops in Farnborough we could get on with the job of preparing for the European Finals."
The European finals was a strange meeting for the team, not least because they sat out Friday's qualifying as they were missing one key component. "Anne, our driver's daughter, was getting married that day and despite various hair-brained schemes involving helicopters, mirrors and smoke the only option was to sit out Friday's qualifying and hope that the remainder of qualifying on Saturday wouldn't be washed out. Whilst the Dave and the rest of the Wilson family were at the wedding the rest of the crew set up the pit and finished off getting the car race ready in peace..."
To find out how things went for the team once Dave made it to the track and to read Andy's race report in full (and a very entertaining report it is, as usual - Ed) head over to the American Car Imports Racing website at www.americancarimportsracing.com/
Tonight, for one night only.
19th September: Thanks to Jerry Cookson for letting us know that race fans in the Birmingham, Coventry and Warwickshire areas who can pick up local BBC radio stations WM and Coventry & Warwickshire, will be able to hear UK Top Fuel hero Barry Sheavills talking with Sports Night show presenter Jenny Wilkes if they tune in to the programme tonight.
Barry will doubtless be asked about his recent 270mph crash at Santa Pod which destroyed the Carlube/Triple R dragster and will be joined by Jerry (in his role as Shakespeare County Raceway's PR man) to talk about this weekend's Donny In The Park event at Shakespeare County Raceway, where Barry is to be demonstrating Rune Fjeld's second Top Fueller to the many thousands of late model modded car / hot hatch fans expected at the track.
Jerry also tells us that the three hour show starts at 7.00pm and can be found at 95.6, 94.8, 104 & 103.7 on your FM dial dependant on area location. The drag racing segment is expected to be broadcast around 9.00pm.
Web site updates.
19th September: Bob from Feel-the-noise.com has been in touch to let us know the site has been updated with photographs from the recent Hot Rod Drags, which can be found under "Special Interest Meetings" section. The "quick tour" of Anni's favourite photographs has also been updated.
Schöfer gets a lift to Automeccanika.
18th September: It seems that Malmgren Racing aren't the only champions for whom there is no rest at the moment. Gittli Koller from Peter Schöfer Racing has been in touch to let us know that since their return from Santa Pod they too have been working flat out to get the car ready for display at the Automeccanika show in Frankfurt. They were up against a very unusual problem though, Gittli takes up the story;
"Our FIA championship winning car wis to go on display on the stand of one of our new for this year sponsors, the spark plug company Brisk. The only problem being their stand is on the first floor of the show! To get round this we had to take the car to the show building last Friday where a special crane was brought in to lift the car 14m up to the first floor. As you can imagine we all had our hearts in our mouths at that point! We need not have worried though as the car made it safely and is now on display on the stand."
FIA European Finals anorak stats.
18th September: Time to dig out your anoraks once again as Andy Marrs from TSI Timers has once again delivered the definitive stats for the FIA European Finals and sorted through the data to bring us a selection of unusual facts and figures;
Blue lights (Tower Ready) = 736
Pairs = 623
Single runs = 113
Byes = 19
Total vehicles entered in timing system = 1359
Made it to the finish line = 1274 (inc. jd's)
Made it to 1/4 = 1188
Average ET (not inc jd's) = 9.634
Average MPH (not inc jd's) = 143.97
Lowest ET = 4.947 (Barry Sheavills)
Highest MPH = 295.46 (Micke Kågered)
Closest Race (Eliminations) = Pro Stock Bike, Janne Ah Tiainen (win) v Anders Larsson 0.001 seconds, 2.99 inches
Closest to dial in = John Evans (Pro ET) 10.16, spot on
Best reaction time = Bob Doignie (Super Street) .502 (0.500 is perfect for Super Street Car)
Total run time (all cars that reached finish line inc. JD's) = 3 hours 28 minutes 24.457 seconds
Runs under 5.5 seconds = 15 (Susanne Callin x4, Kim Reymond x3, Micke Kågered x3, Tommy Moller x2, Peter Lantz x2, Barry Sheavills x1)
Runs under 6 seconds = 52
Runs Over 250 mph = 16 (Barry Sheavills x1, Peter Schoefer x1, Rob Turner x1, Martin Hill x3, Susanne Callin x2, Kim Reymond x3, Micke Kågered x3, Peter Lantz x1, Tommy Moller x1)
Runs over 200 mph = 120
Miscellanous facts and figures
John Evans has also appeared in the stats before with a perfect RT at the main event earlier this year.
Leif Andreasson's red light, which effectively cost him the championship, was his first in 57 competitive runs at FIA events at SPR.
Micke Kågered's ill fated run was his 13th run at FIA events at SPR.
12 of the last 14 Pro Stock finalists have been Swedish
Dave Wilson, Rob Turner and Peter Schöfer have combined for 112 runs with no red lights
As a class, TMD averages 1 red light per 57.2 runs
For the first time the winner of TMD at the Main Event has won the championship
Micke Kågered - 57 runs - no red lights
In all 5 championships the winner of TMFC at the Main Event has gone on to win the championship
In all 5 championships the winner has been Swedish.
Micke Kågered has never finished outside of the top 3 in the championship.
2002 was the first time Leif Andreasson has finished outside of the top 2 in the championship.
In closing Andy adds "I believe that is the most cars over 200mph and the lowest average et at any event in Europe, though I'll accept a constructive argument! "
New personal best for Growler.
18th September: Mark Turton was one of a number of the Dog Squad who attended the Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway over the weekend of 7th/8th September. Here's Mark's account of how the weekend went;
"Saturday was a day for young Zak as he made his debut to the strip in "Zak Attak". His first time in the car on his own & his first time down the strip even though it took over a minute and his top speed of just over 10 mph he done really well, but to tell you the truth I think Mum & Dad were more nervous, well done mate.
Anyway we decided that as we were there still testing the new "GROWLER" we would go out on the Sunday, with the first run against team mate Nick Connor. I stalled after the burnout, got it running again and went into stage. However Nick was already in full stage waiting which did not give me enough time to load her up on the line before the tree ran, but I still did my personal best of 11.6 sec's at 118mph, Nick however got there first to take the win. My second run was later in the day, with the same order of events, only to do a 11.4 second pass at 116mph. So to break my personal best twice in weekend was more than satisfactory, it was bloody great!
Over the course of the weekend we managed to sell approximately £100 pounds worth of parts etc. of which £50 was given directly to F.A.S.T, along with the collection made after the unfortunate incident in the pits involving Mark Needham's "Chain Reaction" car, a well liked car and one of the earlier Supercharged Outlaw's, it was a sad moment. Thankfully no one was seriously hurt, get well soon Mark, and if there's anything myself or the other Dog Squad Drag Racing Team can do give us a call. This goes to show why F.A.S.T are at these events (however mainly not to be in the pits) these guys do a fantastic job and without them the racing would not be able to take place. You guys and gals deserve all the recognition and more for the job you do, thanks.
On a final note thanks to the NSRA & APIRA for organising a good event its nice to see and race along side some excellent looking and performing Hot Rods, although track time was limited for the obvious reason of ever increasing popularity this did not hinder a very enjoyable weekend." Thats not the end of the season for Mark though as he adds "Now we, along with the rest of the Wild Bunch, are getting ready for the National Finals at Santa Pod on the 28th/29th Sept. Hopefully we will see some even quicker times there. "
Web site updates.
18th September: Fellow photographer Bill Sly has been hard at work updating his website with the first batch of pictures from the European Finals. Bill has so far uploaded pictures for Top Fuel, Top Methanol Funny Car and Fuel Funny car but promises more classes are on their way soon. Bill's site can be found at www.badboysimagin.com/.
Eurodragster staffer Tog has updated his personal site with 50 pictures from the Fall Nationals and 50 from the European Finals as a preview of whats to come. Unfortunately due to the pressure of his day job he has not been able to do a full update from either event but promises another 100 pictures at least from each race once time permits. You can find Tog's site at www.togsdragracing.com.
Auction a huge success.
17th September: Santa Pod's very own international race director Darren Prentice has contacted us to give us an update on the auction which was held at Santa Pod over the weekend of the European Finals. The auction, which saw various items of drag racing memorabilia donated by race teams go under the hammer to raise money for the baby unit at Kettering general hospital where Darren and wife Nicola's son Owen spent the first weeks of his life after an early arrival.
"Could you thank everyone who donated or bid on items at the auction on my behalf please." Asked Darren. "The auction was a huge success and while we are still collecting the last of the money we can confirm that we have managed to raise nearly £3000 for the baby unit, making it a great success. There are too many people to say thanks to everyone personally, but a few people deserve a special mention. Dave Wilson and team, Play Station, John Force, Showtime Racing, King Racing, Woollatt Racing, Martin Hill, Andy Carter and Eddie Corr, Barry Sheavills, Malmgren Racing and Konola racing for their kind donations; Santa Pod Raceway for their donation and for letting the auction take place at such a big event and of course to John Price and Graham Beckwith who gave a lot of their time and put in a lot of effort to make it all work, not to mention everyone in the crowd who gave very generously."
Darren rounds off by saying "My biggest thank you of all is to Eurodragster.com I could not of done it without their help in co-ordinating the donations and orginising the online bids and the coverage on the net which was a big part of the auction's success."
Helander at the STCC.
17th September: Following on from Saturday's news item about racers putting in demonstrations at Mantorp Park during the Swedish Touring Car Championship finals, Lars-Olof Jonsson of Starkotter Racing has been back in touch to let us know how things went;
"The STCC finals were visited by 26,700 spectators and in front of this big crowd the Swedish Pro Stock Bike rider Roger Pettersson showed everybody how fast a real Drag racing bike can leave the start line. After this it was time for Starkotter Racing and Leif Helander to really make some noise, something that the roundy roundy people are not used to! Leif made a strong and looong burn-out all the way up to the finish line and the people in the grandstands went crazy. Unfortunately the blower-belt snapped after all the pedalling, otherwise Leif would have driven it back to the start line as well! The Mantorp Park Promoter Fredrik Bernshed liked what he saw and has invited the team back for next year."
Season ends for Gardermoen...
17th September: The weekend just gone marked the last race of the season for several venues around Scandinavia. Up at Gardermoen Raceway Ove Rønning, reports that the season came to a sunny but cold end, with an overnight frost forming Saturday night, but during the day there was plenty of action with some 60 street racers out on the track, most of them having never sat a foot on a race track before and some of them getting through 13-14 races in five and a half hours. This was followed up with a 30 car car field to race BA (10.00sec Index)and BE(7.50 Index)and also junior dragsters. Some off the BE racers getting through 5 races in under two hours.
Also on hand were Patrick Wikstrom and the Outlaw Racing Pro Modified team and team member Krister Peterson takes up the story. "We tested our Camaro at Gardermoen Raceway yesterday to check that the ignition problem which we had at the European Finals at Santa Pod was solved. A 6.43 ET on first pass told us that it was! We followed this with a 6.42 run and then we tried some changes that resulted in smoking tires on the third and last pass. We really want to say thanks to all the nice people at Gardermoen Raceway, it was great to run on one of Europe's fastest tracks again. Now we feel more comfortable and ready to load the race car and go west to race against the big boys (At the IHRA World Finals, see 12th September - Ed)." We understand Krister is also hoping to bring us some reports from Rockingham. We will keep our fingers crossed on that one.
...And for Asko at Alastaro.
17th September: Finnish racer Asko Määtä also rounded off his season at the weekend at the Alastaro circuit. "The Finnish Autumn weather was on almost best behaviour as the last test and bracket day at the Alastaro Circuit on Sunday Sep 15th took place. It wasn't raining but the temperature was between 5-13 deg.C (40-55 F)" says Asko.
There were still a respectable number of street racers and those racers who wanted to test were there and also performed quite well. I was there only as a Funny Bike racer (no more owner of the Gas/Mod/PS Harley nor the tuner of the TMFC) and was there for two reasons, To test if the engine I had built for my FB during last summer would perform and to test if I could perform at the speeds the bike would be reaching. As it turned out we came up a little short on both counts. I was just having really fun until third gear on my first run when the clutch inner hub broke. Fortunately it didn't damage anything else and I shut the bike off before the motor over revved. For the next summer I have bought an ex (a very ex!) European Record holding Pro Stock Bike to build up into a Pro Mod Bike which I hope to bring over to Santa Pod next spring."
No rest for the Champions.
17th September: You would think that with the FIA Pro Stock championship in the bag that Michael Malmgren's AC Delco racing team would finally have found time to take things a little easier. Its not working out like that though as team member Magnus Cato reveals;
Since we got back from Santa Pod we have been busy getting the car sorted out for the Automeccanika show in Frankfurt, we are leaving today to get there in time. We have also managed to get our website updated with a review of the season and a list of thanks to the people that helped us get to where we are. As soon as we get back from Frankfurt we will start our planning for defending the title in 2003."
Magnus adds that "We send our good luck wishes to the teams that are going to compete in the USA this winter, you will be in for a real treat. We are not going to race this year as it takes so much time and planning"
Web site updates.
17th September: Gareth Evans, webmaster of www.uk1320.com has updated his site with a race report on the FIA European Finals and over 120 new photo's, from both the Finals and from the Fall Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway.
Eurodragster staffer Sharkman is sadly lagging behind with his race report but is hoping to have it done by the end of the week. Until then he has added 15 new wallpaper files, all from the FIA European Finals, to keep you going. Sharkman's site can be found at www.topendtales.com .
16th September: The weekend just past saw the historical Brighton Speed Trials event take place and as reported last week the PMR team took a two car team to the event where Paul and the PT Bruiser were the defending champions. This year the team were looking to retain Paul's Fastest time of the Day trophy and, with Alli Gibbons piloting Grumpy's Dodge, add to it the Fastest time of the Day for a lady. It was very nearly a complete success as Paul and the Bruiser successfully defended all three Trophies that they won last year (Fastest Time of the Day (FTD) by a car, Sports Libre Class 8 winner and Fastest Pushrod V8) while Alli was beaten into second place by just 5 hundredths of a second. Here's Paul's take on the weekend;
"The diverse mix of race cars you could not get anywhere else, a unique venue, fast and furious competition with plenty of very quick cars and bikes, it all adds to the unique mix that is the Frosts Brighton Speed Trials and 2002 was a vintage year. Over 300 competitors were present for the 2002 so the pits were the usual mayhem as 300 teams attempt to get unloaded, pitted, scrutineered and noise tested in two hours, it really is worth getting there early just to witness this!
We arrived on Friday and partially set up the pits then Saturday started with a 5.00am alarm call for an early breakfast so we could complete the pits set-up and unload both Race cars. Grumpys Dodge and the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser passed scrutineering and noise tests no problem although we did have a minor scare with Grumpy as our engine man for the event Gary Springford from Jeep Club found a broken outer valve spring. We changed that quickly and sent both the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser and Grumpys Dodge out to qualify.
The surface at Brighton is totally unique, usually a public road which is closed only once a year for the speed trials. We had prepared as well as possible for the event but were using an untried set-up on the front and rear suspension, as well as added weight and 4-link adjustments. The qualifying runs went smoothly with just another cracked valve spring, on Bruiser this time, the only problem. Both North Weald and Brighton Speed Trials always give valve springs and valve train a really hard time, especially on Pushrod motors. The rest of day ran smoothly for us with both Grumpys Dodge and the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser completing both timed runs. No further breakage's were sustained and a large well organised pit crew allowed for a quick and efficient service for both racecars. It was as usual a tricky track to figure out, but the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser prevailed, beating Phil Cook in a Class 12 single seater (which is all carbon fibre, incredibly light and powered by a highly tuned Hyabussa motorcycle engine, all totally state of the art) by 2 tenths for FTD. Along the way we also did some in car camera work with the ITV film crew who shot the event for future broadcast."
Paul went on to add "I am very proud of my crew, sponsors, everybody who has worked so hard to help me win the 2002 Frosts Brighton Speed Trial. Preparation for this event has taken countless hours, weeks in fact. We earned these titles through self belief, guts, determination and sheer hard work. I would especially like to thank Chrysler UK for inviting us to be their entry, it was a great honour. This was the toughest race I have ever done; I pushed so very hard to achieve this. That said, as long as they will have us back again we all look forward to defending our titles next year at the 2003 running of the Frosts Brighton Speed Trial.
Everyone at Paul Marston Racing would like to dedicate this win to Super Gas driver Rob Long who is at presently battling illness, our thoughts are with Rob and his family and we all wish Rob a successful outcome and a speedy recovery.
Special thanks go out to all the fans that stopped by to see us at the Frosts Brighton Speed Trial, there were lots of them! We also hosted visits by Super Mod driver Andy Hone, Super Gas and Super Comps own Dave & Sarah Day, Pro ET`s Steve Wells, CCSE driver Andy Ryan's crew, Ex Racer Ray Barrow, retired ex Super Gas and Brighton Speed Trials champion Shaun Saunders, the list goes on and on. We must also thank our sponsors, Chrysler UK, ChryslerCard, 76 Racing Fuels & Oils, MAC Tools, Jeep Club, ATI Transmissions and London Road Tyres. Thank you`s also to Jeep Club for the loan once again of a transporter for Grumpys Dodge and to Gary Springford from Jeep Club for taking care of the motors in both race cars. Anthony Middleton from ChryslerCard. Dave and Alli Gibbons for trying so damn hard, being such good sports and marvellous hosts. 2002 Crewchiefs Steve Brennan and Mick Pussey, logistics manager Dave Kalisz who did the impossible, got everything there and orchestrated it. Pete Fearn 2001 crew for being our spiritual leader and last but not least. T.J from the Brighton and Hove Sprint Motor Club who organises the event, without whom the event would probably not exist, a special thanks to you for putting up with us. And last but by no means least all the marshals the unpaid volunteers at the Frosts Brighton Speed Trials for all you work, without you the event could not take place. Our next outing is the National Finals which gives all at Paul Marston Racing a well deserved two week break, so see you there."
Wild weekend for Wildside.
16th September: Lesley Wright, one of the owners of the UK's Wildside Top Fuel team, has kindly sent us the teams thoughts on how things went for them at the FIA European Finals.
"In terms of spectator support and media interest the Wildside Top Fuel team had their best weekend ever. The on track performance was disappointing for Darryl and the crew but looking on the bright side, it could have been worse.
At the press day on Wednesday Darryl was interviewed by the Northampton Chronicle & Echo newspaper and filmed interviews with Carlton TV and TV6. On Thursday and Friday Darryl did two live radio interviews with BBC Northampton and BBC Southern Counties. During the course of the weekend two features for TV were filmed, one for a programme called "How to blow a billion" for Bravo TV and another for BBC's Zig Zag Productions on a programme about dangerous driving, both of which are due to be aired in October. Additionally a friend of mine wanted to test his own skills and equipment and attached mini-cams to the roll cage and front wing producing some very dramatic shots.
Everyone in the team had expected the filming from Friday nights qualifier to be the one to wow potential sponsors but this run was aborted due to a clutch linkage failure. On Saturday the blower belt broke but at least the team were qualified for the show. Inspection of the engine back in the pits found the blower had gone off completely and the crank was blackened. A couple of pistons and rods went as well, but as John Wright would say, 'these are just consumables.'
Darryl was quietly confident against Micke and two tenths holeshot on the tree shows why but the car ran like a dog and never has John Wright been so pleased with poor performance. "If the car had been anywhere near like performing as it should Darryl could have been caught up more with Micke's misfortune. As it was the film showed Darryl dirt tracking to avoid the wing and other parts although it was in the lap of the gods that the rear end suspended mid air by the parachutes didn't fall Darryl's way."
Following on from that incident Darryl's cool headed driving ability has gone up even more in the Wright's estimation. "He was already off the throttle and quickly shut the fuel off and pulled the chutes to try and wipe some speed off to avoid collision at the first hint of trouble. The event was nerve wracking for Darryl's mum and dad who had come to the race to watch him for the first time but we all truly believe in the safety of the sport and are glad that Barry and Micke didn't suffer worse injury" said Lesley. Yesterday the car was on display at the Rockingham 500 with the Showtime Funny Car promoting the Flame and Thunder event for Santa Pod and the Doorslammer International race at Avon Park. "We're always pleased to promote the sport wherever and whenever we can" said Lesley "We don't have any more outings planned now and it's time to re-group and continue our search for sponsorship to expand the race program for next season. The Main Event and European Finals '03 at Santa Pod are definite but to conduct the full FIA European Tour backing is needed. Our potential sponsor guests at the Finals were impressed and our existing sponsors White Contract Services, Fisher Financial and Cambridge Motor Sport continue to be more than pleased with their involvement. Thanks to everyone who helped us out over the weekend and a special thanks to the spectators, the cheers we received when the car appeared on Sunday made the hard work of the early hours re-build so worthwhile."
Andreasson at Rockingham.
16th September: Many thanks to Anders Magnusson from Andreasson Motorsports for letting us know that Darryl Bradford and John Spuffard weren't the only racers with their cars at Rockingham Motor Speedway this weekend just past. Leif is also there with the Texaco sponsored Funny Car, enabling Texaco to assemble their 3 sponsored cars (see photo right featuring Anthony Swan's ASCAR Cristiano da Matta's Champ Car as well as the funny car) for promotional purposes.
While Leif is with the car in Rockingham the team have been busy updating the www.andreassonmotorsports.com website with news and views from the European Finals
Wildbunch Dinner and Dance.
16th September: Thanks to Jerry Cookson for passing on the news that the annual Prize Presentation Dinner & Dance for the Wild Bunch and Supercharged Outlaws is to be held on Saturday 9th November at the Tower Ballroom, Drayton Manor Park, Tamworth, Staffordshire.
The evening starts at 6.00pm, with the meal followed by trophy presentations for the Wild Bunch and the Supercharged Outlaws. The evening finishes off with the Terry King Disco until late.
Tickets are now available at £20 per head for a full three course meal complimented by after dinner coffee and mints. A vegetarian option can be requested. Booking forms and a list of local hotels are now available from Roy & Angi Wilding on 0121 552 7188 or by emailing email@example.com.
More racers to wow circuit crowd.
14th September: If you were tuned in yesterday you will have read that Swedish Pro Mod racer Håkan Nilsson is appearing at the STCC/Synsam Trophy race at Mantorp Park this weekend. Pro Stock Bike racer Roger Pettersson's Crew Chief Roger Lyrén tells us that the other half of the Veidec Racing team will also be in attendance.
"Roger will be there on his Suzuki R1000-02 to put in exhibitions to show drag racing on two wheels", says Roger. "This type of exhibition is an excellent chance to show drag racing. There will probably be about twenty to thirty thousand spectators at the race, which is also covered by national TV. This is a good chance to show how big Veidec is in motorsport of different categories."
We've also heard from Lars-Olof Jonsson of Starkotter Racing, who tells us that Leif Helander and the Kaxig-sponsored team will be at Mantorp Park tomorrow. "On Sunday we will show the racing spectator how real race cars sound and look. We will do burnouts twice on Sunday and put on a big show for everybody. The famous Rallycross star Per Eklund will also be there with his Pike Peaks SAAB 9.3, which means that you can see two of the worlds fastest SAABs at the same track. Don't you miss it!"
L-O also dropped us a few lines about the Starkotter team's weekend at the FIA European Finals. "Our Kaxig Funny Car didn't show its best side at the weekend. It started on Friday when the number seven connecting rod broke just after Leif lifted his foot off the throttle after the finish line. The team built a new motor during the night and got the car ready for the fourth qualifying session the next day. We qualified number seven with a 6.02-second run. Unfortunately we lost in the first elimination round against Urs Erbacher with a 6.04 against Urs' 5.79, and Urs won the final. Leif ended up number six in the FIA Championship. Not as good as we hoped for, but on the other hand the Top Methanol Funny Car class is probably one of the toughest categories in European Drag Racing today."
Norwegian season ends.
14th September: The Norwegian season ends at Gardermoen Raceway this weekend after a fantastic year, says Ove Rønning of Norsk Dragracing Gardermoen.
"We have not had to cancel any races this year for rain", says Ove. "This weekend, in association with Right On car magazine, we are inviting the public to race their street cars over the quarter mile. So it is time to prove that your car is faster than your friend's car!
"We're running three categories today (Saturday): Rear Wheel Drive, Front Wheel Drive and Four Wheel Drive. Tomorrow we will be racing down to a 7.5-second index. Patrick Wikström will also be there to test his Pro Mod before shipping it to the USA to give the guys over there something to think about!"
You can find full details on the Norsk Dragracing Gardermoen web site at www.norskdragracing.com.
BA Racing pleased with début.
14th September: UK Pro Mod racer Bert Englefield and the B A Racing team were generally pleased with the competitive début of their new 1938 Ford at the FIA European Finals.
"We were expecting some teething troubles, as the chassis is the most radical ever built outside of the USA featuring a swinging arm with inboard rear coilovers mounted on rockers", says Crew Chief and co-sponsor Andy Wright. "The front half is also different from the norm, featuring full double frame rails with no strut bars. The chassis is so stiff that it looks like it will need a different clutch and rear tyre set-up to that of a normal Pro Mod."
The team were pleased with the zoomie headers on the 706 engine, another first for a Nitrous car which Bert tells us makes it easy to identify individual cylinder problems. "We were also pleased with 191 mph run as the last time the rear wing saw action it departed company from Andy Robinson's Rover!", says Bert.
"We would like to thank all the spectators who showed great interest in the car, and we are sorry that we had to rope the car off at times so we could get some work done", adds Bert. "If you want to know more then the car is to be featured in the November issue of Custom Car magazine. Finally, congratulations to Håkan Nilsson on winning the Nordic Pro Mod Series."
14th September: UK Top Fuel racer Barry Sheavills is relaxing at home recovering from his horrifying 277 mph crash at the FIA European Finals last weekend.
"Someone told me that the pain and bruising would be worse after about five days, and they weren't wrong", says Barry. "However I am still here to tell the story and realise how lucky I am. I would just like to say a few Thank Yous:
"To all the staff at Santa Pod; the Paramedics who did a brilliant job,; likewise the whole rescue team Thank You; to my friends, fans and family; to everyone who has sent get well messages and text messages along with all the good wishes given to me at the track. Please forgive me if I don't reply to all of your E-Mails individually, I am not so good with words!
"A big Thank You to Rune Fjeld, who has been great, and also a big Thank You to the rest of the team.
"To be able to walk away from a high speed crash with bruising and aches and pains is true testimony to the safety regulations we have in our sport, I am walking proof should anyone be in doubt as to their effectiveness. I would like to pass on my best wishes to Micke Kågered, I guess he is also hurting in places he didn't even know he had. Take care my friend, see you soon.
"Finally, I will be back out at Shakespeare County Raceway on 21st-22nd September for a couple of demo passes in Rune's number two car. See you at the track!"
Kågered Play of the Day.
14th September: We've heard from Pelle Lindelöw of the P&G Racing Top Fuel Dragster team, who is currently in the Far East. "The first thing I saw on the TV in my hotel room in Singapore was CNN, which had nominated the video of Micke Kågered's crash as the Play of the Day. The clip was was shown numerous times during the day. I guess that Micke as well as other racers wants to be on television (exhibitionists that we all are), but it would also be nice if they showed something from the more positive side of the sport (Don't get me started - Ed).
"The most positive of all is the two accidents shows that the safety features in these cars work, and that both Barry and Micke weren't hurt more than they were."
Pelle asked us to pass on his thanks to everyone he met at the FIA European Finals last week, where he was providing colour commentary as well as supervising the P&G/PLR team. "I was planning to take the unique opportunity to say thank you to all fans and friends out there, but the two crashes took the breath out of me as well. I was kind of hoping for some time to express my warm feelings for the people I met, and to say Thank You everybody for all the "Hello's", "Nice to see you're back" etc which we got during the whole weekend. I want to send an extraordinarily warm Thank You to Jan and Jim: I hope you enjoyed the Swedish goodies, and there is more where that came from! I will certainly have tasted the malt. As soon as I get home in the middle of next week, I will have a taste to celebrate how lucky I am to have so many good friends."
Watkins in 5th Gear.
14th September: If you were at Santa Pod Raceway's Run What You Brung on Sunday 5th July then you may be on TV this Monday, writes Mark Watkins of the UK's Team Clarkson Evans Super Street team. The Super Street Datsun, which is also sponsored by MJP Eastern Autos and Forge Motorsport, should have a starring role.
"In July Channel Five did some filming for their new series of the 5th Gear programme with Vicky Butler Henderson", says Mark. "They were testing the new Bentley Turbo (£200,000 worth), while there they also did some filming of the Run What You Brung and interviewed some of the drivers. They asked us if we would do a run so that they could film it, also later that day they interviewed me, originally they wanted us to race the Bentley, which ran a 14.99 second quarter mile (not bad for two tons of car) but the rain prevented that. They also filmed other racers who were testing on the day.
"I was told that the program airs this Monday, 16th September, at 8:30 pm; if not that date/time then the following Monday. Knowing my luck we will be cut out!"
5th Gear has a web site at www.channel5.co.uk/5thgear.
14th September: Bruno and Sophie Sanderson-Brown of Shakespeare County Raceway's FAST Team have been in touch to thank all those who contributed to the voluntarily-funded safety team at the NSRA Hot Rod Drags.
"FAST is a non profit-making organisation with all proceeds going to cover running costs, and to continually improve our existing equipment", says Bruno and Sophie. "All donations are always gratefully received. Being a fire marshal can be a thankless task at times: sitting all day in a fire suit, just waiting, but never really wanting anything to happen. This was a new one for us, totally unexpected, but thankfully no-one else was injured after we arrived on scene.
"Also, a big thank you to all the APIRA marshals and racers who did a fantastic job at crowd control. Last, but by no means least, thank you to Dog Squad Racing Team for organising the collection for us."
SPRC Dinner Dance.
14th September: The Santa Pod Racers Club Dinner Dance is to be held on Saturday 8th February 2003 at the Bedford Moat House Hotel. Prices have been held again at £25 for the meal and £30 for a room in the hotel. You can find more details on the booking form which is available on the Entry Forms page of the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
You can also find on SPRC's web site entry forms for the UK National Finals which take place at Santa Pod on 28th-29th September, but if you want to enter that race then Paula tells us that you should get your entry in as soon as possible.
Red Victor video sought.
14th September: UK Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Andy Frost has been in touch to ask if any Eurodragster readers have video of his personal-best 9.04 second passes at the FIA European Finals, at which he ran his Red Victor 2 Vauxhall in Super Pro ET in full street-legal trim. If anyone has video of Andy on a 9.0 then please E-Mail his webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Web site updates.
14th September: The Avon Park International Racers Association web site at www.apira.org.uk has been updated with all the latest track records set at the Super Series Fallnationals.
Swedish Pro Mod racer Freddy Fagerström had quite a weekend at the FIA European Finals last week, crashing his wild blown-alcohol truck at the top end and bouncing back (not literally - Ed) to run a new personal best and win the event. Freddy's web site at come.to/fastfreddy has now been updated with news and pictures.
Werner Ruechel writes with news of a German Super Gas web site at www.supergaschamp.com. Unfortunately your news editor can't read German but it looks to us as if it concerns the establishment of a European Super Gas series. You will also find a link there to the excellent German Drag Racing web site www.dragscene.de.
The Swedish Pro Street News Magazine at www.spn-photo.com has been updated with staff photographer Lennart's photographs from Tullinge.
Burnin' up the old A1.
13th September: The American Car Imports Racing Top Methanol dragster will be appearing at the world famous Ace Café in London tomorrow (Saturday 14th) as part of their annual reunion celebrations. This year's event will be bigger than ever with a huge bike and hot rod show featuring entries from across Europe as well as several live bands and DJs.
The ACI team will be adding to the show with warm-ups throughout the day from the quickest and fastest methanol dragster in Europe, and if conditions allow they will even be putting in a burnout down the old North Circular Road.
Admission to the event is free. You can find more details at www.ace-cafe-london.com.
Champ Nilsson USA-bound?
13th September: 2002 NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified Champion Håkan Nilsson and his team enjoyed their weekend at the FIA European Finals, even though they didn't win the event, says crew member Ulf Stadig, adding that a USA trip may be in the offing.
"Everything worked out so well at Santa Pod, from the Press Day to the Banquet", says Ulf. "We would like to thank Kjell Pettersson and every single person at the track for the hard work they put in. It's the best track in Europe, but unfortunately we couldn't really handle it. But we have now learned our lesson, and will be better prepared for the next time. Also a big thanks to Eurodragster, Svensk Dragracing and the Nordic Pro Mod Association for excellent reporting of the event.
"This Championship belongs to everyone who supports our Veidec Racing Pro Mod Team, especially to Rickard Pålsson at Veidec."
The Nilsson Motorsports team will be putting in an appearance at this weekend's Synsam Trophy and STCC Finals at Mantorp Park. "Veidec Racing has two motorcycles competing in the Synsam Trophy, and unless I am mistaken they have a chance to take home their Championship too", says Ulf. "If we can, we will put in some really long and smoky burnouts for the big audience at the event."
Ulf tells us that the Veidec Rocket may also be making the trip to the IHRA Finals at Rockingham, but that nothing is settled yet.
The Nilsson Motorsports web site at www.nilssonmotorsports.com has been updated with a report and a large number of pictures from the European Finals.
Marston and Alli out for FTDs.
13th September: Another racer out on the road representing drag racing this weekend is Paul Marston, who is taking two cars to the Brighton Speed Trials: the Chryslercard PT Bruiser and the Grumpy's Dodge Super Gasser which is to be driven by Alli Gibbons.
Paul and his team are past winners of Fastest Time Of Day at Brighton and they are ready for more titles, he says.
"The week prior to the Brighton Speed Trials is the most complicated preparation week of the entire season. Both race cars have to be prepared to schedule or it all just falls apart. Grumpy's Dodge was scheduled first, there is not so much to do for Grumpy as the set-up we used earlier during the year at North Weald with Alli Gibbons as shoe worked really well. So it was just a preparation, systems check, fit exhaust, and new tyres. Alli is of course driving Grumpys Dodge as part of our 'Rent a Drive' programme, and she has a real chance of winning the FTD for a lady.
"The PT Bruiser test at North Weald two weeks ago was good and not so good, the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser performed faultlessly but the performance gap between the Bruiser and Grumpy is quite small. I have to watch out, as Alli is really close and can only get better with more experience. There are no team orders and never would be, so an upset could happen. The PT Bruiser has undergone a gruelling schedule recently and performed faultlessly. There are a lot of changes which need to be made to put it in Brighton Speed Trial trim after the European Finals. Jon Webster of Hauser Race Cars was consulted and recently worked with us on a tune and set-up for this event. We intend on winning this one, rest assured we are doing everything we can to be as ready as possible.
"Last year there were thirty eight cars in our class and we won by four thousandths of a second on the last run, it was incredible. This is no walk in the park, it’s the toughest race of our year - it’s the Isle of Man TT in a straight line on four wheels. Nothing here comes easy, you earn everything, no quarter given or taken."
Paul and the team were very pleased with their weekend at the European Finals. "We opened our account with a 8.93 for number two position on Friday evening, a perfect start. Everyone in the team has been working so hard and pitching in so much I just cannot say enough about these guys. We owe a debt of gratitude to Dave Gibbons for volunteering to come crew for just Friday at short notice, his help no doubt contributed to our qualifying result. I must also especially thank Anthony Middleton from ChryslerCard for stopping by on Friday and in addition thank him for the technical data which he researched for the team's data acquisition systems now fitted to the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser.
"On Sunday we made it to the quarter finals only to be knocked out by a small one in a thousand occurrence, but boy we had a great time. We hosted the Managing Director and Management Team of 76 Racing Fuels and Oils, it was a real privilege to meet them and show to them round our race car and operation. We left the track having made some very useful improvements, gaining over a full tenth on our sixty-foot times. With the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser fully intact, in perfect condition for the Brighton Speed Trials (our fourth race in four weeks), our team are doing one heck of a job!
"Special thanks again must go out to Gary Springford at Jeep Club for this technical help and for staying open especially late on Wednesday night; Dean Springford for his tyre-changing abilities and patience; Kerry Newton for the speedy repair on the pit E-Z-EE UP; all our sponsors: Chrysler UK, ChryslerCard, 76 Racing Fuels and Oils; ATI Transmissions; MAC Tools; Jeep Club; Black Box and Disco Equipment Hire. Thanks to our crew for the weekend: Pit Co-ordinator Dave Kalisz, Crew Chiefs Dave Gibbons (Grumpys Dodge) Mick Pussey & Steve Brennan (ChryslerCard PT Bruiser), PT Bruiser Engine Gary Springford, Data Acquisition Anthony Middleton, General Crew Rob Piggott, Video Peter Fearn and Steve Strong.
"In closing I must wish Jari Konola, Sussie and everyone at Jari Konola Pro Stock Racing every success in their respective futures after announcing their retirement from racing after a career spanning twenty years. You will all be sorely missed."
13th September: The King Racing site at www.kingracing.com has been updated with the final standings in this year's FIM/UEM European Drag Bike Championships, courtesy of Championship co-ordinator Lars Andersson.
The official web page of the British Nitro Funny Car Championship at www.showtimeracing.co.uk/championship.html has also been updated with the final points standings, as well as links to news items and reports from last weekend's FIA European Finals.
Web site updates.
13th September: 2002 FIA European Top Methanol Dragster Champion Peter Schöfer's web site has been updated with a report from the FIA European Finals, at which they did the triple of #1 qualifier, event winner, and FIA European Champion. Check it out at www.p-s-r.com.
Now that UK Super Comp racer Zane Llewellyn is back from his European Tour - he tells us that this week he slept in his own bed for the first time in months (obvious-joke alert - Ed) - and has updated his web site with the latest pictures of the build of Steve 'Bear' Clutterbuck's new Supertwin Fuel Bike. It looks as if the bike is coming along very well and we're looking forward to seeing Steve back out there. You can also find an update to the Street Rod pages and, if you have not already read them, updates from the FIA European Finals. You can find Zane's web site at www.bootsoop.freeserve.co.uk.
Wikström takes on the big boys.
12th September: Swedish Pro Mod Racer Patrick Wikström has announced that he is to race at the IHRA World Finals at Rockingham, North Carolina. "The race at Santa Pod didn't end as we hoped it would", says crew member Krister Pettersson. "We had an ignition problem, sometimes things just don't go your way. We tried to go after more power in qualifying and that resulted in a new European record for eighth-mile speed at 182.96 mph (294.38 Kmh), which is pretty fast even in IHRA.
"If we can get that power down to the track all the way from the start line, the OFAB Camaro will really fly. Hopefully can we give the big boys over there a good fight!"
Page: it could have been quicker.
12th September: The 5.9-second pass which Gary Page recorded in the North Herts Engineering Fuel Funny Car at the weekend could have been quicker, said Gary.
"It would have been a 5.8, but the burst panel went", said Gary. "Mark and Jackie (Hawkins, car owners - Ed) are very happy - that run will get them through the winter!"
Gary said that he elected to get off the throttle in the final against John Spuffard when he realised that he couldn't win. "John Spuffard was just too far ahead", he said. "We were side by side, I saw Spuff pedal, but those direct drive cars just have too much power. He was going away and I wasn't catching him, so I thought better to get off it and save the parts."
Stay tuned for more news from the North Herts Engineering camp as we understand that the FC may be making another outing this year, at the Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway in November. We'll bring you more news on that as and when we get it.
The Eagles have landed.
12th September: Sweden's Lorentzon and Möller Top Fuel Dragster team (aka the Bald Eagles - Ed) set a new European best over sixty feet at the weekend, says Crew Chief Kenneth Lorentzon.
"First of all I want to say that I hope that both Barry and Micke are recovering well both mentally and physically from the accidents, and hopefully we will see them next season", says Kenneth.
"On our part, even though we lost the first round we had a good weekend. The main thing was to figure out the track conditions, which were awesome - great work Kjell and the track crew. On our first pass we ran a pretty good sixty-foot time, 0.862, but then ran into severe tyre shake which broke the motor loose. The second run was against Barry. The set-up was a little softer, we ran a 0.891 sixty foot and it started to shake a little further out. Tommy tried to drive through it but pedalled quickly and it seemed to hook up again. On that run we broke six lockup arms because of a mistake I made: I had to sit on my hands otherwise they would have been slapping my face. Unfortunately this was the run on which Barry crashed, his front wheel got under our car and took a big chunk out of the rear tyre. That lost us a new set of tyres, the only thing to do now was to mix an old tyre with the new one which was left.
"On our third pass against Peter Lantz the car left hard, 0.86 sixty foot, and then started to shake so Tommy aborted the run. In the first round of eliminations against the new Championm Kim Reymond we stepped it up. The car left like a Stinger rocket, 0.838 sixty-foot which I think is the quickest sixty foot in Europe with the 90% rule...Yes, I know that you won't win a race with just a good sixty-foot time, but it is the first step to it. The car shook violently at 330 feet, Tommy had to pedal twice, and the car seemed to hook up again but was heading for the was so Tommy aborted the run recording 5.47/198. It was a gamble with the tyres - the old tyre was one inch in circumference less than the new one. It all comes down to how and why."
You can find the Lorentzon and Möller web site at www.tf25.com.
Erbacher happy with #2.
12th September: Swiss Top Methanol Funny Car racer Urs Erbacher was really happy to win the class at the FIA European Finals and to run a new Personal Best. "It was the proof that all the hard work this year was worthwhile!", said Urs. "We were also really happy to finish the FIA Championship in second place to Micke Kågered, because it would not have been nice to win after Micke's crash. We would have liked to have won the Championship, but only in a side by side race - next year Micke! We all hope that he gets well soon.
"We also want to thank the Santa Pod staff for making the pit area so good for this race, and for the great job they did of keeping the teams informed of what was happening. All the Santa Pod team did a great job, and Kjell Petterson is definitely the best track preparer in Europe. Thank you Kjell for running a real professional show."
You can find Urs' web site at www.fatattack.ch.
Thanks to Dave Alexander for his help with this news item - Ed
Susanne no longer a rookie!
12th September: Swedish Top Fuel Dragster racer Susanne Callin has thrown away her L-plates after wiping out her previous personal best with a 5.08 pass at the FIA European Finals on Sunday.
"I am pleased with the weekend and with my runner-up spot at the race, and I am happy with the third spot in the FIA Championship", says Susanne. "I have learned a lot during this year, and I think that both the team and I showed everyone this weekend that my beginner's year is over! Now I am in it to win."
Susanne's personal best run was at the expense of Andy Carter, who had beaten her 3-0 in the Top Fuel Shootout at the Fallnationals at Shakespeare County Raceway two weeks previously. "It was a good weekend at the European Finals, but I am disappointed", said Andy. "We had terrible tyre shake all weekend. It's a real pity because as always we wanted to go out and win. So it'll be all systems go for next season!" Andy's web site at www.andycarter.net has been updated with a report from the Super Series Fallnationals. The European Finals report will be added shortly.
Air leak slows Dahl.
12th September: 2002 FIM/UEM Comp Bike Champion Sverre Dahl's Top Fuel Bike was slowed by an air leak which robbed him of second gear in the final round at the FIA European Finals on Sunday.
"We had just one gear in the final", says Sverre. "That was the reason for the 6.70 and the slow speed in the final. I am quite sure that it would have been my quickest time ever if the second gear had worked. But we were quite happy with a 1.04-second sixty-foot time and 4.18 seconds at the eighth in first gear - I usually switch to second gear before 330 feet."
Sverre also had problems with his rear slick at the weekend. "It looked like the upper layer separated from the lower layer", he says. "I was lucky because I felt that something was wrong and switched it off, but after a talking Carl Olson he said that if I had held the throttle open for one or two more seconds I would have blown the tyre."
Sheavills shirts available.
12th September: Photo-journalist and supertwin racer Ian Turburville has been in touch to let us know that Top Fuel Dragster racer Barry Sheavills had a limited number of 300mph T-shirts and polos made for the FIA European Finals, and that there are a few left. They are available by E-Mailing from Barry's web site at www.topfuel.co.uk.
"The polos are £17 and the T-shirts £14, they are printed both sides with a great design featuring the Triple R car", says Turbo.
12th September: Mark Needham has written to thank everyone for their support after his pit fire at Shakespeare County Raceway at the weekend.
"Mark, Jacx and the Chain Reaction team would like to thank the drivers, crew and spectators who were at the Hot Rod Drags on Sunday and who contributed to the collection to help put the car back on the track", says Mark. "Thank you to all those who left messages of support. I haven't been able to get back to everyone yet, but bear with me. It's a long list, I'll get to the bottom of it eventually.
"I would also like to say a special thank you to the FAST Team and especially the ambulance crew who had the necessary supplies to deal with the injuries they were presented with. Their professionalism was second to none.
"Although at this time we have no idea how the fire was started, we hope that lessons in pit area safety can be learned from this unfortunate accident.
"As a final note I'm home, I'm getting better, and I'll be back. PS: Morphine and a ride in a helicopter can make a bad day better!"
You can find the Chain Reaction altered on the Supercharged Outlaws web site at www.superchargedoutlaws.co.uk.
Söderquist: down but not out!
11th September: Micke Kågered's 280 mph crash at Santa Pod Raceway on Sunday was caused by a tyre failure, said car owner Knut Söderquist yesterday. "Everyone seemed to have tyre problems last weekend", said Knut. "We went through eight tyres on our two cars during the race. The track prep is so good now that the tyres take a real beating, and we didn't realise that they couldn't handle it. The motor wasn't damaged - I tried it today and it turned over with no problems at all."
Knut moved fast after the weekend, having yesterday concluded a deal to purchase a 2002 Top Fuel Dragster chassis from John Mitchell in the USA. "I hope that Micke will drive it, but I don't yet know what his plans are for next year", he said.
The other Carbon By Design dragster, driven by Susanne Callin, started to come together at the weekend. "It was a disappointing year performance-wise with that car, because of several problems", said Knut. "We finally found the cause at Santa Pod at the weekend, and it was something really stupid. We knew that the car was capable of 5.0s or fours. In the final against Kim Reymond, Susanne was ahead at half track but the car made a little move so she got out of it."
The Carbon By Design team could number three cars in 2003, Knut added. "Rune Fjeld (who also lost a car at the weekend - Ed) and I are already digging in and getting ready for next season. As Harlan Thompson used to say, they knocked us down, but they never counted us out! Stay tuned for more news from Knut!"
Racers: Don't hesitate to send your FIA European Finals reviews to us at email@example.com and we'll publish them here.
Facts and Figures.
11th September: The final standings in the 2002 FIA European Drag Racing Championships have now been published, courtesy of co-ordinator Kjell Pettersson, and are available in PDF format by clicking here.
Andy Marrs of TSI Timers has very kindy sent us the timing data from the weekend's FIA European Finals. You can view the timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing data link on the left hand side of any Eurodragster page.
Congratulations to Robert Joosten who has won the 2002 Dutch Open Super Gas Championship from Paul Vrind and Floris Hilgevord. You can find the full standings on the official Championship web site at www.supergas.tiscaliweb.nl. ©Eurodragster.com
Lin looks forward to victory.
11th September: UK Super Pro ET racer Gary Malin's wife Lin has written to thank the racing community for their reaction to Gary's crash at the Super Series Fallnationals, and to confirm that Gary should be back in 2003.
"I would like to thank all who have sent us, cards, personal e-mails, and notes posted on Eurodragster with messages of kindness and heart felt regret to Gaz and myself", says Lin. "We have been overwhelmed! We have watched drag racing for many years, but have only been competing for two years. In that short time we have met and made good friends with so many people. I doubt whether another sport would have such a community spirit, and we are proud to be part of it.
"Although the car was wrecked and our pockets emptied, Gaz is still here and back to his usual self. The equipment did its job, and that's all that matters. Although I said 'no more', I too am addicted, and can't wait to crew Gaz to a victory next year!
"Thanks once again to you all, it's what makes the determination not to quit even stronger.
Bohannon the Tree hugger.
11th September: Also grateful is Barry Bohannon of the UK's B'Sting Wild Bunch team, who took a turn at the microphone commentating at the NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway at the weekend.
"I would like to thank Jerry Cookson (APIRA Press Officer - Ed) for making it happen", says Barry. "It's something I've wanted to do for absolutely years, certainly since the late 1980s, and last weekend my ambition was realised. I had an absolute ball and probably dropped it a few times too but I'll treasure the experience!
"An off-the-cuff remark to the FAST boys on the start line, however, earned me another most unexpected experience! During the preparations for Roger Goring to do a lap in the Firestorm Jet FC, I happened to comment that the fire-suited man who hung on to the tree definitely drew the short straw out there. ERROR! The next thing I knew (once the smoke had cleared and the windows in the tower cooled down and stopped shaking), there was some very deliberate cupping of hands to earholes between Big Jim and one of his FAST colleagues. The net result of this conference was evident when they both pointed up at me in the tower and then at the Tree...I was going to be the 'tree hugger' for Roger's next pass!
"It was going to be a full boogie affair after the previous checkout pass, as Roger tested a new specially made parachute which Deist had made for him. I was presented with a silver firesuit, boots and helmet and then it was just a case of feeling my pulse rate quicken as I watched the raised Pontiac body inch nearer and nearer down the pairing lanes! I could try and describe what it was like but it would just be a long list of expletives. I'm sure photos of it will appear on a website near you soon!
"I knew I was in no danger because I know FAST wouldn't deliberately put anyone deliberately in harm's way, not even this ol' cowboy! Serously though, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the FAST crew for making that experience happen for me, it's one I certainly won't forget in a long time. Thanks also to Steve Young , who is a consumate professional behind the mic and a pleasure to work with.
"It's a long time since I reflected on a weekend at the track for the entire journey back home, but Sunday 8th September was one such occasion. My lady friend Ali would also like to thank Jerry and APIRA for the pass, all the Wild Bunch for making her so welcome at the races (this was her second), and thanks to Mark and Clare from both of us, for the use of their van to sleep in!
Smax organises Needham fund.
11th September: If you were tuned in on Monday you will have read about Mark Needham's accident at Shakespeare County Raceway at the weekend. Fuel FC racer Smax Smith has been in touch to let us know that he is organising a collection to help Mark to get back on the track.
"Mark works on heads of my Fuel Funny Car and he is also involved in the running of the Donny In The Park event", says Smax. "The fire destroyed his trailer and car and put him in hospital through no fault of his own. If anyone would like to donate cash or parts then please contact me by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07967 738909 and leave a message."
Web site updates.
11th September: UK Top Methanol Dragster racer Lindsay Deuchar has updated his web site with an account of his weekend at the FIA European Finals, which in his own words "Didn't go to plan". Check it out at www.laracing.co.uk.
It was a better weekend for the Showtime Fuel Funny Car team who took the event win and the 2002 British Nitro Funny Car Championship, but even so things didn't go perfectly. Check out crew member Chris Dossett's excellent report on the Showtime web site at www.showtimeracing.co.uk.
Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Andy Frost wiped out his personal best at the FIA European Finals, where he ran his Vauxhall Victor in Super Pro ET. "I was quite happy to run 9.04/157 and to get to the second round of Super Pro in my little old street car", says Andy. You can find an account of Andy's weekend at www.redvictor1racing.co.uk.
Feringe Raceway's rescue team have started their annual photo contest. The contest is open to photographs taken at events in Scandinavia this season. You can find more details on the FHRA Resque web site at www.feringe.com/resque.
John Williamson has made a major update to his DIY Nitrous Systems web site at www.nitrous.info. John's site is interesting and informative, and tells you everything you need to know about adding sniff to your engine.
A new site which is planned to be a portal to the Swedish Drag Racing web scene has been launched at www.dragracingsweden.com. The site is embryonic at present but shows a lot of promise for the future.
Avon Park International Racers Association secretary Wendy Talbot's E-Mail addresses are now working properly. You can contact Wendy at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
FIA European Finals results.
9th September: It was an action- and incident-filled weekend at Santa Pod Raceway as the European season came to a close. All of the European Championships were decided during the weekend, with FIA Top Methanol Funny Car ending up tied between Micke Kågered and Urs Erbacher and having to be decided upon head-to-head results.
Unfortunately things didn't end so well for the Sportsman racers whose eliminations were ended at the semi-final stage by repeated rain showers which gave Race Director Darren Prentice no choice but to call a halt.
By now everyone will have heard about Barry Sheavills' top end crash on Saturday and Micke Kågered's top end crash yesterday. It speaks volumes for the strength of today's race cars that both racers were relatively uninjured after their accidents (see below for more - Ed). Ulf Leanders also suffered a top end incident when the left rear slick of his Top Methanol Funny Car exploded on the finish line, severely damaging the ex-John Force Mustang body and reportedly bending the chassis. Ulf was A-OK. Also OK was 10.90 Bike racer Steve Coombs who took a spill off his bike on the finish line.
NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified saw a fairytale ending for Swedish Pro Mod racer Freddy Fagerstrom who got out of shape and hit the guardrail at the finish line on Friday after a 6.71/183.38 pass in qualifying. All of Freddy's fellow Pro Mod racers rallied round to help him rebuild the truck and it was back out again to qualify on Saturday. Freddy set new personal bests and won the event which will go a long way towards softening the blow of Friday's accident.
New European records were set in Top Methanol Dragster (Peter Schöfer) and twice in Top Methanol Funny Car (Urs Erbacher and Lex Joon, who took the record home), and countless personal bests were broken all through the weekend.
Congratulations to the event winners:
FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Kim Reymond 5.16/284.72 def. Susanne Callin 5.69/170.41
FIA Top Methanol Dragster: Peter Schöfer 5.61/249.59 def. Doug Bond 6.40/207.59
FIA Top Methanol Funny Car: Urs Erbacher 5.79/243.73 def. Steph Milam 6.91/201.75
FIA Pro Stock: Michael Malmgren 6.98/197.49 def. Jan Muren 7.11/193.58
Fuel Funny Car: John Spuffard 5.56/216.13 def. Gary Page 6.22/180.69
NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified: Freddy Fagerstrom 6.50/215.28 def. Roger Johansson 6.52/213.89
FIM/UEM Comp Bike: Roel Koedam 6.64/211.83 def. Sverre Dahl 6.70/171.77
FIM/UEM Supertwin Top Fuel Bike: Anders Karling 6.68/203.79 def. Per Bengtsson 6.79/202.24
FIM/UEM Pro Stock Bike: Øivind von Essen 7.48/177.41 def. Roger Pettersson 7.75/145.30
The Eurodragster.com/Scorpion Racing Award would have been awarded in Super Pro ET and 9.90 Bike, but as these classes did not finish the award will be held over to the UK National Finals in three weekend's time. The Eurodragster.com Perfect Light Award also went unclaimed, so the prize fund has been increased to £75 for the UK National Finals.
You can check out our American Car Imports-sponsored event reports and pictures by clicking here, or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.
Sheavills plans to honour SCR date.
9th September: UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Barry Sheavills intends to fulfil a booking to run at the Donny In The Park event at Shakespeare County Raceway in two weekend's time, despite his horrifying 270 mph crash in Top Fuel qualifying at Santa Pod on Saturday which destroyed the Triple R-sponsored dragster.
"Firstly I want to reassure all of my fans, friends and family that I am alright", Barry told us at the FIA Banquet last night. "I am a little sore but other than that I am OK, and I am already trying to sort out a deal to get back on the track next season."
Barry has a long-standing engagement to make demonstration passes at the Donny In The Park event, and he told us that he should be there. "I will be driving Rune's number two car", said Barry. "Or at least that's the plan at the moment!"
Stay tuned and we will bring you more news as we receive it from Barry.
Fellow Top Fuel Dragster racer Micke Kågered was released from Kettering Hospital last night after his 280 mph crash in the first round of Top Fuel eliminations at Santa Pod Raceway. Micke was reportedly determined to attend the FIA Banquet last night to receive his 2002 FIA European Top Methanol Funny Car Championship trophy, but it would appear that either his doctors or his partner Åsa won that argument! Micke's Crew Chief Goran has promised us an update later this week.
9th September: Freddy Fagerstrom has asked us to pass on his thanks to everybody who came to his assistance after his crash on Friday afternoon, which enabled him to return to the track on Saturday. "Almost everyone in the pits helped me, the list would be too long", he said.
Kathy Taylor of Santa Pod Racers Club also asked us to pass on her thanks, to Amos and Lydia Meekins for their kind thougts and present after the events at the Summernationals. "You're a star couple!", she said. ©Eurodragster.com
Nitro Drag Day goes ahead.
9th September: Lorenzo Lauro writes that the second running of the Nitro Drag Day has been confirmed for Modena, Italy on 28th-29th September. The race is to be held over a quarter mile, and is open to street legal and all Super classes. Lorenzo says that several racers from Switzerland, France and Germany are to take part.
The Modena track is to be prepared with VP track compound this year, and the prize fund has been increased by the event sponsors to a total of 4000 Euros. Entry is free of charge for international Competition, Street Legal, Super Street and Super Gas racers, and travel money is available for Super Comp. "Not to mention the chance to race in the Ferrari town, where you will find beautiful cars, gorgeous girls and great food!", says Lorenzo. Motorcycle classes are Street Legal, Super Street and Pro Stock.
You can find more information at www.dragster.it which is currently being updated in French and German. ©Eurodragster.com
Shakespeare County Raceway incident.
9th September: It is believed that a spark caused the substantial flash-back and fire which occurred in Supercharged Outlaw racer Mark Needham's pit at the NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway yesterday, writes Shakespeare County Raceway Press Officer Jerry Cookson.
The fire was put out very quickly by the FAST Team, and the incident was over before the County Fire Service and the police arrived at the facility. Seven people were taken to hospital after the fire, of whom six were discharged almost immediately. The seventh, Mark Needham, was flown by air-ambulance to Selly Oak hospital where his burns can best be attended to although it is understood that Mark is and was not in any danger. The track's safety manager is working with the Health and Safety Executive to see if any lessons can be learned.
"It is the first ever incident of this kind in the more than twenty years since the track opened", said a spokesman for Shakespeare County Raceway. "As we would have expected, our existing safety arrangements ensured that no spectators or other cars and teams were in any kind of danger of being affected. But the Safety Managers always look hard when we get an incident of any kind, to see if what we already do could be even further improved. We believe that Shakespeare County Raceway has the reputation of being, professionally, the top raceway in Europe, and we intend to keep it that way."
You can find the full version of this press release on the APIRA web site at www.apira.org.uk.
2002 European Champions.
8th September: All of the FIA and FIM/UEM European Championships were decided at Santa Pod Raceway this afternoon, together with the NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified Series. Congratulations to the 2002 Champions (subject to ratification):
FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Kim Reymond
FIA Top Methanol Dragster: Peter Schöfer
FIA Top Methanol Funny Car: Micke Kågered
FIA Pro Stock: Michael Malmgren
FIM/UEM Comp Bike: Sverre Dahl
FIM/UEM Supertwin Top Fuel Bike: Anders Karling
FIM Pro Stock Bike: Øivind von Essen
NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified: Håkan Nilsson
Spuff wins Fuel FC Championship.
8th September: Congratulations to John Spuffard and the Showtime Fuel Funny Car team on their victory in the British Nitro Funny Car Championship, which was also decided at Santa Pod today. Courtesy of Championship co-ordinator Jim Broome the final standings are as follows:
1. John Spuffard 471 points
2. Gordon Smith 348 points
3. Gary Page 284 points
4. Smax Smith 91 points
P&G/PLR trailer full to bursting.
5th September: Top Fuel Dragster racers Peter Lantz and Pelle Lindelöw are bringing a fully-loaded trailer to the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend. No less than four cars are travelling in the P&G Racing trailer: the Top Fuel Dragster and three Junior Dragsters.
Peter is to be joined by his son Robin, so the Lantz clan will be represented in both the fastest class and the entry-level class. "It's got to be an incredible feeling for a twelve-year-old Swedish driver to compete on the legendary Santa Pod track. He'd better understand that or it is his last race!", says Peter.
The other Junior Dragster racers are Emil Leijer, who took the Eurodragster.com Perfect Light Award and won the event at Mantorp Park in July, and his sister Lina Åberg who is also well-known as a successful driver. "I am sure that they will remember this weekend for a long time", says Peter. "Members of this family won the last events in Sweden and Norway, so I am sure they will give rest of the Junior Dragster racers a tough weekend."
Peter doesn't want to make any predictions about the P&G/PLR team this weekend. "None of our predictions have been right this year", he says. "After three runs in Stockholm I told the team that we should not even think about Santa Pod, but then we made a big change to the set-up and ran 5.06/294 and there was light at the end of the tunnel. We have updated some parts so we hope to run faster this weekend, and it's our 'No Excuses' weekend. We are used to being the top team so I hope we find our way back there.
"I would like to thank the P & G Racing Team for lending me the car (you will get it back somehow) and of course Optima Batteries and Red Line Oils for their great backing so we can make the trip, Gary Burgin ENT/Copperhead who helped us with parts (on time as usual!), the team members who've paid their own way, and Kent Persson for driving the truck and trailer - you will have a lot of time to kill during the thirty-hour ferry trip!
"And if anyone brings any rain with them this weekend I will kill them with my bare hands!"
You can find Peter Lantz's web site at www.plr.nu and the P & G Racing web site at www.pgracing.nu.
Wildside TF team add sponsors.
5th September: The UK's Wildside Inc Top Fuel Dragster team have announced the addition of sponsors for this weekend's FIA European Finals. "We are pleased to be partnered with White Electrical Contract Services for this weekend", says Lesley Wright. "Josh is a good personal friend of Darryl's (Bradford, driver - Ed) and a great supporter of our sport. We are also pleased to be partnered with Northampton-based Fisher Financial plc, Independent Financial Advisers, for whom I work. Fisher Financial offer fast-track financial planning in a volatile world; Cambridge Motorsport, John's employers (Wright, Crew Chief - Ed), are also on board and have provided invaluable machining and engineering help for our all-British effort. Cambridge Motorsport specialise in race engine preparation for all historic and modern race cars, including drag racing. The Wildside team would like to thank all of our racing partners who have helped us through their first seasons racing. We also wish everyone in Top Fuel Dragster a fast and safe weekend to remember."
Lesley tells us that she and John have been taking a mature approach to their first season's racing, travelling to shows and exhibitions in England to build up their profile. "Meanwhile Darryl is like a kid at Christmas and can't wait to get back in the seat of the Wildside Top Fuel car", she says. "The team are looking forward to realising more of the potential shown at the Main Event."
Top Methanol Championship preview.
5th September: The Top Methanol classes at this weekend's FIA European Finals look set to be a real battle of tactics as well as tuning skills, writes Dave Alexander, European Top Methanol Racers Association webmaster.
"In Dragster there are five cars entered, which means a five-car version of the eight-car ladder. It's widely acknowledged that the best position to qualify in a five car field is number two, as you get a bye in the semi-final, so don't be surprised to see some tactical qualifying going on. Some teams will be doing their best to go faster than others, but not be the fastest. The Turners have suddenly found a tenth of a second and can probably find more. Peter Schöfer is leading the points race thanks to the ability to run incredibly consistent times - he's always there and runs his own race. Dave Wilson's American Car Imports Racing car is by far the fastest, but he has suffered from the odd gremlin this year and it is his lack of consistency that has cost him rounds in eliminations. Lindsay Deuchar and Doug Bond complete the field, with Doug having had to rebuild his engine after the last two events in incredibly short timescales. In reality, it's a straight fight between Wilson and Schöfer as to who ends up FIA European Champion this year, with Turner set to end up in third place. Don't be surprised to see a 5.40 run at least once this weekend - the first in Europe, and side by side 5.50s from Methanol powered cars.
"Funny Car boasts ten cars vying for a place in an eight car field. The additional round at Hockenheim means that there has been more action, and more points scored than in the TMD class. In theory, any of the top four teams could walk off with the trophy. The likely outcome is that leader Micke Kågered will reclaim the crown he last won in 1999 and that Lex Joon, who is trailing by forty eight points, will be second. Some thirty points behind him are Urs Erbacher and Leif Andréasson, only three points separating them, in third and fourth spots. That is close enough that they could have swapped places after qualifying. The most interesting points battle will probably be that between Ulf Leanders, Leif Helander, and Arvid Grodem for the next three places. They could easily change positions several times during the course of the meeting and we won't know until the very end where they will end up. A lot of these teams have set new personal bests this year and side by side 5.70s are a strong possibility, and we might just see a 5.60, if Micke lives up to his promise to 'really go for it' once he has the title sewn up." ©Eurodragster.com
Wikström promises great show...
5th September: Swedish Pro Mod racer Patrik Wikström and his team are promising fans a great show from the Pro Mod field at this weekend's FIA European Finals.
"With all these crazy guys in in these awesome cars a lot of spectacular things will happen", says Krister Pettersson of Outlaw Racing. "For Outlaw racing with the OFAB Camaro it feels good to have the last battle in the Pro Mod wars at Santa Pod, the very best track in Europe - the one and only track were we know that we can run under full power. Hopefully can we give Santa Pod's great fans something to remember. We're bringing two engines with us to be sure that we can line upp for eliminations, but if you blow something up on Sunday it doesn't help if you have trailer full of parts. See you at Santa Pod!"
...as Nilsson fires a warning.
5th September: Meanwhile NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified series leader - by one point - Håkan Nilsson put down a marker to second-placed Patrick with a stunning 6.481/213.47 at yesterday's Press Day at Santa Pod Raceway. Håkan told us yesterday morning that the Veidec-backed team planned to "try some stupid things" at the Press Day. Håkan also recorded passes of 6.59/211.41 and 6.674/204.52.
Fellow Swedish Pro Mod racer Roger Johansson was also using thr Press Day to try settings which he and his team would not have the time to try in the busy NDRS schedule, and put in a best of 6.73/207.94. The UK's Andy Robinson recorded a best of 7.273/201.78 in his Studebaker Pro Mod, which included a pedal after bad tyre shake.
It was a good day for the Veidec team as Swedish Pro Stock Bike racer Roger Pettersson recorded passes of 7.424/178.56 and 7.432/178.91 to answer fellow PSB racer Anders Larsson's 7.52/174.07 and 7.613/175.91.
You can see a report and pictures of yesterday's action at Santa Pod in our American Car Imports-sponsored event coverage, which you can view by clicking here, or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.
The guys at Dragsterworld have posted comments and photographs from Press Day on their web site at www.dragsterworld.com.
Zman makes the trip...
5th September: Greek bike racer Panagiotis Zarifopoulos (aka Zman) has changed rides for this weekend's FIA European Finals. Zman originally entered the race on his Paranoid Racing nitrous Buell S2, but a number of factors made the trip impossible from a financial point of view. However Zman and his mechanic and wife Yla will be making the trip after all, to compete in 10.90 Bike on Team Cooperized Racing's Hirebusa with backing from Greek promoter Race-Pro.
"We have never raced brackets before and I am more interested in absorbing all I can of the race procedures than anything else", says Panagiotis. "With a track being seriously planned for 2003 as we speak, we need to obtain experience to bring back to Greece to the other racers and to the organisers from a racer's point of view. We could easily run the bike in 9.90, but with a field this size and our lack of experience of the bike, we probably would not make Sunday as eliminations begin on Saturday.
"We want to thank Ken and the whole Cooperized team for hosting us at such a short notice, and Race-Pro for aiding in transport and accomodation. We are looking forward to seeing our European friends once again, and we hope that the weather treats us nicely and that we have a great time there." ©Eurodragster.com
...but Danny waits until 2003.
5th September: If you were tuned in on Tuesday you will have seen that entrepreneur Danny planned to drive a Pro ET Altered at this weekend's FIA European Finals for his Danny's Challenge charity. We have now heard from Charlie and Jim Draper that Danny's drive has been postponed to 2003.
"The short time left was not adequate to raise the maximum amount of money, and as that is the main aim it was jointly decided to do it next year", say Charlie and Jim. "Danny is still up for the challenge and we are now looking at which event to run next year. The European Finals were chosen because of its large attendance and media coverage, but Danny can generate his own coverage which widens the possibilities. We hope that all parties concerned will support what is a good cause and good for the sport.
"Danny will make his observed runs and then enter in competition, probably Pro ET. If all goes well we are looking at the start of the season to complete his challenge. Danny will be at the track this Sunday to see what he has let himself in for!"
Charlie and Jim have also asked us to thank Avon Park International Racers Association Secretary Wendy Talbot for her help in making it possible for Greek racer Filipp Papafilippou to race at the Super Series Fallnationals last week. "Wendy's efforts to smooth his trip were much appreciated", they say. "We would like to wish Fil luck at the FIA European Finals, and if you're in Pro ET then point him in the right direction." ©Eurodragster.com
European Finals running orders.
5th September: We are now able to bring you the very latest running orders for Friday and Saturday of this weekend's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. These running orders were finalised by Santa Pod's International Race Director Darren Prentice on Tuesday night.
Racers please note that NDRS Bilsport Pro Mod and a number of Sportsman classes have their first rounds of eliminations on Saturday afternoon, and that 9.90 Bike has both its first and second rounds of eliminations that day.
You can view the running orders by clicking here, or by following the Event Coverage link on the left hand side of any Eurodragster page. ©Eurodragster.com
Eurodragster/Scorpion Racing awards.
5th September: We are very pleased to announce that Eurodragster.com and performance product supplier Scorpion Racing are to tie up again to post prizes for the winners of two Sportsman classes at this weekend's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. In a repeat of the Eurodragster.com/Scorpion Racing award scheme which ran at the FIA Main Event, a TRS five- or six-point harness and sixteen litres of Rock Oil will be up for grabs by the winners of the selected classes. Leigh Morris (Super Street) and Steve Dyer (10.90 Bike) took the awards at the Main Event.
Eligible classes this weekend will be Comp Eliminator, Super Pro ET, Pro ET, Sportsman ET, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Junior Dragster, 9.90 Bike and 10.90 Bike. One car and one bike class will be drawn out of a hat at the weekend; the TRS harness will then be awarded to the winner of the car class drawn and the Rock Oil to the winner of the bike class drawn.
We are very pleased to be associated for a second time with with Scorpion Racing, who are well-known as sponsors having put up awards at many events and also this year being involved in Super Modified. We are very grateful indeed to Colin Aldred for repeating his kind offer.
You can discuss your performance requirements with Scorpion Racing on 0207 485 5581.
As if that wasn't enough, we are of course running the Eurodragster.com Perfect Light Award at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend. Pro ET racer Rob Elsom won the Perfect Light Award at the Super Series Fallnationals, so the prize fund has been reset to £50 and will be awarded to the first racer at this weekend's race to record a perfect Reaction Time (0.400 or 0.500 as appropriate). If the prize money is not won this weekend (can't see that happening - Ed) then the fund will be increased to £75 for the UK National Finals at Santa Pod in three weeks' time; if the money is won this weekend then the fund will be reset to £50 for the National Finals.
Good luck everyone!
Bald Eagles after more fours.
4th September: Sweden's Lorentzon and Möller Top Fuel Dragster team are on their way to Santa Pod Raceway this weekend fully intending to better the 4.98 second pass which Tommy Möller recorded in the Top Fuel Tour round at Tullinge at the start of August. The team were planning on putting in a four-second pass at the Sko Uno Drag Festival at Mantorp Park in July; they didn't quite manage the feat there but took the event win. Pelle Lindelöw very kindly spoke to Tommy Möller for us.
"We could never figure out how to set up the car to leave how we wanted it to", says Tommy Möller. "We have made a lot of launches on airstrips and exhibitions and always had good traction in the first meters, but Mantorp was hard to understand. When we ran the 5.04 we thought we had it and could run 4.9 rather easily, but obvioualy it wasn't that easy! At Santa Pod we know the conditions a little more and we are sure that we are going to repeat and improve upon the 4.98 from Tullinge."
Tommy wasn't aware that he had run a four at Tullinge until he got to the end of the track. "When I compare the 5.04 and the 4.98, the 5.04 felt quicker", he says. "But when I saw the officials shouting and waving their arms I knew that there were two possible reasons: either the car was on fire or I had run a four. Luckily it was the latter and I wouldn't trade that feeling for anything. The smell is still sweet."
The team shaved their heads after the four-second pass, earning them the nickname 'The Bald Eagles'. Tommy told us what else the team have been doing since Tullinge apart from growing their hair back. "We have taken everything apart, examined everything inside and crack tested the crank", he said. "After Tullinge everything looks new, but we are going to race hard at Santa Pod so we want everything to be in top shape. There shouldn't be anything left to luck, or anything we could have done better or more of. We just want everything to be in as good a condition as possible."
The Lorentzon and Möller team don't have any chance of the FIA Championship and so they have their own targets for the weekend. "We want to improve upon the 4.98", says Tommy. "We are not chasing points this time. But the further you go in eliminations the more chances you have to run quickly, so we are racing to win and going to the race to improve upon our personal best."
The team have already made plans for next year. "We have already decided to run the whole FIA tour in 2003", says Tommy. "We are also discussing the Swedish Top Fuel Tour but it depends upon the number of races and clashes of dates. The FIA Tour definitely has prirority in 2003."
You can find the Lorentzon and Möller web site at www.tf25.com.
Don't forget that you can find full details on this weekend's race, including ticket prices and a map, on Santa Pod Raceway's web site at www.santapod.com.
#1 or #2 just fine for Joon.
4th September: Dutch Top Methanol Funny Car racer Lex Joon has a mathematical chance of taking the FIA European Championship at this weekend's European Finals, but although they will be giving points leader Micke Kågered a run for his money the team will be perfectly happy with runner-up spot, says Gerda Dijkstra of Lex Joon Racing.
"Going into the last FIA round we can look at a year that has been really good", says Gerda. "We can say that we are the best-performing team in Top Methanol FC this season, and if we had not skipped Finland then we would only have been a couple of points behind Micke.
"We know that we have the car to make life hard for Micke as we go into the final round. We think that we are in a better position because we only have to focus on one car, and Micke has to run the Top Fuel Dragster as well, in front of a lot of sponsor guests - we think that this is the only good thing about not havign so many sponsors!
"It's important for us to qualify as well as possible and to take low ET of the race as we did at Hockenheim. We have our spare engine ready and we checked everything out last weekend at Drachten, where we took home a track record as well.
"We are also looking to win our first FIA event in England, and to see if we can make it into the 5.7s. Looking at the data we have from the last few meetings we are sure we can do it at Santa Pod, which is basically our home track. We know that the crew at Santa Pod will do everything they can - and that's a lot - to prepare the track as well as possible.
"Our main goal is to protect our runner-up position because we as a team are all agreed that with the funds we have we can be really pleased and satisfied with a second place this season!
"It's good to see that the Funny Cars are the biggest class, and are providing the closest close racing in the FIA events at the moment."
For more from the Lex Joon Racing camp, check out the team's official web site at www.lexjoonracing.nl.
Silver Fox slicked-up.
4th September: Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Sue Jackson has had some changes made to her and husband Ian's eight-second street-legal Corvette in an attempt to beat the Super Pro ET racers at their own game this weekend. CCSE is not running at the European Finals so a number of the class have moved into Super Pro for the weekend, and Sue and Ian are taking it very seriously indeed.
"The car came out of Andy Robinson's shop on Saturday wearing slicks, wheelie bars and a computer", says Ian Jackson. "The plan is to see what a Small Block-powered street car can do without the limitations of the treads! This is Sue's first time on slicks but if we can run 162 mph and 8.8s on treads and pump gas, then mid eights or better are on the cards with slicks and race fuel...and we'll get some traces to play with! Game on!"
You can find out more about the Silver Fox Racing 'Vette on the team's official web site at www.silverfoxracing.org.uk.
European Finals Super Comp preview.
4th September: We are indebted to Paul Marston for taking time out from his busy race preparation schedule to send us a preview of Super Comp at this weekend's FIA European Finals.
A true European flavour to this one as teams from Belgium and France join the UK teams for the daddy of them all, the biggest race of the season. In all fifteen teams will fight it out, unfortunately we have lost Shaun Lathan due to a rather expensive and comprehensive rear axle failure at the Fallnationals. With such a large field anything can happen, but with the prospect of consistent weather over the three day event the more experienced teams will have an advantage. Expect qualifying to be tight as teams dial their race cars down to a knife edge.
Current holder of the coveted number one, Tim Adam has had a good year. One of the first drivers to start competing in Europe with some success in Super Gas. Running two classes, Super Gas and Super Comp, will hold some advantage for sure as track time will be limited with such a tight schedule. A strong contender for this weekend's crown. Brian Pateman is the quarter master, another immensely experienced team. Winner of countless National events and championships, can Brian add another? Only a brave man would bet against him. Colin Aldred makes a very welcome return with his new Andy Robinson chassis and is very capable of going a few rounds.
Patrik van Hal is visiting from Belgium, and is very welcome. Zane Llewellyn is the innovator of recent times in European Drag Racing, well-dialed and enjoying a good season. He would dearly love to add the biggest event of the year to his resumé, Mark Fairhurst is a strong competitor with that dragster advantage, looking to go a few rounds this weekend.
Tim Garlick is joining us from Super Modified: the class is not running at the Finals so Tim has joined in the fun. Martin Curbishley has had a monster year with his ex-Jon Webster Championship-winning roadster, and would dearly love to add the European Finals to his gunbelt. Another car running Super Gas as well as Super Comp. If Martin won, I think it would virtually secure the National title for him with one event still to go.
One of our welcome visitors from France, Eric Angeloni has raced here before and will be looking to have a competitive event. Patrick Dubois is also from France and has raced here before. Always the threat of going a few rounds or more.
Sarah Day is currently our only lady driver in Super Comp. The Double Trouble roadster is running two classes, Super Gas and Comp, which may well prove an advantage with so many teams here this weekend. Sarah can be an extremely tough competitor, quite capable of handling the pressure of a big event. Paul Knight has enjoyed a good year in Super Comp, running very reliably and consistently, always there to take out anyone who slips a little. Flavell and Taylor is another very experienced team who have had a good year. Having won one event this year they will be trying hard to add to the tally.
Super Comp needs beautiful, colourful race cars like George Chiarella's Straight To The Point 2. George and the guys enjoy their racing and have had a great year, could George cause an upset? It would be one of the highlights of what is promising to be a great event if he did. Paul Marston bounced back to form at the last event at Shakespeare County Raceway, finding the performance he was looking for. The ChryslerCard PT Bruiser team will be looking to capitalise on that and have a good end of season run.
Auction E-Mail bids close today.
4th September: Today is the last day upon which bids will be accepted by E-Mail for the Charity Auction which is to be held at Santa Pod Raceway at the weekend, as everyone involved will be at Santa Pod and so away from their PCs from tomorrow. Personal bids will be taken at the track as from Friday.
To see the auction lots, current bids, and how to bid or donate, check out the Auction page by clicking here or by clicking on the European Finals Charity Auction link on the left hand side of any Eurodragster page. A number of bids have been added or increased in the last twenty four hours so if you have your heart set on anything then be sure to check the page out. ©Eurodragster.com
Kågered's priorities set.
3rd September: Swedish Top Fuel Dragster and Top Methanol FC racer Micke Kågered's TMFC Crew Chief Göran Edman has his priorities straight for this weekend's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway.
"Since Micke is in the lead of the FIA points standings with the Funny Car, our main priority with that car will be to qualify as well as we possibly can", says Göran. "Depending on the outcome of qualifying, we may be able to secure the FIA title by winning the quarter finals. If that happens then we will focus on running the TMFC as quick as we know how after that.
"As for the Top Fueller, we can't win the FIA title, since we have not been competing at all of the FIA events with the car this season. It is mainly up to Crew Chief Alan Jackson and car owner Knut Söderquist to decide the strategy for the European Finals. I would love to get back to the performance we had in Piteå, when we ran a new European best speed record. We were not able to back it up at Piteå, so it would feel good to get there again and do it properly."
At this weekend's race Micke and the team will be welcoming 145 guests invited by the team's primary sponsor Bahco Tools. "We are very much looking forward to meeting our guests, who are coming from Scandinavia as well as Great Britain", says Micke. "I am sure that they will enjoy European Drag Dacing at its best at Santa Pod next weekend, and we promise to contribute in the best way we know."
Micke Kågered will probably be one of the busiest people at the track this weekend, competing in both the Top Methanol FC and the Top Fuel Dragster. Team manager Åsa Kinnemar tells us that he will be bringing a crew of fourteen Swedes, mostly mechanics to ensure that both cars are maintained in the best possible way.
You can stay in touch with all the news from Kågered Racing on their official web site at www.kagered-racing.com.
Danny's Finals Challenge.
3rd September: Entrepreneur Danny Mardell is to drive a Comp Altered in Pro ET at this weekend's European Finals in the latest challenge which he has set himself to raise money for his charity Danny's Challenge. Danny has undertaken a number of sporting challenges to reach his target of raising £100000 for the charity which was inspired by his son who has Downs Syndrome. His previous challenge was a session of boxing, which was very successful.
"We watched Danny in awe earlier this year, as he shed three stone and underwent four months of intensive training with old school pal Nigel Benn to win the White Collar Workers Super Heavyweight boxing title", says tuner Charlie Draper. "When he said he was on the lookout for more scary things to do, we thought driving a dragster would be just the thing to sharpen his wits". The car in question is the King Rat altered which is driven by Charlie's brother Jim and which has run a best of 9.05/146.
Danny will be putting in licencing passes at tomorrow's (Wednesday's) Press Day at Santa Pod Raceway before going in at the deep end on Friday. He has no previous motorsport experience so the challenge is doubled! We will be at the Press Day tomorrow and we will be sure to let you know how he gets on.
European Finals snippets.
3rd September: Pro Mod racer Fast Freddy Fagerström has his sights set on the world pick-up record at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend. "The world record is 6.39 and Freddy wants to drive 6.38", says our buddy Hasse of the Swedish Pro Street News Magazine. "He will be pulling long burnouts too!". You can find more details on Freddy's web site at come.to/fast-freddy.
Some more bids have come in for the Charity Auction which is being held at this weekend's race, and these include some higher bids on those already posted. If you have bid on an item then you might like to check out the European Finals Charity Auction page to see if you are still #1 qualifier! ©Eurodragster.com
14 Outlaws in the Park.
3rd September: Fourteen Supercharged Outlaws are already lined up to take to the track at the Donny In The Park event at Shakespeare County Raceway on 21st-22nd September.
"We're setting up a sixteen-car field, including Fuel Altereds, and Doug Ripley has signed up to put an altered body on his Funny Car", says Mark Needham. "We also have Barry Sheavills in his Top Fuel Dragster and Martin Hill with the Fireforce Jet cars."
Headliners aside, the Donny In The Park event is a Run What You Brung for street cars only, with £1000 in prize money for the fastest ETs recorded over the weekend. There are two classes, four-cylinder and non-four cylinder. There is also entertainment, trade stands, special guests and more. You can get full details on the Donny Show web site at www.donnyshow.co.uk, and you can stay up to date with the Supercharged Outlaws on their official web site at www.superchargedoutlaws.co.uk.
Marston's chute-free North Weald.
3rd September: Anyone watching the Paul Marston Racing ChryslerCard-backed PT Bruiser crew on the start line at the Fallnationals at Shakespeare County Raceway at the Fall Nationals would have thought that they had lost it completely (it says here - Ed). For there was, strangely, much celebration and congratulations over losing the Super Pro ET second round - you are supposed to win aren't you? In this particular case the loss, however unfortunate, was more than made up for by the numbers racked up by the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser. Paul Marston continues:
"Firstly, what a great weekends racing, what a great event. I would like to congratulate Terry and Tina Gibbs and everyone else involved for such a wonderful event. History in the making, both the track's outright speed and ET records smashed by Andy Carter along with so many other class records, this event will undoubtedly go down in the history books. Special thanks to everyone from Shakespeare County, FAST team, Racers etc. who worked so very, very hard to give us all a track to race on, we all owe them a debt of gratitude.
"Our deepest sympathies go out to both Gary Malin and John Parkinson who were involved in the high speed crash during elimination on Sunday. Its really tough for everyone when this happens. Thankfully they were both spared any major injury, the safety equipment did its job, that's why it is there. You don't ever want to have to rely on it but when two guys can walk away from a 170 mph crash that speaks volumes.
"Going back to our weekend with the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser. We had our first run in the eights for a little while signalling a return to form. When Pro Stock motors are a little off perfect they are a lot off! We have been chasing a problem for a while now; we kept at it and finally solved it. I would like to thank everyone who has tried to help us solve this problem, Drag Racing is blessed in having so many talented people who give their help and advice freely, but it had all of us baffled. It was a process of elimination and it took time to pinpoint it, we got it in the end. From a National points perspective it has not really caused us any problems, as it has been while we have run the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser during the summer break that it manifested itself. Being out racing consecutively over four weekends meant we needed to solve this especially fast. We went a couple of rounds in both Super Comp and Super Pro ET, which was a great bonus as it gave us the track time to cure the problem. As soon as it launched I knew it was on one. Yep, the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser is back to Wonderfully Scary Again!
"Paul Marston Racing left Shakespeare County Raceway with no damage, just the standard cleaning and maintenance before we were out again at North Weald testing with a full exhaust system, and no wheelie bars. We had a full crew and some guests in attendance. Testing went very well at North Weald, this of course is in preparation for the defence of our Frosts Brighton Speed Trial titles; this year the Brighton Speed Trials are held the week after the European Finals at Santa Pod. The Bruiser performed impeccably and ran just as we had expected. It was nice to pick up a little on our ET, more would have been helpful but for clocking 160+ terminals shows that the power is definitely there. Limited stopping room got my attention virtually needing both feet on the brake pedal - I was reluctant to use the chute as you cannot use one in Brighton, and it was good experience seeing just how quickly I could actually stop it. Before the first run the crew were seen running a sweepstake on just how many traffic demarcation cones I could collect at the end of the shutdown area.
"We collected a lot of data, we now know the areas we need to work on and with some help of Jon Webster from Hauser Racing we can make improvements to our set-up for Brighton Speed Trials. Our Altronics Informer is now fitted and the information downloaded from that will also extremely useful.
"Thanks to all the fans who came to see us and wished us well, it makes a good day great. Once again thanks for being understanding too, to get four passes in a day at such a popular event keeps us really busy. Special thanks must go out to our amazing crew at Paul Marston Racing, they all worked so hard and have done all season. The freshened Ultimate Glide from ATI Performance Transmissions was fitted for the last two events and is performing perfectly, a real credit to them. We must also give special mention to principal sponsor Anthony Middleton from ChryslerCard who was right in the thick of it at North Weald. Anthony has progressed over the season becoming a real asset to the team as a valuable crewman, in a variety of roles. We must also thank Chrysler UK, 76 Racing Fuels and Oils, Mac Tools, Black Box London and Jeep Club. Without all of our sponsors' help we would be nothing, once again thank you all for your support.
"On the subject of our associate sponsor Jeep Club, congratulations to Gary Springford in his 383ci SBC Shogun. At North Weald Gary bolted on a pair of ten-inch slicks and ran a new personal best of 13.07, chopping a whole two seconds of his previous best not breaking anything (for once)!
" Last but not least thank you to Eurodragster for your excellent coverage, you're number one (I've told you about doing this, but thanks! - Ed). We look forward to seeing all our fans at the European Finals."
3rd September: The latest, post Fallnationals, standings in the Super Modified Championship are now available on the official Super Modified web site at www.eurodragster.com/supermod, courtesy of Championship Co-ordinator Sharon Hogarth. ©Eurodragster.com
Web site updates.
3rd September: The Swedish Pro Street News Magazine at www.spn-photo.com has been updated with photographs and results of the Scandinavian Dragracing Championship's Top Doorslammer class.
Garteh Evans has updated his UK1320 web site with a report from the Super Series Fallnationals, with photos to follow soon. Check it out at www.uk1320.com. ©Eurodragster.com
Sheavills: 1998 all over again.
2nd September: UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Barry Sheavills is in familiar territory as he goes into this weekend's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. Barry, who is currently second in the FIA Championship behind Kim Reymond, won the Championship in 1998 and it all came down to the last date in the FIA tour when he went head-to-head with Jens Nybo for the number one plate.
"It's the same as 1998 - I've got to beat a Dane!", said Barry yesterday. "I'm about a round and a half behind Kim, which is a difficult position. I think we should come out and qualify number one, take Kim out in the first round, and go on and win the Championship!"
Barry of course realises that it is not going to be quite as easy as that. "We're going to qualify as well as we can and beat whoever we have to", he said. "Someone asked me, is it possible? I said that this time last year it was between Anita Mäkelä and I, and Andy Carter came through and won it, so anything is possible! For the first time since we got this car we're really confident, and having confidence in a car adds a lot for the driver. All the things we've been working on have all started to come together, and that includes the tracks being good enough to hold three hundred miles per hour. And we've put some more speed parts on the car for this weekend because I don't intend to lose either the Eurodragster sticker ET or speed record!"
Barry has all of his sponsors coming to Santa Pod Raceway this weekend, and intends to put on a good show for them. "It's important for my future that I win it", said Barry. "I just hope that everyone who comes along has a great weekend and sees plenty of three hundred mile per hour runs."
Barry was very interested to read our recent news item from Andy Carter in which Andy said that car owner Rune Fjeld had shaken his hand after his driving job at the Super Series Fallnationals. "When I pedal my car, I get a telling off from Rune!", he laughed.
Woollatt withdraws from Finals.
2nd September: From ACU UK Top Fuel Bike Champion Steve Woollatt's Crew Chief Chris Powell comes the shock news that the popular 6.5-second Top Fuel Bike racer has had to withdraw from this weekend's FIA European Finals.
"Yesterday we attended a meeting at North Weald Drag Strip, just doing a couple of shake down passes before the European Finals, ready for a repeat performance of the spectacular runs at the Fallnationals", says Chris. "It is with great regret that we have to inform all of our fans and supporters that due to irreparable engine damage we are having to withdraw from the European Finals and call it a day for this year.
"We carried out all the usual maintenance before making the two demo runs, but after just the first burnout yesterday we had oil, smoke and debris coming out of one exhaust header. We rushed the patient back to the workshop where we undertook major surgery but all this effort was to of no avail: it would seem that the step up we made for the 6.5 and 208mph pass took its toll on the engine. We just cannot under take the repairs to the pistons, liners, rods and head in the time remaining.
"We are so disappointed not to be able to turn the bike out for next weekend's meeting as we just know that with the huge field and number of Fuel bikes at the European Finals it will be a great weekend. Both Steve and myself will still be attending the meeting and supporting Darren Prentice's charity auction with our offer of crewing any time next season at Santa Pod.
"We would like to pass on our thanks to Bikes of Brighton, Born to be Wild Paintwork P.E.S.T, G Max Fuels , Fibreglass Solutions for their continued support this year and look forward to having them with us again next year. If any other company or individual would like to be involved with the ACU Championship -winning bike for next year please feel free to contact me at ChrisDeeLAU@aol.com."
Nilsson already on the road.
2nd September: Swedish Pro Mod racer Håkan Nilsson is on his way to Santa Pod Raceway to get in some pre-race testing at Wednesday's Press Day. Crew member Ulf Stadig tells us that the Veidec-sponsored team have a definite game plan to take victory in the NDRS/Bilsport Pro Mod Series at this weekend's European Finals.
"This season has really been up and down emotionally. There have been a lot of late nights in the garage and at the track. But we should be pretty happy because we have been the points leader through almost the whole season. You can't be disappointed with that when this year we were just getting in as many passes as we could with our fabulous new chassis to collect data for the future. Added to that we had a new clutch in the car at Västerås and we took a new engine to the fourth round at Mantorp Park.
"But that is history now, as the awesome Veidec Racing Pro Mod Camaro is loaded up in the trailer and ready for take off on Monday evening. Yes, you read right, it's an early departure because we are going to participate in the Press Day at Santa Pod on Wednesday. We are going there to put in some fast test runs, and to find a good set-up for the weekend. As we got the taste of the number one plate for next season we got together and decided that it was a good idea.
"My forecast for the event is that whichever one of Patrick Wikström or us goes a round further than the other will be Champion for this year. We are aiming to run regular 6.3-second passes in our Veidec Rocket and if we get into a sticky situation then we are not going to save any parts to achive our goal! It feels safe because we don't usually break anything, and if we do we have a trailer full of spare parts so it won't be a problem.
"I promise you that the Pro Mod field is going to put on a really good show at Santa Pod, and if you aren't there then I will be posting the latest on our web site during the weekend (more about that later - Ed).
"To look at our season so far:
You can stay in touch with the latest news from the Nilsson Motorsports camp on the team's official web site at www.nilssonmotorsports.com.
Racers: If you are posting web site updates from Santa Pod Raceway this weekend then drop us a line at email@example.com and we will include a link to your site on our own event coverage index.
Smith after VW record.
2nd September: UK VW Pro racer Jim Smith will be racing in Pro ET at Santa Pod this weekend in his www.plainlazy.com VW Beetle, writes Spencer Tramm.
The team were quite happy with the car's performance in attaining fourteenth qualifying spot at the Super Series Fallnationals. "It's a little bit harder than VW Pro" says Jim, as his 10.49 on a 10.43 dial would normally stand for the number one spot in a VWDRC race. Unfortunately Jim's parachute shook out in his first round race against Terri Lee, handing over what should have been the team's first round win in Pro ET. "I didn't realise what had happened, I towed the chute to a thousand feet and still ran a 12.17!", he says.
Time in between races has been hectic too with Jim's business Cotsweld currently preparing three new race cars for customers, but the lure of the European Finals is too great even with the workload: the team are going for the European record for normally-aspirated VWs which is held by Karl Donovan at 10.21 seconds.
Super Gas series tight.
2nd September: The Dutch Open Super Gas Championship is very tight indeed after the weekend's Dutch Finals at Drachten, writes Robert Joosten.
"After a rain-affected Saturday, in which we could only make two qualifying runs, Daniel Ruchel was number one qualifier of nineteen cars. It was a lucky weekend for Paul 'the Kid' Vrind as Robert 'Bad' Joosten red lit in the second round against Ron v Let. Paul made it to the finals where he beat Outlaw team-mate Erik Pellegrom. This means that both Robert and Paul have 380 points. David Vegter and Floris Hilgevord are second and third with only ten points difference!
It's going to be a tough fight at the Finals at Santa Pod! Whoever goes the most rounds wins the Championship!"
You can find the official Dutch Open SG Championship web site at www.supergas.tiscaliweb.nl.©Eurodragster.com
Määta calls it correctly.
2nd September: Asko Määtä, our correspondent at Alastaro's FHRA Finals this weekend, has written with news of the final day's action.
"The Finals went as I bet", says Asko. "Juha Hillman won the Comp Bike with his ex-Terry Kizer/Orient Express Suzuki Funny Bike, just as I said on Friday.
"Petri 'Kalix' Kalttonen of Vaasa, Finland, ran a race as it should be run. It was his first time riding a bike quicker and faster than his nine-second gas Harley. His first pass was a 7.6, and he ran a string of such times all weekend. You have to remember that the Top Fuel Harley he rode is actually ten-year-old technology so it can't go much quicker no matter who's on it. In the final, what I was afraid of and also kind of waiting for happened. The primary drive broke, so Hillman had an easy win and with the points earned he won Finnish Championship in Funny/Competition Bike. Congratulations! The fuel system was good; NOS side not as good...so no need to mention the times.
"Kuutniemi's testing with the Olds Cutlass TMFC went the same way it started to go on Saturday: tyre shake, and when not shaking immediately smoking the tires. But we learned a lot. Should I say 'we', because this was my last race tuning for Jarmo. I am now concentrating on riding my Funny Bike in mid-September, and after that I am building a totally new Pro Mod Bike for the next season."
AA/FAs: watch this space!
2nd September: UK Fuel Altered driver Wendy Baker has been in touch after her 3-1 (or 2-1, depends - Ed) victory against Jim Seward at the Super Series Fallnationals at Shakespeare County Raceway last week. The Fallnationals was the first MSA-sanctioned event to feature Fuel Altereds for some time: Ollie Burns and Jim Seward have had their Altereds tagged which means that they can now run at these events.
"Both Jim and myself would like to say a big Thank You to both our crews for all their hard work getting us down the track at last weekend's Fallnationals", says Wendy. "Regardless of the outcome we both had a great time. We could not have asked for a better reception from the fans and racers. We are especially grateful to all the marshals and officials for their efficient organisation and preparation which gave us all an enjoyable weekend's racing.
"A big vote of thanks must go to Terry Gibbs of Obsession Motorsports for giving us the chance to participate and show what we can do. I hope the spectators enjoy seeing these cars as much as we enjoy driving them, and if you want to see more of these awesome machines they will be at Shakespeare County for the Hot Rod Drags this weekend, and will be back with a vengeance next year (hopefully at both Shakespeare County and Santa Pod) so watch this space!
"Finally, on a personal note I would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement in this, my latest escapade, especially Ollie and all the crew for the huge leap of faith they took putting me in the car, and for making it so painless! They truly have made it a memorable experience (even the braces - Ollie!)."
Paranoia out to get eights.
2nd September: UK Wild Bunch racer Martin Holgate will also be at the Hot Rod Drags this weekend, and he has one aim for his Paranoia altered.
"We are attempting to get Paranoia into the eights this weekend", he says. "We have had an enjoyable season and have all the right parts on the car now. The billet clutch is working correctly and we now have our number one engine back between the rails with billet steel liners. All we need is good weather and maybe a little luck."©Eurodragster.com
Cath and Tig's thanks.
2nd September: UK Pro ET racers Cath and Tig Napier have also been in touch with thanks after problems at the Fallnationals.
"First of all, we're so pleased to read that Gary Malin and John Parkinson are OK after the weekend", says Cath. "Great work as always from the FAST guys and girls.
"After the first run on Saturday at the Fallnationals, our Dodge lost second gear. Not being auto box experts we thought our racing was over for the weekend. So many thanks to fellow Pro ET racer Dave Baldwin, who spent a lot of time on his back under the Challenger on Saturday, and to Mark Flavell for the ATF. Thanks also to Brian, who also spent nearly all day helping to sort it out, missing most of the racing for his trouble. Considering we had only met him once before, and that was online, we thought that was pretty amazing. He tells us he'll be out racing himself next year with an Outlaw Anglia! Cheers guys for helping us get to the semi-finals, commiserations to the racers who broke, and congratulations to Carla and Rick for winning the Super Series Championship.
Page wheelie pictures sought.
2nd September: Jackie Hawkins, one of the owners of the of the North Herts Engineering Fuel Funny Car, has been in touch to ask if any of Eurodragster's readers has photographs or video clips of Gary Page's huge wheelie on the Sunday of last weekend's Super Series Fallnationals. If anyone has any pictures or video then please drop Jackie an E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.©Eurodragster.com
Pre-European Finals RWYB coverage.
1st September: We're now in place in Race Control at Santa Pod Raceway keeping an eye on the racers who have taken the chance to get in one last test before next weekend's FIA European Finals.
Click here to see the latest from Santa Pod.
Sam's the Star.
1st September: Twelve-year-old Sam Crichton from Harlow will be racing in Junior Dragster at next weekend's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway after winning yesterday's final round of the Halfords Search For A Drag Star at Santa Pod. Sam, who had never previously been drag racing, emerged victorious from a field of five finalists after a day's driving and procedures tuition and assessment by 2002 MSA British Drag Racing Champion Rob Turner and Santa Pod Raceway's Chief Starter Ian Marshall.
"Sam conducted himself very well", said Ian Marshall. "He was cool, calm and collected. He picked up staging and other procedures very quickly". "He had the right attitude - he was upset when he pulled a red light!" added Rob Turner.
Sam's licence applicaton is now on its way to the MSA so that he can compete next week, and there was a surprise for the other four contestants when Santa Pod Raceway and Halfords revealed that they would also be awarded competition licences either for the rest of this year or for the whole of next year. "All five of the finalists did very well indeed", said Ian. "I would have absolutely no reservation about signing any of their licences".
"It's been a fantastic day", said Sarah Jane Mills of Halfords. "Everyone has enjoyed it and it's great to see how enthusiastic they've been. It's been very friendly too, everyone's been watching the others run and cheering them on. I'd like to say a big Thank You to Santa Pod Raceway, Ian and Rob."
There was one final surprise for all five families when Santa Pod Raceway presented them with tickets for next weekend's race.
European Finals snippets.
1st September: Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Andy Frost is looking forward to taking on Super Pro ET's finest at the European Finals. CCSE will not be contesting next weekend's event so a number of the street-legal racers have entered Super Pro whose upper limit is 8.99 seconds. "Can we beat them with our street-tyred cars? We'll be giving it our best shot!", says Andy. Andy asked us to apologise to fans tuning into his web site for the lack of updates recently, as his webmaster has been on holiday. Andy's Fallnationals report will be available at www.redvictor1racing.co.uk tomorrow evening.
Santa Pod Raceway are still seeking race cars with passenger seats for the Press Day at the track on Wednesday. If you can help then please contact Caroline or Kelly at Santa Pod's office on 08700 782828 (from outside the UK +44 1234 782828).©Eurodragster.com
Growler keeps his teeth.
1st September: Some quick thinking by Wild Bunch racer Mark Turton saved the gearbox of his Growler altered at last weekend's Super Series Fallnationals. "When we rebuilt the car and gearbox we fitted a transbrake, which is still not connected", says Mark. "However it was a reverse pattern model, which everyone forgot about.
"We made our first qualifying run early on Sunday morning as we had spent all day Saturday tweaking the car and getting the front wheels balanced. It was a slow run and changing gear into neutral does not help - this was due to the change from rod system to a cable which is a lot easier to operate. The second run was the first of the eliminations and as luck has it we were drawn against the Dorset Horn team who are running very good consistent times - not to fret as we were only testing the car anyway.
"What seemed to be a good start went wrong as at three-quarter track, still unaware of the reverse shift pattern, I changed from second to first. Luckily I changed back almost instantly so as not to damage the gearbox. We were out and as always the Dorset Horn come storming through to take the win.
"Now fully aware of the car, without any gremlins, and with a head cleared of all the ghosts of the incident in April (when the last Growler crashed at the top end - Ed), it's now time for some serious racing.
"On a final note, after the weekend's events mainly involving John Parkinson and Gary Malin I would firstly like to send my regards - I know how you guys feel. Secondly as everyone is aware the FAST Team do an absolutely fantastic job. Organised by Bruno, the team is mainly funded by limited sponsorship and donations. Now as the old Growler chasis is no longer of any real need to me, I will be selling it at the Hot Rod Drags for only £200, and the Ford eight-inch axle fitted with Mark Williams Mini Spool, three and a quarter floating Mosier custom half shafts and Capri calipers with custom vented disks For only £400, along with a lot of other stuff which will be posted in the next few days. Twenty five per cent of the money will be donated to FAST for their services."
You can find the Dog Squad web site at www.growlerracing.co.uk.
Web site updates.
1st September: Nu är bilderna klara dom finns att beskåda på www.exder.se/konolaracing/wedding. Det ska gå att ladda ner bilderna, sen är det väl bara att gå till foto-affären.
The official web site of the American Car Imports Racing Top Methanol Dragster team has been updated with a report from last weekend's Super Series Fallnationals, at which they took the Top Methanol class win. The report is well up to Crew Chief Andy Bissett's usual entertaining and informative standard. Check it out at www.americancarimportsracing.com.
The Swedish Pro Street News web site at www.spn-photo.com has been updated with pictures from last week's race at Landskrona.
Eurodragster staffer Sharkman has updated his personal web site Sharkman's Top End Tales with a report and photographs from the Fallnationals, together with four video clips and new Windows wallpaper. You can find Sharkman's site at www.topendtales.com. ©Eurodragster.com
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