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Alamo JD Challenge results.
30th September: Thanks to Andy Wheeler of Eurodragster.com sponsor
Alamo Rent-A-Car for forwarding us the final standings in the 2010 Alamo Junior Dragster Challenge, which rewards the season's best Reaction Time/run-against-index packages:


"Congratulations to Clare for winning the Alamo Challenge with a mind-blowing package", says Andy. "Well done to Anna for taking the runner-up spot and to Gabby who follows up her triple Championship win with third place. Clare wins £200 in vouchers, Anna wins £100 in vouchers and Gabby wins £50 in vouchers. Clare, Anna and Gabby, if you let me know your vouchers of choice, we will get them out to you as soon as possible.

"Everyone's a winner with Alamo, so all Junior Dragster racers who entered a points round in 2010 will receive a trophy and a small gift for participating in the Alamo Challenge, including Harry Gibson in the Jnr Funny Car. The trophy presentations and our plans for 2011 are currently under discussion; once finalised you'll be the first to know.

"On behalf of Alamo I'd like to thank all of the staff and officials who work for or on behalf of Santa Pod Raceway, Shakespeare County Raceway, SPRC, APIRA, the MSA, Eurodragster.com and in particular all of the people who work so hard behind the scenes. We'd also like to thank all of the companies which support the sport, the race teams, and all of you who have chosen to rent cars from Alamo."

Don't forget that Alamo Rent A Car are offering 10% off car hire plus an additional 5% discount on pre-pay. By using a special web link, cars can be hired at a preferential rate from any one of 8,800 worldwide locations. As if that wasn't enough Alamo Gold, available on all rentals in the USA and Canada, includes everything you need for a stress-free rental and only costs from £30 per week on top of the fully inclusive rates. Alamo Gold includes unlimited mileage, Collision Damage Waiver, Liability Protection ($1 million liability coverage), airport fees, state/local taxes and surcharges, a tank of fuel, and additional drivers.

For more details, check out the Eurodragster.com News update of Monday 22nd February, or to book your discounted hire car check out www.alamo.co.uk/dragster.


Plenty on offer at SCR.
30th September: Shakespeare County Raceway swings into action this weekend with a multitude of drag racing RWYB series taking to the track, Power Pulling Club Tractor Pull and BLMRA Championship lawn mower racing all forming part of the Family Fun and Public Track Day line up at the Warwickshire strip.

Shakey's varied line up of track action features the penultimate round of the Old Skool Ford Drag Challenge and the finals for the season-long ACU Junior Drag Bike Championships and the National Street Car Challenge. The weekend is also the first of three weekends for the Autumn Month of Junior Madness, featuring the tough competitive world of the Junior Dragster, and the SCR ET Bracket Gamblers Race open to all Competition and door cars.

The weekend also belongs to Ford Fever with competitions to find the quickest Blue Oval street car in three categories backed by Classic Ford magazine, Show'n'Shine and Midlands-based Ford Clubs.

Track opens for RWYB at 10:00 am each day so don't forget your drivers licence and crash helmet. General admission is £14 per day or £22 for a weekend pass. Track fee is £20 or £35 for the weekend for unlimited runs. For more information about Shakespeare County Raceway check out the track's official web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com.


Swift snippets.
30th September: Thanks to ACU UK Drag Bike Championship Co-ordinator Ian King for letting us know that the post-VP Racing Fuels National Finals points standings in the ACU Championships are now available on the King Racing web site at www.kingracing.com.

Further to yesterday's news item, best wishes to Shelley Pearson who aims to complete her Top Fuel Dragster licencing passes at the Run What You Brung at Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday.

Repeated from yesterday because your News Editor got the date wrong (Iiidiot - Ed) CBM Motorsport, who are organising a drag racers v circuit racers charity kart race in Cambridge on Saturday 20th November would be pleased to hear from any racer who would like to bring their race car along for static display and fire-up. If you would like to take your race car along then please E-Mail Jemma Harrison at jem.lou@hotmail.co.uk.


Web site updates.
30th September: Eurodragster.com US Correspondent Ed O'Connell has updated his SmugMug gallery with eighty pictures from the FIA European Finals, at which he worked on the Eurodragster.com team. You can check out Ed's pictures at www.surfphotonh.com.

Taking the Hymer road.
30th September: Santa Pod Raceway sponsor Brownhills is pleased to announce its new range of Hymer Motorhomes. Taking the main role is the new Hymer B-Class which outclasses in its market segment with excellent ideas in respect of insulation, body quality, driving performance, safety, living-area, kitchen, sleeping area and storage space design, heating and maintenance.

As well as raising the curtain on this first-class arrival, Brownhills has revamped its entire motorhome range; Brownhills will start the new season with motorhomes from six of the biggest manufacturers in Britain and Europe with hundreds of different models available.

Andy Craggs, Group Sales and Marketing Director at Brownhills, said "The country's growing band of motorhomers in the market for a new vehicle will be spoilt for choice thanks to the group heavily investing in this comprehensive range of new motorhomes. We're also pleased to offer a large range of pre-owned Hymers and other brands. We invite racers and teams to talk to us directly about their needs for the next race season and to visit any of our four sites located in Newark, County Durham, Preston and Swindon."

You can contact Brownhills directly on 01636 670502 or visit their web stie at www.brownhills.co.uk.


Yes, I like that!
29th September: The UK's quickest female drag racer and newest Top Fuel Dragster driver Shelley Pearson quickly discovered at the VP Racing Fuels National Finals that she likes the seat of a Top Fueller just as much as the seat of the Eagle Racing two-seat dragster which she normally drives. Shelley started by giving us some background.

"I have been around drag racing most of my life due to my dad Tony having alot of involment in the sport both driving and crewing", Shelley told Eurodragster.com. "As a result I inherited the bug and always had a passion to drive Top Fuel. My father works with RF Motorsport and also Eagle Racing. I came to drive the two-seater because Eagle Racing were aware that I had earned my Super Comp licence at Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School.

"I have made many passes in the Eagle two-seater and felt I was ready to try Top Fuel. The plan was to do a burnout and launch, and if I didn't feel comfortable or didn't like it I was going to leave it at that and know that I had tried it...but if I liked it I would continue with runs towards earning my licence.

"On Saturday I made my first run which was to sixty feet. It was amazing! The acceleration is so hard to comprehend but at this point I definitely wanted to continue with my licencing runs. The second run on Saturday certainly got my attention - the car dropped cylinders which caused it to move towards the guardrail but I managed to get it back to where it should have been. Due to the weather on Sunday I wasn't able to make my last passes which would have been the full quarter so we are looking at when we can do that.

"I haven't got any solid plans for the future at the moment but I am going to get to work on sponsorship and take it from there. I would like to say a massive Thank You to the weekend's crew, you were all absolutely brilliant, and also thank you Rune and Lindsay of RF Motorsport."


Everybody wins with Erbacher.
29th September: 2010 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion and Eurodragster.com sponsor
Urs Erbacher held a big party for his team and guests the weekend after he and 2010 UEM European Supertwin Champion Lorenz Stäuble won their respective titles:

My idea was to give my super team something back. It always the same thing - I get all the trophies and my team don't have one to keep at home. So I ordered twenty European Champion trophies and give everyone who helped me their own trophy. So I said thank you to everyone called each one to the stage. A lot of guests were impressed because they don't know what each team member does at the races - they know now. For Robin my Crew Chief I had a special trophy ready - I gave him my 2010 FIA European Champion trophy which I collected at the prizegiving party at Santa Pod. It was a real emotional evening for us all.

I'm really proud to be invited to the FIA Prizegiving Gala at Monaco this December. For everyone who missed my party because time was too short, we have another party planned at our Shop in Arlesheim on 16th-17th October. The race cars will be here and we have a great ZZ Top cover band Fuzz Box on Saturday night.

We would really like to go to the USA for the last two NHRA races like Stig will, but we don't have the sponsors to do it. But we will race the first three events of the 2011 NHRA season in Pomona, Gainesville, and Las Vegas. We are really looking for some companies who can help us to do it; if there are any European American companies who can help then please contact me at urs@fatattack.ch. We can get television coverage if the company is interested in that.

Our Hadman car, which was fixed at Mats Eriksson's shop in Sweden, is ready for the US races. The other Murf McKinney two-time Championship car will be updated by Mats with a new front end. I still have one of the cars for sale either race ready or as parts. So if anyone is interested in buying a car or parts then just send me an E-Mail and we will do our best for you.

After the first three races in the USA we will do the whole 2011 FIA European Championship again and win it again.

That's all for now. If anyone has any marketing ideas then please let me know.


A four-date season out.
29th September: Wendy Clutterbuck writes that UK Funny Bike and 9.50 Bike team Tim Blakemore Racing initially, and reluctantly, planned to sit out 2010 to regroup and concentrate their efforts on 2011. However, the season hasn't turned out that way:

Due to sponsorship commitments we had to attend the Main Event and European Finals and with resources very tight we could only go to the two Peak Performance Days preceding each event, equating to minimal track time this year. We have indeed been climbing a mountain developing our ZZR1400 project with a combination which, as yet, nobody else in the world has! We decided it would be better to get these initial teething problems sorted before the end of the season so that we would have the winter to make any improvements. The only good track time left was the National Finals and the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend so we have extended our diary to include those. 

The GenII clutch is at present still causing problems but it is early days and with no starting data we know it will take a little time. We managed to get the new spring set from MTC in time for the National Finals, and we had also changed the gearing slightly as we calculated it to be a little too high which could also compound the stress on the clutch at the bottom end.

In the first qualifier we didn't quite get the hold off spring right to counter the weight and it dragged Tim through the lights again. We spent some time in the pits setting up the engagement rpm and went out to try again. In Q2 we had a launch resulting in a 1.13 sixty foot time which is a PB for the 14 - the ZX12R ran a best of 1.09 - but again it blew the clutch away at the top of first gear. Aargh! On inspection of the clutch plates we found that the standard ZZR1400 friction plates were fine but that the Z1 plates, which MTC advise installing to make the correct stack height, were being absolutely destroyed. We decided to experiment and managed to make up a pack using only the newer style plates. On to Q3 and would you believe it - the bike wouldn't fire! Our brand new Automotive fuel pump packed up on us. What great luck we are having!

That marked the end of the weekend for us as we were unable to source a spare in time. Tim has since spoken to MTC and explained the problems we are having with the clutch, and the guys there were really helpful. They explained that there was no reason that using the Z clutch plates was essential - it was specifically to obtain the correct clutch height so they couldn't see any reason that our revised set-up wouldn't work. They explained that they have only tested the GenII clutch on street bikes, with great success, but not with any big tyre bikes or anything close to our set-up, so  they are also very keen for our feedback.


Jon Webster represented the team well in 9.50 Bike riding a completely different bike, a new slick-looking standard ZZR1400 loaned to us by Kawasaki UK. The usual bolt-on mods were swapped over from the turbo version and, by cutting the standard pipes down and remapping, Jon managed get it to 9.90 with only three qualifiers with loads more to come. Unfortunately the weather stopped play again and Sunday's eliminations were inconclusive.

We still had a great time at the track, as ever, and send our congratulations to all the other racers who did well. So it's on to the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend next week to pick up where we left off and to see where we go. We would like to thank everyone who supports us and our sponsors Kawasaki UK, Rock Oil, Webster Race Engineering, CR Turbo, Mike and Brenda and Avondale Welding, TJC Design and HEL.


In the swing with PBM Racing.
29th September: UK 9.50 Bike racer Phil Pratt would like to say a huge Thank You to Martin and Cindy Newbury of Peterborough's Psycle Workz for the excellent job they have done designing and manufacturing a custom-made Chromoly swing arm for the PBM Racing Suzuki GSXR1000.

"It's so cool to have a British-made swing arm on the bike, rather than shipping one in from the States", says Phil. "Martin and Cindy really know their stuff and as they are drag racers and race fans themselves I knew that the bike was in safe hands and was more than happy to leave the design completely to them. I didn't even see it myself until it was practically finished. That turned out to be a real good call, as in qualifying at the National Finals the bike gave me a Personal Best sixty foot time and ran down to 9.140 seconds still on its stock normally-aspirated motor. I know there's more to come from it and I can't wait for the next opportunity to get back out on the track."

As the Suzuki has always been too quick for 9.50 Bike, now more than ever, PBM Racing are entered in 8.50 Bike at the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend. Although not expecting to set the world on fire, Phil is looking forward to improving his sixty foot times and, hopefully, breaking into the 9.0s.

For more details on Psycle Workz and their products please visit www.psycleworkz.com and to follow PBM Racing as they move onwards and upwards check out their YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/user/PBMdragracing and their Facebook Group.


SCR's JD meets the public.
29th September: Shakespeare County Raceway recently put its Junior Dragster Hire Experience in front of the people of Warwickshire at the 4th Annual Leamington 100 Car and Bike Show held at the Pump Room Gardens in Leamington Spa town centre, writes SCR's Jerry Cookson.

"The dragster attracted a lot of interest from parents and of course the kids", says Jerry. "Many grabbed the opportunity to sit in the car while Daren and Alex Brett talked about the principles of Junior Drag Racing and the hire of the dragster". Raffle tickets to win a day's tuition in the Experience Ride were also sold, with the winning ticket due to be drawn at the Raceway this weekend.

Shakespeare County Raceway would like to thank Stuart and Jason Humphries-Brown for inviting them, and to Daren and Alex for trailering the car to the show. The SCR Junior Dragster Hire Experience is supported by DS Racewear, Claron Graphics and MotorShack. You can catch further photos and information on the SCR Junior Dragster Experience page on Facebook by clicking here.

Also on the subject of Shakespeare County Raceway, the upcoming Gamblers Event also has its own Facebook page which you can check out by clicking here.


Swift snippets.
29th September: UK Super Street Bike racer Dave Smith went back to what worked at the UK National Finals. "I ran 7.47/197 and the overall standard in qualifying went up another bar", says Dave. "Ven with a 7.35, Stubby with a 7.40, Graham Balchin 7.47, myself with 7.477 followed by Garry Bowe and Wayne Saunders with 7.54s, the list goes on. PBs all round, Graham Dance ran 7.64 on his new set-up, more to come there I'm sure. The track was in excellent condition thanks to Darren Prentice and the crew from Santa Pod. It's just a shame that the rain was the only winner because I think the last eight would have raised the bar even higher. Overall an excellent weekend."

Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for sending us Version 5 of the official entry list for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 9th-10th October. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Normal price entry is now closed; entry if accepted will be subject to a penalty fee. Entry forms can be downloaded from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

The final standings in the 2010 MSA Pro Modified Championship are now available on the series' official web site at www.msadragracing.co.uk.

Thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for sending us the official timing data from the VP Racing Fuels National Finals. "Another big thanks to Tethys for doing the honours again", says Andy, "the sooner he gets a Windows version written the better for him!". You can check out the timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

The first advance copy of Drag Bike Racing in Britain reached delighted author Keith Lee on a visit to publisher Veloce today. "At last the book is a reality", commented Keith. "I am very happy with the way that it has turned out. The pictures look very good in print, and I have to thank the publisher for achieving a great production job". Book distribution date has now been firmed up, with copies due for delivery on November 6th. This has slipped from the date originally expected, but well in time for a great Christmas present for drag bike fans. Keith is updating his Blog on the Acceleration Archive with more information. The publisher's web page for the book can be found at www.veloce.co.uk.

Eurodragster.com sponsor Custom Cruisers UK has a whole bunch of new stock on offer in their E-Bay shop. You can get everything from parts for bikes to MSD ignition parts, Simpson helmets and more. Check it out at stores.ebay.co.uk/Custom-Cruisers-UK-Motorcycle-Parts.

CBM Motorsport, who are organising a drag racers v circuit racers charity kart race in Cambridge on Saturday 20th November would be pleased to hear from any racer who would like to bring their race car along for static display and fire-up. If you would like to take your race car along then please E-Mail Jemma Harrison at jem.lou@hotmail.co.uk.

Former track announcer and still a TV presenter John Price is compèring a charity gig at 7:30 pm next Monday (4th) at the Central Theatre, 170 High Street, Chatham, Kent ME4 4AS. Featuring are The Rubettes, Mud, and a T Rex tribute band; nevertheless the evening is in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer Mid Kent. "Please come along and support the cause", says Pricey.


Web site updates.
29th September: Today we have two exclusive Racer Blogs presented in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car. First up is UK Top Methanol Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Derek Flynn who tells the tale of his record-breaking FIA European Finals weekend. Also Blogging today is Swedish Pro Stock Bike racer Karl Lyrén who recounts the second part of the Team VEIDEC Pro Stock Bike Team's FIA European Finals and a very, very eventful trip home. As ever you can stay in touch with the latest Blog updates by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Cristiano Bianchini writes that a video of the recent Nitro Drag Racing Challenge in Modena, Italy, can be found on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/cristianobianchini#p/u/0/TnyGA8H-qWY.

Alec Coe has been busy updating both the Supercharged Outlaws' web site at www.supercharged-outlaws.co.uk and his own blown alcohol slingshot team's Mad Rs Drag Racing web site at www.madrsdragracing.co.uk. Both sites are worth a look if you like your Supercharged Outlaw action.

Our good buddy Alan Currans has updated his excellent Acceleration Archive with just over a hundred pictures of Saturday's action at the VP Racing Fuels National Finals. You can check out Alan's pictures via the What's New link at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.

Photo-journalist Dick Parnham has updated his Fotopic gallery with pictures from the FIA European Finals. You can take a look at Dick's pictures at dickparnham.fotopic.net.

Also updating from the FIA European Finals, VP Racing Fuels National Finals and a recent Run What You Brung is Mark Skinner whose shots you can check out on his Flickr gallery at www.flickr.com/photos/fast_n_bulbous.


Hall of Fame nominations open.
28th September: At last year's meeting of the Board of Selectors of the
British Drag Racing Hall of Fame it was decided that Eurodragster.com readers should be given the opportunity to submit nominations for the Board's consideration at their annual selection meeting. Nominations are therefore invited for the next induction to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame which will take place in February 2011.

Eligibility for induction into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is extended to any person who has driven, piloted, owned, designed, built, maintained, prepared, promoted, officiated, supported or taken part in any capacity connected with British drag racing. An inductee must have been retired for at least three years, or must have been engaged at the top level of their area of British drag racing for at least twenty years, or must have made a recognisable and significant contribution to the sport. Inductees are characterised by their desire to win, mastery of their own particular field, and the courage to innovate. Five members are inducted each year, of whom four are British and one from overseas.

If you would like to send a nomination for the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame then please E-Mail editor@eurodragster.com before midnight UK this Sunday (3rd October).

The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is supported by US Automotive, Power Race Graphics, Santa Pod Raceway, Shakespeare County Raceway, York Raceway, Avon Park International Racers Association, Pennine Drag Racing Club, Santa Pod Racers Club and Eurodragster.com.


Swift snippets.
28th September: Thanks to Wild Bunch Co-ordinator Claire Meaddows for letting us know that Team B'Sting have won the 2010 Wild Bunch and Real Steel Series, and that Darren Law has won the Wild Bunch's MSA series. Congratulations to Team B'Sting and to Darren. More details at www.the-wild-bunch.co.uk.

Edel McDonald has been in touch to say Well Done to 2010 UK National Junior Dragster Champion Gabrielle McDonald on her three Championship wins this year, including both Club Championships. "Was it a new bicycle I promised you for winning the UK Championship? I'm sure it wasn't a Pro ET Dragster", says Edel. "And you told everyone in the pits about it so I can't go back on my word! G's got three - end of."

Fellow Junior Dragster racer Paige Wheeler is the subject of a feature being broadcast on the UK's CBBC Channel throughout today (Tuesday) as well as on Newsround on BBC1 at 17:00 today. The very well-produced and pacey feature is also available on BBC iPlayer by clicking here.

Junior Olley tells us that he will be making his first mobile outing in the Dakota Thunder Jet Pick-Up at Santa Pod Raceway this Saturday. "This is my first time out in the truck, so I will just be doing no-afterburner runs to get the feel of everything and to gain some experience in a jet-powered vehicle", says Junior. "I hope the weather is good, as this day has been a long time coming!"

Race cars are invited for burnouts and static display at the Modified Live end of season finale at Snetterton on Sunday 10th October. If you are interested then please contact Darren Prentice at Santa Pod Raceway on 01234 782828 or E-Mail darren@santapod.com. For more about the event check out ticket.motorsportvision.co.uk.

We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to Michael Lukowski who is tuned in from Bavaria. Have a great day Michael.

Everyone needs a pit bin of some sort, and Andy Frost and the Red Victor 1 Racing Pro Mod team likes to have trick parts. "Along comes Carl Burton with a custom pit bin just for us", says Andy. "If you'd like one send Carl an E-Mail at burton@coates234.fsnet.co.uk and I'm sure he'd be happy to oblige."

UK Pro ET racer Keith Herbert was the first recipient of a £250 contribution from the from the Eliminator card game relief fund. "The concept is fantastic and means so much to my team and I", says Keith. "Although we have a real big expense over the winter the money has been put to good use with our rebuild. So I would implore all racers to buy at least one pack of cards so that the fund can be kept going - you never know when you may need it. Huge thanks to Ian Hart of Fairhurst Racing."

If you were at Santa Pod Raceway on Sunday or if you were tuned in to the audio stream then you will have heard Eurodragster.com News Editor Tog, who was announcing alongside Colin Thoebald, issue an apology to a racer for a flippant and by his own admission unprofessional comment made during his commentary. Your News Editor likes to think he is a reasonably honourable chap but apparently isn't, since this apology has not been accepted but has instead generated abuse including personal comments. The apology is therefore withdrawn. If you don't know what this is about then don't worry about it, and don't bother E-Mailing to ask.

Editor's note: Your News Editor's day job has got in the way of today's news update but tune back tomorrow for the latest from Shelley Pearson, Urs Erbacher, Tim Blakemore Racing, PBM Racing and a lot more, and please keep those news items coming to news@eurodragster.com.


2010 UK Champions.
27th September: Congratulations to the following on winning the 2010 UK National Drag Racing Championships, subject to official ratification:

MSA Pro Modified: Andy Robinson
Super Modified: Andy Hone
Super Pro ET: Barry Giles
Pro ET: Rick McCann
Sportsman ET: Geoff Cowley
Super Comp: Paul Marston Racing
Super Gas: Dan Page
Super Street: Mark Watkins
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Ian Hook
Junior Dragster: Gabrielle McDonald

ACU Top Fuel Bike: Rene van den Berg

The remaining ACU UK Drag Bike Championships, 9.50 Bike and the National Association of Supertwins will be decided at the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend in two weeks' time.

Congratulations also to Cliff Griffin (Outlaw Anglia), Matt Attwood (VW Pro) and Russ Weir (VW Sportsman) on winning their respective Championships.


Team West-Tec goes Top Fuel.
27th September: Team West-Tec is pleased to announce that it will compete in the 2011 FIA European Top Fuel Drag Racing Championship.

The new team will operate from Team West-Tec's existing race shop near Rockingham race track in Corby. "Joining the FIA Top Fuel Championship is a very exciting opportunity for us", said Team Manager Gavin Wills. "These races draw huge crowds which along with the pan-European nature of the Championship makes it very attractive to our corporate partners. I am determined that we shall have a first class team to ensure that our entry is a competitive one!"

Ben Allum will be the team's Crew Chief. Ben has been involved in Top Fuel racing since 1997, initially cutting his teeth in the United States on a Top Fuel Hydro team, bringing the Twin Drive propulsion system into the sport and running the first ever five-second pass with a Drag Boat. Ben has been working with Top Fuel Dragsters since 2000 both in Europe and America. He has played a leading role in Championship-winning teams and has notched up a number of event and round wins as a Crew Chief bringing a wealth of experience to the team.

The team has signed Eddie Corr as tuner. Eddie's record in the US and Europe speaks for itself with successes including winning three FIA Top Fuel Championships including back-to-back wins with two different drivers. "I had no hesitation in signing for Team West-Tec", said Eddie. "The commitment to this new project is very impressive and it is matched by the resources and facilities available at their 10,000 square foot workshop."

Since it was established in 1988, Team West-Tec has won twenty eight Championships and more than 300 races during its twenty-three year history. It currently runs two teams in the British and European Formula 3 Open Championships and these will continue alongside the new Top Fuel Dragster operation.


UK Championships Dinner Dance.
27th September: Bookings are now being taken for the sixth joint Avon Park International Racers Association/Santa Pod Racers Club Dinner Dance and Trophy Evening, which takes place at the St John's Hotel, Solihull, Birmingham at 6:00 pm on Saturday 5th February 2011. Please note the change of venue; you can find the hotel's web site at www.principal-hayley.com/venues-and-hotels/the-st-johns-hotel.

SPRC Club Secretary Paula Marshall has asked us to stress the following:
  • Pre-dinner drinks will be available in the bar from 5:30 pm.

  • Proceedings will start prompt at 6:00 pm with the trophy presentations to the 2010 Santa Pod Racers Club and APIRA Champions and runners-up. For this reason it is important that everyone is in their seats in the function room at 6:00 pm as the presentation will not be held up for latecomers. If you miss your presentation then we will not be going back!

  • Dinner will be served at 7:00 pm.
    ©Eurodragster.com
  • After dinner, the 2010 UK National Champions and runners-up will be presented with their trophies, then the top three in the MSA Championship, followed by the 2010 APIRA and SPRC Perpetual Award winners and the 2011 British Drag Racing Hall of Fame inductees.
Tickets to the Dinner Dance are £30 per adult and £15 for under-twelves which includes three-course meal plus coffee and mints. Please make it clear on the form if booking tickets for under-twelves and specify a child's meal. An additional £1 per ticket should be added if paying by credit card. Verbal bookings will not be accepted: bookings will not be confirmed until a completed form is received by SPRC.

Bookings close on Friday 21st January 2011 or when the Function Room is full, whichever is the sooner.

The Clubs have negotiated a preferential rate for hotel rooms in the St John's Hotel. These are priced at £75 per room across the board, including breakfast on Sunday morning. To book your room, please call the St John's Hotel on 0121 711 3000 (for Reservations press button 3 then button 1) and mention SPRC Dinner Dance.

You can download the booking form (Word format) from the Entry Forms page of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

If you have any queries then please contact Paula Marshall at SPRC on 01933 313625 or E-Mail paula.marshall@btconnect.com or call Shakespeare County Raceway on 01789 720180.


National Finals rained out.
26th September: Today's eliminations at the VP Racing Fuels National Finals were rained out after the first rounds of only a few classes. Despite the usual valiant efforts of the track crew, race officials had no real choice but to call a halt.

Congratulations to Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Brian Payne on winning the Eurodragster.com/
Speedflow Perfect Light Award and to Super Pro ET racer Dave Catton on winning the Eurodragster.com/Gold RV Perfect ET Award. Both Awards have been reset to £50 for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend.

You can check out our American Car Imports-sponsored reports and pictures by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


Swift snippets.
26th September: Paula and Holley Marshall have asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to husband and dad respectively, Santa Pod Racers Club Chief Starter Ian Marshall. We're very happy to do so, have a great day Ian.

Retired at 15?
26th September: Outgoing UK National Junior Dragster Champion Anna-Louise Stanley will be contesting her last race in the class at Santa Pod Raceway today (Sunday). Anna-Louise says that the Panther Racing dragster has been sold so that she can focus on school work in the coming months as exams loom at the end of the academic year.

"I started in Junior Stock at the age of eight and never got past a semi-final", says Anna-Louise. "Then we bought the Morrice Boys' Junior Modified Dragster and I became the first girl to win the National Championship. But every year was a learning curve, from understanding the lights and staging to racing the top end. Collin Morrice helped me to understand the car and gave me all the help and advice a Crew Chief could give, for which I am very grateful.

"As the seasons went on I had a few mishaps with motors and then raced in Junior Modified Advanced. After a streak of runner up places in the Championship everything came together in 2009; the Championship was very close between Josh Saunders and Joe Kellett, but we got things together and won the title.

"The Panther Racing dragster went to Sweden in 2009 and Germany this season, which was an experience I will never forget and I am very grateful for the opportunity. It was great to race at different tracks against a wide range of competitive Juniors.

"My time in Junior Dragster has been an amazing experience and I am very grateful to mum Lynda and dad Conrad for all the support they have given me and of course to my brother Rob for being an awesome Crew Chief, a brother and sister team! I am sad to see the dragster go, but it is going to a new driver named Aaron Fensome who will be running it in Junior Modified next season. We still have our Junior Modified Advanced motor and spares and they are for sale.

"Thank you to all of the Santa Pod and Shakespeare County crews, to the scrutineers and to the Eurodragster.com team (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed). I will hopefully be back soon. I aspire to be a Super Comp racer to follow in dad and Collin's footsteps and am currently looking for a Super Comp dragster on Racing Junk, but please don't tell dad!"


Swift snippets.
25th September: European fans have someone to cheer on this weekend as ex-pat UK Top Alcohol Dragster racer Michael Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor
Cosmo Residences is contesting the NHRA Fall Nationals in Dallas. You will be able to stay in touch with Mike's progress courtesy of our Drag Race Central colleagues at www.dragracecentral.com.

Eliminator pays out.
25th September: Regular readers will know that the Eliminator card game, on sale in the Pod Shop at £5.50, donates 60% of its profits to help racers and track crews in need of a little financial aid. Ian Hart is delighted to announce that the first awards will be presented at this weekend's VP Racing Fuels National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

As promised from day one, awards are confidential.  If teams wish to share the details of their award with the wider community, that is up to them.  However our first awards are to a Pro ET team and a Super Comp team both of whom suffered damage at the FIA European Finals. The relevant teams have been informed that they have qualified for the awards, and will be collecting their cash this weekend.

Eliminator is great fun card game which can be played by the whole family (even granny, who doesn't know the pointy end from the 'chute pack!).  Priced at £5.50 it is hardly going to break the bank, and buying a set will mean you are helping European drag racers. We are delighted to give out these cash awards, but without sales there is nothing for us to give. Support the cause, buy the game and enjoy it whilst knowing you are helping racers and crew when they need it most.


Swift snippets.
24th September: Finland's Mikko Osterberg says that Sampsa Palos will be the driver of the Osterberg Racing Pro Stock in 2011. "Sampsa's driving skills and attitude at the European Finals at Santa Pod convinced us to make this decision", says Mikko. You can find out more on the team's facelifted web site at
www.osterbergracing.com.

If you were tuned in to yesterday's update (or maybe you're still reading it - Ed) then you will have read the preview of this weekend's Eurodrag Full Throttle Internationals at Brustem Air Base in Belgium. Track announcer for the event is to be none other than the legendary Benni Voss who tells us that this is the sixth country in which he has commentated this season. That has to be some kind of record.

UK Super Pro ET racer Chris Orthodoxou has been in touch to ask us to wish a very Happy Birthday to his brother and fellow Super Pro ET racer Robin Orthodoxou "of lunatic seven-second altered infamy". Chris asks us to add his congratulations to Robin on his back-to-back 7.23s at the FIA European Finals but remains curiously mute on what he must surely consider a dubious power plant. Have a great day Robin.


Next stop Las Vegas!
23rd September: Danish Top Fuel Dragster racer Stig Neergaard's operation is leaving Hamburg today bound for the USA where he will be taking part in the last two NHRA Full Throttle events in Las Vegas and Pomona.

"The truck, trailer and two cars are on the boat to North Carolina", Stig told Eurodragster.com. "I will fly out on 17th October and then drive the rig three thousand miles to Las Vegas. I am taking two cars but it will be only me racing - it is good to have some spare stuff to play with! After the Finals I will leave everything out there. I am not sure about the Winternationals but we will race at the Gatornationals and then ship everything back to Europe."

Stig will be supported in the USA by son Kenny, who is licencing for Top Fuel Dragster, his Danish crew, and US tuner John Smith plus a couple of American crew.

Stig told us that he is undecided about his plans for 2011. "We will licence Kenny in the Top Fueller before the Main Event", he said. "I am not sure about racing myself - I am still pissed after what happened in Finland."


Anita's happy feet.
23rd September: Already in the USA is Finnish Top Fuel Dragster racer Anita Mäkelä who says that she is very pleased with her third spot in this year's FIA European Championship.

"First of all, I would like to congratulate Urs and his crew for winning the Top Fuel Championship", says Anita. "You made a nice return to Europe and I really enjoy having you here at the same races as us. Tough racing is a lot of fun. Sorry I couldn't give you a better challenge in the semi-finals, but let's make a date for the same place in May 2011!

"The front wing broke when my car hit the finish line reflectors on the Saturday of the Finals. The old wing just wasn´t good enough for our current power. Those who have visited my Facebook page will have seen some very good shots of what happened to my car after half track. It was lifting the nose again, and I just couldn't drive it. My car had a lion's attitude but kangaroo's behaviour.

"After Mantorp and Hockenheim were rained off, we didn't have a realistic chance to win the Championship. But we were definitely heading for good fast numbers on the scoreboard at Santa Pod. But hey, this is racing, and the word "If" was used many times in our pit. There is so much power in our car and I have a excellent crew, so let's see again in 2011!

"Anyway, I'm so happy and proud of the third place that it made my feet dance! What a nice sport we have! I'll never stop racing.

"Tommi and I are visiting this weekend's NHRA race in Dallas to get some more nice, new ideas for next season and to meet some friends."


Krivan rides the bucking bronco.
23rd September: Switzerland's Krivan Drag Racing Top Methanol Funny Car team had a very pleasing weekend at the FIA European Finals even though Driver Dezsoe Krivan again had his hands full trying to tame the Celica:

Our first race this year was the NitrOlympX where we managed a semi-final placing, and then to achieve runner-up place to Dan Larsen in the final at Santa Pod, with a mostly unproven crew, was a very big success: 2010 was the first year we had been out in the saddle for awhile and we didn't know what to expect. We looked for better performance and good ETs, but our wild horse would not be tamed so easy, she had been tied up in the garage for too long. In Hockenheim she had been like a young wild horse but at Santa Pod she was really untamed and disobedient with a bit of kangaroo blood thrown in as well! The car decided what to do and was very difficult to handle - even when we tried different clutch and fuel settings it was still like riding a wild horse.

To the onlooker a dragster which is doing a version of the Elk Test looks like the car is out of control, however using his many years of experience Dez had the situation under control. In the second Qualifier at Hockenheim against Jürgen Nagel, Dez crossed lanes but only drove back into his lane after passing the timing equipment because it upsets lots of people if you take out the timers! In the second qualifier at Santa Pod he had a very bad shake and the car was sideways, he corrected but the car was shaking really badly so he backed off to bring it back. Some fellow competitors said to Dez afterwards "You are a hell of a good driver!".

We have promised our wild horse that she will be on tour next year. We will give her some tender loving care over the winter and prepare her for some stonking great runs!

A very big thank you to all our team members for such splendid work and co-operation. A big thank you also to our sponsors and supporters DJ Safety, 3d Tech and Midland Oil Switzerland who make it all happen.

The Krivan Drag Racing Team sends their congratulations to all the 2010 winners and thanks to all the people who make the season possible, and of course to Eurodragster.com for their tireless efforts to report on events (Thanks! - Ed). Check out our web site at www.dragracing.ch and we will see you all in 2011 at the latest.


Time to slip in the Hemi.
23rd September: UK Pro Mod racer Wayne Nicholson says that his Lucky Devil Corvette is to get an early Christmas present in the form of a BAE 521 ci Hemi.

"The Hemi will allow us to get further in to the six second zone and it will also be easier to work on", says Wayne. "Our faithful 510 Chevy motor got us to a 6.69/ 210, which I don't think is too bad for a supercharged Chevrolet in Pro Mod.

"Big thanks to my crew Dennis and Luke, and my family Belinda, Gareth and Joe. Thanks also to Ian Tubb for helping out at the last event, Ian had me crying with laughter with his humour. Thank you to our sponsors Opie Oils, Allyfab, MCM Metals and Kerry Tate at Originals Hot Rod Supply. Of course we are always looking for more sponsors , If you would like to promote your business further please get in touch via our web site at www.luckydevil777dragracing.com.

"One thing's for sure - we will be back going quicker and faster in 2011!"


It all went right...or left.
23rd September: The FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway was the last race of the season for Sweden's Jonas Dantanus and the JD Racing Pro Stock team, but it was their best race in years writes Crew Chief Christer Gustavsson:

After the engine failure at Main Event we felt that we should park for the remainder of the season, but after some talk amongst the team it was decided to put the back-up engine together and to do Mantorp and the Finals even if the engine was short of horsepower.

Örjan and Robban drove the trailer to Santa Pod via the ferry from Gotenburg to Tilbury (Should have stopped by my place for a coffee - Ed). Qualifying began on Friday but as usual it rained. We were still able to run one qualifying run, a 6.91 which was unfortunately disqualified due to a Blue Line violation as we touched the car too close to the start line. Still the car had a 0.99 sixty foot time. Saturday gave us better weather and after some adjustments we ran 6.97 but the car turned left off the line. At least we were qualified. When we checked the time slip the car had run a 0.98 sixty foot time which turned out to be the quickest of all of the Pro Stock cars at the race. We adjusted the car for the new-found bite and went for the last qualifying run. Straighter, 6.87 and one place up in the ladder. We were set to meet Michael Malmgren in the first round.

On Sunday morning there was different weather, sunshine and high pressure, so we had to take the car apart again to adjust it to take advantage of the better conditions. We lost to Michael, who ran his best ET of the weekend of 6.73 but we went 6.74/200.75 which is the fastest that engine has gone since we got it. We are very pleased with the performance we found at the Finals and can only think of what the #1 engine could have done.

On the way home there were problems both for the flying crew and for the trailer drivers. On the way to the airport the motorway was jammed for an hour and a half so we missed the flight. Ryanair do not rebook you on another flight, so we had to buy new tickets to Nyköping and then take a rental car to Västerås where our cars were parked. The trailer had a tyre explosion which blew off the fenders and brake lines. Örjan and Robban had to order new tyres and fix the brakes before they could drive on. Everyone and everything is now home.

A big thank you to the best crew there is: Mikael Börjesson, Örjan Karlsson, Jerker Öhlén, Robban Budai, Simon Gustafsson, Christer Gustafsson and Jonas Dantanus.


Brustem set for Internationals.
23rd September: Maikel Gloudemans writes that Brustem Air Base in St Truiden, Belgium, hosts the Eurodrag Full Throttle Internationals on Saturday and Sunday. The event brings together all of the Benelux drag racing organisations: Eurodrag is the promoter, the eXplosion Drag Racing Club is providing the track crew and staff, and the Dutch Hot Rod Association is providing the timing.

The location shows a lot of potential and the eXplosion crew has been prepping it all week. The track is long and wide and has a return road as well as all concrete pit area. For racers there is still the opportunity to enter, so don't hesitate; for more information see www.explosion.nl or E-Mail pr@explosion.nl.

On Saturday night a night show will entertain the crowds as will I See The Sea, an AC/DC cover band. There are hotels in the vicinity of the track, as on-site camping for visitors.

"Come and visit us and support this event", says Maikel. "It has all the potential to become a great one, and we don't have a lot of racing opportunities in mainland Western Europe. Me(n)tal Enterprizes will try to broadcast this entire event with our usual multi-camera and live timing setup, but we're depending on a 3g connection in the middle of nowhere, so we make no guarantees."

More information can be found at www.eurodrag.com.


Swift snippets.
23rd September: If you are not going to the VP Racing Fuels National Finals or the Eurodrag Full Throttle Internationals this weekend, and if not why not, then you could take in the Silverline Power Tool Drag Racing Championship at the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Somerset. As well as the ingenious and highly-popular power tool drag racing, Dave Wilson and team will be present with the Silverline Tools injected-nitro Top Methanol Dragster. More information at www.silverlinetools.com.

We have three birthday greetings today. First up is a Happy Birthday for yesterday to Santa Pod Racers Club official Emma Humphreys, and a Happy Birthday for today to fellow SPRC official Steve Johnson hope you had a good day Emma and hope you have a good day Steve. Happy Birthday for today also to SPRC Timekeeper and Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member Andy Marrs whose birthday started with a large traffic jam. Hope the jam has cleared Andy and that you have a great day.


Wild Bunch Finals preview.
23rd September: Wild Bunch Race Co-ordinator Claire Meaddows writes with a preview of the Club's final round of the season at the this weekend's VP Racing Fuels National Finals:

The Wild Bunch are really looking forward to this weekend where there will be twelve cars competing at the sixth and final round of the Wild Bunch Series. This will be their biggest MSA-event field for several years. The Series is really close, with six teams still in with a mathematical chance of taking the title and the top four earning numbers WB1 to WB 4 for 2011. All six of the top teams are entered at this event: Team B-Sting and Dave and Warren Rowlands' Destiny's Angel are currently tied for the lead, with Adam Price's Go Hard or Go Home!!! altered and the RamRaider slingshot team tied for third place. Dave Williams' Green with Envy altered and Darren Law and the Wicked Lady team are also tied for fifth place! Only the RamRaider team and Dave Williams (with Tony Smith) have won the title before, so we may see a new winner this season, in the fifteenth year of the Wild Bunch.

The event is also the tenth and final round of the Series for contingency sponsors Real Steel (Performance Parts), which takes place over five MSA events and five Run What You Brung events. Current leaders of the Real Steel Series are Dave and Warren Rowlands, on equal points to Team B-Sting with their Topolino altered, but with more rounds attended. Running third, just a few points behind, is the RamRaider team, followed by Darren Law a couple points behind them. These top four teams all still have a chance of winning the Series, and a share of the £350 prize money.

The Club's MSA Challenge Series will also be concluded at this fifth round. The Challenge covers the Easter Thunderball, Springspeed Nationals, SPRC Summernationals, Open Sport Nationals and the National Finals, and is currently being led by Darren Law on 1120 points, followed by Ed Yates in the RamRaider slingshot on 1080 and Chris Hartnell in the Backdraft slingshot on 1020, and Dave Rowlands on 970. All four racers are entered this weekend, and with the top three separated by only one round of racing, it will be a very close finish. The winner earns the Challenge Cup and one free MSA event entry for 2011.

Can Ed propel the RamRaider to back-to-back Series wins for the team? Will Crazy Chris wheelie his way with Backdraft into the Top Four in both major Series? Can Dave Rowlands earn his highest Wild Bunch placing ever and his second Real Steel win in the Destiny's Angel? Will Dave Williams secure his first ever solo Series win with his Green with Envy altered? Can Wayne Colliver go rounds in his first Wild Bunch event since 1998 with his Spud slingshot?! Will Terry maintain the momentum and earn back-to-back event wins with the Ratcatcher Resurrection? Can Dick Sharp run deep into the nines with the iconic Dorset Horn? Will Darren Law win his way to Top Four placings with Wicked Lady dragster and repeat his perfect Reaction time? Can Keith Crampton break into the Top Four for the first time with his Soultown Shaker slingshot? Will newcomer Bob Hawkins continue his good progress and go rounds with his Timetraveller slingshot? Can young Adam Price maintain or improve on his first ever Top Four placing with the Go Hard or Go Home!!! altered? And will Bob Morgan earn the first ever Wild Bunch Series win for the B-Sting team? We can't wait til Sunday, Sunday, Sunday to find out!


Playing high stakes with PMR.
23rd September: The UK's Paul Marston Racing are loaded for bear coming in to this weekend's VP Racing Fuels National Finals. With PMR drivers Martin Curbishley and Dave Catton currently holding first and second in Super Comp and Super Pro ET respectively, there is plenty to fight for:

The game is far from over and the Championships are far from a foregone conclusion, in particular the Super Pro title which is a come from behind affair with veterans Giles and Hartley holding a three round cushion. To enable Martin and Dave to do well in both respective classes, an aggressive approach will be adopted. PMR will be shooting for #1 qualifier and a win in both classes. The National Finals is just a two-day event so is prone to upsets; there are at most three qualifying sessions so you need to have everything in the team right. Missing just one qualifier can have dire consequences; every single point is precious.

Unfortunately due to work commitments both Mad Mick Howling and Sefton Whitlock cannot attend the event, so Paul Marston has cancelled his own entry in Pro ET to plug the gap in the team line-up. Paul will cover stats and pit area co-ordination. "I cannot replace Sefton", says Paul Marston, "he really is such an asset to PMR but hopefully I can keep things running smoothly and not get yelled at too much by the rest of the crew!"

The usual PMR crew will all be there. The 2010 season has been another tough year but everyone has played their part. PMR have taken their knocks and have always gone back for more. Drag racing is always about the team effort and this year has really been a test for us all. All we ever do is to try to do our best, give it our best shot and see what happens; this coming weekend will be not different, just the stakes are a little higher.

Special thanks to all of our business partners and sponsors: American Racing Fuels (07831 650230) for supplying us with a fantastic quality racing fuel, PiranaZ for great team apparel, ACL Bearings (Engine Parts 01708 890494, still offering 50% discount to all racers on engine bearings) for keeping our motors running so well; London Road Tyres (01708 735355) for such a professional service; Colin at C&P Hot Rod Tees (PiranaZ Merchandise - check out the new jackets - limited availability); Geddex (07831 650230) for their great products Dial In, Wheels-Up, Slick Air and Burnout Gard, and of course Drag Race Engineering (0208 597 9484), thanks Gary for all your help over the years. Lastly thanks to Eurodragster.com who have been just the best, we owe all you guys big (Thanks - Ed)!


More PBs for the Psycho.
23rd September: The FIA European Finals was another step in the right direction for the UK's Motor Psycho blown-alcohol altered team, says driver Adam Gleadow:

We had limited qualifying passes due to the nature of running a blown alcohol car with a clutch in a bracket class, but we achieved another PB of 8.25. The lack of a proper launch was traced to a blocked fuel return line, effectively making the motor run extremely rich. The car is also now a lot more stable at high speed - after getting sideways at 150+ mph we added a gurney flap to the rear deck lid and the car now stays planted.

In round one of eliminations we were up against Joe Stevens in the Sunbeam Stiletto, chasing him down into the dusk was going well, catching quickly with new PBs at every incremental, until just after the eighth when the throttle cable failed leaving me to coast over the line with an off dial-in 9.2. Congratulations to Joe for going on to win the meeting.

I'd like to say a massive thank you to Lucas Oils and Dodo Juice for their sponsorship support, and to Crunch for once again providing us with his expertise, also the the whole crew for their hard work especially new crew members Chris and Alex who've made our turn-rounds and maintenance a lot more efficient. We're now all set for a return to the Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association at this weekend's VP Racing Fuels National Finals, hopefully for a cracking end to the season.

Videos from the Europen Finals are now available to view at vimeo.com/channels/motorpsycho and don't forget you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter - just search for Motor Psycho.


Outlaws close out 2010.
23rd September: The UK's Supercharged Outlaws ran the final round of their 2010 Championship at the NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway last weekend, writes Roy Wilding:

Nine teams attended the Hot Rod Drags including myself with the new Chariot of Fire slingshot, more to come when the fuel system problem has been sorted.

The results of the meeting are first place Richard Davies, runner-up Ian Hanson, and third Paul Watts. Ian Hanson ran a new Personal Best of 7.293, which a new class record. Ian also took the trophy for quickest Supercharged Outlaw at the Hot Rod Drags. A total of six Personal Best times were recored this weekend: Sam Freeman 7.616, Lee Gallimore 7.301, Mark Windridge 8.388, Richard Davies 9.757, and Brian Gandy 7.468. Taking the quickest reaction prize again was Sam Freeman with a reaction of 0.004.

I would like to thank Jim Mayer of Good Vibrations California, Steve at Motorshack, LA Commercials, BG Mechanical Services, Mad Rs Drag Racing, Bill Felstead, and Roy Wilding Race Cars for sponsoring the Outlaws this season, and I would also like to thank Jerry Cookson of Shakespeare County Raceway; Darren Prentice of Santa Pod Raceway; Alan Martin, Martyn Payne, Mark Fullard, Steve Tristram for the Hot Rod Drags and Brian Burrows for VW Action.


Give up? Not Begley.
23rd September: Irish record holder Mick Begley won acclaim in the national newspapers at the end of the 2009 season in his 1400 hp-engined Gaijin when he achieved 173 mph in 8.06 seconds. Following this success, and wanting a new challenge, he sold Gaijin and he enlisted the TR Racing R32 GTR to compete at several events this year.

Three times Mick tried to compete, the last attempt ending up in the Skyline catching fire on the trailer on the way to the event! But stalwart Mick, backed by the ever-energised Justin at TR Racing, would not give in nor become downhearted. He just happened (as you do) to have a shell of a disused Skyline lying around. Immediately he enlisted TR's Justin to go to work. Within two weeks the marvels at TR Racing had transferred everything - suspension arms, wiring loom, engine - into this golden Skyline shell and Mick was on his way to Ten Of The Best with a totally unmapped car, just for fun! Mick claims that it was "Absolutely mental".

The freshly-mapped RB30 OS Geikin 3-litre Skyline will make her début at the Japshow Finale on 3rd October at Turbo Dynamics-sponsored Santa PoD Raceway. The turbo, supplied by turbocharger experts Turbo Dynamics, is an HKS T62R Anniversary modified by TD and featuring a special TD modified GT45 compressor wheel and a unique TD designed modification to the turbine wheel to help reduce back pressure whilst not harming the response.


Web site updates.
23rd September: Stefani Robinson has updated the Robinson Race Reports web site with a report of Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson's weekend in Pro Mod at the FIA European Finals. You can check out Stef's work at www.robinson-race-reports.co.uk.

Also updating from the FIA European Finals is Paul Lister whose pictures of Saturday's qualifying can be found at www.dragcaranon.co.uk.

Mike Kraaij has posted an FIA European Finals report and pictures on the eXplosion Drag Racing Club web site at www.explosiondragracing.com, and he has also provided us with an English-language version (PDF format) which you can check out by clicking here.


3t creative's turbocharged site.
23rd September: Dorset based Turbo specialists Turbo Dynamics will be no stranger to Santa Pod regulars, who will no doubt have seen their branding at the facility as a sponsor. Turbo Dynamics supply, design, upgrade, service and repair turbochargers for all applications and are distributors for some of the leading brand names in the industry. They are authorised dealers for Garrett, Borg Warner, KKK Schwitzer, MHI and IHI and the new turbochargers they supply are exactly the same as those fitted by the original vehicle manufacturer, but often at a much lower price. TD also distributes Silkolene Lubricants, TiAL Sport and Turbosmart performance products and accessories.

Turbo Dynamics fully recognise the importance of their web site from a UK and global perspective so, when it came to sourcing a new web supplier, it was of huge importance to appoint the right company. From an original list of nearly thirty potential suppliers, a short list was drawn up and presentations made. The company selected to design and build their new site was Eurodragster.com sponsor 3t creative.

"The new site is one we're really proud of", says Dan Welberry of 3t. "The client has full control over the site content and we believe that the design and functionality of the site, fulfils the brief to produce a site worthy of the turbocharged market leaders. If your race car or bike is turbocharged, or if you'd like it to be, then these are the guys to talk to. It's a great site to add to our portfolio and there are some exciting sites to come, including those for Lucas Oil UK, Andy Carter, the Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association and Junior Dragster racer Brad Jackson."

You can view the new Turbo Dynamics site at www.turbodynamics.co.uk.


National Finals racer update.
22nd September: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding details of the arrangements for this weekend's VP Racing Fuels National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

Santa Pod Raceway's gates will open at 12:00 midday on Friday.

Signing on will be open on Friday between 1:30 pm and 8:00 pm.

Scrutineering commences at 3:00 pm on Friday for cars, and at 6:00 pm on Friday for bikes, and both car and bike scrutineering will re-start at 7:00 on Saturday.

The provisional running orders are now available and can be viewed by
clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Please note that as ever the running orders are provisional and subject to alteration due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.

Andersens, Carter split.
22nd September: After four years of successful co-operation, Top Fuel Dragster team owners Karsten and Per Andersen and Top Fuel Dragster racer Andy Carter have agreed that they need to find new challenges and to go their separate ways. Since 2007 the partnership has resulted in no less than European Championships, several European records and most recently a world record on an all asphalt track.

"I have had a fantastic four years working with Karsten and Per but the time has come for a new challenge", says Andy Carter. "In some ways I'm sad but I'm also really looking forward to working harder than ever to achieve my goals in 2011. "

Even though Europe's quickest tuners and Europe's quickest driver are going their own ways, you can rest assured that both parties will be back competing in the FIA European Top Fuel Championship during 2011. Stay tuned for more news from both Andersen Racing and Carter Motorsport.


Heezen's peer review.
22nd September: Going in to the FIA European Finals the situation in the UEM European Supertwin Championship was clear: every rider in the top three had an almost equal chance to take the top spot, writes Dutch Supertwin racer Job Heezen:

In the weeks before the Finals we did all the neccessairy work on the bike to keep our chances high, every critical part had been inspected or replaced. Nevertheless our qualifying started with problems. After the first round we found out that we had serious problems with our piston rings. For reasons yet unknown the rings refused to break in properly and caused a lot of blow-by in the engine so we changed both barrels and pistons after this round.

With fresh energy we went into the next series of qualifying but the results were not overwhelming, just good enough to get into the ladder. Too late we found the bug that was fooling us: on one of the four coils we found a loose wire inside a connector taking away the spark of one of the rear cylinder plugs. We had mixed feelings after that. On the one hand we were happy to have found the problem but on the other hand we realised that time was catching up with us. We had to go into eliminations without proper data and tuning. But you never know, it's drag racing, anything can happen.

The first round was a killer right away as our position at the ladder set me against Hans-Olav Olstad, one of the three title candidates.  I started with a hole-shot of 0.009 whilst Hans-Olav was pretty lazy off the line. Normally this should have donr the job but not this time: my sixty foot was a bad 1.305 and the lead was gone right away. Hans-Olav finished first so that was it for the Championship.

Was I disappointed? You bet! After a whole season of hard work and good racing it was a margin of only 0.1 seconds which did the job. But don't worry, the disappointment lasted only from the finish line to the turn-off. In fact, the hardest part of all is the moment when you come back in the pit and see the faces of all the people who had high hopes for a victory, but I can say only this: we worked hard, did everything we could and that's that.

Thinking over the whole season I think the Supertwins have put on great racing at every event with plenty of competitive bikes, lots of close racing and some memorable side-by-sides. The Championship has been open from day one until the very last runs at the Finals with a result which was decided on the track and not by the weather or anything else. This is how it should be. So on behalf of all of the riders I'd like to say we're at your service and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

I think it is unusual to review your fellow riders on Eurodragster.com but I will make an exception this time. At the end of a season the goodbyes are pretty hectic so I'd like to address some words to the guys (and girls):

1. Lo: It has been a good season for you with a happy end . You performed well during the last and decisive race at the Pod and with a 6.6 run in qualifying and a 6.4 run during eliminations I can only say that it is a well deserved championship ! I will also remember your Crew Chief Horst Pauli's words to me: "Boy, you have kept us really busy this season". I'm happy that I have been able to keep you off the streets this year.

2. Hans-Olav:  From the first meeting in Hungary we have been close together, sometimes so close that it's hard to measure like at Mantorp Park where the difference was only 0.001 seconds. It has provided great side-by-sides and it has been part of an interesting season. You were also so close and yet so far from the Championship but I am sure you will try it again.

4. Trond aka Liberace: It was great fun to have you around. I think you will be satisfied with your season ending up in fourth place. The dinner you arranged in Gardermoen was great and it showed once more that Supertwin means more than just racing. Sheriff Slatsveen can be proud of his boys from Toten, including your guys and the Rolfstad gang.

5. Ismo: Although Ma didn't look happy all the time I don't think that your season was that bad at all. I remember your first six-second pass at Alastaro which kicked me out of the race, that made you all happy. It was amazing to see that you went to so many races as Finland is not around the corner.

6. Roel: This season has been difficult for you, Ton and Vincent. I don't think it has brought you what you hoped for at the beginning. However, I also think that Ton and Vincent are stubborn enough to keep on going and somewhere down the road they will get the bugs out of the machine. By that time I hope your hip will be OK again to redress it all.

7. Jan-Sturla: What a great pleasure it was to have you around, young guys like you are what we need. Your 6.6-second run at the Pod was very impressive so stay on with that and don't hit the wall again! If you hit it again you know that Monique will crush you between her boobs and maybe that's what you're after! Therefore I will ask her if she can do it anyway so you don't need to hit the wall to get your reward...

8. Samu: You are the nicest guy in Supertwin, as nice as you are tall (and you are tall). Some people say that the Finnish guys are grumpy until they see the moonshine but this doesn't apply to you, I have never seen you grumpy and I think I have ever seen you drunk either?

9. Per: It was not easy for you guys this season, extremely good performances one day and unexpected problems the next. It shows that this sport has surprises all the time, even for guys like you who are loaded with experience. Maybe this is what makes the sport so interesting. I would suggest drinking a few whiskies out of your cellar and starting to search for the origin of this crap, I'm sure you will find it.

10. The Haas Brothers: What a happy end of the season! Whilst I'm writing this article they are both on their bikes high in the Himalayas. The season has given them so many headaches and so many broken parts that both brothers suddenly lost their hair. Winning the European Finals will probably make their hair start growing again.

What will the new season bring? Personally I don't yet know what it will be. This season has been very tough with all the travelling, the preparing and the days off from the daily job so we'll see what's happens.

I would like to thank my sponsors for their support: Zodiac International Inc, Supertrapp Exhaust Systems, Spectro Oils of America, and National Cycle Windscreens. I would also like to thank all the people at the tracks for making it all possible and a special thank you to Speedgroup's Åsa Kinnemar, the girl who made so much progress this year (although she has a different opinion).

And last but not least my team who put in so much effort and time this year: my wife Winnie, my daughter Eveline, my crewman Maxim and all the people who helped us when we needed it.


The end for Lethal Z?
22nd September: UK Pro Mod racer Ray White says that he was pleased to read that his tuner Adrian Spencer (to whom Ray refers as "God") is driving the Gibbs family's Super Modified Camaro at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend, but adds that he will unfortunately miss it on the specious pretext that he will be in Barbados. "I have checked with the hotel and I will have internet access, so I will be watching on your live webcam", he says. For Ray's part it appears that his Pro Mod career may be at an end.

"The trailer is sold and it looks like the car has gone as well", adds Ray. "It all seems a bit surreal at the moment but I'm going to go on holiday, think things through, then see when I get back. The European Finals was a bit disappointing: only one pass and even that was, as your report said, the long way round with a couple of pedals and off early although it still ran quick. It was a bit of a hard call on the last pass shutting us off for a tiny bit of fuel but they're only keeping us safe.

"Thanks to all the crew especially Danny Cockerill. Adrian had work commitments and couldn't make it on Friday but Danny stepped up to the plate with his normal unshakeable calm. Thanks to all the rest of the guys for an amazing year.

"What's next? Well, watch this space - Fuel Funny Car! I'm already talking to one of our teams about getting licenced.

"We will be watching Adrian from the beach in Barbados - good luck mate, and to Andy Wright good luck and welcome to Pro Mod. This is Ragin' Ray checking out...the end."


Third in three.
22nd September: Peter and Sören Svensson have been in touch with a report of the Team Kendall Top Fuel Bike team's FIA European Finals weekend:

We woke up early on Friday morning to be ready in time for the first qualifying session but the rain was already pouring down so we had to wait and see if the weather would allow us to make any runs at all that day. The weather cleared up around noon and the first qualifying round of the day for Top Fuel Bikes came up at around 4.30 pm. Peter met Petri Paljakka in the first qualifying round and he had heavy tyre shake before sixty feet marking and had to get on and of the throttle to get traction, and also got off the throttle early at the end of the run, running a 6.36 sec at 199 mph. We were number 1 qualifier after the first round, and there were no more runs on Friday due to the rain delay in the morning.

Saturday morning came and in order to be able to run a bit faster we decided to change the clutch set up a bit for our next qualifying round which was planned to be held around 1:00 pm. Peter faced Petril Paljakka once again but now in the right lane, which looked a lot better than it did on Friday, and we had big faith in running faster. Peter took off with a decent sixty foot time of 1.05 seconds but went up in smoke just after this point. Then he was on and of the throttle but nothing happened, since the wire to the handle had broken. We were number two qualifier after this session since Sverre Dahl passed us with a good 6.34 sec run. After getting back to the pits we decided to soften our set-up a bit since we were a bit confused how to handle the traction of the track which was obviously very good since Andy Carter in Top Fuel ran a great 4.61 just after our run.

Qualifying round number three was getting closer and we were ready. Peter faced Steve Woollatt and both made great burnouts as always. The green light went on and both guys stayed on the throttle just a bit longer than the 1000 feet mark due to the strong side wind. Peter ran a nice 6.20 at 216 mph to take back the number one qualifying spot. This run also resulted in a ruined rear tyre and we had to put on old spare.

On Sunday morning we had beautiful weather and since we already knew that we would have a bye run in the first round because Steve Carey had problems with his engine, we decided to step up the power on the bike a bit. Peter made a nice long burnout to get some good temperature in the old tyre and I had to run even further than I am used to, but it is always great to put on a good show in front of the crowd at Santa Pod and it is worth the price. The green light went on and Peter had a great run resulting in a 6.06 at 221 mph with an early shut-off, but the best of all was that he got a new Personal Best of 197.03 mph at the eighth which was real great.

Back in the pit we checked the leakdown on all they cylinders and they all kept their pressure as they should. We knew that we would meet our good friend Steve Woollatt in the semi finals, so we decided to keep the same the set-up for the next run, even if the bike was spinning the tyre a bit on the last run, since Steve is a tough guy to encounter. Peter and Steve made great side-by-side burnouts. The green light went on and Peter had a slight advantage over Steve all the way down the quarter mile, and when he crossed the beams the clock showed a decent 6.15/215 over Steve's 6.44/212. Petri Paljakka staged in the other semi final - his opponent Sverre Dahl had problems fixing his engine problems between rounds - to get his first ever European Championship title, which is real impressive since it is his first year in Top Fuel Bike, well done Petri!

Back in the pits after the run we understood that Petri had some problems with his bike and Peter went over to their team to ask if they wanted us to wait for them to fix their problem before we ran the final and Petri came over to our team about half an hour later and confirmed that they would be able to fix their problems in time for the final. We were called to the lanes and waited for almost forty minutes due to an oildown in the left lane, which we had chosen for the final. Usually this would have made us change lane but we all know that at Santa Pod the track team does a tremendous work and most of the time the lane gets even better after an oil-down, so we stuck to the left lane. We waited for Petri but couldn't see him so we asked the officials if they could check where he was. Meanwhile Pro Stock Bike and Supertwin ran their finals. Then Petri's team came running with their bike and the officials decide to run the final in Funny Bike first to let Petri calm down a bit before the final in Top Fuel Bike.

Peter and Petri made nice side-by-side burnouts. The green light came on for Peter but unfortunately Petri got a red light. Peter had no intention of making an easy run so he nailed it and got a great time of 6.08/231 with a poor 0.95 sixty-foot time, and he was in the winners' circle.

Back in the pits the Åsa and Aila of Speedgroup came over to us for an interview and told us that we actually had got enough points to end third in the European Championship which is really great since we only participated in three out of six races this summer!

A big thank you to everyone who makes this possible:

Kendall Motor Oil Sweden, supplied by Sollebrunns Oljeservice

Samek Tool AB, who make some of the best moulding tools in the automotive industry in Sweden

CemeCon A/S, one of the best coating companies in Europe when it comes to camshaft coating etc

Real Form, product development within mechanical design

Romnet, consultants with computer network favours

The Lindahl brothers, Team Kendall Pro Mod Team

All our families and friends.

A special thank you also to all our Swedish friends who came over to Santa Pod to support us for this race, and to all the rest of our fans.

For more information please visit our web site at www.billetracing.se.


Lazenby's World best.
22nd September: Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer and ET world record holder Colin Lazenby and Team 56 are elated at having achieved so much at the FIA European Finals without really having the means to do so:

An internal electronic fault with the nitrous controller came back to haunt us at the race, meaning that we were forced to run with only one nitrous system instead of two, and in truth we shouldn't have been able to manage anything quicker than a low eight or high seven. Having said that, in drag racing the form book can often count for little, and often it can count for nothing.

The previous claim to the world's quickest street legal car running on regular Super Unleaded has been overtaken by two hundredths of a second, and the one per cent margin for a record to stand is surprisingly difficult to achieve. It's fair to say that the window of opportunity for any success on record-setting runs is miniscule and consistency with the numbers, on the day, is everything.

Thursday: Q1 8.5035/176.43; Q2 8.3720/173.74. Friday: no runs. Saturday: Q3 8.2671/182.16; Q4, 7.8486/183.62 - this run was made at a quarter past eight in the dark. Race day: Round 1 7.720/183.56; quarter finals, 7.6627/185.08 - the previous 7.72 would have backed this number up as a new world record for a street legal pump gas car; semi finals, 7.6522/184.32 - the previous 7.76 backed up this run so this is the new world record; Final 7.9465/182.81.


The best sixty foot time of the weekend was 1.26, the previous best was 1.28. The best eighth mile time was 4.99 seconds at a whopping 147.72 mph. And don't forget, we always run with proper treads, the Mickey Thompson Sportsman Pros, and we'd already claimed the world record run on these tyres when we ran our 7.708 at last year's European Finals. Mickey Thompson (USA) Cooper/Avon (in the UK) and Lee Child at LA Racing Parts will be pleased, I guess.

Our achievement can easily be attributed to a combination of great things. Our 1565 hp Sonny's pump gas mountain motor - thanks to Sonny and Francis Leonard, David, Tom and Kelly for assembling the most powerful pump gas motor they've ever built. We remain eternally grateful for our bullet proof Rossler 210 three-speed transmission, and it's thanks to Carl and Marge Rossler for all the support they've afforded us over the six years (with only one freshen). This truly is the best engineered transmission available anywhere on the planet, I recommend a Rossler trans to anyone looking to upgrade.

Thanks to Clive Bond of Ultimate Race Cars, one of the most knowledgeable guys there is in drag racing today; we've been fortunate enough to work with Clive on our last two power plants. Thanks also must go to Torco Oils and Lubricants, especially to all-round great guy Steve Clark for supporting the team's efforts with the full range of Nimbus Motorsport products, especially Torco's octane booster and of course our all new, all billet System 1 oil filter. Thanks also to Andy Robinson Race Cars for building me such a complete and competitive race car.


And of course to our hard working crew and extended family: Crew Chief Garry Coull, 'Our kid' Brian Lazenby, team boss Ann-Marie Lazenby, newly promoted Jacquie Burbidge, Richard Lazenby and Claire. And for that special last weekend the other attending Lazenbys (and there are many) recently hitched Joe and Becky; Mick (Becky's dad); radiant daughter Charlotte and her kids. To my biggest supporter, and often my greatest critic, youngest son Bradley. And, as always, our team thanks go out to ace photographer Matt Woods along with the ever youthful Kathy Taylor.

Last weekend has just got to rank as one of the most successful weekends we've ever had with the '56, matched only by the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2002 and our drag race with the RAF's finest, the F3 Tornado. Our general performance over the weekend of the European Finals, up to and including the result of the final round, just about managed to keep me smiling on the inside right up until the point we arrived home at 04:45 the next morning, which was just nicely in time for me to get up and go to work.

Pictures courtesy and ©Matt Woods


Swift snippets.
22nd September: After a mixed weekend which finished with a personal best at the Open Sport Nationals, UK Supertwin Fuel racer Shaun Rodman comes in to the National Finals feeling optimistic and hopeful that the AFB Drag Racing Team have overcome some of their earlier teething problems with the bike. "Shamus has taken the decision to enter into Top Fuel bike this weekend, which will give us our first taste of heads-up racing this year", says Nick Saunders. "The whole team are excited about the coming weekend, and hopefully I can report some more positives after the event. Please take a look at our web site at www.afbdragracing.co.uk where you can find videos, pictures, race reports and more."

We have another birthday on Santa Pod Raceway's timing crew today; a very Happy Birthday to timekeeper Sharon Norris. Have a lovely day Sharon and we'll see you at the weekend.

As a small number of you have already discovered, Eurodragster.com has a Twitter account which we initially plan to use to post brief updates on our Event Coverage such as "Webcam on-line" and "Today's pictures posted". If you wish to follow our Twitter account then its name is of course eurodragster, and if you have any suggestions for what you would like to see from our Twitter service then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.


Eliminator fund is open.
22nd September: Ian Hart writes that the Eliminator game, launched at the FIA European Finals, sold pretty well over its first weekend despite some last minute printing glitches:

It urns out that printing machines are as highly-strung as race engines, and when they lose a bearing the damage just goes on and on! On Wednesday and Thursday, the Eliminator team toured the pits, handing the sample packs to the teams included in the game. Timo and Dennis Habermann played a couple of games with us and much to Timo's displeasure, Dennis beat him. To be fair, Dennis trounced Timo and all the Eliminator team, but I guess Timo had some other Championship in mind!  On Saturday morning, I saw a very glum looking Timo in the pit lane. "My mother just beat me at Eliminator...in my car!" was the reason he gave me for his slightly downcast look.

We sponsored a £25 prize for the first child to show up at Nitro FM with a fully-signed pack. The prize went on Friday evening; that child now has a fully signed set of hero cards, and must be extremely pleased with their £25 too!

  We spent time with every team over the weekend, and I have to say a big Thank You to all of them. No-one turned us away, no-one was too busy, everyone was welcoming and interested in what we are doing with the game. Thank you to all of the teams in the game: without your permission and help, there would be no game, and then there would be no fund, and that would mean we could not make anything better for anyone.

For the benefit of the one or two people out there who questioned whether the 60% profit share would get to those who need it (Big surprise, what is it with people - Ed), we are selling this game to raise money for a fund which will help out racers and track crews who need some financial help.  If one of the fire crew was injured helping out your team, wouldn't you want there to be some benevolence fund they could fall back on?  If your team dropped a valve and you needed some cash to make the repairs, wouldn't you like a fund which would help you out? Well, now there is such a fund and there is cash in the pot now.  Anyone who needs any financial aid resultant for any damage or injury sustained after the beginning of qualifying on Thursday 9th September can apply by E-Mail to eliminator.game@btinternet.com. We will treat all applications in confidence. We can't quite afford whole new Fuel engines yet, but any request will be considered and we might be able to help out with some of the costs.

So the game is out there. People are playing and enjoying it. There are a few more events before the end of the year, and we know that this game would make an excellent stocking filler. The Pod Shop has stock, and we can arrange postage to anywhere in Europe. You can either buy yours from the Pod Shop or, if you are not coming anywhere near, you can place your order at eliminator.game@btinternet.com. I am assured that it will be available in the on-line Pod Shop soon.

This game really is very good, enjoyable and worthwhile, but don't take my word for it - Mats Eriksson, Timo and Dennis Habermann, Jon Webster and a list as long as your arm all played it, all thoroughly enjoyed it, and all recommend it. You need to get your pack now.

The more we sell, the more money there is in the fund, and the more money we can distribute to needy racers and track crews.


Web site updates.
22nd September: Today we have two exclusive Racer Blogs presented in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car. First up is Dutch Top Fuel Dragster racer Lex Joon who brings us up to date with his plan to race again in the USA. Also Blogging today is Swedish Pro Stock Bike racer Karl Lyrén who recounts the first part of the Team VEIDEC Pro Stock Bike Team's FIA European Finals weekend. As ever you can stay in touch with the latest Blog updates by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Richard Smith has updated his Fotopic gallery with pictures from the FIA European Finals. You can check out Richard's shots at smiggs454.fotopic.net.

Also updating Fotopic from the FIA European Finals is Jamie Dyks whose shots you can find at topnitro.fotopic.net.

Our good buddy Alan Currans has updated his excellent Acceleration Archive with nearly a hundred pictures from the weekend's NSRA Nostalgia Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. "The update includes an animated sequence of Dick Sharp having a start line moment in the Dorset Horn", says Alan. "I don't know if he found it very exciting but I certainly did from where I was standing!". You can take a look at Alan's pictures via the What's New link at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.

Doug McDiarmid tells us that a number of his pictures are in use on the Gallery section of the Pro Drag USA web site at www.prodragusa.com. "Pro Drag have been manufacturing T-Shirts and hoodies for the drag race fanatic for decades", says Doug. "There have been a large number of these items appearing at the events around the UK. I have been a ProDrag convert since spotting one of the items at the 2007 Gatornationals in Florida, ending up wearing a number of their designs.  The man who runs the company, Richard, is a real sound guy with many drag-race stories to tell."

Editor's note: Tune back to the next news update for the latest from Top Fuel Dragster racer Stig Neergard, Top Methanol Funny Car racer Dezsoe Krivan and Pro Stock racer Jonas Dantanus, more FIA European Finals reviews, and more, and please keep those news items coming to news@eurodragster.com.


UK Championship outcomes.
21st September: The Championships of all UK car classes and ACU Top Fuel Bike will come to an end at the VP Racing Fuels National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend - the bikes have their own finals at the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend at Santa Pod on 9th-10th October. So who are the likely Champions this weekend and where will the key battles be taking place? As regular readers know, Yvonne Tramm and our very own Simon co-ordinate the UK National Drag Racing Championships and Simon has been looking at the possible outcomes:

In MSA Pro Modified, Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson looks good for the Championship with a lead of 116 points over second placed Graham Ellis. Graham however may have a battle on his hands to keep that position as he is still sorting the AMS 'Cuda which he débuted in competion at the European Finals. Kev Slyfield is only 27 points further back and one round of race wins more than Graham could see Kev in second.

SPRC Top Methanol is effectively decided, with Dennis Habermann taking the honours and Eskvo Raisvuo runner up at the Easter Thunderball, the sole competitive round.

In ACU Top Fuel Bike, Rene van den Berg leads Roel Koedam, who is not entered this weekend, and Steve Woollatt. Rene's lead is such that he would have to make a first round exit and Steve win the race for Steve to take another ACU title.

In the Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association, Dennis Wratten is looking good for the title with second-placed Joe Bond not on the entry list. Bob Glassup is 120 points behind Dennis, and although it is mathematically possible for Bob to catch him, he would need Dennis not to be in the final four on Sunday and qualify at the bottom end of the field and possibly run new PBs into the bargain.

Super Modified is between Andy 'Fred' Hone and Belinda Bull and with Fred 500 points ahead of Belinda and Rob Smallworth 1440 points further back, this is looking done and dusted.

Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator has been dominated by Ian Hook who won the title at the FIA European Finals. The Fat Boys have won three events on their way to the title with a new engine and consistent performance, and congratulations to them. Second placed is a surprise with class rookie Brian Payne being tuned by Jon Webster to great times in his turbo Mustang and an event win and two runner-ups puts him 1030 points ahead of third-placed Steve Pateman.

Super Comp has a team entry in the leading position, with Martin Curbishley doing the lion's share of the driving in the Paul Marston Racing dragster this year. Jon Morton is 390 points behind in second place, but Jon is being closely tailed by Pete Creswell and Brian Pateman in third and fourth. We can see the battle for second becoming intense.

In Super Gas, Dan Page is 1150 points ahead of second placed Team Tokyo Toy, and is 2010 Champion - congratulations to Dan on his first Championship. The battle for second place is if anything more intense than Super Comp with Steve Dunn and Jon Evans ahead of Jon Morton by 270 points which could be made up by Jon Morton qualifying seven places better and winning the event or going two rounds clear than Team Tokyo Toy.

Super Street is very tight at the top with less than 200 points (two rounds or a race win) separating the first three places, Mark Watkins, Neil Grant and John Grant. Could we see brothers becoming winner and runner-up in another Championship in Europe, as happened in FIA Top Methanol Dragster?

In Super Pro ET Giles and Hartley, with over twenty years' racing experience, are in the lead of the Championship. With more event wins and points in the last ten years than any other Super Pro ET team, they are in a strong position. Dave Catton is a more recent entrant into the sport but clearly relishes the challenge and if Dave overcomes the 300 point deficit we could see Paul Marston Racing picking up another 2010 Championship with their four-link dragster. John Atkinson is only 20 points further back, though, and the Cortina Estate is a real threat, as it used to be in Pro ET.

Rick McCann is one half of double Champions Heaven and Hell Racing and is in the lead of Pro ET by 150 points. Dave Cherrett is in second place with the Dark Revenger and, in third place is the other half of Heaven and Hell Racing, Carla Pittau. Forget team orders - could we see a team battle for the Championship emerge? Liz Malcolm is also in the running being only 40 points beind Carla and 230 points behind Rick.

Sportsman ET has previous double Champion Geoff Cowley in front by a margin of 290 points from Eurodragster.com sponsor Ian Jackson. The Championship is likely to be between these two as Ian Petrie is further back by 480 points.

Junior Dragster is comfortably headed by Gabrielle McDonald who has won three races this year to open up a 600 point lead. Claire Giles may be more concerned with defending second against Zak Johnson and 2009 Champion Anna Stanley.

In VW Pro Matt Attwood is only 100 points ahead of Dave Bridge with 2009 Champion James Hodson a further 60 points back. The 2010 VW Sportsman Champion is Russ Weir with Dennis Cox and Matt Bennett-Sime tied for second place, 220 points ahead of fourth-placed Abi Tether.

In the Wild Bunch MSA Challenge, Darren Law is ahead of Pete Yates by only 40 points with Chris Hartnell a further 60 points back.

You can check out the latest UK National Championship standings on our
Speedflow-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the Speedflow Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Swift snippets.
21st September: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for sending us the final version of the official entry list for the VP Racing Fuels National Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Thanks also to Paula Marshall for sending us Version 4 of the official entry list for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 9th-10th October. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Normal price entry is now closed; entry if accepted will be subject to a penalty fee. Entry forms can be downloaded from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

Lee Child of Eurodragster.com sponsor LA Racing Parts is pleased to announce that in appreciation of their UK customers VP Racing Fuels are holding an end of season sale. "This is a great time to purchase fuel to store ready for the new season plus off-season dyno testing", says Lee. "LA Racing Parts has most of the VP Racing Fuels range in stock". For more information E-Mail Lee at lee@laracingparts.com.

Michelin 2-Wheel UK have kindly supplied Eurodragster.com sponsor Furlong Tyres with two tyres, a 190/50ZR17 Michelin Power One rear and a 120/60ZR17 Michelin Power One low-profile front, to be given away to Super Street Bike racers at this weekend's VP Racing Fuels National Finals. The highest-placed Michelin-tyred racer in eliminations will get first choice between the two tyres, and the other will be awarded to next highest-placed rider; in the event of a tie the lowest ET will prevail. To qualify, racers must use a Michelin rear tyre in eliminations and carry Michelin decals. Fred Furlong adds that Steve Mansfield of Michelin 2-Wheel UK will be at Santa Pod on Sunday.

We didn't hear about it at the time but UK Supercharged Outlaw racer Sam Freeman has kindly drawn our attention to the driver of one of the Tot Rods at the weekend's Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway: none other than Troy Bull, grandson of legendary UK racer and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Harold Bull, who made his first pass down a drag strip on Sunday (below left). Making his last trip in a Tot Rod at the weekend was Callum Swinchatt (below right) who dad Chris tells us will be returning to the track in a full-sized Topolino altered when he is old enough.


We have two birthdays today. First up, a very Happy Birthday to UK Pro ET racer and occasional Race Car Supplier to Eurodragster.com Carla Pittau. Have a lovely day Carla. Happy Birthday also to Santa Pod Racers Club Chief Timekeeper and Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member Steve Horn. Have a great day Steve, and an enjoyable break.

You didn't get it from us but a note to Super Comp and Super Gas racers: we understand that all of this season's winners of the Eurodragster.com/AFP Services Perfect Numbers Award (see below) have been pitted next to Super Comp racer Mark Fairhurst, from whose pit the money is available. You may like to bear this in mind when pitting at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend.


National Finals Perfect Awards.
21st September: This weekend's VP Racing Fuels National Finals is the latest event in the 2010 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards scheme. £150 is on offer for perfect performance.

The Eurodragster.com/Speedflow Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Pro ET racer Darren Law at the FIA European Finals. The money will be awarded to the first racer this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available all to racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first perfect light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with performance hose and fitting manufacturer Speedflow whose web site you can find at www.speedflow.co.uk.

The Eurodragster.com/Gold RV Perfect ET Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Pro ET racer Paul Briwn at the FIA European Finals. The money will be awarded to the first racer this weekend to run to the thousandth on their dial-in or index during qualifying or eliminations. The Perfect ET Award is available this weekend in Super Pro ET, Pro ET, Sportsman ET, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Junior Dragster (eliminations only), 9.50 Bike, the Wild Bunch, VW Pro, VW Sportsman and Supertwin ET, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Run of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend. The Perfect ET Award is presented in association with RV sales and service specialists Gold RV whose web site you can find at www.goldrv.co.uk.

To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers are required to carry Eurodragster.com/Gold RV Perfect ET decals, one on each side of the vehicle. If you pull this weekend's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals then there will be no discussion; we will not pay out and the next person to pull a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals.

The Eurodragster.com/AFP Services Perfect Numbers Award is £50. The money will be awarded to the first Super Comp or Super Gas racer this weekend to run to the thousandth on their index, 8.900 or 9.900 as appropriate, during qualifying or eliminations. The winner's cheque, courtesy of AFP Services owner and managing director Richard Peel, can be collected from Ian Hart in the Fairhurst Racing Super Comp pit. The Perfect Numbers Award is presented in association with financial bureau AFP Services whose web site you can find at www.afpservices.co.uk.


Web site updates.
21st September: Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Colin Lazenby's record-setting exploits at the FIA European Finals are the subject of a news item on the web site of tyre manufacturer Mickey Thompson Tires. You can check it out at www.mickeythompsontires.com/press.php. Tune back to the next Eurodragster.com news update for Team 56's FIA European Finals report.

Eurodragster.com Photo Editor Roger Gorringe has updated his Nitro Exposure web site with a gallery of shots from the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Roger's pictures at www.nitroexposure.co.uk.

Staying with the Eurodragster.com staff, News Editor Tog has updated his Fotopic gallery with his complete set of pictures of Sunday's action at the Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can find Tog's shots at eurodragster.fotopic.net or www.togsdragracing.com.

Editor's note: Your News Editor's day job has got in the way of today's news update. We have stacks for you on the next news update including Pro Mod racer Ray White's future plans, a Blog update from Top Fuel Dragster racer Lex Joon, a Supertwin rider's peer review of his fellow racers' seasons, a number of FIA European Finals reviews and lots more, and please keep those news items coming to news@eurodragster.com.


NSRA Hot Rod Drags gallery.
20th September: As promised we have now posted a gallery of the on-track action from the weekend's NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can check out our NSRA Hot Rod Drags gallery, which is presented in association with
American Car Imports, by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Feature: NSRA Nostalgia Nationals.
18th September: Some of the Eurodragster.com team are at Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend enjoying the NSRA Hot Rod Drags. We will post a photo gallery after the event, but as an aperitif we are pleased to present a small gallery of pictures from June's NSRA Nostalgia Nationals taken by Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Members Colin and Grace Roaf.

You can check out Colin and Grace Roaf's NSRA Nostalgia Nationals pictures, which are presented in association with
Carter Motorsport and Lucas Oil Products, by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Clutch, clutch and more clutch!
18th September: The FIA European Finals was only the second outing of the year for the new Tim Blakemore Racing ZZR1400 Funny Bike. Wendy Clutterbuck writes that with seriously limited track time the team knew that finding a base setting for the new Gen II clutch would be a hit or miss affair:

I previously ran the bike at the Ladies That Launch weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway. We initially tried to set the bike up so that it could just be driven off the line initially, as the new Nova gearbox should allow this to work. After destroying a few clutches we thought better of it and I decided to go for a proper launch but still had problems. The bike still kept pulling forward over the start line at around 5000 rpm, before I could reach the desired launch rpm. After a serious bog it went down the track. Short-shifting through the gears it overpowered the track, blackstriping before running out of clutch three-quarter track and going through the traps at a steady 140 mph.

We are now feeling a lot more at home with the new Motec engine management system and most of the set-up gremlins have now been ironed out. We started our testing at the Pro Peak Performance Day on the Wednesday. Problems struck when a trapped waste gate diaphragm caused issues with boost control, hampering the much-needed clutch testing we were hoping for.

On to day one of qualifying on Friday, and that familiar black sky and rain came to haunt us yet again! Thankfully it cleared and we managed to make our only run of the day. Tim was encountering the same problems on the line as I had, so we needed to get more clutch into the bike but with the combination of springs in the initial kit not being heavy enough we were struggling! We needed to get more weight on the arms but counter it with the hold-off springs so that we didn't change the initial engagement in the rpm range, so we had to make some up at the track but the only springs heavy enough were binding in the basket. To further compound the issue we found that the whole basket and shaft was moving outward when the clutch was operated! It seemed that as some of our engine parts were from a pre-production engine, some of the ancillary parts were not built to last. Luckily we found a basket of much beefier construction in one of the spare motors.

Saturday's weather reports were not looking good and we still hadn't qualified. Miraculously the rain forecast for the day did not materialise, in fact the sun shone for the rest of the weekend! We spent the day testing the clutch in the pit as best we could, but we could have really done with a few burnouts for some better data. We tried different combinations but time was running out so we had to go with what we had. Again it would not launch! We had one last chance so we decided to go right back to the beginning, putting in the clutch setting we had at the Main Event which we knew would give us a launch. We figured that if we could at least get to the end of the track we might qualify, after all we knew that we would be treating this meeting as a glorified test weekend so we really had nothing to lose and really just wanted to get a bit more track time.

The burnout pulled clean and the bike went into gear very positively which suggested that the clutch was still in one piece. Into stage and Tim finally had a clean launch recording a 1.15 sixty foot time which wasn't bad seeing as the clutch was out by the time he got to the Tree! It was enough to coast to the end of the track with a 10.87/71 on the bump. We had qualified! Disappointingly we realised that we didn't have the necessary springs etc to do what we needed to do; all we could do was creep up on it and go for broke.

In the first round of eliminations on Sunday we were up against Rikard Gustafsson. Tim had an absolute storming launch leaving Rikard on the Tree; this time he managed to keep the drive in to the top of first gear, predictably we blew through the clutch again but improvements had been made as the sixty foot improved to 1.14. Back in the pits we were very happy with the progress. We have since ordered all the necessary components needed to make our improvements with the Gen II clutch and we have decided to enter the National Finals at Santa Pod next weekend to get a bit more quality track time and prepare for a full season in 2011.

Tim Blakemore Racing only use the best, so a huge thank you to our sponsors for their continued support: Kawasaki Motors UK, Rock Oil, CR Turbo Engineering, Webster Race Engineering, TJC Design, HEL and Dynojet UK.


So close, yet so far.
18th September: UK Top Methanol Funny Car racer Steph Milam got close to her first five-second pass at the FIA European Finals, with a best of 6.0035, but she is now the UK's quickest TMFC racer:

The whole weekend was a blast. 6.36 off the trailer followed by a 6.32 and then a chute-dragging 6.40. We were all cock-a-hoop by Saturday night and hoping for something better on Sunday. And better it got, but not my light. After a cup of tea and a slice of cake on the line I tried to chase down Jürgen Nagel and I nearly did. I had no idea of the ET until the crew arrived. I thought the speed was up cause the chutes pulled hard but the 6.00 was outstanding and a big surprise.

Unfortunately we will be unable to come back at the National Finals as we have too much damage to repair in the short time between meetings, and no money, so you will all have to wait till 2011 for the next instalment. But we can say a big thank you to our sponsors NGK Spark Plugs, Torco Oil and Nimbus Motorsport and of course the crew, Nick, Dan, Denroy, Aaron and Martin, who had to work but was with us in spirit. Thanks also to all the people who willed us down the track, wished us luck and then dropped by or phoned to congratulate us on the achievement.

If anyone out there would like to join our sponsors then please contact us vua our web site at www.shedevilracing.com.


A double success.
18th September: Wayne Jackson says that he and son and Junior Dragster runner-up Brad Jackson had a traumatic weekend at the FIA European Finals:

Brad had his first day of a new Engineering Diploma on Thursday so we missed the first day of qualifying. When we arrived at the Pod I got stung by a wasp just under my eye; it hit a nerve which gave me eye and ear pain for two days, but the medical team at Santa Pod were brilliant when they treated me. I then noticed a cracked bracket on the car so had to get it welded. Geof Hauser was fantastic and got this sorted very quickly for us. We were then on tenterhooks and had to wait until late Saturday evening before Brad got his chance to qualify and did a great job with a 0.0198 reaction time, a fantastic effort after waiting for two days!

I then noticed that our secondary clutch had twisted and needed an urgent repair. Once again Geof was great and fixed the clutch for us, bringing some new parts on Sunday morning. Brad had a great day reaching his first final and it was a really good sight to see Geof Hauser rewarded with a two-Hauser Car final. Paige Wheeler won and we are really pleased for her and look forward to 2011 as team mates: both Brad and Paige are in the Carter Motorsport team next year.

A big thank you to Geof Hauser, as without his help we wouldn't have made the final, and thanks to Andy Carter and Lucas Oil for their support of Brad. A special thanks to the Santa Pod staff for a great track and a great event!

We look forward to next year in Junior Dragster. Brad became friends with Marcus Andersson from Sweden and he tells us that there are six Swedish Junior Dragsters coming to contest the UK series next year. Let's hope this does happen and we get a real international entry for the series.

Carter Motorsport PR and Eurodragster.com sponsor Dan Welberry adds Carter Motorsport's congratulations to Paige and Brad Jackson on their final round appearance. "On this occasion, it was Paige who took the win but we're sure there will be many more battles between these two Carter Motorsport backed drivers", says Dan. "Andy Carter was on the phone to both on Monday morning, to personally congratulate them on their achievements.

"Paige had a hugely busy weekend with representatives from title sponsor Alamo Rent A Car present during the event. She also performed live TV duties on a regional BBC show with US Pro Modified star, Melanie Troxel. She's now the envy of many a Junior racer with signatures on her car from Melanie and Andy Carter. Lucas Oil were also well-represented at the Pod over the weekend with Carter Motorsport guests including Tom Fredrickson from the US and Les Downey from the UK operation. Both enjoyed meeting Paige and were delighted for both Junior drivers who of course use Lucas Junior Dragster Oil in their cars.

"Congratulations guys, here's to many more final rounds between you both. You can keep up with Paige at her web site at www.paigewheeler.co.uk; Brad will have his own web site very soon as it is currently under construction at 3t creative."


One step to go...
18th September: Norwegian Supertwin racer Hans Olav Olstad is very proud of his runner-up spot in the 2010 UEM Champiuonship but says that he will improve on that in 2011:

We had faith in a win at Santa Pod after our victory at Mosten in Denmark where our best time over the eighth was 4.39, which was our best eighth-mile time of the season. Three teams came to the Finals to fight for the Championship: Lorenz Stäuble, Job Heezen and I. There were only six points between the three of us with Lorenz in the lead, Job second, and me in third spot. So it was up to me to hunt Hi and Lo.

The qualifying sessions gave us a promising start for the last race, 6.82 and 6.74. The last qualifying run had a thrilling end when my windscreen support bracket bolts broke and suddenly the windscreen turned through ninety degrees and pushed the bike hard right. I shut off the throttle at 5.5 seconds but still ran 6.78 and 313 km/h on the finish line. This performance gave us third place in the ladder. After the last qualifying run, Lorenz showed up in my pit and told me that he had broken his crank. I called my friend Cato Waale in Oslo - I know he had a complete bottom end in his garage. Cato rushed to the airport with the parts, only to see the plane boarding and a closed check-in desk. The next rescue team was Ismo Mäenpää from Finland, who showed the whole drag racing circus what it's all about. He stripped down his engine and lent Lorenz his crank. We are all very happy and proud to know people like Ismo and his crew. Ismo was one of the real heroes of the weekend.

When Roel Koedam's motor broke, the first alternate Martijn de Haas stepped in to meet Per Bengtsson. Bengtsson smoked the tyre and give away an easy win to De Haas. Lorenz defeated Jan Sturla Hegre in the fastest side by side of the weekend, Lo 6.47 to Hegre's 6.61. Both ran Personal Bests and deserve a big Congratulations. Trond Høiberget took out Samu Kemppainen with a better reaction time. Job and I went out to race in the same exciting way as we have many times before. Job was very quick on the light 0.009 to my lazy 0.17, but Lightning hooked up real well and by sixty feet I was by his side again. Side by side we ran the whole length and this time I crossed the finish line first, 6.71 to 6.99. I was very happy to move up to second spot in the Championship.

In the semi-finals Lorenz took out Trond. Both riders got problems when their engines suddenly stopped about halfway. Lorenz had a bigger speed and crossed the finish line first. 7.81 to 13.83. What seemed to be a easy target for me turned around very quick when I got into huge tyre shake, smoked the tyre, and dropped a cylinder. All I could do was to watch Martijn cross the finish line far away. In the final Lorenz had to shut off on the line because of an oil leak, so it was another easy ride for Martijn. Congratulation to Martijn de Haas for his first victory at a UEM event.

It have been a interesting season with ups and downs. We really thought it was over when our crank broke at Gardermoen in June. There are a lot of ifs, but the fact is that we are on our way to the top. There is one step left, the final step, to the top of the Championship. We will be there next year to give everyone an even tougher fight.

Specially thanks to our sponsors who helped out during the hard times this summer: Jessheim Bilskade, Lena Anleggsservice, Sande Gård, GB Tech, Kim Johansen Transport, Øveraasen, Tech-Con, Billakkspesialisten, Profilhuset and Automester.

See you on track next year.


Almost there!
18th September: UK Super Pro ET rookie, and birthday girl last Tuesday, Jayne Kay enjoyed the FIA European Finals, says dad Gary:

It was a shame we could not get the full 8.99 pass we needed, we very nearly got there with a 9.13 at the Peak Performance Day. The blower idler pulley bracket just gave up - no matter what we did it just kept on bending. Thanks go to Dave Bryant, Dave Wilson, Dave Milam, Jon Best and Will Hanna, who all offered to loan us a bracket but none would fit our combination. Thanks also to Sandro Bellio for his clutch advice. New parts are on order and we hope to get back out to test later in the year.

A big thanks and well done must go to our other Professional crew, Dan Larsen's team, on winning the European Finals and the Top Methanol Championship. Well done! The team tried there best to get us out and run the numbers, even though they had their own Top Methanol FC to prep for their Championship. Thanks very much guys. We also must thank Darren Prentice and Ian Marshall for their patience and understanding and I cannot leave out our own crew namely Alan (Sooty) Frodsham and Peter (Snowy the Clutch) Snow. Cheers to you all, we will come back stronger.

If you go to Shakespeare County Raceway's Facebook site you will find the link to a new video From Junior to Funny Car.


The report of the Jury President.
18th September: Sweden's Peter Eneroth was a little worried when he went to the FIA European Finals, where he was to officiatea as UEM Jury President for the first time:

I knew that the staff of Santa Pod would do a brilliant job and my colleagues in the UEM Commission would be a great support. No, my main concern was that I had to drive in the UK for the first time in my life. However, it turned out fine and we all got back to Stansted in one piece. Oh, and the lads at Hertz told me that the mirror will probably grow back again, and the scratches on the side were just cosmetic. The granny climbing on the roof was sent home by taxi.

I arrived at Santa Pod on Thursday night. When I was walking the track I felt that this weekend would be special - you could hear the track whispering "Bring them on, I have never been this prepared". As usual Santa Pod Racers Club organised the final round of the Championship. The race was brilliantly organised and both the spectators and drivers said it was the best final ever. After my thirty years in the sport I could honestly say it was one of my top five drag racing experiences. The race was held in good weather conditions in front of a crowd of over 25,000 people.

With a total of three event wins Ulf Ögge just had to pass technical inspection to be the 2010 UEM Pro Stock Bike Champion. But he wasn't satisfied with that. Great numbers in the elimination rounds - 7.17, 7.14, 7.14 and 7.17 - told us that Ulf and his team were the fastest in 2010. I was hoping for a fight for the second and third places in the Championship but unfortunately Kenneth Vik broke his crankshaft in qualifying and Fredrik Fredlund still struggled with technical problems. Anders Abrahamsson took the number two plate for the 2011 season. Rookie Kalle Lyrén was in his first final ever at Santa Pod. Of course he was happy about that. But nothing compares to how his father Roger must have felt. As a father to a former Junior Drag Biker I have to admit that I'm a little bit envious. Gabriella Nikolovska showed some stunning riding skills. A flat front tyre in the second qualifying round didn't stop her from going full throttle over the finish line. "I thought I had a good run going", she said...

Lorenz Stäuble seemed to be parked in the 6.6s in Supertwin so I was really excited after the stunning 6.477 in the first round. An oil leak in the finals stopped him from giving that record a go. It is good to see that there are some serious attempts to surpass Charley Karling's record from 2004. The happiest rider must be Martijn De Haas. Straight from the alternates to the winners circle. That was Martijn's first win of the season.

The first Finnish driver to win the UEM Top Fuel Bike Championship was rookie Petri Paljakka. Just two points separated him and fellow countryman Kai Selkämaa at the end. Peter Svensson was the winner at the Finals, running a 6.06 in the first round and a 6.08 to take the win in the final.

A special congratulation to Christian Jäger, the historic winner of the first UEM Funny Bike Cup, and the first German UEM Gold medallist. Christian was pleased with the win and will be racing in Supertwin next season. How about Rikard Gustafsson's performance? Five European records in 2010 is a stunning performance. The new European record is 6.577. "I knew I had a good run, and I knew that it's allowed to hit the wall after the finish line" he said. But Rikard, just because it's allowed, you don't have to do it twice!

On behalf of the UEM Road Racing and Drag Racing Commission I would like to thank all teams, staff and organisers who made this season possible. Thanks a million, see you in 2011, and as Kathy Taylor, Race Secretary of Santa Pod events always says after the European finals: "Merry Christmas to you all!".


Swift snippets.
18th September: European fans have someone to cheer on this weekend as ex-pat UK Top Alcohol Dragster racer Michael Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences is contesting this weekend's NHRA Division 4 race at No Problem Raceway in Louisiana. You will be able to stay in touch with Mike's progress courtesy of our Drag Race Central colleagues at www.dragracecentral.com.

Swedish Pro Modified racer Adam Flamholc and team have worked hard on his blown-alcohol Camaro all season and it all came together at the FIA European Finals when they found the sweet spot. "We qualified number two behind Melanie Troxel from R2B2", he says. "In the first round of eliminations we ran 5.96, which was a new European record backed up by a 5.98 in the second round. Our best speed was 238 mph (384 km/h). What an end to the season, we won the event, set a new European record, and ended up number three in the series! I am so proud of my team, they never give up no matter how hard we have to work. I also want to say a big thank you to my sponsors Amalie Oil, MMR, Autoshop, ÅF, TURCK, Custom Graphics, Performance Plus, Husby Platslageri, Sunoco Race Fuels, and Motorenova. Thank you also to Jim Salemi at G-Force Race Cars, Jon Salemi at Resolution Racing, Mike Canter, Jimmy Rector and Taylor Lastor at TRE."

Brian, Lee and Marc Huxley are over the moon with their Pro ET victory at the FIA European Finals. "We can't believe that we've turned Dark Horse around this quickly at only its fourth meeting", says Brian. "The car was doing what it was supposed to do and going straight. We wound like to thank all the fans who came up and wished us luck and for their kind comments about the new car. We would like to thank our sponsors Blackpole Recycling, Worcester; Tim Hines (engine builder); Clive of Spiders Disco; Bradford's Builder Supplies, Worcester; Sneddon Roofing; Phil O'Brien Services; Malvern Fibreglass; County Powder Coating, Suckley. Thank you Marc of Huxley Motorsport for altering our chassis to fit us, and last but not least thanks to Jon Webster for his help and input."

Ron Webb writes from Florida that his 6.0-second, 230+ mph Top Fuel Bike is for sale turn-key with extra motors and spare parts at $50,000 or best offer. For more details check out www.ronwebbracing.com, E-Mail Ron at rawak@alaska.net, or call +1 907 244 3208.

Just to show that Eurodragster.com has its uses, Deborah Glazebrook tells us that the wedding ring found on the shutdown area at Santa Pod Raceway has been reunited with its owner, and Mike Lacey of Eurodragster.com sponsor ModUrSTANG was offered the use of a trailer very quickly after his call for help on yesterday's news update. "Ray Comer came through for me", says Mike. "What a wonderful thing Eurodragster.com is and as usual a 'problem' rarely is, when we can all help each other the way we do."


Jolink takes Top Gas title.
18th September: 2010 Euro Serie Top Gas Champion Herman Jolink has been in touch with a review of the last event of the season, plus a review of his own season:

On 2nd-5th September the Mosten Race Days took place near Randers in Denmark, a motorcycle meeting with 10,000 visitors. It is an eighth mile sprint. The track is prepared by Holger Dueholm, and the track is the best in Europe according to the riders in Supertwin, Top Fuel Bike, Funny Bike and so on.

After thirty five years drag racing on a Ducati, Herman Jolink took first place in the Championship. Herman qualified fifth of thirteen with a new Personal Best of 5.162/216.87 kmh (was 5.217/215).

Before the last run on Saturday Piet and I put together a new front and back sprocket and a new chain. I made a nice long rolling burnout, Piet pushed me back, the light went green and the Duc flew away from the start. I had a good feeling but I didn't know the time. Then Piet arrived on the tow bike with a big smile on his face and I knew it was OK. The last run of the year and a Personal Best:

60 foot: 1.185 seconds
330 feet: 3.334 seconds
Eighth mile: 5.162/216.87 kmh

Qualifying:
  1. Anna-Lena Asplund S on 2622 V-Twin 4.827/226 kmh, Personal Best
  2. Rasmus Olesen DK on 3000 V-Twin 4.852/232
  3. Stefan Andre S on 2622 V-Twin 4.951/223 Personal Best
  4. Harry van Schie NL on 1966 V-Twin 4.988/211 Personal Best
  5. Herman Jolink NL on Ducati 1198 RS (1266) 5.162/216.87 Personal Best
  6. Jan Malmberg S on 2000 Blower V-Twin 5.224/212 Personal Best
  7. Bernd Foit D on 2900 V-Twin
  8. Marc van den Boer B on 2660 V-Twin 5.398/202 Personal Best
  9. Peter Niklas D on 1000 Turbo Honda 5.502/199
  10. Chris van Nimmen B on 2600 V-Twin 5.545/198 Personal Best
  11. John Hansen DK 6.148/194
  12. Uwe Kahmann D on 2622 V-Twin 6.923/171
  13. Anders Jensen DK 7.135/150
We have been fighting very hard for the last year. In July 2009 we collected a Ducati 1198 RS SBK engine from Ducati Corse in Bologna. Between drag races we built up the new engine with new manifolds, the exhaust system which was fitted to the Ducati 999 RS (1214), made it fit on the Ducati 1198 RS (1266), and so on. The The engine had to be ready by Thursday 26th August, so I worked some nights with little sleep. At 9 o'clock on the Thursday morning I started it up, now a 1266 cc Ducati with Wossner pistons with more compression. Piet and I packed the car at 10 o'clock in the evening and left Arnhem. At 8 o'clock on Friday morning we were at Hoskovice north east of Prague.

The first run with the Ducati 1198 RS (1266) felt good but she went to the left, she had a lot of power. At the drag race on Saturday I ran two 9.1s, one at 251 kmh and one at 252 kmh, not bad with a sixty foot of 1.6 seconds and 3rd place in Competition Dragster. After the race we made the frame stronger and painted it Ducati red.

May 2010 at Hoskovice CZ, our first race for the Top Gas Championship, new Personal Best for the quarter mile 8.376/253 kmh and first place. June at Drachten NL, first place in Top Gas and new Personal Best 8.275/255 kmh. July at Drachten NL, first qualifier 8.370/252, disqualified on Sunday morning. 13th-15th August NitrOlympX Hockenheim D, 50,000 visitors, qualified sixth 8.534/257 with traction problems. No race on Sunday because of rain. 20th-22nd August, Drachten NL qualified third 8.357/248 kmh, first place 8.485/245. 28th August Hoskovice CZ, first place in Competition Dragster 8.363/258.23.

2010 Euro Serie Super Twin Top Gas Championship:
  1. Herman Jolink NL on Ducati 1198 RS (1266) 2475 points
  2. Harry van Schie NL on 1966 Blower V-Twin 1950
  3. Marc van den Boer B on 2660 V-Twin 1720
  4. Cord Albers D on 2622 V-Twin 1175
  5. Peter Niklas D on 1000 Turbo Honda 1110
  6. Frank Heitmann D on 2622 V-Twin 1070
  7. Bernd Niessen D on 2622 V-Twin 660
  8. Uwe Kahmann D on 2622 V-Twin 390

A late swap for PMR.
18th September: Last week's FIA European Finals could well be the defining moment for Paul Marston Racing's Championship quest in 2010, writes Paul Marston:

After having to virtually rebuild the entire motor in the Piranaz-backed dragster at the Open Sport Nationals, PMR entered the European Finals confidents that we were bringing our A game. Martin Curbishley qualified on pole on his first Super Comp run with an 8.904, which is where he remained until the very last session when both Dave Raper and Jon Morton slipped in, Jon with a perfect ET, well done mate. Dave Catton in Super Pro ET was well placed in third in a very large entry and really had a handle on the Sportsman Tree.

Come the first round of Super Pro ET Saturday night we were all supremely confident that we had a good chance. Dave Catton got the job done and we won; unfortunately when we returned to the PMR pits, Dave was not there. I went to find him at the top end of the track where he explained that in the lights the motor went off song and then made some horrible noises! Suspecting the worst, I towed the wounded dragster back to the pits and removed the valve covers. It had dropped a valve, a first for us. It was now 8:30 pm and a team meeting was quickly called so that we could look at our options. It was either call it a day there and then or fight. The whole team wanted to fight on, so with our next elimination session at 11.30 the next morning Sefton Whitlock and I left immediately for PMR headquarters in London to collect another motor. Meanwhile the entire crew Keith Bick, Lisa Farmer, the Crewchief, Dave C and Martin C pitched in to remove the damaged motor joined by Tink, Gary Springford, and Terry Robins. Many thanks to Jimmy Ålund for the loan of an engine crane and lifting cradle.

We collected the motor and all the bits and pieces we thought we may need as changing motors is never straightforward, every race car has certain pieces unique to it. After returning to Santa Pod we checked over some technical compatibility matters, got a couple of hours' sleep and started again at 6.00 am. The clock was against us and with the track action going to schedule, no oildowns etc, everything had to work right first time - there simply was not the time for any error. Again the PMR crew were joined by Tink, Terry and Gary. We did have a few problems, such as the block being too big for the chassis rails so the casting tabs on the side of the block had to be ground back, and the distributor did not fit as the manifold on the original motor had been machined for a lower sitting distributor so the locating collar had to be ground off and relocated. All small stuff but nevertheless time-consuming. With no time to spare and the motor not even fired,

Super Pro ET were called to the staging lanes right on time at 11:15. The motor was now ready to fire, the oil pressure was good but we needed time to get the motor up to temperature, check for leaks and get the oil around everything (on a Big Block Chevy this takes fifteen minutes with the motor running). A couple of small leaks were dealt with and then the timing was checked as it has only been timed static and needed checking, it was good. In the second sound of Super Pro we had Bob Glassup's beautiful blown seven-second dragster. The Crewchief made sure that Bob knew we were coming and Bob patiently awaited our arrival, what a gentleman. Upon arrival in the lanes I checked and we now had twelve minutes on the motor, three more to go! Knowing the spec of the motor but having not run it in the dragster before made the second round a bit of a lottery ET-wise but we game planned what we were going to do and dialled an 8.74. Round we went and after making sure the motor had fifteen minutes' run time on after the burnout and a good check over we sent Dave Catton to the line (special thanks to Ian Marshall and all the start line crew for having a real good look over the dragster for me after the burnout).

Well we won that round, made the next and also went three rounds in Super Comp. To say that everyone in Paul Marston Racing and all our friends went above and beyond is simply not enough. I am so proud of what everyone achieved, it was moment never to be forgotten moment in my drag racing career.

There is everything still to play for in Super Pro ET and Super Comp at the National Finals, and we have a very healthy dragster...bring it on. Special thanks to all the PMR super crew especially Sefton Whitlock, without whom this would not have happened, the Crewchief, Funsize, Lisa Farmer, Keith Bick, Mick the Pieman Pussey, Star Drivers Dave Catton and Martin Curbishley, Gary Springford, Terry Robbins, Tink (Ian) and everyone who offered their help and support.


A natural in that suit.
18th September: Eurodragster.com reader Stephen Billings tells us that he was so impressed by Santa Pod Raceway track announcer Colin Theobald's walk along the track in the Nitro the Dragon outfit last weekend that he posted the following comment on the UKFur forum:

Colin had been challenged to lose 2½ stone in just over two months to raise cash for MS Trust, the check date being just before the European Finals. If he failed he would have to wear the Santa Pod mascot suit Nitro the Dragon and walk the length of the track, and back. As it was Colin passed, but he said that if enough money was raised at the event he would do it anyway. Over the three main days, over £3000 was raised. So while the cars were getting ready for the Sportsman finals he put the suit on and walked up and down the quarter mile of track. As the suit is padded he said afterwards that he was hot. If this was the first time he had worn a mascot suit of any kind, he did well, playing to the crowd by waving and acting up a bit. I think he is a natrual mascot/fursuiter!


Interview: Melanie Troxel.
17th September: In the latest of our occasional series of Features presented in association with
Carter Motorsport and Lucas Oil Products, Simon took lunch with US Pro Modified and Fuel FC racer Melanie Troxel and some of her team just after their arrival in the UK for last weekend's FIA European Finals.

Simon spoke to Melanie about her racing career, about her impressions of racing in Europe, and about her future plans.

You can check out our interview with Melanie Troxel by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


DAS last Drag Day?
17th September: Der Autobahn Scrapers say that the eighth, and possibly the last, DAS Drag Day takes place at Bitburg Air Base this tomorrow and Sunday. DAS Drag Day is an international event organised for serious Cal-Look and Old-School fans.

Bitburg is a former US Air Force base, which for the last couple of years has mainly been used for drag racing by GIs. Following an initiative by 1on1 Motorsports the Bitburg Motorpark includes a quarter mile track equipped with a timing system providing times slips with sixty foot, eighth mile, ET and Terminal Speed.

In order to provide a great weekend, Der Autobahn Scrapers have joined with 1on1 Motorsports to organise the DAS Drag Days. Therefore the race track is open not only to air-cooled VWs but also to local GIs and their street machines. During the two days of the event there will only be drag racing on the programme - no swap meet, no trading, no circus, just hard-core racing.

This may well be the last event because the air base may soon be converted into a cargo airport.

Gates open at 18:00 today. For more information check out www.autobahn.be.


Swift snippets.
17th September: Thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our very own Simon for forwarding us the post-FIA European Finals points standings in the UK National Drag Racing Championships and the Santa Pod Racers Club Championships. You can check out the latest UK and SPRC points on our Speedflow-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the Speedflow Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for sending us Version 9 of the official entry list for the VP Racing Fuels National Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-26th September. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Normal price entry is now closed; entry if accepted will be subject to a penalty fee. Entry forms can be downloaded from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

Today (Friday) is the official closing date for entry to the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 9th-10th October. Entry after Friday, if accepted, will be subject to a late entry fee. The official entry form can be downloaded from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. You can check out Version 3 of the official Extreme Performance Bike Weekend entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Today is also the official closing date for entry to the Japshow Finale which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 3rd October. The official entry form can be downloaded from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. You can check out Version 2 of the official Japshow Finale entry list by clicking here.

A very welcome guest at this weekend's NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway will be Liz Rowland, previously Liz Burn, who will be signing copies of her excellent book Drag Racing Through The Eyes Of A Woman on the American Auto Mags stand on Sunday. "I am very happy that the book has been received so well", Liz told Eurodragster.com. "I only have a few copies left, and after they have gone the book will only be available on Amazon."


Help needed.
17th September: UK Pro ET racer Mike Lacey of Eurodragster.com sponsor ModUrStang is seeking a tow vehicle for next week's VP Racing Fuels National Finals. "I have tried all the usual outlets and friends to try and get a tow vehicle, without success", says Mike. "If there is anyone who could lend me a vehicle or tow my trailer for me then I would be over the moon. Payment, free ticket and crew duties, if you would like, can be arranged. Anything is possible! I am in the Bicester area about 45 miles from Santa Pod; it usually takes me about an hour to tow there". If you can help then please call Mike on 07774 712000.

Photographer Dominic Romney would like to borrow a generator at this weekend's NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway. "I just need to borrow it for an hour or so one evening once it gets dark to run my studio gear", says Dom. "If anyone has a generator which they don't mind me borrowing while they are in the vat then please get in touch with me at dom@modernpics.co.uk."


Web site updates.
17th September: In the latest instalment of his exclusive Racer Blog presented in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car, Luke Bennett of the Bennett Racing Top Methanol Funny Car and blown-alcohol altered team tells of the return to the track of the most senior of the Bennett clan. As ever you can stay in touch with the latest Blog updates by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Editor's note.
17th September: Careful readers will notice that today's news update is somewhat shorter than expected and lacking in the promised pieces. Your News Editor's day job is getting in the way again and as if that was not enough his dog has had to go to the vet for an operation this morning, so everything else is kind of taking a back seat today.

The solution is that Tog will be locking himself behind his desk in Race Control at Shakespeare County Raceway tomorrow and not letting himself outside with the camera until the news backlog is cleared. To those who have sent news and not yet seen it posted here, thanks for your patience; to everyone else please keep the news coming to news@eurodragster.com since we always have room for more.


The Kings of Nitro are back!
16th September: 2010 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion and Eurodragster.com sponsor Urs Erbacher says that the real King of Nitro is back and that the crown is on the right head:

We know that for the last four Championships I won, we always won the first FIA race, the Main Event so I already knew that we would win the Championship again. So the whole team was very optimistic and believe in it. So after the Main Event I started a new tattoo on my body. I wen to Floyd Varesi my new tattoo artist and he hammered it into my chest. It took four appointments of five hours each and it came out great and now I can put one more number on it. Anyway back to the race.

We were qualified in third and that wasn't that bad for us because of Risto's place. We knew that Anita could run a 4.74 like she did in qualifying when she crossed the centre line and it didn't count. So we trusted in her to make it for us. But overnight we had a lot of work. We ran out of engines because we damaged one on every qualifying run (it's a Top Fuel thing) and we only had three engines with us. So we rebuilt three engines, and for one we borrowed a crank from Karsten and Per Andersen - but it was already installed in a spare engine so we needed to take that apart first. All that work kept us busy the whole night; we went to bed at 04:00 Sunday morning and got up at 07:00.

In the first round we met Jari Halinen and I knew I had won that round because I never saw him on the whole run. In the next round we met Anita because she took Risto out for us. We already knew that we were FIA Champions because the previous King of Europe Andy Carter crossed the centerline and lost against Micke Kågered in the first round. So a lot of pressure was gone already. Against Anita we put in a more aggressive set-up because she had run a 4.74 in qualifying. We won with a 4.88 smoking the tyres and losing a cylinder after two seconds, and went into the final against Janne Ahonen.

For the final we decided not to go for a record but for the win so we used the same set-up. I had a better reaction time than Janne and we won the final with a 4.85. My reaction times this year weren't as good as last year. I learned to cut a good light in the States, but with the set-up we run here in Europe the car doesn't give me good reactions because it reacts really slowly. We will work that out over the winter for next season. I must say thank you again to Karsten and Per Andersen for loaning us a set of tyres for the final, without their help we would not have made it.

Our party started when we got back from the final run. It was like it always is when the Erbacher team wins, but this time we had a win and two Championships to celebrate. At the party in the VIP tent it was great to celebrate with all the other teams and the team from Santa pod, a really great party with the drag racing family - it will be a long time before we can meet all our friends again.

A special thank you to Robin Grice who tuned the car by himself for the first time this year. I believed in him and it paid off. A great thank you to my Super Crew - they all worked their asses off for me and did it for free! We were missing our Italian Stallion crew member Dario who is always with us, but this time he needed to stay at home because his girlfriend Tanja was pregnant and her due date was too close. On Tuesday morning he called me and said that he is a father now with a son named Loris. What a great thing, maybe the new generation King of Nitro has been born.

Thanks to all my sponsors Midland Oil, SCS IT, H+R Springs, Walo Bertschinger, Niklaus Fitness, R. Marti, and to my partner Oivind Dahl, and all the fans who trusted in us and supported our team.

We will have our legendary Championship Party at the Erbacher Racing base in Arlesheim, Switzerland, this Saturday. It starts at 19:00 and is open to everybody.

Horst Pauli of Team Erbacher's Supertwin team says that 2010 UEM Supertwin Champion Lorenz Stäuble and the team arrived at Santa Pod with high expectations although they only had a few points' lead over Job Heezen and Hans Olav Olstad:

We planned to run consistently rather than trying to be the quickest. But we also planned to make our mark in the first qualifying session, That plan worked quite well as we ran 6.617/213. That was possible because we ran the slightly modified set-up which we used in the final at the Main Event. For Q2 I made just minor changes to check the other lane. That went quite well with a slower 6.672/210. So far everything ran smoothly and the bike was reacting as expected to all the changes in I made to the set-up. 

In Q3 everything started to change! We went to the start line, Lo made a nice long burnout, staged, and as soon as the green light came on and Lo hit the throttle the bike made a jump and the engine stopped! We were standing on the start line and had no idea what just happened. So we went back to the pits and started guessing. In the pits I put on the starter to get the nitro out off the engine. But when I pushed the starter button it clicked but the motor didn't turn. So that was the moment we knew we had to start working. But it got even worse when Lo looked at the bearings and told me that the crank was broken.

We have quite a lot of spares for the bike which have come together during our six years running the bike. But we did not have a spare crank. At that point I thought that the race was over and we had no chance of fighting for the Championship. But in reality, the fight started at exactly that moment.

Lo went through the pits to ask if anyone had a spare crank. Because not everyone has the same engine and combination there were only a few we could ask.  Hans Olav Olstad told us that there was a guy in Norway who had exactly what we needed. It turned out to be Cato Waale. We called him and he immediately agreed to take the bottom end off his bike and go to the airport to try to send the part or take a plane and come to England.  But when he got to the airport Ryanair were already boarding and no one was around to let him check in. A really big thank you to Cato.

So the frustration started again. Then Ismo Mäenpää was talking with Lo and agreed to lend us his complete engine, but we soon saw that it was not possible to put that engine into our bike. But then Ton Pels came into our pit and told us that we did not need the complete engine - our engine brands were different, but the crank was the same. So we started to disassemble our engine and Lo spoke to Ismo. He still agreed and his crew took out his engine. In our pit we started to take out the broken crank and to clean the engine. Ismo's crew worked really quickly and they brought the bottom end to us before we were ready. 

Ton and Vincent Pels were in our pit working on the crank while we were working together with some of Acka Riemer's crew, who were in England to watch the race, to get out the broken crank which had stuck in the engine. At three in the morning we had 'our' engine together and we could check the oil pressure and the ignition with the starter. It was incredible to see four different teams from all over Europe working together on one bike. We cannot say anything more than thank you for your spontaneous help!

We got up early in the morning early so that we could do a warm-up to check everything as early as possible. Because we were still top qualifier, Lo had to go to the Sunday morning driver presentation. I was quite nervous for the first round, not because we put together an engine with a crank from another brand of engine but because I am just always nervous before eliminations. 

The set-up in the bike was a 6.6 or maybe a 6.5. But the bike was running so well and straight that we ended up with the best ET in Supertwin in 2010 - Lo ran a 6.4776/217! That was a new Personal Best which we did not expect after all the work during the night. In the other lane Jan Sturla Hegre also ran a new Personal Best of 6.6159/195, actually better than the time which made us top qualifier. So I can just imagine how Jan felt losing with a 6.61! For round two against Trond Høiberget we changed nothing on the set-up, just serviced the bike. Both riders left the line well, but Trond lost power early. Lo's engine shut off at about 3.7 seconds, just before he had to shift. But he managed to get the win light anyway. Hans Olav Olstad, who was the last one competing with us for the Championship, lost his second round which made Lo the 2010 UEM European Champion! 

In the pits I could see on the computer that a sprag let go and the MSD ignition shut off to protect the engine from over-revving. For the final we serviced the bike again but also we had to take the gearbox apart, change the sprag, and be ready for the call. Because we were in a hurry to get ready we made a small mistake and didn't tighten the oil pan enough. The result was that when I was pushing the bike back after the burnout I could see some oil leaking under the bike, so I signalled Lo to shut off handing the win to Martijn de Haas. Congratulations to Martijn and his team! 

Even if it was a busy and crazy weekend we managed to stay in front and win the European Championship, thanks to a helpful Finnish Supertwin team as without their parts we would not have been able to continue racing on Sunday. I would like to thank our fellow racers in the class for a good time and for a spectacular and interesting season. It is always a real pleasure racing with all of you. Thanks also to all the fans for supporting us, and a big Thank You to all our sponsors, especially Walo Bertschinger. Without them we would not be able to race. 

We hope to see all you folks back in 2011 for a new year of racing!


Cannon stays at home.
16th September: Back from the FIA European Finals, UK Supertwin racer Chris Hannam has had time to reflect upon the event:

First let me say a big well done to all the UWM racers and Champions as this was indeed a memorable event, to see exciting racing and dedication from the teams was amazing. For our own cause we were held up and missed our test due to not having an upgrade from MSD to let our new igniton rev over 8000 rpm. It would appear that our software does not have the required patch and MSD are working on that now. We got to the track a day behind schedule with a bike which has not been fired since the installation of all the new parts. This was achieved pretty quickly by Neil and Al and I thought we were cooking on gas, how wrong could I be!

It took three days, two test passes and ninety litres of nitro to find out that my expensive Snap On timing light was setting our static ignition ten degrees out. Everything we were doing was going against what we knew and what we wanted. We then borrowed an MSD timing light from Lorenz Stäuble and hey presto sorted the problem, now the bike started to sound angry again. We did not know what to expect going in to the last shot qualifying, on the hit the bike picked up and went to 330 feet nicely showing that we were in the ball park, however we broke a belt again but Midgo is confident that we are on the right track. Only making laps will give us the data we need to tune from.

We were scheduled to ship the bike to Valdosta for the Finals to support the Manufacturers' Cup in November but the team has decided we are too far away and we will pursue our tune-up in the UK at the National Finals and the Extreme Performance at Santa Pod, weather permitting.

At this point I would like to thank our sponsors Lucas Oil for there valued support this year. We even ran two passes on the same big end shells thanks to the improved oil and zinc additive, and we look forward to the new race oil designed by Tom Bogner. Hopefully we will have more to shout about soon. My thanks go out to all the well-wishers for their support and of course to my hard-working crew, you are the best.


A run along the Prom.
16th September: Former Super Gas racer Ian Merryweather writes that he was the photographer of last Wednesday's spy picture.

"The picture is of Mark Flavell's Funny Car with Craig Owen driving, after a burnout along the Ramsey Promenade on the Isle of Man", says Ian. "The picture was taken during the Manx Grand Prix Motorcycle Drag Race organised by Straightliners. The newly-formed Manx Drag Racing Association brought Team Flavell over early for our first Drag'n'Drift event at Jurby Raceway, Isle of Man, on 5th September so it made good publicity to bring out Mark's Funny Car for a blast.

"The event was a huge success giving the local cars and bikes a chance of some straight line action. There were also drifting demos by local and UK teams. Mark, a long time friend and ex-opponent in Super Gas, thoroughly enjoyed his first visit to the island and has promised to come over for our next event during the TT Fortnight in June.

"The MDRA organisers are all ex-racers in one way or another. They include Paul Callow, ex-European Drag Bike Champion; Ian Merryweather, ex-European Super Gas Champion; and Malcolm Forbes, ex-crew member for Knut Söderquist. We have two events planned for next year so if you fancy sailing over for the TT fortnight or the Manx Grand Prix fortnight then go to www.manxdragracing.com and let us know."


PDRC's sticky end.
16th September: Pennine Drag Racing Club Chair Alan Perkins writes with news of the Club's last two Championship events at the UK's York Raceway at the end of August:

As mentioned previously on Eurodragster.com, in time for our last two meetings we received the latest version of VP track grip courtesy of Lee at LA Racing Parts and VP Racing Fuels. The track had been improving prior to Lee arranging the VP Lane Choice so we had good vibes before even spraying. Our team worked with Lee on track trep and maintenance throughout the day. The result was an even better track, with many PBs run, and the weather was kind to us too.

For the second meeting Lee was away so it was down to our team to maintain the work done at the previous meeting, with the weather on our side once more. The buzz around the pits great as more PBs were run and these were constantly relayed to Graham Beckwith for broadcast. This seemed to spur others to try a little harder. The only sad part of the meeting was the damage to Andy Hatfield's Twister which pulled a massive wheelstand before crashing back to earth with disastrous damage. The list of damage was nearly as long as the trail of fluids left on the track! But the crew dealt with the clean-up and we were racing again very quickly. All of the finals were run and the season brought to a conclusion.

2010 PDRC Champions

American Superstock: Dave Billadeau
Air Cooled Eliminator: Craig Perry
Sportsman ET: George Chiles
Pro ET: Des Taylor
Hot Rod: Paul Grainger
Super Cup: Alan Lloyd

Thanks to all our sponsors, racers and spectators for a great season in 2010.


SuMo Spencer.
16th September: Those with an eagle eye will have noticed UK Pro Modified and Super Modified tuner Adrian Spencer's name in Super Modified on the entry list for next week's VP Racing Fuels National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. Craig Gibbs of the UK's Obsession Racing Super Modified team got in touch to tell us how it came about:

As you know, our plan this year and most probably part of next is to take some time out to concentrate on the family and the business, with the view of maybe doing a meet or two just for a bit of fun. Tha plan remains unchanged; however at the end of last year (after a couple of drinks I have no doubt) I challenged my Crew Chief Adrian Spencer to have a go in Obsession. Although initially declined, the offer always remained open. At the European Finals that challenge reared its head again whilst standing in the fire-up road with some of the Pro Mod drivers. Adrian surprisingly didn't say much at the time, just took the ribbing in his stride, so I thought no more of it.

On Monday I got a text from Adrian asking me what the logistics were for obtaining his licence before the National Finals. Not wanting to miss this unique opportunity, even though I knew there was work which would have to be done on the car beforehand, I replied with a phone call saying "From our point of view no problem, but you had better start getting the ball rolling on the paper work side of things". The car goes down to Adrian's today so he can familiarise himself with all the buttons and switches, sit in the seat, play with the steering wheel and make pretend engine noises - come on, we all do it from time to time!

As chief tuner on many a Pro Mod over the years, Adrian has been offered the drive of several cars, including Gordon Appleton's Pro Mod Camaro, but he has always shied away from it - revelling more in what goes on behind the scenes with the tuning side of things, calling the shots from the trailer door so to speak. Well not any more! Instead of dishing the orders he's going to be taking them for a change!

  I would like to thank everyone who has made this possible at such short notice, and all that remains to be said is "Good luck buddy", and no matter how much I tell you to brace yourself the first time you let go of the clutch at 6500 rpm it will still catch you off guard - but don't worry, I doubt many people will be watching...yeah right! Buckle up Ade, you're going for the ride of your life.


Betts calls it quits.
16th September: UK Fuel Altered racer Tony Betts says that next week's VP Racing Fuels National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway will be his last race:

The whole set up will be for sale straight after the meeting, either as a complete operation or I will split. This will include Wilson double deck trailer with full living quarters upstairs plus car storage, garage area and awning. It's an up-to-date legal nitro Funny Car chassis rolling or complete with 2000 TFX engine with spare, and lots more spares to go with them.

I have been racing for twenty five years and the time is right to call it a day. I have met some fantastic people and made some great friends over my time in racing. I believe the crew I have now are the best out there, not to say past crew were not as good. The sport and our set-up has exceeded my budget and I will not compromise so it's better to stop. I would like to say a massive thank you to the spectators, track crew, my crew and their understanding wives, my children for putting up with me spending all our money and my time on the car, sponsors who have been on board for my time in racing and supported us even when things went wrong. Finally the biggest thanks must go to my wife Elaine my wife who has put up with me in this sport for twenty five years as well.

Wheres my Oscar after all that. We all look forward to seeing Venom's friends at the Pod for the National Finals.


Swift snippets.
16th September: Tomorrow's DHRA King of Street at Drachten Airfield has had to be postponed again as the ground is in poor condition. The rearranged date will be advised as soon as possible.

British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member 'King' Harold Bull would like to hear from anyone that knows the current location of his Stripduster slingshot. "Harold has managed to track Stripduster down to Germany, apparently she is with the Editor of a drag racing magazine, but unfortunately that's where the trail has gone cold", says BDRHoF Chair Stu Bradbury. "The intention would be to rebuild Stripduster and who knows, maybe run it again - now that would be something".   If you have any information please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com and we'll pass it on.

In an amazing turnaround of the form books NSA rider Steve Walton took home all the silverware on Saturday at the 105th Brighton Speed Trials, organised by the Brighton and Hove Motorclub with the Bike part of the contest run by the VMCC Sprint Section, writes Phil Steele: Normally an SSB benefit, the appalling conditions levelled the playing field. Steve on his 'Ride to work' GSXR 1000 Suzuki rode to a best of 11.01 in the two competition runs securing Fastest Time of Day, then in the Top Six run off improved to a best of 10.6. Other National Sprint Association riders in the top six were Barry Varndell, Fred Grainger, and former track record holder Phil Wood. Winner for the last four years Roger Simmons could only manage a mid eleven.


Eurodragster.com sponsor VP Racing Fuels' Mad Scientist is on the loose again, this time in three new colors. In addition to white, VP's popular Mad Scientist T-Shirts are now available in black, light grey and tan, with each colour available in Large and XL. A testament to VP's passionate dedication to R&D and its never-ending quest to squeeze more horsepower from every last chemical molecule, the T-Shirts are emblazoned with a Troy Lee-designed caricature of VP's Mad Scientist and the caption Must…make…more…POWER! Already known for leading the industry in cutting edge fuel development, VP has added four new power-making fuels in just the last six months: U4.4, MR12, VP Export and MR-Pro5. Clearly the Mad Scientist has been hard at work! The new Mad Scientist T-shirts are available for order on-line at www.vpracingfuels.com.

Although it might be a bit short on four-second runs for many Eurodragster.com readers, the combination of BMWs and the drag strip will prove to be an exciting combination for thousands of BMW fans at the BMW Show at Santa Pod Raceway this Sunday (19th), writes Rick Cuthbert. With Run What You Brung, drifting, handling track, show cars, stunt shows and demo vehicles, it will be a packed day out with a great atmosphere for anyone into BMW cars and bikes. For full information take a look at the official web site at www.bmwshow.co.uk

Nick Curtis has asked is to say a big Thank You to Nick and Val Griffin for letting him loose in their '65 Chevy Malibu Super Gasser. "I drove the car in Pro ET with the car but I never maneged to get on the ladder", says Nick. "The best I got was a 9.91 on a 9.92 dial-in, too bad it was the wrong side. But in the five runs I got I had the time of my life so thanks again Nick and Val. Can't wait for Easter 2011 when we do it all again. Thanks also Nigel and Ann who crew for Nick but who went into overtime and did their stuff for me too."


Web site updates.
16th September: Thanks to Anders Magnusson for letting us know that a video prospectus for the under-construction Tierp Motorpark is now available on YouTube. The video is available in Swedish at www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KQPNpXyNXI and in English at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ni2q_gb1WNg&NR=1.

Nick Pettitt has updated his Author's Blog with the latest news about his book on the earliest days of drag racing in the UK. You can check out Nick's Blog on Alan Currans' Acceleration Archive at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk/nick/pettitt_blog.html. Nick has also updated his Time Travel DVDs web site with galleries by Dave East depicting the early years at Santa Pod Raceway. You can take a look at Dave's pictures at www.timetraveldvds.co.uk/page97.html.

Editor's note: We are still working our way through our backlog of news. Tune in to the next update for an interview with Melanie Troxel, 2010 Euro Serie Top Gas Champion Herman Jolink's account of the final Series round, FIA European Finals reports from Tim Blakemore, Brad Jackson and Jayne Kay and more, and please keep the news items coming to news@eurodragster.com.


Event entry update.
15th September: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for sending us Version 8 of the official entry list for the VP Racing Fuels National Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-26th September. You can check out the entry list by
clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Normal price entry is now closed; entry if accepted will be subject to a penalty fee. Entry forms can be downloaded from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

This Friday, 17th September, is the official closing date for entry to the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 9th-10th October. Entry after Friday, if accepted, will be subject to a late entry fee. The official entry form can be downloaded from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. You can check out Version 2 of the official Extreme Performance Bike Weekend entry list by clicking here.

This Friday, 17th September, is also the official closing date for entry to the Japshow Finale which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 3rd October. The official entry form can be downloaded from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. You can check out Version 1 of the official Japshow Finale entry list by clicking here.


FIA European Finals wrap-up.
15th September: Many thanks to FIA Europan Drag Racing Championship Co-ordinator Kjell Pettersson for sending us the final standings in the 2010 FIA European Drag Racing Championships. You can check out the points standings (PDF format) on our Speedflow-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the Speedflow Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Thanks also to Peter Eneroth for sending us the final standings in the 2010 UEM European Drag Bike Championships. Again you can check out the points standings on our Speedflow-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the Speedflow Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

The post-FIA European Finals standings in the 2010 MSA Pro Modified Championship are available on the Championship's official web site at www.msadragracing.co.uk.

Thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for sending us the official timing data from the FIA European Finals. "A massive thank you to Tethys who, upon hearing how long it takes me to get the data into a format which is easily readable, offered to write a new extraction program the results of which you are about to see", says Andy. Tethys' efforts have saved me hours of work and I cannot thank him enough. A big thank you also to Palle Lind for taking the time to go through the changes in the UEM regulations, without which I could not supply accurate information to the commentators, nor keep my own records up to date and accurate. Also thank you to Syd McDonald for the near constant supply of hot food over the weekend!". You can check out the timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Andy Marrs has also sent updated tables of European and UK bests taking into account the records set at the FIA European Finals. You can check out the updated tables by clicking here or by clicking on the European Bests link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Deborah Glazebrook writes that she found a man's wedding ring near the scruntineers' shed in the shutdown area at Santa Pod on Sunday evening. "Given where it was found I think it must belong to a crew member or a Santa Pod employee", says Deborah. "It does have some engraving on the inside so if anyone thinks it belongs to them then tell me what the engraving is and I'll post it on to them". If that's your ring you're missing then drop Deborah a line at d-glazebrook@sky.com.

Alamo Rent-A-Car-sponsored Junior Dragster racer Paige Wheeler's victory has generated a fair amount of coverage after her appearance with Melanie Troxel in the media at the end of last week. Dad Andy tells us that Paige will be on Radio Northants' breakfast show at 7:45 tomorrow morning (Thursday) and that there has also been coverage from the Northants Evening Telegraph as well as interest from the Metro and press agencies.

Eurodragster.com's live coverage of the FIA European Finals attracted no less than 72,566 unique visitors who generated 6,569,926 hits. If the Test Weekend and Pro Peak Performance Day are included then those numbers go up to 113,845 unique visitors and 8,978,666 hits. The Webster Race Engineering/Nimbus Motorsport live webcam attracted 20,214 unique visitors who were tuned in for a combined total of 16,980 hours. Thank you very much indeed to everyone who tuned in and to everyone who wrote appreciative E-Mails, and thanks as ever to our sponsors Anthony Cohen of American Car Imports, Jon Webster of Webster Race Engineering, and Steve Clark of Nimbus Motorsport. Thanks also to everyone for their patience when we had problems with the broadband and had to revert to the sixty-second webcam and thanks to Santa Pod Raceway for getting British Telecom to in to sort it out.

Santa Pod Raceway track announcer Darryl Bradford has been in touch to say a huge thank you to everyone at the European Finals for a great weekend on which to commentate. "The racing was first class, and I really do believe that racing in Europe is some of the best, if not the best in the world!", he says. "Santa Pod Racers Club did such a great job, and all the support from fans and racers we spoke to is really appreciated. I even finished on Sunday with a voice left for a change! I just have to mention a good friend of mine, who is such a pleasure to work with and who has so much boundless enthusiasm that it rubs off on everyone, me included. Colin, it really is a pleasure and I hope we can do it again for many years to come, and well done on losing weight and raising so much money for the MS Trust! Sadly it's back to work and normality now so, as always, if anyone needs any help with mortgages, life insurance (especially for racers who can be covered whilst racing at no extra cost) and any other aspect of personal finance please get in touch via my Facebook page or E-Mail dbradfordifa@yahoo.co.uk."


Web site updates.
15th September: We have a number of FIA European Finals updates for you today. For fairness' sake we will list them in the order in which they were received.

John Przybyl has posted his FIA European Finals pictures on his web site at multicapturephotography.zenfolio.com.

Next up is Rob of no surname whose Finals shots can be found at www.flamingheaders.co.uk.

Dick Bodily has updated his Fotopic site with pictures from the Friday and Sunday of the race, Dick's shots are a mixture of track and pitside with one or two experimental pictures and can be viewed at dicksphotos.fotopic.net.

Webmaster DJ has updated Santa Pod Raceway's web site with winners' pictures and daily galleries. You can take a look at www.santapod.co.uk/e_europe_finals.php.

Our good friend Remco Scheelings' FIA European Finals report and pictures have been posted on The Netherlands' Autosport web site at www.autosport.nl.

Another Fotopic gallery has been updated by Colin Donisthorpe whose pictures you can check out at colindonisthorpe.fotopic.net.

Finally for today's update, our good buddy Patrik Jacobsson has posted "some" Finals pictures on his Racebilder web site at www.racebilder.nu.


Editor's note.
15th September: We have a fair number of news items in our backlog which we will clear on the next update, due tomorrow (Thursday). Please keep those FIA European Finals reviews and other news coming to news@eurodragster.com.

FIA European Finals results.
13th September: Congratulations to the winners of this weekend's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Urs Erbacher 4.8852/278.28 def. Janne Ahonen 4.9862/270.53
FIA Top Methanol Dragster: Derek Flynn 5.3514/268.93 bye
FIA Top Methanol Funny Car: Dan Larsen 6.4431/186.59 def. Dezsoe Krivan 11.2130/91.44 red light
FIA Pro Modified: Adam Flamholc 6.0708/233.80 def. Bruno Bader 7.4133/215.11
FIA Pro Stock: Jimmy Ålund 6.7314/205.18 def. Michael Malmgren 6.8127/204.40

UEM Top Fuel Bike: Peter Svensson 6.0803/231.86 def. Petri Paljakka no time
UEM Supertwin: Martijn de Haas 7.3779/157.42 bye, Lorenz Stäuble shut off
UEM Pro Stock Bike: Ulf Ögge 7.1753/179.24 def. Kalle Lyrén 7.2434/182.14
UEM Funny Bike Cup: Rikard Gustafsson 6.5908/189.80 def. Steve French 7.3321/167.92

Super Pro ET: Joe Stevens (8.91) 8.9356.140.59 def. Rick Garrett (8.32) 8.3899/160.72
Pro ET: Lee Huxley (9.57) 9.6715/121.86 def. Tim Stanbury (9.50) 9.5428/142.01
Super Gas: Brian Pateman 9.9158/138.98 def. Dan Page 9.9420/131.82
Super Comp: Pete Cresswell 9.0047/132.19 def. Paul Letchford 9.0013/144.79
Super Street: Mark Watkins 11.1760/130.54 def. Antony Wilkins 10.8439/109.26 breakout
Competition Eliminator: Stefan Winter (8.32) 10.4746/77.59 def. John Bradshaw (7.70) 7.7291/163.04 red light
Junior Dragster: Paige Wheeler (8.99) 8.9414/70.67 def. Brad Jackson (7.95) 7.9680/92.26 red light
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Colin Lazenby 7.9465/182.81 def. John Sleath 7.8496/189.79 red light

Subject to official ratification the following records were set:

Top Fuel Dragster ET: 4.572 seconds, Andy Carter
Top Methanol Dragster speed: 270.53 mph, Derek Flynn
Pro Modified ET: 5.967 seconds, Adam Flamholc
Funny Bike Cup ET: 6.577 seconds, Rikard Gustafsson
Street Eliminator ET: 7.652 seconds, Colin Lazenby

Eric Teboul also reset his own world best ET for a drag bike with a pass of 5.196 on his Rocket Bike.

Congratulations also to the Eurodragster.com Perfect Award winners:

Eurodragster.com/
Speedflow Perfect Light Award: Darren Law (Pro ET)
Eurodragster.com/Gold RV Perfect ET Award: Paul Brown (Pro ET)
Eurodragster.com/AFP Services Perfect Numbers Award: Jon Morton (Super Comp)

You can check out our American Car Imports-sponsored FIA European Finals event coverage by clicking here or by click on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


2010 European Champions.
13th September: Congratulations to the 2010 European Champions:

FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Urs Erbacher
FIA Top Methanol Dragster: Timo Habermann
FIA Top Methanol Funny Car: Dan Larsen
FIA Pro Modified: Johan Lindberg
FIA Pro Stock: Michael Malmgren

UEM Top Fuel Bike: Petri Paljakka
UEM Supertwin: Lorenz Stäuble
UEM Pro Stock Bike: Ulf Ögge
UEM Funny Bike Cup: Christian Jäger

We will post the official points standings as soon as we receive them.


2010 APIRA Champions.
10th September: Congratulations to the 2010 Avon Park International Racers Association Champions:

Super Modified: Belinda Bull
Super Pro ET: Barry Giles
Pro ET: Dave Cherrett
Sportsman ET: Ian Petrie
Super Comp: Brian Pateman
Super Gas: Dan Page
Super Street: Neil Grant
Street Eliminator: Brian Payne
Junior Dragster: Gabrielle McDonald
9.50 Bike: Richard Sawatzki
Outlaw Anglia: Cliff Griffin
Wild Bunch: Andy Murphy
Outlaw Flat Four: James Wotton
VW Pro: Matt Attwood
VW Sportsman: Russ Weir
Pro Stock Bike: Dave Beck
Funny Bike: Dave Bailey
Super Street Bike: Dave Holland
Comp Bike: Ivan Birch
Supertwin Fuel: Shaun Rodman
Supertwin Gas: Chris Mott
Supertwin ET: Damien Waterhouse
8.50 Bike: Mick Winyard

You can see the full APIRA points standings on our
Speedflow-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the Speedflow Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Swift snippets.
10th September: UK Top Methanol Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Derek Flynn will be racing in Top Alcohol Dragster at the last two NHRA National events of this year in Las Vegas and Pomona. Derek will again be driving Larry Miersch's injected-nitro TAD.

Thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our very own Simon for forwarding us the post-Open Sport Nationals points standings in the UK National Drag Racing Championships. You can check out the latest UK points on our Speedflow-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the Speedflow Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Safety clothing manufacturer Stand21 will be at Santa Pod Raceway today (Friday) to display their new SFI-approved drag racing firesuits and other products. You can find Stand21 in the trading area next to the pairing lanes, and you can read more about their involvement in drag racing on yesterday's FIA European Finals pit notes by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Also at the FIA European Finals, Allard Chrysler Action Group Chair Brian Taylor will be in Pro Mod racer Andy Robinson's pit at 2:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday to update interested people about the Allard Chrysler restoration project. "Andy Robinson Race Cars will be carrying out a lot of the restoration work once the engine arrives in the UK", says Brian. "Latest info from engine builders Booth-Arons in Michigan is that it should be dyno-tested later this month or early October ready for return to the UK in November. Limited Edition ACAG mounted prints of paintings featuring the Allard Chrysler and Mooneyes, individually signed by Nick Mason and Alan Allard, are in stock at the Pod Shop; profits go to the restoration fund. Also in stock at the Pod Shop are copies of Crazy Horses – the History of British Drag Racing."

Keith Lee says that his book on Drag Bike racing in Britain has unfortunately been slightly delayed due to pressure of work at the publishers and printers causing some necessary rescheduling. "Veloce have advised me that the bulk shipment of books is due by October 25th, which is very disappointing for the many people who have pre-ordered copies. I can only apologise for the delay, which has left me as frustrated as anyone waiting to see the final article. Hopefully I will get hold of an advance copy in the next week or so to put me out of my misery!"

Phil and Julie Steele of Little Cherub Racing are pleased to announce that Keith Parnell's Rouge et Noir 2 will be on static display at the NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway on 18th-19th September. "The bike will be fired up during the course of the weekend so bring ear plugs!", they say.


Web site updates.
10th September: Andrew of the Greekdragster.info web site tells us that the web team have posted three galleries of pictures from the Veidec festival, Sunoco Drag Challenge, and NitrOlympX. You can check out the European Tour galleries at multimedia.greekdragster.info/International-Drag-Races.

Stanley's Stocker.
8th September: As well as Sampsa Palos another Pro Stock racer will be making his competitive début at this weekend's FIA European Finals: former UK National Super Gas Champion Conrad Stanley, who is the first UK racer in FIA Pro Stock, made a successful set of first licencing passes at VEIDEC Raceway in Malmö last week.

"It was an excellent experience", Conrad told Eurodragster.com. "This was the second time I have been to Malmö this year; the first was the Wednesday before the Veidec Festival Mantorp when I travelled down with Tommy Leindahl and his team to test their car. The track is a very well-prepared eighth mile although narrow, and both Pro Stock and Pro Mod have been laying down some very stout times there.

"The new car arrived on the Friday evening and we set about familiarising ourselves with it. It soon became apparent that whatever routine we had with the Firebird was of little use to us and so began a very steep learning curve for all the team in both servicing and driving .The team worked under the watchful eye of Tommy Leindahl and his crew Kenta and Rikard who were very helpful and worked tirelessly on both the Grand Am and on Tommy's Cobalt.

"When the car was prepped and ready I was introduced to Conny Christiansson the FIA referee who was there to observe my licencing runs. My first task was to show him that I could pack the parachutes. That done we headed down to the start line. My next test was to do two burnouts one after the other and then drive down the track and wait on the return road still strapped in.

"The first burnout certainly woke me up! I loaded the rpm to 5000, dumped the clutch and hit the throttle...wow, that needle moves quick on the tach in these cars. I went through the gears, released the line lock and rolled out in a controlled burnout. Reversed and same again, stopped on the track then pulled away going through the gears to the return road. Conny arrived at the return road and I then had to an evacuation from the car in under ten seconds. This done I was then blindfolded and had to show that I could reach all the safety devices and exit the car. For my next pass I was told to drive out 100 metres under full power and deploy the chutes at the eighth mile. Watching the video I knew it had gone well as I could hear cheering and clapping after the pass. On Saturday evening we serviced the car ready for Sunday's eighth-mile pass.

"On Sunday the weather was not good to us and even though I was told more than once that in never rains in Sweden, we had the cover on the car three timed in the fire-up road. With the portable toilet full I strapped in for the fourth time and carried out my final pass, with a bit of tyre shake and the car moving about I got to the eighth mile, put he chutes out and coasted to the return road. Then I had the longest wait in the world for Conny to turn up. With a smile and a handshake it was happy days. 1200 miles drive back home? Who cares!

"With Conny's signatures on my licencing form it's now back to Santa Pod today to make full quarter mile pass and then wait till Friday for qualifying, gulp!

"Thank You to Lynda for everything, Anna and Rob for flying the flag at Shakey while we were away, Tommy Leindahl for the invitation to come and be a guest with his team for the whole year, to Kenta, Rickard and Stig, to Jimmy Ålund Michael Malmgren for their support and advice at Malmö, and to all the other Pro Stock drivers who have welcomed us."


Krivan's return.
8th September: The 25th NitrOlympX at Hockenheim was a success for returning Top Methanol Funny Car racer Dezsoe Krivan and the Krivan Drag Racing team:

Despite the loss of our data logging system we got through to the semi-finals before the technical gremlins hit us again. But we showed our opponents and spectators that the Krivan Drag Racing Team is still a force to be reckoned with after thirty years! Drag racing is full of ups and downs. At the 2002 FIA Main Event at Santa Pod I ran my first five-second run, then in 2003 the building in which we were based burned down taking our whole operation with it and we had to start from scratch. But nothing beats this high adrenaline sport!

At the beginning of 2010 I became the offical European distributor for DJ Safety USA with the rights to distribute their products in Europe.
DJ Safety.eu is an internet-based shop for Motorsport safety equipment. Shortly we will be able to offer recertification of DJ Safety products to SFI specification from our facility in Switzerland.

The Krivan Drag Racing Team is looking forward to the Finals at Santa Pod and we are happy to be back fighting the field of Top Methanol Funny Cars and to welcome our friends and fans in England.


Bad Manners.
8th September: Ex-pat UK Top Alcohol Dragster racer Michael Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences says that his US Nationals weekend went from poor to bad:

We ended up qualifying twelfth after two more qualifying attempts when we smoked the tyres. The first time we didn't know why but we made a few adjustments. When we put the car on nitro after starting it to make our fourth and final qualifying pass the crew knew we had a problem - too much nitro was being blown out of the #7 cylinder. They let me do the burnout and launch in the hope it would work out but fluid on the tyre resulted in smoking the tyres again.

Back in the pits we found an injector stuck open. We replaced it and later in the day went up to make our first elimination round. Again when we put the car on nitro it was obvious we still had problems and we smoked the tyres again.

On Monday we went through the motor again found a few more small things that need some attention and then fired it and ran it on nitro on the jack stands. At least with the limited amount of load we could put on the motor it looks like it may now be OK. This weekend we head for Epping in New Hampshire where we hope to increase our lead of the 2010 IHRA Pro Fuel Championship.

You can check out an IHRA.com article featuring Mike at www.ihra.com/article/6633.html and a great video of a race with Bill Evans at www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDr8A6sKqoA.


Good practice.
8th September: Nick Good and the UK's Team NGMotorsport Super Pro ET team had a shaky but satisfactory day at the Peak Performance Day at Santa Pod Raceway on Sunday:

We firstly had to wait until B&Q in Wellingborough opened at ten o'clock to buy a Dremmel and then resolve an oiling issue with the cam followers in the 509" Donovan. We has a new tune-up in the car which that would hopefully produce the same, if not more, power than our old six-second combination with lower exhaust temperatures.

We weren't expecting the car to behave quite the way it did on our first half pass of the day. A new tyre pressure gauge which read differently to our old one meant we had slightly too much air in the rear tyres leading to a combination of a massive wheelie and violent tyre shake - enough for the start line crew to radio the paramedics to check me out at the top end.

After checking the car over and only finding loose spill plates on the rear wing and dislodged data logger modules and a secondary check over from the paramedics it was back down to the start line with less air in the rear tyres and a few adjustments to the tune-up. Again a big wheelie past sixty feet and less shake netted a 6.901/190, a check of the data revealed exhaust temperatures 200 degrees down on our last tune up, so there is still some room for improvement.

Nick would also like to mention the introduction of a 15" version of the Double Beadlock rear wheel to the Spinwerkes range of drag racing wheels. "We have had more enquiries for a 15" version of the wheels on our own car than any other in the Spinwerkes range since becoming agents a year ago. They are beautifully made, available in any width and back space and much lighter than their nearest competitor. You can find out more details at www.ngmotorsport.co.uk by calling 01366 387500, or by speaking to any of the NGMotorsport team at the track.


Carter: Watch out!
8th September: For defending FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter, winning titles from difficult positions has become somewhat of a trademark. Andy scooped the title from fourth place going into the final round in 2004 and by just a point in 2009. After a difficult start to the 2010 season and then several races curtailed by bad weather Andy once again finds himself the underdog to take the title. The spreadsheets have been whirring in the Lucas Oil camp calculating the permutations which would allow Andy to retain his title. If Andy takes maximum points and there are some surprise early exits then victory is possible. Being the underdog hasn't stopped Andy in the past and won't stop him again.

"Obviously Urs and Risto are favourites but all it will take is one small mistake and myself and Anita and I will be in with a shot at the title", said a confident Andy. "I guarantee that the Carter Motorsport / Andersen Racing / Lucas Oil team and I will be piling on the pressure until the weekend is out. Watch out boys!". Once again the Lucas Oil pits will be packed with guests and sponsors. "We can't wait to get back to Santa Pod and see all our fans, friends, family, guests and sponsors", added Andy. "Please do drop by, pick up a hero card and say hello to the team over the weekend". Fans not able to make it to the track will be able to keep up to date with all the news from the team at www.andycarter.net and www.facebook.com/cartermotorsport.

The team is running a competition on their Facebook page over the European Finals weekend. "We love to see the great photos our fans take of the team and wanted to give them the opportunity to share them, as well as to win a fantastic Carter Motorsport / Lucas Oil Goodie Bag!" said team member Gary Cottingham. To enter you must be a fan of Andy Carter on Facebook, then simply post your best photo taken at the FIA European Finals to Andy's wall. All photos must be taken from spectator areas at the European Finals and entry is limited to one per person. There will be two prizes, one for the best on-track photo and one for the best pit photo. Entry closes at midnight on Sunday 19th September.


Swift snippets.
8th September: The post-Open Sport Nationals points standings in the ACU UK Drag Bike Championships are now available on the King Racing web site at www.kingracing.com.

The official entry form is now available for the final round of the CC Medical Services Junior Drag Bike Championship, which takes place at Shakespeare County Raceway's Family Fun Weekend/Public Track Day on 2nd-3rd October. You can download the form from Shakespeare County Raceway's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com or from the APIRA or Junior Drag Bike Facebook pages. "With the prospect of an even bigger field of Junior bikes the Championship finals has the potential to become a real nail biter!", says Jerry Cookson.

The Dutch Hot Rod Association will again to run their King Street final at Drachten next Friday (17th). "Racers will be racing for a spectacular trip to Vegas to attend the Vegas Nationals and to be treated like a VIP there", says Maikel Gloudemans. "The day will start at 15:00 with regular Run What You Brung and test runs for King Street competitors to set their indexes. The contenders then have to participate in the King Cruise, a streetability test of some twenty miles through the lovely city of Drachten. At 20:00 the King Street eliminations begin and they will continue until dusk (or maybe a little beyond if the schedule demands it). Me(n)tal Enterprizes will try to webcast this event with timing details at www.doyousee.me/DHRA. Text services will also be available for drivers."

VP Racing Fuels' UK distributor and Eurodragster.com sponsor Lee Child will be attending this weekend's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. Lee will be walking the pit area and delivering fuel from the Pod Shop to racers' pit areas. "We have C12, C14, C16, SV05, Methanol, Q16, VP Import and C23 in stock", says Lee. "If you need NO2 then the deadline is this evening (Wednesday)". You can call Lee on 07771 590176 or E-Mail laracingparts@gmail.com.

Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for sending us Version 7 of the official entry list for the VP Racing Fuels National Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-26th September. You can check out the entry list by clicking here. Normal price entry is now closed, entry if accepted will be subject to a penalty fee. Entry forms can be downloaded from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

The latest spy picture to arrive at our office in Race Control at Santa Pod (below left) came with the words "What's going on here then?". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.


Santa Pod Raceway's racing surface has been scraped for the majority of its length in preparation for the FIA European Finals. The last piece of scraping was for a few feet forward of the bleach box (above right) and was carried out by Oggie and Darren of Santa Pod.

Nick Griffin's beautiful red Southern Belle1963 Chevy Malibu will be doing double duty at Santa Pod this weekend. Nick G will be racing the car in Super Gas and he will be sharing his pride and joy with returning long-time racer Nick Curtis - best-known for his wild twisting Team Lawbreakers Chevy Bel Air - who will be racing it in Pro ET.

Ian and Laura Turburville are headed for the FIA European Finals with the Help 4 Heroes Junior Dragster and can bring any parts if asked. "I have a brand new MT slick for Top Fuel Bike or Supertwin, Nitro helmets, Diamondback helmets, visors, helmet gaskets, balaclavas, TF gloves, driving shoes, lots of Simpson stuff to clear at half price from CarbonX tops to T-shirts, sweats, mechanics' gloves, ACF50 for winter protection of your chassis, Innotec easy gasket (miracle stuff), SureShot sprayers, rolling suit and helmet bags etc", says Turbo. "We will be pitted at the very far end of the pits next to the tech sheds. Hoping for a dry and exciting event!"

Nobby Hills Racing have announced that Nobby's restored Houndog 1 is to be on static display at the NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway on 17th-19th September.


King Racing press release.
8th September: Despite providing support crew and tuning advice during this season to the new owners of the former King Racing Puma the team's first foray on track as a competitor took place at the world famous NitrOlympX event at Hockenheim, Germany on the ex Brian Johnson / Jimmy Brantley record breaking and renowned Imperial Wizard Puma (whilst the current owner seeks a new buyer - contact ian@kingracing.com for details).

Despite the Imperial Wizard's proven low six second potential the machine had not turned a wheel in anger for a number of years and was sporting a different and less aggressive state of tune than when in the possession of its previous owners. So it was with great pleasure that the team recorded a fine 6.84-second pass off the trailer, defying those who thought that almost a year off a race bike, an unfamiliar machine and very soft clutch and fuel settings would conspire to prevent rider Ian King showing anything like competitive potential.

What was more impressive, however, was that a seized oil and fuel pump drive meant that the historic machine was coasting for more than a third of the run. A full pass would have seen a mid six second timing ticket; so much more was to come. After repairing the damage caused to the engine due to oil starvation after the pump failure the team suffered the misfortune of a random occurrence of a burst blower panel in the burnout for the next run in the Night Show, and subsequent inclement weather meant that was their final chance to run over the weekend.

Despite the early curtailment of the event the team were pleased with their first time out on track with the bike and in recording the quickest Top Fuel Bike run in competition there.

However, the lack of track time at the event meant the team took the decision not to take part in the eighth-mile sprint event scheduled at Mosten Raceday in Denmark and opted for the Test and Tune day at Santa Pod Raceway, UK on 4th September. With fine and sunny weather the team took to the track with some confidence and King chose a check out half pass after some concerns with braking efficiency discovered during the burnout. The second pass was on the money although an aggressive clutch tune for the track conditions saw King on quite a ride as the tyre spun and slewed sideways at mid track. Despite the wild ride King carded a 6.69/214 to record low ET and highest speed of all vehicles (Pro Cars and Bikes were attending the Test Day).

The team look forward to the FIA/UEM European Finals this weekend where the cream of European drag racing comes together to fight it out on track for the last international event of the season.

King Racing is proud to be associated with the best companies in the business and would like to thank them for their invaluable support and quality products:

MTC Engineering - Supplier of Top Fuel Clutches for the fastest TFB in the world
APE - The world's most innovative manufacturer of aftermarket parts for drag bikes
Worldwide Bearings - The premier source for high performance ceramic bearings
JE Pistons - The world's premier manufacturer of high performance forged pistons
Kibblewhite Precision Machining, Inc - the highest quality valve train components on the market
Image Custom Design - The UK's leading artists in stunning custom paint and murals
Goedhals - Precision specialist gear cutting and engineering
Mickey Thompson Tyres - The best drag race tyres in the world bar none
Goodridge UK - The original and the best in fluid transfer systems
Gates - The world's most trusted name in drive belts, hoses and hydraulics
Vanson Leathers - 30 years producing the best quality track tested motorcycle apparel
Craft Safety Helmets - produce the ultimate helmets for safety and uniqueness in design
Performance Machine - The leader in after market custom wheels, brakes and components
Kent Cams - Specialists in motor sport camshaft manufacture, short runs and one-offs
Pro Alloy - UK's leader in fabrication of alloy racing tanks, intercoolers and radiators
Puma Engineering - Manufacturers of the world's most powerful motorcycle engines
PsycleWorkz - The UK's best custom and race fabricators and innovators
House of Kolor - Manufacturers of the world's most stunning specialist paints
Zodiac - Europe's largest supplier of performance and aftermarket HD parts
MRE - Leaders in trackside support for drag race components and air shifting systems
Customize - Premier sign makers and vinyl sign and design services
NitroShutter - The combined efforts of ace photojournalists Ivan Sansom and Rose Hughes


Outlaws in VW Action.
8th September: The six Supercharged Outlaws who contested the weekend's VW Action at Santa Pod Raceway racked up seven Personal Bests between them, writes Roy Wilding:

Paul Watts ran three PBs and Brian Gandy's best ET went from 8.382 to 7.524 and a best speed of 182.3 mph. Also Sam Freeman ran a 7.638 in Vic Hammond's slingshot, and Ian Hanson ran a 7.330 which is the new class record. Well done Ian. There were also good performances by Lee Gallimore and Dave McKenzie. Well done lads, brilliant show.

The winner at VW Action was Paul Watts, second was Sam Freeman and third was Lee Gallimore. The overall point standings are as follows:
  1. Paul Watts 140
  2. Lee Gallimore 125
  3. Sam Freeman 120
  4. Dave McKenzie 94
  5. Brian Gandy 92
  6. Ian Hanson 87
  7. Alec Coe 70
All to play for as we go into the final round at the NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway, where we expect twelve teams including the début of my new car. Good luck everyone.


Web site updates.
8th September: Our good buddy Jon Spoard has updated his UK Drag Racing Nostalgia web site with pictures from the Mopar EuroNats at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Jon's shots at www.ukdrn.co.uk.

Eurodragster.com Photo Editor Roger Gorringe has finally found the time to post a NitrOlympX gallery onto his Nitro Exposure web site at www.nitroexposure.co.uk together with a gallery from the Open Sport Nationals. Both galleries contain many images not published in the Eurodragster.com event coverage. Roger managed to squeeze in the updates in between putting the FIA European Finals event programme to bed, after a marathon rush to finish it since returning from Germany, and getting ready for the event itself.

Eurodragster.com News Editor Tog has updated his Fotopic gallery with the complete set of pictures from the weekend's Run What You Brung, Peak Performance Day and VW Action at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Tog's shots at eurodragster.fotopic.net or www.togsdragracing.com.

Top Alcohol tuner and Eurodragster.com Blogger Will Hanna has sent us a link to a couple of YouTube videos taken on board Chris Foster's Top Alcohol FC at Indy. You can choose to ride in the cockpit or on the injector hat.


Bike Weekend update.
7th September: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall has been in touch to remind racers that Friday of next week, 17th September, is the official closing date for entry to the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 9th-10th October. Entry after Friday 17th, if accepted, will be subject to a late entry fee.

The official entry form can be downloaded from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at
www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

You can check out Version 1 of the official Extreme Performance Bike Weekend entry list by clicking here.


UEM racers anticipate the Finals.
7th September: With the FIA European Finals only a few days away, Speedgroup and Eurodragster.com approached Pro racers to get their thoughts about the forthcoming race. Yesterday we brought you the thoughts of a number of FIA European Championship racers, and today it is the turn of the UEM European Championship racers.

Hans Olav Olstad (below left) is third in the UEM European Supertwin Championship and is one of three riders with a chance of the Championship:

At Hockenheim we found that the datalogger showed inproper exhaust temperature, so we checked the spark plugs to get some evaluation. We have changed the exhaust temperature sensors and will test before the European Finals at Mosten, Denmark, which attracts many other Supertwin teams. The Championship is still open. With just six points between the top three drivers it's impossible to tell who will be the Champion. The only thing I can promise is we will do our best in the battle for victory. I hope we will be able to finish the race completely and especially that the final round will not be rained off. My toughest competitors in the Championship battle and for the event win are Job Heezen and Lorenz Stäuble and in addition Per Bengtsson for the event win.


Per Bengtsson (above right) was UEM European Supertwin Champion in 2009 and is currently ninth in the 2010 Championship.

How are you preparing for the European Finals?

Per Bengtsson: We are giving the bike some extra attention and checks just as a precaution. In addition the tuning strategy we have planned in advance is based on what we have learnt this season and from our experience from Santa Pod as a track.

What do you hope for performance-wise at the European Finals?

Per Bengtsson: We hope to set a new European record, quicker than 6.45 sec and win the event as a bonus. And of course we wish to outrun the new Champion!

Any major changes to the bike since the last race?

Per Bengtsson: No.

Which riders in your class do you consider the strongest competitors to win the event at Santa Pod?

Per Bengtsson: Lorenz Stäuble is always fast at Santa Pod! It is exciting to watch who will take the title from us. I think it would be fun to have a first time Champion - that is Olstad or Heezen!


Team mates Svein Olav Rolfstad (above left) and Jan Sturla Hegre (above right) are eleventh and seventh in the UEM Supertwin Championship. Our questions were answered by Rolfstad Pro Dragracing team manager Pål Magnussen.

How are you preparing for the European Finals?

Pål Magnussen: Svein Olav and Jan Sturla will participate at a local event in Denmark the weekend before the finals and gain some confidence with good results there.

What do you hope for performance-wise at the European Finals?

Pål Magnussen: Svein Olav's goal is to get some good runs and hopefully to get some answers to all the problems we have experienced with the bike. This is very important for us since it is the last race of the season and we don't want to take all the worries with us into the off-season. Jan Sturla has no worries and just wants to do his best and maybe that will result in a fine overall standing in the UEM Championship.

Any major changes to the bike since the last race?

Pål Magnussen: We have made some changes to the compresor on Svein Olav's bike to see if that makes the bike rev a bit higher. No major changes on Jan Sturla's bike.

Which riders in your class do you consider the strongest competitors to win the event at Santa Pod?

Pål Magnussen: It seems like Olstad, Heezen and Stäuble have what it takes this season, so hopefully it will be a race to the end for the Championship.

Ulf Ögge (below left) is most likely the 2010 UEM Pro Stock Bike Champion, needing only to pass scrutineering at Santa Pod to take the title.

How are you preparing for the European Finals?

Ulf Ögge: All is ready...we are just waiting to leave!

What do you hope for performance-wise at the European Finals?

Ulf Ögge: Our goal is a six-second run - it would be a great end to the season.

Any major changes to the bike since the last race?

Ulf Ögge: Maybe!

Which riders in your class do you consider the strongest competitors to win the event at Santa Pod?

Ulf Ögge: There are seventeen riders on the entry list, almost all have a good chance to be in the final on Sunday!

What are your thoughts on the Championship win?

Ulf Ögge: We look forward to scrutineering and when that is finished the team shall enjoy an ice cold Coke in the bus.


Fredrik Fredlund (above right) is third in the UEM Pro Stock Bike Championship with a chance to end in runner-up spot.

How are you preparing for the European Finals?

Fredrik Fredlund: The PAF Dragracing Team have been going through the bike trying to locate an electrical problem with which we have been struggling the whole season. We hope that we now have figured it out and that is an important factor for us to be able to perform well at the Finals.

What do you hope for performance-wise at the European Finals?

Fredrik Fredlund: We know that we have a strong bike and we can put up some strong numbers. We will definitely go for the win but you never know in this strong field of competitors.

Any major changes to the bike since the last race?

Fredrik Fredlund: Nothing major, only regular service.

Which riders in your class do you consider the strongest competitors to win the event at Santa Pod?

Fredrik Fredlund: Anyone can win this race! You can't count anyone out. We would like to thank our sponsors and our fans out there for supporting us.

Gert-Jan Laseur (below left) is sixth in the UEM European Pro Stock Bike Championship and has a slight chance to finish higher:

After Hockenheim I had a bad feeling about the bike. The datalogger showed that everything was good, but the numbers weren't so good and we slowed down almost 10 kmh for the second run. In the third run there was no timeslip and the logger showed an even slower speed. I took the engine out and the front rod was not good. We changed the crank and all the bearings. Also we found a crack in the gear on the crank and we are changing it. We also did the heads and changed valve springs. We studied a lot on the clutch and the injection and hopefully we made some progress there. Also we changed some ratios in the gearbox and sprockets to make more rpms on the finish line and be faster between 100 and 300 metres. The sixty foot was there, and the speed, but we lose it somewhere in between. The goal for every event is as always, we come to win; we don't mind losing, but in the end we all want to win. Nobody is coming to the Finals and hoping for second or third place, at least I am not. The main thing for me is to leave get out of the 7.3s and go 7.2 or hopefully even faster. In Pro-Stock bike everybody can be the winner, but it seems that Ulf Ögge is very fast and consistent this year. But what about Kenneth Vik, Kalle Lyrén, Anders Abrahamsson, Fredrik Fredlund, Jesper Thiel, Dave Beck, Stavros Svrachnos and many more, they all go faster and faster! Time will tell...


Dave Beck holds the European Pro Stock Bike record and is currently eleventh in the UEM Championship. He won the last ACU UK Championship round at Shakespeare County Raceway:

It's always good to win, but to win with good numbers is better. There was a 10   mph head wind on race day so running a 7.23 into that was very pleasing as all the   other bikes were strugglling for speed. We have a good tune-up now to start off the European Finals off, but we will have to go some to beat our first pass at last year's event (7.16). We will try. We now have the new bike all sorted and the motors fresh and we have high hopes for good performance!

Text and translations prepared by Åsa Kinnemar. Pictures courtesy and ©Speedgroup and Julian Hunt


Swift snippets.
7th September: UK Pro Mod racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Graham Ellis will be racing his recently-acquired 'Cuda at this weekend's FIA European Finals after it arrived in the nick of time. "The car turned up on Friday morning", Graham told Eurodragster.com. "We have worked sixteen hour days on it and it should be ready enough. Thanks to Andy Robinson Race Cars for making me a propshaft same-day as well as sorting out other parts to make it possible".

Carole Ismail of Santa Pod Racers Club has asked us to stress that visitors to the commentary team or Eurodragster.com's office at this weekend's FIA European Finals should use the stairs at the spectator bank end of Race Control. Please do not use the stairs at the pairing lanes end of Race Control.

Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for sending us Version 6 of the official entry list for the VP Racing Fuels National Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-26th September. You can check out the entry list by clicking here. Normal price entry is now closed, entry if accepted will be subject to a penalty fee. Entry forms can be downloaded from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.


Present and correct.
7th September: UK Wild Bunch racer Chris Hartnell was the recipient of a very special 50th birthday present from partner Claire Meaddows at the Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway: a framed painting of their Backdraft slingshot commissioned from drag racing artist Paul Whitehouse.

Paul's latest work depicts Backdraft in a characteristic wheelying pose, but with a bit of artistic licence as Claire had asked for the background to represent Santa Pod Raceway in the early 1970s. "Chris was over the moon with the painting", says Claire. "He loved all the detail, and the light and shading effects, as well as the accuracy of the portrayal of the car. It is already on display in pride of place in our living room.

"Chris would like to thank Paul for a fantastic painting, and highly recommends his work if you are looking for something a bit special and unique. You can contact Paul at pwhitehouse3@aol.com and he will gladly send sample images of his drag racing artwork. Alternately you can telephone Paul on 07813 579876 to discuss your requirements."


Chris was also presented with a handmade metal sculpture of Backdraft which Claire commissioned from Elaine Southworth, of Daddy Cool Racing fame.  "Elaine's company is called Cool Engineered Art and it certainly is that", says Claire. "The sculpture depicts a wheelying Backdraft in cartoon form, complete with a unique interpretation of the car's canopy, and with valves as the front wheels.

"If anyone is looking for an ultimate birthday or Christmas gift then I recommend that you contact Elaine, as she has loads of incredible ideas and a great sense of humour to interpret a bespoke design,  as well as some ready-made sculptures using a variety of engine parts and other metal parts. The quality and detail is amazing. Elaine's web site is at www.coolengineeredart.co.uk. We would like to thank Elaine for the fabulous sculpture, which is now residing in our living room."


Web site updates.
7th September: In the latest instalment of his exclusive Racer Blog presented in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car, Pro Stock Bike racer Kalle Lyrén of the VEIDEC PSB team tells a tale of two gearboxes. As ever you can stay in touch with the latest Blog updates by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

FIA European Finals racer update.
6th September: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for forwarding details of the arrangements for this weekend's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

Santa Pod Raceway's gates open at 15:00 this Wednesday (8th). Racers entered for the Pro Peak Performance Day will of course be able to get in earlier.

Signing-on is open between 15:00 and 20:00 on Wednesday, and then from 07:00 on Thursday.

Scrutineering for Sportsman cars commences at 15:00 on Wednesday. Scrutineering then starts for all cars at 07:00 on Thursday and for UEM bikes at 09:00 on Thursday.

The provisional running orders are now available here on Eurodragster.com by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page and selecting the FIA European Finals. Please note that as ever the running orders are provisional and subject to alteration due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.

Following the introduction of the Moment of the Day award at the FIA Main Event, Santa Pod Raceway commentator Colin Theobald will again be giving away a bottle of Champagne on each day of the FIA European Finals. "We will present the Champagne for whatever or to whoever fellow commentator Darryl Bradford and I see from the commentary box as worthy of the prize", says Colin. "As before no rules apply, it could be anything really, but it should be memorable in one way or other. The FIA Main Event winners were John Sleath, Graham Ellis, Johan Lindberg and John Bradshaw, but who will be the lucky - or unlucky - winners this time. Nominations will be announced as they happen, with the winner being announced and presented with the bottle at the start of the following day. The final winner will be announced at the trophy presentation on Sunday."


FIA racers anticipate the Finals.
6th September: With the FIA European Finals only a few days away, Speedgroup and Eurodragster.com approached Pro racers to get their thoughts about the forthcoming race. Today we bring you the thoughts of a number of FIA European Championship racers, with those of UEM racers to follow tomorrow.

Micke Gullqvist (below left) leads the FIA European Pro Modified Championship. He and Johan Lindberg both have 329 points but Micke leads courtesy of a win over Johan:

We had a great event at Hockenheim, sorting the '57 Chevy out and getting it up to speed. After qualifying in second place with a 6.10 after R2B2 teammate Mel Troxel, we cut through the field in eliminations taking out Kuno in first round on Saturday with a 6.11 and the Lindberg Brothers, a very important race for Championship points, with a 6.12. In the semi we had Mats Eriksson, who ran a fine 6.09 in the quarter finals. We knew that anything less than a 6.0 was not going to get the job done, so we just had to step it up. Mats cut a great light, but I felt the Chevy pulling harder than ever when it started to get out of shape and I was pretty much sideways for a while. I saw Mats on my right side and for a split second I was thinking of getting out of it, but then it started to straighten and I was able to pass him just before the finish line running a 6.04 to his 6.08. That was one of the most exciting races in a long time for me.

We are now preparing for the finals by just going over things and checking the equipment. As it looks, we will race the Lindberg Brothers for the Championship at the European Finals, but anything can happen of course. Meanwhile check out our R2B2 team mates, Melanie Troxel, Ray Commisso and Roger Burgess who are racing at the US Nationals at Indy.


The Lindberg Brothers (Johan above right) are second in the FIA European Pro Modified Championship on equal points with Micke Gullqvist. Crew Chief Jonnie Lindberg answered our questions.

How are you preparing for the European Finals?

Jonnie Lindberg: We have renovated the engine which broke in Hockenheim and we have gone over the car so everything is in the best possible state. "We love this shit" as we are used to saying!

What do you hope for performancewise at the European Finals?

Jonnie Lindberg: Our goal is a five-second pass. 5.95 would be nice!

Any major changes to the car since the last race?

Jonnie Lindberg: A completely renovated engine.

Which drivers/riders in your class do you consider the strongest competitors to win the event at Santa Pod?

Jonnie Lindberg: Melanie Troxel, Micke Gullqvist, Urban Johansson and Mats Eriksson. We will just go for it. We feel we know the track at Santa Pod well and so we can win, but we have tough competition from many other teams so it is not going to come easy!

Eurodragster.com sponsor Marco Maurischat (below left) is currently fourteenth in the FIA European Pro Modified Championship:

This time we will do nothing special to the car or the engine before the Finals. We prepared the engine like we do every time coming home after an event. We took everything apart, if needed change parts, order some stuff from the USA etc. This year we have done some promotions and exhibitions here in Germany for NGK. For this, everything had to be back together last weekend where we had the car on display near Rostock.We had to  perform some fire-ups there, so everything had to be ready to fire up the engine. Now the trailer is loaded and we are getting the Wednesday ferry from the Netherlands to England. 

So far our season has not been as good as we hoped for. After our good first year in 2009 with a 6.19 at the European Finals at only our fourth race weekend and eleventh place in the Championship, our goal was a top ten finish in the Championship in our second season. Things have progessed the other way round so far and we have had many gremlins in the engine this year, and that has kept us from running better numbers. Things changed a bit on Saturday at Hockenheim where we were running better ETs for the first time. We did four better runs in a row with a losing 6.26 in the first round against Andy Robinson.

To get back into the top ten could be unrealistic, but hopefully we can go a round, set a new personal best and, most important, have good weather and have some fun! Right now for me there are four racers who could win the Finals. In the end, anything can happen but I would say Melanie, Michael Gullquist, Mats or even Andy could be the winner on Sunday. Or maybe I will storm through the field?


Peter Schöfer (above right) is currently fourth in the FIA European Top Methanol Dragster Championship but has a chance of third place. Wolfgang Schöfer answered our questions on Peter's behalf.

How are you preparing for the European Finals?

Wolfgang Schöfer: We are working on our car to make it as good as possible for the Finals and doing work for customers. We do our best to prepare the car but there is no fuel check, blower overdrive check and so on at the race track. We would welcome more rigorous checks to ensure that all the cars are OK according to the rules.

What do you hope for performance-wise at the European Finals?

Wolfgang Schöfer: We want to get as many points as possible and to do as little damage as possible to our car.

Any major changes to the car since the last race?

Wolfgang Schöfer: It's hard to make major changes on a tight budget.

Which drivers in your class do you consider the strongest competitors to win the event at Santa Pod?

Wolfgang Schöfer: Everyone.

Esko Raisvuo (below left) is ninth in the FIA European Top Methanol Dragster Championship, but is leaving his car in Finland and flying over to watch the race.

How are you preparing for the European Finals?

Esko Raisvuo: The plan is to fly over and consult, since our own stuff is parked more or less temporarily.

What do you hope for performance-wise at the European Finals?

Esko Raisvuo: I think if weather is OK and the track prep is superb, someone will run 5.2 in TMD - possibly Fred Hanssen.

Any major changes to the car since the last race?

Esko Raisvuo: Our car is race ready, but parked because I am worried about the rule changes about which we were informed at the Main Event. These rule changes about fuel percentage mean that it is not possible to run our engine combination any more with the idea of getting into the top of a tight field. After all, I'm there to win rounds, not struggle with the bump spot. 94% nitro means that we must buy all new engines and the latest evolutions from USA at a very high cost.

Which drivers/riders in your class do you consider the strongest competitors to win the event at Santa Pod?

Esko Raisvuo: Timo will win the Championship. Dennis made the mistake of all time at Hockenheim with a deep stage.


Arvid Grødem (above right) is currently third in the FIA European Top Methanol Funny Car Championship.

How are you preparing for the European Finals?

Arvid Grødem: We are not making any special preparations for the European Finals as such other than the usual things we normally do prior to a FIA round. Saying that we plan to change back to our primary set of cylinder heads when we get to Santa Pod as one cylinder head was damaged at Hockenheim and was sent for repair with the Lindahl twins. We have experienced a lot of valve train problems this year culminating in two valve adjustment screws breaking straight off at the Hockenheim race causing severe damage to the motor and to the body (again...third time this year). The Sunoco/Westside Racing crew did a tremendous job to get everything back together in order to be ready for Sunday's eliminations. Hopefully, we have sorted the mechanical problems now and then it is just down to the pilot to put some great numbers on the scoreboards at Santa Pod.

What do you hope for performance-wise at the European Finals?

Arvid Grødem: Performancewise we know that we can put on far better ETs and speed than we have been able to show so far this season. When - hopefully at the European Finals - we can get the Sunoco Express Mustang to go the entire 1320 under full power, we should be able to better our PB which is 5.80/397 km/h.  The ultimate goal is always to win!

Any major changes to the car since the last race?

Arvid Grødem: No major changes other than changing what was damaged at Hockenheim.

Which drivers in your class do you consider the strongest competitors to win   the event at Santa Pod?

Arvid Grødem: I would say that our good friend Dan Larsen must be first in line when the favourites are listed. However, strange things have happened at the Finals before   so the win is up for grabs by most of the drivers in the class. In the Championship Dan Larsen and Jürgen Nagel are in front of me so I guess the chance to be the overall Champion is more of a theoretical exercise. Saying that, I can repeat what I said above, strange things have happened at the Finals before.

Dan Larsen (below left) leads the FIA Top Methanol Funny Car Championship by two points from Jürgen Nagel.

How are you preparing for the European Finals?

Dan Larsen: We will test run at the Pro Peak Performance Day.

What do you hope for performance-wise at the European Finals?

Dan Larsen: As it has been a strange season without Ulf Leanders and Leif Andréasson, a weak field in Finland and rain interrupting several events, the most important to us is that we run consistently and in the low 5.70s close to the 5.60 barrier. Winning the Championship does not feel as important as running quickly.

Any major changes to the car since the last race?

Dan Larsen: No changes since Hockenheim.

Which drivers in your class do you consider the strongest competitors to win   the event at Santa Pod?

Dan Larsen: Actually all the drivers in the class have potential to run quick, so it can be anyone really.


Michael Malmgren (above right) holds a 76-point lead over Micke Callin in the FIA European Pro Stock Championship.

How are you preparing for the European Finals?

Michael Malmgren: By testing some last weekend at Meca Raceway, so that we have a good set up for the Finals as usually the track at Santa Pod is good. We also try new stuff in the hope of improvements. Why go testing when we only need to make a good qualifying run at the Finals to gain enough points to be out of reach and take the title? We want to go to Santa Pod and be fast, and show we are worth a top spot or even better the title of Champion. Some say it's a done deal but it's not; anything can happen, but we hope to have closed the door on Friday night after the first day of qualifying. By testing there is always a small risk something can happen, but I feel confident with my car and team and even if we didn't go testing we still had some sponsor obligations for Lahega with passenger runs on Wednesday. So we will work very hard to the very end, as we have the whole season, and it has paid off with very good numbers and consistent runs at every race - something we didn't have last year. Records don't win Championships but consistent runs do, but of course it's the icing on the cake to take the record which right now is held by Jimmy Ålund and that is stout, hard to beat!

What do you hope for performance-wise at the European Finals?

Michael Malmgren: I hope we can run our first 6.6 run at over 330km/h. We know we have the power to do it, it's just a matter of how well we can take care of that power.

Any major changes to the car since the last race?

Michael Malmgren: As Hockenheim had a very bad start line it did require a different set-up from Santa Pod, so we are changing quite a lot on our Bickel GTO.

Which drivers in your class do you consider the strongest competitors to win the event at Santa Pod?

Michael Malmgren: Anybody, as everyone is running fast and there are no slow cars any more in Pro Stock. But if I have too pick the most likely then of course Jimmy ålund who I know will give everything to make up for his semi-final defeat at Hockenheim, but Micke Callin can also cause an upset.

Jonas Engdahl is contesting his first season in FIA Pro Stock and is currently ninth in the European Championship.

How are you preparing for the European Finals?

Jonas Engdahl: I am preparing mentally, and we also discussed what was good and bad about the last race in Hockenheim.

What do you hope for performance-wise at the European Finals?

Jonas Engdahl: To be the first Mopar Pro Stock in Europe to run a six and, naturally, to win the race.

Any major changes to the car since the last race?

Jonas Engdahl: We have gone over the car, focusing on everything pretty much.

Which drivers in your class do you consider the strongest competitors to win the event at Santa Pod?

Jonas Engdahl: Jimmy Ålund.

Text and translations prepared by Åsa Kinnemar. Pictures courtesy and ©Speedgroup, Julian Hunt, and Peter Schöfer Racing


Post-Finals FIA/UEM prizegiving.
6th September: Speedgroup and Trakbak Racing are pleased to announce that there will be an FIA and UEM prize-giving party immediately after the FIA European Finals this Sunday (12th September). Racers, their teams and race and club officials are all very welcome and the ticket price has been set at a very reasonable level.

The party will take place in the VIP marquee next to the fire-up road at 20:00 with the trophy ceremony to commence at 21:30. Trophies will be presented to the Top Three in the FIA and UEM European Championships.

Tickets, which include a buffet but not drinks, are £10 per person and must be ordered in advance of the evening. They cannot be bought at the door. To order your tickets please E-Mail Speedgroup Co-ordinator Åsa Kinnemar by tomorrow evening (Tuesday) with your team name, number of tickets you wish to order, and a mobile phone number. Alternately from Thursday morning tickets can be bought from the Pod Shop in the pits where pre-ordered tickets should also be collected and paid for by Friday evening.

If you have any queries then you can ask in the Pod Shop or contact Åsa on-site at Santa Pod in Micke Gullqvist's/Melanie Troxel's pit or call +46 705 315 332).


Hall of Fame to present on Sunday.
6th September: There will be another trophy ceremony at this weekend's FIA European Finals as the British Drag Racing Hall Of Fame in association with US Automotive will be concluding this year's inductions into the Hall Of Fame on the start line at Santa Pod during Sunday. Two 'Bootsie' awards will be presented, one to Harold Bull and one to Al O'Connor.

"What can you say about Harold Bull", says BDRHoF Chair Stu Bradbury. "A brilliant engineer who campaigned his Mini-engined Stripduster slingshot from 1965 to his retirement in 1974. Built completely from scratch, the car went from mid-sixteens at 80 mph to low nines at over 150 mph. Harold won over forty trophies and broke several world and strip records in the UK, Germany and Sweden. To get an idea of Harold's expertise in engine building take a look at his web site at www.stripduster.co.uk.

"Al O'Connor started drag racing in 1970 and from his first appearance on the famed Santa Pod quarter mile became an instant crowd favourite with his wild runs and wheels-up launches. As we all know Al continuescampaigning his Chevy-powered Pop Al's Gasser to this day."

You can find out more about the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame on its official web site at www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk.


Cannon digs deep.
6th September: After the SPRC Summernationals UK Supertwin racer Chris Hannam and his team went through his run data and decided that he needed to invest again:

After numerous discusions we have updgraded our Mallory mags with state-of-the-art MSD Harley ignitions. This in its self was a major task for space alone with the added problem of needing a bigger battery pack which we did not need with the mags. On top of this we have a new 18 gpm Waterman pump with a new style BDK valve. The BDK will be controlled by an AMS1000 to start with but discussions are underway with Sebastian Domingo at NLR to get the latest AMS2000 when it is released at the PRI Show in December. To say that I have been busy machining is an understatment. We have another rear drive pulley and top hat, new fuel distribution blocks, mounts for the MSD etc. It has been a big task and we weren't sure if we were going to make it to the track. Well, I can confirm that the super team has delivered and we will be at Santa Pod.

Most of this I have to say is down to Neil Midgley for getting the motors rebuilt and fitting and wiring the full bike. Thanks also go to Roger Upperton for modifying the liners and for machine work to the valves and pistons, and lastly to Mike Vickers for the loan of the AMS1000 and Al Smith for the normal input and parts etc.

So we are almost ready to go to the track for the biggest meeting of the year and to see all of our friends who have been having fun racing round Europe while we have been busy in the workshop. Let's see if we can put a tune-up in all of these new parts and finally realise the potential this bike has to offer; it now has the best of everything and only knowledge stops us from ripping off some good six-second passes so let's hope for good weather and a bit of luck.

Finally I would like to anounce that we will be assisted at this event by Lucas Oil Products and we hope that we can carry this on to next year too. Whilst talking to Andy Cater at the Main Event and telling him of our bearing issues Andy gave us some Lucas oil to try. This turned out to be a good step forward as we did see better results from this oil and special additive. We met with Les Downey of  Lucas Oil UK and Tom Bogner of Lucas Oil in the USA. Tom is the guy who actually blends the race oil so talking to the main man was a great insight. Tom and Les were very interested in our development and they could see the results, we kept in touch with them all weekend and from this Les has kindly agreed to support us this weekend. So at the Finals we will we will be wearing the shields of Lucas Oil Products and we thank them for their valued support and of course Andy Carter for the introduction.


Mott comes out on top.
6th September: UK Supertwin Gas racer and Open Sport Nationals winner Chris Mott said that he had a real up and down weekend which ended on a high point:

First qualifying session of the weekend and a good launch but the bike seemed to loose boost at about 330 feett and ended the run on a 9.97. In the second and third qualifiers the bike still seemed flat, resulting in high nines. After checking the boost recordings we could see that pressure was down so we pulled apart the intake side of the turbo looking for leaks, nothing to be found. After a bit more head-scratching we took then exhaust side of the turbo off and noticed that the waste gate wasn't sealing properly. So after a few modifications, with thanks to Pete Harrison for his help, we managed to get that sealed. Ran the engine up Sunday night to test it and the front exhaust header pipe snapped! After a quick scoot round the pits we found that Jerry Collier had his welding kit with him. So at eight o'clock on Monday morning Jerry made a great job of welding the pipe back together for us, thanks Jerry (his Pro Stock Bike is looking great in the new Projoint colours too).

So Monday morning and the bike all back together in time for the first round, we got a 1.31 sixty foot and a 9.12 ET, both bests for the bike since fitting the turbo! A 9.25 in the semi and a 9.26 to win the final was a great finish to the weekend.

Thanks to John and the crew at Shakespeare County Raceway for the track prep and to my Super Crew of Yvonne and Gavin Cupit for all their hard work. A final thanks to Keith Baker at Classic Cycle Works for another great paint job this year (it got some people thinking) and to Steve at Motorshack for his help with the fuel.


Alamo JD Challenge standings.
6th September: Thanks to Andy Wheeler for passing us the post-Open Sport Nationals standings in the 2010 Alamo Rent a Car Junior Dragster Challenge, which will award the best combined RT/against-index packages at the end of the season:


For more information about the 2010 Alamo Rent a Car Junior Dragster Challenge, check out our news item Alamo backs Junior Dragster Challenge of 1st April.
©Eurodragster.com
Don't forget that Alamo Rent A Car are offering 10% off car hire plus an additional 5% discount on pre-pay. By using a special web link, cars can be hired at a preferential rate from any one of 8,800 worldwide locations. So whether you are a racer needing a hire car for the FIA European Finals, an official headed for a meeting overseas, or a fan going racing in the USA then this deal is for you. As if that wasn't enough Alamo Gold, available on all rentals in the USA and Canada, includes everything you need for a stress-free rental and only costs from £30 per week on top of the fully inclusive rates. Alamo Gold includes unlimited mileage, Collision Damage Waiver, Liability Protection ($1 million liability coverage), airport fees, state/local taxes and surcharges, a tank of fuel, and additional drivers.

For more details, check out the Eurodragster.com News update of Monday 22nd February, or to book your discounted hire car check out www.alamo.co.uk/dragster.


Pre-Finals Test Weekend coverage.
5th September: Eurodragster.com will be at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend to bring you coverage of the pre-FIA European Finals Test Weekend in association with
American Car Imports.

The plan is for end-day reports and end-day galleries on both days. In addition the Webster Race Engineering/Nimbus Motorsport webcam will be streaming live video and audio on both days so long as the track is open.

Click here to view our Test Weekend coverage, or click on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


A Syko in Belgium.
5th September: Graham Sykes has been invited to take his nine-second Syko V8 drag bike with a twist to the Eurodrag Full Throttle Internationals at Brustem in Belgium on 25th-26th September. The unique bike, including the carbon fibre bodywork, was entirely put together by Graham who together with wife Diane also crews on Roger Goring's Firestorm Jet Funny Car. "It's going to be real fun taking Syko to put on some demonstration passes at this landmark meeting", says Graham.

"Syko is an old girl really. She has been kicking about since 1995 having made its début in a drag racing demonstration on the Douglas seafront on Mad Sunday at the Isle of Man TT. Since then the bike has mainly run at NSA sprint events. It has had many guises with several engines, the biggest being a 5000 cc, 450 bhp V8. More recently the engine has been downsized to a 4000 cc TVR Tuscan engine with mainly Small Block Chevy aftermarket internals giving 400 bhp on Avgas.

"The bike made its début on three wheels three years ago having had a complete rebuild after a comprehensive engine blow-up - the only engine part to come out unscathed being the carburettor. It was back in action after the lay-up at the Festival of 1000 Bikes at Mallory Park running a couple of demos alongside Steve Carey on the Purple Princess, John Hobbs on the Hobbit, and Chris Illman on the Methamon outfit.

"Erwin Raets, the organiser of the Brustem event, says that the European fans love to see anything different and the Syko is certainly that!"


Swift snippets.
5th September: UK Funny Bike racer Steve French tells us that he is rebuilding his Kawasaki head and cannot find his pack of shims. "Does anyone have a collection of Kawasaki Z or Vortex shims which I can use to get the head finished?", says Steve. If you can help then please drop Steve a line at steve@frenchinjection.co.uk.

Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for sending us Version 5 of the official entry list for the VP Racing Fuels National Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-26th September. You can check out the entry list by clicking here. Normal price entry is now closed, entry if accepted will be subject to a penalty fee. Entry forms can be downloaded from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

We have two spy pictures for you today. The first (below left) came with the words "Another Nostalgia flopper in progress?"...


...whilst the second came with the words "Cheers dad". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

Per their policy of selling what they have used successfully, Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson Race Cars are dealers for Jeff Burnett's JBR carbon fibre blower hats (below left). "At the moment we have a couple in stock, one suitable for Pro Mod and one suitable for PSI blowers on Funny Cars", says Bob Roberts. "Since we'd rather sell them than have them in stock over winter we're offering a well discounted price so call Kate on 01256 880589 if you're interested. We can bring them to the Finals next week. We also have in stock some S + J storage units for nozzles and injectors (below right). They are remarkably easy to lose or damage and these storage blocks make organisation and preservation easy. There are two different blocks, one for jets and the other for nozzles and the are £30 each or £50 for a pair. Once again we will have them at Santa Pod next week. Of course we will be racing at the Finals although Andy tells me that he will be taking it easy to get to the end of the season without the damage we've seen at earlier meetings. I guess that will last until the first stage light goes on."


Rhonda Cohen, who is writing a PhD about thrill-seeking, would be pleased to hear from any racer who would be willing to undertake a Reaction Time test on her laptop at next week's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. "I plan to be at the Finals on Friday and Saturday", says Rhonda. "If anyone is interested then please E-Mail me at r.x.cohen@mdx.ac.uk". There is also still time for racers to take part in Rhonda's questionnaire about thrill-seeking which you can reach via Rhonda's web site at www.sportpsych.co.uk.


End of season review.
5th September: UK Pro ET racer Paul Baynton says that his season went up in smoke in his first pass at Shakespeare County Raceway last weekend:

We scored no points at Easter, but then we came back with three finals in a row reaching the rained off final at the Springspeed Nationals and winning the FIA Main Event and Summernationals, which put us on top of all three Championships. I felt we were on a roll but I soon came down to Earth with a bang.

At the end of the first run at SCR the Capri filled up with oil smoke. I coasted to the top of the track and parked awaiting a tow back to the pits. Angie Hudson very kindly towed me back with their quad. Initially we couldn't see anything wrong but finally found a small piece of valve seal on top of the head. I put a call out for some valve seals and received a couple of sets from Malcolm Motler and Jon Turner. Rick McCann and Carla Pittau lent me a valve spring removal tool and we went in search of the broken seal. Unfortunately what we uncovered was a broken valve guide and our weekend was over.

When I got home on Monday evening I started to strip the motor until it got too dark to see. I pulled the head off Tuesday morning only to discover the guide had broken in two. The valve had made a mess of the seat and the two halves of the guide had made a good job of beating up the head. The next thing I looked for was a reason why. Much swearing and cursing followed when I discovered three out of four pistons on that bank were in the wrong cylinders! The intake valves lined up with the exhaust cut outs on the pistons and therefore the valves had been digging into the tops of the pistons. When I lifted the other head off one piston was in the wrong cylinder. I bought the engine second-hand and trusted that it had been freshened properly, a mistake I will never make again. The problems I had at Easter unfortunately did not highlight the problem as the heads did not need to be removed therefore the issue went unnoticed.

My 2010 season is over. I need a new Brodix head and will likely need to replace lifters, push rods and rockers as well as having the pistons checked and repositioned. As soon as I can afford it I'll be passing the engine to Dave Milam, an engine builder I trust; at least this time I know the motor will be right. Thanks to Rick and Carla for their offer which I had to turn down and to everyone else who offered help.


Palos holds Osterberg's seat.
4th September: Mikko Osterberg writes that the Osterberg Racing Pro Stock will have a new driver at next week's FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

"Sampsa Palos will be driving our Jenkins-powered Cobalt in his first FIA Pro Stock race", says Mikko. "His outstanding performance at the DEFA FHRA Finals convinced us that we should travel to England and check our performance against the top European racers.

"Special thanks to those who helpped us to make it possible - Richard Sundblom, Eero Knihtila, Toni Nystrom and Tami Brander - and of course thanks to our sponsors elsamar.com, T-Taxi, TorreTeam, Meidan Costa Blanca, KPJ-Kone, CC-Company, Stenstrom Oy, J-Force, Sisuste.fi, Vamos Oy, JJ-Putkigroup, Hiekkaharjun Kuormaus, Tammer Diesel Oy, AA-Speedshop, Taxi J.Sampi, Taksiautoilija J.Orre!"


Swift snippets.
4th September: Ex-pat UK Top Alcohol Dragster racer Michael Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences says that day one of qualifying at the US Nationals was a high and low. "We qualified second in the first session with a 5.369", says Mike. "We ran after Top Fuel for our second session. The air and track were killer; most cars stepped up, some big time. We didn't, we lost a cylinder at the hit and it stayed out till half track. We slowed to a 5.41 but increased our speed due to the car hauling on the top end. We are now tenth. We are scheduled to run in the heat of the day today but we hope to pick up a spot or two" You will be able to stay in touch with Mike's progress courtesy of our Drag Race Central colleagues at www.dragracecentral.com.

Gibb's bit of Rough.
3rd September: It has been nearly two and half years since Dave Gibbons returned the Rough Diamond altered to the UK from Austria. Its return to the track has taken much longer than intended but things are now taking shape at a pace.

"We made a good start initially, but soon after we got the car home my wife Alli was diagnosed with breast cancer", says Gibb. "Needless to say priorities were somewhat changed at that point! Thankfully Alli has made a full recovery but the episode made a huge impact on our time and finances, subsequently funds became tight and I soon realised that while I could finish the chassis I wasn't going to be able to afford a motor for it and my enthusiasm dwindled. Fortunately help was waiting in the wings.

Dave and Alli compete in sprint racing, currently in a Formula 3 Dallara, and have enjoyed a great relationship with Paul Marston since meeting him and his team at the Brighton Speed Trials. Paul's licence wasn't accepted for sprints, Dave was in the right place at the right time with the right licence, he jumped in the saddle of Grumpy's Dodge and has been a small part of PMR since. Dave told Paul about his engine dilemma, and before he knew it Paul had delivered all the parts to build a 468 ci Big Block Chevy to Dave's workshop with the instruction "Put it together and you can borrow it". This was the spark needed to get the project back on track.

Paul Marston adds "Dave Gibbons is one of drag racing's true gentlemen with integrity, passion, dedication and bravery. Previously we have been honoured to have both Dave and Alli drive Paul Marston Racing cars at both the Brighton Speed Trials and in the UK National Drag Racing Championship. To help him complete his journey to recreate his awesome altered Rough Diamond is a way of repaying just some of the selfless acts of help which Dave has given PMR over the years. Everyone at PMR cannot wait to see Dave make a pass again."

Initially the plan was to restore Rough Diamond to its original self, but it soon became clear that so much work would need to be done to the frame to make it pass tech that it was easier to build a duplicate which Dave has done and, at the suggestion of Jon Webster, in chromoly to Funny Car spec. While the original car ran a small block on nitrous, this was not going to be the best way to go to be competitive in Super Comp or Super Pro ET. As Dave points out, "The car was always going to have to be as quick as it was when I last raced it in 1984, but racing has changed. A Small Block on nitrous isn't consistent, so to go Big Block was the only common-sense choice". Consequently, Rough Diamond is going to be like the broom with two new heads and three new handles, so rather than a restoration it's now more of a recreation. "Our approach is now to imagine how the car would have evolved had I continued to race it", says Dave. "Race cars change over time and this is probably how it would have come out, but I'm using as many parts from the original as possible. Some compromises have to be made of course; for instance, in order to use the original air box I'm using a 4150 carb rather than a Dom."

Tony Morris has also been an integral part of getting Rough Diamond racing again. Tony bought the car from Dave in 1984 and campaigned with it across Europe; he now lives in Florida where he works for carburettor specialist BLP and continues to race a dragster. Tony, along with sister Andrea Kloss, were instrumental in finding the car languishing in Austria. Tony visited Dave's workshop recently and says "It was great to see Rough Diamond coming back together during my visit. After I bought the car from Dave in 1984 he helped me to run it, carried out chassis upgrades, and built me an alcohol injected motor. We had a lot of fun with that car and a lot of success in Europe. I'm really pleased to be part of its return and I can't wait to see it run again". Tony's drag racing experience now substantially outweighs Dave's and he will help out in an advisory capacity as well as in the carburetion department.

While Rough Diamond won't now be out in anger until next season the frame is nearly done, the motor is built, the body is painted and the lettering perfectly recreated by Pro-Sign's Neil Melliard. "Dropping the painted and lettered body back on the frame for the first time was a surprisingly moving experience", says Gibb. "It was like stepping back twenty-seven years."

Alongside Paul Marston Racing, Rough Diamond will be enjoying support from Cygnet Business Solutions, vehicle turntable specialists Hillis-Frader and wheel furniture specialist Mister Tee's Nutz 4 U. There will be a new Rough Diamond web site soon, but in the meantime footage of Rough Diamond in the early 1980s can be found on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdZXshiTyaE.

Dave would like to take the opportunity to thank Paul Marston, Tony Morris, Crew Chief Dick Hogben, Maurice Takoor, Neil and Mandy Melliard, Andrea Kloss, Jon Webster and Alli Gibbons for their advice, help and encouragement.


Arise, Sir Michael...
3rd September: Ex-pat UK Top Alcohol Dragster racer Michael Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences, who runs in NHRA and IHRA in the USA, has been fighting tyre shake this season but some work on the chassis has done wonders:

We sent car to be back-halved as we knew it was twisted. We were told the front half was worn out so both were done and we have basically a new chassis. Since the chassis renovation we have competed in Pro Fuel at two IHRA Nitro Jams which each consist of two races.

We had no chance to do any shakedown passes prior to the first race and blew the tyres off at both hits. On day two we won the Ironman. On day one of the second Nitro Jam we set low ET for the class at 5.29 and were runners-up in the Championship round. We did not back up our low ET record but Bill Evans backed up his run, and he went to bed with a new IHRA record of 5.30. On day two we again lowered our ET and with the 5.29 as back-up reset the Pro Fuel record at 5.27 together with a new speed record of 275 mph.  We went on and won the Ironman. You can see a report at www.ihra.com. We are now #1 in the IHRA Championship by nineteen points - their web site is missing the twenty points for a record. We could end up IHRA Pro Fuel Champion for the year. Can you put a good word in for me to Charlie and Liz? I wouldn't turn down a knighthood, after all they give them out for things like cycling and swimming don't they.

Our last three outings have netted us a divisional Wally and two Ironman trophies which makes me feel good about our prospects in Indy this week. It looks like the air will be good at Indy this weekend so fingers crossed that not only will we make the final as we did last year but that we will actually bring home a big Wally.

Top Alcohol action starts at Indy today; you will be able to stay in touch with Mike's progress courtesy of our Drag Race Central colleagues at www.dragracecentral.com.


Straightened out by an Eriksson.
3rd September: Lena Perés writes that one of FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Championship leader and Eurodragster.com sponsor Urs Erbacher's chassis is undergoing surgery at the Borlänge workshop of ME Racing Service:

This is how LG treated Urs Erbacher's chassis today and what now is left of it. LG was very happy afterwards: "It was fun to destroy" was his smiling comment. And he did look satisfied. But nevertheless it's a good feeling that the top driver in Europe prefers to use our knowledge here in Sweden instead of handing over his kit to the USA. Thanks very much for that confidence Urs, it makes us proud.


The part which is now gone wasn't pretty. One side was winding like a snake and the front end was off-centre by several centimetres. No wonder that that car didn't behave at the track. Hopefully that is all going to be fixed in the next few weeks. But before then we have a race meeting to attend so we'll see you all at Santa Pod and we wish everyone there good luck.


Shamus heads for the sevens.
3rd September: After a long lay-off, UK Supertwin Fuel racer Shaun Rodman and the AFB Racing team arrived at Shakespeare County Raceway at the weekend full of anticipation. The clutch had undergone some major surgery and fears of a leaking rear cylinder appeared to be put to bed. Team member Nick Saunders writes:

Things didn't get off to the best of starts with a primary drive belt breaking on the first run of the weekend, and the rear cylinder appeared to be showing signs of a leak. The rest of Saturday was then spent leak down testing and investigating the broken belt. Both issues were solved and we were ready for Sunday. The weather was the winner on the Sunday, with a very windy start to the day. We finally made it to the pairing lanes at around midday. Around ten minutes before we were due to run, the heavens opened and we found ourselves seeking refuge in a forty-foot container behind the start line (thanks to the crew for that). Once the weather cleared up we returned to the line, the result being a great launch but tyre went up in smoke at around 300 feet.

On studying the video footage, along with discussions between Shaun and the team, it was decided to take some weight off the clutch and soften things up for on Monday so as not to overpower the track. The result on Monday was a first run of 8.50/160 followed by an excellent one-hour turn-round by the team and an 8.32/155. Back-to-back runs have given Shamus and the rest of the crew a lot of confidence coming into the National Finals. Hopefully the power taken out of the bike this weekend can be reinstated to get the bike well down into that low seven-second bracket. See you at the Pod!


Euro Serie Top Gas review.
3rd September: The penultimate round of Euro Serie Supertwin Top Gas took place last weekend at the Drag Day Finals at Hoskovice in the Czech Republic, writes event winner and Champion-elect Herman Jolink:

The track is an airfield forty kilometres north-east of Prague, with fine concrete and a lot of good traction. We had some raindrops now and again but the concrete dried quickly in the sunshine. After three rounds of qualifying:
  1. Otto Knebl CZ on 1400 Kawasaki with NOS 8.393/263
  2. Herman Jolink NL on Ducati 1198 RS (1266) 8.507/256
  3. Jan Kouba CZ on Susuki with NOS 8.677/251
  4. Milos Bernatek CZ on Suzuki with NOS 11.864/194
  5. Pavel Bajer CZ on Suzuki with NOS 25.106/25
Round 1: Knebl 8.361/259 bye run (Bajer broke), Jolink 8.580/255 beat Rybar 12.210/194, Kouba 8.905/235 beat Bernatek 10.328/227. Semi final Knebl 8.461/258 bye run, Jolink 8.379/257 beat Kouba 8.784/242, RTs Jolink 0.119 and Kouba 0.148.

Final: Herman Jolink NL 8.362/258 beat Otto Knebl CZ no time - shut off before crossing the centre line. RTs Jolink 0.112 and Knebl 0.246.

The final round is an eighth-mile sprint at this weekend's Mosten Race Days in Denmark. If all goes OK at Mosten then Herman Jolink will be European Champion in Euro Serie Super Twin Top Gas for the first time in his thirty five-year drag racing career, always on Ducatis.


Swift snippets.
3rd September: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for sending us Version 4 of the official entry list for the VP Racing Fuels National Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-26th September. You can check out the entry list by clicking here. Normal price entry closes today; entry forms can be downloaded from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

Fifteen days and counting before the NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway, the organisers are seeking nostalgia race cars and bikes for display on 18th-19th September. "Last year there was quite a good turnout including a Top Fuel Dragster, the restored 1980s A/Modified Roadster Mr Shifter and the TR8-bodied altered Vicious Trait", says Jerry Cookson. "It would be nice if we could see one of the Allard dragsters at the track as well as the restored Houndog 1 if you're reading this Nobby! The invitation is also open to National Sprint Association and VMCC bikes". If you are interested or if you have a restored dragster, altered or doorslammer for show then please get in touch with Jerry on 01789 720180 or E-Mail details to enquiries@shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk.

Also on the subject of Shakespeare County Raceway, Wayne Schreier got in touch to ask us to wish his wife and APIRA Chief Timekeeper Janet Schreier a Happy Birthday for Wednesday. Julie Willcox adds a Happy Birthday for Wednesday to APIRA Pairing Lanes Marshal Beth Satchell. "They are both catching me up but they have a fair way to go yet!", says Julie. Hope that you both had a great day, ladies.

Apologies for the lack of a news update yesterday; your News Editor was unwell.


Lazily into the eights.
3rd September: UK blown-alcohol altered racer Adam Gleadow says that the season started a little late for the Motor Psycho team:

Having upgraded from the old B&J trans to a three speed Lenco CS-2 we came out for the first time at the Summernationals for the first proper testing passes on the new car. A few burnouts and very lazy launches ensued - traced back to the shift pods on the Lenco needing re-adjusting, so it was effectively stuck between second and third gear. With this sorted, and the new front grille mounted (thanks to Jason and Roy at FGR Motorsport) the front of the car finally looked finished and we went for further testing at Mini in the Park.

We made a couple of nice strong burnouts and better launches, and although still soft the runs culminated in a new best of 8.41/171. With the big speed and lazy start it looks like there's a lot more left to play with.

  We are currently getting ready for the European Finals and our foray into Super Pro ET. I'm excited to announce a new sponsorship partner; we've put together a deal with Dodo Juice, those of you heavily into vehicle detailing/polishing will know Dodo Juice for being the best of the best, creating their own pure carnauba specialist polishes and waxes for different applications along with their own line of cleaning equipment. There is no-one better for keeping your ride looking it's best! For more information about their products take a trip over to Dodo Island, the home of Dodo Juice and all things shiny at www.dodojuice.com...for the results, see Motor Psycho at the track!

Our progress can be followed on our web site at www.motorspycho.co.uk, on our Facebook fan page, or via Twitter. For some videos of our exploits this year visit www.vimeo.com/user4114768.


Weekend saved by PMR crew.
3rd September: Paul Marston Racing had a tough time at the Open Sport Nationals, but with a monumental effort from the crew the team salvaged a respectable result and are now poised to take full advantage in the last two remaining rounds of the UK National Drag Racing Championships. Paul Marston takes up the story:

Firstly I want to make sure that the PMR crew get the credit that they deserve, in particular Sefton Whitlock without whom I could not have repaired the motor in our PiranaZ backed Super Comp/Super Pro ET dragster. Everyone - the Crew Chief Funsize, Mick the Pieman and drivers Dave Catton and Martin Curbishley - went over and above.

After the first qualifying round in which we qualified on pole for Super Pro ET and second in Super Comp the motor developed a very strange noise when Martin fired it in the staging lanes. Back in the PMR pit, after virtually stripping the motor until 9:30 pm on Saturday and continuing at 7:00 am on Sunday, a roller lifter was found to have just started to collapse. It was then a real thrash to replace all the roller lifters then carefully reassemble the whole motor so that it would run exactly the same as before it developed the fault plus not leak. It had to be perfect. There was no room for error, as by 4:00 pm on Sunday there was only one round of qualifying left so it was essential that the dragster ran with no problems.

That is why I am so proud of the Paul Marston Racing crew: they rose to the occasion and got the job done. It is not the first time they have done that but it was a tough situation. Championships depend on these kind of situations working for you. Both runs were perfect; no fluids, no leaks, nothing and the PiranaZ-backed dragster ran exactly what we thought it would. Come eliminations Dave went two rounds and Martin a round, so some valuable points were earned which would otherwise have been lost. PMR still remain in the hunt for the National Championships, leading Super Comp and in the top five in Super Pro ET. We are ready.

I must lastly thank our two ace drivers, Wing Commander Dave Catton and Martin 'Mr Cool' Curbishley who both had the faith, trust and confidence in the PMR crew to take the PMR dragster and run it absolutely flat out, safe in the knowledge that it had been reassembled by one of the best crews ever to grace the Sportsman pits in UK drag racing. Gentlemen I thank you.

Special thanks to Billy Gane at Fat Pack Racing, Ian Turboville, Gary at DRE, Tony Morris at our American arm of PMR, and all the racers and photographers who wished us good luck! A big up to all our sponsors: London Road Tyres, American Racing Fuels, PiranaZ - Clothing With attitude!, Geddex, BLP, JW Performance Transmissions, ACL Bearings and Black Box London.

Paul Marston will be a guest on the John Griff afternoon show on BBC Radio Northampton this afternoon (Friday) to talk about the forthcoming FIA European Finals and his career in drag racing. "It's a real honour to be invited on to John's show", says Paul. "He is a real motorsport fan and I am looking forward to it. I am scheduled to do the last guest slot at around 3.40 pm. Whilst there I will also be taping some interviews with Mark Dean for future broadcast on his evening show and on local community radio station Inspiration FM. You can listen to the show on the I-Player if you cannot catch it live this afternoon. There is also a possibility that BBC Radio Northampton will be attending the European Finals and broadcasting a slot live from the track. I met Mark Dean of BBC Radio Northampton at the Sywell Charity Air Show a couple of weeks ago, and he invited me to come in to BBC Radio Northampton as he was excited to hear more about drag racing and to share my experiences with their listeners. Incidentally I have been told that the Air Show raised around £50,000 for the Air Ambulance."


Hunt the Goblin.
3rd September: Would Andy Robinson driving Timo Habermann's Methanol Dragster be faster than Jon Webster driving Michael Malmgren's Pro Stock? Could Al O'Connor in Mark Fairhurst's Super Comp rail beat Micke Kågered in Paul Marston's PT Bruiser?  Can you collect all the parts of Freddy Fagerström's Pro Mod pick-up before anyone else?  Can you remember where Mats Eriksson and the Green Goblin are hiding on the pit lane? Will your fastest driver pull a cherry and end up on the trailer? The only way to find out is to buy yourself Eliminator, the new card game on sale in the Pod Shop from Wednesday 8th September.

Eliminator will cost you £5.50 for which you get a set of cards with which you can play six great games whilst helping out European drag racing. Sixty per cent of the profit from sales of Eliminator will go into a fund to which European racers can apply for help with repairs or the funds they need to keep racing.

If you are a European drag racing fan, think of all those racers out there whom you would miss if they couldn't afford to race? How many times have those teams entertained you? Wouldn't it be nice to give something back? We have all seen the buckets in the pit lane after some unfortunate team has suffered damage and as racers we are immensely grateful for all the money that the fans donate. Buying your Eliminator set gives you and your family hours of entertainment as you play the games, and also puts hard cash back into the sport.

To order your pack, send an E-Mail to eliminator.game@btinternet.com and have some fun whilst helping out the sport we love.


Web site updates.
3rd September: Jeni Long has updated her Yawning Cat Photography site with pictures from the weekend's Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can take a look at Jeni's pictures at www.yawningcatphotography.com.

Issue 2 of the magazine Drag Racing Confidential is now on-line at www.drceurope.co.uk and as well as features includes the chance to win a family ticket to the Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway.


Pre-Finals Test Weekend coverage.
3rd September: Eurodragster.com will be at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend to bring you coverage of the pre-FIA European Finals Test Weekend in association with American Car Imports.

Our coverage will consist of end-day reports and end-day galleries from tomorrow's Run What You Brung/VW Action and Sunday's Peak Performance Day. In addition the Webster Race Engineering/Nimbus Motorsport webcam will be streaming live video and audio on both days so long as the track is open.

This weekend at Santa Pod incorporates VW Action which includes a night racing session between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm with demonstrations by VW racers, the Supercharged Outlaws and Eurodragster.com sponsor Martin Hill's Fireforce 3 Jet Funny Car. Off-track attractions include a Christmas-themed party, DJ Battle, Show and Shine, Camper Van Cook-off, autojumble, charity auction and much more. More information at www.vwaction.com.

We will post a direct Home Page link to our Test Weekend coverage as soon as it commences, but in the meantime you can check out our FIA European Finals event index, which includes a link to the very latest version of the entry list, by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

On the subject of the FIA European Finals, his many friends on this side of the Pond will be delighted to learn that Eurodragster.com US Correspondent Ed O'Connell will again be joining our coverage team at Santa Pod next week.


Svenssons loading up.
1st September: This coming weekend Peter and Sören Svensson and the Kendall Oil Top Fuel Bike team will be taking their five-second bike, tools and equipment to the Lindahl Brothers' workshop in Vargön for transport to Santa Pod Raceway for next week's FIA European Finals. Peter and Sören say that the rest of the team will not be far behind and that they can't wait to race.

Most of us will fly to Stansted Airport on Thursday and drive to Santa Pod, and the rest of the team will meet us at the track on Thursday evening. We are really looking forward to this race, where we will be trying to improve our previous Personal Best of 5.917 seconds and 236 mph, and our own European records at 5.97/236.

After the race at Gardermoen we carefully checked all of the engine components and we found everything to be OK. This means that we can most certainly add power and some more clutch at this race, if we get the right track conditions. Some of you might remember that during our previous races this season we have had some serious problems with transmission belts when we added power - a belt snapped at Mantorp and the teeth stripped off the belt at Gardermoen. At Santa Pod we will be trying a new type of belt and hopefully this will solve the problem.

Depending on the conditions we will have to tune the bike for colder weather than at our previous race in Gardermoen and with some luck and some really good air (which usually happens at Santa Pod) we will hopefully get a bit closer to some new record-setting runs.

At the European Finals we will be selling our new T-Shirt (we apologise for the delay) and we also have our new hero card which we will give out for free to all our fans as long as they last. This year as well as last year we will have some friends coming over to Santa Pod to join the rest of our fans and we promise you all that we will try to put on a good show as always.

A big thank you to everyone who makes this possible:

Kendall Motor Oil Sweden, supplied by Sollebrunns Oljeservice

Samek Tool AB, who make some of the best moulding tools in the automotive industry in Sweden

CemeCon A/S, one of the best coating companies in Europe when it comes to camshaft coating etc

Real Form, product development within mechanical design

Romnet, consultants with computer network favours

All our families and friends.

For more information please visit our web site at www.billetracing.se.

Racers: Don't wait to be asked - send your FIA European Finals previews to us at news@eurodragster.com and we'll post them here for your fans to read.


Swift snippets.
1st September: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall for sending us Version 3 of the official entry list for the VP Racing Fuels National Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-26th September. You can check out the entry list by clicking here. Entry closes this Friday; entry forms can be downloaded from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

Last Tuesday's spy picture has been revealed to be UK Super Comp racer Malcolm Motler's Spellbound Morris Minor after receiving some plastic surgery. "We plan to return next Easter and to remain in Super Comp", says Malcolm. The team would be pleased to hear from anyone interested in sponsoring the car.

Many thanks to Wayne Schreier for giving us the official timing data from the weekend's Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway, which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. SCR's Jerry Cookson adds that Dave Smart set a new Supertwin Gas track speed record of 147.51 mph during the event so congratulations to Dave.

Continuing with the Open Sport Nationals Jerry Cookson adds that the winner of the trophy for Best Engineered Car, sponsored by Drag Race Engineering, was awarded to Sam Young for his electrically-powered VW Pro Beetle. Congratulations Sam, Jerry tells us that your trophy will be on its way to you soon.

Eurodragster.com's Webster Race Engineering/Nimbus Motorsport webcam will be streaming live audio and video from this weekend's Run What You Brung and Peak Performance Day at Santa Pod Raceway. We will be experimenting with a larger picture size as well as trying different audio settings so there may be brief breaks in service, but we will do our best to keep disruption to a minimum so that you can enjoy the action.


Web site updates.
1st September: Georgina Green has posted a set of excellent Open Sport Nationals photographs on Flickr at www.flickr.com/photos/greeno298 and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=270247&id=582627541&l=8ccadd1915 and www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=21427&id=100000402721296&ref=mf.

Editor's note: Because of pressure of work in your News Editor's day job we have a small backlog of news which we shall clear on the next news update. Tune back for news of the latest round of Euro Serie Top Gas, Eurodragster.com sponsor Mike Manners' latest success in the USA, UK blown-alcohol altered racer Adam Gleadow's latest outing and more, and please keep the news coming to news@eurodragster.com.



Earlier news