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European Drag Racing News
31st October: We have received some tributes to the late Sammy Miller, which we are very pleased to publish.
"What a shock!", writes Magnus Cato of the AC Delco Racing Pro Stock team. "Sammy Miller was the one who really got my attention to drag racing. I will never forget his runs with Vanishing point at Mantorp Park in the seventies. He literally blew me off the spectator stands and into the pits. The sight when he showed me his marks from the belts after the deceleration, wow. I'm so sad that all these guys have passed away - Hazze Z, Christer and now Sammy. Respect to these fine guys."
Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Andy Frost was also shocked to read of Sammy's death. "I never met Sammy, but he was a Drag Racing legend to me and to thousands of others. I'm sure that he will be remembered for all time as one of the bravest men ever to get in a quarter mile machine. Can you pass on my deepest sympathy to his family?"
Consider it done, Andy.
Flame and Thunder ticket deals.
31st October: Caroline Day of Santa Pod Raceway has been in touch to remind us about the special ticket deals available for the Flame and Thunder Show this Saturday (2nd November). "If you can't make the whole day, then an afternoon/evening ticket is available after 3:00 pm at just £8 (payable on the gate)", says Caroline. "This will enable you to see the final show session and catch the bonfire and firework display!
"Sunday is a Run What You Brung, but a weekend ticket can be bought for just £20 for those wishing to stay over and perhaps have a go on the track themselves."
Entry for the whole of Saturday is £15, and under-16s go free. You can find full details of ticket prices and more information about the weekend on Santa Pod Raceway's web site at www.santapod.com.
30th October: We are very sorry indeed to report that legendary rocket car pilot Slammin' Sammy Miller has died. His close friend Antony Billinton tells us that Sammy was killed in an accident yesterday whilst working in the Texas oilfields for his company Applied Force, and that the incident was unrelated to any of his own work.
Sammy's career was one of superlatives. He raced Funny Cars of the Fuel variety before switching to rockets in 1976. His Spirit of '76 was the first Rocket Funny Car and it very quickly smashed track records across the USA. Sammy's next rocket FC was the first Vanishing Point, a Vega-bodied car in which he recorded the first ever three-second pass in Florida in 1979, and in which he first broke the 300 mph barrier in Europe, at Santa Pod in July of the same year. A number of Vanishing Point FCs, the Oxygen Rocket Dragster, and a Jet Dragster followed, all of which still hold ET and speed records. He also set a world ice speed record when he put skis on the Oxygen dragster and recorded 247 mph at Lake George. Sammy also arranged the first ever rocket races, which were against Al Eierdam and which were also contested at Santa Pod.
In 1984 Sammy recorded a pass of 3.58 at Santa Pod Raceway which still stands as the absolute ET record anywhere on the planet.
We last saw Sammy in action at the Speedfreaks Ball at Santa Pod Raceway in May of this year, starting a comeback in typically spectacular fashion with a low five-second pass before putting Vanishing Point into the field, and then working with Antony overnight to ensure that his fans saw him run again on the Sunday.
Sammy was the ultimate showman and was hugely popular with the fans, thousands of whom turned out to see his return at the Speedfreaks Ball. Off the track he was always friendly and approachable to fans and media alike and could very easily have made an alternative living as a comedian or professional practical joker. His death leaves a massive gap in the sport and in the hearts of his thousands of fans.
Sammy is survived by his wife Edith and his five children. To Edith, to Sammy's children, and to all of Sammy's family and friends, we send our very deepest sympathies.
We will bring you details of funeral and other memorial arrangements as soon as we receive them.
Hall lays down Outlaw gauntlet.
30th October: UK Supercharged Outlaw racer Johnny Hall has a chance of the series Championship and is taking some pretty drastic steps to gain the title from rivals Roy Wilding and Ian Hanson at this weekend's Bonfire Burn-Up at Shakespeare County Raceway. Johnny has delighted fans with wild rides in his wheelying slingshot and it'll be no different at the Warwickshire track come the weekend.
"Supercharged Outlaw racing here in the UK is small compared to the States, but it is getting better all the time with fields on the increase", says Johnny. "It is proving to be a big draw for fans of all types, because they see heads up, anything goes, guardrail-to-guardrail racing...well certainly in my case!
"This season has been pretty even as far as performance is concerned, and the Championship honours will be won this weekend. Anything is possible with limited traction, cold weather and large egos. Ian Hanson is lying third and runs a super-consistent blown small block Chevy altered, next comes my blown slingshot, and then Roy Wilding who is leading the championship by a meagre five points. Because Roy and Ian have competed in all the rounds, they will receive an extra fifty points. This makes things very interesting. To win the Championship I will have to win the event and mash the competition with some consistent fast passes...well, thats exactly what I intend to do. In reality, it's between me in the 260 ci blown Rover (yes, you read that right) and Roy in the mighty 392 ci blown Hemi slingshots.
"My motor will be set on kill, wheelie bars set high, the lead is coming out of the nose cone and my brain is to be removed on Saturday morning. No matter how out of shape it gets, my right boot will stay on the floor. Roy had better get his clutch and fuel system spot on, 'cos its him that I am gunning for and I've got no intention of getting beat. My message to Roy this weekend is simple: "We don't need no stinking Hemis!". This is one grudge race I cant wait for."
Flame and Thunder entry released.
30th October: The official entry list for Saturday's Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway is now available courtesy of Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Paula Marshall.
The traditional all-in car and bike brackets are well-subscribed with twenty nine cars and no less than fifty two bikes. The car bracket is made up of an intriguing mixture including Super Mod, all three Super classes, and all three ET classes whilst the bike bracket is also a mix of everything from Competition and Super Street Bikes through Supertwins, 9.90 and 10.90 Bikes, and a pit scooter. In fact, all the ingredients for the usual fun and games. One name we noticed on the bike entry was that of our good buddy John Hackney of Santa Pod's timing crew, so if you have ever recorded a dubious red light then Saturday could see your chance for revenge.
The final round of the Volkswagen Drag Racing Club Championships is contested by four in VW Pro, twelve in VW Sportsman, and four in VW Alternative Engine. We hope to bring you a VW Championship preview shortly. Eight Junior Dragsters have accepted the invitation to take part in a shoot-out.
A late addition to the entry list is Denmark's Finn Asserbo who we understand will be putting in passes on his Fuel bike.
Eurodragster will be posting no less than £110 in prize money on Saturday with £20 up for grabs for the winners of the two brackets and three VW classes, and £10 for the winner of the Junior Dragster shoot-out.
You can view the Flame and Thunder Show entry list by clicking here.
SPR and SCR showmen line up.
30th October: If two Top Fuel Dragsters, two Fuel Altereds, a rocket bike, all-in brackets, VWs and Junior Dragsters at Santa Pod, and Supercharged Outlaws and Wild Bunch at Shakespeare County, aren't enough to persuade you to go drag racing somewhere this weekend then you may well be reading the wrong web site. However, if you need to be convinced further then Santa Pod Raceway's track manager Kjell Pettersson and Shakespeare County Raceway Press Officer Jerry Cookson filled us in on the exhibition and stunt vehicles which will be appearing at Santa Pod and Shakespeare County this weekend.
Santa Pod's Flame and Thunder Show wouldn't be the same without Martin Hill and Tony Baker in the Fireforce Jet Funny Cars. You wouldn't bet against Martin trying to take ET and speed of the day from the Top Fuellers in his five-second, 270 mph Fireforce 2 Jet FC - but only after torching the start line area with the smoke and flame show. Tony has recorded new personal best ETs and speeds in Fireforce 1 this season and will doubtless take the chance to improve still further upon them on Saturday.
Making his second visit of the year to the Pod is Holland's Michael Kooy on his Pyromania Jet Quad. The ever-popular Wacky Racers are back, this time with a motorised tent and bush joining the bed and sofa. Stunt rider Jason Finn, 'Donut King' Terry Grant, scooter supremo Stuart Owen and SuperMoto specialist Robert Cross, aka Rocket Rob and a new boy at Santa Pod, make up the rest of the exhibitionists.
For more Flame and Thunder information including ticket prices check out Santa Pod Raceway's web site at www.santapod.com.
There is another first at Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend as three members of the Hovercraft Club of Great Britain will be making passes down the Warwickshire strip. The hovercraft attending this weekends event are single seaters with glassfibre hulls, and mainly use a highly modified two-stroke engines taken from a motorbike or a snowmobile. "This, as far as I know, is the first time anyone has tried to take a hovercraft down a drag strip", says HCGB Website Liason Officer Anne Scrimshaw. "For our first attempt we will be bringing three hovercraft to the Bonfire Burn-Up, but there has been a lot of interest from the club already, so if all goes well we may have more interested next year!".
The Bonfire Burn-up is not just a race event but also a Test and Tune open the public. All drivers and riders wishing to take part must produce a valid DVLC licence or MSA Competition Licence before signing on. Admission to the event is £10 per person per day or £15.00 for a weekend pass. Children under 16 FREE. Track fee is £10.00 per day or £15.00 for the weekend for unlimited runs. For more information about SCR including a map check out the official web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk.
30th October: Supertwin Top Gas racer Nick 'Shaggy' Daniels, who is competing at the Flame and Thunder Show this weekend, has been in touch with a whole host of Thank Yous and a quick comment on the 2002 season.
"There are so many people to thank, and they've all been part of making 2002 such a great year", says Shaggy. "At the beginning of the season, time was running out for me to get the new chassis finished and complete all the engine changes, but everyone pulled together to make sure I got there on time.
"So thanks go to Belmont Metal Finishing, Melton Fibreglass, Ralf's Emporium, Spec's Pipes, PB Tyres, Mick Bubb of MPG Racing, Andy Haley, Shed Engineering, Steve at Pure Art, and Kudos Engineering for all the work getting the bike out on time.
"Also to you guys at Eurodragster (for your own personal web sites as well as Eurodragster.com), Anni and Bob at Feel The Noise, and the guys from UK1320, Dragsterworld and anyone else who has featured me, for showing my sponsors what converage they get when they go along with my wild ideas of paint jobs...
"To Squiffy, senile delinquent and barbecue chef extraordinaire, for crewing and making sure I eat every weekend. To Nikki (www.shaggysbird.com) for being a great girlfriend and always supporting me, even when she has to give up her only spare weekend to help me run-in at Pod (no, honestly honey, those twenty-nine second runs were RIVETING - Nikki). To all the gang in the Supertwin pits for always making it a great weekend. To anyone thinking of starting racing in 2003, you could do a lot worse than join the Supertwin gang - www.supertwins.com.
"Finally to Shakespeare County Raceway, Santa Pod Raceway, and all organisers, sponsors, track marshals, safety crew, Uncle Tom Cobbley and all!
"It's not been a bad season for us. From a personal best of 10.71 at the beginning of the season we've worked it down to 10.36, which is better than we could have expected. Next year should see a season of great competition, with various people having new engines, new people joining, and hopefully some serious forays into the nines!"
FB Racing season review.
30th October: Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Ian Hook made a welcome return to the track in August after he and the FB Racing team spent a year rebuilding the Ford Coupe. All the work was worthwhile when Ian recorded a pair of eight-second passes on his spare engine on the car's second outing. Ian sent us a review of his brief but successful race season:
"Despite the fact that our 2002 season was very short, we were very happy with the outcome. The build of the new car took longer than I had (optimistically!) expected so it was August before we actually got out. It was round six of the CCSE championship and, as luck would have it, on our 'home' track - Shakespeare County Raceway. We thought that things had gone quite well. The car passed scrutineering (after adding some cage padding) and its two observed runs with ease. We were a little concerned at the amount of smoke it was throwing out but put it down to the new rings not bedding in. The car completed its first Cruise with no problems (apart from the smokescreen we put over the Jacksons' 'Vette!). On race day we even won a round and produced our quickest ET of the weekend - 10.02 - when things went a bit pear-shaped for our opponent, Sue Jackson. The following round we went out to the Moose when Fatty grabbed his first cherry for four years. By now the smoke had got really bad so it was back to Cheltenham for a teardown and post-mortem.
"It was bad. A cracked crank, broken piston, damaged rings and bent rods meant that there was no way the big engine would be running again in 2002. On realising the extent of the damage Fatty was understandably a bit dejected and initially decided to park the car for the rest of the year. However, there’s too much racer in him to give up that easily and, within in a couple of days, we were rushing around trying to build another motor using our old 429 and the remaining good bits from the 477. We set off to Santa Pod for the UK National Finals (the final round of CCSE for 2002) with mixed feelings. It was great to have the car running again but we felt we’d probably lost the chance of ever getting an eight-second jacket. However we were very pleased with the performance of the hybrid motor in qualifying - a 9.21 was a new Personal Best. Again the Cruise was a cruise (yawn).
"In eliminations a 9.26 was enough for a first round win but we’d have to go quicker to beat Jeff Meads, our round two opponent. Brain suggested trying the nitrous off the line (we’d always had it on a delay before) and, as we had nothing to lose, we decided to go for it. We were staggered when this produced an 8.98. Needing a back up pass in competition within 1% to claim a jacket we were quite chuffed that, due to a timing system fault, no ET or speed in Jeff’s lane meant a re-run. With the car set up exactly the same we ran within three thousandths of a second of the first run and were in the eight-second club.
"Result! The win went to Jeff but we didn’t really care. We all found it hard to believe that we’d run two eights with just a 429. What’s more they were only the twelfth and thirteenth passes with the new car. The team went home feeling elated.
"Our third and final meeting of 2002 was the Doorslammer Shootout back at Shakey. What a cracking event. It was a lot cooler than the previous week but still dry and sunny. Our first run was an up-in-smoke 9.5 so we surmised that the track wasn’t as sticky as the previous week’s. Ironically we were pleased with this as it gave us the chance to try to optimise the four-link settings. With two minor changes the car ran a string of 9.0s. This was despite the fact that Fatty was backing off at the top end to preserve the (sold!) 429. We had qualified number one for the Outlaw Street eliminator and got to the semi-final. Somehow the bye was on the other half of the ladder (?!) so we met our good pal Frosty and his, now eight-second, Victor for the right to race Jeff Meads for the title. It was a good match up with Frosty’s 8.98 enough to overcome our 9.01/151 (no backing off there - a new mph best). An excellent day’s racing.
"Sunday was bracket racing as we were in a 10.51 cut-off 'heads-up' class. We got to the third round where the Pro Tree finally did for Fatty as he went out to a Super Gas car on RTs. And, for once we took the car home in one piece!
"FB Racing look forward to entertaining you all next year but in the meantime would like to say a few Thank Yous. Our sponsors: The Everest Balti House, A and E Fire Equipment, Widdows Motors, Shakespeare County Raceway and last, but certainly not least, the FB Associates. Thanks are also due to Custom Car Magazine, Kev Elliott, Lee Child and all the Street Eliminator racers and sponsors for supporting some of the best drag racing in the UK (and the most fun we’ve ever had at a race track)."
The FB Racing web site at www.fbracing.co.uk has just been updated with a full race report from the Doorslammer Shootout, and is one of the definitive sites if you like your drag racing street-legal, as it is frequently updated with all the news and gossip from the CCSE scene.
Pepper to take year out.
29th October: 2002 ACU UK Pro Stock Bike Champion Nick Pepper has announced that he is to take a year out. Nick took the ACU title on his return to competition and set new personal bests more than once during the season.
"We've had a very enjoyable comeback year with some sucess and no breakages!", says Nick. "It was always intended to be a one-year project, and having suceeded in achieving what I set out to do it's back to crewing for Ian King's Top Fuel Bike in a full time capacity next year.
"As is usual with these things I'm having a complete clear-out of the Pro Stock Bike and all the stuff necessary to race it! There is a Star Racing 1570 engine, Performance Machine chassis, computer etc. - I will split. 01945 861428 is the number to call. Hopefully I'll be starting a new project of some sort next year. Watch this space!"
Nick's announcement comes hot on the heels of a similar announcement by his Straightline Racing team-mate Chris Tombleson, who is quitting riding but who will remain in the sport crewing for PSB racer Richard Gipp in 2003. You can read more about Chris Tombleson's retirement on the Pit Lane Gossip page of the King Racing web site at www.kingracing.com.
Wells wants to re-tyre, too.
29th October: UK Pro ET racer Steve Wells has been in touch asking for the help of Eurodragster readers in acquiring some new front tyres for his popular wheelstanding Ford Pop pick-up.
"My truck is going too fast for my front tyres", says Steve. "I could change to Frontrunners but that would mean changing the rims as mine are 13" x 5.5". I currently use 165 x 70 x 13, but I can't find any with a speed rating above 130 mph.
"Does anyone out there know anyone who makes them? They don't have to be street-legal. I hope someone can help since you wouldn't want me to slow the truck down, would you? (NO! - Ed)"
If anyone can help Steve then please drop him a line at TeamOrange@aol.com.
Report from the Special Branch.
29th October: UK Funny Bike racer Shaun Branch has had a "cracking" year with his unique supercharged machine, he says. "We could not have reasonably asked for more - this season has made up for the last four years' hard graft with personal best ETs in six out of eleven outings", says Shaun. "At one race we equalled our personal best and at some of those five races we ran more than one PB during the weekend!
"The season started at the pre-Thunderball Run What You Brung at Santa Pod with a 7.73 ET - nearly a tenth quicker than we had run before. We knew from then on that the season was going to be good, we just did not know how good. The bike has been so consistent through the year only running out of the sevens on four or five of forty nine passes. That makes a change from running four or five sevens in forty nine passes in previous years!
"The consistency has made it so much easier to tune and for the first time we can see a clear development path over the season. The biggest performance gains have come from the change back to a Goodyear slick (from a Hoosier) which lowered our ET from 7.73 to 7.58 thanks to a quicker 60 foot; the big valve head which dropped us in to the 7.4's in Norway; and changing the fuel distribution around a little bit which gave us the massive 7.23 ET performance gain seen at the UK National Finals at Santa Pod.
"And yes, the 7.23 suprised us as much as everybody else. We knew after the 7.45 at the Main Event that there was more in it, I said to Father (Dave Branch) that it had a 7.3 in it before the end of the season though we didn't quite know where to find it. That's when a chance conversation with Dennis Priddle just before the National Finals gave us the answer we were looking for. And no, we are not going to tell you exactly what we changed for the Finals but it did require a bit of a change around with the fuel injection. Unfortunately we also found a major ignition fault, it was most noticable on the 7.29 practice run on the Sunday afternoon of the National Finals but was also present on the 7.23 earlier that day. I could feel the bike nosing over all the way through the back half of the track, the datalogger confirmed what we had suspected with massive spiking from mid track onwards.
"So the first thing to do this winter is re-fit the Super Mag 3. I am sure with this change alone it will run a low 7.1. Other mods include the usual winter diet which will lose at least twenty pounds, the possibility of a return to a thirteen-inch Goodyear tyre, a two-stage clutch to allow the use of launch RPM which will reduce reaction times without spinning the tyre on launch.
"I would also like to say a few Thank Yous: to Turner Racing and American Car Imports Racing, thanks for the information volunteered; Chris Hall; Steve French; Tim Blakemore; Graham and Jayne; Red Ken and Helen; Paul Rose; Chris and Nick at Straightline Racing (01553 811855); a huge thanks to Paul Knapp and to Father (Dave Branch) for the countless hours in the shop making and fixing parts and for those several sleepless nights before going on the Scandinavian tour, also to Jimmy 'the clutch' Grimes; and to all the Funny Bike riders for making the Championship a truly spectacular event (hear, hear - Ed). Everybody watch out because next year could be better, the bump spot will undoubledly be in the 7.3s in the later part of the season.
"Thank yous also go to all those people who have not been mentioned above. We have received help from so many over the last few years that it is impossible to list everybody, your help has not been forgotten."
Web site updates.
29th October: Alan Currans has updated his excellent Acceleration Archive with a fourth page of doorslammer pictures featuring shots of many historic cars. "They include the Stones' Chevrolet-powered Ford Escort Tender Trap, Kevin Pilling's Satan's Toy, Gary Goggin's 'Clunk Click' Camaro, the Sox and Martin prepped 'London Heavy' and 'Brooklyn Heavy' cars, and many more", says Alan. Check out these and many more excellent pictures dated between 1973 and 1985 at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
Svensk Dragracing web team award.
28th October: Congratulations to our very good buddies Christer Abrahamson and Erik Zettervall, the web team of Svensk Dragracing, on winning the Drivers' Association Team Choice award which was presented at the Nordic Drag Racing Series Prizegiving Banquet on Saturday evening. The Team Choice is a prestigious award voted upon by the racers themselves, and was awarded to Erik and Christer "For excellent work with quick and interesting reports, pictures and results on Svensk Dragracing's official web page". The Svensk Dragracing web site pre-dates Eurodragster and has been responsible for several innovations, notably their live event coverage which Christer and Erik were doing long before the rest of us.
"This sure makes up for all those hours in front of the PC" says Erik, "and it's also an inspiration to keep on doing it, and to get better at it". Christer agrees: "What really makes this so important to me is that there is no jury involved, it is the race teams who vote for it at the Drivers Association's web site. When we got a standing ovation from the audience it was definitely hard to hold back the tears. My shirt got too small because of the goose pimples I had at that moment!"
As our regular readers are aware we work closely with Erik and Christer, and we are very pleased indeed to see our friends' hard work recognised. We are sure that everyone will join Sharkman and Tog in congratulating the Svensk Dragracing web team on a very well-deserved award.
Wth hangovers abated, the web team have been hard at work again updating the Svensk Dragracing web site with a report and pictures from Saturday's event. The report, as usual, makes great reading and there are some very amusing pictures! Check it out at www.dragracing.se.
Frost reviews season.
28th October: UK Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Andy Frost has experienced every emotion imaginable on a rollercoaster of a year, he says. Andy unveiled his very smart Vauxhall Victor at the FIA Main Event and by the end of the CCSE season had achieved his aim of getting the street-legal race car into the eights.
"The first time out at the FIA Main Event was very eventful (no pun intended!)", says Andy. "I started off with a 12.5/102 and got down to 10.2/140 and completed the Cruise with ease - that was the good part. Not reaching the first round, because of a duff battery, was the bad part. But I couldn't complain about a brand new car which hadn't turned a wheel until I got to Santa Pod!
"The Super Series Springnationals at Shakespeare County was probably the low point of the year for us. Although we ran 9.90/140 with no nitrous, which pleased us no end, the rest of the race was just a struggle. Not only did the nitrous system not play ball but we couldn't even get through the Cruise with the starter failing miserably at the fuel stop. D'oh! It wasn't a particularly happy drive home on the Saturday night, I can tell you! After that race things started to pick up. I finally got the Nitrous system working mid-way through the Summernationals running a best of 9.62/148 - not enough to get through the second round, but it made us a bit more upbeat about the rest of the year nevertheless. August Bank Holiday saw us at Shakespeare County once again, and once again I couldn't get past the second round, being beaten by Steve 'The Greek' Neimantas in that pesky Aston Martin which was fast becoming my nemesis. At least we weren't worried about making the Cruise any more as the car was as reliable as a Toyota!
"We had a break from Street Eliminator competition ro tun in Super Pro ET at the FIA European Finals where the little guy gets to compete at the biggest meeting of the year. Although the amount of people there was staggering the number of runs we got was a joke - three runs in two days is not getting your money's worth of racing by any stretch of the imagination! Sunday almost made up for it when we again got knocked out in the second round but ran back-to-back 9.04/157 passes. That made the race a bit sweeter and made our quest for that eight second jacket a bit more realistic! We got to the UK National Finals brimming with confidence feeling sure that we were going to run that magic number and be warm all winter long knowing we had secured that eight-second jacket. NOT! We tried our hardest to run that number but in spite of everyone running their best numbers we couldn't do it. We eventually ran a best of 9.115/160 but it wasn't good enough and we missed out on it for this year. Definitely must grumble!
"It's a good job they had another meeting the next week, else Deb would have had a winter's worth of me moaning about not running an eight. The Doorslammer Shootout was the last opportunity to get what we'd being trying for all year. It turned out to be the best meeting I'd been to for ages! In all we did thirteen runs - nine on Saturday including three back-to-back runs without even topping the fuel or nitrous up! - which had taken us three races to do. We ran 8.90/160 and backed it up with an 8.97, got to the final of Outlaw Street (yes, I got past the second round) beating the Fat Boys in the dark in the semi-finals and losing out to Jeff Meads in the final by 0.055 seconds.
"So - did we finally achieve what we had set out to do at the beginning of the year, to build a street car which would run eights and drive on the road in any conditions without overheating etc, and look good as well? Er, well, yes I think we did...
"Of course I couldn't have done all of this on my own. There are a lot of people to whom I have to say thanks for all their help. Firstly my sponsors Knight Racing Engines, Sussex Auto Parts, West Midlands Accident Repair Centre and Aldridge Trimming. Hopefully I've given them plenty of coverage this year! Next my faithful crew: stand up Tony Grayston, Dave Williamson, Steve Potter and Debbie Frost who coped admirably with all the good and bad times and got some reward at the end. And lastly to all the rest of the people who helped: the fans, photographers, my fellow racers, track crews, magazine staff, parts suppliers, internet sites etc. The list is huge - a very big Thank You to you all. Shall we do it again next year?
"By the way, look out for plenty of magazine features on us and our company Penn Autos in Street Machine, Custom Car, online magazine www.dragracer.de and others - and don't forget to keep visiting us at www.redvictor1racing.co.uk where you can get all the latest news and views from Red Victor 1 Towers as it happens, and where you can now see a video of the 8.90 run for yourselves. 'Til next time..."
Racers: Keep those season reviews coming to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll publish them here.
Web site updates.
28th October: Chris Dossett has updated his Trakbyte's web site, which charts the history of drag racing in the UK. "There are additions to the site from 1960 to 1990, including races from 1966 when Santa Pod saw its first American visitors and the Competition Altered class was introduced", says Chris. "There are also new additions to the Photo Archives, the Hall Of Fame and details of what people like John Hobbs and Keith Parnell have been up to this year". Don't miss Chris' excellent web site at www.trakbytes.com.
Stuart Dempsey has updated his Custom Car Street Eliminator fan site with the final results of his 2002 CCSE Fantasy League. Eurodragster staffer Sharkman came fourth, but Stuart tells us that one of the CCSE racers came out on top. We won't spoil the surprise by revealing who; check out Stuart's web site at ccse.homestead.com.
SFI firesuit update.
26th October: UK National chassis inspector Geoff Martin has been in touch with another SFI update, this time on the firesuit requirements which were mentioned in our news item on Thursday.
"Because the manufacturers of SFI 3.2A 15/20 suits did not date them prior to 1999, we have to allow them until 31st December 2004", says Geoff. "I can hear the sigh of relief from here!"
If you have any queries then you can contact Geoff on 01792 386307 or 07811 678798, or Mark Norton on 01865 400812 or 07881 456314.
Meet Barry Sheavills.
26th October: Thanks to Vijay at Trakbak Racing for letting us know that UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Barry Sheavills will be meeting and greeting fans at the Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway next Saturday, 2nd November.
Vijay tells us that Barry will be in the Pod Shop on Saturday between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm, and again between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm, to sign autographs and to answer fans' questions. Barry is looking forward to seeing all of his fans not least so that they can see for themselves that he is in one piece after his horrendous 270 mph crash in September.
For more information about the Flame and Thunder Show including ticket prices check out Santa Pod Raceway's web site at www.santapod.com.
Video footage sought.
26th October: Paul Marston Racing have been asked for help in putting together a short, non-profit making promotional video to promote drag racing. The request has some from a group of student film-makers who need video to go towards their course work. In exchange for usable footage, copies will be available at cost afterwards to any racer who wishes to use the video to impress potential sponsors.
"The students are particularly interested in doorslammers, but will consider anything - beggars can’t be choosers", says Paul. "They need strip action, so video of runs is favourite but anything else of interest which adds flavour and colour - in car camera shots, burnouts etc. would also do. This is an opportunity to help yourselves and others, please help if you can."
Paul tells us that VHS video or digital format on full-sized video cassette is preferable, but anything would be gladly welcomed. Postage and packing will be paid if required. All material will be returned. Anyone with suitable footage can contact Paul by E-Mail at email@example.com or call him on 07831 650230.
Seward in "dive for girlie" claim.
25th October: UK Fuel Altered pilot Jim Seward is in confident mood ahead of his match race with Wendy Baker in The Mob at next week's Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway. Wendy took their last match-up at the Super Series Fallnationals at Shakespeare County Raceway in August, but Jim tells us that the result was deliberate. "I let the girlie win at the last race" he says. "They whinge and moan if we don't let them win! This time I'm confident we'll get the job done."
Jim last raced at night in 1987, but that was long before he acquired the Harry The Spider Fuel Altered. "Last time wasn't as fast as I'll be going this time", he says, "but it won't make a lot of difference since I can't see where I'm going anyway!"
The Darren Beal International Haulage and Somerton Motor Company-sponsored team have been over the car since its last outing. "The motor is OK", says Jim, "but we have had to rebuild the transmission. We're waiting for gearbox bits - they are on their way from the USA. But if they don't turn up we have a Plan B: I'll beat Wendy in my street car!"
You can read more about Harry The Spider on the team's official web site at www.geocities.com/hts_racing, and if you want to take in the clash of the Fuel Altereds on 2nd November you can find full details about the Flame and Thunder Show on Santa Pod Raceway's web site at www.santapod.com.
Carter on 2002 and 2003.
25th October: UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Andy Carter has been doing a lot of thinking about the 2002 season and has already come to some conclusions about 2003, he says.
"I was talking to Eddie Corr (Andy's Crew Chief - Ed) the other day and as usual the subject came round to drag racing", says Andy. "We started talking about the 2002 season and I could tell from Eddie's tone that he thought the same as I did - we did 'just ok'. After the phone conversation I made a cup of tea and sat down thinking about the season, how wrong could we be! 2002 had been a fantastic season! It's just that we tend to judge everything by our position in the FIA Championship and fourthth is just not good enough!
Look at what Carter Motorsports have achieved this season: Winner of the Pro Fuel Shootout; number one qualifier at the FIA Main Event; re-set and still hold the track record at Santa Pod Raceway; re-set and still hold the European ET record at 4.89; second to 300mph; runner-up at the FIA Main Event; winner of the Nitrolympics; re-set and still hold the track record at Shakespeare County Raceway; winner of match race at Shakespeare County Raceway; fourth in the FIA European Championship.
"I know it's blowing my own trumpet but I'm sure most teams would be well pleased with that!
"Then to cap it all, that man Dan Welberry (Andy's PR - Ed) turns us up a sponsor for 2003! First National Telecom Services are a major player in the pre-paid phone card market. You know - buy the card, enter a 0800 number and call international destinations (such as the USA) from as little as 2p. You can buy their products - the First National card or Go Bananas card - at all good newsagents. For more info check out www.fntele.com.
"The First National Telecom Top Fuel Dragster which we will be campaigning next season will come from Knut Soderquist's stable and I'm looking forward to working with the King again. It looks almost certain that the Super Crew will be the same as 2001 and 2002, but the two new technicians who will be on board fully next season are Paul Williams and Paul Wright. We have a crew meeting in mid November and soon after that Eddie will confirm the crew for our assault on the 2003 Championship. This will be posted on the web site, so please check in at www.andycarter.net every now and then.
One thing is for sure, I'm looking forward to taking on and beating the rest of the Top Fuel drivers, I want my Number One back! You just can't beat the feeling of racing for points in the FIA Championship. The rivalry between drivers in Top Fuel is intense and there's not much love lost between us I can tell you! So watch out you lot, Carter's doing all the rounds next year and I'm as hungry as ever!"
Awards aplenty at NDRS Banquet.
25th October: Scandinavian racers, sponsors, officials, journalists and Champions are now preparing for this weekend's Nordic Drag Racing Series prize ceremony and banquet, writes Christer Abrahamson of Svensk Dragracing. "Almost 300 guests will eat superbly in the Hilton Infra City ballroom and then hail the Champions. There will be elegant diplomas for the third to tenth positions in every NDRS class, and trophies for the Winner and runner-up."
The Swedish Motorsport Federation will also reveal their Drag Racing Sponsor of the Year at Saturday's ceremony, and there are two other prestigious awards to be presented. "The first is Eagle of the Year, which goes to someone who has done something good for the sport during the past year", says Christer. "The jury is made up of personnel from the Swedish Motorsport Federation and Svensk Dragracing, together with announcer Olle 'The Voice' Svensson who was the founder of the award. The second special award is the Team Choice which was started by the Drivers' Association a couple of years ago. Teams have been voting on the Drivers' Association web site at www.forarforeningen.com."
A report and pictures will doubtless be available on the Svensk Dragracing web site when heads have cleared at, or shortly after, the weekend.
Web chat with Susanne Callin.
25th October: The guys at the DragsterWorld web site have announced that their next Web Chat is to be with Swedish Top Fuel Dragster racer Susanne Callin. The chat will take place in the DragsterWorld Fans Forum chat room next Tuesday, 29th October, at 20:00 UK time and will last about 45 minutes.
"Susanne was runner up at the FIA European Finals earlier this year, a great achievement in her rookie season, especially at the age of 19!", says Gary Cottingham of DragsterWorld. "Perhaps you would like to ask Susanne about her achievements this season, or you would like to know how she got into drag racing, or maybe ask her plans for the future? Come along on Tuesday night and you will be able to get answers to all these questions and more."
You can access the Fans' Forum by going to www.dragsterworld.com and clicking on Fans' Forum. To view or participate in the chat you must be a registered member of the Forum, which is done by clicking on Register at the top of the forum page, then click on Chat in the Drag Talk section.
More SFI updates.
24th October: UK National chassis inspector Geoff Martin has been in touch with news of more SFI requirements.
"A reminder to all drivers with SFI 3.2A/15 or SFI 3.2A/20 firesuits", says Geoff. "As of the 2003 season you will require dated SFI labels on your suits. This will mean the return of suits to the manufacturer for retagging. If you have any queries contact myself on 01792 386307 or 07811 678798, or Mark Norton on 01865 400812 or 07881 456314."
Geoff has also given us some more details of the new SFI spec about which he wrote on 16th October. Top Methanol Dragster racers please note that the new SFI spec also applies to your race cars:
"The SFI 2.3K Chassis spec revision is for the 2003 season and is required by the FIA, not only for Top Fuel Dragster, but also for Top Methanol Dragster", says Geoff. "It primarily involves the installation of a front impact structure, and a revision of wing support struts depending on wing format and area. Top Fuel Dragster will also require a mandatory full-size oil containment pan for the 2003 season."
Paul Marston Racing 2002 review.
23rd October: 2002 has been a good year for Paul Marston Racing, writes Paul. "We reached two finals of the Super Series, and reached the semi-finals of the Quick 32 at the Doorslammer Shootout, running a new Personal Best ET of 8.08. We just missed out on a seven but there’s always next year.
"Outside Drag Racing we successfully defended all our titles at the Brighton Speed Trials, which was a major achievement, as the opposition knew what was coming this time. We will by the end of the year have attended twenty four events (and we thought twenty one was a lot - exhausted Ed), sixteen of which were on the track, which is a bunch more than last year. We have run the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser to the very end of the season as we intended, something we were unable to do last year. The last outing this year will be the Classic and Sports Car Show at the NEC in November. All in all it has been a comprehensively busy season! We are already starting to organise our 2003 diary, which already includes a trip to Europe about which we are all excited.
"First of all a massive Thank You to all the boys and girls who make up the Paul Marston Racing crew, both on and off the track. It really is true to say we would be nothing without these people and all their hard, hard work. We have been blessed with the addition of some really dedicated people in 2002 who have become real assets to the operation. We have enjoyed success with the launch of the 'Hire and Drive' programme with the Grumpy's Dodge Super Gasser, and have realised the aim of our own in-house engine shop. We have consolidated our position as a team, becoming more independent and self-sufficient.
"We are at present looking to appoint our own marketing manager to enable us to fully explore the possibilities of tapping into resources as yet unavailable to us. We do not intend to stand still over the winter break; trackside we may be quiet but behind the scenes this is the most important time for us.
"We must not forget the massive help we have had from all of our sponsors. Our relationship with ChryslerCard has been a most fruitful one for both parties. They have been very pleased with the response to the PT Bruiser and have carefully monitored the conversion rate of ChryslerCard application forms handed out at the track which has been good. In a nutshell it's been really great having them on board, it was always a one-year deal but they are very keen to remain part of the team on a reduced scale. We have got on with everyone at ChryslerCard so well. It has gone past a business relationship, they are our friends, and we are convinced we will find a way to keep them involved.
"We have really enjoyed representing 76 Racing Fuels and Oils; they have been invaluable with technical advice, help and assistance. Their product has been faultless and their service second to none, it’s the best recommendation I can give them. We hope to continue to build on this great partnership between our two organisations.
"ATI Performance Products have been a great asset to us this year, with technical advice and a desire to see things through and get the job done. Thank you all for your continued support for 2001, 2002 and 2003. Thank you Mac Tools for your continued support from the outset of Paul Marston Racing, now an associate sponsor. It's good to know you that guys are but a phone call away. Thank you to Jeep Club for the use of your facilities and expertise whenever we needed it, and for free use of your transporter. I feel sure we will be working closer with Jeep Club next year, watch this space.
"As to our plans for 2003, watch this space. The PT Bruiser will be back, in which guise will depend upon negotiations and sponsorship. But rest assured you will read it first on Eurodragster. On that subject a heartfelt thanks to Sharkman and Tog for all the time and effort they selflessly put into Eurodragster, we could never thank you enough for the job that you do (thanks again, Paul - Ed)."
Racers: Don't hesitate to send your 2002 season reviews to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll publish them here.
Parviainen SDMA Mechanic of the Year.
22nd October: 2002 FIA European Pro Stock Champion Michael Malmgren's Crew Chief Heikki Parviainen has been elected the first Scandinavian Drag Racing Mechanics Association Mechanic of the Year, writes Simo Patoharju of SDMA and Finland's Mad Bomber Racing.
"The SDMA was established in 1990 by a couple of mechanics, and has grown into a large group of mechanics, from all corners of Europe. The whole concept of SDMA is to form a fraternity between all the mechanics involved in drag racing, mainly for 'fun' reasons.
"For many years there has been discussion about setting up a SDMA 'Mechanic of the Year' award. Finally, some members got going on the project and formed the prize. Special thanks to Pertti Kinnunen of Top Fiber Composites and Marko Someroja of Hi-Car for their help. The prize itself consists of a carbon fibre base plate, a 57 mm bolt from the landing gear of a DC9, and a billet aluminium bolt head in septagonal shape, machined as printed on the back of the SDMA shirt. On bolt are engraved the SDMA and Mechanic of the Year logos (click on the picture on the right to see a picture of the trophy - Ed).
"Each year nominees will be chosen by SDMA members, and voting will take place by E-Mail after the season has ended. The prize rotates, and the location of the prizegiving will be decided with the consideration to the nationality of the winner.
"The inaugural SDMA Mechanic of the Year award was given to Heikki Parviainen of Malmgren Racing at last weekend's FHRA prize gala. Heikki's achievements are a fine example of Scandinavian co-operation and therefore an excellent pick for this year. Heikki's long career with many years' hard work with different teams has earned him a huge reputation. Heikki is known for his perfection, meticulous approach and unique personality.
SDMA congratulates Mechanic of the Year 2002, Heikki Parviainen."
Simo adds that for future votes he would like to have all SDMA members' E-Mail addresses; please drop him a line at email@example.com.
Web site updates.
22nd October: The official web site of the UK's No Manners Racing Custom Car Street Eliminator team has been updated with a race report from the UK National Finals. "We have nothing major planned for the closed season", say Allen and Amanda Curtis of their nine-second Thames van, "but who knows - anything could change and if it does we will keep you posted". Check out the race report at www.nomannersracing.co.uk.
Wikström brings home prize.
21st October: Neither of our two Swedish Pro Mod stars made it into eliminations at the IHRA World Finals at Rockingham, although both put up very creditable performances. Patrick Wikström qualified 29th in the fifty-car field at 6.374/220.44 and NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified Champion Håkan Nilsson 36th at 6.450/207.98. Patrick did however bring something home from Rockingham, as Outlaw Racing team member Krister Peterson writes.
"Either we had too much clutch or we were too rich on fuel", says Krister. "We listened too much to other people, rather than running as we normally do. In the last session we bought a clutch and set-up from Tim McAmis which worked very well, but we had no power and only ran 6.47/207. But at least we won Best Appearing Pro Car, that's fun!"
Patrick is going to leave the blown-alcohol Camaro in the USA and will contend some races there in March 2003. "We can run fast with the new clutch and the four-link set up we installed after all the tyre shake problems at the European Finals", says Krister.
You can read exclusive updates from the Swedish camp at Rockingham on the Svensk Dragracing web site at www.dragracing.se.
ACI TMD heads Autosport relocation.
21st October: The American Car Imports Racing Top Methanol Dragster will be on display at Autosport International at the NEC, Birmingham, on 9th-12th January 2003 as American Car Imports, who sponsor Eurodragster.com as well as the TMD team, are taking their entire operation from North London to the show for four days.
"American Car Imports will be taking a premium stand in the main hall, where we will be displaying the fastest and quickest Top Methanol Dragster in Europe alongside one of our best selling new American vehicles", says Joint Director Anthony Cohen. "We wish to reinforce the strong statement made through the American Car Imports Racing dragster about the natural link between American vehicles and Drag Racing in Europe. We also want to use this event to provide our existing and any future marketing partners as much exposure as possible.
"To have maximum effect, the entire American Car Imports business operation will be relocating to the NEC for the duration of the show. At the Autosport show, American Car Imports will have available the 2003 brochures for the new American vehicles we import, as well as computer systems where we can build and price any new vehicle 'on the screen' for potential customers."
If you want to get a head start on visitors to Autosport International, check out the American Car Imports web site at www.americancarimports.com where details are already available about the 2003 models. Also check out Web site updates below for more news from the team.
You can find out more about, and book tickets for, Autosport International on the Show's official web site at www.autosportinternational.co.uk.
SCR in the 30s.
21st October: Already the home of Nostalgia racing in the UK courtesy of the Wild Bunch, Shakespeare County Raceway turned the clock back even further on Saturday as the Vintage Car Club held an event at the Warwickshire track.
"The Vintage Sports Car Club's Autumn Speed Trials were hailed as another success", writes Shakespeare County Raceway Press Officer Jerry Cookson. "Amidst the aroma of such exotic blends of Castrol R, benzine and methanol racing fuels populating the startline, over seventy Edwardian, pre-war and vintage sports cars took to the quarter mile in idyllic side-by-side fashion.
"Fastest Time of Day was set by a 1935 ERA R4D single seater racing car. In the hands of Mac Hulbert, the 2000cc supercharged racer screamed up the quarter mile in 13.332 seconds at 120.32 miles per hour. Second fastest by a Pre-war racer was another another ERA in the hands of Douglas Day. From the two timed runs, the 1937 example ran an event best of 13.309s at 106.38 mph.
"In the Vintage car category Paul Evans 1930's Chawner GN Special set the fastest time of 14.24s for the 997cc four cylinder racer, and the quickest Edwardian car was Robert Hickling's 1917 Dodge Four Special with a time 24.75s at 52.63 mph. But the most entertaining in the eye's of the APIRA timing crew was Carl Williams 24000cc 1929 aero engined Napier/Bentley Land Speed Record car. Sliding the clutch away from the startline, the huge flame spitting aero engined racer topped the quarter mile timers in 13.886s at 120.97 mph."
Web site updates.
21st October: The official web site of the American Car Imports Racing Top Methanol Dragster team has been updated with a five-minute video clip. "This is the video which was shown on giant plasma screens at the recent Playstation Experience at Earl's Court", says team owner Anthony Cohen. "I produced it with the kind assistance of Russ Malkin at Image Wizard Television". You can check the video out on the Video page at www.americancarimports.co.uk.
Department of Corrections: Please note that there was a typo in Friday's news about Andy Carter's deal with Knut Soderquist. Any media wishing to contact Carter Motorsport about attending the unveiling of the 1st National Telecom Top Fueller at Autosport International can E-Mail Andy Carter's PR Dan Welberry at firstname.lastname@example.org. Apologies to Andy and Dan for the typo.
2003 SPR dates confirmed.
20th October: Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Paula Marshall has been in touch to confirm next year's major event dates at Santa Pod Raceway. They are:
Easter Thunderball 19th-21st April
Big Bang (VW event) 3rd-5th May
FIA Main Event 24th-26th May
Summer Nationals 28th-29th June
Bug Jam (VW event) 18th-20th July
FIA European Finals 5th-7th September
Santa Pod Finals 27th-28th September
Flame and Thunder Show 1st November
"We'll advise everyone of Run What You Brung and other dates in the next few weeks", says Paula.
Updated APIRA statement.
20th October: Avon Park International Racers Association Press Officer Jerry Cookson has passed on the following updated statement from APIRA Club and Race Secretary Wendy Talbot, on behalf of the club and Shakespeare County Raceway track owner Anthony Hodges:
"First of all we would like to thank all racers, their sponsors together with the race tracks marshals and officials for their continued support at Shakespeare County Raceway in 2002. The season has been a fantastic success for all concerned with many personal bests being performed. We will be continuing to run drag racing events at Shakespeare County Raceway in 2003 and look forward to their continued support at these events.
"APIRA and Shakespeare County Raceway have every intention of carrying out its full calender of events in 2003 which will include three mainline drag race events in May, June and August for Sportsman racers in all classes. We will confirm, in due course, if these will include rounds of the National Championship series. These will also include rounds for the ACU Drag Bike Championship and will be published in the coming weeks. Shakespeare County's lifestyle dates ie: NSRA Hot Rod Drags, Nostalgia Nationals and British Mini Showdown will also run as normal; dates to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
"We would like to express our thanks to Terry & Tina Gibbs of Obsession Motorsports for bringing the Super Series championship and its format to Shakespeare County Raceway over the past five years, and we wish them all the best in the future.
"Just to remind everyone that our final event of the season takes place in two weeks time for the tracks annual Bonfire Burn-up (November 2nd-3rd). The track will be open for two full days of Run What You Brung, Time Trials, fireworks and bonfire, together with the final encounter for the Wild Bunch nostalgia series.
"On an important note, all drivers and riders wishing to take part must produce a valid DVLC licence or MSA Competition Licence before signing on. Admission to the event is £10 per person per day or £15.00 for a weekend pass. Children under 16 FREE. Track fee is £10.00 per day or £15.00 for the weekend for unlimited runs at Shakespeare County Raceway's famous quarter mile strip."
Web site updates.
20th October: Robert Galea has updated his web site with 130 photographs from last weekend's October Meet at Hal Far Raceway on Malta. The photographs cover both on-track and pit-side action (who is Ugly Driver? - Ed) and are well worth a look. Check it out at at www.halfar-oct.cjb.net.
It has been confirmed that the annual Drag Power Show is to take place again in Portugal in 2003. A web site is now available with early details at www.dragpowershow.com.
Carter goes Knutty!
18th October: Carter Motorsport have announced that 2001 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter will be hiring one of Knut Soderquist's Top Fuel Dragsters for his 2003 FIA Championship quest. The car will officially be known as the 1st National Telecom Top Fuel Dragster, and will be unveiled at the Autosport International show at the NEC in Birmingham in January 2003.
"It's great to be back with King Knut again", says Andy Carter. "Having worked with him during my 1996 Top Fuel season, I know that his vast experience in Fuel racing will be a very valuable asset to the 1st National Telecom Team. On 3rd November we will be bringing the dragster back to the Carter Motorsport workshop where it will undergo a complete strip down and rebuild, new 1st National Telecom paint job, and the FIA chassis updates."
Andy is very grateful to Rune Fjeld from whom he has rented a ride for the last two years. "I would like to say a big thank you to Rune 'The Wizard' for everything he has done for me over the last two seasons", he says. "It has been a pleasure and an honour to work with this Fuel legend. I wish Rune continued success in Fuel racing for 2003 - but not when I'm in the other lane!"
Any photographers or other media wishing to attend the official unveiling of the 1st National Telecom Top Fuel Dragster are asked to contact Carter Motorsport PR Dan Welberry at email@example.com for further details.
Walley wins 2002 NSCC.
18th October: The 2002 National Street Car Challenge, the street and strip series for the rod and custom scene, came to an end at the Run What You Brung at Santa Pod Raceway last Sunday, writes James Murray. "The morning saw a mixed bag of ETs on the cold track from low elevens to uncharacteristic eighteens", says James. "Rain stopped play before we could reach a conclusion, but Ian Walley and his blown, turboed, nitrous-equipped V6 Cortina had an uncatchable points lead allowing him to win NSCC 2002. Congratulations Ian!"
You can find full Championship standings and more information at www.nscc.info.
Smax the new Motormouth.
18th October: Drag racing entered another dimension on Wednesday night when Fuel Funny Car racer Smax Smith took up an invitation to the University of Central Lancashire to give a lecture about drag racing.
"The Institute of Mechanical Engineering were intrigued to see the place drag racing has in motorsport and the awesome display of sheer power" says Smax. Smax gave a highly entertaining account of speeds and records with video clips and scanned photos, as well as taking along some of his tortured race parts. "The crowd didn't want to leave but I had to cut my talk short as the caretaker wanted to lock up!", he adds. "Do we have a new motormouth? Well, I did host Top Gear last year!"
Smax put in a brief TV appearance last week in coverage of the Bulldog Bash on Granada Men and Motors, and he tells us that he is to appear on a new BBC programme, called Dangerous Drivers, later this month. "Watch this space", says Smax.
Flame and Thunder Show entry.
18th October: Racers wishing to participate in the Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday 2nd November still have a few days left to enter the event, says Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Paula Marshall. "Entry closes on Wednesday 23rd October", says Paula. "We will be running one large car bracket and one large bike bracket, both on a dial-your-own basis, as well as VW Pro, VW Sportsman and VW Alternative Engine, and Junior Dragsters are also invited."
Entry to the event is £75 as usual, and buybacks will be available after the first rounds of the two all-in brackets for £10. A substantial part of the entry fees received will go into the prize fund as well as any sponsorship money (see below - Ed). "The more entries there are, the bigger the prize money, so get your entries in!", says Paula.
Entry forms and more information about the arrangements for the two brackets are available on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.
Eurodragster to post F & T prizes.
18th October: On the subject of the Flame and Thunder Show, we are very pleased to announce that Eurodragster.com will be posting £100 in prize money for the November event. We will be presenting £20 each to the winners of the Car bracket, the Bike bracket, VW Pro, VW Sportsman and VW Alternative Engine. Eurodragster stickers are not mandatory to receive the prize money but would be appreciated; they will be available from Sharkman and Tog on the day.
Swedish PM invasion starts today.
18th October: The IHRA World Finals commence at Rockingham today, and NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified Champion and runner-up Håkan Nilsson and Patrick Wikström are all set to take on the IHRA's finest on their own turf.
Håkan and his team had a minor scare when their Veidec-sponsored Camaro was delayed en route to the USA but it was due to arrive yesterday morning (Thursday).
You will be able to stay in touch with events at Rockingham on the Drag Race Central web site at www.dragracecentral.com, the IHRA web site at www.ihra.com, and the Competition Plus web site at www.competitionplus.com.
Eurodragster nominated in poll.
18th October: Mention of the Competition Plus web site leads us very neatly into the news that Eurodragster.com has been nominated in the popular web site's fourth annual Dot.com awards. We are up for Internet Web Site of the Year for the second year running; last year with the kind help of our readers we came third beating, amongst others, the official web sites of both NHRA and IHRA. This year Eurodragster is the only drag racing web site outside of Northern America to be nominated.
If you would like to vote for Eurodragster then visit the Competition Plus web site at www.competitionplus.com. The link to the Dot.com awards is in the middle of the Home Page and also on the right-hand side of any page on the site. Only one vote is allowed from any one computer.
Happy Birthday Hanski!
18th October: A very happy birthday to our good friend Hannele Höydén, webmaster of the Finnish Hot Rod Association web site, who reaches the big three-zero today. We are sure that everyone will join Sharkman and Tog in wishing Hanski the very best of birthdays and very many more of them.
Karling pit bike stolen.
17th October: Sweden's European Supertwin Top Fuel Champion Anders 'Charley' Karling had his Uddeholm-sponsored Drag Bike on display at the Interplas 2002 show in Birmingham, England earlier this month, writes Stefan Boman. During the display the team's trailer was parked outside Charley's Hotel. On the night of 4th-5th October somebody broke in to the trailer and stole hand tools and the team's pit bike (right - click on picture to see larger version). Whilst tools can be replaced, the pit bike was more of a team member. It was bought new in 1986 and since then has been towing the drag bike at race tracks all over Europe as well as Australia and the USA. Any information would highly appreciated by the team and will be rewarded if it leads to the return of the pit bike.
The bike is a 1986 Honda Z50R minibike and has chrome finish on frame, tank and fenders. VIN no #JH2AB020CGS710551. It was stolen outside the King's Court Hotel, Kings Coughton, Alcester, Warwickshire. If anyone has any information then please contact the local police on 0121 712 6044, call Charley on +46-8-708 112 190, or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bailey: Sevens or bust.
17th October: UK Super Street Bike racer Dave Bailey is looking forward to 2003 so much that he has decided to enter the all-in Bike bracket Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway to try out the updates to his eight-second SSB.
"I'm hoping for a sticky track to try out my new additions to the rat's nest of wiring", says Dave. "A proper stutter box; Nitrous wired correctly so that it doesn't reset the timer if I have to back off; Nitrous kill, for when I change gear. I've given in at last - less flames (boo!) and more chance of getting top gear (hurrah!); and more Nitrous, launching with 45 bhp instead of the wimpy 25 bhp last race - well, I was running it in. So, one last chance - into the sevens or bust (bang!)."
Dave also passed on a calculation which he thinks will be of use to those new to SSB or thinking of joining from 9.90 Bike. "The next launch setting I will try will be a steady 170 bhp at 6500 rpm off the line. That's easily calculated due to the Paul Wing slider clutch (and no, he doesn't sponsor me!), then 2.5 seconds into the run the second stage will come in adding 150 bhp over the next three seconds. Total power at 9500rpm = 350bhp. And yes, you do have to be slightly insane to ride in Super Street Bike!"
Bad season for Czech mates.
17th October: The UK's Skoda-racing Czechmate Sportsman ET team tell us that they could sum up their 2002 season in one word: "Crap. That's what we think says it all for us."
"We scaled down this year's campaign to one track, as health and other commitments would not let us chase a full season", says Jeff Rainbird. "The winter upgrades were bigger clutch, tacho, air shift on the gearbox and another winter of neglect of the paint work.
"The Spring Nationals Shakespeare County Raceway was the first outing, with an off-the-trailer .501 reaction. I bent Razor's (Phil's) ear for being asleep, so he came back with .483 and then a .534 and he bent my ear for really screwing up the gear shift - it still would not take third. For Monday's eliminations we fired the car only to find that it would not shift at all. No problem, go with second gear only and an eighteen on the back window. The engine just fired when called up, then died just short of the bleach box - a cell dropped on the battery.
"At the Summer Nationals we had a new battery and shift mods. Again no third gear, but some strong half passes at 16.2 on .52/.53 reactions. You just have to love Razor but he fell asleep on race day.
"At the Fallnationals it got worse. New throttle bodies, injection plenum and air-shift mods. With some secret testing everything was in place to rip another lump off our best ET which is 15.3. This was going to be a big weekend for us - it was, the bill was big. Both rear drive shafts sheared clean in half on the start line. No spares as these were custom EN 26 peices so we went with the tow car for the meeting. Razor over-drove the launch and we were on the trailer after the first round. He went home that night very unhappy with the parting comment 'You can shove the Skoda right up your butt'.
"With new shafts now in place, and the rear suspension modified, I will be taking the car up to Santa Pod for the Flame and Thunder weekend and will be driving it at the Run What You Brung on the Sunday, but if Razor decides to come out of retirement and if we can late enter then we will be runninng on the Saturday - I cannot race any more in sanctioned meetings and Razor is the MSA licence holder. The beat will go on."
Hartnell smashes SPR record.
17th October: UK Wild Bunch racer 'Crazy' Chris Hartnell wiped two seconds off his best ET for Santa Pod Raceway at the recent UK National Finals. Racing in the Wild Bunch at an MSA event for the first time at the Pod, Chris went into the nines. "The last time we were at Santa Pod, for the Thirtieth Anniversary Main Event in 1996, we ran just the one run of 11.9 seconds", says Chris, "and this time we got to do some long-awaited night racing to boot!"
The Backdraft team are now looking forward to the APIRA Bonfire Burn-up Test and Tune at Shakespeare County Raceway on 2nd-3rd November. "We'll be hoping to give the new tyres a real test now that we've tuned the car back up!", says Chris. The Backdraft team would also like to say thanks to Terry and Tina Gibbs for all the Super Series events over the years. "We have enjoyed every one, even though we finished seventh this year!", says Chris. "We wish the whole Gibbs family well with their future ventures. Cheers and all the best."
The Backdraft web site at www.backdraftdragracing.co.uk has been updated with a race report from the UK National Finals, together with new photographs by Bill Sly of Bad Boys Imagin'.
Web site updates.
17th October: UK Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Ian Hook has updated his FB Racing web site with a race report from the UK National Finals, where he and the team earned an ICE Automotive eight-second jacket running on the spare 429 motor (actually we're not sure he believes it even now - Ed). Ian's report is very entertaining indeed and is well worth a look in. Check it out from the Race Reports link in the CCSE section at www.fbracing.co.uk.
The UK's Escape From Reality Pro ET team have launched a web site at www.gb-racing.co.uk. This very professionally-turned-out web site is packed with information about the altered driven by Marius Blackburn as well as team profiles, previous race cars, photo gallery, sponsors, track information, links and a lot more. Escape From Reality crew member Bob Regis tells us that he is also working on a Pro ET web site which will aim to tell fans everything they need to know about the popular Sportsman class. We've had a sneak preview and it's looking just great.
2003 Top Fuel SFI change.
16th October: Thanks to UK National chassis inspector Geoff Martin for letting us know of a change in SFP specs for Top Fuel Dragster chassis in 2003.
"I have just received notification that the chassis spec for Top Fuel Dragster in 2003 will be 2.3K", says Geoff. "This will mean changes to all chassis built before 2002. If anyone requires clarification then please contact either myself at email@example.com, Mark Norton or SFI."
Hasse Zetterquist and Christer Ericson.
15th October: We were very sorry indeed to hear of the deaths of Hasse Zetterquist and Christer Ericson over this past weekend. Both were instrumental in the introduction of drag racing in Sweden, being involved in the first Big Go at Anderstorp in 1968.
Hasse was race director of the Sko Uno Drag Festival in the 1970s and 1980s, and also imported US cars through his company Funny Cars, whilst Christer became heavily involved in timekeeping before moving to the north of Sweden in 1998 to run a hotel.
We would like to extend our very deepest sympathies to Hasse's and Christer's families and friends. You won't be forgotten, guys.
You can find a full tribute in both Swedish and English on the Svensk Dragracing web site at www.dragracing.se.
Baker cooks up Flame and Thunder.
15th October: Wendy Baker will be back in the hot seat of The Mob Fuel Altered as she goes head-to-head with Jim Seward in the Harry The Spider Fuel Altered at the Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday 2nd November.
Wendy stepped into the cockpit of The Mob earlier this year as owner and driver Mickey Moore had business commitments keeping him out of the car. Wendy quickly settled in, clocking 199 mph on her first outing, following it up with a 3-1 victory in a match race against Jim Seward at the Super Series Fallnationals in August. Neither Wendy nor the Mob team intend giving Jim any measure of revenge at Santa Pod in November.
"After the resounding victory at the Fallnationals, Harry the Spider is hanging by a thread!", says Wendy. "Although off the track Mickey, Jim and myself are all good mates, on the track when the lights go down the red mist descends. Both Mickey and myself uphold the Mob tradition of keeping Jim where he belongs - behind us! At the Flame and Thunder Show we will be attaching lights to the rear of the altered so that, to quote our Crew Chief Ollie Burns, Jim can see where he's going!"
Driving a Fuel Altered at night doesn't hold any fears for Wendy. "Ollie asked if I was OK with night racing, I said it doesn't make any difference with your eyes closed - he thought I was joking!", she says.
Wendy recommends that anyone who has not seen Fuel Altereds (and indeed anyone who has - Ed) goes along to the Flame and Thunder Show for the experience of a lifetime. "We will definitely be providing flames and thunder", she says. "When the ground shakes, your eyes start to sting and your heart misses a beat you'll know we've arrived!"
You can find out more about The Mob on the team's official web site at www.themob.org.uk. For more information about the Flame and Thunder Show including ticket prices, check out Santa Pod Raceway's web site at www.santapod.com.
Statement from APIRA.
15th October: We have received the following short statement from Avon Park International Racing Association secretary Wendy Talbot on behalf of the club and Shakespeare County Raceway track owner Anthony Hodges:
"Firstly we would like to thank all racers and their sponsors for their support at Shakespeare County Raceway in 2002 and the great racing they all performed. We will be continuing to run drag racing events at Shakespeare County Raceway in 2003 and look forward to their continued support at these events."
Web site updates.
15th October: Stuart Dempsey has updated his fan site with photographs from the recent Doorslammer Shootout at Shakespeare County Raceway. Although Stuart's site is Custom Car Street Eliminator-oriented, this latest update includes pictures of various other classes as well. Check it out at ccse.homestead.com.
Doorslammers bonus pictures.
14th October: Just when you thought that you had seen all of our photo coverage from last week's Doorslammer Shootout at Shakespeare County Raceway, Eurodragster's US correspondent Ed O'Connell has E-Mailed us from his New Hampshire base with a selection of his own start line pictures.
Click here to see Ed's pictures, or click on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.
Keep it coming!
14th October: Now that the season is almost done, things are going to quieten down considerably so we will as usual need your help to keep Eurodragster going through the winter months. We will be very glad to receive season reviews, news from the workshop, early plans for 2003, and anything other information which you would like to send for publication on Eurodragster News.
Send your news to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll publish it here.
Web site updates.
14th October: Thanks to Pro ET racer Rob Faulkner for letting us know that fellow Pro ET racer Steve Wells is featuring in the Movie Of The Week on Bill Pratt's excellent draglist.com web site. The movie was produced by John Hutchinson and is well worth a look in. Whilst there we can recommend a good look around the Draglist site as it is packed with definitive performance lists, photographs, movies, links and a lot more.
Growlin' at the Pod.
13th October: UK Wild Bunch racer Mark Turton took part in the Nostalgia racers' first visit to Santa Pod Raceway in some years at the UK National Finals. It was an interesting experience both for Mark in his Growler altered and for his fellow WB racers.
"Everything seemed to be going according to plan at first", says Mark. "However we missed the first qualifying as we were scrutineered late, and prior to the second session we found oil was leaking from the axle ends and time was spent cleaning it up. We eventually made the third session, where we were up against the B'Sting car. We ran an 11.9 but the B'Sting team were closer to their dial-in.
"The fourth session was late and due to a little wait and a vegetate I didn't feel that either I or the car were ready to run. By the time the Wild Bunch went round it was dark, which gave the others an experience of a lifetime. For myself I was glad I did not run, as I would have been stressed with the panic of getting the car ready and also being so soon after my smash - the last time I raced in darkness it was doing somersaults. Another factor pointed out to me by my Crew Chief Geoff was that I would have been the only fully-enclosed car to run, and with limited light through only three windows it could have been interesting.
"Sunday saw a quick exit as Nick Connor took the win in the first round of eliminations. I dialled in an 11.0 and ran a 11.5. I'm not dismayed as we still have one more race this year, the Bonfire Bash at Shakespeare County Raceway in November.
"I think the six Wild Bunch entrants truly enjoyed themselves. I was told that it has been six years since the Wild Bunch last visited the Pod as a group. I hope that we presented ourselves well (you betcha - Ed), and that we will be visiting Santa Pod a lot more in 2003. For more information and the event results visit the Wild Bunch web site at www.the-wild-bunch.co.uk."
Mark's fellow Dog Squad team member Scottie apolgises to everyone who was looking forward to seeing his own altered out this year. Mark says that Scottie cites finances, helping others at racing, and a few other unforseen circumstances for his absence. "He has promised me that it will be out first meeting next year - and it better had be!", says Mark.
You can stay in touch with all the news from Growler and the rest of the Dog Squad on their official web site at www.growlerracing.co.uk.
Beck hands over #1 plate.
13th October: UK Pro Stock Bike racer Dave Beck, who is racing on the AMA/Prostar Tour in Alabama this weekend, writes to congratulate 2002 ACU UK Pro Stock Bike Champion Nick Pepper.
"Before I put the dust sheets over my 7.3-second Pro Stock Bike for the winter, there is one job left to do - peel off the number one plate and hand it over to new and worthy Champ Nick Pepper", says Dave. "I hope he doesn't sell his bike and comes out to defend his title next season. I have enjoyed having somebody on my heels to race again! We had two wins each this season with the margins of victory .003 and .002 being the closest!"
Dave is again riding Jay Regan's Pro Mod Bike at the AMA/Prostar event this weekend. "Yet again faithful MRE crew member Andy the Limey has cut off all the burnt bits and with Jay rewired it from front to back", says Dave. "All that is left to do now is to build the motor. The cranks are back from Falicon all shiny and new, the Marguerita King (Upperton) has got three sets of cases ready, and has checked out the heads and deemed them OK!
"We will stay at the track Friday night so that we can have as many hours as possible to build the motor for the first qualifying session on Saturday morning. Jay only has the on-board fire extinguisher to fit and we should be back in the sixes!
"Crew Member Cooky will not make the trip as he is getting his Pro Stocker ready for November (for the Finals at Gainesville - Ed) and can't spare the time!"
You will be able to find results from the AMA/Prostar event at Alabama on the Dragbike.com web site and on the King Racing web site at www.kingracing.com.
2002 UK National Champions.
12th October: The final standings in the 2002 UK National Drag Racing Championships have now been officially ratified by National Points Co-ordinators Yvonne Tramm and Simon Groves. Congratulations to our 2002 Champions:
Super Pro ET: Martyn Jones
Pro ET: Carla Pitau and Rick McCann
Sportsman ET: Al Platt
Super Comp: Martin Curbishley
Super Gas: Frank Mason
Super Street: Leigh Morris
Junior Dragster: Ricky Emms
9.90 Bike: Paul Morris
10.90 Bike: Darren Winnard
Congratulations to the 2002 ACU UK Drag Bike Champions, recently confirmed by Championship co-ordinator Ian King:
Top Fuel Bike: Steve Woollatt
Funny Bike: Neil Midgley
Pro Stock Bike: Nick Pepper
Comp Bike: Klaus Brinkmann
Super Street Bike: Graham Dance
You can view the full final standings in the 2002 UK National Championships by clicking here, or by clicking on the Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page. You can view the full final standings in the 2002 ACU Championships on the King Racing web site at www.kingracing.com.
We are sure that racers, officials and fans will want to join us in thanking Yvonne Tramm, Simon Groves and Ian King for all of their hard work co-ordinating the Championships this season, and for supplying Eurodragster with the points standings and other information. We would also like to thank Spencer Tramm for his help in passing the points on to us.
Sponsorship deals in two words.
12th October: UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Andy Carter is already hard at work making plans for the 2003 season, following last Friday's announcement of a major sponsorship deal with First National Telecom Services.
"We're finalising a deal for a car for next year", Andy told Eurodragster. "We have been talking to people both in Europe and the USA and we have several options, it's just a case of finding the right deal". Andy already has some idea of his schedule, confirming to us that he will be racing in the Pro Fuel Shootout at the Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway, as well as the full FIA Tour.
Andy's PR Dan Welberry sent us the design of the First National Top Fueller and team shirts for 2003 (right, click on picture to view larger version). Andy said that the sponsorship deal was all down to Dan. "Dan did a lot of hard work - sending out letters, arranging meetings, and so on. We had three meetings with First National and we closed the deal at the third meeting. If you want to know how to get sponsorship - and I've been trying since 1992 - then I've got two words for you: hard work."
You can find out more about Andy Carter and the First National team at www.andycarter.net.
Pro Mod - we're back.
12th October: UK Pro Mod racer Bert Englefield has been in touch with some very welcome news for UK Pro Mod fans. "After a lean couple of years, with may people writing the class off, the planet's wildest cars with doors are back in 2003", says Bert. "The entry list at Easter should look like this:
Andy Robinson ('53 Studebaker)
Bert Englefield ('38 Ford)
John Ellis (Vauxhall Calibra)
Gordon Appleton ('68 Camaro)
Bill Weston (Ford Mustang)
Graham Ellis (Olds Cutlass)
Steve Hall (Ford Mustang)
Ian Bishop (Dodge Avenger)
Peter Wacker ('57 Chevy)
Henri Joosten ('55 Chevy)
"Look out for progress reports on the above cars over the coming months". Thanks Bert! Stay tuned because as soon as the news arrives we will post it right here.
Racepak hold Open House.
12th October: Racepak Data Systems, one of if not the market leader in data logging, are opening a new headquarters to coincide with the NHRA Finals at Pomona in November. Henry Walther of Racepak has written to invite European racers and fans attending the Pomona race to visit Racepak's new facility for its grand opening.
"Racepak Data Systems would like to take this opportunity to extend to you an invitation to attend our Open House and the Grand Opening of our new World Headquarters facility", says Henry. "On Monday 11th November we will be showing off our newly constructed facility in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, along with a line of new data acquisition features for the 2003 season. Knowing that a lot of racers make the trip from Europe for the last NHRA event of the year we would be thrilled to have them stop in for a visit while they are in the Southern California area.
"The new Racepak building has been over a year in the design and construction. The growth we experienced after the introduction of our V-Net technology and V Series data recorders brought with it the need for more manufacturing and office space. This move has given us the chance to expand and reorganise and we are proud of the facility we have created. We would now like to show you where and how Racepak data acquisition systems are built.
"During your visit you will get a sneak preview of some exciting new items which we intend to introduce at the PRI Show in Indianapolis in December. Among these will be the new GPS based track mapping system for oval and road race cars, plus some all-new display instrumentation to add to the gauge line we debuted last year. The new display dash will be of interest to those involved in all forms of racing. Add to that some new hardware to enhance the abilities of our existing data acquisition systems and you have plenty of good reasons to make time for your visit with us. This visit will give you a chance to see data acquisition systems from concept to design, and on through manufacture. You will also have some up-close-and-personal opportunities to view our systems in race cars that which be on display.
"We hope that you will be able to join us during our Open House. This is your chance to learn a bit more about racecar data acquisition and meet the people who provide the most widely used systems. It is also our chance to meet you. We guarantee it will be time well spent.
"Please join us on Monday 11th November, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. This is the day following the NHRA Finals at Pomona, and we are just 35 minutes from the track. We can provide fax or E-Mailed driving instructions if you need them."
You can find Racepak Data Systems at 30402 Esperanza, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688. You can contact them by phone on +1 949-709-5555 or by fax on +1 949-709-5556, or visit their web site at www.racepak.com.
Doorslammers pictures #2.
10th October: The final part of our American Car Imports-sponsored photo coverage of last weekend's Doorslammer Shootout is now available. This update features Tog's start line pictures.
Click here to see the Doorslammer pictures, or click on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.
Web site updates.
12th October: Eurodragster staffer Sharkman has updated his personal web site Sharkman's Top End Tales with a report and a huge number of pictures from the UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. This is Sharkman's last race report of the season but plans for the off-season include more video clips, Windows wallpaper, an updated School Of Excellence, and new screen savers. You can find Sharkman's site at www.topendtales.com.
Obsession withdraw from SCR.
11th October: Terry and Tina Gibbs of Super Series organisers Obsession Motorsports have announced that they are to stop organising race meetings at Shakespeare County Raceway. We received the following statement from Terry Gibbs at lunchtime today:
"It is with regret that Tina and I will no longer be involved in Drag Race meetings at Shakespeare County Raceway. It is not a decision we have taken without a lot of soul searching, the problems with my health has in no way influenced our decision. We have been involved at the track for the last five years and we have both found it very rewarding but now feel we have gone as far as we can go at SCR. We both believe that we have more to offer the sport and hope that we will be given that opportunity to do so.
"We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all the racers, the marshals, officials and sponsors: without all of you the Super Series would not have been the success it has been.
"We will be retaining the Super Series name within the UK and are pursuing various alternatives which we hope will allow us to continue promoting Drag Racing.
"We have every intention of holding our annual Super Series Dinner and Dance where we will honour our 2002 Super Series Champions. As soon as we have made definite arrangements we will be sending out the necessary paperwork.
"Again many thanks to you all for some great and entertaining racing."
Ellis: enough said.
11th October: UK Super Modified racer Graham Ellis had plenty to smile about after the weekend's Doorslammer Shootout at Shakespeare County Raceway. He came home considerably richer after winning the Quick 32 and taking runner-up spot in Outlaw, and recorded his first six-second pass after putting his 706 engine back into something approaching Pro Mod trim.
Graham sent us some very interesting background on his participation in the Shootout, together with a report of his weekend:
The story begins at a Super Series event earlier in the year. Terry Gibbs mentioned the Doorslammer event to Danny Cockerill and myself, and said that there would be a decent prize fund. That created the worm which took over my brain and an idea formed.
I don't know how many people are aware that the engine I have used in Super Mod all year in Super Mod is in fact an ex-Gordon Appleton Eagle 706 which I bought some time ago. It was clearly too big for Super Mod and so it was downsized and wet sumped, and had the nitrous ports filled. ICE rebuilt the engine to get the best possible out of it, but it had to stay normally-aspirated which has proved a disadvantage in Super Mod so far. When I had the engine rebuilt, I was careful to do nothing detrimental to it which would stop it being reassembled as a 706, so apart from a couple of pistons which were damaged when I got it I still had everything.
The motor was removed and over a short time rebuilt how God intended. My crew spent many hours in my garage and even stayed weekends - the rebuild wasn't straight forward as I had no idea how this would end and had decided to spend as little as possible. Knowing Andy Robinson's shortblock is virtually identical to mine I asked him if he could source some pistons in a hurry. He happened to have freshened his motor for the European Finals and had put in new pistons though the used ones were mostly still in good shape. Andy let me choose the best four, also having just changed his tyres he had a set of alky tyres which had seen twenty seven runs - a lot by Pro Mod standards but the general consensus is that the Hoosiers last longer, so I took them with the price being very reasonable. After a few more emergency trips to RRC I eventually got the thing together and on Friday headed for the track without even a test firing of the motor.
I had solicited the help of Andy Wright for the weekend. Andy runs his own car, has been involved with the success of Danny Cockerill in Super Mod this year, and is a proven Pro Mod Crew Chief, and I needed all the help I could get. Andy turned up late in the evening, looked round the car, asked a few questions then told us to remove the clutch, which we did..."And the flywheel...". We did that, then came hours of hard graft until he was satisfied with everything at 2:30 am.
We were up early on Saturday to finish up a couple of jobs and warm the motor. It seemed a bit smoky and oil and nitrous don't mix. On the first run of the weekend, qualifying for Outlaw, I had a very wild burnout where the car swung badly then into stage against John Ellis. The lights ran and I pulled the trigger...that was awesome! I pulled the levers and the car got loose on the second-third shift, I lifted momentarily then hit it again and it was all over in a blur. At the top end I was told it was a 7.20 - and I'd lifted! The ticket revealed a 7.283/188.2 with a 1.10 sixty-foot time, I was pretty pleased as this was a single stage smallish safe tune up...oh, and the smoke had cleared (needed running in I guess). Back in the pits we found some damage which I caused during assembly we have learnt from Super Mod the value of valve train spares and we quickly had it fixed.
Another wild burnout in round two of qualifying, I thought I was going to tag the guardrail but I was lucky. Staged and let it rip, it sounded awful so I aborted the run. Back to the pits and more work checking to see what was wrong. I believe as we had changed plugs from the previous run that the gaps were too big so we re-gapped the plugs. We had a bit of a drama with some under sized nitrous jets but we got over that just in time for the first round of the Quick 32. It was a little more controlled in the burnout, I staged and again pulled the trigger and I was off. The car shook again when I pulled third but I wasn't lifting this time. At the end my crew rode up and said 6.98/195! I was gobsmacked and so happy.
Back in the pits a quick check revealed that everything was OK, so we made the next round against Cheerful Mick Cheley. Silly me chose the wrong lane, and again I lifted when the car got really ignorant. I hit it again and it was OK, Mick was closing fast but I just held him off. At this point the racing was stopped, thank god, if it had not been stopped we would have never had made it: we were ready but the clutch was taking a beating and needed a looking at, so that's exactly what we did. The flywheel had to come off again, one of my discs was falling apart, but we dressed it up and put it back ready for Sunday. As it turned out my first pass was the final in Outlaw, Gus had the better lane - not that it would have made any difference. Up to that point I had somehow managed to get down the track quicker (not faster) than Gus, that didn't last long. We had leaned out my nitrous in an attempt to go quicker and as I was running the same preload settings from Super Mod I was thrown all over the track even getting the eighth mirrors while Gus hammered out a fine 6.685/211 and well and truly peed on my bonfire
Back in the pits we reduced the preload and ran another 6.99 at 194 mph in the next round of Quick 32 and another 6.99 and 194 mph. We were back on track, still no damage, but the clutch was ready to drop out. We hardly had time to do anything about it but on with the show and another round, and somehow another 6.99/194 so we were in the final.
We were to face the guy whom over the last year I have got to know and like. I was not his closest rival on the track but when it came to pitside verbal the chance for a wind up was never far away. Danny Cockerill is one hell of a competitor, a hell of a driver, and with the A Team (you know who you are) almost invincible. I knew that just one tiny slip and I'd be choking forever - I'd have never have lived it down, 706 v 509 and losing! Danny tried his best cut a great light and ran 7.26/190, some feat from a car weighing around 2575 lbs with a 509ci motor. Luckily we ran a 7.01/194 so we had Danny covered but we were lucky to get that far and we knew it. We did all we could to take power out of the car so that I would not have a handling problem, while Danny was really pushing hard, but I'm sure that knowing Danny he won't let it lie there. Over to you Danny!
All in all a great weekend, and now I have to think seriously about next year...Pro Mod? I know a lot of people had serious doubts about what I was trying to do so what can I say to them except 6.98/195.6, enough said.
What can I say about the people who have helped me get to this point. Thanks to my crew Rob Millward, Paul Brooks, Graeme Wait, Gareth, and (sometimes) Anthony Ellis; to Andy and Kate Robinson who have been a great help; to the guys at ICE for their help with the diff etc; and to Andy Wright who taught us all something and put up with us for a whole weekend. Last but not least I would like to thank Kev Elliott, Lee Child and Terry and Tina Gibbs for putting on the event, arranging sponsorship and the co-ordination of the weekend. I hope they do it again next year."
SPRC 2002 Champions.
11th October: We are grateful to Santa Pod Racers Club Points Co-ordinator Spencer Tramm for sending us the final standings in the 2002 SPRC Championships. Congratulations to the 2002 SPRC Champions:
Pro Modified: Andy Robinson
Comp Eliminator: Bruno Bader
Super Pro ET: Steve Johnson
Pro ET: Team Toyko Toy
Sportsman ET: Simon Chalkly
Super Comp: Brian Pateman
Super Gas: Martin Curbishley
Super Street: Leigh Morris
Junior Dragster: Ricky Emms
Pro Stock Bike: Nick Pepper
Funny Bike: Tim Blakemore
Comp Bike: Klaus Brinkmann
Super Street Bike: Graham Dance
9.90 Bike: Steve Ingham
10.90 Bike: Darren Winnard
You can see the full SPRC Championship results on our Points Standings page. Final points standings in the National Championships will be posted once the points have been ratified.
Still searching for Mr Right.
11th October: Despite several responses to her news item back in May seeking crew for next year Super Street Bike racer Rachel Pattison has still not found her perfect partner. "I had Ivan Birch's crew with me at the last meeting" says Rat, "they were really good and brought home to me just how important a good crew is. At the moment I am still trying to find crew for next year. If no one works out I'll just have to break Ivan's bike while he's not looking so I can nick his crew again!"
For those of you that missed it back in May the original news item was "Single white female seeks male for weekends away. Interests must include fast bikes, getting dirty, hard work and partying. Applicants should be aware that this lady's aim in life is to get from start to finish in under nine seconds!"
If this sounds like you and you fancy crewing for a Super Street Bike, then either visit Rachel Pattison in the Team Pants pits at the Flame and Thunder, or call her on 01793 705905 days.
11th October: Fresh from reaching the semifinals of the Quick 32 shootout at last weekends Doorslammers event at Shakespeare County raceway Paul Marston racing are busy loading up the Bruiser one more time for what is planned to be one of the teams last outings this season. However after so many weekends in copetition of one form or another the team are looking forward to a rather more laid back weekeend this time out.
"The ChryslerCard PT Bruiser will be appearing at the Chrysler Dealership Marshall's of Peterborough this weekend." says Paul. "Marshall's of Peterborough will have an open house this weekend and will be open both Saturday and Sunday to show off the exciting Chrysler range and offer test-drives in all available models. The ChryslerCard PT Bruiser will be there both days. I will be on hand to meet and greet fans old and new on both days. The whole crew enjoy these kind of events as it allows us time to talk to the fans in a relaxed atmosphere, away from the pressures at the track. There will also be never seen before video footage of the runs of the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser during the 2002 season along with archive press releases, magazine articles, photo albums, etc."
Paul does request that fans bear with him a little over the weekend, he will be wearing dark glasses, not for any of the usual hangover or celebrity reasons but because he has just undergone laser eye surgery and is under doctors orders. Paul Marston racing would also like to apologise for not posting a release following the Doorslammer Shootout but with Paul's operation taking place last Monday things have been a little hectic. We understand a full end of season round up will be with us next week.
Wildside Inc join F&T Fuel fest.
10th October: The Wildside Inc Top Fuel Dragster team have announced that they are to appear at the Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday 2nd November. Driver Darryl Bradford will be match racing Chris Andrews who as we revealed on Monday will be driving the Carbon By Design Top Fueller at the event.
"We said after displaying the car at Rockingham Motor Speedway that we had no more outings planned this year" said Lesley Wright. "As soon as we’d said it, Santa Pod were on the phone asking us to display the car at Donny In The Park for Halfords! Furthermore, Santa Pod have now confirmed us for at the Flame and Thunder Show."
"I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures of the Nitro cars at night during this event, and its going to be strange getting blinded by everyone else’s flash bulbs this year!", says Darryl Bradford. "Top Fuel cars were invented to run at night and it’ll be mine and John Wright's job to show everyone why!"
"The blower, which let us down at the European Finals, will have been made brand new and we’re looking for a quick time for the early afternoon run" said Crew Chief John Wright. "Through the gremlin of the clutch linkage and the blower going over before its time, the European Finals was a missed opportunity in terms of what I expect of the cars performance. Of course, it all depends on the weather at this time of year, but if all the conditions are good there’s no reason why the evening run shouldn’t be a full pass either."
"The Flame and Thunder Show has always had a special atmosphere", said Lesley. The car is due to run on Saturday at 1:00 pm and 6:00pm. The evening run will give the team the opportunity to get the mini-cam on the car again: Lesley tells us to look out for the TV coverage from the European Finals which includes dramatic on-board shots from Darryl Bradford’s first round pairing with Micke Kågered, whose rear slick exploded sending his car all over Darryl’s lane.
The team are again grateful to White Contract Services, Cambridge Motorsport and Fisher Financial for providing valuable support, and they will be welcoming their guests to this spectacular event. "There are so many people we want to thank for their support this year", said Lesley Wright, "and so many others whom we are just introducing to the world of Drag Racing, and we are hoping this event will help show the mind-blowing experience that is Drag Racing."
You can find more information about the Flame and Thunder Show including ticket prices on Santa Pod Raceway's web site at www.santapod.com.
Doorslammers pictures #1.
10th October: The first part of our American Car Imports-sponsored photo coverage of last weekend's Doorslammer Shootout is now available. This first set of photographs was taken by Sharkman and is from the top end; Tog's start line pictures will be posted shortly.
Click here to see the Doorslammer pictures, or click on the Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.
Web site updates.
10th October: The official web site of Swedish Pro Mod racer Fast Freddy Fagerström has been updated with the latest news from the pit of the popular blown-alcohol pick-up. Check it out at come.to/fast-freddy.
9th October: Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Andy 'Spoons' Oliver has been in touch with a message of appreciation for the help which he and Pro Mod racer John Ellis received from Shakespeare County Raceway's FAST team at the Doorslammer Shootout at the weekend. "John and I would like to say a big thank you to the guys and girls of the FAST safety team", says Andy. "We both suffered Nitrous fires mid track, and were expertly dealt with by the marshals. John and I toasted them all with a Jack Daniels in the clubhouse on Saturday night. Cheers!"
Perfect end to Nicholson's season.
9th October: Having a rather better weekend at the Doorslammer Shootout was Super Pro ET racer Wayne Nicholson, who says that it was a perfect end to the season for his BMW.
"What a weekend!", says Wayne. "We ran our quickest ET of 8.78, our fastest speed of 152.45, and our best sixty foot of 1.22. Reaching the final of Top Sportsman didn't hurt either. This was actually my first-ever final although I managed a few semis when I had the Born To Run Pop a few years ago.
"A huge thanks to Kev Elliott, Lee Child and Terry and Tina Gibbs for arranging a great event. Last but not least, big thanks to my wife Belinda and crew Ricky and Sarah. I can't wait for next year!"
MSA notice on competing in Europe.
9th October: Thanks to MSA British Drag Racing Championship co-ordinator Dave Alexander for passing on this important notice from the Motorsports Association:
At present, a competition licence issued by any European Union country (also by Andorra, Iceland, Monaco, Norway, San Marino or Switzerland) and bearing the EU flag is valid for any British event, providing the holder complies with all the requirements for that event. Such a competitor is subject to Motor Sports Association regulations while competing in any British event.
Similarly, any British competition licence holder of National A grade or higher is entitled to compete in events within the 21 countries (15 European Union members, plus the 7 listed above), providing he or she complies with the requirements of the event and the regulations of the relevant national governing body.
The effect is that many national events can attract competitors from the 21 countries, without those events being listed on the FIA International Calendar.
The FIA World Motor Sport Council recently amended its International Sporting Code, so that the privileges described above will, from 1 January 2003, be available at National level only to "professional competitors".
However, for the year 2003 only, the FIA General Assembly has agreed a 'half-way house', whereby a competition licence holder will be permitted to take part in a national event in any of the 21 specified countries, provided that event is entered on the 2003 FIA International Sporting Calendar as a "National Event with Authorised Foreign Participation" (NEAFP). Each listed event will be subject to an FIA fee of €150.
Applications for next year's NEAFP listings must be with the FIA no later than 30 October 2002, so aspiring organisers are asked to contact Ian Davis at Motor Sports House (tel 0175 376 5000; email email@example.com) as a matter of urgency.
British competitors need take no action at this stage, but will need to ensure before entering any non-UK event that the event has NEAFP status.
The FIA World Motor Sport Council has ruled out proposals from various European governing bodies for bi-lateral "cross-border arrangements".
An FIA Working Group has been created to revise and update the rules affecting the European Union and all other FIA zones. The members are Nazir Hoosein, Yvon Léon, Radovan Novak and Jacques Régis.
Web site updates.
9th October: UK Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Andy Frost's web site has been updated with reports and pictures from the Doorslammer Shootout, where he ran in the eights for the first time, and the UK National Finals. Check out Andy's very entertaining reports at www.redvictor1racing.co.uk.
UK Wild Bunch racer Tony Smith tells us that he has made a number of alterations to his web site, which features his Cunning Plan minivan. "With only one more event to go, I will be doing some sort of contest throughout the closed season, for example 'Whose Car/Bike' starting mid-November", says Tony. You can find the Cunning Plan site at www.cunningplan.btinternet.co.uk.
Just Another Fuel driver.
8th October: Europe's newest-qualified Top Fuel Dragster driver Chris Andrews is already looking forward to another outing after gaining his Top Fuel licence at Sunday's Run What You Brung at Santa Pod Raceway. Chris won his licence with passes of 5.969/155.06 and 5.136/287.09 in Knut Söderquist's Carbon By Design Top Fuel Dragster which has been driven by Susanne Callin and Robin Read this year.
"I can't complain!", Chris told Eurodragster last night. "I am very grateful to Knut, Alan Jackson and the crew for being so good - they totally relaxed me". Chris licenced in a Top Alcohol Funny Car at Frank Hawley's school earlier this year and the ride in a Top Fueller came about when the Just Another Toy team, which comprises dad Vince and mum Cindy as well as Chris, were looking for another race car to join their Ford Customline.
"We were thinking of buying a Fuel Funny Car and Knut Söderquist offered me the chance to drive the dragster", said Chris. "I'd already experienced the alcohol Funny Car but the Fueller was different again. It was more aggressive and pulled all the way - and it really goes too quick to appreciate it."
Vince Andrews was at Santa Pod with Chris on Sunday but Cindy couldn't be there, and Chris told us that she was very nervous for him. "Dad on the other hand was confident, he said that he knew it would be no problem", he said.
The Just Another Toy team are now looking for backing to run Top Fuel in 2003. "I've already got a few options but nothing is finalised, except for the charity Purple Dreams whose colours I will be carrying", said Chris.
Chris doesn't have to wait until next year for his next outing, though, as he will be driving the Carbon By Design Top Fueller at the Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday 2nd November. Our spies tell us that Fuel fans are in for a real treat at the November event; stay tuned for more news.
Thanks to Andy Marrs for additional reporting - Ed
Malmgren looks to Italy.
8th October: 2002 FIA European Pro Stock Champion Michael Malmgren and his team are investigating an appearance at the Bologna Motor Show in December, says crew member Magnus Cato.
"It would be fun as they estimate that they get a crowd of one million people - that's impressive!", says Magnus. "It will be a follow-up to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, pulling burnouts at Bologna as well."
In the meantime the AC Delco-sponsored Camaro is in the workshop. "Everything is fine", says Magnus. "The car is up on jacks and looks nice, we don't have too much to do, only maintenance. Our engine fleet is to be overhauled as well."
Magnus also tells us that the sauna season has started early this year. "The season kicks off tonight", he says. "It's not real cold yet but the sauna is nice when it's cold outside."
You can stay in touch with all the news from the Championship-winning team on their official web site at www.acdracing.net.
Francis' great weekend.
8th October: UK Super Gas racer Malcolm Francis had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend at the Doorslammer Shootout at Shakespeare County Raceway. Malcolm, who arranges the import and export of race vehicles and parts and sponsors racers through his company Air Sea Logistics, recorded new personal bests in the 8.9s in his Camaro and took out Super Modified racer Andy Hone in the Quick 32 after strapping a sizeable holeshot on the seven-second Scorpio.
"Firstly I would like to thank Kev Elliott, Lee Child and Terry and Tina Gibbs for putting on the event, arranging sponsorship and co-ordinating it"; says Malcolm. " I hope they do it again next year (several racers have said this - Ed).
"We knew that the car had the potentional to run in the eights and finally had the chance to prove it. We ran a number of 8.9s on Saturday both during qualifying and in rounds one and two of the Quick 32. Our best of the weekend was 8.91/149.01 but it will go quicker. In round two of the Quick 32 I knew that I had my work cut out as I was up against the seven-second Super Mod of Andy Hone. However, I’ve been practising my lights recently and cut a .442 against Andy's .712. At a thousand feet I looked over expecting Andy to come flying by me, but he didn't and I held on for the win. Andy later admitted driver error as to why his car only ran a ten.
"In round three we were up against Graham Ellis and his six-second Pro Mod, so I was hoping that racing luck would continue, as realistically my only chance of beating Graham was if he redlit or had problems on the run. I gave it my best shot on the tree and pulled a .465 light but that was about the only time I was in front, because cause by sixty feet Graham came flying past and disappeared into the distance!
"In the Top Sportsman we only got as far as round two, losing out to eventual winner Brian Pateman as we encountered some carburettor problems which caused the motor to run too rich and slowed it down by four tenths. Over the winter we are going to make some changes to the car to enable us to pick up some more ET and possibly run Super Comp and Super Gas next year.
"I also want to say a special Thanks to Spencer Tramm for all his help at the weekend, Emily McKie (feeling better yet?), Jeff Bull and Belinda Southernwood, and Andy Robinson."
Racers: Don't hesitate to send your Doorslammer Shootout reviews to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll post them here.
We would like to say a big Thank You to all of the racers and officials who made Eurodragster's US correspondent Ed O'Connell so welcome at Shakespeare County Raceway at the weekend. Ed had a great weekend and is already talking of a return trip. Special thanks to SCR Press Officer Jerry Cookson for arranging media access.
Updates from Malta.
8th October: Our good friend Michael Buhagiar plans to update his web site with photographs from this weekend's fifth race of the Maltese season at Hal Far Raceway this weekend. "Qualifying starts at about 1:00 pm on Saturday, and eliminations at about 9:30 am on Sunday", says Michael. "Some Italian motorcycless are planned to be at Hal Far this weekend". You will be able to check out Michael's photographs at www.dragraceway.cjb.net.
As well as Michael's web site you can also check out the latest on the Maltese drag racing scene at the official Malta Drag Racing Association web site at www.maltadragracing.com.
NAST points updated.
8th October: We are grateful to National Association of Supertwins Championship co-ordinator Sue Beneke for sending us an updated version of the 2002 NAST Championship standings. "I omitted the last round points for Supertwin Street racer Chris Mott, which changes the final outcome for that class", says Sue. "I am sorry to Chris for the mistake".
You can check out the final NAST standings on our Points Standings page.
European bests updated.
8th October: Our good buddy Andy Marrs of TSI Timers has provided us with updated lists of European bests which include the bike records set at the UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway last week. You can view the record lists by clicking here, or by clicking on the European Bests link on the left hand side of any Eurodragster page.
Web site updates.
8th October: UK Super Comp racer Zane Llewellyn missed out on a chance of the big bucks at the Doorslammer Shootout at Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend as his vehicle doesn't have the requisite doors, but he still managed to have a good time with the boys and girls of the Bristol Doorslammers. You can find Zane's report and pictures on the Bootsoop web site at www.bootsoop.freeserve.co.uk
The guys at Dragsterworld are running a Photo Contest on their web site at www.dragsterworld.com. There are two sections, for pictures taken from spectator areas and for pictures taken from privileged areas, and a vote will be held after the closing date of November 8th. Pictures must have been taken in 2002 at any drag strip anywhere in the world. For more details check out the Dragsterworld web site.
The official web site of Sweden's Andréasson Motorsports Top Methanol FC team has been updated with pictures from the Funny Car's recent appearance at the UK's Rockingham circuit. You can find the pictures at www.andreassonmotorsports.com.
Doorslammer Shootout results.
7th October: The first Doorslammer Shootout at Shakespeare County Raceway was a highly successful event. The aim of holding an old-style turn-up-and-race meeting was more than achieved and every racer to whom we spoke was full of praise for the event and already looking forward to a repeat next year. Congratulations to all of the class winners:
Kev Elliott of Custom Car magazine expressed himself very happy with the event. "I'm very pleased both with the turnout and the response from the racers", he said. "It was a great atmosphere, I hope we do it again". "It was totally awesome", said Lee Child who co-ordinated the event sponsorship. "I'm grateful to everyone who supported the event - the racers, the sponsors, the spectators, Shakespeare County Raceway and APIRA."
Terry Gibbs of Obsession Motorsports said that he was very grateful to Custom Car magazine and to Lee Child for all of his hard work with the sponsors. "Thanks to them for having the confidence in us for this kind of event, and thank you to all of the racers who supported it", he said.
Doorslammer Shootout day 1.
6th October: It was an exciting first day at the Doorslammer Shootout at Shakespeare County Raceway, with racers expressing themselves more than satisfied with their four qualifying sessions and a track which stood up to everything which was thrown at it. The top qualifiers in the five brackets going into today's eliminations are:
In the Quick 32, also to be finished this morning, scalp of the day went to Super Gas racer Malcolm Francis who on top of recording a number of 8.9-second passes strapped a huge holeshot on Super Modified racer Andy Hone and put him out of the Q32, whilst Pro Mod racer Andy Robinson red-lit his chances away to Paul Marston in the PT Bruiser. Paul recorded a new Personal Best in the 8.3s, whilst Super Mod racer Danny Cockerill was amongst several other racers recording PBs, with a 7.31/187; fellow Super Mod racer Graham Ellis now has a Pro Mod engine in his Oldsmobile and got into the sixes with a 6.9/195. Pro Mod racer John Ellis went into the 7.1s before melting five pistons, ending his weekend a day early, and Dave Hughes went into the eights in his ex-Peter Wacker ex-Pro Mod.
Roger Goring is testing a new burner pump on his Firestorm Jet FC and recorded a speed of 234 mph on the second of his two checkout passes.
When the Quick 32 and Outlaw Street eliminators are finished, everyone will be back in competition in the five brackets. We will bring you the final results of the Quick 32, Outlaw Street and the five brackets in the next news update, and we will be posting one large weekend photo library after the event has finished. Stay tuned for more details.
Database under new management.
6th October: The European Drag Racing Database, the indispensable guide to European drag racing performances, is under new management and new webmaster Erwin Raets would like to hear from European tracks and timekeepers to help him to keep the reworked site up-to-date.
"I have imported the results of the FIA European Finals and the UK National Finals, which were sent to me by Andy Marrs of TSI Timers", says Erwin. "I have written some code to import the data into the database, and I am now able to present visitors to my web site with time slips and other details.
"It would be helpful if I could get in touch with everyone responsible for timing at European races, so that I can get as much data on a race as possible. I would also like to include a track list so track owners and organisers are also welcome to contact me with track information. Please contact me at email@example.com."
You can find the European Drag Racing Database at www.eurodrag.com.
TJ surprised at second.
6th October: 10.90 Bike and Supertwin Modified racer TJ O'Brien has had a ball in his first full season of drag racing, and writes to thank everyone who made it so enjoyable.
"Thanks to All the boys and girls in 10.90 Bike, except Coombes - I will get you the next time!", says TJ. "If I wrote down every name I wanted to thank, I would need a toilet roll but here are a few: Grumpy, the Hyenas, Sharkman 'The Bottle Opener', Dynospeed Developments, Fast Harry, my Dad; I can't forget my girlfriend, doctor, cook, timekeeper, hangover cure, and Crew Chief Potty Pat - Thank You."
TJ tells us that he didn't expect to come third in 10.90 Bike, nor second in Supertwin Modified with a best of 10.3 seconds. "There is more to come next year, Santa Claus is bringing me a bottle of NOS", says TJ, "Brad at Dynospeed Developments - book me in!"
TJ has one race date left this season, the Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway in November where he will be running in the all-in bike bracket.
Carter announces major sponsorship.
4th October: 2001 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter has announced a major sponsorship deal for 2003. First National Telecom Services Ltd have confirmed their full backing for next season and say that they are delighted to be associated with the Championship-winning and record-holding Carter Motorsport team.
"First National Telecom's strategic vision is to be the leading distribution company of pre-paid telecoms products to the retail and consumer markets within the UK" says Gary MacDonald of First National. "Our association with Carter Motorsport will enable us to put the First National brand in front of a huge audience. We believe that other motorsports are going to benefit greatly from the decline of F1's popularity, and see Drag Racing as a great contender to gain this audience."
The deal will enable Andy Carter to contest the full FIA programme as well as other invitationals, guest appearances and shows. "I see this association as a major step forward for Carter Motorsport", says Andy. "To have full backing will improve so many areas of our operation, so who knows what can be achieved in 2003? I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported the team over the years both financially and with encouragement and best wishes."
The new First National Telecom Top Fuel Dragster will be officially unveiled at the Autosport Show in January. As well as increased activity on-track, off track will be just as busy. "With an increased range of merchandise and a brand new series of collectable hand-outs, the First National Pit will be worth a visit", says Carter Motorsport PR Dan Welberry. To find out more about the range of pre-paid phone cards on offer from First National, visit their website at www.fntele.com.
Stay tuned because we shall shorty bring you a look at the First National Telecom Top Fueller's colours for 2003.
Wheelie good weekend for Grumpy.
3rd October: One of our good mates from Super Street Bike, Paul "Grumpy" Watson, has been in touch to let us know the inside track on how his weekend at the National Finals went. "What a really good weekend that was, championships down to the last race or two, good weather, new records and loads of personal bests. A particular well done to the Funny Bike guys and the Pro Stockers for a great performance and to C and S Pro Mod Calibra team on your pb."
"From my own point of view I once again tried my second stage of nos, but this time only in 5th gear. I ran 9.0 and 9.17 but fried the clutch in 5th both times so I gave up with that, went back to the single stage and ran 8.85 with a 1.44 sixty foot time then another 8.80 with a 1.41 sixty foot. For eliminations I had Richie Stubbins in the first round and to my surprise I was still in front at 1000ft due to a good reaction and an awesome 1.38 sixty foot time, but an 8.83 was the best I could muster and Richard came around me at the top end for the win. I did manage another run (thanks Darren)and upped my nos settings but a big wheelie and a broken fogger kept me to an 8.81 pass. I just know if it all comes together it will run 8.5's but all we can do is keep on trying! My bike is still for sale (see Eurodragster's Swap meet for details - Ed), but hurry I'm already making plans for next year."
Premature Ejection ends Paul's weekend.
3rd October: Paul Marston Racing have now confirmed that with no damage at the National Finals, the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser will definitely be at the European Doorslammer Nationals this coming weekend presented by Obsession Motorsports, Custom Car and of course Shakespeare County Raceway.
"The National Finals at Santa Pod is always a great event for us" say Paul. "And this year was no exception. I must thank everyone at Santa Pod, the racetrack was totally awesome, the event ran smoothly and the sun shone on the righteous! Near perfect conditions, no wind, and a really enjoyable weekends racing for nearly all, I just hope Sandra Chaplain heals painlessly."
Paul goes on to say "It was just like old times, being pitted opposite the guys from C&S Racing with John Ellis and the Lethal Pro Mod Calibra running in Super Pro ET. Well done to John, crewchief Ragin' Ray White and the crew for their NPB, the team showing they are ready for the European Doorslammer Nationals next weekend.
We had our usual post Brighton Speed Trials shakedown passes, trying to slow our monster down (8.50-8.60 is no good on an 8.90 index!) just like last year. When we finally got the ChryslerCard PT Bruiser calmed down enough we were already in eliminations. I must however apologise to all our fans who turned up to see us run in elimination's on Sunday, we had one of those "Oh well that's Drag Racing" moments. Let mel explain what happened;
Once the burnout was completed, the usual checks were carried out by the crew and when a crewman removed the safety on the parachute release, a job done every single time the car is run, the parachute popped out. This cannot be simply put back in and meant without enough time to repack it we were effectively out. The first I actually knew of a problem was seeing Crewchief Dave Kalisz indicating to kill the motor and considering what the problems could have been I was relieved to hear it was just the chute!
It's the first time ever that this has happened to me in any run, but I am not mad at the crew, they do a heck of a job. They say everything happens to you in racing at least once, well that was ours, best we get it over and done now rather than later!
The crewman was inconsolable for hours and although blowtorch and pliers were an option, it would only have made him feel better! To make amens, he insisted on doing all the work for everyone when we got back, he packed the whole pit area up on his own, it was great, we just ate lunch and watched, it was nearly as good as the racing!"
On a more serious note Paul notes that the team made good progress over the weekend, with the last stage of the Aero package development installed on the Bruiser and the data logger now giving meaningful traces. "This all bodes well for the Doorslammers, even the weather on the long range looks just as good as last weekend. So come and see us at The First European Doorslammer Nationals, Shakespeare County Raceway this weekend and watch history in the making, its gonna be huge! " Is how Paul views it.
Paul closes by thanking his sponsors for their continued support, those sponsors being Chrysler UK, ChryslerCard, 76Racing Fuels & Oils, ATI Performance Products, MAC Tools and all the teams associate sponsors
Hot season for Cool Green.
3rd October: Chris Emms of Cool Green Racing gave us a call to ask us to pass on the teams thanks to the people and sponsors that have supported the team this season. It was the teams first full year of racing with the modified car. Although they had the car all last year they couldn't run in competition until the Cannonball meeting when driver Ricky turned 13 (the minimum age for a modified car). Their first full season was a real success as Ricky claimed the National Championship.
"I'd like to thank our sponsors; Peterborough Signs, G-Max Fuels, Half Scale Dragsters and Phil McGee Racing Engines." says Chris. "I'd also like to say a big thanks to Rob, Steve and Carmel Turner for their advice, to North Herts Engineering and Gary Page for their advice to Ricky and finally to Sharkman and Tog for all the hard work they have put in covering the sport we all love."
The season isn't quite over for team Cool Green Racing though, as we revealed back on the 7th August the team are now shipping the car over to the USA to compete against 500 other junior dragsters at the fifth annual Peach State Nationals at Silver Dollar Raceway just outside Atlanta, Georgia. The car will be equipped with a new and bigger motor enabling them to run in the 7.90 class while this seasons motor will be freshened up and kept as a spare. The plan for next season see's the car wearing a new paint scheme to go with the new powerplant and hopefully some new sponsors as well.
Web site updates.
3rd October: A new photo based web site has been created. The site will feature everything from Street Legal to Top Fuel and the plans are for the site to cooperate very closely with www.spn-photo.com. The new site is currently only available in Swedish and can be found at www.racebilder.nu.
Stuart Dempsey has updated his Custom Car street eliminator web site following on from the weekends National Finals with some photo's of the action.
Elliott relishes Shootout mix.
2nd October: Kev Elliott of Custom Car magazine, who are the main sponsor of this weekend's Doorslammer Shootout at Shakespeare County Raceway, tells us that he is looking forward to seeing Custom Car Street Eliminator, National Street Car Challenge, and Street Racer Sunday racers mixing it up at the event. "The three series never get a chance to race together", says Kev, "and that was one of the intentions behind the event. I hope that the Mopar boys come too. I'm looking forward to a great weekend's racing in a good atmosphere - if we can get even a small part of the atmosphere of the old Gary's Picnic events then I will be very happy indeed."
Kev explained the structure of the Quick 32 and Outlaw Street Eliminator, two extra brackets which will both be contested late on Saturday afternoon. "The quickest thirty two cars on the facility at the end of Saturday's qualifying go heads-up in the Quick 32", he said. "There is no additional entry fee for this bracket - if you're amongst the quickest, you're in - so you get something extra for your money!". Obsession Motorsports and associated sponsors are putting up £500 for the Quick 32 winner and £200 for the runner-up.
"In the Outlaw Street Eliminator, I want to see a valid tax disc and a full exhaust so that I know that they are street-legal cars - otherwise anything goes such as slicks and race fuel", said Kev. "There is no Cruise. Again it will be the quickest thirty two cars, in this case street-legal cars. If you are also quick enough to go into the Quick 32 then you can run both or take your pick!". Again Obsession Motorsports and associated sponsors are posting the prize fund, of £150 for the winner and £50 for the runner-up.
"Pre-registration is looking healthy", added Kev. "It's going to be a great weekend and the idea is to have fun!"
APIRA Club Secretary Wendy Talbot tells us that all participants this weekend must have the appropriate clothing and crash helmets to hand when having their vehicles checked. Crash helmets and a current competition or driving licence are compulsory, and must be presented when registering in the Pit Office. For more details contact Wendy on 01379 740100 or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can read more details about the Doorslammer Shootout in the latest edition of Custom Car magazine, or call Obsession Motorsports on 01483 236262 who can also accept pre-registration, although entries will be taken on the gate on Saturday. For details about Shakespeare County Raceway including a map check out the track's official web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk.
Allumez le feu...
2nd October: Fans attending the Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday 2nd November will have an extra rocket on top of the traditional huge firework display, as it has been confirmed that France's Eric Teboul is to make his first UK appearance with his Rocket Bike at the event.
In August Eric, who also races a Top Fuel Bike, wowed the crowds at the Nitrolympics at Hockenheim with a very early shut off 6.196/178.55, having recorded 202 mph at the eighth mile. Eric is heading to the UK fully intending to record a five-second pass.
Eric's Press Officer Jean Pierre Maisonnier says that the bike was six years in the making. Construction started with the chassis in 1995, and the bike made its first test runs at Villaroche in June 2001. The engine is hydrogen peroxide-powered and is of a model originally designed for the Apollo lunar landing module. The 160-kilogramme machine generates some eight thousand horsepower, which theoretically makes it capable of over 300 mph in the quarter mile.
The Flame and Thunder Show is also expected to feature at least one Fuel car as well as the traditional jets, all-in car and bike brackets, the final round of the Volkswagen Drag Racing Club Championships, stunts and other entertainment. We'll bring you more news as we receive it, but in the meantime you can find more details including ticket prices on Santa Pod's web site at www.santapod.com.
Nick Nails It for Johnny Nitro.
2nd October: No sooner do we mention the all-in car backet at Santa Pod's Flame and Thunder Show than we hear from Ady Reade of Team Lawbreakers, who tells us that John 'Johnny Nitro' Ricketts' nine-second Custom Car Street Eliminator Anglia will have a different driver at the November race.
"As a big thanks to his Crew Chief Nick 'Nail It' Curtis, John is generously letting him race the 8.2-litre Anglia at the Flame and Thunder Show", says Ady. "Nick is no stranger to the track, and he is just finishing off his own big block '57 Chevy which is rumoured to be running in CCSE next season."
A weight off Cannon's shoulders.
2nd October: We were very pleased to hear from Chris 'Cannon' Hannam, who tuned Neil Midgley to a six-second Funny Bike pass at Santa Pod Raceway on Sunday. Chris, Neil and the team have been creeping up on it all year and the achievement of the six-second goal has come as a relief.
"I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders now that the six has been run", says Cannon. "The bike really has a lot left in it and we hope to exploit some of that potential when we get to the States in November. We plan to test at Bradenton on the Tuesday and then up to the track at Gainesville for the Thursday test to iron out any gremlins that may occur. Hopefully we can do ourselves justice and put up a good show."
Cannon's weekend report is now showing on the Pit Lane Gossip page of the King Racing web site at www.kingracing.com. If you want to find out what Cannon could do for your bike then check out his web site at www.cannon-eng.co.uk.
How Sandra bounced back.
2nd October: If you were tuned into our UK National Finals coverage you will have read that 10.90 Bike racer Sandra Chaplain parted company with her bike on Saturday. Sandra was relatively uninjured and was back in competition on Sunday. Her husband and Crew Chief Roland takes up the story:
Sandra's last outing on her 10.90 bike was rather more spectacular than expected. The third round of qualifying saw her going down the track face first - but without the bike. Sam was winded, having impacted her sternum and early diagnosis suggested broken ribs something thankfully not confirmed by X-rays. Her sternum had been compressed and her legs, arms, hands and chin badly bruised but thankfully with no cuts or breaks. The limited damage stands testament to the quality of the safety wear provided by X-Lite helmets, Hideout leathers, Richa gloves and Oxtar boots.
At times like this you realise how many good-hearted people follow the sport of drag racing. When Sam was taken to the hospital I was approached by a large number of people concerned for her welfare - whilst others took care of our daughter, Annick. I hope I managed to respond coherently and thank them for their concern, but if I seemed a little distracted I trust you will excuse me.
It is also on these occasions that, without fail, the unsung heroes of drag racing - our marshals, track staff, safety crew and medics come into their own. The response of everybody when Sam crashed was impressive with everything done quietly, efficiently, calmly and competently. Knowing that we have such a great bunch of professional people looking after the interests of the racers at Santa Pod is very reassuring. I take my hat off to you all and thank you most sincerely for your efforts.
Sam's uncharacteristic rodeo ride resulted in parts of the bike being littered down the track but remarkably much had survived. The rear grab bar had taken the initial impact from where the bike bounced on to the instrument cluster, completely shattering it. The handlebar controls had smashed into both sides of the fuel tank. Sliding down the track on its side had ground away the near side footrest and bending the gear lever and rear set hanger back on themselves. The left handlebar was ground to a point.
When I collected Sam from hospital she asked if the bike could be repaired so that she could race on Sunday and at that point we planned to go home and spend the night in the garage. However, the racers again shone through - as they did at the Euro Finals when Steve Coombs got a little too close to the tarmac. John Moore (soon to join the streetbike ranks) came up with a complete instrument pod and an ignition switch. Dave and Sarah Jane Head called in to see how Sam was and Dave later returned with a new set of handlebars for us to use. Most of the other parts were straightened, cut, filed or repaired using various Loctite products. There were numerous other offers of parts and help from various people to get the bike ready for Sunday from many people - again thank you.
On Sunday Sandra was given a lovely bunch of flowers to cheer her up - thanks Jayne you're a star. She went on to complete the first round against T J O'Brien but had problems changing gear, due to a jammed valve in the air shift mechanism - but at least she finished the quarter mile and on two wheels this time.
Again thanks to all our friends at the track.
You can find out more about the Think Pink team at www.thinkpinkracing.co.uk.
National Finals timing data.
2nd October: As promised yesterday, we have now posted the timing data from the weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, which was as usual kindly provided by Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe. You can view the weekend's timing data by clicking here, or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.
Prostar in your living room.
2nd October: Anyone who follows European drag bike racing via Ian King's superb web site will know at this time of year bikes are always shipped to the USA to race at the Prostar Finals at Gainesville. If a trip to the race itself is out of the question, you need not worry as you can take now in not just the Finals but the entire series of eight Prostar races without ever leaving the comfort of your own home.
The reason? A series of eight videos, one per event, brought to our screens by Wizzerama Productions. You may not recognise the name Wizzerama, but you will certainly recognise the name of Top Fuel Bike legend Brian Johnson, who is the driving force behind Wizzerama and the video series. Brian has taken his years of knowledge from riding at the pinnacle of the sport and applied it to producing a video which shows off the sport in its best light, with plenty of superb start line filming backed up with top end footage shot from the stands. The videos feature the Top Fuel, Funny, Pro Modified and Pro Stock Bike classes in detail along with glimpses of the other classes, interviews with some of the riders, and even some commercials so you have time to get a fresh beer without having to pause the tape!
The first of the series, covering the MRE Spring Nationals, has a running time of around 52 minutes and is now available for £12.95 plus p&p. It can be purchased direct from Wizzerama Productions on 01344 625182 (outside the UK +44 1344 625182) or E-mail email@example.com.
American Car Imports increase backing.
1st October: We are very pleased to announce that American Car Imports have increased their backing of Eurodragster.com. American Car Imports, who already sponsor our Event Coverage, have signed up as our second Home and News page sponsor, joining ICE Automotive, after Motorgraphic had to terminate their 2002 deal. ACI's joint director Anthony Cohen has also already taken out an option to extend the company's backing of our Home/News pages and event coverage into 2004.
"I wanted to recognise the excellent work done by Tog and Sharkman, and the best way to do so was to give Eurodragster additional support", said Anthony Cohen. "We have seen the benefits of the link between drag racing and American cars and we want to develop it further".
American Car Imports have very quickly become a major supporter of drag racing, and we are very pleased to be associated with one of the biggest names in the supply of those US cars which we all love so much, and with the owner and primary sponsor of Europe's fastest Top Methanol Dragster. We are very grateful indeed to Anthony Cohen for his continued support and faith in Eurodragster.com, and we are sure that our readers will want to repay Anthony's generosity with their custom. Check out the American Car Imports web site at www.americancarimports.com which has just been updated with the latest details on the 2003 models from the USA.
Anthony and joint director Jon Cohen are also very pleased with the outcome of their first year as team owners of a Top Methanol Dragster. "It's been a very successful season", said Anthony. "Jon and I are privileged to have such a great team in Dave, Linda and David, Andy, Ricki, Fred and Mike, and we can't wait for 2003. We would also like to thank our marketing partners without whose support we couldn't do this."
NAST Champions, VW points.
1st October: National Association of Supertwins Championship-co-ordinator Sue Beneke has very kindly provided us with the final standings in the 2002 NAST Championships for Supertwin Fuel, Gas, Modified and Street. Congratulations to the 2002 NAST Champions:
Supertwin Fuel: Jamie Millership
Supertwin Gas: Ric Davis
Supertwin Modified: Dave Bartz
Supertwin Street: Les Harris
You can view the final NAST Championship standings via our Points Standings page, which you can view by clicking here, or by clicking on the link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.
Volkswagen Drag Racing Club Championship co-ordinator Spencer Tramm has kindly sent us the post-UK National Finals standings in the VWDRC Championships, which both have one round left to contest. Again you can view these points via our Points Standings page.
On the subject of Supertwins, a big Thank You to Ben Beneke for the message which was passed on by Sue on Sunday morning - Ed
Work starts on 2003 TF Tour...
1st October: Work has started to put together the Swedish Top Fuel Tour for 2003, says Top Fuel team owner and ex-racer Pelle Lindelöw. The Top Fuel Tour had two rounds in 2002 and was won for the second year by Micke Kågered, who recorded the fastest TF speed ever in Europe in the round at Pite Dragway. Pelle tells us that the series may take in more stops next year.
"The first telephone conferences have taken place, and a meeting is planned in October or November" says Pelle. "The objective is to have all of the details ready as soon as possible so that everyone involved can work with their sponsors to market the events. First we need to determine who will be participating, but we are also looking into the possibility of extending the series to more tracks. As with everything else at this time of year, anything is possible, and all possibilities are being investigated."
...as P & G Racing close web site.
1st October: Pelle Lindelöw also tells us that his P&G Racing web site has been closed down. "As most visitors will have have noticed, there hasn't been too much activity in that area", says Pelle. "In combination with our gradual withdrawal from active racing there is less and less news to report, so we have decided to close down the web site."
The P&G Top Fuel operation is still for sale; Pelle tells us that as soon as any discussions come to fruition he will let us know.
UK numbers motivate Määtä.
1st October: The performance of the Funny Bikes at the UK National Finals at the weekend caught the eye of Finnish Funny Bike racer Asko Määtä, who is putting together his own Pro Mod Bike for next season.
"Seeing the numbers the British ran in Funny Bike, I wouldn't have believed them a year ago", says Asko. "Those numbers keep me in touch with my own goal in drag racing. Next summer I'll have a former European Pro Stock Bike record holder, lengthened as it must be for Pro Mod Bike. It'll be on gas and a turbo and producing the numbers. After my short trip to hospital I had an opportunity to test the beast, it was a challenge to do that and I'm really happy now to get the knowledge about how the engine functions and how much power it is producing. And after so many years - since 1993 - I got the feeling that I've only had with my Top Alcohol Funny Car!"
Beck grateful for 7.3.
1st October: UK Pro Stock Bike racer Dave Beck has been in touch to ask us to express his appreciation to his crew for all their hard work at the UK National Finals, and for the whole season. Dave wrapped up 2002 with a 7.3-second pass in the final of PSB on Sunday which bodes well for 2003.
"We had a lot of little problems to overcome on Saturday with the carb and transmission, but with their hard work they gave me the bike and set-up needed to take the win and dip firmly into the 7.3s", says Dave. "Thank you Paul, Charlotte, Alan Cook and Nicola."
Wright enjoys rookie season.
1st October: UK Super Street racer Matthew Wright has enjoyed his first season in competition. Matthew, who sponsors his own car and Andy Hone's Super Modified through his and Gary Gleeson's company Gleeson Wright Security, has written to thank everyone who helped.
"First things first, well done to Andy (Fred) Hone on the 7.89 personal best at the weekend", says Matthew. "What can I say, Gary and I are so pleased for you and the crew and proud to have our company name Gleeson Wright Security on the side of your car. You, my old mate, have done us all proud. Well done. "
"I came into Super Street this year as a complete rookie, apart from Run What You Brungs and a short stint in Street ET some years ago, and what a great crowd of racers and crew they all are .Thank you one and all for the help, advice and warm welcome you all gave me, Cheryl, Vince and Loraine in our first season in such a competitive and frendly class. Congratulations to Leigh Morris and crew on winning the Championship. A big Thank You to Vince Price, Loraine, and Cheryl my very understanding girlfriend for the time they have given me. Last but not least Gary Gleeson - thanks to my dear friend and business partner for running our company when I was off racing. Cheers mate!"
Andy's anorak corner.
1st October: Santa Pod Raceway timekeeper Andy Mars has been in touch with his usual sheaf of statistics about the weekend's events at Santa Pod Raceway:
Blue lights: 690
Single runs: 117
Total vehicles entered in computer: 1263
Made it to the finish line: 1211 (including Junior Dragsters)
Made it to quarter mile: 1162
Average ET (not including JDs): 10.721
Average MPH (not including JDs): 129.85
Lowest ET: 6.926 Steve Johnson Super Pro ET (NB Dave Wilson's 5.664/248.13 was in time trials)
Highest MPH: 194.16 Steve Johnson Super Pro ET
Closest race of eliminations: Mike Bentley (Win) v Dave Cherrett, Super Street, 0.002 seconds or approximately 3.5 inches (NB Dave Beck (Win) v Nick Pepper, Pro Stock Bike, also 0.002 seconds or approximately 6.2 inches)
Closest to dial-in: David Warren, 10.90 Bike, spot-on
Best reaction time: Jack Brewster in Pro ET (first), Rick Denny and Andy Raw in Sportsman ET, and Ian Dale in VW Sportsman
Total run time (all cars reaching the finish line including JDs): 3 hours 37 minutes 30.259 seconds
In Funny Bike, Neil Midgley set a new ET record of 6.948 backed up with a 7.016. If he'd have run two thousandths quicker the 7.016 wouldn't have been enough! In Comp Bike, Phil Brachtvogel set a new ET record of 7.049 backed up by a 7.107. In Pro Stock Bike, Chris Hope set a new ET record of 7.404 backed up by a 7.445, and Dave Beck set a new speed record with a 178.44 backed up by a 178.02. Dave Beck's 7.371 needed a 7.445 but he only had a 7.449 which in turn would have only backed up a 7.375 ! Chris Hope's 181.73 needed a 179.91 but he only had a 177.67.
If you are interested in the way that timing systems work then check out TSI Timers' web site at www.eurodragster.com/tsitimers.
Andy has sent us the weekend's timing data; we are currently processing it and it will be posted very shortly.
Janet and Wayne shock APIRA.
1st October: Courtesy of APIRA Press Officer Jerry Cookson comes the happy news that long-standing officials Janet Nobes and Wayne Schreier have announced their forthcoming marrige, which in fact is so forthcoming that APIRA colleagues had a fortnight's notice.
"Janet and Wayne finally made the announcement during the'Donny In The Park' event at Shakespeare County Raceway and left race officials speechless", says Jerry. "After more than fifteen years of stress and strain they are finally tying the knot at Gretna Green, Scotland, this Friday. I'm sure that everyone connected with APIRA will be aware of Janet and Wayne's responsiblties, but just in case you aren't aware Janet looks after the event running of the track's Portatree timing system and Wayne is head of the track's Tech Crew - for which we owe them both a great deal of thanks for their time and commitment. Without their involvement the track cannot function.
"From everyone involved with Avon Park International Racing Association, Fire and Accident Safety Teams and Shakespeare County Raceway we send Janet and Wayne, and not forgetting little Junior tech person Chris, all our love and best wishes for the big day and many more to follow."
To which Sharkman and Tog and, we are sure, all of our readers say a big Hear Hear.
Bulldog Bash airs tonight.
1st October: Also courtesy of Jery Cookson comes news that the Bulldog Bash is to be broadcast on satellite TV in the UK and Eire, with the first airing this evening (Tuesday).
"Filmed by Peach TV at Shakespeare County Raceway, the twenty five-minute show features the best in Bulldog action from the drag strip, custom show and, of course, the unforgettable evening entertainment", says Jerry. "Tonight's airing is on Granada Men and Motors from 6.30 pm-7.00pm, followed by a repeat showing on Wednesday 2nd October at 8.00 pm.
"On the subject of TV programmes, Sam Green from i2i Television has been in touch to say that'Dream Machine' a motoring programme due to be screened on Channel 5 later this month featuring drag racing from the Super Series Spring Nationals, has been postponed until February 2003. You may remember i2i Television were present at the race recording a round of the Custom Car Street Eliminator and the Super Modified's. Sam has promised to keep us up to speed when the show is due to hit our screens."
Whilst we're on the subject of TV coverage, Super Street racer Mark Watkins has been in touch to let us know that the series of Channel 5's 5th Gear which should feature drag racing is to commence next Monday, 7th October.
Web site updates.
1st October: UK Top Methanol Dragster racer Lindsay Deuchar has updated his La Racer web site with photographs of this season's action. Check it out at www.laracing.co.uk.
The official web site of UK Pro ET racer Robin Moore's Road Rage Mustang is back online at a new URL. You can find it at www.bad-attitude-racing.co.uk.
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