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30th November: 2010 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion and Eurodragster.com sponsor Urs Erbacher will be taking his 2011 Hadman Top Fueller with him to the FIA Gala in Monaco.
"The FIA want to display my car in front of the Hotel Paris during the Gala", says Urs. "It's the only dragster down there amongst Formula 1 and other FIA class cars. I need to pay the expenses myself but I'm doing this to bring drag racing closer to the F1-infected FIA people. I hope that it will help to make drag racing more popular in Europe.
"Last week the Hadman car which I blew up after just seven runs in Houston in 2009 came back from the famous Mats and L-G Eriksson at Sweden's ME Racing Service with a brand new front end and new rear wing stand. The guys have done a great job and the car looks better than when it was new. So that's the new European Record and Championship car. Thanks to Mats and L-G!
"On Friday I am travelling to the ACS Bern Gala to receive a trophy from the Automobil Club Switzerland. Saturday I am travelling to Essen to pick up the Erbacher One bike which is on display on my sponsor H+R Springs Germany's stand, Stand 1003 in Hall 10. If anyone would like to say Hello then I will be on the H+R stand all day on Sunday."
30th November: Pål Magnussen writes that Svein Olav Rolfstad and the Rolfstad Pro Dragracing Supertwin team attended the weekend's Solberg Extreme Motorshow in Norway. "This is an annual event organised by World Champion Petter Solberg", says Pål. "In front of 15,000 crazy Norwegians, Svein Olav put on a great show making tons of smoke and big flames inside the Telenor Arena, which is normally an indoor football stadium. The Rolfstad crew were accompanied by another great drag race team, the Islanders Dragrace Team, who were invited to make an indoor burnout with their Top Methanol Dragster. The crowd simply loved what they were given."
Don't throw your old tyres away just yet, because the UK's York Raceway is going to hold its first ever rolling burnout competition next Easter. "Participants will be encouraged to drag their burnouts across the star tline or to keep it in for as long as possible and maybe even do figure of eight in the centre of the track", says Chris of York Raceway. "There is no restriction on the type of vehicle, no restriction to the use of props such as flares, and no pressure to burst the tyre. It's the perfect opportunity to send off an old pair of tyres or to bed in a new set. This competition is not about sitting stationary to see who can burst their tyres first - this is about style, panache and more importantly skill". For more information check out www.yorkraceway.org.uk.
We have two spy pictures for you today. The first (below left) came with nothing save the promise of a revelation very shortly...
...whilst the second (above right) came with no words at all. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be posting our annual Christmas Gift Mart here on Eurodragster.com this coming Saturday (4th December). If you would like to advertise drag racing-related products or services which would make good gifts for racers, race fans, officials, the media or anyone else then please send a paragraph, or at most two, with details including price and how to order to email@example.com. One photograph per submission will be accepted.
Essen Show opens its doors.
29th November: The 43rd running of Germany's prestigious annual automotive extravaganza, the Essen Motor Show, opened to the public on Saturday with what photo-journalist and Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member Andy Willsheer can best describe as the most striking representation of quarter-mile machines to grace the municipally-owned exhibition centre on the edge of the Ruhr region city's Grugapark:
FIA Top Alcohol Dragster two-time Champion Timo Habermann and this year's runner-up, his brother Dennis, were both on hand to meet the media at Friday's invite-only affair, their cars being displayed on Roger Kirschner's UNI-FIT stand in the Messe's Galleria, a wide corridor bisecting the vast complex that's so big it has Metro stations at either extremity.
Also on hand in the Galleria was Jan Gunnarsson's 'Badillac' '59 Caddy Pro Mod stormer and Wayne Allman's wonderful blown alcohol-motivated Mental Breakdown dragster that made its first assault of the asphalt at this year's Bug Jam at Santa Pod.
Needless to say, the VW split-screen-bodied race car drew much attention at the Fatherland facility, as have the trio of drag racing cars parked on the Hockenheimring stand. Jurgen Schomann's '41 Willys Master of Desaster (sic) – still the best named car on the European drag racing scene – and Rudi Fussel's mouse-motored, nine-second '71 Opel GT book-ended a new car from Rolf Nohl, namely a fibreglass-bodied, modified '36 Chevy sedan from America's Vanishing Point Race Cars that's just one of two built, the other having been shipped to Australia. The silver Bowtie entry has been in aforementioned Schomann's workshop for three years, being worked on as time and funds permitted. Now 95% complete, the novel machine boasts a KB 511 ci Stage V powerplant topped by a Kuhl 14-71 blower and Enderle injection, Lenco three-speed and a monochromatic paint scheme that was applied quite some time ago. It needs wheelie bars, safety blankets, seat harness, fire retardant system and other minor pieces before being submitted for a tech inspection, but here's hoping the one-of-two can become a part of the ultimate doorslammer ranks in the not-too-distant future.
Joachim 'Acka' Riemer had his Super Twin H-D Service Racing bike on the 'Ring stand also, where he was telling me of his intention to contest all rounds of the UEM Championship in 2011, kicking off in Hungary.
And speaking of the two-wheel fraternity, a brace of Dutch quarter-haulers were also part of the Galleria's eclectic assemblage, namely Rene van den Berg's Shark Attack and Job Heezen's Godfather 6
Yorkshire's Graham 'Syko' Sykes was flying the flag for GB with his unique three-wheeled strip stunner, the beautifully-detailed metalflake white whirlwind being parked next to the Millyard Viper V10, Allen Millyard's outrageous home-built, 200+mph street blaster that'll hopefully be making a demo run next year at the home of British drag racing.
Gerd Habermann rolled up, literally, as I was passing one of the trade stands, and the self-styled King of Fire was pleased to pose for posterity alongside his Dragon Hunter Jet Funny Car.
Finally, a mention for Perry Watkins, whose two street-registered Guinness World Record entries – the tiny Wind Up and Fast Food, both of which have graced the track at Santa Pod - have now caused quite a stir on both sides of the Channel, pics appearing in several continental newspapers following an appearance at the Essen show's early Press Day held on Monday November 8. The well-established event concludes on Sunday December 5.
Sparks fly for RV3.
29th November: The sparks are really flying as UK Pro Modified racer Andy Frost and the Red Victor 1 Racing team are proud to welcome Magnecor as ignition lead supplier, along with technical backup and advice to the team.
"We used Magnecor's excellent KV85 8.5mm Competition leads on RV2 and had no heat or reliability issues whatsoever" says Team Principal Andy Frost. "We are very happy that Magnecor are not only supplying their top cable, but are giving us technical support on the ignition aspects of the project.
"One of the critical things with high boost, turbo methanol engines is spark 'blowout'. With Magnecor involved the team, the job has become a lot easier."
Phil de Wit, Managing Director of Magnecor, says "We are really excited to be working on the VXR/Red Victor 3 project, as there is nothing like a challenge on the technical side and to having a presence with such a professional outfit as Andy's."
The team are really looking forward to working with Phil and Magnecor in the 2011 MSA Pro Modified season. You can check out Magnecor's product line at www.magnecor.co.uk.
29th November: We will be posting our annual Christmas Gift Mart here on Eurodragster.com this coming Saturday (4th December). If you would like to advertise drag racing-related products or services which would make good gifts for racers, race fans, officials, the media or anyone else then please send a paragraph, or at most two, with details including price and how to order to firstname.lastname@example.org. One photograph per submission will be accepted.
Wild Bunch do the honours.
28th November: The UK's Wild Bunch honoured its series Champions and Perpetual Award winners at a very enjoyable Prize Presentation at Drayton Manor Park last night (Saturday). In a ceremony ably MC'd by Shakespeare County Raceway Track Announcer Barry Bohannon for the tenth year running, awards were presented to the following to whom congratulations:
MSA Points Challenge: Darren Law
Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars Series: Terry Clifford
Real Steel Series: Team B'Sting
Wild Bunch Series: Team B'Sting
Services to the Wild Bunch: Claire Meaddows, Gina Rumble, Chris Hartnell, Ed Yates, Barry Bohannon
Big Bang Trophy: Dick Sharp
Quickest ET: Darren Law
Fastest Terminal Speed: Andy Gosling
Team Paranoia Quickest ET By British-Engined car: Dave Southworth
Best Newcomer: Bob Hawkins
Best Altered: Dave Williams
Best Slingshot: Keith Crampton
Best Dragster/Radical: Team Wicked Lady
Best Turned Out: Team Gridlock
Best Achiever: Team B'Sting
Perseverance Award: Joint award to Steve and Lesley Field and Team Gridlock
Daddy Cool Sag Personal Achievement: Team Dorset Horn
Derek and Brenda Annable Trophy: Mark and Mary Tyler
C&C Sportsperson of the Year: Mark Hartnell
Don Garlits Spirit of Drag Racing Shield: Team Gridlock
Lifetime Achievement Award: Nobby Hills
Tog would like to say many thanks to Claire Meaddows and Chris Hartnell of the Wild Bunch for the invitation and to all of the Wild Bunch for a very enjoyable evening.
28th November: Seen below left in a pleasant sylvan setting, this ex-Robert Hight Ford Mustang Funny Car body is for sale complete with fittings. The body was only used for show in the USA and has only been raced in Europe a few times. A few other FC parts are also available; if you are interested then please call Mark Bodimeade (aka Animal) on 07909 528355 (outside the UK +44 7909 528355).
Eurodragster.com sponsor Martin Hill and the FireForce Jet Funny Car team are delighted to announce a brand new FireForce 3 kids' T-shirt (above right). The kids' shirt is the first in a new line of clothing, with adult clothing hopefully ready for Easter Thunderball 2011. "We have many things in the pipeline for 2011 and this is just the first of them!", says Martin. The kids' T-Shirts will be available in red, steel blue or graphite grey in ages 5-6, 7-8 and 9-11 years, depending on stock availability. Delivery has been promised by Thursday 16th December; if you would like to pre-order, or for more information, please contact Martin via the Contact Us page at www.fireforce.co.uk.
On a not-unrelated subject we will be posting our annual Christmas Gift Mart here on Eurodragster.com next Saturday (4th December). If you would like to advertise drag racing-related products or services which would make good gifts for racers, race fans, officials, the media or anyone else then please send a paragraph, or at most two, with details including price and how to order to email@example.com. One photograph per submission will be accepted.
Nor exactly a spy picture but the picture below left shows 2010 UK National Super Modified Champion Andy Hone in training for 2011. "Note the novel use of onion rings - is this his performance secret?" asks our mole...
...meanwhile the picture above right is a spy picture which came with no words; however it came from the same E-Mail address as a similar picture on Thursday's update. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Web site updates.
28th November: Our good buddy Jon Spoard spent several hours yesterday working on a video clip of an Anglia TV feature on the 1980 Cannonball at Santa Pod Raceway, and that hard work has paid off as the clip has come out in very high quality and brings back a lot of great memories especially for Funny Car fans. You can check it out on the UK Drag Racing Nostalgia Forum at www.ukdrn.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=2394.
Courtesy of Ian Turburville the Avon Park International Racing Association Facebook page has been updated with a gallery of two hundred drag bike pictures taken at Avon Park/Shakespeare County Raceway between 1998 and 2000.
Shakespeare County Raceway's Junior Dragster Experience Facebook page has also been updated with more memories of Junior Days From The Past. The pictures date from 1999 to 2004 many of which have been contributed by Sharkman and Tog. "Thanks guys", says Jerry Cookson of SCR to which we say you are very welcome buddy.
2011 eXplosion dates.
25th November: Thanks to Jeroen Dondorp for passing us The Netherlands' eXplosion Drag Racing Club's 2011 calendar of events at Drachten Airfield:
Drachten Nationals: 17th-19th June
Drachten Internationals: 15th-17th July
Dutch Finals: 26th-28th August
You can find out more at www.explosiondragracing.com.
Ear defenders at the ready...
25th November: Paul Ingar Udtian and Frøya's Islanders Top Methanol Dragster team have attended a lot of different events and shows the last few months, and this weekend they are to be found at the Solberg Extreme Motor Show, a spectacular indoor motor show with drivers from all over the world writes Birgitte Bremnes:
The show will take place at Telenor Arena, the home stadium of the Norwegian Premier League team Stabæk. The artificial grass has been replaced with asphalt and tracks for rally, FMX, drifting and drag racing burnouts. There will be a world record attempt, different competitions and the Islanders will fire up the Top Methanol Dragster in the dark and do a burnout...and it's all happening indoors!
Since it's an indoor event it was uncertain whether we could fire up the Top Methanol Dragster due to the amount of noise these cars make when running. So a couple of weeks ago we did a decibel test at the arena; it all went very well and we got the thumbs up for his weekend. You can watch the video from the sound test at www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwrGIKVNjUo.
There has never been an indoor burnout by a dragster in Norway before, so we're really excited. There will be a lot of noise, and we plan to give the 15,000 spectators a great show and an experience they'll never forget!
Billings, Cook choose ICE power.
25th November: Longtime Eurodragster.com supporters ICE Automotive Racing Engines are pleased to confirm the start of a new project with Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racers Richard Billings and Alan Cook. Richard and Crew Chief Alan considered various engine options before deciding that the UK-based engine specialist was their preferred route.
Alan has worked with the Silverstone engine builders on various projects in the past. This partnership culminated in the first 5.0" spread-bore Pro Modified nitrous engine raced in Europe at the tail end of the 1990s. Having run a Small Block engine in both the ex-Ian Jackson Corvette and then his Ford Mustang Richard wanted to move things forward in terms of horsepower. The team have therefore tasked ICE Automotive to scratch-build a new engine to satisfy their increased power requirements for the current season and beyond.
Driving duties will continue to be handled by Richard and tuning and development decisions by Alan with full technical support from Nick Davies and Rob Loaring at ICE.
25th November: Neither of the latest spy pictures to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com (below) came with any words. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at email@example.com.
Our good friend Helen Todd tells us that Zeon TV, aka Quarter Mile High, have a whole batch of 2010 drag racing DVDs available for ordering. Currently available are this year's Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator Championship, Open Sport Nationals, Mopar EuroNats, NSRA Hot Rod Drags, and ESRA EuroNats/NSRA SuperNats. You can find out more, check out clips, and order at www.quartermilehigh.com, and stay tuned for reviews of the DVDs.
We would like to wish all of our readers in the USA a very Happy Thanksgiving.
A good time had by all.
25th November: Organised by Mike Lacey and Karen Stevens and extremely well attended, the 2010 Pro ET End of Season Bash and trophy presentation, held last Saturday, was again a great success writes Carla Pittau:
Live music, fireworks (compliments of Phil Toppin), abundant buffet food and a fantastic Santa Pod cake baked by Karen were well-received by all. The detail on the cake was brilliant, depicting a recent mishap by a Pro ET racer on the start line. Needless to say, that driver was awarded the Cock Up trophy and the cake was absolutely delicious. The other winners of the 2010 Pro ET awards were:
Best Crew Chief: John Byrne
Best Car: Dave Cherrett
Rookie of the Year: Tim Stanbury
Best Wheelie: Tig Napier
Hard Luck: Paul Baynton
Most spectacular crash/fire: Mike Lacey (see above)
A great band, Shred, had everyone bopping and may even have spawned a future Bash award: Best Air Guitar. Had we had the award this year it would definitely have gone to Joe Williams, the most photographed Air Guitarist at the do.
Another entertaining activity which proved very popular was the Quiz: devised by Karen, the witty quiz was based on identifying racers from mystery photos showing barely-identifiable partial features such as nose, sunglasses, or ears and then trying to match them to equally puzzling details of their cars, stating the driver's name and the team name. Apparently, nobody got all the answers right! Charlie Chivers again ran the popular raffle with prizes provided by racers and sponsors.
To top it all, the venue was adorned with large canvas prints of all cars of attending teams which provided great atmosphere and, even better, they were all given away to the respective drivers as a freebee and as part of the Bash. We would like to thank the photographers who kindly provided the brilliant images: Martin and Ingrid Cheshworth, Rob Cox and Ady Randle; the class sponsors Toxico, Penn Autos, Hauser Race Cars, MotorShack, Performance Unlimited, LA Racing Parts, ModurStang, Webster Race Engineering, Norbar Torque Tools, Engine Data Analysis, DS Racewear, Avonside Engineering, Paul Marston Racing, Power Engineering, South Coast Customs, Total Seal; Mike and Karen for doing such a wonderful job, Charlie for helping out, and of course Carl Burton for starting the Sponsorship Scheme in the first place.
Nevermind the successes.
25th November: The Nevermind team have had a very good year with their Shafiroff 540 ci Big Block-powered '68 Chevrolet Camaro SS.
Driver Andy Murton won the new Outlaw Street Championship, the Power Tour Championship and the Santa Pod Street Challenge together with wins at the All American Car Show Fast 16 Shootout and York Raceway's Northern Street Racer Shootout, and finishing runner-up at the Gary's Picnic Shootout.
During the year Andy set new Personal Bests of 9.14 seconds and 151.56 mph in the road-legal car which retains the full interior trim and runs on 10.5" MT Street Radial tyres.
Thanks as always go to the Championship organisers, track crews and fellow competitors for helping to make 2010 an enjoyable year.
Web site updates.
25th November: In the latest instalment in his exclusive Racer Blog presented in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car, Pro Stock Bike racer Kalle Lyrén tells the rest of the story of his recent trip to the USA. As ever you can stay in touch with the latest Blog updates by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Are you sitting comfortably?
25th November: UK Top Methanol Funny Car team Bennett Racing are delighted to announce the addition of their latest sponsor Tillett Racing Seats.
"Many will know Tillett from their Karting background, but they are branching out into other motorsport areas and felt there was no better way than with Bennett Racing", says Luke Bennett. "They make some very striking carbon fibre seats, ideal when trying to save some pounds, and also look fantastic."
Steve Tillett started in karting in 1978. The arrival of new sticky tyres gave him and others many problems with bruised ribs, caused mainly by badly fitting seats. A vintage and veteran car upholsterer by trade, Steve's father Alec created the first ever Tillett Seat by sticking a fabric used in motor vehicle floor mats as a lining on to the seat. It seemed to work really well, not only holding the driver secure but it stopped the continual sliding around. By taking the hard edge off the hard fibreglass shell, it made the karts aggressive cornering speeds less damaging to the body.
Tillett Racing Seats has now grown from a one-man operation in a garage, to a company comprising of five factory units totalling 14,000 square feet with a current workforce of twenty. Developing the technology to produce carbon composite kart seats accurately and efficiently has opened doors to other industries. Tillett Ltd is now producing many carbon parts and seats for Caterham cars and now has a new range of lightweight carbon fibre car seats. Tillett seats are always open to other uses for the seats and they have been used in many different applications over the years. New Tillett car-based seat models are now appearing regularly to satisfy the demands of all sorts of specialised machinery.
You can find out more on the company's web site at www.tillett.co.uk.
Sunday's Pro Mod revealed.
23rd November: Further to the leftmost of Sunday's spy pictures comes the announcement of the formation of the Isaacs and Tramm Pro Modified Team. Renowned chassis builder, Super Pro ET racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Chris Isaacs and former UK Super Pro ET National Champion and Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member Spencer Tramm are teaming up to race a twin-turbo 1970 Plymouth Duster in the MSA British Pro Modified Championship.
"I've known Spencer for quite some time now, and we share very similar ideas on how to go racing", says Chris. "Both of us would like to compete in Pro Modified, and by pooling resources in this way we can do justice to ourselves in competition. This project has been in the planning stages for about a year, and in serious parts-collecting mode for three or four months. There is a lot of work ahead now to construct the car but we have some good support available on the engine tuning side, and between all of us I think we can field a decent entry."
"Most people who know me know that Pro Modified is where I have always wanted to race, so to have this opportunity is a dream come true", says Spencer. "I'm under no illusions, it's going to be a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun! It helps that Chris' crew and my team from the Corrado were pretty much interchangeable and this forms the basis of the crew on the new car: they are George and Rachel Georgiou, Jedd Guy, Ady Goodier, Chris Dixon, Lisa Hamlyn and Rosie Anukam."
Chris and Spencer would like to thank Cotton Wuest at Jerry Bickel Race Cars, Mike Moran at Moran Motorsports, Bruno Massel Sr at Bruno's Automotive, and James Lewis at CID UK (Shippers).
23rd November: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com (below left) came with no words. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The picture above right shows the US' Bob Keith with the blown big block Chevy motor recently built for the recreated 1966 Dos Palmos car which ran in Australia. "This was the 1965 car that appeared in the UK but with the blown Big Block Chevy replacing the 392 Chrysler used in England", says Brian Taylor. "The engine and chassis should be shipped to Australia early in the New Year when Bob will fly out to run it. Of interest to UK fans is that recreating his 1966 car has got Bob thinking of recreating the 1964 Dos Palmos with the blown small block Chevy which toured the UK in 1964, was purchased by a consortium that included Gerry Belton who ran it in 1965 and eventually wound up with Bill Weichelt as Asmodeus. If it happens he plans for it to be shipped and stored in the UK. Now that is good news."
Eurodragster.com sponsor Hauser Racing has a vacancy for an Operations Manager at their Finedon base. The Operations Manager will work directly to Geof Hauser and will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the workshop, sales and parts area. You can find the detailed job description at www.hauserracing.com/news/vacancy-at-hauser-racing.aspx, or call Hauser Racing on 01933 682500.
Sarah Foster has been in touch to ask us to congratulate fellow Gold RV Racing team members Ian and Terese Moore on the birth of their daughter Amy Carol Moore who was born at 07:10 yesterday weighing in at 7 lb 12 ozs. No sooner said than done Sarah: congratulations guys and welcome Amy.
Alan Camilleri writes from Malta to offer his services as a driver to any European team. "I have been driving a Pro Stock chassis with a supercharged 350 Donovan", says Alan. "The car runs 7.0 seconds using five-speed Liberty transmission. I looking for a more professional career so I am looking for a team to drive for, to run these times or maybe sixes. I have more than ten years' experience now so I can certainly work with a good team and win". If you are interested in offering Alan a drive then you can E-Mail him at email@example.com or call him on +35 699 498 865, and you can see pictures of him in action at www.maltadragracing.com.
Feature: NHRA Auto Club Finals.
22nd November: The latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products and Carter Motorsport is Eurodragster.com Photo Editor Roger Gorringe's report and pictures from last weekend's NHRA Auto Club Finals at Pomona.
You can check out Roger's NHRA Auto Club Finals report by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
In a little downtime levity at Pomona Roger copied CompetitionPlus.com photographer Roger Richards in the flat cap department. The US Roger is renowned for wearing his flat cap backwards as his trademark, so the UK Roger thought it a good wheeze to confront him wearing his shooting flat cap backwards. Always a good sport and a typical southern gentleman, US Roger took it in his stride. "Ah thought you were me" he drawled.
The final few rounds of some Sportsman classes were run on the Monday due to Sunday's eliminations coming up against the local curfew. Seen above right are six of the attending photographers and photo-journalists patiently waiting for the early morning start. From left to right are Richard Wong, former National Dragster photographer now assisting Auto Imagery; Marc Gewertz, Senior Staff Photographer at National Dragster; Roger Richards of CompetitionPlus.com; Bob Johnson; Rich Carlson; and representing the Brits the unmistakable photo-journalist, Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member, and man who doesn't look where he's going in the pits Andy Willsheer in trademark cargos and denim shirt. Auto Imagery's Dave Kommel is out of shot. "These are just some of the great people and photographers alongside whom I am privileged to work when covering NHRA events" says Roger, who took the shot.
22nd November: A small digital camera was found at the end of the Pro ET Bash on Saturday evening and it is currently in the safe keeping of Eurodragster.com photographer and pit reporter Kirstie. "There were no photos on the card and the bar staff didn't recognise the camera", says Kirstie. "I said I'd keep it as it was most likely a drag racer's and I'd have more chance of getting it to them. If someone suddenly discovers their camera is missing then please E-Mail a description to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll gladly post it to you."
Ian Turburville asked us to say a big Congratulations to UK Top Fuel Bike racer Ian Carruthers and his wife Karen who were married on Saturday. We're very pleased to do so and may we add our own best wishes for a long and happy life together.
APIRA/SPRC Dinner Dance update.
21st November: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Paula Marshall has been in touch with a reminder for those attending the joint APIRA/SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation at the St John's Hotel in Solihull on Saturday 5th February 2011:
Please can I remind everyone that you must remember to send to me the booking form with your meal choices for the evening. Cheques can be post-dated up to 17th January 2011 if this helps. As it is a new venue for us we have to advise final numbers and make full payment to the hotel two weeks prior to the function, not one week as in previous years. If anyone cancels within the two-week period then unfortunately, unless under exceptional circumstances, no refunds can be given.
I do not want anybody to miss out on this great evening by forgetting to send their information to me!
The St John's Hotel is full but there are still rooms available at the Holiday Inn; telephone 0871 226 1953 and quote Santa Pod Racers Club 5th February 2011.
For more details about the APIRA/SPRC Dinner Dance check out our news update of 27th September.
21st November: We have two spy pictures for you today. The first (below left) came with the words "New UK turbo Pro Mod"...
...whilst the second (above right) came with no words at all. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at email@example.com.
Courtesy of the UK Nostalgia Drag Racing forum we learned that yesterday (Saturday) was the eightieth birthday of John Bennett, British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member and one of the founding fathers of the sport in the UK. Hope that you had a great day John.
On the subject of the UK Drag Racing Nostalgia web site, our good buddy Jon Spoard still has some of his excellent UKDRN desk calendars available. Each calendar is £8 and shipping is free within the UK and £2 to Europe and the rest of the world. Discounts are available for multiple purchases. To order your calendar visit www.ukdrn.co.uk/WS/2011calendar.html. All proceeds will go towards the running costs of the UK Drag Racing Nostalgia web site.
Web site updates.
21st November: In the latest instalment in his exclusive Racer Blog presented in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car, Pro Stock Bike racer Kalle Lyrén tells of his recent trip to the USA. As ever you can stay in touch with the latest Blog updates by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Lucas back UK Junior Championship.
19th November: Wayne Jackson is pleased to announce that the 2011 UK National Junior Dragster Championship is to be sponsored by Lucas Oil Products and will be named the Lucas Oil UK Junior Dragster Championship. Racers will receive new prizes and benefits on top of the existing trophies and prize money.
The winner of each of the seven rounds - five at Santa Pod Raceway and two at Shakespeare County Raceway - will receive £50 whilst the runner-up will receive £35 and the defeated semi-finalists £25. The top four at each round will also receive a Lucas Oil T-Shirt. When possible Lucas-sponsored Top Fuel Dragster racer Andy Carter will present the prize money.
To qualify for prize money, a Lucas Oil sticker must be displayed both sides of the Junior Dragster at all times through the event. Any Junior Dragster team running a Lucas Oil sticker on each side of the car will receive 20% discount any on Lucas Oil products, which can be ordered direct from Lucas Oil's web site at www.lucasoil.co.uk or from Carter Motorsport at www.andycarter.net.
"I am very pleased with the commitment Lucas Oil and Carter Motorsport have shown to the Junior Dragster class", says Wayne. "Like me they believe that Junior Dragster racers are our sports future drivers, and that the support we can give them will only serve to raise the profile of the drivers and the sport. Lucas Oil in the USA and the UK have committed to the future of our sport and should be applauded."
Wayne is also pleased to announce the continuing support of Lucas Oil and Carter Motorsport for his son Brad Jackson's Junior Dragster for 2011. Brad's car will be sporting the same Lucas Oil livery as the Top Fuel Dragster driven by Andy Carter. In addition, Lucas Oil has imported a 330 Outlaw Junior Dragster to the UK. This car has been successfully raced by Zac Bognor in the USA and will be driven by Brad at the 2011 FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. The car will be on display at Autosport International at the NEC in January.
Manners: I have a big Wally.
19th November: Ex-pat UK Top Alcohol Dragster racer Mike Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences says that he had a good time out West where he raced in Las Vegas and then at Pomona where he took the event win at the NHRA Auto Club Finals.
"We were so lost prior to our last Divisional race that we went back to the very weakest tune up that we could, but we still smoked the tires at the hit and again when I tried to pedal the car", says Mike. "It did however allow us to see some anomalies on the computer regarding our clutch, which we addressed by throwing out all of the former Top Fuel clutch discs we had.
"We were far more hopeful heading to the West Coast then we had been for a while. We decided that we would soft-tune the car, try to get down the track, and then take baby steps to move back to much stronger passes. We were thrilled that we got the car down the track and quickened it up with each pass. We qualified at the Vegas Nationals and were taken out in round one by Monroe Guest, but we still felt like we had won as it was a bloody good drag race. We then took the same tack for the Vegas Divisional race. We qualified even though five-time Champion Bill Reichert failed to do so. Again we went out first round but we had another good drag race and had stuck to our plan.
"We took the same approach at Pomona and qualified well. We then took it all the way. We would have liked the car to have run faster but everyone seemed to come up a little short of their expectations so we can't really complain. It was a blast to win my first National event especially with a holeshot against Shawn Cowie, who is normally so strong off the line, and beating Reichert, Guest and Pierce on the way. I was not expecting the fifteen photographers at the top end of the track, I won't need to tan for a while. When interviewed on TV I forgot my rehearsed speech which included the phrase "I've always wanted a big Wally"...oh well, that's a small price to pay. There was even an announcement on the plane home that I was on board!
"Despite what we felt was a disappointing performance all year it ended up a pretty good season on paper...
"I would like to thank the Brits who stopped by to say Hi and chat for their interest and support, and we hope to see everyone again next year."
Maurischat out to impress.
19th November: Marco Maurischat of Eurodragster.com sponsor Exhaust-coating.de made one of his last outings of 2010 on 6th-7th November:
We attended a show at the Hannover Convention Centre with our sponsor and partner NGK. We had two great days up there with our Nasty '53 Corvette on display. We also had a Christmas Tree on which visitors could check out their reaction times. As ever it was great to show people something about European drag racing. Most people don't realise how much power these machines make and how quick and fast they are. When you tell them that a door car can produce 2700 hp and that it takes only about six seconds to run speeds of more than 230 mph over the quarter mile they are impressed every time.
This week we have our booth set up at the Motorsport World Expo in Cologne, Germany, where we are on display with our Ceramic coating products and service. Beside our high temperature exhaust coatings we have some great new thermal barrier Ceramics for the OEM and Motorsport market. You can find out more at www.exhaust-coating.de.
19th November: The latest spy picture (below left) to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "New Pop inside and out for 2011". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proud dad Ian Turburville tells us that Lucas Oil UK Junior Dragster Championship racer Laura Turburville was presented with a special award (above right) amongst the academic and sporting trophies at The Gedling School in Nottingham. "They made a special sporting award for drag racing and gave Laura a certificate and trophy for her achievements", says Turbo. "I heard one dad sat behind me just quietly say "Wow" and that made my day. Laura has done really well at school and has been awarded a place at a good Sixth Form College next year. I am convinced that the sport of drag racing has helped to keep her focused and definitely helped her to develop as a young adult. Well done Laura, you made us all really proud". The school is faced with the threat of closure and you can find out more and show your support at savegedlingschool.wordpress.com.
Nostalgia fans should keep an eye on developments at Dragstalgia, a nostalgia event which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 16th-17th July 2011. Already booked up for the event are the Supercharged Outlaws, Wild Bunch, Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association and Outlaw Street and also included are cacklefest, Run What You Brung, classic race car displays and more. More information is promised soon but in the meantime you can find out the latest at www.santapod.co.uk/e_dragstalgia.php.
Swedish Pro Stock Bike racer and Eurodragster.com Blogger Karl Lyrén has been nominated in a vote for Rookie of the Year for the 2010 Västerås Idrottsgala. You can check out the vote page by clicking here. If you wish to vote then you must supply name and E-Mail address.
Eurodragster.com sponsor Custom Cruisers UK are currently offering special deals on MSD Ignition parts for racing and Bullydog stainless exhausts. You can check out the list (large PDF file) by clicking here.
We would like to wish a big Happy Birthday to Bob Day of Santa Pod Racers Club's track crew (When his brother's not there - Ed). Have a great day Bob.
Apologies for the non-appearance of this news update yesterday. Your News Editor had a very busy time in his day job (No, not scraping together the money for a royal wedding - Ed) and just did not have the chance to code up and post the news.
Another Allard print available.
19th November: The restoration of Europe's first dragster, Sydney Allard's 1961 Allard Chrysler owned by the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, has certainly attracted support from the artistic fraternity, writes Brian Taylor:
First it was Norwegian artist Tommy Vågen who was closely followed by UK-based Paul Whitehouse. Both created paintings which were used to produce a limited number of prints, each signed by Nick Mason of Pink Floyd and Alan Allard. Canadian guitarist Ked Dieter ome lyrics which Ked recorded in his studio under the title Ally Blue. This is available as a download or on an audio CD. And we mustn't forget Phil Brown who is responsible for all the Allard Chrysler Action Group (ACAG) identity on shirts and leaflets. Others are currently at work creating aspects required for fund-raising and promotional material.
Latest to join the creative wing of the ACAG is Gloucester-based artist Stuart Taylor who first became interested in drag racing in the early 1960s via Hot Rod magazine, with his first drag racing meeting being Kemble during the 1964 International Drag Racing Festival organised by Sydney Allard. Stuart has been drawing since he was seven years old and became interested in Chinese art although he now specialises in transport and racing cars of different types. For most of his work he uses graphite pencil on heavy fine quality cartridge paper but more recently he has returned to using colour pencil to add depth to his drawings. It is this technique which he has used on the new drawing designed specifically for the ACAG's fund-raising activities. It features a drawing of the Guv'nor himself, Sydney Allard, and the Allard Chrysler at Kemble in 1964 sporting the race number 121.
Measuring 23¾" by 16½", each print is numbered and signed by the artist. The prints are produced on Polymeric and are only available un-mounted priced at £20.00 plus postage and packing of £2.50 UK, Europe including Eire £3, elsewhere £3.50. The prints are now available via the Merchandise page at www.allardchrysler.org. A link to Stuart's own web site, which features more examples of his work, is posted on the Links page of the ACAG web site. Stuart is open to commissioned work with profits donated to charity.
One for the ladies.
19th November: The MSA Women in Motorsport Group is inviting female competitors, officials and volunteers to a training seminar in Coventry on 12th December 2010.
The one-day seminar will provide training and information on a range of topics such as media skills, personal effectiveness and handling conflict. Guest speakers will include 1982 Vice World Rally Champion Michèle Mouton, television presenter and Go Motorsport ambassador Louise Goodman, and the renowned former Director of Ford of Europe, Stuart Turner.
MSA Women in Motorsport Group Chairman Sue Sanders said "This event will be the first of its kind and I'm delighted that we have received support from such esteemed figures as Michèle, Louise and Stuart. The day won't be open exclusively to women, although they will of course be given the first chance to obtain tickets."
Anybody wishing to attend the seminar should visit www.volunteersinmotorsport.co.uk, click on Training Days, and fill in the appropriate registration form. Places are strictly limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
School's in at PMR.
19th November: Eurodragster.com sponsor Paul Marston's Drag Race Driving School has had a solid outing this year, ending the season on a real high by being featured in the first episode of the current series of Fifth Gear, eaching none other than Ben Collins aka The Stig to drive their all-conquering 2010 National Championship-winning Super Comp dragster, and courtesy of Lucas Oil-backed multiple FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter a feature in Top Gear magazine in which Road Test Features Editor Piers Ward was taught to drive the same car.
Drag Race Driving School pupils have also fared well, although their numbers and those of the Passenger Rides have reflected the current economic climate. But on the whole PMR's Drag Race Driving School has at least held its own, with more and more ex-pupils now competing in National Championship classes. "That is what the school was set up for: to help potential competitors achive their goals", says Paul Marston. "Having now won three National Championships over the past three years, I think the results speak for themselves. 2011 will be an exciting year, everything is set for a great season with both the School and the PMR team.
"Anyone who is interested in learning from us at the Drag Race School and would like more information. or who would like to discuss the packages we have available to compete in the 2011 National Drag Racing Championship season, please contact us at email@example.com or call me on 07831 650230. Seats are available in Super Street, Super Gas, Super Comp, Pro ET and Super Pro ET."
2011 FIA Championship update.
16th November: Lars Pettersson of the FIA Drag Racing Commission tells us that the FIA World Motorsport Council has ratified the following events in the 2011 FIA European Drag Racing Championship:
27th-30th May: FIA Main Event, Santa Pod Raceway, England
30th June-3rd July: FHRA Nitro Nationals, Alastaro, Finland
28th-31st July: Veidec Festival, Mantorp Park, Sweden
12th-14th August: NitrOlympX, Hockenheim, Germany
8th-11th September: FIA European Finals, Santa Pod Raceway, England
Careful readers will have noticed the absence from this list of the June date at Tierp Arena; we have queried this and will let you know what Lars says.
More works of art.
16th November: Artist Paul Whitehouse has been in touch with news of his latest drag race paintings and prints.
Eurodragster.com readers may remember Paul's Famous Five painting, first shown on this site a couple of months back; next year is the 35th anniversary of Peter Crane's five-second run, the first anywhere outside the USA, at the Easter Springnationals at Santa Pod Raceway in 1976 running alongside Don Garlits. Santa Pod are keen to mark this moment in drag racing history with a special event at next years Easter Thunderball in April. Paul informs us that a limited edition print of the painting will be launched at the event, including the signatures of Peter, some of his crew members from 1976, Don Garlits, commentator Brian Taylor and Chief Starter Stu Bradbury.
Andy Carter has recently commissioned Paul to depict his record-breaking run against Urs Erbacher in the Lucas Oil Top Fuel Dragster at this year's FIA European Finals. Paul wanted to try to convey the speed, tyre distortion, chassis flex and power of a Top Fuel Dragster on a run and he hopes that he has captured something along those lines. The original painting, entitled History is made, measures 750 mm x 500 mm and once mounted and framed will contain a separate inset painting showing Andy's timing data at the stripe: 4.572/320.19. Paul would like to thank Dick Parnham, Gary Cottingham and Andy Willsheer for kindly supplying reference photographs of both Andy and Urs' cars allowing Paul to complete the painting. Paul also plans a limited edition print run of this painting, signed by Andy, and this will also be available at next year's Easter Thunderball.
Bob Roberts, longtime friend and crew member of Andy Robinson, commissioned Paul for a montage style painting of Andy's iconic '53 Studebaker Commander Pro Mod. Bob wanted the painting to depict the car as it has appeared from its beginnings as a nitrous car to it's latest incantation as the blown Smokin' Stude. Bob has since presented Andy and members of his crew with a print of the painting.
Paul would like to urge everyone to support the great work of Brian Taylor and the Allard Chrysler Action Group members in their quest to bring Britain's first dragster, the Allard Chrysler, cackling back to life. For all the latest news, info and details of merchandise available to purchase to help raise funds for this great project (great Christmas gifts and cards!) visit www.allardchrysler.org.
To view some of Paul's other drag racing paintings and prints visit his new web site at www.paulwhitehouseart.co.uk. Paul would like to take the opportunity to thank Luke Bennett of EscapeDesign for doing such a great job on his web site and has no hesitation in recommending Luke for any web site requirements. Paul also wishes the Bennett Racing team the stepping up to Top Methanol FC next season. Paul undertakes any drag racing commissions and can be contacted via his web site, E-Mailed direct at firstname.lastname@example.org call 01293 532328.
16th November: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com (below left) came with no words but made your News Editor cringe slightly. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at email@example.com.
Phil Evans, who serves on the FIA Drag Racing Commission and heads up the UK's Tech Committee, tells us that the weekend's Classic Motor Show at the NEC included some drag racing interest. Phil spotted the iconic Henry Hirise Ford Consul Gasser, the Color Me Dodge Fargo wheelie truck, and Russ Carpenter's Daimler-powered dragster on the Daimler Owners' Club stand. Santa Pod Raceway were also in attendance with their own stand.
Could either Ulf Leanders or Jörgen Leanders please contact Tog urgently at firstname.lastname@example.org, thank you.
Web site updates.
16th November: Our good buddy and occasional stand-in photographer Julian Hunt has updated his web site with no less than 489 pictures from this year's Bug Jam which took place at Santa Pod Raceway in July. You can check out Julian's excellent pictures at www.julianhunt.net.
Feature: Racing with Uncle Sam.
15th November: UK racer, team owner, Drag Race Driving School principal and Eurodragster.com sponsor Paul Marston went out of his way to bring us the latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products and Carter Motorsport. Several thousand miles out of his way, in fact, since this Feature was written on Paul's recent trip to Silver Dollar Raceway in Georgia to crew with Super Comp racer Tony Morris and Top Dragster racer Charlie Boyd.
However, rather than just writing a diary of his experiences in the USA we instead asked Paul to describe the differences between Sportsman racing in the USA and on this side of the Pond, since he has extensive experience of both. Paul rose to the occasion admirably and Sportsman racers and fans alike will enjoy his detailed and informative piece; we can guarantee that one paragraph in particular will cause jaws to drop! We are also indebted to Tony Morris for some great photographs.
You can check out Paul's comparison of Sportsman racing on each side of the Pond by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
British Hall of Fame inductees chosen.
15th November: The Board of Selectors of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame in association with US Automotive held its annual meeting yesterday to select its inductees for 2011. This year's meeting was completed in record time and the BDRHoF will again be inducting four British and one Overseas member to receive one of the most coveted honours in drag racing. The 2011 inductees will be officially announced on Eurodragster.com on 1st February 2011, a week before the awards ceremony at the joint APIRA/UK Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation in Solihull.
The 2011 inductees will receive letters of invitation within the next two weeks and will be offered the chance to take their place alongside some of the most famous names in world of drag racing. Their contributions will be documented forever in the annals of the Hall Of Fame to enable future participants and fans of drag racing to remember the roots of our sport, and the people who made it what it is today.
The BDRHoF would again like to thank those Eurodragster.com readers who submitted nominations for the Hall of Fame. Nominations will again be open to Eurodragster.com readers in 2011.
15th November: 12:45 Swedish Pro Modified racer Roger Johansson has sold his Mustang, Europe's quickest and fastest nitrous-assisted race car, to UK Super Pro ET racer Dave Townsend, we are guessing as a roller since Roger put both of his gargantuan nitrous motors up for sale some time ago. "We wish Dave a very happy season in his new car", says Roger. "We are going to race in our new 2011 Mustang next season. The car has been built by All Inn Race Cars and it going to be nice and spectacular."
Congratulations to Michael Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences on taking the Top Alcohol Dragster win at the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Pomona yesterday. A set of consistent 5.3-second passes, after a Personal Best and new Top Alcohol ET record for a Eurodragster.com decal of 5.286 in qualifying, did the trick and Mike took the event win over Shawn Cowie with a 5.347/270.64 from his injected-nitro rail. We're sure that Mike will be along presently to tell us how it was from where he was sat.
Bill Macdermid has been in touch to let us know that Eurodragster.com and Street Eliminator sponsor Topspeed Automotive is having end-of-season stock blow-out on all of their hot rod and race parts whilst stocks last. "We are even offering free delivery anywhere in the UK on orders over £100", says Bill. You can find the sale page at www.topspeedautomotive.co.uk/specials.php. " We will be adding more parts during the week", he adds.
Could either Ulf Leanders or Jörgen Leanders please contact Tog urgently at email@example.com, thank you.
Web site updates.
15th November: Thanks to Alec Coe for letting us know that the official web site of the UK's Supercharged Outlaws has been updated with a report and pictures from the class' Annual General Meeting and Dinner Dance. You can check it out at www.supercharged-outlaws.co.uk.
Europe in the USA week 3.
14th November: The final rounds of qualifying took place under perfect skies and mid-seventies temperatures at the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, California. It has been an extremely tough weekend for all the European teams racing in Top Fuel and unfortunately at the end of the day none of them made the sixteen car elimination, although Europe is still represented at the race writes Eurodragster.com Photo Editor Roger:
Denmark's Stig Neergaard was in top position of the Europeans with a best of 4.253/244.63 suffering a head gasket fire on Friday , a cautious lifting third try of 4.25/224 and a last try that had him hit smoke at half track, a pedalling 6.17/108 was the last ditch attempt that placed him at twenty-three in the final listings. Sweden's Jöran Persåker in the Todd Paton car ran a third try of 9.32/79 and a final try of 4.009/275 that had him hit the cone at the top end negating that run and leaving him in twenty-fourth spot.
Holland's Lex Joon suffered a big fireball on the third try putting out two cylinders and a rod on a 5.11/139 leaving him listed as twenty-fifth on the final paperwork after the fourth try never got to a burnout when on start up the motor shot out broken valves. Needless to say, each team was disappointed that they did not manage to make the field but were excited to be a part of a spectacular array of machines running at their best. Ex-pat UK racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Michael Manners carries European hopes into the final day of the race having won his first round of Top Alcohol Dragster with a 5.330/270.81 victory over Brandon Pierce.
You will be able to stay in touch with Mike's progress courtesy of our Drag Race Central colleagues at www.dragracecentral.com. Good luck Mike and stay safe.
Europe in the USA week 3.
13th November: European fans will have plenty to cheer for at this weekend's NHRA Automobile Club of Southern California Finals at Pomona as The Netherlands' Lex Joon, Denmark's Stig Neergard and Sweden's Jöran Persåker are racing in Top Fuel Dragster and Eurodragster.com sponsor Michael Manners is contesting Top Alcohol Dragster.
Top Fuel Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com Blogger Lex Joon told Eurodragster.com that he intended to run into the threes over 1000 feet in the second qualifier, but that the dragster had other ideas. "We had made changes to our tune-up to prevent dropping a cylinder at the hit as we did in our first run", he said. "The adjustments we made were not enough so we lost the cylinder again. Running on less cylinders is hurting the power output. Last night we made more adjustments with the intention of qualifying today. At least we made another pass from A to B, the only thing left is to speed up our hot rod and we will get into the show on race day."
As things stand Lex is seventeenth in Top Fuel at 4.120/293.98, just above him in sixteenth is Jöran at 4.113/225.67 and Stig is twenty third at 7.630/97.18. Mike goes into today's TAD eliminations having secured fourth place with what we think is a PB of 5.286/273.72, if it is a PB then well done Mike!
Fuel qualifying takes place today at 20:00 UK / 21:00 European and 23:30 UK / 00:30 Sunday European, and Top Alcohol Dragster eliminations start at 21:00 UK / 22:00 European. You will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of our Drag Race Central colleagues at www.dragracecentral.com. Stay safe guys and do us proud.
Eject HRS to be mandatory.
13th November: Jan Phersson of Eurodragster.com sponsor Simpsonshop Sweden tells us that the Eject Helmet Removal System is to be mandatory in all FIA European Championship classes in 2011.
"The Eject HRS has been mandatory in US drag racing for a year, and will now be in Europe", says Jan. "The Eject HRS is installed inside the helmet and installation takes about five to ten minutes. It can be installed in all helmets, so there is no need to buy a new one, but there is now a new Snell standard which will give racers safer helmets.
"The Eject HRS costs about €65 (600 SEK). It us also the perfect gift for a racer for whom you care even if they do not compete in an FIA class. You can find the item in our web shop at www.simpsonshop.se?category_id=56&item_id=EJECTHRSSTD and you can watch a video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JBohCB_PtQ.
Web site updates.
13th November: Our good buddy Alan Currans has updated his excellent Acceleration Archive web site with a second page of pictures by photo-journalist Keith Lee together with a page of introduction. Alan has also posted the latest instalment in Keith's Author's Blog about the release of his book Drag Bike Racing in Britain. You can check out Keith's pictures and Blog entry via the What's New link at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
Europe in the USA week 3.
12th November: European fans will have plenty to cheer for at this weekend's NHRA Automobile Club of Southern California Finals at Pomona as The Netherlands' Lex Joon, Denmark's Stig Neergard and Sweden's Jöran Persåker are racing in Top Fuel Dragster and Eurodragster.com sponsor Michael Manners is contesting Top Alcohol Dragster.
Top Fuel Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com Blogger Lex Joon, who ran an off-the-trailer 4.120/293.98 after not running for a year, says that his first qualifying session went as planned. "We needed a run from A to B which would give us a baseline to start tuning", he says. "Funny Car was out first and it appeared that the track was not ready for the big numbers. Kevin Poynter, who tunes the car, decided to play safe and took some power out of the car to safeguard our run. We dropped a cylinder at the hit and made it to the finish in a straight line. Awesome job by my crew and a great baseline for the second qualifying round. We are in the top ten right now and we are planning to stay in the top twelve for today which will give us a good shot at qualifying for Sunday". Later in the day Lex spoke to Eurodragster.com Photo Editor Roger and added that an air hose broke which caused the air pressure to the clutch and fuel management to drop, so the run ended on seven cylinders.
After day one Jöran is eleventh in Top Fuel at 4.274/206.35, Stig fifteenth at 7.630/97.18, and Mike fifteenth in TAD at 5.981/255.24.
Qualifying continues today at 20:00 UK / 21:00 European for Top Alcohol Dragster with the Fuel session starting at 22:30 UK / 23:30 European. You will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of our Drag Race Central colleagues at www.dragracecentral.com. Stay safe guys and do us proud.
Landmark day at Tierp Arena.
12th November: A very important and historical milestone for European drag racing was reached late last Friday as the all-concrete quarter mile drag strip at Sweden's Tierp Arena was successfully completed, writes Patrik Larsson:
At this time of the year, the weather in Sweden is anything but predictable, but to be able to cast a drag racing strip of the highest standard, there simply can't be any rain or snow falling whilst the work is being done. In the last two weeks we have had a total of five days of nice weather with perfect conditions for pouring the concrete. We have a fantastic team of highly professional construction workers who despite long gruelling hours were able to complete the track.
The building of the drag strip is very important but at the same time it's just the first of many steps to be taken before the Arena is complete. Tierp Arena is a multi-arena project being built in the most central part of Sweden and besides drag racing and other motorsport events will hold large outdoor fairs and music concerts. There will also be a wide range of other sporting events such as cross country skiing, showjumping and much more. The possibilities are endless. Besides all the different events, the area will also hold numerous educational activities throughout the year.
You can find out more at www.tierparena.com.
Flynn cancels Pomona TAD drive.
11th November: Eurodragster.com sponsor Derek Flynn has been in touch from the USA to let us know that he has decided not to drive Larry Miersch's Top Alcohol Dragster at Pomona this weekend.
"After our disappointing first round loss in Las Vegas, Larry and the team were preparing the car for a licencing run and the up and coming Divisional race", Derek told Eurodragster.com. "I had already left the track so I did not see exactly what happened but the car caught fire when they were putting it in the trailer. Luckily no one was seriously hurt and the fire was quickly put out. After replacing a few burned wires and a thorough cleaning job to remove all the extinguisher residue, Larry and the team got the car ready for a couple of check-out passes to make it ready for Pomona where Larry will be driving.
"I would like to thank Larry and all the team for all their efforts and wish them good luck at Pomona. I would also like to wish good luck to the remaining Europeans racing. Fiona and I have decided to take a road trip in the RV and to enjoy some winter sun. "
Joon set for Pomona.
11th November: 334 Racing and their marketing partner, Seasick Marketing, are pleased to announce that both 334 Racing and Top Fuel driver Lex Joon will be making their 2010 NHRA début at this weekend's Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in Pomona, California.
A former FIA European Champion in Top Fuel, Lex Joon has been competing professionally for over twenty five years and is recognized as the most successful Dutch drag racer ever. Lex appeared in his first NHRA race in Las Vegas, 2009. "It is awesome to be back in the US and to have joined forces with 334 Racing, Kevin Poynter, and Seasick Marketing" said Lex Joon. "I am anxious to get back out there and see all of the fans that supported us when we were here in 2009, and race with KP. I look forward to a successful and exciting year of racing in 2011 here in the States, and an opportunity to represent our sponsors."
Lex Joon and NHRA Championship Crew Chief Kevin Poynter have joined forces in this joint venture as a means to get Lex into an NHRA Top Fuel driver's seat consistently and permanently. After months of hard work and the contracting with Seasick Marketing to assist in building a marketing platform for the team and its sponsors, the dream is about to begin for Lex, Kevin and the rest of the 334 Racing Team with many surprises to come. Murray Company, Koppl, Seasick Marketing, Team Dirty Girls, Autoparts Zaandam and MPM Oil are set to sponsor the team in Pomona. "All of us at 334 are extremely grateful and excited about our new opportunities with Lex Joon, Seasick, and our sponsors who have all worked so very hard in giving us this opportunity to go racing", said Kevin Poynter. "Now, let's go racing."
For more information on 334 Racing and Lex Joon visit www.334racing.com. Seasick Marketing is a sports marketing company focused on event and athlete management, as well as sponsor sales and activation. Seasick Marketing has been representing James Day and 334 Racing since 2009. For more information on Seasick Marketing visit www.seasickmarketing.com.
Europe in the USA week 3.
11th November: European fans will have plenty to cheer for at this weekend's NHRA Automobile Club of Southern California Finals at Pomona as not only will Lex Joon be racing in Top Fuel Dragster but also Denmark's Stig Neergard and Sweden's Jöran Persåker. Eurodragster.com sponsor Michael Manners will be contesting Top Alcohol Dragster.
Stig Neergaard continues his US tour hoping to do better at Pomona than he did in Las Vegas two weeks ago. "We did not hurt any parts in Vegas and certainly did not put any oil on the track like a lot of others", Stig told Eurodragster.com Photo Editor Roger Gorringe. "We will do our best to get into the field but it's going to be tough". The Netherlands' Lex Joon makes his first appearance on any track in over a year. Gerda Joon said "This team is magic, we all pulled together after Lex hit the wall last year and we have all put (finances) into the car to come out and run at Pomona. We will do our best, along with US Crew Chief Kevin Poynter, who is assisting". Last of the TF triumvirate is Sweden's Jöran Persåker who will be piloting the Todd Paton dragster and was in good spirits while adding Eurodragster.com decals to both his Chevy hire car and the Fueller; "I just love stickers", he smiled. Mike Manners will also be out with his Shredder injected-nitro TAD.
Qualifying for our guys starts today (Thursday) at 20:00 UK / 21:00 European for Top Alcohol Dragster with the Fuel session starting at 22:30 UK / 23:30 European. You will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of our Drag Race Central colleagues at www.dragracecentral.com. Stay safe guys and do us proud.
Plenty on at TPM Trailer.
11th November: It has been a busy time for Eurodragster.com sponsor TPM Trailer. The company has agreed distribution deals with HSS Tilhengersenter, Norway, Redstone Ranch in Rodby, Denmark, ATS Engineering in the UK, and Pederazza Motorsport in Austria. "We are looking for distributors in Germany, please contact Thomas Fahlström on +46 493 14652", says Jörgen Kalmerfjord.
"Last weekend we were at the premiere of the Oslo Motor Show in Norway with our F1 trailer, there was great interest and the Show was well-run. This weekend we are going to participate in the Scandinavian Custom Show in Copenhagen, Denmark. We will be showing out F2 Clubman race trailer with 30m2 awning, and an F1 World Cup trailer with living area. Please come and visit us.
"From January 1st 2011 we will be able to offer BE (gooseneck) trailers with sizes between 10-14m, total weight up to twelve tons, complete with vehicles from Mercedes or Volkswagen. If you have any questions, please call us on +46 493 14652 or +46 493 14653. In 2011 we will begin collaboration with Speedgroup."
You can find out more about TPM Trailer's products at www.tpmtrailer.eu.
11th November: Tog would like to wish a very Happy Birthday to his niece Jennipher, once dubbed "The world's coolest six-year-old" but celebrating her eighteenth today. Have a lovely day Jenn and don't forget your uncle's slice of cake.
UEM at 2011 NitrOlympX.
10th November: Thanks to NitrOlympX Race Director Jerry Lackey for letting us know that the the 2011 NitrOlympX, which takes place at the Hockenheimring on 12th-14th August, is now to be a UEM European Drag Bike Championship round as well as an FIA European Championship round.
"Top Fuel Bike, Supertwin and Pro Stock Bike will be the three classes", says Jerry. "We will as always still run Super Street Bike and Top Gas, however they will have a limited entry and a smaller field in eliminations.
"The MSTO Summer event in Bechyne in the Czech Republic, originally scheduled for 1st-3rd July 2011, has been moved back to 24th-26th June due to the annual holiday in in the Czech Republic which starts on 1st July every year."
The Bear facts.
10th November: At the end of a successful year there is only one disappointed member of the Timewarp Nostalgia Funny Car Team - Nitro Ted. The regular team driver could only watch from the sidelines at the Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway as co-driver Wendy Baker powered the Mustang II Funny Car into the darkness to run 6.76/208.9.
"After my incident with the Fuel Altered in 2006 I was excited at the prospect of a Nitro Funny Car", says Nitro Ted, "and whilst it has been frustrating to sit by and watch I appreciate the crew's concern for my safety, making sure that the car is right before handing it over to me.
"We have not had many opportunities to run the car so far, but every outing has been a step forward, the only issue being an ongoing problem with the gearbox slipping in top gear. The trip to Hockenheim was thrilling and it was a privilege to be invited to run in the night show. After the 6.98 run I felt sure the car was ready for me, but I was told that there were still problems with the gearbox and I had to be patient a while longer.
"Last week's performance proves that the car is now race ready and hopefully a force to be reckoned with, so now that the Crash Test Dummy (Wendy) has eliminated the gremlins I am looking forward to being back in the driving seat next year, alongside a number of other classic Funny Cars.
"Thanks go the crew Paul, Bear, Chris, Tony and Lee for the blood, sweat and tears which have achieved so much in a short space of time. Oh, and Wendy - don't give up the day job!"
Thanks for the traction!
10th November: Now that the 2010 season has come to a close, Santa Pod Racers Club Chief Starter Ian Marshall says that it is time to say Thank You to those who have helped to achieve the success seen on the track at Santa Pod Raceway over the last few years.
"For the last two to three years we have been working hard to produce a racing surface which would provide suitable traction to allow the cars and bikes to produce the performances they have accomplished", says Ian. "It is worth mentioning at this point that, no matter how good a track is, it takes the skills and knowledge of each individual team to get the race vehicle to work on the track no matter how good or bad it is.
"There are many people who have provided information in terms of access to datalogging information, feedback from runs and various other details. In the main we would like to thank the Karsten and Per Andersen whose information has proven invaluable to us with the use of Shark data and other feedback over the last three years. We have also had help from Dave Beck, Andy Robinson, Steve Venables and many others.
"For this year's National Finals we made a pretty major change to the way the track is prepared. For too many years to remember we have relied upon VHT for a traction compound. This has done an excellent job for us but had a few shortcomings which we needed to address. The answers came in the form of VP Racing Fuels' Lane Choice traction compound. This was used for the first time at the National Finals and has proven to help in two areas. Firstly the VP works very well in our occasionally-cold climate, and secondly the traction remains available for longer without the need to respray the track later in the day. Obviously it is still early days with the VP, but the information we can now gather with our own Shark, purchased from the Andersens, is showing good results as are those racers who have run on the track with the new glue.
"Jason Rueckert of VP Racing Fuels came over from the States to help with the initial use of Lane Choice and his information helped us the get things moving at a much faster rate. Thanks must go to Jason for his help dealing with all the questions we had, and providing a product which works straight from the tin so to speak. Thanks also to Lee Child of LA Racing Parts who also advised and supplied the Lane Choice.
"Finally, but by no means least, we must also thank Steve Clark and the team at Nimbus Motorsport for the help with the donation of a Micro Temp infrared thermometer which has proven very accurate and extremely useful with what we do with the track. Nimbus Motorsport have also been supplying our fire crew with a selection of gloves for their various duties at a very preferential rate so thanks again Steve.
"We are aware that the track at the Pod isn't the best in the world, but it's something we are always striving to improve. We have further plans for the 2011 season which hopefully will see more improvements to the racing surface. So to all the people that have been named, and some we may have missed, thank you for your help in the past and hopefully in the future."
10th November: Craig Gibbs writes that the UK's Super Modified AGM takes place on Sunday 28th November at Tewin Memorial Hall, 11a Lower Green, Tewin, Hertfordshire AL6 0JX. "Please at 9:30 am for a 10:00 am start", says Craig. "Everyone is welcome, and we would be especially keen to meet anyone currently thinking of joining the class who would like to come along to ask questions, meet the current teams, and get an inside perspective of the only UK heads-up doorslammer class still within the realms of affordability."
Further to Saturday's Swift Snippet, UK Tot Rod racer Callum Swinchatt says that his new project is coming on well. "It's a nostalgia-style Topolino powered by a 327 Chevy", says Callum. "We are looking for a Turbo 350 box. We have a 4.88-geared twelve-bolt rear axle, Ford Pop front end and will be running on ten spokes and slots. Now for a long busy winter!". Callum would be pleased to hear from anyone with a Junior Dragster clutch for sale; if you can help then please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. "Thanks to Daren Brett for letting us race with the Juniors at Shakespeare County Raceway at Halloween, we had a lot of fun", adds Callum.
Further to last Thursday's news item about changes to the UK rules on driver restraints, Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson Race Cars are offering a 15% discount on harnesses suitable for Sportsman classes slower than 7.5 seconds, if they are ordered and paid for this year. Bob Roberts adds the further good news that the harnesses will be delivered next year thus having a 2011 tag, and they will have both FIA and SFI certification so will be good for five years in the UK and two years in Europe. Of course this means that they will have rotary buckles not lever latch. For more information check out www.robinson-race-cars.co.uk.
Another RV3 sponsor.
10th November: UK Pro Modified racer Andy Frost and the Red Victor 1 Racing team are pleased to welcome Scattergood and Johnson as their latest sponsor. Based in Leeds, but with branches and sales engineers nationwide, Scattergood and Johnson Ltd are more than just a long established distributor. Their technical specialists and in-house engineers can supply the most popular parts right through to bespoke components backed with expert advice. Whether interested in automation, ex-approved components, motor control gear, safety, sensing or switching products, Scatts will to be able to help find the necessary solution.
"We were involved with Scatts on Red Victor 2 and had great results with their products", says Team Principal Andy Frost. "Naturally we approached them again for Red Victor 3. Having high quality, accurate sensors to collect the correct data is critical. Without that data it is very difficult to move forwards with performance. We are very happy to use Scatts' products and technical expertise and are looking forward to working with them when the car is at the running stage."
Glen Marriot of Scatts says "Scattergood and Johnson Ltd are proud to use their expertise to help support Andy and Red Victor 3. "Supporting Andy at the build stage, and in the running of Red Victor 3 in Pro Modified in 2011, is a challenge we are pleased to be able to undertake. We're looking forward to seeing our products work in the harsh enviroment of drag racing and being part of the success of Red Victor 3". To see Scattergood and Johnson's product line visit www.scatts.co.uk.
Early gift ideas.
10th November: With shops and TV already unsubtly reminding us that it will be Christmas in the not-too-distant future, a couple of good buddies and regular Eurodragster.com contributors have weighed in early with ideas for presents. First up is Mathias Schneider who has no less than two bright ideas. "My wife surprised me with an awesome print of one of the pictures I took at Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield", says Mathias. "It is a 100 x 100cm (40 x 40 inch) framed canvas print in really nice quality. To show you how big the print is, here is a picture with me next to it and I am a pretty big guy. Now here is the best part: I like it so much that I want to share it with others, so for the first time ever I have decided to sell prints of my work. This picture can be purchased in a very limited issue of five prints and each one is signed and numbered. The print is priced almost at cost and is available for €150 each plus shipping. Contact me at email@example.com if you would like one."
Mathias and his and our good buddy Markus Münch are still taking orders for the 2011 Beschleuniger Calendar. The calendar features thirteen pages of the best drag racing action in high gloss A3 format; all the important 2011 race dates in Europe; and two free "Beschleuniger" decals with every calendar. The calendar is €19.90 plus shipping and if you order two calendars then you get a third one for free! Orders can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Delivery starts in later this month. Buying a calendar is the best way to support the non-profit work of the popular German web site Der Beschleuniger.
Also available to order for guaranteed delivery before Christmas is the UK Drag Racing Nostalgia 2011 desk calendar. "This is the third year for these calendars, and they have proven very popular because they are the only UK calendars to list all the major 2011 UK drag racing dates at Santa Pod Raceway and Shakespeare County Raceway", says our good buddy Jon Spoard. "Keeping with the theme of the web site, every month features a picture taken by me in 2010 of a current nostalgia-type race car. The calendars are professionally made from high quality materials and look good on any desktop. Each calendar is £8 and shipping is free within the UK; please add £2 for Europe and the rest of the world. Discounts are available for multiple purchases. To order please visit www.ukdrn.co.uk/WS/2011calendar.html. All proceeds will go towards the running costs of the UK Drag Racing Nostalgia web site."
Web site updates.
10th November: Swedish Pro Modified racer and European record holder Adam Flamholc has relaunched his web site at www.flamholcracing.com. As well as all the usual features the site is now geared up for updates from the track in 2011, and hopefully from next month's Snowbird Nationals at which Adam will be racing in the 10.5" tyre class. In addition team member Paul has posted a video from this year's FIA European Finals which you can check out at www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OlTC9QS2hY.
Team member Henrik Roos writes that Swedish Pro Stock Bike racer Gabriella Nikolovska's web site has been updated for the end of the season. You can check out Gabbi's web site at www.gabbiracing.com.
Review: Drag Bike Racing in Britain.
9th November: Fans of two-wheeled drag racing are pretty well-served on the internet primarily by the gentlemen of King Racing, Drag Bike and Strip Bike, and the gentlemen and lady of Eurodragster.com, but those fans are somewhat less well catered for in print. A search for drag racing books on Amazon returns nearly two thousand results, whilst the equivalent search for drag bike racing returns all of twenty eight records. Keith Lee's new book Drag Bike Racing in Britain from the mid-60s to the mid-80s, part of Veloce Publishing's Those Were The Days... series, is that good that it goes a fair way towards making up that difference in pages.
Keith Lee's name will be familiar to longtime fans of the sport, having been a racer, photographer, journalist and track announcer. This makes him more qualified than anyone to write a history of drag bike racing and Keith's experience, knowledge and skill jump out of each page.
When writing history the author is faced with two choices: either to write a straightforward chronological record of events, or to write by subject. Keith has opted for the latter approach, choosing eight self-contained subjects: The Quest For Speed, Drag Racing Establishes Its Home, Charting The Significant Events, The Riders, American Influence, The Engines, The Weird And Wonderful, and Still Going. Writing by subject makes this book an especially easy read, since everybody has enough time to read one chapter in one sitting. In addition, the reader doesn't necessarily have to start at the beginning of the book but can choose any chapter and get a full history on that subject in one go.
The book opens with a foreword by UK drag bike legend and Hall of Fame Member John Hobbs and ends with the aforementioned chapter Still Going which pays tribute both to those racers still active after all these years and to those who are making their names right now. It's not an easy task to choose a favourite chapter but your reporter eventually decided that his favourite was The Riders, a particularly detailed section which gives due credit to those who got drag bike racing where it is today. It is guaranteed, though, that after reading any chapter in this book even the most expert reader will feel that they have learned something. However one of the beauties of this book is that, due to Keith's easy and informative writing style, someone who knows nothing about drag racing could also pick it up and get a real grounding in the sport, and would likely be sufficiently impressed and intrigued to want to attend an event or even get involved. Keith has therefore done the sport a double service.
The book is very generously illustrated with the vast majority of pictures in colour. As you would expect of a photographer of Keith's reputation and experience his photographs are excellent, as are those few contributed by other photographers. It is easy to forget just how beautiful some drag bikes have been through the years - Pegasus and Rod Pallant's Rover V8-powered bike for example - and Keith's pictures show them off to full advantage. Some pictures can be recognised from previous publication but Keith has dug deep into what must be a huge library, and he must have worked especially hard on the Weird And Wonderful chapter which as its name implies describes and depicts some very unusual variations on the two-wheeled theme.
The book has unusual dimensions for a reference work: only slightly larger than A5, more or less square, and about half an inch thick. This is the standard size for the Those Were The Days... series and makes the book very easy to fit into a briefcase, laptop bag, hand luggage etc.
With the Festive Season fast approaching, Drag Bike Racing in Britain should be placed immediately at the top the Christmas list of any drag bike fan, or indeed any drag racing fan. It is available direct from Veloce Publishing at www.veloce.co.uk for £14.99 plus postage and packing, or from Amazon or any other good bookseller.
A final thought about a possible unanticipated outcome of the publication of Drag Bike Racing in Britain: could this book be the inspiration for a Nostalgia Drag Bike scene in the UK? We think it could be, and we certainly hope it is. That would be yet another reason to be grateful to Keith for his hard work.
Editor's note: The rest of today's news has had to wait because of problems in your News Editor's day job. The backlog will be posted on tomorrow's update.
Feature: Paige's Las Vegas diary.
8th November: The latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products and Carter Motorsport is a diary written by UK Junior Dragster racer Paige Wheeler during her trip to Las Vegas, where she and her family were the guests of US Pro Modified and Fuel FC racer Melanie Troxel at the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals.
Paige managed to pack a lot in to her trip and you can check out her Las Vegas diary by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
8th November: Dutch Top Fuel Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com Blogger Lex Joon got in touch from Los Angeles to confirm that he will be contesting this weekend's NHRA Finals at Pomona. Lex's dragster will be tuned by the US' Kevin Poynter whose achievements include the Pomona Raceway track speed record. Stay tuned for more - as you can imagine, Lex has a fair bit on his plate right now.
Matt Glassup writes that the Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association's annual Dinner Dance will be held on Saturday 15th January at the Ettington Chase Hotel, Banbury Road, Ettington, Stratford upon Avon. Tickets for the three-course meal are £29.50 per person and the NFAA have negotiated a concessionary rate for accommodation. For more information please contact Matt Glassup on email@example.com.
Eurodragster.com News Editor Tog would like to thank everyone for the birthday wishes yesterday, which were and are very much appreciated.
Feature: NHRA Las Vegas Nationals.
7th November: The latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products and Carter Motorsport is Roger's report and pictures from last weekend's NHRA Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas.
You can check out Roger's NHRA Las Vegas Nationals report by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Another big Thank You to Roger who went above and beyond to get the report and pictures to us so quickly after the event.
7th November: A very Happy Birthday to Eurodragster.com News Editor, Race Reporter and Photographer Tog, who is spending the day relaxing by writing a book review! Please join Kirstie, Roger, Ed and Simon in wishing Tog the happiest of Birthdays.
Extra 9.50 Bike/8.50 Bike round?
6th November: A proposal has been put forward to Avon Park International Racing Association and Shakespeare County Raceway to run an extra UK National and APIRA Championship points round in 2011 for 9.50 Bike and 8.50 Bike (subject to the acceptance of 8.50 Bike in the UK National Championship in 2011). The proposed round has been provisionally entered into the Raceway's calendar for 23rd-24th July 2011.
The round will form part of the track's existing Public Track Day RWYB weekend with each class having three qualifying rounds on Saturday followed by eliminations on Sunday staggered throughout each day, with classes running en bloc at different intervals alongside RWYB to minimise disruption for those signed up for RWYB. It has also been proposed that the eliminations will consist of a maximum sixteen-bike eliminator with class alternates. The track, as always, will be prepped to National event standard.
APIRA officials would like to hear as soon as possible from both 8.50 Bike and 9.50 Bike class reps or riders with their thoughts about this proposed round. Please E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
6th November: European fans have someone to cheer for at this weekend's NHRA Division 7 race in Las Vegas as Michael Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences is contesting Top Alcohol Dragster. You will be able to stay in touch with Mike's progress courtesy of our Drag Race Central colleagues at www.dragracecentral.com.
Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member Andy Willsheer is seen here doing a photo shoot for Racecar Engineering magazine on the shape of things to come; the new Raymond Commisso '68 Camaro Pro Mod car out of the Roger Burgess R2B2 stable. Roger writes that the car is the first US Pro Mod with all lift-off bodywork comprising of front end (the first to come off), then the windscreen, the doors and finally the complete rear bodywork - all in just a couple of minutes. A lot of weight-saving material has gone into the manufacture of this car including titanium components put together under the watchful eye of former alcohol Champion Bob Newberry who joined the team this year. It is being run in full competition but is also a test-bed for future development.
UK Tot Rod racer Callum Swinchatt has been on a mission this season, running the quickest Tot Rod at the Hot Rod Drags, then taking part in last weeken'd Junior Shootout at Shakespeare County Raceway, then displaying the Tot Rod at the Ace Café's Hot Rod Night this week. "That's a busy family", says photographer Dave Derry who kindly sent this shot from the Ace.
All right at Tierp.
5th November: After a total of three days of pouring concrete the right lane at Sweden's Tierp Arena has reached all the way to the finish line. Work on completing the left lane has continued this week, writes Tierp Arena PR Patrik Larsson.
Tierp Arena is a new multi-purpose development. The facility is situated just over one hour's drive north of the capital Stockholm and will be easy to reach by air, train and bus, and of course by car. Four and a half million Swedes are within three hours' drive of the Arena.
The main building of the U-shaped Arena will hold hotel rooms, conference facilities, VIP-lounges and much much more. "For everyone's benefit we have decided to ban anything other than permanent toilets for spectators and racers" says Top Methanol Funny Car racer Leif Andréasson, who is one of the forces behind this project.
With 20,000 permanent seats and an all-concrete 18 metre/59 foot wide quarter mile drag strip the Arena will be the only one of its kind in Europe. The first event is planned to be held in May 2011.
You can find out more at www.tierparena.com or under Tierp Motorpark - Tierp Arena on Facebook.
5th November: UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Shelley Pearson has been in touch to thank everyone who has helped with her recent Top Fuel licencing.
"I would like to say thank you to everybody at Rune Fjeld Motorsport", says Shelley. "The crew have put a lot of time and effort to support me in driving the Top Fueller and it has been great having confidence in the crew as well as theirs in me. My father Tony Pearson has been great with all the support he has given me and helping me understand things about the car.
"I would also like to thank Eagle Racing for letting me drive their Two Seat Dragster for two seasons. As many runs as I made, I still had a great big smile on my face after each run. Eagle Racing are a great bunch of people and I wish them all the very best in the future.
"My plans for 2011 are not confirmed as yet. As you can imagine I would want nothing more than to drive the FIA Top Fuel Tour but it all comes down to funding. I am working on this at the moment so fingers crossed."
5th November: The UK's Freddy's revenge blown-alcohol altered team are delighted to announce that their Nostalgia Fuel Altered, badly damaged at the Xtreme Wheels Show, is close to returning to track action.
"We are hoping to compete at a few selected events in 2011, subject to raising the funds, so if there are any potential sponsors out there feel free to contact us for details!" says driver Dave Grabham. "Our aim is to be out at Easter 2011, probably with a testing weekend before then. On the subject of funding, Team Freddy would like to thank those who have supported us and continue to do so: Valley Carpets (Gordon Northway); Cable Tec; Mark; and Huw, along with those who have helped with the rebuild especially those of you who have either donated your services free of charge or at greatly reduced rates – you know who you are! Fester Race Cars – Bill Felstead, for the chassis repairs; Norm Wheeldon – for the header repairs; Rich Walters – Welding of bracketry, etc; LA Racing Parts – Lee Child, for our new Frontrunners; Andy Robinson Race Cars - Andy and Kate Robinson, for various bits and pieces; Mike Egan, for the loan of his trailer; and others who wish to remain anonymous.
"Our web site at www.freddysrevenge.co.uk has been totally revamped thanks to Dominic Coleman, and brought up-to-date with words by Joey Carter and various photographs of the crash (thanks to Simon Hodder), the aftermath of the crash and the subsequent rebuild. There is also a short video clip of last weekend's fire-up."
Bike book launches.
5th November: Great news for all those who are awaiting delivery of Drag Bike Racing in Britain: the book has finally launched with the delivery of the bulk consignment of copies at the distribution company. Author Keith Lee confirmed to Eurodragster.com the arrival of the book following his visit yesterday to the offices of publisher Veloce in Dorchester to see the book's arrival.
"The books have now been delivered into the warehouse, and copies will begin shipping today", commented the delighted author, who has at last seen his long-intended intention to write a book on the sport of drag racing come to fruition. "The feedback so far from those who have received advance copies for review has been very encouraging, and I look forward to hearing a lot more responses as the book reaches a much wider audience. Veloce has done a great job with the book production quality, and I really hope it will prove to be an enjoyable read both for those who lived through the period covered as well as anyone interested in finding out more about the riders and machines that were involved in the early years of the sport."
Drag Bike Racing in Britain – from the mid '60s to the mid '80s, written by Keith Lee and published by Veloce, is available to order from all good book stores, or direct from www.veloce.co.uk. Stay tuned for Eurodragster.com's review of the book in a day or two, but if you can't wait that long then the management summary is: "Just buy it, it's excellent".
One final bout of Madness.
5th November: The final round of the Monster Month of Junior Madness sponsored by Classic Designs took place at Shakespeare County Raceway's Halloween Bonfire Burn-Up, and no less that twelve Junior teams arrived at the track not knowing what the weekend's weather forecast had in store both for them and for the rest of the racers and Run What You Brungers on the property, writes Daren Brett:
With the major weather forecasts contradicting themselves for the area, and the prospect of a decent lay-in, we were woken by some early movement from 'Uncle' Jon Cross and Big Al Davies of the track crew as the bright blue sky and sun beckoned. We had arrived with two dragsters for both Joy and Alex as well as the SCR Hire Dragster for raffle winner Rachael Wexler to drive, and no sooner had we unloaded, filled up with oil and fuel and checked the tyre pressures, the announcement was made that the track was open. It was one mad rush as all of the Junior drivers and riders got suited and booted to make hay while the going was good.
Peter Kellett and Bruce Kopasz were a little sceptical about the next day as the weather forecast wasn't what we wanted to hear, so a contingency plan had to be made. It was decided that we would run some rounds of the Junior Shootout on Saturday afternoon, and carry these into Sunday. Further thought was given to opening up the Junior Shootout to the Junior Drag Bikes and Callum Swinchatt's '34 Ford Roadster Tot Rod with racing over four rounds, closest to dial-in wins as well as the Best Reaction Time. What could be simpler! It was further decided that two rounds would be conducted under Pro Tree conditions and two on a Sportsman Tree to make it fair as the classes run different lights.
By the close of play, we had achieved three rounds of competition and as well as drivers and riders running in RWYB. Rachael Wexler in the hire car made nine runs and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. With the predicted weather Sunday morning being right for a change the meeting, and the season, came to an end at 1:00 pm. Quickly the scores were added up and the winners declared, and presentations were made in Kenny's Bar by Jerry Cookson who presented first and second place trophies to Jacob Kopasz and Joe Kellett respectively. Best Reaction Time went to Scott Collier with 0.010 on the Sportsman Tree followed by Joe on 0.012. All the participants and Junior members received medals courtesy of round sponsors Classic Designs.
The full results are as follow:
Well, that's it for 2010. There are exciting times ahead for Junior Drag Racing at Shakespeare County Raceway in 2011. So watch this space with winter announcements and shows to attend. Thank you for everyone's participation and sponsor support this year, long may it continue. And if you haven't already registered for SCR Junior Dragster Experience on Facebook page then please do so. See you at the strip in 2011.
"I think that there is a lot of interest now in the Junior Dragster Championships in 2011", adds Pete Kellett. "Shakespeare County Raceway are really trying to promote Junior Dragster and we ourselves have had a great couple of weekends with the Shootout. I would like to thank all the staff at Shakespeare County Raceway, Jerry Cookson for accommodating us, and Daren Brett for working alongside the series. All this can only be good for Junior Dragster in 2011 with a lot more to come - it should be a very competitive year.
"I would also like to congratulate Joe on his driving this year and on his third place in the Nordic Drag Racing Series. Tierp Arena looks very exciting and hopefully we will be racing there next year as we are once again competing in the NDRS, hopefully with a few more UK drivers which we are trying to sort out at the moment. To return the compliment there could be at least six Swedish Junior Dragster racers coming over for the 2011 FIA Main Event."
Juniors' raffle result.
5th November: Junior Drag Racing held the second in a series of planned raffles during last weekend's Junior Shootout at Shakespeare County Raceway. Up for grabs this time was a Pocket Pal Reaction Timer courtesy of Portatree's Al Symthe and Wayne Schreier, writes Daren Brett:
Tickets went on sale via Facebook and other means of communication a week prior to the event, and I must say I was surprised how popular these raffles are getting with tickets orders taken over the phone as well as on the Saturday of the Halloween Bonfire Burn-Up. I have to say at this stage a huge thank you to "The two old witches of Shakey County" (That's spelt Daren Brett girls - Ed), Angie Woods and Alison Andrews, who worked tirelessly minus their broomsticks, walking the grandstands and the pits selling raffle tickets. In fact the entire book went by Sunday lunchtime.
The draw was made on Sunday, witnessed by Jerry Cookson and Julie Willcox. Tickets were ruffled ready for the draw by Eurodragster.com News Editor Tog, and the winning ticket - No. 98 bought by Mark Evans - was drawn by SPRC's Phil Evans.
If anyone wishes to order a Portatree Pocket Pal the next order won't be in the UK until 1st January 2011, but orders can be taken by E-Mailing the track office at email@example.com. I must say that they would make a great belated Christmas or birthday gift for any drag racing enthusiast. Or you will be able to pick one up from the track when the season starts on 2nd-3rd April 2011.
SPR ends in a Frenzy.
5th November: This evening (Friday) Santa Pod Raceway are presenting the Fireworks Frenzy which is a fun-filled evening of live stunts, action, roaring jets, bonfire and fireworks:
This will be your last chance of the year to witness Monster Truck action at Santa Pod with our very own Championship winning Podzilla which will be crushing cars, caravans and anything else that gets in its way!
The formidable stuntman Terry Grant will be putting on an unbelievable stunt display with a collection of his cars, but also keep your eyes peeled for a couple of very special guests in the form of the Jet Truck Roaring Thunder and the Jet Beetle Blue Max.
That's not all though, as there will be funfair rides, full catering and bar facilities as well as a dedicated kids' entertainment area to keep the little ones busy all night long. The climax of the evening will be a spectacular fireworks display kicking off at 7.45 pm so be sure not to miss it!
Gates open at 4:00 pm, main attractions from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. £20 per car, maximum five people per car. More details at www.santapod.com.
Web site updates.
5th November: As well as European Championship events, Santa Pod Raceway's web site is now also hosting video coverage of the Auto Trader Easter Thunderball, Fast Show, Bug Jam and Ultimate Street Car. You can check out the new coverage at www.santapod.co.uk/tv_other_shows.php.
Mark Skinner has updated his Flickr page with pictures from last weekend's Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway. You can take a look at Mark's shots at www.flickr.com/photos/fast_n_bulbous/sets/72157625174506935.
UK driver restraint rule change.
4th November: Geoff Martin, who heads up the UK's Tech Crew, has been in touch with an outline of and explanation for a change in the rules for driver restraints in the UK rule book for 2011.
An outline of the rule change is:
For all Sportsman classes running slower than 7.50 seconds with roll cage, five-point SFI 16.1, two-year certification, permitted.
For all Sportsman classes running slower than 7.50 seconds with roll cage, five-point FIA three-inch, five-year certification, permitted.
For all Sportsman classes running quicker than 7.50 seconds, five-point SFI 16.1, two-year certification, mandatory.
The driver restraint rule change was deemed to be necessary for the following reasons. For many years the Sportsman classes SFI 16.1 restraints have been permitted to run for four years although the certification is for two years. There has never been an incident involving a driver restraint, but never is a long time, and in the light of the present litigious climate, this was considered to be an unacceptable risk.
The other reason for this decision was that there was a viable alternative: FIA Specs 8853/98 and 8854/98 driver restraint with a five-year certification.
Two slight drawbacks:
If you have any queries then you can contact Geoff Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or any member of the UK Tech Crew.
Leanders return in 2011.
3rd November: Three-time FIA European Top Methanol Funny Car Champion and Eurodragster.com sponsors Ulf and Jörgen Leanders will be back in competition for the 2011 European season, writes Stefan Boman:
The car was shipped to the USA shortly after winning the FIA title in 2009 and the goal was both to compete in some events and to use the car as a rolling test-bench for their clutch on the American market. Early in 2010 they participated in the NHRA Gatornationals where they went out in the first round, and as the intention was to race in America more the car was stored there.
"The work we have had as manufacturer of the Leanders clutch has just made it impossible to take the time to arrange the logistics of returning to the US to race, not to mention the time and money the racing itself would take", says Ulf Leanders. "In this situation we feel that it is better that we update the car in the USA and ship her home with new sharp teeth for the European season, rather than spending the money to race over there with the car as it is.
"Leanders Clutch will have a booth at the PRI Show in Orlando on 9th-11th December and before we fly home we will ship the car. I am thrilled about getting back in Championship competition, and the way we look at it the title is permanently stationed in Alfta so we just lent it out to Dan Larsen this year. Now it's time to bring it home again."
Cam Auto continue with Frost.
3rd November: Andy Frost and the UK's VXR Pro Modified team are proud to annouce that CAM Auto Developments will continue to be a technical partner for the 2011 MSA Pro Modified race season. CAM Auto Developments, the UK's largest Goodridge distributor, will be expanding their support to become an exclusive supplier of all of the fluid transfer components from the Goodridge hose range on Red Victor 3.
Team Principal Andy Frost says "We have worked with Ian Goldie from CAM Auto for a number of years and we can attribute part of our previous success to their technical support. We are very happy to be using the Goodridge range of lightweight hoses and ends, as their performance and safety are unmatched in the racing world. We thank Ian for his foresight for choosing the official VXR drag race team to showcase his product range."
"We're delighted to be involved with the new Red Victor 3 project" says CAM Managing Director Ian Goldie. "I feel the new car will showcase our products as much, if not more, than the previous car. We're looking forward to the 2011 MSA Pro Modified season to see how RV3 shapes up."
To view CAM Auto's extensive range of Goodridge hoses, or to see their other product range, visit www.camauto.com.
3rd November: It's a rare treat when drag racing appears in Britain's most august motoring monthly Motor Sport, writes Robin Jackson. At the FIA European Finals, Motor Sport's Edward Foster met Melanie Troxel and took a two-seat dragster ride which proved more eventful than intended, and his findings are published in the magazine's December issue, on sale now at good newsagents (and don't let the plastic packaging deter you). The 2008 Renault MSA Young Motorsport Journalist Of The Year's words are illustrated with photographs by the 2009 Renault MSA Young Motorsport Photographer Of The Year Dominic Romney. Ed Foster also made an amusing video of his Santa Pod visit, still available at www.motorsportmagazine.co.uk. Another Troxel feature, by Tim Swietochowski and also illustrated with a Romney photo, appears in the current edition of the MSA's privately-circulated publication Motorsports Now! distributed to those lucky enough to merit a copy.
Web site updates.
3rd November: In the latest instalment in his exclusive Racer Blog presented in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car, Pro Stock Bike racer Kalle Lyrén looks forward to a trip to the USA. As ever you can stay in touch with the latest Blog updates by clicking here or by clicking on the Alamo Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Timo Aartomaa has posted what he describes as a "Home video" from Alastaro at www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXi0ztKo6kQ. The modest title tends to underplay what is an excellent piece of work, well worth a watch.
Paul Lister has updated his Drag Car Anon web site with pictures from the weekend's Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Paul's pictures at www.dragcaranon.co.uk.
Appelgren steps out.
1st November: Stefan Boman writes that Swedish engine builder extraordinaire Mats Appelgren, who has been in charge of engine service and tuning for six-time FIA European Pro Stock Champion Jimmy Ålund, will not be joining Jimmy's team for 2011 due to the workload of his own business.
"It's with great sorrow that I have had to take this decision", says Mats. "We have had a great time together, and I really enjoy working in a team like Jimmy's where everybody is totally focused on winning without losing the intention to have fun while doing so.
"My problem is that all my customers are most active at the same time of year as the Championship rounds. I stayed one year longer than I promised when Jimmy hired me but I am forced to say no to 2011. I might return to racing some time in the future but it will only be customers' engines for a while."
You can find Mats' Swedish-language web site at www.appleracing.se.
1st November: Frøya's Islanders Drag Racing Team were Lillestrøm this weekend flying the flag for drag racing at the Oslo Motor Show held at the Norway Trade Fairs. "We took Paul Ingar's Top Methanol Dragster and Maja's Junior Dragster", says Birgette Bremnes. "We received a lot of attention from the visitors. On Saturday 11,500 spectators came by and we had a great time answering a lot of questions about the dragsters and about drag racing in general."
Also flying the flag for drag racing, this time in New Zealand is former NAST Supertwin Gas racer and now B/Drag Bike racer Don Irvine whose bike was recently on display for the Lions Charity at a local Show and Shine. "Let's see if anyone else can show a Eurodragster.com logo further from home!", says Don. "I hope to be out on the strip at Taupo Motorsport Complex next weekend for a Test and Tune session."
Doing the Workz for PBM Racing.
1st November: UK 8.50 Bike racer Phil Pratt is delighted to announce that PBM Racing will be sponsored by Psycle Workz of Peterborough for the 2011 season.
"This is such a huge deal for us", said Phil. "We are so excited about having such a big name in drag bike racing coming on board with us. Psycle Workz did such a great job with the design and manufacture of the new swing arm for the bike, which has enabled me to gain the consistency I've always wanted. So to have their support with further development of the Suzuki GSXR1000 is just awesome. Martin and Cindy Newbury have drag racing written right through them, both as racers and fans, so to have them take such an interest in a small team such as PBM Racing has given us all a real buzz.
"I'm really looking forward to making the big step up from 9.50 Bike to 8.50 Bike in the new season and, although having the smallest engine in the class, I'm sure that the bike has much more potential and running under the Psycle Workz banner will enable me to fulfil it. All of us at PBM Racing would like thank Martin and Cundy for their support, encouragement and vision, and look forward to what we know will be very exciting times ahead."
Psycle Workz range of services are many and varied from supplying parts, however small, to full race chassis, design and development, CNC machining, and of course, the new chromoly swing arm which is now available for GSXR1000 and Hayabusa and which comes highly-recommended by PBM Racing! A new addition to the many services available is the Dyna Pro dyno which can be booked for power runs, diagnostic or tuning sessions. All the details of Psycle Workz products and services can be found on their web site at www.psycleworkz.com or by telephoning 01733 248500.
Web site updates.
1st November: Santa Pod Raceway's webmaster DJ has posted a Flame and Thunder Show report and gallery on Santa Pod's web site at www.santapod.co.uk/e_flame.php .