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30th November: Phil Evans has been in touch with the very sad news that his best mate and fellow British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member John Ledster died today after a lengthy period of ill health. Phil writes:
John played a very important part in the history of British drag racing, first in the seventies as a Pro Stock racer with his Mustang and later as Race Director at Santa Pod. He was a long time member of the Executive Committee of the old British Drag Racing and Hot Rod Association and I first got to know him when he invited me to join that committee in 1972. In the early 1990s he was a founder member of the Santa Pod Racers Club and for many years he was Chairman of the MSA Dragster Committee as well as the UK delegate to the FIA Drag Racing Commission.
John was also very successful in other motorsport disciplines, for instance as the resident MSA Steward for the prestigious Stars of the Future Karting Championship and he also stewarded at many circuit race events.
Details of John's funeral will be published once the arrangements have been made.
Our very deepest sympathies to John's wife Liz, his family, and his friends.
We have set up a tribute page to John which you can read by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If you would like to send your own tribute to John then please E-Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPRC, APIRA, Obsession Awards vote 1.
29th November: Santa Pod Racers Club, Avon Park International Racing Association, Obsession Motorsports and Eurodragster.com are teaming up to give Eurodragster.com readers the chance of input to the APIRA and SPRC Perpetual Awards and Obsession Motorsports Sportsman of the Year, which will be presented at the joint APIRA/SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy presentation on Saturday 11th February 2011.
For several of the 2011 season awards, a shortlist has been decided upon for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. Nominations are now also being accepted for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC and APIRA Committees and Obsession Motorsports decide upon their winners.
The first voting category is SPRC Most Promising Newcomer. Nominees for SPRC Most Promising Newcomer have impressed whilst contesting their first full season or making their on-track début in 2011.
The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:
Andy Bond, Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator
Vote for Andy Bond
Ian Powell, Super Pro ET
Vote for Ian Powell
Stacey Reed, Junior Dragster
Vote for Stacey Reed
Sam Sykes, 8.50 Bike
Vote for Sam Sykes
Harold Wolfenden, Comp Bike
Vote for Harold Wolfenden
Craig Wright, Sportsman ET
Vote for Craig Wright
To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official SPRC Perpetual Awards page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the 2011 Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster page.
The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which votes are also now being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Racers Club's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing. There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited from Eurodragster.com readers for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to Dave Crunkhorn (aka Crunch(. Again see the official web page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to email@example.com specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nomination as the subject and your nomination in the body of the E-Mail.
For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on and if necessary names will be named. Want that on your conscience? We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying.
NDRS, SDL become EDRS.
29th November: The NDRS Series, the long-running Pro Mod and Sportsman Championships in the north of Europe, and the Swedish Dragracing League are to become the European Drag Racing Series in 2012.
Speedgroup Co-ordinator Åsa Kinnemar writes that the EDRS will comprise a Divisional section, with participating tracks divided into three divisions based on geographic location and five events counted including a maximum of two outside the racer's registered home Division, and an International section in which five events are counted with a minimum of two outside the racer's home country.
The new plans were revealed to organisers and racers at meetings before the weekend's NDRS Banquet in Stockholm. Representatives of eight tracks and seventy race teams attended the meetings.
Speedgroup plan to present full details and a class-by-class race calendar by Christmas. In the meantime please address any questions to Åsa at firstname.lastname@example.org; although the Speedgroup offices are closed until 7th December due to the PRI Show E-Mails will be read and replied to during this period as time permits.
On the subject of the NDRS Banquet Lena Perés has kindly supplied us with a gallery of shots from Saturday evening's prizegiving. As well as to NDRS and SDL Champions, Sponsor Awards were presented to ME Racing Services and Simpson Race Products and a special award to Emelie Carlswärd, Event Manager at Tierp Arena, for her involvement in the events held at the Tierp Arena. Tierp Arena founders Leif Andréasson and Lars-Erik Lindberg received the Eagle Award from Svensk Dragracing for their contribution to drag racing in Europe. You can check out Lena's gallery by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Fabien regains his title.
29th November: In 2007, Fabien Dubois was the first youngster to make Junior Dragster demo runs in France. The following year saw the introduction of the class and Fabien was the first and logical French Champion. But song didn't remain the same for long as his cousin Clément Dubois and Léo Angeloni win the crown in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Pascal Thébault writes that 2011 was again Fabien's year in the ATD:
Fabien stayed unbeaten for the first three events. He was only sixth at Mende but had a real safety margin in the points. Elodie Dubois - another cousin: this family is ubiquitous in French drag racing! - got a large amount of points for the last race, enough to make progress from sixth to runner-up in the Championship. Tiny Lisa Billault got the third step on the podium, a good performance for a second season behind a lot of experienced and resolute contenders.
The Championship points were as follow:
2012 Straightliners calendar.
29th November: Thanks to Trevor Duckworth for sending us the Straightliners calendar for 2012:
Round 1: Santa Pod Raceway, 18th March
Round 2: Kirkbride, 31st March-1st April
Round 3: Elvington, 22nd April
Round 4: Santa Pod Raceway, 5th-7th May
Round 5: Kirkbride, 19th-20th May
Round 6: East Kirkby, 17th June
Round 7: Elvington, 24th June
Round 8: North Weald, 15th July
Round 9: East Kirkby, 12th August
Round 10: Jurby Isle of Man, 1st-2nd September NB Double points round (discounted package deals are available)
Round 11: Santa Pod Raceway, 6th-7th October, Extreme Performance Bike Weekend
Best nine of eleven rounds count towards the series.
For more information about Straightliners click on the banner in the right column or check out www.straightliners-events.co.uk.
29th November: Shakespeare County Raceway Track Announcer Barry Bohannon has asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to his wife and one of Eurodragster.com's Official Hug Suppliers Ali Bohannon who is celebrating a special but non-disclosable age today (Tuesday). We're very happy to do so, have a lovely day Ali.
Steve Dudley has been in touch with a reminder that a slot drag race is taking place at 7:30 pm this evening (Friday) at the Cathedral Primary School, Victoria Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1PA. All are welcome but if you plan to attend then please drop Steve a line at email@example.com.
We will be running our annual Christmas Gift Mart news item next Saturday, 3rd December. We invite companies and individuals to send Christmas gift ideas to allow our readers enough time to drop subtle or unsubtle hints; please send a maximum of two paragraphs plus, if you like, a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org. Christmas Gift Mart entries which arrive after 3rd will not be posted.
Essen Motor Show opens.
29th November: Germany's biggest annual motor show kicked-off on Friday with a media and trade day prior to the public opening at the weekend, writes Andy Willsheer:
With a claimed attendance figure of 109,000 over the first three days, the organisers were pleased that this showed an increase over 2010 in spite of the cash-strapped times in which we now live.
Santa Pod Raceway has a presence this year, the display in Hall 6 featuring a Top Fueller as well as one of Martin Hill's Fireforce Jet Funny Cars and his as-yet-to-be-unleashed Jet Bike. The Pod's Top Fuel Bike show machine is also on hand, being exhibited in another hall along with an eclectic selection of two- and three-wheeled street and race machines.
Close by the SPR stand, Gerd 'King of Fire' Habermann has his two-seater Super Comp dragster on display in Partyschnapps livery, and I also bumped in to Micha 'Race Antz' Vogt who has his venerable '41 Willys nine-second quarter-hauler on show in an upstairs gallery hosted by the German Street magazine.
Among the ground-floor Galleria features there's a couple of wild creations in the form of Matt Wright's street 'n' strip, twin-turbocharged, 7-second Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and Charlie Broomfield's outrageous '81 Rover SD1 that's replete with custom chassis to accommodate a Rolls-Royce Meteor 650hp V12 27-litre powerhouse crammed beneath the bonnet and over-spilling through to the driver's cabin. The nine-day show runs through Sunday 4th December and has to be worth a visit for those readers living within easy driving distance. Maybe see you there...
Want to feel like a legend?
29th November: The Allard Chrysler Action Group plans a working party to commence the trial build of Europe's first dragster, Sydney Allard's 1961 Allard Chrysler. ACAG Chair Brian Taylor writes:
The dates are 28th-30th December at Andy Robinson Race Cars and this is the closest you'll get to experience the emotions felt by Sydney Allard, David Hooper and John Hume when they first built the car in the winter of 1960/61. It is a rare opportunity to work on such an iconic machine. The list of jobs may vary depending on parts availability:
Wild Bunch do the honours.
29th November: The UK's Wild Bunch held their sixteenth annual Prize Presentation at Drayton Manor Park last Saturday, and a great evening was had by all with dancing on the tables by the end of the night. Claire Meaddows writes:
Guest of Honour was legendary former commentator John Price and his family. Special guests included Nobby Hills and family and Owen Hayward and family, of the legendary Houndog team.
All the various Series winners were presented with their awards, with the Wild Bunch Series win going to Adam Price of Team Gridlock with the Go Hard or Go Home!!! altered. Many congratulations to him and the team on their first WB Series win. The Wild Bunch also held the eleventh running of the Series for their main contingency sponsor Real Steel Performance Parts, and this was won by Terry Clifford with the Ratcatcher Resurrection slingshot, who also won the MSA Challenge Series (held over the four MSA events in which the Wild Bunch). Winners of the Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars Series were Team Dog's Bollocks with the RamRaider slingshot.
There were various presentations made during the evening, thanking Wild Bunch Chairman Chris Hartnell, Race Co-ordinator Claire Meaddows, web site author Ed Yates, and newsletter writer Gina Rumble for all their hard work, as well as a special token for Ingrid and Martin Chesworth. Presents were given to all the lovely ladies of the Bunch who do so much to support their teams together with flowers for Janet Brown of Shakespeare County Raceway, and for Gina and Claire and Debbie Price as well as birthday girl Ali Bohannon, wife of MC for the evening, Barry Bohannon.
There was then a very entertaining speech by Nobby, highlighting some of the great people he has encountered in his long and illustrious career. He made a very special presentation to John Price in recognition of his hard work promoting our beloved sport of drag racing. This was a highly polished trophy built with a con rod from the engine of Nobby's Houndog Fuel Funny Car which Allan Bates drove to the first European five-second run in 1986. See below for more about Nobby's award to John.
In addition, the winners of all the Wild Bunch Special Awards were announced, and a full list can be found on the WB web site at www.the-wild-bunch.co.uk. One award, notable to readers whom we are sure will echo the sentiment, was the Derek and Brenda Annable Trophy, which this year went to Ian and Paula Marshall in recognition for their dedication and professionalism, and great contribution to drag racing. The Wild Bunch would also like to wish Paula all the very best for a speedy and full recovery. This was a particularly poignant trophy this season, as sadly Brenda passed away earlier this year. The Wild Bunch remembers Brenda fondly and Derek is very much in our thoughts.
The greatest accolade of the evening was as always, the Don Garlits Spirit of Drag Racing Shield, the most prestigious award in the Wild Bunch, which represents sportsmanship, achievement, commitment, presentation and a host of other attributes. This was awarded to Terry Clifford and the whole Ratcatcher Resurrection slingshot team who achieved great success in all nine events at which the Wild Bunch ran during this season. Big congratulations to Terry and the team, a very well-deserved and popular win.
Many congratulations to all of our winners. We can't wait until 2012 to be back out at the drags for our seventeenth year, and to be racing with such a great group of people and cars.
Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy, dry, safe and quick New Year to all racers, marshals and officials, track crew, media, promoters, managers and track owners who work so hard at Santa Pod, Shakespeare County and York Dragway, for this sport of drag racing we all love so much. Thank you all for everything you do. See you all at the drags next season!
Pricey honoured by Hills.
29th November: The UK's Wild Bunch held their sixteenth annual Prize Presentation at Drayton Manor Park last Saturday, and a great evening was had by all with dancing on the tables by the end of the night. Claire Meaddows writes:
Guest of Honour was legendary former commentator John Price and his family. Special guests included Nobby Hills and family and Owen Hayward and family, of the legendary Houndog team.
As mentioned above a special honour wasbestowed upon an unsuspecting John Price at last weekend's Wild Bunch Prize Presentation Dinner. Claire Meaddows and Chris Hartnell write:
Nobby Hills, Houndog Team Principal and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member, had a special trophy commissioned and made primarily by Houndog 12 driver Simon Hayward. It featured one of the conrods from the engine of the Houndog Funny Car which ran the first five-second FC pass in Europe, with Allan Bates driving. The rod was highly polished and mounted on a polished aluminium plinth with a carbon fibre support.
Nobby had long wanted to recognise John's enormous contribution in promoting the great sport of drag racing in this country, and the trophy was a fitting tribute to John's achievements during his long and successful career, both as a commentator and in the media.
The inscription read AFC 1, 4:01 PM, 16-5-86, 5.9 ET 257 MPH, HOUNDOG Nitro Funny Car ,first five-second run this side of the Atlantic at Santa Pod Raceway. Original conrod. Presented by NOBBY HILLS for the unending effort in every way to put drag racing where it should be: THE GREATEST MOTOR SPORT ON EARTH. JOHN PRICE.
Needless to say, John was surprised and thrilled with this very well-deserved trophy and he received a standing ovation from the Wild Bunch celebrating the award. Congratulations, John, and thank you for all the entertainment!
Web site updates.
29th November: In the latest instalment in his Racer Blog presented in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car, street-legal Pro Modified racer Andy Frost gives us a brief update from the Red Victor pit and offers for sale some very tidy-looking T-Shirts. 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.
27th November: Geoff Martin of the UK's Tech Crew has been in touch to alert racers to a bulletin on the SFI web site regarding the recertification of SFI 38.1 Head and Neck restraints.
Head and neck restraints stickered between 2004 and March 2007 are due for recertification by 1st April 2012, and then five years after the sticker date as follows:
You can check out the SFI bulletin on the SFI Foundation web site at www.sfifoundation.com.
More Good Vibrations for the Outlaws.
27th November: The UK's Supercharged Outlaws are pleased to announce that Jim Maher of California's Good Vibrations will again be sponsoring the class in 2012.
"Last year's sponsorship was $600, but due to Europeans and Supercharged Outlaws purchasing products Jim has kindly increased the sponsorship to $1100 for this season", says Roy Wilding. "Jim has agreed to sponsor the Supercharged Outlaws with the Good Vibration Motorsports Quick Reaction Time award of $100 per race meeting, over six meetings. New for 2012 will be the Racers' Choice award presented by Good Vibrations Motorsport which will be $100 per award for three events, the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals and NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway and Dragstalgia at Santa Pod. $200 will also be divided between the Champion and runner-up at the 2012 Prize Presentation.
To view the Good Vibrations Motorsport web site check out www.dragparts.com or for details E-Mail email@example.com.
27th November: Thanks to Stefan Boman for sending us a picture from last night's NDRS Banquet and Prizegiving showing 2011 NDRS Junior Dragster Champion and Swedish Dragracing League runner-up Joe Kellett with mum and dad Kim and Pete and fellow JD racer Laura Turburville. "We had a great night", says Pete Kellett, "but I don't know how we're going to get all the trophies on the plane home!".
We will be running our annual Christmas Gift Mart news item next Saturday, 3rd December. We invite companies and individuals to send Christmas gift ideas to allow our readers enough time to drop subtle or unsubtle hints; please send a maximum of two paragraphs plus, if you like, a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org. Christmas Gift Mart entries which arrive after 3rd will not be posted.
Web site updates.
27th November: In the latest instalment in her exclusive Racer Blog presented in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car, Junior Dragster racer Paige Wheeler recounts her recent trip to Las Vegas for the NHRA race... although she also managed to fit in a certain amount of shopping. 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.
Bug Jam 2012.
27th November: Although it may seem like months away, it'll be July 2012 before you know it and time to celebrate Europe's biggest and best VW festival: Bug Jam! So, grab your tent, your shades and your VW and mark July 20/22 on your calendar! It's going to be the best show ever, and Santa Pod have already laid out some major plans to ensure that true VW enthusiasts get the priority treatment they deserve.
After last year's capacity-packed event, the 'Pod has already made several key changes to the way the event is being run. Not only have extra fields already been secured to cope with demand, but also much more emphasis is being put back on getting VW fans - and their vehicles - into the showground.
"Whilst we always expected the twenty fifth anniversary of Bug Jam to be busy, we never dreamt that we'd be so overwhelmed" said David Lloyd-Jones, Santa Pod's General Manager. "It was a massive challenge to get everyone in and under severe pressure we didn't get it completely right. This was partly due to the local police turning people away to try and ease traffic queues (even when we had space!) and partly because some show goers took up space that we had earmarked for say, forty campers, with a huge lorry, paddling pool and only maybe 5 or 6 people. Although it's still all about having a good time, for 2012 we have introduced a number of measures to make sure everyone has the best experience from start to finish.
"Firstly, there will be a limited number of tickets to the event available on a first come,-first served basis. If we sell out before the event, then no tickets will be available on the day. Not only will this allow show goers to definitely reserve their place, but also ensure that camping areas are fully geared to cope with the numbers. Secondly, there'll be a ban on 7.5 ton lorries and transit-style vans (except for camper vans and VWs) and camping plot sizes will be limited. Too many people wanted to save a space for their friends so if you are a group with ten or more vehicles, then you'll need to pre-book a club spot to guarantee your area. It's vital that we make these radical and positive changes to bring the show closer to its original ethos. Basically, the message is simple: this is a VW show, so please try and arrive in a VW! Don't forget if you're a grown up VW fan with a family in tow then check out our Big Bang event (April 27/29) - it's a perfect family weekend."
Any guests that weren't able to get in last year were fully refunded, of course, as well as being offered complimentary tickets to this year's Big Bang or Bug Jam events. And this year's show, now in its twenty sixth year and undoubtedly the biggest VW Beetle festival in Europe, looks set to pack even more entertainment, fun, action and racing into three hectic days than ever before. Often dubbed 'Glastonbury On Wheels', Bug Jam offers an eclectic mix of all things VW, wrapped in an intoxicating mix of music, comedy, nightlife and lifestyle. A true festival in every sense of the word, with a vibrant and fun atmosphere, bringing to life the very essence of VW culture. Once again, this year all of the action is also being captured for a lifestyle documentary programme on Eurosport and Motors TV.
Naturally, Europe's greatest, shiniest and fastest VWs will be taking centre stage - and this year, they've even laid on a full off-road course! But even if that's not your thing, there's an incredibly diverse list of attractions to choose from, making Bug Jam a superb event for all sorts of enthusiasts.
As well as non-stop drag racing from the pros, there are numerous chances for you to have a go yourself in the many Run What You Brung sessions held over the weekend. Running on the strip throughout the show will be Fireforce, Santa Pod's resident 280 mph Jet Car, the insane Jet Beetle and of course, the seven second quarter mile-turning two seat dragster, for the very brave to ride in. Polishing buffs will also love the Autoglym Show and Shine area, where Europe's most beautifully finished creations compete for top honours.
Bring a full wallet, because not only will you find one of the biggest collections of VW traders in one place, but also the Autojumble is often known to throw up some real rarities. If you have been looking for that obscure part for months - you might just find it here.
Adrenaline junkies have plenty to keep them entertained. Not only is multiple Guinness World Record holding Stunt Driver Terry Grant providing three days of incredible driving entertainment, but he'll be ably assisted by Podzilla, Santa Pod's very own car-crushing Monster Truck, this year battling it out with the similarly able 'Swamp Thing'. The live action arena will also be showcasing the inimitable talents of leading stunt riders UKFMX, defying the laws of physics on motocross bikes and making Evil Knievel look tame.
With a capacity crowd expected, loyal show goers are advised to book their tickets early and benefit from the savings avaialble on the standard ticket prices! You do notwant to miss this one! Check out www.bugjam.com.
Industry flocks to SEMA Show.
25th November: Once again the world's automotive aftermarket industry gathered at the jewel in the desert, the ever dazzling City of Las Vegas, Nevada and took over both the Las Vegas Convention Center for the SEMA Show and the Sands Expo & Convention Center for the AAPEX Show, writes Eurodragster.com Photo Editor Roger.
Thankfully neither show is open to the public as it's crowded enough with the tens of thousands of industry individuals viewing the numerous products from over one hundred countries supplying the automotive, SUV, RV, truck and powersports markets: anything from a washer to a complete new vehicle, it's all there with miles to walk to view everything.
SEMA Awards were presented to the Camaro for the Hottest Car; F-Series for the Hottest Truck; Wrangler for the Hottest 4x4-SUV; and the Fiat 500 for the Hottest Sport Compact.
Once again both shows had a scattering of drag racing vehicles along with rods, custom cars and Bikes and as the weather changed for the worse with cold rain falling after four days of excellent product displays an end of show cruise was held for the first time with hundreds of every type of vehicle driving out of the Convention Center property.
You can check out a gallery of Roger's shots from the SEMA Show, presented in association with in association with Lucas Oil Products and Carter Motorsport, by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
25th November: Not a spy picture but a shot from the workshops of Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson Race Cars kindly supplied by Bob Roberts: a few weeks early for Christmas, Andy Robinson has unwrapped the Camaro body destined for his new blown-alcohol Pro Mod.
The retirement of former Top Fuel Dragster racer, multiple Champion and Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Carter is the subject of a feature in this week's issue of Motorsport News. Andy tells us that he is very pleased with the feature. You can buy Motorsport News at WH Smith and all good newsagents.
Bond's Best year.
25th November: From a personal point of view 2011 went very well for UK blown-alcohol altered racer Joe Bond:
I twice reset my Personal Bests for both ET and speed, and took track ET and speed record for BB/FA at Shakespeare County Raceway at 6.47/214. Throughout the entire season we only ran two passes which weren't sixes! I really can't fault that performance, and I hope we can keep that going through 2012.
I put some thanks in my blog update, but I wanted to add additional thanks here and reinforce my gratitude to everyone who helped us out across the season. Big thanks need to go to my family and crew. Mid way through the season I relocated to Warwickshire, far away from our workshops in Gloucestershire, due to work commitments but everyone pulled their weight even harder and made sure we made the meetings, and for that I can't thank Martyn, Lawrence, Craig and my family enough. To all the crews at both Santa Pod Raceway and Shakespeare County Raceway for keeping me and the crew safe, and also to the guys at Eurodragster.com for their hard work (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed). Thank you again guys and girls!
2012 looks to be a bigger and better season for us and the NFAA. It should be more of the same, but who knows, we might try something new at a few meetings. Time will tell!
You can find our racing web site at www.nuthinfancyracing.co.uk. Our racing team also has a Facebook page for those who peruse the social networking pages.
24th November: Our deepest sympathies to Dave and Paul Warne and the family and friends of "Mrs Mean as Hell" Sandra Warne who John Robinson tells us died last Thursday:
Sandra was the loving wife of "Mr Mean as Hell" Dave Warne and loving mother of "Mean as Hell Junior" Paul Warne. She will be laid to rest at Overdale Crematorium, off Chorley New Road, Bolton, at 2:00 pm next Monday (28th).
If anyone would like to send a message to Dave and Paul please E-Mail email@example.com.
SBF honour Champions, 75th.
23rd November: Swedish Drag Racing Committee Chair and FIA Drag Racing Commission Deputy President Lars Pettersson has been in touch with a report from the Swedish Automobile Sport Federation Championship Prize Giving Gala and the associated celebrations of the Federation's seventy fifth anniversary:
The FIA Gala for 2011 is in India and this year only FIA World Championship series were invited. So for us in the Swedish Federation it was a really good opportunity to have those FIA European Drag Racing Championship winners from Sweden at the Anniversary evening. The Federation's seventy fifth anniversary was held at the same location as the famous Nobel Prize Gala, Stockholm Town Hall. The FIA Championship trophies and the National Championship were presented to racers and teams at the Clarion Sign Hotel and after that everybody changed to evening suits and gala dresses.
Pro Modified Team Lindberg Bros Crew Chief Jonnie Lindberg was presented with the 2011 Young Technician Award.
Federation board member Elisabeth Eriksson handed over the Federation's 2011 Environmental Prize to Tierp Arena.
ME Racing Service owner Mats Eriksson hands over a cheque to 2011 Federation Junior Dragster Champion Amanda Sjöström Andersson.
In front of 720 people in the Blue Hall, Federation Chairman Kåge Schildt handed over the 2011 Honour prize to Tierp Arena for hard work and for the new state-of-the-art facility.
After the dinner socialising and dancing started in the Golden Hall.
Dinner for 720 people and speeches was in the big Blue Hall.
On stage Åsa Kinnemar from Speedgroup and Bo Swaner from the Federation represented and spoke about hard-working Federation officials and Clubs.
Pictures courtesy and ©Lena Perés
Hall of Fame inductees selected.
23rd November: The Board of Selectors of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame in association with US Automotive spent most of this past Sunday at its annual meeting thrashing out the 2012 intake to the Hall of Fame.
The BDRHoF will again be inducting four British and one overseas member who will each receive one of the most coveted honours in drag racing. The new inductees will be officially announced here on Eurodragster.com on 1st February and the awards will be presented at the joint APIRA/SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation in Solihull on Saturday 11th February.
All inductees will all receive notification 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 contribution will be documented forever in the annals of the Hall of Fame to enable future participants to look back and remember the roots of our sport and those who made it what it is today.
23rd November: We have two spy pictures for you today. The first (below left) came with the words "Essex girl!"...
...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.
If you're headed to next week's PRI Show then Speedgroup and Tierp Arena both have booths at the Show which takes place in Orlando between Thursday and Saturday. Åsa Kinnemar, FIA European Pro Modified Champion Micke Gullqvist and Roger Lyrén will be manning Speedgroup's booth #1323 with Tierp Arena's booth right next door.
Top Fuel Dragster tuner and former driver Alan Jackson would be pleased to hear from anyone who has photographs of his Top Fuel appearance at Hal-Far Raceway on Malta in October 2000. If you have any pictures of AJ in action on Malta then please drop us a line at email@example.com and we'll put you in touch.
Allard Chrysler in bits.
23rd November: 16th November marked another key date in the restoration of Europe's first dragster, Sydney Allard's 1961 Allard Chrysler, when members of the Allard Chrysler Action Group (ACAG) assembled at the National Motor Museum workshops in Beaulieu to strip the car back to its bare bones. ACAG Chair Brian Taylor writes:
The dismantling crew consisted of the usual ACAG suspects (it would be nice to get some new volunteers) Brian Taylor, Andy Robinson, Bob Roberts, Chris Eames, Syd Mcdonald and Dave Davies. Earlier in 2011 the engine had been installed for 2011 display purposes and a previous partial strip down of the rolling chassis had confirmed that most components were in pretty good order for the car's age.
However, removing the engine/blower assembly proved to be even more difficult than installing it due to the tricky manoeuvre around a top chassis brace. Repositioning the hoist straps part-way through the operation was interesting. The front-mounted Potvin set up requires the sump to be removed to detach the blower so manhandling the combined unit off and on the engine mounts looks a better option for maintenance - apart from that one brace. We have some ideas about this and we will discuss them with Museum Manager Doug Hill.
By lunch time everything had been stripped back apart from the rear axle. Luke Robinson had arrived with a trailer and after a food break in the Brabazon Restaurant (staff discounts now of course) the strip-down was completed and sub-assemblies allocated to different team members who had volunteered to take them away for restoration. Hence Europe's first dragster is now spread across southern England, something even Jim Tiller failed to do when he blew up the engine.
Andy Robinson took the chassis for soda blasting and crack testing. He also took the front wheels for cleaning and X-ray. More components taken for soda blasting were steering rods, radius arms, drag links and the steering box cross link. Andy also took the master cylinders for cleaning and restoration.
Chris Eames took the cockpit dashboard complete with instrument cluster. These will be sent to Smiths for checking and recalibration. The Ford gearbox was a major item and on strip down he has found some gears with missing teeth (something that happens to all of us as we get older). He has the Cragar adapter, the driver's seat and the headers.
Dave Davies volunteered to restore the front end. He took front disc assemblies, callipers, axle attachments, suspension units, rod ends plus the front axle and spring. He has already found an Allard perch bolt end bush that needs replacement and this could prove tricky to locate.
Bob Roberts took the throttle pedal and body panels along with the fuel pump and flywheel. He also took the steering box and steering wheel (to be transported to David Hooper who has volunteered to restore it), along with the front tyres and tubes. The original tyres are crazed so we are trying to get replacements, but just in case these don't arrive before the test rebuild Bob has the originals available.
Beaulieu retained two boxes of various parts plus our 354 Chrysler Hemi engine mounted on its display stand. They also retained the rear axle and wheels waiting for Alan and Lloyd Allard to take them to their Gloucestershire workshop for restoration. There will be a bit of work to do here because one of the half-shafts is broken.
The plan is for the restored sub-assemblies to be gathered at Andy Robinson Race Cars as soon as possible so that a trial build can take place. This will involve lowering the engine mounts until the engine profile is the same as original - we think about one inch. Our recreated engine is slightly higher than the original due to adjustable rocker gear being installed rather than hydraulic; something recommended by Booth-Arons for cackling.
We hope to start this between Christmas and the New Year and Bob Roberts will be posting a task list closer to the date. He would like to hear from any mechanical engineers who would like to work on the project and Andy has put his full machine shop capabilities at our disposal. So why not get involved? Working on such a historic car is an opportunity not afforded to many. You will get as close as is possible to how David Hooper, Sydney Allard and John Hume felt when building the dragster during the early months of 1961. Contact Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Web site updates.
23rd November: In the latest instalment in his exclusive Racer Blog presented in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car, Luke Bennett brings us up to date with the latest work on Bennett Racing's Superpower-sponsored blown-alcohol altered. 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.
Eurodragster.com Photo Editor Roger Gorringe has updated his personal web site Nitro Exposure with four new galleries from his recent autumn US tour: the NHRA Arizona Nationals in Phoenix, the California Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield, the NHRA Big O Tires Nationals in Las Vegas and the NHRA Auto Club Finals in Pomona. The images are generally all new and not used in any other publication. There are also a couple of Blasts from the Past on the Home and News pages. You can check out Roger's update at www.nitroexposure.co.uk and stay tuned for Roger's SEMA Show report and gallery on the next update here on Eurodragster.com.
UKDRN 2012 desk calendars.
21st November: Webmaster of the UK Drag Racing Nostalgia site Jon Spoard has exciting news of a selection of themed calendars with superb pictures which you can buy. He says:
In what has become an annual fundraising project for www.ukdrn.co.uk I would like to announce the ukdrn.co.uk 2012 desk calendars are now on sale.
They are the only calendars produced that list all the dates of the major UK 2012 drag race meetings at Shakespeare County Raceway and Santa Pod Raceway so you can easily plan your drag racing season.
This year I have produced four calendars so they have a wider appeal: Supercharged Outlaws, Wild Bunch, Outlaw Anglia and general photographs. All individual calendars will include the round dates for that particular class.
Jon says "www.ukdrn.co.uk is coming in to its 16th year online and has always managed to stay banner and advert free so please pick up a calendar or two and keep it that way." You can access the calendar preview page directly from here or click on the samples shown to the right.
Jon has also loaded pictures from the Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway in September to the site, which can be seen here.
Shakespeare County Raceway 2012 dates.
21st November: Shakespeare County Raceway have announced the following 2012 dates:
31st March/1st April - Public Track Weekend Season Opener
21st April - All Clubs Vauxhall Day
22nd April - Public Track Day
5th/7th May - Springspeed Nationals (MSA/ACU National Championship Round - TBC)
25th/27th May - Yanks Weekend/NASC Gary's Picnic
9th/10th June - Public Track Weekend/Shakey Super Pull (BTPA Points Round - TBC)
23rd/24th June - NSRA Nostalgia Nationals
7th/8th July - Public Track Weekend/British Mini Showdown - TBC
21st July - PPC Magazine Public Track Day
22nd - Public Track Day/For Ladies That Launch
9th/12th August - Bulldog Bash
25th/27th August - Open Sport Nationals (MSA/ACU National Championship Round - TBC)
14th/16th September - NSRA Hot Rod Drags
29th/30th September - Public Track Weekend/*Frantic Ford Day (*Sunday Only)
13th/14th October - PPC Magazine Public Track Weekend
27th/28th October - Halloween Bonfire Burn-Up Public Track Weekend
For 2012 Shakespeare County Raceway offers a wide and varied selection of Public Track Day RWYB events catering for all tastes. To compete all you need is a vehicle. This will be checked for safeness by the raceway's knowledgeable scrutineering crew, seatbelts, suitable clothing, a valid driving licence and a crash helmet.
You can subscribe to the track's Mailing List to receive all the latest news and event schedules from Shakespeare County Raceway by completing the Contacts Form. In the meantime the web site's news pages have the latest news and event line-ups in the world of drag racing at the Midlands favourite drag strip, or stop by the new Long Marston Airfield web site at www.longmarstonairfield.com for all other events.
You can find out more including details of SCR Junior Dragster Experience Hire Car and SCR Bracket Gambler doorslammer drags by visiting SCR's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com
You can follow Shakespeare County on Facebook where you can now access a large amount of historic images of SCR as it was in days gone by.
Pro ET bash report.
21st November: Pro ET racer Carla Pittau writes that the class bash held last night was 'fantastic'.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2011 Pro ET Awards:
Best presented car: Roy Walker
Most spectacular crash/Fire: Simon Gough
Best Wheelie: Dan Williams
Rookie of the Year: Matthew Seamark
Crew Chief of the Year: Angie Hudson
There was an additional category for trophies, the "Pro ET Diamond Person" - This year we had three winners: Mike Lacey took away the Diamond Geezer award for his hard work during the year - filling Carl Burton's shoes is not an easy task, but Mike did an excellent job.
Karen Stevens took one of the two Diamond Gal Awards for her dedication to the class and her enthusiasm and brilliant input in the promotion and the running of the Sponsorship Scheme. Finally Caroline 'Oscar' Boncey took the other Diamond Gal Award for being the happy smile that tells all in Pro ET that all is well and we are going to have a great day racing. Her dedication in still wanting to marshal for Pro ET, having had a recent operation, really deserves our thanks.
Thanks go to Colin Theobald for some the additional trophies. Colin explained, in his inimitable way how they were awarded "Simples...check out my first blog on Eurodragster where the award was mentioned, but then I got carried away and did three of them. Great evening, had a blast, massive thanks to Mike, Karen and all."
Carla adds "There are still a few Pro ET calendars left for sale (all 2011 drivers received a complimentary copy) so all of you who haven't forked out yet for a copy for your mum, your friends, your garage, your cousins and your work colleagues, you can still get one from Karen Stevens or Mike Lacey, details on e-Bay page will follow."
Christine Buckland has posted photos of the evening's festivities on the Pro ET Racers and Fans Facebook page.
Kickstart - the future of UK drag bike racing.
21st November: Lorna Barter has announced the establishment of a fund to aid bike racers graduating from Junior Drag Bike:
The Junior Drag Bike Finals this year included the happy/sad occasion of two of these incredible 'professional' riders 'outgrowing' the class. At 17 they are officially 'too old' for another season of Junior Drag Bike racing. It is time to move on up - to choose which class, get, modify or upgrade a bike, replace outgrown boots/helmet/leathers (and all the other expenses we know so well).
But what worried me was hearing "nah, not next season, can't afford it."
These kids are brilliant - they've worked really hard and developed amazing skills - they are a credit to Our sport. But, realistically, they are the future of our sport!.
Now a year is a very long time when you're 17. I don't want to see Drag Racing lose these talented people, so here's a small thing I'm going to try that might help keep them with us:
Invest a tenner in the future, why not buy a sticker and join the Facebook Group.
Travel to '71 NHRA Supernats with AA.
20th November: Alan Currans has sent details of the latest update of his excellent Acceleration Archive web site: The late, lamented Ontario Motor Speedway was a state-of-the-art facility of its time both for drag and oval racing. Forty years ago today it hosted the 2nd Annual Supernationals meeting and Andy Barrack has commemorated the event with a combination of pictures provided by Custom Car's Roger Phillips, and a tour de force of historical research peppered with recollections from some of the competitors.
Alan Currans said: "I have always said that Andy Barrack knows more about OMS than the NHRA - when you have feasted your eyes on all three pages packed with information and over 180 pictures you will be bound to agree with me."
You can access this article from the 'What's New' link on the 'Site Map' page of the Acceleration Archive or directly here. Many congratulations to Andy, Roger and Alan for presenting an outstanding piece of drag racing history in such detail that the reader feels transported back in time.
Junior Dragster League 2012 fixtures.
20th November: Tim Long, Chair Person of the Junior Dragster League has been in touch with the 2012 dates for the League:
Round 1 - 31st March & 1st April - Shakespeare County Raceway
Round 2 - 6th & 7th May - Santa Pod
Round 3 - 9th & 10th June - Shakespeare County Raceway
Round 4 - 21st & 22nd July - Shakespeare County Raceway
Round 5 - 18th & 19th August - Santa Pod
Round 6 (Finals) - 29th & 30th September - Shakespeare County Raceway
All rounds are open to non league drivers for a single weekend sign on fee. For further information email email@example.com
SPR affiliates with DRC.
20th November: Santa Pod have announced an affiliation with Drag Racing Confidental, the the monthly online magazine for all fans of the quarter mile.
Whether you're an ardent drag fanatic, or simply just enjoy quality race car features. DRC, which was launched independently last year, has now officially joined forces with The Pod to become the venue's 'in-house' online magazine.
The magazine-style format is fast becoming popular with PC and smart phone users, and DRC offers a wide range of content from interviews and show reports through to nostalgia features, driver profiles and up-and-coming stars. In fact, whatever your preference, if you have even an ounce of nitro-methane in your veins, you'll doubtless find it a very enjoyable way to while away an hour or two.
With photography from some of the sport's finest photographers and all-areas access to Santa Pod, DRC has an awful lot to say over its 60 odd pages each month. Helpful technical features also make a regular appearance, advising on everything from car set-up to driving technique. Editors Simon Hodder and Nigel Holland have vast experience of the sport, yet keep the style general enough to engage the more casual fan, too.
Although much of the feature material will centre around the World-famous Northamptonshire track, DRC will keep their impartial editorial slant, covering National and European race action from other venues, ensuring a real mix of car and bike content.
Speaking for Santa Pod, Marketing Manager Caroline Day said, 'We have been contemplating producing our own online magazine resource for several years now, but when we saw the quality of the job that DRC had done and their clear knowledge and enthusiasm, it was a 'no-brainer' for us to join forces. For both of us, it's the ideal way to promote the sport that we love and get the news out to the fans in a quick and easy to read format.'
So after hearing all this great news, you're probably wondering what the catch is? Well, quite simply, there isn't one. DRC is totally free to download and enjoy, meaning you can save your money for the races themselves. So now you really don't have an excuse to really get involved in the season at Santa Pod next year.
For more details on DRC, please click on www.drceurope.co.uk. The magazine is available to download on the first Wednesday of every month so sign up now. All back issues are permanently available to view. For more details on Santa Pod, including the 2012 calendar, please click on www.santapod.com.
And, of course, continue to click on Eurodragster.com for daily news and live race coverage.
Speedgroup announce 2012 sportsman classes.
18th November: Speedgroup today announced they plan to run the following classes within their sportsman series concept for 2012:
Super Pro ET (Bracket Racing) (new)
Pro ET (Bracket Racing) (new)
Super Gas Bike (9.50 bike)
Super Comp Bike (8.50 bike ¼ 5.40 sec 1/8 mile)
Funny Bike (new)
Super Twin Bike (Nordic Challenge at a few selected non-UEM events) (new)
Speedgroup co-ordinator Asa Kinnemar told us that more information about the classes and details of the yet-to-be-announced new series concept will be available at the organizers and the team/steward meeting by invitation only to be held in Stockholm on Nov 26th.
After that Speedgroup publish an article summarising the decisions made on Eurodragster.com and Speedgroup.eu. The class by class series calendar for 2012 is not ready at this time.
Asa also asked if any any questions could please be addressed to Speedgroup via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feature: NHRA Auto Club Finals.
3rd November: The latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products and Carter Motorsport is Roger's report from last weekend's NHRA Auto Club Finals, where an exciting race saw championships decided in three of the professional classes.
Roger's report and pictures cover all classes contested at the event and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Many thanks to Roger who worked through an industrial case of jet lag to get the article to us.
PowerLite back Gridlock.
18th November: A couple of seasons back, Dex Price of the UK's Team Gridlock went to PowerLite for a new hi-torque starter motor for their high compression small block mopar and was very impressed with the company, not only with the price but the superfast delivery from stock and the technical support in changing the terminal fixings to a more suitable position. Team Gridlock and PowerLite have kept in touch at shows and events and are now please to announce that PowerLite (www.powerlite-units.co.uk) will be sponsoring the 2011 Wild Bunch champions in their Go Hard or Go Home competition altered for 2012.
PowerLite provide starters, alternators and alternators that look like a dynamo to give that authentic retro look but with alternator benefits, for classic, competition and kit cars. Their parts are manufactured to the highest engineering standards and they are located in the heart of the West Midlands, the traditional home of the motor industry. Their manufacturing base has the capacity to build over 500 units per week and with PowerLite's custom design service for rotating electric products means that you can have a tailor-made solution based around your individual requirements. There are no minimum batch sizes for custom products which means that you can have a starter, alternator or dynamo specifically designed for your competition, classic or kit car and in weeks not months.
Team Spokesman, Dex, said "We are pleased to have PowerLite on board with us, proud to display the logo of a great British company and look forward to promoting PowerLite in 2012 and using their products.
18th November: It's funny how you think you have a plan, but right from the very beginning things head off in a different direction, writes ACU Comp Bike racer Phil Crossley.
This time last year the plan for the Bopchop team was to race again in Competition Bike, and not change anything. After all, we had just rebuilt the motor after cracking a set of crankcases, and the bike was just starting to run well towards the end of the 2010 season.
The plan began to crumble before 2011 even came around, when I purchased an unbelievably cheap Star Racing cylinder head - a bit old, but complete with titanium valves and hardware. It was another 50hp waiting to be bolted on, so how could we say no?
Fitting new parts is never straightforward; the nature of the old GSX Suzuki engines means they require a lot of changes from standard and everything has to be hand fitted as one change leads to another then another. So, after some adaptations, we were able to fit the head ready for the Easter Thunderball.
The first run showed great promise, an 8.10 personal best, and the bike had picked up nearly 10mph on what were very soft settings. But that's when the plan really went downhill, as two runs later the cases cracked again, in the same place as last time, only this time the crank, a rod, some valves and a piston decided they wanted to be involved too. That ended that event prematurely, and at the time I thought that was the end for the rest of the year.
But there are miracle workers out there, and old GSX stuff seems to crawl out of the woodwork just when you need it most. A lot of hard work and one missed meeting later (Springspeed Nationals) and we made it back just in time for the Peak Performance Day at the Summer Nationals. Time to get back on track we thought!
No, the very first run and, in a very undramatic manner, it cracked set of cases number three. I called some of my team who had not set off yet and told them not to bother.
It was another massive push to prep yet another set of cases and get the engine rebuilt for the Open Sport Nationals, and, in a desperate attempt not to break anything, we fitted a set of tiny 'baby girl' nitrous jets and took a lot of timing out. The result was we qualified with an 8.3, made it through the first round of eliminations whilst running a PB of 8.027, and to top it off - came home with an engine in one piece!
Sticking with the engine preserving theme, the 'baby girl' nitrous jets stayed in for the National Finals, where we ran into the 8.0's for the second time and qualified 3rd, our best placing ever.
The Extreme bike weekend was set to be a good event, and it started off with a first for me when in the opening qualifying session I was paired against Kev Charman running a Top fuel bike. For most of the run I couldn't hear my own engine and largely gave up thinking it had broke.
The event was made particularly interesting due to the ACU Comp Bike championship still being up for grabs between Harold Wolfenden and Stuart Crane. After qualifying, it looked likely that it was going to go all the way to the final round too, but that wasn't to be. We met Harold in the first round and despite us both having poor runs Harold had a lot of wheel spin and I made it across the line first.
Despite some low points it's been another great year in Competition Bike. We went faster than before, even if it wasn't the magical seven we were hoping for. The plan for next year is to not have a plan. They are about as reliable as a weather forecast.
Special thanks must go to my regular crew of Stuart and Sam, Argent stores for supplying the fab new MSD ignition and extra engine cases, plus Roger Upperton for endless advice and extensive emergency repair work.
Congratulations to Stu Crane on taking the championship, and commiserations to Harold, but I know he had a dream year anyway with at least one event win, plus the top speed record to boot.
Some of the regular Comp Bike racers made the jump to Funny Bike in the last half of the season and will continue in that class for 2012. So next year a new team of Comp racers are going to have to step up to the mark!
Mr Mopar re-emerges.
18th November: Mr Mopar Racing is back out racing in 2012 in Outlaw Anglia, writes driver John O'Sullivan:
The Hemi powered car is being prepared for action, new parts have been fitted, and help from PJO Engineering along with Swindon Plasma Fab. The crew stays the same, Graham 'not so fat now' Hughes, the Clark boys Jamie, Rob and Paul mascot Alfie Clark, technical help from the Essex Hemi guru, you know who you are.
Any company wishing to help out on this, the only Pro Mod legal Anglia in Europe, or wanting their name on the car, can ring me on 07860129572. Our main aim: to try and run a six second pass.
Wilding steps up.
17th November: Many thanks to Roy Wilding for sending us several photos of his new self-built rear engined dragster, which he tells us is destined for Super Pro and Supercharged Outlaws:
"The car is a 240" wheelbase chrome moly chassis, and will run a 500cube Keith Black hemi, with 14-71 blower, and B&J three speed trans. The wheels are bead locks at the rear, with new Mickey Thompsons for the front still in my suitcase.
"The paint was done by Barry Woodford from Cradley Heath in the Black Country, a big, big, big, thanks, nice one Barry. Flames to be added at a later date - green? Haha!"
Roy will be running the car with S&K Racing next year and we expect it will be a performance front runner in his chosen classes.
17th November: 8.50 Bike racer Dave Batcheler says he has had an awesome year in the first championship year for the class, with highs and lows:
This was my first year in drag racing in competition; I did a couple of the 8.50 demos last year and really enjoyed it.
I started sprinting with the NSA Southern about seven years ago on a 750 Slabby (Suzuki GSXR750 Slabside - stand-in Ed) and I got the bug big time. (I think that's why my reactions were so bad, as we go on the green or sit there and have a look around, wave at the kids then go, then I was told about them ambers and go when you see them; I learnt it the hard way in my first elimination round - cheers Mark lol).
I moved up to the Suzuki Bandit motor and GSX frame. But then I met a man on an Old Skool Suzuki, Dave Dunlop, aka FBM, who sorted my Rajay draw through turbo, pointed me in the right direction and helped me out no end of times for which I thank him to the max.
Through him, I met Dave Buttery, another top bloke who has similarly helped me on many occasions.
I decided I needed to change the bike for this year and wanted a better set-up at the rear. I got a new rear end, doing away with the struts and swinging arm and new wheelie bars. So I went to Stu crane at warpspeed Racing and he did a awesome job with it all; the man is the metal guru. The bike runs arrow straight and feels great. Cheers Stu.
Kev Marshall offered to crew for me as he was not riding this year; it really made a difference having help, he took care of it all and calmed me down or wound me up when needed. We never did too well at Easter, a shift problem made things not happy, but we got used to how things run in competition and getting ready etc, so it was a lesson more than anything.
After sorting out a clutch problem that plagued me for the three meetings at Shakey, I finally got the bike how it used to be (who said going straight was easy?)
Kev could not crew for the last couple of meetings due to work, so Stu Osman stepped in and was a great help, thanks mate. Extreme Bikes was a hard meeting; I lost my Dad on the 5th October and was not going, but my Mum said "You go, your Dad would have wanted you to." He was always keen about my racing and watched when he could on the live link.
So I was third in championship at the start of the event; Mick and Pete in first and second went out in the first round. I had a bye, not by choice (hope its sorted now Chunk ). If I could get a win I would win the championship. Well, the nerves kicked in and I had to go off on the pit bike to see if I could calm down, but it never worked.
I was up against Sam Sykes; he is super quick off the line, so I knew I had to get out quick. We pre-staged but I waited wanting to go in last but so did Sam - it felt like forever, then I started to twitch. I moved into stage then out again, then back in, went on my two-step, saw a light and went, a tad to early I think; red.
What a year it's been, truly awesome and coming 3rd in the Championship was the icing on the cake. I'd like to thank all the 8.50 racers and crews for making me feel welcome, I've made some great mates, and a little Welsh dragon too.
Thanks also to Dave Beck for super quick parts and advice, Kev Marshall, Nick (Shaggy) and Derren, the Chesworth's, Simon Rees for getting me started into it all, Tony Davidge, all at the NSA for the support, my lovely Sharon for putting up with it all (I'm not obsessed, well not that much) and my Dad.
Victory Wheelers' new location.
17th November: Victory Wheelers are pleased to announce a new location to celebrate its 35th Birthday. The 35th South Coast Internationals will be held from 8th - 12th June in the grounds of the magnificent country estate of Pylewell Park. The 80 acre showground boasts probably one of the best views in the country, looking down to the Solent and across to the Isle of Wight, with the back drop of the 17th Century Pylewell House. It is situated less than 2 miles from Lymington, in the heart of the New Forest.
This year the gates will open at 10am Friday, with camping available Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening, and departures on Monday morning. The usual Victory Wheelers events will take place, with even more live bands, DJ, a cruise through the New Forest, Trade Stands, Real Ale and Cider marquees, funfair and many more attractions to be announced in due course.
Sunday will continue to be Show & Shine Day where all American, Hotrod & Custom cars are welcome to attend, and prizes will be awarded in various categories.
For Booking information and details about the show, please go to: www.southcoastinternationals.com
Web site updates.
17th November: Slot drag racing provides a chance to race 1/32 scale models of real and, sometimes, imagined race cars. There is no weather problem as racing is held indoors and the times and speeds are, as Joe Amato once said, "ludicrous". Organiser Steve Dudley, aka MrD Raceway, has launched a site where you can see more about this exciting scale version of our favourite sport, which can be found at slotdragracing.weebly.com. Included are dates, videos, photos, and results. The next event will be held on Friday 2nd December 2011 at The Cathedral Primary School, Victoria Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1PA from 7.30pm to 10.30pm.
SPRC Office fully manned.
16th November: Thanks to Ian Marshall for telling us that the SPRC office is now fully manned by him, as Paula is still in hospital. Ian says "You can either call the regular number 01933 313625 or contact me on the usual email address email@example.com. Ian thanks everyone for their patience over the last month or two.
British Hall of Fame meeting.
16th November: November is the time of year the British Drag Racing Hall Of Fame calls together its Board Selectors from all corners of the UK to thrash out next years members of our Hall Of Fame, writes Hall of Fame Chairman Stu Bradbury, with details of existing eligibility rules.
The Board of Selectors has representatives of Racers, Promoters, Track Officials, Members of FIA Drag Racing Commission and MSA Drag Racing Committee, Historians, Magazine editors, Drag Racing Authors, and Spectators representatives. The Board will spend most of next Sunday discussing and arguing until they end the day with a majority agreement on who should have the honor of being inducted into The British Drag Hall Of Fame alongside some of the most famous and respected names in Drag Racing history.
Those honored for induction will receive a "Bootsie" This solid Crystal Award encapsulates the image of the late Allan "Bootsie" Herridge a man who put so much into British Drag Racing. The Award also comes with a 1 1/4" exclusive gold enameled members pin.
The criteria to which the selection board work is as follows:
Eligibility for induction into the British Drag Racing Hall Of Fame is extended to any person who has driven, piloted, owned, designed, built, maintained, prepared, promoted, officiated, supported or taken part in any capacity connected with British Drag Racing. An inductee must have been retired for a least three years or must have been engaged at the top level of his/her area of British Drag Racing for at least 20 years, or made a recognisable and significant contribution to the sport. Inductees are characterized by their desire to win, mastery of their own particular field and courage to innovate.The number of inductees each year is to be made up of five, four British and one foreign.
To see the British Drag Racing Hall Of Fame's previous inductees go to www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk.
Hal Far Finals report.
16th November: The Malta Drag Racing Association have organised the fifth and final Drag Racing event of the year, writes MDRA Secretary Jason Camilleri.
The event commenced on Friday with a test and tune day which was something new for the racers, as usually we have a two day event, but since this event had 90 competitors signed on, the MDRA wanted to give some the competitors an chance for more testing.
The track was prepared to a very professional level, since we knew that big horsepower vehicles would take part. MDRA decided to hire Lee Child again. Lee is a highly professional track preparation expert who was also with us at the event we had in August. He has had a great deal of experience in preparing drag racing tracks around Europe and has achieved lots of records and personal bests on the tracks that he does. Lee advised us on how to make the track safer and faster, which surely has made our events more and more professional.
Lots of racers ran personal bests once again but, not just that, at this event we had a new Top Methanol Dragster track record from Mr Whippy Racing team. Manty Bugeja drove Joe Carabott's TMD to a best of 5.69 seconds, which made Mr Whippy the fastest car ever in Malta.
Another driver who performed very well was Duncan Micallef in the Telephone Box Dragster with a personal best of 5.83.
For this weekend, we had something new to Hal Far Raceway, which was an A-Fuel dragster recently purchased by Chris Polidano of Kalanc Racing Team from Derek Flynn. Since Chris is new to this type of vehicle, he made some test runs in it, which so far have seemed to be very succesful. This dragster is Powered by nitromethane fuel and has 3500 horsepower.
This event was not finished on the same weekend, due to bad weather, so eliminations and finals had to be transfered to the following weekend 12-13 November; it gave a opportunity to drivers and owners to tune their vehicles more.
The DTA 6 Class was won by the record-breaking Mr Whippy team, while Open 6 and D6 Classes were both won by Emanuel Mangion in his Cosworth powered Dragster which also registered a personal best of 7.3 seconds.
Another class which is very exciting to watch is the Super Street Class 2 which was won by Chris Borg with a very consistent 11.21 seconds. A new driver to our drag strip managed to win both CA3 and bracket class, this young driver with the name of Clint Fenech had an impressive reaction time which led him to win the CA3 class over his opponent Justin Muscat. Justin managed to clock a personal best of 10.7 seconds, but Clint still had the race with an almost perfect reaction time - well done to him.
We had a great show from the bike classes, as this event had record 11 competitors entered in the Open Class which finally was won by Horace Gerada running consistent 7.8 times.
The Super Street bike class was won by Chris Polidano who also registered a personal best of 7.77 seconds in this event, however the happiest face was that of the well known Simon Giordmaina, who after winning Straighliner European Top Bike at the Extreme Bike Performance Weekend at Santa Pod in October managed here to clock a Personal Best of 7.69 seconds. This is the fastest bike run ever at Hal Far raceway and surely was the cherry on the icing on the cake for Simon, after a very successful season in Germany and England.
I could keep mentioning names and records, as surely there are more that took place, but more information, results and photos can be obtained from www.maltadragracing.com. MDRA would like to thank all of its members, staff, media and all those who helped in any way to make this final event of 2011 a very successful one.
Photos courtesy and © Kurt Law.
Orange Pop retires.
16th November: Thanks to Jason Yates for updating us on the retirement of a mainstay of the UK championship drag racing scene for the last five years:
As most of you are aware, the Orange Pop Outlaw Anglia team have been very busy over the last year or so. It was announced last week that Orange Pop was retiring from racing due to a new exciting project. Last sunday was a busy day in the garage, as Jon Webster persuaded Simon to get a few bits off the Pop and over to his workshop. So we decided that on sunday afternoon we would strip the Pop ready to take the bits over to Jon's. All of the crew arrived at Simon's to help out and we decided to fire up the Pop for the last time before we sent it into retirement. We took out the engine, gear box, dials, the nitrous, the computers and a few other bits and bobs. The car even recieved a retirement card from Crew Chief Phil Pitt with a lovely poem inside (see pic) As we locked up the garage on Sunday, we had one last look around the Pop and I must say she looked very sad that we had taken her to bits!
We have had fantastic fun over the last five years racing the Pop in Outlaw Anglia with a lot of fantastic memories. The best one has to be running an 8.81@156 mph on street tyres. On behalf of Simon and the rest of the crew, I would like to thank everyone who has helped us achieve what we have over the years. The list of names is far too many, but you guys know who you are, thak you very much! We are looking forward to the new project and can't wait for the new challenge; see you all soon.
Bahrain championship round 2.
16th November: On 16-18 November, round 2 of the 2011-12 Bahrain Drag Racing Championship will take place at the Bahrain International Circuit. Full details for entrants and spectators are at Bahrain GP web site. Details of qualifying and eliminations will be posted at www.bahrainracing.com and pictures will be at Bahrain Motors Gallery.
Supercharged Outlaws update.
15th November: Many thanks to Supercharged Outlaws racer Alec Coe for bringing us up to date with events in the class for blown vehicles:
A new Forum page has been added at the class web site www.supercharged-outlaws.co.uk; check it out and tell us your stories, what you are doing, ask questions etc.
Some great news is that our sponsor, Good Vibrations Motorsports (five time champions of the California Independent Funny Car Association circuit - stand-in News Ed), has agreed to sponsor us for the 2012 season with more details to follow. We thank them for their support - you can check out their web site at www.goodvibesracing.com.
The class's Dinner Dance took place on 5th November and we had a great evening with an excellent turnout; thanks to all for making the effort and being the best.
It was voted that the committee remain the same with the addition of Daren Brett as our Promotions Manager. Thanks to Daren and Carl Webb for the work and everything you have done for The Supercharged Outlaws and congratulations to the SCR Junior Dragster League on their success. The following awards were made to the Supercharged Outlaws:
Thanks to Steve Goode for the trophies, Charlie Chivers for supplying the sound equipment, many thanks to Good Vibrations Motor Sports for the donations.
Thanks to all of our sponsors in no particular order;
Carter still has PACE!
15th November: Recently retired 4-time FIA European Top Fuel Drag Racing Champion - Andy Carter, has announced further plans for his retirement. Carter has previously stated that the main reason for his retirement is to focus on the career of his son - Kart racer, Albert Carter. Andy is now delighted to announce that he has launched a new brand, Pace Auto Products, and a new website: www.paceautoproducts.com, as he has been appointed as an official main distributor for the Lucas Oil product range.
Andy commented: "I'm really pleased to make this announcement, as it further shows the strength of relationship built with Lucas Oil and Les Downey. The website offers their complete range of great products and I'm really looking forward to seeing this new venture build over the coming years."
Although the site is currently devoted to the Lucas Oil range, Andy will be looking to add new motoring and motorsport products very soon. If you'd like to distribute your product through Pace Auto Products, you can email Andy on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
15th November: The Junior Dragster League has announced that Tim Long has taken over the chair of the League and, after a meeting last week, Santa Pod have agreed to host two rounds of the 2012 League. One round, date to be confirmed, will be a points round and will go towards the final scores. The other round/event will be a Junior shootout with a title sponsor as part of the 'God of the Pod' & 'Monster Truck Nationals' events. Tim commented "We hope that non-league MSA drivers will join us on these weekends and have a great time with us."
Dakota end of season Drag and Drift.
14th November: Next Saturday, 19th November, Dakota Drag strip hosts its final event of the 2011 season at Smeatharpe Airfield, Devon.
“We have some great news for drivers and riders that enjoy the drag strip, after popular demand we are changing the layout of the venue“ said organiser Lee Child . “The drag strip is now on a better surface and will be 1/4 mile distance“. Because safety is on of the major factors at Dakota Drag Strip anything running quicker than a 11.00 ET will have to run 1/8 mile.
The event is open to any type of vehicle, competition and street legal. Test and tunes at Dakota Drag strip attract many of the quickest street legal cars and bikes in the south west. Competition vehicles we have had in the past include grass track racers, rally cars, sprint bikes, bracket cars, NFAA altered and Supercharged outlaws.
The following trophies are up for grabs on the Drag strip:
Dakota, as is the norm, will have a show and shine area. At the August event, Super Pro ET Racer Peter Walters took the honours with his stunning VW Golf. Bob Glassup also attended the show and shine area with his ultra clean MK1 Capri along with Lee Johnson and his blown Vauxhall. A trophy will be up for grabs for the best of show.
Along with the drag strip, Dakota has a drift area that is always heavily subscribed. Next weekend is a turn up and drift deal not a ODC championship round . Trophies are up grabs on the drifting are as follows
Pricing still remains cheap at Dakota:
Under 16's £4.00
Drag strip per driver or rider Unlimited runs £25.00
Drifting per driver Unlimited runs £50.00
Advance tickets are available:
Under 16's £2.00
Drag strip per driver or rider Unlimited runs £20.00
Drifting per driver Unlimited runs £45.00
All advance ticket sales close at 9pm Wednesday before the event.
Paypal email@example.com for your advance purchases. For more details and info contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07771 590176. For regular updates add Dakota Raceway on your Facebook.
Dragstalgia 2012 class?
14th November: Pete Walton has been in touch with the germ of what sounds a great idea for Dragstalgia next year:
What started of as an idea in the pub, most good ideas start in the pub, has grown into a possible race class for next years Dragstalgia.
We need pre-'72 American bodied cars with stock rear suspension (you can move the springs inboard and use bolt on aftermarket parts i.e Caltracs). Tyre size can be as big as you can stuff under your car, engine as big as your wallet will let you go, but no power adders, carbs only. Weight of car, who cares? Cars must be in the spirit of old school doorslammers, so no snorkel type scoops.
Now we know the Mopar boys have a few of these cars hidden away, but where are all the Ford and Chevys gone, they can't be all multilinked clones? Class will be heads up. More details to follow.
If you want to talk to Pete about this idea, he can be reached on 07970 206827, 01798 812075 or email@example.com.
13th November: Many thanks to Roger for sending a report from Pomona, California on the progress of European racers. On the final day of qualifying at the NHRA Auto Club Finals rain stopped the last round of Top Fuel and Funny Car. Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle managed to get their fourth qualifier completed before the forecast precipitation began. It leaves a very full eliminations day providing the wet stuff holds off.
Norway's Thomas Nataas of Top Fuel Dragster team and Eurodragster.com photo kit sponsor Andersen Racing was disappointed that the light rain put a halt to their final attempt at making the field as Team Andersen sat in eighteeth place on a 4.024/296. Typically the drizzle stopped minutes after the day was called but due to the local 7pm curfew the track could not have been dried in time.
Courtesy of Dennis Glanby, Thomas's incrementals on his final pass were:
60' - 0.866
330' - 2.202
660' - 3.162 / 259.51 (417.55 km/h)
1000' - 4.024 / 261.22 (420.30 km/h)
Dennis said that Thomas had cylinders out and appeared to toss the blowerbelt at around 700ft which put them in the no.18 spot after qualifying completed with the fourth session cancelled.
Finland's Fredrik Fredlund, riding an on loan Buddy Robinson chassis and using Fredrik's own Suzuki powerplant, managed to run the first six second pass by a European in NHRA competition. A 6.995 lit up the lane boards along with a 191.92mph speed on Saturday. Fredrik's final qualifier was a 7.060/190 leaving Fredrik out of the field in nineteenth place. Fredrik said "The slower ET on the last run was due to the bike spinning the tyre. The team, with Gary Stoffer tuning, upped the power but the cool track could not take that extra performance. Alvin, as my engine is called, has run a best in Europe of 7.04 (not backed up) and now boasts its first six without any hurt parts. I am very pleased with the results despite the DNQ." Fredrik mentioned new parts have been obtained for next year, and with the tuning expertise of Gary Stoffer on hand for some events, hopes are high for the UEM wars in Europe. Fredrik thanks sponsor Fabian Lundgren All in MC for their support.
Fredrik's incrementals again courtesy of Dennis Glanby, were:
Reaction - 0.074
60' - 1.079
330' - 2.908
660' - 4.461 / 157.08 (252.74 km/h)
1320' - 6.995 / 191.92 (308.79 km/h)
Ex-pat Brit Mike Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences who is contesting Top Alcohol Dragster at Pomona sadly went out in round one of eliminations, smoking the tyres against championship contender Duane Shields.
You will be able to follow the remainder of the event courtesy of our Drag Race Central colleagues at www.dragracecentral.com.
Purple Princess at Classic Bike Show.
13th November: Top Fuel Bike racer Steve Carey is displaying his Purple Princess 2 Top Fuel Drag Bike to the Footman James Classic Bike Show today at the NEC, Birmingham this weekend, writes Annette Trangmar:
Thee show is open Friday, Saturday & Sunday, and we are placed opposite the Footman James insurance stand in hall 9, so if you are there, come along and say hello.
The bike was originally going to be the centre piece for the Bexhill 100 motoring club's stand, www.bexhill100mc.co.uk but during the summer, they had a barn find of old Morris cars, so we are now in the bike hall. Santa Pod also have a stand at the show.
We progressed with the bike this year, running a 6.59 at the 25th Bulldogbash, and a 60ft time of 1.04 at the Main event. Tyre problems at the National finals caused a few issues, but all in all, the bike is performing well. So for next year, we are looking to install a stronger primary drive so we can run low 60fts, and keep going down the track, as we have been suffering belt breakages with the low 60fts.
As always, thanks to Eurodragster for the excellant coverage throughout the year (you're welcome - stand-in Ed), I'd like to also say thanks to Ken, Bob & Annette for their help and support throughout the year. Thanks go also to NGK spark plugs UK for their support, Fred Furlong for his support as well. I'd also like to thank John Torring, and wish him well in his retirement, along with thanks to Kent Bearings (Ashford), Weruwise Bexhill, Phoenix Motorcycles Bexhill, Earls performance products, Andrew at G&S Valves, Rother Triumph Owners, and the Bexhill 100 Motor Club.
13th November: Lynne Coulsell and Steve Young have asked if we can send birthday wishes to Mark Coulsell of Wild Bunch's Limited Funz Racing Team as he celebrates his 40th birthday today. Lynne says "Best wishes from myself, our sons Josh & Harley and the rest of the LFR team". Steve adds "a very happy 40th birthday from all of the racers that have endured you for the last 37 years - yes, he has been around the pits and under our feet for that long! From his surrogate mum and dad, Steve & Jacky Young (for info only we have always been called Mum and Dad by Mark as our pit was his second home for many years and Jacky would take care of him and I would lead him astray!)
Birthday greetings also to Per Andersen of Eurodragster.com photo kit sponsor Andersen Racing who reaches his milestone 50th today. Have a great day Per, and we hope to see you back in Europe before too long.
Web site updates.
13th November: Alan Currans of the excellent Acceleration Archive web site has just updated the Veney's Vega Restoration page with some more pictures from Pat Neal. The link on the What's New link at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk will take you straight to the latest stuff and if you scroll back up the page you will find two 'new' black and white pictures of Ken Veney winning at Englishtown in 1976 sent in by one of Ken's relatives.
Wild Bunch racer and Shakespeare County Raceway race official Tony Smith has updated his web site with more pictures of his build of the Cunning Coupe www.cunningplan.net. To see the latest photos, click on page 6.
Tony would like to thank Steve & Lesley Field, Jon Paine and anyone else who has helped with the build so far.
Fredlund runs best at Pomona.
12th November: Pro Stock Bike racer and 2008 UEM PSB Champion Fredrik Fredlund was delighted to run a new personal best in round one of qualifying for NHRA's season-ending Auto Club Finals. Fredrik went down the historic Pomona track in 7.038/188.46 to go 19th in the first session. On his second attempt, on Friday, Fredrik went 7.098/189.52 and finished that session in 20th with two more sessions to go.
Fredrik told Eurodragster.com "The owner of the bike is Greg Underdahl, a friend of Gary Stoffer and I am using my own engine that I used to get the speed record in sweden at Tierp Arena. I am supported by Fabbe Lundgren, who is a old friend to me from since the seventh grade in school and he lives on the same Åland island like me; he is the President of "All In MC" where you can run with whatever bike you have. I'm really grateful for him letting me live my dream. Today was the first run for me since the Finals at Santa Pod in September, so that pass was right off the trailer. We ran a 1.06 60 foot, but I was short shifting it, so there's more in it for sure. Gary and Greg Underdahl gave me a fast bike today, but I know they will give me a fast one tomorrow too."
Picture of with Johan Radebach courtesy of Fredrik Fredlund
12th November: This weekend, European fans are cheering on Top Fuel Dragster team and Eurodragster.com photo kit sponsor Andersen Racing with Thomas Nataas driving. In his first run, on Thursday, Thomas smoked the tyres and idled down, but on Friday morning hooked up to a great 3.932/303.23 with a 0.86 sixty foot time in the second session, missing the number 12 cut-off point by just eight thousandths. Thomas told us: "The car was set up safe for this run, we are so looking forward for tomorrow (Saturday). We think we can do way better. The track in Vegas and Pomona are two really different tracks so we are using a different set up here. I think it's good they are running 1000 feet here at Pomona. If you do the quarter mile at 330 mph you would be pretty busy trying to stop it at the top end!"
Ex-pat Brit Mike Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences is contesting Top Alcohol Dragster at Pomona and ran 5.334/277.66 for number eight position in the elimination ladder. Having been runner up at Las Vegas two weeks ago, Mike is hoping to go all the way at Pomona.
You will be able to stay in touch with our trio's progress over the weekend courtesy of our Drag Race Central colleagues at www.dragracecentral.com.
David Anniwell has been in touch to ask us to wish Nigel Anniwell of Santa Pod's fire crew a Happy 50th Birthday from David, Nigel's wife Lisa, kids Sarah, James, Zara, Zoe, Philip and grandson Matthew. David says "He may be incredibly old but he hasn't lost his passion for running at things on fire."
Ian Hart suggests a Christmas present for any race fan: a pack of the Eliminator card game will provide hours of fun for all the family playing any of the games included in the pack. It is simple and great fun, but most importantly, 50% of the profit goes back into the fund to help racers and crew. You can buy it from the Pod Shop on line, or direct from Eliminator on Facebook or Ian Turburville. The more we sell, the more cash we will have to distribute to racers.
UK Event Safety's Glenn Ramsden will be reviewing the news with BBC Radio Humberside's Neil Rudd tomorrow morning, why not tune in? BBC Radio Humberside Breakfast Show 95.9 FM, 1485 AM and DAB ...
If you are in the Midlands this weekend, Santa Pod have a stand at the Footman James Classic Motor Show at the NEC. Over 1400 cars are displayed and there are many car club stands, classic bikes, a live stage and a restoration theatre. Full details are at www.necclassicmotorshow.com.
F&A Racing support ACAG.
12th November: After a recent auction supported by Lucas Oil Products, the Allard Chrysler Action Group (ACAG) has announced that new Team West Tec based Top Fuel Dragster team F&A Racing has now officially become the biggest individual benefactor of the project to restore to "cackle" mode Europe's first dragster - Sydney Allard's 1961 Allard Chrysler owned by the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. ACAG Chair, Brian Taylor says, “At £500, the F&A team bid for the special Lucas Oil 50cc engine Pocket Bike was the highest received, and a further donation of £1000 - plus an order for 400 Allard Celebration Ale beer mats - takes their total contribution for the year to £3400; with more promised in the future. It is really exciting that the newest British Top Fuel team is supporting the restoration of the car that started it all in Europe. When both cars appear together people will be able to directly compare 1960s 750 bhp technology with today?s 8000 bhp monster machines”.
The ACAG has invited F&A dragster pilot Chris Andrews to join the group's nominated team of "cackle" drivers. The others are Fuel Altered and Pro Mod driver Nick Davies, Pink Floyd drummer and ACAG Patron Nick Mason, Museum Manager and Lord Montagu's Chief Engineer Doug Hill and Sydney Allard's son Alan who actually drove the car in its last racing season back in 1964.
The photo above was taken at Santa Pod Raceway earlier in 2011 when F&A Racing presented the ACAG with £500. That?s Finola Andrews (F&A), Chris Andrews (F&A), Brian Taylor (ACAG) and Neil Williams (F&A) behind the new rail. Chris Andrews says, “We are really looking forward to the 2012 drag racing season, particularly a joint fire up between my state-of-the-art Top Fuel car and Sydney's original dragster. I?m proud to join the official Allard Chrysler "cackle" team and look forward to comparing the feel of a modern Top Fuel dragster with that experienced by Sydney Allard at the dawn of drag racing in Europe. What a buzz and what an honour”.
Brian Taylor comments “Thanks to the extra money we can now re-commence work on restoring the car. Apart from the 354 Chrysler Hemi engine that will remain on display at Beaulieu, the National Motor Museum has given permission for the car to be taken apart and we have ACAG teams working on restoring the front axle and suspension, the gearbox, the back axle, the steering box and the chassis. While all this is going on we will acquire the hoses, cables and other parts needed for a Christmas/New Year trial build. It?s great that things are moving again”. To keep up with further developments, go to the ACAG web site.
APIRA/SPRC Annual Dinner and Trophy Night.
11th November: Yvonne Tramm has been in touch to advise that she is back from leave and if you should have any queries or would like to reserve your tickets for the above event you can now contact her by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel : 01223 265685 / Fax : 01223 265692.
Web site updates.
11th November: Mark Skinner's Flickr page is now fully updated with over 70 albums from the 2011 season, right up to the Fireworks Frenzy. You can now also find Mark on Google+ with even more photos.
Walters does stickers.
10th November: Eurodragster.com sponsor Peter Walters says his company Peter Walters Race Design are now producing Super Pro ET Vinyl stickers. A sample is shown depicting Peter's racing class.
Peter said "Most colours are available, on hard wearing 3-5 year vinyl, 5 designs to choose from (attached image) Prices are £1.25 posted for 5" long, or £1.75 for 7", Discount prices available for multiple orders." You can email Peter at email@example.com or call 07845 045980 to order, alternately you can contact us on the Super Pro ET Facebook page which is located at www.facebook.com/superproet.
Quartermile High on the Pull.
10th November: Helen Todd and David Coleman of DVD production company Quartermile High have released their 2011 DVDs and Eurodragster.com will be publishing details and reviews of these reviews shortly. For those who simply can't wait, they can be ordered from www.quartermilehigh.com where you will find full details.
The drag racing DVDs are as follows:
2011 Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator
2011 X-Treme Doorslammers
2011 Hot Rod Drags
2011 Mopar EuroNats
2011 Nitro Warriors+
2011 Open Sport Nats; and
2010 MSA Pro Mod.
On a completely different tack, Helen and David's production company Zeon TV have put together a programme featuring Round 1 of the BTPA (British Tractor Pulling Association) Championship for 2011, filmed at Shakespeare County Raceway, and this will air on Motors TV at the following times:
Thursday 10 November - 4:35
Thursday 10 November - 11:05
Friday 11 November - 20:00
Saturday 12 November - 18:55
Monday 14 November - 4:35
Tuesday 15 November - 19:25
Wednesday 16 November - 11:05
10th November: Fiona Flynn has reported that husband, Eurodragster.com sponsor and blogger Derek Flynn is out of hospital now and that his leg in on the mend. Fiona says "Thanks to everyone for the get well wishes for Derek." Derek was admitted to hospital during a trip to Malta to help new owner of his record-holding A/FD Chris 'Kalanc' Polidano in his maiden passes. Best wishes from us all to Derek for a speedy recovery.
It's the season ending NHRA Auto Club Finals this weekend and European fans have three racers to cheer. Top Fuel Dragster team and Eurodragster.com photo kit sponsor Andersen Racing will be competing in a field of no less than 27 cars with Thomas Nataas driving. Ex-pat Brit Mike Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences is contesting Top Alcohol Dragster. And in Pro Stock Bike, UEM 2010 runner-up Fredrik Fredlund from Ålund, with the support of custom bike builder Fabbe Lundgren, will be up against 25 other bikes to try to get into the 16 bike field. You will be able to stay in touch with our trio's progress over the weekend courtesy of our Drag Race Central colleagues at www.dragracecentral.com.
We have two birthdays today. Former Top Fuel and current Pro Modified racer Linda Thun Tønseth is celebrating her birthday. And Dave Buckland, crew member on the Heaven & Hell Pro ET team is hopefully having a great day. Best wishes to you from all at Eurodragster.com.
Custom & Hot Rod Festival at Beaulieu.
10th November: Beaulieu's Custom & Hot Rod Festival on 16th & 17th June 2012 is going to be bigger than ever, say organisers Beaulieu Motor Museum, with bands already confirmed both day and evening, and joining the Festival for the first time the Custom Motorcycle Show featuring the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building plus Jitterbug and Swing Dancers and camping for all.
The festival will include a Saturday Cruise Out with free entry to a local visitor attraction within the New Forest National Park for everyone taking part in a custom vehicle. The Sunday's Drive-In will be a fantastic, colourful display of over 600 vehicles including Hot Rods, Customs, Classic American, Chops & Bobbers. With live music and entertainment throughout the days and evenings this festival is a great weekend for all the family.
Tickets are now on sale and if you book before 31st January 2012 you'll receive 20% discount on the drive-in and weekend advance tickets only. See website for full details or call 01590 612888.
Orange Pop Retires - Simon not out.
8th November: After more than eight years' successful racing, Simon Barlow of the Orange Pop Racing team has decided to retire the star of his show, his 1954 Ford Popular, writes Richard Stirling.
The last race at the recent Halloween Showdown at Shakespeare County Raceway was Orange Pop's swansong. Simon has developed the car over the years, with much assistance from Jon Webster of Webster Race Engineering and Andy Frost of Penn Autos; ETs have plummeted and speeds have shot up as the seasons have progressed. However, it has long been felt by Simon that Orange Pop had reached the performance limit of its chassis, prompting him to start thinking about a new car combination. Simon made a decision at the beginning of this year to base a new car around the body of a fifties Fordson Delivery Van, which would allow the car to continue to run in the Outlaw Anglia Championship, a series in which Simon has made his home.
Simon has wasted no time in getting cracking with the new car, deciding that his initial prime track objective was that he was to aim for 7 second ETs. This would necessitate a lighter car than Orange Pop, one equipped with a fabulous chassis and an engine with a considerably higher power rating than that driving the existing car.
To start off with, the 850 hp 434 cubic inch Scott Shafiroff race engine will be running in a similar format to Orange Pop, with the exception that it will be rebuilt and fully converted to run on methanol. Nitrous Oxide injection currently squeezes another 150 hp out of the motor. Andy Frost of Penn Autos, who built the Powerglide transmission with Neil Chance convertor, will be overseeing the methanol conversion and consulting on race day performance tuning.
Ultimately, Simon wants to run a twin-turbo setup, but this will have to wait until he has built up funds in the “piggy-bank” before commencing that project. Simon is aiming to have the new car ready for testing by the middle of the 2012 season and can't wait to get to the track with the new car next season.
All is not lost for the trusty old Orange Pop, as it is planned to fit it with a road-going 350 small block Chevrolet and for the car to be tweaked to go back on the road and to become a handsome tow-car. At some stage in the future, discussions will be afoot for crew members to get the chance to drive the car at selected Run What Ya Brung type meetings. At the top of the list of those chomping at the bit to have a go is Crew Member Michelle. Perhaps she will hit the track later next season.
Simon would like to thank all those people who have helped and assisted him over the years, with particular reference to his Mum Sheila for all the financial help that's been given and to the old Orange Pop Crew headed by Crew Chief Phil Pitt, Jason Yates, Mark, Michelle and Simon's Dad Alan Barlow.
Warpspeed Racing's Comp Bike championship.
8th November: Comp Bike racer Stuart Crane took his first ACU Championship at the final round of this year's series and sends us his post-season thoughts:
Competing in Competition Bike has been a great challenge and very exciting. Taking the championships has made all the hard work over the last eight years feel very much worth it. The main thing I have taken from those years is that there is no single element that brings success; it's the combination of each component being the best you can make it.
There's a lot that goes into getting the bike down the track, and no small part of that is my crew, Glenn Tooke and Martin Hewitt. Glenn has been with me since the beginning and Martin joined us three years ago and both have shown a massive amount of commitment and passion. Just to say that it's been fun, occasionally emotional, but, most of all, you'?ve been great - thank you very much.
Roger Upperton's sponsorship provided me with an excellent engine package. It?'s been very strong and extremely reliable; no wonder Roger has people knocking down his door for engine work! Thanks not only for the engine Roger, but, also for the faith, support and hard work, you're a star. In addition to this I would like to thank all those who have followed our progress, especially from www.oldskoolsuzuki.info, and supported us along the way. Good luck with your own projects and thank you for your support through the site.
8th November: Seven time FIA Pro Stock champion Jimmy Ålund is selling his 2006 Jerry Haas GTO. Jimmy says "If you want to go Pro stock racing and be competitive here is a chance to buy a proven winner and record holder. The car has all the best stuff and can be bought as a roller with different stages of options or complete exactly as we ran 6.64 et with it." Prices starting at: 460000 SEK (aprox 50000Eur). Call Jimmy for more info on 0046705717898 (Alund, Sweden). Jimmy has promised us that "quitting is not on my list yet".
Super Pro ET racer Mark Flavell has written with a request for a full set of KB ½” head studs with or without nuts & washers (preferably with). If you have some you are willing to part with, you can reach Mark on 07785 226782 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Slot car drag racing supremo Steve Dudley has announced that the next MrD Slot Drag race meeting is on Sunday 13th November at the Sturdee Club, Hoo in Kent with a start time of 2pm.
Pro ET racer Carla Pittau has been in touch with a message to all who will attend the Pro ET Annual End of Season Bash: "We will again have the wildly popular "Charlie Raffle": please bring something to offer as a prize! Your team merchandise, booze, Keith's answering machine, a copper pot (you can buy that from MPD...), model cars, a small block Chevy; the world is your lobster!
Web site updates.
8th November: The 200mph/Straightliners team have announced major changes to the popular bike racers' site:
Due to the 200mph forum becoming out-of-date and updates not available to bring the forum into line with current internet trends and technologies, we have had to create a new site and community forum. You can find the new forum at www.200mph.net
The new site is a replication of the old site although it may work slightly differently and has an updated style. You will have to register again on the new forum, please use the same details you have used for 200mph since first registering.
The new site also offers a free ads system but you will need to register separately on the website to place ads as well as registering for the new forum. We apologise for any inconvenience caused but this was the only way of saving your community forum; the old site is merely an archive for reference and cannot be posted into any more.
Skorpion reports in II.
7th November: Thorsten Appel has been in touch with another update from Hal-Far Raceway in Malta:
Derek Flynn was reported to be in hospital, get well soon Derek (Seconded - Ed). The Habermann-tuned Top Methanol Dragster ran a 5.8, as far as I know that was the fastest run on Malta. But the glory didn't last too long as the Mister Whippy team blasted a stout 5.68 to take the honours back.
Mick Templeman's Super Street Bike which has been sold to Malta made two forgettable runs but then got down to a 7.777 which makes within five hundredths of the quickest SSB on Malta, Simon Giordmaina's 7.72 @192mph.
There seemed to be a lot of Personal Bests seeing the reaction of the crews. The track was in stunning condition thanks to the work of Lee Child. There were several Englishmen to be found in the pits. We saw Top Fuel Bike rider Steve Woollatt who was betting whether or not cars would oil the track. We found that out he pocketed a good amount of money.
eXplosion party and calendar.
7th November: Thanks to Jeroen Dondorp for sending us details of the end-year party and 2012 calendar for The Netherlands' eXplosion Drag Racing Club:
The annual AutoMotoShow / eXplosion party and 2011 prizegiving will take place on Saturday 10th December. Doors open at 20:00 and the prizegiving will start at 20:30.
The prizegiving and party will take place at the Van der Ende Racing Inn at Poeldijk near The Hague ('s-Gravenhage). The address is:
Van der Ende Racing Inn
The 2012 calendar at Drachten Airfield is as follows:
22nd-24th June: Drachten Nationals
20th-22nd July: Drachten Internationals
17th-19th August: Dutch Finals
A far from Rough return.
7th November: Despite limited appearances, the return of the UK's Dave Gibbons and the Rough Diamond altered can only be described as a great success. After twenty seven years out of the saddle, qualifying number one and going to the semis at the SPRC Summernationals and qualifying second in a tough field of forty eight at the FIA European Finals was no mean feat.
"When I reconstructed the car I wanted to do it the way it was done originally, just to a higher standard, retaining the nostalgia feel and look of the car while adding improvements to make it competitive in the tough arena of modern UK bracket racing", says Dave. "I believe we have achieved that. The car has performed flawlessly with not a hint of teething trouble; any issues we had were so minor that we couldn't call them problems."
As Rough Diamond Racing, Dave is offering his services to racers, rodders and classic car enthusiasts. With over forty years working with a wide range of race vehicles, from karts to Top Fuel Funny Cars, Dave has the skills and knowledge base to help with most racers' requirements. "While I was away from active involvement in drag racing I was still doing odd bits and pieces for racers, but now I'm back it's time to turn it up a notch", he says.
If your motor, transmission or axle needs refreshing or upgrading, or you need some help with component fabrication, Gibb would be happy to hear from you. Further information, contact details and blog can be found on the web site at www.roughdiamondracing.com whilst Facebook fans can go to www.facebook.com/roughdiamondracing and Like the page.
"Coming back has been a blast and team Rough Diamond have had enormous fun", says Dave. "It's been fantastic catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. We can't wait for next season."
7th November: A very Happy Birthday to Eurodragster.com News Editor, Race Reporter and Photographer Tog, who is shortly crossing the Atlantic for a well-deserved break away from the track. Please join Kirstie, Roger, Ed and Simon in wishing Tog the happiest of Birthdays. The usual news service will be operating in the hands of Simon, so please keep your stories and announcements coming to email@example.com.
Skorpion reports in I.
6th November: Thorsten Appel has been in touch with an update from Hal-Far Raceway in Malta:
Derek Flynn's old car made a good burnout and then shut off for unknown reasons. The second run was a good burnout and a stiff launch, judging by the smile on Derek's face, he was very happy.
There is an armada of quick Escorts running from nitrous-powered mills to highly modified turbo Cosworth engines, people here are pretty serious about racing. This should be a familiar face (above right) who grenaded his motor on the last run, but he said that the engine had two hundred runs on it so he was OK with spitting its guts out.
All the guys down here are super friendly and I can recommend this as your winter fix for drag racing. The track is holding some serious power and Lee Child's prep is awesome.
Those guys will not only lend a hand, they sent their friends out to buy something I needed before I could protest about it. I will be back for sure.
A private show.
6th November: Marshall Amps are famous for their equipment's ability to go to eleven on the loud scale, but Richard Stevens of Eurodragster.com sponsor MPM Oil UK says that he told Marshall that our equipment goes much higher:
I have arranged for the MPM Shockwave Fuel Funny Car to attend the finals of the unsigned band contest at sponsor Marshall's Ultimate Band Contest in the private theatre and auditorium at their factory on 19th November. The car will be on show in MPM Oil, Marshall, Mapei and FGR Motorsport livery and we will fire it up in the dark to put on a bit of a private flame and thunder show.
We have no idea which famous band members will be there on the night, but I'm sure that there will be plenty of faces from the music industry there who are associated with Marshall. Tickets are available at www.msrahallamps.com and at www.seetickets.com.
A big Thank You to Jon, Jackie, Ellie, Steve and Karl Marshall for letting us bring the car to play our own type of music on the loud pedal to close the event... rain or shine.
Allard Chrysler update.
6th November: Allard Chrysler Action Group Chair Brian Taylor reports that work is back on track on restoring Europe's first dragster.
"With funds now well in the black again we can continue the work required to restore Sydney's Allard Chrysler dragster to cackle condition and the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu has kindly given us permission to take the car off display for the winter", says Brian. "Bob Roberts has arranged for all those wanting to work on the car to meet at Beaulieu at 10:00 am Wednesday 16th November. The plan is to dismantle key parts so that the approved individual volunteers or volunteer teams can take away the sub-assemblies (rear axle, gearbox, steering box, front axle, etc) and carry out the required work.
"Measures will be taken to enable us to order hoses, cables and other parts. Rear wheel inset will be logged so we can order the five-spoke mags and the chassis will be crack-tested. The engine will be left on display at Beaulieu. Assembly of the car for a test fire-up should be in early spring and then we can complete the finishing touches before the first official fire-up at Beaulieu and the first track fire-up at Santa Pod. If you want to work on this iconic vehicle or would like more details about the tasks then contact Bob Roberts on 07845 905035 or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
An important generator of funds has been the auction supported by Les Downey of Lucas Oil. "This has enabled us to announce that new Top Fuel Dragster team F&A Racing has now officially become our project's largest benefactor", says Brian. "Their bid for the Pocket Bike was the highest and a further donation of £1000 plus an order for four hundred beer mats takes their total contribution £3400 with more promised in the future."
"The photo was taken earlier in 2011 when F&A presented the ACAG with £500. That's Finola Andrews, Chris Andrews, Brian Taylor and Neil Williams behind the new rail. Chris has been invited to join Nick Davies, Nick Mason, Doug Hill and Alan Allard as the ACAG nominated team of cackle drivers.
"Nick Davies' bid was the highest for Stuart Taylor's original drawing of the Allard Chrysler at Kemble in 1964 so he owns yet another Allard work of art. Thanks from the ACAG to Nick. And Keith Potter has become one of the project's leading benefactors with further donations to the restoration pot and a winning bid for Stuart Bradbury's very special Andy Carter team shirt. Many thanks from the ACAG to Keith. When everything is paid up the restoration fund will contain over £4000; hence this latest move on the restoration work.
"But more money is needed and the ACAG's latest News Update shows how you can help. It is posted under Latest News at www.allardchrysler.org or, thanks to the guys at Drag Racing Confidential, it can also be found at www.drceurope.co.uk/acag/nov2011."
6th November: UK Sportsman ET racers Steve and Sara Unsworth would be pleased to hear from anyone who is importing from the USA and has room in the shipment for a small parcel in return for a contribution towards the costs. If you can help then please get in touch at email@example.com.
Grand finale at Hal-Far.
5th November: Hal-Far Raceway on Malta hosts its fifth and final race of the season with more than ninety competitors contesting twent classes. Jason Camilleri writes:
We have three Top Methanol Dragsters racing this weekend. Chris 'Kalanc' Polidano will be testing his newly-acquired A/Fuel dragster which he bought from Derek Flynn. He will be assisted by Derek's crew. Mr Whippy is here with his Top Methanol Dragster and a Super Comp dragster. Helping the Telephone Box crew with their Top Methanol Dragster will be the Habermanns who are here in full force, dad, mum and sons. Germany's Thorsten Appel is here with his bike which will be running in Super Street and Bracket.
We started yesterday with a Test Day which was new for us as we usually hold two-day events. Since the number of competitors is larger than usual we decided that we would end 2011 with more time for testing before the long break.
Lee Child is here once again prepping our track and he is determined to see some records run this weekend. By the look of the testing yesterday, we will surely achieve some records. Lee started to clean the track on Wednesday afternoon and you know this guy will not stop until it's 120 percent. Yesterday he sprayed the glue and it's looking great.
It seems that we are heading for a great weekend, let's hope the weather will remain on our side!
2011 FIA/UEM season DVD.
5th November: Åsa Kinnemar of Speedgroup tells us that the 2011 FIA and UEM European Championships review DVD will be available from next Friday (11th):
The five-disc set is packed with more than nine hours of action from all rounds of the 2011 FIA and UEM European Drag Racing Championships at Kunmadaras, Santa Pod Raceway, Tierp, Alastaro, Gardermoen and Hockenheim. Enjoy the sights and sounds of Europe's fastest cars and motorcycles as 150 teams from fifteen countries compete for supremacy in a feast of furious racing action. Includes Top Fuel Dragster, Top Methanol Dragster, Top Methanol Funny Car, Bilsport Pro Modified, Pro Stock, Top Fuel Bike, Supertwin and Pro Stock Bike.
UK orders can be placed via Santa Pod Raceway's web site at www.santapod.com and Swedish orders via Indeed Media at www.summeronwheels.com. For mail order to any other country within or outside Europe please contact Åsa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5th November: European fans have someone to cheer at this weekend's NHRA Lucas Oil Divisional race at The Strip at Las Vegas as Mike Manners of Eurodragster.com sponsor Cosmo Residences is contesting Top Alcohol Dragster. You will be able to stay in touch with Mike's progress over the weekend courtesy of our Drag Race Central colleagues at www.dragracecentral.com.
Web site updates.
5th November: Think back to a time when slingshot and rear-engined fuellers vied for supremacy and thirty four of them battled to get into an eight-car field and when Funny Cars actually looked a bit like street cars. Well, you have to go back almost exactly forty years, to the legendary Lions Drag Strip to be precise, on 13th November 1971. Luckily for us ace Custom Car lensman Roger Phillips was there to record the action. Equally luckily Alan Currans' excellent Acceleration Archive counts drag racing historian Andy Barrack on its team and he has researched this meeting and produced another of his superbly-detailed accounts of who did what, to whom and when. Andy has even gone to the lengths of contacting several of the US racers to fill in some of the detail which even he did not have. To indulge in the purest nostalgia go via the What's New link at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.
NDRS Series update.
4th November: Many thanks to Speedgroup Co-ordinator Åsa Kinnemar for sending us the latest news from the NDRS Series:
Starting in 2012 the index of NDRS Super Comp Bike will be lowered to 8.50 seconds on the quarter mile and 5.50 on the eighth mile to bring it into line with 8.50 Bike in the UK. The technical rules will remain the same:
Break-out: 8.50 seconds quarter mile / 5.50 seconds eighth mile
Rear tyre: Slicks or treaded racing tyres for MC
Front tyre: road type, minimum V-rated or racing tyre specification
Wheelie bars: allowed
Chassis and body: As per SVEMO Advanced ET or National rules
Fuel: unleaded gasoline, methanol, ethanol, E85
Nitrous Oxide: Not allowed in Sweden
External starter: allowed
Engine size: no limit
Turbo or supercharger allowed
Safety category: 3 or as per National rules
Licence: Swedish B or as per National rules
Other technical requirements as per SVEMO Advanced ET (Sweden) or National rules
Racers, team members and officials with an interest in the 2012 NDRS Series are invited to attend the information meeting held to be held between 15:00 and 16:30 on Saturday 26th November at the Scandic Star Hotel in Sollentuna, Stockholm. The meeting will cover the new arrangements for the series and the preliminary calendar. The NDRS Banquet will be held at the same venue that evening.
If you wish to attend the meeting then please E-Mail email@example.com. Please include your name, class (or function if non team member) and the number of attendees. As we have limited seating capacity in the meeting room we are initially setting a limit of three members per team. If we find that we can accommodate further attendees nearer the date then we will of course be happy to do so. You need to register to be able to attend the meeting; please register by 21st November.
Additional meetings about the NDRS Series and the FIA and UEM Championships will be held in the UK and Germany in January and February, and one additional meeting will take place in Sweden in February.
Gleadow not in the hot seat.
3rd November: UK blown-alcohol altered racer Adam Gleadow and the Motor Psycho team had the ratios they wanted in the Lenco for last Saturday's Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway and so were looking forward to ending the season on a high:
First run on Saturday morning, built the revs up, crept into stage. Lights ran, dropped the clutch and immediately lit the tyres up, quick pedal into second and ran through. Success!
Back in the pits we did the usual turn around, with everything in order Steve Turner, Darren and I put our heads together to get it off the line. We decided to pull some base out of the clutch, leave off idle and drive away from the line before burying the throttle. This had the desired effect, slow to sixty feet then picked up, shifted nicely and clocked a 7.9/173 giving us something to work with and develop into next year.
A few weeks ago James Forster at Santa Pod had asked Darren if we wanted to do a fire burnout to close the season. With plans to re-paint the car anyway what was the worst that could happen? So we jumped at it. After running through the procedure with Rob Loaring we pulled down to the collection area. Darren lit it up, gave me the signal and I buried the throttle, a brief flash of fire into the cockpit and it was away on a storming burnout! Idling up to the top end with a massive grin on my face, that was the season done. Everyone asks if it was hot, but to be honest I didn't feel a thing. All in all, a cracking weekend. Roll on Easter and fresh new look...
As usual there's a few thanks to people who've made it possible. Firstly my Dad and Darren, nothing would happen without them! The regular crew - Martin, Chris, Alex, Tanya and Joe. To our all-star guest crew for the weekend - Steve Turner and Crunch, always a pleasure to have them on board. Scott Manning at Lenco, unreal customer service. All the safety crew and staff at Santa Pod and to the photographers/media for the amazing coverage. Finally to our sponsors Lucas Oil Products and Dodo Juice Car Care. We look forward to renewing and adding to these over the winter. News to follow on that one!
As usual Martin's got the videos up on our Vimeo channel including the fire burnout at www.vimeo.com/31323339. If anyone has got videos or pictures they want to share then please become a fan and add them to our Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MotorPsychoUK or E-Mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally I think that Jayne Kay's save in the Pink Lady on Sunday is worth a mention. Awesome driving!
4th November: Carole Ismail of Eurodragster.com sponsor Phoenix Personnel tells us that three CPC training courses have been arranged at 09:30 on Saturday 14th January, Saturday 21st January and Saturday 3rd March. All will take place in the new VIP suite at Santa Pod Raceway. Places are limited so prompt booking is advised. To book your place, or for enquiries about CPC, contact Carole or Emma on 01604 881664.
Steve and Sara Unsworth of the Gecko Drag Race Team have asked us to send love, best wishes and congratulations to UK National Sportsman ET Champion Sean Armstrong and wife Suzi on the birth of their son Ellis Armstrong who arrived after no less than forty nine hours of labour.
Steve Dudley has been in touch with a reminder that a slot drag race is taking place at 7:30 pm this evening (Friday) at the Cathedral Primary School, Victoria Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1PA.
Shakespeare County catch-up.
4th November: Although the season is almost over, Shakespeare County Raceway will be exhibiting four cars at this weekend's inaugural Motorsport UK Show at the Jaguar Exhibition Hall at Coventry's Ricoh Arena. The event showcases all types of national motorsports including drag racing, writes SCR's Jerry Cookson.
MotorSport UK has been designed to appeal specifically to those who are looking to get involved or further their involvement in National motorsport and provide individuals with the chance to meet manufacturers, clubs, teams and suppliers to discuss their next racing steps which will hopefully lead them into drag racing. The Shakespeare County Raceway stand offers a varied selection featuring the Dave Rowlands' Destiny's Angel Wild Bunch Model T Altered, Danny Clarke's ten-second Subaru Jap Racer Sonic, SCR's IROC-Z Chevy Camaro RWYB Street Racer and SCR's Junior Experience Dragster.
"As this show is promoting grass roots motorsports at an affordable and enjoyable level we thought it would be a good idea to promote the lower entry levels into drag racing but not just for the adults but for the kids with the display of the tracks Junior Dragster", says Jerry. "Run What You Brung is how nearly everyone comes into drag racing so to have a genuine American street racer on display along with a Subaru is ideal to showcase what a prospective drag racer can start with before taking the next step into sportsman racing with either a dragster or an altered."
Show Founder and Organiser Martin Capenhurst explains "Over the last few years a great number of people I have spoken to have told me there is a need for a motorsport show that breaks down the barriers for new competitors to enter motorsport. MotorSport UK will be an event that allows enthusiasts and competitors to identify and take the next steps in their motorsport careers."
Go Motorsport's Jonathan Gill adds "We are delighted to be supporting MotorSport UK which will be showcasing many of the opportunities available. Every year there are close to five thousand events organised by MSA motor clubs throughout the country encompassing a wide variety of disciplines ranging from autotests and hillclimbs to kart races and navigational rallies that you can contest in your everyday road car. To find out more either visit the GoMotorsport.net web site or, better still, visit MotorSport UK."
The Speedworks Toyota Avensis NGTC Touring Car will be on display and the event will also play host to a number of stars of British motorsport who will take part in a series of interviews on the MotorSport UK Live Stage which will be hosted by sports presenter Gemma Scott. Motors TV will also be present to video the show for a future programme.
Visitors are sure to be treated to an eclectic mix of the latest machines and equipment, including track day, kit, rally, off road cars and motorcycles. Tickets are £15 per day, or £30.00 for a family of four (two adults and two children) and are available on the day or from the Show's web site at www.motorsportshow.co.uk.
After a season's racing at Shakespeare County Raceway, Pro Street Drag Series racer Ian Brockbank finally won his first ever drag race, last Sunday's Halloween Bracket Gambler against former winner Lee Huxley.
Having qualified second to fellow PSDS racer Ross Page, Brocky used every inch of his 4.3 litre Straight Six TVR Tuscan to good effect by taking down former Gamblers winner Holly Baldwin in round one. Next came the daily-driven Volvo S40 of UK National Championship racer Billy Gane; 12.239 on a 12.20 dial to Billy's breakout 17.411 on a 17.55 dial. In the semis and sticking with his 12.20 dial, the TVR chased down the eighteen-second 1.2 16v Renault Clio of Tom Grigg who misjudged his 18.85 dial-in by running a 19.07 to Ian's thundering 12.371.
On the money run the final went down to the wire as Lee, driving his dad Brian's classic '66 Mustang, cut a much better reaction time of 0.020 to Brocky's 0.118. But with the Mustang on a 15.80 dial, Lee went under at the finish with a losing 15.661 to Ian's 12.401 giving him the trophy and prizes from Gamblers supporters Piston Apparel, Motorshack and American Car magazine.
Well done to all of this year's Gamblers winners: John Mulligan, Holly Baldwin, Brian Huxley, Rich Adcock and now Ian Brockbank. Thank you to everyone for the support shown to the series this year, and to our sponsors for backing a winner. The SCR Bracket Gamblers will return in 2012, watch this space for dates. You can keep up to date with developments on the SCR Bracket Gamblers Race page from the track's web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com or the series' Facebook page.
Tied in points for first place in Shakespeare County Raceway's Pro Street Drag Series with Mustafa Zahir not only did Paul Reeves walk away with a class win but the Londoner also took maximum points to clinch the series title at last Sunday's Halloween Bonfire Burn-Up.
Having attended all five rounds the rounds of the series Paul has put in some serious time on his car which paid off with fairly consistent low thirteen-second times from the skylinenuts.com Nissan Skyline R33 GTST-T which eventually pushed the Mustafa's Nissan S13 200SX into second in points. Tied equal second was the mid eleven second 580 bhp Toyota Supra of Outlaw Street's Simon Paul followed by the two litre normally-aspirated Mitsubishi FTO GPX of Don Griffith. Don was also in with a shout at the series win but settled for a new personal best of 14.105 instead.
Paul not only picked up the Opie Oils-sponsored winner and class trophies on Sunday but a set of pistons from series sponsor Roland Alsop Engineering.
Work is now underway to rejuvenate the series in time for its return in 2012. You can follow the series on the PSDS forum or find Pro Street Drag Series on Facebook.
Web site updates.
4th November: Former Top Fuel Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Carter is the subject of an interview abotu sponsorship in the current issue of the Speedgroup newsletter at club.speedgroup.eu/newsletters/2011/edition16_2011/edition16_start.htm. Andy also has a new Home Page at www.cartermotorsport.co.uk which leads to Andy's drag racing site and son Albert's karting site. There are also links to Andy's and Albert's Facebook pages on their web sites.
The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr gallery with pictures of Saturday's action at Shakespeare County Raceway's Halloween Bonfire Burn-up. You can check out Mad's Halloween pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
Also posting from the weekend is Paul Lister whose Flame and Thunder Show pictures you can find at www.dragcaranon.co.uk.
Eurodragster.com sponsor Topspeed Automotive have launched a great-looking new web site, including on-line ordering, at www.topspeedparts.co.uk.
Feature: NHRA Las Vegas Nationals.
3rd November: The latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products and Carter Motorsport is Roger's report from the weekend's NHRA Las Vegas Nationals.
Roger's report and pictures cover all classes contested at the event and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Many thanks to Roger who despite a busy schedule again got this Feature to us very quickly.
Skorpion on the rock.
3rd November: Germany's Thorsten Appel, aka Skorpion, writes from Malta where he plans to test his new 184 Racing Hayabusa at Hal-Far Raceway this weekend:
Lee Child is here to prep the track, as you can see the track was cleaned today (Wednesday), I took a look at it and it is coming around. It should come out well.
Derek Flynn's operation has been sold to a Maltese guy (see Saturday's news - Ed), and rumours say that Werner Habermann is on his way to Malta to tune another Top Methanol Dragster, that makes three TMDs for this weekend's race.
The event starts on Friday with a Test and Tune. I will keep you informed.
Essen, the UK, the USA...
3rd November: Matthew Wright of Eurodragster.com sponsor WG4 Facilities and Services has been in touch with an outline of the team's 2012 strategy for the WG Racing Outlaw Rolls Royce, which includes an assault on Drag Week in the USA:
On 16th November Bill, Steve and I are trucking the Outlaw to the Essen Motor Show in Germany. We will be attending Press Day and then flying back on the 18th leaving the car there. We will be returning to the Show for the weekend on 2nd December and will then bring back the car on the Monday - not much time at the show due to work commitments, but the car will be there all week.
On our return from Essen the hard work can commence for our 2012 assault on Drag Week. The plan is to get the car totally road-legal which is only washer/wipers and a hand brake, MoT, tax and hey presto lets go upset the local boy racers and Bugatti owners. The Outlaw will need some minor chassis work to get the 6.00 tag required by the NHRA, not a problem when Bill Felstead of Fester Race Cars is your mate and car builder. In addition a removable tow bar has to be fabricated so that we can tow our trailer.
Our 2012 season will consist of Bill and I driving the car to Santa Pod and Shakey with only the tools, spares and equipment we are allowed as per Drag Week rules. All this will be carried with the Mickey Thompson ET Streets in our 6x4 trailer which will be towed behind the Roller. We will have the luxury of Steve following us in the truck should we have a major problem.
Once at the track we will have prep the car to run, swap tyres and fuel (petrol on the street, methanol for racing), make some other adjustments then run the car three times and pack up and drive home. A tall order, and a 220-mile round trip if we test at the Pod. We have to run in mid-sevens to be in the running, but we have find our A-game or there is no point in wasting a load of time and money. If we can't do it over here there's no point in going to the USA.
I've never been one for putting out the begging bowl and on many occasions I have been the first to help out. That said, this is a huge undertaking and I know its a personal goal but there is a massive opportunity here. The world's fastest Rolls Royce; thanks to a press release from Santa Pod the Outlaw has been in the Sunday papers, on Top gear.com and of course our beloved Eurodragster.com to mention just a few. We are in talks with some of the biggest worldwide magazines and the 5th Gear TV show so there is plenty of media coverage and so a great promotional / marketing tool.
So if you would like to come on board and help sponsor the biggest challenge by an English race team for a long time, running the most English of cars, please get in touch with us at email@example.com.
Fredlund heads for Pomona.
2nd November: Yet another NHRA adventure is coming up for Finnish Pro Stock Bike racer Fredrik Fredlund. Fredde's achievements include a European Championship and the current European Pro Stock Bike speed record, and he claims bragging rights as the quickest European Pro Stock Bike racer in history with an ET of 7.04 seconds at the Sweden Internationals this summer. Par Willen, aka PiPPi, writes:
Fredde left his native island of Åland for the US yesterday. He has a busy schedule. The first stop is Las Vegas for a test'n'tune to get ready for next weekend's 47th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals.
"We are taking our own engine across for this race", says Fredde. "It has been to the Vance & Hines shop for service and updates. It's the same motor which we had in the bike when we set the European speed record at Tierp Arena in the summer."
The co-operation with Gary Stoffer continues. Gary, Crew Chief for multiple NHRA Pro Stock event winner Karen Stoffer, has been a major factor in Fredde's success this season and will be the head tuner for Fredde at the Pomona event.
"We're definitely in it to qualify", says Fredde. "Sure, I know it'll be tough, the best Pro Stock Motorcycle teams in the world are in place and everybody wants a piece of the action come Sunday morning. Racing on this level is not supposed to be easy but we're used to fighting hard and I'm feeling real good about this trip.
"It's all a team effort and the sponsors are so important. I want to extend my gratitude to Fabian Lundgren of the club All in MC who made this trip possible".
The 47th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals starts at Pomona on Thursday of next week, 10th November. Pro qualifying commences with Pro Stock Motorcycle at 12:00 local time (20:00 UK / 21:00 European). You can follow Fredde's exploits on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/groups/119208588165527 or search for Fredlund Motorsport.
Jayne's Funny weekend.
2nd November: After some heavy graft and lots of nights spent at the garage, dad Gary and the guys from Mark Flavell Racing did the impossible and got UK super Pro ET racer Jayne Kay back on the track:
Shortly after the announcement that my FC was for sale Mark Flavell made us an offer to run a Chevy. A few weeks later Mark, Steve, Mali and Dad had the Hemi out and the Chevy in, just in time for the Flame and Thunder Show. Incredible.
Saturday started off with a bit of bad luck as the input shaft snapped on the line. A few phone calls later Steve arranged and collected another shaft from Stan and Paula Atkin. Mark then came straight from the airport to Santa Pod to help get it fixed for another try the next day.
Sunday was my last chance of the year to have a go at getting my licence. Instead I ended up facing the wall head-on after a slippy launch at about sixty feet...*eek* (sorry Mum!). I shoved a full left lock on and mashed the throttle, praying I wouldn't hit the wall. Miraculously I recovered and ran my fastest speed since I've had the car. You can see video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdYO0hsNbC8.
Again a massive thank you to Mark Steve and Mali for their hard efforts. I am looking forward to racing closely with the team next year. Thanks also to Peter and Alan for their help from the start, and to the Gleadows for their supply of electricity and rum over the weekend!
2nd November: Whilst we work on countermeasures against a repetition of the weekend's particularly offensive cyber attack we have temporarily changed the posting method for our Jeff Bull Race Engines Swap Meet. Adverts can now be placed again, however the Click here link on the Swap Meet will now generate an E-Mail to Eurodragster.com. Please enter all of the relevant information, including the category into which you wish the advert to be placed and your contact details, into the E-Mail and we will post it as soon as we can.
Courtesy of Eurodragster.com Photo Editor Roger, who is at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, comes news that Jeg Coughlin Jr will be returning to NHRA Pro Stock after a year off with Finnish former Pro Stock racer Tomi Laine as Crew Chief. Tomi has been in the US for a number of years working with various race teams. Jeg will be fielding a 2012 Dodge Avenger with the backing of Jegs.com and Mopar.
Outlaw Street racer Rob Slater had a great day at the Flame and Thunder Show on Saturday. "I dropped my PB to 10.1 on my last run, then fettled with the nitrous jets to try for a nine on Sunday but the weather had other plans", says Rob. "I had to leave at two o'clock so it will have to wait 'til next time. I had a fantastic series with Outlaw Street and would like to say a big Thank You to all the guys and OS1 Mark, also to Stu, Pete and Andy for their advice and help. Looking forward to 2012!"
Eurodragster.com US Correspondent Ed O'Connell has asked us to say a big Thank You to Mike Manners, Adam Flamholc and Andersen Racing for hospitality at the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals including cool beverages in the desert heat. Ed sent us more pictures than we could use in the weekend's pit notes so in association with in association with Lucas Oil Products and Carter Motorsport we have posted a gallery of all of the shots which Ed sent, which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
The National Street Rod Association's end-of-season Northern Swap Meet, hosted by the Steel City Cruisers, takes place this Sunday (6th) at the Elsecar Heritage Centre, Wath Road, Elsecar, Barnsley S74 8HJ. The Heritage Centre is just off Junction 36 of the M1 and the Swap Meet offers the chance to buy and sell a wide range of new, used and vintage auto parts, accessories, and cars before the winter comes. More details on the Events section at www.nsra.org.uk.
Darren West tells us that Eurodragster.com sponsor Power Race Graphics has relocated to Surrey. "It's been a hectic time with work and the move and my apologies if I've missed any calls along the way", says Darren. "Everything is up and running at the new location and it's business as usual". You can contact Power Race Graphics on 01883 717746 (outside the UK +44 1883 717746) and you can find PRG's web site at www.powerracegraphics.com.
A bit of a quiet year for the Timewarp Nostalgia Funny Car team has given crew member Chris Eyre a bit of spare time to pick his favourite photographs from the last few years and to put over two hundred shots into a book which you can check out and purchase at www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2579996. "I have tried to include all competitors from the Pro classes over last few years, and some of my favourite Sportsman shots", says Chris. "This shop doesn't hold any stock, they print at each book at the time of sale, so delivery times can be a little longer - mine took about three weeks to arrive". Now would be a good time to order for Christmas, then.