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Editor's Diary archive
29th November: In association with Lucas Oil Products we have posted two galleries from last weekend's British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala.
The first gallery is by our own Julian and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the Interviews, Features, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
Andy Willsheer kindly supplied the second gallery and we must also thank Keith Furness for editing assistance. You can check out Fat Wallet's gallery by clicking here or by clicking on the Interviews, Features, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
29th November: Many thanks to our good friend Bob Roberts for letting us know that Autosport magazine have posted a podcast featuring FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Anita Mäkelä. You can listen in at www.autosport.com/podcast.
Bike photo-journalist Steve Moxley has again been busy with Green Light Nationals and FIA/FIM European Finals reports now showing on the Eat My Ink web site at www.eatmyink.com.
Hall of Fame do the honours.
27th November: The fourteenth annual British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala Awards Dinner, sponsored by USAutomotive, Santa Pod Racers Club, Beech Underwriting Agencies and BUA Motorsport, was held last Saturday at the Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, Surrey, and enjoyed by more than 200 attendees. An entertaining Bench Racing session took place earlier, compered by hot rod and race car builder and driver and drag racing announcer Bob Beck. The Gala is one of the leading motor sport presentation events in the world and the BDRHoF would like to thank everyone who made it possible.
The evening, compered by writer and former NHRA Motorsports Museum Director Tony Thacker, included the induction of five new members of the BDRHoF, presentation of the Mopar Performance Lifetime Achievement Award and a special award to multiple IHRA Champion and NHRA race winner Doug Herbert.
The 2019 inductees to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame were:
Leading European Drag Racing web site Eurodragster.com, represented by founding editor Andy 'Tog' Rogers, Simon Groves, Kirstie Tramm and Julian Hunt, presented by Philip Evans of Atlantic Fluid Tech;
Builder and racer of the iconic Gonzo the Great altered and former Project Foreman at York Raceway Ian Lloyd, presented by International Organisation of Professional Drivers chief executive Steve Murty;
Great motorcycle drag racing innovators known for their Jade Warrior, the McCoy Dynamics team of Angus 'Ag' MacPhail, Mick Hand and Keith Parnell, represented by Mick Hand, and presented by BDRHoF member Ian Messenger, formerly of the Pegasus bike team.
Pioneers of UK Nostalgia drag racing, the Wild Bunch, represented by Claire Meaddows, Chris Hartnell and Roy Wilding, trophy presented by hot rod and race car builder and driver and drag racing announcer Bob Beck.
From Finland, winner of four FIA Top Fuel Dragster Championships and two European Top Methanol titles, Anita Mäkelä, presented by Keith Bartlett, CEO of Santa Pod Raceway.
Hall of Fame member trophies were sponsored by Santa Pod Racers Club.
The top three Lucas Oil Junior Dragster Championship racers Matthew Dowdy, Frankie Fordham and Kai Cooper, and top three ACU Junior Drag Bike racers Liam Holgate, Blade Dummer and Ciaran Lucas were presented by Cheryl Lynch, Race, Speed and Kart Executive, Motorsport UK. Champions Matthew and Liam each received cheques for £100 sponsored by Atlantic Fluid Tech, Jeff Bull Race Engines and Performance Parts, Mopar Muscle Association, Santa Pod Racers Club and USAutomotive.
The Mopar Performance Lifetime Achievement Award, presented for global impact in the world of drag racing, was awarded to Bill Simpson in recognition for his innovations in safety in motorsports in general and drag racing in particular. New products such as modern fire suits, driver restraint systems and helmets and the drag racing parachute have undoubtedly saved many lives. Accepting the award from Steve Gibbs on behalf of Bill Simpson, who was unable to attend for health reasons, was his longtime friend 'Waterbed' Fred Miller.
A BDRHoF Special Trophy was presented by Hall of Fame consultant and Land Speed Record holder Geoff Stilwell to Doug Herbert on behalf of the Herbert family in recognition of their contribution to drag racing, Land Speed racing and road safety.
The evening was closed by British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Chairman and former Santa Pod Raceway Chief Starter Stuart Bradbury, thanking everyone for their participation and support.
Earlier the fifth Bench Racing Session, sponsored by US Automotive and Custom Car magazine had a former NHRA Board member and US nitro racers and crew entertaining a packed audience with tales of their on and off-track exploits back in the day. The panel comprised Steve Gibbs, Doug Herbert, Ron Hope, Fred Miller and Dan Richins. A video recording of the Bench Racing Session is available on Bob's Facebook page, along with several interviews of honourees.
The event would not have been possible without practical help and support from primary sponsors US Automotive and Santa Pod Racers Club and event sponsors Atlantic Fluid Tech, Beech Underwriting Agencies, BUA Motorsport, Chair Office, Custom Car magazine, DialAFlight, Eurodragster.com, the International Organisation of Professional Drivers, Jeff Bull Racing and Performance Parts, Kelsey Publishing, the National Street Rod Association, Mopar Performance, the Mopar Muscle Association, Prop Portfolio, Rat Trap Racing, Straightliners, Santa Pod Raceway and Shakespeare County Relics.
27th November: Congratulations to Tommy Grimes and the Beast Supertwin team and to Ian King of the Gulf Oil Drag Racing Top Fuel Bike team who took the event win and runner-up repectively at the weekend's Man Cup World Finals in Georgia. You can find out more at www.dragbike.com.
We would like to wish a big Happy Birthday with hugs to Junior Dragster Mum Rachel Wilson. Have a lovely day Rachel.
Better to burn out...
25th November: ...than to fade away, the old saying goes, and in that spirit over two hundred family, friends and drag racers gave a last farewell to Super Street Bile tuner and racer Peter Granica on Saturday. Benni Voss writes that after speeches from the priest, the mayor of Neckarwestheim, and fellow racer Herman Jolink, there was a smokey salute performed by Thomas Granica on Peter's Super Street Bike. "I hope this is not the last hurrah from Team Joker but only time will tell", says Benni.
Herman Jolink's tribute reads: I will race in 2020, 45 years in drag racing. I always feel the fear before riding my drag bike but at the start line everything goes away. I don't know if Peter felt fear before racing. Hos best time on the quarter mile was 7.550 seconds, that is very good. Peter was not skinny, most Super Street Bike riders in the USA are very skinny. His best speed was 306 kmh which is not slow. I heard that Peter was building a new bike. Thomas you must build the bike and ride it. Peter will always be riding with you forever. Ride, Peter, with you.
25th November: A welcome return was announced during the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala on Saturday: Santa Pod Raceway CEO Keith Bartlett revealed that Ron Hope will return in the Rat Trap Fuel Altered to race Nick Davies in Havoc at the tenth anniversary Dragstalgia in July.
Our report of Saturday's Bench Race is in train and will be posted shortly.
A Five at the fifth.
23rd November: UK street-legal racer Andy Frost and the Red Victor team finally achieved their goal of running a five-second quarter mile in a street-legal car after five years' hard slog. Frosty writes:
Not only did we finally get the monkey off our back, our support club became a legitimate five-second club, and our great friend Rob Kearns who passed away before he got a chance to come with us can finally stop nagging in my ear about running the number! He got the ride he always wanted, that is for sure. We had a huge amount of adversity along those five years, but we fought through it and most importantly never gave up.
It was incredibly satisfying for all concerned to see that 5.95/260 come up on the BIC timing boards. The time actually wasn't so much of a surprise as the speed. At first we thought that there must have been a glitch in the clocks. But after a 5.92/262 and a 5.87/263.7 we realised it was actually that fast! The final 5.89/257 was done with the trans planetary going away, but still it wasn’t too shabby a performance when all is said and done.
So we came away from Bahrain with the world's fastest speed in history for a street-legal car in the quarter mile, 12 mph more than the previous best, four new PBs all backed up and the last only .025 secs away from the world's quickest street-legal ET. We also have the the UK's and Europe’s quickest and fastest street-legal car in the quarter mile, and finally Europe's fastest doorslammer in any category. On a PB level we went 3.96 and 208 mph in the eighth mile, and a 1.91 back half, all with just a 1.07 sixty foot time - something which some said was impossible with a 3040 lb car!
Because of all we achieved above we are now bringing the car home. I have now personally achieved everything I wanted to do in a thirty two-year drag racing career which started off with sixteen-second quarters in 1987 to fives in 2019, and every number in between. When the car comes back the team will decide what the future holds with the car and team itself.
As with any achieved goal there are always lots of people and companies to thank. No one person could ever get this far on their own, and I am no different. So huge thanks to all the RV Bahrain/UK team: Crew Chief Gary Frost, Thorsten Appel, Deb Frost, Nick Bradley, Nik Wadsworth and super tuner Shane Tecklenburg. Our support team back home, Marc Lamude of Lamude Racing Engines, Wayne Allman of the Intergalactic Custom Shop, Nick at WAM Tools, Luke Robinson at Robinson Race Cars, Chris Bourton at Hard Knocks Speed Shop, Steve Guirey at Roland Alsop Engineering, Justin Attwood at JA Wiring, Alan Williamson at AW Upholstery, Hutch at Hutch Transmissions, Phil Pitt, Neil 'Soupy' Campbell and Andy Jones.
Ali Mahmood from UtrackTV, who not only filmed every minute at the track for the documentary of our efforts, but really helped with customs clearance, along with Suresh Nagajara of EK Kanoo logistics and Andy Betson. Martin and Liam Smith from Coastal Global Logistics who did all the paperwork for the export and import of RV3. BIC and Adel Shaji who treated us like royalty on every visit we made to Bahrain, and E Kanoo Racing who were also very hospitable to us. In fairness everyone at the track was very helpful to our needs whilst we were there. That always helps when you are 5000 miles away from home!
Rob White from R-Tech Welding Equipment who literally saved our trip on a couple of occasions and has continually supported us above and beyond our expectations.
Our sponsors R-Tech Welding Equipment, Lamude Racing Engines, Tuned by Shane T, Precision Turbo and Engine, Pro Alloy Motorsport, Cam Auto Development, Goodridge, Trackstuff UK, Renegade Fuels, Turbosmart UK, Turbowerx, Steve Morris Engines, Visner Engine Development, Protec Fuel systems, Belistore, KA Sensors, Serck Motorsport, Total Seal Piston Rings, Manton Pushrods, Neal Chance Racing Converters, Zircotec, Lifeline Fire Yystems, Old Hall Performance, Red Line Oil, Knight Engine Services, Braille Battery, Victory Performance, Wallwork HT, Plastics4Performance, Billet Atomizer Injectors, Activ8, New Century Performance, Diamond Pistons, Hutch Transmissions, Powerlite Performance Electrics, Browell Bellhousings, Wilson Manifolds, Precision Shaft Technologies, Carl Cox Motorsport, Cartek Motorsport Electronics, Race Engine Technology, Magnecor, Rep Air Services, Prestige Group, Ankatags and www.Club Calibra.net.
Eurodragster.com for their support over the years for myself and the RV team (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed).
The Red Victor 5 Second Club who stuck and still are sticking with us for five years through all the ups and downs of the quest for the fives and supported us morally and financially, and who more than any group deserved their reward, which they watched live!
To everyone who sent congratulations by phone, or message, or even by card. Thank you.
And finally the biggest thanks are to my super wife Deb, who stuck with me through all these years of racing and everything else, and is still my biggest supporter. You have my eternal gratitude and love for life.
2020 ATD calendar.
23rd November: Élodie Dubois has been in touch with the dates for the 2020 French Association Trophée Dragster Championship at Clastres Dragway:
ACU codes now available.
22nd November: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has been in touch to inform bike racers that ACU codes for licences are now available.
For your code please get in touch with Ian at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note one code per rider.
If you have any queries then please E-Mail Ian as above or call 01933 313625.
20th November: We were sorry to hear from Mike Lintern of the passing at the age of 84 of Eileen Cattley, long-time partner of Bob Phelps, co-founder of Santa Pod Raceway:
While Bob was the man who in 1966 almost literally constructed Britain’s first drag strip, Eileen was the great supporting woman who took on the role of Company Administrator, remaining involved with the sport even after Bob’s death in 1988 to achieve almost thirty years of service to the sport.
Eileen lived in Shortlands, Bromley, close to the Phelps family’s Fibre Glass Repairs workshops, and while Bob and son Roy were busy building dragsters and wheelie cars, plus fabricating bits of infrastructure for the track, it was Eileen who took care of the day-to-day running of the business. She maintained a close relationship with competitors, personally ensuring racers got their share of event proceeds at the end of each meeting. Eileen is recognised with the Phelps family in the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame. At the time of her death, although in failing health, she was still living in the same house in Bromley.
Our deepest sympathies to Roy and Jason Phelps, and to all of Eileen's family and friends.
20th November: We were also sorry to hear of the death of Super Street Bike tuner and occasional rider Peter Granica of Team Joker. Peter died after giving it his very best against a long illness.
Peter was an absolutely top bloke, ever-cheerful, who bought right into and fit right into the Super Street Bike ethos of racing hard on condition of having a good time. He and brother Thomas have always been a very welcome and popular duo on the European scene and have always been big supporters of Eurodragster.com. Peter was a credit to his class and to the sport and will be very sadly missed.
Peter's funeral service takes place at 14:00 this Saturday at Friedhofstraße 12-14, 74382 Neckarwestheim; all are welcome.
Our deepest sympathies also to Thomas and to all of Peter's family and friends.
Another grand(s) total for Bloodwise.
18th November: Darren Prentice of Santa Pod Raceway writes that the total raised for Bloodwise at the STP UK National Finals was a fantastic £3007.16:
Thank You to all of you who dug so deeply into your pockets to make it happen.
We would like to thank Andy Bond and the Ugly Sister team not only for raising a staggering amount from the limited edition T-Shirts but also for the money for the ride on the Street Eliminator cruise. Be sure to check out their Facebook page. Pot Belly Brewery for the cask of Wobberly Bob Ale which sold out in record time... maybe next time the White Noise Racing team will leave some for others to try.
To the racers, crew, marshals, security, and staff who took the time to play in the football match, helped to raise money and put on a great display. To everyone who donated some greats item to the half time auction. To Darryl Bradford and Andy Thetford for doing a great job commentating on the football match - I don’t think that Gary Lineker has to worry about his job. To the totally unbiased referee who did a sterling job keeping the racers team in check - tricky lot, the racers. To Tom and Linda from the Coffee Man trailer for donating all of the hot drinks on the night.
To Eurodragster.com for the great coverage as ever (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed). To the Maintenance team for getting everything ready and in good order for the football match.
Finally a massive Thank You to Sam Innes, Craig Wright and Susan Ponsford for all their help beforehand and on the day, to Santa Pod Raceway for hosting the football match and to Santa Pod Racers Club for their never-ending support.
You can find out more about leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and all blood cancers, donate more, or consider stem cell donation on the Bloodwise web site at www.bloodwise.org.uk.
Hall of Fame Bench Race update.
17th November: We are sad to announce that, due to health problems, motorsport safety pioneer Bill Simpson will be unable to travel to the UK for next weekend's British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala, where he was due to receive the Mopar Performance Lifetime Achievement Award and participate in the afternoon's Bench Racing session.
On a happier note, Bench Racing will still feature a distinguished line-up of American drag racing luminaries eager to entertain their British audience. Doug Herbert – former Top Fuel star, road safety campaigner and scion of a famous drag racing family – and Dan Richins – who drove his Iron Horse Top Fuel Dragster into the Cragar Five-Second Club in 1973 – will be the new faces on the panel, while ex-NHRA Vice President Steve Gibbs, Rat Trap Fuel Altered racer Ron Hope and raconteur extraordinaire Waterbed Fred Miller have already lit up previous Bench Racing sessions with their wit and insights. The session will be led by veteran racing and hot-rodding commentator and broadcaster Bob Beck.
Past Bench Racing audience members will already be familiar with the often-uproarious Chat Show with the Legends' format. For newcomers considering a visit, it's a unique opportunity to hear and meet leading US figures of the sport in convivial surroundings here on home soil, without having to cross the Atlantic for the privilege.
Bench Racing is open-house. All are welcome. If you are a guest attending the evening's Hall of Fame Gala, it makes an exciting start to your weekend. If you just want to attend the session itself, it's a fine way to spend a couple of Saturday lunchtime hours.
And it's all free. Admission and parking are free of charge. The time: 12.30 pm. The date: Saturday 23rd November. The place: Oatlands Park Hotel, Oatlands Drive, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 9HB.
SPRC on-line entry set for testing.
14th November: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall writes that the Club is testing an on-line race entry system and that he would appreciate the help of any racer, from the UK or elsewhere, who races at Santa Pod to try it out.
The on-line entry test form is now available at www.rallies.info/webentry/2019/santapodwinter. You will see that the test form is currently hosted on the server of a Channel Islands racing club but it contains a lot of information pertinent to SPRC and drag racing. When you get down to the Club field please just pick one of those listed.
"Please have a go and get used to the layout", says Ian. "This may well go live for the 2020 season. Anything in a red box on the form is mandatory. Enter any class you wish - bike racers please pick a car class for the time being. You can select differing entries, Pit Loo options and extended pit space requirements, so please get inventive and try different options. Bike racers please either use your competition licence number or just make something up - that detail is not currently important. Obviously you will not have to pay.
"Your E-Mail details are very important since when I receive your entry details a receipt will be generated and E-Mailed to you.
"I need your help to generate entries so that we can see if any issues arise, and if you see something missing (not bike classes!) then please let me know at email@example.com and we can look at adding fields to the form. Pit space forms and Pro entry team sheets will need to be added, but I'm working on that at present.
"Thanks in advance for your help."
Frosty closes in on ET record.
14th November: UK street-legal racer Andy Frost and the Red Victor 3 team are within touching distance of a new world best ET with a 5.876 in Bahrain this evening (Thursday), a shade off Jeff Lutz' record of 5.852. On the 5.876 pass Frosty also bettered his own world speed record with a backed-up 263.74 mph. You can watch a video of this run by clicking here or on the picture at right, and you can watch today's remaining and tomorrow's live stream from the Bahrain International Circuit on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/bahrainbic.
At time of writing the team have a thrash on to change rear tyres in time to make one more run this evening elsewise Andy, Deb, tuner Shane Tecklenburg and the team have tomorrow to wrap it up. Good luck Frosty and stay safe.
Web site updates.
14d October: The eighth issue of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame's on-line magazine HoFTalk, is now available courtesy of Jerry Cookson. HoFTalk 8 is timed to preview next weekend's Bench Race and Gala and covers events, news and updates from inductees and more. You can check it out by clicking here, by clicking on the picture at left, or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr gallery with a gallery from Santa Pod Raceway's last Saturday Night Special of the year which hosted the final rounds of Old Skool Ford and Outlaw Street. You can check out Mad's shots at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.
Frosty's Five and a world best.
13th November: Massive congratulations to UK street-legal racer Andy Frost and team who achieved Frosty's aim of a five-second street car pass with Red Victor 3 during testing in Bahrain last night (Tuesday).
Frosty's 5.950/260.55 now counts as the fastest-ever pass by a street car, beating Jeff Lutz' previous best: Jeff was very quick to congratulate the team. With the track open until the weekend Frosty has the opportunity to go after Jeff's 5.852 ET record. Tuner Shane Tecklenburg, to whom congratulations also, has said that with his estimates of performance yet to come it could be tight but it has to be said that the close-knit team have made things look easy however difficult we know they actually are. Frosty's 6.075/248.24 in testing at Santa Pod in May, in bad conditions at that, certainly presaged well for this trip.
Our good friend and timing guru Andy Marrs, who never lets us down, has pointed out that Frosty's terminal speed was higher than the European Pro Modified speed record.
Good luck and stay safe to Andy, Deb, Shane and team... even the chip shop bomber.
Hall of Fame Bench Race beckons.
13th November: Geoff Stilwell writes with a reminder that next Saturday's (23rd) British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala at the Oatlands Park Hotel kicks off with the regular and legendary Bench Race sponsored by US Automotive.
Taking part will be UK favourite Ron Hope of Rat Trap Racing, Waterbed Fred of the Ray Beadle Championship-winning Blue Max team, Cragar 5 Second Club member and Top Fuel racer Dan Richins, Top Fuel racer and IHRA Champion Doug Herbert, Nitro Revival Series guru and previously NHRA Competition Director Steve Gibbs. All of these icons of the sport will be kept in line by announcer Bob Beck whom many will recognise as the voice of the Hot Rod Reunions at Bakersfield and Bowling Green, the NHRA Cruise nights in Pomona, and of course as presenter on the Great American Auto Scene on-line broadcast.
If you are attending on 23rd then please make sure that you get to the Oatlands Park Hotel in good time as the Bench Race will start in the Terrace Room promptly at 12.30.
Flying the flag.
12th November: Spotted by Simon at the weekend's NEC Classic Motor Show were the Outlaw Anglias in one of their regular annual dates (Michelle Mockford below centre), WBR Racing Engines where Eurodragster.com sponsor Nic Williams was celebrating the company's exclusive UK dealership for FST Carbs, and Santa Pod Raceway doing their usual great job both of promoting the sport to dedicated fans and reeling in families and other casual visitors.
Elsewhere at the Show, Wayne Allman's Mental Breakdown blown-alcohol pick-up was attracting a lot of astonished interest.
12th November: Many thanks to Robin Jackson for letting us know that Elana Scher's article on Roland Leong's weekend with the Venom Nostalgia FC team at Dragstalgia is now showing in Automobile magazine at www.automobilemag.com.
Motorsport UK licence update.
6th November: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has been in touch to inform racers that, following a change to Motorsport UK terminology, licencing will be changing for 2020 as follows:
Junior Dragster racers please apply for the Interclub licence, unless competing in Europe in 2020 in which case the National licence will still be required.
First-time Junior Dragster applicants must first complete the required observed runs, and then receive a letter of recommendation from Santa Pod Racers Club: this must be completed before applying for a licence.
Applications for 2020 licences will be accepted from 18th November.
If you have any questions regarding licences then please either contact Motorsport UK on 01753 765000, or contact Ian on 01933 313625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
6th November: Kirstie, Diana, Julian and Simon would like to wish Eurodragster.com News Editor, Race Reporter and Photographer Tog a very Happy Birthday for tomorrow (Thursday). Have a great day buddy, and many happy returns.
Welcome Shorty's Fabrication Shop.
5th November: We are very pleased to welcome Shorty's Fabrication Shop as a sponsor of Eurodragster.com.
This year marks Jedd Guy's tenth year in the chassis building trade. The decision was made late last year to take the plunge and to try to brave the harsh but rewarding world of running his own fabrication shop.
In March, Shorty's Fabrication Shop sprung into life with the intention of supplying the racing world and car enthusiasts with low competitive prices, quick turn-round times and of course second-to-none levels of fabrication which Jedd's existing customers love.
Shorty's Fabrication Shop are proud to offer services ranging from full tube chassis builds, Motorsport UK-legal roll cages, shell restoration, stainless/aluminium welding, baseline and suspension tuning, tuning advice on track or at home and basically any level of fabrication work needed to be carried out on your beloved car.
For a first year the Shop has been busy with its first full tube chassis ready to leave the new shop and multiple roll cages and shell restorations completed along the way. This doesn't mean that the on-track action has been lacking either, with on-track tuning helping customers go quick and safe. Most notably, Scott Crookston took the Outlaw Anglia Championship in only his second year running a rolling chassis built by Jedd and also, tuned by Jedd, he managed to run an unheard-of series of consistent mid seven-second passes throughout the year. Jedd's also had an exciting year tuning the Flyin' Fyfer for Colin Millar who ended the season with the Outlaw Anglia class record of 7.243 seconds.
If you're planning any winter upgrades, or if you feel that your car could benefit from a baseline and a fresh look at the suspension then don't hesitate to contact Shorty's Fabrication Shop via the Shop's Facebook page or call 07495 743379; the off-season is always a busy time of year and spaces get filled up rather quickly.
Many thanks to Jedd Guy for his support and to Jemma Bromley for her assistance. As ever please repay the support of Eurodragster.com sponsors by considering them when shopping for goods or services.
2020 FIM Championship rule changes.
3rd November: Further to Friday's calendar update, Job Heezen of the FIM Europe Drag Racing Commission has been in touch with a summary of the 2020 rule changes submitted to FIM-E management for approval. Job stresses that the below has been produced for rapid dissemination and that the actual rules will be more detailed.
3rd November: A big thumbs-up to our good friend and longtime Eurodragster.com supporter His Worshipful Flatulence The Very Reverend Sir Neville Mottershead ODE for coming to the aid of a mother in distress and thereby making the Manchester Evening News. You can check out the full story by clicking here. Bless you, Reverend.
All change in Crossley's 2019.
3rd November: This time last year UK Funny Bike racer Phil Crossley was making preparations for the 2019 season, blissfully unaware of how differently things were going to pan out:
With the offer in February from Bob Brooks to loan me his blown alky bike for the season and Dave Batcheler now riding my bike, it was going to be a really different and interesting year. Bob and his partner Debbie made the long trek from Norfolk to Lancashire to deliver the bike to me several weeks before the season began so I could familiarise myself with it. Having raced a nitrous bike for ten years this was a great opportunity to learn something completely different. Bob spent a day going over the bike and showing us all how to run it and how to turn it around between races. Thankfully Bob and Debbie also offered to come to the first couple of races to help out. Meanwhile Dave Batcheler had been and collected my bike and was going through the same, albeit more familiar process of learning how to run my bike.
Easter came around really quickly, and what a great event it was, mild weather and dry for the duration. We assigned all the start line tasks and tried to come up with a routine. This was new even to Bob who'd always had his brother do many of the jobs when he used to ride it. It would be fair to say I was a little daunted at the thought of riding the Yellow Metal Racing bike, it's a lot bigger and heavier than my own bike and I was completely unable to adopt my usual "Just going to the shops" riding position, as you have to lay down to ride it. But in drag racing there isn't really an opportunity to get used to things, and so, off to the start line we went for my maiden voyage.
We got the bike started, gears selected and I rode it up to the water box, the burnout was a revelation! It lights up the big 13” slick effortlessly and just make so much torque, not at all like my own bike, Iknew then that this was going to be a lot of fun. With nothing to lose, I went into stage and the lights dropped. I pinned the throttle and only managed to get one foot on the footpegs, so predictably the bike made a move to the right and I had to feather the throttle, but with both feet on the pegs I opened it up again and it behaved perfectly, it ran an 8.8/151 which was pretty good for a first go! What an awesome bike to ride, the bark as you open the throttle and way it makes power is incredible – even the crazy riding position makes perfect sense once you're underway!
Meanwhile, at the back of the Funny Bike pack was Dave Batcheler, about to make his first pass on the Bopchop. But it didn't happen... instead he stepped off the bike after the burnout and went down on one knee and asked his partner Sharon Wilson if she would marry him, in a surprise but well-staged startline proposal (right)! Luckily Sharon said yes.
With the first teething run out of the way, and the focus on getting both feet on the pegs, the times over the next few runs improved steadily, with the second run into the sevens with a 7.9 then in the third round a really clean arrow straight 7.55 at 178 mph. I think I'd got the hang of it! Dave was making progress too, running an 8.5 followed by an 8.0, then a stunning 7.33, which was nearly half a second quicker than his PB and a good couple of tenths quicker than I thought it was capable of with its very soft set-up. Unfortunately our weekend ended in the first round when we were beaten, in a good race against Dave Peters who took a holeshot win, taking it with a 7.62 against my quicker 7.61.
On to the Springspeed Nationals and we made the decision that we would not make any real changes the bike, I was having great fun riding it and still getting used to it, plus it was going really well. Another 7.5 in the first session meant it was really consistent and we weren't having to fix anything - just turn it around and go out again. Once again however, we went out in the first round against Kars Van Den Belt, who was starting to show signs of how quick and consistent he was going to be for the rest of the season. In the final however, he met Dave Batcheler on my bike, neither rider had a great run, but Dave took the win with a 7.63. His first win in Funny Bike and the eighth event win for the Bopchop.
At the next two events we made small changes to the tune-up of the bike, mostly just to gather data but it proved to be very consistent, with numerous 7.5s and 7.6s – not really what we wanted but we were getting down the track and not hurting anything. In fact throughout the whole season the only part we replaced was a clutch plate! In the only qualifying session of the second day of the Green Light Nationals we made some more radical changes to the fuel system, after looking at the data we knew which direction to go in. What we didn't predict was how lean it was going to become on idle, and it blew the burst panels coming out of the burnout, and sadly we didn't qualify.
This left one event remaining – The National Finals. Bob was determined to try and finish the season on a high and get the bike going quicker, but another set of burst panels blew in the first round and things just weren't making sense, it should be richer but the plugs said otherwise and in the last session it melted a plug tip off. Fortunately everything was OK and it sounded good back in the pits. Race day however was a washout as we all know, and that's where the season ends.
Congratulations to Kars Van Den Belt for winning the Championship, and to Dave Batcheler for coming second on a new bike in his first season in a new class.
Bob took Yellow Metal back to Norfolk with him, to check it over and get it ready for what we all hope will be the next owner. The bike is still for sale, the price has been reduced a lot as Bob doesn't want it sat idle and it would be a real shame if it did. The price is now just £18k and is an absolute bargain at that price, you get a lot of bike for your money, It's fantastic to ride, super reliable, very, very stable ... and dare I say it - better behaved than my own trusty steed! Plus the noise of that supercharger as you fly down the track... I won't even attempt to describe it. The bike is now readvertised on the Eurodragster.com Swap Meet and Bobs details are on there, but enquiries can be made to Bob at email@example.com or contact Debbie Crane or myself via Facebook and we will gladly pass on any messages.
For me personally this year of bike swaps made the whole drag racing experience really different, it brought lots people together and made it all a lot more interesting and we made great friends. I can't thank Bob and Debbie enough, they came to every single event and I think Bob actually enjoyed crewing more than he expected. Oh, and they are also good cooks, so we ate really well at every event! Also, Dave and the Plumb Crazy team did numerous barbecues for us all, despite the non BBQ friendly weather and they did a great job of racing the Bopchop this year.
Plus, the question on the commentators' lips was answered on quite a few occasions when I paired up against Dave in the other lane - who will be faster, Phil or his bike?
JBRE join Hall of Fame Gala sponsors.
3rd November: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to welcome Jeff Bull Race Engines and Performance Parts as an additional sponsor of the tables for the top three UK Junior Dragster and Junior Drag Bike Championship racers, who will be guests along with their parents at the Gala Night at the Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, on Saturday 23rd November.
Jeff Bull Race Engines was created in 1990 when Jeff, who had been involved in UK drag racing as a competitor for almost ten years, decided to take on building customer V8 engines. It has become a full time business in the last three years, and customers include drag racers, Formula 1 Stock Cars and other forms of motorsport . Jeff's wife Belinda races their Chevy S10 truck in Competition Eliminator.
Jeff and Belinda Bull said "We are delighted to be able to support the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame and in particular our Junior racers, who are the future of the sport."
Jeff Bull Race Engines joins Santa Pod Racers Club, Atlantic Fluid Tech, Mopar Muscle Association and US Automotive as sponsors of the Junior Drag Racing tables.
The 2018 Gala Awards Dinner is almost sold out but you can make a reservation by E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 01933 279102. Tickets, which include table wine, are priced competitively at £70 each. The rates for hotel rooms are £115 for double rooms and £94 single which includes breakfast and VAT as well as parking. On receiving your reservation you will be given the procedure to book rooms.
Ongoing news about the Gala, sponsors and other events in which the BDRHoF is involved is regularly published on the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame web site www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk, here on Eurodragster.com, and on Facebook and Twitter.
2020 FIM Championship calendar.
1st November: Many thanks to Darren Prentice for sending us the curret confirmed calendar for the 2020 FIM Europe Drag Bike Championships:
1st-3rd May: Kunmadaras, Hungary (Super Street Bike and Junior Drag Bike only)
22nd-25th May: FIA/FIM Main Event, Santa Pod Raceway, UK
28th-30th August: NitrOlympX, Hockenheim, Germany
10th-13th September: FIA/FIM European Finals, Santa Pod Raceway, UK
Darren tells us that if any other events are to be added to the above then this will be advised on Monday 18th November.