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Take a bet on The Doorslammers.
21st April: Santa Pod Raceway, in collaboration with Argyll Entertainment, the UK licensed operator of RedZoneSports.bet, are pleased to announce the first-ever on-line betting on drag racing at the Doorslammers event to be held over the weekend of 19th-20th May. The prize money and the atmosphere will set The Doorslammers apart from Santa Pod's other traditional drag racing events and the competition will be open exclusively to door-bodied cars. With the growing popularity of TV shows such as Roadkill and Discovery Channel's Street Outlaws this eagerly-anticipated, street-style racing event is expected to attract intense interest from fans and racers alike. 

Especially for the event, the lanes of Santa Pod's famous drag strip will be renamed Red and Black, and a number of exciting betting opportunities will be made available throughout the racing weekend. The first specials are now live at RedZoneSports.bet/SantaPod.

Warren Llambias, Co-Founder of Redzonesports.bet, commented "As the British home of American sport, RedZoneSports.bet is delighted and immensely proud to be the first on-line bookmaker to offer odds on drag racing. Customers in the UK will receive the exclusive opportunity to bet on races from Santa Pod via mobile or desktop, when the famous Doorslammers event returns to Santa Pod on May 19th/20th. Although this is a one-off event, we very much hope to provide betting on a wider range of drag racing events in the future."

Keith Bartlett, CEO of Trakbak Racing and Santa Pod Raceway, added "Santa Pod has been looking to develop on-line drag racing betting for some time and we're delighted to have found the perfect partner in Redzonesports.bet. Our new Doorslammers event is the ideal occasion to introduce this exciting new element to drag racing and further to enhance our spectator experience. As a high-profile venue and host to such a spectacular sport, we are always looking to add value and enjoyment to our events. Therefore we look forward to working with Redzonesports.bet in the future to add a new dimension to the sport of drag racing."


Swift snippets.
21st April: Congratulations to Glenn Ramsden of UK Event Safety who suggested the best name for Santa Pod Raceway's new counter-rotator. We had several entries but Glenn's Sled Zeppelin takes the £25 put up by our good friend Bob Roberts, to whom many thanks. This name is, of course, neither official nor binding but we had a good time reading everyone's suggestions.

This weekend's Saturday Night Special at Santa Pod Raceway is scheduled to be our first Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast of the season. If you are running at any of our webcast events this season then the best address to give sponsors, fans, family and friends will always be www.eurodragster.com/webcam. The forwarding address from that landing page may change, but eurodragster.com/webcam is guaranteed to get you there. For our current webcast schedule click here or click on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


FIA / FIM Main Event entry update.
19th April: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us Version 3 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM Main Event, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-28th May and which is the first round of the FIA and FIM European Championships as well as a UK and/or SPRC Championship round for Comp Eliminator, Gearhead Garage UK Super Pro ET, Modurstang Pro ET, Super Comp, Al's Gasser Super Gas Shootout 2018, Super Street, Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator and Lucas Oil Junior Dragster.

You can check out the Main Event entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Standard-rate entry closes on Friday of next week, 27th April, after which date entry, if accepted, may be subject to a Late Entry penalty. You can fill in and submit or download the official Main Event entry forms via the Information link of the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

If you have any queries about Main Event entry then please get in touch with Ian on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.


Off to a Flyer.
19th April: After spending what seemed to be a lifetime in the garage over the winter helping Scott Crookston with his new Outlaw Anglia, Fyfe's finest Colin Millar got to spend some time with his own car and had it ready for testing at Santa Pod Raceway last weekend:

I got it all back together in one piece and was desperate to get back in the driving seat and actually run down Santa Pod's new concrete track. It was a very last-minute decision to load up and head down, just Lynn and I and no Scott, his car will be back down the last weekend of April for testing. A couple of phone calls and Ronnie Mercer jumped at the chance as he has also been very busy in the garage over the winter. "See you Friday night" was the call on the phone.

Down the road and got all set up with a view to race Sunday, but the sun came out on Saturday and we couldn’t help ourselves. So a few launches and a squirt to 300 feet then off the gas, car back and check everything was all good. Three runs, all checkout passes.


Sunday and it was very overcast, with the sun trying so hard to peer through the haze, the heat did start to come through though and off we went for a full pass, but not full out-and-out. All good with a 9.1 and nice and straight. Break for lunch but Ian Marshall kept on prepping the track, another glue session and the track felt great underfoot so I made the decision to give it some. A nice long rolling burnout, back into stage then a sensible launch rpm and away we went. 8.0/170, was well happy with that. Back around again for the last one of the day with an 8.1 which was great, hooked and went lovely and straight. So for me the track was great and we were as always well looked-after by Ian, Dave and Darren and all the fabulous Santa Pod marshals.

What was also fantastic was that Rocket Ronnie Mercer ran his first ever nine, well done that man.

Special thanks also to Mick Taylor, Rob Chilton, Ginner, Ronnie, Annette and Lynn for crewing, food, banter and an all-round great time. Roll on the last week in April when I hope to help Scott. And roll on the Doorslammers, that's gonna be busy!

Pictures courtesy and ©Blackett Photography


Clear your diary...
19th April: After a successful move into new premises, it's time to finally open the doors for Williams Brothers' Racing's first OCS Group Open Day:

Finding a suitable day was always going to be a challenge but the date is set and we hope that many drag racers, fans, hot rods, muscle cars and classics can come along on Saturday 5th May. OCS Paint and Williams Bros Racing have become very highly-regarded and are responsible for many stunning cars that have emerged from their workshops, many of which will be on display at the event including Fast Company, Jon Webster's Pro Mod Mustang, Jon will also have his fantastic Ford pick-up three as well. 00 Heaven, the Doignie and Lane multiple-Championship winning Vauxhall Victor, James Oliver's stunning Firebird Formula along with his WBR built '32 Ford, Allan Davies' Top Fuel bike along with WBR apprentice Louis Davies and his 8.50 Bike, and SPRC Pro ET Championship-winning WBR Chevelle to name but a few.

There will be absolutely loads of project cars for you to see from '50s pick-ups, vans, E-Type Jags, '30s hot rods, muscle cars, the list goes on and you will be surprised at some of the cars we will be showing, but you will have to come along and see for yourselves. You will also have a chance to see inside our engine dyno room, main engine shop, spray booth and main workshops. Knowing some of the people attending the car park will be a show of its own as many of our customers and friends will be bringing along a wide and diverse range of vehicles.

We will have live music performed by The Whatevers, a local band who will be on stage for two forty five-minute sets, burger van, ample parking and loads of other attractions including some of our suppliers on hand including Snap-on Tools, Earls Performance Products, Webster Race Engineering, Topspeed Automotive and more. Knowing Dan and Nic Williams, things will probably get fairly noisey with various engine fire-ups during the day.

The day runs from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. We are located just off the A5 four miles north of Towcester, Northamptonshire. It will be signposted on the day but please check out our Facebook page for more details as more attractions are being added almost daily.


Swift snippets.
19th April: Martin Black has been in touch to say that at the weekend he spoke to some of those involved in running drag racing in Spain. "These guys are really struggling out here and have been since 2009", says Martin. "Are there any racers out there who would be interested in travelling to Spain and putting our sport on the map in 2019?". If you are interested in helping the Spanis racing contingent then drop Martin a line at greenlightshirts@gmail.com.

Editor's note: Apologies for the delay in getting this news update posted, which was due to a perfect storm of laptop problems and non-materialising forwarded E-Mails. All sorted now.


Bank Holiday threesomes.
19th April: Paul Marston has been in touch with an update on Gearhead Garage No Prep Nationals 2 which takes place at Rockingham Dragstrip on 7th May:

Advance spectator tickets are now available from Rockingham's on-line ticket provider at rockingham.seetickets.com/. Tickets are £10 in advance and £12 on the gate. Gates open at 08:00 and racing starts at 09:00.

The event at Rockingham Dragstrip is part of a three motorsport-activity event named RD3. Drag racing takes place in front of the main grandstand, the Drift Arena is in the outer paddock and the National Circuit plays host to a Track Day. Your ticket allows you entry to all three. More details from the Rockingham web site at www.rockingham.co.uk.

Rockingham Dragstrip track action offers No Prep Nationals 2: Heads Up, No Time, No Speed, grass-roots, Street Outlaw-style flashlight start racing at its best. The fastest No Prep racers in the country are attending for a prize fund which just keeps growing. Someone is going to go home considerably richer: at No Prep Nationals 1 at North Weald in 2017 Dave Wiggins went home with £1250 cash for his day's work, the winner at Rockingham will be taking more than that and a very substantial trophy. The next class is Grudge / Call Out in which you pick your opponent and how much you want to race for, again heads-up. Details can be found on the entry form. Lastly No Prep, No Time RWYB, anyone can enter. We are now welcoming bikes and karts.

For more details and entry forms, E-Mail pmdragracing@gmail.com, Like our Facebook page Rockingham Drag Strip, or call or text me on 07831 650230.


Swift snippets.
18th April: Geoff Stilwell asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to US former Top Fuel racer and his dear friend Marvin Graham, and also to legendary US racer Tommy Ivo who is 82 today. Our pleasure Geoff, have the best of days guys.

The Hustler, new in Town.
17th April: The European Nostalgia Funny Car contingent has increased by one courtesy of the UK's Paul Harris who has acquired the Chi-Town Hustler FC from Troy Martin in the USA. The plan is for the Dodge Omni to make its first appearance at Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway in July.

"My first visit to Santa Pod was in 1972", Paul told Eurodragster.com. "I have come and gone over the years. I lost count of the stuff we ran! I used to be involved with Doc Claydon, I was on his Fuel Altered team then ran the Willys, and worked with John Sultuna on the black Manta. I had a couple of street cars, including a '71 Barracuda convertible. I'd drive to the track, put the hood up, put slicks on it, put on my crash helmet and run twelves. Then I'd put the tyres back on, put the top down, and go home. I stupidly sold it - I think it's in Norway now!"

Paul said that he had wanted a Funny Car for a long time. "I am quite friendly with Dennis Priddle", he said. "I talked about getting a car. I purchased one of the Budweiser cars which was driven by Harlan Thompson, bought it as a roller with a Ken Cox chassis and an '82 Trans Am body. In fact I still own it. I spent a lot of time looking to make it a race car. I went to see Rob Loaring and Nick Davies at ICE Automotive, I walked in and Rob looked at me and said "I know you! Didn't you wrench for John Claydon?". We talked about the logistics of getting the car up to race spec but they said would be post-2018 whatever.

"I thought more about the logistics and just after Christmas I told my wife that I was going to start browsing the net and I found the Hustler on Racing Junk. I looked at other cars, including one of Paul Romine's. I left Troy Martin an E-Mail and he got back to me. At that point the Hustler was sold, in Outlaw Funny Car set-up, but the guy let him down. I said to Troy that we don't have a class for Outlaw, could it be run as a Nostalgia Funny Car? He said that it used to be a Nostalgia FC, he would have to buy some parts to get it back to Nostalgia spec, but yes. When Troy said he could do it I said "Let's do it" - even down to the 34½" slicks!

"The chassis is a 2016 Conode, the motor is John Force with Schumacher rods and pistons. I have a spare motor which is identical even down to the camshaft grind. I bought as much as I could!"

Having been purchased in January the Hustler is in a container and headed for the UK where it will be readied for its first outing at Dragstalgia. "When the car arrives we will check the car over", said Paul. "Troy said that it is pretty much ready to run, we just need to check the bearings and reset the clutch, that is how confident he is. But we will probably take it to Dave Milam who is a friend, a racer and a bloody good engineer.

"The plan is to have Troy over to drive the car at Dragstalgia. He will be bringing his crew Ken and Tom. He will set the car up and put it down the track at Dragstalgia, then will run me through the procedures and put in a user-friendly tune so that I can get used to the car. I won't drive at Dragstalgia, I will be licencing at a later date. The crowd at Dragstalgia have come to see full passes, they don't want to be bored by me sodding around!"


Swift snippets.
17th April: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 2 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM Main Event which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-28th May. You can check out the entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. You can find the official Main Event entry forms on the Information link of the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

Back to the Funny Car theme, albeit present-day, and the Drag Racing Europe Blog has been updated with interviews with Top Methanol Funny Car racers: the returning final FIA European Top Methanol FC Champion Johnny Oksa and the taking-up-where-he-left-off-last-year Sandro Bellio of Eurodragster.com sponsor Dyno Unlimited. You can check it out courtesy of our good buddy Remco Scheelings at www.dragracingeurope.eu.

Geoff Stilwell of 7707 Salt Shaker Land Speed team tells us that US Top Fuel Dragster star Clay Millican has joined the team and will be present at Speed Week in Bonneville in August. Geoff has just launched a Facebook page for 7707 which you can check out by clicking here.


Swift snippets.
15th April: We have two spy pictures for you today. The first came with the words "Pipe of peace ready to smoke with the gods of traction"...


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

Feature: 2018 March Meet.
13th April: The latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products is photo-journalist Steve Moxley's account of the recent Good Vibrations March Meet in Bakersfield.

You can take a look by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


Web site updates.
13th April: In a one-off entry in his former Racer Blog, Eurodragster.com sponsor Derek Flynn explains why he and wife Fiona will no longer be sponsoring drag racing. You can check it out by clicking here or by clicking on the Racer Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

FIA / FIM Main Event entry update.
11th April: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us Version 1 of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM Main Event, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 25th-28th May and which is the first round of the FIA and FIM European Championships as well as a UK and/or SPRC Championship round for Comp Eliminator, Gearhead Garage UK Super Pro ET, Modurstang Pro ET, Super Comp, Al's Gasser Super Gas Shootout 2018, Super Street, Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator and Lucas Oil Junior Dragster.

You can check out the Main Event entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Standard-rate entry closes on Friday 27th April after which date entry, if accepted, may be subject to a Late Entry penalty. You can fill in and submit or download the official Main Event entry forms via the Information link of the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

If you have any queries about Main Event entry then please get in touch with Ian on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.


Swift snippets.
11th April: Didier Canicave has been in touch to remind racers that they are welcome to attend the Association Trophée Dragster race at Clastres Dragway on 23rd-24th June. "Clastres is located 120 miles from Calais and 60 miles north of Paris", says Didier. "The quarter mile track is 1800 metres long and eleven metres wide. The ATD staff do a great job of preparing the track and the Drag Race Team have a lot of experience on timing systems and Christmas Trees. You can run in RWYB, Super Pro ET, Pro ET, Street Cars and Junior Dragster. See you at the track". For more information or to enter please contact the ATD at atd2003@free.fr or call +33 673 5836.

We were unfortunately unable to get near the server to post a news update yesterday (Tuesday) so we were unable to say a big Happy Birthday to Lizz Charman, Thomas Cook-Abbott, and Colin Theobald. Colin got in touch to add that yesterday was also Keith Williams' 60th birthday. "Hope you liked the velcro shoes from everyone at OCS Paint and Williams Bros Racing", says Colin. Hope you all had great days.

We have had a number of great suggestions for a name for Santa Pod Raceway's new counter-rotator sled. The final choice of winner of the £25 put up by Bob Roberts has now been placed in the hands of Your News Editor so his own suggestions won't be winning. We will keep entry open for another couple of days so if you would like to suggest a name for the counter-rotator then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.


Lucas Oil back The Doorslammers.
11th April: Lucas Oil Products UK have confirmed sponsorship of the Pro Street Class at The Doorslammers on 19th-20th May.

"As a big fan of this kind of racing, Lucas Oil was always favourite to sponsor one of the classes" says Les Downey, Managing Director of Lucas Oil Products (UK). "It was just too good an opportunity to miss."

Lucas Oil is a major sponsor of drag racing. Doorslammers is an exciting format and it's expected that the prize money will attract a lot of Lucas Oil-sponsored drivers. The Pro Street Class is an ideal showcase for the Lucas Oil brand:

"Every car on the track must be taxed and must have a valid MoT certificate", says Les. "It will attract lots of racing enthusiasts and that makes it very likely that lots of them will feature the Lucas Oil logo. Everybody watching will be able to buy the Lucas Oil range of oils, lubricants and additives from the Santa Pod Shop. It's a win-win for us."

Lucas Oil join other class sponsors VP Racing Fuels, Turbo Technics, Spal Automotive, OCS Group, Webster Race Engineering and EBC Brakes to complete the line-up of class sponsors for the event. For more information on The Doorslammers, the latest entry list, and to book tickets visit www.santapod.co.uk/doorslammers.php.


FIM Championship rule changes.
9th April: Many thanks to Job Heezen of the FIM European Drag Bike Commission for sending us news of recent rule changes for the 2018 FIM Europe Drag Bike Championships:
  1. DR10.10.7 ParachutesNew: Any use of the parachute in the opponents lane which jeopardises his or her safety can be reason for disqualification from the event.

  2. DR14.4.4.1 and DR14.6.21 Wheels. New: Both rules have been removed.  For further information on the use of carbon wheels please read the information on the FIM-E Championship Facebook page.

  3. DR14.7.5 Frame. New: Can be purpose-built of tubular construction or use a stock frame, utilising a rigid rear end. Riders must be able to reach all controls safely and be able to place both feet flat on the ground. Wheelie bars are mandatory.

  4. DR14.3.6 and DR14.5.4 Body. New: Body to resemble manufacturer's stock bike whose engine is used.
For more information check out the FIM-E Championship Facebook page. The schedule for the 2018 FIM European Drag Bike Championships can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the 2018 FIA / FIM Championships Schedule link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


A fund for Jack.
9th April: UK Super Pro ET racer Pete Walters of Eurodragster.com sponsor Peter Walters Race Design writes on behalf of the Super Pro ET Group that a fund has been set up to assist Jack Brewster with the repair of his much-loved Just Mustard Pontiac, which was badly damaged in a crash at the Festival of Power:

As no racing took place, racers who entered the event have each agreed to donate their personal share of the prize fund to Jack. This will not be a regular occurrence; the racers agreed due to certain circumstances at the weekend, it is only fair, and I'm sure that you can all understand this.

In addition, there has also been a very generous £500 personal donation from Steve Johnson, as well as £200 from Derek Flynn and £100 from Richard Walters. If any other racer, supporter, sponsor or anyone else would like to add to this fund then please contact the Super Pro ET Group through Richard Walters either through Facebook or E-Mail reloaded881@hotmail.co.uk.

We all wish Jack a speedy recovery and hope that he can return to the track as soon as possible (Hear, hear - Ed).


Swift snippets.
9th April: Longtime Eurodragster.com supporter Bob Roberts has been in touch to offer a £25 prize for the best name for the new counter-rotator sled built for Santa Pod Raceway by Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson Race Cars. Sleddy McSledface has already been submitted but if you would like to suggest a name for a shot at £25 then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.


No news update yesterday so we were unable to say a big Happy Birthday to UK Super Gas racer and sit-down comedian Simon Gough. Hope you had a great day Simon.


2018 British Hall of Fame Gala.
9th April: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce that its 2018 Gala will take place on Saturday 17th November at the historic Oatlands Park Hotel in Weybridge. The BDRHoF also welcomes two new Directors and a new adviser to the Board.

BHRHoF Chairman Stu Bradbury said "We are delighted to have made a firm booking for the dinner and awards ceremony which will once again take place in the York Suite of the hotel. The main focus of the event will be on inducting our new members of the Hall of Fame for 2018. There will be a Bench Racing session in the afternoon, and we will be welcoming an array of sponsors and special guests whom we will announce in due course."


At the 2017 Gala, British drag racing fans took part in a Bench Racing session sponsored by Beech Underwriting Agencies in the hotel's Terrazza, or terrace, during the afternoon before the evening's three-course dinner and prize ceremony. A large contingent of special guests included Connie Kalitta and Jim Oberhofer from Kalitta Motorsport and Steve Gibbs, former NHRA Competitions Director and now organiser of the Nitro Revival nostalgia gathering to take place this year in May at WeatherTech Raceway, Laguna Seca. Steve was presented with the Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award for his long career in the sport.

The BDRHoF is also announcing changes to its Board of Directors. Ian Hart has joined as Director in charge of sponsorship, and Nigel Payne is Director helping with transport arrangements. Ian and Nigel are known for their involvement in UK Junior Dragster racing, with sons Ruaridh Hart and Jordan Payne helping the BDRHoF alongside their racing activities. 2017 BDRHoF inductee Lesley Wright has joined as an Adviser and Guy Loveridge, previously a director, has become Adviser for Historic Motorsport.


The BDRHoF will be taking reservations for the 2018 Gala Awards Dinner by E-Mail at stuart@britishdragracinghof.co.uk or by telephone on 01933 279102. This year the dinner tickets, which include table wine, are competitively priced at £70, £5 more than 2017 due to price increases. The BDRHoF have managed to keep the same rates for hotel rooms of £115 for double rooms and £94 for single rooms which includes breakfast and VAT as well as parking. The event always sells out well in advance, so if you would like to join us for the occasion we suggest that you make your reservation sooner rather than later. On receiving your reservation you will be given the procedure to book rooms.

On-going 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 at www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk, here on Rurodragster.com, and on Facebook and Twitter.


Test Day entry for FoP / BB racers.
7th April: Further to
Thursday's news item regarding rescheduled events at Santa Pod Raceway, in order to redeem the promised free admission for the All Torque Test Day on Sunday 15th April please contact James Forster at james@santapod.com or 01234 782828 so that your new tickets can be arranged.

Please remember that this offer only applies to those entered but whose classes did not run eliminations at the Festival of Power, and those who were entered for Big Bang.


Swift snippets.
7th April: Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm and our own Simon for posting the post-Festival of Power points standings in the UK National Drag Racing and Santa Pod Racers Club Championships. You can check out the UK points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page which you can reach by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Amazon is offering a Kindle-edition book Junior Dragster Racing - A Beginner's Guide. Written by Richard Chrichton the book covers equipment selection, techniques, technical details and racing tips designed to aid everyone, whether just curious or considering starting racing or seasoned racer who wants to understand more about the technical side. The download is £4 and can be purchased on Amazon by clicking here.


Many thanks to Mike Collins for sending us a preview of his column in the latest issue of Street Machine magazine, available if you are quick, plus for Nostalgia fans a Legends Edition featuring European fan favourite Harlan Thompson. Click on the images above for the PDF downloads.


Racer credits from SPRC.
6th April:
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has been in touch with an important update for those racers who did not race at the Festival of Power and for those racers who had entered Big Bang:

After a very trying Festival of Power, and following consultation between SPRC and Santa Pod Raceway, it has been decided that racers whose classes did not get to run eliminations will receive a £50 credit towards any race meeting within the next twelve months. This will include the 2019 Festival of Power even though that event falls slightly outside the twelve month period.

Obviously this credit will not include those classes whose eliminations ran to conclusion.

SPRC and Santa Pod Raceway would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the racers and crew present for sticking with us during a very testing weekend for all concerned, and we look forward to much better weather and warmer temperatures the next time we meet.

Following on from Santa Pod Raceway's unfortunate but necessary announcement cancelling the racing aspect of Big Bang, and moving the date of the Festival part of Big Bang, all racers who have entered the Big Bang round of the UK National Drag Racing Championships will of course receive a full refund of their entry fees. Please note that this is only for racers entered for this event.

We are actively seeking an alternative date to allow us to run the missing round of the Championships. As soon as we have details of the proposed date, we will keep you informed via Eurodragster.com.

On behalf of the whole SPRC Committee, thank you for your understanding.


Swift snippets.
5th April: Many thanks to Andy Marrs for passing us the official Festival of Power timing data. You can check it out by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to Derek Flynn, long-standing sponsor of both Eurodragster.com, and to former Top Fuel Dragster racer Kim Reymond. Have a great day, both.

As a result of yesterday's announcement by Santa Pod Raceway we have updated the schedules for our John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage and Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcam. You can take a look at our coverage schedule by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


Santa Pod reschedule events.
5th April: Santa Pod Raceway have announced that they are rescheduling some of their forthcoming events, including the cancellation of the racing element of the rearranged Big Bang. Santa Pod Raceway CEO Keith Bartlett writes:

It will come as no surprise to any of you reading this that all of us here at Santa Pod had perhaps one of the most difficult Easter events for many years – if not the most difficult event ever! After a very difficult winter period in which we were unable to lay the new concrete track in the time-line we had hoped for - we were not only looking forward to some easy times, but hopefully towards having some clear weather windows to allow us to get the track prep completed to the standard we wanted. Alas and yet again the weather stepped in to prevent that in the build up to the Easter Festival of Power. May I add that this was the first Easter event where we have actively discouraged spectators and fans from turning up due to waterlogged fields.

We were not alone in this, as several other major motorsport venues had the same problems over the Easter weekend.

The early Easter brought with it numerous challenges for the Santa Pod venue and racers alike, both on and off the track; wet weather conditions in the run-up to the event meant that our fields very soon became difficult to cope with and the cold temperatures during the event had a direct effect on the new track. 

The Sunday before Festival of Power saw a Peak Performance Test and Tune blessed with some rare sunshine, the heat that this instantly put into the surface of the track had a transformative effect; traction levels immediately increased and a few PBs were recorded. Our own Two Seater Dragster produced performances a whisker away from numbers recorded at the European Finals the previous September. This tells us that the new concrete track is sensitive to temperature in a way that the previous asphalt surface was not. As I said to many teams, drivers and riders over the weekend, the concrete track is going to behave very differently to our old asphalt track, especially in colder weather – and Easter was very cold and very wet.

We believe that traction issues experienced on Sunday were mainly down to the very low temperatures and how this affected the performance of the prep that had been applied leading into the event. Quite simply, the lower the temperature, the less effective the glue will be. You then must add to that, the fact that we are trying to prepare a virgin track to take rubber and all in cold conditions.

The concrete itself will take much longer to absorb heat so when the sun goes in after only a few hours on a cold day, the warmth in the surface dissipates very quickly. Conversely after a long period of warm sun, the concrete will retain heat as it has longer to soak the warmth up. This is just one of the ways in which concrete behaves differently, the track crew will constantly be learning lessons as we go through the season with the new track. As we move towards the busier period of the season the 2.6 to 3.7 degree temperatures we experienced at Easter will of course be a distant memory and all the processes involved in prepping the new surface will become much easier and reliable as things warm up.

The litany of weather related problems stemming from Easter includes the necessary re-scheduling of certain events: The Fast Show and Big Bang. Because of The Fast Show's heavy reliance on the camping and parking fields we have had to move the ever popular modified event to the end of the month where Big Bang was scheduled to be (though the MSA permitted round remains in place and the FWD and JDS classes will still run). Unfortunately, relocating The Fast Show to the Big Bang weekend will mean that the National rounds and racing element of Big Bang will have to be cancelled, this is not a decision we have taken lightly and we have never before pre-emptively cancelled a round but the weather cannot be ignored and we have little choice. There will now be an opportunity to get some track time on the weekend that Fast Show was originally scheduled for. We are now holding a late night RWYB followed by and All Torque Test Day on the vacated date. 

The non track-based element of Big Bang (camping and evening entertainment) will join on to the new Doorslammers weekend and the Doorslammers event will now enjoy another day of testing with the track now opening on the Friday. We are also actively searching for ways to re-accommodate the racers that will lose a round of racing at a new date later in the season, with August being a possibility - we'll keep you posted on these efforts. All those racers who were entered and unable to run at Easter and those racers who will be losing a round at Big Bang will now qualify for free admission with their racer tickets on the 14th and 15th April test days (track fees will still apply).

Date Was Now
Saturday 14th April RWYB / Saturday Night Special RWYB / Saturday Night Special
Sunday 15th April The Fast Show All Torque Test Day
Saturday 28th April Big Bang RWYB / Saturday Night Special
Sunday 29th April Big Bang The Fast Show
Friday 18th May - All Torque Test Day / Big Bang
Saturday 19th May The Doorslammers The Doorslammers / Big Bang
Sunday 20th May The Doorslammers The Doorslammers / Big Bang

In closing all of us here at Santa Pod are very disappointed to find ourselves in this situation and making last minute changes to our events calendar – something we have never done before. But I can assure everyone that we are doing this with the best possible intentions for both the racers and spectators alike. We are always looking to improve the facility for both the racers and spectators and will continue to do so for many years to come. I have not invested £1,000,000 over the winter to do anything but improve Santa Pod, however sadly I cannot improve the weather – well not just yet – that's going to be our next big project. We have the staff - we just need to learn the rain dances required! I am sorry for all of you who had such a poor Easter at Santa Pod and those that will be missing out on racing at Big Bang, but I am sure that better times are ahead.

See you at the track.


Tanaka SFI 16.1 harness recall.
4th April: Many thanks to Maxim Spaans for letting us know that the SFI have announced that driver restraint assemblies manufactured and certified to SFI Specification 16.1 by Ruian Dragon or Ruian Dongjinlong, and sold under the Tanaka brand, have been found to be non-compliant. The use of these harnesses should be stopped immediately and they should be returned to Ruian Dongjinlong.

For full details please check out the SFI's Recall Notice, released last Monday, which you can read by clicking here (PDF format).


Big Bang entry update.
4th April: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us Version 3 of the official entry list for Big Bang, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 28th-29th April and which is a Championship round for VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Outlaw Flat Four, Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster, 8.50 Bike (SPRC Championship), 9.50 Bike (SPRC Championship), ET Bike, Outlaw Anglia, Nostalgia Super Stock and the FWD Drag Series. You can check out the Big Bang entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Standard-rate entry closes this Friday, 6th April; entry after that date, if accepted, may be subject to a Late Entry penalty. You can fill in and submit or download the official Big Bang entry forms via the Information link of the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

If you have any queries about Big Bang entry then please get in touch with Ian on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.


Day return to the bleach box.
3rd April: Following on from last Wednesday's announcement of the construction of a new European Championship-standard track at Kauhava in Finland, mentioned in last
Thursday's Swift Snippets, Esko Raisvuo got in touch to give us some background:

The Finnish Hot Rod Association has signed a long-term co-operation agreement with very some wealthy people to have have a full-sized drag racing arena on their premises, which they purchased from the Air Force a couple of years ago. The Air Force had had their flying school there since 1929 and the local people got mad because the noise meant they had no lives. Hawks and Hornets used to fly day and night, but now it is too quiet.

The idea is to have a race track and arena only. Quarter mile and standing mile events, no circuit racing. This is to regenerate the area and to increase tourism. Since everything is in working order we have hotels and common rooms available, a great kitchen, plenty of saunas, showers and an indoor hangar for a couple of thousand people to party - or to find shelter from elements.

This place is located practically in the middle of the countryside town of Kauhava. There are supermarkets and service stations within a mile. The railway station is about two kilometres from the burnout box. It is about three hours' train trip from Helsinki Airport and other cities, travelling smoothly in the restaurant wagon, and five hours' drive from Helsinki. PowerPark, one of the biggest amusement parks in the north, is within twenty kilometres. The area itself is the most active Hot Rodding area.

Naturally we have co-operated with local authorities and businesses. This is a place to stay for decades - very long-term and very serious.


A white Dark Horse.
3rd April: With the exception of the weather, the Festival of Power was a good meeting for the Championship-holding Dark Horse team who added a gorgeous and instantly-successful Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET Mercury Comet to the Modurstang Pro ET Mustang. Brian Huxley writes:

The Mustang had a leaking oil cooler, which we found and fixed after discovering a oil slick under the car on Saturday night. On Sunday we made our first run on the new track and did well, with a 9.45 dial-in I ran 9.64 which we thought was good, we had no problem with the track we were just being careful. So we were well pleased, especially with a fresh engine and axle thanks to Tim Hines and Wayne Allman.

Marc Huxley, driving his dad's freshly-imported Mercury Comet, did well in a completely unknown and untried car. The car was built in the States but had never raced. So it was a completely unknown quantity in qualifying. We dialled in a hopeful 14.00 and ran 15.70, we thought the axle was slipping so we tried it again on the next run and the axle started to work OK as the car ran 14.14. We were all stoked, we couldn't believe it.

Getting to the final and winning in a car which had never raced has make the Dark Horse teams well pleased, to say the least. Congratulations to Marc for being our guinea pig test driver and thanks and praise go to the Santa Pod team and crew for working very hard to give us what we got. We think that the track is going to work just fine, well done everybody.

Many thanks to our sponsors Lucas Oil Products, ETB Tyres Worcester, Sneddon and Sons Roofing, Bradfords Building Supplies and Tool Hire, Worcester Produce, Cars Car Sales and Servicing Worcester, M F Hydraulics, B A Irons Block Paving, Adley Developments Ltd, Forge Motorsport, Przym Clothing, Pipercross Air Filters, Hashtagsixty6 and Huxley Motorsport.


50 years of John Woolfe Racing, Part 1.
3rd April: Dave Riswick, CEO of Eurodragster.com sponsor John Woolfe Racing, is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of involvement in drag racing as Easter 1968 marks the date of the first appearance of the JWR name and colours on a drag racing car. Below is the first of ten instalments of the story of John Woolfe Racing's involvement with our sport. Mouse-over any picture for a caption:

It was early 1966 when the formula for permanent drag racing began. Londoner John Woolfe was 33 and had been racing powerful cars for the past ten years. Most, eventually became icons in motor racing history.

Drag racing was relatively unheard of to the general public until Santa Pod opened up and the seed of accelerating began to germinate with Woolfe. By the end of the year John had answered an ad in Autosport placed by a well-known engineer, John Tojeiro, credited for designing the AC Ace Sports Car which developed into the AC Cobra. John and John had known each other as far back as the late '50s when they were competing with Jaguars around the UK tracks. Woolfe purchased not one but two 427 Ford full house AC Shelby Cobras from Mr Tojeiro with the help of his race partner Arnold Burton. Soon, Cobra Chassis Number CSX 3167 would enter the Guinness Book of Records as the world's quickest accelerating road car. It currently resides at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.


In early September of 1967 Mark Stratton's Hustler Drag Racing Team were celebrating, having just clinched the British Drag Racing Championship Super Eliminator Title. At the same time, Woolfe had set the Fastest Time of Day at the Brighton Speed Trials in one of his seven litre Cobras. John had read about an up and coming drag race meeting in early October and entered his Cobra for the Last Chance Meeting at Santa Pod. Things were never the same again. John got his doors blown off of the AC Shelby by Mark's little 283 Chevy BSA Scout.


Well this just had to be the best thing to have happened to drag racing. John was so shattered by the realisation of the events that had just unfolded, and being the gentleman he was, he went over to Mark in the pits and introduced himself and started asking questions as to how a mighty AC Cobra could be beaten by a little small block Chevy. The drag racing bug had bitten and this led to John sponsoring Mark and his Hustler team in the from of financing a brand new 427 Chevrolet L-88 engine.

At the start of the 1968 drag racing season John Woolfe Racing's blue and yellow race colours, along with the now famous Woolfe Head, were firmly written into drag racing. It represented the very first semi-professional drag racing team in the UK and things began to happen. John was also keen to drive this Stratton-built beast, and in early May Woolfe took the BSA-based Altered to Silverstone fitted with this new Big Block Chevy V8 for a press interview with Motor magazine, plus some other machinery in his stable and a full three-page colour feature was written about this new venture. Many roundy-roundy racers took note and soon there were some very interesting entries appearing at the Pod.


In that year's final, Mark drove Hustler, the John Woolfe Racing-sponsored seven-litre Chevy BSA Scout and won the British Drag Racing Super Eliminator Trophy for the second year running.


There were other projects within the same year with John and Mark. One in the form of a twin-engine Chevy V8 dragster, Hustler II and this too was featured in the May Motor magazine article from Silverstone. In October John entered the Stratton-built twin 283 Chevy engine dragster in the over eight-litre class of the International Sprint Organisation's World Records Weekend held at RAF Elvington in Yorkshire. Stratton set the firing order of the two engines and timed them as a V16, and as the Standing Start quarter mile record for over eight litres had never been established, all John had to do was make the two way passes and the record was his. Mark was there in support of John and the event went smoothly. John Woolfe established the FIA World Record of 73.02 mph in 12.33 seconds. Not much to shout about but nevertheless!


Before the end of first year of sponsoring the Hustler Drag Racing Team, John formally announced his intentions to continue support for 1969 in the form of a 427 Chevy-powered Reliant GTE. This too became a winner for the Hustler team in the hands of a young West Country lad: Dennis Priddle...


Swift snippets.
3rd April: We had one or two other things to think about yesterday so we didn't get round to 'fessing up about this year's April Fool, which was Sunday's Pit Note featuring Hayley Fyfe bemoaning officially-sanctioned frumpiness in our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Festival of Power coverage. If that story had been true then Your News Editor would have been at the front of the mob armed with a pitchfork or torch. Apologies to any SJW who took the Pit Note seriously. Sunday's conditions did not allow us to post our decoy April Fools so Roger Goring building a Jet Altered and Nitro FM introducing phone-ins at the FIA / FIM Main Event will have to wait until next year. A big Thank You to Hayley for readily agreeing to our putting a tissue of whoppers in her mouth, and for posing for a picture for added authenticity.

Minor point of order: If others can get upset on social media then we can get upset on here. If others can criticise us on social media then we can criticise them on here, however infrequently we have historically done such things, although we will not stoop to the disgusting and Social Media policy-breaching language with which we were described yesterday. Anyone who wishes to discuss should feel free to E-Mail.


Web site updates.
3rd April: First with the Festival of Power-related picture updates is The Mad Welshman whose pictures from the Peak Performance Day of Sunday 25th March are now available for viewing at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.

Not far behind is Paul Bryan whose shots from the race proper you can check out at www.flickr.com/photos/paulbryan_photopedia.


Gold RV pull Perfect Award support.
2nd April: As if spending several days wetter than a haddock's lingerie and colder than a bucket of penguin crap then seeing much-loved racers suffer accidents were not reason enough to be upset, this morning we have been informed by Derek and Fiona Flynn that they have withdrawn the support of
Gold RV from the Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award with immediate effect. This is due to grief which they received from racers over the weekend; we are not aware of the full details but it must have been bad to produce this outcome and it is an absolute disgrace.

Whoever it was who tipped the balance: well done, we hope you are proud of yourselves. As things stand that is the end of the Perfect ET Award. Thank you so much for kicking the teeth of a couple who have put thousands of pounds of sponsorship and prize money into the sport and who have supported Eurodragster.com for a very long time. We hope that you also feel proud that you have robbed your fellow racers of hundreds of pounds of prize money this season.

Anyone who even thinks about getting in touch with Tog and playing the victim, it is probably best that you don't. Anyone who plays the victim on Facebook, be warned that Tog may break his usual rule and post a response. And if Tog doesn't then any supporter of Eurodragster.com should feel free to do so on his behalf.

Derek has stressed his and Gold RV's continued support and sponsorship of Eurodragster.com as a site; a big Thank You to Derek and Fiona for this and for their long support both of Eurodragster.com and of the Perfect ET Award until some ingrate screwed it up for you all.


Festival of Power results.
1st April: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway:

Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET: Marc Huxley (14.50) 14.4818/81.22 def. John McGarrigle (18.95) 18.9016/72.49 b/o
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Jordan Payne (8.04) 8.0527/80.93 def. Caitlin Wilson (8.07) 8.1548/81.81
VW Sportsman: Polly Judge (15.65) 15.7185/90.87 def. Jon Crawford (16.40) 16.5136/85.36

8.50 Bike: Jake Mechaell 8.5349/146.16 def. Jay Roe 8.4947/142.09 b/o
9.50 Bike: Dave Bowe 9.6834/140.74 def. Lewis Burgess 9.6619/137.37
ET Bike: Bradley Head (10.00) 11.4682/132.86 bye
Supertwin Top Gas: Jack Shook 10.0760/132.45 bye

No qualifying was possible on Friday or Saturday due to the weather and yesterday's planned one-shot qualifier and eliminations were abandoned for all but the above classes due to the conditions. Modurstang Pro ET racer Nigel Green and Gearhead Garage UK Super Pro ET racer Jack Brewster suffered crashes; Nigel was unhurt whilst Jack was taken to hospital as a precaution after reporting back pain.

You can check out our
John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Festival of Power reports, results, pit notes and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Please join Tog in a big Thank You to Pit Reporter Simon, Photographers Julian and Kirstie, and Off-Track Photographer Diana for their hard work and lack of complaint in what have been very unpleasant working conditions these last couple of weekends.

Urgent Festival of Power update from SPR.
30th March: We have received the following statement from Santa Pod Raceway regarding this weekend's Festival of Power:

Due to the recent bad weather, more rain forecast and muddy, waterlogged car parks, we regret to inform all non-ticket holders that we are now unable to offer any further tickets for sale for this weekend's Festival of Power. Further heavy rain is forecast in the next 24 hours and although Sunday's forecast is better, it is pretty clear that the venue car parks and camp sites are at their limit to accommodate further vehicles and traffic movement.

Advance ticket holders are also advised not to attend and non-attendees will be offered a 100% credit value on their tickets to be used at a future event (see adverse weather ticket policy). Should you be in possession of an advance ticket and still choose to turn up, then please think very carefully about your decision especially if bringing children. You will need plenty of stoicism, patience, a suitable vehicle and wellies! The car parks are incredibly muddy and some areas are simply unusable so space is limited and not guaranteed. If you do decide to risk turning up, then only our normal adverse weather policy will apply which may be a lower credit or none at all depending on the track action. This decision has not been taken lightly and we know many of you will be incredibly disappointed but in the interests of your health, safety and enjoyment, then we feel this is our only option and to forewarn as early as possible.


York Raceway update.
30th March: At this time of year the UK's York Raceway would normally be getting ready to open its gates for the first event of an action-packed season of racing at The North's Drag Strip. This year however, things are a little different with TMD Friction now having an interest in the venue and moving towards development of their vehicle test track which will operate on the site with York Raceway.

Negotiations during 2017 gave the opportunity to retain the current site on the former Melbourne Airfield as a permanent drag strip, the original proposal from TMD being that they would require sole use of the site. Pennine Raceway Ltd, the operator of York Raceway, were set a target by the landowner of raising £100,000 by 1st January 2018 in order to be able to make the significant investment which would be needed to allow drag racing to continue at the site alongside the TMD Friction facility. Pennine Raceway Ltd, Pennine Drag Racing Club and their racers, friends and corporate partners surpassed this total in December 2017.

Pennine Raceway Ltd are currently holding all funds from corporate sponsorships and Pennine Drag Racing Club is holding all monies raised from personal donations. PDRC unanimously voted at their AGM to release funds, alongside the funding from Pennine Raceway Ltd, to the landowner in order to facilitate resurfacing works pertaining to York Raceway as and when they are required.

Pennine Raceway Ltd, alongside its consultants and partners, have worked hard to meet the requirements of the landowner as they have arisen, but contract negotiations between the landowner and TMD Friction over-ran the original timetable. This has delayed both the required resurfacing works and the negotiation of the terms of the new ten-year lease which the landowner has offered for York Raceway. It is still hoped that resurfacing works for both the TMD Friction test track and York Raceway can take place simultaneously in order for all parties to benefit from cost savings but this cannot be guaranteed.

With contractual negotiations between Pennine Raceway Ltd and the landowner ongoing and infrastructure still needing to be put in place York Raceway is not yet able to release its event calendar for 2018, but the team at Pennine Raceway Ltd are planning a series of events which will build on previous successes and to introduce new event formats which will sustain and strengthen the drag racing scene in the UK.


Big Bang entry update.
29th March: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us Version 2 of the official entry list for Big Bang, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 28th-29th April and which is a Championship round for VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Outlaw Flat Four, Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster, 8.50 Bike (SPRC Championship), 9.50 Bike (SPRC Championship), ET Bike, Outlaw Anglia, Nostalgia Super Stock and the FWD Drag Series. You can check out the Big Bang entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Standard-rate entry closes next Friday, 6th April; entry after that date, if accepted, may be subject to a Late Entry penalty. You can fill in and submit or download the official Big Bang entry forms via the Information link of the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

If you have any queries about Big Bang entry then please get in touch with Ian on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.


Swift snippets.
29th March: Gearhead Garage UK Super Pro ET racer Tom Atkinson says that the Time is Money Cortina will not appear at the front of the pairing lanes this weekend as the clutch of the team's trusty bus has given up the ghost. "After a bit of a rush about and an attempted master cylinder rebuild, the seals which arrived today just weren't quite right and our newest crew member split one of them trying to reassemble it, so we're going to replace the clutch with a Bruno Lenco", says Tom. "I'll still be heading up in the Toxico.uk Ranchero to tow the caravans round (some of the way at least) and to give Kirstie a hand with the 50 Shades of Racing Camaro in Sportsman ET. We would like to thank folks for the kind offers of tow vehicles and trailers, and wish everyone a safe and fast Festival of Power. See ya at the track!"


The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com (above right) came with the words "Hatched in the Nic of time". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

Not long after the news of the possible demise of the drag strip at Alastaro comes much better news that the Finnish Hot Rod Association and their partners are constructing a new drag strip at the former military air base at Kauhava. The track will host its first races in August of this year and it is planned to host European Championship events there from 2019. You can read more, with judicious use of Google Translate if necessary, by clicking here.

Llangollen Motorcycle Show organiser Peter Rogers is seeking a Top Fuel Bike for static display and, if possible, a couple of fire-ups at the Show which takes place on 4th-5th August. If you are interested then you can get in touch with Peter at progers.gse@live.co.uk.

Sam Marston and the whole PMR team asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to racer and longtime Eurodragster.com News contributor and Blogger Paul Marston. Our pleasure Sam, have a great day Paul.


Not if, but when...
29th March: The UK's Sara and Steve Unsworth, whose Mustang contests Super Street and Modurstang Pro ET, say that their return to racing may be as soon as the FIA / FIM Main Event or may be in 2019. Sara takes up the story:

Following on from gearbox damage to third gear at the end of the of the 2017 season - yes we're still manual! - a damaged TKO box was sourced, extensive research by Steve and numerous E-Mails and calls later we are now the proud owners of new sparkly Liberty gears and all the extras required to run a TKO box on our set-up.

Our plan was a mini strip-down and freshen up of the engine and our chance to change to an electric water pump, coil on plugs and a few other bits and pieces. After finding damage to one piston this inevitably led to a full rebuild, which in turn led to... we've been toying with the idea of a new ECU for a while after repeated problems with overheating and a rather distinctive sound during the burnout courtesy of the rev limiter. So we finally bit the bullet and all of the original wiring has been removed. Cue a Mustang, meat and beer weekend in the North East. Our Crew Chief Barry Halliwell arrived with cake from the Hospitality Team, aka Sally Halliwell, our sponsor and fellow racer Dave Withington of GFX Power - find him on Facebook and Twitter! - arrived then they worked their black magic electrical wizardry and a new FAST system has been installed. It's a thing of beauty and we can't thank the lads enough.

Cue the steep learning curve of how to operate and even start the Mustang!


Work commitments, overspending and not enough time in the garage, along with a much needed sprinkle of John Sleath's magic, means that we'll not make the Festival of Power. We're aiming for the Main Event but even that's up for debate. It's a completely new set-up and we need time to adjust and get a handle on it, not to mention the track time required. We'll be keeping up to date with the racing via the fab Eurodragster.com site (Thanks! - Ed) and we wish everyone all the best. Here's hoping that Super Street grows as a class... we'll be back as soon as we can!

We've been lucky enough to pick up some new sponsors who are keen to support us and our team: Mammoet UK, specialists in heavy lifting, transport, and modular construction, and Metcalfe Farms who specialise in heavy haulage and truck repairs.

On a side note it seems we can currently lay claim to the fastest blown 2v modular stick shift Mustang in the UK - not bad for a built not bought car.

So it might be two months, it could be six months, maybe we'll have to wait for 2019. But don't forget us, we're still here and we'll be back ASAP!


NAST hold Anniversary Challenge.
28th March: Robbie Dobbie writes that the National Association of Supertwins 25th Anniversary Challenge Cup takes place over three events at Santa Pod Raceway:

The dates are Saturdays 5th May, 22nd September and 20th October.

The format will be the same as in 2017 with £10 in the pot from each entry with NAST adding £100 and trophies for winner and runner-up on the day. This is open to any motorcycle regardless of number of cylinders. However, points at each event for Twin-cylinder entries will be carried to the final where, in addition to trophies and additional cash for that day, there will be overall winner and runner-up trophies and an additional prize fund, for twin-cylinder bikes only, of £500 for the winner and £250 for the runner-up (current NAST member - £10 fee, unless you were a member in 2017 then your membership carries over into 2018).

Overnight camping is available if you pre-book and arrive before 5:00 pm on the Friday and as all dates are Saturday Night Specials there is camping on Saturday night as well but you must make an early departure on Sunday unless you have a weekend ticket.

More details and an entry form are available at
www.supertwins.co.uk/supertwins-25th-anniversary-challenge-cup.

Many thanks to James Forster at Santa Pod Raceway.


The art of avoiding Racepak questions.
28th March: Dick Koster of Eurodragster.com sponsor Post en Dros says that with the new season approaching he fields a lot of questions related to Racepak dataloggers:

Most of the issues which people have these days are related to the older versions of Datalink II or the firmware in the datalogger. To make both of our lives easier in quickly finding any issues, please update your laptop / computer and also your datalogger with the latest software and firmware.

Software is on your laptop or computer. Datalink II vurrent version is 4.8.9. You can find your current version of Datalink II by clicking on the Help tab in Datalink II, About Datalink II.


Firmware resides inside your Datalogger, PRO III (A), V300 (SD), V500 (SD), Sportsman, G2X (Pro) IQ3 Drag Dash / Logger Dash or IQ3 and UDX display-dash. You can find you current firmware version by right-clicking on the datalogger channel when you have your configuration file open.

As well as new options in both software and firmware, it is also recommended that you update to get newly-installed V-Net modules to work properly. We keep developing for your racing pleasure.

Both software and firmware updates are free to download at store.racepak.com/support/downloads.

My first drag race visit of the year will take place at this week's Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway. As always you can put your name on the list in the Pro Dutch Pro Modified pit if you would like me to come to visit you. I will be bringing a lot of spare parts and complete systems such as the V300SD, IQ3 Drag Dash and Sportsman. If you would like any information or need help picking the right system for your application then I'll be glad to point you in the right direction.

If you need me to bring any other parts such as engine bearings, blower belts (Clevite), tools, spark plugs, you name it and we probably have it. Please E-Mail your orders to dickkoster@post-en-dros.nl.


Swift snippets.
28th March: Stefani Fisher tells us that 2018 marks thirty years of Pro Mod racing for Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson. "To celebrate, we're posting photos, videos and memories from those thirty years on our Facebook page", says Stef. "There have been lots of successes and also challenges over the years and it's nice to look back and remember the various different events in our team's history. We're pretty much all set now for the Festival of Power which is Round 1 of the MSA Pro Mod Championship, hopefully we'll be able to pick up where we left off from the National Finals which was by far one of our best meetings. We look forward to seeing everyone there!"


SPRC marshal Caroline Boncey is again taking part in a charity Bubble Rush to benefit the Hospice Of St Francis in Berkhamsted, where her late grandmother was cared for, and would be pleased if any Eurodragster.com sponsor could sponsor her for this good case. "The Bubble Rush is a 5 km walk / run in Gadebridge Park in Hemel Hempstead in 29th April", says Oscar. "They have four bubble stations - pink, blue, yellow and green - each of which we go through twice. The first year I looked like a smurf and the second year Oscar the Grouch. What colour this year? Every year I look forward to raising as much as I can to help the hospice which cared for my nan". You can find out more and donate on Oscar's Justgiving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/caroline-boncey3.

We were pleased to hear from Remco Scheelings that our good buddy Pär Willén, aka PiPPi, is to take up the microphone and commentate at EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship rounds. You can read more on the Drag Racing Europe Blog by clicking here.

If you are joining us at Santa Pod Raceway this week then courtesy of Stephen Billings the good news is thst Hinwick Road (the road opposite the exit from the track) has now reopened after the bridge reconstruction.


First absence in twenty.
28th March: Easter attendees since 1998, Paul Marston Racing, will be missing from this week's Festival of Power. Paul writes:

Unfortunately work commitments have got in the way, with my day job of supplying sound and lighting production to events clashing. I have managed to avoid this situation pretty well in the past, although it has been close a couple of times. But this one was unavoidable: the contract was signed in January, I was hoping it would be rescheduled as looked likely but alas it never happened. The event is for 2,000 people and is for a very old friend so it's a different kind of noise!

Paul Marston Racing wish everyone the very best of luck at Easter, its the first time in twenty years that we won't be there. So we are looking forward even more to the FIA Main Event at which we will be out in force with at least three entries. More details of our 2018 driver line-up will follow shortly.


Thanks again to Paul Foote Ink.
28th March: We are again very grateful indeed to longtime Eurodragster.com sponsor Paul Foote Ink for supplying the latest of several seasons' worth of Eurodragster.com decals. Paul, whom Eurodragster.com readers will recall for his striking Super Gas pick-up, produced decals in car and bike sizes and arranged for their delivery in a matter of days.

Paul Foote Ink, whose web site you can find at www.paulfoote.com, supply corporate and bespoke sign management including complete design concepts, production and installation throughout the UK. Prestigious clients include Siemens, The Crystal London, Domino's Pizza and The Ace Café.

Please show your appreciation for the support of Eurodragster.com sponsors by considering their companies when shopping for goods and services. Again a big Thank You to Paul.


Festival of Power Perfect Awards.
23rd February: This week's Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway is the first event in the 2018 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme. £100 will be on offer for perfect performance.

Cath and Tig Napier of Bad Habit Racing are again kindly sponsoring the Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award which commences at £50 this weekend. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award will be available to racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won then the Award will be increased to £75 for Big Bang; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for Big Bang.

Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals will be available in the Signing On office or from the Eurodragster.com office in Race Control (entry via Spectator Bank side stairs only).

The Eurodragster.com / Gold RV Perfect ET Award is again kindly sponsored by Derek and Fiona Flynn of RV sales and service specialists Gold RV. The Award, which also commences at £50 this weekend, will be paid in cash to the first racer to run an ET to the thousandth of a second on dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available in Gearhead Garage Super Pro ET, Modurstang Pro ET, Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET, Super Comp, Terry Gibbs Super Gas Shootout, Super Street, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike, Junior Drag Bike, ET Bike, VW Pro, VW Sportsman and the Wild Bunch, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect ET of the event. If not won then the Award will be increased to £75 for Big Bang; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for Big Bang.

To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers are required to carry decals, one on each side of the vehicle. If you pull an event's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals then there will be no discussion; we will not pay out and the next person to pull a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals. Please note that the decals have changed since last season; those from previous seasons will not be valid. Decals will be available in the Signing On office or from the Eurodragster.com office in Race Control (entry via Spectator Bank side stairs only).

For more details about the services which Gold RV can provide please either see Derek Flynn in the Gearhead Garage UK Super Pro ET pits or visit www.goldrv.co.uk.


SFI expiration extended.
27th March: Thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for letting us know that following clarification from the FIA and further consultation with the MSA, SFI expiry dates for the below pieces of equipment have been extended for racers competing in Europe (only):

Spec Previous recertification period New recertification period
7.1 Lower engine containment device 1 year 5 years
14.2 Supercharger restraint device 2 years 4 years
14.21 Screw type supercharger restraint device 2 years 4 years
14.4 Containment valve covers / valve cover shields 2 years 4 years
14.5 Manifold blanket 2 years 4 years
27.1 Window nets 2 years 4 years
49.1 Top Fuel rear wing assemblies 1 year 2 years
61.1 Turbochargers 1 year 2 years

If you have any queries then please contact your local Tech Inspector or get in touch with Ian at ir.marshall@btconnect.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).


Here comes the concrete.
26th March: After the weather kiboshed a proper christening of Santa Pod Raceway's new concrete surface on last week's opening weekend, the track started to earn its keep for the second time of asking with a Run What You Brung on Saturday and a Peak Performance Day yesterday.

On Saturday conditions were difficult whatever the track type but yesterday the new surface started to respond to the track crew's loving care and to the springlike weather. A number of PBs and impressive runs were reported, for example an 8.149 by 8.50 Bike racer Jay Roe, and Santa Pod Raceway's Two Seat Dragster, as ever in the hands of Steve Warner, equalled its best-ever sixty foot on its first half pass of the year and then was straight back into the sevens on the following full pass, the passenger being Santa Pod Raceway's Neale Saunders who was Project Manager for the track upgrade.

In association with John Woolfe Racing we have posted galleries from both the RWYB and the Peak Performance Day, which you can check out via our Festival of Power Event Index by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Many thanks to Kirstie and Diana Macrae for their hard work on the galleries especially in


Swift snippets.
24th March: We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to Pro Modified colour commentator and Eurodragster.com News contributor Lucy Moore. Have a lovely day Lucy.

Festival of Power racer update.
23rd March: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us details of the arrangements for next week's Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway. Please note changes from the Final Instructions sent out to racers; car scrutineering now commences at 10:00 on Thursday, and Supertwin Top Gas' running orders have been amended.

Thursday 29th March
08:00 Gates open for the duration of the event
10:00 Signing On office opens
10:00 Car scrutineering commences, no specific order:
Car sign-on / scrutineering details
16:30 Bike scrutineering commences, no specific order: Bike sign-on / scrutineering details

Friday 30th March
07:00 Signing On office opens
07:00 Car scrutineering commences: Car sign-on / scrutineering details
07:00 Bike scrutineering commences: Bike sign-on / scrutineering details
09:30 Track opens for qualifying

Saturday 31st March
07:00 Signing On office opens
07:00 Scrutineering opens
09:30 Track opens for qualifying and eliminations

Sunday 1st April
07:30 Signing On office opens
07:30 Scrutineering opens
09:30 Track opens for eliminations

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

No race vehicle motors are to be fired up before 09:00 or after 20:00 on any day of the event including Thursday's Peak Performance Day. Before 09:00 vehicles should be pushed or towed to Scrutineering, not driven or ridden. Non-observation of curfew will result in exclusion from the event.

Junior racers please remember the rule about pushing vehicles back to the pits once through the arch beside Scrutineering.

Only race officials and SPR staff are allowed in Race Control whilst racing is underway. Should racers wish to raise any matter with race officials then please do not visit Race Control; please firstly see the Race Secretary who is based in Signing On.

Colour commentators are requested to come to Commentary only when their class is at the head of the lanes, to vacate Commentary as soon as their class has run, and not to bring guests to Commentary with them.

At the request of SPR management the Eurodragster.com office at the Bankside end of Race Control is similarly out of bounds during racing except to Eurodragster.com staff, Zeon TV crew and racers or crew collecting Perfect Award money.


Swift snippets.
23rd March: Your News Editor would like to say a big Happy Birthday with hugs to his good friend Karen Brumby. Have a lovely day Karen.

Big Bang entry update.
22nd March: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us Version 1 of the official entry list for Big Bang, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 28th-29th April and which is a Championship round for VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Outlaw Flat Four, Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster, 8.50 Bike (SPRC Championship), 9.50 Bike (SPRC Championship), ET Bike, Outlaw Anglia, Nostalgia Super Stock and the FWD Drag Series. You can check out the Big Bang entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Standard-rate entry closes on Friday 6th April; entry after that date, if accepted, may be subject to a Late Entry penalty. You can fill in and submit or download the official Big Bang entry forms via the Information link of the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

If you have any queries about Big Bang entry then please get in touch with Ian on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.


No Prep Nationals 2 classes.
22nd March: Paul Marston has been in touch with racer and spectator details for the second No Prep Nationals, which takes place at Rockingham Drag Strip on Monday 7th May.


After discussion with racers, the classes are as follow:

No Prep Nationals 2: The feature class. Eighth-mile, no prep, no time, heads-up flashlight start. All run, anything goes, door cars only, two wheel drive only. Other than safety there are no restrictions on weight, engine size, power adders etc. Your car does not have to be street-legal, any tyre or slick permitted, grip juice permitted. The start line and finish line will be filmed. If you jump in eliminations you will be disqualified. A "jump" is defined as cracking the tyre or moving the car on its suspension before the light is on. We will be allowing call-outs for first round only. Same as at the North Weald No Prep Nationals last year all pairings other than call-outs will be drawn from a hat, including lane choice, up to the final. Also same as North Weald the entry list will not be published anywhere. You show up and find out who's in. The prize fund is £1000 cash to the winner, minimum sixteen cars.

No Pre No Time Grudge / Call-out: This has never been done before in the UK, a class for people who want to run for money but who want to pick their own fight. The way it works is simple. Your entry fee includes Rockingham No Prep Dollars, wager money vouchers. All Grudge Racers will get a sticker to show that they are eligible for Grudge. You then walk around the pit, look at what's there and pick your own race. You negotiate your own wager with the other driver, providing he likes the match up. We will only entertain heads-up starts, no gapped starts like in Pinks. You line up in the Grudge staging lanes and when you come to the front the money is handed to the purse holder and you tell him what the deal is. Once the race is run and the winner confirmed the money is handed to the crew of the winning car. Again flashlight start and it's filmed so the same rules apply as No Prep. The cars do not have to be street-legal and you can run 4WD in No Prep Grudge. You can run as many races as you want for as much money as you want, no limits. The person who wins the most money will receive a trophy and at the end of racing all vouchers can be cashed in, with some people going home considerably richer!

No Prep RWYB: If you just want to just come to RWYB and be part of it then please feel free to do so. Obviously we will run you as quickly as we can but priority will be given to the Grudge and No Prep Nationals racers. Pre-entry is available, or pay on the day. If you want to arrive on Sunday you must pre-enter, also you must include gate admission for everyone who is coming Sunday.

For more details about classes, or for an entry form, please E-Mail pmdragracing@gmail.com, contact us through the Rockingham Dragstrip Facebook page, or call me on 07831 650230.


Our track is the pit road, which is laid with a tarmac with the priority on traction. The racing distance is an eighth-mile, with an eighth-mile of shutdown area which leads on to main oval, so there is plenty of room to slow down safely.

There is an excellent viewing area for spectators on the roof of the pit garages. It runs the full length of the track and is purpose-built as a VIP viewing area for major circuit race events. At the No Prep Nationals access to the spectator area is free and access from the pit area to the viewing area is quick and simple via staircases.

Rockingham Motor Speedway is a major facility and the Rockingham management have had to move stuff around to accommodate us, for which we are grateful. There are two other motorsport activities happening on the same day as ours; the National Circuit will be hosting a track day and the Drift Arena will also be operational. Neither will affect our operation, as we are completely self contained. Your spectator admission ticket, £10 in advance from Rockingham's web site or £12 on the day, will allow you access to the other motorsport activities as well as to the drag strip.

This is our first event, we are guests, so can competitors and spectators please be respectful and courteous to the Rockingham staff and marshals as we would like to come back.

The postcode for your satnav is NN17 5AF.


Firestorm ready to rumble.
22nd March: UK Jet Funny Car pilot Roger Goring, Helen Rusling and the new Firestorm team are looking forward to the 2018 season, which commences with testing at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend:

Firestorm has been in the workshop over the winter and is now ready to go. We had a mixed 2017. Following successful testing the previous year we had a really shaky start but with sheer determination, hard work and lots of testing we were confident to head off to Germany for the NitrOlympx at Hockenheim. With that under our belt we also attended the Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway, the National Hot Rod Reunion and the UK Northern Finals at York Dragway and the Flame and Thunder at Santa Pod. All a great end to what at times had been a very trying 2017 season – to put it mildly.

So, on with 2018. We recently carried out the initial start-up away from the track. It went well, so we are now packing to head to Santa Pod for this weekend's testing to be ready for the Festival of Power. We are excited about that. So far the ETs have been respectable but as always we will work on increasing the speeds in small increments. We are still working with what is a new car and new systems. Settings are totally different from the old car, so there is much work to do there. We also have a brand new body in the form of a Ford Mustang rather than our old favourite of a Pontiac Firebird. The new body is fitted with a totally different inlet system which is proving to be very beneficial not only to the breathing of the motor but also to the aerodynamics.

We haven't yet managed to go the whole hog and replace our Firestorm T-Shirts, which always went down well with fans, but we have at least invested in new Firestorm posters with a fantastic picture courtesy of Tog (You are very welcome - Ed). We also have new hero cards, which some of you may have seen in the latter part of last year. A massive thank you to artist Anth Knight of D73 Creative for his contribution in designing our new hero cards and creating the necessary artwork for it all to go to print.

This year you will also see us with some new crew. John Hughes, who gave up his own racing last year to help look after us, will be bringing out his Spiderman alcohol altered for 2018, so we will be joined by Andy Lockwood and Steve Vardy for what is shaping up to be a good year. Firestorm will be appearing at:
  • Festival of Power, Santa Pod Raceway 30th March-1st April
  • NSRA Nostalgia Nationals, Santa Pod Raceway, 12th-13th May
  • FIA / FIM Main Event, Santa Pod Raceway, 25th-28th May
  • Bug Jam, Santa Pod Raceway, 20th-22nd July
  • NitrOlympX, Hockenheim, 17th-19th August
  • Flame and Thunder Show, Santa Pod Raceway, 27th October
Let's hope that the weather gods are kind to us for the coming weekends and we look forward to seeing you all at the track. Please make sure you drop by and say Hello!


Rascals' return.
22nd March: UK Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET racer Harley Smithies and the Rascals Racing team are returning this season:

After having an off season in 2017 due to a planned house move - which still hasn't happened - we are eager to get back to the track and race alongside the great bunch of guys and girls of Sportsman ET.

2016 was our début in competition and although we only competed in three events - the Festivl of Power, Big Bang and Bug Jam - we really enjoyed it. It didn't start off well as the Festival of Power was rained off after just a few qualifying runs. Big Bang was an improvement as we had some good qualifying but unfortunately I got knocked out in the first round by Andy Dibley - can't complain, he went on to win the Championship for two years. Bug Jam was a really good event for us. Nice hot weather, our team enjoyed the event and all it had to offer. We had some good qualifying and even managed to get to round two in our third event, which I never imagined. After all we are racing a French car with a French engine in a sport which requires consistency. But hey, we like to be different.

The car will be virtually unchanged since its last outing other than some minor updates .

I would like to say a big Thank You to my team of Rascals: wife Kellie and sons / Crew Chief duo Fletcher and Connor (aged 3 and 2).

News and updates can be found on our Facebook page.


Swift snippets.
22nd March: Pedder Eneroth of the FIM Europe Drag Racing Commission tells us that the recent seminar hosted by SVEMO and presented by Palle Lind and Job Heezen attracted race officials from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Lithuania. "During the presentation we realised that there was a total of over three hundred years of drag race experience in the room!", says Pedder. "With that amount of experience in the room there was a lot of interesting discussion. After the seminar we had thirteen Clerks of the Course and five Technical Stewards. Now we hope that these Clerks and Stewards will soon be able to use their newly-acquired knowledge for FIM European Championship rounds in the Nordic zone."

Eurodragster.com will be at Santa Pod Raceway to cover this Saturday's pre-Festival of Power Run What You Brung and Sunday's Peak Performance Day in association with John Woolfe Racing. The current plan is for a gallery at the end of each day; Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast is not currently confirmed but should it take place then it will initially be on test with all which that implies.


Breaking up is hard to do, but...
22nd March: Lucy Moore writes that the Moore Brothers' Viper Pro Mod is still up for sale turn-key but that the time is soon coming when parts will be sold:

Now is the perfect time to look to the future and whatever our goals may be. Growing up at Santa Pod has given me such an insight into the uniqueness of the sport we all know and love. However the time came, as it inevitably does, for Dad to sell up. It's never an easy decision to give up something which brought so much joy to us and it would be such a shame to see the car sit and collect dust when I'm sure there are many people out there who would do it justice.

That being said, it's now getting to the point where we will begin breaking up the car and selling off parts individually. So, if anybody has any interest in the car as a whole then please get in touch via the contact details on the Swap Meet advertisement. We will offer as much support as we can; we want this car to continue being raced and be enjoyed by someone else. Even if you feel unsure please do get in touch and we will help you with any questions or concerns you may have even if you then decide it's not for you.

I'm very much looking forward to this season and hope to be at the track as much as possible to continue being involved in the sport as much as I can. I hope to be at the Festival of Power at some point so if anyone has any questions or would like more information on the car then please find me!

Good luck to every team for the season. I can't wait to see what the Pro Mod boys can pull out of the bag this year!

You can find the Moore Brothers' Pro Mod in the Cars For Sale section of our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet.


Web site updates.
22nd March: In the latest entry in his exclusive Racer Blog, Luke Bennett brings us up-to-date on work to get the team's blown-alcohol cars back on track despite various problems not of the team's making. You can check it out by clicking here or by clicking on the Racer Blogs link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Our good buddy Steve Moxley has had his Bonneville Speed Week report and pictures posted on the Eat My Ink web site. You can take a look at www.eatmyink.com.


SFI 3.2A/10 and higher suit recertification.
20th March: Tech Inspector Frans Steilberg has been in touch with an important message about recertification of firesuits of Specs 3.2A/10, 3.2A/15 and 3.2A/20:

The SFI Spec for driver suits states that all jackets and pants or driver suits which meet SFI Spec 3.2A/10 or higher must be recertified at a five-year interval. Suits with these higher ratings have SFI patches which indicate the year of manufacture.

Below are the recertification dates for the different year patches currently available (please note that the five-year recertification period includes the year displayed on the patch):
  • No date patch: Certification expired on 31st December 2004
  • 2013 date patch: Certification expired on 31st December 2017
  • 2014 date patch: Certification expires on 31st December 2018
  • 2015 date patch: Certification expires on 31st December 2019
  • 2016 date patch: Certification expires on 31st December 2020
  • 2017 date patch: Certification expires on 31st December 2021
  • 2018 date patch: Certification expires on 31st December 2022
For recertification, owners of driver suits should contact the original manufacturer to find out their procedures for returning the suits for inspection and recertification.

On driver suits with sewn-in arm restraints, the date stamped on the arm restraints is a reference date for the manufacturer and has no bearing on the suit's expiration date.

For further questions on the requirements contact either the manufacturer of your driver suit, the
SFI Foundation, or send me an E-Mail at dragracingtech@eircom.net.

Far from Grumpy with Rockingham.
20th March: Paul Marston tells us that Paul Marston Racing recently tested the surface at Rockingham Dragstrip at Rockingham Motor Speedway, the venue for the second No Prep Nationals to be held on the early May Bank Holiday, Monday 7th May:

The temporary drag strip is eighth mile, as opposed to the more traditional quarter mile standard here in the UK. However in the United States this distance is very common. We went to put in some test hits on this new surface, just to christen it, to see what the grip level was and how the driving experience felt.


Prior to our runs, the Rockingham track crew very kindly ran the sweeper down the track to ensure that it was clear from small stones or debris, although it was hardly needed as Rockingham is immaculately maintained. But we were very grateful for the attention to detail. The weapon used was Grumpy's Dodge; she runs 9.50/135 over the quarter and is a traditional Super Gasser which we felt would give is a representative example of the available grip and handling.


The track temperature just about made fifty degrees. We put two hits on the track. The first run was a burnout across the start line and full pass to the eighth. The second run was a burnout across the start line, back up, use some grip juice for a second burnout, and another full pass. Both of these were with a flashlight start which we will be using at the No Prep Nationals.

Testing went well. The track took some rubber quite nicely and the grip level was not bad at all, taking into account that these were the first ever hits made on the track by a drag racer. From the driver's perspective Grumpy was planted, not skating around, and the shutdown area presented no problems other than becoming familiar with different surroundings.


Santa Pod opens with £1000 for charity.
18th March: The ceremonial first run on Santa Pod Raceway's new concrete track took place at the Run What You Brung yesterday (Saturday), as a result of which Magpas Air Ambulance and The Air Ambulance Service were each £500 better off after the chance to make the first pass was posted for auction on E-Bay.


After a presentation ceremony Jordan Bradford and Neale Saunders, who was Project Manager for Santa Pod's track upgrade, took the first run gently in cold and windy conditions, Neale in a Jaguar loaned by stunt driver Terry Grant. Both Jordan and Neale came back later for a higher-throttle pairing when the brief and frequently weather-interrupted RWYB commenced.

In association with John Woolfe Racing we have posted a small gallery of pictures of the presentation ceremony, the first run, and the RWYB. A big Thank You to off-track photographer Diana Macrae for braving the snow and gale. You can check out the RWYB gallery by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


Swift snippets.
18th March: We were sorry to hear from Geoff Stilwell of the death at 78 of legendary Funny Car and Fuel Altered pilot and Crew Chief Dale Emery (right, picture below left). Dale is remembered in the UK for driving the Chadderton and Okazaki Funny Car, which became Gladiator, at Santa Pod Raceway in the mid-1970s but we were also lucky enough to see Dale as recently as last November when he attended British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Bench Race, at which it was a privilege to speak to the modest and unassuming legend. Our deepest sympathies to Dale's family and friends. You can read the superb Dragster Insider account of Dale's career on NHRA.com.


The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com (above right) came with the words "No more words needed, lol!". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to our good buddy, former Track Announcer and all-round good egg (Apart from the country music thing, of course - Ed) Barry Bohannon. Have a great day Barry.


Santa Pod Raceway completes the new track!
16th March: Trakbak Racing Ltd and Santa Pod CEO Keith Bartlett writes:

Many of you will have been following the exciting progress of works around the build of our brand new state-of-the-art concrete quarter mile track over the winter months and this has now finally been completed. This project was started back in August 2017 with the design and planning, followed by construction commencing in early November.  I must add that so far, 2018 has certainly been both eventful and full on for many of the staff at Santa Pod Raceway given the weather in that period. With the time-line and schedule we had programmed to complete all the works and construction,  to be frank it really became squeaky bum time with Easter looming, a major event on the horizon and the weather preventing the concrete being laid. Most, if not all, of the staff at Santa Pod Raceway are used to working under pressure most of the time and we all mange to take that pressure in our stride, week in week out, but the recent stress of facing an unfinished race track by Easter sent the barometer up and way above even our normal levels.

The design and planning of the reconstruction of the old asphalt track began in early August 2017. This was followed by the awarding of the contract to relay the whole quarter mile race track in concrete to Knights Construction, based in Wales. Soon after, fact finding and technical information gathering trips were made to NHRA tracks in the USA by Matt Jones, MD of Knights Construction and Neale Saunders, TBR (Trakbak Racing Ltd) project manager. After much discussion with various NHRA track personnel the final design for the new track at Santa Pod was complete.

Track works began after the Flame and Thunder event at the end of last season. It was soon discovered the ground works required was going to be a far bigger job than at first estimated and budgeted for. We had to undertake a far greater amount of ground works, drainage works and preparation of the ground ready to be able to take the very high level and density of concrete we were planning to lay.  With most of the ground works complete, we were ready to start to pour concrete by late November (2017) – then the major enemy of Santa Pod, struck again – the weather! Due to a combination of rain, snow, cold air temperature and high winds we were unable to lay any concrete until late February; way, way past our deadline for completion of the concrete laying. By some small miracle, we had a 3-5 day window in very late February and early March when the weather allowed us to pour and lay the concrete track in the 5 sections needed. The job went 90% to plan and we had our new concrete track ready for track crews to prepare ready for racing. If that all sounds all quite straightforward, all I can add is that the whole project was anything but straightforward.


With that said, we now have a new, laser-laid, all-concrete track the full length of the quarter mile with such smoothness and levels that we have not had previously, despite having had the fastest asphalt track in the world. Where we go from here and how fast this new concrete track becomes in the future is a very exciting prospect indeed. Although potentially, we now have a very fast race track indeed, I must add a note of caution to everyone; it is going to take a few months for the race teams to dial into this new concrete track and indeed for our own track crews to learn the dynamics of how to achieve the best preparation for the best results – meaning fast times across all classes. We have prepared and worked on concrete tracks before at the other events we run across Europe but each track is different. Also, remember that the drivers, riders and teams only have read-outs and graphs of how their race cars and bikes have performed on the old asphalt track. However, I am optimistic that by the FIA/FIM Main Event (May) some of the teams will have a handle on it and, given the right weather conditions, good times and speeds will follow. If I am right, then by the European Finals, I am hoping to see European records fall to Santa Pod once more – that is our goal to produce a European record-holding track.


It is not only the race track that has undergone a full refurbishment. During that same project, we've also undertaken a full refurbishment of the spectator grass bank. This has involved a complete re-shaping and profiling of the bank along with a much wider path on the top with better, improved access from the rear of the bank. Oh, and easier access to the hill top bar for those who like a little liquid refreshment during the racing! The bank like the track was laser levelled and it is a pleasure to, at last, see an even bank running the entire length.

Typically, things didn't go to plan and the same issues affecting the track have also impacted on the completion of the bank – the weather AGAIN! The "Beast from the East" took its toll. We have been unable to get the new grass seed to germinate in time for Easter due to the weather being too cold. To try everything possible we had even invested tens of thousands more in a special type of grass seed and application that would germinate in colder conditions – but alas not that cold and for once too dry. Who would think we would be saying at Santa Pod the weather has been too dry! This has meant putting into place Plan B for the Festival of Power event with temporary ground cover and free arrangements for sections of the grandstand. I would like to thank everyone for their incredible patience, support and understanding in this particular matter. Please see the Santa Pod web site for further information on those particular arrangements.

In closing, Santa Pod has invested nearly £1,000,000 this winter in the new track and bank projects and we are all hopeful that this will become another big leap forward in Santa Pod's ever-improving facility. When I look back to 1996 when I purchased Santa Pod we have come a long way – but I'm nowhere near satisfied we are there yet – in fact not by a long way!

See you at the track.


Double Redshaws in 2018.
16th March: The UK's Redshaw Racing will be a two-car team in 2018 as Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racer Harry will be joined by Modurstang Pro ET racer Chris, who writes:


Harry would firstly like like to say a very big Thank You to our sponsors at Odyssey Battery for supporting us for the third year running. Harry was very lucky to get Odyssey Battery as a sponsor when he started racing and we cannot thank them enough for all their support. Harry has had a amazing two years in the sport and has loved every minute of it. Last year we competed in the Association Trophée Dragster at Clastres in France at clastres and we had such an amazing time. Harry managed to win the Championship, we couldn't believe it as it was only our second year. It was such a amazing time and we met some amazing people. We are going to compete in the ATD again this year so we start the season at Rivanazzano in Italy then we have two meetings at Clastres and the Finals are at Vichy.

We are looking forward to the UK season starting and we are really looking forward to racing on the new track at Santa Pod, it is looking amazing.

I will be starting my racing career in Pro ET, I have watched Harry racing and every time I am on the track with him I just want to race myself. So last year we acquired the old Mark Richardson Pony Express altered. Our very good friends the Ford family spent last year updating the altered for us, without all their help we could not we could not have had the car ready for this season. We will be running the altered with a Fiat Topolino body shell and under the name The Joker Express. We are so looking forward to racing in both Junior Dragster and Pro ET this year.

Our sponsors at Odyssey Battery are so happy with our progress that they are also supporting me in Pro ET, and we have been very lucky to have some new sponsors too: we are also being supported by Teng Tools and DFDS Ferries. Without the support of our sponsors we could never do what we do.

With the extra car we are also bringing in a new crew member, my nephew Mark Hamilton be joining the team. It is his first time around drag racing and he is so looking so forward to it. Harry and I would like to say a very big Thank You to dad Brian Redshaw for being Crew Chief on both cars. Grandad Brian will be running Harry then running back around to run me so he is going to have a very busy year too.


Swift snippets.
16th March: If you are joining us at Santa Pod Raceway tomorrow for their first RWYB of the season then courtesy of Stephen Billings we can warn you that Hinwick Road (the road opposite the exit from the track) is closed due to bridge reconstruction (map). Alternative routes are available off the A6 via Wymington or off the A509 via Bozeat / Hinwick.

We would like to wish a big Happy Birthday to our good friend and Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member John Hackney. Have a great day Hackers.


SPAL Automotive join Doorslammers fun.
15th March: SPAL Automotive is expanding its relationship with Santa Pod Raceway in 2018 with the sponsorship of the Front Wheel Drive class of the Doorslammers on 19th-20th May.

SPAL design, engineer and manufacture a wide range of axial fans and centrifugal blowers for the world's most demanding markets. They have a worldwide reputation for innovation and combine commitment to best-in-class quality with advanced technology to develop our industry leading products from initial concept through to final manufacture. "We supply the latest cooling technology to the motor racing industry, which means we operate to the most exacting standards and apply those same quality standards across every sector we serve. Our range includes over 3000 products, including traditional brushless and latest generation brushless fans and blowers.”

Andy Saracino-Clift, Aftermarket Business Development Manager for Spal, said "We're delighted to support the event and no doubt in such high-paced conditions, those vehicles will have to be packing some high performance cooling fans from SPAL.  In fact we've already had a Thank You for sponsoring the event from one of the competitors who has installed a SPAL fan as a gesture of support! Good luck to all the racers!"


Swift snippets.
15th March: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "Crate expectations". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

2018 FIA Championship rules.
14th March: Thanks to FIA Drag Racing Commission President Lars Pettersson for letting us know that the FIA have released updated
rules for the 2018 FIA European Drag Racing Championships:

The FIA Commission have made some adjustments to the Technical Regulations to lower costs in Pro Modified and Pro Stock.
  • In Pro Modified we corrected a mistake in Section 1.1 regarding Electronic Fuel Injection.

  • In Pro Stock we have changed Sections 1.2 Cylinder Heads and 1.3 Engine. The rules have now been opened up so that a Pro Stock vehicle can use engines from other manufactures. For example, teams can use a GM or Ford engine in a Chrysler vehicle or vice versa. This was a rule which we had in the 1990s before we started to follow the FIA international drag racing rules.
The rules were approved at the FIA World Motorsport Council meeting in Geneva on 9th March, which I attended to represent drag racing and to present and explain the changes.

The 2018 Sporting Regulations for 2018 have also been released and there are some rule changes and costs reductions for organisers which we hope will help the FIA Championships to advance in future. There has been a lot of hard work by FIA officials working at events and by individuals who have sent in suggestions. I have to thank everybody for a good job.

You can check out the 2018 FIA rules at www.fia.com/regulation/category/101.


Nostalgia's nostalgia.
14th March: James Forster of Santa Pod Raceway writes that after a quiet period on the Dragstalgia front he is pleased to announce that Sweden's Janne Johansson fill be bringing some of his stunning Nostalgia collection to display at this year's event on 13th-15th July:

Janne has a whole workshop full of cars, parts and historic drag racing memorabilia from all over the world and we're delighted to welcome him with some of his display to Santa Pod for the first time.


Janne will be filling his show-worthy, Peterbilt towed, transporter with no less than four historic Funny Cars and a Fuel Altered, plus he'll be bringing a '69 Chevy C20 Ramp Truck towing yet another Funny Car, just like they used to in the good old days. The restored treats Janne will be bringing to Dragstalgia are:
  • Opel Manta B 1976 Funny Car, ex-Björn Andersson and Tage Hammermann
  • Flygvapnet Datsun 280ZX 1980 Funny Car, ex-Lee Anders Hasselström 
  • Volvo 343 1979 Funny Car, ex-body from DEX Volvo, (Björn Ardin)
  • Bubble Up Pontiac Trans Am 1977 Funny Car, ex-Gordie Bonin and Jerry Verhuel
  • Plymouth Arrow 1979 Funny Car, ex-Li'l John Lombardo (restoration ongoing)
  • T-23 Fuel Altered 1975
Janne's vehicles won't be running on track, but instead populating the show marquee with the Björn Andersson Manta and Lee Anders Hasselström Datsun being fired up to cackle throughout the weekend, including participation in the Cacklefest.


The Peterbilt, Ramp Truck and transporter are all show pieces themselves with everything being custom made to transport Janne's collection around Sweden and beyond. These will be in pride of place next to the display too.

Whilst Janne's cars are here, we're also going to take the opportunity to combine his cars with the current crop of European Nostalgia Funny Cars in a bid to recreate this iconic photo of the line-up on the Friday evening. Who knows, we may even be able to line up even more floppers than we did in the original photo.


Don't miss out on this opportunity to get up close and personal with some meticulously-restored Funny Cars from yesteryear. We'll see you there.


TF and PSB roped together.
14th March: Thanks to Remco Scheelings for passing on the news that longtime friends and business partners, UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Liam Jones and UK Pro Stock Bike racer Alex Hope, have joined forces to form Team Asylum with sponsorship under the colours of their company CBD Asylum.

"CBD Asylum manufactures and supplies CBD products derived from hemp from around the world and is continuously developing exciting ways to administer CBD", says Liam. "We are at the forefront of CBD innovation in Europe, having the only fitness industry aimed CBD products in Europe and sponsoring athletes such as professional cage fighter Alex Montagnani and the World's Strongest Man, Eddie 'The Beast' Hall.


"Alex and I will be doing the full European tour again. It's going to be a really exciting year and we are expecting good things. I'm not going to tempt fate by predicting figures and standings, but it should be good!



SFI Tour stops at Santa Pod.
13th March: The fourth and final leg of the 2018 European SFI Recertification Tour took place at Santa Pod Raceway yesterday (Monday). Simon went along to talk to the inspection team and the attending racers:

SFI Foundation Vice President Jennifer Faye was in charge of administering the recertification process. She was joined on each leg of the tour by Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson who was inspecting transmission shields, bellhousings and flexplates, Luke Robinson looking at clutches and L-G Eriksson of ME Racing Services in Borlänge, Sweden who was in charge of inspecting wheels. The parts under inspection all have specific SFI safety specifications according to the class of vehicle.

Also attending were Geoff Martin, Mark Norton and Tim Read of the UK Tech Team who will also be able to certify chassis to SFI specs during the year.

Jennifer reported that the numbers of parts inspected are up on last year and that there is a trend, as well as for new cars, for racers who have had a break from racing for several years to come back to the sport and consequently needing to upgrade their equipment to current standards. In Sweden 174 parts were inspected, in Finland 41 parts, and in Holland 64 parts. During our visit, more than 50 parts had been inspected by lunchtime, with last year's total of 75 likely to be exceeded; in the UK more racers are getting SFI certification in order to be able to enter MSA permit events.

Whilst photographing the SFI Day for our Feature we also gathered a few Pit Notes which are presented below in the order in which we spoke to the interviewees:

Fuel Funny Car racer Kevin Chapman will bring out the former Showtime car acquired from Bob Jarrett after licencing in a Top Fuel Dragster in September. Kevin said "We are having to make a few upgrades to keep up to date. I will be making a licencing half pass on Good Friday which will be my first hit in the car". Kevin will be crewed by former FC racer John Spuffard and he said that the rest of his crew had been recruited, with only one position vacant.

Nostalgia Fuel Altered and Pro Mod racer Nick Davies is preparing the ex-Robert Koper Pontiac Firebird Pro Mod for a début later in the year. Nick said "With other projects on the go, we haven't been able to move the Pro Mod along as much as we wanted. It previously had nitrous Big Block Chevy power and we will be using a turbo Hemi engine, however the transmission will remain a Lenco clutch". Other projects keeping Nick and Rob Loaring of ICE Automotive busy include refurbishment of Andy Bond's Street Eliminator Chevy, David James' planned Pro Mod car and work on the Street Eliminator cars of Nick Hales and Jeff Meads.

Top Methanol Funny Car / Altered team Steph and Dave Milam were having transmission components checked, although the car in Altered format has been put up for sale (see Jeff Bull Swap Meet). Dave said "My eye has recovered from a problem last September but I am now waiting for a replacement for an arthritic hip. The car may be out later in the year as an Altered to maintain interest in it. We may split it if there is demand for the running gear or the chassis separately, and the engine still has the PSI blower on it". Once the car is sold, Dave and Steph will still maintain involvement in the sport by crewing.

James Willaday is planning to run his rotary-engined turbo Mazda RX8 in Comp Eliminator and will also race at the Doorslammers. James said "It has a Hauser tube chassis, an engine I built, and tuning help will come from racers in Puerto Rico where rotary-engined drag cars are huge". James has worked with the engines for thirteen years and had a street car which ran 8.8. The new car, which is for the track only, features a Liberty trans, 91 mm single Pro Mod-style turbo and a Microtech ECU which can be set up remotely. He is discussing with race officials which class he can enter, and points out that the effective capacity of the 1308 cc engine for racing is still only 2616 cc.

Wild Bunch racer Mick Gleadow was at getting his Jurassic Parts II dragster's bellhousing, flexplate and trans shield certified to enable him to run at MSA permit events this year. Mick said "I raced at an MSA event in 2014 and was runner up at the 2017 UK National Finals. Competing at MSA events increases the race meetings available for Wild Bunch teams to compete in. The Festival of Power has a field of six cars, more than last year". Mick aims to run an eight in the dragster, which is modelled on a Junior Fuel car, "Even if it involves nitro".

Nostalgia Funny Car racer Rob Elsom suffered major mechanical damage at a VW meeting where two rods let go. He admitted "It wasn't the best year as I couldn't get further than two hundred feet down the track, and I haven't completed licencing". On the brighter side, Rob's new engine fired up successfully for the first time last Sunday and he is planning on running six events this year, with the Festival of Power coming first. He said it was tune-up problems that contributed to the lack of performance. "We were chipping away at it, but it was falling flat on its face early in the run, once the RPMs drop the fuel volume is wrong and there is more risk of a dropped cylinder and breakage."

Super Pro ET racer Aaron Fensome, who bought the ex-Gold RV blown-alcohol dragster with sister Saskia Fensome Jell, will bring the car out for his final licencing pass at the test day before the Main Event. Aaron thanks Derek Flynn of Eurodragster.com sponsor Gold RV and Pete Walters of Eurodragster.com sponsor Peter Walters Race Design who, after an upgrade to a Big Block Chevy, will be working with Aaron on his similarly-powered car.

Super Comp and Super Pro ET racer Nicky Frost will be returning from a year off with a new chassis under the car, built by Eurodragster.com sponsor Chris Isaacs and featuring a four-link suspension replacing the previous ladder bars. The engine will be a Steve Schmidt 584 ci with twin carburettors. The car will be back on track at the Main Event.

Wayne Allman of the Intergalactic Custom Shop, running the Mental Breakdown VW pick-up, missed a part of the 2017 season following damage caused by the tip of a valve coming off at 1000 feet into a run, taking out a lot of his engine. After Wayne rebuilt he came back at the Hot Rod Drags and ran an early-shut-off 7.20. Wayne said "The car is legal to run MSA events and my target this year is to run a six at over two hundred miles per hour". Wayne is also working on improvements to Phil 'Ginner' Middleton's Outlaw Anglia Fordson, and a new Fordson build for a yet-to-be-identified racer.

L-G Eriksson of ME Racing Services has been working on updates to Top Fuel Dragsters for the FIA series, and on rally cars. The amount of Docol tubing being used for construction doubled in 2017 and the tubing features on Pro Mod racer Mats Eriksson's rebuilt Green Goblin Crown Victoria, which is scheduled for a mid-season Scandinavian return.

In association with Lucas Oil Products we are pleased to present a gallery of the SFI inspections, 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.


Swift snippets.
13th March: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us the "Final, final" version of the official entry list for the Festival of Power, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 30th March-1st April. You can check out the Festival of Power entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If you have any queries about Festival of Power entry then please get in touch with Ian on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.

OCS Group back The Doorslammers.
12th March: Santa Pod Raceway are delighted to announce yet another class sponsor for their new
Doorslammers event in May. OCS Group have confirmed their position as title sponsor of the Big Bracket class.

Said Nic Williams of the OCS Group "This is the perfect event for us to showcase our products and services so it makes perfect sense for the OCS Group to be the title sponsor of the Big Bracket, especially as so many of our customers that have had mechanical or paintwork with us will be competing in the class. Our new Northamptonshire based premises offers a one-stop facility for all of your needs from minor paint repairs to full bare metal restorations with OCS Paint, then next door the Williams Bros Racing workshops offers everything from routine American car servicing and parts to full builds, specialising in hot rods and NHRA Stock-legal race cars. We will be fielding at least three cars under the Williams Bros Racing banner ourselves and look forward to pairing up with cars from other classes that we do not normally race against. The whole team from OCS Paint, Williams Bros Racing, WBR Engine Dyno and WBR Speed Shop will be on hand to answer any questions you may have, we look forward to seeing you there."

OCS Group join other class sponsors VP Racing Fuels, Turbo Technics, Spal Automotive, Lucas Oil, Webster Race Engineering and EBC Brakes to complete the line-up of class sponsors for the event which takes place on 19th-20th May. For more information on the event, the latest entry list, and to book tickets, visit www.santapod.co.uk/doorslammers.php.


7707 moves house.
12th March: Geoff Stilwell writes that BUA Motorsport's iconic 7707 Land Speed racer, previously owned by the Kuhl and Olson team, is now in its new home in Los Angeles and undergoing a lot of work:

With the Land Speed race season fast approaching, on 18th-19th May at El Mirage just north of Los Angeles, the BUA Motorsport Team of myself, Bill Schultz, Sparky Perry (tuner and Top Alcohol Funny Car racer), Bob and Sharon Muravez, Carl Olson and a few others whom I will name later have all been very busy.


Since the car arrived in Los Angeles we have got the fuel system, mag, blower, cylinder heads and fire bottles out for servicing. In addition we needed to make some upgrades because of rule changes regarding the seat harness. We have taken delivery of a Valesco crank, new Crower rods and Venolia pistons, Iskenderian Cams have supplied a new cam, lifters and cam kit with valve springs. On order are new oil lines, blower belts, valves and a few other bits and pieces. Bill Schultz and Sparky Perry will be putting the motor together shortly so that we can get it on a dyno and make sure that everything works as it should.

Let me stress that putting something together like this to go for a new Land Speed Record in its class is no mean feat. It takes up so much time and I need to thank those already mentioned plus Doug Stringer owner of the Parts Plus and Great Clips Top Fuel Dragster Team and driver Clay Millican, Ed "The Ace" McCulloch, Ed Iskenderian, Waterbed Fred Miller, Peter Muravez, Fast Eddie from the LA based Road Kings Car Club and the Legendary Tommy Ivo for all their help and support, and not forgetting Allen Bridges of Simpson for supplying my new firesuit and helmet. None of this would be possible without the help of Les Downey and Tom Bogner of Lucas Oil and the Camfather himself Ed Iskenderian.

We are targeting El Mirage to make some gentle passes and get used to the car. Further updates to follow and our new Facebook page will be launched very shortly where you can follow our progress, plus we will be doing live broadcasts at the events connections and internet permitting.


Swift snippets.
12th March: Many thanks to Mike Collins for sending us a preview of his column in the latest issue of Street Machine magazine, available if you are quick, plus for Nostalgia fans a Glory Days exclusive for Eurodragster.com readers.

UK Top Methanol FC and blown-alcohol altered racer Steph Milam tells us that the She Devil Racing race car is for sale in its altered guise. More details under Cars For Sale on our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet.


Swift snippets.
10th March: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us the final version of the official entry list for the Festival of Power, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 30th March-1st April. You can check out the Festival of Power entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If you have any queries about Festival of Power entry then please get in touch with Ian on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.

Geoff Stilwell asked us to say a big Happy 80th Birthday to his good friend and mentor Bob Muravez aka Floyd Lippencotte. Our pleasure Geoff, have a great day Bob.


Event entry update.
8th March: Many thanks to József Hadnagy for forwarding us the official entry form and Supplementary Regulations for the FIM Europe Super Street Bike and FIM Europe Junior Drag Bike Cup rounds at Kunmadaras Raceway, Hungary on 29th April-1st May. You can download the entry form and supplementary regs by
clicking here.

"Kunmadár is awaiting you with an excellent track and a renewed drag arena!", says József.

Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us Version 6 of the official entry list for the Festival of Power, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 30th March-1st April. You can check out the Festival of Power entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Standard-rate entry closes tomorrow (Friday); entry after tomorrow, if accepted, may be subject to a Late Entry penalty. You can fill in and submit or download the official Festival of Power entry forms via the Information link of the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

If you have any queries about Festival of Power entry then please get in touch with Ian on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.


You could be first...
7th March:
Santa Pod Raceway are offering a one one-off opportunity to be in the first pair of cars to race down the brand new all-concrete drag strip:

For the first time in its history, the Santa Pod drag strip has been completely rebuilt with concrete (previously asphalt) after digging up the original WW2 runway over winter. This marks the start of a new era for the Home of European drag racing. The legendary Harold Bull was the first man to record a time on the original race track way back in 1966 and here is your opportunity to etch your name in Santa Pod's illustrious history books.


The Ebay auction comprises two lots and all proceeds will be split between the Air Ambulance Service (East Midlands) and Magpas Air Ambulance (East Anglia). One auction is for the chance to drive in the left hand Coldfire lane. There is a separate auction for the chance to drive in the right hand Autoglym lane. You will receive a certificate to mark the occasion.


These first runs on the track will take place at the Run What You Brung event on Saturday 17th March. All you need is a valid driving licence (UK, European or International). After the first run you will also be entitled to unlimited runs that day and you'll receive a personal performance print-out showing your reaction times to the start lights, sixty foot time, eighth and quarter mile times and terminal speed. Visit www.rwyb.com for full rules and more information.

Click here to bid to open the Coldfire lane
Click here to bid to open the Autoglym lane

As can be seen above work continues on the new strip at Santa Pod with the timing equipment being reinstalled ahead of fresh rubber being laid. You can check out a full gallery by clicking here. To see the new track in action at the upcoming Festival of Power, grab your tickets at  www.santapod.com.


Swift snippets.
7th March: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with no words. If you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

Further to yesterday's snippet the latest update from The Netherlands' Pro Dutch Racing Pro Modified team is now available in English as well as Dutch. Our good friend Remco Scheelings tells us that future updates will be available in both languages. Click here to check out the English-language update (PDF format).

We would like to say a big Happy Birthday for today (Wednesday) to our good buddy, Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member, and imminently Pro Modified racer Spencer Tramm. Have a great day Spencer.

Our good friend Jim Kelly's time travel thriller Found In Time is now available as an audiobook. Jim's forthcoming book about his racing experiences including working with Eurodragster.com sponsor VP Racing Fuels, which we are expecting to be a Match Race Madness for the 21st Century, is currently undergoing final editing and we understand that there may be enough material for a second volume. In the meantime you can find out more about Found In Time including purchasing options on Jim's web site by clicking here.


WRE back The Doorslammers.
7th March: Santa Pod Raceway are also pleased to announce that Eurodragster.com sponsor Webster Race Engineering, situated next to Santa Pod Raceway, are the latest sponsor for the eagerly anticipated Doorslammers event on 19th-20th May:

Jon Webster is a name well known to Santa Pod having built and / or driven just about every type of race car conceivable and his reputation precedes him. Webster Race Engineering are kindly putting their name to the 4 Cylinder class to put their engineering services in front of competitors and spectators alike.

Jon said "It's a particular discipline we are interested in with several customers that could make an impact in the class. I was involved with the design and build of Wayne Saunders' World Record setting Ford Focus back in 1999 and the enthusiasm for the potential of the possible combinations out there has stayed with me. The Doorslammers is an excellent platform for these cars. Heads up competition is the real place for them to battle it out. We are currently involved with vehicles that may appear at the inaugural event and offer extensive workshop services and support with respect to race car construction and associated services and support."


Event entry update.
6th March: Jonny Niesner of Drag Race Union says that the race is on to be part of this year's Pro ET Challenge but that entry closes on 25th March. "The prize money is fixed", says Jonny, "entry is in full swing, but the deadline is approaching. If you are interested in joining the Pro ET Challenge then you can find all the information you need at
www.dragraceunion.eu/proet-challenge or on our Facebook page."

Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us Version 5 of the official entry list for the Festival of Power, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 30th March-1st April. You can check out the Festival of Power entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Standard-rate entry closes this Friday (9th); entry after this date, if accepted, may be subject to a Late Entry penalty. You can fill in and submit or download the official Festival of Power entry forms via the Information link of the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

If you have any queries about Festival of Power entry then please get in touch with Ian on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.


Proud for Sag...
6th March: On behalf of the whole Daddy Cool team, Alan Grimes has been in touch to thank the Eurodragster.com readers who voted to award the APIRA Iris Page Memorial Trophy to late Wild Bunch racer Dave 'Sag' Southworth:

The team felt honoured even to be nominated for this award, let alone be the fortunate recipient. I have been friends with Sag since I was fifteen years old and our history with Daddy Cool dates back at least twenty five years. Sag was always astonished at the progress we made with the car and never thought we would ever achieve the performance levels we did. A best of 8.84 and, more importantly to Sag, 150.26 mph as he was always a speed junkie on track. On the road he was the exact opposite.

This award, together with the Don Garlits Spirit of Drag Racing award from the wonderful Wild Bunch, are everything Sag would ever have wished for. He was a great friend over the years, he was best man at my wedding, and his wonderful family are such special people to me so I know how much this will mean to them. With Sag I first went to Santa Pod a long time ago, we both loved the Page family and the great performances of Panic over the years, particularly the win in Pro Comp all those years ago so thank you so much to the Page family for the inspiration over the years. 

I have been privileged to be involved with this sport for so many years now and don't have any idea what life would be like without all these wonderful people involved in drag racing in every capacity.

We hope to be racing Daddy Cool again this year with a family member driving the car, I think that is only fitting as a memorial. 

See you all at the track folks. "Good racing and everyone home safe" has to be the mantra.


York Air Ambulance donation.
6th March: The 'PDRC Nite of Champions', the 43rd Annual Pennine Drag Racing Club trophy presentation night and dinner dance, took place last Saturday 3rd March at the Campanile Hotel, Bradford.

A donation from the BDRHOF Benevolent Fund was made to Yorkshire Air Ambulance Charity by Graham Beckwith, British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Selection Board Member, trustee of the BDRHOF Benevolent Fund and MC for the evening. Graham stood in for fellow trustee and BDRHoF Chairman Stu Bradbury, who was to have made the presentation, but was unable to travel from his Wellingborough home due to the weather.

Receiving the cheque was Vickie Bowden, West Yorkshire Community Fundraiser for Yorkshire Air Ambulance Charity. Vickie said 'Yorkshire Air Ambulance Charity is very grateful to the BDRHOF Benevolent Fund for their generous gift and for supporting the YAA, it really is appreciated'.

For the BDRHOF Benevolent Fund, Graham Beckwith said ' The announcement of the presentation to YAA was well received and was applauded loudly and the rest of the evening went very well too. It is good to be able to make an award to organisations who provide services to the community as a whole as well as drag racing'.

Photo of Graham Beckwith and Vickie Bowden courtesy and copyright Richard Smith


Swift snippets.
6th March: A new block and other bits and pieces, smart new T-Shirts, a pull at Eurodragster.com sponsor Dyno Unlimited and a tricky calendar dilemma all feature in the latest update from The Netherlands' Pro Dutch Racing Pro Modified team. Even if you don't read Dutch it is not too difficult to catch up by clicking here (PDF format).

APIRA Perpetual Award winners.
4th March: The winners and runners-up in the 2017 APIRA Ultimate Power Championships and National Association of Supertwins were presented with their trophies at the APIRA Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation in Warwick last night (Saturday). The winners of APIRA's Perpetual Awards, for whom Eurodragster.com readers had the chance to vote, were also presented with their trophies.

Congratulations to the APIRA Perpetual Award winners:

APIRA Iris Page Memorial Trophy: The late Dave 'Sag' Southworth (The Wild Bunch)
Shakespeare County Raceway Award for Outstanding Achievement: Outlaw Anglia (as a class)
APIRA Shakespeare County Raceway Sportswoman of the Year: Kirsten van Croonenborgh (Supercharged Outlaws)
APIRA Endeavour Award: Andy Hadfield (aka Fadster, Supercharged Outlaws)
Alan Wigmore Memorial Trophy: Dave Rowlands (Shakespeare County Raceway track prep)
McDonald Racing Ireland Best Newcomer Trophy: Amy, Neil and Tom Watkins (Nostalgia Super Stock)

Thanks to all of the Eurodragster.com readers who voted.

Congratulations also to APIRA's Track and Safety crews who were presented with the Anya Yates Memorial Trophy.


Darren Bullock.
3rd March: We were sorry to hear from Chris Bates of the death in Cambodia of friend and race fan Darren Bullock. Chris writes:

Darren Bullock was one of the most enthusiastic drag race fans you could ever meet. He was a controversial character but his love for the sport and knowledge for figures and times often amazed some of the European teams.

I know he would have loved to have come back to the UK and seen the new track at Santa Pod.

RIP Darren.


APIRA Trophy Night is Go.
2nd March: Jerry Cookson writes that tomorrow's (Saturday's) APIRA / NAST Trophy Presentation is going ahead as planned:

Please drive safely. Pre-Dinner Drinks will commence in the hotel bar at 6:00 pm followed by the evening meal served at 7:00 pm. Please can we have everyone seated by this time.

Presentations will commence at 8:30 pm. We would appreciate it if background noise can be kept down during the presentations; it is only common courtesy both to the trophy winners and to hosts Angie Woods and Shaun Wilson. If you wish to hold conversations then please go to the bar.

Due to high demand and late bookings it may not be possible to seat everyone with whom they wish. We have accommodated everyone as best we can to meet the hotel's deadline. We trust that everyone will understand, and thank you for the continued support. With over 190 guests coming the evening promises to be a memorable one!


Final SFI Tour details.
1st March: Many thanks to Jennifer Faye of the
SFI Foundation for forwarding us the final arrangements for next week's European SFI Recertification Tour.

Thursday 8th March: DHRA HQ, Het Aambeeld 11, 1969 NC, Heemskerk, The Netherlands (Inspections 08:00-12:00)
Friday 9th March: FHRA HQ, Helsinki-Malmin Lentoasema, 00700 Helsinki, Finland (Inspections 08:00-12:00)
Saturday 10th March: Persåkers Speed Shop, Åkers Styckebruk, Sweden (Inspections 12:00-17:00)
Monday 12th March: Santa Pod Raceway, UK (Inspections 10:00-16:00)

The inspection team will be Jennifer, Andy Robinson, Luke Robinson and L-G Eriksson. A list of items which can be inspected, now including SFI 61.1 turbochargers (Precision brand only), can be checked out by clicking here (PDF format).


Swift snippets.
1st March: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us Version 4 of the official entry list for the Festival of Power, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 30th March-1st April. You can check out the Festival of Power entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. You can download the official Festival of Power entry forms via the Information link of the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

Diana Macrae asked us to say a big Happy Birthday with added hugs to fellow Podington Pea Kerry Jeyes. Our pleasure DD; have a lovely day Kerry and please accept additional hugs from the Eurodragster.com team.


EBC Brakes back The Doorslammers.
1st March: Santa Pod Raceway are delighted to announce that EBC Brakes have been added to the ever growing list of partners for the Doorslammers event to be held on 19th-20th May.

EBC Brakes are one of the biggest independent brake manufacturers in the world supplying pads and discs for all forms of motorsport. EBC Brakes, whose global headquarters are located close by to the track in Northampton, have signed up as sponsor for the 6 Cylinder Class which heralds a prize purse of £5000. EBC said “This year is shaping up to be an exciting season for our automotive teams who will be racing worldwide in a wide variety of classes, including drift racing, off-road rallying, Autocross, classic cup racing and much more! We're delighted to be involved with drag racing at Santa Pod this year and proud to sponsor the 6 Cylinder class at the Doorslammers."


The Package positively bulges.
28th February: With a few weeks left to the start of the season, UK Super Gas racer Simon Gough has been in touch with an insight on the updated contents of his Package:

First was the transmission, we needed a new Reid PG1500 case as we seemed to have put a crack in the other one at the UK National Finals. A quick call to Jeff Bull to get one brought in for us. Then it was off to Kevin Cerasale for a quick change over, install some new items to make it a bit more up-to-date.

We then purchased a new shifter and transbrake button. After my video with Tony Morris at the NitrOlympX he insisted on a better trans button to help me achieve the Reaction Times which we'd require to be consistent in Super Gas - no point hitting 9.90 all the time if you can't leave the line at the correct moment.

So the button was ordered and then we were told that the track at Santa Pod was being ripped out and a new £1 million track surface was being installed. Super Gas is an extremely tight class and so I wanted to install any advanced technology which I could use to my advantage. I made a quick call to Racepak HQ to seek advice in installing shock sensors and to ask whether they would help me to read the track quicker than my opponents. After that, a quick call to Dick Koster at Post en Dros and they were on their way.

New brake pads fitted, new shifter fitted, new rad and fan fitted, new oil accumulator seals fitted, new shock sensors fitted, new trans fitted, new filters fitted, a few new cables to put in and we should be ready for a quick fire-up and a test run on the Pro Jacks. Hopefully everything will be recording properly and we get a few garage test runs.

Our goal this year is do everything we can to finish in the top five in the Terry Gibbs Super Gas Shootout. We will be running in the Big Bracket shootout at the Doorslammers, at the NitrOlympX, and at every round of the SPRC Championship.

We have loads of sponsors to thank this year, a big Thank You to the following for all their efforts in getting The Package ready yet again: Jeff Bull Race Engines, Kev Carasale Transmissions, Dick Koster, Bret and Debbie, Sharron, and Gary Campion. Without these people I couldn't do what I do year in and year out.

I would like to wish everyone in Super Gas a fast and competitive 2018.


Festival of Power entry update.
27th February: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us Version 3 of the official entry list for the Festival of Power, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 30th March-1st April.

You can check out the Festival of Power entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Standard-rate entry closes on Friday of next week (9th March); entry after this date, if accepted, may be subject to a Late Entry penalty. You can fill in and submit or download the official Festival of Power entry forms via the Information link of the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

If you have any queries about Festival of Power then please get in touch with Ian on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.


VWDRC at 31.
27th February: The countdown to Easter is well underway and Luke Stevenson writes that the Volkswagen Drag Racing Club are busier than ever going in to their thirty first season:

After a great 2017, in which both VW Sportsman and Pro Championships were decided at the UK National Finals - the latter featuring a fight between the top three in the final rounds of year - this year we have another bumper crop of new racers taking on both classes looking to be the 2018 Rookie of the Year. The recent news of a rule change allowing cars from 2010 onwards to compete in VW Pro without a roll cage will hopefully will introduce a whole new crop of racers.

We will also see the return of some crowd favourites. Dave Crowhurst has had a complete new 25.1 chassis built by Bill Murfin to tame the Black Wanger Beetle after it tried to kiss the wall on more than two occasions during testing; multiple VW Pro Champion James Hodson has his eyes on the podium after a year of travelling, and Paul (Legend) Bargate will be back with the Yellow Peril Scirocco, just to name a few.

The current race schedule for 2018 features five rounds at Santa Pod and a single round at Shakespeare County Raceway, but with the well-known ongoing situation at SCR the Committee have decided that in 2018 all rounds will count towards the Championship instead of dropping a single round. This will hopefully make it fairer for our racers should a round be dropped at a later date.

As ever the VWDRC are blessed with such great support from companies which want to be involved with the longest-running single-marque Drag Racing Club in the world. We are very proud to announce that there is a pot of over £3500 to be won throughout the 2018 season. We will be awarding a prize to the number one qualifer at each event, and at last year's VWDRC Annual General Meeting it was decided to award the bulk of the prize fund to first, second and third in the final Championship placings in VW Pro and VW Sportsman.

A massive thank you to the following companies with whom we look forward to working and entertaining at the track: Brickfield Autos, Darkside Developments, WRP Paint and Restoration, Trackstuff Racing Fuels and Tyres, BJ's Speedshop, Starz Hair and Beauty, Hangar 30, CG Motorsport Specialist Clutches, R-Tech Performance, Engine Carbon Clean, KleenFreaks and Volks Workshop 

The VWDRC promotional Tour kicks off in two weeks time at Ultimate Dubs at the Telford International Centre next week (10th-11th March), we then move on to the Volksworld Show at Sandown Park on 24th-25th March. These shows kick off a great season in the VW community, so why not visit both to get a taste of the Show season.


All twenty candles lit.
26th February: Although Eurodragster.com was registered and had an on-line presence in late 1997 we view 26th February 1998 as our official birthday since that is the date of our first news item, an update from European Top Fuel Dragster Champion and record holder Andy Carter. So, today is officially Eurodragster.com's twentieth birthday.

We couldn't have got here without the support of racers, clubs, officials, promoters, fans, family, friends and everyone else who has helped in one way or another, so a big Thank You to you all. A special Thank You, of course, to all of Eurodragster.com's sponsors without whom we would not be able to do this.

Tog would like to say a personal Thank You to Kirstie (eleven years and counting), Simon (fourteen years and counting) and Julian (six years and counting) for their support and hard work, to most of his former colleagues for their contribution, and of course to Mrs Tog for putting up with twenty years of head-down nights on the laptop and almost continuous absences during the season (TBH I suspect that is how she prefers it - Ed) and to Simon's wife Ros for tolerating similar conditions.

We would also like to say a big Happy Birthday to our good friend and Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member Darren Prentice of Santa Pod Raceway. Have a great day Darren. Happy Birthday also to UK Fuel Funny Car racer Kevin Kent, you have a great day too Kevin, and to former safety crew member Geoff Quaife. Have a great day Geoff.


Swift snippets.
26th February: We were very pleased to see that Sweden's Jonnie Lindberg had walked away from a short but high-speed stint as John Force's Official Receiver during yesterday's Fuel FC eliminations at the NHRA Arizona Nationals. You can find out more on NHRA Online or courtesy of the regular competition-standard tricoteuses on Facebook. Coincidentally, and conscience-free with the news that John Force is OK, a splendid autographed Kenny Youngblood print is for sale in the Drag Racing Memorabilia section of our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet.

Slicks still sought for SPR prep.
24th January:
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has been in touch with a reminder that SPRC's track crew are seeking used slicks or ET Street Radials for use in prepping the new track surface.

If you have any used slicks or ET Street Radials then please call Ian on 01933 313625 or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com. The Club will be glad to arrange collection of tyres including an outing already arranged for this coming Tuesday (27th).


Hutchinson and Dibley back Sportsman ET.
23rd February: Eagle-eyed readers of the official
entry list for the Festival of Power will have noticed that the UK's Sportsman ET class now has a title sponsor, namely Hutchinson and Dibley Ltd. Andy Dibley writes:

Hutchinson and Dibley Ltd is a Buckinghamshire-based precision CNC engineering company specialising in the production of hard-to-manufacture parts. We have over fifty years of experience in most industries including defence, oil, gas and marine, as well as machining most common metals and plastics but also working with difficult materials such as titanium, magnetic iron and Inconel. Our shop facility includes CNC turning and milling as well as welding and fabrication equipment. Our entire production is ISO9001:2008 approved and accredited.


After two very successful seasons sponsoring the 50 Shades of Racing Sportsman ET team we are looking to increase our involvement within the class. The competition has got tougher than ever with top qualifying positions being decided by the thousandth of a second at most meetings. As part of our support for the class, Hutchinson and Dibley Ltd are also sponsoring a Number One qualifier trophy at every event. This trophy will be presented to the top qualifier in the Sportsman ET pits after the final round of qualifying.

You can find the Hutchinson and Dibley Ltd web site at www.hutchinsondibley.com, or call 01628 530448.


Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards 2018.
23rd February: We are very pleased to confirm that the Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme will continue in 2018. A minimum of £100 will be on offer for perfect performance at every UK National Championship event.

Cath and Tig Napier of Bad Habit Racing are again kindly sponsoring the Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award which will start at the Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway in March and continue at UK National Championship and certain other events including Dragstalgia and the Mopar EuroNationals. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer at an event to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award will be available to racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won then the Award will be increased to £75 for the next event; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the next event.

Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals will be available in the Signing On office or from the Eurodragster.com office in Race Control (entry via Spectator Bank side stairs only).

The Eurodragster.com / Gold RV Perfect ET Award, which will also be available at UK National Championship events starting at the Festival of Power, is again kindly sponsored by Derek and Fiona Flynn of RV sales and service specialists Gold RV. The Award, which also starts at £50, will be paid in cash to the first racer at an event to run an ET to the thousandth of a second on dial-in or index. If not won then the Award will be increased to £75 for the next event; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the next event.

To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers are required to carry decals, one on each side of the vehicle. If you pull an event's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals then there will be no discussion; we will not pay out and the next person to pull a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals. Please note that the decals have changed since last season; those from previous seasons will not be valid. Decals will be available in the Signing On office or from the Eurodragster.com office in Race Control (entry via Spectator Bank side stairs only).

For more details about the services which Gold RV can provide please either see Derek Flynn in the Gearhead Garage UK Super Pro ET pits or visit www.goldrv.co.uk.


FAO UK teams with multiple racers.
22nd February: UK National Drag Racing Championship Co-ordinator Yvonne Tramm has been in touch with the usual reminder to racers who intend to field more than one racer in the same vehicle this season.

If you will be fielding multiple racers in the same vehicle this season then please E-Mail Yvonne at
ytramm@africonnect.com with class, race number, team name and racer names. Information must be submitted by Friday 23rd March.

If you have any queries then please contact Yvonne on the same address.


Skool's Out is out.
22nd February: The UK's Jason Anslow says that he is sure that many of those in our wonderful world of drag racing are busy preparing for the new season, and that that is certainly the case at Quick Release Racing as the team continue to field one car and build another:

We only have six months of closed season to get all the jobs started, let alone completed! Last season was Lowri's first time drag racing in her Baja Beetle Lady Baja. I built the car for her to try the sport we both love hoping that she would enjoy the driving as much as I do. I'm really pleased that she did and that she has decided to carry on. I am currently building a new engine for her that will see an increase in size from a 1600cc to a 1915cc air-cooled flat four. This should help her to shave a second or two off her elapsed times and add a few miles an hour to her top speed. After a first season of learning how to race and compete we are both hoping to see her go rounds and challenge for event wins in 2018.

If any individuals or companies out there have a love for old Beetles and would like to support Lowri in her racing, please get in touch. Contact details are at the end of this piece.

Alongside that, at the end of last season I made the difficult decision to retire my car, the VW Beetle Skool's a Drag. I was incredibly proud of the car I had built and developed over the four years of racing it. I guess I should also be pleased that I achieved a PB of 13.1 seconds at 103 mph, not bad for an old Bug. There were however a number of issues over the years which meant to my mind that I never got the best out of it.

As is the case with many racers, once bitten by the bug of speed there is only ever one way to go and that's faster. Unfortunately in an air-cooled Beetle it's a pretty hard and expensive, especially if it breaks! And when I say faster I'm talking an aim of getting to the eights and maybe lower! It was being part of the air-cooled VW scene back in the early 1990s that introduced me to the wonderful world of drag racing and ever since then I have been hooked. Even then at all the VW shows I loved watching the Ford Pops racing and dreamt that one day I'd be able to have one. Of course I thought that it would only ever remain a dream.

Saying this, I've got to an age in life where I belive that if you really want something, you must do whatever you can to achieve it! Life's too short just to have dreams and not act upon them. So all the race spec parts on Skool's were sold and the fund to build a Pop running a supercharged Big Block Chevy was started. After all, moving from one short wheel based car to another is the easy and obvious way to do it, isn't it?

The plan is that it will probably take at least five years to be able to save the money and have the car put together, but ultimately it will give me the chance of hitting those low times and high speeds. As a Foster Carer I am lucky enough to have some time during daytime in the week, however it's not the best paid job in the world so I will balance the two things as best I can.

I've been really lucky in that a number of the parts I will need have come my way already. So at the moment I have a full fibreglass body, rear suspension, wheels, rear diff, fuel pump, pedals, ignition system and a few other bits and pieces. I have also sourced a potential engine. Anyone who knows me is aware that I'm 6' 5" and of a more comfortable physique so the decision has been made to have a full tube chassis built to enable me to race a car in relative comfort!

For me this is going to be one massive learning curve. I have very little knowledge on V8s and how to run them, set them up etc. I am looking forward to going through the learning process and becoming part of a world where the engines have twice as many cylinders. During the build years I will be crewing for Lowri as she carries on racing in the Volkswagen Drag Racing Club as well as for anyone else in the Club who can use a helping hand. I am also hoping to be able to shadow some teams who run in the Outlaw Anglias to see how it all works.

My biggest need however is for people. I am looking for those who would like to be part of the journey with me. I really have a need for someone with good experience in the world of V8s to help and guide me. This will hopefully enable me to make the right decisions when buying parts and choosing people to do the work etc. and teach me about the engines and the workings of a V8 race car. I am also looking for people who would like to help me with the build and then hopefully crew for me when I finally get the car on track. I am unable to provide any financial reward so ideally need those with a passion / interest in drag racing and / or cars or maybe have a specialised knowledge of any of the areas of a drag race team. I'm based in South Warwickshire, not far from Shakey so ideally anyone who is able to help will be fairly local.

If you would like to help please get in touch directly by E-Mailing me at jasonanslow@hotmail.com or via the team Facebook page.

Here's to the dawn of a new season and hopefully lots of great racing on the new concrete currently being laid at the Pod - and of course some track time at Shakey!


You're gonna need a bigger block...
22nd February: Santa Pod Raceway Track Announcer and, he says, definitely not racer (Point conceded, having seen him race - Ed) Colin Theobald has been in touch to put us straight after our parting crack in Andy Thetford's snippet on 10th February. "I do not own a race car", says Colin, "it is a Street car!". However...

As you all know, we managed to totally destroy the engine in Bruce the Camaro back at Dragstalgia last year. I basically pushed the car too hard with a totally stock bottom end and after achieving a Personal Best of 11.34/117.96 the pistons and rods decided that that was enough and they didn't want to play any more.


Fast forward to today and the new engine build is coming on very nicely indeed. Dan Williams at Williams Bros Racing has had the new Dart block back from the machine shop all nicely bored and honed to perfection. The crank has also returned from balancing so he now has all of the pieces to build the new 454 big block engine. We initially hoped to be ready for Easter but an unforeseen delay in obtaining a couple of key items has put the debut back a month or so. Dan is a perfectionist when it comes to engine builds and is rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with. Having checked into the workshops today to see the progress it was like visiting a maternity ward to see how your new baby is, so many engines there that Dan had to point out which one was mine! Lots of shiny bits, the heads look amazing and the pistons need to be displayed in a glass cabinet they look so good. Once the engine is built Dan will run it in on their very own Superflow engine dyno, only when he is totally happy will he do a power pull.

Needless to say, with the combination that Dan and Nic have specified there will be a fair amount of extra power, not saying how much more yet as we are running a sweepstake to see who will be closest.

With the extra power, other upgrades were looked at so the trusty TH400 is making way for a new TH350, new fuel lines and Earls Performance fittings throughout and a replacement fuel tank that previously saw life in Mike Lacey's Metamorphosis Camaro. We had already replaced the differential a couple of years ago but to finish off the driveline new stronger half shafts are being fitted. The brakes are having a major overhaul as we want to make sure the car stops as well as it goes.

Whilst Dan is concentrating on the mechanicals, Nic and Ash at OCS Paint will be carrying out some paintwork to the rear of the car. I unfortunately picked up a deep scratch on the rear quarter panel last year and let's just say that lots of over-enthusiastic burnouts created a fair amount of stone chips. We had to roll the wheel arches a couple of years ago so that the slicks didn't rub, so repairs needed there as well so it makes perfect sense to do all of this whilst the axle and old fuel tank are removed. They will also replace the rear shocks and repaint the CalTracs.

Plans for this season will be again just one race meeting due to work commitments, so expect to see Bruce on the entry list for the SPRC Summernationals. I wish I could enter three classes but two is the limit, so this year it will be Modurstang Pro ET, just to see if I can win my pound coin back from Lee Huxley, and for sheer fun I'm going to enter Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator as I have always wanted to go on the Cruise and to be able to say that I have raced with the quickest street cars in Europe. I still aim to do the occasional passenger ride as I enjoy them so much because the victims I select haven't really go a clue what to expect. We do have one very special passenger ride to do however, as Bruce decided to have a front tyre blowout whilst on a two-mile journey to take the future Mrs Marshall to her wedding last November resulting in a back-up car being called. That run will be quite emotional especially as we hope Nikki wears her wedding dress for the occasion. We also have a top secret driver lined up to take Bruce for a blast or two down the famous quarter mile at Santa Pod at some point during the year.

At this point I have to say massive thanks to Lucas Oil UK for their continued support. We will be using their break-in oil when the engine is built, then switch over to their racing oil when the engine is run in. The transmission will be using the Lucas Oils Automatic Transmission Fluid, even the braking system will be receiving the Lucas treatment with their synthetic brake fluid. Finally the radiator will be receiving the Lucas Oils Super Coolant. Big up for Santa Pod for giving us the incredible facility that we race on, cannot wait to see the new concrete track. Thanks also to the whole Eurodragster.com team, especially Kirstie whom I embarrassingly forgot to mention at the SPRC Trophy Night (Kirstie added to the passenger ride list).

It goes without saying that I honestly couldn't do any of this without the help and support of Nic, Dan and Keith Williams. Nothing is too much trouble for them especially as I haven't really got a clue what a spanner is actually for. Think I'll stick to commentating and driving my Street car.


Swift snippets.
22nd February: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "Coming to the Home of European Drag Racing in 2018 – full story coming soon". Working for Elon Musk not necessary to get this one we'd say, but if you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

Swedish Pro Stock racer Michael Malmgren is seeking a clutch mechanic for the FIA / FIM Main Event and FIA / FIM European Finals and other FIA rounds if interested. For more information you can call Michael on +46 72 157 1414 or E-Mail michael.malmgren@anebyhusgruppen.se.

Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us Version 2 of the official entry list for the Festival of Power, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 30th March-1st April. You can check out the Festival of Power entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. You can download the official Festival of Power entry forms via the Information link of the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.


Micallef, Giordmaina, Borg honoured.
22nd February: Further to his news item of 16th February, Oliver Attard has been touch with more good news from the island of Malta:

Every year in Malta the Association of Sport Journalists, of which I am a member, together with Sportmalta, the entity that governs sports and sports facilities in Malta, organise the Malta Sports Awards. There are lots of categories to make sure that everyone is included.

The Malta Motorsport Federation, of which I am also the General Secretary, had three nominations for this year's awards. William England, Vice President of the Malta Motorsport Federation was nominated for the huge work he has done in taking local motorsport to a new level in every aspect - safety, regulations, organisation and so on. MMF and the Malta Drag Racing Association nominated the Simon Giordmaina Racing Team (Super Street Bike), made up of Simon Giordmaina and Franklyn Borg, for Team of the Year, and Duncan Micallef (Top Fuel Dragster) was nominated for the highest award, Sportsman of The Year.


William did not make it to the Finals of these awards, however Simon, Franklyn and Duncan did make it. Simon and Franklyn came in a prestigious third place for Team of the Year for finishing the third in the FIM Europe Super Street Bike Cup. Duncan, after winning the Sportsman of the Year last year and becoming the next fastest race driver behind Anita Mäkelä, was again acknowledged by Maltese sports journalists and was awarded Sportsman of the Year again for winning the FIA Europan Top Fuel Dragster Championship.

This is a huge success for the local motorsport community and especially for drag racing in Malta. From our tiny island we would like to thank you all for the support which our drivers get while racing all over Europe. Both the Simon Giordmaina Racing Team and Duncan Micallef will be back in this year's FIA and FIM European Drag Racing Championships.


Web site updates.
22nd February: Dynmaic photo-journalism duo Steve and Julie Moxley have had reports and pictures from the 2017 Open Sport Nationals and NSRA Hot Rod Drags posted on the Eat My Ink web site at www.eatmyink.com.

FIM Championships registration open.
20th February: Many thanks to Darren Prentice for letting us know that registration is now open for the 2018 FIM Europe Drag Bike Championships. You can register for FIM Europe Top Fuel Bike, Supertwin, Pro Stock Bike and Super Street Bike at
www.tgeurope.eu.

Registration for the FIM Europe Junior Drag Bike Cup is free; to register for the Junior Cup please E-Mail Darren at darren@tgeurope.eu.


Santa Pod track work update.
19th February: Keith Bartlett, CEO of Trakbak Racing Ltd has sent an update on the works at Santa Pod Raceway:

After a period of some 6 weeks with bad weather postponing the pouring of the concrete, Santa Pod saw the first concrete pour take place (starting at 5.30 am) on Wednesday the 14th February – a very nice Valentine present for the Pod! The period of unsuitable weather over the last 2 weeks has certainly brought about a 'squeaky bum' scenario for some of us – especially me, here at Santa Pod Raceway. With almost £1m (one million pounds) invested into this project we cannot afford mistakes or any major delays. We already have had to lose some of our early RWYB events because of the delayed works, due to poor weather conditions.

We have completed two fifths of the total pour required – so we still have more pours to be completed, which if the weather holds next week we are hoping for completion of the laying of all the concrete. 

The requirements for laying the concrete track are that we need to avoid high wind speeds, to allow the laser levelling to remain 100% accurate, plus the outside temperature cannot be too cold - and no rain at all. Now we all know that is a 'big ask' at the best of times at Santa Pod - let alone throughout the winter months.

With that said we are all very excited at Santa Pod to be laying this new track in concrete to the full quarter-mile. At the same time, we are re-laying quite a large and important area of the shutdown area (in asphalt), which we feel sure will be very welcomed by the racers.

If you look at the photographs accompanying this article you can even see in these photos the standard of the track surface being laid. We are hoping we are going to give British drag racing one of the best drag racing surfaces anywhere in Europe - a tall order and big statement I know, but that is our goal and target. In addition, I would like to get European track records back at Santa Pod Raceway.

The company that are carrying out the re-laying of the track is 'Knights Construction' who I must say are doing a very professional job and meeting all the high design and laying criteria that they and we set at the outset of this project way back at the beginning of August in 2017. We have found all the management and staff at Knights Construction to be our type of people – professional people, who are of the mind set similar to us; that being; 'can do - and will do'! Of all the contractors, I have dealt with since purchasing Santa Pod Raceway in 1996 and having laid two previous tracks at Santa Pod, plus one at Avon Park (as it was called then), I must add Knights Construction and their MD Matt Jones are top level. 

We have also re-constructed and re-modelled the spectator bank and people will be very pleasantly surprised at the result. The bank was also laser levelled and now has an alignment with the track along with better access and a pathway on the top.

Neale Saunders who has directly project managed the whole works on behalf of Santa Pod added: "The whole project has been enthralling since the very start. Knights Construction understood very quickly what was required and the gravity of such an important development for Santa Pod and Knights MD Matt Jones even made the effort to visit the US to take in an NHRA event with me to meet the head of their operations department which has laid 20+ tracks over the years. Work began on site soon after the design came together and was signed off in the autumn. The one thing fans won't see is the incredible amount of construction that lays beneath the super smooth surface. There are 3 newly installed drains running down the entire length of the quarter mile to keep the subbase dry; the old WW2 runway was ripped out and crushed to form part of the 750 mm deep foundation so with 8,600 square metres of track to build this was no small task. Huge thanks must go to Danny Bradshaw of Knights and the extremely capable men of the Earth Moving Division who were responsible for expertly installing the many thousands of tons of material that went into the track and the spectator banking. They may be "The warm up act" for the concrete laying guys but; what an act!

The technical side of the concrete laying operation led by Greg Davis is very impressive; the accuracy on this job is more exacting than Knights would normally work to, with state of the art laser screed machines dictating the grade of the surface to within 2mm. There will be a very slight 50 mm fall from right to left of across the 20 m width of the track (compared to a fall of up to 175 mm in places on the old track) to help with shedding water. The track walls have been heightened too allow for the uplift required. The finish on the concrete surface is something we have worked hard on; sourcing opinions from American Crew Chiefs, Safety Safari track crew, track whisperers and not forgetting our very own hugely experienced SPRC track crew. As most will know, track prep is a very important part of Championship Drag Racing so it was vital that the correct finish is left on the concrete to allow for our prep team to apply the magic. Knights installed test patches to allow us to decide on the best finish, which is just short of a shine. This, coupled with a new counter rotator track prep machine on order from Andy Robinson Race Cars, will see Santa Pod take another step towards regaining those European records.

A vital part of the soul of Santa Pod is the spectator banking, which has been remodeled. My intention here was simple; improve on the best bits and get rid of the bad bits. The old bank had significant areas that were not usable, particularly past half track. Some areas were very steep and unsuitable and other areas were flat which meant viewing was difficult. The bank at the startline had the best gradient so we selected that and applied it to the whole bank, right to the finish line. The height is now uniform (the startline end was much lower than the finish line) with a wide new path rather that the old rocky and muddy one. The pedestrian ramp is less steep and directed towards the toilets at the rear of the bank to allow for uninterrupted viewing by the faithful on the front elevation. The Hill Bar remains, as a fan favorite; the view from here will be much better as the height gain really is noticeable. We have also sought the advice of a seed consultant to be sure we have the right type of seed and fertilizer to ensure the bank will be ready to receive spectators at the Festival of Power over the Easter weekend. All in all, we are all very proud of the improvements at Santa Pod and hope that these commitments to the racers (track) and spectators (banking) will be enjoyed by all for many years to come."

In closing I feel that we have given both racers and spectators alike something not only new for 2018, but have made some major improvements to the whole facility at Santa Pod Raceway. I can't wait for the season to begin in earnest.


Festival of Power entry update.
19th February: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us Version 1 of the official entry list for the Festival of Power, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 30th March-1st April.

You can check out the Festival of Power entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

"The new entry form system is having a few teething problems", says Ian. "Pete Walters has come up with a fix to help us out as follows: If you are using Chrome or Firefox browsers then a downloaded PDF file will open automatically in Chrome's PDF viewer, which for some reason disables the use of the submit button. You can disable it in your own browser to open in Adobe Reader which then works. So if you are having issues then please try it and let us know how you get on. Alternately if you open the PDF from wherever you saved it, then it will open in Reader and work."

You can download the official Festival of Power entry forms via the Information link of the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

Ian adds that Santa Pod Racers Club would like to thank last year's class title sponsors for continuing their involvement in Championship classes in 2018. "Once again Gearhead Garage are helping us with Super Pro ET, and Modurstang will be title sponsors for Pro ET class", he says, "Junior Dragster will also be supported by longtime sponsor Lucas Oil. We thank all of you for your support and ask that our members use these sponsors wherever possible."

If you have any queries about Festival of Power then please get in touch with Ian on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.


Hybrids join UK electric exclusion.
19th February: Ian Marshall also tells us that further to the notes of last week's Riders' and Drivers' Meeting, entries will now not be accepted from hybrid race vehicles as well as from electric race vehicles for Championship events at Santa Pod Raceway.

"We are setting up a working group in order to get electric vehicles back racing at the track as soon as we possibly can", says Ian. "We will keep you updated with any news on Eurodragster.com."

Electric and hybrid vehicles are still permitted at Run What You Brung events.

If you have any queries then again please get in touch with Ian on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.


APIRA Trophy Night closing.
17th February: Jerry Cookson of
Shakespeare County Raceway has been in touch with a reminder that today (Saturday) is the deadline for bookings for the Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway and the National Association of Supertwins Trophy Presentation Evening which takes place at 18:00 on Saturday 3rd March in the Avon Room of the Hilton Warwick, Stratford Road, Warwick CV34 6RE (on Junction 15 of the M40).

Jerry asks that any 2017 APIRA Champions or runners-up who know that they will not be able to make the Trophy Evening E-Mail him at shakespearecountyraceway@gmail.com.

You can download your booking form (PDF format) from the Downloads page of the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at  www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk. Payments can be made by BACS; account details can also be found on the booking form. Please note that all booking forms should be returned to the address on the form by 17th February.

If you have any queries then please call 01789 720180, or E-Mail shakespearecountyraceway@gmail.com.


Micallef confirms title defence.
16th February: 2017 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion, Malta's Duncan Micallef, has confirmed that he will be contesting the full Championship Tour again in 2018. Oliver Attard writes:

During an ceremony at a hotel in St. Julian's Duncan exhibited the four trophies which he won during 2017, a gesture appreciated by his sponsors who were present when he announced his news. Duncan explained that is not easy for any non-professional driver to contest two consecutive Championships, but the support of his team, his sponsors and car owner Rune Fjeld Motorsport had made it an easier decision for him. The good news was welcomed by the many fans who follow Duncan both at home and overseas.


The sponsors behind Duncan in 2017 were Bajada New Energy, JP Portelli Projects, Mobile Total and Kamtech, all of whom have confirmed their support once again for 2018.


Duncan's international commitments will start on 25th-28th May at Santa Pod Raceway, UK, then 10th-13th June at Tierp Arena, Sweden, 28th June-1st July at Alastaro, Finland, 17th-19th August at Hockenheim, Germany, 23rd-26th August again at Tierp Arena, Sweden and 6th-9th September at Santa Pod Raceway, UK. Apart from these six rounds Duncan will have two test sessions abroad.

Duncan's first appearance in Top Fuel Dragster this year will be at the first round of the Maltese Drag Racing Championship, organised by the Malta Drag Racing Association at Hal Far Raceway on 24th-25th March. This will be a wonderful experience for the whole family which no Maltese person should miss.


2018 French ATD calendar.
16th February: France's Association Trophée Dragster, the country's Championship, recently held its annual meeting to close the 2017 season and to plan its programme for 2018. Didier Canicave writes:

In 2017 the ATD organised three races, two at Clastres and one at Rivanazzano in partnership with American Motor Pavia in Italy and Run Cap Sud for the motorcycles at Clastres which were a real succes. Racers from all over the Europe were pleaased to join the ATD in 2017 and they all hope to return in 2018. The surface of Clastres Dragway is becoming better every year with preparation by ATD staff. ATD President Eric Angeloni would like to thank everyone - drivers, friends and especially volunteers - for the successful races in 2017.

In 2018 there are four races in the series:
  • 5th-6th May: Rivanazzano (ATD, AMP)
  • 23rd-24th June: Clastres Dragway (ATD)
  • 28th-29th July: Clastres Dragway (ATD, RCS)
  • 15th-16th September: Vichy Finales (ATD, RCS)
The main change for 2018 is the amalgamation of Street Run A, B and C into Sportsman ET with a bracket of 12.00 seconds to 19.00 seconds (except in Italy). The European Pro ET Challenge will join the ATD race at Clastres in July. Many racing organisations have contacted the ATD team wishing to run at the races in June and July races.

Finally Eric answered questions, technical and organisational, from French drivers and then the meeting was closed with the presentation of 2017 trophies.

Racers from all over Europe are welcome to race in the Association Trophée Dragster. If you would like more information then please E-Mail atd2003@free.fr.

Stay tuned and on our next update we will bring you pictures from both the ATD and European Top Gas Series presentations.


Matthew adds Gravitas.
16th February: UK Junior Dragster racer Matthew Dowdy is pleased to announce support from Gravitas HR Solutions for the forthcoming season. Mark Exley of Gravitas HR Solutions was introduced to drag racing by Matthew's dad just before Matthew was born. Once Matthew was old enough to go with his dad and Mark it wasn't long before Junior Dragster beckoned.

On to 2018 and at the end of last season it was becoming clear that the ex-Paige Wheeler car wasn't going to be big enough, so after a few calls and E-Mails an order was placed with HalfScale for a car capable of accommodating somebody 6' 4" tall. The new car should be sailing across to the UK shortly. It was then that Mark decided to help with the new adventure, saying that "Gravitas HR helps businesses to fulfil their potential, and we are delighted to support Matthew in his development through the Junior ranks in what will be an exciting season with the new car."

Gravitas HR Solutions are located at Grange Park, Northampton and at www.gravitashr.co.uk where full details of their services can be found. If you are in need of HR advice, please support someone who supports the sport!


Swift snippets.
16th February: After delays purely induced by weather Knights Construction Group were yesterday able to commence laying the new concrete surface at Santa Pod Raceway. Pouring commenced under clear skies and you can check out an extensive gallery on Santa Pod Raceway's Facebook page.


Our Pit Reporter Simon spent yesterday at the London Classic Car Show at ExCel and as well as finding plenty of US cars to ogle he was pleased to find the stand of Eurodragster.com sponsor the Anglo American Oil Company, and to meet Anders and Eva Hildebrand, who sent their greetings to Eurodragster.com readers.

Voting for the 2017 season APIRA Perpetual Awards closes at 23:59 UK tonight (Friday). To place your vote go to the official APIRA Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the APIRA Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


SPR hook up with Camplify.
16th February: Peer-to-peer caravan hire and RV-sharing community Camplify has partnered with Santa Pod Raceway to provide RV accommodation for events in 2018. Camplify offers campers a wide selection of RV accommodation that can be booked at the following events:
  • Festival of Power (30th March-1st April)
  • Big Bang (27th–29th April)
  • FIA Main Event (25th-28th May)
  • Dragstalgia (13th-15th July)
  • Bug Jam (20th-22nd July)
  • FIA European Finals (6th-9th September)
  • Flame and Thunder Show (27th October)
Customers must purchase a ticket for the entire event to be able to camp, as Camplify RVs are not available for single day ticket holders.

Caroline Holden, Commercial Manager at Santa Pod Raceway said "The collaboration between Santa Pod Raceway and Camplify is one we hope will make attending events easier for our customers coming from afar. We are very excited to be one of the first companies to partner with Camplify so soon after their launch in the UK."

Camplify, one of the world's fastest growing, and Australia's largest, peer-to-peer caravan hire and RV-sharing community launched in the UK in 2017. In less than two years, Camplify grew to over 20,000 members in Australia and has connected thousands of holidaymakers with private owners of caravans, motorhomes and campers. The UK has over 800,000 registered RVs and the majority of them don't get used for more than two weeks per year.

You can find out more at www.camplify.co.uk/partnerships/santapod.


FAO Juniors attending NitrOlympX.
14th February: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall tells us that he has received confirmation from Frans Steilberg that the Junior Stock Dragster 11.90 minimum ET and five-year recertification period for all Junior Dragster harnesses will be applied at the NitrOlympX at Hockenheim on 17th-19th August.

If you have any queries then please get in touch with Ian on 01933 313625 or E-Mail
ir.marshall@btconnect.com.

Taylor Motorsports recertification.
14th February: Kate Robinson has been in touch to let racers know that Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson Race Cars have been authorised by Taylor Motorsports to recertify their 4.1 transmission blankets, 7.1 engine diapers, 14.2 and 14.3 blower restraints and 32A-15 and 32A-20 race suits.

For further information please contact ARRC via their web site at www.robinson-race-cars.co or call 01256 880589 (outside the UK +44 1256 880589).


Swift snippets.
14th February: Hayley, Marra mom, Marra Dad and the rest of Limited Funz Racing asked us to say a huge Happy Birthday to the owners and drivers of the Wrathchild slingshot, Rob and Pete Brown aka Marra 1 and Marra 2. "Here's to a great race season and another year of amazing memories!", they say. Have a great day both.

UK Riders' and Drivers' Meeting report.
11th February: The 2017 UK Riders' and Drivers' meeting took place this afternoon (Sunday) at the Hilton Hotel in Northampton. The official minutes of the meeting will be published in due course but these are the main points.

TECH CHANGES

There has been a change to the rule concerning blower restraints on Sportsman cars. Details can be found in the news item below this report.

Vehicles manufactured by a recognised mass motor manufacturer in 2010 or later, which run 10.00 seconds or slower and which do not exceed 149 mph will not require a roll cage providing that they have no modifications other than to the exhaust, air intake (not turbo or supercharger), ECU, drive train module, or upgraded brakes.

Due to governing body regulations electric cars, electric bikes and hybrids will not be permitted in any class in 2018. This will be continually reviewed but no electric or hybrid entries will be accepted this season.

UK CHAMPIONSHIPS

The dates of this year's ACU UK and UK National Drag Racing Championship rounds are listed below.

Shakespeare County Raceway announced on Eurodragster.com yesterday (Saturday) that the Springspeed Nationals will not be taking place. However the Open Sport Nationals remains on the calendar until advised otherwise. Whatever happens, APIRA membership will be valid in 2018 then will be reassessed for 2019.

From 2019 Santa Pod Raceway will hold Championship events over the early May and August Bank Holidays.

Entry forms for events at Santa Pod Raceway will be available tomorrow in PDF and Word format on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at
www.eurodragster.com/sprc. Entry forms for the Festival of Power can be filled out and submitted electronically; if this is a success then it will be extended to other events.

Closing dates are listed on the entry forms and reminders will of course be posted here on Eurodragster.com.

All teams intending to field more than one driver or rider for the same vehicle must send a list of the season's drivers to Ian Marshall or Yvonne Tramm at SPRC before the Festival of Power.

It will no longer be possible to pay for entry in cash at an event.

Big Bang is an SPRC Championship round, not a UK National Championship round, round for 8.50 Bike and 9.50 Bike.

Super Street will again contest two sets of qualifying and eliminations, both of which will count for points, at the FIA / FIM Main Event and FIA / FIM European Finals. One entry fee covers both contests.

Junior Drag Bike will run as an FIM class at the FIA / FIM Main Event and the FIA / FIM European Finals.

To run in Sportsman ET at Bug Jam, a racer must have contested the class at least one preceding event this season.

Bug Jam will again be a non-points round for Lucas Oil Junior Dragster.

The two-day Redline Rumble will consist of two full one-day events (qualifying, eliminations, points and prize money each day) for Funny Bike, Comp Bike, 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike, ET Bike, Supertwin Top Gas and Junior Drag Bike. One entry fee covers both days; it will not be possible to enter for one of the two days.

Nostalgia Funny Car will appear at the Festival of Power, FIA / FIM Main Event, SPRC Summernationals, FIA / FIM European Finals and the UK National Finals.

Outlaw Flat Four will appear at Big Bang and Bug Jam.

Classes with consistently small fields will be reviewed although no class will be removed without an alternative for the racers involved (example cited was Super Street could move to Pro ET).

Cars MSA Pro
Modified
Super Pro
ET
Pro ET Sportsman
ET
Super
Comp
Super
Gas
Super
Street
Street
Eliminator
Junior
Dragster
Other
classes
Festival of Power
Santa Pod Raceway
30th March-1st April
Top Fuel Dragster, Fuel FC, Nostalgia Fuel FC, Comp Eliminator, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Wild Bunch
Big Bang
Santa Pod Raceway
27th-29th April
              Fuel FC, Outlaw Anglia, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Outlaw Flat Four, FWD, Nostalgia Super Stock
FIA / FIM Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway
25th-28th May

FIA & MSA
 
double-header
FIA, Fuel FC, Nostalgia Fuel FC, Comp Eliminator
SPRC Summernationals
Santa Pod Raceway
30th June-1st July
Nostalgia Fuel FC, Comp Eliminator, Outlaw Anglia, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Wild Bunch, Nostalgia Super Stock
Bug Jam
Santa Pod Raceway
20th-22nd July
           
non-points
Fuel FC, Outlaw Anglia, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Outlaw Flat Four
Mopar Euronationals
Santa Pod Raceway
27th-29th July
                Nostalgia Super Stock (non-permit)
Open Sport Nationals
Shakespeare County Raceway
25th-27th August
  Outlaw Anglia, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Wild Bunch, Nostalgia Super Stock
FIA / FIM European Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
6th-9th September

FIA & MSA
 
double-header
FIA, Fuel FC, Nostalgia Fuel FC, Comp Eliminator
UK National Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
6th-7th October
Nostalgia Fuel FC, Comp Eliminator, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Wild Bunch, Nostalgia Super Stock, Outlaw Flat Four

Bikes Top Fuel
Bike
Pro Stock
Bike
Funny
Bike
Super Street
Bike
Comp
Bike
8.50
Bike
9.50
Bike
Junior Drag
Bike
Supertwin Top Gas ET Bike / NAST
Supertwin ET
Festival of Power
Santa Pod Raceway
30th March-1st April
Big Bang
Santa Pod Raceway
27th-29th April
         
SPRC only

SPRC only
 
FIA/FIM Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway
25th-28th May

FIM

FIM
 
FIM
     
FIM
   
SPRC Summernationals
Santa Pod Raceway
29th June-1st July
Redline Rumble
Santa Pod Raceway
18th-19th August
   
double-header
 
double-header

double-header

double-header

double-header

double-header

double-header
Open Sport Nationals
Shakespeare County Raceway
25th-27th August
 
NAST
FIA/FIM European Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
6th-9th September

FIM

FIM
 
FIM
     
FIM
   
UK National Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
6th-7th October



EVENT ENTRY

Entry fees have been frozen this season.

Prize money has again been increased by 2% for this season.

2017 Santa Pod Racers Club Champions will again receive free entry to rounds at Santa Pod Raceway in 2018 with the exception of Top Fuel Bike, Supertwin Top Gas, Super Street, Comp Eliminator, Pro Stock Bike and Junior Drag Bike. Free entry applies even if you change classes. At FIA / FIM events SPRC will cover the equivalent of the National Championship entry fee for Pro Modified, Pro Stock Bike and Super Street Bike. In the case of teams with more than one driver, one team driver per event will receive the free entry. Pitside power must still be paid for. The free entry must be used during 2018.

For this year's SPRC Champions to receive free entry in 2019 there must have been an average of four bikes contesting events in Top Fuel Bike and an average of six vehicles in each other class.

Class Two-day event Three-day event Four-day event
MSA British Pro Modified; Top Fuel Dragster; Fuel Funny Car; Top Methanol; Nostalgia Funny Car £160 £170 n/a

NB FIA classes pay FIA fees for FIA European Championship events
ET classes; Super classes; Junior Dragster; Comp Eliminator; Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator; VW classes; Outlaw Flat Four; Wild Bunch; Outlaw Anglia; Nostalgia Super Stock; other Sportsman car classes £130 £145 £170
ACU Top Fuel Bike £165 £170 n/a

NB FIM classes pay FIM fees for FIM European Championship events
ACU Funny Bike; ACU Pro Stock Bike; ACU Comp Bike; ACU Super Street Bike; 9.50 Bike; 8.50 Bike; ACU Supertwin Gas; NAST Supertwin Gas; ACU ET Bike / NAST Supertwin ET; Junior Drag Bike £135 £150 n/a

NB FIM classes pay FIM fees for FIM European Championship events
Jet Car £155 £170 TBC
Exhibition £165 £170 TBC



PITSIDE POWER AT SANTA POD RACEWAY

Fees for single-phase power supply at Santa Pod Raceway have increased by £5 per event (not per day of event). The fees below will be frozen until 2020.

Event duration Single phase Three phase
2 days £50 £145
3 days £60 £155
4 days £75 £170



OTHER BUSINESS

The UK rule book is to be made available on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site. SPRC members will still receive a copy of the rule book on a USB memory stick.

The first 300 feet of concrete is scheduled to be laid at Santa Pod Raceway tomorrow (Monday).

Andy Robinson Race Cars is building a counter-rotating sled for track prep at Santa Pod Raceway.


UK blower restraint update.
11th February: Ian Marshall of Santa Pod Racers Club has been in touch with an update on blower restraint regulations for UK Sportsman racers:

Any Sportsman vehicle (non-FIA) running as quickly as 6.00 seconds, using a Roots-type supercharger which currently requires a restraint system, will now be able to run a SFI 14.1 restraint. This is regardless of running methanol or race gas. Nitromethane is of course a separate specification and still requires a 14.3 restraint. Previously some vehicles had to run the 14.2 restraint; these are still legal, but the slightly lower spec is now acceptable.

14.2 restraints are still mandatory in Comp Eliminator classes AA/BM, BB/AM and AA/PM.

Nomex strap covers are mandatory on vehicles running between 6.00 and 7.50 seconds on methanol, and are recommended on vehicles running between 6.00 and 7.50 seconds on race gas.

All other restraint systems remain as per the rule book.

If you have any queries then please get in touch with Ian on 01933 313625 or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.


Shakespeare County Raceway statement.
10th February: We have received the following statement from Shakespeare County Raceway:

It is with regret that we have to inform the drag racing community that, at this time, due to planning constraints we are unable to fulfil our commitment to run our planned MSA/ACU APIRA Springspeed Nationals due to be held on the May Bank Holiday Weekend. We would like to thank all of the racing community from the National Championship for their support towards all the rounds held previously at Shakespeare County Raceway.

Further updates will be issued in due course.


Rockingham opens with No Prep Nationals.
10th February: The UK's Rockingham Drag Strip opens its doors for the first time on Monday 7th May hosting the Second Annual No Prep Nationals as well as drifting on the Motor Speedway's Outer Paddock and track action on the National Circuit. Paul Marston writes:

Rockingham Motor Speedway, near Corby, opened its doors in 2001 and was built to host many formulas including the CART Champ Car series. Over the years it has developed into a multi-purpose venue.

Rockingham Drag Strip is a temporary track on the pit road overlooked by the impressive Rockingham Building Grandstand, which houses just under 10,000 seats. After North Weald hosted the Gearhead Garage No Prep Nationals last July, Rockingham will host the Second Annual No Prep Nationals, again over the eighth-mile with no times and no speeds. This time there will be no Christmas Tree; in true Street Outlaw Racing style there will be a flashlight start, one winner, one loser. There will be no maximum car count as there was at North Weald, which was limited to sixteen. This will be an all-run field: if you enter, then you will run.


There will also be proper grudge racing and RWYB available; details of the format and all entry fees will be published soon. This is an Outlaw Track so things will be done a little differently. We have no restrictions and this is not a National event track, this is Street Outlaw-style racing in a safe environment, big cash prize money, put-up-or-shut-up drag racing.

The No Prep Nationals will run the same format as in 2017: two test hits then into eliminations, all names drawn out of a hat for elimination pairings and lane choice. Run to conclusion, guaranteed cash purses paid on the day to winner and runner-up.

To all the No Prep and drag racing fans out there: you are in for a great experience. There are great viewing areas available at Rockingham so come and check this place out, as you will not be disappointed. This facility truly is breathtaking. There are modern features which any competitor would expect from a professional facility including very-reasonable-to-rent pit garages with mains power, hard-standing parking areas, great hospitality opportunities and media facilities.


As you can imagine, there is a whole lot to be done when you start up a new track so please bear with us. But you can hopefully see that the focus is going to be on having a lot of fun. After all that's what it's all about, right? We will get more information to you as soon as we have it, there's not much time but this great sport needs this track and the track needs you. For this to be a success Rockingham Drag Strip needs your attendance and support to help put it on the map. We need marketing partners, sponsors, magazine coverage, race fans, competitors, and marshals. If you think you have something to offer then please let us know.

To register your interest for the No Prep Nationals, grudge racing or RWYB please get in touch with us on 07831 650230, E-Mail pmdragracing@gmail.com or visit our new Rockingham Dragstrip Facebook page. Please also contact us for all enquiries from race series organisations or car clubs interested in attending.

I must thank the Rockingham team for all of their co-operation in making this happen.

Stay tuned for more information: there is a lot to tell you about this great new drag racing facility.


Rodman's ride.
10th February: Top Fuel Bike racer, Supertwin crew and acknowledged Marie Rose sauce connoisseur Al Smith tells us that Thursday's spy picture depicted Sean Rodman's new nitro twin which is nearing completion.



"The bike should be ready for its début at Easter", says Al. "It has a state-of-the-art 198 cubic inch motor by Johnny Vickers at Hawaya Racing, the same equipment currently being campaigned by Ricky House at Pomona."


The pictures show progress so far and Big Al has promised to keep us posted.


2018 Top Doorslammer calendar.
10th February: Many thanks to Martin Westerlund for sending us the calendar for the 2018 EDRS Top Doorslammer Series:

19th-20th May: Summit EDRS Members Memorial, Malmö Raceway
29th June-1st July: Sundsvall 1, Sundsvall Raceway
6th-8th July: Midnight Sun Drag Festival, Pite Dragway
27th-29th July: Mantorp Drag Revival, Mantorp Park
7th-9th September: Winter Nats, Malmö Raceway
22nd-23rd September: Night of Fire, Tierp Arena

You can find the official Top Doorslammer web site at www.topdoorslammer.com.


Swift snippets.
10th February: UK Pro ET racer Andy Thetford is proud to announce sponsorship from Thompson Elphick Chartered Accountants of Aylesford (01622 790055). After contesting one event in 2017 Andy plans to compete at all UK Championship rounds in 2018 toting a new Steve Schmidt motor. "It's all a bit strange as I said I would never own a race car!", says Andy. Talk to Colin Theobald about that one, Andy.

UK Pro Modified racer Chris Orthodoxou is seeking crew for his blown-alcohol Dodge Viper. "Previous experience with blown-alcohol engines, Racepak etc would be a big advantage", says Chris. "Essential attributes are enthusiasm, mechanical knowledge, reliable, and willing to lay under the sexiest race car you ever did see, in the cold, and working until stupid o'clock in the morning if required but, at the same time, a desire to have a bloody good laugh". For more information and contact details check out Drivers / Crew required on our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet.

If you were tuned in to our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Autosport International coverage you will have read about the possibly-limited FIA European Championship and Nostalgia Slingshot plans of Danish Top Fuel Dragster racer Stig Neergaard. Stig has now announced the purchase of a Top Fuel Dragster chassis from John Force Racing and courtesy of our good buddy Remco Scheelings you can read more on the Drag Racing Europe Blog by clicking here.

Martin Wilson tells us that his extensive collection of drag racing memorabilia, which he put up for grabs here on Eurodragster.com News on 18th January, has all gone. "The response was unbelievable!", says Martin. "Everything has gone to fantastic new homes. Many thanks to Tim, Colin Theobald (the great man himself!) and the lovely Sarah. I do really appreciate Eurodragster.com helping me out, good luck for the new season". Thanks very much indeed Martin, you are very welcome.


NSRA seek help in DfT consultation.
10th February: Hannah Thomas writes on behalf of the National Street Rod Association seeking support against the latest threat to the UK hot rod, kit car and VW industry, namely the regulations for implementing EU emissions and safety rules, including new fuel consumption testing, and supply of defeat device penalties:

As you may be aware, there is new Department for Transport legislation in the pipeline that could greatly affect the UK hot rod, kit car and VW industry. Section 4.10 - 4.13 of the Air Quality and Safety consultation covers changes to cars going through IVA. This consultation proposes that for cars going through IVA, compliance with the MOT emissions standards current at the date of registration will be required, despite the use of an older engine. In other words, the current guidelines for emissions according to the age of the engine will no longer apply.

The introduction of SVA, and then IVA, allowed our industry to produce vehicles to a recognised safe standard, quite often using parts that are already manufactured and in circulation. The older style of engines being vital to the core appeal of the model, and / or the potential costs of fitting compliant engines being so expensive as to cause sales to fall to unsustainable levels.

As I'm sure you have noticed, on a day-to-day basis there are few classic cars on the roads, often reserved for special occasions, days out and perhaps limited touring during the summer months. It is not uncommon for these cars to have limited mileage insurance, typically 2000-6000 miles per year, with many not covering more than 1000 miles annually. The emissions impact by this small fleet of cars is so small and does not warrant the heavy-handed controls that are being considered.

It does seem that if there is sufficient pressure and clear, genuine reasons why this part of the legislation could be catastrophic to our industry, there is a fair chance it could be removed from the proposals, but it is up to UK car enthusiasts to respond! And fast – the consultation closes on 2nd March 2018.

The list of Consultees involved in producing this consultation doesn't actually contain any parties to do with the kit car / kit altered / radically altered vehicle scene. There seems to be a clear lack of understanding by the Consultation authors on what type of vehicle uses BIVA and DVLA rules for retaining original identity.

This does not only affect people building hot rods, kit cars and altered VWs in the future, but also those who have been building with the rules in mind for many years. Many projects take 5-10 years to build due to additional outlays and time restraints. This doesn't simply require an engine change but a redesign to create a whole new package. Purchase of new engines would be very costly, about £3,000 for four cylinders and upwards of £7,000 for a V8 without peripherals. Aftermarket ECUs are not sophisticated enough run to levels required. Radically Altered vehicles are based on modifying existing vehicles so the engine is already in use,rather than causing major pollution with new car production. This is ultimately recycling - keeping parts in use rather than causing major pollution with new car production. Even if you have currently on the road; if it is ever written off in the future, it would then have to be rebuilt to BIVA specifications regardless of what engine it currently has and therefore it would have to conform to these emissions tests. This consultation will affect far more people than those currently building projects now.

Note current at date of registration - for now, that means 2018. As the years go forward and regulations change, so will the requirements to be met, i.e. one simple change to upgrade specs and it's game over for an entire UK industry.

If this legislation were implemented, it will affect businesses sufficiently that they might have to close. Many have small workshops and not a vast workforce, but all have many times that number indirectly employed who have specialist skills and rely on the popular kit car and hot rod market. It will kill a multi-million pound industry stone dead.

Here at the National Street Rod Association, along with other key stakeholders, we are doing everything we can to spread awareness of the impact this will have on the UK car scene and are doing all we can to preserve our way of life. We are asking if you are able to create awareness of this consultation, assist us in asking people to respond urgently in the hope that the legislation will not come into law.


APIRA Perpetual Awards vote 6.
9th February: Avon Park International Racing Association and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the APIRA Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the joint Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway and National Association of Supertwins Trophy Night on Saturday 3rd March. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the APIRA selection panel decides upon its winners.

The final shortlist is the McDonald Racing Ireland Best Newcomer trophy, for the most promising newcomer to contest events at Shakespeare County Raceway, was presented for the first time in 2012 and is posted by Graham, Edel and Gabrielle McDonald. The shortlist for the McDonald Racing Ireland Best Newcomer trophy, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Andy Ball (ET Bike)
Vote for Andy Ball

Ian Dance (VW Sportsman)
Vote for Ian Dance

Leah Kellett (Super Comp)
Vote for Leah Kellett

Guy King (Nostalgia Super Stock, Pro ET)
Vote for Guy King

Holley Walters (Sportsman ET)
Vote for Holley Walters

Amy, Neil and Tom Watkins (Nostalgia Super Stock)
Vote for the Watkins family

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official APIRA Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the APIRA Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If the E-Mail is not automatically generated with your chosen name in the title then simply send an E-Mail to apiraawards2017@btinternet.com giving the category (Iris Page Memorial Trophy etc) as the subject of the E-Mail and the name of the person for whom you wish to vote 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. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact APIRA direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement.

Voting closes at 23:59 UK next Friday (16th).


Swift snippets.
9th February: Courtesy of photo-journalist Mike Collins is a preview of his Hot Gossip column from the February edition of Street Machine magazine...


...together with a look back at a column from November which features legendary Rocket pilot and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Slammin' Sammy Miller.


UK Riders' and Drivers' meeting update.
8th February:
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has been in touch with an important message for those attending this Sunday's UK Riders' and Drivers' Meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Northampton:

If any National or SPRC Champions who are coming to the Riders' and Drivers' Meeting did not collect their trophy or (for SPRC Champions) jacket at the recent SPRC Dinner Dance then please contact me at ir.marshall@btconnect.com or call 01933 313625 and I will bring them to the meeting to be presented.

The UK Riders' and Drivers' Meeting commences at 12:30 at the Hilton Hotel, Northampton, on the eastbound A45 just off Junction 15 of the M1 (postcode is NN4 0XW, map). For more information please see our news item of 12th January.


VP Racing Fuels back Doorslammers.
8th February: Santa Pod Raceway are delighted to announce VP Racing Fuels as the latest sponsor for the new featured event in their 2018 event calendar - the Doorslammers on 19th-20th May. VP will not only be the official fuel supplier to the event but will also take title sponsorship of the Pro Doorslammer class. This class prize pot is worth £20,000 and is sure to attract some of the fastest doorslammer entries from across Europe.  

"With VP's strong involvement and ties with street racing in the US, the association with the Doorslammers event is a natural fit to support a new featured event at Santa Pod Raceway", says VP's International Sales Manager Marc Wesler. "Santa Pod Raceway is a great partner and continues to help expose the VP brand to the European market. We are excited to be the official fuel for the event and title sponsor of the Pro Doorslammer class."

 VP Racing Fuels have been an Official Partner to Santa Pod for the last eight years providing fuel solutions for drag racing teams across a number of classes. Santa Pod recently forged a new partnership with them as the venue chose VP Fuels as their preferred supplier of track glue. Their product Lane Choice 5 (LC5) is now an established weapon in Santa Pod's track armoury and will continue to play a significant role in the launch of the brand new concrete drag strip.


Swift snippets.
8th February: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "More to follow!". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

Good luck and stay safe to Jonnie Lindberg, Julie Nataas, Fred Hanssen and Ulf Leanders who are contesting this weekend's Lucas Oil Winternationals at Pomona. Top Alcohol qualifying commences at 00:00 UK / 01:00 European tonight and you will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of the Drag Race Central web site at www.dragracecentral.com.


RedZone Betting on Doorslammers.
6th February:
Santa Pod Raceway are very pleased to welcome RedZoneSports, who specialise in American Sports, as their betting partner for the upcoming Doorslammers on 19th-20th May. RedZoneSports are offering some great incentives for Doorslammers and drag racing fans which you can find at www.redzonesports.bet/santapod.


There's a long standing association between betting and drag racing; teams and fans alike can be heard making predictions on the results of races. Warren Llambias, Co-Founder of RedZoneSports.bet said "We are excited to join with Santa Pod and become part of the wider drag racing fraternity. As the British home of this particular American sport we hope, working closely with our TrakBak partners, to find ways to enhance the unique thrill of drag racing!"

Santa Pod are also very pleased to announce that entries are now open for the event and that the first cars have already entered. It's already looking like an event to remember! You can enter and/or view the current entry list at www.thedoorslammers.co.uk.


Swift snippets.
6th February: We have posted our provisional Event Coverage schedule including those webcasts planned so far. More event will be added. The schedule can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. We are undergoing formal sponsorship renewals at present but a big Thank You to Dave Riswick who has already confirmed that John Woolfe Racing will again be sponsoring our Event Coverage in 2018.

Web site updates.
6th February: Our good buddy photo-journalist Steve Moxley has had a report and pictures from the UK National Finals posted on the Eat My Ink web site at www.eatmyink.com.

APIRA Perpetual Awards vote 5.
5th February: Avon Park International Racing Association and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the APIRA Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the joint Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway and National Association of Supertwins Trophy Night on Saturday 3rd March. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the APIRA selection panel decides upon its winners.

For six of the 2017 season awards, shortlists have been decided for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. One shortlist will be posted per week; the remaining lists will be posted on Mondays starting next week.

The latest shortlist is the Alan Wigmore Memorial Trophy. The founder of the National Drag Racing Club, Alan Wigmore was dedicated to every aspect of the sport at home as well as in America. As Chairman of the NDRC Alan got to do just about every job there was to organise as well as run race events. This Award is presented in Alan's memory to the chosen individual who has shown the same dedication, spirit and enthusiasm for the sport which Alan showed in his years in drag racing.

The APIRA selection panel's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Scott Cooper (VP Racing UK Drag Karts)
Vote for Scott Cooper

Phil, Brett and Jasmine Cordelle (ACU Drag Bike)
Vote for the Cordelle family

Robbie Dobbie and Dave Smart (ET Bike)
Vote for Robbie Dobbie and Dave Smart

Dave Rowlands (Shakespeare County Raceway track prep)
Vote for Dave Rowlands

Luke Stevenson (Volkswagen Drag Racing Club)
Vote for Luke Stevenson

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official APIRA Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the APIRA Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If the E-Mail is not automatically generated with your chosen name in the title then simply send an E-Mail to apiraawards2017@btinternet.com giving the category (Iris Page Memorial Trophy etc) as the subject of the E-Mail and the name of the person for whom you wish to vote 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. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact APIRA direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement.

The final category, McDonald Racing Ireland Best Newcomer, will be posted this Friday (9th).


APIRA Trophy Night update.
5th February: Jerry Cookson of Shakespeare County Raceway has been in touch with a reminder that Saturday 17th February is the deadline for bookings for the Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway and the National Association of Supertwins Trophy Presentation Evening which takes place at 18:00 on Saturday 3rd March in the Avon Room of the Hilton Warwick, Stratford Road, Warwick CV34 6RE (on Junction 15 of the M40).

APIRA have negotiated a preferential rate for rooms in the hotel at £90 for a double or £80 for a single. All rates are inclusive of breakfast, car parking and VAT. To book your room please call the reservations team on 08008 568000 or visit the web site at www.hilton.com/warwick quoting reference code ASRAS. Cut off for bedroom bookings at the special rate is twenty eight days prior to arrival.

Jerry asks that any 2017 APIRA Champions or runners-up who know that they will not be able to make the Trophy Evening E-Mail him at shakespearecountyraceway@gmail.com.

You can download your booking form (PDF format) from the Downloads page of the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at  www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk. Payments can be made by BACS; account details can also be found on the booking form. Please note that all booking forms should be returned to the address on the form by 17th February.

If you have any queries then please call 01789 720180, or E-Mail shakespearecountyraceway@gmail.com.


Close enough to go again.
5th February: Andy Frost and the Red Victor team returned to Bahrain in January to continue the quest for a five-second pass with a street legal car, and then to go for Jeff Lutz' ET and speed records for a quarter mile in a street-legal car. Frosty writes:

As before ace tuner and good friend Shane Tecklenburg was in the house, and determined to get Red Victor 3 hauling down the track and running how it should. The consensus outside our camp was that there was no way that a 2965 lb car could ever achieve the numbers we were after, and we were after proving those naysayers wrong.

Of course, all of this isn't easy. Shipping the car and truck 5000 miles, getting the crew there, sourcing stolen items, fixing broken trucks, fixing the car, shipping the upgraded engine and trans and spares are all consuming. But we signed up for it, so it just has to get dealt with without fuss or drama so that we can carry on with the task in hand.

The team of Deb, Gary, Badger and myself, along with 5 Second Club members Nick Bradley and Nik Wadsworth (and Gurmeet Dhanjal later on) got there early to refit the engine and trans, check the car over and get it ready to make a test lap. Four days later, after a host of niggly problems which needed fixing, we got done. We found out that leaving a car standing for a year doesn't do it any good, although at least it was standing out of the sun!

We got a few test laps under our belt (albeit with tyre shake / spin) and continued to get further down the track as we learnt things from the data. We eventually managed to run the full quarter to get a baseline on the new Lamude Racing-built engine. This told us that the engine was in good shape, and more importantly that the tune-up was incredibly safe! In fact so safe that it wasn't actually making any power of note. As we were having issues with the suspension and wheelie bar we decided not to bother with the sixty foot time and to concentrate on 330 feet onwards to try to reach that initial goal.

Shane set about chipping fuel and adding timing in small increments till the plugs looked like they had actually fired, so we would gain some more power. Our initial test lap was 6.36, then 6.18, 6.04, 6.03 then finally 6.022/250.92 which put us 0.18 seconds and 0.5 mph off the record, and tantalisingly close to our initial goal of 5.999. This paid dividends when we realised how much power this standard bore space Chevy engine with the Precision 102 mm Pro Mod turbos made! By weight and speed right around 3650 hp and the seventy per cent level we are at now. Not so bad!

The next run was going to be the one, but as always in this sport of ours something has to give. This time the pinion stripped its teeth at around 150ft. Unfortunately this was the last day of racing at the Bahrain International Circuit, and because with diff breakage comes trans breakage we just ran out of time trying to fix to get another run. Damn...

The team's initial reaction was so near and yet so far, and that it was time to pack up and come home. But our loyal supporters in the 5 Second Club, along with our main sponsor R-Tech Welding Equipment, were having none of it. They had been watching team member Andy Betsons's live video for two weeks and had followed the ups and downs minute by minute. They wanted us to come back and get the job finished, so within a week they raised enough for us to go back (without going broke).

So, the team are going back for one last go at Round 5 of the BDRC Championship on 6th-9th March. We will arrive there a week earlier to get the new diff - supplied and built by Hauser Racing - in the car, and to make the changes we want to make as well plus check the whole car over. This will include replacing the prop, slip yoke, valve springs (9600 rpm on the limiter when the diff broke) and then we can get a couple of test laps on the last day of Round 4. We are confident we'll be in the fives very soon after that, then we will do what is necessary to shoot for the ET and speed records. Of course only the timing slip counts...

Of course, doing something like this cannot be done by the team alone. It takes the help of sponsors and supporters to do it, and we couldn't ask for better in ours. Thank you to all of these companies and people who have helped and supported our quest for the last three years and more: the Red Victor 5 Second Full Members Club, Lamude Racing Engines, R-Tech Welding Equipment, Tuned by ShaneT, Precision Turbo and Engine, Turbosmart UK, E Kanoo Racing and Logistics, UTrackTV, VP Racing Fuels, Pro Alloy Motorsport, Goodridge Ltd, Cam Auto Developments, Steve Morris Engines, Belistore, Turbowerx, KA Sensors, Total Seal Piston Rings, Diamond Pistons, Manton Pushrods, Red Line Oils, Zircotec, Neal Chance Converters, Hutch Transmissions, Victory Performance, Powerlite Performance Electronics, WallworkHT, Wilson Manifolds, Precision Shaft Technologies, Prestige Group, Visner Engine Development, Trackstuff UK, Cartek Motorsport Electronics, Pro Torque, MSK Racing, Braille Batteries, Magnecor, Club Calibra and Plastics4Performance.

And finally Thank You to Adel Shaji, Hamad Shahabi and all the Bahrain Drag Racing Club guys, and Bahrain International Circuit who have accommodated our every need, and literally treated us like royalty every time we went to the track! Hope you keep watching...


2018 European Top Gas calendar.
4th February: Many thanks to Herman Jolink for forwarding us the calendar for the 2018
European Top Gas Series.

19th-20th May: Malmö Raceway, Sweden (eighth-mile)
1st-3rd June: Speed Days King of Germany, Alkersleben, Germany (eighth-mile)
23rd-24th June: Drag Day 1, Hoskovice, Czech Republic
27th-29th July: DHRA Main Event, Drachten, The Netherlands
17th-19th August: NitrOlympX, Hockenheim, Germany
31st August-1st September: Mosten Race Days, Allingaboro, Denmark (eighth-mile)

The best five of six events will count for Championship points. The Winter Nationals at Malmö Raceway on 7th-9th September is listed as a spare race.

Stay tuned as Herman has also kindly sent pictures from the recent Top Gas Series presentation. We will post these pictures very shortly.


Year 11 of the Challenge.
4th February: 2017 marked the tenth year of Germany's Super Pro ET Challenge, making it the longest-running drag racing Series in continental Europe. The organisers of the Super Pro ET and Pro ET Challenges joined forces, forming the Drag Race Union. Our good buddy Markus Münch writes:


The 2017 Super Pro ET Challenge winner was Oliver Petzold of Team Schumann Motorsport in his Roadster Corvette. He took a well-deserved win after a disturbing 2016 season with many gremlins in the car, preventing the team from runnign fast and consistent. The runner-up was Stefan Eisenhauer from Germany, third was Simon Rudiferia from the Südtirol and fourth was Enrico Bailo from Italy. So you can see that the challenge is an international affair. It mainly turned out that points were collected at Hockenheim, Rivanazzano and Clastres as well as at Drachten and Santa Pod Raceway. For 2018 we have an English entry for the first time ever alongside German, Swiss, Italian and French teams.

We truly thank our sponsors and supporters who add the salt. Thanks for their support in 2017 to Turboscheune.com, the Bavarian Drag Race Club, Spedition Schumann, Rechsteiner Bedachungen, Racepoint.it, Team 74 Bruckmüller, Eisenhauer KFZ Service and Tuttifix.ch.

Preperations for 2018 season are fully underway. Click here to read the rules, terms and conditions to participate in the Challenge in both German and English (PDF format). If you want to be part of the Challenge as a sponsor then give us a shout.

Information is spread throughout our web site at www.suproet.de and on our Facebook page.


Swift snippets.
4th February: UK Fuel Funny Car racer Steve Ashdown has asked us to say a big Thank You to Dave Robey of Robey Scaffolding (07931 501235) and to Gary Brooks of Fast2Finish Printers (0208 659 1119) for their continued sponsorship for the 2018 season. "These guys have been with me since I started in Rune Fjeld's Top Fuel Dragster in 2016", says Steve. "Without the continued help and support of companies like these I couldn't participate in this great sport we all love."

The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com (below left) came with no words. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.


Alan Martin writes that things are well underway for the 25th Annual NSRA Nostalgia Nationals at Santa Pod Raceway on 11th-13th May. "Plenty of the traditional track action, possibly even a few surprises thrown in for good measure", says Alan. "The DJ and bands are booked, as is the Saturday courtesy bus to Rushden Lakes, so all is looking good. It goes without saying that there will be plenty of track time for all of you to put your cars through their paces. Just to whet your appetite here's a sneak preview of this year's must-have T-Shirt. All you have to do now is to pencil the dates in your diary and we will see you all at Santa Pod. For updated information, or to book tickets, visit www.nostalgianationals.com."


Feature: Man Cup World Finals.
2nd February: The latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products is photo-journalist Steve Moxley's account of the Man Cup World Finals in Valdosta, which included a sizeable contingent of European racers.

You can take a look by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Moxey's report on the FIA / FIM European Finals is now showing on the Eat My Ink web site at www.eatmyink.com.


Swift snippets.
2nd February: Bob Hancox writes that the Debbie Hancox Memorial Trophy, awarded to the team showing the most spirit and inspiration Outlaw Anglia class and voted for by the class' drivers and crew, was presented to Cliff Griffin at last weekend's Trophy Presentation. "We have made the difficult decision to end the trophy this year", says Bob on behalf of himself, Carole and Fiona. "We would like to thank everyone for their support and we congratulate not only Cliff as the final recipient but all of the the teams who have received the trophy over the last eleven years."

Further to Wednesday's news item, Swedish Pro Stock racer Michael Malmgren adds that he is seeking a clutch mechanic for the FIA / FIM Main Event and FIA / FIM European Finals and other FIA rounds if interested. For more information you can call Michael on +46 72 157 1414 or E-Mail michael.malmgren@anebyhusgruppen.se.


APIRA Perpetual Awards vote 4.
2nd February: Avon Park International Racing Association and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the APIRA Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the joint Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway and National Association of Supertwins Trophy Night on Saturday 3rd March. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the APIRA selection panel decides upon its winners.

For six of the 2017 season awards, shortlists have been decided for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. One shortlist will be posted per week; the remaining lists will be posted on Mondays starting next week.

The latest shortlist is the APIRA Endeavour Award which is presented to a racer, team, supporter or member of the media in recognition for services rendered over the last twelve months, as well as their overall support of Avon Park International Racing Association and Shakespeare County Raceway.

The APIRA selection panel's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

The Coulsell family (The Wild Bunch)
Vote for the Coulsell family

Andy Hadfield aka Fadster (Supercharged Outlaws)
Vote for Andy Hadfield

Steve Moxley (Media)
Vote for Steve Moxley

Dave Smith (Media)
Vote for Dave Smith

Graham Smith (Tri-Chevy Shootout)
Vote for Graham Smith

Team Wrathchild (The Wild Bunch)
Vote for Team Wrathchild

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official APIRA Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the APIRA Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If the E-Mail is not automatically generated with your chosen name in the title then simply send an E-Mail to apiraawards2017@btinternet.com giving the category (Iris Page Memorial Trophy etc) as the subject of the E-Mail and the name of the person for whom you wish to vote 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. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact APIRA direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement.

The remaining categories will be posted as follow:

Monday 5th February: Alan Wigmore Memorial Trophy
Friday 9th February: McDonald Racing Ireland Best Newcomer


Racers invited to StuntFest.
1st February: James Forster of
Santa Pod Raceway writes to invite racers to bring their vehicles to StuntFest on Saturday 17th February:

StuntFest is an arena-based family fun day with stunts, jumps, monster trucks, a jet car, side shows and more. We're inviting racers from any class to take part in a static display for anyone wanting to put themselves, their vehicle and their sponsors in front of a family audience.

For anyone for whom a static display isn't quite enough, we're also happy to accommodate burnouts as part of the arena show. Last year we had Nigel Hale in his Street Eliminator C30 pick-up smoke out the arena, and he's looking to return in 2018. If you'd like to join him in burning rubber please do get in touch.

If you'd like to attend please contact James on 01234 782828 or E-Mail james@santapod.com. For more information on StuntFest please see www.stuntfest.co.uk.



Earlier news