STTG report from Malmö.
18th May: Many thanks to photojournalist and Super Twin Top Gas president Mike Kraaij for sending us his full pdf format report on STTG at the Cramo Nationals, Malmö Raceway last Saturday. You can download Mike's full report at this link.
The bikes had their first qualifying pass on Saturday. "It was a bit windy but the track was getting there on Saturday. Jörg Lymant from Germany qualified first with a 4.924 on the 1/8 mile track, and moved on to the 2nd round of qualifying. "Martin Buhler came all the way from Switzerland and respresented the class together with fellow Swiss Olaf Menzi. Martin was 2nd qualified in session 1 with an 5.415 with his immaculate Turbocharged V-Twin, working on finding a solution to get off the line.
"The track was tricky in the first 60ft and all racers looked at their set-up to run the best ET they could in the second session. Jörg ran a 1.12 60ft which was great, but his bike took out the timing blocks on his second pass. Olaf Menzi did some drifting (see picture, but mantained control and had a great save.
A sunny Sunday had the final qualifying session in the morning. Mats Larsson was out with technical issues, Jorg Lymant maintained his #1 spot and was the the only rider to qualify in the 4's. The final qualifying list (speeds in mph) was:
The first round saw the winners go through, with Jörg Lymant running a bye, Jan Malmberg (win) over Anders Jensen, a bye run for Martin Buhler when Olaf Menzi broke and Jorgen Godske winning on reaction time (a virtual holeshot) against Malte Foit. The semi final saw Jan Malmberg defeat Jörg Lymant, and Martin Buhler defeat Jorgen Godske, with Jan defeating Martin in the final.
You can see photos from the event at this Super Twin Top Gas Facebook album.
JT's blower installed.
18th May: Many thanks to sponsor, Pro Modified, and this weekend, Pro Doorslammer racer John Tebenham who has sent in this photo of his new Mike Janis supercharger now mounted atop his 521ci engine of the Fabulous Lightning McQueen '53 Corvette, and shown in spy pictures and in our story on 13th May.
JT says "We are going, are you? Massive thanks to Luke and Andy at Robinson Race Cars. Who wouldn’t want to drive this bad boy? See you at the Doorslammers. Johnny Bee Good."
You can follow JT at the Jt Racing Facebook page.
Gardermoen Spring Nationals this weekend.
18th May: Norway's Gardermoen Raceway hosts its Spring Nationals this weekend 20th-22nd, and with a higher number of Pro competitors in an entry of 121 vehicles, the focus will be on how the quicker cars and bikes perform as well as the sportsman competition.
The Top Methanol dragsters of Swedes Tony Bryntesson (pictured left) and Jonny Lagg will be making passes, and the Top Methanol Funny Car of Linn Engan Fløysvik (pictured center), who became a mum last November, will be making an attempt on the Gardermoen track record for her class before travelling to Santa Pod Raceway for the Main Event. In Pro Modified, Stian Rusånes' 1941 Willys and Finn Richard Sundblom whose Chevy Cobalt is usually seen in Pro Stock, will be matching up.
Picture credits: Tony Bryntesson: Patrik Jacobsson; Linn Engan Fløysvik: David G. Wilson; Jan Sturla Hegre: Mike Kraiij
Bike classes also feature pairs of racers. Top Fuel Bike has Jan Sturla Hegre (pictured right) on his Kawasaki/Puma against Finnish racer Mikko Rajaniemi's Sirpa machine. Super Twin Top Fuel Bike has Cato Oddmund Waale of Hawaya Racing making his debut with Hans Olav Olstad who will be crew chief, having recovered from serious injuries sustained last year. Cato's competition is Julia Wagner who made her debut in the now-defunct Nitro Bike Shootout last year. Super Street Bike has the Kawasaki of Kenneth S. Laget up against the Hayabusa of Dag Wagenius.
There is a full field of other cars and bikes scoring points in the EDRS Championship, with three in Top Doorslammer included.
Gardermoen will be hosting four races for 2022, the Summer Shootout on 25th-26th June being the first time sportsman bracket racing is held on an eigth mile length at the track, then the Drag Challenge from 4th-7th August and Drag Finals 7th-9th September. You can see more detail and results at the ndrg.no website (in Norwegian).
18th May: Happy Birthday for today to Funny Car legend Harlan Thompson. Have a fantastic day Harlan!
Our Doorslammers event coverage page has been updated with a printable list of entries. Also, we have been looking at personal bests and previous competition performances for heads up classes at previous years' events and plan to run a preview of this year's event in tomorrow's update.
Puma Engineering customer's world record.
17th May: Thanks to Puma Engineering owner Ian King for highlighting his company's role in a much-feted record set at the weekend at last weekend's NHRA NAtional event.
Puma Engineering, manufacturer of the worlds quickest and fastest motorcycle engines, congratulates Larry “Spiderman” McBride and his team for delivering the fastest motorcycle pass in drag racing history on Saturday at Virginia Motorsports Park during the weekend’s Virginia NHRA Nationals.
McBride’s amazing terminal speed of 268.38 mph was the fastest pass in wheel driven history, eclipsing his previous record of 265.95 mph set in 2021. McBride also ran a 5.61 second ET on the run during a Top Fuel Motorcycle exhibition at the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series event in Virginia.
McBride’s record pass alongside another standout Top Fuel rider and fellow Puma customer David Vantine made a huge impression at event, showing the large crowd what they have rarely seen, the quickest and fastest motorcycles on the planet. Their impressive side by side run has also turned into a spectacular hit online, already attracting more than 1.5 million views across NHRA’s social media channels in less than 48 hours.
See McBride’s amazing run and post run interview at this link.
AMC Dessau Cup this weekend.
17th May: On 21st-22nd May, the first round of the AMC Dessau Cup for 2022 (the first time this contest has occured since 2019) will take place at Zerbst Airport.
On Friday 20th May arrival of racers will take place from 4 p.m, and the track will be open on Saturday from 10am-6pm and on Sunday from 10am-2pm. You can see the entry list at this link (pdf document) which looks healthy. Classes represented are Pro ET (9.00-11.99), Sportsman ET (12.00-13.99), Public race (12.00, 13.00, 14.00 indexes), Sport Compact (9.00 and 10.00 indexes), Super Gas (9.90), ET Bike (9.00-13.99), Super Gas Bike (9.50), Junior dragster and Junior Drag Bike.
A Test & Tune was held on 30th April-1st May and European Drag Racing Videos have posted some footage from it, including Mario Bellio and Stefan Schneider (Doc Snyder) Spectator admission is €15 (Sat & Sun) and €5 on Sunday only.
The next meeting on 25th-26th June will include a FWD Shootout. This will feature a 32 car field again this year, anyone who wants to join can register using WhatsApp 0173/1742923 with the full name of the driver, make/model/engine of the vehicle, a picture of the vehicle. The entry fee will be €35 (payment only after invitation). Registration closes on 29th May, and approximately a week later there will be an online draw via livestream where the 31 drivers will be drawn who can be there.
For more information see the AMC-Dessau web site at www.amc-dessau.de.
Agrinio's second round of Pan-Hellenic championship.
17th May: On the long weekend of 20-21 and 22 May Agrinio Raceway opens its gates for the 2nd race of the Pan-Hellenic Dragster auto-moto Championship under the auspices of OMAE-AMOTOE. There will be ideal temperatures for racing and therefore a big field of competitors is expected and fans were implored "Get ready for a weekend full of record breaking and crazy racing."
Those wanting to compete can enter via this link (Motorcycles) and this link for cars.
Included in the list are the quick FWD cars of Georgios Gkitsis (Peugeot 106 (pictured), best 9.136/157.74), Spyros Skamnelos (Opel Corsa, best 9.428/153.63) and Dimitris Zachos (Seat Leon, best 9.6990/155.88). (Information from drdb.eu and the European FWD leaderboard.
Feature: Lions Automobilia.
17th May: Many thanks to retired editor Tog who has taken time out of his Finally the 2020 Birthday Trip tour of the U.S. Midwest and Left Coast to visit and supply a feature on the Lions Automobilia museum at Rancho Dominguez, California 90221.
The Lions Automobile Foundation and Museum were founded by Rick Lorentzen, a local businessman who grew up a stone’s throw from the legendary Lions Drag Strip which operated in Wilmington, California, between 1955 and 1972. The Museum, which opened in 2019, is in Rancho Dominguez close to the location of the fabled strip and is housed in a building with a modest frontage in an area of light industry. The Foundation also hosts automotive events, organises youth programmes, and provides guest speakers and workshops.
The Spirit of Lions Drag Strip opens with a recreation of the Lions start area complete with flying Christmas Tree. In this area can be found amongst others the Ohno, Lew and Gonzales slingshot as well as Pure Hell and Pure Heaven Fuel Altereds lined up beneath a simulacrum of the Tower complete with Steve Evans at the microphone.
You can see Tog's feature, with 170 photos of the museum and exhibits, at this link in our Lucas Oil-sponsored Features section, which you can see a list of at this link or by clicking on News, then Festures on the main menu above.
Editor's note: to go to the museum web site lionsautomobilia.org for booking from Europe, you will need a VPN connection, as the site has geographical restrictions and only allows direct access from a US-based internet connection.
17th May: Happy Birthday for today to Super Pro ET racer Tom Atkinson, Pro ET racer Nick Mugridge, Super Street Bike racer Mark Hope and Swedish racer and Fawlty Towers guru Anders Bostic Envall. We hope you all have a marvellous day.
Expat Dutch Top Fuel racer Lex Joon has given an interview to NHRA.com about his career in the US. To see the interview, go to this link.
Carter at SPR for record anniversary.
16th May: Four-time FIA European Top Fuel Champion Andy Carter, will return as a guest to the World-famous Santa Pod Raceway at this seasons FIA European Championship first Round.
Carter, who ended his career as the highest FIA Top Fuel points scorer along with multiple track records and 8 Championships in the sport, will be with other Top Fuel legend Barry Sheavills on the Motorsport UK stand signing autographs and giving away posters throughout Saturday 28th May.
Caroline Holden, Commercial Manager of SPR commented: "With the 20th anniversary of the first side-by-side 4s and 300mph runs, it’s great to have Andy Carter back at Santa Pod. Andy always gave 100% in his 29 years in drag racing whether on track, or at a promo event and it was a pleasure to work with him.
Andy Carter commented: "I had won the Championship in 2001 and during that season we only had one engine, so all season it was a case of not pushing it too hard and just getting to the other end first to get points, In 2002 I only had a budget for the Pro Fuel Shootout, the two Santa Pod Raceway FIA rounds and the Germany FIA round so, missing three FIA rounds, I didn’t think I could win the Championship but I could push the car harder and not worry about the motor so much. After Saturday qualifying, I was no.1 with a strong 5.07 at 297mph. During the briefing with Crew Chief Eddie Corr, it was decided that if the track got slightly better, we would run 300 mph, but with Sheavills and Kim Raymond hot on my tail, we decided to make small changes anyway to make it slightly more aggressive, so the clutch timers were speeded up, we let it have a little more fuel and put another degree in the mag and that was more than enough to get the job done!
Photos: Burnout before that historic pass; the crew finish their work, then both cars run in the 4's at over 300 mph; Barry Sheavills and Andy Carter. Above: Scoreboards after the historic runs courtesy Rose Hughes.
Eurodragster.com reported on that day: "News Flash! In today's first round of Top Fuel qualifying, Andy Carter and Barry Sheavills have run Europe's first side-by-side fours and even more importantly Europe's first 300 mph passes. Barry recorded 4.970/304.71 and Andy 4.897/303.07. So, as it stands, Andy is on for the ET record and Barry for the speed record."
Barry was officially the first to run 300 mph in Europe as he got to the finish line first, by 0.211 seconds, although he redlit by 0.002 seconds - but of course, that doesn't matter in qualifying.
For more information on Andy Carter and his achievements in the sport please visit www.andycarter.net.
Gasser Circus round 1 2022.
16th May: Many thanks to Gasser Circus co-ordinator Nick Brooke Langham who has provided a report on round one of the class's 2022 championship, held at Melbourne Raceway last weekend:
The Gasser Circus season got underway at Melbourne Raceway, on Saturday 7th May. This was a whole new adventure for the Circus, with it being our only heads up round and first outing on a 1/8th mile track. It turned out to be an event which was highly successful and well supported with 12 Gassers in the pits.
For nearly all the drivers, this was the first time we had trundled across the wide open expanses of the fields and service roads to reach the Yorkshire strip. We were greeted by Melbourne staff, who greeted us with warmth, enthusiasm and directed us to the Gasser Circus pit area. Here we rapidly set up camp as a gang of ominous rain clouds prepared to attack the site. When their contents hit the ground, it brought a very wet conclusion to Friday.
When Saturday morning arrived so did membership of a new club which was quickly titled The Blue Cub. This referring to the colour of highlighter used to identify all the divers who had failed to complete all the required pre-race documents, most falling foul of visiting the NORA site.
Scrutineering soon followed and with all cars passed, we were ready to attend the driver’s startline meeting. Here we were welcomed and advised about how the strip operates and we were all reminded that this was no prep, and perhaps a steady first run was in order. This seemed a good suggestion, but when the Gassers arrived in stage, so did the racer mentality, and as the tree dropped so did a heavy right foot in all the competing Gassers. Yes we lost traction but we had a blast, and as the day progressed so did the levels of grip. However, Ray Irish in his Gas Junkie Willys pickup resorted to changing to a different set of slicks to gain more traction. Billy Jones in his Willys Coupe Grumpy Grizz, went a different way and with the assistance of his crew (Stacey) they were utilising grip juice. However, the one thing we all noticed was that sense of wanting to accelerate past the 1/8th mile finish line, this took a while to subside.
Following the jet car in afternoon, issues with the timing gear meant times were not being recorded, but from the earlier passes qualifying positions were established, with Steve Matthews and his Honky Tonkin 57 Chevy taking the coveted spot with a 6.39.
Within the pit, there were some very happy people with their days work. Martyn Hallam, had arrived with a blower on top of his Hemi, and it was performing really well. Especially pleasing when you have travelled from Plymouth to race! Adam Kruczynski had a new powertrain combo in his Mellow Yellow 55 Chevy and both were being eased into their new life on the strip. Sean Milsom Ain’t Misbehavin had his recently refreshed rear end working well, especially notable as he was leaving the line with his front wheels in the air. A trio of Austin Devon’s, at times looked like an Austin showroom, with Simon Glenn in his Straight Shooter pickup, Graham Barton in his saloon High Anxiety and myself in Nogbad the Bad. Arguably the biggest smile was on the face of Gasser Circus debutant and sponsor Simon Prest, who was keen to race his recent Californian import the Rocket. Acquired from International Gasser Circus member Dale Snoke. Simon enjoyed lining up against another car built by Dale, the Identity Crisis Mopar of Brian Gibson. Brian was to end his day not so positively as an error in prep with the bonnet pins was soon amplified as the car left the line. The bonnet lifted up and bent back over the roof, the scoop leaving two creases in it. Thankfully no damage was suffered to the screen.
Saturday night delivered freezing conditions, but by Sunday morning the temperature had risen a little. Tom Margesson driving The Tinsel Town Hustler Pop, was up against number 1 qualifier Steve Mathews. With it being heads up, he knew it would be a challenge and reflected later on the run ‘I thought I might just get the win and kept the throttle mashed to the bulkhead. Then I saw the big bad Chevy reeling me in with that big block power and past he came’! Eliminations soon concluded and by mid-afternoon we were down to the semi-finals, where Graham Barton in his consistent ‘High Anxiety’ Austin Devon had a bye to the final and Martyn Hallam in his Willys was up against Sean Milsom and his Morris Van. Both Gassers left the line hard, Sean with his front wheels again in fresh air, when they hit the tarmac Martyn and Sean were still side by side, Sean edged ahead as Martyn backed off as something in the car sounded off. Sean taking the semi-final win.
When the Gassers came down to run the final, Graham knew his had a tough job on his hands and so it proved as both cars left the line, Sean edging ahead a position he held as the cars flew across the finish line. Sean winning with a 6.85 @ 109mph, and Graham exceedingly close with a 6.94 @ 101 mph. It had been a great final which concluded and befitted a great weekend.
Steve Matthews in his Honky Tonkin 57 collected the number 1 qualifier winnings from sponsor The Rocket Racing Team. A superb achievement despite picking up a puncture in a slick, which Kwik Fit in York fixed. Then it was time for the winner’s superb trophy and winnings from Gasser Circus sponsor Neil Melliard to be presented to Sean Milsom. Our thanks to him and also to Renegade Fuels and Serck Services. The weekend was a great success, and the our thoughts now turn to Round 2 at the Nostalgia Nationals at Santa Pod, where the Gasser Circus returns to its traditional dial in racing.
Images: Alexandru Radulescu & Jungle Pat.
Rivanazzano hosts first meeting for two years.
16th May: Thanks to Marcus Münch of Drag Race Union for posting results of the Super Pro ET and Pro ET qualifying and eliminations held over the weekend at Rivanazzano Dragway, Italy, the Wide Open Spring Nationals.
The classes running for points in the DRU Championship at the event were Super Pro ET and Pro ET, the Wide Open Spring Nationals being the third race in the series. Santa Pod Raceway's Festival of Power had Ronnie Mercer as the only registered Pro ET DRU points scorer and Brian Pateman and Billy Gane the only registered Super Pro ET DRU points scorers. Springspeed Nationals only had Ronnie and Billy scored points.
With 29 cars qualifying for Pro ET and 22 for Super Pro ET with seven sessions, there was a tight field as expected. In Super Pro ET, the winner was Angel Romero Cordobes (Chevy Camaro) who qualified 10th, defeating Manuel Kreiter (Pontiac Firebird) in round one, Alan Duerr (Alfa Romeo GTV) in round two, Mike Bruchmueller (Chevy Camaro) in round three, no.1 qualifier Alex Halter (Plymouth Roadrunner) in the semi final and Raffaele Corneo ('71 Dodge Demon) in the final round.
In Pro ET the top 16 qualifiers were less than 0.1s over their dial. Jean-Luc Arnaud in a 1970 Ford Maverick qualified first and he went on to win the racem with a bye in round one, defeating Laurent Levi (Mecury Gasser) in round two, Oliver Carli Sacco ('69 Chevy El Camino) in round three and Widmann Armin (Chevy Camaro) in the semi final before racing Mirco Bettin (Pontiac Firebird) for the event title.
As well as Super Pro ET and Pro ET the race had street classes A1, A2, and A3 Pro and Junior Dragster, making a total field of 80. Congratulations to the organisers for attracting such a field after the two year break.
The next race at Rivanazzano Dragway (which is about 45 miles south of Milan) is the Hills Race #18 on 9th-11th September 2022. You can enter by going to the track website at rivanazzanodragway.it. There is plenty of media from the event at the Hills Race by AMP Drag Race Italy. Facebook Group.
Image: P Thurner (far lane) vs R Willinger (near lane) in Pro ET action. Captured from Oscar Rossi video.
16th May: Happy Birthday for today to Wild Bunch racer Dan Boone, former Pro Stock Bike racer Dave Beck and former Street Eliminator racer Paul Foote who is celebrating his 60th today. Have a great day all.
The Straightliners Championship points have been updated which you can see at the Straightliners results repository. They include points from the weekend from Llanbedr which you can see at Best Sunday times, No Mercy Shootout and 6.00 Class eliminations. As well as the bikes in attendance, Taz Racing made the journey, with Chris Skinner (Fiat 500), Kevin Preston (Austin pickup) and John Dewey ('57 Chevy) winning trophies. Competitors remarked about the smoothness of the surface.
Santa Pod Raceway have posted a Facebook album of 123 photos from the weekend's Jap Show 22 Although primarily a lifestyle event, there were a few racers testing for Doorslammers and six Outlaw Street cars who won by default a OS vs Supercar shootout when the latter were all no-shows.
Media from Melbourne Raceway's Powerfest continues to be posted and thanks to photographer Ashley Dale who has posted to his Flickr account for Saturday and Sunday.
Stilwell licenses at El Mirage.
15th May: Yesterday at the historic lake El Mirage in California, Land Speed Racer and Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell took his 7707 blown fuel modified roadster to a speeed of 200mph, the exact target set for him by the Southern Californian Timing Association, to earn his license for the venue.
"The conditions are pretty challenging", said Geoff. "The temperature is 104F (40C) in the shade (where you can find it - Editor) with no wind. No wind is not as good as it sounds as when you drive down the track, the dust hangs in the air and slows you down.
The lake bed however was looking as good as it ever has, better than his last trip to it in November 2021. "We are in the middle of a terrible drought in the Los Angeles area, even when it rains it is never enough.
Geoff's car which was run in an earlier incarnation by the late Mike Kuhl and Carl Olson with their friend Don Bowman, was familiar to the crowds on hand. "Once we had set up our pit and fired the car up, folks were coming by, saying "it sounds fantastic" and "didn't you win the outstanding engineering award at the Grand National Roadster Show?" That's out of hundreds, I realised.
"We left our hotel at 06:15 for a half hour drive to the track and then had a drivers' meeting at 07:30. Then it was a case of waiting to be called. There are not as many cars there as I was expectin, the financial crisis caused by Covid and the price of oil has hit the U.S. just as badly, diesel is now $7 per gallon and petrol $5.55. So, without much sponsorship and prize money, the teams have to keep their eye on costs.
Geoff planned for two runs on Saturday. His licensing run which you can see on this Facebook video, was a textbook one. Geoff had to run between 200 and 210mph and his ticket read 200.18. "The tyres were spinning all the way down and I had to pedal it. When we got back to the pits we prepared for the second run and changed the blower pulley to go 250 (top speed yesterday was 248) but then we found a fuel line leak. We took it apart three times and eventually got it sorted but the track closed just as we were dropping the car from its stands.
"We had a large group of visitors yesterday including Carl Olson who got to sit in his old car, Steve Gibbs who was kind to host me and Ron Hope on his Nitro Revival channel and Bob and Sharon Muravez. Huge thanks to my team including John Beck, Donny Cummins, Paul Bowman, Mick Jenkins, Pauly Rivera and Tony Thacker.
"We will be first in the line on Sunday to run at 8am, and will get to the track by 06:00."
Good luck and stay safe to Geoff. You can see action from El Mirage at which Land Speed Racer and Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell will be making runs later in his 7707 Blown Fuel Roadster by going to lsrlive.com from 8am Pacific/4pm British Summer Time.
Update 18:00: Well done to Geoff who ran a 215.78 on his second and final pass of the meeting. Geoff commented "Not as fast as we wanted but all is good. No more runs today sadly as we have a problem we can’t fix at the track. So packing up and taking it back to Pomona!"
15th May: Happy Birthday for today to photojournalist Remco Scheelings, whom we look forward to seeing at the FIA/FIM-E Main Event, nitro Daimler dragster legend Robin Read, former Junior Drag Bike champion Liam Holgate, retired FIA Top Fuel and TMFC champion Mikael Kågered, Outlaw Anglia racer Paul Hensher and Top Methanol Dragster racer Daniel Jedborn. Eurodragster.com hopes you all have a great day whereever you are.
FIA/FIM-E Main Event racer update.
14th May: Many thanks to to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us details of track opening and signing on at the FIA/FIM-E Main Event being held on 26th-29th May, including scrutineering times.
The main gates to the track will open at 08.00 on Wednesday, 25th May.
Wednesday, 25th May:
09.00-18.00 Signing on office opens (this is an update to the posted Final Instructions)
09.00-18.00 Scrutineering for cars at the Scrutineering building
Racers planning on testing on 25th May are reminded that entries are limited to 100, and they will need to enter the test day in advance at a fee of £75. Entry can be made by phoning Santa Pod on 01234 782828.
Thursday, 26th May:
07.00 Signing on office opens
07.00-15.00 Sportsman Car Scrutineering at the Scrutineering building
09.00 Scrutineering for bikes at the Scrutineering building
09.30 Track open for sportsman qualifying
15.00 FIA Pro Class scrutineering (at pit bay) - see additional list for details
Friday, 27th May:
07.00 Scrutineering & Signing on open
09.30 Track open for qualifying
10.00 Scrutineering for bikes
Saturday 28th May:
07.00 Scrutineering & Signing on open
09:30 Track open for qualifying/ eliminations
Sunday 29th May:
08.00 Scrutineering & Signing on open
09:30 Track open for eliminations
The detailed running orders and printable entry list can be seen in our event coverage page.
VP Racing Fuels contingency scheme.
14th May: Santa Pod Raceway track manager Darren Prentice has announced a contingency scheme with VP Racing Fuels for two sportsman classes of UK drag racing.
"We would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that VP Racing Fuels and Old Hall Performance have established a contingency scheme for Pro ET and Junior Dragster.
The scheme runs over any of the SPRC National Championship events, and the cars must be wearing VP Stickers throughout those events. VP Racing stickers can be collected from the Signing On office or the Pod Shop.
Also feel free to pop along and join the VP Team who will be pitted opposite the Pod Shop over the Doorslammers and Main Event weekends when they will be happy to offer advice and answer to any of your technical questions on any of the VP Racing Fuels range.
The event winner will receive:
NSRA previews Nostalgia Nationals.
14th May: Thanks to Alan Martin of National Street Rod Association for information on the Nostalgia Nationals to be held on the weekend of 3rd-5th June:
With less than one month to go, it’s time to give you the lowdown on this year’s Nostalgia Nationals.
After a two year break due to Covid cancellations, we are back with a bang over the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, 3rd-5th June. As well as all the usual on track action from our Pre ’73 RWYB entrants, the quarter mile will echo to the massed ranks of Wild Bunch, Nostalgia Superstock, Outlaw Anglia, Supercharged Outlaws and Gasser Circus, with the added attraction this year of the Modified 100E Challenge.
To help celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee, we have a live large screen in the Show’n’Shine paddock, featuring celebration events and a healthy dose of live track action to keep you entertained. Added to that we have secured three flypasts by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. There will be a Spitfire and Hurricane on Friday at 12pm, a Spitfire on Saturday at 15.40pm and a Lancaster on Sunday at 15.13pm, so keep a lookout for them.
When the racing finishes, be sure to check out the Fuellers Bar, where Friday night sees Big Jim and the Alabama Boogie Boys playing live, followed by Vincent Flatts Final Drive on Saturday.
Don’t forget to check out the NSRA stand, where the Committee will not only be on hand to chat about this year’s NSRA 50th Anniversary celebrations and membership but will also be able to sell you some official NSRA merchandise. They will also be keeping an eye on the RWYB entries, looking for candidates for the ‘Quick Six’ trophies. They don’t have to be the fastest, or the shiniest, just seen to have entered into the spirit of the event and hit the quarter mile.
Don’t forget to come and say hello at the Nostalgia Nationals merchandise stall and grab a T shirt, mug or poster or two. Just be quick, as always, demand is high and when they’re gone, they’re gone.
To book your tickets online visit www.nostalgianationals.com. Early discount ticket sales close at 5pm on May 27th, after which standard rates apply, so get in quick.
We’ll see you at the track.
14th May: Happy Birthday for today to Nostalgia Funny car crewman and dad Gary Kay, Junior Dragster racer Dan Weir and Pro ET racer-in-waiting Josh Duncan. Have a great day guys.
You can see action from El Mirage at which Land Speed Racer and Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell will be making runs later in his 7707 Blown Fuel Roadster by going to lsrlive.com from 8am Pacific/4pm British Summer Time.
At the NHRA Virginia Nationals yesterday, which was affected by rain for much of the day, the first round of nitro qualifying was able to be held before the rains returned. Expat European Lex Joon is currently qualified 13th with a 4.161/215.41 but not without problems in preparing for the run. "It was a busy day at the racetrack today. What seemed to be a regular warm-up before the actual run ended up in a thrash pulling a cylinder head after we found a broken valve spring. But with our NeverQuit team attitude we got our car on the starting line and got a check out pass into the books. The chassis works perfectly after the latest update; we are ready to get things moving forward." Good luck and stay safe to Lex for two more qualifying sessions today.
VP Racing Fuels partners with SPR for Doorslammers.
13th May: £90,000 is up for grabs when Santa Pod Raceway presents its annual Doorslammers race in association with Eurodragster.com sponsor VP Racing Fuels. Entries from across Europe are expected to challenge for the record prize fund.
‘Doorslammer’ is a drag racing term for any car with functioning doors – a ‘tin top’, in circuit racing parlance – so no dragsters, altereds or roadsters are invited. But that doesn’t preclude machines that pack a mean punch. At the top level, any saloon-car resemblance may barely be skin-deep.
As Associate Sponsor of the event, VP Racing Fuels is also the Official Fuel Supplier for the venue and Title Sponsor of the Doorslammers’ premier race class, Pro Doorslammer. These heavyweights attract the most attention – brutal machines radically different from any ‘tin top’ seen on a circuit. The no-holds-barred shoot-out pits Pro Modifieds – which otherwise contest national and European championships – against any other outlandish vehicle whose owner considers it fit for the challenge.
In place of the usual, seeded qualifying ladder, elimination pairings are drawn at random before each knockout round until the last two contestants left standing dash for the cash.
It’s truly a matter of “run what ya brung… and hope ya brung enough”.
Alongside the headline VP Racing Fuels Pro Doorslammer class, the Doorslammers weekend features five other heads-up categories – Pro Street, True Street, Front-Wheel Drive, 6-Cylinder and 4-Cylinder – plus separate daily Big Bracket competitions on Saturday and Sunday, all racing for hefty cash prizes.
VP Racing Fuels can be purchased online at www.santapodshop.com or directly from the Santa Pod on-site “Garage” shop. Pre-orders are welcome too by calling the telesales team at Santa Pod Raceway on +44 (0) 1234 782828.
VP Racing Fuels is best known as the World Leader in Fuel Technology®, fuelling champions in virtually every form of motorsport on land, sea, and air since 1975. The company operates internationally with businesses including race fuels and lubricants, consumer small engine fuels and automotive additives, and licensed retail fuel stations. VP’s partnership with Santa Pod provides availability of its products to all racers competing at the renowned British venue. For more information, visit VPRacingFuels.com.
Doorslammers 2022 takes place at Santa Pod Raceway, near Wellingborough NN29 7XA, from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd May. Full information and advance booking facilities are available online at santapod.co.uk or by telephone at 01234 782828. Advance admission prices start at just £25 per day, with kids aged 5-15 at £5 per day – advance booking only, no admission on the gate. There is free paddock access and overnight camping is free with multi-day tickets.
Pictured: Andy Robinson and Jon Webster who will both be in action at The Doorslammers.
Spy picture solved.
13th May: Many thanks to new sponsor John Tebenham for revealing the spy pictures published on Sunday and yesterday were of his new Mike Janis supercharger, described by JT as "one of the best blowers in the world".
JT added "Upgrades done. Blower. Block. Oil system. Doorslammers bring it on, we are in this to win!
"A quick flash back to last years Doorslammers, a fantastic video posted by Shift Light TV, of how tough these crazy cars are to drive. On the first run you can see I leave absolutely buried full throttle and it starts a whole lot of shaking. So as I come past the camera, the butterflies are completely shut, then I stamp straight back on it which is brave in one of these, so it actually snapped the rose joints on the wheelie bars and still went a booming 227 mph. Great commentary.
"The 2nd run against The wicked Simon Barlow, great guy to race, these monsters have problems racing things that aren’t pro mod. I made the decision to let him leave first, right or wrong? It’s my car my choice. Yeah, never saw him.
"I have blown our trumpet loud but be warned this blower is so state of art it’s really going to take time and runs to get it too fly. Please come and support us, we are selling t-shirts and posters if you would like to help. Even Flash is coming back (the one and only Tracey Island) A massive thanks to Signseen and RJF Motor Homes for stepping up to sponsor us for these two crazy weekends, see you there, JT."
You can see video by clicking on the image, or at this link, watch JT live and buy his Johnny Bee Good t-shirts at The Doorslammers on 19th-21st May at Santa Pod Raceway. You can follow JT at the Jt Racing Facebook page.
Mosquitos, France race coming up.
13th May: The Mosquitos Drag Race organisation in France have been organising events since 2012, however for us in the UK have been overshadowed by the ATD and their events at Clastres. Now, a publicity push and new web site at www.mosquitos-drag-race.fr highlights their next race which is on 11th-12th June at Aérodrome de Saulieu-Liernais, 21430 Liernais, France, and documents their history.
Mosquitos Drag Race describe themselves as a collective serving Drag-Racing, and the team have held events at Saulieu-Liernais since 2015. The runway at the Côte d'Or venue, originally grass, had originally been used by François Mitterrand's helicopter coming to visit Bernard Loiseau and his famous restaurant (still open and only £574 for the night of 11th June). It then went from 800 to 900m, and was paved to facilitate the landing of a jet. Local contacts have been invaluable, such as the Mayor of Liernais or the director of the aerodrome, giving unfailing support.
Previous events were held at Guiscriff, in Morbihan at the La Seu d'Urgell track in the Catalan Pyrenees (held in association with Spanish drag racing organisation Fuerza Libre Competición), and originally at Saint Yan Airport. 16 events have been held since the organisation was formed, and average spectator numbers are 1500, not at all bad for sportsman racing.
Mosquitos' new web site has a pdf registration form (entry costs €150 until June 05, 2022, no on-site registrations), regulations for RWYB (in French) and other details. Public entry is €10 for one day and €15 for both days, under 16s get in free. There are three racing categories, Original (Street), Modified (Super Street) and Outlaw (Comp).
Sponsor partnerships are available, linked, directly or indirectly, to the world of motorsports. The wording of the blurb, almost worthy of Voltaire, is notable:
Our purpose: The world is changing: we are accompanying these upheavals. Let's stay active and vigilant that our sport of acceleration is not seen as “non-essential”. Let's convince so that our dragsters continue to be “on the track”!
Our values: Conviviality, sportsmanship...and the pleasure of seeing beautiful machines – old or recent, from the quietest to the fastest. To include the greatest number of men and women in access to our races, in complete safety everywhere on the territory.
And together? Drag racing is our passion and we communicate it. In the face of adversity, there is strength in numbers: it is together that we will advance on this track.
Aérodrome de Saulieu-Liernais is in the east of France near Dijon, racers from the UK will have a six hour plus drive once negotiating the crossing, however the venue is closer to Switzerland, Germany and even Italy.
To contact Mosquitos Drag Racing the web site has a contact form.
13th May: Happy Birthday for today to MSD Europe Dick Koster who reaches the milestone of 50, 8.50 Bike racer Jasmine Cordelle, Super Pro ET racer Alan Didwell, former Pro Modified racer Urban Johansson, and Norwegian Pro Modified racer Stian Rusånes, who will be racing at the upcoming Spring Nationals at Gardermoen next weekend.
Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell, at the 7707 workshop in Pomona, met with fellow Land Speed Racer and Fuel Altered pilot Ron Hope for the "Hook Knows" show fronted by Steve Gibbs with daughter Cindy Gibbs behind the camera, to discuss their respective land speed and nostalgia drag racing careers. You can see the highly entertaining result on Facebook by clicking here. Good luck and stay safe to Geoff at El Mirage this weekend, we hope to have some links to live streaming in tomorrow's update.
Welsh drag racing weekend.
12th May: This weekend on 14th-15th May, the Welsh drag racing weekend will be taking place including two motor cycle championship rounds, Straightliners and National Sprint Association. The event to be held at Llanbedr Airfield will also include 1/4 mile run what you brung, 1/2 mile top speed, 1/4 mile roll racing, 1/8 mile cash Duck All Prep shootout and motorcycle championships. Camping is available on Saturday and online bookings are open.
To book you need to fill in a Llanbdedr entry form first. Then for car entry go to this link, or bike, scooter or junior racers go to this link. Spectators can get tickets by clicking on this link.
Llanbedr Airfield offers a long and smooth surface and is less than 150 miles from Manchester and Birmingham. Nearby is Snowdonia National Park, some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK, and the tourist village of Portmeirion.
Introducing E Monster Drag Racing.
12th May: In the Main Event entry list, a new name is included in the Pro ET field. Here is the the background on Josh Duncan's 100e project:
The car, named E Monster Drag Racing, is owned and driven by Josh, new to drag racing as a driver, who started his dream 3 years ago now with the help of his dad Steve. They set about a building a 1954 Ford 100E squire (ex Clencher owned by Duncan Scott and driven by Steve Harrison) which was put together over the 2019-20 winter months ready for the start of the next season's 100e Challenge at Santa Pod Raceway.
The car was running a standard 454 Big Block Chevy with a Turbo 400 auto transmission, the first time out was great fun and a great learning curve, but the bug for wanting to go faster bit. However covid struck.
With no racing, Josh made the decision to become a full Motorsports UK licenced racer. The car was sent to Jedd at Shortys Fabrication Shop for a full 8.50 sec-tagged chassis build. While there, the 454 engine was also sent off to Trevor Hirst for a full race spec build. The engine, now displacing 466 ci, is a soild lifter motor running on C12 race fuel, yet to run in the car down the track.
Once the chassis was finished at Jedd's we then got offered a sponsorship by Mark Scarlett and family at Scarwood Bodyworks, Colchester, for a brand new paint job, But wow, what a difference it made, instead of the boring satin black it was in Kawasaki Ninja Green. Josh has high hopes for the car and will be at the Main Event at the end of this month, competing in Pro ET for the first time, and and putting on a show for the fans with the debut of the rebuilt car.
Josh and Steve would like to thank everybody involved in the build of the car and all those who gave advice and guidance. They would also like to thank all the sponsors for their support as drag racing isn’t a cheap hobby. These comprise Surrey & Berkshire Scaffolding Ltd, Surrey & Berkshire Cleaning Services, Scarwood Bodyworks Colchester Ltd. The team are also offering sponsorship advertising on the car to help them progress through their racing career and moving forward with the car, send Josh an email if it is something that interests you.
12th May: We received this spy picture with the caption "Blowing our cover".
If you know more, or have a spy picture of your own to send, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Super Twin Top Gas season starting this weekend.
10th May: The 2022 Super Twin Top Gas season is starting next weekend with the Cramo Nationals at Malmö Raceway in Sweden 13th-15th May. Eight STTG bikes have registered and we've some details on them:
12th May: Happy Birthday for today to a man famous for his diversity of race cars Matt Wright, VW Pro racer Danny Pike, and the effervescent Sören Svensson, engineer and crew chief for brother Peter's 5.7s Top Fuel Bike.
Video from Melbourne Raceway's Powerfest last weekend has been posted to Youtube. You can see the Duck All Prep action courtesy organiser Lee Child, and startline/trackside shots from Spottedmotors.
Simon Letley of VeeDub Racing has posted video of last month's Santa Pod Raceway GTI Festival, including a pit walk, driver interviews and track footage. The vlog format of these videos is highly recommended viewing.
Merryweather's triumphant return.
11th May: Many thanks to Banzai Supercharged Outlaw racer Ian Merryweather for an account of his weekend at Melbourne Raceway with the newly-rebuilt car:
Eyup, just back home on the Isle of Man after a fantastic debut weekend at Melbourne with the new 2022 Banzai. The IOM locked down back in March 2020 so our racing stopped, our last race being the Hot Rod Drags at Santa Pod back in Sept 2019. How long will this Covid go on for we asked so during 2020, we waited. Moving onto Feb 2021 and maybe light at the end of the tunnel. Nope, candle blew out, lock down again. Enter the plan take 2021 out and build a new chromoly chassis for the car. Into 2022 all done and ready for event 1 at Melbourne in May.
Firstly the venue, well everyone has nailed it with all of the quotes posted on Monday. All we can say is flat caps off to all at Melbourne/Straightliners who grafted all weekend to put on an amazing weekend for us all to enjoy, all the thousands of donations given by all the Dragracing public and the powers that be who have made this happen for us all to enjoy for many years.
With a new chromoly chassis in the car, we really were testing Lee Child, BUT as it ran straight and true, is much more comfortable to sit in and control when the 'I aim to misbehave' attitude kicks in, we thought we'd give it a go and entered the Duck all Prep.
The car truly was a plesure to drive on the no prep track which was not ideal on Saturday after the over night rain and overcast sky. Obviously dry, but no heat in the track. Unfortunately a timing glitch gave us no times for the 4 runs we made Saturday, but we made the semi's in the Duck All Prep against undefeated so far this season Pel Norman. Pel taking the win and the final again. Nice one Pel, 5 in a row I believe, TT invite cancelled!
Sunday though was a complete change for the better and for ourselves. Sunny and warm, the track was sure to improve and it did. A problem for Mark Todd after the burnout gave us a bye in rd 1 so I decided to give it a 1st gear launch. Although not perfect the car ran arrow straight to a 5.59 at 137mph, well chuffed we were. Into the semis against Pel Norman 'oh bugger'. A great 5.50 136mph against Pel's 5.66 144mph took it and the undefeated Duck All Prep King was out! TT invite reinstated Pel. A rather loud 'Eeh by gum thas beaten me', 'whey aye bonny lad' was heard by the top end fire crew.
So into the final against Justin Wooler with the 67 Camaro who we defeated in the 1st round on Saturday. A 5.75 at 139mph enough to take the win against Justin's 5.89 125mph.
Purely Belter! A huge win for us back home on my old stomping ground. Can't wait for the next event in June. We will certainly be back as soon as possible. Bookings in for our sailings over for the June and October events.
To my crew Lee Merryweather, Selena Merryweather, Steven Jack Russell Robert Merryweather, Peter Astell-Burt, Phil Wall, our class sponsors Good Vibrations Jim Maher James Maher, Mark Harwood at PlasFloor, Brian Purdy (Top-Coat) a HUUUUGE THANKS, love you all xx. Ta'ra.
SPR's feast of motorcycle drag racing.
10th May: Three stories illuminate the feast of motorcycle drag racing promised for the FIA/FIM-E Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway, 26th-29th May:
Battery power has a more obvious practical future than rocket propulsion and the first time Denmark’s Hans-Henrik Thomsen brought his electric bike to Santa Pod, in 2020, he set a new world record for elapsed time at 6.869sec. Last year he lowered it to 6.740sec in Sweden. Now he eyes the 201.37mph terminal speed record set 10 years ago by American Larry McBride, and matched coincidentally on four wheels earlier this year by another American, Steve Huff. In drag racing’s sound world, an electrical whirr and the squeal of rubber on concrete count as pure silence, but stand by for plentiful noise if Thomsen scores his goal. This won’t just be the quickest, fastest quarter-mile electric bike on the planet, but the quickest, fastest electric vehicle full stop.
On the competitive racing front – and at the louder end of the sound spectrum – there’s a first confrontation since 2019 promised for the quickest and fastest nitro-burning Top Fuel Bikes in Europe. Sweden’s speed record-holder Rickard Gustafsson (250.55mph) takes on Britain’s multi-championship-winning Puma bike (5.662 seconds) newly piloted by Neil Midgley. Veteran racer Midgley dipped straight into the 5-second zone on his first outing on the bike last month. Gustafsson makes his first Santa Pod appearance since Covid took hold. The pair won’t have the limelight all to themselves. Seven other TF Bike entrants will jostle to steal the show.
For those who prefer bass notes to their bike racing, five thumping nitro SuperTwin Bikes visit from Europe, again for the first time since 2019. Meanwhile, there’s a new intensity to the gunfire crackle of SuperStreet Bikes’ spooling turbos. Road-going motorcycles to all appearances, even lacking the customary wheelie bars, these phenomenal machines can clock 6-second passes at over 200mph. Last season Steve Venables found fellow Britons Jake Mechaell and Alan Morrison Jr. emerging to challenge his longtime pack leadership. Now Hungary’s Dániel Lencés has raised his game with a new bike from America and promptly set new ACU record figures of 6.776sec/218.97mph. With Lencés absent at the last race, Mechaell beat Venables in the final, 6.872sec to 6.873. SuperStreet Bike alone is worth the price of admission.
Alongside these highlights, The Main Event provides a complete, four-day programme of championship drag racing, on four wheels as well as on two, across the full array of classes ranging from the kids racing Junior Dragsters and Junior Bikes to the grown-up, 10,000-horsepower Top Fuel Dragsters. The Main Event takes place from Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th May 2022 at Santa Pod Raceway near Wellingborough NN29 7XA. Detailed event information is available at santapod.co.uk. Pre-book tickets online at santapodtickets.com or by telephoning the Box Office at 01234 782828. There is no admission on the gate. Adult prices begin at £20 and children aged 5-15 cost £5 per day.
Pictures from Santa Pod Raceway: Rocket bike – Eric Teboul, Electric bike – Hans-Henrik Thomsen, Top Fuel Bike – Neil Midgley, SuperStreet Bike – Stephen Mead.
10th May: Be sure to tune into the Nitro Revival Facebook page at 9pm UK time (1pm Pacific Standard Time) where Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell is interviewed by event organiser Steve Gibbs on Land Speed Racing, show trophies and much more.
Melbourne Powerfest quotes.
10th May: Many of the comments posted on social media about Melbourne Raceway's Powerfest at the weekend focused on the recent improvements to the venue with the friendliness of officials and staff, and we've summarised them below (pictured right: Daniel Oxford's Flathead powered Model T, driven on Saturday by Manx Norton tuner Fred Walmsley)
Former racer and York Dragway official Mick Bettison wrote: "Had a great family day out at Melbourne today, our first visit for several years. I virtually lived there in the ‘80s as a racer, PDRC Chairman, RAC rep, Race Director and general dogsbody and I loved every minute. But gradually as the track, facilities and ideas of improvements slowly sank into decline the interest and enthusiasm followed. In spite of living within four miles of the track, our family haven’t paid a visit for many years.
"Today was out first days visit and what a revelation it was. Even in the heady days of the late ‘80s when we were running 32 car fields in Super Gas, I never saw so many spectators, racers, families at the venue. And they were all enjoying themselves! It was not only a great day out, it was pretty emotional, meeting loads of old friends and several new ones.
"If my old mate Dave Grady could have seen all that was going on, he would have been over the moon. He spent years trying to persuade the promoter to organise more entertainment and sales and food outlets, as in the ‘midway’ ares of the American tracks. Today it was all there, including things for the younger family members to enjoy.
"All I can say is that I’m unbelievably impressed with what has been achieved in such a short time and thank Trevor, Al, Flav and ALL the other enthusiasts who have worked so hard to bring the venue back to life. I hope that it will continue to progress and bring more people into the sport. Keep moving forward but above all else, keep it FUN."
"Supercharged Outlaw racer Lee Gallimore was delighted to run a PB in the eighth and wrote: "Just like to say a massive thanks to the track crew and Straightliners team for a fantastic track and brilliant weekend. The facility is better every time we go. We made a few changes to our car set up and start line procedures. We had two set up runs on Sat, unfortunately the timing system failed, but I managed to get a first gear launch to hook up which was great and to feel the car getting to the track was great.
"Sunday we got down track and ran our new wheels up PB of 5.20/139 mph. I went over and had good luck at the centre line which was fine then came back and managed to drive into the chutes nicely and land with out the big bouncer, happy days.
"Massive thanks to my track crew Liam, John and Jock, top lads, great team work. Great to catch up with great friends and see the supercharged outlaws putting on a great show, it’s all good guys, see you all soon."
Outlaw Anglia racer Colin Millar who encouraged a group of six from the class to attend, ran a best of 5.86/124 on his first time at the track and wrote: "Just in the door from what can only be described as a fabulous fantastic enjoyable weekend at Melbourne Raceway, thank you to Trevor Duckworth and the whole team for putting a huge effort in so people can come and enjoy themselves, the Outlaw Anglia boys and girls had a ball as I’m sure everyone else did too, chuffed to bits to get down in the fives and tuning the car to the track was very new to us but I think we done good, thanks as always to crew chief Aaron Springford and my wee Lynn Purvis for all they do and thanks to everyone that bought a 30 year anniversary OA tee shirt, we will be back." OA racer Gary Bird revealed it was 21 years since he was last racing the same car at the track, so it was welcome back for Gary.
Mark Todd, driver of the awesome Freight Train Pontiac GTO, wrote "Just back from a fantastic weekend at Melbourne Raceway. We were made to feel so welcome by the friendly staff and to see the improvements Trevor Duckworth and team have made was seriously impressive. Having lost a track you realise just how important it is to support Melbourne enabling the growth and investment needed. With the new clubhouse under construction and tarmac secured to improve the pit surface The future certainly looks bright.
As for the racing, well we had a damp start. Having spent many late nights preparing the car everything was last minute meaning we didn’t arrive till late Friday and unloaded In the pouring rain. Our woes were exasperated by the fact our onboard generator packed up and despite a team effort (thanks you know who you are) it couldn’t be fixed. Thankfully the drag racing family stepped up to the plate and neighbour Keith freeman allowed us to share the generator. (Very important when you have a freezer full of charge cooler ice).
Surely that was the last of our bad luck but no there was more to come. On the Saturday morning whilst warming the car up we noticed the oil pressure was down on its normal reading. With the Engine having been freshly rebuilt at EDA we aired on the side of caution and immediately killed the engine. Thankfully Ben from EDA was attending the event and helped solve the issue which was simply a case of changing the oil Phew cheers Ben.
"With oil changed we went to reverse the car out only to lose the brake pedal. At this point We honestly thought this wasn’t meant to be.
"A mad rush to locate the culprit fitting and bleed brakes left us late for the first round but again the drag racing spirit came to our rescue with Pete Youhill holding back for us. Having never run a slick or no prep before The car had a very conservative tune up. To our surprise the car dead hooked and went straight as an arrow with traction not being an issue. We lost by a cars length which against one of the fastest no prep cars in the country was very encouraging.
"From that point on the tune was gradually increased with the car going quicker each pass. Last pass of the weekend netted a 5.54@137mph which was one of the quickest door car passes of the weekend and to say we are pleased is an understatement.
"Big Thanks to Pat Byrne, Dave Rudd and Craig Dixon for all the help crewing. Great to meet all the Duck all Drivers/teams and Thanks to Lee Child for organising the Duck All Prep Series. Watch out for the next event, come join the party and support the growth of this venue. Thanks to MikeB and Pudge for the great on track shots and big thanks to our sponsors Serck Motorsports."
More Melbourne Raceway photography has been posted on social media, if you do Facebook, you can see pictures from DA Photography (Dave Allison); the Flickr page of Steve Purdon (aka Bad Yeti Custom Print), and videos from the Youtube channel of Melbourne Raceway Drag Racing UK.
7707 readies for El Mirage.
10th May: Land speed racer and Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell is now in Los Angeles preparing to take his 7707 blown fuel roadster to El Mirage at the weekend:
"With the SCTA Landspeed Season opener at El Mirage less than a week away life is very busy at the 7707 Raceshop.
"Starting with our attendance at the Grand National Roadster Show in Los Angeles in January. Wow what a week that was. The show opens on the Friday at Noon and we were scheduled to bring 7707 in on the Wednesday. However a last minute change by the organisers wanted us to bring the car in to the main hall on the Tuesday evening. Well, 3 hours later we managed get the car in position in the main hall. We had a joint stand with our good friends at “Mick’s Paint”. Saturday was crazy busy with loads of people asking about the car and “yes the motor really does make 5000bhp”. Anyway we had no idea the cars had all been judged and Sunday afternoon we gathered in Hall 1 for the prize giving. As we walked in Tony Thacker shouted at me……”You won an award”……really? Anyway…. I wandered up to the front thinking it was a wind up and yes I had won the outright award for “Outstanding Engineering” …. Over 800 cars !! I was shocked. Then a few moments later my name got called again and I had won the overall class. More shock. I was so proud and I cannot thank Mick Jenkins Team at “Mick’s Paint” for all their hard work on the car.
"So after that it was get the car to the raceshop and start checking over 7707 to make sure it was ready for El Mirage in May which seems a long way off in January but, when you are wanting things made or repaired the time seems to fly by. Back in November we had discovered a small leak in one of the rear wheels. Nothing major but needed to be sorted. Our all round Crew Member Tony Thacker took the wheel and tyre on a 2 hour trip to “Nates Tires” in Los Angeles. These guys are brilliant and are one of the few places that can balance a wheel and tyre to 500mph. We needed them to find out why the tyre was losing air. Well believe it or not the guys discovered a piece of salt had got down inside the valve and had corroded the seal. Salt is so destructive but $20 later it was fixed. We also ordered some spare rear tyres at the same time which should see us through El Mirage and Bonneville Speedweek. We can go through a pair in one run quite easily especially if we get a lot of wheel spin which for 7707 is not difficult. We will have 8 sets with us and fingers crossed we don’t strip them each run.
"Another job taken care of was making some alterations to the floor pan under the motor. Engineering wizard Pauly Rivera changed the way the floor pan is fixed so we can get easy access to the Oil Pan and the bottom end of the motor. At the same time this was all happening “Scratching Genius” Brad King created a picture of the race car going down the salt on the rear trailer door. It looks fantastic. Then we have new team Crew shirts that have been designed and made by Eric Alton of LR Apparel in LA.
"On top of all of this Landspeed Motor Guru John Beck of “Vintage Hot Rods” in Chico, California has been building up our stock of spares which hopefully if we have them we won’t need them. But we have been through the motor and all we have changed is one of the blower pulleys to increase the overdrive. Other than that all is good and we are now ready for El Mirage on the 13th – 15th May.
"At this point I need to thank a few people:- Mick Jenkins and the whole crew of Mick’s Paint for building me an incredible race car. Tony Thacker who looks after everything. John Beck of Vintage Hot Rods, Chico with Paul Bowman and Donny Cummins for all the work on the motor. Also big thanks go out to ARP Racing Products, Simpson Race Equipment, Schott Wheels, VP Racing Fuels for all their help along the way. Not forgetting Nick Davies, Rob Loaring and Scotty Barnes who will be crewing the 7707 Blown Fuel Roadster at Bonneville Speedweek in August.
"The 7707 Landspeed Team will be arriving en mass at El Mirage on May 13th. We then have to set the pit up and get the car through “Tech inspection”. There will be a live feed from Saturday via the SCTA website. Go to www.scta-bni.org or if you have access to facebook the 7707 team will be posting updates. Just search “Geoff Stilwell”. We will have a few guests dropping by over the weekend so you never know who might be on the feed."
Odyssey Battery Drag Racing's VP Racing Fuels revelations.
10th May: Many thanks to Chris Redshaw of Odyssey Battery Drag Racing who have supplied us with a review of the VP Racing Fuels products they have been using this year with some great results.
"We run our junior dragsters only on VP Racing methanol and have noticed a vast change in the running of our Junior Dragsters, the running temperatures of the Juniors being more controlled leading to a better and more consistent running time with this.
"We also run M2 Upper Lube this has been the best thing we have ever done, we have saved so much time cleaning out our fuel systems and also when we have opened our carburettors we have noticed how much more clean they are. We have had no jellying in our fuel pumps or carburettor, also we have not had to change the fuel lines on any of the cars as they have stayed nice and soft. After years of racing we will never go back to running anything else.
"In our Sportsman ET car (winner at the Festival of Power), we have been running VP Racing's race-ready Stay Frosty Coolant which does not have glycol. This has been a absolutely amazing change that we have done. The running temperatures on the mustang have been absolutely amazing, getting up to a running temperature faster and staying there. It has made the car so much more consistent and runs so much nicer down the track.
"We also use Stay Frosty coolant in our everyday car. It is a classic Mercury Grand Marquis with this, we have seen such a big improvement. The car sits in traffic with no alterations to the temperature and runs so much nicer on the motorway. This is the best change I have ever done to any of my cars and will be running all my vehicles on Stay Frosty, it is so much worth the extra effort to put it in the coolant system.
"A massive thank you so much to VP racing for their absolutely amazing products.
"If anyone would like to ask any questions about any VP Product please come and see us in the pits, where I will be happy to chat."
10th May: Happy Birthday for today to Super Street Bike racer Steve Wood, Nostalgia Superstock racer Andy Holmes, VW Pro racer Lee Cordery and Supercharged Outlaws racer Leo Knight. Have a great day all.
A reminder to racers that entry for The Doorslammers closes on Friday. To enter, go to Santa Pod Raceway's Doorslammers entry page.
Melbourne Raceway Powerfest a huge success.
9th May: Congratulations to the winners at the Melbourne Raceway Powerfest at the weekend:
Duck All Prep (Saturday): Pel Norman ('73 Ford Capri) 5.85/137 def. Pete Youhill (Pontiac Firebird) N/T
Duck All Prep (Sunday): Ian Merryweather (Topolino altered) 5.75/139 def. Justin Woolner (Chevy Camaro) 5.89/125
Gasser Circus (Sunday): Sean Milsom (Morris Z Van) 6.85/109 def. Graham Barton (Austin A40 Devon) 6.94/101
NSCC (Sunday): Sandra Lee Wood (Ford 100e) 7.62 def. Shaun Wilson (MGB) N/T
Pro ET (Sunday): Bob Molden (Peugeot 205) 6.53/110 def. Steven Unsworth (Ford Mustang) N/T
No Mercy Shootout (Sunday): Chris Graily (Suxuki GSXR 750cc) 7.56/102 (7.40) def. Andy Higham (Deofol 500cc) 7.67/98 (7.27)
No Mercy Shootout - Scooters (Sunday): Mike Pacey (Lambretta 230cc) 9.43/72 (9.40) def. Eric Cope (Lambretta 248cc) DQ red (8.50)
No Mercy Shootout - Juniors (Sunday): Elliot Holden 20.36/28 (19.89) def. Amy Wolstenholme 13.31/43 (13.52) breakout
With over 150 entries across both days, the weekend's Melbourne Raceway Powerfest was a huge success, a large crowd and racers enjoying the challenge of racing on the unprepped eighth mile surface.
Many thanks to Paul and Dave Evans aka The Mad Welshman for supplying a gallery of 330 pictures for both Saturday and Sunday which you can find by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. Paul and Dave's gallery include a sequence of the unfortunate accident of Darren Peart's Cortina Mk3, which are published with permission from Darren.
Thanks to Martyn Greathead of the Straightliners Timing Crew for posting timing data and results, which we have uploaded to our timing data area which you can see by clicking on Data, then Timing Data at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. These results can be seen at Straightliners' results repository.
As well as our galleries, media has been posted from Sunday at the following links: DA Photography (Facebook page), Rick Swaine (Facebook album). See yesterday's update for Saturday media postings. We will report back with racer and spectator quotes tommorrow.
SPRC points update.
9th May: Thanks to SPRC points co-ordinator Yvonne Tramm who has published the current SPRC championship points to the SPRC website. You can also see the points from our Points Standings page which can be accessed via our main menu by clicking on News, then Points Standings.
8th May: We received this spy picture with the caption "well blow me down".
If you know more, or have a spy picture of your own to send, please contact us at email@example.com.
Media from Melbourne Raceway Powerfest.
8th May: The nostalgia oriented classes of British drag racing, along with street based classes, visited Melbourne Raceway at this weekend's Powerfest, which continues today, to add to the diverse group of regular racers.
Visitors included Supercharged Outlaws, Outlaw Anglia, Gasser Circus, Nostalgia Superstock, Outlaw Street and National Street Car Club members. There were cars that had been rebuilt or not seen for some time, suh as Mark Todd's Freight Train (now supporting slicks which it will use at The Doorslammers later in the month), Ian Merryweather's Banzai Topolino (rebuilt with a new chassis) and Gary Atkinson's new Topolino destined for Super Comp. A third Topolino present was Adam Clayton's Firecracker Racing supercharged hemi engined Supercharged Outlaw, the first outing for the team since last year's Dragstalgia and many thanks to team member Malc Short for sharing videos and photos with us which we have posted to our Eurodragsterholics Facebook page.
We will be posting a photo gallery thanks to Mad Welshman Paul Evans, and sharing results of the event in tomorrow's update. In the meantime you can see other Facebook media from the event posted by Pudgey's Pictures (Callum Pudge), Kelli Barrett and Mike Burrowes.
We were sorry to learn that Darren Peart had an incident in his Cortina Mk3 which left the track 100ft out and rolled over in the adjacent field. Darren is perfectly ok, the safety equipment working fine, however the car will need a rebuild before seeing the track again. We wish Darren all the best.
8th May: The VW Drag Racing Club have posted a number of videos from the STP Springspeed Nationals including qualifying and eliminations, which you can see at the VWDRC TV channel.
Malta Drag Racing Association secretary Konrad D'Anastasi has posted videos of yesterday's Run What Ya Brung at Hal Far Raceway to his Youtube channel at this link.
The Main Event: Championship drag racing and family fun.
7th May: Santa Pod Raceway rolls international championship drag racing and a full family entertainment programme into a single, spectacular weekend package at The Main Event from 26th to 29th May.
A trio of Top Fuel Dragsters and a quartet of fuel Funny Cars highlight the fast and loud end of the on-track action, abetted by three Nostalgia Funny Cars, four Jets and a rocket-powered motorcycle from France. It’s not the first time that Eric Teboul has threatened to retire his record-setting rocket bike, but this may be the last time his astonishing, 280mph two-wheeler traverses the Santa Pod quarter-mile.
On four wheels, Top Fuel Dragster entries from Sweden and Finland will bid to break the 300mph barrier once again while four bellowing fuel Funnies battle it out in the second round of the Funny Car Cup.
Pro Modifieds are drag racing’s most powerful ‘doorslammers’ – ‘tin tops’ in circuit racing parlance – and Sweden’s reigning FIA European champion Jan Ericsson returns to Santa Pod for the first time since wrapping up the title there in 2019, the last time it was contested before Covid-19 set in. The final-round opponent whom Ericsson beat on that occasion to secure the crown, French veteran Jean Dulamon, is another contender on the full 16-car entry list bidding for early-season victory. Racers from the Netherlands, Switzerland, Estonia and Germany join seven of Britain’s best in a race also combined with round two of the Motorsport UK British Drag Racing Championship.
On two wheels, Top Fuel Bike offers an intriguing rematch between Europe’s quickest, fastest wheel-driven motorcycles. Sweden’s speed record-holder Rickard Gustafsson (250.55mph) takes on Britain’s multi-championship-winning Puma bike (5.662 seconds) newly piloted by Neil Midgley. Veteran racer Midgley dipped straight into the 5-second zone on his first outing on the bike last month. Gustafsson makes his first Santa Pod appearance since 2019. The pair won’t have the limelight all to themselves. Seven other TF Bike entrants will jostle to steal the show.
For those who prefer bass notes to their bike racing, five thumping nitro SuperTwin bikes visit from Europe, again for the first time since 2019. At the opposite end of the sound spectrum – silence – Denmark’s Hans-Henrik Thomsen and his electric bike set a new quarter-mile world record (6.869sec) on their first Santa Pod appearance in 2020 and, with fresh battery power on tap, will bid to bury that mark this weekend. This is not just the quickest electric bike on the planet, but the quickest electric vehicle full stop.
Alongside these highlights, The Main Event provides a complete, four-day programme of championship drag racing across the full array of classes ranging from the kids racing Junior Dragsters and Junior Bikes to the grown-up, 10,000-horsepower Top Fuelers.
And should anyone fancy a break from the frantic track action, there’s a circus in town.
Happy’s Circus presents four professional shows a day on Saturday and Sunday in a colourful, 600-seat Big Top, all included in The Main Event ticket price. It’s the latest addition to Santa Pod’s array of off-track family entertainments which include spectacular Live Action Arena shows (Monster Trucks, stunt driving and riding), aerial displays (RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Jump Dogs parachute team) and the full panoply of funfair attractions, sideshows, rides, night-time music and performances, not to mention open paddock access for a close-up view of all the racing machinery.
The Main Event takes place from Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th May 2022 at Santa Pod Raceway near Wellingborough NN29 7XA. Detailed event information is available at Santa Pod's website . Pre-book tickets online at the Santa Pod tickets website or by telephoning the Box Office at 01234 782828. There is no admission on the gate. Adult prices begin at £20 and children aged 5-15 cost £5 per day.
Hans-Henrik goes for EV speed record at Main Event.
7th May: Danish electric vehicle engineer and ET record holder Hans-Henrik Thomsen and his True Cousins, #1 in Electric Drag Racing team, have announced they are going after the overall speed record for electric vehicles held by Steve Huff Motorsports and the electric motorcycle speed record held by Larry "Spiderman" McBride, Orange County Choppers and Lawless Industries, Ltd.
Thomsen writes, "Team True Cousins is for the first time ever heading to the Santa Pod Raceway (UK) with both Silver Lightning and TC-X. This event runs 4 days from 26th-29th May at Santa Pod Raceway. It is also the 1st round of the European Championship and up to 30,000 spectators are expected.
The big goal will be to try to make "The Double" world record with Silver Lightning, where we will first and foremost try to take the speed record (final speed at the finish line) which currently is 202.52 mph = 325,65 km/h and is held by Steve Huff in his rail dragster "Faster Than Cancer".
And at the same time, we will seek to get a 6.5s ET, which requires an improvement of at least 0.15 sec compared to our own current record of 6.74. We hope that we can finally get the TC-X to get the directional stability that it has been lacking for several years now. Conditions could not be better with four race days at such a wide and well-prepped course as Santa Pod."
Santa Pod Raceway surface grind update.
7th May: James Oliver of NEM Plant Limited has announced that his company's work on grinding the surface of the Santa Pod Raceway concrete start line is to continue down track:
"Following the successful trial of our concrete grinding system to provide a more abrasive surface to the start line, Santa Pod Raceway have asked us to continue with grinding the full quarter mile of racing surface. This will be done in sections between events to allow time to remove and replace the rubber surface."
7th May: Happy Birthday for today to Wild Bunch crew member for Rebel and Wrathchild Hayley Fyfe, and to Super Twin 'Beast' team member and former Mantorp Park administrator L-o Jonsson. Have a great day!
Today will be the previously announced FIA Scrutineers day at Tierp Arena. L-G Eriksson of ME Racing Service AB announced "We will be there to help out with our knowledge about chassis and safety. We have the Green Goblin Pro Mod with us, without body, so it will be easy to see the chassis and other parts, and we have parts in our trailer to show as well. There is a big interest for this day with scrutineers from 9 countries, Greece, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, England, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Thank you FIA Dragracing for this initiative, it will be a long and good day."
Photojournalist Steve Moxley has published a report from the STP Springspeed Nationals on the ACU senior bike classes at the ACU website. Steve's report is as detailed as ever and includes many snippets on the highs and lows of championship contenders.
Stilwell to appear on Nitro Revival show.
6th May: Many thanks to Nitro Revival sponsor and land speed racerGeoff Stilwell for letting us know about his forthcoming appearance on Steve and Cindy Gibbs' Facebook live show on the Nitro Revival Facebook Group.
Many readers of Eurodragster will know the words "Nitro Revival", Steve Gibbs and his daughter Cindy spend hours upon hours getting cars organised for this fantastic event which this year will be held on the 5th-6th November 2022 at the iconic Irwindale Raceway in Los Angeles. For those on Facebook please go to the Nitro Revival group for updates which this year will be coming thick and fast - or check out Eurodragster for more updates.
For anyone who already follows Nitro Revival you will know that Steve and Cindy Gibbs host a chat show on Wednesday afternoon’s at around 1pm LA time (21:00 BST). Some very famous names have taken part and these are all available on the Nitro Revival page if you want to play catch up. Well, on May 11th the show will be coming live from the 7707 Raceshop in Pomona, Los Angeles. I am very proud and honoured to be taking part in the show. I will be there with a very special guest and I recommend that you check out the time difference and make sure Wednesday evening in the UK you tune in. We will be chatting about many things including Drag Racing and the Nostalgia Scene in the UK, and Landspeed Racing. Also, with the El Mirage Season Opener race on the 13th-15th May we will be giving a guided tour of 7707.
Last year the Nitro Revival had over 60 Top Fuel cars all fire up at the same time. They will have In-N-Out Burgers there on the Friday night and more famous names that you can shake a stick at from the past and present. For your Christmas Treat, book a flight to Los Angeles and take in this incredible event. You won’t regret it. Oh, and don’t forget to tune in to Nitro Revival on Facebook 11th May at around 1pm LA Time (subject to nearby traffic conditions).
In the next few days we will post news about Geoff's forthcoming trip to lake El Mirage in California to run his 7707 blown fuel roadster at the SCTA Season Opener.
Green light for June EDRS Sweden Nationals at Tierp Arena.
6th May: Thanks to Kjell Petterson for an update on the EDRS Sweden Nationals on 17th-19th June 2022, which replaces the FIA/FIM event originally planned for the same weekend. Kjell has emphasised that registration for the event is open and racers are urged to help make it a good event by sending their entries immediately on www.dragracing.eu.
"The wait has been long, but now we can finally welcome you all back to racing at Tierp Arena completely without restrictions. The well-established series promoter Speedgroup, together with NDRS Motor Club, is organising a major drag racing competition within the Summit Racing EDRS series, on the same weekend that our first 2022 European Championship competition was planned, 17th-19th June.
"We welcome the audience and teams back after a far too long wait for competitions completely without restrictions. Since the date was already included in our EDRS calendar, we considered it important to take the initiative to enable the implementation of the competition. We organize and promote the EDRS competition series and it is important to ensure that all our competitions can be conducted in the best way as planned," Micke Gullqvist, chairman of the Speedgroup's board.
"It's a fantastic bunch of talented and very committed employees that I work with, and we try to have fun while our ambition is to make the events a good experience for all parties. Conducting an event of this kind is teamwork, where competitors, officials, organizers, clubs, facilities and promoters work in symbiosis to the good of everyone. So we look forward to conducting a competition in the Summit Racing EDRS series and hope that both competitors and audience choose to participate, support and visit us” said Kjell, Competition Leader of the NDRS Motor Club.
"We have full confidence that Speedgroup, together with NDRS Motor Club, will deliver a competition at the very highest level. Whilst the Arena is in the middle of a sales process, this race will be a good opportunity to secure a summer highlight for our teams and visitors, but above all for motorsport as a whole in Sweden. An extra big welcome to all the new Junior Dragsters & Junior Drag Bike teams who have not yet had the opportunity to experience Europe's coolest motorsport facility!" said Christopher Hamilton, President of Tierp Arena AB.
Frequently asked questions
So will there be an European Championship competition in June anyway? No, this race is part of the Summit Racing EDRS series but will run the same weekend as the EM was intended. Several of Europe's best teams will be on the spot, but they're not part of the European Championship series.
Will there be a good race in June? Yes, we can promise that!
When do you open for ticket purchases? Admission and camping tickets for the event will be released via Tickster shortly at this link and on the Tickster portal.
Who's going to be driving? Registered competitors will be shown on the entry list.
Will the campsite be open? Yes, for both teams and visitors.
Will the restaurant be open? Yes, but no serving of alcohol this weekend.
Will there be an European Championship competition in August? We are close to nailing a good setup even for the European Championships in August. But there are many pieces that are going to fall into place and as the sales process of Tierp Arena runs parallel, it means that we need a little more time before we can officially go out with the setup.
How can we get in touch with you regarding the event? At the moment, we can only answer emails as follows. Attention! Tierp Arena cannot answer questions regarding the event, we refer to the email addresses and organizers below.
Hal Far update.
6th May: This Saturday, Hal Far Raceway in Malta hosts its run what ya brung, traditionally a fortnight before the respective championship event. Due to work on the track, the first round of the championship is being held on 20th-21st May, the earlier March round not taking place due to grip juice supply issues and an general election taking place.
Now track prep is under way and the 7th March RWYB will undoubtedly be busy.
6th May: A Happy Birthday for today to FIA Drag Racing Commission chair Lars Pettersson, to slingshot dragster racer-in-waiting Andy Hill, and to Gasser Circus racer John Gibson. Have a great day guys.
Our good friend Remco Scheelings has published an interview with Top Methanol Funny Car racer Sandro Bellio which you can read on the Drag Racing Europe Blog presented by Speedgroup at this link.
Springspeed Nationals racer comments - bikes.
5th May: We have gathered racer comments on the STP Springspeed Nationals from social media for bike classes and present them below with our photos.
In Banks Night Club Top Fuel Bike, Neil Midgley won the final, defeating Steve Woollatt (pictured left below) who had problems off the line. Neil shut off early having run a 5 earlier. His teams said: "The Lucas Oils Cannon Motorsports team set up at Santa Pod for round 2 of the ACU TFB championship, working well to keep the world class Puma machine in top condition to give the rider confidence to do his job.
Once again we started with a 0.98 60ft and 330ft check out pass for Neil to check the new seat and foot peg location and all ok so far.After running a 5.92 in the semi finals Neil ran 6.77 and won the final at Santa Pod, clicking off the throttle at 3.5 secs into the run. Thanks to the super teams for keeping the Puma world class machine making rounds, with only Lucas oil and NGK spark plugs changed between rounds.
Al Smith with the PBR Rocket (pictured right below) had a difficult event, as reported by owner and engineer Phil Baimbridge:
"It's said that you can only be disappointed as far as your expectations - and the PBR team (Al & Joo Smith, Andy Kirk, Neill Curtis and I) had high expectations as we attended the Springspeed Nationals at Santa Pod.
"The spare cylinder head has been finished for over a year, but we’ve never had the need to run it – so it was installed for this event. This head has several detailed design revisions compared with the original head and still has the original design individual exhaust valve seat inserts - the objectives were to check out how the design changes affected operation and performance and to assess whether the valve seat inserts would cope with the heat load (not having been subjected to the abuse the original cylinder head has suffered).
"Of course, we also wanted to continue refining our fuel system and clutch settings to tease out the good number that we know is in there. The motor had been stripped and inspected after the Festival of Power. It was good to find straight rods and gudgeon (wrist) pins. Couldn’t find anything to explain the high leak down on #1. New valve seats had “settled” a little; nothing that wouldn’t be expected. Changed #2 & #3 bottom main bearing shells (they weren’t on the point of failure…..but while I was in there).
Al and Andy rebuilt the motor (with all the same bits) and installed cylinder head #2. I attempted to install the distributors and found that the rotor arms needed modifying to clear the distributor caps and while I had it apart machined the distributor cap seats to clear the more robust tang fixing on the rotor arms without having to shorten nuts and bolts.
Arrived at the racetrack and prepped the Rocket. Fired up to make sure everything ran OK, checked ignition timing and then allowed the motor to cool prior to re-torquing the cylinder head.
Q1: Al performed a good, controlled burn out and went into stage. The Rocket launched OK, but stopped pulling soon after leaving the line, so Al shut down. 1.07 to 60’. The data logger showed that cylinder #3 lost fire at 0.5s and we also lost oil pressure (down to 35 psi) at 0.85s, just before Al closed the throttle. Found that the main ancillary belt, that drives the oil and fuel pumps and both magnetos, had lost its teeth for around half of its length. We rarely completely lose fire on a cylinder; the 4 valve, twin plug configuration behaves like two separate combustion reactions within the same cylinder (I know that it is hard to believe). In this case #3 lost fire completely and the exhaust gas temperature plummeted – so we concluded that this was a symptom of the ancillary belt failure. The pumps seemed to turn OK so we just replaced the ancillary belt. We pulled the sump and checked the big end shells (changed all of the top shells) and completed our normal between run routine ready for Q2.
Q2: Pretty much the same as Q1 – #3 lost fire at 0.7s and Al shut down just before 2 seconds. 1.05 to 60’. Fuel pressure and flow were at the levels that we would expect prior to the throttle being closed and the oil pressure was good until the engine stopped rotating – so we were surprised to find that we had stripped the teeth off the ancillary belt again. We now knew that we had two problems – one causing #3 to stop firing and another damaging the ancillary belt. Tracked the ignition problem to poor concentricity between the rotor arms and distributor caps - straightforward to rectify, but not at the racetrack. The most likely cause of the ancillary belt damage would be the oil pump.
The weather forecast for the Saturday was scrap so we decided to call it a day and strip and rebuild the Rocket then. (In the event the weather wasn’t as bad as forecast – no rain – but it was so cold that all of the fuel bikes elected not to run).
"So we had a long Saturday checking the big end shells (changed #1 & #2 top shells), removing cylinder head #2 and installing cylinder head #1 and stripping and rebuilding the oil pump (we found that a scavenge non-driven gear was tight on the shaft, so a lot of polishing and scraping to repair it). Got it all finished early evening and fired the motor – all good.
"E1: Good burn out, but then had to wait a relatively long time for our competitor to stage. Al hit the throttle and the rear tyre span almost immediately (the racebike had moved about 2 feet). Al kept the throttle on for about 1.25s, hoping it would hook up to chase our arch-rival Neil Midgley, but of course it didn’t and the engine sat at 9200rpm at high fuel flow and with at least one side of each cylinder firing throughout. The ropey old used ancillary belt was also intact.
Everybody was disappointed, but we know that this clutch setting is “borderline”, the track was very cold (we measured the track temperature at 32C/90F), a relatively long wait after the burn out and a tyre due to be changed (we had intended to change the rear tyre on the Saturday evening, but were all too tired out). I try to look at things philosophically – we went to check out a new cylinder head and found a problem which we can now fix. Performance-wise the head behaves similarly to the original head, at least for the early stages of the run – we still need to check it fully heat soaked. With coldish temperatures and limited track preparation it was always going to be a challenge. Just got to learn to manage our expectations.
Thank you to our Sponsors (Burlow Engineering, FIE, B&J racing and APE) for their continuing support, all of our followers for their interest and Santa Pod for the progressively improving venue.
A bit of a break (but lots of work to do) before our next outing at the Main Event 26-29 May. See you at the races.
Taylors Trophy Super Street Bike was won by Jake Mechaell despite some issues. He said "Wow, what a roller coaster of a weekend. After the test day and first two qualifiers, something seemed off and it turned out we had damaged no.2 cylinder again! The decision was made to pull the motor and build another cylinder head to try and figure out the issue before the Main Event.
"Working through the night to 5am Sunday morning the motor was rebuilt and back in the bike. Thanks to Brad and Leo for lending a hand and sticking with me till the early hours. Changes were made after looking through the data and the final qualifying pass showed we were back on track.
"Lots of fine tuning during eliminations gave us a new PB of 6.87 @ 209.9mph and then winning the final with another 6.87 with an unbelievable 1.17 60ft, 3.03 330ft and 4.50 660ft! Thanks to my sponsors and supporters for everything they’ve done for me."
In a three bike Leeks Landscape Funny Bike field, Dave 'Rocket' Peters came out the winner on his Riggerboot Express Suzuki GSX 1428cc machine. Dave ran a PB for speed of 188mph coupled to an ET of 7.3194 in an exciting final where Louis Davies, having run a 7.0380 in the semi final, was quicker all the way to half track, and then slowed as fuelling problems from a stuck solenoid set in. Louis was running his normal engine whilst the Wicked Wench team is building a 1640cc 2 valve per cylinder motor for the FIM-E Main Event. Also pleased with performance was Roger Moore who ran a 7.5968/173.72 in qualifying, PBs for his bike career.
Suzukiperformancespares.co.uk Comp Bike was won by Shawn Buttigieg from Malta, running a fantastic new track record 6.6450/219.06 on a semi final bye, then 6.7349 to set the ACU ET record for the class. Storing his bike in the UK, Shawn has his eyes on the Comp Bike championship and his margin on the rest of the field puts him in pole position for a trophy come the end of the season.
In JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike, a tremendously tight class, won by Jay Roe with three 8.5s and one 8.6s run, Dan De'ath said "Back from a mega weekend, what a weekend it was. Testing on Friday revealed I still had a problem with the gearbox so a 6pm decision to remove strip and replace the gearbox Friday night and engine back in before calling it at midnight was a long one! But it worked just fine. Massive thanks to everyone for the offer of help and parts and the hard working crew that is Danny Cockerill and Steve Splinter Nash for all their assistance this weekend! Shame I let it all down on a tune up error in the finals or who knows how it could have ended. The bridesmaid this time, well done to Jay Roe for taking the win, thanks to Bradley O'Connor, Garry Bowe and Dave Bowe for all of your assistance.
Atlantic Fluid Tech 9.50 Bike saw the only incident in the race, when Brett Cordelle came off his Hayabusa on launching in the semi final of competition. The bike narrowly avoided Brett and slid down the track for about 100ft. It was a scary looking incident, with medical attention fortunately coming rapidly, followed by a visit to the medical centre for observation. Sister Jasmine Cordelle wrote "Brett is home, badly bruised and in pain but resting up. Thank you from all of us as family how much support we have received and kind well wishes towards Brett. When things like this happen it really does remind you how much of a family community racing is." We all wish Brett a speedy recovery and a return to the track soon.
In a double breakout, Rick Sawatzki (pictured left) was the winner over Dave Hall in the final, Rick celebrating his 28th victory in his racing career.
Blood Cancer UK ET Bike was won by Gary Hester. Class co-ordinator Suze Morris wrote "Great weekend of racing, with more new faces to the class too! Well Done to Gary and Robbie Dobbie for getting through to the Final, gutting for Robbie with the tiniest of breakouts, but congratulations to Gary on collecting the Victory trophy." Gary Hester summed up his Springspeed Nationals: "Number 1 qualifier and event winner. Personal best ET and speed 8.73 at 150 mph. That doesn't happen every day!"
In Eurodragster.com Junior Drag Bike, Lyra Humber enjoyed her first win against the much quicker machine of Casey Holgate. "Another great weekend of racing, nice to see Sam Hope back at this event, and we welcomed Grace Pollen into the Juniors. Plenty of qualifying with Hollie King being number 1 and Maggie Smallman no 2. Eliminations saw Hollie with a bye, Meg Talbot against Casey, Maggie against Sam and Grace against Lyra. Casey took the win against Meg, Maggie won against Sam and Lyra won against Grace.
The semis saw Hollie against Casey with Casey taking the win, and Lyra against Maggie with Lyra taking the win. Finals saw Casey vs Lyra and a massive well done to Lyra for taking the win! Well done to all juniors this weekend with PBs and breakouts. We would also like to wish previous Junior Brett Cordelle a speedy recovery, hope you feel better soon.
Meg Talbot wrote: "For someone who has been extremely tired this event and winning wasn’t a priority, I think I’ve done pretty well. PB after PB after PB. Test day I smashed out an 8.04 then during qualifying I got my first ever 7 second run. The thrill of that bike is insane. I want to say a huge well done to Casey Holgate for being the runner up and having great sportsmanship. Also a huge huge HUGE well done to Lyra for her first win this season! And to everyone else you did amazing! Thank you to Liam Holgate for helping me all weekend, Jay Roe, Richard Sawatzki and to all my sponsors. Believe me it means a huge amount!"
NSA riders set records frenzy at WZ sprint.
5th May: Sprint riders from the National Sprint Association gathered en masse for the first two day weekender at ‘WZ’ otherwise known as Westonzoyland Sprint Strip last weekend in deepest Somerset, writes NSA commentator Jerry Cookson.
With the old wartime airstrip in prime condition for another season's worth of unprepped eighth mile sprinting as the afternoon progressed to its final conclusion no less than eight class track records had been reset or established. But, the highs quickly turned to lows as by early dawn, rain of the more persistent variety had arrived in the county to put an end to everyone’s Bank Holiday Sunday playtime without a wheel or engine being allowed to turn over in anger.
With a revised race format in place where all runs/times made on the day counted towards the overall results, rather than the traditional six timed runs, the NSA’s quickest and fastest pensioner Pete Ford (pictured, photo by Carol Jenkinson) of Blackdragon Motorcycles fame not only blitzed his own 750cc class record once but twice on the sixth and final run of the day. By dialling in the machines progressive horsepower from the blown 750 Suzuki Bandit its stunning capabilities on every pass was quickly recognised, and by the third outing the bike started to ‘black stripe’ more than ever across the first 60feet while not smoking its rear tyre to the tune of 6.056 followed by a 5.980 and then the record run of 5.905s at 126.86 mph for the class win. Outstanding performances indeed which had the assembled crowd wanting more!
And more they got courtesy of Andrew Boswell’s 1200cc Harley Sportster drag bike ‘Gonzales’. Missing in action the previous weekend at Dakota Raceway due the illness, the Cornish based B&H Motorcycles team led by dad Haward, were certainly amped up as the start of the hunt for that ‘WZ five’ began while chasing for yet another Unlimited class win. Built by Andrew and Brother Terry in 2015 the bike had steadily been getting faster as the day progressed from 6.0’s to a lone 5.999s at 118 mph recorded late in the afternoon to earn Andrew with yet another class win.
Other key highlights came from Steve Everett’s Hayabusa taking another class win in the Over 1000cc Road Legal category with another bunch of low 6s resulting in a 6.061 to rewrite his own class track record set last year at 6.114s to stay ahead of Paul Uzzell’s Suzuki Katana by almost half a second; 6.466.
In the Classic Non Jap classes (Up to 500cc and Over 500cc) records were broken first by Andy Webb’s 350cc Aermacchi and the Triumph Trident of Southern Champion Jasper Joy. Complete with its Scottish pedigree as a road racer in the hands of Ronnie Niven as well as competing in 13 Manx Grand Prix’s and 4 Classic TT’s in the seventies, Andy used all six runs perfectly to end the day with a 9.320 ticket from the Italian bike made originally by an Italian aircraft manufacturer of the same name.
Built from a box of bits in just two weeks in the upper class, Jasper Joy spent the afternoon fending off Neil Siddle’s T140 Bonneville for class and track honours when his T160 Trident cruised to a 7.710 over its previous best of 7.759s.
In the Unlimited Vintage Post 1946 class, Amanda Taylor’s pristine and show-worthy 1957 650 Triumph established a new course record on the bikes only ten second pass of the day, 10.826s. Amanda used to sprint a 750cc Hagon Triumph last year but that honour in 2022 has been handed down to another family member Tim Taylor. In fact it looked pretty cool in the pits sitting alongside another family sibling; that of Ronny Taylor’s 250cc 4 stroke BSA Hagon complete with its period blue fame and white nose cone. Competing in the Junior classes Ronny ran a day’s best of 9.741 to override Micky Ball’s 10.217 record set on a Honda NSR although on this occasion Micky wasn’t far behind with a useful looking 9.787 to be placed second over brother JJ for third.
Long time sprinter and trials rider Martin Bracey knocked a small margin off his 50cc Racing class record as his Aprilia RS50 ran its first 11.696s to rewrite his own 11.7 record set last year at WZ.
Finally, having under gone a year’s worth of R&D, Dave Langley’s unique centre hub steering 1000cc Yamaha R1 sidecar built by Paul Lumley has started to reap the awards when the outfit eclipsed its own 3 Wheeler class record by turning an 8.805 and lowered it further to an 8.751 at 87.56 mph.
The NSA Championship moves up north to Yorkshire’s Melbourne Raceway this weekend followed by a visit to mid Wales the following weekend May 14th/15th to the Snowdonia Flight School at Lanbedr Airfield where there will be two days of quarter mile drag racing, sprinting and half mile record breaking. Car classes are also in the mix with a 1/8th mile Heads Up Cash Shootout. For further info check out the Welsh Drag Racing Weekend page on Facebook.
You can see Jerry's and Carol Jenkinson's photos from Westonzoyland Sprint Strip by going to our gallery by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link at the top of any Eurodragster.com page, and to view a full set of results click here to access the National Sprint Association’s Results web site page. Event coverage is sponsored by John Woolfe Racing.
European FWD to sponsor FWD class at Doorslammers.
5th May: Thanks to Santa Pod Raceway events co-ordinator Dan Melrose and European FWD promoter Luke Stevenson for a sponsorship announcement for the Doorslammers on 20th-22nd May:
Santa Pod Raceway is pleased to announce that European FWD have become the official class sponsor of Front Wheel Drive at The Doorslammers. European FWD is celebrating 10 years of promoting FWD racers, events, and companies; from Bracket racers, Heads-Up contestants to general Run What Ya Brung’ers.
“We are ecstatic to be able to take the reins of the Front Wheel Drive class at the Doorslammers and make it truly the European FWD class”, said European FWD owner Luke Stevenson. “10 years ago we started with just 6 nine-second cars, to now where we have the European FWD league table which is hotly contested each year including over 150 racers now in the 9 second club or quicker. Could Doorslammers 2022 see the very first 7 second FWD pass in Europe?”
As part of their sponsorship, European FWD are hosting a raffle draw here one lucky winner will win two VIP Hospitality tickets to The Doorslammers. On top of that, one racer will also have their Doorslammers race entry paid for by European FWD.
Tickets and race entries are still available for The Doorslammers on May 20th to 22nd, with more info available at thedoorslammers.co.uk.”
You can also enter a raffle to win two Weekend tickets that include camping, VIP Hospitality with two seats in the VIP balcony above the startline, two European FWD Caps and T-Shirts. Tickets are just £10 and the draw will be on Thursday 12th May. Enter by clicking here.
Springspeed Nationals racer comments - cars.
4th May: We have gathered racer comments on the STP Springspeed Nationals from social media for car classes, and present them below with our photos.
In Track Worx Competition Eliminator, won by Spencer Tramm for the second race in a row, Williams Bros Racing, under which banner Spencer competes. Spencer said "There's an old saying, if you surround yourself with good people, good things will happen. Thanks to Dan Williams, Nic Williams, Keith Williams, Lorne Denny and Kirstie Tramm I'm 2 for 2, points leader and pretty much speechless (rare I know)."
Williams Bros Racing added "We completed the new paintwork and engine upgrades to Spencer’s ’69 Camaro before FoP and we are extremely proud of the outcome of the car both in looks and performance with Spencer hitting new personal bests throughout both events of over two tenths! Dan Williams also had a great couple of weekends in his ’69 Chevelle being no.1 qualifier in both events and coming runner up both times too! The car has been running great times with his signature wheelstands we all know and love. Nic Williams has been running great in his Frost Green ’69 Camaro, coming in at no.3 qualifier at SpringSpeed and losing out in the semi finals to Dan.
"Our next event is the Doorslammers in a couple of weeks’ time for the Big Bracket race, we hope to see you there where we will have more T shirts and hoodies for sale too!"
B Fast R Super Comp, a class that Europeans should be deservedly proud of for its diversity of entries, was won by rookie Richard Tunstall in his small block Chevy 355 ci engined Brogie roadster against a field of altereds, doorslammers, slingshots and the more usual rear engined dragsters. He said "a special thank you the Jeff Bull, Belinda Bull, Paul Letchford, Dave Townsend, Jedd and Gemma Guy, Brett for all the advice, Jon Giles, morning tea and chats, Collin Morrice, Sandy Morrice and family, Simon Fulton, Tim Adams, and Jon Morton for the winning cake . If I forgot anyone thank you!
"Also a massive thank you to my amazing crew chief for the weekend Jazmine Tunstall, and crew Maxwell house, and my wife Rebecca Todd for her amazing golf cart skills lol. In another post Richard paid tribute to his stepdad when he said "I wish you had been here to see that Kevin Cerasale x RIP buddy".
Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas was won by Collin Morrice in his '69 Camaro after qualifying #1 winning the Perfect ET award sponsored by Team Twister and Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield. Collin said "Super Gas was quite literally the perfect weekend, first qualifier we managed the perfect 9.900 so that gave us the no.1 spot. The car picking up a tenth in Super Pro meant we had a head scratch and a calculated guess for the throttle stop. We then went on to win the meeting with some great races along the way.
"It’s lovely to be back, thank you to everyone who has said it over the last couple of meetings, it means a lot. Huge thank you to Jeff Bull, had a few issues on the return, hopefully we’re almost there with it, so grateful to have his, and Belinda's, support!" Collin thanked his family and brother "Stuart, constantly been on the spanners since the season started, keeps me in the zone and more importantly on my toes!"
Jim Massey, crewman for Billy Gane, winner of Peter Nee Super Pro ET, commented "We won it, beating Ron Bartlett in the final, unluckly for Ron as he had a great meeting Knocking out some big players to get there. I would just like to thank Dave and Billy Gane for trusting me to do the dail ins for them. Bill drove brilliantly all weekend with some great reaction times.
Among the thanks, Jim said that "Alex Gordon who usually crews for Billy,had his first meeting racing a 8.50 bike, got his license testing Friday and went on to run 8.60's and cut some good lights. He narrowly got beaten in the first round, brilliant job mate. Also like to thank and the Santa Pod staff for putting on a great meeting."
Ron Bartlett said "What a weekend, a few adjustments with the wheelie bars and we qualified 2nd. Probably had the hardest path to the final ever! I beat last year's champion [Daniel Giles] in round 1, managed to win the bounty £50 taking out the last event winner [Joe Kellett] in round 2, beat multi champion [Scott Hauser] in the semi finals. However, it was not to be in the final, the car rolled back out of stage and by the time I got back in and on the transbrake, Billy Boy was long gone (well done Billy Gane Racing, awesome). We managed 3 PBs in eliminations best now firstname.lastname@example.org!
"Thanks to everyone that cheered me on, means a lot. Massive thanks to my crew who were just awesome all weekend. Doorslammers next!"
Dan Holloway and his new Rattler altered won Modurstang Pro ET. He said "It’s days like today that you remember! Only went and took my first event win in Pro ET! In my second event! Had some luck thrown my way but at the end of the day you can only race who’s next to you, and I can be happy with the races that were won today en route to the final.
"Qualifying was again tough, with Rattler still trying to kill me, so we hatched a plan which we really should’ve thought of earlier and that was to launch off the line in 2nd gear rather than the aggressive 1st gear. Talk about a totally different car and driving experience to what I was used to in unpredictable wheelies and bouncing upon descent, I felt I could now start to properly race and try turn on some win lights. I’ve spent most of my life watching the guys and gals of Pro ET race their cars, and it’s one tough ol’ class, so to now be racing with them is a bit surreal and have nothing but respect for them all!
"The weekend was also signed off with my better half Holley also getting to the final in her class, so this power couple went home happy with a trophy in each hand! All the time and effort me and Dad Adrian have put in was made well and truly worth it with the support of car owners Dave King and Stuart King; we’ve got ourselves a hot rod! Till the next one!
2021 Pro ET champion Lee Huxley had a tough weekend and wrote "Disastrous weekend for us. Started out with gearbox issues but between Zane Zannetec and new found friends Richard Walters and crew, that was sorted. We qualified 18th but we were in one piece. Went through 3 rounds beating Marie Wills, Alan Schofield and Dave Cherrett to make the semi finals, only to find out we had engine damage. "Hopefully we’ll be back shortly but without my family, crew and my sponsors it wouldn’t be possible so thanks to all involved."
Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET was won by Gary Lake, running as Homa Drag Racing. He said "What a day, first bank holiday Monday to be racing and rode my luck all the way to the win! Qualifying was excellent by all sportsman ET competitors as usual and we were 0.04 off which put us 9th. "There were almost perfect RTs, perfect ETs and lots of close races plus a lot of big breakouts as the track was super quick. Hope to see you all at Summer Nationals!"
VW Sportsman was won by Phil Jones, his Audi A3 1.8T aptly named Dragon Wagon. Phil's son Connor competed in the same class in a VW Beetle, although a father-son matchup didn't happen during the event. After a bye in round 1, Phil defeated Justin Folley, Paul Robinson, John Crawford and Laurence Clark to win the event.
Graham Fairhead in his Type 3 Fastback won VW Pro. His team Misfit Racing said "Finally home from a long but amazing weekend at STP Springspeed Nationals. After 5 qualifying runs Graham held 3rd out of 13 going into race day. E1 defeated Jonathan Newell, E2 defeated Ian Dale, E3 defeated Ed Keech (CASE Racing) taking Graham into the final against Jacob Bailey which was won with a a perfect ET to take the win and all were great races. Has been an amazing weekend with lots of consistent 11.3 passes and we can't wait until the next one."
VWDRC chair and Santa Pod announcer Luke Stevenson is likely still on cloud nine after breaking into the eights in his Sechs Toy dragster with a 8.918/147.14. He said "Thanks to Robert, Andy, Lee, Jamie for the usual excellent crew work, Gordon FuelTech UK dealer, Streetracers being on hand for remote tuning and making this happen. Daniel Hoot Recruit for sponsoring the now world's fastest stock block 12v Vr6 powered vehicle. To VWDRC for all the usual support, Chaos crew Darren, Robin for letting me badger them for Co2, Kevin Pro-S-Fittings UK for supplying the part to keep the Co2 in and anyone else that helped. Roll on Main Event for first round fodder in Comp Eliminator."
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster was won by Luke Fulton. Team member Amy Homewood commented "We met some tough competition in the rounds and the races were close! Luke showed some great driving at the top end and it paid off, well done!"
Runner up Purdie Hadfield commented "What a weekend Springspeed Nats! Qualified 11th on Saturday with at 0.03 light, ended up against Teddy Sullivan for round one and after some problems with his car I gained the win. I then raced Dan Weir, a very close race indeed, and one I wasn’t expecting to win!! Well done Dan.
"Then I pulled my close mate Harley Coulsell, fair to say I was a bit nervous for that one. A double breakout for us, with me being -0.0007 off my dial in. I luckily ended with a bye into the final. This is where I raced Luke Fulton (aka my nemesis). My car decided speed was the way and so I broke out by -0.01. "I came home with a runner up trophy. Very chuffed. Well done Luke you did amazing this weekend!
"Thank you to Santa Pod Raceway and crew for providing amazing track conditions through the weekend. And thank you to my amazing mum and dad for supporting and providing these opportunities for me, I love you both so much. See you all at Main Event!"
NEM UK Nostalgia Superstock had a first time winner in Pete Dodd driving the Metamorphosis Camaro previously wheeled (wheelied?) by Modurstang head honcho Mike Lacey. Class organiser Don Scott, said "What a great weekend of racing, first event of the year and we found really good consistency earning us number 2 qualifier and through to the finals to take the runner up position to Pete Dodd who took the well deserved win.
We had a problem during qualification with the torque converter bolts coming slightly loose and ruining their threads, but Pete Wiseman kindly donated the bolts out of his car as he had damaged his transmission and was sadly out for the weekend. Jack Bishop kindly popped the bolts back in and we were up and running in no time.
"I know its a bit of a cliche, but I could not have achieved this result without my brilliant crew Yvonne and Grace, aka 'Donny's Angels', they are so thorough, and Grace's ability to crunch the numbers is truly outstanding, thank you both so much. Massive thanks go out also to all the Santa Pod staff for all the dedication and hard work ... and of course for a great track! So number 2 in the Championship is a great start for us, cant wait to get out there and do it all again." Grace Roaf, crew member for Don, said "So happy for Don Scott qualifying #2 and getting to the Final. Such a consistent racecar today - all 4 runs within .02 of each other. The first time I can remember #1 and #2 qualifiers meeting in the final and Kiwi in #3 getting to the Semi-Final as well - this UK Nostalgia Superstock class is getting so close. Bring on the Nostalgia Nationals next month to do it all again.
The winner of Springbridge Direct Wild Bunch was Bob Hawkins, owner of the class sponsor, in his nitro fuelled Time Travel II slingshot. He said "A massive thank you goes out to all my crew and also to Santa Pod Raceway for all their amazing efforts and patience this weekend and of cause to the Pod the safety crew for keeping us all safe. And yes, we won the STP Springspeed Nationals Springbridge Direct Ltd Wild Bunch round and also took the WB best reaction spot prize in the process! Following a number of new problems sorted out on Saturday and Sunday we are at last starting to see the engine coming around to running more consistently so we now a a good baseline to build up on. (Bob's time was an early shut off 7.401/140.71). Very well done also to runner up and formidable opponent Pete Peter Brown and his whole team, great effort!"
Come back tomorrow for comments by bike racers.
Springspeed Nationals media.
5th May: In addition to our own galleries by Julian, Diana and Paul Lanyon, you can see media of the Springspeed Nationals at the following links:
Gasser Circus 2022 sponsors.
5th May: Thanks to Gasser Circus co-ordinator Nick Brooke-Langham for an update on class sponsors and its 2022 calendar.
"With the new Gasser Circus season only a matter of days away, (Round 1 at Melbourne Raceway 7th – 8th May) we are proud and delighted to confirm the continued support and sponsorship from Melliard’s Modern Lettering, Rocket Racing (Simon Prest), The National Street Rod Association, Renegade Fuels and this year we welcome Serck Services. The Gasser Circus are so grateful for the support, it is invaluable and adds significantly to the rounds of racing that make up the Gasser Circus Showdown.
This year the Championship will be contested over 6 rounds of action packed racing, with many of last year’s protagonists returning to battle. They will be joined and challenged by several new Gassers, eager to get in on the action. This has all the makings of surpassing last years on track action, bring it on.
The 2022 Gasser Circus dates are:
Powerfest, 7th-8th May, Melbourne Raceway NSRA Nostalgia Nationals, 3rd-5th June, Santa Pod Raceway
Retro Show, 18th-19th June, Santa Pod Raceway
Dragstalgia, 8th-10th July, Santa Pod Raceway
Mopar Euro Nationals, 29th-31st July, Santa Pod Raceway
Hot Rod Drags, 16th-18th September, Santa Pod Raceway
Gasser Circus – Racing the Dream.
Jndia sitting out most of 2022.
5th May: Top Fuel racer Jndia Erbacher has announced that she will be limiting her 2022 competition to the NitrOlympx at Hockenheim on 26th-28th August but will return to the full FIA European tour in 2023.
"First of all I wanted to thank everyone for the nice messages I‘m getting every day! We miss all of you as well, the fans, the teams and the racing!
"Unfortunately I have to tell you that we won‘t run the full championship this year. We will definitely race at Hockenheim Nitrolympx and hope to see all of you there! Covid gave us a hard time and several things changed during this time. Bussines got a hughe priority during these days. The situation with Brexit also makes it way harder for us to get with the trailer to the UK.
"Parts shortage is a whole other point. I‘d love to give you guys another answer there and yes, we tried as hard as we could to make it a full 2022 season.
"But in the end I decided together with the team to focus full on the 2023 season and come back faster and stronger than we have ever been! My heart is bleeding since I know I won‘t have the chance to live my lifes biggest passion to the point where I would like it to be. But let‘s keep an eye out for 2022 who knows, maybe some miracles are happening and things will happen. Sending all of you lots of love and don‘t forget us! We‘ll be at the Nitros and def. back in 2023."
STP Springspeed Nationals results.
3rd May: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's STP Springspeed Nationals held at Santa Pod Raceway:
Track Worx Comp Eliminator: Spencer Tramm 10.9408/118.93 (11.55) def. Dan Williams 10.0275/130.17 (10.61)
Fast R Super Comp: Richard Tunstall 8.9491/132.84 def. Leah Kellett 8.8960/163.68
Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas: Colin Morrice 9.9256/148.15 def. Andy Dibley 9.9308/140.70
Peter Nee Super Pro ET: Billy Gane 8.5348/155.22 (8.52) def. Ron Bartlett 8.2060/166.04 (8.19)
Modurstang Pro ET: Dan Holloway 9.2448/132.02 (9.10) def. John Bean 9.6020/144.78 (9.52)
Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET: Gary Lake 14.1555/90.64 (14.05) def. Holly Walters 15.5549/90.69 (15.48)
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Luke Fulton 8.1670/79.65 (8.16)def. Purdie Hadfield 8.0477/80.36 (8.06) breakout
NEM Plant UK Nostalgia Superstock: Pete Dodd 9.1889/146.68 (9.14) def. Don Scott 9.6202/140.73 (9.63)
Springbridge Direct Wild Bunch: Bob Hawkins 7.4014/140.71 (6.85) def. Pete Brown 9.0966/151.64 (8.65)
VW Sportsman: Phil Jones 15.2231/90.87 (15.45) def. Laurence Clark 13.7913/96.03 (13.62) red
VW Pro: Graham Fairhead 11.3002/115.93 (11.30) def. Jacob Bailey 10.2219/115.52 (9.99)
Banks Night Club Top Fuel Bike: Neil Midgley 6.7794/143.07 def. Steve Woollatt 24.4663/27.42
Taylors Trophy Super Street Bike: Jake Mechaell 6.8720/205.34 def. Steve Venables 6.8733/218.03
Leeks Landscapes Funny Bike: Dave Peters 7.3194/188.07 def. Louis Davies 8.1759/108.30
Suzukiperformancespares.co.uk Comp Bike: Shawn Buttigieg 6.7349/198.00 def. Graham Dance, no-show
JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike: Jay Roe 8.6144/137.28 def. Dan De'ath 8.9018/125.96
Atlantic Fluid Tech 9.50 Bike: Rick Sawatzki 9.45554/145.76 def. Dave Hall 9.4363/147.12
Blood Cancer UK ET Bike: Gary Hester 9.1469/147.10 (8.80) def. Robbie Dobbie 10.1984/129.15 (10.20)
Eurodragster.com Junior Drag Bike: Lyra Humber 15.6760/49.20 (15.60) def. Casey Holgate 8.5802/80.11 (8.30)
Subject to official ratification the following records were set:
ACU Comp Bike ET: 6.734, Shawn Buttigieg
The following Santa Pod Raceway track records were set:
Comp Bike ET: 6.6450, Shawn Buttigieg
Comp Bike Speed: 219.06, Shawn Buttigieg
Many thanks to Andy Marrs who has supplied an updated UK & European Bests table which you can view by clicking here or by going to Data, then UK & European Bests in the main menu.
Congratulations to Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET racer Chris Redshaw who won the Eurodragster.com/Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award of £50 supported by Cath and Tig Napier and to Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas racer Collin Morrice who won the Eurodragster.com/Twister Racing Perfect ET award of £50 supported by Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield.
Congratulations also to JKE Race Works racers Dan De'ath and Joe Elliott who won the Bob's Photo Finish Award of £50 each posted by sponsor and longtime Eurodragster.com supporter Bob Roberts for the closest finish of a green light and non-break out race. Dan and Joe's finish line margin was 0.0035 seconds or 9.44 inches.
Thanks to David Anniwell of the Santa Pod Timing Crew for sending us detailed timing data, including test day results, which we have posted to our timing data area which you can see by clicking on Data, then Timing Data at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. Official results can be seen at Santa Pod's Official Results Site.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Festival of Power reports, results and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. Please join Simon in thanking Julian, Diana and Paul Lanyon for their hard work over the race weekend, and well done to the Santa Pod Raceway track crew for maintaining a great racing surface throughout including the cold, windy and drizzly Sunday.
We look forward to publishing racer comments on the event tomorrow.
FIA race suit recertification rules.
3rd May: Thanks to FIA Technical Consultant Frans Steilberg who has issued a notification about driver race suit recertification rules:
The SFI Spec for Driver Suits states that all jacket and pants or driver suits that meet the SFI Spec 3.2A/10 or higher (3.2A/15 or 3.2A/20) must be recertified on a five-year interval. Suits with those higher ratings have SFI patches that indicate the year of manufacture or the year of the last recertification. (Please be aware that the five-year recertification period includes the year displayed on the patch)
Below are the recertification dates for the different year patches currently available:
For recertification, owners of driver suits should contact the original manufacturer to be informed about 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.
Drag Race Madness Drachten Internationals.
3rd May: Drag race Madness Drachten Internationals 2022 is the all-encompassing name of the event that brings drag racing back to Drachten Airport, writes Remco Scheelings.
Not only in the past two corona years, but also before that it threatened to become quiet around the renowned drag races in the Frisian venue. From 10th-12th June, fast cars and motorcycles will once again take over the airport and transform the runway into Dragstrip Drachten again.
After a period in which it was unclear who would now take the lead in organizing the drag races at Drachten Airport, the corona pandemic ensured that it became completely silent at Drachten Airport, where drag races at national and international levels had taken place had been for decades.
That silence is now coming to an end. At the initiative of DRAG NL, the renowned Drachten Internationals have been revived. The competition portion and timekeeping are in the trusted hands of the Dutch Hot Rod Association (DHRA), while 402 Automotive, known for its many popular car-related events, takes care of promotion and ticket sales. The municipality of Smallingerland, which Drachten falls under, is also behind the restart of the drag races at the airport. In a recent council meeting, after years of uncertainty, clarity was given about the destination of the site. Stichting Vliegveld Drachten is responsible for the operation of the airport, whereby in addition to the existing users, new initiatives will also be developed and it was explicitly stated that there is and will remain room for drag races now and in the future. With a successful Dragrace Madness Drachten Internationals, there are opportunities to organize multiple events and even a full Dutch drag racing championship in the coming years.
The Drag Race Madness Drachten Internationals, which will be held from 10th-12th June, will once again bring a variety of fast and spectacular drag race cars and motorcycles to Drachten. Race cars are in the Pro ET and Super Pro ET classes, and to top it all off is the Extreme Outlaw class. This is where the most extreme and supercharged vehicles come into action. In addition to participants from the Netherlands, teams from Germany, Belgium, England and France are also expected. Of course, the Junior Dragsters will also not be missing from the program, because youth is the future.
From the DHRA, the various street legal classes, ranging from 'regular' street cars to Wild Street, will have competition over the quarter mile. Various engine classes will be present. The range of bike classes varies from Junior Drag Bikes and Street Legal Bikes to the ultra-fast Pro Bikes.
But besides the competitions, there is much more to see and experience at the Dragrace Madness Drachten Internationals. The well-known German Gerd Habermann will provide shows with one of his Jet Cars, a car powered by an aircraft engine. In addition, well-known supercars such as Lamborghinis and McLarens will be on display from other 402 Automotive Madness events. If they dare, they may even go head-to-head on the drag strip against the real drag racing cars.
Dragrace Madness Drachten Internationals is putting drag racing in the Netherlands back on the map and, partly due to the statement from the municipality of Smallingerland about the future of Drachten Airport, can ensure that drivers and fans can enjoy spectacular and exciting races again in the coming years on the quarter mile.
Both registration and ticket sales for the Dragrace Madness Drachten Internationals are now open. For this, see: www.dragracemadness.com.
Pers back on track - at Tierp.
3rd May: Many thanks to Mark 'Animal' Bodimeade of Speedghost Motorsport for updating us on Patrik Pers' immediate racing plans, which sadly exclude attending the FIA/FIM-E Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway:
As promised, we have tried our upmost to resolve our problems with regard to bringing our race team to England for the Main Event. Sadly this is still not doable through no fault of our own, so therefore we have decided to give up on the idea short term, and will not be entering our Nitro Funny Car for this race. We know a lot of fans were looking forward to seeing us, so we apologise in advance.
We are however, going to attend the EDRS race at Tierp on 16th to 19th June where we will test the car for the first time. We look forward to seeing you all there and hopefully we will be putting some good runs in.
3rd May: Happy Birthday for today to Junior Drag Bike builder and crew Simon Holgate, Outlaw Anglia racers Kim Harrison and Rob Nixon, and Trakbak Racing project development consultant Richard Foster-Turner. Have a great day all.
Thanks to photographer Patrick O'Connor who has uploaded 112 photos to his Facebook album. We will publish tomorrow further links to photo collections from the weekend, so do let us know if you've some you would like listed.
STP Springspeed Nationals test day coverage.
29th April: Many thanks to Julian and Paul Lanyon for providing galleries of today's action from the Springspeed Nationals test day.
You can see Julian's and Paul's galleries via our event coverage page sponsored by John Woolfe Racing. We have also analysed today's times as displayed on etslips.co.uk and have posted a list of the top times recorded under 9s which you can see by clicking here.
Come back tomorrow for more galleries and our event coverage reports of all the action in the STP Springspeed Nationals.
Main Event entry extended.
29th April: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has announced that entry for the FIA/FIM Main Event 26th-29th May at normal fees is being extended to Friday 6th May. After this date, a surcharge applies.
The entry list for the FIA/FIM Main Event can be seen at this link.
Doorslammers entry update.
29th April: Thanks to Santa Pod Raceway Events Co-ordinator Dan Melrose for an announcement about The Doorslammers which will be taking place 20th-22nd May, the weekend before the FIA/FIM Main Event:
This is a reminder to all racers that entries for The Doorslammers close at 5pm Friday May 13th. With a £90,000 prize pool across 7 classes, this is not one to be missed! Entries are available online through the Santa Pod racers portal at racers.santapodtickets.com.
ACU drag bike points posted.
29th April: ACU UK Drag Race Championship co-ordinator Ian King has posted the ACU UK Drag Bike Championship points positions following the Festival of Power which you can see by clicking here.
Ian said "the first ACU Championship event of the year did not disappoint, a stellar track preparation by the great track staff and good weather conditions allowed the racers to make best of their developments over the winter period. This translated into an unusually high number of new records to be set and promises much to come for the rest of the season as these bikes get dialled in even better. I’d like to congratulate our new ACU British record holders (all backed up within 1% as per Championship regulations):
ACU Funny Bike ET: 6.401, Stuart Crane
ACU Funny Bike Speed: 213.77, Stuart Crane
ACU Super Street Bike ET: 6.776, Dániel Donát Lencsés
ACU Super Street Bike Speed: 220.37, Dániel Donát Lencsés
ACU Comp Bike ET: 6.709, Shawn Buttigieg
ACU Comp Bike Speed: 210.94, Shawn Buttigieg
I’d like to take this opportunity once again to thank all the Santa Pod Raceway and SPRC staff for their fantastic work to make this another successful and enjoyable event. I look forward to seeing you all again this weekend."
29th April: Happy Birthday for today to four time ET Bike champion Phil Pratt, slingshot dragster racer and fire burnout king Dave Nelson, Top Fuel Bike racer Allan Davies and former Outlaw Anglia racer Paul 'Guv' Wright. Have a wonderful day all, whereever you are...
Good luck and stay safe to expat European racers Julie Nataas (Top Alcohol Dragster) and Ulf Leanders (Top Alcohol Funny Car) who will be competing at the NHRA Charlotte 4Wide Nationals from today to Sunday 1st May. You will be able to keep up with their progress by going to the event live stream at nhra.tv (subscription required). Results will be posted at www.dragracecentral.com with live timing and results at www.nhra.com.
Swedish timekeeping organisation Nitroz have recently uploaded the results of all races that they have data for back to 2002, including qualification lists, elimination ladders and timeslips. You can see the information at this link and you can select Swedish or English language.
STP Springspeed Nationals Perfect Awards.
28th April: £200 is up for grabs at this weekend's STP Springspeed Nationals courtesy of Eurodragster.com and our sponsors.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com/Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Track Worx Competition Eliminator racer Rob Smallworth at the season-opening Festival of Power. The money will be paid to the first racer at the event to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available in all classes during both qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Cath and Tig Napier of Modurstang Pro ET team Bad Habit Racing.
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available in Signing On or from Eurodragster.com staff.
The Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award supported by Andy Hadfield and the Twister Race Team has been reset to £50 after it was won by Pro ET racer Brett Featherstone at the Festival of Power. The money will be paid to the first racer at the event to run +0.000 on index or dial-in. The Perfect ET Award is available in Peter Nee Super Pro ET, Modurstang Pro ET, Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET, B Fast R Super Comp, Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Springbridge Direct Wild Bunch, NEM Plant Ltd Nostalgia Super Stock, JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike, Atlantic Fluid Tech 9.50 Bike, Blood Cancer UK ET Bike, and Eurodragster Junior Drag Bike. but will only be awarded for the first Perfect ET of the weekend. The Perfect ET Award is presented in association with Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield of the Twister Race Team.
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect ET Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available in Signing On or from Eurodragster.com staff.
Bob's Photo Finish Award, which is presented in association with Eurodragster.com sponsor Bob Roberts, will award £50 each to the racers involved in the closest race of eliminations at this weekend's event. At the Festival of Power the Award was won by Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas racers Jon Morton and Andy Dibley.
The closest race will be decided upon distance rather than time since, for example, 0.001 seconds at 230 mph is further than 0.002 seconds at 110 mph. For this reason the official timing data will need to be consulted so the winners will be announced here on Eurodragster.com as soon as possible after the event and the winners will then be contacted for their preferred method of payment. The award will be paid on green light drag races only, and not on bracket races where there is a breakout.
Bob's Photo Finish Award is open to all classes during eliminations only and although Eurodragster.com decals are not mandatory we would appreciate if it they are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available in Signing On.
27th April: Author and photojournalist Keith Lee has released a first view to Eurodragster readers of the front cover for his latest book - John Hobbs and the Age of the Twins.
He comments: “I am very pleased to say that the book is now finally complete - and into the proofing stage, prior to final sign-off. The picture count is even higher than the Mister Six book - comprising more than 360 images. The narrative is every bit as comprehensive in this new 208 page hardback book, as it runs to more than 90,000 words. It will be a perfect companion to the Mister Six book.”
When it becomes available, secure online book ordering for UK customers will be via Keith’s web site keithleeimages.co.uk.
The site will be updated with more information in the next couple of weeks, and Eurodragster will be kept updated with news of when the book can be ordered.
28th April: Funny car racer and restorer Johnny Nilsson has been in touch from Sweden to let us know that today is the 10th anniversary of the passing of Top Fuel and Funny Car owner and tuner Knut Söderqvist (pictured): "Hello all drag racing friends, today is a day to remember - it's 10 years ago since King Knut Söderqvist died in a accident in Thailand. Whatever kind of relationship you had to him, please give him a thought today, he deserves that. Without King Knut, European drag racing wouldn't have looked like what it does today! For me, he was a great mentor and a very good friend, I miss him a lot." You can read tributes to Knut by clicking here.
Keith Lee reminded us that it's now a year since the passing of UK Top Fuel and Funny Car owner, tuner and racer Dennis Priddle on 27th April 2021. Dennis was a real character in the sport and dedicated to the engineering and tuning side of it right up to the end. He will always be remembered for his immaculate cars and that first six second run which took place back on 28th May 1972. You can read tributes to Dennis by clicking here.
Outlaw Street Round 2 report.
28th April: Many thanks to class organiser Mark Wallington for sending a report on Outlaw Street's round 2 held at Santa Pod Raceway on 23rd-24th April:
The weekend of the 23rd & 24th April saw a return to Santa Pod Raceway for round two of the 2022 series, with 22 cars attending across the weekend. The Saturday was Santa Pods new event ‘The Best of British’ & then a traditional RWYB day on the Sunday, there was plenty of track time and members put the time to good use trying to chase those ever elusive new PBs, OS-8 Mark Holmes debuted his newly build small block Chevrolet powered Vauxhall Chevette, but due to transmission issues was unable to record a full pass, several members recorded new PBs including Gary Semper in his 1969 Pontiac Firebird who broke into the 11s for the first time with an 11.9953 @ 118.7, Dez Brown in his big block Chevrolet powered MG Magnet who ran 10.002 @ 139.52, that 9 second pass just eluding him this time! Very impressive was Russ Pursley in his Dutton who achieved a jaw dropping 8.8705 @ 153.11mph on a cold track.
Sadly, with the highs always come the lows and several members suffered mechanical gremlins throughout the weekend including OS-59 Sally Woolner in her Camaro, OS-21 Kai Bebikan in his Ford Zephyr & myself OS-1 in the Holden Monaro, hopefully all will be back racing again real soon.
All in all a very successful first round for many, our next Round is at Melbourne Raceway on the 7th & 8th May where OS members will be running at part of the RWYB sessions, we are expecting a number of members from the South will be making the trip up to attend along with a group of our OS members from the North of England so we expect to see a great mix of OS cars in attendance.
There are currently 75 cars entered into the 2022 series, we have a cap each year of only allowing 100 to join, so there are currently still spaces and an opportunity to be in the points for the 2022 season if you’d like to join. The rules are very simple, the car must be road legal, hold an MOT if applicable, with No slicks and No open headers, if you’d like more information or to follow the series you will find more information at the class's Facebook page.
You can see a list of the best times recorded at Round 2 on street tyres by Outlaw Street by clicking here.
Kieran's Santa Pod Raceway RWYB gallery.
28th April: Kieran was at the Sunday Run What Ya Brung at Santa Pod Raceway, 24th April, and kindly supplied a gallery of 135 pictures which you can see by clicking here.
In the gallery you will see a wide selection including Outlaw Street racers and many others out on test. Tim Roy's V12 Jag powered slingshot (pictured) was one of the quickest present, running a new PB of 8.4779/161.90.
Kieran has also posted a Facebook gallery from the SLRP (aka South London Retro Power Crew) Private Track Day held on 25th April which you can see at this link. Notable from the many runs from the classics present was the awesome 8.8120/161.31 by Chris Todd in his Mk1 Fiesta powered by Subaru and Rob Robertson's Honda F20C Powered Mk2 Escort which ran 9.835/129.50.
In his Youtube channel, Kieran has posted five more videos including the SLRP Private Track Day, Best of British on 23rd April, and three remarkable cars, Rob Robertson's Escort, Terry Newton's 'spare' 11s Focus, and Nathan Dobson's Austin Mini powered by a 441ci Twin Turbo Brodix Small Block Chevy, 3 speed transmission and narrowed Ford 9" rear axle.
28th April: Happy Birthday for today to Melanie Bond who supports husband Joe and Supercharged Outlaws when not on location shoots, former Funny Car driver Allan Bates and Andrew Carpenter, crew for dad and BDRHoF member Russ. Have a fantastic day all!
Our good friend Lena Perés writes that the EDRS series for 2022 kicks off at Tallhed Dragway in Orsa Sweden, May 14-15th and is followed by Spring Nats May 20-22nd at Gardermoen Raceway Norway and Vårgårda Nationals 9 on May 27-29th. Entry for these events closes on 3rd, 1st and 2nd May respectively so Nordic racers are encouraged to sign up on dragracing.eu. You can read Lena's preview at this link.
SPRC racer and points update.
27th April: Thanks to to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for a clarification of signing on times at the Springspeed Nationals test day on Friday 29th April:
"In order to get the test day entrants signed on first, the signing on office will open at 8am for test day signing on only. Signing on for the race event will begin at 10am on Friday."
Thanks also to SPRC points co-ordinator Yvonne Tramm who has published the current SPRC championship points to the SPRC website. You can also see the points from our Points Standings page which can be accessed via our main menu by clicking on News, then Points Standings.
Dare to be different at Dakota.
27th April: The Drag & Drift boys and girls were back in town at Smeatharpe Airfield’s Dakota Raceway last weekend for another Saturday bash of RWYB highlighted with the second in a series of Heads Up 1/8th Mile No Prep Cash Day races organised by Straightliners, writes Jerry Cookson.
With four cars signed up for the untimed, first across the line the first of the semis in the Street Rear Wheel Drive category featured the newly finished 1968 Pontiac Catalina Station Wagon of Paul Leworthy and Ed Pursley’s diminutive but quick Vauxhall VXR220 sports racer. Bearing in mind this was the first time out for these two local guys in a competitive drag race, both Paul and Ed did very well despite the old cliché that you could have fitted Ed’s sports racer in the trunk space of Paul’s big old Catalina barge! Joking aside, in the end it was the 4 cylinder Vauxhall that crossed the line by a fender having overhauling the 6.7 litre V8 tank mid track.
In a battle for American supremacy, as well as a place in the big bucks race, the second semi fell in favour of the series’ previous race winner Kevin Headon. His mighty Pontiac GTO Le Mans was proper out in front by a true car length’s lead over Pete Lane’s Mercury Marquis Colony Park Station Wagon. In fact, it was touch and go whether Pete would make the race at all having stripped two head studs at the beginning of the week. But thanks to a quick rally round with friends and team mate Dave Coombes the problem was sorted and a tune sourced, Freddie was up and touring the airfield’s runways before better half Kerrie’s bacon butties had sizzled! Even though the two Station Wagons were out both Pete and Paul did manage a dual in what was talked about as a ‘battle of the long roofs’! Outcome: chalk one up for Paul’s Catalina; 16.650 to 18.684. They also seem to breed them down here in deepest Devon as sitting in the pits was a sand coloured mid-seventies Ford Country Squire complete with a few beaten panels and a fully customised show-worthy Chevy Nova Wagon. So with the final set, it was all or nothing as the unprepped track beckoned!
In the end, and with a perfect holeshot, rookie Ed Pursley took the win by a fender, the greenbacks and the Grass Seed Store trophy. Well done Ed. Guess we’ll see you next time in July!
Also out to log in some first time RWYB laps was a rather snazzy period 1935 Chevrolet truck. Unfortunately I didn’t get the owner's name other than this was the first time out on a drag strip for this period truck and the owner thoroughly enjoyed his day smoking the rears and stretching the legs on the stock 350 small block Chevy resulting in a best of 16.534s. Also out for the first time other than cruzin the street’s was a rather stock looking ’32 Model A Sedan Street Rod. Packing a 355ci motor with Dart Heads the owner put in a couple of passes resulting in a 14.542s PB against Patrick Hobbs driving a rather fetching race prepared unstickered (except for the glass) Ford Falcon Super Stocker. Although again I didn’t catch a name the Street Rod owner did tell me he was building a big inch motored Roadster to go drag racing with, and is expected to break cover at Dakota real soon.
In addition to the National Sprint Association bikes there were some rapid modified and production Audis, Subarus best in Imprezas, Beemers and Mercedess. Even a Porsche GT3 RS came out to claim a few scalps but the owner didn’t stay for too long on the amount of losses he was chalking up! But hey if you want to be involved in future events at Devon’s ‘House of speed’ then remember these important dates; Sat 9th July, Sun 14th August and Sat 1st October or indeed follow the many updates on the Dakota Raceway South-West Facebook page and for those who are exclusively web based head on over to the new straightlinersonline.co.uk site. See you trackside!
You can see Jerry's photos from Dakota Raceway by going to our gallery by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. Event coverage is sponsored by John Woolfe Racing.
27th April: The quarter mile sprinters returned to Devon’s Dakota Raceway on Saturday for round two of the National Sprint Association Championship, writes NSA commentator Jerry Cookson.
Although the predicted warmer weather scheduled for the day didn’t really materialise its self until later in the afternoon, no less than 6 riders braved the somewhat draughty conditions to bombard the timing sheets with several high to mid nines as the day wound down.
Quickest, as well as being the fastest over the Smeatharpe Airfield strip, was Simon Havercroft’s ‘Blackjack’ Suzuki GSXR1000. Converted from an ordinary road bike several seasons ago ‘Crofty’ has been developing this now fully prepped race bike to compete in the 1000cc class and with assistance from the guys at JHS Racing, from the 6 programmed rides every run completed was in the high nines until the bike finally dealt out its first 9.576s later in the day. A former drag racer in the NDRA days at Long Marston, Crofty also ran mph figures of 148.92 mph adding extra kudos to the machine's personal best performance. Pete Ford’s ‘Blackdragon Motorcycles’ 750cc Suzuki Bandit certainly carried on from where it left off in March when he turned a 9.752s into a 9.677s to win the 750cc Racing class. The NSA’s quickest OAP certainly has no fear of the Smeatharpe surface as the blown Bandit flew down the quarter to a terminal speed of 140.97 mph.
Also in repeat performance were the Hayabusa’s of Ian Wicks and Steve Everett. Competing in the Unlimited category ‘Wicksy’ not only threw out a couple of 140 plus mph tickets but also won the class with an ET of 9.786s to stay ahead of Mark Taylor’s bigger capacity Suzuki (1428cc) which netted a 9.903/135.15 mph. Also Hayabusa motivated, but running in the Over 1000cc Road Legal class was former class champion and Airbus Engineer Steve Everett who registered a couple of high nines with the best being a 9.851/137.19 mph.
Commiserations in this report are extended to 2021 250cc Champion Stuart Buchanan who, after vaulting one of the finish line marker boards on his lower than low Honda 250 drag bike, came to a safe stop. Although Stuart was up and about the bike faired frontal damage resulting in a busted front wheel. Former SCR Triples Challenge racer Kerry Phillips now knows what it’s like to freefall backwards at speed when his H1 500 Kawasaki reared up on the launch, not once but twice, tipping him off just past the 60ft timing cells. Thankfully Kerry got up unaided minus a few broken plastic body parts that Gorilla Glue can fix! Thankfully both riders were passed fit but probably sore in parts the next day!
Having picked up a silver award at the previous weekend's Land’s End Trials after being bounced about in a 600cc Yamaha sidecar John Young opted for his two traditional TriJap sprinters for the day’s adrenalin rush resulting in two class wins in the Pre and Post 1946 Vintage classes. Quickest classic went to Southern Champ Jasper Joy whose 973cc T160 Triumph Trident went 12.746/102.10 mph while over in the Scooter class Adie Horrocks had a much better day in the development of his 149 Vespa sprinter. After much tweaking and revving, Adie finished up with a 14.169s.
With just a week’s grace in between rounds the NSA moves over the county line into Somerset to the club’s oldest sprint strip at Westonzoyland airfield located just south of Bridgwater for the first two days (Sat/Sun) of racing against the clock at this coming weekend’s May Bank Holiday. So be sure to lookout for a report and photos in seven days’ time!
You can see Jerry's and Carol Jenkinson's photos from Dakota Raceway by going to our gallery by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. Event coverage is sponsored by John Woolfe Racing.
27th April: If you are interested in buying a roots supercharger that can run 5.9757/238.70 in your Pro Mod, then contact John Tebenham on e-mail for more details You can also find John at the JT Racing Facebook page.
Photojournalist Steve Moxley has published a report on the ACU senior bike classes at the ACU website. You can also access Steve's Springspeed Nationals preview.
Speedgroup have announced that on 17th-19th June, the weekend originally planned for the FIA/FIM-E Tierp Internationals, they will be holding the Sweden Nationals, a round of the EDRS championship (which date is already in the EDRS calendar). Speedgroup reported "We are happy to announce that we have today signed a contract to run a full-scale Summit Racing EDRS event at Tierp Arena in June 17-19. The date was already in the EDRS calendar, and this event is now organized by Speedgroup together with the NDRS MC. More information will follow in the coming days and entry registration is planned to open next week." The Tierp Internationals was to be a Tierp Arena-run event, hence the change in organisers that are able to run a less costly undertaking.
ATA Carnet processing locations.
26th April: Thanks to Super Twin racer Samu Kemppainen from Finland, who has found a useful list of the processing locations in the UK for ATA Carnets for those wishing to use the Port Of Dover & Eurotunnel.
The addresses of the appropriate processing locations are at this link.
The Port of Dover and Eurotunnel themselves are unable to process ATA Carnets, however all the alternative locations are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Calling all Japanese drag cars for demos at JapShow.
26th April: Many thanks to Santa Pod Raceway events co-ordinator Max Frost for a reminder about drag racing demos at the upcoming JapShow (click on image for event details).
Santa Pod Raceway is still calling out for Japanese drag racing vehicles to do demonstration runs at this year’s JapShow on 15th May! If it has a Japanese body and/or a Japanese engine and can run quicker than 11.99, we want to hear from you! For anyone interested, please send an email to Max in the Santa Pod office at email@example.com before Monday, 2nd May – Including your personal best ET, photos, and a blurb about the car.”
Demo cars will get free sign on to the event and free weekend tickets, dependant on the entered vehicles requirements.
Neil Midgley straight into the 5’s.
26th April: UK Top Fuel Bike rider Neil Midgley took full advantage of the enhancements made to his new ride previously owned by Ian King and latterly Filippos Papafilippou in the very first event under his ownership by not only running a five second quarter mile ET but also setting an astounding new 60ft world record at the same time.
The Puma Engineering constructed machine now operated under the King Racing & Cannon Motorsports collaboration exceeded expectations following significant changes to the fuel system and an all-new manifold assembly over the preceding months prior to receipt by the new owner.
In qualifications team plans were for Midgley to launch only for the first run for which he duly obliged then a short 330ft run for which he recorded a strong 0.9867 60ft and 3.7895 @ 201.55 mph 1/8th mile. However he was already experiencing some difficulty in handling the machine due to seating and footrest positions (designed around original owner Ian King) and some temporary footrest plates were fabricated to assist in helping him lay down lower on the run. On his third pass Midgley launched hard, in fact to a world record 60ft from a standing of 0.9657 seconds and a 3.753 secs @ 211.54 mph on the 1/8th mile before rolling off at only 4.5 seconds and coasting over the line at an astounding 5.8656 secs @ only 200.63 mph. In doing so Neil became only the second British rider to run a 5 second pass and the third to do so on the same bike.
Unfortunately the minor footrest changes were not enough, and his control was still compromised on that run requiring Midgely to apply a deft kick to keep off the wall at the top end and so the team decided to end running the bike until more substantial seating changes could be made in the workshop in time for the next race at Santa Pod over the weekend starting 30th April.
The team are proud to be supported in their world class performances by their blue-chip partners:
APE - The world’s most innovative manufacturer of aftermarket parts for race bikes;
COMETIC GASKETS - The Premier Manufacturer of racing gaskets;
GATES - The world’s most trusted name in drive belts, hoses, and hydraulics;
GOODRIDGE - The most innovative and the best in fluid transfer systems;
JE PISTONS - The world's premier manufacturer of high-performance forged pistons;
KIBBLEWHITE PRECISION MACHINING - The highest quality valve train components available;
LUCAS OIL PRODUCTS INC – High performance engine & gear oils second to none in the racing industry;
MRE - Leaders in trackside support for drag race components and air shifting systems;
MTC ENGINEERING - Manufacturer of clutches for the fastest motorcycles in the world;
NGK SPARKPLUGS UK – The world’s number one spark plug manufacturer;
PAR WILLEN – Master webmaster and proprietor of HarleyDrags.com;
PRO ALLOY MOTORSPORT - The UK’s leading fabricator of alloy tanks, intercoolers, and radiators;
VANSON LEATHERS - The most iconic brand in motorsport leather goods;
WEB CAMSHAFTS INC - Simply THE company for Top Fuel Bike camshafts;
WORLDWIDE BEARINGS - The world’s leading supplier of ceramic bearings for racing; and
ZODIAC - Europe’s largest supplier of performance and aftermarket HD parts.
Photo credit: Jon Spoard.
Melbourne Raceway Powerfest looking busy.
26th April: The Melbourne Raceway Powerfest takes place on 7th-8th May (entry from 14:00 on 6th May) and will include a great range of race and exhibition cars and bikes in competition and run what ya brung. Drag racing includes the cars from the ranks of Gasser Circus, Outlaw Anglia, Supercharged Outlaws and Outlaw Street, many of which will be taking part in the Duck All Prep competition.
To register for competition, you will need to go to straightliners.events, where you will need to complete a Melbourne Entry Form. All competitors, cars and bikes, should complete this form. You can also buy entry racer or spectator tickets by clicking on the relevant link on the Events Page.
The 1/8 mile event will include run what ya brung, Duck All Prep, Gasser Circus, Supercharged Outlaw, and NSA championships. Spectators will be welcome for £10 on the gate, and track action will take place from 10am to 5pm, and in the evening there will be bands playing in the brand new clubhouse alongside fund raising auctions.
Entry fees are £80 per day (£130 for the weekend) for one competition excluding Duck All Prep, £15 per day (£30 for the weekend) for an additional vehicle/class, and £125 per day (£215 for the weekend) for Duck All Prep (including run what you brung and driver entry). Crew entry costs an additional £12.50 per day (£25 for the weekend). If you don't have a competition licence, one is required (unless you are doing RWYB) which costs £15 for the event.
Spectator tickets are 1 day £15, weekend £30 and camping £35. Under 16s get in free and don't need a ticket if accompanied by an adult. Dogs are also allowed if kept on a lead. Gates are open at 8am, parking, grandstands and pit access is free.
The Duck All Prep competition, held on both 7th and 8th May, is heads up, no prep, first to the finish line wins, with cash up for grabs and top three trophies for each category. All pairings are pulled out of the hat for eliminations until the finals in each category. The categories are:
Pro AWD: Modified, competition tyres, interior removed.
Street AWD: Factory appearance, full interior.
Pro Rear Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres, interior removed.
Pro Small Tyre Rear Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres maximum height 30 inches maximum tread width 11 inches, interior removed.
Street Rear Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior.
Pro Front Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres, interior removed.
Street Front Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior.
Super Pro Comp: Pure competition vehicles, altereds, rear engine dragsters, front engine dragsters and funny cars. where the driver is seated in a central postion in the vehicle.
Entry is still open, click on straightliners.events.
The Mad Welshman will be attending the race to provide a Saturday gallery and we will publish results courtesy of Straightliners timekeeper Martyn Greathead.
Mike's DHRA Festival of Power report.
26th April: Many thanks to pit note contributor and Super Twin Top Gas co-ordinator Mike Kraaij from the Netherlands, who has penned a comprehensive report on the Santa Pod Raceway Festival of Power for the Dutch Hot Rod Association.
Mike's report covers Dutch racers at the event, plus Top Fuel Bike, Funny Bike and Comp Bike. It includes several photos and snippets on the high points and low points of racers and their teams. You can download the report (5.7MB pdf file) by clicking here.
You can also see Mike's photos of the event at the DHRA Facebook page and Mike's own FB page.
26th April: A very Happy Birthday to Super Street Bike racer and JKE Race Works head honcho Jake Mechaell who reaches the landmark of 40 today, also to Competition Eliminator racer and budding recording artist Kev Perkins, to Swedish Gasser racer Stefan Flodell and to photographer and longtime fan Stephen Billings. Have a great day guys.
Thanks to Perfect ET sponsor Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield for finding that the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will be having an outing this weekend with flypasts over Santa Pod Raceway. These are scheduled on Saturday 30th April at 15:13-15:43 for Spitfire and Hurricane fighter aircraft, and Sunday 1st May 13:58-14:28 and Monday 2nd May 15:16-15:46 for one of only two flightworthy Lancaster bombers in the world. The 2022 BBMF schedule can be seen at this link.
Regular correspondent Patrick O'Connor has posted 335 Festival of Power photographs which can be found at his Facebook page. Also, congratulations to Patrick on his recent engagement to Deena Rose.
Street Eliminator got U6ly at FoP.
25th April: Many thanks to crew member Martin Kerr for sending an account of Street Eliminator winner Andy Bond's Festival of Power:
We started the new season with great news. The return (on limited duties) of Paul 'Poily' Bettany, after a year out due to ill health. Good to have you back Mr B!
The car had a full strip down, inspect, freshen & reassembly, but remains largely unchanged from last season, The biggest difference for us this year is the new tyres. Gone are the old 315 drag radials, replaced with a 295 width tyre with more tread grooves (approximately 20% less rubber on the ground!)
Fantastic weather and a superb track all meeting meant that we could really make some progress on the new tyres. We started with a soft tune up from way back in 2019 & posted a 7.55 @ 203, which was within 0.05s & 1 mph of the last time we ran this tune.
Q2 saw us spin the tyres, due to a burnout error. The mistake (mine) was identified, noted & never to be repeated...
We stepped up the launch for Q3 & 4, running 7.42 followed by 7.31, Q5 was a test that pretty much repeated the run from Q1.
The cruise went without a hitch & included a visit to class sponsors Topspeed Automotive in lieu of the normal fuel stop (no petrol available!) Saturday evening was spent giving UGLY a check over & setting a strategy for race day.
Round 1 gave us a bye run, so we decided 'Go big, or go home' was required. The decision payed off with the quickest & fastest run to date on the 295 tyre! 7.06 @ 209
Round 2 saw us facing Paul Morton in his class debut, but unfortunately he was unable to make the call. The 'go big' stick came out once again & we broke the 6 second barrier for the first time on the new tyres, with a 6.99 @ 208mph.
Round 3 we faced Tony Higgs driving 'Trigger's Broom'. We made a couple of small tweaks to the tune up & were rewarded with a 6.96 @ 210mph
The final saw us once again facing Al McSweeney in 'Evolvolution' who has been making big progress into the 7 second zone. We decided to leave the tune alone, early evening was approaching fast and the track would be cooling down. Another 6.99 @ 209 saw us secure the event win & finish the meeting with 3 back to back six second runs (6.6.6...get it?)
I would like to say a massive thanks to all the Santa Pod staff for their hard work at every event, to Eurodragster for the race reports (You're welcome - Editor), the trackside photographers for their amazing photos & everyone else who makes this happen!
See you all at Doorslammers and The Main Event.
Banzai at Festival of Power.
25th April: Many thanks to Pro ET racer Dave Rudd for his race report on the Festival of Power at which he brought back the Banzai Cobra, looking immaculate, for its first full event since 2015:
Well, where do we start? How about what an amazing weekend that was!
After spending 5 years rebuilding and updating Banzai Cobra following my crash at York Raceway in 2015, to then have her return halted by the Covid Pandemic, to have her debut cut short at Santa Pod at the National Finals 2020 due to a failed seal on the brake master cylinder. To then have plans in 2021 thwarted again due to myself being poorly! This weekend was a well needed and fantastic return to the track.
So, from the start, the packing and travelling down the 230 miles from Chester Le Street to Santa Pod is now much easier thanks to the new (to us) Eco Trailer, a fantastic bit of kit and I would highly recommend them.
We had tested at Le French Fest a couple of weekends before the Festival of Power so were confident that we had a fairly usable race car and as it turns out we did. She ran reasonably straight and true all weekend and quite consistently, shame about the driver’s reaction times, but all that will come with time and practice. We had a few issues over the weekend but with a new build that is to be expected. One was sorted at the track and the other has been sorted back at Cobras nest. On that note we are booked in for the test day before the Springspeed Nationals to try out the Little Green Button (transbrake) to hopefully improve my reaction and the 60ft times.
Anyway enough of the waffle, again what a fantastic weekend helped by the glorious weather, a great track (yes even in my car and my inexperience you can tell the difference a couple of weeks makes regarding track prep).
We came into qualifying basically blind and somehow ended up 13th after the first run, after the second run out we were 25th slowly dropping lower and lower as more seasoned racers got their eye (or foot) in, to end up qualified 31st which TBH I was very happy with as there were 38 cars entered (however I think a couple didn’t make it to the track).
Moving onto Eliminations we were paired with Warren Watts (another rookie) and what a fantastic run it was with a 0.085 reaction time and with a little lift at the top end running a 9.8790 on a 9.87 dial in, 0.009 off my dial in! I am surprised you didn’t hear me scream "get in" at the start line when I saw my timing slip!
Second round we were up against Amy Watkins, however I was asleep on the tree with a 0.2 reaction time and that was that.
All in all, a fantastic weekend. I am over the moon with where we are (especially as this was our first full competitive event). Thank you for the great comments about how well the car looked and ran which leads me to say a huge thank you to the following:
25th April: Wild Bunch racer Andy Clifford writes: "I’d like to wish my son, Snake Eyes nostalgia slingshot crew-chief and Bicester Heritage student James Clifford a happy 21st birthday today. I could not race without his ever-growing knowledge and expertise. Both Rach and I are so proud of everything he has achieved in his young career, particularly the work he has been involved with at North American Motor Co in Farnborough. We would also like to wish James good luck in his final year at Bicester Heritage Skills Academy." We join Andy with his birthday wishes for James.
Happy Birthday for today to prospective Modified 100 racer Matt Seamarks, to www.doyousee.me internet service provider Maikel Gloudemans and Polish FWD racer Paweł Pietrzak, all whom we hope to see back at Santa Pod Raceway soon. Have a great day all.
Site and Photo Finish sponsor Bob Roberts has uploaded an unusual selection of photos to a Flickr album. Bob says "I've added a few from the Festival of Power to my 'When push comes to shove' album". Keen readers may spot familiar crew members putting in not a little effort to move their driver's race cars.
Well done to expat Norwegian and NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster racer Julie Nataas for reaching the finals of the NHRA SpringNationals held over the weekend at the shortly-to-be-closed Houston Raceway Park. Julie qualified #1 with a 5.208/279.27. After winning the first three rounds Julie came up against Joey Severance in the final. An almost imperceptible pedal slowed her to 5.358/278.69 and she came away with the runner up trophy. With two National and two Divisional races under her belt, Julie now lies in 3rd place in the National Championship.
Sick The Magazine has announced it will be printed and distributed in the United Kingdom. Publisher Tom Bailey said the UK edition will have content unique to our country, and include all the material from the US edition as well. A subscription will include eight issues of Sick a year and the publication is substantial at 200 pages per copy. The price is $33 per quarter. So if you're keen on drag n'drive events, head to Sick The Magazine's web site.
Tierp Internationals cancelled.
24th April: Tierp Arena, the track listed for the second and third rounds of this year's FIA and FIM European Drag Racing Championship has announced that the Tierp Internationals, scheduled for 16th-19th June, has been cancelled. The wording of the announcement is:
As you all know, Tierp Arena has not been able to organize any European Championships in drag racing over the last two years due to the pandemic and its restrictions. At the same time, Tierp Arena has been for sale and the majority of sales processes have been, and are still, active.
But now both the current owners and the current stakeholders have made the assessment that there is no time to set up the organization and perform all the work required to hold our June competition, where over 20,000 visitors and more than 200 teams were expected.
We, above all, apologize to the European drag racing teams for this cancelled event, but also our fantastic returning visitors who make our European Championships become the people's party we all missed for so long.
Editor's comment: the announcement has inevitably raised the question of whether the following Tierp FIA and FIM race scheduled for 11th-14th August will still be held, and the consequent status of the 2022 FIA championship. We have made enquiries and will report back with responses received.
Best of British report from SPR.
24th April: Thanks to Kieran for providing a gallery of yesterday's Best of British event from Santa Pod Raceway.
Best of British is designed to celebrate the best the British motor industry has to offer, from the finest models to leave the UK’s production lines to the quirky additions from the cottage industries that gave us the home made oddities from across the nation.
Kieran said that, although the Show N' Shine was busy, the track was quiet (as it has been with inaugural events in the past). The main British category represented was Modified 100e and there were eight examples present. The best times recorded (including qualifing rounds and time trials) were:
Garth Wong: 9.2037/149.05
Scott Collin (pictured): 10.0647/134.94
Stuart Flitton: 10.5547/130.52
Robert White: 11.4061/120.58
Steve Watson: 13.4182/90.87
Tim Evans: 13.7436/103.50
Mark Wade: 14.7642/90.34
Outlaw Street was also present in force as a racer group, we will report on their best times over the weekend after today's RWYB.
Others spotted testing including Tom Atkinson who was running a Jon Webster-fabricated wing on the Team Time is Money Ford Cortina Estate, running a 9.2185/127.98 but unfortunately suffering a snapped cam drive at half track, meaning the team will need to install their backup 540ci engine whilst repairs are made to their new 584ci engine. Tim Roy was there with his V8 engined Boston Straggler 2 Wild Bunch slingshot making some great passes to a best of 8.7068/158.48.
Dave Grundy was unchallenged in the competition for fastest bike, running a Triumph Street Triple and Triumph Tiger.
The UK's fastest Mini, as described by owners Garage 26, was there with its Twin Turbo V8 and rear wheel drive (see picture), running a series of passes to a best of 9.7015/140.77.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Best of British gallery by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link at the top of any Eurodragster.com page.
Webster's Easter win.
24th April: Outlaw Anglia and Pro Modified racer Jon Webster, entering Outlaw Anglia rather than Pro Mod at the Festival of Power, enjoyed superlative performance on his way to the class win:
We were scheduled to run in Pro Modified with our '67 Mustang, unfortunately parts weren’t available in time' so we opted to enter the Pop in Outlaw Anglia. By no means is the car or the class a poor substitute, we are always laughing and smiling when we run it. But as the car hasn’t sold, we decided we would rather be racing than not, and what better advert than to put it out there on track.
Before reconsidering the ‘sell/not to sell’ subject of the Pop in the later part of 2021, I had invested in some costly upgrades for the car (10” centre section, gearbox, carbon prop). However, they didn’t materialise before the end of the season so were not installed and evaluated. They subsequently arrived when the season had ended, so became a potential upgrade option for any potential buyer. The long and short of it is the upgrades were installed following the decision to enter the ‘Festival of Power’.
The car was great from the first run; with a softer ignition curve and little more fuel than 2021, we ran a 7.16 off the trailer with a1.02 60ft. The main point of interest for us was the ‘tyre shake’ parameters. These cars are very limited by the chassis dynamics where, due to the wheelbase the major mass of the car (engine and transmission) is too close to the rear tyres. This in itself potentially creates too much bite, so the upgrades targeted the gearing combination collectively between the gear box and axle, looking to create a SLR (startline ratio) to suit the dynamics and optimise wheel speed, but make sure that the ratio selected also optimised the gear shift/engine rpm drop and the finish line engine rpm.
I’m pleased to say that when the ignition and fuel settings were reset, the car went straight into the 7.0’s with super consistency with repeated 1.01 60ft’s, with no real evidence of tyre shake.
With the 412 sbc doing it’s best, the car is super efficient to the 60, 330 and 1/8th mile and its power is pretty much optimised by then with the current overdrive on the blower. The back half power needs work though, probably with the high speed lean out, but more data is required to push in that area. The car is a bunch of fun and easy to run, just valve lash checking and an oil change once a day, with a vigilant pair of eyes or two giving it the once over between rounds. It’s by no means a defined combination, more a work in progress, but definitely a job for the next owner. Interested parties PM only please.
Talking about vigilant eyes, the crew work faultlessly over the weekend. There was a bit of driver error in the last qualifier on Friday where the car took a slight detour, looking to invade flying Colin Millar's lane, fortunately all ended well and hard working Colin and crew took No 1 qualifier. You can never take elimination on race day for granted, as we’ve have experience on several occasions. This time it went well for us and we were lucky to dodge a bullet in the final when the car fell flat at the 1/8th, coasting to an almost identical 8.36 at the stripe with Rob Stone. Fortunately I had enough on the tree to get the win.
Great weekend, great crew, great track, great weather, great people.
You can see Eurodragster.com sponsor Jon's comprehensive blog on his Outlaw Anglia build at this Facebook link.
Dainty's instant chassis change.
24th April: Super Street Bike racer Mark Dainty ran a PB of 7.1373/203.49 at the Festival of Power, but then found a problem with very little time to fix it before the second round of the SPRC National championship:
"After breaking our frame at the Festival of Power, a few days graft to get another frame, thanks to Mark Lemis, a day at the fabricators with Martin Kerr from Tubeworks who kindly gave up his Bank Holiday Monday to work on the frame so I could prep and paint it and get the swap done on Tuesday.
I would also like to thank Mark Eavers from Burlow engineering for the fast turn around of machined parts I needed yesterday and as alway a huge Thankyou to Hazel for driving one end of the county to the other and supporting me when she is supposed to be getting ready for holiday.
"Ready for the next round!"
24th April: Happy Birthday for today to longtime Eurodragster.com supporter and Pro ET crew Colin Roaf, Super Pro ET racer John Przybyl, Maltese Comp Bike racer Shawn Buttigieg who celebrates his 40th today, and US-based (and visitor to the UK) nitro legend Bill Schultz who celebrates his 85th birthday. No news update yesterday, so a belated Happy Birthday to SPR Race Director Karl Birkinshaw, and VWDRRC racers Bernard Newbury and Martin Ayton. Hope you had, or are having, a great day.
Many thanks to Andy Marrs who has supplied an updated UK & European Bests table which you can view by clicking here or by going to Data, then UK & European Bests in the main menu.
Kieran has posted video from the Festival of Power for Pro Modified and Competition Eliminator, you can see Kieran's footage by clicking on the respective link to go to his Mk1Kieran Youtube channel.
Photojournalist Remco Scheelings has published two articles about the Festival of Power, one in Dutch covering six pages at Autosport.nl and the other in English at www.dragracingeurope.eu.
Photographer Paul Bryan has posted his photos from the Festival of Power to Flickr and Facebook. Paul says there are 333 photos from Saturday and Sunday of the event.
Also posting to Facebook from the Festival of Power is MCT Photography (aka Kenzie Taylor) whose 263 photos you can see by clicking here.
JT's position vacant.
22nd April: Pro Modified and Super Pro ET racer John Tebenham currently has a position vacant on his PM team:
Man, we have problems, a 5.9 pro mod and a 8.8 Crew Killer Pop, what do you want to drive? After a wicked Easter weekend with five runs within one hundredth of a second, I want to do the Big Bracket at The Doorslammers, as I’m sure we have a fantastic car for the challenge. I’m not sure if I get this racing, as after eight good to mad burnouts in the little Pop , my new slicks are nearly done.
But my great problem is when I drive the amazing Pro Mod with the amazing Mike Janis blower. I know Luke is super nervous, so one very small step at a time. I’m more, come on, I want to win this sh*t, get on with it. But we can go 193 mph in 3.93 on the eighth - fast, very fast.
On a sad note my top end guy had to leave, yeah, Nigel has, let’s just say, other things going on in life, he is amazing and will be back. If you’re a Pro Mod top end man who is bored, let me know. There is nothing I have not done to these two fantastic cars, and I can assure you we are going to try and win. Come and support us, JT. You can contact JT on e-mail. You can also find John at his JT Racing Facebook page.
RugRat Racing's trio of JDBs.
22nd April: Runner up in Eurodragster.com Junior Drag Bike at the Festival of Power went to Casey Holgate of RugRat Racing. We spoke to team manager Lisa Holgate about the team and the engineering behind their bikes.
RugRat Racing was formed in 2013 after Liam Holgate had been racing for a year since he was 10 years old. Liam's bikes (he had a new one in 2017) were built and maintained by dad Simon Holgate and over his JDB racing career from 2012 to 2020, he won the ACU Junior Drag Bike three times, and was the winner of the Covid Cup in 2020. In 2021 Liam (now 19 years old) graduated to the ET Bike rank, running a Honda 600CBR engine in his former Junior bike.
Liam's sister Casey joined in 2018 with the 125cc Honda bike previously run by Liam; her best championship position was runner-up in 2021. Also in 2021 eight year old Lyra Humber, Simon's granddaughter, joined the team, riding a bike built by Simon and coming fourth in the championship.
At the start of 2022, the team had a further addition, Maggie Smallman (aged 12), cousin to Casey (now 15) and Lyra (now 9). Lyra and Casey have each been treated to a new bike built by Simon Holgate whilst Maggie is racing Casey's previous bike. Lisa commented "I am so proud of all my family. Win or lose, they love racing. We had a great weekend at the Festival of Power and Maggie did brill for her first race meeting, she was consistently in the 14 second bracket and her reaction got down to 0.4s from 1.5 which was brilliant. Lyra took to her new bike really well for a nine year old and did a PB of 15.3. Casey loves her new bike, she got consistently into the 8.3s, and did her burnouts really well.
You can expect Casey, Lyra and Maggie to be regular riders in the championship this year. But even outside RugRat Racing, some of the bikes being raced were built by Simon, and bikes used by Hollie and previously by Blade King were constructed from scratch by him. Lisa continued "Simon now gives orders as he is too busy running Holgate Engineering so he has shown and told me how to change out engines and put new in and all other parts on Maggies and Lyra's bikes.
"Thanks Liam, top crew man, Simon, top mechanic and top husband, Amy Elisha McGuire, top entertainer and putting up with me. Bailey superstar supporter Gary and Penny Smallman for agreeing to do racing after a lot of persuading from Maggie and cooking for loads of us, Ollie Jennings McGuire for putting up with us all and being best dad in the world to Lyra and Thea."
22nd April: Happy Birthday for today to former Funny Car racer Lesley Prior, Fuel Altered racer and nitro crew member Mick Moore, Dorset Horn owner/racer Dick Sharp and Pro ET/Outlaw Anglia racer Ronnie Mercer. We hope you all have a great day.
Get well soon to former Junior Dragster racer Thomas Cook Abbott who has suffered a broken wrist, but not before he was able to take and edit four videos from the Festival of Power to his new Youtube Channel TCA Racing. Thomas provides a comprehensive voice-over and characterful presentation, with close-up shots near the startline and in the pits, which gives a great perspective on racing and being a team member. More please! Subscribe to TCA Racing to get alerted on future videos.
Thanks to Santa Pod PR Robin Jackson for letting us know that this week's issue of Autosport magazine (21 April) contains a report of Easter weekend's first round of the Motorsport UK British Drag Racing Championship (the Pro Mods) at Santa Pod Raceway's Festival of Power. Autosport is available at good newsagents, price £4.99, and online.
Kieran has posted video from the Festival of Power for Outlaw Anglia, you can see Kieran's footage at this link on his Mk1Kieran Youtube channel.
STP Springspeed Nationals racer update.
21st April: Many thanks to to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us details of track opening and signing on at next weekend's STP Springspeed Nationals, 30th April-2nd May, including scrutineering times.
The main gates to the track will open at 08.00 on Friday, 29th April.
Friday, 29th April:
08.00 Signing on office opens for test day signing on only
10.00-18.00 Signing on office opens for event entries
09.00-18.00 Scrutineering for all cars at the Scrutineering Building
10.00-20.00 Scrutineering for bikes at the Scrutineering Building, this is an update to the instruction posted
Racers planning on testing on 29th April are reminded that entries are limited to 100, and they will need to enter the test day in advance at a fee of £75. Entry can be made by phoning Santa Pod on 01234 782828.
Saturday 30th April:
07.00 Signing on office and scrutineering opens
09:30 Track open for qualifying
Sunday 1st May:
07.00 Signing on office and scrutineering opens
09:30 Track open for qualifying/eliminations
Monday 2nd May:
07.30 Signing on open
09.00 Scrutineering open
09.30 Track open for qualifying/eliminations.
The detailed running orders and printable entry list can be seen in our event coverage page.
Entry for Main Event closing next Friday.
21st April: Thanks to to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for reminding us that entry for the FIA/FIM Main Event 26th-29th May at normal fees will close a week tomorrow on 29th April. After this date, a surcharge applies.
The entry list for the FIA/FIM Main Event can be seen at this link. All events can be entered in advance, however the payment must be in the SPRC bank account three days prior to the event, if paying via BACS please allow time for the payment to arrive.
Racers planning on testing on 25th May are reminded that entries are limited to 100 and they will need to enter the test day in advance at a fee of £75. Entry can be made by phoning Santa Pod on 01234 782828.
Carnets: the view from the Netherlands.
21st April: Many thanks to Super Street Bike racer Margot Schmidt (pictured) who successfully negotiated the ATA Carnet regime travelling from her native Netherlands to get to Santa Pod Raceway for the Festival of Power last weekend and returning home safely:
We would like to share our experience of our last trip to the UK with regards to crossing, driving license, etc. Hopefully this gives a little more insight.
"We requested an ATA Carnet from the Chamber of Commerce, as far as I know you have to be registered with the chamber of comrade as a company or foundation. You make a card request digitally in NL, where the Chamber of Commerce really helps you with what does and does not have to be on. You don't have to mention every nut and teaspoon. Please note the cost of a Carnet is different by country, consult your local chamber for the current cost. When you receive the card by registered mail, you have to have it validated, with a possible check for cargo contents and stamping of accompanying documents at a customs office near you.
"We booked our trip via Stenaline Hoek van Holland-Harwich through a freight broker, (via FAIR-FREIGHT Uithoorn NL) for this crossing specifically you need to have access to a port base (customs system in which the cargo is registered) to this a borrow the freight broker access, you can also travel by cargo . Please note: the cost for this crossing is significantly higher because you travel by freight . Traveling through tourism transport is not possible because then you can't get to the customs office . When you arrive at the port of Hoek van Holland, you have to first register/check in at the counter, then passport control, then pass by the customs office on the same site for export to have the card stamped . Next you can get on board. Arrived in the UK first passport check, then park vehicle and to customs counter for import to have Carnet re-stamped.
Back to home:
"Park your vehicle in Harwich harbour, check in for the crossing, then go to the customs office for re-export and stamp for your carnet. Park the vehicle in the port of Hoek van Holland, pass the customs office for re-importation and for stamp the carnet. Make sure you have a yellow safety vest with you, this is mandatory when you walk to the customs offices / check-in points.
"All in all it was not that bad, we have had no further checks or bizarrely long waiting times, traveling by freight costs about 1 hour extra per trip. Traveling via Calais-Dover is different, you do not need a port base for this, but you have to look for a customs office in France, and in the UK to import and export your goods, these are not located in the port. I have no experience with this myself.
Hopefully this gives a bit more insight, but again this is our experience based on one trip with everything arranged in the Netherlands.
Editor's comment: Despite the increase in many costs, including diesel and petro for transportion, shared knowledge and storage will help keep the cost and effort of obtaining a carnet to a minimum. We published SPRC's advice for British teams competing in the EU on February 19th. Ian King has also kindly posted advice for importing and exporting racing vehicles at this link. You can also get help and advice from your national motorsport governing body (known as ASN) who will have experience of exporting and importing over many disciplines of motorsport. It is these bodies that can lobby the government in the event that you consider deposits/bonds unreasonable.
Nostalgia FC FoP review.
21st April: Thanks to Nostalgia Funny Car racer and class PR Tony Betts for sending a review of the class at the Festival of Power: It was a great weekend at the Festival of Power meeting at Santa Pod. In Venom, we started off with an electrical issue that stopped us after the burn out. This was resolved and we came out for the 3rd round and on the Sunday we ran 6.3591/200.56 and 6.1612/233.76.
The Apache on Saturday made the last 2 qualifying rounds with Tim Garlick running 6.2862/229.22 and 6.2256/230.48 but had an issue with the piston rings not sealing, so Tim called it a day rather than do damage.
The Chi Town car of Paul Harris managed to run in the pits but was waiting for sufficient crew to run on the track. With their new crew present, a great 6.9396/172.44 time trial on Sunday was their prize.
The fourth entry was Rob Elsom with Jayne Kay going for her license, and that was signed off after a few stout runs culminating in 7.4907/198.00.
Martin Maxwell and Bill Felstead run out of time to get their gorgeous car finished but still bought it along for all to see.
The NFC class really does have a future with other cars still to be debuted. Bring on the Main Event.
Other dates this year you will be able to see Nostalgia Funny Cars are:
Chaos Bros run PB ET.
21st April: Many thanks to Competition Eliminator race Robin Orthodoxou of Chaos Bros who has given us background on a successful Festival of Power where he and his crew tuned their A/Altered to run a personal best in ET.
Hi Racers, just like to say thank you to Santa Pod and SPRC for doing a great job on the track for Easter. The shutdown area is a pleasure to behold. The Chaos brothers Competition Eliminator Steve Schmidt powered 635 BBC altered ran a personal best 6.90 seconds et in qualifying looks like all the crew's 8 years of hard work has paid off.
Then we lost in the second round to the great Rob Smallworth's perfect light ,where we ran a personal best 60 ft 1.014 seconds. Maybe I should listen to Tracey, Darren and Jake more often!
Thanks also to John Satterfield at Dambest carburettors, Geof at Hauser Racecars, Cale Aronson at Black Magic Clutches,Aronson motorsport, Ryan at London Waterjet (cutting 4130 steel BBC motorplates) and Dynamic metals (4130 steel plate).
See you soon, Robin Orthodoxou.
Aircooled steel single cab goes 9.0s.
21st April: Competition Eliminator racer Alex Leiserach had a great time at the Festival of Power, his first competitive event with his VW Single Cab pickup, despite a first round exit:
"Epic, monumental, mind blowing, are really how you can describe the Easter weekend for the Single Cab.
Richie, RJ Volks Performance really needs to take so much credit for our achievements. He was super patient with me, as all our bad trips to the starting line were due to driver error. But I am learning and trying not to repeat the same mistakes. His base tune he put in was so great that he was able to make small adjustments and very quickly develop our unaerodynamic, heavyweight truck into a competitive vehicle. It really did exceed my expectations and goals in our first full weekend's racing."
Before the Festival of Power, Alex had run five events with a best of 10.37/136 at the Doorslammers resulting in a fire as the fuel rail lifted, popping out an O ring. He also suffered a massive wheelie at the 23rd October SPR run what ya brung as the two step was not activated by the staging brake.
"I collected Lee Maynard on Wednesday and headed up to the track to get setup. Thursday 14th was Testing. It resulted in 10.87/124mph with boost turned down to only 10psi in 3rd and 4th. After checking launch settings my next pass was 9.77 @ 142.97mph - BOOM - to my knowledge the first ever 9 second pass from a flatfour powered VW bus. At this point I was serious when I said I was happy to pack up and go home. My brain was at full capacity keeping up with what I had to do during that pass, but it's amazing how quickly you can adapt.
"Friday 15th was the first day of Qualifying. On my first pass, it ran 9.51 @ 146mph, with a 1.28 60ft too. This was probably the most exciting and fun to drive pass of the weekend, a wheelie in 1st gear, shift into 2nd it bounced and came up again, shifted 3rd and it moved right, 4th gear and pull the chute. 2nd pass, 9.64 @ 164mph, I struggled with my clutch leg and need to go to the gym, I rolled the start before the clutch came in so was a 1.46 60ft. You can hear as I shifted into third my foot slipped off the throttle pedal so had to re stab it too.
"Saturday 16th and our second day of qualifying. On the 1st pass in Q4, I didn't quite set the clutch up for Launch correctly, again driver error so when I released and it didn't move. I stopped and thought better to be pushed back and double check everything. On the 2nd pass, Richie was determined for me to hit my end goal for the truck this pass, I wanted to run a 9.24. It may seem like an odd target, but in, (I believe), 1986 the guys and gals from Kawell Race Engines in the States run thier Race Bus to a best of 10.24 @ 128mph. They had to use stock crankcases etc, so I felt I should run at least a second faster or it wouldn't be much of an improvement.
"We lowered the bars, adjusted the launch. It 'only' did a 1.32 60ft but charged on and was doing 119mph by the half track. This was the very first time I attempted clutch less shifting, held my foot down 100% throttle and pulled 4th gear. The shift felt amazing. Over the line and pulled the chute. The top end track crew had big smiles but wouldn't tell me why. The top end can be such a serene and beautiful place to chill out and catch your breath. It was such a smooth pass it really didn't feel that fast, I was thinking and hoping for a low 9.4, possibly a 9.3, Richie, Jo, Lee, Ian and Reg came up in the tow car to collect me and from quite a distance I could hear the horn honking and see them jumping around inside the car. I thought awesome I have hit a low 9.20 and smashed my goals. Richie got out with the biggest grin and said you just went 152mph. I didn't believe him, it took a while to sink in, then he said 9.09, my brain didn't compute at all. I had to get him to repeat it as I thought I had heard wrong. 9.09 @ 152mph are you sure?
"It's hard to explain what an immense achievement this truly is. Those who know, know! There are very few air-cooled flatfour VW powered vehicles in the UK that have run very low 9 second passes. I think you can count them almost on one hand, might need the second, but either way they did it in rails, bugs, buggies or Type 3's. Most of them used fibreglass panels and are lightweight race cars. Not a full Steel bodied heavyweight breeze block shaped truck. 2nd pass, again with the feeble leg muscles and I rolled the line, a 9.19 @ 152 mph with a 1.44 60ft. At least this was a close back up pass for the 9.09.
"Sunday and into my first ever competition round (against Dan Williams). I try and learn from my mistakes and try not to repeat them. Again I didn't properly activate the two step, I think that I didn't pull the staging brake hard enough again. I left the line with very little boost, the only positive I can take from the pass is I shifted every gear clutch less.
"So there are a few improvements I need to make before running again, going to redesign the Fuel tank as on deceleration it's gulping air and causing fuel pressure issues at the top end, I have already dropped it off with Chris at CT Fabrications and he is on it. I have also redesigned the way the 2 step is activated so this shouldn't be an issue going forward.
"With only 9 Full passes on a brand new build we achieved the impossible and got a heavyweight, full stock metal bodied breeze block to a 9.09 @ 152 mph. My biggest thanks to Richie, RJ Volks Performance He has been so patient with me and without his expert knowledge this definitely would not have been possible. To Robinson Race Cars who treat me like family, the single cab is so stable and the chassis and suspension gives me so much confidence. Really pleased Rex approved of the truck. To Phil Norman, Brickfield VW and Neil Melliard for knowing how I wanted it to look better than even I did. To Chris at CT Fabrications for always fitting me in and going the extra mile. To Jason Flow X Injectors for the continued help with my injectors. To Toby Walker at Thinktankgraphics who is an absolute Hero and has a great eye. To Pete at Cogbox for the advice and help with anything gearbox related.
There are so many friends who have given me support, information and advise along the way, Jo Clifford at RedHead Auto Upolstery, Stephen Guirey, Peter Shattock, Lee Maynard, Ian Clark, Rob Hewish and the whole Hewish clan, Dave and Alex Dinning, Andy Goodwin, Trevor Sharpe, Rolands Bus Farm, VW Gasser Garage, Georg Schmundt-Thomas, Hayburner Magazine, Hayburner Print, Niels Timmerman, Tom Gotta, Julian Hunt Photography, Airmighty, I am sure I have missed someone important off the list so please forgive me. To @funkmotorsport for your help getting me back up and running again. Christiano and all the Guys at FuelTech have been really supportive and without thier products we couldn't do half of what we have achieved. Elisa Noelle for the support from Precision Turbo and Billet Atomizer Injectors.
I want to thank all the ladies and gents from Comp Eliminator for making me so welcome, especially Fraudster C20LET Mk1 Escort.
The track prep at Santa Pod was exceptional and the Marshals were so great to me, I can't thank you enough for taking it easy on the Newbie. Thanks to Ian for saving Lee's glasses too.
Lastly and most importantly thanks for all of you who bought merch, (for those asking, yes we are trying to sort a new batch), and those who have liked, followed and subscribed to our madcap project. It's been great to hear how much you like Second Coming Single Cab.
If you want any more information please feel free to find us on Facebook and YouTube as Second Coming Single Cab, and on Instagram @secondcomingsinglecab.
21st April: Happy Birthday for today to former Pro Modified driver Ray White, former Super Mod racer and drag and drive participant Paul Mander, Outlaw Street and Sportsman ET racer Troy Attree, and photographer Matze Schneider, have a great day all!
Kieran has posted video from the Festival of Power for Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator, you can see Kieran's footage at this link on his Mk1Kieran Youtube channel.
Thanks to reader Stephen Billings who has supplied pictures of the Street Eliminator cars on the cruise on Saturday night at the Festival of Power which we have added to our Pit Pictures. Steven says "They were taken at Top Speed Automotives shop, and include their '34 Ford as well." You can see and scroll through Steven's pictures by clicking here. Thanks to photographer John Harding for letting us know his pictures from the Festival of Power can be seen at his Facebook page for Thursday test day and Friday.
Anita retires from FIA career.
20th April: Top Fuel racer Anita Mäkelä has announced she will be winding down her Top Fuel career by limiting her appearances to exhibition passes in the future and making no on-track appearances in 2022:
"I don´t race this season. I might do a race or a show run sometimes, but not this year. No more full FIA tour.
"It is almost 1000 days since our last race at Santa Pod 2019. We won the race and as well the FIA European Championship Top Fuel. The best possible memories.
"There is no FIA Round for us in Finland this year and it is harder and more expensive to get to England. And Micke Kågered won´t be there. The world is not the same any more.
"We have a very competitive car and there are different options, what to do with it. Alternative driver is one. Let´s see, how everything will work out, but I do wish to see you all one day. I already miss you."
Anita's career started in 1987 after discovering the sport on a trip to Ohio. She first ran a Competition Eliminator dragster which she brought to the UK in September that year, unfortunately writing it off at the Santa Pod World Finals. Undeterred, she rebuilt, won the FHRA championship twice and then moved up to Top Methanol Dragster in 1990. Two European TMD championships followed.
Then 1996 after meeting husband Tommi Haapanen it was Tommi who took on the driving of their Top Fuel Dragster as the pair started a family with the birth of Hanna and Heikki. In 1998 she made her Top Fuel debut and after a year with Tommi back in the cockpit in 1999, she returned in 2000 and won the FIA Championship. More breaks ensued in 2002 and 2004-5 with the growing family and Tommi took over driving between 2006 and 2008. Anita returned to the driving seat in 2009 and the team continued for another decade at the top of the tree, winning the FIA Top Fuel title in 2016, 2018 and 2019.
We wish Anita all the best for the future, she has been a fantastic ambassador for the sport and worthy of her membership of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
Alternative drivers for one of the quickest cars in Europe, please form an orderly queue.
Nïamh joins NSS committee.
20th April: UK Nostalgia Superstock co-ordinator Don Scott has announced that team member and author Nïamh Frances Smith will be joining the class's committee:
"I've taken on a new Nostalgia Superstock committee member Nïamh Frances Smith, her main task will be promoting the class via social media as she has done already so very well. She has told me that she has a few new ideas of her own that will no doubt further enhance the class as it constantly grows and evolves. She will join myself, Andrew Bishop, Bev Tyrrell and Jim Chandler. I think its a fantastic chance to get some young blood involved to ensure we keep up with the times." Nïamh commented "I’m really excited to have been invited to join the committee."
Don also welcomes another two new class sponsors, Stuart "Kiwi" Thompson and his family Glenda, and Zoe who together are sponsoring NSS, and Duncan Watts of The Watts Shop.
Midgley rides Puma to a five.
19th April: Cannon Motorsports team rider Neil Midgley had his first outing with his immaculate Puma Top Fuel Bike he bought from former European Champion Filippos Papafilippou at the Festival of Power last weekend, writes Mike Kraaij:
Together with long time friend Chris "Cannon" Hannam they formed Cannon Motorsports. Neil was the crewchief for Chris on his Super Twin Top Fuel bike from 2008-2016. Neil, himself a former Super Street Bike racer and five-time ACU Funny Bike champion, started racing in the Top Fuel Bike ranks in 2017. In 2019 he was Santa Pod TFB Champion with the Cannon Motorsports DOHC V twin that Chris owns and used to run.
For this season, the focus is on the learning curve it takes to run these immaculate powerful drag bikes and already Neil showed his great racing skills on the Puma machine by running strong ET Numbers after only three runs. Indeed, Neil's 5.8656 ET, which had a terminal of 'only' 200.63, places him tenth on the all-time Top Fuel Bike riders' list compiled by Pär Pippi Willén. First the team made a 60ft time and to get the feeling of Neil's new TFB. After that a 1/8 mile pass, and the 3rd was a test pass which he clicked off around the 1000ft mark. Neil told Mike that it felt fast, and different compared to the Super Twin.
Cannon Motorsports will attend the Santa Pod and Hockenheim FIM-E rounds if all goes as planned and the local UK ACU races during 2022, making it a total of seven races. Big credit goes to Marius van der Zijden, Martin Brookman, and Ian King from King Racing. Also a big thanks to Lucas Oil for their sponsorship, which continues after 12 years, and to Cannon Motorsport crewmembers Mike and Rush.
Festival of Power racer comments - bikes.
20th April: We present below some comments from racers following the Festival of Power. Many teams have their own Facebook page which you are encouraged to visit and 'like' to see sponsors, pictures and video.
Top Fuel Bike: Although the performance marks in terms of ET were made by Neil Midgley, there was also outstanding performance from Al Smith on the PBR Rocket in qualifying (pictured left below). A precis of what owner and engineer Phil Baimbridge wrote in his excellent blog: The PBR team for the event was Al & Joo Smith, Neill Curtis, Andy Kirk and I. The objectives for the meeting were to bed in the rebuilt clutches, check out the spare bottom end (not run since we ran a main bearing early last year), and assess the new parts (exhaust valve seats, con rods and wrist pins), in the process hopefully build on the performance we achieved late last season. In Q1 the bike made a sedate launch and then snapped the primary belt at 0.5s; the blower belt snapped in sympathy. After fitting another clutch assembly and replacing the belts in Q2 there was puff of smoke out of the side at around 800’. Although Al kept on it for 6.1976/213.90, it was found the crankshaft outrigger bearing had failed, which was an easy fix, and the rotor arm tang on the inlet camshaft distributor had failed, which was modified. The third run was 6.1291/222.53. Fuel nozzle adjustments were applied as #2 cylinder hadn’t been firing effectively, and after more clutch adjustment Al ran an early shut off 6.2198/196.32. The bike spun the tyre in the final qualifier in cooler conditions.
On race day, Al had a bye as Rene van den Berg had withdrawn with motor issues. Al ran a half track PB of 3.900s at only 177mph, before which the engine had stopped suddenly as the fuel pump drive had sheared at 3.3s and we had no parts to repair. Al will be back at the Springspeed Nationals.
Rene van den Berg (pictured right above) was the only TFB racer to run full passes in all five qualifying sessions, an impressive showing with a best ET of 6.2351 and mph of 228.05, however mechanical gremlins made him unable to compete in eliminations. UK legend Steve Woollatt had a new supercharger with which he was modifying his fuel and clutch setup to make the desired performance improvements, improvements in every round and a final 6.4462/192.11 showed the potential which the team will undoubtedly be working to realise at Springspeed Nationals.
In Funny Bike, Steve Crane (pictured left below) once again showed the performance advantage of the flat metal bearing engine and new Hurricane head which he had supplied and tuned for US racer Terry Schweigert in the Man Cup Finals to win the Pro Open 1/8 mile class. Stuart wrote that he and fellow Warpspeed Racing rider Mark Smith scrutineered at or slightly below the class minimum weight, then in Q1 Stuart suffered HT lead interference which caused a misfire. Incredibly, with lower boost and 80% throttle Stuart went 6.55/207mph in Q2, however Smithy's bike hurt a thrust washer in the trans so was out for the remainder of the event. In Q3 a full throttle produced a new ACU record of 6.40/212. "The Maxx ECU set records in two bike classes over the weekend, one in Funny Bike and one in Super Street Bike. So we decided to try for a 6.3 as the data showed that the track crew had done an amazing job of the track and conditions were there. After taking two bye runs to the final it went 6.32/213mph to take the event win and the fastest pass ever in European Funny Bike history!. There are a lot of people that made this happen within the team that are the unsung heroes and sponsors so without the help of everyone and our sponsors it wouldn’t be possible so thank you to all involved.
In Super Street Bike, Dániel Lencsés (pictured right above) brought his new DME built bike and broke the 6.7s barrier. I feel like we connected pretty well with my bike, which my little son, Oliver named “Blue Moto”. We had a very short time to shape the engine built by DME (thanks to them) into my own style, which was only partially successful so far. I still have a lot to learn about MaxxECU, but I'm on the right track with it.
I knew that the engine would be very good, but in my daring dream I never thought that in the first race I would be able to run the European time record (6.776) or speed 220.37mph! Unfortunately, I jumped in the final with -0,0003, but I didn’t score a single drop! My former bike, the Bounty Hunter, had reacted more “slowly” after the clutch was released.
Unfortunately I could not push through the last race because the axis fell out of the resonance of the gearbox arm fixing fork, so I could not replace it, but fortunately I managed to eliminate many "child diseases" in the engine anyway.
For the first time since 2013, I managed to return home from an international competition with a cup. Congratulations to Steve Venables on his win, we had a good game over the weekend!! Good times and speed definitely needed a great course too, thanks to all the marshalls working in Santa Pod.
Jake Mechaell reported "I had an injector fail just before the 1/8 mile on the last run and it’s damaged a couple of exhaust valves. After a quick inspection it looks like I’ve got away lightly. The engine went lean, but unbelievably the piston and cylinder survived! On a positive note the run produced PB’s up to when the injector started to fail."
Comp Bike saw Chris Neary take the win from #4 qualifying position when Shawn Buttigieg had a gearbox problem. Chris had #6 qualifier Jordan Kenway in the final, so it was a race of upsets and this year's championship is looking very interesting as a result.
8.50 Bike: The class winner was Stacey Reed (pictured right), winning her first event in the class after only a few runs in the test day, congratulations to Stacey whose previous racing experience was Junior Drag Bike in 2013-15 and 9.50 Bike in 2016-21 with a year off in 2020.
Another new rider to the class Craig Wright went #1 in qualifying but was reminded how tough eliminations in the bike classes can be. "#1 qualifyers at our debut event, absolutely gobsmacked as this bike was trying to kill me 3 weeks ago!
"Thanks so much to everyone thats got us here from the bottom of my heart, I couldnt have done it without you all, David Murdoch, Kim Murdoch, VP Race Fuels, Oldhall Performance, Rock Oil, The Flyin Scottsman Scotty Crookston, Daniel Randall, SBPromoVids, Gentle Podiatry, Andy Wain, Team Valley Service and MOT, Marvin Campbell, Andy Head, Brad Head, Dave Rudd, David Downes, Kathy Taylor, Steve Ashdown, Bradley O'Connor, Rick Stubbins, Callum Pudge, Peter Walters and my Mum and Dad Eileen Wright and Graham Wright, thank you everyone, and of course Ian Chrichlow and Jay Roe for building this incredible bike and getting us to this point, to Jake Mechaell for all his tips and knowledge on riding/tuning and finally Kat Rudd for sticking by me with absolutely everything, supporting me, and now crewing, shes literally 1 in a million."
However on Sunday Craig wrote "It didn't quite too well today. I missed the 5th gear shift, didn't quite hit it hard enough and it didn't go into 6th at around 150mph and the other guy was able to get out a little lead and take the win. We were absolutely neck and neck up till it went wrong, every day's a school day. Regroup and come back in 2 weeks and do it all again."
9.50 Bike: congratulations to winner Rick Sawatzki who defeated Special K Racing's Phil Harrison in the final.
Blood Cancer UK ET Bike, which was won by Phil Pratt, had former Junior Drag Bike Champion Scott Collier (pictured left) riding for Jade Racing and dad Jerry's Projoint Fabrications making a return to the sport and an impact in the class on his Suzuki TL1000. He wrote: "Testing Thursday went ok with some tweaks. The changes we made for Q1 definately worked, we found 0.1s to the 60ft that was weak yesterday, and it was on a pass until it lost all ignition power around 1000ft but we still coasted to a 9.84 on a 9.8 dial so that made us #2. Blown fuse sorted, and dial in lowered but still had electrical issues in Q2. No improvement in terms of position in Q3 but we seemed to have sorted the issues from Friday. In Q4 a 9.66 on a 9.65 dial was good enough for no2 qualifier, we sat the last qualifier out but kept the #2 position.
"In eliminations, a red light by Allan Davies in the first round gave us the win, it was a very close race in the quarter finals but we got the win and we were into the semis against Phil Pratt. A 0.0015 red light in the semi against Phil, we can’t say we aren’t trying. We’re all more than happy with #2 qualifier and getting to the semi finals on our first event back. We’ve got a few things to sort on the bike, a few little issues we’ve found over the weekend, but they will be sorted for the next round in a few weeks time. This should be a great year. We’re not sat in the stands watching the finals."
Junior Drag Bike was won by Hollie King (pictured right) against Casey Holgate (see tomorrow for a review of Casey's RugRat Racing team). Hollie's dad Ollie King, also team owner for Blade King in ET Bike, wrote: "It was great to see everyone again, Blade was there with a new bike and a little playing round with the launch, seeing as he was sideways off the line the first two qualifiers, then picking the wheel up, still putting in a 13.01 on a 13.00 flat dial in but going out first round with a 12.74, so more than happy with a PB there and he said there's more to come in it. Hollie rode amazing, her launches improving massively, riding her socks off and winning the finals. Well done both riders. At Santa Pod, my son Jaxon sat on the bike and could touch the floor and reach the bars, well, that means when you can reach the floor you can ride it, so on bank holiday Monday the body was off and the boy was on it, and he rode it exceedingly well. I think it's safe to say the 2023 season will have a new junior drag bike racer."
Picture of Hollie King courtesy Callum Pudge.
Buttigieg sets new Comp Bike mark.
20th April: Maltese Comp Bike racer Shawn Buttigieg, who set new ACU Comp Bike records at the Festival of Power, will be racing the whole ACU series in 2022 in the United Kingdom, writes Mike Kraaij.
On the test day Shawn, who last ran in the UK in Super Street Bike at the 2016 Euro Finals, ran a nice 6.7656/214.95 and 6.8649/210.90. On Friday he managed to run another pair of great runs with a 6.7091/205.12 and 6.8019/210.94 in Q1 and Q2. Shawn's previous bests in Malta at Hal Far Raceway was a 6.82. Shawn will be leaving the bike here in the UK and flying home returning for the next round at the Springspeed Nationals.
He only has one engine, a Suzuki Hayabusa Gen 1 type with stock bore and stroke. Bolted to this is a big turbocharger and the engine runs on methanol. The bike has a 74inch wheelbase, making it legal for Comp Bike but not Super Street Bike which has a 68 inch maximum, and 7 inch slick without a wheelie bar, . Now after the run he did maintenance just to check up. Shawn emphasised he is running in the UK to do best ET and Speed and not for the Championship. "We had gearbox problems resulting in me losing in the semi final, however the bike is already prepared with a new gearbox for the next event in end of April." Shawn thanks his sponsors Polaris Marine Services, Attrans Transport, Tony Engineering, Wurth Malta, Sunoco Malta and his wife and crewmembers Ryan Micallef, Stephen Cauchi, Richard Schembri and Michael Aquilina and others involved.
M&M Racing earn first trophy.
19th April: Many thanks for M&M racing crew member Dave Turner who has sent in an account of the expanded team's Festival of Power with drivers Mark Turner and his son Kieran Turner:
What an epic weekend we have just had with the M&M Racing Supra! It was a bit of a fight chasing fluid leaks and figuring out the new MSD power grid system.
We managed to keep everything together enough to qualify 9th in a class field of racers, only to find we had a seal failure on the input shaft of the Powerglide. A massive effort by what felt like the whole Super Pro ET pit meant that by 23:00 we had the seal replaced and the car ready to warm up on Sunday morning. A special mention to Ian and Harrison Brown for their help and Geof Hauser for the seal and loan of the tools required. Sunday's warm up went well with no more drips and the car sounding good.
Round 1 saw us line up against Philip Toppin in his fab Corvette, unfortunately for Phil he was a fraction too keen and pulled a -0.008 red so we had won our first round of Super Pro racing. Round 2 saw us paired against Callum Swinchatt in his great little Topolino, this time round it was a brilliant green light race with both drivers lifting at the stripe and a 0.009 win for us, which meant we had a bye run into the semi's.
With the info in hand we headed to our semifinal race against the legend that is Brian Pateman another too close to call race with Mark just squeeking past Brian, we were in our first final.
After a really quick turnaround we got the car serviced and ready for the final against Joe Kellett. We staged the whole crew standing together to watch the race and what a race green light with Joe chasing down the Supra and nudging past the margin of victory was 0.002 what a race well done Joe.
Also at this event we had Mark's Son Kieran Turner going for his Pro ET licence, under the guidance of Paul Marston. Kieran driving Grumpys Dodge not only managed to get his licence but also qualified for Pro ET. In Paul's words he had set himself one heck of a mountain to climb, but he achieved nearly everything we set out to do, unfortunately a motor issue prevented an partisipation in eliminations. But with some great reaction times and a fastest pass of 9.7sec he can feel very proud of what he achieved. Well done Kieran you made us all very proud.
Michelle and Mark Turner and the whole M&M Racing team would like to say thanks to everyone who helped over the weekend, you guys are all awesome, see you at the Springspeed Nationals in a couple of weeks.
Pers' protest against carnet rules.
19th April: Speedghost Motorsport, headed up by Fuel Funny Car racer Patrik Pers, announced their apologies for not being at Santa Pod this weekend for the first round of the Funny Car Cup. But in a protest against the Swedish Government's tough financial and bureaucratic requirements for shipping race cars to the UK, he put on a show, doing a burnout along the E4, Sweden's answer to the M1..
"It's been over 2 years now since we purchased our new Funny Car and needless to say its been a stressful time. Firstly Covid then Brexit, the latter being the reason we are not at Santa Pod. The Swedish Government have yet to agree some sort of arrangement with Swedish Motorsport Team with regard to Carnets. As things stand at present you would need to be a millionaire to raise a Carnet to go racing but it's my understanding negotiations are underway and hopefully something will be agreed before The Main Event.
"Just to show you guys that we ARE ready to compete and that the car is ready we took it out for a little play today Stockholm Street race style. We hope you enjoy and fingers crossed we will see you at The Main Event."
Featherstone's weekend on cloud nine.
19th April: Many thanks to Pro ET racer Brett Featherstone of team Nova Scotia for sending his account of an unforgettable weekend at the Festival of Power, teaming up with Simon 'The Package' Gough:
To think we may not have even made it at one point, Wednesday morning 6.30am I rush out of the bathroom thinking somebody was breaking into the race lorry, I run straight into a closed patio door face planting and almost knocked myself out. As I lay on the floor with what felt like a broken arm and nose, Debs went to see if somebody had crashed into her pickup truck on the driveway.
After getting up and realising nothing was broken, we decide we were going. The next problem was Diesel, we can get most of the way but Essex, like many other places, seems to be dry. Cambridge Services save the day and we make it to our second home.
Test day, and like most racers red mist made the 1/8 check out pass seem a long way off! I'm sure them blocks moved a bit further down track. First chance to check out the shut down area, massive thanks to Keith Bartlett and all involved for giving us a complete track now.
Up early for qualifying, thanks to Windy Miller for poor maintenance on his windmill and a timing ticket to be proud of, my team mate and best friend for some reason picks up my ticket by mistake, 9.570000 on a 9.57 that will never happen again.
So, seat time it is then as we try to dial the driver in, easier said than done 0.004 to a 0.265, get it together man. My ace team do their stuff as normal and give me a chance if I get it together, round one nerves in both lanes, but we take the win and we can now enjoy the day. Round two, oh no another racer who has become a great friend, might go and unbolt my spares but get caught in the act, sorry John and Kim lol. So another race for the photo memories, that was a bit close. Simon is going through at this point also and the impossible has a chance as we are on opposite sides of the ladder, this will not happen and I think about getting my stuff ready to help Si go rounds. We both end up in the semi finals, what a perfect scenario, two door cars against two dragsters. Mason goes red and we run 9.54 on our 9.54, as I take the win the reality is about to unfold as Will goes red against Si. Our pit bay has just erupted, how did this happen, we don't care who wins, this is going to be a race we will never forget.
.01 to .004 no team orders then and being a former crew man for Si was Checkng his car after the finish line so missed the win light in my lane. Somebody pinch me as this can't be real.
I cannot thank Debs the love of my life enough letting me do this stuff all year, I am the weak link lol.
Thank you to the following people: Jeff and Belinda, super support and crew go JBRE, Simon, Sharron and John Gough for everything, Gary Campion for watching over both of us every weekend, cheers mate. New crew member Kane (Kenny), first meeting and it don't get any better always welcome. Support from their armchairs, Mum and Dad, finally got you a trophy.
To all the sponsors on both teams, Jeff Bull Racing Engines, Silverton Aggregates, Jesters Diner, Blp Products, Polytech Powder Coating, Churchward Car Sales, Trinity Surfacing, Trackstuff For Renegade Race Fuels and all the companies who put in the pro et prize pot.
Special thanks to Ian and Dave for a great track and the safety guys and girls who are ready to help when needed all the time.
Massive thank you to Nick at Garrett race fabrications for turning our car into a safe and stronger race car, Paul at Przym for the amazing airbrush work done during the winter, Cath and Tig for the off the trailer award and Andy Fadster Hadfield for the perfect ET award and of course Eurodragster for up to date information and reports on this amazing sport (You're welcome - Editor).
Pro ET - what a class!
Festival of Power racer comments - cars.
19th April: We present below some comments from racers following the Festival of Power. Many teams have their own Facebook page which you are encouraged to visit and 'like' to see sponsors, pictures and video.
Funny Car Cup: Kevin Chapman with new crew chief Wayne Dupuy driving the team forward, won the event after making the quickest pass of the event (4.4611) to defeat #1 qualifier Kevin Kent. Kevin's West 10 team were racing without their crew chief John 'Bodie' Smith, who sadly had a family bereavement with the death of father in law Virgil Hartman, however recorded the quickest qualifying time of 4.4621 and fastest speed of the meeting at 245.47.
Jason Phelps in the Gladiator had his best meeting in over two years, getting down the track four times. Hawk Racingposted : It's been a long haul back from our devastating explosion in 2020. Looking back over the past 18 months, the rebuild was a huge step but it didn't end there.
With a disjointed stop-start to the Covid affected 2021 season, this Easter, the first round of the new Funny Car Cup, it was massively important we came out with some major pluses. Three sunny days at the track (which in fact is an extra two months prior in the workshop, but no-one sees this) and we have a working, potentially very quick race car again. Our fabulous team of volunteers have had to dig deep, the driver has had to work through some stuff, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and we will get there. The results this weekend may not have gone in our favour but with a little luck we'll be up there with the others and doing the FC class, Hawk Racing and the Gladiator name proud once again.
Nostalgia Funny Car: Martin Maxwell's new Chevy Vega (first revealed last Christmas Eve) was on display but unable to run. Car builder Bill Felstead of Comanche Race Cars commented: Thank you to everyone who came into the pits and said all the kind words, Santa Pod, Max Frost and Keith Bartlett allowed us to come and static display the car as we were missing a few bits for it to run. This helped us to work out whether the trailer worked, the tow vehicle, the awning, the winch, the tools, the support vehicle, you get it, a dry run. We learned from it, which helps us on our first actual meeting. So once again thanks to all the people that said they liked it, it meant a lot to Martin Maxwell, who owns and will drive the car, I appreciate the kind words as I had a hand in building it, and I know that Kerry Fowler who painted it with Kristy must be proud of their work. Right, enough of this backslapping rubbish, lets go racing!
Tony Betts was winner after Tim Garlick withdrew with problems. Paul Harris Racing ran a six with their revised crew but didn't qualify for eliminations. Jayne Kay licensed after four passes, showing she knows how to handle one of these cars confidently.
Motorsport UK Pro Modified: The meeting was won by Michel Tooren whose Pro Dutch team struggled to get the car down the track at the start, but had a transformation at the end of qualifying and on race day. He commented: Winner winner chicken dinner! We had an amazing weekend at Santa Pod Raceway Not only did we win but we’ve made 10 runs so we had the opportunity to try new things setup wise and collected a lot of data. On Saturday, we were very happy with the results of the day. We collected a lot of data and we even ran a 5.94 with 243mph, 0.01 sec away from our personal best. With qualifying all done we ended up on the number one spot. Overall we had a great weekend and learned a lot, see you all in May for the Main Event.
Runner up Nick Davies commented: We came close, but lost in the final to a deserving winner. Congratulations to Michel Tooren and the Pro Dutch team. A weekend of teething issues saw the crew work harder than at any time in the past without a word of complaint, as usual. Ultimately, we lost on a holeshot, which never sits well. Teachers report: Great effort but needs to retain focus at all times. Thanks to our supporters, as ever.
Wayne Nicholson improved dramatically on race day as he sorted out the combination with a new supercharger: Not a bad weekend at Santa Pod Raceway for our little team from Yorkshire. With a new combination we had a guess at what our weekend would be like and ultimately we were correct Having a trans brake / start line issue really created a lot of frustration and upset our attempts in qualifying, however we managed to get some great data from our 2 full runs and set a new PB on MPH in eliminations. A lose out in the Semi Finals to Nick Davies was oh so close between us yet again. Thank you to Lucas Oil Products UK for spending time with us this weekend too , hopefully we did you proud. Thank you to the super crew this weekend, we have so much more available, Belinda Nicholson, Gaz James Nicholson, Tim Asquith, Sandy Cockram and Andrew Wright.
Track Worx Comp Eliminator: Spencer Tramm was victorious, seemingly motivated by the immaculate new paint job from OCS, together with Neil Melliard-applied Williams Bros Racing lettering. After qualifying #1, the car running down in the 10.9s after Dan Williams had found another 30hp over the winter, Spencer defeated a red-lighting Kev Perkins in round 1, ran an amazing 0.002 RT against his supplier Nic Williams in round 2, had a bye in the semi, and defeated a re-lighting Dan Williams in the final. Well done to Spencer who has put so much into the sport over the years.
One Comp Eliminator racer who ended the event with performance improvement, unexpected challenges, and promise for the future, was Dave Smith. The Festival of Power 2022 delivered a huge mix of highs and lows for the team.
Thursday’s test day was menaced with shifter solenoid issues which turned out to be the simplest of fixes in the end. Unfortunately by the time we’d sorted it, we had ran out of track time and only managed to get the one pass.
Friday was set to be a promising day, the sun was out, the track was spot on, and we were hoping to see some improvements after our winter upgrades and a chassis tune carried out by Luke Robinson at ARRC. An incident in the pairing lanes put a stop to that though, when a race car in front of us jumped into reverse under power and took out the front end of our car.
11 hours of repairs followed to get us a race car again. The crew really pulled it out the bag, working late into the night to get it finished, and what they achieved was amazing considering it was a pit repair! I couldn’t ask for a better crew, and I certainly couldn’t do what I do without them. I can’t thank you all enough, Blummin Andy, John Sturman, Jack Lampard.
Fortunately Saturday delivered the results we’d hoped for, running a personal best (with the current combination) of 7.68! As we hadn’t had the opportunity to test on Thursday, or had any track time on Friday we still had suspension settings to fine tune. We got a bit loose mid track whilst making adjustments, but none the less, it gave us some data we could work with.
Sunday delivered us another personal best of 7.65, with a 1.11 60ft. We’re definitely closing in on the perfect suspension settings, and it held the track all the way! A huge difference from our 8.2 and 1.17 from last year.
We faced Robin Orthodoxou in eliminations, which seems to be a regular occurrence. I can’t actually remember a Comp Eliminator elimination day that we haven’t been paired! Robin put an end to our day, taking the win, but we ran a 7.65 which we were proper happy with! So although we come away from The Festival of Power battle scarred, we’ve managed to run a pb and collect some great data we can work with to improve the car. Interestingly, we also found out we can lose over 60kg out of the car and still stay within the regs! Lots to think about.
BeFastR Super Comp was won by Steve Hudson with a 0.004 package in the final, well-nigh unbeatable. In a strong 8-car field he defeated Darryl Howells and Martin Curbishley to get to the final.
Sarah Howells commented: "Fab weekend. Sun shining, great stable mates although one missing which was a gutter. Get well soon Andy Clifford. Loved chatting to newbie drag racing fans "but where do your legs go?!?" (slingshot joke). Thanks to all in Super Comp, we're loving the challenge. What about a Super Comp no electronics Nationals at some point? 8.86 1st round loser but we really tried hard to hit that 8.90. Need to get a new lift point, the videoing tower has moved closer to the finish line! Well done Steven Hudson what a holeshot to win the final, 0.0003 light, wowsers! Thank you Darryl Howells for a fab weekend. Brilliant, brilliant track. Thank you to all the Santa Pod marshalls, amazing work. Achilles buggered again, but hey ho, limping is the new running."
Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas was won by Jon Morton who has been in the sport for over five decades. The final against Andy Dibley was the closest green light race of eliminations. A 12 car field made up of experienced racers was encouraging as well.
Class sponsor Tony Morris, with Dave Gibbons, said "Tony and Dave are delighted to see three of our customers qualify #1 spot in their respective classes at The Festival Of Power! Either using a TMC carburetor, or a carb that's been 'breathed upon' by TMC with RDR. Well done to Allan Schofield in Super Comp. Andy Dibley in TMC Super Gas, and Colin Millar in Outlaw Anglia. Respect too for Marc Huxley going #2 and Paul NoPrep for helping to get Baylee Ashdown into #3 in Pro ET.
"A special mention also goes to TMC team mates Tim Moore and Ron Bartlett. Ron seems to have found the traction, but couldn't hit the dial - we hope it all comes around for you in Eliminations. And finally, thanks to Simon Groves for keeping us all up to speed (you're welcome - Editor)."
Peter Nee Super Pro ET was won by Joe Kellett to whom congratulations as he had to borrow sister Leah's Dolly Daydream car after problems with his own dragster. Perfect ET sponsor Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield commented: What a cracking weekend with all of Team Twister. Massive problems initially followed by some real irritating gremlins but ultimately, got done what we needed to do. Some of you will have noticed the smoke from the engine on the last run but this was just a cracked rocker cover and oil getting onto the headers, easily fixed and no other major issues. Ran against Billy Gane in E1 and got my arse handed to me but could not have been beaten by a nicer guy or team.
Super Pro ET is a formidable bunch of teams who were all very welcoming and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my first of three events with them this year. As usual, the whole team were amazing. Brad, Purdie and Thomas worked really hard on Twister and overcame what seemed impossible odds to get a great result in the end. Charlotte was fantastic with her backup duties and Alan never missed with the tune. Lastly my darling wifey Hayley who kept the tempo high even when I got a bit low and did a brilliant job of towing the trailer with the Junior aboard. As always, a special thanks to our friends at Santa Pod Raceway for the fun, laughs and support. Next meeting for Twister is the Main Event so I need to spend some time in the lab ironing out the bugs.
ModUrStang Pro ET was the largest entry in the event, with Brett Featherstone the winner, see separate news item for Brett Featherstone's take on his first win.
Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET was won by Chris Redshaw racing as Odyssey Battery Drag Racing with sons Harry and Damion in Junior Dragsters. He commented: Just got home from a absolutely amazing weekend, it is so nice to be back at the track and have a catch up after the winter and what a start. One of my highlights of the weekend was the first time me and my beloved wife Tracy Redshaw have put both the boys into the lights together after all these years of racing, it was absolutely amazing. Both Harry and Damion have done amazing but unfortunately Damion got eliminated in his first round in his new car but Harry was still in. Then in the second round Harry got eliminated, but it was not over yet.
The boys left it to me on my first event in Harry’s Mustang. I had a amazing weekend and after some wonderful driving I managed to make it all the way to the finals and I won the event, it still has not sunk in and I can not wait to do it again. I want to say a massive thank you to my wonderful wife Tracy for everything she did the trophy belong to her more then me she had never done any crewing before so the team trained her up and she did absolutely amazing. Roll on the next event.
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator was won by Andy Bond over Al McSweeney. Andy took the win with three six second runs on the bounce, following tyres being required to be changed from 315 to 295 drag radials this year.
Renegade Race Fuels Outlaw Anglia was won by sponsor Jon Webster on a hole shot against Rob Stone who ran a best ET of 8.3613/156.86 in the final. We'll carry Jon's story later in the week, his car is still for sale and he ran a best of 7.0832/188.86 in round one.
Class organiser Colin Millar had overall the best performance with no less than four 7.0s in qualifying, Colin being aided by Jedd Guy who has the only six second OA in the UK. But Colin who had qualified first with 7.0151/192.22 was shut off for a leak in round one. He said: "Dave Warren shut me down with his eagle eyes with a fuel leak, thank you sir, silly me left a fuel fitting finger tight and it could have been a real bad situation but saved by the fantastic marshals at Santa Pod Santa Pod Raceway, thank you, thanks to crew chief Aaron Springford for all his hard work and Jedd Guy for all the tuning help, had a ball and made lots of progress with the new set up, thanks for all the support from everyone.
VW Pro: The category was won by the Subaru engined tubed chassised Beetle of Dave Crowhurst ran a 9.6834/134 bye when the nine second Jetta of Jacob Bailey was forced out with a broken driveshaft and insufficient time to repair. Earlier Jacob had a first time in 15 years matchup in competition with VWDRC chair Luke Stevenson who had managed to solve a head gasket issue on his dragster to run an event best of 9.5100/138.95. Luke's team member Robert Lindsay said "our own super crew of Andy Voce, Lee Brown, Gordon Darby and Jamie who made it all happen."
Robert continued "Massive congratulations to Jake Fronda, who in a borrowed car, in front of all his children for the first time, took first place in VW Sportsman!"
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster was won by the ebullient Mackenzie Love who wrote during the event: "It's time to reveal the BIG winter off season secret! Over winter we as a team have worked extremely hard to have a brand new looking car for the 2022 season. We have had a new roll cage built to perfection by a good buddy of ours Jason Phelps. Also we've got a new backrest, freshly painted wheels back and front and a nice fresh wrap with a complete different design! A little of controversy with the team on deciding the design but we got there in the end. Car looks absolutely fantastic and safe to say we're all chuffed to bits. Super exciting to have it out on the strip."
Officially ready to rock and roll now and hit the track.
After the race win he added: Well what can I say! We had Damion Redshaw round 1, a bye in round 2, Luke Fulton in the quarter finals, Jessica Bishop in the semi final, Daniel Weir in the final. And we bag the event win! Made our first ever final and we are so so proud as a team to announce we are the Lucas Oils Junior Dragster winners of the Festival of Power 2022!
My team, Chris Barnes, Sarah Mills, Josh Seabourne, and Dan Maby, I seriously from the bottom of my heart can't thank you enough. Seriously thank you so so much. Financial input, decidication, time, weekends booked off, just to make this all happen.
And to try and round this off, Santa Pod, startline crew, pit marshals, thank you so so much for everything you do for everyone racing here at the pod! Colin Theobald, Darryl Bradford - Thanks so much lads for all great commentary all weekend. Appreciate it so so much. Means so much to me because I always love hearing good positive stuff about me, my team and my car!
Keith Bartlett And the biggest thankyou of all goes to you Keith. Winning this event, I can't even put into words how incredible it is. Us all as racers love your facility and Santa Pod Raceway and we always come back for more because Santa Pod.... Its just my second home. And my headspace! Just thankyou so so much Keith for giving us all as racers an opportunity to come up to your facilities year after year and put on a show for the fans! Just thank you. Thanks so much to everyone involved. Love you all very much.
But one last thing to say...Grandad, I hope your were watching me mate. I can almost hear what you'd be saying right now if you were still here... Love you so such big man. And that is all. For now, goodnight and farewell.
Festival of Power media.
19th April: It was good to see overseas media at Santa Pod Raceway over the weekend. Our good friend Remco Scheelings from the Netherlands has written a report for his national motorsport web site at autosport.nl on Michel Tooren's triumph in Pro Modified.
Many photographers have been quick off the mark to post collections from the Festival of Power. The Facebook albums we located are from:
19th April: Happy Birthday for today to sponsor, Pro Modified driver and crew Andrew Wright, Outlaw Anglia Saxon racer Rob Turrington, VW Pro racer Ian Dale, Pro ET crewman Richard Bell and from Finland Eurodragsterholic Vesa Mursunen, have a great day guys!
Festival of Power results.
18th April: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's Festival of Power held at Santa Pod Raceway:
Fuel Funny Car: Kevin Chapman 4.9402/159.69 def. Steve Ashdown 5.7253/98.39
Nostalgia Funny Car: Tony Betts 6.1612/233.78 bye
Motorsport UK Pro Modified: Michel Tooren 6.0624/230.20 def. Nick Davies 6.0355/237.76
Track Worx Comp Eliminator: Spencer Tramm 11.1445/100.35 (11.55) def. Dan Williams 10.8266/91.57 (10.61) DQ red
Fast R Super Comp: Steve Hudson 8.903/136.87 (perfect 0.0003 RT) def. Leah Kellett 8.9155/164.86
Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas: Jon Morton 9.9902/153.11 def. Andy Dibley 9.9170/142.57
Peter Nee Super Pro ET: Joe Kellett 7.8730/168.54 (7.80) def. Mark Turner 8.4481/157.41 (8.42)
Modurstang Pro ET: Brett Featherstone 9.5800/139.38 (9.54) def. Simon Gough 8.6658/154.69 (9.68)
Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET: Chris Redshaw 15.8250/88.73 (15.59) def. Brian Huxley 18.901/71.49(18.91)
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Andy Bond 6.9995/209.92 def. Al McSweeney 12.3754/91.62
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Mackenzie Love 8.3059/77.60 (8.31) def. Daniel Weir 8.0460/79.51 (7.96) DQ red
Renegade Outlaw Anglia: Jon Webster 8.3689/115.24 def. Rob Stone 8.3613/156.86
VW Sportsman: Jake Fronda 18.8380/66.41 (18.53) def. Jon Crawford 17.6123/68.47 (16.70)
VW Pro: Dave Crowhurst 9.6834/143.82 (9.65) def. Jacob Bailey (9.99), broke
Banks Night Club Top Fuel Bike: Steve Woollatt 6.4462/192.11 def. Al Smith no-show
Taylors Trophy Super Street Bike: Steve Venables 6.8967/214.82 def. Daniel Donat Lencses 12.1098/64.16 DQ red
Leeks Landscapes Funny Bike: Stuart Crane 6.3251/213.77 def. Louis Davis broke
Suzukiperformancespares.co.uk Comp Bike: Chris Neary 8.0327/176.45 def. Jordan Kenway 8.2752/164.27
JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike: Stacey Reed 8.7452/120.92 def. Keith Wright 9.3142/165.45
Atlantic Fluid Tech 9.50 Bike: Rick Sawatzki 9.6467/129.57 def. Phil Harrison 9.6236/145.28
Blood Cancer UK ET Bike: Phil Pratt 9.2448/127.65 (9.08) def. Carl Hester 11.1772/125.09 (10.95)
Eurodragster.com Junior Drag Bike: Hollie King 11.7026/50.98 (11.55) def. Casey Holgate 8.7397/78.61 (8.30)
The event, which was incident free, was held under mainly sunny skies over three days in front of a large crowd. In addition to the above competition there were plenty of exhibition vehicles on site including the Top Fuel Dragsters of Ida Zetterström, Susanne Callin and Antti Horto and five jet propelled vehicles. The quickest Top Fuel time set was 3.8379/264.63 by Ida, 3.0175/281.10 to the eighth which we believe is the quickest ever in Europe.
Subject to official ratification the following records were set:
ACU Funny Bike ET: 6.401, Stuart Crane
ACU Funny Bike Speed: 213.77, Stuart Crane
ACU Super Street Bike ET: 6.776, Dániel Donát Lencsés
ACU Super Street Bike Speed: 220.37, Dániel Donát Lencsés
ACU Comp Bike ET: 6.801, Shawn Buttigieg
ACU Comp Bike Speed: 210.94, Shawn Buttigieg
The following Santa Pod Raceway track records were set:
Funny Bike ET: 6.3251, Stuart Crane
Funny Bike Speed: 213.77, Stuart Crane
Super Street Bike ET: 6.7760, Dániel Donát Lencsés
Super Street Bike Speed: 222.31, Steve Venables
Comp Bike ET: 6.7091, Shawn Buttigieg
Comp Bike Speed: 215.12, Shawn Buttigieg
Congratulations to Track Worx Comp Eliminator racer Rob Smallworth who won the Eurodragster.com/Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award of £50 supported by Cath and Tig Napier and to Modurstang Pro ET racer Brett Featherstone who won the Eurodragster.com/Twister Racing Perfect ET award of £50 supported by Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield.
Congratulations also to Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas racers Jon Morton and Andy Dibley who won the Bob's Photo Finish Award of £50 each posted by sponsor and longtime Eurodragster.com supporter Bob Roberts. Jon and Andy's finish line margin was 0.0011 seconds or 2.86 inches.
Thanks to David Anniwell of the Santa Pod Timing Crew for sending us detailed timing data, including test day results, which we have posted to our timing data area which you can see by clicking on Data, then Timing Data at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. Official results can be seen at Santa Pod's Official Results Site.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Festival of Power reports, results and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. Please join Simon in thanking Julian and Diana for their hard work over the race weekend, and well done to the Santa Pod Raceway track crew for maintaining a great racing surface throughout.
We look forward to publishing racer comments on the event tomorrow.
18th April: Happy Birthday for today to German Pro Modified racer Norbert Kuno, Finnish Super Street Bike racer Vesa Ruhanen, photographer Chris Eyre and bike racer Jack Shook. Have a great day guys.
Best wishes and get well soon to Venom Nostalgia Funny Car crew member and fuel altered racer Micky Moore who was taken to hospital yesterday and is undergoing surgery today.
At the age of 90, British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member “Big Daddy” Don Garlits updated his NHRA license last Wednesday at Roy Hill’s Drag Racing School dragster at Rockingham Dragway, running quarter-mile runs of 6.393 and 6.81 seconds both at 182mph. “Big” plans to put his license to use at the end of the month when he brings his fully electric dragster to Palm Beach (Fla.) International Raceway.
Festival of Power coverage.
14th April: Eurodragster.com is in place at Santa Pod Raceway to give you coverage from the 2022 Festival of Power.
Coverage will consist of photos of on-track action for the test day being held today courtesy Julian, plus on-track and pit photos from Julian and Diana respectively on Friday, Saturday and Sunday posted at the end of the day. We will also bring you the best times today, but not in real time as we will be walking the pits.
To see our coverage go to our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored event coverage page.
4 Go Mad In Dorset.
14th April: Many thanks to Gasser Circus co-ordinator Nick Brooke Langham for sending a preview of some of the new builds of Austin Devons and Dorsets for the class:
Winter is always a busy time for racers, be it with updates or for some trying to get their new car complete and ready for the up and coming season. Within the Gasser Circus ranks, upgrades are taking place to almost every car from the 2021 season, but for this update we will focus on 3 new cars which are nearing completion, and one late comer to the party. Each of the cars have something in common apart from being Gassers, and that is make and model as each one is an Austin Dorset.
First up is the chopped Dorset of Joanne Hollamby, if the name sounds familiar that is because she is the wife of Gasser Circus racer Jason Hollamby who campaigns ‘Jumpin Jalapeno’. I have a feeling when Joanne’s is finished, she may have to remind Jason which gasser is his. The Dorset was originally imported by Russ Pepper who had planned to build a race car and race in the Gasser Circus, but with that car getting closer to completion, Russ decided to sell on his project. The Dorset now has a very healthy and very new Small Block Chevy all the way from Norway sat between the chassis rails, which has been on the dyno and produced 580 bhp @ 6,7000 rpm. As I write this the car will be heading into the paint booth and will emerge metallic green and will be called ‘Wicked Witch’. Look out for this husband and wife team racing each other in the Gasser Circus this year.
The second Dorset will be driven by its owner multiple Gasser Circus Champion Sean ‘Chili’ Milsom. Sean is normally seen behind the wheel of his 1947 Morris Van ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ but this time the Small Block Ford in his Morris has been has been somewhat overtaken by a Blown Big Block Chevy in his new Dorset race car. The engine has been put together by John Wright and will shortly be run up on the dyno.
The Dorset was located by Sean via Racing Junk in 2014. The car turns out to have an interesting racing past through several owners, going back to the 60s. When it arrived in the UK it had a decent engine in the form of a 383 Chevy, but with a Toyota front clip was not Gasser Circus compliant. So while Tony Pearson and Drew Mason junked that setup in favour of a tube axle, all three decided an upgrade in the engine department and back end was also in order. The zoom style headers are the cherry on the cake and Sean hopes to have these warming the Santa Pod air later in the season.
The final Dorset of the 3 Musketeers is the one I am building. This one beginning its life as a Street Rod in the 80s, before Andy Robinson created a Pro Mod for its then owner Andy Cobb. The unfinished car eventually sold to Matt Whittaker, who like Sean had a car that was not Gasser Circus compliant. The answer was to remove the heavily modified body from the tube chassis that Andy had created, sell on the chassis and have a new box one built for the car, by Zane Llewellyn.
The body was taken care of by Merv Barnett and he returned it back to stock, a huge undertaking. Then with the project a roller, Matt made the decision to sell, and that is where I came in. The Dorset under my ownership has been into the workshop of Tony Pearson for a full roll cage, steel panel interior, brakes, headers etc. Currently the car is going into paint with Phil Norman and Neil Melliard and if life continues as normal should be out later in the season.
At this rate we will have 6 Austin Devon or Dorset’s racing in the Circus, with news of another one just purchased in California and heading to the Gasserville workshop of owner John Gumble and Tom Margesson. This one destined for 2023, but for now, it looks like being a stellar season for the Gasser Circus. We will catch up with some of the other cars in another post.
Gasser Circus – Racing the Dream.
Drag Race Union's perfect light award.
14th April: Drag Race Union administrator Markus Münch has announced there will be a special cash award for the DRU Challenge which commences this Friday at the Festival of Power at SPR.
"The Challenges stand for participants, sponsors, and races. The lights are green. In addition, there is a special award for the Pro and Supro ET Challenge. Glenn Pallant is offering €100 for the first perfect light in 2022. The 0.000sec RT must be driven in qualifying or the elimination. A photo of the timeslip brings you €100, redeemable from Markus at firstname.lastname@example.org."
You can keep up to date with the participants of this year's Super Pro ET, Pro ET and Extreme Outlaw Challenges by going to the DRU homepage.
Henderson's long haul.
13th April: We congratulated Dave Henderson in his Audi RS3 for winning the VW Heads Up elimination at Santa Pod Raceway's GTi Festival last Sunday. However we got confused to see Dave's car with its DH Automotive/MRC livery in the Facebook video of the Spitfire Raceway event at Perranporth, Cornwall the previous day. Could it have been that the Falkirk, central Scotland based racer had travelled the length and breadth of the country for the weekend's racing?
The answer was "yes". Dave told us "I trailered the car from Falkirk to Cornwall to be honest, but it was a tight schedule, although I did run the quick ET at Spitfire with a 9.4s at 159mph, I didn't have time to stay to get the free valet from Hayes Detailing as I had to get to the Pod in time for Sunday."
"My car is an Audi RS3 with a DAZA engine fully blueprinted and sleeved, built at Race Developments in Gloucester. The turbo kit and intake is from RPC Motorsport. The car also has a drag brake setup and 15” Hoosier DR2 drag radial tyres. The suspension consists of Bilstein B16 custom built shocks and springs, stainless creations custom exhaust, and Cortex EBC boost control. There is a custom fuelling system which runs on pump petrol or E85 flex fuel. I tune my own boost control and fuelling settings at the track."
Dave's business, based in Falkirk, is a dealer for MRC tuning in Banbury. We're sure Dave will continue to run in RWYB races and VW Heads Up (not being eligible for MSUK events as he doesn't have a roll cage), so other racers will have to be on their game to better his times.
Crawford Motorsports' tribute to Dennis.
13th April: The Crawford Motorsports VW Sports team managed to put up a reasonably robust defence to their delayed title defence in 2021, finishing runner-up to eventual champion Rob Creswell, writes Jon Crawford.
A brief pause in the racing plans to get married (after three postponements, thanks to Covid) was broken for the VWDRC test day in March 2022. These test days are invaluable, as with the restricted numbers the only non-mechanical) limit on track time is the driver getting dizzy. Jon managed 26 passes on the day, equivalent to an entire season of competitive runs, and with a couple of changes saw the car and driver back into the 14s. More importantly, 20 of the runs were all within a tenth of a second, and so the team have a reasonable baseline.
Jon also took the opportunity to refresh the look of the car. We have always had a distinctive brand, both on-track and off, and we certainly didn’t want to fade into the background this year. Some of you may know that whilst Jon has been racing for a relatively short time, he actually started attending drag racing in 1979. This callow youth had many heroes in the sport, but one always stood out. Dennis Priddle always seemed to be on the outside. A true independent with no particular affiliation or tie to one track or club, he also produced some of the most awesome cars. When he sadly passed away in 2021, it hit everyone hard. Being someone who knows why rules are made, Jon had to watch so many funerals over Zoom over the last two years, and it was whilst watching the service for Dennis that an idea was born.
Jon will never be in Funny Car, or Top Fuel, but he loves doing what he does. So, in his small way he wanted to pay tribute to his hero. So, for 2022, the Crawford Motorsports VW Golf will honour the memory of an inspiration. Jeff Glasser (who did the original paint in 1977) has been a huge help, and likes what we are doing, whilst both Nicola Priddle and Tracey Boden have approved the plan.
Since this photo was taken, the design has been completed and will be on track for first qualifying this Friday. The scheme may not mean a lot to many on the banking, but hopefully, “those who know, will know”.
We are running entirely out of Jon’s pocket this year, and hopefully we can repeat what we did in 2019 by using prize money to fund the next event. Like everyone, we are always looking for marketing partners. However, we are looking for smaller deals so that we can protect the integrity of the tribute. If you are interested, come and find Jon at the track, or drop him a line via the Crawford Motorsports Facebook page.
Finally, good luck and good health to all riders, drivers, fans and officials. It's going to be an awesome year.
Dakota date approaching.
13th April: In two weekends' time on Saturday 23rd April, Dakota Raceway will hold its second drag and drift day 2022, writes organiser Lee Child. But racers will need to sign up quickly as the drifting competition is already a sell-out.
There is a points championship for cars with Nathan Lang (Nissan GTR35) leading on 30 points, with Mark Swanborough (Tesla) and Kevin Headon (Pontiac Le Mans) on 20 points, and Nick Martin (Mercedes-AMG GLE 53), Simon Cooksey (Lichfield GTR) and Pete Lane (Mercury Station Wagon) each on 10 points. There will also be National Sprint Association bikes whose ACU championship formally begins a week later on 30th April-1st May.
To register for the event you will need to go to straightliners.events and click on Events, then Drag and Drift Events, where you will find a Drag & Drift Entry Form. All competitors, cars and bikes, should complete this form; you can also buy entry tickets by clicking on Drag and Drift Events.
The event will include 1/4 mile run what you brung, a 1/8 heads up no prep drag race competition for cash, drifting and clubstands. Spectators will be welcome for £10 on the gate, RWYBs can also get in on the gate. Track action will take place from 9am to 4pm.
For racers, pre entry will save you money. For instance, if you pre-enter the 1/4 mile run what ya brung, which includes an admission ticket for £60 (compared to £70 on the day).
If you want to take part in the 1/8 mile heads up drag race cash day for cars, which includes unlimited run what you brung, pre-entry including driver entry and one admission pre entry will cost £105 (£115 on the day). All vehicles are welcome. In the 1/4 mile drag strip run what ya brung, you can grudge race your friends and carry a passenger down the track for £40 (aged 18 and over). The 1/8 mile drag race for cash competition will be run Street Outlaw-style. Drag racers will have the chance to win £400 per category, first across the line wins in a no time 1/8 mile drag race. Each sixteen car category has a £400 winner takes all prize fund; in the event if numbers in each category are not for filled there will be a reduced prize fund for example 8 car category £200 prize fund and 4 car category £150 prize fund. In event of the category exceeding 16 cars the prize will go up from £400.
Lee says Dakota Raceway are looking for sponsors to increase the prize funds so be aware things are subject to change. All categories will have the 16 car pairings decided from a out the hat selection until the final two race for the money. Details of entry fee and classes are:
Entry fee: Driver entry is £105 (£115 on the day). If you get eliminated from the 1/8 mile no time drag race, you then can do timed 1/4 mile test runs at no extra charge. Passengers have an additional charge of £40.
The categories are:
Pro AWD: Modified, competition tyres , interior removed.
Street AWD: Factory appearance, full interior.
Pro Small Tyre Rear Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres maximum height 30 inches maximum tread width 11 inches, interior removed.
Pro Rear Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres , interior removed.
Street Rear Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior.
Pro Front Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres , interior removed.
Street Front Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior.
13th April: A very Happy Birthday for today to nitro guru Herb Andrews, Top Fuel crew member Luke Shakeshaft, from Sweden former Pro Stock Bike racer and Gabriella Nikolovska aka Mrs Kenneth Holmberg, former Top Methanol Funny Car racer Leif Andreasson and photographer Marcus Möller. Have a great day all from us at Eurodragster.com.
We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate former Swedish Pro Comp, Top Methanol and Nitro Funny Car racer and team owner Leif Helander who was recently inducted into the Scandinavian Vintage Dragrace Association Hall of Fame. Leif now joins fellow inductees Anders Lantz & Tony Jönsson (2020), Bengt Stafberg & Örjan Molin (2019) and photo journalist Bo Bertilsson who was the very first inductee in 2018. Thanks to Jerry Cookson for reporting Leif's honour, and sending photos by Dick Parnham, Nick Hughes and SVDA.
Back by popular demand Memories of a Warwickshire Drag Strip Facebook group has published another collection of photos captured for posterity by some of the old race track's loyal photographers, writes page admin Jerry Cookson. ‘It’s with a huge thank you to your entire photo discs so that I could extract over 460 images from 60 discs and include them in our latest albums – People of the Raceway 2006,’ says Jerry. ‘With so many images to upload (466 in total) I anticipate this particular year will be published over four or more parts. I have credited all images where I can from knowing who supplied the discs at the time. So here we go with Part 1 of People of the Raceway 2006. Hope you enjoy the albums.
Festival Of Power – racers' pitting update.
12th April: Thanks to Santa Pod Raceway General Manager Darren Prentice for letting us know about pitting at the Festival Of Power.
"Due to the bumper entry at this year’s Festival of Power and limited pitting space, racers are reminded that only 1 motorhome or 1 caravan is allowed per pit space.
"This is a necessary but fair step to ensure we can accommodate such a successful entry and give everyone the chance to have accommodation within their pit."
Festival of Power featured on Motorsport Radio.
12th April: A face for radio, some say, but really it’s also a live video podcast on Motorsport Radio this evening from 7pm, writes VWDRC Chair and Santa Pod Raceway announcer Luke Stevenson.
Join Joshua and Luke as they interview Nitro pilots Antti Horto and Jason Phelps, Pro Mod driver Annie Wallace and Sportsman ET racer Steve Mellors days before the Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway.
You can catch Motorsport Radio live on their website at this link or for a replay go to their Facebook page or Youtube channel.
Also well worth a listen is the VWDRCTV show from yesterday when regular presenters Luke and Paul Jordan were joined by VW Sportsman racer Jon Crawford and VW Heads Up winner from GTi Festival David Henderson. Topics of discussion included bracket racing, cages for quick RWYB cars and Jon's new colour scheme for his Golf VR6. You can see the show on Facebook and it will shortly be uploaded to Youtube.
Festival of Power perfect awards.
12th April: £200 is up for grabs at this weekend's Festival of Power courtesy of Eurodragster.com and our sponsors.
This weekend's Eurodragster.com/Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset at the commencement of the season to £50. The money will be paid to the first racer at the event to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available in all classes during both qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Cath and Tig Napier of Modurstang Pro ET team Bad Habit Racing.
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available in Signing On or from Eurodragster.com staff.
The Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award supported by Andy Hadfield and the Twister Race Team has been reset at the commencement of the season to £50. The money will be paid to the first racer at the event to run +0.000 on index or dial-in. The Perfect ET Award is available in Peter Nee Super Pro ET, Modurstang Pro ET, Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET, B Fast R Super Comp, Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), VW Pro, VW Sportsman, JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike, Atlantic Fluid Tech 9.50 Bike, Blood Cancer UK ET Bike, and Eurodragster Junior Drag Bike. but will only be awarded for the first Perfect ET of the weekend. The Perfect ET Award is presented in association with Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield of the Twister Race Team.
Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect ET Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available in Signing On or from Eurodragster.com staff.
Bob's Photo Finish Award, which is presented in association with Eurodragster.com sponsor Bob Roberts, will award £50 each to the racers involved in the closest race of eliminations at this weekend's event.
The closest race will be decided upon distance rather than time since, for example, 0.001 seconds at 230 mph is further than 0.002 seconds at 110 mph. For this reason the official timing data will need to be consulted so the winners will be announced here on Eurodragster.com as soon as possible after the event and the winners will then be contacted for their preferred method of payment.
Bob's Photo Finish Award is open to all classes during eliminations only and although Eurodragster.com decals are not mandatory we would appreciate if it they are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available in Signing On.
VWDRC's Elapsed Times.
12th April: 35 years and counting for the Volkswagen Drag Racing Club and no mid life crisis in sight. We had a blip in our late teenage years but club member numbers have never been higher than today, writes club chair Luke Stevenson.
This year we are offering out over £20,000 in club prize funds which for a sportsman drag racing class is unheard of, and it’s definitely attracting some of the next generation drag racers to us.
You can read all about the club and its 35 year history, get information on our racers and follow the season with our 2022 club magazine “Elapsed Times” These will be hot off the press and available from the VWDRC pits this weekend for just £2.50. There are also mugs, stickers and apparel available but there is a limited number available so swing by our pits as early as possible.
As always we are supported so well by our headline sponsors GP Turbos, Hangar 30, The Car Kitchen, Cg Motorsport Performance Clutches, R-Tech Performance, White Label consulting & managed services, Pro Race Engineering, Darkside Developments and also by our associate club sponsors Bj’s Speedshop, 32 Speedshop Malta, Harvey Property Developments, Track ready, Wrp Paint and Restoration, European FWD, EST Performance, Renegade Race Fuels, BJ Bates Electrical and, as announced on episode 10 of VWDRCTV last week, Serck Motorsport.
12th April: Following from our spy picture posted on 8th April (pictured right), Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Al Williamson carried out a glitzy reveal of the rebuild Howlin' Hauler yesterday. You can see the video of the reveal at this Facebook link.
The Hauler needed repair after a brush with the wall at the STP Greenlight Nationals last year. Al said "We are now sure that the cause was the tyre spinning on the rim so I have sorted the wheels out so it can’t happen again. A big thank you to Jedd Guy at Shorty's Hot Rods for making it straight and going in the right direction again. Also thanks to Robinson Race Cars, to Graham Smith at Serck MotorSports for supplying new wheels and other parts needed to fix it, to Darren at Porsche Garage for paint, Darren West for design of the revised paint job and Seven stars for the wrap and graphics."
Al's crew at the Festival of Power will be Dave Sidaway, Iain and June.
Pioneer stories: Liquidator.
11th April: The latest episode in our Pioneer stories today, in the Anglias of Yesteryear collection, features Liquidator, told to Mick Gleadow.
The Liquidator is one of those memorable cars from the early days of UK drag racing that people still talk about. It had a great name and the roof chop gave it a very striking appearance. Built by Geoff and Norman Barrett, Roger Horn and Mick Cornelius, who all came from the Luton and Dunstable area, its first edition ran between 1966 and 1968. There were two other versions that competed in the 1970s and the final version latterly raced under other names and ended up being converted for street use.
The story and history of Liquidator, is at this link, including 90 mostly previously unpublished images. You can see our list of Pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link in the main menu.
Eurodragster.com thanks Geoff and Norman, together with crew member Rick Young and brief later owner Herb Andrews for providing their story to Mick Gleadow, and Nick Pettitt for help with transcribing, editing and proof reading the feature and making archive images available, and Clive Rooms for providing further information.
Editor's note: Thanks to John Hunt for his organisational skills in both series of Pioneer stories that we have presented. A third series is planned which will be published from January 2023.
Festival of Power preview - car classes.
11th April: Following on from yesterday's report on bike classes, there are a large number of car class race debuts, class debuts, rebuilds and returns after layoffs at the Festival of Power, which we highlight below:
There are no less than eleven nitro fuelled cars competing, the most at a UK event since September 2019. In Top Fuel, the trio of Antti Horto, Ida Zetterström and Susanne Callin will be flying the flag for Rune Fjeld Motorsports, and will be at each FIA round later in the season. Latest equipment and world class performance will be the order of the day. Nitro Funny Car has Kevin Kent making the debut of his West Ten Motorsport Chevrolet Monte Carlo with the tuning expertise of the legendary John 'Bodie' Smith from the US. Kevin Chapman and his Thermoreg Racing team have engaged the help of famed US tuner Wayne Dupuy to give them a leg up in the four race Funny Car Cup. Jason Phelps in Gladiator and Steve Ashdown in The Undertaker are the others in the four car field.
Meanwhile the Nostalgia Funny Cars, running over 1320ft, will be running as a standalone class. Five teams have been announced and another three are in development. Tim Garlick has a new engine in Apache, the old one run for eight years to five second timeslips; Rob Elsom's Dirty Deeds Camaro has a new driver, Jayne Kay; Paul Harris in his Dennis Priddle tribute Chevy Monza has a revised crew; and class spokesman Tony Betts has continued to develop his tuneup with crew chief John Wright aiming for a five.
Pictured left to right: Ida Zetterström, Kevin Kent's new Monte Carlo and Tim Garlick.
MSA Pro Modified has an eight car field with well-sorted cars continuing the high level of competition from last year. All cars have been rebuilt over the winter with small tweaks designed to improve performance; we also welcome overseas visitors Dulamon Jean and Michel Tooren.
In Track Worx Competition Eliminator, Andrew 'Fred' Hone is making his first appearance as a driver since 2019 and we anticipate he will be making a change in class and index with a new engine. Jordan Payne is concentrating on university studies for an Automotive Engineering degree and will miss the first few races, however, will be making an appearance at The Doorslammers. The first entrant in the brand new VW classes in Comp Eliminator will be Alex Leiserach whose 'Second Coming' Single Cab VW pickup proved highly entertaining and should run the numbers once sorted, the chassis being built by Robinson Racecars.
BeFastR Super Comp has Gerd Habermann for the first time since 2019, Gerd driving the Ravenol sponsored dragster. A longtime exponent of Jet cars, Gerd's new project "Bombshell" is a new build rocket funny car, with the ultimate goal to beat the existing world record of Sammy Miller of 3.58s. A race debut for Richard Tunstall who has run his 'Ted's Toy' Brogie Roadster, built by his late stepdad Kevin Cerasale, at run what ya brungs in 2021 Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas welcomes visitor from Germany Marianne Wisotzke in a BMW E30, repaired following it going on its roof at Clastres last year. Jazmine Tunstall will share her dad Richard's 'Ted's Toy' and both will be aided by seasoned races Jeff and Belinda Bull. A welcome back for Morrice Boys Racing, with driver Collin Morrice out of racing for the last two years.
Pictured left to right: Alex Leiserach, Gerd Habermann and Jazmine/Richard Tunstall.
Peter Nee Super Pro ET has Harald Scherschinski from Geroda, Germany in a black Spitzer dragster. Collin Morrice is making his first appearance since 2019 joining it in that year from Super Comp. Lee Darby in his Chevy 3100 pickup is returning after a layoff since 2017.
ModUrStang Pro ET has a class debut for the familiar Arlon Vanke tribute Duster of Stuart Kiwi Thompson who has run in Nostalgia Super Stock for several years. Dave Fulton will have a Chevy Nova bought from Neil Bell and campaigned by Lee Huxley last year. Dan Holloway is making his class debut with the Rattler altered which he has built up over the last year or so and tested in March at RWYBs. Dave Rudd returns in the Banzai Cobra for the first time since 2020. AC Bell makes his race debut at the tender age of 16 with his 'Teenage Dream' 523ci Dodge Dart; in licensing passes AC ran a strong 9.8079/139.87. Warren Watts makes his racing debut with the Camaro campaigned for the last few years by Dave Fulton. Laura Baynton in Capricious returns to racing for the first time since 2019. Dave and Simon Fultons' brother Dan Fulton makes his race debut in a 632ci Pontiac Firebird formerly owned by the late Dudge Durrant. Dan's first time out to try the car was last June, he will be the fourth member of the Fulton family racing at the same event. Kieran Turner will be the latest driver of Grumpy's Dodge (with larger 565ci engine) in Pro ET after tuition from the Paul Marston Drag Racing School. Meanwhile, Dalton Scarlett, owner of the Hooligan Fordson, makes his class debut in a Ford Zephyr Mk2 which we've seen at the track a few years ago, before its colourful handpainted logos.
Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET has several race debuts. Odyssey Battery racing has now expanded into the class from Junior Dragster with JD dad Christopher Redshaw in a Ford Mustang being joined by Stephen West in a Nissan Leaf with an honest engine size of 0ci. Michael Franklin makes his debut in a Mazda RX8, while Dominic Hensman is racing a VW Golf but eschewing the VWDRC classes at this event. Ashley Symons makes his first appearance since 2020. Father of the class, so to speak, Brian Huxley has a new Buick Roadmaster Wagon which should be a majestic presence on the track.
Pictured left to right: Paul Morton, Ian Dance and Anna-Lena Scherschinski.
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator has the debut of Paul Morton, a Ford Zodiac/Zephyr Mk1 fanatic whose three cars have been featured in several TV programmes and Youtube videos as well as being displayed at many shows. His race car is supported by Serck Motorsport. Dave Reed is also new to the class with a RWD converted Fiesta Mk6 which we previously saw at the Doorslammers with 10.1s and 141mph his best performance to date.
VW Pro includes a race debut for Noel Sosso who has raced at lifestyle events in a mid 11s Mk1 Golf. A return for Jake Fronda in his Golf Van, reworked completely by RNJ Motorsport (Rob Judge) with a 460ci big block Ford V8 with tunnel ram and straight front axle gasser style, Jake last racing in Championship competition at Bug Jam 2013. Jonathan Newell in a Seat Leon Cupra R, named The Lagstar which gives a hint that he has a turbo. Emma Sadler of Shakey J Racing moves from VW Sportsman to VW Pro with a New Beetle. Ian Dance is making his first appearance since 2017 in an FWD Beetle Cabrio, now with a 4.5l engine. Charlie Roberts has moved up from Sportsman to Pro with a wild-looking FWD VW Up! named 5Up.
As an entry level class VW Sportsman, which now covers 12.00+ dial ins (VW Pro still has a 12.99 maximum dial) has attracted a number of new racers, Darren Walsh in a Mk1 Golf GTi, Hazel Carter in a VW Passat while husband Rob has his Passat rebuilt with full tube chassis and LS power. Alex Day moves across from Heads Up competition to VW Sportsman in a Mk4 Golf, Rhys Finney makes his debut in a Lupo, Nigel Gregson in a Skoda Octavia, Jon Gallant in a Scirocco and Jerry Sadler in a Beetle as Shakey J Racing with VW Pro racer Emma Sadler. Martin Ayton returns for the first time since 2020.
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster has 29 cars, Nieve Deevey, Teddy Howe and Grace Smith making their debuts. Good also to see Liam McDonald back for the first time since 2019, and Anna-Lena Scherschinski from Germany making her UK debut.
Lovers of Jets will be well catered for with Fireforce 3 and Firestorm jet funny cars, and Fireforce 5 and Split Second jet dragsters entertaining the crowd, with the amazing road-legal jet VW pickup Oklahoma Willy putting on a show.
GTi Festival review.
11th April: Yesterday's GTi Festival at Santa Pod Raceway had the first round of VW Heads Up. Congratulations to David Henderson in his DH Automotive/MRC Audi RS3 on winning the competition.
Despite 14 cars entering for the 16 car field, mechanical woes cut the number down to eight for qualifying. David had a 0.4 advantage on the rest of the field, qualifying with a 9.4067/156.35 with Paul Jordan's Polo in second place on 9.8797/144.77. These two met in the final when David ran a great 9.2600/159.63 to Paul's tyre-slipping 10.2335/142.94. Full results can be seen at Santa Pod Raceway's results page.
There were plenty of other cars at the event, with jet cars Fireforce 3 (6.9644/169.76) and Firestorm (6.6063/158.54) making early shut off runs before their scheduled appearances at the Festival of Power. The quickest wheel driven cars were the two seater dragster (8.0023/169.81), MRC Tuning's Dean Simmonds (9.0097/161.92), the Golvo Volvo-powered Golf of Joe Bristow running a PB of 9.0729/157.40, Irfan Patel's 9.1327/152.6, David Henderson's 9.2542/159.06 in the VWHU semi final, Paul Jordan's 9.525/148.58 and Richard Milton's 9.9766/146.65 PB in his RS3 engined VW Caddy.
Photographer Alice Fairhead has posted 132 photos to a Facebook gallery. You can also see a podcast review of the event at VWDRCTV, a weekly chat show with VWDRC racers shown live on Facebook and also uploaded to VWDRCTV Youtube channel.
11th April: Happy Birthday for today to ace car painter and future Old School Altered racer Bryan Whitfield, expat Swedish Top Fuel racer Jöran Persåker, Super Gas/Super Pro ET racer Collin Morrice and former Shakespeare County Raceway tech guru Simon Day. Have a great day guys.
Photo galleries from the recent Melbourne Raceway Season Opener have been uploaded by:
JT's new blower.
10th April: Many thanks to Pro Modified and Super Pro ET racer John Tebenham for letting us know about a significant upgrade to his The Fabulous Lighting McQueen '53 Corvette Pro Mod:
I never want to stand still in life and I race probably two of the most photographed cars in UK drag racing. I have just bought a 42k blower off the one and only Mike Janis and he has agreed this is one of the best blowers in the world.
Now it’s all up to the incredible Luke Robinson. I know there aren’t many of him, but if you ever get offered one, get him as his programme will absolutely transform how you run the team, and save you money long term.
Massive thanks to Keith for putting The Doorslammers on, we all need a man with passion to own the best drag racing track in Europe. I have entered The Doorslammers with both cars, as how can I leave my little white Pop at home?
I keep getting people trying to buy the Pop as they want to race in the brilliant Outlaw Anglias. Don’t find me in the bar after we have been drinking, as I might just sell it.
We are going all out to win. Be afraid - be very afraid. You can find John at his JT Racing Facebook page.
Team photo © and courtesy JT.
Festival of Power preview - bike classes.
10th April: Being the first SPRC UK Championship race of the year, there are a large number of race debuts, class debuts, rebuilds and returns after layoffs at the Festival of Power, which we highlight below for the bike classes:
In Banks Nightclub Top Fuel Bike, Shawn Rodman makes his first racing appearance on track at SPR since May 2011, with a new Harley based twin which he is running with his team including Nick Saunders, Ashley Burcombe, Ben Mace and Shawn's partner Karen Watson; see Shawn's write-up on 2nd April. As reported on Friday, Neil Midgley has entered the race on the King Racing/Cannon Motorsports Puma Engineering bike which he will be riding for the first time. Rene van den Berg is at the track for the first time since September 2019.
In Leeks Landscapes Funny Bike, Louis Davies is back in the class after a brief foray in 2020. His competition will be tough, with two bikes from Warpspeed Racing (Stuart Crane, who had success at the Man Cup Finals, and Mark Smith), and the powerful machines of Lorcan Parnell (who has a new rear-facing exhaust system) and Roger Moore (who has a re-worked head and pistons, new valves and BME rods).
From the Netherlands, Aswin Le Noble on his Pro Stock Bike will be racing in Suzukiperformancespares.co.uk Comp Bike at this event. Leo Lester has moved up to Comp Bike from 8.50 Bike with his Hayabusa, whereas long-time Super Street Bike racer Graham Dance has moved across from Super Street Bike, eager to qualify for eliminations.
Pictured, left to right: Lorcan Parnell (testing on 9th April), Dániel Donát Lencsés, Jonny Hines
Taylor's Trophy Super Street Bike sees overseas competitors again for the first time since 2019 with Dániel Donát Lencsés from Hungary and Margot Schmidt from the Netherlands. Dániel went to the Man Cup Finals in the US to collect and test his new DME bike and ran a 6.883/215 PB with it, so he will be looking for similar times. Welcome back also to long time competitor Dave Thomas. 2021 Champion Steve Venables has undertaken a complete rebuild with a 6.7 run in his sights to stay at the front.
A large 14 bike field in JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike has several new faces. Martin Hallett and Craig Wright have moved up from 9.50 Bike with new machines, whereas Jonny Hines and Dan De'ath are new to the class with bikes eventually likely to run in Super Street Bike. Keith Wright has done RWYB on a Hayabusa; it's also a welcome back for Gary Malone who last entered 8.50 Bike in 2014 and to Andy Haley for the first time since 2020.
Steven Jackson and Dion Hartley are new to Atlantic Fluid Tech 9.50 Bike, both riding Suzuki GSXR 1000s,; Carl Thomas is also a new name with a Suzuki Hayabusa, having made a lot of testing runs close to the index in February and March. Alex Hope is taking a meeting out from Super Street Bike racing and Andy Head has moved from Comp Bike which he last ran in 2020.
Pictured, left to right: Anna Sasiak, Jake Boden (photos courtesy Pudgeys Pictures), RugRat Racing.
Blood Cancer UK ET Bike has former JDB Champion Scott Collier for the first time since 2018, on his Suzuki TL1000R, with Steve Cope of TK Cope Moto as a new sponsor. Jake Boden is new to the class, on a newly built Suzuki GSX750, a new challenge that he met in testing in March. Allan Davies has entered ET Bike on a Suzuki GSX 1100cc as parts are not yet ready for his Top Fuel Bike. Former JDB racer Will Pickering will be joining the class for the first time on a Kawasaki ZX6R, as will Jack Hartley on a Buell 1125R. And RWYB rider Anna Sasiak, known as The 'rents Go Racing is in championship racing for the first time. Carl Hester, brings his NSA sprint Suzuki GSX1170 to the track to join brother Gary as C&G Racing.
Eurodragster.com Junior Drag Bike sees the racing debut of Maggie Smallman who licensed on 26th March, whereas RugRat Racing teammate Lyra Humber has a new bike, which with Casey Holgate's are in white awaiting lettering. We also welcome Anouk Burgering from the Netherlands on a Yamaha YZF-R125.
You can see the full entry list via our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored event coverage page or on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at this link.
10th April: We've several birthdays to celebrate today. A very Happy Birthday to Nitro Junkies team member Lizz McCarthy-Charman, slingshot racer and drag racing historian Mike Gleadow, Santa Pod Raceway announcer and model car collector extraordinaire Colin Theobald, former Junior Dragster racer and budding videographer Thomas Cook-Abbott, Williams Bros Racing patriarch, hot rodder and racer Keith Williams, Comp Bike racer Leo Lester and German photographer/altered owner Harald Czekalla, have a great Birthday all on this sunny Sunday!
Commiserations to UK Top Methanol Funny Car racer Rob Turner at the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Pacific Division event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After a clean 5.953/223.99 which briefly placed him no.1, his second run was an out of shape 11.935/69.81 on which he was forced to lift, leaving him on the bump spot. In the final session, another wayward run of 11.588/72.37 left Rob prone, and Nick Januik, after a major fire and damage in session one, bumped him down to #9 and out of the ladder.
Festival of Power racer update.
9th April: Many thanks to to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us details of track opening and signing on at next weekend's Festival of Power, 15th-17th September, including scrutineering times.
The main gates to the track will open at 08.00 on Thursday, 14th April.
Thursday, 14th April:
09.00-18.00 Scrutineering for all cars at the scrutineering bay
10.00-18.00 Signing on office opens
16.00 Scrutineering for bikes at the scrutineering bay.
Friday, 15th April:
07.00 Signing on office opens
07.00 Scrutineering opens for cars and bikes
09:30 Track open for qualifying
Saturday 16th April:
07.00 Signing on office opens
07.00 Scrutineering opens for cars and bikes
09:30 Track open for qualifying/eliminations
Sunday 17th April:
07.30 Signing on and scrutineering open.
09.30 Track open for qualifying/eliminations.
The detailed running orders and printable entry list can be seen in our event coverage page.
Junior Dragbike class sponsors 2022.
9th April: Many thanks to Kerryanne Frazier for an update on Eurodragster.com Junior Drag Bike sponsors for 2022:
The Junior Drag Bike Club has three new sponsors for this years six ACU championship events. Stuart Crane from Warpspeed Racing, Nick Pepper from Suzuki Performance Spares and Bobby Frazier, a former Junior Drag Bike rider herself, have all generously contributed to enable a prize fund of £100 for the Winner and £50 for the Runner Up at each of the six rounds.
All three sponsors are keen to support the junior riders and the future of Drag Bikes as a sport. The riders, crew and parents will all be extremely grateful.
Editor's note: we will be running two news items previewing the entries to Junior Drag Bike and other classes in the next few days - stay tuned.
Ten for Modified 100e's first round.
9th April: Thanks to Modified 100e co-ordinator Scott Collin who has confirmed the ten car line-up of cars for the category's first round at the Best of British 23rd-24th April.
The provisional lineup of cars will comprise:
Race Events Calendar:
Insanity Racing and The Black Pearl announce sponsors.
9th April: Super Pro ET racer Andy Thetford has been in touch to announce his 2022 sponsors: Insanity Racing and The Black Pearl Super Pro ET Camaro would like to thank Thomson Elphick Accountancy for their continued support for the 2022 season.
Also we are proud to announce the arrival of Skye Cloud who have also joined us in this incredible sport. Check out Skye Cloud’s 10th Anniversary Video and see how they can help you in their fast moving industry which has seen them become ‘Best in Class’ Cloud based supplier.
Jeff Bull Race Engines Swap Meet update.
9th April: Whilst we hear that some cars posted on our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet sell within a few days, others deserving a new home remain unsold. Here's a reminder of a few.
Built for the Street Eliminator class, the Bentley Continental raced by original owner Steve Neimantas and then Martin Smith to low 7s is for sale from current owners Academy Motorsport. Built by Eurodragster.com sponsor Webster Race Engineering, the car has a Steve Morris-built 10.2lt Twin Turbo and Rosler 3 speed, has been checked over and refreshed by WRE, and is currently offered for £150,000 with part exchange and offers considered. Enquiries should be made to email@example.com, more details at Swap Meet ref 17450.
Other cars for sale include the Pro ET Duster of James Forster (a low nine second doorslammer for £20k - ref 17446), Peter Thornas's Comp Eliminator '63 Corvette (runs 6.0s with a twin turbo SBC 17445) and the iconic Red Victor 3 of Andy Frost (a five second doorslammer for £160,000 - ref 17437).
A number of Junior Dragsters are still for sale despite a great 29 car entry for the Festival of Power. They include a reduced-price Junior Modified car from Chris Redshaw (£3,950 ono - ref 17448), Thomas Cook Abbott's 'Tominator' Junior Modified Advanced (£6,500 - ref 17444) and a turnkey Junior Stock car from Paul Harvey (£3,650 ono ref 17442).
These and plenty of other cars, bikes, parts and trailers/campers are advertised on the Swap Meet pages.
Hot Wheels Legends Tour comes to fruition.
9th April: Hot Wheels Legends Tour 2021 winner Lee Johnstone and daughter Victoria 'Tori' Upham are currently in New York where they had a tour of the Hot Wheels headquarters and were given a pre-production model of the Ain't No Saint Gasser.
Kicking off the Hot Wheels Legends Tour, 2022 Edition, Lee revealed the family’s 1969 Volvo 1800S Gasser, powered by a big-block Chevrolet engine, had been built on a shoestring £12,500. Not only does it do 10-second ETs, but it was also the winner of the 2021 tour, which means it is now available in a Hot Wheels blister pack.
Lee said the Volvo’s celebrity won’t keep it in the garage or show stand. “I’ll still race it, because that’s what it was built for,” he said. The Volvo, nicknamed “Ain’t No Saint” in a nod to the 1800-starring TV show, was back in England. But, as reported in Autoweek.com, many other Legends cars were on the floor at Classic Car Club Manhattan. Hot Wheels decided early on to feature custom cars, and that tradition continues. In each case, the car display also featured the Hot Wheels interpretation.
Pioneer stories: Gerald Cookson, Part 4 - Jerry Cookson's story.
8th April: The latest episode in our Pioneer stories today features part four of drag racing pioneer and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Gerald Cookson, for which John Hunt turned the microphone over to Gerry's son Jerry.
Jerry Cookson, Gerry and Joan's son, was born into a world of drag racing, attending the 1964 Drag Festival whilst still a young infant. As a teen he got into building drag racing model kits, and then became an apprentice at a printers which was helpful in getting magazines on the sport published. Having helped the NDRC crew in the 1970s and 80s, he became an announcer at APIRA events in the 1990s and took on the management of Avon Park Raceway, or Shakespeare County as it became known, for its last 12 years. He now provides archive material to Facebook, a number of web sites and helps run National Sprint Association events as well as the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame where he is a selector and director.
Part 4 of Gerald Cookson's story and history,is at this link, including 90 mostly previously unpublished images. You can see our list of Pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link in the main menu.
Eurodragster.com thanks Gerald for providing his story and John Hunt and Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature and making archive images available, and Clive Rooms for providing further information.
What's on this weekend.
8th April: There are multiple events in the UK this weekend and we thought we would remind readers what's on offer.
On Saturday 9th April, Spitfire Raceway hosts its second event of 2022 at Perranporth Airfield Cornwall, TR5 0XS. Participants can still register on this link at a cost of £10 for one run, £20 for three and £35 for unlimited runs (drifting also available at £60). Spectator entrance costs £10 per person under 16s go free; a crash helmet and full driving licence are required, gates are open at 8am with track action 11am to 3pm. The quickest car on the dragstrip wins a free valet from Hayes Detailing, and Kitchen Kit Ltd of Truro are sponsoring the best of show for a £100 prize.
At Santa Pod Raceway following Saturday's Run What Ya Brung, Sunday 10th April has the GTI Spring Festival. At this event, all VAG vehicles are welcome with open arms. There will be seven prizes for quickest VW, Audi, SEAT, Skoda, van, diesel and lady racer, as well as five awards based on engine sizes. Also there will be club displays, Show N' Shine, Dizzy Rascals sprint/autotest and Girlz N Dubz with a range of trophies.
The main racing competition will be the first round of VW Heads Up with qualifying in the morning and four elimination rounds in the afternoon. The field will include several entered for the Festival of Power the following weekend and it will be an early indication of the performance improvements made over the winter.
Tickets for the GTI Spring Festival are available from santapodtickets.com (no tickets available on the gate). Prices are £45 to sign on for Sunday's RWYB, an additional £22 (including booking fee) for racers and adult spectators and £5 for kids 5-15 years old.
8th April: As the start of the championship nears, the frequency of spy pictures has increased with teams wanting to 'show some leg'. We received a trio of them yesterday evening:
On the left we had the caption "Giving a Stroke to the Procharger". In the centre, the picture arrived with the statement "Pony out in front". And on the right, the inscription was “Back for redemption...reveal coming soon.”
If you know more, or have a spy picture of your own to send, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lucas Oil to support King Racing and Cannon Motorsports collaboration.
8th April: King Racing and Cannon Motorsports are proud to announce that Lucas Oil Products Inc. have agreed to support them for the 2022 season with lubricants and ancillary products for use in the twelve-time FIM European Championship winning Puma Engineering machine recently acquired by team rider Neil Midgley.
Chris Hannam, Team Principal for the Cannon Motorsports team said “this is the twelfth straight year in which Lucas Oil have supported our race efforts and with this exciting evolution of our team activities I am very pleased that Dan Morgan and his team have shown what an invaluable partner they are.”
Ian King, Team Principal of the King Racing team and co-owner of Puma Engineering said “although this is King Racing’s first experience of working with Lucas Oil, I have no doubt that the high technology products identified as suitable for our Puma will help further our history of world class success.”
Lucas Oil has also announced comprehensive plans to promote sales of its oils, additives, and workshop lubricants throughout 2022 with activities designed to raise awareness about the wider range of Lucas Oil products and the positive benefits for users, whether they are professional mechanics or garage and retail customers.
Editor's note: You will be able to see Neil Midgley in action on the championship-winning Puma machine at the Festival of Power.
8th April: Happy Birthday to Pro ET racer Simon 'The Package' Gough, and to Swedish Top Doorslammer racer Caroline Strand. We hope you have a wonderful day.
Swedish Stock racer and Pro Stock team member Markus Svensson was interviewed at the NHRA Las Vegas race last weekend for Competition Plus website and you can read the article at this link, thanks to Robin Jackson for letting us know.
JapShow demo cars required.
7th April: Santa Pod Raceway events co-ordinator Max Frost has released an appeal calling all Japanese drag cars for demos at JapShow.
Santa Pod Raceway is calling out for 8-10 drag racing vehicles to do demonstration runs at this year’s JapShow on 15th May! If it has a Japanese body and/or a Japanese engine and can run quicker than 11.99, we want to hear from you! For anyone interested, please send an email to Max in the Santa Pod office at email@example.com before Monday, 2nd May – Including your personal best ET, photos, and a blurb about the car.
7th April: Happy Birthday for today to Speedgroup CEO Nils Lagerlöf, Super Pro ET racer Andy Thetford who celebrates his 60th, Supercharged Outlaws racer Jeff Hawksworth who celebrates 70, returning (hopefully) VW Pro racer Ken Blomer, Outlaw Anglia racer Michelle Mockford and team White Noise crew member Lauren Molden. Have a fantastic birthday to all of you.
Thanks to reader Gerard Histon who sent in the spy picture which we posted on 4th April. Gerard said "The spy shot is the ex Pro mod 698 engine of Rob Loaring and Nick Davies when they ran the Olds Cutlass in Pro Mod. The engine later went into John Hale's Street Eliminator silver and white '56 Chevy which unfortunately went over at the top end at Avon Park and I subsequently bought the engine to go into a '69 Mustang Fastback built for street and strip by Jon Webster, with Bill Murfin in the finishing stages of building the engine." Congratulations go to the eagle-eyed Anais Shepherd for correctly identifying it.
Photographer Ashley Dale has posted no less than 510 photos from the Melbourne Raceway Season Opener last weekend to his Flickr site which you can see by clicking here.
Springspeed Nationals entry update.
6th April: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for posting the second version of the entry list for the STP Springspeed Nationals being held at Santa Pod Raceway on 30th April-2nd May.
The entry list can be seen at this link. Entry at normal fees will close on Friday, 8th April, and a surcharge will apply after this date so racers should get their entries in as soon as possible.
All events can be entered in advance, however the payment must be in the SPRC bank account three days prior to the event, if paying via BACS please allow time for the payment to arrive.
Turner Racing add crew and sponsor.
6th April: We are grateful to Top Methanol Funny Car racer Rob Turner for sending us a write up of his experience at the Las Vegas Four Wide race in which he, Carmel and brother Steve, aka Turner Racing, acquired additional crew help and a sponsor: It was three days hard work to make the third qualifier, a lot of parts didn't turn up until the Friday after recertifying.
We qualified No. 11 out of 12, a shut off pass 6.87 @ 179mph to check out everything. We didnt make the 4th qualifier as we wanted to check out the motor. At four-wide racing; we get four qualifiers, one in each lane as opposed to the normal three.
So 1st round came, there were four sets of three cars. We had choice of lane 2 or 4. We chose 4 as 1 and 4 are the only lanes that you look at the tree as normal. In our quad, was Shane Westerfield, and Jake Guadagnolo and us. Shane won the quad with a 5.54, and Jake went through with a 5.94, who had a brilliant .029 reaction. We ran 5.98 @ 222. I shut off early, and short shifted on both. (I realise now that I shut off at 5.502, 1000 ft, as I was not used to seeing the black tracks to 1000 ft, and being out of the car 2.5 years).
We are looking forward to this weekends Regional race here, where I will attempt to find the finish line.
Thanks to all the teams that helped us at the track: Errol Sharron, Joe Mozeris our good friend who races in comp eliminator, Mike Gordon, Kris Hool, Eric Chesleigh's crew (TAD). Also thanks to our new sponsor, Ryan from "Vegas 4x4" who is new to racing.
Picture courtesy lookatdragracing.com.
Crew Killer (the one man burnout competition) is back.
6th April: Thanks to John Tebenham for his characteristic take on the season opener for his Crew Killer Pop at the Festival of Power:
We are 100% ready for my beautiful Ford Pop. And no, it’s not for sale, why do so many people want my little white Pop?
We have the crew and the car to win. We have brand new slicks; we will do some massive crowd pleasing burnouts. We really think we are a threat this year and are going all out to win the championship.
Oh yeah there is just one thing in the way, the blue car... I have great news about our new sh*t , this baby is going too fly at The Doorslammers, we are going, are you?
You can also find John at his JT Racing Facebook page.
M&Ms look forward to Festival of Power.
6th April: Dave Turner has kindly sent a preview of M&M Racing, with driver Mark Turner and wife/crew Michelle, again competing in Super Pro ET in 2022.
Today is 12 months to the day that we first ran the Supra at the track boy have we come a long way since then.
This being our first winter (god it’s been a long winter) we spent some time reflecting on what we had achieved in our first season of racing in Super Pro ET, which has been a massive learning curve for the whole team which has seen us get a handle of the car enough to get it running mid 8’s and got the driver comfortable in his new job and stopped him red lighting.
Rather than just sit back and repeat what we did last year we have been busy checking over the car, this consisted of an engine topend check thanks to John Wright and the trans had to come out to be tagged at Robbinson racecars. But we haven’t just been checking stuff we now have a new MSD grid ignition control and racepack computer systems and we have also turned up the wick on the motor with the fitment of the NOS fogger system that came with the motor.
None of these upgrades would have been possible without support and we want to thank the people that help us do this AD Coach Systems and Ellisons Travel for their support, also want to say thanks to everyone who has been there with advice and parts, Jeff Bull, Jed Guy, Colin Millar and Rob Karlof along with Ade Cookson for the help with any machining or fabrication that we have needed.
So we are just about set for the Festival of power in a couple of weeks, where we will be a 2 driver team with Mark’s Son Kieran Turner who will be licencing in Paul Marston’s Grumpy’s Dodge Dart with a view to running the Dart in Pro ET for the event.
SPR/Cawleys to accelerate recycling rates.
6th April: Santa Pod Raceway have announced that Luton-based recycling and resource management company Cawleys has stepped in to help the track drive its recycling rates forward and cross the finishing line on its environmental targets.
The iconic Santa Pod Raceway has long been mindful of the importance of environmental issues associated with events and now that footfall is increasing after the pandemic, a sustainable approach is more important than ever for the organisation.
As the home of the FIA European Drag Racing Championships, car shows, festivals and public track days, Santa Pod Raceway attracts thousands of visitors each year and it is committed to ensuring that the waste generated at its events causes minimal damage to the environment.
Under the new partnership, staff will be segregating all cardboard waste on site and glass waste in the licensed bars for recycling. As well as segregated recycling collections, general waste will be collected by Cawleys and processed through its unique Materials Recycling Facility (MRF). Cawleys’ MRF allows all general waste to be examined and sorted using sifting tools, magnets and picking lines to identify and extract items that are suitable for recycling. Any left-over residue is diverted away from landfill and delivered to an RDF plant where it is converted into energy.
Cawleys will also be onsite during popular weekend meetings to engage with the public about the benefits of waste reduction, re-use and recycling.
This approach ensures that all waste is put to use in a sustainable manner.
Santa Pod’s environment credentials are evolving at a rapid pace and this partnership is just the latest development in a long list of actions the organisation has taken to become eco-friendly. Recent initiatives include:
Commenting on the Santa Pod partnership, Nicky Severn, Marketing Manager at Cawleys, said: “Working with such an iconic venue as Santa Pod Raceway is very exciting. The organisation’s events are extremely popular and, as with all high footfall sites, waste can be a challenge.
“The solution we have in place will not only help the organisation maximise recycling rates, but will also encourage waste reduction. We will be heavily involved with the team in terms of educating visitors and staff to ensure they understand the importance of recycling.”
Neale Saunders at Santa Pod added: “Reducing our environmental impact is important to us. With upwards of 400,000 visitors a year all our staff are conscious of the environmental challenges that come with being such a popular venue. Be it our Bug Jam festival or the FIA European Finals Championship, the site needs a clean-up that’s as sympathetic to the environment as possible. We are looking forward to working with Cawleys to help us achieve our environmental goals.”
7707 look forward to El Mirage.
6th April: Nitro Revival sponsor and Land Speed Racer Geoff Stilwell writes that, with only 38 days to go (at the time of writing) until the SCTA season opener at the world famous El Mirage lake bed just 2 hours east of Los Angeles, California, things are beginning to get exciting.
The May event is always a 2 day race with tech happening on the Friday. In the build up to the racing weekend the clubs that are taking part will be attending El Mirage and checking the course for any rubbish or litter left. Plus it will be groomed and marked out for this years events. Normally around 150 vehicles take part in May over the course of the weekend. The 7707 Blown Fuel Roadster will be there as will many other race cars and I thought my UK followers might be interested in an update as to where the 7707 Landspeed Team are getting ready.
Since the last race in November where I had to re-licence we have cleaned the car which actually took over a week to disassemble, clean and reassemble. Racing on the lakebed brings its own problems and one of those is “dust”. Trust me it gets everywhere and is so fine. We have nothing like it in the UK. We actually tape up every body joint and any potential hole so that the minimum amount of dust gets in the cockpit. The motor has been serviced and checked over by our good friends John Beck of Vintage Hot Rods in Chico, Paul Bowman and Donny Cummins. Strangely we found a slow puncture in one of the rear slicks so Tony Thacker very kindly took our especially forged Schott Wheels and Goodyears Slicks over to “Nates Wheels & Tyres” which is a 2 hour trip to be checked out..Nates is one of the few tyre specialist that can balance wheels up to 500mph. Plus we have another 2 sets of rear slicks on order from Nates bringing out stock of tyres and wheels up to 8 complete sets . We can strip a pair of tyres in one runs if we are not careful.
On top of this we have our new Team 7707 EZUP which looks fantastic to help give us some shade from the hot Californian sun. Also during the winter we have been stocking up on spares with another set of BAE Top Fuel Billet Heads, another BAE Block, Gaskets, Valves, Spark plugs ( we have over 300 plugs and 16 new ones used every run). VP Racing are supplying the Nitro and Redline Oil have supplied the special Oil we use which is the same as in a Top Fuel Motor.
We have been through 7707 front to back checking every bolt and making sure all the pressurised bottles don’t leak and every safety item including parachutes are in date and working as the SCTA tech guys check all of this very thoroughly.
The 7707 Landspeed Team will be loading the racecar in the trailer on the 12th and then drive up to El Mirage on the 13th which is about 2 hours from our race shop. This weekend will allow us to stretch 7707’s legs a little and our target is to run over 250mph in the mile … conditions permitting.
We will be doing live broadcasts via Facebook at time over that weekend so please make sure you keep checking in and my good friend Bob Beck will be there to do this for us. In addition there will be a live feed from the start line. Links to this feed will be available via scta-bni.org.
Finally I need to make sure I thank all the SCTA team because without all the volunteers that help we could not have the fun we do. So, if you are interested in attending and fancies a fun weekend where you can camp out under the stars with loads of racers, get your flights booked to Los Angeles or Las Vegas.
See you out in the desert.
6th April: A very Happy Birthday to former Top Methanol Dragster racer and longtime Eurodragster supporter Derek Flynn, Junior Dragster racer Katie Eliis, Nostalgia Superstock racer Billy Mills and Swiss Top Methanol Funny Car racer Sascha Pretzsch and former Top Fuel racer from Denmark Kim Reymond. We hope you all have a great day!
DFDS 2022 discounted racer ferry rates.
5th April: Thanks to Santa Pod Raceway Commercial Manager Caroline Holden for letting us know the arrangements for discounted ferry travel with leading provider DFDS for 2022:
Santa Pod is delighted to announce the continuation of its partnership with DFDS for the 2022 season. This means that racers can continue to enjoy greatly discounted rates on ferry travel to and from Europe via the DFDS cross channel routes; Dover to Calais and Dunkirk. Bookings can be made by downloading the new 2022 Booking Form. This form will also be available on the SPRC website.
Booking requests must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and the DFDS team with take care of the reservations. (Please note that bookings will not be accepted on old booking forms).
Vehicle tampering bill to be debated in Parliament.
5th April: A round-table meeting took place at Santa Pod on Sunday involving Nick Fletcher MP, a member of the House of Commons petitions committee, with Santa Pod Raceway excutives, members of the National Street Rod Association, and Eurodragster.com sponsor, racer and constructor Jon Webster.
Jon wrote "Nick Fletcher MP was at Santa Pod today diligently looking into the proposed ‘vehicle tampering’ bill, regarding restrictions/ eradication of modified vehicles on the UK roads and the implications the proposed introduction of such restrictions may have on the industry and culture, a subject close to many of our hearts.
"Nick is member of the ‘petitions committee’ and will lead the debate in parliament regarding the subject at the end of this month.
The petition is still open and the substantial number of signatures on it has generated the debate. It’s still not too late to make your mark."
Nick Fletcher commented "Interesting afternoon at Santa Pod Raceway. This is the home of European Drag Racing. I went there today as a member of the petitions committee to see for myself what it’s like on the ground there.
"This is a huge industry that may be inadvertently affected by new legislation trying to make our cars safer and greener.
"I will attend further evidence sessions over recess before leading a debate on this subject on 23rd April. It’s important we get the balance right whenever we are asked to legislate."
Legislation preventing the modification of factory produced cars will have the effect of preventing many street and strip cars being able to be used on public highways, and could even prevent modifications improving safety of vehicles. UK based readers are urged to sign the petition at this link.
Fast Show gallery and notes.
5th April: Thanks to Kieran for supplying a gallery of Sunday's Fast Show from Santa Pod. The Fast Show is a great car show for modified late model European cars and the photo on the SPR Facebook page of the seemingly endless rows of Ford Focus STs as well as Audi, BMW, and Mercedes bears witness to this.
There was plenty of action on the track too, with a huge run what ya brung contingent and the first round of the Sports Compact Shootout. It was however disappointing that only six vehicles signed up for the Shootout, with £375 to the winner and £125 to the runner up, for an entry fee of £100. Nevertheless, congratulations to the winner Matt Davison in his Honda Civic, defeating runner up Pete Bailey, whose Nissan 200SX broke on launching in the final, after Matt made bye runs in the first two rounds of eliminations.
The event also included the first outing of Fireforce 3, and an unplanned outing for Fireforce 5 jet dragster after the team report burner pressure on the funny car wouldn't hold. Full marks to Martin Hill and the team for ensuring the show went on, and Fireforce 5 made a great pass of 5.593 (3.6403/222 to half track) to entertain the crowd.
We have looked at the timing data for the cars in Kieran's gallery and noted the best time of the event for many of the vehicles from etslips.co.uk.
You can see our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored coverage of The Fast Show at this link. Thanks to Kieran for his photography; his video of the event is now posted at his Mk1Kieran Youtube channel. Kieran has also uploaded the previous day's Saturday Night Special, 37 minutes of HD video.
Yam Yam Racing private test day entry open.
5th April: The Yam Yam Racing Drag Club headed by Scott 'Nobby' Lewry have announced a private test day at Santa Pod Raceway on 9th May, the day after the Vauxhall Show.
Scott said "There are 90 slots, and the cost is £90 per team of 6 people; anyone within the team can drive the car aslong as they are signed on. I'm wanting to keep the costs the same as last year as a thanks to everyone that supported previously.
"Track sign on will be via the signing on office where you will need to present your license and signing on form which you should print at home if possible.
"Camping is available at £10 per person (entry from 6pm on 8th May), spectator entrance is £10 per person with under 16 spectators free.
"If you want to attend and have a huge amount of track time, contact Scott on Facebook or join the Yam Yam Racing Club private Facebook group.
"Payment should be made to email@example.com as soon as booking, with with details of your car and crew in the notes, so that numbers can be confirmed. Payment as friends and family please."
Bonneville Speedweek direct flights discount.
5th April: Many thanks to Nitro Revival sponsor and Land Speed Racer Geoff Stilwell for an update on flying to Salt Lake City for the Bonneville Speedweek:
Any UK based racers looking to attend this years Bonneville Speedweek which is from the 5th August to the 12th August will be able to fly direct from London Heathrow to Salt Lake City. Delta Airlines have reintroduced the daily flights from May 2022.
The 7707 Landspeed Team use Dial a Flight for all our travel arrangements and if you fancy a trip to Speedweek please call Bobby Tuggey on 01732 592166, use “Geoff Stilwell” as the refence when speaking to Bobby and you will get a discount on the flights. Remember you must speak to Bobby Tuggey and you can book your flights with immediate effect.
Pioneer stories: Gerald Cookson, Part 3 - MG Midget and Berkeley.
4th April: The latest episode in our Pioneer stories today features part two of drag racing pioneer and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Gerald Cookson covers the period he ran an MG Midget, keeping his Berkeley sports car as an alternative. (picture: Gerald in the MG Midget at the Blackpool Golden Mile).
In the early 1990s, Gerry bought an MG Midget and transferred the ‘A’ series running gear from his previous Berkeley, then switching for a time to a turbocharged Hillman Imp unit, then an injected twin cam ‘K’ series engine. He returned to the Berkeley which he still owns. Gerry concludes with his reflections on the social side of the sport and the lifetime achievement awards he has received.
Part 3 of Gerald Cookson's story and history, with input from son Jerry, is at this link, including 285 mostly previously unpublished images. You can see our list of Pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link in the main menu.
Eurodragster.com thanks Gerald for providing his story and John Hunt and Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature and making archive images available, and Clive Rooms for providing further information.
Melbourne Season Opener results and galleries.
4th April: The Season Opener at Melbourne Raceway was held over the weekend under mostly sunny skies, halted only briefly on Saturday for a small snow shower (indicating the atmospheric temperatures), and eliminations held to completion in all classes. Improvements noticeable at Melbourne Raceway include a newly tarmaced entry road, new ashphalt behind the startline and an extended braking area of 500m, well done to Trevor Duckworth of Straightliners and the team at Melbourne for raising the funds and getting the improvements finished before the event.
The Duck All Prep competition involved the four cars of Mark Flavell, Pel Norman, Russ Pursley and Pete Youhill and the Sunday result was a win for Pel Norman as Mark Flavell suffered breakage, a supercharger pulley failing after his burnout. Congratulations to Pel, who we will see with nitrous later in the season. Well done to the winners of the first ever No Mercy Eliminations run on a dial-in basis for bikes, Phil Tomlinson (pictured left) for bikes (over a 15 bike field), Eric Cope for Scooters and William Mountford for Juniors.
Full results of the event can be seen at the Straightliners results repository, thanks to timekeeper Martyn Greathead for providing the information. You can see our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored coverage of Melbourne's Round 1 at this link. Thanks to Eurodragster.com founder and former editor Tog for photography.
UK Nostalgia Superstock welcomes sponsors.
4th April: Many thanks to UK Nostalgia Superstock organiser Don Scott for sending us the roll call of class sponsors for 2022:
"With Nostalgia Superstock ever expanding and growing into a well established and popular class, we've decided we need more activities in the form of barbeques, evening do's etc., that's apart from increasing prizes and trophies.
"All this of course requires extra funding and to that end I am delighted to announce that other than the existing loyal support from Ollie of NEM Ltd and Jeff from Trackstuff, I would like to thank the following for their generous support and welcome aboard Mel Weller, owner of Axtra Transport, Chris Goodale of F Goodale Speedshop, Dave Billadeau of Billadeau Speed and Automotive, Howard Holmes of The Beyond, Alex Clark of Serck Motorsport, Tig and Cath Napier, Jim Chandler, and of course yours truly! Thank you all so much and lets look forward to a bright and successful 2022 season."
You can see UK Nostalgia Superstock at its 2022 races, all held at Santa Pod Raceway apart from the October date, which are:
30th April-2nd May - Springspeed Nationals (permit)
3rd June-5th June - Nostalgia Nationals (non permit)
8th-10th July - Dragstalgia (non permit)
29th-31st July - Mopar Nationals (non permit)
20th-21st August - Greenlight Nationals (permit)
24th-25th September - National Finals (permit)
8th-9th October - Melbourne Raceway (non permit)
Photo credit Matt Woods Photography
4th April: We received this spy picture with the message "Some happy memories in Pro Mod, not so happy ones in Street Eliminator, and now destined for more use."
If you know more, or have a spy picture of your own to send, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4th April: Happy Birthday for today to Supercharged Outlaws co-ordinator and Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award sponsor Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield, returning Pro ET racer Liz Malcolm, Top Fuel crew member Rob Stanley, Dutch Super Comp/Super Gas racer Ronald Huis, and Comp Eliminator racer Lloyd Perkins. Have a great day all.
VeeDub Racing, aka Simon Letkey has posted a video review, including pitside interviews, from the VWDRC pre-season test day held on 18th March at this Youtube link and a selection of photos at this Facebook album.
2nd April: Thanks to Shawn Rodman for sending news about his new Top Fuel Bike team, penned by team member Nick Saunders:
Following a long period on the side-lines, the Festival of Power will be the first event for Shawn Rodman and the newly formed 'Donk's Racing Team'. Following an engine explosion on the previous injected twin, Shawn has been working hard to develop a new Nitro Harley. After a large amount of investment (both time and money) and one failed commission Shawn spoke to Al Smith and the decission was made to use Al`s knowledge and engineering skills, which has now resulted in a new bike ready for testing.
The engine as a 196ci twin purchased from Johnny Vickers at Hawaya Racing, a Owens transmission, MSD ignition system and all of the usual refinements you'd expect from a modern fuel burning bike. Al Smith was given design freedom on the chassis and bike configuration, which has resulted in a superbly designed and constructed piece of engineering.
The plan for the season is very much learning and testing, utilising a variety of events to not only tune the bike, but to get back into the swing of racing after a break. The rest of the team is made up of Nick Saunders, Ashley Burcombe, Ben Mace and Shawn's partner Karen Watson. The hope is that long time crew member 'Shiner' will also make an appearance at the track later in the year after a move up to the Orkney Isles.
As we gear up for the season, a big thanks must be given to both Al and Joo Smith, along with Frank Brachvogel who's input has been both extremely valuable and well received. When people are prepared to give up their spare time to help another racer, it's very much appreciated.
Melbourne Raceway Season Opener coverage.
2nd April: Today was the first day of the Season Opener at Melbourne Raceway and we attended the racing, garnering pit notes and galleries from former editor Tog. The weather was brisk but dry with little wind and the track, with additional asphalt in the 500m shut down area and behind the burnout boxes produced lots of excitement in the No Prep competition when Pel Norman defeated Pete Youhill in Saturday's final round.
You can see our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored coverage of Melbourne's Round 1 at this link.
SPR Saturday Night Special gallery.
2nd April: Many thanks to Kieran for sending us a gallery of the action from Santa Pod Raceway's Saturday Night Special. Kieran commented "Some cars were out testing today despite that it was a very cold one! Tomorrow at the Fast Show looks as though it will be busy too."
Among the cars testing were the new Street Eliminator '56 Chevy owned by Antony 'Butch' Wilkins (pictured) which we hope will be in competition later in the year. Also, Simon Glenn's Austin Pickup Straight Shooter was on track, John Bean's Pro ET Mustang, and some new names in the 9.50 bike ranks, Steven Jackson and Carl Thomas.
You can see our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored gallery from Santa Pod Raceway at this link. Look out on Monday for Kieran's gallery from tomorrow's Fast Show.
Project for sale.
2nd April: Junior dragster dad Chris Redshaw has written in with an opportunity for those wanting to take on a project rather than start a race car build from scratch, for £6,500 or near offer: "I am unfortunately selling our Topolino altered as our plans have changed. The altered is a full chrome moly chassis and is tagged, it has a 383 Chevy engine two speed Powerglide gear box and a 9 inch Ford axle with Strange shafts. The body shell is by Pat Cuss.
This is a project and was mock built - I was going to finish the strip down, clean up and rebuild, please bear in mind this is not a finished car and needs finishing. The chassis is the old Pony Express car, I really do not want to sell but unfortunately I will not be able to drive her, so time to go to a new home. This would make a wonderful project for someone, please message me for more information, My email address is email@example.com".
For more information and other cars for sale, go to our Jeff Bull Race Engines sponsored Swap Meet.
Pioneer stories: Gerald Cookson, Part 2 - Berkeley.
1st April: The latest episode in our Pioneer stories today features part two of drag racing pioneer and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Gerald Cookson focusing on the years he ran a Berkeley sports car. (picture: Gerald's Berkeley in the 1980s - Keith Lee photo).
At the end of the 1970s Gerald bought a Berkeley sports car which he radically modified, building a chassis for it and installing a Lotus twin cam engine. He later lengthed it and installed an ‘A’ series engine, running it in Modified. Gerald recalled the twelve second car as being a bit twitchy and it became quite a handful when son Jerry had a go...
Part 2 of Gerald Cookson's story and history, with input from son Jerry, is at this link, including over 100 mostly previously unpublished images. You can see our list of Pioneer stories at this link or by clicking on the link in the main menu.
Eurodragster.com thanks Gerald for providing his story and John Hunt and Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature and making archive images available, and Clive Rooms for providing further information.
UK Pro Street gets Greenlight.
1st April: Many thanks to Eurodragster.com sponsors Jeff and Belinda Bull for sending us confirmation of an exciting new doorslammer class for British drag racing:
Following our proposal at the SPRC Riders' & Drivers' Meeting, we are very happy to report that we were given the go ahead to run the Pro Street 7.60 style heads up class at the Greenlight Nationals on 20th–21st August.
Entry forms are available now on the SPRC website at this link (select 7.60 Heads Up) and the class prefix for this event will be 7HU.
For the Green Light Nationals the class regulations will be as follows:
For more information please contact Jeff Bull at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Outlaw Street round 1.
1st April: Many thanks to Outlaw Street administrator Mark Wallington for a report on the first event of the street-legal drag class in 2022:
The weekend of the 26th & 27th March saw Outlaw Street venture out to Santa Pod Raceway for their first round of the 2022 series, after what had felt like an eternity of a winter it was great to be back trackside, the Saturday was a RWYB day allowing plenty of track time for members to shake off the cobwebs, remember which button did what in the cars and start to seek those PBs which had eluded them the last season. Sunday was Santa Pods first ‘Le French Fest’ event which Outlaw Street attended to support the new event and make for some interesting racing with fast frech powered cars versus V8 powered OS cars.
Twenty OS cars attended the first round as many were still ‘in build’, awaiting parts or weren’t brave enough to risk a March meeting in case of poor weather, well there was no fear of poor weather as everyone who attended basked in the first real sunshine of the year.
In addition to a number of long term members & known cars attending, several new members and new cars made their debuts, including OS-20 Alan C in his LS1 powered Holden Ute, OS-12 Matt S in his big block ’39 Ford named the ‘Assassin’ OS-25 Alan P in his fenderless sbc powered ’34 and OS-66 Pete L in his twin Torqstorm powered BBF station wagon!
A couple of members clearly were on full form to start the season off well, running PBs at the very first event, including Louis H in his Chevrolet C1500 who knocked a whole second off his previous PB, OS-21 Kai B in his Ford Zephyr who ran his first ever 10 second pass and Michelle W in her ’69 VW Beetle who manged 13 runs across the weekend & netted a new PB of 14.23 @ 97.75mph.
As always with drag racing, there’s highs and lows and several members spent the first round either going straight back on the trailer or buried under the cars with ‘spanners a plenty’, the mechanical gremlins were out in force for OS-10 Troy A and his LS1 powered Camaro due to gearbox problems, OS-18 Vic F whose Mustang developed battery problems and several others who quickly had to change plans from a weekends racing to a weekend of crewing others as they sadly put their own cars back on the trailers.
All in all a very successful first round for many, with a lot more cars planning to make their debuts at Round 2, which is on Saturday 23rd & 24th April at Santa Pod Raceway for the new event ‘Best of British’ on the Saturday and RWYB day on the Sunday.
There are currently 75 cars entered into the 2022 series, we have a cap each year of only allowing 100 to join, so this is currently still spaces and an opportunity to be in the points for the 2022 season if you’d like to join, the rules are very simple, the car must be road legal, hold an MOT if applicable, with NO slicks and No open headers, if you’d like more information or to follow the series you will find more information at facebook.com/outlawstreetuk.
Outlaw Anglia 30th anniversary apparel.
1st April: Many thanks to Outlaw Anglia co-ordinator Colin Millar for sending details of a very special way of celebrating the 30th anniversary of the class:
Outlaw Anglia rolls into its 30th year of entertaining everyone who watches or races.
Where has all that time gone and how did we survive, who knows and who cares, but we have and we are fighting fit and looking forward within a matter of weeks from kicking off another Outlaw Anglia season but not just any season, the 30th Anniversary of Outlaw Anglia, fantastic timing coming after what can only be described as an epic 2021 with history being made and determination high as we enter 2022.
With all this in mind we can't just let it slip by, no, we or rather Tom Pugh has provided us with his super talents and thank you very much Tom for all your efforts while getting married, having a baby and everything that goes with that, I'm sure you have to agree the design tells you everything you need to know.
Our evolution can be seen very clearly with Andy Przybyl’s red Anglia in the background featuring the start of the class racing in 1992, unfortunately sometime later taking the unusual step of braking the beams at 160mph while upside down and heading backwards and that was the end for Andy!
It doesn’t seem that long ago, so I must be getting old, but in 30 years, the class has of course progressed with technology engineering and communication with Jedd Guys car the leading the chase for power and speed.
The fantastic artwork is now available in Outlaw Anglia 30 year Anniversary high quality and screen printed Tee Shirts and Hoodies, I'm now taking orders, sizes Small to 2XL (other sizes available) Tee Shirts £15.00, Hoodies £26.75, zipped hoodies £32.00, postage will be one tee-shirt £2.50, one Hoodie £4.25, UK Mainland, multiples please drop me a message, please PayPal me on friends and family to email@example.com, there are other ways to pay if you don't have PayPal, please ensure you include the required delivery address in the notes, contact details if out with Facebook are firstname.lastname@example.org or 07710 307988. Thanks in advance.
1st April: Happy Birthday for today to Wild Bunch and Super Comp racer Darryl Howells, Funny Bike racer Louis Davies and NHRA and Nitro Revival legend Steve Gibbs. Have a great day all.
Many thanks to Santa Pod Raceway PR Robin Jackson for locating Santa Pod Raceway's shutdown area resurfacing on a Government website. The Department of Transport page on road resurfacing states that National Highways is funding an innovative new trial to treat carriageway spillages more quickly. In the article it states that "Three different types of road surface have been installed at Santa Pod Raceway as part of the trial" and "The products and their application will be put through their paces under strict testing conditions on the new 200-metre road surface at Santa Pod Raceway near Northampton." It goes on to state "Tarmac, one of the UK’s leading sustainable building materials and construction solutions business, has resurfaced a stretch of the Santa Pod racetrack where cars often reach speeds of more than 300mph." Well done to SPR for raising its profile in such an innovative way.
Former UK Super Gas racer Shaun Saunders, now based in Arizona, has been in touch with the news that his local track at Wild Horse Pass, Phoenix, is likely to close as the NHRA lease expires in February 2023 and there is talk of redevelopment on the site to include a freeway off ramp and housing. Shaun says "The track is a beautiful facility to include not only the world class drag strip but also several circuits and a drag boat lake. There is a petition which could possibly affect the decision if enough people sign." The petition can be accessed by clicking here.