FIA/FIM-E Main Event coverage.
25th May: We are now in place to report on the FIA/FIM-E Main Event. Reporting by Editor Simon and galleries from Julian and Diana will cover the test day today and four days of the event from 26th-19th May. You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored FIA/FIM-E Main Event reports, results and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link at the top of any Eurodragster.com page.
Track data to be transmitted on Discord.
25th May: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has announced how data on the grip level at Santa Pod, will be transmitted to racer sat the Main Event.
Santa Pod Raceway will, during the Main Event 2023, transmit track data to all racers wishing to begin logging the available data. This will be through the Santa Pod Discord system which can be downloaded from discord.com.
Once installed on your device (Windows, Android or IOS), register an account and then join the Santa Pod chat by clicking here.
We intend to go live with the track data 45 mins prior to each Pro Session (where possible as there may be time constraints due to weather or other factors), the idea being that you have sufficient time to make any tuning changes should you feel it necessary.
Should any Crew Chiefs wish to come to the start line prior to racing commencing we would be happy to show the data from the KEG so you can evaluate the data against your current method of testing, that way the numbers provided will mean more to the person using them and allow for a better understanding of the data crossover.
We intend to provide data from the following track points based on the start line being zero: -300inches, - 120 inches, zero (or start line), 30 feet, 60 feet, 120 feet and 330ft, should there be considerable demand for other locations we will of course look to add them in the future.
If you have any questions regarding data etc, either email firstname.lastname@example.org or see us when the start line is not so busy.
Sportsman Nationals entry closing Friday.
25th May: Many thanks again to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall who reminds racers that entry for the Sportsman Nationals closes on Friday 26th May.
The event is a round of the ACU and SPRC National and Club Championships for drag bikes, also a car round for 7.60 Heads Up, Supercharged Outlaws, Gasser Circus, Modified 100e, Sportsman ET, VW Pro and VW Sportsman championships as well as Old School Stockers (Nostalgia Pro Stock Bike). You can enter as usual at this link on the Santa Pod Racers Club website.
Main Event Preview.
24th May: The first round of the 2023 FIA/FIM-E drag racing championship, the Main Event takes place at Santa Pod Raceway next weekend from Friday, 26th May to Monday 29th May. Here is a preview of the racing classes:
We covered the six entries in FIA Top Fuel on 2nd May and the four entries in the Funny Car Cup on 19th May, these nitro burning monsters will be the most spectacular action of all.
FIA Top Methanol will produce some quick runs and close racing. Sandro Bellio (TMFC), Jonny Lagg (TMD), Linn Floysvik (TMFC) and Silvio Strauch (TMD) will battle out the first round of the championship.
FIA/Motorsport UK Pro Modified has a healthy 18 entries; we saw 11 at last weekend's Doorslammers which produced unofficial personal bests for David Vegter, Michel Tooren and now-licensed David Smith. They are joined by former multiple champion Micke Gullqvist, former champion and first into the fives Matts Eriksson, crowd favourite and showman Freddie Fagerstrom, UK double event winner and points leader Bobby Wallace, Wayne Nicholson fresh from a new 5.8s PB at the Festival of Power, Marcus Hilt with Camp Stanley on the crew, and, representing Germany and Lucas Oil, Norbert Kuno. We can expect surprises and world class performance.
The Nostalgia Funny Car Cup has four contenders, Tim Garlick in Apache was dominant at the Festival of Power, however Wendy Baker, Tony Betts and Paul Harris are trying very hard to match Tim's pace and reliability. Tim has BDRHoF member Rob Loaring on the crew, fresh from a trip to El Mirage to crew for Geoff Stilwell who suffered a rainstorm just before his second run.
Track Worx Competition Eliminator has a returnee after a ten year layoff, Brendan Clancy last raced competitively in 2013 and his Corvette was a low 7 second runner at 190mph. Also new to Comp Eliminator is Mr Boost, Matt Davison, whose FWD Honda Civic has run in the mid-nines. Luke Stevenson is returning without his dragster which has been sold, he is now in a 1.8l VW Golf. 11 diverse cars entered will give fascinating racing.
BeFastR Super Comp, a much more diverse class in the UK than you will see in NHRA, has overseas visitors Clément Dubois from France in a Neils & Parks dragster, and Markus Ochsner from Switzerland in his Dodge Ram pickup. Racing in the class for the first time is Jon Turner in his Greenfish Cuda, fitted with a Procharger which will no doubt be tuned up to get close to the 8.90 index.
Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas welcomes overseas visitors Stevan Reffeltrath and Ronald Huis from the Netherlands, we will also see Simon Fulton in the for-sale Blitzkrieg Racing Ford Falcon a car that has won its fair share of races and championships over the years.
Peter Nee Super Pro ET has Perfect ET sponsor Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield back after a busy few weeks building a new engine following serious damage with a broken rod at the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals. Fadster told us "It’s a bit smaller than the 600 ci I destroyed at the Nostalgias with a paltry 489 ci but my tuner, Alan Grimes, is convinced it will be as fast or even faster than the bigger cubed motor." Simon Barlow also joins the class with his orange Fordson, whilst Elaine Hancock is returning with a new I.C.E.-built engine in her curiously named Crazy Lady Racing Ford Zephyr.
Overseas visitors in Peter Nee Super Pro ET are two members of the Dubois family, Elodie in her new Milwaukee Tools-sponsored American Race Cars dragster, plus Dad Patrick now racing the Pontiac GXP. Also joining the class are Big Bracket Saturday victor Thomas Haas from Switzerland, and fellow BB competitor Jens Koennecke in his yellow Oldsmobile Rocket 88.
ModUrStang Pro ET sees Eurodragster.com staff member Kirstie moving up from Sportsman ET in her 50 Shades of Green Camaro, now running 11s passes. The class also welcomes Lee Bashford in his Triumph Herald which we believe was formerly raced by Roger and Dave Moore. Marc Manning (Pokies 34 Coupe), John Dalrymple (Willys Coupe and Chris Newsam (MG Rover ZS) join the class for the first time this year. From overseas, we have Hans Van der Spek from the Netherlands (Chevrolet Pickup) and Thomas Bublitz from Germany (Chevy Nova).
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator is a strong field of 13 for the second round of their championship. Mark Todd joins in the Freight Train, whilst Graham Smith is taking an event off as he promotes Serck Motorsport USA's racing services programs and cooling systems.
In Lucas Oil Junior Dragster, we welcome Molly Openshaw from Bolton who will be racing a Junior Modified car; Marie Camilleri from Malta joins the class with a Motivational Tubing JM car, and she will receive support from her countrymen who have stayed on from Doorslammers.
FIM-E Banks Nightclub Top Fuel Bike has a strong field of nine bikes; of the British nitro bikes, Steve Woollatt is not attending as he has chosen to contest the ACU championship of which this is not a round. However Warpspeed Racing will be attending with the six second methanol burning Funny Bikes of Stuart Crane (at 6.325 Europe's quickest FB) and Mark Smith. Attending from overseas are the nitro bikes of defending Champion Rikard Gustafsson, René van den Berg who we saw at the Springspeed Nationals. Overseas Funny Bike competitors are the six second bikes of Eric Richard from France and Thomas Pettersson from Sweden, and Mike Olie from the Netherlands will be hoping to improve on his 7.044 at the Springspeed Nationals and run a six to qualify in the class.
FIM-E Super Twin Top Fuel Bike has four machines, two of which are champions and previous record holders. Marcus Christiansen from Denmark, champion in 2018 and 2022, will be looking for consistent and quick performance, whilst Vesa Lipponen from Finland will be looking to repeat his five second passes from 2018 and 2020 on his Harsh engined machine. They are joined by three time champion Martijn de Haas and Chris de Nimmen, looking for his first six second time ticket.
FIM-E Pro Stock Bike also has four competitors, from Britain the veteran racers Martin Newbury (2022 champion) and Martin Bishop, Bertrand Maurice from France and Aswin le Noble from Holland complete the quartet.
FIM-E Taylor's Trophy Super Street Bike has 14 competitors, we shall see whather qualifying will result in a 16 bike ladder. The class is expanded by the additions of overseas racers Mogens Lund (Denmark), 2022 Champion Daniel Donat Lencses (Hungary), Clemens Walleit, Ricardo Grauer (both Germany), Margot Schmidt (Netherlands), Peter Östlund and Mathias Bohlin (both Sweden). Ricardo and Peter are competing at Santa Pod for the first time and we welcome them.
Finally, FIM-E Eurodragster.com Junior Drag Bike has been strengthened partly by the enterprising efforts of racers having crowdfunding campaigns to raise the entry fee, showing that a specific target for sponsorship can produce the goods. Our UK stars of the class are joined by Anouk Burgering from the Netherlands and we look forward to some great bracket racing from them.
Main Event Perfect Awards.
24th May: £200 is up for grabs at this weekend's FIA/FIM-E Main Event 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 Blood Cancer UK ET Bike racer Liam Holgate at the 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 VP Racing Lubricants Nostalgia Superstock racer Spencer Tramm 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, B Fast R Super Comp, Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster and Eurodragster.com 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 in memory of his late wife Hayley.
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 finish of a green light and non-breakout race of eliminations at this weekend's event. At the Festival of Power the Award was won by Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas racers Jedd Guy and Marc Huxley with a finish line margin was 0.0002 seconds or 0.47 inches.
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.
24th May: Happy Birthday for today to semi-retired Pro Mod racer Kevin Slyfield, former Trakbak Racing employee Geoff Myers, Straightliners racer and photographer Becci Ellis and from Germany Super Pro ET racer Franz Aschenbrenner. We hope you all have a great day.
Kieran has been busy editing his footage from Doorslammers and has posted videos of European FWD Front Wheel Drive and 6 Cylinder action at his Mk1 Kieran Youtube channel, the videos running for 78 minutes and 26 minutes respectively, so definitely one to sit back and enjoy with a long drink.
Road closure near Santa Pod.
23rd May: Thanks to Santa Pod Raceway Events Coordinator Max Frost for letting us know about some road closures near to the track this week:
“For anyone attending this weekend’s FIA/FIM Main Event at Santa Pod, please note that the High Street, Wymington leading from the A6 will be closed for three days over Tuesday 23rd, Wednesday 24th, Thursday 25th – Racers and public are asked to be mindful of this when attending this weekend’s event and to be considerate of surrounding villages when making alternative route plans.”
FIM-E race numbers update.
23rd May: FIM-E Drag Racing Commission member Job Heezen has issued the latest versions of official race numbers for FIM-E competitors. These are available at the following links:
Top Fuel Bike: click here
Super Twin Bike: click here
Pro Stock Bike: click here
Super Street Bike: click here
Junior Drag Bike Cup: click here
Job says "All race-numbers have been updated and corrected. Make sure you have the correct numbers on your bike before entering a FIM-E championship event. Please check your name and number and let us know if something is wrong or missing."
Doorslammers notes, PBs, timing data.
23rd May: Some racers were quick to post their thoughts on Doorslammers, which we reproduce below. We have also made a table (shown left) of the new Personal Best ETs and terminal speeds for all the heads-up racers who competed at Doorslammers using the timing data from ETSlips.co.uk, thanks to Adam Bentley for this invaluable resource.
Pro Doorslammer winner Jan Ericsson, once dialled into the track, was unstoppable, running three 5.8s in elimination rounds and a winning 5.777/249.19 in the final.
Meanwhile sponsor John Tebenham was suffering wretched luck with a valve issue, resulting in rebuilding an engine with a borrowed head from Andy Robinson and help from Luke Robinson and his team to complete the rebuild early Saturday.
JT said: "We were ready until we dropped a valve on the Friday. Then, amazingly enough, we got back out. And bloody dropped another valve. But before that we had the Army car, left, right, left, right... man, Pro Mod is tough (Pro Doorslammer - Editor). A massive thanks to Keith for letting us run. Also to Darren Prentice - what a man...Gutted we can’t do the Main Event in the Pro Mod, but you try and find a pair of heads in Europe...bbbbaaahhhh."
True Street winner and Outlaw Street member Arnie Pamment, celebrating his birthday today, said "Best weekends racing ever! And it was the outcome I really wanted, but to actually do it is crazy! The car was amazing it really was! I knew the car always had potential but that ACE Racing Engines motor really helped me be able to show what the car can do!
And we are still getting to grips with the car and working out how it all works especially on the SS tyre, those things are totally different to the Street R and we spent most of the weekend just trying to get her to leave with them on! Had some good rounds against some good cars and good drivers! It’s a shame the final wasn’t exactly how I’d have liked it but I proved my car was still on point and had what it needed to get the job done.
Was lovely to hear Colin Theobald say nice things about me and how hard I’ve worked on the car I’ve certainly spent some time on it, but this weekend was a team effort for sure! Massive thank you to everyone that’s helped me at the track Steve Pamment, Tom Semper, Joseph Baxte, Rob Leyman, Gary Semper, Kyle Jacobs, and everyone else that helped with anything and that was rooting for me!
Stefan Rossi for not only for building the little 5.3 that can but for being awake at silly hours this weekend to help me keep her safe! Along with Jacob Gaddis from FuelTech USA, also awake when he should be asleep, you're a legend mate, and we wouldn’t have done it without both of you!
Edge Performance Transmissions for the gearbox that things working a treat! Pete Nichols and Circle D Specialties for the converter! Chris Goodale at Goodale American Speedshop for getting me stuff crazy fast when I decide in a flap last minute I need it! And to everyone that makes the weekends racing so good! Even without the racing! Those who I’ve already tagged above plus Justin Woolner, Sally Woolner, Marc Huxley, Danny Wilson, Pete Lane and so many more! U.K. drag racing really does have some cracking people in it!
Racing with my dad there helping me this weekend was pretty special and I’m pleased to do well for him he’s the reason I have this mad hobby and for those that don’t know this car's a big part of it too, Dad had the car before me and bought it in 97! Safe to say she’s going nowhere.
Santa Pod Raceway what an event! Now let’s get ready for Street Weekend 2023. And I really do mean this when I say thank you to my wife because on the run up to this event I’ve been a man obsessed and I’ve been pretty tunnel visioned to get here thank you Isabella Pamment we’ll be on holiday soon and I can’t touch the car then.
Fellow Outlaw Street racer Simon Paul writes: I had a fantastic weekend at the Doorslammers event in my Nissan GT-R! "On Saturday I qualified 6th in the True Street class with a new PB of 9.7666. Unfortunately I drew 2nd qualifier Simon Cooksey in his 8 second GT-R in the 1st round!
"On Sunday in our race I managed to get off the line first but he drove round me to take the win. However I ran another PB of 9.7015 @ 150.67mph! I was disappointed not to go further rounds, but pleased with the new PB! At the end of the event I drove the car home - a true True Street racer!"
European FWD Front Wheel Drive winner Dawid Lamik posted: This weekend was very exciting for the whole Turbo Lamik team, on Friday there was an engine failure, the competition looked like the end.
Thanks to the help of friends from UK who arranged used R32 heads and the help of Michał Borut of 86 Motorsport working to 2am, the engine worked once again.
The Doorslammers 2023 competition attracted the fastest front-drive cars from all over Europe. The level was very high, four 8s and many 9s cars with over 60 competitors in the class.
Thanks to the help of the whole TurboLamik Łukasz Lamik team, Agnieszka Lamik, the hard work was not in vain, we managed to win the FWD class and live on the international stage. And, let's go, a new Polish drag record FWD of 8.48s at 276km/h. I would like to thank the organizers of the trip, King of Poland - Drag Race Cup Paweł Pietrzak and diesels from L Tobork, without them it wouldn't be possible, bravo!
Thank you to the companies that support me: Ecumaster engine, Topol Garage for the best DSG clutches, Race TCS, RedTurbo Channel, European FWD, Dragracelist.pl, Gorny-Sport for custom protective cage and Widlak - Service.
4 Cylinder winner Richie Webb was only a last minute entrant with his quick all-carbon fibre Beetle cabriolet. He ended up a remarkable winner after several lucky breaks and dodging a few bullets. The luck came when Richie's main competition Kev Jenkins withdrew from competition after suffering an engine issue which couldn't be fixed at the track, and Alex Leriserach slowed in round 1 for a surprise early exit with fuel pressure issue after running his first eight in qualifying. Richie could only manage a 11s on his sole qualifying pass leaving us wondering if his entry was a flash in the pan.
But then, in eliminations, the cards turned his way. In round one, Richie defeated Phil Norman, still in shakedown mode with his beautiful new Brickfield Beetle, then ran a far from straight 10s pass against the wild Fiat 126 of Jan Niemcewicz. Chris Waterhouse, whose Audi A3 is now running mid nines was tougher competition for Richie in round 3 - and he defeated Chris on a holeshot, then James Wotton's 9.3s Beetle failed to show. In the final, the icing on the cake for Richie was Darren Scannell having suffered a failed clutch, a rare breakage.
6 Cylinder winner Gary Camilleri from Malta got into the local news websites for his win with the rotary powered 7s Team Zoqdi Escort Mk1. Two that you can see pictures of the victorious team by clicking on the links are Netnews.com and TVM News. Supporter Bjorn Delia said "Better than football and Eurovision, Malta's name always on top in Motor sport. Well done to all the Zoqdi Racing team, Gary Camilleri, Albert Camilleri and Marty Camilleri." Marty said "Hard work pays off. Thanks to all our supporters and friends".
The Williams Bros Big Bracket was won by Thomas Haas on Saturday and Dave Cherrett on Sunday. Dave's crew and brother Stephen wrote: "Thank you to everyone who congratulated us! Many thanks to Nic Williams and Elaine N Dan Williams for sponsoring a great class and to Pro ET and all other Big Bracket racers for the best bunch of friends two guys could ask for! Thanks to all of the Santa Pod crew, Startline Crew, Finish line Crew, Fire Marshals, pit runners and timing crew! You are all the very best! Much love, Dave, Steve and The Dark Revenger."
One racer that had a milestone was sponsor John Tebenham who has been trying for 150mph in the Burnout King Pop for some time. He wrote: "So, after 4 years of trying and 36, yes, 36 149 mph time tickets we ran 3 x 150 mph passes, mainly thanks to Edge Transmissions . Also my little white Pop has been creeping on the burnouts. After Ian shut us off twice, we found it, I had a broken brake pipe fitting, mad or what. So the Burnout King is back. Can’t wait until Friday, new slicks are on order."
Longtime supporter of Eurodragster.com Bob Roberts has posted photos of Doorslammers to his Flickr page at this link.
Thanks to David Anniwell of the Santa Pod Timing Crew for sending us detailed timing data, including run what ya brun 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. You can view the official results by going to santapodresults.com.
Any comments on the table of PBs please e-mail editor Simon at email@example.com.
PBR Rocket team looking forward to 2023.
23rd May: Al Smith and the PBR Rocket team have run their first five, but there is still room for improvement, writes Ivan Sansom for Remco Scheelings.
"Al ran a stellar 5.932/230.08 at the UK National Finals to become the fifth FIM-E Top Fuel Bike into the five second bracket, making him number nine on the combined FIM-E Top Fuel/Super Twin Top Fuel Bike quick list for quickest ETs in the world.
Team owner, engineer and FB blogger extraordinaire Phil Baimbridge is quick to acknowledge the support and hard work of the PBR team of Al & Joo Smith, Andy Kirk and Neill Curtis. But to see and hear the incredible bike in person, you will need to visit Santa Pod for Top Fuel Bike - no overseas visits are planned this year.
You can see Remco's article with text by Ivan Sansom and photos by Ivan and Rose Hughes, at this link on www.dragracingeurope.eu.
Ven to sample SE?
23rd May: Despite setting a new PB of 6.6617/225.90 at Easter at Santa Pod, Super Street Bike multiple champion Steve Venables won’t be challenging for a third FIM-E SSB crown this season, writes writes Ivan Sansom for Remco Scheelings.
"I’ve decided to cut back on the amount of races I’m doing as I have work commitments and will also be doing three rounds of the Sweet Lamb Adventure Rally Bike series in Wales", said Ven. "I did quite a bit of engine damage at the Easter meeting managed to bend/twist a crank. I think I’m reaching the limit of what the bike can handle."
With the help of his major sponsor DME Racing, Steve built a complete new engine with the best parts, and will be a contender at the Main Event.
Steve also revealed he has bought a previous class record holding Street Eliminator car. He said it needs some work before hitting the track (and streets) again. What chance he could have it ready by Street Weekend?
You can see Remco's article with text by Ivan Sansom and photos by Ivan and Rose Hughes, at this link on www.dragracingeurope.eu.
Liam wins in Clastres.
23rd May: Thanks to Graham McDonald of the Irish Junior Dragster team for letting us know that son Liam McDonald has won the first round of the French Junior Dragster championship at Clastres.
"Liam qualified in the number one spot with an 0.07 reaction time and then bettered that to a 0.01 reaction time. He held the number one spot until the last qualifier and with that lost the chance to have a bye run in the first round.
"As it turned out, the number of car at sixteen did not allow for a bye in the first round anyway, so Liam had to fight through four rounds to take the win. He mostly took each elimination round on his reaction time off the lights.
"Liam is now entering the FIA/FIM-E Main Event round, leading the French, British and two German junior dragster championships."
Congratulations to Liam, and good luck to him for the FIA/FIM-E Main Event where there will be a five round ladder, with 32 cars entered.
23rd May: Happy Birthday for today to Outlaw Street racer Arnie Pamment, Outlaw Anglia racer Wayne Power, Straightliners bike racer Maxine Taylor and drag racing photographer Kelvin Fagan. We hope you all have a great day.
Team member Martin Britton has written in to asked for help from the drag racing family. He says "AC Bell (Super Pro 457) is in relatively urgent need for some Lamb 625 brake pads as our other ones haven’t arrived from the States as of yet. If any racer has a set available for us to buy please call or message AC on 07484689969."
22nd May: Congratulations to winners at Doorslammers held at Santa Pod Raceway over the weekend:
VP Racing Fuels Pro Doorslammer: Jan Ericsson 5.7771/249.19 def. David Vegter 7.8964/117.61 DQ red
Pro Street: Andy Bond 7.5895/198.14 def. Brian Pateman 7.9892/175.04
True Street: Arnie Pamment 8.8232/155.79 def. Patryk Walke no-show
European FWD Front Wheel Drive: Dawid Lamik 8.5849/174.38 def. Andy Nicholls 14.9279/59.27
4 Cylinder: Richie Webb 11.1424/111.54 def. Darren Scannell broke
6 Cylinder: Gary Camilleri 7.9518/138.98 def. Jeff Ludgate 10.1895/119.02
Williams Bros Speed Shop Big Bracket #2: Dave Cherrett (9.70) 9.7509/122.71 def. Tom Atkinson (8.40) 8.6656/147.15
Williams Bros Speed Shop Big Bracket #1 (Saturday): Thomas Haas (8.02) 8.3132/157.38 def. Jon Turner (8.79) 9.2572/148.56.
The event was held in near-ideal conditions making for many personal bests from competitors which we will highlight in our event review tomorrow. For now, congratulations to Jan Ericsson whose win means he is on a 15 round win streak at SPR; also to Pro Doorslammer racer David Vegter for low ET of the event of firstname.lastname@example.org.
The big cash prizes, plus promotion by European FWD admin Luke Stevenson attracted a record entry of 68 Front Wheel Drive cars. Attending in force was a large Polish contingent of 22 cars conveyed to SPR on a convoy of three transporters, which we featured in our story on 16th May. Noteworthy was the race between Front Wheel Drive winner Dawid Lamik (Opel Corsa) and Ahmed Jamshaid (Honda Civic) which unofficially is the quickest Front Wheel Drive side by side race in European drag racing history, 8.4803/172.40 to 8.8515/166.07.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Doorslammer reports, results and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. We should repeat our new policy that the watermarked photos from our galleries can be downloaded and may be used in social media posts but please do not crop or modify them, in particular we need the watermark retained.
Please join Simon in thanking Julian and Diana for their hard work over the race weekend.
Vehicles still wanted for Caffeine & Machine Weekend.
22nd May: Santa Pod Raceway Track & Events Coordinator Dan Melrose has issued a further request for drag racing vehicles to run at the Caffeine&Machine event on the weekend of 3rd-4th June. about a new event for which drag racing vehicles are invited for display:
"On Saturday and Sunday 3rd and 4th June, Santa Pod Raceway are teaming up with Caffeine&Machine to hold a weekend in celebration of drag racing. Visitors over the weekend will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the quickest machinery designed to tear up the drag strip and find out more about just what it takes to propel a vehicle from standstill to a quarter of a mile away.
"We’re looking for vehicles to go on display in C&M’s iconic Yard (based in Ettington, near Stratford Upon Avon) over the weekend – can you help? You’ll be getting your cars in front of the thousands of people who come through C&M’s front gates throughout the course of a summer weekend, bringing the visual spectacle of drag racing to a whole new audience, and hopefully igniting a few passions for the sport. You’ll also get to experience the magic of a high summer weekend at one of the UK’s most recognisable car culture destinations.
"We’re looking for up to 10 vehicles each day to put on display and want to hear from you! Vehicle passes will be provided for those wanting to participate, with the invitation to bring crew, family and/or guests to the event as well. If you want to get involved, email Dan at email@example.com with photos and a short writeup on your vehicle. "
22nd May: Happy Birthday for today to Super Twin Top Gas racer Markus Müller, also belated birthday greetings for yesterday to Top Fuel mum Mona Kristin Udtian, former Top Fuel racer Jari Halinen, VW Pro racer Adrian Solly, Super Twin Top Fuel racer Roman Sixta and Nostalgia Super Stock racer John Davison. We hope you all have or had a great day.
Congratulations to Graham Sykes for becoming what he believes is the fastest steam powered Rocket Bike in history. At the Elvington UK & ITA world records meeting at the weekend, Graham recorded a 3.878 eighth mile standing start time with an exit speed of 163.80mph.
Doorslammers/VW Breakout coverage.
20th May: We are in place at Santa Pod Raceway to bring you coverage of the Doorslammers competition this weekend. To see our coverage page, go to this link.
Funny Car Cup preview.
19th May: As the Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway approaches so does the start of the 2023 Funny Car Cup, writes Chris Hobson:
Four teams will take to the track to start this year's campaign with a 5th joining later in the season.
2022 Champion Ashdown and the Undertaker team return with a new Dodge body and look to defend the crown they won last year with 4 final round appearances in 4 races. After a rebuild from the fire at the finals last year The team will be hoping to add some event wins in their title defence and also enlisted the help of Terry Haddock.
Phelps and the Hawk Racing team had a strong campaign last year winning 2 events and finishing the series in second place. The team had a successful test session at the Festival of Power, completing several runs and were happy with the results also with little damage. At the Main Event they are hoping to continue their winning ways from the finals last year.
Kent and the West Ten Motorsports team were top qualifiers at all 4 races in 2022, picking up an event win at Bug Jam and also achieved low ET and top speed of the season (4.241) & (278.48mph) respectively, mixed with 3 first round exits. The team will be hoping for more race day success this year, they also tested at the Festival of Power putting in several runs including 4.351/273.43mph and hope to continue this form into the season opener.
2019 Champion Chapman started the 2022 season with a win at the Festival Of Power, but an accident during qualifying at the Main Event put the team out of action for the remainder of the season. After a long winter of work including an extensive rebuild of the chassis, the team are entered for the Main Event. And will check out the new build before hitting the ground running.
During the off season Patrik purchased an ex DSR Funny Car ( a barely used spare for Ron Capps) the team are still awaiting parts and also have work and personal commitments which prevent them starting at the Main Event. They are very happy with the progress made and intend to test at the second Tierp Race in Sweden before entering the series later in the season.
2023 Funny Car Cup schedule
Tooren aims for title.
19th May: Dutch Pro Modified racer Michel Tooren has the ambition to take the FIA title in 2023, writes Remco Scheelings. "After complete rebuild in the winter months, the team had planned to use the Festival of Power as a test weekend. But one week before the race, essential parts like the blower and the fuel system were still in the States, so the first meeting of the season had to be cancelled. However there was a good alternative with The Doorslammers.
"Tooren experienced his greatest success in the FIA European Championship so far at Hockenheim last year by claiming the victory, watched by many supporters and business partners of Pro Dutch Racing in the grandstands. In the end, Tooren finished the title fight in fourth position.
You can read Remco's complete article at this link on www.dragracingeurope.eu.
Crew profile: Joe Cowen.
19th May: Thanks to Andy Cowen who has written in with a profile of son Joe Cowen who at the age of 20, has amassed a degree of experience with nitro teams that many would envy:
Having supported Stig Neergaard from when he was 6 years old, Joe had the opportunity to start working with Stig when he was 14 years old.
Joe started his crewing on cleaning the bottom end and oil pan for Stig's car, then worked his way up to doing the cylinder heads, a highly skilled job. He's been on tour with Stig and worked with him at Tierp Arena, Hockenheim and Mosten as well as Santa Pod Raceway. He has been on the podium with Stig at Tierp in 2016, and the Main Event in 2016 and 2018. Tom also worked on Kevin Chapman's FC team when Stig couldn't come over in 2021 and 2022.
Joe, who leaves college in August, is going to be a fully qualified carpenter in a few months time. Hi ambition, unsurprisingly is wanting to work one day on a car in the US. Indeed, he made a connection with US racers aged 14 when he worked with Richard Hartman when Richard crew chiefed for Stig at the Euro finals in 2016; Richard has since become crew chief on NHRA star Tim Wilkerson's car.
As well as working on Stig's Top Fuel team, Joe covers all roles helping Junior Dragster racer Nieve Deevey, sister of his girlfriend Kaitlan who has now joined the ranks of retired JD racers. You will be able to see Joe in action with Stig in the Top Fuel pits at the Main Event. Can he be the youngest ever working for a TF team?
BDRHoF bids for auction donations.
19th May: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame will hold its third annual Grand Auction during Dragstalgia, writes Robin Jackson. The silent auction takes place in the pitside marquee, by kind permission of Santa Pod Raceway. The Hall of Fame is a not-for-profit organisation run pro bono by volunteers to celebrate the history of British drag racing and to recognise significant figures who have contributed to the sport. The Dragstalgia auction raises essential funds to enable the Hall of Fame to carry out its activities.
If there are any items out there – great or small, old or new – which their owners would be happy to offer towards the Hall of Fame’s good works, they will be greatly welcomed – used parts, team t-shirts or tea mugs, anything that might be of value to a potential bidder. Items are not limited to tangible objects. ‘Experiences’ will be welcomed too, such as being present during a pits warm-up or a passenger ride on a Street Eliminator cruise.
The Main Event will be an ideal occasion for items to be collected. Items can be left with HoF Hon. Chair Lesley Wright in the Venom Nostalgia Funny Car pit or at the NitroFM radio station behind the start line. HoF director Phil Cottingham (see photo) will be at large during the weekend and happy to accept deliveries. Phil can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations will be much appreciated and gratefully received.
19th May: Happy Birthday for today to ET Bike racer Joe Elliott, Pro Modified racer Walle Strobel, Edge Performance Transmissions co-boss Nick Evans, VW Pro racer Ian Huggan, former Funny Car racer Charlie Draper and former Junior Dragster racer and 2022 champion Luke Fulton. We hope you all have a great day.
Thanks to Geoff Stilwell for letting us know that there is a live feed of El Mirage Land Speed Racing, at which he will be running at lsrlive.com which will be live from tomorrow at around 17:00 BST.
FIA/FIM-E Main Event racer update.
18th 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.
Ian says "Sportsman Car Racers, please note that you only need to attend Scrutineering if this is your first event in 2023 or you have had major changes to your vehicle requiring a Scrutineering inspection."
The main gates to the track will open at 08.00 on Thursday, 25th May.
Thursday, 25th May:
10.00-20.00 Signing on office opens
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 £85. Entry can be made by phoning Santa Pod on 01234 782828.
Friday, 26th May:
07.00 Signing on office opens
08.00-14.00 Sportsman car scrutineering at the scrutineering building
09.30 Scrutineering for bikes at the scrutineering building
09.30 Track open for sportsman qualifying
14.30 FIA Pro Class scrutineering (at pit bay) - see additional list for details
Saturday, 27th May:
07.00 Signing on open
08.00 Scrutineering building open
09.30 Track open for qualifying
Sunday, 28th May:
07.00 Signing on open
08.00 Scrutineering building open
09:30 Track open for qualifying/ eliminations
Monday 29th May:
07.00 Signing on open
09.00 Scrutineering building open
09:30 Track open for eliminations
The detailed running orders and entry list can be seen in our event coverage page.
New sponsor Goodale American Speedshop.
18th May: Eurodragster.com welcomes Goodale American Speedshop as a home and news sponsor from 2023. Chris Goodale writes:
"Goodale American Speedshop is based at in Emneth, Wisbech, Norfolk and supplies parts for all American vehicles from 1950 up to the present day. I have nearly 30 years of experience importing parts and accessories from the USA, and indeed the business still has customers dating back over 45 years when it was set up as Henry's Place in Norwich.
"We believe we can save you money in the majority of cases and offer a full mail order service to your door, or you can collect. If the shipping prices you are currently paying are too high and, for instance, making a $10 item cost £40, please give us a call, we can source just about anything from an oil filter to a body shell.
"We are Muscle Car Specialists for GM, Mopar, and Ford and have wholesale accounts held in the USA with suppliers to obtain the best parts at the best prices. Along with all Performance, Restoration, and Service Parts, we also offer parts from LMC Truck, Calvert Racing, and TTi Exhaust".
"We have regular air and sea freight, with an option for Express service when needed. Contact us on 07951 121389 or via email@example.com, or via our Facebook page."
18th May: Today is a special day for two members of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame. Happy Birthday to Funny Car legend Harlan Thompson, have a great day Harlan! We also wish Stones Drag Racing Team driver Gerry Andrews a very Happy Birthday, enjoy your day Gerry.
17th May: Once again the Doorslammers is upon us, this weekend, 19th-21st May, and the entry list has risen from 140 to an awesome 208. The overall purse is £90,000 split between eight competitions (counting the Big Bracket, run on Saturday and Sunday, as two).
This is the richest drag race in Europe, but also the least predictable due to the draw, performance variations and sheer reliability of these powerful vehicles. Here is our preview of each class, and you can see a printable version of the entry list at this link:
Santa Pod have announced, in addition to the posted prize money, a £50 bounty payment placed on the top qualifier in each of the Heads Up classes at the conclusion of qualifying on Saturday. This will grow for each round the top qualifier wins until they are knocked out (e.g. if the top qualifier gets knocked out in the third round, the person that knocked them out wins £150). If the top qualifier ends up winning their class, they collect the bounty prize money!
The Doorslammers is part of a multi-event weekend also incorporating the VW Breakout festival, which has jet exhibitions, show & shine, seven live bands or DJs and funfair. You can see more detail about Doorslammers at this link, about VW Breakout at this link and get tickets at this link.
Eurodragster.com's coverage page is at this link or go via Event Coverage in our main menu. We plan to post on-track and off-track photographs on each day and there will be a summary of best times posted on Friday evening with a live report on Saturday and Sunday. Our event coverage is supported by John Woolfe Racing.
VP Racing Fuels Pro Doorslammer - Entries: 19 Prize Money: £20,000 2022 winner: Jan Ericsson
The favourite has to be 2022 winner and FIA Pro Modified Champion Jan Ericsson (below left). He ran four consecutive 5.8s last year and followed it up with six consecutive 5.7s at the Main Event. There is a contingent of 12 other FIA Pro Mods, including Kev Slyfield, tempted out of retirement for this race but not the Main Event.
These 13 will be challenged by Colin Millar in his rebuilt Flyin' Fyfer, John Sleath in his truck now powered by a LS 6litre engine, David Swift in his nitrous AMX, Wojciech Adamczyk from Poland in a Toyota Celica, Joel Kerr in his newly rebuild Supercharged Outlaw Pontiac Starchief and Przemyslaw Sochacki in his Firebird. 2021 winner Bruno Bader is competing, however we are missing 2018 winner Jimmy Alund and 2019 winner Mattius Wulcan.
Pro Street - Entries: 15 Prize Money: £10,000 2022 Winner: Andy Bond
The 2021 race produced one of the moments of the events with a lengthy staging burn-down between winner Dave Mace and Andy Bond (above right). Last year Andy did not allow such a situation to arise, and was the winner over Ash Cooper.
This year the class has two new 8s racers from Outlaw Street Justin Woolner and Matthew Southcott, a stronger Street Eliminator contingent than we have ever seen at Doorslammers (7 entries including Paul Houston who last competed in the class in 2010) and four from Poland who we mentioned in yesterday's news.
True Street - Entries: 19 Prize Money: £10,000 2022 Winner: N/A
Commiserations to Adam Williamson who is fortunately unhurt after a road accident resulted in his Audi S4 rolling and likely written off. Adam vows to return to the track with a new car.
The class is a real mix of quick road cars, with the quickest looking like Arnie Pamment has a ACE Racing Engines Stefan Rossi-built engine in his AMC Javelin and ran a great 8.6622/154.15 at the recent NSRA Nostalgia Nationals. Simon Cooksey has a quick Nissan GTR (left) that ran a 9.353/155.82 at Dakota Raceway last year. A few of the cars have dipped into the nines, but mandatory street tyres will result in some of the cars losing traction, so the result is quite unpredictable.
European FWD Front Wheel Drive - Entries: 68 Prize Money: £10,000 2022 Winner: Ahmed Jamshaid
For the first time since 2019, European heavy hitters from the FWD scene across the continent are making their way to Santa Pod Raceway to take part in what will be the most prestigious competition in European FWD drag racing history. Not only is there a great line-up, the number of entries is mind blowing.
Thorsten Middendorf from Germany (below left) is on paper the quickest of all at 8.254/173.06, but had a wretched event in 2019 qualifying 45th and not making round 1, and surely will be looking to expunge memories. Greek racer Petros Taxopoulos has had more international experience than others having raced at SPR last year and at Malta this spring where he recorded a PB of 8.23. Pole Dawid Lamik in his Opel Corsa at 8.5810/168.58 is also super-quick. It's both Taxos's and Dawid's debut at Doorslammers.
The other eight second runner is 2022 winner Ahmed Jamshaid, but engine damage at the Festival of Power has sidelined his silver Civic and he is having to revert to his "Blue Whale" spare car which is not in the same performance bracket. The other UK eight second runnner taking part is 2021 winner Andy Nicholls in his Civic, Calvin Skerrit who qualified #1 in 2021 and 2022 having withdrawn. Stop press: Ahmed has managed with the help of Gordon Darby and Pro-Race Engineering to effect repairs to the block and install new pistons and rods to have his SilverSurfer 8s Civic ready for Doorlammers.
Can any of these win, or will there be an upset from a lower-qualified car? Stephen Ray won in 2018 and was runner up in 2021 despite not having run a 9s pass. But, let's be honest, it's anyone's race.
Apart from overseas visitors (not forgetting Jurgen Caruana from Malta and Lisette De Koning from the Netherlands), there are a large number of UK racer and car debuts, so good luck to Joedie van Aswegen (Civic), Becky Bambrick (Golf Mk2), Cameron Bishop (Civic EG), , Paul Conway (Astra Merit), Connor Devine (Fiesta ST180), Chris Eade (Fiesta), Dale Houston (Astra), Alan Kenyon (Focus), Lewis Lavener (Fiesta), Harry Lockwood (Corsa), Ahsen Mahmood (Civic), Lewis Simpson (mid-9s Civic), Paul Walklate (VW Caddy), Jake Tipping (VW Caddy) and Ben Lawless whose Corsa (above right) has drawn admirers from the racing community for its immaculate engineering.
Previous Doorslammer entrants with new builds include Carl Goldsmith (VW Corrado, built for Street Weekend) and Robert Colquhoun has taken the drastic step of converting his Misubishi Evo from AWD to FWD to take part in FWD competition.
European FWD admin Luke Stevenson deserves credit for promoting the class across the continent; to support European FWD, visit their merchandise trailer just behind the main grandstand, open Friday-Sunday of Doorslammers (maybe Thursday afternoon). All pre orders will be set aside ready for collection and there will be t-shirts, hoodies, lanyards, stickers, caps, beanies, and straw hats to prevent Pod face. Cash or card taken. To pre-order, click on this link.
4 Cylinder - Entries: 38 Prize Money: £10,000 2022 Winner: Alex Leiserach
After taking a bit of a break from racing after his 2022 Doorslammer triumph, Alex Leiserach returns to defend his crown and possibly run an eight in his rapid VW Bay Window Single Cab. Favourite is Kev Jenkins who won in 2019 and 2021 but suffered engine destruction in round 1 of eliminations last year after qualifying #1. Richard Webb's VW Cabrio can run quick (PB 7.9739/169.17), but consistency sometimes eludes him.
Others to watch out for, with eight second performance, are Nathan Freke (Toyota MR2, PB 8.2986/172.39), Chris Todd (Fiesta Mk1, PB 8.8876/162.47), Lee Connor (Lotus Elise, PB 8.9731/156.33) and Mikee Singh (ScoobyClinic Subaru, PB 8.8330/160.22).
We welcome first time overseas visitors Austrian Martin Friedschroeder (immaculate MeXXspeed Karmann Ghia, PB 8.6820/158.44), Dane Jack Krügel (Nissan Pulsar, PB 8.371/174.51) and Johannes Haginger (Austria, Mk1 Golf 4Motion), three from Poland (see yesterday's update), and Branislav Hudecek (Slovakia, Golf).
Debuts in the class are from Gareth Bates (Beetle), Andrew Burton (Beetle), Mark Eltringham (Karmann Ghia, PB 10.009/147.57), Rob Laughton (Golddigga Toyota MR2), Ash Lambert (Cortina Mk1), Phil Norman with the beautiful Brickfield show quality Beetle (see Saturday update for photo), Adam Phillips (Beetle), Jim Smith of Cotsweld with a new Beetle, Josh Waterhouse with a Vauxhall Astra VXR and Karen Waterhouse with her Audi TT; indeed there are four members of the Waterhouse family in the list.
6 cylinder - - Entries: 14 Prize Money: £10,000 2022 Winner: Joe Bristow
Like other classes, there are the defending champion, overseas racers, record holders and new entries in the mix, which includes rotary and electric cars (no electric cars entered to our knowledge).
The record holder is also an overseas entry, Hubert Strengberger who took his Audi TT to a 7.149/185 at Hal Far, Malta in November 2022. Also holding a record at an identical ET is Gary Camilleri from Malta whose Zoqdi Racing Escort Mk1 is powered by a rotary engine. The defending winner Joe Bristow who has a PB of 8.9434/159.61 in his Golvo (Golf powered by Volvo), will have quite a challenge on his hands.
New entries are from Oliver Berger from Austria (VW Golf 3 R30T), Marcus Daley (BMW M140i), Darren Hussey (Angry Bird 2JZ powered Ford Falcon), Khurram Rauf (Audi RS3) and Christopher Smit from South Africa (BMW 140i). Stop press: Dave Henderson has announced his withdrawal from the event.
Williams Bros Big Bracket - Entries: 30 (Saturday), 25 (Sunday) Prize Money: £10,000 per day 2022 Winner: (Saturday) Lee Huxley, (Sunday) Lee Chiles
This class is populated by experienced bracket racers, many of whom are regular UK Championship competitors. As with all other classes there will be a draw for pairings, and in this class only, buy backs will be run after round 1 if time allows.
We welcome visitors from Germany Thomas Bublitz (Jens Konnecke) and Jens Konnecke (Oldsmobile Rocket 88), also making his debut in a 2020 Dodge Hellcat is Jason Darling and we welcome back experienced Super Comp/Super Gas racer Pete Creswell who undoubtedly has been practising a sportsman tree.
Nostalgia Nationals Gasser Circus Report .
17th May: Many thanks to Gasser Circus co-ordinator Nick Brooke-Langham for sending us a report on the class at the recent NSRA Nostalgia Nationals:
The Nostalgia National pits were buzzing none more so than within the Gasser Circus. This being the 20th Anniversary Year of the race class. It was befitting to have 20 Gassers entered, and it was good to see two new cars, new drivers and a previous Champion returning. The latter being John Gibson who caught everyone by surprise (except for his brother Brian), when he arrived with the Ford Falcon ‘High Roller’ within his enclosed trailer. John having only just acquired the car, as his ‘Crowd Pleaser’ 55 Chevy, is still being saved by Brian Whitfield. It transpired that there was not much steel keeping the roof of the 55 in close touch with the main body, hence why it’s now with Mr Whitfield.
Two new drivers joined the Gasser Circus, Nimah Smith now the owner of ‘Nogbad the Bad’ Austin Devon and Dean Maudsley with his 37 Chevy Coupe ‘The Defiant One’. Having sold Nogbad I was debuting my new Gasser having acquired John Gumble’s ‘Tinsel Town Hustler’ as a roller. I was also debuting its name change with the Anglia now ‘The Traitor’. In true Gasser style, the Gasser had someone else’s engine up front, as good friend Drew Mason having sold his Anglia project had his freshly built 350 Chevy looking for a home for 2023. The other new car was Harvey Turner, with his ‘Nurse Stoner’ Chevy Nova. A Gasser with a ton of history and a fascinating story.
For those obsessed with the weather, the forecasts were not good for Saturday day one qualifying. However, in the morning there was sunshine and as the clock ticked past 9am engines throughout the pits were fired and monitored by their crews as everything was run up to temperature ready for the call to the fire up road. This was already populated by a fine selection of RWYB racers. Unfortunately the sunshine was being chased from the scene by some outrageous dark clouds crisscrossing the nearby fields, until laden with so much rain they could no longer hold, and down it came. It kept on coming, torrential at times, and on the few occasions it eased we hoped it may have passed, then it began to rain again. Eventually, Santa Pod management had no other option than to call the day.
The rain continued through Saturday night, but by the time we woke on Sunday morning the sound of rain on canvas and ping-ping on the caravan roof was thankfully a thing of the past.
Before fire up all the assembled race cars needed to be dried off and within the Gasser Circus pits air lines were being put to good use, as they ensured that no drops remained, thereby minimising its transference to the track and ensuring start line crew did not see fluid dripping from your car, with the resulting shutdown signal. This was of particular relevance today, with no qualifying at all on Saturday the gathered race classes had been given the chance of a one shot qualifier and soon after 9:45 the classes were in the fire up road and taking on the challenge.
At the conclusion of qualifying within the Gasser Circus pits there were 3 cars that had not qualified but there was also 2 gassers that could not take Round 1 due to damage. The most scary and far reaching of these being the qualifying run between Jason Hollamby in his ‘Jumpin Jalapeno’ and Martyn Hallam in his ‘Hallam Hallam & Couch’ 33 Willys. Martyn was ahead and was first under the gantry when he instantly knew all was not well with his Hemi, and Jason realised it too as he watched parts including the bottom end pulley of Martyn’s blower coming across the track in his path. Unable to avoid them they shot under his car, where they cut one of his rear slicks. Jason and Martyn were both safe but Jason who had just posted the number 1 qualifying time, was out, Martyn was as crest fallen as Jason was frustrated yet philosophical saying ‘that’s racing’!
The 3 cars not qualified were on the Alternate list, and with Martyn and Jason out Chris Layram in Outa Gas and Simon Prest in the Rocket slotted into Round 1 Eliminations. Third Alternate Simon Glenn looked to have missed out, but an issue with the water pump and its replacement on Identity Crisis saw Simon join the rest of the Circus in Round 1.
Following impressive sessions from Supercharged Outlaws, Wild Bunch, Outlaw Anglia, Nostalgia Super Stocks the Gasser Circus were out. The first pairing of Billy Jones Willys and Harvey Turner’s Nova, saw both register excellent reaction times with Harvey on a 0.01 and Billy a 0.02 they also had a superb race which ended in a breakout battle with Billy the victor breaking out by 0.01 less than Harvey. Next up current Champion Ray Irish lined up against previous Champion Sean Milsom, the Willys of Ray looked and sounded strong and it was as Ray pushed a little too hard on the throttle and broke out with a 10.07 on a 10.23, handing the win to Sean who was again leaving the line wheels in the air posting a 10.06 on a 10.06 run.
Ray Turner and Nimah Smith were next up, Nimah had been steadily improving her times on Friday and dialled 12.72 with the race over Ray had the win light but Nimah had a new PB breaking out with a 12.70. This was despite the loss a great debut with the Circus.
Alternate Simon Prest lined up against the returning John Gibson and this race was won on the line as Simon still working on his new setup left a cherry on the tree, as did John, but under the ‘first’ rule John advanced.
Jason Pickett in his Cherry bomb 55 took on alternate Simon Glenn in his Straight Shooter Austin pick up. Jason dialled 10.89 and when the win light went on his lane the time showed he had run spot on with a 10.89.
Graham Barton in another Devon this one High Anxiety came to the line with another alternate Chris Layram, who was getting some seat time in his now painted Pop. Chris took the win with a 10.83 on a 10.50 dial in. Unfortunately Graham’s time of 12.58 told a different story, the one where his transmission fancied a vacation and rebuild.
Next pair up involved myself in The Traitor and Lee Pike Honky Tonkin 2, I dialled 11.70 and Lee dialled 9.18. I had a fantastic time and ran 11.71 and lost as Lee had treed me with a holeshot. Getting used to the transbrake which is like winning the lottery each time you let it go, needs more work!
The final pairing bore witness to Steve Mathews in Honky Tonkin 57, squaring off against Pat Hobbs Falcon, Pat coming squirrely out of the burnout. Pat left first followed by a wheel standing Steve the win here went to Steve as Pat broke out running 11.53 on an 11.59.
First up was the Tri Chevy battle with Ray Turner in Green Onions 55 lining up against Steve Matthews 57 Honky Tonkin. Steve dialled 9.65 and ray 10.90 on review Ray had a slight amount of right hand steering showing on in his front wheels and as he left the line the car headed for the centre line, before being corrected by Ray, Steve launched wheels up and as he passed the Christmas tree the red bulb was glowing in his lane. The commentators were correct Ray had just dodged a bullet. Billy Jones Willys Coupe was glowing in the late afternoon sun, as he came to the line against the returnee John Gibson, who was getting used to his new car High Roller. As the cars came to the line and lit the bulbs, the red went on in Johns lane it appeared the car had rocked when he went on the trans brake, and Billy took the win, it was none the less a good weekend for John and it was good to see him back.
Next pair up were Lee Pike and Chris Layram who both laid down strong burnouts, dialling 10.75 for Chris and 9.12. As the lights dropped Chris was off with a green in his lane unfortunately the chase had begun too early for Lee, with a red light in his lane, the alternate was making the most of his opportunity and advancing to the semi-final.
‘Aint Misbehavin’ driven by Sean Milsom came to the line with 10.06 on the back window of his Morris van, in the opposite lane Jason Pickett dialled 10.87, meaning Sean would be chasing Jason down. With a green light race it was nip and tuck as Sean gunned the small block Ford as it turned out fractionally too much breaking out as he ran 10.05 on his 10.06, Jason through to the semi-final.
The first pairing had Chris Layram in his Outa Gas Pop lined up against Jason Pickett. Jason had taken the win in the last round of Gasser Circus in 2022 at the Hot Rod Drags so he was keen to return to another final. Jason dialled 10.90 and Chris dialled 10.60. This would be a close race and a reaction time of 0.0306 for Jason put him at an advantage as Chris posted a 0.0754, a close race ensued but when you hit your numbers spot on as Jason did you take the win.
The second pairing bore witness to Ray Turner and Billy Jones pulling round to burnout with 10.90 on Rays 55 and 10.58 on Billy’s Willys Coupe.
Once completed they edged to the line and activated the tree, Ray was visibly the first to leave the line with a superb 0.0094 reaction to Billy’s 0.0897, Bill chased hard and at the finish line it was not enough with Ray progressing to the final.
With the Gassers at the end of the Fire Up Road, the weather was still glorious with the sun casting its low sitting rays across the strip. The final of Gasser Circus Round 1 was an all 55 affair Green Onions and Cherry Bomb, both drivers deciding on a heads up race with 10.90 on the rear screen of both. The tree activated the lights descended and Ray left the line first piloting his 55 we had a green light final but Ray began a slight drift to the left but he stayed with it, Jason’s was running arrow straight and playing catch up they were side by side at ¾ track but Ray was slightly ahead a position he held to the finish line, Jason did he all he could, but ran 10.83 which was a breakout. Ray Turner had taken Round 1 with a thrilling final, befitting of not only this being the classes 20th Anniversary, but also the tough mechanical issues that Ray has had to overcome in the last few years.
The Gasser Circus wish to thank their Sponsors Neil Melliard’s Modern Lettering, The NSRA, Rocket Racing Team, Renegade Fuels, Serck Services and we are delighted to welcome the Williams Brothers Racing.
We get to do this all again in a few weeks at the Retro Show, who will come out on top at that one?
17th May: Happy Birthday for today to Super Pro ET racer Tom Atkinson,Pro ET racer Nick Mugridge, Super Street Bike racer Mark Hope, FWD racer Darren Dewhurst, Swedish Pro Mod racer Håkan Persson and Swedish caravan drag racer and Fawlty Towers expert Anders Bostic Envall. We hope you all are having a fantastic day.
Photographer Ashley Dale has used his web skills to put together a neat Unofficial Melbourne Raceway 5-Second club listing 24 vehicles that have run under 6.00s at the eighth mile track. The list has been put together by Ash from the public results data available from Melbourne Raceway. You need to disable any ad blocker to view it. There is also a link to Ash's extensive Flickr page.
Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell is currently in Los Angeles preparing for this weekend's record attempt at El Mirage. Geoff aims to set the class record for Blown Fuel Roadsters by going in excess of 250mph in his 7707 LSR car. Geoff is being joined today by Nick Davies, Rob Loaring and Scott Barnes who will be servicing the car in Geoff's workshop in Pomona, two hours drive from El Mirage.
They will be working with retired sheriff (really - Editor) Scott Campbell from the Pure Hell team, who has been ensuring the engine is still in working order and properly lubricated since it last ran in August 2022 (who would have guessed that nitro is highly corrosive and breaks down seals as easily as looking at them?). After servicing the car, the team convoy will head to El Mirage on Friday and run at the weekend, when there will also be a gathering of racers and SCTA officials to celebrate the life of Geoff's late son Matthew.
The Poles are coming!
16th May: In previous Doorslammers races at Santa Pod, there have been a sprinkling of Polish competitors, with Marcin Blauth competing in Pro Street in 2018 and 2019, and more recently Paweł Pietrzak competed in Front Wheel Drive at the 2021 event.
However for this year's event, on 19th-21st May, there are no less than 22 Polish racers entered! The sport is well established in Poland with racers competing at Pila, the main track for championship rounds in Poland, but Polish racers frequently race in Germany, Hungary and Romania too - there was even a New Year race at Arad airport in Romania they attended. The excellent website www.dragracing.pl lists out the ranking of competitors by class and time, plus an overall ranking and we're grateful for the information provided.
The racers visiting have a series of transporters to carry the cars, and hopefully, spares, because the usual tracks raced on for the Polish series are unprepped airports and the grip at Santa Pod will be of a completely different, and potentially driveshaft-breaking, order. But Polish racers are nothing if not resourceful, as those who witnessed the many runs of Marcin and Pawel in previous years will testify.
In VP Racing Fuels Pro Doorslammer, Wojciech Adamczyk in his RWD Turbo Toyota Celica RA28 with a 4000cc 1UZ engine (PB 7.835/181.46, 3rd quickest in Poland) and Przemyslaw Sochacki with a 6000cc RWD turbo Pontiac Firebird (PB 8.303/163.87) will be competing against Europe's quickest Pro Mods, but we all know the Doorslammers can produce extraordinary upsets.
Photos: Top: Wojciech Adamczyk, Przemyslaw Sochacki (Rafal Kurik pic), Marcin Blauth. Bottom: Mariusz Lejman, Constantin Blumel, Patryk Walke (Rafal Kurik pic)
Marcin Blauth has the second quickest car in Poland with his AWD turbo Chevrolet Camaro I SS (7.591/189.31 PB), and qualified well in Pro Street in 2018 and 2019, so will be in with a shout in that class. He will almost certainly be a crowd favourite with his turbos now protruding above the hood and four wheel drive burnouts. Marcin will be joined in the class by Mariusz 'Kaktuss' Lejman (Nissan 350Z, PB 9.652/145.41), Constantin Blumel (Chevrolet Camaro gen 6 SS N/A, PB 9.721/139.07) and Daniel Pyka (Ford Mustang).
In True Street, the class making its first appearance since 2019, both Polish entries look competitive, Patryk Walke's Audi S5 with all Audi components, turbo and nitrous for an output of 1300hp has a PB of 8.6040/165.58, the record for a Polish street car. Tomasz Drozdz has a BMW M3 E46 with a PB of 9.493/150.20 running RWD.
The European FWD Front Wheel Drive class has 11 Polish racers out of an amazing total of 69 entries thanks to the ceaseless promotion by European FWD admin Luke Stevenson. Quickest of all is Dawid Lamik (pictured left) with an Opel Corsa R30, the R30 referring to a destroked VW R32 engine by utilising a VR6 2.8ltr crank. Dawid's journey with VW engines started over a decade ago when he swapped a C20XE engine for the R32. One of the top 10 FWD cars in Europe, Dawid's best performance is 8.581/168.21, obtained using a T76 hybrid turbo built by Turbo Expert and all forged engine parts to give 1140hp.
Dawid's gearbox is a DSG DQ250 which unusually is controlled by the Ecumaster EMU Black ECU, and there is TCS traction control to ensure that gear changes are at the right time and not premature due to tyrespin. Dawid's TurboLamik badged Corsa is bound to get huge crowd appeal and class interest for its innovative engineering.
Photos: Top: Pawel Grelich (Rafal Kurik pic), Maciej Ziolkowski; Bottom: Paweł Pietrzak, Piotr Sawczenko.
Five more Polish FWD cars can run in the 9.7s-9.8s area. Pawel Grelich has a VW Golf MKII which has been worked on by TurboLamik and has several features in common with Dawid Lamik's car, in particular the DSG gearbox, Ecumaster EMU Black ECU, and TCS traction control - Pawel having founded Race TCS in 2019 after being impressed by the Boba Motoring Golf from Germany. Also in common with Dawid's Corsa are Pawel's multiple Bosch 44 fuel pumps, needed to respectively deliver fuel from the tank to the 'swirl pot' and thence to the dual fuel rails with four large size injectors (with an option to switch to 8). Pawel's engine, built by TurboLamik, is based on a VW 1.9 TDI block bored to 2000cc with a Garrett GTX 4202R turbo. Fuel is E85.
Maciej Ziolkowski runs a Vw Lupo R30Turbo which ran a best of 9.803/148.90 and has a similar setup to Dawid and Pawel, producing 840hp plus another 100hp with nitrous. Rafal Kakol has a diesel VW Golf Mk2 run out of Rim Servis 9.867/147.07 which was the first Polish diesel FWD into the nines. Paweł Pietrzak who made the most of the 2021 Doorslammers to run 17 passes in two days, has a diesel Seat Arosa and PBs of 9.894/143.60.
Honda Civics are driven by Piotr Sawczenko (PB 9.881/144.76), who has his turbo machine in the red Cars movie livery (a photo opportunity with JT's Fabulous Lightning McQueen?) and Lukasz Rychly (PB 10.742/132.05) who runs naturally aspirated; a third Honda, a CRX, is raced by Andrzej Majchryzk out of RCA Motors who also runs N/A and has been 9.882/136.48).
Rounding out the FWD group are Piotr Formela (Boczekgarage Diesel Mk2 Golf, 10.4570/137.74), Patrycjusz Dabrowski (street SEAT Ibiza, best 10.906), and Jaroslaw Gegniewicz (Golf Mk3).
Photos: Daniel Mrzyglod, Jan Niemcewicz.
In the Four Cylinder class, Daniel Mrzyglod has a bright orange VW Mk1 Golf 4Motion (PB 9.422/145.54), Bartosz Brygala runs a Golf Mk4 with diesel and AWD (PB 10.129/139.11) and Jan Niemcewicz (Fiat 126) runs RWD N/A.
Congratulations for the Polish racers who have organised the transporters which left the country this morning, and good luck for a safe and trouble-free journey to Santa Pod, and best wishes for the competition at the Doorslammers.
We will be publishing an overall preview of Doorslammers tomorrow. Tune in for news of the quickest runners in each class and likely (if unpredictable) form.
16th May: Happy Birthday for today to former Pro Stock Bike racer Dave Beck, Wild Bunch racer Dan Boone and Nostalgia Funny Car crew member Krister Kirk, we hope you all have a great day.
Melbourne Raceway Powerfest results.
15th May: Congratulations to the winners of eliminations at the weekend's Northern Nationals held at Melbourne Raceway:
Pro Comp Cannonball: Ant Harris (Mills Dragster 8 Ltr) (pictured right) Total: 23.45 def. Mark Flavell (Mustang II 1979), broke
Pro ET: Stephen Gilmour (Ford Anglia 100e) (7.90) 9.35/85 def. Bob Molden (Peugot 205 410ci) DNS
Sportsman ET: David Coombes (Lexus LS400 4 Ltr) (8.80) 9.08/77 def. Pete Eborall (VW Golf Gti 1.8 Ltr) (9.25) 9.36/82
NSCC (Saturday): Damian Halliwell (Chevrolate Biscayne) 7.78/97 def. Martin Rawlinson (Dodge Challenger 6.4 Ltr) 9.96/51
NSCC (Sunday): Martin Rawlinson (Dodge Challenger 6.4 Ltr) 7.95/98 def. Stephen Gilmour (Ford Anglia 100e) 8.29/92
Straightliners No Mercy Shootout (held over from April): Phil Gilson (Kawasaki ZZR1400) (6.85) 7.14/96 def. Terry Mountford (Aprilia 1000cc) (7.07) 7.23/105
Straightliners No Mercy Shootout: David Storrie (Hayabusa 1300cc) (6.30) 6.55/118 def. Andy Higham (Deofol 500cc) (7.50) 7.34/101 breakout
Scooters No Mercy Shootout: Eric Cope (Lambretta 248cc) (8.25) 9.17/78 def. Paul Gurney (Lambretta GP 244cc) (10.04) 9.55/78 breakout
Juniors No Mercy Shootout: Jack Taylor (Spiderman) (11.80) 11.74/56 def. Arron Gregory (Gilera DNA Special 70cc) (11.86) 11.79/56 breakout
6.00 index Bike class: Mark Taylor (Hayabusa 1300cc) 6.95/132 def. Chris Spry (Kawasaki H2) 6.77/119
Nostalgic Pro Stock class: Kevin Melling (Kawasaki H2 750cc) 6.59/100 def. Graham Newbould (Hayabusa Turbo 1300cc) 6.95/128
Race Legends class:Colin Fallows (Kawasaki ZZR 636cc), unopposed
Full results are at the Straightliners results repository.
Many thanks to Tog for covering the event providing photo galleries and best times of the day. You can see our coverage of the event sponsored by John Woolfe Racing by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link in the main menu above.
We will publish a link to championship points in due course. The next race at Melbourne will take place on 17th-18th June and will include the Street Weekend competition which now has 55 entries. You can get tickets at this link.
15th May: Many thanks to Kieran for sending us a gallery of photos from yesterday's JapShow at Santa Pod Raceway which you can see at this link supported by John Woolfe Racing.
Kieran said that Luke White was making test passes as quick as 10.74/135 in his Honda Civic, although he is not yet on the Doorslammers entry list. Other cars that could have used the JapShow as testing for Doorslammers appear to have saved their parts for Friday's test day.
Unusual Car Sales UK in Swap Meet pages.
15th May: Many readers will go regularly to the Unusual Car Sales UK Facebook group, run by Nigel Taylor which now has 35,000 members. With so many using the group for classic cars and hot rods as well as drag racing competition cars, we have discussed with Nigel how to raise the profile of drag cars and include on Eurodragster.com.
The result is a new Unusual Car Sales UK page in our Swap Meet section, so any of you advertising anything drag racing related on the group can now get your adverts reproduced on Eurodragster just by simply placing an advert with Nigel as normal. You can click through to the respective FB post if you are a member of the group.
We would like to give a massive thanks to Nigel and Swap Meet sponsors Jeff Bull Performance Engines, for allowing us to post the new page which you can see by clicking on this link or by going to Swap Meet, then Unusual Cars UK in the main menu.
Pictured: Chloe Wilkins' dragster, for sale for £12,000 turnkey with trailer, low 9s or high 8s on race fuel. Deposit now taken.
Modified 100e at Nostalgia Nationals.
15th May: Thanks to Modified 100e co-ordinator Scott Collin for sending an account of the class at the recent NSRA Nostalgia Nationals: 2023 is looking to be shaping up to what will be an very interesting year for Modified 100e. Round 1 had 10 entries, and this looks to be the minimum for the years events ahead.
Points have been spiced up a bit also and now not only consist of a point for turning up with a race car, making a full pass on race day, quickest reaction time, as well as quickest 7,8,9,10,11 & 12 pass of race day, but previous closest event dial in has been replaced with a Street Outlaws style draw of chips.
Each pair drawn now run with a closest to dial in win point. Any single runs due to drop outs or odd attendees can also benefit from getting a by run and taking the win point. Highest points of the event win each round.
There’s plenty of new upgrades amongst the class as well that will take time to adjust to. This gives Stuart Flitton the edge with an already proven close bracket car, having won 2022’s overall points win trophy.
Upgrades include myself bringing out a new car ‘Adrenaline Rush’. Paul Lorne has switched to a new 552cu in motor. Tim Evans has upgraded his SBC engine and now needs to fit a spool and a tyre change before round 2.
Jamie Hughes has fitted a monster turbo, but unfortunately managed to snap the crank on his last run. Fingers crossed he will get sorted before round 2! David Mott will have his 383 stroker in by round 2 and Steve Watson has most parts to get his 408 stroker built to bring his gasser back mid season.
After round 1 the points stand as:
5 Stuart Flitton (pictured right)
5 Scott Collin (pictured above)
4 Matthew Stanley
4 Paul Lorne
4 Jamie Hughes
3 David Mott
3 Mark Haswell
3 Mark Wade
2 Tim Evans
2 Julian Davison
The round 1 tie breaker was awarded to Stuart having a closer dial in than me. That’ll teach me for dialling in an 8.99 so determined to run its first 8, despite the car run consistent 9.3’s ending on a firstname.lastname@example.org (well done on an impressive competition debut Scott - Editor).
2023 consists of 5 events at Santa Pod Raceway, the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals, Sportsman Nationals (17th-18th June), Ford Show, Best of British and Hotrod Drags. Big thanks to Santa Pod for supporting us, we are having a blast, and soon hope to be putting on quite a display as everybody settle down their new combos.
Iconic German drag cars for sale.
15th May: In our Jeff Bull Performance Engine-sponsored Swap Meet pages, two cars based in Germany which will be familiar to racers and fans at the NitrOlympX have come up for sale.
This 1954 Borgward Isabella turnkey Pro Mod car with Hemi, stored near Munich, has been raced by Frank Richter in sportsman classes, but the car is legal for Pro Mod with a SFI 25.1 spec, 6.0 certified, 113" wheelbase, chassis built by AJE Motorsports/Denver in 2004, updated 2008 and 2014. It comes with a KB Hemi Stage VI, with a spare head-to-pan engine, a Quick Drive converter transmission with 3-speed Lenco CS1 and Mark Williams rear with a spare Lenco. Price is a very reasonable €60,000 or near offer, and you can make contact at email@example.com.
Also considered a bargain is Til Schöninger's Honda Prelude, with a full tube chassis and small block Chevy engine of 434ci. The car was previously owned by Trevor Graves and has an 8.50 chassis tag. The engine is a gasoline fuelled Steve Schmidt unit, and the Powerglide gearbox is all-new with March 2023 parts installed. Based in Bavaria, the car is on offer at €20,500 or best offer and you can contact Til at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more details go to our Swap Meet page.
15th May: Happy Birthday to hardworking photojournalist Remco Scheelings, retired Top Fuel racer Mikael Kågered, retired Outlaw Anglia racer Paul Hensher, Daimler dragster racer and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Robin Read, Top Methanol Dragster racer from Sweden Daniel Jedborn and ET Bike racer Liam Holgate, have a great day guys!
Photojournalist Steve Moxley has had two reports on the drag bike classes at the Festival of Power published on the ACU website. You can see Steve's reports on the senior ACU classes and National Classes by clicking the respective links.
The first Association Trophee Dragster race at Clastres next weekend is showing a bumper entry which you can see in full screen by clicking on this link on the series website.
14th May: Former Editor Tog has made his second trip to Melbourne Raceway in 2023 and has posted a gallery and results of day 1 from the Powerfest event taking place this weekend.
Tog says "The bike pits are pretty full, and in the cars a notable addition was Phil Norman's Brickfield VW Beetle doing its first passes. Phil Wood had a go on the The Force of Nature steam powered rocket bike and ran a creditable 5.50/97, heading towards the centre line and Phil sensibly lifting.
"Mark Flavell had less luck, Flav's first run was a mid five with lots of smoke, and the fire crew went after him. For the second run, he went into the burnout very aggressively, but tyres didn't strike, and the motor stopped as he got off it. After some investigation, a collapesed piston was discovered and he is out for the rest of the day."
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Melbourne Raceway results and gallery by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link in the main menu above. Tog is back at the track today for more action and, we hope, less breakage.
Mustang Owners Club of GB track day gallery.
14th May: Many thanks to Mad Welshman Photography, aka Paul and Dave Evans, for sending in a gallery of photos of Friday's Mustang Owners Club of Great Britain track day.
Paul and Dave said "The MOCGB track day at Santa Pod was, as always, a great selection of Mustangs making the most of the track time alongside some 'muscle car friends' from different marques (plus a handful of Nostalgia Superstock cars for good measure). The day was unfortunately cut short due to much heaver and longer rain than initially forecast in the early afternoon, but still an enjoyable day out for all involved." You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Mustang Owners Club of GB gallery by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link in the main menu above. A big Thank You to Paul and Dave for kindly supplying photos.
UK Nostalgia Superstock call to action.
14th May: UK Nostalgia Superstock committee member Nïamh Frances Smith has issued an invitation for muscle car owners to join the UK Nostalgia Superstock party at Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway on 7th-9th July:
Come and race with UK Nostalgia Superstock at Dragstalgia!
We’re looking to get our first 64 car ladder, so we need YOU! Does your car run 14.99 second quicker, have a V8, and use stock suspension? It also must comply to our other rules at this link and fit in with the spirit of the class! We are possibly the biggest class in Europe, and you’d be racing with some of the best and friendliest racers in the country!
Just to talk costs for a minute, a weekend ticket for Dragstalgia is £90… or you could join NSS for £15 for the year, and race at one of the best events in the Nostalgia Drag Racing calendar for £65! Bargain!
What else do you get with your membership? Discounts with some of our sponsors, opportunities to race at our other championship events throughout the year, opportunities to win prize money and trophies, and our BBQ at Dragstalgia (with meat kindly supplied by Guy King and cooking services from Kiwi and co) and access to our racers only Facebook group.
We are also offering electric hookup for our racers at Dragstalgia for £87 per team, please speak to Don Scott to pay this and put your name down If you have any more questions about racing with us at any of our events, please speak to the committee members or have a look on our website (click on image). Join our Facebook group ‘UK NOSTALGIA SUPERSTOCK’ or go on our website by clicking here.
Jonny Lagg's 2023 plans.
14th May: Thanks again to our good friend and photojournalist Remco Scheelings for sending more articles on the upcoming 2023 FIA Championship. Today's article features the plans of Top Methanol Dragster racer Jonny Lagg:
Having won the FIA TMD championship in 2016, the last year it was held separately for dragsters and funny cars, Jonny continued his success by becoming runner up to Sandro Bellio in both 2019 and 2022. However at one non-championship race this year, the A/FD will have a different driver.
Jonny's son Isak, who has experience in Super Street, Pro ET and Super Pro ET, will be taking over the driver's seat at the Meguiars Drag Festival at Mantorp Park at the end of July. The team joked that with a current average team age of about 69 years, the addition of 23 year old Isak will bring the average down dramatically.
You can read Remco's complete article at this link on www.dragracingeurope.eu.
Johnny Oksa's third comeback.
14th May: Finnish Top Methanol Funny Car racer Johnny Oksa will make his third return to the series when he starts his 2023 season at Tierp Arena in June, writes Remco Scheelings:
"Johnny and his OK Team won the FIA European Championship title in 2016 and then took a one year break only to crash at his comeback at Tierp. A year later Oksa was back again, but then the coronavirus caused another break in his career. In 2023 Oksa will be back for the third time, although the Finn has had to postpone his first race of the season to June."br>
Johnny said if both Tierp races go well, the team will also attend the remaining races in Germany and England. The Camaro has got some updates on the chassis and we are building a spare JLM engine, a necessity for reliability in this challenging class. br>
You can read Remco's complete article at this link on www.dragracingeurope.eu.
14th May: Congratulations to the winners of the Wide Open International race held at Rivanazzano Raceway in Italy last weekend:
Super Pro ET (20 qualifiers): Emanuele Giliolo (ITA, '73 Chevrolet Pickup) def. Alain Duerr (CH, Alfa Romeo GTV)
Pro ET (20 qualifiers): Magnus Sommer (D, Dodge Dart) def. Marco Grandini (ITA, Plymouth Roadrunner) (3rd place Martin Weikum, D, Chevolet Camaro)
12.00 index (12 qualifiers): M. Cassinelli (1st place, ITA, Pontiac Trans Am), P. Damiano (2nd place), Andrea Prati (3rd, ITA, Ford Gran Torino SW)
13.00 index: Rocco Pardeo (1st place, ITA, Fiat Uno Turbo), Simone Pagani (2nd, ITA, '66 VW Beetle), Frederic Peeters (3rd, BEL, VW Beetle)
14.00 and up bracket: Jean-Luc Jacot (1st place, FRA, Pontiac Trans Am), Samantha Fermond (2nd, FRA, Buick 455 GSX), Isabelle Berteth (3rd, CH, Dodge Ram)
In Super Pro ET, the top 11 qualifiers were all less than 0.1s off their dial-in. #1 qualifier was Italian Raffeale Corneo in a Dodge Demon, 0.001s off his 8.00 dial-in, followed by Franz Aschenbrenner (D - Mustang), Martin Schlegel (CH - Chevy Coupe) and Christian Schneebeli (CH - Chevy Belair). Raffeale went out to eventual runner up Alain Duerr in round 1, Frans was defeated by eventual winner Emanuele Giliolo and Martin got through to round 2 when he fell victim to #18 qualifier Christian Piffaretti (ITA - Chevy Monza).
Pro ET, also had the top 11 qualifiers less than 0.1s off their dial-in. Gerhard Dold (D - Corvette) was #1 at 0.0078 over his 11.69 dial, and Martin Weikum (D - Camaro) was second; both were defeated by eventual winner Magnus Sommer in rounds 2 and 4 respectively.
You can see the points scored by registered Drag Race Union competitors at www.dragraceunion.eu. Many thanks to DRU webmaster Markus Münch for supplying detailed results from the event.
14th May: Happy Birthday for today to Nostalgia Funny car crewman and dad Gary Kay, Junior Dragster racer Dan Weir and Pro ET racer Josh Duncan. Have a great day guys.
We have devised a back to top arrow which will be placed at the end of each story and should enable navigation around the news page to be easier, particularly for mobile phone viewers.
Quarter Masters make their debut.
13th May: We were impressed with the debut of a new category at the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals, The Quarter Masters Vintage Drag Racing. We spoke to organiser Harley Peters:
"A few racers have been at Santa Pod with vintage hot rods, and chatting with them we agreed there was a lack of early hot rods at nostalgia meetings, and whilst quite a few have been at the track over the years, the owners have often migrated to other classes. So to encourage more participation for 50s and 60s hot rods, I got together with Johnny Best, who's helped in organising the class, and Tom Pugh, who does poster design for the NSRA, and we approached Santa Pod about having a class and ultimately having a bit of competition.
"We envisage that roadsters, sedans, coupes and pickups can join, with pre-1935 American bodies only and a build style from 1955 to 1965. The class will run heads-up at the Nostalgia Nationals and Hot Rod Drags. The Nostalgia Nationals has Street racers, however if sufficient cars register, we will have a heads-up bracket running between 10.99 and 13.99 and a competition bracket for cars quicker than 10.99."
For those interested in taking part in what should be a low-ish cost venture, not too hard on parts, Harley's business Imperial Speed Co in Hatch, Bedfordshire, is carrying out all types of work from wiring through to full builds.
"The rain on Saturday deterred five cars from making the journey to Santa Pod so we will have a lot more vehicles at the Hot Rod Drags. We've actually got 14-15 who have signed up for the class, and eight ran last Sunday. The racers taking part were:
James Bull (QM29) - 1932 Sedan (grey)
Nick Barnett (QM283) - 1932 Roadster (orange)
Nick Blanch (QM33) - 1932 Roadster (All Shook Up, powered by Ford)
John Grant (QM162) - 1930 Model A
Paul Hammond (QM13) - 1932 Roadster (blue)
Harley Peters (QM74) - 1930 Model A (yellow)
Brian Savidge (QM32) - 1932 Roadster (black)
"The bodies can be replicas as well as originals, with Topolinos and Bantams being considered by the group for acceptance as well. Engine and transmission is open to all types, but must be of period appearance to run open, otherwise must be covered by a hood top at the minimum. Chassis must be original or reproduction, with appropriate box section; the competition bracket can have preferably large diameter tube chassis. Tyre-wise slicks are preferred and radials are disallowed.
"Any roll bars can be installed on close body cars, whereas open cars should have a period correct style of roll bar. Other rules covering exhausts, wheels, and general safety are set out by the group in their rules.
"The point of the class is that cars should look period-correct for mid 50s to mid 60s, in body appearance and engines if exposed. But if cars don't fit into the rules, they can still come out and play with us and given a grace period. We want to be inclusive."
If you're interested, e-mail email@example.com or join their Facebook group at this link.
John Bolton memories.
13th May: We've had more tributes arrive to longtime crew member John Bolton who sadly passed away last weekend.
Fuel Altered racer and nitro crew member Mickey Moore wrote: "I first met John in the early 70s, when Vic Hammond was running his altereds. John was part of Vic's team, and we all congregated at Liz and Ollie's farm, building cars. We helped each other to get the cars built, but also had a drinking club, which was part of the fun in those times.
"John was always a happy-go-lucky guy, willing to help anyone, so when I purchased the Mob altered from Vic, John came with the car and stayed with us and the car until it was sold. John was also responsible for getting the bookings for the team for the Bulldog Bash through his close friend Hells Angel Andy from London. It became our all time favourite weekend for the whole team.
"I can only say we’ve lost a great friend. Our thoughts go to John's family and close friends."
Former Outlaw Anglia Champion Cliff Griffin wrote, with Super Pro ET racer Ron Bartlett: "For 30-plus years, John's been friends with me, Frank, Lynne and Rocket Ron. He was always popping up the workshop to see us and his best mate, the kettle. He would always encourage us, and would literally drive anywhere to get parts to keep us all racing throughout the season. He always sent a message of congratulations after a weekends racing.
"When the jet washer packed up and me and Frank decided to take a sledgehammer to it, after a few hits it decided to WORK! I've never seen John laugh so much.
"The Mob was such a big part of his life, crewing with Ollie Burns and Mickey Moore, then with Jim Usher in later times. Such an iconic race team and brill to be around. Nights at the New Inn, followed by a curry in town, always ended up with Ollie Burn and Vince Shaw both trying to tell us all they were the best Crew Chief!. Great memories and, sadly, another two legends gone from our sport.
"Colin Pudge, me and Frank went to see John just before he died, so sad to see. We will try and get as many cars as possible to the funeral to honor such a kind and generous man. Very well liked at all levels of our sport, he will be sadly missed. RIP John."
Lynn Griffin said "I would like to say John was and still is a true legend. Both Frank and I have very fond memories at the track, home and also when we went to America for the Hot Rod Reunion. John, God bless you and may you rest in peace, Lynn and Frank Griffin."
We at Eurodragster.com send our deepest condolences to John's family, with a special mention to his daughter Tania, and all his friends.
13th May: Happy Birthday for today to expat Dutch Top Fuel Crew Chief Gerda Joon, MSD guru Dick Koster, Super Pro ET racer Alan Didwell, Comp Bike racers Jasmine Cordelle and Jacky Olie-Zijlstra and Norwegian Pro Mod racer Stian Rusånes. We hope you all have a great day.
FIA safety devices set for EDRC introduction.
12th May: Piotr Magdziarz, with FIA media and communications, has issued the following press release regarding two safety devices being introduced by the FIA European Drag Racing Championship's governing body:
Two new safety devices are to be introduced to the FIA European Drag Racing Championship from the beginning of the series’ 2023 season.
The FIA will provide an Impact Data Recorder to every FIA EDRC competitor taking part this year. Launched in 2021, the FIA IDR is a lightweight low-cost electronic impact data recorder developed in collaboration with AiM Technologies.
The device, fitted in the vehicle’s cockpit, is designed to collect incident impact data thus allowing the FIA to better understand the causes of different types of incidents. The device is easy to install and requires no maintenance during its two-year lifespan.
Also, in order to improve track safety, the FIA has introduced the use of a grip measuring device (KEG) for data collection this season.
This device, designed to measure the grip level of drag strips, will be used to gather valuable traction data during the 2023 season. The collected data will serve to define minimum traction and track standards for the FIA EDRC from 2024 onwards.
The data will also be made available to the competitors in order to provide them with additional tools to find the right car set-up and therefore allow them to enhance their performance on track in a safe manner.
Tim Malyon, FIA Safety Director, said: “As the governing body of world motor sport our role is also to ensure that our knowledge and expertise are available to local organisers, promoters and our member clubs, so that the same procedures and practices that are in place in top-level competitions are cascaded at national and regional levels. The IDR is a fraction of the cost of the Accident Data Recorder (ADR) used in the FIA World Championships and the introduction of this device to the FIA EDRC is part of our ongoing work to improve safety in the sport of drag racing.”
Doorslammers entries close today!
12th May: Santa Pod Raceway Events Coordinator Max Frost has reminded us that Doorslammers entries close today.
"With one of the best looking Doorslammers Entry Lists in a while, don’t miss out on getting your slice of the pie!
"Race entries close today, Friday at 5pm, so if you wanted to be in with a chance of winning some serious money, get those entries in before time runs out!"
You can enter the Doorslammers, to be held on 19th-21st May, by clicking here.
NitrOlympX entry now open.
12th May: Many thanks to NitrOlympX Assistant Race Director Jerry Lackey for letting us know that all entry forms and information for the 2023 event at Hockenheimring from 25th-27th August are available on the event home page at www.Nitrolympx.de.
Jerry says "Information is of course available in English. A tip from me: class information for Junior Dragster is also there, and as in 2022, there are limited entries so get you entries in ASAP as it will be first come (with time slips from 2023), first served!
"We look forward to our English racers returning to Hockenheim and I plan to attend the Main Event, looking for possible night show participants too."
Arnover to run full FIA tour.
12th May: Estonian Pro Mod race Andres Arnover will be running the full FIA tour after making test passes at Hudiksvall, Sweden, and an appearance at the Doorslammers at Santa Pod Raceway on 19th-21st May, writes Remco Scheelings.
Andres was third in last year's FIA Pro Mod Championship and ran a best ET of 5.84 seconds at 252 mph at Santa Pod on a test run following a first round exit at the European Finals. Tuned by Janis Piiritalo with assistance from Andreas Arthursson, Andreas plans to hit the 5.7s this year and hopes for better consistency.
You can read Remco's full article at this link on www.dragracingeurope.eu.
Strauch's first full FIA tour.
12th May: German Top Methanol Dragster racer Silvio Strauch is planning on competing in his first full FIA European tour, writes Remco Scheelings: In his third season in the Top Methanol class, Silvio and his Engine Ghost Racing Team is racing at all five rounds after running just three rounds last year.
After buying the proven Peter Schöfer Racing Top Methanol Dragster, Silvio moved up from Comp Eliminator to TM and quickly got to grips with driving the car, with some spectacular wheelstands and tyre shake being two elements the team will be trying to keep under control with the car's undoubted power.
You can read Remco's full article at this link on www.dragracingeurope.eu.
Liam's hunt for championships.
12th May: Thanks to Irish Junior Dragster Team dad Graham McDonald who has sent in the story of the exploits of son and Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racer Liam McDonald at the Festival of Power at Santa Pod over the weekend of 29th April - 1st May:
After finishing as high as the semi finals at the first round of the British Junior Dragster championship earlier in the year, we ended up in fourth place in the championship points standings. We entered the second round at the Festival of Power with the intention of finishing high up the ladder and trying to better our last outing's achievements, to keep in the points race. We qualified in 5th place overall, which added to our overall points lead.
As alway, getting through that first round of eliminations is never easy on the nerves, but as we say, you get through that first round and it just seems to sail from there.
Recording our highly accurate (Grannie's) barometer, which we pulled out of a skip, and our pound shop temperature gauge, recording these figures before and after each run to assess where any similarities arose and where we could start to see patterns forming, we were able to watch air pressure and air temperature fluctuate across the qualifying and eliminations, and build up some data to dial in the ET`s to go rounds.
It got quite accurate through the eliminations, enough to go right to the finals and take an event win. Along with Liam`s driving the top end, we actually won the event. Happy days!
It was amazing to see all the Kid`s be so close on their times in qualifying, with not much covering the first twenty or so cars.
I would like to thank Blossom Racing Engines USA for all their help and their feedback on head temperatures, along with all the other data they provided on the questions we put forward. A big thank you also to Halfscale Dragsters for the feedback on chassis setup and tyre pressures. We have been fighting wheelspin off the line for a while, and we have it nearly under control, we have been trying different tyre pressures and shock settings both compression and rebound at the rear, while also adjusting the front torsion bar to try to remedy the situation. It`s still there slightly, but we are on top of it now bar some fine tuning of the rear shock. With the next event for us in Clastres, France, we will hopefully have a chance to do some testing before our return to the Main Event a week after the French event.
Track positioning to my mind plays a big part with Juniors at Santa Pod. We try to read the track whilst we are coming under the timing tower and will adjust the placement of the car dependant on what we see. When you get it right, it can be perfection and, along with the driver judging the tree well, you can get a good reaction.
Too much traction can kill you, Juniors can get stuck and you will often see some kids jumping up and down in their cars to break free of the tacky surface.
All in all a great weekends racing, and a big thank you to all involved for making Santa Pod such a great place to race. Liam enters the Main Event leading the British junior dragster championship along with leading two German Junior Dragster championships, having come from the 1st round of the French Junior Dragster championship at Clastres and hopefully having done well there also.
Liam is going for the British, French and German championships in 2023, along with trips to Tierp in Sweden, Gardermoen in Norway and Drachten in the Netherlands. Liam is the current German H.A.R.A. junior dragster champion and we also hope to take more than one German title this year. We found that driving at different tracks and in differing weather conditions and temperatures adds to the drivers and crews overall training and makes for a better allrounder at the end of the day.
Good luck to all the Junior Dragster teams at the main event,and we hope to see you all soon, best of luck from the Irish Junior Dragster team.
Thanks to: Blossom racing engines USA, Halfscale Dragsters USA, Echo Newspaper IRL, Ben Lawrance of Straightliners Northern Ireland, Peyton racing USA, Sam Lackey USA,, Miss Jones of Presentation College, Dublin 6, Jeff Ludgate of Trackstuff Ltd, Ciaran Coleman of the Irish Drag racing Championship, Midland oil Switzerland, Cheyenne Visser racing and family in Friesland, Timmer`s racing in Holland. Thank you all for your help and support!
12th May: Happy Birthday for today to turbine jeep exponent Matt Wright, VW Pro racer Danny Pike, Belgian Super Twin racer Jimmy Vanden Boer, Swedish Pro Mod racer Micke Joneskog and retired Top Fuel Bike crewman Sören Svensson. We hope you all have a wonderful day.
SPRC National and Club championship points posted.
11th May: Many thanks to sponsor Peter Walters and points co-ordinator Yvonne Tramm for updating the National and Club SPRC Championship points after the Festival of Power which you can see via our points standing page or on the Santa Pod Racers Club website.
Supercharged Outlaws at NSRA Nostalgia Nationals.
11th May: The Supercharged Outlaws returned in force at the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals last weekend, and although some racers had mechanical problems during the event, and running was limited with the Saturday washout there were some outstanding performances.
14 racers put in a run and the quickest was Joe Bond in his blown methanol-fuelled slingshot Nuthing ll Fancy who ran a stunning 6.2644/226.66 for quickest wheel driven pass of the event, following it up with a 6.6390/183.55. Robbie Grabham In Freddie's Revenge had treated us to two great passes in Friday's RWYB and following them up in session 1 with a 7.3623/191.39, Robbie showing no signs of lifting despite the car bouncing and moving around his lane in true blown altered fashion. Jim Usher was next with the Hemi Hunter slingshot, running a 7.4125/183.55, his best time yet with the car.
Roy Wilding with his Chariots Of Fire slingshot ran a couple of sevens, with a best of 7.4865/188.22, Roy aiming to run a six at over 200 when conditions allow. Joel Kerr was back in his Stiff Shifter Pontiac Starchief after a rebuild following a failed propshaft last year and, after a couple of test launches, ran a best of 7.7808/150.62 shutting off early, and no doubt eager to get back into the low sevens. Joel commented "The MSD two step was playing up with the upper RPM cutting in too early, but still with everything turned down, roll on Doorslamers!"
Aaron Windridge returned in a newly bodied Grim Reaper 23T altered and showed his usual reluctance to lift, the small block powered machine running a best of 8.0677/167.92 with more to come. Personal best performance came from Paul Dale in his Acute Angle, with a small block Chevy engine built by Mark and Aaron Windridge, running 8.12/168. Team member Nigel Taylor commented "After years of aggressive launches, lwheelies, sideways action, hard work , breakages etc, there’s a time when everything just comes together. Arrow straight, absolutely flying and the team are buzzing" and Paul thanked his family, team and sponsors Hayling Garage. Paul will now take aim at the unoffical quickest 105e time which was set by Swedish racer Torben Stenström who ran a 7.903 way back at the NDRS Finals in 2005.
Ian Merryweather with the Banzai Topolino had a big wheelie on his first pass, but managed to calm it down for a 8.2733/171.09 later. Ian reported a new injector hat, port injection and fuel system had been installed over the winter to prevent the rear cylinders leaning out with his new The Blower Shop 8-71 supercharger. Brian Watson was in the gorgeous O Black Betty slingshot which was built by the Famoso Speed Shop and his initial test pass was a 9.0766/160.76, with a soft launch on all three of his runs. Brian said "We will be at the track before Dragstalgia for some full power runs."
Keith Freeman (El Coupe Loco 32 Coupe), Jim Tucker (Hellfire Hemi 33 coupe) and Andy Park (Twin Screw You Racing Model Y) all made reliable runs in the nines or low tens, however returnee Simon Boot (Bootlegger Camaro) had difficulty hooking up on the launch, and Mick Hannah (Haggis Hunter) had problems with his engine cutting out.
Commiserations to class chair Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield who suffered a rod failure on his first burnout of the event, Mike Couch suffered differential gear failure and was after a 4.11 9” gears for his Lil Hemi Hustler slingshot. Also suffering mechanical problems preventing an on-track appearance were Steve Clarke and Nigel Rigden with The Good Guys Topolino, and Bob Glassup with his new Ford Capri MK1 Bubblegum.
This was the best attended Supercharged Outlaws event for some years and we look forward to the class returning to the track at the Sportsman Nationals on 17th-18th June, then Dragstalgia, followed by the Mopar Euro Nationals and Hot Rod Drags.
Voodoo Hemi heads to UK for two races in May.
11th May: Marck Harteveld and his team Voodoo Hemi Racing will be making the journey from Wateringen, Netherlands to Santa Pod Raceway to take part in the Doorslammers and the FIA/FIM-E Main Event in May, writes Remco Scheelings:
"With a fifth place in the final standings, a runner-up position in the most competitive race of the year at Tierp Arena, and new personal bests of 5.927 seconds at 389.05 km/h, Marck Harteveld and his team Voodoo Hemi Racing had an excellent first full season in the FIA European Pro Modified Championship."
In recent months the team have made the car even lighter, installed a new injector on the blower and made new exhausts. There is also a second engine. Tuner Joeri Woudenberg is looking forward to test passes at the Doorslammers, and competing in the Pro Doorslammer class prior to the Main Event.
A few weeks ago, Voodoo Hemi Racing also had their traditional pre-season team presentation and partner/sponsor day at Harteveld Autoschade en Restauratie as a prelude to running the whole FIA Championship in 2023.
You can read Remco's full article at this link on www.dragracingeurope.eu.
Linn Fløysvik ready and loaded.
11th May: Placing third last year, Linn Fløysvik had her best finish in the FIA European Top Methanol Championship so far, writes Remco Scheelings.
The young driver from Norway will be back for her second full championship tour this season and wants to carry on from where she left off last season. Linn has been in the Championship since 2017 and although she suffered a fire at a test run in Gardermoen last Spring, the team fought back and were ready for the opening round of the championship. This will be the second year that Linn has run all championship rounds, and she is returning stronger, with a refreshed engine and updated chassis.
You can read Remco's full article at this link on www.dragracingeurope.eu.
11th May: Happy Birthday for today to Finnish Top Fuel racer and ski jump champion Janne Ahonen, former Gasser Circus racer Kevin Strevett, Pro Mod racer Ingo Eckert and Netherlands-based Funny Bike racer Kars van den Belt. We hope you all have a great day.
Our points pages have been updated for the Lifestyle Lite Steer UK Nostalgia Super Stock points after the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals, which you can see at this link (pdf format). Thanks to Andrew Bishop for his help in checking the points.
You can see a report of the Wild Bunch at the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals by co-ordinator Claire Meaddows at www.the-wild-bunch.co.uk which is a great source of history of the series as well.
Those teams in search of funding and a driver, look no further than our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet pages, where Albert Carter, son of four time Top Fuel FIA Champion Andy, is advertising his considerable talents both in and out of the cockpit.
10th May: We were saddened to hear of the death of longtime crew member on nitro and blown methanol cars John Bolton. A number of racers with which John worked have sent in their tributes:
Dan Sharp writes: "Born on 3rd January 1948, John came into the drag racing scene in the early '70's with his mate Vic Hammond, crewing on all of Vic's altereds, and being that they were all mates and part of same crowd, also helping out Phil Cornish and Geoff Hauser crewing on Clive Skilton's fuel cars.
"John was one of the crowd that was the British drag racing invasion of Sweden in '76, whilst crewing for Vic on Mr Big, joining in on the trip along with the Pages' Panic team, Barry Sheavills with Stagecoach, and Dad (Dick Sharp) and the Dorset Horn team, Al O'Connor with Al's Gasser, Clive Skilton and Phil Cornish to name but a few!
"After Vic stopped racing, John went on helping Ollie Burn out with crewing, as Ollie had bought the ex Mr Big altered from Vic and was now running it as the Liz & Ollie altered. He stayed as a loyal friend and crew man with Ollie for years, and was very much part of the Mob altered team, including financially, through the years of Mickey and Ollie running it in Top Alcohol and Fuel Altered in the NFAA, also helping out with Phil Cornish again running Jim Seward's Harry the Spider fuel altered.
We spent a brilliant weekend camping with the Mob team at Goodwood House for the Festival of Speed, on behalf of Custom Car magazine in 2002, representing British drag racing, where The Mob team, Dorset Horn team, Chris Hartnell and the Backdraft Team, Clive Mechaell and the California Kid fuel altered, Nobby hills and Houndog, Commuter and others were all on show on the Cricket Green in front of Goodwood house.
Then through the years of Jim Usher driving it and Terri Anne White, until the team and car retired. After the end of the Mob altered, John went in to help out and crew for and with Frank Griffin on Cliff's Outlaw Anglia through all the years of Cliff's and Colin Millar's rivalry in the Outlaw Anglia class.
Pictures: Top left, John in his younger days with hair and a beard in the photo with Clive Skilton's Vauxhall Funny Car with Vic Hammond in the foreground.. Above left: John in brown jacket pushing Vic Hammond's Mr Big, which became Liz & Ollie, above right. Below left and centre: John with Ollie Burn crewing for Mickey Moore in The Mob. Below right: John with Cliff Griffin's Outlaw Anglia. All photos courtesy Dan Sharp.
"John was never one for the limelight, which is why it's hard to find pics of all the great teams and cars he's had involvement in, but as Mickey said in his post, John was always there as a loyal, dependable, valuable and knowledgeable crew guy in the background of some of the top teams, and best big show teams, from the early 70's until Cliff's retirement from Outlaw Anglia.
"He was a kind and true gent of the sport, and like many of the crew members, one of the unsung heroes, with his involvement for all the years he worked with top calibre of cars and teams. Indeed, if he had been a car owner or driver he would have been known along with the rest of the big names in the sport."
Elizabeth Rowland, who raced as Liz Burn, wrote: "John was always a lovely person calm, quietly spoken man - in fact sometimes so quietly spoken I could hardly hear him. He spent the odd weekend sleeping on our Lounge carpet with Vic Hammond and various team members when they all worked on the engines in Ollie’s and my workshop on our Chicken Farm. I remember him being really happy when he knew he was to become a dad! After a lot of water had passed under the Bridge, I had the pleasure of meeting John again a few times in recent years and it was lovely to see he hadn’t changed. You will be sorely missed by all your friends in the Drag Racing world. Rest in peace John."
Mickey Moore posted "We have lost a great friend and crew member from the original English Mob team. John was such a dependable and valued guy, he would be running around all week picking parts up, fetching stuff, finishing the car off on his own, a great wing man, will miss you big time buddy, thanks for all your hard work, rest easy.
John's niece Michelle Mockford writes: "My uncle John was a huge influence on many peoples lives and a car fanatic through and through. He spent many years involved with The Mob and remained connected, interested and supportive of racing throughout his life.
"John and his daughter Tania were always going to race meetings and they often invited me along. He took me to my first bull dog bash meeting and I’ve been hooked ever since. John was my inspiration for becoming involved in the drag racing scene and I’ll always be thankful to him.
"I met my partner Simon Barlow at the bull dog bash. I have since spent time racing the Orange Pop, and although I no longer drive, I continue to be part of the Orange Pop Racing team.
"If you were in need, John would be the first to offer help. He was kind, supportive and he will be missed deeply by me, my family and everyone who had the opportunity to know him."
We would welcome other memories of John, which you can send to firstname.lastname@example.org or message Editor Simon.
Melbourne offers turn up and RWYB.
10th May: As a follow-up to our post yesterday, Straightliners member Andy Flavell has announced a change in RWYB entry arrangements which provides a great opportunity for those who prefer to turn up and race:
"Melbourne Raceway has undergone some restructuring so is now able significantly reduce the RWYB fee going forward. From this event onwards, RWYB fees will be £15 admission to the facility and getting on the track for a little as £25 for three runs or £35 per day for unlimited runs.
"No pre booking or pre entry are necessary, one just needs a crash helmet, long sleeves and a driving licence and of-course the car needs to be fit for purpose. Bikers will ofcourse be expected to wear all the normal basic safety gear to ride a motorcycle. Come and have a go and have some fun. 1/8 mile, all the fun, half the cost."
Rob Stone on Nostalgia Nationals win.
10th May: Thanks to Outlaw Anglia racer Rob Stone for sending us his reflections on winning the class at last weekend's NSRA Nostalgia Nationals:
"I and my crew are, as you can imagine, absolutely buzzing from such a great win. It turned out to be a fantastic day of racing on Sunday after a dreadful day Saturday of just hanging around. Of course Saturday was a good day for spending time with our racing family at Santa Pod even though getting drenched.
"I can't thank everyone enough for their support and encouragement, I couldn't have done it without such a great crew. Apart from a couple of no shows in eliminations, from playing safe I hasten to add rather than due to any damaged motors, everyone had a great day's racing. We're looking forward to the next one, which for us will be the Summer Nationals. Roll on a hopefully great year of racing."
Stilwell's Land Speed countdown.
10th May: Many thanks to Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell who will shortly be travelling to Los Angeles to race at El Mirage on 20th-21st May: "As I write this we have just 10 days until the start of the Landspeed Racing season in the USA. Excited is an understatement having been prevented from racing by Mother Nature for most of last year.
"We kick off at El Mirage just 2 hours east of my shop in Pomona. This iconic dry lakebed was underwater for quite a period of time recently due the unusually heavy rains and snow that fell in the mountains and ran onto the lakebed during the end of last year and early this year. The “Friends of El Mirage” who manage the lakebed took the unprecedented action of closing the lakebed completely to everyone before Christmas last year until just 3 weeks ago to allow the bed to dry out properly. The SCTA officials and a number of locally based racers have been working tirelessly for the past 3 weeks clearing the bed of rubbish and making sure all the soft areas have been checked and filled where needed. My spies tell me we will have at least 3 good tracks across the lakebed to race on.
"The 7707 team which includes Nick Davies, Rob Loaring and Scotty Barnes will be joining me a few days before the race to go through the 496 Cu In Blown Fuel Hemi and service it before we load up and head out very early on the 19th. Tech inspection is on the 19th.
"For those interested we will be posting regular updates and I do believe there will be a live feed from the start line. Just go to SCTA-BNI.org and following the links for “El Mirage”
"Our target this year is to set a class record at over 250. El Mirage is just over 1 mile long so we have to really concentrate and I need to get the “loud pedal” down. Last year I went 225mph at just 2800 rpm so our target of over 250 seems within reach. Last year my good friends at J & S Racing went 303mph in the mile…so it’s perfectly possible. Time will tell and The weather forecast looks amazing. With 13 hours of sunshine a day and temperatures up in the mid 30’s for race weekend.
"At this point I need to thank Mick Jenkins and Pauly Rivera of Micks Paint who built the car and continue to carry out updates for me. Tony Thacker for looking after everything when I’m not there and being our PR guru. Nestor Cabero for all the trick onboard cameras we have this year and all the filming he does. Plus huge thanks to our new team member Scott Campbell who some of you will know from the amazing Pure Hell Fuel Altered for looking after the motor when we are not racing. Not forgetting Donny Cummins, Nick Davies, Rob Loaring, Scotty Barnes and Chief SCTA Tech Inspector Kiwi Steve as well as all the Officials at the SCTA (Southern California Timing Association) and the LSR (Land Speed Racers) for all their hard work especially after most of last year being a wash out.
"Finally, thanks go out to my sponsors, Mick's Paint and US Automotive. We could not do it without you. Thank you.
"If anyone wants to come and watch you can fly into Las Vegas or LAX….it’s 2 hours from either side. Please come and find the 7707 Team and say hello."
10th May: Happy Birthday for today to Super Street Bike racer Steve Wood, Wild Bunch racer Leo Knight and VW Pro racer Lee Cordery. A belated Happy Birthday to Pro ET racer Dan Holloway for yesterday. We hope you all have, or had, a great day.
VWDRC chair Luke Stevenson and colleagues have been busy editing and posting videos for the VWDRCTV Youtube channel from the Festival of Power, the six videos of qualifying sessions and eliminations adding up to over 2 hours 20 minutes running time, with interviews and startline footage interspersed with SPR streamed footage. There's a lot of behind the scenes chat showing the sportsmanship and camaraderie in the class.
Photographer Patrick O'Connor says he and his wife Deena Rose have just loaded two albums of Festival of Power photos on Patrick's Facebook page which you can view by clicking here.
Melbourne Raceway Powerfest this weekend.
9th May: Thanks to Andy Flavell of Straightliners who has sent details of the Melbourne Raceway Powerfest:
Many people have recently asked me what is going on up at Melbourne these days so with the next event Powerfest approaching fast on the 13/14th May, here is a low down on drag racing at Melbourne this season. We have our new E.T bracket classes this year: Sportsman ET (up to 7.90), (Pro ET (6.90-7.89) and Pro Extreme (5.90-6.89). With the upgraded timing system running to the same staggered start Sportsman tree dial in format used at Santa Pod. This brings bracket racing to Melbourne in a way many of us have ran elsewhere. A Nora licence is needed but can be purchased easily and cheaply at this link
We also have the NSCC Hot Rod Gazette, an exciting class that’s a heads up option for modified street legal cars. And ofcourse for quicker cars that want to run a heads up pro tree, we have Pro Comp running a Cannonball style format with the two quickest running a shootout in the final. For more details on the car rules, click on this link.
If you want to come and just have a taste of what Melbourne’s about come for RWYB available to all vehicles. No pre entry needed. Drag Racing just for fun. Get on the track for as little as £25 for three runs or £35 unlimited.
The No Mercy Bike series offers bracket racing opportunities to bikers, jnr bikes, scooters, Ultimate Street bikes for modified bikes, stock and 2 strokes, racing legends for the over 70s among others. For more details on the bik rules, click on this link
We also welcome EVs and drag karts. This event coming up will have the bar flowing in the clubhouse Saturday night with entertainment provided by the Del Sharrons playing classic 1950s Rock and Roll. Come and try 1/8th mile drag racing. All the fun, half the cost! Thanks to Bad Yeti Custom Print for the photography.
NSRA Nostalgia Nationals racer comments.
9th May: We present below racer comments from the weekend's NSRA Nostalgia Nationals. As we mentioned yesterday, qualifying was limited to one shot on Sunday morning, although several teams making test runs in Friday's run what ya brung. Nevertheless there were still some upsets in racing which was exciting and made up a little for the disappointment of losing Saturday to torrential rain:
In Outlaw Anglia, 2022 SPRC Champion Rob Stone continued his winning ways by taking the event win. Without testing on Friday his qualifying run was 8.3790/158.49 and his runs in elimination were impressively consistent, 8.4296/154.68 to defeat an out of shape Ben Kennedy in round 1, a bye 8.3178/159.05, his best of the event, in round 2, another single in the semi final, 8.5014/157.38, when #3 qualifier Gary Bird did not show, and then a 8.4140/155.75 defeat of Colin Millar's revamped Flyin' Fyfer in the final after Colin red-lit.
Colin Millar reported after the event "Another fantastic weekend, the car has had so many changes we wanted a decent amount of shakedown run, but the weather had other ideas, so one shot qualifier Sunday morning then straight into qualifying. A few tweaks are needed just to straighten it up around 400 feet but that will come with more seat time, the new hardware is showing me it’s up to the job, all lovely and tight.
First elimination run was 0.07 reaction, then 0.04, then 0.01 and I should have clocked it but nah and a -0.002 cherry. Huge congratulations to Rob Stone and the team, well done boys. roll on Doorslammers, the big tune is going in, thanks as always to Aaron Springford and my Lynn Purvis, see you all there.
Nostalgia Super Stock, sponsored by Lite Steer which provides retro-fit power steering for VW Camper Vans and classic cars, had a huge field with 38 cars making qualifying runs. Newcomer Holly Butcher in a 1965 Dodge Dart went to #1 in the one shot qualifying session with a +0.0046 on her dial, a great achievement in her first competitive race. There were some notable upsets in round one, Nic and Keith Williams both suffering defeat despite qualifying positions in the top quarter of the field. Lee Chiles was consistent both on the tree and against dial in to make the final against Simon Rickwood, who had earlier upset Dave Billadeau in a close race. Lee unleashed another great light, 0.0633 and +0.0092 on dial to Simon's +0.0998 and +0.0648 for a margin of victory of 0.0921.
Lee told us "We had some great races. Racing Kiwi was really good as he beat me last time we raced, at the Mopars. Always good to beat Dan Williams as the Williams brothers are very good racers. The best race was the final. Simon is a great guy and a really good racer. This was the first time we have raced.
"Dave Billadeau and Chris Goodale have been a huge part of building the car. My crew was a massive help, from getting race ready to wiping the rain off. Thanks to the wife for the constant supply of drinks, and to Karl Kenyon who as crew chief is always a massive help."
Gasser Circus had another large field of 19 cars making the one-shot qualifying session. The event was one of swaps and substitutions. In the car line-up, class newcomer Nïamh Smith was racing in Nogbad the Bad which she had bought from Nick Brooke-Langham; meanwhile Nick has aqcuired the former Tinseltown Hustler Anglia which he raced without its lettering. Chris Layram had a new Anglia, and Harvey Turner joined the class for the first time in a neat Nova. John Gibson returned to the class for the first time since 2019 in the High Roller Falcon as his usual Crowd Pleaser '55 Chevy is being refurbished.
New GC racer Nïamh Smith, running in Nogbad the Bad wrote "What a weekend… Got a few runs in on Friday, and managed to get down to a 12.85 @ 104mph. Rain stopped play all day Saturday, meaning a one shot qualifier first thing this morning (Sunday).
I was pretty nervous about that being my first time out with the class and feeling doubtful I’d qualify, so we thought we’d try and be conservative and dial a 12.80.., only went and bloody broke out with a 12.75. Despite this, just about scraped last qualifier so went through to the first round against Ray Turner.
We dialled a 12.72, taking the rare light tailwind into consideration and me starting to get used to the car and also deciding I’d best start putting my foot down, but still managed to break out with a new PB of 12.70 @ 106mph.
Out first round, but still feeling like a winner after having an amazing weekend and really starting to get to grips with the car. Love racing with the circus and it can only get better from here on out!
In eliminations, #1 qualifier Jason Hollamby was unable to make the call for round 1 with Chris Layram coming in as alternate. Two others in the ladder, Martin Hallam and Brian Gibson, were also unable to make round 1, Martyn Hallam and Brian Gibson, and were substituted for by alternates Simon Prest and Simon Glenn. The final turned out to be a heads up battle of '55 Chevys with Ray Turner coming out on top against a breaking-out Jason Pickett, well done to Ray.
Wild Bunch had just a time trial and two rounds with time running short on Sunday. Outstanding performances in the first round was from Bradley Cooper who went just 0.0020 on his dial in after being pushed back when the engine cut out. Phil James was once again the most consistent of all with +0.024 in round one and +0.0696 in round two for the overall victory. Robert White was quickest in round two with a +0.0093 on dial, and James Auld was third overall. Cudos go to Ford Skipp who made a very creditable start to his racing with a couple of straight, low 10s passes, and Leo Knight who struggled for parts and managed to get it together at the end of the event to run a great 8.1297/161.38.
Quickest Wild Bunch ET was from Bob Hawkins in his nitro slingshot. He wrote: "The Nostalgia Nationals 2023 turned out pretty well for our Time Traveller II Team! After a washed out Saturday, Sunday dawned dry and bright and boy, were we were ready for it! Our fist ‘checkout’ pass and I had to shut off just before half track as I was concerned about a possible transmission issue. As it happens, it was a very good thing to have done, but not for the reason I originally thought!
"Second pass on a soft ‘ish’ tune ran clean and straight and that put us into the 6.8’s. We were pleased but disappointed at the same time as the predicted E.T should, we felt, have been somewhat quicker. Third pass and small change of tune put a 6.73 up on the board!
"That was a great response to what was a relatively small adjustment so we feel pretty confident there is a fair bit more to come! So to conclude we ended up the quickest Wild Bunch car and collected a fabulous NSRA award for our efforts, as well as picking up the commentators' choice for the best WB burnout….wow, what a way to end the meeting!
"Have to also say a huge congratulations all the Wild Bunch winners and teams, especially Phil James on the win. A huge thank you goes to my amazing crew who turned the car around as well as any top fuel team, thanks guys, great work! Also as always a massive thank you to all the Santa Pod team, commentary, start-line, safety, recovery, pit, admin, etc, etc, for all their constant care and hard work looking after us all, simply the best! We’ll be back soon and hopefully stronger and faster again next time."
We will report on Supercharged Outlaws, Modied 100e, Quarter Masters and Outlaw Street in the next couple of days.
Malta Hal Far round 2 results.
9th May: Congratulations to the official winners at round 2 of the 2023 Enemed Malta National Drag Racing Championship, which was organized at the Hal Far track by the Malta Drag Racing Association over last weekend 5th-7th May:
Dragster D6: Mario Borg, uncontested
Dragster D4 and DTA4 class: Nathan Bartolo def. Tyson Debono (pictured right top)
Open 6 class: Lewis Vella, bye
CA6 clss: Mark Mallia def. Anthony Vella
SM4 Class: Stephen Xuereb, bye
Open 2 Class: Mark Mallia, bye
Front Wheel Drive Open Class: Glenn Caruana def. George Cutajar (3rd place Clayton Johnson)
Escort Class 3: Martin Scerri (pictured right bottom) def. Rosello Cassar (3rd place Christian Pace)
Escort Class 2: Martin Scerri def. Rosello Cassar (3rd place Mariano Ciantar)
Index Class 1: Chris Mercieca def. Dylan Micallef
Index Class 2: Chris Mercieca def. Joe Ashton (UK) (3rd place Neil Caruana)
Bracket 8.00-8.49: Dennis Desira def. Justin Mizzi
Bracket 9.00-9.49: George Cutajar def. Victor Felice
Bracket 9.50-9.99: Glenn Caruana def. Clayton Johnson
Bracket 10.00-10.49: Christian Azzopardi def. Paul Fenech
Bracket 10.50-10.99: Miguel Attard def. Clive Cutajar
Bracket 11.00-11.49: Chris Mercieca def. Justin Darmanin
Bracket 11.50-11.99: Nickovich Chircop
Junior Dragster: Luca Mangion def. Yelsin Bonello (3rd place Zayn Gauci)
Top Fuel Motorcycle: Glenn Borg, bye
M/Cycle Open Class: Briegel Micallef def. Mark Agius
Super Street 1 Class: Briegel Micallef (bye)
Motorcycle index 8.50: Stephen Cauchi (bye)
Motorcycle bracket 7.50-7.99: Mark Agius def. Steve Bezzina
Best reaction time: Stephen Cauchi
Malta's impressive four and six cylinder dragsters were racing; Tyson Debono's Vauxhall C20XE-engined XII Racing dragster ran five PBs with five runs between 6.256/216.16, which we believe is a new four cylinder record for Europe, and 6.36. The team reported "We are getting results from the past seven hard working years, managing to get the car consistent with the great tuning of Cacá Daud (based in Brazil). However class win went to Nathan Bartolo in the Haltech Mitsubishi Evo 4G63-engined yellow car, culminating in its first full run of 6.720/200.12.
Clifton Abdilla in his Toyota 2JZ powered rail ran a 6.406/217.37, somewhat short of his record and quickest 2JZ run in Europe of 6.192/213.67mph set in March. Clifton's goal is to run a five, can he achieve that this year? Other notable times were Tyson Debono running 6.794 at a slowing 159.16 and Alan Zammit's 6.908/194.19.
In the unlimited capacity D6 dragster class, Mario Borg ran a great 6.373/215.22 with his naturally aspirated V8 dragster.
In the Bike categories, Super Street Bike racer Simon Giordmaina was back at the track for the first time since his accident in March, and whilst he said it was too early for him to get back on a bike, however he was able to bring his brand new bike, with a new MaxxECU installed, to the track for Patrick Borg to ride (pictured left). Despite no dyno work and no tune up for his Renegade E85 Pro fuel, Patrick ran a 7.71/187mph on the bike's first full pass. Best wishes to Simon for his continued recovery.
Glenn Borg on his Funny Bike won Top Fuel Bike and commented "Busy weekend and full of struggling, chain failure and lots of damage, still managed to do the best bike ET of the weekend, 6.90, and won TFB. Thanks to my team that doesn’t give up. Congratulations to all."
You can see videos of the event at the Youtube channel of MDRA Secretary Konrad D'Anastasi at this link.
Thanks to Robert Agius and Alex Buttigieg for the photos. You can see Alex's photos from the event at this Facebook album. Robert Agius also posted photographs from his ,Facebook page.
NSRA Nostalgia Nationals results.
8th May: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's NSRA Nostalgia Nationals held at Santa Pod Raceway:
Outlaw Anglia: Rob Stone 8.4140/155.75 def. Colin Millar 25.1629/29.65 DQ red light
Lite Steer Nostalgia Super Stock: Lee Chiles (9.89) 9.8992/130.14 def. Simon Rickwood (9.68) 9.7448/133.33
Gasser Circus: Ray Turner (10.90) 10.9907/120.13 def. Jason Pickett (10.90) 10.8387/119.28
Wild Bunch: Phil James (average to dial 0.0468), 2nd place Bradley Cooper (average to dial 0.07325)
The event was rain affected, leading to the run what ya brung on Friday starting at 12:30, nevertheless 122 vehicles made 296 runs in the reduced time available, thanks to the efforts of the SPRC track crew in drying the track. Saturday was a complete washout with the rain worsening during the day until it was called at around 16:00.
Sunday was one of the best days of the year so far for sunshine and temperatures, and again the track crew worked hard to complete the event, with one shot qualifying followed by eliminations completed by 18:00.
The event was incident free, save a '57 Chevy that suffered an oil hose failure leading to a spin on the track after the 330ft mark but fortunately no contact with the wall.
You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored STP Springspeed Nationals reports, results and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link in the main menu above. A big Thank You from Simon to photographers Julian and Kirstie for their hard work and putting up with the rain on Saturday when took pictures in the pits.
Thanks to David Anniwell of the Santa Pod Timing Crew for sending us detailed timing data, including run what ya brun 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. You can view the official results by going to santapodresults.com.
A Facebook album has been posted by Disturbed Photography and will report on other media and racer comments in tomorrow's update.
8th May: Many thanks to European FWD admin Luke Stevenson for sending us a gallery of photos from the weekend's race at Rivanazzano, the Wide Open Spring International.
Super Pro ET and Pro ET were rounds of the Drag Race Union 2023 Championship, we will post a report on the full results once we receive them. In the meantime, you can see photos of the action taken by Luke at this link supported by Lucas Oil Products, or via News, then Features in our main menu.
Luke has promised a video of Rivanazzano made for the European FWD Youtube Channel. In addition, you can see more photos from the event in a Facebook post by Gloria Rusca.
When JWR met Nominet.
8th May: In November 2022, our Events Coverage sponsor John Woolfe Racing's Managing Director David Riswick and IT Director Mike Duggan met with Nominet, the operator of .UK, to discuss John Woolfe Racing’s past, present, and future, as well as our digital transformation. David Riswick wrote:
"Despite being caught off guard by the pandemic like many other businesses, with over fifty years of experience, we were undaunted. During the lockdowns, we decided to shift towards becoming a digital-first company, leveraging the latest technologies and launching our venture into eCommerce, which was a first in our company’s half-century history.
"By late 2022, we had joined Nominet’s Domain Leaders program and engaged in a conversation with their team to explore how the internet and .uk played a critical role in making our vision for the future a reality.
"As part of their visit Nominet filmed several videos that explore both our company and our digital transformation, so if you’d like to have a sneak peak into what’s going on here at John Woolfe Racing, click here to go to The UK Domain."
Nominet is the United Kingdom’s internet registry, tasked with managing and securing the .UK namespace, which includes all websites ending in .co.uk, .org.uk, me.uk or .uk (including JWR's!). For over twenty-five years, they have overseen one of the most valuable digital assets in the country.
8th May: Happy Birthday for today to Danish electric quarter mile world record holder Hans-Henrik Thomsen and rapid Subaru racer Stephen Guirey. We hope you both have a great day.
A tribute to drag racing legend Paula Murphy, who raced memorably at Santa Pod in 1973, is taking place at the Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, on Wednesday 24th May. The event, proceeds from which will benefit the charity Women In Motorsports North America, starts at 18:00 PST includes a VIP screening of a new documentary film Paula Murphy: UNDAUNTED followed by a panel discussion. More details can be seen at this link. Thanks to Geoff Stilwell for the information.
Wallace Motorsport's consecutive wins.
6th May: Many thanks to Motorsports UK Pro Modified Festival of Power winner Bobby Wallace for sending in a report on his second consecutive class win with his nitrous Camaro ZL1:
After chasing down parts all winter, we had a fantastic finish to the weekend!
We signed up for the test day on the Friday, as we had a completely fresh engine and wanted to ensure everything was ok before Q1. However, even the best plans don’t go to plan and during day 1 of qualifying, we lost top gear in Q2, so we decided to sit out Q3 to check over the transmission thoroughly. After inspection, we had stripped the splines on a clutch hub.
After fixing the issues, we have a successful day 2 of qualifying with back to back 5.9’s, which was good enough to put us in the number 2 spot – after Wayne and the Lucky Devil Team ran a 5.88 – huge congratulations to all the team!
Eliminations day, we had our good friend Jean Dulamon in the first round – unfortunately Jean suffered engine damage during his run – and I really hope he can get it fixed in time for Main Event!
We moved on to the final against number 1 qualifier Wayne Nicholson. One of the best races of my career so far, after both getting into tyre shake at 60 foot, Wayne edged out in front of me, we both pulled it back from the centre line, and I managed to pedal and secure the win. It was a hair raising race even for spectators to watch, I hear!
We are looking forward to seeing some of our European Friends at the Main Event in a few weeks time!
We race as a family, and every single person has a huge part to play; whether its feeding us and washing up, or grinding clutch plates – I appreciate all your help and support and I couldn’t do it without you all!
Also, a big thanks to ICE Automotive, WrightsFab.com and MSS motorsport for all their help and support too!
The entry list for PM at the FIA/FIM-E Main Event now stands at 15, including overseas entrants Jan Ericsson, Mats Eriksson, David Vegter, Walter Strobel, Marck Harteveld, Bruno Bader, Andres Arnover, Michel Tooren, Marcus Hilt and Norbert Kuno, so we are expecting more awesome racing.)
Sandro returning to defend championship.
6th May: Sandro Bellio, who claimed his second consecutive FIA European Top Methanol Championship in 2022, will return to defend his championship in 2023, starting at the FIA/FIM-E Main Event, writes Remco Scheeling for www.dragracingeurope.eu.
. Sandro's first FIA European Championship title in 2019 was also the first title for a driver from Belgium in the history of drag racing. His second title in 2022, following a two year break in competition caused by the covid pandemic, only came after the team fought back from a devastating fire at Tierp Arena in August, repairing the car in less than two weeks before the NitrOlympX. For 2023, the team have an all new Chevrolet Monte Carlo body with a new livery, as they gear up to run the five rounds of the championship.
Sandro said "The new body is once again a Chevrolet Monte Carlo, but the design is totally different. We tried to save as much weight as possible, as we were too heavy last year. The engine combination will be almost the same as we think that we can go much faster and quicker with it then we showed last year”.
Eurodragster.com sponsor Danny’s Racing Team will once again be supported by Dyno Unlimited, the family run company with the unique engine dyno for engines up to 4,000 hp, Danny Cars, the garage and workshop of the Bellios and EVChargeking.
Horto to run shortened season.
6th May: 2022 FIA Top Fuel Champion Antti Horto will run an abbreviated season rather than defend his championship, writes Remco Scheelings for www.dragracingeurope.eu.
Antti's plans involve racing at both FIA Drag Racing Championship rounds being held at Tierp Arena in June and August. He said “Unfortunately we are not going to defend our championship. As has always been our problem, the team are lacking time. It takes so much time to run such an operation for a full season. But we can’t stay away from the track, so we will be racing at both Tierp Arena events. It will not be a holiday trip, we will be racing for event wins and ET records.”
Antti will field the RF Motorsport car that will be driven by Duncan Micallef in the other three races of the FIA European Top Fuel Championship, thus keeping the car wrapping industry busy.
6th May: British Drag Racing Historian member Chris Dossett has been busy updating his excellent Trakbytes website recently. He writes:
Having recently discovered that the main archive on the site contains over 1000 separate entries, I decided to make searching for an individual racer a bit easier. The latest update includes the addition of an index of all the competitors mentioned in the yearly archive and results sheets. That’s over 2500 names. It’s taken a while to compile and I hope that it proves to be useful for anyone looking for details of a particular individual.
The fourth volume of the Retford Scrapbooks has been uploaded. This is comprised entirely of cuttings from 1974 taken from such publications as Hot Car, Custom Car, Autosport, Motorcycle News, and others I can't identify. There are articles on DLT and Tender Trap, Ed Shaver (Shaver's Ravers!), the first NDRC meeting at Snetterton, an interview with T C Christenson, a look at the UK Funny Cars of the day, and plenty more.
There are also a handful of new entries, and corrections, spanning the years from 1965 to 1975. These include the vertical wheelstand from the Houndog Funny Car, the first eight second run from a motorcycle in the UK, a six second strip record at Santa Pod for Pete Crane, an update and rewrite of the inaugural NDRC Snetterton meeting, and more.
I can now get back to more regular updates, and there’s a huge pile of material waiting for my attention. As always, corrections and additions from racers and fans are always welcome. The site wouldn’t be anywhere near as extensive without the help of those that have contributed in the past.
6th May: Happy Birthday for today to FIA Drag Racing Commission chair Lars Pettersson, former Gasser Circus racer John Gibson, Modified 100e racer Karl Reardon and forthcoming blown slingshot racer Andy Hill. We hope you all have a great day.
The Junior Drag Bike club have updated their Youtube channel with a number of "shorts" for class racers which you can see at this link. The class is also grateful to Dale Leeks' company Leeks Landscapes for putting up a £50 award to the winner of the Festival of Power, won by Leah Morrison.
Author and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame compere Tony Thacker will be making an appearance with the Dos Palmas blown gas dragster today at the RPM Nationals being held at the Barona 1/8 mile dragstrip in Sourthern California. Tony said "It's for a Hot Rod Magazine shoot with the Mooneyes dragster with their photographer Marc Gewertz." Tony thanks team members Scott Campbell, co-owners Mick Jenkins of Mick's Paint, Nick Davies of ICE Automotive, Geoff Stilwell and Stewart Bassett of USAutomotive, original builder and owners Arnold Chaves, Chris Goodnight and Gil Rothweiler. To see the team working on the timing of the historic car, click on this Facebook link.
5th May: We were sad to hear from his daughter Mercedes of the passing of David Owen, one of the pioneers of Drag Racing in the UK, on 29th April.
David was one of the instigators of Drag Racing at Graveley airfield, Papworth, Cambridgeshire, near which he lived, and was still a resident of until his passing. 7th June 1964 was the date of the inaugural British Drag Racing Association practice meeting there, and David organised the event with start line marshals from the Drag Control and Timing Association. David became head marshal of this local organisation that handled the first drag racing competitors in the UK.
He was also in at the beginning of Santa Pod, being both race co ordinator and marshall at various times. He wrote the UK's first Drag Racing Construction & Safety Rule Book which was published by colleague John Bennett in 1968.
In recent years David used to love going to Dragstalgia and reminiscing with old friends. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten.
We send our deepest condolences to Mercedes and David's family and friends.
Flyin' Fyfer Evolution.
5th May: At the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals this weekend is a car with a familiar name but new look. Outlaw Anglia racer Colin Millar today unveils the latest evolution of his Flyin' Fyfer. You can read about how the complete rebuild of his familiar car came to pass in our feature at this link supported by Lucas Oil Products.
Colin writes about his feelings about the sport: "We are all racers, even the crew, we innovate, we overcome, we find solutions to problems we never thought we could, the need to continually go faster is always forefront in our thought process, the need to get the car to handle better and ultimately to win at whatever level we are at, that’s the GOAL, if the adrenaline pumps hard all day you fall asleep real early that night, the elation in standing on the Number 1 platform and receiving that shiny plastic trophy makes all the blood sweat and tears including all the money you’ve spent so so worth it!
"However with all that’s been said above we are all frightened of change, we have a set up that works, we may change it too much and take another year to get back to where we were, we might disagree as a team to go in the right direction, the racers are however only the drivers and without the team we’re pretty much nothing, the team consists of Arron Springford and Lynn Purvis, and a helping hand from Jedd Guy, we carve a path, we have direction, we have harmony, it can get mad and a tad hectic with last minute adjustments just before we run, but proven performance has put us all in good stead and the biggest part of all of this is FUN!
"We have never returned home after a meeting without a huge smile on our faces and great memories, no one can ever take away from us."
In Leeks Landscape Funny Bike, there were six bikes competing, French rider Eric Richard making his way over for his first event of the year. Eric had run quickly in testing and ripped off five six second passes in qualifying, a 6.5835 at 205.12 making him #1, and a new best for his new bike debuted in 2022. Lorcan Parnell on the Storm Drag Bike ran a best of 6.8026 at 204.25 to go #2 but was suffering issues leading to the bike only running with full boost one of its two compound turbos, which you can read more about at the stormdragbike.co.uk website.
Dave Peters was 3rd in qualifying with the Riggerboot Express machine, but the bike only got on song in eliminations, when he defeated Jordan Kenway, Jordan running his first seven, in round one and Roger Moore in the semi final, two close races. Favourite Eric had a 6.66 bye in round one after Maarten Zijlstra had problems and failed to stage, and in another bye in the semi he won by taking the green, however was not able to make the final against Dave who became a second repeat winner. You can read more about Dave, aka Rocket, in the team's new The Riggerboot Express Racing Facebook group
In Taylors Trophy Super Street Bike, Jake Mechaell had great performance and won the event over Alan Morrison Jnr in the final. Jake wrote: "Heading into the meeting I decided it would be a great time to try some new ideas and parts in preparation for the Main Event at the end of the month. All of the changes showed great potential on the test day so I set out to fine tune the bike and feed some boost back in. By the end of the weekend we not only walked away winning the meeting but set PBs for 1/8 mile speed of 175mph and 1/4 mile speed of 218mph.
"I'm really excited about getting back to the track for the Main Event and carry on progressing with the new setup. Thanks to Dion Hartley for helping out all weekend and the Santa Pod track crew and staff for all the hard work to ensure the meeting was completed.
"Thanks also to my sponsors and supporters Turbosmart, Owen Developments, Putolineuk, Robinsons Foundry, Racinglines, Antigravity Batteries, VP Racing Fuels, HEL Performance, Kent Cams, EPSmotorsport, Furlong Tyres, APM Components and WCS Ltd."
In Suzukiperformancespares.co.uk Comp Bike, Dan De'ath, substituting for the Danny Cockerill, had a dream debut in the class riding Danny's bike as well as his own in JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike. Dan wrote: "After a phone call early the week before the new Festival of Power, Danny had asked me if possible could I test his bike for some issues on the test day before the event, to which I was never going to turn down that opportunity. One thing led to another which then led to a chat about me double classing with both bikes.
"I finally nailed my first 7 second pass which was on Danny's bike, then kept pushing my PBs away all weekend with a 7.51 and 188mph! On to the final in Comp, and had a mega race against Jasmine Cordelle, just squeaked out a win with a 0.0006 win margin or 1.7”! Chuffed is an understatement, I can’t say thankyou enough to Danny for trusting me with his bike and letting me have free reign of the keyboard all weekend.
"8.50 too was mega this weekend, hectic running both bikes was an understatement, but we managed it, the whole team pulled together and worked our asses off to manage doing as well as we did, but me getting itchy fingers against the best in the biz Jay Roe in round 3 meant a huge red light, and my weekend was over in 8.50, not all bad though as I had the final in Comp to run! I also managed to run my first 7 on my bike too this weekend, thanks to a push from Steve Howe and Jordan Howe of Howe Rigout & Construction for putting up a nice bounty and giving us all something to chase after! A huge thankyou to everyone involved one way or another with my racing, I can’t thank you enough."
In Atlantic Fluid Tech 9.50 Bike Carl Thomas defeated Rick Sawatzki for his first event win, well done to him. In ET Bike, Blade King not only won the event but was in the eights for the first time. Blade wrote: "After working constantly, trying a new clutch setup and with lots of great advice off some really great people, we have managed to set a new PB and get the bike into the 8’s at the second event with a 8.94 with a 1.27 60’ and still spinning to 60ft."
Finally, Eurodragster.com Junior Drag Bike was the third bike class with a repeat winner, Leah Morrison. Leah wrote: "I’m really happy to win the festival of power. I’m really enjoying the season so far and I’m excited for the main event in 3 weeks. What made the day even more special was my little brother brad making the final. I am really grateful to my Mum and Dad who put so much time into our racing, and my family and team members for their support and guidance."
Luke's European tour.
4th May: European FWD admin and Santa Pod commentator Luke Stevenson is on a mission to promote the category across Europe:
It’s weird to think many racers are still waiting for their season to begin when we started back in March with RWYB events at Santa Pod and the opening round of the MDRA at Hal-Far.
We at European FWD are making a concerted effort to promote and encourage more FWD cars taking part in Comp Eliminator by attending each round and bringing daily coverage in a mini series on our YouTube channel European FWD.
The plan is to cover all rounds of the Motorsport UK championship which initially was just supported by Pro-Race Engineerings Simon Crowley when the FWD index was introduced but now Terry and Ahmed have really taken to the class and are starting to stir things up.
At the Main Event we hope to see another two FWD cars entering and, if plans come together, a trip with the cars to NitrOlympX to encourage some European FWD cars entering the class.
Again you can find all the daily coverage on our Facebook page European FWD and longer format footage on YouTube.
This weekend, we are headed to Rivanazzano Dragway in Italy to meet some new racers and spread some light on Drag Racing in Italy. Watch out for our “We went to” series where we document visiting and going drag racing in different countries, in the hope that it encourages people to visit other strips around Europe.
Finally we will be uploading daily photos and videos to our socials but also sending Eurodragster.com a libary of pictures (thanks! - Editor).
Pictured: a sample of the tee shirts Luke will be transporting around Europe. You can order yours from this link.
Tributes to Brian Taylor.
4th May: Yesterday we reported the sad death of Brian Taylor, not only the Voice of Santa Pod in the 1970s but also a consummate writer and marketer of the sport.
Brian's writing partner over many years, Jane Culley, wrote:
It was the saddest day when I heard of the passing of one of drag racing’s most respected people.
Brian went to school, and then college, in Southend, and started his working life with his father as an apprentice aircraft engineer for BA; after five years Brian left to sell tyres and fell in love with motorsport, and in particular drag racing. He once tried to explain to me the emotions he felt with the extreme sound and smells of the dragsters; it wasn’t until I experienced this that he turned to me and said “Do you understand now” and indeed I did. A past chairman of the British Drag Racing and Hot Rod Association, he started commentating on drag racing and custom car shows in 1970 and continued throughout the 70’s.
Brians life took different turns, and he headed up many motor industry marketing departments until we met when he was the marketing director for Sewells International in 1991. We worked together on various motor industry research projects, and I learned Brian never took shortcuts, his attention to the smallest detail was incredible; he always saw each project through to the end.
I remember meeting Brian for lunch in 2007, he was so excited to tell me that he was going to be part of the team involved in the renovation of the Allard Dragster also he was writing a book Crazy Horses. I knew Brian would be as single minded and focused until it was finished.
In 2017 Brian was getting a little bored with being semi-retired when he came to me with another project, he felt we could write a novel and “Fourteen Days in August” was born and was published in March 2023.
In 2020 Brian learned he had cancer but he was so positive and decided he needed to publish another book “The Machine that changed British Motor sport” This book is about Allard Dragster, it is with a publisher at the moment.
Brian lost Rani, his wife and soulmate of 56 years after a fall in November 2022 and Brian's health took a serious downturn. I like to feel they are together again.
RIP Brian T Taylor 11th February 1944-30th April 2023, you are so very missed.
Fellow commentator and author Keith Lee writes: Rest in Peace, Brian. We had some fun times at the drags, commentating together in the 70s and early 80s.
You were never short of ideas - which you would always single-mindedly pursue to their conclusion. Somehow, you always managed to twist arms to garner support for your projects, which was impressive to watch.
On a personal level, you did nudge me towards Motor Cycle Weekly, and I enjoyed covering drag racing for them over many years.
The contingency scheme was down to Brian's efforts, and was appreciated by the racers.
Never one to think small, he made his mark on drag racing in no small way, latterly with his book Crazy Horses, and the Allard restoration project. Sleep well, as you are now back with Rani after a short break.
Photo courtesy Keith Lee
NSRA Nostalgia Nationals this weekend.
4th May: It can't have escaped your attention that the first Nostalgia event of the year, the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals will be taking place at Santa Pod Raceway from tomorrow, 5th May, to Sunday 7th May.
National Street Rod Association committee member Alan Martin told us "It should be a great start to the Nostalgia calendar this year. It’s looking pretty busy in the race classes and Run What Ya Brung. We will be selling merchandise over the weekend, tee shirts, hoodies, mugs and posters. As always, we only produce a limited amount and when they’re gone, they’re gone. The posters are strictly limited edition and numbered accordingly; we will only have 40 available!. We have chosen to mention the Coronation on the posters as well."
Class racing involves Outlaw Anglia (15 entries, more anon tomorrow), Supercharged Outlaws (19 entries - see below), Gasser Circus (20 entries - see below), Lite Steer UK Nostalgia Superstock (40 entries) and Springbridge Direct Wild Bunch (26 entries). Pre-73 Run What Ya Brung includes Modified 100e and Outlaw Street along with many other Retro, Classic, Hot Rod and American cars. You can still enter the RWYB at this link, from which you can buy spectator tickets too. Full event details are at this link on the SPR website.
Eurodragster.com will be covering the event with live race reports, and on-track plus pit photography courtesy Julian and Kirstie (Diana is having a rare break this weekend). Follow our coverage, with links to streaming video by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link at the top of any Eurodragster.com page. Event coverage is supported by John Woolfe Racing
For those worried about missing the Coronation of King Charles III, the ceremony will be displayed on screens around the facility.
Supercharged Outlaws preview.
4th May: Many thanks to Eurodragster.com/Twister Racing Perfect ET Award sponsor and class chairman Andy Hadfield for sending in a preview of the Supercharged Outlaws at this weekend's NSRA Nostalgia Nationals, with an entry of no less than 19:
The first event of 2023 for the Supercharged Outlaws and with a 19 car field, probably one of our best attended events since pre covid. All the teams seem to have upped their games with upgrades and I’m expecting to see some impressive PB’s this weekend.
We have some new members too with Brian Watson piloting the utterly stunning Famoso slingshot. This car was built in the U.S for British racer Steve Neimantis and campaigned briefly over there before coming home to the U.K and ending in Brian’s hands. This will be Brian’s first meeting in the car and we wish him the best of times in it. Bob Glassup will be debuting his Capri with the S/O for the first time and is welcomed into the fold, we have high hopes for Bob and his car.
Roy Wilding will be trying to pinch that elusive 6 second - 200 mph ticket while Joe Bond in Nothin Fancy will be hoping to back up the European record he set last year.
Speaking of stunning rails, Mick Hannah will be returning with the Haggis Hunter; this car is such an eyeful and is yet to achieve its potential but with that 417 ci hemi motor, 6 second passes are a given once Mick has his ducks in a row. Fellow Scot Andy Park in the street driven screw blown Model Y, has upgraded numerous parts along with a new fuel system which should let that blower really breathe.
Robbie Grabham in Freddie’s Revenge is expected to be back into the 6’s, they are a brilliant team to be around and always really enthusiastic.
Ian Merryweather makes a welcome return from Fraggle Rock with Banzai, always a 7 second competitor and a driller on the tree. The Good Guys Team and Luke Watts in Alkypone have both worked hard on their cars during the off season along with Mike Couch in the oh so right Lil Hemi who has made numerous upgrades to run deep into the 8’s. Paul Dale has worked hard with Mark Windridge to build and install the new mill for Acute Angle and we hope the team see some reliability which they deserve. Speaking of Mark Windridge, he has been beavering away with the Grim Reaper / Thing altered and pilot Aaron Windridge is hoping for mid to low 7 second passes.
Simon Boot had a fantastic 2022 with his conversion to alcohol paying real dividends. We are expecting this full weight Camaro to dive into the 8’s……..that would be a real achievement for the whole team. Keith Freeman’s street driven El Loco and Jim Tucker will be battling it out in their 32 coupes to see who is the fastest in the valley while after a long off period following a nasty crash, Joel Kerr will be returning with the Stiff Shifter and is expecting to power straight into the 6 second zone. Such a nice bloke, he truly deserves it.
Jim Usher and the Hemi Hunter team will be making a welcome return to the group. More wheels up launches and keep your eyes peeled for Jim’s trademark wave as he leaves the line.
Twister and I will be doing our usual dawdling reaction times but after a surprise 7.43 PB at Springspeed, we are looking to go deeper into the 7’s and perhaps crack that 190 mph zone.
So, 19 teams in total and a variety of cars seldom seen in one group either here or in the U.S. Street driven hot rods and low 6 second record holding slingshots battling it out together. What’s not to like?
Gasser Circus 20th Anniversary.
4th May: Many thanks to Gasser Circus co-ordinator Nick Brooke Langham for sending us a preview of the class for 2023 and a look back over its history:
‘Roll up, Roll Up’ some 20 years ago was a heading in the action packed pages of Custom Car in March 2003. This proclaimed the arrival of new and exhilarating race group, this was the press launch of the Gasser Circus. The in person launch took place the same year at the NSRA Swap Meet, with the nose high Gassers of Terry Howarth Goldrush and Chris Manning The Hooligan spreading the word to the masses as both handed out flyers.
Both of these Gassers not only grabbed your attention they defined in a way that mere words could not express, what the group and the cars were all about. Although Gassers may not have been that plentiful at that time, step by step, the word and the desire to build and race one of these cars was underway.
After the initial response with cars like The Boston Brawler, Honky Tonkin, Goldrush, Roarin Rat, The Hooligan, Desert Rat and Jumpin Jalapeno to name a few, the racing group slowly developed. Basing itself within the NSRA Nostalgia events with Nostalgia Nationals and Hot Rod Drags being regular haunts. There were some lean times in the first few years, with only 4 Gassers attending Gary’s Picnic and 6 at the Nostalgia Nationals in 2006. Despite this though the Gasser Circus kept on going.
However, with cars and drivers departing, the Circus needed new blood and cars and with these beginning to appear, the Gasser Circus underwent a revamp with the group becoming a dedicated race series in 2011, which meant a set of rules to govern not only what was allowed in the build of the Gassers but also the rules that controlled the racing and points system.
The revamp began much as the original did in 2003, with 8 cars in attendance, but the following 12 years, the Gasser Circus has gone from strength to strength, with a multitude of highs and a few lows all backed up by a fantastic group of racers who not only have built Gassers to race in the series but also brought a brilliant sense of comradery to the pits.
Celebrating our 20th year of enthralling and thrilling crowds, with nose high cars, is kicking off with Round 1 at the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals, this coming weekend. We are delighted in our 20th year to have at the last time of looking 20 Gassers entered, qualifying will be fierce on Saturday, just how we like it. Amongst these are old cars with new drivers and old drivers with upgraded cars, all keen to hit the quarter mile once again.
Of course, during the past 20 years the Gasser Circus could not have done it without the dedication of the numerous drivers that have supported the class, and the excellent people and organisations that have stepped up to sponsor the race series. Thank you to the current and previous drivers, and our gratitude to sponsors Melliard’s Modern Design, the NSRA, Rocket Racing Team, Speedking, The Executioners, Duksville Speed Shop, Renegade Fuels, Custom Car magazine and the brilliant photographers that have captured and promoted the class over the past 20 years. Andy Willsheer, Jon Spoard, Julian Hunt, Stuart Mitchell, Dom Romney and Alice Fairhead, thank you.
The Anniversary year will be competed over 6 Rounds of Racing:-
Round 1 – Nostalgia Nationals 5th – 7th May
Round 2 – Retro Show 17th – 18th June
Round 3 – Dragstalgia 7th – 9th July
Round 4 – Mopar Euro Nationals – 28th – 30th July
Round 5 – VW Action 1st – 3rd September
Round 6 – Hot Rod Drags – 15th – 17th September
Make sure you drop by the pits to see the Gasser Circus close up but take your seats when the class hit the strip.
4th May: Happy Birthday for today to Comp Bike racer Adam Burns, French Pro Stock Bike racer Charly Abraham, Flying Iceberg Buick racer Anthony Mitchell, former Sportsman ET racer Neil L'Alouette and Finnish Stock eliminator racer Jarmo Markkanen. We hope you all have a great day.
There are many races in Europe this weekend as the main part of the season progresses. As well as the UK, races are taking place in Germany, Italy, Malta, Poland and Romania. We hope to bring you some highlights.
3rd May: We were saddened to hear of the passing of former Santa Pod Raceway announcer, writer and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame director Brian Taylor on Sunday.
To fans in the 1970s, Brian was the Voice of Santa Pod. Brian's career started in aviation technology until he switched to automotive marketing, working at John Woolfe Racing. He then expanded into journalism, writing and editing for automotive aftermarket trade journals. Jane Culley provided much of the research for these automotive products and marketed the published reports. He spoke at automotive conferences throughout Europe and in the USA.
Brian's involvement in drag racing started as commentating at Santa Pod Raceway in the 1970s. He was a natural and expanded to hosting Custom Car Shows in the 1970s and carried out much TV and radio work on the sport, some of which you can see in one memorable This is Your Life programme, with Dave Lee Travis as the subject. He also made great strides in marketing of the UK sport, creating its first contingency scheme using the NHRA as a model.
Brian's best-known written work is 'Crazy Horses - the History of British Drag Racing', published by Haynes Publishing, a comprehensively researched and authoratitive account of the sport in this country. After the founding of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, Brian became its CEO and helped develop this institution and its Annual Gala Awards event.
In his later years Brian led a group of enthusiasts that restored the Allard Chrysler, Europe's first dragster as raced by Sydney Allard from 1961; and in typical fashion, Brian made a thorough job of it and the car became owned by, and on permanent display at, the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. Brian wrote detailed blogs for Acceleration Archive and Eurodragster.com blog on the restoration, and was preparing a book on it, titled The Machine that Changed British Motorsport, and it is sad that it has not yet been published, although a novel co-written with Jane Culley, Fourteen Days in August, was published in 2022.
His Norwegian wife, Ragnhild, sadly passed away last November. They lived in Sidmouth, where Brian's celebration of life will be held.
Urgent Main Event entry announcement.
3rd May: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall urges all racers who wish to take part in the FIA/FIM-E Main Event on 26th-29th May that the final deadline for entry is this Friday, 5th May.
Racer comments from Festival of Power.
3rd May: We present below part 1 of racer comments from the car classes:
Nostalgia Funny Car Cup winner Tim Garlick in Apache wrote "Great weekend for the Apache team, joined by 2 new members Dan Stokes and Ricky Reed who were launched into the deep end somewhat! The car is a little down on power due to the final decay of our stalwart 10 year old blower. New one on its way, then the trouble starts. Great meeting for us."
Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas winner Mark White was in his first race of the season and came out as winner in a field of 12 cars, just one less than the Springspeed Nationals. Best wishes to Kieran Turner and Bob Molden who we hope will return later in the year. Mark started his account with a great 9.92 in Q1 which placed him #1. Dave Fulton, Stu Doignie and Dan Page improved to place Mark 4th at the end of qualifying. In eliminations, Mark unleashed a 9.908 (0.059 package) on Andy Dibley in round 1, was the beneficiary of a Stuart Morrice red light in round 2, a bye in round 3, and a double breakout win against an improved Tim Moore in the final. Guest driving for Jazmine Tunstall in the Jammie Dodger Brodie roadster was Jedd Guy, the team planting Jammie Dodgers on other teams during the course of the event.
FastR Super Comp winner Leah Kellett wrote: "Back from another crackin’ weekend at the Pod with a working car again - thanks to Scott and Geoff Hauser for the quick turn around to get us race ready again, so grateful!
After initially ironing out a few little issues we managed to get back on track! Felt so good to be able to jump in the car again and have some fun! It didn't stop there and resulted in being joined on the podium with my great race buddy Steven Hudson, well done Steve! Joe was unfortunately matched up with his bestie Peter Walters in round 1 and got whopped but either way we were still happy who got through, well done Petey!
Huge thank you to the chief Pete Kellett, the main box man Billy Everitt (smashin them numbers Bill!), my back up princess Nicole Naylor, bro Joe, and of course to Scott and Geoff Hauser, Jeff and Belinda Bull for the continued support and awesome car!
Massive thanks to the track crew as always! Top end guys and bottom end guys working so hard to get the track dry on Monday, managing to finish the event and just generally having all our backs and making sure we have a safe enjoyable ride - and of course our lovely marshals. Thank you to the camera crew, all of you! Love you all, well done to everyone in the finals and cant wait to see you all again in a few weeks.
In Peter Nee Super Pro ET, Alan Didwell who has been campaigning his dragster since 2011 scored his third event win in a fiercely competitive field. The top eight qualifiers were less than 0.01 off their index, but Alan was the best of all running a perfect ET in Q2. After a bye in round 1, Alan defeated Lee Huxley (a rare red light for Lee), Matt Peters (doing great in a Nick Good team dragster), Tom Atkinson (Alan winning a £50 bounty thanks to the SuPro sponsorship scheme), and in the final round, Ron Bartlett who red-lit knowing Alan was killer on the lights. Alan suffered some transmission damage in the final, let's hope he can return soon, also commiserations to Steve Saunders, Darren Peart and Paul Marston who were unable to make eliminations due to breakage.
In Modurstang Pro ET, Leigh Morris doubled up on his Springspeed Nationals victory by winning the class once again. With his Jaguar engined E-type, Leigh qualified in 16th position, his +0.0354 good but not outstanding in a field where the top 25 were less than 0.1s from their dial-in. In eliminations as we have seen before Leigh proved once again he is a consummate bracket racer. Round 1 saw him defeat #1 qualifer Dave Fulton in a tight double breakout race, then in a bye run in round 2 Leigh had a 0.07 RT and -0.01 on his dial, after which he tree'd Dave Rudd in round 3, before another tight double breakout against outstanding newcomer Stevie Gates in the semis. The icing on the cake was a 0.001RT in the final and +0.0213 on his dial to defeat Amy Watkins in the final. After six championships in Super Street, can Leigh be aiming for one in Pro ET? Yes way!
Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET winner Gary Lake wrote "After what felt like the longest day in the longest weekend, we eventually made it home by 11:30pm, tired but very happy! Another amazing set of qualifying by all the Sportsman ET racers put us in 8th position on the ladder, and with 3 previous class National Champions to potentially compete against, we knew it would be anything but easy!
"The car ran faultlessly all weekend and went 14.23, 14.20, 14.25, 14.27 and 14.26 in qualifying so we knew the car was fine, just not sure about the driver or our ability to pick the right number! Brian Huxley was on his numbers again and qualified number 1, good work Brian! In eliminations, Matt Halsall broke out big style as the Escort was flying, then racing against Chris Creswell and Kirstie Tramm was so close. With everyone bringing their A game on the tree, it made for lots of fun at the stripe!
"Having survived the “ladder of death” as Chris called it, we got lucky being on the side with a semifinal bye then we met first time finalist Steve Mellors. We managed to nail the tree and Steve appeared to have an issue about half track so we managed to get round and seal the victory but well done to him for getting the runner up trophy!
"Another great showing from all the sportsman racers with a special shout out to two V8 Jags; Liam Sturman did brilliantly making the semis in the Powerflow jag and Richard Palmer qualifying 4th in the “Family Cat”. Look forward to seeing everyone again at STP Sportsman Nationals!
VW Pro winner Danielle Coppin wrote: "After being approached by Sharon in the signing on office about my consistent times during RWYB at USC last year, I joined up to the VWDRC to race in VW Pro for 2023.
"Coming into this weekend with my support vehicle breaking down the day before my first event had got me super stressed, but thankfully I was able to hire a vehicle and get to Maple Towing and Leisure LTD who have sponsored me a trailer for the season.
"Over the winter my Golf R has has been to Evoloution Diagnostics and Tuning after having a refreshed turbo from Venom Hybrid Turbos. With the car now making just over 515bhp and no time for testing I was unsure what the times the car would run so it was a case of dial it safe to begin with and work from there.
"I’m not going to lie my first pass was a high 12 and I was very disappointed in myself but the VWDRC gang assured I will have to relearn the car’s performance and with seat time I will get quicker.
"They were correct and with each run I dropped my ET until I was dead on 12 seconds. Next up was eliminations, thankfully I attended the Santa Pod dial in day so had a little experience but nothing compares to real race butterflies, each little bit of down time adding to the pain of getting my first round done.
"Amazingly I was able to cut consistent 0.1 lights all the way through eliminations and this actually won me races multiple times including the final where maybe my rookie experience threw caution to the wind where as James was a little more cautious.
"Firstly I want to congratulate my fellow VWDRC rookie Caitlin Wilson on winning her first VW Sportsman round in what is believed to be the first time two females won both the VWDRC classes at the same event showing how inclusive this sport is.
"Thank you to my Sponsors Davian Services, Evolution Diagnostics and Tuning, Venom Hybird Turbos, Demon Tweeks Motorsport, Maple Towing and Leisure Ltd, CJ Powder Coatings LTD and all the VWDRC crew who looked after me during my first race.
"For the rest of the week I’ll be working from home staring at my amazing Winners trophy underwriting insurance for Adrian Flux Insurance Services and answering the phone with the opening line “Hi, you’re through to Danielle, Winner of VW Pro at the Festival of Power 2023, how can I help you?”
Outlaw Flat Four winner James Wotton wrote: "After last years breakages, I was keen to get out and see if the upgrades worked, and, wow, straight off the trailer, I was going to do a checkout pass, but the car left so well, I didn’t lift, and it went 9.38 which is a improvement on my PB and another step towards my personal goal of a 8.99 in a floor pan Beetle.
"I missed out my second qualifying to help fellow racer Darren Shephard with a mechanical fix, then 3rd qualifying, we had massive wheel spin out of the box. Sunday we ran the 4th qualifier and again spun the wheels. In the shut down the car sounded bad and once we got back to the pit we notice the exhaust had broken so I drove to fellow racer Danny Pike in Oxford to weld it back up, but when we got back we just missed out on the last qualifying session.
First round of eliminations I had a bye, so a nice easy one straight to the final. In the final, as the car left, it pulled a wheelie towards the the left and was heading for the wall, so I backed out, got it straight and chased Adam Lowe down for the win. I had a great weekend and a car in one piece so I have now entered the 4 cylinder class at Doorslammers."
We will present part 2, plus motorcycle class comments, tomorrow.
Dual Fuel Racing's FoP.
3rd May: Sportsman ET racer Steve Mellors and Dual Fuel Racing had a mixed Festival of Power with an unexpected outcome, writes Sean O'Dwyer:
The Festival of Power was a rollercoaster of emotions for Dual Fuel Racing. Having spent the past few weeks fixing Hulk MX5 after damaging the diff casing and breaking a drive shaft at Springspeed testing, Steve had faced multiple problems on the drive down to Santa Pod.
Friday's test day brought more bad luck, having snapped the drive shaft on the start line on the first run. However, with luck, other team driver Carl Magedera was stopping off at sponsors Northants MX5 to pick up a starter motor. Steve managed to call just in time also to be able to pick up a drive shaft; kindly both parts were donated by Northants MX5. With the driveshaft going in, in a matter of minutes, Steve Mellors managed to get five test runs in that day.
Saturday was a great day for the team where in Q1 Steve managed to place #1 and teammate Carl Magadera ran a PB of 11.86 which for Sportsman ET is a massive breakout, but, nevertheless, a very happy Carl who still managed to qualify. Later that day, Steve got pushed slightly down the field. Sunday again proved to be a great day for Carl with yet another 11.86 from the Tesla. Steve had managed to also get his way back up the field, eventually into 3rd at the end of qualifying.
Monday in round 1, unfortunately Carl broke out, however for Steve luck was on his side as Ash Symons unfortunately bogged on the line, causing Steve to get the round win. Throughout the day, Steve’s good luck stayed with him as he managed to get himself all the way to the finals. Due to clutch issues, Steve ended up runner-up, a great weekend for Steve getting onto the podium for the first time in his racing career.
Steve said: "A huge thankyou to our sponsors Able Assist, Printz4u, justsenditdesigns, MX5 Parts Warehouse Northants, MX5 32 Racing Wheels & Speedshop Malta. A massive thankyou to my fantastic crew and team weekend, without you guys I could not have done it - Sean O'Dwyer (crew chief), Luna Stea (crew), Carl driving the Tesla & the night time crew, including the Oklahoma Willy Jet Bus team Perry, Angie Ed and Lauren for all of your support, you are all truly amazing.
3rd May: Happy Birthday to Outlaw Anglia racers Kim Harrison and Rob Nixon, both 65 today, Junior Drag Bike constructor Simon Holgate, and Trakbak Racing Business & Project Development Manager Richard Foster-Turner, we hope you all have a great day.
Kieran has posted a Youtube video of action from the Festival of Power covering Comp Eliminator. See Kieran's video at this link.
Top Fuel numbers increasing for Main Event.
2nd May: With the official entry deadline of 28th April now passed, but with entries still arriving for the Main Event, it has become clear over the last few days that the race will have the largest number of Top Fuel entrants in Europe since 2019, with six of the sport's ultimate vehicles competing in the first round of the FIA Drag Racing Championship.
Rune Fjeld Racing stalwarts Susanne Callin and Ida Zetterström, who made test runs this last weekend, will be joined by three returning favourites and a new face to Top Fuel at Santa Pod who qualified at last year's NitrOlympX.
Longtime TF competitor Dane Stig Neergaard will be returning to FIA Competition, and you can read the story, written by our good friend Remco Scheelings at this link on the www.dragracingeurope.eu site. “We still have an awful lot of work to do on the car, but we will do everything we can to be ready in time for The Main Event,” said The Real Stig who is looking at racing in all rounds in the Championship after three years with a handful of test runs and a match race in Sweden.
Also returning after a break from FIA competition of five years is the Maltese Lion Duncan Micallef who has been busy being president of the Maltese Motorsport Federation as well as running demo passes at Hal Far Raceway in his homeland and mentoring his sons in karting, even taking part in kart races himself. Remco has published the story of Duncan's planned return with RFM at this link on the www.dragracingeurope.eu site.
Jndia Erbacher, who has competed in FIA Top Fuel since 2017, returned at the 2022 NitrOlympX and has now entered the Main Event. Jndia, daughter of multiple champion Urs Erbacher will have a strong team supporting her. Never one to do things by halves, Indja and Urs hosted a Season Start Party 23 over the last weekend including a fireup of the Monster Energy Drinks-backed Top Fuel Dragster. You can see photos of the event at this Facebook album posted by Adrian Zumstein.
And finally Swede Dennis Nilsson announced his Autoart Motorsports entry to the Main Event back in February. Dennis, who has raced in Top Fuel at Tierp and Hockenheim since 2018, has been busy attending shows to attract sponsors including the Elmia Bilsport custom motor show at Easter in Sweden. Planned dates are the Main Event, plus the Mantorp Drag Festival on 28th-30th July and NitrOlympX on 25th-27th August.
To encourage the revival of Top Fuel racing in Europe, we can only urge readers to attend the Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway to experience the sensory overload that is the Top Fuel experience!
Festival of Power results.
2nd May: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's Festival of Power held at Santa Pod Raceway:
Motorsport UK Pro Modified: Bobby Wallace 6.1690/240.30 def. Wayne Nicholson 6.6147/183.55
Nostalgia Funny Car: Tim Garlick 6.2338/223.65 def. Wendy Baker 7.5611/154.20
Track Worx Comp Eliminator: Spencer Tramm (11.70) 11.0785/115.82 def. Dan Williams (11.25) 10.8317/118.96
FastR Super Comp: Leah Kellett 9.0214/150.56 def. Steve Hudson 9.1855/143.93
Tony Morris Carburetors Super Gas: Mark White 9.8786/133.39 def. Tim Moore 9.7705/145.77
Peter Nee Super Pro ET: Alan Didwell (7.65) 22.6052/24.17 def. Ron Bartlett (8.24) 8.2983/164.76 DQ red-light
Modurstang Pro ET: Leigh Morris (10.08) 10.1013/129.85 def. Amy Watkins (9.43) 9.4736/142.01
Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET: Gary Lake (14.10) 14.3687/82.71 def. Steve Mellors (15.95) 17.4165/72.73
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Liam McDonald (8.10) 8.1609/74.31 def. Ada Cassisi (10.00) 10.1269/63.33
VP Racing Lubricants Nostalgia Super Stock: Spencer Tramm (11.09) 11.0700/115.81 def. Ash Rawson (10.18) 10.2494/131.38 DQ red-light
VW Pro: Danielle Coppin (11.95) 12.4105/101.16 def. James Hodson (10.85) 11.3463/115.49
VW Sportsman: Caitlin Wilson (16.94) 17.2788/70.56 def. Jon Crawford (15.99) 16.3821/80.50
Outlaw Flat Four: James Wotton 9.8726/145.79 def. Adam Lowe 11.0191/117.64
Banks Night Club Top Fuel Bike: Neil Midgley 6.3119/222.22 def. Steve Woollatt 6.3145/220.38
Taylors Trophy Super Street Bike: Jake Mechaell 6.8932/217.19 def. Ross Morrison 7.5705/198.89
Leeks Landscapes Funny Bike: Dave Peters, staged def. Eric Richard, did not show
Suzukiperformancespares.co.uk Comp Bike: Dan De'ath 7.5131/185.90 def. Jasmine Cordelle 7.6617/163.11 (MOV 0.0006 or 1.72 inches)
JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike: Jay Roe 8.6053/135.29 def. Martin Hallett 8.6264/134.17
Atlantic Fluid Tech 9.50 Bike: Carl Thomas 9.5094/127.69 def. Rick Sawatzki 9.6030/136.46
Blood Cancer UK ET Bike: Blade King (8.85) 8.8768/148.10 def. Justin Malton (10.12) 10.2844/110.70 DQ red-light
Eurodragster.com Junior Drag Bike:Leah Morrison (11.38) 11.5918/54.75 def. Brad Morrison (14.77) 14.9662/41.47
As well as the class racing listed above, there were several runs from each of Top Fuel racers Susanne Callin and Ida Zetterström, Fuel Funny Car racers Kevin Kent and Jason Phelps, and Jet racers Martin Hill, Julian Webb and Perry Watkins, all of whom put on a fantastic display for the large crowds attending and many others watching Santa Pod's live stream (which, incidentally, is being promoted by Motorsport UK on their new site motorsportuk.tv). The meeting was held in mixed conditions, with great air for qualifying and then rain coming in on Sunday night and continuing to Monday morning. The SPRC track team did a great job to getting the track back to racing condition on Monday morning and the event was completed just within the 20:00 curfew.
The race was thankfully incident free, with the exception of a limited number of minor fluid spills and, once racing started, it was completed efficiently.
Congratulations to Blood Cancer UK ET Bike racer Liam Holgate who won the Eurodragster.com/Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award of £50 supported by Cath and Tig Napier, and to VP Racing Lubricants Nostalgia Super Stock racer Spencer Tramm 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 Jedd Guy and Marc Huxley 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. Jedd and Marc's finish line margin was 0.0002 seconds or 0.47 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. We should repeat our new policy that the watermarked photos from our galleries can be downloaded and may be used in social media posts but please do not crop or modify them, in particular we need the watermark retained.
Please join Simon in thanking Julian and Diana for their hard work over the race weekend.
We look forward to publishing car racer comments on the event tomorrow.
Wheeldon & Charman on hold.
2nd May: Best wishes for a speedy recovery go to nostalgia slingshot racer Nigel Charman whose illness and other factors have resulted in the Two Much twin engined slingshot pulling out of this coming weekend's NSRA Nostalgia Nationals. Nigel wrote:
"It is with regret that we will not be attending the event with the Wheeldon and Charman dragsters due to issues outside of our control, one of which was me not feeling 100% which ended up with me in hospital a week ago and having an operation on my heart last Friday again in John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
"Hopefully I can finish the engine rebuild ready for Dragstalgia hopefully catch up with some of you."
We at Eurodragster.com send our best to Nigel and hope to see him, son and Gotavit driver James Charman plus Norm Wheeldon in action at Dragstalgia.
We will publish a preview of the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals in our Thursday update.
2nd May:Happy Birthday for today to Top Fuel racer Ida Zetterström, Top Fuel team member Hanna Haapanen and Street Week Sweden organiser Mats Appelgren, we hope you all have a wonderful day.
Well done to Julie Nataas for coming third in Top Alcohol Dragster at the 13th annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at Charlotte's zMAX Dragway. Julie qualified #2 with a 5.232/278.92 and then got to the final, where Mike Coughlin and Tony Stewart finished ahead of her, by way of two previous "quads". Sadly the two other Europeans in competition at zMAX, Lex Joon (Top Fuel) and Dmitry Samurokov (Pro Modified), failed to qualify. You can see detailed results at www.dragracecentral.com.