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16th April: With a fortnight still to go before the entry deadline at normal rates, the number of entries for the STP Springspeed Nationals to be held on 22nd-23rd May at Santa Pod Raceway is currently at 106 as at 16th April. The first event of the new season will have racing in 23 classes, and is the first round of the 2021 SPRC National Drag Racing Championship.
Racers that are members of Santa Pod Racers Club who want to join the competition should sign up on the on-line entry system at this link.
The latest entry list can be seen at this link on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site.
VWDRC pre season review.
16th April: The VW Drag Racing Club's season kicks off on Tuesday 4th May with a pre-season test day at Santa Pod Raceway. Chairman Luke Stevenson says "The club has exclusive use of the track that day. It's open to anyone who wants to come join in whatever car you have, picture short waiting times, multiple runs, fully prepped strip. Entry including two crew will cost £100 with additional crew members for £10 each, all pre-booked on the VWDRC Shop.
"The test day will be for 100 cars maximum and is expected to be packed with a record number of new members".
The season will consist of six championship rounds for VW Sportsman and VW Pro, and three rounds of VW Heads Up racing. The full calendar is:
Thanks go to sponsors Hangar 30, The Car Kitchen, EST Performance, BJ Bates Electrical, Pro-Race Engineering, Volks Workshop, CG Motorsport Clutch Specialists, 32 SpeedShop, Track Ready, WRP Paint & Restoration and R-Tech Performance.
We'll shortly run a piece on the new cars expected out in 2021.
Picture: Carl Goldsmith ran a 10.84/129 in the £2000-to-build Loaner Golf at last October's GTI Festival.
Lucas renew with Stilwell.
15th April: Geoff Stilwell, owner/driver of the record-holding 7707 Lucas Oil Land Speed Racecar, and sponsor of Eurodragster.com through Nitro Revival, is very proud to announce the continuation of Lucas Oil’s sponsorship of the team for 2021: "We were unable to race at all in 2020 due to the Covid crisis,” said Geoff, CEO and MD of Beech Underwriting Agencies, "however, that did not stop us from supporting Lucas Oil whenever possible with the Blown Fuel Roadster on display at the Grand National Roadster Show at the world famous Pomona Country Fairgrounds in Los Angeles, so we are extremely grateful that they remain on board for 2021.
"Assuming travel restrictions are lifted, the team plan to be on the Bonneville Salt Flats for Speed Week, August 7-13, when we hope for some favourable racing conditions. I still hold the A/BFRMR class record but there’s always somebody trying to better it".
"Besides sponsorship from Lucas Oil the racecar is also supported by our UK crew Nick Davies, Rob Loaring and Scott Barnes of ICEAutomotive.co.uk, Ron Hope's RatTrapRacing.com, and CARS Recon Inc. www.capautorecon.com, and the builder/painter of the car award winning Micks Paint www.mickspaint.com".
Based on a highly modified 1927 Ford Roadster, 7707 is a purpose-built land speed racer that currently holds the A/Blown Fuel Rear-engine Modified Roadster record at 258.569 mph. 7707 was built entirely at Mick’s Paint, Pomona, CA, and features a 494 ci Brad Anderson-based engine built by John Beck of Vintage Hot Rod Design & Fabrication, Chico, CA. The 5,000 hp engine features Bill Miller pistons and rods, a Blower Shop 14-71 supercharger and Enderle injector with MSD ignition and Racepak data acquisition. The transmission is a B&J 2-speed and the rear end a Winters quick-change.
15th April: Andy Clifford wishes a happy "big 60+1" birthday to his dad Terry Clifford, pilot of the Ratcatcher Resurrection nostalgia dragster, long-time Wild Bunch member and head-honcho of the Clifford family race team. Happy Birthday from all of us at Eurodragster.com, have a great day and see you back at the track soon.
Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded more UK and European drag racing videos his Youtube channel. First up is The Goodguys Shootout #4 'Judgement Day' from Avon Park Raceway, Long Marston, England on May 14th-15th 1994, filmed by Keith Taylor of First Image Video. Then we have Super Series Avon Park 1998, all four rounds, presented by John Price, as shown in broadcasts at the time. European footage is from the 1995 Hockenheim NitrOlympX, filmed from the stands and capturing the atmosphere supperbly. Other shorter clips include Elmer Trett, Brian Johnson, Graham and Allan Nash at Long Marston 1984-5 and a clip from This is Your Life of legendary radio and TV presenter and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Dave Lee Travis being greeted by the Stones Drag Racing Team and Brian Taylor.
Former UK drag racing photographer Bob Valder has updated his Youtube channel Bob's UK Drag Racing Archive with just under an hour's worth of videos from May 2004's Excitement Nationals from Shakespeare County Raceway including bikes and cars. Bob's videos are collected in a playlist making it easy to see all the footage for the event uninterrupted.
Gasser Circus dates confirmed.
14th April: Many thanks to Gasser Circus co-ordinator Nick Brooke-Langham for sending dates for the 2021 Gasser Circus Showdown:
The Gasser Circus are getting ready for our first round of racing and below are the details of our slightly amended season.
Thanks to the excellent work by the team at Santa Pod, the Gasser Circus will once again contest our race series at the legendary race track in 2021. The Gasser Circus is also delighted to confirm the continued sponsorship of Melliards Modern Pinstriping & Lettering at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Instagram, and the National Street Rod Association at nsra.org.uk and also on Instagram.
Photo credit: Stuart Mitchell
14th April: Thanks to Jack Petley for sending us a preview of his new race car, the ex-Super Modified / Pro ET car owned by David James and then Peter Thompson:
Since myself and Dad bought the Chevelle around a year ago, and due to building a new house, we haven't had much of a chance to look at it, over the last few months we have nevertheless made a plan - we are building Maliboost". It will be a Twin Turbo 427 LS built to be a street/strip car. It's going to be built to run in Street Eliminator UK however we will probably also give Pro/Super Pro a go depending on its ETs.
The engine will be built by Stefan Rossi in California, who's spec'd us a turnkey street strip beast! The chassis work is being competed by Chris Isaacs Racecars. The car was dropped off this weekend (10th April) with a lot of ideas being thrown his way; nothing was a problem and Chris has been great so far! Thank you to Dave Gane for the transport.
The paint design was done by Przym Paintworks, who have absolutely killed it, and with a few pics and some ideas, have got the design spot on.
As always, thank you to dad for all his support, mentally and financially, and to some of friends and family who've given us advice along the way! 52 weeks till Easter 2022!
Lindberg gets FC seat.
14th April: Swedish racer Jonnie Lindberg has got a seat in the new NHRA Funny Car team of Jason Rupert, in time for the team to make its debut at this coming weekend's Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip, Las Vegas.
The team's 2017 Ford Mustang is painted with matching Bays & Rupert lettering to Jason's Nostalgia Funny Car which ran in the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series, winning three championships with Jason driving. The lettering is in tribute to Jason's father former Top Fuel dragster and Funny Car racer Frank Rupert who passed away in January 2019.
Jonnie's drive will be short-lived as Jason will be making licensing passes during test runs after the Las Vegas event.
Jonnie, a two-time NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Top Alcohol Funny Car champion, drove the Head Racing Funny Car from 2017 through 2019 and was selected to substitute for Bob Tasca III in the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang last summer when Tasca was sidelined with COVID-19. Jonnie reached the final round four times while driving for Head with two occurring at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“I’m happy to get behind the wheel of a nitro car again,” said Jonnie. "It is always an honour to be trusted with someone’s equipment. Rupert and I talked about this possibility going back to last year. They are a new, part-time team who took the time and effort to put together a good car."
The 32-year-old Swedish driver will also be tuning Brian Hough’s Top Alcohol Funny Car that was recently built at Jonnie Lindberg Motorsports. This event marks the first time that the Top Alcohol categories will compete in the four-wide format.
Nitro veteran Johnny West will serve as crew chief.
Photo courtesy NHRA.com
14th April: A very Happy 60th Birthday to Super Street Bike rider and tuning guru Brad O'Connor, have a great day Brad!
An interview with ex-pat Norwegian Top Alcohol Dragster racer Julie Nataas, focusing on her future racing career, appeared in NHRA.com yesterday. Julie stated her desire to race in Top Fuel in the future, following the steps of Dad Thomas, 2013 FIA European Top Fuel Champion.
Dakota race on 24th is on!
13th April: Many thanks to Eurodragster.com sponsor Lee Child for giving an update on the race taking place in a couple of weekend's time at Dakota Raceway.
On Saturday 24th April Straightliners Dakota Raceway opens to competitors and pit crew only. The day is going to be like a two for one kind of deal where the main feature of the day is going to be a 1/8 mile no time, no prep, heads up eliminator with six categories to make it a real level playing field.
There is a prize fund for each 16 car category of £400, winner takes all. Competitors will have the option to run the 1/4 mile at no extra charge before the eliminator starts, and if they get eliminated. The drag strip will have the National Sprint Association Portatree timing system in place for the day. We have teams hauling from the north, midlands, south east and just around the corner. We can still take more entries but you only have until 20th April when entries close at 9pm.
Entry fee: Driver and one crew member entry is £100. If you get eliminated from the 1/8 mile no time drag race, you then can do timed 1/4 mile test runs at no extra charge; passengers have an additional charge.
All categories will have the 16 car pairings decided from an out-of-the-hat selection until the final two race for the money.
Pro AWD: Modified, competition tyres, interior removed.
Street AWD: Factory appearance, full interior.
Pro Rear Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres, interior removed
Street Rear Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior
Pro Front Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres, interior removed
Street Front Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior
Pre entry is required and you can enter via this page on the Straightliners web site. This is a non-spectator event.
Dakota Raceway is situated at Smeatharpe Airfield, Devon EX14 9RF. For daily updates check the Dakota Raceway Southwest Facebook page. If you want to test and not be part of the eliminator please contact Lee on 07771 590176.
Gilly Lowe funeral details.
13th April: Many thanks to Lizz Charman for passing to us details of the funeral of Gilly Lowe, partner to Pro Stock Bike racer Len Paget, to be held on Friday 16th April at 10:45am at Test Valley chapel which can be watched via webcam:
The web site to go to is www.obitus.com with user name rolu9144 and password 862076. The stream will commence at approximately 10:40am and the web stream will be available to watch again from up to three days after the funeral for a further 28 days.
13th April: We have three birthdays to celebrate today: Happy Birthday to Swedish Top Methanol Funny Car legend Leif Andreasson, to Nostalgia Funny Car crew chief Herb Andrews, and to Junior Dragster dad Mark Cook-Abbott who reaches 60 today. Have a great day all.
Run What Ya Brung gallery, video.
12th April: Thanks to Kieran and supported by John Woolfe Racing, we have extended the gallery of photos from the Saturday 10th April Run What Ya Brung by 45 additional photos. Our gallery can be seen at this link, and we have placed a link in the gallery to each photographer's work.
Kieran has also uploaded video of Saturday's Run What Ya Brung to his Mk1Kieran Youtube channel. You can see the 22 minute long stream by clicking here. Kieran comments: " It was a day limited by brief rain showers but the crew worked hard as always to ensure everyone had as much time on track as possible. The next RWYB day is May 1st which happens to be a Saturday Night Special too!"
Wild Bunch revise dates.
12th April: Wild Bunch co-ordinator Clare Meaddows has announced that, following cancellation of events at Santa Pod Raceway until the fourth weekend of May, a revised calendar for the nostalgia dragster, funny car and altered category has been released.
The revised calendar, together with the respective class championships, The Wild Bunch Championship (WB), Spirit of Nostalgia Championship (SN), Springbridge Direct/Motorsports UK Championship (MSUK) and Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars Championship (RW) is below. Mandatory pre-entry is via SPRC or Santa Pod Raceway ticketing as indicated for each event:
Picture: Ian Wild's new WildCat Jaguar engined Wild Bunch altered.
Editor's note: the end of May VW Breakout meeting will now include, as well as a full field of VAG cars, the Wild Bunch, Outlaw Anglia, Supercharged Outlaws, Gasser Circus and UK Nostalgia Superstock, making for a great weekend's racing.
Pioneers' stories – John Smith.
12th April: The latest update in our weekly Pioneers of UK drag racing series, told in the original words of the racers, and accompanied by photos and images from their collections, covers the period 1973-76 for Surrey crewman and mechanic John Smith.
John Smith was a schoolfriend of Surrey drag racing pioneer Keith Stacey, later getting to know Bill Haynes and Richard Jarman. Being mechanically minded, John helped Bill to build and run his first two cars Konkerer and Quarter Horse, also taking up trackside photography at Santa Pod Raceway. John met other early UK drag racers including Derek Metcalf, and spent time helping Tony Anderson's More Trouble Daimler-engined dragster team at his workshop and at the track, also later giving Keith Stacey assistance in running his Whiskey Peddlar, the former Trouble slingshot.
John has kindly given permission for us to publish his photo collection taken at Santa Pod Raceway between 1967 and 1971 which can be seen at this page, with captions included.
12th April: Many thanks to Trakbytes webmaster Chris Dossett for letting us know that the latest update to his great web site has just been posted:
There are somewhere in the region of 28 new entries, including some personal bests, some record performances, some full meeting results, three major event re-writes and plenty more. The earliest entry this time is from 1963, the most recent, 1995.
I've started to add a few more programme covers alongside their corresponding events too. If anyone has any scans of covers that I don't yet have (and there are quite a few), and you have time to send them to me, I would be most grateful.
Trakbytes provides an easy-to-navigate chronicle of British drag racing history with the timeline for legends of the sport and results of many major meetings with records set.
Run What Ya Brung gallery.
10th April: Courtesy of John Woolfe Racing, we have posted coverage of today's Run What Ya Brung at Santa Pod Raceway. Julian and Kieran took photos and we have published a gallery which currently includes Julian's pictures; Kieran's will follow and will be linked to in the same page.
Please do write to email@example.com with your news about the day's activities and we'll publish it in the next news update.
10th April: Mark Cook-Abbott has asked us to wish son Thomas Cook-Abbott, aka The Tominator, a very Happy 18th Birthday today. Have a great day Thomas from all of us at Eurodragster.com.
Also enjoying a special day today are former Comp Bike champion and Junior Drag Bike supporter Lizz McCarthy-Charman and Santa Pod Raceway announcer and co-presenter of the Santa Podcast Colin Theobald. Happy Birthday and have a great day both from all of us.
SFI UK Day 2021.
9th April: Thanks to Jennifer Faye, President of the SFI Foundation, who has announced the 2021 parts inspections in the UK:
As COVID gathering restrictions improve in the UK, SFI is happy to announce they will be providing the annual safety inspections and recertifications at Santa Pod Raceway on Monday, 26th April. Racers and team personnel may begin bringing parts at 09:00. Distancing measures will be employed such as dropping parts at the door, queueing in vehicles, etc. to avoid gathering in groups. Further details for the UK SFI Day 2021 will be posted to the Santa Pod Racers’ Facebook page shortly.
If you are unable to attend inspections on 26th April, there is also the opportunity to send or bring your parts to Robinson Racecars that week, 27th-29th April, by appointment only. Please contact Robinson Race Cars at firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
As a reminder, there will also be SFI inspection services available at ME Racing in Borlange Sweden on 26th-28th April. Parts must be registered and sent to ME Racing prior to those dates to minimize contact. Further details about inspections in Sweden may be found at the ME Racing Service web site.
Motorsport UK requires team details.
9th April: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for drawing to our attention the importance of completing the new Motorsport UK part of the entry form for car classes:
Car racers entering the Springspeed Nationals please note, this is very important, when you get to the new added Motorsport UK form at the back of the entry form, it is vital that you complete the last section. This requires you to fill in the details of all crew or family members that will be using your crew tickets to enter the event. These forms are to be sent to Motorsport UK and used as track and trace for the event, and is part of the permit restriction to allow us to run the event. If you only complete the Drivers name and one crew member you will only receive a ticket for those persons, Sportsman Racers have four tickets one for the driver and three for their crew, if you intend using all of your entitlement of tickets (a list is in an earlier news item per class), then you must enter all of the names with a contact phone number for each individual. I have received many entry forms with just the drivers name added.
So if you have already entered and not completed the form correctly, please follow this link and complete the form. Without the necessary information, one of three things will happen, you will either not get your ticket entitlement, your entry may have to be refused, or in the worst case Motorsport UK can take the permit away. Please help us to help you and fill the form in correctly.
If you are yet to enter, please make sure the form is completed correctly. Thank you in advance for your help.
Delayed start for FIA Championship.
9th April: Remco Scheelings has passed to us an announcement of the delayed start of the FIA Championship that has been released by championship promoter Drag Racing Europe:
The continued coronavirus related restrictions create challenges for the first events on the FIA European Championship Drag Racing tour. This has led to that the organizers have been forced to confirm the cancellation of the first three events, Santa Pod Raceway, England in May and the Swedish event at Tierp Arena in June, and Kauhava in Finland in July. The vaccinations have had a good progress in England, but restrictions will likely apply into, at least, June.
In Sweden the vaccination process has been relatively slow so far and it does not look possible to run a major event in June. "We need at least three months of preparation for a big event like this and the forecast for June is just too bad in terms of restriction levels. There is unfortunately no way we can start full activities now in working with the event in June at the moment," said Christopher Hamilton, CEO of Tierp Arena. Also the Finnish organizer FHRA have been forced to cancel the championship round in Kauhava in July, which was planned for Top Fuel and Pro Modified only this year. "We had to work with a very limited staff for the last couple of months and we simply cannot prepare good enough to hold the round in July," said Jarmo Grönman, president of the FHRA.
Right now we have a 3-round FIA Championship with a start at Tierp Arena and Hockenheim in August, followed by Santa Pod in September. "We are monitoring the situation closely for the upcoming events, as it's important for us to be able to create and communicate a plan when decisions are made. It's not easy as the conditions are unique in the different countries. After this long break from major championship Drag Racing events in Europe, the events that are run later in the season will most likely be great. We are really looking forward to get it going again and get some exciting racing in the late summer!" said Michael Gullqvist of DRE, the promoter company of the championship, jointly owned by the organisers and Speedgroup.
Editor's note: following this announcement, DRE have emphasised that the Tierp August race and NitrOlympX in August are still not confirmed. So we urge readers to stay tuned for a future announcement regarding these dates.
Greenlight for class racing.
8th April: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for the club's latest announcement on the 2021 race season:
Due to the loss of the 2021 Main Event, many of the Sportsman classes will have lost a round of competition; Santa Pod Raceway and Santa Pod Racers Club have now taken the decision to move the lost round to the STP Greenlight Nationals on 21st-22nd August. What does that mean? The Green Light Pro and Big Bracket will no longer happen, however we will be adding the Sportsman Classes who lost the round at the Main Event.
Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Pro, Pro ET, Street Eliminator and Junior Dragster will now all run at the this event.
There will also be a decision made later in the year regarding the Double Header for the ACU classes at this event; we will publish details if, and it is an if, there is any change.
Trouble in store.
8th April: Thanks to all those who gave positive feedback and memories following our publication of British drag racer and engineer Tony Anderson's story and the recollections of Keith Stacey as part of our series about pioneer racers in the UK.
Fellow dragster racer and former announcer Steve Young remarked "I had the honour of being the custodian of this fabulous car for a while, the trick engineering parts were stunning". In between a lot of gremlins getting in the way, Steve's best times were in the ex-Tony Anderson/Keith Stacey slingshot were 10.3/138mph; he and wife Jacky recall:
In about May 1976 I spotted an advert for a dragster for sale near Guildford and rang the guy who turned out to Keith Stacey and arranged to view the car the next day.
We arrived at a large garage/workshop and we were shown the bare chassis and a stack of Sunblest bread baskets which was apparently the dragster, just needed putting together! We agreed on a sum of about £500 which meant I needed help with finances and a local American car guy agreed to come in and help with the cost.
We got the car into my lock up garage and tried to make sense of it all and after a lot of head scratching found Tony Anderson’s phone number and rang him to pick his brains. These phone calls could go on for a very long time as Tony had a severe stammer and when he got animated the stammer could take an age to overcome to get the info from him!
We eventually got it put together and headed to the pod at the next meeting.
That first fire up on the rollers was a shock I can tell you! And we seemed to leak so much fuel we spent most of the meeting making gaskets from Weetabix packets to sort the leaks. I think we were taken pity on and were allowed one run after all the work.
That first push start was also an eye opener as the trusty Ford Mk4 Zephyr pushed me forward to about 30 mph I flicked the ignition switch and the bloody thing took off like a rocket!
We staged and ran a pretty steady 12 sec run at about 95mph but it was incredible! My experience was heightened by the fact I need to wear glasses but I could not get them on under the face mask so left them off and peered vaguely towards the finish line.
We ran a few meetings normally getting beaten by Russ Carpenter or Ian Fraser, who both knew how heavy my clutch pedal was and used to take an age to stage while I was developing a severe knee tremor trying to hold the bloody clutch pedal down!
We were always plagued with fuel leaks, not Tony’s engineering, my lack of skill! A newish substance came to my attention, black silicone sealer, I decided to use this liberally on the gasket surfaces of the Wade blower in the hope of finally putting these leaks to bed.
We fired the car on the rollers, all good! No leaks, down to the fire up road, started, all good, came round into stage and set off a blistering run but rather worryingly it was getting prematurely dark for me! Unbeknown to me methanol dissolves silicone so by 1/2 track I was getting a bath from the shoulders up in black tinted methanol which covered my goggles in a black sticky mess! Remember my shortsightedness and lack of glasses? Made it very interesting at the top end!
Another take off track I went to the lock up to do some work on the car only to find the doors swinging open and no car! I was beside myself! I went round everywhere and finally found my partner that had helped me buy the thing in the first place had done a runner with it and stashed it miles away. I tracked him down and we had a Frank exchange of views and I agreed to buy his share and in return I was told where the car was hidden. Car retrieved and readied for 1977, with new paint, and freshened parts.
At the first 1977 meeting I towed to the rollers and tried to fire it up and the blower destroyed itself!
I was devastated as I thought I had the blower sorted. I was sat on the slick feeling pretty sorry for myself when Roland Chaplain wandered over and asked if I fancied a deal with him for his ex Rich Fielding Imagination Fiat Topolino? We haggled and the following weekend we drove to Blackpool to deliver the slingshot and collect the Fiat which was named Harum Scarum when we got it. That of course became Autocat and is a whole different story!
Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt added: The slingshot lived on after Steve had it with various owners. It was at Blackbushe 1984 when run by Mary Grace and in 1995 on a trailer with a Rover V8 lump fitted (see above photos). It would be nice to think it's still in a garage somewhere waiting to be restored back to how it was...
8th April: Nick Pettitt has uploaded the final three drag racing videos from his Time Travel series to his Youtube channel, Time Travel 87 uses Pete Blake's cine film taken at Santa Pod, Snetterton and Blackbushe from 1973-1979. Time Travel 88 features Tim Mudd's cine film taken at Santa Pod and Elvington from 1968-1970. Nick's final Time Travel video Time Travel 89 uses Philip Eeles' cine film taken at Santa Pod, Elvington and Martlesham Heath from 1966-1971. This video, produced in 2010, fifteen years after Nick's first Time Travel video, represents the conclusion to Nick's huge project to produce historic videos of drag racing and hot rodding in the UK. You can see many other videos and historic photos at Nick's British Drag Racing & Hot Rodding Archive web site.
SPRC entry list updated.
7th April: Many thanks to Eurodragster.com sponsor Peter Walters for building a new entry list system for Santa Pod Racers Club. Peter says "It will just look pretty to most, but in the background it makes life a lot easier for Ian and Simon at Eurodragster, with a click of a button upload, rather than manually entering entries".
You can see the new entry list for the STP Springspeed Nationals by clicking on this link, or by going via our event coverage page. The entry list will be regularly updated as in the past, however now the process requires a lot less work.
Eurodragster.com Junior Drag Bike preview.
7th April: The number of competitors in Junior Drag Bike looks to be on the increase as new racers come into the class for 2021 (the photo shows the class back in October 2015). As well as our title sponsorship of the class, a new prize fund sponsored by Jerry Collier's Pro Joint Fabrication and Lizz and Kev Charman's Nitro Junkie Racing was announced last week.
Hollie King, eleven year old sister of former Champion Blade King and daughter of class co-ordinator Ollie King, will be riding a brand new bike built by other class co-ordinator Simon Holgate, with bodywork sponsored by Rukus Customs, sporting a 150cc engine and automatic gearshift. Holley will be aiming to license at the Santa Pod Raceway Run What Ya Brung on 10th April in good time for the first championship round at the STP Springspeed Nationals on 22nd-23rd May.
Hollie will be joining Casey Holgate and Richard Willcox who raced last year. Megan Talbot (now on the ex-Blade King Aprilia bike) who raced in 2019 but took last year out, return to the class this year.
Other new riders for the class comprise Grace Pollen, who will be riding an ex-Blade King KTM 125cc machine, Simon Holgate's granddaughter Lyla Humber (who is a member of Rugrat Racing, and John McLean Jr's son John, making a third generation of the motorcycle drag racing family with the same name.
On building the new bike for Hollie, Ollie said "With frames being allowed to be used in ET Bike with engines of up to 500cc, there is a continual need for new bikes. Production frames are allowed with rigid rear ends and wheelie bars, and Pro Joint Fabrication and Simon Holgate can make frames; Simon is getting a jig to increase the number he can produce. A from scratch new bike can cost £2,500 which is a competitive price, a lot of the cost savings being factory OEM engines being used.
"Engines for junior drag bike vary in size from 50cc two stroke engines from a pit bike or scooter to a Suzuki GS 500cc motorcycle engine, the size being determined by the rule book (page 181). The other main mechanical component is the lock-up clutch which Simon also makes.
"The main thing is everyone helps everyone else in the class to develop their knowledge of running Junior Drag Bikes, and the additional support from Pro Joint Fabrication and Nitro Junkies with class sponsorship from Eurodragster.com will mean a revitalised class in 2021".
SPRC entry form addition.
6th April: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for drawing to our attention some important changes in the entry form for the STP Springspeed Nationals:
Now that the SPRC entry system is up and running, some racers may have noticed an addition to the entry form. The Motorsport UK signing on declaration is effectively your signing on form for the event. On the latter part of the form there is a section to complete listing the details of crew members.
The additional part of the form allows for a list of 10 names, this is purely to allow for space for the Pro classes' crew members. The standard ticket allocation for all classes is as follows:-
Note bike classes are not listed as there is no additional form to complete. However the two half price racer tickets are still available at the gate upon arrival for the event.
Junior Dragsters for sale.
6th April: With several Junior Dragster racers reaching the maximum age during the last year, but lockdown restricting the opportunities for marketing their cars, there are now several cars for sale at different price points. Four are illustrated below with full details being included in our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet is, all at comparable prices.
First on the list is the Banshee Junior dragster raced by Frankie Taylor (pictured left below). Frankie's Dad Joe says "No expense has been spared and the car has been well maintained and is a complete setup. You can buy it and just go racing." The Half Scale car, complete with box trailer and quad bike, was tagged in 2019 with the engine refreshed in that year. It will be available after the 2021 National Finals but can be viewed at any Championship event this year. Price all-in is £10,000.
Our next car is the machine raced by Thomas Cook Abbott to a runner-up position in the 2017 Championship and at several events (pictured right above). It has only been raced by 2 people and is a championship contender, comes with plenty of spares, and is available at the end of the season. The price for the car is £8,000.
Frankie Fordham's Junior Dragster (pictured left below) is available immediately and is a Half Scale Junior Modified Advanced dragster, the same category as the two above. The car was 2019 UK Championship runner-up and also Championship winner and runner-up with its previous owners. Parent Matt Fordham says "It has a wide chassis, so there is plenty of room for a child to grow in. It's a very consistent car and comes with plenty of spares". The price for this car is £7,500. Matt adds "Frankie will be making the next step into Super Comp in his new dragster in the 2022 season".
Finally we have the distinctive looking JM car of Freddie Taylor, named Outlaw Angria (pictured right above). Dad Lee Taylor says "It's a perfect starter car in Junior Dragster, will suit a driver from 8 to 13 in Junior Stock or Junior Modified and is available now. The car is currently set up for Junior Modified with the 8.90 limit but has run as quick as 8.45. We are prepared to split the car if there is enough interest in doing so. The rolling Chilton chassis is £3500 (just add a cheap as chips 5 horsepower Briggs & Stratton l206 engine and clutch for a rookie to go Junior Stock racing without a Mychron data logger). Surrey Customs completed the distinctive paintwork. The JR Race Cars Stage 9 motor and clutch cost £2500 and the complete car can be yours for £6,000.
For contact details go to the cars for sale page of our Swap Meet.
RWYB pit notes, gallery.
5th April: We have published our pit notes and gallery from yesterday's Run What Ya Brung at Santa Pod Raceway which you can see at our coverage page. Thanks to our sponsor John Woolfe Racing for their support of event coverage.
As one might expect, it was a busy day with new or returning racers trying their vehicles out after the extended break, and a large number of street vehicles that made full bore runs within the safe confines of the race track.
There were relatively few incidents, however we were sorry to see multiple Super Comp and Super Gas champion Stuart Doignie in an incident at close quarters to no-prep organiser Paul Marston, who made an effective avoiding manoevure when, from our photo sequence, a collision appeared imminent. Thankfully both emerged unhurt and Stuart said this morning "I was very lucky to come out without a scratch and will be at the track later this year in the '63 Vette we have been building up over the last couple of years".
Our next coverage will be photo galleries from the Saturday 10th April Run What Ya Brung, courtesy of Julian and Kieran.
Pioneers' stories – Keith Stacey.
5th April: The latest update in our weekly Pioneers of UK drag racing series, told in the original words of the racers, and accompanied by photos and images from their collections, covers the period 1964-76 for Surrey dragster racer Keith Stacey. Keith became a fan by reading about the sport, going to the first Blackbushe Dragfest in 1964 as a 17 year old, and attending events as a spectator in the U.S. and Canada in the late 60s and early 70s. When he got an opportunity in 1973 to drive the ex-Tony Anderson 'Trouble' dragster, he grabbed it with both hands and continued to drive the car, renamed 'Whiskey Peddler', with help from John Smith, until the Easter 1976 Santa Pod 10th Anniversary meeting.
Keith collaborated with, or raced alongside other Surrey based drag pioneers whose stories we have presented in this series. Many thanks to Keith for providing his story. Keith has also kindly supplied slides for two extensive, and previously unpublished, galleries of Santa Pod 1967-71, also Canada 1968-9 and U.S. Nationals 1969, 1974 and 1975.
You can see Keith Stacey's story by going to this link, or via the new index page for the pioneers' stories, which shows links to the UK drag racing history web sites that provide the wider story and context for the story of the sport. Eurodragster.com thanks racers for providing their stories and archive images, and John Hunt and drag racing historian Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature.
3rd April: We're pleased to announce there will be coverage by Eurodragster.com of Run What Ya Brung events on 4th and 10th April and 1st and 16th May.
Coverage will consist of a post-event gallery for each day, and pit notes also posted as soon after the event as we can manage. Tomorrow's coverage team will be Julian and Simon, so if you see them wandering around they will be pleased to hear from you. Coverage for the other RWYBs will be announced closer to the time, and thanks to Santa Pod Raceway for making this possible. The page to head to is this one. Note there will be no live feed of tomorrow's or next Saturday's RWYBs.
JT heads for 150.
3rd April: Pro Modified and Super Pro racer John Tebenham has set himself a performance, and donation, target for tomorrow's RWYB, but adds that the wild Crew Killer Pop may be heading for the exit:
The sad news is it might be one of the last meetings for the Crew Killer, but we have a new plan... As for the 150 mph Club which is so difficult to reach in a brick shaped Pop with 645 bhp, we have 23 x 149 mph time tickets. I am now 20 lb lighter and with my new I.C.E. engine we hopefully will be there.
If we run the 150 mph I will donate £150 to Blood Cancer UK (formerly Bloodwise). As I had some cancer cut out of my arm twice this last winter and have since got the all-clear, I'm right up for supporting a great cause. Don't get me wrong, the blue car does 191 mph in 3.91 seconds at the half-way point, but the Pop is 10 times more fun as it’s a jolly boy's outing every time we run it.
Vampire at hill climb.
3rd April: Thanks to former Santa Pod owner and promoter Roy Phelps for passing on the news that the Vampire jet dragster from the 1980s, restored by FGR Motorsport, will be attending a hill climbing event at Shelsley Walsh on 1st August.
The Bromyard Speed Festival will be themed "Altitude with Attitude" and will be a celebration of motoring history and traditionally welcomes in excess of 140 road and race vehicles including historic, classic, prestige, racing cars, road cars, super cars and motorcycles. The event is open to Entrants and the Public.
The event format enables each Entrant to run their vehicle up the historic Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb in a morning and afternoon individual, non-competitive, non-timed, public display run. Whether this includes the Vampire jet dragster, is not known.
Entry open for STP Springspeed Nationals.
2nd April: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has announced the online online entry system is now live for the Springspeed Nationals. The closing date for entries at the normal fee is 30th April 2021; a surcharge will occur after this date.
Prize fund for Junior Drag Bike.
2nd April: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall who has announced a new prize fund for Eurodragster.com-sponsored Junior Drag Bike:
Sharron and Jerry Collier, Lizz and Kev Charman - all have considerable history within Junior Drag Bike, for many years championing the class across Europe, and promoting the class wherever and whenever they could.
After a brief time away from Junior Drag Bike, they have all returned with a big sponsorship commitment for Junior Drag Bike during the 2021 season. The sponsorship through Pro Joint Fabrications and Nitrojunkie.UK, will be committing to the following:
Firefighter Racing Juniors' new livery.
2nd April: Junior Dragster and Drag Bike Dad Andrew Willcox has a fitting new design on the Firefighter Racing Juniors of Kimmy and Richard Willcox:
With the season start delayed the paintwork has been done on the cars & bikes by the brilliant Richard Walters (thank you so much) we would like to show the design created by Peter Walters; they look slightly different to the design as they have been painted and not wrapped but we are still over the moon with them!
Please like and follow the team page if you haven't already, yes we are out to have fun but also support a great cause in the process for some of those that risk their lives to help us when we need it and may get injured in the process physically, mentally or even both.
Jackson welcomes Lucas Oil back to Santa Pod.
2nd April: Wayne Jackson has renewed his partnership with Lucas Oil Products UK, which will sponsor his challenge in the Enduro KA Endurance series in 2021.
"I'm grateful to Lucas Oil's Dan Morgan for supporting me, but it's also good to see that Lucas Oil’s long association with the junior dragster racing set-up at Santa Pod Raceway will continue this season," he says.
As well as being named sponsor of the UK Junior Dragster National Championship, Lucas Oil is also sponsoring 10-year-old Kai Cooper in the JM and his 9-year-old brother Jake in the JS. Lucas Oil will also be supporting 15-year-old Jacob Heap’s first full season in the junior Saloon Car Championship.
In an exciting development, Lucas Oil is also behind the return of the Brad Jackson Racing team this season. With support from the NG Motorsport team, Brad Jackson lifted the Super Pro Championship in 2018 and 2019. Currently in New Zealand, he's hoping for a successful comeback when the partnership resumes.
Wayne Jackson is on stand-by if Covid restrictions limit Brad's appearance in the car.
"It's great to see Brad Jackson Racing back on the track. The car has a new and more powerful engine and everything is looking great for the new season," says Wayne.
Updates will follow shortly once the season plan is finalised.
Docol R8 Tube available in the UK.
2nd April: Thanks to Ian Hart for news about supply of Docol R8 roll cage and chassis tubing in the UK:
RH Weldfab Ltd, Based in Northamptonshire have agreed a deal with ME Racing Service AB in Sweden (Mats and L.G. Eriksson) to supply Docol R8 tube in the UK. Docol R8 is a product range of welded cold formed circular tubes in high strength steel, specifically targeted at the requirements of the Motor Sport industry and similar producers, and approved for use in the SFI specifications for roll cages and chassis in different types of drag racing vehicles. Using Docol racing tubes allows the development of new designs, with more weight reduction or increased strength for chosen parts of the structure. In comparison to traditional Chrome Moly 4130 Docol Tube exhibits higher tensile and yield strength in combination with excellent bending and welding properties. In direct comparison of cost, Docol R8 tube is around 20% cheaper than 4130 Chrome Moly, which allows more budget to spend on the shiny bits.
RH Weldfab can supply Docol R8 Tube in full lengths or cut to size. Tube can be supplied pre-cut and bent to your requirements, or we can build your chassis or cage to the required SFI spec. Docol R8 tube is approved for SFI specifications for front and rear engine dragsters, door cars and bike frames from sportsman classes through to top fuel. Contact us on 07740 338990, email email@example.com, or check out our Facebook page.
31st March: We were very sad to hear of the passing of Gilly Lowe, long time partner of veteran Pro Stock Bike rider Len Paget. Ian King writes:
Jilly and Len had been together for 43 years and she was ever present at his side throughout their time together supporting Len’s incredible career racing across Europe.
Unfortunately Jilly passed away just after her birthday on the 18th March at home with her loved ones. Our thoughts are with Len, his son Reece, daughter Charlotte and her husband Josh and their son Jack. Godspeed Jilly.
Lucas Oil, Cannon celebrate tenth anniversary.
30th March: Chris Hannam, manager of the Lucas Oil Cannon Motorsports Team today announced continued support from Lucas Oil:
"With the new season upon us and in testing times, Cannon Motorsports is proud to announce that we are going in to a 10th consecutive year of support from Lucas Oil."
"Way back in 2011 after a chance conversation with Andy carter after having some bearing issues, Andy gave me some oil just to try which subsequently worked and led to conversations with Les Downey and Tom Bogner of Lucas Oil.
They were very impressed with our little self-funded team and offered to help us, the result being that our bearing issues disappeared and allowed us to work on other parts of our unique supercharged DOHC 4-valve OHC nitromethane fueled engine.
The support from Lucas Oil has helped our program immensely, last year we had no oil related engine parts failures. We ran our best elapsed time to date winning the "Not the European Finals" event at Santa Pod Raceway, beating the present top fuel twin and UK top fuel bike champion along the way. The full 1/4-mile elapsed time was 6.39 seconds after a very strong world class 4.06 seconds at half track.
Over the winter the team has made big upgrades to the belt drive that has plagued us with issues over time. Breaking £600 drive belts every two passes gets expensive so we really need to sort out our fuel system so as to stop snapping the belts. This of course in addition to running the entire racing distance under full power to get all possible performance out of the bike.
All that said, the bike is pretty much ready to go and the team is more than ready to get to the track. Having the great support from Lucas Oil means that we have the best oil products available. We sincerely thank Dan Morgan and his UK team as well as Tom Bogner and the whole US team for their faith and support in these very testing times, we will do our very best to represent the brand world wide.
So on to this new season. With COVID-19 still restricting our race schedule, we believe all our racing will be at Santa Pod Raceway this year (unless we are permitted to travel to Hockenheim). For our team the glass is always half full and we want to make the best of the meetings we have and run as quick and fast as we possibly can and best showcase the Lucas Oil products."
The Lucas Oil Cannon Motorsports 2021 event schedule, all at Santa Pod Raceway except where indicated:
Happy 80th Clive!
30th March: We would like to wish British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member and former Top Fuel Dragster racer on both sides of the Pond Clive Skilton a very Happy 80th Birthday. Have a great day Clive.
DRU cancel 2021 Challenges.
30th March: Drag Race Union, who organise the Super Pro ET and Pro ET Challenge across European tracks and organise and Extreme Outlaw racing, have announced the cancellation of its 2021 Championship, the second year in a row that organisers, including our good, and still-unfired, friend Markus Münch, have had to make this difficult decision due to Covid-19 restrictions:
We from the DRU (dragraceunion.eu) do not see any possibility to run our Pro ET and Super Pro ET Challenges in the proper way we are used to doing. it is uncertain which events can take place across Europe. The Rivanazzano, Italy Wide Open race originally planned for April has already been cancelled, as has The Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway. Although a calendar has been announced for Zerbst in Germany, the status of the events occurring is currently undecided.
On the other hand, it is questionable who can travel where, due to uncertainty over quarantine and areas of risk. As in 2020, all of this does not allow any Challenge in the usual manner. That's why we won't be offering them in 2021 either. We hope and think, that we are back in business in 2022.
All sponsors money, participation money from 2020 can be transfered to 2022 or be refuded..
No Prep 4 - more prize money.
28th March: Many thanks to No Prep series organiser Paul Marston for an update on the June No Prep Nationals:
No Prep 4, which is being held at Melbourne Raceway 19th-20th June, will be the very first No Prep event to be held at Melbourne. Entry is now closed and with the new race format that we have, it should make for a pretty entertaining weekend for both competitors and spectators.
No Prep is heads up doorslammer racing, 1/8th mile, other than safety there are no rules. Run whatcha brung and hope you brung enough style of racing. The event will feature two No Prep classes, Big Tyre and Small Tyre, along with all the other track classes run by Melbourne.
As we hinted in our last press release here on Eurodragster.com, we can now announce that Pro Modified Team Owner John Tebenham – JT Racing - have once again stepped up to the plate. John, who also competes himself in his Super Pro crowd favorite Ford Pop, has a long history of investing back into the sportsman racing teams, and here is another example of just that. We are very grateful to have people like John support us; it goes a very long way with the race teams.
JT Racing have put up £250 for each class to the winner, subject to the event being completed and a winner being crowned, which is always the way it has been done with JT right back to UK Top Sportsman days at Santa Pod.
So make a date, 19th–20th June 2021, come and support Melbourne Raceway for the first No Prep race of the season. Our special thanks go out to Gary Springford (Drag Race Engineering), Eurodragster.com (you're welcome - Editor) and Straightliners for hosting us.
(Pictured: event entrants Graham Baldwin in his 1970 Dodge Challenger and Owen Forest's Nova - Callum Pudge photo).
Pioneers' stories – Tony Anderson, part 2.
22nd March: The latest update in our weekly Pioneers of UK drag racing series, told in the original words of the racers, and accompanied by photos and images from their collections, covers the period 1971 onwards for Surrey-based racer Tony Anderson.
When he decided to go rear engined in 1972, Tony (sat in 'More Trouble') switched the engine to the Daimler 2.5 litre hemi unit, and thus set a trend for British drag racing that has lasted until today. After back problems forced Tony to reliquish the driving seat in 1974 to team mate Russ Carpenter (pictured right), Tony built cars for other Surrey-based racers, eventually getting into engine building for boats, and marine steam engines.
We are presenting stories of other drag pioneers that Tony raced alongside weekly; we have so far presented Derek Metcalf's, Bill Haynes' and Mick Wheeler's stories. Many thanks to Tony for telling his story to Eurodragster.com and to John Hunt for transcribing it and arranging for delivery of Tony's photo collection for Nick to scan.
You can see Tony Anderson's story by going to this link, or via the new index page for the pioneers' stories, which shows links to the UK drag racing history web sites that provide the wider story and context for the story of the sport. Eurodragster.com thanks racers for providing their stories, and John Hunt and drag racing historian Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature.
SPRC entry system update.
27th March: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for providing an update on the SPRC online entry system:
Following the announcement from Santa Pod Raceway about their rescheduled 2021 calendar, racers will be champing at the bit to get started. The SPRC online entry system is currently unavailable whilst it is being updated with the revised event details, but will open very soon to accept entries for the first event, the Spring Speed Nationals.
Also there are a couple of additional forms required by Motorsport UK, these are being finalised at present, however we hope to have these ready to go in the early part of next week, Please keep an eye on Eurodragster.com for an update of exactly when the entry system will be ready to go.
Feature: The history of UK Pro Modified - part 4.
27th March: Our latest historical feature, supported by Lucas Oil Products, focuses on the Pro Modified class in 1992 and 1993, following our previous three features from the inception of the class. We describe the increases in performance during these years, with the six second and 200mph barriers both broken, with race results at both Santa Pod Raceway and Avon Park Raceway, incidents and championship positions. The feature includes over 90 photographs of the cars with the stories of races for those years and car details from the period.
Thanks go to drag racing historian and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame director Jerry Cookson for supplying archive material and the photographers who are credited within the feature. You can see our feature by clicking here or by clicking the features, interviews, tributes link from the main menu.
Unusual Car Sales update.
27th March: Nigel Taylor from the Unusual Car Sales UK Facebook group has been in touch to highlight some very special drag racing vehicles which can be yours for the right price:
We all know how expensive things can get when you start building a race car from scratch so why not buy something that's already been tried and tested and providing it's checked thoroughly and updated as necessary there are some good deals to be had.
Lots of Nostalgic cars, Anglias, 100e's, yanks, rods, junior dragsters, rwyb cars and much more are coming up for sale through the Unusual Car Sales UK site which was set up for like minded folk within the scene, and not just set up to sale cars but to help out anyone looking for hot rod shops, parts, insurance, shows, racing, engineering shops, transportation and much more.
Some of the cars coming up for sale include Doc Stinger's superb Nostalgia Funny Car, Pete Grange's awesome pro street Cougar, the Williams Bros Racing '55 Chevy, Impala and '34 Coupe, the nostalgic "No More Mr Nice Guy" Vauxhall Victor and many more.
Take a look at our Facebook page, unusual car sales U.K. and if you need to know any more about anything for sale, or cwould like to advertise on there, feel free to contact me by PM or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Massive thanks to Simon and the Eurodragster team for everything you do and keeping us all up to date with what is going on in our excellent scene (you're welcome - Editor).
SPR cancels and reschedules events.
26th March: Santa Pod Raceway have issued the following update on 2021 events:
Following our last update, Santa Pod is eager to announce its revised 2021 calendar of events. Navigating the latest Government guidance, restrictions and capacity caps is no mean feat with a calendar as diverse as ours. Therefore, it will come as no surprise that we have had to reshuffle our calendar yet again!
After further liaison and clarity from our Local Authority, we will be restricted to RWYB (Run What Ya Brung) on on 4th and 10th April, 1st and 16th May, and DWYB (Drift What Ya Brung) public track days until the end of Step 2 (May 17th) when spectators can return. This means of course, that we will unfortunately have to cancel The Fast Show, Le French Fest, Nostalgia Nationals, Street Weekend and The Vauxhall Show which had been planned for this period. Further to this, the schedule of RWYB and DWYB events has also been revised.
However, after May 17th (Step 3) we will be returning to spectator events (albeit with capacity limits) beginning with the re-scheduled Springspeed Nationals on May 22nd/21st and the first round of the National Championships.
Sadly, we will have to cancel The Main Event for 2021 (May 28th/31st), that being the first round of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship. This is of course, due to the continued capacity restrictions and with still no clear path on travel restrictions for that date, we also had to consider the position of the foreign teams and drivers who arrive from various European countries. Our European competitors are what makes The Main Event the spectacle it is. They certainly would not be able to self-isolate for 10 days. Taking everything into consideration we feel it is in the best interest of the event that we cancel this as a first round. That Bank Holiday weekend will now host the VW Breakout event which proved so popular last season.
The good news, however, is that we are re-scheduling the Festival of Power – Unlocked! from its original Easter date to 25th-27th June. We will welcome back the smell of Nitro at last with this full round of the National Championships featuring all your favourite top flight drag racing action including Top Fuel Dragster, Nitro Funny Car, Jet Cars and a round for the wild 200mph Pro Modified Doorslammers. Our first 2021 real drag racing extravaganza!
Future European rounds of the 2021 FIA European Drag Racing Championship will be announced in due course. It is hoped that there will be at least 3-4 rounds that can still go ahead this year culminating at the traditional European Finals here at Santa Pod in September.
Other notable date changes are Fast Show Reloaded (now on July 4th) and The Ford Show (now on Aug 29th).
Tickets will now go on sale 12 noon Monday March 29th at santapodtickets.com and you can see the latest revised Santa Pod Raceway Calendar in full at santapod.co.uk/calendar.php.
The Leap home.
26th March: Many thanks to honorary Eurodragster.com member Spencer Tramm for sharing with us news of his new racing venture:
Twelve years ago I raced the VW Corrado "Quantum Leap" for the last time before it was sold to Norbert Schneider, I then took a three week trip over to the USA racing in the Rizzoli family’s ’67 Camaro Stock Eliminator car for the NHRA national events at Las Vegas and Pomona as well as the divisional race at Las Vegas in between. Things took a turn when I got home, as I teamed up with Chris Isaacs to field the ’70 Plymouth Duster in Pro Modified. Winning the 2018 National Finals made the effort of the previous 10 years building and running the car worthwhile. Being the first turbo car to win an MSA Pro Modified race can never be taken away from us and is one of my proudest achievements in racing. However, after big engine damage at the 2019 Doorslammers meeting we took some time to decide what to do next and, after some soul searching, we decided to put the car up for sale which is now in the very capable hands of Mick Payne.
It was then time for me to find something new. Having enjoyed my USA adventure and after hearing about Stock/Super Stock coming to the UK, I have purchased a '69 Camaro from Merrill Schrimscher in Florida. The car is currently on its way to the port to be shipped over to participate in Stock/Super Stock, UK Nostalgia Superstock, Pro ET, and now the rules have changed, even some Competition Eliminator. The car currently runs in F/SA with a 350ci small block Chevrolet engine and Metric 200 transmission.
I want to say a big thanks to Merrill Schrimscher who has been amazing to deal with, Tony Morris and Nic Williams for their help and guidance with the purchase and my family, who have been totally behind this despite me promising the Pro Mod would be my last car! Now it’s time for the next 'leap', the leap home.
Good Vibrations renew with SO UK.
26th March: Alky altered racer Mark Windridge has announced some great news for the Supercharged Outlaws UK series:
Supercharged Outlaws UK have just received our sponsorship package from Jim Maher at California based parts shop Good Vibrations Motorsport for the quick reaction award within our group. Good Vibrations Motorsport are a very helpful and friendly company to deal with for all your racing needs and give generous amounts of free advice. With the Supercharged Outlaws UK at a very strong 35 members, we are looking forward to a great year ahead.
Pixels & Paint on Youtube.
26th March: Thanks to Landspeed racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor on behalf of Nitro Revival, Geoff Stilwell, for following up the story we published on 14th March.
Auto artist Brad King's new show Pixels & Paint, featuring all the flame work on Geoff's Ford '34 hot rod, has now been posted to Youtube and can be seen at this link. In it, Brad shows in detail the techniques involved in applying flame paint to hot rods and race vehicles. The show was shot in Geoff's Pomona race shop and, from planning and prep to the finishing touches, Brad shares secrets learned over decades of painting and pinstriping. It's highly recommended for all budding hot rod painters and anyone interested in car artistry, and the video information shows links to other material.
Star attraction wanted for Speedfest.
25th March: Following our request on March 20th for cars to be shown in a static drag display at this year's American Speedfest at Brands Hatch on 3rd-4th July, UK Nostalgia Super Stock co-ordinator Don Scott has told us that all spaces are now taken, however the organisers require a 'star attraction' vehicle for the entrance to the venue.
Don said "The vehicle will be a Top Fuel or Top Methanol Dragster, Funny Car or Pro Modified. If you are interested in getting some great publicity for your sponsors and the sport, please contact me by FB private message, or by email at email@example.com".
SPRC race numbers.
25th March: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for providing an update on the forthcoming season:
The 2021 season will hopefully be kicking off very soon, keep a close eye of Santa Pod Raceway's web site and of course Eurodragster.com for important updates soon. On that basis, when we do get started, could I remind all competitors that race numbers will be taken from Championship finishing positions from the 2019 race season please, and not the Covid Cup results, this is for all top 10 positions as normal: Junior Dragster, Junior Drag Bike and all ACU classes will all be as per the final finishing positions in the 2019 season. If you are unsure, don't hesitate to get in touch. For new riders and drivers who are unsure, again please get in touch, either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01933 313625.
If you want to see your championship position from 2019 it's available on our 2019 points page.
Flying Kestrel documentary released.
25th March: Eurodragster.com sponsor Webster Race Engineering and Santa Pod Raceway are featured in a documentary series with part one just released on streaming platforms available worldwide.
The Flying Kestrel is the Bedford-based story of Kestrel Beer chief Nigel McNally and his 21 year old son Joel who took a Riley Kestrel barn find from Holland and had it transformed into a potential British land speed record contender capable of over 200mph. The car has an Audi RS3 engine, completely rebuilt using a Motec ECU and Precision race turbo capable of 2.3 bar of boost; the engine now has 900bhp and 650lb/ft of torque.
Filmed by Don Weerasirie of Bedford-based Limelight TV, the documentary tells the story and dramas of having the car rebuilt. A projected series two will cover the car's speed attempts at Elvington planned for June 2021.
Being a marketing expert, Nigel McNally has done a great job of promoting the series. The Flying Kestrel has its own range of clothing and merchandise, a dedicated website and social media channels and a busy schedule of guest appearances at live shows and events across the UK and internationally when they restart. The car and series is also being used as a global marketing campaign for Kestrel Beer as announced on the food and drink trade press. A huge marketing by-product is the inclusion of Santa Pod Raceway and the iconic SPR gantry in a large proportion of publicity shots.
Episodes will be released weekly and is available to view on new streaming provider Insight TV's platform.
25th March: We wish a very Happy Birthday today to drag racing historian, provider of images for our historical features and videographer Nick Pettitt. Also celebrating today are Santa Pod Raceway Commercial Manager Caroline Holden and Top Methanol Dragster legend and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame inductee Dave Wilson. Have a great day all.
FIA Technical Regulations updated.
24th March: Thanks to Stuart Murray of FIA who has sent us a link to the updated FIA Technical Regulations:
Following approval of the FIA World motor Sport Council, the latest update of the 2021 FIA Technical Regulations and Race Procedures can now be viewed at: www.fia.com/regulation/category/101.
This update consists of minor changes to the “Pro Classes”, while also includes an addition of unified Sportsman classes, including Junior Dragster.
The aim of the FIA Drag Racing Commission to include those Sportsman Regulations is to standardise class structure and safety regulations across national drag racing competitions and support national federations by:
The FIA Drag Racing Commission would like to clarify that no ASN (national sporting authority) will be forced to adopt those common regulations and can choose to instead continue with their own national regulations.
The recommended link for download of the marked up regulations showing changes for 2021 is here (PDF format).
24th March: Two birthdays to celebrate today: Pro Modified colour commentator and team member of Box of Frogs Drag Racing Team Lucy Moore has her Birthday today, whilst over in Sweden, long time starter at Mantorp Park and Tierp and Junior Dragster Mum Anette Heleander is wished Grattis on her birthday. We hope both have a great day.
Bartram bike on BBC.
23rd March: Many thanks to Dan Bartram, son of Chris Bartram and nephew of Tony Bartram, drag bike racers from the 1970s, who has been in touch to mention that a feature of the BBC programme the Repair Shop on their drag bike is to be aired this Thursday 25th March on BBC1 at 16:30. Dan says "The nosecone owned/used by both of them is being restored on the programme. They do a lovely job of doing it up with some nice old pics on screen too".
Nimbus steps up.
23rd March: We are delighted to announce that Nimbus Motorsport has become a main sponsor of Eurodragster.com. Nimbus Motorsport are one of Europe’s leading suppliers of thermal control products, motorsport lubricants and fuels, specialist gloves and equipment for the motor racing industry.
Nimbus have built their enviable reputation over many years by only supplying those products that they fully understand and can reliably recommend to their customers. Started by Steve Clark, a motorsport engineer who wanted to offer others the products he had found during his own experience, Nimbus continues to add new products to its expanding catalogue.
Nimbus was a sponsor of our webcam and are pleased to be able to transfer that support to the site as a whole. Steve Clark commented: "In 2022 we celebrate our 30th year in business and we are expecting a large expansion in sales when racers get back to the track at last. Working with Eurodragster.com as the sole news site covering UK and European Drag Racing will be a great help to promoting our business."
As Nimbus is based only 15 minutes drive from Melbourne Raceway we look forward to publishing a feature on the company when we visit the track later in the year.
23rd March: Many thanks to drag racing historian Jerry Cookson who has uncovered two additional photos of Tony Anderson's slingshot dragster Trouble. Jerry says "The photos are of Tony at Santa Pod and Hednesford Hills Raceway. The Pod pic was taken by Brian E. Clark. The other is unknown and comes from a Hednesford Old Photos page. Hednesford, as you can see, is a stock car oval set on Cannock Chase and a place I know well having worked there in the nineties but been going to since the early seventies".
Nick Pettitt added "Tony was laying a bit of rubber at Hednesford Hills, the place where the British Hot Rod Association had their first three AGMs in 1963-1965. Looks like the picture was taken in 1970 when Tony had the 'Rogers Custom' decals on the car."
23rd March: Jerry Cookson writes: If you missed Monday's coverage of the NHRA Gatornationals on BT Sport/ESPN then fear not as it's available on Sky Catch Up from the BT Sport button by clicking More Sports for the next 6 days.
Also if you like hot rods, custom cars & bikes and classics then check out a series called Garage Dreams on the STV Player also available from Sky Catch Up. This 30 minute shows feature a wide selection of programming from America and Australia including two programmes from the Bonneville Speed Trials.
Pioneers' stories – Tony Anderson, part 1.
22nd March: The latest update in our weekly Pioneers of UK drag racing series, told in the original words of the racers, and accompanied by photos and images from their collections, covers the period 1968 to 1970 for Surrey-based racer Tony Anderson.
Tony was one of the engineering brains behind development of British engines for drag racing use. Starting with a Ford V6 engined slingshot 'Trouble' in 1969 he developed the fuel system to a smaller version of the blown and injected setup used on AA/FDs, running the engine on nitro.
We are presenting stories of other drag pioneers that Tony raced alongside weekly; we have so far presented Derek Metcalf's, Bill Haynes' and Mick Wheeler's stories. Many thanks to Tony for telling his story to Eurodragster.com and to John Hunt for transcribing it and arranging for delivery of Tony's photo collection for Nick to scan.
You can see Tony Anderson's story by going to this link, or via the new index page for the pioneers' stories, which shows links to the UK drag racing history web sites that provide the wider story and context for the story of the sport. Eurodragster.com thanks racers for providing their stories, and John Hunt and drag racing historian Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature.
22nd March: Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded another two drag racing videos from his Time Travel series to his Youtube channel, Time Travel 81 uses Ken Robbins' video from the 1990 Santa Pod World Finals. Time Travel 82 features Nick's own video from the 1991 Avon Park Pro Comp Classic. You can see many other videos and historic photos at Nick's British Drag Racing & Hot Rodding Archive web site.
Former UK drag racing photographer Bob Valder has updated his Youtube channel Bob's UK Drag Racing Archive with videos from 2003's Easter Thunderball and FIA Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway. Bob's videos which were shot in high quality cover most classes running at those races.
Supercharged Outlaws sponsor Melbourne.
21st March: Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield has announced the great news that Supercharged Outlaws UK, of which he is chairman, and Melbourne Raceway have reached a sponsorship agreement. The right hand lane of Melbourne Raceway will be sponsored by the Supercharged Outlaws for 2021 and 2022.
Fadster said "We are thrilled with this alliance and offering our continued support to the UK race tracks. I’d like to thank Trevor Duckworth for working with us to make this happen and I look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship. Long live UK Drag Racing".
In recent weeks further improvements to the Yorkshire facility have taken shape with new tarmac planned for the pits, a start line gantry being put up by long time racer Mark Flavell and improvements to the time keepers cabin.
Perfect and Photo Finish Awards renewed.
21st March: Eurodragster.com is pleased to announce the renewal of its popular Perfect Light, Perfect ET and Bob's Photo Finish Awards scheme for 2021.
The Perfect Light Award has been running since 2000 and Perfect ET since 2004. Bob's Photo Finish Award started in 2018. The Perfect Light and Perfect ET award operate at UK Championship events for a reaction time of 0.000 and 0.000 to dial-in ET. Bob's Photo Finish Award operates in eliminations only at UK Championship events.
The cash awards will be £50 for each award winner, with a rollover of the Perfect Light Award and Perfect ET if there is no winner at an event. Full details will be announced before and after each event, with the winner of Bob's Photo Finish Award confirmed after the official timing data from the event is available.
We would like to give a big Thank You to the sponsors of the awards. Bad Habit Racing, the team of Cath and Tig Napier have been mainstays of UK Sportsman racing for over 20 years, running their distinctive purple Dodge Challenger in Pro ET, with a Plymouth Barracuda as back-up in Sportsman ET and UK Nostalgia Super Stock. Cath and Tig have supported the Perfect Light award since 2013.
Headed up by Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield, Team Twister run two cars, Andy's own Supercharged Outlaws 23T street-legal hot rod which regularly runs mid-7 second times at speeds in excess of 170mph – the closest thing to a roadgoing fuel altered. Daughter Purdie races the Twister's Sister Junior Dragster and is destined to have her own Supercharged Outlaw car in a couple of years' time after she graduates from the class. Team Twister have sponsored the Perfect ET award since 2019.
Bob's Photo Finish Award is generously supported by long time Eurodragster.com and drag racing fan Bob Roberts who has kindly supplied material for several features during the last year. The Award will pay £50 each to the racers involved in the closest race of eliminations at this weekend's event. The closest race will be decided upon distance rather than time since, for example, 0.001 seconds at 230 mph is further than 0.002 seconds at 110 mph. For this reason the official timing data will need to be consulted so the winners will be announced here on Eurodragster.com as soon as possible after the event and the winners will then be contacted for their preferred method of payment. Bob's Photo Finish Award is open to all classes during eliminations only.
Although Eurodragster.com decals are not mandatory we would appreciate if it they are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available in Signing On. The Perfect Awards and Bob's Photo Finish Award will operate from the first championship event of the year, currently scheduled to be the STP Springspeed Nationals on 24th-25th April.
Brands Speedfest callout.
20th March: Thanks to UK Nostalgia Super Stock co-ordinator Don Scott for letting us know that Brands Hatch circuit are organising a static drag racing display at this year's American Speedfest event to be held on 3rd-4th July.
Don says "This is open to any drag car not just Super Stockers. It's a truly great event that I have attended every year since it started back in 2012. Any American based drag cars from all classes, including full on dragsters, and even junior dragsters will be welcome. The weekend of 3rd-4th July does not clash with a major event at Santa Pod and so it would be good to get a wide and varied display of cars. It would also help to promote Santa Pod". A list of the festivities taking place at the American Speedfest is at the event web site.
Anyone interested please contact Don on the Facebook Santa Pod Racers group, by FB private message, or by email at email@example.com.
Dakota Raceway re-opens
20th March: Thanks to Eurodragster.com sponsor Lee Child for details of the Straightliners Dakota Raceway drag racing event to be held on 24th April:
There will be an eighth mile no time grudge drag race at Dakota Raceway on 24th April with a chance to win £400 per category from the winner takes all prize fund. There will be six categories to choose from. All categories will have the 16 car pairings decided from an out of the hat selection until the final two race for the money.
Driver and one crew member entry fee is £100. If you get eliminated from the 1/8 mile grudge drag race, you then can do timed 1/4 mile test runs at no extra charge. Extra crew and passengers have an additional charge, however credits from previous events can be used as part payments with the remaining balance to be paid.
Also running at the event will be the NSA Motorcycle Championship organised by Straightliners, and drifting.
Pro AWD: Modified, competition tyres, interior removed.
Street AWD: Factory appearance, full interior.
Pro Rear Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres , interior removed
Street Rear Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior
Pro Front Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres , interior removed
Street Front Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior
This is a non public event; pre entry, available from next Tuesday, is also required and you can enter via the Straightliners web site.
Dakota Raceway is situated at Smeatharpe Airfield, Devon EX14 9RF. For regular daily updates check the Dakota Raceway Southwest Facebook page.
20th March: Many readers, including your editor, have found that an easy and readable way of searching for events in British Drag Race History is the Trakbytes web site, which charts the history of the sport with material from a wide range of contributors. We are pleased to hear that the owner and compiler Chris Dossett has, after a lengthy break, updated the site with a large number of additional entries.
Chris writes: I have finally made the effort to resume work on the website; the first new update has been posted this morning and the new material covers various dates between 1962 and 1994.
I'm sure you're not interested in why there has been a seven year gap since the last update, suffice to say that I've been busy, but I now find that I have the inspiration to continue from where I left off. Spare time is at a premium though so I can't promise regular massive updates. I'll endeavour to do as much as I can, when I can. The amount of historical information available on the internet today seems to have increased exponentially since I last updated the site.
What I'm doing here is an attempt to present a timeline of events and details over the years that is accessible to anyone who is interested. I have never claimed this archive to be the definitive version of events and always invited fans and racers to correct mistakes and add to the site. Any details you feel should be included, no matter how insignificant you think they might be, will be added as, for some reason, people seem to like reading this stuff.
If readers would like to be notified when Chris updates the site, you are recommended to e mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find Chris's Trakbytes page on Facebook.
Welcome Renegade Outlaw Anglia.
18th March: We are pleased to welcome Renegade Outlaw Anglia as sponsors of Eurodragster.com. We are particularly proud that a race class has chosen us as a promotional partner.
Outlaw Anglia was formed in 1992 and quickly attracted racers who loved the class for these quick yet sometimes wild handling cars, which were originally popular from the early days of drag racing in both the US and UK and are now raced in the UK and as far away as Australia. Stars of the sport such as Andy Carter and Danny Cockerill cut their teeth on Outlaw Anglia during the early part of their careers. The standard of presentation and showmanship by the class are both high, the April edition of Custom Car showing class member Ben Rushforth on its cover. With a class membership of over 45, it looks to be a great year's racing for Renegade Outlaw Anglia and Eurodragster.com is proud to be featuring it in our coverage of all the class's rounds.
Colin Millar, class co-ordinator said, "Eurodragster.com have always been so supportive of the class and we think its time we realised this and gave some payback. I'd like to add our thanks to outgoing class coordinator Paul Wright for his massive contribution to Outlaw Anglia, looking after the class over many years with huge commitment and professional guidance which is so very much appreciated by the whole class. Thanks Paul."
Please support those who support Eurodragster.com by considering our sponsors first when shopping for goods or services.
If you are interested in sponsoring Eurodragster.com then please get in touch with us at email@example.com.
18th March: We have three birthdays and one belated birthday to celebrate today. Happy Birthday to former SCR marshal Bev Batsford, former SCR commentator and Wild Bunch team member Barry Bohannon and graphic artist extraordinaire Darren West. Have a great day all. We also hope that honorary Eurodragster.com member and Santa Pod two seater crew member John Hackney had a fantastic day yesterday.
Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded another two drag racing videos from his Time Travel series to his Youtube channel, Time Travel 79 uses Ken Robbins' video from the 1989 Santa Pod World Finals and includes some great shots of Norm Wilding and Roger Sinclair. Time Travel 80 features Ken Robbins' video from the 1990 Santa Pod Cannonball. Both are well worth seeing by anyone with a taste for nostalgia.
Flamholc's busy weekend(s).
18th March: Swedish ex-pat racer Adam Flamholc with new crew members Aaron Cole, Thomas Monsenego, William Serler, and Charlie White have been busy racing both his Pro Modified '63 Vette and his new No-Prep Nova:
At the start of February, Adam saw the doctor for some successful treatment on his neck which had troubled him so much at the US Street Nationals at the end of January, substitute racer Steve Wiley took over the driving chores.
After the race crew members Thomas Monsenego and William Serler started a Youtube channel which has featured regular updates on the team's progress. The channel will be updated with work in the shop, traveling to races in US, Europe and Russia.
With a couple of weeks off racing in February the team fixed up the trailer, getting the spare motor ready and getting engines done for customers. Preparation of The Viking no-prep '74 Spirit of America Nova came along as planned at Chris Duncan Race Cars who built it over a period of six weeks, which greatly impressed Adam. The car was originally built in 2001 for Chris Duncan himself to drive.
The Nova has a PSI blown 500ci Brad Anderson engine with MSD Pro 600 coil plug ignition with a Davis Technologies Profiler EFI module. The gearbox is a Lenco 2-speed with Bruno converter drive and converter by Neal Chance.
The Nova was tested at Orlando Speedworld on 18th February, the screw blown engine sounding mean, and the car going straight as an arrow on the unprepped track. No times and speeds were recorded of course, this being a crucial feature of no-prep racing so the teams don't try to outrun each other in the engine department.
The next test was at the Texas Motorplex on 24th February where one lane was prepped and the other unprepped. It took 22 hours to drive from Adam's Cape Coral base to the Motorplex. Only small things were changed before the test.
The three runs made at the test session at the Motorplex revealed some ignition problems which Adam addressed at Steve Wiley's shop. Then it was off to the Alamo City Motorplex in Marion, TX where after a test launch the car went left at 330ft, but due to an oiled track by another car Adam wasn't able to check the changes to make it go straight.
Adam commented "No prep is a fun way of racing! But it feels a bit strange to me to try to go down a track they just scraped all the rubber off, but we like it". The race ladder at Alamo City Motorplex was on 26th-27th February was drawn by chip and Adam drew Birdman (James T Finney) in the first round who beat Adam after he got a bit loose at the top end and had to lift. The team commented "It's a different atmosphere, there's more cars here and more media".
After some more work on the car handling at Steve Wiley's, making four link and wing changes, Adam went to the No Prep Bounty Hunters 5 in Odessa, Texas at the Penwell Knights Raceway at Caprock Motorplex 6th-7th March. It was windy with sand blowing over the track. Nevertheless, racing took place. On Saturday there was a grudge/cash day race. Steve driving the car did well, making it to the final round, but the teams decided not to run the finals as air temp was 40F and track temp 45F.
On the Sunday at Bounty Hunters Adam got to round two, where he ran side by side with Cody Baker all the way down, Cody getting the win light but Adam leaving satisfied with the weekend.
The following Wednesday 10th March changing 4-link, gear ratios and some other things on the Viking, Adam was back at Bradenton Motorsports Park. On his second run which was straight, Adam lost the passenger side door which flew off just before the finishline so the race was on to locate a new carbon or glass door. This was fixed last Sunday.
Next weekend is the NMCA season opener in Bradenton, and Memphis Street Outlaws racer JJdaboss has a armdrop race up in north Florida. Adam's plan is to qualify with the Corvette in Bradenton Friday, drive 8-9 hours through the night, race the Nova at JJ:s race, then drive down Saturday night and run eliminations with the Corvette Sunday in Bradenton! This involves swapping the supercharger and fuel system over between the Nova and the Pro Mod Corvette.
Adam plans to run the Corvette in ADRL events, with free entry and a similar engine setup to the Nova. He also wants to run a lot more no-prep races whenever he can. Plans for the remainder of 2020 are to race in Europe and Russia, where he will be helping various teams.
One man burnout competition.
17th March: Thanks to Pro Modified and Super Pro racer John Tebenham who has let us know his state of preparation for the delayed 2021 season:
"Yeah, can’t wait, both cars are ready and on kill, new engines, spare gearboxes. We are going to have a proper go at winning, not sure what, but we want to win.
"I am determined to win the one man burnout competition. The video of the Test and Tune from last year's Greenlight Nationals shows our attempt then, with one slick on the ground (click photo for footage). I spoke to Ian after the event and he said we all thought it was going over. Yeah, so did I, I am going too do lots and lots of these so get your cameras ready.
"I have great crew, super smart, and we have a place for one more. We are also going to be giving away posters all year for a donation for Bloodwise, so come and see our pit".
Williams Bros position vacant.
17th March: Further to the announcement on 6th March of a panel beater/fitter position vacant at OCS Paint, which is still vacant, group company Williams Speed Shop has announced a further job opportunity:
The new position vacant is for a mechanic, who must have an interest in American and classic cars and have had experience with working on both classic and American applications. The individual sought should have a positive and willing attitude towards work and be happy to work within the expanding business and team, must have previous workshop experience and good health and safety knowledge. There are good rates of pay which will be discussed with the candidate in person. The applicant will be required to work some days with WBR Racing Team at the track, and overall the position is full time with a driving licence required.
If you are interested in either of these positions position, please either phone 07572 096920 or 01327 220777 or email Holley Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NitrOlympX tribute to Ton.
16th March: Many thanks to NitrOlympX press officer Christine Calwer who, on behalf of the whole staff of the Hockenheim-Ring GmbH and the NitrOlympX Organising Team, sent a tribute to the late Ton Pels:
With great sadness we heard of Ton Pel's death. He was a regular and very welcome guest at the NitrolympX almost from the beginning. Whether as a driver (and multiple winner) or successful team owner … always so friendly and helpful - we will miss him profoundly. His death is a really huge loss for the international drag racing family. Our sympathy goes to his family and friends - may they together have the strength to get through this time.
RRC build gallery - Pete Moore's '34 Ford Coupe.
16th March: Bob Roberts has kindly sent a gallery of pictures taken by him whilst the build of former Outlaw Anglia racer Pete Moore's '34 Ford Coupe street rod took place at Eurodragster.com sponsor Robinson Race Cars.
Bob writes: way back in 1980 I volunteered to help organise the Nationals rod run at Thruxton, created and supported by Hot Rod and Custom magazine. Also involved was Tony Thacker, now a star at the BDRHoF Gala Dinner, but then the Technical Editor at HR&C. Other volunteers included Andy Robinson, who ran our 100 yard drags, and Pete Moore. Both were involved in subsequent Internationals including the final one at Stoneleigh in 1983. The star of the last run was the ZZ Top Eliminator 34 Coupe. Little did we know at the time that thirty some odd years later Pete would commission Andy to build a 34 coupe.
With its running gear from a Vauxhall VXR8, high tensile stainless steel wishbone rear suspension and Corvette C6 uprights at the front, it is fast, it corners, it stops, it rides well, it’s comfortable and above all it looks great. Truly a street rod for the 20's.
You can see Bob's gallery in our feature in association with Lucas Oil Products by clicking here or go to our Features, Interviews, Tributes index via the main menu.
Santa Pod opens for RWYB Easter Sunday and 10th April.
15th March: Following the publication of the Government's Covid-19 response roadmap plan, Santa Pod Raceway is delighted to announce initial plans for the reopening of the venue.
In line with the current restrictions, the first drag racing event will be RWYB track days starting on Easter Sunday April 4th. No spectators OR children will be allowed at these events and all spectator viewing areas will be closed; however, Santa Pod Raceway continue to liaise with their Local Authority on how they can scale up from these participant events after April 12th (Step 2). More detailed guidance is expected very soon which should assist SPR in planning further events going forward. Hopefully we can see a return to spectator events within the relevant guidelines during this next period. More information will be added when it becomes available. The events planned so far are RWYB public track days on Easter Sunday 4th April and the following Saturday 10th April. Racer tickets for these events are now on sale and must be pre-booked at www.santapodtickets.com.
Don’t forget that Santa Pod now offers all ticket buyers additional peace of mind that should they choose to protect their order with TicketPlan event ticket insurance. You can apply for a refund if the worst happens and you’re unable to attend the event due to unforeseen circumstances such as: accidents, transport issues and illnesses including if you or a member of your household tests positive for COVID-19.
Pioneers' stories – Mick Wheeler.
15th March: The latest update in our weekly Pioneers of UK drag racing series, told in the original words of the racers, and accompanied by photos and images from their collections, covers the period 1964 to 1969 for Essex-based racer Mick Wheeler. Mick first encountered drag racing at the 1964 Dragfest at RAF Chelveston. Initially teaming up with Colin Dunster and two others in his native Essex, the team ran a Jag engined Ford Model Y called 'Juggernaut' in 1966, before Mick decided to build his own Hillman Imp-engined dragster.
Mick collaborated with, or raced alongside other drag pioneers whose stories we are presenting weekly; we have so far presented Derek Metcalf's and Bill Haynes' stories. Many thanks to Mick for telling his story to Eurodragster.com and to John Hunt for transcribing it and arranging for delivery of Mick's photo collection.
You can see Mick Wheeler's story by going to this link, or via the new index page for the pioneers' stories, which shows links to the UK drag racing history web sites that provide the wider story and context for the story of the sport. Eurodragster.com thanks racers for providing their stories, and John Hunt and drag racing historian Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature.
April at Spitfire Raceway cancelled, June date confirmed.
15th March: Our update on 6th March described the quarter mile action planned for Spitfire Raceway, Perranporth on Saturday 3rd April; sadly this has had to be cancelled. Promoter Lee Child said "Our focus is now on the Summer Drag and Drift at Spitfire Raceway on Saturday 26th June. We appreciate the drivers that entered for the April behind closed doors event, we now know how hardcore you are".
Stilwell roadster featured on Amazon Prime.
14th March: Thanks to Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell who has been in touch on latest developments.
As many know, Geoff has located his race shop for his Land Speed Record car 7707 in Pomona, California which is a centre of hot rodding and dragster building in Los Angeles.
One contact of Geoff who has become a close friend Brad King did all the special work on the Transformer Movies. The Optimus Prime truck featured in the movie was actually built in what is now Geoff's race shop.
Brad produces a show called Stories N' Steel on Amazon Prime. It's all about Hot Rods and all the stories of how they came about, told by the builders and paint artists themselves. Brad has produced a programme on Geoff's Ford '34 hot rod featuring how he did all the flames. The programme is 40 minutes long and we'll post a link to it when it is live. In case you don't have Amazon Prime, you can still see previous shows for free on Youtube which also links to Brad's podcast over at roundsixpod.com.
Brad is putting a full size silhouette of 7707 down the sides of Geoff's rig for his Land Speed Car, in addition to building his own land speed car. Talking of which, subject to travel restrictions being lifted Geoff plans to attend the Bonneville Speed Week on 7th-13th August this year, and the aim is to top 300mph following his previous 258.569mph record in his A/Blown Fuel Rear Engine Modified Roadster. Crewing with Geoff are Rob Loaring and Nick Davies of I.C.E. Automotive, who themselves have raced their Havoc Fuel Altered in nostalgia drag events in 2017, with Scott Barnes, Tony Thacker, Mick Jenkins and others. The challenge between Geoff and fuel altered legend Ron Hope is still intact, with Ron completely rebuilding his B/Blown Gas Modified Roadster which itself ran 260mph in 2018. More details and sponsor acknowledgements to be published soon.
Photos by Tony Thacker and Geoff Stilwell (Ron Hope after his 2018 run).
14th March: Best wishes for a Happy Birthday to photo journalist, sometime pit note helper and Super Twin Top Gas promoter Mike Kraaij. Have a great day Mike.
Good luck and stay safe to NHRA Top Alcohol dragster racer Julie Nataas who will be racing at the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida today. Julie qualified fourth with a 5.216/271.73 and defeated James Stevens in round one with 5.246/274.27. Round two, scheduled for yesterday evening, needed to be postponed due to delays caused by on-track incidents; Julie will be racing her teammate Rachel Meyer. Sunday's action commences at 12 noon GMT following the clocks going forward in the US and, as ever you can see the results on www.dragracecentral.com.
June No Prep locked in.
12th March: Many thanks to No Prep series organiser Paul Marston for an update on the June No Prep Nationals:
Entry for the No Prep Nationals 4, Saturday and Sunday 19th–20th June at Melbourne Raceway (Formerly York Raceway) is now closed for No Prep Big Tyre and No Prep Small Tyre classes. All other classes and RWYB entry for the weekend at Melbourne are still to be filled. Please contact Straightliners direct for more details.
I can tell you that Big Tyre has the lion's share of entries and we look forward to some very hard fought racing. The eliminations in Big Tyre will be a little different to what has been done in the UK before. We have some teams travelling a long way, hundreds of miles, so we want to try and give the race teams as much competitive racing as we can.
Due to the size of the Big Tyre entry, we will also run a second chance race for the drivers who don't make the cut. There will be trophies and prize money for both the main race and the second chance race, naturally pro rata. We have studied how other organisations have approached this and come up with what we hope is fair for everyone, and suits the UK No Prep racers.
Racers will have to race their way into the main elimination and there will be win money for each race, we felt that with so many racers it would be nice to reward effort, consistency and make each race relevant as well as sharing the wealth. So Big Tyre will not be just a winner take all, there will be plenty of opportunities to win money over the two days.
Small Tyre will be a little more traditional, running a sixteen car ladder, but they won’t miss out on the fun. Instead of just one elimination on Sunday, Small Tyre will have a race Saturday and a race Sunday, with equal prize money on both days and the opportunity to win on Sunday if you didn't quite get the job done Saturday. Again, there will be trophies and prize money for winner and runner up both days.
As is traditional, every single race, Big or Small Tyre, will be drawn out of the hat up until the final where lane choice will be a coin toss. If for any reason the race is not run to completion, all prize money will be shared equally amongst the racers still in competition. All races are 1/8th mile, no time no speed. The start system is to be confirmed.
I would like to thank the following people, the Alder-Barber family for supplying a perpetual trophy in honour of Heavy Chevy racer Keith Alder-Barber, who we tragically lost to this awful disease earlier this year. Heavy Chevy will continue to compete with Keith's race partner Dave Caruso as wheelman. Thanks also to Gary Springford and Drag Race Engineering (020 8597 9484) for stepping up and sponsoring all the remaining trophies in Big and Small Tyre. Gary and DRE have been staunch supporters right from the very start of the No Prep Nationals at North Weald; this event will also see Gary competing with sons Aaron and Tyler Springford crewing for their dad. We will be making some announcements shortly regarding other sponsors.
Last but by no means least Trevor Duckworth and the Straightliners organisation at Melbourne Raceway for hosting us, Eurodragster.com for always being there (thanks - Editor), couldn’t do this without you guys, thank you.
Photo: Dave Wiggins' Chevy Nova squares off against the Citroen Saxo of Michael J Fox. Photo courtesy of Dunk Rose/D.R. Photography
Williams Bros support Comp.
12th March: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has announced a further class sponsor for Competition Eliminator:
Following the announcement of Comp Eliminator Sponsorship on Thursday, Williams Bros Speed Shop have now also confirmed their commitment to Comp Eliminator. As many will know, the Williams Brothers are big supporters of Stock/Super Stock (which is to be integrated into Comp in 2021); with the family campaigning 3 legal S/S Stock cars in 2020, they with the SPRC are also at the heart of bringing the class to the UK. To back up their commitment to the class, they are to now sponsor all rounds of the 2021 Championship, with a prize fund of £100 for the winner and £50 for the number 1 qualifier at each event.
Williams Bros Racing can be contacted by phone on 01327 220 777 or 07572 096 920, by e-mail on email@example.com or at Williams Bros Speed Shop, Brook Farm, Bugbrooke, Northamptonshire, NN12 8LQ.
Renegade Outlaw Anglia.
11th March: Thanks to Outlaw Anglia co-ordinator Colin Millar for a preview of this season's action:
The Outlaw Anglia drag racing class are excited to have the continued support from Renegade; we head into the 2021 Drag Racing season with hope and anticipation, we will be racing again this year and, fingers crossed, it's not that far away.
Both Jeff Ludgate and Alex Clark from Renegade supported the class in 2019 and although it was a very strange year in 2020, they again provided service and support when the class needed it.
The call out to the class came with only two weeks' notice for our first race event in August 2020 and again both Renegade and Outlaw Anglia continued to see the benefits of this developing relationship.
Renegade will be Outlaw Anglia’s main sponsor for 2021 and we hope to strengthen this partnership as time goes on.
The limited season last year with only three meetings proved to be some of the best racing the class had ever seen, with the Hot Rod Drags providing I think at least nine new PBs with many dropping down into the next second barrier, the expectation was not high as there was no championship, however the performance and commitment of the class provided for some of the best racing for both spectators crews and marshals alike, was it a coincidence that a lot of these teams were using the Renegade products to get the edge, time will tell?
The new season for sure is filled with uncertainty but what is for sure The Renegade Outlaw Anglia Class will not disappoint; the class has 45 fully paid-up teams ready to go out there and put on one of the best shows you've ever seen with breath-taking times and speeds.
Hopefully, you have managed to keep up with some of the upgrades and changes to the Renegade Outlaw Anglia Cars on social media and this can only mean these will keep you on the edge of your seat or possibly the edge of your sofa if you are on the SantaPodTV YouTube link.
The class moves into its 29th year and continues to grow and push the boundaries from its conception in 1992, here is the drivers' list as we stand today which can be viewed in more detail on the class web site www.outlawanglia.co.uk:
A few new faces in the line up as well as a high expectation for some of the teams who were not able to stretch their legs as much as they wanted last year. We have a gentleman in Australia who has already pushed the boundaries and ran the magical six at over 200mph and we plan to welcome John Willard to the UK in 2022 to race along with the Renegade Outlaw Anglia Class, after all he is a fully paid-up member.
We also have in the background cars being built and they will be at the track real soon, to name but a few, Dave Sidaway with his stunning handmade alloy Fordson Van (credit goes to Wayne Allman), young Aaron Bird making great progress with an all-home build car, Danny Wilson also making great progress on his new Pop (great to see him back in the class) and Stephen Brindle who is nearing the end of the project and is on the final push.
Keep a close eye out folks the Renegade Outlaw Anglia Class with the continued support of Jeff and Alex will be back out real soon, faster stronger and will you see history being made with the “Magical Six” in 2021, for me I really hope so, its time and the contenders are already in place waiting to take the glory. Who will be first? answers on a postcard please!
See you at the Track.
11th March: We regret to report that Doug Thorley, the first NHRA U.S. Nationals Funny Car champion and an aftermarket giant known for his line of exhaust headers, passed away yesterday (March 10) at the age of 92. A tribute to Doug can be found on nhra.com.
11th March: Best wishes for a Happy Birthday to Wild Bunch co-ordinator Claire Meaddows. Have a great day Claire from all of us at Eurodragster.com.
Stock/Super Stock running in Comp in the UK.
10th March: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for bringing us up to speed on plans for the latest category in UK drag racing:
In 2021 Stock/Super Stock will be integrated into Competition Eliminator at Santa Pod Raceway, with a view to getting NHRA-legal Stock/Super Stock class up and running in the UK. By following this link (Microsoft Excel format), potential participants can see what index within Comp they will initially run against. In most cases, we have taken the current NHRA index and lowered the index by three tenths of a second, this is to allow most European cars to go at least four tenths under their Comp index and remain somewhere near competitive within Comp, the intention is, after two events to look at the assembled data and make any adjustments to the Stock/Super Stock indexes we deem necessary to keep the Stock/Super Stock both competitive, but also in check with the rest of the Comp classes.
There are initially four to six cars in the UK that will get involved by the year end, as some are being completed and one car has yet to arrive from the States.
As mentioned in the virtual Riders and Drivers meeting, the idea is to separate Stock/Super Stock from Comp at the FIA meetings at Santa Pod and hopefully with additional cars from Europe we will then run Stock/Super Stock as a separate class in its own right, with the specific Stock/Super Stock regulations.
If you have any questions, please contact Ian Marshall on 01933 313625, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2021 SPRC class title sponsors.
10th March: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall writes: with the 2021 race season hopefully starting very soon, Santa Pod Racers club are now pleased to confirm our 2021 National Championship class title sponsors whom we thank for their support.
The full list of class title sponsors comprises:
Comp Eliminator - Track Worx (class title sponsor): Track Worx have been involved in motorsports for over 10 years, and strive to be the best whilst providing a one stop workshop for all Motorsport needs. When it comes to Race cars for Circuit, Drag, Sprint and Professional Drift cars, we can offer all aspects of work, from basic service and event preparation to complete car builds, and it doesn’t stop there. We offer complete tailor made Motorsport aftercare packages from big race team’s right down the owner/driver privateers in your choice of event, anywhere in the world. If you have a need for support at a Race facility anywhere on the planet, we have the facilities to accommodate you and your requirements, contact us at email@example.com.
Comp Eliminator - Engine Data Analysis (class sponsor): EDA have also confirmed that they will continue their Sponsorship of Comp Eliminator in 2021 with an upgraded commitment of £80 to the winner and £40 to the runner up at each of the events at Santa Pod this year. Engine Data Analysis can be contacted on 01977 516622, or by email on mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org, for further contact information regarding your engine build, tune and dyno requirements go to the EDA website at www.engine-data.co.uk.
Super Pro ET - Peter Nee: Steve and Babs Saunders write: Pete was a true hot rodder at heart, he lived and breathed drag racing, hot rods and American muscle cars. He was with me from my very early hot rod days at the beginning of the 80's and at the very start of our drag racing. He loved NHRA drag racing, British drag racing and going to the States, travelling to visit as many drag racing meetings as possible. Apart from being my Crew Chief, he himself had many different cars through his life, ending up with his much loved Firebird which he was planning on racing himself this year. With his untimely passing, his work collegues from DH Pearson, Middlesbrough had a collection for Pete's family to donate to his lifelong hobby in some way. Suzie, Pete's sister, contacted me with the idea of sponsoring Super Pro ET in Pete's name.
Pro ET - Modurstang: Modurstang is the UK's premier Mustang specialist. Anything from an approved routine oil change for your brand new S550, to a full restoration of your 1960’s stang. If you have any ideas or would like to chat about a project, feel free to call us. We can put your mind at ease. For example, S550 supercharger packages are tried and tested to offer you the best possible performance at a competitive price. Modurstang is the one-stop-shop for all your American motor servicing needs. We can make your Mustang dreams a reality. Please take a look at our web site at www.modurstang.co.uk or phone us on 01608 678818 or mobile on 07774 712000.
Sportsman ET - Hutchinson & Dibley Ltd: Hutchinson and Dibley Ltd is a Buckinghamshire based precision CNC engineering company specialising in the production of 'hard-to-manufacture' parts. We have over 50 years of experience in most industries including defence, oil, gas and marine, as well as machining most common metals and plastics but also working with difficult materials such as Titanium, Magnetic Iron and Inconel. Our shop facility includes CNC turning and milling as well as welding and fabrication equipment. Our entire production is ISO9001:2008 approved and accredited.
Super Comp - B Fast R: Who are B FastR? We’re a team of petrol heads, with a love of all things automotive. We live and breathe motorsport, and we want to inspire the next generation of car builders, support staff, and, of course, drivers. Our mission is simple, to bring you the best content from across the planet. Whether it’s the engineering behind the latest and greatest purpose-built race-car, or the story of one man who’s spent 50 years in his barn perfecting a tarmac shredding, road-storming piece of history, we’re there!
We’ll be bringing you regular video features on some of the most iconic automotive personalities on the planet-from the F1 stars of tomorrow, to the best kept secret in the smallest American town. But we’re about so much more than that; we want to inspire young people who love cars, but don’t know how they can find their way into the world of motorsport. From the obvious engineering roles, to the people behind the scenes designing PR campaigns and looking after the all-important sponsors, we want to throw the doors open on professional motorsport, and mentor those who really know what they want! We’re also one of the UK’s largest producers of textiles, giving us unparalleled opportunities in the world of clothing. From design & production of team wear, through a full range of apparel & merchandise, to the latest homologation FIA race suit, we are unique in how we approach individual requirements, and offer a one-stop, complete turn-key solution for race teams & businesses of any size. If you’d like to work with us, or think you have a story we’d be interested in, then let’s talk. Build - Race - Conquer.
Nostalgia Super Stock - N.E.M Plant: N.E.M Plant deal with Farm and Industrial ground works, and specialise in all aspects of internal and external concrete floors and yard areas, details of their work can be found on their Facebook page (new website to follow soon) at our Facebook page or alternatively they can be contacted at email@example.com, by landline on 01327-831113 or mobile on 07961-577367.
Junior Dragster - Lucas Oil: Lucas Oil have been looking after many riders and drivers in motorsport, with their second to none Oils and Oil based products. Junior Dragster has been fortunate enough to have had Lucas Oil's backing for more than 10 years, and 2021 is no different, Lucas Oil products can be found at Santa Pod Raceway or on the Lucas Oil website at www.lucasoil.co.uk.
Top Fuel Bike - Banks Night Club: The Name says it all really, if you find yourself in Maidstone, Bank Street is the place to head for your nights entertainment. Banks is an over twenty-ones venue situated in a Grade II listed building in the heart of historic Bank Street in Maidstone. With four beautifully refurbished & styled rooms, three bars & two dance floors to choose from. They boast the largest courtyard in the town with Alfie's Bar and the Garden Bar, fully seated & parasols to suit all weather. Familie are welcome to make day time bookings, contact details are: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 01622 762872, address 76 Bank Street Maidstone Kent, ME14 1SJ. Please keep a check on their website www.banksmaidstone.com for future opening times and any restrictions that may apply.
Funny Bike - Leeks Landscapes: The Leeks Landscapes Group is a group of companies catering to all aspects of Landscaping, Waterscapes, ponds, lakes, civil engineering and more delivering projects to the commercial and domestic sector throughout the UK. Their web site is www.leekslandscapes.co.uk.
Comp Bike - Suzuki Performance Spares.co.uk: Suzuki Performance Spares are your premier source of quality guaranteed new and used parts for major motorcycle brands; they specialise in spare parts for modern, classic motorcycle, racing and Drag Race parts. Contact details are website www.suzukiperformancespares.co.uk or phone 07900 362 809.
Super Street Bike - Kathy Taylor: Kathy, a long-time supporter of all things Drag Bike, on this occasion taking the Super Street Bike Title Sponsorship as her way of putting something back in to the sport.
8.50 Bike - JKE Race Works: We welcome on board Jake Mechaell of JKE Race Works, who will be sponsoring the class title for 8.50 bike. Jake writes: I'm pleased to be the class sponsor for the 8.50 bike championship during the 2021 season. The class is perfect for racers to have a stepping stone between 9.50 bike and Super Street/Comp Bike. It's such a competitive class with a great bunch of riders. With the volume of bikes we have coming through the workshop in preparation for 8.50 bike, it's a class which is only going to grow as time goes on.
JKE Race Works offer a huge range of services including complete bike builds, bespoke fabrication, engine building, one off turbo kits specifically designed to suit your needs, bike setup, track support, engine tuning, suspension servicing, 1-1 tuition and much more.
We are located next door to Santa Pod Raceway which gives our customers the convenience of an accessible drop off and collection location. It also allows us to provide support to all racers if they have an unfortunate part failure which can be repaired during the meeting to keep them out there making the most of their race weekend.
Our dealership statuses are growing every month and we can offer great racer prices on the following brands so far: MTC Engineering, Racinglines, Putoline Oils, Antigravity Batteries, HEL Performance and Ramair Filters.
Our aim is to give the highest standard of work at a reasonable price and help our customers reach their goals with all the support and advice needed. Please follow JKE Race Works on Facebook and Instagram to see the work we produce and to keep up to date with future projects. Our contact details are 07841 389360 and email@example.com.
9.50 Bike - Atlantic Fluid Tech: Atlantic Fluid Tech Ltd has been trading since 2009 and is a major supplier of hydraulic valves to OEM companies in the UK and Ireland. It is the British subsidiary of an Italian Group that is based in Modena. The company has a warehouse in Coventry from where it distributes products to a wide variety of companies, particularly those involved in the manufacture of construction machinery. The Coventry building houses a hydraulic test facility and a CAD function for the design and supply of bespoke valve assemblies. Both UK Directors of the company have a long history of involvement in Motor Sport, and are very pleased to be associated with the Santa Pod Racers Club and sponsorship of 9.50 bike. Atlantic fluid Tech can be contacted at +44 (0)2476 617143 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Super Twin Top Gas - SM Performance: SM Performance are a Harley Davidson specialist and can carry out everything from an oil change to a complete performance engine build. Besides that, through their many contacts around Harley Davidson, Scorpion motors can basically get everything from a kick stand to a full race bike Harley chassis. Beside this they can also buy and sell bikes on request and ship or export bikes all over Europe and now have dyno facilities for your bike. The SM Performance website is smperformance.uk and the company can be found at 197 Penn Road, Wolverhampton WV3-0EQ.
ET Bike - Blood Cancer UK: Blood Cancer UK (formerly Bloodwise) will continue to be supported by all of our Racers as usual, and ET Bike will also continue to fly the Blood Cancer UK flag with the class title being used again in 2021, to make a donation to a charity close to many hearts please go to www.bloodcancer.org.uk.
Junior Drag Bike - Eurodragster.com: Eurodragster.com was created 23 years ago and provides comprehensive and timely reporting of European drag racing news. We are very excited about the forthcoming season, are attending over 30 races this year and will post in-depth live reports on 25 of them, including all championship rounds. Our news and race report pages are viewed by thousands of racers and fans across Europe. We are proud to be supporting Junior Drag Bike which has been shown to provide championship bike racers of the future, crucial for the continued expansion of the sport.
Julie's TAD win.
8th March: Congratulations to expat Norwegian Julie Nataas, who took the Top Alcohol Dragster win at the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Sixth annual Baby Gators race at Gainesville Raceway yesterday in her Oslo Tapet & Gulvbelegg (OTG) A/Fuel dragster.
Julie, driving for Randy Meyer Racing which won the 2019 and 2020 TAD championships with Megan Meyer driving, is hoping to get her team's third consecutive national championship this year. Her win at the Baby Gators is her fifth regional event win and she also has two national wins.
Julie qualified number four in the eight car field with a 5.226/277.49. In round one, held late on Saturday evening, her opponent Tom Fox Jr red lit as both cars lost traction off the line. Then yesterday Julie defeated Jackie Fricke in a close semi final with a margin of victory of 0.004s (approximately 20 inches), Julie running 5.208/274.00. In the final Julie left on Duane Shields who instantly went up in smoke and she ran 5.237/276.18 for the event win.
Julie's event schedule comprises ten National and eight regional NHRA events, the next event being this coming weekend's Gatornationals, also at Gainesville Raceway.
Pioneers' stories – Bill Haynes, part 2.
8th March: The latest update in our weekly Pioneers of UK drag racing series, told in the original words of the racers, and accompanied by photos and images from their collections, covers the period 1973-76 for Surrey dragster racer Bill Haynes. During these years Bill had progressed from four cylinder Ford power to an injected V8 289ci engine.
Bill collaborated with, or raced alongside other Surrey based drag pioneers whose stories we will present in future weeks; we have so far presented Derek Metcalf's story. Many thanks to Bill for telling his story to Eurodragster.com and to John Hunt for transcribing it and arranging for delivery of Bill's photo collection.
You can see the second part of Bill Haynes' story by going to this link, or via the new index page for the pioneers' stories, which shows links to the UK drag racing history web sites that provide the wider story and context for the story of the sport. Eurodragster.com thanks racers for providing their stories, and John Hunt and drag racing historian Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature.
8th March: Wishes for a Happy Birthday today go to British Drag Racing Hall of Fame chair Lesley Wright. Have a lovely day Lesley.
Lesley shares her birthday with pioneer UK female Top Fuel racer Roz Prior, highly appropriate on International Women’s Day. We wish Roz a big Happy Birthday and hope you've had a great day.
Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded another two drag racing videos from his Time Travel series to his Youtube channel, Time Travel 72 uses Simon Pocock's video from Santa Pod 1981 and 1982. Time Travel 74 features Marty Babb and Ken Sweeney’s cine films taken at Santa Pod, North Luffenham, Snetterton and Blackbushe from 1971–1978.
7th March: Eurodragster.com Perfect ET award sponsor Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield has revealed he has just started collecting the parts to build a supercharged altered for daughter Purdie Hadfield for when she comes out of her junior dragster in two years. Progress in the last two weeks has been fast, as hinted by the 'spy picture' submitted:
Purdie is currently running in the Junior Dragster group and is soon to reach 15 years of age. Team Twister are looking into the future for their youngest driver and have decided to move forward with a new build altered that will have safety as paramount but tip the hat to nostalgia. To this end, a nostalgia blown altered is being built and work has commence with huge progress in a short time, less than two weeks!
The chassis dates from the year 2000, was built by long time chassis builder Bill Felstead from chrome moly and is planned to be certified with a 6.0 tag. The body is a very early Pat Cuss Bantam from the early 1970s. The engine will be a 540 cubic inch BBC with a 14/71 supercharger and methanol injection. There's lots of work to do over the next two years before she moves out of the Juniors; Purdie is incredibly excited about the prospect, and looking forward to joining her dad in the Supercharged Outlaws and MSUK events with a fully certified race car.
7th March: We would like to wish a huge Happy Birthday to honorary Eurodragster.com member, crew chief to the stars, online racing promoter and future race car importer Spencer Tramm. Have a great day Spencer from all of us at Eurodragster.com.
If you're in a nostalgic mood for the early 2000s at Santa Pod Raceway and Shakespeare County Raceway, Bob Valder's Youtube channel Bob's UK Drag Racing Archive is highly recommended: recent uploads include Santa Pod Raceway's 2002 Easter Thunderball and Shakespeare County's 2003 Halloween Showdown.
A significant addition to our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet is the complete Pro Modified operation of Swiss racer Roland Boletter. The car is a Corvette C5 with Tim McAmis chassis, Pat Musi-built 903ci nitrous engine, and four speed Lenco with clutch. More details at the swap meet link.
Spitfire Raceway returns.
6th March: Thanks to Eurodragster.com sponsor Lee Child for details of the first drag race, with drifting as well, to be held after the lockdown roadmap step 1 is introduced:
After a break of a year from Covid related guideline rules, Perranporth's Spitfire Raceway returns with some quarter mile action and drifting behind closed doors on Saturday 3rd April. The Cornish venue will potentially have the biggest prize fund ever in the south west of £4800 on the no prep 1/4 mile with a eliminator style drag race and six categories to choose from.
There are sixteen places available in each category. Pairings will be determined by selection out of the hat. The process will start with eight pairs, then four pairs and down to two pairs and the final last pair is where the winner takes all the £800, based on 16 cars in each category. If category numbers are not reached, there will be a reduced prize fund in that category.
There are only 96 places available, but if you do get eliminated you can still run on the track so your day doesn't end there.
Pro AWD: Modified, competition tyres , interior removed.
Street AWD: Factory appearance, full interior.
Pro Rear Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres , interior removed
Street Rear Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior
Pro Front Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres , interior removed
Street Front Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior
This is a non public event; entry at £200 is for a driver and driver bubble member only. This is also a pre entry event and you can enter here. You can use the same entry form to drift, however there are only 15 spaces for drifting.
For regular daily updates check our Spitfire Raceway Cornwall Facebook page.
Tributes to Ton Pels.
6th March: You can read a full obituary of the late Ton Pels by our good friend Remco Scheelings, with several photos on the Dutch language site Autosport.nl (auto translation to English is available for those using Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari with the appropriate settings).
NitrOlympX announcer Benni Voss has sent his tribute to Ton:
Ton Pels has reached the finish line of his life, one of the true great Drag Racers and pioneers sadly is no longer with us. Never meet your heroes? Not with Ton, I was asking him stupid questions and getting smart answers since the 1980s, when I was a greenhorn spectator and wanted to know what makes his bikes run so quick, and so loud.
I often ended my late night pit walks in the “Zodiac” gazebo, when Ton, Vincent and the team were repairing or preparing the bike. Over the years Ton knew that I understood a bit about tech, and explained in detail what went right, or wrong, this time. Ton was not taking the “easy” route with the blown Nitro V2, but he was convinced that there was a lot of potential in it, even if he and Vincent had to invent, construct, and build most of the engine parts capable to withstand the Nitro assault.
Ton was not only focussed on his own team, you don´t get the "Godfather of European Super Twin Racing" nickname for nothing, he was always willing and often able to help other racers, race tracks, racing series, and was a great promoter of Bike Drag Racing.
The “Dutch on tour” with eight bikes to Gainesville in 1996 is the stuff of legends, and just one example of Ton´s spirit and Godfathership. When work on the bike was done, Ton was often roaming the pits to see other racers, have a bench race, and pull pranks like a big boy.
He will surely be missed in the european Drag Racing community, I send my deep condolences for Monique, Vincent, the Pels family and the Zodiac Team. With this damn virus still doing rounds, I doubt that there will be a big farewell ceremony, so I can only show my respect here: R.I.P. Ton.
Position vacant at OCS Paint.
6th March: Eurodragster.com sponsor OCS Paint have announced the following panel beater/fitter vacancy in their Northamptonshire workshops: We are looking for an experienced individual to join the OCS Paint team. We will be looking for someone who has previous experience in the automotive industry, who takes absolute pride in the work they produce and that can work easily within a team. This is a chance for someone to join one of the best paint, restoration and repair shops in the UK.
Work will include: Panel beating, preparation for paint, filler work, stripping and refitting of vehicle parts, working to manufacturer and industry guidelines.
Benefits comprise: great rates of pay which will be discussed upon interest, 28 days paid holiday, negotiable hours. The role is a full time position with on site parking available.
Requirements: driving licence, previous experience in the industry, great pride taken in your work and working well within a team.
If you are interested in this position, please either phone 07572 096920 or 01327 220777 or email us at email@example.com.
Streaming video from over the Pond.
6th March: This weekend has more individual streaming channels from the US than we can ever remember, so whilst racing in Europe is on pause, it would be rude not to carry a listing of the opportunities to see live drag racing over the next two days:
Top of the listing has to be the NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car testing from Palm Beach International Raceway, carried by Competition Plus on Youtube. Friday's running can be seen here and the standings show nine Top Fuelers and ten Funny Cars.
Also free to view, but requiring NHRA.tv registration and login, are the 'Baby Gators' NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event from Gainesville Raceway, with pre-season testing on Tuesday and Wednesday 9th and 10th March also carried free.
Our friends at Bangshift.com are covering the free broadcast of the Southwest Showdown bracket races from Tucson Dragway, with Chad Reynolds hosting the Shootout.
Three races are being carried by new-to-drag-racing subscription carrier Flo Racing, who bought out Speed Video last year. The World Doorslammer Nationals from Orlando Speedworld is a must-see for Pro Stock and Pro Modified fans, the NMRA Spring Break Shootout is for eighth mile street racing aficionados and the Bounty Hunters No Prep Nationals is for Street Outlaws supporters.
Feature: The history of UK Pro Modified - part 3.
5th March: Our latest historical feature, supported by Lucas Oil Products, focuses on the Pro Modified class in 1990 and 1991, following our previous two features on the class. We describe the numerous new cars that made their debut in those two years together with race results at both Santa Pod Raceway and Avon Park Raceway, incidents and championship standings. The feature includes over 85 photographs of the cars, stories of races and results for those years, together with car details from the period.
Thanks go to drag racing historian and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame director Jerry Cookson and PMRA founder Mick Harle for for supplying archive material and memories of back in the day. You can see our feature by clicking here or by clicking the features, interviews, tributes link from the main menu.
5th March: Lucy Moore, Pro Modified colour commentator and crew member for her Dad, Funny Bike racer Roger Moore, has been in touch to wish her Roger a Happy Birthday for today (Friday).
Lucy says "A Big happy birthday to Roger, some say he's as mad as a box of frogs....." The image on the repainted frame of Roger's bike points in the same direction (see image, click for large version). Have a great day Roger from all of us at Eurodragster.com.
A belated Happy Birthday and Gratis to our good friend and Stock/Super Stock racer Rick McCann whose birthday fell yesterday, hope you had a great day Rick!
SPRC tyre and selfie request.
4th March: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has been in touch with a couple of requests for racers to help the Club keep ahead of the proverbial curve:
Hopefully now we are beginning to get some idea of when we can get back racing; please keep your eye on Santa Pod's updates for more detailed information, and, as such, Santa Pod will be looking for any used drag racing slicks racers may have for disposal for track preparation. As in past years, once we hear from those who have tyres, we will organise a route and date, and let you know when we will come and collect them from you. Please note that only drag racing slicks are needed please, and thank you for your help in advance. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do the rest in terms of collection.
Also, could all recipients of the Covid Cup trophies and or hoodies please send Ian a picture of themselves with their trophy. The SPRC would like to have a gallery of 2020 winners on the SPRC website, so please send your pictures as soon as possible to the email@example.com address.
Ton Pels tribute from BDRHoF.
4th March: Lesley Wright, Honorary Chair of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, writes:
We are saddened to learn of the death of our Member, Ton Pels. Ton was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 as our first Overseas Member following his distinguished riding career, while he continued as leader of the championship-winning Team Zodiac motorcycle team for several seasons more. On behalf of my fellow Hall of Fame directors and management, and of our Members, I wish to convey our condolences to Marianne and Vincent and to all Ton's family and team members.
Editor's note: please send your memories of Ton and tributes to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish them here.
Flyin Fyfer NitrOlympX road trip.
3rd March: Outlaw Anglia racer Colin Millar has, with the generous aid of our Kieran, created a two hour travelogue video based on his team's 2013 visit to Hockenheim which you can see by clicking here. Colin writes:
Hockenheim 2013, a full on boys weekend away from start to finish, a compilation of 350 small video clips made into one full length video with many thanks going out to Kieran Jenkins for jumping in and doing the technical bit, it follows the path of The Flyin Fyfer drag racing team with four daft Scottish lads, namely Gerry Treit, Mark Diamond, Scotty Crookston and myself for what was our very first trip to the Hockenheim Nitrolympx; you can clearly see the excitement on our faces and the anticipation, but also determination, to get there and race.
It starts form the Flyin Fyfer Headquarters in Sunny Kinross and takes you through to the port at Newcastle where we board the overnight ferry to Amsterdam through to the drive through Holland France and Germany until our epic arrival, getting the camp set up scrutineering drivers meeting and then onto the full on racing on Friday with all the social elements also on full display, onto Saturday with more racing until being knocked out then full-on to the stands with lots of footage from the excellent stands and then onto the fabulous Saturday night show and into the night, a big high for me was seeing Slamming Sammy’s car run, just wow!
A quieter Sunday but still lots of racing footage and other behind the scenes clips, some a tad messy, onto the fabulous drivers banquet and trophy presentation and on into the pits.
A wee tip don’t fall asleep In these guys company, then the final return leg back to catch the ferry at Amsterdam and home to Sunny Scotland.
A fantastic weekend away with great friends and very poignant for me after losing Gerry Treit at Christmas makes you realise that memories are a huge part of your life. Just a note - if you do decide to sit and watch this video please remember you will never get theses two hours back ever!
Street & Strip Times issue 7.
3rd March: Thanks to Martin 'Drakie' Drake for sending us a link to his latest free pdf magazine, issue 7 of Street & Strip Times. Included in this edition are a selection of Martin's favourite drag racing photos over the years, a retrospective of Long Marston Raceway by Jerry Cookson with photos by Dave Derry, a feature on drag racing participation at the 2008 Classic Motor Show, and a report on Martin's attendance at the York Hot Rod Reunion 2016.
You can see the 36 page Street & Strip Times by going to this link.
Santa Pod Raceway cancels events.
2nd March: Santa Pod Raceway have issued a notice about events during the first phase of opening from the current lockdown:
Following the government’s road map announcement on Monday 22nd February, we can confirm that all scheduled events up until April 12th (Road Map Step 2) will unfortunately not take place. However, in this ever-changing environment, we are now working closely with our Local Authority to identify exactly what event formats we will be allowed and when we can to host them during this period. It is hoped that we may be able to offer some RYWB/Track Day/Test Day events in accordance with the rules but whilst we await more detail, we ask for your continued patience and support. Please do not overwhelm us with event queries right now as we will update all customers with the latest developments as and when they occur.
The affected drag racing events are: public track days 7th, 13th, 20th and 27th March, Straightliners (14th March), Mimms Honda Day (21st March), Best of British (28th March), Festival of Power test day and race (1st-4th April) and GTI Spring Festival (11th April).
2nd March: We were greatly saddened to hear of the death of drag bike racer and engineer Ton Pels who has passed away after a long illness. Being one of the pioneers in European Drag Bike Racing, he was the very first overseas inducted member of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
Ton started racing on a variety of 250cc two-stroke bikes, soon changing to a 500cc Triumph on nitro. In 1977 he brought out a double-engined Triumph and this machine received the first-ever set of Puma cylinder heads in 1980, which were designed by Ton. Rebuilt in 1982 and renamed The Double Dutch Puma, in the next six years, this bike won Ton a string of National Championships. Then, having started the Zodiac business selling aftermarket and performance parts for Harley Davidson bikes, Ton went Pro Stock with a Harley and ran this machine until 1991, becoming the first ever Harley Pro Stock bike to run an eight.
In 1992, Ton and son and Crew Chief Vincent built their first Godfather Harley Drag bike and won the European Championship in the bike's first season. This bike also became the first European Harley (and third in the world) to break the 200 mph barrier, winning the 1996 European Championship in the process. In 2004 Ton repeated this feat and 2005 was the last year Ton as active as a drag bike pilot. In 2006 Roel Koedam ran the injected bike, but in the meantime a supercharged Top Fuel Harley-Davidson was being build, the bike that team Zodiac has run with Ronny Aasen as rider, The Godfather VII. The team again won the championship in 2013.
Our condolences go to Ton's wife Marianne, his son Vincent, his family and team members.
Ollie Burn tributes.
2nd March: Thanks to those who sent tributes for the late Ollie Burn who passed away on Saturday 20th February.
Former Top Fuel Dragster and Top Alcohol racer, Ollie's racing partner and ex-wife Liz Rowland writes:
I was so shocked to hear of Ollie’s passing when Jez informed me on Saturday. Obviously I have many memories of Ollie, having known him since I was 14 and he was 17! This one is not racing related:
When we were married and still in our early 20s, before our drag racing days, Ollie decided he might look more distinguished - more the country gentleman if he smoked a pipe. Neither of us were smokers, so this was a bit of a challenge for him. There is quite an art form to packing and smoking a pipe and Ollie spent a fair bit of time trying to keep the damn thing alight, nearly turning his lungs inside out in the process! He was driving one day with his beloved pipe gripped between his teeth, stopped at a junction and looked to his right before pulling out...and smashed the pipe into the side window. He forgot about 'spatial awareness'. That was not the distinguished look he was working towards, so decided it wasn’t for him and knocked it on the head - thankfully! He later found much enjoyment in another form of smoking...smoking tyres! Goodbye Ollie. You will always be in my heart.
Mike Pierse of The Mob Fuel Altered team writes:
I've been part of "the team" from 1978, helping out with Liz's dragster, right through to the last run of The Mob in September 2012, missing only a handful of meetings over all that time. It's been a fantastic experience for which I can't thank Ollie enough. Drag racing pits will be a quieter place without his laughter.
Former drag racing journalist and European Top Methanol Racers Association co-ordinator Dave Alexander writes:
I was shocked and deeply saddened at the news that Ollie Burn has died. My deepest condolences go to his family and close friends/team mates.
I was lucky enough to get to know him through Mickey Moore and he was a very nice guy, full of knowledge and always ready to answer my questions with a smile and the warts-and-all truth. Talking to him was a genuine pleasure and I'll miss him. Today is not a good day, drag racing is all the worse off without his presence.
Former promotions and marketing manager at Shakespeare County Raceway Jerry Cookson writes:
Although I never really got to know Ollie in his early years at Long Marston and Santa Pod he was a great racer who entertained me and the fans who flocked to the crowd barriers to see him run. Nothing was too much trouble. If we wanted a car to display to promote Long Marston he would do his upmost to get the car to the location.
In later years Ollie was always the life and soul of the after racing hours parties and always had some stories to tell of past experiences travelling to the tracks which is probably why The Mob always had a large following of fans supporting the teams colours and its drivers Mickey Moore, Jim Usher and Terri-Anne White.
To Ollie's family, Liz, his sons Jeremy and Richard, and all his friends at the tracks we send our deepest condolences.
NHRA Top Fuel and former Supercharged Outlaw racer Smax Smith writes:
Wow - what a shock to hear the news of Ollie's passing! We spent many a time racing and partying with him during our much loved Supercharged Outlaw days. He was always friendly and helpful to us and enjoyed a pint or a bottle lol. We will raise a glass to him over here in Canada. Half revs, Smax and the Ant Hill Mob drag racing team.
2021 SFI tour bulletin.
1st March: Thanks to Jennifer Faye, President of SFI Foundation, Inc. who has issued an update for the racing community on plans for SFI inspections this year, and will issue further details when dates for inspections in the UK have been arranged.
As a result of the ongoing COVID pandemic restrictions, SFI will be providing the important annual safety inspections and recertifications of parts for European drag racers at local sites this year. Unfortunately, we will not be able to hold the usual full SFI Tour. For 2021, we are planning inspection services at two different sites in Europe.
One inspection site will be at ME Racing in Borlange, Sweden on April 26th-28th. Parts must be registered and sent to ME Racing prior to those dates to minimize contact. Further details may be found here.
We are currently working to schedule an inspection date and location in England as we monitor the local restrictions there. We will keep the racing community informed of any new dates that are scheduled or revised.
As we have all lived under these pandemic conditions for a year now, we all know how challenging it is to plan and schedule events under such dynamic circumstances. SFI’s goal is to provide inspections to those who need them in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible under these difficult conditions. We could not do it without our team of inspectors at ME Racing and Robinson Racecars, and we thank them very much for all their hard work.
We are hopeful that the 2021 racing season will happen in some form, and we look forward to perhaps returning to the typical SFI Tour next year to kick off the 2022 season.
Shorty's new generation.
1st March: Many thanks to Jemma Bromley of Eurodragster.com sponsor Shorty's fabrication shop for sending the reveal of Outlaw Anglia racer Jedd Guy's new paint job:
Jedd hung up his race boots back in 2018 following engine issues and starting his own business but now they’re dusted off and we’re back and more determined than ever!
With massive thanks to Przym Paintwork, The Shortys Hotrod that we know and love has had a makeover for the new generation! The Guy family pop has progressed from ‘No Class’ back in the 80s, then Guy Bros which was Jedd's dad and uncle - Ray and Tony Guy's team in the 90s, then Shorty's Hotrod (due to Ray being vertically challenged) and now while its still Shorty's Hotrod it’s got a new paint job which represents Jedd's company and also highlights the beautiful curves and streamlined parts of the Pop (yes, that part's a joke) and has classic Pop features like the stunning airbrushed grill and Anglia badge done by Paul Przybyl.
The scalloping is a design which Jedd has always liked but also has a similar colour and pays homage to the flames Ray had on Shorty's Hotrod previously; we wouldn’t be where we are today without Ray’s hard work and passion for the Pop and letting Jedd carry on the family tradition.
We are also on the hunt for a Tough Ted Teddy bear which will be our new Parachute pin attachment as Ray’s Dad Ted, who sadly passed away back in November, used to have one in his Escort and started the family passion for cars by taking Ray and Tony to the race track and helping with their famous Pop and Model B.
Massive thanks go to Przym Paintworks for the stunning work and we can’t wait to see you all at the track hopefully in a few months' time when we will be joining the race for the 6 second OA record!
Pioneers' stories - Bill Haynes, part 1
1st March: The latest update in our weekly Pioneers of UK drag racing series, told in the original words of the racers, and accompanied by photos and images from their collections, covers the period 1968 and 1969 for Surrey dragster racer Bill Haynes.
Bill Haynes raced at Santa Pod Raceway, Blackbushe and Wroughton between 1968 and 1977, running a series of dragsters, the first self-built and named Konkerer. It was followed by three dragsters all called Quarter Horse. During his racing years Bill collaborated with, or raced alongside other Surrey based drag pioneers whose stories we are presenting in future weeks; we have so far presented Derek Metcalf's story. Many thanks to Bill for telling his story to Eurodragster.com and to John Hunt for transcribing it and arranging for delivery of Bill's photo collection.
You can see the first part of Bill Haynes' story by going to this link, or via the new index page for the pioneers' stories, which shows links to the UK drag racing history web sites that provide the wider story and context for the story of the sport. Eurodragster.com thanks racers for providing their stories, and John Hunt and drag racing historian Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature.
Kunmadaras FIM-E round cancelled.
28th February: Job Heezen of the FIM-Europe Drag Commission, has announced that, due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation and additional governamental restrictions for the next 90 days, the SSB championship's event at Kunmadaras has had to be cancelled. He adds "Kunmadaras Motorsport has released a statement that they will prepare for a next round in Hungary, committed as they are to the European Championship". Other planned FIM-Europe rounds at Tierp Arena on 10th-13th June and Kauhava, Finland, 8th-10th July, have been removed from the FIM-E calendar whilst official decisions are awaited.
28th February: We have several birthdays to celebrate today. Julian Parsons, producer for Nitro FM, proprietor of AMP Audio Solutions and general technical wizard, reaches 65 today. VWDRC Chair, Santa Pod Raceway commentator and sometime VW dragster racer Luke Stevenson reaches the big four-oh. ACU bike scrutineer and Supertwin Top Gas racer Les Harris also reaches 65. And in Germany, NitrOlympX supremo Jerry Lackey also celebrates his birthday today. Have a great day guys, and we'll see you at the track soon.
Gullqvist looks forward.
26th February: The 2021 FIA European Drag Racing Championship kicks off with The Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway. As everyone knows, the 2020 edition had to be cancelled due to the corona pandemic, and although we still live in uncertain times, it’s looking much better for the 2021 season. The drivers and teams can’t wait to see the fans again and the fans are eager to meet their favourites in the pits and see them race down the quarter mile. Our good buddy Remco Scheelings caught up with some of the European drivers, starting with Michael Gullqvist.
You were the runner up in the 2018 and 2019 FIA Championships, but before that you won back to back championships for a number of years. What are your thoughts on this?
"The competition has gotten stronger, that's for sure. With six events on the tour, the room for mistakes or failures is getting very slim. You better be on your game at every event, otherwise you have to trust the other guys make mistakes. For a number of years, we could go out there and win championships without putting 100% focus on the details, because we had a performance advantage over the other guys. Not so anymore. In 2018 and we had some electrical issues during the season that we found on our last run of the season. In 2019 we had changed to a converter drive after running a clutch for 20 years. I think we still ran pretty well while figuring it out. We had the points lead going into the 2019 European Finals, but we couldn't get down the track a single time, so that was that. We found a major problem with one of the rear tires, which was the reason for our poor performance."
How was 2020?
"Like all racers running FIA European Drag Racing, it was all about doing other things. We worked on the car and made a lot of changes, then went out and tested in August and September at Hudiksvall, a small track 3 hours north of Stockholm. In the end of our testing sessions, things started to work pretty well and we felt like we’re getting close to something good."
What's new for 2021?
"Hopefully that we can go racing, that would be something new! It looks like the two first events might be in trouble because of the corona restrictions. I think decisions about the first two events will come in March. After that it looks better, but who knows……Anyways we miss all our friends on the tour and we are looking forward to go out and kick their buts whenever possible!"
Words and pictures © and courtesy Remco Scheelings.
Caroline Strand's new car.
26th February: A well-known figure in Top Doorslammer and Pro Xtreme since 2016, Caroline Strand from Ystad in Sweden has sold the Corvette C6 car she has competed with since she started in the class. Now she is investing in a completely new car. The aim is to get out in 2021 and start sorting out the car, but as there will be so much racing in the new season, this may not be realistic.
"In the best of worlds, of course, everything is ready by the first event. But before there is a finished race car in the pits, warmed up and ready to drive in the first qualifying round, there is an enormous amount of work to do. We are working on it and hope to come out sometime during the season", she says. The old car went its quickest over the quarter mile at 5.87 during 2019 at Santa Pod Raceway when Caroline won Top Doorslammer in 2019. Now it has gone to Norway, but the existing 526ci BAE engine and gearbox will be utilised in the new build. The new chassis consists It is a pre-bent tube from Vanishing Point Race Cars in Maryland, USA, which has subsequently been welded together by Torben at TSS Race Cars in Veberöd, Skåne."
"The chassis is adapted to a Corvette C7 body, which itself will be an update from the previous car."
"The big news for us and the main reason behind the decision to change cars is to get a chassis that can handle the 4000hp power we have available. It will also be better suited to run at competitions where we race over the classic quarter mile, as we did at Santa Pod. There is an appeal in competing over 1/8 mile as well, the usual competition distance for Top Doorslammer and one does not exclude the other. It was really fun at Santa Pod, a completely different sense of speed, and there are plans for more quarter mile races in Europe in the future. So we want to be able to do this."
In addition to Caroline herself, the team behind the car consists of her husband Michel Strand, Tommy Jonsson and Robin Clausen. Then there is Adam Flamholc as an adviser in the background where he assists with knowledge and tuning.
Text courtesy Stefan Boman for Bilsport.se; photos © Stefan Boman and Robin Clausen (workshop).
26th February: We'd like to wish a big Happy Birthday to Santa Pod Raceway's Track & Race Operations Manager Darren Prentice. Have a great day Darren from all of us at Eurodragster.com.
Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded another drag racing video from his Time Travel series to his Youtube channel, Time Travel 71 featuring Phil Herrick and Jim Whiting's cine film from Santa Pod, Long Marston, Blackbushe and Wroughton including shots of their own cars. Nick has also uploaded footage by announcer Graham Beckwith of the Top Alcohol action from a VW meet at Santa Pod 16th July 1995 which you can see by clicking on this link.
24th February: We regret to report that Ollie Burn, who had an involvement in British drag racing stretching back almost 50 years, passed away on Saturday.
Ollie Burn first became involved in drag racing in the early 1970s, travelling with then wife Liz from their farm in Knightcote, Warwickshire to Santa Pod.
Ollie Burn ran Ollie's Folly in 1974, an Avenger econo FC which in a later life became Oblivion. Liz, whose book Drag Racing: Through the Eyes of a Woman documents their time racing together, gained a taste for the sport. Later that year they bought Age Machine, built by Allan Herridge for Pete Bennett, from its previous owner Roz Prior. Liz ran the big block engined car in Top Dragster. Later in 1974 Ollie and Liz bought Clive Skilton's Revolution 4 then, a few hours after paying for it, Clive suffered a burst front tyre, the car going off the track and into the guardrail in the shut down area of Santa Pod. Dennis Priddle repaired the car and it returned as Liz & Ollie in 1975 running as The Lizard in Top Fuel. The car was short-lived in Liz's hands as a missed chute release at Snetterton in May 1975 resulted in Liz hitting Dennis Priddle from behind, taking both into the field. The Liz & Ollie car was a write off.
By 1976 Ollie and Liz returned with another rear engined dragster, also named the Lizard which ran in Pro Comp in 1976,1977 and 1978, winning the Gauloise Pro Comp Championship in 1978. Ollie first driving the dragster and an altered called Liz & Ollie in 1976, which became the first Mr. Big, owned by Vic Hammond. Ollie got back in the driver's seat in 1978 with the ex-Dennis Priddle Avenger Funny car, rebodied with a Vega body, running on methanol and renamed Komodo Dragon. This car was then sold to John Spuffard and was John's first funny car. During this period, Ollie and his crew were responsible for helping many Midland racers: Bazz Young and Mickey Moore had a huge amount of assistance in putting together their Pro Comp FED Desperado and Doug Bond and Martyn Hannis built their first rear engine car at "the farm" with material supplied by Ollie. The list goes on and on, including the second Vic Hammond car, Cockney Rebel, which became The Mob car.
Also, along with others, Ollie financially supported the MDRA at a time when the club was struggling to put on race meetings at Long Marston.
Running The Mob Fuel altered, with Mickey Moore, who originally bought the car from Vic Hammond, was Ollie's main racing focus in the 1990s and 2000s. He would run it and often insist that his appearance money was given to another racer so that he could have someone to run alongside. In 2000 he converted the altered from methanol to nitro but it was always run safe and Ollie made sure his drivers put on a great show of burnouts, dry hops and full-on runs every time.
Ollie displayed such enthusiasm drive and dedication in running The Mob but when offered sponsorship for The Mob he declined the offer and persuaded the late Lawrie Gatehouse to use that money to form the Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association. In recognition of this, Ollie was presented with a special trophy at the class's trophy presentation.
When Lawrie debuted Chaos in 2006, Ollie became responsible for Crew Chief duties alongside The Mob, whilst other crew were being recruited. Although the engine and drivetrain combination of the two cars was planned to be interchangeable in reality there were two very different setups to tune.
Ollie ran The Mob with Mickey Moore as driver, later Jim Usher and Terri-Anne White, the car going as quick as 6.781. In 2016 Ollie sold The Mob, the drivetrain going to the Motor Psycho Team of Adam Gleadow and the rolling chassis passing to the late Ady Randle.
We send our deepest condolences to Ollie's family, to Liz, his sons Jeremy and Richard who spent time at the track helping their Dad, and all his friends that were close to him in the sport.
If you would like to share your memories of Ollie please send them to email@example.com.
Photo of Ollie © and courtesy Lesley Wright.
The Black Pearl.
24th February: Former Pro ET racer Andy Thetford of Insanity Racing is stepping up to Super Pro ET with his new car with a name highly appropriate for the cool colour scheme. Andy writes:
Last weekend was the long awaited reveal of the Insanity Racing '69 Camaro, 'The Black Pearl', which we will be campaigning in Super Pro, thank you to everyone for their lovely comments on FB.
The upgrade was a bit of a shock as I only intended to build a normally aspirated 7.50 TAG Camaro, but after going to see The Finals in Malta I got the turbo bug, and things changed. Firstly it became apparent that it would be cheaper to buy a finished chassis instead of building up the one we had. And so, after getting a pair of turbos and a gearbox from Dave Murdoch and completely rebuilding my 540cui BBC to meet turbo needs, the search was on for a chassis. And as if by magic, Tina Moore put the Obsession Motorsport Camaro up for sale as a roller; job done! Thank you Tina.
So now we have a 540cui, twin turbo fuel injected methanol race car using Fueltech software, in a twin rail Camaro, to say that this has been an easy build (I kept changing my mind), far from it, me being 6'3" was the main issue, the car not being built for someone that tall, but with only a few things to do, the finished car should wake me up.
We hope to be testing in the first half of the year (covid allowing), so please come and say hello.
I would like to thank a few people, Comanche Race Cars, Trevor Hirst, Robinson Race Cars, Webster Race Engineering, Chris Isaacs and Al Mac for all their help and advice (sorry for all the phone calls) and last but not least to Pete Walters of PWRD for an amazing design, worth every penny, cheers Pete. Keep safe everyone and see you all at the track.
24th February: We would like to say a very Happy Birthday to UK Nostalgia Super Stock class organiser Don Scott on behalf of his wife Brigitte. Have a wonderful Birthday Don.
Perfect Light sponsor Cath Napier of the Bad Habit Pro ET team has launched an appeal to raise funds for fellow Pro ET (and Super Gas) racer Jon Turner of Greenfish Racing who suffered a huge fire at his storage unit on 7th February. Cath says "As many of you will have seen, Jon's Sprinter, trailer, track equipment, and all of his spares were completely destroyed. The van was insured, everything else wasn't. Fortunately, the racecar wasn't stored at the unit. Even if you can just spare a fiver or a tenner, please, stick it in the pot as it all adds up. The wonderful drag racing community has always pulled together for one of our own, let's do it again." To donate to Jon please click on this link.
Carnet Zoom this Friday.
23rd February: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for providing an update on the proposed Zoom meeting that we included in Friday's update.
The Zoom meeting for those wishing to talk to the Company dealing with European and indeed worldwide Motorsport Carnets, will take place at 6pm UK time on Friday 26th February; again anyone wishing to take part in the meeting please email me so I can add them to the list of participants.
23rd February: Former Santa Pod commentator Paul Venners has written to tell us some details from his knowledge of Sammy Miller's final runs at the 2002 Speed Freaks Ball which he was commentator for, and video of which (by Bob Valder) we posted a link to on Sunday's update.
"It's a real treasure trove of quality recordings Bob has there. They captured the era perfectly. After posting Bob's link on Sammy's fan page on FB and on a jet and rocket page, the answers confirm Bob's order is correct, the last run with no commentary was a test at the end of the meet with all the safety crew still in place. I announced a few runs that Sammy did at that event; If I remember rightly at this stage he was running at lifestyle events rather than MSA ones".
We're also grateful to hear from G-Max Fuels director Antony Billinton, supplier of fuel to Sammy, who recalls that the runs, Sammy's first in eight years, were in test mode: "We were experimenting with different percentages of fuel, however the composition was still H202, as always; it's chemically identical however it is produced, although there are three main ways of doing this. We had also refreshed the internals of the engine. Regarding the steam coming out of the back of the car, that was not at all dangerous, just oxygen and water.
"The additional run after the spectators had departed was to test different preheat and pressure settings; it was very convenient while the safety crew were kindly still prepared to hang around for us. We did in fact refuel and test again later that day after the test shown on the video, but that was when I drove the car to enable Sammy to observe from the outside what was going on. We finally found the gremlin, and figured out the solution. Unfortunately for obvious reasons we were not able to run the next year. So, effectively by the end of 2002 the car was sat at my place ready to thunder again".
Coincidentally, there has been other footage posted today of the event on the FireForce Jet Funny Cars Facebook page. This footage is edited from the official Speed Freaks Ball 2002 event VHS video, the remainder of which can be seen on the same page. Included is Sammy's last ever interview in typical form, always wanting to go faster, and signed off with his trademark Donald Duck impression.
FireForce jet funny car and dragster racer Martin Hill wrote: "I first met Sammy in the early 80's when I was just setting out with my jet dragsters. Then in the late 80's, early 90's our paths crossed many times as I started to run more frequently with the FireForce 1 Jet Car.
"When myself and Paul Bailey (Horace) had the idea to put on Speed Freaks, a discussion was had with Sammy's lifelong friend Antony Billinton, about how great it would be to get Sammy to the event. It was an absolute honour when Sammy said he would attend the show as it had been a good few years since Sammy was last at the track with his car.
"After the success of the first Speed Freaks Ball, Sammy was already booked to return to the show in 2003 but as we all now know, this was not to happen. "We were all shocked and saddened to hear of Sammy's passing later that same year from an incident unrelated to his cars. We can only thank Sammy for being a friend and a true inspiration".
23rd February: We have another special Birthday to celebrate today. Pro ET racer and back-up girl to various drivers Georgina Smith reaches 50 today and husband Mike Smith wishes her a very Happy Birthday, as do the rest of us at Eurodragster.com, have a special day Georgina.
Other birthdays we wish to mark today are Slingshot Showdown racer Mark Bishop, rocket bike pilot Eric Teboul and Super Pro ET racer Billy Gane. Have a great day all.
For some unaccountable reason we missed the Birthday yesterday of Nitro FM DJ Paul 'Oz' Wright, so a belated Happy Birthday to Oz and we hope you had a grand day.
Happy 60th Dez!
22nd February: We join Iris Krivan who has written from Switzerland to send 60th birthday wishes to her husband and former Top Methanol Funny Car racer Dez Krivan for today (22nd February).
Iris writes "I am very happy that Dez celebrates his birthday in good condition today after his stroke 7 years ago. Dez misses being active in drag racing with his Methanol Funny Car and especially the Santa Pod race track and all our fans.". Have a very Happy Birthday Dez and enjoy your day.
Pioneers' stories - Derek Metcalf, part 3
22nd February: The latest update in our weekly Pioneers of UK drag racing series, told in the original words of the racers, and accompanied by photos and images from their collections, covers the period 1968 and 1969 for Surrey dragster racer Derek Metcalf.
The story covers racing in the wet, a cylinder head engineering innovation and Derek and Pam's second and final car, Strip Star which he campaigned in 1968 and 1969, . You can see the second part of Derek's story by going to this link, or via the new index page for the pioneers' stories, which shows links to the UK drag racing history web sites that provide the wider story and context for the story of the sport. Eurodragster.com thanks racers for providing their stories, and John Hunt and drag racing historian Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature and making archive images available.
Sammy's last run.
21st February: Between 2000 and 2004 husband and wife photography team and long time drag fans Bob and Anni Valder ran a web site with the evocative title feel-the-noise.com displaying photos and video clips of drag racing. Bob and Anni attended many events during the period, travelling up from the South coast to do so. They then decided to go to pastures new, involving amongst other things several trips to the US, and their web site closed.
Fast forward some 17 years, and Bob has been at work on video he recorded at the time but was unable to post with the broadband limitations existing in those days. Bob has now created a new Youtube channel and posted many hi-def videos going back to 2002 and 2003.
Videos cover Shakespeare County Raceway and Santa Pod Raceway and most classes with a concentration on FIA championship classes, jets and rockets. Included is rare footage of rocket legend Sammy Miller's last ever pass on 12th May 2002 at the Speed Freaks' Ball event at SPR. The pass was only five months before he passed away on 29th October that year.
By way of context the Speed Freaks' Ball was organised by jet guru Martin Hill and Paul Bailey as a bikes-plus-thrust vehicles event with a Junior Dragster exhibition. To have Sammy over for his first runs anywhere since 1994 was a big coup for SPR. Despite having gone into the field on the right hand side of the shutdown area the previous day following a 5.429 pass (3.325/230.98 to the eighth), his team worked hard in the evening to get the holes in the car repaired and front wheel straightened for Sunday action. His last pass was 6.258/182.52, shown at the start of the clip before a later checkout after fans had departed, not a full pass but, as recorded by Bob Valder, a testament to Sammy's grit and determination to keep the show on the road. You can see Bob's Drag Racing Archive at this link.
Carnet Zoom meeting planned.
19th February: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for providing an opportunity to racers to ask about carnet arrangements for travelling to the EU:
Following the earlier update regarding Carnets and insurances for EU travel to race meetings, we are now in a position to put together a Zoom meeting to allow Riders & Drivers the opportunity to ask questions of a professional in this field. There are many rumours and misunderstandings about costs and so forth going around the drag racing community, and we would like the chance for anyone looking to travel outside of the UK to ask questions directly to the company who have been dealing with motorsport carnets for many years. Any misunderstandings regarding costs, frequency of visits etc can all be covered and put to bed.
Interested parties please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can get a list and date sorted out for the Zoom meeting (this will be on one evening), hopefully it should only take half an hour of your time, however if you cannot attend a meeting please send me any questions you may have and I will ask the questions in advance of the meeting where they can be discussed, and details forwarded.
We at the SPRC are continuing to research the regulations and will continue to keep you informed as best we can. The Zoom meeting will also be accessible to any of our European Racers; the detailed elements of what will be discussed may not all be relevant to you, but they will be a help in some areas.
On discussing travel into the EU, please note that from the 1st April (not an April fool joke) any vehicle weighing over 3500kg must have 'blind spot' stickers on their vehicle to travel through France, they are known as Angles Morts Stickers and are available from Ebay etc, and look like the above example.
Modurstang Mustang days.
19th February: Pro ET racer and owner of Mustang specialist Modurstang Mike Lacey has released details of a dedicated event for Mustang owners that will take place at Santa Pod Raceway in June:
We are all looking forward to the 2021 race season starting as soon as possible. This year, myself and some of my Mustang owner friends and clubs have rented the track for two days, Thursday and Friday 24th-25th June. This is a Mustang-only event and we will have upwards of 200 cars attending.
I'm hoping some of my race car friends with Mustangs will possibly be able to attend for display and exhibition runs. There will be a heads-up race car class on Friday but this depends on attendance and numbers. The track will be prepped and so you will be able to run your cars. Jon Webster brought his Pro Mod last year for display so hopefully I might be able to convince him to attend again.
Anyone interested in bringing their Mustang race car, please contact me at email@example.com or phone me on my mobile 07774 712000.
19th February: Thanks to announcer and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame inductee John Price for sending a Youtube video that he has discovered of a cycle tour of an abandoned Shakespeare County Raceway, filmed back in 2018 when most of the infrastructure and even equipment was still there. John says 'So many memories'; alternatively our comment is 'Warning - may cause distress'.
Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded two more drag racing videos from his Time Travel series to his Youtube channel. Both use Kenny and Bev Coleman’s betamax video. Time Travel 66 is from York Raceway in 1990-1991 and Silverstone in 1990. Time Travel 67 is from the Big Yank at Long Marston in 1985, then Gary’s Doorslammer Nationals and Internationals at Santa Pod from 1985-1989.
UK Riders' and Drivers' meeting report.
18th February: As mentioned in our update on 21st January, the virtual SPRC riders' and drivers' meeting is available for viewing on Youtube at this link. Below is a summary of the items covered in the video, thanks to SPRC club secretary Ian Marshall for providing details:
The dates and classes of this year's ACU UK and UK National Drag Racing Championship rounds are listed below, together with a table of other non-National classes running at Championship events. You may download and print the full tables in pdf format, including all FIA/FIM-E classes, by going to the links for car classes (2 pages) and bike classes.
All classes for both car and bike will run at the same events as 2019, the one exception being Comp Eliminator, which this year will run at the Green Light Nationals.
The Green Light Nationals will again be a double header event for the bike classes.
Entry Fees for the 2021 season will remain as per 2019 (see table below), unless we have to race under a NON PERMIT race, then the entry fees will be the same as 2020.
PITSIDE POWER AT SANTA POD RACEWAY
The electric fees will also remain as per 2019 (see table below).
The prize fund that would normally rise by 2% each year, for this year will remain as per the 2020 season.
Once we are able to run under permit, all 2019 Champions will be able to use their 2020 free entry status, this is for 2019 Champions in all Sportsman classes only; there will be no free entries for the Covid Cup Series winners.
Stock/Super Stock will be combined in to Comp Eliminator in 2021, with indexes being discussed at present, there will be a minimum ET entry that will allow only cars that can dial below 12.00 we will pass on details of what classes they will be soon. During the Main Event and European Finals Stock/Super Stock will split from Comp and run as their own class with Stock/Super Stock indexes; please note any racer looking to get involved must have an NHRA legal car in order to compete; we will be issuing further information in terms of regulations soon.
The entry system at this link has once again been updated, and now features just one entry form for all race classes, car & Bike, hopefully this will simplify entries to Santa Pod even further.
Pro ET will continue with the new lower class index of 8.50; during the limited time in 2020 it was found to work well, we will continue to use the same index in 2021 with a view to taking input from racers at the end of the season.
Technical regulation changes for 2021:-
All vehicles utilising a full harness must now have a head and neck restraint system; if you race in sportsman ET and don't have a full harness you can continue as you are for the foreseeable future without the head and neck restraint, however should you wish to use one please go ahead, as they are now considered the safer option.
The decibel level for Junior Dragster, Sportsman ET and VW Sportsman has been reduced from 113db to 110 db if you have a muffler or silencer already fitted, you should meet the new requirements, however the Tech crew will be checking later this year to check conformity.
Pro Modified have a new SFI 54.1 flame retardant coating that must be applied to the inner front end body parts (non-metallic) forward of the firewall, additional details can be found in the SPRC/Motorsport UK white book, now available on the SPRC website.
At present we are not sure how the race season will begin, Santa Pod Raceway will be keeping us informed as when we can begin the racing season, and how it will be conducted, whether under permit or non-permit we will have to wait for the Government announcements in order to make decisions as to when and how we begin the season, and what restrictions (if any) are placed upon the track and Racers.
Junior Dragster entries will have an additional child's ticket allocated for 2021, as Santa Pod have had to add a small fee to the under 16 admission cost, hopefully this will only be temporary; to cover this we will add an under 16 ticket to all Junior entries so that the drivers are not having to pay an additional fee.
As mentioned in the video congratulations to the following winners of Perpetual Trophies for 2020:
Most Promising Newcomer: Morgan Wilson (VW Sportsman)
Best appearing Bike: Mark Smith (Funny Bike)
Best Appearing Car: Bobby Wallace Pro Modified
Best Appearing Crew: Ron Bartlett
James Edgar trophy: Phil Baimbridge
Obsession Motorsport trophy: Santa Pod Raceway Staff, for completing the Covid Series under extreme pressure from many sources
Alex Brachtvogel trophy: Julian Parsons, for Nitro FM and many other duties around Santa Pod
John Ledster trophy: Andy Robinson for services to drag racing, SFI, and Drag Race sub committee
Spirit of Santa Pod award: Jon Giles, For all of his help and support to Drag Racing and Santa Pod Raceway
Could all trophy winners please send Ian Marshall a picture of you and perhaps your team (if available) with your trophy, as we would like to put a rogues' gallery together on the SPRC website please.
Mike Key tribute.
17th February: Jon Spoard's site UK Drag Racing News and Nostalgia has been updated with a tribute by Nick Brooke-Langham to late photographer and writer Mike Key, who sadly passed away on Monday.
To read Nick's moving tribute, and view superb photos taken by Mike and Nick (the latter of Mike's three window 1932 Model B hot rod), click on this link.
Custom Car Spring edition.
17th February: The UK's own drag racing, hot rodding and car culture mag Custom Car has a special Spring edition on sale on 19th February and we can reveal several fascinating drag racing features in it:
An eight page feature documents the history of the Chevy II, later known as Chevy Nova, with its development through to the final 1978 model year. Included are photos of many Stateside drag racing examples (UK drag racing versions of the Nova are also available), along with many facts about the marque. The peak of the Nova were the Yenko models, one with a 425hp 427ci engine, the other with a 370hp LT1 350ci enginebuilt by the eponymous dealer based in Pennsylvania.
There is news of Loaded Gunn Racing, based in Chippenham, who are planning an assault on the Bonneville Blown Fuel Lakester I speed record at Bonneville in 2022, with pictures of the construction of their vehicle and contact details. Tony Thacker went to the SCTA race at El Mirage in November, blessed by good weather and a gathering of almost 100 mostly nostalgia racers, a lot of which are shown in his photo report.
Race coverage is of the Dover Drag Strip Nostalgia Drags from Lebanon Valley Dragway, a great nostalgia event incorporating the Mohegan Sun Funny Car Shootout, sponsored by a Connecticut-based casino.
From drag racing roots is the gorgeous 5-window '32 Ford of James Oliver, built by Williams Bros Racing and incorporating chrome, red paint and a 570hp SBC (with more planned). If James can give it a run at a nostalgia meeting instead of his UKNSS Firebird, that would be fine by us. To order a subscription to Custom Car, go to shop.kelsey.co.uk/subscription/CCA. Single copies are available at shop.kelsey.co.uk/issue/CCA. Availability is world-wide.
1989 UK Pro Modified memories.
16th February: Thanks to readers who have expressed appreciation for our features on the history of UK Pro Modified. One particular thanks, with a never-before-published story attached, is from Eurodragster.com sponsor, 1989 Champion and first into the sevens Geof Hauser:
Reading the history of UK Pro Mod part 2 brought back many memories from those hectic seasons in 1988/89. As you can read, it all ended well for me and was without doubt my finest year. More drama to be revealed in part 3 but there is an interesting back story regarding what happened at the SPR World Finals in 1989.
I was on cloud nine after the success of the Summernationals in August where I ran a string of seven second passes and won the event, I decided that a little strategy was required during qualifying for the World Finals at Santa Pod.
In those days the elimination ladder was structured differently and #1 qualifier would meet #5 after four bye runs in the 1st round! At the time, there were five quick cars in Pro Mod and I figured it would be better not to have to meet one too soon in eliminations.
So, on my first qualifying run I got to about 1200 feet, backed off the throttle and de-clutched then heard a strange noise which took me totally by surprise. It was actually the motor free-wheeling against the 8600 rpm rev limiter. The throttle had stuck open (the only time it ever did) and it just completely threw me. As soon as I realised what was happening and killed the ignition, one of the con rods decided that it didn’t want to play anymore and came out of the side of the block. We had still qualified #3 with an 8.06.
As we were chasing points and the championship was still within reach, John Everitt (who was crewing with me after crashing his own car the previous year) and I took the car straight back home to fit the old Mopar 440 Super Gas engine. We were back at the track by the end of the day ready for eliminations and to try and salvage some points.
The old 440 wasn’t going to get us very far, but having enjoyed a bye in the first round, we had some luck in the second when Trevor Hirst damaged his trans on the startline when his nitrous activated with the transbrake, and we had got to the semi’s. Our day ended there but the car didn’t embarrass itself and still ran a couple of 8.60s with a totally mis-matched setup.
Immediately after the event I got another block, got it machined, got rods, pistons, some valves and got the original 500” engine rebuilt for the Fireworks meeting, where we were back in the sevens. I managed to re-use the crank, cam and most of the engine parts, and felt incredibly lucky that I managed to turn off the free-revving engine the split second before it grenaded.
Looking back at my old race notes it has reminded me how much work was done between every race, and also how much energy I must have had then! Good days though.
Thanks also to drag racing historian and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame director Jerry Cookson for locating an article on Geof's Sierra Cosworth by Tony Beadle which was published in Street Machine August 1988, only a few months after its debut.
Built to replace the pink Sierra XR4i which crashed at Santa Pod Raceway in July 1986 and from which Geof was only able to salvage the engine and transmission, it was built between November 1986 and August 1987. Geof, funding the build himself, used TIG-welded chrome moly tubing with ideas having been obtained from US builders such as Don Ness and Gateway Race Cars of Illinois.
Although the Cosworth bodyshell was donated by Ford Geof made glass fibre copies of much of it with only the roof, side and rear three quarters being steel panels. This contributed to the light 2150lb weight.
The Mopar based engine displaced 500ci through a 426 Hemi crank stroked by 0.4 inches. Venolia pistons gave a 12:1 compression ratio, and other internals were state of the art such as the Crane cam which gave a 0.690 inch lift (a 0.8 inch lift one was also planned). Koffel cylinder heads were fed by 1150 Holley carburettors with MSD ignition. The headers and sump were made by Geof and oil circulation was through aircraft spec stainless steel hoses.
A Torqueflite gearbox was replaced by a Lenco unit in 1989 with a Hays clutch replacing the previous torque convertor. Power went to a Dana 60 rear axle with Strange Engineering half shafts.
Geof was able to break into the sevens with this naturally aspirated setup and win the 1989 Championship, however 1990 proved not to be as successful as we will see in Part 3.
Photos courtesy Jon Spoard (top) and Jerry Cookson (middle and bottom).
Mad Welshman wins.
16th February: Congratulations to Paul Evans, also known as the Flickr-posting Mad Welshman, for winning the 2nd Annual RRRC Supernationals, the third event in the Winter series of online drag racing organised by the Rip Rap Racers Club co-ordinator and honorary Eurodragster.com member Spencer Tramm.
It was Paul's first RRRC win. He drove a '53 Chevrolet pickup to defeat Mark Bishop in the final round, having beaten Luke Mugridge in the semi finals; Mark had defeated Jon Crawford in other semi. Watch out for details about the RRRC on Eurodragster.com or the series' Facebook page.
16th February: Big congratulations and very best wishes to our Kieran who has announced his engagement yesterday to Ellie Feltham.
15th February: We were greatly saddened to hear the news that Mike Key, photographer for Hot Rod and Custom Car magazines and hot rodder, passed away last night.
Mike worked at National Drag Racer and Hot Car in the mid 1970s. From then until the early 2000s he was a contributing photographer to Custom Car, Street Machine and several other magazines around the drag racing and hot rodding scene in the UK. He provided some outstanding cover photos for National Drag Racer, three of which we display below. He was also involved in the National Street Rod Association. As well as photographing dragsters, hot rods and customs, he spent much time building his Ford Model B called 'Honky Chateau,' which was featured in the June 1976 edition of Hot Car, being subject to a full road test by Assistant Editor Ian Penberthy.
Amongst the books he authored or co-authored are Fins & the Fifties - The Cars, The Chrome, The Culture; Corvette: The All-American Sports Car (both with Tony Thacker); Street Action - Style and Power on Main Street USA (with David Jacobs and Andrew Morland) and Wild Lead Sleds.
Our thoughts and deepest condolences go to his wife June, the rest of his family and friends.
Picture of Mike at 1981 Santa Pod World Finals courtesy and © Bob Roberts.
Pioneers' stories - Derek Metcalf, part 2.
15th February: The latest update in our Pioneers of UK drag racing series, told in the original words of the racers, and accompanied by photos and images from their collections, covers the period 1964 to 1967 for Surrey dragster racer Derek Metcalf.
The story covers the 1964 Drag Fest event at Blackbushe on 4th October, when Derek's Wombat dragster made its debut, and goes to the car's final year of competition in 1967. You can see the second part of Derek's story by going to this link, or via the new index page for the pioneers' stories, which shows links to the UK drag racing history web sites that provide the wider story and context for the story of the sport. Eurodragster.com thanks racers for providing their stories, and John Hunt and drag racing historian Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature and making archive images available.
Acceleration Archive's tribute to Lawrie.
14th February: Many thanks to Alan Currans of the excellent Acceleration Archive site, which he tells us has been updated in tribute to Lawrie Gatehouse, with material from the Chaos AA/FA web site which Alan updated regularly until the car was retired at the National Finals in 2015:
Eurodragster.com readers will be aware of the sad passing of Lawrie Gatehouse last year. I had the pleasure of knowing Lawrie and working with him, initially by publishing a collection of his pictures and magazine articles on The Acceleration Archive. It seemed only natural when he decided to go racing with his double A Fuel Altered Chaos that I should create and maintain the team's website which I did between 2007 and 2015 when the car was retired. The website was taken off line not long afterwards and the files have resided on my computer ever since. I recently decided that it would be a fitting gesture to commemorate Lawrie's huge contribution to the sport for the site to be made available for viewing once again.
If you are interested in learning about this low six second machine and the people who made it all possible there is a link on the What's New page.
14th February: Hayley Fyfe asked us to join with her in wishing a very Happy Birthday to Rob and Pete Brown (Marra 1 and Marra 2) who turn 32 today. She added 'Another year in the fast lane. We will celebrate in true Marra style when we can! Best wishes and Love from all of the Rebel team'. Have a great day Rob and Pete.
Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded two more drag racing videos from his Time Travel series to his Youtube channel. Both use Kenny and Bev Coleman’s betamax video. Time Travel 64 is from Long Marston Raceway in 1989 and in 1990 when it was renamed Avon Park, including Fuel Altered and Pro Mod footage. Time Travel 65 is from York Raceway in 1989, including Top Alcohol and Super Gas highlights.
Steve Foreman uncovered a posting of an important Castrol colour film of the 1964 Drag Fest at Blackbushe to Youtube. Not only is the film quality excellent, complete with period commentary, but there is footage of Sidney Allard interviewing "TV" Tommy Ivo between his Top Fuel Dragster passes. Action includes Ivo vs Garlits, "Ohio" George Montgomery, K.S. Pittman, Tony Nancy, Ronnie Sox and the Allard Chrysler dragster defeating Dante Duce in 'Moonbeam' sports car.
Feature: The history of UK Pro Modified - part 2.
13th February: Our latest historical feature, supported by Lucas Oil Products focuses on the Pro Modified class in 1988 and 1989, following our previous feature. We describe the start of the Pro Modified Racers Association, commencement of an official championship, and races at both Santa Pod Raceway and Long Marston/Avon Park Raceway. The feature includes over 115 photographs of the cars, stories of races and results for those years, together with car details from the period.
Thanks go to drag racing historian and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame director Jerry Cookson and PMRA founder Mick Harle for for supplying archive material and memories back in the day. You can see our feature by clicking here or by clicking the features, interviews, tributes link from the main menu.
Photo © Martin Bradley.
Request for 1989 APR programme.
13th February: Jerry Cookson has been in touch, looking for a copy or scans of a programme for the 1989 Euro Serie/ACU Championship round held at Avon Park Raceway on 24th-25th June. Jerry says 'I have a lot of my own photos, which will get published soon, and reports from the events but no programmes. Even any advertising flyers or magazine ads would be handy to have. In fact, I have very little in the way of Avon Park programmes from 1989 and would be interested in copies from the ACU Finals on 1st-2nd September too, as all I have is a copy of the video produced by DD Productions. If anyone can help please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or by Facebook.
Urgent BBC sale required.
13th February: Reader Dean Scicluna has a 540 ci Big Block Chevy engine for sale which he needs to have off his hands in four weeks' time. He says "It's got a 8-71 BDS Supercharger and outputs 800+hp. Condition is hardly used, in absolutely mint condition, done hardly any miles.
Detailed specs are shown on our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet and we have posted a gallery of photos supplied by Dean. The price of £8999 is negotiable and you can contact Dean on email@example.com.
ATA Carnet requirements.
12th February: Following on for SPRC's travel advice in our news update on 8th January, thanks to Ian King who has prepared a document explaining the ATA Carnet requirements, costs and how to apply.
A Carnet de Passages en Douane (CPD) is basically a government document you complete that has vehicle and goods details of what you are taking out of the country outlined within it; a voucher is then stamped when leaving the UK and then stamped again when returning to the UK. Ian says 'This applies to any person wishing to participate in shows, exhibitions and races of all disciplines. It will be useful for the drag racing community to see it as it applies equally to those racers who wish to travel outside the UK with their race vehicles.
Ian's document, which corresponds with advice issued by Motorsport UK, can be found by clicking here.
Benito to Pro Mod.
12th February: UK racer Benito Chiarella plans to enter the Motorsport UK Pro Modified wars with a car bought from the late Swedish Pro Mod racer Johan Westberg's family.
Benito said: 'It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to race Pro Mod, so last September my wife Aimee, son Enzo and I did a 3,000 mile round trip to Sweden to collect the car. Thanks to Michael Westberg, Ingela Bjälvik Westberg and their lovely family for their help. We hope Johan, who was taken from us far too young, approves and we will not let you down. We plan to run the car with a turbocharged Hemi engine and will be building the engine from Alan Johnson parts. We are also building our own intake and exhaust system. The transmission will be Bruno Lenco'.
The car, originally built in the US by Ty Baumgartner, has work on the chassis and body and been at Route 52 Auto Repair Bodyshop for paint with pictures released in the last few days. 'We’re 90 percent there with the bodywork now thanks to Route 52 for pulling night shifts painting the Camaro'. Other work will be done by Benito's company Straight To The Point Racing, based in Whatton, Notts, which supplies Precision Turbos, ECUs as well as undertaking race car and engine builds.
Benito hopes to give the car a debut at Santa Pod Raceway this year, following which licensing runs will take place; a test run in Dad George Chiarella's Straight To The Point '37 Ford Coupe produced a 8.35/153 ET slip last year, and his own Mustang has a best of 9.00/157.
Post & Dros MSD and Racepak advice.
12th February: Thanks to Remco Scheelings for providing an update of interest to anyone wanting advice on MSD and Racepak products from Dick Koster:
Despite Dick starting a new job on January 1st 2021, he will still remain connected to Post & Dros Performance Parts and he will still be able to support European racers and teams in their need for MSD and Racepak systems and parts.
Post & Dros Performance Parts, based in Dronten, The Netherlands, are the European distributor for many leading engine parts and motorsport brands. As a Post & Dros employee, Dick Koster was responsible for the MSD and Racepak brands in the shop and in recent years he attended almost all FIA European Championship races and tractor pulling events for trackside support service to teams, crew chiefs and drivers.
Dick will remain connected to Post & Dros Performance Parts for MSD and Racepak products, parts and support. He will concentrate on MSD and Racepak work one day a week, and some evenings. He will also attend most of the FIA European Championship races and some tractor pulling events to continue his highly appreciated trackside support. It will no longer be possible to use the ‘old’ Facebook messenger account or mobile phone and WhatsApp number. So for all quotations, orders, questions and queries, please use the email address below. Please be aware that it will no longer be possible for him to reply immediately, so please allow plenty of time with your orders or questions for support.
Dick's new contact details are firstname.lastname@example.org, and on mobile phone and WhatsApp number +31 618 574 836.
SPRC team information request.
10th February: SPRC race official Yvonne Tramm has been in touch with a request for team information to assist in race organisation and points scoring.
She said "I am putting together a list of all teams intending to field more than one driver or rider for the same vehicle for 2021. I need name of your team, your race number, plus the names of the drivers or riders. I would be grateful if teams can e-mail me on email@example.com with your details. Many thanks for your response".
8th February: Today we start a new weekly series of stories of Pioneers of UK drag racing.
Former drag racer and event organiser John Hunt has contacted the pioneers, acquired their stories and transcribed them for Eurodragster.com to publish with original photos. The inspiration for people to become involved was the visits of U.S. racers Dante Duce and Mickey Thompson in 1963 and the Drag Fests in 1964 and 1965. The accounts are exclusive to Eurodragster.com, told in the original words of the racers, and have been accompanied by photos and images from their collections. Eurodragster.com thanks racers for providing their stories, and John Hunt and drag racing historian Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature and making archive images available.
Our first storyteller is Surrey dragster racer Derek Metcalf who, with wife Pam, discovered drag racing at a visit to the Brighton Speed Trials in 1963 where he saw the dragsters of Dean Moon and Mickey Thompson. He soon starting to build his own car based on his own chassis design, working out all the engineering problems himself, assisted closely by Pam. The car was ready by the final 1964 Drag Fest event at Blackbushe on 4th October. You can see the first part of Derek's story by going to this link, or via the new index page for the pioneers' stories, which shows links to the UK drag racing history web sites that provide the wider story and context for the story of the sport.
8th February: Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded five more drag racing videos from his Time Travel series to his Youtube site. All use Kenny and Bev Coleman’s betamax video from events in the 1980s and 1990:
"I want to wish my Dad, Nigel, a very Happy Birthday! He's one of the most supportive people in the drag racing scene and has helped so many people with race cars over the years and also helps many people sell their cars each month with his Facebook group "unusual car sales uk". I hope you'll all join me in wishing him a fantastic day. We can't wait to see you all at the track again!"
Photos courtesy of Callum Pudge
Nitro bike opportunity.
7th February: Thanks to Nick Saunders for passing on an appeal for crew members for a nitro twin motorcycle team:
Shawn Rodman's new nitro twin built by Al Smith has been ready to debut for the past year or so, and with the hope of track time and racing resuming in the near future, Shawn is looking for a new crew member or members. Previous experience with injected nitro systems would be of benefit but isn't essential. As with any team position, commitment and willingness to turn up and muck in are the key traits. Please can interested parties contact Shawn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flamholc trying out no-prep.
7th February: Ex-pat Swedish Pro Mod racer Adam Flamholc's 2021 season has already got under way thanks to being based in Cape Coral, Florida with races being held during the winter months. At at Orlando Speed World Dragway at the World Street Nationals last November, Adam had brought out his trusty '63 Corvette which had ran a 5.82 with a Whipple supercharger. At Orlando he qualified 8th and went to the second round where he was defeated by Todd Tutterow in a close race.
Heading up to Bradenton Motorsports Park on 26th January for testing before the US Street Nationals, alongside around 50 Pro Mod cars, Adam ran 3.652/205.57 on the eighth mile track. Then in qualifying he carded a 3.670/203.89, but suffered neck pain to the extent that he withdrew from the event as a driver, handing the driving over to Steve Wiley. With only one qualifying session left, Steve ran 6.481 which was short of the 3.967 to make the 32 car field. The team then headed out for Adam to get some medical advice, the event also having been marred by the accidental death of track marshal Dan Stone in a top end incident.
Over the next couple of weeks Adam will be putting the finishing touches to a no-prep racing Nova that has been at Chris Duncan Racecars in Illinois for chassis upgrades before a screw blower engine built by Adam is to be installed. Testing will commence mid-February. Two young crewmembers with Adam, William Serler and Thomas Monsenego have created a Youtube channel, to be updated regularly with what's going on here at Adam's shop, at the racetracks, and on his travels in US, Europe and Russia.
Corvette photo by Racing Outlawz.
7th February: Nigel Taylor from the Unusual Car Sales UK Facebook group has written with a birthday wish including a new car build snippet:
"Can I wish a very Happy Birthday to my good mate Kelvin “Flathead” Helsdown who will be 56 today. Kelvin is well known for his flathead car collection, VHRA racing, hill climbs and drag racing as well as having a few nice cars, and will be debuting his gorgeous 50's Oldsmobile this year being built at Valley Gas Speedshop With a 9.5 litre Procharged motor (originally in the Boston Brawler before the Procharger was added).
"Thanks Kelvin for getting me back from the pub in all them drunken times, for the friendship and laughs over the years and support you have given me and the Detroit Spinner racing team when needed". Have a great day Kelvin from all of us at Eurodragster.com.
Oxford Builder resurrection.
6th February: Thanks to UK Tech Crew member Clive McCready for an update on a restoration of a well known Jaguar engined altered from the 1980s and early 90s:
Many people will know Geoff Martin as the founder and former head of the UK Tech Crew and the very first FIA Technical Delegate for drag racing in Europe. Many older hands will remember Geoff also campaigned the 9 second Oxford Builder II, a Jaguar powered flip-up Reliant Kitten bodied Altered, back in the 80's and 90's where he competed alongside other legendary Jaguar powered cars such as Stripteaser and Paranoia to name but two.
Geoff retired from racing at the end of 1992 having competed in around 125 meetings and winning numerous trophies, including the Drag Racing News Best Prepared Car. At the time the car was fitted with a nitrous equipped 300bhp engine which was sold separately from the rest of the car.
We're not entirely sure where the original engine ended up but the car passed through several hands and was the subject of many rumours over the years before it was tracked down in Leeds by UK Tech Crew member Dave Cumbridge in early 2017 and a plan was hatched to acquire the car and restore it back to somewhere near its former glory.
Dave and Clive McCready (another member of the UK Tech Crew and author of this piece) bought the car as a joint venture in April 2017 and have been chipping away at it ever since. At some point it had been fitted with a water cooled Ford V8 running on petrol, along with oversize slicks which fouled the body, it'd also been sitting outside for a while and was in a very sorry state overall, but reasonably complete - luckily it was still fitted with the original Compomotive wheels and Mark Williams rear axle.
Jaguar straight six engines are nowhere near as plentiful as they were back in the day, but we tracked one down, rebuilt it and it's now installed in the car exactly as the original, albeit now with an auto 'box rather than the original Clutchflite transmission setup as the car will never race in competition again (the chassis is too old and although we could replace the chassis with a new one, it wouldn't be the same car of course), we also won't be running nitrous for the same reason but it will run on methanol just like the original.
Geoff has been involved in the resurrection as much as possible including sourcing and rebuilding a head and set of carbs to run on methanol, he's also had a sit in the car (yes, he still fits - just) and a reminisce about the good ol' days. He may not have seen the car for decades until recently, but he remembers every detail and has been an invaluable source of information over the past couple of years.
The aim is to have the car ready for Dragstalgia this year (pandemic permitting) but we are short of a few parts. We've picked up a few generous sponsors including Nick Curtis of AJS Bodyworks in Bournemouth who's very kindly offered to paint the body in the original colour scheme, along with Tim Read (another member of the UK Tech Crew and one of the original sponsors back in the day) and Steve Young who ran Autocat way back when. Plus help and advice from others including Mark Norton who succeeded Geoff as Head of the UK Tech Crew.
So here comes the begging bit: we are seeking help from the drag racing community with a few other items - if anyone has an out of date transmission blanket and/or parachute they'd consider donating (either for free or for a small fee) we'd be very grateful, along with any other surplus Jaguar straight six components and maybe a Methanol fuel pump. Remember the car won't be running in competition so we don't necessarily need in-tag items, we just want to get the car safely back on the track where it belongs for Geoff and his wife (and glamorous former back-up girl) Pauline.
You can contact Dave and Clive via the Facebook page entitled The Oxford Builder Resurrection - any help getting this iconic car back on track will be most appreciated. Thank you one and all.
Skye moving up to VWDRC.
6th February: Sharron, Jerry and Scott Collier have been in touch to wish daughter and sister Skye Collier a very Happy Birthday today (6th February).
"Skye will be 16, she’s been working so hard with online learning, obviously can’t see her friends or go anywhere for her birthday so we are trying to make it a bit special regardless. She is out of juniors now and will be racing in VWDRC this season, she can’t wait". Sharron adds how proud the family are of Skye and they love her very much. Have a great day Skye from all of us at Eurodragster.com.
A trophy for Big Keith.
1st February: Many thanks to No Prep series organiser Paul Marston for an update on 2021 plans:
The 2021 No Prep season kicks off at Melbourne Raceway with No Prep Nationals 4 19th-20th June 2021. No Prep is 1/8th Mile, heads up, doorslammer racing, a non prepped surface, featuring two classes, Big Tyre and Small Tyre (10 ½ inch Tread width max). Other than safety, there are no rules, run what ya brung and hope you brung enough! Big cash prize money is at stake with a lot of prestige for the winners.
As reported last week on Eurodragster.com, we lost one of our own Keith Alder-Barber, co-owner of Big Tyre car the Heavy Chevy with Dave Caruso. Known to all of us, Keith was a lovely man. Not a finer human being and all out racer you could ever wish to meet. Things are still very raw and we remain in shock at the loss of this friend to so many. We wanted to do something to remember Keith by, so, with permission from the Alder-Barber family, Dave Caruso has stepped up and will be having a special trophy commissioned. A perpetual trophy will be presented at No Prep Nationals 4, known as the Keith Alder-Barber Memorial Trophy. When Dave came to us with this idea, it seemed the perfect way to honour Keith and we look forward to seeing who will be the first name engraved on it.
The entry is open and there has been a steady stream of who’s who in the UK No Prep drag racing world entering. Our FB page No Prep Drag Racing has been posting pictures on entries as they come in.
Last week we had our first international entry, we have been asked not to disclose the car until it has arrived safely from Las Vegas but its scheduled be here in time for No Prep Nats 4. Its a paid up entry and the car will be driven by none other than Nigel Hull, who is a pretty big name is certain circles. If you know him, you should have a pretty good idea what it will be based on.
As you read this there are still entries available, so don’t delay and enter today, you can secure your spot with a deposit, or pay the full amount. Simply email email@example.com or call/text Paul on 07831 650230 or message us on our No Prep Drag Racing Facebook Page. Like or follow the page to be kept up to date on the teams entered.
Once again our thanks to Trevor Duckworth and the Straightliners organisation for hosting us. All the race teams entered and the fans who support us, lastly but by no means least Eurodragster.com for keeping everyone informed during these difficult times we find ourselves in (Ed: Thanks and stay safe!).
Gooding wins in RRRC.
1st February: Congratulations to Jack Gooding for winning the 2nd Annual RRRC Springnationals, the second event in the Winter series of online drag racing organised by the Rip Rap Racers Club co-ordinator and honorary Eurodragster.com member Spencer Tramm.
It was Jack's first RRRC win. He drove a '57 Chevy two-door hard top to defeat our own Kieran in the final round, having beaten Eurodragster.com sponsor Peter Walters in Peter's second straight semi final; Kieran had defeated Cal Ellswood in other semi. Watch out for details about the RRRC on Eurodragster.com or the series' Facebook page.
Event coverage plans.
1st February: Eurodragsterholics and other followers will be pleased to see our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored coverage plans for 2021 which have been posted on our event coverage page. Our plans include all UK National SPRC Championship rounds, nostalgia events, lifestyle events and five FIA rounds. We also plan to cover the No Prep Nationals and, if our energy and budget allows, the North vs South Shootout at Melbourne Raceway.
As before, event coverage plans are subject to change based on Covid restrictions at the time, travel requirements moving in our favour (not being a fan of staying in an airport hotel for two weeks and consequently missing later events) and unforseen technical limitations. See you at the track!
Who's the King of the Street?
30th January: Many thanks to Santa Pod Raceway Events Manager James Forster for an exclusive preview of an exciting new event in British drag racing involving both tracks:
Is it really a street car? We’ve all heard it. Whether it’s in the local pub, on the internet or in the grandstand, the whole street car debate has raged on for what feels like an eternity and everyone seems to have a different definition for the term “street car”. Even the popular Street Eliminator class comes under scrutiny at times. Now, we have the answer.
Over the Spring bank holiday weekend on the 1st-3rd May, we’re pleased to announce a collaboration of Santa Pod Raceway and Melbourne Raceway to bring you an all new street car event in the form of Street Weekend. In a tip of the hat to the coveted Hot Rod Drag Week in the USA, we’re looking at a similar format where drivers need to set and submit a time at Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire before driving around 200 miles to Melbourne Raceway in York to set a time on day 2 before returning back to Santa Pod and setting a final time on the 3rd day. Times from the 3 days will be totalled together and the racer with the lowest TOTAL ET will be deemed the winner. Follow all Street Weekend developments at www.street-weekend.santapod.com
In summary, we’re looking at around 400 miles on the road across 3 days whilst also recording a time on track on each of those days. Track conditions will be different on each day too with a RWYB at Santa Pod on day 1, an unprepped 1/8 mile challenge at York on day 2 and finally a Performance RWYB with fully prepped track at Santa Pod on day 3. It’s quite plausible that we could see a different car on top of the charts on each day. If you can’t complete the street miles, you’re out – it’s a simple as that. Support vehicles are permitted (no car trailers) and you can bolt on whatever tyres you like at the track.
We all know that street eliminator cars are probably the quickest street legal cars on track in the Country right now, but can they really handle that level of road miles? There’s no room for trailer queens here, we’re really going to find out who’s King of the Street!
Visit rwyb.co.uk/street-weekend.php for full details.
29th January: We were shocked and sorry to hear that Big Keith Alder-Barber, joint owner of the Heavy Chevy, passed away on Monday. Dave Caruso, the other co-owner of the car, writes in tribute:
Me and Keith set out five years ago to buy something a little different; the legend Barry Grimes found us a 58 Chevy, a big old land yacht.. The car really resembled Keith, big but very lovable; it was love at first sight so we bought it, I told Keith it didn’t need much work doing, two years later and with the help of Barry again and an obscene amount of money, the Heavy Chevy was born.
We loved taking the car out on the street, Keith was in his element and drove it with pride to car shows. We ventured to Santa Pod where we ran a very impressive 12.7 seconds, but my need for speed was greater than Keith’s and, without him knowing and with the help of Rob Loaring and Nick Davies from I.C.E., a new engine was built. I took the old engine out, sold it, and put the new one in. Keith was astounded; he took it to Santa Pod and ran a 10.8. He couldn’t believe it. At the end of the season, with Keith‘s blessing this time, we took the engine out and again sent it to Nick and Rob. I remember Rob's words, "Well, how fast you want to go?" "Nine seconds", I said. "Leave it to me." I did!
I remember the day when I broke it to Keith that our modified 582 was ready to be picked up, but there was a big bill to pay…After a nosebleed, chewing my ears off and a big slap with his very large hands to the back of my head, we picked up the engine and with a bit of skulduggery we set off to Santa Pod. The first run out was 9.7. Keith was ecstatic, "We have finally reached our goal", he said. He looked at me and he said "No, Dave, no more". I remember those fateful words. After a new gearbox and shock absorbers gave Keith‘s credit card another good bashing we later ran a 9.1.
Now Keith had the bug, "Let’s get it into the eights," he said. And sadly that’s where we’re at, the car is in bits again, the engine is with Rob and Nick, and a new gearbox is being built, all ready for this season.
My dear friend Keith was taken from us by the horrendous disease Covid. Keith was taken into hospital on Boxing Day, he fought it for 27 days before he went to sleep.
On Monday my phone rang and it was Keith‘s daughter Rachael. As soon as I saw her name on the phone I knew, I was beside myself, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, why, why did he have to go, this is so unfair, he is such a good man.
Keith was a very successful businessman, he had a loving wife and daughter and family whom he adored. He had everything to live for, his life was ended way too early, so unfair.
I will miss meeting up with him on race day at the petrol station in Hemel Hempstead with all the boys, from where we set off in convoy following behind Keith's rather extravagant motorhome where he catered for us like a Michelin star restaurant. Everyone was always welcome. He had a story for every occasion. Such great memories...
Keith's kindness, generosity and zest for life is what made him so special. His big size was only overshadowed by the size of his heart, his generosity and wanting to help everyone, which is what set him apart from everyone else.
I’m sure everyone who was fortunate enough to meet Keith will have their own memories. He was a real good man, one of the best. Your memory will live on in our car, and I promise you we will take it from strength to strength .Our eight second goal will continue.
Finally I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Elaine and Rachael, Keith‘s wife and daughter and all of his family at this very difficult time. I won’t say goodbye because I know you will be with me when we cross the finish line in the 8s.
Race in peace Big Keith.
John Charlton funeral details.
28th January: Many thanks to drag racing historian and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame director Jerry Cookson for passing on details of the funeral of 1970s-80s drag bike racer John Charlton who sadly passed away on 11th January:
The funeral is on Tuesday 2nd February at 11.00am GMT. It will be streamed by funeral media company Obitus and you can see the ceremony on-line by clicking here and entering the username Nequ9100 and password 037923.
John's widow Kate conveys her thanks to all the messages of condolence and sympathy from fellow drag racers and friends who knew John from his 70s/80s era, placed recently on social media since the announcement was made. One comment from a former colleague of John at tool company Norbar, Andy Ball, recalls how he joined the company as an apprentice at the same time that John left: "Some 30 years later and his name regularly pops up in conversation at Norbar. He clearly made quite an impression on everyone he met, both at work and the track. I'm sure he's running some quick times up there".
Jerry says "Recently I came across one of John's trophies that he was presented in 1979 in winning the NDRC Midlands Overall Motorcycle Champion with his radical VW drag bike Lucifer. John won the championship by one point from Pat Coogan. Pete Smith was third. All rounds were raced at Long Marston Raceway. The trophy was presented by my mum at the annual awards evening held at the Saracens Head, Stratford Road, Shirley, Birmingham. The trophy has now been freshened up and will be given back to Kate and the Charlton family. The trophy ran for 10 years and in that period it passed through the custodianship of Terry Sidebottom, Tom Vivian, John Davies, Tony Wynne-Jones, Duncan Barron and Paul Grosvenor".
Photos from Jerry Cookson collection.
Video of service in memory of Nev.
25th January: Thanks to retired Eurodragster.com editor Tog for informing us that a video of the celebration of life for the late Neville "Nev The Rev" Motterhead at The Rowan Chapel, Stockport Crematorium held on Monday 18th January is now available on Youtube courtesy of Dreamsounds Media Group Ltd and celebrant Alan Keegan.
You can watch the celebration of life for Nev by clicking here.
Photo courtesy and © Tog.
25th January: Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded three more drag racing videos from his Time Travel series to his Youtube site. Time Travel 56 uses Harold Martin's cine film from 1976-1984 at Santa Pod and Blackbushe, Time Travel 57 using Kenny and Bev Coleman’s cine film and video from Blackbushe 1973, Long Marston 1980 and York Raceway 1980 and 1985, and Time Travel 58 uses Kenny and Bev Coleman’s betamax video from York Raceway 1985 and 1986. All are well worth seeing and are substantial in length for the long winter days and nights.
Veedub Racing videographer Simon Letkey has been at work editing compilation videos of the categories he specialises in covering, the first is Best VW Golfs filmed Mk1 to Mk7. This production is followed by Best of VW Aircooled Drag Racing. The last compilation for now is Best Audis filmed. The 52 minutes of clips represent Simon's best quality footage over the years. He adds: "Lets hope 2021 brings us all some good racing. Thanks for watching, and stay tuned for more footage".
Will wins RRRC event.
25th January: Congratulations to Will Clark for winning the 2nd Annual RRRC Winternationals the first in what will undoubtedly be a Winter series of online drag racing organised by the Rip Rap Racers Club co-ordinator and honorary Eurodragster.com member Spencer Trammm.
Will used a Radial vs The World-style turbo Firebird to defeat Jon Crawford in the final round, having beaten Eurodragster.com sponsor Peter Walters in the semi final; Jon Crawford had defeated Chris Grabham in other semi final. Watch out for details about the RRRC on Eurodragster.com or the series' Facebook page.
SPRC membership renewal.
24th January: Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm of Santa Pod Racers Club who has reminded us of the need to renew memberships:
Now that the racing calendar has been published it is time to check whether your SPRC membership is due. You can renew by clicking here. Any queries please email me at : firstname.lastname@example.org.
24th January: The Mad Welshman has uploaded to his Flickr account several compilation albums covering different vehicle types. Mad says "Despite not attending as many events last year as usual we still managed to take a surprising amount of pics, so decided to pull together a few 2020 compilation albums of different vehicle types that had the most photos, split out into Mustangs, Escorts, Hot Rods & Altereds and Anglias (all marques from stock, rodded to Outlaw!)." You can see Mad's photos by going to this link.
Jon Giles has announced he will be racing Tim Adam's Brogie Roadster in Pro ET this year, after a 2018 'retirement' that lasted less than three years. He said "Little did I know how hard it is to leave this sport and fingers crossed I won't be trying that again in the near future".
FIM-E dates, rules released.
23rd January: Many thanks to Job Heezen for supplying the dates of the 2021 FIM-Europe Drag Bike Championship rounds which, along with the 2021 championship rules, are shown at the FIM web site. The rounds are:
Pro Stock, Top Fuel, Super Twin, Super Street Bike:
30th April-2nd May: Kunmadaras, Hungary (Super Street Bike only)
29th-31st May: Santa Pod Raceway, England
10th-13th June: Tierp Arena, Sweden (TBA)
8th-10th July: Kauhava, Finland (TBA)
27th-29th Auugust: Hockenheim, Germany
9th-12th September: Santa Pod Raceway, England
Junior Drag Bike Cup 29th-31st May: Santa Pod Raceway, England
10th-13th June: Tierp Arena, Sweden (TBA)
8th-10th July: Kauhava, Finland (TBA)
9th-12th September: Santa Pod Raceway, England
Keep an eye on Eurodragster.com for news regarding the yet-to-be-confirmed rounds at Tierp and Kauhava. Covid travel restrictions may well have an impact on the racing fields.
Feature: The history of UK Pro Modified - part 1.
23rd January: "The barely running tick over, nitrous purges and the left hand front wheel dangling a foot higher than the right past the tree. Funny cars with doors", as described by one fan. Pro Modifieds have captured the drag racing world's attention since the class originated. But how did it start, and who were the pioneers that later spearheaded some incredible performance gains with rapid engineering advances?
Our latest historical feature, supported by Lucas Oil Products describes the start of the class in the UK in detail from its origins in a number of invitational races in the mid 1980s, and includes over 40 photographs of the cars and race results for 1986 and 1987, together with car details from the period. Future parts, each covering two years, will highlight the advances, together with organisational challenges as described by Mick Harle who founded the Pro Modified Racers Association in 1988.
We are grateful to drag racing historian and director of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Jerry Cookson for supplying archive material. You can see our feature by clicking here or by clicking the features, interviews, tributes link from the main menu.
UK Riders' and Drivers' meeting to be podcast.
21st January: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for an update on arrangements for this year's UK Riders' and Drivers' meeting:
As we are all aware, with the current Covid restrictions in place, social gatherings are not an option for the time being. Normally at this time, we would be releasing details of the UK Riders' and Drivers' meeting. The plan for 2021 is to still have a meeting as such, but this will be a podcast from Santa Pod Raceway; the date is to be confirmed, and of course, we will let you know in plenty of time when it will be, as we may not be able to do this live.
With a membership of more than 500, unfortunately we cannot have the Riders' and Drivers' meeting as a Zoom meeting, as our capacity for Zoom is 100 attendees. Also, a live podcast with comments switched on will allow non-members to interject. Hence we have no option but to have a non-live podcast and ask for all questions and comments to be sent in advance by e-mail.
Therefore it is more important now than it has ever been that any questions you wish to raise are emailed to SPRC at email@example.com so that we have the opportunity to answer any points raised during the podcast. Santa Pod Raceway CEO Keith Bartlett will also be in attendance as he would like to take the opportunity to speak to you all. As in past years, a summary of the points covered in the podcast will be published on Eurodragster.com. Supplementary questions arising from the podcast can be dealt with by e-mail to SPRC following the podcast.
Please note that the Podcast is purely about the SPRC UK Drag Racing Championships so please make sure the questions submitted are relevant to the meeting, if you could please get your points and questions to SPRC by 31st January it will help with us getting the date sorted and details out to you.
Rip Rap Racers return.
21st January: Thanks to honorary Eurodragster.com member Spencer Tramm for revealing that the Rip Rap Racers Club (RRRC) is holding another online race this coming Sunday 24th January at 6pm GMT. As before the popular online racing game ‘Doorslammers 2’ is being used as the platform. This Sunday's race, titled the 2nd Annual RRRC Winternationals, will be managed by Spencer kindly organising the ladders. The upper capacity is 96, which was filled on many occasions last year.
Spencer says "anyone wishing to take part is asked to add their name to the online entry list on the RRRC Facebook page by Friday night.
Nataas to chase NHRA Championship.
19th January: On the heels of winning a second consecutive NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster world championship with driver Megan Meyer, Randy Meyer Racing (RMR) announced yesterday it will chase the 2021 title with Julie Nataas. It will be Nataas’ third full-time season with RMR in the Oslo Tapet & Gulvbelegg (OTG) A/Fuel dragster.
“I’m glad to be back for another year with RMR,” Nataas said. “I have become really close with the guys over the last few years. Everyone works so hard and they always look out for me. Randy is a great guy and always teaches me new stuff, which I love. So I can’t wait to be back at the track with my crew and to learn even more. Randy is a master at what he’s doing and I’m grateful to be in one of his cars.”
Since joining the Randy Meyer Racing team in 2018, Nataas has collected two national event victories and four regional event wins. She earned the NHRA North Central Region championship in 2019, the same year she was named to the Drag Illustrated 30 Under 30 list. With a career-best elapsed-time of 5.11 seconds, she’s the fourth quickest driver in NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster history.
“I’m so, so, so proud of the team,” Nataas said. “We ended 2020 with Megan winning her second championship and me third in the points. Having two cars in the top 3 really shows how much work and effort Randy has put into the cars and the program. I’m excited to see what we can do as a team in 2021.” Nataas is focused on improving her national points finish in 2021, as well as chasing a second North Central Region championship. She’ll run a schedule of 10 national events and 8 regional races to contend for both titles.
“After finishing No. 3 in 2020 I definitely want to finish in an even better position in 2021 – that includes a lot of Wallys,” Nataas laughed. “I also want to finish on top in the North Central championship again after falling short in 2020.”
Nataas will race for the North Central Region championship as a true resident of the region, as she’s moving to the Indianapolis area, just minutes from the NHRA Division 3 headquarters.
“After almost six years in California I’m moving to Brownsburg, Indiana, before the season starts,” said Nataas, who grew up in Norway. “It’s going to be a huge change, but I’m so excited. If I wasn’t already living and breathing this sport 24/7, I definitely will now.”
Nataas’ primary sponsor for the 2021 season is Oslo Tapet & Gulvbelegg, a Norwegian manufacturer of floor coverings, carpet, linoleum and wallpaper. Longtime RMR sponsors Lucas Oil, NGK Spark Plugs and Technician.Academy will serve as associate sponsors on the nitro-injected dragster.
“Without my sponsors, I wouldn’t be able to do this,” Nataas said. “I’m so grateful that OTG is coming on board for another year. They have been with me since I first started racing in Jr. Dragsters. Hopefully the coronavirus situation will calm down a little bit so the OTG representatives can travel from Norway to be with us at the racetrack in 2021. Lucas Oil, NGK and Technician.Academy have been a part of the team for years. I’m so glad to be representing such great companies.”
Nataas and the OTG A/Fuel dragster will kick off the 2021 season at the 52nd annual NHRA Gatornationals, March 11-14 at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Fla.
Melbourne Raceway No Prep 4 date.
17th January: Thanks to Paul Marston for supplying a clarification of the date of the No Prep 4 race to be held at Melbourne Raceway:
As many of you have seen, both Santa Pod and Melbourne Raceway recently published their fixtures for the 2021 season. Unfortunately, the date for No Prep 4 appeared as 10th - 11th July. This is incorrect and the actual date is 19-20th June for No Prep 4, and North v South (No Prep 5) is 7th – 8th August, which is correct as published.
Both events will feature Big and Small Tyre Classes, it's 1/8th mile Heads Up. Other than tyre size and safety there are no rules on engine size, power adder, or weight limits. Run whatcha Brung and make sure you bring enough. Prize money we anticipate to be up to £1500 per class to win in cash.
This kind of racing has NEVER been done at Melbourne Raceway, so watch out, who will be the first winner? It's 1/8th mile, it's all about goin' from A to B, so anyone who enters can win.
The entries are coming in, there is still space, (due to covid restrictions), so don’t delay, enter today, we are taking entries and deposits to secure your spot. Contact us via the FB page No Prep Drag Racing or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text Paul on 07831 650230.
Our thanks to Melbourne Raceway and Straightliners organisation for hosting us.
Autosport International update.
16th January: Autosport International have announced details of this year's virtual show and a planned return to a physical show next year:
The health and safety of our exhibitors, visitors and team is of the utmost importance to us, and it was with heavy hearts that Autosport International (ASI) 2021 did not take place this year. For 30 years we have brought together our industry and fans for a 4-day celebration of motorsport, and from the 13th-16th January 2022 we hope to be returning to the NEC, Birmingham's halls to continue our legacy.
Getting your brand in front of high-level trade attendees to network, do business and knowledge share is key, and ASI allows you to do this all under one roof. Thursday and Friday hosts Autosport Engineering (hall 3a), the trade-only event giving international suppliers, buyers, students and ore industry professionals the chance to do business uninterrupted, whilst Saturday and Sunday are dedicated to motorsport's fans and families. You can make enquiries about next year's event by contacting the organisers at email@example.com.
Turning back to 2021, Autosport International have announced that trade registration is now open for this year's virtual show Autosport International Connect.
The online-only event will take place on 10-11 March 2021 and is free to attend.
ASI connect gives you the opportunity to:
Registered attendees will also receive a complimentary six-month Autosport Plus subscription. You can register now by clicking here. By registering, attendees will be the first to gain access to ASI Connect upon launch in March.
There are an array of speaking opportunities at ASI Connect, including being a member of a panel, hosting a keynote and more. Themes covered will include:
16th January: Competition Eliminator race David Smith writes that the Powerflow Exhausts drag racing team 23-T Altered can now be rented or purchased by lease as well as by outright purchase:
Would you like an exciting opportunity to drag race in 2021 without the outlay of buying or building a race car! If so, read on...
As a lot of you will know, we have been advertising the car for sale in 2020, but due to the current going on’s in the world, we haven’t managed to secure a sale on the Model T Altered drag car.
After a huge change of direction with our race cars (watch this space !!) we will no longer have the opportunity to run the Altered. We would however like to see the car out on the track in 2021 being used for what it was built for.
We are now offering someone (or a team) the chance to rent the Altered for the 2021 season with self maintained or fully maintained options, and the option to buy on a payment plan if required. Long term rental will also be available.
Terms & Conditions will need to be discussed, and this will not be available to the masses. You will need to be known within the drag racing fraternity, or closely linked, and be able demonstrate the affordability if you are planning on a renting to buy deal.
The rental cost will need to be confirmed, which will depend on what sort of package you’re looking for. Full trackside assistance is available, as is transport to and from the track.
If this is of any interest to you or someone you may know, (maybe even a syndicate race team ?), please get in touch with either myself or Elaine Hancock.
For full details of the Altered, click on this link.
John Charlton's Lucifer.
16th January: Following on from our obituary of drag bike racer John Charlton in yesterday's update, our good friend and NitrOlympX commentator Benni Voss wrote to say: "I was sorry to read about John Charlton passing away, I never met him but have seen the “Lucifer” VW powered Drag Bike. Somehow it ended up in Germany, I first saw it in the late '80s at a bike show where I was actually allowed to sit (lie) on it. Decades later, it was brought back to the track by the Black Souls MC Drag Bike Team from Darmstadt where it was running blown methanol. It sounded very impressive and ran in the 11s or 10s; the MC even entered it into NitrOlympX. I've not seen it for a while, I guess it has a place of honour in the Clubhouse".
Further research revealed that Dennis Cheeseman rode Lucifer, renamed as Ommadawn, in 1983 before it was sold to Germany.
16th January: A reminder that voting for all categories in the 2020 SPRC Perpetual AwardsPerpetual awards closes at 23:59 UK time tomorrow, Sunday 17th January.
Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded three more drag racing videos from his Time Travel series to his Youtube site. Time Travel 50 is Nick's own cine film from Santa Pod 1983 and 1986, Blackbushe 1983 and Long Marston 1985 and then Andrew Bamford's video from the 1987 Cannonball at Santa Pod. Time Travel 51 includes Rod Pallant's cine film from Blackbushe 1979 and Santa Pod 1979 - 1980 plus some cine film lent to Nick by Roy Wilding from Long Marston 1978. Time Travel 52 is a fascinating compilation from Santa Pod in 1971, including Terry Ayers and Bob Rothwell's cine film, plus some 1971 audio recordings by Dave Paddick at the beginning and end.
15th January: We were very sorry to hear of the recent passing of 1970s Midlands based drag bike racer John Charlton after being diagnosed with a serious health condition. Drag racing historian and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame director Jerry Cookson writes:
Shortly after Christmas complications arose which resulted in John being admitted to John Radcliffe Hospital where he passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday morning. John was 70.
John burst onto the scene in the early seventies with his first VW powered drag bike conceived in a local pub from a beer mat drawing called The Demon with his friend and racing partner Chris Willbond. With its homemade chassis and engine and gearbox parts found in a scrap yard, the Mk 1 machine was superseded a year later by his Mk 2 machine called, simply, Evil. The layout was pretty much the same with its near standard VW motor and a Wade supercharger which damn virtually broke the bank! After a few hairy moments competing at events held at a bumpy Long Marston and Santa Pod Raceways, John and Chris slowly began getting to grips with the bike as the speeds increased to well over 130 mph. The tool company John worked for as a Technical Sales Engineer, Norbar, also began to show interest in the project and the realization of Lucifer.
Impressed with Tony Dawson’s lightweight aluminium bike chassis which had been featured on TV’s Tomorrow's World, the duo began mocking up their own chassis thanks to Norbar picking up the tab. By the start of the 1975 season they were in business and by the third Snetterton meeting the 1500cc engine began knocking out 10.7s despite smoking the rear slick for the first 150 yards!
Chris gave up the riding seat a year later, just after they had acquired a 411 Porsche motor. Although it had to be rebuilt, its true potential began to reveal itself as John began cracking the 10.5s ETs on methanol at Wroughton. Flushed with a new-found urge to go faster, John began to tip the can by adding 15% nitro which later increased to 55% resulting in 9.1s at 158 mph. Over the eighth at Long Marston the bike went 6.47 on a 47% nitro load.
John’s recognition for these performances started to pay dividends with eliminator wins at all the major strips and a 6.09 record at Long Marston. At Santa Pod, he very nearly got his third finger torn off after getting it caught in the machine’s blower belt pulley when he sat up after aborting a run in disgust. This also nearly got him blown off the bike. After a short stay in hospital, the docile old VW motor was wheeled out; Lucifer had mutated into an even faster animal with assistance from his friend Steve King.
The rest of the story led to a succession of eight second passes and countless races and wins in the Superbike Eliminator. Consistency on this occasion was certainly the key to John’s overall success in British drag racing.
And there the story ends. Later in life in 1991 John left Norbar to set up his own motorcycle business based in Chacombe near Banbury, developing and marketing his own quick shifters for bikes. John is survived by wife Kate and daughter Louise. Our deepest sympathies go out to all of John’s family friends. God speed John, and thanks for the entertainment.
Photos courtesy Jerry Cookson collection
Pegasus Reborn for sale.
15th January: In our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet pages there is a new offer of a drag bike for sale that will enable the buyer to own and operate a bike replicating that run by one of the UK's most famous drag bike teams:
The “Pegasus Reborn” Nostalgia Drag Bike/Sprinter is for sale. Based on the original Pegasus that had been built in 1968 using an unsupercharged fuel injected 998cc V-twin Vincent, described in the team's web site, team member Derek Chinn decided in the late 1980s to build a replica for sprinting and drag racing. Derek rode it in sprints until he retired from riding in 1995, and after the inaugural Dragstalgia, the bike was raced by Graham Martin for several years.
For sale is a replica of the original version of the bike campaigned by Team Pegasus (Derek, Ian Messenger and Mick Butler) between 1968 and 1972, incorporating some original parts. The original bike was taken to the U.S. for the 1970 NHRA Indy Nationals where the team won the long distance award to compensate for their failure to qualify due to travel delays. 49 years later the team were inducted into the British The price for this replica, itself part of British Drag Racing history, is £20,000, including spares & support.
It's not often that a for sale offer includes a chance to work with a legend in the sport, and genuinely interested parties should contact Derek on 01234 772280 or by email.
Santa Pod announces 2021 season schedule.
13th January: Santa Pod Raceway has unveiled a full 2021 season of events running from March to December and embracing its usual array of championship drag races, modified car shows, specialist and family events, together with public track days (Run What Ya Brung) and regular mid-week dates (Drift What Ya Brung).
In a normal year, 400,000 people pass through Santa Pod's gates to attend more than 75 events. 2020's planned programme was halted abruptly by the pandemic's arrival.
From July, however, Santa Pod began staging reduced-scale events and developed Covid-safe protocols which allowed spectators to attend in limited, socially-distanced numbers under strict local authority supervision, at a time when most other sports venues across the country were shuttered. Supported by this experience, Santa Pod offers a 2021 programme of full-scale events with the proven ability to 'downsize' again should necessity demand.
Santa Pod's CEO, Keith Bartlett, said: "Last summer, Santa Pod worked hard to become a truly Covid-secure venue and successfully operated many events throughout the continuous changes in government guidelines. Despite spiralling costs, Santa Pod offered a full action programme on and around the track. Grandstand viewing, show-car displays, catering and trade stands, and even our popular camping provision, were all executed in an approved, Covid-secure manner. This year we are pushing ahead with a full season of events and adding some new ones too."
2021 highlights will include the opening and closing rounds of the FIA/FIM European Drag Racing Championships, in May and September, and national championship rounds throughout the season, all featuring competition on two and four wheels. STP Oil & Fuel Additives returns to Santa Pod to present the STP Sportsman Series, comprising four of the national championship rounds. July's Dragstalgia will headline a trio of historic 'Nostalgia' drag races.
On the festival front, summer weekends will host Bug Jam, the Volkswagen headliner, and USC (Ultimate Street Car). Along with regular marque-specific occasions, celebrations of national car culture - as exemplified by Japanese events and the recent German addition, Das Auto Show - will be joined by newcomers Le French Fest (voulez-vous voiture avec moi, ce soir?) and, honouring the products and inventions of our own, sovereign sceptred isle, the Best of British Show.
At all times, Santa Pod will observe current Covid restrictions and regulations to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all in attendance.
Championship drag races:
2-4 Apr: Festival of Power (Rnd.1, Motorsport UK and national championships)
28-31 May: The Main Event (Rnd.1, FIA/FIM European Championships)
9-12 Sep: FIA/FIM European Finals
STP Sportsman Series:
24-25 Apr: STP Springspeed Nationals
17-18 Jul: STP Summer Nationals
21-22 Aug: STP Greenlight Nationals
25-26 Sep: STP National Finals
'Nostalgia' drag races:
7-9 May: NSRA Nostalgia Nationals
9-11 Jul: Dragstalgia
17-19 Sep: NSRA Hot Rod Drags
28 Mar: Best of British Show (new)
2 May: Le French Fest (new)
23-25 Jul: Bug Jam
6-8 Aug: USC (Ultimate Street Car)
Tickets go on sale on Monday 1st March, supported by a new ticket insurance scheme provided by TicketPlan, a leading provider of event ticket insurance. The full event calendar and comprehensive information about Santa Pod are available at www.santapod.co.uk.
Nitro Revival cackles again.
13th January: Thanks to Nitro Revival founder and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award winner Steve Gibbs for sending details of the forthcoming Nitro Revival at Irwindale Raceway, sponsored for Eurodragster.com by Land Speed Racer Geoff Stilwell.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ramifications thereof, it’s been almost two years since drag racing fans last enjoyed the simultaneous cackle of upwards of 50 flame-belching, nitromethane-burning vintage race cars that has become one of the cornerstones of Nitro Revival, the nostalgic celebration of drag racing’s golden age created and nurtured by former NHRA Competition Director Steve Gibbs.
While the long wait is not quite over, anticipation is already building for the Nov. 6-7 production of Nitro Revival 2021 presented at Irwindale Drag Strip on the grounds of the Irwindale Speedway complex.
"We opted for a fall date simply because we thought that gave us the best chance of avoiding the uncertainty of a year ago," Gibbs said. "We didn’t want to put ourselves back in the situation of not knowing from week-to-week if we are going to be allowed to move forward. Hopefully, we will have turned the corner with regard to COVID-19, but I think it will be mid-year before we see a return to some degree of normality."
The fourth edition of Nitro Revival promises to be the biggest yet with more than 70 nitro-burners already committed to the two-day event that also will recognize a host of San Gabriel Valley racing pioneers including Ron Rivero, Phil Lukens, Mike Hoag and Sherm Gunn, Jack and Will Tice, Tom Tucker and the Snyder family, whose burger chain will host the In-N-Out Cookout, a Friday night social gathering for early arrivals.
"Nitro Revival brings back the sights and sounds of the early days of hot rodding," Gibbs enthused, "and it lets fans experience a drag racing museum come to life, not only through the vehicles themselves, but through the presence of many of those who built, maintained and drove those cars at tracks like the original Irwindale Raceway and two San Gabriel Drag Strips."
For some, the assemblage of nitro powered race cars, such as "Pure Hell," the name of the legendary fuel altered owned by Rich Guasco, the Fitzgerald Family "Pure Heaven," Ron Hope's "Rat Trap," and Randy Bradfords's Fiat, will rekindle an image of the golden era of drag racing. Throw in the Hough family’s "Nanook," the "Winged Express" made famous by the late Willie Borsch and Troy Glenn's "Over the Hill Gang" entry, and you might believe you’re back in the ‘60s.
Among the other iconic vehicles that will cackle for the crowd (click left for 5 min cackle video from 2019) are Ross Howard’s Custom Body Enterprises Dodge with former U.S. Nationals champion Marvin Graham in the harnesses, John Peters’ fabulous twin-engine "Freight Train," Don Garlits' "Swamp Rat 3," restored by Sonny Messner, Tony Nancy’s "Sizzler" driven for car owner John Neas by "Handgrenade Harry" Hibler, Chris "the Greek" Karamesines' "ChiZler" owned by Kol Johnson, the Lynn Rose-owned Kuhl and Olson Top Fuel dragster with Bill Tidwell at the wheel, Mike Elsberry’s restoration of "Flamin' Frank" Pedregon’s AA/Fuel Coupe and “Gentleman Joe” Schubeck’s self-titled dragster.
Nevertheless, Nitro Revival is as much about socializing as it is about racing and there will be ample opportunity for fans and racers to interact over the course of the two days. Fans and racers can trade stories at the Hospitality Center, hosted by The Jim McLennan Foundation.
The lineup of special guests includes Top Fuel standouts “The Unsinkable” Kelly Brown, Gary Beck, "King Richard" Tharp, "TV Tommy" Ivo, and Mike Salinas, Funny Car stars Don “the Snake” Prudhomme, Ed "the Ace" McCulloch, Tom Prock, "Fast Jack" Beckman and Al Segrini. Others expected to attend include wheelstanding great “Wild Bill” Shrewsberry, racing icons Ed Iskenderian, Linda Vaughn, Ed Pink, Herman Petersen, Roland Leong, Dave "Big Mac" McClelland and his "Tuna Tank," "Grandaddy Joe" Smith, Bones Balogh, and "Waterbed Fred" Miller plus Paula Murphy, Shirley Shahan, Mendy Fry, Bob Muravez, Jack Jones, Butch "the California Flash" Leal, Bob Noice, Larry Sutton and Jimmy Scott.
Festivities begin Saturday, Nov. 6, with fun runs, time trials, cackle car push starts, fire-ups, burnouts and exhibition runs from 9 a.m. until 12 noon. Nitro exhibition runs at 1 and 4 p.m. will lead into the introduction of Nitro Revival 2021 honorees and subsequently into the recognition of participants in the day's signature event, the Line of Fire featuring simultaneous static starts of more than 50 nitro burning race cars. Also scheduled for Saturday's activity will be the All-Star Autograph session, featuring upwards of 50 legendary racers.
Saturday's activity will showcase the popular "Hot Rod Hangout," - a display of hundreds of street driven hot rods and custom cars, hosted by the famed Road Kings Car Club.
On Sunday, more fire-ups, burnouts, push starts and exhibitions at 9 a.m. with nitro exhibition runs and wheelstanders at 12:15 and 3 p.m. followed by the new Rolling Thunder Cackle Car Parade and Push Start Spectacular at 4 p.m.
For complete event information, go to www.nitrorevival.com.
Photo and video courtesy and © Kurt Borden.
Engine Performance Expo.
12th January: Engine Performance Expo is an online US event that has been established in lieu of live seminars; it is of interest for those involved in engineering aspects of the sport worldwide. When you see the firms and individuals involved, you realise this is an exceptional event involving many major contributors, which makes it well worth a view. The Expo is free and only requires your e-mail address as registration.
Although the event took place on 7th-9th January 2021 all details and events are stored on the event web site engineperformanceexpo.com. Some of the highlights we picked out are:
The event is hosted by Joe Costello of WFO Radio and NHRA National Event announcing fame and is highly recommended to those who want to see what goes on behind the scenes of some of the most famous names in engine building, and see them talking in detail about their craft.
Nev Mottershead: funeral and donations.
11th January: Many thanks to Libby Mottershead and Leah Hinchcliffe for forwarding us the details of Nev Mottershead's funeral webcast, and of how you can make a donation in Nev's memory if you wish.
Nev's funeral will take place in Stockport at 10:00 next Monday, 18th January. Due to the current restrictions only a very limited number will be able to attend, however the funeral service will be streamed on Zoom. The details for the stream are as follow:
Date: Monday 18th January
Stream address: us02web.zoom.us/j/87133307013?pwd=a2F0REtta3pSLzdwSnljVkZqL2crdz09
The above link should launch and access the stream without a login but should you be solicited for a login and password then they are as follow:
Meeting ID: 871 3330 7013
If do not have Zoom on your device then please either install it before the funeral commences or, to access the stream from a web browser on the day, click on the Join from Your Browser link towards the bottom of the Zoom home page.
If you wish to make a donation in memory of Nev then, as Nev's Vauxhall Ventora race car has history at York, now Melbourne, Raceway then please donate to the Melbourne Raceway Phase 2 fund by clicking here. Please mention in the Comment field that the donation is in Nev Mottershead's memory.
November Nitro Revival.
11th January: Thanks to Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell for notifying us of the revised dates for Nitro Revival in 2021. Nitro Revival will take place at Irwindale Dragstrip on 6th-7th November. This will be the first time that the Steve Gibbs production which first took place in 2017 will be a two day event plus an evening social.
Friday 5th will incorporate a In-N-Out Cookout social gathering at 5pm, and Saturday 6th will consist of time trials and fun runs, cackle car push starts, burnouts, exhibition runs, fire- ups, nitro exhibitions and wheelstanders. Also included will be an all-star autograph session, honoree introductions, and 'line of fire' cackle car static starts with a 'nitro overdose' scheduled (Ed: and why not?). Sunday 7th will include more of the same, plus special guest category eliminations over the eighth mile (Gassers & A/FX).
The timing of Nitro Revival will make it possible for fans to visit it and incorporate a trip the following weekend to the Auto Club NHRA Finals (12th-14th November), and/or other events the preceding couple of weeks such as the SEMA show (2nd-5th November). All events are of course subject to Covid-19 restrictions.
Entries already include 58 cackle cars, 62 A-list Drag Racing celebrities, 22 exhibition cars and even a Top Fuel Hydro drag boat and will surely increase ahead of the event. For up to date information, head towards nitrorevival.com and its Facebook page.
11th January: We would like to join Perfect Light Award sponsor Cath Napier to wish her husband and Pro ET racer Tig Napier a big Happy Birthday and Anniversary. Have a great day Tig. A big Happy Birthday also to our good friend Mikey Durbridge, hope you have a great day Mikey.
FIM-E application form, medical requirements.
9th January: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for supplying licence and medical requirements for those wishing to compete in the 2021 FIM Europe Drag Bike Championship.
Riders looking to apply for their 2021 FIM Europe Drag Bike licence, please see details below from the ACU concerning medicals.
Please be aware, before an FIM or FIM-E International licence may be issued you will need to be in possession of a valid National Licence. To apply for a National licence please click this link.
You can now download the FIM/FIM-E application form that you will need to complete to apply for an International Licence by clicking here. The cost of a licence for the 2021 FIM Europe Drag Bike Championship is £218.
Please read page one carefully so that you complete and sign the necessary sections applicable to you, this will avoid delays.
The most important change for this year only is that if you had a medical completed and this was submitted to the ACU for your 2020 FIM/FIM-E international licence this will be carried over for 2021 provided you sign the declaration on page 5. Hopefully, this will make life a little easier as we understand it is difficult to get to see GPs at this time, obviously if you are a first time applicant, you will be required to have a medical.
Important: Please note that if you are required to take a stress ECG test as part of your licence application, you will still need to have this carried out as normal.
Editor's note: the dates of 2021 FIM-E races will be published at www.fim-europe.com/drag-bike along with rules, records, results and a roll of honour.
UK tracks announce 2021 dates.
9th January: Both permanent UK tracks co-incidentally announced their 2021 calendars of events yesterday - and the news looks good.
Santa Pod Raceway has announced a full range of events and run what ya brung dates. Trakbak Racing CEO Keith Bartlett released the dates on Santa Pod Raceway's web site and its Facebook page. He stated "You will see from the calendar that we are pushing ahead with full season of events plus adding a few new ones too. This will of course be subject to current restrictions being lifted or at least eased to the level needed to welcome you back properly. We intend to put tickets on sale for March 1st."
The reason for this later than usual date is that SPR plans to introduce a new ticket insurance policy provided by TicketPlan, one of the leading providers of event ticket insurance. Holders can apply for a refund if they are unable to attend the event they have booked for due to unforeseen circumstances such as accidents, transport issues and illnesses including if you or a member of your household tests positive for COVID-19. By logging into their account, holders of tickets to cancelled 2020 events will be able to claim a full credit to their Santa Pod Ticket Shop account equal to exactly what they had already paid, which can be redeemed against any Santa Pod Raceway event within the following 24 months.
The Santa Pod Raceway coronavirus page gives full details on the continuing Covid-secure precautions the track successfully put in place to allow races with spectators to take place in 2020 - something that othermany other sports and motor sport disciplines were not able to achieve. Readers are directed to that page for full details, because these precautions will still be in place in 2021.
Keith Bartlett also thanks Santa Pod Raceway supporters: "May I take this opportunity once more to thank every single person who has supported Santa Pod in 2020 whether you are a regular fan, a once-a-year visitor, racer, crew, sponsor, supplier, or just a follower of Santa Pod on social media - all your support counts for so much. That support will surely be needed again as like many businesses in the leisure and events industry, the cost of existence has risen dramatically and our ability to generate income is thwarted once more".
Also yesterday, Melbourne Raceway announced a provisional series of seven events to take place on the eighth mile track in Yorkshire, events being run by Straightliners, headed up by Trevor Duckworth. Melbourne have confirmed that run what ya brung entry will be available at each event. Covid-secure precautions will also continue to be applied, with online ticket booking required and social distancing measures in place. Dates at other venues will be announced in due course.
Trevor stated on the Straightliners web site "The drag-racing community, their friends and family, came together and saved this historic racing venue in Melbourne, Yorkshire. But the project continues and the fundraising must be maintained to build on this incredible venue ensuring it's future, we have a track to race on but the site requires a lot more work.
"So, here's the plan...We now need to raise £11k in order to plain out the paddock area and then extend the track. We already have £3455.28p in the bank/Paypal towards this, so now we are asking the community to step up and help with fundraising for the next stage of making Melbourne Raceway the home of drag racing in the North.
"Straightliners would like to thank each and every one of you who has had an input into this fundraiser and for putting your hands in your pockets, you are a credit to the racing community, Melbourne is saved because of you".
9th January: A big Happy Birthday to Robinson Race Cars' Stefani Fisher, we hope you have a great day Stefani.
SPRC travel advice.
8th January: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for kindly supplying advice for racers wishing to compete in the European Union:
Now that the UK is no longer a part of the EU, racers looking to compete outside of the UK will need to deal with many new regulations to be able to move their race vehicles and transportation around Europe. Below are some pointers to items you may need to consider before looking to travel to European events when the season gets started.
Race licenses will be accepted as normal across Europe; you will require start permission and insurance to race outside the UK as was the case prior to 2021.
Passports will now require a minimum of 6 months before the expiry date to travel within Europe, this is 6 months prior to the date your travels begin not your return date. However the passport may not be more than 10 years old; if you re-applied for a passport early and had the additional remaining time from the old passport added to the new one, then it is worth checking that you do not exceed the ten year limit of the current passport, if you are unsure please check with the passport office.
Your travel insurance may not expire until later this year, it’s important to check that the current policy covers you for travelling outside of the UK as our connection with Europe is now changed.
Your E111 card is still valid within Europe so should you need medical attention, there should be no problems in getting help, if you have private medical cover it’s worth checking with your insurer to cover any changes that may have taken place.
GB stickers are now required on all vehicles registered in the UK, your GB on your number plate does not count, you should have the correct sticker visible on the rear of the vehicle.
You must also carry your V5C and vehicle insurance documentation, the insurance documentation should include a green card, it’s important to make sure you have a green card that covers all of the road going vehicles, cars, trucks, caravans and trailers as they all have to be covered by a minimum of third party insurance.
You need to carry these with you either as paper documents or electronically when travelling into Europe as you may be asked to show them.
Driving licences are of course required, if you have a card type licence you are covered for every EU country, however if you still have a paper licence you may need an International Driving licence of some EU countries, if you have a paper licence still please check.
A silly one, but remember what queue to get in at the port as we are no longer in the EU or EEA, this will also apply at passport control.
You are not able to take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries. There are some exceptions, for example certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, and special food or pet food required for medical reasons . Check the rules about taking food and drink into the EU on the European Commission website.
Visas in most cases will not be required, unless you are going on an extended tour, a visa is only required for those travelling for more than 90 days at any one time.
If you travel to races with pets you will also need an animal health certificate with you, these can take up to a month to organise, so don’t leave it to late.
Regarding phones, there are agreements in place with some phone companies, but it is worth checking with your phone company to check on your roaming surcharges, as they may well of changed due to Brexit. There are UK regulations that limit an overspend of £45 but worth talking to your phone provider.
At present the regulations for Carnets are not clear for non-professional motorsports, we are still awaiting details from the government as to what if anything may be required. A Carnet de Passages en Douane (CPD) which may be new to some, is basically a government document you complete that has vehicle and goods details outlined within it, of what you are taking out of the country, a voucher is then stamped when leaving the UK and then stamped again when returning to the UK; there is no point getting too detailed just yet, as we may not need such documents, once we have more detail, we will of course keep you up to date.
There are two Government sites you may wish to visit, the transitions site www.gov.uk/transition can give you a basic insight as to your personal requirements for EU travel, and the driving abroad site www.gov.uk/driving-abroad/international-driving-permit will help you with possible requirements for an International road driving Licence.
8th January: In the latest instalment of his autobiographical blog, John Hunt describes his experiences at the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School in detail. You can read John's blog here or by clicking on Racer Blogs in the main menu. As an option, you can read John's blog in a first-to-last sequence which you can find by clicking here.
7th January: Multi-championship winning racer Mikael Kågered has announced his retirement from drag racing. The Swedish racer who has a career going back over 30 years, has been in two of the toughest categories, Top Methanol Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster, winning five FIA championships and innumerable events on the way. Micke said 'In recent years I've run a STCC TCR Scandinavia Touring Car Championship team as Kågered Racing with two cars competing; however managing a Top Fuel Dragster alongside the Touring Car team takes too much time, so I've reluctantly decided to retire my Top Fuel operation and team, many of which have been with me for 25- 30 years.
At the start of the '80s, Micke got to know drag racing by driving a street Dodge Challenger before a couple of years as a rally co-driver, returning to a Chevy Vega doorslammer. He then started his professional drag racing career in 1988 running Top Methanol Funny Car in Sweden and England. His first major Funny Car wins were in 1990 when he won Santa Pod Raceway's Cannonball and the Top Alcohol class at the World Finals at SPR.
His first championship title came in 1993 when he won the European Top Alcohol Challenge and repeated the feat in 1995 and 1999, which was his first FIA Championship. Micke's final Top Methanol Funny Car title came was in 2002, the second of six years in which he raced an alcohol flopper alongside a Top Fuel Dragster.
Micke said 'I've had a great career in drag racing. Thanks to our sponsors we had very few budget constraints. To be honest, if we did have a tight budget we wouldn't have raced. We have always had the best parts available and run as hard as we could with them. The high spot of my drag racing career is the 2015 Top Fuel Championship, it's such a tough class to run in, super competitive quite apart from the challenges of running nitro.'
Those challenges include some spectacular fires and, at the 2002 Finals, a burst tyre in his Top Fuel race taking out his rear wing, sending his car into the field at Santa Pod Raceway and destroying the car. He rebounded from this setback, as he always did from other less major problems, to become runner up in the following year's championship.
Reflecting on his long racing career, Micke said 'My team have been fantastic, my sponsors also have been with me for a long time and many are supporting my Touring Car team too. If I have one regret it's not having drag raced enough in the US, I did race in 2000 at the Gatornationals and really wanted to have done more.'
Thirty years at the top of any sport is a long time, however, and Micke has enjoyed his racing years. 'Drag racing in Europe is very good, we have a lot of spectators that get excited, show their appreciation at every event and are very knowledgeable about the sport'. Micke's Top Fuel car is still in his shop ready to race, so any budding Top Fuel racer could do a deal to acquire a championship winning car and team. If not, you never know...
Photos: 1999 FIA Euro Finals in Top Methanol Funny Car by Tog and winning the 2015 NitrOlympX in Top Fuel.
7th January: For those teams looking for crew, we have had a rare offer of crew help available, which you can see at our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet pages.
Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded two more drag racing videos from his Time Travel series to his Youtube site. Time Travel 47 is from Glyn Jones' cine film and slides of the Pennine Drag Racing Club at Melbourne Raceway 1977 - 1978 and the renamed New York Raceway 1979 - 1980. Time Travel 48 including Adrian Sidwell's cine film from Blackbushe 1964 and Alan Dear's cine film from Santa Pod 1968 - 1969 and some slides from 1973.
Boston Brawler returns.
6th January: The new owner of the iconic '33 Willys British Gasser, the Boston Brawler, has emerged, along with a new look and new powerplant. The new owner is Blaise Lewis, who commissioned original builder and owner Jimmy Hibberd of Valley Gas Speed Shop to carry out the revamp.
Blaise told us "I bought the Brawler from previous owner Steve Bloomfield in April 2019, it was in bits and looking a little sore . It had a 460 Big Block Ford engine and my son suggested trying to buy my old 392 Hemi back from a guy I sold it to in 2010. I found he still had it and had fitted it to a ride-on mower for his son's 18th birthday! Anyway, a few phone calls and a little negotiating and home it came, along with a chassis, Dana 60 rear axle, tube front axle, and two 12 spoke spindle mount ARE mag wheels. Basically I bought back all the stuff I sold him all those years ago.
"Next stop was Valley Gas as Jimmy had built it originally and I felt it only right for him to rebuild it. The 392 Hemi is being fully rebuilt by Jimmy, now 40 over with new Hilborn mechanical fuel injection. The gearbox will be a three speed TH400. "The new look comprises paint by Phil Norman at Brickfield Restorations and finished by Neil Melliard of Prosign, just as the first time".
Blaise commented "Hopefully the Brawler will be out this year. It's been a while since I raced at the Pod and Avon Park with a Ford Pop that Bob Nixon built for me back in 1987! So I will be taking it a little easy to start with, but next year might go alcohol. So watch this space".
2021 SPRC race numbers.
5th January: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending an update on race numbers for the 2021 season:
To all National Championship Racers, first of all, Happy New Year to you and we at the Santa Pod Racers Club hope your time over Christmas was as good as it could be under the current circumstances, and are looking forward to a far better 2021, for many reasons, we of course hope the race season can start as soon as is possible.
In 2020 we ran a small, three event Race Series, the Covid Cup, with winners of the series in all of our usual race classes, and we congratulate them on their winning efforts. This however was not a full National or SPRC Championship, and therefore will not affect race numbers for competitors going into the 2021 season.
The race numbers you would have used in 2020 will still stand for the 2021 season in all classes, however if you are unsure of your race number for this year, then by all means please get in contact with me at the SPRC office, and I’ll be happy to help, of course if you are to compete for your first time within the National or SPRC Championships please get in contact with me at either firstname.lastname@example.org or 01933 313625 and I’ll be able to help with your enquiry.
Drag-Seen still available.
5th January: Trackside photographer Paul Martin has been in touch to let us know the amount raised for charity by his publication of Drag-Seen, a collection of photographs taken during the summers of 2019 and 2020 at nostalgia drag racing events at Santa Pod Raceway, first covered in our update on 9th December:
I had a very good response from Eurodragster and have just sent a donation to Cancer Research for profits from sales up to 31st December of £97.93, so thanks so much for your support.
I still have some left, however due to postage costs rising and the cost of Paypal I have increased the price to £5.99. If Eurodragster.com readers are able to pay by bank transfer then I can offer them the original price of £4.99 - they just need to email me on email@example.com for details - mentioning Eurodragster.com.
Drag-Seen documents not only the racing but the culture and the atmosphere, by using original 35mm film cameras and digital cameras fitted with vintage lenses to make images that have an authentic aesthetic of photographs taken in the era when these cars were in their heyday. Sixty of these images featuring Outlaw Anglias, Gasser Circus, Nostalgia Superstock, RWYB and Wild Bunch are presented in the A5 sized ‘zine Drag-Seen with an introduction by Niamh Frances Smith @racewayhussy. Drag-Seen is printed on quality silk 170gsm paper and wrapped in a 300 gsm cover.
I have also listed it on Ebay for those who prefer this if they want to buy a copy.
2020 SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 5.
4th January: Santa Pod Racers Club and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give Eurodragster.com readers the chance of input to the SPRC Perpetual Awards. The location and date for presentation of the trophies will be announced in due course, as the SPRC Dinner Dance is subject to Covid restrictions being lifted.
For several of the 2020 season awards, a shortlist has been decided upon for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. Nominations are now also being accepted for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.
Today's category is the James Edgar Memorial Trophy. The James Edgar Memorial Trophy is awarded for outstanding performance by a Crew Chief, tuner, racer/tuner, or crew member. The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:
Phil Baimbridge (Al Smith Top Fuel Bike)
Vote for Phil Baimbridge
Dave Bryant (Steve Ashdown Undertaker Fuel Funny Car)
Vote for Dave Bryant
Ashley Cooper (Ashley Cooper Street Eliminator)
Vote for Ashley Cooper
Karl Harrison (Andy Raw Nitro Bug Nostalgia Funny Car)
Vote for Karl Harrison
Marc Huxley (Mark Todd Six Appeal Street Eliminator)
Vote for Marc Huxley
Steve Mead (Steve Mead Super Street Bike)
Vote for Steve Mead
Aaron Springford (Colin Millar Flyin Fyfer Outlaw Anglia)
Vote for Aaron Springford
Annie Wallace (Bobby Wallace Pro Modified)
Vote for Annie Wallace
To place your vote, either click on the appropriate link above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If your device doesn't automatically generate an E-Mail then please E-Mail your choice to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which nominations are also now being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Racers Club's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing. There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited from Eurodragster.com readers for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to SPRC marshal Alison Hackney. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to email@example.com specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nomination as the subject and your nomination in the body of the E-Mail.
For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. Please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please contact SPRC direct rather than E-Mailing Eurodragster.com or commenting on social media. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement.
Voting for all categories closes at 23:59 UK time this coming Sunday, 17th January.
Nev Mottershead: a tribute.
3rd January: Thanks to retired Eurodragster.com editor Tog for sending a tribute to Nev Mottershead his friend and supporter of the site, who passed away on 31st December:
Not for the first time, and probably not for the last, cancer reminded us what an utter bastard it can be. Having responded to treatment to the point where he got to ring the little bell in the hospital, Nev got on with his life with Libby and with his family and friends, attending to his business and planning the return to the track of his Ventora race car, all of us unaware that the Big C was just biding its time before coming back mob-handed and taking our friend from us.
Now, I am going to break my own rules here. One of my pet hates is tributes which get turned round to being about the person writing them rather about than the person whom we have lost; in fact after all these years I could (but won't right now) give you a list of those who are prone to doing it; suffice to say that they never let us down. So you'll have to forgive me for bringing myself into this tribute but Nev and Libby have been such good and generous friends to me that some random memories from our escapades will give you a measure of the man, and I am sure that a lot of you reading will have had similar experiences.
Nev and Libby were always big supporters of Eurodragster.com but my first encounter with Nev was at a Press Day at Santa Pod Raceway very early on in the days of the web site. I had been offered a passenger ride in Gordon Appleton's Pro Mod but found myself without a crash helmet. I walked a couple of pits down and found the Super Gas Toyota Supra which was then being driven by Will Furniss, with Nev crewing. I asked if there happened to be a crash helmet going spare for a few minutes and Nev quickly obliged.
Towards the end of 2004 a race car drive fell through, through no-one's fault. I was sitting at home minding my own business late one night when the phone rang and it was Nev, now the driver of the Supra, on the other end of the line. "Lib's had an idea about this weekend", he said. "She suggested that I get in my car and put down a time, and then we put you in the car and you try to beat it. She says that's just like racing!". So that's what we did on a legendary weekend at Shakespeare County Raceway during which Nev introduced me to the pleasures of a transbrake launch - a strange mix of wondering whether one is totally in control yet at the same time wanting to shout "Whee!" at the same time. That's an experience I would not have had but for Nev and one which like all of my drives helped, I hoped, to make me a better reporter. The damp weekend ended with a windscreen full of Christmas Tree followed almost immediately by a windscreen full of guardrail but Nev saw it as unfinished business and quickly offered another drive in better weather.
Thus it was that I found myself at a Summer Test Day at Santa Pod. I was a little worried that I could not push the foot brake all the way down; after some scouting around Nev cut a large block of hard rubber from the camper's doormat and with a few cable ties we were good to go (OK, stop). Not quite tight enough in the seat? Libby fetched a couple of flowery cushions which to this day are probably still the world's fastest. Armed with the cannibalised doormat and Brentford Nylons' finest, and with patient coaching from Nev, into the nines I went. Nev and Libby also turned up to cheer me on when Carla Pittau and Rick McCann offered me a drive of their Camaro, and then Libby treated us all to one of her delicious meals.
I lost count of the number of evenings I spent with Nev and Libby eating their food and drinking their drink, and swapping stories from the stands and Race Control. Nev would list all the subtle comments on which he had picked up in the race report, and in commentary if I happened to be commentating. Some of those nights were very late because Nev and Libby were always more than happy to wait until I had finished my Eurodragster.com duties.
Still on the subject of food, I don't know what it was about something as simple as dining with Nev and Libby in an Indian restaurant, but it frequently engendered hysteria. We traditionally went for a curry the night before the UK Championships Dinner and Dance and on one occasion in particular Nev and I ended up helpless. The dessert choices were quite limited but I went for the Orange Surprise, i.e. a hollowed-out orange filled with orange sorbet, and Nev went for the Lemon Surprise, the same concept only a hollowed-out lemon. When the waiter brought our desserts and handed me the orange I pointed at the lemon and said "No, that's the Orange Surprise, that's the surprise you see". To make things worse the waiter momentarily went to give me the lemon before he realised, which was long enough for Nev to turn red and almost weep with laughter. For the rest of the evening we could not look at each other without cracking up.
On another occasion we visited the Curry Mile in Rusholme and we were served by an Indian waiter who had shoulder-length silver hair. The guy was quickly dubbed "Peter Singhfellow" and, realising that Nev was having trouble holding it in, I called the waiter "Pete" to his face every time he attended to us. Cue another wet shirt front.
When we returned to Nev and Libby's home after that meal, Nev showed me stacks of pictures of the work being done on to upgrade his Ventora at Wright's Mechanical Engineering Fabrication. Nev had every intention of running the car at the next available Dragstalgia but, as we since discovered, that bastard of a disease had other ideas.
It is not an exaggeration to say that Nev was beloved of everyone. A kind and gentle man, a loyal friend, always cheerful, always ready to help, always to be seen with his trademark bum bag, and a man given to going missing for ages on what for the rest of us would have been a simple walk from A to B in the pits: he would see someone and get sidetracked. Those pits are going to miss him very much.
To Nev: thank you for everything my friend. You enriched my life beyond measure. Love and thanks to Libby, Leah, Andy and Sharon, and to all of Nev's family and friends, of whom I was very privileged to be one.