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Drag Racing Unplugged XV

With the 2013 season over we are, for the fifteenth year in succession, pleased to bring you the finest comments from the year's event coverage on Eurodragster.com - and other quotes we didn't publish at the time.

We open with the Quotes of the Year of the 2013 Eurodragster.com staff:


Tog's Quote of the Year

"Let's go and walk across the start line, and when I say "Now" freeze and everyone will think the webcam has broken"
"But the flags will still be moving and they'll see them"
-- Junior Dragster racer Thaliah Gibb spots the flaw in Tog's cunning plan

Simon's Quote of the Year

"At Hockenheim the car did a wheelie, I didn't see the road any more and everything went blue which was scary"
-- Super Pro ET racer Frank Wambach pulls up the front end for the first time

Kirstie's Quote of the Year

"It may look easy but it isn't"
-- Bruno Bader and the bracket Pro Mod

Ed's Quote of the Year

"It was so cold, snowing at the top end and they were blaming me!"
-- Fred Hanssen tests his Top Methanol Dragster in Las Vegas

Julian's Quote of the Year

"There was some spin in third gear so I am sure a six here is possible. Expectations are high"
-- Two days later Elvira Karlsson fulfilled those expectations with Europe's first Pro Stock Bike six


And the rest of the 2013 Drag Racing Unplugged collection in chronological order...

"I checked out fine, all I had was a headache"
-- Pro Mod racer Kev Slyfield sideswipes the guardrail

"We just need track time and are enjoying it"
-- Wayne Nicholson testing at tuning his Pro Mod at the Festival of Power

"To run an 8.57 out of the box at 157 mph was great, even if the snow seemed to be following us down the track"
-- Steve Saunders outpaces the weather in Super Pro ET qualifying

"It was going to be a 1000-foot test pass but when I hit second gear it was such a good feeling I kept with it"
-- Maltese Super Pro ET racer Rick Cooke

"I am enjoying being back, it's great running 9.7s and after a break it now seems a lot faster than before"
-- The effect of a year and a half away on Pro ET racer Neil Hunter

"During the last ten years the kids and kitchen got in the way but now I can return"
-- Rather more of a lay-off for Paul Hudson in Super Comp

"A close group of mates with a common interest"
-- The Team Extreme Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator team as described by driver Martin Smith

"It has been even more exciting than I expected and having a team like this has given me real confidence that the car will run strong and straight"
-- Mark Adams' first outing in Super Pro ET with help from the Harrisons

"It is a bit of a shock"
-- Gareth Ellis makes his début in Top Methanol Funny Car - in fact in any type of race car

"Gareth is doing well - he is driving the car straighter than I did!"
-- The car's former owner Dan Larsen is impressed

"It's like being blindfolded and pinning a tail on a donkey"
-- Graham Ellis chases the tune-up on his twin-turbo Pro Mod

"Julie is sixteen years old, she is only licensed to run as quick as 8.90. However the throttle stop didn't work as it should on the last run and it went 7.80. A throttle stop is new to me!"
-- Top Fuel Dragster racer Thomas Nataas tries to call the shots for daughter and Super Comp racer Julie Nataas

"I didn't have time to think about that!"
-- We asked Comp Bike racer Lizz McCarthy whether Santa Pod Raceway's new surface felt more smooth

"We are having to pre-heat the oil out of the car and put it in at the last moment as running with cold oil could cause main bearing damage"
-- The frigid conditions at the Festival of Power have John Spuffard and the Showtime Fuel Funny Car team concerned

"Tuning these cars is a very fine line, we only took a degree or two out of the ignition and that was all it took to go from a decent run to massive shake"
-- Fellow Fuel Funny Car racer Jason Phelps on the intricacies of the set-up

"There's nothing we can't cure but it does take time - I've been in the sport for forty years!"
-- John Everitt deals with niggles on his Super Pro ET altered

"At least we can have a lie-in tomorrow"
-- John Atkinson exits Super Pro ET in round one of eliminations

"The tyres were a problem, it felt like an earthquake but it is due to the car"
-- Crew Chief Frank Schlemmer explains Jürgen Nagel's tyre shake during Top Methanol Funny Car qualifying

"It may be better to go from Pro Mod to Funny Car rather than the other way round"
-- If anyone knows it will be Adam Flamholc, since he did just that

"The car was in our garage for years and my wife said "You have to either sell it or race it"."
-- Seems an easy enough choice for Super Comp racer Mark Ramplee

"I got off it, thought "What am I doing, I've got wheelie bars", and got back on it quick"
-- Fellow Super Comp racer Malcolm Motler was surprised to see the sky at the hit

"We moved the charge cooler to the rear for better weight distribution and the pipes were rubbing against the tyre"
-- Stuart Williams writes off a tyre during Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator qualifying

"I was short shifting and possibly driving it too much like a Pro Mod leaving in second"
-- Adam Flamholc unsatisfied with his driving after Q4 of Top Methanol Funny Car

"In the last fortnight I have had a maximum of two hours' sleep every night"
-- Jonnie Lindberg now has two Top Methanol Funny Cars to oversee

"We will have to run without the box which means that set-up will be more guesswork"
-- Kev Slyfield is back from his Easter crash but with an incomplete Pro Mod

"We have been searching for the last three years to run that quick and the reason we shook on this last pass was that we are trying for a 5.8"
-- A 5.9 is not enough for Marc Meihuizen in Pro Mod qualifying

"On the last run the shift knob broke which was Murphy's Law"
-- An unfortunate knob-out experience for Mats Jacobsson during Pro Stock qualifying

"Whilst the grip at Tierp may be better, it can be hard to drive on a track like that and the air is better here"
-- Thomas Lindström sets Pro Stock records at Santa Pod Raceway

"We won't be happy until we know we haven't hurt anything"
-- Jason Phelps and team are just about to take their Fuel Funny Car's motor apart

"It's taken a while, but we have now got a car that we can go racing with"
-- John Spuffard gets the Showtime Fuel Funny Car down the track

"We have a 6.3-second bracket bike, but I want to go 6.2"
-- Steve Woollatt wants more from his Top Fuel Bike

"The performance is not bad considering we had engine problems and I was up late fitting a new one"
-- Pete Field burns the midnight oil for his Super Street Bike

"Running quick will help sell our products"
-- Ulf Leanders: Top Methanol Funny Car racer and clutch salesman

"There was some shake but I was dancing with the car"
-- Urban Johansson runs a 6.0 in Pro Mod qualifying

"You can't race in this class with less than three engines"
-- Timo Lehtimäki and the money pit that is Top Fuel Dragster

"I've never had cleaner hands at a race meeting!"
-- Crew member Scotch Rob has less to do whilst Micke Kågered is renting a Top Fuel Dragster from Rune Fjeld

"The teams are used to being quite conservative in their approach and they need more aggression"
-- How US tuner Jimmy Walsh sees Top Fuel Dragster in Europe

"Kalle's, Elvira's and Kenneth's bikes all have state-of-the-art parts but the different conditions and lack of track time hurt"
-- How US tuner Gary Stoffer sees Pro Stock Bike in Europe

"It's more economical to run in a Sportsman class although it could run in Pro Mod"
-- We say that Trine Fossum needs to work on Comp Eliminator racer and dad Odd Erik Fossum

"I go to Bakersfield and have bought parts from Brendan Murry but there is no more space for another race car!"
-- One slight problem with Øystein Solberg's Nostalgia Top Fuel plan

"I am hopefully qualified otherwise somebody is going to get mad at me"
-- Jan Gunnarsson softens the clutch of his Pro Mod to subvert a mutiny

"After I ran a 6.0 I wanted to quit, I was so scared - I didn't understand how quick it was"
-- Johnny Oksa gains his Top Methanol Funny Car licence

"After thirty years of racing, I realise there is something else other than racing in life"
-- This did not, of course, stop Bosse Hall from going after the EDRS Super Gas title

"It looks the same on each run but the amount of tyre shake varies"
-- Jonnie Lindberg's inside view on Top Methanol Funny Car

"It's nice to get that weight off my shoulders"
-- Ian King clocks his first five-second pass on his Top Fuel Bike

"We have sixty spare pistons in Stockholm and have burnt twenty four so far this weekend"
-- Team member Mark 'Animal' Bodimeade on the inroads into Patrik Pers' Top Fuel Dragster parts inventory

"If we were not sure it was good enough, we tried to look at an alternative"
-- Kalle Lyrén's off-season fine-toothcomb job on his Pro Stock Bike

"Pro Stock is the toughest class but we are the fastest Ford!"
-- Christian Sagelv has grounds for optimism

"It's telling us something but I just wish it would speak louder as we're not hearing"
-- Lawrie Gatehouse's Chaos Fuel Altered is unforthcoming

"On my first full pass I didn't want to lift!"
-- Super Street rookie Karen Stevens, learning quickly

"The first full run was manic but I feel I am getting used to the car and knowing where the finish line is"
-- All Super Pro ET rookie Liam Jones needs now is patronising comments about the gantry not being the finish line

"After thirty years of slalom and off-road events I wanted to do drag racing and the car is unusual"
-- Horst Koch finally sees the light and goes Pro ET

"It was quite an adventure because having been run as a race car it had been in a barn for ten years and then used on the street"
-- Pro ET racer Alex Mahl gets the AMC Gremlin he always wanted

"It didn't improve this morning and is running like a tractor"
-- But Danny Bellio's Top Methanol Funny Car got into the field

"In Finland, the more we took out of it the faster it would go"
-- Marc Meihuizen's Pro Mod acts contrarily

"It was a nice run, it actually felt slow and was so smooth I could have driven it with one hand"
-- Pro Mod racer Marcus Hilt kicks his Personal Best into next week

"We think the track will improve but we are interested more in points than records"
-- Karsten and Per Andersen tuning for the Top Fuel Dragster Championship

"It's great to have a chance to get close to the action but it can get a bit scary with some classes!"
-- Eurodragster.com NitrOlympX contest winner Johan van de Sande goes trackside

"We are going down the track and are picking up tune-up tweaks as we go"
-- Nick Hales tunes Kevin Kent and Shelley Pearson's Fuel Funny Car

"But you've driven on the right before haven't you"
"No"
-- Kirstie takes the wheel of the rental car in Sweden

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHJJJJJAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"
-- Colour Commentator PiPPi sees Peter Svensson's 5.769 Top Fuel Bike run come up on the scoreboard

"The engine has run a 6.82 in the US and we are wondering why it doesn't go quicker than 7.0 in Europe"
-- Mystified Pro Stock Bike racer Fredrik Fredlund

"It has taken us three years to get to where we are and I have learned patience!"
-- Comp Eliminator racer Brendan Clancy edges towards the sixes

"We have raced in Czech Rebublic and both events at Hockenheim, which was one of the best ever thanks to the new track, but racing at Santa Pod is the highlight of our year"
-- Werner Zudrell and his Super Gasser know when they have come home

"With new slicks and soft settings I don't feel shake until it gets quite a long way out of the groove and I was getting a close look at the wall on the first run"
-- Naturally Roger Moore stayed on the throttle of his Pro Mod

"It's a tough class, everybody is as good as everybody else and you really need to be on your game to keep up - it's great the class has grown"
-- Steve Saunders loves Super Pro ET

"I was very happy to do my quickest pass after my sixty first birthday"
-- Super Street Bike keeps Erich Gruber young

"The stroker engine pulls like a freight train!"
-- Mark Smith running on rails on his Pro Stock Bike

"It has been a dream of mine since I was a child to race here"
-- Super Pro ET racer Beat Rechsteiner likes Santa Pod Raceway

"If we want to go quicker, we have some tricks up our sleeve"
-- Robert Joosten has plans for his Pro Mod

"A crew member tripped over the car, it ran over another crew member who is still limping, it broke the reverser and there was an electrical fire caused by the seat belt shorting out the circuit"
-- It might be quicker for Martyn Jones to tell us what went right with his Super Pro ET dragster

"I'm yesterday's news and a has-been"
-- Dave Holland is unimpressed with his Super Street Bike's performance

"I did a safe pass in round one to secure the Championship. After that we are in kill mode"
-- Fredrik Fredlund takes the European Pro Stock Bike title

"We did the travelling as a family with our kids and grandchildren coming to the races and the people at the track have been fantastic"
-- Garry Bowe contests the full European Super Street Bike Cup tour

"To be honest we're out of parts, it's been a long season and I'm happy it's over"
-- Jeson Phelps has had enough of Fuel Funny Car for this season

"Our performance was good but the competition have been great and we have had to step up a bit and run quicker and faster"
-- Micke Gullqvist takes the European Pro Modified title

"We hope we have gone the right way as we will need to go quick to stand a chance"
-- Clive Bond tunes Paula Atkin's Comp Eliminator Mustang

"We have a Tierp book of data and have put it away as it doesn't work here"
-- John Smith tunes Stig Neergaard's Top Fuel Dragster

"I woke at five and thought of the way we repaired heads by moving material around about twenty years ago"
-- Roger Lyrén probably dreams about Pro Stock Bike, too

"We did not cut corners and have taken no risks and with track time and better data we are headed in the right direction"
-- Starting to come together for Nick Daniels' Funny Bike

"We will give it more power now and hope greed doesn't get the better of us"
-- A returning Lee Darby all set to turn up the wick on his Super Pro ET pick-up

"Roy nagged me to have a go on track and I finally agreed but wasn't that keen"
-- Reluctant Sportsman ET racer Michelle Walker quickly caught the bug, though

"So where were all these experts on Swedish geography, economy and demographics hiding when Tierp Arena was first announced?"
-- No answers as yet

"The only drink I really miss is sherry"
"Sherry? That's an old woman's drink"
"Not in half pints, love"
-- Your medically-enforced teetotal News Editor goes eight years and seven months without a Bristol Cream


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