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Drag Racing Unplugged XVIII

With the 2016 season over we are, for the eighteenth 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 Eurodragster.com staff:

Tog's Quote of the Year

"Keith Herbert: now available for autographs"
-- Santa Pod Raceway Track Announcer Colin Theobald finds the kindest way of saying that Keith Herbert lost the race

Simon's Quote of the Year

"The Santa Pod track is always good, it doesn't matter what the weather is"
-- FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Anita Mäkelä at her adopted home track

Kirstie's Quote of the Year

"On my second run yesterday a fitting in the oil filter came loose and I got oil on my visor. I was flying on instruments"
-- Rat Trap Fuel Altered pilot Ron Hope is not complaining, you understand

Julian's Quote of the Year

"There was a lot of clutch vibration with the direct drive and sintered bronze paddle clutch, but Dad kept on it"
-- Harold Bull impresses son Simon on his return to the track in Stripduster

Grace's Quote of the Year

"The team felt my burnouts weren't strong enough so I did a long one and they liked it a lot"
-- Michel Tooren adjusts the Pro Modified routine


And the rest of the 2016 Drag Racing Unplugged collection in chronological order...

"It's a whole product range for a tiny market..."
"We're not very smart"
-- Barry Miller and Wade Brown of Brown and Miller Racing Solutions launch a new fuel delivery system

"The next challenge was to persuade the Crew Chiefs because this product has changed things so much that the little black book doesn't work any more!"
-- Barry Miller on changing the paradigm

"I thought they'd be fed up with us by now but they love the car!"
-- Eurodragster.com sponsor Geof Hauser is again invited to bring son Scott's Super Pro ET dragster to Autosport International

"The aim is to earn points although event wins mean just as much to me as you've earned it"
-- Scott Hauser loves his racing

"One racer here in the UK put X16 in his car, it was the only change he made and the car went two tenths quicker"
-- Eurodragster.com sponsor Lee Child is pleased with fellow sponsor VP Racing Fuels' new product

"Mark's car is so extreme, it's as top-end as you're going to get. He drove it in here on Wednesday and people's jaws just dropped"
-- Graham Smith of Serck Motorsports turns down a Formula 1 car for his stand at Autosport and books Mark Todd's Street Eliminator GTO

"A lot of engine bits have turned up in big boxes"
-- Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Andy Bond puts together his '56 Chevy

"We have just opened a new building for Formula 1 work and the rooms become cleaner and cleaner as you go along the corridor!"
-- Graham Smith doesn't turn down Formula 1 business, just the cars

"We had a new gearbox and front coil springs over the winter so I guess the car knew what to do"
-- Pro ET racer Mike Lacey pulls a Perfect Light on his first competitive run of the season

"Although Laura had only just got her road licence when she first drove the car she knows it well and has grown up with it"
-- Paul Baynton shares the keys of his Pro ET Capri with daughter Laura

"First time out this morning we didn't know what it would run and dialled in a 9.8 and ran 9.819 which was pleasing"
-- Right first time for Pro ET racer Bob Molden

"I see it as giving back to my parents what they gave to me"
-- UK National Junior Dragster Champion Jordan Payne finances his race car

"The dollar notes in the wrap are not real ones, we spent so many on the car we can't afford to use any in the paint scheme"
-- Imagine if Martyn Jones' Super Pro ET dragster wasn't a Top Methanol Dragster Which Isn't

"We are testing here so we are quite pleased to run an 8.3 and go straight"
-- Sandro Haldimann exorcises the gremlins from his Super Street Bike

"The bike went well at the end of last year and the team want to put more nitro in it"
-- Multiple ACU UK Top Fuel Bike Champion Steve Woollatt's many fans would agree with that too

"I had never taken a Pro light before this event so I am practising for that"
-- Rod Harrison steps up from Super Pro ET to Top Methanol Dragster

"There is less maintenance than the Funny Car - and I'm still running on methanol!"
-- Tom van der Wijden stays in Super Pro ET but swaps to a twin-turbo truck

"It was really flying and the first impressions are that it's a really good car, smooth and comfortable"
-- Liam Jones swaps to a late-model Top Fuel Dragster...

"I am really learning to do what I need to in a way that I can repeat as a routine"
-- ...whilst Top Fuel rookie Steve Ashdown straps in to Liam's previous ride

"I will be wanting a drive in Tim's car soon!"
-- Start of the slippery slope as Tina Moore has a passenger ride in Colin Theobald's Camaro

"It sounded rough and there were clouds of smoke"
-- Rick McCann picks up on the subtle hint that the motor of Keith Williams' Pro ET Chevelle has gone to lunch

"The throttle stop system is not, as some think, completely computerised and you have to set it up according to the weather and other conditions"
-- Super Gas racer Stevan Reffelrath reveals that it's not all done by magic

"We are looking for a more Pro Stock-like flat launch. There are lots of options"
-- Eurodragster.com sponsor Jeff Bull chose the correct option as wife Belinda got back into the sixes in her Comp Eliminator pick-up

"Apart from winning the Championship, going out with the Minogue sisters and World domination, we will be at Jurby on the Isle of Man in September and running with the Supercharged Outlaws too"
-- Mark Flavell managed a couple of season objectives with his Super Pro ET Funny Car

"It suits a nitrous set-up and I am wanting to go into the sixes once we start using the gas"
-- We approve of Super Pro ET racer Johan Oomen's plan

"I was pleased to run a 7.01 which is the best we have done on the manual box, it's a good start to the meeting"
-- Multiple Super Street Bike Champion Steve Venables starts how he means to go on

"We are where we thought we would be and are aiming to turn it up on the next run"
-- Q1 summed up by FIM European Super Street Bike Cup Champion Garry Bowe

"I am learning a lot from my "English Dad" Dave Smith"
-- Paternal assistance for Daniel Donat Lencses' Super Street Bike

"The initial hit on the PSB is like a cricket bat in the face - ferocious. The first thirty foot is astonishing, it's just wrong. You spend the rest of the run putting your eyeballs back in place"
-- Chris Reed first-foots on Richard Gipp's Pro Stock Bike...

"I just make it loud and put the light out, and I'm struggling to do that"
-- ...but has set himself a high standard

"I could easily throw more power at it as the track is good"
-- Stuart Crane happy with Santa Pod Raceway's prep

"Our aim is to get ahead of Ian King although I know it will take three years to achieve that"
-- Rikard Gustafsson steps up from Funny Bike Top Fuel Bike to Top Fuel Bike Top Fuel Bike

"It will be some time before US teams release equipment developed for the new rules, but you can't stop progression"
-- Multiple FIA European Pro Stock Champion Jimmy Ålund and the inevitable move to EFI in Europe

"If he makes a mistake he admits it like he should, but the driving job he did was great"
-- US tuner John 'Bodie' Smith appreciates working with UK Fuel Funny Car racer Kevin Kent

"The upgrades we did on the engine threw us a bit of a curved ball, and during the wait yesterday the conditions changed"
-- Eurodragster.com sponsor Martin Newbury works on his Pro Stock Bike's new set-up

"We are missing Mick Hand, he is probably having a better time on holiday with his wife than he would have done here"
-- Lorcan Parnell and The Storm Funny Bike team hit engine problems

"Driving with the front wheel up is much easier to ride"
-- Samu Kemppainen's secret to Supertwin success

"The intake cracked and the rear axle cracked and the wiring broke, not what you would expect at the start of the season, but we will be ready for eliminations"
-- Martijn de Haas' FIM European Supertwin Championship year doesn't get off to the best of starts

"My cooling system is unusual as, instead of a charge cooler, I have CO2 - I didn't want to load up with ice every run"
-- Mogens Lund has shagged out the fridge in his Super Street Bike pit

"I still feel it's unexpected for me getting to grips with driving a Top Fuel Dragster and just want to take baby steps to get there"
-- Steve Ashdown continues on the learning curve

"Perhaps we had too long a break"
-- Top Fuel Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Urs Erbacher was certainly missed

"The time was good but the run was bad"
-- Mats Eriksson always wanting more from the Green Goblin Pro Mod

"We were praying for the blower belt not to break in the run"
-- Crew member Gary Page watches Liam Jones win through a Top Fuel Dragster pedalfest

"We have the power but need to control it. It's not easy but we will do the best we can do"
-- Stig Neegaard tries to calm his Top Fuel Dragster

"I found the bearing had disintegrated so it was one of those small parts that defeated us"
-- Thomas Stiefel feels the pain of Pro Modified

"We are running all we have got left. It's good stuff but there's not much of it"
-- Bert Englefield at the bottom of the Pro Modified parts bin after two sets of rods see daylight

"We can get down the track and I selected the lane that I think Johan will put us in for the semi-final"
-- Forward planning by multiple FIA European Pro Mod Champion Micke Gullqvist

"He is much more experienced than me but I have lane choice so I put him in the left lane as the wind is coming from the left"
-- Chris Hannam's strategy against fellow Supertwin racer Ronny Aasen

"I can't believe people pay for this"
-- The only repeatable comment in a foul-mouthed and ranty E-Mail about our, er, free webcast

"The doctors wanted me to wear a plaster but I said I couldn't because I will be racing. So they strapped my hand up and I am removing that to get my hand in the glove. It does hurt a bit in the braking area"
-- Kenneth Holmberg falls off a mountain bike and climbs on a Pro Stock Bike

"Running our car more regularly in NHRA is making me very busy and I am going to get a lot of air miles"
-- US Top Fuel Dragster tuner Dom Lagana defines one of the many benefits of working with Anita Mäkelä

"I will be wearing the number one on my car right up until the last race"
-- Reigning FIA European Pro Stock Champion Thomas Lindström runs a limited schedule

"Compared to Mike I feel a Top Fuel virgin!"
-- Stefan Gunnarsson's tuner Peter Lantz works with the US' Mike Domagala

"The top element on the rear wing moved and suddenly the car went ten miles per hour quicker"
-- Fortunately a happy accident for Jonny Lagg's Top Methanol Dragster tuner Krister Johansson

"As for my riding career, my helmet is on the shelf"
-- Robert Karlsson, not currently racing Pro Stock Bike

"Let's just say I've now done my red light for the year!"
-- Mats Eriksson makes an exit in a Pro Mod semi-final

"Our schedule for 2016 will depend on how well the car does this weekend"
-- Jürgen Nagel returns to Top Methanol Funny Car with a repaired motor

"We can add two hundred horsepower of nitrous to go quicker"
-- Pro Street racer Fredrik Sandberg keeps more ponies in the cupboard

"We like Pro Street as there are no throttle stops, it is a big class, not too expensive and the cars run quick"
-- Christer Åberg in his milieu

"The track crew did a great job keeping the track dry with all the humidity around, big thanks to them"
-- Mogens Lund likes Tierp Arena

"The trip to Tierp from Vantaa in Finland is 550 kilometres, a bit shorter than 2500 kilometres to Santa Pod"
-- Samu Kemppainen is pleased to make the trip, though

"We found we got the wrong spark plug even though the package labelling was for the correct one"
-- Supertwin racer Hans Olav Olstad suffers for someone else's mistake

"You have to take every opportunity to make a run, and run quick"
-- Anita Mäkelä runs on her own in Top Fuel Dragster Q2

"We have hurt nothing so move on to the next round - but I want the Championship cup!"
-- A first round exit for Stig Neergaard in Top Fuel Dragster

"We want to step up for the next round but not too much, and see what the track will take. It did exactly what I wanted in round one"
-- Rick Stubbins sweeps all before him in Super Street Bike

"It's fantastic, it's my first season with a new bike and I feel like a rookie!"
-- Thomas Pettersson likes his recently-acquired Funny Bike...

"My objective is to keep the team happy so they can make me perform better"
-- ...and wants his crew to think the same

"The bike is terrible"
-- Jörgen Bengtsson has a hard time of it in Pro Stock Bike qualifying

"Fredrik will be racing for his sponsors PAF and also helping me depending on how much beer I can pay him"
-- Kenneth Holmberg empties the cooler to go even quicker

"It's either on or off and an A/Fuel car doesn't take kindly to pedalling"
-- Glenn Read rues Jonny Lagg's event-ending tyre shake

"When I came to the races as a youngster I saw Pro Mods and said "I want to drive one of those" "
-- Top Doorslammer racer Caroline Strand's father brought her up well

"I don't want it repaired, it is good luck for us!"
-- Superstitious Pro Modified racer David Vegter leaves a scorched sponsor logo alone

"The fuel system is my design and I am designing my own barrel valve and thinking outside the box"
-- NHRA Lucas Oil World Top Alcohol Funny Car Champion Jonnie Lindberg's ideas in action for Pro Mod racer Åke Persson

"I feel so comfortable with it even if it went slightly sideways after the finish line on the last run"
-- Birgitte Bremnes drifts a Top Fuel Dragster

"I did most of the learning myself but other teams helped"
-- Hannu Kalliomaki's Pro Stock education

"It is good to be back in the game. We have the right parts, the right car and the right team"
-- Urs Erbacher now in confident mood

"I didn't mean you"
-- After querying a Facebook posting it turns out that it is just everyone else who might vote Leave who is a Nazi and a ****

"Insulted by people who can't even spell plebiscite"
-- We believe the current trendy phrase for this sort of thing is "I'll just leave that here"

"We are hoping for an eight without hurting it"
-- Craig Boulton sets sensible targets for his Nourish Weslake ET Bike

"I can't pedal it like an altered, and have to keep my foot down"
-- We can't see anything wrong with what Nostalgia Fuel FC racer Bob Glassup says

"We went a car length and a half into the grass. It hasn't been much of a season, as at Easter we achieved two burnouts and two broken reversers, and we missed the Main Event as our truck broke down"
-- Martyn Jones' Fortune is indeed Small

"The car has a short wheelbase which makes it more likely to not run straight"
-- Pro ET racer and Fuel Altered pilot-in-training Annie Wallace

"On the first pass the clutch pack let go and bits got into the Lenco which we had to take apart to repair. We missed the second session with the repairs and in the third one, an ignition problem shut the engine off. So it's hero to zero for us"
-- Bert Englefield's patience is tested big time

"We are working with very fine margins at this level"
-- Kev Slyfield fights the Pro Mod tyre shake

"I have got two drives without owning either car!"
-- Tom Margesson, Super Comp and Willys Wars hired gun

"The only power tool I am allowed to use is a kettle"
-- Willys Wars racer Richard Warburton... milk and two in mine, please

"I lost a ton in weight by removing the electrical mechanism and drinks tables from the seats but they are still all leather"
-- Kevin Smith knows where to stop with his sleeper Jaguar

"There is one stage of nitrous on it - so far"
-- His first seven but more to come from Outlaw Anglia racer Jedd Guy

"It's difficult to know how much to loosen it, but interesting to drive"
-- A dilemma for fellow Outlaw Anglia racer Steve Wells

"We would love to come to the Euro Finals so can some competition please enter too?"
-- Steph Milam's Top Methanol Funny Car is getting lonely

"I was told two hours before we were racing him and that was so exciting with everyone saying "You must beat him" "
-- Ramon van der Weurf gets to race his Wild'r at Heart Nostalgia Funny Car against Ron Hope's Rat Trap Fuel Altered

"We can't see anything"
-- If you complain because the webcast switches away from an accident aftermath then we don't want you watching the webcast, thank you

"My cloud recognition is sadly improving"
-- Steve Rawling's new Pro Mod pulls a lot of wheelies

"We are managing the situation rather than curing it. Nitrous experts around the world are scratching their heads over it"
-- Piston issues for Pro Mod racer Roger Moore

"I was lucky I was in a good car at a good track with good safety personnel"
-- ...and so Roger Johansson is still here to tell us about his horrifying head-on guardrail impact in Pro Mod qualifying

"It shakes in second and you can put more or less power in to cure it, we are trying to decipher which"
-- Kev Slyfield calls in Bletchley Park on his Pro Mod

"I don't want my new C23 fuel going to waste!"
-- Al Golding has to fix his Firenza's motor before the end of the season

"There is not big damage but we are changing the engine all the same"
-- Urs Erbacher plays it safe after Top Fuel Dragster Q1

"It wasn't the way I wanted to start the event but the launch was promising"
-- Anita Mäkelä loses a blower belt in Top Fuel Dragster Q1

"The track is good but I thought the tyres were spinning so I lifted when I didn't need to"
-- Micke Kågered also rues the outcome of Top Fuel Dragster Q1

"I also shut off too early and will look for the chequered posts rather than the yellow lines or the scoreboard"
-- Top Methanol Dragster racer Rod Harrison does The Knowledge at Hockenheim

"The car now reacts to tuning changes whereas before we couldn't do anything to make it change"
-- Sandro Bellio re-establishes diplomatic relations with Danny Bellio's Top Methanol Funny Car

"Our target is 5.6 and we have got there after two runs"
-- Harry Räikkönen tunes Ari Pietilä to the top of Top Methanol Funny Car qualifying

"So it was lights out and I had no chute in the dark"
-- Ron Hope still can't forget Dragstalgia

"We went back to the old routine and it worked for us"
-- Rene van den Berg wheels his Top Fuel Bike into the 6.2s

"It has however been difficult to step back from Super Twin to Funny Bike because you make big moves on the Super Twins and the Funny Bike needs less"
-- Supertwin racer Christian Jäger climbs on board Thomas Joswig's Funny Bike

"There is probably a little too much power and we need more practice of taking power out and changing settings"
-- Eurodragster.com sponsor Marco Maurischat working on taming his Pro Mod

"One of my goals is to beat the best"
-- Bengt Ljungdahl wades in at the top of Pro Stock

"I'm happy, which is a rarity"
-- Martin Newbury likes Hockenheim's air and track

"If you're not expecting it, which we weren't, you go into panic mode if you are called"
-- Martin Bishop is first alternate in Pro Stock Bike

"If it rains much more I would not be surprised to see the Stockholm-Turku ferry come floating up the strip from the general direction of the gravel trap"
-- A silly comment prompts the most amused feedback in the eighteen-year history of Eurodragster.com Event Coverage

"Two Top Fuellers coming past you at full chat is a bit scary isn't it?"
"Not really"
-- Eurodragster.com Contributing Photographer Grace Roaf is unperturbed by her first full Pro session at trackside

"Can you put some weight back on? You don't block the sun out any more"
-- Backhanded compliment, we think, on your News Editor's weight loss from Darren Prentice of Santa Pod Raceway

"It's a Ford product, it's reliable"
-- Ethan Lisle likes his Pro ET Mercury Comet

"I love double-classing as it helps keep me competitive and competition also helps my marriage!"
-- Sara Unsworth of Super Street and Relate

"I never thought it would go that fast in such a short time"
-- Rene Ehrismann goes under index in Comp Eliminator

"I hadn't entered this race but as I came home race ready it would have been crazy not to have come"
-- Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Mark Todd joins the Jon Giles School of Taking a Year Out

"The car isn't specially set up to run in Super Comp. It was really a best guess!"
-- Jon Giles goes 8.900

"It's been worth the wait and feels great even though we are running it soft"
-- Ian Brown's first Super Pro ET outing in a former Pro Mod Camaro

"Happy isn't the word, I'm ecstatic. And there is no damage, so it is a great baseline"
-- Liam Jones blows away his Personal Bests in Top Fuel Dragster Q1

"I came off the throttle after I thought the tyres shook but it was actually the clutch engaging so I will now keep my foot in when that happens"
-- Jndia Erbacher on the learning curve in Top Methanol Dragster

"Apart from a drive in Tony Morris' car in the US in 1987 this is the first time I have been in a race car other than mine for thirty years"
-- Barry Giles drives the S&K Racing Super Pro ET dragster

"The Manx Drag Racing Association headed by Ian Merryweather and Mac Forbes are the best hosts in the world and we had a record crowd for our six burnouts and launches"
-- Mark Flavell made it to the Isle of Man

"It's a busy time for Lisa and me, after this event we have our Hen and Stag dos, then the National Finals the following weekend and we get married on 1st October"
-- Pro ET racer Glenn Pallant checks his diary

"It's good that the first two cars in the qualifying lists are legal Super Stocks"
-- But, Rick McCann, this is Pro ET

"We were hoping to relax this evening but will be changing the transmission instead"
-- No sleep 'til Monday for Rick McCann, Carla Pittau and team

"I have even had lots of enquiries, even from the US as the exchange rate helps if you are exporting"
-- If this were the BBC then Funny Bike racer Stu Crane's words would be followed by a cheap dig at Brexit

"I am as good as my team and in the end it was a team contest"
-- Anita Mäkelä wins the 2016 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Championship

"Now the NHRA want me to compete, we arrive with an old trailer and play up the bucks-down nature of the team"
-- Top Fuel Dragster racer Smax Smith joins the Big Show

"This bike is going to be proper quick!"
-- Martin Newbury, still happy

"We would stay here if we didn't have to go to work"
-- Pro Mod racer Mick Payne's FIA European Finals is done but the UK National Finals beckons

"In our last two races against him our engine broke"
-- David Vegter goes for third time lucky against fellow Pro Mod racer Bruno Bader

"We have done our job and now just need the driver to do his"
-- Funny Car legend Leif Helander crews with Pro Mod Champion-in-waiting Micke Gullqvist

"I know this is nothing to do with you Tog, but..."
-- Which begs one simple question

"My guys are fantastic. Our inspiration has been Jonnie Lindberg's Indy win"
-- Mark Flavell's crew figure out the clutch

"He is a top guy and has made even me smile"
-- Comp Bike racer Paul Hambidge engages the services of tuner Brad O'Connor

"This car is actually for sale and up until yesterday didn't even have an engine in it"
-- A thrash to make the UK National Finals for Super Comp racer Paul Brown and team

"You wrestle the altered whereas you drive the dragster"
-- Marius Blackburn swaps wheelbases in Super Pro ET

"When he got the nod from the second racer I would whack the throttle, the starter would jump and throw the flag in the air and I was gone"
-- Carl Olson's holeshot methodology with a nervous flag-starter

"Well, the explosion in Hiroshima was nowhere near. The piston didn't disappear, the mortar disappeared and there was a four-foot hole in the ground"
-- The Kuhl and Olson team had too much time and too many M-80s on their hands

"The only noise was tinkling glass. I blew out every window in the gym and after they had paid for the repair I don't think they went to Norway"
-- A whack of the throttle and Harry Hibler terminates a fund-raising campaign

"After the third flip I lost control!"
-- Carl Olson's favourite crash quote

"There is nothing better than racing your son at two hundred miles per hour, except when you're five feet ahead of him!"
-- Ron Hope in Rat Trap, Brian Hope in Pure Hell

"No money from Cath and Tig for that one buddy... sorry"
-- Erstwhile Track Announcer and MC Barry Bohannon hears that Tog's latest blood count was bang on target, even down to the decimal place


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