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Editor's Diary archive

Bored of retirement, or lost the plot?
11th August:
Thanks to crew chief and Pro Modified colour commentator Lucy Moore for sending in a piece on her dad Roger Moore's acquisition of Bob Brooks' Yellow Metal Racing Funny Bike:

When dad (Roger Moore) decided to retire from driving the Pro Mod Dodge Viper, it was a tough decision. However the timing was right and we left on a high.

We kept an open mind about a return to racing but it was off the cards until or if we sold the Viper. The prospect of moving to a bike class had been mentioned and we’d been looking at the Yellow Metal funny bike for a little while. The detail on the bike is astounding.

In an unexpected twist of events, the Viper sold during the COVID 19 lockdown and we were able to consider other avenues. After getting in touch with Bob Brooks, it soon became clear the YMR funny bike was going to be our next challenge. The support from Bob and Debs as well as Phil Crossley has been outstanding and we wouldn’t have got this far without them!

Dad appointed me crew chief, a role which I am proud to have taken on, and we set about trying to understand how on earth we would race this mad machine.

We decided to keep the first outing as low key as we could (a challenge in the drag racing world!); Dad wanted to avoid a huddle of Pro Mod racers gathering to watch his first outing.

The first run with the bike was nerve wracking and exhilarating to witness. Dad says he was grinning the whole way down the track after his 1.17 second 60ft! He was surprised at the stability of the bike at speed and is enjoying getting his 1/4 mile fix again.

Another three runs down and he’s looking more comfortable, the good 60fts keep on coming! With a RWYB track, it is always difficult to keep the traction further out so we suffered with some tyre shake in later runs. However I still think dad would consider that easier to manage than the towing at low speed.

It's taking some getting used to that there isn’t as much to do between runs as there is on a Pro Mod, there’s actually time to sit down! However, the fuel consumption is nearly the same per run on the bike as the Viper.

Now the focus is to keep making steady progress and of course, go faster!

Image courtesy and © Callum Pudge

Report from Kjula.
11th August: The Mälardalen Open #3 Blacksmiths Nats #2 took place at Kjula Raceway, Eskilstuna, Sweden on 8th-9th August and was streamed and widely photographed. The race was attended by Time-Tree and results can be seen at Eliminations were completed and the track recorded 872 time slips for the 152 racers taking part.

Notable performances were from Pro Street runners Preben Bærentzen (7,6561 no.1 qualifier), Eva Widgren (7.8588 no.2 qualifier) and Christian Lundin (7.9682, no.3 qualifier). In the Test n' Tune category, Kim Petersson's Team Blackshadow & Rimstar new turbo LSX-engined Chevy Beretta ran a great 7.1287/306.38kph Photos of the event have been posted by Henrik Lindberg Photography, and Dan Dasse Evertsson.

Clockwise: Henrik Asp (Henrik Lindberg photo), Kim Petersson (Henrik Lindberg photo), Benke Eriksson ( photo) and Mikael Fredriksson v Peter Andreasson ( photo).

The next scheduled Kjula Dragway event is the Mälardalen Open #4 on 19th-20th September.

Lindberg wins, U.S. Nationals plans in doubt.
11th August: Congratulations to Swedish Top Alcohol Funny Car racer and double NHRA Champion Jonnie Lindberg for winning the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, North Central Division, event at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. Jonnie qualified no.1 at 5.469/268.81 and then defeated DJ Cox Jr. in the final with a 5.539/267.75.

Part of the reason Jonnie got back into his TAFC which he has owned since 2013 was that he was going to give Aussie Top Fuel Dragster racer Richie Crampton a 40th birthday present drive in it at the US Nationals, as documented in a NHRA video posted last Wednesday. That plan now looks to be in doubt now following a road accident involving Richie's '57 Chevy Wagon (as seen at Drag Week 2018) which left Richie and Jake Sanders in hospital with non-life threatening injuries, and driver in the accident Dom Lagana with serious injuries. Jonnie was not in the car at the time. Fans will know that Dom Lagana and Jake Sanders have in the past acted as tuners and advisers to Anita Mäkelä's Top Fuel Team.

Our thoughts go to Dom, Richie and Jake as we hope for a full recovery.

Micke Nilsson's 100th Final.
11th August: Our good friend and photojournalist for EDRS Lena Perés reports that Super Comp and Super Pro ET racer Micke Nilsson celebrated his 100th Final at the EDRS round at Tallhed Dragway in Sweden last weekend.

Micke, aged 60 and from Borås near Gothenburg started his team, known as MiNiRacing, in 1994 and took over driving duties in 1997. To get to 100 finals has involved a few championships as well, as exemplified by the no.1 on the side of his four link dragster, self-built in 2010 using a Mark Williams chassis and rear.

You can follow the EDRS race series' points by clicking here. The next EDRS round is in Finland at Kauhava Raceway on 21st-22nd August.

Hawk Racing announce Gedore Tools sponsorship.
11th August: Team Hawk Racing, the Nitro Funny Car team of Mark and Jackie Hawkins, are pleased to announce sponsorship support from specialist torque wrench makers Gedore Tools. An exclusive deal has been struck with Team Hawk Racing for supply of specialist torque wrenches, supported by the extensive range of Gedore specialist automotive tools, to the team’s all round trackside servicing, for outside events and workshop use.

Mark and Jackie Hawkins are owners of the Hawk Racing, Gladiator-named Nitro Funny Car driven by Jason Phelps. Having used the specialist torque wrenches during the closed season to prepare the car for racing in 2020, the team have not been able to use them in anger. They plan to return to the track as soon as racing resumes.

As owner, crew chief, and engineer of 40 years’ experience, Mark said, ‘Team Hawk Racing have recently acquired two specialist torque wrenches through, to torque the engine’s valley stud nuts correctly. Having now used the wrenches, we have found them to be very ergonomically friendly and a very high quality tool. We look forward to using Gedore tool kits and chests at Santa Pod Raceway where Gladiator will be racing.

Gedore Tools celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2019. Managing Director Kieron Smith said ‘Gedore Tools for Life are delighted to be supporting Team Hawk Racing with our extensive range of specialist automotive tools and look forward to seeing the car perform at Santa Pod Raceway’. When ordering please quote Team Hawk Racing.

You can see the full range of Gedore Torque tools with technical information at Gedore Torque Ltd is based in Bramley, Guildford, Surrey, GU5 0AL. For sales, contact 01483 894476.

Ordering of Gedore Tools is available on line from or e-mail with any queries. Gedore UK Ltd is based in Marton Street, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 1TF, telephone 01756 706700.

Images: Jason Phelps in Gladiator Funny Car ©, Torque Wrench: Gedore 2641526 (series 200) Dremaster Z 16.40-200 Nm

Kenneth Söderström.
10th August: We were shocked and very sorry to hear of the death of former Pro Stock racer Kenneth Söderström. Kenneth came into Pro Stock in 1999 after a period in Competition Eliminator. He ran the FIA European Championship for 10 years taking 2005 off to build a new car after an accident at Santa Pod Raceway at the 2004 Euro Finals having previously suffered a crash at Alastaro in 2001. His best championship finish was fifth.

We remember Kenneth as a quiet racer who was honest enough to admit to the rare errors he made in his driving. He was also determined to have the car perform at its best potential and be competitive with the class leaders. After he retired from racing he ran an engine rebuilding business as well as his main leisure activity of fishing.

Michael Malmgren said on behalf of the European Pro Stock Association:

We all feel a deep sadness that Kenneth Söderström has suddenly passed away, way too early in life. Kenneth drove a family operated car, you could say, as brother Håkan handled the tuning. They didn't have the biggest budget, but always gave it all they got and was always a threat.

I remember I raced Kenneth in the first round at Santa Pod many years back and felt like this will be no problem, but wow, how wrong I was, he had a big hole shot over me and I was out, if I recall correctly he went all the way to the final.

For me Kenneth was a very cool, kind and relaxed guy, no stress, but at the starting line was always a threat. In Pro Stock we always try to keep it as family between teams and share a good laugh, and we also always try to help each other if parts are needed.

I feel I can say from all of us racing Pro Stock back then, when Kenneth was active, and also racers active today that knew Kenneth, that we feel deep grief at his passing. May he rest in peace.

Event entry update.
10th August: Thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us version 6 of the official entry list for the STP Green Light Nationals. You can check out the entry list by clicking here. Entry closes on Wednesday, 12th August, after which entry, if accepted may be subject to a late entry penalty. You can find the official on-line entry form via the Entry Forms page of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site here. Ian also reminds racers of the closing dates for the events in the 2020 series. These are:
  • STP Green Light Nationals: 12th August
  • Not the Euro Finals, presented by STP: 28th August
  • STP National Finals: 11th September
Melbourne Raceway reopens.
10th August: After a huge effort on fundraising by Straightliners' Trevor Duckworth and his team for relaying the racing surface to 1/8 mile, Melbourne Raceway re-opened on Saturday 8th August, and looked resplendent.

Over 75 racers seized the opportunity to be among the first along the newly laid surface and the reviews were ecstatic. Many on social media expressed their happiness at the Raceway being re-opened and their thanks to Trevor and his team for the work they had done over the last months in making the opening a reality.

Jerry Collier attended and said 'Wow, what a fantastic day at Melbourne raceway. This man Trevor Duckworth and his amazing team have only gone and done it. The first day the track was open and what a day it was. Just bloody fantastic and it’s only going to get better. Everything Trevor does for our sport and the racers is amazing and thank you. You’ve made us look forward to racing again. Well who’s with me in thinking there’s isn’t a better candidate for a new member of the British Dragracing Hall of Fame! Once again Trevor thank you for everything you an your team do.'

Photos and credits (clockwise): Straightliners; Mark Flavell (Gregg Havler picture); Graham Sykes; Mason Griffiths and Nik Wilson (Callum Pudge pictures)

Trevor Duckworth wrote: And just like that...a new era for Melbourne Raceway, drag racing in the north comes home to this iconic track. A venue is once more alive, an incredible turn out so far this weekend and a credit to each and every single person that has been involved, from a pound to ten thousand pounds, each and every one of you contributed. This is not one single person or a single group of people who achieved this, the whole project has been a culmination of all walks of life with a passion and love for racing who got behind Straightliners Events to help save Melbourne, and with a snip of the scissors we are open, the lights are ready for staging and we are racing!

What a wonderful day for drag racing in the Uk...a beautfiul hot day, faces old and new, the best crew in the business and the sounds of engines roaring down a brand new drag our best life!

Those who couldn't make it said they would be back at the first opportunity, and the next race after this weekend is planned for 10th-11th October. You can see a list of the racers and their best 60ft times here, and to be informed of future events at the track you can go to the Straightliners web site by clicking here.

Ford Show galleries and SPR snippets.
10th August: Many thanks to Diana and Kieran who have supplied galleries of the Ford Show Lite supported by John Woolfe Racing. To see the galleries click here or click on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the main menu.

There were some outstanding runs and debuts at the Ford Show Lite and the preceding day's Run What Ya Brung. Elaine Hancock's Lethal Zephyr Reinvented went to both days for Elaine to get familiar and also for her to upgrade her license. She made a number of passes and her best ET was a 9.747/153.13 on only her second, which was quicker than she had been before.

Other notable runs were from Chris Todd who in his Subaru powered rear wheel drive Ford Fiesta broke into the eights for the first time to go 8.91/157. Our Kieran ran his Mk1 Fiesta to a PB of 13.6/100. Former Pro Modified racer Roger Moore brought the Yellow Metal Funny Bike to the track for the first time at the RWYB and wasted no time in becoming familiar with the machine. Roger's daughter and Pro Mod colour commentator Lucy Moore has promised an account of how her Dad made the transition from cars to bikes.

Web site updates.
10th August: Uk Drag Racing News and Nostalgia has had over 300 photos of the Nostalgia Drags uploaded to it by webmaster Jon Spoard. You can see Jon's photos by clicking here.

Photojournalist Andy Willsheer has produced a report on the Nostalgia Drags and Colin Millar's record runs for Tony Thacker's Torq Talk site. You can read his report by clicking here.

Former photo editor and photojournalist Roger Gorringe has produced a photo feature on SPR's Nostalgia Drags for US publication Drag Racing Edge which you can read by clicking here.

VeeDubRacing webmaster Simon Letkey has updated his Facebook page with an album of 80 photos from the VWDRC Drag Days. You can see Simon's photos by clicking here. Simon is also updating his Youtube channel with a number of videos from the two day event.

VWDRC Drag Days results.
7th August:
We attended the first day of the VWDRC Drag Days and found the atmosphere relaxed and the times electrifying, as some of Europe's quickest VW racers were present.

The top times recorded over the two days were:
  1. Hubert Strengberger (Austria, HST Audi TT):7.7709/182.06
  2. Markus Welte (Germany, TTK Performance VW Golf): 8.2515/177.81
  3. Markus Hegna (Germany,Turbo Impression VW Golf): 8.8172/167.26
  4. David Lee (MRC Tuning VW Golf): 9.0375/157.91
  5. Jose San Martin (France, FRT Motorsport VW Golf): 9.1848/160.72
  6. Julian Bayer (Germany, VW golf): 9.4302/145.21
  7. James Forster (Plymouth Duster): 9.6386/138.18
  8. Dan Jacobs (Audi RS3): 9.7084/142.91
  9. Richie Webb (VW Beetle Cabriolet): 9.8028/123.84
Today Hubert Strengberger (pictured) was involved in a high speed incident which put him on his roof at the top end of the track. He is completely uninjured and reportedly said the only thing that hurts is his wallet. 'I got out of the car unharmed and would like to thank Oliver Zsakai who built the full tube frame and the Santa Pod crew and medical staff for their help', he said.

Our gallery of 75 photos from Thursday by Kirstie is at this link. With many thanks to Adam Bentley and David Anniwell of SPR's timing crew, you can now download a file of both day's run data in Excel format by clicking on this link. Coverage can be seen by clicking here.

Venom at Greenlights
7th August: Many thanks to Tony Betts for sending an update on his plans for the next big meeting:

Nostalgia Funny Car team Venom are pleased to announce, subject to meetings continuing, they will be at the STP Green Light Nationals. It has been a long year with many changes. Venom has a new fuel system and ignition setup thanks to John Wright, along with a new supercharger from Jeff Fowler in USA and adapter plate.

I decided to downsize the artic unit to a single goose neck trailer so that I can drive it. We also have a goose neck caravan. These will all be clad in Venom livery. The trailer has set us a few problems that have escalated into a complete re-clad of the exterior and interior, complete rewire and new electric brakes all round. We are all looking forward to getting back on track and burning some nitro.

Flyin' Fyfer's thanks.
7th August: Outlaw Anglia racer Colin Millar has written with his thoughts post-Nostalgia Drags which we're sure everyone involved will agree with:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Santa Pod Raceway for putting on such a fantastic event at the weekend, thanks to Ian Marshall and all the crew that keep us safe, I may be going very fast but i feel safe and secure and what a track they gave me to put on a show, a personal thanks to Keith Bartlett for making the event happen as I'm sure its a huge undertaking behind the scenes in these very difficult times, the Outlaw Anglia family had a ball and we hope that we entertained and allowed us all to keep our focus on happy times and fast racing, again thanks to all involved within Santa Pod Raceway.

Powerflow's Lethal Zephyr reinvented.
7th August: Powerflow Exhausts chief David Smith says another car, with not a little history (previous owners included Ray White and Lee Cohen), has been added to their stable:

We’ve been really busy over in our Powerflow Exhausts Alcester workshops and not just carrying out modifications on our Pro Stock Pontiac. It all started 3 years ago when we met Elaine & Dave Hancock. She was racing her Civic in Sportsman ET, really enjoying herself and winning trophies. The only problem she had (if you could call it a problem), was it just didn’t sound like a V8, and she couldn’t do impressive burnouts!

We got to know Elaine and Dave really well over her first and second race seasons, and many conversations were had in regards to either building or buying a V8 powered drag car. Over the closed season, the Altered came up for sale, which we bought, then carried out significant amounts of work on it including paint and a sponsorship from my company Powerflow Exhausts.

The Altered has done everything that was asked from it and ran the same numbers over and over again with a personal best ET of 10.2. So you would have thought Elaine would be more than happy with her new purchase. Apparently not... Here’s where it all started again! It was everything she had asked for and more, except... It didn’t have doors! Really? Womens' prerogative to change their mind apparently!

So again, after many conversations it was decided that she would run the Altered for the next 2-3 seasons and we would then look out for a door car that would be suitable for her. However, that plan went straight out the window when a certain car popped up for sale on Facebook!

The conversation went like this:
David : Look what’s just gone up for sale...
Elaine : Wow, that’s awesome...
David : Shall I buy it?
Elaine : Do you think I’d be able to drive it?
David : Yes. How about this. I’ll buy it, rebuild it etc and you can buy it off me when it’s done. You could sell the Altered to part fund it?
Elaine : F*** yes! Buy it...OMG I can’t believe it. I’m sooooooo excited!

A week later it’s in my workshop and I’m compiling a list of the parts needed for the build including a 2000hp rated Reid transmission ordered from Andy Frost, Steve Schmidt BBC engine, bespoke parts from Wayne Allman of Intergalactic Custom Shop, a Tony Morris Carburettors methanol fuel system, and a full custom built wiring loom built by the guys at Smithy’s Speed Shop. Plus many many shipments from Summit, Jegs, JW etc which actually become an absolute nightmare when the Covid 19 pandemic hit us...

Six months or so later, (apart from a shake down, and ironing out any gremlins) we're finally done. ‘Lethal Zephyr Reinvented’, is now owned and driven by Elaine Hancock, and looked after by her crew chief Dave Hancock and the my technicians from Powerflow Exhausts Alcester & Alcester Auto Services. I really hope this will finally tick ALL the boxes now (fingers crossed!). It’s a V8, can do big smokey burnouts, and it’s a doorslammer with great history behind it!

All of us at Powerflow Exhausts Alcester, Alcester Auto Services, SSS Exhausts, SSS Remapping & Smithy’s Speed Shop would like to wish Elaine and Dave all the very best with the new car.

I’ve had so many people phone me and turn up at my workshops nosing around to see what I’ve been up to. I’ve never felt so popular ! The garbage I’ve had to think up on the spot to keep this under wraps is shocking! So the news is finally out and the rumours and me talking garbage can stop. Here it is. ‘Lethal Zephyr Reinvented’...

Elaine is hoping to campaign the new car in Comp Eliminator and Super Pro ET when she’s got to grips with it. I’m sure she will be made very welcome. I had the bonnet repainted and pin striped (or big brush striped) by an outside company due to time restraints. I thought they could deliver the quality and design I’d asked for. Unfortunately not.....this is part of the build that hasn’t gone to plan. It’s awful! If anyone knows a very good, proven pin striping guy, please send them my way ASAP!

Pro Dutch Racing back on track.
5th August:
Suddenly there is plenty of work for Pro Dutch Racing again. Michel Tooren and his team will be in racing action no less than three times within a time frame of five weeks. The reopening of Santa Pod Raceway has paved the way for the Pro Dutch Racing '71 Plymouth Barracuda to be put to the test both in competition and on test days. The team's first appearance is scheduled for the weekend of August 22 and 23,followed by two weekends in September.

For a long time, it looked like 2020 would be a lost season for the European drag racing fans and teams. Due to the corona pandemic, tracks temporarily had to close and competition was cancelled. This even resulted in the FIA European Drag Racing Championship being cancelled for this year and Motorsport UK removing the Pro Modified title fight from its calendar, two championships that Pro Dutch Racing had set its sights on for 2020.

Fortunately, many countries have overcome the problems caused by COVID-19 and have got the virus better under control for weeks. Meanwhile, various circuits have opened their gates again and the first races have been held. Similarly at Santa Pod Raceway, firstly without an audience, but recently also with spectators, all this of course with strict adherence to all conditions established by government and track. The Santa Pod Raceway calendar will feature three events in the coming weeks that Pro Modified cars can take action, a possibility that Pro Dutch Racing are grasping both hands. “We have new parts on the Cuda and quite a lot of changes. We would like to test these this year and that possibility has now suddenly arisen. Assuming we can have a normal season again next year, we can test new things now, possibly make adjustments in winter and then we will be well prepared at the start of 2021”, explains Michel Tooren.

The first race for Pro Dutch Racing is the STP Green Light Nationals on the weekend of August 22 and 23. On the Friday before the event there is a test day where Pro Dutch Racing hopes to make its first few runs of the season. Because the Pro Modified class is not competing, Michel Tooren will take action in the STP Greenlight Nationals in the 'exhibition class'. This opens up the opportunity to complete as many test runs as the team wishes.

The first real competition for the Pro Modified class is scheduled for 11th-13th September, the date that had been on the calendar for the FIA European Championship. The event has, with a British sense of humour, after the cancellation of the FIA European Championship, been renamed NOT The European Finals. Almost all classes that would have competed in the traditional European Finals will be there to make an appearance. In the Pro Modified class around ten European teams are expected and thus the class in which Pro Dutch Racing is active is the main feature of the extensive race programme.

Two weeks later, September 26th-27th, Pro Dutch Racing can again be seen at Santa Pod Raceway during the STP National Finals. Here too the Pro Modified class forms the fastest category and main attraction of the event.

Michel Tooren and Pro Dutch Racing have had to wait a long time, but in the end it is now time for action and the engines can be started. “"We are looking forward to it enormously. In March we were almost ready for the new season when COVID-19 put a spanner in the works. In the months that followed, we continued to work on the Cuda and all the adjustments to the chassis and engine were recalculated and reviewed many times. The preparation may never have been better. Now we can do all that final testing and testing the new parts in a competitive setting, ”said Michel Tooren, who can't wait to put his helmet back on and take the green light.

In the current uncertain times, the three events continue with the reservation that the corona measures of the authorities involved will not be tightened up again.

Calendar for Pro Dutch Racing:
STP Greenlight Nationals, August 22-23, 2020
NOT The European Finals, September 11-13, 2020
STP National Finals, September 26-27, 2020

Jayne burns out.
5th August: Back in our news item on 6th April, Jayne Kay revealed her turbocharged funny bike which initially will be competing in the ET bike class. Jayne has sent a report of her progress to date:

We fired the bike up over the weekend in preparation for the STP Green Light Nationals in a few weeks' time. We then burnt out a few clutches during the week trying to get the burnout right but we got there in the end, obviously I let my Dad have a go first! Our new paint job looked pretty cool out in the sunshine too!

I just want to thank the people who helped answer questions on Facebook and Phil Crossley for coming down and giving us a hand with everything too!

You can check out the video of Jayne's bike on her YouTube channel.

Records sheet updated.
5th August: Thanks to honorary member Andy Marrs for updating the UK and European records sheet which shows Colin Millar's new Outlaw Anglia SPR Track Record of 7.114, which is also a backed-up record for the Outlaw Anglia class association. You can see the UK and European records sheet by clicking here.

Web site updates.
5th August: We spotted that Ashley Dale who has run his photography website for a few years has more recently recorded personal best times and speeds recorded at Santa Pod Raceway since the track was re-laid in concrete at the start of 2018. This separate site is at which shows personal bests for a wide variety of classes, with index classes only including times above the class index.

The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr gallery with pictures from the first public event of the year, Retro Show Lite. You can take a look by clicking this link.

VWDRC Drag Days coverage.
5th August: There will be live coverage from the VWDRC Drag Days taking place on 6th-7th August at Santa Pod Raceway. On both days, the technical problems of last weekend having been fixed, SPR will be broadcasting a Lite Streaming feed from the start of racing at 9:30am to 5pm. will be running a live report by Simon on 6th August with an end-day gallery courtesy Kirstie. To see the coverage go to this link which includes the final entry list.

The VWDRC says there will be two days of testing and a little competition both Bracket and Heads Up. This is behind closed doors due to COVID-19 so you will be able to see coverage on Santa Pod's feed and also via the VWDRC web site.

SPRC notices.
4th August:
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has been in touch to say 'A big big thank you from Santa Pod Raceway and Santa Pod Racers Club to all of the racers that helped us out with slicks, collected or delivered. They are currently being put to good use and have replenished our stocks a little, but if anyone has used Drag Slicks they still need to get rid of, please get in touch.

Ian also said 'the ticket allocation for the Green Light Nationals, Not The European Finals and National Finals will be as normal for your class at any given National Event; Exhibition entries will be sorted by Santa Pod, but will be as per your normal allocation'.

Talking of used tyres...
4th August: In remarkable timing in reference to the SPRC announcement Pro Modified and Super Pro ET racer John Tebenham has announced...he has used slicks and, at the same time, needs a tyre sponsor:

We are just getting our little white Crew Killer Pop all ready for the Green Light Nationals. I’m getting not many runs to the tyres, well burnouts really. Look up Ford Pop burnout in the rain. Paul Marston and Luke Robinson have been getting the Pop ready for some mad burnouts. I am just making plans to add a third car to our stock. I have a few options it’s one of four cars available, I can’t wait. The black pile in the photo was rubber from under the wheel arches after two meetings!

Racer information request.
4th August: For some years we have admired the site which includes detailed racer information for teams competing in Scandinavia. In order to report the sport in the UK accurately, we are seeking up to date information on race vehicles competing in the UK. This brings us to the Racer Information Request form. We would be very grateful if racers could kindly provide information on this text based form, which will be handed to commentators at the track and used in reports. The benefits to racers are help in promoting their team and sponsors - and accurate reporting of your racing operation.

To complete the form, download it by clicking this link complete it on your device (it will open on phones, tablets and computers) and then e-mail it to message it to or attach it in a message to Simon if you use Facebook messaging.

Nostalgia Drags results.
3rd August: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's Nostalgia Drags at Santa Pod Raceway: Supercharged Outlaws: Class awards: Gary Parkes, Andy Park, Andy Hadfield. Best time: Joel Kerr 7.0012, runner up Robbie Grabham 7.5301
Outlaw Anglia: Best time: Colin Millar 7.1148, runner up Scotty Crookston 7.5886
Wild Bunch: Callum Swinchatt +0.0375 average over dial, runner up Brian Watson +0.0564
Willys Wars: Best time: Dave Day 9.5950, runner up Phil Evans 9.9248
Uk Nostalgia Superstock: Jack Bishop (9.91) 9.9911/127.33 def. Richard Layram (12.75) 12.7998/104.55
Gasser Circus: Overall winner Nick Barnett
Nostalgia Pro Stock Bike: Claire Rule 9.4334/119.16 def. Richard Peachey 9.2469/138.67

Congratulations to Colin Millar whose 7.1148 was a new Outlaw Anglia ET record, backed up by an earlier 7.1499.

Thanks to David Anniwell for passing us the official timing data for the event which you can check out by
clicking here or clicking on the Timing Data link in the main menu on any page.

You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Nostalgia Drags reports, results and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the main menu of any page. As a bonus you can see Kirstie's choice of 102 of her photos from the event at the Facebook page.

Event entry update.
3rd August: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us version 5 of the official entry list for the STP Green Light Nationals. You can check out the entry list by clicking here. Entry closes on Wednesday, 12th August, after which entry, if accepted may be subject to a late entry penalty. You can find the official on-line entry form via the Entry Forms page of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site here.

Russ's racing blog.
3rd August: Wild Bunch Racer Steve Heaven is supported by his Dad and former racer Russ Heaven. Based in Spain, Russ was unable to attend the race, but managed to update his blog which makes for an entertaining read. Enduring a number of problems, the team managed, with some borrowed parts and advice over the phone from Russ, to get their slingshot dragster down the track three times. Read much more at Russ's blog which has now reached an amazing 128 episodes since he started it in 2013.

Web site updates.
3rd August: Updating his Flickr site with photos from Saturday of the Nostalgia Drags is Paul Bryan. Paul says: There are 166 photos in total. It was great to be back after almost eleven months and along with others would like to commend everyone at the Pod for the hard work in achieving what was required for this event to run with spectators in attendance. I felt everyone involved including the teams, racers, spectators, contractors all played their part in making a great and safe event for all. Also to Colin who personally went along the spectator bank to apologise for the lack of commentary due to a piece of faulty sound equipment (top man). Of course they replaced the duff stuff, then we had Colin’s dulcet tones for the reminder of the day firstly with his heartfelt words for the dear departed Stu Bradbury which received a warm round of applause from all the crowd. I can’t wait till the Green Light meeting later in the month.

Also posting from the weekend was sometime photo contributor Callum Pudge who posted a Facebook album of 379 photos, a large proportion which are tagged with the name of the driver; you can enjoy these at Callum's Facebook page.

Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt attended the race and you can see his video footage at his Youtube page.

Nostalgia Drags bulletin.
31st July: Thanks to Jake Wray of Santa Pod Raceway for sending the following bulletin regarding this weekend's Nostalgia Drags:

I hope everyone is well and ready for the Nostalgia Drags. Whether you are racing, crewing or spectating, let’s make the first nostalgia event of 2020 one to remember!

The gates will open to all at 5pm on Friday and close at midnight. They will then re-open at 8am on Saturday morning. Site will not open before 5pm on Friday so please DO NOT arrive at the venue earlier.

The Signing On office will be open from 8am Saturday morning to collect your wristband for the weekend if you are in a race class. RWYB racers will have to attend signing on at the beginning of each relevant day that they are booked for. Don’t forget that although the signing on procedure has changed, racers and RWYB’ers will still need to produce their driving or race licence at the sign on office.

The track will be open from 9:30am until 5pm on Saturday. Sunday hours will be 9:30am until 5pm. There will be scheduled runs for each race class including RWYB. Please refer to the timetable in the programme for times. The racers' pits will be sectioned for each race class. Please pit with social distancing in mind. Ventilation is a key message and therefore awnings, if used, should remain as open as possible as often as possible, for example the roof section could be used but the side and front should be open with the exception of the side that may border on to another team’s pit area. If this is not possible, social distancing and PPE should be used. Also, physical barriers should be used between each pit bay to retain distancing. Barriers could be motorhomes, trailers or even support vehicles that will remain in place for the whole weekend.

Mike Collins' tribute to Stu.
30th July: Many thanks to Mike Collins for providing an exclusive mix for readers, courtesy Street Machine, of his six page tribute to the late Stu Bradbury, which you can see by clicking on any of the images below (pdf format, 8MB):

Mike says: 'Sadly, Stu, a warm and loveable dude, left us on the 10th of July; it’s been moving to read the tributes posted on Eurodragster. Maybe I’ve led a sheltered life, but can’t think of anyone ever saying a bad word about him. My thoughts and prayers are with Bev and Genna, his many friends and thousands of fans. We had a rapport from the start, and I truly enjoyed every minute spent in his company during the past half-century or so; God speed my friend'.

Outlaw Anglia preview.
30th July: Thanks to Jemma Bromley for a preview of Outlaw Anglia at this weekend's Nostalgia Drags at Santa Pod Raceway: The Outlaw Anglias are back and it was such fantastic news when we heard the year was not a write off and found out Santa Pod Raceway was putting on the Nostalgia Drags on the 1st and 2nd of August. This was music to our ears and not only that, we were told that we were getting at least three events to run in this year with the Hot Rod Drags being one of them and the other is still to be confirmed. The fact that spectators are now being allowed in as well will make such a difference to the atmosphere of Santa Pod.

With the news only coming to us recently, it did catch some of us on the hop thinking the year was done and some major modifications being started has stopped some of the more regular OA teams from coming out to play, however as always we will make sure we put on a show for the spectators and anyone interested in the Outlaw Anglias.

At the moment we have a confirmed class of 16 cars which includes a few surprises for the forthcoming event, with a new member Ben Kennedy coming out to play with us for the first time after getting it ready to run last year then having an unfortunate accident meaning it had to go to Jedd Guy for some fixing before it was ready to finally get on track with OA! Phil 'Ginner' Middleton is making a star appearance after being missing from last year's fun, also the great news that Dave Pearce is coming out with his car which many of us have owned and loved over the years, great to see it back in his capable hands, he ran a 9.71@142 in 1991 and he's now back at it 29 years later, he's got OA in the blood!

The Flyin' squad will be in full attendance with 3 cars and a lot of new upgrades to test out and see if they all work, Spencer Tidswell will be out showing off his latest Ford Anglia (knew he couldn’t stay away, but great to have him back as well).

Gary Bird is entered with Lucky Penny as well as Gary’s son Shane Bird in attendance, Gary’s youngest son Aaron is also making great progress in his building of another Outlaw Anglia, watch this space as its coming soon.

Garry Hill will be out with Hoppin Poppin, supported by Kelly Mobbs and although Danny Wilson isn’t out this year I’m sure he won’t be far from Garry to help him out.

Ted Booth who usually runs in both OA and Gasser Circus has had to make the hard decision as he can only run in one class this weekend, so we're really glad he has chosen to run with us! Mick Taylor is chasing his tail but promises me he will be there as he is presently putting a rocket up Rob Chilton’s backside to make sure lol.

Peter Jones is chomping at the bit with a big engine upgrade and a dyno sheet that he’s keeping to himself, so that means were going to see great improvements. Ronnie Mercer will be back out with Annie and we're sure his car hasn’t sat still during the lockdown! Rob Nixon will be out looking to better the 9.98 he managed to get out of OA48 back at last years Hot Rod Drags, Phil Drewitt is gutted he can't attend due to a broken foot, get well soon Phil!

The icing on the cake, however, or certainly it is for us, as I'm sure you will all agree, is the Professor Al O’Connor is coming out to play “with a little help from our friends” and if Ginner has anything to do with it, the socially distanced banter will be in full flow.

There’s not going to be an actual Outlaw Anglia Championship this year so we can all just have a laugh with no pressure but we will make sure the show goes on and we will be having a bit of fun with the class by running our own Most Consistent ET trophy calculated as a percentage over the 4 most consistent runs!

The Outlaw Anglia class wish everyone the very best during these strange times and please look after everyone around you, we will of course align ourselves with the required COVID 19 regulations and special measures that will need to be adhered to at Santa Pod Raceway and we hope you can all do the same, see you all at the track.

VP Signs with MaxG Apparel.
30th July: VP Racing Fuels, Inc., a global leader in performance fuels, lubricants, and additives, today announced the signing of MAXG Apparel to produce the brand’s very popular racer-fan merchandise line in England, for distribution in the UK and across the continent.

"There has long been a demand for VP merchandise across the Atlantic," said Eric Bishop, VP’s International Sales Manager. "This deal means that an ever-expanding range of VP-branded goods can be supplied and sold at good prices, with high quality and low lead times. We are grateful to MAXG Apparel for their investment of time and resources to make this happen."

From July, VP distributors, dealers, retailers, and end-users will be able to buy a range of official VP merchandise and have orders fulfilled within days. Products include eye-catching VP Mad Scientist® t-shirts, VP jackets, hoodies, shirts, caps, and drinkware, all produced to VP's high-quality standards.

"MAXG Apparel are delighted to be working with VP Racing Fuels on this exciting opportunity to bring VP branded apparel to Europe," added MAXG owner Mark Gardner. "Just like their fuels, the VP apparel will be made with the same passion and high-quality materials using the very latest technology and produced in the UK. We have a special launch offer of free postage on any order and can't wait to get started!"

To review and order from the extensive line of merchandise now available in Europe visit and take advantage of the free shipping offer during the special launch. Just enter the code "FREESHIP100" at checkout.

Ida sets more marks.
29th July: Super Street Bike racer Ida Zetterström, from the Åland Islands of Finland, became the first female Finn, and first European female, into the sixes riding this class when on Sunday she ran 6.985/205mph at the LSK Business Park Open at Kauhava Airport. She said 'A massive thank you to my team and our partners for making it possible, together we did it'. With that performance it is no surprise that Ida won the event, which had non-championship status with the cancellation of EDRS Pro Motorcycle Championship for 2020.

Finnish fan favourite Ida had planned to race the FIM Championship this year but Covid-19 put paid to that. Nevertheless, running a six was one of her stated objectives for 2020 and she achieved that in her first competitive 2020 outing on her turbo Suzuki Hayabusa. In 2019 she had became the first female to win an EDRS Pro race and to become an EDRS Pro Champion.

Pictured (clockwise): Ida Zetterström, Vesa Lipponen, Jaakko Lauhasmaa (Top Doorslammer), Andres Arnover. Pictures © Kettil Rautio.

There was some nitro bike action including Top Fuel Bike rider Mikko Rajaniemi on the former Sverre Dahl/Norbert Kutzera/Kai Selkamaa Puma Yamaha and Samu Kemppainen his V60 engined Super Twin. The performance star was Vesa Lipponen, riding with Jaska Salakari doing the tuning. Vesa ran a best of 5.921/217.75mph on the Saturday. Video of this run is at this link.

Also five Top Doorslammers were in attendance, winner Andres Arnover (from Estonia), Jaakko Lauhasmaa, Jarmo Nyberg, Jeri Rantaniemi and newcomer to the class Tomi Stamblewski.

You can see Kettil Rautio's extensive photo galleries by clicking on the respective links for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

September at Santa Pod Raceway.
29th July: CEO of Santa Pod Raceway Keith Bartlett has announced further events for the month of September and plans for the traditional season end event in October.

As we made clear in our previous announcements, all events will of be held in keeping with all the current guidelines and restrictions around the COVID-19 virus. There have been changes and updates including the lifting of some restrictions since our last statement. From the middle of July, we have been able to invite spectator attendance along with camping.

Turning to the month of September the following events will be taking place:

The European Finals is to be cancelled in its current format (as there will now be no official FIA or FIM European Drag Racing Championship for 2020). We have therefore decided to replace this with our own event titled “NOT the European Finals"! This will be held on the same date (11th/12th/13th September). The event will still feature Nitro-burning Top Fuel Dragsters, Nitro Funny Cars, Nostalgia Funny Cars, Pro Modified cars from the UK and Europe plus the Jet cars and fields of all the other classes normally seen at the European Finals. The numbers of cars may be reduced from a normal European Finals but still for those of you who enjoy your fix of Nitro, Jet Cars and the awesome Pro Modified, there will be plenty of cars on show.

“NOT the European Finals” will form the middle event of the 3-race Drag Racing series for 2020 starting with the “STP Greenlight Nationals” (existing date of August 22nd/23rd) and the “STP National Finals” (existing date of Sept 26th/27th). We are delighted that we are now able to offer this series for both the racers and fans with a burst of Nitro action in 2020; and whilst it may “NOT” be the usual European Finals as such, it certainly WILL be a much missed dose of the top flight Nitro Drag Racing action that we all love, miss and deserve!

We can also confirm that the “Hot Rod Drags” event will still take place on Sept 18th/20th offering yet more exciting nostalgia drag racing action for those who had to forego our flagship “Dragstalgia” event this month.

So, with Santa Pod’s recently announced “VW Breakout” weekend (Sept 4th-6th) replacing our partners’ traditional “VW Action” weekend, September is looking really good and we hope you can continue to support us through the Autumn period. Your generous actions with regard to ticket credits and not refund requests has enabled us to get this far and see some light at the end of the tunnel.

As a point of note, we will be cancelling the Jap Show Finale on the 4th October as this is replaced with our Jap Show Lite on Sun August 16th. However, we are currently intending to go ahead with the ‘Flame & Thunder’ event at the end of October and Firework Frenzy the week after.

So, in closing, I am feeling a little more confident that Santa Pod may at last be getting back on track and can now offer events not only for our racers to compete at, but for our loyal fans and spectators to finally enjoy once again – safely.

New CEO for Speedgroup.
29th July: Speedgroup, Sweden’s and Europe’s largest series organizer for competitions in drag racing, has announced the appointment of a new CEO, Nils Lagerlöf. His stated goal is to make the world’s fastest motorsport even more attractive to more people.

Nils said 'Our goal is for our competition series to include professional competitions with great entertainment value for the audience, as well as increased added value for competitors, event organizers and partners. We will work hard with our EDRS and EDRS PRO series and develop our collaboration with FIA'.

'Under the leadership of the former CEO, Åsa Kinnemar, Speedgroup has developed into a stable company with good values, skilled staff, and good partners. We are grateful that Åsa will continue to remain in the company. For several years, she has been an important part of Speedgroup’s development and developed the concept on which the company works', said the company’s chairperson Roger Lyrén.

'Speedgroup is now increasing the pace to make the sport even more attractive. The goal is to raise the level of our series even more through better marketing, increased collaboration with event organizers and partners, and thereby contribute to the development of the sport. Already today, the sport has good growth with juniors, but there is great potential to grow significantly'.

Nils, who will take over the CEO position during the summer, has a long professional experience in sales. Previous experience includes activities in the construction and real estate industry as a contractor, broker, and project manager. He has been a regular board member of Speedgroup since 2017 and is well acquainted with both the company’s operations and the sport of drag racing in general.

Since the end of the 1990s, Nils competed in drag racing for motorcycles, as well as managed racing teams. He has in other words extensive experience in marketing as well as establishing and running business partnerships, something that is extremely important in motorsports.

Together with Speedgroup’s board and task group, Nils has in recent years participated in the development of the company’s concept.

Taking the step to be responsible for the daily operation of the company feels both challenging and exciting, says Nils, who since January 2020 has already worked part-time for Speedgroup within project management, focusing on sales and marketing.

'B Sting parked for 2020.
29th July: Wild Bunch altered 'B Sting team member Barry Bohannon says: 'Good luck from the 'B Sting boys and girls and stay safe, to all the 'bunchers running at the Nostalgia Drags this coming weekend, it looks like it's going to be a stellar meeting.

'Head Sting boy Paul Croston has asked me to let you all know why we're going to be parked for the rest of 2020. He had a chest infection some eight or so weeks ago and, when he went back to hospital with chest pains after his meds ran out, the doctor suspected he'd ruptured a cartilage in his chest due to the amount of coughing he'd been doing and sent him for a chest X ray. The staff spotted a mass on his lung and sent him for scans which confirmed their suspicions that he has lung cancer.

'Following a long, almost at times daily series of scans, blood tests and more scans and tests and more blood tests he was scheduled for surgery to remove the tumour, his consultant was confident about the procedure given that Paul has "the blood pressure and stamina of a man almost half his age" !! Fast forward to this past Wednesday and he was 'in the pairing lanes' waiting to go into surgery for an 09.30 start time. His surgical team removed part of his lung and a lymph gland and three hours and change later, he was back up on the ICU. Later that very day he was sat up in bed talking on the phone to his wife Lynne!

'The day after his op he was transferred to a regular surgical ward, much to the astonishment of the staff.

After six days in hospital he went home to the bungalow he and Lynne share in Rochdale yesterday and now begins the long trip back along the 'return road' to recovery. He's in good spirits and is looking forward to seeing you all on the Santa Pod TV YouTube broadcast this coming weekend from the Nostalgia Drags so he'll be with you all on every pass'.

We're sure that all readers will join us in wishing Paul a speedy recovery to full health.

Swift snippets.
29th July: In his latest instalment of his autobiographical blog, John Hunt reveals what occupied him during a break from drag racing, and how the charitable concept of Drag Racing Nuts, including figurine Norman, the Drag Racing Nut, came into being. You can read John's blog here or by clicking on Racer Blogs in the main menu.

We would like to wish a Happy Birthday to Swedish, and occasionally international, photojournalist for Lena Perés, we hope you've had a great day Lena.

Retro Show Lite gallery.
27th July: Our Kieran braved the somewhat variable weather to go trackside and take pictures of the varied machinery at yesterday's Retro Show Lite held at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Kieran's
John Woolfe Racing-sponsored gallery of yesterday's action by clicking here or clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the main menu of any page.

Mantorp Drag Revival results, pictures.
27th July: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's Mantorp Drag Revival meeting in Sweden, held 'behind closed doors' on 24th-26th July with acknowledgements to for results:

Pro Xtreme (1/8 mile): Jan Ericsson 3.883/305kph def Matthias Wulcan 3.966/288.9kph
4to6 (1/8 mile): Mathias Stenström 4.042/288.8 def. Tobias Johansson 4.766/241.4
Pro Street Alexandra Wingård 7.661/272.10 def. Anna Knutes no-show
Super Pro ET Alexander Loffe Edlund 8.206/251.0 def. Lucas Karlsson 8.011/270.8 breakout
Stocksupertock Krister Fogelin 10.436/176.6 def. Åke Hedberg 10.201/204.3
Vintage A match race: Leif Andersson 8.72/227.1 def. Mats Thomasson 8.88/230.6
Vintage B match race: Ulf Axelsson 10.07/211.1 def. Robert Lund 9.96/214.8
Bracket-Hasse Nordström 12.430/163.5 def. Markus Eriksson 13.101/163.3
Junior_Dragster Emile Eriksson 9.825/108.6 def. Chris Callin 7.887/131.5
Pro Comp Bike (1/8 mile) Torbjörn Ström 5.657 def. Hans-Henrik Thomsen no-show
Super Comp Bike Peter Svensson 8.555/251.6 def. Thomas Nilsson 8.484/268.8 breakout

The meeting organised by SHRA Mantorp, attracted 147 entries. Stefan Sporre of SHRA Mantorp reported that almost all of Friday was lost to rain and yesterday it got 'a little exciting' when it started raining mid-way through eliminations. However all the finals were run.

In Pro Xtreme, there were many familiar names in the fourteen car ladder. 2019 FIA Pro Modified champion Jan Ericsson qualified no.1 with a 3.8511 from the 3.8525 of Mats Stefansson. Although Mattias Wulcan was in no.3 qualifying postion with a 3.8543, a 0.9225 60ft time (best of all) indicated he was able to launch hard. The second round of eliminations had a scary looking 180mph top end crash between the Mustangs of Mikael Lindahl and Michael Nord (see picture) from which both racers emerged a-ok.

Pictured (clockwise): Jan Ericsson, Mattias Wulcan, Jonas Kant, Mikael Lindahl and Michael Nord top end crash, Johan Gustavsson, Mikael Lindahl. Pictures © Patrik Jacobsson.

Jan Ericsson got to the final by defeating the Old '51 driven by Jimmy Ålund 3.866/308.4 to 3.978/309.7 and, after a 3.911/307.3 bye in round two, he defeated Stefan Jansson in the semi-final 3.894/302.4 to 4.428/251.7. Matthias Wulcan defeated Per Magnusson (in the ex-Patrik Wikström car) in round one, 3.896/285.8 to 4.407/274.9 and then came up against Roger Johansson in round two, 3.962/258.0 to 5.688/135.4 for Roger. Mattias then had a bye run (3.958/289.7) to the final as a result of Mikael Lindahl's accident.

In a Nitro Test & Tune session, Jonny Lagg ran an eighth mile 3.6765/338.19, Torbjörn Jansson a 4.5353/232.41 and, Tony Bryntesson on his return after 25 years away from the track, unfortunately suffered a fireball.

We thank Patrik Jacobsson for permission to post a selection of his photos, which are in two galleries, one for Pro Xtreme and the other for sportsman classes.

RRC build gallery – Steve Hall's '55 Chevy.
27th July: One of the most admired new builds of the last decade was the '55 Chevy Pro Modified that sponsor Robinson Race Cars built for Steve Hall. In our latest build gallery, brought to us courtesy of new sponsor Bob Roberts, his photos show the construction of the car and the special features that were to be a part of Andy Robinson's own 'Anger Management' car a couple of years later You can see Bob's gallery in our feature in association with Lucas Oil Products here or go to our Features, Interviews, Tributes index via the main menu.

Event entry update.
27th July: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us version 4 of the official entry list for the STP Green Light Nationals. You can check out the entry list by clicking here. Entry closes on Wednesday, 12th August, after which entry, if accepted may be subject to a late entry penalty. You can find the official on-line entry form via the Entry Forms page of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site here.

JT raises the bar.
26th July: Thanks to the inimitable John Tebenham for giving us an update on his prize fund for Pro ET: Championships need to be earned. I am going to stick to my backing of Pro ET as a sponsor with £2,000 to the winner and £1,000 to the runner-up. But as a racer you have to earn it. So these are my rules, if you don’t agree, come see and, to be honest, tough, you put the money up. So, all three finals have to be run on the final day- no moving days. Any rain offs, that’s it, no prize money. Earn it, win it and I will put this money forward as a tribute to my man Tim Mugridge who would always help anyone. I personally feel Pro ET is the most fun class to race in - and the toughest. Yeah, Pro Mod is fast but far too stressful. See you at the Green Light Nationals!

Clastres on for cars 29th-30th August.
26th July: Many thanks to Elodie Dubois of French organising club ATD (Association Trophée Dragster) for passing on details of the Clastres event to be held on 29th-30th August:

The race initially planned for the end of July has been postponed to the end of August. The race is only open to cars! Registration forms will be placed online at the end of this week in this link.

The event, traditionally known as European Dragster, is back for the 12th time in the north of France and will once again attract a big crowd after this unfortunate break due to Covid19!

This race, open to all European drivers, will welcome all car categories of the National Dragster Trophy 2020. The battle in each category will be tough and intense. It will be a real mechanical celebration of the 400 meters standing start sport, organized for 15 years by the Dragster Trophy Association!

Come and admire the teams and their 'diabolical' machines on the track as well as in the stands, open to the public.

Welcome aboard West End Racers.
26th July: We are pleased to announce a new sponsor, West End Racers, otherwise known as our good friend Bob Roberts. As many will know, Bob has supported for some years. He has supplied galleries of photos from races and events that the team were unable to attend. During the lockdown, Bob assembled features from his photo library of fellow sponsor Robinson Race Cars‘ overseas races, and of some of the major car builds that RRC have carried out over a period of more than a decade.

He has since 2018 put up a cash prize for racers in Bob’s Photo Finish Award, which we are delighted to announce will be available at the STP Green Light Nationals. A prize of £50 will be available to the closest race of eliminations by distance.

Now Bob has agreed to step up and support the site and the team’s ongoing costs. You will see the West End Racers logo on our Home and News pages and are grateful to Bob for his support, as we are to all our sponsors.

Swift snippets.
24th July: We would like to wish a very Happy Birthday to Kev Charman, twice ACU Drag Bike Champion from wife and fellow ACU Drag Bike Champion Lizz McCarthy-Charman and all at Nitrous Junkies HQ. Have a great day Kev.

Action in Europe and livestreamed today includes the Retro Show from Santa Pod Raceway (free), Mantorp Drag Revival (paid), and Finnish Hot Rod Association's Kauhava race (free). You pays your money (or not) and you takes your choice.

You can also catch up with the Hal Far Raceway action from last weekend at the Malta Drag Racing Association Night Event from last weekend.

Feature: 1983 and 1984 Transatlantic Drag Bike Races.
24th July: Following the success of the 1981 Transatlantic Drag Bike Race which we reported on in a previous feature, a repeat meeting in 1982 never transpired. In 1983 an event took place and got as far as eliminations day - then the rains came. So by 1984 a great event was anticipated. National Drag Racing Club officials managed to get the quickest Top Fuel Bike rider in the world, Elmer Trett and he did not disappoint. And then there was Henk Vink’s rocket bike (pictured right).

With the assistance of drag racing historian and director of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Jerry Cookson we have created in association with Lucas Oil Products our latest feature describing from archive sources the event with photographs and scanned programmes from both of these events.

To see any of our historic features, follow the link on the left hand side of this page to our features, interviews and tributes index page.

Swift snippets.
24th July: Many thanks to our Finnish correspondent Kai Plathan for bringing to our attention the free live stream of the Kauhava, Finland LSK Business Park Open 2020 scheduled for 25th-26th July. Other live streams are available...

We would like to wish Land Speed Racer, our sponsor for Nitro Revival and friend to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Geoff Stilwell a very Happy Birthday. We hope you’ve had a great day Geoff.

The American Hot Rod Foundation has brought out a new edition of its Rodcast and features US legend Roland Leong. 'Roland is well known to any drag racing fan. He is one of the winningest team owners in the history of drag racing and put in some time behind the wheel as well when he was starting out. Although Roland might be familiar to you we have a feeling his story will surprise you. It is worthy of a major motion picture'.

All racers: VWDRC Drag Days final places available.
23rd July: Thanks to Luke Stevenson and the
VW Drag Racing Club committee for an update on their next event:

Like many the VWDRC are itching to get some track time so the plan was hatched for VWDRC Drag Days, two days of testing on the 6th-7th August for VWDRC members and an opportunity to raise some funds for Santa Pod Raceway.

We currently have 10 places left from the 100 available for the two days and are happy to open it up to racers not from the VWDRC. We are looking for people with full slicks (ideally with big tyres).

Here are the key facts:
  • Racer and crew tickets are available on-line only at this link;
  • £180 will get you two days racing and 4 crew tickets;
  • It will be a fully prepared track with two ambulances on site;
  • Camping is available for the Thursday to Friday night;
  • Testing for VWDRC members is on slicks and treads; and
  • There will be full live-streaming on so a good opportunity to get some coverage for your sponsors.
If you need any more information please contact If we fill the final places the donation to Santa Pod will increase!

Stuart Bradbury’s funeral.
21st July: Thanks to Robin Jackson for advising us that the funeral of Stuart Bradbury will take place at 2.00pm next Wednesday, 29th July, at Wellingborough’s Nene Valley Crematorium (305 Doddington Road, satnav postcode NN8 2NG). Pandemic rules allow only 30 mourners within the chapel precincts – inside and outside – so attendance will be limited to family and close friends, by invitation only.

Numbers are unrestricted, however, in outer areas such as car park and entrance road, so additional mourners will be welcome to attend there.

The funeral service will be broadcast live online at
this link using Username: 41210 and Password: kkqegsea and will remain available to view for a week.

The family prefers that no flowers be sent. Instead, friends and associates who might wish to mark the occasion in Stuart’s memory are invited to donate to two charitable organisations which served him in his final days, Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Cynthia Spencer Hospice at Northampton. A Just Giving page has been arranged at this link to accept contributions.

Event entry update.
21st July: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us version 3 of the official entry list for the STP Green Light Nationals. You can check out the entry list by clicking here. Entry closes on Wednesday, 12th August, after which entry, if accepted may be subject to a late entry penalty. You can find the official on-line entry form via the Entry Forms page of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site here.

Melbourne Raceway tickets on sale.
21st July: Melbourne Raceway have announced their first event since the resurfacing of the eighth mile track: After a long year of fundraising and work, tickets are finally on sale for the first event at the new Melbourne Raceway on the 8th-9th August. Competitor day tickets are £70 or race for the weekend for £120. Spectator tickets are £12.50 and under 16’s go free.

If you are joining us for the weekend, you can camp for free as long as you have tickets for both days.

It’s really important that everyone reads the Covid-19 policy on the ticket form. We need everyone’s help to stick to the rules which allow us to race and keep everyone safe. You can book tickets by going to this link and then clicking on the link for Race Entry or Spectator tickets for 8th or 9th August. Melbourne Raceway can be located with the satnav postcode YO42 4ST.

Torq Talk on front drive blowers and Prochargers.
21st July: The latest update by Tony Thacker in his Torq Talk blog is about the history of front driven superchargers leading up to ProCharger which won the 2018 SEMA Show’s Best New Performance-Racing Product with their CrankDrive™ supercharger system that unlike most conventional belt-driven blowers is driven off the front of the crank. It's a fascinating read and you can see it by going to this link.

Hot Gossip tribute and update.
20th July: Many thanks to Mike Collins for sending us a teaser to his exclusive Hot Gossip tribute, called Start Line Stories, to the late Stuart Bradbury, with several pictures and stories including an encounter with legendary rocket funny car racer Slam'n Sammy Miller.

Also Mike has kindly sent his bonus material exclusively for readers which is a four page pdf read which you can check out by clicking the right-hand image above.

Nitro Bug at STP Green Light Nationals.
20th July: Nostalgia Funny Car racer Andy Raw has announced that he will be running the Nitro Bug at the STP Green Light Nationals in the Exhibition section. The team will also have Nitro Bug branded face masks and t-shirts for sale.

Andy said 'We dropped the Nitro Bug off with crew chief Karl Harrison just before the lockdown. He then stripped down the whole car, engine and transmission He then checked it all and completely rebuilt it again. It included setting up our ignition air retard/advance unit for the top end of the track. We then got the call to come to his workshop,to fire it up! Social distancing was strictly followed all times; I can’t thank our crew ,and Karl Harrison enough for all the work he has done while we were in lockdown'. You can see footage of the fire up here.

Andy also thanks sponsors Cool Flo clothing, Fastec Racing Ltd (which made parts for NHS ventilators during the lockdown), and TSR Engine Conversions.

Happy Birthday Arthur!
20th July: Many thanks to Nigel Taylor for sending in this appreciation of Comp Altered racer from the 70s and 80s who made a happy comeback in the twenty teens:

'Happy 79th Birthday to the man who talks, walks, sleeps, drag racing, a legend in these parts, Arthur Bonner. Those of you that have met Arthur will know what a superb character he is, a very clever engineer and a superb welder in his day who taught us kids a few very important life lessons.

'Arthur purchased a 1949 Ford Prefect with no engine back in 1974 for £20 and installed a 400ci Pontiac motor as well as building a box section chassis to take the power; he called it The Detroit Spinner.

'He made his first run at Santa Pod Raceway in 1976 and competed for the first time in 1979 and met loads of good friends along the way including the Draper brothers , Stu Bradbury (RIP) , John Price, John Hobbs, Al O’Connor, Brian Huxley, Bob West, Bruno Sanderson-Brown and many more. ECA 46 was the race number the car always had, and Arthur campaigned the car for many years until a big roll over at Avon Park put his welding and safety to the test.

'Arthur came away fine, but had to rebuild the car again, tubing the rear end and back he came again . In 1994/95 Arthur stopped racing for a while but in 2014, along with a group of people and 55 sponsors, rebuilt the car and back he came again until 2018.

'As a group, we would like to thank Arthur Bonner for all his hard work, entertainment, determination, banter, enthusiasm and we all wish him a very Happy Birthday.

'The Detroit Spinner is now owned by Pep Xampro in Barcelona but will return to the Pod in 2021, where we will all do our best to get Arthur in the pits with his old car; in our eyes this man should be in the Hall of Fame'.

Photos, report from Thunder Valle EDRS event.
20th July: Thanks to Per Sønderby Pouls for posting several galleries comprising hundreds of photos from the EDRS race at Thunder Valle in Norway. You can see the full galleries at his Facebook page. Photos from Sunday will be uploaded over the next few days. Below are some highlights:

Pictured (clockwise): Bjørn Romøren-Hultberg, Fredrik Owrum, Per Eilertsen and Magnus Skår Hansen. All pictures shown with kind permission of Per Sønderby Pouls.

Our good friend Lena Peres has posted a report from the event at the Drag Racing Europe Blog.

Event entry update.
19th July: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us version 2 of the official entry list for the STP Green Light Nationals. You can check out the entry list by clicking here. Entry closes on Wednesday, 12th August, after which entry, if accepted may be subject to a late entry penalty. You can find the official on-line entry form via the Entry Forms page of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site here.

From Action to Breakout.
19th July: NAS Events, organisers of VW Action have made the following announcement in association with Santa Pod Raceway:

After much deliberation and soul-searching, we have decided that the VW Action event will not take place in 2020. This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but given the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel there is no way we could stage the event and do it justice. We waited as long as we could to give the show a chance of happening, but with so many restrictions still in place, there is no way we could safely include many of the attractions that help create that VW Action atmosphere.

We would prefer to return in 2021 and (hopefully) produce an event that will match or surpass previous VW Action events at Santa Pod. Despite suffering financially ourselves, we are also very, very aware that Santa Pod Raceway has been hit extremely hard financially this year and would prefer to hand over our dates/weekend to them, in the hope it may help them recoup some much-needed income in the final months of this season. To that end, Santa Pod Raceway are themselves, now staging a more laid-back/chilled (and ’socially-distancing’) VW event - VW Breakout - over the weekend of 4th-6th September - please support this event if you can. It won’t be 'VW Action’ - but it should help give ‘dubbers their ‘fix’ of VW Drag Racing, Show & Shine and Camping.

VW Breakout - 4th-6th September 2020 at Santa Pod - is back, offering VW fans a one-off unique event for this year; VW Breakout is a three-day relaxed weekend. With all the elements of the shows we all know and love – but scaled down! Quarter mile track action features VW Drag Racing and RWYB, alongside Show & Shine, Traders, Fun Fair and Bar meaning you can enjoy the last of those Summer evenings camping with friends!

VW Action Advance Ticket Holders - all of those who ordered VW Action advance tickets will receive an email from Santa Pod explaining how to claim your credit.

We realise many of you will be disappointed, but we hope you understand our decision and look forward to seeing you all at VW Action in 2021. Stay safe. Love to all.

Editor's note: We'll publish the link to VW Breakout tickets as soon as it is available.

Swift snippets.
19th July: Happy birthday to Outlaw Anglia racer and the world’s quickest and fastest man in a Ford Pop Simon Barlow. Have a great day Simon, love from all your crew at Orange Pop Racing.

Congratulations to Sebastian Lindau from Switzerland for correctly spotting the spy picture in our update last Wednesday was none other than Hockenheim track anouncer Benni Voss, living legend and walking drag race lexicon. Benni said ‘Greetz from a slightly envious, jobless motormouth'. Readers, send photos of your own custom masks to and we'll publish a selection.

Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has been busy posting new material on his Youtube site. This week’s offerings are Jerry Cookson's videos of racing from Long Marston in 1983 and 1986, the latter a co-production with Steve Clifton from 1986. Also there is broadcast footage from the 1992 Springnationals from Motopark Raceway, Pieksämäki, Finland (in Finnish).

Our Kieran has posted footage from the Back On Track Street Day at Santa Pod Raceway to his Youtube site. Kieran says 'This video contains a mixture of everything that was there and shows the real variety of stuff we see on a regular at RWYB days'. There is also footage of Ian Oddie's Metro 6R4 which runs a Ford ST220 V6 putting out over 500hp.

Also posting footage of the Back On Track Street Day is the VeeDubRacing channel, also with a compilation video of the fastest cars filmed on the channel, with terminal speeds of 170mph to 190mph, and a couple of cool sleepers, David Lees’s nine second RS3 powered Golf Mark 7 and Scott Anderson’s 800hp Audi RS6. You can see VeeDubRacing’s videos at this link.

On the photo front The Mad Welshman has posted a new Flickr gallery called 'Drag'ged Away From The Strip at this link which shows drag racing vehicles snapped away from the strip, either promoting the sport/track or enthusiastic owners just having fun.

If you’re into indoor hot rod and drag racing shows, drag racing historian Jerry Cookson has set up a new page on Facebook entitled The Great Indoors British Custom Car shows. This includes photos of drag racing machinery and hot rods going back as far as 1965 with several contributors. You can see this page by clicking here.

Jim Rowat.
17th July: We were very sorry to hear of the death of former Pro Comp racer Jim Rowat from his son Jason. Jason said that his dad ‘slipped through our fingers and took his own life’ on 2nd June 2020; unfortunately Covid 19 was believed to be a contributing factor to his loss.

Jim Rowat and his older brother Martin successfully campaigned dragsters in the 1970s. Martin made his debut in November 1971 driving a supercharged Daimler-engined slingshot called Asterix the Gaul. Parts attrition in the form of three junked superchargers in three months with the Daimler engine in the following year forced a change of direction and inspired the name for their next car.

The new slingshot, brought out at the start of 1973, was named ‘Double Or Quits’ and, as the name implies, both the driving and costs were shared between Martin and Jim. The dragster utilised a rebuilt ex-Alan Wigmore small block Chevy that utilised a self-built injection system with Jim making aluminium castings and Martin machining them, and also a home-built clutch. This second car was more successful but got replaced by a more modern design after a year.

In the winter of 1973/4 Jim and Martin built a rear engine dragster for their small block Chevy which gained Donovan heads and had a two speed gearbox of the brothers’ own manufacture. After running in Senior Dragster in 1974, it continued in Pro Comp which was introduced the following year. Using 85% nitro, Double Or Quits won several races with the brothers still driving in turns and running as quick as 8.03/174. Then in the summer of 1976 Martin left the team in order to further his studies at university and Jim took over the running of the team. In qualifying for the 1977 Easter Spring Nationals, a front wheel collapsed at over 100mph. The car rolled about six times and was virtually totalled.

Jason says ‘My mother gave my Dad an ultimatum after that crash - ‘me or the car’. Mum won. Whether Dad had regrets later on in life he couldn’t express to his family, I guess we will never know, one thing I do know is that they would have gone far had they stayed in the sport. Jim, who was a successful computer programmer, only visited Santa Pod Raceway twice after the 1977 accident, once in 1998 to oversee a neighbour’s Pontiac and then as a spectator with Jason in 2001.

As well as winning a Best Engineered Car award in 1974, Jim was 1973 and 1974 NDRC Senior Dragster Champion.

‘Dad and Martin (who survives him) were quite modest characters despite them achieving so much during their time racing. They missed out on the Crazy Horses book as they didn’t pipe up about themselves then. I’d like to showcase their history to the drag world as I’m now in possession of all of Dad’s photos and memorabilia’.

STP Green Light Nationals reminder.
17th July: Thanks to Yvonne Tramm from Santa Pod Racers Club who has sent a reminder for all racers planning to run at the STP Green Light Nationals on 22nd-23rd August:

'Now that we have the opportunity to get back to racing could I please ask all those racers who intend to run at the STP Green Light Nationals, to check their membership end dates and if necessary to renew before the meeting using the online system at the SPRC website. Should you have any queries or cannot find your membership card you can email me for details at

SPR announce ticketing details for August events.
17th July: Santa Pod Raceway have made available spectator tickets, and racer ticketing for the ‘Lite’ series of events in August and Run What Ya Brungs. You may go to and complete the form and pay on-line. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, which are described in detail on the ticketing page, tickets are only available on-line and not at the gate. General regulations are at and on the specific site for each event.

Racers for the Nostalgia Drags to be held on 1st-2nd August (gates open 5pm on Friday 31st July) are able to register for their race class of choice by going to Again, there is only advanced booking allowed, and tickets will be posted out for all entries in before Monday 27th July. After that date, tickets will be handed out at the gate. Only racers affiliated to one of the following race classes may be allowed to apply:

  • Outlaw Anglia
  • Nostalgia Superstock
  • Wild Bunch
  • Supercharged Outlaws
  • Willys War On Tour
  • Nostalgia Pro Stock Bike
  • Slingshot Showdown
  • Gasser Circus
A current driving licence, helmet and fire suit are all compulsory at the Nostalgia Drags.

Event entry update.
15th July: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us version 1 of the official entry list for the STP Green Light Nationals. You can check out the entry list by clicking here. Entry closes on Wednesday, 12th August, after which entry, if accepted may be subject to a late entry penalty. You can find the official on-line entry form via the Entry Forms page of the Santa Pod Racers Club web site here.

Stilwell withdraws from Bonneville.
15th July: Unfortunately, due to the continuing Covid 19 issues around the world and the fact that the travel embargo has not been lifted on Brits being allowed to enter the USA, Geoff Stilwell, Team Principal of the record setting Lucas Oil Landspeed Team and sponsor for Nitro Revival, has had to withdraw from this year's Bonneville Speedweek.

Geoff said, “This is all very frustrating in that the race car is already in the USA and ready to go. Sadly, the UK based team consisting of me, Nick Davies and Rob Loaring of ICE Automotive plus Scotty Barnes are stuck in the UK unable to travel. We are all extremely disappointed in that the Salt conditions are probably the best they have been for years. I want to thank all our Sponsors and friends who have helped the team this year namely, Lucas Oil, Simpson Safety Wear, Ron & Brian Hope of Rat Trap Racing, all the team at Mick’s Paint, RCD, Vintage Hot Rods, Jesel, Schott Wheels, Circle City Hot Rods, Donny Cummins, Tony Thacker and especially the Volunteers, Marshalls and crew of the SCTA who have already put in so much work to make this incredible race week happen”.

Geoff also went on to say, “if the situation changes in that the embargo is lifted and we can run later in the year we will be there”. To follow this project on Facebook, just look up Geoff Stilwell.

How-to: NFC Hemi engine build.
15th July: Many thanks to our good friend Tony Thacker who has posted on his Torq Talk blog a story penned by new British Drag Racing Hall of Fame inductee Nick Davies about he and Rob Loaring (a.k.a ICE Automotive) who took a Keith Black 426ci Hemi engine and built it, with a few modifications along the way, so that it was able to power Tim Garlick's Apache Funny Car to a five second run.

The story gives the reader some idea about the expertise that is necessary to put together such an engine in a way that it produces the desired performance (in this case a five second timeslip) reliably. As Nick says 'Granted, it’s not the cheapest way to go racing, but there is something about an all-new cast KB hemi that reminds us of what we dreamed of as kids'. You can read Nick's article on

Spy picture.
15th July: We received this picture earlier today with the message 'I don´t know if anyone else had this idea already, but I turned my PPE mask into something more Drag Race looking, crude but you might get the theme'.

If you know the identity of this individual, or would like to send a photo of your own take on a drag racing-related PPE mask design, then drop us a line at

STP Green Light Nationals entry page now live.
14th July: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for letting us know the STP Green Light Nationals entry page is now live.

In addition, Ian has asked us to mention that posting out of racer tickets will not occur for the time being and they should be collected at the gate.

STP Green Light Nationals racer update.
14th July:
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has announced that, further to yesterday’s STP Green Light Nationals event announcement, the following details can now be made clear.

The event will be held as a Non-National Championship and is organised as a Series with three rounds, the STP Green Light Nationals and two further events.

The free entry for 2019 National Championship winners will not count for these three events, but will however be carried over to the 2021 season; this means the current Champions will gain the full value of their prize next year.

Points will be awarded at all three events with a Series class winner in all of the usual sportsman categories. Some Pro classes are being contacted by Santa Pod to discuss their individual class options.

The points system will however change slightly; as there is no scrutineering, therefore no points can be allocated for this, also first round and all round points bonuses will be considered by SPRC, details of which will be passed on in due course.

The prize fund will be as per the National Championship prize fund and paid out as normal via BACS payment to your bank accounts. And, as usual, there will be trophies for the winner and runner up in each class.

There are some Riders and Drivers who have been in contact looking to either run as exhibition or on a testing basis. Those looking for an opportunity to do either must contact Darren Prentice at Santa Pod, his e-mail is"; please do not just try to enter the event in exhibition as there will be a protocol to follow in order to be accepted.

Finally all three of the events will also have a test day attached the day before racing commences, all entries for the test days must be through Santa Pod Raceway’s website. Details can be found here.

Green Light Nationals racer callup.
13th July: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for passing to us an announcement about classes and entry for the forthcoming STP Green Light Nationals.

Following Santa Pod Raceway's press release regarding a three Event Race Series, the first of which will be the STP Green Light Nationals on 22nd-23rd August 2020, the race classes competing at the Event will be as follows:

Car Classes
  • Comp Eliminator
  • Super Gas
  • Super Comp
  • Super Pro ET
  • Pro ET
  • Sportsman ET
  • Street Eliminator
  • VW Sportsman
  • VW Pro
  • Outlaw Flat Four (TBC)
  • Nostalgia Super Stock
  • Junior Dragster
Bike Classes
  • Pro Stock Bike
  • Funny Bike
  • Super Street Bike
  • Comp Bike
  • 8.50 Bike
  • 9.50 Bike
  • ET Bike
  • Super twin Top Gas
  • Junior Drag Bike
These Events will be run under a Non Permit sanction, and as such will not require any race licenses to be produced, the exception being that all Junior Classes must produce either a 2019 or 2020 Race License at signing on. All others will need to produce a DVLA license or 2020 Race License if you already have one.

Scrutineering will be on a self-certification basis, however Tech and Scrutineering staff will be on site to cover unforeseen circumstances.

On-line entry will be available from Thursday with a closing date of the 12th August, please note that when you complete the entry form, read the signing on declaration, as it has changed due to the current circumstances and it is important that it is read and understood.

Should there be any questions then of course call SPRC on 01933-313625 or email Please note that questions will not be answered through Facebook, as it is not regularly checked and not an official SPRC page.

There will be two further events, about which there will be more news shortly. We are just putting final details to some parts of the event, so please keep checking and the Santa Pod web site for updates.

Urgent request for slicks.
13th July: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has asked us to announce that if anyone who has Race Slicks in the UK that they would like to donate to the ongoing track prep, please get in touch with him at SPRC on 01933 313625 or Ian says 'We will be very grateful to hear from you, we will then set up a road trip and come and collect the tyres from you at a convenient time and date, many thanks in advance.

First native six in Hungary.
13th July: Congratulations to Hungarian racer István Szentesi of the Fenster dragster team who recorded the first six second pass by a native of the country yesterday at Meidl Airport, Fertoszenmiklos, running a 6.97. You can see footage of his achievement by going to this link

We first met István when he raced in Super Pro ET at the 2019 NitrOlympX with his 396ci engined imported dragster. The Hungarian Drag Racing scene gets going in August and September with events in Hungary and Slovakia, details of which are at (in English).

Tog’s random memories.
13th July: Many thanks to our erstwhile colleague Tog who has supplied us with a hugely entertaining travelogue of sorts, entitled Random memories with Tog.

He says 'You spent more than twenty years looking at my racing photographs so I thought that I would share a random sample of mostly-unseen pictures from the other side of the laptop, camera and notebook illustrating tales of some of the fun I had'.

You can see Tog’s Random memories by clicking on this link or via the Features, Interviews Tributes link in the main menu.

Swift snippets.
13th July: We would like to wish engineer, fuel tuner and Fuel Altered racer John Wright a very Happy 70th Birthday and Many Happy Returns.

We have completed our coverage of the Back On Track test days by posting a gallery of 105 photos from Saturday’s Street Tyre day; thanks to Kieran for providing the photos. Quickest run of the day was David Lee’s 5 cylinder Mk7 Golf which ran 9.75 at 153mph in street mode. You can see Kieran's gallery by clicking on this link. Our next live coverage will be from the Nostalgia Drags event at Santa Pod Raceway on 1st-2nd August.

Our Kieran has posted two Youtube videos in the past few days. The first is Simon Holmes' imported Datsun 280Z which has a 870hp 6.0L LS engine with a BorgWarner 80mm Billet Turbo. ‚It was Simon’s first time driving the car and into the 10s on it's 4th run in the UK isn't bad going at all‘, says Kieran. Kieran’s video is at this link.

Kieran has also posted a 44 minute video of Classic Ford Show Highlights 2012–2018. He says ‘Santa Pod Raceway was the venue for the Classic Ford Show for 14 years. Here's some of the 1/4 mile footage I caught between the years 2012 and it's final year in 2018‘. You can see Kieran’s video by clicking on this link.

Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has been busy and you can see new uploads of drag racing at the Mantorp Park Sko Uno Festival in 1991, Long Marston Raceway from 1987 (filmed by Roy Wilding,) from the 1994 and 1995 Hot Rod Drags, also the 1994 Night of Fire at at Avon Park Raceway on Youtube.

Julian’s special 2019 Dragstalgia Gallery.
12th July: We are all missing Dragstalgia which would have happened this weekend at Santa Pod Raceway. So thanks are due to our Julian for enabling us to present a gallery of his pictures from last year's event, complete with captions. You can see Julian’s photos at their best, which means they are pretty special.

The 180 shots were taken over the course of the three day event last year, and we present the gallery in association with John Woolfe Racing. You can see Julian's special gallery here or via our 2019 Dragstalgia coverage page which you can access here.

RRC build gallery: Thomas Stiefel.
30th June: The sixth of our series of features showing photographs by Bob Roberts of the builds carried out by sponsors Robinson Race Cars covers construction of Swiss Pro Modified racer Thomas Stiefel's '57 Chevy. The car was built in 2010, made its debut in 2011 and Thomas raced it until business commitments intervened, and the car now has a new owner.

You can see Bob’s gallery in our feature in association with Lucas Oil Products here or go to our Features, Interviews, Tributes index via the main menu.

Stuart Bradbury.
11th July: It is with profound sadness that the Directors of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame must announce the death on Friday 10th July of our Founder and Honorary Chairman, Stuart D. Bradbury, after a long illness. A lifelong resident of Wellingborough, Stuart was able to spend his final days at home in the care of his wife, Bev, and daughter, Genna, and celebrated his recent 75th birthday with them.

Stuart had been associated with Santa Pod Raceway from its earliest days, having helped the crew labouring to prepare the track before the venue’s opening in 1966. He served as Deputy Starter in 1967 then took over as Chief Starter the following year, a role he held through the 1980s. He was also involved in racing projects at Long Marston Raceway, near Stratford-upon-Avon, and Rockingham Motor Speedway near Corby, and assisted Top Fuel Dragster star Andy Carter.

Stuart spent most of his working life in the specialist motor trade, first with John Woolfe Racing, then with USAutomotive.

In 2005 Stuart convened the meeting of fellow enthusiasts that would result in the founding of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame. He remained Honorary Chairman, and the fulcrum of its activities, for the rest of his life. In 2017, he was dumbfounded to find himself elected by general acclaim to membership in his own right, having always maintained an iron rule that no associate of the Hall of Fame’s management or selection panel should be eligible. Members and supporters, however, decided secretly that it was appropriate to make a signal exception to that rule to recognise the extent of his contribution to the cause, a decision Stuart accepted with rueful good grace.

Funeral arrangements are being made, but will be subject to pandemic lockdown regulations.

Condolences and respects may be sent by E-Mail to and we will include it on a tribute page established in Stuart’s memory, which will be forwarded to Stuart’s family.

Santa Pod Raceway announce new events.
10th July: Many thanks to Santa Pod Raceway CEO Keith Bartlett and his team for forwarding their latest announcement regarding upcoming events:

Following on from our recent statements, we are now delighted to be able to announce a forthcoming calendar of events at Santa Pod Raceway. These events will, of course, be held in keeping with all the current guidelines and restrictions around the covid-19 virus. As almost most of you will be aware over the last 7-10 days various restrictions have been lifted, which, in turn, will allow us to look at holding selected events in the coming weeks and months.

We have been busy over the past few weeks preparing both the site and the overall facility to be able to open and operate within the government guidelines and to also meet Health & Safety requirements under the Covid-19 virus.

Part of the restrictions that have been lifted is that we are now allowed to offer our camping facilities at Santa Pod for these planned events over the next 2-3 months. Additionally, we are now also allowed spectators, albeit with restriction on the total numbers on site.

Within the events planned for the next 2-3 months will be a 3-race Drag Racing Series, the first round being at the Green Light Nationals on the 22nd / 23rd August, followed by a further two rounds in September (details to be announced later next week) – so to all our racers, get your cars ready and prepared for full drag racing competition. There will be series winners in all the drag racing classes. Our Nostalgia Racers have even less notice as we have the “Nostalgia Drags” scheduled for the 1st-2nd August too. We are even proposing a title of the ‘Covid Cup Series’ or the like...

Below are the events that we are now planning to hold during the remainder of July and August 2020:

Saturday 25th July: RWYB
Sunday 26th July: Retro Show ‘Lite’
Saturday 1st/Sunday 2nd August: Nostalgia Drags (2-days)
Saturday 8th August: Saturday Night Special
Sunday 9th August: Ford Show ‘Lite’
Saturday 15th August: RWYB
Sunday 16th: Jap Show ‘Lite’
Saturday 22nd/Sunday 23rd August: Green Light Nationals (2-days)

The events that are designated ‘lite’ because they are just that – with not so many additional attractions as the past events, such as music and stage restrictions etc. but we’re at least offering an opportunity to get to a car show with your pride and joy.

In closing we are very pleased that Santa Pod is truly getting back on track and even with the current restrictions surrounding Covid-19, we are sure we can offer both our racers and fans a good weekend at the Pod. See you at the track!

British Drag Racing Hall of Fame 2020.
10th July: The British Drag Racing Hall Of Fame continues into its fifteenth successful year and is pleased to announce the 2020 intake.

Nominees are eligible by dint of having raced, owned, designed, built, maintained, prepared, promoted, officiated, supported or taken part in British drag racing in any capacity, having been involved for at least twenty years, or having made a significant and recognisable contribution to the sport.

The 2020 inductees are:

JEFF BYNE Profile by Keith Lee

Jeff Byne’s drag bike career began in 1970, with a 650 Triumph. It was not long before he started modifying it; adding a supercharger helped move him up the ranks. The name Hurricane became familiar on the strips. By September 1972 he had dipped into the 9-second zone on a modest 40% nitro. In 1974 Jeff recorded the quickest time by a single-engined Triumph, 9.4sec, at the July International. It was a successful season – and also eventful. In August, Jeff clocked 9.38sec while shearing the rear-wheel spindle at over 120mph! He still came back out to win the event! A huge blowup at that season’s end destroyed the motor and damaged the chassis, but plans were already afoot for a new machine which would confirm his reputation as a top competitor in this era.

In May 1976, a double-engined 1500cc Triumph was debuted. Two motors are never an easy proposition, but a 9.6sec pass first time out, while qualifying for Top Bike eliminator, showed his capabilities. By October that same year, Jeff had recorded 8.70sec on the orange machine, becoming only the fourth rider to dip below 9 seconds. He ended 1976 as the year’s quickest double-engined racer.

The 1977 Jubilee meeting at Santa Pod was the first time that anyone had run eight-second passes through all three rounds of eliminations, as Jeff scored a memorable win.

A frightening 175mph crash at Easter 1978 thankfully left Jeff virtually unscathed, but the bike was badly damaged. A new chassis was required, and the following year proved to be a classic one on two wheels. John Hobbs set the quickest-ever time by a European rider with 8.07sec in July, which was virtually matched by Jeff in August, before Jeff went on to run a new European best of 8.02sec the following month. This time would prove to be the quickest ever by a British rider in this golden era of twin-engined British bikes. To cap a successful season, Jeff won the ACU drag bike championship, also setting the fastest European terminal speed, at 181.8mph, during another elimination win in October.

Jeff was a determined rider on track, but was also ready and willing to help fellow competitors who had problems, even offering to pull the two-speed box out of his bike to help a rival at one meeting, which is no small job.

Hurricane continued racing into the early 1980s to good effect, but the era of the twins had run its course. Jeff kept his record-breaking machine and, over 30 years on, made a welcome return to the track in 2014 to take part in Dragstalgia, after so many years of not riding any type of bike. He has been a regular participant since, as he shows off one of the iconic machines of the era.

It is for his formidable contribution to motorcycle drag racing throughout the sport’s formative years that Jeff Byne is hereby inducted into membership of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

Pictures: Keith Lee

NICK DAVIES Profile by Robin Jackson

It was youthful spectator visits to the dragstrip that would spur on the engineer and businessman Nick Davies to distinguished participation and intercontinental success. Passive attendance became active involvement with a 1993 foray into Super Gas, followed by a step up to Pro Modified two years later. If his association with doorslammers has defined his engagement with drag racing, it has been Nick’s ventures into more recondite regions that have fully stamped his prominence on the sport.

The foundations of Nick’s success lie at a racing venue of a different kind. In 1997 he joined forces with another future Hall of Fame member, Rob Loaring, to acquire the parts company Rooster Racing Equipment, combining it with a near-bankrupt ICE Automotive Racing Engines and transferring the new business from a farm building to a 2,500 sq./ft. facility at Silverstone circuit, where it still resides.

In 1999, the partnership won its first UK National Pro Mod championship, with Nick at the wheel, and retained the title the following season. At the same time, they played a pivotal role in the development of Super Modified Eliminator, a lower-cost but highly competitive doorslammer class which would enjoy success for a decade and which forms the backbone of Competition Eliminator today.

In 2004, Nick began managing and tuning a Street Eliminator entry for Steve Nash which, four years later, would be the first turbocharged car to win the class championship. Meanwhile, 2005 began the venture beyond the doorslammer bounds into blown, open-wheel territory with the construction of Havoc, at first propelled by methanol, later by a tip of the nitro can. Over the next several years, Nick campaigned Havoc in the Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association series, setting the blown methanol speed record at 205mph in 2005, and later drove Lawrie Gatehouse’s Chaos Altered, this time with nitro in the tank. In 2013 he managed the construction of Tim Garlick’s Apache Funny Car, helping launch the Nostalgia Funny Car movement.

In 2015, following a famous Dragstalgia match race against Pure Hell, the legendary American Fuel Altered, Havoc switched to nitro. The upshot, two years later, was a four-race tour of America with Ron Hope’s Rat Trap Racing, culminating in victory at Bakersfield’s California Hot Rod Reunion, the only British blown nitro win achieved on US soil.

In 2011 Nick had managed, tuned and driven Britain’s first turbocharged Pro Mod entry for car-owner Graham Ellis, earning a runner-up finish and the then-fastest speed by a UK Pro Mod, 239mph. This exercise would pave the way for ICE Automotive’s own turbo Pro Mod venture. Unveiled in 2018 and still a work in progress, the Pontiac Firebird has already set a UK speed record of 249.05mph, the first British mark to top 400 kilometres per hour.

It is for his exemplary racing successes in two classes, and on two continents, and for his engineering achievements at the forefront of our sport, that Nick Davies is hereby inducted into membership of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

IAN KING Profile by Ian Messenger

Ian King is a record-breaking, multiple European drag racing champion. Ian has won twelve FIM European Championships – ten as rider, two as Team Principal – plus two ACU British and one MCUI Irish Championships and has broken various British and European records and an FIM World Land Speed Record. He is the eighth, and only British, member of the international MTC Engineering Top Fuel Bike 5-Second Club.

Ian built his first motorcycle at 13 and became a multi-award-winning constructor of custom bikes. He first encountered drag racing on a trip to Santa Pod with the Scouts. From 17 he raced his friends on their road bikes at `RWYB’ weekends, beginning his `formal’ racing career in the 1980s in the SuperBike-conceived Ultimate Streetbike series on his custom road-legal specials.

From Street classes he progressed to Funnybike in the UK’s ACU series on a self-built turbo-methanol Suzuki before acquiring his first nitro project, a 2700cc nitro V8 Puma in 1997. However, before the unique project was completed, Ian received an offer he could not refuse for the unfinished machine and used the funds to acquire the Quarter Scorcher 5 Puma from Frank Brachtvogel in 1999.

Updates and improvements to the bike improved its performance over a decade into a state-of-art five-time FIM European Championship-winning machine. In 2010 Ian sold the bike and conceived an all-new, world-leading bike under the auspices of his company Puma Engineering. In 2012 the Gulf Oil-sponsored team secured the first of eight further FIM European Top Fuel Bike Championships to date.

Demonstration passes took the team to unusual places across the world. In 2006 he became the first to ride a nitromethane-powered bike in the Middle East at the Bahrain F1 circuit. In 2011 he visited India to perform on behalf of Gulf Oil International. In 2013 Ian performed burnouts in front of over 100,000 people at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, earning that year’s Goodwood Choice Award. Since then, the team has been invited back annually to the prestigious event.

In March 2014 Ian won the opening event of the USA Championship. In the final, his 5.878-second elapsed time conferred eighth and the coveted final place in the MTC Top Fuel Bike 5-Second Club.

In 2018, Greek rider Fil Papafilippou took over riding duties on the Gulf Oil machine for the season’s FIM European Championship races. With Ian now serving as Team Principal, Fil has added two more FIM Championships to the team’s tally. In 2018 and 2019 Ian raced twice more at the US Final events, making the final on both occasions.

Ian also co-owns the world-renowned Puma Engineering. The company offers parts to construct all combinations of nitromethane drag bikes. Puma engines power many championship-winning bikes and recently propelled multi-US champion Larry McBride to the quickest (5.507sec) and fastest (264.96mph/426.41km/h) Top Fuel Bike run in history.

It is for his exceptional range of two-wheeled achievements that Ian King is hereby inducted into membership of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

JOHN PRICE Profile by Simon Groves

John Price first commentated at Santa Pod from 1981 to 1987. He then worked at York Raceway for five or six years but also resumed commentating at Santa Pod in 1990, continuing there, except for a year at Avon Park’s Super Series events in 1997-8, until his retirement from drag racing in 2008.

John began DJ’ing aged just 21, and it was his musical activities which would bring him to drag racing’s attention. He worked for Roger Squires, a mobile disco pioneer in the late 1960s/early ‘70s, presenting many gigs in his native London area, and then for a music management company whose clients included Alvin Stardust and the Rubettes.

At one of his gigs, John met Nick Shanley, then chairman of the National Association of Street Clubs. As a result, John was engaged to DJ at NASC Nationals events such as Knebworth and Bruntingthorpe, and at Gary’s Picnic when it took place at Santa Pod Raceway. During one of these events he was introduced to Ron Clarke, promoter of custom car shows around the country.

At one of Ron’s shows in Leeds (which was badly weather affected – perhaps an omen of things to come) John encountered a group from Santa Pod Raceway. Dave Prior, who organised Santa Pod’s displays, asked John to host a Santa Pod show at Milton Keynes shopping centre. Santa Pod’s owner, Roy Phelps, then interviewed him for the position of track commentator, recently vacated by Brian Taylor, and John started the job in March 1981.

Many followers of the sport at that time will recall John masquerading as Captain Chaos – on roller skates! – to promote Santa Pod’s association with the film The Cannonball Run, the launchpad for the venue’s famous series of ‘Cannonball’ race meetings.

John’s car show engagements continued. In 1982 he served as Show Host of the London Custom Car Show at Olympia, which entailed him working on the Radio One Roadshow stand. As a freelancer not employed by Radio One, he could not resist wearing a t-shirt inscribed with the motto ‘I’m not famous’, much to the Radio One producer’s annoyance.

John’s only venture on to the track was to drive a Radio Luxembourg-emblazoned Mustang in a grudge match against Radio One’s Simon Bates – after which he promptly retired from racing.

John presented ITV Anglia’s drag racing coverage in the late 1980s, along with European races for Sky. Thus by the 1990s he had become the face, and voice, of drag racing on TV. His Sky commentaries included many other motorsport disciplines too. Since retiring from the drag racing scene John has continued to inform and entertain the crowds at car shows just as he did from the commentary box at the dragstrip. It is for the quality and enthusiasm of his commentary contributions to UK drag racing, at the track and via television, media and car shows, that John Price is hereby inducted into membership of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

Pictures: Simon Groves and Keith Lee

DAVE WILSON Profile by Simon Groves

Dave Wilson was involved in the Supercharged Methanol racing category throughout his career and five times became FIA European Top Methanol champion, adding several British championships and many race wins to his name.

His drag racing experience began with Rod George, whom Dave helped with his transmission. A chance to drive Rod’s Creeper dragster hooked him on the sport. Creeper was replaced by the famous Stormbringer car, previously the first to run a five-second ET outside America. Renamed Krypton, the car crashed at York, injuring Dave seriously.

The team regrouped and Rod sold his share. Dave partnered with Steve Martyn and, helped by Dave Fletcher, built a new Krypton. Steve drove the car in 1981, qualified low at that year’s World Finals and finished runner-up.

Dave resumed driving in 1982, racing Krypton successfully until 1986. Attending the US Nationals, he learned how to run the car much harder. Back home, the improved power produced severe breakage at his first race. It took three years to repair and update the parts needed to get the car back on track. Dave upgraded gradually and by 1997 could run as quickly as 6.009sec.

In 1999 Dave teamed up with the Redstone & Gleadow team who had imported a car named Nemesis from Finland. The team joined that season’s FIA European tour and clocked fives, qualifying no.1 and winning an event. Such success attracted team sponsorship from Lucas Oil Products. In 2001 Dave bought the car from Barry Redstone and, sponsored by American Car Imports, Air Sea Logistics, Sony PlayStation and 76 Racing Fuels, formed a two-car team with Wendy Baker. Increased sponsorship from Antony Cohen (American Car Imports) enabled Dave to buy a complete Bob Meyer car in 2002. Following a US debut at Pomona, he set new ET and speed records in Europe while finishing FIA Championship runner-up. In 2003, driving a new Brad Hadman car, he became the first racer outside the USA to clock 5.50s, 5.40s, 5.30s and 5.20s and to exceed 260 and 270mph. This form delivered five consecutive FIA Championships from 2003 to 2007, a period of dominance producing 14 event wins, 49 round wins and 19 number one qualifiers. On another USA trip, Dave became the first European to win an NHRA “Wally”. But did he rest on his laurels?

With Silverline Tools’ backing, in 2008 Dave changed his engine combination from supercharged methanol to injected nitro, a major move in terms of engineering, parts and tuning. In only his second A/Fuel year he finished second in the FIA championship and set the European ET record twice, later achieving a career-best of 5.2605sec at Tierp in 2012. Dave’s last event victory came at the 2015 Main Event.

Dave leads the all-time FIA Top Methanol table in championships (five), event wins (18), round wins (96) and low qualifiers (30). It is for his excellence in racing performance and for challenges overcome that Dave Wilson is hereby inducted into membership of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

Pictures by Simon Groves and Tog


In a 25-year career, lifelong friends Pelle Lindelöw and Gunnar Elmqvist enjoyed one of the longest drag racing partnerships outside America. It began during the sport’s earliest days in Scandinavia, with a chance meeting of old school friends in 1970 at Sweden’s Mantorp Park. Pelle had never witnessed a drag race but was instantly hooked by the speed and power. Pelle, Gunnar and another friend, Janne Rosquist, found they shared a passion for the Renault 4CV. Having hot-rodded their little French cars with modified engines, they embarked on an inspirational road trip to England for Santa Pod’s 1972 International meet.

Impressed by the smaller-capacity vehicles, Pelle and Gunnar decided to buy another 4CV and convert it into a race car with a modified R16 Arne Berg engine. Following its debut in 1974, the pair became the team to beat in the Competition Altered ranks, defeating every American machine in sight.

British fans first saw this amazing little car at Snetterton in 1975, but the pair hadn’t bargained on the might of that staple of British Comp Altered teams, the trusty Jaguar, in particular the one campaigned by a certain Barry Sheavills, known as Stagecoach.

After a move to an injected 454ci A/Gas Dragster produced a nondescript couple of seasons in 1977 and ’78, Lee Anders Hasselström convinced Pelle and Gunnar (P&G) to take the Top Fuel challenge.

A year later P&G were proud owners of a new Kjellin Brothers chassis powered by an ageing iron-block Chevy. After breaking into the 6-second, 200mph zone, driver Pelle rolled the car on the short Mantorp Park track. Armed with another Kjellin chassis the team were soon deep into the mid-sixes. 1983 was a significant year. The team secured its first major sponsorship from Clarion Car Stereo and began clocking regular low sixes, eventually dipping to a 5.95sec.

Helped by Jarmo Pulkkinen, Pelle purchased the ex-Dick LaHaie Miller Beer dragster, considered at the time the first ‘real’ Top Fuel Dragster in Scandinavia. With hired help from US Funny Car racer and tuner Gary Burgin, P&G Racing quickly became one of the European scene’s most feared Top Fuel entries, leading the way with numerous national records and championships.

The tide turned again in 1991 with the acquisition of the ex-Kenny Bernstein Budweiser King dragster and came good in 1993 as Pelle dominated the class, winning four out of six races and the ETFA Challenge title. As reigning champions, the team was invited to Japan by the NHRA in 1994 and ‘95 to represent Europe against racers from America and Australia at Fuji, enjoying great success.

Over the next two years, however, further European success proved elusive and, with Pelle now suffering back problems, the pair reluctantly decided to retire the team.

It is for their achievements in rising from humble beginnings to the sport’s highest international echelons, accomplished in a good-natured spirit throughout, that Pelle Lindelöw and Gunnar Elmqvist – P&G Racing – are hereby inducted into membership of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

Pictures: Jerry Cookson collection

Warpspeed’s engine offer.
9th July:
FIM Europe Top Fuel Bike racer Stuart Crane was testing a new turbo methanol engine combination from US engineer Dan Wagner at the Back on Track racer day on Sunday 5th July and kindly sent an account of the new setup and how he came to set quickest time and fatest speed of the weekend:

Warpspeed racing were testing the switch from a carburretored nitrous bike running a GSX EFE based engine to a methanol turbo set up with a 'new age' plain metal bearing engine platform, designed and manufactured by Warpspeed Racing. The complete engine was designed and manufactured and put together along with the turbo system and wiring all done in house. The injection system is also a one off set up all built in house . The bike utilises a Maxx ecu which is tuned and set up by Steve Nicols and Dan Wagner in the USA.

The bike has over gone a complete rebuild and had everything changed and to run 7.5 @ 189mph out of the trailer shows the quality of the build from the start. We later saw figures of 7.24/196mph into a major headwind on very soft set up, so we're hoping for some good results for the bike.

The complete engine packages are now for sale including turbo systems etc due to the testing going as well as it did . It was great to be back at santa pod, hopefully we will all be back to normal as soon as we can be. Many thanks goes to my sponsors MPM Oil and HEL Performance.

Davison upgrades Soper & Heck.
9th July: UK Nostalgia Superstock racer John Davison ran his Sox & Martin tribute-liveried Plymouth Roadrunner on Sunday at the Back on Track Racer day and it soon became clear he had upgraded the power train:

Since buying the car in 2015, I have run it in N/SS. Back then, there were only around 12-15 cars in the class, nowadays we have regular 32 car fields. Amazing...

I ran the car, until late last year, with a mild and very streetable 440. Best et with that was a 12.49, at the Hot Rod's last Sept. I'd been looking at going a little quicker (as you do...) and last winter installed a 589 mega-block wedge, new trans and a Dana 60 + Calvert suspension. The work was carried out, to a very high standard, by Dave Billadeau, although Tracey Rose painted the engine room and Tony Pearson built the cage.

Obviously, with the dreaded virus driving a coach and ten through the season, I was itching to see how the car went. On Sunday I finally got the opportunity, with the Pod's back on track weekend.

Having never driven anything faster than 12.49 in my life, I thought I'd ease myself into it. Went a couple of 11.3s, which felt quite comfy. On the third run I gave it a little more and a 10.74 was the result. Then had a bit of fun with Vic Parsons. I had Vic off the line but my old friend had me at the stripe (I went 10.64 to Vic's 10.33). Then a 10.56/125 to go home with. This, with a 40 mph headwind. Needless to say, I'm over the moon!

The car performed well, with no serious problems. I drive the car to the track (I only live in Rushden...) and run it through the mufflers.

I must say that it's all a little different from the late '60's, when I used to write the timing slips out at the ol' Pod. In those days, we used to get quite a number of USAF guys running these cars when they were brand new, albeit a little slower than today. Heaven.

Adams to return after spill.
9th July: It was good to see 8.50 Bike racer Paul Adams walk away from an unfortunate flip on Sunday at the Back on Track Racer day with his bike able to be pushed back across the startline. Paul has been in touch with his account of a weekend that didn’t go quite to plan:

For the past 3 years, I’ve been competing in ET Bike with a PB of 8.75. This year I fancied having a crack at 8.50 bike, so fitted a nitrous kit over the Winter. Keen to try it out, I attended the Santa Pod Back on Track Days last Saturday and Sunday.

I made just one naturally aspirated run on Saturday and spent the of the day chasing niggles.

Sunday dawned and with a freshly filled bottle from the Pod Garage I headed for the line. Being a cautious sort of person, I’d lengthened the bike’s wheelbase by an inch, taken a couple of teeth off the rear sprocket, added front ballast and resisted fitting the 100hp nitrous jets, instead taking ‘just’ the 40hp option. The light went green and the bike stood straight up, throwing me off. As I run a full slider and leave with a button, there was no chance of saving it. The bike set a new 60’ PB with it’s back wheel, with me following just behind. Luckily the bike was well gone by the time I landed face down on the track.

The start line crew were with me in seconds and the Medical and Rescue crews within 1 minute. After we’d established everything was still working, I stood up and walked to the Ambulance. Thanks to good leathers, I suffered just a bruised elbow and a stiff knee.

My thanks to the start line, Medical and Rescue crews for their help and everyone that sent messages. The bike suffer damage to fairings, handlebar, forks and the back wheel. I’m hoping to have it back together next month. Thanks to Mike Kraaij for capturing the superb photo sequence.

What have I learnt from the experience?
  • Santa Pod haven’t forgotten how to prep a track
  • Their nitrous refills are quality;
  • Their track crews are even better; and
  • Progressive nitrous controllers are essential, not optional.
Cramo Nats live stream.
9th July: This weekend is the Cramo Nats at Malmö Raceway, Sweden’s eighth mile facility. Whilst specatators are not permitted at the track, there will be a live stream of the event at srif.sewhich is also carrying footage from the No Prep Race held on 30th May 2020. Thanks to Luke Shakeshaft for bringing this stream to our notice.

Results will also be available at Also, photos from Malmo’s no-prep race are available at Nico Bremnes' Facebook page.

Norwegian update.
9th July: The picturesque Thunder Valle in Norway hosts an EDRS race on 11th-12th July organised by the Jæren Dragrace Club.

The EDRS series has now expanded to nine sportsman-only events in ten weeks, the EDRS Pro championship having been cancelled.

Meanwhile a test and tune session took place at Gardermoen on 4th-5th July. Celina Gran Hanssen (daughter of former FIA Top Methanol champion Fred Hanssen) ran her licensing passes in the Funny Car previously raced by Jason Phelps and Birgitte Bremnes, and now set up for Super Comp; you can see footage and photos from the weekend here. The link also contains footage of Jan Erik Norheim Klausen making licensing passes on his Super Twin bike. Thanks to Annelie Johnsen for posting footage

Swift snippets.
9th July: Our good friend Mike Kraaij was at Santa Pod Raceway shooting for Dutch Hot Rod Association and you can see his pictures on his Facebook page.

Our Kieran took some time out from crewing with Chris Todd, got on SPR’s somewhat windswept bank on Saturday and took this video. He also caught some in-car footage of Chris's Subaru EJ20 powered Mk1 Fiesta. Kieran reported that 'Chris spent the day chasing problems with a misfire as well as trying to dial in the launch to get it to go straight. No new PBs this time (although close!), but still very valuable data was collected.

Friday’s update due to be posted at noon will include a list of the 2020 British Drag Racing Hall of Fame inductees with full profiles. Be sure to catch up with the news of the inductees at

JT’s secret weapon unveiled.
7th July:
Super Pro ET racer John Tebenham, in his Crew Killer pop, says: Thanks for a great Sunday testing at the Pod. We all needed it and felt that much safer with all the Covid-19 safety measures in place. Well, as safe as you can feel in that wind in a little Pop! The track was awesome getting some of my best 60fts. Thanks to my secret weapon Paul Marston for his wealth of knowledge. We are coming after you Brian. I must say a sorry to the startline marshals as I kept on trying to run Bob over on the burnouts. If you’re thinking of going this 11th July to the Back on Track Street Day I would if I was you as we had a blast.

JT adds he’s after a powerful small block preferably Procharged as the current setup is not mad enough for him.

Storm Drag Bike’s return to SPR.
7th July: The Storm Drag bike team, headed by rider Lorcan Parnell and crew chief Mick Hand said: 'A successful day's testing for us yesterday at a very windy Santa Pod "Back on Track" day. It was good to see the team again and some of our fellow competitors, blinking in the sunlight as we gradually emerge from lockdown, and to get our first runs under our belts since October 2019.

A number of small issues were corrected during the day with the help of Mark Harrison from Horsepower Factory UK. First run was a launch and 2 seconds of power, the clutch pulled the bike through the beams for a red light and the turbo speeds were reading high. Second run the bike pulled through the beams again, left hardish with a little hesitation, 1.18 to 60' and shutoff at 2.5 seconds for a 3.05 at 330'. A hose had come off a wastegate causing a 50psi boost spike. The small turbo was saved by an rpm limiter we have installed to prevent it overspeeding. We fixed the hose and the turbo speed readings.

The third run was more controlled, another red light though, with a low (for us) 38psi launch and run shutoff at 1000' for a 7.27 @ 171mph, which was a the quickest run of the weekend at that point. Stu Crane later pipped us with 7.24/190mph on his new turbo bike being tuned remotely by someone in America, Donald Trump maybe? Who knows. Anyway, good work Stu!

We went to the startline one more time. It was completely empty but the bike would not start. Possibly a cam sensor failure or something simple but we called it a day.

Thanks to all the team that work so hard and to the Santa Pod crew for putting on the test days'.

Europeans in NHRA at Indy.
7th July: Nitro Funny Car driver Jonnie Lindberg returns to the driver’s seat this week in Indianapolis behind the wheel of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang Funny Car. This change follows driver and team owner Bob Tasca III’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

Lindberg, 30, is a two-time NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car Champion (2015-6) with six Top Alcohol Funny Car wins to his name, including at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis (2016). He is a regular in the nitro Funny Car ranks as well and is hungry for his first win in the elite category.

Tasca plans to return to the driver’s seat after getting the go-ahead from his doctor. The NHRA Mello Yello Series continues this weekend, July 11th-12th, 2020, with the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.

Also entered for Indy is Lex Joon who will be racing his Strutmaster dragster in a field of 18 Top Fuelers, despite the non-entry for this event of John Force Racing. Based in Indianapolis, this is effectively Lex’s home race. You can see a video interview with Lex here; Lex was also a guest on the WFO Radio Podcast and at Strutmasters with crew chief Lance Larsen. To see how our European heroes do at Indy go to, or follow the race live on (subscription required).

Want your own Funny Car?
7th July: Kevin Kent’s Funny Car is now on the Unusual Car Sales U.K. Facebook site for sale. Europe’s quickest and fastest Funny Car is available as a roller for a bargain £20,000!

If you are interested in this superb opportunity then contact Keven Kent on 44(0)7496073855 or or via the Unusual car sales U.K. page.

Also for sale as well as the usual variety of Hot rods, customs, yanks ,pick ups etc is Andy thetfords 67 Camaro ( roller -9k) ,Col laws outlaw Anglia ,Paul Watson’s super comp Camaro , Mike Modurstang S Camaro and a gorgeous 41 willys coupe plus plenty more!

PBR TF Bike suffers breakage at test day.
7th July: Crew chief and engineer Phil Baimbridge explained the reason for the sudden stop and non-return of the PBR Top Fuel Bike and rider Al Smith on Sunday at the Back on Track Racer day. ‘The cam belt broke at the hit (about 0.3 second after full throttle) on our first run attempt. Unfortunately we were running the original piston design with no valve cut outs, so we tickled the valves on #3 and mashed them on #2. Not repairable in the time we had available.

However everything turns and goes up and down as it should, the oil pressure was OK. The whole team travel from all over the country to run the Rocket, for which I'm very grateful - sorry for the disappointment. Thanks to Santa Pod for providing us with the opportunity to run and the track crew for making a great job of the track'.

Andy Frost record documentary.
7th July: From uTrack videos comes a 35 minute documentary on Andy Frost’s record breaking runs at Bahrain last November.

Ever wondered how fast is the world’s fastest street legal car and what it took to claim this record? Andy Frost, team principal at Red Victor Racing, is the man behind this world record. Five years ago, Andy decided to reclaim the record he once held. But to do that, he needed funding to achieve his dream.

With a goal in mind to break the five second barrier in the quarter mile in a street legal car and to reclaim the world record, the Red Victor 5 Second Club was created with over 500 members from all over the world. World-renowned race car tuner Shane T from USA joined the mission bringing his know-hows and experience to the table. With many failed attempts in the first couple of years, they finally managed to reach their goal in November 2019 by becoming the world’s fastest street legal car in the quarter mile.

Malta back on track.
7th July: Konrad D'Anastasi of the Malta Drag Racing Association writes: Finally after the long 90 day break due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation, HAl Far Raceway has re-opened its doors. On 3rd July the third scheduled RWYB event for the MDRA 2020 calendar took place.

Konrad took videos of 102 runs and you can see a Youtube playlist of these at this link. The next action at Hal Far will be the rescheduled night race on 16th-18th July. Streaming coverage will be available on Facebook live and if all goes to plan, Luke Stevenson will be there commentating.

Spy picture.
7th July: This picture appeared in our e-mail box with the caption 'It’s another thing for Dad but with slightly less wheels'.

If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at

Tower protocol at Back On Track days.
3rd July: As a result of government regulations regarding social distancing, there will be strict rules regarding who may enter the startline tower at Santa Pod Raceway at the Back On Track days to be held on 4th-5th July (Race Days) and 11th July (Street Day).

Apart from official timekeeping and safety staff, only two people will be allowed in the tower, announcer Luke Stevenson and editor Simon. Anyone wishing to talk to Luke or Simon should communicate with them electronically or arrange to meet at the foot of the tower stairs (spectator side). The track will be under scrutiny for its compliance with regulations, and breaches could affect future events.

Anyone wishing to read all the detail regarding the special rules in place to maintain everyone's health and safety at these events should review the Back on Track

Williams Bros locked and loaded.
3rd July: Many thanks to Williams Bros Racing and sponsor OCS Paint's promotional arm for an update on the team's representation at the Back On Track Racer Days this weekend:

Following on from our live reveal on Facebook a couple of months ago, this weekend sees the on-track debut of the latest creation from Williams Bros. Racing and OCS Paint. The final few little jobs have been completed and Keith Williams finally gets to see what his '55 Chevy can do on the 1/4 mile. From what was a field find (a barn find would have been in better condition) to the car you see here has been one heck of a journey but as all of the cars built in-house this car really does have to be seen to be believed.

Nic will be doing the first few runs in the car then it will be Keith’s turn to take to the famous Santa Pod strip. Engine is an in-house built 302 but Dan knows his stuff and has managed to get way over 500 horses out of the small block, so expect some very high revving and you never know, maybe a little wheelie or 2 but this car isn’t set up to stand on its bumper. If you are at the track this weekend, please come and say hi and bring your camera...

Also back on track for the first time in three years is Colin Theobald with his 69 Camaro ‘Bruce’. Another Williams Bros. Racing built and specified engine, this time a 454 built specifically for street and strip use but still punching out 615hp and 520ft/lb of torque. Bruce has had many upgrades over the years so we cannot wait to see how the car performs and can we improve on the current PB of 11.34.

We as a team are excited and extatic that we are back on track at last. It’s been a long wait but we whole heartedly support Santa Pod Raceway, it’s our home track and everyone there will always have our support. See you there.

3rd July: Following on from our story about John Tebenham's Pro Mod lightening work having been carried out over the lockdown, JT's secret weapon told us the weight loss related to JT himself rather than the car.

Whether the final result is an improvement or not can be decided by the reader looking at this image. We are thinking it looks a bit U6ly.

Crew killer back on track Sunday.
2nd July: Pro Modified and Super Pro ET racer John Tebenham has announced he will be testing on Sunday at Santa Pod Raceway’s Back on Track Racer Day. JT commented "The best thing about having two cars is one is always ready to run.

The blue Pro Mod car is having a complete engine rebuild so it's not quite ready. Luke (Robinson) said if we get weight out of it we can run 5.8s (maybe we've gone too far...) But the Pop is set for some mad burnouts. Thanks to Dan Goff and Luke Robinson for their work on the car. A massive thanks to Keith for being strong and keeping the Pod ready for us all to race again. See you all Sunday, it's been a while! coverage for Back On Track days.
2nd July: will be covering both days of this weekend’s Back On Track Racer Days on 4th-5th July. Simon will be brushing up his keyboard skills whilst Julian will be trackside and photographing for Custom Car magazine as well as for our galleries. Kieran will be present, albeit as a crew member with Chris Todd. Sadly Kirstie and Diana won’t be able to be with us but we hope for a team return to the track when Covid-19 restrictions allow. In the meantime, you will be able to see our coverage which includes a live report and daily galleries by clicking here, or following the direct link on our home page.

FHRA testing, one-shot championship?
2nd July: Nitro bikes were testing at Finnish Hot Rod Association's Official Test & Tune weekend 26th-28th June at Kauhava, Finland. Covid-19 safety measures were utilised with a maximum of 100 teams allowed to take part and no more than 500 people per day at the event. Temperatures were baking hot with 31.5 degrees high temperature, 25% humidity and high barometric pressure.

Super Twin Top Fuel Bike Team Detonation with Vesa Lipponen riding and Jaska Salakari calling the tuning shots, ran 6.19 and 6.21 runs with nice 1/8 numbers at 3.94/ 194mph. Previously the team had been to Kauhava's test day on 23rd May where Vesa had a few nice runs and ended up with a stunning 6.01/216mph with half track times of 3.90/201mph.

Skull Racing's Samu Kemppainen with his V60 made five 6.7s runs in a row. Also, Mikko Rajaniemi got his Top Fuel Bike running well after a spill one month ago, with less aggressive clutch adjustment and more familiarisation being the priority.

Clockwise, Vesa Lipponen, Mikko Rajaniemi, Johnny Oksa (all Pekka Rouvinen photos), Samu Kemppainen (Promosport/Heikki Malinen photo)

Also testing was the OK Racing Team Top Methanol Funny Car of Johnny Oksa with footage from our old friend Asko Määttä from Baldie's VooDoo Racing.

More video footage was posted courtesy of Power Speed Media. A number of photos were posted by Pekka Rouvinen and a 'cinematic cut' video was posted by Teemu Multisilta.

Three more races in Kauhava are planned to be held for general attendance on 24th-26th July, a FHRA Night race on 20th-21st August, and the FHRA Finals on 4th-5th September. All races are part of the EDRS series and it's hoped the Night Race will also include EDRS Pro classes as a 'one shot‘ championship race.

For 2021 the FHRA has consulted with its members and is considering some single day events over the eighth mile for street and nostalgia cars to reduce costs.

Refresh, renew, replace.
2nd July: During the shutdown due to Covid19 many people have taken the opportunity to refresh and renew their racing operation, ready to race again once the track opens. However, it also provided time for a rethink and complete change of direction for one racer. Martin Baldwin had his 1941 Willys ready to go this season, and had pencilled in meetings at which he hoped to get the Willys well into the 8’s.

With all the spare time lockdown afforded, a cunning plan was hatched, and things set in motion to go faster and quicker than the Willys would allow. So the Willys is now up for sale, to allow for the new project to be completed in time to begin testing early next year. Details on the new project will follow soon, with a few pictures once sufficient progress has been made.

If you are interested in buying a great-looking 1941 Willys rolling shell for a very reasonable price, head to our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet pages.

Swift snippets.
2nd July: We have a birthday on the team today. Many Happy Returns to Diana from Kirstie, Julian, Kieran and Simon, have a great day and we will see you soon!

Further to Tuesday’s announcement about the cancellation of this year’s British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala dinner, Director Robin Jackson has asked us to mention that any guests who happen to have requested room reservations could they please cancel them. As guests book rooms in their own names independently, BDRHoF is unable to cancel them on behalf of others.

Back On Track Racer Days Perfect Light Award.
30th June: £100 is up for grabs at this weekend's Back on Track Racer Days courtesy of and Bad Habit Racing.

This weekend's Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been set to £50 per day. The money will be paid to the first racer on the day to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. Saturday and Sunday will be treated as separate events, so if no-one wins the money on Saturday, it will get rolled over to Sunday. The Perfect Light Award is available on all timed runs, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the day. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Cath and Tig Napier of Modurstang Pro ET team Bad Habit Racing.

Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if decals are carried. decals are available in Signing On or from staff.

BDRHoF 2020 Gala cancelled.
30th June: Director of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Robin Jackson has issued the following announcement on behalf of the Board of Directors: The Directors of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame regret to announce the cancellation of our 2020 Gala Awards Dinner, scheduled to be held on Saturday 21 November at the Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, Surrey.

While UK pandemic lockdown rules are beginning to be relaxed, too much uncertainty remains for us to commit confidently to proceed with the occasion. It is not known, for instance, whether indoor, close-quarter gatherings such as ours will be permitted by November, nor whether international travel will continue to be restricted. In view of the preparation time and expense involved in staging the Gala, a decision could be delayed no longer. Therefore we see no option but to cancel for this year. It is our hope and expectation that normal service will resume in 2021.

In the meantime, nevertheless, we shall announce our 2020 membership selections as planned on Friday 10 July, when Dragstalgia weekend should have begun. Watch out for the announcements, with profiles of each new inductee, on and on our Hall of Fame website,, and also in our magazine HOFtalk distributed among our members and supporters.

Editor's note: We would like to wish BDRHoF Chairman Stu Bradbury well, as he is currently poorly at home.

Flamholc wins in Atlanta.
30th June:
Congratulations to ex-pat Swede Adam Flamholc for winning Xtreme Pro Mod at the NMCA All-Star Nationals in Atlanta last Sunday in tricky weather conditions, with humidity and rain. Adam has been busy as he and co-driver Hank Stubbs attended the Summit Racing Midwest Pro Mod Series at St Louis on 20 June where Hank qualified no.2 with a 3.720/202.15 and then went 3.710 and 3.699 in the first two rounds.

In between events, Adam and the team worked on the car at Stubbs' Racing Shop in Morris, Alabama. Adam wrote: Our plan for the NMCA event was to head to Atlanta Wednesday, test Thursday, then qualifying Friday and Saturday. On Wednesday night it rained pretty hard overnight, and we made one squirrelly test run around noon on Thursday (3.774/202.27), but just after the run the track started bleeding up rainwater. The track crew have worked nons-top to try to get it dry, but racing was cancelled in the end.

Hank Stubbs hopped in for a few test hits, as the car’s transbrake location was changed and he wanted to confirm the switch worked for him.

In qualifying on Friday, Adam took the wheel again and attained number two with a 3.79 which he improved in the early evening with 3.734/202.61 to go number one. The day wasn’t perfect though, as Adam was accidentally hit by a fellow driver while he was standing in the staging lanes yesterday; fortunately he sustained no injuries and so was able to run in eliminations.

In the first round on Saturday evening, Adam had to pedal it as his '63 Corvette shook the tires hard and drifted right. He willed the car back into the groove with the front wheels in the air and was lucky enough to get the round win. Thirty seconds after the run, the sky just opened up and it poured down. On Sunday, a 3.85 bye in round two was followed by another pedalfest victory in the semi-final. As Adam headed to the finals, he changed the settings in order to try to make a cleaner run against fellow finalist Craig Sullivan. Another 3.85 was enough to defeat Sullivan’s 4.05.

Adam said "It was tough conditions, but we got it done. I'm super proud of my crew, and really happy that my son Mattias Flamholc was here with us and pulled me up to the beams every run!"

Adam’s next race with the 5-Day Plantation Shutters & Blinds/SMP Racing/Flamholc Racing Corvette is the ADRL Gateway Drags on July 10-11 at WWT Raceway just outside of St Louis.

RRC build gallery: Jaguar XJR-15.
30th June: The fifth of our series of features showing photographs by Bob Roberts of the builds carried out by sponsors Robinson Race Cars covers construction of a customer’s reproduction Jaguar XJR-15. The car's design was based on the Le Mans winning Jaguar and made by JaguarSport, a joint venture of Jaguar and Tom Walkinshaw Racing; and 53 originals were constructed. The build was ordered after TWR went into receivership using original body panels and cabin section with other components that were readily available.

You can see Bob’s gallery in our feature in association with Lucas Oil Products here or go to our Features, Interviews, Tributes index via the main menu.

SPR suspend August events.
28th June: Santa Pod Raceway CEO Keith Bartlett has issued the following statement on August event suspensions: Further to the recent statements we have released regarding Santa Pod Raceway and its events calendar for 2020, we are again updating you on our current situation.

After further Government Guidelines announcements and regarding the COVID-19 pandemic we have had to make some more hard decisions regarding our events calendar for the coming month of August.

Our biggest event in the month of August is USC (Ultimate Street Car). This event contains a large amount of festival type activities with dance tents music and stages etc. As this area of our business is prohibited from taking place by current government legislation, we feel that USC would not be able to go ahead in its normal format as it has done over the last two decades. We have decided that we do not wish to attempt to put on a lower level USC event without the essential parts of the music and entertainment being involved as that forms a big part of the event for its customers.

So, we have reluctantly made the decision to postpone the 2020 USC event into next year’s calendar on the same date. This decision is much the same as other event organizers and promoters where all major events and festivals have been moved to 2021. Another massive blow for us all.

We will be offering all of our advance ticket holders the opportunity to carry their tickets over onto the 2021 USC event or take a credit to the same value which can be used any time or event during the next 24 months.

We are now looking closely at the calendar of events for the whole month of August and beyond. Unfortunately, this also means that Das Auto Show, Monster Truck Nationals and the Junior Fun Day have also been suspended.

However, we believe we will be able to carry out some smaller specialized events and are working on ideas for worthwhile events for ALL of our fans, which is why we have the Greenlight Nationals event still “UNDER REVIEW”. At the same time, we are considering a new event to cater for the performance and modified car scene; this would include many of the cars that run at the USC event. Further information will be announced shortly. As we have stated previously, we need every bit of support to be able to survive this crisis and to see us back in action in 2021. I would like to appeal to all of our customers with advance tickets - the best way of supporting Santa Pod and, in particular, the iconic USC event, is to roll your tickets over to next year. For that I would personally like to say a massive thank you in advance. Your support means that we can look forward to seeing you back soon.

Feature:1973 NDRC Silverstone International Drag Race.
28th June:
The first championship drag race at Silverstone Circuit took place in June 1973 and is the subject of our latest historic feature. The Club Straight had been resurfaced providing great traction, and cars from Sweden, Germany and a few driven by members of the US Air Force attended. Our historic feature with material kindly supplied by Jerry Cookson, Nick Pettitt, Neil Baskerville and others, includes the story of the event, why Silverstone stopped hosting championship drag races after only two years and three races and see more than 100 photos from a variety of sources.

You can see our feature, supported by Lucas Oil Products here or by clicking the features, interviews, tributes link from the main menu.

Photo of Björn Andersson in Second Invention Opel Manta FC courtesy Neil Baskerville (original photographer John Rudling)

Swift snippets.
28th June: Our trio of spy pictures in last Sunday’snews update come team DTC Racing, headed up by Thorsten Appel aka Scorpion, owner of Scorpion Motors in Wolverhampton. He says 'Way too much professional help was acquired for this build, thanks to Penn Autos namely Andy Frost , the Intergalactic Custom Shop run by none other than Wayne Allmann, and last but not least, crew chief Gary Frost, who kept me in check when my ideas were too ridiculously stupid, without your help it wouldn’t be possible. We hope to fire up the car in the coming couple of weeks. And then dealing it in in a safe environment…'

FIA European Drag Racing Championship Season cancelled.
26th June: We have received an official announcement from Stuart Murray of FIA, which has been published on the FIA web site:

In light of the current COVID-19 crisis and due to its direct consequences, the 2020 edition of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship has been cancelled.

The original, five-round, calendar was due to start on the penultimate weekend of May at Santa Pod Raceway in the United Kingdom before moving onto Sweden’s Tierp Arena for the event scheduled for early June.

The championship was then meant to resume with another event at Tierp in mid-August, before moving south to Germany’s Hockenheim Ring two weeks later and returning to Santa Pod Raceway for the season finale in mid-September.

Following the cancellation of the first three rounds of the championships due to the ongoing pandemic, a decision to cancel this year’s season was taken at the recent meeting of the FIA Drag Racing Commission.

With not enough events left to maintain the sporting integrity of the championship for this year, the commission was left with no other option than to confirm the cancellation of the 2020 FIA European Drag Racing Championship. Individual events may still be held at the discretion of their organisers, albeit as a non-championship or national competition.

Lars Pettersson, President of the FIA Drag Racing Commission, said: “We have to consider what was best for each of the championship stakeholders and make the responsible choice. Unfortunately, this championship has been hit hard by the ongoing pandemic”.

“Drag racing faces challenges that other FIA disciplines do not. Given that our events cannot go ahead in wet weather conditions, proposing autumn dates would mean an increased risk of further cancellations. Similarly, holding events behind closed doors is also not an option for our venues, as they rely on the income from ticket sales”.

“Last but not least, we have to be mindful of our competitors who in the vast majority are self-funded. Having consulted with the teams involved in the championship, we believe that it is in their best interest to allow them to regroup and use the resources saved this year to come back stronger next year, contributing to a healthy and competitive 2021 season.”

From swamp to drag-strip, Melbourne lives!
26th June: Mark Nightingale, media contact for Straightliners Media Team writes that a major milestone in the upgrading of Melbourne Raceway was passed three days ago:

Trevor Duckworth, founder of Straightliners Events and the UKTA embarked on an almost, some would say, laughable project to save an iconic drag strip on a farm in Yorkshire. This project would attempt to not only gain ownership of running events at the farm...but raise £100,000+ to lay a new ¼ mile track, and the money had to be raised in around 8 months to make this project actually become a reality.

So on the 27th June 2019, one logo and a Facebook page later, The Save Melbourne Raceway project begun, after considerable meetings with the land owners (absolutely incredible people allowing this to continue on their land) Trevor or “The Bishop” as he is known within the racing fraternity, sealed the deal on the basis he could raise the money and prove the project had legs, especially as this had been attempted before but for many reasons unfortunately the project collapsed.

A meeting at the venue was booked for 3rd and 4th August 2019 and to be run on a very short part of the existing track to gather interest and to prove the racing community still had the desire to race at this iconic venue. The event went down a storm and what has happened over the past 12 months has been nothing less than remarkable.

A community of drag racers and motorsports enthusiasts soon caught wind of the project thanks to the wonders of social media, within literally days the Facebook page reached over 2000 followers and the racing community raised its head amidst the negative keyboard warriors and the haters something amazing was happening, the community just kept on pushing nothing but positivity and with the Straightliners Crew and media team managing the project in the early stages the project was simply put forward as a fundraiser and nothing more, no promises, no expectations other than, raise the money and we can save the track. Well, as you can imagine soon the passion, decades of memories, children now adults and loyal racers got the bug and the fundraising began.

Calendars, t-shirts, raffles...the list goes on. Straightliners had a “Totaliser” put on a dedicated page ( ) so the donations could be seen and targets reached. The project floundered a bit around £40k but some fresh enthusiasm from the community and another push from the community drove the target forward and closer to its goal.

Well to cut a long story short, early in 2020 before the dreaded “lockdown”, the £100k was surpassed and despite the hardships the Uk was facing everyone who had pledged money stepped up, people dug deep and the next stage was to look at working at the site. On Monday 22nd June 2020 Trinity Surfacing & MAC Planing who have some extremely expensive and unique resurfacing equipment roared onto the site and began work, operating the machines literally from dawn till dusk, what they achieved is just unbelievable. By Wednesday 24th June the new ¼ mile strip had been laid and the final topping on the cake has been laid...Melbourne Raceway lives!

Straightliners Events / UKTA has rights to the venue for the next decade, a community like no other stepped up through adversity and hardship and proved the love for racing in the Uk while venues are being closed by noise complaints and property developers is still as strong as ever and this community was not going to allow the hands of mother nature to reclaim this strip just yet. The fresh smell of brand new tarmac still lingers and one of the most dedicated and hard working men in drag racing and landspeed records in the UK who will reach 8 decades on this floating ball in space some time soon, a man who has spent most of his life removing thee red tape so people like you and me can go racing, from all skill levels and abilities, now stands at the beginning of a runway grinning like a Cheshire cat, proving there's still life in the old goat yet. And what’s more, the simply incredible community who raised this money stepped up and supported this cause, believed in the opportunity put forward, believed in Trevor and shut up each and every one of you negative nancies!

Long live Melbourne who wants to go racing?

Back on Track camping arrangements.
26th June: We can report that in line with the latest Government announcements on camping (published 23rd June), Santa Pod Raceway have announced if you are planning to race/crew both days over the weekend for the Racer Days on 4th-5th July, you will now be able to camp overnight on Saturday only. However strictly No camping or overnight stay is available for single day drivers/crew, or for the Street Tyre day on 11th July. Full details of the requirements are available at

Swift snippets.
26th June: Episode 7 of the Santa PodCast has as its guests this week the man who has done it all, Funny Car, Dragster, Altered, you name it, Gary Page has done it. He's along side the Gladiator Jason Phelps. As usual. the show is presented by Colin Theobald & Luke Stevenson with SPR CEO Keith Bartlett. You can watch tonight’s episode by clicking here.

In the seventh part of his autobiographical blog ‘Golddigger to Drag Nuts’, John Hunt describes a trip to the USA in 1989 to explore options for working in the sport. You can read John’s blog by clicking here or going to the Race Blog link on the site menu.

Drag Racing historian Nick Pettitt has posted many more videos to his Youtube channel this week. UK drag fans will be interested to see Pelle Lindelöw, Gunnar Elmqvist and Janne Rosqvist race their Renault 4CV in Junior Comp Altered in England for the July Internationals in 1972 and NDRC Tor Line International at Snetterton in September 1975.

Our Kieran has also been busy with Youtube. His Mk1Kieran channel has a compilation of highlights from the Retro Show 2012-19. Kieran says ‘Retro show is an event that traditionally takes place on Fathers Day at Santa Pod Raceway. This is one of my personal favourites purely for the variety of stuff that attends as it's open to anything built prior to 1995!‘ Also posted is highlights of the 2015 Maltese Drag Racing Association Finals at Hal Far Raceway. Kieran says 'this event always attracts big attendance numbers in both racers and spectators to close the season in style. 2015 was the last time we competed in Malta with Fraudster before it underwent major surgery at Ladmu Chassis. It was a bit of an odd one too as there was high levels of dust on the strip which was a big safety concern so the event was postponed midway through and resumed two weeks later in early December'.

NitrOlympX: 2020 cancelled, new date for 2021.
23rd June: NitrOlympX PR Christine Calwer has kindly sent us the following sad announcement about this year’s event:

This year, a traditional Hockenheimring highlight that is popular with fans and participants alike will be cancelled for the first time in 34 years: the NitrOlympX (28th-30th August) have been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus crisis. As the organiser of this event, we, the Hockenheim-Ring GmbH, have been trying for a long time to find an alternative autumn date, but in light of the decision made at last week’s State Conference to extend the ban on major events until at least 31st October, we must now announce the cancellation of the drag-racing-event for 2020. Whilst current regulations for Baden-Wuerttemberg with the exact details of bans on large events and the much-cited exceptions are not yet available, there is no doubt that cuts in size and quality to the NitrOlympX would be significant. Our experience over the last few weeks has shown that short-term changes to the coronavirus situation and the corresponding official requirements make concrete or even timely planning impossible for us as organisers, as well as for all teams and participants, some of whom are also affected by strict travel regulations.

From an economic point of view, audience restrictions or a complete lack of audience would mean lost revenues, which are urgently needed to make events successful and run smoothly. The high costs involved make both the Bosch Hockenheim Historic and the NitrOlympX economically unsustainable this season. This fact is all the more important in 2020, a year of crisis, that will present Hockenheim-Ring GmbH with major financial challenges.

The NitrOlympX are known for their open paddock, their unique atmosphere and the opportunity for fans to get up close to the action. Protective measures and restrictions mean the event would lose much of its special characteristics and charm. This is a situation that the teams, participants and we as organisers would not be able to adequately compensate for, which would disappoint all participants and visitors. We feel obliged to our fans and partners to acknowledge this.

We do have some good news. A new date for next season has already been found: NitrOlympX: 20th–22nd August 2021.

RRC Build gallery: Danny Pike’s VW Type 3.
23rd June:
The fourth of our series of features showing photographs by Bob Roberts of the builds carried out by sponsors Robinson Race Cars covers construction of Outlaw Flat Four racer Danny Pike’s VW Type 3 notchback which has a full tube chassis and turbo engine putting out around 600hp. It will return with Danny’s sights firmly on the eight second bracket.

You can see Bob’s gallery in our feature in association with Lucas Oil Products here or go to our Features, Interviews, Tributes index via the main menu.

Picture © Callum Pudge

Acute installation.
23rd June: Acute Angle racing team, Paul, Steve, Somer and Pam Dale, have just installed a freshly built Methanol injected supercharged small block Chevy into their little Anglia.

Paul would like to say a massive thanks to Aaron and Mark Windridge for not only building him a superb motor, but also for lending him the use of his workshop to get the new power plant in, up and running. Thanks also to Dave ‘Ozzy’ Osbourne for the lLoan of some headers so it could be run up and tested at the time.

Paul is booked in at the first test meeting at Santa Pod Raceway on 4th July to try to get to grips with the new set up, it certainly should be entertaining.

Also over in Barcelona, Pep Xampro has installed a freshly built 496 big block Chevy into the Detroit Spinner Prefect, along with treating himself to a new tow vehicle, ready to pull it back to the U.K. ASAP for some test runs.

Meanwhile...Unusual Car Sales U.K. has over 300 hot rods, Yanks, custom and drag cars listed this month! Included are two street legal Outlaw Anglias, Paul Watson’s Camaro , the legendary Steve Pateman Street Eliminator Calibra and much more.

Andy Willsheer’s Hockenheim.
21st June:
Racers and fans who have attended the NitrOlympX at Hockenheim each August for the last 34 years will have felt its unique atmosphere from the sheer size of the facility (large yet at the same time intimate) and Saturday’s Night Show (hugely entertaining and ‘out-there’). Records have been set, competition is cosmopolitan and fierce and at the same time there is something unique about this showcase event in the sport in Germany.

Noted photojournalist Andy Willsheer, who has attended many of the NitrOlympX events, kindly supplied a feature describing his thoughts and distilling the Hockenheim Experience. You can see Andy’s feature illustrated with a gallery of over 40 photos ,and supported by Lucas Oil Products, at here or click on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the main menu.

Spy picture.
21st June: Today we once again have a trio of spy pictures from a single source. The intruiguing write-up says 'It's a street-legal car for use in various classes. The main goal for it is to run the Stockholm open, Street Week and door slammers. If it can fit into another class it might be given a shot'.

If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at

Swift snippets.
19th June: In the sixth episode of the Santa Podcast, stories from on and off the track are related by Nick Good from Nick Good Motorsport and sponsor Nick and Dan Williams of Williams Bros racing. Nick, Nic and Dan are hosted by Colin Theobald, Luke Stevenson and SPR CEO Keith Bartlett. You can see all episodes of the Santa Podcast on Youtube.

The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr gallery with 378 photos from the 2009 drag season including shots from Santa Pod Raceway and Shakespeare County Raceway. You can see Mad’s photos at his Flickr site.

SPR back on track.
19th June:
British drag racing roars back to life next month with Back On Track at Santa Pod Raceway, two individual days of track action for racers on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July (Racer Days) and a third day for entrants running on treaded tyres on Saturday 11th July (Street Day). All three events, naturally, will be conducted according to the government’s lockdown guidance.

Each meeting will be held behind closed doors, admitting no spectators. On each Racer Day the attendance list will be limited to just 100 pre-booked entries. A paddock area accustomed to hosting 300 teams and their transporters will enable bespoke, enlarged pit bays to accommodate social-distancing requirements. The dragstrip surface will be prepared to full race standard.

A Racer Day entry fee of £150 per day will admit a driver/rider and vehicle, with the option of up to five crew members at £20 a head. Each entry and all crew members must be booked in advance in a single transaction; none will be allowed on the day. Both Racer Day events are open to cars and motorcycles using race tyres only. While vehicles may be left overnight, all personnel attending both events must vacate the premises and return next day. There will be no camping, and temperature checks will be carried out on arrival for the safety of all attendees.

Both Racer Day events will be live-streamed on Santa Pod’s YouTube and Facebook channels.

Street Day arrangements will be similar, but a £50 driver/rider fee will apply, again with the option of adding five crew members at £20 a head, all booked together in advance. Only treaded street tyres will be permitted on the track.

Hygiene safety measures will be observed, with hand-sanitiser stations located throughout the venue and regular hand-washing encouraged. Limited retail and catering facilities will be equipped according to required standards.

Full event information, detailing all the Racer Day and Street Day requirements and regulations, is available at and tickets may be booked, first-come, first-served, at

The UK drag racing season was due to begin at Easter, with racers already eager for action after a long winter’s break from the track. By now, Santa Pod should have hosted three national championship events and the opening round of the FIA/FIM European Championship series, plus its regular programme of modified car shows, specialist festivals and public track days on every intervening weekend. Despite their Covid-imposed restrictions, the Back On Track Racer Day and Street Day events respectively offer racers and RWYB entrants on two and four wheels a precious opportunity to test, tune and match race for the first time this year. It has been a long time coming, but drag racing is at last heading Back On Track.

Elvington drag race is on.
19th June: Straightliners director Trevor Duckworth has announced that Straightliners have secured Elvington for a two lane drag race event on the 11th and 12th of July. As you will know Drag Race events are very rare at Elvington. This will be a pre entry event. There will be no entries on the day and if the organisers have insufficient entries to make it worthwhile as a two day event, it will be run it as a single day. Elvington noise regulations will be in place with a 105db noise limit.

There will be no public at this event, if you entered the event at Dakota on 18th July, which is cancelled, you can carry your entry over towards Elvington or get a refund. would be grateful if any racer with a camera could supply pictures for publication. Pictures may be sent to

Scandinavian update.
19th June: There was a race at Kjula Raceway, Eskilstuna, Sweden last weekend, the Mälardalen Open 2 Blacksmiths Nats 1. We’ve a few photos to show. The race was attended by Time-Tree and results can be seen at Although the race was unable to be run through to completion with only one round of eliminations taking place, the track recorded 784 time slips and qualifying was completed for the 122 racers taking part.

Notable performances in the Test & Tune were from Comp Eliminator race Gideon Liljegren (7,695/185.30), other seven second runners were Pro Street racer Johan Hedman (7.7689/173.63) 4 to 6 Pro racer Kristian Sjöberg (7.9716/171.75) and Super Pro ET racer Johanna Granholm. Stefan Flodell, he of the Dog Catcher ’56 Gasser was also testing. Photo galleries of the event have been posted by Henrik Lindberg Photography, Micke Falk Photography, and

Clockwise: Stefan Flodell (Henrik Lindberg photo), Gideon Liljegren (Micke Falk photo), Micael Noren vs Johan Hedman ( photo) and Kristian Sjöberg (Micke Falk photo).

Future events occuring in Scandinavia in June and July (all subject to Covid-19 restrictions and with no spectator attendance allowed) are:
  • FHRA Test n´ Tune Kauhava, Finland 25th-28th June
  • Test & Tune at Hudik Raceway, Sweden 26th-28th June
  • No Prep race Malmö Raceway, Sweden 28th June
  • Junior Dragster/Drag Bike race, Malmö Raceway, Sweden, 4th-5th July
  • Cramo Nats, Malmö Raceway, Sweden, 11th-12th July
  • Test & Tune, Mantorp Park, Sweden, 15th July
  • J-Trading Junior Day, Kauhava, Finland 18th-19th July
  • Mantorp Drag Revival, Mantorp Park, Sweden 23rd-26th July
We will place links to results and photos for any of these events so stay tuned to for the latest news.

Firestorm build pics, in-car vid.
19th June: The Firestorm jet funny car team of Roger Goring have updated their website with a 'step by step' on the build of the latest incarnation of the popular car.

And whilst we’re on the subject of Firestorm the in-car footage from a run that Roger made at the Euro Finals 2019 gives you an idea of what the driver of a jet funny car needs to do, and how incredibly quick his reactions are. You can see the video by clicking here.

Swift snippets.
19th June: In the sixth part of his autobiographical blog ‘Golddigger to Drag Nuts’, John Hunt describes organising the 'Ace of Clubs' indoor charity Dragster and Custom Car show in Farborough in collaboration with the National Street Rod Association, and National Street Van Association. A lot of organisation was involved and video of the show has been posted to Youtube. You can read John’s blog by clicking here or going to the Race Blog link on the site menu.

As an addendum to our analysis of UK racers earning NHRA Wally trophies listed in yesterday's news, we should note that ex-pat Brit Tony Morris won a Wally in Super Comp, and Mike Manners won in Top Alcohol Dragster at the 2010 NHRA Finals.

We wish our friends in Sweden Glad Midsommar. We'll race again...

UK Wally winners.
17th June:
A question posed by Outlaw Anglia racer Colin Millar in last Friday’s Santa PodCast was: who from the UK has been presented with an NHRA Wally trophy? A little research by Colin later revealed that in addition to Colin, Al O'Connor, Wayne Saunders and Dave Wilson and sponsor Nic Williams have all been presented with an NHRA Wally. Al O’Connor, of Al’s Gasser fame, had one presented by NHRA founder Wally Parks himself in 1988.

Here is a list of UK racers to have won Wally trophies, with the event, track and category for which they won it:
  • Al O’Connor: 1988 Keystone Nationals, Maple Grove Raceway, Reading, Pennsylvania - Special Appreciation Award.
  • Wayne Saunders 1999 NHRA/IDRC Finals, Auto Club Raceway, Pomona - Pro Import winner.
  • Dave Wilson, 2004 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Southwestern International Raceway Tucson Top Alcohol Dragster champion.
  • Colin Millar, 2015 Mellow Yellow Toyota Nationals, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Best Appearing Crew.
  • Nic Williams, 2018 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. Edelbrock Never Rest Performer of the Race

Clockwise: Al O'Connor's Wally, Wayne Saunders, Dave Wilson, Nic Williams (centre) and Colin Millar and team Flyin' Fyfer

Wally trophies being won by UK teams started almost 20 years after the first UK racers made the long-distance trip to compete in the NHRA. In 1970 bike racers Dennis Norman, and team Pegasus (Derek Chinn, Mick Butler and Ian Messenger) attended the U.S. Nationals to receive a Long Distance Award (pictured left); in 1973 Dennis Priddle and Clive Skilton were at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Clive going on to be runner-up in the 1977 Springnationals, and in more recent years, multiple European Champions Andy Carter and Rob Turner raced in the NHRA, but all competed at an NHRA event without earning a Wally.

Moving across to the then-rival IHRA, Al O’Connor won their Iron Man trophy for becoming IHRA Super Gas overall champion in 1992, Steve Warner earned one in 1994 and Tony Guy in 1995 for being respective IHRA UK National Champions.

Left to right: Al O'Connor's Iron Man, Steve Warner with his Iron Man, Ray and Tony Guy

Thanks to Colin Millar for research also to the racers involved for photos with their trophies.

Nostromo jet truck allowed out.
17th June: Prospective jet truck racer Sammy Tosuner from Germany, who is the former managing director at MZA Lukau raceway and has previously run a '57 Chevy jet funny car which suffered a fiery demise, has published details of his new Nostromo jet truck that he calls ‘Europe’s strongest racing box'.

The truck, named Nostromo was based on a circuit racing model rebuilt by former European champion Gerd Körber (Bickel-Tuning) and adapted in England for use as a jet truck dragster to run over the quarter mile.

The engine is a Rolls Royce Avon 301R from a BAC Lightning F3 intercept fighter aircraft, the same model of engine later being used in the Avro 698 Vulcan Delta wing bomber. The F3’s 301R engines allowed the aircraft to reach Mach 2.0 service clearance (2,450 mph)...

Since this engine provides extreme power (which of course goes with significant fuel consumption) we have a tank capacity of 2 x 600 ltr. Jet-A1 fuel on board for max. 3-4 minutes of operation time.

The passenger cell is made out of carbon fibre / aluminium composite with a safety cell and internal fire extinguishing system. And yes, the truck is a two-seater! The tyres are Goodyear semi-profiled special racing tires for high-speed use. The braking system comprises a double brake parachute system combined with a 4-disc racing brake system.

Overall the truck weights approx. 3,750 kg race ready, and fully fueled with two people on board. The performance from a maximum power output originally of 64,000 hp limited for testing and the first year of racing with only one (instead of two) afterburner stages is approximately 50,000 hp Expected performance is a terminal speed of 250mph or more after 402 meters.

Sammy says ‘Now we're all slowly becoming fidgety with three days left before testing. After we load up it's off with the jet truck to Peenemünde Airport along the Baltic Sea for the first Nostromo test. After lots of experience with Jerry Lackey and many runs of jet funny cars and dragsters and watching extensive video footage of our visits to England, we should be able to start Nostromo without any problems. However, if we spot any technical pitfalls or sudden mechanical inconsistencies in Peenemünde we know exactly to whom we owe this!

With tense nerves, two of our jet team crew (Florian Klauck and René / Neu Mi) checked everything so far visible on Nostromo today, tightened the loose tank clamp for the main fuel pipeline of the afterburner, the loose relay of the afterburner attached to the frame; mounted the two GoPros, mounted the seat, marked the control panel in the cab; repaired the air pressure braking system, and told me we are ready to load. Here we go!

Since we are not only allowed to test in Peenemünde but also in a music video, we loaded our Harley & Big Dog today to shoot this weekend so please keep your fingers crossed for us that the weather is playing along too.

From today onwards there will be announcements about the status of our test weekend on in Peenemünde and if you happen to be there, you can also watch a little Rock 'n Roll'.

Nostromo’s static test from 2019 can be seen here, in a somewhat unexpected part of Santa Pod Raceway...

VWDRC Golf in Zambia.
16th June:
VWDRC racer Pawel Saroch has been in touch to tell the story of how his Golf has been shipped to Africa for a new life:

I started racing VW Sportsman with the VWDRC. Having always been interested in WW2, I decided to paint the car up and give it the insignia from a fighter plane flown by the RAF's Polish squadron (due to my part Polish family roots).

The car was also my daily driver for work too so when I decided to buy another VW Golf from fellow racer Simon McGee that was already caged, a fellow employee heard I was selling my Golf. Alex Chanda also has an interest in WW2 as his father (a Lance Corporal in the Northern Rhodesia Rifles) fought alongside the British throughout Africa and also into Italy. We agreed a deal for the car and a load of parts and chatted the rest of the shift about the car and about WW2.

The car made the long journey to Africa and was collected by Alex's son Christopher who is a keen mechanic and already has his plans for the car now that it’s in its new home in Zambia. I don’t know if they have drag racing in that particular area of the Africa, the car is retired and will be used as a daily driver.

It was only a short career for her, seven events in total, but she did win the 2019 Summernationals event in VW Sportsman. But maybe if I send them some drag racing videos or links to live Santa Pod events, who knows, maybe they might find somewhere for the the car to race again.

I would like to thank Simon McGee for selling me his car, Simon Blackburn of VMS Racing Wheels and 32 Speed Shop for his help currently with getting my wheels and parts, and the whole VWDRC class as several have given me help and advice.

Get well soon Nige!
16th June: We would like to say Get Well Soon to Nigel Fitzmaurice, former Nitro FM DJ, current Phoenix 98 FM presenter/producer and ambulance driver, who is laid low and on a respirator with Covid 19.

Nigel’s partner Lisa Oldershaw has been supported by members of the drag racing community and colleagues. Although Nigel has a long road to recovery, Lisa will be visiting him and messages of support via his FB account will be much welcomed.

Zerbst steps up.
16th June: Having already hosted two test and tune events during the pandemic, Zerbst Airport in Germany will be holding a German FWD Shootout on 27th-28th June, starting at 10:00 on Saturday 27th and 13:00 on Sunday 28th. The event will be supported by European FWD, European Drag Race List and organised by AMC Desau.

The following conditions are being made in order to race:
  • A maximum of 70 drivers per day.
  • A maximum of one accompanying person per driver.
  • Only registered persons are allowed to enter the site.
  • Online registration is mandatory. Tickets are available in the online shop , only while stocks last . Booking is possible until 8 p.m. the previous day.
  • Signing on takes place at the entrance to the site. All necessary forms must be submitted / filled in there.
  • A minimum distance of 1.5m must be observed.
  • Parking the vehicles in the paddock should be at a distance of 3m from the next racer.
  • No catering is provided, and self-catering is expected.
  • All persons must have their main residence in Europe.
  • For the time being, admission is not possible for viewers.
Registration is available until June 21, 2020 at Facebook or e-mail

Swift snippets.
16th June: A big Happy Birthday to fuel altered pilot and land speed racer Ron Hope, who would have been racing in Rat Trap at Dragstalgia if it were not for the disruption and suspension of racing in the UK. Drag racers are known for their patience, Ron, so we look forward to seeing you next year! For a short celebration of Ron’s achievements, click here.

Kieran's latest Youtube videos cover two popular classes. The first is Jets. Kieran says 'Jet Cars are often seen at big Santa Pod Raceway events to entertain the grandstands that are packed full of spectators. At last years Easter event 'Festival of Power' where we were treated to Fire Force running a team of 4 jets, Roger Goring's Firestorm, Split Second, Reign of Fire Mini Jet Car and The Oklahoma Willy Jet Bus for good measure. There were a few match races over the 1000ft as well as single full 1/4 mile runs. Here's a few clips I've filmed over the years of all things jet powered including a shopping trolley!' Kieran's jet compilation is here.

The second of Kieran's compilations is a European Gasser Drag Racing Compilation. Kieran says 'The Gasser Circus which formed in 2003 is a nostalgic race series that celebrates the cars of the legendary 'Gasser Wars' in the 1960s. The Gasser Circus clan attend around 4-5 events per year at Santa Pod Raceway most notably 'Dragstalgia' where you'll see 20+ in attendance including entries from other countries. I personally love this class for the variety that it brings, the paint jobs and the overall nostalgia that provides entertaining passes. You can see the Gasser compilation video here.

RRC build gallery – Kev Slyfield’s ’56 Thunderbird.
15th June:
The third of our series of features showing photographs by Bob Roberts of the builds carried out by sponsors Robinson Race Cars covers a well known car which has been part of the Motorsport UK Drag Racing Championship for five years – Kev Slyfield’s ’56 Thunderbird.

Bob says ‘This car had a long gestation period starting in 2010 for one customer and ending in 2014 with another customer – Kev Slyfield. Kev has of course had significant success in the car including MSA Pro Modified Championship in 2015 and running a five in 2019’.

Included are links to video of Kev in action and Kev and the RRC Camaro in a customer vs builder grudge race. Who wins? You’ll have to see the feature to find out.

You can see Bob’s gallery in our feature in association with Lucas Oil Products here or go to our Features, Interviews, Tributes index via the main menu.

Rip Rap Racers Club wraps, Joe champ.
15th June: Spencer Tramm, organiser of the Rip Rap Racers Club online drag racing series says ‘Congratulations to George Oliver for winning the RRRC Finals.

Thank you to everyone who has taken part over the last 11 weeks (all 140 of you!) as well as those that have followed here online. Special thanks to for the coverage (Ed-you’re welcome), Colin Theobald and Kieran Jenkins for posting prizes. There will be more races, likely over winter and maybe the odd one now and again if we feel like it!’

We’re sure all racers and others involved in the Rip Rap Racers Club would like to extend a big Thank You to Spencer for organising racing on a weekly basis over the last eleven weeks, a considerable task with the numbers of interested racers and tight timings involved as well as a busy day job.

In the final race, George Oliver defeated Callum Swinchatt who in the series points was runner up to Champion Joe Kellett. In their respective semi finals George defeated Jake Handy and Callum won against James Bennett.

The top 10 points scorers are as follows:

  1 Joe Kellett 6100
  2 Callum Swinchatt 5500
=3 Will Clark 4700
=3 Billy Everitt 4700
  5 Spencer Tramm 4600
  6 Matt Seamarks 4200
  7 Craig Wright 4100
  8 George Oliver 4000
=9 Simon Fulton 3700
=9 Callum Ellswood 3700
=9 Jon Crawford 3700
=9 Colin Theobald 3700

The full series points will be published to our OCS Paints-sponsored points pages when they are received.

Swift snippets.
15th June: In the fifth episode of the Santa Podcast, you can see the entertaining pairing of Perfect ET Award sponsor Andy ‘Fadster’ Hadfield, aided and abetted by daughter and Junior Dragster racer Purdie, with Outlaw Anglia star Colin Millar. Included in the discussion is a certain race pairing which hasn’t happened so far but will be near the top of many fans’ wish list. Fadster and Colin are hosted by Colin Theobald, Luke Stevenson and SPR CEO Keith Bartlett. You can see all episodes of the Santa Podcast on Youtube.

We were delighted to see a number of Facebook Live postings of live fire-up videos over the weekend, including UK race teams preparing for a return to the track. The team of Paul Harris, Herb Andrews and Mick Sharpe recorded their Nostalgia Funny Car fire-up here, whilst Tony Bettsposting followed a couple of hours later. Tony commented “Great effort by the team today. Car sounds awesome with the new John Wright fuel system. One more change to make then good to go.” If you have a fire-up video you would like promoted to reader base, drop a line to and we’ll mention it.

Our good friend, the unfired Markus Münch has been reporting on a test n' tune held at Zerbst Airport in Germany on 5th-7th June. Three days of testing were permitted, and you can see Markus’s albums on the Dragmag web site or FB page.

Feature: The first Cannonball.
11th June:
The first Cannonball Run drag race took place on 4th to 5th July 1981 at Santa Pod Raceway. The event drew on the popularity of Funny Cars and was also a promotional event for the film of the same name.

Our latest historical feature, supported by Lucas Oil Products, describes the event in detail and includes 50 photographs from it as well as a full scan of the event programme and a contemporaneous race report.

We are grateful to drag racing historians Jerry Cookson and Nick Pettit for supplying archive material. You can see our feature here or by clicking the features, interviews, tributes link from the main menu.

Photo of Allan Herridge in Gladiator © Dick Parnham

Santa Pod Raceway suspend July events, but testing may return.
11th June: We print below the whole of the statement made by Santa Pod Raceway CEO Keith Bartlett, published yesterday:

Further to the previous statements I have released regarding Santa Pod Raceway and its 2020 calendar, I would like to update you on our current situation. Since the government legislation announced in mid-March, Santa Pod has been unable to hold any type of event at all from that point.

As a result of this, the impact on Santa Pod has been nothing short of a disaster. Our ability to trade and earn income is non-existent. We have invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in setting up our 2020 schedule and have not earned one penny of event income since the lockdown. Despite working hard on survival plans for 2020 onwards, the losses have hit us hard and increase every day that we can’t turn a wheel.

We are now forced to make the difficult decisions around the major events due to be held in July. It is clear that the Government is not going to relax lockdown, social distancing and large gatherings sufficiently to allow these to proceed. It is therefore with deep regret that we must now officially suspend these too.

Of course, July includes the Bug Jam VW Festival. This event particularly has a strong following and I am devastated it will not happen this year – another killer blow for both Santa Pod, our fans and our finances.

It will come as no surprise that without the continued support from our loyal fans and spectators, Santa Pod would not have survived this crisis and once again, I plead with our advance ticket holders to give us the time and space to work through this tough time and to most importantly, take the credit value for our drag racing events and in the case of Bug Jam to please, please roll your tickets over to 2021. These particular events will now go into our 2021 calendar on or around the same dates.

After further Government Guidelines and the current lockdown rules, we are pushing forward to see what lower level events can we can host over the coming months. We are now at least planning to open our doors in July to some “behind closed doors” track days and racer test days with no spectators and within the current rules for social distancing and to meet health & safety regulations under the COVID-19 requirements. In this ever-changing landscape, we may be able to scale up from there but as of now, it’s still an unknown. It’s a start, at least, on our precarious road to recovery.

We need all your support to be able to get through this and to see us back in action in 2021 (I must also thank those of you who have purchased merchandise to date – every little really helps.) We have extended our credit redemption period from our normal 12 months to 24 months to widen the scope for your return visit.

Your actions on this issue of advance tickets may well be the difference between success and failure. Together – we will race again.

Swift snippets.
11th June: In the fifth part of his autobiographical blog ‘Golddigger to Drag Nuts’, John Hunt describes an epic trip to the US in 1984 in which he took in three races including the 30th US Nationals and an IHRA National Event at Thunder Valley, Bristol, along with some problems on the way... You can read John’s blog by clicking here or going to the Race Blog link on the site menu.

In his latest upload to his Youtube channel, drag racing historian has posted footage of York Raceway’s 1993 August meeting with Top Alcohol cars of Smax Smith, Andy Hill, Norm Wheeldon, Pete Barnett and Doug Bond. You can see Nick’s upload by clicking here.

Tierp Arena sale puts Summit Internationals in doubt.
8th June: Further to our swift snippet
last week, many thanks to Pär Pippi Willen for providing a translation of the recent newspaper article about the Tierp Arena sale under the headline “Tierp Arena is for sale: Discussing with several [interested parties]":

The owner of Tierp Arena, Sånna Förvaltning AB (Sånna Management), have announced it is for sale. Sånna Management hope for a quick sale during the summer.

"We have decided that we want to have other priorities in our business. Therefore, we will sell to someone who wants to take the business forward and run it in a good way", says Christopher Hamilton, CEO of Sånna Management.

According to Hamilton, work is under way to produce a sales prospectus, both in Swedish and English, for Tierp Arena together with real estate agents. "The prospectus will be sent out at the end of the week, but discussions are already underway with several different stakeholders, both Swedish and foreign", says Hamilton.

He explains that the decision to sell has been brewing for a while. "We are working with our companies in hotels and events as well as motorsport with Sturup Raceway and Tierp Arena. The coronavirus pandemic has affected our group hard, and was an important factor that came into play when we made this decision".

In 2014, the then bankrupt Tierp Arena was bought by Sånna Management for SEK 20 million [a little over 2 million Euro]. The book value was then set at SEK 37 million by the bankruptcy trustee.

"You could say that we bought a drag racing track with stands. We have since developed the arena to an event facility with motorsport in various forms with hotels, conference, camping areas and a trade fair area", says Hamilton. Since the acquisition in 2014, the capacity of the stands has been expanded and today it holds 30,000 spectators. The area has also been expanded with a rally cross track where there have been championship races.

What is the selling price set at? "That is nothing I can comment on at present, but based on what we have paid and what investments have been made, you can speculate a bit".

Hamilton explains that the ambition is to sell the plant relatively quickly. "An important factor when it comes to the buyer is that it operates the plant in the same direction and continues to be an important player when it comes to arranging good quality motorsport competitions". Until a new owner takes over, the facility will be kept open for certain activities. At most, nine people have worked in the arena. Today, one person is employed at the arena.

"We will not have any further events in the arena. This means that we will not be hosting the European Championship drag racing event in August, even if the situation in the country allows it", explains Christopher Hamilton. However, he emphasizes that a new owner may have the opportunity to organize the European Championship event. "That decision is entirely up to them," he says.

Joe’s fourth.
8th June: Congratulations to Joe Kellett for his win at last night’s Rip Rap Racing Corona Nationals. Joe defeated series organiser Spencer Tramm in an extremely tight race with a win margin of 0.0067 seconds. Previously Joe had defeated Craig Wright in his semi-final, and Spencer had defeated Paul Evans with a perfect light of 0.0000.

We have posted the points to our OCS-sponsored points pages. Joe has opened up a lead over Callum Swinchatt; Billy Everitt, Spencer and Will Clark occupy the remaining positions in the top five.

Trailer for sale.
8th June: The Speedghost Motorsport team have announced that their Wilson race trailer is for sale.

Mark ‘Animal’ Bodimeade said ‘It is a 2002 trailer and comes complete as seen. There is a full awning 6 metres wide complete with sides. There are eight beds upstairs and the trailer will take any short wheelbase car up top, or any dragster down stairs. There is a double side opening door. The neck is a living room with a sofa that converts to a double bed. Also there is a brand new tail gate with brand new rams but needs finishing’.

Any enquiries on the trailer should go to Mark on +44 7909 528355 or Patrik Pers on +46 70 6961385.

Robinsons video interview.
7th June: The
Fastr Facebook page has posted a well-produced video interview with Andy and Luke Robinson of sponsors Robinson Race Cars. The video shows Andy’s racing career and shows us how Luke got involved in the car building business and how the team operate.

You can see the interview, which runs to 25 minutes with extensive video action clips at this link.

Robinson Race Cars build gallery – Shelby Cobra Daytona.
7th June: The second of our series of features showing photographs by Bob Roberts of the builds carried out by sponsors Robinson Race Cars covers a replica of a historic circuit racing car (Ed: don’t tell Tog).

Bob writes: There comes a time in the life of a race car when it has been so hard used, so crashed and repaired, so potentially fragile that it needs a major rebuild. The alternative is to have a copy made and that was the brief to RRC from the owner of this Daytona – build me a copy chassis. To make life easy the original was in the workshop for the majority of the build.

You can see Bob’s gallery in our feature in association with Lucas Oil Products here or go to our Features, Interviews, Tributes index via the main menu.

Swift snippets.
7th June: Kieran has posted two videos to his Youtube channel. The first is a Honda Civic Drag Racing Compilation. Kieran says ‘The Honda Civic makes up for the majority of the European FWD Leaderboard and the power some of them produce is just mind boggling! This compilation contains a mixture of power plants, N/A and forced induction including K-Series, B-Series and even D-Series!’. You can see this video of clips from Santa Pod Raceway and a few at Hal Far Raceway in Malta here.

Kieran’s second video is of one of the most-seen cars at Ford, lifestyle and RWYB events - Darren Scannell's YB Mk1 Escort Street Sleeper. Kieran says ‘Darren’s mental Cosworth Mk1 Escort is a regular at Santa Pod Raceways RWYB events partaking in the Old Skool Ford Drag Challenge and outings with the Taz Racing clan. Since first appearing in 2011 running high 10s the car has since propelled into the mid 9s on a h-pattern gearbox and maintaining it's stock appearance with all steel panels. Darren's had a lot of success with the car in RWYB Competitions. In 2014 he made it into Santa Pod's 'Quick Shift Challenge' Final, Semi-Finalist at Doorslammers 2018, OSFDC Champion 2018 and Runner-up in the four cylinder class at Doorslammers 2019. You can see Kieran’s video of Darren’s Escort here.

Tonight: Santa PodCast Ep 4.
5th June: At 7pm tonight, tune into Episode 4 of the brand new Santa PodCast at
this link.

Each week presenters Colin Theobald & Luke Stevenson chat to guests from the world of Drag Racing and Santa Pod Raceway. The guests this week with stories from on and off the track are adrenaline junkie & Funny Bike rider Dale Leeks and the man with the Lambo, Pro Stock Bike Rider, The Bish, Martin Bishop. The PodCast also features two bright stars in the Junior Dragster Ranks with Archie Wray and Frankie Fordham as they chat about their future in drag racing.

If you missed any of the previous episodes of the Santa PodCast, they are a great way of keeping in touch with what’s going on. You can find them at Santa Pod’s Youtube channel.

Swift snippets.
5th June: In the fourth part of his autobiographical blog ‘Golddigger to Drag Nuts’, John Hunt describes how he got into organising social events and volunteer work for the National Drag Racing Club and Surrey Street Rodders, including a dragster display at Wheels Day in 1984. You can read John’s blog by clicking here or going to the Race Blog link on the site menu.

Many thanks to drag racing historian and director of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Jerry Cookson for supplying a scan of the first edition (earlier than the others we have posted) of the 1990 edition of the Euro Drag Racing List for car classes originally published by Tommy Nilsson. As well as the pro classes, bests are included for Competition Altered, Factory Experimental Europe, Dragster, Pro Modified, Pro Street, Street Altered, Street Rover, Econo Gas, Modified Stock, Super Stock GT, Super Stock and Stock under Euroseries, German and Swedish rules as appropriate. There are many names to nudge memories in the Euro Drag Racing List which can be downloaded from this link. Later editions are available from 1992 and 1995.

Feature: 1970s Mantorp gallery.
4th June:
Our latest historic feature focuses on an iconic location for drag racing in Europe, Mantorp Park. By the end of the 1970s it was, alongside Santa Pod Raceway a key track for racing and provided great entertainment for fans.

A collection of photos came to our attention when looking at the excellent Svensk Street & Dragracing 1968–1979 Facebook Group. The owner of the pictures, Lars-Petter Kolkind had originally bought the collection from the estate of the original photographer Allan Iversen from Oslo and scanned them to a gallery. We are grateful to Lars-Petter for supplying permission to place many of them into a gallery, with our captions.

It has been a lot of fun trying to identify cars with the help of programmes from the era. There are also several surprises for those interested in the sport in Europe, and you can see pictures of some early race cars of those that would later go to the top of the sport.

You can see our gallery of Mantorp photos in association with Lucas Oil Products at here or go to our Features, Interviews, Tributes index page via the main menu.

Street Machine shaved.
4th June: Editor of Street Machine magazine Dave Smith writes: "I’m doing a Facebook Live thing every Thursday evening on the Street Machine Facebook page.

"As I haven’t been barbered since well before lockdown, I’ve been getting a bit of a Milton Jones look about me, and last Thursday I said that if the readers would pledge £100, to be split evenly between the Santa Pod fund and the Melbourne Raceway fund, I’d get my head shaved #3.

I then, rather foolishly, said that if people pledged £200, I’d shave it #1. Well, people have pledged £350 so far, bless ‘em (the b*st*rds). So, this Thursday, June 4th, at 7.30pm I should be getting tennis-balled, live on Facebook… Would any Eurodragster fans care to chip into the fund?

"All pledges will be tallied, and I’ll be chasing for payment via PayPal after the mowing. All money will be split 50/50 between Santa Pod and Melbourne Raceway.

Feature: Robinson Race Cars build gallery – Marc Meihuizen.
1st June:
Today we start a new series of features which look behind the scenes at race car builders and sponsors Robinson Race Cars. Bob Roberts has kindly supplied a gallery of pictures taken by him and Luke Robinson whilst the build of Marc Meihuizen’s car took place.

Bob says ‘There are lots of pictures of the finished car because it really is my favourite of all of Andy's builds’. We look at the performance of the car over the years and the consistency and outright speed are amazing.

In future Bob plans to send galleries on three more ground up Pro Mods, one VW, one ProMod rebuild and a couple of non drag cars for good measure. You can see Bob’s gallery in our feature in association with Lucas Oil Products at here or go to our Features, Interviews, Tributes index page via the main menu.

Callum at the double.
1st June: After the on-line RRRC Excitement Nationals held yesterday evening, congratulations go to Callum Swinchatt for his win, his second of the series. Callum defeated Lloyd Perkins in the final after a win over Paul Evans in the semi-final. Lloyd had defeated points leader Joe Kellett in his semi-final.

In the points Joe Kellett leads with Callum now in second place having overtaken Billy Everitt who is a short way behind in third. Will Clark is fourth and Matt Seamarks and Spencer Tramm round out the top five.

We will post the points in due course to our OCS Paint-sponsored points pages.

Swift snippets.
1st June: A big Happy Birthday for tomorrow (Tuesday) to Team Nutritionist Syd McDonald. Have a great day Syd and we hope you'll be feeding us again soon.

Kieran has posted his latest compilation video to his Youtube channel. The subject of the upload is a UK Outlaw Anglia Drag Racing Compilation. Kieran summarises: “Outlaw Anglia is one of the most exciting heads up classes in UK Drag Racing with just a few simple rules... The body must be based on a 'Sit-up & beg' style Ford Anglia, Popular, Fordson or Prefect. The wheelbase can be no more than 101", the driver must be seated to one side, no flip-up funny car style bodies and no alterations to the front windscreen angle. Other than that, it's anything goes! Current ET Record Holder is Colin Millar with a 7.24 and Speed Record Holder is Simon Barlow who trapped 193.7mph”. You can see Kieran’s video here.

If you have seen any 'Tierp Arena is up for sale' comments on Facebook over the weekend, you could be forgiven for thinking you are having flashbacks. But as we don't comment on rumours, we will look for an official announcement and report it here.

Earlier news