European Drag Racing News

Fueltech Nitrobike Showdown round 1.
16th June: Many thanks to Finnish photojournalist Pasi Uponen who has provided us with a report on the
Fueltech Nitrobike Showdown round 1 at the Kannon Romu Savo Nationals, Motopark Raceway, Savo, Finland last weekend 12th-13th June:

(Pictured: Mikko Rajaniemi and Lasse Leponiemi. Photos courtesy and © Pasi Uponen).

Unfortunately Sunday was a rainy day and we could see only three qualifying rounds during the event. That's why some of the riders didn't get a time and all of them had a lot of problems with engines and set ups. But it was the first race after a long break. It was nice to see two new riders making a few license runs, Marko Lantto and Kalle Myllylä. Soon we will have even more riders on track.

Qualifying results were:

1. Mikko Rajaniemi TFB "Sirpa" 1364 cc 6.991/320.82 kmh
2. Lasse Leponiemi TF Twin 160cid Overkill 7.304/305.57
3. Torsti Kettula TF Twin 168cid PRP 7.388/273.25
4. Aku Lantto TFB Harsh 1699cc 8.423/177.12
5. Samu Kemppainen TF Twin 196cid V60 10.079/255.57
6. Harri Piensalmi TF Twin 186 cid 14.253/92.70

(Pictured: Kalle Myllylä and Marko Lantto. Photos courtesy and © Pasi Uponen).

Pasi commented "Almost all riders had made a lot of changes on their bikes during last winter which was the main reason why they had so much technical problems. Also let's hope that travel restrictions change before the next round, on 8th-10th July at Kauhava, to allow for bikes outside Finland to compete in the Showdown".

Reckless Racing, comprising Aku Lantto and Marko Lantto have posted video of their weekend, with footage of the riders after the race at Youtube.

Spy picture.
16th June: This picture arrived at the offices of with the comment "Another Swedish car heading overseas..."

If you know more, or have a spy picture of your own to send, please contact the Editor at

Swift snippets.
16th June: A very Happy Birthday from our Nitro Revival Sponsor Geoff Stilwell and all of us at to Ron Hope, Fuel Altered pilot and supporter of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame. Have a great day Ron.

Gardermoen results, photos.
16th June: Results from the Spring Nationals EDRS round at Gardermoen Raceway last weekend 12th-13th June have been posted at Qualifying results from 12th June are at this link. You can see a gallery of photos from the event at the Johansen Photo FB page of Kim Johansen.

FMV Racing, comprising Odd Erik Fossum in their nitrous Pro Mod Camaro and daughter Trine Fossum in her 555ci Super Pro ET dragster, were at their first race since 2019 after Covid-19 "took a trip into the world".

"For us this was more a test weekend, to check out all the things we have done to the Pro Mod car. Our Stroupe built 68 Pro Mod Camaro is going straight as an arrow, so we are very satisfied. We didn't put so much power in it because we wanted to test the chassis instead of going for low ETs. We hope to get back at the track in August and try to step up a little bit more". Running solo in test mode, Odd Erik ran a creditable best of 6.328/360.25kph.

Trine (pictured above right), racing for the first time since 2018, was no.1 qualifier in Super Pro ET, with a 7.700/281.06kph on 7.69 dial. She went to the final of the twelve car field, where she raced 19 year old Madelen Andersen in a BBC-engined dragster (pictured above left). Trine pulled a red on the way to a 7.588/284.16 on 7.58 dial, allowing Madelen ran a 8.696/227.06 on her 8.45 dial and take the win.

In Pro Street, Renate Rosén Skinne (pictured above left) won in a field of four cars, of which two were unable to take the green in the first round. Renate, who qualified 2nd ran 7.603/291.71 to defeat the Chevy Pickup of Fredrik Gravningen (pictured above right) who ran 7.839/253.69 after getting off the line first by two tenths.

(Pictured above right: In Super Comp, the dragsters of Julie Andersen and Mats Wanvik met in qualifying. Picture © Kim Johansen).

Dragstalgia entry looking good.
15th June: Being one of the largest meetings of the year, Dragstalgia racer spaces are overall subject to limits. Also, one of the benefits of coming out of lockdown is that the event already has a large number of applications as shown in the
current entry list.

Don Scott, organiser of UK Nostalgia Super Stock has been in touch to ask if the 50+ racers in his class can finalise their race entries as soon as possible, which will allow other racers applying for Custom Car Invitational Run What Ya Brung more chance of a place in the pairing lanes.

We would imagine this line of thought might apply to other classes. The page for class entries is at this link, and the closing date for entries, bearing in mind the above message, is strictly Friday 2nd July 2021 at 5pm.

00Heaven championship car tracked down.
15th June: Remember the feared "00Heaven" Vauxhall VX4/90 with its 582ci engine, raced to eight championships, four in each of Super Gas and Super Comp, by Stuart Doignie in the UK 2015-18?

A viewing of Youtube videos by videographer Jakob Cecil of Icelandic drag racing's championship event held on 12th June in Hafnarfjörður showed this legendary car running in the Doorslammer class over the eighth mile. You can see the video by clicking here or on the photo above (photo © B&B Kristinsson).

The car is now run by Stefán Kristjánsson who won the Doorslammer category. Other categories fought were Open Class in which the dragster of Stefán Helgason defeated the similar car of Ingólfur Arnarsson, and Top Sportsman (9.99 index) where Hilmar Jacobsen in a Saleen Mustang was the winner. True Street, Standard, and three motorcycle classes.

The local newspaper Morgunbladid reported "Conditions for racing put in place by the organising body Kvartmíluklúbb have recently changed. Active members of KK have put a lot of effort into making the area (a 25 minute drive from Reykyavik) much more accessible and the area has served many motorsport disciplines.

These include both a quarter mile and a sand drag track, as well as a circuit area and off-road terrain, to name but a few. It can be said that the area offers much more possibilities than before in terms of events for motorsport and it is a big part of the service to the ambitious competitors who practice and compete in motorsports, as well as general driving instruction".

You can follow the activities of Iceland's Kvartmíluklúbb on their Facebook page.

Clastres race coming up 19th-20th June.
15th June: Since 2015, Association Trophée Dragster (ATD), based in the Allier region of France, has been organizing its competitions on the Clef des Champs site at Clastres Dragway. The only track in France exclusively reserved for drag racing also has in its favour the quality of its welcome and its facilities. Racers will compete against each other three times during the summer on the 402.32 m of the Axon straight line, which corresponds to a quarter of a mile.

The first round will take place this weekend, 19th-20th June, with other rounds on 31st July-1st August and 4th-5th September and spectators welcome at each round (spectators can pay on the gate). For this 14th European Dragster, the organizers will welcome pilots from all over Europe who will compete in four categories. Super Pro ET and Pro ET are joined by the Street Run ET category, for modified road vehicles and finally Junior Dragster for 8-17 year olds.

Pictured: Billy Gane and Peter Wacker. Pictures © Motorsport Pictures and Harald Czekalla

The entry list can be seen at this link, and contains plenty of entries from France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland – and one from the UK, Super Pro ET racer Billy Gane. We look forward to hearing about Billy's progress as the first team to venture overseas from the UK since Brexit and lockdown!

Taking their place in the run what ya brung will be former UK Pro Mod champion Bruno Bader, long time Pro Mod racer Peter Wacker and Walter Strobel's new Camaro which we showed a few months ago.

In April ATD launched a new website, in which you will be able to find everything you will need in the future: registrations, results back to 2004, rankings, history, the ATD webstore and many other things !

They said "Some details are still to be refined but it's almost 100% operational and automatically translated to English! Thanks to the Webmaster who did a remarkable job to make the website: beautiful, attractive and practical".

For latest details, head to ATD's Facebook page.

Quick times at Hudik Raceway.
14th June: Hudik Raceway, Sweden held their second event of the year this last weekend following a test & tune on 23rd May. The eighth mile Swedish facility was at last able to invite spectators into the facility and Britt Sundqvist was able to post video of some of the quicker runs at the Hudik Raceway
Facebook Page.

Some of Europe's heaviest hitters were present at the track which was evidently in great shape. Mattias Wulcan was the quickest of all with his Wulcano running a best of 3.7154/332.10kph for a new track record. Fellow and reigning (2019) FIA Pro Modified Champion Jan Ericsson ran a 3.8834/ 309.28 in his Pro Mod legal Camaro.

Pictured above: Andres Arnover and Niklas Heikkilä. Photos courtesy and © Cenneth Schiller.

Others who were present, electing to run at Hudik rather than compete at the Dooslammer Tour at Kjula Raceway, included Estonian Andres Arnover in a new twin turbo Mustang (3.8930/321.24), multiple FIA Champion Michael Gullqvist (4.0517/299.83), Jimmy Ålund (4.3271/265.36). Making a return after running in Comp Eliminator for over a decade was Niklas Heikkilä who ran 4.2302/271.77 in his new Pontiac GTO with a Sonny's 705ci naturally aspirated combination.

You can see results from Hudik at

FHRA Motopark rained off.
14th June: The first round of the 2021 FHRA championship which was also a round of the Summit Racing Equipment EDRS series, was held at Motopark Raceway. Finland at the weekend. The FHRA said:

It’s a pleasure to see how the acceleration nation arrived in large numbers to follow the first race of the season. The audience was able to surprise both the event organizer and the track owner positively. The crowd really came in and the atmosphere was great among the audience. I don't think there have been so many people seen in the acceleration times since the 90's Midsummer celebrations!"

The race was preceded by FHRA Street Mayhem & Test n´Tune Day in which several drivers gained their 'oven fresh' licence for racing. At the beginning of the first day of the competition on Saturday, the track held a quiet moment in memory of Pasi Häkkinen, who was involved with the Motorpark track as his life's work and the family of whom were sent condolences by the assembled crowd.

Pictured above: Lasse Niskavaara and Aku Lantto. Photos courtesy and © TMu Photography, also at

The competition went well and a total of two qualifying sessions were run. The intention was to run two races over the weekend, but due to the rain, Sunday’s race was not run. The Fueltech Nitrobike Showdown 2021 race was also at the track and there was a handsome number of nitro bikes entered. These 'rattlesnake royal' class gladiators brought their own addition to the race and were definitely a reason for many to come to Virtasalmi over the weekend. The presence of the Vintage Drags group was also a special feature to the race.

In Top Doorslammer, Tero Laukkanen qualified no.1 with a 4.168/294.47kph. The list of qualifying times after two sessions was
  1. Tero Laukkanen 4.168/294.47
  2. Hannu Flink 4.178/281.02
  3. Jari Sokura 4.352/291.62
  4. Lasse Niskavaara 4.397/276.16
  5. Mikko Siironen 4.556/259.41
  6. Henri Halikka 4.774/250.76
  7. Jaakko Lauhasmaa 4.837/231.39
  8. Tomi Stamblewski 5.222/222.96
  9. J Nyberg 11.665/49.93
Sadly that was all that took place in Top Doorslammer as the rains came.

The FHRA track team and FHRA Crew did a tremendous amount of good work on the track and the series next moves to Kauhava on 8-10 July.

Mälardalen Open 6 report.
14th June: The Mälardalen Open 6 race took place at Kjula Raceway last weekend on 12th and 13th June. The entry of 95 racers ran in 11 classes, plus run what ya brung. The quickest class was Pro Street Car, where Roger Kullander qualified no.1 with a 7,6168/ 286.51. Roger reached the final in eliminations where he came up against no.3 qualifier Mikael Norén. Mikael came out as winner running 7.755/273.40 to Roger's 8.194/282.2.

Pictured above: Fredde Carsting (Street) and Conny Karlsson (Pro Comp Bike). Photos courtesy and © Henrik Lindberg Photography.

In 4to6 Pro, the final was a single for no.2 qualifier (8.3225/264.41) Björn Lundin after no.1 qualifier Kristian Sjöberg (7.9976/271.29) was a no show along with his competion Kin Norgren in round one. Kristian's run was the quickest of the class.

You can see full results at and Henrik Lindberg's great photos of the event are in this Facebook album.

Spy picture.
14th June: The pictures below arrived at the offices of with the comment "On its way to its UK owner soon, can you tell what it is yet?"

If you know more, or have a spy picture of your own to send, please contact the Editor at

Crail Raceway hosts mag themed events.
13th June:
Crail Raceway, Scotland's one and only dedicated ¼ mile Drag Strip (with drifting), re-opened for business on 9th May and has hosted three events in 2021 so far.

The first event, held without spectators, was Total Vauxhall on 9th May, with seven track awards, top five Vauxhall and top non-Vauxhall, as well as Top 5 show n shine, Best Club Stand and a ‘Best Non-Vauxhall’ trophy. You can see photos of the event here on Crail Raceway's FB page.

The second event was Tora Tora Banzai day on 23rd May, sponsored by Grant Swan Racing Team, including great Japanese cars and club stands, with what organisers believe is the fastest 1/4 mile car time ever seen at Crail Raceway, 9.329/162.5 - from the Ecotune Audi RS3, to the undoubted chagrin of Jap car enthusiasts on the day. Spectators were allowed to attend and you can find a huge gallery of photos from the event at the Facebook page of H2o Automotive.

Following the traditional ¼ mile Thrash & Drift held on 6th June, Crail Raceway plans another marque based event on 20th June, German Invasion. Sponsored by Ecotune, there is no requirement to pre-register for the ¼ Mile, Drift Oval or Static Show/Top 5 Cars, and numbers of spectators allowed by the local Fife Council will be greater than the Scottish Government restrictions. Entry for the ¼ mile plus drifting will be £20, and spectator entry will be £10 (£5 for 12-16 year olds and free for under 12s). You can see more details with a log of times recorded at Crail's web site.

JT out and about.
13th June: Many thanks to Pro Mod and Super Pro ET racer John Tebenham for providing a preview of his plans for the Festival of Power on 25th-27th June:

Another five at hopefully 240 mph in The Fabulous Lightning McQueen and a 150 mph in my mad Ford pop is our goal at the amazing Festival of Power, coming very soon to Santa Pod. Both cars are in bits, but are nearly there, the white car broke the gearbox (well it was me actually doing the crazy burnouts). I have been told to do smaller burnouts, NO NO NO, we are just taking more spares. It still can’t do 150 mph, one day...

The Blue car needs pistons, crank, blower, the engine is in bits but we are going to be there and we want to win. Another five at a hopeful 240 mph would make our weekend.

We have an amazing support crowd who always buy T shirts and posters from us, which really helps us to run the weekend. I drive both cars at 100% you can probably tell, that's probably why I break them so bloody much but, like Colin Theobald says, I'm The Entertainer. Also we are also headlining American Speedfest at Brands Hatch on 3rd-4th July, it’s an amazing weekend, get a ticket and come and say hello, we are at the entrance with the blue car. Oh yeah, and the little white Pop on show as well. Dont miss it, JT (The One Man Show).

Pop picture courtesy and © Mick Smith

More Unusual car sales.
13th June: Many thanks to Unusual car sales U.K. administrator Nigel Taylor for supplying an update, with pictures and prices, of the tastiest drag racing cars for sale on the page:

"Nearly 25,000 members now on the Unusual car sales U.K. page, it’s been great to help out drag racers like Andy Carter, Steve Neimantis, Tony Betts, Paul Watson, Williams Bros Racing, Paul Dale, Ian Marshall, Col Law, Colin Millar, Brian Huxley, Wayne Saunders, and many more.

"The site has grown into more than just a sales site, It is now a big Hot Rod, Drag Racing community listing over 100 useful contact numbers in the hot rod world, show dates, parts, services, advise, and anything else connected to the scene.

"A massive Thank You to Mike Gates of Hayling Garage for all your support, and the level of cars that you now get in stock is just superb, with many more on their way including Chevy Novas, Dodge pick ups, etc and they not only sell hot rods, yanks etc but also carry out repairs, servicing, exhausts and much more-highly recommend, give Mike and the team a call on 023 9246 2346 and they even offer finance on a lot of the cool vehicles in stock.

Massive thanks also to Jack Lad, my northern dad for all the banta and the ace cars you keep finding.

Thankyou to every single person that has got involved with the site and to Simon and the team at (thanks! - Editor) and the commentators at Santa Pod Raceway for giving us the mentions!

Spitfire Raceway re-opens.
11th June:
Spitfire Raceway at Perranporth, Cornwall TR5 0XS re-opens on 26th June for drag racing and drifting with spectator capacity and camping. Our sponsor and track operator Lee Child has announced that even if the Government guidelines don’t change on the the 21st of June the track can still operate unchanged on Saturday 26th June under the current guidelines. The quick surface has records set at 9.48 from the APR Performance Audi TT RS and for bikes, Mark 'Wolfy' Smith's 9.97/141mph has held for the last five years. Will we see these re-set?

Overnight camping is available for Drag and Drift teams before and after the event at a price of £10 per night per head, kids going free. Racers should pre enter via the following links for drag racing or drifting on line first, then to book your camping call 01872 552856. If there are any roll over credits from April please email

Crash helmet and full driving licence are required for all racers. Show & shine has no charge apart from £10 admission, all vehicles are welcome. Gates are open at 8am with track action taking place 11am to 3pm, All vehicles have a safety check for drag racing and drifting and drag strip riders and drivers should attend a pre-race meeting at race control 10.45am. Spectators, now given a bigger and longer drag strip viewing area, are £10 per person under 16s go free.

Retro Show Lite preview, racer deadline.
10th June: Santa Pod Raceway's Retro Show Lite is on Saturday and Sunday 19th-20th June 2021 with Pre 1995 RWYB, Autoglym Show & Shine, Retro Parking and KitFest Lite.

Race Classes eligible for entry to the event are Gasser Circus, Supercharged Outlaws and Nostalgia Pro Stock Bike (their first outing as a group this year). The deadline for entry for these classes is Friday 11th June and racers that are members of these groups may enter at the
Santa Pod racers' ticket shop.

Run What Ya Brung and spectator admission is handled via the SPR ticket shop. Tickets may be bought at any time prior to the event subject to availability.

JapShow gallery, shootouts update.
10th June: With thanks to Kieran and support from John Woolfe Racing, we have posted a gallery of 90 photos from last Sunday's Japshow which you can see by clicking this link.

Sadly, the JapShow shootout planned for the event didn't take place, however, other shootouts are planned for later in the year and racers are encouraged to enter. There will be a FWD only Shootout at Ultimate Street Car along with two more Shootouts where FWD cars can enter alongside compact 4WD and RWD cars at Fast Show Reloaded and JapShow Finale. The entry fee for the USC Shootout is £200 including 2 weekend tickets and £100 for the other events also including 2 weekend tickets. Prize money is £750 winner, £250 runner up if the minimum of 8 cars qualify, plus trophies. This increases at Ultimate Street Car to £1500 winner, £500 runner up, again with a minimum of 8 cars qualifying.

All entries must be proven to have run quicker than 11 seconds to be eligible for the shootouts and all entries are on a first come, first served basis with entries limited to 20 cars qualifying for a 16 car elimination ladder, so if you want to race enter now. Entries are now open at Santa Pod racers' ticket shop.

EDRS championship to start this weekend.
9th June: The European Drag Racing Series, based in Scandinavia and organised by Speedgroup, kicks off this weekend with two events, in Finland and Norway.

Many thanks to Lena Perés for a preview of the round of the EDRS Championship at Motopark in Finland:

Motopark in Finland is first out in the Summit Racing EDRS Series events, on 12-13th June. Jarmo Grönman, chairman of FHRA, has announced that currently there are 104 racers registered, only one of which is from outside Finland, and about 60 Test & Tune drivers booked to show up at Motopark for Friday testing.

Pictured: Top Doorslammer racers Jarmo Nyberg (Dodge Dart), Tero Laukkanen (Camaro), Tomi Stamblewski (Hyundai), Henri Hälikkä (Duster); photography: Martin Westerlund, Heikki Malinen, TMu Photography.

Lots of cool classes are to be driven down the track. For example, The official Top Doorslammer series which currently has nine entries where you can see, among others, Pro Modified driver Tero Laukkanen with a new livery on his Camaro and Tomi Stamblewski with his twin turbo Hyundai Coupe.

The event is also a round of the FuelTech Nitro Bike Showdown which has attracted 11 entries and now has its own web site at Riders include record-setter Jaska Salakari and 2014 FIM Champion Samu Kemppainen.

You can see the entry list of this race at A free live stream can be seen at

Norway's Gardermoen Raceway hosts two days of racing at its Spring Nationals on 12th-13th June, with sportsman classes plus a few licensing runs from the 108 competitors registered. Spectator tickets are on sale on-line at until until 12.00 11 June. Covid rules are in place which you can see at the link.

You can see the entry list for Gardermoen at this page and results will be published on after the event. There will be ten car racers and five bike racers licensing at the event. One of them, six year old Martin-Emiil Petterson, will be licensing for Junior Dragster (yes, six year olds are permitted by Norwegian rules) and is profiled by Lena on the web site.

Jan Sturla Hegre is scheduled to run demo passes on his Top Fuel Bike and there are three Super Twin racers, 19 year old Julia Wagner (above left) making her Super Twin competition debut following her licensing in September 2019, Hans Olav Olstad (above right) and Trond J Høiberget. Odd Erik Fossum will be running demo passes in his Pro Modified Camaro, previously seen in Comp Eliminator. One class we haven't come across before is Small Tire Stock Suspension, which we expect does what it says on the tin.

Swift snippets.
9th June: Kieran has uploaded 37 minutes of video from the morning session of Monday's private test day to his Mk1Kieran Youtube Channel. He says: "The 2nd private test day of the year organised by Scott of Yam Yam Racing went down well with around 80 vehicles signed on for a days testing on a fully prepped track. There was a real good mixture of stuff including a huge field of serious FWD cars, a handful of Classic Fords & some American muscle too! Part 2 will follow later today".

Many thanks to Trakbytes webmaster Chris Dossett who has uploaded the latest update to the site. Chris writes: "The latest update to the Trakbytes website has just been uploaded. This time we have a total of 42 new or updated entries, plus 76 new programme covers and a dozen or so new entry lists. Some meetings that previously only contained a few details have been comprehensively updated, something that I will be continuing to address in forthcoming updates. The earliest entry this time is from 1964 (not counting a programme cover from 1931) and the most recent is 1998. There's a few other odds and ends and some record performances in there, so hopefully you'll find something of interest somewhere. I'm always open to receiving any new material or events that readers feel should be included, or indeed corrections to anything I may have got wrong".

Demo vehicles required for this weekend at SPR.
8th June: Many thanks to Santa Pod Raceway events manager James Forster who has a request for drag racing demos for the coming weekend's
BMW Show:

Santa Pod Raceway are seeking a few Drag Demos for the BMW Show this Sunday, 13th June. If you’d like to come along and run with a car that runs quicker that 10.99 or a bike that runs quicker than 9.99 please get in touch with James on

Private test top times, gallery.
8th June: Congratulations to the racers who had low ETs in each of their classes at yesterday's Private Test Day organised by Scott Lewry of Yam Yam Racing:

Class A (FWD treads) Aaron Nunn (Honda Civic) 11.4498/128.69
Class B (RWD/AWD treads) Mark Biggers (Ford Mustang) 8.4051/165.47
Class C (FWD slicks) Chris Backshell (Renault 5 Turbo) 8.8798/167.91
Class D (RWD/AWD slicks) Nathan Freke (Toyota MR2) 8.2986/172.39

The test day was once again the beneficiary of great weather conditions. With thanks to Kieran and support from John Woolfe Racing, we have posted a gallery of 100 of his photos which you can see by clicking this link.

Streaming video and commentary from the startline tower were made possible by FWD Europe organiser Luke Stevenson who posted the video on its Facebook page.

A big Well Done to Chris 'Scoff' Backshell who ran his first nine in his Renault 5 turbo owned and tuned by his EFI Parts in Runcorn and then followed it up in his first eight. Scoff's engine has had extensive dyno work done by EFI Parts; the engine spec is Renault F4R with concrete filled block, custom Arias pistons, H beam rods, EFI Parts girdle plate, strengthened Clio 200 cylinder head, custom cams, followers & lifters revving to 8800rpm. Turbo is a GTX4202 at 52psi giving 3.3 bar (47 psi) of boost. On each of Chris's quick runs there was plenty of engine smoke from half-track as Luke Stevenson's video shows, but it held together for the amazing numbers.

You can see our top 20 list of runs to the left, congratulations to all those who ran personal bests. Commiserations to David Swift running the rebuilt John Maher Beetle whose engine threw a rod at the finish line, the resulting fire causing David some superficial burns however as a precaution he was transported by air ambulance. He told us this morning "as usual Santa pod crew were amazing and a massive thanks to all involved".

2021 FIA Championship cancelled.
7th June: Keith Bartlett, Chairman of Drag Racing Europe has kindly supplied an update on the 2021 FIA Championship:

After many months of delay and uncertainty on a final decision regarding the 2021 FIA European Drag Racing Championship events at the Tierp Arena (Sweden) in August and Santa Pod Raceway (UK) in September, we have, along with the FIA, reached a decision that even a two-round FIA Shootout Cup will not be possible to hold owing to the Covid-19 restrictions with travel and quarantine regulations.

Although the FIA European Drag Racing Championship was already a non-starter owing to cancellation of all the rounds in the UK, Sweden, Finland and Germany, we had hoped to be able to hold an FIA Cup over the two late-summer rounds in Sweden and England. This is no longer feasible.

The current plan is that each venue (Tierp and Santa Pod) will hold its own event under ASN national rules and permits, making them both now National Events. Any international teams wishing to attend either event are welcome as always.

DRE will now concentrate on setting up the 2022 FIA European Drag Racing Championship, which we all hope will be campaigned over six rounds. Additionally, the management of DRE is discussing with the FIM to bring the FIM European Drag Bike Championship alongside the FIA European Drag Racing Championship at all rounds in 2022.

ACU Springspeed Nationals report.
7th June: Thanks to photo journalist Steve Moxley for letting us know that his report on the ACU bike classes at the STP Springspeed Nationals has been published on the
ACU web site.

The next round of the ACU Championship is at the Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway from 25th-27th June.

Swift snippets.
7th June: The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr site with 230 pictures from Saturday at VW Breakout. You can check out Mad's pictures at this link to his Flickr Site. He says "All pictures are available as prints, canvasses, cards, calendars, t-shirts and clothing, posters, coasters, mousemats, stationery and much more".

Mälardalen Open 5 report.
6th June: Last weekend the first competitive event of the Swedish season took place at Kjula Dragway, the Mälardalen Open 5. You can see detailed results at and there is a gallery of photos by Henrik Lindberg on his Facebook page.

The quickest class was Pro Street (7.6s index) which was won by Anna Knutes out of a field of 11 entries. Anna, in a 632ci BBC engined Mustang built by Jerry Bickel, qualified third with 7.713/280.8kmh, then defeated Thomas Karlsson in round one, and was the beneficiary when Tommy Abrahamsson (above right) was a no-show in the semi final. Anna defeated no.1 qualifier Preben Baerentzen in the final in what looked like a pedalfest, times recorded being in the eight second zone.

Kim Norgren won the 4 to 6 Pro class in his Volvo 142, defeating Jörgen Andersson in the final 8.828/242.9 to 9.378/268.3. No.1 qualifier and quickest ET of the class went to Kristian Sjöberg in his 2.3l turbo Volvo powered Volvo 740, capable of 7s but running 8,049/275.44 in qualifying.

Congratulations to the other winners and top qualifiers in Bracket, Gathoj, Junior Drag Bike, Junior Dragster, Nostalgia Pro Stock Bike, Pro Comp Bike, Real Street, Street, Super Comp Bike and Super Gas Bike.

The next race at Kjula Dragway will be the Mälardalen Open #6 on 11th-12th June, a round of the Doorlammer Tour.

Record broken in Hungary.
6th June: Kiskunlacháza Airport in Hungary was the location of the Drag Wars Hungary vs Slovakia, part of Slovakia's Powerfest 2021 yesterday. Although results are yet to be published to the Hungarian Drag Racing web site we have heard of some of the outstanding passes with video posted on the Hungarian Drag Racing FB page. Peter Révhelyi with the Fenstermen Drag Racing Team alky dragster ran a new Hungarian record of 6.6/337kmh on a test pass. The team are looking forward to competing internationally with their car. Also Arthur Kratochwill of Green Mamba Racing made a couple of test hits in his new Camaro with a blown alky setup running a 8.0/285kmh.

The next round of Powerfest 2021 and of the 'Drag Wars Hungary vs Slovakia' is on 3rd July at the eighth mile Boľkovce Airport in Slovakia.

Photos, video from Hal Far Test Day.
6th June: After an extended break due to Covid restrictions, the Maltese Drag Racing Association got back on track at Hal Far Raceway on Saturday with testing during the day and evening. Photographer Alex Buttigieg posted a gallery of 26 pictures which you can see at his Facebook page.

The dragsters of Tyson Debono and Neville Grech (pictured above, photos courtesy Alex Buttigieg) were amongst those testing and you can see individual videos of a lot of the test runs at MDRA secretary Konrad d'Anastasi's Youtube channel.

Yam Yam Racing stream and commentary tomorrow.
6th June: A private test will be taking place at Santa Pod Raceway tomorrow, 7th June. Organised by Scott Lewry of Yam Yam Racing, who put on a number of such events in 2020, around 80 cars and bikes will be taking part. Kieran will be there to photograph for our gallery supported by John Woolfe Racing. If you go to the European FWD Facebook page, you will be able to see a live stream plus commentary from SPR announcer Luke Stevenson.

Swift snippets.
6th June: A very Happy Birthday to Junior Dragster racer Caitlin Wilson, who reaches 18 today from Mum Rachel and the family. Have a great day Caitlin from all of us at

Aad Möntemann.
4th June: We were sad to hear of the passing of Aad Möntemann.

Aad, based in Zaanstad, Netherlands, was a well respected drag and sprint racer both in UK and the Netherlands at Zandvoort during the 1960s and was the first rider in Holland to record a sub 11 second 1/4 on his home brewed 750 Triumph.

In later years Aad was a visitor to Dragstalgia and UK Sprints, contributing to the British Drag Bike History private Facebook group and members can see his posts by clicking here. You can also see some of his video collection on his Youtube channel.

Our thoughts and condolences go to Aad's family and friends.

JapShow Shootout at Jap Show Lite.
4th June: This Sunday Santa Pod Raceway hosts JapShow Lite. Jap Show Lite embraces the world of Japanese cars and bikes, incorporationg a Jap car and bike Run What Ya Brung, Autoglym Show Car paddock, a special parking area exclusively for Japanese cars – and the Japshow Shootout.

Some of the quickest "Compact" cars in the UK will be competing in this new style Shootout, open to FWD, RWD and 4WD cars with 4, 5 or 6 cylinder engines and rotaries. Entries are limited to 20 cars qualifying for a 16 car elimination ladder.

You can see full rules for this competition at The entry fee is £100 including 2 weekend admission tickets to the event. All entries must be proven to have run quicker than 12 seconds to be eligible for the shootout, and gates are open at 8am Friday for ALL competitors.

The prize money, if a minimum of 8 cars qualify is £750 to the winner, £250 Runner Up, plus trophies.

You can enter for this competition at Spectator, RWYB and Show & Shine tickets must be booked online at the Santa Pod Raceway's ticket shop.

We will be posting a gallery of Kieran's photos after the event, plus results from the JapShow Shootout.

Taz Racing roll call.
4th June: Many thanks to Chris Skinner of Taz Racing for sending a report on the RWYB group of cars from last weekend at VW Breakout and a run down of what’s happening in the group:

It was great last weekend, with 3 Taz cars running new personal best ETs. We were a bit low on numbers but as the year progresses and restrictions lighten we hope a few more of our cars will come out to play.

TAZ001 - Chris Skinner, red Fiat, 406 small block Chevy, has been running really well last year and this, just dipping into the 9’s now and then, naturally aspirated, but last weekend I added a 150hp shot of nitrous which resulted in a 9.31 at 147mph, the quickest and fastest it has ever gone in the 36 years I have owned the car.

TAZ002 - Mark Skinner, orange Fiat, fed up with his older brother Chris kicking his a***, has decided to change from his old small block Chevy to a LS motor with a single turbo which we are currently installing; he will be out next year and it will be pay back time.

TAZ003 - Lucy Skinner (Chris's daughter), blue Fiat, Toyota MR2 turbo powered, has run down into the high 11’s, she hasn’t been out for a couple of years but hopefully she will return this year.

TAZ005 - Adam Skinner (my nephew, Mark’s son), yellow Fiat (The Rat), Toyota MR2 turbo powered, Adam has upgraded and developed his engine and gearbox and it rewarded him with a new PB of 10.20/136mph although getting the car to keep on the track and stay in a straight line is a bit of a mission!

TAZ006 - Brian Nixon, Anglia (below, top left), naturally aspirated big block Chevy, Brian’s car really came together last week with a pair of 8.9s at 150mph and for a naturally aspirated car that is very good. Although Brian has had the help of Jeff Bull's expertise in putting his engine together; on that note Jeff has had a hand in a few of our cars.

TAZ007 - Kev Preston, Austin pickup (below, top right), small block Chevy 434 twin turbo, Kev is the quickest of the group running a 8.7 at 159mph so he is the one to chase although Brian is not far behind him.

TAZ 008 - Lee Denham, Ford Capri, 400 small block Chevy nitrous, has run a 9.26 at 149mph, but there’s a lot more to come. He has changed the rear to a ladder bar set up for better launches although if you have seen him I don’t think he needed to!

TAZ009 - Den Reynolds, Corvette , 434 nitrous, Den has had his car as long as I have and regularly uses it on the road, his best time on the track is 10.22 although he will now have to better that as Adam is now two hundredths in front of him and he won’t have that!

TAZ011 - Darren Scannell, Escort Cosworth (above, bottom left), anyone who goes to Santa Pod has got to know Darren’s car with his mad burnouts and nutty launches; he runs regular mid 9’s, but if he doesn’t its usually a broken gearbox, which if you watch him change gear, you will see why.

TAZ012 - Jeff Thurston, Mustang, big block Ford; Jeff’s the oldest of the gang but has the best reaction times, the car runs regular high 9’s and has done for a long time, a credit to its engine builder.

TAZ013 - Paul Bentley Corvette LS with Procharger; Paul has been building the car forever so that’s why you haven’t seen it ,nor have we!

TAZ014 - Dave Arnold, Pontiac, big block Chevy with Procharger, at the moment low 10’s but a lot lot more to come, Dave used to be with Surrey Muscle and we ended up adopting him!

TAZ015 - John Dewey, 57 Chevy, big block Chevy (above, bottom right), runs mid nines, I can only describe this car as immaculate, paint, engine, interior all great and goes well too, although being towed back to the pits in France a few years ago by a Fiat 126 didn’t do a lot for his street cred!

TAZ016 - Mark Thorogood, 100e Cosworth, ran a 10.9 a few years ago, but then had a argument with the Santa Pod barrier, now fully repaired and with a new bigger turbo should be out later this year.

TAZ017 - Paul Mags, Escort Cosworth, runs high 9’s; Paul is a newbie and the main reason he is with us is his wife makes exceedingly nice cakes.

So there you have it who drives what car and how fast ,we race for fun and most of the time we race between ourselves although if there’s any other groups out there who fancy a bit of match racing get in touch or come and have a chat at the track. We will be at the Retro show, possibly the Mopar Euronationals, VW Action/Doorslammers and Flame and Thunder, also maybe a Saturday Night Special sometime.

You can Kieran's video of the Taz cars in action in his Mk1Kieran Youtube channel by clicking on this link.

Young photographer submits.
3rd June: Many thanks to GCSE photographer Callum Fowler who has submitted a selection of shots from the startline grandstand last Saturday at VW Breakout, a couple of which we display below (Billy Jones (Gasser Circus) and Rob Nixon (Outlaw Anglia)):

Callum says "I use a Lumix and my iPad with Snapseed to edit and sometimes Photoshop. I would be delighted if you were to use my photos and publish them". Callum's photos show that angles from the grandstands are close enough to the action to give great detail, we look forward to receiving more photos from him in the future.

Festival of Power deadline tomorrow.
3rd June: Many thanks to to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us the latest version of the Festival of Power entry list, which shows 182 entries as of 7am this morning.

Teams are reminded that entry at standard fees closes tomorrow, 4th June.

Dragstalgia call to action.
3rd June: Many thanks to James Forster, Events Manager at Santa Pod Raceway, for sending details of the racer entry process for Dragstalgia 2021:

The 10th annual Dragstalgia is just over a month away and although it’s a year later than it was originally planned for, it looks like we’re finally going to be able to celebrate 10 years of the event on the 9th-11th July. Due to Covid restrictions, it’s not going to be the worldwide celebration we’d originally planned for 2020 but fortunately for us, we all know there’ll be one hell of a line-up from our homegrown entries alone. In a twist of fate it almost feels like the event has come full circle as International entries were few and far between in the first couple of years so we’re almost back to where it all began. We are now taking entries and will continue to do so up until Friday 2nd July so if you’re planning on coming along to take part, please do get your entry submitted ASAP at:

Please note that the “Pro Race Entry” option is for Cannonball and Slingshot Showdown entries only.

There is however a sooner deadline for anyone that doesn’t quite fit into one of our invited classes and that is for the Custom Car Invitational which makes a very welcome return to Dragstalgia 2021. As a staunch supporter of Dragstalgia since its inception in 2011, Custom Car magazine is excited to again be taking an active role in the event with the re-instatement of the Custom Car Invitational. After a brief hiatus at the 2020 event, which never happened, the Custom Car Invitational sessions are back to showcase some of the best vehicles from the UK to join the invited race classes in making some passes throughout the weekend. Apply for your spot by emailing details of your vehicle with an image, and current PB to Entries for the Custom Car Invitational must be submitted by Sunday 13th June and applicants will be notified soon after that whether they have been successful or not.

For further information and the full event line-up, please see

No Prep prep.
3rd June: Many thanks to No Prep Drag Racing organiser Paul Marston for sending racer requirements for the forthcoming race at Melbourne Raceway:

No Prep 4 at Melbourne Raceway happens later this month 19-20th June; it has all the signs of being the biggest No Prep event the country has ever seen. It is the very first No Prep Nationals to be held at Melbourne; we want to support Melbourne in any way we can to ensure its future survival for everyone to enjoy. Because a lot of competitors will be first time visitors, there are a few things that the competitors will have to do and need to know. Yes, the event will be all the usual features that make No Prep unique - flashlight start, no times, no speeds, 1/8th mile heads up racing with a lot of cash prize money to be won.

Big Tyre is on Saturday; all races will be drawn out of the hat, every single race will feature cash win money. The wins and losses will create a table, from which the top 16 cars with the most wins race in the main race Sunday and the cars that didn’t make the cut will race in a second chance race on Sunday. There will be trophies for both the main and the second chance race and cash prize money in the main Race. Small Tyre will be a little more traditional, Saturday features two practice hits, then straight into eliminations. Sunday is the same deal, two hits then into eliminations. There will be prizemoney for each day and trophies.

Event & license requirements

Every competitor has to be a member of the organising club, which in this case is Straightliners which you can join in 'Options' at the foot of the race entry booking.

Every competitor has to have a competition license; if you have an MSA License, that can be used. Otherwise you need to have a NORA92 License. Go on the NORA92 web site and you can purchase either a standard Straightliners license (National Basic - Adult Trials £20.00) or one with medical insurance (National Basic - Adult Competition £55.00)

Entry forms that everyone must fill in

Due to covid restrictions, everyone must go on the Straightliners web site and using promo code NOPREP40 and enter your details, plus you must list the details of your two allowed crew as well.

At the same time you can also enter other Melbourne Raceway classes if you so wish, although you will have a busy weekend racing in No Prep, so bear that in mind.

The forms must be filled in asap please. Your entry is already paid for but for covid reasons these forms are very important. We understand not all competitors do the internet so please spread the word to ensure everyone knows, that way they can get someone to do the form for them if required. This is why we have posted on in the hope that all competitors know about this.

We must thank our sponsors, Pro Modified star John Tebenham for putting up extra cash prizemoney for No Prep in Both Small Tyre and Big Tyre, same rules apply as ever with JT. The prizemoney is only paid if the event is completed and we have winners. No Prep competitor Gary Springford, through his company Drag Race Engineering is sponsoring all the Trophies in Big Tyre and Small Tyre. There will also be a special perpetual Trophy supplied by the Alder Barber Family in memory of their father Keith Alder-Barber who we tragically lost to covid earlier this year. Dave Caruso, who partnered Keith in the ownership of Heavy Chevy, will be competing in Big Tyre to honour big Keith's name.

Special thanks to all the PMR Crew who give up their time to marshal and help organise the event, could not do it without you guys. Lastly all the competitors who will make this event what it is, you simply are the show.

For extra crew tickets and spectator tickets please go to the Straightliners website and click on the Melbourne Raceway icon to book. A very big thank you to the Straightliners Organisation for hosting us.

Before it happens, I will apologise now for any mistakes we make, this is the first time that No Prep is attending what is essentially a brand new facility at Melbourne Raceway. No we won’t get everything right, there will be teething issues and there will be things that could have been done better, please be patient. We will learn and it will get better, don’t expect us to be perfect, but do expect a great show, the very fastest No Prep cars in the country and alot of people having a great time.

Gasser Circus at VW Breakout.
3rd June: Many thanks to Gasser Circus co-ordinator Nick Brooke Langham for sending a review of the class at VW Breakout:

What a triumphant return to Drag Racing in 2021, the VW Breakout event turned out to be, not just for the Gasser Circus but also the wider racing community. The sun gods agreed, blessing the entire weekend with copious quantities of sun and heat.

Strip action kicked off on Friday with a RWYB, with several of the Gasser Circus cars getting heavily involved. Unfortunately, the session was not without incident, the most damaging of these being when Ray Turner (below, left) in his Green Onions 55 Chevy, suffered damage to his new engine in the shutdown area. At times like this, it’s always hard to find a silver lining but one later came to light, as it could have been so much worse, as the seven quarts of oil that exited the engine, thank fully did not get under his slicks. However, there was a film of oil on the inside wall of them!

The Gasser Circus pits were rammed, the gathered Gassers included two new Gasser Circus Members, Billy Jones in his 37 Willys Coupe ‘Grumpy Grizz’ and the duo of Tom Margesson and John Gumble, with their eye catching ‘The Tinseltown Hustler’ Pop. The latter doing double duty like Ted Booth (above, right) in ‘The Mighty Mouse’ Pop, in Outlaw Anglia. Also in attendance was the aforementioned Ray Turner & Green Onions, Nick Barnett in the ‘B&G Racing’ Falcon, Tony Pearson and H in the ‘Guzzler’ 56 Chevy (below, left), Jason Hollamby in his ‘Jumpin Jalapeno’ Falcon, myself and Jungle Pat with the Austin ‘Nogbad the Bad’ (below, right), Slick Mick Allen and his ‘Quick Buck’ Corvette, Ray Irish in his ‘Gas Junkie’ Willys pickup, Wobbly Graham Barton in his ‘High Anxiety’ Devon, Steve Matthews in ‘Honky Tonkin’ 57 Chevy, Lee Pike making a welcome return with ‘Honky Tonkin’ 2, one half of the Gibson brothers in the form of Brian with his ‘Identity Crisis’ Dodge, Paul Dominey now in sole ownership of the 640 Austin and current reigning champion Sean ‘Chili’ Milsom in his ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ Morris van.

Saturday arrived and the fire up lanes were soon busy, with qualifying laying ahead. I think it is fair to say that most drivers were a little rusty but that was soon eradicated as everyone once again got to grips with their cars. Within the class, there were new combinations being put through their paces, with varying degrees of success. A new engine was not the exclusive domain for Ray Turner as Jason Hollamby was keen to get passes on his new 460ci engine, 11.87 was the kick off point. Steve Matthews showed once again his passion for racing in the Circus, with what was his 3rd Big Block Chevy in the past 18 months! Graham Barton was also keen to see what his new transmission and back axle would bring. 10.7 was the answer for Graham and for Steve is was a very pleasing 9.65 @ 136 mph.

Ray Irish did not receive his Dart block in time so had a stand in engine on duty this weekend which was not blown. So it was a new experience for him, especially on his final qualifying run of the day, as during the burnout he became aware of a strange vibration, highlighted by his shifter performing a shimmy. As he brought the Willys to the line the issue appeared cured, but ran a slow 11.74. Once back in the pits, he checked the car over and was rather surprised to see the bell housing on his transmission had a crack in it. On closer inspection the crack had gone from one side to the other. Thereby ending Ray’s racing weekend. He was not the only driver to miss out on Sunday, as Brian Gibson on his 3rd qualifying run rolled into stage, followed by his customary loading up the car (which can be seen via his back axle) and the moment he left the line the prop shaft UJ decide it had had enough of the strain and disintegrated, leaving the prop hanging down and Identity Crisis motionless on the startline.

Billy Jones and Tom Margesson had both announced their arrivals in the class ending their day with Billy posting a 10.72 and Tom an 11.04. Number 1 qualifier was Nick Barnett with a series of 11.44 runs on an 11.44 dial in, with Number 2 qualifier being Graham Barton. The ladder was set for Sunday, now the evening festivities could begin.

Santa Pod often organise a fly past or brief air display and at 22:52 on Saturday night those who looked skyward were treated to without doubt the fastest flypast seen at Santa Pod, as clearly visible in the dark sky was International Space Station as it orbited earth, scurrying above the sky at 17,000 mph! A rare treat to see it.

Sunday morning caught many unawares as it was bitterly cold and overcast, surely the weather was not about to turn. The sun soon burnt through and some very pink/sore spectators and racers could be seen nursing and regretting their lack of sun cream the previous day. In the Gasser Circus pits we had already lost three Gassers to mechanical gremlins, and it appeared this would soon be four. Jason Hollamby and his crew were battling an issue with their fuel regulator, and despite their best efforts, they could not control the flow of fuel and it was swamping the carb. Jason was telling me that he would have to withdraw as he only had a few minutes before Round 1 of Eliminations. Just then Dean Maudsley arrived in the pits driving his '37 Chevy gasser, and Jason joked with me that he could use Dean’s regulator. Suddenly, he realised what he had said, and Jason’s Pirate came rushing to the fore, and he and his crew had soon press ganged Dean into handing over his regulator. With swift work by the crew ‘Jumpin Jalapeno’ was back in the game.

The breakages provided a few bye runs on the ladder, but it also provided some great pairings and of particular note were when it delivered two sets of twins, with two Pops and two Devon’s lining up against each other. Ted Booth taking on Tom Margesson who unfortunately red lit while Ted ran 10.59 and Graham Barton taking on yours truly. Graham thought he had also red lit, where in fact he had cut a good light consigning Nogbad to a defeat. Elsewhere, Tony Pearson took the win over Paul Dominey (above, right) with a stout 10.74, as Paul broke out, Lee Pike red lit against Jason Hollamby, and Billy Jones took the win against Steve Matthews when Steve couldn’t quite catch him. The breakage bye runs saw Sean Milsom, Mick Allen advance with Number 1 Qualifier Nick Barnett. Mick was keen to get as much seat time, as his he could as he was struggling to keep the Corvette running at anything under 3000 revs!

Billy Jones could not quite believe the debut weekend he was having in the Gasser Circus, and it just kept getting better. In the quarterfinals he was up against Ted Booth, and at the end of their race Billy had another win, running 10.57 on a 10.57 dial in. The next pairing had Jason Hollamby ‘Jumpin Jalapeno’ burning out alongside ‘Guzzler’ with Tony Pearson at the wheel. Tony dialling a 10.65, Jason 11.79. At the gantry the win light went on in Jason’s lane as Tony had run a 10.64, such short margins is what drag racing is all about.

‘B&G Racing’ Falcon with Nick Barnett then took on Mick Allen, in his Corvette with the injection stacks shooting out of his engine bay. Mick ran through at 129 mph but Nick took the win running 11.50 on an 11.40 dial in. The final pairing pitted Sean ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ Milsom (above, left) against Graham Barton in his ‘High Anxiety’ Austin. Sean had dialled 10.09 and Graham 10.70, Sean knew it would be a close race, perhaps too close? The tree activated and as the cars left the line, a red bulb was lit, this one sitting squarely in Sean’s lane. Sean stayed on it and broke out just for good measure running 10.05!

With Honky Tonkin and Honky Tonkin 2 previously eliminated, Lee and Steve decided to have a grudge race (below left), for bragging rights, both cars performed their burnouts and left the line hard they were side by side but by three quarter track Lee was edging ahead, and stayed there taking the win with a stonking 8.91 @ 151 mph with Steve finishing with a great 9.62 @ 136 mph.

Now it was semi-final time the two pairings being Nick Barnett against Billy Jones, racing a car built originally and raced in the Circus by Nick and Ryan Welch. Graham Barton taking on Jason Hollamby. It turned out that both semi-finals were settled by break outs with first Billy running 10.51 to his 10.56 dial in and Jason running 11.74 to his 11.80. Billy was not down at all, as this was his best ET of the weekend.

The final pairing was arguably a reflection on qualifying as Number 1 and 2 brought their cars round (above right). Stout burnouts took place with Nick choosing to run the left hand lane. Graham was in his unflavoured right lane with the car being left hand drive. When the tree activated Nick was off, but there appeared a momentary hesitation from Graham, and although he gave it all he could, he could not get up with Nick who took the win with an 11.42 on an 11.40 dial in. Both drivers were well chuffed with their respective weekends work, but more than anything else we were all so pleased to be back racing with a superb group of Gasser racers, not to mention the great team at Santa Pod who keep us safe, fed and watered while at their venue. All that was left to do was to hand over the winners' cash and wicked trophy both from Neil Melliard (below), and the ‘Prest for time awards’. The best bit is we get to do it all again on the 19th June.

The Gasser Circus are delighted to continue their sponsorship with the National Street Rod Association and Neil Melliard’s Modern Pinstriping & Lettering, and introduce new sponsors Simon Prest and Renegade Fuels.

Gasser Circus – Racing the Dream.

Swift snippets.
3rd June: A very Happy 60th Birthday to Kjell Pettersson, former Track and Racing Operation Manager at Santa Pod Raceway and Race Director and event adviser at Mantorp Park and Tierp Arena. We hope you have a great day Kjell, and see you soon.

Breakout from Tight Fit.
2nd June: Many thanks to Wild Bunch dragster owner Russ Heaven, now based in Spain but still in touch with the British drag racing scene and son Steve Heaven who is currently running and driving the Tight Fit slingshot:

What a weekend, the sun shone and the dragster was ready after some major updates on the heads and fuel system. The engine had only been put back together the weekend before and was yet to be run. Thursday morning, Steve left Swindon in the tow truck to pick up the trailer only to have half the exhaust system fall off. While checking underneath, the truck he found out why his fuel mileage was so bad, there was a leak on the LPG system!

On Friday morning the dragster was fired up for the first time this year. It didn't sound right, lots of fettling with timing and fuel followed, but then disaster! oil pressure. The sump was removed and the oil pump checked - it had failed. So a run out to Topspeed Automitive and a new pump and gasket were purchased and fitted. The car was fired up and all was ok but the team had lost all of Friday's test day.

The first test run netted a 8.79 run with a new PB speed of 161.38 but another problem had reared its ugly head, oil was leaking out of the front of the valley gasket. The sealant that the team had used was out of date and had failed, so repairs were made but this meant sitting out the next run. The dragster was fired up again but there were more problems with the distributor, which was fixed eventually but that meant another missed run.

After that the car ran great. The team of Steve, Dave and Diana finished the meeting with a new PB of 8.32 and over 161 mph and came home with a hatful of trophies. The team would like to thank the Wild Bunch, especially Pete and Rob, for all their help, Diana for doing all the running around and, of course, all the crew at Santa Pod for making this a great meeting. Thank you also to Mr. Mopar himself, John O'Sullivan, for all his help and with the machining of our heads.

Wild Bunch Spring Nationals report posted.
2nd June: Wild Bunch co-ordinator Claire Meaddows has published brief news from the 'Spring Nationals' at VW Breakout to the Wild Bunch website.

The word 'brief' is actually a bit of an understatement, as Claire's race reports are very detailed and contain many snippets of racers' successes and getting over their disappointments. Being a lifestyle event, the Wild Bunch ran in qualifying to establish a fixed dial-in; Sunday's competition was to find out which racer gets closest to their dial-in on average. Here are the top four from Sunday to whom congratulations:

1st Place: Phil James in ‘Rampage’ 0.043 average
2nd Place: Matt Hollins in ‘Cheap Thrills’ 0.072 average
3rd Place: Graham Rawlings in ‘Little Digger’ 0.168 average
4th Place: Steve Heaven in ‘Tight Fit’ 0.177 average

See the Wild Bunch web site for all news about the class and its history as far back as its founding year 1995.

Speedfest slots available.
2nd June: Nostalgia Super Stock co-ordinator Don Scott has been in touch to mention that there are two available slots for his static drag car display at Brands Hatch Speedfest on 3rd and 4th July, Independence Day.

This event which should see full crowds, NASCAR style racing and a great atmosphere and doesn't clash with a Santa Pod NSS round, as their next race is at Dragstalgia a week later.

Talking of which, Don is hoping for a field of 50 cars meaning a 64 car ladder at Dragstalgia, and his own Superbird back in the thick of competition. "It had no major problems, although I had to be towed back from the start line due to the oil pressure switch suddenly started leaking from behind the dash, a five minute fix by Jack Bishop and then back out again, which I hope allays people's concerns that the 'Bird was out of the competition".

"I reckon we are the most exciting and fast growing class there is ... but then I would say that…".

Gredzinski new book to focus on '80s.
2nd June: Many thanks to photojournalist Mark Gredzinkski for letting us know about his new project:

"Just a quick thing about my drag racing book. Being as I'm called Accurate Dragster Publishing, I felt I'd better get on and do a drag racing book! Following the ongoing success of my truck book, Midnight Movers which has had only happy customers and positive reviews (I'm relieved to say - one never knows!) I intend doing a book for the end of the year. Its only in the planning stages but collating and scanning pictures has commenced.

"The emphasis will be on quality. I have had great feedback from purchasers of Midnight Movers I have a reputation to keep.. I've contacted my printer and priced it all up as it needs to be viable as I make my living doing this and I have more titles planned.

"It will cover drag racing in the 1980's which is sometimes a forgotten decade but had many significant aspects to it. Not to mention, cars and bikes too. At least 90 percent of the pics will not have been seen before, so it promises to be a book that most fans will relish!"

Mark promises more details later as work progresses and has sent a photo of Paul Manders' Mustang Funny Car from 1980 to whet our appetite.

Swift snippets.
2nd June: Happy Birthday to former Santa Pod Race Director, drag racing fan and team nutritionist Syd McDonald. Have a great day Syd and see you soon.

The SPRC club points have been updated with bike classes including Top Fuel Bike, Funny Bike, Super Street Bike, Comp Bike and Junior Drag Bike. Thanks to Yvonne Tramm for the updates which you can see by clicking here.

M&Ms at Springspeed Nationals.
1st June:
Many thanks to Michelle and Mark Turner, aka M&M Racing, for sending us an exclusive report on the successful conclusion to Mark's licensing for Super Pro ET at the Springspeed Nationals.

Ok, so we are week in from STP Springspeed Nationals at Santa Pod Raceway and it can only be described as a exhilarating and frustrating weekend! Having arrived and got the pit setup on Thursday afternoon, after a very windy night Friday dawned wet and windy. We took down what remained of the 'heavy duty' gazebo and prayed for the dry spell in the weather that never came. The plan had been to complete Mark's licensing runs and then turn the engine up to see what the car would run before qualifying, the weather had other ideas and the day was called in the early afternoon.

Saturday started dry and a lot less windy we warmed the car and got it ready for qualifying and to complete the required licensing half pass with a parachute release. With Mum and family watching on from the grandstands we had zero drama on this one apart from the cherry on the tree, we qualified 16th. So back to the pits and from looking at the timing ticket we made some adjustments to the engine and picked up the launch rpm, again the weather had other ideas and the day was called at about 4pm.

On to Sunday and we were told that there would be another shot at qualifying before going on to eliminations. So with a few things turned up we went out with a few goals first for Mark to complete his first full pass and get his licence and to solidify our qualifying position. Dialed in with an educated guess 8.75, Mark performed a perfect burnout and rolled into stage; he cut an 0.03 light and a solid 9.47 to get back his 16 spot.

Back in pits talking with John and Lesley Wright, we thought something didn't look right with the timing ticket which prompted us to take an extra careful look over the motor, at this point it was spotted that we had only been getting about 75% throttle due to the setup on the carb linkage. Adjustments were made akin to removing the training wheels from the car and we were ready for our round 1 race against Dave Russell in the van with no name but again the weather had other plans and the event was called.

So here we are with the accidental throttle stops removed, the launch turned up and the driver legal to race but we will have to wait for the Festival of power to see what the car is capable of running. Grateful thanks go out to John and Lesley Wright, Luke 'pro-jack' Shakeshaft, Paul and Dave and Michelle for keeping us all fed and watered and for the great camera work on the start.

Post-Springspeed points posted.
1st June: Many thanks to Yvonne Tramm for forwarding the latest points standings in the UK National Drag Racing Championhips and SPRC Club Championships after the STP Springspeed Nationals. You can check out the UK and SPRC points on our points standing pages by clicking here, or by clicking the Points Standings link under News in the main menu above.

Points for ACU bike classes will be published at a later date.

VW Breakout racer snippets.
1st June: A much appreciated VW Breakout came to a successful conclusion on Sunday 30th May at Santa Pod Raceway. Following yesterday's results and our full event coverage, today we focus on the racers who either sent in, or posted on social media, their comments.

Nostalgia Funny Car driver Andy Raw (below left) said "Wow, what can I say, VW Breakout, what an absolutely brilliant lifestyle event - we learned a lot with the Nitro Bug as we have made some big changes to the car. I can’t thank enough our dedicated crew, these boys and girls worked tirelessly the whole weekend, and even managed to put an unplanned extra run at the end of the meeting to close the show. Thanks to our sponsors for making this possible, Cool Flo, Fastec Racing Ltd, Lite-Steer, TSR engine conversions and Jason Phelps of FGR Motorsport".

The quickest Supercharged Outlaws racer on site was Robbie Grabham (above right) in the Freddie's Revenge blown alky altered at 7.055/193. The team have sorted the machine to the point that talented driver Robbie can handle it with confidence. The team remarked "With PB’s being set on every increment on the track we are all chuffed as nuts. I’d just like to thank everyone who congratulated or wished us well over the weekend, the response we have had from everyone has been fantastic!"

Fellow alky altered competitior Gary Parkes said "What a fantastic week end we had, a new PB 7.8/176 mph; thanks to all at Supercharged Outlaws for their help and advice. We had a few issues, severe bouncing and nearly ending upside down after the finish, big thank you to all the Santa pod safety crew and ambulance. Then the rear wing decided to leave the cage and smash into the rear body And after all that, getting ready for the last run we couldn’t get any oil pressure. On investigation in the workshop on Monday the team turned the engine over and had full oil pressure. That’s a relief for us sorted out other issues brakes etc and now to building a new rear wing I do need a 12 foot parachute if anyone has one. A big thanks to Carl Bergfeld in making it all happen to get into the sevens and thanks to Christy Bergfeld and Chrissy Parkes".

You can see Outlaw Anglia racer Jedd Guy's report yesterday, wife Jemma added "We were so chuffed for our customers and fellow racers Mick Taylor and Colin Millar who came away from VW Breakout as Winner (Mick) and Runner Up (Colin). Mick came to us over winter for some new bigger headers to be put together for him and for some other bits to be mounted. Colin had a new four link, new track locator and we mounted the new wing and twin chutes".

Brian Nixon wrote following a successful OA race for brother Rob Nixon (below left). "This was probably the best weekend I've ever had in 50 years of attending race meetings at Santa Pod. It was hard the imagine the car hadn't even been started since last year until Tuesday. The new artwork was literally still wet, having only being added by the incredibly talented Sam Trench who managed to fit me in at the last moment and completely got what I was looking for. We honestly didn't think that Saturday's qualifying high could have been topped, but there you go, and we got all the way to the sportsman finals. I have to thank my wife Alison who puts up with and supports me, Rob Nixon who knows no fear and always has the answer, and Donna Nixon our chief entertainment officer for her boundless enthusiasm. Thanks to all the OA family". sponsor Jon Webster (below right) was the quickest OA at 7.15 and showed visible improvement in avoiding tyre shake for the first couple of hundred feet, who knows what would have happened if he had more runs?

Fellow racer Doug McClure said "First time ever racing for me, what an absolute amazing weekend. I’d like to thank everyone who helped me. I’d also like to say I was made very welcome by everyone. A big thanks to Mark Bracking and Rachael Raych Hamilton and Matthew Mcclure. Roll on Dragstalgia weekend, well done everyone!

Less lucky with various engine woes were Peter Butler, Adam Cuthbert Gary Bird and Ben Kennedy; we hope they can return to the track asap.

Class co-ordinator Don Scott (below right) summed up Nostalgia Super Stock: What a weekend, lovely weather and a fantastic array of race cars and racers, loads of PB's all weekend and some fantastic close racing as always.

Starting off, well done to Dave Billadeau (below left) for taking the win, and Rob Tyrrell taking the runner up spot, well done both, a fantastic effort. Well done to everyone that took part and made this class what it is, the most exciting and fast growing class there is, and looking forward I can see it only getting better.

Commiserations to those that suffered breakdowns and failures, sadly there were a few this weekend, a racer's car on the trailer during an event is not good to see but inevitably part of this sport we love so much. I hope you guys get the problems sorted in time for Dragstalgia. Many thanks to Andrew Bishop for all the running around to get all the pairings sorted.

Finally, many thanks to my crew Yvonne O'Rourke and Grace Roaf and Grace's friend Dave for all the help etc, the 'Bird ran strong but with 19.2 slippage through the drive train due to a failing converter it was never going to be that consistent, but i got through a couple of rounds of eliminations before being put on the trailer by Dave. Thanks also to Jack Bishop for sorting out a broken oil pressure switch for me.

Dragstalgia is in around five weeks time I believe, so lets get ready to put on another great performance with what I believe will be a huge field of cars ... see you all there!

Gary Carr, one of the quicker runners and getting close to the 8.90 cut off for the class said " It was my first ever competitive bracket run in my life and I went out in first round, I’ve got a lot of learning to do and looking forward to the challenge with a great bunch in UK Nostalgia Superstock Thanks for an awesome weekend.

Jacob Kopasz returned to the track to race in VW Heads Up six years after his last Junior Dragster race, in a Golf Mk4 with fellow ex JD racer Rhiannon Bellenie on the crew, however Jacob was not able to make the 11.99 cutoff for competition, running a best of 13.830/102. Dad Bruce Kopasz in a Porsche 924 suffered the same fate, with a best of 12.504/121, as did three other racers.

Dave Lea (below left) of 15 Degree Racing in a nitrous VR6 engined Golf, sporting a new CG motorsport clutch, qualified 13th, just below the cutoff with a 11.801/119, but during eliminations showed more consistency and reliability than his peers. In round 1, Dave was the recipient of a bye-run when Adrian Solly's R32 turbo Audi A3 suffered multiple gearbox breakages. You can see a video account of the Adrian's L8 Goose woes by crew member and VW Up! racer Charlie Roberts via Youtube.

In the second round Dave again benefited from a bye run when Jacob Bailey's turbo VR6 Jetta was a no show, suffering a broken drive shaft. Gaining in confidence, Dave ran new PB of 11.403/119, realising he was already into the final with a 'competition bye' from the 13 car ladder.

On the other half of the ladder, Richie Webb (above right) in his RJ Volks Performance Beetle Cabriolet qualified first with 9.400/143, then had a bye in round one (9.830/137), a defeat of Graham Fairhead's Type 3 Fastback in round two (9.301/151), and then really turned it on in the semi final with a 8.165/164.87 defeat of Paul Jordan's Polo.

But in the final Richie suffered breakage meaning Dave singled to a 11.998 for the win, to show that reliability and consistency were the key to winning this heads up race.

There were some outstanding passes from the large Run What Ya Brung contingent. A group of twelve Wild Bunch cars ran their own class within the RWYB and were joined by many VWs, Outlaw Street and Taz Racing. Outlaw Street racer Simon Paul (below left) sent us this account of his weekend:

"I had a great day at the VW Breakdown event at Santa Pod on Saturday. I just did one run in the morning RWYB session in my Nissan GT-R - but what a run it was! I got a great launch with a PB 60ft time of 1.5443 and went on to break into the 9 second zone for the 1st time with 9.8465 @ 142.47mph! It is 45 years since I made my 1st run at Santa Pod on 28 March 1976 - so this was a great way to celebrate this anniversary!"

Others with notable runs included Russ Pursley (above right) and his 434ci SBC V8 powered Dutton Phaeton kit car which ran down into the eights (8.7454/151.12), a string of runs for Steve Mitchell in Snow White (best 9.5739) and Dominic Sharpe's Firebird which went into the nines 9.7916/140.79. Three Taz Racing cars had PBs, Brian Nixon (Black 105E) 8.93/150, Chris Skinner (Red Fiat 126) 9.31/147 and Adam Skinner (Yellow Fiat 'The Rat') 10.20/136. On the VW side Dave Crowhust brought back the rebuilt Wanger, now showing lettering and running down to 9.9211/132.55 on its first time out.

More photographs of action from VW Breakout are from Alice Fairhead, a sample of whose work you can see at the AF Photography Facebook page. Alice says "I have got around 1500 photos in total so more are available if people are interested." You will be able to contact Alice using Facebook Messenger, via her e-mail or by mobile phone on 07413 088768.

VW Breakout results.
31st May: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's VW Breakout at Santa Pod Raceway:

NEM Plant Nostalgia Super Stock: Dave Billadeau (9.90) 9.8871/136.84 Rob Tyrell (10.23) 10.1006/130.98 red
VWDRC Heads Up: Dave Lea 11.9983/112.93 def. Richie Webb, broke
Gasser Circus: Nick Barnett (11.40) 11.4286/108.04 def. Graham Barton (10.70) 10.739/124.84
Renegade Outlaw Anglia: Mick Taylor 7.8345/174.38 def. Colin Millar 11.6900/69.60
Supercharged Outlaws low ET: Robbie Grabham 7.0 (see Supercharged Outlaws report below)

Congratulations to winners of the Renegade Outlaw Anglia special awards:

Best Reaction Time(1st round) - Jon Webster
Most Consistent ET - Barry Woodford
Bracket Race Winner - Rob Nixon

As well as the classes above there was a great Run What Ya Brung contingent including VWs, Wild Bunch and Outlaw Street which we will cover in tomorrow's race report. If you have a story to tell about your racing weekend, send it to and we will publish it.

Congratulations to the show and shine winners whose vehicles you can see at Santa Pod Raceway's Facebook post.

Our good friend Callum Pudge has posted a bumper 518 photos at his Pudgey's Pictures Facebook page. You cana also see 77 minutes of video additional to that from the Santa Pod stream posted by drag racing historian Nick Pettitt from Saturday of the event at his Youtube channel.

You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored VW Breakout reports, results and galleries by clicking here or clicking on the Event Coverage link in the main menu above.

What a tiring but utterly awesome weekend!
31st May: Many thanks to Jedd Guy of sponsor Shorty's Fabrication Shop for sending us a report of his weekend, not without problems, but with some great PB runs:

Our weekend was almost over before it even started with our tow truck deciding its engine didn’t want to stay in one piece on Thursday night.

A huge heartfelt thank you goes out to Jeff Bull for stepping up and towing our race car to the track. Not only has he built us a killer race engine but also for all his help this weekend as it may not have happened without him.

We ran a string of PBs on Saturday. Starting the day running the engine normally aspirated netting in a 7.51/176mph. It was very apparent from the Racepak data without the nitrous the torque converter was just too tight and not allowing the motor to work in its correct rpm window.

In the last two qualifiers it was time to see what turning on the nitrous would do. The first nitrous run the full throttle switch broke so in reality was just another N/A pass. With the switch fixed it was on to the last qualifier. Being the first pair in Outlaw Anglia I pulled round to the burnout box I could hear a banging coming from the gearbox. Having heard this before I knew the converter had come loose. I shut off not wanting to damage anything and accepted the day was done.

As it turned out the last pair of cars in front of us had left oil on the track. This gave us time to tow back to the pits, tighten the converter and re-join the back of the class before the qualifying session had even restarted.

And as luck would have it I was paired next to Jon Webster but with all the rushing getting back to the lanes I forgot to turn the burnout limiter off after the burnout (I will be kicking myself and getting grief from the likes of Scotty Crookston for ages for that!) Even with the engine limited to 6700rpm, where we would normally shift in the high 7000s. We managed a 7.41/177mph, a run of if onlys but still 1 hell of a race to end the day.

On to eliminations the next morning and with trying a few different things with the tune to try avoid the dreaded tyre shake that we were all suffering. It didn't quite work as it still shook but we got the win with a 8.0.

Back in the pits, fluid was found coming from the boot. With all the tyre shake going on, it had pierced the battery, unfortunately with it being a 16volt battery we couldn't find another before the next round of racing started. Our weekend ended with a little disappointment but we had an awesome weekend and we got some promising runs with it going in the right direction and the car feeling more stable at speed than ever!

Big thanks also goes to my crew/family, Andrea (Mum), Ray (Dad) and my wife Jemma. On to the next race at Festival of Power to see if we can keep chipping away at it.

Supercharged Outlaws at VW Breakout.
31st May: Perfect ET sponsor and class co-ordinator Andy "Fadster" Hadfield has summarised the fortunes at VW Breakout of the large field of Supercharged Outlaws, supported by Good Vibrations Motorsports.

An awesome weekend for the Supercharged Outlaws UK at Santa Pod Raceway for VW Breakout. Many PB’s, notably from Mick Checkett with a mind blowing 7.2 from his Shy Talker slingshot. I’m sure this is a PB for the car too. Robbie Grabham ran an amazing 7.0 PB and was so well deserved, such a hard working team!

David McCallan broke into the 8’s after his winter completely reworking the pickup and weight loss programme on the chassis and components. Lots more to come from that team. It was great to see Doug Bond in the record setting Nuthin' Fancy slingshot. Roy Wilding had some fairly wild rides in Chariots of Fire but held on and showed real promise for the coming events. Paul Dale showed real promise with the Acute Angle but decided to back off on the Sunday with slicks that were just not gripping...although there were some real “trouser” moments along the way. Gary Parkes strolled straight into the 7’s from previous seasons 8’s with a storming 7.80 and this was promptly backed up by even more 7 second passes until some minor engine trouble for early resignation from the event.

Pictures by Julian (left to right): Robbie Grabham, Mick Checkett, Roy Wilding; Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield, Gary Parkes, Des Taylor.

Keith Freeman stormed along in El Loco until his LSD clutches failed. Keith repaired the damage with help from his team and parts from friends then hit the track with a 9.7 straight after he had finished the repairs, well done that team! Andy Park just proved the Twin Screw You Model Y’s reliability with repeat performance in the mid 9’s time after time. Des Taylor and the Thundergod team chipped away over the weekend and continued to improve despite ignition gremlins with a 7.94!. Paul and Luke Watts had mechanical issues on both their cars and worked hard to get back on track. Steve Wright had fun with the Pacer but had to retire with minor engine leaks. Simon Boot had a brilliant weekend until engine problems caused his retirement on the Sunday. Commiserations to him and I hope he can get the rebuild sorted soon. Andy Fadster had a successful Saturday netting a 7.6 from his new set up but had to retire with blower trouble. Minor set back but should be back on track soon.

Next event is the Retro Show at Santa Pod in three weeks!

Swift snippets.
31st May: A very Happy 75th Birthday to British dragster racer for over 45 years Steve Johnson. Have a great day Steve.

The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr site with pictures from Sunday of the recent Melbourne Raceway Round 1 on 23rd May. Mad said "it felt good to be finally back at a track, we're also looking forward to getting back to Santa Pod for VW Breakout on Saturday". You can check out Mad's pictures at this link to his Flickr site.

Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded more UK drag racing videos to his Youtube channel; this time it's six parts of the Drag Power North Weald Test and Tune 2001 introduced by the legendary John Price who conducts several interviews during the episodes, and originally broadcast on the long-lost Men and Motors channel. You can see all six parts at Nick's Youtube channel.

Event entry update.
27th May: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for letting us know of the continuing requirement to complete the additional Motorsport UK form for the next championship round:

Drivers (not riders) entering the Festival of Power, it was hoped that as the event is after 21st June that the additional Motorsport UK form completed for the Springspeed Nationals would no longer be required, however that may not be the case, so could all car drivers please complete the Motorsport UK form below the Entry Form you have completed, or are about to complete, for the Festival of Power, we just need to cover all avenues, as it is not clear at present if they will be required or not. Please also note that your correct race licence number must be filled in when completing the form. Thank you in advance.

Version 3 of the Festival of Power entry list is also now available and teams are reminded that entry at standard fees closes next Friday, 4th June.

VW Breakout event preview.
27th May: This weekend VW Breakout takes place at Santa Pod Raceway. With a strong field of cars, the event is looking good. We've analysed Santa Pod Raceway's entry list and posted an easy-to-print "unofficial" list based on class entries, and a short list of what we've heard will be running in Run What Ya Brung.

There will be several features which will enhance the 'festival' feeling of VW Breakout, and we're not going to discuss the weather either…
  • Full day RWYB on Friday from 09:30 to 17:00;
  • Five qualifying sessions on Saturday for classes entered, racing until 19:00, plus four RWYB sessions;
  • Exhibition runs from FireForce Jet Funny Car and Nitro Bug Nostalgia Funny Car on Saturday and Sunday; and
  • Autoglym Show & Shine on Sunday for VW entries with winners announced at 14:00; and
  • Santa Pod Pub Garden (from 11:00) with funfair open too.
The classes involved are Outlaw Anglia, Supercharged Outlaws, Gasser Circus (see preview below), Nostalgia Super Stock and VW Heads Up. RWYB will include as well as VWs, around 17 Wild Bunch racers, who will be running a round of their championship, and Outlaw Street UK who have reached a landmark membership of over 100.

We reviewed Outlaw Anglia yesterday. Supercharged Outlaws, sponsored by Good Vibrations Motorsports, will have a field of 16 cars, with Roy Wilding (below left) in his Chariots of Fire slingshot with many updates including a new engine and supercharger, Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield in Twister with a new 600ci engine, David McCallan with a rebuilt truck with a new chassis and driveline from Steve and Babs Saunders' Hi-Speed Gas car, Steve Wright with his unique AMC Pacer with new engine, and Doug Bond in son Joe's slingshot (below right), returning to the cockpit at the tender age of 71, having last raced in his 20+ year career in 2003 with a best of 5.94. Also racing will be Andy Park, Rob Grabham, Paul Watts, Gary Parkes, Luke Watts, Aaron Windridge, Mick Checkett, Paul Dale, Keith Freeman, Simon Boot and Des Taylor.

There is a Gasser Circus field of 17 cars, Nostalgia Super Stock have 34 cars with several class debuts, and VW Heads up has a 26 car entry.

To attend as spectators you need to apply in advance using the Santa Pod ticket shop. Santa Pod Raceway are limiting the number of tickets available on a first-come, first served basis. Social distancing, hygiene and safety measures will be in place as described in the SPR ticket shop.

Racers should note that the track gates will be open only between 14:00 and 20:00 on Thursday.

Our coverage will include live race reports and photo galleries from Julian and Diana on all three days. You can go to our coverage page by clicking here or going via the event coverage list in the main menu. Santa Pod Raceway will also be streaming the event (no Nitro FM which re-starts at the Festival of Power Unlocked).

Gasser Circus preview.
27th May: Many thanks to Nick Brooke-Langham for providing a preview of Gasser Circus for this weekend, also looking at the dates for the 2021 season.

Round 1 of the Gasser Circus Showdown kicks off this weekend at VW Breakout, held at Santa Pod. With 17 Gassers entered it looks set to be an exciting way to start the season. Amongst the Gassers there are various upgrades, with a few new engines built, installed and ready to not so much be run in, but more along the lines of ready to do battle.

The Ringmasters are delighted to welcome back 15 of the last cohort, along with two new drivers and their cars. Billy Jones (below left) racing his Willys Coupe, seen most recently in the Willys Wars and the duo of Tom Margesson and John Gumble (below right), who will campaigning their Ford Pop ‘The Tinseltown Hustler'. After our enforced lay off, it will be an extra special feeling turning into Airfield Road on Friday, unloading in the pits and hitting the strip. It’s been a long time coming.

The Gasser Circus looks forward to the coming five rounds of racing, and always welcome visitors in our pit, so make sure you drop by for a flavour of the mid-60s Gasser scene. Gasser Circus – Racing the Dream.

Sonic Attack's historic altered.
27th May: Many thanks to Vinnie Killington, crew chief/mechanic for the Sonic Attack Wild Bunch team for introducing the new team with their car which has quite a history:

"The car is a altered Model T, now known as Sonic Attack, originally built in 1978 by Stormin' Norm Wheeldon, and has been previously named Quiet Riot, Dazed & Confused and Plumb Tuckered. The car was last run by Lee Hartnell from the Wild Bunch many years ago and has changed hands quite a few times since then. We are running a Rover 3.9l V8 with a Holley 390 carb, VW 65 autobox with Westminster axle, Leyland 200 gears and half shafts, and Spitfire rear brakes.

"Our race number is WB1066 as we come from Hastings in East Sussex. Steve Garlant is team owner driver and my daughter Poppy Vincent is crew chef and tea maker!

"Please stop by at the pits and we will be more than happy to have a chat. Looking forward to the weekend!"

Polish season kicks off.
27th May: The first race in the Polish GP for ¼ Mile took place on 23rd May at Pila Airport. Results of qualifying been posted to the club's web site at, we have found pictures of the event and show some of the cars and bikes on the club's Facebook page.

You can see a video of highlights by clicking here. Photographer Wiktor Hajnas has posted a Facebook gallery of 206 photos.

Outlaw Anglia VW Breakout preview.
26th May: Many thanks to Renegade Outlaw Anglia class co-ordinator Colin Millar for sending a preview of the class at VW Breakout: It's that time again to get all the Outlaw Anglias back out to where they belong - at the track. It seems an age with all that went before us with Covid and self-isolation, but in reality we are only really a few weeks out of sync from a “normal” year as we did all run at Hot Rod Drags in September.

Nineteen teams are confirmed, which I think is a strong field of cars when you look not that far back on the uncertainty around us; we are however getting back to some normality and, fingers crossed, we keep going in the right direction.

Some teams are up on Thursday, I think just to get back at the Pod and feel the wind and freedom, with others arriving Friday. With Friday being a RWYB test day (
starting at 0930) were hoping for better weather than the guys and girls were given last weekend at the STP Spring Nationals, I really felt for them, nature still has a big hand to play in our sport unfortunately.

Rob Stone has had a big thrash the last three weeks and look like its all come together for him, good man Rob, Rob Nixon’s chomping at the bit and for sure he will be looking for that new PB, Ted Booth back out again double classing in Gasser Circus, Mark Bracking ready to rock and roll but he has the opportunity to drive the car on the street as well, Luke Hoskins is coming out to play in Dave Pearce’s car and not a bit of red lead to be seen with a new tidy paint job.

Barry Woodford (above left) is like a coiled spring desperate to get back down the track no doubt with the family looking on, Gary Bird and family will be in tow and as ever that right foot rarely gets lifted unless he’s REALLY out of shape lol, Adam Cuthbertson is back out after a period of absence, he will be looking to get a full pass in with the new set up as I watched him at York on the 1/8 and the car was flying, Garry Hill will be there - I wonder who is on the back up duties this year? - Jed Guy is ready to rock and roll after a very successful test day with in April, watch this space..

I for one am as keen as ever and so glad to get back down to my second home, Mick Taylor is also ready and I’m sure he is hoping to dive straight back into that 7.7 area, Kim Harrison (above centre) is debuting her lovely new paint for Ruby in Ruby red, Spencer Tidswell is back out and I’m very sure a bit of NOS will be sneaked in to get those numbers up, Peter Butler (above right) is back and will be looking for that win again after his success at last years Hot Rod Drags, Jon Webster although having a busy time with Pro Mod already has his Anglia ready for the off, watch this space.

Douglas McClure (above left) is out for the very first time in OA and I’m sure he will have a ball, make sure you pop round to his pits and say a socially distanced hello. Ben Kennedy is all set for the off in his second year in OA and we wish him the very best, Tom Margesson (above right) is another first timer out in OA after just completing one test day with a brand new car, hope all the wee niggles have gone Tom, and you can get the times and speeds up.

That makes up the 19 teams and from me I wish everyone the very best weekend in Outlaw Anglia and although it will be reduced numbers for spectators it will be fantastic to have them back where they belong, it was so so strange racing at the Pod with nobody cheering the class on, with that we will as always put on a great show for everyone who loves the class for what it is. Will there be any records set? Who knows, but there is one thing for sure, there will be plenty of smiling faces for sure.

Time Traveller video, report.
26th May: Bob Hawkins and Team Time Traveller were absolutely delighted to finally be back on track at the Springspeed Nationals:

'After almost two years away we finally got to run our latest nitro burning combo with two good check out passes.

We've collected a lot of very useful data and feel we are now in a strong position to ramp up the tune in readiness for Dragstalgia's Slingshot Showdown. The video is of our second pass of the weekend and is completely uncut from fire up road to shutdown. Buckle up, turn the volume up and enjoy a ride in our AA/FD 500ci Big Block Chevy powered FED'.

Bob's next SPR outing with Team Time Traveller will be at Dragstalgia, 9th-11th July.

Snake Eyes returns.
26th May: Many thanks to Wild Bunch racer Andy Clifford for sending us an account of his first event back at Santa Pod Raceway since Greenlight Nationals 2019.

After gaining my license in 2019 with the new Snake Eyes car we decided to semi-retire dad’s Ratcatcher Resurrection after the National Finals in 2019 to concentrate on Snake Eyes for 2020. Anyway, skip forward over a year and Snake Eyes now has the whole bottom end from the Ratcatcher car along with the methanol injection. We attended the RWYB on 1st May with a plan to fire the car, go through the gears and make a few passes down the track to get comfortable again. Well, the car never made it off the axle stands as no matter what we tried we could not get the car to keep running. Fettling with the fuel system, timing, ignition, checking, double checking and triple checking everything gave us no improvement so we disappointingly packed up at the end of the day and headed home – I must say thanks to the Marras and John Tebenham for coming over offering support and tools!

With a plan to run the test day last Friday we were back at Santa Pod for Springspeed. Well, we know how Friday turned out. By mid-morning Saturday we were ready to try again. No luck. The car was firing but dying almost immediately. Many checks of all systems performed again and with advice from a good number of the Wild Bunch members we decided that the next step was to just throw more fuel in with a fully closed throttle gradually drip feeding through the trumpets until the engine pulled the methanol through. Success! Sighs of relief all round. Although by now the starter motor was extremely tired and literally cranky!

So, one-shot qualifier Sunday morning. Warm up was great, car sounded good albeit a little lumpy but running at least. Looking forward to running against the cars builder Steve Field and the starter motor is just spinning and spinning. Cue, the tow of shame back to the pit where we fixed the starter motor, loaded up the trailer and reflected on a DNQ as the rain lashed down.

Despite the setbacks I must say massive thanks to my dad Terry Clifford, my son James, my patient wife Rach and all the Wild Bunch teams for their support, advice and encouragement. It would be so easy to throw in the towel without them. That’s the definition of the drag racing family right there. On to the next event, the Festival of Power Unlocked in June. As a little extra note, I was so gutted not to make a run in remembrance of Dave Rowlands so Dave, I promise to get the car down the track at the next event with that silver ribbon flying in your memory.

Dave Rowlands' funeral tomorrow.
26th May: Angie Woods, partner of the late Dave Rowlands has announced details for the webcast for Dave's funeral on Thursday 27th May at 3pm. "The details are to go to and when prompted, enter the username tezo3515 and password 434959 for the live webcast. "Donations can be made to funeral directors A. Abbott and Sons, Bedford Road, Rushden, NN10 0LZ c/o Dave Rowlands, who will collect them and present to Santa Pod Raceway.

Tony Morris Carburetors and Rough Diamond Racing support OA.
26th May: Tony Morris and Dave Gibbons are pleased to announce that Tony Morris Carburetors LLC and Rough Diamond Racing will be bringing support to the Outlaw Anglia series for the remainder of the 2021 season! The support comes in the form of two awards and a racer discount.

The primary award will be the ‘TMC Tight End Trophy’. A trophy and £150 will be awarded to the loser of the closest race (win-lose margin) during eliminations between now and the end of the season – this means any OA racer has a chance to win the award irrespective of the cars performance. The trophy itself is yet to be commissioned and will be revealed at a later date.

An additional award will be the ‘TMC Grand Job’ personal achievement award. A trophy and £50 will be presented to the Outlaw Anglia racer who - in the opinion of the OA committee - has achieved the most with the least, or exceeded a personal goal during the season.

Finally, Tony Morris Carburetors LLC at Rough Diamond Racing will now offer Outlaw Anglia racers a 10% discount on all parts and labour for carb service on current OA race cars, or cars in build.

Dave added, “We would have liked to do more, and who knows, in future we may well do so! The UK operation is a small affair, but we like to keep our labour cost and margins low so every racer can benefit from our service”. He continued, “Both Tony and I are extremely pleased to be ‘dipping our toes in the water’ with Outlaw Anglia”.

Thanks go to Outlaw Anglia member and TMC customer Mick Taylor (above right) for his help in arranging this support package.

As always, specialising in 4500 and 4150 style carbs of any make, Tony Morris Carbs at Rough Diamond Racing exist for the racer, and are happy to help with advice and support. Most service parts are held in stock here in the UK, and service, rebuilds, upgrades, conversions (e.g. gas to alky) and re-calibration, are offered with a quick turnaround. New bespoke TMC carbs are built to order.

Rough Diamond Racing is the sole UK agent of Florida based Tony Morris Carburetors LLC. Tony’s unparalleled experience makes Tony Morris Carburetors the carb of choice for many leading sportsman racers in the USA - that wealth of knowledge is available here in the UK.

To get in touch with TMC at RDR, in the first instance either e-mail Dave Gibbons on or use Messenger on the Rough Diamond Racing Facebook page @roughdiamondracing, you can also follow #thecarbfellas on Instagram.

Swift snippets.
26th May: Thanks to Stephen Billings for notifying us of a change in the road works on the A509. "The signs have been changed, they now read that the closure is still from 09:30 am to 03:30 pm, over 28th-30th May, or ALL of VW Breakout".

Springspeed prize fund carried forward.
25th May: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for forwarding announcements regarding the prize fund for the Springspeed Nationals, and contingency sponsorship obligations:

Following the rain out of the STP Springspeed Nationals, Santa Pod Racers Club will be carrying over the unpaid prize fund, this will be carried over to the Festival of Power for all Sportsman classes that attended the Springspeed Nationals, Wild Bunch will carry over to the Summer Nationals and Nostalgia Super Stock to the Green Light Nationals in August.

Contingency Sponsorship for Comp Eliminator and Junior Drag Bike will also carry over to the Festival of Power, Racers are reminded that to receive the Contingency awards, you must carry the Sponsors decals on both sides of your vehicle, in short, no stickers no pay out, if you don’t have stickers, please contact the SPRC office and we will get them to you.

Hustler's weekend.
25th May: Many thanks to Chi-Town Hustler crew chief Herb Andrews for updating us on his and owner/driver Paul Harris's weekend:

The positive that came out of Covid restrictions is that it’s given us the time to go through the car, assess what improvements should be made and get on with implementing them. Fast forward to the Springspeed meet and I was apprehensive if the changes I’d made to the clutch would work, as the finger weight and radius has an impact on performance off the start line. Hats off to Bob Molinari for his advice and parts as it worked great!

Along with many other changes the whole fuel system has recently been on Dave Wilson’s flow bench and the improvements from doing that have been significant. Dave’s wealth of racing and engineering knowledge is outstanding.

Between the heavy rain and wind, we got two runs in over the weekend which may not sound much but given the various changes and our cautious approach suited us.

Saturday's run saw a 1.044 60 ft and 2.72 330 ft time, which is a huge improvement. Paul was off it before the 330' timers as planned, and ahead of Tim Garlick, the short numbers indicating Paul was on a 6.1 run if he wasn't 'under orders' to lift, which bodes well for friendly competition in the future. We were held before we ran, as it was lightly raining at the top end. Hats off to Santa Pod's track crew who didn’t give up then or over the weekend to give us a safe track to run on.

When we fired it Sunday in the pits, we encountered an extremely rich idle. Mick Sharpe adjusted the barrel valve but it made no difference. We knew how to fix it but ran out of time plus didn’t have the right equipment with us to make an accurate adjustment. The run netted a 1.19 60 ft as the clutch counter weight had been reduced. Paul shut off at 1000' as planned.

We came away from the weekend with data and an intact nitro motor so it’s a good result. Next meeting is Dragstalgia where we will be running the Monza body, painted as a tribute to the late Dennis Priddle, who ran Olavi Knuutinen’s black car in 1977. It's coming round.

JT's V6 Pro Mod.
25th May: Many thanks to regular contributor John Tebenham who had a busy weekend driving the Fabulous Lightning McQueen '53 Corvette Pro Mod and the Super Pro Crew Killer Pop.

Driving two cars has never been a problem, but when you haven’t driven the Pro Mod for quite a bit, as we didn’t run it last year, caused a couple of problems. On the first run I didn’t have enough brake pressure and rolled it straight into two yellows. I saw the second gear shift light at 9600 revs and changed straight into third which was great. But when we got back, we found a broken rocker and on the other side, one plug never lit. So really it was a V6.

The second run was better but couldn’t stop it drifting left and the shift light came on when I was right on the centre line - so lots of pedal. I’ve never pedalled it before, so was pumped about that even if we only went 6.9. I really think we could have won the meeting as everyone else were having their own problems. Ours was just the nut behind the wheel.

Nigel, one of my crew, was absolutely standout this weekend. Oh yeah, and the gearbox in the crew Killer broke.

STP Springspeed Nationals racer notes.
25th May: Racers were generally happy just to get back to the track at the Springspeed Nationals and mingle (socially distanced of course). Although truncated due to the weather, there were two qualifying sessions across Saturday and Sunday which enabled racers to try their vehicles on Santa Pod Raceway's quarter mile. Here are some of the highlights (and occasional lowlight) mentioned by racers in social media posts:

There were two Nostalgia funny cars present, Apache with Tim Garlick (below left), and Chi Town Hustler with Paul Harris driving (see Herb Andrews' account above). Both sounded magnificent and gave fans their first nitro experience in at least nine months. The cars ran twice, Apache cleanly on both occasions to a 6.2915/229.34 and 6.2823/222.21 and Chi-Town Hustler scoring its best 60ft time of 1.0442.

In Pro Modified the numbers entered dwindled, as Matt Peters withdrew. At the track but experiencing problems was Wayne Nicholson whose Lucky Devil Corvette suffered magneto issues and a niggling fuel leak. The quickest run was Kev Slyfield's 6.614/224.49, both his runs being affected by tyre shake causing the car to make a move around his lane, expertly corrected. Nick Davies (above right) got into the sixes on Sunday, the team bedding in a new Rossler automatic transmission based on a TH400 unit, with a Neal Chance torque converter, the many other changes made, plus a year out making things difficult on Saturday, but overcome rapidly. Nick wrote: "After an 18 month hiatus, a drivetrain revision comprising new transmission and converter, an extensive re-wire and some suspension changes, the weather refused to play ball. A 6.99 may not seem like it, but we made huge progress and consider ourselves in good shape for the next meeting in a month’s time".

Competition Eliminator benefitted from the inclusion of Stock/Super Stock to create a larger all-NHRA legal category. Robin Orthodoxou (below left) with a new front fairing bearing the word 'Incoming' ran with a lot of new parts on the Chaos Bros A/A including different clutch discs which allowed the car to go down the track to a 7.2259/188.08 to go no.1. Numbers 2 and 3 were the Super Stock entries of Dan Williams and Nic Williams. Elaine Hancock ran with a supercharger on Lethal Zephyr for the first time, the car making a great launch and sounding the business.

Super Pro ET had a remarkable session on Sunday when the lead changed hands four times, finally ending up in the hands of former champion and sponsor Scott Hauser. Nick Good debuted a new black look on the Lucas Oil sponsored dragster, also racing a dragster is newcomer Kieran Astley who impressed by qualifying seventh in his first race with a 8.451 on a 8.38 dial. A competition debut also for former Micke Kågered crew member Mark Turner in his Toyota Supra, qualifying 16th with a 9.472 on a 8.75 dial, more to come there.

Pro ET had three members of the Huxley family racing in the class for the first time, with each having their own car (Brian the Mustang, Lee the white Nova and Marc with the copy of their first race car, a Corolla (above right)). The top of the qualifying standings went to Amy Watkins and Tom Watkins, Tom driving Dad Neill's Dodge Ram pickup as his own engine for his Charger won't be ready until the Festival of Power. Among the new faces, Alfie Wratten qualified sixth with a 9.492 on a 9.46 dial, John Bean in his smart Mustang qualified eighth with 10.063 on a 9.98 dial and Allan Schofield in a ex-Conrad Stanley dragster qualified 15th with a 8.989 on a 8.85 dial.

In Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET the new award sponsored by Cath and Tig Napier's Bad Habit Racing, drawn out of the hat by Kirstie, went to #1 qualifier off the trailer Felicity Gibbs, who maintained the position in the second session. Dan Holloway, entered in his Truck Norris Chevy S10 SS, suffered suspected bearing failure in his rear axle. He said "On the upside the community of drag racing never fails, and I was fortunate enough to receive various offers of a replacement car to at least get qualified and carry on racing! Ben Newsome came to my rescue with loan of his tow vehicle, his rather pokey BMW 335D". Newcomers welcomed to the class were Steve Mellors (Mazda MX5 - see story below), Troy Attree (Camaro Z28) and Chris Winn (Alfa Mito turbo).

(above left - Harley Coulsell's Bandit 1)

We also welcomed several new racers into Lucas Oil Junior Dragster, Jessica Bishop qualifying fifth with a RT of 0.0341. Jake Cooper, Jack Taylor, Max Taylor and Daniel Todd also qualified, welcome to them all. No.1 qualifier was Katie Ellis with a 0.0086 RT. Similarly in Junior Drag Bike we welcomed Hollie King who qualified no.2 in her first race, and newly licensed Lyra Humber (above right).

The full field of bikes topped by four Banks Night Club Top Fuel Bikes. Quickest in the two sessions held was Neil Midgley who ran an early shut off 6.7716/155.75 on the Cannon Engineering/Lucas Oils machine. Second was Al Smith on the PBR Rocket 3 who was the most consistent running two low sevens and getting furthest up the track; Allan Davies suffered engine misfiring woes from what we heard…

Leeks Landscape Funny Bike produced the bike run of the event, a 6.667/205.17 from Stuart Crane showing that his new setup has huge potential. New to Funny Bike was Tony Clark (above left) riding the Phil Crossley machine with no little determination. Lorcan Parnell (above right) had some new pieces on the Storm bike, including an aerodynamic front wheel fairing, and achieved a fantastic 45psi boost on the launch, Lorcan lifting to a 7.97.

Louis Davies did a great job in Comp Bike as he ran a new PB of 7.2347/178.54 on a straight pass, great riding. Blade King, Roger Moore and Liam Holgate made their Blood Cancer UK ET Bike competition debuts, Roger making a full licensing pass of 7.6816/136.02 before eventually heading to Funny Bike.

A moving tribute took place on Sunday when the Santa Pod Raceway track crew assembled on the start line, and announcer Colin Theobald spoke from the heart to convey the grief the Santa Pod marshals and whole racing community felt at the recent untimely loss of marshal and racer Dave Rowlands, followed by a minutes silence for him.

We look forward to the next Championship round at the Festival of Power Unlocked on 25th-27th June.

All pictures © Julian

Hulk MX5 makes competition debut.
25th May: Many thanks to Travis Smith of United Modified Cruisers Show Club & Racing Team for sending an account of Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET racer Steve Mellors' competition debut at Santa Pod:

Well what a weekend that was, Friday we rolled into the pairing lanes ready to test. The track crew were prepping the track and - boom, it rained. Saturday we got up bright and early, got the car prepped to run, you guessed it - it rained, it stopped, the track reopened, every other class ran, Sportsman ET was called, Hulk MX5 was mere feet away from the starting line, you guessed it, it rained again and they called it a day.

Sunday, we dialed in a safe 16.01 expecting to break out and ran a 16.37 due to a awful launch, Q2 came around, we dialed in at 16.10 and ran a 16.69. We had nothing but issues on that run, slept on the light followed by a crap launch and lost traction in 3rd.

Hopefully the Festival of Power will bring good things. We are sure going to be testing like mad the day before, dialling absolutely everything we possibly can. A massive shout out to everyone who helped us out this weekend, onwards and upwards. We look forward to seeing everyone at the next event.

You can follow United Modified Cruisers Show Club on their Facebook page.

STP Springspeed Nationals rained off.
24th May: Following persistent downpours during both Saturday and Sunday, the STP Springspeed Nationals was declared a rain-off by track officials on Sunday afternoon. The track crew at Santa Pod Raceway had worked tirelessly to bring the track to racing standard with two rounds of qualifying being possible, one on Saturday and the other on Sunday morning. However after three pairs had gone down the track in the first round of Modurstang Pro ET eliminations, another torrent of water put paid to the event.

The UK drag racing community was just pleased to get together again after an extended break, and to try their vehicles down the track. We'll assemble comments from racers; if you have your own snippets to send to us at we'd be grateful.

The Habit Racing Perfect Light Award and the Perfect ET Award supported by Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield and the Twister Race Team went unclaimed, as did Bob's Photo Finish Award in view of the small number of elimination pairs. The Perfect Light Award and Perfect ET Award will each be rolled over to the Festival of Power Unlocked on 25th-27th June to pay cash of £75, and there will be two Photo Finish Awards, one for Junior racers and the other for Senior classes, both paying £50 to each of the competitors involved.

You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored STP Springspeed Nationals reports, results and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the Event Coverage link in the main menu above. A big Thank You from Simon to photographers Julian and DD for their hard work and good humour in the unpleasant conditions.

We have posted the official timing data from Santa Pod Raceway to our Timing Data page which you can also access via the Data link in the main menu above. You can view the final official results by going to

A509 closed on 29th May.
24th May: Many thanks to regular reader Stephen Billings for writing to tell us that on Saturday 29th May, the A509 will be closed from the roundabout at Tesco's near Wellingborough, to the roundabout near Wollaston.

The closure times are from 9:30am to 3:30pm, which could affect those coming to VW Breakout on Saturday.

New salt bike, new clothes.
24th May: Former Funny Bike racer and Land Speed bike racer Steve French has been in touch to tell us of changes to his bike and his plans for 2021:

The latest version of the land speed bike with dual intercooled compound supercharger and turbocharger has now got some long awaited bodywork.

Its first outing at Elvington with its clothes on was disappointingly slow but mistakes are how you learn, and we think we may have this time. We are back on the 21st June to try and get that elusive 200mph, which for a pushrod 750 twin is rather quick.

On-track image courtesy of Andy Lincoln-Smith. Pit image with Baz, Dave & Steve by Harvey Brewster.

Pioneers series 2 progressing.
24th May: Many thanks to John Hunt for continuing to contact pioneers of UK drag racing who want to add their stories to those that we've published this year. The next series will be published in Spring 2022. John has also had feedback from pioneers whose stories we've published:

Dragster racer Derek Metcalfwrote: "As as result of John Hunt contacting us, our recollections of the early days of UK drag racing were put down on paper, John visited us and was a great help; his memory for detailed corrections was a great assistance and it was very rewarding to see our experiences on screen with photographs. It made us realise that we did actually participate in those early days; if he had not been so helpful and accommodating we would not have had those memories rekindled".

Crewman and mechanic John Smith wrote: "Just a quick note to thank you for all your time and effort in getting the 'Drag Racing Pioneers' stories put together and published on I had no idea that anyone would be interested after all this time until you phoned me.

I am glad that all the magazines that I had hoarded since the 60's have now found a good home and thanks for returning all the photo's and slides so promptly. Nick Pettitt has done a brilliant job in reproducing these for the article together with all the notations.

Putting details of the short time that I was involved down on paper certainly brought back a lot of fond and some forgotten memories not only of the Drag Racing at 'The Pod' but also great times spent with Bill, Keith and Richard and also Derek and Pam and Tony".

Swift snippets.
24th May: Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has updated his British Drag Racing & Hot Rodding Archive again, this time with John Hunt's photos, news cuttings, rule books, timing tickets and other memorabilia from the 70s and 80s, enough for 12 new galleries. As always updates can be found towards the top of the page.

Sharron Collier has been in touch to remind Junior Drag Bike racers that if they wish to partake of the £750 prize fund posted by Projoint Fabrications (Sharron and Jerry Collier) and Nitro Junkie (Lizz and Kev Charman) announced on 2nd April, decals for these two firms should be carried, and be clearly visible, for this year's racing rounds.

Methanol now legal for SSB.
21st May: Many thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for letting us know about a rule change for Super Street Bike: Following negotiations between the ACU and Santa Pod Racers Club, methanol fuel has been added to the list of accepted fuels in ACU Super Street Bike. Methanol becomes legal commencing the weekend of the Springspeed Nationals 22nd-23rd May 2021; all current legal fuels in SSB will remain legal within the regulations.

Methanol must follow the purity requirements listed in GSR 1:8 METHANOL as stated in the 2021 Drag Race Rule Book (page 30).

Melbourne opening event, appeal extended.
21st May: Melbourne Raceway will be holding its first event of the 2021 season this weekend, 22nd-23rd May. Racers and spectators will be able to book online, which will be the only means of obtaining tickets. Racers can arrive after 6pm on Friday 21st and camp out. The £120 weekend race entry includes 2 crew members and you can either race in run what ya brung, or enter a class and bag points, you can even enter multiple classes for an extra few pounds if you wish. Single day racer entry is £70, and spectator entry is £15 per day (specatator camping is sold out due to Covid restrictions).

Straightliners organiser Trevor Duckworth said "The drag-racing community, their friends and family, came together and saved this historic racing venue in Melbourne, Yorkshire. But the project continues and the fundraising must be maintained to build on this incredible venue ensuring it's future, we have a track to race on but the site requires a lot more work. The project continues in 2021.

Last year was an amazing year for Melbourne raceway and it's community. Despite all the difficulties and sadness, we still raced and had some great weekends. So, here's the plan for this year...

The next phase of fundraising at Melbourne is to extend the braking area and tarmac the other side of the pits. You will have seen on social media that work hasn't stopped and we are now looking to raise £45,000 to complete the next phase.

CW Motorsport's last-minute sponsorship.
21st May: Congratulations to 9.50 Bike racer Craig Wright who has secured sponsorship at the 11th hour to enable him to race at the Springspeed Nationals:

The day before we're due to travel to Round 1 of the UK/National Championship at Santa Pod Raceway and the likelihood of us actually going was slim due to us losing our previous sponsor; we were very close to pulling the plug on this season. Then a chance phone call from a good team friend has put us back on track for this year!

Up steps Banks Nightclub - Maidstone, Kent. They will onboard be with us for Round 1 this weekend. A massive thanks goes to Steve Ashdown. He has been a very good friend of ours for a few years now and this is very much appreciated by us as a team. We also have on board Hendrix BarberCo again this year. Lewi from there is a very close friend to the team away from the track, so a huge thanks to him and his team as well. We have a mega team this year. We hope to do them proud.

Also, last week saw us at the Santa Pod RWYB on Sunday 16th May where we had our first few runs for 2021. After Jake at JKE did some upgrades on the bike over the winter, we were rewarded with a 9.39sec pass at 143mph. A big PB in ET for us! After a little fettle we backed it off to a 9.53 sec pass which we were more than happy with and then after a little minor adjustment to the bike and rider we bagged a 9.508sec pass, Mega! This puts us in great shape for this weekends Round 1.

A few thankyous ahead of this season:
  • Banks Nightclub - Maidstone, Kent
  • Hendrix BarberCo
  • JKE Raceworks
  • Straightline Installations
Also cheers to Callum Pudge for his continued support and of course Craig's Parents, Eileen and Graham who help as and when they can. Round 1 is this weekend, see you there and stay safe everyone!

Free Life in Spain.
21st May: Spanish drag racing promoter Fuerza Libre Competicion (Free Life Competition) has organised a race at Matilla Airfield this weekend that is attracting some cars from across Europe. Although the event will be behind closed doors due to the alert level in the Community of Castiles and León, drivers and teams that have pre-booked will be able to participate. The event is planned to be streamed and you can see runs from previous events at the Fuerza Libre Competicion Youtube channel.

Among the racers entered from the European FWD league are Jose Realista with his 9 second TDI Polo (above left), Vanessa Ruas Piloto with her 9 second TDI Skoda Pickup (above centre), Romain Lauret from France in a Peugeot 206 (above right), and Ricardo Florencio's 700hp Citroen Saxo.

SPR fuel supply.
20th May: Many thanks to Santa Pod Raceway Track Manager Darren Prentice for alerting us to a fuel supply issue:

Just a note to inform you that Santa Pod Raceway is experiencing a supply issue with two lines of VP Racing Fuel; yet another result of the disruption caused by the Covid situation and unfortunately and totally out of our hands!

MS109 is currently out of stock. Also affected is C12, however we have been able to access a limited stock of this line but this will need to be decanted from the larger 45 gallon barrels. Consequently, once this has gone, the alternative will be C14 which fortunately we have plenty of in stock! We are reassured that this is a temporary issue and more is on the way very shortly!

STP Springspeed Nationals coverage.
20th May: will be reporting from the STP Springspeed Nationals including tomorrow's test day. Julian will be taking photos mainly trackside and Diana will be travelling around the pits to gain pictures and gossip. Your editor Simon will be in the tower and will try to make his way around the pits after racing finishes. To go direct to our coverage page click on
this link.

Santa Pod Raceway will be providing a live stream on Saturday and Sunday only, with commentary from Colin Theobald and this can be seen at their Facebook page or via Youtube.

Swift snippets.
20th May: We received the spy picture shown below left with the caption "Our two favourite things, Lucas Oils and Carbon Fibre, see you at the Pod this weekend". If you know more, or have your own spy picture to send to us, contact us at

Sportsman ET racer Rob Creswell has put his street and strip car up for sale. He says "my Audi RS4 nicknamed "The Beast" is now for sale. If anyone is interested in buying the car then come around to the VW Sportsman/Sportsman ET pits for a socially distanced chat at this weekends Springspeed Nationals. As well as the above picture, you can see a Youtube video of the car in action by clicking here.

STP Springspeed Nationals perfect awards.
19th May: £200 is up for grabs at this weekend's STP Springspeed Nationals courtesy of and our sponsors.

This weekend's Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset at the commencement of the season to £50. The money will be paid to the first racer at the event to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available in all classes during both qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Cath and Tig Napier of Modurstang Pro ET team Bad Habit Racing.

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

The Perfect ET Award supported by Andy Hadfield and the Twister Race Team has been reset at the commencement of the season to £50. The money will be paid to the first racer at the event to run +0.000 on index or dial-in. The Perfect ET Award is available in Peter Nee Super Pro ET, Modurstang Pro ET, Hutchinson & Dibley Sportsman ET, B Fast R Super Comp, Dave Grady Super Gas Shootout, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), Springbridge Direct Wild Bunch, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, NEM Plant Nostalgia Super Stock, JKE Race Works 8.50 Bike, Atlantic Fluid Tech 9.50 Bike, Blood Cancer UK ET Bike, and Eurodragster Junior Drag Bike. but will only be awarded for the first Perfect ET of the weekend. The Perfect ET Award is presented in association with Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield of the Twister Race Team.

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

Bob's Photo Finish Award, which is presented in association with sponsor Bob Roberts, will award £50 each to the racers involved in the closest race of eliminations at this weekend's event.

The closest race will be decided upon distance rather than time since, for example, 0.001 seconds at 230 mph is further than 0.002 seconds at 110 mph. For this reason the official timing data will need to be consulted so the winners will be announced here on as soon as possible after the event and the winners will then be contacted for their preferred method of payment.

Bob's Photo Finish Award is open to all classes during eliminations only and although decals are not mandatory we would appreciate if it they are carried. decals are available in Signing On.

Thanks from Crusher.
19th May: Limited Funz Racing member Lynne Coulsell has been in touch to thank a new sponsor:

Limited Funz Racing would like to say a big thank you to Keith Crampton, of Wiz Training and Development Ltd, for sponsoring BallBreaker at Springspeed Nationals.

This was a kind gesture for the hard work that Steve and Anna Cassisi of Piston Rings & Things has put into Keith's new Methanol engine for the Soul Town Shaker, and help from Mark and Lynne with some parts from the team.

The Shaker will be 'Singing a New Groove' and coming to a race track near you soon! Thanks Crusher!

New OSCAR member.
19th May: Fuel Altered and Pro Modified racer Nick Davies writes that the newly formed ‘Old School Classic Altered Racers’ club (OSCAR 'for short') have a new founder member.

"The legend that is Bryan Whitfield has decided he can’t resist the temptation and is planning an American Austin-based altered with a similar body to the famous Gabby Bleeker’s 60s car (see image).

"Bryan joins Martin Baldwin, Nick Davies, Tim Garlick, Rob Loaring and Jon Webster in the planning and build process. 2023 is a way off but it’s getting better and better...."

If any other racers wish to bring a car along, targets for the parameters have been initially agreed on as:
  • Maximum wheelbase: 110"
  • Maximum engine setback: 25% to forwardmost spark plug
  • Minimum weight: 4.5lbs per cubic inch engine capacity
  • Minimum crankshaft height: 13" to crank centre line
  • Maximum blower size: 8-71
  • No wings (unless accurate recreation of historic race car)
  • Maximum wheelie bar length: 36"
  • Clutch - Mandatory
For further updates go to the No Quarter AAFA page on Facebook.

Festival of Power entry list.
18th May: Thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for letting us know that version one of the entry list for the Festival of Power to be held on 25th-27th June at Santa Pod Raceway has been posted. The event is the second round of the 2021 SPRC National Championship.

Racers that are members of Santa Pod Racers Club who want to sign up for the Festival of Power should sign up on the on-line entry system at this link. The closing date for standard-fee entry is 4th June.

The latest entry list can be seen at this link on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site.

Rule changes.
18th May: SPRC secretary Ian Marshall has been in touch to announce the following rule changes with reference to 2021 Drag Racing Rule Book, page 50, regulation 4.10:

General Construction Practices:
In the construction of all roll bars and roll cages the main hoop must be one-piece.

The Roll cage, including the main hoop and forward of the main hoop shall follow the contours of the body as closely as possible and be symmetrical with regard to distances from the cage to the body.

All butt welds require visible reinforcement or an interior sleeve, 6” (15.2cm) long, minimum 3” (7.6cm) either side of the joint centre line with visible rosette welds. The rosette welds shall be within ½" (12.7cm) from the ends of the interior sleeve and be a minimum of ¼" (0.64cm) in diameter.

No repairs shall be carried out to tubing above the height of the seat bar in a Door Car, or above the shoulder rail on a Dragster & Altered. (Replacement of the complete component required).'s new menu.
18th May: After your news editor realised that he could no longer read the side menu clearly, he decided it was time for a revision, which conveniently avoided the need to see an optician. The only problem was he is completely unskilled in the necessary programming.

After contacting Top Fuel Dragster racer Tethys, to whom many thanks, a new drop-down menu has been placed at the top of each page. Thanks also to Julian for comments on the layout.

STP Springspeed Nationals racer update.
17th May: Thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for passing to us details of the arrangements for this weekend's STP Springspeed Nationals:

The provisional running orders are now available and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Event Coverage link in the main menu above. Sportsman ET racers please note that the qualifying rounds has been updated from the version posted to you as there was a round missing.

The following is a list of restrictions and requirements for the coming weekend, due to Covid protocols and regulations that Santa Pod Raceway and Santa Pod Racers Club must follow to conduct the meeting within current regulations, but more importantly for everyone’s safety at the event.

Scrutineering for race cars will not take place, however you may well be asked to visit Scrutineering following a run, or you may be visited by either the Scrutineers or Tech crew, this will be purely on a random basis, unless an issue has been brought to their attention, Pro Modified and Comp Eliminator Racers please note that you will still be required to visit the scales as per normal.

Scrutineering for all motorcycles will take place; however, the Scrutineers will visit your pit bay, please do not go to the Scrutineering building unless specifically requested by an Official to do so.

Signing on: Race car drivers and crew members do not need to sign on and are not required to show their licences to a member of the Secretarial team, again, unless specifically requested.

All bike riders in ACU and SPRC Sportsman bike classes must still sign on as normal, where you will need to show your ACU Race licence; crew members do not need to sign on.

Please note that any person visiting Signing on must use the 2 meter rule and must also wear a mask or face covering before entering the office.

Racer crew members do not need to sign on; your crew passes are within your entry envelopes, and are specific to your class of entry. Please make sure you keep them visible when entering the collection and startline area; also please note that the usual age restrictions apply. It is your responsibility to make sure there are no crew members below the age of 17 are given access or passes for any restricted area.

Ticket collection: If you are collecting tickets or have had your tickets posted to you, when entering Santa Pod Raceway, you may be asked for additional information, this will just be a contact number, and is to maintain Government requirements for events that require track and trace details for all persons entering the venue. This information will not be used for any other purpose.

RWYB gallery.
17th May: Thanks to Julian, we have posted a gallery of 140 photos from yesterday's Run What Ya Brung. Held on the final weekend before the season proper kicks off next weekend with the STP Springspeed Nationals, the RWYB was attended by a good number of racers and those with quick street cars.

You can see our gallery at this link or via the event coverage index which includes details of all events we plan to cover in 2021.

Matthew Dowdy Racing renews with Renegade.
17th May: Matthew Dowdy Racing is pleased to announce that once again Jeff and Alex at Renegade Racing Fuels UK will be supporting Junior dragster for this season starting with the forthcoming Springspeed Nationals. Renegade's Pro Methanol is refined especially for racing engines and was used exclusively by Matthew last year with great results.

This is great news for all junior racers as Jeff and Alex are happy to supply all competitors in the Junior Dragsters at extremely competitive sponsored prices - just speak to them on 07407 807576 or email All they ask in return is that two Renegade decals are displayed on your car. You can of course speak with Matthew at the track who will give you all of the details. Renegade do not just supply race quality methanol, they provide a full range of the highest quality racing fuels suitable for all engines. Please do give them a call and they will be able to help you out.

As the Eagle eyed Eurodragster viewers may have noticed Matthew is not entered in Junior Dragster this year, and whilst still staying on four wheels and in a dragster, you could say we have Haya expectations...

Swift snippets.
17th May: Well done to Travis Harwood who has just produced an excellent short film about Santa Pod as part of his course studying photo journalism at Falmouth University. Speakers in the production are drag racing historian Nick Pettitt, Pro Mod champion, car constructor and sponsor Andy Robinson and Santa Pod Racers Club secretary Ian Marshall, and there are plenty of memorable video clips.

We wish a very Happy Birthday to brother-in-law and Super Pro ET racer Tom Atkinson. Also celebrating birthdays today are dragster racer Nick Mugridge, Super Street Bike racer Mark Hope and, from Sweden, long time racer, journalist and Fawlty Towers superfan Anders Bostic Envall. Have a great day all.

Dave Rowlands tribute, funeral arrangements.
16th May: Thanks to Angie Woods who has been in touch to let us know about a tribute to her late partner Dave Rowlands, to take place at the STP Springspeed Nationals, and the funeral arrangements for Dave.

On Sunday 23rd May, Santa Pod Raceway will be holding a tribute to Dave. Both Dave's son Warren and Angie will be there to thank as many people as they can. Rob Brown and Hayley Fyfe have suggested that at the next couple of SPR events, cars and people could run silver ribbons in memory of Dave, so please do join in with this tribute to him where you can.

Dave's funeral will be on Thursday 27th May at 3pm at Nene Valley Crematorium, 305 Doddington Rd, Wellingborough, NN8 2NX. There will be a live link for those that can't make it. The wake will be held at Santa Pod Raceway. Dress code is race/team kit or comfy wear. Unfortunately with Covid still around, there is a limited number of guests, but there will be big screen TVs and a PA system outside, so we won't turn anyone away from attending. Flowers and donations, for Santa Pod Raceway, should be sent to A. Abbott & Sons, Bedford Road, Rushden, Northants NN10 0LZ.

JT doubles up.
16th May:
Pro Modified and Super Pro ET racer John Tebenham has been in touch about what should be a busy STP Springspeed Nationals for him and his team:

"Two cars at Springspeed, can’t wait. The Pop is ready; oh yeah, I have a Pro Mod as well. Running two really fast cars is tough. But I have the greatest crew. I have a new technician on the team, Clint (make my day...), with loads of skills. Both cars are keen and ready to race, everybody is saying Kev is going to win Pro Mod, not so fast, we have the team and we want to win.

"I also have a video of us starting the Pro Mod in a workshop yesterday (click on link.). I was obeying Covid-19 rules as I had my mask on…

"Can’t wait to meet people again who come and see us in the pits, it seems like a long time time ago. Massive thanks to Keith and the SPR team.

"Dave Rowlands was a great guy with a massive love for the sport . When you come trucking back from the burnouts your future is their hands, you have to go into stage being confident with the track team. Going to miss you Dave."

A trio of new builds.
16th May: Whilst browsing social media pages, three new builds came to our attention which show that racers have been busy building during the lockdown and will soon have their new vehicles out on track.

Pictured left is Andy Hill's slingshot which we saw on its wheels for the first time yesterday. He's building a the car with a blown alky hemi for Supercharged Outlaws using a Roy Wilding chassis. Andy used to run a Top Alcohol dragster back in the early to mid-90s; we will have a story soon about his return to racing(photo: Alan Scot).

In the centre we have Marc Manning's '34 coupe, more a complete rebuild than a new build as Marc came off the track at York Dragway (now Melbourne Raceway) over the finish line, and went into the corn field backwards at 130mph which twisted the old chassis. The '34, named named Pokies '34 Coupe, has a new 7.50 tagged chassis with push rod inboard rear suspension, a 468 Big Block Chevy and 2 speed Powerglide. Marc, proprietor of Pokies Paintshop, hopes to run the '34 Coupe under the in Super Pro. He will be bringing it out at Melbourne Raceway next weekend for their opening meeting of the season, and will be making the journey to Santa Pod later in the year.

Our third new build, to the right, is the Junior Drag Bike of John 'Spud' McLean who we will be seeing licensing in June, possibly at Japshow, and racing at Santa Pod Raceway later in the year. Jim Cross claims he is the "First man in history to paint three drag bikes for three different people called John Mclean in the same colour scheme". We don't doubt this claim.

Gerasimos Filippatos.
15th May:
We were shocked and saddened to hear of the death yesterday (Friday) of Greece-based racer Gerasimos Filippatos in an incident at Agrinio in Greece.

Gerasimos was making a test pass at the first round of the Greek Drag Racing Championship at Agrinio airport in his Nissan GT-R, one of the quickest such cars in Europe. At half-track the car made a hard turn to the right, exited the track and flipped multiple times. Tragically Gerasimos passed away at the track.

The event organised by main Greek promoter Proaction Racing was suspended.

Gerasimos raced in the All Wheel Drive category from 2016-17 in a Mitshbishi Lancer, then since 2018 in his Nissan GT-R competing mainly in Greece and also at Hal Far, Malta.

We send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Gerasimos and to the whole drag racing community in Greece.

More RWYB coverage to come.
15th May: Tomorrow (Sunday) is the final Run What Ya Brung at Santa Pod Raceway prior to the pre-STP Springspeed Nationals test day, and Julian will be at the track to take photos in the pits and on-track of cars and bikes. We will post the gallery with a link on Monday.

Swift snippets.
15th May: We have several birthdays to celebrate today. Our good friend and photojournalist Remco Scheelings is celebrating, as are Daimler powered fuel dragster exponent and BDRHoF member Robin Read, Outlaw Anglia racer Paul Hensher, and retired Top Fuel dragster racer and multi-time European Champion Mikael Kågered. Have a Happy Birthday and many happy returns from all of us at

Dennis Priddle's funeral.
14th May: Sandra and Nicola Priddle thank everyone for the kind wishes and sharing their memories and pictures of Dennis; they have been a great comfort during a difficult time.

Dennis's funeral will be on Monday 17th May at 11:20am at Yeovil Crematorium; unfortunately due to Covid-19 restrictions, the service is strictly restricted to 30 family members and a few close friends. If you would like to see it online, the details are to go to and log in with username jego9412 and password 122569.

Cards can be sent and donations to the Yeovil Hospital ICU unit can be made via the funeral directors of AJ Wakely and Sons, 33 Sparrow Road, Yeovil, BA21 4BT, telephone 01935 479913. Likewise, if you prefer to send a floral tribute these can be sent direct to AJ Wakely.

Kunmadaras welcomes spectators.
14th May: Kunmadaras Motorsport (Hungarian Drag Arena) held its first race open to spectators on 8th May, after a closed round on 17th April. A large field of street cars and bikes to to the well-prepared Kunmadaras track for the second round in the Motul Cup Hungary Drag Bike National Championships, MAMS Drag Bike Championship, and the Hungarian National Youth Junior Drag Bike Championship with the Toyota RoadService Cup for cars.

In addition to racing activities, the latest model Suzuki Hayabusa received its Hungarian show debut in front of the crowd. You can see video highlights courtesy of Audi Ingolstadt on Youtube and there is a Facebook gallery of 354 pictures thanks to Vidék Ma.

The next race at Kunmadaras is on 19th June.

Tributes to Dave Rowlands.
13th May:
Thanks to Mikey Durbridge who has created a collage of photos of the late Dave Rowlands who passed away last week.

Former Shakespeare County Raceway track manager Jerry Cookson writes:

I got to know more about Dave after accepting the role of track prep manager for Shakespeare County Raceway. Dave, as a racer, took the wheel of the Wild Bunch 23T Altered Destiny's Angel in the early 2000s. He was a man with great knowledge for his chosen pastime in making his race car go quickly and efficiently. Whenever he wasn’t racing Dave became more involved with the track's safety crew as a FAST response driver and fire marshal.

Dave was and always had time to help anyone who needed it, especially when it came to Shakespeare County Raceway and the safety of the track. When SCR closed, Dave took up a position at Santa Pod, first as a driver for the track's fire truck and later as a regular face the racers could trust covering the start line as fire marshal. Our deepest condolences go to partner Angie, son Warren as well as his family and friends. We’re sure going to miss you buddy, now Race in Peace.

Wild Bunch co-ordinator Claire Meaddows writes:

Dave was a longstanding, likeable and well-respected member of the Wild Bunch for many years, and crewed for several teams before joining in with the racing in his 'Destiny's Angel' altered, making his racing debut with the car in June of 2007. Dave had great success with the car, and so much so that he won our Don Garlits 'Spirit of Drag Racing' Shield in 2009. Here is the tribute that was read out at the Wild Bunch Prize Presentation when he won the Shield, and it is still so fitting now:

"This year's amiable winner is a quietly enthusiastic member of the Wild Bunch and is very committed to his racing, and always one of the first to arrive at the track. He has attended shows, promoting the Wild Bunch, and always offers to help fellow racers. He copes with any disappointment in a typically modest, sporting manner. He works hard to ensure the car is presentable and well-maintained, and has achieved success: winning an event, and finishing in the Top 4 a further five times, including making 3 Finals. He has steadily improved his performance this season, progressing to a PB of 9.402 at 146 mph. He took part in all 10 events, running both MSA and RWYB format, and made great progress in only his second event at York Raceway, running down into the 9.6s, with quite a wild ride! He finished in 4th place in the Wild Bunch Series, 3rd place in Real Steel, and Runner-up in the Roy Wilding Series. He shows great commitment to the Wild Bunch and is a valued member of the Bunch!"

Dave also worked for many years on the fire and track crews at Shakey, for the benefit of so many racers, and absolutely worked his socks off day and night! He put in many a long day on the track at Shakey and then worked in Kenny’s on the night, getting up early to work all day the following day. He really enjoyed helping people and would do anything for anyone, always with that cheerful smile! In more recent years, he also worked hard on the crew and startline as Santa Pod where his experience and work ethic were invaluable, and always much appreciated by officials and racers alike.

He was a real gentleman and a real ambassador for the sport of Drag Racing, so easy going, humble, and so helpful and encouraging. He will be hugely missed by his family, his many friends and all his co-workers at the track. Dave will be fondly remembered by all who knew him. At the next couple of events, Rob and Hayley have suggested that cars and people could run silver ribbons in memory of Dave, which is a lovely idea, so please do join in with this tribute to him where you can. Dave, we salute you and thank you for all you have done for the club and the sport. Race in Peace, Dave.

SO Perfect Light Challenge.
12th May: Chairman of Supercharged Outlaws and sponsor of the Perfect ET award Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield has announced a special award for the blown race car category:

The Supercharged Outlaws have a sponsor for a new trophy. This new trophy will be for the Perfect Light Challenge and is being backed by Dave 'Twolanes' Armstrong and Sally Mears Southcott.

Dave and Sally previously sponsored a round in memory of their great friend Pete Thomas but wanted to do something that everyone could compete for regardless of how powerful your car is.

We have put our heads together and come up with this challenge and it’s simple. During the course of this season, whoever gets closest to a perfect light wins! If 2 drivers get identical lights then we look back at their next fastest reaction.

Pictures of Supercharged Outlaws racers, all from Friday at 2020 NSRA Hot Rod Drags: top row, Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield, Andy Park, Gary Parkes; bottom row, Keith Freeman, Simon Boot, Paul/Luke Watts.

Dave and Sally have kindly offered a £100 cash donation to the winner and a memorial trophy to be kept by the winning team until the end of the following season.

I don’t need to tell you about the bragging rights of being the fastest on the draw so let the fun commence - thanks again to Dave and Sally, what a brilliant idea!

You can see the Supercharged Outlaws, sponsored by Good Vibrations Motorsports, in action at their 2021 race dates (all at Santa Pod Raceway apart from final round):
  • 28th-30th May - VW Breakout
  • 19th-20th June - Retro Show
  • 09th-11th July - Dragstalgia
  • 23rd-25th July - Bug Jam
  • 4th-5th September - VW Action
  • 17th-19th September - Hot Rod Drags
  • 9th-10th October - Final round - Melbourne Raceway
Reymond's Top Doorslammer.
11th May: Some of our more mature readers will recall Kim Reymond, Top Fuel racer who in a three year period 2001-3, tuned by British Drag Racing Hall of Fame members Carsten Andersen and Per Andersen ran some of the quickest ever ETs over the quarter mile in Europe. Kim's son Mike Reymond, now CEO of Reymond's US Speed Shop in Årslev, Denmark, started a Top Doorslammer drag racing career in 2019 and after a few setbacks, is now keen to be racing once again:

"We bought the car in 2018, and we only had a few test runs that year. The car was built in the US by All-In Race Cars with a 2007 Ford Mustang fiberglass body, a Sonnys 864cui 4-stage nitrous engine, Mark Micke M&M Transmissions 3-speed TH400 transmission and converter.

Above left: Mike with car at Mantorp 2019; right: testing at Malmö in July 2020.

2019 was our first real race season, and we started with a few test weekends at Malmö Raceway. In June 2019 we raced at Mantorp Park, and we ran a new PB of 4.248/276.30kph. We won the first round of eliminations, and were set to compete against Matthias Wulcan in the next round. We decided to add another stage of nitrous (until then we had only been running a single stage), because Matthias is very fast. The result was a meeting with the left lane wall after the tires lost traction, and the car turned left into the wall.

Above left and centre: the nitrous engine setup; right: testing at Malmö in July 2020.

"I was ok, but the whole left side of the car was destroyed. We sat out the rest of the 2019 season and the first 3 months of 2020 rebuilding the car. But then the coronavirus shut down most of our 2020 season. We only had two test weekends, and they didn’t go as planned. We have had a lot of electrical problems, but they should be fixed now. If the coronavirus lets us, we will probably be back at Mantorp in July, and we will in take all the Races at Malmö Raceway also. Hopefully we will also attend and run the car at Mosten Raceway here in Denmark. We may also attend other races, but it all comes down to this corona situation.

"We have the following sponsors for this year:
  • Sunrocs - Oil and Fuel
  • Klaus Pauls Auto - Autoshop & Mechanic
  • Hydrive - Engine Cleaner
  • Reymonds US Speed Shop - Parts for US cars & engines
  • Kristiansdal - Rental Houses
  • - Wheel Repair; and
  • KRJ Ejendomme - Rental Houses.
Mike's first race in 2021 was due to be the first round of the Doorslammer tour at Malmo Raceway last weekend, however due to continuing restrictions, the event was cancelled, to be replaced with a private test session.

Time Travel updated.
11th May: Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has updated his British Drag Racing & Hot Rodding Archive site with new historic photo collection and posted on his Time Travel Video page a revised index of his eponymous video productions, originally released on VHS, then DVD and now free to view on Youtube.

Nick says "I have uploaded over 100 colour slides taken by Brian Sutton from 1965-1969. I used these slides along with Brian's cine film in my first Time Travel Video back in 1995.

"I've also listed at Time Travel Videos all my productions with descriptions and links to each one on Youtube. All new updates can be found at the top of the page".

Walton's Savoy build.
10th May: The 2021 UK Nostalgia Superstock season is getting off to a cracking start with 15 entries for the STP Springspeed Nationals on 22nd-23rd May and 25 for VW Breakout on 28th-30th May. News has reached us of a car being built for the 2022 season by class stalwart Pete Walton. He writes:

"I have owned this '64 Plymouth Savoy for many years, however life has got in the way of the car being built for NSS until now. But with help from Robinson Race Cars and others the car is almost ready for paint.

"The car has an original 426 Street Wedge engine with the factory Hurst 4-speed option. The clutch pedal is still in the car, but I will be running a TorqueFlite 727 box in racing trim for reliability, but do not discount a four speed going back in at some stage."

Pete thanks Swedish Superstock racer Fredrik Frisberg who has been "a great inspiration and a endless supply of help and info".

Geoff's new Lucas deal.
10th May: Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell has signed a new sponsorship contract with Lucas, which will result in additional exposure for the brand, and for Geoff's Land Speed Racing roadster 7707 which will be racing at Bonneville Raceway in August in Geoff's quest to run a 300mph record.

Geoff said "Lucas has increased its presence in racing with Brandon Bernstein being hired as head of Lucas Racing, and research director Tom Bognor has developed a range of oils for nitro applications including a 70 Plus blend specially created for Bonneville racers, whose nitro engines run for much longer than quarter mile nitro racers.

"As well as generously supporting my Bonneville record attempt this year, Lucas Oil will be sponsoring George Poteet's Speed Demon streamliner which plans to be the first wheel driven vehicle to hit 500mph.

"Conditions at Bonneville, which can vary greatly with the wind moving rainfall on the racing surface, are considered exceptional. "Brine has been pumped in to keep the surface solid, and it is now as hard as concrete".

Lucas have contracted video producer Nestor Cabrera to make a video advert for the new range of oils and you can see the result, with specially written music on Vimeo at this link. A video of the roadster's fire up from last week was posted by Tony Thacker which can be seen here.

Meanwhile Geoff's trailer is being worked on, which will be revealed in a future posting.

Saunders: Focus re-emerges.
9th May: Back in the very early days of, former photo editor Sharkman was invited to a specially-held
private test day at Santa Pod Raceway. The subject of the test was a brand new Ford Focus, commissioned by Ford and built in the UK to be raced in the US by UK racer Wayne Saunders. After a few years racing successfully in the NHRA Import series in other hands, the car apparently disappeared - until now.

We were contacted by former UK racer Shaun Saunders (no relation), who last raced in the UK in 1999 but is now resident in Scottsdale Arizona. Shaun brought us up to date on what had become of the briefly famous Focus that Wayne first demonstrated in the US at the 1999 NHRA World Finals:

"The famous Focus will wear the Saunders name again, as I have just purchased it. Built by Jon Webster in 1999 for Wayne to race with Ford USA; the build quality and engineering is outstanding. I race the world's fastest Mazda MX5 with its original engine, currently its best is 8.20 at 163 (see photo below right). I will be fitting one of my 4 cylinder Mazda turbo engines into the Focus for it to run low 7 sec passes again.

"After Wayne sold the car in 2000 it was raced by Ford for two years, winning the Pro Import championship, then it was parked in the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until 2014. Upon its release, it was owned by a fellow in San Diego who fitted a blown Ford V8 which is how I purchased it. I removed and sold the V8 to refit a 4 cylinder turbo engine, although a Mazda instead of the original Cosworth.

"I have been in contact with Jon Webster who is trying to get another set of the carbon panels made as the moulds still exist. I am planning on replacing the fibreglass roof and quarter panels with steel panels as Jon built it. I thought I would send you the info as it’s such an interesting car with great history. And yes, the weather here is gorgeous most of the year - but our racing season ends in May because of the heat. My last time out, until we resume in October, is 15th May".

EDRS calendar amended.
9th May: The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have an impact on drag racing calendars at all levels of the sport. We heard in the last few days that the Gardermoen Spring Nationals has been moved from 8th-9th May to 12th-13th June. The Gardermoen web site stated that registrations and rules for the Spring Nationals will be automatically moved to the later event. The revised date means that Gardermoen is hosting events on two consecutive weekends, the Scandinavian Bike Festival taking place on 19th-20th June. Organisers stated that motorcycle racers wanting to leave their crew in the area between the races will be aided by the track.

EDRS events cancelled are the Kauhava, Finland race planned for 15th-16th May and Tallhed, Sweden planned for 22nd-23rd May. The revised calendar is at this link; we will publish any further changes as soon as we hear.

Dave Rowlands.
7th May:
We were shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of track marshal and former Wild Bunch racer Dave Rowlands on Thursday morning.

Dave was keen on many aspects of the sport and ran an altered Destinys Angel in The Wild Bunch from 2007-11, coming runner up in the Wild Bunch Series and Real Steel Series in 2010 and also in the Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars Series in 2009. In 2011 Dave shared the drive with son Warren, the model T altered being a regular nine second runner, Andrew Willcox also driving the car at one race and Tom Margesson also getting the experience.

When he decided to stop racing, Dave went on the crew at Shakespeare County Raceway where he met partner Angie Woods. They worked together on the SCR crew, Angie organising the Ladies That Launch event, until Shakey closed at the end of 2017. Dave nursed Angie after she suffered a broken leg in the staging lanes in 2014.

After the closure of Shakey, Dave, with Angie, worked at Santa Pod Raceway. Dave was described as "a great guy", "a true gentleman", a "fantastic track guy who was always alert when it came to racers safety" and "another good guy gone that loved doing what he did".

We send our deepest condolences to Angie and Warren, and all Dave and Angie's family and friends.

VW Breakout class entry closes next Friday.
7th May: With the season proper getting under way, and racer entry by ticket being mandatory for lifestyle events at Santa Pod Raceway, we remind class racers planning to attend VW Breakout on 28th-30th May that entry for the event closes next Friday, 14th May. Santa Pod Raceway's online racer ticket page states: "The closing date for entries is strictly Friday 14th May 2021 at 5pm, any entries received after this point may not be accepted".

The classes running at VW Breakout are VWDRC Heads Up, Outlaw Anglia, Supercharged Outlaws, Gasser Circus and UK Nostalgia Superstock with RWYB for these classes available on Friday too. You can see the current class entry list at this link.

Volkswagen Audi Group RWYB (and Wild Bunch) track sign on tickets are available at this link and should be purchased on-line prior to the event.

Swift snippets.
7th May: Donna Johnson Marits has written wishing a "Happy Birthday to Bob Jarrett, the love of my life". We would like to join Donna in wishing Competition Altered and Funny Car owner, tuner and driver Bob the happiest of birthdays, have a great day Bob.

The latest update to the Trakbytes web site at has just been uploaded by webmaster Chris Dossett. Chris says "This time we have 38 new entries, and the addition of around 80 new programme covers. New additions start in 1963 and end in 1999. Check the "What’s New" page of the site for details. Thank you all for your contributions and continued support."

We were pleased to see a new blog on British Drag Racing, reminiscing on the glory days of drag racing and hot rodding culture from 21-year old Niamh Frances Smith. In her first two posts, Niamh writes about Celebrating the life of a British Drag Racing Legend: Dennis Priddle and The Isle of Thanet’s Forgotten Drag Strip: Screamin’ Alley Raceway. To read Niamh's well-written and illustrated site, the web address to go to is

Pro ET bash in July.
6th May: Lee Huxley has announced that the
Pro ET bash is booked for Saturday 3rd July at the Fownes Hotel, Worcester WR1 2AP. Tickets should be available at the Springspeed Nationals for £15 each and the price includes a buffet and disco.

Tickets bought at or before the Springspeed Nationals 22nd-23rd May will be entered into a draw for a free room or equivalent. Rooms need booking before the 7th June at £65 for a double or a twin. There are limited numbers so be quick. All will be welcome, and money returned if COVID restrictions return.

An Accidental Polymath.
6th May: Racer, automotive enthusiast and celebrant Dave Gibbons has published his autobiography, titled The Recollections Of An Accidental Polymath, in which he recounts the story of his life and how he accumulated a wide variety of skills over the years. Dave told us:

I wrote the book as a record of things I thought that our son Scott (and hopefully future generations) might like to know – I never had any thoughts of publication. However, having written 66,000 words, I thought it might be nice to be able to give the work to Scott, friends, and family in the form of a tangible book. So in order to do so I decided to self-publish as the most cost effective means to do so. This of course means that it became available to the general public - but it also meant some serious editing, to remove the contentious detail and offensive language that would get me into trouble!

John Price was kind enough to write a foreword, and Russ Smith helped with some of the editing, and I hope the book presents itself well.

While drag racing and motorsport has been a big part of my live, this book doesn’t dwell on that aspect – I don’t want to appear that big-headed that I think I’m someone important enough to boast about their drag racing prowess – I’m not. As you will read, it really is a book of recollections (I hesitate to call it an autobiography as that feels to grand) encompassing pretty much everything – from the birth of my son, to some of the girls I went out with, and how I’ve managed to make a living without having a proper job.

Oh, and this is not a money making project – I get 13p from the sale of each book. Enjoy!

We read a copy of the book and found it well written, engaging and above all an honest account of the highs and lows of Dave's family and racing life, combined with his passion and drive to work in auto mechanics and also to entertain the punters.

You can order a copy of The Recollections Of An Accidental Polymath by going to this link on Amazon.

Snake wins in Mexico.
6th May: With thanks to contributor and Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell, congratulations to drag racing legend and former Santa Pod competitor Don "The Snake" Prudhomme who, at the tender age of 80, has won his class in the NORRA Mexican 1000 across the Baja peninsula. You can see an account of Snake's first race win in 28 years at

VWDRC gallery, racer notes.
5th May: You can see our gallery of photos from the VW Drag Racing Club private test day at
this link or via our event coverage index. The day suffered from intermittent rain in the morning which the ever-hard-working Santa Pod Raceway track crew made great efforts to dry out, and then a full track oil down in the afternoon which brought proceedings to a premature conclusion. Whilst running was possible there was a difficult head wind and cold track making PBs a rarity. We made notes of a number of club racers and others who took part:

New to VWDRC, Junior Dragster graduate Jack Gooding (see picture, right) brought his VW Sportsman Scirocco, the car running consistently in the 16.6-16.9s range all at 80mph, a solid start to his fresh career in the class. Steve Metcalf of Blue Steel Racing is also new to the championship, in which he will be competing in his VW Sportsman Audi TT as a new engine is engine being built for his Baja Bug.

VW Pro Covid Cup winner James Hodson brought his rapid FWD Golf out running a 10.379/136.51 for a new PB.

VW Sportsman racer Justin Foley of Team Bubble Racing, tested his spare Audi TT bought from Lee Cordery to 14.97/89 as the engine in his Red Dwarf Golf is being upgraded to a VR6 turbo.

Also testing from those competing last year were VW Pro racers James Gould of Team Mulisha running a pair of low 11s, and Carl Goldsmith who ran a mid 11. Adrian Solly has had a new intercooler fitted by EST Performance which has resulted in higher boost in his Audi A3 engine, however his runs in the headwind were bests of 11.573 and 128.77 compared to his PBs of 10.50/141.

We saw returning VWDRC racers who had taken 2020 off, with VW Pro racer Abi Tether taking her VW Golf R Mk7 to a new PB of 12.775/105.01, VW Pro racer Ian Dale (see picture, left) in his Strip Burner Beetle was also testing.

Graeme Freeman ran his Sick Bubblegum Beetle in 2020 after a top end rebuild, however the car suffered a broken CV joint after his launch today and was out for the rest of day.

John Brewster (see picture, right) who ran his previous Street Lethal Beetle in Super Street in the mid 90s brought his Unfinished Business along. This rebuilt Beetle, originally built for shows by Matt Dolby, first seeing the track in 2020's Drag Days, has a John Sleath tuned 2276cc engine with race-spec internals, a new gearbox with Rhino case and FTC gears, and a Quaife diff. On his first run he experienced gear shift problems, and he lifted early on the second pass.

In the non-VWDRC contingent James Willday in his Mazda RX8 tried to improve on his 8s run at the Scott Lewry Private Test day, however the rotary engine struggled to get to the high launch revs it needs to leave the line. James said 'I plan to run the car in Comp Eliminator and it should fit in a class where we can run under the index'. You can see James talking about his unique car at Youtube link.

Best time of the day went to Craig Evans with his Corsa FTD, 9.9507/145.74, run by his Raggy Conversions firm.

Other non-VWDRC cars included Clive and Jane Mccready's Ben's Van, returning to the Sportsman ET championship after a break in 2020. Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Al Williamson was there, but conditions weren't considered suitable for making a pass; Al mentioned that components had been re-mounted ahead of the rear axle to avoid the wheelies the car was experiencing regularly in 2019.

Ben Kennedy's Outlaw Anglia made a pass with new Centerline wheels. We also saw FWD racer Ahmed Jamshaid, who ran a 10.2926/136.42 in his roadgoing Civic with K24 engine (he also has a race-built K20 engined Civic tuned by Liam Garratt of Street racers rolling road tuning & remapping). Mark Moseley (see picture, left) brought out an injected Pinto-engined Escort Mk1. Matthew Wright had a turbocharged V8 Escort Mk2 with a single 105mm turbo, another addition to his fleet of race cars, the twin turbo Rolls in the process of having a 14-71 supercharger blown into by the turbos, so it can run in Supercharged Outlaws.

Thanks go to VWDRC Chair Luke Stevenson who organised the day and supplied streaming video whilst running took place, and the Santa Pod Raceway crew who worked hard in difficult conditions to put the track into a condition that cars were able to run on.

Dennis Priddle tributes.
3rd May: Thanks to all those who supplied tributes to the late Dennis Priddle, who passed away just a week ago. A number of unseen photos came to light and some have been collected by regular contributor Mike Collins who has provided his own unique tribute to Dennis incorporating the themes of reflection and Essence of NitroFire from #8 cylinder with some unpublished pictures (Click image for pdf):

To see all the tributes we collected, click here or go via the Features, Interviews, Tributes index.

Saturday Night Special video.
3rd May: Thanks to Kieran spending a high proportion of yesterday at his editing suite, his video of the 1st May Saturday Night Special RWYB at Santa Pod Raceway is available to view on his
Mk1Kieran Youtube channel. You'll see most of the cars and bikes taking part in Kieran's 46 minute production.

Zerbst season begins.
3rd May: The shortened racing season in Germany commenced this last weekend with a Test & Tune at Zerbst Airfield organised by AMC Dessau. The event, held only with pre-registration and without spectators, attracted a wide range of vehicles.

The German FWD Shootout is establishing a league of quickest quarter mile times from eligible cars in 2021, the first being Dirk Radzanowski's Honda CRX 1.6 L 16 V Turbo (12.222/201.809kph) and Maik Benndorf's VW Lupo 1.4 L TDI (13.018/168.308 km/h).

Personal best times less than 10.0s also came from three in other categories:

AWD - Nils Orlamünde - Audi 80 2.0 L 16 V Turbo Quattro (9.453/249.48kph)
RWD - Daniel Schien - BMW E30 2.5 L M50 Turbo (9.443/250.465kph)
FWD - Marcus Schmidt - VW Golf 3 VR6 Turbo (9.462/252.965kph)

Whilst weather on Sunday precluded any running, there was testing on Saturday by the cars and bikes present. Harald and Clarissa Czekalla, usually photographers brought out their ex-Brian Gandy altered with new Chevy power and assisted by Gerd Habermann. Christian Jäger was testing his Super Twin Top Fuel bike, which he managed to keep in the groove by some adept handling. Also seen were the new Camaro doorslammer of Walle Strobel and the Volkswankel Jetta which is headed for Super Comp action.

A full set of 228 photos of the event was posted on Facebook by Picture by Bob (Thomas Poppe). A selection is shown above.

The next planned event at Zerbst is the German FWD Shootout with Test & Tune 26th-27th June 2021. Support for Zerbst's 2021 season is from EM-Racing, high-quality racing and tuning parts for engines.

Pioneer stories – Series 2.
3rd May: John Hunt has announced that he will be embarking shortly on interviewing racers from the 1960s in the next batch of pioneer stories.

John said "Simon, Nick and I enjoyed working together on the first series of seven stories and we've got a process that plays to our strengths which produces great content. If anyone has feedback on the first series, we'd be delighted to hear from readers".

John had feedback from two contributors. Bill Haynes wrote "This has been fabulous having my story told . It has been done so well and I donated all my items but know that all would have been returned if required. It has been done with great responsibility and honesty. I am proud to have been connected with it."

Keith Stacey also wrote: "I was a bit sceptical about it at first,especially trying to remember what I was doing 45 to 50 years ago. As it happens I am more than pleased with the end result and both Lyn and myself are looking forward to meeting the other guys again. I had no problem lending the slides out to you and the nice thing is they are now on my computer."

John continued "The second series of stories of up to twelve racers who started racing in the 1960s will cover car classes and we hope motorcycles.. The planned publication date is between January and March 2022. We would be particularly interested in any accompanying photographs, negatives, slides, newspaper cuttings and other memorabilia, team shirts, jackets, hats etc for scanning or photographing.

"We would very much welcome any programmes or magazines no longer required. These would be passed around the group of drag racing historians to add to their own collections. They will be valuable to the research of all areas in the sport. Memorabilia no longer required will be kept together in its own collection labeled and safely stored. We are always very keen to know of others who you are still in contact with ; your help with any introduction would be most appreciated to then be followed up".

Interested parties who started racing in the 1960s should contact John or e-mail

Swift snippets.
3rd May: Fire fighter and junior drag racing Dad Andrew Willcox has been in touch after the Collier family suffered a bad fire at their house on Friday after an electrical fire started in Scott Collier's room. Despite trying to put the fire out, the family had to get out of their home and are all safe, but devastated - Scott has lost all his trophies. Andrew said "I'm calling on the racing community to come together once again please at this distressing time for a much loved drag racing family, who will help anyone out when possible, and were the founders of junior drag bike. After helping at the house today and seeing the damage caused I have decided to set up a Go Fund Me page to help the Colliers get back into their family home asap." Contributions will be passed directly to the Colliers. will be covering the private test organised by the VW Drag Racing Club tomorrow, 4th May at Santa Pod Raceway. The plan is for editor Simon to take trackside photos and collect racer notes.

Saturday Night Special gallery, notes.
2nd May:
With thanks to Kieran and sponsors John Woolfe Racing, we have posted a gallery of pictures from yesterday's Santa Pod Saturday Night Special RWYB with running to just before 8pm.

We noted some of the times and comments from the racers who attended.

Nostalgia Funny Car racer Tim Garlick (pictured right) brought his Pontiac Firebird out for a couple of test runs. Tuner Rob Loaring said "the new clutch looks to be a good step forward. We made two short runs, the second on the throttle to around 400ft. It was a bit of a slug to 60' but the 330' was only 8/100's off Tim's best". The team's next outing will be at the STP Springspeed Nationals, where they will be joined by the completely rebuilt Venom of Tony Betts and Chi Town Hustler of Paul Harris.

The Top Fuel Bike of Phil Baimbridge was again piloted by Al Smith and you can see Phil's comprehensive write up with video at the PBR TFB Facebook page. The pair of launches resulted in a broken drive belt and damaged blower belt on the second attempt, following a 1.034s to 60ft on the first.

Hollie King completed her licencing runs on her Junior Drag Bike on her second outing. Brother Blade King (pictured left) got to see his new ride, supplied in white with help from Allan, Clair and Louis Davies moving up for the first time from junior bike. Blade made couple of nice gentle passes to get used to the bike and power, then last run of the day going for a launch with a fair bit of spin off the line, but keeping straight and still putting down a 140mph over the stripe. Also on a Junior Bike was Meg Talbot of Rise Racing aided by Kerryanne Frazier and Simon and Jake from sponsor Bod's Custom Cycles. Meg made eight runs, loads of random issues meant the last two runs were two new PB's 9.06 and Meg's last run of the day a 9.02.

Former Pro Mod racer Roger Moore (pictured right) brought his renamed and repainted Box of Frogs Racing bike back with team Lucy Moore, Dave Moore, Gary and Bob Brooks. The team reported that the burst panel went on the end of the first run and pneumatic issues pestered for the rest of the day with the pressure regulator being the source of failure. The team worked tirelessly trying to repair the regulator but sadly to no avail.

Super Pro ET and Pro Modified racer John Tebenham with the Crew Killer Pop ran a 9.0027/148.65, once again frustratingly short of his 150mph target.

Bike racer James Cross ran new PBs of 9.1010 and 142.48 on his Suzuki GSXR. European FWD racer Ahmed Jamshaid ran new PBs in his Honda Civic of 9.1897/154.67.

Also appearing was Chris Bates's rare Mitsubishi Airtrek Turbo-R (pictured left), headed towards Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator. The Airtrek has a Pro-charged 434ci SBC put together by Dan Williams at Williams Bros Racing. The car was bought from Belfast as an unfinished project and delivered to Jon Webster at sponsors Webster Race Engineering.

After some hold ups and the pandemic fiasco, the car was completed in November 2020. Chris thanks all involved to date, Webster Race Engineering, Williams Bros Racing, Dave Rowe at EPS and Darren West at Power Race Graphics for the original render.

It was good to have back at the track again the ex-Rob Smallworth '55 Chevy now in the hands of Iain Shurey with wife Jill and Dave Cunningham as crew.

You can see Kieran's gallery at this link or via the event coverage index from the main menu.

HOFtalk 11 published.
1st May:
The Spring 2021 edition of HOFTalk, the magazine of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, has been published by compiler, UK Nostalgia enthusiast, and BDRHoF director Jerry Cookson.

This latest issue was finalised before the recent sad news of the death of Dennis Priddle. The next edition will be a Dennis Priddle Tribute issue, dedicated to his tremendous contribution to British Drag Racing.

In it, you can read about activities of BDRHoF members, tributes to those members who have passed away, and a retrospective look at the 2009 BDRHoF inductee presentations.

There is an article by Tony Thacker on Merek Chertkow who, as a 19-year-old driver of the Moonshot AA/FD, visited Britain's Drag Fest in 1965, and an interview by editor Simon Groves with South African fuel dragster pioneer Arthur Christy who made the long journey to compete at Santa Pod Raceway's 1971 International Meeting.

Also there's a new feature on drag racing collectibles, Collectors' Corner, which features models of several iconic British Drag Racing vehicles. To read the latest packed 35-page edition of HOFtalk (in PDF format, file size 45MB) you may download it direct from this fast link, or click on the Lucas Oils-sponsored Features, Interviews and Tributes link on any page.

Nick's video feast.
1st May: Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded another feast of UK and European drag racing videos to his Youtube channel. We've listed them below - most are broadcast quality productions: We're grateful to Nick for tracking down and transferring all this historical footage, which would otherwise have been lost.

Swedish Doorslammer Tour 2021.
1st May: With the cancellation of international racing leaving a vacuum in European drag racing calendars, a collaboration between four Swedish tracks, Kjula, Malmö, Mantorp and HMK Hudiksvall has established a new series the Doorslammer Tour and Bike Battle, a points competition that will take place during this summer with all class entries welcome.

Classes will comprise Pro Xtreme (aka Top Doorslammer with 3.66 index to the eighth), Super Pro Xtreme (4.40 index to the eighth) and Street (8.60/5.20 index), Pro Street (7.60/4.80 index), ET Pro (dial-in 8.50 to 15.0 or 5.10-9.60 in the quarter), Four To Six Pro (6.00 or 3.66 index to the eighth), Real Street (10.10/6.50 index) in cars. Bike classes are Pro Comp Bike (7.50 index), Super Comp Bike (8.50 index), and Super Gas Bike (9.50 index).

The race dates for the Doorslammer Tour and Bike Battle are:
  • 7th-9th May, Malmö (including Super Pro Xtreme and Pro Xtreme)
  • 12th-13th June Kjula Dragway
  • 2nd-4th July, Huddik (including Super Pro Xtreme and Pro Xtreme)
  • 29th July-1st August Mantorp Park
  • 27th-29th August Malmö (final for Super Pro Xtreme and Pro Xtreme); and
  • 18th-19th September Kjula Dragway (finals for all other classes)
The series has its own rules which you can check out at, with car and bike rules available separately in Swedish.

We'll supply summary reports and links to the detail and media.

STP Springspeed Nationals entry deadline.
30th April: Today is the deadline for entry at normal rates to the STP Springspeed Nationals to be held on 22nd-23rd May at Santa Pod Raceway.

The number of entries for the is currently at 227 as at yesterday 29th April. It includes 32 cars in Modurstang Pro ET, 24 in Lucas Oil Junior Dragster and 22 in Peter Nee Super Pro ET with twenty other classes of racing.

Racers that are members of Santa Pod Racers Club who want to be part of the action can still sign up on the on-line entry system at
this link.

The latest entry list can be seen at this link on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site.

Dakota race results, next date.
30th April: Congratulations to Aleksandr Gerasickin for going four rounds of tough competition and taking the victory in the final of the AWD heads up category at Dakota Raceway Southwest's Drag Race Cash Day/Straightliners NSA event last Saturday. Aleksandr drove his Audi S8 all the way from Hull to take part and beat everyone in the category, which is really impressive.

Pete Lane with killer reaction times and a tune up dialled into the track won four rounds of competition and took the victory for the rear wheel drive category. Aaron Holford won the 1/8 mile heads up no time cash day drag race front wheel drive category in his street sleeper Fiesta. You can see video from the event at this link with a video of the racing posted at this link on Youtube. Cudos to @dayprojectsltd for a great production.

The next Dakota Raceway Southwest event is on Saturday 17th July, including once again, drag race cash day, the NSA motorcycle championship and Drifting. See you there.

Stilwell's Bonneville plans coming together.
30th April: Nitro Revival sponsor Geoff Stilwell has made progress towards his dream of hitting 300mph at Bonneville during Speed Week. We reported on 15th April that Lucas Oil Products had renewed their sponsorship of Geoff's 7707 Lucas Oil Landspeed Team. Lucas have now added to their support by supplying a special oil that can withstand the unique challenge of running a nitro fuelled Hemi continuously for a significantly longer period than it would on a drag strip.

In preparation for Speed Week, Geoff's team will be firing the engine up next week. Team PR Tony Thacker will be on hand to supply images and, we hope, video of the event.

The team have now got their air tickets to Los Angeles – in the expectation that flights will recommence in June, well before the August date for Speed Week. The plan is to then tow the car from Los Angeles all the way to Bonneville, which we can imagine will be a sweet trip for the UK members of the team, unable to have made the journey in 2020.

To show your support of Geoff and his 300mph Speed Record attempt, the 7707 Lucas Oil Landspeed Team have had new T-shirts designed by “Got Salt Racer” Frank Silva who himself has driven his “Got Salt” Landspeed car at over 350mph. These fantastic T-shirts will be available in the U.K. shortly, available only on white T-shirts at the moment (we understand a hoodie is in the works) and sizes are Medium, Large, XL and 2XL . Cost will be £25 incl packaging and post to mainland U.K. only. This is a limited run so message Geoff on Facebook to reserve your T-shirt(s).

Geoff's rival to achieve 300mph at Bonneville Ron Hope of Rat Trap Racing will be testing this weekend at Blytheville International Airport, Arkansas, under the East Coast Timing Association. The airport with its paved mile has become a pre-eminent Midwest/Southeast speed venue following Wilmington Ohio sadly having become an Amazon distribution centre.

UK & European drag racing photos' milestone passed.
30th April: Dave Turner, founder of the Facebook UK & European drag racing photos group, has been in touch to tell us about a milestone achieved:

After a little over 6 years and 10,000 members, I would just like to say a massive thanks to all the members and admin who help the UK & European drag racing photos group - my favourite place on Facebook.

I set up the group a little over 5 years ago. I was having a scan through some of the old drag racing photos taken by my brother and myself (using his old Praktica 35mm) and thought it would be nice to share these with the wider world but there didn't seem to be any groups or pages that fit the bill, most being about the US scene. I felt that these pictures that were not strictly pro shots would get lost in the myriad of American pro cars. I felt that the UK and European scenes weren't being represented. The group was simple enough to set up and I invited some of my Facebook friends and family who seem to like the idea. I shared the group on some of the other groups I was a member of. It took a couple of weeks for things to really start moving but before long we had a couple of hundred members and other people were sharing their personal shots. I was loving it and we were seeing pics that people had never shared. It initially started with me and my brothers Paul and Mark as admins but then Jerry Cookson offered to help administrate, followed soon after by Andrew Green and finally Chris Hobson, who are all still admins.

The group is about sharing pictures - we don't care if they aren't pin sharp pro shot (which are amazing by the way) - we want the pictures people have in their lofts and garages, the ones you took on your old Instamatic or Polaroid, and, more recently your phones. It's the content we are looking for- pictures that stir memories or hold a moment in time that will never be repeated.

So if your old drag racing pictures from Santa Pod, Avon park, Mantorp Park or Hockenheim are gathering dust in a box why not share them with like minded people on the UK & European drag racing photos Facebook group?

Planning for life after championship drag racing...
29th April: Thanks to Fuel Altered and Pro Modified racer Nick Davies for bringing us up to date with a group of like-minded racers:

As retirement beckons, the eternal dilemma is often what to do next. To a bunch of old racers, the answer came with the resurgence and what looks like being a bright future for the UK nostalgia racing scene and a desire to drive something affordable, fast and over-ridingly a huge amount of fun. What better than to go to the race track with your mates, tell hugely embellished stories of ‘the good old days’, smoke roll-ups with your mug of choice and laugh until the early hours? All that, and a bit of nitro.

Nitro? Sure, why not? But not just nitro - that can get expensive pretty quickly. Well, not necessarily. Not if limits are imposed. Limits that make a car more of a ‘driver’ than a ‘tuner’. Limits like maximum wheelbase, minimum crankshaft centreline height, maximum wheelie bar length, minimum weight-per-cubic inch, aero limits.

Would that work? Well, it worked back in the sixties as a formula for AA/fuel altered, so why not again?

It was this conversation over a prolonged period of time that has resulted in the start of 5 new cars being built (to date - and more being talked about….!). In order of the build commencement (and in order of above photos) they are: Martin Baldwin (427 Chevy Model ’T’), Nick Davies (417 Donovan Fiat Topolino), Rob Loaring (427 Chevy Model ‘T’), Jon Webster (354 Chevy Morris Minor) and Tim Garlick (426 Austin Bantam). Exciting? You’d better believe it...

It is early days yet and, owing to other commitments, the debut of the first car is not planned until 2023, but they will all follow soon after. Too early for an announcement? Maybe, but people talk and anyone who wants to get involved should understand this is no new ‘heads-up’ arms-race class, just a bunch of old racers looking to the future. It’s suddenly looking much brighter...

Blue Max goes to Sweden.
29th April: Funny car restorer extraordinaire from Sweden Johnny Nilsson has written to tell us about his 17th Funny Car project:

"The car is the Tony Casarez built Blue Max Funny Car from 1978 ( the yellow and blue Plymouth Arrow) which Raymond Beadle brought to Santa Pod in 1979 and raced it. The car stayed at the pod until 1980 when Tom Hoover drove it. Beadle was back in the seat at Mantorp Park in 1981, then the car was sold to different people and has been in Finland for many years.

"My plan is to make a complete restoration down to every bolt and nut, and I have most of the parts in my Autoart Racing Shop. The car will of course have the same paint scheme livery and be driveable with my youngest son Teddy behind the wheel.

"I would also like to say a BIG THANKS to Risto Poutiainen for making this possible for me.

"To all Eurodragster readers, I am searching for some parts like Water Necks for Hemi Heads, Milodon single plug valve covers and an old style bellhousing, and also if somebody has good pictures of the car, I will really appreciate them. Please send them to

VWDRC White Labelled.
29th April: A reminder first that there are still a few places available at the private test organised by the VW Drag Racing Club on 4th May which can be entered by clicking on this link. And now...

The VWDRC are happy to announce that White Label Business Consulting will be sponsoring the club for the 2021 season.

Tom and Jamie designed White Label Business Consulting as a ‘One Stop Shop’ for all your business’s needs. From a new company start-up and registration to advertisement, marketing campaigns and techniques to continued business management and advisory on any ongoing or new projects with their clients. Perhaps you are an independent sole trader looking to transition into a registered limited company? Or you might be an established company looking to gain an edge on competitors in your field and expand current business and profit margins.

As well sponsoring the 2021 championship, the White Label team are offering several discounts for club member including:

Website Design – 20% Discount
From standalone design of the website to design, hosting, domains and content management, White Label are sure to have an offering to suit your requirements. Websites starting from £499!

Start Up Package – 20% Discount
White Label Offer professional and affordable start up packages for new businesses and entrepreneurs looking to make a statement with all the necessities every business needs to thrive. Whether you are looking to set up a limited company or start out on your own, White Label has a package tailored to all needs. Packages starting from £299!

Logo Design – 30% Discount
Whether you are looking to spruce up your business or race team’s logo, White Label can provide you with an unlimited edit logo that will stand out from the crowd. Logos starting from £150!

Stickers – 25% Discount
Once you have your design ready, White Label can provide high quality stickers whether you are a new club sponsor or business who wants to promote your business at the track. A set of 200 printed and cut stickers for £250!

This is just the tip of the iceberg of services that White Label Business Consulting can provide so head over to their page and give them a follow for all the latest updates today.

Furthermore, Tom and Jamie will be at the track this season and will be more than happy to sit down and discuss any interest or enquiries you may have.

JT's something for the weekend.
29th April: Thanks to regular contributor, Pro Modified and Super Pro ET racer John Tebenham for letting us know he will be out testing at this weekend's Santa Pod Raceway Run What Ya Brung on 1st May:

"Yeah, the mad burnout Pop is back out this weekend. We had a parts failure a couple of weeks ago. All my fault, well they were brand new US **** parts. ICE Automotive have been great getting it sorted, even my work man Greedy was ready to go at four in the morning to get to ICE. I am going to win the burnout competition this weekend and have entered both cars for the end of May, I will then announce the new car I’m going to have built, you wait, this will make your toes curl.

JT's friend Andy is rather poorly at the moment and we join JT in wishing him the best of thoughts.

Swift snippets.
29th April: Former Editor Tog asked if we could send best wishes to former Junior Dragster racer Thaliah Gibb for her 18th birthday, which we are delighted to do. Happy Birthday, and have a great day Thaliah.

Birthdays are also being celebrated today by Supertwin Top Fuel Bike racer Allan Davies who reaches his half-century, former Outlaw Anglia racer and co-ordinator Paul 'Guv' Wright and slingshot dragster racer and fire burnout maestro Dave Nelson. Have a great day guys.

Dennis Priddle.
28th April:
With great sadness, we learned that UK Drag Racing legend Dennis Priddle passed away yesterday evening at the age of 75. Keith Lee, author of Dennis's biography, writes:

This is so hard to write; having been asked by his long time friend Phil Pead to break the news that the drag racing family has sadly lost one of it’s truly legendary figures, with the passing of Dennis Priddle. Breathing complications, caused by a fall, resulted in an emergency trip to Yeovil Hospital, where he ultimately lost his final battle peacefully last night. To drag racing fans he will always be remembered as Mister Six, after recording Europe’s first 6 second pass back in May, 1972. There were so many highlights for this fascinating character, as he played such a major part in those early years of the sport’s history.

A member of both the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, and also the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, Dennis was known for his driving, and equally for the standard of the machines he built. An apprenticeship at Westland Helicopters instilled in him an attention to detail, which he applied to everything in life. It was a pleasure to be able to spend so much time with him, while working on the Mister Six book. He had a wicked sense of humour, and a way of telling stories that was not to be missed. He could be a difficult character to get to know, as he was essentially a very private character at heart - but one who enjoyed good company. Those who knew him well will all have tales to tell about this colourful character.

Dennis was someone whose exploits on track were not to be missed during the two decades he raced. With success in Top Fuel and Funny Car, Dennis was a firm favourite with the race fans, and he also inspired many to compete themselves. He was someone who was never afraid to speak his mind, and could be quite intimidating with just his stare, especially if he thought you were talking rubbish! What he respected was engineering excellence, which he always strived for himself - while always taking a keen interest in new technology advances. Away from the track, he produced and fitted screw blowers to road vehicles, which attracted interest from car manufacturers. He also enjoyed working on his own model railway engineering projects in his spare time.

One thing that the Covid situation sadly robbed Dennis of was the opportunity of seeing the finished tribute Monza Funny Car of Paul Harris in action last year, following the cancellation of Dragstalgia. Paul had for some time wanted to run a car in honour of his drag racing hero. Dennis himself was involved in mounting and fitting out the body shell, helping old crew member Brian ‘Star’ Savidge. Despite his debilitating health conditions, Dennis was so tickled that Paul and his crew were undertaking this project, and wanted to help out where he could. Watching him working in the pits at Santa Pod, when the car was run in Chi-Town Hustler trim, it was like the years were stripped away. Hopefully, a suitable tribute will be paid to honour the legend that is Dennis Priddle, when this stunning car finally hits the track, some 44 years after the original one made it’s impressive Santa Pod debut.

Our thoughts and prayers at this sad time go out to Sandra, his wife of 50 years, along with their daughter Nicola, and two grandchildren.

RIP old friend.

Editor's note: Please send your memories of Dennis to and we will publish them.

SFI inspection at SPR.
27th April: The annual UK SFI parts inspection at Santa Pod Raceway took place yesterday. sponsors
Robinson Race Cars provided the team carrying out inspections, Andy and Luke Robinson testing parts for compliance and Kate Robinson handling the corresponding paperwork. Further inspections will take place at Robinson Race Cars over the next two days (Luke Robinson pictured right).

Andy told us that the new Anger Management Camaro will most likely be making its debut at June's Festival of Power. "It's got a slightly shorter wheelbase than the previous car, many new features on the chassis and will be a rolling shop window for the business".

Mark Norton of the UK Drag Racing Tech team also attended to inspect a new build chassis and answer racers' queries. Mark said that to obtain a prompt response queries should go to the central e-mail address, whilst queries submitted at the stage of planning a new race build will be appreciated even if specific details are not yet decided. attended the inspection, editor Simon taking a number of pictures and talking to racers attending. A fair number of racers took part in the inspection, possibly reduced from last year by travel restrictions affecting racers from the EU who had instead sent their parts to Sweden for testing at ME Racing. Fees for inspection have been discounted for 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic reducing racing activity in 2020, the SFI's insurers being unable to cover an extension of the certification period.

Our notes from racers follow in the order that we spoke to them:

Steve and Babs Saunders, formerly known as team Hi-Speed Gas but now renamed Rusty Dog in memory of late and much-missed team member Pete Nee (we'll leave it to Steve and Babs to describe at a later stage the exact provenance of the name), brought along a new build altered chassis.

Steve and Babs said "We were thinking of retiring when we put the Zephyr up for sale but thought is taking our new hot rod to picnics going to be enough for us? No! So the '32 Ford hot rod build spawned …a '32 Ford Super Pro altered.

"The body and chassis of the Zephyr was stripped of all running gear and sold to Sportsman ET racer Nathan Hulkes - who we suspect will be fitting a SBC. We then obtained some chassis plans from Mark Williams for a 120" altered and once we got the chrome moly tubing, asked Dave McCallan to weld it together for us. We bought some new front wheels, installed some front brakes and then mounted our new CNC Motorsports 632ci BBF short motor with all our old ancillaries and heads, our JW gearbox and spragless converter and 9" Chassisworks rear end.

"Babs then created a fibreglass '32 Ford bodyshell which will be going to Dave McCallan to be finished and painted.

Mark Norton inspected the chassis which passed for the 7.50 tag subject to a minor tweak.

Steve and Babs are behind the title sponsorship of Pete Nee Super Pro ET, Pete's work mates having generously stepped in to contribute towards the cost of supporting the class.

Competition Eliminator racer Robin Orthodoxou (pictured right) brought the clutch from his A/Altered entry for inspection. When we spoke to Robin at the 4th April RWYB, Robin was getting ready for a test run, the timing ticket reading 7.3358/175.77. He said "We were testing settings with the new wheelie bars, and ran with more air in the tyres, a lot of clutch, a low wheelie bar position and leaving with lower revs than usual. We had also changed the fuel bypass so more went into the engine. The car went straight even with an uneven chassis load but I had to shut off early with the sun in my eyes, with the run being made late afternoon".

Robin explained the wheelie bars have got a trick Neal & Parks wheel with some travel and sensors for data collection. Another development is the future installation of a lithium battery (with appropriate precautions such as removal between runs and not using a jump pack) to replace the heavy, currently front-mounted lead-zinc battery.

Super Pro ET racer Alan Didwell made the 90 minute trip from Wisbech for his Powerglide gearbox to be certified. He said "The dragster has ran well with no real issues, I imported it in 2011 from the US and the only major change I made was addition of a wing in 2020 to help the car's stability on the concrete track. The 555ci Dart-engined dragster has run a best of 7.52/179.

Several Funny Car racers were at the certification, all looking forward to the Festival of Power as the first competition for them in 2021 and anticipating with enthusiasm putting on a great show.

Funny Car racer Kevin Chapman (pictured right) is looking forward to having crew chief Terry Haddock in the UK, and hoping Covid-19 travel restrictions allow this without quarantine being necessary. Kevin, having his clutch and bellhousing certified mentioned Terry has had a busy season so far running his FC at the NHRA Gainesville and Las Vegas events, also at the Texas Motorplex Funny Car Chaos competition. He's also bought a racing wheel manufacturing business.

Nostalgia Funny Car racer Paul Harris (pictured left with Andy Robinson) brought his clutch, blower bag and bellhousing for certification. Despite earlier concerns about the delivery of the blower bag, it arrived in good time which means the team will be ready to compete at the Springspeed Nationals. Paul said "We'll be running the Ch-Town Hustler Dodge Omni body at first and then the Dennis Priddle tribute Chevy Monza body at Dragstalgia.

"We've been working through the issues we inherited from the car having a large capacity fuel pump outlaw setup to one within NFC rules. This was causing problems in running the engine on track and the clutch dragging me through the startline beams. The six at 212 on our third run shows the potential. Although crew chief Herb Andrews wasn't able to attend the SFI day, he messaged us to say "I've spent 100's of hours working out what the car needs so we're looking forward to see what the improvements I've introduced make to the car's performance." No-one ever said it was easy…

NFC Nitro Bug racer Andy Raw (pictured right) revealed a cunning two engine plan to us whilst his clutch was being certified. "I've got a spare engine and it's in outlaw spec with a bigger fuel pump and MSD Powergrid and we'll run it at the demo events such as VW Breakout. I got the idea from watching Outlaw NFC racing in Australia, the cars run really quick and you don't see the smoke from burning pistons at the end of each run which is a regular feature of NHRA Hot Rod Heritage NFC racing. The game is about getting more longevity of parts (with rods costing $220 each after duty and aluminium in short supply). Karl (crew chief Karl Harrison) is chomping at the bit". Due to late arrival of pistons, VW Breakout on the Spring Bank Holiday weekend will be the car's first appearance this season but if all goes to plan we should see it more often this season.

Funny Car racer Jason Phelps (pictured left) is in the process of rebuilding the Gladiator Funny Car which suffered such a huge fireball last September. He said "FGR Motorsport is repairing the chassis damage to the rear "tree" and wheelie bar. The new carbon fibre Toyota Camry body has arrived from the US and paint will be applied by a team of five people". The theme will be the next reincarnation of Gladiator and you can bet it will look as amazing as its predecessor. Dates for the car will be the Festival of Power (definite), Bug Jam and the Euro Finals (both to be confirmed) and some show dates in between".

Comp Eliminator racer Andy "Fred" Hone (pictured right) will be changing classes within the category by installing a bigger 530ci Chevy engine with two stages of nitrous and going into the BN/A (nitrous altered) class. "I've had the car since 1998 having bought it from Alan Packman who ran it in Pro Mod. The first mods made were Andy Robinson adding a FC-style cage, and then in 2013 Gary Layton and I strengthened the centre chassis. I ran it until 2019 in the SM class with a best of 7.302. Although the 7.99 SM index was seen as soft, the BN/A index was 7.86 (since reduced to 7.68) and the car should run substantially quicker". Fred welcomed the addition of Stock/Super Stock into the category and hoped the indexes work out to create a competitive playing field.

Comp Eliminator racer and Covid Cup winner Kev Perkins (pictured left) will be racing his Oldsmobile Cutlass in the SM (Super Modified) class again, with son Lloyd Perkins driving twice in this year's championship. "I've known the car ever since Tony Rose brought it into the country in 1993", said Kev, "and worked on it with Rob Loaring at I.C.E. Engineering. The car came through a few owners after Tony sold it, Nick Davies, Graham Ellis and Rob Elsom taking it down the track". The current spec is a 468ci BBC with twin carbs and a SM-legal nitrous kit, with the power going through a clutch and four speed Lenco.

As well as freshening the engine, Kev has made a new front end from the car based on the old panels, but in much lighter fibreglass. Kev continued "The old front end had become heavy with repairs being needed. The new front has a revised hood scoop design and is more aerodynamic. It's 35 years since I last worked with fibreglass and I'm pleased it came out ok".

Funny Car crew chief for the Shockwave/Undertaker car Dave Bryant (pictured right) is aiming for a Festival of Power entry into competition for 2021. He said "It's the same car, same driver (Steve Ashdown) and same ugly crew. The car has a new fuel system – we ideally would have tested it but it won't be possible, the system was flowed by Don Schumacher Racing. But the real deal is the numbers you get on track. We've got plenty of spares, two spare engines, two blowers, ten heads, but it's never enough. We're up for competition and racing against other classes as well".

Dave's wife Marie Mills who works on the FC's clutch along with Grace Roaf, has developed a taste for racing and will be licensing in the ex-Elaine Hancock 23T altered, then racing in Pro ET in non-FC events to start with, before moving to Super Comp.

Another member of the team Lee Webb will be working in the US with Scott Palmer's NHRA Top Fuel team this year, a great way to get key experience in the sport even if the team loses his services for a period.

Kevin Kent confirmed what had been announced last April, that he and wife Shelley Pearson will be running a two funny car team. He said "Shelley's car's ready and we're working to complete my new Chevy Monte Carlo so that we can both race at the Festival of Power". Kevin mentioned that whilst parts are more expensive this is partly tariffs and carrier fees which hopefully will reduce.

We also saw Bobby Wallace (pictured left) who said he is "99.9% sure" he will be at the season-opening Springspeed Nationals with the ex-Khalid Al-Balooshi/Ricky Smith Camaro that ran a five last September, and is currently being put back together. Bobby's garage still has his Willys Pro Mod and an ex-Roger Johansson Mustang in it but his choice of weapon for this year's Championship seems obvious. Meanwhile sister Annie Wallace is "undecided" about driving but remains an active member of the team.

Nostalgia Funny Car racer Rob Elsom confirmed he is aiming for the Festival of Power as his first meeting in 2021. He said "I would be up for another Big Show vs Nostalgia FC Cannonball". Rob's business of supplying equipment for online sales warehouses has gone through a very busy time over the last year, but his team including John Wright have given him much support in fitting the new swoopy Gen1 Camaro body, unique outside the US and one of only six created.

Competition Eliminator racer Paul Brooks, pictured with daughter Georgi, lovingly restored the ex-Dave Warne Mean As Hell Sierra, however on a test run the car lifted its front left wheel more than it had even done for its previous owner, the immaculately turned car getting up on one rear wheel and knocking a couple of reflectors for six. "I knew after that it needed a rear anti-roll bar so bought one from Mark Williams and Andy Robinson installed it and modified the rear end four link. The engine is still a B-1, a good nitrous engine and whilst the gearbox is currently a Ultra Glide, I have a CS3 five speed in the garage which I want to install at the end of the year."

Thanks to all the racers we buttonholed during a most enjoyable day and to Darren Prentice of Santa Pod Raceway for supplying hospitality and facilities.

M&M Racing's fine pedigree.
26th April: After 33 years of spectating and crewing on other people’s cars Mark Turner of M&M Racing has now completed the first part of his licence in the team's Super Pro ET Toyota Supra:

Mark has been crewing for the last 27 years starting out as GDB (we guessed - Editor) for Alan Jackson before stepping up with ATJ and learning the complex clutch systems used on modern fuel cars. Later he worked with Knut Söderqvist on many of his cars and on the Mongoose funny car driven by Gary Page before moving to work with Micke Kågered’s championship winning Bahco Top Fuel operation and more recently with Jndia Erbacher.

But with Covid putting a stop to 2020’s FIA championship, Mark thought it was time that he realised his 30 year ambition of racing his own car. To this end he purchased the Supra as a rolling project from the Clayton brothers, this is a car that has been around UK drag racing for many years having first appeared in the hands of Bert Englefield in Pro Modified before being campaigned by the late Nev Mottershead in super gas.

He then bought a 496ci Chevy from Jedd Guy which he then had drag racing legend John Wright rebuild. This is mated to a two speed Powerglide from Jeff at Jeff Bull Race Engines. Wanting to put his own stamp on the cars appearance but with an eye to the cars history, Mark had Chris Picken of Paint Palace lay down the two tone paint scheme and with vinyl designed by Chris Parker and applied by Scope Automotive to complete the look, we were then ready to hit the track for some testing. With support from John and Lesley not only tuning but showing a virgin crew the ropes, we managed to check out the cars systems and get Mark the first part of his licence.

The plan now is to complete licencing and qualify for Super Pro ET at the STP Springspeed Nationals at Santa Pod 21st-23rd May.

Mark would like to thank everyone who has helped him achieve his dream of racing his own car his wife Michelle who has supported him through his years crewing and now as team manager for M&M Racing. John and Lesley Wright, Tony Betts, John Rathbone, his crew Dave, Paul and Chris, AD coach systems for their support.

If you would like to partner this new team as they start there journey please get in touch at You can follow M&M Racing on their Facebook page and mandmracing308 on Instagram.

SFI day tomorrow.
25th April: Drivers of cars requiring SFI certification on relevant parts are reminded that tomorrow, 26th April is the day for the certification at Santa Pod Raceway's VIP building. If you are unable to attend inspections on 26th April, there is also the opportunity to send or bring your parts to Robinson Racecars that week, 27th-29th April, by appointment only. Please contact Robinson Race Cars at to make arrangements. will be attending, with Editor Simon ready with his notebook and camera to take some early-season pit notes. In recognition of the Covid-19 restrictions, interviews will be conducted outside SPR's VIP building. You can see full details of the certification process in the UK and Sweden at our news story on 9th April.

Outlaw Street reaches milestones.
25th April: Thanks to Outlaw Street and RWYB racer Simon Paul who has been in touch to let us know he had passed a milestone in his racing career. Simon writes:

"28th March 2021 was the 45th Anniversary of my 1st run down a drag strip on 28 March 1976; 45 years ago it was a RWYB event at Santa Pod and I was driving a 1965 MkIII Ford Zephyr 6 which ran 19.44 at 68mph, I was hooked!

"Over the following four seasons (1977-1980) I competed with the Zephyr in the British Drag Racing & Hot Rod Association (BDR&HRA) Production classes at Santa Pod. I eventually got the Zephyr to run a best ET of 16.97 and a best Terminal Speed of 80.45mph. The Terminal Speed was the M/Production class record which stands in perpetuity.

"The Zephyr has long gone and was replaced with various cars over the intervening years that I have run at Santa Pod. I am now running a Nissan GT-R.

To celebrate my 45th anniversary I attended a Private Test Day at Santa Pod on Monday 19th April with my GT-R and ran a new personal best of 10.0056 @ 143.92mph - so close to the 9's, and a great way to celebrate!"

As a category, Outlaw Street is celebrating over 100 members with street legal fast cars. The six race dates for 2021, all at Santa Pod Raceway, with a Prize Night on Saturday 13th November are:
  1. 28th-30th May, VW Breakout
  2. 19th-20th June, Retro Show Lite
  3. 30th July-1st August, 27th Mopar Euro Nationals
  4. 3rd-5th September, VW Action
  5. 17th-19th September, NSRA Hot Rod Drags
  6. 23rd-24th October, Saturday Night Special RWYB
You can see photos of many Outlaw Street competitors on the Facebook page.

Springspeed Nationals deadline approaches.
24th April: There's just six days to go before the entry deadline at normal rates to the STP Springspeed Nationals to be held on 22nd-23rd May at Santa Pod Raceway.

The number of entries for the is currently at 155 as at yesterday 23rd April. The first event of the new season, the first round of the 2021 SPRC National Drag Racing Championship, will include many racers who could not race during 2020 and it will be great for everyone to meet up again, albeit under the much reduced Covid-19 restrictions that will be in place by then.

Racers that are members of Santa Pod Racers Club who want to be part of the action should sign up on the on-line entry system at
this link.

The latest entry list can be seen at this link on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site.

Swift snippets.
24th April: We wish a very Happy Birthday to our long-time supporter, crewman to Pro ET teams and good friend Colin Roaf. Have a great day Colin from all of us at

Thanks to Mark Bishop for letting us know that the Vegas Hustler slingshot dragster has already been sold, with near record speed. Mark said "This isn't the end by any stretch of the imagination, more a space issue! The plan is to put the blown methanol engine from the dragster into the Willys coupe, with myself and Dad Kim sharing the driving."

Fueltech Nitrobike Showdown 2021.
23rd April: News comes from Finland of the Fueltech Nitrobike Showdown 2021, a five round championship series organised by nitro bike legend Jaska Salakari. The series is open to all nitro bikes, and the first round is on 11th-13th June at Motopark Raceway, Pielsämäki.

An impressive eighteen riders from Scandinavia and the Netherlands have signed up, including many regulars in the FIM-E and EDRS Pro championships. The
prize fund is generous by European standards, thanks to the support of sponsor Fueltech, with the champion winning €12,500, runner up €8,000 and third place €5,000 in addition to a race prize fund of €10,000 per race. Race product prizes will be given away to winners of a prize lottery, the tickets handed out to all racers, with the top three at a race getting five, three and two tickets. The prizes comprise a PRP/Overkill or Harsh crank with bearings, a 205l drum of nitro, a new slick from M/T or Hoosier and a hotel package at the Kauhava Lento Hotel.

Rules are imaginative, with A and B ladders of eight bikes each, championship points awarded according to qualifying and racing in the respective ladder. A national license is required and rules and regulations for FIM-E Top Fuel Bike and Super Twin Top Fuel bikes, with allowance made for NHRA TF Harley and Man Cup TFB / TF Twin bikes. Performance equalisation is addressed with a 6.100 breakout, and a penalty of 0.01s in the next run for each 0.01s that a rider runs below the 6.100 cut-off. Whilst Covid-19 travel restrictions may prevent some racers from attending, the strength of the classes in Scandinavia and generosity of prizes had made for a well-attended series. New riders have been attracted to the competition, with names Juha Hintukainen (ST), Marko Lantto (ST, formerly Pro Mod/Top Doorslammer), Marko Leppänen (ST) and Kalle Myllylä (TF) all making their competition debuts on these machines.

We plan to bring readers news of the championship rounds, and you can also keep up to date by looking at the Fueltech Nitrobike Showdown Facebook page.

Pictured: Gruff Racing, Finnish Super Twin Top Fuel racers Torsti Kettula, Teemu Kettula and Norwegian Julia Wagner.

Vegas Hustler for sale.
23rd April: The beautifully prepared Vegas Hustler slingshot dragster is displayed for sale as a rolling chassis in our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet.

Driver Mark Bishop and Dad and crewman Kim Bishop say "Due to a change in circumstances and space we are reluctantly selling our FED. Bolt in your engine and gearbox and join in with this year's Slingshot Showdown at Dragstalgia. The car, including Ford 9" rear axle, comes with a purpose-built trailer at a price of £17,500.

Swift snippets.
23rd April: Nigel Taylor from the Unusual Car Sales UK Facebook group wishes his good old mate, prolific hot rod builder, clever man, top guy, funny man, no fear drag racer and owner of Valley Gas Jimmy Hibberd a very Happy Birthday.

"He says he’s still 21 but we all know he’s a little over 50". Happy Wedding Anniversary to Jimmy and Eloise Hibberd too. We all echo Nigel's wishes, have a great day Jimmy and Eloise.

SPRC Springspeed Nationals update.
22nd April: Thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for passing to us two important updates relating to the STP Springspeed Nationals regarding scrutineering, and the test day prior to the event:

During the Springspeed Nationals, racers in all car categories will not be required to attend scrutineering at the beginning of the event. The additional Motorsport UK form that you have all completed for the event, and has been signed by the entrant or driver, states that the vehicle you will compete in meets all regulations as set out in the Drag Racing rule book, the Championship Regulations and the Supplementary Regulations for the event.

However, scrutineers and Tech Crew will be on site and may either visit your vehicle or request that your vehicle visit the scrutineering area following a run. We expect close to 20% of all cars competing will be checked across the event. Please note that vehicles competing in Pro Modified and Comp Eliminator will still be required to carry out vehicle weight checks as per normal.

Those drivers wishing to have their vehicle inspected by the Tech Crew should visit the scrutineering bay to check where the Tech inspection will take place as this may change from class to class.

Motorcycle riders, please go to the scrutineering bay as normal. The ACU requirements for scrutineering are as per normal, with the addition of Covid safety measures being in place - a mask must be worn at all times whilst visiting the area.

Riders and Drivers wishing to take part in the Test day, Friday 21st May prior to the Spring Speed Nationals event, please contact Santa Pod Raceway on 01234-782828 (office hours) to book your space, you must have entered the event prior to booking your test day space, as Santa Pod will check the current entry list for the event before allowing entry.

Video from private test day posted.
22nd April: Kieran has posted his video from Monday 19th April's private test day to his Mk1Kieran Youtube channel. You can see hightlights from the morning's action at this link and the afternoon, including the Quick 8 competition, at this link.

NitrOlympx cancelled again.
21st April: The sad news reached us this morning that the organisers of the 2021 NitrOlympX have cancelled the event, but on a positive note the 2022 event has been placed in the calendar for 26th-28th August 2022.

As in 2020, there will be no European drag racing championship run by the FIA and FIM at the Hockenheimring in 2021. After the corona-related cancellations of the races in Santa Pod (GB) and Tierp (Sweden), Hockenheim-Ring GmbH, organizer of the NitrOlympX, is now announcing the end of the quarter-mile race in Hockenheim, planned to have taken place from August 27th to 29th this year.

Hockenheim-Ring GmbH is reacting to the current development of the corona pandemic; the situation makes concrete planning for organizers, teams and participants with implementation of this cost-intensive large event impossible.

The financial aspect in particular weighs heavily on the Hockenheimring in these times of crisis. Since Hockenheim-Ring does not have a permanent drag racing track, NitrOlympX challenges the organizers every year to get the quarter mile in top condition for an international race in terms of asphalt preparation, track safety, timekeeping and other. Running the event has high material and personnel costs, with a long preparation phase, during which the adjacent Grand Prix track cannot be rented to anyone else.

The investment in preparation and other event costs could in the past be offset by audience income. But the audience restrictions to be expected in August 2021, tightened by the limited space available along the Rico Anthes Quartermile, make the NitrOlympX financially unsustainable this season. Added to this are the sometimes strict travel restrictions that would have a negative impact on the international field of cars and bikes.

“Even if it has unfortunately becomes a sad routine to cancel spectator events at this time, the end of the NitrOlympX 2021 is particularly painful for us. Because we know with how much passion the tens of thousands of fans, participants, helpers and partners looked forward to this event after the cancellation last year. And that's exactly how it is with us as an organizer. But especially in these economically tense times, we have to keep the corona-related financial damage to the company as small as possible. With the early cancellation, we are drawing the conclusions from the current situation - also in order to be able to guarantee at least a certain degree of planning security. We are all the more looking forward to a brilliant dragster spectacle with the NitrOlympX 2022 in the coming year."

The acceleration event for hobby drivers, Public Race Days, originally planned for 21st-22nd August, has also been cancelled this year.

A date for the 2022 edition of the NitrOlympX has already been fixed. Current plans are for the event to take place from August 26th to 28th, 2022. As usual, the Public Race Days will again be at the start on the Quartermile a week beforehand.

Keith Bartlett (Executive Chairman of Drag Racing Europe) said that he had been in regular contact with the management of Hockenheim over the past few weeks to see how and what Hockenheim may or may not be able to do in going forwards regarding the 2021 FIA European Drag Racing Championship. Due to the covid-19 pandemic and the varying and different restrictions across several European countries, the Hockenheim Management has also had to make a decision based upon those facts in front of us today.

DRE will be looking into the overall situation of the 2021 FIA European Drag Racing Championship and making a statement in the very near future.

Petrolheadonism's SPR hire.
21st April:
The Petrolheadonism Club, established by the Sharnbrook Hotel to offer events in the Bedfordshire area to petrolheads from any part of the UK, hired Santa Pod Raceway for a private test day on Sunday 18th April titled Breakfast Meeting & Driveout.

Organised with Covid-19 safety requirements in mind, the behind-closed-doors event offered members breakfast at the Sharnbrook Hotel followed by a choice of unlimited runs at SPR or a single run, depending on the price paid. The official photographer was Simon Letkey of VeeDubRacing who has posted Facebook galleries of track side pics and pit side pics.

Picture courtesy of and © Simon Letkey, Veedubracing.

Swift snippets.
21st April: We wish a very Happy Birthday to the honorary head of the complaints department Ray White, have a great day Ray.

Private Test results, gallery.
20th April: 20th April: Santa Pod Raceway hosted a private test yesterday, organised by Scott Lewry of Yam Yam Racing. The day was successful with excellent weather conditions. With thanks to Kieran and support from
John Woolfe Racing, we have posted a gallery of 120 of his photos which you can see by clicking on this link. The day was successful with over 450 timed runs possible on the prepped surface.

Streaming video and commentary from the startline tower were made possible by European FWD organiser Luke Stevenson who posted the footage on its FB page. Trackside video footage by Kieran is in preparation and will be posted to the Mk1Kieran Youtube page shortly.

We analysed the timing data and entry lists and came up with the Top 20 times recorded during the day (see left). It was the first time out in 2021 for many of the over 80 entrants and some were on their best times straight off the bat, such as the Outlaw Anglias of Colin Millar and Jedd Guy, the latter being a new build.

Andy Bond was there with his U6ly Sister Chevrolet 210 which took part in an informal Quick 8 competion and won the trophy in the competition, defeating Colin Millar in the final. Lee Huxley's Nova, first seen last September, attended and there was a new car debut for Marc Huxley (Toyota Corolla KE20, reminiscent of the Huxleys' Cando from the 1980s), the latter running a new PB of 10.3403/125.46.

VW Pro racer James Gould ran a new PB of 10.5434/134.82 whilst Jose Leite ran his diesel VW Polo to a 10.9237/131.05, his first ten. Helder Pereira got very close to running his first nine in his Seat Ibiza, scoring a 10.0101/142.91 best. Several other PBs were scored during the day, Craig Evans' 9.898@149.59mph being his best in his Vauxhall Nova.

VAG drivers have the opportunity to attend a private test organised by the VWDRC on 4th May which can be entered by clicking on this link.

Dakota Raceway Entry closes tonight.
20th April: Entry for the Dakota Raceway 1/8 mile no time drag race and 1/4 mile test & tune on 24th April will close tonight, 20th April, at 9pm. For further details, see our news item on 13th April.

Blackbushe programme appeal.
20th April: If any reader has a copy of the programme for the first NDRC event held at Blackbushe Airport on 7th June 1970, could they kindly contact

Jürgen Landvogt.
19th April: We were sorry to hear of the passing of German pit marshal Jürgen Landvogt, a well known figure at the NitrOlympX and at other races in Germany. Thanks to Markus Münch who has sent this tribute:

It is with deepest sadness we have to announce the passing of Jürgen Landvogt unexpectedly on March 20th. A true fan and supporter oft he sport of drag racing. He was a member of the German HARA association for a long time and always helped where it was needed. In Hockenheim and Bechyne, Bitburg and other tracks, he was on pit marshal duty and helped to run a smooth race in Pro ET and Super Pro ET. The non-German Hockenheim regulars will know him from there.

Still speechless, I only can say that the sport lost a true supporter, who was there to do something when needed.

Jürgen leaves behind his wife Daniela and son Steven. On April 10th his funeral took place at his home town in the Frankfurt area. Family and friends, as well as some race teams and HARA members attended the ceremony (see picture).

Jürgen, keep an eye on our sport from wherever you are.

There are stickers available (for free) to carry him on your race car/trailer. If interested, e-mail Markus at info@

Pioneers' stories – Richard and Martin Jarman.
19th April: The latest update in our weekly Pioneers of UK drag racing series, told in the original words of the racers, and accompanied by photos and images from their collections, covers the period 1969-1986 for Surrey dragster racers Richard and Martin Jarman.

Richard Jarman was first involved by watching the sport at Santa Pod, buying the Harold Bull-built Strip Star dragster from Derek Metcalf in 1969. Richard first ran the car with a 2-litre Ford V4 engine; with the involvement of his brother Martin, the engine was changed to a 3-litre V6 and times came down, with sponsorship coming on board. After running Strip Star for 14 years, Strip Star 2 came along in 1983, the chassis having been built by Tony Anderson and times reducing to mid eights.

Many thanks to Richard and Martin for telling their story to and to John Hunt for transcribing it. You can see Richard and Martin's story by going to this link, or via the index page for the pioneers' stories, which shows links to the UK drag racing history web sites that provide the wider story and context for the story of the sport. thanks racers for providing their stories, and John Hunt and drag racing historian Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature.

SPR private test today.
19th April: Santa Pod Raceway is hosting a private test day today organised by Scott Lewry, who organised two such days in 2020.

Our Kieran is taking video and photos as we speak and we will post a link to his work as soon as it is posted.

In the meantime, you can sample the action by watching the live stream at the European FWD Facebook page, courtesy of Luke Stevenson who is supplying commentary as well.

Don returns refreshed.
18th April: UK Nostalgia Superstock organiser Don Scott has been in touch to announce his return to racing at the first event of the year in his newly refreshed 572ci Keith Black Hemi-powered nine second Superbird:

"Well the Superbird is all back together with a rebuilt motor and man it sounds strong, cant wait to get it back on the strip at the Springspeed Nationals. I would now like to thank both my sponsors American Autoparts and also Nutraceuticals.

"Big thanks go out to Roger Luty for building a fantastic race engine, and Darryl Setchell for fitting it and generally getting it all up and running again. Last but not least my glam crew Yvonne O'Rourke and Grace Roaf for all the support and encouragement.

"Basically now the whole drive train has been rebuilt so we're looking forward to (hopefully) a full season of racing in Nostalgia Superstock. See you all at the track".

Swift snippets.
18th April: Good luck and stay safe to our European heroes Jonnie Lindberg and Julie Nataas who will be racing later today at the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip in Las Vegas. Jonnie qualified no.16 in his one-off drive for Jason Rupert in Funny Car, while Julie qualified no. 2 in Top Alcohol Dragster.

You will be able to catch up with the action on-line by going to or watching for live streaming (subscription required). Action starts at 6pm UK time today.

Springspeed Nationals entry exceeds 100.
16th April: With a fortnight still to go before the entry deadline at normal rates, the number of entries for the STP Springspeed Nationals to be held on 22nd-23rd May at Santa Pod Raceway is currently at 106 as at 16th April. The first event of the new season will have racing in 23 classes, and is the first round of the 2021 SPRC National Drag Racing Championship.

Racers that are members of Santa Pod Racers Club who want to join the competition should sign up on the on-line entry system at
this link.

The latest entry list can be seen at this link on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site.

VWDRC pre season review.
16th April: The VW Drag Racing Club's season kicks off on Tuesday 4th May with a pre-season test day at Santa Pod Raceway. Chairman Luke Stevenson says "The club has exclusive use of the track that day. It's open to anyone who wants to come join in whatever car you have, picture short waiting times, multiple runs, fully prepped strip. Entry including two crew will cost £100 with additional crew members for £10 each, all pre-booked on the VWDRC Shop.

"The test day will be for 100 cars maximum and is expected to be packed with a record number of new members".

The season will consist of six championship rounds for VW Sportsman and VW Pro, and three rounds of VW Heads Up racing. The full calendar is:
  • 4th May – Pre season testing (all cars)
  • 22nd-23rd May – STP Springspeed Nationals (VW Sportsman and VW Pro)
  • 28th-30th May – VW Breakout (VW Heads Up)
  • 25th-27th June – Festival of Power Unlocked (VW Sportsman and VW Pro)
  • 17th-18th July – STP Summer Nationals (VW Sportsman and VW Pro)
  • 23rd-25th July – Bug Jam 34 (VW Sportsman and VW Pro)
  • 21st-22nd August – STP Greenlight Nationals (VW Sportsman and VW Pro)
  • 3rd – 5th September - VW Action (VW Heads Up)
  • 25th-26th September - STP National Finals (VW Sportsman and VW Pro)
  • 10th October – GTI Festival (VW Heads Up)
There will be some of the largest prizes in UK Sportsman Drag Racing Championships with a championship prize fund of £1000 for the Champion, £500 for the runner up and £150 for third place in each of VW Sportsman and VW Pro. Other cash prizes will be awarded at VW Action with £2000 generously funded by A-Plan Insurance to be split amongst the quickest 5 aircooled VW cars, quickest 5 watercooled VW cars, quickest 5 VW buses and quickest 5 A/E VWs on Saturday evening's (4th September) session.

Thanks go to sponsors Hangar 30, The Car Kitchen, EST Performance, BJ Bates Electrical, Pro-Race Engineering, Volks Workshop, CG Motorsport Clutch Specialists, 32 SpeedShop, Track Ready, WRP Paint & Restoration and R-Tech Performance.

We'll shortly run a piece on the new cars expected out in 2021.

Picture: Carl Goldsmith ran a 10.84/129 in the £2000-to-build Loaner Golf at last October's GTI Festival.

Lucas renew with Stilwell.
15th April:
Geoff Stilwell, owner/driver of the record-holding 7707 Lucas Oil Land Speed Racecar, and sponsor of through Nitro Revival, is very proud to announce the continuation of Lucas Oil’s sponsorship of the team for 2021: "We were unable to race at all in 2020 due to the Covid crisis,” said Geoff, CEO and MD of Beech Underwriting Agencies, "however, that did not stop us from supporting Lucas Oil whenever possible with the Blown Fuel Roadster on display at the Grand National Roadster Show at the world famous Pomona Country Fairgrounds in Los Angeles, so we are extremely grateful that they remain on board for 2021.

"Assuming travel restrictions are lifted, the team plan to be on the Bonneville Salt Flats for Speed Week, August 7-13, when we hope for some favourable racing conditions. I still hold the A/BFRMR class record but there’s always somebody trying to better it".

"Besides sponsorship from Lucas Oil the racecar is also supported by our UK crew Nick Davies, Rob Loaring and Scott Barnes of, Ron Hope's, and CARS Recon Inc., and the builder/painter of the car award winning Micks Paint".

Based on a highly modified 1927 Ford Roadster, 7707 is a purpose-built land speed racer that currently holds the A/Blown Fuel Rear-engine Modified Roadster record at 258.569 mph. 7707 was built entirely at Mick’s Paint, Pomona, CA, and features a 494 ci Brad Anderson-based engine built by John Beck of Vintage Hot Rod Design & Fabrication, Chico, CA. The 5,000 hp engine features Bill Miller pistons and rods, a Blower Shop 14-71 supercharger and Enderle injector with MSD ignition and Racepak data acquisition. The transmission is a B&J 2-speed and the rear end a Winters quick-change.

Swift snippets.
15th April: Andy Clifford wishes a happy "big 60+1" birthday to his dad Terry Clifford, pilot of the Ratcatcher Resurrection nostalgia dragster, long-time Wild Bunch member and head-honcho of the Clifford family race team. Happy Birthday from all of us at, have a great day and see you back at the track soon.

Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt has uploaded more UK and European drag racing videos his Youtube channel. First up is The Goodguys Shootout #4 'Judgement Day' from Avon Park Raceway, Long Marston, England on May 14th-15th 1994, filmed by Keith Taylor of First Image Video. Then we have Super Series Avon Park 1998, all four rounds, presented by John Price, as shown in broadcasts at the time. European footage is from the 1995 Hockenheim NitrOlympX, filmed from the stands and capturing the atmosphere supperbly. Other shorter clips include Elmer Trett, Brian Johnson, Graham and Allan Nash at Long Marston 1984-5 and a clip from This is Your Life of legendary radio and TV presenter and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Dave Lee Travis being greeted by the Stones Drag Racing Team and Brian Taylor.

Former UK drag racing photographer Bob Valder has updated his Youtube channel Bob's UK Drag Racing Archive with just under an hour's worth of videos from May 2004's Excitement Nationals from Shakespeare County Raceway including bikes and cars. Bob's videos are collected in a playlist making it easy to see all the footage for the event uninterrupted.

Gasser Circus dates confirmed.
14th April:
Many thanks to Gasser Circus co-ordinator Nick Brooke-Langham for sending dates for the 2021 Gasser Circus Showdown:

The Gasser Circus are getting ready for our first round of racing and below are the details of our slightly amended season.

Thanks to the excellent work by the team at Santa Pod, the Gasser Circus will once again contest our race series at the legendary race track in 2021. The Gasser Circus is also delighted to confirm the continued sponsorship of Melliards Modern Pinstriping & Lettering at and on Instagram, and the National Street Rod Association at and also on Instagram.
  • Round 1 – VW Breakout 28th–30th May, Santa Pod
  • Round 2 – RWYB/Retro weekend 19th–20th June, Santa Pod
  • Round 3 – Dragstalgia 9th–11th Jul, Santa Pod
  • Round 4 – Mopar Nationals – 30th July–1st August, Santa Pod
  • Round 5 – Hot Rod Drags -17th–19th September, Santa Pod
The Gasser Circus - Racing the Dream.

Photo credit: Stuart Mitchell

Introducing Maliboost.
14th April: Thanks to Jack Petley for sending us a preview of his new race car, the ex-Super Modified / Pro ET car owned by David James and then Peter Thompson:

Since myself and Dad bought the Chevelle around a year ago, and due to building a new house, we haven't had much of a chance to look at it, over the last few months we have nevertheless made a plan - we are building Maliboost". It will be a Twin Turbo 427 LS built to be a street/strip car. It's going to be built to run in Street Eliminator UK however we will probably also give Pro/Super Pro a go depending on its ETs.

The engine will be built by Stefan Rossi in California, who's spec'd us a turnkey street strip beast! The chassis work is being competed by Chris Isaacs Racecars. The car was dropped off this weekend (10th April) with a lot of ideas being thrown his way; nothing was a problem and Chris has been great so far! Thank you to Dave Gane for the transport.

The paint design was done by Przym Paintworks, who have absolutely killed it, and with a few pics and some ideas, have got the design spot on.

As always, thank you to dad for all his support, mentally and financially, and to some of friends and family who've given us advice along the way! 52 weeks till Easter 2022!

Lindberg gets FC seat.
14th April: Swedish racer Jonnie Lindberg has got a seat in the new NHRA Funny Car team of Jason Rupert, in time for the team to make its debut at this coming weekend's Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip, Las Vegas.

The team's 2017 Ford Mustang is painted with matching Bays & Rupert lettering to Jason's Nostalgia Funny Car which ran in the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series, winning three championships with Jason driving. The lettering is in tribute to Jason's father former Top Fuel dragster and Funny Car racer Frank Rupert who passed away in January 2019.

Jonnie's drive will be short-lived as Jason will be making licensing passes during test runs after the Las Vegas event.

Jonnie, a two-time NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Top Alcohol Funny Car champion, drove the Head Racing Funny Car from 2017 through 2019 and was selected to substitute for Bob Tasca III in the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang last summer when Tasca was sidelined with COVID-19. Jonnie reached the final round four times while driving for Head with two occurring at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I’m happy to get behind the wheel of a nitro car again,” said Jonnie. "It is always an honour to be trusted with someone’s equipment. Rupert and I talked about this possibility going back to last year. They are a new, part-time team who took the time and effort to put together a good car."

The 32-year-old Swedish driver will also be tuning Brian Hough’s Top Alcohol Funny Car that was recently built at Jonnie Lindberg Motorsports. This event marks the first time that the Top Alcohol categories will compete in the four-wide format.

Nitro veteran Johnny West will serve as crew chief.

Photo courtesy

Swift snippets.
14th April: A very Happy 60th Birthday to Super Street Bike rider and tuning guru Brad O'Connor, have a great day Brad!

An interview with ex-pat Norwegian Top Alcohol Dragster racer Julie Nataas, focusing on her future racing career, appeared in yesterday. Julie stated her desire to race in Top Fuel in the future, following the steps of Dad Thomas, 2013 FIA European Top Fuel Champion.

Dakota race on 24th is on!
13th April: Many thanks to sponsor Lee Child for giving an update on the race taking place in a couple of weekend's time at Dakota Raceway.

On Saturday 24th April
Straightliners Dakota Raceway opens to competitors and pit crew only. The day is going to be like a two for one kind of deal where the main feature of the day is going to be a 1/8 mile no time, no prep, heads up eliminator with six categories to make it a real level playing field.

There is a prize fund for each 16 car category of £400, winner takes all. Competitors will have the option to run the 1/4 mile at no extra charge before the eliminator starts, and if they get eliminated. The drag strip will have the National Sprint Association Portatree timing system in place for the day. We have teams hauling from the north, midlands, south east and just around the corner. We can still take more entries but you only have until 20th April when entries close at 9pm.

Entry fee: Driver and one crew member entry is £100. If you get eliminated from the 1/8 mile no time drag race, you then can do timed 1/4 mile test runs at no extra charge; passengers have an additional charge.

All categories will have the 16 car pairings decided from an out-of-the-hat selection until the final two race for the money.


Pro AWD:
Modified, competition tyres, interior removed.
Street AWD: Factory appearance, full interior.
Pro Rear Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres, interior removed
Street Rear Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior
Pro Front Wheel Drive: Modified, competition tyres, interior removed
Street Front Wheel Drive: Factory appearance, full interior

Pre entry is required and you can enter via this page on the Straightliners web site. This is a non-spectator event.

Dakota Raceway is situated at Smeatharpe Airfield, Devon EX14 9RF. For daily updates check the Dakota Raceway Southwest Facebook page. If you want to test and not be part of the eliminator please contact Lee on 07771 590176.

Gilly Lowe funeral details.
13th April: Many thanks to Lizz Charman for passing to us details of the funeral of Gilly Lowe, partner to Pro Stock Bike racer Len Paget, to be held on Friday 16th April at 10:45am at Test Valley chapel which can be watched via webcam:

The web site to go to is with user name rolu9144 and password 862076. The stream will commence at approximately 10:40am and the web stream will be available to watch again from up to three days after the funeral for a further 28 days.

Swift snippets.
13th April: We have three birthdays to celebrate today: Happy Birthday to Swedish Top Methanol Funny Car legend Leif Andreasson, to Nostalgia Funny Car crew chief Herb Andrews, and to Junior Dragster dad Mark Cook-Abbott who reaches 60 today. Have a great day all.

Run What Ya Brung gallery, video.
12th April: Thanks to Kieran and supported by
John Woolfe Racing, we have extended the gallery of photos from the Saturday 10th April Run What Ya Brung by 45 additional photos. Our gallery can be seen at this link, and we have placed a link in the gallery to each photographer's work.

Kieran has also uploaded video of Saturday's Run What Ya Brung to his Mk1Kieran Youtube channel. You can see the 22 minute long stream by clicking here. Kieran comments: " It was a day limited by brief rain showers but the crew worked hard as always to ensure everyone had as much time on track as possible. The next RWYB day is May 1st which happens to be a Saturday Night Special too!"

Wild Bunch revise dates.
12th April: Wild Bunch co-ordinator Clare Meaddows has announced that, following cancellation of events at Santa Pod Raceway until the fourth weekend of May, a revised calendar for the nostalgia dragster, funny car and altered category has been released.

The revised calendar, together with the respective class championships, The Wild Bunch Championship (WB), Spirit of Nostalgia Championship (SN), Springbridge Direct/Motorsports UK Championship (MSUK) and Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars Championship (RW) is below. Mandatory pre-entry is via SPRC or Santa Pod Raceway ticketing as indicated for each event:
  • 22nd-23rd May – Springspeed Nationals (SN, MSUK) – SPRC entry
  • 28th-30th May – Spring Nationals @ VW Breakout (WB, SN, RW)– SPR entry
  • 10th-11th July – Dragstalgia (WB, SN, RW) – SPR entry
  • 17th-18th July – Summer Nationals (SN, MSUK) – SPRC entry
  • 30th July – 1st August – Summer Showdown @ Mopar Euro Nationals (WB, SN) – SPR entry
  • 21st-22nd August – Greenlight Nationals (SN, MSUK) – SPRC entry
  • 17th-19th September – NSRA Hot Rod Drags (WB, SN, RW)– SPR entry
  • 25th – 26th September – National Finals (WB, SN, MSUK) – SPRC entry
Additional information for pre-entry and event conditions for each event will be made available to all WB competitors.

Picture: Ian Wild's new WildCat Jaguar engined Wild Bunch altered.

Editor's note: the end of May VW Breakout meeting will now include, as well as a full field of VAG cars, the Wild Bunch, Outlaw Anglia, Supercharged Outlaws, Gasser Circus and UK Nostalgia Superstock, making for a great weekend's racing.

Pioneers' stories – John Smith.
12th April: The latest update in our weekly Pioneers of UK drag racing series, told in the original words of the racers, and accompanied by photos and images from their collections, covers the period 1973-76 for Surrey crewman and mechanic John Smith.

John Smith was a schoolfriend of Surrey drag racing pioneer Keith Stacey, later getting to know Bill Haynes and Richard Jarman. Being mechanically minded, John helped Bill to build and run his first two cars Konkerer and Quarter Horse, also taking up trackside photography at Santa Pod Raceway. John met other early UK drag racers including Derek Metcalf, and spent time helping Tony Anderson's More Trouble Daimler-engined dragster team at his workshop and at the track, also later giving Keith Stacey assistance in running his Whiskey Peddlar, the former Trouble slingshot.

John has kindly given permission for us to publish his photo collection taken at Santa Pod Raceway between 1967 and 1971 which can be seen at this page, with captions included.

Many thanks to John for telling his story to and to John Hunt for transcribing it. You can see John's story by going to this link, or via the index page for the pioneers' stories, which shows links to the UK drag racing history web sites that provide the wider story and context for the story of the sport. thanks racers for providing their stories, and John Hunt and drag racing historian Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature.

Trakbytes updated.
12th April: Many thanks to Trakbytes webmaster Chris Dossett for letting us know that the latest update to his great web site has just been posted:

There are somewhere in the region of 28 new entries, including some personal bests, some record performances, some full meeting results, three major event re-writes and plenty more. The earliest entry this time is from 1963, the most recent, 1995.

I've started to add a few more programme covers alongside their corresponding events too. If anyone has any scans of covers that I don't yet have (and there are quite a few), and you have time to send them to me, I would be most grateful.

Trakbytes provides an easy-to-navigate chronicle of British drag racing history with the timeline for legends of the sport and results of many major meetings with records set.

Run What Ya Brung gallery.
10th April: Courtesy of
John Woolfe Racing, we have posted coverage of today's Run What Ya Brung at Santa Pod Raceway. Julian and Kieran took photos and we have published a gallery which currently includes Julian's pictures; Kieran's will follow and will be linked to in the same page.

Please do write to with your news about the day's activities and we'll publish it in the next news update.

Swift snippets.
10th April: Mark Cook-Abbott has asked us to wish son Thomas Cook-Abbott, aka The Tominator, a very Happy 18th Birthday today. Have a great day Thomas from all of us at

Also enjoying a special day today are former Comp Bike champion and Junior Drag Bike supporter Lizz McCarthy-Charman and Santa Pod Raceway announcer and co-presenter of the Santa Podcast Colin Theobald. Happy Birthday and have a great day both from all of us.

SFI UK Day 2021.
9th April: Thanks to Jennifer Faye, President of the SFI Foundation, who has announced the 2021 parts inspections in the UK:

As COVID gathering restrictions improve in the UK, SFI is happy to announce they will be providing the annual safety inspections and recertifications at Santa Pod Raceway on Monday, 26th April. Racers and team personnel may begin bringing parts at 09:00. Distancing measures will be employed such as dropping parts at the door, queueing in vehicles, etc. to avoid gathering in groups. Further details for the UK SFI Day 2021 will be posted to the Santa Pod Racers’ Facebook page shortly.

If you are unable to attend inspections on 26th April, there is also the opportunity to send or bring your parts to Robinson Racecars that week, 27th-29th April, by appointment only. Please contact Robinson Race Cars at to make arrangements.

As a reminder, there will also be SFI inspection services available at ME Racing in Borlange Sweden on 26th-28th April. Parts must be registered and sent to ME Racing prior to those dates to minimize contact. Further details about inspections in Sweden may be found at the ME Racing Service web site.

Motorsport UK requires team details.
9th April: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for drawing to our attention the importance of completing the new Motorsport UK part of the entry form for car classes:

Car racers entering the Springspeed Nationals please note, this is very important, when you get to the new added Motorsport UK form at the back of the entry form, it is vital that you complete the last section. This requires you to fill in the details of all crew or family members that will be using your crew tickets to enter the event. These forms are to be sent to Motorsport UK and used as track and trace for the event, and is part of the permit restriction to allow us to run the event. If you only complete the Drivers name and one crew member you will only receive a ticket for those persons, Sportsman Racers have four tickets one for the driver and three for their crew, if you intend using all of your entitlement of tickets (a list is in an earlier news item per class), then you must enter all of the names with a contact phone number for each individual. I have received many entry forms with just the drivers name added.

So if you have already entered and not completed the form correctly, please follow this link and complete the form. Without the necessary information, one of three things will happen, you will either not get your ticket entitlement, your entry may have to be refused, or in the worst case Motorsport UK can take the permit away. Please help us to help you and fill the form in correctly.

If you are yet to enter, please make sure the form is completed correctly. Thank you in advance for your help.

Delayed start for FIA Championship.
9th April: Remco Scheelings has passed to us an announcement of the delayed start of the FIA Championship that has been released by championship promoter Drag Racing Europe:

The continued coronavirus related restrictions create challenges for the first events on the FIA European Championship Drag Racing tour. This has led to that the organizers have been forced to confirm the cancellation of the first three events, Santa Pod Raceway, England in May and the Swedish event at Tierp Arena in June, and Kauhava in Finland in July. The vaccinations have had a good progress in England, but restrictions will likely apply into, at least, June.

In Sweden the vaccination process has been relatively slow so far and it does not look possible to run a major event in June. "We need at least three months of preparation for a big event like this and the forecast for June is just too bad in terms of restriction levels. There is unfortunately no way we can start full activities now in working with the event in June at the moment," said Christopher Hamilton, CEO of Tierp Arena. Also the Finnish organizer FHRA have been forced to cancel the championship round in Kauhava in July, which was planned for Top Fuel and Pro Modified only this year. "We had to work with a very limited staff for the last couple of months and we simply cannot prepare good enough to hold the round in July," said Jarmo Grönman, president of the FHRA.

Right now we have a 3-round FIA Championship with a start at Tierp Arena and Hockenheim in August, followed by Santa Pod in September. "We are monitoring the situation closely for the upcoming events, as it's important for us to be able to create and communicate a plan when decisions are made. It's not easy as the conditions are unique in the different countries. After this long break from major championship Drag Racing events in Europe, the events that are run later in the season will most likely be great. We are really looking forward to get it going again and get some exciting racing in the late summer!" said Michael Gullqvist of DRE, the promoter company of the championship, jointly owned by the organisers and Speedgroup.

Editor's note: following this announcement, DRE have emphasised that the Tierp August race and NitrOlympX in August are still not confirmed. So we urge readers to stay tuned for a future announcement regarding these dates.

Greenlight for class racing.
8th April: Thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for the club's latest announcement on the 2021 race season:

Due to the loss of the 2021 Main Event, many of the Sportsman classes will have lost a round of competition; Santa Pod Raceway and Santa Pod Racers Club have now taken the decision to move the lost round to the STP Greenlight Nationals on 21st-22nd August. What does that mean? The Green Light Pro and Big Bracket will no longer happen, however we will be adding the Sportsman Classes who lost the round at the Main Event.

Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Pro, Pro ET, Street Eliminator and Junior Dragster will now all run at the this event.

There will also be a decision made later in the year regarding the Double Header for the ACU classes at this event; we will publish details if, and it is an if, there is any change.

Trouble in store.
8th April: Thanks to all those who gave positive feedback and memories following our publication of British drag racer and engineer Tony Anderson's story and the recollections of Keith Stacey as part of our series about pioneer racers in the UK.

Fellow dragster racer and former announcer Steve Young remarked "I had the honour of being the custodian of this fabulous car for a while, the trick engineering parts were stunning". In between a lot of gremlins getting in the way, Steve's best times were in the ex-Tony Anderson/Keith Stacey slingshot were 10.3/138mph; he and wife Jacky recall:

In about May 1976 I spotted an advert for a dragster for sale near Guildford and rang the guy who turned out to Keith Stacey and arranged to view the car the next day.

We arrived at a large garage/workshop and we were shown the bare chassis and a stack of Sunblest bread baskets which was apparently the dragster, just needed putting together! We agreed on a sum of about £500 which meant I needed help with finances and a local American car guy agreed to come in and help with the cost.

We got the car into my lock up garage and tried to make sense of it all and after a lot of head scratching found Tony Anderson’s phone number and rang him to pick his brains. These phone calls could go on for a very long time as Tony had a severe stammer and when he got animated the stammer could take an age to overcome to get the info from him!

We eventually got it put together and headed to the pod at the next meeting.

That first fire up on the rollers was a shock I can tell you! And we seemed to leak so much fuel we spent most of the meeting making gaskets from Weetabix packets to sort the leaks. I think we were taken pity on and were allowed one run after all the work.

That first push start was also an eye opener as the trusty Ford Mk4 Zephyr pushed me forward to about 30 mph I flicked the ignition switch and the bloody thing took off like a rocket!

We staged and ran a pretty steady 12 sec run at about 95mph but it was incredible! My experience was heightened by the fact I need to wear glasses but I could not get them on under the face mask so left them off and peered vaguely towards the finish line.

We ran a few meetings normally getting beaten by Russ Carpenter or Ian Fraser, who both knew how heavy my clutch pedal was and used to take an age to stage while I was developing a severe knee tremor trying to hold the bloody clutch pedal down!

We were always plagued with fuel leaks, not Tony’s engineering, my lack of skill! A newish substance came to my attention, black silicone sealer, I decided to use this liberally on the gasket surfaces of the Wade blower in the hope of finally putting these leaks to bed.

We fired the car on the rollers, all good! No leaks, down to the fire up road, started, all good, came round into stage and set off a blistering run but rather worryingly it was getting prematurely dark for me! Unbeknown to me methanol dissolves silicone so by 1/2 track I was getting a bath from the shoulders up in black tinted methanol which covered my goggles in a black sticky mess! Remember my shortsightedness and lack of glasses? Made it very interesting at the top end!

Another take off track I went to the lock up to do some work on the car only to find the doors swinging open and no car! I was beside myself! I went round everywhere and finally found my partner that had helped me buy the thing in the first place had done a runner with it and stashed it miles away. I tracked him down and we had a Frank exchange of views and I agreed to buy his share and in return I was told where the car was hidden. Car retrieved and readied for 1977, with new paint, and freshened parts.

At the first 1977 meeting I towed to the rollers and tried to fire it up and the blower destroyed itself!

I was devastated as I thought I had the blower sorted. I was sat on the slick feeling pretty sorry for myself when Roland Chaplain wandered over and asked if I fancied a deal with him for his ex Rich Fielding Imagination Fiat Topolino? We haggled and the following weekend we drove to Blackpool to deliver the slingshot and collect the Fiat which was named Harum Scarum when we got it. That of course became Autocat and is a whole different story!

Drag racing historian Nick Pettitt added: The slingshot lived on after Steve had it with various owners. It was at Blackbushe 1984 when run by Mary Grace and in 1995 on a trailer with a Rover V8 lump fitted (see above photos). It would be nice to think it's still in a garage somewhere waiting to be restored back to how it was...

Swift Snippets.
8th April: Nick Pettitt has uploaded the final three drag racing videos from his Time Travel series to his Youtube channel, Time Travel 87 uses Pete Blake's cine film taken at Santa Pod, Snetterton and Blackbushe from 1973-1979. Time Travel 88 features Tim Mudd's cine film taken at Santa Pod and Elvington from 1968-1970. Nick's final Time Travel video Time Travel 89 uses Philip Eeles' cine film taken at Santa Pod, Elvington and Martlesham Heath from 1966-1971. This video, produced in 2010, fifteen years after Nick's first Time Travel video, represents the conclusion to Nick's huge project to produce historic videos of drag racing and hot rodding in the UK. You can see many other videos and historic photos at Nick's British Drag Racing & Hot Rodding Archive web site.

SPRC entry list updated.
7th April: Many thanks to sponsor Peter Walters for building a new entry list system for
Santa Pod Racers Club. Peter says "It will just look pretty to most, but in the background it makes life a lot easier for Ian and Simon at Eurodragster, with a click of a button upload, rather than manually entering entries".

You can see the new entry list for the STP Springspeed Nationals by clicking on this link, or by going via our event coverage page. The entry list will be regularly updated as in the past, however now the process requires a lot less work. Junior Drag Bike preview.
7th April: The number of competitors in Junior Drag Bike looks to be on the increase as new racers come into the class for 2021 (the photo shows the class back in October 2015). As well as our title sponsorship of the class, a new prize fund sponsored by Jerry Collier's Pro Joint Fabrication and Lizz and Kev Charman's Nitro Junkie Racing was announced last week.

Hollie King, eleven year old sister of former Champion Blade King and daughter of class co-ordinator Ollie King, will be riding a brand new bike built by other class co-ordinator Simon Holgate, with bodywork sponsored by Rukus Customs, sporting a 150cc engine and automatic gearshift. Holley will be aiming to license at the Santa Pod Raceway Run What Ya Brung on 10th April in good time for the first championship round at the STP Springspeed Nationals on 22nd-23rd May.

Hollie will be joining Casey Holgate and Richard Willcox who raced last year. Megan Talbot (now on the ex-Blade King Aprilia bike) who raced in 2019 but took last year out, return to the class this year.

Other new riders for the class comprise Grace Pollen, who will be riding an ex-Blade King KTM 125cc machine, Simon Holgate's granddaughter Lyla Humber (who is a member of Rugrat Racing, and John McLean Jr's son John, making a third generation of the motorcycle drag racing family with the same name.

On building the new bike for Hollie, Ollie said "With frames being allowed to be used in ET Bike with engines of up to 500cc, there is a continual need for new bikes. Production frames are allowed with rigid rear ends and wheelie bars, and Pro Joint Fabrication and Simon Holgate can make frames; Simon is getting a jig to increase the number he can produce. A from scratch new bike can cost £2,500 which is a competitive price, a lot of the cost savings being factory OEM engines being used.

"Engines for junior drag bike vary in size from 50cc two stroke engines from a pit bike or scooter to a Suzuki GS 500cc motorcycle engine, the size being determined by the rule book (page 181). The other main mechanical component is the lock-up clutch which Simon also makes.

"The main thing is everyone helps everyone else in the class to develop their knowledge of running Junior Drag Bikes, and the additional support from Pro Joint Fabrication and Nitro Junkies with class sponsorship from will mean a revitalised class in 2021".

SPRC entry form addition.
6th April: Thanks to
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for drawing to our attention some important changes in the entry form for the STP Springspeed Nationals:

Now that the SPRC entry system is up and running, some racers may have noticed an addition to the entry form. The Motorsport UK signing on declaration is effectively your signing on form for the event. On the latter part of the form there is a section to complete listing the details of crew members.

The additional part of the form allows for a list of 10 names, this is purely to allow for space for the Pro classes' crew members. The standard ticket allocation for all classes is as follows:-
  • All Pro Classes 10
  • Nostalgia Funny Car 8
  • Comp Eliminator 5
  • Super Pro 5
  • All other car classes 4
If you have four tickets and use all four, please help us by giving all of the four peoples' names and contact numbers, if you have ten for Pro Modified and use all ten, again all contact details must be completed please. These forms have to be submitted back to Motorsport UK and as such must be completed correctly. It will hopefully only be for the Springspeed Nationals, but may be extended, this depends upon Government requirements. Thanks in advance for your help and understanding.

Note bike classes are not listed as there is no additional form to complete. However the two half price racer tickets are still available at the gate upon arrival for the event.

Junior Dragsters for sale.
6th April: With several Junior Dragster racers reaching the maximum age during the last year, but lockdown restricting the opportunities for marketing their cars, there are now several cars for sale at different price points. Four are illustrated below with full details being included in our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet is, all at comparable prices.

First on the list is the Banshee Junior dragster raced by Frankie Taylor (pictured left below). Frankie's Dad Joe says "No expense has been spared and the car has been well maintained and is a complete setup. You can buy it and just go racing." The Half Scale car, complete with box trailer and quad bike, was tagged in 2019 with the engine refreshed in that year. It will be available after the 2021 National Finals but can be viewed at any Championship event this year. Price all-in is £10,000.

Our next car is the machine raced by Thomas Cook Abbott to a runner-up position in the 2017 Championship and at several events (pictured right above). It has only been raced by 2 people and is a championship contender, comes with plenty of spares, and is available at the end of the season. The price for the car is £8,000.

Frankie Fordham's Junior Dragster (pictured left below) is available immediately and is a Half Scale Junior Modified Advanced dragster, the same category as the two above. The car was 2019 UK Championship runner-up and also Championship winner and runner-up with its previous owners. Parent Matt Fordham says "It has a wide chassis, so there is plenty of room for a child to grow in. It's a very consistent car and comes with plenty of spares". The price for this car is £7,500. Matt adds "Frankie will be making the next step into Super Comp in his new dragster in the 2022 season".

Finally we have the distinctive looking JM car of Freddie Taylor, named Outlaw Angria (pictured right above). Dad Lee Taylor says "It's a perfect starter car in Junior Dragster, will suit a driver from 8 to 13 in Junior Stock or Junior Modified and is available now. The car is currently set up for Junior Modified with the 8.90 limit but has run as quick as 8.45. We are prepared to split the car if there is enough interest in doing so. The rolling Chilton chassis is £3500 (just add a cheap as chips 5 horsepower Briggs & Stratton l206 engine and clutch for a rookie to go Junior Stock racing without a Mychron data logger). Surrey Customs completed the distinctive paintwork. The JR Race Cars Stage 9 motor and clutch cost £2500 and the complete car can be yours for £6,000.

For contact details go to the cars for sale page of our Swap Meet.

RWYB pit notes, gallery.
5th April:
We have published our pit notes and gallery from yesterday's Run What Ya Brung at Santa Pod Raceway which you can see at our coverage page. Thanks to our sponsor John Woolfe Racing for their support of event coverage.

As one might expect, it was a busy day with new or returning racers trying their vehicles out after the extended break, and a large number of street vehicles that made full bore runs within the safe confines of the race track.

There were relatively few incidents, however we were sorry to see multiple Super Comp and Super Gas champion Stuart Doignie in an incident at close quarters to no-prep organiser Paul Marston, who made an effective avoiding manoevure when, from our photo sequence, a collision appeared imminent. Thankfully both emerged unhurt and Stuart said this morning "I was very lucky to come out without a scratch and will be at the track later this year in the '63 Vette we have been building up over the last couple of years".

Our next coverage will be photo galleries from the Saturday 10th April Run What Ya Brung, courtesy of Julian and Kieran.

Pioneers' stories – Keith Stacey.
5th April: The latest update in our weekly Pioneers of UK drag racing series, told in the original words of the racers, and accompanied by photos and images from their collections, covers the period 1964-76 for Surrey dragster racer Keith Stacey. Keith became a fan by reading about the sport, going to the first Blackbushe Dragfest in 1964 as a 17 year old, and attending events as a spectator in the U.S. and Canada in the late 60s and early 70s. When he got an opportunity in 1973 to drive the ex-Tony Anderson 'Trouble' dragster, he grabbed it with both hands and continued to drive the car, renamed 'Whiskey Peddler', with help from John Smith, until the Easter 1976 Santa Pod 10th Anniversary meeting.

Keith collaborated with, or raced alongside other Surrey based drag pioneers whose stories we have presented in this series. Many thanks to Keith for providing his story. Keith has also kindly supplied slides for two extensive, and previously unpublished, galleries of Santa Pod 1967-71, also Canada 1968-9 and U.S. Nationals 1969, 1974 and 1975.

You can see Keith Stacey's story by going to this link, or via the new index page for the pioneers' stories, which shows links to the UK drag racing history web sites that provide the wider story and context for the story of the sport. thanks racers for providing their stories and archive images, and John Hunt and drag racing historian Nick Pettitt for help with editing and proof reading the feature.

RWYB coverage.
3rd April: We're pleased to announce there will be coverage by of Run What Ya Brung events on 4th and 10th April and 1st and 16th May.

Coverage will consist of a post-event gallery for each day, and pit notes also posted as soon after the event as we can manage. Tomorrow's coverage team will be Julian and Simon, so if you see them wandering around they will be pleased to hear from you. Coverage for the other RWYBs will be announced closer to the time, and thanks to Santa Pod Raceway for making this possible. The page to head to is
this one. Note there will be no live feed of tomorrow's or next Saturday's RWYBs.

JT heads for 150.
3rd April: Pro Modified and Super Pro racer John Tebenham has set himself a performance, and donation, target for tomorrow's RWYB, but adds that the wild Crew Killer Pop may be heading for the exit:

The sad news is it might be one of the last meetings for the Crew Killer, but we have a new plan... As for the 150 mph Club which is so difficult to reach in a brick shaped Pop with 645 bhp, we have 23 x 149 mph time tickets. I am now 20 lb lighter and with my new I.C.E. engine we hopefully will be there.

If we run the 150 mph I will donate £150 to Blood Cancer UK (formerly Bloodwise). As I had some cancer cut out of my arm twice this last winter and have since got the all-clear, I'm right up for supporting a great cause. Don't get me wrong, the blue car does 191 mph in 3.91 seconds at the half-way point, but the Pop is 10 times more fun as it’s a jolly boy's outing every time we run it.

Vampire at hill climb.
3rd April: Thanks to former Santa Pod owner and promoter Roy Phelps for passing on the news that the Vampire jet dragster from the 1980s, restored by FGR Motorsport, will be attending a hill climbing event at Shelsley Walsh on 1st August.

The Bromyard Speed Festival will be themed "Altitude with Attitude" and will be a celebration of motoring history and traditionally welcomes in excess of 140 road and race vehicles including historic, classic, prestige, racing cars, road cars, super cars and motorcycles. The event is open to Entrants and the Public.

The event format enables each Entrant to run their vehicle up the historic Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb in a morning and afternoon individual, non-competitive, non-timed, public display run. Whether this includes the Vampire jet dragster, is not known.

Entry open for STP Springspeed Nationals.
2nd April:
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has announced the online online entry system is now live for the Springspeed Nationals. The closing date for entries at the normal fee is 30th April 2021; a surcharge will occur after this date.

Prize fund for Junior Drag Bike.
2nd April: Thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall who has announced a new prize fund for Junior Drag Bike:

Sharron and Jerry Collier, Lizz and Kev Charman - all have considerable history within Junior Drag Bike, for many years championing the class across Europe, and promoting the class wherever and whenever they could.

After a brief time away from Junior Drag Bike, they have all returned with a big sponsorship commitment for Junior Drag Bike during the 2021 season. The sponsorship through Pro Joint Fabrications and Nitrojunkie.UK, will be committing to the following:
  • £50 to the winner of each round;
  • £25 to the Runner up of each round;
  • £100 to the Rider closest to their dial in during qualifying and eliminations over the 2021 season; and
  • £200 to the 2021 Junior Drag Bike Championship winner, which will be presented at the 2021 trophy presentation evening in early 2022.
Santa Pod Racers Club would like to thank all those involved for their support in 2021.

Firefighter Racing Juniors' new livery.
2nd April: Junior Dragster and Drag Bike Dad Andrew Willcox has a fitting new design on the Firefighter Racing Juniors of Kimmy and Richard Willcox:

With the season start delayed the paintwork has been done on the cars & bikes by the brilliant Richard Walters (thank you so much) we would like to show the design created by Peter Walters; they look slightly different to the design as they have been painted and not wrapped but we are still over the moon with them!

Please like and follow the team page if you haven't already, yes we are out to have fun but also support a great cause in the process for some of those that risk their lives to help us when we need it and may get injured in the process physically, mentally or even both.

Jackson welcomes Lucas Oil back to Santa Pod.
2nd April: Wayne Jackson has renewed his partnership with Lucas Oil Products UK, which will sponsor his challenge in the Enduro KA Endurance series in 2021.

"I'm grateful to Lucas Oil's Dan Morgan for supporting me, but it's also good to see that Lucas Oil’s long association with the junior dragster racing set-up at Santa Pod Raceway will continue this season," he says.

As well as being named sponsor of the UK Junior Dragster National Championship, Lucas Oil is also sponsoring 10-year-old Kai Cooper in the JM and his 9-year-old brother Jake in the JS. Lucas Oil will also be supporting 15-year-old Jacob Heap’s first full season in the junior Saloon Car Championship.

In an exciting development, Lucas Oil is also behind the return of the Brad Jackson Racing team this season. With support from the NG Motorsport team, Brad Jackson lifted the Super Pro Championship in 2018 and 2019. Currently in New Zealand, he's hoping for a successful comeback when the partnership resumes.

Wayne Jackson is on stand-by if Covid restrictions limit Brad's appearance in the car.

"It's great to see Brad Jackson Racing back on the track. The car has a new and more powerful engine and everything is looking great for the new season," says Wayne.

Updates will follow shortly once the season plan is finalised.

Docol R8 Tube available in the UK.
2nd April: Thanks to Ian Hart for news about supply of Docol R8 roll cage and chassis tubing in the UK:

RH Weldfab Ltd, Based in Northamptonshire have agreed a deal with ME Racing Service AB in Sweden (Mats and L.G. Eriksson) to supply Docol R8 tube in the UK. Docol R8 is a product range of welded cold formed circular tubes in high strength steel, specifically targeted at the requirements of the Motor Sport industry and similar producers, and approved for use in the SFI specifications for roll cages and chassis in different types of drag racing vehicles. Using Docol racing tubes allows the development of new designs, with more weight reduction or increased strength for chosen parts of the structure. In comparison to traditional Chrome Moly 4130 Docol Tube exhibits higher tensile and yield strength in combination with excellent bending and welding properties. In direct comparison of cost, Docol R8 tube is around 20% cheaper than 4130 Chrome Moly, which allows more budget to spend on the shiny bits.

RH Weldfab can supply Docol R8 Tube in full lengths or cut to size. Tube can be supplied pre-cut and bent to your requirements, or we can build your chassis or cage to the required SFI spec. Docol R8 tube is approved for SFI specifications for front and rear engine dragsters, door cars and bike frames from sportsman classes through to top fuel. Contact us on 07740 338990, email, or check out our Facebook page.

Earlier news