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SPRC's social media warning.
29th September: On behalf of the whole Committee, Santa Pod Racers Club International Race Director Carole Ismail of Eurodragster.com sponsors
CEJ Training Services Ltd and Phoenix Personnel Ltd has been in touch to warn racers about behaviour on social media and to remind them of the guidelines published by the MSA.

"We have seen a sharp increase in racers and crew arguing, making accusations, or posting insulting or threatening comments on Facebook and other social media" says Carole. "We will not accept that it is meant as banter - we can tell the difference. Actions of race officials have been questioned, and information which should remain confidential has been posted for the whole world to see. Arguments on Facebook have resulted in confrontations in the pits.

"I would also ask you to put yourself in the place of a potential sponsor seeing racers bickering in public on social media. We work very hard to bring sponsors into the sport and that work is being undone. If you were a sponsor would you want your name to be associated with this behaviour?

"Holding a race licence or a parent / guardian licence, or signing on for an event as racer, crew or race official, is explicit acceptance of the conditions laid down by the MSA, the ACU and organising Clubs. Arguments, accusations, threats and insults on Facebook and other social media constitute behaviour likely to bring the sport into disrepute and we will not hesitate to use the range of disciplinary actions available to us including exclusion from events or suspension of licences.

"If you have an issue with another racer or crew, if you have an accusation to make, or if you wish to question the actions of race officials then there are channels for this to be dealt with out of the public eye. For example you can approach Ian Marshall at SPRC at ir.marshall@btconnect.com or on 01933 313625 and he will either help you himself or direct you to the right person. At race events at Santa Pod Raceway you can approach Race Secretary Kathy Taylor who can be found in Signing On. APIRA offer similar support.

"The MSA have kindly given us permission to reproduce the bullet points of their Social Media Guidelines below. Although published by the MSA we view them as applying to ACU racers and race officials also. Breaching these Guidelines will have serious consequences whether you are racer, crew, parent / guardian, or race official:
  • Don't write something that you wouldn't be prepared to say to someone.
  • When posting on a social media website, assume that anybody can access that post.
  • Check the privacy settings of your social media accounts. These settings determine the extent to which the information you share is publicly accessible.
  • Determine whether you are participating in a personal or official capacity and consider whether your opinions and activity are appropriate in that context.
  • Never share personal details such as home addresses and telephone numbers except with people that you know and trust, in which case it is advisable only to share such details via private messages.
  • Remember that participating in social media results in your comments being permanently available and open to being re-published by other media outlets. It should be assumed that anything published in social media will remain available indefinitely, even if it is deleted from the original site.
  • Respect confidentiality, stay within the legal framework and be aware that safeguarding, libel, slander, copyright and data protection laws apply.
  • Be aware that your interaction with social media may attract interest from the wider media, so proceed with caution whether you are participating in an official or personal capacity.
  • Never use social media to insult anyone directly or indirectly.
  • MSA Members who hold a position of trust and/or responsibility over young people (i.e. those under 18 years of age) in the course of their duties should be very careful when interacting with those young people via social media.
  • Beware the temptation to use the perceived anonymity offered by some online portals to post unacceptable comments about events or individuals.
  • You should be mindful at all times that MSA regulations and UK law continue to be applicable in the online environment.
"We recommend that you download, read and digest the full MSA Social Media Guideline document (PDF) by clicking here."

Please also see News FAQ 16 - Ed


Swift snippets.
29th September: Good luck and stay safe to ex-pat UK Top Fuel Dragster racer Smax Smith who is contesting this weekend's Dodge NHRA Nationals in Reading, PA in the Leverich family's Top Fueller. Qualifying commences tomorrow (Friday); you will be able to stay in touch with Smax's progress courtesy of Drag Race Central at www.dragracecentral.com and on the Ant Hill Mob Drag Racing Facebook page.

Robin Jackson writes that enthusiasts of electric cars and Street Eliminator in particular, and of drag racing in general, may be interested to know that the new (November) issue of Motor Sport magazine contains a feature on the world's quickest street-legal electric car, the Flux Capacitor, written by the driver himself, Jonny Smith, with photographs by Matt Woods. The magazine's 'Speed Record Special' section contains an accompanying article by Guy Martin on his recent attempt at the World Motorcycle Land Speed Record at Bonneville. Motor Sport is on sale at leading newsagents, price £4.99.


Gibbs, McCulloch Ace BDRHoF Gala.
29th September: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame has announced that Steve Gibbs and Ed 'The Ace' McCulloch are flying in for the BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel, London Heathrow on Saturday 19th November 19th.

Steve Gibbs got his first drag racing job at San Gabriel drag strip in 1961. By 1969 he had become Advertising Director for the NHRA publication National Dragster, was made Competitions Director in 1972 and then NHRA Vice President Competitions in 1980, conducting some four hundred NHRA National Events over a twenty seven-year span. He went on to initiate the NHRA Museum of which he is still a Board Member along with being a Selection Committee member of the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame. In fact he has been inducted into a whole bunch of Halls of Fame and received many Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Steve has been instrumental in creating and organizing both the California Hot Rod Reunion at Bakersfield, now celebrating its twenty fifth anniversary, and the 14th Annual Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion, Bowling Green. He continues to play an instrumental role in the planning and execution of both Reunion events.

Steve said "It has been a long time since we visited Santa Pod in 1980 so my wife and I are both very excited over the opportunity to visit you folks once again in November. We have heard nothing but good things about the event. Also joining the entourage will be my daughter Cindy Gibbs Arias, a renowned motorsports artist in her own right."

Ed 'The Ace' McCulloch began driving Top Fuel Dragsters in 1964 and Funny Cars in 1969. He won the first time he ever raced at the US Nationals in 1971 and before the end of the season had acquired backing from model kit manufacturer Revell. During the next six years with the company, he made the cars name RRRRevellution famous. He has taken six wins at the NHRA US Nationals at Indianapolis. Following his retirement as a driver at the end of the 1993 season Ed carried out tuning duties for Connie Kalitta, Don Prudhomme and Don Schumacher.

For his successful drag racing career he has been inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. To quote Jon Asher in his Motorsports Hall of Fame citation "In motorsport there are drivers, tuner / mechanics and builders. It's rare that an individual occupies more than one slot. Ed McCulloch is one of those exceptions."

Ed said "This will be my first visit to the UK and a long overdue one because I have heard so much about Santa Pod Raceway and the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame but never had the time to get over there. I'm really looking forward to meeting the fans and racers in Europe."

As well as attending the Gala Awards Dinner in the evening, Steve and Ace will be joining the Beech Underwriting Bench Racing Panel during the afternoon of 19th November. BDRHoF Sponsorship Partner Geoff Stilwell of Beech Underwriting said "This promises to be a fabulous occasion with top drag racing stars reliving stories from back in the day. As well as Steve and Ace, the panel includes Bob Muravez, Fred Miller, Harry Hibler, Paula Murphy, Don Schumacher, Carl Olson and Dennis Priddle. The host is Bob McClurg. You would be lucky to find such a line-up of drag racing legends in one room anywhere in the world". Admission to the BDRHoF Bench Racing session will be by ticket only. You can apply for tickets to this very special event by sending an E-Mail to geoff@beechunderwriting.co.uk. Tickets are going quickly.

Ticket prices for the 2016 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner remain as last year at £60 per person. Corporate tables of ten are available at £580. More details are available by clicking here. For advance booking of tickets contact stuart@britishdragracinghof.co.uk or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102.


FIA TMD, TMFC to run as one.
28th September: FIA European Drag Racing Commission Vice Chair Lars Pettersson has been in touch to let us know that FIA Top Methanol Dragster and FIA Top Methanol Funny Car will run as a single class in 2017. More details to come but the difference in the class' performances will be made up by a handicap on the Christmas Tree, and a working group will be set up to decide that handicap. The change having been decided by the Commission has been ratified by the FIA's World Motorsport Council today. Lars tells us that it is hoped that this will increase the field size and encourage some currently-parked cars to re-emerge.

The FIA WMSC have also approved a tendering process for the rights to promote the FIA European Drag Racing Championships from 2018.

Lars adds that the 2017 FIA Championship calendar is still being discussed and that it will be released in December.


2017 APIRA Trophy Night.
28th September: Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway, the Supercharged Outlaws and the National Association of Supertwins are pleased to announce details of their combined Championship Trophy Presentation Evening to be held on Saturday 4th March 2017 in the Avon Room of the Hilton Warwick, Stratford Road, Warwick CV34 6RE (located on Junction 15 of the M40).

The evening will honour the 2016 APIRA Champions and runners-up and APIRA and SCR Perpetual Award winners, together with winners and runners-up from the UK Supercharged Outlaws.


Festivities will commence at 6:00 pm with pre-dinner drinks at the bar followed by a full sit-down dinner which will be served at 7:00 pm. The Championship presentation begins at 8:30 pm. There will be a disco til late provided by Kenny's Bar resident DJ Jamie, and making the presentations will be track announcers Shaun Wilson and Jerry Cookson. There will be the usual raffle as well during the course of the evening.

Tickets will be £25 per adult and £15 for under-twelves which includes a three-course sit-down meal finished with tea and coffee. A vegetarian option will be available on request but please tick the box on the booking form. Children's meal will be creamy tomato soup, chicken nuggets, chips and beans followed by chocolate torte with Irish cream sauce. If you wish to book a complete table for your team or group then please indicate this on the form. Tables seat a maximum of ten.

APIRA have negotiated a preferential rate for rooms in the hotel at £86 for a double or £76 for a single. All rates are inclusive of breakfast, car parking and VAT. To book your room, please call the reservations team on 08008 568000 or visit the web site at www.hilton.com/warwick quoting reference code ASCRA. Cut-off point for bedrooms on the special rate is twenty eight days prior to arrival.

You can download your booking form (PDF format) from the Downloads page of the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk. Payments can be made by BACS; account details can also be found on the booking form. Please note that all booking forms should be returned to the address on the form by 18th February 2017. If you have any queries then please call 01789 720180, or E-Mail shakespearecountyraceway@gmail.com.

2015 Perpetual Award winners please note that all trophies should be returned to APIRA / SCR as soon as possible. To make arrangements for return of trophies please E-Mail Jerry Cookson at shakespearecountyraceway@gmail.com or call 01789 720180 during office hours.


A leak from Bad Habit Racing.
28th September: With their Bad Habit Challenger in the paint shop and a birthday to celebrate preferably at the track Pro ET racers and Eurodragster.com sponsors Cath and Tig Napier decided to campaign Cath's Barracuda Ruby in Sportsman ET. Cath writes:

We entered the APIRA Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway where we qualified well (got lucky) but we went out first round. Unfortunately rain stopped play and the meeting didn't reach a conclusion, but that didn't dampen our enthusiasm - we'd had a blast. We then ran at Gary's Picnic after a five-year absence and to our surprise we won the Gamblers Bracket race on the Sunday! A new pot for the mantlepiece after a long drought of shiny things. Off next to the SPRC Summernationals at the 'Pod where we double entered in Sportsman ET and Nostalgia Super Stock. Again we qualified OK in both, again out first round in both classes, but we still had a great time.

A bit of a break and then we got Habit back, yippee! A plan was hatched and it was all hands to the pump to get Habit ready for the European Finals. Unfortunately after two weeks of evenings, nights and weekends, we realised we would not be able to get Habit back together in time, so we decided to late-enter Ruby for the Open Sports Nationals at Shakey. Well you could have knocked me down with a feather when we won the class and the APIRA Sportman ET Championship ! A lot of luck came our way that weekend but, as a very old and veteran racer said to me, "Sometimes to win, you just have to do nothing wrong".

On to the very recent National Finals, where fortune decided to vomit upon our eiderdown in Q2. The electric fan on the front of the radiator decided to explode, inexplicably - it wasn't even wired up - subsequently  puncturing the radiator in several places. The offers of help and assistance from the Sportsman ET pits and other classes was nothing short of astounding, We never fail to be humbled at the kindred spirit found within the drag racing community, help is always only a pit space away.

Special thanks must go to Bill and Jamie from Topspeed Automotive for kindly opening their shop to allow us to hunt through the vast array of radiators; unfortunately nothing suitable was found as they had recently sold their last Mopar type radiator. Special thanks also go to Captain Caveman Racing - to Emma and Richard for help with the push back to the pits, and Alan for the loan of tools - and to Redneck Racing for the offer of the use of their workshop and the bottle of K-Seal. Brilliant!

Thank you to our team for working with me until 11:30 pm and missing the SPET party, and to all the people who brought food to us, lest we grew faint on our travails. We valiantly tried to repair the radiator by pinching the cooling tubes and soldering them up, fitted it back into the car the next morning, and shoved a load of Radweld / K-Seal in it. All seemed to be well until the rad sprang a small leak in the staging lanes. Mindful of the oft-spoken commentators' words "A small stream can turn to a raging torrent" we decided discretion before valour and returned to the pit, our season now sadly over.

What we will take from our short Sportsman ET foray is how welcoming everyone was. They're all a really good bunch of guys and gals and great racers to boot. Anyone wanting to have a go at drag racing in this class, and I know of potentially two or three, you should definitely go for it: you'll be made very welcome and have a great time. Congrats to Dibs taking the championship and Dan on his (I believe) début win. Both well deserved.

Thanks again to the guys and gals in Sportsman ET - you might not have seen the last of us yet! Lastly, thank you to the track staff at Shakey and Santa Pod for keeping us safe and giving us a place to race, and to Eurodragster.com for the excellent coverage as always (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed).


Jayne suits up again.
28th September: After a long season watching and learning with the Shockwave Fuel Funny Car team, it's now time for the UK's Jayne Kay to get back into the seat:

I had planned to be in the seat of the Shockwave Funny Car for the 2016 season, this unfortunately didn't fall into place as my final year at University took priority. I graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Graphic Design and Communication (Congrats - Ed), so the decision paid off. Although I have spent the season off the scene as a driver, I have been very busy doing other fun things such as travelling around the country seeking sponsorship as well as building up Jayne Kay Motorsport Ltd into a growing marketing and promotions company. With the help of the Enterprise Team for youg entrepreneurs at the University of Huddersfield, I have been able to fulfil my dream of developing a business within the motorsport I love.

I am however, really excited to be back in the driving seat at the Jap Show Finale at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend where I plan to complete my licence and become competition-ready! So far my quickest time on track is a 4.60/223 which was my eighth-mile pass, but I am hoping to annihilate that time and speed. With the help and guidance of the Shockwave Racing Team, I have no doubt that I will be able to achieve that. 

As always, I'd like to thank my sponsors for helping me get to this point: Wheel Whores, Fuel Clothing, Wrap Kings, Custom Coach Trimming, Peter Walters Race Design, Trophy Queen, RW Paint, SimpsonLids and, in addition, Santa Pod Raceway for their support this year. I'd also like to thank in advance all of the team at Shockwave Racing for their hard work and encouragement for my Funny Car venture; they are the hardest-working crew I know and have had a really tough season but still manage to stay positive! And a final special thanks to my Dad for his endless support and shared passion to go Nitro Funny Car Racing!

If you want to follow my progress there are Blog posts regularly updated on Facebook page and on my web site at www.jaynekay.com.


Swift snippets.
28th September: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us the final version of the official entry list for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 15th-16th October. You can check out the Bike Weekend entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Good luck and stay safe to Geoff Stilwell of British Drag Racing Hall of Fame sponsor Beech Underwriting who will be back in the Rat Trap Land Speed car this weekend at the Ohio Mile in Wilmington. Having clocked 180 mph at Bonneville Geoff is gunning for 200 mph. You can find out more and stay in touch with Geoff's progress on the East Coast Timing Association web site at www.ecta-lsr.net.

Many thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for sending us the official timing data from the UK National Finals. You can check out the National Finals timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Thanks also to Marrs for forwarding us a post-UK National Finals table of UK Bests now including the Super Street Bike record set by Steve Venables. You can check it out by clicking here or by clicking on the European and UK Bests link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


2016 UK Champions I.
26th September: Congratulations to those UK National Champions whose titles were decided at the weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

MSA British Drag Racing Championship (Pro Modified): Andy Robinson
ACU UK Top Fuel Bike: Steve Woollatt

Super Pro ET: Chris Parker
Pro ET: Lee Huxley
Sportsman ET: Andy Dibley
Super Comp: Stuart Doignie
Super Gas: Stuart Doignie
Super Street: Leigh Morris
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Jordan Payne
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Matt Smith
VWDRC VW Pro: Paul Herbert
VWDRC VW Sportsman: Paul Day
Wild Bunch Series: Keith Crampton
Wild Bunch Spirit of Nostalgia: Alan Loten
Wild Bunch Springbridge MSA Series: Phil James

The remaining bike Champions will be decided at the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend at Santa Pod Raceway in mid-October.


UK National Finals results.
26th September: Congratulations to the winners at the weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

MSA Pro Modified: Kev Slyfield staged (bye), Bert Englefield no show
Comp Eliminator: Kev Perkins (8.00) 7.5579/179.85 bye
Super Pro ET: Chris Parker (7.75) 11.2850/68.11 def. Ian Powell (8.13) 8.1067/163.05 DQ red
Pro ET: Leigh Morris (10.90) 10.9028/118.93 def. Mark Bailey (9.00) 9.0764/145.67
Sportsman ET: Clive Dandridge (14.90) 14.9455/89.06 def. Steve Cherrett (19.66) 19.6560/66.70 DQ b/o
Super Comp: Paul Watson 8.9080/157.94 def. Stu Doignie 12.9770/60.28 DQ red
Super Gas: Jon Giles 9.9061/140.84 def. Collin Morrice 9.9063/147.14
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Jordan Payne (8.04) 8.1064/78.47 bye
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Matt Smith 7.8088/184.32 red def. Gary Gooding no time DQ boundary violation
Wild Bunch: Keith Herbert (11.10) 11.2733/113.25 bye
VW Pro: Paul Herbert (11.95) 12.1532/103.09 def. Sam Young (8.28) 9.0721/145.28
VW Sportsman Bruce Collins (13.60) 13.7201/91.57 def. Jacob Bailey (14.80) 14.9858/83.94

ACU Top Fuel Bike (eighth mile): Steve Woollatt 4.0291/180/52 def. Rene van den Berg 5.7982/85.38
Pro Stock Bike (eighth mile): Alex Hope 4.6578/148.98 def. Mark Smith 4.9327/138.58
Funny Bike (eighth mile): Phil Crossley 4.5414/149.99 bye, Kars van den Belt no show
Super Street Bike (eighth mile): Graham Balchin 4.821/161.84 def. Steve Venables 4/8161/154.16
Comp Bike (eighth mile): Mick Winyard 5.3950/142.94 def. Paul Hambidge 5.5201/111.95
8.50 Bike: Jake Mechaell 8.6167/139.48 def. Jay Roe 8.6466/150.57
9.50 Bike: Richard Sawatzki 9.6285/137.80 def. Janne Koskinen 9.6497/128.31
Supertwin Gas: Alfie Udall 9.3709/135.64 def. Scott Collier 9.6264/134.14
ET Bike: Wayne Bradley (9.10) 9.1408/139.38 def. Dave Grundy (11.57) 11.7768/115.89 DQ red
Junior Drag Bike: Liam Holgate (10.11) 10.1340/62.18 def. Louis Davies (8.38) 8.7534/58.28 DQ red

Some of the bike finals were held over the eighth mile due to a strong headwind.

Subject to ratification the following record was set:

ACU UK Super Street Bike ET: 6.998 seconds, Steve Venables

Congratulations also to Junior Dragster racer Aaron Fensome and VW Sportsman racer Natalie Wood who won the Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award and the Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award in support of the
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children respectively. Both Awards have been reset to £50 for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend at Santa Pod Raceway in mid-October.

The annual Charity Football Match to raise funds for Bloodwise in memory of late SPRC Club Secretary Paula Marshall was again won by the racers' team Highlander United, who beat the SPR / SPRC Bloodwise Bombers 4-1.

You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored UK National Finals reports, pit notes and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


FIM, Trakbak announce World Series.
23rd September: The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) has signed a Promoter Agreement with the UK-based company Trakbak Racing Limited ahead of the launch of a new FIM World Series in the spectacular sport of Drag Bike Racing under the aegis of the FIM Circuit Racing Commission.

The FIM chooses to work with promoters for its flagship events in order to ensure that they are professionally-managed and receive maximum visibility.

The FIM Drag Bike World Cup is the latest FIM World Series to join the FIM's stable of Championships and Cups. As owner of all the intellectual property and commercial rights, the FIM is delighted to have found in Trakbak Racing a partner with the experience, know-how and enthusiasm necessary to do what it takes to make this Series a success.

Trakbak Racing will exercise a broad panoply of rights pertaining to the Series, which will be staged starting in 2018. Trakbak Racing CEO Keith Bartlett, who has promoted this popular and family-friendly sport for over 25 years, is the commercial rights-holder of the FIM European Drag Bike Championship. He is looking forward to taking the competition to another level with this new FIM World Series.

FIM President Vito Ippolito welcomes this arrival of this new kid on the world motorcycling block: "Drag Bike is a very spectacular discipline with a growing public following. The FIM is delighted to be able to offer motorcycle fans this new world series with the help of Series Promoter Trakbak Racing. Keith Bartlett has been managing the FIM European Drag Bike Championship since 1996 and we are confident that his experience will help us to develop this new Series, which could become a fully-fledged championship in the near future."

On the occasion of the signature of the contract at the FIM headquarters in Mies, Switzerland, Trakbak Racing CEO Keith Bartlett said of the agreement: "I am delighted we have partnered with the FIM in this exciting new world wide series, adding the FIM World Drag Bike Championship to our existing stable of official drag racing Championships and Series owned, promoted and organised by Trakbak Racing Ltd. The addition of an official FIM World Drag Bike Championship will bring an even higher profile and brand appeal to the sport of drag racing worldwide, whilst helping to lift the profile of motorcycle drag bike racing across the globe."


Bloodlines: The end game.
23rd September: This year is the 50th Anniversary of Santa Pod Raceway and next year will mark fifty years since the UK's Ian Turburville coerced his mother into taking him to the track to start his life-long obsession. It will also be Turbo's retirement year and to celebrate he has actioned a plan which he had been formulating for a while and one which will be a fitting tribute to the sport:

As everyone knows Bloodlines Racing own three cars, the Beach Bomb built specifically to sell and still available, the Bad Blood Top Dragster which Laura currently races in National competition, and True Blood the beautiful, full-body slingshot which both Ian and Laura have driven. There is no need for two competitive race cars in the team and we cannot afford to race two so Ian had an idea and karma made it come true.

If you have ever seen the cacklefest at the California Hot Rod Reunion in Famoso you will know what a living, breathing historic dragster should look like: awesome! Ian looked around for a famous British car to restore but there were none, well there was one but the owner won't sell which is a shame. Someone suggested running True Blood on nitro but we thought that that would not be sufficiently special and the big Chevy motor was not really suited to it. All of a sudden the stars aligned and we got a call from a like minded fanatic with a very special offer, a Hemi.

It was not just any hemi though. It was Donovan 417 #144. We contacted Donovan and they still had the record of the sale, to a Mr Dennis Priddle in 1974. A quick bit of research ended with a ninety-minute Skype call to Ian from Dennis himself who confirmed the motor's history and the fact that it was very special indeed. Dennis couldn't believe that the motor was still around and all in excellent condition. There are famous cars in our sport but there are also very famous engines and this is perhaps the most famous of all.

By 1973 Dennis had already become a legend by winning multiple Championships and setting numerous records, including that which earned him the Mr Six nickname. He was already a European icon. He decided that it was time to move to one of the new rear-engined dragsters so did a deal with Bill Simpson to buy his Skyjacker rail which Norm Wilcox had raced that year. Dennis and Dave Riswick flew to California and met up with Bill only to find that he had already sold the car. Dennis didn't want to come back empty handed and Bill said that Norm still had the last, state-of-the-art, Don Long-built slingshot with which he had won many races and that Dennis could have that. Dennis didn't want another slingshot, he still had Mr Six at that time, but Bill talked him into it. Dennis took the car straight down to Donovan's workshop and fitted one of their all-new aluminium race engines, there and then. Remember, most people were still running the old iron 392 or 426 Chrysler lumps at the time. The aluminium Donovan was a game changer which others copied later.

Dennis entered the Winternationals at Pomona with it but it was the famous big rain off meeting which went on for three weeks. He got a few qualifying runs on it and to cut a long story short he shipped the car back home and, with sponsorship from Revell model kits amongst others, proceeded to decimate the competition including the rear-engined cars. At Santa Pod Raceway on 20th April 1975 Dennis put in a single late qualifying run of 6.49. The final of that event was Peter Crane v Dennis; Peter Crane ran 6.79/204 while Dennis Priddle ran a 6.04 at 218mph in his Mr Revell slingshot. This world record for a front-engined fueller stood until the 1990s. Mr Revell ended when Mickey Naylor did a huge wheelstand and crashed it (See the centre spread in the Santa Pod 50th Anniversary programme).

Dennis realised his dream of racing a rear-engined car when Don Garlits brought Swamp Rat 21 to Santa Pod in 1976 and then left it with Roy Phelps. Roy asked Dennis to take care of it and drive it but it was supplied without a motor so Dennis put Donovan #144 in it. It was returned to the Don Garlits Museum in 1978, sans motor, but not before he set a speed record of 230 mph with the car. He also of course built and raced a number of Nitro Funny Cars successfully which sometimes had ol' 144 fitted.

This legendary Donovan motor from Mr Revell is going in True Blood and will run on nitro as a cackle car to keep the spirit of the sport alive. It has a genuine Reath / Valesco fuel crank, an Engle Fuel cam, Donovan alloy heads, Donovan rocker gear and gear drive, an Ed Pink magnesium blower, Enderle / Hilborn fuel injection and a Mallory magneto. Perfect! The car will be set up with a special cackle tune to ensure maximum flames and noise, but it will be capable of burnouts and smoky launches with a chute pop at half track. Most fans don't get to see a chute coming out up close!

Dennis will be helping Ian with the technical aspects and some parts. Many UK and American friends and legends have been giving us help especially Turboville Racing, Brian Hope, Wayne King, Don Ewald, Carl Olson, Roger Lee, Pete Jensen, Kenny Gomez, Caj Carlsson, Roy Wilding, Rob Loaring, Nick Davis, USAutomotive , Phil Pead, Revell and more. We are still looking for a set of genuine Donovan valve covers, a three-rib Bug and we will need help with oil and fuel next year.

In answer to the usual questions, it is not a re-creation of a 1960s car but we felt that True Blood would be a perfect platform for this very special engine. In theory yes, it could be raced, even into the six second zone, but no, it will never be. If you think it should be then you probably have no idea of the reality of running nitro competitively. We have taken steps to make sure this never happens. As Don Garlits said, cackling is great, the old guys re-live the memories, the kids get to see up close what it was like, and we don't tear up parts all the time. It can be done during oildowns, rain delays and at shows away from any track. Special guests can get to sit in the running car with drive line disconnected for the thrill of a lifetime.

We hope that our car is a true homage to the blodlines of our drag racing heritage. True Blood had a great racing career first in the Wild Bunch, then in Super Pro ET with Laura and some memorable demonstrations by Ian, most notably the side-by-side runs in the night show at Hockenheim and the fabulous flag start race which kicked off Top Fuel eliminations at the 2013 finals.

At the European Finals we were very honoured to have British and International hall of fame member Dennis Priddle in our pit for a visit, we hope it has re-kindled some fires. Dennis and Dave are restoring Mr Six as we speak, we can't wait to see it.


Swift snippets.
23rd September: Good luck and stay safe to Switzerland's Sascha Pretzsch who is contesting Comp Eliminator at this weekend's AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals in St Louis. Qualifying commences today; you will be able to stay in touch with Sascha's progress courtesy of Drag Race Central at www.dragracecentral.com.

We have two birthdays today. First up a very Happy Birthday to timing guru, Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member and all-round good guy Andy Marrs. Also celebrating today is UK Bike Scrutineer and Steward Steve Johnson. Have a great day both.

Steven Dudley writes that the first Chelmsford-based slot drags meeting of the winter season takes place at 8:00 pm on Friday 7th October at the Cathedral Primary School, Victoria Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1PA. "The entrance to the school is near Riverside Ice and Leisure", says Steve. "There is a small car park in the school grounds, please park carefully as it is very narrow. I have loan cars for anyone wanting to try out this exciting form of slot of car racing. We usually run a couple of eliminations during the evening, for added tension. It's great fun, come and have a go!"


2016 PDRC Champions.
23rd September: Chris Murty writes that it was am amazing day's racing we at York Raceway last Sunday. The weather was perfect, no wind, clear blue skies, and plenty of temperature getting in to the track. To make things even better most of the Pennine Drag Racing Club Championships were still to play for with no less than three of this year's titles decided on the outcome of the final race.

Super Cup: Last year's Champion, Paul Grainger in the Heartache & Pain Anglia was in second place with Pete Youhill and the Pacemaker Chevelle on top, but with only four cars entered Paul needed Pete out in the first round and to the win the round to claim the 2016 Championship. Paul met Pete in the round one, the Anglia was running strong into the eights whilst the Chevelle was struggling with gearbox issues giving Paul the win. In the final Paul was up against the Firebird of Joel Kerr, in both races there is nothing much which separated the two cars. Luck was on Paul's side as he pulled a red light but Joel pulled a red light first.

Sportsman ET: Chris Murty and his daily driver Civic went in to the final with a 450 point advantage however, with the class being one of the largest, that didn't count for much. Chris came up against number two James Murray in the Cortina Estate in the first round. Chris took the win running 15.83 on a 15.80 dial-in, James way out running 13.73 on a 13.58 dial in. Chris then met Des Taylor in the Fox Mustang in the next round, Des had the better reaction which gave him time, winning by 0.0030. However, number three in the Championship Nathan Askey in his 2JZ Aristo got himself to the final, a win would mean that Nathan would finish level on points. Nathan lost out in the final to experienced racer and former champ Stephen Gilmore and his Cortina in another very close race which was lost on the start line.

JDM-DRC: Nathan Askey was leading the Championship with Shaun Rounthwaite in the Lexus 575 points behind in second. All Nathan had to do was get past the first round, where Shaun was waiting. Unfortunately for Nathan he was asleep on the line with a 0.9 reaction, Shaun's 0.5 giving an easy win. Shaun then took out Dave Smith and found himself up against Chris Murty in the final. Identical Reaction Times meant it was going to come down to the closest to the dial-in; Chris broke out running a 15.7 on a 15.8 dial-in, unfortunately Shaun, who got his nose in front, broke out more by running a 13.6 on a 13.8 dial-in.

PRO FWD: Matt Davison and his Civic had been dominant all year, however engine failure ruled the car out. Matt had to enter a mate's Integra to get the points he needed, he did just enough to seal the Championship. Despite a close run by Pete Richardson, doing the perfect round with number one qualifying and taking the round win.

American Super Stock: Lee Chiles and his Eliminator Valiant was in number one spot in the Championship, in number two was Andy Reynolds running his Mustang due to engine failure in the Chevy pick-up. Mathematically Andy could take the crown, Lee was not going to let that happen and qualified in second spot. Dave Billadeau pulled a rare number one qualifier out of the bag. In round one Andy went out and Lee took the win so Andy's chance was gone. Carl Johnson made a rare visit and took home the round win. Lee t akes another Super Stock title

Pro ET: Lee Chiles' forst foray into Pro ET could not have gone better. Going into the final round with a healthy points advantage there was not even a chance that he could not take the title, even a no show in round one (to concentrate on American Super Stock) made little difference. It was a very close final with Richard Grainger and Dave Billadeau. The win went to Dave Billadeau in his Belvedere wagon

Hot Rod: This class was reintroduced for 2016, but starting where he left off was Derek Beck, the last winner of the class. Derek had built a substantial points lead in the earlier rounds. Derek and his TVR wrapped up the Championship with a round win just to make sure and the usual entertainment was provided by Terry Morgan and a strong late show from Steve Ray and Dave Duthie. The class will be back for 2017.

Volks Stock: Stuart Hodgson and his Strip Poker Beetle went in to the event leading the Championship, an early retirement from Daniel Spensley (Chevy powered Golf) gave the Championship to Stu. More VWs for next year please.

Congratulations to all of our Championship winners:

Lee Chiles (Pro ET and American Super Stock)
Chris Murty (Sportsman ET)
Paul Grainger (KC Super Cup)
Nathan Askey (JDM-DRC)
Mathew Davison (PRO FWD)
Derek Beck (Hot Rod>
Stuart Hodgson (Volks Stock)

A big Thank You to all officials, racers, crew and spectators.

Richard Smith has updated his Zenfolio site with a gallery of great shots from the Northern Finals, which you can check out at rdsmith.zenfolio.com/northern-finals-2016, and whilst there take a look at his excellent FIA / FIM European Finals gallery at rdsmith.zenfolio.com/euro-finals-2016.


A troublesome yet rewarding build.
23rd September: Former Top Fuel Dragster crew and model builder Gareth Robinson's impressive creations have featured on the pages of Eurodragster.com before now but his latest work - a commission from multiple FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion and record holder Andy Carter - is the best yet. It wasn't an easy job, though, as Gareth relates:

Having worked with Andy in various crew positions from 2009 until his retirement, I had the advantage of being able to get decent photos of the car for a future improved model for myself. Well in August 2012 I was minutes away from boarding my plane back from Tierp Arena when I got a call from Andy asking if it would be possible to build a model of the Andersens' 2010 car in which he set a new European record. I agreed to phone Andy back once I arrived home. Eager to take on the challenge I discussed Andy's requirements with him. Andy supplied the donor model, which was a 1/16 Kenny Bernstein Budweiser car by Milestone Developments... considered a rare model, well it was!

After collecting the car from Andy I set about planning the build. After studying a lot of photos taken during the years I had a list of things to do before I could even start to repaint it. The front and rear wings had to have spillplates scratch built, the wheelie bar had to be scratch built, as were the cockpit protection shields. The main panels of the car were stripped back to bare metal ready for the repaint, and that's where it started to go downhill.


I painted the car then I noticed that I had done the blue section around the cockpit wrong. So it was stripped and done again. Car fully repainted again and ready for lacquering, then the lacquer reacted with the paint. By this point I had lost my patience with the model and I was one step away from phoning Andy to ask how much he wanted for it so that I could throw it against the wall. It was then shelved for several years whilst I worked on other commissioned truck builds.

In January 2014 I found myself with a lot of spare time due to being signed off work so I got the car back out ready to make another start. It was repainted yet again but I could not get the red stripes on the sides and top panels right, so it went back on the shelf. In January of this year Andy asked how the car was going so I knew that it was time to get it done: I don't like to let people down. I finally got the stripes right and I thought that the project was back on track. No! A setback in my personal life delayed the build yet again. Personal life back on track and the car now fully painted it was time to get the artwork done. I can't do this so I have to outsource it. I went to my usual sources to find that either they couldn't help or simply didn't want the work due to the size. It was during a trip to a truck show in June that I got talking a guy within the modeling scene who was more than capable of doing the work and who agreed to take on the job.I sent him as many photos as possible and all the information required to produce the artwork.


He normally takes several months to do the work, quality takes time, but I asked - well, pleaded with him! - if he could get it ready by the end of August at the very latest so that I could finally get it finished after four years. One week before the European Finals the decals arrived in the post and the mad dash started to get it finished. Then the bombshell really dropped when I read on Eurodragster.com that Andy would be making an appearance on the Saturday. This was Monday and I was due to leave for Santa Pod on Thursday or Friday. I was working right up until then and being an HGV driver I can never bank on finishing on time each day. Thankfully, after several late nights, all went smoothly and I finished the car literally an hour before I set off for the Finals.

On Saturday morning him upstairs yet again decided that he hates drag racing and sent the wet stuff our way. I walked from the bottom of Family Camping in pouring rain with the model wrapped in bin bags to help protect it so that I could finally hand it back to Andy. I presented the car to Andy in the nostalgia marquee and he was over moon. When he asked me how much his bill was I replied "Nothing, I had my payment in 2011 when you gave me the chance to work on your Top Fuel Dragster". Debt paid in full, thanks Andy.


Event entry update.
22nd September: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 1 of the official entry list for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 15th-16th October and which is the 2016 ACU UK Drag Bike Championships (except Top Fuel Bike) and the UK National 8.50 Bike and 9.50 Bike Championships. You can check out the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend entry list by
clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Extreme Performance Bike Weekend entry at standard rate closes tomorrow (Friday 23rd) after which entry if accepted may be subject to a Late Entry penalty. You can download the official entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about Extreme Performance Bike Weekend entry then please contact Ian Marshall at ir.marshall@btconnect.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).


2016 Allard Award winners.
22nd September: In 2014 the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame introduced the Sydney Allard Media Awards. These pay tribute to the influence of journalists and photographers in the promotion of drag racing, along with the role played by Sydney Allard in establishing the sport in Europe during the early 1960s. This year the awards are sponsored by Mintex, manufacturers of brake pads since 1908 and one of the sponsors of the 1964 International Drag Racing Festivals organised by Sydney Allard. The crystal trophies will be presented at the 2016 British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala Awards Dinner held at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel, London Heathrow on 19th November.

The outright winner of the 2016 Sydney Allard Photo Journalism Award is Julian Hunt for a fire burnout photograph of Bob Hawkins in his blown and injected Chevrolet methanol-burning dragster called Time Traveller. It was taken during the 2016 Dragstalgia Meeting at Santa Pod Raceway using a Canon EOS-1D X with a Canon Lens EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L IS II USM. The independent judges were David Lillywhite, Editorial Director of Octane magazine along with the magazine's designer Robert Hefferon. They initially selected the Top Ten. Pink Floyd drummer, Trustee of the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, and Co-Patron of the Allard Chrysler Action Group Nick Mason chose the top three and placed them in order. They are all winners really.

Second place went to Stuart Mitchell for his photo of Tony Betts' 1934 Ford Coupe which sports a blown and injected 526 cubic inch Keith Black engine. Again this photo was taken at the 2016 Dragstalgia Meeting. Third place went to John Kennedy for his photo of Mark Moseley's Nissan R32 Skyline which has an RB30 engine. It was taken at the 2015 Flame and Thunder Show held at Santa Pod Raceway.

Choosing a winner for the 2016 Sydney Allard Written Journalism Award was very difficult but Brian Taylor is the judges' final choice for his work in compiling the twenty four-page 2015 British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala Awards Dinner Souvenir Programme. The Chief Judge was Guy Loveridge, Deputy Chairman of the Guild of Motoring Writers, who said "It sounds an easy task to write and edit an event programme, but a good programme is crammed with information, profiles, facts and the full course of the evening. The process of collating this information is hindered by ever-changing facts coming through as the copy date gets closer. All copy has to be approved by the show organisers and those featured in the programme – some based overseas. Then there are the advertisers to consider and liaison with the programme designers and printers. To edit anything is a tricky business, but to edit seamlessly, so that one reads and is not distracted by the editor's own spin is a rare gift indeed - and for that reason Brian must be recognised for his programme production.

"A very special mention for Martin Drake whose astonishing on-line photo book Power of Sport - Drag Racing read as an impassioned essay on our sport. If a picture paints a thousand words Martin has aced Shakespeare for word-count! And highly commended for a range of pieces entered, all of which entertained and informed, is Keith Lee. His work demonstrates knowledge and skills that convey the message clearly and the excitement of drag racing with passion."

Ticket prices for the 2016 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner remain as last year at £60 per person. Corporate tables of ten are available at £580. More details are available by clicking here. For advance booking of tickets contact stuart@britishdragracinghof.co.uk or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102.


Swift snippets.
22nd September: 22nd September is the day upon which everyone who is anyone has a birthday, it seems. Ladies first and a big Happy Birthday to Crown Princess Emma Wray of Race Control, SPRC timekeeper Sharron Norris, SPRC marshal Becky Bashford and former Junior Dragster racer and now far too tall Belle Wheeler. Have a lovely day girls. Spencer, Jedd, Ray, Andrea and Vince asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to UK Pro Modified racer, race car builder and Eurodragster.com sponsor Chris Isaacs, and a big Happy Birthday also to UK Outlaw Anglia racer, hedonist and sybarite Colin Millar. Have a great day, guys.

A return to Madness.
22nd September: It's back to normality this weekend at Shakespeare Count Raceway for the Late Summer Madness Public Track Weekend. Jerry Cookson writes:

There's a large contingent coming from Outlaw Street to pound the asphalt in their penultimate round of the series. Roger Goring will be continuing his test and development programme with the latest Jet Funny Car Firestorm. Roger will be looking to go quicker than the 6.38/207 mph set at the Warwickshire drag strip in July. Also those mental and bonkers Drag Karts led by Scott Cooper will be in action contesting their own UK Shootout with more than ten karts promised including Tom Bagnall's jet mobility scooter looking to break 75 mph! It's also the penultimate round of the Krystal Kleen Honda Drag Series.

The track will be running another of its popular Bracket Gamblers races before the Super Gamblers kicks in in two weeks' time, and there's a full weekend's programme of Run What Ya Brung for cars and bikes all looking to outdo each other!

Gates open from 6:00 pm tomorrow, and the track is open between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. General admission is £12 per day or £22 for the weekend. Track fee is £25 a day or £40 for the weekend for unlimited runs but please remember your driver's licence and helmet. Full details can be found on our Facebook Group or at www.shakespearecountyraceway.com.


Delivering the Specialties.
22nd September: Jeff Bull of Eurodragster.com Swap Meet sponsor Jeff Bull Race Engines has been in touch with a big Thank You to Peter Miller and Ken Kelly of Transmission Specialties for coming up trumps once again:

Peter and Ken did us a quick turn-around on a replacement converter for Jeff Bull Race Engines customer Rod Harrison and the team's Top Methanol Dragster in the nick of time for the recent FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway.

It was back in the early part of last season when Karl and I convinced Rod that a new converter would be the way forward for the then-Super Pro dragster which was running 7.3s at low mph, way off of its estimated potential. One telephone call later to my long-standing friends at Transmission Specialties and they were getting to work on the 10½" Cadillac Northstar converter. Five days later Rod and Karl were in possession of the new piece with a few days to spare to get it fitted before the Main Event. A new PB of 6.00 in eliminations had the team celebrating and eagerly awaiting the SPRC Summernationals to find out what else the new set-up was capable of. That was a new PB of 5.95 at the Summernationals, followed by plenty more five-second passes where that came from.

At this year's FIA /FIM Main Event Rod and the team moved up to Top Methanol Dragster and set yet another PB, 5.79 at 237 mph in eliminations and you couldn't prise that smile off Karl's face with a crowbar!

The NitrOlympx at Hockenheim was the next outing for the team but things didn't go to plan. The car suffered tyre shake on every pass resulting in damage to the Transmission Specialties converter. Rod contacted me on his return home from Germany to see if anything could be done to get the dragster back out for the European Finals. A quick call to Ken at Transmission Specialties and two days later a new converter had been manufactured and shipped to the UK. Karl and the team had time to fit the converter for the European Finals but fuelling issues curtailed their efforts to better their PB of 5.79.

Well done to Rod, Karl and the whole team on all their efforts and a great first season in Top Methanol Dragster. And to Peter, Ken, Debbie and all the guys at Transmission Specialties, thank you for your excellent products and great service and for taking care of my customers and I.


UK National Finals coverage.
22nd September: The Eurodragster.com team will be at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend to bring you all the action from the UK National Finals in association with John Woolfe Racing.

Our coverage commences with tomorrow's Peak Performance Test and Tune Day and continues through Saturday and Sunday. Tomorrow's coverage will consist of an end-day gallery whilst Saturday's coverage will consist of live reports, results and stats of the on-track action together with pit notes and end-day gallery and Sunday's of live report, Championship updates within the race report courtesy of Simon, and end-day gallery.

The Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcam will be online so long as the track is open tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday and will broadcast live video with trackside audio tomorrow, and live video with commentary / Nitro FM audio on Saturday and Sunday. Thanks to Doyousee.me for the provision of streaming services.

We will post a direct Home Page link to our coverage as soon as it commences tomorrow but in the meantime you can check out our UK National Finals Event Index, which includes links to the final official entry list and provisional running orders, by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


Erbacher aims for 2017 title.
21st September: Swiss Top Fuel Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor
Urs Erbacher says that the 2016 season did not go how he would have wished, but that the team already have designs on 2017:

As we started the season we wanted to go for another Championship in Top Fuel. But with a new chassis and new fuel system and new clutch we didn't find the set-up to run the car in the threes. But we ended close: the car runs great for the first 300 feet and after that we always have problems spinning the tires. But the good thing was that we did not really hurt a lot of engines and parts this year. So we are happy where we are now.

After Jndia licenced in Las Vegas in October last year and contested her first race in Las Vegas in we brought the car over to Europe. The owner of JH Ferry was in Vegas in April and helped me to bring Anthony Dicero's Nitro University car to race at Hockenheim. Hockenheim was great, Jndia qualified and won first round against Johnny Lagg the 2016 Champion. The plan was to send the car back to the USA after Hockenheim, but Jndias found some more money to take the car to the last race of the season, the FIA / FIM European Finals. Jndia raced much better in England because there were not so many friends, sponsors and family with us and that made her more focused on the race. But she lost in the first round as well.

Tethys rented my 2011 Championship dragster again as he did in 2015. The car ran OK and he had the chance to win the first round, but lost to Micke Kågered on a holeshot. It was great to work with Tethys, he is a good driver and understands how to drive a Top Fuel Car to the finish line which is not an easy thing to do. We are happy with his performance and we look forward to helping him in his Top Fuel future.

A special Thank You to my whole crew. They handle a three-car team like professionals, we never missed a session and all three cars started perfectly. Don't forget that these guys work for free and help just because they love drag racing. Thank You all.

I really want to win another Championship before I stop racing as a driver. So we are on the right path and I plan to run a full season in 2017 including proper testing in England early in 2017. I will run my new car and we will find the set-up to run three-second passes, set new European records, and bring the title back to Switzerland. Jndia wants to go for a full season in Top Methanol Dragster before she steps up to my Top Fueller. She is working on sponsors to buy the car which she raced in Europe from Anthony Dicero.

To make that all happen we need to sell our number two Top Fuel cars. This is my Murf Mc Kinney Car which has a new front half from Mats Eriksson. The car is turn-key complete with set-up and data ready to run. The car has won three Championships with me and ran in the threes to 1000 feet early in 2010 and 2011 when we still raced over the quarter mile. I still love this car and would like to keep it really, but to make Jndia's dreams come true we need to sell this car asap. We are also offering our second truck and trailer as used by Noah Stutz. Any questions or offers just contact me at urs@erbacher.biz.

Our television show on D-Max continues next Tuesday.


Very welcome guests.
21st September: Pasi Uponen writes that two Finnish bike racers will be making their first UK appearances at this week's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

Top riders Janne Koskinen and Jari Malinen will run in 9.50 Bike, better known as Super Gas Bike in Scandinavia. Janne won the Nordic Championship twice, in 2015 and 2016, and Jari finished this season in third place in both the Finnish and Nordic Championship series.


This race might be the last time that Janne runs a 9.50 Bike, as after the Scandinavian Internationals at Tierp he announced that he had bought the rolling chassis of Europe's quickest Pro Stock Bike, meaning it's the former bike of Ellsa Karllson. So next season he'll be racing in Pro Stock Bike.


The sixty foot rocket.
21st September: Malta's Simon Giormaina writes that the latest home race was one of the best weekends ever for his Super Street Bike ridden by Franklyn Borg including an astounding new best to the first incremental point:

I have to start with a big Well Done to all of the Super Street Bike teams. What a show it was, with close racing from seven bikes including three from Greece, just amazing!

With a completely new set-up we ran consistent low 1.2s to sixty feet, with a best sixty of 1.17 which we believe is the best ever sixty foot time for a Super Street Bike with 68 inch wheel base, as the rules apply. We managed a best ET for the bike on Malta and a PB for Franklyn Borg who rode very confidently - this was just two weeks after a very scary accident with his own SSB. Well done my friend.

Our goal for the weekend was to try to get into the 7.2s. With help from Rodney Williford talking me through what we thought would work best, and with a new shock on the bike, we made a first pass and went 7.43. I had good data to look at and started tuning from there. With all the hard work we managed to run 7.23/194, 7.24/198 and a 7.26 at only 170 mph. We won rounds and got to the finals in both Super Street Bike SS1 and Open but disappointingly we we were called for the Finals very late; it got dark and was nowhere near safe to run these bikes in those conditions. Bearing in mind that we have people at home who depend upon us we decided not to go out for the last final after making contact with the reflectors in the first final.

The best part is that the new set-up on the bike showed more potential. Very consistent sixty foots, 330s and eighths, and very good passes all weekend. Despite all the worries and ups and downs for the weekend with never ending work to get the bike ready after every pass and dealing with CO2 freezing up, waste gate problems (thanks Reuben Micallef for the spares), and more things which did not go as planned, but after all that we got what we worked for.

All in all an amazing weekend full of ups and downs and hard work but it's always a win whe you learn and have better data. With new goals in now we can't wait for the finals in November. New parts are ready to go on the bike including a new turbo so we will have more power on the shelf, but we will have to figure out how to use it wisely and not discard the correct set-up.

Big big thanks go firstly to Rodney Williford, he's the manand I am proud to say that he ran 6.81 passes this weekend, Well done Rodney! Thanks also to BTC as always, MTC Engineering for the amazing clutch, NLR for the best boost controller and everything else, you guys all know who you are. Thanks to Franklyn Borg who is doing a great job of riding the bike, Marcell Borg for the support all weekend especially when things are not so smooth - you will always find him there at the front telling you it's going to be OK. Leli Ellul for all the work all weekend, we appreciated all your help Leli. Joe Briffa Krojs, Gabriel, Vince, Glen Belula and all the people who supported us all weekend, the feeling coming back from the passes and seeing people cheering and happy with the show you just put on is something you can never explain so thank you all.

Big thanks and Well Done to all of the MDRA Committee for putting on such a great event and all the people involved in the track preparation, the track was great all weekend guys. Thanks to my father for the continued support, my brother George for all the help during the weekend and the conversation we had which made me realise I have to step some things up and get some other things out of my mind which were keeping me from putting proper set-ups in the bikes I tune.

Last but not least Thank You to my family Graziella, Jayden and little Katya for the full support. Even though it was Graziella's birthday and our Tenth Anniversary I had to be away from them working at the track, but still Graziella gives me her full support.

Bring on the next event in November. Obviously we have new goals to try to achieve.

Pictures courtesy and ©Mk1 Kieran


Swift snippets.
21st September: We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to Santa Pod Racers Club Chief Timekeeper and Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member Steve Horn. Have a great day Steve.

A fruitful flying visit.
21st September: UK Super Gas racer Dan Page and family moved to South Africa about a year ago and planned a three-week flying visit to the UK this June. Things went OK that far but then started to go a bit awry, although it turned out nice again at the FIA / FIM European Finals. Dan takes up the story:

We were at the airport in Johannesburg, bags all checked in, just one more hurdle before that pre flight drink, Passport Control. "Mr and Mrs Page there seem to be issues with your sons' visas and they will be banned from South Africa for five years, but don't worry you can appeal once you're in London and because they're under sixteen there will be no issues. Enjoy your flight."

Long story short that was nearly four months, and no word. Having no choice but to start again with all your stuff in another country sucks, but at least we're all together, apart from the dog. So back around 12th August - Mort's birthday for your diaries, sixty next year! - at the NSRA Supernats I came up with the brilliant idea of driving Jon's Camaro in Super Gas at the European Finals. Jon said "Good idea, just one thing. I'm guessing all your race gear is in South Africa". Luckily I have some good family who came to the rescue. Gary Page offered his helmet, Rob Stanley his race suit, Heide Stanley her gloves and Conrad Stanley his old race boots. Thanks guys!

At the track armed with my borrowed gear and race car, let's try and qualify well. Yeah that went well,  the headwind was a nightmare and I just couldn't get the car dialled in. I kept breaking out and ended up second from last. One good thing came out of qualifying, I got used to the transbrake button being on the steering wheel - in my Nova it used to be on the trans tunnel - and I felt happy going into stage not having to check where the button was! 

In to eliminations and in the first round I had Jon Turner and got away with a holeshot win as Jon was bang on the numbers running a 9.907. Then second round "Double 00 Doignie"... my thumb was twitching just at the thought! But bullet dodged, as Stuart had steering damage and came to tell me that he would just be staging for the points. Very sporting to come and tell me beforehand (Hear, hear - Ed), thanks guys and hope is all fixed for this weekend.

Third round the mad rush, Mort was at this point still in Super Comp and Super Gas were already in the pairing lanes. I had Jonny Giles who came over just before Jon ran and said that he would wait for us to refuel etc, thanks Jon. Fuelled up and ready to go and my worst light of the weekend 0.090. Lucky again, the Camaro was set up well enough to run alongside Mr Giles who broke out by the smallest amount, 9.897 unlucky Jon. The final, Colin Morrice in his '69 Camaro. As was to be expected Colin drilled me to the tree 0.008 to my 0.061 but he had trouble with getting hooked up after coming off the throttle stop, luckily no such problems for me and I pulled right alongside and back into him and waited for my win light to come on! Yes! 

I need to thank my Wife Yolande for supporting me and letting me come out and play race cars, Jon Morton for everything really, Jeff Bull Race Engines, my work Team Mate World for giving me my job back, and to everyone who has congratulated me on the win. I got lucky!

I will be floating about on Sunday this weekend (Oi, no weather forecasts - Ed) and hopefully on the track next year... maybe.


UK National Finals racer update.
20th September: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us the details of the arrangements for this weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway.

First, a very important message from Santa Pod Raceway: under no circumstances are racers to use any type of spike etc to hold down awnings and/or tents on any of the tarmac surfaces. Any racer found damaging the pit areas in this way will be charged for repairs and may be excluded from the event.

Friday 23rd September
08:00 Gates open for the duration of the event
11:00 Signing On office opens (NB Earlier for Peak Performance Day sign-on)
11:00 Car scrutineering commences, no set order
15:30 Bike scrutineering commences, no set order (NB Start time changed from final instructions)

Saturday 24th September
07:00 Signing On office opens
07:00 Car scrutineering commences (
order)
07:00 Bike scrutineering commences (order)
09:30 Track opens for qualifying

Sunday 25th September
07:30 Signing On office opens
07:30 Scrutineering opens
09:30 Track opens for qualifying and eliminations

The provisional running orders are now available and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Please note as ever that running orders are subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.

No race vehicle motors are to be fired up before 09:00 or after 20:00 on any day of the event. Before 09:00 vehicles should be pushed or towed to Scrutineering, not driven. Non-observation of curfew will result in exclusion from the event.

Junior racers please remember the rule about pushing vehicles back to the pits once through the arch beside Scrutineering.

Only race officials and SPR staff are allowed in Race Control whilst racing is underway. Should racers wish to raise any matter with race officials then please do not visit Race Control; please firstly see Race Secretary Kathy Taylor who is based in Signing On.

Colour commentators are requested to come to Commentary only when their class is at the head of the lanes, to vacate Commentary when their class has run, and not to bring guests to Commentary with them.

The Eurodragster.com office at the Bankside end of Race Control is similarly out of bounds during racing except to Eurodragster.com staff, Zeon TV crew and racers or crew collecting Perfect Award money.

If you wish to receive class call-outs by smartphone then it is recommended that you carry out the following steps before coming to Santa Pod Raceway:
  1. Download App.net from the Play Store for Android or the iPhone App Store
  2. Create an account for App.net
  3. Search for the SPRC channel and follow it
When these steps have been completed you will receive notifications. The app relies on mobile network or wi-fi so you will need some kind of connection throughout the event for it to work. Call-outs will still of course be made by your Pit Marshal and on the PA.


Swift snippets.
20th September: If you have access to the DMAX channel then the first episode of the documentary Top Fuel: Herr über 10.000 PS featuring Top Fuel Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Urs Erbacher and daughter and Top Methanol Dragster racer Jndia Erbacher is to be broadcast on that channel at 20:15 European this evening (Tuesday). You can read more at www.dmax.de/programme/top-fuel and stay tuned as we have the latest from Urs and Jndia lined up for tomorrow's news update.

Many thanks to Robin Jackson for letting us know that a report of the Pro Mod action at the FIA / FIM European Finals is now available on-line on the MSA British Drag Racing Championship web site at www.msadragracing.co.uk.


Close to barking again.
19th September: Eurodragster.com readers will be familiar with Nobby Hills' Houndog Funny Cars of the 1970s and 1980s including Houndog 7 which was bought by Santa Pod Raceway from Paula Murphy in 1973 and run by Nobby with Owen Hayward in the driving seat. Owen's son Simon has been in touch with an update on the Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car which he is building in tribute to that classic FC:

Most of the car is now complete, with just a few items left to purchase from the States. The body has been painted red by Road Rash Paintwork of Leighton Buzzard and now just needs the graphics to finish it off. Darren West of Power Race Graphics has done an awesome job designing the paint scheme, which captures the essence of the original car.

This weekend I will be attending the UK National Finals and spending some time with Tim Garlick and the Apache crew to take notes on between-run servicing to get a better understanding of what needs to be done. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Tim and his crew, Rob Loaring, and all the other Nostalgia Funny Car teams who have helped by answering all my daft questions and encouraged me to keep going and finish the car!

A special Thank You goes to Tim and Pauline Knowler, who have put in a huge amount of time and effort to get the body fitted and painted. Without their help this project would not have been possible.


UK Championship outcomes I.
19th September: This weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway is the final round in all UK National Championship car classes, MSA Pro Modified, ACU UK Top Fuel Bike, VWDRC classes and the Wild Bunch. Simon, who with Yvonne Tramm co-ordinates the UK National Championship points, has provided the following analysis of Championship outcomes:

Although the 2016 Championship season started with two rain-offs, at the Festival of Power and APIRA Springspeed Nationals, there has been some of the closest racing in UK history with large fields at most events.

In MSA Pro Modified, Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson leads Bert Englefield (BA Racing) by 35 points. Assuming that Andy qualifies above Bert and has quickest ET points, as has been the case so far, then Bert will need to win the race and have Andy go out in the first round to gain the Championship. But after damaging an engine at the FIA / FIM European Finals, Andy will have work to do to be ready.

Super Pro ET was looking to be going Billy Gane's way as he won the FIA / FIM Main Event and SPRC Summernationals. But Brad Jackson has come on strongly with wins at the APIRA Open Sport Nationals and European Finals and he has closed the gap to 180 points, or less than two rounds of eliminations. Scott Hauser, twice previous Champion of Super Pro ET and Lucas Oil Junior Dragster, is only 60 points further back and so Super Pro will have a very exciting end to the Championship year.

Pro ET is led by Team Dark Horse, Brian and Lee Huxley, with a margin of 640 points. Brian has raced in four of the events so far and Lee two, winning the SPRC Summernationals on the way. Lee is in the driving seat for the UK National Finals and the team will be going for their fifth Championship. Their main competition is shortly-to-be-married Glenn Pallant. Another 150 points back is Team Capricious, Laura and Paul Baynton, with Laura driving at this event. Ten points further back is Dragstalgia organiser James Forster.

In Sportsman ET Andy Dibley leads Jemma Hale by 450 points. Both are in their second year of racing. Ricky Hale is 190 points further back and Gill Medley a further 10 points in arrears. Jemma would have to win the event with Andy going out early to have a chance of the Championship, but in turn she would have to go at least a round further than Ricky and Gill to keep her runner-up position.

Stuart Doignie leads Pete Cresswell by only 50 points in Super Comp, Pete having closed the gap by winning the European Finals to add to his Main Event victory. Paul Brown is a further 280 points back, however after his accident at the European Finals he will be looking to repair the car. Stuart also leads the Super Gas Championship and will be looking to do the Comp and Gas double for two years in a row, the second time this will ever have been accomplished, Brian Pateman being the first. Collin Morrice, 290 points back, is Stuart's main opposition and Jon Giles is 170 points further back.

Leigh Morris is provisional Super Street Champion with a margin of 870 over Dave Cherrett. This is Leigh's fifth Championship and he has won the Main Event, SPRC Summernationals and Open Sport Nationals this year; many congratulations to him.

Matt Smith has an unassailable lead in Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator and congratulations to him on a provisional Championship. Matt won the Main Event and Bug Jam on his way to the 2016 title. Currently second-placed Stuart Williams has had a return of mechanical problems and is only 100 points ahead of Gary Gooding, and Martin Smith is 30 points further back. So there could be an intra-team battle in Extreme Racing for runner-up spot.

Lucas Oil Junior Dragster is looking like a close contest with the top five contenders separated by less than 500 points and 900 points available. Ruaridh Hart's win at Big Bang propelled him into the leading position and he has held onto it ever since, despite a challenge from Jordan Payne who won the Main Event. Ruaridh is 250 points ahead of Jordan who would need to qualify at least six positions better than Ruaridh and go at least two rounds ahead. This takes into account deducting the worst SPR round which is is 290 for Ruaridh and 130 for Jordan. Aaron Fensome is 50 points further back, but this increases to a deficit of 90 when his worst SPR score (to date) is deducted. Joe Holland Villa and Charlotte Bradford are a further 80 points and 110 points back.

ACU Top Fuel Bike is a straight contest between points leader Rene van den Berg and Steve Woollatt. Third placed Nick Milburn is rebuilding and Chris Hannam, who is entered, is too far back in points to amass sufficient to make up the difference. We look forward to the title race generating some great performances.

VW Pro is led by Paul Herbert who is 320 points ahead of Carl Goldsmith who in turn is 290 points ahead of Dave Crowhurst. VW Sportsman is led by Paul Day who is 350 points ahead of Dave Lea. Jon Crawford is only 100 points further back. The Wild Bunch Springbridge MSA Points Challenge is led by Phil James who is 130 points ahead of Bob Hawkins. Bob is 10 points ahead of Dan Sharp.

The post-FIA / FIM European Finals UK National and SPRC Championship standings are now available on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Eurodragster.com will be covering the UK National Finals, as well as Friday's Peak Performance Test and Tune Day, in association with John Woolfe Racing, with Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast on all three days. You can check out our UK National Finals Event Index, which includes a link to the updated final official entry list, by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


SPR offer Two Seat discount.
19th September: Santa Pod Raceway are offering a special racers' discount on Two Seat Dragster passenger ride at this weekend's UK National Finals. Two slots are available on Saturday and Sunday, and are on offer only to racers entered for the event for their crew, guests, sponsors, friends or family... or indeed themselves!

The passenger rides are available for £200 plus VAT (against the usual £390+VAT); this does not include admission to the event but as well as the ride includes souvenir T-Shirt, certificate and performance print-out.

Terms and Conditions apply and passengers must meet the requirements listed on the Two Seat Dragster page on Santa Pod's web site. Payment must be made prior to the event; no refunds or cancellations will be available. To book, please E-Mail donna@santapod.com by close this Thursday (22nd).


What Havoc did next.
19th September: After the "Hollywood Run" against Rich Guasco's Pure Hell altered at Dragstalgia in 2014 Nick Davies, Rob Loaring and the Havoc Fuel Altered team were asked "What are you going to do for an encore?". Nick writes that it was a tough question to answer but that sometimes it's worth rolling the dice just to see:

At the start of 2016, when the decision was made to shoehorn a nitro Hemi - once used to power the record-holding Chaos altered of Lawrie Gatehouse - into the chassis of the previously alcohol-fuelled Havoc Bantam, there was much debate in the workshop as to how fast it would go. "6.40s" offered team member Scott Barnes. "Good luck with that!", or something less civil, was the response from the driver, "it's scary enough running in the 6.80s!".

Testing at the SPRC Summernationals at Santa Pod suggested that it might all come somewhat more easily than anyone might have reasonably anticipated. Leaving with an early shut-off 6.59 at "only" 174 mph, big things were hoped for at Dragstalgia. Great event though Dragstalgia was, performance figures left the team members with plenty of reasons for head-scratching. Did it really matter? Not really. We got to share a marquee and the weekend with some of the nicest characters it has been our pleasure to meet, let alone race with. With a combined one hundred years of racing between the two teams, there has been every opportunity to collate some memories and the Rat Trap and Bradfords teams have them by the bucket-load and were extremely generous in their willingness to share them. "Did I tell you about the time when Mikey came past me on the wrong side at the end of his burnout?", "What about when Willie fell asleep in the car when it was running?", "How about that time up in Sacramento when the power went out and we had to run into the dark?"... you could listen to these guys for days. Team Havoc ran another 6.59 and a big (for us) 223 mph but we had an issue with keeping all eight cylinders lit. No-one said it was going to be easy.

And so to the European Finals. Firstly, a big thank you to the decision-makers at Santa Pod Raceway firstly for inviting us back to have another bout with our American cousins, but also for being instrumental in bringing them over in the first place. We were proud to bear the decal of the 50th Anniversary of Santa Pod Raceway on the wing. It is our home track and all the quickest times we have ever run have been here.

Wednesday testing indicated that we were moving in the right direction, but still with some work to do. First run on Friday and we got a re-match with Randy in the Bradford's Fiat. Randy got the better of us at Dragstalgia, and we were determined for it not to happen again. In a tight race we edged it with a 6.57 beating the little Fiat's 6.60. The next run was into the dark with orphan Tim Garlick and the five-second Apache Funny Car. Inept driving resulted in not only a defeat but the first collection of a timing block in twenry years racing. If it's good enough for Ron Hope, it's good enough for us (and it's another box ticked - Ed). Saturday's rain-off gave plenty of time for data analysis, intra-team tuning debate and more stories from our new best friends. Sunday dawned bright and warm and the burgeoning crowd was testament to the popularity of the Fuel Altereds on show... oh, it was also the end of the FIA season, was it? With the Bradford's Fiat sustaining unfortunate damage during their Friday night run, it was left to Rat Trap and Havoc to put on the show. First run of the day and we squeezed it with a moving-about-a-bit 6.75 overcoming Rat Trap's 7.02 and those fortunate enough to have watched the orange car into the shutdown area were treated to quite a show as Ron had the rear of the car a good three feet in the air as the chutes hit. Check out the Santa Pod video – it really is great entertainment!

Last run of the weekend and a couple more things were moved around on the tuning programme. If we broke it, there was plenty of time to fix it. The car left pretty strongly and stayed relatively composed on the run. The way the chutes hit gave some insight that we had made a bit of progress but when Darryl Bradford stuck a microphone my face as soon as my helmet was removed the results were a little shocking. 6.28 at 229 mph! I honestly didn't know whether to laugh, cry or hit him. Adrenaline is an odd hormone!

So... what are we going to do for an encore now? That one is a little easier. With huge thanks to the support of Ron and Brian Hope and all the Rat Trap family, Geoff Stilwell at Beech Underwriting, Lawrie Gatehouse and the NFAA and Stewart Bassett and the team at US Automotive we are on our way to Bakersfield after the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala Dinner in November. Yes, the tyres are too big. Yes, the wheelie bars are too long. But we are going to race on a 6.00 index at the March Meet at Bakersfield and we're going to need all the help we can get. So check your passports, pack a flag and come and support us on tour. Whether it is in California in March or October, or Bowling Green in June, come out and make some memories. Thanks for your support so far - the British fans are the best!


Swift snippets.
19th September: SPRC Club Secretary Ian Marshall tells us that due to a tight schedule all UK National Finals racer tickets will be on the gate for collection at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend. No racer tickets will be mailed. Ian adds that all SAEs supplied to SPRC for this event will be returned to racers for reuse.

Many thanks to Palle Lind for forwarding us the final 2016 points standings in the FIM European Drag Bike Championships. You can check out the FIM points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

The UK's Paul Watson has sold his Super Comp Camaro to Ben Bridges, but Ben is unable to take delivery of the car in time for this weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway so Paul will be driving it one last time. "The Camaro has been awesome in Super Comp and we look forward to helping Ben next season", says Grumpy. "The Super Comp Championship is looking very tight and all to play for after a superb win for Pete Creswell at the European Finals. Pixie and I have persuaded Nick and Nicky Frost to come and crew so we are all looking forward to a fantastic weekend. Good luck to everyone in Super Comp."

Speedgroup have announced that this year's Banquet and Prizegiving has returned to the Sunlight Hotel and Conference Centre in Nyköping and will take place on Saturday 26th November. Awards will be presented to drivers and riders ranked first to third 1-3 in the EDRS European Drag Racing Series , EDRS Pro Nordic MC Drag Racing Championship and FIA European Drag Racing Championships. Information meetings will also be held in the afternoon for racers and race officials. Booking details will be announced later this week.

Michel Tooren and the Pro Dutch Racing Pro Modified team have published a review of their FIA / FIM European Finals which you can check out by clicking here (Dutch-language PDF).


At once an end and beginning.
19th September: Swedish Pro Modified racer and tuner Adam Flamholc's unusual and busy season both ended and began at last week's FIA / FIM European Finals:

We were given the opportunity to go to Russia and be a part of the organisation Dragtimes and the Russian Drag Racing Championship. We have learned a lot, made many new friends, and I think we did what we went there to do. It took a couple of runs to figure out the track conditions, but once we got it we made strong runs on all the tracks, and ended up winning the Championship. The teams around the events and around Dragtimes are fantastic! We in Europe have a lot to learn from them.


In the FIA European Pro Modified Championship I helped three teams. Mats Erikson ended up in second place, David Vegter in fifth place, and Thomas Stiefel number six. There were ups and downs, but overall I think it was a good season. David and Thomas both ran Personal Bests several times, and I think we will see big things from both of them next year. Mats is always running for the Championship, and again he was pretty close to taking the win, but Micke Gullqvist was once again to hard to beat. Congratulations to Micke and his team.


Flamholc Racing also helped Rimbert Vahlström who won the Top Doorslammer Championship (big congrats), Lenn Lindell who was runner-up in the same class, Håkan Persson who ran several 6.0 runs in a row in Pro Mod and was so close to getting his five-second run. You will have the next year for sure Håkan! I want to thank all of the above for letting me do what I love for a living!

We are now heading over to the USA to get my '63 race ready for the PDRA event at my hometrack Bradenton Motorsports Park. Daryl at HRE has already started preparing our new block from BAE, and Mike Janis has shipped our updated supercharger. When we get there my goal is to have the car ready for testing on the Thursday before the event. I am really, really, really looking forward to getting back in the driver's seat, to trying some new stuff, and to learning more new stuff.

Thank You so much to everyone who supports us, and Thank You to our loyal sponsors 5 Days Plantation Shutters and Blinds, Amalie Oil, Dragtimes / SMP Racing, Hameetman Racing Engines, Performance Plus, Malmö Motorrenovering AB, Stallningsbyggarna, Linnarhults Terminalen and R&R Connecting Rods.


Ålund's 10 in 14.
19th September: A well-prepared track and huge crowds made for a successful and fitting end to the 2016 FIA European Drag Racing Championship season at Santa Pod Raceway, where Swedish Pro Stock racer Jimmy Ålund won his tenth FIA European Pro Stock Championship. PiPPi writes:

Winning a tenth Championship was never discussed in the Ålund pit this year, the sole focus being on going rounds and winning races. Having worked hard to fulfil that goal, Jimmy had a slight points lead going into this final event but the Championship was still up for grabs. Due to rain on the second day of qualifying, teams had to rely on only two qualifying runs and it was tight. Jimmy finished in the top spot, only 0.001 seconds ahead of the #2 qualifier. "Qualifying was very close to say the least", says Jimmy. "We took the #1 spot but only got down the track once due to tyre shake in Q2. Not the best way to go into eliminations."

Although Saturday was a rain-out Sunday opened with perfect weather for deciding the Championship. Jimmy grabbed the opportunity and won the semi finals against Stefan Ernryd. Lane choice was crucial in the final round against Bengt Ljungdahl and it was not Jimmy's choice. Jimmy's excellent Reaction Time made for a trademark Pro Stock race; the difference across the finish line was only 0.005 seconds (20.24 inches - Ed). Jimmy was behind on this final run but he gained enough points to clinch the 2016 FIA European Pro Stock Championship by sixteen points.

"Championship number ten sounds so much sweeter than nine, I'm so proud of this win and the team" says an elated Jimmy. "Such hard and close racing in this class. Qualifying and races decided by just a few thousands of a second. Last year we came in second, less than one round win behind and this year we won the Championship by less than one roundt. And the class keeps on growing, next year will be even tougher."

The Summit Racing Camaro took Jimmy to the number one qualifying spot in all but one of the races this season. The power is there as is evidenced by Jimmy running top speed at all of the events, not only this year but all of 2015. "Speed is power and I cannot say enough about the support from Summit Racing and the engine builders at KB Racing who have supplied me with the horsepower needed to win this tenth Championship", he says.

Jimmy can now look back at ten European Championships in fourteen seasons of racing; a solid percentage. He also tops the list of all-time number of round wins, not only for Pro Stock but for all FIA classes going back to the start of FIA drag racing in Europe. "Yes, it's been quite a career and we'll be back next year to sweeten up those statistics even more", says Jimmy.

Jimmy wants to express his gratitude to his sponsors Summit Racing, Viking Industrimålning, Exclusive Cars, Sverigedemokraterna, KB Racing, Camaroskroten, Tradepac, POs Harley Davidson, All American AB, CFM, Vadstena Klosterhotel, Stigs Axle and Parts, Hydraulakuten, VP Racing Fuel, and X Parts.

The first race of the 2017 FIA Pro Stock Drag Racing Championship series is the FIA / FIM Main Event held at the historic drag strip at Santa Pod in the UK. Qualifying starts on Saturday morning, 27th May 2017.


2016 Russian Championships done.
19th September: Last year the Fortress Groznaya race track twice hosted rounds of the Russian Drag Racing Championship and this year's Championship was closed there, one of the best drag strips in Russia. The organisers specially prepared the track, gluing and sledding the first 200 metres.

The main contender for the title in Front Wheel Drive was Oksana Yakovleva from Krasnoyarsk, although Artem Demikhov (Usman') had a mathematical chance also. Oksana won two previous RDRC rounds which is why she had to take take minimal points to take the title. The ladder threw Oksana and Artem together in the quarter finals and Oksana won that race with a 0.7 seconds gap and went through to the semi-finals. However, due to mechanical problems, she lost to Vladimir Tretyak and only got the bronze. Second place went to Georgy Garakishiev (Krasnoyarsk), while Vladimir won the event. It was the first win in two years for Vladimir, the winner of the 2014 Russian Drag Racing Cup.

Vladimir Tretyak: "Frankly speaking, it was an unexpected win for me. We had few chances to get on the podium, but we had it as a goal even though the chances were low. The car is slow in comparison with our rivals and all the fast cars would probably be in the finals. But we had the tactics and its ended up with success. We made only one run in qualifying, in order to save the engine for the final runs. After that we were watching for our rivals: we understood that they would try to set records, and they would have technical problems. And we were right: many could not start due to technical problems, while we had a fully-prepared car and we won. It's a very good end to the season, to get what we did not expected. We are happy with what we have seen over the last two seasons in Russian drag racing and we are happy just to participate. We are always focused, we have an extensive background, but luck rules us all. Today luck was on our side. Probably, the reason is the best traction of the season – we see it in consistent results and in the car's behavior. Thanks to the Dragtimes team for the preparation of the race track!"

The fourth round of the RDRC was also special due to the participation of famous driver Elshan Aslanov (Moscow), who hadn't participated in such competitions for a long long time. In his first run, he set a new unofficial FWD record of 9.086 seconds.

Dmitry Samorukov (Zhukovsky) had already won the 2016 Championship in Rear Wheel Drive at the last round in Nizhny Novgorod so this race was a battle for the silver and bronze medals. The main contenders were Oleg Kondakov (Reutov), Andrey Mulenko (Omsk) and Andrey Kravchenko (Moscow). Oleg went to semi-finals while Andrey M had no chance in a race against Andrey K's Pro Mod and lost in the quarter finals. Oleg secured runner-up place in whilst Andrey K took third. The last runs RWD proved that drag racing is not only about the technical aspects but the also correct actions of the driver. Dmitry Samorukov lost the semi-final to Andrey Kravchenko due to a false start. Oleg Kondakov was Andrey's rival in the finals. However, Andrey's Pro Mod could not participate in the final due to technical problems, and Oleg won the fourth round of the RDRC.

Oleg Kondakov: "The win is a good end to of the season, although I wanted to race against Andrey Kravchenko in the final to have a real challenge. Of course, it's a very technical type of sport, and anything can happen, but I wanted the real fight, the adrenaline. At the beginning of the day I promised to fight, and I did it even though it was mostly with myself. Nobody knows how the car is going to behave. Today it worked well – thanks to the team for it. Thanks to all my team, well done folks!"

All Wheel Drive was the most dramatic class for the participants. The previous round in Nizhniy Novgorod made the battle for the Championship even more interesting; there were five contenders for the gold and three of them had the highest chance: Dmitry Mandrikov (Novosibirsk), Alexey Krivolapov (Vladivostok) and Stanislav Lunev (Chelyabinsk). There were just few points between them. In Grozny Stanislav and Alexey lost to their rivals in the quarter finals. Dmitry Mandrikov won the semi-final against Dmitry Matveev (Novosibirsk), a battle of two Novosibirsk citizens and Dmitry Mandrikov was 0.1 seconds faster than his rival of the same name. In the final, he had a run against Dmitry Kapustin (Belgorod) and won as Dmitry Kapustin made a false start. The judges decided to order a re-run, which was won by Dmitry Kapustin this time. So, the medal ceremony of the fourth round ended in first place for Dmitry Kapustin; Dmitry Mandrikov won the silver and Dmitry Matveev won the bronze.

However, the Board of Sport Commissioners decided to reverse a decision. As stated in the official documents, the rules of drag racing allows the possibility of re-runs only if both drivers make false starts. Taking this into account, the Board decided to cancel the results of the re-run. Thus Dmitry Mandrikov won the fourth round of the RDRC, while Dmitry Kapustin won the silver. The points won by Dmitry Madrikov during the four rounds stages of the RDRS made him a pretender for the AWD Championship. The decision about the Championship will be made following the results of the Sport Committee of Russian Automobile Federation.

Dmitry Mandrikov: "I am happy to win the Championship, it was a long journey for us. To tell the truth, we just wanted to test the car in Grozny to check it. After the technical failure in Nizhny Novgorod we installed the wheel drive from a Nissan GT-R. The good runs have shown that everything was OK with the transmission. We have a very good result: 8.3 seconds using a four-cylinder engine. Maybe there are no such cars with such dynamics in the world. The last run and the decision of the judges I see philosophically. It's sport, anything can happen. I like to compete with Dmitry Kapustin, I wish him only the best and good luck in every race, because it's interesting to compete with strong rival. As for the judges' decision – no matter. Of course we are glad to win, but real and interesting competition is more important for us."

A bid for a new National Record was sent to Russian Automobile Federation on behalf of Dmitry Samorukov who ran the quarter mile in 6.325 seconds, 0.5 seconds quicker than his current record set at Fortress Groznaya in 2015.


National Finals Perfect Awards.
18th September: Next weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway is the penultimate event in the 2016 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme. £100 is on offer for perfect performance.

This weekend's Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racer Roman Sixta Jr at the FIA / FIM European Finals. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available to racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Bad Habit Racing (Cath and Tig Napier, Pro ET).

Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available from the Signing On office.

This weekend's Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award supporting the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has been reset to £50 after it was won by Super Pro ET racer Paul Marston at the FIA / FIM European Finals. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to run an ET to the thousandth of a second on dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available this weekend during qualifying or eliminations in Super Pro ET, Pro ET, Sportsman ET, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), VW Pro, VW Sportsman, the Wild Bunch, 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike, ET Bike / NAST and Junior Drag Bike, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect ET of the event If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend. The Perfect ET Award is presented by Derek and Fiona Flynn of Eurodragster.com sponsor Gold RV in support of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children; you can donate to the NSPCC at www.nspcc.org.uk.

To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers are required to carry Eurodragster.com / NSPCC decals (right), one on each side of the vehicle. If you pull this weekend's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals when the run is made then there will be no discussion; we will not pay out and the next person to record a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals. Eurodragster.com / NSPCC decals are available from the Signing On office.


United against the Bombers.
17th September: Further to
yesterday's news item, Craig Wright and Sam Innes have been working hard to get a good Highlander United squad together for next week's Charity Football Match at the UK National Finals to raise funds for Bloodwise in memory of late SPRC Club Secretary and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame inductee Paula Marshall:

This year's squad is quite possibly our strongest yet, and with manager Spencer Tramm and his assistant Jon Giles on board yet again, we're pretty damn confident that it's going to be a third year of embarrassment for Santa Pod's Bloodwise Bombers! Our Hit Squad of racers and crew is:

Tyler Ashdown
Matt Atkinson
Zakk Benoit
Mark Bradford
Chris Creswell
Rob Creswell
Rich Deevey
Billy Everitt
Brad Head
Mick Howling
Sam Innes
Trevor Large
Simon Mcgee
Collin Morrice
Ben Murdoch
Lloyd Perkins
Cam Street
Callum Swinchatt
Louis Winter
Craig Wright

In reply to the Bomber's comical post yesterday we can only say yes, we will bring friends. We will fill the stands and the touchlines with our supporters, so no need to worry about that! We are really not bothered about who and what they have in their team, we know we have each and every one of them covered. "Bloodwise Bombers"... after last year's performance we find it hard to believe that they could blow up a balloon.

We look forward to seeing you all down at the Field of Dreams making some noise, donating money, and showing your support next Saturday evening.


Unveiling the Bloodwise Bombers.
16th September: Manager Carole Ismail of Eurodragster.com sponsors
CEJ Training Services Ltd and Phoenix Personnel Ltd and Assistant Manager Emma-Jayne Wray have unveiled the Bloodwise Bombers Santa Pod Raceway / SPRC squad who will have their clocks cleaned by be taking on Highlander United team at next Saturday's Charity Football Match to raise funds for Bloodwise in memory of late SPRC Club Secretary and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame inductee Paula Marshall:

Kyle Beales
Adam Bentley
Phil Bennett
James Buckley
Gordon Docherty
James Forster
Charlie Frankham
Sam Jones
Kieran Letts
Kirk Mainprize
Ian Marshall
Paul Marshall
Rik Mills
Darren Prentice
Chris Smith
Alex Stringer
David Warren
Jake Wray

A source close to the team tells us that contrary to Wednesday's news item, and despite a record of humiliating defeats at the hands of Highlander United, the Bloodwise Bombers will not have room on their table for plates of butt next Saturday. "Take my advice Highlanders", said a manageress speaking on condition of anonymity. "Bring friends. A lot of 'em."

Whether or not you are attending the match, which takes place at next weekend's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, you can already donate on the event's Justgiving page. And don't forget that a magazine literally filled with autographs of US drag racing stars will also be auctioned to raise funds for Bloodwise: see Wednesday's news item for more.


Laura's two successful Finals.
16th September: The Fiftieth Anniversary FIA / FIM European Finals was one for the books and UK Super Pro ET team Bloodlines Racing were very excited to be part of it:

Ian, Laura, Chris and Declan of Team Turboville again hooked up with their twinned team Trouble Racing from Switzerland, and the massive pit was set up for a great weekend. Laura was as usual entered in the best Sportsman class of all, Super Pro ET, and Marcus Hilt was entered in Pro Mod. Both classes had massive entries so we knew that the racing was going to be intense.

Laura had a nightmare Summernationals, with the Bad Blood dragster going all over the track with tyre shake at 600 feet and Ian did a lot of thinking about the probable cause. He came to several conclusions: one, the second hand slicks were just beyond saving, two, that the track had a slight depression at that point, or three, that the rev limits for launch and gear change were not suited to that torque converter. Santa Pod had decided, very bravely, to grind the track between races and re-prep it, the result was the best track anyone had ever seen, smooth and as grippy as hell! Ian had a word with Geof Hauser who agreed about the slicks so supplied Scott's old spare set and some tyre softener. The slicks were fitted and prepped a fortnight before the Finals. Ian decided to drop the launch limit and raise the gear change... you know the old saying about only change one thing at a time? Thursday arrived and weather was great but with a strong headwind-cum-sidewind so Laura guessed at her previous meeting's dial in as a start point as they had no idea if the changes would work. There were five qualifying runs anyway so time for any adjustments.

The dial in was set at 8.2 seconds, the amber light went out, Laura took a deep breath and hit the loud pedal. Bad Blood just seemed to dig into the track and headed off like a freight train, arrow straight, no hesitation, front wheels in the air and the boards lit up, 7.764! Ian and Dec were stunned, then jubilant, then confused but happy! Was it a fluke? Laura said "Touch anything on the car, Dad, and you are dead!". Well, it wasn't a fluke, the car went 7.7 something on every single run that weekend and was pulling 1.08 sixty foot times. Laura's dream come true, a car she can finally dial in!

The competition in Super Pro ET was intense and the top half of the field were all bang on their dial ins. Laura ended up at #23 and had good friend Tom Atkinson first round, a very tough competitor. The adrenaline was running high on Sunday morning as they lined up and Ian tried to calm Laura down fearing she might red light. There was no need to worry, she was totally in control but worried about the dial-in on a fresh, morning track. The tree ran and Tom left first, Laura had to play catch-up but she ran a 0.09 light to Tom's 0.10, a close start! At 1000 foot Laura knew she was on a good run and passing Tom so she chopped the throttle but still crossed the line first. It was not meant to be, though, as both cars had broken out, but Laura by the most with a new personal best of 7.722. Margin of victory over the finish line was 0.0163 seconds or 1.17 metres. No one minds losing a real drag race like that, a fantastic win for Tom who went all the way to being runner-up, congratulations to team Time is Money.

The European Finals was full of so much action off and on the track and even the soggy Saturday didn't dampen anyone's spirits, in fact it gave lots of teams a chance to repair any damage in time for race day. There were some fantastic performances in all classes and some tales of woe but no one was hurt in all the mayhem. Congratulations to all the winners and record setters and commiserations to those who broke or crashed their cars and bikes.

A special mention must be made to Samu Kemppainen for going above and beyond the call in his herculean effort to get the FIM Championship. Samu ran a perfect 6.6 qualifying run on Friday and was neck and neck with Martijn De Haas for the trophy but on his return to the pits he found that his crankshaft had cracked and he had used his spare! V60 cranks are very special and are made in Canada by Samu's friend Ron Houniet so he gave Ron a call. Ron had one sat there and a set of new cases but after phoning around the usual carriers, UPS, Fed Ex, DHL etc they didn't want to know as it was a weekend. These cranks are super expensive, more than a car crank, but could Samu find a way to pull it off? Ron phoned back and said no problem, his Crew Chief was on a flight from Vancouver to Heathrow and would arrive at mid-day Saturday with the parts! Mikko went and fetched him and everything was rebuilt and the bike fired up in time for round one. Samu did a great burn out and the crowd were on their feet, if he won this the Championship was his! As Samu staged Ian Marshall suddenly leapt forward and shut him off, a small fuel line had cracked and was leaking badly. It was a terrible moment for the Skull Racing team but showed true grit and the crowd applauded them.

Marcus Hilt also had problems: he had made the field in Pro Mod but had thrown a rod! Chris Wilson and Declan Baker joined Andreas, Sabrina and Marcus so the spare block was brought out and re built in time for eliminations, great effort. Marcus was on the bumnp and in round one got the #1 qualifier, Micke Gullqvist, who was half a second quicker. He knew his only chance was to cut a good light so he tried but went 0.075 red, a valiant try!

Socially the week was fantastic with good people, good food, great cocktails and real dancing music! That pit row was rocking all week. A lot of incredible people visited the Trouble / Turboville pit that weekend and they got some great help from some special people so here goes: Willem van Baalen, Johan Oomen, Jon Webster, Geof Hauser, Johnny Lagg, Kevin Kent, Brian Hope, Stewart Bassett, Josh Bassett, Wayne and Belinda Nicholson, Nottingham College, Rosita Trucking Co, Kleen Freaks, David Vetger, Nefarious Pinstriping, Nick Davis and Rob Loaring, Kev Slyfield, Bernard Saz for the entertainment, SPR track crew, Ian Marshall, MSA tech, Trak Bak and USAutomotive for keeping the Fuel Altereds over here and everyone else who supported the two teams.

After almost a week of racing the team is now preparing for the UK National Finals, always a great meeting!

Bloodlines have another exciting announcement coming soon, so stay tuned to Eurodragster.com but meanwhile they would like to congratulate Laura on her First with Honours degree, her move into her own house, and to top it off a dream job as graphic designer at Thorntons Chocolates!


More Finnish Champions.
15th September: Further to Pasi Uponen's recent update, Jarmo "Jamppa" Maijala kindly got in touch with this year's Finnish Champions in car classes plus special awards. Congratulations to:

Junior Dragster: Roni Tekoniemi
Pro ET Sportsman ET: Marko Oranen
Pro Street: Kari Laitinen
Real Street: Kenneth Mattfolk
Super Pro ET: Janne Söderqvist
Super Pro Street: Hannu Flink
Stock/Super Stock: Yrjö Wallius
Top Doorslammer: Marko Lantto
Super Comp: Ida Lindqvist
Top Street: Kalle Koivumäki
Competition Eliminator: Kulmala Hilkka

Special Awards
Office award: Marjo "Meiju" Leskinen
Official: Sini-Erika "Simppa" Käyhkö
Godfathers: Jamppa Tolvanen and Tomi Patoharju
Journalist: Pasi Uponen
Hot Rodder: Joni Hytti
Rookie: Ossi Oikarinen
Team: Woodstock Racing
Achievement: Live stream team - Käkö Lyytikäinen, Anki Hurme, Jorma Petra, Antti Jokisalo, Mika Raitio, Thomas Popp
Street Series: Blacklist
Racers (Bike): Janne Koskinen
Racers (Car): Johnny Oksa
Ambitious Junior: Laura Blomberg
V8 Magazine Press Award: Leo Männistö
Per Gästrin Series Award: Timo Eronen
Matti "Putte" Hämäläinen Memorial Award: Jarmo "Jamppa" Maijala
FHRA Officials Award: Estonian Drag Race Association


Swift snippets.
15th September: German Sand Drags racer Sebastian Lindau will be fielding two bikes at this weekend's Off Road Drag Race in Switzerland. "There are more than hundred riders listed so this gonna be a busy one", says Sebastian. "The SDR Team will race our FZR, ridden by Iceland's Hilmar Magnusson, and I will ride our freshly-built Hayabusa (right). If you are interested then please come to visit us in the pits."

Swedish Pro Stock racer Michael Malmgren got in touch to explain that he and his team tried hard to make the FIA / FIM European Finals but that his motor felt differently. "There was not enough time between the Scandinavian Internationals and the European Finals to fix the motor", said Michael. "This was the first Finals which we have missed in fifteen years and so we missed our chance of a Top 3 position. I would like to say thanks to all of our fans and supporters for your support over the years. We are now focusing on 2017 and working on sneaking up on Jimmy Ålund and Bengt Ljungdahl who are in a class of their own right now. Looking forward to seeing you all again at the Main Event in 2017."

Congratulations to VW Sportsman and Bracket Gambler racer Holly Baldwin on the birth of son Jack in the early hours of last Thursday (Just in time for our webcast, nice one - Ed). Jack weighed in at 7 lb 13 oz and Dave Baldwin tells us that both are fine. "Plans for Jack's Tot Rod are in the pipeline", says Dave. "Watch out for the return of Whirligig next season when Holly will fit the fire suit!".

UK Pro ET racer Mike Lacey has put his nine-second Metamorphosis '67 Camaro up for sale. Mike says that having owned the car for twenty years, of which he raced it for twelve years, it was a hard decision to make. The car is spotless and is for sale with a choice of motors, and as Mike has the log book it could be made street-legal again. You can find full details under Cars For Sale on our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet.

Editor's note: As most of you are aware it has been a busy time for Eurodragster.com recently with six events in three countries in four weeks although it seems to be one of those Laws of Nature that however busy and shagged out you are someone will always tell you that they are worse off. We have a backlog of news on which we are currently working and that backlog should be cleared on tomorrow's update, or Saturday's update latest. Please keep the news coming to news@eurodragster.com and we'll be pleased to include it. Amongst other things tomorrow's update includes the latest from Bloodlines Racing (Especial thanks to Laura and Turbo for their patience - Ed) and the Russian Championship finals.


Fuel Altereds for diner.
15th September: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is proud to announce that two iconic drag racing vehicles will be on display at the Gala Dinner to be held at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel, Heathrow, on 19th November: the Rat Trap and Havoc Fuel Altereds. Both will be specially transported to the hotel to be part of the celebrations which include many VIPs from the world of drag racing. What a great souvenir photo opportunity for those attending!

Ron Hope, US-based owner and driver of Rat Trap, has been thrilling crowds in the UK and Germany this summer, running several match races with Havoc, owned by Britain's Rob Loaring and Nick Davies and driven by Nick. Ron is a great supporter of the BDRHoF, and Rob Loaring is also being inducted for his twenty five-year career in engineering and tuning Championship-winning cars in the UK.

Ron said "When we received the invitation to have Rat Trap on display at the Gala Dinner we felt really honoured that our car will be the focus of so many drag racing legends. After racing at Santa Pod in 2014 and 2016 and in Hockenheim this summer, it is really the icing on the cake."

Rob Loaring said "Nick and I have been really over the moon with the reception which Havoc has received over the years, and we are looking forward with great excitement to taking it to tour the US and race Rat Trap at key Nostalgia events in 2017". BDRHoF Sponsorship Partner Beech Underwriting has been instrumental in arranging for Havoc's forthcoming US Tour.

The BDRHoF is also announcing that long time sponsors Rat Trap Racing and US Automotive are sponsoring the table wine at this year's Gala. BDRHoF Chair Stu Bradbury said "We warmly thank Ron Hope of Rat Trap Racing and Stewart Bassett of US Automotive for their wonderful generosity in providing the wine for this year's Gala Dinner and are sure the Fuel Altereds will provide a fantastic photo opportunity at the event."

The BDRHoF wants to thank Santa Pod Raceway and the whole crew for providing some of the most exciting racing seen in Europe this year. Their involvement in bringing the Fuel Altereds across to Europe has produced some of the highlights of the year and brought back fabulous memories to those of us who remember cars like Tee-Rat and Shutdown.

Ticket prices for the 2016 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner remain as last year at £60 per person. Corporate tables of ten are available at £580. More details are available by clicking here. For advance booking of tickets contact stuart@britishdragracinghof.co.uk or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102.


Web site updates.
15th September: VW Pro racer Andrew Agroment is currently regrouping for next season and in the meantime has set up a Facebook page which you can check out at www.facebook.com/Black-baron-racing-180363305731512.

The latest update to Alan Currans' excellent Acceleration Archive is a gallery of shots of Sunday's action at the NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway. As ever you can check out the latest update via What's New at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.

Our good buddy Remco Scheelings has posted two FIA / FIM European Finals reports on the Autosport.nl web site. As ever there is a race report and an off-track report, both of which are excellent and well-illustrated for those who don't understand Dutch. You can check out Remco's race report by clicking here and the off-track report by clicking here.

The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr site with galleries from the recent Junior Drag Racing Fun Day at Santa Pod Raceway. You can check out Mad's pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/the_madwelshman.


2016 UK Tech Committee meeting.
14th September: Thanks to Yvonne Tramm for letting us know that a meeting of the UK Tech Committee has been arranged at 8:00 pm prompt on Wednesday 12th October September at the
Holiday Inn, Borehamwood (map). Tea and coffee will be available from 7:00 pm.

The main topic for discussion will be the UK Rule Book for 2017. All are welcome but if you plan to attend, or if you have any items for the agenda, then please E-Mail Yvonne at ytramm@africonnect.com by Monday 10th October.


Flame and Thunder demos invited.
14th September: James Forster tells us that Santa Pod Raceway are seeking sub twelve-second cars and sub ten-second bikes to make demonstration passes at the Flame and Thunder Show on Saturday 29th October:

The quirkier the vehicle, the longer the burnouts, and the higher the wheelstands, the better! There are a limited number of slots available for each class which will be issued on a first-come first-served basis and they will go fast.

If you'd like to take part in the Flame and Thunder Show then please get in touch with James at Santa Pod as soon as possible at james@santapod.com or call 01234 782828.


2017 SPRC Dinner Dance.
14th September: Santa Pod Racers Club are pleased to announce their 2017 Dinner Dance and Trophy Evening which takes place at 6:00 pm on Saturday 11th February 2017 at the De Vere Staverton Park Hotel in Daventry Road, Staverton, Daventry, NN11 6JT (map). This event will present Champions and runners-up in the 2016 UK National Drag Racing Championships, MSA British Drag Racing Championship, Santa Pod Racers Club Championships and SPRC Perpetual Award winners.

The arrangements for the SPRC Dinner Dance are as follow:
  • Pre-dinner drinks will be available in the bar from 5:30 pm.

  • Proceedings will start prompt at 6:00 pm with trophy presentations to the 2016 Santa Pod Racers Club Champions and runners-up. For this reason it is important that everyone is in their seats in the function room at 6:00 pm as the presentation will not be held up for latecomers. If you miss your presentation then we will not be going back!

  • Dinner will be served at 7:00 pm.

  • After dinner, the 2016 UK National Champions and runners-up will be presented with their trophies, then the top three in the 2016 MSA British Drag Racing Championship, and finally the 2016 SPRC Perpetual Award winners.
Tickets to the Dinner Dance are £35 per adult and £20 for under-12s which includes three-course meal plus tea / coffee and mints. An additional £1 per ticket should be added if paying by credit card. If you wish to pay direct to the SPRC bank account then the details can be found on any event entry form or they can contact Yvonne Tramm (see below) and she will forward details.

The main meal for children will be chicken nuggets and chips and the dessert will be ice cream, but please choose a starter for your child and also specify on the booking form that it is for a child.

If you have any special dietary requirements then please inform Yvonne Tramm at ytramm@africonnect.com and she will include them on the menu selection list for the hotel. Please do not approach the hotel yourself about special dietary requirements.

SPRC have negotiated a preferential rate for rooms in the hotel. These are priced at £85 for a single room and £95 for double or twin rooms, including breakfast on Sunday morning. To book your room, please call the hotel on 01327 302002 quoting reference SANT110216. Please do not try to book your room on-line as the electronic reservations system has been told that the entire hotel booked for that evening, so your attempt at reservation will fail.

You can download the Dinner Dance booking form (PDF format) by clicking here. Please note that booking forms should be sent to Yvonne Tramm at the address specified on the form and not to the SPRC office.

If you have any queries about the Dinner Dance then please contact Yvonne Tramm, not the SPRC office, at ytramm@africonnect.com.

2015 Perpetual Award winners please note that trophies should be be returned to SPRC as soon as possible. To make arrangements for trophy return please contact Ian Marshall at ir.marshall@btconnect.com or call 01933 313625.


Break open the piggy bank...
14th September: As usual there will be a big fund-raising effort for Bloodwise at next week's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway in memory of late SPRC Club Secretary and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame inductee Paula Marshall.

The annual Racers v Santa Pod / Santa Pod Racers Club football match will take place after racing finishes on Saturday evening (24th) and there will be collecting buckets and plenty of other opportunities to donate at that match. And, of course, yet another opportunity for the racers to hand SPR / SPRC their butts on a plate with fries and relish and free refills. Stay tuned for more about the football match.

In addition, Phil and Avril Brown will be auctioning a copy of this year's Santa Pod Raceway 50th Annniversary supplement (right) which they took to the recent NHRA US Nationals at Indy and had autographed by everyone who is anyone in US drag racing including Shirley Muldowney, Tom McEwen, John Force, Don Garlits, Ed McCulloch and many many more; Phil was kind enough to show us the supplement and, looking through it, we found it so full of autographs that there is barely any room left. In fact we wondered whether Phil and Avril saw any racing at Indy since they did not stop collecting names. Four Bob Bode T-Shirts are also up for grabs. Break open the piggy bank and look down the back of the sofa for the auction at Santa Pod next week.

If you are unable to attend the National Finals but would like to put in a bid then please E-Mail editor@eurodragster.com and we will ensure that Phil and Avril are informed.


Swift snippets.
14th September: Staying with next week's UK National Finals, many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us the final version of the event's official entry list, which you can check out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Many thanks to Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe for sending us the official timing data from the FIA / FIM European Finals. You can check out the European Finals timing data by clicking here or by clicking on the Timing Data link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Thanks also to Marrs for forwarding us a post-European Finals table of European Bests now including the Pro Stock Bike and Super Street Bike records set by Fredrik Fredlund and Steve Venables, updated quickest side-by-side Super Street Bike race, and updated Santa Pod track record set by Duncan Micallef. You can check it out by clicking here or by clicking on the European Bests link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Finally timing guru Andy Marrs has announced that he will no longer be attending race events at Santa Pod Raceway in his official capacity as timekeeper. Luckily for us all Marrs will stay involved from home, amongst other things supplying timing data and consulting with Eurodragster.com on the identification and confirmation of UK and European records as he has done since we commenced live reports in 1999. In fact the European Bests page here on Eurodragster.com was Marrs' idea as up to that point there was no centrally-held list of records. Speaking for Eurodragster.com we will miss Marrs' presence at the track, although Race Control will be somewhat more fragrant immediately after breakfast, and we would like to thank him for his ceaseless hard work and great company in the past as well as his promised continued help in the future.


FIA/FIM European Finals results.
12th September: Congratulations to the winners of the weekend's FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Micke Kågered 7.9857/83.18 bye, Duncan Micallef no show
FIA Top Methanol Dragster: Dennis Habermann 5.3209/269.89 def. Timo Habermann 5.3053/269.78
FIA Pro Modified: Micke Gullqvist 5.8896/243.83 def. Mats Eriksson 6.1134/234.05
FIA Pro Stock: Bengt Ljungdahl 6.5388/210.85 def. Jimmy Ålund 6.6164/209.14

FIM Europe Top Fuel Bike: Filipppos Papafilippou 6,7396/206.17 def. Rikard Gustafsson 7.7947/112.22
FIM Europe Supertwin: Martijn de Haas 6.6650/211.82 def. Chris Hannam no time broke
FIM Europe Pro Stock Bike: Fredrik Fredlund 6.9787/189.72 def. Martin Newbury 7.7716/130.95 DQ red light
FIM Europe Super Street Bike Cup: Garry Bowe 6.9806/209.13 def. Steve Venables 7.0366/208.01

European Nitro Funny Car Series: Gordon Smith 7.1848/97.50 def. Kevin Kent 4.2974/287.71 DQ red light

Comp Eliminator: Jens Eklund (7.98) 8.4975/118.21 def. Rene Ehrismann 7.3501/182.79 DQ red light
Super Pro ET: Brad Jackson (7.78) 7.8620/164.83 def. Tom Atkinson (8.87) 8.8520/151.59 DQ breakout
Pro ET: Will Clark (10.45) 10.4950/118.03 def. Simon Innes (10.72) 10.7757/121.42
Super Comp: Pete Creswell 15.0491/75.03 bye, Paul Brown no show
Super Gas: Dan Page 9.9409/138.64 def. Collin Morrice 10.0132/149.57
Super Street: David Withington 10.9997/120.91 def. Dave Cherrett 11.6068/102.43
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster: Aaron Fensome (7.96) 8.0098/80.93 def. Jordan Payne (7.99) 8.0105/80.50 DQ red light
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator: Mark Todd 7.3240/199.88 def. Jon Webster 7.8057/183.52

The following records were set, subject to official ratification:

FIM Europe Pro Stock Bike ET: 6.978 seconds, Fredrik Fredlund
FIM Europe Super Street Bike Cup ET: 6.946 seconds, Steve Venables

Congratulations to Junior Dragster racer Roman Sixta Jr and to Super Pro ET racer Paul Marston who won the Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award and the Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award in support of the
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children respectively. Both Awards have been reset to £50 for next week's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway.

You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored FIA / FIM European Finals reports, pit notes and galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


2016 European Champions.
12th September: Congratulations to the 2016 European Champions:

FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Anita Mäkelä
FIA Top Methanol Dragster: Jonny Lagg
FIA Top Methanol Funny Car: Johnny Oksa
FIA Pro Modified: Micke Gullqvist
FIA Pro Stock: Jimmy Ålund

FIM Europe Top Fuel Bike: Ian King
FIM Europe Supertwin: Martijn de Haas
FIM Europe Pro Stock Bike: Gert-Jan Laseur
FIM Europe Super Street Bike Cup: Garry Bowe

European Nitro Funny Car Series: Kevin Kent

You can read more in our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored FIA / FIM European Finals coverage, which is still ongoing, by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Many thanks to Åsa Kinnemar for forwarding us the final points standings in the FIA European Drag Racing Championships. You can check out the FIA points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


Swift snippets.
10th September: This week's edition of Autocar magazine carries a two-page interview with UK Top Fuel Dragster star Liam Jones. Liam guides Editor Matt Burt through the Top Fuel process, from firing up his RF Motorsport machine to parachute deployment. The article is illustrated by an action photo of Liam at Hockenheim captured by Eurodragster.com Photographer Kirstie. Published every Wednesday, Autocar is on sale at good newsagents, price £3.80.

Bye bye green 'Bird.
7th September: The Netherlands' Marck Harteveld has put his Superbird Pro Mod up for sale as he has finally got his hands on a race car which he has long coveted. Marck got in touch to tell us all about it:

Last winter we rebuilt the car to participate in the Pro Mod class after two years racing in Super Pro ET with a blown Keith Black Hemi. We learned a lot during those two years so last winter we decided to make the step. We bought the Pro Dutch guys' spare engine and we have worked together since then.

At Easter we made our first licencing runs for Pro Mods. We had some problems, the weather didn't give us time and unfortunately our blower shaft broke during the last run so we were not able to make full passes. At home we rebuilt the blower and made everything ready for the Main Event.

We arrived two days early for the Main Event to do the rest of our licencing at the Peak Performance Day. That was a good weekend for us, we picked up our licence and placed our Bird into #12 spot. The first round was against local hero Andy Robinson, both of us had big tyre shake but we got to the finish line first. In the next round we lost against Mats Eriksson, but with a 6.47 and 219 mph it was a great weekend for us.

Our Bird was way too heavy for the max weight, so we decided it had to lose a lot of weight before the Mopar EuroNationals. In other words, lots of work to do! We started with the nose, doors and deck lid in carbon fibre instead of fibreglass, got rid of the batteries and a lot of wiring and other stuff to make it lighter. Although this worked out we were still too heavy but now it was by only twenty pounds. This resulted in better time slips right away and at that time new PBs on the Sunday with a 6.23 and the last run a 6.21. So we were very happy that weekend, despite the fact we were disqualified due the Bird being overweight.

Not much time between the Mopar EuroNationals and the NitrOlympX, still too heavy so more work to do. Not a problem! We made new and much lighter zoomies, different front wheels and a carbon drive shaft and we were ten pounds below the maximum weight. So we went to Hockenheim with an improved set-up and the weather was fine so we were hoping to make a lot of good runs. During qualifying we had a lot of tyreshake and in the end only one moderate run of 6.59 so we qualified #10. The first elimination was against our friends the ProDutch guys. They had a sparkplug come out and we had a bad tyre shake again, but we were still in the field. So we decided it was time to change a lot of things: wheelie bar settings, tyre pressure, shocks, ignition and fuel set-up, so we were ready for the second round against Mats Eriksson. Finally we had a good start and on the run Mats had some problems so we took the round with a 6.21. Man, that was awesome for me and the whole team!

The third run was against reigning Champion Micke Gullqvist, so the team and I and our friends from ProDuch made the Bird ready. On that run I had Micke on the lights and with a 6.15 against a 6.05 we were winners. I can tell you that the whole team and everyone around went crazy at that time, awesome! Into the finals against Johan Lindberg, although we lost that run we were very glad as again we ran a new PB, 6.12!

So the last event for us this year will be the European Finals next weekend. Many people read about the car being for sale and yes, the Bird has to fly. I had my eyes on another car for some time but it was not for sale. I spoke to the guy and he may have put it up for sale and than he put it on the Swap Meet on Eurodragster.com. I called him directly after Hockenheim and we made the deal, then picked it up last weekend to start getting it ready for the next season.

Everybody is curious about the new car... well, it is the Dodge Daytona which formerly belonged to Pete Farber, who raced it in NHRA Pro Mod, and then to Adam Flamholc. It had been standing in Denmark for two years so this winter we have a lot of work to do. After winter we hope to come back much lighter and faster. I want to thank all of our sponsors and my team who made all of this possible.

So check out Cars For Sale on the Eurodragster.com Swap Meet, look at what I am offering for a good price, and you could own the baddest 'Bird on the planet.


European Top Gas Series final.
7th September: Many thanks to Herman Jolink for sending us the outcome of this year's European Top Gas Series after the final round at the eighth-mile single-lane Mosten Race Days sprint.

I got third place out of fourteen Top Gas racers. On Friday I qualified third at 5.378/206 kmh. On Saturday they held a Cannonball for the top eight qualifiers then the quickest four went through, then the final two. I went out in the second round at 5.469 seconds.

Mosten Race Days result:
  1. Frederik Schack DK on Buell G12
  2. Jorg Lymant Germany on Buell G12
  3. Herman Jolink Netherlands on Ducati 1198 RS (1266)
2016 European Top Gas Championship:
  1. Frederik Schack Denmark on Buell G12 2622 cc
  2. Herman Jolink Netherlands on Ducati 1198 RS (1266)
  3. Birch Andersen Denmark on 2622 V-Twin
You can find out more at www.topgas.com.


2016 Finnish Bike Champions.
7th September: Many thanks to Pasi Uponen for forwarding us the honour roll of 2016 FHRA Drag Bike Champions. Congratulations to:

Junior Bike: Onni Hyväkkä
Street Bike: Harri Mylläri
Super Gas Bike (9.50 Bike): Kari Rautanen
Super Comp Bike (8.50 Bike): Toni Suokas
Pro Harley Drags: Jani Lempinen
Funny Bike: Juha Ollikainen
Super Street Bike: Jani Kumpulainen
Super Twin Top Fuel: Harri Piensalmi

Congratulations also to Pasi himself on winning FHRA's Drag Racing Journalist of The Year award. "I'm really proud of this award and at the same time I think it's an honour for Finnish Drag Bike Racing", says Pasi. "Thanks to FHRA, Bomber magazine, all of the Drag Bike teams and all of my readers. Heading to new adventures!"


European Finals Perfect Awards.
7th September: This weekend's FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway is the latest event in the 2016 Eurodragster.com Perfect Awards Scheme. £100 is on offer for perfect performance.

This weekend's Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award has been reset to £50 after it was won by VW Pro racer Carl Goldsmith at the APIRA Open Sport Nationals. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to record a Reaction Time of 0.000 seconds. The Perfect Light Award is available to racers in all classes during qualifying and eliminations, but will only be awarded for the first Perfect Light of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the UK National Finals. The Perfect Light Award is presented in association with Bad Habit Racing (Cath and Tig Napier, Pro ET).

Decals are not mandatory for the Perfect Light Award but we would appreciate it if Eurodragster.com decals are carried. Eurodragster.com decals are available from the Signing On office.

This weekend's Eurodragster.com Perfect ET Award supporting the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has been reset to £50 after it was won by ET Bike / NAST racer Fiona Moor at the APIRA Open Sport Nationals. The money will be paid in cash to the first racer this weekend to run an ET to the thousandth of a second on dial-in or index. The Perfect ET Award is available this weekend during qualifying or eliminations in Super Pro ET, Pro ET, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street and Lucas Oil Junior Dragster (eliminations only), but will only be awarded for the first Perfect ET of the event. If not won this weekend then the Award will be increased to £75 for the UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway; if it is won then it will be reset to £50 for the UK National Finals. The Perfect ET Award is presented by Derek and Fiona Flynn of Eurodragster.com sponsor Gold RV in support of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children; you can donate to the NSPCC at www.nspcc.org.uk.

To be eligible to collect the Perfect ET Award, racers are required to carry Eurodragster.com / NSPCC decals (right), one on each side of the vehicle. If you pull this weekend's first Perfect ET but are not carrying decals when the run is made then there will be no discussion; we will not pay out and the next person to record a Perfect ET will get the money assuming that they are carrying decals. Eurodragster.com / NSPCC decals will be available from the Signing On office first thing this morning (Wednesday).


Do Panic!
6th September: Mark and Jackie Hawkins say that yesterday's spy picture was of part of their new Nitro Funny Car which they will be campaigning in the European Series in 2017. Mark and Jackie previously ran a Dodge Avenger FC with Gary Page at the wheel and their last outing was a rental of one of Knut Soderqvist's Top Fuel Dragsters, again piloted by Gary in the early 2000s. Gary will be driving the new Dodge Stratus Funny Car which is carrying the legendary Panic name.


"The chassis is brand new and was built by Baumgartner Race Cars in Missouri", Mark told Eurodragster.com. "Ty Baumgartner has been instrumental in sourcing and shipping parts for us for this project and we would like to say a massive thank you to him for all his help and in building a superbly engineered chassis.

"All the old team are back together with a few younger models added to help out the oldies."

The first fire-up will take place soon with the first competitive outing planned for the Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway next Easter.


Friday Night Special.
6th September: Donna Finnegan of Santa Pod Raceway has been in touch to let us know that racers and crew members are welcome in the grandstand free of charge for the Friday Night Nitro session at this week's FIA / FIM European Finals:

Free entry will be permitted from 7:00 pm this Friday (only) through gate numbers 81 - 110. A racer ticket or start line pass will need to be shown to the grandstand steward before entering.

If racers wish to access the grandstand before 7:00 pm on Friday, or at any time on Saturday or Sunday, then they can purchase half price grandstand tickets directly from the grandstand ticket kiosk. This offer is strictly for teams entered at the European Finals. Tickets can also be purchased by crew members at the grandstand kiosk. Each crew member must show their green racer admission ticket, not the start line crew pass, at the time of purchase. One racer or crew ticket entitles the holder to one half price grandstand seat.

All seat purchases will be subject to availability and disputes will not be entered into.


Swift snippets.
6th September: Time to hit the "Congratulations on another win..." function key yet again for reigning NHRA Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Funny Car Champion Jonnie Lindberg who won the class at the prestigious NHRA US Nationals at Indianapolis. You can read more on the Lindberg Brothers' web site at www.lindbergbros.com and on Drag Race Central at www.dragracecentral.com.

Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 3 of the official entry list for the UK National Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 24th-25th September. You can check out the UK National Finals entry list by clicking here. If you have any queries about UK National Finals entry then please contact Ian Marshall at ir.marshall@btconnect.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).


Havoc heads west.
5th September: "Bring it to the US!", they said. "It'll be great fun and everyone will love it!", they said. And so the seeds were sown.

Like many UK-based race teams, it had always been the dream of Nick Davies and Rob Loaring of Silverstone-based engine builders
ICE Automotive to take a car to the home of drag racing and to go toe-to-toe with famed luminaries about whom we all read on a periodic basis. From the heady days of Pro Modified racing in the 1990s, the pair had like many chewed the fat about "Wouldn't it be great if...?"

The major protagonists behind the most recent idea have been the infamous Hope Family of Rat Trap Racing fame, as well as the influential management team behind US Automotive. Having done the cross-ocean exercise more than once, albeit in reverse, the Rat Trap team have always been quick to point out the simplicity of the exercise whilst appearing to maintain the heart rate and blood pressure of paediatric heart surgeons. Could it really be that stress-free?

Having returned for "Just for another look" to the 2015 California Hot Rod Reunion, Nick and Rob the pair spent time talking to some of whom many consider to be the legends of Fuel Altered racing including Leon Fitzgerald, Dave Hough and Les Jackson as well as, of course, Rich Guasco and Dale Emery, Randy Bradford and the Hopes. It was in talking to these guys as well as watching their cars Nanook, Rat Trap, Pure Hell, Bradfords Fiat, the Winged Express, the Sullivans Fiat, Pure Heaven and High Heaven, amongst others, that they realised that if it were at all possible then they should do it.

Dragstalgia 2016 confirmed it. The alcohol engine was history and the Havoc Fuel Altered functioned with its nitro-fuelled Rodeck Donovan.

There are always a thousand reasons not to do something, but with each reason offered answers kept appearing. Would it be legal? Sure. Licencing? No Problem. How long do we ship it out for? A year sounds good. How many meetings? Four seems sensible. Where would we keep it? Friends will help. Transport? They're good friends! Could we definitely get into the meetings we wanted to go to? They're really good friends! What about insurance? We can sort that. Could we afford the time and the cost? Hmm... there's plenty of time to think about that one.

If we waited for all the stars to align before we did anything little would be achieved and so it is, with some trepidation, that we would like to announce the skeleton plans for a 2017 tour of the USA with the little green altered. By the time Christmas rolls around, plans are for the car to be occupying one half of a two Bantam-sized container, rolling across the Atlantic towards warmer climes, with the aim of making it safely across with plenty of leeway to traverse the vast country in time to make it to the 2017 March Meet at Famoso Raceway. Our planned schedule is:
  • 2017 March Meet
  • 2017 Hot Rod Reunion, Bowling Green, Kentucky - June
  • AN Other (plans afoot but confirmation awaited) - August
  • 2017 California Hot Rod Reunion - October
Of course none of this would be possible without the help (and arm twisting) of a number of key individuals. Firstly, Ron, Brian and the entire Hope family. Their enthusiasm and support has been extraordinary. Details are irrelevant but suffice to say that the project would be a complete non-starter without them. Beech Underwriting, who have done so much for the sport via not only the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, but various other initiatives focussed towards the nostalgia area. Geoff Stilwell, CEO and Managing Director, says "Beech Underwriting is really pleased to be able to help Nick and Rob achieve their dream of running in the US. I cannot wait to see them in Bakersfield next year". Next, big supporter of UK drag racing and the various exploits of Rat Trap Racing is US Automotive, and Chairman Stewart Bassett, in particular. Without the efforts of these guys, the travelling US altereds are unlikely to have made it over in both 2014 and 2016 and the idea of our tour would never have been formulated. Lastly (at present) to long-term supporter of everything UK-based relating to fuel altereds, good friend Lawrie Gatehouse and the NFAA, without whom and which the Altered scene in the UK would look very different to how it has looked over the last decade.

This brings us conveniently to the European Finals where, once again, we get the chance to run in anger against the US altereds of Ron and Brian Hope and of Randy Bradford, as well as the Apache Funny Car. We're designated an Exhibition but still no quarter is likely to be asked or given.

Stop by the marquee housing all four cars - you won't be disappointed. And if you would like to help then please show your support for the US Tour by buying a T-Shirt. If you really want to help, then buy two shirts, or three! If we don't have your size or colour then they're such good quality that they make great polishing rags!

See you at the Euros, then we'll see you in America!


Jordan's backing from VP.
5th September: UK Junior Dragster racer Jordan Payne is please to announce that the Sticky Situation Junior Dragster Team will partner VP Racing Fuels USA starting with this weekend's FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway and continuing through 2017.

"I would like to thank Freddie Turza and Mark Tycen for approaching me with this opportunity, and I am looking forward to help promote VP Racing Fuels", says Jordan. "The team already has experience with VP's product range, as my father always used their products whilst he drove his 1962 Corvette in Super Modified. VP's fuel helped to power his car to three National Championships, to both ET and speed records which still stand today."

VP Racing Fuels was founded in 1974 by Steve Burns, a young racer living in San Antonio, Texas. Although only self taught in physics and chemistry, he was convinced that he could create a fuel which could bring out the optimum horsepower from an engine. Now just over forty years later, VP Racing Fuels has grown to be recognised as the world leader in race fuel technology. VP Racing Fuels is able to supply nearly seventy different fuel blends, and is fuelling champions across the entire spectrum of motorsport. If you are looking for a racing fuel which is high in quality and performance, you can view VP's full fuel range at www.vpracingfuels.com.

"The team is proud to make our début appearance with VP Racing Fuels this Thursday at the European Finals", adds Jordan. "If you happen to be visiting Santa Pod Raceway this weekend, please feel free to find us and say Hello to the Sticky Situation Junior Dragster Team. If you would like to find out more about VP Racing Fuels or the Sticky Situation Racing Team visit www.vpracingfuels.com, www.facebook.com/VPRacingFuel, www.jordanpayne.co.uk and www.facebook.com/Sticky-Situation-Junior-Dragster-Team-927557417263315.

"Whilst you are looking for VP Racing Fuels, why not search for my other sponsors Goodridge Hoses, Nimbus Motorsport, Cam Auto Developments, CTR Developments, Mantis Web , Windrush Roofing and Simon Cox Marketing Solutions.


Swift snippets.
5th September: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with no words. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

Records fall at VW Action.
5th September: Thanks to Volkswagen Drag Racing Club Chair Luke Stevenson for confirming the records which were set at VW Action at Santa Pod Raceway this weekend. Congratulations to:

World record for an electric doorslammer: 8.282/159.09, Sam and Olly Young
World record for VR6 doorslammer: 8.474/167.91, David Kakoschke
European record for FWD: 8.457/165.48, Torsten Middendorf

Congratulations also to Santa Pod Racers Club who were inducted into the VW Action Hall of Fame.

A big Thank You to Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Nigel Hale who kindly gave 11.0- and 10.7-second passenger rides in his pick-up to Eurodragster.com staff Kirstie and Tog, and to Diana Macrae and Andrew Shakeshaft for their help.

You can check out our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored VW Action photo galleries by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Our next coverage will be live report, gallery and Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast from Wednesday's Pro Peak Performance Test and Tune Day at Santa Pod Raceway.


European Finals racer update II.
4th September: SPRC International Race Director Carole Ismail and Santa Pod Raceway management have asked us to pass on two important messages to racers attending next week's FIA / FIM European Finals:

Only race officials and SPR staff are allowed in Race Control whilst racing is underway (This includes the Eurodragster.com office at the Bankside end of Race Control - Ed). Should racers wish to raise any matter with race officials then please do not visit Race Control, please firstly see Race Secretary Kathy Taylor who is based in Signing On.

If you wish to receive class call-outs by smartphone then it is recommended that you carry out the following steps before coming to Santa Pod:
  1. Download App.net from the Play Store for Android or the iPhone App Store
  2. Create an account for App.net
  3. Search for the SPRC channel and follow it
When these steps have been completed you will receive notifications. The app relies on mobile network or wi-fi so you will need some kind of connection throughout the event for it to work. Call-outs will still of course be made by your Pit Marshal and on the PA.


Nitro 2 Avgas 1.
3rd September: Robin Read has been in touch to let us know the outcome of the match races at York Raceway between his nitro-burning Daimler dragster and Julian Webb in the Split Second Jet Dragster:

It was a very exciting meeting. Julian and I enjoyed the challenge of driving against each other and our teams worked together to establish a routine and timings which allowed such different cars to put on a show, which was no mean feat! We ran over the eighth-mile.

Run 1: Julian won 4.6/175 to my 5.35/137
Run 2: I won 4.90/137 to Julian's 4.95/173
Run 3: I won 4.74/147 to Julian's 4.54/153

We could not believe how evenly matched the two cars were. Neither of us could have predicted the end result. We both hopped-up our cars for the last run, With all to play for the excitement around York Raceway was very evident, some fans were for the Jet and some for the Daimler and we are both popular regulars at York. I'm told that the spectacle was visually and audibly awesome, the howl of the jet and rumble of nitro, not to mention the aromas of the different fuels drifting across the start area.

I'd like to thank Steve Murty for having us, Pennine Drag Racing Club for providing a safe environment in which to to run, all the hard-working marshals and track crew and of course the fire and safety and medical crews. Lastly Thank You to Julian and his team for a safe and hugely enjoyable event and to my own team for their invaluable assistance and dedication.

Richard Smith kindly sent us a link to an awesome video of one of the Dragster v Jet races which you can check out at left. You can also take a look at Richard's excellent shots from all of last weekend's Hot Rod Reunion at
rdsmith.zenfolio.com/hot-rod-reunion-2016.

Swift snippets.
3rd September: We have two birthdays today. First up is a very Happy Birthday to eagle-eyed supercrew Julie Moxley (right) who is celebrating a special birthday (Think Sportsman or Super Street Tree - Ed). Have a lovely day Julie. Celebrating his seventieth today is UK Fuel Altered legend Ollie Burn; Adam Gleadow and all of the Motor Psycho team asked us to wish Ollie a very Happy Birthday. Our pleasure guys, have a great day Ollie.

McClurg's John Hancock here.
3rd September: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame have announced that legendary US motoring and drag racing journalist Bob McClurg will be holding a signing session on the day of the BDRHoF Gala Dinner at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel at Heathrow Airport.

Bob's book Diggers, Funnies, Gassers, and Altereds: Drag Racing's Golden Age documents the 1960s and 1970s when drag racing evolved from a grass-roots effort to a full-blown professional motorsport. With more than 350 colour and black and white photos, this book is an exciting visual history of the Golden Era of drag racing. The paperback book will be offered at a price of £20 compared with a RRP of £31. One reviewer described it as "A must-have for your coffee table" and another "If you only own one vintage drag book, this is the one to have". The out-of-print hardback edition sells between collectors for as much as $300.

Bob McClurg, who has been active in the sport for almost fifty years, and who has interviewed all the legendary names, will be hosting the BDRHoF Bench Racing session sponsored by Beech Underwriting Agencies will take place in the Atlantic Suite between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm on the same day, Saturday 19th November. Admission will be by ticket only; you can apply for your ticket and confirm your place by E-Mailing geoff@beechunderwriting.co.uk. Less than fifty tickets are available so apply quickly to secure a place.

Ticket prices for the 2016 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner remain as last year at £60 per person. Corporate tables of ten are available at £580. More details are available by clicking here. For advance booking of tickets contact stuart@britishdragracinghof.co.uk or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102.


Ålund's fair weekend.
3rd September: The Scandinavian Internationals, the fifth round of the 2016 FIA European Drag Racing Championships, was held at Tierp Arena in Sweden last week. The facility lived up to its excellent reputation, the track crew delivered a world class racing surface.

For the Jimmy Ålund Pro Stock Racing Team it had been a hectic few weeks culminating in a win at the Hockenheim just one week before the Scandinavian Internationals. Most teams going to Tierp Arena only had one or two full days to prepare for this race.

Qualifying had its ups and downs as Jimmy finished the first day in number two spot. This was rectified on the Saturday when Jimmy ran the quickest times in both qualifying sessions, going in to Sunday's eliminations not only as the number one qualifier but also having picked up important qualifying points. "We had some issues with the driver on Friday", said Jimmy with a smile, "but that was corrected for Saturday. We were very satisfied with our performance and to get to the top of the qualifying list."

In Sunday's eliminations Jimmy won the first round with what turned out to be quickest Pro Stock run of the weekend, an ET of 6.53 at a solid 343.51 kmh (213.44 mph). In round two Jimmy ran into a slight tyre shake which cleared up in time for him to cross the finish line first. In the final against Bengt Ljundahl Jimmy left the line first but ran into more problems with tyre shake and had to shut off before the finish line.

"Eliminations were tricky for us but we got to the finals", said Jimmy. "I'd like to congratulate Bengt Ljungdahl for the win and also on resetting the FIA Pro Stock ET record." Jimmy left the Scandinavian Internationals still in the points lead, thirty seven points ahead of Bengt Ljungdahl. A tight points race, the FIA Pro Stock Championship will be decided at the last race of the season next week.

Jimmy would like to express his gratitude to his sponsors Exclusive Cars (Scandinavian Internationals sponsor), Summit Racing, Viking Industrimålning, Sverigedemokraterna, KB Racing, Camaroskroten, Tradepac, POs Harley Davidson, All American AB, CFM, Vadstena Klosterhotel, Stigs Axle and Parts, Hydraulakuten, VP Racing Fuel and X Parts.


Web site updates.
3rd September: Our good buddy Steve Moxley has had his SPRC Summernationals review published on the Eat My Ink web site at www.eatmyink.com.

European Finals racer update.
2nd September: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us the details of the arrangements for next week's FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway:

Wednesday 7th September
08:00 Gates open for the duration of the event
09:00 Signing On office opens
09:00 Sportsman car scrutineering commences (no set order)

Thursday 8th September
07:00 Signing On office opens
07:00 Sportsman car scrutineering commences (
order)
09:00 Pro bike scrutineering commences (order)
09:30 Track opens for qualifying
11:15 Pro car scrutineering commences (order)

Friday 9th September
07:30 Signing On office opens
07:30 Scrutineering commences
09:00 Pro bike scrutineering commences (order)
09:30 Track open for qualifying

Saturday 10th September
08:00 Signing On office opens
08:00 Scrutineering commences
09:30 Track open for qualifying and eliminations

Sunday 11th September
09:30 Track open for eliminations

The provisional running orders are now available and can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. Please note as ever that running orders are subject to change due to weather or track conditions or for any other reason deemed necessary by race officials.

No race vehicle motors are to be fired up before 09:00 or after 21:00 on any day of the event. Before 09:00 vehicles should be pushed or towed to Scrutineering, not driven. Non-observation of curfew will result in exclusion from the event.

Junior Dragster and Junior Funny Car racers please remember the rule about pushing vehicles back to the pits once through the arch beside Scrutineering.

As well being made by pit marshals and via the PA, class call-outs will also be made on-line via App.net, which is available on both the App Store for iPhone and the Play Store for Android. To receive class call-outs on smartphone download App.net, follow the instructions to create an account, then search for and follow the SPRC channel. You will then start to receive notifications as messages are sent. It is recommended that you download the app and follow the SPRC account prior to the event so that you start to receive notifications for the first round of qualifying. The app relies on mobile network or wi-fi so you will need some kind of connection throughout the weekend for it to work.


Event entry update.
2nd September: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for forwarding us Version 2 of the official entry list for the UK National Finals, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 24th-25th September and which is the final round of the UK National Drag Racing Championship in car classes, the final round of Wild Bunch and Volkswagen Drag Racing Club Championships, the final round of the ACU UK Top Fuel Bike Championship, and the penultimate round of the other ACU UK Drag Bike Championships and UK National Drag Racing Championships in bike classes. You can check out the UK National Finals entry list by clicking here.

UK National Finals entry at standard rate closes today, after which entry if accepted may be subject to a Late Entry penalty. You can download the official entry forms from the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc. If you have any queries about UK National Finals entry then please contact Ian Marshall at ir.marshall@btconnect.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).


Three cheers for...
2nd September: Three of our European heroes are racing in the USA this weekend. Reigning NHRA Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Funny Car Champion Jonnie Lindberg and Ulf Leanders will be contesting this weekend's NHRA US Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Qualifying commences today and you will be able to stay in touch with Jonnie's and Ulf's progress courtesy of Dragracecentral.com.

Meanwhile in Carolina ex-pat UK Super Comp racer Tony Morris will be contesting the IHRA Divisional race which is the decider before the IHRA World Championship race at Memphis in October. "We need to finish in the top three to qualify for the race in Memphis", says Tony. "We are sixty six points off second place right now so we have a good chance of finishing well.

"I will be competing in Hot Rod Eighth Mile (7.00) in Bruce Guertin's 1979 Ford Fairmont with which we won in Bradenton back in March. This is the second season we have raced together and we finished eighth in Super Street last year. The car is set up for Hot Rod and runs a 540 ci Big Block Chevy with two-speed Powerglide. It runs 10.90 at 145 mph, or 8.90 at 150 mph wide open.

"There is a live stream this weekend via the IHRA web site at www.ihra.com.

"When I get back home to Orlando some time on Monday I will start packing for my trip to the UK to attend the European Finals. I couldn't miss going in Santa Pod's fiftieth anniversary year! I will be arriving on Thursday morning with old pal Dave Gibbons to take it all in, and I will also be helping several of the Sportsman teams."


Swift snippets.
2nd September: Timing and stats guru Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe has updated his tables of European Bests with Bengt Ljungdahl's Pro Stock ET record set at Tierp Arena last week and as a result of a query last weekend has added a table of quickest and fastest side-by-side runs in FIA and FIA competition. The latter is a work-in-progress and so far has been compiled from those events for which Andy has timing data in Excel format, which is by no means all of them. If you have any additional information to help to complete the sheet then please E-Mail Andy at andy@tsitimers.co.uk.

Thaliah's fancy dance move.
1st September: Sandie Gibb has been in touch to thank the safety crews, medics and race officials at Shakespeare County Raceway who took care of daughter and Junior Dragster racer Thaliah Gibb after her incident on Saturday:

Thaliah showed off a fancy dance move in her dragster at the top end of the track. I had watched her make the run which was a bye in the left lane, I turned away as she lifted and I started to walk back. Glancing back down the track Daniel Giles said "She rolled it". I looked in disbelief and then realised that the car had rolled as I saw the fire crew head towards her car although it was still in the left lane. I was later told that the car had rolled and pirouetted in mid-air.

As in all cases I was kept from going down to Thaliah until the safety crew had done the essential checks and she was in the ambulance. I was then taken down to see her. There she was sitting in the ambulance a little shaken and stirred but completely unharmed with no visible injuries. The medics and fire crew lightened the mood, suggesting that Thaliah needed waterproof mascara in future as she was looking a little like a panda.

Thank you to all of our friends in the Junior pits for offers of help and support and to everyone who sent well wishes for Thaliah, and to Rachel and Jodie for being there on the start line trying to keep me sane for those few moments which felt like an eternity. Thank you also to Daniel and Kirsty for being so level-headed throughout.

Thaliah was a little apprehensive about getting back in the car, however on Sunday morning Julie Willcox and Graham Motler came to see how she was and offered to let her have a solo run out of session, just take her time and get back on the track. Thank you so much guys.

Thaliah walked away without injury; on Saturday evening she had a couple of bruises appear on her knee, shin and hips, the bruises on the hips were from her harness which clearly did its job! The car has only a couple of little scratches.


Nicholson's favourite race.
1st September: UK Pro Modified racer Wayne Nicholson and team are keenly anticipating what they view as the best event of the year:

We have always enjoyed the European Finals for many reasons, and this year will be no different for us. It goes without saying that I want to enjoy it and I will enjoy it.

There are so many people behind what we do. I am sure that every other team will agree that it's not just the car and the guy (or girl) behind the wheel. Thanks in barrel loads go out to our sponsors EMACS Bodyshop Management Systems, Lucas Oil Products, NGK Spark Plugs, Gemini Accident Repair Centres, Martin's Auto Centre, Trinity Chemicals, Ken Coleman and the team at Engine Data Analysis (01977 516622) and STS Imports. Thanks also to our crew Richard Harker and Tim Asquith, and of course my family and crew Gareth, Joe and Belinda.

See you all at the track.


Swift snippets.
1st September: Many thanks to our own Simon for posting the post-APIRA Open Sport Nationals points standings in the UK National Drag Racing Championships. You can check out the UK National points on our OCS Paint-sponsored Points Standings page by clicking here or by clicking on the OCS Paint Points Standings link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

As we promised Ian Marshall has kindly forwarded us another tweaked final version of the official entry list for the FIA / FIM European Finals which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on Thursday-Sunday of next week (8th-11th September). The additions are in Pro and Sportsman. You can check out the European Finals entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


The temperature rises...
1st September: Next week's FIA / FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway is the climax to the track's fiftieth anniversary celebrations and things are hotting up:

With just a week to go until the event kicks off, the entry list stands at over 250 teams including a full field of eight Top Fuel Dragsters, nineteen Pro Mods, seven Top Methanol Funny Cars and thirteen Top Fuel Bikes, just for starters.

Keith Bartlett, CEO of Trakbak Racing Ltd and Santa Pod Raceway, said "For the die-hard drag racing fans and for those who follow the FIA Championship, I made it clear at the start of the season that the European Finals were always going to be at Santa Pod Raceway, despite other venues and tracks being put forward by other organisations as the final round of the 2016 FIA European Drag Racing Championships. The European Finals are always keenly anticipated by both racers and fans alike. Not only are they the final rounds of both the FIA and FIM European Drag Racing Championships, but this is the event at which we look forward to hosting our Friday night qualifying session for Top Fuel Dragster along with Fuel Funny Cars and the Jet Cars. This year, as part of our 50th Anniversary, we are running the wild nitro-burning Fuel Altereds including two famous names all the way from the USA. They will be something to see at the Friday night session."

Caroline Holden commented "So far it's been a great season all round, the 50th Anniversary has really made it special and everyone is looking forward to Finals weekend. I am particularly pleased to announce more Meet and Greet sessions on both Saturday and Sunday with some of our stars of the past who will return to the track once more and whi will be available to meet and sign autographs for our fans. So far we've lined up some real favourites including British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member and living legend Dennis Priddle together with other British greats including Andy Carter, Gordon Appleton, Sylvia Read-Hauser, Sue Coles and Peter Bennett plus return visits from Barry Sheavills and Brian Hazelton."

Visit www.santapod.com for everything you need to know about this flagship race weekend.


Web site updates.
1st September: The latest update to Alan Currans' excellent Acceleration Archive is a gallery of shots of Sunday's action at the APIRA Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. As ever you can check out the latest update via What's New at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk.


Earlier news