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Lucas Oil continue Junior support.
31st December: Wayne Jackson is pleased to announce that Les Downey and sponsor
Lucas Oil Products UK will be supporting the 2018 UK National Junior Dragster Championship:

There will be prizes for the winner and runner-up at each of the UK Championship rounds, and in addition for the 2018 Championship Lucas Oil will be supporting three Junior Dragster racers: Liam McDonald, Archie Wray and Kaitlan Deevey.

The McDonalds are very committed to drag racing and of course his sister Gabby won the UK National Junior Dragster Championship in 2010. As well as the UK Liam will be racing at the NitrOlympX and also in Sweden, Holland and France and is planning on racing in the USA and Malta, so a very busy year in prospect for the Irish team! You can always Liam when he is racing - he's the racer with a parachute and he pulls it on virtually every run (Right in front of the GantryCam - Ed).

Archie will be nine years old in January, and besides a passion for his dragster he is a keen Manchester City supporter and an avid mathematician. In fact Archie studies his data and works out his own dial-ins. Archie will also be competing in the full UK National Championship and is also hoping to enter the NitrOlympX, a very promising young racer whose ambition to be a Pro Mod driver by the time he is eighteen, a great target to aim for.

Kaitlan will be thirteen and will be moving up to JM/A for the 2018 season. Kaitlan has big international ambitions for the year with plans to compete in Europe as well as the UK with additional events in Sweden, Germany, France and Holland. Kaitlan had a mixed 2017 with engine gremlins for the first half of the season, however she won the Junior Fun Day for the second year in a row. Kaitlan has a new focus on her racing and is preparing for the huge commitment of the mileage which Team Deevey will cover in 2018. Let's hope that Kaitlan achieves the success she deserves.

Niklas Karlsson.
30th December: Job Heezen of the FIM Europe Drag Racing Commission writes with the sad news of the death of Niklas Karlsson, crew member on Rikard Gustafsson's Top Fuel Bike team:

Niklas was one of the modest, silent but excellent members of Rikard's team and one of the forces behind their success. We send our condolences to his mother and brother, to his friends and to all of the people in Rikard's team. Our thoughts will be with you.

2018 FIM Europe Seminar.
27th December: Race officials are invited to the 2018 FIM Europe Drag Racing Seminar for Technical Stewards, Clerks of the Course and Sporting Stewards which takes place at the Quality Airport Hotel Arlanda in Stockholm on Saturday 17th February 2018.

The Seminar, which starts at 08:30 and ends at 18:00, will be presented in English and will be led by Palle Lind and Job Heezen of the FIM Europe Drag Racing Commission. Lunch and morning and afternoon coffee are included in the fee of €200 payable to SVEMO.

For the Seminar to go ahead the minimum number of Technical Stewards is five and the minimum number of Clerks of the Course and Sporting Stewards is ten. Bookings should be made by 8th January to ensure that the Seminar takes place. If delegates need a hotel room then this should be booked direct with the hotel via the above link.

For more details, or to book your place, click here or click on the picture at right (booking form in PDF format).

SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 2.
27th December: Santa Pod Racers Club and are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the SPRC Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy presentation on Saturday 27th January 2018.

For several of the 2017 season awards, a shortlist has been decided upon for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. Nominations are now also being accepted for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy. The votes of readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.

This week's category is Best Appearing Car. The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows. You can see larger pictures on the official Perpetual Awards page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any page.

Tony Betts
Nostalgia Funny Car

Ronald Huis
Super Gas / Super Comp

Guy King
Nostalgia Super Stock

Luke Mugridge
Lucas Oil Junior Dragster

John Przybyl
Gearhead Garage Super Pro ET

Guido Uhlir
Comp Eliminator

Jon Webster
Pro Modified

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any page.
The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which nominations are also now being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Racers Club's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing. There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited from readers for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to Andy Marrs of SPRC's timing crew. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nomination as the subject and your nomination in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact SPRC direct rather than contacting or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement.

The remaining categories are as follow:

Tuesday 2nd January: Best-Appearing Bike
Monday 8th January: Most Professional-Appearing Team
Monday 15th January: James Edgar Memorial Trophy

Swift snippets.
27th December: Janet and Wayne Schreier have asked us to say a big Happy 26th Birthday to APIRA Chief Starter Chris Schreier. Our pleasure guys, have a great day Chris.

SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 1.
24th December: Santa Pod Racers Club and are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the
SPRC Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy presentation on Saturday 27th January 2018.

For several of the 2017 season awards, a shortlist has been decided upon for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. Nominations are now also being accepted for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy. The votes of readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.

This week's category is Most Promising Newcomer. Nominees for SPRC Most Promising Newcomer have impressed whilst contesting their first full season or making their on-track début in 2017.

The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Adam Charnley, Sportsman ET
Vote for Adam Charnley

Rob Creswell, Sportsman ET
Vote for Rob Creswell

Andy Harrison, Super Gas
Vote for Andy Harrison

Austin Jaques, Gearhead Garage Super Pro ET
Vote for Austin Jaques

Leah Kellett, Super Comp
Vote for Leah Kellett

Archie Wray, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster
Vote for Archie Wray

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any page.
The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which nominations are also now being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Racers Club's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing. There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited from readers for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to Andy Marrs of SPRC's timing crew. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nomination as the subject and your nomination in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact SPRC direct rather than contacting or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement.

The next voting category, due next Wednesday (27th December), will be Best Appearing Car.

Swift snippets.
24th December: We would like to say a big Happy Birthday and hugs for today (Sunday) to Nitro FM presenter Nikki Marshall and to UK Wild Bunch racer Sarah Howells. Have a lovely day both. No news update yesterday so we were unable to say a big Happy Birthday to Shakespeare County Raceway's Marketing and PR manager, drag racing historian and all-round good guy Jerry Cookson. Hope you had a great day Jerry.

Drag Racing Unplugged XIX.
24th December: As has become traditional on our last pre-Christmas update, we have posted a page of the best quotes from this season's Event Coverage including Tog's, Simon's, Kirstie's, and Julian's personal Quotes of the Year, together with a few one-liners we didn't publish at the time. We have also asked Pit Photographers Diana Macrae and Thaliah Gibb to choose their favourites.

In association with Event Coverage sponsor John Woolfe Racing we are pleased to present Drag Racing Unplugged XVII, the 2017 collection. Click here to view Drag Racing Unplugged XIX, or click on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any page.

2017 Champions' Champions.
24th December: Honorary staff member Andy Marrs and our own Simon have again been hard at work to compile lists of European and UK Champions' Champions. The Champions' Champions tables show the all-time highest points earners since the FIA and FIM European Championships began in 1996 and 1992 respectively, and since the UK National Championships began in 1999.

Marrs writes that in All-Time FIA European Championship points Pro Stock and Pro Modified racer Jimmy Ålund moves up from #4 to #3 and passes 6000 career points. Pro Modified racer Micke Gullqvist moves up from #7 to #6 and passes 5000 career points. Top Fuel Dragster racer Anita Mäkelä moves up from #10 to #9 and passes 4000 career points.

In Top Fuel Dragster Micke Kågered passes 4000 career points and Antto Horto passes 1000 career points. Bruno Bader moves up from #3 to #2 in Pro Modified points whilst sponsor Andy Robinson moves up from #7 to #6 and passes 2000 career points. David Vegter moves up from #10 to #8. Thomas Lindström passes 2000 career Pro Stock points and moved up from #5 to #3.

Also of note in the FIA tallies is that Jimmy Ålund has the highest-ever points score for a single season at 695 in 2017. Micke Gullqvist won the most points ever for a single class at 610, and was the first over 600 points for a season. Micke also has the highest number of round wins in any FIA class at nineteen, the biggest margin of victory over runner-up at 131 points, and has the most event high speeds at six.

You can check out the FIA Champions' Champions by clicking here or by clicking on the Champions' Champions link on the left-hand side of any page.

Congratulations to Pro Stock Bike racer Fredrik Fredlund who takes #1 spot in All-Time FIM European Championship points, moving up from #3. Top Fuel Bike racer Rikard Gustafsson moves up from #8 to #6.

In Top Fuel Bike Rikard Gustafsson moves up from #7 to #5 and Otto Knebl from #11 to #10. Martijn de Haas passes 1000 career points in Supertwin. Several achievements in Super Street Bike where Rick Stubbins moves up from #4 to #2 and passes 1000 career points as do Mogens Lund and Graham Balchin. Daniel Donat Lencses moves up from #8 to #6 and Erich Gruber moves up from #12 to #10.

You can check out the FIM Champions' Champions by clicking here or by clicking on the Champions' Champions link on the left-hand side of any page.

Simon writes that scoring for the UK National Championships Champions' Champions is based on an event having to be completed for a win to be registered. Race wins are ranked by number based on the driver or rider. Points however are scored and ranked on a team basis, as are numbers of Championships. For teams with multiple cars or drivers changing teams during or between seasons, the compiler's decision is final.

2017 suffered five rain-offs and, of races with a substantial National Championship involvement, only the Festival of Power, Open Sport Nationals and National Finals were completed. Where rain affected the events, track crews as ever worked hard to ensure that as much racing as possible could take place. We had first time Champions in only three classes and a record number of back-to-back Champions, nine in all.

In MSA Pro Modified, congratulations to repeat Champion and sponsor Andy Robinson who leads numbers of Championships with six, event wins with nineteen, and also career points.

In Super Pro ET, Scott Hauser won his third Championship and moves ahead of other Championship winners Martyn Jones, Steve Green and Ian Tubb who have had two Super Pro Championships each since 1999. Barry Giles leads wins with fifteen in total and as Giles & Hartley continues to lead aggregate points, ahead of welcome returnee Steve Johnson. Brad Jackson and team Paul Marston Racing enter the top twenty points tally for the first time.

Team Dark Horse (Brian and Lee Huxley)'s 2017 repeat Pro ET Championship is their fifth in the period under review. Although the team had no wins in 2017, Lee Huxley has over the last nineteen years won twelve Championship races, twice as many as any other racer. The Huxleys continue to lead the points tally ahead of Team Heaven & Hell.

In Sportsman ET Andy Dibley won his second Championship this year after his triumph in 2016. Craig Wright, Geoff Cowley and Team Rainy City Lightning (Al and Linda Platt) each have three Sportsman ET Championships. Craig, with ten wins during his time in the class, leads Geoff Cowley and Rick Denny who both have seven wins. Team Rainy City Lightning still lead the points aggregate.

In Super Comp, Stuart Doignie won his third consecutive Championship and his third double with Super Gas. We can't find any UK Sportsman car racer to win three on the trot, let alone in two classes. Stuart has joined Brian Pateman with the most Super Comp Championships, three in the period under review. Brian has most wins with thirteen, and the most points over Pete Creswell.

Jon Morton and Tim Adam lead Super Gas Championships with four apiece. Jon and Frank Mason both have twelve race wins in the period, whereas Frank continues to lead points scored.

In Super Street, Leigh Morris won the Championship and leads in all three categories with six Championships, twenty two event wins, and leading the points aggregate by 8490 points from Bob Lees.

Mark Todd won his second Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator title but Steve Pateman still dominates the overall listings with five Championships, seventeen wins and a 4880 point lead over Ian Hook.

In Junior Dragster, congratulations to Billy Everitt on his first title. Joe Kellett has the most Championships with three, Nick Mugridge continues to have the most wins with nine and Joe Kellett leads aggregate points over Billy Everitt by 5370.

You can check out the UK car class Champions' Champions by clicking here or by clicking on the Champions' Champions link on the left-hand side of any page.

Jake Mechaell won his second Championship in 8.50 Bike and continues to lead the wins total with ten, and the points total with a margin of 2780 over Mick Winyard. Mick continues to lead numbers of Championships won, with three.

In 9.50 Bike, Richard Sawatzki scored his sixth Championship and leads the number of Championships won from Fred Furlong. Rick's twenty wins head Fred's eleven, and Rick continues with the overall points lead over Fred.

Steve Woollatt won his twelfth ACU Top Fuel Bike Championship in the period covered, and his sixteenth overall. Steve's twenty seven event wins and aggregate points lead of 8935 are unlikely to be challenged any time soon.

The 2017 ACU Funny Bike Championship was won by Allan Davies who was winner at two events. Congratulations to Allan on his first title. Neil Midgley continues to lead all three categories with five Championships, seventeen event wins and a sizeable points total.

Len Paget won his fourth ACU Pro Stock Bike title. Dave Beck continues to lead all overall categories in ACU Pro Stock Bike and his eight Championships and record thirty five wins to his name in ACU competition are unlikely to be challenged.

Congratulations to Eddy Smiley who won his second consecutive ACU Competition Bike Championship this year. Phil Leamon and Ivan Birch each have three Championships, both have ten wins and Phil also leads the points with a margin of 11650 over Stu Crane.

In ACU Super Street Bike Rick Stubbins won his third Championship. Steve Venables continues to lead the number of Championships with seven and has twenty six victories and leads the points total by a substantial margin from Graham Dance who still lays second in Championships with four, and wins with nineteen.

Blade Dummer won his first ACU Junior Drag Bike Championship so congratulations to him. Scott Collier leads the total of Championships with four, and wins with ten wins. He also leads the points tally with a margin of 1600 over second-placed Louis Davies.

You can check out the UK bike class Champions' Champions by clicking here or by clicking on the Champions' Champions link on the left-hand side of any page.

Holiday viewing.
24th December: Many thanks to photo-journalist Mike Collins who has remixed his Retro Ramblins, originally featured in the October 2017 Street Machine, especially for readers. You can check it out (PDF format) by clicking here or by clicking on the picture below left. For details of the next issue of Street Machine click on the picture below right.'s YouTube channel has a few gems for your viewing pleasure including a replay of the Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast of E1 of MSA Pro Modified at the UK National Finals featuring colour commentary by Lucy Moore, an awesome Test and Tune pass for Top Fuel Dragster racer Maja Udtian, Dragstalgia's Burnout of the Century, one of Eric Teboul's finest Rocket Bike passes, various Jet runs, the odd incident, a Sportsman ET qualifier noticeably lacking incident, and more. You can tune in by clicking here. Christmas lists.
24th December: We will now be taking our Christmas break. News updates and postings to our Jeff Bull Race Engines Swap Meet will resume during the day next Wednesday (27th), but votes for the SPRC Perpetual Awards will of course still be accepted. Keep those news items coming to us at and we will post them on Wednesday.

In the meantime we have compiled our usual requests to Father Christmas, together with our New Year resolutions. As well as the core team we have asked Pit Photographers Diana Macrae and Thaliah Gibb for their lists:

Top of Kirstie's Christmas list: Peace, happiness and pigs in blankets.

Top of Simon's Christmas list: Two tracks on which to run a truly National Championship.

Top of Julian's Christmas list: A flask for the Test Days when the Tom and Linda's Coffee Man wagon is closed. Good tea is very important for good pictures!

Top of Tog's Christmas list: More Sleep Clinic videos from Chloe to help with those caravan nights.

Kirstie's New Year resolution: To stay away from corners - they're bad for your health.

Simon's New Year resolution: After missing a couple of events in 2017, attend more in 2018.

Julian's New Year resolution: Drink more tea!

Tog's New Year resolution: To confound obnoxious copyright thieves and nasty Facebook cliques and be sitting on this recliner coding up the next Christmas update in twelve months' time.

Top of Diana's Christmas list: This year was amazing, going in Mark Todd's GTO then my own private cacklefest in Sarah and Darryl Howells' Chemical Reaction slingshot. The next step must be to sit in a Fuel Funny Car for a warm-up. I don't wanna go fast, I just wanna be noisy! Steve Ashdown or Jason Phelps take note, tee hee!

Top of Thaliah's Christmas list: To have a car which stays on four wheels.

Diana's New Year resolution: To try to concentrate on my photographising and not be distracted by vodka.

Thaliah's New Year resolution: To stop doing rollovers and flashy pirouettes on the track, causing downtime (sorry guys).

Kirstie, Tog, Simon and Julian would like to wish all readers and their families the very Happiest of Christmases, and to thank everyone who has sent us personal Christmas wishes and cards.

See you on Wednesday!

Stilwell's dream fulfilled.
22nd December: Geoff Stilwell of
British Drag Racing Hall of Fame and others' sponsor Beech Underwriting is now the proud owner of his own land speed race car:

In 2017 things didn't go quite according to plan for the team, but the Procharged Chevrolet-powered rear-engine roadster 7551 owned by Brian Hope of Rat Trap Racing and driven by Geoff Stilwell became the unofficial record holders of the class at 221 mph, beating the original record by some 9 mph. Sadly on that run the car suffered serious damage to the transmission and caught fire and unfortunately could not be repaired in time to complete the back-up run needed to secure the record. The team left Bonneville happy that the car had gone the fastest it had ever run and happy that it blew away the current record, but very sad because we could not back up the run. As they say, racing has more lows than highs but when you get a high then boy, it takes weeks to come down.

Many race fans out there will know the names of Carl Olson and Mike Kuhl. A few years ago, Mike and Carl together with friend Don Bowman put together an amazing landspeed car. Powered by a 500 ci Keith Black Hemi, it ran 233 mph on its second run over the mile at Bonneville with 200 mph Club member Carl Olson at the wheel. Sadly, due to illness diagnosed shortly afterwards, Mike Kuhl has been unable to participate in the KOB Racing Program. A chance meeting at Bonneville between BUA Motorsport owner Geoff Stilwell and Carl Olson led to some discussions about the car, and BUA Motorsport is extremely proud to announce that it has taken over the ownership of one of the most iconic land speed cars ever built.

Geoff says "This is a stunning car to look at visually, its construction is absolutely superb and Mike's attention to detail makes it not only one of the baddest hot rods but one of the fastest cars out there. We have a 300 mph car here and I am going to do my best to run that in 2018. I need to say a huge thank you to Mike Kuhl, Carl Olson and Don Bowman for building an amazing car, and a huge Thank You also to Bill Schultz of the Over the Hill Gang and the Schultz and Glen Nostalgia Top Fuel Car for his guidance and help; Bob and Sharon Muravez for being there for me and helping me to achieve this dream of holding a land speed record. Not forgetting the entire Hope family and Rat Trap Racing because without them I would not be doing this.

"I am also very proud to announce that Lucas Oil Products have agreed to support the project for 2018, and I cannot thank Les Downey and Tom Bogner of Lucas Oil enough for their support and help."

Swift snippets.
22nd December: Sharron, Jerry and Sky Collier asked us to say a big Happy 21st Birthday for today (Friday) to UK bike racer Scott Collier. "We could not be more proud of Scott", says Sharron. "Twenty one years have flown by way too quickly and he has grown into an amazing man with outstanding ability; thirteen years racing and five Championship wins. He left school to study mechanical engineering at college, won a place at the British Motorcycle Manufacturing Academy where he completed a two year course and is now an engine builder for Norton Motorcycles. More important than than all that though he is thoughtful, kind, hard-working, humble, loyal and resilient.  Thank you Scott Lloyd Collier for being you, love you to bits". Have a great day Scott.

A personal tribute to Bob Glidden.
21st December: Brian Huxley of the UK's Championship-holding Dark Horse team has been in touch with a personal tribute to US Pro Stock legend Bob Glidden, whose death was announced on Sunday:

What can I say about this guy. He was my hero, not only a wicked racer but a nice guy until he got behind the wheel of his car. I met this lovely chap at the Gatornationals in the 1980s and he had time for the fans. I admired him and his family, they all worked as a team and got the job done.

Mainly a Ford racer but did race other makes and did very well in whatever he drove. It's sad that we have lost Bob but we will always remember him.

Our sincere condolences to Bob's wife Etta and the boys. Our thoughts are with you at this time. RIP Bob.

More alcohol, less Havoc.
21st December: Nick Davies writes that, although things haven't progressed as quickly as many would have liked, 2018 should be the year of the return to Pro Mod racing of an ICE. Automotive shop car.

The car is the ex-Robert Koper Vanishing Point Race Cars-built '68 Pontiac Firebird and will feature one of ICE's signature twin-turbo Brad hemis running alcohol and a clutch.  The team will look to test in 2018 and, if everything goes to plan, will campaign the full MSA Championship in 2019 with the ultimate goal of an FIA assault some time after that, depending on the performance achieved and any rule changes which may be introduced along the way.

"We have had a huge amount of fun being involved with the various nitro cars over the past few years, but we still feel that we have something to offer the premier doorslammer class in Europe", says Nick. "That having been said, the nitro adventure is far from over and plans are already afoot for a couple of cars to replace the Havoc altered.” The team would like to thank long-time partner and huge drag racing supporter Geoff Stilwell and Beech Underwriting Agencies for his and their continued support, as well as Bryan Whitfield who has kindly offered to sort the new paintwork.  More partners will be announced in due course.

You can follow developments on the team's Facebook page or on Instagram.

Swift snippets.
21st December: The picture at right was sent to us as a spy picture with the words "Initial preparations for the Doorslammers event" but was posted on Facebook in very short order so we can't really feign mystification.

As well as Drag Racing Unplugged XIX and 2017 Champions' Champions, the Christmas Eve update on will also feature the opening vote of the SPRC Perpetual Awards, which will be Most Promising Newcomer. Best-Appearing Car will then follow on the first post-Christmas update, currently scheduled for Wednesday of next week (27th).

Web site updates.
21st December: The latest update on the Drag Racing Europe Blog is a feature about Swedish Pro Stock Bike racer Kalle Lyrén and his top end bailout at Tierp Arena earlier this year. You can read more courtesy of our good buddy Remco Scheelings by clicking here.

Exclusive preview of Fuelin' Around.
18th December: Many thanks to Jim Kelly, formerly of sponsor
VP Racing Fuels, who has sent an exclusive preview for readers of his forthcoming book Fuelin' Around which he promises will feature sex, drugs, rock and roll, guns, Gatorade and racing fuel:

First day on the job and The Rivals

Bam! Stunned by the loud gunshot, the girl fell backward and onto the floor as the chair rolled out from under her. Bam! The second shot rang out. "What the hell are you doing?" she yelled as she cowered from her place on the office trailer floor. Her ears were ringing and for a moment she thought she had gone deaf. The gunman pulled the .357 calibre handgun back from the open window and the summer heat and set it down on his desk.

"Just chasin' the stray dogs", he laughed, reaching over to help her up from the floor. Flustered from the commotion and embarrassed that she fell, she tried to hold in her laugh and just looked at him as she brushed herself off and fixed her skirt.

"I was told working here would be a lot of fun, but next time give me a heads-up, okay?" she demanded with a smile. He nodded. "Is the boss coming in today?" she asked as he walked out the door.

"You just never know. He might show up every day or we might not see him for a month", he replied.

That was Christa's first day on the job at VP. I laughed really hard the first time she related the story and to this day remember it fondly. The owner had hired her to answer the phones and keep the books but never offered in the interview any hint of how present or absent he might be. Little did anyone know from that small site located thirty miles south of the Alamo in San Antonio, owner Steve Burns would lead a classic American success story. His VP Racing Fuels would evolve and grow to wage an epic David versus Goliath battle that continues today. In actuality, over time, battles would be waged against three Goliaths and a few pesky wannabes.

There were others that came and went, the pesky ones that low-balled prices to steal market share. Heck, there was one particularly entertaining entrepreneur who allegedly admitted in court that he created false documents that showed his company sold high quantities of tax-exempt fuel for off-road purposes. He would then file the false records with the IRS to request refunds for fuel taxes that he had supposedly paid. The government refunded the money, up to $110 million, and he used it to sponsor race teams and acquire a private jet. The money also enabled him to sell race fuel at below market prices because profits didn't matter. Now that's an example of a paper Goliath. Eventually the law caught up with him and defunded his house of cards, but it got interesting for a while.


Brad Horton, VP's practical jokester, brought a very special guest to our meeting room at the Crockett Hotel. It's a beautiful and historic building that stands next to the Alamo and just steps from the famed River Walk.

Whenever or wherever we had a meeting, each day usually ended over many laughs and perhaps a few too many drinks at the bar. Thankfully the hospitality staff was bright eyed that morning and had the coffee and sweets flowing as our small group sat down to get started. We were all recovering from the night before and a few of us may even have been wearing sunglasses. Then in walks Brad. He's got a big shopping bag in one hand and a shit-eating grin on his face.

I'm not sure which of us he asked to unwrap his "fragile" Christmas gift but whoever it was laid the box on the meeting room table and preceded to have at it. Off came the bow and holiday paper to reveal a large Tupperware clear plastic container with duct tape sealing it tight. Now I don't know about you but where I come from, Tupperware's pretty good stuff. If you have to duct tape it closed something's definitely not right. Neither was Brad! Inside the damn box was a live rattlesnake!

Jim gets the girl

So we're at Maple Grove and it's raining. Sitting on the top of a race fuel drum inside the back of the trailer, begging for any sign of sunshine and warmth, my day suddenly lit up. Here comes Bob in his little white Chevy pickup. There's something or someone riding with him but I can't make it out through the wave of the windshield wipers. He's honking the living hell out of his truck horn so of course everyone is looking at him and then us. As he rolled to a stop he jumped out laughing and pulled a present for me out behind him. There she was, all blown up and ready to go.

When someone tosses you something you catch it right, unless it's on fire, dog poop, or legal papers. This air-filled beauty, complete with flowing red hair and more inputs than the Holland Tunnel, came flying up to me. I don't think there was one person within sight or sound of the occurrence who didn't burst out laughing hysterically.

Help me Rhonda

After working the Toronto GP's Friday practice session he and I met up with his girlfriend Rhonda. There was a really cool hockey themed bar downtown named Gretzky's. It seemed like a good place to enjoy a happy hour and wait for my wife's arrival. She and I had a good arrangement. Whenever I'd be working a race weekend in an exciting town she'd fly up to join me on Friday afternoon. I'd work the events during the daytime while she gave in to her shopping addiction. On Sunday night after the racing and the shopping concluded we'd jump on the same plane and fly home together.

So there we were; me, Randy, his amazon sized, Pamela Anderson look-alike girlfriend named Rhonda. While we waited for Lisa to arrive we exchanged shots and laughs and enjoyed the atmosphere. Hockey memorabilia was everywhere. So the more sauced we got the better the stories went. I told Rhonda that when my wife arrived she needed to be sure to look straight at her when they spoke since my wife had a hearing problem. I'm partially deaf thanks to forty years of working races without hearing protection so I feel it's okay to have an inside joke as long as nobody's feelings are hurt. That's never the intention. So eventually my wife showed up. She jumped out of the cab, gave me a kiss, and sprinted to the ladies room. Rhonda decided she needed to go as well and within a few minutes there they were, face to face in the ladies room at Gretzky's. Taking her by the hands she said loudly and very slowly, "Hi Lisa, I am R A N D Y' S friend. My name is R H O N D A". My wife looked at her and politely asked what the hell was the matter with her. Minutes later the two of them came back to the table belly laughing and having a good old time. The joke worked. The next day after their shopping concluded the two girls showed up at the track and it was like Moses parted the sea of people. Now my Mrs. is a beautiful Italian woman but as she described it to me, "I could have been naked and on fire and nobody would have noticed! Rhonda's look had people stopping in their tracks."

You have to have balls

In preparation for yet another journey to the NEC in Birmingham, England for the annual Autosport trade show in January, I placed a classified ad in the Autosport magazine stating we were looking for sales reps with sales and technical experience. I got all sorts of inquiries but mostly people looking to make money travelling around Europe on the VP expense account. It was disappointing until I got to the show and passed the ETS Racing Fuel booth. There he was, Jerome Duche.

We exchanged pleasantries and then I proceeded on my walk-about only to be stopped a few aisles over by Jerome. "I need to come to work for VP" is all I heard and between a meeting there and then another at de Gaulle airport in Paris we made a deal. He first needed to prove to me that he was free and clear of any employment agreements with ETS. Getting into a domestic lawsuit is one thing. My record was clean and intact and wanted to continue it. An international lawsuit for meddling, etc. could be very expensive and cumbersome to fight and so it wasn't something anyone was interested in.

Jerome was a very likeable guy, a very interesting character. He had played drums and sang in a band you can find on YouTube and was a technical expert for exotic and expensive FIA and FIM type race fuels. He knew intimately what fuels were on the market and what we had to compete against. His parents lived in Normandy, sacred ground to any American, so this guy had even more to offer. Most importantly, since relationships and connections are essential, he knew a lot of people in the industry and had already walked through some very impressive doors.

Jerome fulfilled every bit of my wish list when it came to finding the guy to help wage our war. Coming from Normandy I thought it fitting that he help lead the American charge. He'd be the guy who made sure samples got to where they needed to be and that they were tested, many times with him standing there to make sure it was a legitimate evaluation. So we were set. Let's make some race fuel blends and you get them in the hands of every qualified tuner and engine builder you can find. Sounds easy. One problem? "What do you mean you can't get the chemicals we might need?" is what I said with enthusiasm to our chemist in Texas. I finally had my DH, my European Designated Hitter, but someone said they couldn't get us a bat, glove, or any balls. You have to have balls.

Fuelin' Around will be published in the new year but in the meantime Jim's first novel Found in Time, a time-travel thriller about two US marines, has attracted good reviews including from readers in the miltary. The latest review in the USA says "A truly riveting read from cover to cover, Found In Time reveals author J. K. Kelly's genuine flair for originality and a deftly crafted novel that is unreservedly recommended...". You can find out more on Jim's web site at or the book can be ordered on Amazon by clicking here.

2018 Sand Drags calendar.
18th December: Sebastian Lindau has been in touch with the Sand Drag dates for 2018:

28th April: Hafnarf örður (Iceland)
15th-16th June: Flond (Switzerland)
16th June: Akureyri (Iceland)
8th July: Hafnarfjörður (Iceland)
8th September: Akureyri (Iceland)
14th-15th September: Üsslingen (Switzerland)
15.09.2018 - Hafnarfjörður (Iceland)

"It's almost certain that there will be another race in Switzerland (Homburg / Thurgau) but I don't have a date at the moment", says Sebastian. "This year that race was held in August and I expect that it will be the same in 2018."

If you have any queries then you can contact Sebastian at

Web site updates.
18th December: Over on Alan Curran's excellent Acceleration Archive Keith Lee has just posted the latest instalment of his Blog detailing the progress that has been made on the book he is currently engaged in writing, Mr Six: The Story of Drag Racing Legend Dennis Priddle. With much work having gone into the project during the past few months, Keith is happy that the book will be completed and published in the latter part of 2018. You can check on his progress at

Wright returns with Sales-i.
17th December: The UK's Craig Wright and the CW Motorsport Team are making an on-track return after a racing break in 2017 and are proud to announce
Sales-i as their main sponsor allowing them to contest the full 2018 SPRC Championship season:

CW Motorsport will be joining forces with Conrad Stanley and Trevor Graves, with Craig piloting Conrad's Super Comp dragster. With the new car, team, class and sponsor CW Motorsport are very excited. Index racing and a Pro Tree are new to Craig, however we believe that with Conrad and Trevor's team and knowledge things should happen pretty quickly, and could potentially prove to be something great.

In welcoming Sales-i as main sponsor, we would like to extend a huge thank you to Paul Black and all of the Sales-i team.

Founded in 2008, Sales-i is a sales performance software designed to maximise profitability through the personalising every sales call. Sales-i allows sales professionals to clearly identify and target high-quality sales opportunities within their current customer base. Equipped with customer buying behaviour alerts, salespeople can make insightful, personalised and quick business decisions. Thus gaining repeat sales, reducing customer attrition and maximising profit margins as a result. 

Thousands of businesses worldwide use Sales-i to maximise the intelligence of their sales teams and accessibility can be gained on any device with an internet connection. For more information, or to request a demo, please visit their web site at

We would also like to thank our good friend Callum Pudge of Pudgey's Pictures for his continued support, and rendering our 2018 design. 

We wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a fast and safe New Year.

Swift snippets.
17th December: Further to Thursday's Swift Snippet, UK Super Street racer Matthew Seamarks tells us that those attending Nick Sticks Jacquest's funeral on 29th December have the approval of his family to wear team, crew etc shirts. To support the Charity Wheelchair Race at the 2018 Festival of Power a Justgiving page has been set up which you can check out by clicking here.

2017 Zeon TV DVDs review.
16th December: Whilst some of us had our heads down on our day jobs Simon had the privilege of watching this year's
Zeon TV season review DVDs and has been in touch with his thoughts:

There are nine DVDs, six of which cover classes specific to the UK whilst the remaining three are of muscle car, nostalgia and hot rod events at two of the UK tracks.

Super Street Bike is the first-ever DVD devoted to the class, one of the most competitive in UK racing. All seven events contested in the UK are included, five of them being ACU Championship rounds and two FIM Europe. As well as comprehensive coverage of qualifying and elimination runs, there are many interviews with most of the riders in the classes. There are also brief introductions to each of them, which are a real help to spot bikes and their riders. Camera shots are from the start line and the finish, running time is two hours and three minutes. Pairings, ladders and points tables displayed to help the viewer follow the action, and commentary by Bryn Lucas is excellent. This is one of Zeon's finest class based DVDs.

The 25th anniversary of Outlaw Anglia in the UK is a great opportunity for the class and its title sponsor, cooling specialist Serck Motorsport, to have their own DVD. Action from six events is shown along with archive footage going back to 1991 at Santa Pod, courtesy of Mick Taylor, and Zeon's coverage of the 2004 Ultimate Power Series at Shakespeare County Raceway. In-car and Race Control footage is included and there are interviews aplenty to give insight into what drivers need to do to run and drive these unpredictable machines. Graham Beckwith is the knowledgable commentator and due credit is given to Bob Nixon, the class's first organiser. This one hour forty minute DVD is a must for Outlaw Anglia and gasser fans everywhere.

Nostalgia Superstock shares its first DVD with JT Construction UK Top Sportsman organised by Paul Marston Racing. 2017 was an important year for Nostalgia Superstock, which was able to race at UK Championship meetings for the first time after adopting its own rulebook. Seven events in the NSS Championship are covered in all; the accompanying UK Top Sportsman footage, run at the Mopar Euronats is separately indexed. Top Sportsman is for more modified cars to run in bracket and heads up, a few cars running down into the sixes. Camera angles include Santa Pod Raceway's gantrycam showing action at the top end. Colin Theobald, a doorslammer racer in his own right as well as Santa Pod's resident commentator, provides a competitor's insight to NSS whereas Paul Venners commentates for UK Top Sportsman. This gives a great overview of UK's latest drag racing category, and Top Sportsman is an appetiser for next year's much-talked-about Doorslammers event.

The Wild Bunch in its twenty second year has seven rounds included in its DVD, from both MSA and non-permit events. It is dedicated to friends lost too soon, Tom Larman and Sag Southworth, with Sag's final interviews included - a great tribute. Colin Theobald commentates with a comprehensive introduction to the class. Pit footage and interviews with a large sample of racers are included. The Springbridge Championship positions for each race are shown, including best Reaction Time and closest to dial in for the event and Best-Appearing Car, something you would normally need to go to the Wild Bunch forum to find out. This DVD demonstrates more than ever the huge category that Wild Bunch has become, with class organiser Clare Meaddows to be congratulated on her skills in bringing them together.

MSA Pro Modified has coverage of all six rounds of the British Drag Racing Championship. These are the quickest doorslammers around, and there is much spectacular action. Most qualifying and every elimination run is shown, and there is workshop footage from sponsor Jon Webster's workshop during the build of his new Mustang. The FIA / FIM Main Event track coverage is courtesy Green Light TV who produce the live webcast footage for Santa Pod Raceway. Racing footage is interspersed with interviews with racers and in-car footage, mostly from sponsor Andy Robinson. All rounds include interviews with most of the drivers. Darryl Bradford is the expert commentator. This DVD is a great record of a hard-fought Championship.

Hardcore Street is one of the most long-standing DVDs and all eight rounds of the 2017 Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator Championship are featured, and indexed separately. Seeing street-legal cars run quick ETs and huge speeds is awesome, and the story of how the competitors deal with running these cars is gripping. New cars appear at each event and there is insight into their construction. The running time of one hour and forty minutes includes qualifying and eliminations. Paul Venners is the enthusiastic commentator.

The Mopar Euronats is one of the longest-standing lifestyle meets and the DVD follows in a long line. It covers the Cruise to Sywell Aviation Museum, Gasser Circus, Show and Shine, Nostalgia Superstock, Top Doorslammer, Pro Mod, and awards and there is a special feature on Suzy Q. Graham Beckwith commentates. There is more steadicam footage of the event giving a new perspective; a camera technique highly suited to car events. At one hour and forty eight minutes this is a bumper bundle of muscle car action. Well done to the Mopar Euronats Committee for their organisation.

Dragstalgia is now on the A List of events at Santa Pod Raceway and deservedly so. It never fails to have car and bike diversity, personalities, hige doses of nostalgia, quick times, the Burnout of the Century and backup people of all conceivable genders. Competitors attend from around the world and the facility is bursting with vehicles and punters. As you would expect Zeon TV produce an in-depth account of the event with many cars you wouldn't usually see running together. Colin Theobald commentates as if he was there whilst doing it. A great DVD of a wonderful event.

I have saved to last the 29th NSRA Hot Rod Drags DVD because it was the last time that this event was run at Shakespeare County Raceway before it changes track in 2018. Introduced and with interviews by Jerry Cookson, and commentated by Paul Venners, the DVD shows that the event is definitively a hot rod meeting with drag racing as well and the excellent pit shots illustrate this perfectly. The entry was huge and much fun was had including a start line marriage proposal. This is a marvellous record of the ultimate SCR Hot Rod Drags.

As ever, Helen Todd and Dave Coleman of Zeon have again raised the bar in the production of these superb DVDs. The new camera angles including footage from's Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcam, increased number of interviews and continued excellence of captions and script, with all the hundreds of racers involved correctly identified, all pay tribute to their effort and skill.

You can purchase any or all of these superb Zeon DVDs for £14.95 each plus £1.50 postage per order to UK and £1.75 to anywhere else in the world. All DVDs are region free and in PAL format, which means you can watch them on a computer anywhere and on a TV that can display 625 lines at 50Hz. Various deals are available for the purchase of multiple titles. You can order on-line at

Many thanks to Helen Todd and David Coleman of Zeon TV for again providing review copies of all of their drag racing DVDs.

Swift snippets.
16th December: The dates for the 2018 FIM Europe Drag Bike Championships can now be found on our 2018 FIA / FIM Championship Schedule page by clicking here or by clicking on the 2018 FIA / FIM Championship Schedule link on the left-hand side of any page. As the FIM's own Drag Racing page changed twice in two days it would be best to view the calendar as provisional for the time being so far as which class races where is concerned.

If you enjoyed Match Race Madness then tune in to News on Monday as we will have exclusive excerpts from the MRM for the twenty first century, the forthcoming Fuelin' Around by Jim Kelly, formerly of sponsor VP Racing Fuels.

Sandy, Charlotte, Collin and Megan asked us to say a big Happy Birthday for today (Saturday) to Stuart Morrice. Our pleasure guys, have the best day Stuart.

Swift snippets.
14th December: The funeral of the late Nick Sticks Jacquest will take place at 14:00 on Friday 29th December 2017 in the Edgar Newman Chapel at Kettering Crematorium. Family flowers only are requested; if you would like to make a donation to the local air ambulance in Nick's memory then you can do so through through
A Abbott and Sons Funeral Directors in Rushden. Nick's friends have also organised a charity race to take place at next year's Festival of Power at Santa Pod Raceway; you can read more about that by clicking here.

Courtesy of reader and Event Coverage fan Kai Plathan we hear that Finland's Alastaro could be the next race track under threat courtesy, he says, of "The environment people". We understand that local authorities want to stop drag racing at Alastaro after 2018 due to concerns about chemicals getting into the local water table. We will bring you more on this as we receive it.

Web site updates.
14th December: The Mad Welshman has updated his Flickr site with three galleries from the Halloween Bonfire Burn-Up at Shakespeare County Raceway. You can check it all out at "As another year draws to a close I would say a huge Thank You to everyone who has taken a look at my pics and albums this year and a big thumbs up to all racers, crews and officials who have made it a fantastic year", says Mad. "Let's see what 2018 brings!"

2017 Christmas Gift Mart.
12th December: If you are looking for a Christmas gift for the drag racer or drag racing fan in your life, your loved one or even your spouse, or indeed if you fancy treating yourself, then's sponsors and contributors have a number of ideas for you. In the interests of fairness we are presenting these suggestions in the order in which we received them.

Our good friends at
Zeon TV have released their 2017 UK drag racing DVDs. The DVDs cover MSA Pro Modified, Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator, ACU Super Street Bike, Serck Motorsport Outlaw Anglia, Dragstalgia, the NSRA Hot Rod Drags, the Mopar EuroNationals and UK Nostalgia Super Stock / JT Construction UK Top Sportsman. Some footage is used from's Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcasts and the covers front and rear include sizeable photographic contributions from The DVDs are priced at £14.95 plus P+P and various deals are available. You can find out more, view trailers and order at Our annual review of the Zeon TV DVDs will be posted shortly but don't wait, you know they're good.

First with the 2018 calendars was photographer Matt Woods whose full-colour calendar is yours for £10 plus £2.99 p+p. You can contact Matt via his web site at or via his Facebook page. sponsor Jeff Bull Race Engines and Performance Parts are offering special deals on LSM Racing Products' innovative performance products for the hard-core racer, for whom they are sole UK distributor:
  • AN12 Pit Wrench (Grey): Ultra light and ultra strong. Dzus fastener tool makes it the perfect pit wrench. Integrated belt loop hook allows you to carry it on you and have it ready at all times. Christmas special £80.
  • TQ 100-3 Valve Lash Adjusting Torque Wrench for Jesel & T&D shaft mounted style rockers. Comes with 1/8, 5/32 and 3/16 hex keys £180.
  • PC100 Adjustable on-head Valve Seat Pressure Tester for various shaft and stud mount roller rocker systems. Comes equipped with 0-600 lbs liquid filled gauge £230.
  • PC100SLC Adjustable on-head Valve Seat Pressure Tester as above with slant / convertible handle, lends itself better to space constraint situations. Can be used in either a straight handle position or a slanted configuration. Complete with 0-600 lbs liquid filled gauge £245.
  • SC2000 Universal super heavy duty Heads-off Valve Spring Compressor: Dual adjustability. Allows for perfect positioning and easy access to both valve and spring. Will easily compress a spring to over 1000 lbs. £335.
Call Jeff on 07834 381804 for pricing and availability on any other the LSM Racing Products. Also available from Jeff Bull Race Engines and Performance Parts:
  • Jerry Bickel Screw Countersink Tool with Bit: Adjustable depth setting makes it easy and fast to precisely countersink window screws to proper flush mounting depth £68.
  • Jerry Bickel Coil Over Shock C Spanner: Makes adjusting coil over shocks much easier than the hammer and screwdriver methods £20.
  • Jerry Bickel Window Border Spray Paint: Covers easily, is scratch resistant and dries fast to a hard finish £12.
  • Geddex Pocket Dial-In: Pocket size white dial-in marker £4.99.
  • Geddex Dial-In Window Marker: Dries bright white. Stain free on Lexan, wipes off fast! £10.
  • Geddex Burnout Guard: Water soluble layer protection between rubber and panel. Dries clear and won't harm paint. Wet with water and wipe off £12 includes free pocket dial-in.
  • Geddex Nose GUARDian: Great for show cars, race cars, motorcycles, RVs and daily drivers. Guards against insects, tar, rubber and road grime. Environmentally friendly, rinses off with just water. £12 includes free pocket dial-in.
  • Geddex Wheels Up wheelie bar marker. Available in orange, white or yellow £8.
  • Manhattan Oils Top End Lube for Methanol or Gasoline: Grape or Cherry fragrance. One bottle treats 45 gallons. £16.
  • Manhattan Oils Power Plus Fuel Essence: Groovy Grape, Cherry, Pina Colada or Strawberry. One bottle treats 45 gallons. £8.
For orders call Call Jeff on 07834 381804.

If you're still stuck for Christmas present ideas for your favorite drag racer then maybe Photographer and Allard Award for Photography winner Julian Hunt can help. "I have High Quality images of most UK, and many European, racers which I can send to you by E-Mail", says Julian. "You can have them printed and framed, put on mugs, put on mouse mats, phone covers, wallets, the possibilities are endless. Prices start at £10 for an original file which, should you wish, will print big. Extra special images cost a little more. For more details please contact me at or via Facebook."

Artist Paul Whitehouse has been no stranger to the pages of over the years and is well-known for producing high-quality and always-desirable paintings and prints. As you can see from the picture above right (click for full-sized version) Paul is offering a number of prints and is always amenable to commissions. To find out what is on offer and for how much you can contact Paul by E-Mail at or call 07432 564110.

Santa Pod Raceway offer a cornucopia of ideas for race fans including gift vouchers if you really can't decide. To see what is on offer, including free delivery on UK orders, and to place your order visit Order by close this Friday (15th) for delivery before Christmas.

You can get next year's NHRA All Access webcasts and replays, or you can get them for someone else, at this year's prices if you order before the end of the month. For full details click here or to order visit

Swift snippets.
12th December: Our sympathies to the family and friends of superfan Nick Sticks Jacquest who has passed away suddenly. Friend to many racers and fans, Nick was almost a permanent fixture at Santa Pod Raceway and was known for ready banter and a wicked sense of humour. That there are a lot of gutted people out there speaks volumes. RIP Nick.

T and Mumma G asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to UK Junior Dragster racer Charlotte Bradford. Our pleasure, have a lovely day Lottie. Also for today, Jack Petley asked us to say a big Happy Birthday to UK blown-alcohol altered racer Paul Watson. Have a great day Grumpy. It came too late for yesterday's update so a big Happy Birthday for yesterday to Santa Pod Raceway's erstwhile Pro ET racer James Forster. Hope you had a great day James.

The last News update before Christmas will be posted on Sunday week, Christmas Eve, and will include the nineteenth edition of Drag Racing Unplugged and the FIA, FIM and UK National / ACU UK Champions' Champions after the 2017 season. We will then take a break and the plan is to return on Wednesday 27th.

Typhon slithers out.
11th December: Richard and Clare Moor write that our spy picture of 24th October hinted at the introduction of their new altered Typhon:

Our new altered is in the final stages of build. Those with long memories will remember the Austin Ruby Drag Addict in the 1980s followed by the Topolino Quarter Flash in the 1990s, and finally an unnamed Donovan-powered T bucket which we put on the old Houndog 11 Funny Car chassis appearing briefly at Jurby in around 2010 for a cackle. After finding terminal distortion of the chassis rails the decision was made to break the car, cut the defunct chassis up, sell of the majority of parts and build a new car to modern specifications.

As with any new build there are a number of people who have given their input and advice for which we want to say Thank You, they know who they are. Plans are to test first, which we will be looking to do during 2018.

Swift snippets.
11th December: We will be posting our annual Christmas Gift Mart tomorrow (Tuesday). If you have any offerings for racers, fans or any other drag racer in your life then send details and a picture to us at

York Raceway saved.
9th December: Chris Murty writes that a year of uncertainty has ended for the UK's
York Raceway as a tremendous effort on several fronts has raised the requisite funds to keep it open:

Earlier in the year York Raceway fans were delivered a huge blow as the land owners were offered an immensely better offer to rent out the main runway of Melbourne Airfield (the home of York Raceway and drag racing in the north of England) to a huge parts manufacturer, with a stipulation that no drag racing takes place on the site.

Months of negotiations and improved rent from Pennine Raceway Ltd as a direct result of the increased race and RWYB entry, along with forty years' goodwill, meant that the land owner went back to the parts manufacturer and told them they had to find a way to share the venue or leave, putting the deal at risk. After a brief stalemate the parts manufacturer agreed to share the main runway with drag racing. The land owner gave drag racing its terms: raise a minimum of £100,000 minimum towards resurfacing the track and reinvesting into the facility by 1st January 2018 and you can continue to use the site for drag racing for the next ten years.

This was soon realised by many like-minded people to be the catalyst for a possible / probable / achievable new beginning for York Raceway to become a far better facility than ever before!

Some would say that it would be an impossible task to raise £100,000 in five months from sponsors and donations alone. An unbelievably daunting mountain to climb, but Pennine Raceway Ltd and the Pennine Drag Racing Club stubbornly agreed to dig deep and at least try to make this happen. PDRC and PRL put in their reserves of £10K each and the first physical donation of £1000 was handed over by York Raceway's new promoter Chris CJ Murty from his personal savings.

Soon donations were coming in from other racers and supporters and new sponsors came on board, enticed by the excellent deals and the prospect of generating revenue for their businesses. An army of supporters came together and created new ways of generating money: selling old parts, publishing calendars, selling prints, raffling off their services, anything which could add something to the pot.

Miraculously, here we are with three weeks to go until the deadline and we have done it! The drag racing community has united and played their part to save York Raceway and give the community a permanent drag strip for the next ten years.

This is a new beginning for York Raceway! A fresh start under which we are looking at making improvements and with a fixed mind to redevelop the venue over the next ten years. To achieve this we are still seeking more donations and sponsors. £100,000 is the absolute minimum, but the drag racing community don't want the minimum! So we must keep striving to achieve the maximum. The more we raise, the better the venue will be when we open at some point in 2018. Together we can achieve a new, exciting future, now that that future has been secured!

A heartfelt thank you to all the donators, the army of supporters and to our new sponsors ADImages, ADT Fabrication Services, Anderson Hydraulics, Behemoth Enterprises, Darkside Developments, Elysion Ltd, Engine Data Analysis, Evil Tuning, G-R Performance, Ian Walley Racing, Lucas Oil, Mac Tools Goole and York, Preston's Dairies, PCG Engineering Services Ltd, Straightliners Ltd, Stuart Sports and Performance, Thames Cryogenics Ltd, The Turbo Shop, Willis Performance, The Wood Floor Co and Youhill Machinery Ltd.

If you are interested in joining the list of sponsors above, then please E-Mail to find out more.

2018 FIA Championship calendar.
7th December: The FIA World Motorsports Council have ratified next year's European Drag Racing Championship dates as were listed on our
2018 FIA/FIM Championship Schedule page:

25th-28th May: FIA / FIM Main Event, Santa Pod Raceway, UK
7th-10th June: Tierp Internationals, Tierp Arena, Sweden
28th June-1st July: FHRA Nitro Nationals, Alastaro, Finland
17th-19th August: NitrOlympX, Hockenheim, Germany
23rd-26th August: Scandinavian Internationals, Tierp Arena, Sweden
6th-9th September: FIA / FIM European Finals, Santa Pod Raceway, UK

We are awaiting the 2018 FIM European Drag Bike Championship calendar although we understand that Super Street Bike will be a Championship class rather than a Cup next season and that a Cup for Junior Drag Bikes has been proposed.

Swift snippets.
7th December: We would like to say a big Happy Birthday with hugs to Carolyne Beckwith. Have a lovely day Caz.

Our very best wishes to our good buddy and Shakespeare County Raceway Marketing supremo Jerry Cookson who is in hospital undergoing more post-heart attack treatment. Hopefully Jerry will spend at least one day doing what the medics tell him.

On the subject of Shakespeare County Raceway, may as well do the thousandth time in writing: when we get official word from the track and not before.

Editor's Note: Not entirely sure how it got out but it is indeed true that your News Editor slipped and fell in the bath last weekend. You had to be there to get the full impact. Two days out of service, nothing broken, nothing worse than muscles yanked in various places (some locations seemingly unconnected with what actually happened) and somewhat more painful embarrassment at doing an Old Person thing. Thanks for the good wishes, and no thanks at all to the reader who asked what was the special occasion marked by having a bath.

Web site updates.
7th December: In the latest instalment of his exclusive Racer Blog presented in association with Gearhead Garage Paul Marston brings us up to date with the progress of his twin-turbo Cortina. You can take a look by clicking here or by clicking on the Gearhead Garage Blogs link on the left-hand side of any page.

The Drag Racing Europe Blog has been updated with an interview with Top Methanol doyen and retiring Colour Commentator Dave Alexander. You can take a look by clicking here.

Swift snippets.
5th December: This may eventually impact upon the class in Europe but NHRA have announced that from the coming season Pro Stock is to be allowed to use any approved body with any approved engine combination. That is to say that you could see a Dodge body with a Chevy motor and vice versa but it is absolutely, definitely not Pro Mod. For more details check out NHRA's web site by
clicking here.

Feature: BDRHoF Gala gallery.
2nd December: The latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products is a gallery of shots from the recent British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala.

The pictures were taken by Andy Willsheer and our own Julian and feature the inductees' and special guests' trip to Brooklands as well as the Bench Race and the presentation.

You can take a look by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any page.

Mort dubs the ale.
2nd December: Santa Pod Raceway are pleased to announce the winner of Name the Ale contest in aid of Bloodwise which took place at the UK National Finals.

"We had forty five entries who all generously gave £5 to Bloodwise in order to suggest the name of the an ale produced by Pot Belly Breweries in Kettering", says Darren Prentice. "The winner would then have the chance to design the badge for the pump handle. The kind folk at the Pot Belly Breweries will donate a cask to be sold at Dragstalgia with all profits to go directly into the Charity pot for 2018. Congratulations to:
  1. Winner Jon Morton who suggested Quarter Porter
  2. Ben Fisher for Methan Ale
  3. Stephen Cherrett for Get Piston
"Many thanks to Susan Ponsford for collecting and organising the entries, to Pot Belly Breweries, and to our very own calm-mannered Fuelers Bar Manager Paul Savage for making this possible."

Venom adds sponsors.
2nd December: UK Nostalgia Funny Car racer Tony Betts is pleased to announce two more sponsors for Venom Racing in 2018:

Lucas Oil will be supplying all of their products needed to run Venom in the Nostalgia FC Championship in 2018. We would like to thank Les Downey, Tom Bogner and Forrest Lucas for choosing to partner with Venom Racing to partner. Venom are looking forward to using Lucas products to compete in one of the ultimate classes in drag racing.

We would also like to welcome Darren Mayer of DMPE Performance Engineering who will be supplying one of their 6/71 superchargers. DMPE do a vast range of performance engineering for all forms of motorsport. You can find them at Venom Racing are looking forward to the increase in power the DMPE supercharger will add.

We would also like to thank our existing sponsors for their continued support: MHD Group Ltd, JA Mackenzie Haulage, Super Power Unlimited, Chief Wraps and NGK Spark Plugs.

Anybody wishing to partner Venom Racing in 2018 please contact us via our web site at

Earlier news