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That's the end of Press Day, we'll be back on Saturday morning with qualifying from the Main Event. Join us then.
Your reporter today was Tog of Eurodragster.com, photographs by Sharkman of Eurodragster.com. Thanks to Andy Marrs, Kjell Petterson, Trevor and Geoff of SPR's track crew, John Price, Keith Bartlett and Spencer Tramm, and of course to all of you for tuning in.
See you on Saturday.
Manty Bugeja has put in his second pass of the day, a nice full pass, 6.064/232.93. A little shake off the line but Manty drove through it and although the car drifted a little at half track Manty stayed with it. His incrementals were: RT 1.277, 330 feet 2.618, eighth 3.950/183.04, 1000 feet 5.067 and a great way to round the day off.
Our good friend Andy Marrs of SPR's timing crew was taken for a ride-along by Dale Reardon, 10.86/127.15 and you can't get the smile off Andy's face. Also on a ride-along was a lady from The Standard, Michael Malmgren the chauffeur this time and a great run of 7.650/137.56 with the chutes out at 1000 feet. The eighth-mile was 4.703/151.01, the journalist likewise was ecstatic.
Manty Bugeja has put in his first pass of the day. Bearing in mind "Maltese 60 feet" and "Maltese half-pass" you will not be surprised to hear that Manty ran to 1000 feet, looking and sounding very strong. Manty ran 6.547/159.45 on his early (just) shut-off pass, his incrementals were RT 0.701, 60 feet 0.991, 330 feet 2.635, eighth 3.999/180.50, 1000 feet 5.206. Great stuff.
Paula Atkin is running like a bracket car with a passenger on board, 8.03/172.56.
Michael Malmgren's next pass was a 7.17/192.79.
We've had a few more demo passes from racers. Martin Bishop was first up with an 8.376/158.21 on his Pro Stock Bike, a nice straight run. Martin's incrementals were RT 1.746, 60 feet 1.242, 330 feet 3.459, eighth 5.330/131.10, 1000 feet 6.921.
Michael Malmgren's problem on his last run turned out to be a blown fuse. Shows you how much I know! He put in a great pass of 7.13/194.43, his quickest run since he started testing, incrementals were RT 0.528, 60 feet 1.099, 330 feet 3.015, eighth 4.605/155.07, 1000 feet 5.935.
Peter Beck put in his promised second pass and your reporter was allowed to run the Tree for him again - after his engine explosion on Saturday when I also ran the Tree I wasn't sure that he'd want me near him again. Another soft burnout followed by a solid launch and the car was really moving until a burst plate went out just before half-track. Peter recorded 6.451/138.80, his incrementals were RT 0.541, 60 feet 0.939, 330 feet 2.351, eighth 3.554/182.67, 1000 feet 4.904.
Sam Chaplain put in passes of 10.958/124.53 and 10.907/132.16, and Dale Reardon at 11.32/119.94 with a passenger although he is just pulling round for another run as I type...11.12/122.84 again with a passenger.
Pro Stock Bike racer Chris Tombleson has just appeared with his new bike which is an ex-Roger Petterson model, we understand that it is Roger's Championship-winning bike. Chris took it nice and easy clocking 10.08/87.40.
Micke Kagered is in the collection area with his TMFC, no sign of Manty yet so stay tuned and we'll let you know as soon as stuff happens.
Hello there and welcome back to Santa Pod on a beautiful summer's day. We have the ladies and gentlemen of the press here and a number of racers putting in passes for their delight.
After some shenanigans on the M25 we made it here just in time for the start of festivities as Peter Beck was lined up behind the start line in the Nitrolympics Top Fueller. Peter and the team wanted to put in a launch just to check that the engine was OK after the enforced rebuild at the weekend. The car was set very soft indeed, not lighting up the tyres on the burnout. On the green the car launched very hard, 0.91 to sixty feet which Regula tells us is their best ever sixty-foot time. Not surprisingly the rear tyres went up in smoke at about eighty feet but Peter was about to get off it anyway. In the pits afterwards, crew member Horst Pauli told us that they were very happy indeed with that launch, and that Peter will be returning this afternoon either to 330 feet or a half pass depending upon how he felt the pass was going.
Supertwin Top Fuel racer Anders Karling has rebuilt his engine after the explosion at the weekend, and put in a pass just as I started to type this update. The bike sounded very good indeed although it was obviously set soft, 7.445/198.79 were the figures and just as importantly the bike went arrow-straight. When I met Anders and Christian earlier they told me that we had only told half the story about one of Anders' engine bolts landing in Anita Makela's Top Fueller on Sunday. "We were just returning the compliment", said Christian. "Anita launched some parts into our pit at the European Finals last year!".
A big hello to all of our friends in Malta, who will be pleased to hear that Manty Bugeja is planning two or maybe even three passes today. Manty's tuner Charlie Draper told us that the team have made a number of changes to Joe Carabott's car over the off season. "We're going for the Championship", said Charlie. "We all want to go to Monaco!". The dragster looks absolutely stunning in its new paintjob which Manty told us was executed in a week by Martin at MG Graphics on Malta. The car now features the colours of primary sponsor Shark Energy Drink plus Total Oils, John's Group, Alamo Rentals, Air Malta, Empav Engineering and of course Mr. Whippy. We'll get a picture of the new paint some time today so tune back later on.
We found US tuner Bill Schultz, who is tuning Micke Kagered's Top Fueller this weekend, preparing spare parts for the race. "Spares aren't spares unless they are ready to go no the car", he said. "You have to take as much care with them as with the race parts". We asked Bill to sum up the difference between racing in the USA and racing in Europe. "In the US, you get to use maxiumum power about sixty to seventy per cent of the time - but over here you can never use it all", he said. "This track is prepared very well indeed but in the USA you can have up to twenty five Fuellers running in one qualifying session and that puts rubber on the track. It is very challenging here, but I enjoy it. For example, we don't use the biggest possible fuel pumps over here so you immediately have a tuning problem. Micke's car is a 4.80 car but you have to make the call whether to set it to run a 5.0, because a guy who runs 5.0s all day can whip you if you try to run a 4.80 and blow it". The front axle set-up of Micke's car is currently at Andy Robinson Race Cars being adjusted after the front end was found to be a little low at the weekend - in fact on Micke's first pass on Sunday he staged on the front wing.
We had the obligatory exchange with Bill about the weather forecast for the weekend, and he gave us his views on the matter. "In my next life, I'm coming back as a weatherman. They get it wrong, they laugh off their mistakes, they get paid a lot and they're celebrities!".
Pro Stock racers Michael Malmgren and Niclas Andersson are both putting in demo passes today. Michael Malmgren has put in a half pass of 7.901/124.02, and is just lining up now for another run. Niclas Andersson ran just a moment ago and put in a pass of 7.44/143.99, shut off at 1000 feet and the chutes out before the finish line. Niclas' incrementals were RT 0.458, 60 feet 1.067, 330 feet 2.983, eighth 4.578/154.51, 1000 feet 5.971. Michael has just broken off the start line, looked and sounded like a transmission problem.
The other racers we have with us are Paula Atkin, who has given a raffle winner the ride of a lifetime with a pass of 8.01 at a whopping 173.21; Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Dale Reardon who has put in a new personal best of 10.56/131.15 and that with tyre spin; and 10.90 Bike racer Sandra Chaplain who has put in four passes so far of 10.714/134.27, 10.990/131.90, 10.69/131.90 and 10.80/132.85. Pro Stock Bike racer Martin Bishop is getting ready to run as I type.
Stay tuned and we'll bring you the action as it happens.