Midsummer Northern Showdown
Melbourne Raceway, 25th-26th June 2022


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That's the end of racing for today. Come back later for our galleries from Tog. Thanks to Martyn Greathead of Straightliners we have uploaded racers' best times of the day which you can see by clicking on this link (pdf format).

You can see Saturday's Duck All Prep results by clicking here. In Pro Rear Wheel Drive round 2, effectively the final, Ian Merryweather ran the winning pass after Mark Todd shut down on the line with problems, and Pete Youhill was a no show after he suffered a broken rocker.

Straightliners bike racer Maxine Taylor won the 9.1s bracket Championship in 2021 and has been racing for 10 years. She said "I started at Elvington on a 600cc Bandit and have done drag racing ever since. My current bike is a BMW S1000RR which has a stock engine but long swing arm and air shifter. I'm not chasing the championship this year as I'm going to Kenya in July for a month and have only recently got my bike back after an accident at Santa Pod last October." Maxine was in Bedford hospital for a week with a broken Cocyx and fractured T11 verterbrae after her bike flipped on launching at SPR, but is fully recovered although any heavy lifting gets reassigned to the men on the team. "My PB at Santa Pod is 8.90 and here a 6.13," she concluded.

Junior Dragster racer Dexter Wilson is in his new car for the first time this weekend. Dad Chris Wilson said "Dexter was keen to race at the track so three months ago we bought a car that had been previously run by Redshaw Racing. We repainted it and named it Big Buns Racing. But despite having a Junior we will still continue to run the car here as I have a rear engined dragster which I like to race at Melbourne." The team is joined by Chris's dad Vic.

Racing for the first time we could remember were two Chevy Nova IIs, this one is owned by Dean Roberts who has a 6.7ltr engine which powered him to a 9.92/79 time.

A group of four expat Lithuanians came to the race with their quick road cars which are racing in the Pro AWD category in Duck All Prep. Audrius Bagdonaviucius has a E90 Audi Quattro with extensive aftermarket parts in his 5 cylinder engine - he said only the block and head are stock and all other engine parts are custom built, including the injection and turbo systems. Audrius said "The tracks used in Lituania are airfields and are concrete, we could have raced in Estonia but have lived for 17 years in the UK." The car outputs 900hp and his PB set at Melbourne is 7.25s over the eighth.

Fellow Lithuanian Kestras Bendikas drives an Audi S2 which is similar spec to the Quattro of Audrius Bagdonaviucius, with output of 650hp from his turbo 5 cylinder engine. The cars both have driveshafts that are custom made and difficult to break, although a third Audi in the team did just that and had to return home to get a spare.

"The weak link is the differential front and rear which can break", he admitted. Audrius ran a best today of 7.57/101 and all four Lithuanian cars ran within a couple of tenths of one another.

The quickest time of the day was set by Andy Flavell who was trying his hand at the wheel of dad Mark's funny car for the first time in six years, 5.67/140. He said "I started to drive the car in 2016 at Santa Pod but have never driven here at Melbourne. It was my 17th pass in the car and the first time I felt I was driving it rather than holding on.

The vibration is like someone constantly waving their hand in your face, the whole thing shakes all the time. The no prep track was a novelty, you have to try to coat your tyre in grip juice, there is so much going on it is difficult to remember everything. I want to do more driving and get my license but it's a matter of time and money, plus I don't think dad is ready to give up yet!"


Thanks to Martyn Greathead of Straightliners we have uploaded racers' best times of the morning which you can see by clicking on this link (pdf format).

After living in the north east for 65 years, Supercharged Outlaw racers Des and Karen Taylor made a move to Milton Keynes to be close to their grandchildren (and closer to Santa Pod Raceway). Des's Thundergod blown alky altered has remained up north with owner Duncan Beard maintaining it from his Barnsley base. "We put in new valve springs - one broke as soon as it was removed - and had the crankshaft ground over the winter.

"We have new carburettor jets but the tuning window is quite narrow with the MSD 7AL ignition. We also got an extra blower pulley to underdrive the blower by 10% which suits it more here. There is a selection of other pulleys the team can use to overdrive hte supercharger at up to 20%." There are also some new slicks, the target being lower in the fives from 5.83's last year best on the Melbourne eighth (best eighth mile at SPR is 5.45). Duncan will be in the driver's seat at the Friday of Dragstalgia and possibly the NSRA Hot Rod Drags later in the year.

Supercharged Outlaw racer Keith Freeman took three tenths off his personal best ET at the recent Nostalgia Nationals to run a 9.2 on the SPR quarter. Keith (pictured left with crew members Ed Kohut and Martin Hill, said "The improvement is mainly down to methanol injection, we installed a DevilsOwn setup using the same 8/71 supercharger as before, the blower being a DC (Marc Danekas) item going back to the 70s.

"The engine is a Big Block Chevy of 496ci with a Reath Powerglide gearbox. The fibreglass body is a historic Jago item, orginally made in the 1970s as a Ford '32 roadster, with the five window roof and pillars being added later." Today the team, joined by friends and wives, will support Keith in run what ya brung, tomorrow he is thinking of going in for the no-prep competition.

Mark Todd had allegedly brought his turbocharged GTO 'Freight Train' to run as a 'guest car' with the Supercharged Outlaws group this weekend. However Saturday got off to a bad start when, in warming the engine, one of the coil packs failed and started to melt. Faced with a lack of spares at the track, a plan was hatched to run on seven cylinders today (which lasted one run) then he the five hour journey back to base in Budworth, Cheshire, and retrieve the spare parts for the engine. Later in the day with the replacement coil, Mark ran a 5.72/132 in the Duck All Prep contest.

"Crew chief Pat Byrne who was involved back in 2015 when Mark won the Street ELiminator championship in the Freight Train said "Mark noticed a misfire at 1000ft when we ran it in Super Pro ET at SPR at the Main Event and the coils were replaced with those taken off the '6 Appeal' Aston Martin. Now running slicks, Mark is on a limited schedule as he is also involved in son Daniel's Junior Dragster team.

Tom Parry, based in Bamber Bridge, Preston, runs a sleeper Ford Consul Mk1 which has a twin turbo LS engine under its hood. He said "I bought the car out of a barn as a four door rotter and did all the work to restore it myself, including building the chassis and cage. It's the same wheelbase as stock but the front doors have been extended by 10" and there are new panels at the rear. The car was built around the LS engine installation, I got one which Fred Walmsley rebuilt with forged internals and added the turbos.

"I run the car both here and at Santa Pod, it is so friendly here and I've had loads of advice, particularly from Ian Walley on the turbos. It's a street and strip car, the first time I ran it here it went on its roof but fortunately it wasn't badly damaged, a new roof, quarter wings, sill and Panhard rod to replace together with paint. My best time here is 7.2s and would like to run a six, at SPR I ran a 10.7 with it turned down." Tom trailers the Consul to all meetings he runs it at and with kids that are keen drag racing fans he is building them junior drag bikes.

Gary Daley runs a mostly steel Willys 41 Coupe which has quite a history. "I've raced it here two or three times, it was originally run as a gasser in the 50s in the US and eventually it had a blown Hemi. In the '90s someone bought it to restore, and now it needs a further restoration.

I've had it for three years since I imported it, it has a supercharged BBC with 489ci and 8/71 blower, two 750cfm Holley carburettors and a Powerglide gearbox. The cab is steel, the front is all glass and the chassis is from the original Willys coupe, the front clip is from a Mustang with an Olds '59 rear axle.

Gary kindly passed some press clippings and photos of the original car. "The original owner was Troy Padgett and tuner Lenwood Horn (both deceased), it was first raced at Kingston Drag Strip, North Carolina with a 348ci Chevy in 1959, it was sold in 1964 to Billy West, a Stock and Super Stock racer who was a relief driver for Sox & Martin.

Billy fitted the Hemi engine but kept it unused for 15 years, after which he sold it to Doug Avery of Gentry Performance based in Selma, N.C., who had it for 39 years, racing it in Pro Street and Super Gas with SBC and Ford engines until he went BBC. The picture is after Doug's 1990s restoration.


Good morning and welcome to our reporting from Melbourne Raceway at the 2022 Midsummer Northern Showdown.

The weather is sunny at Yorkshire's drag strip, with temperature currently at 16C forecast to rise to 22C with a crosswind of 16mph going from right to left across the track. There are quite a few race cars and bikes in the pits, but room for more, so you can pay at the gate if you fancy a go on the track.

The plan for today is pit notes by your reporter Simon with a link to the official results from the open qualifying, and photos by former editor Tog. We will update pit notes at various points during the day so come back for the latest information.

A big welcome to Eurodragsterholics everywhere, we hope you all have a great day. Welcome to all those who are tuned in. Come back later to see the latest news from the track.

Reports and pictures ©Eurodragster.com