The Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway, 22nd-25th May 2015


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Latest update 19:40

Super Gas and Super Comp racer Ronald Huis, who runs a blown '55 Chevy Nomad, said 'The car is running great so we entered it for both classes. However the trans has been getting a bit too hot so we skipped two Super Comp sessions. The car is the same as last year, a lot of fun. We have to use a throttle stop as the car will run 8.2 without one'.

Super Pro ET racer Rene Meierhofer, who used to run a yellow Chevy Beretta in Comp Eliminator, has moved up by buying an imported Top Dragster from fellow Swiss racer Rolf Vogel. After some test runs at the Hills Race in Italy he ran a full pass here and a great 6.85/193, good for fifth place at the end of the day. He said 'It's great to drive and the Alan Johnson engine is working well.

Super Pro ET racer Willem van Baalen is driving Johan Oomen's dragster as a one-off before the dragster gets sold to an English racer, name to be announced. He said 'I was on the crew of the Methness Funny Car and this is my first time inside a dragster. It's a tight squeeze and I have a lot of bruising on my upper arms, but no pain, no gain!' The result of five test passes yesterday was a string of 8.0s today and 19th in qualifying. William is now team member for David Vegter and his firm WVB is sponsoring new tyres on the car at each event.

Super Pro ET racer Jack Brewster is helped by Steve and Babs Saunders who are taking a year out after damage at the National Finals and moving house. He said 'We had damage at Shakey and broke a valve which damaged a piston. We had to get the head welded but its gone to plan since, although it was hard work getting it ready in time'.

Super Pro ET Brad Jackson is currently no.1 in the championship and the car has been performing well. Last year the car was running ETs that were five hundredths different on the same tune and found during the winter a faulty ignition pack. It is now extremely consistent and we're pleased with it. We are grateful to Lucas who have been with us for six years and I am focusing on the championship. This meeting and the Euro Finals are crucial'.

Super Pro ET racer Chris Parker, pictured with Nick Good Racing team manager Dave Catton, said 'The car has been performing as well as expected but the oil colour is darker than we would like to see. We are doing routine maintenance for the moment'. The team has some changes this year and have been joined by Matthew Moxon in addition to his own Sportsman ET racing.

Super Pro ET racer Laura Turburville ran her first seven in the Bloodlines slingshot dragster. She said 'It's taken a year and a half, but the track was great today. The car left the line straight and we hadn't changed any settings. The meeting will probably be my last in this car as I am looking to move to a rear engined dragster'.

Super Pro ET racer Peter Lane is back driving after an eight year layoff. He said 'I had a Camaro and this '55 Chevy body came up for sale. I cut the body off the Camaro and found it didn't fit. But Jon Webster had a spare imported chassis which it did fit. I want to run a seven and did my first full pass today which was a 9.6. The engine is a naturally aspirated iron BBC with aluminium heads and Powerglide. He said 'It's wonderful to be back racing.It is easier to drive than the Camaro and feels softer off the line, although it reacts too quick on a sportsman tree'. We will be seeing Peter on track at Dragstalgia and a couple of other events this year.

Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Alan McSweeney's Volvo 162 has a blown small block engine that has run a best of 9.60/140 so far.

Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Stuart Williams had a suspected head gasket failure and a quantity of coolant exiting the headers on the finish line. Stu said 'It was a minor leak, very small but we're going to replace the gasket. The power levels have risen after we serviced the nitrous system and found a broken part blocking part of the system. At Shakey we reduced the power by 800hp and won the event. We got a new baseline today and ran a 7.8 after lifting. We have spare parts on their way from London'. Stu is joined by crew members Jack and Sam and Les will arrive tomorrow. Stu said 'Thanks to the crew for pulling together and the long hours'.

Super Comp racer Dave Day was pleased to be back after a problem at the Festival of Power sidelined the Double Trouble roadster in the semi final. 'Our four link broke, but it's fine again after fitting a new joint'.

Super Comp racer Conrad Stanley (pictured left with crew chief Trevor Graves), had a big engine breakage in the Bomber dragster of Liam Jones at Shakey. The answer? 'We bought Paul Brown's old car turnkey. We realised the problem in the other car was big when we saw a hole in the sump. It's good to be back racing'. On his maiden full pass in the car, despite not having a throttle stop, Conrad was within a tenth of the 8.90 index, albeit on the wrong side at 8.81.

Pro ET racer Steve Bowen runs this startling Mitsubishi Evo in Pro ET, his first championship event after ten years in run what ya brung. 'I bought the car in 2005 when it was five years old and have modified it with a 66mm turbo and stroked to 2.3l and new internals. With the money I have spent I want to do more than rwybs. It is no longer road legal and the chassis is tagged to 8.50. I ran a 9.26 yesterday in testing and now want to run an eight'. Steve is a roofing contractor and although based in Pontypridd, is willing to travel around the country.

Pro ET racer Rhiannon Bellenie tested her dragster to some mid nines yesterday and that form continued today. She is running an ex-Super Street Bike engine without nitrous and her best run so far is 9.46/137 on a 9.40 dial in to go eleventh.

Pro ET racer Tig Napier, sponsor of the Perfect Light award, received a new engine during the winter from Todd Marsh Performance in the US - but then after the Festival of Power suffered an accident getting the car off the trailer at homw and broke his wrist. 'We are testing the new engine. It is 655ci and was dynoed in the US to 1048hp'. The engine which is naturally aspirated, is the first Todd Marsh has built that runs on unleaded petrol rather than C12. The compression is 11:1 rather than 16:1 of racing gas-fuelled engines. Tig added 'We had the chassis upgraded by Jon Webster and also improved the gearbox'.

Super Comp racer Tom Margesson is in his debut meeting driving Andy Williams' dragster. Tom said 'I've been a crew member with my Dad Pete on Andy's car for eleven years ever since I was fourteen. Then I learned to drive at Shakey in a rwyb in 2013. It's great fun to drive but it all happens so quickly at 150mph'. The car has a new engine and gearbox and a new back axle from Paul Letchford. 'We built the SBC engine ourselves and Bob Lees worked on the gearbox.

Pro ET racer Geoff Cowley bought his Chevy Nova from Brian Whitfield who in turn had acquired it from Super Mod racer Simon Farmer. 'Brian had EDA fit a 540ci BBC engine. Since I ran Sportsman ET I have wanted to run something quicker and to go from 14.76 to 9.03 is quite a step up. I hope we can do double duty in Pro ET and Super Gas but there is a bit of an overheating issue and some small gearbox problems we have to resolve first. Thanks to Dave Cherrett and Tig Napier for their help'. Geoff's crew are daughter Polly and partner Candy.

Pro ET racers Nic and Dan Williams were searching for a tuning issue in their Camaro. Dan was ninth in dad Keith's Chevelle and sponsor Nic was nineteenth in the Camaro, 0.13 off his dial-in, after session three. For more information on Williams Bros Racing and their hot rod and custom building business, see our recent feature.

Pro ET racer Ethan Lisle is racing a beautiful Mercury Comet which was built by and once campaigned by Jon Webster. 'It's my first time in the Comet', said Ethan. 'My Dad Paul bought it from Jon and I am running it here as my Roadrunner is waiting spare parts to arrive from the US. The Comet runs 10.1 which is faster than the Roadrunner has gone but we hope that will improve with the new parts'. The Comet has 524ci naturally aspirated Ford power and, as ever, uncle Alan Lisle is helping on the crew.

Pro ET racer Gino Bernadine's Escort has become even more hi-tech over the winter. Gino has a turbo Cosworth engine and for a long time has used a nitrous system solely to help spool up the turbo on the start line. The addition to the setup is a Cybex enine management system, and it probably saved engine destruction on his second pass when the oil pump belt came off on the run. 'The system shut the engine off from 8000rpm in a few milliseconds. It records a lot of data but has some great safety features'. The system is used commonly in Street Eliminator and FWD but is unusual to find it in Pro ET.

Pro ET racer Lee Huxley is displaying the name of his sponsor Clive Mills who passed away last December. As well as loving drag racing, Clive ran a disco. Lee said 'Clive's ashes will be sprinkled at the Mopars and his daughter will be receiving a passenger ride in his memory. New for this season, Lee and Brian have a two speed Poweglide to replace the three speed C6 gearbox. Lee concluded 'It has taken some getting used to pushing the lever rather than pulling it but the car is two tenths quicker and pulls better lights'.

Super Pro ET racer Phil Toppin suffered bad engine damage with multiple broken rods at Shakey. He thought he would be out for some time but then a replacement engine was found. 'Jamie from Topspeed Automotive put me in touch with a F1 Super Stock racer who had Pete Knight build a 540cu in engine for him but it turned out to be too powerful for his car. So it had just sat in a barn for eighteen months. I stripped the top end and built it up. It was a bit out of sorts tuning wise and there was a nasty leak of gearbox oil in the pits earlier. So I don't want to risk another blow-up and am running it on petrol as opposed to methanol at the moment'.

Super Pro ET racer Jayne Kay had to be towed back to the pits after reverse gear refused to be selected after the burnout. Crew Chief and dad Gary said 'We tested yesterday and had our first pass in two years to 8.9s. We are using ballpark figures on tuning as the BBC engine with its 14-71 blower and Lencodrive was new to previous owner Clayton Round. We are aiming for 6s and 200mph on the track and will also run the Pageant of Power at Cholmondeley, Cheshire, on 12-14 June.

Super Pro ET racer Rod Harrison (pictured front left) was delighted to run a PB of 6.24/215 in his methanol fuelled dragster. 'A huge thanks to all the boys and girls on my crew who worked so hard, and to Jeff Bull who had a torque convertor delivered to us on Monday without which we couldn't have run'. The team has a new sponsor in the form of NUA Entertainment.

Super Pro ET racer Marck Harteveld improved from last year's best of 6.83 to a 6.79 on his first pass, albeit disqualified due to a blue line violaton. Crew member John van der Lans said 'We have new Brad Andersen Stage Five fuel heads which work fine with our 14-71 blower. We are trying to get our times down to Pro Mod level and want to run in that class eventually. We have also lowered our wing by 10cm which has helped our speed.

Top Fuel team owner Rune Fjeld has had his twenty plus cylinder heads converted to the latest pattern used in NHRA. This utilises studs and nuts in new grooves specially tooled for the purpose. The new layout will help avoid the increasingly common problem of fuel engine torching their copper head gaskets during a pass. The team has two drivers making their FIA debut, Liam Jones and Birgitte Bremnes. They have to run at least 260mph at 1000ft in order to complete licensing and qualify.

The Santa Pod two seater dragster, driven by Steve Warner, has had new Billet Specialities bead lock wheels installed over the winter. He said 'Whereas on the old wheels the tyre was bolted directly to the wheel, the new wheels have a ring with a number of bolts around the circumference to clamp the tyre to the wheel.

Santa Pod's disabled spectator facilities are first rate, at 400ft down track and excellent accesssibility.

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