FIA / FIM Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway, 27th-30th May 2016


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Latest update 16:15

'King' Harold Bull was the first person to drive a race car down Santa Pod Raceway in 1966. Yesterday he was back with daughter Jane and son Simon with the immaculate replica of his Stripduster dragster. BBC Look East will broadcast a feature on Harold and Santa Pod's anniversary tonight at 6:30pm.

Nostalgia Funny Car racer Bob Glassup tested his Capri yesterday, the nitro-burning engine sounding great, and the car is on display during the event in the Nostalgia marquee. You will be able to see the car run at Dragstalgia on 15-17 July.

Super Pro ET racer Craig Wright got some last minute tips from Paul Marston Drag Racing School tutor Mick Howling. Craig had two consecutive breakouts, the first an 8.37 on a 8.40 dial, with a red light. He said 'We had a headwind at Easter so the car is going quicker at this event. I need to work on my reactions as the car is reacting much quicker than my old Civic.'

Super Pro ET racer Joe Kellett tested in his brand new Hauser Race Cars built dragster. The first run was 8.73 off the throttle followed by 8.29 and 8.25. After three sessions of qualifying he is no.7 with 8.20. Joe said 'We are really happy with the car running so well from new. We think we can get it to run quicker with this combination but will go for consistency at this event.'

Super Comp racer Eric Roerade has his 'Monster' Nova here. The engine is 555cu in and he has moved up from Super Gas. In Q2 he broke out with an 8.84/155.

Top Fuel racer Steve Ashdown was delighted to have run a 4.32/247 yesterday to complete his licensing. Steve was grateful to car owner Rune Fjeld and his family and many other supporters for making his dream come true.

Super Gas racer Tim Moore ran on the test day but suffered battery woes when they went flat soon after charging and making a single pass. He said 'We are cleaning up the terminals as best we can but have yet to find the cause of the problem'. Tim's wife Tina had a passenger ride in Colin Theobald's Camaro Bruce and said 'I will be wanting a drive in Tim's car soon!'.

Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Mark Sheridan was running licensing passes yesterday with one more today completing his licensing, the car running a 9.05 in the third session. Crew member Harry Palmer (formerly of Dave Wilson's TMD team) said 'We are here to play with it and see what times we get. Shane Tecklenburg is here and he is helping us with the boost settings.' He later ran a 8.277/167, a giant leap in performance for him.

Pro ET racers Dan and Nik Williams (the latter a sponsor through OCS Paint) have produced these superb Williams Bros Speed Shop t-shirts which you can get for £15 each from their trailer.

The line-up of three Williams Bros race cars is undeniably impressive. Nik said 'The Camaro ZL1 has new Santhuff's shocks and springs at the rear. These prevent the car from bouncing after a wheelie. They help the performance too, as our 9.89 is the best ET we have run at SPR. We also re-baselined the car using scales to try to optimise the weight distribution. Dan's Nova now has a four speed manual transmission and we are focusing on clutch adustments. We are close to the NHRA A/S record of 9.88 as Dan has run 9.91. After this event we are taking both cars to Tierp.'

Pro ET racer Rick McCann, now residing in Sweden, arranged some time before the event to have a drive of Keith Williams' ten second Chevelle. After two successful passes yesterday, problems struck on the third run when the engine suffered a holed piston. Rick said 'There was no warning until I lifted and put the gearbox in neutral to idle down the shutdown area. It sounded rough and there were clouds of smoke. The no.4 plug had been hit by something and there was no compression. The holed piston sucked up oil into the cylinder and it went out through the headers. We don't know whether the plug or the piston went first, but there was no detonation'. For his next race in Tierp Rick is waiting a new Super Stock engine to be delivered from Los Angeles.

Pro ET racer Carla Pittau, pictured with Grace Roaf, brought her Heaven and Hell Camaro over from Sweden and took up where she left off at the Euro Finals last September. 'We were making some power so we made no changes and I am working on the launch procedure as the car rolled the beams last September.' A 9.64 on 9.60 dial in placed Carla in 25th spot in a tight field.

Pro ET racer Dave Nicols tested his turbo Toyota JZ-engined dragster to some 9.2 second clockings yesterday. However the engine was hitting the rev limiter at the top end, which is not allowed under Pro ET regulations. Crewman Tom Craddock (son of former Top Fuel racer Andy Craddock) said 'We are getting some new higher ratio gears from S&K Racing to go from 4.85:1 to 4.11:1. We will have to see whether that makes us too quick for Pro ET. The engine is remarkably stock apart from the cams, the injectors and the turbo.

Super Gas racer Stevan Reffeltrath, pictured with brother and crew member Hans, is enjoying the event and is qualified fifth of nine after three sessions. He said 'We have done normal maintenance on the car which we have had for five years and are glad to be in Super Gas which is a great class. The throttle stop system is not, as some think, completely computerised and you have to set it up according to the weather and other conditions.'

Pro ET racer Dave Crowhurst's Black Wanger Subaru-powered Beetle appeared to break on its launch in Q1 and when we passed the pit the drive shaft had been removed following the damage.

Super Pro ET racer Colin Millar is having his first race in the Flyin' Fyfer Anglia since the team's epic visit to California and Nevada last autumn. He said 'It's great to have a chance to race the car here, as Scott Crookston will be driving the car in the Outlaw Anglia series this year. We have a new non-nitrous engine for this event so we are looking to run consistent 8.4s. our nitrous engine is being repaired'.

Comp Eliminator racer and sponsor Belinda Bull, tested to 7.1s yesterday and improved that to 7.05 today in her A/A Chevy S10 truck. Jeff said 'We checked the engine before the event and are making small chassis adjustments here. The last run yesterday planted the wheelie bars pretty firmly and we are looking for a more Pro Stock-like flat launch. There are lots of options.' Jeff and Belinda are using a BLP carburettor supplied by Florida based ex-pat Brit Tony Morris.

Comp Eliminator racer Michael Oates (pictured right) ran 8.65 in the test session but found a spun main bearing after the final run. He said 'We rebuilt the engine over the winter, increasing the compression to 17:1 but the increased power has caused some other problems including launching and now this damage. We hope to come back as we are getting some new bearings from CM Frost today'. The team, with Kevin Johnson (pictured left) and Michael Gooding crewing, bought the car two years ago. It had been built by Roy Wilding in 60x40 mild steel some years previous and has been modified with additional tubes for current regs. The car has mechanical fuel injection and runs on methanol.

Super Pro ET racers Jim and Charlie Draper have brought the Reckless Rat altered after testing last weekend. He said 'The engine dropped a valve on the burnout with damage to the cylinder head and piston. Fortunately we had spares to hand. We are looking at running later today or tomorrow'. Charlie is pictured right with crew member Andy.

Super Pro ET racer Chris Parker and team principal Nick Good's cars have very similar paint jobs. Nick's blown car has new rear tyres and after being scrubbed in was running consistent 6.8s. Chris's four link unblown car ran a best of 7.702 to go no.1 in the first session and was able to hold onto this for the next four sessions.

Super Pro ET racer Mark Flavell has been entertaining the fans with some very bouncy runs in his funny car. He said 'We have a new Crower Top Sportsman clutch with our Lenco three speed. There is a lot of adjustability and want to come up with a baseline setting, but it is proving tricky. The engineering side does fascinate me.' What are Mark's plans for 2016? 'Apart from winning the championship, going out with the Minogue sisters and World domination, we will be at Jurby on the Isle of Man in September and running with the Supercharged Outlaws too.'

Super Pro ET racer, and brother-in-law, Tom Atkinson ran 8.757 on an 8.74 dial in to go fourteenth. After five sessions the top sixteen are separated by less than 0.02s. Tom and dad John's Cortina Estate had a chassis built by Chris Isaacs and intended for Street Eliminator by the original owner who sold it to John Atkinson as an unfinished project.

Super Pro ET racer Johan Oomen had a broken transmission in 2015 which curtailed his racing year. 'We have changed a lot of things on the car and installed a Bruno Lenco transmission with a Neil Chance convertor. It suits a nitrous setup and I am wanting to go into the sixes once we start using the gas.' Yesterday during testing the car suffered a broken ring gear and the team fixed it in time for session three where the car ran a wayward 8.64. Johan will race at Hockenheim and Drachten in addition to three dates at SPR.

Comp Eliminator racer Andy Frost is making his first appearance since the 2014 Euro Finals. He said 'We have changed a huge amount of things in the car including new turbos, manifolds and heads so we were testing the launching of the car yesterday. We will move over time but the objective is to get down the track first of all.' The car, which is still street legal, ran a fantastic 6.530/214 on its first full pass with the new setup.

Nostalgia slingshot racers Norm Wheeldon (pictured right) and Herb Andrews have their awesome Too Much on display in the Nostalgia Marquee. They have announced the car will be running at Dragstalgia in July. As probably the only twin engined dragster running (as opposed to cackling) today we cannot recommend the event highly enough.

Junior Dragster racer Liam McDonald is younger brother of Top Fuel racer Gabby and started in his hired Santa Pod car at the Junior Drag Racing Fun Day last year. This is his second competitive meeting and he is currently qualified fourteenth.

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