Festival of Power
Santa Pod Raceway, 30th March-1st April 2018


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Pro ET racers Tom and Amy Watkins have entered the class for the first time as they want to get more track time. Previously running in Nostalgia Super Stock, the cars were made MSA legal last year. Over the winter Tom took apart the engine in his Dodge Charger and Amy had a new and stronger (Ford 9") rear axle installed in her Pontiac Firebird by Hauser Racing. Where the schedule allows, Tom and Amy, with dad Neill in the Dodge pickup, will enter Nostalgia Super Stock as well as Pro ET.

Junior Dragster racer Skye Collier has a new wrap from JP Grafix and the motor has been rebuilt recently by GLS Engineering to JMA specs. Jerry Collier said "Scott's bike has the same look as the dragster but we had problems with setting it up for this event and will bring it out later in the year".

Junior Dragster racer Frankie Taylor is making her debut at this event and the car which is ex Adam Bentley and painted by Gary Collins of Surrey Customs in the same Banshee livery that you will be seeing shortly on grandfather Mick's Outlaw Anglia.

Junior Dragster racer Matthew Dowdy has a brand new Half Scale car which arrived from the US two weeks ago. Dad Michael said "We are grateful to OCS Paint for painting it and giving us sponsorship again. Matthew was 13 years a couple of weeks ago and will be running as JMA with the existing Blossom engine from last year's car, the main change being better breathers. On its initial competition run, Matthew qualified fifth with a 0.058 RT.

Pro ET racer Harrison Brown was in the Thatadoo Camaro as parts are still awaited for the Super Pro ET car driven by dad Ian. Harrison ran a 10.708 on a 10.85 dial in.

Super Pro ET racer Austin Jaques had an overhauled engine and chassis re-tag over the winter. He ran a 8.536/160 in the abbreviated one shot qualifying.

Super Pro ET racer David Evans ran the Doomsday Impala but lifted going along the track.

Super Pro ET racer Ashley Bell was in the pairing lanes but didn't get to run as the session was cut short in the 5 degree conditions.

Super Pro ET racer Dave Catton was back in the seat of the Windscreen Wizards dragster driven by Chris Parker to the 2016 championship. Dave said 'It's been four years since I last drove it, the only changes since Chris drove it are a different seat and a two port injection tuneup which should be good for a 7.9s run'. However the class was sent back to the pits in the cold conditions.

9.50 Bike racer Leo Lester has ever more prominent NGK decals on the Yamaha YZF R1 1000cc bike. He qualified third with a 11.23, the bikes suffering startline launch issues.

Top Fuel Bike racer Allan Davies' new bike has quite a story behind it. It was originally built by Allan's father Pete Davies (founder of Puma Engineering) with Frank Brachtvogel about twenty years ago for Adam Hewitt. But the project got put on hold until Allan, 2017 Funny Bike champion, decided to move up to the top class. He said "We ran four or five rwybs last year and got down to 8.4s but that was just the first few familiarisation runs". The bike has a Puma parallel twin engine, with everything except for the bores, rods and pistons hand-made. The supercharger is a Sprintex, the ignition is by MSD mags pushing out 7.5 amps to ignite 80% nitro fuel mix, and the power going through a B&J two speed gearbox via a multi stage clutch (only the primary stage being used for the moment). It really is an impressive piece of engineering and worth tracking down in the pits to look at close up.

Top Fuel Bike racer Filippos Papafilippou made his initial launch on the Gulf Oil bike, with its Puma Engineering engine. Fil said 'So far I have only sat on the bike in the pits while it was being fired up. My main aim this event is to get familiar with the starting procedure. While it's disappointing the weather hasn't let us do more, I will be going to the test day before the Main Event and do a few launches to get me more used to the bike'. Fil says he has sold the rolling chassis of his previous two bikes, one to Nick Daniels and the other to Thomas Joswig.

Super Comp racer Arndt Putzmann from Germany is racing at SPR for the first time this weekend, usually competing in the German championship for the class. He said "I have had my VW Beetle for eleven years and have raced it for all that time, starting in stock trim and building it up into a race car myself. I built a new tube chassis and have a special flat four 3.2 litre engine running on methanol with a turbo. Arndt was German Super Comp champion in 2017 and raced to the semi final at Hockenheim.

Pro ET racer Matt "Curly" Griffiths has built this 1980 Vauxhall Chevette which he has owned for the last 21 years and has built into a race car 'on and off for the last 15". Jim Smith of Cotsweld Race Cars bent the tube that, with box section main rails, forms the chassis. Matt then constructed the rest of the car learning skills such as tig welding and metal fabrication as he went along. "I also got some mechanical experience by crewing for Andy Williams when he ran a roadster, Doug Bond's TMD and Mats Andersson before he returned to Sweden". The car has a 454ci BBC with a single Holley Dominator carb and mild flat tappet cam, Powerglide transmission with Ford 9" rear. Matt tested with a checkout pass last weekend. "I have only been down the track once before and am itching to run quicker than the 11.99 class maximum ET, so I guess I am in at the deep end. But if you don't have a go, you'll never know". Matt is crewed by wife Deadea.

Hayley Fyfe of the Wrathchild Wild Bunch team, who backs up the team's slingshot as well as Keith Crampton's dragster, told us that her favourite job is under threat. "I got an E-Mail saying that after the recent ban on grid girls in Formula 1 and after an on-track incident last season back-up girls aren't going to be allowed to wear flowing skirts or high-heeled shoes. They said it was because they could stop you getting out of the way quickly if a car goes out of shape. They also said that in future we will have to have our arms covered to protect them if there is a fire. It's mad. If they are going to stop us dressing like girls then I don't know why they don't just use men".

Pro ET racer Ben Newsome is making his competition debut after attending his first event as a spectator last Easter. He then ran his road BMW at a run what ya brung event, and then towards the end of the year bought James Forster's Mustang. He said "I saw the car on track and it was very consistent, so I thought I could get into the sport by buying it". Ben, who works at Jaguar Land Rover for a living, has bought the car with the nitrous system intact and aims to get into the tens during the year. Team mates are Connor, Cliff and Curtis.

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