Contributors names in brackets after
the entries where applicable. All other material researched by myself - Chris.
Click on pictures to see a larger view. Text links will open in a new window,
close it when you're done.
|SPR installed full strip
floodlights and were awarded the UKs only night motor racing permit.
|This season saw the
introduction of a new class for the UK. Pro Comp was an amalgamation of Top
Competition Altered and Top Dragsters into the 'Pro Competition' class. Cars
in this class could be supercharged as long as nitro was not used (methanol
was ok), or could use nitro with no supercharger.
|'European Dragways' was
formed as a progression of Clive Lanson Enterprises who promoted all the
NDRCs meetings and financed trips from the states for racers such as Tom
Christenson. The body intended to promote meetings in Sweden and Germany
as well as the UK.
| March 9th
||SPR. Season Opener
the First Annual Easter Nationals. After the success of the previous years
first meeting at Snetterton the NDRC in association with European Dragways
put on the first major NDRC meeting of the year. The strip now featured an
improved PA system, a larger spectator enclosure on the right hand side of
the strip and apparently an improved parking system.
Easter Meet. Peter Crane set a new
UK record of 6.37/204mph in the Stormbringer.
Dennis Priddle managed a 7.2 in
his slingshot and blew his engine. Allan
Herridge (Firefly) ran 7.1. Allan was also in action in the
Funny Car class and ran 7.7/192mph in Stardust. He was due to meet Roland
Pratt, who had run 7.2/196mph, in the final but rain stopped play. (Bill
| April 6th
||Long Marston. NDRC Meeting.
| April 13th
|| Blackbushe. RAC National
Drag Racing Championship Round Three including 1st round of the Motor Cycle
News Top bike drag Racing Championship.
Dennis Priddle set a new top speed
record of 225mph (Bill Dossett)
|| SPR. In Pro Fuel
Dennis Priddle put in a single
late qualifing run of 6.49 The final was Crane v Priddle.
Peter Crane ran 6.79/204 while Dennis
Priddle ran a 6.04sec E.T.at 218mph in his 'Mr Revell' slingshot. This world
record for a front engined fueler stood until the 1990s.In Pro Comp
Dave Page (Panic) won with a 9.4. Allan
Sharpe in his G.H.Nolan sponsored V12 Jaguar rail won Senior Dragster with
a 10.57. Jeff Morris won Top Dragster with an 8.2/173mph running unblown
on 85% nitro. Owen Hayward beat Allan
Herridge in Funny Car with a 6.76 and new strip record. Owen also drove
the Houndog rail with a best of 7.7 In the Funny Car Final Owen Hayward won
with a 7.07 to Allan Herridges 7.08. (Bill Dossett)
National Drag Racing Championship Round Four, round one of the Wolfrace Street
Championship and a round of the 208 Pro Comp Championship.
Dennis Priddle debuted his new Chrysler
Avenger Funny Car. The car was built by Dennis and his crew and featured
a 470ci alloy Donovan engine with a two speed B&J transmission in a 116in
wheelbase chassis. Liz Burn, driving the ex Clive Skilton GTX Lizard Dragster,
ran 8.67/204mph. Liz missed her parachute release and while trying to find
it crossed the centre line and hit Dennis Priddle in the Mr Revell fueler
from behind. Both cars left the track and ended up in the field. Both Liz
and Dennis were OK, Mr Revell was rebuilt but the Liz & Ollie car was
a write off. Stripteaser ran a 10.55/124 their fastest time to date. Roz
Prior ran a bye run 6.98/213, a new personal best for her. (Bill
May Day Holiday Weekend Big Go. Dennis
Priddle ran 6.9 in his new Avenger Funny Car.
Peter Crane ran 6.18 in Stormbringer,
Ron Picardo ran 7.3 in Firefly and Dave Stone ran 7.7 in Hemi Hunter. Alan
O'Connor ran 11.1 his best ever. Bob Messent ran another personal best of
10.2 in Stripteaser. Tony Anderson (2.5 Daimler) ran 8.6. Pat Cuss ran 8.9/165.
Phil Elson (Sneaky Glowworm) turned in an 8.6. In Pro Stock Gary Goggin
ran 10.5 and on two wheels Keith Parnell (single 750 Triumph) ran 9.0/155.
|| SPR. Keith Parnell became
the first bike rider into the eight second bracket at 8.93/151mph.Two Top
Fuellers turned up for this meet, Peter
Crane with the Stormbringer and Ronnie Picardo with the Firefly. They
ran two match races. Crane won both with no recorded time or speed to Picardos
8.05/189 in the first race, and took the second with a 6.70/205 after Picardos
car broke on the line.
NDRC International meeting including 2nd round of the TOR LINE European funny
Car Championship, (1st round was held in Sweden and rained off),3rd round
of Motor Cycle News Top Bike Championship, a round of the Wolfrace Street
Championship and the 208 Pro Comp Championship. Seven Funny Cars turned up
for this event making it the largest FC race so far in Europe. They were
Clive Skilton (Vauxhall), Liam Churchill
(The Sting, Capri), Dennis Priddle
(Avenger), Roland Pratt (Hillbillies), Hazze Fromm (Capri) and the Swedish
entries of Bjorn Andersson (Opel) and Leif Darback (Volvo). Skilton
was the number one qualifier but Priddle and Pratt made it through to the
final. Pratts car blew a blower gasket on firing up, a direct result of upping
the nitro percentage, allowing Skilton to come back in and run the final.
Priddle won however with a 6.95/204 to Skiltons 8.03. To see the elimination
ladder for the Funny Cars click
here. Jim Rowatt took the win in Pro Comp in his "Double Or Quits" dragster,
Dave Rose won the Super Street final with a 12.95 in his Barracuda "Cracklin
Rose". Keith Parnell ran 9.39. Top Fuel went to Trevor Young (Revolution3)
7.12 when Roz Priors axle broke. Top Street went to Robert Oram (E type)
12.82. In Senior Comp Altered Dave Page beat Anders Lantz 9.68. In Middle
Comp Svante Eriksson's Jeep beat Stripteaser 10.3 while John Whitmore took
Middle Dragster with an 11.25. (Bill Dossett)
European Grand Prix incorporating the first British funny Car Grand Prix.
A total of seven Funny Cars and one Fuel Altered were entered for this meeting
including Dale Emery driving Leroy Chaddertons 'Chadderton & Okazaki'
Chevy Vega FC from the US. Also over from the States was Danny Johnson and
his 3.5 litre Harley Davidson, he ran a best of 8.4/167,
John Hobbs managed an 8.8. During
his burnout before racing Johnson, Hobbs, with his front wheel firmly up
against the crash barrier, tore a large hole in the SPR tarmac.
Allan Herridge set both ends of
the European funny car record in Stardust with a 6.66/213.68 run in
the Final against a tyre smoking Owen Hayward. For the Funny Car elimination
ladder click here. Hayward was
also in action in the "Houndog 8" Top Fueller, running a losing 7.07/205
in the Final to Peter Cranes 6.81/203
in "Stormbringer". Alan O'Connor won Super Street, beating Mike Churchill
in a 3/3 match race. Mike Hall in "Shutdown" won the Pro Comp Final after
Gerry Andrews "Hemi Hunter"
| July 13th
|| The MDRA begin using the
strip that is still in use today to run their meetings at Long Marston. For
this season and 1976 racing took place in the opposite direction to that
used today. Previous to this racing took place on the number 1 runway.
||Santa Pod Raceway.
BDR&HRA Drag Racing News Meeting. Two fuelers a Fuel Altered and a Funny
Car were present at this one day meeting.
Peter Crane and Owen Hayward fought
it out for the Pro Fuel honours. The first outing saw Crane take the win
with a strong 6.28/216.45 to Haywards 6.93/211.42. The final had Crane taking
the win with a 6.46/218.34 to Haywards 6.88/213.22. Phil Elson in the 'Sneaky
Gloworm' Capri and Dave Stone in
the 'Tee Rat' Altered competed for the Funny Car title over a best of three
match. The first round saw Stone take the win and run a new best for the
Rat, a 7.58/174.83 to Elsons 8.84/136.43. Both cars came out again for a
second round but as Elson took the win with a low nine second pass Stone
lost the steering on the Rat and scuffed the gaurdrail on the pit side bending
a wheel at the same time. Oh, and both cars red lit! John Whitmore was getting
to grips with the new slipper clutch in his rear-engined 1293cc Leyland rail.
He ran 9.84, 9.94 and 9.88 to re-set the Middle Dragster strip record to
9.84/131.58. Alan O'Connor ran a best of 10.86 in his 'Als Gasser' Pop during
a 3 - 0 match race defeat of Jim Kirk in his TVR. A couple of scary moments
occured in bike qualifying. The first saw D. Page, on his 'Purple Puss'
650 Triumph, get no recorded time for his first run as the beams were
broken by the Raceway ambulance, which was coming down his lane in the opposite
direction! Page kept the gas on to his credit and the lady driving the ambulance
claimed not to have seen him. Barry Simpson was less lucky and parted company
with his 500cc Velocette at the top end but was not injured. In eliminations
Phil Drake lost a wheel disc which resulted in a horrendous lock-to-lock
tank slapper. Top Bike saw John Clift run 9.24, 9.52 and 9.63 on his way
to the final. John Hobbs ran 9.01/163.67
but red lit his chances away to Mick Warne. Warne was defeated by Richard
LePage who red lit in the final against Clift. Terry Revill clinched the
Street Bike title while his opponent Phil Brister took his Norton to its
first ever eleven, an 11.94. For all class results
||Aintree. The first Drag
Race event to be held at this venue (once a major motor racing circuit and
the scene of the first win by a British Grand Prix car, the Vanwall driven
by Tony Brooks and Stirling Moss in 1957) was promoted by European Dragways,
organised by the Pennine Drag Racing Club and run on a narrow eighth mile
strip. 55 entries turned up including two fuelers and two Funny Cars. Qualifying
produced some good runs. Noteably for Pat Cuss in 'Ratcatcher' (6.13),
Clive Page in 'Panic' (6.58), Pete Barnett in
the Vauxhall FC (7.13), Roz Priors 'Fast Lady' fueler (5.26/148) and
Clive Skiltons Vauxhall FC (5.57/134).
Dennis Priddle then brought out
his Avenger FC and treated the crowd to an eighth-mile burnout followed by
a 5.027/144 pass. The top cars were run singularly because of the narrow
strip so the finals were run one car after the other. Trevor Young set the
mark in Top Fuel with a 4.83 in the ex-Skilton rail. Opponent Roz Prior did
her best to beat him on her run but a rear axle failure saw her coast through
with a 7.20/62. In Funny Car Clive Skilton was the first to run and he put
in a 5.83/130 on six cylinders. Dennis Priddle then produced another storming
burnout but got crossed up while reversing. He then cut the motor as part
of the reverser linkage came loose. The decision was taken to make the run
without the reverser and the car was re-started. Dennis then over-staged,
the crew could not push the car back and the motor was cut again. With the
car re-positioned the motor was fired again and Dennis proceeded to smoke
the tyres for the whole eighth, obliterate everybodies view of anything and
beat Skiltons time with a 5.53/161. Not to be outdone Skilton came back out
later with the Vauxhall running on all eight cylinders and put down the fastest
eighth-mile Funny Car run ever seen in the UK, a 5.16/165. Mike Hall won
the Pro Comp final with a 5.55/136. A round of the Motor Cycle News Top Bike
Championship was held at this meeting. Keith Parnell had a hairy moment in
qualifying when, after an earlier 6.2/120 pass, he had his back wheel lock
up at half track. Fortunately, and much to the amazement of everyone who
saw it, he managed to hold on to the bike and get it stopped safely. He was
out for the rest of the day however. John Clift was the final winner having
set an eighth-mile record in the first round with a 6.125/125 defeat of Barry
Beaumont. For all class results click
||Mantorp Park, Sweden. Roz
Prior blew the motor in her 'Fast Lady' Chyrsler slingshot leaving her without
an engine for the rest of the season. In the Tor Line Funny Car Cup Series
Dennis Priddle and
Clive Skilton met in the final.
Priddle shut off with clutch problems before getting to the line while Skilton
suffered a blown head gasket and ran a 41 second ET.
| August 17th
|| Blackbushe. NDRC Hot Car
Grandnationals. The funny cars of Clive
Skilton, Dennis Priddle and
Liam Churchill were present. Gary Goggin was the only Pro Stock competitor
to turn up.
Holiday Weekend Supernationals. Saturday was reserved for qualifing and
eliminations were run on the Sunday and Monday. For Sundays competition the
cars were divided into 7 classes. A - G according to their qualifing times.
For Monday the usual class eliminations were run. Saturday qualifying saw
John Clift head the bike field with a 9.27/146 while hairiest ride of the
weekend saw Keith Parnell managing a 9.46/147 while clinging to the side
of his bike after being unseated by a combination of bumps and a crosswind.
Ted Dunmow failed to qualify with a 9.89/134 on his unblown Triumph but was
awarded a case of champagne for the best qualifing effort. On four wheels
Tony Anderson ran a 9.06/158.73 to beat Keith Danceys old Senior Dragster
Class record by 8mph. On Sunday John Whitmore ran a new personal best of
9.49/138 to smash both ends of his old record. In Super Bike Tony Weedon
picked up a £5 prize for being the first 150mph runner after his 9.25/151
qualifing shot. John Hobbs ran a
new personal best of 8.82/157 but lost to Ian Messenger in the final after
his primary chain broke and Peter Crane
was number one qualifier in Pro Fuel with a 6.42/216.45. On Monday Terry
Revill ran his quickest ever in the Street Bike final, 11.64/117. Pete
Smith won the Senior Bike final with a personal best of 9.25. Brian Mondey
set a new Junior Comp class record with an 11.55/120 in the Optimist altered.
Phil Elson and Pete Barnett match raced their funny cars but Barnett was
having problems with the rear engined Vauxhall and Elson took the Sneaky
Gloworm Capri to a 9.36/143 and an 8.81/156.Owen Hayward and
Allan Herridge had two races in
the Houndog and Stardust funny cars. Herridge took the first with 6.91/202.84
to Haywards 7.14/207.04 and the second with a 6.81/210.97 to 6.87/207.70.
Owen Hayward had some consolation when he ran his quickest ever in the Houndog
8 dragster, 6.58/221.73, to win the final of Pro Fuel. In the first round
he had run a 6.73/216.45 to defeat
Gerry Andrews in 'Hemi Hunter' with
a 7.57/190.11. The other first round meeting saw
Dennis Priddle match up with
Peter Crane. Both cars left hard together but as
Priddle took a slight lead Cranes 'Stormbringer' veered to the left
causing the chassis to twitch violently and send the car on to one-and-a-half
wheels. Pete managed to get it back together and still crossed the line in
7.81/165.93. Meanwhile Priddle took the win with a 6.58/221.73. In the final
Priddle lost a fuel line, resulting in a 7.10/151.75 to Haywards winner.
Pro Comp saw its ranks increased with the addition of Tony Froomes 'Nitromania'
and Jim Reads ex-Priddle rail 'Le Patron'. The first round meeting of these
two saw Froome have problems before he got to the start line when he dumped
the chute in the fire up road! Read then red lit on a solo 11.34/143.68.
To round off the meeting Bob Messent in 'Stripteaser' and Alan O'Connor in
'Als Gasser' held a grudge match for a one hundred pound gold trophy and
a cash prize for the weekends most spectacular wheelstand. Messent took the
title with an almost vertical wheelie which resulted in mild damage to the
cars front suspension. Also damaging himself by coming down hard on the Santa
Pod surface was stunt rider Mark Bishop who lept 100ft on his 500cc Triton
before losing control and crashing to the ground on landing. For all class
results click here
||Aintree. Pennine Drag Racing
Club Meeting. Full rounds of practice and qualifying were completed on the
eighth mile but the meeting was brought to a premature end by rain. Just
before the rain started Dennis Priddle
and Trevor Young got ready to put in their first runs. Dennis took the Mr
Revell slingshot to a 5.05/147.6 and Trevor didn't get to run. Earlier
Dave Page took 'Panic' to a 6.43/116.25 and Pat
Cuss ran a 6.79/120.48. Tony Merry made his first appearance at Aintree with
the 'Liquidator' Pop and put in a 7.98 while Glenn Reed took his 1500cc Volvo
rail to a 7.33/96. Ian Lloyd took his Chevy engined Ventora to victories
over all the American Production cars and a D. Lloyd made runs in a Formula
Ford. Star of the bike classes was Brian Chapman and his 'Mighty Mouse' 500cc
Vincent. He ran the low E.T. of 6.41/104.99 which he followed up with a 6.55.
Mick Warne ran 6.63/104.2 and 6.48/119.76 and local boys Paul Taylor, Dave
Houghton and Barry Beaumont ran 6.70/113.64, 6.72 and 6.75 respectively.
Chris Richards took the ex-Hobbs 'Olympus II' to a 6.98 preceeded by a rolling
burnout. Phil Brister dominated the Street Bike class on his 828cc Norton,
beating the Kawasakis of Pip Higham and G. Baharill.
International including 4th and Final round of the TOR LINE Funny Car
Championship, (3rd round held in Sweden). With this the final round of the
Series Dennis Priddle and Clive
Skilton were level on points at the top of the table. Skilton ran an
off the trailer 7.23/200 in qualifying while Priddle never made it out of
the pits with transmission problems. Liam Churchill took 'The Sting' Capri
to a new personal best of 8.04/170 while the fourth and final entry, Ake
Ryman in the 'Canon' Toyota ran a half-pass 8.58/146. Later Skilton came
out again and ran his first Funny Car six, a 6.91/211. Priddle got his first
pass in on Sunday morning with a 7.36/196. The first round saw Skilton defeat
Churchill with a 7.74/142 although Liam was happy with his first seven second
run, a 7.92/180. Priddle defeated Ryman with a 7.23/208 to an 8.19/185.
The winner of the final would also take the Championship. The lights failed
so a flag start was called for. Priddle acknowledged his readiness and staged
but Skilton was not ready. Having been staged for some time Priddle left
as the flag went up followed by Skilton who crossed lanes in an effort to
catch up. Priddle took the win with a 6.94/208 while Skilton shut off to
a 10.58/65. Roz Prior failed to qualify in the Pro Fuel class leaving Trevor
Young to clock a 6.83/215 and a 6.88/215, new personal bests for car and
driver. Gerry Andrews demolished the field in Pro
Comp with a 7.61, a 7.48, a 7.41 and finally a 7.29/196, a best ever terminal
speed. Senior Dragster and Senior Comp saw only one entry in each class so
the two were combined. In the following best of three
Clive Page in the 'Panic' Altered, which was
still running on pump gas but using injectors for the first time, won 3/0
with a best of 9.33/147. Svante Eriksson in the hemi powered Jeep ran
amok in the Middle Comp field, sweeping all aside and becoming the first
car in the class to run into the nines. His easy 10.65/108 in qualifying
was followed by a 9.85 and a 9.84 on his way to the final. There he met Bob
Messents 'Stripteaser' and took the win with a 9.71/146 to a 10.24/129. In
Production Jan Johnson hit the brakes of his Corvette just before the lights
on every winning eleven second run. His quickest was an 11.31 at 93mph. Later
in the day he came out and put in a flat out pass which resulted in a terminal
speed of 124mph.
||Holland held its first
ever drag race meeting. It was attended by, amoungst others, Brits
Allan Herridge with Stardust, Ronnie
Picardo with the Firefly, Mick Warne, John Clift, Mick Hand and Derek Penfold.
Most competitors managed to put in at least one run although it rained almost
American International. The Funny car eliminations included nine floppers
and a Fuel Altered, the largest FC field ever in Europe. Saturday qualifying
saw Dennis Priddle breaking in a
new '440ci steel' motor in his 'Mr Revell' slingshot to the tune of
a gentle 9.04. Ronnie Picardo in the 'Firefly' temporarily took number one
spot with a 7.60/207.04. In Funny Car Liam Churchill ran a new personal best
of 7.56/194.93 but broke a torsion bar in the process. Roland Pratt in the
'Hillbillies' Avenger ran 8.23/154.99.
Dave Stone was competing in FC in
the 'Tee Rat' Altered and clocked a 7.94/146.63. In Pro Comp
Gerry Andrews set the pace with
a 7.36/193.05 for number one spot. Martin Rowatt was at number two with an
8.78/161.81 and third was Pat Cuss with a 9.33/168.63. In Junior Altered
Tim Spencer borrowed the rear wheels and slicks from Bob Messents 'Stripteaser'
for his qualifying run in his Jag powered Mini '2-Ton-Car-Men'. The car crashed
into the guardrail at the top end and was written off. On two wheels the
crowd were treated to some great performances from the two visiting Americans
Danny Johnson and Tom 'TC' Christenson. Johnson was the first to put in a
pass on his 3500cc Harley, an 8.61/162.34. TC then followed on his double
Norton with a 9.02/144.51 which he was not happy with. A quick clutch
adjustment saw him come out again and run an 8.65/158.48. In Top Bike the
bump spot of 9.65 was an all-time low. Number one went to Keith Parnells
Triumph at 9.22 followed by Tony Weedon, also on a Triumph, at 9.33.
Henk Vink made number three at 9.43/152.21. Later in the evening a number
of cars took advantage of the new floodlighting which had now been RAC approved
for competition. These included Owen Hayward who went to the top of
the pile in Pro Fuel with a 6.54/221.24 in the 'Houndog 8' rail. The rest
of the Funny Cars also made their qualifying passes. First was
Allan Herridge in 'Stardust'
who ran a 6.77/210.97. Owen Hayward then took the 'Houndog 7' car to a new
European best for a Funny Car of 6.61/210.53. Dennis Priddle took his Donovan
powered Avenger to a 6.93/207.47 and American Leroy Chadderton took his Vega,
now owned by Santa Pod, to a 7.20/194.55. Phil Elson in the 'Sneaky
Gloworm' was the only other FC to run and put in a troubled 13.68. Sudays
eliminations saw Liam Churchill re-set his personal best in round one with
a 7.43/161.81 but lose out to Hayward. The semis saw Hayward leave Priddle
behind on the tree but the 'Houndogs' clutch went up in smoke at the three
quarter mark. Hayward crossed the line first with a slowing 6.99/155.04 while
a hard charge from Priddle saw an identical 6.99 with a 207.47mph terminal
speed. Chadderton defeated Herridge, who burnt a piston, with a 6.92/213.68.
The final saw the Houndog team borrow the clutch from Stardust while Priddle
stood by as first alternate. Both cars made their burnouts but Hayward had
problems selecting reverse. Then, to make matters worse, the motor died.
The crew pulled up in the pushcar, re-started the motor and pushed the car
back. Now there was a problem selecting a forward gear. Meanwhile Chadderton
in the Vega waited patiently as the motor got hotter and hotter. Eventually
Leroy was sent off on a solo and the motor lasted until the
three quarter mark before exploding in a ball of flame as it threw a rod
and split the motor in half. This caused the transmission to erratically
lock and unlock as the car skidded to a stop at the end of the shutdown area.
Chadderton emerged unscathed. This was the first time a UK crowd had
witnessed such a spectacle. In Pro Fuel Owen Hayward put a best ever 6.56/221.73
down in 'Houndog 8' but lost out to Priddles 6.69/211.42 in the semis.
Peter Crane took the other place
in the final with a 6.45/222.72 in 'Stormbringer' despite a valiant
7.05/217.89 from Picardo in "Firefly'. Picardo and Hayward came out again
to run off for third and fourth and Hayward clocked a 6.59/223.21, the fastest
terminal speed since Skiltons 224 a couple of years earlier. Picardo was
outclassed with a 7.31/184.84. The final saw Crane set low ET of the
meeting with a 6.37/222.72 defeat of Priddles 6.67/210.97. Senior Comp
went to Dave Page in 'Panic'.
His 9.17 in the best of three match race with Vic Hammonds 'Mr Big' was a
new class record. The American bikes had two match races and treated ther
crowds to side-by-side rolling burnouts. Round One went to Johnson with
a holeshot 8.52/164 to TCs 8.37/162. Round Two saw Johnson break an
engine sprocket and coast to an eleven second pass as Christenson hit 8.47/165.
With Johnson out John Hobbs stepped
in for Round Three and despite a holeshot his 9.15/159 was no match for
Christensons 8.37/153. Mick Warne had a best of three match race with South
Africas Mike Bramley, both riders using 1500cc Triumph machines. Warne took
all three, 9.53 to 9.62, 9.34 to 9.53 and 9.53 to 9.47. Warnes 9.34/151 was
a new personal best. Senior Bike went to the remarkable blown 250cc
Honda of Mick Hand. He ran his first ever nine second run earlier in the
day with a 9.75/142.05 and in the final his 10.37/140.45 was enough to defeat
a 10.71/137.55 from Dennis Normans 1656cc double Norton! For all class results
click here. (Updated from an
original entry by Bill
||SPR. G-Max trophy. Qualifying
saw John Whitmore repeat his recent nine second runs with a 9.88. Tony Froome
made his first pass with his newly purchased ex-Ed Shaver/Pete Barnett Vauxhall
VX4/90 rear-engined Funny Car. The car sported a new 'Sundance' paintjob
and clocked a 10.43 on its first run.
Dave Page took the 'Panic' Chevy
altered to a 9.62 but mechanical problems put the team out for the rest of
the day. John Hobbs was on form
and ran an 8.47/170.65, a top end charge that could not be matched by either
Danny Johnson or Tom Christenson the two visiting American riders. During
qualifying Johnson managed an 8.55/161.29 on his Harley. The two Americans
then embarked on a series of match races. Christenson took the first on his
Norton, 8.41/137.17 to 8.91/122.55. The second and third also went to
Christenson, his best E.T. being an 8.37 and the best terminal speed going
to Johnson with a 166.94. Two Pro Fuel cars were present,
Peter Crane in 'Stormbringer' and
Owen Hayward in 'Houndog 8'. Crane won 2/2 taking the first round with a
6.37/213.22 to Owens 6.96/210.08. Round two saw Owen improve to a 6.81/214.13
but Crane was there first with a 6.50/181.82. Funny car consisted of Froomes
Vauxhall, Roland Pratt in the 'Hillbillies' Avenger and
The Stones 'Tee Rat' Altered. Pratt
had problems and Froome managed a 9.28/136.24 to a storming 7.55/149 from
Dave Stone. In the final Stone backed up the new record with a 7.59/165.29
defeat of Pratt. Pro Stock saw only two entries, and one of those did not
run due to mechanical problems. 'Whiffy' Smiths 'Insurance In Pro-Motion'
Chevy was found to have a leaking inlet manifold (and later was found to
have a cracked block) leaving John Ledster to put in three solo runs with
a best of 12.22 seconds. Pro Comp also had only two entries,
Gerry Andrews in 'Hemi Hunter' and
Pat Cuss in 'Ratcatcher'. Round one saw Andrews pull a red and shut off to
an 11.83 while Cuss ran a 9.76/143.47. The next round saw Cuss loose fire
leaving Andrews to solo to a 9.26/109.29. In Middle Altered P. Smith got
his 'Red Rampage' Capri into the tens for the first time with a 10.95/123.92
win in the semis. He lost out in the final with an 11.22/123.61 to Pete Smiths
10.84/118.48 in 'Poison Ivy'. John Hobbs continued his good form with an
8.49/172.41 back up of his earlier run in the first round for a new record.
Opponent Derek Chinn was a long way behind at 9.42/144.72. His luck ran out
in the semis however when the rear brake caliper came off 'The Hobbit' after
the burnout. Opponent Pete Smith soloed to the final with a 9.77 on his 750
Triumph. There he met the 'Mighty Mouse' Vincent of Brian Chapman. He took
the win with a 9.60/145.56 to Chapmans 9.80/141.04 but Chapman had accumulated
enough points to win the MCN Top Bike Championship for 1975. Finally a match
race between Hobbs and Christenson was scheduled but Hobbs slid off the back
of his bike at the end of a rolling burnout leaving TC to solo to an
8.62/156.25. For all class results click
| October 5th
|| NDRC Championship Finals,
Blackbushe, including finals of Wolfrace Street Championship and 208 Pro
Comp Championship. Dennis Priddle
won the 1000 pound prize put up by Custom Car magazine for winning a best
of three Funny Car match race against
Clive Skilton. With a win each after
two rounds Clive had problems with his injector linkage for the final leaving
Dennis to solo for the win. In Top Fuel Trevor Young ran a best of 7.5/211
and ran a shut off 10.06/167 for the final win. Pro Stock went to the freshly
painted 'Money Hungry' Camaro of Tony
Dickson. His 10.89/131 took the win against 'Big' John Ledster.
||SPR BDR&HRA Meeting.
The Pro Fuel class had three entries and they all suffered problems, so much
so that after one round of qualifying nobody was able to compete in the
elimination. Peter Crane took "Stormbringer" to
the best time of 7.35/220.26 on a solo pass. Owen Hayward finished ahead
of a troubled Ronnie Picardo with a 7.76/131.75. That was the full extent
of the Pro Fuel competition. Funny Car also had three entries, Phil Elsons
392ci capri, Tony Froomes rear-engined Vauxhall and
The Stones "Tee Rat" Fuel Altered.
It was Dave Stone who led the way running an 8.11/148.15 in Round One and
an 8.52/132.45 defeat of Tony froome in the final. The different groups and
eliminations saw some unusual pairings. Pro Comp saw Gerry Andrews in "Hemi
Hunter" defeat Bob Messents "Stripteaser" Altered for a place in the final.
On the other side of the ladder Alan O'Connor in "Als Gasser" defeat John
Whitmores "Drag-N-Fly" rail with a 10.98/126.74 to a 10.97/127.55. Alan had
problems and failed to make the final leaving Andrews to solo for the win.
In Senior Comp Dave Page had to push the "Panic"
Altered to the finish in a desperate attempt to earn some points after opponent
Bob Harman red lit. He went on to win the elimination. Brian Mondey took
his "Optimist" Altered to a new class record of 11.39 backed up with an 11.43
during eliminations but red lit his chances of a final place away to Vic
Hammond. In Top Bike Dave Branch was putting in some improved performances
on his nitro-burning 1800cc MG powered machine. He made it to the final with
a 9.78 in Round One after opponent John Clifts chain snapped. In Round
Two he ran a new personal best of 9.28/144.09 in his defeat of Pete
Smiths 9.40/147.93. His opponent in the final was John
Hobbs who had run a string of eights including an 8.92/172/71 in Round
One to defeat a 9.88/143.06 from Brian Chapman, and an 8.89/172.17 in the
semis to defeat an ailing Ivan Wileman. In the final however Hobbses
double-Weslake "Hobbit" threw a chain leaving Branch to take his first big
win with a 9.39/142.25.
||SPR Fireworks Spectacular. The weather on Saturday
was so bad that very little took place on the track, except some shakedown
runs for the new track drier. With no qualifying completed eliminations were
arranged using previous performances. The track was still quite slick and
times were down on the usual. Funny Car produced a field of seven floppers
and one Fuel Altered in the shape of The
Stones "Tee Rat". The final was between Dennis
Priddle in his Avenger and Clive Skilton in
his Vauxhall. Priddle had defeated Roland Pratt with an 8.16/203.25, after
Pratt lost fire, and Allan Herridge with a 7.38/197.24
to an 8.00/152.67. Skilton defeated Dave Stone in Round One with an easy
12.74 after Stone cut the motor and Owen Hayward in the semis. Hayward had
stormed ahead and looked to have the win secured when he slowed at the top
end. Skilton kept the power on and caught him before they crossed the line,
7.96/198.07 to a losing 8.20/115. The final saw Skilton lose traction and
veer off line. Meanwhile Priddle had hooked up and gone with a win in
7.31/202.02. Top Fuel saw Hayward in the "Houndog" fueler run the meetings
top speed of 207.90 in 7.78 seconds. Hayward broke in the final leaving
Peter Crane to solo for the win. Pro Stock looked
to be dominated by Gary Goggin again until a breakage stopped him. This left
the door open for Tony Dickson to take the final
win against John Ledster. Brian Mondey won the Junior Comp title before
announcing that he was planning to sell his successful "Optimist" Jaguar
powered Altered. Middle Comp saw Robin Tallis' "Liquidator" Pop hit the guardrail
and roll over. He was not seriously injured. In Middle Dragster John Whitmore
dominated the proceedings he set a new class record for speed and E.T. with
a 9.31/145.56 in the final, backed up by an earlier 9.38/143.47. Senior Dragster
saw a new speed record for winner Tony Anderson in his 2.5 litre Daimler
rail of 9.15/155.76 in the final round. The Middle Bike semis saw Ron Hughes
up against Bob Webster. Webster couldn't get his bike to fire and Hughes
had problems which culminated in him pushing his bike over the line for a
place in the final. His winning time - 146.80 seconds! He went on to win
the final. John Hobbs led the way in Top Bike with
an 8.81/173.31 win over Dave Branch, the highest recorded motorcycle speed
in Europe. He met Derek Chinn on "Pegasus" in the final but lost power and
finished as runner up. For all class results
|| SPR. Winternationals.
This meeting had an invitation only entry. None of the big guns came out
on the Saturday. There was a period of practice and then a normal elimination
took place with the cars being run in Comp Brackets and the bikes in their
usual classes. Pro Stock was a best of three between Gary Goggin and
Tony Dickson. Goggin won the first two, 11.49/118
to 11.88/118 and 10.26/137 to 10.70/129. In the third round Dickson got one
back with a 10.62/130 to a 10.57/138. The Senior bracket saw Vic Hammond
take the win with an 11.45/130 while the V12 Jaguar powered rail of Alan
Sharpe struggled to a 20.02 having previously run an 11.82/130 to get to
the final. Pete Smith ran an 11.66/113 in his 3.8 Jag Altered to beat Sue
Coles 'Helzapoppin' to the Middle bracket win. Junior saw the 750cc Kart
of Bob Harman defeat Brian Mondeys 'Optimist' Altered 11.73/116 to 11.96/116.
Other winners in the car classes were Glen Jarvis, Keith Potter, Hazel Wloszek
and D. Portess. In the bike classes John Hobbs took
Top. In the final against Derek Penfold the front blower pulley of the Hobbit
shot off on the startline but Hobbs took the win with a 9.97/145 to a 10.52/131.
Senior Bike went to Tex Healey with a 10.72/114 to John Cheadles 10.83/122.
In Middle Paul Eastbury took his 500cc Honda to the win after his opponent
failed to show. In Street Bike Alex Heal became the first in the class to
top 130mph with an 11.68/13089 on his turboed 900cc Honda in the first round.
His opponent for the final, Chris Russell, ran low E.T. of the class in the
first round (11.47) and took the win with a 11.79/117 to a 12.00/125. Sunday
saw four Funny Cars and three Fuelers take to the cold track.
Gerry Andrews lost to Owen Hayward
in the first round of Pro Fuel, 8.35/171 to the Houndogs 8.25/205. The motor
on Andrews 'Hemi Hunter' threw a rod at the finish. Ronnie Picardo had a
solo to the final with a 7.45/190. Picardo then took his first final win
with an 8.15/183 to Haywards losing 8.35/207. The Funny Cars were subject
to all sorts of problems. The first pair were Roland Pratts 392 Avenger and
Allan Herridge in Stardust. Herridge had to cut
the motor when the magneto slipped and Pratt took the win with a 'suspect'
7.07/139. The second pair saw Tony Froome in the rear engined Vauxhall smoke
the tyres for half the track while Owen Hayward kept his boot down despite
the fact that the car was sliding alarmingly towards the spectator guardrail.
A 7.80/181 win was the result. The final was on and then off as Prat shut
down with a problem while Houndog lost a blower belt during the
burnouts. While they sorted themselves out Allan Herridge came out for
a demo run in Stardust. On the launch the car immediately turned hard
and changed lanes from right to left, followed by a short burst back into
the right. Back to the final and with both cars running again Pratt took
the win in 7.54/182 while the clutch on 'Houndog' went up in a shower of
sparks. For all class results click
| Brian Chapman took
the Top Bike Championship honours with his single cylinder Vincent, Mighty
|The BDR&HRA announced
the introduction of a "Roadster' class for all bona fide street-legal cars
that were ineligible to run in the Production or Modified classes. The new
class would start at the beginning of the 1976 season.
| In this year Santa
Pod Raceway began holding "Run What Ya Brung" events, a chance for anyone
with a driving licence to bring their own car along and run on the
||Crystal Palace National Sports
Centre. Drag Racing News/Fibre Glass Repairs 1st International Drag Racing
Show. This was the UK's first show to be entirely devoted to Drag Racing.
Amongst the entries was the Swamp Rat 21 Top Fueler of Don Garlits which
was in the UK ahead of Don's scheduled appearance at Santa Pod's 10th Anniversary
meeting in April. Spectator numbers were severely affected by almost constant
snowfall throughout the weekend. The prizes awarded, voted for by the
competitors, were as follows; Santa Pod Best Dragster - Swamp Rat, Drag Racer
Magazine Best Funny Car- The Gladiator, Drag Racing News Best Comp Altered
- Tee Rat, FGR Best Mechanically Prepared - Jamesons Merlin, American Automotive
Best Street Car - Silent Knight, The Startline Stores Best Display - The
Blue Rose Team, The Bumperstickers Best Motorcycle - Henk Vink. The new Gladiator
Funny Car took the visitors choice award.
|The February issue of
Drag Racing News contained an advert for the Stardust Funny car at a price
of £12,000. The car was bought by the
Stones team who installed the Chevrolet motor from their Tee Rat
||SPR. Season Opener.Cold winds
and snow showers kept the number of competitors down to just under 100. Four
cars qualified for the Pro Comp elimination with Dave
Stone in Hemi Hunter at the top with 8.27/154. He was followed by Jim
Read in Le Patron 8.94/158, Pete Barnett in the ex Skilton FC and Pat Cuss
in the Rat Catcher. In the first round, Read defeated Barnett with an 8.59/159
to the 12.26 from the flopper. Cuss then red lit allowing Stone to shut off
early to a 10.65. In the final, Read got crossed up and trailed to a 9.51/157
as Stone took the win in 8.24/149. Dave Page in
Panic took the Senior Comp win in 11.17/118 as Russ Carpenter trailed behind
with problems. Rob Messent defeated Sue Coles in the final of Middle Comp
with an 11.21/117. Norm Wheeldon won Junior Comp with consistent 11 second
passes. In Middle Dragster, John Whitmore went out in the first round with
problems. George Davie in Pubcrawler took the final round win over Steve
Clark with an 11.96/110. There were only three competitors in Pro Stock which
meant a bye run for Tony Dickson, then Dave Rose
defeated Howard Smith. Dickson soled to an 11.89/113 win as Rose ventilated
the block on the burnout. In Top bike, Pete Smith headed the qualifiers with
9.90/140 but lost in the first round to Tony Weedens 10.08/141. Weeden
then beat Barry Beaumont to reach the final in 9.78/142. In the final, he
lined up against John Cheadle who had beaten Ken Gee and Ray Law. Weeden
took it in 9.91/148 to the 10.54/125 of the two stroke Yamaha of Cheadle.
Paul Rose won Senior bike in 11.43/109 ahead of Brian Elsons 11.13/120.
Good Friday Superdrag Funny Car Championship and Gualoises/NDRC Pro Comp
Championship. Second round of RAC National Drag Racing Championship, first
rounds of NDRC points Championship and Manufacturers Championship. All in
one day! Admission price £1.60.
50,000 people attended SPRs 10th anniversary Easter meet starring the legendary
Don Garlits in his 1975 car, the Swamp Rat#21 fueler. For the first
time in Europe there was an eight car top Fuel entry. Garlits had mechanical
problems and qualified no.5 with a 6.89/215mph. No.1 qualifier was
Peter Crane in the 'Stormbringer'
with a 6.21/215mph pass. Garlits and Crane met in the first round of
eliminations, Garlits pulled a red and Crane became the first person outside
the U.S. to run into the fives with a 5.97 run.
Clive Skilton beat Crane in
the semi finals but Crane still managed a 6.03 to back up his record.
Skilton went on to win the final. Later it was revealed that the entire gate
receipts for this record breaking attendance meeting were stolen by a 'gang
of thieves'. SPR bought the Garlits car. Also at this meeting
the Stones team won the Funny Car
class with an 8.36/160 in Stardust and
Allan Herridge debuted his new
Alleygator rail, running a 6.31 on its first outing. Allan went on to record
a best of 6.29 at 223mph this weekend, his personal; best to date.Jim Read
in Le Patron broke into the seven second bracket in competition with a 7.96/154
followed by a 7.81/181 in the final. Terry Revill became the first gas
bike rider to break into the nine second bracket with a 9.89/136 in qualifing.
In Middle Dragster John Whitmores Leyland powered Drag N Fly set a new class
record with an 8.63/146. Liam Chuchill debuted a new Funny Car, the Euro
Sting Capri. To see results, Pro Fuel qualifing results and elimination
ladder click here
||Blackbushe. NDRC Spring Smokers
||Mantorp Park, Sweden. Eight
British cars and two bikes made the long haul to Sweden. They included
Allan Herridge with Gladiator,
Dave Stone with Stardust, Pete Barnett and
Dennis Priddle with their Funny Cars,
Clive Skilton with Revolution 3,
Gerry Andrews with Hemi Hunter, Bob Messent with
Stripteaser and Brian Mondey with Optimist. The two bike riders were John
Clift and Mick Warne who made demo runs. In Competition Altered, Bob Messent
lost out in the first round to Anders Lantz with a bouncy 11.72 to a winning
8.70. Brian Mondey beat Jan Lerida in the first round, but lost out in the
next round to Bengt Stafberg in Gas Rat 2. Top Fuel Dragster was a four car
field which saw Skilton run a 6.77 to beat Norwegian Fred Larsen in Sundance
Kid. In the other semi, Gerry Andrews lost out to Kent Persson 7.90 to a
wining 7.61. In the run off for 3rd and 4th Spots, Andrews beat Larsen with
a 7.92. In the final, it was a win for Persson in 7.3 seconds as Skiltons
chute deployed just off the line. In Funny Car first round, both Herridge
and Priddle had bye runs but they came out side-by-side with Herridge recording
7.24 to Priddles 7.78. Pete Barnett then soloed through in 8.05 as
Dave Stone broke a rocker arm on the burnout. In the first semi-final, Priddle
had a solo pass in 7.99 as John Andersson was unable to start his engine.
Herridge then beat Barnett with a 7.33 to a losing 8.16. The final was marred
by a mix-up to the tree. A handicap from the previous run had not been taken
out which meant Herridge left half a second before Priddle. Bootsie ran 8.00
to Priddles 7.55 with Herridge being awarded the race as he got there
first. Everybody agreed that this was not a satisfactory conclusion but nothing
could be done. (Clive Rooms)
| May 23rd
||Snetterton. The Hemi engine
in Roland Pratts Hillbillies Avenger Funny Car let go during the first round
of eliminations. The car was engulfed in a ball of flame at over 150mph but
Roland escaped unhurt.
Weekend 'Big Go'. SPR published a notice apologising for the state of the
|| Blackbushe. NDRC. Ist
round of 1976 Tor Line Funny Car Championship.From Sweden John Anderson &
Jan Carlson were present. Clive
Skilton, in his unfinished Cavalier Funny Car, beat
Dennis Priddle in the Final. In
the final of Pro Comp Mike Hall (Shutdown) beat Fred Larsen (Sundance Kid)
Larson was the first dragster competitor from Norway to compete in the UK.
(Bill Dossett). This meeting also hosted Round Two of the Kelly Springfield
Bracket Racing Championships. The winner was Russ Carpenter in the 'Trouble
& Strife' Daimler Rail.
| July 3rd/4th
|| SPR. Euro Grand Prix.
An eight car field in Funny Car saw Clive
Skiltons Vauxhall qualify at number one with a 6.90. Clive lost fire
in round one, handing the win to Dave
Stone in Stardust. Allan Herridge
in the ex-Leroy Chadderton Vega, now the "Gladiator" met Dave Stone in the
ex-Allan Herridge car "Stardust" in the final round. Both cars lost fire
off the line and Herridige in the lighter of the two machines coasted through
the top end first. For the Funny Car elimination ladder
click here. the Top Fuel cars of
Roz Prior, Ronnie Picardo and Tony Froome were present and ran a round robin
race. Prior scored a great holeshot victory over Picardo with a winning 7.62
to Picardos quicker 7.55 and then red lit to hand a win to Tony Froome in
"Sundowner". In round one of Pro Comp
Gerry Andrews (Hemi Hunter) beat
Barry Young, Jim Read beat Liz Burns 8.2 to 9.1, Mike Hall (7.76) beat Pat
Cuss and Ben Homgren (7.7) beat Martin Rowatt. In the semis Gerry Andrews
ran 7.3 to beat Jim Read while Mike Hall shut down Ben Homgren. In the final
Gerry Andrews ran 7.29 to defeat Mike Halls 7.72. (Bill Dossett)
Gualoises/NDRC Pro Comp Championship, Motorcycle/Superdrag Top Fuel Bike
Championship, fourth round of RAC National Drag Racing Championship. Second
round of NDRC points championship and Manufacturers championship. Mike Hall
in the Shutdown Altered put in his best ever run here, a 7.76/179mph.
John Whitmore ran his best ever time in the Drag-N-Fly dragster a
9.92/153mph. (Bill Dossett) It was estimated that 25% of the crowd here were
Americans from the nearby airbases at Lakenheath and Mildenhall. Liam Churchills
'Euro Sting' was the only Funny Car present. In Super Car (three Pro Stocks
and the Stones Tender Trap Escort)
John Ledster had his gearbox disintergrate with pieces of hot metal finding
their way into his legs which required a trip to the local hospital. In Senior
Comp Altered Gary Page had his first NDRC win
of the season when he defeated the Dorset Horn with a 9.87/132 to 10.38/130.
In Middle Comp Altered Jason Smiths Fire Injun took the final win over
Stripteaser 10.95/133 to 11.02/118. Stars of the show were the Pro Comp cars.
Liz Burn missed a place in the final when she pulled the chute too early,
letting Jim Rowatt in the Emerson, Rowatt & Smith rail power through
for the win, 8.39/149 to 8.73/199. In the final Rowatt lost to the Shutdown
Altered of Mike Hall, who ran his best ever time at this track, a 7.76/179
to Jims 8.31
||The August copy of Custom
Car reported that Gary Goggin was retiring due partly to the high cost of
rebuilding his Big Block Chevy motor in his Pro Stocker. (Bill Dossett)
| August 22nd
|| Blackbushe. NDRC
|| SPR. Supernationals.
The Stones won Funny Car in Stardust,
running a 7.06et.
|| SPR. US/GB Internationals.
Brian Chapman took his 500cc 'Mighty Mouse' Vincent to a 9.07/154.
|| SPR. Winternationals.
Spectacular. SPR. Barry Bowles put in some demonstration runs in Europes
first rocket car, the Blonde Bombshell.The three entries in pro Stock, Ted
Gilbert in the Amber Gambler, Graham Hawes in Black Magic and
Tony Dickson in Money Hungry were
the last ever British Pro Stockers to run in the UK before the class was
| November 27th-December
||Custom Car Show. Olympia,
| At the end of this
season the sports ruling committee decide that due to dwindling entries,
prize money differences and conflicts over the rules, the UK Pro Stock class
had "lost it's spectator appeal" and would no longer be a valid eliminator
to run. RIP UK Pro Stockers.
|| Crystal Palace 2nd
International Drag Racing Show. New vehicles on display included The Maneater,
Roz Priors new Top Fueler, Keith Potters 'Devil' Senior Altered and the 'Shotgun
Wedding' Mustang of Colin Brackett.
Spring Nationals. Motorcraft Pro Fuel Championship. In the programme SPR
published a notice apologising for the state of the car park and the toilets
and stop taking firewood out of the woods! Also there were instructions about
what to do when you got your car stuck in the car park mud. On the track
Dennis Priddle set a new Top Fuel
speed record of 230mph in the ex-Don Garlits "King Rat " fueler.(Tog) Jeff
Byne ran the first bike '8' of the year with an 8.97/156. Popular Dutchman
Henk Vink ran his first ever 8 on his Kawasaki "Big Spender", 8.91/163. Henk
won both days eliminations. Les Armes fitted a turbo to his Pro Street Kawasaki
and immediately knocked half a second off the class record, lowering it to
10.32/136. Brian Chapman beat Mick Butler 9.12 /150 to 9.5/131.
||Blackbushe. NDRC Spring Smokers
Day Summernationals Meeting.The programme for this event carried the
news that Don Garlits would definately be returning to the UK to compete
at `the July International. On the strip, the first round of the British
Drag Bike Championships saw Brian Chapman run a best of 9.18/150 to defeat
Ted Dunmow in the final.
| May 15th
|| Mantorp Park, Sweden.
The First Swedish Spectacular. A team of Brits travelled to Sweden to compete
at the event, they were Dennis Priddle
in the "King Rat" ex-Garlits fueler, John Whitmore in "Drag'n'Fly", Jim Read
with "LePatron", Russ Carpenter with his Daimler rail and Dick Jarman with
his V6 Ford dragster. The Top Fuel and Pro Comp eliminators were run together
with a 1/2 second handicap in favour of the Pro Comps. Jim Read qualified
but went out in the eliminations while Dennis Priddle dominated the field
and set a new E.T. record for Sweden of 6.50 seconds. The Dragster division
was dominated by Carpenter and Whitmore who met in the final, Whitmore taking
it with a 9.40. Dick Jarman did not get far in the eliminations but ran a
new personal best of 10.80 seconds.
| May 29th
|| The first event at Long
Marston to run races from the startline site that is used today.(100ft further
on actually but near enough) (Ron Clark)
| June 5th-7th
|| SPR. Silver Jubilee Big
Go. Rain hampered proceedings and the organisers struggled to run one days
eliminations out of a scheduled two. Highlighting the meet was the Jubilee
battle of the Funnies and Fuelers. Dennis
Priddle debuted his new Monza Funny Car and, after a checkout half pass,
ran 7.55/124 to beat Phil Elson, a 7.13/185 to beat Ronnie Picardo,
and dipped into the sixes although losing to event winner Roz Prior with
a 6.98/185. Allan Herridge ran the
low E.T. and top speed of the meeting with a 6.77/211
in the quarter finals. Herridge made it to the final to meet Prior
as first alternate after Peter Cranes
transmission broke on "Stormbringer". Prior took the win in 6.98/202 in her
fueler while Bootsie chased hard in the Gladiator FC, crossing the finish
line in 7.16/210 and engulfed in flame as oil spewed onto the headers. In
Pro Comp Mickey Naylor qualified at #1 in "Medicine Man" with a 7.89/151
despite throwing the blower belt. In the first round the blower seized and
Pat Cuss took the win. Steve Read took "LePatron" to an 8.26/180 win over
the new Chrysler slingshot of Baz Young at 9.60/150. Read took the final
over Cuss with a 7.87/178 holeshot, Cuss shut off early. Steve Johnson took
his "Motor Mouse" Ford rail to a new personal best of 11.17/117 to win the
Junior Dragster class against Mick O'Connell. In Top Modified Alan O'Connor
made it through to the final in "Als Gasser"to meet Norm Wilding in
his "Pieces Of Eight" Ford Zephyr. Al pulled one of his characteristic wild
smokey wheelie launches and came very close to the barrier, he shut off and
Wilding took the win with a 14.87/94. Hopes were high for the first side
by side eight second bike race when Henk Vink and Jeff Byne ran a string
of eights each to meet in the final. Unfortunately Vink suffered a gearbox
breakage and left Byne to take a 8.95/152 win over Ted Dunmow.
John Hobbs was out of action having
wrecked the motor on the Hobbit but he took a test run on Johnny Munns double
Norton. For all class results and Pro Fuel/Funny Car elimination ladder
|| NHRA Springnationals.
National Trail Raceway. The UKs Clive
Skilton, now living in California, qualified at #10 in Top Fuel with
a 6.095/231.36. He won the first round against Tony Ceraolo with a 6.27/209.79.
In round two he came up against Sid Seeley who had problems with his starter
and failed to make the call. Clive advanced with a 6.57/193.13 solo. The
semi finals saw a great battle with Johnny Abbott culminating in Clives best
time of the meet, a winning 6.08/230.76 to Abbotts 6.11/227.27. In the final
he came up against Shirley Muldowney and surprised everyone when he got a
slight lead over Shirley from the start, he held onto the lead until his
motor began to let go at the top end and Shirley just beat him to the line
with a winning 6.11/236.22 to Clives 6.15/228.42.
| June 26th
||The Pennine Drag Racing
Club acquired the Melbourne airfield as their new venue, and opened it as
SPR. July Internationals. This meeting saw
the return of Don Garlits who came back to avenge his previous years defeat
and re-purchase the Swamp Rat#21 car for display at his newly formed
Museum Of Drag Racing.
Dennis Priddle had been driving
the car very successfully with his own motor.This meeting saw 8 car fields
in Pro Fuel and Funny Car for the first time. Garlits won the Pro Fuel
eliminator, beating Roz Priors 'Maneater' with a 6.17/232mph blast. Trevor
Young was driving the old Revolution III car of
Clive Skilton, having replaced the
Chrysler motor with a Donovan, and ran a best of 7.06/207. A new class was
introduced for bikes, John Cheadle won the first ever Gas Bike eliminator,
his 350 Kawasaki ran 10.36/132 to John Lloyds 750 Kawasaki which clocked
10.67/126. The toilet apology notice was now a permanent fixture in the
programmes. For all car class results from this meeting
click here. For bike results
|| Drachten, Holland.
Allan Herridges 'Alleygator 2' rail
got out of shape on a demonstration run and rolled over many times. Allan
suffered no more than two black eyes but the car was a write off.
||Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting.
SPR. Holiday Weekend Supernationals Including
fourth round of the Motorcraft Pro Fuel Masters Championship. With the second
Houndog funny car under construction the first, the ex Paula Murphy car that
debuted in 1973, was destroyed after a halfshaft broke as the car launched
off the line, sending it through 90 degrees into the crash barrier.
John Hobbs on his double Weslake
'The Hobbit' set a new bike record and came the closest yet to a seven second
run with an 8.15/175 backed up with an 8.44/170. Brian Chapman won Top Bike
on the first day, beating Johnny Munns Norton in the final. In the second
days competition Munn turned the tables on Chapman by dumping him in the
first round and going on to run his best ever time in the final,
|| SPR. International. This
meeting saw the first appearance in the UK of Raymond Beadle and his 'Blue
Max' Funny Car. During the first day of qualifying Beadle set the record
for fastest funny car terminal speed of 221mph (backed up) while
Dennis Priddle set a new lowest
ET record at 6.5 in Olavi Knuutinens black Monza funny car.
Allan Herridge ran 6.92/203 in the
'Gladiator' for number three spot while a new Scandinavian entry took fourth,
Steiner Stolens alcohol burning Mustang at 7.49/183. Ronnie Picardo
was breaking in the 'Sneaky Gloworm'. Pro Fuel saw
Peter Crane qualify at #1 with a
6.73/210 followed by Trevor Young at 7.06/191. Alan Bates was driving the
'Houndog 8' fueler for the first time and qualified with a 7.62/137. Liz
Burn came close to the 200mph mark in Pro Comp with a 7.31/196. Top qualifier
was Swede Krister Johanson who ran 7.42/185, 7.61/175 and 7.25 which was
the quickest ever for a Pro Comp in Europe. Senior Dragster saw Swede Anders
Hojner set a new record of 8.52/159 backed up with an 8.54/162. John Whitmore
qualified at #1 in Middle Dragster with his first eight of the year, an 8.92/145
from his blown 1300cc four cylinder Leyland powered rail. In Pro Street Bike
#1 qualifier was Les Armes with a 9.98/144 at the expense of two pistons
in his turbo Kawasaki. In second spot was Dutchman Gerard Flammerling who
ran 10.37/129 to become the quickest unblown Pro Streeter in Europe. Sunday
was race day but intermittent drizzle ruined the chance of any serious racing.
Despite this the eliminations went ahead as far as possible. Priddle soloed
to a strong 6.74/168, Beadle replied with a 6.52/214 to beat a broken
Dave Stone in 'Stardust'. Allan
Herridge soloed to a 6.66/215 after Tony Froome had problems staging the
'Sundowner'. Steiner Stolen ran a solo 8.11/126 and that was the end of the
Funny Car eliminations. Pro Fuel eliminations saw Peter Crane solo to an
easy first round win while Trevor Young clocked 6.80/204 on his solo pass.
Gerry Andrews took 'Hemi Hunter' to a win over Fred Larsen with a 7.67/167
to an out of shape 9.11/150. Roz Prior met Alan
Bates in the final pairing, shedding
her blower belt on the burnout and leaving Bates to solo to
a 7.52/190 and a place in the semis, which never happened. Brian Chapman
ran his best ever and broke into the eights at 8.96 on his 500cc Vincent
'Mighty Mouse'. Motor Cycle Magazine sponsored a match race between
John Hobbs and Henk Vink to determine
the "King Of Europe". Hobbs won with a resounding 8.21/174 to Vinks troubled
||Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting.
| October 1st
Weekend Yorkshire. Barry Bowles "Blond Bombshell" rocket car recorded average
speeds of 231.86mph & 207mph. His fastest recorded speed was 275mph (Bill
Winternationals. Henk Vink took the Top Bike honours with his best ever run,
Fireworks Spectacular. John Hobbs
and Henk Vink both ran strings of eight second passes in eliminations but
when they met in the final Hobbs sheared an oil pipe union on the burnout
and hopes of seeing the first side-byside eight second race were seemingly
dashed. Vink soloed to an 8.65/153 win. On return to the pits Vink challenged
Hobbs to a one off match race. Hobbs bike "The Hobbitt" was repaired in the
darkness and what was later described as the "race of the year" took place
five minutes after the meeting had been completed. A large percentage of
the crowd stayed on and witnessed Europes first ever side-by-side eight,
Vink just getting to the line first with an 8.47/155 to Hobbs 8.76/166.
The Stones team retired the original
Stardust funny car and purchased Raymond Beadles Blue Max Mustang. They had
the car repainted in the original Stardust livery.
|| Crystal Palace. The 3rd
International Drag Racing Show. Many new cars made their public debut at
this show. Creating a lot of attention was a new Santa Pod Top Fueler, "The
Needle" to be driven by Radio One DJ Dave Lee Travis under the guidance of
the Stones. The car was built in
just five weeks after the BBC gave DLT permission to take the drive. Also
debuting at this show: Rod Pallants 'LA Hooker' a blown and injected twin
900cc Kawasaki, Melvyn Woodings 'Blue Rose III' Ford Maverick, Pete Corleys
Pro Comp rail and the Stones team had their new rail 'Hemi Hunter II'
and the 'Tender Trap' Escort on show, both painted in Stardust colours,
||Tara Hotel London. The
BDR & HRA Dinner Dance and Awards Ceromony. To see a list of the winners
||SPR. Half a mile of new
tarmac had been laid prior to this meeting, and as to be expected, there
wasnt a great deal of traction! A couple of notable cars making their
debut at this meeting were the Houndog 9 FC and the Stones new rear engined
Hemi Hunter II. Rain showers which began midway through the eliminations
meant they had to be completed at Easter.
Gerry Andrews did manage to put
in a first pass in the new car at 7.54/194. Gladiator with
Allan Herridge piloting could
get no grip at all on the new surface, and actually took off some of the
top surface of the asphalt! As a result, it was decided the first 100 yards
needed to be relaid with a different grade for the Easter meeting. In the
new Superbike eliminator, open to the quickest 4 qualifiers, John Clift was
top with 9.08/153, followed by Jeff Byne 9.16/145, Brian Chapman 9.60/140
and Pete Smith 9.78/139. In the first round, a 9.20/151 from Clift was too
strong for Chapmans 9.52/140 shot, and Smith had an easy 10.13/136
win over Byne as his throttle spring broke on the burnout. (Clive Rooms)
||SPR. Easter Springnationals.
Funny Car qualifying was led by US racer Raymond Beadle in Blue Max with
6.54/217, followed by Dennis Priddle 6.77/202,
Allan Herridge 6.90/215, Owen Hayward
in his first full pass in the new Houndog at 7.47/179, Dave Stone in Stardust
7.61/185 and Anders Hasslestrom 8.14/186. Pro Fuel qualifying was headed
by Ronnie Picardo at 6.68/201, followed by Mickey Naylor 7.37/194, Roz Prior
7.76/186, Trevor Young in his newly imported car with 8.41/163, and
Gerry Andrews put in a troubled
pass in Hemi Hunter to make a 5 car field. Peter Crane was also there making
shakedown runs in Dave Lee Travis new car. The Sportsman classes had
separate eliminations on both Sunday and Monday. Sundays winners included
Bike Bracket 1 winner Henk Vink who overcame John Clift in the final with
a 9.07/158 to a losing 9.31/151. Bracket 2 winner was Ray Simpson with a
10.20/126 winner ahead of Mick Carters 10.77/126. Al OConnor
took Street Car Bracket 1 with 10.58/118 ahead of the 12.11/103 from James
Whiting. Adam Jenn beat Mick Cheley to take Bracket 2, and Bracket 3 winner
was Nobby Nicholls. Senior Altered winner was Keith Potter in Devil as his
opponent broke. Middle Altered was won by Pete Hollingworth in his Austin
Ruby shutting down John Tebbut. Alan Loten took the Junior win. Senior Dragster
winner was Swedish driver Anders Hojner with an unopposed final round win.
Middle winner was Robin Wilby, and in Junior Dragster, Neil Roberts was too
good for Rob George in the final. On Monday, Funny Car began with a solo
6.60/194 from Beadle, another solo from an out of shape Priddle, Herridge
downed Stone 6.60/216 to an 8.21/127, and Hayward soloed to a 7.12/218 win
as Hasselstroms body would not latch down. In the first semi, Beadle
put a rod through the block during the burnout and Herridge was shut off
with a suspected motor fire. Herridge was awarded the race. Priddle overcame
Hayward in the other semi, 6.91/200 to a losing 7.22/183. The final was a
good race with Herridges 6.54/215 too strong for Priddles 6.73/203.
In Pro Fuel, there were 3 first round byes with Naylor and Prior going through
but a thrown rod from Picardo put him out. In the only race of the round,
a 7.54/183 from Andrews was too good for Youngs 8.37/169. In the semis,
Prior had another solo and Naylor beat Andrews with a 7.59/185 as Hemi Hunter
broke on the line. In Pro Comp, there were only 3 cars. Tony Donges soloed
to the final with 7.69/176, and then Krister Johannson holeshot Liz Burn
to win with a slower 7.63/179 to a faster but losing 7.61/184. Donges went
on to take the final, 7.61/179 to 8.53/145. In Superbike, a 9.08/177 from
Vink was too strong for Chapmans game 9.88/94, and Clift ran 9.37/150
to beat Smith. A 9.11/155 winner from Vink saw off Clifts 9.74/145.
Top Bike winner was Ray Simpson whilst John Healy took the win in Senior
beating Alan Thompson. Tom Vivian beat Herman Jolink in the Middle final,
and Junior winner was Bob Freeman. Pro Street was a best of three which saw
Mick Carter beat Nigel Patrick 2-1. Tony Huck was the winner in Street bike,
beating Nick Marshall in the final. In the car classes, Super Comp winner
was Al OConnor ahead of Alan Loten. In Car bracket 1, Tim Claxton in
Coyotee overcame Pete Hollingsworth in the final. Bracket 2 was won by Barry
Giles beating the Flathead dragster of Richard Brownridge. Bracket 3 winner
was Clive Dave in the Apollo Junior Altered. (Clive Rooms)
||Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting.
||SPR.May Day Drag
||Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting.
|| SPR. Spring Bank Holiday
Big Go. Rain hampered proceedings. To entertain the crowds Nobby Hills brought
the Houndog funny car down the strip in the back of a giant earthmover. It
was then lifted out by a large crane and set down on the strip. The truck
and the crane were supplied by SLD Olding, the company Nobby worked for and
the cars sponsors. Trevor Young holed a piston on a 7.50 second qualifying
run in the new Competition Specialities rail, which trailered him for the
rest of the weekend. Allan Herridges
Gladiator Funny Car had crank problems, Roz Prior and Ronnie Picardo had
incomplete engines and the Houndog Funny Car was in desperate need of a new
engine block and so was running under-powered. Despite this driver Owen Hayward
got the car into the sixes for the first time with a 6.93. Reg Hazelton
debuted his new Pro Comp Altered, Thunderbird, a Pat Cuss chassis with a
wild stretched Topolino body. Radio One DJ Dave Lee Travis was doing observed
runs in the 'Needle' rail under the guidance of
the Stones team. His first full
bore pass on the Monday was timed at 7.37. Mick Naylor, in the Medicine Man,
ran a 7.17/195.4. Due to the somewhat depleted Pro Fuel ranks it was these
two that ran off for the final honours. Naylor popped the blower as he moved
into stage leaving DLT to win with a 7.35/171.8. Henk Vink took the Super
Bike title, beating John Hobbs
8.44/171.2 to a misfiring 11.57/84.8. In the Pro Comp final
Dave Page got a holeshot in the 'Panic' altered
over Jim Reads new, as yet unpainted, rail. Despite a good effort from Read,
Page got there first with an 8.13/172.4 to a quicker, but losing 7.82/184.5.
Dennis Priddle ran the best Funny
Car time of the meeting, with a 6.74/207.8 in his Monza, to take number one
NDRC Championships Round Four, RAC British Drag Race Championship Round Four,
Gauloises/NDRC Pro Comp Championship Round Three and Round Five of the ACU
British Drag Race Championship.
|| Pennine Drag Racing Club
Meeting. Melbourn, Yorkshire. John
Hobbs made some demo runs on his twin Weslake engined Hobbit and set
a new motorcycle E.T. record, and an overall terminal record for the strip,
with a 9.42/161. On four wheels Keith Potter ran low ET and top speed of
the event when he stopped the clocks at 10.39/140 in his 'Devil' Altered.
Keith went on to win the Super Bracket class, beating Alan O'Connor in Als
Gasser, 10.39/138 to 10.69. In Senior Bracket Paul Martin ran 13.63 in his
Capri to take the win over Dave Grady. In Middle Bracket Dave Blackshaw beat
Paul Croston. Junior Bracket saw Andy Jaggers Dodge Demon take the win over
Jackie Phillips in 'Dads Objection'. In Senior Bike Chris Richards took the
final win with a 10.54 after John Charlton red lit to a 10.10/140. Charlton
had earlier run a 9.97/135 followed by a 9.61/151 to set a new class record
for the strip. Top Bike went to Pip Higham with a 10.96/116 against R. Talbot.
Middle Bike was won by Jim Cooper over Alec Lee and Junior bike was won by
Allan Taylor on his Mini engined three wheeler in 15.82 seconds after Chris
Wells redlit. Pennine Promotions had aquired the NDRC Vauxhall wheelie
car but were experiencing some problems with it. An unplanned attraction
for the day came in the shape of a lady in a Mini driving the wrong way down
the strip as two dragsters were staging. Apparently she was looking for the
||NDRC Meeting at Radlett
Airfield. This meeting was cancelled after the St Albans City & District
Council refused informal planning permission on the Monday evening before
the event. The reason was, that in their view, the traffic and noise from
the meeting would cause a disturbance to local residents. This was dispite
the fact that written reports from the authorities from an earlier meeting
on May 1st stated that decibel readings taken did not constitute a public
nuisance, and the upset to local traffic was negligible.
| June 25th
||NDRC Div. 1 (Midlands)
meeting at Long Marston incorporating John Brown Wheels Pro Comp
| July 2nd
||NDRC Meeting at
| July 8th/9th
Beadle ran 6.51/208 to beat Lee Anders Hasselstroms 6.55/202.4 in the final
of Funny Car. Micky Naylor ran his first ever six at this meeting in the
ex-Dennis Priddle slingshot while the 'Pro Fuel' title went to Trevor Young
whose 6.63/210 beat Roz Priors losing 6.70/208.3. This was the first win
for the new car of Young, he had replaced the old Clive Skilton chassis over
the winter with an imported chassis from Race Car Specialists. In Pro Comp
Pat Cuss took his Bel Ray Streamliner dragster to a 8.45/165.8 win over Reg
Hazletons 9.50/153.8 in his Topolino Altered 'Thunderbird'. John Whitmore
took his Leyland powered dragster 'Drag 'N' Fly to a 9.03/141.2 win over
Keith Potters 9.45/145.5 in 'The Devil' altered. Dutchman Henk Vink was winner
of the Superbike final against Ian Messenger on Pegasus.
||The First Brighton dragster
& Custom Show. Metropole Hotel. Amoungst the entries were the funny cars
of Ray Beadle (Blue Max), Allan Herridge
(Gladiator), Dennis Priddle
(Monza), Owen Hayward (Houndog 9), Dave
Stone (Stardust) and Phil Elson (Sneaky Gloworm), the Top Fuel cars of
Roz Prior (Maneater), Dave Lee Travis
(The Needle), Gerry Andrews (Hemi
Hunter) and Ronnie Picardo (Highway Patrol). Also there were Barry Sheavills
Stagecoach Altered, Bob Messents Stripteaser and the bikes of Mick Carter,
John Hobbs and John Clift.
| July 23rd
||NDRC Meeting at
|| NDRC Div. 1 (Midlands)
meeting at Long Marston incorporating John Brown Wheels Pro Comp
|| NDRC Meeting at Blackbushe.
6th Round of Gauloises-NDRC Pro Comp Champioship, 8th Round of NDRC Championship,
8th Round of ACU British Motorcycle Championship.
|| NDRC Div. 1 (Midlands)
meeting at Long Marston incorporating John Brown Wheels Pro Comp
Supernationals August; In the final of Super Comp on the Monday, Al O'Connor
in Al's Gasser against Gerry Andrews
in Tender Trap, Al pulled a massive wheelie from the line and then went totally
out of shape, flipping the car end over end, completely destroying it in
the process. Al escaped with cuts and bruises and suspected concussion but
the incredibly popular car was damaged beyond repair. A collection was organised
by some of the other drivers who carried a blanket around the site raising
in excess of £1000 to help Al with the rebuild. Also at this meeting
Gary Page drove the 'Panic' Altered to its first ever seven second run in
the final of Pro Comp. A 7.92 at 175mph beating Reg Hazletons 8.52 in
Thunderbird. Also in Pro Comp Graham Hawes debuted his new Monza funny car,
Black Magic, running10.01/151 in its first race. By the Monday Graham was
running into the eights. In Top Fuel Peter
Crane returned to the track with the now repainted Stormbringer. Ronnie
Picardo won the Top Fuel class with a 6.85/205 against an out of shape run
from Roz Prior.Sue Coles won Middle Altered on the Sunday with a 10.21/140
in her Helzapoppin altered. Melvyn Wooding beat Al O'Connor in the final
of Sundays Street Bracket 1 eliminations. Also on Sunday Russ Carpenter won
Senior Dragster with a 10.35, Gerry Andrews Hemi Hunter won Pro Comp with
an 8.07 to Reg Hazletons 8.32 in Thunderbird. Henk Vink won Bike Bracket
1 with an 8.52/ 176 to Johnny Munns 9.50/152.
||September this season saw the last event organised
by the NDRC at Snetterton Circuit, Round nine of the NDRC Points Championship.
Racing here for the NDRC was abandoned as a financial loss. (Ron Clark)
September Internationals Sammy Miller
made his UK debut with the 'Vanishing Point' rocket funny car, breaking all
existing records with a quickest elapsed time of 4.41/245.6mph. His slowest
run was only 4.94/225mph! Sammys best terminal speed of the weekend was 290
mph, just missing out on the £5000 prize Santa Pod had put up for Europes
first 300mph run. Santa Pod gave him £2500 for coming so close. According
to Sammy terminal speeds would have been higher but he was worried that there
was not enough room to slow down after the finish line. One month earlier
Sammy made his European debut at Bulltofta airstrip, Malmo, Sweden before
shipping the car to Santa Pod. Bulltofta is now an industrial estate.(Ron)
Also this meeting saw the last appearance of a top fuel slingshot in the
UK. Micky Naylor lost the nose weight on the ex-Dennis Priddle Medicine Man
dragster. The car flipped over and was destroyed. Micky was unhurt but never
raced again after this crash. In Funny Car there were eight entrants including
Allan Herridge with a new Milodon
motor in the Gladiator. Gene Snow brought two cars over, a Monza and an Arrow.
Ronnie Picardo test drove the Monza but not in competition. He bought the
car and renamed it The Force. Snow qualified at no.1 with a new record time
of 6.39, followed by Raymond Beadles Blue max with a 6.69, and
Dennis Priddles Monza with a 6.76.
In the first round Priddle ran 6.61 but lost out to Snows second new record
time of 6.34. Allan Herridge ran a 6.56 but couldn't quite beat Beadles 6.36.
Gene Snow won the final round against Swedens John Andersson. Trevor Young
qualified no.1 in Top Fuel with a 7.29 but went out in the semi finals, with
a 7.05 to Micky Naylors 6.56. The other semi saw Kent Persson beat
Gerry Andrews with a 6.75 to a 7.16.
Roz Prior match raced Swedens Eva Kjellin. Roz won the first with a 7.02
to an 8.04, the second with a personal best of 6.43 to a 6.73 , before pulling
a red light in the final race. In Comp Bracket 5 the win went to Barry Sheavills
in the Stagecoach altered, Henk Vink won Superbike,
|| NDRC Finals,
|| SPR. Winternationals
||SPR. Fireworks Spectacular.
Roz Prior took her 'Maneater' fueler to a 6.42/190, the quickest ever E.T.
by a British female driver. This mark would stand unbeaten until August
| York Raceway became
'New' York Raceway.
||SPR. Season Opener.
Allan Herridge debuted his latest
rail, Alleygator 3. The meeting
was badly affected by the weather which was cold, windy and then wet. None
of the big cars could put in full runs due to the slick surface, and it was
left to the Pro Comp car Le Patron of Jim Read, running with a new Donovan
motor, to record the quickest time of the weekend at 8.35/169. Reg Hazleton
ran an out of shape 9.29/158 in Thunderbird. Making its debut was the Beautiful
Noise blown Daimler dragster of Barry Miller. Stripteaser was back out, now
in the hands of Bob Jarrett and put in a pass of 11.75/114. The quickest
bike run of the weekend was by John Charlton at 9.18/159 which led Superbike
qualifying. He was followed by Harry Fitzpatrick 9.29/148, Brian Chapman
9.32/138 and Pete Smith 9.63/142. Street Bike had 18 entries and qualifying
was led by Martin Hill with 11.15/126. Few of the eliminations even started
before the wet stuff began to fall. (Clive Rooms)
Internationals SPR.(Including European Pro Comp Championship Round
1). Junior Altered driver Alan Loten set a new class record at 10.59/121
in the Jaguar powered 'Paranoia' altered. Swede Sten-Ake Karlsson set a new
class record in Top Modified with a losing 10.38/122. Jim Whiting beat him
with a hole shot in his Lotus Super 7. Nigel Patrick set a new class record
in Pro Street Bike with a 9.38/143 pass in the semi finals. Pip Higham set
a new class record in the Street Bike class with a 10.23/135 in the final
round. John Lloyd set a new class record in the eliminations of Gas Bike
at 9.62. Click here to see all
the class results and further notes for this meeting.
||Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting. Four
Pro Comp cars were entered but only two made the call for eliminations. Pat
in Panic lined up for a best of three. The first round was a 10.11/78
solo for Cuss as a broken screw on Panics shift lever meant a first
round loss. However, the Pages decided to run Panic through and duly stripped
all the differential teeth. Cuss soloed through again in 11.98/66 to take
the win. In Super Comp, first round losers were Tony Merry, Andy Gibson,
Neil Roberts and Team Stripteaser. In the semis, Alan Loten in Paranoia beat
Graham Wilkins in a very close race 11.36/120 to 11.34/120. Then Mick Hillier
in Pony Express ran 11.95/112 to defeat Pete Blake in Sabbath 11.95/112.
It was Paranoia all the way in the final with an 11.28/119 winner over
Hilliers losing 11.68/114. Senior Comp had an 11 car field, and in
the first semi, Dave Burfitt in Boss Cat ran a winning 12.31/109 over a quicker
but losing 12.04/90 from Dave Gibbons in Rough Diamond. Then Dave Rose in
Moonlight Bandit defeated Travel Agent with Alan Sherwin on board, 12.59/128
to 13.12/85. In the final, it was a win for Burfitt in 12.77/105 to Roses
losing 11.64/116. In Top Modified, Hazel Wlosek in Meanie-Minor took the
final round win over Jim Whiting in 14.39/82. The winner in the Production
class was Sylvia Hauser who defeated Simon Paul in the final. Street winner
was Dave Dibley and runner-up was Jim Ibbett. Top Bike had four qualifiers
but only three made the eliminations. As Nigel Chapman found a last minute
problem, Paul Watson soloed through. Barry Eastman then beat a red lighting
Jim Challenger, but broke in the process. So Challenger came back in for
the final and promptly thrashed Watson 11.79/113 to 14.82/96. Top Gas was
a six bike field which Paul Rose won beating Stewart Curtiss in the final
10.40/134 to 12.00/115. Paul Ager was the Senior Bike winner beating Martin
Le Roux in the final. Pro Street Bike had just three entries with Nigel Patrick
taking the win over Mick Carter. Street Bike was won by Paul Sealey defeating
Dorian Dandridge in the final. (Clive Rooms)
SPR May Day Internationals,"Festival Of Speed".
|Racer John Dalton
tragically lost his life when his 'Disco Motion' altered crashed.The
first fatal accident in over 16 years of Drag Racing in the U.K.
Also at May Day meet, Al O'Connor in the
all new Al's Gasser won Street Bracket, and Roz Prior launched two blowers
skywards on the same day! Trevor Young was quickest Top Fuel driver of the
season so far with a 6.4second run. Camp fires were banned at Santa Pod!
Click here to see all the class
results and further notes from this meeting.
| May 13th
|| York Raceway. A scorching
day at the first meeting of the season at York - Malcolm Olley's Pink Panther
Jet car appeared as the demo car. Jim Briggs debuted the ex-Melvin Wooding
Maverick as 'Wildman' and Graham Simpson rolled his new Comp Altered pop
on it's debut! (Darren West)
|| Long Marston. At this
NDRC Midlands first meeting of the season, which was over the eighth mile,
the weather had the final say. Just an hour of qualifying was possible before
the wet stuff began falling, and ten minutes later, conditions were impossible
and eventually the meeting was called off. Among the cars present were the
Pro Comp cars of Ray Hoare in Turbo Saxon and the John Gibbons-Vince Shaw
Alkymist dragster. (Clive Rooms)
|| Mantorp Park International,
Sweden. In the second round of the European pro Comp series Jim Read took
'LePatron' to what was to be a controversial final. He was due to race Norways
Steinar Stolen for the final but Stolens Altered had problems as Read moved
into stage and Krister Johansson, who was already waiting with engine running
as first alternate, drove around Stolen, burnt out and took his place in
stage alongside Read, a process which took nearly 50 seconds. On the green
Johansson holeshot Read and took the win 7.46 to 7.35. Earlier in the meeting
Johansson had run Europes first Pro Comp six.
Dennis Priddle won Funny Car with
a 6.66 in the JWR Monza. In Top Fuel there were three cars present, Roz Prior,
Trevor Young and Swedens Kent Persson. Prior had problems all weekend and
Persson won two of his races with a best of 6.51 to Trevor Youngs 6.72.
John Hobbs and Henk Vink held a
match race. Vink destroyed his gearbox in Saturdays qualifying session and
the bike was stripped, repaired and rebuilt in Vinks motel room overnight.
In the match race Hobbs won three in a row with consistent 8.4s and an 8.2,
the quickest in Europe so far this year.
|| SPR. The Big Go. Rain
hampered the proceedings, completely washing out the first day of qualifying,
and so the first day of eliminations was made up by using previous times.
Jim Read had an easy ride to victory in Pro Comp running a best of 7.51/183
and an 8.04/165 to win the final against Graham Hawes Monza Funny Car. Hawes
had shut off early with problems. In Senior Dragster there were only 3 entries,
Russ Carpenter was unable to run so three match races were held between Peter
Hollingworth and Bob Blakemore. Hollingworth won all 3 with low 12 second
runs. Tony Merry and Keith McKee ran a best of 3 match for the Senior Altered
title. Merry won all 3 with a best of 10.95/123. Bike Bracket Four saw Brian
Johnson almost get into the nines on his MTC Kawasaki with a best of 10.03/136.
Bike Bracket One saw some of the best action of the weekend with the old
rivals Henk Vink and John Hobbs
meeting in the final. Vink had defeated John Charlton 8.78/165 to 8.96/156
in the first round and John Clift 8.54/171 to 8.76/156 in the semis. Hobbs
meanwhile ran 8.50/162 in the first round to defeat Chris Richards and 8.59/163
to beat an 8.63/168 from Jeff Byne in the semis. Although conditions for
the final were very windy Hobbs hit low E.T. of the weekend with an 8.41/152
to take the win from a slowing 9.15/111 from Vink after a seized blower ended
his chances of victory. Junior Altered saw Bob Jarrett weight up 'Stripteaser',
to run in the same class as 'Paranoia', and win the first round with a 10.79/120.
Alan Loten replied with a 10.82/116 in 'Paranoia' and the two were expected
to meet in the final. Jarrett however had problems in the semis and Loten
won the final with a 10.79/112 to Mick Hilliers 12.36/97. Big news in the
Street Car division was the appearance of Sam Connell in the 'Red Devil'
Chevy Nova. He ran 10.95/127 and 10.63/118 to win a best of three match race
against Dave Collis in 'Frenzy'. InMany of the finals took place on the morning
of what should have been the final day of eliminations. The final day was
then wiped out by a prolonged bout of rain. There were many breakages, Reg
Hazleton broke the rear axle on 'Thunderbird', 'The Hombre' put two pistons
in the sump while still in the pits, Russ Carpenter and Barry Miller both
suffered terminal engine damage and Ian Messenger destroyed a blower on
'Pegasus'. To see all class results
| The June issue of Drag
Racing News announced that the Pages 'Panic'
was now officially the fastest ever British Pro Comp car and the fastest
British Altered. It was only three tenths of a second off the long standing
American record of 6.82/202.24 set by Ron Boggs in 1977.
|| SPR hosted the first 'Garys
||Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting.
in association with Santa Pod Raceway, organised the first Eastern Nationals
at the re-named Sugarbeet County Raceway, part of Snetterton Circuit. The
meeting was alleged to have an all time British Drag Racing single-event
sponsorship figure of over £3000. The entry list included an eight car
Pro Comp field and a Funny Car match race between
Dennis Priddle in his John Woolfe
Racing Monza and Owen Hayward in his SLD Olding sponsored Houndog 9. However,
bad weather meant that only one of these races was held and even this was
affected by a damp track. Priddle won with an 8.12 to Houndogs losing
8.37/198.4. In qualifying, Super Bike was headed up by
John Hobbs with 8.57, followed by
Jeff Byne 8.96, Ted Dunmow 9.27 and Brian Chapman with 9.37. Top of the Top
Bike pile was Pete Woods. Pro Street Bike had Nigel Patrick out in front,
followed by Pete Williams, Brian Johnson and Tony Lewis. Pro Comp had seven
entries including Clive Banks making his debut in the ex-Liz Burn Lizard.
Quickest qualifier was Gerry Andrews
followed by Graham Hawes. Most of the eliminations were started and were
down to the semi-finals or the finals before the weather intervened with
the Pro Comp semi-finalists Gerry Andrews, Jim Read, Graham Hawes and Brian
Hazelton. Super Comp semi-finalists were Tony Merry, Neil Roberts, Alan Loten
and John Whitmore. Modified finalists were Dave Stone and Al OConnor.
Superbike finalists were down to Hobbs and Chapman. (Clive Rooms)
Summer Internationals. The return of Sammy
Miller who collected the £5000 prize for Europes first 300mph terminal
speed. After a 4.68/245 shakedown run and a 4.43/265 when he inadvertently
hit the chutes after a bumpy top end ride, he ran 4.20seconds with a terminal
speed of 307.6mph.(Guiness Book Of Car Facts and Feats) To make sure of securing
the prize Sammy continued accelerating through the speed traps and ripped
the chutes to bits. His final run of the weekend was then cancelled. In Funny
Car Raymond Beadles Blue Max was no.1 qualifier with a 6.57 followed by Gene
Snow with 6.75, Allan Herridges
Gladiator with 6.76, Dennis
Priddles Monza with 6.92, Owen Haywards Houndog with 6.95 and Ronnie
Picardo in The Force with 7.97. In the first round Beadle had a bye and ran
6.56. Snow was also on a bye and put in a half pass. Herridge beat Hayward
with a 6.68/210 to a 7.07. Priddle ran 6.84/196 to beat Picardo who got out
of shape and crossed the centre line. In the semis Snow beat Priddle with
a 6.51 to a 6.75 while Beadle beat Herridge with a 6.34 to a 6.74. The final
was set for another Beadle and Snow showdown but the Snowman blew his motor
on the burnout. Allan Herridge stepped in to take his place but had no chance
as the track was still soaked in oil. Bootsie gave it his best shot , trying
to find a line past the slippy bits to much cheering from the crowd but Beadle
won with a new record 6.24/221. In Top Fuel
Dave Lee Travis took the honours
with a solo 7.62 after Roz Prior failed to get to the line. In Pro Comp
Gerry Andrews took the win over
Graham Hawes despite the fact that both drivers recorded 6.67second runs.
John Hobbs took the Superbike final,
almost getting down into the seven second bracket, with an 8.07/177 over
|| York Raceway. Pennine
Drag Racing Club. Jim Reads Le Patron Pro Comp dragster set the PDRC strip
record at 7.97.
|| Brighton Dragster &
Custom Car Show. Sammy Millers Vanishing
Point was among the exhibits.
||Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting. Two
Pro Comp teams made their debut at this meeting; the Wheeldon & Claxton
Wrangler with 350 Chevy power and the Orpheus Donovan powered car of Alan
Ritmeister. The final was a match-up between Jim Read in Le Patron and
Gary Page in Panic and in an exciting race, Page
just managed to overtake Read in the lights. In the Supercomp showdown, Russ
Carpenter only just managed to hold off John Whitmore in a very tight final.
In Senior Comp, Geoff Martins Oxford Builder triumphed over Tony
Littles Apollo in a battle of the Jag motors. Phil Turk took the honours
in Top Modified beating Willy Morrison in the final. Dave Mingay won the
Street final beating Jim Ibbetts. Many of the top bikes were in Holland for
a meeting. Paul Andrews won the Street elimination. Pro Street winner was
Stew Fernside while in Top Gas, Paul Rose took the honours ahead of John
Healey. Graham Broughton won Middle, Earl Longley won Senior, and in Top
bike, Ron Hughes took the win light over Tony Steele. (Clive Rooms)
||Sports Nationals, Sugarbeet
County, Snetterton. Dave Tucker, driving the 'Stripteaser' altered bounced
out of shape, up the grass bank and back onto the strip reportedly taking
the life of an innocent rabbit who was minding his own business and watching
the racing. For meeting results and further notes
|| Bank Holiday Supernationals.
SPR Allan Herridge first fireballed
the motor of his 'Gladiator' funny car during qualifying then flipped it
onto it's roof in the final against Owen Haywards 'Houndog' who recorded
a 7.38/139 win. A surprise party was held for Allan on the Saturday night
to celebrate his 20 years in Drag Racing.
Click here for a picture and an extract
from 'Drag Racing News' about this event. Funny Car Eliminations saw top
qualifier Owen Hayward (6.50/200) beat
Dennis Priddle in the first round
6.50/203 to 6.64/206. In the other race Ronnie Picardo got out of shape and
Allan Herridge took the win with a 6.78/198. In Top fuel only three cars
attended. Trevor Young ran a 7.19/206 for top qualifying spot followed by
Peter Crane who was driving "The
Needle" with a 7.70/197. Roz Prior had clutch troubles and could only manage
8.89/128. Young took a solo run to the Final, recording 7.30/166. Both Crane
and Prior broke in their semi final match but Crane rolled through the lights
first to take the win. Despite much hard work from the crew the car was unable
to make the Final and Crane soloed to a 7.00/208. In the Modified class
Dave Stone set a new A/Modified
record with a 10.25/117 run in the semi-finals. John Clift set a new record
for a 1000cc bike at 8.34/165. Click
here to see all class results and further notes from this meeting.
Nationals. Sugarbeet County Raceway, Snetterton. The Top Fuel dragsters of
Roz Prior and Alan Ritmeister were present to qualify for the first reserve
spot at SPRs World Finals event the following weekend. Ritmeister ran a best
of 7.70, needing a 7.40 to make the reserve spot held by Prior. Owen Hayward
and Ronnie Picardo brought their Funny Cars along. Picardo had problems with
"The Force" and didn't manage a full pass. Hayward ran a couple of low sevens.
Four cars qualified for Pro Comp. Top was Graham Hawes with 7.38/199 in the
"Black Magic" Monza funny car, followed by Jim Reads "Le Patron" rail with
7.56/174, Gerry Andrews "Hemi Hunter"
at 7.59 and Tim Claxton with 7.87. Hawes won the final with another 7.38
to beat Jim Reads belt throwing 9.38/98.5. In Super Comp Russ Carpenter took
the win with a new C dragster index of 8.56/142 over Sue Coles 10.01. In
eliminations Tony Merry ran 10.10 in Stripteaser. In Top Modified Dave Stone
was on holiday so Gerry Andrews took the driving duties in Tender Trap and
ran a losing 10.54/129 in the final to Richard Wloszeks winning 13.16/101.
In the motorcycle ranks John Hobbs
took a win over John Clift, 8.54 to 8.57/170. (Darren West)
Finals. SPR. In the final of the Funny Car eliminations Raymond Beadle and
Gene Snow ran what was reported to be the quickest side by side FC race ever.
This was in fact a misnomer. It may have been the quickest in the UK at that
time but there had already been five second side by side FC races in
the States. The times were a winning 6.04 with no recorded terminal speed
for Snows 'Snowman' and a 6.00/227.20 for Beadles 'Blue Max'. Gene Snow was
credited with the official UK record at 6.04.
(Tog).Sammy Miller was also present
and ran a best of 4.31/317.40 which was the highest speed recorded on British
soil at that time.(Guiness Book of Car Facts and Feats) There was an 8 car
line up in Funny Car and a 16 car line up for the final round of the European
Pro Comp Championship. Allan Herridge
was back after his rollover in August with a repainted Gladiator. Gene Snow
ran a new record 6.08 in qualifing to take top spot. Raymond Beadle qualified
second with a 6.23. Swedens Kent Persson qualified no.1 in Top
Fuel with a 6.63. Trevor Young qualified with a 6.99/206. On the Sunday morning
all the Top Fuellers, Funny Cars and Pro Comps were lined up on the strip
and fired up together, the sound was incredible! To see the elimination ladder
for the Funny Cars Click Here
|| York Raceway. The PDRC
had a record entry list of 125 cars, bikes and trucks.(Yes Trucks!) In the
bike classes Chris Richards ran the best time of the day with a 9.66/151,
John Charlton won Superbike with a 9.91/136, Top Bike went to Jim Cooper
with a 10.62 on his 750cc Triumph, 'Odge' won Senior Bike with an 11.80/113
on his Norton, Middle Bike went to Andy Cappers 750 Suzuki with a 12.43 and
Junior Bike went to Russ Hardcastles Suzuki at 14.30. In the car classes
Mick Sayers ran a 9.66/129 in The Creeper to win the Senior Car class and
set a new class record, Top Car went to Roy Brownridge in the Whistler at
11.16/119, Senior Car went to Roy Greens Ressurection at 13.37, Middle Car
was won by Squire Martins Hocus Pocus Capri at 14.06/95 while Dave Wild in
Polara ran 15.58 to take Junior Car. The meeting also featured the second
round of a 6 car/4 bike match race between the PDRC and the NDRC Midlands
for the Custom Fasteners Trophy. NDRC won with 41 points to Pennines 19.
Graham Hawes in Black Magic and Jim Read in LePatron held a total of 5 match
races ending with Hawes running a new strip record of 7.42. In the Truck
Bracket John Scholey won in his Scania with a 21.87/62.
||Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting. Top
Fuel had just the dragster of Trevor Young and the F/C of
Dennis Priddle entered. In the first match-up, Young
got there first with a 7.66/205 run. The final round was in semi-darkness
with Priddle lighting up the slicks for more than half distance but could
not catch Youngs winning 7.74/185. There were six entries in Pro Comp
culminating in Tim Claxton beating Jim Read in the final. The other entries
were Graham Hawes, Gary Page, Vic Hammond and
John Hazelton. Supercomp had a full field of 16, and in the final, Dave Wilson
shot down Russ Carpenter. George Davie took the win in Senior Comp beating
Dave Burfitt in the final. Bob Panter took the Comp Eliminator laurels defeating
Steve Jeal. There were just 2 entries in Top Modified with Phil Turk taking
the win over Morry Morice. Gerry Cookson was the winner in Modified beating
John Spuffard in the final. Sylvia Hauser continued her winning ways in
Production defeating Simon Paul in the final. Street had a huge 22 car field
with Dave Mingay taking the win over Vicki Coomber. Top Bike winner was Keith
Porter beating Tom Vivian in the final. Tom Quinn took the honours in Senior
with Vince Cooper losing out in the final. There were only 3 entries in Middle
which Nigel Chapman won. Pro Street winner was Nigel Patrick beating Stuart
Fearnside. Top Gas was won yet again by Paul Rose overcoming John Healy in
the final. Street winner was Pete Mills.
|| The MDRA ended their five
years of organising racing at Long Marston and offered the track back to
the NDRC. (Ron Clark)
|| SPR. Winternationals.
A wet & windy weekend! This meeting saw the last appearance of Nobby
Hills and Owen Haywards Houndog 9 Vega funny car. It was purchased by Dave
Prior. Owen ran a couple of match races with Ronnie Picardo in the Force
funny car. Ronnie took the first after Owen crossed the centre line near
the start. Owen won the second after Ronnie shut off early.
Allan Herridge ran the best time
of the meet with a 6.34/208 in the Asphalt Alleygator rail in a match race
with Trevor Young. Dutch rider Cees Van Dongen became the first rider to
go into the eight second bracket on an unblown bike with an 8.99 on his Honda.
John Spuffard won Modified One in his Ford with a 13.71 over John Kirks TVR.
Pro Comp went to Jim Read with a holeshot 7.64 to Gerry Andrews 7.44.
|| Fireworks Meet. SPR.
Sammy Miller flipped the Vanishing
Point rocket car at over 200mph in the dark. The car lifted off the track
at the top end after recording a 234mph terminal speed. A cross wind was
blamed for the accident as the car took off after passing the end of the
spectator banking which, as both racers and spectators know, is a very effective
wind break.The extremely light weight of the car did not help matters. (Tog).
Also at this meeting Nobby Hills and Owen hayward debuted their new
Houndog 10 Challenger bodied Funny car.
Hobbs announced that he would be retiring from racing after this meeting.
He had been racing bikes at Santa Pod since the first meeting at the track.
Rain prevented him from adding a final Superbike victory to his long list
| Bordeux, France. The
5th Auto-Moto Trade Fair. Russ Carpenter in the Hepolite Glacier Grenade
did televised burnouts alongside Dave Tucker in Stripteaser at Bordeaux Airport.
The famously ill-handling Stripteaser got out of shape and hit a light pylon
totaling the car. Tucker was OK but the car was severly damaged. (Darren
West) The car was sold to Bob Jarrett who intended to rebuild it.
The Pages Panic altered won the NDRC/Gauloises
Pro Comp Championship, the Division 1 RAC Championship and was 2nd overall
in the RAC Championship.
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