1985 - 1989

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.

March Screamin' Alley Raceway. Manston, Nr Ramsgate. A RWYB event was held at the former RAF site and regular meetings were held over the next two years, with the NDRC becoming involved in 1986. For an interesting and informative article on this venture on Niamh Frances Smith's 'Raceway Hussy" blog click here.
May 4th-6th SPR. Santa Pod debuted their latest, and possibly ugliest, exhibition vehicle. Roaring Thunder was a Funny Car chassis and motor with a scaled down glass fibre replica of a Kenworth Truck body. Wild Bill Sherratt took the driving honours.
May 4th-6th Long Marston. NDRC Season Opener.
May 19th Bitteswell. NDRC Inaugural Meeting.
June 8th/9th Long Marston. NDRC Spring Nationals. 
June 8th/9th SPR. Gary's Picnic. Brian Pateman took the final win for the second year running with a 10.61 win over a 10.85 from John Claydon. (Brian Pateman)
June ? Mantorp Park. Sweden. Brits Brian Pateman, Tony Gransden and Les Rickets were competing in Street Class 2. Pateman ran a new personal best of 10.47/127 and took the elimination win. (Brian Pateman)  
June 28th-30th Long Marston.NDRC Transatlantic Drag Bike Race.
July 6th/7th SPR. The Cannonball. An eleven car field battled it out for this years title. Harlan Thompson won for the second year running in a new Budwieser backed Trans Am. Thompson qualified #1 with a 6.23. #2 was Gary Page in Panic at 6.65. After the first round the format was changed to an elimination and Thompson and Page made it to the final. Pages chute shook out at 3/4 track slowing him to a 6.69/170 while Thompson took the win with a 6.50/190. For Funny Car qualifying and elimination ladder click here. In Street Brian Pateman dialled in at 10.47 but broke out of competition with a 10.39. (Brian Pateman)
July 20th/21st Long Marston. NDRC Summer Nationals.
July 27th/28th SPR. Summer Nationals.
August 18th North Weald NDRC Inaugural Meeting at this venue. This event saw Round 6 of the Belco Street Bike Challenge Series, Round 4 of the Eurobike Pro Stock Challenge Series, Round 5 of the NDRC Points Championship and Round 5 of the NDRC Manufacturers Championship. Dennis Priddle and Andy Craddock were the only two competitiors in Top Fuel while Funny Car had 6 entries including John Spuffard in Showdown, Bob Jarrett in Panic and Ronnie Picardo in Supercat. (Bob Jarrett). Dennis Priddle ran the top speed and low E.T. of the meeting with a 7.21/217 taking back-to-back wins against Craddock. Lesley Prior won her semi final against Tony Boden and John Spuffard took a one-sided win over Bob Jarrett at the wheel of Panic. One final that eventually reached a conclusion was Pro Comp when Dave Wilson took the win over a red lighting Doug Bond. The day was also remembered for the spectacular roll involving Ivor Roffey's Cosmic Canary Comp Altered. (Jerry Cookson) Apparently Henk Vink was on hand with his rocket bike and he set a new world record of 6.75 seconds. I can't find any confirmation of this. Can anyone help?
August 24th-26th SPR. Supernationals. Pro Mod was won by Dave Mingay in Hellraiser 2 with a 9.47/144 over a 9.58/140 from Sylvia Hauser. In Street Brian Pateman ran a 10.72/125 in his Firebird to take the final win against an 11.41/118 from the Mk1 Zodiac of Les Rickets. (Brian Pateman)
August 24th-26th Long Marston. NDRC August Bank Holiday Speed Spectacular.
September 14th/15th Long Marston. NDRC Autumn Nationals.
September 20th-22nd SPR. World Finals. Bob Jarrett won the funny car class driving the Pages Panic car. For Funny Car Elimination ladder and qualifying click here.
September 28th SPR. The Garys Shack Doorslammer Nationals. This was the first official running of this event as the previous years meeting was not officially recognised. In round one of Pro Modified Mick Cheley took a 9.59/139 win over a 9.70/143 from Dave Mingay. Ralph Hermansson ran 9.47/148 to a 12.84/70 from Bjorn Cronqvist. Jan Waerness progressed with a 9.40/134 over a 15.06/62 from Joran Persaker and Sylvia Hauser ran 9.52/143 to dispose of Magnus Wallin who ran 12.61/108. The semi finals saw Hermansson run a new European record at 9.27/148 but a holeshot from Cheley took the win with a 9.34/140. After a strong run in the previous round Waerness broke leaving Hauser to progress to the final with a 9.52/143. A close final saw Cheley take another holeshot win with a 9.53/140 to a 9.52/141 from Hauser. The Street Class was a 32 car eliminator, possibly the first ever in British Drag Racing. Andy Carter, Brian Huxley, Jimmy Boyle, Steve Rawlings and Steve Smy were among the casualties in the first round. Brian Pateman progressed through the next two rounds with a 10.31 and a 10.35 to make it to the semi finals where he met Per-Kristian Skinne. Here his luck ran out as his 10.42 was no match for a 9.82 from Skinne. Brits Dave Pollen and Tony Granson met in the other semi, Pollen taking the win with a 10.40 to a 10.53. In the final it was Pollen again with a 10.33 to an 11.45 from Skinne. (Brian Pateman)
September 29th Bitteswell, Leicestershire. NDRC Autumn Finals.
October 26th/27th Long Marston. NDRC Firework Special.
British Drag Racing Association Final Championship Positions 1985 click here
Andy Carter won Street Racer Championship at York. (Andy Carter)


May 3rd-5th Long marston. NDRC Speed Spectacular.
May24th-26th SPR. Big Go. Alan Bates in Nobby Hills Corvette was credited with a 5.99 second run. The run was dismissed by some that saw it as being a mid-six second run although it is often credited as being the first UK Funny Car five. Tony Boden, in the 'Hit Man' Funny Car was credited with a 6.27/207 in qualifying that was deemed dubious due to gremlins in the timing gear. (Darren West)
May 31st-June 1st Long Marston. NDRC Spring Nationals. 
June 7th/8th North Weald. NDRC Southern Nationals. 
June 14th/15th Andy Carter won Garys Picnic Saturday night Elimanations. (Andy Carter)
June 27th-29th Long Marston. International Drag Bike Meeting.
July 5th/6th SPR. The Cannonball. Rain took its toll on the proceedings and Saturday was washed out. The rules were changed to an elimination format on the Sunday with the four quickest of eight cars from a single frantic qualifier going into an elimination. Alan Bates ran the quickest for #1 spot with a 6.27 in the Houndog Corvette but broke in the process. Bill Sherratt made #2 with a 6.35 in the 'Cannonball' car and #3 was Tom Hoover with a 6.35/216.40. #4 was Andy Craddock but he broke on his 6.47 run and #5, Tony Boden also broke on a 6.76. This meant that Rune Fjeld (6.79) and Dave Page (6.94) qualified at 6 and 7 respectively but made it into the four car field! Also among the casualties were John Spuffard and Harlan Thompson who both failed to qualify with breakages. The first semi final saw Rune Fjeld beat Bill Sherratt 6.64/212.7 to 6.90 while the second saw Tom Hoover beat Dave Page 6.31/221.7 to 6.80. In the final Fjeld took the win with a 6.32/220.3 over Hoover. (Chris Dawson)
July 19th/20th Long Marston. Summer Nationals.
August 2nd/3rd North Weald. NDRC Drag Fests. 
August 9th Hockenheim, Germany. UK driver Tony Boden suffered a serious fire in his 'Hit Man' Funny Car. The resulting loss of control saw the car go airbourne before hitting a solid retaining wall. Tony sustained major injuries and serious burns. He died in hospital almost a week later.
August 23rd-25th Long Marston. August Bank Holiday Speed Spectacular. 
September 19th-21st SPR. World Finals.
Mark Woodley was tragically killed in a top end crash while driving the Hellbender jet dragster. The car took a hard left into the crash barrier in a very similar way to the accident that killed Allan Herridge three years earlier. This turned out to be the last side-by-side jet car race in Britain.

(Mark Coles & Tog)

Lee Anders Hasslestrom ran a 5.99/235 in the first round of the Funny Car eliminations. This is considered by many to be the first five second funny car run in the UK. (Mark Coles) Five Top Fuelers and three Funny Cars were present. The two classes ran together for qualifying and the first rounds, and then had seperate semis and finals. The meeting was abandoned however, due to rain, before the finals could be run. In qualifying Monica Oberg set new UK Top Fuel E.T. and speed records with a 5.82/266 run while Tom Hoover made #2 spot in the Priddle fueler with a 5.84. For qualifying and elimination ladders click here. Sammy Miller was present with his Vanishing Point Trans Am Rocket Car, and put in some four second runs. John Spuffard took a turn in Bill Sherratts Cannonball, the first time he had driven a Funny Car since his Challenger bodied car had burnt to the ground in August. In Pro Comp Steve Read had made it to the final before the meeting was abandoned. He beat Tony Bryntesson in the semis. 

October 4th/5th SPR. Garys Shack Doorslammer Nationals.  In Pro Mod Jimmy Karlsson took the final win after Graham Barrs broke during his burnout. In a 32 car Super Street eliminator Brian Pateman ran 10.08 to take the final win against a quicker 9.80/156 from Lennart Olsson. (Brian Pateman)
October 18th/19th SPR. Street Machine Ultimate Street Car Weekend
November 1st/2nd SPR. Fireworks Meeting


April 18th-20th SPR. Easter Nationals.
May 2nd-4th SPR. Labour Day Nationals.
May 2nd-4th Long Marston. May Bank Holiday Speed Spectacular.
May 10th York. Open Challenge.
May 23rd-25th SPR. Big Go.
June 6th/7th North Weald. Southern Nationals
June 21st York. Street Machine Street Racer Championships
June 27th/28th SPR. The Cannonball. Nine Funny Cars entered this year. Harlan Thompson, Rune Fjeld, Lee Anders Hasselstrom, Tom Hoover, Geoff Bosworth, Bjorn Ardin, Gary Page, Alan Bates and Lesley Prior. Americans Harlan Thompson and Tom Hoover made it through to the final with a string of low six second runs, Hoover only just making it after Hasselstrom ran a troubled 11.90sec. run in the last round. Thompson ran 6.05/228 to take the win over Hoovers 6.29/202. (Chris Dawson)
July 25th/26th SPR. Summer Nationals.
August 29th-31st Long Marston. Supernationals
August 29th-31st SPR. The Sun Super Nationals.
September 25th-27th SPR.  World Finals. The lone Top Fuel entry of Norweigan Ludwig Bjornstad ran a fireballing 5.95/221 against the Corvette of Tom Hoover. Hoover claimed "I saw he was going to blow so I hit the chute early 'n' watched -it was a good run". Six Funny Cars were present including Hoover. Lee Anders Hasselstrom was #1 qualifier at 6.20/216 but broke and was unable to run in eliminations. Rune Fjeld, who qualified at #4 with a 6.61/224, also broke and was unable to make the eliminations. This meant that  #2 Harlan Thompson (6.26/235) and #3 Gary Page (6.53/220) were joined in competition by previous non-qualifiers Tom Hoover (6.64/183) and Ragnor Nordli(8.28/166). Thompson beat Hoover with a 6.10/231, the best FC time of the meeting, and Page beat Nordli with a 6.34/214 but broke in the process. This let Ragnor Nordli back in to face Thompson in the final. Thompson won with a 6.34/210. (Chris Dawson)


February 27th Bob Phelps died. Bob and his son Roy (SPR owner for 25 years), built most of the fuel cars that ran at Santa Pod in the 60s, 70s and 80s under the guise of Fibre Glass Repairs at the location of Santa Pods head office. He was buried in Bromley, Kent on 11th March.
Long Marston dragstrip was re-named and became Avon Park.
April 1st-4th SPR Easter International. A Pro Drag field was run at this meeting, with a mix of alcohol & nitro Dragsters and Funny Cars. Qualifying top was Dick Cruse in the Stones Starliner rail, with 6.65/199, next up was Bjorn Ardin with 6.83/211. 3rd Steve Read with 7.39/202 then John Spuffard at 7.45/196. Alan Bates ran against Robin Read in a qualifying dual, Bates in the Lowes/Hills rail running nitro, resulting in Bates getting to the line first with a 7.61 over Robin Reads 7.72. In the final of Pro Drag Bjorn Ardin ran 6.61/212 to defeat Steve Reads 7.09/191. Two Fuel Fc's were match racing at the event. Harlan Thompson and Rune Fjeld taking a win a piece.Race 1- Fjelds 6.30/184 early shutoff defeated Harlans 6.75. In race 2 Thompson got it together with a 5.93 while Fjeld shut off. Phil Brachtvogel was testing his fuel bike at the meet and ran a best of 7.67/167. For all class results click here (Darren West)
 April 30th-May 2nd SPR. European Drag Racing Grand Prix. Barry Sheavills made his first appearance in Pro Comp. (Mark Coles) In Funny Car, John Niedowdz, a recent graduate of the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School in Florida, was driving Cannonball. He ran 7.02/191 to easily beat the 11.31 of John Spuffard whose Showdown car was not firing on all eight. Then Harlan Thompson faced Rune Fjeld, but Thompson had problems with his reverser leaving Fjeld to solo to 6.16/214. In Pro Comp, Peter Lantz ran a 6.79/198 bye. Bjorn Ardin took an easy win over Wayne Saunders in Animal with 6.96/204 to the 8.34 of Saunders. Steve Read red lit against Krister Johansson, and then Dick Cruse ran a 7 dead against the 9.73/138 from Barry Sheavills. In the semis, Ardin took out Lantz with a 6.82/176 to the losing 6.85/195 of the dragster. Johansson then threw away any chance he had of beating Cruse by red lighting. Cruse ran 6.96/167. In the final, it was the Starliner rail of Cruse that crossed the stripe first in 7.01/166 to the 7.11/157 of Ardin's Trans Am. The winner of Super Stock was new driver Julian Bienek who beat Steve Best, 11.18/119 to 11.15/119. Dave Grabham emerged the winner of Econo as he put down a 12.15/107 in the final to overcome the 14.14/80 of Craig Lewis in his Jag powered Topolino altered. Super Eliminator had first round wins for John Powis over Brian Thomas, John Tebbutt over Steve Warner, Geof Martin over Martin Tyman and Pete Borowick over Barry Giles. Tebbutt then took a semi-final win over Powis, a 9.59/138 beating the 10.29/129 of Powis. Borowick then red lit handing the win to Martin. It was a win for Martin in the Oxford Builder in the final running 10.07/130 to the 9.56/137 of Tebbutt. In Pro Modified, there were first round wins for Tim Hines 10.38/128 to the losing 10.90/149 of Geof Hauser, Mick Cheley 9.25 over Richard Eaton's 10.05, Dave Mingay beat Doug Gray 9.24 to 10.21 and John Everitt beat Dave Pollen 9.68 to 10.70. In the semis, Cheley thrashed Hines 9.14/141 to 10.29/136, and then Mingay saw off Everitt 9.17/150 to 9.58/143. In the final, Mingay got to the end first, but the problem was, he had red lit so automatically handing the win to Cheley who had run 9.31/136. Sportsman bike had a 10.90 breakout, and in the final, Sean Biddlecombe ran 10.96/121 to defeat the 11.22/123 of Michael Lee. John Messenger won Super Street beating Brian Emery in the final 9.79/138 to 9.89/149 lose out. In Competition bike, Mark Wanstall ran 9.58/138 to overcome the 11.13/131 of Bob Brooks. Then Terry Fisher defeated Andy Brewster 9.71/148 to 10.51/143. Wanstall emerged the winner in the final running 9.49/140 to the losing 9.50/140 of Fisher. In Funny Bike, both Paul Willis and Dave Cross had bye runs, and then Neil Knight took out Nigel Cheal 9.56 to 10.57. Graham Nash beat Martin Peck 8.57/155 to 9.42/146. In the first semi, Nash broke allowing Willis to take an easy win, and then Cross took the decision over Knight 9.54/146 to a losing 9.15/137. Paul Willis won the final with an 8.40/163 to the losing 8.60/149 of Dave Cross. (Clive Rooms)
May 8th York Raceway. International Open Challenge. Heavy drizzle and dark skies greeted the first International Meeting to be held there, the main interest being a round of the European Pro Stock Bike Championship. The weather let up at about 1:30pm and some frantic qualifying took place over the eighth mile. Jack Valentine was #1 qualifier in Pro Stock Bike with a 5.62, second was John Clift with 5.64. Dutchman Alfred Balm had the bump spot with a 6.40. Paul Willis was top of the heap in Funny Bike with a 5.50, bump was Mick Fancy with 6.20. Alan Flavell in the 'Pop Draggin' Pop, re-painted pink and now named 'Fatal Attraction' was top qualifier in Super Gas.Steve Green ran a 7.92 in his Cortina for #1 spot in Rover. The rain then returned and closed the proceedings. (Darren West)
May 28th/29th SPR. Fosters Lager Drag Meeting. Poor weather, a low turnout, and a small crowd left what was formerly known as the 'Big Go', Santa Pods longest running meeting, a shadow of its former self. Virtually the whole of Sunday was washed out, leaving an emergency qualifying session on the Monday. The Pro Drag class saw the two quickest cars meet for the final. Steve Read defeated Gerry Andrews in 'Hemi Hunter' 7.00/197 to 7.12/178. The other qualifiers were John Niedowitz in the Cannonball at 7.22/181, John Spuffard in 'Showdown' at 8.24/169 and Brian Cross at 10.77/165. Phil Brachtvogel was the only competitor in Top Fuel Bike and put in a best of 7.86/163. For the results of the completed classes  click here. (Darren West)
June 12th Long Marston Real Steel Nationals. This was the third round of the Pro Modified championship. In the first round, Dave Mingay beat Richard Eaton 8.93/160 to 9.48/146, Dave Warne defeated Phil Englefield 8.93/165 to 10.37/132, John Everitt took an unopposed win over Graham Barrs who broke his transmission linkage and Tim Hines beat a wheelstanding Mick Cheley 10.01/130 to 10.50/160. In the first semi, Mingay won with a 9.36/156 to the losing 9.57/160 from Warne. Then Everitt ran 9.55/154 to trailer Hines with 10.09/133. Mingay took his second win of the series with 9.24/124 as Everitt trailed with 9.52/146. (Clive Rooms)
June 18th/19th York Raceway. Performance Unlimited/Street Machine Street Racer Championship. The long running competition to find the UKs quickest car on treaded tyres was the main feature of the two day event. As always with this event with the chase for the £1000, controversy was never far away! The first round had a series of bye's and two actual races- Brian huxley in the 'Can Do 2' Toyota Corolla, 12.71/120 def Peter Snowball 14.43/93. Bill Brown Rover Minor 13.70/100 def Frank Mason Turbo Corvette 13.34/93. Round 2-Top Qualifier, BobSmith 'Laughing Cavalier' 12.55/111 def John Yardley 12.14/121.Brian Huxley 12.71/120 again, def Trev Langfield Mk1 Escort 12.06/NS. Pete Slights 6R4 rally metro 12.11/102 def Bill Brown 12.41/102. In a second round re-run between Andy Carter 'Resin Rocket' Pop and Sue Houlston 'rag-top' Corvette, where a tree malfunction was blamed for the red light appeal from Carter, Carter's pop was having head gasket trouble, but he made it to the line again, this time it was Houlston who pulled a red, while Carter was gone, running 11.75/129 on 7 cylinders! Another appeal by Rob Houlston this time was nullified when Sue, sportingly admitted she'd rolled out of stage. Semis- Brian Huxley 11.93/119 def Bob Smith 12.23/106. Carter's suffering pop 12.11/113 def Pete Slights Metro /NTS. Final- Drama when Andy Carter reached the line, but the motor finally died, leaving Brian Huxley to run 11.95/116 and take the £1000 cash! Dave Warne debuted the 'Mean as Hell' 500ci Sierra Cosworth Pro Mod, ran an amazing 8.13/160 on it's first full pass on the Saturday before running out of strip and wacking the side of the car under emergency breaking, calling for some panel bashing over the weekend to straighten it out! Running against Ian Lloyd in the 'Gonzo the Great' altered, Warne took two out of a possible three over the eighth - 4.78/129 to 5.94/120 and 5.02/131 to a red from Gonzo. Ian ran solo in the last race over the quarter 9.32/138. For all class results Click here (Darren West)
July 2nd/3rd SPR. The Cannonball. The weather caused problems throughout the weekend. Most of the Cannonball entries struggled to find traction. Early runs from Harlan Thompson and Tom Hoover saw the slicks light up on launch. Gary Page was driving the Purple Power Corvette for the first time as Hoover was driving the new Showtime car. Santa Pod favorite Lee Anders Hasslestrom was present and as he and Harlan Thompson prepared to run together the rain began again, this time setting in for good, and the meeting was called off. This was to be Hasslestrom's last appearance at Santa Pod. He lost his life at Pitea in Sweden a couple of weeks later following a blower explosion and subsequent fire.
July 16th/17th Long Marston Real Steel Nationals. Saturday was damp which put paid to qualifying for the Pro Mod cars. Emergency times were brought in to play for the 12 cars with the top 4 seeds receiving a bye. Receiving byes were Dave Warne 8.77/167, Dave Mingay 8.89/163, Graham Barrs 9.41/153 and Mick Cheley 9.72/141. The track was still a little damp in places. In the first match-up, Geof Hauser beat Doug Gray 9.81/147 to 10.21, John Everitt took out Tim Cook 9.52 to 12.22, Richard Eaton beat Burt Englefield 9.39 to 10.37, and finally Tim Hines was too strong for Andy Robinson 10.09 to 13.62. The next round was run under threatening skies. Mingay took an easy 9.22/156 win over the ill handling Sierra of Hauser, Hines won in 10.07/138 as Cheley's roadster had handling problems, Barrs beat Eaton 9.11/154 to 9.72/157. The last pairing was between John Everitt and Dave Warne. Everitt's Camaro went hard left mid-track and hit the barrier and rolled once and came to rest shiny side up. The weather was closing in at this point so it was decided to run the semis and final at the August meeting. There was also a 4 car Top Alcohol race over the eighth mile. Russ Carpenter took a shock win over Barry Sheavills 5.13/145 to 6.08/131 and Steve Read beat Craig Lowes 4.66/162 to 5.60/146. (Clive Rooms)
August 27th-29th SPR. Super Nationals. Gary Page ran 5.90 in the 'Silver Showtime' Pontiac funny car, an ex-Tom Hoover machine.  Tom had previously run a 5.94 and a 5.88 earlier this season in Sweden. It is the belief of the owner, Showtime Crew Chief Bob Jarrett, that Pages run was the first "real" funny car five in the UK. (Bob Jarrett)
September 23rd-25th SPR. World Finals. In Top Fuel there were four cars present, those of Monica Oberg, Ludwig Bjornstadt, Pelle Lindelow and Liv Berstad. Oberg made it to the final, by virtue of a 6.01/236 win over Bjornstadt, where she met Berstad who had run 7.93 to beat a troubled Lindelow. Oberg took the final with a 7.94/193. Lindelow and Bjornstadt ran off for third and fourth place, Bjornstad winning with a 6.96/182 to Lindelows 8.95. In Funny Car three pairs of cars ran the first round but the elimination was cancelled due to lack of time caused by rain. Rune Fjeld ran 6.82 to defeat Gary Willy who had problems. John Spuffard ran 6.54/228 in 'Showdown' to defeat John Niedowitz in the Wynns Corvette while Gary Page ran the fastest time of the meeting, 5.89/229, to beat Harlan Thompsons 7.13/136. (Chris Dawson) It was at this meeting that the Bractvogel brothers, Frank and Phil, debuted their 'Quarter Scorcher' Top Fuel Bike. It was as yet unpainted and had been finished only two hours before arriving at the track.
November Alan O'Connor and Lesley Digby arrived in Florida for the start of a USA tour with the Als Gasser Chevy powered Ford Anglia. The car arrived two weeks later by container ship. Al initially ran in the Wednesday and Saturday Test & Tune sessions at Moroso Motorsports Park, where he had set up camp, to complete his observed runs in order to gain his license. The car created a lot of interest, one person asked if it was a London Taxi! The best answer turned out to be to call it an English Ford.
November 5th/6th SPR. Fireworks Drag Race Weekend


A new British Drag Racing Publication was launched with the March/April issue. Fire Up magazine was published by John Wright and edited by Jeremy Cookson.
March 11th Hollywood, Miami, Florida. Alan O'Connor entered Als Gasser into his first full meeting since arriving in the USA. This was a divisional points meeting which Al had to enter before he could compete in a National NHRA event. The NHRA pre-graded him with a 3 thanks to his experience in the UK. This meant that he would only have to attend one divisional event instead of 3 before entering a National.
March 25th-27th. SPR Easter Internationals. SPRs, and the UKs first side by side five second race, Darrel Gwynn won with a 5.78 against Liv Berstads 5.84.
April29th-May1st SPR. European Drag Racing Grand Prix. Darrell Gwynn returned to compete again in Top fuel, but it was Liv Berstad who made the headlines with a new European quickest ET of 5.52. In Pro Comp Swede Krister Johansson dominated, winning the final round with a 6.66 at 222.7mph. During the weekend he ran a terminal speed of 224.7mph, only 1mph short of the existing NHRA record.
May 7th York. Open Internationals. 
May 20th/21st North Weald. The BDRA held their "Big Go" at the Essex strip. The traditional Bank Holiday date at Santa Pod was taken by the SPRC for it's Pro Street meeting.
May 27th-29th SPR. Custom Car/Wynns Pro Street meeting. Santa Pod's inaugural Doorslammers meeting, organised by the Santa Pod Racers Club.
May 27th-29th. Mantorp Park. Sweden. The Uk's Steve Read set a new Pro Comp speed record at the track with a 6.48/221.
July 1st/2nd SPR. The Cannonball. A total of nine fuel coupes turned up for the event but the eagerly awaited return of the Houndog Team with their Chevy Beretta never materialised after the team dissolved. Peter Barnett returned to the driving seat of a Funny car, after a ten year break, with the ex-Houndog Corvette. He ran a best of 7.15/187.50. Bjorn Ardin was the sole Alcohol entry. In the first round of the Cannonball Gary Willy, in a run alongside John Niedowitz, lost control of his Toyota bodied car and turned hard right into the crash barrier. Due to the downtime caused by the crash the decision was taken to run the rest of the Cannonball as an eliminator with the fastest four cars going through. The timing equipment threw up some spurious speeds, including a 284mph for Gary Page and a 263mph for Ardins Alcohol car. The first semi was Bjorn Ardin and Rune Fjeld. Fjeld took the win with a 6.05/241 to Ardins 6.39/215. The second semi saw Gary Page beat Harlan Thompson with a 5.94/ns to a 6.05/185. The following report of the final comes from the 1996 Cannonball programme,"...all hell broke loose in the final as Gary Page pulled down a fraction late to face Rune Fjeld. In an audacious move, Harlan Thompson as first alternate fired up, burnt out and pulled alongside Fjeld, before Page could make the show. The large crowd showed their contempt by hissing and booing the Budweiser team. The cars went down the track with no green lights showing, no times recorded and no winner. The race was therefore declared null and void." In 'Pro Drag' Jonathan Lovett recorded his first ever 200mph run in his 'Catch 22' TAD, a 7.29/204.4. In Top Fuel bike Phil Brachtvogel qualified with a 7.47/184.1, followed this up with a string of 7.3s with a best of 7.32/194 and beat Phil Bainbridge in the final. Bainbridge ran a career best in the final of 7.64 but this was no match for Brachtvogels 7.39/189.3. In Super Street Bike John Messenger set a new E.T. record of 9.21seconds. Chris Webster had earlier set a new terminal speed record of 159.7. In Pro Mod the win went to Dave Mingay who beat Tim Cook and established a new SPR division record with an 8.20/169 (backed up by an 8.22/168 in the semis) to Cooks 8.55. Favourite to win the class had been Dave Warne who qualified at #1 with an 8.24/166. He won the first round against Dave Pollen with an 8.20/184, the top speed of the meet, but the cars hood blew off and damaged the windscreen. The RAC steward ruled that the damage to the screen was too bad to let Warne continue but he did allow him to come to the start line and collect his round points. Rob Turner took his 'Straight Shooter' to a new blown Fuel Altered speed record of 7.84/217. Clive Mechaell, also ran a new european best ET for a blown Fuel Altered with a 6.90.
July 15th/16th Avon Park. NDRA Summernationals
August 26th-28th SPR. BDRA Summernationals. Geoff Hauser broke into the seven second barrier for Pro Mod cars in his Ford Sierra. He ran 7.84, 7.85, 7.87 and then 7.88 in the final against Tim Cook, who had earlier also dipped into the sevens with a 7.97. (Mark Coles)
August 27th/28th Aintree Racecourse. 2nd National Powersports Festival.
September 9th/10th North Weald. Andy Carter ran a 10.91/128 and won the Custom Car Wynns Street Championship also taking the Bob Nixon Chassis award for the first street car into the 10,s on street tyres. (Andy Carter)  
September 22nd-24th World Finals SPR. Liv Berstad ran the fastest time outside of North America, 5.37/260.4. It was on an exhibition pass as she had earlier failed to qualify for the eliminations. (Mark Coles) In Top Fuel American Al Segrini, making a return to the driving seat after a few years absence, piloted the ex-Darrell Gwynn fueler to a 5.76/215 to put him in #3 qulaifying spot behind Tony Bryntesson at 5.50 and Pele Lindelow at 5.58. Conny Anderson was at #4 in the ex-Dennis Priddle fueler. The final was between Lindelow and Bryntesson. Lindelow cut a perfect light and won in 5.60/234 while Bryntesson had problems with a loose oil line at mid track. In Funny Car Gary Page qualified at #1 with a 5.87/241 in the Showtime Pontiac. In the first round he came up against the black Lonsdale sponsored VW of Norm Wilding, who was #3 qualifier at 6.07. Page broke on the run and coasted to a 7.58/115 while Wilding took the win with a 6.04/238. The other semi saw Harlan Thompson cross the line first at 6.03, but having crossed the outside white line, the win went to Charlie Draper at 6.54/224. Wilding took the final with a 6.09 to Drapers 7.79. Harlan Thompson and Al Segrini held a Funny v Fueler match race, Segrini taking the win with 5.73/242 to Thompsons 5.79/230. For Top Fuel and Funny Car elimination ladders and qualifying results click here. In a 16 car Pro Mod field Tim Cook was #1 qualifier with a 7.84/174 in his '56 Chevrolet. Dave Warne ran a personal best in the first round at 8.10/159 to beat Phil Englefields 8.94/150. Warne went on to meet Cook in the quarter final. Cook took the win with a 7.75/186 to Warnes 8.51/169. Cook went on to defeat Geoff Hauser in the semis, 8.07/145 to 8.60/149, and meet Graham Barrs Mustang in the final. Barrs clutch dragged him to a red light after waiting for Cook to stage following his double burnout routine. Cook ran 8.01/156 for the win. Britains Robin Read ran a personal best in the Top Sportsman class. He took his Daimler powered mini-fueler to its first six, and the #1 qualifying spot, with a 6.88/193. He went on to win the final with a 7.16/188 over Swedens Lene Olsson in her Stateside Rail. In Top Fuel Bike Phil Brachtvogel ran a string of consistent 7.2s at 190mph +. In the final against Phil Bainbridge he set a new strip record of 7.17/194. Paul Willis ran in both Pro Stock bike and Funny Bike and won both classes. he was #1 qualifier in Pro Stock with an 8.35 and won the final with an 8.48 over Mike Fancy. He also took #1 qualifying spot in Funny Bike with a personal best of 7.31/178. The final, between Willis and Graham Nash, was the quickest Funny Bike race ouside the U.S.A. with Willis running a 7.33/179 holeshot over Nashs 7.21/187. In Super Street Bike John Messenger qualified at #1 with an 8.96/156.9, the first ever eight second time in the World for a Motorcycle on a street tyre. In the final Messenger came up against Brian Emery and ran an even quicker 8.93/156 to beat Emerys 9.35/154. There was a special demonstration elimination featuring the best of the Scandinavian Pro Stockers, the first time this class had been seen racing in the UK, organised by the Nordic Pro Stock Associations Race Director Ronnie Krabberad. Finlands Hans Knuters won the elimination with a 7.51/185 over fellow countryman Hannu Santalas 7.69/178. In the final round of the Real Steel Rover V8 Championship Steve Green was victorious both in the event final and the Championship. In the final he took the JWR Cortina to a new Group One record of 9.87/137 to defeat Chris Pegg who clocked an 11.05/127. In Group Two the final was between Paula Aitkin and Martin Cowell. Cowell took the win with a new Group Two record of 11.56/120 (apparently his first ever win in 15 years of Drag Racing!) while Paula was runner up with 12.96/108.
Thursday 9th November Jim Read died just four days short of his 64th birthday. Jim raced his way through the ranks from Production to to Pro Comp before handing over driving duties to son Steve. He then concentrated his attentions on the BDRA where he held the positions of Chairman for both the Executive and Competitions Committees and was their international liason officer.
November 4th/5th SPR. 21 year old Vicki Steer, riding for the Children In Need charity, became the first female UK Pro Stock Bike rider. She made her debut on Coll Rules JCB sponsored Suzuki and qualified at #2, in an eight bike field, with a 9.07 behind Mick Beaumont at 9.03. In the first round she beat Roger Upperton with an 8.93 but in the semis the bike crossed up on the launch and pitched her off. She was bruised but OK. Wayne Saunders also made his Pro Stock debut at this meeting, riding Len Pagets 'White Lightning' Suzuki. He took #3 qualifying spot with a 9.11. Yet another PS debutante was Graham Dance. Saunders ran low E.T. in the semis with an 8.75 win over Mick Beaumont, and took the final with an 8.80 over Les Prater. A mix of Funny Bikes and Top Fuelers made up the Competition Bike field. Paul Willis took the final win with a 7.74/173 to a 7.81/172 from Chris Hampson. Brian Emery took the Super Street Bike win with a 9.54 to Ron Russells 10.38. In the Sportsman Bike class the win went to Steve Crooks with an 11.42 to Richard Pettys 11.75. Pro Mod Championship points leader Dave Warne destroyed his transmission in qualifying putting an end to his title chances. Geoff Hauser in his Sierra took #1 position with an 8.13 while #2 spot went to Dave Mingay with an 8.20. After a slight hitch in the first round, when a dead battery caused starting problems, Hauser soloed to an 8.16/159. His opponent for the semis, Brian peach, had engine trouble and so Hauser had another solo to the final, this time a 7.93/173. In the final he ran a faster 7.98/186 to beat Colin Taylors 8.50/164. For the Pro Mod elimination ladder click here. Super Gas was won by Paul Jenkins 'Mopar Menace' over Jeff Mannis 'Pied Piper' Mustang, Jenkins breaking out the least with a 9.875 to a 9.806.
For all 1989 Points Championship winners click here.

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