with Jerry Cookson
With the start of the straight line season just weeks away, the racing calendar is beginning to take shape with a multitude of entertaining events coming up to wet that fevered ‘no racing until when?!’ brow! Given the recent announcements made during the winter lay-off, there’s still renewed enthusiasm in the workshops for finishing that long and sometimes forgotten drag strip project car.
The Modified Ford 100E Challenge looks particularly interesting, especially as there are still many Fords of this ilk being modded or RWYBrunged in this day and age at some stage in their lives; shades of the old Four Pot and Rover V8 Challenges from way back when. With the series being contested over five rounds at selected themed events at Santa Pod, I wish the organisers Scot Collin and Sean ‘Pop’ Doyle well with this concept, especially as the 100E was often branded as the English ‘shoebox’, and it’s being backed by this very publication.
Another group of mad racers that seems to have been breathed upon heavily in recent months are my old friends from Outlaw Flat Four. Since the club was formed way back in 2006, events were run exclusively at Shakey. Their style might not suit everyone but their wild gasser-style paint jobs and low-slung Cal-Look racing bugs with their long stinger exhausts certainly entertained me over the years. With new cars on the jig, the OFFs have a three-round series taking in Bug Jam, the new Green Light Nationals and the National Finals, all at Santa Pod this year. It looks like the group will see a few European Beetles making the journey to our fair isle as well as Northern Ireland because, believe it all not, there’s a big following in the emerald isle, particularly at St Angelo Airfield, near Enniskillen, for the annual VeeDub Drag Day.
Mentioning airfields brings me neatly into No Prep and the No Prep National Series. Since the demise of Rockingham, the group this year will be teaming up with guys from Straightliners and the Rodfathers UK to run a selection of No Prep races. Paul Marston and his team have been grafting to find a new home for this popular concept of racing, and they have found several with Saturday-only races taking in Lincolnshire’s Lancaster Raceway and Devon’s Dakota Raceway. But casting the net far and wide has bagged weekend events at Llanbedr, Wales; Church Fenton or Leeds East Airport, near Leeds, for the Ultimate Motor Show; Silverstone; Sywell Airfield for their popular ‘Classic’ events, and Kirkbride Airfield in Cumbria.
This year’s concept will be taking in events for Small and Big Tyre cars, as well as classes for Real Streetcar and Pro Streetcar at the more noise sensitive venues, but of particular interest is the No Prep Cash Days race at the GP Circuit and the North v South Team Race scheduled for Sywell’s Pistons & Props. To me it sounds like a Civil War more than a drag race between the York Veterans and the North Weald Allstars!
The Real Streetcar class is a no-brainer to cater for many of the stupidly fast street cars out there – street tyres, full exhaust system, full interior etc – which should make the class a real blast. Pro Streetcar is an ‘anything goes’ class, which will also include 4WD.
Further information about all the No Prep events and class rules can be found at the ‘No Prep Drag Racing’ Facebook page, and info for 100E Challenge and Outlaw Flat Four can be found on their respective FB pages. So, with all this going on and more, whatever your calling is in the world of the Street Machine, you won’t be spoilt for choice with a nice quiet weekend away! I said a QUIET weekend away, Dave. Oh, never mind… (What? Speak up! – DS, SM)
The Word Of Pod
Frequenters of Santa Pod Raceway will no doubt know the iconic name, FireForce, and world-renowned jet car pilot, Martin Hill. This year marks 30 years of the FireForce brand, with the FireForce 1 jet funny car first debuting in 1989. After building his first jet dragster back in 1983, the wheels were in motion to evolve and develop a variety of jet vehicles. Martin’s stable of jet cars has broken records, set records and entertained crowds all over the globe, tearing down drag strips in Greece, Malta, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Iceland and, of course, the UK.
FireForce 2 was the first jet funny car outside the United States to run a five second run over the quarter mile – a great achievement for the FireForce team and a delight for the Santa Pod crowds to witness. The yellow powerhouse will be coming out of hibernation for the 2019 season, with its first appearance being at Festival of Power (April 19th–21st). FireForce 3 is probably the jet car most Pod regulars will know and love – this mechanical monster debuted at Santa Pod Raceway in 2004 sporting Santa Pod livery. More recently, FF3 had the honour of being the first jet invited to run in Bahrain. In 2018, FF3 had a slight revamp with a new shade of blue and a graphics makeover.
FireForce 4 jet funny car is yet to reach its full potential, having the least amount of runs under its belt; however, we will hopefully see more of the orange beast in 2019. FF4 will be running in conjunction with FF2, FF3 and FF5 at Festival of Power. Yes, that’s correct – we will have four jet cars from the FireForce fleet this Easter! FireForce 5 is no stranger to multiple 300mph+ runs down the quarter, hitting that terminal speed eight times last year.
Nothing quite compares to the sight, sound and experience of seeing a jet vehicle hurtle down the drag strip at unimaginable speed, in unbelievable, record breaking time, so for your chance to witness this spectacle first hand, get yourself to Santa Pod Raceway this year! To view the full calendar of events and book your tickets for Santa Pod Raceway please visit www.santapod.com or call 01234 782828.
Outlaw Street Round OS-8
RWYB/GTi Festival, Santa Pod Raceway
October 13th-14th, 2018
Words & photography: Mark Wallington
The final round of the 2018 series was always going to be a ‘go broke or go home’ event, with everyone wanting to have that one last chance to set a new PB or grab a few extra points to bring one of the series trophies closer to living on their mantelpiece.
The Saturday was a traditional RWYB day, which, despite a rather grim weather forecast for the weekend, brought 20+ members out to play, although some were cut short due to breakages including OS-26 George Ralph, whose Triumph GT6 had to be trailered early due to driveshaft issues.
The Joe & Co sponsored Reaction Time trophy and £25 prize money was won by OS-8 Joe Baxter with his big-block Chevrolet powered Ford Capri. Fastest 4/6 Cylinder class car of the weekend was long term Outlaw member, Simon Paul, in his newly acquired Nissan GT-R with a new PB of 10.55@131mph. Fastest 8 Cylinder class for the weekend, was being fought between OS-34 Gary in his big-block Camaro and OS-19 David in his twin-turbo Camaro, with the bragging rights for this round going to David with a 9.05@148mph.
Unfortunately, the good old British weather wasn’t being overly kind to us, with a number of short showers putting a temporary stop to racing at midday on the Saturday. The track staff did a fantastic job of re-opening the track for the afternoon, but unfortunately the rain came back with a vengeance late afternoon and called an end to racing. Saturday night was a very ‘Outlaw’ affair, with bench racing, bragging and ‘if only’ excuses into the small hours.
Sunday was the VW action GTi Festival, with VAG Outlaw members able to race, but unfortunately this was never to be. The monsoons came in during the early hours and, by mid-morning we all resorted to plastic duck racing in the puddles, bringing the 2018 Outlaw Street series to a very wet end.
The winners and losers of the 2018 series will be in a Prize Night special article in next month’s edition. If you’d like to know more about Outlaw Street, or fancy joining the fun for the 2019 series, you can read more on the forum at www.outlawstreet.co.uk or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/outlawstreetuk.
The National Street Car Challenge had a… well, challenging year in 2018, with their spiritual home of York Dragway closed – and remaining so for at least the 2019 season – and low attendances in general. They had their annual meeting in mid-February at Blackpool’s Park House Hotel, at which James Murray stood down as the main organiser, a position he has been in for more than 15 years.
The new organisers, Rick Swaine and Nick Gunby, took over, and announced that the best option on the table was for the NSCC to join in with Outlaw Street for the strip-based part of the challenge, and this seemed to be welcomed by most attendees. The 2018 champion was Ian Walley, running away with the title in his mental turbo small-block MkII Cortina, seen here collecting the 2018 trophy and the perpetual trophy, a genuine Boyd’s piece. See more at www.nscc.info.