with Jerry Cookson
With the loss, this year, of Shakey, North Weald and York Raceway, it’s not often that we can report about a new venue to the scene opening later this month. But I’m happy to report that we can this month, thanks to the efforts of Jason King (no, not him off Department S) and Straightliners boss, Trevor Duckworth. The new strip at Albermarle Barracks, near Newcastle-on-Tyne (or to give the place its correct name, Hurricane Raceway) is all set for its inaugural opening on September 29th-30th and is open to cars and bikes for RWYB.
Albermarle Barracks was first established on the site of former RAF Ouston airbase in 1970, and was occupied by the Junior Signalmans Wing of 11 Signal Regiment. Its runways, which used to echo to the sound of Hurricanes in World War II, will now echo to the sounds of V8 motors being thrashed all weekend long, with rounds of the National Street Bike and NSA Northern Sprint Bike championships. So, if you live in that neck of the woods, why not pop along and support the new venture and take your street machine along? I’m sure they’ll be pleased to see you.
Last month I mentioned that there would be something special taking place at this year’s British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala. Well, I’m happy to report that the popular Bench Racing session will be taking place once again, but with a distinct British flavour to the proceedings, with the official launch of Mister Six: The Story of Drag Racing Legend Dennis Priddle by Keith Lee. This large format book, which is the product of almost two years’ work by Keith, includes many anecdotes from the book’s subject Dennis Priddle, members of his team and others from the sport.
The Bench Racing session, to be hosted by Graham Beckwith, brings together Dennis and some of his competitors, prominent personalities connected with him, and team members over the years. The panel currently comprises of Barry Sheavills, Roy Phelps, Stu Bradbury, Andy Craddock, Geof Hauser, Pelle Linelow, Garry Page, Steve Read, Brian ‘Star’ Savidge and, of course, Dennis himself, and it’s all taking place on the afternoon of Saturday, November 17th, at the Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, Surrey. Reservations for the main Gala are being taken right now via the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame web site at www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk.
This month’s straight line offerings start right at the turn of the month, with the annual sprint along the sea front on Brighton’s Maderia Drive, and the Speed Trials on Saturday, September 1st. Or you could make a splash to the Isle of Man Drag Festival at Jurby Airfield on the 1st-2nd. These two dates are immediately followed by the ‘big daddy’ of European drag racing events; Santa Pod’s Euro Finals, lasting a whole four days. And that’s followed by a weekend of nostalgia with the Original Hot Rod Drags, again at Santa Pod, on September 14th-16th. Oh, and of course my annual stint on start line (but without the drama) for the No Prep Street Car Shootout at Sywell Airfield’s Piston & Props event a week later (September 22nd-23rd). The weather may have broken at the minute, but there’s still plenty or racing to catch. See you at the strip!
The Word Of Pod
Organised by the National Street Rod Association (NSRA) in conjunction with The Pod, the Original NSRA Hot Rod Drags over the weekend of September 14th-16th is a hot rod meet rolled up into a weekend of nostalgia drag racing. It also happens to be the 30th anniversary event! There’ll be hot rods, customs, dragsters and Altereds in colourful action, with entries from the Wild Bunch, Outlaw Anglia, Gasser Circus, Supercharged Outlaws, and Nostalgia Superstock providing keen competitive racing. Using the usual ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ formula, the only change is the venue!
Ever wanted to run the famous quarter mile? Take your car down the dragstrip and test its performance during our Run What Ya Brung sessions, limited to pre-1973 vehicles only. Get unlimited runs for just £25 per day sign-on, Friday to Sunday!
The NSRA committee awards its Dirty Dozen trophies to those cars it deems most embody ‘The Spirit of the Event.’ These don’t have to be the shiniest, prettiest or even the quickest, just so long as they traverse the quarter-mile at least once during the weekend. Julian Webb’s Split Second Jet Dragster will be on hand to add real smoke and flame to the occasion; this fire-breathing machine will be hurtling down the strip at over 200mph in around six seconds! Plus, on Saturday evening, there will be a Cracklefest out on the track, with cars lining up and firing up in unison.
As well as all this track action, over in Fuelers Bar there will be live bands for your evening entertainment. Friday night sees contemporary covers band, Eastwood, hit the stage with all your favourites from the Sixties through to today, while on Saturday, Skabucks offers a stormin’ sound of the most bodacious, badass mother-funkers delivering the top end of maximum ska and two-tone! Plus, to celebrate the weekend’s festivities, there will be a spectacular fireworks display on Saturday night. With a Nostalgia Trade Village, plentiful bars and caterers, and the addition of a Saturday courtesy bus to nearby Rushden Lakes (the mammoth new shopping and entertainment complex) we have the weekend covered for the whole family!
To book tickets and view the full line-up, please visit www.hotroddrags.com or call 01234 782828. Weekend tickets start at just £25 (advance price, booking fees apply) and kids under 16 go free (max three per adult).
photography: Stephen Bailey
While much of the rest of the country were at Dragstalgia, the National Street Car Challenge headed off into the wilds of Cumbria, to Kirkbride airfield, where the Straightliners were hosting one of their motorcycle sprints, including some RWYB and the NSCC’s rounds three and four.
Ian Walley led qualifying on Saturday, with an 11.51 at 132mph on the unprepped quarter. James Murray followed with a 12.5, then Derek Beck’s nitrous-huffing TVR at 12.82. Gary Leece’s ‘Vette Kart followed with 13.80, and ‘Biff’ Bailey’s C3 Corvette rounding the field out on 15.19. Ian got the first round bye, carding an 11.33 (a 1.9-second 60-foot showing what traction was like), while Derek shut Biff down 13.0 to 15.4, and James took out Gary 12.6 to 14.3. In the semis, James byed into the final, while Ian outran Derek. The two MkII Cortinas faced off in the final, and thanks to a holeshot start from James, it was a lot closer than form would suggest; however, it was Ian who lit the win light for maximum points.
Round four saw the same suspects qualifying in the same order, though late arrival Andrew Errington added his name to the end, his 5.0 SN95 Mustang carding an off-form 15.9. He suffered even more in round one, as Derek blew his doors off 12.7 to 16.0. James ended Biff’s day 14.2 to 15.1, and Ian drummed up an 11.1 to put Gary out. It was Ian’s turn for the bye in the semis, while on the other side of the ladder, James took a narrow win over Derek, 12.5 to 12.7. In the finals, once again, Ian managed to pull an 11.0 out of the hat against James’ 12.7 for a maximum-points weekend.
The NSCC are back to East Kirkby for their finals on September 8th; see www.nscc.info for details.
Outlaw Street Round OS-4
Mopar Euronationals, Santa Pod
This was Outlaw Streets ninth year of supporting and racing at the Mopars, although, if truth be told, many of the members have been religiously attending for 15 years plus. With a massive turnout of OS members (some who only come out to play once a year for the Mopars), it was a great weekend with what felt like endless track time on the Friday, several members realising they’d run out of fuel if they kept the hot lapping going!
PBs were plentiful, including OS-60 Mick Elborough in his SBC-powered P100 pick-up with a 9.6593 @ 140.85mph, OS-19 David Mahoney is his LS twin turbo gen 1 Camaro with a 9.5649 @ 139.90mph, and OS-9 Rob Leyman in his Chevy C10 pickup with a 10.0079 @ 140.85mph…. sooo close to that elusive nine second run.
The weekend wasn’t without breakages, including OS-9 Rob Leyman who obviously was pushing too hard to catch that nine, OS-26 George Ralph whose Triumph GT6 was plagued with gearbox issues for the weekend, and OS-27 Joe Baxter in his SBC powered Capri who had to stop play due to engine noises.
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The top 6 RTs from OS-4 were:
1. 0.0535 RT, OS-9 Rob Leyman (Chevrolet C10)
2. 0.0877, OS-74 Arnie Pamment (Ford Mustang)
3. 0.1024, OS-9 David Mahoney (Gen1 Camaro)
4. 0.1164, OS-27 Joe Baxter (Ford Capri)
5. 0.2021, OS-20 Jason Clarke (Pontiac Le Mans)
6. 0.2242, OS-68 Debbie Taylor (Ford Mustang)
2018 Points League Table:
01. 684 Points, OS-34 Gary Carr (Camaro)
02. 675, OS-32 Pete Jackson (’32 Coupe)
03. 654, OS-69 Gary Semper (Firebird)
04. 467, OS-60 Mick Elborough (Ford P100)
05. 463, OS-19 David Mahoney (Camaro)
06. 453, OS-27 Joe Baxter (Capri)
07. 444, OS-16 Dave Searle (Monaro)
08. 441, OS-46 John Latham (Chrysler PT)
08. 441, OS-74 Arnie Pamment (Mustang)
10. 424, OS-26 George Ralph (Triumph Gt6)
11. 244, OS-28 Simon Paul (Nissan GTR)
12. 240, OS-9 Rob Leyman (Chevy C10)
13. 238, OS-12 Barrie Wallis (VW Golf)
14. 235, OS-57 Nathan Stevens (VW Golf)
15. 234, OS-50 Paul Hughes (Hillman Imp)
16. 226, OS-72 Josh Stevens (Vauxhall Corsa)
17. 223, OS-20 Jason Clark (Pontiac)
18. 25, OS-6 Stephen Moule (Chevelle)
18. 25, OS-8 Mark Holmes (47 Chevy)
18. 25, OS-11 Joe Mills (Hillman Minx)
18. 25, OS-25 David Onken (Mustang)
18. 25, OS-29 Nathan Hulkes (Camaro)
18. 25, OS-33 Colin (Capri)
18. 25, OS-36 Jonny Morris (Ford Anglia)
18. 25, OS-38 Steve Curl (Ford Consul)
18. 25, OS-39 Ollie H Smith (Ford Ranchero)
18. 25, OS-41 Marc Post (Plymouth)
18. 25, OS-45 Kev Shepperson (Ford Rs2000)
18. 25, OS-56 Doug Harwood (Barracuda)
18. 25, OS-66 Pete Smith (Barracuda)
18. 25, OS-68 Debbie Taylor (Ford Mustang)