with Jerry Cookson
I’m sure by now most Street Machine readers will know that Shakey supports a thriving Bracket Racing programme with the motorcycle class bracket added in recent months. Since we started in 2010 (that’s some 17 years ago)(Are you sure?! – DS) we’ve seen many winners in our start line Victory Lane celebrations; some new and some repeat winners. But the most popular came just a few months ago from the aptly named Bert & Ernie Racing Team led by Pete Lane and his buddy Dave Coombes.
Both are petrolheads through and through, leading to the formation of their locally based team which now includes family and friends. Recently Dave’s wife Nina has been desperate to get her hands on one of Shakey’s special Bracket Race trophies and show the rest of the team and her fellow racers that women are as good as the blokes.
After picking up a runner-up placing against Nick Barnett’s Gasser Falcon at the May race, it finally came good in the held-over Big Bucks Bracket Gambler at the Street Drags Weekend when she drove her 1996 Lexus LS400, affectionately called Lexie, to her first win against season campaigner Vic Parsons and his 440ci ’65 Plymouth Belvedere. In that final it was so close at the finishing stripe that neither Nina nor Vic knew who had won. The suspense on the start line built up until yours truly announced who had won; Nina’s 14.845 (14.82 dial) to Vic’s 11.420. For Nina it wasn’t about the winner’s money (well slightly, I guess) but getting her hands on a winner’s trophy to go next to her runner-up version.
This team, in the short period that I have known them, has grown and become great friends of the race track. Even when they’re not racing in a straight line, Dave can be found racing his Drift Rod Mercedes (which has also seen action at the strip) around the tarmac oval at Standlake Arena. And this sport’s all about helping each other, whether it’s team member Vern’s Kawasaki Street Bike or a friend’s daily driver, they’re there, pitching in to make it all happen. The wives and girlfriends pitch in too, even if it’s just slaving over a hot camping stove at race weekend.
Come rain or shine, the team spirit never leaves. Whether it’s Pete’s street driven Barracuda or his blown Pontiac Firebird, he’s there. Even a Custom Sport Transit called Claude Van Dam gets pressed into service when everything around him has broken! For that spirit and that will to win at whatever the cost, Shakey salutes you. Long live Bert & Ernie Racing.
Outlaw Street Round 4
Words & photography: Mark Wallington
Back to our ‘home from home’ for round four, the Mopar EuroNationals at Santa Pod; their 24th year and Outlaw Street’s eighth year of attending and supporting.
There were trophies up for grabs all weekend, but to be honest the people who really deserved a trophy were the Santa Pod track crew who worked like maniacs all weekend, fighting back the monsoons of rain that had come in every night.
We had a massive turnout of cars with more than 40 members and 30 cars racing for the weekend, running eights to 18s, in all manner of projectiles from diesel power, to four-cylinder Pinto, to small-block and big-block V8 Fords and Chevys, normally aspirated, single turbo, twin turbos, nitrous and even a drop of methanol…
We had several happy faces over the weekend including David Mahoney in his twin turbo Camaro who broke into the nines with a 9.94 @ 138mph, plus a few sad faces needing trailers to get home as they’d underestimated just how sticky the track can be when it’s prepped for Pro-Mods to run on…
To mix things up a bit for the weekend we had a one-off heads-up shootout with its own custom trophy, with pairings drawn out of the hat/crash helmet. It took four rounds and 10 pairings to whittle down to the winner, with Gary Carr and his 540 big block Camaro claiming the trophy. Follow Outlaw Street at www.outlawstreet.co.uk.
The Word Of Pod
Santa Pod Raceway is gearing up for the biggest drag racing event of the year. The FIA/FIM European Finals is the jewel in the crown, featuring more than 250 teams representing over 14 countries, as the crème de la crème of the Drag Racing fraternity gathers this September 7th to 10th at the world-famous quarter mile to settle the season’s major continental championships.
Topping the bill are the iconic, nitro burning, 300mph Top Fuel Dragsters, which accelerate from 0-100mph in less than a second! Showcased in a feature unique to this event, ‘Friday Night Nitro’ sees these astounding machines launch thunderously into the twilight as they hit the track at dusk with their exhaust header flames leaping six feet high! Nitro Funny Cars, flame-throwing Jet Cars, along with the one and only Rocket Bike join in on the evening’s action, climaxing in a spectacular firework display.
Finland’s reigning FIA Top Fuel champion, Anita Mäkelä, is making hard work of her title defence, with three first-round defeats nullifying strong qualifying performances. Malta’s Duncan Micallef holds a commanding championship lead and Britain’s Liam Jones qualified on pole in each of the last two Santa Pod FIA races (2016’s European Finals and 2017’s Main Event), gunning for his first victory in drag racing’s Formula One class.
The Finals feature Pro Mod classes in a combined FIA/MSA round; machines with doorslammer bodyshells that cloak pure racing chassis and colossally powerful engines. Pro Stock and Top Methanol are also in the running, supported by a broad array of Sportsman classes with entries from far and wide.
On two wheels, the FIM shootouts feature 200mph Top Fuel Bikes supported by Nitro Super Twin Bike, Pro Stock Bike and Super Street Bike classes.
If you fancy a change of pace away from the strip, the off-track entertainment is just as compelling with the stunt infested Live Action Arena featuring the Maltese masters of drifting, Team Maximum Lock, as well as the monstrous Monster Trucks causing car crushing carnage!
Pull into the fast lane this September and enjoy a weekend full of high-octane, exciting family entertainment! Day tickets start from £32. As ever, kids under 16 go free (max three per adult). To view the full line-up and to book tickets, please visit www.santapod.com or call 01234 782828.
There’s a big gap between race dates for the National Street Car Challenge – between the beginning of July and the end of August – at York Raceway. However, as participants can score points by attending various other shows, cruises and race events, they’re never idle.
One such event was the Mopar Euronationals, and bringing these guys to the drag strip and expecting them not to have a go is a waste of neural activity. NSCC stalwart Simon Boot went along and joined in with the Top Sportsman shootout. In round one, he drew Joel Kerr in the amazing seven-second turbo Pontiac named Stiff Shifter (Joel is a funeral director…).
Simon chose to demonstrate how supercharged car drivers stage against turbo car drivers: you burn out, then… wait. It helps if you bring something to read. This was only a stunt, of course – Simon only waited long enough for the photo, then staged. That wouldn’t have been very Sportsmanlike otherwise.
The NSCC will be back at York Raceway over August bank holiday weekend. See more at www.nscc.info.