with Jerry Cookson
As the 44th season of racing at Long Marston draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on the last big Shakey event: the NSRA Hot Rod Drags. No doubt the Drags will be getting its spot in these pages (see p66! – DS) but for me, up there in the tower with my buddy, Shaun Wilson, the high spot – and I do truly mean the high spot – was the mountain-climbing wheelstand achieved by Matt Fuller at the butterfly tiller of the injected Wild Bunch Funny Car, Oblivion. Although the nine-second Hillman Avenger altered has tried to climb before, no way had it hit these dizzy heights. The only damage sustained was a bent tube axle and damaged front wheel arches when it came down with a thud. Oh, and you might have guessed, the oil pan took a beating too, but thankfully kept the slippery fluid at bay! Matt and the team (including former Outlaw Anglia racer Pete Moore) report that the repair work is well under way and a new set of custom wheelie bars are on order.
This year’s Drags were the busiest ever in its 29-year history, with hardly a blade of grass visible on the camp field. Although the weather was a bit of a disruption, curtailing the planned Cacklefest, everyone I have spoken to had nothing but good, positive vibes about the event. The racing held by the Outlaws known as Supercharged and Anglia was first rate as usual. Congratulations to Paul Watts and Colin Millar for their championship wins, respectively.
Two weeks later, after the all the dust had settled, it was back to the raceway to resume its popular RWYB Public Track Weekends and, more importantly, the third annual end-of-season Super Gamblers. With a huge entry from racers we usually see populating Sportsman and Pro ET, the win and the money finally went to Outlaw Street racer Nathan Hulkes at the wheel of his Twisted 8 Camaro, after taking out Rich Addock’s Audi in the final. Well done, a nice end to what had been a miserable season for Nathan.
However, a week before that, the Shakey crew were called in to run the drag demos for Mark Ashman’s Rodfathers UK club at Sywell Aerodrome’s Pistons & Props event. Although Saturday saw two good sessions of head-to-head drag racing out on track, this is where I was taken ill and eventually wound up in the good hands of the cardiac staff of Kettering Hospital following a severe heart attack. I would like to take this opportunity to say a massive thanks to the boys and girls from Taz Racing, as well as the racers, friends and everyone else who knows me for all the “get well” messages of support. It means a lot that I mean a lot to you guys. Thank you.
The National Street Car Challenge headed back over to York Raceway for their final meeting of the year on September 30th… and, at time of writing, potentially the final meeting there ever. Ian Walley had already sewn up the overall championship, but there were other placings to fight for, and nine hardy souls braved the swamps and came out to play.
Ian Walley led the field with a string of 10s, followed by Derek Beck’s TVR and James Murray’s MkII Cortina in the elevens, and there were no upsets in the first round. That’s as far as it got, though, as, at around 3.30pm, the rain began rattling down without any sign of let-up, and most folks headed for the comfort of their tents or ventured homeward.
This photo of champion Ian (left) shaking hands (cack-handedly) with series organiser James Murray, tells you everything you need to know about northerners – it’s belting with rain, colder than the seat on a polar bear’s outside khazi, and he’s still got his shorts on! It’s a shame we didn’t get to run the final to conclusion, and, with venues still uncertain, it’s all up in the air for 2018. When we find out, you’ll read about it here first, or find more at www.nscc.info.
The Word Of Pod
pic credit Dave DJ Jones and Dan Smith
As the 2017 season draws to a close and we hunker down for winter, here at The Pod we are busy gearing up for next year. And what a year we have in store! As ever, Santa Pod Raceway’s calendar promises action-packed, adrenaline fueled, full throttle spectacles both on and off the track, with one hell of a line up introducing several new events throughout the season, headlined by the return of the Doorslammers! For the latest news, events, and to book early bird tickets (after November 1st, 2017), visit www.santapod.com or call 01234 782828.
Festival Of Power, March 30th-April 1st
Santa Pod’s season opener. Topping the bill will be Top Fuel Dragsters, Nitro Funny Cars and the famous Jet Car Shootout, all supported by a full programme of National Championship racing. Off track offers a plethora of family entertainment, ranging from monster trucks to stunt displays, sideshows and more. Anything powerful goes at this event!
Doorslammers, May 19th-20th
Huge cash payouts attracting the best doorslammers in Europe. The quickest cars go head to head, including the unlimited Pro Doorslammer class, the True Street class and the Big Bracket. More info coming soon…!
The Main Event FIA/FIM European Drag Racing Championships, May 25th-28th
Spring Bank Holiday weekend means four days of high-speed action in the first round of the European Championships. With a huge entry of more than 260 teams, expect to see Europe’s finest battle it out on the famous quarter, with ground-shaking, 300mph Top Fuel Dragsters, 200mph Drag Bikes and a full range of supporting classes. With the famous Jet Cars, monster trucks and Live Action Arena, this is the perfect event for the hardcore drag racing fan and families alike!
Dragstalgia, July 13th-15th
Taking you back to the way we were, this nostalgic event is dedicated to historic drag racing in an adrenaline-fueled blast from the past! Expect nostalgia drag racing aplenty from classic classes, historic displays, massive show’n’shine paddock and Dragstalgia Beer Festival. Saturday night showcases the famous ‘Cracklefest’ and fire burnouts! Nostalgic costumes encouraged!
The Euro Finals FIA/FIM European Drag Racing Championships, September 6th-9th
The very greatest, fastest and loudest spectacle in drag racing, this is the final battle in the Championship wars! See the crème de la crème of the drag racing world go all out to secure titles and trophies, from the iconic Top Fuel Dragsters, to a full range of supporting classes in all shapes and sizes! With the famous Jet Cars, monster trucks and Live Action Arena shows, this event is unrivalled for both the quality and quantity of high-octane entertainment. Don’t miss the nitro cars running at dusk on Friday, topped off with side-by-side Jet Cars and a firework finale.
Flame & Thunder, October 27th
This action-packed spectacular ends the season with a bang, offering a huge array of attractions and entertainment for the whole family. Anything goes at Flame & Thunder, including wild and wacky drag racing demos plus a Jet Car Jamboree! The off-track line-up is just as entertaining with a full Live Action Arena schedule of stunts, displays and monster truck mayhem. Add in an array of sideshows, that all-important bonfire and a show stopping firework display, you’re guaranteed to get a big bang for your buck.
Outlaw StreetRound OS-7
Shakespeare County Raceway Sept 31st – Oct 1st
Words: Mark Wallington, photography: Mike Burrowes
I’ve got to start this by saying THANKS, THANKS and THANKS again to all the team at SCR who worked themselves to death keeping the track going all weekend, despite Mother Nature’s best efforts to drop the contents of the Atlantic Ocean onto the track. Thanks to their non-stop work we managed two full days of racing.
Yes, it was October; yes, it was cold; yes, it rained; and yes, guess what, in true drag racing spirit the PB’s kept rolling in over the weekend, with happy faces and pats on the back to OS-57 Nathan Stevens and brother OS-72 Josh Stevens, OS-68 Debbie Taylor and OS-32 Pete Jackson, all going home with new PBs. The Joe & Co sponsored Reaction Time trophy was won for the third consecutive time by OS-29 Nathan Hulkes in his LS Camaro with a 0.096 RT beating the competition by 0.035 of a second to bag the win.
As we now approach our final round of the 2017 series (Shakespeare County Raceway, October 28th-29th), the league table for the top 12 looks like this:
League Table prior to Final Round
- 1,347 points – OS-34 Gary Carr, 1968 Camaro
- 1,296 – OS-16 David Searle, Vauxhall Monaro
- 1,251 – OS-26 George Ralph, Triumph GT6
- 1,106 – OS-19 David Mahoney, 1968 Camaro
- 1,096 – OS-60 Mick Elborough, Ford P100
- 1,070 – OS-68 Debbie Taylor, Mustang
- 1,057 – OS-57 Nathan Stevens, VW Golf
- 1,053 – OS-72 Josh Stevens, Corsa
- 891 – OS-32 Pete Jackson, ’32 Coupe
- 883 – OS-09 Rob Leyman, 1973 C10
- 878 – OS-29 Nathan Hulkes, 1998 Camaro
- 850 – OS-30 Mike Pidgeon, MkII Escort