Editor's Diary 1
Easter was an eventful weekend for at least one of the Eurodragster.com staff. As I was on my way to Santa Pod on the Thursday a truck pulled out as I was passing it and my car was spun round, then ended up in front of the truck which T-boned me twice. My car was then pushed into the path of another truck which, luckily, stopped. I was OK - even my legendarily dodgy heart reacted calmly - but my car was dead. My insurance company were very good and within a few hours they had found me a replacement car so that I could go to the track. So I was a few hours late, but I made it. Just for good measure a muscle in my left leg snapped on the Friday. The pain was incredible but the very professional guys at M&S Ambulance Services, who provide medical cover at Santa Pod, tended to me and quickly decided not to put me out of my misery. I was going to spend most of the weekend sitting down anyway - Simon and Roger do all the physical work on our live event coverage - so I gritted my teeth and withstood the pain and made it through the race which was eventually cut short by rain. I tore those few days out of the diary although I don't need a diary to remind me of the concern and good wishes from readers all around the world. I don't doubt that many of those are reading this diary. Thank you all.
It was all so different the weekend before as Kirstie and I covered Santa Pod's Run What You Brung and Peak Performance Day, one of two pre-Easter test weekends in the UK. It was one of those weekends when everything goes right and I am very happy and proud to work for Eurodragster.com. I love test weekends because they are a lot more relaxed with none of the unrelenting pressure of race events, and because courtesy of our photo kit sponsors Landmeco I get a rare chance to take pictures.
Eurodragster.com photographer Kirstie Tramm photo: Julian Hunt
As regular Eurodragster.com readers will know, Kirstie crews on a Super Pro ET team which means that she can only cover test weekends and overseas events with us. Kirstie always brings a new angle to our photo galleries, in fact so much so that people quite often write and tell us that they know at which number in a gallery her pictures start. She effortlessly takes pictures of which I would never in a million years conceive and her candid end-of-the-track people shots are particularly popular with fans. Kirstie was as ever on form with the camera at the test weekend and even I managed to get some acceptable shots especially on the Sunday. In fact I had so much fun with the camera that I didn’t make any notes and had to reconstruct each day's events for our eager readers from the timing system run logs.
The test weekend was also the first proper run out for our new Webster Race Engineering/Nimbus Motorsport webcam. The new camera is actually capable of true High Definition but High Def takes more than the available internet bandwidth, so we run it in as high quality as we can. This year the picture is larger and the quality is so good that we have advised anyone who is "off sick" from work not to walk in front of it as they will be clearly identifiable. On those rare occasions when I walk out in front of the webcam I quickly get text messages on my phone, the best-ever being from my buddy Malcolm who told me "With that camera on your stomach you look like an upside-down dalek". This is the same Malcolm who once told me that he knew that I was writing the race reports "Because they read as if that bloke from The Good Old Days is doing them". Maikel Gloudemans and the guys at Doyousee.me have signed up to provide streaming services to Eurodragster.com again this season and they are also recording all events which we broadcast so that they can be replayed.
Eurodragster.com Editor Andy "Tog" Rogers - photo: Åsa Kinnemar Speedgroup
Planning for this season's Alamo Rent A Car-sponsored Eurodragster.com European Championship coverage is quite well-advanced. I have been working with the never-idle Åsa, who liaises with tracks and powers-that-be on our behalf, and as things stand Eurodragster.com will be covering every Championship round live this season. Put it this way, most of the travel has been booked. Because of day jobs and school term dates we can't have the full team of Kirstie, Simon, Roger and myself at every event. At some events it will just be Yours Truly with help from a stand-in pool of Julian Hunt, Markus Ek, Markus Münch, Patrik Jacobsson and, hopefully making a characteristic last-minute decision to attend, the legendary Naughty Swede Christer Abrahamson. We are also hoping that Eurodragster.com's US Correspondent Ed O'Connell will make it to Europe again this season. One of my closest friends on the whole planet Ed, who has been going racing since the early 1960s, has cut an unmistakable figure on the European Tour in the last few years and is very popular amongst the racing community. Ed's enthusiasm for European drag racing is reflected in his endless hard work for our event coverage - one moment accompanying Simon into the pits and the next working trackside - and his ever-cheerful demeanour: he is one of those guys around whom it is impossible to be miserable for very long, if at all.
US based Eurodragster.com editor Ed O'Connell photo: Kirstie Tramm
At time of writing we have two UK Championship events on consecutive weekends, at Santa Pod and Shakespeare County Raceways and for which I can't wait, and then our thoughts turn to the FIA Main Event. The lead-in to the start of the European Championship season is one of the busiest times of the year for Eurodragster.com. In the last couple of years Eurodragster.com and Speedgroup have co-operated on previews from racers and other event news, giving each other due credit, and doubtless we will be doing that again and if anything we will be working more closely. By the time you read this you should be seeing the fruits of that co-operation on both of our web sites. Be sure to send your race previews to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and Åsa and I will do the rest. Assuming there aren't any events to overtake us my next piece will be a diary of our FIA Main Event weekend. In the meantime thank you for reading, thank you for your support of Eurodragster.com, and I'll see you on the web, at the track, or back here in the newsletter very soon.