Editor´s Diary  October 8th 2012
by Andy Rogers
A weekend at home still reeling after the FIA European Finals and the staff were back on duty at Santa Pod Raceway for the first of two final rounds for the UK Championships to bring the fans all the news in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car.
The VP Racing Fuels National Finals was the final round for car classes, Top Fuel Bike and Junior Drag Bike with a Top Fuel Dragster on the facility for good measure.
Simon and Your Reporter were both on dual duty at this event.

As attentive readers will know Simon is one of the Co-ordinators of the UK National Drag Racing Championships, officiating for Avon Park International Racing Association, whilst Yvonne Tramm - mother of our own Kirstie and Pro Mod marshal, Pro Mod racer-in-waiting and anyone's crew Spencer - officiates for Santa Pod Racers Club. Not only was Simon collecting pit notes for our coverage but at this event he was also effortlessly working out Championship standings in real time. I was writing the live race report whilst simultaneously accompanying Santa Pod's excellent Track Announcer Colin Theobald on the commentary; my role was to provide nerd detail and the occasional sardonic comment, not to type too loud because it was coming out on the PA, and to avoid repeating howlers such as "Super Modified is pretty much anything goes, except that they have very strict engine rules". I still wake up screaming about that one.

Photographer for the weekend Julian Hunt was only doing the one job, but doing it very well indeed as always. Julian was toting two cameras and judging by the contents of their memory cards he was more than once using both cameras simultaneously so that kind of counts as dual duty. Similar to Patrik Jacobsson, who provided us with galleries at a number of European events this season, Julian has a real grasp of what we like our galleries to contain. He is himself a big fan of off-track and people shots, so much so that by the time you see Julian standing by the track first thing in the morning he has usually already been around the pits once. You can check out Julian's work at and in our VP Racing Fuels National Finals and Extreme Performance Bike Weekend galleries.

photo - Simon working on pit notes whilst Helen Todd of Zeon TV films for TV coverage and British Pro Mod Championship PR Robin Jackson watches the racing

Another Julian, Julian Parsons of Santa Pod's radio station Nitro FM, kindly offered us the use of spare capacity on the station's satellite uplink which meant that we were able to run the Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcam in much higher definition than previously. Maikel Gloudemans of our streaming service provider was constantly at the end of the phone, or more accurately on the end of WhatsApp, to answer dumb questions about camera and streaming settings. It all went very well, too, until Martin Hill came along with his Jet Funny Car and gave the Race Control network a bloody good seeing to, which took some work to recover whilst still reporting and commentating.

So how was the VP Racing Fuels National Finals? It's 2012, you know how this ends… eliminations were rained out after the first rounds on Sunday morning.

Two weekends later Julian and I were back at Santa Pod for the Extreme Performance Bike Weekend; as the event title suggests this one was the final round for all of the remaining bike classes. The Bike Weekend turned into the Downtime Nationals for various reasons including thick fog on Sunday morning which from my perch in Race Control rendered the track invisible beyond 300 feet or so. The sun eventually got rid of the fog and with Santa Pod Racers Club's peerless race officials and track crew on the case we got the event finished and the bike Champions crowned. Simon could not attend the race and didn't have web access for a lot of the weekend, but somehow he managed to find the time to send a post-qualifying Championship update on the Saturday evening and to provide a points spreadsheet, which even I could understand, to use on the Sunday to work out the Champions. I know you won't tell anyone so I will admit that, as the man who once stood like an idiot for some considerable time unable to subtract seventeen from thirty nine in front of a lot of people at a darts match, I was still a bit nervous about shagging up the sums and ascribing the Championship to the wrong person. I didn't but the credit is all Simon's for that spreadsheet.

At time of writing we have one event left to cover here in the UK, the Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway on Saturday 27th October. This is a real family event with drag racing demonstrations, stunts, fireworks and so on and the place is always rammed. We will hopefully have both Kirstie and Julian on photographic duty whilst Yours Truly has been invited to sit on on the commentary on the drag racing demos. The webcam will of course be broadcasting so if you can't be there then tune in to

In my next diary I'll tell you how we keep a daily drag racing news and coverage site running during the off-season.

All this and commentary too

Text: Andy Rogers for
Photos: Courtesy of

This article is part of the Speedgroup Club Europe Newsletter #14/2012

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