Editor´s Diary
December 4th 2012
by: Andy Rogers
Our Alamo Rent-A-Car sponsored Event Coverage schedule for 2012 officially ended with the Flame and Thunder Show at Santa Pod Raceway, complete with Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast courtesy of's streaming services. However US Correspondent Ed O'Connell extended our season by volunteering to fly down to Georgia to cover November's Haltech World Finals, the last round of the Manufacturers Cup, which as you know was contested by a number of European racers.
Regular readers of both and this Editor's Diary will be familiar with our very popular American staff member Ed and his contributions to the web site. Ed has for several years sent reports and pictures from US events at which European racers are in action, and has often made the long trip to this side of the Pond to join the team to make a valuable contribution to our coverage of events at Santa Pod Raceway, Mantorp Park, Hockenheim and Tierp Arena. At the Haltech World Finals, though, Ed would be the sole representative of and would be taking on a task usually requiring three people: pit notes, race reports and photographs.

If you were tuned in to News during the Haltech World Finals then you will have seen what a bang-up job Ed did. He sent daily detailed pit notes, results and a huge number of pictures starting the day before the event proper and finishing the day after the event. He got round to see everyone several times a day. I don't know when he found the time to sleep. Ed's write-up of Sunday's eliminations arrived at 03:00 on Monday morning… his time, not ours! It quickly became apparent from our web site statistics that not just regular readers but American fans were tuning in to in huge numbers to find out what had been going on at Valdosta, so word had obviously got round. Some of this was thanks to Ian King, whose drag bike-centred site at has readers the world over; Ian kindly plugged Ed's coverage daily.

The European racers at Valdosta were very appreciative indeed of Ed's work, and we were all immensely proud of and grateful for the job he did. The good news is that Ed is currently not fired ( in-joke) and the even better news is that he is making noises about coming to Europe in 2013.

Ed got this shot of Per Bengtsson qualifying at Valdosta

Meanwhile, back in England, the staff were accepting kind invitations to end-of-season parties. Alas lack of funds prevented our attendance at the EDRS Banquet; maybe next year. Kirstie attended the famous Pro ET Bash, which could have been a very sombre affair due to the death of enormously popular crew member John Byrne a few days previously, but which by all accounts turned into a great memorial shindig in Big John's honour thereby doing him proud and of course bringing great credit upon Pro ET.

Although invited I could not attend the Pro ET Bash as I was attending this year's selection meeting of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame. Obviously I cannot say anything about our deliberations but I don't think that it is a breach of confidence to say that it was an excellent and fruitful meeting, and that the cocktail sausages were awesome and short-lived.

The next weekend it was my turn to party: I was invited to attend the Wild Bunch Dinner Dance and Presentation as their Guest of Honour, which was a real privilege. During the presentation MC Barry Bohannon gave me a very generous introduction and then Wild Bunch head honchos Claire Meaddows and Chris Hartnell surprised me with the presentation of a beautiful trophy. I gave a short speech explaining why I believe that the Wild Bunch are the planet's standard bearers for Nostalgia racing. The ovation which followed could only be stopped by my asking everyone to sit down because they reminded me what I short-arse I am.

We will allow ourselves a couple of days off at Christmas but not before we have left our readers plenty to look at with the legendary Christmas Eve update, on which we are already working. Longtime readers will know that the Christmas Eve update traditionally features Drag Racing Unplugged, a selection of quotes from the year's event coverage, Champions' Champions, an analysis of European and UK Championship points provided by Andy Marrs of TSI Timers Europe and our very own Simon, and the staff's Christmas list toppers and New Year resolutions.

At this time of year the next date in the diary is usually Autosport International, the annual motorsport show at the NEC in January. Autosport is a huge show which is spread across several very large exhibition halls, making for long and tiring days mostly spent on your feet. We attend the second Trade and Press Day and the first Public Day; a lot of sponsors appear at the Trade and Press Days, and for several years Santa Pod Raceway have had a large display on the Public Days which acted as a magnet for racers upon whom we then descended armed with notebooks and pens, although at time of writing it appears that SPR will not be there this time around. If this is the case then we may not attend Autosport International and instead save the time off work for later in the season.

Autosport International is a huge show

The next racing celebration on the social calendar is the joint APIRA / SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation, one of my favourite nights of the year, which takes place in early February and at which the UK National and Club Champions are honoured together with the recipients of the Clubs' Perpetual Awards. Voting for the Perpetual Awards will start shortly on and all readers, whether in the UK or not, are eligible to vote.

As always happens in December, things have really quietened down on the news front on Even Adam Flamholc has run his last race in the USA for this year. So for the next few months we are utterly dependent upon the racers to keep us abreast of what is going on in their workshops. There are thousands of fans out there eager to know what you are up to and what you have planned for 2013. Now, a lot of racers have Facebook pages but even if you have 1,000 Facebook Friends and followers, has several thousand readers daily even at this time of year. So please help us to help you, your fans, and your sponsors: keep the news and spy pictures coming to and if you would like to volunteer to be the subject of a Feature then the address is the same. Thank you!

To everyone reading and this Editor's Diary, and to the European and worldwide drag racing communities, Kirstie, Simon, Ed and I thank you for your loyalty and support and wish you a very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The Book of Remembrance for John Byrne at the Pro ET Bash...

Text: Andy Rogers for
Photos: Courtesy of

This article is part of the Speedgroup Club Europe Newsletter #15/2012

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