Editor´s Diary 
In most editions Eurodragster.com editor Andy "Tog" Rogers shares his thoughts and fill readers in on how Eurodragster.com´s daily work is operated by its dedicated staff, all year round, more or less 7 days a week..this time the Editor reflects on the recent NitrOlympX at HockenheimRing and forward towards the Scandinavian Internats at Sweden´s Tierp Arena.  
There is always a particular thrill about going to Hockenheim. I love the drive from Frankfurt, again facilitated by Andy Wheeler of our sponsor Alamo Rent-A-Car who had kindly arranged us a very swish hire car, I love the twisting and turning through the outskirts of Hockenheim itself and then turning in to the facility by the Bird Park and driving past those imposing grandstands. There's even something to like about all those checkpoints you have to get through at the track. I particularly love the reception we get from Christine and Peter Calwer and their media team and I look forward to seeing what little joke they have played on my media pass. This year my pass read "His Royal Togness".

photo: Media Pass His Royal Togness

Then the walk through the pits down to Race Control to renew my acquaintance with Benni Voss, the unmistakable Voice Of The NitrOlympX and the fastest voice this side of the Urals. I spend the three days of the race sat next to Benni and it amazes me just how much of what he is saying I understand, or at least think I understand. I also experience this phenomenon with Christer Abrahamson and Björn Sundkvist when they rattle away in Swedish at Tierp Arena so I am guessing that at a subconscious level drag racing has a universal language. What? Well yes, I usually understand Colin, Barry and Darryl too.

On the subject of the walk through the pits, in my day job I have a chum who is very keen indeed on Formula 1 and I had a plan to send her a picture of myself appearing to urinate on the start line of the circuit, but in the end I settled for a shot of the line of Top Fuel Dragster pits on the home straight and sent it to her with a droll comment about treating a circuit with the contempt it deserved. She took it very well and even expressed herself jealous that I was there.

I have written in these pages before that reporting on the NitrOlympX is an intensive task. It was a little easier this time around because timekeeper Yasin Özer, who was an endless source of help during the event, was posting results on-line so I ran a split-screen report with links to those and concentrated on session commentaries, and fellow Tech Crew member Thomas Popp had devised a live commentators' screen for Super Pro ET and Pro ET which spared me a lot of high-speed arithmetic. Of course, I still did the Pro reports and full standings manually and that was its usual lively self. However, one of the mitigating factors at Hockenheim is the lunch break. I think that these breaks are a requirement of the local authorities but, either way, even a short break makes all the difference. Whilst maniacally reporting the next break is a beacon on the horizon and then when it arrives I can step outside, get some air, get lunch from the Media Centre and maybe even get to say Hello to racers in the pairing lanes and then go back inside refreshed and ready for the next onslaught. Benni also helped to keep me going with the usual limitless supply of Liptons Ice Tea which is so much more refreshing on the Continent where it comes gently carbonated.

photo: Everything you need to report a race live, including Liptons Ice Tea

photo: Tog´s and Benni Voss work place overlooking the impressive Rico Anthes Quartermile.

Meanwhile Kirstie, Simon and Julian were outside in the heat all day taking photographs and getting pit notes. I bow to no-one in my admiration of my colleagues who do all the physical work for hours on end, quite often in difficult conditions. Kirstie and Julian pulled double duty on the Saturday when having spent a long day photographing qualifying they then stayed on their feet late into the evening to cover the Night Show, and I don't know when Simon actually sat down to type up his pit notes because he seemed to be almost permanently in the pits getting more.

photo: Kirstie cheering on Scottish racer Colin Millar

My only dodgy moment was half way through Saturday's first Pro qualifying session when my timing console repeater screen gave a flicker and then went off. I turned to look at Benni's screen and it was still on – this was of course both good news and bad news. Then my screen came back on. Then it went off again, then on, then off etc. With one of those breaks I mentioned due after the qualifying session, which would hopefully give us time to sort something out, I figured that I should be able to hold out and stepped back and forth between Benni's station and mine writing down results and then typing them into the report. A short period of downtime during that qualifying session gave me a moment to run down to Yas to ask him if he had a spare screen. Yas is one of those guys who is pretty much saying "Yes" before you ask for something and, sure enough, during the lunch break he appeared in our office with a replacement screen. Thanks Yas, you saved that day's race report.

There was a long, long list of highlights but for me the best aspect of this year's NitrOlympX was seeing the new track surface deliver from the very first turn of a wheel on the Friday. There's no need to dwell on what happened last year but in any case this year's race exorcised those demons. I have long known NitrOlympX Race Director Jerry Lackey to be a decent and honourable man and he was almost inconsolable after the last NitrOlympX so it was great to see him smiling beatifically more than once during the weekend. You only have to look at Pro and Sportsman qualifying after day one of the race to see what a good call the Hockenheimring management and Jerry and his team made. Supplementing their own track crew with Santa Pod Raceway's own experts was another stroke of genius because, as everyone knows, those guys are amongst the best on the planet.

At time of writing we have a weekend at home and then the staff of Eurodragster.com go on split duties. Kirstie and I will be heading for Tierp Arena to cover the Scandinavian Internationals with additional photography from our good buddy Patrik Jacobsson whilst Simon and photographer for the weekend Grace Roaf will be at Shakespeare County Raceway to cover the Open Sport Nationals, a UK Championship round.

Smart TV will be providing the webcast from Tierp whilst our own Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast from Shakespeare County Raceway will kindly be provided in my absence by Tim Long with the assistance of Maikel Gloudemans of our streaming service provider Doyousee.me. With reports, pictures and webcasts nobody has any excuse to miss either event.

In closing, here's a quiz for regular readers of this Diary. On the return journey, one of our number was pulled over and patted down by Security at Frankfurt Airport. Was it: (a) Simon, (b) Simon, or (c) Simon?


Eurodragster.com was established in 1998 and is Europe's leading drag racing web site. Eurodragster.com presents daily news updates from the world of European drag racing as well as live event coverage, features and interviews. Further racer blogs, championship points standings, free classified advertisement service and more. Eurodragster.com also works closely with organising bodies and officials to bring essential information to the notice of racers as soon as possible - within minutes if necessary. During the race season Eurodragster.com attracts more than ten thousand visitors per day and approaching fifteen million hits per month.

You can contact the News Desk at  news@eurodragster.com 

Text: introduction by Åsa Kinnemar 
Editor´s Diary by Andy "Tog" Rogers
Photos: Julian Hunt and Tog, Eurodragster.com

This article is part of the Speedgroup Club Europe Newsletter #10/2013

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