Editor´s Diary 

In most editions, so also this time,  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..   
If I kept a diary then I would have torn out most of the days of The Race Formerly Known As The FIA Main Event (a phrase which I really should have registered as a trademark when I first used it here). Sunday would have been left in and that page would have been full;what a day it was with three cycles of Pro qualifying and tight Sportsman action.

You know how busy your coverage team gets at race events but that day was manic even by our own standards. By the end of the day I had eyes like saucers and a spinning head and  pit reporter Simon and photographers Julian and Patrik, having been on their feet all day, were visibly exhausted. Everyone was too excited to be tired, though, since it had been one of the finest days of qualifying any of us had ever seen, and some of us have been going racing for nearly forty years. Monday was a totally different proposition and I think we’re all agreed that it was a relief when Race Director Robin Shone, with no other option, finally delivered the coup de grace.

Our Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcasts are a popular part of our Event Coverage but for some time I have been a little dissatisfied with the broadcasts because our expensive HD webcam had a habit of going out of focus when it got hot. Now, I realise that this is not often a problem in England but the camera got hot in normal use anyway. The plastic casing would expand and pull the lens and CCD apart and the outer edges of the picture would blur leaving a small circular clear spot in the middle of the picture. No-one ever complained about it, which surprises me to this day since any type of webcast disruption usually results in instant and strident bitching, but I was keenly aware that things were not as good as they could be. During FIA / FIM Round 1 I spoke to Maikel of our streaming service provider Doyousee.me, who got the contract to broadcast that race, and took his advice on cameras. Pretty shortly afterwards a new High Definition camcorder was on its way to the offices of Eurodragster.com together with all the other bits and pieces needed to capture its output for web broadcast.

The guaranteed cure for a bad day :)

photo: The nerve centre of the new Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcasts

The first outing for the new webcam was at the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. The Nostalgia Nationals is one of two superb nostalgia events at SCR each year and features pre-1973 Run What You Brung plus the Wild Bunch, the Supercharged Outlaws, Outlaw Anglia and much more. We could easily have been in California since the weather was glorious. I spent the first half of Saturday refining the new webcast. There was a lot to learn with the new camera and video mixing software but with a lot of advice from Maikel I got the hang of it and that weekend’s webcast was a real hit. I even found gainful employment for the previous webcam which was trained upon Track Announcers Barry Bohannon and Paul Wright and included within the main broadcast in a small picture-in-picture. The Towercam seemed like a great idea at the time and indeed it was right up to the moment when Wrighty walked into vision and promptly took off his shirt. I had just about finished dealing with the response to that when Barry sat down and somewhat indelicately ate his lunch on camera. Luckily one can forgive those two guys just about anything and Wrighty did provide my Quote of the Weekend when I thought I had him on a technicality. As the RWYB was pre-1973 Wrighty had decided that the music should also be pre-1973 and I can tell you that he did a bang-up job of it all weekend with lots of classic surf-and-drag era music, rockabilly and lots of other great tunes. I requested that Wrighty play some Gilbert and Sullivan, arguing quite correctly that it was pre-1973, and Wrighty responded “1973? That’s pre-f***ing 1873!”.

This weekend just gone was the SPRC Summernationals and it was another frustrating weekend with Mother Nature, the bitch, doing everything she could do try to wreck the event and ultimately succeeding, although the SPRC track crew, race officials and the racers kept working to the last moment to try to keep racing going. I must pay similar tribute to Simon and Julian who worked very hard on the pit notes and photography. Whilst we were all sitting grumbling about the rain Simon ventured out into it to get notes, and Julian likewise took pictures in the pits when the track was closed. Although there was an intermittent problem with the satellite uplink on Saturday, the webcast was in glorious close-to-HD with stereo sound and proved very popular. SPR prefer us not to broadcast a Towercam (given that I was one of the Track Announcers for this one I can understand why) so I used the second camera to look across to the front of the pairing lanes so that viewers could see what was coming next. I also made a lot of use of the video software’s caption facility, although you won’t be surprised to hear that the first caption I posted was “Rain delay”.

On to this week and Simon is headed to Alastaro to cover this weekend’s FHRA Nitro Nationals. His first challenge will be to make it up the rickety stairs to the commentary booth; I have been on easier assault courses and although I have never done any mountaineering I understand that the north face of the Eiger is less vertical. Simon will posting race reports, and photographs will be supplied by regular contributor Patrik Jacobsson and, drafted in for this weekend, Eero Saarela. You will be able to stay in touch with the action via our Alamo Rent A Car-sponsored Event Coverage at www.eurodragster.com.


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 

The Editor - Andy Tog Rogers founder of  Eurodragster.com
photo: Åsa Kinnemar/Speedgroup

This article is part of the Speedgroup Club Europe Newsletter July Alastaro Preview Edition 2014

Published by Speedgroup www.speedgroup.eu
All material, text, images and logtypes are the property of Speedgroup AB
Any use of the above requires permission from Speedgroup
email: asa.kinnemar@speedgroup.eu
© Speedgroup 2014