Editorīs Diary 


In most editions, so also this time,  Eurodragster.com editor Andy "Tog" Rogers shares his thoughts and fill readers in on how Eurodragster.comīs daily work is operated by its dedicated staff, all year round, more or less 7 days a week..   
At time of writing it's gone one in the morning and my eyes are drooping after a long and enjoyable weekend of testing at Santa Pod Raceway prior to Round 1 of the FIA and FIM European Championships. We are well into the season here in the UK having commenced in mid-April with Big Bang, a family-oriented VW event which as well as Volkswagen Drag Racing Club Championships hosted a round of the UK National Drag Racing Championships for certain classes. The Festival of Power, a full UK Championship round for cars and bikes including MSA Pro Modified, followed a week later and then we headed for Shakespeare County Raceway for the Springspeed Nationals. As ever the Eurodragster.com staff have been reporting from the track live in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car, with Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast on servers provided by Doyousee.me.

The live coverage machine is well-oiled by now but we had to change roles at the Springspeed Nationals. We were down two photographers as Julian could not attend and Kirstie, although present at Shakespeare County Raceway, was crewing with her partner Tom who races in Super Pro ET. This left one photographer, i.e. me. "But Tog, you write the live race reports don't you?", attentive Eurodragster.com readers are asking. Correct! Luckily Simon is also able to turn his hand to live reports so he volunteered to write the updates which meant that I could photograph. This was particularly generous of Simon since, as regular readers will also know, he spent a number of days trackside at the March Meet in Bakersfield where he not only did a bang-up job but he also got a taste for blood in regard to trackside photography. But Simon offered to write the reports at SCR and I said "Yes" very quickly before he could change his mind.

One photographer is not enough for a three-day event so we recruited previous Contributing Photographer Grace Roaf. As usual Grace did a great job even when, thanks to the good offices of the APIRA race officials, she accompanied me on her first ever trip to the top end for parachute photography.


photo: Grace Roaf caught this parachute shot of Eurodragster.com sponsor Pete Walters

At Shakespeare County Raceway you can't see the cars and bikes coming until they clear the finish line so the only real clue to what's coming is the sound, and then when the vehicles emerge from behind the guardrails you have moments to spot and then catch the vehicle with the chute since they are, obviously, moving pretty damn quick and are past you in seconds. This is all done squinting through a camera viewfinder. After each pair came past I would hear off to my left the quiet clicking of camera buttons and then, quite often, a sigh from Grace. What she was sighing about I don't know since she got more parachute pictures than I did.


photo: Tethys headlined the Run What You Brung with two Top Fuel licence passes

With The Race Formerly Known As The FIA Main Event a few days away a number of racers took advantage of this weekend's Run What You Brung and Peak Performance Day. I don't usually single racers out because it tends to generate E-Mails from those who don’t get mentioned but I don't think that anyone would argue that there were two Stars of the Show during the test weekend. At Saturday's Run What You Brung the star was Tethys, who will be driving one of Rune Fjeld's Top Fuel Dragsters this week. Tet cut his nitro teeth in Dave Wilson's A/Fuel Dragster and put in a pair of very competent drives towards his Top Fuel licence. On the first run the tyres started to smoke about three hundred feet out and Tet was off the gas as the blower belt broke into at least two pieces - I know it was at least two pieces because I followed the trajectory of one piece after it left the car. I was right on the Press Stop line at about 250 feet for Tet's second run of the day and the car came barrelling past me with all eight candles lit and generating a huge heat and pressure wave. 4.250/269.55 fulfilled most of the licence requirement with one further run of 4.70 or better needed in qualifying this week.


photo: Daniel Giles impressed us all with competent licence passes in the Giles and Hartley Super Pro ET dragster

At Sunday's Peak Performance Day it was Daniel Giles' turn to star in licencing, this time in the Giles and Hartley Super Pro ET dragster which is normally driven by Daniel's dad and former UK National Champion Barry Giles. We last saw Daniel in a Junior Dragster, but if I tell you that last year I was one of the photographers at his wedding to Kirsty you will realise just how long ago that was. Daniel had lost nothing in the lay-off though, clocking a 0.023 Reaction Time in his first pass in the fierce-sounding rail. Daniel has been around this dragster for most if not all of his life and managed to perform as if he had been driving the thing all of his life. Launch, half pass and chute, and then full pass in the mid-sevens at over 170 mph, made it look easy to the envy of at least one watching journalist. We spoke to Daniel at the end of the day and Kirstie was that impressed that she accused the team of having spent the last few years carrying out a sleight-of-hand substitution of Daniel for Barry somewhere between pits and pairing lanes.

It has been a long European off-season, made more so by the uncertainty over the future of Tierp Arena. We need the tracks in European drag racing but purely selfishly I am pleased that the Tierp Arena question has been dealt with because during the off-season I was asked about its future so often that at one GB pound a time I could have bought the place myself.

Now we can finally concentrate on the racing. One more test session on Thursday and then on Friday the flag drops and the BS stops. Eurodragster.com will of course be covering the test session and then the race, the latter with the extended family of Simon, Kirstie, Julian, Patrik Jacobsson and Yours Truly. It's not too late to make it to Santa Pod but if you really can't attend the race then stay tuned to Eurodragster.com and we'll bring you results, pit notes and pictures daily.


ABOUT 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 



Andy "Tog" Rogers at his desk overlooking the Santa Pod Raceway drag strip
photo by Ed O Connell (Eurodragster.coms US based editor)

Text: introduction by Åsa Kinnemar 
Editorīs Diary by Andy "Tog" Rogers
Photos:  Used by permission, courtesy of Eurodragster.com

This article is part of the Speedgroup Club Europe Newsletter May 2014

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