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.. 
I have not completely forgotten where I live, but I have not been at home much recently. At time of writing I have been back in the UK less than twenty four hours after an amazing weekend at the Turtle Wax Internationals at Tierp Arena, which came two weeks after an eventful NitrOlympX at Hockenheim, which itself was a week after… well, suffice to say that the Turtle Wax Internationals was our tenth event in ten weeks. Over this weekend we had to split the team; Simon and Contributing Photographer Grace Roaf stayed in the UK to cover the Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway whilst Kirstie and I jetted off to Sweden. Regular Contributing Photographer Patrik Jacobsson joined us at Tierp Arena on the Saturday and Sunday.

One thing I have learned on my travels is that free WiFi is likely to suck. A couple of years ago we were on a London-bound SAS flight which offered free WiFi and the flight crew turned it off after the Captain announced to the cabin that it was “A bit crap, actually”. Kirstie and I flew with Norwegian to the Turtle Wax Internationals; Norwegian make a lot of their free in-flight WiFi and indeed it was OK for about two minutes before everyone else on the plane got onto it and it just stopped. Kirstie and I were accommodated in the Ålvkarleby Turisthotell which offered free WiFi… except that it only worked in the main building and not in the annex in which our rooms were situated. The main building was locked at night so on the Friday and Sunday nights I uploaded the day’s gallery sitting under the stars on the front doorstep of the main building where I could get a WiFi signal.

I am still not sure how everything got done on the Sunday at Tierp. Well, of course I know: the skill of the Race Officials and a not-insignificant amount of co-operation from the racers some of whom were being turned round in minutes. The usual plan is to get the Sportsman classes down to sixteen or eight before race day, but because of rain on the Saturday not a single elimination was run. This left some classes starting Sunday with a thirty two-car field but every one ran to its final. I did have a printed running order at the start of Sunday but someone swiped it. To be honest, though, I didn’t really need it; I'm reporting live so I just go with whatever appears. The pairing lanes were invisible from my seat in Race Control but I knew when the Pros were out back because the part-time photographers would emerge from the Media Centre. I would not be surprised to learn that some of those guys don’t actually know that there is a Sportsman day at the start of the event.
We were are and are very grateful to all those racers, and it is a huge number, who are carrying the memorial decals for our late friend and team member Ed O’Connell. Simon did a great job of distributing decals, Åsa also helped out, and from my perches in Race Control at both Hockenheim and Tierp Arena it was a real morale-booster to see another pair of cars and bikes appear in the bleach box ready to take Ed for a ride. Courtesy of Thomas Nataas, Per Andersen, Karsten Andersen and the Andersen Racing team Ed’s decal has been over 311 mph, and has also been on some astounding runs in various classes. We still have supplies of Ed’s decal so please don’t hesitate to request a pair at the Finals.
Also on the subject of Ed I must thank L-O Jonsson of the Beast Supertwin team who took me aside at Tierp Arena and paid a very warm personal tribute to Ed on behalf of himself, Per Bengtsson and the team. Regular readers will know that Ed reported for Eurodragster.com at a number of US events at which European racers were competing, including bike-only events, and his hard work earned him a lot of gratitude from the racers who were very grateful that their efforts were being reported upon back at home.  L-O’s words at Tierp Arena were very generous and heartfelt and it was clearly important to him that he delivered them in person.
I guess it is inevitable that as I am the person most identified with the web site I tend to receive the plaudits. Of course it works both ways and when there is the occasional bout of crap it is me who cops it. I have already said this on Eurodragster.com News but I would ask everyone to join me in a big Thank You to my colleagues Kirstie, Simon and Julian and our Contributing Photographers Grace and Patrik for their work at Hockenheim, Tierp Arena and Shakespeare County Raceway in the last few weekends, and at Santa Pod Raceway and elsewhere during the rest of the season. These guys put in long hours of hard work, including a lot of physical work, in what are sometimes very trying conditions and they do it all without a word of complaint.

photo: Grace caught many interesting goings-on at Shakespeare County Raceway

This coming weekend, as I write, we have VW Action at Santa Pod Raceway which is our traditional relaxing weekend before the Finals. Similarly with Big Bang early in the season the VW Action organisers put in a lot of effort to make this a family event and they succeed spectacularly with a lot going on both on- and off-track and something to suit everyone. Not inappropriately for a family event I have long considered the Volkswagen racers to be good role models. Their cars are immaculately turned out, they put on a good show, and one quite often overhears race officials commenting upon their readiness when called to the lanes and their professional attitude. Volkswagen Drag Racing Club Chair Luke Stevenson leads by example and never seems to stop thinking of ways to promote the VW racers. The Outlaw Flat Four racers seem to have it in their rules that all VW race cars must pull wheelies and personally I see nothing wrong with that. VW Action is not a competitive round for any of the Volkswagen community so the racers can let their hair down a bit, but you can guarantee that even during the Run What You Brung sessions they will be a credit to the sport. Add to this Direct Plastics UK Top Sportsman, which has quickly become one of the sport’s success stories, the Gasser Circus, the Supercharged Outlaws and racers testing - including both current and Nostalgia Fuel FCs - and you can see why we eagerly anticipate VW Action after several weekends of being so closely involved with races that we can't just sit and watch them.

Then the FIA / FIM European Championship Finals, again at Santa Pod Raceway, and with only one clear-cut outcome so far, Johan Lindberg being Champion-elect in FIA Top Methanol Funny Car, there will be a lot to play for. As things stand there will be the usual Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcast of the Pro Racer Test and Tune Day on Wednesday before the Santa Pod Raceway / Trakbak Racing / Track Group Europe free Web TV broadcast takes over on Thursday. Eurodragster.com will of course be providing full coverage of the race with live reports, pit notes and end-day galleries presented in association with Alamo Rent-A-Car, speaking of whom a big Thank You to Andy Wheeler who organised us a rental car for the NitrOlympX. As ever, without Andy's assistance we would still be walking back from Hockenheim when the FIA / FIM European Championship Finals started. And wherever we were at that point, the free WiFi would suck…

Sitting on the plane tracking our progress before the free WiFi crapped out

A large number of racers are carrying Ed's memorial decal


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 NitrOlympX Preview August 2014

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