News from Event 3: "Dragstalgia" on 5th - 7th July 2024

403 Views Created 10 Jul 2024 13:53 by crazy2 Last Edited 24 Jul 2024 12:59 by crazy2

Hi everyone!

I have updated the writeup below with the full fiedl of awesome Wild Bunch cars, many PB's and a few of the very many highlights of a fantastic event! Even if you have read it before, there's now a lot more info! smile

Here are the results from the amazing 13th Annual ‘Dragstalgia’ event at Santa Pod last weekend, 5th - 7th July. The whole event field was really big with over 240 amazing entries!

The Wild Bunch had a brilliant field of 32 teams taking part in this great event. There had been 39 on the internet entry list, but several of those were double drivers and a few teams had to withdraw. Really good to see a nice big field of Wild Bunch including 3 newcomer teams and 1 new car and driver! Wishing a really warm Wild Bunch welcome to Terry Robbins & Mark Houghton with the "Soultown Shaker" slingshot, Tim Evans with the "Buford T Justice" altered, Colin Childs with the "Boxo Bomb" Topolino altered and Ian Armitage & Damian Halliwell with their slingshot. Great to have you all join us!!

The weather was very mixed this weekend to say the least!! Twelve Wild Bunch teams took place in the RWYB day on Friday, with the track opening delayed to 11am, but continuing mostly uninterrupted until 4:30pm. In the extra class session on Friday evening, the Wild Bunch round was around 5:30pm and a couple dozen teams had queued up in the hopes of running the practice round. But unfortunately it started to rain, and that just got a bit heavier and the organisers were forced to call racing off for the day! A real shame, as the rain had not been due to come in for another hour or so!!

On Saturday we were scheduled for 4 rounds of practice. Around 4am that morning, there had been the most torrential rainstorm, with thunder and lightning thrown in!!  Needless to say, the track and pits were soaked that morning! The forever hardworking Pod track crew started off the drying procedure, and it was going well mid-morning, only for there to be some more rain, and the process started all over again!  But the clouds started to hold and the crew got the track ready to roll around 2pm! Fair play to them for another mammoth effort! The Wild Bunch were then called out as the fifth class to run, and we all had a run not long after 3pm!! Around 20 teams took part in this session. A real bonus! Again, incredible efforts by the whole Santa Pod team enabled every single class to get a run in! One highlight for one of our inaugural Wild Bunch members (since 1995) was that my very own ‘Crazy’ Chris Hartnell got to run both our slingshot “Backdraft” in the Wild Bunch and his 1976-framed dragbike “Backdraft Two” with the NSA bike shootout on the same day!! In fact just an hour and six minutes apart! His ETs were not the quickest they have been, but the runs were both thoroughly enjoyable and a fantastic experience and a unique Dragstalgia feat becoming the same racer to run a car and bike at the event! (Also a rarity in British drag racing with only a few others having done so before at any event!). Well done and Congratulations to the recently retired Crazy Chris!!

There was due to be another round for Wild Bunch, but with some downtime delays, and the large volume of entries, only one class was able to get their second run in, before the planned ‘Cracklefest’ took place at around 8:15pm.

The ‘Cracklefest’ was a very small, but nonetheless great show.  There was one nitro car, Bill Sherratt’s, and this was spectacular as always! The whole rest of the show was made up by Wild Bunch cars!! Two altereds, one funny car and two slingshots: our great Italian friend Luca Govoni and partner Simona Mazzali had brought their beautiful Topolino “Fast Forward” for its first time at Santa Pod, James Griffen was next in the row with his stunning looking “Kiss my Gas” Topolino, then next along was Ruaridh Hart with his fantastic “BraveHart” Opel-bodied funny car, next to him was Wild Bunch champion Dan Wilson with his period-correct “Antique Toy” slingshot and nearest the Christmas Tree was the Brown brother’s awesome “Rebel” slingshot. Though Pete & Rob have taken part in many Cracklefests, neither were the driver this time! That role went to none other than American drag racing legend Bob Muravez aka ‘Floyd Lippencote III’!! This was a plan that had been discussed with the Americans who were attending the event, and thankfully was able to take place after the Marra team’s massive effort to get their gearbox fixed and installed and fixed again after a severe breakage just the Sunday before! Needless to say, Floyd really enjoyed his fireup in the alky injected rail, and Rob & Pete and team were beyond over the moon with him doing so!! Massive congratulations to the whole team on the incredible efforts that made this possible and on this amazing nostalgia display and driver hookup, no doubt one of the best highlights of their 10-year racing career!!!!  Huge well done to all 5 Wild Bunch teams who put on a great show for the Cracklefest and made it happen!! Sure they all thoroughly enjoyed taking part!!

On Sunday, the Wild Bunch were scheduled for 3 runs. There were still a load of clouds around, and we were hoping they would miss us!  Thankfully, we were able to get a round in between 11am and 11:20am, despite one or two brief spots! The Wild Bunch went through slickly and 23 teams took part with unfortunately one other being shut down on the line. After this point, Graham Rawlings in the “Rawspeed” slingshot was leading the Bunch with a great .015 off Dial-in! Fantastic!! Welcome back to Graham & Wendy and the whole team!!  Unfortunately, some more rain was looming, and with a 7 hour drive home, the team had to leave! But it was great to see them doing well so quickly on their return (including some PBs!!).  We did get some more rain, but the ever hard working Santa Pod track team went to work to dry the track, as the radar showed better conditions to come! Huge thanks again!! Luckily, the weather held and actually improved, and we were able to get a second round in from about 3:30 to 3:50pm!! Hooray!!  It was even that good, and there was more track time, so we nearly got a third round, but most teams needed to call it a day! However 6 teams did go down for a final ‘fun run’ at about 5pm! For bragging rights, James Auld would have emerged the winner! Well done James!!  

So we were all happy to get 2 rounds in when it looked like we would not get any! In fact, the Santa Pod crew managed to get the whole event completed! An amazing achievement, given all the bad weather Saturday and Sunday other delays!

Here are the Top 6 at the event after the 2 rounds of competition, with average difference to Dial-in shown. Many Congratulations to all! :

1st Place: Dan Wilson in ‘Antique Toy’ .0087 (many congratulations on a 3rd Dragstalgia win in a row Dan!)

2nd Place: James Auld in ‘Little Fauss’ .0569  (a repeat 2nd place after last year, in a tough field!)

3rd Place: Elliott & Danny Jones in ‘Ragin’ Cajun’ .0796 (brilliant to see the brothers earn a Top 4 after so much hard work and years of trying! Well done guys and Mum and Dad too!!)
4th Place: Andy Roy in ‘Shawcrank Redemption’ .1153 (great to see another Top 4 for Andy!)

5th Place: Rob & Pete Brown in ‘Rebel’ .1176 (fantastic effort after literally just getting the car fixed!!)

6th Place: Ian Wild in ‘WildScat’ .1459 (great to see Ian earning a trophy!)

Plus the other finishers to complete both rounds without redlights were the following, who all deserve an honourable mention: 7th - Pete & Rob Brown in ‘Wrathchild’, 8th – Rich Butcher in ‘4orth Dimension’, 9th – Tim Evans in ‘Buford T Justice’, 10th – Ruaridh Hart in ‘Bravehart’, 11th – Paul Tarry in ‘Trigger’s Broom’, 12th – Terry Robbins in ‘Soultown Shaker’, 13th – Dave Shoemark in ‘The Crewman’, 14th – Gavin Meanley & Pete Ayres in the ‘Charles Bang Special’. Well done to all!!

Here are the Spot Prizes that were won. Many Congratulations to all! :

Closest to Dial-in (in the rounds): Dan Wilson in “Antique Toy” with .0002 off in Round 2!! (even better than last year’s .0005 off!! Fantastic!! )

Best Reaction (in the rounds): Ruaridh Hart in “Bravehart”  .109 (great stuff!)

Quickest E.T. of the event:  Alan Lloyd in “Gonzo the Great” 7.896 (also fastest with 164.27 mph!)

Best Burnout:  Ford Skipp in “Chasin’ Time” (fantastic to see Ford get into the 8’s /150’s as well as Dad!! Congratulations!)

Best Appearing Car: Pete Ayres & Gavin Meanley with the “Charles Bang Special” (plus fantastic Model A towcar!)

Best Appearing Team: Ruaridh & Ian Hart and Team “BraveHart” (love the kilts!)

Best Backup Girl: Mel Seward from “The Crewman” Team (fab show Mel!)

Best Showmanship: newcomer Tim Evans with the recently finished “Buford T Justice” altered (great performance into the 8’s after a couple of runs, plus cool crew wear, including moustaches! Welcome to the Wild Bunch as a driver Tim!!)

Spirit of Nostalgia: Luca Govoni & Simona Mazzali with their fabulous period perfect “Fast Forward” Topolino (and such a long drive to get here! Congratulations also on their 8-year Anniversary of their first Dragstalgia with the Wild Bunch! Fantastic to have you racing with us!)

Many Commiserations to all those who had breakages or issues, especially Wayne Colliver who dropped a valve and suffered a cracked block in the “Funky Digit” altered on the first warm up of the weekend. So gutted for you guys! So disappointed also for Andy Jackson and the whole team to have some issues after the rebuild of the engine in the iconic “Hammerman 2” rear-engined dragster! Hope you can all get the cars fixed real soon and be back out having fun!!

Here is the full field of fantastic Wild Bunch participants!!!! Plus their PB’s included. There were loads of PB’s including first 10’s, first 9’s and first 8’s!! Please please do let me know if I have missed any!!! There was so much going on!! Apologies if I have missed yours!!

[For mobile phone users, this table should display in landscape smile ]


WB 1

Dan Wilson

Antique Toy


WB 2

Rob & Pete Brown



WB 3

James Auld

Little Fauss


WB 6

Chris Hartnell



WB 18

Antony Colliver

From Hell


WB 19

Wayne Colliver

Funky Digit


WB 20

Pete & Rob Brown



WB 25

Terry Clifford

Ratcatcher Resurrection

J: 10.779 / 125.50

WB 42

Bobby Wright



WB 50

James Griffen

Kiss My Gas


WB 53

Gavin Meanley

& Pete Ayres

Charles Bang Special


WB 55

Alan Lloyd 

Gonzo the Great


WB 59

Callum Swinchatt

Kings N/W


WB 65

Ford &

Alan Skipp

Chasin’ Time  

A: 162.44 mph

F: 8.777/ 153.66

WB 68

Mick Gleadow

Jurassic Parts III


WB 75

Andy Jackson

Hammerman II


WB 78

Terry Robbins

SoulTown Shaker

10.512 / 133.72

WB 79

Bob Main


11.389 / 120.14

WB 83

Graham Rawlings


9.605 / 136.98

WB 88

Tim Evans

Buford T Justice

8.491 / 150.12

WB 89

Andy Roy

Shawcrank Redemption

9.927 / 135.72

WB 97

Mick Taylor



WB 104

Dave Shoemark

The Crewman


WB 113

Paul Tarry

Trigger’s Broom


WB 116

Ian Wild



WB 130

Colin Childs

Boxo Bomb

12.487 / 100.99

WB 132

Dan & Elliott Jones

Ragin’ Cajun     


WB 245

John Sharod

Never Say Never


WB 383

Ian Armitage

Grumpy Monkey

11.591 / 97.14

WB 450

Rich Butcher

4th Dimension

H: 13.201/ 106.02

WB 668

Luca Govoni

Fast Forward



Ruaridh Hart



Highlights of this weekend included: The really big field of amazing Wild Bunch cars and great people including newcomers, great backup girls, a fantastic show all round, getting more runs in than expected, and the weather turning right round so that we got 2 great rounds in!! Amazing!!

Just a few of the very many highlights were:

  • Dan Wilson hitting his Dial with .0002 off in the 2nd round!! And his 3rd Dragstalgia win in a row!
  • The Marras Pete & Rob Brown, Hayley, Natalie, George & Julie for getting the gearbox in ‘Rebel’ fixed within 5 days of breakage and then sorted again in time for the Cracklefest Saturday and the rounds on Sunday and then finishing in the points in the Top 6! A great feat!  
  • ‘Crazy’ Chris Hartnell doing an amazing double of running the “Backdraft” slingshot in the Wild Bunch and “Backdraft Two” drag bike in the NSA on the same day!! Well done Chris!!
  • Very well done to James Clifford on his first ever drive of Grandad Terry’s “Ratcatcher Resurrection” slingshot on Friday! Congratulations on your debut and getting into the 10’s James with a best of 10.779/125.50! A brilliant and competent drive! Now a 3rd generation drag racer!!
  • British Drag Racing Hall of Famer, Ian Lloyd, crew chiefing and tuning ‘Gonzo the Great’ to son Alan’s quickest and fastest run of the weekend of the Wild Bunch at 7.886 @ 164.27mph
  • Skippy getting in the 160mph club with the “Chasin’ Time” slingshot on Friday and then son Ford running his first 8 at over 150mph, with an 8.777 @ 153.66mph! Huge well done to both!
  • Welcome to Wild Bunch newcomers Terry Robbins & Mark Houghton with the ex-Keith Crampton “SoulTown Shaker” slingshot. Terry took the butterfly this weekend and did a great job, running in the mid 10’s at over 130mph by the end of the weekend; we look forward to seeing Mark also having a turn at the next event!
  • We welcomed back Graham & Wendy Rawlings after a couple of years’ absence with their unique “Rawspeed” slingshot; Graham was straight into the PB’s, ran consistently, and had been leading the Bunch after the first round, before the team had to start their long drive home! Great to see them all back! Well done team!!
  • We welcomed Tim Evans on his first drive of his and Tim Roy’s newly rebuilt “Buford T Justice” Jag-powered altered! Amazingly Tim ran into the 9’s at over 140mph on his 1st run, and finished deep in the 8’s at over 150mph by the end of the weekend! What a great debut!! Well done!
  • Great to see Andy Roy running his first 9-second pass in the beautifully turned out “Shawcrank Redemption” slingshot! Many Congratulations Andy, and well done on another great Top 4 place!
  • Also great to see Dave Shoemark running his first ever 9-second pass in “The Crewman” slingshot! This was side-by-side with Andy Roy’s first 9, so a real pairing to celebrate! Well done also to Dave and team, who had semi-packed up the dragster after the morning rain, but got it back out of the trailer to put in a 2nd round pass which resulted in the 9-second run! Fair play!
  • Welcome to Wild Bunch newcomer Colin Childs with the ex-James Griffen “Hold Fast” Topolino, now renamed the “Boxo Bomb” – he really got a handle on the car quickly despite not having much tracktime and got into the 12’s at over a ton by the end of the weekend; we look forward to son Joe also having a turn at the wheel at the next event!
  • Fantastic to see Danny & Elliott Jones earning a 3rd place at the event with their “Ragin’ Cajun” bantum altered! Brilliant after so many years of trying! Huge well done to Mum & Dad Annette & Glyn too for all their support over the years! Well done to the whole team!
  • Welcome to Wild Bunch newcomers Ian Armitage & Damian Halliwell with the ex-Craig Greenfield “Grumpy Monkey” slingshot. Ian was the driver this weekend and made great progress, running in the 11’s at nearly 100mph by the end of the weekend; we look forward to Damian also having a go at the next event!
  • Well done to Holly Butcher on her first ever drive in father-in-law Rich’s “4th Dimension” slingshot on the Friday! Holly achieved a Personal Best of 13.201/106.02! Congrats Holly! Well done to Rich also for finishing 8th of the Bunch for the weekend, one of his best placings!

Please do let me know if you had some amazing personal highlights, and I will add them in to the story! Sorry I couldn’t see everyone more at the weekend, as there was so much going on! What a wonderful event it was, even despite the weather interruptions!

Everyone in the Bunch really did themselves proud as always!!  What a fantastic weekend!!  Congratulations to everyone who took part!!

Many thanks to all the organisers, starters, track and fire and safety crews, marshals and officials, timing crew, signing on team, Graham and Chris and the whole team, commentators Colin Theobald, Darryl Bradford and Thomas Cook-Abbott for brilliant and informative commentary as always, and special thanks to Mark Coulsell for great colour commentary for the Wild Bunch sessions! Thanks to all the photographers and media, the hard-working Max Frost and team at Santa Pod, and Keith Bartlett for his vision and passion and absolutely, and especially again to all the hardworking track crew who did so much to get as many runs as possible!! Thanks to all for their support of the Wild Bunch!!

Massive thanks to everyone at Santa Pod for all their hard work this weekend to run this event which just keeps getting better and better!! Their amazing efforts despite the terrible weather are so much appreciated!! We had a brilliant time!!

All the best


Claire JJJ

PS. The Points will be updated asap!! J

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