Hi everybody. Here is the brief (well, not so brief!) news from the fantastic 31st ‘Hot Rod Drags’ on 13th – 15th September, at Santa Pod. A brilliant event where we were so lucky with lovely weather and great racing!!
The amazing Top 4 trophies and 8 spot prizes were fabricated excellently by Elaine Southworth of coolengineeredart, the ‘Daddy Cool’ matriarch. This was to celebrate the 30th birthday of the team’s ‘Daddy Cool’ dragster. Though the car didn’t make the event due to engine repairs and upgrades, the team were there and enjoyed their weekend! Thanks very much Elaine! 4 more Spot Prizes were kindly sponsored by Andy & Cathrine Stones of Sutton Soda Blasting and ‘Stoned’ slingshot team, with a wish that they should be trophies for those who didn’t often win one (nice sentiment folks). Unfortunately Andy could not make the event due to recent shoulder surgery. We all wish him a quick recovery! Thanks for the trophy sponsorship folks! The prize money was sponsored by Springbridge Direct Ltd. Bob was unable to attend the event with his 6-second slingshot due to an early finish to his season. We all wish Bob well and hope to see him back on track next season chasing those magic numbers! Many thanks Bob!!
This event was Wild Bunch Series Round 4, Spirit of Nostalgia Series Round 7 and Roy Wilding Nostalgia Race Cars Series Round 3 (Final). The Wild Bunch had a brilliant total of 30 teams running at the event, and 25 of these participated in the rounds on sunny race day:
- Phil James in ‘Rampage’
- Keith Crampton in ‘Soul Town Shaker’
- Mark Coulsell in ‘Ballbreaker’
- Alan ‘Skippy’ Skipp in ‘Cheap Thrills’
- Lee Hartnell in ‘Dazed and Confused’
- ‘Crazy’ Chris Hartnell in ‘Backdraft’
- Philippa Turton in ‘Bitchcraft’
- Antony Colliver in ‘From Hell’ (debut)
- Pete & Rob Brown in ‘Rebel’ (plus ‘Wrathchild’ just for Friday and Saturday! Brilliant!)
- Bradley Cooper in ‘Back from the Past’
- Mick Hillier in ‘Texas Ranger’
- Brian Watson in ‘Interest Free’
- Bobby Wright in the ‘Alturd’
- Leo Knight in ‘Knight Rider’
- Kev Whiting in ‘Tip Top’
- Alan Lloyd in ‘Gonzo the Great’
- Callum Swinchatt in ‘Kings N/W’ altered
- Chris Manning in ‘The Villain’
- Steve Heaven in ‘Tight Fit’
- Mick Gleadow in ‘Jurassic Parts 2’
- Andy Jackson in ‘Hammerman 2’
- Graham Rawlings in ‘Little Digger’
- Jim Tanner in ‘Shindigger’
- Ollie H-Smith in ‘Couped Up’
- Tim Roy in ‘Boston Straggler 2’
- Pete Huckle in ‘The Jagster’
- Robert White in ‘Happy Daze’
- Matt Fuller in ‘Oblivion’
- Paul Tarry in ‘Trigger’s Broom’
- James Auld in ‘Little Fauss’
Just as a matter of interest, 8 of these teams are new to the Wild Bunch this year, so a continued welcome to all of them and glad to have them joining the fun! Glad to see several long term members re-appearing this year including ‘Crazy’ Chris Hartnell & son Lee Hartnell and Antony Colliver with his own stunning car, and Pete Huckle in his first event of the season, with his cool tow tractor and Jag powered slingshot! Brilliant to see such a big field of excellent cars at the Hot Rod Drags for our final RWYB-based event of the season!
Friday was a Run-What-You-Brung day and many teams took advantage of the track time that day. Saturday was a mixture of RWYB and scheduled classes, and drivers went down in the queues when they wished to. There was the second ever Santa Pod / NSRA ‘Cracklefest’ on the evening, which Claire helped co-ordinate, and 5 Wild Bunch drivers enjoyed taking part in (Leo, Graham, Ollie, Pete Huckle and James). Some spectacular fireworks followed! We managed to get 3 rounds of racing in during the Sunday. The weather was absolutely superb throughout: blue skies, wispy clouds, not much wind and a pleasant temperature with a warm afternoon Sunday. Just perfect for racing!!!
Here are the Top 4 winners:
1st Place: Rob & Pete Brown in ‘Rebel’ .0409 (a brilliant win from the Marras!!)
2nd Place: James Auld in ‘Little Fauss’ .0514 (his second 2nd place at the Hot Rod Drags!)
3rd Place: Matt Fuller in ‘Oblivion’ .0928 (fantastic to see Matt in the Top 4! Well done!)
4th Place: Jim Tanner in ‘Shindigger’ .1027 (the strategy worked well with controlled launches! Well done Captain!)
Here are the Spot Prizes that were awarded:-
Closest to Dial-in (Race-day): ‘Crazy’ Chris Hartnell in ‘Backdraft’ .0019 off (he also had a .0021!!)
Best Reaction (Race-day): Steve Heaven in ‘Tight Fit’ .1131
Slowest Reaction (in competition): Bradley Cooper in ‘Back from the Past’ 2.5143 !
Closest Runner-up: Bradley Cooper in ‘Back from the Past’ (finished in 5th place!)
Best Burnout: Alan Lloyd in ‘Gonzo the Great’
Slowest Run (in competition): Paul Tarry in ‘Trigger’s Broom’ 29.368 (then it was brilliant to see Paul fix the issues and run two 11-second passes near his PB at the end of the day! Well done Paul!)
Most Improved E.T.: Tim Roy in ‘Boston Straggler 2’ a great .706 betterment
Best Altered: Mick Hillier in ‘Texas Ranger’
Best Slingshot: Skippy & Ratchet Strap Racing in ‘Cheap Thrills’
Best Appearing Team: Pete & Rob Brown and team in ‘Wrathchild & Rebel’ Racing
Best Appearing Car: Philippa Turton in ‘Bitchcraft’
Best Performance: Leo Knight in ‘Knight Rider’
Driver’s Choice: Skippy & Ratchet Strap Racing in ‘Cheap Thrills’
NSRA Quickest Flathead: Bradley Cooper in ‘Back from the Past’ 11.759
NSRA Quickest WILD BUNCH: Alan Lloyd in ‘Gonzo the Great’ 7.773
These were the PBs (and there were a lot of them including some very special firsts!!):
Alan ‘Skippy’ Skipp in ‘Cheap Thrills’ 8.957 / 146.22 (Skippy & team’s first 8’s! Plus he ran another for good measure; Huge Congratulations to the whole team on this great achievement!! Hooray!!)
Mick Hillier in ‘Texas Ranger’ 8.903 /143.44 (Mick’s first ever 8 in Round 1, and his second in Round 3! Many Congratulations to Mick and team on the achievement, a long time coming!!)
Brian Watson in ‘Interest Free’ 10.253 / 122.07
Bobby Wright in ‘Alturd’ 11.052 / 114.48 (soon be in those 10’s Bobby! Well done!)
Leo Knight in ‘Knight Rider’ 7.779 / 167.91 (Leo’s first ever 7! PB by 3 tenths! Many Congratulations Leo!! Glad you made it to the event after a hard week! and did well with minimal crew! Fantastic!!)
Kev Whiting in ‘Tip Top’ 11.084 / 114.69 (great to see Kev getting a handle on the car after the recent engine rebuild; and oh so close to the 10’s now!)
Alan Lloyd in ‘Gonzo the Great’ 7.773 / 169.17 (great stuff! this was Low ET & Top Speed of the Bunch, well done Alan and Ian!!)
Mick Gleadow in ‘Jurassic Parts 2’ 8.935 / 147.12 (Mick’s first 8 in the car, and another to back it up! Many Congratulations Mick and team for all the hard work to get there!)
Ollie H-Smith in ‘Couped Up’ 11.066 / 121.43 (great to see Ollie really getting used to the car and running a string of PB’s, and tantalisingly close to that 10!! Well done Ollie and the whole team!)
Tim Roy in ‘Boston Straggler 2’ 12.818 / 96.46 (Tim’s first 12 second pass and great to see him improving quickly with the new car!)
James Auld in ‘Little Fauss’ 109.11mph (I believe this is your best speed James, unless I missed RWYB ones!! Please confirm)
Many Congratulations to all those who ran PB’s at the weekend, especially those who ran their first 12’s, 8’s and 7’s!! Just brilliant! And what a high for so many to finish their season on! Excellent!!
(Please do let me know if I have missed any!)
Plus at the very end of racing, Philippa Turton had her first ever turn in Team Ratchet Strap’s ‘Cheap Thrills’ slingshot! She had a great drive on her first time in the car and competently ran it to her first ever 11-second pass down the dragstrip with an 11.77 at 117mph!!! Very well done Philippa! She thanks the whole team very much for the opportunity!
Also great to see ‘Crazy’ Chris well and truly back in the 8’s, running 4 of them in fine wheelying form! These 4 runs at the weekend were .02 apart! Welcome back Chris!!!!!! Brilliant also to see Bradley get a handle on the running of the flathead slingshot after going back to the trusty mag, and getting back in the 11’s. The whole Wild Bunch sends our very Best Wishes to Dad Ken, who was unable to attend the event due to being poorly at home, but insisted that Bradley run, after all his hard work with preparing the car!! Bradley was able to let Ken know he was doing well, so sure he’s pleased about that! All the best Ken! We missed you! Great to see Paul Tarry get back in to the 11’s also, after solving several tricky issues over the weekend, including one time being stranded alone for half an hour at the far end. Great way to finish the season to get the car running well again!
Big commiserations to Lee and Mark Hartnell who had worked so exceptionally hard to get Lee’s ‘Metal Mistress’ altered engine rebuilt, and had made it to the track for the first time this year, only to suffer ongoing head gasket woes. A huge well done lads on all your hard work, and hope it pays off real soon!!! Commiserations also to Antony Colliver who had new car teething troubles with his fantastic period perfect spectacular Bantam altered ‘From Hell’! The car is a great credit to him and the team and wears a lovely tribute to his wife Vicki who so sadly passed recently. Antony has really done her and himself proud with getting the car to the drags. Best of luck for next time Antony! Commiserations also to Andy Jackson, Karen and team who had worked so hard to fix the problems with the ‘Hammerman 2’ rear-engined dragster. Despite more hard work at the track, they just had one run Saturday and had further issues. A huge well done to the team on their perseverance which had started to pay off at the previous event. Best of luck for next season to cure the problems and get in more runs. Many commiserations to Phil James and team, whose lovely ‘Rampage’ funny car suffered a cracked engine block and was shut down after the burnout on the last round. So sorry to see this after such a great season for the team! All the very best to them all! Also a real shame to see Chris Manning and team have problems with a bent valve in their beautiful slingshot ‘The Villain’! Was so looking forward to seeing Chris’ attempts to get over the 200mph mark after recording a 195mph run at Dragstalgia! And with a new front wing to assist them!! Best of luck next time to all at the Dragster Inc team! Well done also to Skippy and Team Ratchet Strap who worked hard to try and get Ford's Tot Rod 'Twitchin' Tot' to run well! And a huge well done to Ford for trying his very hardest and sticking with it with all the gremlins to run as well as he could!! :-)
Highlights of the weekend include the large and fantastic field of Wild Bunch, the Cracklefest, the awesome weather, completing 3 rounds of great competition, and of course the amazing group of cars and people, who all put on an amazing show and did themselves proud!!
Huge thanks to all the Santa Pod marshals and officials, track and safety and medical crews and organisers and Alan Martin and all at the NSRA for all their hard work. Fair play to you all! Thanks to Tog, Simon, Julian and Diana on the eurodragster team this weekend, plus Kirstie in support. Best Wishes to Mrs Tog to get well soon!! Extra thanks to the whole Schreier family at work in the tower, around site and on the track! Great to have them at Santa Pod regularly, working tirelessly and always so professionally. Also huge thanks to Wild Buncher Dave Rowlands for all his hard work on the track crew! He never stops!! Well done! Thanks to each and everyone who worked so hard to make the event a great success! Thanks to Colin Theobold for great commentary and his fantastic support of the Wild Bunch, including his attendance at our prize presentation and his very kind heartfelt words! Many thanks again to Elaine Southworth for the amazing handmade trophies and to Andy and Cathrine of Sutton Soda Blasting for sponsoring other trophies and to Bob Hawkins and Springbridge Direct Ltd for sponsoring the prize money, much appreciated!
Once again, a huge well done to all of the Wild Bunch for an incredible show as always!! Yeehah!!!!!