Here are the brief (!) results from the amazing 9th Annual Dragstalgia event at Santa Pod last weekend, 12th – 14th July. (Please note, this is just the first draft and I will add more info asap, but wanted to get this all posted!).
The Wild Bunch had an amazing field of 35 teams taking part in this brilliant event including teams from Europe. Great to see such a big field again, and such a variety of cars, with regular members, returning teams and new teams all joining together for a great weekend’s racing! There were some great matchups, great performances and an amazing show from everyone which was a credit to the club.
The best news for our own family personally was that ‘Crazy’ Chris was back with ‘Backdraft’ after a 5-year break, and our whole team was celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the debut of the car as ‘Malibu Express’ in May 1969, and our 25th year of running the car as ‘Backdraft’!! Thanks so much to everyone for the warm welcome back! …. From Chris & Claire and family.
The weather was fairly good for most of the weekend, apart from some early rain on Sunday, which caused a 2 ½ hour delay, but luckily brightened up nicely later. It was a lot cooler than the heat of last year! On the first day, a fair few teams entered the RWYB for testing on the Friday.
The biggest and most fantastic news of the weekend, was the announcement of the 2019 inductees in to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame. Claire had arranged a ‘fake meeting’ down by the funny car display at 12noon to coincide with the announcement, so there were around 50 Wild Bunch gathered there for what they thought was an ‘information about the weekend’ meeting!! Just as the ‘meeting’ was about to start, Claire put it on hold to listen to the announcement. The first name on the list turned out to be Ian Lloyd! (Only he and son Alan of ‘Gonzo the Great’ knew about this!!). Huge Congratulations to Ian on this great honour, very well deserved reflecting his achievements over the last 40+ years!! Great that the team were there and running the car to a string of PB’s, what a way to celebrate!
We kept listening intently, with number 2 being the McCoy Dynamics team, a brilliant team of innovators who achieved so much, a well-deserved reward. Then number 3 on the list of inductees was ……… The Wild Bunch Nostalgia Drag Racing Club!!!!! Yes, the whole club!! Wow!! Absolutely fantastic!!! Such a thrill and a huge honour to be chosen by the panel! The most amazing accolade! We were thrilled that ‘Lil Daddy’ Roy Wilding was there at the ‘meeting’ to hear this surprise first hand!! Also wonderful for our ‘Crazy’ Chris to be there, and Mark Coulsell, all 3 of whom have served the Wild Bunch so well for over 20 years! Plus there were at least half a dozen people who have been members for 20 years or more gathered to hear the news! It was very emotional! Also great for so many regulars and newer members to be in attendance. A big shout out to all those who couldn’t attend, and anyone who has ever been a member! This really is a team award, shared by everyone who has been a part of the Wild Bunch over the last 25 years!! You are all included and it is everyone’s contribution that has been recognised in this wonderful way! The names of the inductees, as usual, are a closely guarded secret which Chris & Claire had to keep confidential for some months! Fantastic to have such a large number of Bunchers assembled there to hear this all together. Many thanks to Stu Bradbury for joining in the ‘reveal’ and for having some photos with us all, and most importantly thanks to him and the team at the BDRHoF for all they do for the sport, and for choosing us to join the many illustrious members of the Hall of Fame. It will be wonderful to celebrate our 25th full season of the Wild Bunch Series next year, having been inducted in to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame! So special!
Also big Congratulations to the whole hard working team at eurodragster.com for also being inducted in to the Hall of Fame! Richly deserved and well earned! What would we do without them all?!! Well done Tog, Simon, Kirstie, Julian, Callum & Diana and all past and present contributors. Just brilliant!! Really chuffed to also see Anita Makela inducted too! Still at the very peak of an incredible career! Such a lovely bubbly lady, a great racer and a brilliant ambassador for the sport!! We are among such illustrious company! You can, of course, see all the write-ups, as always, on the brilliant eurodragster.com (new Hall of Famers!). http://eurodragster.com/news/news.asp?Story=july12#july12
Later on Friday evening most teams present took advantage of the bonus run around 6pm Friday, with everyone still buzzing about the news!! On Saturday we had two good rounds of practice, and had decided to hold our first Series round on the scheduled 3rd session that evening and everyone had declared their Dial-in. The round was delayed until about 7:20, due to some down time in the afternoon. Then, although it was almost straight after the round was run, 6 Wild Bunch teams took part in a great Cracklefest. There would have been more if there had been more time in between. Former Buncher Dave Nelson was the sole runner for the Fire Burnout and did a great job!! The exciting big news from the Cracklefest was that, just after all the cars had shut down, Rob Brown got down on one knee on the track and proposed to the lovely Hayley Fyfe!! …. And she said ‘Yes’!! Fantastic!! It was even more special for them, as this event is where they met 8 years ago! We are all so thrilled for them and send them more Congratulations and wish them every happiness!! Hooray!!
Yet another bit of great news was that on Sunday, our Roy was awarded the prestigious Peter Crane ‘Spirit of ‘76’ Shield, in recognition of his amazing 35+year career in drag racing, and for all he has done for the sport and nostalgia racing in particular! Many Congratulations Roy on this very well deserved award!! What a weekend!!
On Sunday, the Bunch were then scheduled for 2 runs and Dial-ins were re-declared. Our first run was delayed about 3 hours due to the late start so happened about 3pm. The second round was brought forward on the schedule by a couple hours and we were called not long after 4pm and ran before 5pm.
Here are the Top 6 at the event after the 3 rounds of competition. Many Congratulations to all!:
1st Place: Callum Swinchatt in the ‘Kings N/W’ altered .0207 average (so consistent this weekend!)
2nd Place: Phil James in ‘Rampage’ .0389 average (great placing again!)
3rd Place: Craig Larman in ‘The Ferret’ .0517 average (another great Top 3 place!)
4th Place: Johan Tjernström in his 1966 slingshot .0702 average (great Wild Bunch debut!)
5th Place: Mark Coulsell in ‘Ballbreaker’ .1166 average (way to go team!)
6th Place: Rob & Pete Brown in ‘Rebel’ .1255 average (great performance!)
Special thanks to Steven East and the whole of Team East who sponsored the fabulous Spot Prizes. Many thanks also to Christian Frei from Switzerland, who has run with us before, who donated some nice prizes for the Top 3. Very much appreciated folks!!
Here are the Spot Prizes that were won. Congratulations to all:-
Closest to Dial-in (in the rounds): Craig Larman in ‘The Ferret’.0008 off!! Brilliant!
Best Reaction (in the rounds): Pete Brown in ‘Rebel’ .104 great stuff!
Quickest E.T. of the event: Alan Lloyd in ‘Gonzo the Great’ 7.788 (also fastest with 167.30mph) (now half a second quicker than when he won this same award last year!)(PS. Tuned by a Hall of Famer!!)
Furthest Travelled: Luca Govoni and his team with ‘The Earthquake’ (the team regularly tow the car over a thousand miles from Italy as they love racing with the Wild Bunch!)
Best Burnout: Leo Knight in his Topo altered (sounding so strong!)
Best Appearing Car: Andrew Clifford in ‘Snake Eyes’ (fantastic to win a prize on his first outing, great-looking car!)
Best Wheelie: Callum Swinchatt in the ‘Kings N/W’ altered (plenty of them, nicely controlled)
Best Appearing Team: Keith Crampton and the ‘Soul Town Shakers’ including Hayley Fyfe and a superb crewing debut by Thomas Cook-Abbott, stylish and great showmanship Tom!
Best Backup Girl: Sarah Howells from DASH Racing (beautiful! Great variety of outfits throughout the weekend!)
Best Showmanship: Alan Lloyd in ‘Gonzo the Great’ (great burnouts, dry hops, launches & performance!)
Spirit of Nostalgia: Johan Tjernström in his 1966 period perfect Tuttle-chassis slingshot with original paint!
Many thanks to the trophy presenting team of Kassey Turton & Ada Cassisi. Well done as always girls!
Congratulations also to Rob Brown & Hayley Fyfe, as their post Cracklefest engagement was chosen as ‘Moment of the Weekend’ of the whole Dragstalgia event!! Congratulations too to Thomas Cook-Abbott, who won the ‘Best Crewperson’ award for his excellent performance on the startline in his purple suit, top hat and cane, staging the ‘Soul Town Shaker’. Plus special mention goes to Wild Bunch racers Bob Hawkins & Chris Manning, running in the Slingshot Showdown. Big Congratulations to Chris Manning who ran another great PB in ‘The Villain’, a 7.6 on one run and 195mph on another! Plus winning ‘Driving job of the weekend’! Well done to the whole team!! Well done to Bob who had worked tirelessly and had just built a new motor in ‘Time Traveller II’ and had the chassis front halved by the Hausers, after damage sustained at his last event. He had put in a couple of passes including a 7.6, but unfortunately in their first round, he was involved in a crash with Sam Freeman (a recent Wild Bunch member). This was a very scary incident, but we were all so hugely relieved to see them both back in the pits less than an hour later! Thank goodness they were ok, and thank goodness to the great safety regulations we have in our sport. Huge thanks to the brilliant safety and fire crews, medics and marshals who did their usual professional job looking after the drivers. So sorry to hear about all the damage, but so grateful that they are both okay. Best of luck to them on rebuilds and very best wishes.
Also a special shout out to starters and crew extraordinaire Ian Marshall & Dave Warren! They wore their period white overalls for the first and third day and surprised everyone with 50’s style dresses on the Saturday, very good sports! Thanks so much for all your hard work and that of all the track crew in preparing and (re-preparing after down time) and the great track this weekend! Brilliant job! You are all incredible!!
The PB’s this weekend were amazing! Some people set and re-set theirs:
JJ Johnston in ‘Cheap Thrills’ 9.3 / 140+ (JJ please confirm the stats from Friday, I only have your 9.425/136.13)
Wayne Colliver in ‘Misfit’ 136.14 mph
Rob Brown in ‘Rebel’ 8.401
Mick Hillier in ‘Texas Ranger’ 9.117
Craig Larman in ‘The Ferret’ 10.363 / 122.88
Leo Knight in his Topo altered 8.163
Kev Whiting in ‘Sneaky Blinder’ (please confirm your best ET and speed Kev)
Alan Lloyd in ‘Gonzo the Great’ 7.788 / 167.30
Callum Swinchatt in ‘Kings N/W’ 8.855 / 147.66
Russ Heaven in ‘Tight Fit’ 156.38 mph (Russ made a mammoth ride on his bike from his new home in Spain, in order to drive this weekend and was rewarded with the PB!)
Mick Gleadow in ‘Jurassic Parts II’ 9.012 / 145.78 (so nearly there now!!)
Andy Jackson in ‘Hammerman 2’ 11.284 /126.63 (fantastic to see him and the team running so well after so much hard work and years of perseverance! Well done!!)
Steve Field in ‘Black Pig Too’ 8.344
Andrew Clifford in ‘Snake Eyes’ 11.982 / 111.26
Jim Tanner in ‘Shindigger’ 9.344
Tim Roy in ‘Boston Straggler 2’ 13.524 / 93.97
Matt Fuller in ‘Oblivion’ 9.972 (great to see Matt run another 9!)
Luca Govoni in 'Earthquake' 10.401
I do not have any stats from the Friday RWYB. Please let me know on the above queries and where I have missed any!!
Also congratulations to Wild Buncher Chris Manning, running in the Slingshot Showdown, who had new PB's of 7.690 and 195.47mph, on separate runs! Wow!
Everyone put on such an awesome show and it was fantastic to watch! Well done everybody!! Here is the full field of brill Wild Bunch participants!!!! Cool!!!!
- WB 1: Phil James in ‘Rampage’
- WB 2: Keith Crampton in ‘Soul Town Shaker’
- WB3: Mark Coulsell in ‘Ballbreaker’
- WB 4: JJ Johnston in ‘Cheap Thrills’
- WB 6: ‘Crazy’ Chris Hartnell in ‘Backdraft’ !!! J J J
- WB 12: Philippa Turton in ‘Bitchcraft’
- WB 19: Wayne Colliver in ‘Misfit’
- WB 21: Rob & Pete Brown in ‘Rebel’
- WB 30: Mick Hillier in ‘Texas Ranger’
- WB 33: Brian Watson in ‘Interest Free’
- WB 41: Craig Larman in ‘The Ferret’
- WB 42: Bobby Wright in his ‘23T altered (WB debut!)
- WB 48: Leo Knight in his Topo altered
- WB 50: Kev Whiting in ‘Sneaky Blinder’ (driver debut!)
- WB 55: Alan Lloyd in ‘Gonzo the Great’
- WB 59: Callum Swinchatt in ‘Kings N/W’
- WB 64: Russ Heaven in ‘Tight Fit’
- WB 67: Darryl Howells in ‘Chemical Reaction’
- WB 68: Mick Gleadow in ‘Jurassic Parts II’
- WB 72: Dr Faye Hern in ‘Daddy Cool’
- WB 75: Andy Jackson in the ‘Hammerman 2’
- WB 76: Steve Field in ‘Black Pig Too’
- WB 77: Andy Stones in ‘Stoned’
- WB 85: Andrew Clifford in ‘Snake Eyes’ (car and driver debut!)
- WB 86: Jim Tanner in ‘Shindigger’
- WB 90: Tim Roy in ‘Boston Straggler’ (car and driver debut!)
- WB 98: Robert White in ‘Happy Daze’
- WB 101: Steven East in ‘Ellie’s in Trouble Now’
- WB 109: Bob Morgan in ‘B-Sting’
- WB 112: Matt Fuller in ‘Oblivion’
- WB 113: Paul Tarry in ‘Trigger’s Broom’
- WB 115: Dan Boone in ‘American Pie’
- WB 316: James Auld in ‘Little Fauss’
- WB 601: Luca Govoni in ‘The Earthquake’
- WB 5148: Johan Tjernström in his 1966 slingshot (WB debut!)
Highlights of this weekend included: The huge and varied fabulous field of Wild Bunch cars and fantastic people, including many regulars, returning members, European visitors and a few new members. Plus completing 3 full rounds of racing overall, another good showing in the Cracklefest, with the special moment of Rob’s proposal to Hayley! Other highlights include: the absolutely amazing show from all of the Wild Bunch (one of the biggest classes at the event), loads of beautiful backup girls (thrilled to be back amongst them!), great team wear, great performances, fantastic individual achievements and historic matchups!! Plus the absolute biggest highlight being the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Induction announcement! Wow! Everyone in the Bunch really did themselves so proud as always!! Well done everyone!
Commiserations to all those who had breakages or gremlins, and these were numerous! Really hope you can all be back out racing soon!!
I was really sorry to not see everyone more regularly over the weekend due to the big field and us all being so busy, but was brill to watch you all and also be a part of such a great and historic weekend!!
Congratulations everybody!! Many thanks to all the organisers, starters, track and fire and safety crews, marshals and officials, eurodragster.com team, commentators, photographers and media and Zeon TV, James Forster and team and absolutely everyone at Santa Pod, for all their hard work, to run another excellent event! So much appreciated!! Thanks to all the families, friends and fans too for their support!! And the many people from the family of Drag Racing who came and expressed their Congratulations to everyone in the Wild Bunch on the Hall of Fame Induction, very kind!
Also, a really big thank you to Lynne Coulsell for organising a collection for me and to all you lovely folks who donated to buy me some beautiful flowers, and more, which were presented to me at the end of our prize presentation. It was such a nice surprise and I so appreciate all your kindness and support! J Thank you so much!! J
Thanks to Colin Theobald who once again popped down to the presentation and said some very kind words about the Wild Bunch. Thanks very much for your support, Colin!
What an incredible weekend for the whole Wild Bunch!! Just superb! So proud of everyone and to be a part of it all!
All the best