1970 - 1974

Contributors names in brackets after the entries where applicable. All other material researched by myself - Chris. Click on pictures to see a larger view. Text links will open in a new window, close it when you're done.
1970
The "Barn", the name given to the covered stand situated behind the start line area at SPR was opened.
March 29th/30th Spring Nationals. SPR. In front of a record crowd of 12,000 spectators Freddie Whittle ran "Shutdown" at 11.06 120mph. Dennis Priddle in the Woolfes Whistler  recorded an 11.1 at 116.55 mph. Mike Hutcherson driving Nobby Hills blown Caddy "Houndog II"  ran 11.3/135.14 mph. Bruce Browns Chevy powered "Prospector II" digger recorded a 10.58 and a 10.63 at over 128 mph and Tony Anderson's blown V6 engined Trouble ran 10.62 and 10.69 at over 121 mph. Top Speed of the meet went to John Siggery's fuel injected Oldsmobile "Geronimo" with 135.67. To see class results from this meeting click here. (Bill Dossett) Santa Pod debuted the 'Gloworm' Capri, (often credited as being the first UK Funny Car) driven by Roy Phelps. The car featured a big block Ford V8 that had been found in a boatyard.
April 12th SPR. The Inaugural Meeting of the NDRC was postponed because of rain. (Steve Collins)
April 19th SPR.The Inaugural Meeting of the NDRC. Mike Hutcherson crashed Nobby Hills Houndog slingshot into the guardrail when a rod let go. For meeting results click here. (Steve Collins)
May 3rd The NDRC held a one-day meeting on the old aerodrome at Martlesham Heath, Suffolk. Amongst those present were Dennis Priddle, Bill Weichelt, John Siggery, Harold Bull, Phil Elson, Brian Gleadow, Tony Dickson and Brian Chapman. It was at this meeting that Dennis Stone purchased Cliff Jones "Opus One" altered. Gate receipts at Martlesham were £2319.19s.6d. (Stephen Collins) To see all the final results from this meeting click here.
May 24th/25th SPR. BDR&HRA Meeting. For meeting results click here.(Steve Collins)
June 7th Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting.The first appearance of the new Priddle-Riswick-Gane Fueler, unfortunately teething troubles kept it out of competition. For meeting results click here.(Steve Collins)
June 14th SPR. NDRC Meeting. For meeting results click here. (Steve Collins)
June 28th SPR. BDR&HRA meeting. The strip speed record was broken three times at this meeting. Firstly, Dennis Priddle in the Quartermaster car ran 183.9 mph. Tony Densham in Commuter then improved the mark to 185 mph, and then Priddle came out again and re-wrote the record book yet again with a 193 mph blast. (Clive Rooms)
July 11th/12th SPR held its first International meeting with "the top Swedish dragster and funny car in attendance" These were Hazze Fromms "Roaring Viking" Capri Funny and the "Valkyrion" dragster of Bjorn Anderson. The meeting was run as two separate eliminations, one on the Saturday and one on the Sunday. It appears that the main event was the Sunday elimination as many cars did not run on the Saturday.  Priddle won Saturdays Top Dragster elimination but crashed through some marker boards after getting some oil on his goggles. This wrecked the front end so he was unable to run on the Sunday. To make matters worse he had earlier borrowed the front wheels from John Siggery after a puncture. This meant that John would also have been unable to run on the Sunday until Alan Blount nipped home to Kettering and lent him the wheels from his part built new car. For both days results click here. (Steve Collins)
July 26th SPR. BDRHRA Meeting.
August 9th Elvington. NDRC Meeting. In front of 1186 adult & 200 child spectators Clive Skilton became the first European racer to run into the sevens with a 7.84. This meeting was originally intended to be held at Martlesham Heath but it was moved to Elvington following complaints about noise from Martlesham residents after the May meeting. At this meeting Bill Haynes, in his 'Quarter Horse' Dragster became the first car driver to race head to head with a motorcycle. In a best of three match the result stood at one each before fading light prevented the final round being run. (Bill Haynes). For meeting results click here. (Steve Collins)
August 16th Hullavington. BDR&HRA 'On Tour' Meeting. Due to a small entry list only four eliminations were run, each with eight competitors or less. Dennis Priddle and Tony Densham ran some demonstrations, Priddle recording two 8.36s and The Commuter running an 8.5. All the competitors had to battle with gale force winds and the meeting only started after Kevin Pilling had put in a test run and decided everything would be OK. For results click here (Steve Collins)
August 30th/31st SPR. August Bank Holiday Meeting.Clive Skilton dipped into the sevens again after his historic run two weeks earlier at Elvington with a new low E.T. record of 7.56/179mph in his 'Revolution' dragster. For meeting results click here
September 13th SPR. NDRC Meeting. Rained off.
September 27th SPR.Tony Denshams 'Commuter' slingshot ran a disputed 205.76mph at Santa Pod, making it the first British car to go over 200mph.The car was equipped with a hi-ratio rear axle and larger rear wheels in anticipation of Tonys attempts at the flying kilometer record at Elvington the following weekend. This meant that the elapsed time for the run was a full 9.4 seconds.
October 3rd/4th Records Weekend. Elvington. Tony Densham  in the Commuter takes the Flying Kilometer record at 207mph. Bill Weichelt broke Denshams old Standing 500m record and also took the Flying 500m record at 185mph. Tony Anderson in Trouble took the class record (3000cc?) for the Standing Quarter Mile and in the bike classes Terry Measures took the 350cc class record with 11.31 seconds. Clive Skilton was also present but couldn't get any oil pressure on his Revolution dragster and did not run. (Steve Collins) Ray Feltell took his 750 Triumph to a new standing start 1/4 mile record with a two-way average of 10.29 seconds.
October 11th SPR. NDRC Meeting
November 7th/8th SPR held its first ever Fireworks meeting. An unprecedented result in Top Street Eliminator led to a later change of rules. American Ed Shaver, running at his first UK event, entered two cars in the class and ended up running against himself in the final! He staged both cars (an AMX and a Roadrunner), ran the Roadrunner first, drove back to the start line and ran the AMX. The Roadrunner was given the win as it had crossed the finish line about two minutes before the AMX!
This year also saw the first on track appearance from Barry Sheavills in a MK1 Cortina GT.
Also this year Ian Messenger, Mick Butler & Derek Chinn took the Pegasus motorcycle to the Indianapolis Nationals but failed to qualify. Dennis Norman also went and qualified with a 9.97 but went out in the first round. I believe this makes them the first UK racers to appear on an American dragstrip since Alan Allard took the Dragon out to Pomona in March 1965.
1970 NDRC Points Champions click here
Some notes from the BDR&HRA newsletters at the end of the season. Fred Whittle begins building a new blown Hemi Fuel Altered having sold the original 'Shutdown'. Two brothers called Page, Dave and Gary, who had been crewing for Bill Weichelt all season, purchased the ex-Mark Stratton 'Hustler' altered which they re-named 'Panic'. Dennis Priddle was building a new, longer chassis for his Quartermaster dragster which meant having to sell his old trailer and build a longer one, and the name of Peter Crane appears for the first time. He was selling his 'almost complete' Pontiac powered 1948 Austin A40 to concentrate on other projects. Finally it was rumoured that a proper bleach box would be installed at SPR over the winter because "Burn outs" were becoming increasingly popular! (Steve Collins)

1971
Santa Pod Raceways strip re-surfaced.
March 21st SPR. Season Opener. The weather was very variable, but even so, there was a crowd of around 3000 people. Making their debut at this meeting were the Page brothers who had purchased the ex Mark Stratton Hustler. They had renamed the car Panic and Dave was the driver at this meeting. Fastest qualifier was Bill Weichelt with an off-form 10.75/138. Roy Phelps was also in attendance with the Gloworm Funny Car. The highlight of the meeting was Harold Bull running 9.75/130.21 in his diminutive dragster. Top Comp had just a couple of cars in the elimination. It was Dave Page’s Panic against the Johnson/Mullan Invader and it was the 12.2/110 from Invader which was too good for the 13.73/96 from the old BSA. Clive Rooms)
April 11th/12th At the Easter meet at SPR Clive Skilton debuted his new dragster 'Second Revolution' and became the first to run 200mph in the U.K. and set a new UK low E.T. with a 7.39/203 straight off the trailer! Tony Denshams 200 the previous year was never officially recognised. Clive lost to Dennis Priddle in the final when he pulled a red light.On the Monday both rails returned to duel a best of three match race with Clive taking the win in the first round. At the end of round two it was evens with both cars actually stopping the clocks with identical 7.67 s. Dennis then put together a best ever 197 mph pass for the decider but Clive got to the lights first. Brucie Browns latest Chevy powered creation "Age Machine" ran 11.03 /126.74 on it's first appearance and was runner-up in Top Dragster on Monday. Dennis Stones 5.3 litre chevy altered "Opus One" was the car to catch with a 11.52 /115 mph taking Senior Competition on the Monday. Top Street winner was Dave Render (Buick Ginetta) at 12.69 108.58 mph. (Bill Dossett)
April 25th Gosport HMS Daedalus Navy Base. The BDR&HRA's first "on tour" meeting of the season. Organised by the Mayor of Gosports Charity Appeals Committee in aid of cancer research more than 10,000 people attended and were treated to three shattering match races between Clive Skiltons " Second Revolution" and Dennis Priddles Hot Wheels . Neither car was able to show it's full potential due to the strips unevenness but Clive won the final with an impressive 8.6 to Dennis's quicker 8.4. Demo runs from Allan Herridge in Santa Pods Gloworm Capri funny car and Roy Phelps wheelied the full quarter with his Stingray. Tony Densham gave the new Firefly Chrysler fueler it's debut run with a relaxed 10.3. Gosport also saw the debut of Ray Hoare's 5 litre Chevy rail The Saxon producing times in the low 13's. The only upset of the meeting was when "Big Bad" Bernie White came off his 500 Triumph at 130 mph sliding 200 yards through the lights. The bike stopped the clocks at 11.20 seconds! (Bill Dossett)
May 16th SPR. Just prior to this meeting, 400 yards of new tarmac had been laid starting 150 yards before the finish and extending 250 yards beyond the finish line. During a demo run with Allan Herridge in the Gloworm Capri, Mike Hutcherson in the Houndog rail had a frightening experience when a slick blew at 140 mph and sent the car into the barrier. Mike was OK but not so the car which was a total wreck. Tony Densham in Firefly also put in a demo pass at 9.1/154. In the Junior Dragster final, Gerald Cookson in Joker defeated Derrick Penfold. Middle Dragster winner was Harold Bull after beating Chris Leaney and then John Whitmore. Bill Weichelt soloed to an 8.79/165 win in Top Dragster when John Siggery in Geronimo failed to make the call. (Clive Rooms)
May 22nd/23rd RAF North Luffenham 30th Anniversary Show. NDRC Meeting. Dennis Priddle ran 7.75 seconds in his TF car which was the quickest ET ever recorded at an NDRC event. Conditions on both days were rather damp and a lot of competitors had problems hooking up. Top Dragster winner was Ken Cooper in his flathead Mercury powered rail which defeated Ray Hoare in Saxon 12.55 to 13.16. John Whitmore ran 12.10 in the final of Middle Dragster to defeat the Red Witch of Keith Elliott. Junior winner was Duncan Miles beating an out of sorts Gerry Cookson. In Top Competition, Alan Wigmore shut down Ed Gurney’s Hush Bloo, and then Roland Pratt in the Hillbillies Topolino defeated Dave Page in the Panic BSA pickup. Dennis Stone had a bye run. In the semis, it was the Hillbillies who had the bye run, and then the Stones Opus One defeated the Itzaviva of Wigmore. The sheer power of the big block Hillbillies triumphed over the small block Opus One in the final. Middle Competition winner was Roger Bishop’s Stripteaser who downed Chris Wilson’s Alleycat. Dick Fielding took Junior Competition. Due to the weather, only two bike eliminations took place. In Middle bike, Norman Hyde on Roadrunner defeated Eddie Dunmow’s Paper Tiger. In the non-qualifiers elimination, Don East beat Phil Green. (Clive Rooms)
May 30th-31st SPR. Big Go. Dennis Priddle and Clive Skilton were both making check out passes on the Sunday. Clive ran a couple of mid sevens and Dennis ran an eight with handling problems. In their first race on Monday, Clive won with a 7.63/203 to Dennis’ 7.74/174 early shut-off with handling problems. The second race was similar with Dennis getting out of shape and heading towards Clive who was forced to click it off early. Clive won in 7.92/136 to Dennis’ 7.86/172. Dennis then discovered one of his rear wheels had a half inch buckle in it which was causing the handling problems. In Top Competition, Pete Smith in Hush Bloo ran 11.33/121 to defeat the 10.9/134 from Derek Benbow in Tee Total. Middle Dragster was once again a Harold Bull benefit as he beat Steve Collins and John Whitmore before defeating a red lighting Doug Harler in the final. Tony Anderson was the winner of Top Dragster. Firstly, he beat Dave Prior’s Hellkat, then Keith Elliott in Red Witch before beating Cliff Jones in the final. In Super Top bike, John Hobbs ran 10.45/138.31 as Pegasus expired, then Ray Feltell ran 10.64 to defeat Bernie White whose engine let go in a big way. Feltell red lit in the final handing the win to Hobbs who still put down a strong 10.17/137.36. In the Senior bike final, Phil Manzano red lit as Roger Barnes limped across the line with blower problems. In the final of Middle bike, Nigel Dodd downed Maurice Castle with 13.14/101.12 to a losing 14.96/93.55. The Junior bike final was between Les Julian and Des Heckle and it was Julian who took it in 12.30/112.61 to Heckle’s 13.90/96.15. (Clive Rooms)
June 13th Elvington. NDRC & Auto 66 Club meeting. Dennis Priddle ran low E.T. of the meeting at 7.30 seconds in the Hot Wheels fueler. For all class results click here. (Steve Collins)
June 27th SPR. BDR&HRA meeting. Top Dragster was a best of three between Bill Weichelt and John Siggery with the Asmodeous rail of Weichelt taking it 2-0. The first race was 9.00/160 to a losing 9.46/144, and the second was 9.14/160.00 to a losing 9.43/148.06. Senior Comp final was between Roger Bishop in Stripteaser and Alan Sherwin in Travel Agent. Stripteaser took it with a PB of 13.10 as Travel Agent broke at half track. Top Comp was won by Kevin Pilling in Pure Seven. He ran 10.57 to defeat Ed Gurney in Hush Bloo, then he ran another 10.5 to see off Colin Mullan in Invader in the final. Junior Dragster winner was Michael Snelling in the Worden dragster. He beat Gerald Cookson’s Joker in the final, 12.98 to 14.6. Middle Dragster saw another win for Harold Bull although it was close. Doug Harler took a big lead as Harold got out of shape but then managed to straighten it up and just pip Doug 10.6/129 to a losing 12.06/113.9. The winner of Senior Dragster was Ken Cooper in the flathead Mercury engined Bazooka II. He beat Martyn Babb 11.98 to a losing 15.89. A couple of the big altereds turned up with new engines for the first time. Phil Elson in Sneaky was now fitted with a blown 392 Chrysler, and Dennis Stone in Opus One had an aluminium Chevy 427 fitted. Elson bent a valve in practice and Stone match raced Steve Cryer in Metronome. Even though Opus One wasn’t running properly, it still took the series 2-0. On two wheels, the winner of Junior Comp bike was Adrian Reynard who beat Paul Eastbury. Tony Weedon won Middle Comp bike beating John Ellson 11.87 to a losing 12.22. In Senior Comp bike, Les Julian was too eager and pulled a cherry allowing Roger Barnes an easy win. In Top Comp bike, Derek Chinn defeated Pete Smith, Tony Bartram had an easy win as Norman Hyde broke, Pete Miller overcame Dave Clee and Don East was too strong for Ray Feltell. In the semis, Bartram defeated Chinn and East beat Miller. Bartram took an easy final round win as East red lit. (Clive Rooms)
July Reported in July Custom Car magazine. Clive Skilton the British low-ET record holder is making plans to enter his Second Revolution Chrysler digger at this years NHRA Nationals in Indianapolis at the end of September. Clive reckons his Keith Black 392 motor will be able to withstand the high (95%) nitro loads required to qualify. So far he has managed to raise $2,400 of the $10,000 needed to ship the team out. Major sponsors are Castrol, Champion and GUD filters. Clive has since informed me that he didn't make it to Indy.
July 10th/11th SPR. BDR&HRA International Drags. Santa Pod welcomed their first South African competitor, 'Mad' Arthur Christy, who joined competitors from the UK and Sweden. Christy was determined to put his 'Hawaiian III' fueler into the eights but despite several 170mph plus passes he could not improve on a best of 9.05. Freddie Whittle debuted his new Hemi-powered Altered 'Shutdown' and after a couple of shakedown runs put in a storming 9.85/132.63 making him the quickest Altered driver outside the USA. Freddie red lit his way out of competition however and the title eventually went to Swede Lars Toringnen who set a new B Class record of 10.00/141.64. Some other Swedes were making a big impression on the crowds, Gunne Back ran an 11.75/128.04 in his B/Modified 1964 Corvette and Nels Redehlad ran a best of 12.10/118.76 in his B/Street Altered 7.9 litre Chevy Malibu. Clive Skilton took the Top Fuel Eliminator title in 'Revolution II' despite pulling a giant wheelie during Saturdays qualifying. The front suspension had to be fixed before the next days eliminations. In the final Clive faced up to Dennis Priddle in the JWR/Hot Wheels fueler who had been running the quicker E.T.s of the meeting (regular 7.3s). Dennis lost traction on the money run and Clive took the win with a 7.35 to Priddles 7.55/190.
July 17th/18th Elvington. Northern Speed Trials & Official Practice Day for the Records Weekend held in October. The Incorporated Sprint Organisation made special arrangements for Clive Skilton and Bill Weichelt to make their record attempts at this meeting as both drivers were expected to be in the USA when the actual event was due to be staged. Skilton set a new standing start quarter mile world record, (under FIA regulations, taking an average of two runs, one in each direction) in his 392 Chrysler Hemi powered "Revolution II". The previous record of 8.29, set by the Priddle/Sluggett "Tudor Rose" dragster in 1968, was beaten by Skiltons 7.605, 7.4 on the first run and 7.72 with a broken engine to finish on the second. Bill Weichelt in Asmodeus set a new British and European record for the standing start kilometer at 17.7 seconds, falling short of Mickey Thompsons World Record of 16.5 seconds. Apparently Asmodeus was said to have been travelling at approximately 275mph at the end of the kilometer. Bill commented after the run "The slicks had grown to about four feet tall at the top end"!
July 25th Dunkeswell. NDRC Meeting. The largest NDRC crowd of the year so far turned up to watch the action. Dennis Priddle in the Hot Wheels fueler and Bill Weichelt in Asmodeus held a best of three match race. As Asmodeus was a gas burning dragster Bill was given a one second head start but was soundly beaten three nil by Dennis who ran a best time of 7.6. Roy Phelps brought along the FGR Wheelie Stingray to put on a show for the crowds. For all class results click here
August 1st SPR. BDRHRA Meeting. John Hobbs set a new 500cc motorcycle record with a 9.68/137.74 run on his 'Olympus' Triumph in the final round, making him the first person to run a bike under 750cc below ten seconds. His opponent, Dave Lecoq, was returning to the track on his new creation 'Dragwaye' a slingshot bike! His path to the final saw a string of mid nine second runs at 150mph plus. In the face of such strong competition Hobbs performed what was described as an 'ultra long' burnout (5 seconds) before carrying the bike to the start line to prevent any grit sticking to the Avon slick. In stage he wound the motor up to 10,000rpm, 2000rpm more than normal, before dropping the clutch on the green. The result was a superb holeshot over Lecoq with virtually no wheelspin and a record setting victory.
August 8th Blackbushe. NDRC. 120 competitors and 12000 spectators attended this NDRC meeting which was sponsored by Radio Luxembourg. The startline had to be painted before any racing could take place. Dennis Priddle in the Hot Wheels fueler and Bill Weichelt in Asmodeus held a best of three match race. As Asmodeus was a gas burning dragster Bill was given a two second head start and won with two out of three. Dennis however ran the quickest ET of the day with a 7.35. This was "Wild Bills" last appearance in the UK. After this meeting Bill packed up and returned to his native USA along with the car. Whatever happened to him after that? If anyone out there knows please contact me. Brian Chapman put in a run of 10.77seconds aboard his 500cc Vincent. This time made him the quickest single cylinder rider in the world. Dennis Stone drove the 'Opus One' altered to a new personal best of 9.95seconds to win the Top Competition final. For all class results click here.
August 29th/30th SPR. BDRHRA Championships Meeting. Dennis Priddle took the European E.T. record down to 7.22 seconds in the Hot Wheels fueler. On the next run he tried to break into the sixes and destroyed his motor, putting a con rod through the sump. Dennis and Clive Skilton were jointly presented with a special trophy by Kelly-Springfield for the persons doing the most for the "furtherance of the sport" during the 1971 season. At the same meeting N.D.R.C. Chairman, Alan Wigmore, rolled his car 'Itzaviva' and wrote it off. Alan was OK. Dennis Stone won Top Comp Altered in "Opus One" beating Freddie Whittles "Shutdown" in the final. Dutchman Ronald Van Kuyk had entered with his injected rail but had engine problems.
September 12th SPR. BDRHRA Club Meeting. In Top Competition, Roland Pratt in The Hillbillies Topolino defeated Allan Herridge in the Gloworm Capri, 9.42/148 to a losing 9.59/152. In the other semi, Fred Whittle ran a PB of 9.67/157 in Shutdown to defeat Phil Elson’s 10.91/149. In the final, it was the power of the blown 392 of Whittle which was just too strong for the injected Chevy of Pratt. Whittle’s time was 9.35/158 to a losing 9.63/146. Tony Anderson was the winner of Top Dragster overcoming Brian Ringsell’s Taxi 9.9 to the 10.54 of the ailing Chrysler. In Top Comp bike, Ray Feltell shut down Mick Buttars, Tony Bartram defeated Ian Messenger on Pegasus, John Hobbs took a red light win over Pete Miller and Brian Chapman had an easy win over a broken Roger Barnes. In the first semi, Feltell recorded 10.32/115.61 as Bartram red lit. Then Hobbs ran 9.83/138.87 which was much too strong for Chapman’s 10.62/130.38. In the final, Hobbs was too slow on the lights allowing Feltell to take the win in 10.12/133.87 to a faster but losing 9.80/136.99. Mick Warne ran 10.84/125.47 to win Middle Comp bike at the expense of Pete Harman who turned 11.04 in the final. Brian Howells was the winner of Junior Comp bike as Ron May red lit in the final. (Clive Rooms)
September 25th/26th RAF North Luffenham. NDRC Meeting. For meeting results click here. (Steve Collins)
October 10th SPR. Dennis Priddle set a new track and European record at this meeting. His first run was a 7.23/193. Then an hour later, he came out again and put down a 7.13/203 run to reset the record books. Commuter put in an appearance with Tony Densham at the helm and ran an 8.8/169 which took out the top end timing light deflectors. Top Dragster winner was Geronimo with mechanic Colin Calverley behind the wheel. He recorded 9.45/148 to beat Ray Hoare in Saxon which ran a losing 10.63. Ken Cooper took the win in Senior Dragster as Mike Treutlin in Crescent Coupe pulled a cherry. John Whitmore took the win in Middle Dragster with his first nine. His 9.93 was too good for Harold Bull who had a very eventful run which saw him side-swiping the barrier a couple of times. Gerald Cookson took the Junior Dragster win defeating Mo Thomas in the final. Kevin Pilling won Top Altered by beating Dave Stone in the final. John Dickson in the Good Vibrations Oldsmobile defeated Ruben Johnson in Invader to win Senior Altered. In Top Comp bike, Dennis Norman beat Tony Bartram, Ray Feltell defeated Pete Smith, John Hobbs missed a gear giving the win to Mick Butler on Cyclops, and Roger Barnes had a walkover as Brian Chapman’s machine stopped. In the semi-finals, Norman beat Barnes and Feltell shut down Butler. The final was won on the start line as Norman pulled another red light gifting the win to Feltell. Tony Weeden won Senior Comp bike defeating Pete Harman in the final. (Clive Rooms)
November 6th/7th SPR. Fireworks meeting. Saturday was badly affected by the weather and a crash when Keith Elliott in the Red Witch Jag powered dragster broke his chassis. There were some notable performances however including a 154 mph run from Steve Cryer in the Metronome altered, and the fastest ever speed from John Siggery in Geronimo at 154 mph also. Sunday brought more showers and the meeting was finally abandoned at 3.30 pm. (Clive Rooms)

1972
Tony Densham announced that he was to retire from the sport, leaving the driving seat of the Santa Pod fueler 'Firefly' vacant for Allan Herridge. Allan had been driving Tonys old car The Commuter. At this time Firefly was the most powerful car outside America.
March 19th SPR. Season opener. Making its debut at this meeting was the new Stones altered named Doo-wot. It was the ex Tee Total chassis of Benbow & Fullerton with the 427 Chevy out of Opus One. Dennis Stone put in the first couple of runs in the car which were both high tens. Then Dave took over for a match race with John Siggery in Geronimo. Geronimo took the first race in 9.3 seconds as the altered travelled a lot further than a quarter mile on the pass in 10.2 seconds. The second race was much closer with Siggery once again winning in 9.7 seconds to the 9.8 pass from the altered. Gerald Cookson once again was victorious in Junior Dragster. Middle Dragster was a best of three between Harold Bull and John Whitmore which Bull took 2-1. Tony Anderson was the winner of Senior dragster. In Top Comp bike, Norman Hyde took a 10.64/132.98 walkover as Nigel Dodd's bike died on the line. George Woods was the winner in Senior Comp bike recording 12.46/122.99 to defeat the quicker but losing 12.23/105.04 of Pete Irons. Alan Glide triumphed in Middle Comp bike as Roy Corbett saw red as he went too soon. (Clive Rooms)
March 26th Upper Heyford. NDRC. This was just a practice day over an eighth mile on the perimeter track. No spectators were admitted. (Clive Rooms)
April 2nd/3rd Santa Pod reported that 23,000 people attended their Easter meet. On the Monday Dennis Priddle ran unopposed in the final to record the quickest E.T. outside the US with a 7.06 at 181mph. His opponent was to have been Clive Skilton but a sheared fuel pump drive in the fire up lane ended Clives race. Dennis had earlier set a new top speed record at 204mph. Clive was debuting the UKs first  rear engined fueler, 'Revolution 3'. Teething troubles saw a few non-starts for the car but by the end of the meeting Clive had recorded a best of 7.70. Freddie Whittle took the Top Competition Altered final in 'Shutdown'. Tony Dickson debuted his new car, a genuine U.S. built Pro Stock 1968 Camaro, 'Money Hungry', which had rolled off the boat just a few days earlier. He took the win in Top Street on both days with a series of low 12s. Colin Mullen and Reuben Johnson debuted the latest incarnation of their Firenza-bodied Altered 'Invader'. The car had a steel body with a fibreglass rear spoiler and a small block Chevy motor.
April 16th SPR. There were only 1500 spectators at the meeting. Clive Skilton in the new Revolution III ran its best time so far 7.5/195.. (Clive Rooms)
April 30th Martlesham Heath. NDRC Meeting. Due to the meeting in 1970 at this venue being too successful, in that it generated a lot of complaints from local residents, this meeting was open only to racers and club members. ET Bracket racing was tried out with some success. Bracket 3 was won by Mike Treutlin in Crescent Coupe, as his main opponent, the Stones with their Doo-Wat altered had to retire with clutch and throttle linkage problems. Tony Anderson appeared with his new rear engined 2.5 litre Daimler and made several shakedown passes (Clive Rooms)
Roland Pratt and Mike Derry built the U.K.s first true funny car, the Transcontinental.A fibreglass Vauxhall X4/90 with Clive Skiltons 1971 Chrysler Hemi engine.
May 20th/21st North Luffenham. NDRC Meeting. Rain on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon held up proceedings but all the classes were completed. Clive Skilton put in a single run in his 'Revolution III' fueler. He lost traction as soon as he launched and smoked the tyres before shutting off and seizing the fuel pump. Dave Stone had a wild ride in the wet in the final of Top Competition Altered. He kept his foot in all the way as 'Tee Rat' slid one way and then the other to an 11.43 win over Phil Elsons 15.08 in 'Sneaky'. Harold Bull was present with his twin-engined version of 'Stripduster' but he struggled to get it running well and ended up breaking a crankshaft. For all class results click here.
May 28th/29th SPR. Big Go. Dennis Priddle achieved the first six-second run outside the U.S. with a 6.995 /185 he followed it up with a 6.93/208mph  late on the first day. Clive Skilton had a bad back and did not run until the second day, by which time Priddle had run 6.95/208. In the final race Priddle beat Skiltons red-lighting 7.27 with a 6.93.Other results; Mike Hutcherson in Houndog ran a 9.02/164 to beat Bruce Brown in Age Machine in Top Dragster. In Senior Dragster Tony Anderson in his new Daimler powered dragster ran 10.10/128 to beat Ray Hoare in Saxon. In Top Comp Colin Mullens Chevy powered Firenza, Invader, beat the Chrysler powered Bantam Altered of Freddie Whittle, Shutdown.The Top Street title went to Tony Dicksons Money Hungry Camaro, running an 11.90 to beat Thom Marshalls Plymouth Barracuda at 12.40. (Simon Groves) Harold Bull was back after the previous weeks problems with a single engine in 'Stripduster'. in the Altered classes Fred Whittle had problems with 'Shutdown' and could not keep the motor running and the Stones team had trouble with 'Tee Rat' destroying clutch plates. Kevin Pilling found new power in 'Pure Seven' and pulled an eight foot wheelie which resulted in a twisted chassis putting him out of action. In Junior Dragster the Sayers Hillman Imp supercharged rear-engined dragster crossed the centre line at the top end, hit the timing mirrors and left the track flipping end over end. The driver was unhurt. There were some new sights for British fans at this meeting. SPRs fueler 'Firefly' was using a 'portable and detachable' starter for the first time, and John Hobbs and Mick Butler treated spectators to rolling burnouts from their Top Bikes in a series of match races that saw Hobbs come out on top with some sound nine second runs. As well as running into the sixes in his fueler Dennis Priddle took to the controls of the newly imported Stanford/Riswick 'Kielbasi Kid' Camaro in Top Street. Neither Pete Stanford or Dave Riswick had obtained competition licenses and so persuaded Dennis to drive. For all class winners click here.
June 25th SPR. The 'Hillbillies' team debuted their latest creation, the 'Transcontinental' Funny Car. The first run produced an out-of-shape eleven second pass, the second was straighter but was still giving driver Roland Pratt cause for concern. Following some adjustments to the steering geometry and the dropping of the rear slick pressures to 10psi he came back out and performed a 200yard burnout followed by an 8.77/162.34 on 25% nitro. His chute failed at the end of the run but he managed to get the car stopped safely.
July 8th/9th SPR. "3rd Internationals". The entry list contained racers from Holland, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, the U.S.A., South Africa and the UK. The first day of the weekend was lost to rain. Sunday was better and Dennis Priddle and Clive Skilton ran a side-by-side 7.1 to 7.2 second race in qualifying. In the first race Priddle followed up his first six second run a month earlier with a 6.88/185.19 holeshot win to Skiltons 7.07/203.25, new personal best E.T.s for both drivers. Later on they matched up again and Dennis made it three in a row with a 7.08 while Skilton lost four pistons and the blower on a 9.04. Dave Stone took "Tee Rat" to a quickest ever time for a Competition Altered in Britain, 8.81 seconds, making it the first British Altered to get into the eights. The Hillbillies 'Transcontinental' Funny Car was written off in a top end accident when the front body section fouled the left hand front wheel turning the car hard to the left where it rolled and left the track. Driver Roland Pratt suffered bruises and torn cartaliges in one knee. A collection of donations from competitors and fans raised around £1000 to help with a rebuild. In Top Street Swedens Gunne Back took his 'Frighten Chicken' 427 Corvette to the title honours despite some startline trickery from Tony Dickson in Money Hungry. Back patiently waited just outside the pre-stage beam while Dickson performed three burnouts. Dickson then staged, followed by Back who then pulled a superb holeshot and took the win. South Africas top bike racer ran his best ever time of 10.60/139 before grenading his motor. The large field of foreign bike racers included a young Henk Vink from Holland on a 750 Kawasaki but the final eight in eliminations were all UK riders. Mick Butler took the win in the final on his 1000cc Vincent. Other winners included Swedens Lars Torngren in his 'Wild Honey' Altered, who took the Senior Competition title with a win over Colin Mullans 'Invader', and another Swede, Kris Johansen who won Senior Street when Roger Oram pulled a red light in 'Red E'.
August 5th/6th SPR. BDR&HRA Grand Fuel Meeting.This meeting had to be abandoned due to the weather. There were some notable performances that took place before the meeting was stopped including a 9.4 second pass from John Whitmore, Allan Herridge running 7.8/192 in Firefly and Fred Whittle running 168 mph in Shutdown. (Clive Rooms)
August 20th Blackbushe. Hot Car/Radio Luxembourg Grandnationals. NDRC Meeting. A crowd of nearly 20,000 saw Dennis Priddle smoke the full quarter mile to record a 6.91/211, the fastest speed so far in the UK. He was taking part in a match race with Clive Skilton who struggled to a 7.62/189 using the 392ci Hemi from the recently deceased 'Transcontinental' Funny Car. Earlier in the day the pair had run two other races. The first saw Priddle take the win with a 6.92/194 (the first six at Blackbushe) to Skiltons 7.87/180. In the second race Priddle had fuel problems after a strong burnout and shut off to leave Clive to clock a 7.89/189 solo. Top Competition saw a contest between the Altereds of Dave Stone (Tee Rat) and Freddie Whittle (Shutdown). Dave Stone was the dominant driver, beating Whittle 9.58/160 to 9.77/159 to take number one qualifying spot. Later in a match race with Phil Elson in the 'Sneaky' Altered Stone took Tee Rat to a 9.48/172, the fastest speed ever for an Altered in the UK. Elsons losing 11.44/123 was no match. Stone went on to win the final of Top Competition with a 9.43/149 to Shutdowns 9.80/153. Whitle then raced Elson and took the win with a 9.79/164 to a 10.70/134. John Hobbs took the Top Bike title with a 10.26/150 on his 'Olympus II' Triumph against Eddie Lloyds 11.88/128 on 'Locomotion'. Bruce Brown took Top Dragster with a 9.79/161 to Roger Bells 11.88/120 in a 5.7 litre Formula One BRM! Ray hoare took Senior Dragster with a 9.83/155 to Tony Andersons 9.72/131. Gary Goggin won Top Street, and also set low E.T. of the meeting for street cars with an 11.79/122 win over Keith Harvies 12.75/113. Middle Street went to Mike Aitkin in 14.01/105 and in Junior Dragster Harold Bull dominated the field with regular mid-eleven second runs that were at least a second quicker than the rest of the competition. Tony Weedon had a win in Middle Bike while Norman Hyde took the Senior Bike honours with an 11.63/133 over Mick Warnes 11.79/125. Peter Elgin won Top Street Bike on his 1000cc Vincent. The Page brothers debuted their new 'Panic' altered at this meeting. The car featured a Roland Pratt chassis with a JWR 427ci Rat motor and Fibreglass Applications Topolino body.
August 27th/28th SPR. BDR&HRA Nationals Skilton lost to Priddle in the first side by side six second race. Skilton ran 6.89/211 (his first six), Priddles slingshot ran 6.67secs. The first side by side 200mph run happened at the same meet when Herridges 'Firefly' ran a 7.34/201 to beat Skiltons 7.41/200. Herridge went on to run a 7.2. Dave Stone took 'Tee Rat' to its best ever time with an 8.6 second run and then went on to crack a piston and bend a rod trying to better it. The Page Brothers won the Senior Competition Altered Eliminator title with their new Topolino Altered 'Panic'.
September 3rd North Luffenham. NDRC Meeting. Cancelled due to lack of entries. 24 racers had sent entry forms in prior to the event. The close proximity to other meetings was blamed.
September 9th Brighton Speed Trials. Clive Skilton took his 392ci Chrysler powered 'Revolution III' to smoky runs of 8.1 and 8.7 seconds.
September 10th SPR. BDR&HRA Big Street Meet
September 23rd/24th SPR. BDR&HRA Meeting. Saturday’s qualifying was headed by Dennis Priddle who reset the strip record with a 6.59/200.8 run. John Siggery drove Commuter to an 8.09, the fastest the car had ever run. Super Top Dragster should have been a three race, round robin affair. In the first race, Dennis Priddle defeated Clive Skilton with a 6.7 to a losing and engine damaging run of 7.24. In the second race, Priddle soloed as Allan Herridge in Firefly lost fire, but the clocks went on the blink which meant no time or speed. Firefly was re-fired and ran 7.12 at 212 mph which was the fastest ever speed in this country. Top Comp Altered winner was Dave Stone in Tee Rat with an 8.78/152 win over Phil Elson. Bruce Brown in Age Machine won a best of three with Geronimo by 2-1, culminating in a PB 9.00/161. In Top Street, Kevin Pilling debuted the Keilbasi Kid and reached the final before going down to Gary Goggin. In Top Comp bike, Pete Smith won the final in 10.67/117.9 as Jeff Byne red lit. Senior Comp bike winner was Dave Clee in 10.60/138.1, George Woods took Middle in 11.39/119.0 and John Clift won Junior in 13.21/101.5. (Clive Rooms)
September 30th/October 1st Elvington. International Sprint Organisation World Records Weekend. Dennis Priddle set a new 1/4 mile world record of 6.7seconds. This was achieved with a run of 6.69 (the first six second run seen north of Santa pod) followed by a return run of 6.75. The return run was however judged to be outside the one hour turn-around time allowed for record attempts so the team re-prepared the car for a second return run. This was achieved with a 6.65 giving the two-way average of 6.7. Clive Skilton took 'Revolution III' to a new world 500 metres standing start record of 8.4 seconds with a terminal speed of 240mph. John Hobbs had a successful weekend after problems on the Saturday and left with three National and World records. Saturday saw his clutch on the 1000cc twin-engined Triumph 'Olympus II' go up in a shower of sparks during a burnout. Back in the pits Hobbs was observed scuffing clutch plates on the concrete in an attempt to produce some bite in the errant parts. It appeared to work as the next day he secured the Standing Start 1/4 mile record at 9.785 seconds, the Standing Start Kilometer record with 18.22 seconds and the Standing Start Mile record with 26.395 seconds. The Mile record had stood at 28.032 since 1966 when it had been set by sprint legend George Brown on his Vincent 'Super Nero'. Hobbs estimated speed at the end of the mile was 190mph. Ian Messenger ran a best of 10.10 seconds over the quarter mile on the 1000cc Vincent 'Pegasus'. Swede Arnold Sundquist made an attempt at the flying kilometer record in his Westinghouse J46 engined 'Silver Streak II' jet car. On approaching the start line at around 280mph the car veered to the right and in a bid to regain control he pulled the chute. The car crashed through the barrier and came to rest in a field. Arnold needed no more than a few stiches in one leg.
October 8th SPR. BDR&HRA Meeting.
October 21st/22nd SPR. BDR&HRA G Max Grand Trophy Meeting. Saturday featured qualifying for the following days Competition Eliminator. Bruce Brown ran a 9.34/140.45 in the 454ci Chevy 'Age machine', Tony Dickson ran 11.88/117.92 in 'Money Hungry' and Phil Elson continued to improve in the 'Sneaky' Altered with a 9.34/150.60. Top runners in the bike divisions were Tony weedon and Norman Hyde who ran 10.09/136.99 and 10.13/141.44 respectively. Sunday began cold and wet but the track had dried sufficiently for racing by midday. With a lot of racing to get through the situation became confused by mid-afternoon when it became apparent that the Competition Eliminator, Class Racing and qualifying were all being run together. Despite the confusion Pete Smith emerged as the Comp Eliminator winner with a 12.14/117.64 in his 'Hush Bloo' Altered to a 17.71/74.91 from the E/Production Volvo of Glen Read. Dave Stone qualified 'Tee Rat' with an 8.92/152.67, beat Phil Elson 8.91/16026 to 9.89/155.52 and went on to take the Top Competition title with a solo 9.90 after Freddie Whittle lost fire in 'Shutdown'. Earlier Whittle had defeated Ed Shaver who was driving the rebuilt 'Metronome'. Allan Herridge performed Britains first ever flame burnout at this meeting in the Firefly slingshot. He then followed it with the fastest Top Fuel speed outside the US, a 7.51/218. His opponent for the race, Clive Skilton, had shut off with a faulty oil pressure gauge. Allan red lit however so a re-run was called. This time Clive pulled a red on a 7.04/204 pass as Herridge coasted through in 11.53/88.44 for the win. Dennis Priddle ran a 6.98/153.74 to defeat Mike Hutcherson in 'Houndog' at 8.63/156.74. By the time the crew had turned "Firefly' around to race Priddle it was too dark for the cars to run so the pair sent the fans home with fire burnouts. Other results saw John hobbs take the Top Bike final with a 9.91/146.41 to Ray Feltells 10.55/107.30. Tony Dickson took Top Street with a solo 12.01/118.91 after Kevin Pilling failed to show. Senior Dragster saw Dennis Acott in his rear-engined Chevy rail 'Hellkat' take the honours after John Siggery red lit on a 9.11 pass in the Commuter. Middle Dragster went to John Whitmore on a solo after 'The Worden' failed to show and Pete Batty ran 13.13/97.18 in his Imp powered rail to take the Junior Dragster win over a 13.4/99 from Gerry Cookson in 'the Joker'.
November 4th/5th SPR. BDR&HRA Meeting. Dennis Priddle and Allan Herridge came together for the final of Top Fuel. Priddle took the win with Herridge gaining at the top end before going sideways and striking the barrier of the spectator lane bursting a tyre and damaging the rear of the car. On pulling the chute the car straightened up and Bootsie managed to stop it safely. Later he brought it out to entertain the crowd with some fire burnouts. Phil Elson ran 9.73/148 in 'Sneaky' to defeat Dave Stone in 'Tee Rat'. Keith Harvey ran a seasons best of 11.26/121 in his 440ci Camaro 'Firebrewed' making him the quickest Stocker in the UK. He went on to defeat Tony Dickson in Money Hungry and, in the Top Street final, Gary Goggin in the 'Super Vette' after a two minute burnout.
This season saw Barry Sheavills debut his first purpose built racecar. It was an Austin Ruby with a straight six Jaguar motor which ran in Competition Altered. It was called 'Stagecoach', the name which Barry continued to use on all his cars.

1973
SPR added a 1000 seat stand on the pit side of the strip.
A change in the rules for motorcycles meant that from this season onwards engines with capacities of up to 2000cc could be used in competition (Previously 1300cc). This would lead to twin engined machines becoming more common and John Hobbs became the first UK rider to use a 7x14 Woolfrace wheel, with a car size slick, to cope with the increased horsepower on his newly built 1500cc Morgo-Triumph.
The RAC announced that Castrol Ltd would be the sponsors of the 1973 National Drag Racing Championships. This was seen by many as a significant step forward for the recognition of the sport.
February 3rd-17th At the Winternationals meeting at Pomona California Clive Skilton and Dennis Priddle became the first UK car drivers to race on an American drag strip. They had both gone out to purchase cars to bring back to the UK. Priddle qualified 25th in a 32 car field while Skilton made the bump spot. The event turned into a shambles and was possibly the longest drag race meeting of all time. For an  excellent full account of the event from Simon Groves click here.
March 18th SPR. Open Practice Day. Dave Clee debuted his new Alf Hagon built double Triumph engined motorcycle 'Double Barrel Shotgun' but had problems and burnt out the Jawa speedway bike clutch plates he was using. Rookie Charlie Harrison put in some twelve second runs on the ex-John Hobbs 500cc 'Olympus 1' Triumph which he now owned. John was on hand to offer advice and took one more run on his old bike to prove it would still hold together. Keith Parnell put in some runs on his 750cc 'Matchmaker' and lowered his personal best from a high ten to 10.26. Brian Chapman turned up with his 500cc Vincent 'Mighty Mouse' and put in a best of 10.35. He claimed to have been busy decorating his house all winter and had only gone over the bike with a feather duster in preparation for the new season!
April  1st SPR BDRHRA Season Opener. Top Fuel saw Mike Hutcherson and Allan Herridge run identical 8.53s in qualifying. Hutcherson in 'Houndog' was running the old 392 motor from Herridges 'Firefly' and hit 181mph. Dennis Priddle made number one spot with a 7.05. In eliminations Herridge performed a flame burnout before coming to the line alongside 'Houndog'. The car then lost fire and Hutcherson soloed to the final. Priddle soled for his place also. In the final a hard wheel-lifting charge from Hutcherson was never going to be enough to beat Priddle who got back into the sixes with a 6.96/176.99 win. Dave Stone took top spot in Comp Altered with a 9.21/164 in 'Tee Rat'. Phil Elson was running a new slipper clutch in 'Sneaky' but a loss of oil pressure in the semi-final saw Bob Braysher, out for the first time in the Tyresales Teams Ford motored 'Texas T' make it to the final. In the other semi Dave Stone easily defeated Colin Mullans 'Invader'. The final was an easy win for 'Tee Rat' with an 8.81/167.74. This meeting saw the first ever UK Pro Stock eliminator. Only three cars entered, Kevin Pilling in 'Satans Toy', Peter Crane in the ex-Rod Shop Camaro and Tony Dickson in the 'Money Hungry' Camaro, the first US Pro Stock car to be imported to the UK. Dickson took the title on a solo run. In Junior Dragster Gerry Cookson appeared with a Wade blower for the first time and knocked half a second off his previous best to take the win in the final. Brian Ringsells blown 331 Chrysler rail 'Taxi' made a brief re-appearance but had problems. Reports sate that Brian couldn't fit into it! Tony Weedon wrote off his Triumph bike when a cross wind at the top end of the strip caught him unawares and sent him into the opposite lane, just missing opponent Wilf Barry. Tony suffered bruises and a cut to his head. Brian Chapman, on his 'Mighty Mouse' Vincent, ran the quickest bike time of the day with a 10.48 in qualifying. Derek Goodman won the Top Street Bike class with a 14.05 on his Norton. Runner up was P. Butler who put in a slow 20.10 with a duff plug. For all class results click here.
April 8th Castrol /RAC NDRC National Championship Round One. Wroughton, Wiltshire. 9000 spectators turned out to witness the start of the 1973 NDRC National Championship. 75 entries was a lower than expected turnout and the infamous NDRC timing equipment was playing up and refused to give out any terminal speeds. Star of the day was Clive Skilton who was debuting his newly imported, ex-Kuhl & Olsen fueler with its 446ci Beadle-built Dodge Hemi. Clive clocked a 7.18 off the trailer on only 60% nitro before lining up for a match race with Roland Pratt. Pratt was driving Clives car from the previous year, with a new paintjob and sponsorship from Accles & Pollock. He put in a smoky familiarisation pass, shutting off at half track before the match. The first leg saw Skilton win with a 7.10 to Pratts early shut off 8.44. The second round saw Pratt into the sevens for the first time with a 7.83 loser to Skiltons 7.11. The final round saw Pratt get his revenge with a 7.71 while Skilton bogged off the line and went every which way but straight in an effort to catch up, eventually losing with an 8.37. Kevin Pilling ran a 12.84 in the new 'Satans Toy'  Camaro Pro Stocker on a trial run. He followed this up with a new personal best of 11.08 but lost the propshaft and damaged his T.10 gearbox, putting him out of action for the rest of the day. In Senior Street Dave Grady took his 302ci Holden (the first seen at an NDRC event) to a 15.07 for #1 qualifying spot, just ahead of Ian Frasers Mustang at 15.30. The anticipated Pro Stock match race between Keith Harvies 'Fire Brewed' and Kevin Pillings 'Satans Toy' never materialised because Harvies £2000 all aluminium motor threw a rod and destroyed itself. The explosion was so severe that the errant rod embedded itself in the front cross member and resisted all attempts to remove it. Brian Bucknall took his twin cam Lotus 7 to #1 qualifier and the Middle Street win at his first ever drag race. Qualifying saw Freddie Whittle go to #1 spot in Top Competition with an off the trailer 8.92 in the 'Shutdown' Altered. Fred went on to win 2/2 in the Top Comp match race with Colin Mullans 'Invader'. Ray Hoare and John Whitmore were the only qualifiers in Senior and Top Dragster and so decided to make a match race of it. The first round went to Hoare in 'Saxon' who clocked his first nine with a 9.97 to Whitmores 10.37. He improved on this in round two with another win and a 9.61 while Whitmore got out of shape on a 10.84. The third round saw a malfunction on the tree causing an uneven start. Whitmore clocked a 10.04, his best of the day, while the bad start saw Hoare follow with a 10.07. Top Bike was won by Peter Miller, on his 500cc 'Mendusa', with a 9.77 second blast to beat Don East who ran 10.88 on 'Quasimodo' after missing a gear. Junior Motorcycle was won by John Clift recording 12.64 on his 350cc B.S.A. 'Earwig', closely followed by Ron Cheeseman with 13.15, whose wife was also runner up in the Street Eliminations for cars. In the Street Motorcycle class victory went to C. Russell on his Triumph 'Reflection'. He was the only entrant! John Lloyd debuted his new creation, a 1600cc VW motored bike called 'Locomotion'. He suffered clutch problems, a regular fault of the larger engined bikes. For all class results click here.
April  15th Amsterdam. Holland. A team of UK Drag Bike racers travelled to Amsterdam to participate in a meeting organised by the Amsterdam Motor Club and the 'Explosion Club'. The strip was a section of public road on the outskirts of the city which the local authorities had allowed them to use for the day. Best performances were from Don East on his 750cc 'Quasimodo', who won fastest time of the day (10.707), best in class and was also winner of the Drag Race session. George Woods won the 350 class with his Triumph but later blew a piston after being persuaded to add a drop of nitro. Nigel Dodd ran a low eleven on Phil Manzanos 750cc 'Torquemedia' while Phil rode a 1927 Douglas. This vintage 596cc bike ran a 13.24 in practice, beating, and probably embarrassing, the Dutch owner of a brand new 900cc Kawasaki. Don East and top Dutch rider Henk Vink ran a best of three match race. Don won the first round but missed a gear and let Vink past in the second. The deciding race was not run.
April 22nd/23rd SPR. Custom Car Springnationals. In a bizzare match race John Whitmore, in his new rear engined 1300cc BMC rail, faced up to Dennis Priddles Mr Six. John was away from the line first but by the 1/8th Dennis was ahead to win with a 7.02 to Johns 10.50/139. Dennis also ran a two match race against Allan Herridge in Firefly. Priddle won both races, the first with a 7.80/205 after Bootsie red lit, and the second with a 6.87/208 hole shot to a 7.55/198. Mike Hutcherson ran a best ever 8.07/191 but the chute deployed late and Mike dented the nose of the car on the safety drums at the end of the strip. The fourth Top Fuel entry was the aging Commuter, now driven by John Siggery. His qualifying time of 8.50 put him in fourth place. Also recording a personal best was Ray Hoare in Top Dragster, a 9.64/154. A five car Pro Stock field saw Kevin Pilling take #1 qualifying spot with a 11.28 in Satans Toy. Gary Goggin was out for the first time in his new car and qualified with an 11.86. Peter Crane went out in qualifying when he put a couple of rods through the sump of his Easy Ridin' Camaro. Dave Stone was #1 qualifier in Comp Altered with a storming 8.77/166. John Lloyd was out again on his Locomotion VW powered bike but a smoky 10.90 was not quick enough to qualify. Mick Butler debuted his new twin Norton engined Super Cyclops and put in a couple of easy low eleven second shake down runs. Brian Chapman was out of luck when Mighty Mouse blew its 500cc Vincent motor all over the track after an earlier 10.72. Norman Hyde was top of the pile with a 10.37. The first round of Pro Fuel saw Priddles Mr Six up against John Siggery in the Commuter. A foregone conclusion on paper but as Priddle performed his burnout the blower belt broke and took out an oil pipe. Siggery soloed for an easy win. In the other semi Mike Hutcherson, having patched up the nose of Houndog, put a rod through the sump while Allan Herridge pulled a red light in Firefly. That meant that all Siggery had to do was get the Commuter to the end of the strip. This he did in an easy 10.88/134. Priddle and Herridge decided to run off for second place. After the burnouts Firefly cut out and the crew quickly re-started it. On the run the clutch gave way in Firefly and Herridge coasted through the lights at 8.94 behind Priddles 7.28/193.80 winner. For all class results click here.
May 6th Castrol/RAC NDRC National championship Round Two Fulbeck, Nottinghamshire. Despite the intermittent rain 6000 spectators turned up for the days action. Qualifying eventually got underway at 11am and went on until 1pm. Clive Skilton (Revolution IV) and Roland Pratt (Revolution III) were the only two fuelers present. Their first match race saw both cars loose fire on the line before re-starting. Clive ran 7.25/204 but Roland was left on the line with a broken throttle linkage. The second race saw Skilton win with a 7.40/194 to Pratts 8.85/109. Flames were spotted on Skiltons motor after the finish so the safety crew had to use an extinguisher to avoid any more problems. This meant that Clive was unable to make the last race. Pratt soloed to an easy 11.09. Meanwhile Christine Skilton pulled off a surprise victory in Senior Street, driving a Mercedes Benz 350 SLC Automatic. This won her the Sperex/RSD award for 'Best Lady Driver'. In the Street Bike final two Kawasakis met, Alan Davis (750cc) and Phillip Allen (500cc). Allen was keen to get a good start on the smaller machine and put on a little too much power off the line. The front wheel lifted and by 60ft Allen was pulling a huge wheelie. Undeterred he refused to close the throttle and rode through it, but failed to catch up with Davis' bigger bike. For all class results click here.
May 13th SPR. BDR&HRA Meeting.
May 19th Goodwood Circuit. On a 600ft long strip Dennis Priddle put in some demo burnouts and launches in his 'Mr Six' slingshot. Southern TV recorded the action which was shown on the evening news and the 'Day By Day' programme.
May 26th/27th The Hot Car Big Go. SPR. 200 cars and bikes made up the entry list for this meeting with a record of seven British-owned fuel dragsters. Qualifying saw the debuts of Dennis Priddles 'Mr Revell' slingshot (7.79/174 & 7.11/204.7) and Clive Skiltons back-motored 'Fourth Revolution' (6.74/204.9). Tony Gane took the driving duties in Priddles 'Mr Six' while Clives old car was driven by Roland Pratt who clocked a 7.68/189. Allan Herridge in 'Firefly' ran 7.8, 7.64/191.57 and 7.55/207.47. John Siggery in the 'Commuter' clocked an 8.32 and Mike Hutchinson in 'Houndog' ran a below par 8.39. Skiltons off-the-trailer 6.74 turned out to be low E.T. of the meeting. In eliminations Skilton ran a half pass 7.79/124.35 on his bye run. Roland Pratt pulled a red letting Mike Hutchinson go through. Next up were the two Priddle cars, both of which lost fire after the burnouts. They were re-started and despite a holeshot from Priddle Tony Gane kept his boot in just failing to catch the more powerful car with a 7.45/173 to Priddles winning 7.20/198.41. The first round ended with a solo 7.39/200.4 from 'Firefly' after 'Commuter' cut on the line. The second round only saw one race before the rain brought the meeting to an abrupt end. Clive Skilton ran a 6.85/205.76 to defeat Allan Herridge who clocked top speed of the weekend with a 7.45/210.08. In Pro Stock the final round produced the quickest ever race in the UK with Gary Goggin taking the win with an 11.32/124.72 to Kevin Pillings 10.98/126.07. Pillings Camaro broke the propshaft at the top end wrecking the gearbox and clutch. Dave Stone took 'Tee Rat' to a 2-1 pair of wins in Top Comp Altered over Phil Elsons 'Sneaky' with times of 8.61, 8.63 and 8.61 with terminal speeds around 170mph. Mike Treutlein returned with 'Chicken Coupe' to take the Top Dragster title with a 10.10 having earlier set a new strip record with a wheels-up tyre smoking 9.36/145. John Hobbs tried out his old bike 'Olympus 1' which was now owned by Charlie Harrison and bent all four pushrods at the half way mark. Mick Hand stunned everyone in qualifying for Top Bike by wringing a 10.74/120 from his blown 250cc Honda. He went out in the first round with an equally impressive 10.87/120.34. Top Street went to Bob Orams E Type Jag with a 13.14/105.71 win over Mike Yun.
June 17th SPR. G-Max  Grand Fuel Meet. This meeting saw the completion of the rained off eliminations from the Big Go three weeks earlier. Dennis Priddle soloed for the Pro Fuel win after Clive Skilton failed to make the show. His 7.08/186 was the quickest time yet for the new car. John whitmore took the Top Dragster win, Gary Goggin ran 11.25/123.46 to beat Kevin pillings 11.23/125.79 in Pro Stock, Adrian York defeated Bob Oram 13.01 to 13.43 in Top Street while in Senior the win went to Ken Craigen. Junior went to David Vizard. Dave Clee took the Top Bike win with a strong 10.53/140.45 against Norman Hyde. In the meeting proper Priddle match raced the 'Houndog' slingshot. He took the win with a 7.20/203.25 while Mike Hutchinson ran a 7.52/196.08, the first seven second run for the Houndog team, knocking half a second of their previous best. Allan Herridge had a string of problems in 'Firefly'. First the axle gave up giving Bootsie an oil bath. Once that had been replaced the blower belt broke and the fuel tank split. Finally he made a straight 3/4 pass to check that everything was OK. John Siggery was to have run a best of three match race in the 'Commuter' against the Stones 'Tee Rat' but the Ford motor repeatedly lost fire as Dave Stone ran a series of 8.6s at 165-166mph. This was the last on-track appearance of the Commuter. In Top Bike Dave Clee set off on a rolling burnout only to have the motor backfire and spit a large chunk of the rubber inlet hose out at great speed into his throat. No serious damage was done though. Dennis Normans bike threw its clutch plates all over the start line and Norman Hyde came the closest to a nine second run at SPR so far in '73 with a 10.02/143.27 win over Keith Parnells 10.15/126.74 in the semis. Hyde then took the final with a 10.11 over Jeff Byne. For all class results click here.
June 24th Castrol NDRC National championship Round Three. Silverstone, (Admission £1, Grandstand seats 50p extra) this was the NDRCs first meeting at Silverstone and it attracted a less-than-expected 8000 spectators. Top Fuel saw an off the trailer 6.77/211 winner from Clive Skilton against the fueler of Swede John Anderson who ran 7.72/180 in the first of a best of three match race. Round two saw a failed fuel pump result in a 9.02 for Skilton while Anderson shut off early for an 8.71/133. The final race saw Skilton clock a best ever 6.61/217 (1mph off Allan Herridges speed record) while Anderson failed to better his 8.71. Top Dragster saw an unusual entry, the latest creation from Mark Stratton, a rear engined Funny Car driven by Ed Shaver. Running without a body on the car Shaver defeated John Whitmore in the semis with a 9.23/148 but lost fire in the final leaving Ray Hoare in his 'Saxon' to take the win. Malcolm Olley took the 'Pink Panther' slingshot to number one qualifying spot in Senior Dragster with an 11.41/123 but lost out to Ken Cooper who in turn was defeated by John Rotherham in the final. Swedens Anders Lantz made the trip over with his injected 427ci 1933 Plymouth and remained a second ahead of the rest of the Top Street field. His winning 10.73/132 in the final was three tenths of a second quicker than the Pro Stock winner. Top Competition saw Dick Sharpe reach the semi finals in his 'Dorset Horn' A35. There he met another visiting Swede, Bjorn Anderson and his 'Second Invention" Opel Manta Funny Car. An 8.78/150 saw off the A35 and in the final against Freddie Whittle in a re-painted 'Shutdown' he clocked an 8.54/174 to take the win over Freddies 9.07/161. Freddie had defeated the popular Rat-motored Topolino 'Maffia Mouse' of Willi Hestermann in the semis, 9.26/156 to 9.61/145. Yet another Swede made it to the final of Pro Stock. Gunne Back took his 'More Frighten' 427 Camaro to  a solo in the semi after Keith Harvey failed to get to the line after the burnout. In the final Kevin Pilling took the win with an 11.09/129 to Backs quicker 10.99/129, the only ten second Pro stock run of the day. Bob Oram took the win in Senior Street and in doing so dropped into the twelves for the first time with a 12.96/108. For all class results click here.
July 7th/8th SPR. BDR&HRA Petersen Publishing Internationals. Round 1. International entries included 5 Americans, 5 Swedes, 2 Dutch and 2 South Africans. Santa Pod hosted a stage of the Tour Of Britain Rally also which caused qualifying to run over into Sunday. The highlight of the weekend was the appearance of the two American Funny Cars of Don Schumacher (Stardust) and Paula Murphy (Miss STP). Paula was the first out and after two burnouts she clocked a 7.97/185 and dented the sump on the infamous top end bump. Later she ran a 7.72/156. Schumacher put in a couple of shakedown runs and wrecked a blower on each one. The first on the start line and the second at the top end on a nine second pass. The team managed to borrow a blower from SPRs 'Firefly' for Sundays runs.  He put in a solo 7.50/191 to check out the blower and then came the moment that everyone had waited for when the two cars lined up together. Schumacher took the win with a 7.21/202.84 to Paulas 7.82. Later in the day Schumacher brought Stardust out once more and performed a flame burnout before stopping half way up the strip, turning around, burning out for the benefit of the spectators at the top end and then repeating it again at the start line. Top Fuel saw Clive Skilton as number one qualifier with a 6.80 followed by Tony Nancy in his 'Revell Liner' with a 6.98 first pass. Number three went to Dennis Priddle who was back in the seat of the 'Mr Six' slingshot which was sporting a new paintjob. He clocked a 6.99. Mike Hutcherson ran a 7.71. Priddles new 'Mr Revell' car was being driven by its former driver Norm Wilcox and on his initial pass he used both lanes to record an 11.12. Round One saw a 6.88/191.57 solo from Skilton and an easy 7.45/112.61 from priddle after Firefly lost fire. Tony nancy ran 6.90/213.22 to beat Hutchersons 7.72/151.29 and Norm Wilcox broke his diff at half track leaving Roland Pratt to go on to round two with a 7.66/163.23. The semis saw Priddle defeat Skilton 6.63/191 to 6.80/207.90, the second side-by-side six seen in the UK. The other semi saw Roland Pratt unable to keep his car in stage so he launched followed by Tony nancy who also pulled a red. Nancys car stopped with a bang leaving Pratt to cross the line first. Nancy jumped out of his car and proceeded to voice his anger at starter Stu Bradbury, much to the amusement of the crowd. The final saw Pratt fail on the line while Priddle took the win with a 7.08/160.51. To close the meeting Tony nancy came out to take a shot at the strip record, which he just fell short of with a 6.68. He recorded a new terminal speed mark though of 220.75mph. The other visiting American was Danny Johnson who brought over two of his Harley drag bikes minus fairings which had been removed for transportation. On the Saturday he took his 'old' 1600cc machine to an effortless 9.27/162.34, the terminal speed bringing stupefied looks from the UK competitors. On the Sunday he ran a best of three match race with Jim Browns 1260 blown JAP. The first race went to Brown as Johnsons Harley decided to separate the cylinders from the crankcase at half track. He brought out his new two speed bike for the remaining races and clocked a 9.34 red light with brown stalled on the line in the second race. the final saw Johnson perform a flame burnout and then break his chain leaving Brown to take the win. Other highlights included the debut of the first euro-style entries in Pro Stock, the Stones Chevy powered Escort 'Tender Trap' which ran a 12.43/96, and the National Drag Racer magazine entry the 'Music Machine' Capri driven by Geoff Hauser. The class also saw  Gary Goggin go into the tens with a 10.87/128.37 in the semi final against Tony Dickson. In the final he defeated Kevin Pillings 'Satans Toy' with a 10.94/126.90 to an 11.19/128.70, the quickest Pro Stock race seen so far. Top Street was dominated by the Hemi powered Jeep of Svante Ericson who remained a second and a half ahead of the rest of the field and defeated Rick Krejci in the final. John Whitmore won Senior Dragster and managed to get his 1293cc BMC slingshot to over 150mph with a 9.79/151.29. The Stones 'Tee Rat' took Top Competition honours. Duncan Hocking took Top Bike with a 10.06/140 to Norman Hydes 11.08/101.83. Hyde had run the first nine second run of the year in qualifying with a 9.92. Senior Bike went to Dennis Allen with a 10.00/142.05 to Ted Dunmows 10.55/130 while middle went to Dutchman Rob Enyler with a 10.78/129.53 win over John O'Brien.
July 14th/15th HMS Daedalus Royal Navy Air Base. Gosport, Hampshire. BDR&HRA Internationals. Round 2. Rain until midday held up proceedings and a Westland helicopter was used to blow the surface water from the 1000ft strip. With time limited it was decided to concentrate on putting on a show for the spectators and competitors were paired up for best of two match races. Allan Herridge took his first drive in Don Schumachers 'Stardust' Funny Car and made an initial burnout and half pass before lining up alongside Paula Murphy in her 'Miss STP' Plymouth Duster. Earlier Paula had run 6.65/158 and 6.21/168. Paula took the win with a 6.46 while Bootsie smoked his way to a 7.12/114.68 behind her. Herridge was also on duty in the 'Firefly' Top Fueler, running against Mike Hutcherson in the 'Houndog' entry. 'Movin' Mike took both wins as 'Firefly' went every which way but straight. The second race saw "Houndog' break a halfshaft and pop the blower on a 6.99/126.26 winner. Dave Stone in 'Tee Rat' was paired up with Norm Wilcox in Dennis Priddles 'Mr Revell' slingshot. Wilcox took both wins, the first a 6.16/164 to Stones 7.49/155, while the second was the quickest time of the day, a 5.83/168.63 to a losing 7.45/156. Priddle was up against Tony Nancy and got out of shape in the first race, pulling the chutes and scattering marker cones in all directions. Nancy took the win with a 5.87 to Priddles 7.81/65. In the second race Priddle got there first with a 5.99/169 after Nancy went up in smoke off the line and then charged hard to catch up, finishing with a 6.97/210.03! Tony Dickson was paired up with the Formula Atlantic circuit racer of Bev Bond and pulled red lights in both rounds. Danny Johnson ran an easy 8.35/107.99 to defeat Duncan Hocking and then pulled a red light to leave Hocking to win with an 8.57/124.84. Top speed for the bikes went to Mick Butler with a 133mph blast, although this was not enough to beat the 500cc Vincent of Brian Chapman who ran 8.96 and 8.81 for both wins. Mick Warne beat Tony Weedon with an 8.99/121.36 to a 9.22.
July 21st/22nd SPR. BDR&HRA Internationals. Finals. The final round of the International series saw Allan Herridge back in the seat of the 'Stardust' Funny Car. He put in a 7.70/188.68 before lining up alongside Paula Murphy who had earlier run a 7.19/193.05. Paula took an early lead in the race but Bootsie was gaining when he ran low on fuel, the resulting weakened mixture lifted the blower with a bang and blew the roof clean off the body. He still clocked a 7.35/199.20 to Paulas winning 7.18/173.61 which stood as a new FC record. Paula came out just before the Pro Fuel final and performed three smoky burnouts for the crowd before her return to the USA. A new British built Funny Car made its debut at this meeting Liam Churchills Barnet Motor Company FC made its eagerly awaited first appearance. The car had an ex-Nobby Hills 354 Dodge motor, Liams own chassis and a modified FGR Capri body shell. Intermittent rain on the Saturday threatened to hold up proceedings in qualifying. Pro Fuel saw Clive Skilton return with a freshly installed 417 Donovan motor in his rail which he got down to 7.30/194.17 on the Sunday morning. Allan Herridge in 'Firefly' put in a 7.6 second run taking all the timing mirrors and marker cones with him. One of the cones smashed his goggles and with somewhat reduced vision the car ended up resting against a barrier. Dennis Priddle ran a 7.37 in Saturdays session to make number three spot. He bettered this the following day with a 6.87/195 but destroyed the cars diff and had to sit out the rest of the day. Saturday also saw Norm Wilcox get  Priddles 'Mr Revell' into the sixes with a 6.96/168. Wheel balance problems had caused Norm to shut off early. In eliminations Wilcox had a bye in the first round and ran an easy 7.90/93.63. Tony Nancy defeated Mike Hutchersons 7.90/166 in 'Houndog' with another new top speed mark of 223.71 but no recorded time. The final pairing saw 'Firefly' die on the line while Clive Skilton  soloed to a 7.35/200.80. Skilton then soloed his way to the final with a 7.81/198 in the semis. The other semi saw Norm Wilcox up against Tony Nancy. Norm left a fraction too early and pulled a red. Nancy took the win with a 6.59/221.24 and Norm shut off early to a 6.55/187 making this the quickest race ever seen outside the USA. The final had the makings of a tense affair. If Nancy won he would walk away with the series trophy. If Skilton won the title would go to Priddle. Nancy was favourite but after the burnouts his clutch locked up and Skilton soloed for the win with a 6.93/203.67. Top Dragster went to Ray Hoare with a 9.46/158 win over Tony Anderson. John Whitmore won Senior Dragster with a new E Class record of 154.80mph. Swede Svante Erickson had moved from Top Street, where his Chrysler Hemi powered Jeeps times were putting the other competitors to shame, to Senior Comp Altered. Here he found another class to destroy and he carved his way through the field ending up with a win in the final against Pete Smith. Pro Stock saw Peter Crane loose his propshaft in qualifying. Geoff Hauser took the 'Music Machine' Capri up against Kevin Pilling in round one and despite a hole shot the cars electric water pump detached itself at the top end and Pilling took the win. In the final he came up against Gary Goggin who had disposed of Tony Dickson in the previous round. Pilling took the win 11.14/127 to 11.26/125. This left the two cars tied on points for the series so they ran off again for the title. this time Pilling red lit leaving Goggin as overall winner. The Rose Brothers took the Top Street win, running a 12.45/113 in their Barracuda to a 13.01/118 from Pete Andrews 'Maxines Toy' Stingray. Dave Stone took Top Comp in 'Tee Rat' with an 8.73/167 to Phil Elsons slowing 9.07/127. On two wheels Danny Johnson put on a show for the crowds with his flame burnouts and high nine second runs, the hoped for eight second run failing to materialize. John Hobbs was back on his 'Olympus II' Triumph and he  ran a 10.28/145 with a scary looking launch which saw him riding on one edge of the fat M&H slick. He went out in round one to Mick Butler. Duncan hocking took the series Top Bike title despite being eliminated in the semis. Bob Daniel took the final win with a 10.01 to Pete Millers 10.13. Brian Chapman took Senior Bike with a 10.35/132.98 win over Norman Hyde.
August 11th SPR. Open Practice Day
August 12th SPR. Big Street and Motorcycle meet. Mike Hutcherson in Nobby Hills Houndog was the only Fueler present and a couple of easy runs resulted in a best of 7.86/156. Phil Elson took the Top Competition win with a 9.15/146 while opponent Freeman Rogers ran a new personal best of 10.40/138 in the Ford powered 'Aardvark'. In Pro Stock Kevin Pilling won the £25 Queensway Travel award for the quickest E.T. A new personal best of 10.67/130, backed up with a 10.84 in the other lane, put him in the #1 qualifying position in a five car field. He went on to win the elimination with a 10.81/131 to Gary Goggins 11.10/126. Richard Smith made #1 spot in Top Street with a 12.44 in the 'Russos Rat' Chevelle. Pete Andrews was at #2 with a 12.58 in his 'Maxines Toy' Corvette but a later practice run netted a stunning 11.51/118.34, lifting the wheels off the line. This made Andrews favourite for the final win but a red light left Richard Smith to take it with a 12.24/116 to Andrews 11.82/118. Low E.T. in the bike classes went to Duncan Hocking with a 10.01/143.88 on his 750 Triumph in the first round. He made it to the final but couldn't get it together on a 10.94/129 to a winning 10.27/131 from the 500 Triumph of Pete Miller. For all class results click here.
August 19th Blackbushe, Surrey. NDRC Grandnationals. Castrol/RAC NDRC National championship Round Four. The NDRC came in for some criticism after this meeting for the state of its timing equipment and the lack of traction on the strip (the start line had been moved back from previous events). Three fuelers made an appearance, Dennis Priddle was first out but was unable to hook the car up and shut off to a 13 second pass. Clive Skilton managed a 7.52/202 and Roland Pratt took the Accles & Pollock car, now sporting the ex-Skilton 446ci stroker motor, to top spot with a 7.40. Skilton took the first win with a 7.59/202 while Priddle smoked and shut off with a shelled rear end and an 8.28 timeslip. Pratt then wrecked his motor while defeating Skilton, the clocks failing to provide a winning time and speed to Clives losing 7.74/192. With Pratt and Priddle now out of action Skilton was adjudged to be the class winner after a final, unremarkable, solo run. For the first time two British built Funny Cars appeared together. Liam Churchill put in two smokey ten second passes in the Barnet Motor Co. Capri while Ed Shaver drove the still unpainted rear engined Dodge powered Vauxhall machine. Top Dragster went to Tony Anderson with a 9.73 against a 9.92 from Ray Hoare after they had qualified with a 9.85 and a 9.33 respectively. The Pro Stockers had problems on the slippery strip with Gary Goggin making number one spot with an 11.37. His holeshot 11.80 took the final win from Tony Dicksons 11.59 in 'Money Hungry'. The ex-Bruce Brown Dragster 'Age Machine' was now in the hands of new owner Dave Prior. Don East injured his leg when his bike stuck in gear after leaving the rollers causing him to lose control and fall off. Keith Lee also had a spill, this time out on the track, as his Lambretta went into a huge wheelie and threw him off. For all class results click here (supplied by Steve Collins)
August 26th/27th SPR. BDR&HRA Nationals. This weekend saw Owen Hayward take the controls of the ex-Paula Murphy STP Funny Car, now under the guidance of Nobby Hills and the Houndog team. He soon mastered burnouts and put in some easy passes. On one occasion he had to shut the motor off on the line (at the frantic insistence of Nobby Hills) as a combine harvester crossed the top end of the strip! Roy Phelps twice demolished the timing mirrors with the wheelie Stingray, and the police were called in to search the yellow tower after a hoax bomb alert. It rained a couple of times and DJ Dave Lee Travis turned up and ran a 54.88/17.64 on Cliff Jones pushbike. The rest of the meeting was reasonably normal by comparison. Once again Priddle and Skilton made it to the final of Pro Fuel, Clive by virtue of a 6.99/223.21 (top speed of the meeting) win over a wheelstanding Mike Hutcherson in Houndog, while Priddle defeated Allan Herridges 'Firefly' with a holeshot 6.78/181.82 to a 7.13/206.19. Priddle had qualified at #1 with a 6.70/200 on the Sunday. In a close final Skilton got there first with a 6.72/221 to Priddles 6.68/210. Top Dragster saw the debut of Roz Prior in the ex-Bruce Brown 'Age Machine' slingshot. Dave Prior had driven the car earlier at Blackbushe but had trouble fitting in the drivers seat so wife Roz took his place and clocked 132mph on her first run. She followed this up with a  10.37/141, a 10.21/145 and a 10.12/148. She went out in the semi finals to eventual winner Ray Hoare. In Senior Dragster John Whitmore spent Sunday night installing a new block in his 'Drag'N'Fly' rail. The effort was worthwhile as he won the final with a 10.20/142. Also burning the midnight oil on Sunday was Top Street competitor Pete Andrews. He was replacing the rear axle on his 'Maxines Toy' Stingray after a particularly violent wheelstanding launch. He then carved his way through the field on the Monday and took the win in the final. Junior Dragster saw Brian Parkins in good form with his 650cc 'Keele Kart'. He set a new class H record of 116.28mph and won his final. Ed Shaver was running the rear-engined Vauxhall Funny Car, now painted in the colours of sponsors Castrol, in Top Comp. The car revealed some alarming handling characteristics when Shaver pulled the chute after a 9.29/161 run. In the semis he ran an early shut-off 9.94/107 to be defeated by Dave Stones 8.95/159 in 'Tee Rat'. In qualifying Stone had run an 8.54. Phil Elson took the final when Stone pulled a red light. A new Pro Stocker made its debut. Peter Bennett was driving the newly imported, ex-Schwartz Bros Chevy Nova. He ran an easy 11.80/117 on his first pass but went out in Round one to Kevin Pilling. Gary Goggin set a new mph record of 136.24 in 10.7 seconds and took the final win with a best ever 10.67/134.95. John Hobbs had the dubious honour of being number eight qualifier at 10.23 seconds, the lowest ever bump spot in the Top Bike class. Brian Chapman amazed everyone by making number two spot with a 9.92/139 on his single cylinder 500cc Vincent 'Mighty Mouse'. Norman Hyde was at the top with a 9.86/141. The first round saw four nine second runs. Hyde beat Duncan Hocking 9.74/139 to 9.89/143 in the quickest bike race of the year so far but red lit in the semis to allow Pete Miller into the final. There he met Keith Parnell who had run his first nine in the semis, a 9.82/137 win over Brian Chapman. Miller took the win with a 9.94/138 as Parnell shut off with engine trouble. For all class results click here.
September 8th Brighton Speed Trials. Roger Bishops Stripteaser mini van was one of three Drag Racing vehicles present. Dennis Priddle was also there and he put in a full pass on the specially adapted quarter mile course, a full quarter mile pass with an ET of 7.69s. (Chris Dawson)
September 9th Castrol/RAC NDRC National championship Round Five, Long Marston. Racing started on a temporary basis at Long Marston airfield near Stratford-Upon-Avon under the NDRC. Dennis Priddle made what was reputed to be the last outing for the legendary "Mr Six".  Best times for the Top Fuelers were; Skilton 7.23/208, Priddle 7.92/164, Pratt 7.69/190. Pro Stock had four entries but only two made it to the eliminations. Gary Goggin (Clunk-Click Camaro) raced Tony Dickson (Money Hungry) for a best of three. Goggin took the first 12.12/128 to 12.39/118 Dickson took the second 11.73/127 to 12.19/131 and Goggin took the third with 132mph no e.t. to Dicksons 11.30/130. The Middle comp final saw Pete Skinners Midas Mist put away Roger Bishop in Stripteaser (11.85 /116 to 12.61 / 89 ). Tony Weeden beat Mick Warne in Top Bike 10.63 / 131 to 10.78 / 116 although both had gone quicker in the semi-finals, Tony 10.73/132 and Mick at 10.42/134. Almost as quick was Senior Bike with John Clift beating B.Webster 10.5/122 to 10.62/120. (Bill Dossett)
September 15th/16th European Grand Prix. SPR. In Pro-Fuel Dennis Priddle had things all to himself as Clive Skilton did not enter. He qualified with a strong 6.87 / 176mph getting slightly out of shape. Allan Herridge in "Firefly" ran a nice straight 7.56 / 192mph. This meeting marked the return of Pete Atkins rebuilt 8 litre Oldsmobile "Slo-mo-shun"which ran a very creditable 10.15 /128.53 mph run straight off the trailer. Dennis Stone took the wheel of Tender Trap and put in a couple of 110 mph runs. Kevin Pilling drove Peter Bennets Chevy Nova due to a broken bearing on Satan's Toy and laid down a really fine 10.69/129 mph blast on his first Sunday morning run. On two wheels two of the new twin engined machines dipped into the nines for the first time. First Mike Butlers 1010 cc. Norton Super Cyclops 9.81/145, then John Hobbs on the big 1500 cc. Triumph ran 9.84 /154. Top Qualifier again was Norman Hyde at 9.75 on his bored and stroked Trident. (Bill Dossett)
September 15th/16th Mantorp, Sweden. Dave Stone and Roy Phelps made the trip taking along the FGR Wheelie Stingray and the 'Tee Rat' Altered respectively. Running on 50% nitro Stone took the Rat to a new best ever time of 8.04/172 and followed it up with an 8.03/173 before the parachute failed to open and the car went off the end of the strip at 150mph demolishing two safety fences. The car suffered a bent front axle and minor body damage, Dave was just shaken.
September 22nd/23rd Elvington. Mick Hand took his 250cc Honda to a new World record of 10.5 seconds for the standing quarter mile. Paul Windross failed to break any records but did cover the flying quarter in 4.91 seconds at 183.29mph on his double-engined Triumph. On four wheels John Dodds took his famous Rolls Royce Merlin engined creation to a World record for the flying quarter at 6.695 seconds and 136.36mph.
September 30th Blackbushe, Surrey. NDRC Championship Finals. Castrol/RAC NDRC National Championship Round Six. Brian Bucknall became the 1973 NDRC Champion with another win in Middle Street in his 'Mellow Yellow' Lotus 7. Part of his prize included a brand new VW Beetle donated by the Skilton Motor Group. Clive Skilton himself had hopes of becoming the first RAC/Castrol series champion but a defeat by Dennis Priddle meant that Junior Street driver Robin Tallis took the title with a win over Lin Brown. The Top Fuel field lost a competitor when Roland Pratt damaged the Accles & Pollock car after handling problems at the top end caused him to demolish the timing lights. Round One saw Skilton solo to a 7.58 before Dennis Priddle defeated Swede John Andersson with an 8.05 to a shut-off 12.78. Anderssons 'Valkyrian' dragster awarded the Revell trophy for the best appearing car. In the final Skilton had backed off slightly in an effort to improve traction and, despite a good launch, Priddle got there first with a 7.47 to a losing 7.74. Top Comp saw four Funny Cars competing for the honours, Ed Shavers rear-motored Vauxhall, Liam Churchills BaMoCo Dodge Capri and the Swedish entries of Leif Daback ('The Saint' a Volvo body over a blown 427ci Rat motor) and Bjorn Andersson (Opel Manta body over a 395ci Chrysler). Andersson made the final where he met Churchill. The light was fading fast and Churchill was under the impression he had crossed the finish line and won when he shut off. Unfortunately he hadn't and Andersson powered past him to take the win with a 10.34 to Liams 10.56. Top Dragster saw Ray Hoares 'Saxon' run the best time of 9.63 and take the final with a 9.92 to Tony Andersons 11.79. Earlier Tony had also been into the nines with a 9.87 win over Jim Read. Gary Goggin was the only Pro Stocker to get into the tens but he went out in the first round with gearbox trouble. This allowed Swede Gunne Back in the 'More Frighten' Camaro to go into the final. There he met Mike Aitken who was driving the 'Music Machine' Capri. Now it was Backs turn to suffer gearbox trouble but he still coasted over the line in 13.05 seconds to take the win. The reason for this was that Aitken had used two gallons of fuel during the burnouts and had none left to get him to the end of the track! For all available results click here.
October 6th/7th SPR. Castrol Championship Finals. Heavy rain on the first day put the qualifying session back by three hours, causing it to run over to the second day. More rain overnight and into the morning meant that the strip was not ready for action until noon on Sunday although the surface was still damp. The meeting was later called to an end before all the finals were run. Those that were unresolved were held over until the October 21st meet. Owen Hayward was getting to grips with the ex-Paula Murphy Funny car. He put in a solo pass and clocked an 8.85/187.97. Pro Fuel saw a three car field after Dennis Priddle failed to make the show. Clive Skilton was on form qualifying with a 7.01 before running a 6.86/224.22 in a solo first round blast followed by  a holeshot 6.75/224.72 against Allan Herridge in Firefly in the final. The speed on that final run secured a new European record for Clive, beating the mark set by Tony Nancy two and a half months earlier. Herridge had run a 7.44/211 in qualifying and had to shut off early in the first round after opponent Mike Hutcherson in Houndog suffered a burst slick and changed lanes in an effort to maintain control. John Whitmore saw his hopes of a season points victory in Top Dragster disappear as the brakes failed on his 'Drag 'n' fly" machine in the fire up road. The car came to rest heavily against a steel post writing off the front end. This left the Championship title to Ray Hoare. Roz Prior was leading the way in the eliminations in the 'Age Machine' Chevy dragster. She ran 9.44/154 in qualifying and beat Tony Anderson with a 9.64/156.25 to a 10.24/100.10 in round one. She had a solo in the semis and was due to meet Ray Hoare in the final before the meeting was curtailed. Dave Stone led the way in Top Comp despite strong challenges from the Funny Cars of Liam Churchill and Ed Shaver. Both the British built floppers made the semis but Shaver was defeated by Phil Elson in 'Sneaky' with a 9.92/114 to Eds 10.26/145 while Churchill went out to 'Tee Rat' with a red-lighting 10.12/132.10 to Stones 9.03/125. In the final it was the Rat all the way with an 8.71/159.74 to Elsons 10.32/102. This win clinched the Championship for the Stones team. Mick Butler ran the quickest bike time of the year in qualifying with a 9.66/145 on his twin-engined Norton. Despite this he failed to make it past the first round. In street Bike Dave Rawlins set a new class record of 12.00/114.68 on his 850 Norton He went on to win the final. To see the completed final results click here.
October 21st Santa Pod Raceway. BDR&HRA Drag Racing News Trophy Meeting. Dennis Priddle debuted his latest creation, the Shell sponsored Chrysler Avenger Funny Car. On its first run the car reared up dramatically about 25 yards out and crashed back down to earth heavily. Dennis was unable to compete anymore until the front end could be straightened out! In the morning the rained off finals from the October 7th meeting were run. Roz Prior was driving the 'Age Machine' Chevy dragster and having taken a solo win in the rained off final met John Whitmore in the Top Dragster final for the event. Whitmore had just completed a hasty rebuild of his 'Drag 'n' fly' machine and had gone straight back into the nines on his first time out with a 9.95. In the final he pulled a holeshot on Prior and took the win with a 9.69/142 to a quicker 9.58/158. Mike Hutcherson took the award for the car nearest to 230mph with a 163mph run. Top Comp finished with no result as Phil Elson and Dave Stone both red lit. Elson rolled the beams first and Stone followed. Both cars were too hot to stage a re-run and so the final was held over until the November 3rd meeting. In Senior Comp Dave Page took 'Panic' into the nines for the first time with a 9.83/125 in the second round. He won the final with a 10.01 against Dick Sharpe. In Pro Stock Gary Goggin ran a new record time of 10.40/134.95. He backed this up with a 10.52/135.69 but red lit in the process against Tony Dickson. Dickson went on to win the elimination. In Top Bike the usual front runners, Hobbs, Hyde and Butler, were not present leaving Brian Chapman to lead the field with a 9.68/143.  His second qualifier saw the gearbox break putting him out of action. Just behind him was Bob Webster who ran a 9.75/141.44 which he later backed up for a new 750cc class record, previously held by Ray Feltell. For all class results from both eliminations click here.
November 3rd/4th SPR. Fireworks meeting. Bad weather took its toll on the proceedings but amongst the highlights on Saturday were Owen Hayward running a 7.43/167 in Stardust and Dave Page taking Panic to a 9.9. In Pro Stock Kevin Pilling ran a best of 10.76 while Gary Goggin clocked a 10.66. On two wheels John Hobbs ran a 9.64/150 and Bob Webster ran a 9.66/144. On the Sunday the rain brought the meeting to an early end but not before Mike Hutcherson in the Houndog slingshot performed the fire burnout to end all fire burnouts.
November 23rd-25th. Ontario Motor Speedway. NHRA Supernationals.Clive Skilton driving John Durkee's 426 Waterman Chrysler rail ran 6.24/229 the quickest ever run by a European driver. he failed to qualify for the eliminations however. This was without the aid of traction compound with only water burnouts being permitted, a move by the NHRA to prevent the strip being torn up.On Sunday Skilton put in a practice run of 6.47/219mph after rebuilding the engine in case any cars dropped out of competition, but none did. (Bill Dossett)
By the end of the 1973 season eleven British bike riders had recorded nine second runs. They were Brian Chapman, Mick Butler, Jeff Byne, Roy Daniels, John Hobbs, Duncan Hocking, Norman Hyde, Pete Miller, Keith Parnell, Bob Webster and Paul Windross.

1974
March 17th SPR. At a pre-season practice session the Stones Hemi Hunter made its track debut 3 years after being built by Peter Bennett. Hemi Hunters name came from the cars use of a Chevrolet motor as opposed to the Chrysler Hemi favoured by other top fuel drivers. The ex-Paula Murphy funny car also made its first appearance in its new Houndog 7 colours at this event. (Ron Clark)
March 24th SPR Season Opener. Three Pro Fuel cars qualified which meant a bye run for Allan Herridge in Firefly which he made in 7.90/200.80. Clive Skilton then defeated Mike Hutcherson in Houndog 7.09/211.86 to a losing 8.33/160.51. In the final, Firefly shut off just into the run leaving Clive an easy win in 7.17/214.13. Allan Herridge also put in a couple of runs in the Stardust Funny. Firstly, a 7.32/170, then a 7.43 clocking. In Top Comp Altered, Phil Elson ran a 9.75/147 bye, and then Dave Stone in Tee Rat put down a 9.18/120 to defeat the 10.34/146 from Shutdown’s new driver Mick Hall. In the final, Stone took it with an early shut-off 8.54/134 to Elson’s losing 9.29/155. The Senior Comp field consisted of one Pro Stock car and a couple of comp cars. Dave Page in Panic soloed to 10.17/144, and then Kevin Pilling in the Satans Toy Pro Stocker put down 10.51/132 to defeat Bob Deichen. Pilling won the final in a PB of 10.48/131 as the Panic Topolino finished the run in his opponents lane. In bike qualifying, Brian Chapman became the third quickest European rider of all time with a 9.52/144. In Top bike, six of the entries succumbed to breakages leaving Clive Liddiard to solo to a final round win in 10.07/135.87. Senior bike was also a solo win, this time for Brian Smith. John Lewis out-paced Paul Eastbury to take the Middle bike elimination. (Clive Rooms)
April 7th Blackbushe. NDRC Spring Smokers Meet. Three Pro Fuel cars were entered. Clive Skilton qualified with 8.28/181 on the tractionless surface. Then Dennis Priddle threw a blower belt just off the line and coasted through. Roland Pratt driving the old Skilton car Revolution 3 broke on the burnout and was out of competition. It was decided to run a best of three between Priddle and Skilton. In the first race, Priddle just crossed the stripe first in 7.79/178 to Skilton’s 7.82/208. On that pass, Priddle had burnt a couple of pistons so was unable to run again. Skilton then faced off against Pratt in the newly repaired Revolution car and ran 7.48/NS as Pratt just idled through in 11.92/68.4. In Top Dragster, Gerry Andrews in Hemi Hunter ran 8.84/144 to defeat Ray Hoare’s Saxon. Roz Prior put in a bye pass. In the final, it was Andrews all the way in 8.77/153 to Roz’s 9.34/144. Ken Cooper won Senior Dragster with a holeshot 13.71/97 to Jim Read’s Autofrog which ran a quicker but losing 13.21/106. Top Competition winner was Mike Hall who soloed for the win as the only other car in the class, Tee Rat, broke its axle qualifying. Clive Page in Panic won the Senior Competition driving around Lawrence Burn’s Ollies Folly, 13.03/113 to a losing 18.36/76.9. Top bike was notable for a lot of red lights! Jeff Byne beat Norman Hyde, Brian Chapman defeated Mick Warne, Pete Miller and John Clift both red lit and so had a re-run which Clift took, and Mike Honey progressed through to the next round. In the semis, Chapman pulled a cherry allowing Byne through, and Honey did the same in the other race handing the win to Clift. In the final, it was Byne’s turn to be too eager letting Clift take the win even though he had red lit in the first round! Middle bike was won by Kevin Hayhoe who was too strong for Alan Cook, and Bob Beckwith downed Ray Law to take the Senior bike title. (Clive Rooms)
April 14th/15th SPR. Spring Nationals. The attendance for the two days over Easter was put at 25,000 with 16,000 present for Monday’s eliminations. In Pro Fuel, top qualifier Dennis Priddle ran a bye 7.42/194.93, and then Allan Herridge aboard Firefly ran 7.47/182 to defeat the axle breaking 8.12 from Houndog. In the final, Bootsie was forced to shut down due to a bad fuel leak leaving Dennis to solo to a 7.20/201.21 win. Funny Car was a best of three between Owen Hayward in Houndog and Dennis Priddle in the Avenger. Hayward took the first race 7.82/179.86 to a losing 8.63/172.12. In the second race, Houndog lost its clutch at the top end handing the win to Priddle in 8.43/179.53. The final of Top Dragster was between Gerry Andrews in Hemi-Hunter and Roz Prior in Age Machine. At three quarter track, the parachute on Roz’s car deployed causing the car to swerve badly and giving the win to Andrews in 8.64/172. Jim Read won Senior Dragster beating Peter Cazey 13.13/106 to a losing 14.22/95. John Whitmore was the winner in Middle beating Alan Sharpe in Methdrinker. Mick Sayers took the Junior Dragster win beating Gerry Cookson. In Top Comp Altered, Mike Hall in Shutdown outpaced Phil Elson in Sneaky, 9.15/171 to a losing 10.63/143. Then Dave Stone in Tee Rat had an easy win over Freeman Rogers in Aardvark 9.71/102 to 11.47/100. Hall soloed for the win in the final as Tee Rat suffered a dragging clutch. Middle Comp was won by Pete Skinner beating Roger Bishop in Stripteaser 11.93/118 to a losing 12.17/116. Barry Sheavills took the Junior Comp win beating Steve Maltby’s Jag-Pop 13.78 to 14.02. In Pro Stock qualifying, both Pete Crane and Dave Lee Travis in Tender Trap developed problems leaving Gary Goggin and Kevin Pilling to run a best of three. Goggin took the first, Pilling the second when Gary broke his throttle cable, but in the process, Pilling put a couple of rods through the block. Goggin soloed for the third round win. In Top Bike, all eight qualifiers were under ten seconds for the first time ever. Jeff Byne sat at the top of the pile with 9.45/145. The final was between Norman Hyde and Brian Chapman. Chapman had come back in as the fastest semi loser as Pete Miller was unable to make the final. Chapman’s luck held as Hyde red lit handing the win to Chapman. John Clift won Senior recording 10.05/135 to defeat Mick Honey. Middle bike was won by Barry Beaumont and Barry Sewell took the Junior class. Dave Rawlins won the Street bike class defeating Dave Randall in the final 11.78/114 to a losing 12.16/110. (Clive Rooms)
April 28th Castrol/RAC NDRC National championship Round three. Wroughton, Wiltshire. The meeting was turned into a practice session as it rained until 1 pm which gave no chance for any qualifying. In Pro Fuel, Clive Skilton match raced Dennis Priddle. Skilton won the first race in 7.41/206 as Priddle clicked it off early to an 8.69/127. In the second race, Priddle pulled a huge holeshot and stayed out front to take it in 7.82/204 to Skilton’s much quicker but losing 7.06/217. Only two Funny Cars put in an appearance, the STP Avenger of Priddle and the rear engined Midnight Blues driven by Ed Shaver. Priddle won the first race easily in 9.20/177 as Shaver shut off to an 11.56.82. Priddle also had it easy in the second race as he put down a 7.85 pass as Shaver again clicked it off. One of the stars of the meeting was the newly imported ex Sox & Martin Pro Stocker of Adrian Yorke. He put in three runs; 11.13/130, 11.02/131 and 10.04/143. On two wheels, John Hobbs was the only rider to dip under ten seconds with 9.95/149 and another run at 153 mph. Gerry Andrews in Hemi Hunter laid down an 8.40/163 and John Whitmore in Drag’N Fly put in three runs culminating in a 10.82. (Clive Rooms)
May 5th SPR. May Day meeting. The eliminations were curtailed by rain. Making its debut at this meeting was the ex Herb McCandless Dodge Challenger Pro Stock car newly imported from the States, in the hands of Colin Mullan, and re-named ’London Heavy’. Its first qualifying pass was 9.64/139 (A new UK Pro Stock record). Colin and Gary Goggin were due to run a best of three but only one race was run. On that run, Mullan recorded a very late leaving 9.75/138 which was beaten by the 10.32/135.5 from Goggin. Another new machine making its debut was the Rowatt brothers rear engined Chevy rail. In Top Dragster, Roz Prior outpaced Gerry Andrews in Hemi Hunter 8.47/151 to a losing 8.91/173. Top Comp Altered was a best of three between Phil Elson and Freeman Rogers with Elson taking both wins; 9.19/116 to a losing 9.14/165 and 9.13/151 to a losing 9.22/161. Just two Pro Fuel cars were entered, Mike Hutcherson in Houndog and Allan Herridge in Firefly. Houndog had problems on both runs and never even made the line, while Bootsie in Firefly got wildly out of shape.
May 11th/12th Blackbushe.NDRC Meeting. In Pro Fuel, Clive Skilton qualified with runs of 7.98/161, 7.86/179 and 7.02/222 while Dennis Priddle and Roland Pratt took it easy with 7.54/102 and 8.90/106 respectively. In the eliminations, Skilton soloed to a 7.17/222. Priddle and Pratt then faced off. Pratt lost fire and Priddle’s engine blew back doing a lot of damage. In the final, Pratt came back in to race Skilton. As they staged, the Christmas tree threw a wobbly and gave Skilton a red light even though he hadn’t moved. Pratt launched on the green and then Skilton powered after him. Pratt automatically took the win but Skilton had run the first six second pass of the year at 6.91/213. Gerry Andrews took the win in Top Dragster defeating Roz Prior 8.56/172 to 10.10/137. The Rowatt brothers won Senior Dragster, and in Middle, George Davie in Pubcrawler finally secured a win beating Ken Penfold in the final. The winner of Junior Dragster was Janet Trinder driving the 12 year old Worden car. Top Competition included the Funny Cars of Priddle and Shaver. Priddle beat Mike Hall in Shutdown, 8.92/182 to a losing 9.73/161. Then Dave Stone in Tee Rat defeated Shaver even though his back axle had given out again. Shaver came back in for the final, but once again he had handling problems allowing Priddle an easy 9.21/154 win. Only one Pro Stock car was entered, so Gary Goggin duly won his class. Top bike winner was Jeff Byne who firstly disposed of John Hobbs, then he took out Brian Chapman in the final 9.98/134 to a losing 10.67/134. In Senior bike, John Clift won his semi-final but blew his motor in the process. He put another engine in for the final against Charlie Harrison, but just off the line, he blew again. (Clive Rooms)
May 26th/27th SPR. Whitsun Holiday Weekend Big Go. At this meeting, Allan Herridge in Stardust recorded the first six second Funny Car pass outside of the USA. His time was 6.87 seconds at an early shut off 191 mph. Two other FC were present. Owen Hayward in the Houndog 7 FC coughed a blower sidelining him for the rest of the meeting. Dennis Priddle in the Avenger car ran 8.03/163.92, then a 7.19 at 194 mph before match racing Bootsie. In this race, Stardust got wildly out of shape before Allan managed to correct it. In the meantime, Dennis headed skywards on the green but kept it under control. Dennis took the win in 7.71/187 to Bootsie’s identical 7.71 at 168 mph. In Pro Fuel on the Sunday, Clive Skilton beat Mike Hutcherson in Houndog, 6.91/216.92 to a losing 11.49/81 on just six cylinders. Allan Herridge then ran a wild 8.3/106 in Firefly. In the final, Skilton won with a 6.86/209 pass as Bootsie changed lanes in Firefly due to the rear wheels being out of balance. In Monday’s elimination, Skilton soloed to a 6.86/214.13, and then Houndog beat Firefly 9.32/102 to a losing 11.22/64. However, Skilton had a broken torsion bar which put him out thus letting Firefly back in. Bootsie red lit and Houndog got out of shape and pulled the chute early. Dave Page in the Panic Topolino altered had the misfortune to write off the car against the barrier. Top Comp was a best of three between Freeman Rogers in Aardvark and Phil Elson in Sneaky. Elson won the first race at the expense of a broken rear end which put him out. Dick Sharp in the Dorset Horn won Senior Comp beating Bob Diechen in the final. Middle winner was Rick Fielding and Tim Spencer took Junior Comp. In Top Dragster, Roz Prior in Age Machine defeated Gerry Andrews in Hemi Hunter 8.48/157 to a losing 8.29/177. Martin Rowatt took Senior Dragster beating Malcolm Olley 10.42/128 to a losing 10.60/132. John Rotherham won Middle beating a sleeping John Whitmore 11.66 to a faster but losing 11.27. Junior Dragster winner was Gerry Cookson beating the Worden of Geoff Masters. In Pro Stock, Colin Mullan soloed to 9.67/136, and then Gary Goggin beat Pete Crane 10.59/118 to 10.86/127. Mullan took the final running 9.63/140 to Goggin’s losing 10.31/117. In Top bike, the top two qualifiers, John Hobbs and Jeff Byne ran identical times of 9.57. In the first round, Norman Hyde beat Byne 9.45/150 to 9.58/140, John Clift defeated Bob Webster 9.69 to 9.73, Brian Chapman overcame Hobbs 9.72 to 9.94 and Mick Warne with 10.4 beat Pete Miller’s 10.08. In the semis, Warne broke allowing Chapman to go through and Clift defeated Hyde 9.72 to 10.12. Clift won the final in 9.70/142 as Chapman had wheelie problems. Mick Butler was the winner in Senior with 9.92/146, Tony Weedon took Middle and Barry Sewell was the winner in Junior bike. (Clive Rooms)
June 2nd Long Marston. Castrol/RAC NDRC National championship Round 5. Clive Skilton and Roland Pratt in Revolution 3 were booked in to run a best of three match race. In the first race, Skilton rolled out of stage and pulled a red handing the win to Pratt who went through in 9.63/81 whilst Skilton idled through in 11.82/65. In the second race, Pratt pulled a huge holeshot and took the win in 8.47/123 as Skilton lost out with 8.28/129. Skilton’s master cylinder failed on the run which sidelined him. Top Dragster winner was Gerry Andrews who defeated Roz Prior 8.66/149 to 9.26/146. Senior Dragster was a best of three between Ian Fraser and Jim Read which Fraser won 2-1. Middle was taken by John Whitmore who beat John Rotherham, while Mick Sayers took the Junior title. There was only one Pro Stock car and one Funny Car in attendance so it was decided to run a best of three with a two second handicap to Colin Mullan in the London Heavy. In the first race, Mullan took the win as the STP FC of Dennis Priddle succumbed with blower problems. The same thing happened in the second race so Mullan took the series 2-0. In Top bike, Jeff Byne took the win over Brian Chapman 10.57/126 to a losing 10.69/125. Mick Warne won Senior bike when Bob Beckwith pulled a cherry. The winner of Middle bike was sprinter Don McMahon running in his first drag race. He beat Paul Eastbury in the final 13.84/86 to a losing 14.28/91.*  (Clive Rooms)

*The Previous entry for this meeting included the following "A disappointing field of only 53 competitors turned up for the 6000 spectators. Bike riders refused to hold a round of their championship at the venue due to the bumpiness of the strip." At a meeting  between riders and officials it was decided that it would be unfair to hold the fourth round of the Castrol Points Championship at this meeting and it was postponed until the Silverstone meeting two weeks later. (Thanks to Jerry Cookson for clearing this up)

June 15th/16th Silverstone circuit held their second International meeting with the announcement that the strip had the "best adhesion possible for Drag Racing in Europe". In the first half of the year Silverstone Circuits and Clive Lanson Enterprises had spent in the region of £6000 on increased paddock space, double armco barriers the full length of the strip and a graded spectator bank. Funny Car saw the three entries of Dennis Priddle (STP Avenger), Bjorn Anderson (Volvo 'The Saint') and Leif Daback (Opel Manta) battle it out for the title. Priddle was the overall winner and was also the runner up in Top Fuel to Clive Skilton, 6.74/220 to 7.57/171. Radio One DJ Dave Lee Travis won his first ever Super Street Eliminator in the Stones 'Tender Trap' Escort against such established racers as Al O'Connor, Mustapha Errol and Dave Rose.
June 23rd SPR. Wolfrace Trophy Meeting.The highlight of the meeting was John Hobbs beating Alf Hagon’s long standing bike strip record which had stood at 9.208 seconds since 1968. John ran 9.17 to put his name in the records book. In the first round of the Top bike elimination, Jeff Byne beat Bob Webster, Hobbs defeated Brian Chapman, and both John Clift and Mick Warne were winners. In the semis, Hobbs ran his 9.17 to easily down the 9.86 from Clift, and Byne defeated Warne 9.49 to 9.94. In the final,Byne bogged on the line letting Hobbs with an ailing clutch take the win in 9.91. Keith Parnell took Senior bike beating Sid Austin with a 9.68/147. Middle bike winner was Barry Beaumont and Mick Ford took the Junior win. Top Dragster was a best of three between Gerry Andrews and Tony Froome. The Hemi Hunter of Andrews took it 3-0. Senior Dragster winner was Keith Dancy running 9.56/150 to outpace Martin Rowatt in the final. John Rotherham was the Middle winner beating the Pubcrawler of George Davie, and Gerry Cookson won Junior. In Pro Stock, Adrian York made his first full passes in the second imported Heavy machine which culminated in a 9.51/144.72 pass which was the quickest Pro Stock run outside of America. The final was between the two imported Heavy cars of York and Colin Mullan. Mullan got there first in 9.52/138.7 to a losing 9.83/144.3, the first side-by-side nine second Pro Stock run in this country. Mike Hutcherson in the Houndog TF car and Dave Stone in the Tee Rat altered match raced. The dragster took the first race in 8.13/153 as Tee Rat put down a wildly out of shape 10.16. In the second race, it was a reversal as the altered got there first in 7.83/162 to Houndog’s 8.28/124. In the decider, Houndog cut out on the line and Tee Rat recorded 8.56/167.22 to win 2-1. (Clive Rooms)
June 30th Castrol/RAC NDRC National championship Round three. Wroughton, Wiltshire.
July 6th/7th SPR Internationals. Allan Herridge and Owen Hayward recorded the quickest side-by-side UK Funny Car pass. Stardust turned 7.00/202 to cross the stripe ahead of Houndog’s 7.11/154. Just two Pro Fuelers attended, Firefly and Houndog. Pete Crane tried out Firefly for size in preparation for buying his own car. For the eliminations, Bootsie was back in the hot seat and he defeated Mike Hutcherson in Houndog 7.4 to an early shut off 7.8. Top Dragster winner was Gerry Andrews who defeated new girl Liz Burn in the ex Age Machine. Senior Dragster winner was Russ Carpenter driving Tony Anderson’s car who beat Ian Fraser in the final. John Rotherham took the Middle class beating John Whitmore, and Junior winner was Geoff Masters in the 12 year old Worden car. Junior Comp winner was Brian Monday, whilst the Swedes dominated Middle Comp with Anders Lantz beating the Willys Jeep of Svante Erickson in the final. Senior Comp winner was Dick Sharp who just held off Bo Strafberg to take it with 10.77/121 to a quicker but losing 10.46/134. In Top Competition, Dave Stone’s Tee Rat ran 7.79/167 to defeat the 9.8/116 of Freeman Rogers in Aardvark. In the other semi, Mick Hall red lit handing the win to Phil Elson. However, Elson’s Sneaky had broken allowing the Shutdown of Hall to come back in. In the final, Stone really nailed it to take the win in 7.97/196 to a losing 9.21/161 from Hall. In Top bike, Jeff Byne overcame John Clift in the final with 9.40/146 to a losing 10.02/136. Senior bike winner was Paul Windross with a 9.63/146 which was too strong for Mick Warne. Ray Law won Middle and John Cheadle took the Junior title. (Clive Rooms)
July 13th/14th The Pennine Drag Racing Team opened their own strip,Crossland Moor near Huddersfield. Their planning permission was revoked after 2 meetings due to a grand total of 12 complaints received by the local council, despite the fact that an estimated 10,000 people turned up to those 2 meets!

At this meeting 3000 spectators saw Clive Skilton run 4.92/161 over the eighth mile course as Roz Prior in her new fueler, smoked the whole distance. Ed Shaver in the Castrol rear engined FC ran 5.90/139. (Clive Rooms)

July 21st SPR. Drag Racing News Trophy meeting. The new Houndog 8 rear engined TF car made its debut at this meeting. Mike Hutcherson ran a gentle first pass and then he raced Allan Herridge in Firefly. The new car took the win in 7.31/158 as Firefly ventilated the block. Herridge was also out in the Stardust FC and put down a 7.13 with a top end charge of 210.97. Harold Bull made a return to racing in the old Houndog front engined TF car. His first pass was an easy 9.3/99. On his second pass, Bull was blinded by oil spray and the car hit the barrier writing everything off apart from the motor. Senior Comp winner was the Dorset Horn of Dick Sharp who took out John Dickson’s Pop in the final. Middle winner was Alan Sherwin who shut down Stripteaser. Brian Mondey in Optimist defeated Tim Spencer to win Junior Comp. Keith Dancey beat Malcolm Olley in the Senior Dragster final, and John Rotherham in his Allard Dragon took the Middle Dragster final beating Robin Acock. Junior saw yet another Gerry Cookson win defeating Mick Sayers. Top Comp semis saw Dave Stone in Tee Rat take an easy 8.33/127 win over Freeman Rogers in Aardvark, and then Phil Elson overcame Mick Hall in Shutdown 8.83/159.49 to a losing 9.22/159.74. Stone won the final with 7.71/163.51 to the 10.86/85 from Elson. In Top Dragster, Gerry Andrews drove around Ray Hoare 8.31/175.13 to a losing 9.51/156.25, and then Liz Burn soloed to a 9.08/142.86 as Alan Blount failed to appear in his twin engined Chevy. Hemi Hunter took the final with 8.23/170.07 to Liz’s 8.93/144. In the Top bike final, Brian Smith defeated Clive Liddiard. Ted Dunmow won Senior bike becoming the first unblown rider to dip into the nines. Ray Law won Middle and Brian Mason took the Junior eliminator. (Clive Rooms)
August 4th SPR. G Max Trophy Meeting. A very strong headwind made conditions difficult, particularly for the bike riders. Four Pro Fuel cars entered the meeting with Dennis Priddle qualifying at the top with 6.67/200.4 followed by Mike Hutcherson in Houndog 8 with 7.05/198.8, Pete Crane in Stormbringer 7.07/184.5 and Allan Herridge in Firefly 7.21/210. In the eliminations, Priddle ran 6.63/206.61 to defeat Crane’s first six second pass at 6.91/186.57. In the other semi, Hutcherson put down 6.96/179.21 as Firefly broke a rod. In the final, Priddle broke the strip ET record with a 6.49/210.08 as Hutcherson trailed in 7.22/190.48. In Top Comp, Dave Stone ran a bye at 7.95/171.82, then Phil Elson hit problems allowing Mike Hall in Shutdown to take the win in a best ever 8.88/163.67. Stone ran a 7.83/185.19 in the final which was way too quick for Hall’s 9.00/165.29. Senior Comp saw Dave Page in the new Panic altered defeat Dick Sharpe’s Dorset Horn 9.97/133.69 to a losing 10.80/120. Middle Comp winner was Roger Bishop in Stripteaser who beat Alan Sherwin 11.33 to 11.72. Brian Mondey beat Tim Spencer for the Junior Comp win. Gerry Cookson overcame Brian Parkins for the Junior Dragster win and John Whitmore defeated John Rotherham for the Middle win. Senior Dragster winner was Keith Dancey who beat Martin Rowatt. Top Dragster was a walkover for Gerry Andrews in Hemi Hunter as Liz Burn failed to make it. Top bike winner was Jeff Byne who holeshot Brian Chapman in the final to take it with 10.06/128 to a quicker 9.97/135. Senior bike winner was John Clift who defeated Henk Vink. George Woods won Middle and Paul Eastbury took the Junior title. (Clive Rooms)
August 18th Blackbushe. NDRC Hot Car/Radio Luxembourg Grandnationals.
August 25th/26th Supernationals SPR. In Pro Fuel qualifying, Clive Skilton crossed the finish line at 210 mph as a front tyre blew sending him into the guardrail in the shutdown area. Clive was OK but the car wasn’t. In the eliminations, Mike Hutcherson had a bye due to the non-appearance of Skilton, and the Houndog car ran 6.96/194.53, the first six second pass by any Houndog car. In the other semi, Dennis Priddle ran 6.61/196.46 as Pete Crane in Stormbringer slowed to a 7.23/168 due to a blown head gasket. It was Priddle all the way in the final with a 6.60/209.21 run as Houndog trailed with 7.50/146.84. In Funny Car, Allan Herridge in Stardust soloed to a 7.09/199.2. In the other semi, Dennis Priddle took an easy 8.21/171.82 win as Owen Hayward in Houndog went in to an almost vertical wheelstand off the line and had to click it off. Herridge took the final round win in a new track FC ET record of 6.81/195.69 as Priddle slowed to a losing 8.02/155.72. Top Dragster winner was Gerry Andrews in Hemi Hunter with a solo semi win and a final round victory over Alan Blount. Malcolm Olley in the Pink Panther took the final of Senior Dragster as Martin Rowatt lost fire. John Whitmore took the Middle title defeating Keith Elliott in the final, and Steve Martyn was the Junior winner. Due to breakages, there were just two cars in Top Comp. Tee Rat ran a solo best ever 7.71/187, and in the final, Dave Stone’s sideways 9.38/180 clocking was too strong for Mike Hall’s 9.90/139. Senior Comp winner was Dave Page in Panic, and Pete Skinner in Midas Mist won Middle as Bob Messent fouled in Stripteaser. Pat Hart took the Junior title beating John Annear. Pro Stock was a best of three between Colin Mullan and Gary Goggin, and it was the Heavy car of Mullan that took it 2-1. In Top bike first round, John Hobbs 9.47 beat Bob Webster 9.54, Tony Weedon 9.76 overcame John Clift 9.86, Mick Butler 9.41 downed Keith Parnell 9.65 and Brian Smith lost fire as Jeff Byne sheared a rear wheel spindle at 120 mph locking the wheel completely but coming to a safe halt. In the semis, Byne beat a chain breaking Hobbs, and Butler ran a PB 9.24/151 to down Weedon. Byne pulled a holeshot to take the final with 9.50 to Butler’s quicker but losing 9.47. Pete Smith defeated Mick Warne to take the Senior win. Middle winner was Ray Law and Pete Molloy took the Junior title. Terry Revill ran 11.95/112 to defeat Dave Rawlins in the final of Street bike. (Clive Rooms)

Re. the writing off of Clive Skiltons Castrol sponsored rear engined fuel dragster when he hit the barrier, it emerged that another racer, Ollie Burn, had paid Skilton £3000 for the car just hours before. It was repaired and re-appeared in 1975 as the Liz & Ollie car. SPR published a notice in their programme asking weekend campers not to go into the woods behind the camping area for firewood as this was private property. Strange that they should want to do this as SPR supplied the campers with free wood to burn!

September 1st The MDRA organised their first racing event at Long Marston (Ron Clark)
September 8th SPR ?
September 14th/15th Silverstone. Competitors at this International meeting included T C Christenson from the U.S. on his twin Norton TF bike and quite a few Scandinavians. In TF qualifying, Dennis Priddle took the top spot in 6.621, followed by Clive Skilton driving his old Revolution 3 car in 7.46/187, and then Roz Prior with troubled runs of 11.38 and 14.58. T C Christenson qualified with an 8.98/160 blast in Top bike. Eliminations on the second day were hampered by rain which resulted in a damp strip for much of the time. Top Fuel was to have been a round robin as there were only three qualifiers. In the first pairing, Skilton defeated Prior 7.27/167 to a losing 7.79/190. The Top Competition altereds were combined with the Funny Cars to give an eight car field, but when their first round was due, only one lane was in a reasonable condition to run in so a time trial was held. Dave Stone put down a 7.99/160 in Tee Rat, Mike Hall in Shutdown ran 9.46/157, Ed Shaver received no time in his rear engined flopper, Roland Pratt in the new Reliant FC lost the blower belt and could only record a15.09, Keith Harvie in the Dream Machine AA/FA ran a 10.37/133 half pass, Leif Daback in The Saint FC lost the blower belt just off the line and Dennis Priddle ran the quickest ET of the round with 7.86/182. Most of the eliminations reached the second round before the meeting was abandoned due to the heavy rain that was now falling making the surface dangerous. (Clive Rooms)
September 22nd The MDRA organised their first show at the 'Chateau Impney' Worcestershire. (Ron Clark)
September 29th NDRCs first meeting at Snetterton circuit, Norfolk. The final round of the Castrol/RAC National championship, and a round of the STP/Custom Car Championship for Pro Stock and Super Street. Many of the unfinished eliminations from the rained off Silverstone meeting two weeks earlier were completed. Four Top Fuel cars were entered but this was reduced to three when Dennis Priddle broke the rear axle on a qualifier. So, it was decided to run a round robin. Clive Skilton in the newly repaired Castrol GTX car beat Malcolm Quick in the Revolution 3 car, 7.20/192 to 17.38/141. Roz Prior then ran 7.30/200 to inflict a second defeat on Quick. The final race caused confusion as Skilton’s engine died before he had staged, and then Prior red lit on her way to 7.28/208. There was a match race between the floppers of Dennis Priddle and Bootsie Herridge in Stardust. In the first race, Herridge drew the lane with the bad bump in it. Priddle took the race in 7.26/190 as the Stardust car got wildly out of shape. In the second race, unknown to the two drivers as they tried to stage, somebody had tripped over a battery lead to the Christmas tree and the lights never came on. Somebody then ran into the middle with a couple of flags. Priddle went a few yards and cut the motor, but Herridge in the good lane made a full bore run at 202 mph with a highly dubious ET of 6.48. In the Top Comp/Funny Car eliminator, Roland Pratt hit the bump, crossed into the other lane and was disqualified giving the win to Ed Shaver who had already clicked it off. In the other semi, Dave Stone soloed to an 8.53/143. In the final, Tee Rat went up in smoke and fishtailed off the line to an 8.34/180. Shaver in the Castrol FC meanwhile put in one of his very few straight passes to win in a PB 8.12/161. In the held over Silverstone Top bike elimination, T C Christenson blew away Norman Hyde in 9.05/155 and then defeated Keith Parnell in the final with 8.84/146. He continued his winning ways by overcoming Keith Parnell again in 8.81/156, and then he beat Mick Butler in the final 9.02/155 to a losing 9.69/144. (Clive Rooms)

This meeting drew the circuits biggest crowd of the year, larger than all the roundy roundy meetings! Re. Bootsies appearance with the Stardust Funny Car, this was the first and only time Roy Phelps sent one of his major cars to an NDRC event. The disputed 6.48 was far in excess of what any other funny car had run in the UK at this time. The "somebody" who ran into the track with the flags turns out to have been long-time Trakbytes contributor Steve Collins who had been the NDRC starter for two years at that point.

October 6th SPR. Rain ended the meeting before qualifying had even finished. Making its SPR debut at the meeting was Keith Harvie and his newly imported Top Comp altered with a blown 454 Chevy (the ex-Lance & Gunn Fuel Altered). He ran an early shut off 8.73 at just 137 mph. Dave Page in Panic ran a good 9.65/140. The Houndog and Hillbillies Funny Cars came out to race just as it began to rain. (Clive Rooms)
October 5th/6th Elvington. National Sprint Association Annual Records meeting. Tony Weedon took his Triumph dragbike, 'American Triumph', to a new World and British National record over the standing quarter mile for the 500cc class, leaving it at 9.690 seconds. (Tony Hodgson, NSA)
November 2nd/3rd SPR. Fireworks Spectacular. The meeting fell victim to rain, but not before Allan Herridge had reversed the Stardust Funny Car through the startline centre advertising boards, before running a 7.64 against Owen Hayward in the Houndog Plymouth. Also having a mishap was Dave Stone who drove the Tee Rat Fuel Altered at the armco without too much damage. Peter Crane drove the 'Stormbringer' fueler to a 7.46.
November 30th/December 1st SPR. Winternationals
4 cars written off this season; the Pages 'Panic' altered, the Houndog and Skilton dragsters and the Stones altered.

(Home) (Whats New) (History Index) (Landmarks) (Hall Of Fame) (Photo Archive) (Vehicle Files) (Help Us find...) (Anecdotes) (Snippets) (Draglinks) (Special Features) (BHRA Pioneers) (Pre 1960) (1960-1964) (1965-1969) (1970-1974) (1975-1979) (1980-1984) (1985-1989) (1990-1994) (1995-1999) (2000 and beyond)

www.trakbytes.co.uk