1975 - 1979

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.
1975
SPR installed full strip floodlights and were awarded the UKs only night motor racing permit.
This season saw the introduction of a new class for the UK. Pro Comp (First run at Blackbushe April 13th) was an amalgamation of Top Competition Altered and Top Dragsters into the 'Pro Competition' class. Cars in this class could be supercharged as long as nitro was not used (methanol was ok), or could use nitro with no supercharger.
'European Dragways' was formed as a progression of Clive Lanson Enterprises who promoted all the NDRCs meetings and financed trips from the states for racers such as Tom Christenson. The body intended to promote meetings in Sweden and Germany as well as the UK.
March 9th SPR. Season Opener
March 28th Snetterton. The First Annual Easter Nationals. After the success of the previous years first meeting at Snetterton the NDRC in association with European Dragways put on the first major NDRC meeting of the year. The strip now featured an improved PA system, a larger spectator enclosure on the right hand side of the strip and apparently an improved parking system. Snow fell during the morning and didn’t ease off until 11.30 and the meeting didn’t get underway until 1.00 pm. As there were not enough competitors to run eliminations, it was decided to run match races and a practice session. Dennis Priddle put down a smoky run in his TF car but the clocks failed to record a time. Roz Prior did a couple of burnouts but then the engine died in her fueler. Liz Burn was driving the ex Clive Skilton TF car, and Trevor Young was driving the old Revolution 3 car of Skilton. Three Funny Cars were in attendance but the Hillbillies car stayed on the trailer as the crew were forced to repair their tow truck! Putting in half passes were Liam Churchill in The Sting and Peter Barnett in Ecstasy. (Clive Rooms)
March 30/31st SPR. Easter Meet. Peter Crane set a new UK record of 6.37/204mph in the Stormbringer. Dennis Priddle managed a 7.2 in his slingshot and blew his engine. Allan Herridge (Firefly) ran 7.1. Allan was also in action in the Funny Car class and ran 7.7/192mph in Stardust. He was due to meet Roland Pratt, who had run 7.2/196mph, in the final but rain stopped play. (Bill Dossett)
April 6th Long Marston. NDRC Meeting. Possibly Cancelled?
April 13th Blackbushe. RAC National Drag Racing Championship Round Three including 1st round of the Motor Cycle News Top bike drag Racing Championship. Dennis Priddle set a new top speed record of 225mph (Bill Dossett). Making its debut at this meeting was the new Funny Car from Clive Skilton. The car put in a gentle 9.00/130 pass using high gear only. The Hillbillies GTE was there but never made a pass due to a seized blower, and Liam Churchill was running half passes in The Sting. Four TF cars were entered, but Revolution 3 now driven by Trevor Young, misfired badly after its burnout and didn’t appear again. This meant a round robin. In the first race, Dennis Priddle recorded a winning 7.40/198 to Liz Burns’ half pass 9.57/104. In the second race, Roz Prior won with a 7.82/200 as Liz, still getting used to the car, recorded 8.86/174. Unfortunately, Roz broke a half shaft and was unable to come out against Priddle. So, Dennis soloed to a 225 mph run, the fastest speed ever in this country. Also making its debut at this meeting was the Pro Comp elimination, the first time it was run in the UK. Entered were John Sutton in Rainmaker, Pete Barnett in the ex Ed Shaver FC, Mike Hall in Shutdown and Gerry Andrews in Hemi Hunter. The final was between Andrews and Hall. Unfortunately, the engine in Hemi Hunter let go leaving a 200 yard slick and handing the win to Hall. In Top Street, Bob Oram defeated Ivan Fryer and Senior Street was won by Steve Winterburg. Gerry Cookson took the Junior Dragster final overcoming Rod George, Ken Thorpe in Pubcrawler won the Middle title beating Richard Sharman in Stripstar, and Russ Carpenter was the winner of Senior Dragster with a 9.48/146. Roger Bishop in Stripteaser defeated Colin Fisher in Themis to take the win in Middle Comp. Brian Mondey won Junior Comp beating Mike Nash in Two Ton Car Men. Brian Chapman won Top bike with a 9.79/144 defeat of Derrick Penfold. Mick Butters was the winner in Senior bike beating Ken Gee in the final. (Clive Rooms)
April 19th/20th SPR. In Pro Fuel Dennis Priddle put in a single late qualifing run of 6.49 The final was Crane v Priddle. Peter Crane ran 6.79/204 while Dennis Priddle ran a 6.04sec E.T.at 218mph in his 'Mr Revell' slingshot. This world  record for a front engined fueler stood until the 1990s.In Pro Comp Dave Page (Panic) won with a  9.4. Allan Sharpe in his G.H.Nolan sponsored V12 Jaguar rail won Senior Dragster with a 10.57. Jeff Morris won Top Dragster with an 8.2/173mph running unblown on 85% nitro. Owen Hayward beat Allan Herridge in Funny Car with a 6.76 and new strip record. Owen also drove the Houndog rail with a best of 7.7 In the Funny Car Final Owen Hayward won with a 7.07 to Allan Herridges 7.08. (Bill Dossett)
May 3rd/4th Snetterton.RAC National Drag Racing Championship Round Four, round one of the Wolfrace Street Championship and a round of the 208 Pro Comp Championship. Dennis Priddle debuted his new Chrysler Avenger Funny Car. The car was built by Dennis and his crew and featured a 470ci alloy Donovan engine with a two speed B&J transmission in a 116in wheelbase chassis. Liz Burn, driving the ex Clive Skilton GTX Lizard Dragster, ran 8.67/204mph. Liz missed her parachute release and while trying to find it crossed the centre line and hit Dennis Priddle in the Mr Revell fueler from behind. Both cars left the track and ended up in the field. Both Liz and Dennis were OK, Mr Revell was rebuilt but the Liz & Ollie car was a write off. Stripteaser ran a 10.55/124 their fastest time to date. Roz Prior ran a bye run 6.98/213, a new personal best for her. (Bill Dossett)
May 11th SPR. Pete Crane was making demo runs in Stormbringer. His first pass was a 6.46/213.68 followed by a 6.40/219.78. Also making demo runs was Trevor Young in Revolution 3. His first run was a half pass 8.39/93 deploying the chute whilst still under power, and his second run was a 7.34/141.64. Allan Herridge put in an appearance in Stardust and laid down a 6.93/207 clocking. Pat Cuss won Top Dragster in Ratcatcher with a solo 9.71/161.55 as the throttle mechanism on Malibu Express froze. Senior Dragster winner was Bill Haynes in Quarter Horse II. John Whitmore was once again the winner in Middle beating Glen Read 10.93/123 to a losing 11.97/110. Super Street was a best of three between Al O’Connor in Al’s Gasser and Jim Kirk. The Gasser lost after pulling a couple of giant wheelies off the line. Senior Comp altered was a best of three between the Pages Panic and Bob Deichen in Majesty. Dave Page won all three. Bob Messent in Stripteaser lined up against Pete Skinner in the Middle Comp final, and it was the mini-van which emerged victorious. Brian Monday was the winner in Junior Comp. In the Top bike final, Brian Chapman shut down Mick Butler with a winning 9.56 to a losing 9.76. Barry Beaumont won Senior bike beating Derrick Penfold in the final with an 11.91/117. Chris Russell beat Phil Prister in the Top Street bike final. (Clive Rooms)
May 24th-26th SPR. May Day Holiday Weekend Big Go. Dennis Priddle ran 6.9 in his new Avenger Funny Car. Peter Crane ran 6.18 in Stormbringer, Ron Picardo ran 7.3 in Firefly and Dave Stone ran 7.7 in Hemi Hunter. Alan O'Connor ran 11.1 his best ever. Bob Messent ran another personal best of 10.2 in Stripteaser. Tony Anderson (2.5 Daimler) ran 8.6. Pat Cuss ran 8.9/165. Phil Elson (Sneaky Glowworm)  turned in an 8.6. In Pro Stock Gary Goggin ran 10.5 and on two wheels Keith Parnell (single 750 Triumph) ran 9.0/155. (Bill Dossett)
June 8th SPR. Keith Parnell became the first bike rider into the eight second bracket at 8.93/151mph.Two Top Fuellers turned up for this meet, Peter Crane with the Stormbringer and Ronnie Picardo with the Firefly. They ran two match races. Crane won both with no recorded time or speed to Picardos 8.05/189 in the first race, and took the second with a 6.70/205 after Picardos car broke on the line.
June 14th/15th Wroughton. NDRC International meeting including 2nd round of the TOR LINE European funny Car Championship, (1st round was held in Sweden and rained off),3rd round of Motor Cycle News Top Bike Championship, a round of the Wolfrace Street Championship and the 208 Pro Comp Championship. Seven Funny Cars turned up for this event making it the largest FC race so far in Europe. They were Clive Skilton (Vauxhall), Liam Churchill (The Sting, Capri), Dennis Priddle (Avenger), Roland Pratt (Hillbillies), Hazze Fromm (Capri) and the Swedish entries of Bjorn Andersson (Opel) and Leif Darback (Volvo).  Skilton was the number one qualifier but Priddle and Pratt made it through to the final. Pratts car blew a blower gasket on firing up, a direct result of upping the nitro percentage, allowing Skilton to come back in and run the final. Priddle won however with a 6.95/204 to Skiltons 8.03. To see the elimination ladder for the Funny Cars click here. Jim Rowatt took the win in Pro Comp in his "Double Or Quits" dragster, Dave Rose won the Super Street final with a 12.95 in his Barracuda "Cracklin Rose". Keith Parnell ran 9.39. Top Fuel went to Trevor Young (Revolution3) 7.12 when Roz Priors axle broke. Top Street went to Robert Oram (E type) 12.82. In Senior Comp Altered Dave Page beat Anders Lantz 9.68. In Middle Comp Svante Eriksson's Jeep beat Stripteaser 10.3 while John Whitmore took Middle Dragster with an 11.25. (Bill Dossett)
July 5th/6th SPR. European Grand Prix incorporating the first British funny Car Grand Prix. A total of seven Funny Cars and one Fuel Altered were entered for this meeting including Dale Emery driving Leroy Chaddertons 'Chadderton & Okazaki' Chevy Vega FC from the US. Also over from the States was Danny Johnson and his 3.5 litre Harley Davidson, he ran a best of 8.4/167, John Hobbs managed an 8.8. During his burnout before racing Johnson, Hobbs, with his front wheel firmly up against the crash barrier, tore a large hole in the SPR tarmac. Allan Herridge set both ends of the European funny car record  in Stardust with a 6.66/213.68 run in the Final against a tyre smoking Owen Hayward. For the Funny Car elimination ladder click here. Hayward was also in action in the "Houndog 8" Top Fueller, running a losing 7.07/205 in the Final to Peter Cranes 6.81/203 in "Stormbringer". Alan O'Connor won Super Street, beating Mike Churchill in a 3/3 match race. Mike Hall in "Shutdown" won the Pro Comp Final after Gerry Andrews "Hemi Hunter" broke.
July 12th Aintree. The first Drag Race event to be held at this venue (once a major motor racing circuit and the scene of the first win by a British Grand Prix car, the Vanwall driven by Tony Brooks and Stirling Moss in 1957) was promoted by European Dragways, organised by the Pennine Drag Racing Club and run on a narrow eighth mile strip. 55 entries turned up including two fuelers and two Funny Cars. Qualifying produced some good runs. Noteably for Pat Cuss in 'Ratcatcher' (6.13), Clive Page in 'Panic' (6.58), Pete Barnett in the Vauxhall FC (7.13), Roz Priors 'Fast Lady' fueler (5.26/148) and Clive Skiltons Vauxhall FC (5.57/134). Dennis Priddle then brought out his Avenger FC and treated the crowd to an eighth-mile burnout followed by a 5.027/144 pass. The top cars were run singularly because of the narrow strip so the finals were run one car after the other. Trevor Young set the mark in Top Fuel with a 4.83 in the ex-Skilton rail. Opponent Roz Prior did her best to beat him on her run but a rear axle failure saw her coast through with a 7.20/62. In Funny Car Clive Skilton was the first to run and he put in a 5.83/130 on six cylinders. Dennis Priddle then produced another storming burnout but got crossed up while reversing. He then cut the motor as part of the reverser linkage came loose. The decision was taken to make the run without the reverser and the car was re-started. Dennis then over-staged, the crew could not push the car back and the motor was cut again. With the car re-positioned the motor was fired again and Dennis proceeded to smoke the tyres for the whole eighth, obliterate everybodies view of anything and beat Skiltons time with a 5.53/161. Not to be outdone Skilton came back out later with the Vauxhall running on all eight cylinders and put down the fastest eighth-mile Funny Car run ever seen in the UK, a 5.16/165. Mike Hall won the Pro Comp final with a 5.55/136. A round of the Motor Cycle News Top Bike Championship was held at this meeting. Keith Parnell had a hairy moment in qualifying when, after an earlier 6.2/120 pass, he had his back wheel lock up at half track. Fortunately, and much to the amazement of everyone who saw it, he managed to hold on to the bike and get it stopped safely. He was out for the rest of the day however. John Clift was the final winner having set an eighth-mile record in the first round with a 6.125/125 defeat of Barry Beaumont. For all class results click here.
July 13th The MDRA begin using the strip that is still in use today to run their meetings at Long Marston. For this season and 1976 racing took place in the opposite direction to that used today. Previous to this racing took place on the number 1 runway.
July 27th Santa Pod Raceway. BDR&HRA Drag Racing News Meeting. Two fuelers a Fuel Altered and a Funny Car were present at this one day meeting. Peter Crane and Owen Hayward fought it out for the Pro Fuel honours. The first outing saw Crane take the win with a strong 6.28/216.45 to Haywards 6.93/211.42. The final had Crane taking the win with a 6.46/218.34 to Haywards 6.88/213.22. Phil Elson in the 'Sneaky Gloworm' Capri and Dave Stone in the 'Tee Rat' Altered competed for the Funny Car title over a best of three match. The first round saw Stone take the win and run a new best for the Rat, a 7.58/174.83 to Elsons 8.84/136.43. Both cars came out again for a second round but as Elson took the win with a low nine second pass Stone lost the steering on the Rat and scuffed the gaurdrail on the pit side bending a wheel at the same time. Oh, and both cars red lit! John Whitmore was getting to grips with the new slipper clutch in his rear-engined 1293cc Leyland rail. He ran 9.84, 9.94 and 9.88 to re-set the Middle Dragster strip record to 9.84/131.58. Alan O'Connor ran a best of 10.86 in his 'Als Gasser' Pop during a 3 - 0 match race defeat of Jim Kirk in his TVR. A couple of scary moments occured in bike qualifying. The first saw D. Page, on his 'Purple Puss' 650 Triumph, get no recorded time for his first run as the beams were broken by the Raceway ambulance, which was coming down his lane in the opposite direction! Page kept the gas on to his credit and the lady driving the ambulance claimed not to have seen him. Barry Simpson was less lucky and parted company with his 500cc Velocette at the top end but was not injured. In eliminations Phil Drake lost a wheel disc which resulted in a horrendous lock-to-lock tank slapper. Top Bike saw John Clift run 9.24, 9.52 and 9.63 on his way to the final. John Hobbs ran 9.01/163.67 but red lit his chances away to Mick Warne. Warne was defeated by Richard LePage who red lit in the final against Clift. Terry Revill clinched the Street Bike title while his opponent Phil Brister took his Norton to its first ever eleven, an 11.94. For all class results click here.
August 1st-3rd Mantorp Park, Sweden. Roz Prior blew the motor in her 'Fast Lady' Chyrsler slingshot leaving her without an engine for the rest of the season. In the Tor Line Funny Car Cup Series Dennis Priddle and Clive Skilton met in the final. Priddle shut off with clutch problems before getting to the line while Skilton suffered a blown head gasket and ran a 41 second ET.
August 17th Blackbushe. NDRC Hot Car Grandnationals. The funny cars of Clive Skilton, Dennis Priddle and Liam Churchill were present. Gary Goggin was the only Pro Stock competitor to turn up.
August 23rd-25th SPR Holiday Weekend Supernationals. Saturday was reserved for qualifing and eliminations were run on the Sunday and Monday. For Sundays competition the cars were divided into 7 classes. A - G according to their qualifing times. For Monday the usual class eliminations were run. Saturday qualifying saw John Clift head the bike field with a 9.27/146 while hairiest ride of the weekend saw Keith Parnell managing a 9.46/147 while clinging to the side of his bike after being unseated by a combination of bumps and a crosswind. Ted Dunmow failed to qualify with a 9.89/134 on his unblown Triumph but was awarded a case of champagne for the best qualifing effort. On four wheels Tony Anderson ran a 9.06/158.73 to beat Keith Danceys old Senior Dragster Class record by 8mph. On Sunday John Whitmore ran a new personal best of 9.49/138 to smash both ends of his old record. In Super Bike Tony Weedon picked up a £5 prize for being the first 150mph runner after his 9.25/151 qualifing shot. John Hobbs ran a new personal best of 8.82/157 but lost to Ian Messenger in the final after his primary chain broke and Peter Crane was number one qualifier in Pro Fuel with a 6.42/216.45. On Monday Terry Revill ran his quickest ever in the Street Bike final, 11.64/117.  Pete Smith won the Senior Bike final with a personal best of 9.25. Brian Mondey set a new Junior Comp class record with an 11.55/120 in the Optimist altered. Phil Elson and Pete Barnett match raced their funny cars but Barnett was having problems with the rear engined Vauxhall and Elson took the Sneaky Gloworm Capri to a 9.36/143 and an 8.81/156.Owen Hayward and Allan Herridge had two races in the Houndog and Stardust funny cars. Herridge took the first with 6.91/202.84 to Haywards 7.14/207.04 and the second with a 6.81/210.97 to 6.87/207.70. Owen Hayward had some consolation when he ran his quickest ever in the Houndog 8 dragster, 6.58/221.73, to win the final of Pro Fuel. In the first round he had run a 6.73/216.45 to defeat Gerry Andrews in 'Hemi Hunter' with a 7.57/190.11. The other first round meeting saw Dennis Priddle match up with Peter Crane. Both cars left hard together but as Priddle took a slight lead Cranes 'Stormbringer' veered to the left causing the chassis to twitch violently and send the car on to one-and-a-half wheels. Pete managed to get it back together and still crossed the line in 7.81/165.93. Meanwhile Priddle took the win with a 6.58/221.73. In the final Priddle lost a fuel line, resulting in a 7.10/151.75 to Haywards winner. Pro Comp saw its ranks increased with the addition of Tony Froomes 'Nitromania' and Jim Reads ex-Priddle rail 'Le Patron'. The first round meeting of these two saw Froome have problems before he got to the start line when he dumped the chute in the fire up road! Read  then red lit on a solo 11.34/143.68. To round off the meeting Bob Messent in 'Stripteaser' and Alan O'Connor in 'Als Gasser' held a grudge match for a one hundred pound gold trophy and a cash prize for the weekends most spectacular wheelstand. Messent took the title with an almost vertical wheelie which resulted in mild damage to the cars front suspension. Also damaging himself by coming down hard on the Santa Pod surface was stunt rider Mark Bishop who lept 100ft on his 500cc Triton before losing control and crashing to the ground on landing. For all class results click here
August 30th Aintree. Pennine Drag Racing Club Meeting. Full rounds of practice and qualifying were completed on the eighth mile but the meeting was brought to a premature end by rain. Just before the rain started Dennis Priddle and Trevor Young got ready to put in their first runs. Dennis took the Mr Revell slingshot to a 5.05/147.6 and Trevor didn't get to run. Earlier Dave Page took 'Panic' to a 6.43/116.25 and Pat Cuss ran a 6.79/120.48. Tony Merry made his first appearance at Aintree with the 'Liquidator' Pop and put in a 7.98 while Glenn Reed took his 1500cc Volvo rail to a 7.33/96. Ian Lloyd took his Chevy engined Ventora to victories over all the American Production cars and a D. Lloyd made runs in a Formula Ford. Star of the bike classes was Brian Chapman and his 'Mighty Mouse' 500cc Vincent. He ran the low E.T. of 6.41/104.99 which he followed up with a 6.55. Mick Warne ran 6.63/104.2 and 6.48/119.76 and local boys Paul Taylor, Dave Houghton and Barry Beaumont ran 6.70/113.64, 6.72 and 6.75 respectively. Chris Richards took the ex-Hobbs 'Olympus II' to a 6.98 preceeded by a rolling burnout. Phil Brister dominated the Street Bike class on his 828cc Norton, beating the Kawasakis of Pip Higham and G. Baharill.
September 6th/7th Snetterton International including 4th and Final round of the TOR LINE Funny Car Championship, (3rd round held in Sweden). With this the final round of the Series Dennis Priddle and Clive Skilton were level on points at the top of the table. Skilton ran an off the trailer 7.23/200 in qualifying while Priddle never made it out of the pits with transmission problems. Liam Churchill took 'The Sting' Capri to a new personal best of 8.04/170 while the fourth and final entry, Ake Ryman in the 'Canon' Toyota ran a half-pass 8.58/146. Later Skilton came out again and ran his first Funny Car six, a 6.91/211. Priddle got his first pass in on Sunday morning with a 7.36/196. The first round saw Skilton defeat Churchill with a 7.74/142 although Liam was happy with his first seven second run, a 7.92/180. Priddle defeated Ryman with a 7.23/208 to an 8.19/185. The winner of the final would also take the Championship. The lights failed so a flag start was called for. Priddle acknowledged his readiness and staged but Skilton was not ready. Having been staged for some time Priddle left as the flag went up followed by Skilton who crossed lanes in an effort to catch up. Priddle took the win with a 6.94/208 while Skilton shut off to a 10.58/65. Roz Prior failed to qualify in the Pro Fuel class leaving Trevor Young to clock a 6.83/215 and a 6.88/215, new personal bests for car and driver. Gerry Andrews demolished the field in Pro Comp with a 7.61, a 7.48, a 7.41 and finally a 7.29/196, a best ever terminal speed. Senior Dragster and Senior Comp saw only one entry in each class so the two were combined. In the following best of three Clive Page in the 'Panic' Altered, which was still running on pump gas but using injectors for the first time, won 3/0 with a best of 9.33/147. Svante Eriksson in the hemi powered Jeep ran amok in the Middle Comp field, sweeping all aside and becoming the first car in the class to run into the nines. His easy 10.65/108 in qualifying was followed by a 9.85 and a 9.84 on his way to the final. There he met Bob Messents 'Stripteaser' and took the win with a 9.71/146 to a 10.24/129. In Production Jan Johnson hit the brakes of his Corvette just before the lights on every winning eleven second run. His quickest was an 11.31 at 93mph. Later in the day he came out and put in a flat out pass which resulted in a terminal speed of 124mph. 
September 14th Holland held its first ever drag race meeting. It was attended by, amoungst others, Brits Allan Herridge with Stardust, Ronnie Picardo with the Firefly, Mick Warne, John Clift, Mick Hand and Derek Penfold. Most competitors managed to put in at least one run although it rained almost all day.
September 20th/21st Anglo American International. The Funny car eliminations included nine floppers and a Fuel Altered, the largest FC field ever in Europe. Saturday qualifying saw Dennis Priddle breaking in a new '440ci steel' motor in his 'Mr Revell' slingshot to the tune of a gentle 9.04. Ronnie Picardo in the 'Firefly' temporarily took number one spot with a 7.60/207.04. In Funny Car Liam Churchill ran a new personal best of 7.56/194.93 but broke a torsion bar in the process. Roland Pratt in the 'Hillbillies' Avenger ran 8.23/154.99. Dave Stone was competing in FC in the 'Tee Rat' Altered and clocked a 7.94/146.63. In Pro Comp Gerry Andrews set the pace with a 7.36/193.05 for number one spot. Martin Rowatt was at number two with an 8.78/161.81 and third was Pat Cuss with a 9.33/168.63. In Junior Altered Tim Spencer borrowed the rear wheels and slicks from Bob Messents 'Stripteaser' for his qualifying run in his Jag powered Mini '2-Ton-Car-Men'. The car crashed into the guardrail at the top end and was written off. On two wheels the crowd were treated to some great performances from the two visiting Americans Danny Johnson and Tom 'TC' Christenson. Johnson was the first to put in a pass on his 3500cc Harley, an 8.61/162.34. TC then followed on his double Norton with a 9.02/144.51 which he was not happy with. A quick clutch adjustment saw him come out again and run an 8.65/158.48. In Top Bike the bump spot of 9.65 was an all-time low. Number one went to Keith Parnells Triumph at 9.22 followed by Tony Weedon, also on a Triumph, at 9.33. Henk Vink made number three at 9.43/152.21. Later in the evening a number of cars took advantage of the new floodlighting which had now been RAC approved for competition. These included Owen Hayward who went to the top of the pile in Pro Fuel with a 6.54/221.24 in the 'Houndog 8' rail. The rest of the Funny Cars also made their qualifying passes. First was Allan Herridge in 'Stardust' who ran a 6.77/210.97. Owen Hayward then took the 'Houndog 7' car to a new European best for a Funny Car of 6.61/210.53. Dennis Priddle took his Donovan powered Avenger to a 6.93/207.47 and American Leroy Chadderton took his Vega, now owned by Santa Pod, to a 7.20/194.55. Phil Elson in the 'Sneaky Gloworm' was the only other FC to run and put in a troubled 13.68. Sudays eliminations saw Liam Churchill re-set his personal best in round one with a 7.43/161.81 but lose out to Hayward. The semis saw Hayward leave Priddle behind on the tree but the 'Houndogs' clutch went up in smoke at the three quarter mark. Hayward crossed the line first with a slowing 6.99/155.04 while a hard charge from Priddle saw an identical 6.99 with a 207.47mph terminal speed. Chadderton defeated Herridge, who burnt a piston, with a 6.92/213.68. The final saw the Houndog team borrow the clutch from Stardust while Priddle stood by as first alternate. Both cars made their burnouts but Hayward had problems selecting reverse. Then, to make matters worse, the motor died. The crew pulled up in the pushcar, re-started the motor and pushed the car back. Now there was a problem selecting a forward gear. Meanwhile Chadderton in the Vega waited patiently as the motor got hotter and hotter. Eventually Leroy was sent off on a solo and the motor lasted until the three quarter mark before exploding in a ball of flame as it threw a rod and split the motor in half. This caused the transmission to erratically lock and unlock as the car skidded to a stop at the end of the shutdown area. Chadderton emerged unscathed. This was the first time a UK crowd had witnessed such a spectacle. In Pro Fuel Owen Hayward put a best ever 6.56/221.73 down in 'Houndog 8' but lost out to Priddles 6.69/211.42 in the semis. Peter Crane took the other place in the final with a 6.45/222.72 in 'Stormbringer' despite a valiant 7.05/217.89 from Picardo in "Firefly'. Picardo and Hayward came out again to run off for third and fourth and Hayward clocked a 6.59/223.21, the fastest terminal speed since Skiltons 224 a couple of years earlier. Picardo was outclassed with a 7.31/184.84. The final saw Crane set low ET of the meeting with a 6.37/222.72 defeat of Priddles 6.67/210.97. Senior Comp went to Dave Page in 'Panic'. His 9.17 in the best of three match race with Vic Hammonds 'Mr Big' was a new class record. The American bikes had two match races and treated ther crowds to side-by-side rolling burnouts. Round One went to Johnson with a holeshot 8.52/164 to TCs 8.37/162. Round Two saw Johnson break an engine sprocket and coast to an eleven second pass as Christenson hit 8.47/165. With Johnson out John Hobbs stepped in for Round Three and despite a holeshot his 9.15/159 was no match for Christensons 8.37/153. Mick Warne had a best of three match race with South Africas Mike Bramley, both riders using 1500cc Triumph machines. Warne took all three, 9.53 to 9.62, 9.34 to 9.53 and 9.53 to 9.47. Warnes 9.34/151 was a new personal best. Senior Bike went to the remarkable blown 250cc Honda of Mick Hand. He ran his first ever nine second run earlier in the day with a 9.75/142.05 and in the final his 10.37/140.45 was enough to defeat a 10.71/137.55 from Dennis Normans 1656cc double Norton! For all class results click here. (Updated from an original entry by Bill Dossett).
September 28th SPR. G-Max trophy. Qualifying saw John Whitmore repeat his recent nine second runs with a 9.88. Tony Froome made his first pass with his newly purchased ex-Ed Shaver/Pete Barnett Vauxhall VX4/90 rear-engined Funny Car. The car sported a new 'Sundance' paintjob and clocked a 10.43 on its first run. Dave Page took the 'Panic' Chevy altered to a 9.62 but mechanical problems put the team out for the rest of the day. John Hobbs was on form and ran an 8.47/170.65, a top end charge that could not be matched by either Danny Johnson or Tom Christenson the two visiting American riders. During qualifying Johnson managed an 8.55/161.29 on his Harley. The two Americans then embarked on a series of match races. Christenson took the first on his Norton, 8.41/137.17 to 8.91/122.55. The second and third also went to Christenson, his best E.T. being an 8.37 and the best terminal speed going to Johnson with a 166.94. Two Pro Fuel cars were present, Peter Crane in 'Stormbringer' and Owen Hayward in 'Houndog 8'. Crane won 2/2 taking the first round with a 6.37/213.22 to Owens 6.96/210.08. Round two saw Owen improve to a 6.81/214.13 but Crane was there first with a 6.50/181.82. Funny car consisted of Froomes Vauxhall, Roland Pratt in the 'Hillbillies' Avenger and The Stones 'Tee Rat' Altered. Pratt had problems and Froome managed a 9.28/136.24 to a storming 7.55/149 from Dave Stone. In the final Stone backed up the new record with a 7.59/165.29 defeat of Pratt. Pro Stock saw only two entries, and one of those did not run due to mechanical problems. 'Whiffy' Smiths 'Insurance In Pro-Motion' Chevy was found to have a leaking inlet manifold (and later was found to have a cracked block) leaving John Ledster to put in three solo runs with a best of 12.22 seconds. Pro Comp also had only two entries, Gerry Andrews in 'Hemi Hunter' and Pat Cuss in 'Ratcatcher'. Round one saw Andrews pull a red and shut off to an 11.83 while Cuss ran a 9.76/143.47. The next round saw Cuss loose fire leaving Andrews to solo to a 9.26/109.29. In Middle Altered P. Smith got his 'Red Rampage' Capri into the tens for the first time with a 10.95/123.92 win in the semis. He lost out in the final with an 11.22/123.61 to Pete Smiths 10.84/118.48 in 'Poison Ivy'. John Hobbs continued his good form with an 8.49/172.41 back up of his earlier run in the first round for a new record. Opponent Derek Chinn was a long way behind at 9.42/144.72. His luck ran out in the semis however when the rear brake caliper came off 'The Hobbit' after the burnout. Opponent Pete Smith soloed to the final with a 9.77 on his 750 Triumph. There he met the 'Mighty Mouse' Vincent of Brian Chapman. He took the win with a 9.60/145.56 to Chapmans 9.80/141.04 but Chapman had accumulated enough points to win the MCN Top Bike Championship for 1975. Finally a match race between Hobbs and Christenson was scheduled but Hobbs slid off the back of his bike at the end of a rolling burnout leaving TC to solo to an 8.62/156.25. For all class results click here.
October 5th NDRC Championship Finals, Blackbushe, including finals of Wolfrace Street Championship and 208 Pro Comp Championship. Dennis Priddle won the 1000 pound prize put up by Custom Car magazine for winning a best of three Funny Car match race against Clive Skilton. With a win each after two rounds Clive had problems with his injector linkage for the final leaving Dennis to solo for the win. In Top Fuel Trevor Young ran a best of 7.5/211 and ran a shut off 10.06/167 for the final win. Pro Stock went to the freshly painted 'Money Hungry' Camaro of Tony Dickson. His 10.89/131 took the win against 'Big' John Ledster.
October 12th SPR BDR&HRA Meeting. The Pro Fuel class had three entries and they all suffered problems, so much so that after one round of qualifying nobody was able to compete in the elimination. Peter Crane took "Stormbringer" to the best time of 7.35/220.26 on a solo pass. Owen Hayward finished ahead of a troubled Ronnie Picardo with a 7.76/131.75. That was the full extent of the Pro Fuel competition. Funny Car also had three entries, Phil Elsons 392ci capri, Tony Froomes rear-engined Vauxhall and The Stones "Tee Rat" Fuel Altered. It was Dave Stone who led the way running an 8.11/148.15 in Round One and an 8.52/132.45 defeat of Tony froome in the final. The different groups and eliminations saw some unusual pairings. Pro Comp saw Gerry Andrews in "Hemi Hunter" defeat Bob Messents "Stripteaser" Altered for a place in the final. On the other side of the ladder Alan O'Connor in "Als Gasser" defeat John Whitmores "Drag-N-Fly" rail with a 10.98/126.74 to a 10.97/127.55. Alan had problems and failed to make the final leaving Andrews to solo for the win. In Senior Comp Dave Page had to push the "Panic" Altered to the finish in a desperate attempt to earn some points after opponent Bob Harman red lit. He went on to win the elimination. Brian Mondey took his "Optimist" Altered to a new class record of 11.39 backed up with an 11.43 during eliminations but red lit his chances of a final place away to Vic Hammond. In Top Bike Dave Branch was putting in some improved performances on his nitro-burning 1800cc MG powered machine. He made it to the final with a 9.78 in Round One after opponent John Clifts chain snapped. In Round Two he ran a new personal best of 9.28/144.09 in his defeat of Pete Smiths 9.40/147.93. His opponent in the final was John Hobbs who had run a string of eights including an 8.92/172/71 in Round One to defeat a 9.88/143.06 from Brian Chapman, and an 8.89/172.17 in the semis to defeat an ailing Ivan Wileman. In the final however Hobbses double-Weslake "Hobbit" threw a chain leaving Branch to take his first big win with a 9.39/142.25.
November 1st/2nd SPR Fireworks Spectacular. The weather on Saturday was so bad that very little took place on the track, except some shakedown runs for the new track drier. With no qualifying completed eliminations were arranged using previous performances. The track was still quite slick and times were down on the usual. Funny Car produced a field of seven floppers and one Fuel Altered in the shape of The Stones "Tee Rat". The final was between Dennis Priddle in his Avenger and Clive Skilton in his Vauxhall. Priddle had defeated Roland Pratt with an 8.16/203.25, after Pratt lost fire, and Allan Herridge with a 7.38/197.24 to an 8.00/152.67. Skilton defeated Dave Stone in Round One with an easy 12.74 after Stone cut the motor and Owen Hayward in the semis. Hayward had stormed ahead and looked to have the win secured when he slowed at the top end. Skilton kept the power on and caught him before they crossed the line, 7.96/198.07 to a losing 8.20/115. The final saw Skilton lose traction and veer off line. Meanwhile Priddle had hooked up and gone with a win in 7.31/202.02. Top Fuel saw Hayward in the "Houndog" fueler run the meetings top speed of 207.90 in 7.78 seconds. Hayward broke in the final leaving Peter Crane to solo for the win. Pro Stock looked to be dominated by Gary Goggin again until a breakage stopped him. This left the door open for Tony Dickson to take the final win against John Ledster. Brian Mondey won the Junior Comp title before announcing that he was planning to sell his successful "Optimist" Jaguar powered Altered. Middle Comp saw Robin Tallis' "Liquidator" Pop hit the guardrail and roll over. He was not seriously injured. In Middle Dragster John Whitmore dominated the proceedings he set a new class record for speed and E.T. with a 9.31/145.56 in the final, backed up by an earlier 9.38/143.47. Senior Dragster saw a new speed record for winner Tony Anderson in his 2.5 litre Daimler rail of 9.15/155.76 in the final round. The Middle Bike semis saw Ron Hughes up against Bob Webster. Webster couldn't get his bike to fire and Hughes had problems which culminated in him pushing his bike over the line for a place in the final. His winning time - 146.80 seconds! He went on to win the final. John Hobbs led the way in Top Bike with an 8.81/173.31 win over Dave Branch, the highest recorded motorcycle speed in Europe. He met Derek Chinn on "Pegasus" in the final but lost power and finished as runner up. For all class results click here.
December 6th/7th SPR. Winternationals. This meeting had an invitation only entry. None of the big guns came out on the Saturday. There was a period of practice and then a normal elimination took place with the cars being run in Comp Brackets and the bikes in their usual classes. Pro Stock was a best of three between Gary Goggin and Tony Dickson. Goggin won the first two, 11.49/118 to 11.88/118 and 10.26/137 to 10.70/129. In the third round Dickson got one back with a 10.62/130 to a 10.57/138. The Senior bracket saw Vic Hammond take the win with an 11.45/130 while the V12 Jaguar powered rail of Alan Sharpe struggled to a 20.02 having previously run an 11.82/130 to get to the final. Pete Smith ran an 11.66/113 in his 3.8 Jag Altered to beat Sue Coles 'Helzapoppin' to the Middle bracket win. Junior saw the 750cc Kart of Bob Harman defeat Brian Mondeys 'Optimist' Altered 11.73/116 to 11.96/116. Other winners in the car classes were Glen Jarvis, Keith Potter, Hazel Wloszek and D. Portess. In the bike classes John Hobbs took Top. In the final against Derek Penfold the front blower pulley of the Hobbit shot off on the startline but Hobbs took the win with a 9.97/145 to a 10.52/131. Senior Bike went to Tex Healey with a 10.72/114 to John Cheadles 10.83/122. In Middle Paul Eastbury took his 500cc Honda to the win after his opponent failed to show. In Street Bike Alex Heal became the first in the class to top 130mph with an 11.68/13089 on his turboed 900cc Honda in the first round. His opponent for the final, Chris Russell, ran low E.T. of the class in the first round (11.47) and took the win with a 11.79/117 to a 12.00/125. Sunday saw four Funny Cars and three Fuelers take to the cold track. Gerry Andrews lost to Owen Hayward in the first round of Pro Fuel, 8.35/171 to the Houndogs 8.25/205. The motor on Andrews 'Hemi Hunter' threw a rod at the finish. Ronnie Picardo had a solo to the final with a 7.45/190. Picardo then took his first final win with an 8.15/183 to Haywards losing 8.35/207. The Funny Cars were subject to all sorts of problems. The first pair were Roland Pratts 392 Avenger and Allan Herridge in Stardust. Herridge had to cut the motor when the magneto slipped and Pratt took the win with a 'suspect' 7.07/139. The second pair saw Tony Froome in the rear engined Vauxhall smoke the tyres for half the track while Owen Hayward kept his boot down despite the fact that the car was sliding alarmingly towards the spectator guardrail. A 7.80/181 win was the result. The final was on and then off as Prat shut down with a problem while Houndog lost a blower belt during the burnouts. While they sorted themselves out Allan Herridge came out for a demo run in Stardust. On the launch the car immediately turned hard and changed lanes from right to left, followed by a short burst back into the right. Back to the final and with both cars running again Pratt took the win in 7.54/182 while the clutch on 'Houndog' went up in a shower of sparks. For all class results click here.
Brian Chapman took the Top Bike Championship honours with his single cylinder Vincent, Mighty Mouse.
The BDR&HRA announced the introduction of a "Roadster' class for all bona fide street-legal cars that were ineligible to run in the Production or Modified classes. The new class would start at the beginning of the 1976 season.

1976
In this year Santa Pod Raceway began holding "Run What Ya Brung" events, a chance for anyone with a driving licence to bring their own car along and run on the strip.
January 24th/25th Crystal Palace National Sports Centre. Drag Racing News/Fibre Glass Repairs 1st International Drag Racing Show. This was the UK's first show to be entirely devoted to Drag Racing. Amongst the entries was the Swamp Rat 21 Top Fueler of Don Garlits which was in the UK ahead of Don's scheduled appearance at Santa Pod's 10th Anniversary meeting in April. Spectator numbers were severely affected by almost constant snowfall throughout the weekend. The prizes awarded, voted for by the competitors, were as follows; Santa Pod Best Dragster - Swamp Rat, Drag Racer Magazine Best Funny Car- The Gladiator, Drag Racing News Best Comp Altered - Tee Rat, FGR Best Mechanically Prepared - Jamesons Merlin, American Automotive Best Street Car - Silent Knight, The Startline Stores Best Display - The Blue Rose Team, The Bumperstickers Best Motorcycle - Henk Vink. The new Gladiator Funny Car took the visitors choice award.
The February issue of Drag Racing News contained an advert for the Stardust Funny car at a price of £12,000. The car was bought by the Stones team who installed the Chevrolet motor from their Tee Rat altered.
March 7th SPR. Season Opener.Cold winds and snow showers kept the number of competitors down to just under 100. Four cars qualified for the Pro Comp elimination with Dave Stone in Hemi Hunter at the top with 8.27/154. He was followed by Jim Read in Le Patron 8.94/158, Pete Barnett in the ex Skilton FC and Pat Cuss in the Rat Catcher. In the first round, Read defeated Barnett with an 8.59/159 to the 12.26 from the flopper. Cuss then red lit allowing Stone to shut off early to a 10.65. In the final, Read got crossed up and trailed to a 9.51/157 as Stone took the win in 8.24/149. Dave Page in Panic took the Senior Comp win in 11.17/118 as Russ Carpenter trailed behind with problems. Rob Messent defeated Sue Coles in the final of Middle Comp with an 11.21/117. Norm Wheeldon won Junior Comp with consistent 11 second passes. In Middle Dragster, John Whitmore went out in the first round with problems. George Davie in Pubcrawler took the final round win over Steve Clark with an 11.96/110. There were only three competitors in Pro Stock which meant a bye run for Tony Dickson, then Dave Rose defeated Howard Smith. Dickson soled to an 11.89/113 win as Rose ventilated the block on the burnout. In Top bike, Pete Smith headed the qualifiers with 9.90/140 but lost in the first round to Tony Weeden’s 10.08/141. Weeden then beat Barry Beaumont to reach the final in 9.78/142. In the final, he lined up against John Cheadle who had beaten Ken Gee and Ray Law. Weeden took it in 9.91/148 to the 10.54/125 of the two stroke Yamaha of Cheadle. Paul Rose won Senior bike in 11.43/109 ahead of Brian Elson’s 11.13/120. (Clive Rooms)  
April 16th Snetterton. Good Friday Superdrag Funny Car Championship and Gauloises/NDRC Pro Comp Championship. Second round of RAC National Drag Racing Championship, first rounds of NDRC points Championship and Manufacturers Championship. All in one day! Admission price £1.60. Clive Skilton put down a 7.04/204 solo pass in the Revolution 3 TF car now fitted with Donovan power. In Funny Car, Liam Churchill debuted the Euro Sting Capri and weaved up the track to an 8.54/122, and then discovered the rear axle housing had broken. In Pro Stock, Gary Goggin defeated Glen Jarvis and Tony Dickson overcame Mike Churchill. In the final, Goggin ran 10.33/136 to overcome Dickson’s 11.27/109. Senior Dragster saw Alan Sharpe defeat John Gibbons and Ian Fraser put down Russ Carpenter. Fraser couldn’t make the call for the final which Sharpe took in 10.29/137. In Middle, John Whitmore ran 10.82/128 to easily defeat George Davie’s off-form 19.17/70. Robert Panter won Junior in 12.32/109 beating Mark Titt 17.57/72. In Senior Comp Altered, Keith Potter took a solo win in 12.91/102. Earlier in the eliminations, Gary Page in Panic had a nasty moment when a brake disc sheared puncturing a slick which sent him sharp right at the finish. Because his chute was already deployed, he brought the car safely to a halt. Middle winner was Bob Messent who overcame Mick Saunders in the final 10.95/120 to 11.33/120. Keith Potter was the winner of Junior in 11.98/118 beating Norm Wheeldon’s same time but slower speed of 112. In Top bike, first round winners were Tony Weedon, Paul Rose, Brian Chapman and Jeff Byne, whilst the losers were Brian Nicholls, Jon Sharpe, Terry Revill and John Cheadle. Byne, who had beaten Cheadle, had broken and so was unable to continue which meant Cheadle coming back in. In the semis, the two winners were Weedon and Rose and it was Weedon who took the final round win in 9.94/147 to Rose’s losing 11.31/116. Brian Pickford was the Senior bike winner in 15.23/88, beating Terry Bell. Pro Street winner was Chris Russel who defeated Phil Brister in the final. (Clive Rooms)
April 17th-19th Over 50,000 people attended SPRs 10th anniversary Easter meet starring the legendary Don Garlits in his  1975 car, the Swamp Rat#21 fueler. For the first time in Europe there was an eight car top Fuel entry. Garlits had mechanical problems and qualified no.5 with a 6.89/215mph. No.1 qualifier was Peter Crane in the 'Stormbringer' with a 6.21/215mph pass. Garlits and Crane met in the first round of eliminations, Garlits pulled a red and Crane became the first person outside the U.S. to run into the fives with a 5.97 run. Clive Skilton beat Crane in the semi finals but Crane still managed a 6.03 to back up his record. Skilton went on to win the final. Later it was revealed that the entire gate receipts for this record breaking attendance meeting were stolen by a 'gang of thieves'. SPR bought the Garlits car. Also at this meeting the Stones team won the Funny Car class with  an 8.36/160 in Stardust and Allan Herridge debuted his new Alleygator rail, running a 6.31 on its first outing. Allan went on to record a best of 6.29 at 223mph this weekend, his personal; best to date.Jim Read in Le Patron broke into the seven second bracket in competition with a 7.96/154 followed by a 7.81/181 in the final. Terry Revill became the first gas bike rider to break into the nine second bracket with a 9.89/136 in qualifing. In Middle Dragster John Whitmores Leyland powered Drag N Fly set a new class record with an 8.63/146. Liam Chuchill debuted a new Funny Car, the Euro Sting Capri. To see results, Pro Fuel qualifing results and elimination ladder click here
May 2nd Blackbushe. NDRC Spring Smokers Meeting.
May 8th/9th SPR. May Day Summernationals. In Funny Car, Owen Hayward in Houndog qualified top with 6.85/181, followed by Allan Herridge in Gladiator 7.37/132, Roland Pratt in Hillbillies 7.54/169 and Dave Stone in Stardust with 7.66/183. Houndog took a first round win over the Hillbillies with 7.06/203 to a losing 7.36/187. Herridge then staged too deep and pulled a red light allowing Stone to win in 7.71/180. In the final, Stone took a lucky 8.49/120 win as Hayward couldn’t get reverse gear after the burnout. Making demo runs was Roz Prior in her Fast Lady dragster. She ran 7.55/163 and then match raced Tony Froome in the Sundowner. Roz’s 8.51/111 was too good for Froome’s 8.82/140. In Pro Comp, Gerry Andrews had a solo run to the final as Martin Rowatt had broken. Liz Burn then took an 8.04/178 win over the 8.15/176 pass of Jim Read. However, the Liz and Ollie car suffered extensive chassis damage when it grounded allowing Jim Read back in for the final. It really was Read’s lucky day as he soloed to a final round win in 8.11/117 as Hemi Hunter couldn’t fire due to water in the fuel! Alan Sharpe won Senior Dragster over John Gibbons, and John Whitmore took the win in Middle Dragster beating Ken Penfold 9.26/141 to a losing 11.12/114. Junior Dragster was won by Robin Read in his Volvo rail beating Richard Bottom’s Triumph Kart. Panic once again won Senior Altered as Dave Page’s 9.65/135 was too strong for the 10.12/127 of Dick Sharp’s Dorset Horn. Sue Cole was the winner of Middle Altered with a 10.97/132 run over Cliff Puddle. Junior Altered saw Norm Wheeldon once again take the win in 11.74/116 over Brian Mondey’s losing 12.10/105. Steve Johnson took the win in Modified as his 12.70/107 was too quick for Bob Oram in his Red E. Top bike qualifying was led by Pete Smith with 9.43/147 followed by Ted Dunmow 9.57/139 and Jeff Byne making his first appearance with his double engined Morgo Triumph with 9.63/144. Pete Smith beat Tony Weeden 9.37/143 to a losing 9.48/148, Pete Miller knocked out an up in smoke Jeff Byne, Ted Dunmow defeated Eddie Lloyd 9.59/139 to 10.21/142 and Brian Chapman ran 9.73/132 to shut down David Branch. In the semis, Smith beat Miller 9.40/146 to 9.90/129 and then Dunmow red lit handing the win to Chapman in 9.50/144. It was a win for Chapman in the final as his 9.37/145 was too good for the quicker but losing 9.34/149 from Smith. Mick Warne won Senior bike beating John Cheadle in the final 10.03/136 to 10.48/129. George Woods won Middle bike and Dave Hewitt took the Junior win on his 500 Velocette. (Clive Rooms)
May 14th-16th Mantorp Park, Sweden. Eight British cars and two bikes made the long haul to Sweden. They included Allan Herridge with Gladiator, Dave Stone with Stardust, Pete Barnett and Dennis Priddle with their Funny Cars, Clive Skilton with Revolution 3, Gerry Andrews with Hemi Hunter, Bob Messent with Stripteaser and Brian Mondey with Optimist. The two bike riders were John Clift and Mick Warne who made demo runs. In Competition Altered, Bob Messent lost out in the first round to Anders Lantz with a bouncy 11.72 to a winning 8.70. Brian Mondey beat Jan Lerida in the first round, but lost out in the next round to Bengt Stafberg in Gas Rat 2. Top Fuel Dragster was a four car field which saw Skilton run a 6.77 to beat Norwegian Fred Larsen in Sundance Kid. In the other semi, Gerry Andrews lost out to Kent Persson 7.90 to a wining 7.61. In the run off for 3rd and 4th Spots, Andrews beat Larsen with a 7.92. In the final, it was a win for Persson in 7.3 seconds as Skilton’s chute deployed just off the line. In Funny Car first round, both Herridge and Priddle had bye runs but they came out side-by-side with Herridge recording 7.24 to Priddle’s 7.78. Pete Barnett then soloed through in 8.05 as Dave Stone broke a rocker arm on the burnout. In the first semi-final, Priddle had a solo pass in 7.99 as John Andersson was unable to start his engine. Herridge then beat Barnett with a 7.33 to a losing 8.16. The final was marred by a mix-up to the tree. A handicap from the previous run had not been taken out which meant Herridge left half a second before Priddle. Bootsie ran 8.00 to Priddle’s 7.55 with Herridge being awarded the race as he got there first. Everybody agreed that this was not a satisfactory conclusion but nothing could be done. (Clive Rooms)
May 23rd Snetterton. NDRC Meeting. In Funny Car, Dennis Priddle was top qualifier with a 7.34/200 run but damaged the motor at the top end. In the eliminations, Roland Pratt had a bye run due to Priddle being out. At three-quarter track, the engine let go engulfing the car in a fireball. The fire was put out but not before Pratt had several layers of his firesuit burn through. In the other semi, Liam Churchill took the win over Pete Barnett 7.59/153 to 7.77/190. As Pratt was unable to contest the final, and because a lot of time had been lost clearing up after the fire, it was decided not to run the final but award the win to Churchill with Pratt runner-up. The Pro Comp final from the April 16th meeting was run at this meeting with Pat Cuss taking the win in 9.36/164 as Mike Hall in the Shutdown red lit to a 7.76/187. In the first round of eliminations, Ollie Burn in the Lizard put out Cuss but damaged his engine in the process which let Cuss back in on the break rule. Cuss then met Jim Read and took the win as Read shut off on the line with a smoking engine. Cuss met Jim Rowatt in the final and won in 9.9/163 as Rowatt ran a troubled 11.14/142. In Senior Comp Altered, Clive Page went out in qualifying with another broken brake disc. In the final, Dick Sharpe beat Tony Preston 10.33/141 to a losing 11.54/114. In the final of Middle, Sue Coles was asleep on the line and lost out with a quicker 10.56/138 to Mick Saunders’ Animal which went through in 11.00/128. Junior Comp winner was Norm Wheeldon in 11.61/119 to P Smith’s losing 11.74/118. Senior Dragster winner was Allan Sharpe in 10.53/136 as John Gibbons in Alkymist red lit. Middle Dragster winner was again John Whitmore in 9.07/144 as Glen Read trailed in 11.13/121. Rob George was the Junior winner in 12.38/91 as R Harman lost in 12.98/114. In Top bike, Pete Smith overcame John Hobbs in the first round when a blower belt adjuster on the Hobbit broke. He then overcame Mick Warne in the semi. Brian Chapman beat Keith Parnell and then John Clift. In the final, it was a win for Smith in 9.52/136 to Chapman’s losing 9.60/145. John Cheadle was the winner of Senior beating Dave Branch 10.68/132 to 14.57/NS. A Miller won Middle bike with 11.50/121 to Brian Nicholls losing 11.76/116.
May 29th-31st Holiday Weekend 'Big Go'. SPR published a notice in the programme apologising for the state of the toilets! Pro Fuel was an eight car field with Pete Crane leading the way with 6.47/185 and 6.48/211, In the first round of eliminations, Ronnie Picardo in Firefly put down a winning 7.23/203 to overcome Gerry Andrews’ 7.51/173, Allan Herridge ran 6.39/221 as Roz Prior couldn’t make the call, Mike Hall in Shutdown defeated Tony Froome with a 7.84/179 to a losing 8.17/153 and Pete Crane had a bye as Owen Hayward in Houndog was on the trailer with a spun main bearing which he suffered in qualifying. In the first semi-final, Crane couldn’t make the round due to head trouble which allowed Andrews back in but he went down to Picardo in Firefly 7.21/204 to a losing 8.24/143. Herridge then soloed to a 7.23/141 as Hall had problems. By the time the final came round, a light drizzle was falling, and it really was too wet to race, but race they did with Firefly red-lighting handing the win to Herridge in the Asphalt Alleygator. Funny Car qualifying was led by Liam Churchill with 6.91/188, the first time a 392 Chrysler car had dipped into the sixes. Clive Skilton was in second place with 7.30/191 in his new Cavalier bodied car. In the first round, both Churchill and Skilton had byes, Churchill running 8.29/95 and Skilton 6.96/204. Dennis Priddle then lined up against Pete Barnett and Barnett went through in 7.97/179 for an upset win as Priddle’s motor fell silent after the burnout. Dave Stone in Stardust then took an easy win in 9.35/83 as Phil Elson suffered problems. In the semis, Churchill downed Barnett with a winning 7.37/191 to a losing 8.02/182 but Churchill had broken a main cap and so was sidelined. Skilton then took out Stone with 7.02/181 to a losing 7.92/161. For the final, Stone came back in on the break rule but was trounced by Skilton who ran 7.09/191 to a losing 7.92/174. In Pro Comp, Martin Rowatt ran a PB 8.11/154 in beating John Wright in the Rainmaker, and then Pat Cuss in Ratcatcher soloed to a 10.41/151 as Jim Read had broken. Rowatt ran 8.35/157 for the win in the final as Cuss could only manage a 10.10/155. In Pro Stock, there was an elimination on both days with Wiffy Smith beating Tony Dickson on the first day, and then repeating on the second day with a 10.61/128 winner to Dickson’s losing 10.71/126. Tony Anderson won Senior Dragster with a 9.62/148 winner over Alan Sharpe’s 10.20/132 in the V-12 Jag. John Whitmore was back on form to take Middle Dragster beating John Mullan in the ex-Harold Bull Stripduster 8.97/145 to a losing 11.62/114. Bob Harman won Junior. Dave Page was again the winner in Senior Altered beating Dick Sharpe 9.60/136 to 10.13/128. Jason Smith won Middle beating Mick Saunders and Pete Smith took the Junior title finishing ahead of Brian Mondey 11.57/111 to a losing 11.58/117. Brian Chapman took Top bike on the Monday beating Mick Butler 9.52/145 to 9.67/143. John Lloyd took a holeshot win over John Clift in Senior bike, his 10.51/129 being too good for the quicker 10.44/126 of Clift. Mick Buttars won Middle bike while Brian Elson clinched the Junior title. (Clive Rooms)
June 12th/13th Blackbushe. NDRC. Ist round of 1976 Tor Line Funny Car Championship.From Sweden John Anderson & Jan Carlson were present. Clive Skilton, in his unfinished Cavalier Funny Car, beat Dennis Priddle in the Final. In the final of Pro Comp Mike Hall (Shutdown) beat Fred Larsen (Sundance Kid) Larson was the first dragster competitor from Norway to compete in the UK. (Bill Dossett). This meeting also hosted Round Two of the Kelly Springfield Bracket Racing Championships. The winner was Russ Carpenter in the 'Trouble & Strife' Daimler Rail.
July 3rd/4th SPR. Euro Grand Prix. An eight car field in Funny Car saw Clive Skiltons Vauxhall qualify at number one with a 6.90. Clive lost fire in round one, handing the win to Dave Stone in Stardust. Allan Herridge in the ex-Leroy Chadderton Vega, now the "Gladiator" met Dave Stone in the ex-Allan Herridge car "Stardust" in the final round. Both cars lost fire off the line and Herridige in the lighter of the two machines coasted through the top end first. For the Funny Car elimination ladder click here. the Top Fuel cars of Roz Prior, Ronnie Picardo and Tony Froome were present and ran a round robin race. Prior scored a great holeshot victory over Picardo with a winning 7.62 to Picardos quicker 7.55 and then red lit to hand a win to Tony Froome in "Sundowner". In round one of Pro Comp Gerry Andrews (Hemi Hunter) beat Barry Young, Jim Read beat Liz Burns 8.2 to 9.1, Mike Hall (7.76) beat Pat Cuss and Ben Homgren (7.7) beat Martin Rowatt. In the semis Gerry Andrews ran 7.3 to beat Jim Read while Mike Hall shut down Ben Homgren. In the final Gerry Andrews ran 7.29 to defeat Mike Halls 7.72. (Bill Dossett)
July 18th Snetterton. Gualoises/NDRC Pro Comp Championship, Motorcycle/Superdrag Top Fuel Bike Championship, fourth round of RAC National Drag Racing Championship. Second round of NDRC points championship and Manufacturers championship. Mike Hall  in the Shutdown Altered put in his best ever run here, a 7.76/179mph. John Whitmore ran his best ever time in the Drag-N-Fly dragster a  9.92/153mph. (Bill Dossett) It was estimated that 25% of the crowd here were Americans from the nearby airbases at Lakenheath and Mildenhall. Liam Churchills 'Euro Sting' was the only Funny Car present. In Super Car (three Pro Stocks and the Stones Tender Trap Escort) John Ledster had his gearbox disintergrate with pieces of hot metal finding their way into his legs which required a trip to the local hospital. In Senior Comp Altered Gary Page had his first NDRC win of the season when he defeated the Dorset Horn with a 9.87/132 to 10.38/130. In Middle Comp Altered Jason Smiths Fire Injun took the final win over Stripteaser 10.95/133 to 11.02/118. Stars of the show were the Pro Comp cars. Liz Burn missed a place in the final when she pulled the chute too early, letting Jim Rowatt in the Emerson, Rowatt & Smith rail power through for the win, 8.39/149 to 8.73/199. In the final Rowatt lost to the Shutdown Altered of Mike Hall, who ran his best ever time at this track, a 7.76/179 to Jims 8.31
July 24th/25th Long Marston. NDRC (Midlands) Meeting.There was an entry of around 50 cars and bikes for this eighth mile event. There was a four car Pro Comp field but this was reduced to three when Ollie Burn’s Lizard failed inspection. John Sutton in Rainmaker ran 5.58/140 to defeat John Whitmore’s 5.91/127. Barrie Young in the Sunburst Pontiac rail ran 6.54/115. In the final of Competition Eliminator, David Miller beat Bob Panter, 7.52/94 to a losing 7.86/90. John Howlet won Junior Competition overcoming Phillip Rawley in the final. Top bike consisted of a four man elimination with Norman Hyde top qualifier at 6.27/111. Surprisingly, Hyde lost in the first round to Ken Gee, 7.17/100 to a losing 7.24/112. Mick Warne then ran a solo 6.82/113 when Brian Elson lost fire. The final was won on the start line as Warne holeshot Gee to take it in 7.13/114 to a quicker 7.09/97. (Clive Rooms)
August The August copy of Custom Car reported that Gary Goggin was retiring due partly to the high cost of rebuilding his Big Block Chevy motor in his Pro Stocker. (Bill Dossett)
August 15th Wroughton. NDRC meeting. Funny Car had three entries, Dennis Priddle, Peter Barnett and Geof Hauser in the seat of Liam Churchill’s Euro Sting. Barnett qualified top with 7.21/211, followed by Hauser with 7.64/181 and Priddle with an easy 8.88/203. Barnett ran a bye at 7.43/204 and then Hauser lined up against Priddle. Hauser crossed the centre line chasing after Priddle. No times were recorded but Hauser’s speed was 189 to Priddle’s 123. It was Priddle all the way in the final as his 7.09/203 was too strong for Barnett’s 7.45/184. Pro Comp was an eight car elimination. In the first round, Jim Read beat Barrie Young 8.44/155 to 10.39/120, John Wright defeated Bob Spence in the Malibu Express 8.80/131 to 13.41/70, Liz Burn shut down Jim Rowatt 8.12/151 to 8.24/174 and Mike Hall overcame Pat Cuss 8.39/167 to 8.43/161. In the semis, Burn powered past Hall to win in 7.78/175 to a losing 7.74/182 and Jim Read ran 8.39/167 to beat Wright’s 8.43/161. Unfortunately, the final wasn’t run due to lack of time. Senior Dragster was a best of three between Russ Carpenter and Tony Beadle in his flathead which Carpenter took 2-0. Ken Penfold won Middle when John Whitmore’s engine had problems. Junior Dragster saw David Miller defeat Rod George 11.73/114 to 11.84/114. Senior Competition Altered was a round robin between Gary Page, Dick Sharpe in Dorset Horn and Vic Hammond in Mr Big. Page took the first race with a 10.04/136 to Hammond’s much quicker but losing 9.58/131. Page then ran 9.86/135 to Sharpe’s 10.58/128 to take the title. Sue Coles won Middle with a 10.48/135 to Jason Smith’s 10.96/123 in Fire Injun. In the final of Junior, Norm Wheeldon had an easy 11.74/119 win as Brian Mondey trailed behind in 38 seconds with mechanical woes. In Top bike, John Hobbs led the qualifiers with a 9.16 run. In the first round, a 9.07/161 from Hobbs was way too strong for Brian Chapman’s 9.60/147. John Lloyd then soloed as Pete Miller’s bike expired, Tony Steel then red lit against Mick Butler and Peter Smith downed Steve Tidy 9.61/151 to 9.95/138. In the semis, Hobbs broke a crank handing the win to Lloyd and Smith beat Butler 9.51/148 to a losing 11.19/80. Smith slept on the line in the final and his quicker 9.51/150 was not good enough as Lloyd got there first in 9.66/153. John Cheadle took the win in Senior bike beating Norman Hyde in the final. Peter Berry was the winner in Middle beating Brian Nicholls 10.88/129 to a losing 11.20/126. In the Junior final, Paul Rose broke handing the win to Bill Purnell. (Clive Rooms)
August 22nd Blackbushe. NDRC meeting.
August 28th-30th SPR. Supernationals. Rain caused the abandonment of the meeting before any of the eliminations began. In Pro Fuel qualifying, Pete Crane led the field with a 6.82/196, followed by Ronnie Picardo in the Highway Patrol car which was making its debut. Ronnie put down a 7.09/194 and then followed that with his first ever six at 6.94/196. Roz Prior was the only other qualifier with a 7.58/186. In Funny Car, Allan Herridge was top of the pile with 7.01/183, followed by Dennis Priddle 7.26/158, Dave Stone 7.65/177 and Phil Elson with 9.68/146 in the Sneaky Gloworm car. Owen Hayward lost the reverser in Houndog and couldn’t put in a run. Gerry Andrews led the qualifying in Pro Comp with a 7.44/177, followed by Liz Burn 8.33, John Sutton 8.51, Mike Hall 8.54, Jim Read 8.70, Pat Cuss 9.10, Martin Rowatt 9.16 and Barry Young 9.33. Malibu Express split its block on its first pass. Top bike saw Brian Chapman pound out an amazing 9.08/152 on his 500 Vincent. He was followed by David Branch with 9.21/134, John Hobbs 9.30/152, Tony Weedon 9.32/151, Derek Chinn on Pegasus 9.34/147, Pete Smith 9.47/150, Mick Hand riding the injured Keith Parnell’s bike with 9.53/140 and Pete Miller 9.63/143. (Clive Rooms)
September 18th/19th SPR. Supernationals Re-Run.The weather certainly was a lot better for the re-run. Pete Crane in Stormbringer led the Pro Fuel qualifying with a 6.57/196 blast. In the first round of eliminations, Crane took an easy 6.65/194 win over Tony Froome, and then Ronnie Picardo in Highway Patrol strapped a 7.01/198 winner over Roz Prior’s 8.44/133. In the final, Picardo pulled a holeshot but Crane drove around him to take the win in 6.37/201 to a losing 7.03/196. There was a run-off for third place which Froome took with a best ever 7.40/184 as Prior lost fire. In Funny Car, Allan Herridge soloed to a 6.84/179 win as Dave Stone in Stardust couldn’t make the call due to a holed piston from his qualifier. Dennis Priddle also soloed to 7.14/190 as Phil Elson was unable to obtain reverse after the burnout. In the final, Herridge pulled a cherry handing the win to Priddle who ran 7.05/197. In Pro Comp, Gerry Andrews defeated Jim Rowatt 7.51/157 to a losing 8.28/168, and then Mike Hall shut down Jim Read with a winning 8.07/144. In the final, Andrews took an easy 7.39/173 win as Hall slowed to 12 seconds. Senior Dragster winner was Russ Carpenter who overcame Ian Fraser in the final. Middle went to John Whitmore yet again, defeating Glen Read in the final. Junior Dragster was taken by Robin Wilby over Bob Harman. In Senior Altered, Dave Page beat Vic Hammond 9.45/140 to a losing 10.28/131, and then Dick Sharp took a solo win after Stagecoach had broken. In the final, it was Panic all the way with a 9.46/140 win over Dorset Horn. Middle Altered was a 25 car field which culminated in Bob Hughes in the Incredible Hulk taking a 10.15/133 win over Jason Smith in Fire Injun. Norm Wheeldon won Junior with an 11.39/120 run over Barry Potter. Wiffy Smith took the Pro Stock honours with a 10.39/130 winner ahead of Melv Wooding. In Top bike, John Hobbs qualified with an 8.84/167, the first eight second run of the year. In the first round of eliminations, Hobbs ran 8.96/166 to see off Henk Vink’s 9.21/147, Derek Chinn powered Pegasus to a PB 9.06/155 win ahead of Pete Smith, Jeff Byne ran 9.59/134 as Brian Chapman broke his chain and Tony Weedon defeated John Lloyd 9.52/149 to a losing 9.85/149. In the semis, Byne couldn’t make it which allowed Vink back in and he promptly shut down Weedon 9.20/155 to 9.51/149. Hobbs took the other semi in 8.89/163 to Pegasus’ 9.16/154. Vink won the final in 9.00/160 as Hobbs could only record a sub par 9.32/148. Mick Hand was the winner in Senior bike, defeating Ted Dunmow in the final with 9.55/140 to a losing 10.09/129. Middle was won by Ron Hughes with a close 10.39/115 winner over Ken Gee’s 10.40/135. Junior bike final was between Dutchman Ton Pels and Brian Nicholls. The bigger 750 Triumph of Nicholls was too strong for Pels. (Clive Rooms)
October 16th/17th SPR. Winternationals. The meeting was attended by the largest group of Swedish racers ever in the UK. The final round of the Tor Line Funny Car Championship was contested at this meeting with only Clive Skilton and Dennis Priddle in with a chance of winning the title. Priddle qualified with 7.19/209, ahead of Allan Herridge with 7.29/145 on a one gear pass. Skilton had borrowed Pete Barnett’s car but could only manage a lowly 18 second pass. Number one qualifier was John Andersson at 6.63/187 although the run did cause some controversy as a skirt had been fitted to the front end. By the time the eliminations had started, some of the English drivers had skirts fitted! Andersson sat out the first round as top qualifier. Herridge ran 7.30/141 which was too strong for Phil Elson, and Priddle, now fitted with front end skirt, put down a 6.49/200 solo. In the last pairing, Dave Stone defeated Skilton 7.40/192 to a losing 9.84/91. Even though Skilton had lost in the first round, he had amassed enough points to win the FC Championship. In the semis, Herridge holeshot Andersson and crossed the stripe first in 6.79/210 to the Swede’s quicker but losing 6.53/198. Stone then defeated an off-form Priddle, 7.46/183 to 8.89/97. In the final, Herridge had staging problems and popped a red light handing the win to Stardust which ran an easy 8.12/127. Pro Fuel was a four car field, and in the first pairing, Ronnie Picardo shutdown Norway’s Fred Larsen in the Sundance rail, 6.89/197 to a losing 8.44/133. Roz Prior then ran 8.34/171 as Tony Froome failed to make the line. It was Picardo in Highway Patrol all the way in the final as his 6.83/212 was too strong for Prior’s 8.21/166 effort. In the first round of Pro Comp, Gerry Andrews defeated Pat Cuss 7.71/159 to 9.20/164, Ludvig Bjornstad beat fellow Norwegian Aage Kristiansen 8.58/168 to 10.00/157, Jim Rowatt beat Liz Burn with an 8.27/150 and Mike Hall shutdown Jim Read with 7.93/151 to 8.14/182. In the semis, Andrews had the misfortune to destroy his engine on the burnout allowing Bjornstad to solo through. Mike Hall then had a problem as Shutdown refused to fire. So, Jim Read came down the fire-up road to face Jim Rowatt, but as Read had no time to burnout, Rowatt took an easy 8.43/165 win. The Senior Dragster final was between the two Swedes, Krister Johansson and Anders Hojner, and it was Hojner who took the win in 9.82/159 to 10.54/132. In Middle Dragster, John Whitmore qualified with a tremendous 8.74/144, and he went on to win the final defeating Glen Read with a 9.82/136 to 11.69/117. Mick Pearce took the Junior title with a 14.35/107 win over Pete Rowley. Senior Altered saw a wild race between Gary Page and Kjell Johansson with both drivers getting out of shape and refusing to back off. Panic took the win for Britain with a 9.48/136 to a losing 9.82/111. Middle Altered was won by Svante Ericksson in his Chrysler powered jeep. His final round opponent was Geoff Modeley in the Incredible Hulk who went down in 10.35/126 to a winning 9.20/145 from the jeep. Norm Wheeldon was the winner of Junior defeating Brian Mondey in the final. In Top bike, Jeff Byne qualified at the top with his first eight second pass in 8.70/156, followed by John Hobbs 8.76/163. In the eliminations, Byne defeated John Lloyd and Brian Chapman, while Hobbs overcame Pete Smith and John Clift. Just before the final, Byne discovered a worn clutch sprocket so Chapman came back in and took a surprise 9.49/144 win as Hobbs slowed with a broken transmission. Steve Tidy was the Senior bike winner as his 10.02/138 was too strong for the 10.70/120 from Dutchman Cees van Dongen. John Cheadle beat Tom Quinn, 10.45/122 to a losing 10.52/125, to take the win in Middle. Junior bike winner was Pete Wood who overcame Dave Hewitt in the final. (Clive Rooms)
November 6th/7th Fireworks Spectacular. SPR. There was no qualifying at all on the Saturday due to the strip being too damp. However, one car did run and that was Barry Bowles in the Blonde Bombshell rocket car which made its first ever pass at 12.07/116. On the Sunday, the eliminations were run except for most of the finals as the strip was again too damp by then. In the Senior Altered semis, Gary Page ran 9.76/132 to defeat Barry Sheavills in Stagecoach, and Tony Preston was too quick for Pete Jeffries in the Chiltern Valley Charger. In the first round of Middle Altered, John Morton in Invader snapped a half shaft and came to a halt with only three wheels left on the car! In Junior Altered, both Brian Mondey in Optimist and Norm Wheeldon reached the final. The Junior Dragster final would have been between Bob Harman and Del Haggerty, whilst Middle saw Ken Penfold’s Triumph engine in his kart destroyed in a spectacular explosion. The final was to have been between Dick Jarman and Glen Read. Both John Gibbons and Roy Green had solo bye runs to make it through to the final of Senior Dragster. A new name in Pro Comp was John Whitmore who ran an 8.9 in practice and was allowed to run in the class. In the semi-final, he met Jim Read who went through with a 9.05/161 as Whitmore went up in smoke with an 11.69/83. Gerry Andrews in Hemi Hunter took an easy 11.78 solo run through. There were three cars in Pro Fuel with Ronnie Picardo soloing through in Highway Patrol. In the other semi, Roz Prior left before she had even staged handing the win to Tony Froome. The final was run, but both cars spun too much on the slick surface, but Froome had less wheelspin and took the win in 9.33. In Funny Car, Dave Stone took a 7.97/138 win over Allan Herridge in Gladiator which smoked to a 9.83/110. Dennis Priddle then put down low ET and top speed of the meeting with a great 6.93/216 winner over Phil Elson. The track really was slick for the final with Priddle taking the win in just 11.31/90. In Top bike, John Clift defeated Jeff Byne 9.39/149 to 9.90/154, John Hobbs misfired to a 11.18/116 winner as Mick Hand lost oil pressure, Henk Vink holeshot Jos Smit to take the win with a slower 9.50/104 to a losing 9.43/158, and Brian Chapman ran 9.38/149 to defeat John Lloyd. In the semis, Hobbs went through with 9.27/163 to Clift’s losing 10.25/111, and Vink edged out Chapman 9.50/150 to 9.76/147. In Senior bike, Pete Smith beat Dave Branch and John Lewis and should have lined up against Ted Dunmow in the final. Junior bike was a 16 bike field which ended with Pete Wood and Phil Whiteley making it through to the final. (Clive Rooms)

The three entries in pro Stock, Ted Gilbert in the Amber Gambler, Graham Hawes in Black Magic and Tony Dickson in Money Hungry were the last ever British Pro Stockers to run in the UK before the class was abandoned.

November 27th-December 5th Custom Car Show. Olympia, London
At the end of this season the sports ruling committee decide that due to dwindling entries, prize money differences and conflicts over the rules, the UK Pro Stock class had "lost it's spectator appeal" and would no longer be a valid eliminator to run. RIP UK Pro Stockers.

1977
February 19th/20th Crystal Palace 2nd International Drag Racing Show. New vehicles on display included The Maneater, Roz Priors new Top Fueler, Keith Potters 'Devil' Senior Altered and the 'Shotgun Wedding' Mustang of Colin Brackett. PHOTOS
March 20th SPR. Season Opener. Competitors only had one qualifying shot due to a fog-delayed start. In Pro Fuel, Roz Prior made her debut in the new Maneater digger and qualified with a half pass 9.17/113. Top of the pile was Tony Froome in the Sundowner rail with 7.21/188. Next up was Owen Hayward in Houndog with 7.68/198, followed by Ronnie Picardo in Highway Patrol with a smoky 7.84/164 pass. In the Pro Fuel eliminations, Roz’s 7.45 blast was no match for Hayward’s winning 7.22/204, and an easy 10.52/126 from Froome was enough to win his race as Picardo launched a spark plug on the burn out. In a run-off for third place, Roz Prior took an unopposed 9.5 win as Picardo lost fire on the burn out. In the final, Hayward took an easy 7.26/186 win as Froome shed the blower belt. The Stardust FC had a new 500 cube Chevy motor fitted and Dave Stone was doing demo runs. His best time was an 8.63/171. Also making demo runs was Barry Bowles in the Blonde Bombshell rocket car. He only put in a single pass of 11.85/131. In Pro Comp, Gerry Andrews qualified Hemi Hunter with a 7.42/179, followed by Jim Rowatt on 8.35/165. Steve Read made his debut in the newly revamped Revolution II car and clocked an easy 10.21/110 pass. Also making its debut at this meeting was Mickey Naylor in the Medicine Man. The Rowatt car failed to make the eliminations which meant a best of three between Andrews and Read. Hemi Hunter won both races with a 7.88/145 to a losing 9.73/126, and then a 7.81/152 to a 9.08/156. Russ Carpenter won Senior Dragster with a first round time of 9.16/150, and then a final round 9.85/145 as opponent Roy Green lost fire in his flathead Ford. Middle Dragster winner was Ken Penfold in his Triumph kart, beating Alec Coe in The Breaker. Senior Altered was a best of three between Keith Potter in the Devil and Tony Preston in the Reality Chevy. Preston took it 2 out of 3 with a best of 11.12/129. There were two other Senior Altereds entered, but both the Pages Panic, with a new Chevy motor, and Vic Hammond in Mister Big, had problems and couldn’t make the eliminations. Rob Messent in Stripteaser was the winner in Middle Altered with an 11.09/128 over the luckless Mick Saunders in the Animal car which lost fire on its burn out. Top Modified winner was Al O’Connor in Al’s Gasser with a 2 out of 3 win over Steve French. Senior and Junior Modified were also best of 3 contests with Chris Wick defeating Brian Cooke in Senior, and Jim Whiting ending up the winner in Junior ahead of Hazel Wlosyek. In Top Bike, Pete Smith defeated Ted Dunmow in the final, 9.76/147 to 9.99/135. Ray Feltell ended up the winner in Senior, beating Gary Norman in the final with a 10.20/133 to a losing 14.28/60. Middle Bike went to Allan Hoyle with an 11.88/127 to a losing 12.88/108 from Paul Rose. Junior winner was Mick Hartley. (Clive Rooms)
April 8th-11th SPR. Easter Spring Nationals. Motorcraft Pro Fuel Championship. In the programme SPR published a notice apologising for the state of the car park and the toilets and stop taking firewood out of the woods! Also there were instructions about what to do when you got your car stuck in the car park mud. On the track Dennis Priddle set a new Top Fuel speed record of 230mph in the ex-Don Garlits "King Rat " fueler.(Tog) Jeff Byne ran the first bike '8' of the year with an 8.97/156. Popular Dutchman Henk Vink ran his first ever 8 on his Kawasaki "Big Spender", 8.91/163. Henk won both days eliminations. Les Armes fitted a turbo to his Pro Street Kawasaki and immediately knocked half a second off the class record, lowering it to 10.32/136. Brian Chapman beat Mick Butler 9.12 /150 to 9.5/131.
April 24th Blackbushe. NDRC Spring Smokers Meeting. Gale force winds blowing straight down the strip affected the times. In Pro Comp, there were just three entries with Mickey Naylor running 8.23/170 to defeat Jim Read’s shut-off 17.48/41 in the final. Senior Dragster winner was Russ Carpenter, his 9.14 being too strong for Ian Fraser’s losing 10.37/135. Other entries in the class were Keith Potter, John Gibbons, Bill Haynes and Roy Green. In Middle, John Whitmore had to settle for the runner up spot as his 11.59/105 couldn’t hold M Jarman’s 11.34/112 winner. The Junior final was a close race with Steve Johnson just taking it 12.13/113 to Dave Miller’s losing 12.19/115. Senior Comp Altered winner was Gary Page in Panic with a 10.07/140 winner over Vic Hammond’s losing 10.61/138. Sue Coles was the Middle winner with an 11.32/125 ahead of Brian Hazleton’s losing 11.57/122. Brian Mondey took the honours in Junior defeating Tim Claxton 11.53/117 to 12.23/116. Top Modified winner was Rod Arkinstall with a 12.79/113 winner over Dennis Wheatley’s 14.30/98. Bob Oram won Senior defeating Colin Bracket 13.29/109 to a losing 14.90/84. Jim Whiting won Junior Modified taking out Don Edwards in the final 14.44/94 to 16.34/85. Production winner was Joan Cheeseman and Nigel Dyke took the Street win. In Top Comp Bike, first round losers were John Healey, Eddy Lloyd, Jonny Munn and Mick Warne. The two semi-final losers were Brian Chapman and Pete Wood which led to John Hobbs and Steve Tidy lining up for the final. A troubled 16.21/61 from Hobbs couldn’t hold Tidy’s winning 11.22/131 for an upset win. Top Gas was won by John Lloyd with 11.48/118 over Mick Carter’s losing 11.51/116. In the Senior final, T. Hing took a lucky final round win as he actually lost out in the first round but was re-instated on the Break Rule. His 11.53/117 was too good for Sean Walshe. Middle winner was Roger Brown beating Dave Emmerson in the final, and Chris Hatherley took the honours in the Street Bike final over Simon Bray. (Clive Rooms)
April/May 30th-1st SPR May Day  Summernationals Meeting.The programme for this event carried the news that Don Garlits would definitely be returning to the UK to compete at `the July International. Allan Herridge took a lucky 1st round Pro Fuel win over Gerry Andrews with a 7.32/183 run to a losing 7.48/183 as he just about successfully stayed in his own lane. In the other pairing, Roz Prior pounded out a 6.66/207 winner against Tony Froome’s losing 7.70/192. In the final, Bootsie put in a storming 6.33/220 charge in Alleygator to easily defeat Maneater’s 6.81/206 shot. There was a run-off for third place which Andrews won with a 7.53/185 to Froome’s 7.90/181. Funny Car was supposed to be a best of three between Dave Stone and Phil Elson but Elson’s Sneaky Gloworm suffered more problems so Stardust soloed twice, the best being a 7.47/185. Pro Comp had a three car field with Mickey Naylor leading qualifying in Medicine Man with a 7.48/182, Liz Burn ran 7.75/188, and Steve Read was third with 8.33/170. In the first round, Naylor took a bye win with a 7.49/184, and Read soloed to an 8.10/177 as the Lizard car was shut off on the line with no oil pressure. The final was an easy win for Naylor, his 7.57/193 easily beat the 8.06/183 from Read. In Senior Dragster, Russ Carpenter defeated Bill Haynes in the semi with an 8.79/149, and then an 8.73/152 winner saw off the Alkymist of John Gibbons in the final. Middle was a best of three between John Whitmore’s Drag’n Fly and George Davie’s Pubcrawler. It was no contest as Whitmore won 3-0. Bob Harmans took the win in Junior beating Steve Johnson in the final. Senior Altered was a best of three between Dave Page and Tony Preston with the Page’s Panic handicapped by 1.5 seconds. Preston took it 2-1 as Panic broke a driveshaft in the decider. Middle Altered winner was Mick Saunders in Animal. He defeated Rob Messent in Stripteaser in a close final, 9.90/134 to a losing 9.995/131. The Paranoia car of Alan Loten was the Junior winner defeating Brian Mondey in the final. Mondey broke at half track allowing Paranoia to take the win in a best yet of 11.22/115. Al’s Gasser was the Top Modified winner with Morry Morris losing with a 12.88/104 to O’Connor’s winning 10.85/126. Bob Oram in the Red E took the money run in Senior Modified beating Colin Brackett 12.37/111 to 13.57/87. Jim Whiting took the honours in Junior defeating Hazel Wloszek. Production winner was Mick Cheley. In the first round of Top Bike, Brian Chapman saw off Phil Whitely, and Ted Dunmow was too strong for Eddie Lloyd. In the semis, Chapman’s 9.32/149 was too strong for Dunmow’s 9.94/134. In the other match-up, Mick Butler put down a winning 9.43/144 to beat Eddie Lloyd. A low ET of 9.18/150 was good enough for Chapman to beat Butler’s 9.50/131 charge. Senior Bike winner was Dave Samways who had an easy 10.38/134 final round win as opponent Mick Honey lost fire. Roger Forsythe took the honours in Middle with a 10.42/132 to just see off Pete Woods’ close 10.49/119 loser. The Junior title went to Graham Nash. Pro Street was won by Ron Hughes and Dave Smith on his Norton Commando was the Street Bike winner. (Clive Rooms)
May 15th Mantorp Park, Sweden. The First Swedish Spectacular. A team of Brits travelled to Sweden to compete at the event, they were Dennis Priddle in the "King Rat" ex-Garlits fueler, John Whitmore in "Drag'n'Fly", Jim Read with "LePatron", Russ Carpenter with his Daimler rail and Dick Jarman with his V6 Ford dragster. The Top Fuel and Pro Comp eliminators were run together with a 1/2 second handicap in favour of the Pro Comps. Jim Read qualified but went out in the eliminations while Dennis Priddle dominated the field and set a new E.T. record for Sweden of 6.50 seconds. The Dragster division was dominated by Carpenter and Whitmore who met in the final, Whitmore taking it with a 9.40. Dick Jarman did not get far in the eliminations but ran a new personal best of 10.80 seconds.
May 15th Snetterton. NDRC. There was only a single Pro Comp entry so Liz Burn took the win with an easy 9.38/99. Senior Dragster winner was John Gibbons running 9.55/149 to defeat Bill Haynes’ 9.86/137. Bert Knight took the win in Middle with an 11.55/113 win over Robin Acock’s 12.56/110 tryer. Steve Johnson was once again the winner in Junior Dragster recording an 11.42/123 ahead of Rod George with 12.07. Senior Comp Altered had four entries with Gary Page in Panic taking the final with a 9.33/150 run just ahead of Keith Potter’s losing 9.43/144. The two losing semi-finalists were Vic Hammond and Tony Preston. Mick Saunders was the winner in Middle with a 10.09/135 run which was too strong for Bob Messent’s 10.94/127. Junior winner was Brian Mondey who crossed the stripe ahead of Tim Claxton, 10.98/120 to 11.40/120. Top Modified winner was S French as Willy Morrison was a no-show. Morry Morice took the honours in Senior ahead of Wally Cooper 13.54/106 to a losing 13.89/95. Junior Modified went to Jim Whiting with a winning 13.73/95 ahead of Hazel Wloszek with 14.53/95. Production winner was Phil Gibson who beat Jack Reay in the final. In Top Competition Bike, the first round losers were John Clift, Eddy Lloyd, Keith Parnell and Phil Whitely who was beaten by John Hobbs. Unfortunately, Hobbs broke and couldn’t make the semis which let Whitely back in. However, Whitely lost his semi, as did Ted Dunmow, which left Brian Chapman and Pete Smith to fight out the final. A winning 9.56/146 from Chapman was too good for Smith’s losing 9.85/146. Top Gas Bike was won by John Cheadle with a 10.39/128 ahead of Nigel Tee’s losing 12.63/112. Senior Bike had a full eight bike field and ended with Brian Simpson emerging triumphant ahead of Ian Ringrose, 10.61/129 to a losing 15.02/71. Middle also had a full field which Terry Bell won with a final round 14.91/96 over John Battley’s losing 14.59/84. Les Armes won the Pro Street Bike elimination beating Chris Stevens in the final, 11.01/136 to 11.87/111. Tony Huck was the winner in Street, his holeshot 13.00/103 being too good for the quicker but losing 12.91/105 from Chris Hatherley. (Clive Rooms)
May 29th The first event at Long Marston to run races from the startline site that is used today.(100ft further on actually but near enough) (Ron Clark)
June 5th-7th SPR. Silver Jubilee Big Go. Rain hampered proceedings and the organisers struggled to run one days eliminations out of a scheduled two. Highlighting the meet was the Jubilee battle of the Funnies and Fuelers. Dennis Priddle debuted his new Monza Funny Car and, after a checkout half pass,  ran 7.55/124 to beat Phil Elson, a 7.13/185 to beat Ronnie Picardo, and dipped into the sixes although losing to event winner Roz Prior with a 6.98/185. Allan Herridge ran the low E.T. and top speed of the meeting with a 6.77/211 in the quarter finals. Herridge made it to the final to meet Prior as first alternate after Peter Cranes transmission broke on "Stormbringer". Prior took the win in 6.98/202 in her fueler while Bootsie chased hard in the Gladiator FC, crossing the finish line in 7.16/210 and engulfed in flame as oil spewed onto the headers. In Pro Comp Mickey Naylor qualified at #1 in "Medicine Man" with a 7.89/151 despite throwing the blower belt. In the first round the blower seized and Pat Cuss took the win. Steve Read took "LePatron" to an 8.26/180 win over the new Chrysler slingshot of Baz Young at 9.60/150. Read took the final over Cuss with a 7.87/178 holeshot, Cuss shut off early. Steve Johnson took his "Motor Mouse" Ford rail to a new personal best of 11.17/117 to win the Junior Dragster class against Mick O'Connell. In Top Modified Alan O'Connor made it through to the final in "Als Gasser"to meet Norm Wilding in his "Pieces Of Eight" Ford Zephyr. Al pulled one of his characteristic wild smokey wheelie launches and came very close to the barrier, he shut off and Wilding took the win with a 14.87/94. Hopes were high for the first side by side eight second bike race when Henk Vink and Jeff Byne ran a string of eights each to meet in the final. Unfortunately Vink suffered a gearbox breakage and left Byne to take a 8.95/152 win over Ted Dunmow. John Hobbs was out of action having wrecked the motor on the Hobbit but he took a test run on Johnny Munns double Norton. For all class results and Pro Fuel/Funny Car elimination ladder click here.
June 18th/19th NHRA Springnationals. National Trail Raceway. The UKs Clive Skilton, now living in California, qualified at #10 in Top Fuel with a 6.095/231.36. He won the first round against Tony Ceraolo with a 6.27/209.79. In round two he came up against Sid Seeley who had problems with his starter and failed to make the call. Clive advanced with a 6.57/193.13 solo. The semi finals saw a great battle with Johnny Abbott culminating in Clives best time of the meet, a winning 6.08/230.76 to Abbotts 6.11/227.27. In the final he came up against Shirley Muldowney and surprised everyone when he got a slight lead over Shirley from the start, he held onto the lead until his motor began to let go at the top end and Shirley just beat him to the line with a winning 6.11/236.22 to Clives 6.15/228.42.
June 26th The Pennine Drag Racing Club acquired the Melbourne airfield as their new venue, and opened it as 'York Raceway'.
July 3rd Snetterton. NDRC meeting. In the Top Bike first round, Brian Chapman beat Pete Wood 9.57/148 to 10.96/126, then Ted Dunmow defeated Joe (Jay) Upton who failed on the line. Pete Smith then beat Brian Nicholls and Ray Simpson lost to Roger (?) Brown. In the semis, a 9.57/146 from Chapman was too good for Dunmow’s losing 10.26/129, and Pete Smith defeated Roger (?) Brown 10.03/141 to a losing 12.62/95. In the final, Smith could only manage a troubled 19.24/56 as Chapman stormed to the win in 9.59/144. (Clive Rooms)
July 9th/10th SPR. July Internationals. This meeting saw the return of Don Garlits who came back to avenge his previous years defeat and re-purchase the Swamp Rat#21 car for display at his newly formed Museum Of Drag Racing.  Dennis Priddle had been driving the car very successfully with his own motor.This meeting saw 8 car fields in Pro Fuel and Funny Car for the first time. Garlits won the Pro Fuel eliminator, beating Roz Priors 'Maneater' with a 6.17/232mph blast. Trevor Young was driving the old Revolution III car of Clive Skilton, having replaced the Chrysler motor with a Donovan, and ran a best of 7.06/207. A new class was introduced for bikes, John Cheadle won the first ever Gas Bike eliminator, his 350 Kawasaki ran 10.36/132 to John Lloyds 750 Kawasaki which clocked 10.67/126. The toilet apology notice was now a permanent fixture in the programmes. For all car class results from this meeting click here. For bike results click here
August Drachten, Holland. Allan Herridges 'Alleygator 2' rail got out of shape on a demonstration run and rolled over many times. Allan suffered no more than two black eyes but the car was a write off.
August 14th Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting.
August 27th-29th SPR. Holiday Weekend Supernationals Including fourth round of the Motorcraft Pro Fuel Masters Championship. With the second Houndog funny car under construction the first, the ex Paula Murphy car that debuted in 1973, was destroyed after a halfshaft broke as the car launched off the line, sending it through 90 degrees into the crash barrier. John Hobbs on his double Weslake 'The Hobbit' set a new bike record and came the closest yet to a seven second run with an 8.15/175 backed up with an 8.44/170. Brian Chapman won Top Bike on the first day, beating Johnny Munns Norton in the final. In the second days competition Munn turned the tables on Chapman by dumping him in the first round and going on to run his best ever time in the final, 9.08/151.
September 11th NDRC Meeting. Snetterton
September 17th/18th SPR. International. This meeting saw the first appearance in the UK of Raymond Beadle and his 'Blue Max' Funny Car. During the first day of qualifying Beadle set the record for fastest funny car terminal speed of 221mph (backed up) while Dennis Priddle set a new lowest ET record at 6.5 in Olavi Knuutinens black Monza funny car. Allan Herridge ran 6.92/203 in the 'Gladiator' for number three spot while a new Scandinavian entry took fourth, Steiner Stolens alcohol burning Mustang at 7.49/183. Ronnie Picardo was breaking in the 'Sneaky Gloworm'. Pro Fuel saw Peter Crane qualify at #1 with a 6.73/210 followed by Trevor Young at 7.06/191. Alan Bates was driving the 'Houndog 8' fueler for the first time and qualified with a 7.62/137. Liz Burn came close to the 200mph mark in Pro Comp with a 7.31/196. Top qualifier was Swede Krister Johanson who ran 7.42/185, 7.61/175 and 7.25 which was the quickest ever for a Pro Comp in Europe. Senior Dragster saw Swede Anders Hojner set a new record of 8.52/159 backed up with an 8.54/162. John Whitmore qualified at #1 in Middle Dragster with his first eight of the year, an 8.92/145 from his blown 1300cc four cylinder Leyland powered rail. In Pro Street Bike #1 qualifier was Les Armes with a 9.98/144 at the expense of two pistons in his turbo Kawasaki. In second spot was Dutchman Gerard Flammerling who ran 10.37/129 to become the quickest unblown Pro Streeter in Europe. Sunday was race day but intermittent drizzle ruined the chance of any serious racing. Despite this the eliminations went ahead as far as possible. Priddle soloed to a strong 6.74/168, Beadle replied with a 6.52/214 to beat a broken Dave Stone in 'Stardust'. Allan Herridge soloed to a 6.66/215 after Tony Froome had problems staging the 'Sundowner'. Steiner Stolen ran a solo 8.11/126 and that was the end of the Funny Car eliminations. Pro Fuel eliminations saw Peter Crane solo to an easy first round win while Trevor Young clocked 6.80/204 on his solo pass. Gerry Andrews took 'Hemi Hunter' to a win over Fred Larsen with a 7.67/167 to an out of shape 9.11/150. Roz Prior met Alan Bates in the final pairing, shedding her blower belt on the burnout and leaving Bates to solo to a 7.52/190 and a place in the semis, which never happened. Brian Chapman ran his best ever and broke into the eights at 8.96 on his 500cc Vincent 'Mighty Mouse'. Motor Cycle Magazine sponsored a match race between John Hobbs and Henk Vink to determine the "King Of Europe". Hobbs won with a resounding 8.21/174 to Vinks troubled 10.71/127.
September 25th Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting.
October 1st Elvington  Records Weekend Yorkshire. Barry Bowles "Blond Bombshell" rocket car recorded average speeds of 231.86mph & 207mph. His fastest recorded speed was 275mph (Bill Dossett)
October 15th/16th SPR. Winternationals. Pro Fuel Dragster had 6 cars vying for top spot in qualifying. Trevor Young in Revolution III ended up there with a 7.02/200, followed by Ronnie Picardo 7.24/199, Tony Froome 7.77/179, Gerry Andrews 7.99/144, Houndog 8.28/187 and an ailing Roz Prior. In the first round, Roz Prior found her form and a 6.79/212 was too strong for Andrews’ 7.43/178. Froome staged rather quickly not giving Alan Bates in Houndog enough time and he pulled a red. Nevertheless, Bates powered through for a PB of 7.27/212 as Froome took the win with a troubled 12 second time. In fact, Froome could not make the semi-final call allowing Bates to come back in. But it was not to be as Houndog suffered a broken clutch whilst coming down the fireup road and Young took an unopposed 6.77/207 win. In the other semi, Roz Prior was asleep on the line and Picardo took advantage to score a 6.94/198 win. Picardo won the final with a 6.77 effort to Young’s 6.98 runner-up. In Funny Car, Dennis Priddle soloed to a 6.91/206 win, and then Allan Herridge had a solo 6.65/216 win as Stardust went bang on the start line. The final was a goodie with Priddle recording a winning 6.55/211 to Herridge’s 6.76/201.In Pro Comp, John Sutton in Rainmaker clocked a winning 9.30/157 over Pat Cuss in Ratcatcher, then Mickey Naylor shut down Vic Hammond, 9.03/130 to a losing 10.65/102. In the final, Naylor had problems and trailed Sutton who took it with 9.11/160 to a losing 12.09/70. In the Senior Dragster final, Russ Carpenter was too strong for Bill Haynes and a 9.10/141 was enough for the win. Middle winner was George Davie in Pubcrawler who put down a 12.47/109 to defeat Glen Read’s slow 15.3 effort. Robin Read was the Junior winner defeating Neil Roberts in the final,11.86/115 to 12.13/99. Senior Altered was a best of three between Norm Wheeldon and Mike Savage with Wheeldon winning 2 out of 3. Middle Altered winner was Colin Fisher in Themis, his final round opponent being Sue Coles who ran a PB of 10.21 but still went down to a winning 10.0 pass. Pretty Thing with Colin Pretty aboard was the Junior winner as opponent Barrie Potter lost fire. In Top Bike, Henk Vink snatched the top spot with an 8.60/147, followed by John Hobbs 8.65/170 and Jeff Byne on 9.04/161. In the first round, Vink took an 8.76/142 win over Brian Chapman’s game 9.35/142, Byne defeated Pete Smith 8.54/167 to 9.54/145, Hobbs ran 8.45/169 to defeat Chris Richards with 9.40/147 and John Clift took a 9.32/146 win over Eddie Lloyd’s 9.53/147. In the semis, Vink ran a best ever 8.53/154 to down Byne’s 9.13/164, and then Clift had an easy 9.08/150 win as Hobbs shut off on the line with falling oil pressure. It was Vink all the way in the final as Clift slowed as the Dutchman ran 8.90/147 for the win. In Senior Bike, John Charlton took the win in the final besting Ted Dunmow 9.53 to 10.02/142. Pete Wood was the Middle winner beating Ray Law in the final, and Terry Bell ended up winning Junior defeating John Manning in the final. Pro Street winner was Les Armes who took a final round win over Chris Stevens, and Steve Woollatt was the Street Bike winner. (Clive Rooms)
November 5th/6th SPR. Fireworks Spectacular. John Hobbs and Henk Vink both ran strings of eight second passes in eliminations but when they met in the final Hobbs sheared an oil pipe union on the burnout and hopes of seeing the first side-byside eight second race were seemingly dashed. Vink soloed to an 8.65/153 win. On return to the pits Vink challenged Hobbs to a one off match race. Hobbs bike "The Hobbitt" was repaired in the darkness and what was later described as the "race of the year" took place five minutes after the meeting had been completed. A large percentage of the crowd stayed on and witnessed Europes first ever side-by-side eight, Vink just getting to the line first with an 8.47/155 to Hobbs 8.76/166.

1978
The Stones team retired the original Stardust funny car and purchased Raymond Beadles Blue Max Mustang. They had the car repainted in the original Stardust livery.
February 18th/19th Crystal Palace. The 3rd International Drag Racing Show. Many new cars made their public debut at this show. Creating a lot of attention was a new Santa Pod Top Fueler, "The Needle" to be driven by Radio One DJ Dave Lee Travis under the guidance of the Stones. The car was built in just five weeks after the BBC gave DLT permission to take the drive. Also debuting at this show: Rod Pallants 'LA Hooker' a blown and injected twin 900cc Kawasaki, Melvyn Woodings 'Blue Rose III' Ford Maverick, Pete Corleys Pro Comp rail and the Stones team had their new rail 'Hemi Hunter II' and the 'Tender Trap' Escort on show, both painted in Stardust colours,
February 28th Tara Hotel London. The BDR & HRA Dinner Dance and Awards Ceromony. To see a list of the winners click here
March 11th/12th SPR. Half a mile of new tarmac had been laid prior to this meeting, and as to be expected, there wasn’t a great deal of traction! A couple of notable cars making their debut at this meeting were the Houndog 9 FC and the Stones new rear engined Hemi Hunter II. Rain showers which began midway through the eliminations meant they had to be completed at Easter. Gerry Andrews did manage to put in a first pass in the new car at 7.54/194. Gladiator with Allan Herridge  piloting could get no grip at all on the new surface, and actually took off some of the top surface of the asphalt! As a result, it was decided the first 100 yards needed to be relaid with a different grade for the Easter meeting. In the new Superbike eliminator, open to the quickest 4 qualifiers, John Clift was top with 9.08/153, followed by Jeff Byne 9.16/145, Brian Chapman 9.60/140 and Pete Smith 9.78/139. In the first round, a 9.20/151 from Clift was too strong for Chapman’s 9.52/140 shot, and Smith had an easy 10.13/136 win over Byne as his throttle spring broke on the burnout. (Clive Rooms)
March 24th-27th SPR. Easter Springnationals. Funny Car qualifying was led by US racer Raymond Beadle in Blue Max with 6.54/217, followed by Dennis Priddle 6.77/202, Allan Herridge 6.90/215, Owen Hayward in his first full pass in the new Houndog at 7.47/179, Dave Stone in Stardust 7.61/185 and Anders Hasslestrom 8.14/186. Pro Fuel qualifying was headed by Ronnie Picardo at 6.68/201, followed by Mickey Naylor 7.37/194, Roz Prior 7.76/186, Trevor Young in his newly imported car with 8.41/163, and Gerry Andrews put in a troubled pass in Hemi Hunter to make a 5 car field. Peter Crane was also there making shakedown runs in Dave Lee Travis’ new car. The Sportsman classes had separate eliminations on both Sunday and Monday. Sunday’s winners included Bike Bracket 1 winner Henk Vink who overcame John Clift in the final with a 9.07/158 to a losing 9.31/151. Bracket 2 winner was Ray Simpson with a 10.20/126 winner ahead of Mick Carter’s 10.77/126. Al O’Connor took Street Car Bracket 1 with 10.58/118 ahead of the 12.11/103 from James Whiting. Adam Jenn beat Mick Cheley to take Bracket 2, and Bracket 3 winner was Nobby Nicholls. Senior Altered winner was Keith Potter in Devil as his opponent broke. Middle Altered was won by Pete Hollingworth in his Austin Ruby shutting down John Tebbut. Alan Loten took the Junior win. Senior Dragster winner was Swedish driver Anders Hojner with an unopposed final round win. Middle winner was Robin Wilby, and in Junior Dragster, Neil Roberts was too good for Rob George in the final. On Monday, Funny Car began with a solo 6.60/194 from Beadle, another solo from an out of shape Priddle, Herridge downed Stone 6.60/216 to an 8.21/127, and Hayward soloed to a 7.12/218 win as Hasselstrom’s body would not latch down. In the first semi, Beadle put a rod through the block during the burnout and Herridge was shut off with a suspected motor fire. Herridge was awarded the race. Priddle overcame Hayward in the other semi, 6.91/200 to a losing 7.22/183. The final was a good race with Herridge’s 6.54/215 too strong for Priddle’s 6.73/203. In Pro Fuel, there were 3 first round byes with Naylor and Prior going through but a thrown rod from Picardo put him out. In the only race of the round, a 7.54/183 from Andrews was too good for Young’s 8.37/169. In the semis, Prior had another solo and Naylor beat Andrews with a 7.59/185 as Hemi Hunter broke on the line. In Pro Comp, there were only 3 cars. Tony Donges soloed to the final with 7.69/176, and then Krister Johannson holeshot Liz Burn to win with a slower 7.63/179 to a faster but losing 7.61/184. Donges went on to take the final, 7.61/179 to 8.53/145. In Superbike, a 9.08/177 from Vink was too strong for Chapman’s game 9.88/94, and Clift ran 9.37/150 to beat Smith. A 9.11/155 winner from Vink saw off Clift’s 9.74/145. Top Bike winner was Ray Simpson whilst John Healy took the win in Senior beating Alan Thompson. Tom Vivian beat Herman Jolink in the Middle final, and Junior winner was Bob Freeman. Pro Street was a best of three which saw Mick Carter beat Nigel Patrick 2-1. Tony Huck was the winner in Street bike, beating Nick Marshall in the final. In the car classes, Super Comp winner was Al O’Connor ahead of Alan Loten. In Car bracket 1, Tim Claxton in Coyotee overcame Pete Hollingsworth in the final. Bracket 2 was won by Barry Giles beating the Flathead dragster of Richard Brownridge. Bracket 3 winner was Clive Dave in the Apollo Junior Altered. (Clive Rooms)
April 16th Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting.Three fuel cars were entered, Dennis Priddle in his JWR funny, Trevor Young and Mickey Naylor in their dragsters. Unfortunately, Young’s car was sidelined with a cracked liner. Priddle won with a time of 7.56/211. There were just a couple of entries in Pro Comp which Liz Burn took with an easy 8.95/155 as the Page brothers and Panic had blower problems. Senior Dragster winner was Tony Beadle beating Roy Green in the final. Robin Wilby was the Middle winner defeating Steve Collins in the final. Junior Dragster had just two entries with Neil Roberts beating Graham Peake. Senior Comp Altered winner was Keith Potter with a 10.54/137 winning time over Tony Merry. Robert Hunt won Middle in Drag Addict with 11.89/117 ahead of John Tebbutt. Junior winner was Alan Loten in Paranoia taking it over Bob Jarrett in 11.56/116. Bonnie Lambert took the honours in Middle Modified and Jim Whiting won Senior Modified. Sylvia Hauser defeated Jack Reay in the Production final and the Street final was a battle of the Dave’s with Dibley crossing the stripe ahead of Webb. In Top Comp Bike, first round losers were John Healy, Dick Talbot, R Baimbridge and Pete Wood. Steve Tidy and John Charlton lost out in the semis which left John Clift to line up against Brian Chapman in the final. A 10.02/135 from Clift got the job done. Senior was won by Tony Steel beating Joe Upton in the final. Chris Stevens defeated J Challenger in the Top Gas final and Nigel Patrick took the Pro Street honours. In the Street Bike final, Tony Huck bested Steve Woollat.
April/May 29th-1st SPR.May Day Festival Of Speed. The big attraction this meeting was the two top US bike riders, Tom Christenson and Marion Owens. However, qualifying in top spot in Superbike was Dutchman Henk Vink with a stunning 8.17/178. He was followed by Owens on 8.27/166, Christenson 8.63/146 and John Hobbs 8.72/165. In Sunday’s eliminations, in Bike Bracket 1, Vink soloed to a new low of 8.12/178 as John Clift broke. Christenson defeated John Charlton on a holeshot 9.30/158 to an identical but losing 9.30/155 loser. Owens then defeated Ian Messenger’s Pegasus 8.50/165 to 8.94/155, then Hobbs soloed to 8.59/167 as Dave Branch broke. In the semis, Vink set a new speed mark with a winning 8.12/180 over Christenson’s losing 8.50/162, and Hobbs then routed Owens 8.46/169 to a quicker but losing 8.42/171. In the final, Hobbs had problems as Vink took it in 8.14/176. In Monday’s Superbike Bracket, Vink defeated a misfiring Hobbs 8.20/176 to 9.44/123. Then Owens beat John Clift who was substituting for Christenson, 8.32/170 to a losing 8.79/159. By the time the final came around, the track was damp due to drizzle and it was the Harley of Owens that hooked up best to defeat Vink 9.14/166 to a losing 9.32/172. Other Bike Bracket winners on Sunday were; Bracket 2 Mick Buttars over Mick Carter, 3 saw Pete Woods defeat Gary Norman, 4 Tony Steele, 5 Pip Higham, 6 Cees van Dongen, 7 Richard Albans and Bracket 8 Brian Johnson. On Monday, many of the bike finals had to be held over due to the worsening strip conditions. Allan Herridge qualified the Gladiator FC in top spot with 6.64/215, followed by Owen Hayward 7.52/152, Dennis Priddle 7.98/183 and Dave Stone in Stardust. Trevor Young headed TF qualifying with 7.09/177, followed by Mickey Naylor 7.36/197 and Gerry Andrews 7.36/190. Both Ronnie Picardo and Roz Prior dumped oil on the strip during their burnouts leading to a lot of down time. In the FC eliminations, Priddle just edged it over Herridge with a 6.72/207 to a losing 6.79/207, and then Hayward motored to a winning 7.89/189 as Stardust lost fire on the start line. The final was not run due to the conditions. In TF, Picardo holeshot Hemi Hunter and took it 8.00/200 to a losing 7.88/183 in the slick conditions. In the other semi, Naylor crossed the line ahead of Prior but also crossed the centre line as well! In Pro Comp, Pat Cuss debuted his new streamliner and had an easy 9.15/157 bye run to the final. In the other semi, Peter Lille in the old Ratcatcher just crossed the stripe ahead of Dave Page as both cars suffered problems. In Supercomp, Alan Loten beat Danny Gregory and then Neil Roberts whilst Steve Johnson defeated Pete Hollingsworth and then Tony Merry. Again, this final had to be held over. Comp Bracket 1 winner was Bob Jarrett in the Vandal Junior Altered who ran 11.38/119 to defeat the 12.24/99 from Steve Collins in his Junior Dragster. Bracket 2 winner was Reg Clark and Sue Coles won Bracket 3. Top Modified was a best of 3 between Al O’Connor and Melvin Wooding with each driver taking a round with the final held over. Sylvia Hauser took the win in Production in her Dodge Challenger. (Clive Rooms)
May 1st Radlett. NDRC Meeting.Rain meant that there were no competitive runs at this inaugural Radlett meeting. However, the crowd were treated to a burn-out competition. New cars appearing for the first time included Pat Cuss’s Bel Ray Oil streamliner, Reg Hazleton’s blown Chrysler Fiat Topolino and Nick Lewin’s Victor Estate. Malcolm Olley put in an 8.88/174 charge in his jet car. (Clive Rooms)
May 21st Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting.Three Fuel cars were in attendance with Dennis Priddle’s FC taking the win in the final over the TF car of Trevor Young. The third car competing was Mickey Naylor. In the Pro Comp elimination, first round losers were Vic Hammond, Shellie Billington and the Pages. Semi-final losers were Pat Cuss and Liz Burn which left Jim Read and Reg Hazelton to fight out the final. It resulted in a win for Le Patron of Jim Read. Senior Dragster winner was Rich Fielding who defeated Ian Fraser in the final. Middle had a full eight car field and ended with Ken Penfold beating Martin Jarman in the final round. Rod George took the win in Junior over Robin Read. There were just two competitors in Senior Comp Altered with Tony Merry lucking out over Keith Potter. Middle also had a full field of eight and ended with Reg Clark taking the final round win over Bob Hunt. Junior winner was Alan Loten with Bob Jarrett taking the runner-up spot. The only competitor in Top Modified was Dave Collis, and Senior Modified winner was Roger D/Harding who beat Jim Whiting. Junior winner was once again Hazel Wloszek beating Bonnie Lambert. Sylvia Hauser took the win in Production while David Dibley took the title in Street. In Top Competition Bike, the four first round losers were Bob Beckwith, John Lewis, Tony Steel and John Hobbs. The beaten semi-finalists were John Charlton and Peter Wood which left Jonny Munn to face off against Brian Chapman in the final. Munn took it. Top Gas winner was John Lloyd over Paul Rose and Senior Comp winner was Joe Upton over A.N.Porter. Nigel Patrick took the Pro Street crown beating Mick Carter in the final. In Street Bike, Steve Woollatt won the final ahead of Steve Gaudion. One of the first round losers was Brian Johnson.
May 27th-29th SPR. Spring Bank Holiday Big Go. Rain hampered proceedings. To entertain the crowds Nobby Hills brought the Houndog funny car down the strip in the back of a giant earthmover. It was then lifted out by a large crane and set down on the strip. The truck and the crane were supplied by SLD Olding, the company Nobby worked for and the cars sponsors. Trevor Young holed a piston on a 7.50 second qualifying run in the new Competition Specialities rail, which trailered him for the rest of the weekend. Allan Herridges Gladiator Funny Car had crank problems, Roz Prior and Ronnie Picardo had incomplete engines and the Houndog Funny Car was in desperate need of a new engine block and so was running under-powered. Despite this driver Owen Hayward got the car into the sixes for the first time with a 6.93. Reg Hazelton debuted his new Pro Comp Altered, Thunderbird, a Pat Cuss chassis with a wild stretched Topolino body. Radio One DJ Dave Lee Travis was doing observed runs in the 'Needle' rail under the guidance of the Stones team. His first full bore pass on the Monday was timed at 7.37. Mick Naylor, in the Medicine Man, ran a 7.17/195.4. Due to the somewhat depleted Pro Fuel ranks it was these two that ran off for the final honours. Naylor popped the blower as he moved into stage leaving DLT to win with a 7.35/171.8. Henk Vink took the Super Bike title, beating John Hobbs 8.44/171.2 to a misfiring 11.57/84.8. In the Pro Comp final Dave Page got a holeshot in the 'Panic' altered over Jim Reads new, as yet unpainted, rail. Despite a good effort from Read, Page got there first with an 8.13/172.4 to a quicker, but losing 7.82/184.5. Dennis Priddle ran the best Funny Car time of the meeting, with a 6.74/207.8 in his Monza, to take number one qualifying spot.
June 3rd/4th Snetterton. NDRC Championships Round Four, RAC British Drag Race Championship Round Four, Gauloises/NDRC Pro Comp Championship Round Three and Round Five of the ACU British Drag Race Championship. In the Fuel elimination, the FC of Dennis Priddle beat Trevor Young’s TF car. Pro Comp winner was Liz Burn defeating the Pages Panic in the final. There were three other PC entrants; Vic Hammond, Reg Hazelton and Dave Bavington. In Senior Dragster, Bob Harman crossed the stripe ahead of Roy Cockerill in the final. Steve Collins took the win in Middle over Martin Jarman. Junior winner was yet again Steve Johnson over Neil Roberts. Keith Potter took the Senior Comp Altered win over Tony Merry. Sue Coles triumphed in Middle beating John Tebbutt in the final. Junior had eleven cars entered and the elimination ended with Alan Loten beating Dave Tucker in the final. In the Modified classes, Jim Whiting took the win in Senior, Pete Hodgetts in Middle and Hazel Wloszek in Junior. In Production, Phil Gibson lined up with Dave Mingay in the final with Gibson winning. In the bike classes, the feature event was a match race between John Hobbs and Henk Vink with both riders setting new personal marks. Vink reset the Snetterton ET record with a blistering 8.37, and Hobbs upped his personal mph best to 176. In Top Comp Bike, the first round losers were Dave Emmerson, Pete Smith, Brian Simpson and Nigel Patrick. Pete Wood and Derrick Penfold lost out in the semis leaving Brian Chapman and Ted Dunmow to face-off in the final. Chapman won it. Top Gas winner was Chris Stevens over John Lloyd. Senior winner was Joe Upton over Sean Cormac-Walshe. Middle winner was Dick Talbot ahead of Grant Hounsome. Steve Woollatt once again took the win in Street. (Clive Rooms)
June  11th Pennine Drag Racing Club Meeting. Melbourn, Yorkshire. John Hobbs made some demo runs on his twin Weslake engined Hobbit and set a new motorcycle E.T. record, and an overall terminal record for the strip, with a 9.42/161. On four wheels Keith Potter ran low ET and top speed of the event when he stopped the clocks at 10.39/140 in his 'Devil' Altered. Keith went on to win the Super Bracket class, beating Alan O'Connor in Als Gasser, 10.39/138 to 10.69. In Senior Bracket Paul Martin ran 13.63 in his Capri to take the win over Dave Grady. In Middle Bracket Dave Blackshaw beat Paul Croston. Junior Bracket saw Andy Jaggers Dodge Demon take the win over Jackie Phillips in 'Dads Objection'. In Senior Bike Chris Richards took the final win with a 10.54 after John Charlton red lit to a 10.10/140. Charlton had earlier run a 9.97/135 followed by a 9.61/151 to set a new class record for the strip. Top Bike went to Pip Higham with a 10.96/116 against R. Talbot. Middle Bike was won by Jim Cooper over Alec Lee and Junior bike was won by Allan Taylor on his Mini engined three wheeler in 15.82 seconds after Chris Wells redlit. Pennine Promotions had aquired the NDRC Vauxhall wheelie car but were experiencing some problems with it. An unplanned attraction for the day came in the shape of a lady in a Mini driving the wrong way down the strip as two dragsters were staging. Apparently she was looking for the car park!
June  18th NDRC Meeting at Radlett Airfield. This meeting was cancelled after the St Albans City & District Council refused informal planning permission on the Monday evening before the event. The reason was, that in their view, the traffic and noise from the meeting would cause a disturbance to local residents. This was dispite the fact that written reports from the authorities from an earlier meeting on May 1st stated that decibel readings taken did not constitute a public nuisance, and the upset to local traffic was negligible.
June 25th NDRC Div. 1 (Midlands) meeting at Long Marston incorporating John Brown Wheels Pro Comp Championship
July 2nd NDRC Meeting at  Snetterton. (Rained Off)
July 8th/9th SPR International.Raymond Beadle ran 6.51/208 to beat Lee Anders Hasselstroms 6.55/202.4 in the final of Funny Car. Micky Naylor ran his first ever six at this meeting in the ex-Dennis Priddle slingshot while the 'Pro Fuel' title went to Trevor Young whose 6.63/210 beat Roz Priors losing 6.70/208.3. This was the first win for the new car of Young, he had replaced the old Clive Skilton chassis over the winter with an imported chassis from Race Car Specialists. In Pro Comp Pat Cuss took his Bel Ray Streamliner dragster to a 8.45/165.8 win over Reg Hazletons 9.50/153.8 in his Topolino Altered 'Thunderbird'. John Whitmore took his Leyland powered dragster 'Drag 'N' Fly to a 9.03/141.2 win over Keith Potters 9.45/145.5 in 'The Devil' altered. Dutchman Henk Vink was winner of the Superbike final against Ian Messenger on Pegasus.
July 21st-23rd The First Brighton dragster & Custom Show. Metropole Hotel. Amoungst the entries were the funny cars of Ray Beadle (Blue Max), Allan Herridge (Gladiator), Dennis Priddle (Monza), Owen Hayward (Houndog 9), Dave Stone (Stardust) and Phil Elson (Sneaky Gloworm), the Top Fuel cars of Roz Prior (Maneater), Dave Lee Travis (The Needle), Gerry Andrews (Hemi Hunter) and Ronnie Picardo (Highway Patrol). Also there were Barry Sheavills Stagecoach Altered, Bob Messents Stripteaser and the bikes of Mick Carter, John Hobbs and John Clift.
July 23rd NDRC Meeting at Wroughton. (Rained Off)
July 29th/30th NDRC Div. 1 (Midlands) meeting at Long Marston incorporating John Brown Wheels Pro Comp Championship
August 13th NDRC Meeting at Blackbushe. 6th Round of Gauloises-NDRC Pro Comp Champioship, 8th Round of NDRC Championship, 8th Round of ACU British Motorcycle Championship. There were just two entrants in TF with Mickey Naylor taking the win over Trevor Young. Pro Comp had a five car field which Jim Read won, beating Pat Cuss in the final. The other three entrants were the Pages Panic, Liz Burn and the Hazelton team. In Senior Dragster, Russ Carpenter took a final round win over Roger Guzowski. John Whitmore was once again the winner in Middle, beating Martin Jarman in the final. Junior was another Steve Johnson benefit as he overcame Neil Roberts in the final. Senior Comp Altered had just two contestants with Tony Merry beating Keith McKee. Middle Comp Altered had a 10 car field and ended with Sue Coles overcoming Bob Hunt in the final. Junior winner was Team Paranoia beating Team Vandal in the final. In the Modified classes, Rod Arkinstall won Top, Jim Whiting took the honours in Senior, and Hazel Wloszek took the win in Middle. Top Comp Bike had a full field of eight. First round losers were Nigel Chapman, Barry Eastman, John Lewis and Ray Simpson. Beaten in the semis were John Charlton and Keith Porter leaving Johnny Munn and John Cheadle to battle out the final which Munn won. Senior was won by Dave Emmerson beating Olly Thatcher in the final. Jim Challenger took the win in Middle overcoming Vic Strugnell in the final round. In Top Gas Bike, Chris Stevens beat Paul Rose in the final. Nigel Patrick took the honours in Pro Street, and Chris Hatherly in Street. (Clive Rooms)
August 20th NDRC Div. 1 (Midlands) meeting at Long Marston incorporating John Brown Wheels Pro Comp Championship
August 26th-28th SPR Supernationals August; In the final of Super Comp on the Monday, Al O'Connor in Al's Gasser against Gerry Andrews in Tender Trap, Al pulled a massive wheelie from the line and then went totally out of shape, flipping the car end over end, completely destroying it in the process. Al escaped with cuts and bruises and suspected concussion but the incredibly popular car was damaged beyond repair. A collection was organised by some of the other drivers who carried a blanket around the site raising in excess of £1000 to help Al with the rebuild. Also at this meeting Gary Page drove the 'Panic' Altered to its first ever seven second run in the final of Pro Comp. A 7.92 at 175mph beating Reg Hazletons 8.52 in Thunderbird. Also in Pro Comp Graham Hawes debuted his new Monza funny car, Black Magic, running10.01/151 in its first race. By the Monday Graham was running into the eights. In Top Fuel Peter Crane returned to the track with the now repainted Stormbringer. Ronnie Picardo won the Top Fuel class with a 6.85/205 against an out of shape run from Roz Prior.Sue Coles won Middle Altered on the Sunday with a 10.21/140 in her Helzapoppin altered. Melvyn Wooding beat Al O'Connor in the final of Sundays Street Bracket 1 eliminations. Also on Sunday Russ Carpenter won Senior Dragster with a 10.35, Gerry Andrews Hemi Hunter won Pro Comp with an 8.07 to Reg Hazletons 8.32 in Thunderbird. Henk Vink won Bike Bracket 1 with an 8.52/ 176 to Johnny Munns 9.50/152.
September 9th/10th September this season saw the last event organised by the NDRC at Snetterton Circuit, Round nine of the NDRC Points Championship.There were just two competitors once again in TF, and in a reversal of the August Blackbushe meeting, Trevor Young took the win over Mickey Naylor. Pro Comp had seven entrants with Ollie Burn, Liz Burn and Jim Read going out in the first round. Losing semi-finalists were Team Hazelton and Team Stinker. In the final, the Pages Panic beat Graham Hawes. Senior Dragster winner was Rich Fielding beating Andy Swaffield. Middle was won by Martin Jarman taking it over Ken Penfold. Tony Merry took the honours in Senior Comp Altered ahead of Keith McKee. Sue Coles was the winner in Middle defeating Bob Hunt in the final. The Junior final was won by Chris Petty crossing the stripe ahead of Barry Giles. Top Modified was a two-horse race with Ted Gilbert getting the edge ahead of Dave Collis. Jim Whiting won Senior beating Sam Connell in the final. Peter Hodgetts won Middle ahead of Team Haggas, and in a battle of the ladies, Hazel Wlozek took the honours in Junior ahead of Bonnie Lambert. The Production class winner was Team Hauser, and Tim Cook took the win in Street. Top Bike first round losers were Peter Ager, Dick Talbot, Rob Beckwith and Dave Emmerson. In the semis, both Sean Cormac-Walshe and Ken Gee lost out leaving John Charlton and Nigel Patrick to battle it out in the final. Charlton won with his superior power. Jim Challenger was the Senior Bike winner beating Martin Dudley in the final. Chris Stevens was the winner in Top Gas Bike ahead of John Cheadle. The Street final was between Steve Woollatt and Tony Huck, and the luck went Woollatt’s way. (Clive Rooms). Racing here for the NDRC was abandoned after this meeting as a financial loss. (Ron Clark)

September 16th/17th At SPRs September Internationals Sammy Miller made his UK debut with the 'Vanishing Point' rocket funny car, breaking all existing records with a quickest elapsed time of 4.41/245.6mph. His slowest run was only 4.94/225mph! Sammys best terminal speed of the weekend was 290 mph, just missing out on the £5000 prize Santa Pod had put up for Europes first 300mph run. Santa Pod gave him £2500 for coming so close. According to Sammy terminal speeds would have been higher but he was worried that there was not enough room to slow down after the finish line. One month earlier Sammy made his European debut at Bulltofta airstrip, Malmo, Sweden before shipping the car to Santa Pod. Bulltofta is now an industrial estate.(Ron) Also this meeting saw the last appearance of a top fuel slingshot in the UK. Micky Naylor lost the nose weight on the ex-Dennis Priddle Medicine Man dragster. The car flipped over and was destroyed. Micky was unhurt but never raced again after this crash. In Funny Car there were eight entrants including Allan Herridge with a new Milodon motor in the Gladiator. Gene Snow brought two cars over, a Monza and an Arrow. Ronnie Picardo test drove the Monza but not in competition. He bought the car and renamed it The Force. Snow qualified at no.1 with a new record time of 6.39, followed by Raymond Beadles Blue max with a 6.69, and Dennis Priddles Monza with a 6.76. In the first round Priddle ran 6.61 but lost out to Snows second new record time of 6.34. Allan Herridge ran a 6.56 but couldn't quite beat Beadles 6.36. Gene Snow won the final round against Swedens John Andersson. Trevor Young qualified no.1 in Top Fuel with a 7.29 but went out in the semi finals, with a 7.05 to Micky Naylors 6.56. The other semi saw Kent Persson beat Gerry Andrews with a 6.75 to a 7.16. Roz Prior match raced Swedens Eva Kjellin. Roz won the first with a  7.02 to an 8.04, the second with a personal best of 6.43 to a 6.73 , before pulling a red light in the final race. In Comp Bracket 5 the win went to Barry Sheavills in the Stagecoach altered, Henk Vink won Superbike,
September 24th NDRC Finals, Blackbushe. Again, there were just two entries in TF which ended with Dennis Priddle in his FC beating the TFD of Trevor Young. Pro Comp had a four car field and the losing semi-finalists were Team Panic and Ollie Burn’s Komodo Dragon FC, which left Liz Burn and Reg Hazelton to contest the final. Liz took it. Senior Dragster was a two car field with Rich Fielding overcoming Bob Harmon. Middle was another win for John Whitmore as he finished ahead of Martin Jarman in the final. Junior was another Steve Johnson benefit, beating Neil Roberts in the final. Senior Comp Altered was a three car field with Mike Kason the unlucky competitor to be eliminated in the semis. This left Tony Merry to take the final round win over Keith McKee. Middle Comp Altered was a full eight car field and ended with Sue Coles and Bob Hunt lining up to contest the final which the lady took. Junior also had a full field which Mick Hillier won beating Team Paranoia in the final. As Top Modified only had Ted Gilbert entered, he took an unopposed win. In the final of Senior Modified, Jim Whiting took the win over Sam O’Connell. Middle winner was Jack Reay who beat Team Haggas in the final. The final of Junior had the two ladies lining up again and it ended with Hazel Wloszek taking the win over Bonnie Lambert. The Production class winner was Simon Paul, and Mike Reynolds took the win in Street. In Top Comp Bike, the unlucky four who went out in the first round were Keith Porter, Dick Talbot, Dave Houghton and Barry Eastman. The two to go out in the semis were Dave Emmerson and Tony Steel leaving Jonny Munn and Eddy Lloyd to contest the final which ended in a win for Munn. Top Gas Bike winner was Chris Stevens with John Lloyd the beaten finalist. Rod Pallant took the honours in Senior Comp Bike beating Martin Dudley in the final. Middle winner was Olly Thatcher with Earl Longley runner-up. Pro Street was another Nigel Patrick benefit with Philip Joy taking the runner-up spot. Steve Woollatt took yet another win in Street, beating Peter Foulsham in the final. (Clive Rooms)
October 14th/15th SPR. Winternationals. The meeting was badly affected by fog and drizzle with most of the eliminations not even commencing. In a 4 car Pro Fuel, Roz Prior easily took the number 1 qualifying spot with a 6.50/214 clocking, followed by Trevor Young 8.00/156, Ronnie Picardo in Highway Patrol 9.45/172. Hemi Hunter was fitted with the motor from Stardust but Gerry Andrews was unable to stay in his own lane and record a time. Number 1 qualifier in FC was Dennis Priddle with a 7.39/185, followed by Allan Herridge at 8.66/197. Alan Bates made his debut in the Houndog Funny but didn’t record a time as he left early and then changed lanes! Graham Hawes in Black Magic headed the Pro Comp qualifiers with 7.85/176, followed by Liz Burn 7.86/186, Ollie Burn in Komodo Dragon 8.02/174, Gary Page 8.20/169 and John Sutton in Rainmaker 10.14/144. In Superbike, John Hobbs was top of the pile with 8.40/172 with John Clift close behind on 8.62/159, then John Charlton at 8.93/162 and Ted Dunmow 9.36/147. Just about the only elimination that did start was Top Bike, and in the first round, Chris Richards defeated Tony Steele 9.38/151 to 9.59/140, Pete Smith overcame Brian Simpson 9.71/141 to 9.99/137, Phil Whitely crossed the stripe ahead of Dave Branch 9.55/146 to 10.01/126 and then Pete Wood produced a PB of 9.29/143 to knock out Brian Chapman’s 9.50/143 game clocking. (Clive Rooms)
October 22nd NDRC. Radlett. Yet again, an NDRC meeting was badly affected by rain and it allowed only a limited amount of racing to take place. (Clive Rooms)
November 4th/5th SPR. Fireworks Spectacular. The weather was kind for the meeting which meant some good times in the nitro classes. Roz Prior headed up the qualifying in Pro Fuel with a 6.43/210 blast, followed by Ronnie Picardo on 6.79/204. Both Gerry Andrews and Trevor Young had problems but both made the field. In the semis, Roz took an unopposed 6.46/197 win as Picardo couldn’t make the call due to engine damage. Andrews then took out Young with a slower but winning 7.17/189 to a losing 7.05/212. In the final, Roz Prior put down her quickest run ever to take the win, her 6.42/190 easily took care of Andrews’ 7.96/148. In Funny Car, Allan Herridge qualified with top speed of the meeting, 6.64/219, followed by Owen Hayward at 6.81/204. In the semis, Herridge sat it out with a solo, leaving Hayward to beat the Pro Comp car of Graham Hawes 6.90/203 to a losing 10.09/138. The final was an anticlimax as Houndog stopped just off the line and then Herridge pitched the blower and coasted across the stripe. In Super Comp, Russ Carpenter took out Neil Roberts 8.96/159 to 10.44/130, and then in the semis, his 9.04/143 was too strong for Brian Thomas in Paranoia. His opponent in the final was Steve Johnson who had taken out Mick Hillier and then Dave Stone in Tender Trap. Sadly, Johnson lost fire in the final letting Carpenter through with a winning 9.01/144. In Car Bracket 1, Keith Potter in the Devil altered emerged the winner with a 9.62/144 charge in the final which was too good for Sue Coles’ off pace 10.90/110. Bracket 2 winner was John Howlett in his Jag powered Topolino Jagged Edge ahead of Barrie Potter. Robin Read was the Bracket 3 winner with an 11.92/114 timeslip over the 12.84/107 from the DTV Chevette of Martin Ward. Wild Honey took the Bracket 4 win over Martin Friend’s dragster. In Superbike, a fine 8.67/161 from John Clift was way too strong for Phil Whitely’s PB 9.16/153. Then a 9.07/147 from Brian Chapman was too good for John Charlton who trailed behind in 9.22/158. Whitely won the run-off for third place when Charlton lost fire. The final was a good race as Chapman holeshot Clift on the line, but the bigger bike managed to overhaul Chapman and arrived first in 8.74/159 to a losing 9.14/147. In Top Bike, Ted Dunmow took out Jan Janssen 9.46/146 to 10.11/133, and then the other Dutchman, Cees van Dongen also lost out to Pete Smith. In the close final, Dunmow just got there first in 9.55/145 to 9.65/144. Senior Bike winner was Tony Steele, defeating Brian Simpson in the final 9.41/143 to a losing 10.28/134. Middle winner was Dave Emmerson who beat favourite Pete Wood in the semi-final, and then took out Jeff Young in the final 10.38/138 to 10.70/132. Ollie Thatcher was the Junior winner ahead of Terry Murphy. In Gas Bike, a 9.74/134 from John Lloyd was too hot for Chris Russell’s 11.43/121. In the final of Pro Street, a red light from Mick Carter allowed Nigel Patrick to take the win. Street Bike winner was Steve Woollatt, he defeated Brian Johnson in the semi and Pip Higham in the final. (Clive Roooms). Roz Prior's 6.42/190 was not only a personal best for her, it was the quickest ever E.T. by a British female driver. This mark would stand unbeaten until August 1998.
1979
York Raceway became 'New' York Raceway.
March 24th/25th SPR. Season Opener. Allan Herridge debuted his latest rail, Alleygator 3. The meeting was badly affected by the weather which was cold, windy and then wet. None of the big cars could put in full runs due to the slick surface, and it was left to the Pro Comp car Le Patron of Jim Read, running with a new Donovan motor, to record the quickest time of the weekend at 8.35/169. Reg Hazleton ran an out of shape 9.29/158 in Thunderbird. Making its debut was the Beautiful Noise blown Daimler dragster of Barry Miller. Stripteaser was back out, now in the hands of Bob Jarrett and put in a pass of 11.75/114. The quickest bike run of the weekend was by John Charlton at 9.18/159 which led Superbike qualifying. He was followed by Harry Fitzpatrick 9.29/148, Brian Chapman 9.32/138 and Pete Smith 9.63/142. Street Bike had 18 entries and qualifying was led by Martin Hill with 11.15/126. Few of the eliminations even started before the wet stuff began to fall. (Clive Rooms)
April 13th/16th Easter Internationals SPR.(Including European Pro Comp Championship Round 1). Junior Altered driver Alan Loten set a new class record at 10.59/121 in the Jaguar powered 'Paranoia' altered. Swede Sten-Ake Karlsson set a new class record in Top Modified with a losing 10.38/122. Jim Whiting beat him with a hole shot in his Lotus Super 7. Nigel Patrick set a new class record in Pro Street Bike with a 9.38/143 pass in the semi finals. Pip Higham set a new class record in the Street Bike class with a 10.23/135 in the final round. John Lloyd set a new class record in the eliminations of Gas Bike at 9.62. Click here to see all the class results and further notes for this meeting.
April 22nd Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting. Four Pro Comp cars were entered but only two made the call for eliminations. Pat Cuss and Clive Page in Panic lined up for a best of three. The first round was a 10.11/78 solo for Cuss as a broken screw on Panic’s shift lever meant a first round loss. However, the Pages decided to run Panic through and duly stripped all the differential teeth. Cuss soloed through again in 11.98/66 to take the win. In Super Comp, first round losers were Tony Merry, Andy Gibson, Neil Roberts and Team Stripteaser. In the semis, Alan Loten in Paranoia beat Graham Wilkins in a very close race 11.36/120 to 11.34/120. Then Mick Hillier in Pony Express ran 11.95/112 to defeat Pete Blake in Sabbath 11.95/112. It was Paranoia all the way in the final with an 11.28/119 winner over Hillier’s losing 11.68/114. Senior Comp had an 11 car field, and in the first semi, Dave Burfitt in Boss Cat ran a winning 12.31/109 over a quicker but losing 12.04/90 from Dave Gibbons in Rough Diamond. Then Dave Rose in Moonlight Bandit defeated Travel Agent with Alan Sherwin on board, 12.59/128 to 13.12/85. In the final, it was a win for Burfitt in 12.77/105 to Rose’s losing 11.64/116. In Top Modified, Hazel Wlosek in Meanie-Minor took the final round win over Jim Whiting in 14.39/82. The winner in the Production class was Sylvia Hauser who defeated Simon Paul in the final. Street winner was Dave Dibley and runner-up was Jim Ibbett. Top Bike had four qualifiers but only three made the eliminations. As Nigel Chapman found a last minute problem, Paul Watson soloed through. Barry Eastman then beat a red lighting Jim Challenger, but broke in the process. So Challenger came back in for the final and promptly thrashed Watson 11.79/113 to 14.82/96. Top Gas was a six bike field which Paul Rose won beating Stewart Curtiss in the final 10.40/134 to 12.00/115. Paul Ager was the Senior Bike winner beating Martin Le Roux in the final. Pro Street Bike had just three entries with Nigel Patrick taking the win over Mick Carter. Street Bike was won by Paul Sealey defeating Dorian Dandridge in the final. (Clive Rooms)
May 5th-7th SPR May Day Internationals,"Festival Of Speed".
Racer John Dalton tragically lost his life when his 'Disco Motion' altered crashed.The first fatal accident in over 16 years of Drag Racing in the U.K.

Also at May Day meet, Al O'Connor in the all new Al's Gasser won Street Bracket, and Roz Prior launched two blowers skywards on the same day! Trevor Young was quickest Top Fuel driver of the season so far with a 6.4second run. Camp fires were banned at Santa Pod! Click here to see all the class results and further notes from this meeting.

May 13th York Raceway. A scorching day at the first meeting of the season at York - Malcolm Olley's Pink Panther Jet car appeared as the demo car. Jim Briggs debuted the ex-Melvin Wooding Maverick as 'Wildman' and Graham Simpson rolled his new Comp Altered pop on it's debut! (Darren West)
May 20th Long Marston. At this NDRC Midlands first meeting of the season, which was over the eighth mile, the weather had the final say. Just an hour of qualifying was possible before the wet stuff began falling, and ten minutes later, conditions were impossible and eventually the meeting was called off. Among the cars present were the Pro Comp cars of Ray Hoare in Turbo Saxon and the John Gibbons-Vince Shaw Alkymist dragster. (Clive Rooms)
May 18th-20th Mantorp Park International, Sweden. In the second round of the European pro Comp series Jim Read took 'LePatron' to what was to be a controversial final. He was due to race Norways Steinar Stolen for the final but Stolens Altered had problems as Read moved into stage and Krister Johansson, who was already waiting with engine running as first alternate, drove around Stolen, burnt out and took his place in stage alongside Read, a process which took nearly 50 seconds. On the green Johansson holeshot Read and took the win 7.46 to 7.35. Earlier in the meeting Johansson had run Europes first Pro Comp six. Dennis Priddle won Funny Car with a 6.66 in the JWR Monza. In Top Fuel there were three cars present, Roz Prior, Trevor Young and Swedens Kent Persson. Prior had problems all weekend and Persson won two of his races with a best of 6.51 to Trevor Youngs 6.72. John Hobbs and Henk Vink held a match race. Vink destroyed his gearbox in Saturdays qualifying session and the bike was stripped, repaired and rebuilt in Vinks motel room overnight. In the match race Hobbs won three in a row with consistent 8.4s and an 8.2, the quickest in Europe so far this year.
May 26th-28th SPR. The Big Go. Rain hampered the proceedings, completely washing out the first day of qualifying, and so the first day of eliminations was made up by using previous times. Jim Read had an easy ride to victory in Pro Comp running a best of 7.51/183 and an 8.04/165 to win the final against Graham Hawes Monza Funny Car. Hawes had shut off early with problems. In Senior Dragster there were only 3 entries, Russ Carpenter was unable to run so three match races were held between Peter Hollingworth and Bob Blakemore. Hollingworth won all 3 with low 12 second runs. Tony Merry and Keith McKee ran a best of 3 match for the Senior Altered title. Merry won all 3 with a best of 10.95/123. Bike Bracket Four saw Brian Johnson almost get into the nines on his MTC Kawasaki with a best of 10.03/136. Bike Bracket One saw some of the best action of the weekend with the old rivals Henk Vink and John Hobbs meeting in the final. Vink had defeated John Charlton 8.78/165 to 8.96/156 in the first round and John Clift 8.54/171 to 8.76/156 in the semis. Hobbs meanwhile ran 8.50/162 in the first round to defeat Chris Richards and 8.59/163 to beat an 8.63/168 from Jeff Byne in the semis. Although conditions for the final were very windy Hobbs hit low E.T. of the weekend with an 8.41/152 to take the win from a slowing 9.15/111 from Vink after a seized blower ended his chances of victory. Junior Altered saw Bob Jarrett weight up 'Stripteaser', to run in the same class as 'Paranoia', and win the first round with a 10.79/120. Alan Loten replied with a 10.82/116 in 'Paranoia' and the two were expected to meet in the final. Jarrett however had problems in the semis and Loten won the final with a 10.79/112 to Mick Hilliers 12.36/97. Big news in the Street Car division was the appearance of Sam Connell in the 'Red Devil' Chevy Nova. He ran 10.95/127 and 10.63/118 to win a best of three match race against Dave Collis in 'Frenzy'. InMany of the finals took place on the morning of what should have been the final day of eliminations. The final day was then wiped out by a prolonged bout of rain. There were many breakages, Reg Hazleton broke the rear axle on 'Thunderbird', 'The Hombre' put two pistons in the sump while still in the pits, Russ Carpenter and Barry Miller both suffered terminal engine damage and Ian Messenger destroyed a blower on 'Pegasus'. To see all class results click here.
The June issue of Drag Racing News announced that the Pages 'Panic' was now officially the fastest ever British Pro Comp car and the fastest British Altered. It was only three tenths of a second off the long standing American record of 6.82/202.24 set by Ron Boggs in 1977.
June 16th/17th SPR hosted the first 'Garys Picnic' event.
June 17th Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting.Although the weather was good resulting in a good crowd, it wasn’t an excellent crowd due to the current Sunday closing of petrol stations. Pro Fuel was a match up between Trevor Young in his TF dragster and Dennis Priddle in the FC. In the final of a best of three, Young took a 7.89/199 win over Priddle as the FC smoked the slicks for two-thirds of the track. Pro Comp was a round robin which Graham Hawes won with John Hazelton who was driving the Thunderbird Topolino for the first time finishing as runner-up. Ray Hoare in the Turbo-Saxon finished in third spot. In the Super Comp final, Tony Merry in Liquidator had the misfortune to blow whilst leading Alan Loten in Paranoia. Dave Burfitt took the win in Senior Comp with a 12.94/110, beating the 13.61/99 effort from Roy Green’s flathead digger. Top Modified winner was Phil Turk over Trevor Clifton, 13.35/101 to a losing 15.00/84. Production was another Sylvia Hauser benefit beating Simon Paul in the final. Dave Mingay took the win in Street in his 4.2 Jag saloon, beating Nick Lewin in the final. In Top Bike, first round losers were Alan Thompson, Eddie Lloyd and John Henderson and second round losers were Bob Webster, Pete Ager and Bob Beckwith. This left Tony Steele and John Lloyd to line up for the final. A 9.64/147 blast from Steele sealed the win. Paul Rose took the honours in Top Gas beating Stewart Curtis in the final. Senior Bike was won by Harry Dipple beating Vincent Cheesman in the final. Middle Bike was a round robin which Earl Longley won, and in Pro Stock, Nigel Patrick emerged the winner beating John Knight in the final. Frank Thornley won the Street final over Dick Downham. (Clive Rooms)
June 23rd/24th BDR&HRA, in association with Santa Pod Raceway, organised the first Eastern Nationals at the re-named Sugarbeet County Raceway, part of Snetterton Circuit. The meeting was alleged to have an all time British Drag Racing single-event sponsorship figure of over £3000. The entry list included an eight car Pro Comp field and a Funny Car match race between Dennis Priddle in his John Woolfe Racing Monza and Owen Hayward in his SLD Olding sponsored Houndog 9. However, bad weather meant that only one of these races was held and even this was affected by a damp track. Priddle won with an 8.12 to Houndog’s losing 8.37/198.4. In qualifying, Super Bike was headed up by John Hobbs with 8.57, followed by Jeff Byne 8.96, Ted Dunmow 9.27 and Brian Chapman with 9.37. Top of the Top Bike pile was Pete Woods. Pro Street Bike had Nigel Patrick out in front, followed by Pete Williams, Brian Johnson and Tony Lewis. Pro Comp had seven entries including Clive Banks making his debut in the ex-Liz Burn Lizard. Quickest qualifier was Gerry Andrews followed by Graham Hawes. Most of the eliminations were started and were down to the semi-finals or the finals before the weather intervened with the Pro Comp semi-finalists Gerry Andrews, Jim Read, Graham Hawes and Brian Hazelton. Super Comp semi-finalists were Tony Merry, Neil Roberts, Alan Loten and John Whitmore. Modified finalists were Dave Stone and Al O’Connor. Superbike finalists were down to Hobbs and Chapman. (Clive Rooms)
July7th/8th SPR. Summer Internationals. The return of Sammy Miller who collected the £5000 prize for Europes first 300mph terminal speed. After a 4.68/245 shakedown run and a 4.43/265 when he inadvertently hit the chutes after a bumpy top end ride, he ran 4.20seconds with a terminal speed of 307.6mph.(Guiness Book Of Car Facts and Feats) To make sure of securing the prize Sammy continued accelerating through the speed traps and ripped the chutes to bits. His final run of the weekend was then cancelled. In Funny Car Raymond Beadles Blue Max was no.1 qualifier with a 6.57 followed by Gene Snow with 6.75, Allan Herridges Gladiator with 6.76, Dennis Priddles Monza with 6.92, Owen Haywards Houndog with 6.95 and Ronnie Picardo in The Force with 7.97. In the first round Beadle had a bye and ran 6.56. Snow was also on a bye and put in a half pass. Herridge beat Hayward with a 6.68/210 to a 7.07. Priddle ran 6.84/196 to beat Picardo who got out of shape and crossed the centre line. In the semis Snow beat Priddle with a 6.51 to a 6.75 while Beadle beat Herridge with a 6.34 to a 6.74. The final was set for another Beadle and Snow showdown but the Snowman blew his motor on the burnout. Allan Herridge stepped in to take his place but had no chance as the track was still soaked in oil. Bootsie gave it his best shot , trying to find a line past the slippy bits to much cheering from the crowd but Beadle won with a new record 6.24/221. In Top Fuel Dave Lee Travis took the honours with a solo 7.62 after Roz Prior failed to get to the line. In Pro Comp Gerry Andrews took the win over Graham Hawes despite the fact that both drivers recorded 6.67second runs. John Hobbs took the Superbike final, almost getting down into the seven second bracket, with an 8.07/177 over Jeff Byne.
July 15th York Raceway. Pennine Drag Racing Club. Jim Reads Le Patron Pro Comp dragster set the PDRC strip record at 7.97.
July 20th-22nd Brighton Dragster & Custom Car Show. Sammy Millers Vanishing Point was among the exhibits.
August 5th Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting. Two Pro Comp teams made their debut at this meeting; the Wheeldon & Claxton Wrangler with 350 Chevy power and the Orpheus Donovan powered car of Alan Ritmeister. The final was a match-up between Jim Read in Le Patron and Gary Page in Panic and in an exciting race, Page just managed to overtake Read in the lights. In the Supercomp showdown, Russ Carpenter only just managed to hold off John Whitmore in a very tight final. In Senior Comp, Geoff Martin’s Oxford Builder triumphed over Tony Little’s Apollo in a battle of the Jag motors. Phil Turk took the honours in Top Modified beating Willy Morrison in the final. Dave Mingay won the Street final beating Jim Ibbetts. Many of the top bikes were in Holland for a meeting. Paul Andrews won the Street elimination. Pro Street winner was Stew Fernside while in Top Gas, Paul Rose took the honours ahead of John Healey. Graham Broughton won Middle, Earl Longley won Senior, and in Top bike, Ron Hughes took the win light over Tony Steele. (Clive Rooms)
August 12th Long Marston. NDRC Midlands Meeting.This was a challenge meeting between the NDRC Midlands and the Pennine Drag Racing Club over the eighth mile course. There was a feature competition bike race between the PDRC’s Chris Richards and John Charlton of the NDRC. In the first round, Charlton nailed Richards to take the win. The second round saw Richards with stalling problems handing the win to Charlton. Charlton also took the final match-up setting the A Comp record at 127 mph while Richards reset the D Comp record to 123 mph. In Bike Bracket 1, Dave Houghton defeated John Henderson. Pete Smith took the honours in Bracket 2 over Paul Mayhew, and Tom Vivian won Bracket 3 beating Bruce Clifton. Bracket 4 winner was Ashton Cox with Pat Coogan runner-up, and Robbie Dobbie beat Martin Le Roux in Bracket 6. In Competition Cars Bracket 1, Roy Brownridge beat Tony Little, Ken Penfold won Bracket 2 ahead of John Bothey. Bracket 3 was won by George Davie over Alan Yeates. Modified winner was Sam Connell over Steve Clifton. In Production & Street, Bracket 1 winner was Chris Bond over Phil Evans, and John Kirk took Bracket 2 ahead of Bill Wootton. (Clive Rooms)
August 11th/12th Sports Nationals, Sugarbeet County, Snetterton. Dave Tucker, driving the 'Stripteaser' altered bounced out of shape, up the grass bank and back onto the strip reportedly taking the life of an innocent rabbit who was minding his own business and watching the racing. For meeting results and further notes click here.
August 26th/27th Bank Holiday Supernationals. SPR Allan Herridge first fireballed the motor of his 'Gladiator' funny car during qualifying then flipped it onto it's roof  in the final against Owen Haywards 'Houndog' who recorded a 7.38/139 win. A surprise party was held for Allan on the Saturday night to celebrate his 20 years in Drag Racing. Click here for a picture and an extract from 'Drag Racing News' about this event. Funny Car Eliminations saw top qualifier Owen Hayward (6.50/200) beat Dennis Priddle in the first round 6.50/203 to 6.64/206. In the other race Ronnie Picardo got out of shape and Allan Herridge took the win with a 6.78/198. In Top fuel only three cars attended. Trevor Young ran a 7.19/206 for top qualifying spot followed by Peter Crane who was driving "The Needle" with a 7.70/197. Roz Prior had clutch troubles and could only manage 8.89/128. Young took a solo run to the Final, recording 7.30/166. Both Crane and Prior broke in their semi final match but Crane rolled through the lights first to take the win. Despite much hard work from the crew the car was unable to make the Final and Crane soloed to a 7.00/208. In the Modified class Dave Stone set a new A/Modified record with a 10.25/117 run in the semi-finals. John Clift set a new record for a 1000cc bike at 8.34/165. Click here to see all class results and further notes from this meeting.
September 2nd Long Marston. NDRC Midlands Meeting.In another NDRC v PDRC eighth mile match-up, the locals triumphed. Two cars and two bikes formed each team which meant 12 individual races which the NDRC won 11! The only PDRC winner was Steve Waterhouse who beat Rick Fielding in the first of their best of three. Highlights of the meeting included John Charlton resetting the A Comp record to 129 mph, Robin Read breaking the F/Dragster mark at 6.86 seconds and Jim Read in Le Patron setting low ET at 5.61/139. (Clive Rooms)
September 8th/9th Sugarbeet Nationals. Sugarbeet County Raceway, Snetterton. The Top Fuel dragsters of Roz Prior and Alan Ritmeister were present to qualify for the first reserve spot at SPRs World Finals event the following weekend. Ritmeister ran a best of 7.70, needing a 7.40 to make the reserve spot held by Prior. Owen Hayward and Ronnie Picardo brought their Funny Cars along. Picardo had problems with "The Force" and didn't manage a full pass. Hayward ran a couple of low sevens. Four cars qualified for Pro Comp. Top was Graham Hawes with 7.38/199 in the "Black Magic" Monza funny car, followed by Jim Reads "Le Patron" rail with 7.56/174, Gerry Andrews "Hemi Hunter" at 7.59 and Tim Claxton with 7.87. Hawes won the final with another 7.38 to beat Jim Reads belt throwing 9.38/98.5. In Super Comp Russ Carpenter took the win with a new C dragster index of 8.56/142 over Sue Coles 10.01. In eliminations Tony Merry ran 10.10 in Stripteaser. In Top Modified Dave Stone was on holiday so Gerry Andrews took the driving duties in Tender Trap and ran a losing 10.54/129 in the final to Richard Wloszeks winning 13.16/101. In the motorcycle ranks John Hobbs took a win over John Clift, 8.54 to 8.57/170. (Darren West)
September 14th-16th World Finals. SPR. In the final of the Funny Car eliminations Raymond Beadle and Gene Snow ran what was reported to be the quickest side by side FC race ever. This was in fact a misnomer. It may have been the quickest in the UK at that time but there had already been five second side by side FC races in the States. The times were a winning 6.04 with no recorded terminal speed for Snows 'Snowman' and a 6.00/227.20 for Beadles 'Blue Max'. Gene Snow was credited with the official UK record at 6.04. (Tog).Sammy Miller was also present and ran a best of 4.31/317.40 which was the highest speed recorded on British soil at that time.(Guiness Book of Car Facts and Feats) There was an 8 car line up in Funny Car and a 16 car line up for the final round of the European Pro Comp Championship. Allan Herridge was back after his rollover in August with a repainted Gladiator. Gene Snow ran a new record 6.08 in qualifing to take top spot. Raymond Beadle qualified second with a 6.23.   Swedens Kent Persson qualified no.1 in Top Fuel with a 6.63. Trevor Young qualified with a 6.99/206. On the Sunday morning all the Top Fuellers, Funny Cars and Pro Comps were lined up on the strip and fired up together, the sound was incredible! To see the elimination ladder for the Funny Cars Click Here
September 23rd York Raceway. The PDRC had a record entry list of 125 cars, bikes and trucks.(Yes Trucks!) In the bike classes Chris Richards ran the best time of the day with a 9.66/151, John Charlton won Superbike with a 9.91/136, Top Bike went to Jim Cooper with a 10.62 on his 750cc Triumph, 'Odge' won Senior Bike with an 11.80/113 on his Norton, Middle Bike went to Andy Cappers 750 Suzuki with a 12.43 and Junior Bike went to Russ Hardcastles Suzuki at 14.30. In the car classes Mick Sayers ran a 9.66/129 in The Creeper to win the Senior Car class and set a new class record, Top Car went to Roy Brownridge in the Whistler at 11.16/119, Senior Car went to Roy Greens Ressurection at 13.37, Middle Car was won by Squire Martins Hocus Pocus Capri at 14.06/95 while Dave Wild in Polara ran 15.58 to take Junior Car. The meeting also featured the second round of a 6 car/4 bike match race between the PDRC and the NDRC Midlands for the Custom Fasteners Trophy. NDRC won with 41 points to Pennines 19. Graham Hawes in Black Magic and Jim Read in LePatron held a total of 5 match races ending with Hawes running a new strip record of 7.42. In the Truck Bracket John Scholey won in his Scania with a 21.87/62.
September 30th Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting. Top Fuel had just the dragster of Trevor Young and the F/C of Dennis Priddle entered. In the first match-up, Young got there first with a 7.66/205 run. The final round was in semi-darkness with Priddle lighting up the slicks for more than half distance but could not catch Young’s winning 7.74/185. There were six entries in Pro Comp culminating in Tim Claxton beating Jim Read in the final. The other entries were Graham Hawes, Gary Page, Vic Hammond and John Hazelton. Supercomp had a full field of 16, and in the final, Dave Wilson shot down Russ Carpenter. George Davie took the win in Senior Comp beating Dave Burfitt in the final. Bob Panter took the Comp Eliminator laurels defeating Steve Jeal. There were just 2 entries in Top Modified with Phil Turk taking the win over Morry Morice. Gerry Cookson was the winner in Modified beating John Spuffard in the final. Sylvia Hauser continued her winning ways in Production defeating Simon Paul in the final. Street had a huge 22 car field with Dave Mingay taking the win over Vicki Coomber. Top Bike winner was Keith Porter beating Tom Vivian in the final. Tom Quinn took the honours in Senior with Vince Cooper losing out in the final. There were only 3 entries in Middle which Nigel Chapman won. Pro Street winner was Nigel Patrick beating Stuart Fearnside. Top Gas was won yet again by Paul Rose overcoming John Healy in the final. Street winner was Pete Mills.
October The MDRA ended their five years of organising racing at Long Marston and offered the track back to the NDRC. (Ron Clark)
October 13th/14th SPR. Winternationals. A wet & windy weekend! This meeting saw the last appearance of  Nobby Hills and Owen Haywards Houndog 9 Vega funny car. It was purchased by Dave Prior. Owen ran a couple of match races with Ronnie Picardo in the Force funny car. Ronnie took the first after Owen crossed the centre line near the start. Owen won the second after Ronnie shut off early. Allan Herridge ran the best time of the meet with a 6.34/208 in the Asphalt Alleygator rail in a match race with Trevor Young. Dutch rider Cees Van Dongen became the first rider to go into the eight second bracket on an unblown bike with an 8.99 on his Honda. John Spuffard won Modified One in his Ford with a 13.71 over John Kirks TVR. Pro Comp went to Jim Read with a holeshot 7.64 to Gerry Andrews 7.44.
November 3rd/4th Fireworks Meet. SPR. Sammy Miller flipped the Vanishing Point rocket car at over 200mph in the dark. The car lifted off the track at the top end after recording a 234mph terminal speed. A cross wind was blamed for the accident as the car took off after passing the end of the spectator banking which, as both racers and spectators know, is a very effective wind break.The extremely light weight of the car did not help matters. (Tog).  Also at this meeting Nobby Hills and Owen hayward debuted their new Houndog 10 Challenger bodied Funny car. John Hobbs announced that he would be retiring from racing after this meeting. He had been racing bikes at Santa Pod since the first meeting at the track. Rain prevented him from adding a final Superbike victory to his long list of achievements.
Bordeux, France. The 5th Auto-Moto Trade Fair. Russ Carpenter in the Hepolite Glacier Grenade did televised burnouts alongside Dave Tucker in Stripteaser at Bordeaux Airport. The famously ill-handling Stripteaser got out of shape and hit a light pylon totaling the car. Tucker was OK but the car was severly damaged. (Darren West) The car was sold to Bob Jarrett who intended to rebuild it.
The Pages Panic altered won the NDRC/Gauloises Pro Comp Championship, the Division 1 RAC Championship and was 2nd overall in the RAC Championship.

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