1980 - 1984

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.
1980
The original Stardust Barracuda funny car was sold to London Radio DJ Mike Allen. Now called the American Dream he planned to run it as an 'econo funny' and replaced the Chevrolet motor with a normally aspirated V8 Ford.

Roz Prior announced her retirement from Drag Racing due to personal reasons.

April 4th-7th Easter International SPR. Pro Fuel saw the debut of Dennis Priddles new Keith Black powered fueler which produced a 6.61/217 on its first run. Allan Herridge ran a 6.66/218 in reply while Ronnie Picardo ran 7.46 and Alan Ritmeister made up the four car field with a 7.69. The first semi saw Priddle beat Picardo 6.53 to 6.80. The other was an easy 10.05/96 bye run for Ritmeister after Herridge broke on the burnout. The final was held over due to rain bringing the meeting to an end. In Funny Car Owen Hayward lead qualifying with a 6.60/207 on the new Challengers full debut. Swede John Anderson took second spot with a 6.66 that saw him demolish the timing mirrors. Dave Stone took the new Rodeck powered 'Stardust' to third with a 6.77 first pass. Peter Crane made his first appearance in the ex-Gladiator Vega, now re-named 'Hustler' but went out in the first round when he lost fire against John Anderson who ran an easy 7.98/163. The other semi saw Dave Stone take the win having nearly demolished the tree. Anderson won the final with a 6.65/191 to Stones 8.10/173. Pro Comp saw a 17 car field headed up by Norways Steiner Stolen in his 'California Charger' FC at 7.05/199 followed by Krister Johanssons Dragster at 7.20/191, Martin Hopps 'Bifrost' Corvette FC at 7.26/187, Bjorn Ardin at 7.48/196, Gerry Andrews at 7.58/193 and newcomer Rod George at 7.69/184 with the old 'Stormbringer' chassis now re-named 'Krypton'. During eliminations Steiner Stolen beat Gerry Andrews and recorded the UKs first Pro Comp six, a 6.91/199 to Andrews 7.18/198 in the quarter finals. In the semis he made it into the sixes again with a losing 6.81/161 shutoff to a holeshot 7.17/193 from Martin Hopp. The other semi saw a solo 7.94/183 from Brian Hazleton after Krister Johansson broke on the burnout. The final went to Hopp with a 7.22 but £200 in prize money went to Hazleton who clocked 7.33 with a 205.7mph terminal speed making him the first 200mph Pro Comp runner. Only one other eliminator was completed before the rain fell, Superbike. Henk Vink was out for the first time on the ex-Carl Ahfeldt double Kawasaki that Ken Annesley had brought to the UK. Also Johnny Munn was getting to grips with John Hobbs' double Weslake 'The Hobbit'. Vinks first run was an 11.29/157 followed by an 8.99/161. A couple more high eights were followed by an 8.10/177 that put him at the top of the qualifying table. Johnny Munn started with a 10.55/140 and ended up in second spot with an 8.71/160. In eliminations Vink despatched Brian Chapman who with an 8.90 while Munn holeshot Pete Smith and took the win with a fierce tankslapper at the top end and a 9.19/139 to a 9.05/155. The final went to Vink 8.57/171 to Munns 8.89/152. Super Comp saw two competitors make it into the nines for the first time. Pete Goddard ran 9.78/137 in the Liquidator Pop and Dave Gibbons took the Rough Diamond Topolino to a 9.83. Sylvia Hauser made it through to the final of Production, setting a new record of 11.99/115 on the way. Mick Butler ran 9.07/165 in the first round of Top Bike and followed it with an 8.97/151 in the full debut of his 1000cc Weslake vee-twin. Pro Street Bike was in its final season and Nigel Patrick picked up a £100 cheque for the first eight second runner, an 8.96/148 on his SGT Superbiking Turbo Kawasaki. Pip Higham set a new record of 9.94/141 in Street Bike, the first sub-ten second runner in the class.
April 20th Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting. The meeting was held amid 60 mph crosswinds. There were just two Top Fuel cars in attendance, Dennis Priddle and Alan Ritmeisters. In the difficult conditions, there was only one half decent pass from the two fuellers, and that was from Dennis who laid down a 7.57 at 204 mph. Only two Pro Comp cars appeared with Jim Read soloing in eliminations after Dave Wilson in Krypton suffered mechanical problems in qualifying. There were 16 cars competing in Super Comp with Bob Jarrett in Stripteaser the eventual winner.On his way to the final, Bob defeated Neil Roberts, Sue Coles and Dave Gibbons, and then he defeated Pete Goddard in Liquidator with an 11.23/125 to a lose-out 10.88/130. Top Bike saw Keith Porter's 800cc Morgo Triumph win with a 10.41/136 over Nigel Patrick's 10.48/117. Senior Bike was an eight bike field with Tom Vivian's Tomfoolery defeating Tony Murphy in the final with a 12.12/122 win over a 13.13/102 loss. The other bike classes run were Top Gas, Pro Street and Street Bike. (Clive Rooms)
May 3rd-5th SPR. Spring Nationals. First on the agenda was the running of the rained off finals from the Easter meeting. These took place during qualifying. Super Comp went to Alan Loten with a 10.69/126 after Steve Johnson shut off with a fuel leak. Production went to Sylvia Hauser. Top Bike went to Mick Butler with an 875/155 over Terry Sidebottom. Stu Fernside defeated Pip Higham 9.17/152 to 9.59/144 in Gas Bike. Pro Street Bike went to Nigel Patrick with a new record 8.70/156 to Adrian Pennys 10.93/130. In the meeting proper Pro Fuel had a five car field. Number One qualifying spot went to Swedens Kent Persson in his 454ci Chevy dragster with a 6.50/226. Dennis Priddle made number two with a 6.73/215, Allan Herridge was at three with 6.91/212 and Norways Ludvig Bjornstad was at four with a blower belt tossing 7.80/129. Ronnie Picardo failed to put in a full qualifying pass due to camshaft trouble. Round one saw Allan Herridge run out of fuel as the car left the line. A stuck fuel valve being blamed for the rapid consumption of nine gallons of nitro! His opponent, Kent persson, soloed to a 6.88/221 win. In the other semi Priddle took the win with a 6.62/215 to a personal best 6.74/199 from Bjornstad. Also running a personal best was Ronnie Picardo who, after his earlier problems, came out for a demo run and clocked a 6.44/216. The final was Priddle v Herridge as the Scandinavian competitors had to return home early due to a domestic situation that looked as if it would become a national strike. Herridge took the win with a 6.37/211 to Priddles 6.70/214. Funny Car saw only three cars attend. Owen Hayward made number one spot in 'Houndog' with a 6.77/204. Number two was Peter Crane who made his first full pass in the ex-Gladiator 'Hustler' at 8.26/178. the other entrant was Paul Manders who was still shaking down his Mustang bodied car. Hayward soloed in the semis with a 7.09/152 then Crane beat Manders with an 8.09/184 to an 8.34/145. The final saw Houndog refuse to run so Crane soloed for the win with an 8.37/176. Pro Comp saw Gerry Andrews in 'Hemi Hunter' take an early lead with a 7.35/196. Later in the day Norm Wheeldon took the 'Rifle' dragster to a 7.02/202. Andrews answer was to run a 6.99/198 for number one spot. third was Jim Read with a 7.46/197 followed by David Wilson on his debut with a 7.51/190 in the 'Krypton' rail. Eliminations saw Gerry Andrews get to the final with two solo runs, the semi final being a best ever 6.98/196. Round one saw Norm Wheeldon become the first Pro Comp runner to clock both a six and a 200mph run together with a 6.98/201. In the semis he faced Gary Page in 'Panic'. Page pulled a holeshot but both cars broke as they approached the finish line, Wheeldon getting there first with a 7.39/163, and a demolished motor, while Page had a lifted blower and a 7.80/130. Neither car could be repaired for the final so Andrews soloed again for the win, a 7.13/196. Super Comp win went to Bob Jarrett in 'Stripteaser', defeating Sue Coles in 'Helzapoppin'. Qualifying had seen John Whitmore debut his new Daimler powered rail and later clock an 8.40/172 on a demo run. Henk Vink lead qualifying in Superbike with an 8.35/171 followed by Johnny Munn on the Hobbs 'Hobbit' at 8.65/162 and Mick Butler on his Superbike debut with an 8.75/155. Munn and Vink made it to the final. Munn by virtue of an 8.36/163 win over Jeff Bynes 8.68/157 while Vink soloed to an 8.64/166 after Butler had gearbox trouble. The final was neck and neck as Munn just got there first with an 8.43/169 to Vinks 8.49/169. Rod Pallant took the Senior Bike win with a personal best of 9.18/157 from his twin-motored Kawasaki. For all class results click here.
10th May The NDRC opened their own  permanent  Drag Strip at Long Marston. Dennis Priddle performed a champagne burnout in his top fueller in celebration of drag racing returning to the strip. The new surface was not providing great traction and after three tyre smoking runs Dennis recorded a best of 7.18/204. Rob George and Clive Page ran a best of three match race in their Pro Comp cars.
May 24th-26th Whitsun Big Go. SPR. Sammy Miller returned with a rebuilt and repainted Vanishing Point. His first run on the Sunday produced a 4.97/234, the second run was 4.64/294 and the third was a 4.60/277. His final run was the quickest at 4.53/289. Peter Crane ran a personal best of 7.78/193 in the Hustler funny car during qualifing. Allan Herridge and Ronnie Picardo ran a top fuel match race on the Monday, being the only two fuellers present. Herridge took the first with a 6.71 after Picardo shut off with problems. The final race saw flame burnouts from both cars and a second win for Herridge with the meetings best time of 6.34/209 to Picardos 7.42/190. Gerry Andrews won Pro Comp with a 7.20/195 to Brian Hazletons 8.07/170.  In Pro Street Bike Brian Johnson won the final with his best ever time of 9.43. For all class results click here. Henk Vink put in several runs on his double Kawasaki. He was having handling problems on the first day and clocked a best of 8.51/167. On the second day he got it together to qualify at #1 with an 8.15/170. #2 was Johnny Munn on John Hobbs 'Hobbit' double Weslake at 8.43/164. Mick Butler was #3 on his Weslake vee twin at 8.55/155. Munn failed to make round one with the Hobbit due to a damaged coupling gear, leaving Jeff Byne to solo where he shed a drive chain. Vink smoked his rear slick in a vain attempt to catch Mick Butler but to no avail, Butler won with an 8.57/155 to Venks 8.84/154. Butler went on to win his first Superbike title with a personal best 8.52/154 to Jeff Bynes 8.74/168.
June 6th-8th Sko-Uno Drag Festival, Mantorp Park, Sweden. Three of the UK Nitro teams made the trip to Mantorp. Allan Herridge (Alleygator), Ron Picardo (Force), and Owen Hayward (Houndog). Bootsie put the Alleygator into the sand at the top end on his first run, misjudging the infamous Mantorp top end bend! But came back out to take the T/F crown from the likes of Ludvig Bjornstad, Eva Kjellin and Kent Persson. Owen met Ronnie in the semis of F/C, Houndog trailering the Force with a new European speed record - 6.53/234mph. (Darren West)
June 8th Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting. There were just two entries in Top Fuel which resulted in a best of three between Roz Prior and Trevor Young. A third fueler was in attendance but didn't run due to it not being ready. This was Mickey Naylor's old car that Graham Hawes had just bought. First round of eliminations, Trevor had a small fire on the startline and was shutdown, and Roz Prior had a broken throttle cable which also stopped her running. Second round, Roz threw a blower belt and Trevor soloed to an 11.44/92. Last round saw Trevor take the win with a 7.70/206 to Roz's 9.05/158. Graham Hawes in his newly painted Monza was the only entry in Pro Comp. He only ran demo runs, the best being an 8.84.174. In Super Comp, 15 cars qualified with the numbers 1 and 2 qualifiers making it through to the final where the Loten & Thomas altered defeated Bob Jarrett in Stripteaser 10.93/123 to 11.32/124. Thirteen cars were entered in Senior Comp with Roger Guzowski ending up the winner. He defeated George Davie in Pubcrawler in the final with an 11.52/117 to a 12.70/106.Only four cars were entered in Top Modified, and Steve Hale in the 351 Mustang triumphed over Gerry Cookson in his 95ci Super Joker. Top Bike had an 8 bike field of Barry Eastman, Ronald Hughes, Paul Callen, Tony Murphy, Eamon Hurley, Stephen Porter, Bob Beckwith and Tony Steel. Bob Beckwith's Volvo powered bike beat Paul Callen in the final with an 11.10/131 over a quicker 11.04/124. Senior bike saw Tom Vivian on his 740 Triumph defeat Mark Pemble on his 500 Triumph 11.51/116 to 12.18/109. (Clive Rooms)
July 5th-6th SPR. Summer International World Series. Allan Herridge debuted his new Trans Am bodied Funny Car, Gladiator II with a shakedown at 8.00am on the Saturday morning. The car ran a 6.46/214 straight off the trailer. A ten car field in Funny Car saw Harlan Thompson make his Santa Pod debut in the "Tre Kronor" car with fellow Americans Ray Beadle and Gene Snow also present. Thompson had an interesting time on his first run when Owen Hayward got way out of shape in the 'Houndog' entry and crossed lanes clipping the front of Harlans car. Neither car was badly damaged and Houndog was discovered to have been using slicks of differing compounds when back in the pits. Qualifying saw Allan Herridge at #1 spot with a 6.46/214, followed by Gene Snow (6.48/197), Dave Stone (6.49), Lee Anders Hasselstrom (6.59/218), Harlan Thompson (6.88/217), Dennis Priddle (6.90), Ronnie Picardo (6.98/227-fastest speed of the weekend), and Raymond Beadle (7.65/149). Owen hayward was first alternate with a best of 8.27/210 but came into the eliminations in place of Dave Stone who had wrecked the Rodeck motor in 'Stardust'. Round One saw Lee Anders Hasslestrom launch his 'Red Baron' Monza with front wheels high in the air, cross the centre line and hit Ray Beadles 'Blue Max', the scarred Americans car making it through to the next round. The next race saw Harlan Thompson keep his boot down in a wild fishtailing drive against Herridge. Thompson crossed the line first but was judged to have crossed the centre line so his 6.90/199 lost to Herridges 6.68/212. Dennis Priddle lifted off the power at 1/4 track with low oil pressure (turned out to be a faulty gauge) while Gene Snow advanced to the semis with a 6.49/187. Owen Hayward shut down Ronnie Picardo 6.63/209 to 7.16/205. Pro Comp saw Gerry Andrews at #1 with a 7.00/191 followed by Dave Wilson at 7.17/194, Jim Read 7.19/197, Graham Hawes 7.36/191 and Brian Hazleton at 8.45/151 with a new Donovan motor in 'Thunderbird'. Most of the first round runs were solos and in the second round Dave Wilson took the 'Krypton' rail into the sixes with a 6.99/198 win over Tim Claxtons 8.99/153 in the 'Rifle Jeans' Chevy rail. The other semi saw Gerry Andrews drop out when the 'Hemi Hunter' motor would not run, leaving Jim Read to solo with a 7.39/197. Super Comp saw some good runs from Russ Carpenter in his 'Glacier Grenade' dragster, heading qualifying with an 8.00/164 and following it up with a new record of 7.80 and a 7.92/165 win over Steve Johnsons 'Motor Mouse' in the final. Russ had earlier expressed concerns about his motor as it was running a nine year old crank. This turned out to be the only elimination that was completed. Top Bike saw just three tenths of a second covering the eight qualifiers. Martin Hurll was at number one with a best ever 9.22/139 while Brian Chapman was on bump spot at 9.52/139. John Clift debuted his new methanol burning blown Honda to the tune of a 9.65/130 before a broken blower drive let him down. Superbike saw the return of Ian Messenger with the 'Pegasus' double Norton who qualified third with an 8.71/160 behind Henk Vink at 8.35/169 and John Hobbs, who was back on the 'Hobbit' as new rider Johnny Munn was on holiday. Hobbs ran a strong 8.40/165 but then discovered a smashed main bearing in the front motor. Top qualifier in Gas bike was the triple Kawasaki of John Lloyd at 9.10/150 followed by Stu Fernside at 9.35/144 and Pip Higham at 9.58/148. Pip was also on duty in Pro Street where he led the field with a 9.92/133 ahead of Rob Janssen on 10.29 and Brian Johnson on 10.39. The meeting was cut short on Sunday by rain followed by a timing equipment breakdown. Most classes were not completed.
July 18th-20th The Brighton Dragster & Custom Car show. Vehicles on show included the Scorpion jet car, Allan Herridges new Trans Am funny car and Don Prudhommes Army funny car which was scheduled to appear at the World Finals in September.
July 20th Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting.
August 23rd-25th SPR. Bank Holiday Supernationals. Highlight of the weekend was the match race between the fuelers of Allan Herridge and Dennis Priddle. Herridge had brought along his new Gladiator Funny Car but did not run it, preferrring to devote his time to making sure the Alleygator was on top form. The best of three match race, held on the second day of qualifying, produced three classic races. Herridge took the win in the left lane in Round One with a 6.42/215 to Priddles blower belt throwing 6.74/201. Round Two saw the left lane victorious again with Priddle crossing the line first in 6.25/223 while Bootsie left two black lines down most of his lane, took his turn to throw a blower belt and still crossed the line in 6.35/189. The final deciding race saw Priddle back in the right hand lane. He got a slight holeshot over Herridge and, in the closest race of the three, took the win with a 6.21/227 to Bootsies quicker and faster 6.20/232. The meeting saw the largest entry of the year so far with over 210 competitors. The Pro Fuel class saw the fuelers and Funny Cars running together. Due to the lack of an ambulance on race day (it had to take a spectator to hospital) the competition was reduced to a "fox hunt" with the cars paired up and the two quickest winners meeting up for the final. Ronnie Picardo won the first pair with a 8.10/175 in "The Force" to Paul Manders 8.48/120. Dennis Priddle ran a 6.31/221 to defeat rookie Top Fuel pilot Tina Page who had motor problems in Dave Priors "Fast Lady" slingshot. She had earlier run a creditable 7.64/174. In the third pairing Owen Hayward wheelied the Houndog Funny Car as Allan Herridge took the win with another 6.31, this time at 207mph. This meant it was Priddle vs Herridge for the fourth time of the weekend. Tension was high as the pair took their time in staging and Herridge powered to the win with a 6.27/222 as Priddle threw another blower belt and crossed the line in 6.43/183. Pro Comp saw Rod George take #1 qualifying spot in the Krypton rail with a 6.99/200 off the trailer run. Next was Jim Read with a 7.15/196 in the "Le Patron" rail. #3 was John Hazleton in the "Thunderbird" altered with 7.59/177. Gerry Andrews only managed a troubled 8.55/106 in "Hemi Hunter" but came back with a late practice run to clock a 7.03/188. Andrews ran another 7.03 at 196 to beat Hazleton in round one and soloed to the final with a 7.00/187 to meet Jim Read. Read had hurt his motor in the semis, coasting to a win over an even more troubled Clive Page. The Read team were unable to fully repair the damaged motor and Jim had to idle up the strip for runner up spot while Andrews ran a 7.40/187. Super Comp saw new personal bests for Ray Feltell in the "Penetration" dragster (10.21/123), Brian Thomas in the "Paranoia" altered (10.20/129) and Tony Edwards ran a 9.55 in his Leyland powered dragster which was John Whitmores old "Drag 'n' Fly" car. Russ Carpenter took Super Comp by storm, he qualified at #1 with an 8.07/160 and dropped into the sevens in round one with a 7.91/152 to defeat Bob Jarrett. He ran another seven in the final to defeat Brian Thomas in the Paranoia altered 7.86/158 to 10.22/126. Russ debuted new crew member Paula at this meeting. Paula applied traction compound and guided the car back after the burnout wearing high heels and a yellow bikini. A lot of you guys out there will remember her! Sylvia Hauser debuted her new car, the ex-Paul Rossi Dodge, imported from the USA. She won the Top Modified class, beating husband Geoff Hauser along the way 11.08/123 to 11.92/114. Geoff was driving Sylvias old car, the "Mopar Miss". Pro Street Bike saw Brian Johnson dominate the field. He ran 9.28/139, 9.28/138 and in the final 9.27/141, the quickest time by a 'Pro Stock' motorcycle in Europe. Hopes for a seven second bike run were in vain but Henk Vink and Johnny Munn ran side-by-side byes in round one with Vink clocking 8.24/173 and Munn crossing the line just behind at 8.37/166 on "The Hobbit". The pair met again in the final and Vink just took the win with an 8.21/169 while Munn recorded an 8.29/170, a new best for the Hobbs team.
September 12th-14th World Finals SPR. Stephen Reisten ran the UKs first seven second run on a bike, 7.87/174.(Mark Coles)  Don Prudhomme made his UK debut in his Army Funny Car. He faced competitors from the USA, Norway, and Sweden as well as the UKs finest in a 16 car field with another 4 non-qualifiers. Tom Hoover was also making his UK debut at the wheel of the Blue Max. Prudhomme qualified at #2 with a 6.22, just behind the UKs Allan Herridge with a 6.21, which turned out to be the quickest time of the weekend.  Prudhomme went out in the first round, as did Herridge. Ronnie Picardo was the only Brit to make it to the second round where he was knocked out by Gene Snow. Eventual winner was Harlan Thompson who took the final against Snow.  For Funny Car qualifying and elimination results click here
October 11th/12th SPR. BDR&HRA National Finals including Hot Rod & Custom UK Street Eliminator. For this meeting, the Fuelers and Funny Cars ran together in one elimination. In the first round, both Dennis Priddle and Allan Herridge were on bye runs in their dragsters. Dennis ran 6.26/218 and Alan ran a troubled 7.26/194 in Alleygator. Dave Stone couldn't fireup in Stardust so Owen Haywood soloed to a 6.99/168 in Houndog. Ronnie Picardo then shut down Tina Page in The Fast Lady digger with a 7.16/194 to an 8.06/159. In the first semi, Houndog beat Alleygator with a 6.46/205 to a 7.24/189. In the second semi, Ronnie Picardo broke a rod on the burnout leaving Dennis Priddle to take the win. He didn't take it easy on the run setting the top times of the meeting with a 6.25/219 only to fireball the engine through the lights. Pro Comp had just two entries, Gerry Andrews in Hemi Hunter and Jim Read in Le Patron. They ran a best of three match race. Gerry Andrews took the first with a 6.80/198 to a losing 7.21/199.Gerry also took the second race with the quickest Pro Comp time ever in Britain, a 6.79/200 to 7.33/144. Hemi Hunter had an easy unopposed third round win after Le Patron had to shut down with an oil leak. In Super Comp, Russ Carpenter was quickest qualifier with an 8.50/154 but broke the Glacier Grenade dragster on the pass. In the final, Sue Coles in her Helzapoppin altered beat Brian Thomas in Paranoia with a 9.58/134 pass over a losing 10.26/129. The winner of Comp 1 was Bob Jarrett in Stipteaser who beat Richard Brooke, 11.27/128 over 11.77/110. Comp 2 saw Phil Herrick in his Rover TR8 beat Steve Whitney 11.81/117 to a loseout 12.46/109 in the final. Comp 3 was won by Martin Ward with 13.46/113 over Dave Burdett. Top Modified produced an all female final. Sylvia Hauser in her Dodge against Hazel Wloszek in her Meanie Minor. Hazel had a 2.25 second handicap advantage but still lost out with a 13.19/100 to Sylvia's 10.96/124. In Superbike, Jeff Byne qualified top of the pile with 8.80/170 on his double Triumph. In the semis, Jeff lost out to Jonny Munn on Hobses Hobbit, 8.43/168 to 8.59/170. In the other semi, Nigel Patrick defeated Mick Butler with a hole-shot win, 8.78/156 over 8.64/151. In the final, Nigel Patrick's clutch gave out and Jonny Munn coasted to the win after his engine expired on the run. Top Bike competitors included Henk Vink, Steve Woollat, Phil Brachtvogel and Ian Messenger on Pegasus. This was Pegasus' last outing as Ian was retiring the famous bike. It ended in disappointment as a blower banging run of 9.10 failed to qualify. In the final, Henk Vink beat Pete Smith with an 8.40/170 to a 9.31/135. (Clive Rooms)
November 8th/9th SPR. Firework Spectacular. Elimination positions were determined by emergency qualifying times as the strip surface was a little too slick for serious qualifying. Pro Fuel featured four cars. Ronnie Picardo in Highway Patrol which was running on methanol, defeated a troubled Allan Herridge. Dennis Priddle ran 7.06/183 to defeat Owen Hayward in the Demag altered which was the Houndog FC without its usual body. This was its first appearance. Both first round losers came out again with Owen recording a 6.92/186 and Bootsie laying down a 6.85/160 in Alleygator. In the final, Dennis clocked a 6.40/211 to defeat Ronnie's shut-off 7.92/58. In Pro Comp first round, Jim Read defeated Brian Hazelton who was out for the first time in the ex Clive Skilton TF car. The only other car entered in the class was Gerry Andrews who soloed for the round win. In the final, Jim Read produced a 6.86/202 to defeat a troubled Gerry Andrews. In the first round of Super Comp, Bob Jarrett had the misfortune to write-off Stripteaser in a crash. The final of Super Comp was packed with incident. Sue Coles staged, rolled forward, pulled it back but got a red light, leaving Brian Thomas in Paranoia to go through for the win. However, the two agreed to a re-run with Sue Coles taking the win after Paranoia had a wild ride nearly swiping the barrier. Comp 1 was won by John Mills with a 12.3/108 after opponent Rob Turner broke on the line. Comp 2 went to Geof Martin in the Oxford Builder after opponent Marian James failed to fire. Top Modified saw Richard Wloszek in the Meanie Minor beat Barrie Potter's Elan with a 13.00/100 to a 12.79/98. The first semi-final of Superbike saw Henk Vink defeat Jeff Byne with a 9.53/146 to a 9.72/157. In the second semi, Jonny Munn on Hobses Hobbit went up in smoke against Nigel Patrick who won with a 9.40/130. In the final, Patrick's turbo Kawasaki went sick off the line leaving Vink to put down a wining 9.21/159. Top Bike final saw Eddy Lloyd's triple engined Kawa up against Pete Smith's Triumph with the gas burning multi-engined bike having an easy 11.88/129 win. Senior Bike was won by Rod Pallant on his double Kawasaki with a 9.80 win over Ian Hodge's Triumph. The finals day also saw a presentation to a retiring Peter and Erica Bartlett who had been around drag racing organisation prior to Santa Pod being built. (Clive Rooms)

1981
The BDR&HRA name was shortened to the BDRA, the first time this name had been used since 1968.
February 23rd-March 1st The 1st Central Milton Keynes Dragster & Custom Show. The first [and only as it turned out] show was held in a sectioned off part of Middleton Hall in the Central Milton Keynes Shopping Precinct. There were 58 different drag racing cars and bikes, custom cars, vans and rods on display. The show was organised by Santa Pod and included just about all of their considerable stable of cars. Among the drag racing vehicles on display were: Russ Carpenter’s Glacier Grenade, Al’s Gasser, The Stones’ Stardust and Hemi Hunter, Scorpion jet car, Don Prudhomme’s FC, Alleygator TF, Bill Sherratt’s Rain City Warrior FC, Sue Coles’ Helzapoppin, Houndog Fuel Altered, Gene Snow’s FC, Commutor, Gladiator FC, Sylvia Hauser’s Dodge Challenger, Brian Hazelton’s PC dragster and the Themis altered. (Clive Rooms)
March 28th/29th SPR. First Open Nationals. A misty and damp early year meeting, saw the big cars struggle to get the power down. Tony Boden was shaking down the ex - Dennis Priddle 'Mr Six' rear engined dragster. Steve Craddock ran a couple of checkout passes in the Frontline rail. Houndog made a couple of runs the best being a 7.795. Dave Prior was in attendance with the Maiden Warrior rail running on alcohol. Crew man Norm Bristow was at the helm, when the motor blew after the throttle stuck on the burnout! Competitors were divided into brackets for eliminations. In bracket 1 Jim Read ran a 9.00/176 to meet Gerry Andrews, who had recorded an 8.13/145, in the final. Unfortunately the weather became worse and the final was not run. Bracket 2 saw "Wild" Bill Sherratt in the 'Rain City Warrior' Vega Pro Comp funny car  run a 9.39/102 to beat the 'Beautiful Noise' dragster of Barry Miller. Alan Lotens 'Paranoia' altered took the Bracket 3 win with a 10.39/130 against John Tebbutts 10.70/126 in the 'Moonlight Bandit'. Bracket 4 saw Ray Feltells Dragster 'Penetration' run11.37/113 to defeat Phil Herricks TR8 'Vicious Trait' with an 11.61/109. Bracket 5 saw Steve Whitneys Jaguar powered Altered run 12.99/111 to beat Mark Chowis Pontiac with a 14.06/80 while Bracket 6 saw Steve Green run 14.25/96 to defeat Steve Best with 14.94/91. On the bike front Brian Johnson took Bracket 1 with a 9.91/143 over Phil Brachtvogel who lost fire. In Bracket 2 victory went to Tony Lewis whose 10.64/135 defeated Peter Woods 11.17/129. (Darren West)
April 17th-20th
SPR. In Top Fuel, Allan Herridge qualified in top spot with a 6.69/199, followed by Alan Ritmeister 6.76/193, Trevor Young 6.89/202, Andy Craddock 7.40/191 and Tony Boden 7.62/193. In the eliminations, Alan Ritmeister was unable to make the first round which left Allan Herridge defeating Tony Boden with a 6.54/213 to a 7.06. Andy Craddock defeated a troubled Trevor Young in the other semi. Bootsie won the final with a fine 6.46/216 against Andy’s 7.55/196. Pro Comp saw a lot of Scandinavians venture over for the Tor Line Championship. In the first round, the winners were Borge Holmgen against Ronnie Picardo, Jim Read against son Steve, Steiner Stolen over Inge Bugge, Bjorn Ardin against Bill Sherratt, Krister Johannson against Brian Hazelton, Dave Stone against John Grosland, Anders Lantz against Tony Donges and Gerry Andrews against Ola Aaserud. Second round saw Holmgren defeat Jim Read with a 6.90/195. Stolen and Ardin had quite a battle with both cars pulling wheelies and almost meeting in the centre of the track. Ardin was disqualified and Stolen clipped the barrier. Johannson defeated Dave Stone with a 6.93/197. The last race of the round saw Gerry Andrews defeat Tony Donges with the quickest Pro Comp time outside of the USA 6.59/207. However, Gerry lost to Johannson in the semi with a 7.46/190 to a winning 7.15/190. The second semi saw Steiner Stolen cross the centre line leaving Holmgren to take the win with a 6.95/188. In the all-Swedish final, Borge Holmgren ran 6.93/193 to defeat Krister Johannson’s 7.21/192. In Super Comp, the winner was John Whitmore. In the first round, he beat Paranoia, then defeated Richard Brooke in the semi with an 8.96/149. In the final, John beat an off-form Neil Roberts in the Comet dragster 9.61/140 to 11.24/120. In Car Bracket 1, Alan Loten beat Steve Johnson 10.24/132 to 10.94/103. Bracket 2 saw Dave Collis beat John Tebbutt 10.21/133 to 10.92/125. Bracket 3 went to Dave Burdett running 11.6/124 over Phil Herrick’s 11.69/125. Brian Chapman came out on top of a 4 bike Pro Fuel eliminator. An 8.65/167 defeated Pip Higham. In the other semi, Mick Butler’s 8.57/160 saw off Jonny Munn’s 8.74/158 effort. Chapman won the final with an 8.60/167 over Butler’s chain shredding Weslake. In the first ever Pro Stock bike eliminator held in the UK, Brian Johnson was the first rider to dip into the eights with an 8.98/150 pass in the first round. The final saw Johnson up against Pip Higham. Pip soloed to a 9.28/145 victory after Brian bogged on the line. (Clive Rooms)
May 2nd-4th
SPR. The weather conditions over the 3 day meeting were poor which meant emergency qualifying times for the eliminations. In the Pro Comp semi-finals, Gerry Andrews defeated Bill Sherratt with a 6.93/200 to an 8.42/166. Second semi saw Jim Read beat Ronnie Picardo in the Blue Samurai flopper 7.61/194 to 7.95/185. In the final, Gerry Andrews took the win with a 6.90/202 to a slowing down time of 7.57/152 for Jim Read. Super Comp saw John Whitmore triumph again. He beat Dave Burfitt in the first round with a 9.35/122 to a 12.79/77. In the semi-final, he defeated Alan Loten 9.29/125 to 10.83/89. In the final, he came up against Sue Coles who had earlier beaten Neil Roberts with a stout 8.70/162. John took a holeshot win over Sue 9.30/143 to a 9.12/153. Comp 1 was won by Rob Turner in his Straight Shooter altered winning against John Tebbutt’s Moonlight Bandit 12.36/111 to 10.95/124. Mick Hillier won Comp 2 with two solo runs. Sylvia Hauser won Top Modified. She beat Al’s Gasser in the semi and came up against Richard Wloszek in the final which she took with a 10.77/125 over a losing 13.12/100. The 8 bike Pro Fuel eliminator kicked off with Jonny Munn beating Peter Wood 8.71/146 to 9.36/147. Jonny beat Mick Butler in the semi, 8.74/151 to 9.16/152. Jeff Byne defeated firstly Pip Higham 9.11/157 to 9.32/152, and then Brian Chapman 8.71/161 to 9.24/165. In the final, Jonny Munn holeshot Jeff Byne, taking the win with an 8.79/146 to a 9.00/153. Phil Whitely won Top Bike beating Keith Porter with a 9.49/150 to an 11.84/122. Senior Bike was won by Nigel Patrick with a 9.90/145 defeat of Dave Emmerson’s 10.36/135. First round of Pro Stock Bike saw Paul Andrews beat Tony Huck 9.71/141 to 10.86/135, then he lost to Pip Higham in the semi, 10.00/138 to a winning 9.40/142. In the other semi, Brian Johnson raced to a 9.28/145 win over Graham Nash’s 11.36/83. In the final, Higham holeshot Johnson to take the win with a slower 9.40/140 to a lose-out 9.26/144 run. (Clive Rooms)
May 2nd-4th
Long Marston. This meeting was also badly affected by the inclement weather. There were four cars entered in Top Fuel with the number one spot being taken by Trevor Young with a 7.77, followed by Andy Craddock with 7.86, Tony Boden with an 8.47, and lastly, Alan Ritmeister with an 8.57. In the first round, Trevor Young and Tony Boden staged just as it began to rain, but that didn’t stop Young from winning with a 7.42/194 to Boden’s 8.13/186. After a short delay for the brief shower, Craddock took the win with an 8.31/160 to a losing and engine destroying pass by Ritmeister. Approaching the final, Craddock’s crew had problems preparing their engine, so Boden was called up as a reserve. Trevor Young fired first, but the engine coughed. Boden was given the signal to fire up, but Craddock had completed his burn-out and was already in stage. Boden didn’t have time to burn-out but as he staged hurriedly, he red-lit. Craddock then recorded a tyre smoking winning run of 7.86/198. Super Comp was an eight car elimination with both Steve Clark and John Chubb reaching the final. Chubb took the win in an extremely close race, 11.97/107 to a losing 11.96/110. Senior Comp was won by the Flathead Ford of Mick Gleadow who defeated the Lotus Ford powered rail of Mark Forrester, a winning 13.40/102 to a losing 16.35/86. Modified was won by Gerry Cookson who took the win with a 14.86/94 pass. His opponent, Steve Clifton, fell foul of the 20 second staging rule. Street had 11 cars entered and Mike Nicholls took the win by beating Andy Robinson in the final. Top qualifier in Top Bike was Eamon Hurley but he lost out in the first round to Brian Simpson after a troubled run. Simpson then lost to Tony Murphy who went on to contest the final with Barry Eastman. Eastman took the win with a 10.54/125 after Murphy crossed the centre line. Senior Bike was won by Vince Chessman who defeated Tony Wynne-Jones, 14.37/86 to 16.56/66. Top Gas was a best of three between Robbie Dobbie and John Davies which Dobbie took. Also a best of three was Pro Stock which Alan Thompson took over John Knight. (Clive Rooms)
May 23rd-25th
SPR. The wet weather badly affected both qualifying and the eliminations, and only six out of the fifteen eliminations were completed. In Top Fuel, there was just the single match race with Trevor Young laying down a 6.80/217 to defeat Tony Boden’s 7.64/191. There were four Funny Cars present and they ran a series of match races. Allan Herridge ran a best of 7.65/192 to beat Paul Manders in the Time and Motion Mustang which ran 9.52/155. Owen Hayward’s quickest run in the difficult conditions was a 9.98/140. Bill Sherratt won both of his races with a best of 8.55/160. Super Comp was won by Alan Loten who had an easy first round win followed by solo passes in the semi-final and then the final. Russ Carpenter won Comp 1 by beating Bob Harman and then Dave Gibbons before trouncing Jacqueline Phillips 8.86/150 to a lose-out 11.53/119. Comp 2 saw Dave Tucker record an 11.68/118 in the final to defeat Marion James’ troubled run of 12.12/125. Top Modified was not completed due to the weather. Barry Potter was one of the finalists after beating Phil Turk and Austin Bromley. The other finalist would have been Sylvia Hauser who had beaten Al’s Gasser in the semis. Modified 1 was won by Hazel Wloszek beating Ron Pudney’s Mercury Cougar with a 13.68/96 to 15.92/69. In the Pro Fuel bike semis, Mick Butler beat John Charlton with a 9.06/151 to a lose-out 9.34/129. Jonny Munn won the other semi with an 8.85/149 over a broken Nigel Patrick. The final was a very close race with Mick Butler taking it by a wheel with an 8.85/153 to a quicker but losing 8.78/153 of Jonny Munn. Top Bike and the first semi-final saw Steve Woollat beat Harry Fitzpatrick, 9.41/136 to 9.45/142. Phil Brachtvogel would have been the other finalist if the rain had held off. Pro Stock bike was not completed either. The finalists would have been Brian Johnson and Steve Tong. (Clive Rooms)
July 4th/5th
SPR hosted the first Cannonball, an event showcasing both alcohol and fuel funny cars in competition against each other. Each car made three runs and the times were added together to find the two cars with the quickest accumulated times. These two then raced head to head for the final. Bill Sherratt was the eventual winner in the Cannonball car beating Owen Hayward in Houndog in the final, Hayward was standing in as first alternate for Allan Herridge.
July 25th/26th
Long Marston. Bo O’Brochta, number one drag bike racer in the world, was the big attraction at the first Trans Atlantic Drag Bike Race. He took the number one qualifying position, clicking it off early to record an 8.27/128. Number 2 was Nigel Patrick with an 8.39/160, followed by Brian Chapman, Henk Vink, Jos Smit and Cees van Dongen. First round of eliminations saw O’Brochta lay down a 7.83 pass which was the quickest ever run in Britain. Vink then defeated van Dongen with an 8.34/159. In the semis, O’Brochta beat Chapman with an 8.10/124 but destroyed his spare head in the process. In the other semi, Vink overcame a chain snapping Patrick with an 8.82/133 pass. Brian Chapman was re-instated for the final due to O’Brochta breaking but he went down to Vink who won with an 8.60/142 to 9.01/124. Pro Stock winner was Brian Johnson who beat Eric Bauer and Jos Smit before defeating Paul Andrews in the final with a 9.70/144 to a close 9.73/139. There was a Pro Stock 2 elimination which was won by Rob van Ginneken. The Top Bike final saw Jan Janssen overcome Terry Sidebottom in the final, 9.10/148 to 9.30/146. Senior Bike was won by Eamon Hurley with an 8.91/156 win over Rod Pallant’s 9.22/144. Tom Vivian took Middle Bike, defeating Brian Simpson in the final. (Clive Rooms)
August 29th-31st It was at this meeting that the two match racing jets made their first appearance, Vampire driven by Kieron Weston and Hellbender driven by Allan Herridge. Also making demo passes was the Scorpion jet car piloted by Andy Hurdle. The 5 Funny Cars entered took part in a “Foxhunt” with the two quickest runners from the first two rounds going through to the final. The two quickest were Bill Sherratt with a 6.81/169 and Owen Hayward with a 7.01/170. However, Bill Sherratt had broken which reinstated John Mills in the Rain City Warrior. Mills tried hard but his 7.11/196 pass was not good enough against Owen Hayward’s 6.60/194. In Pro Comp, Steve Martyn driving Krypton had a bye in the first round and then beat Jim Read with a 6.91/193. Gerry Andrews made the final by defeating Dave Stone with a 7.63/191, and then Brian Hazelton with a 6.99/199. In the final, the Krypton car ran a best ever 6.90/195 but it wasn’t good enough as Gerry Andrews carded a 6.76/201 pass. In Super Comp, John Whitmore started out with an 8.06/173 win against Brian Thomas, then he beat Bob Jarrett in Stripteaser with a best ever 7.80/173 to go through to the final. His opponent was Sue Coles who had downed Dave Tucker in the semi with an 8.57/151.The final saw John defeating Sue with an 8.15/167 to an 8.96/151 loss. Comp 1 was won by Russ Carpenter who had defeated Ray Feltell and John Tebbutt before running an 8.25 in the final against a red-lighting Dave Burfitt. Comp 2 final saw Geof Martin red-light allowing Dave Gibbons to take the win with a 9.89/138 pass. Marion James won Comp 3 recording a 9.97/140 win over Alan Flavell’s 12.03/115. In Top Modified, Al O’Connor raced his way to the final by beating Dave Collis and Sylvia Hauser. His opponent was Richard Wloszek who had beaten Dave Warne in the semi-final. The final saw O’Connor take a catch-up win with a 10.06/135 win to a 13.01/102 loss. Pro Fuel bike had all eight bikes running under nine seconds for the first time at the Pod. In the first round, Brian Chapman took an 8.25/169 win over Mick Butler. John Hobbs overpowered Rod Pallant with an 8.34/167. In the semi-final, Hobbs had his magneto split at half track handing the win to Chapman. In the other semi, John Clift won a close race against Jeff Byne, 8.59/162 beating 8.63/176. Brian Chapman won the final with an 8.37/167 after John Clift torched a cylinder head on his run. The Pro Stock final was between Pip Higham and Paul Andrews with Higham taking it with a 9.11/148 against Andrews’ troubled 10.71/140. Top Bike saw Phil Whitely lay down a 9.04/156 to beat Ray Law who bogged on the line and could only record a 10.25/153. Chris Russell won Senior Bike by defeating Stephen Porter with a 9.65/139 pass. Middle Bike was won by Nigel Tee with a 10.10/127 pass over John McKiernan’s losing 10.97/119. Mark Pemble won Junior Bike by defeating a red-lighting Neil Knight. (Clive Rooms)
September 25th-27th Finals SPR. A world first for SPR.Sammy Miller and Al Eierdam held a series of match races in the Oxygen rocket dragster and the Vanishing Point rocket funny car respectively. Rocket cars had been banned in the States by the NHRA so the UK was the best place to do this as Sammy was by now a hero over here. Over a total of four races Sammy won 3 and Al won 1.The times for the Sunday runs were;1st race, Al Eierdam won with 4.79/228 to Sammys 4.67/269, and 2nd race Sammy won with 4.53/320 to Als 4.63/240. Thanks to Tog for these results.Al is now retired and living in Arizona. His recollections of this meeting can be found in the 'Sammy & Al Show' story on the Anecdotes page. Fourteen cars were entered in the Funny Car eliminations. Due to a shortage of time caused by rain the qualifying was cancelled and qualifying places were awarded based on previous best times. Harlan thompson took the win in the final beating Allan Herridge. For Funny Car elimination ladder click here Two Top Fuel cars were present, those of Kent Persson and Olaf Johnson.
October 23rd/24th Circuit Paul Ricard, France. The British teams had left mid week for the meeting and arrived and set up on the Thursday, with qualifying action starting in earnest on the Friday morning. The entry for the meeting was made up of nearly all British and Scandinavian teams, with some of Europe's finest making the long journey to give the whopping 50,000 turnout of French motorsport fans an impressive Drag Racing show over three days of glorious weather. The meeting was run over the eighth mile as the straight wasn't any where near a full quarter, plus there was a pretty hairy bend to navigate a few hundred yards after the traps! Out on the track Tony Boden was in action with the 'Hit Man' top fueller, Tony brought Dennis Priddle along who debuted his brand new 'Mr 5' machine at the meeting. In Pro Comp, Krister Johansson, and touring brits Jim Read, Gerry Andrews and Steve Martyn with the 'Krypton' car made up the four car field. Jean and Steve Tidswell brought along their potent 'Jeans T' Chevy powered altered, and wound up with the honours over the 'Paranoia' team. Alan and Liz Bradley lifted the trophy for the Uk in modified taking their two early sixties 'Sting' Corvettes along. Alan's new 'Sting 2' car being freshly built from the ground up by Dennis Priddle. Two funny cars made the trip, in the form of the 'Joker' Ron Picardo with the 'Blue Samurai' Datsun Pro Comp funny car, and Anders Niquist came over from Sweden with the wild 'Roach Coach' Monza funny. There was plenty of bike action too with the UKs Brian Chapman and Pip Higham and the Suzuperbike machine. (Darren west)
October 31st/November 1st Long Marston. NDRC Fireworks Meet. Dennis Priddle made the UK debut of his new, as yet unpainted, 'Insurance In Motion' sponsored top fueller. In eliminations Priddle beat Tony Boden while Trevor Young beat Alan Ritmeister. In the final Young and Priddle smoked the tyres all the way down the cold strip, with Young blowing the motor at the top end, but not before he had taken the win over Dennis. The Super Comp eliminator was won by Jean Tidswells "Jeans T" altered and Bob West ran a new class low of 9.57 in his Willys coupe. Modified eliminator was won by Dave Warne.

1982
March 20th/21st SPR. Qualifying on the Saturday was badly affected by the damp and sometimes wet track, which meant there wasn’t a great deal of qualifying. This resulted in the abandonment of the scheduled bracket racing. Instead, competitors were split into groups of four and racing was to be a “round robin” style. In the dragster group, the four competitors were John Whitmore, Russ Carpenter, Tony Beadle and Andy Grimwade. The final was between Whitmore and Carpenter. Whitmore red-lit whilst staging leaving Carpenter to take an easy 12.89/107 win. The Competition Altereds were split into four groups. In the first group, Martin Maxwell had three easy wins. The second group saw John Chubb emerge the winner, and in the third group, Phil Herrick took a surprise win over Paranoia. The fourth group winner was Dave Burfitt with three wins. Pro Stock bike was split into two groups with both Brian Johnson and Mick Carter taking two wins each with Johnson taking the decider 10.24/141 to Carter’s 10.41/141. Pip Higham won the second group. Street bike saw Jack Valentine take three wins to win the group. On the Sunday, there was a Pro Comp match race between Gerry Andrews and Jim Read. Hemi Hunter took the first with a 7.49/187 to an out of shape 10.63/173. Jim Read couldn’t make the second race leaving Gerry Andrews to solo to a creditable 6.96/198 in the cold, damp conditions. (Clive Rooms)
April 4th SPR. Run What Ya Brung. Tony Boden debuted his new Funny Car. The ex-'Centurian' 80 Dodge Omni built by East Coast chassis constructor Lenny Imbrogno had arrived in the UK the previous year. The car was repainted by Ronnie Picardo and Steve Davis who handled most of the paintwork for the funny car ranks. The car ran a typical Boden 'high Nitro load' but had the misfortune of a jammed throttle on the teams only attempt. (Darren West)
April 10th-12th SPR. Easter Internationals Meeting. Allan Herridge was offered, and accepted a drive in Sammy Millers 'Vanishing Point' rocket Funny Car. He recorded a best time of 4.84 seconds, with a terminal speed of just 233mph, to make him Europes quickest ever drag racer and the first European driver to go under five seconds. Andy Craddock suffered a clutch explosion in the Frontline fueler which blew the back of the block off. he still managed a 6.82 with an 84mph terminal speed.
May 1st-3rd Long Marston. NDRC Meeting. Tony Boden was back in his Fueler for the Pro Fuel eliminations. He  qualified last with motor trouble but beat the Pages 'Panic' Funny Car in the first round 7.83/189 to an off-song 9.10/156. He followed this up with a win in the final against Tony Pearson with an 8.56/179. (Darren West) Despite the fact that the meeting clashed with SPR a reasonable crowd turned up and the NDRC made their first ever profit from the Long Marston venue. Super Comp went to Roy webb in his 'Spiderman' altered with Chris Reynolds 'Italian Job' dragster as runner up. Tom Vivian won Top Bike with a 10.70/131 win over a 10.81/121 from Jim Challenger. Dennis Cheeseman took Senior Bike and Alan Jackson took his 'Zed One Bee' Kawasaki to the Street win with a string of mid-eleven second wins.
May 9th York. PDRC Open Challenge Meeting. The feature attraction of this meeting was to have been a best of three between the methanol car of Jim Read and the TF car of Tony Boden. In the first match-up, Jim took the win with a 7.94/172 to a fast closing charge of 192 from Tony. No time was recorded for him. Unfortunately, that was the only side by side run of the afternoon as the nitro car succumbed to clutch problems and Jim’s car broke its motor on a burn-out later in the afternoon. In Top Modified, Richard Wloszek qualified top of the pile, followed by Sylvia Hauser, Mick Cheley and Clive Mechaell. In the first round, Mechaell red-lit allowing Sylvia Hauser an easy 10.44/131 win. Wloszek then defeated Cheley despite bogging on the line. In the final, Sylvia Hauser just managed to take the win with a 10.59/128 to a losing time for Wloszek of 12.98/103. Pro Fuel bike was a best of three between Pip Higham and Paul Taylor. Higham won all three races with a best time of 8.84/164 which equalled the strip speed record. Super bike was also a best of three between Pete Marrison and Terry Sidebottom. Sidebottom won all three. Top bike was a round robin which Jim Clayton won. Tony Huck won Senior bike beating Glenn Parker in the final. Top car was a best of three between John Mills’ Roadrunner and the small block Ford dragster of Bob Holt. Mills took two of the three races. Senior car went to Tony Taylor while Middle car was won by Andy Williams. Steve Murty made regular appearances throughout the afternoon in the wheelie Vauxhall. (Clive Rooms)
May 29th-31st The “Big Go” meeting was blessed with hot, sunny weather. There were eight Funny Cars in attendance with Lee Anders Hasselstrom leading the qualifying with a 6.43/200 pass. He was followed by Owen Hayward 6.45/212, Chris Filsell in Satans Sledge 6.57/204, Harlan Thompson 6.77/193, Dave Page in the new Panic FC with 7.72/184, Dave Stone in Stardust 7.96/154, Bill Sherratt in Cannonball 9.21/89 and Allan Herridge in Gladiator 10.57/72. In the first round of eliminations, Hasselstrom recorded low et of the meeting, 6.38/212 in defeating Dave Page’s 7.03/201. Chris Filsell soloed to an easy win after Bill Sherratt lost fire. Owen Hayward ran 6.56/199 to defeat Dave Stone’s 8.83/101. Allan Herridge ran a 6.43/189 to beat Harlan Thompson, but in the process, he did a lot of damage to the car and had to sideline it. In the semis, Hasselstrom put down a 6.47/218 but red lit in the process handing the win to Chris Filsell. Owen Hayward beat Harlan Thompson in the other semi, 6.54/209 to a 6.71/206. Hayward went on to defeat Filsell in the final with a 6.99/195 to a 7.02/197 loss. Pro Comp and Pro Fuel combined to form a Professional Drivers Elimination. Only three cars qualified for this; Russ Carpenter, Tony Pearson in Maiden Warrior and Andy Craddock in the Front Line Video fueler. Russ Carpenter had a bye in the semi, and in the other semi-final, Andy Craddock ran a 7.07/135 to defeat the 7.78/183 from rookie driver Tony Pearson. However, Craddock had suffered engine damage in the run which let Pearson back in for the final. Carpenter took the final with a 7.92/157 to a troubled 10.24/92 pass by Pearson. In Super Comp, Steve Johnson beat John Whitmore with a 9.27/148 to a 9.32/136. In Comp 1, the two finalists were Dave Burfitt in Boss Cat and Geoff Martin. Martin’s Jaguar took the win with a 10.85/124 to an 11.45/120 loss. Dave Gibbons took Comp 2 by beating Sue Coles with a 9.23/140 win to a quicker 9.12/153. Comp 3 was won by Mick Bennett who beat Ray Feltell 12.22/109 to a 12.27/115. Top Modified final had Dave Collis lining up against Ron Kiddell, both were in Firenza bodied cars. Kiddell took a handicapped win with a 12.65/102 to a lose-out 10.19/133. Modified 1 was won by Chris Wicks after opponent Clive Mechaell broke as he left the start line. In Pro Fuel bike first semi-final, Rod Pallant ran 8.42/151 on a bye after Jeff Byne lost fire. The second semi saw Brian Chapman win against Steve Tong 8.60/162 to an 8.76/160. However, Chapman swerved off the shutdown area into the field and had to be taken to hospital. This meant that Steve Tong came back into the final where he lined up against Rod Pallant. Tong won with an 8.61/160 blast after Pallant broke a magneto. Pro Stock bike was won by Mick Carter after Brian Johnson ran a quicker 9.05/145 but red-lit in the process. Top bike was won by Phil Brachtvogel who had earlier recorded his first ever eight second pass in a practice run. He lined up against Phil Whitely and took the win 8.92/125 to a 9.43/146. Senior bike saw Tony Lewis defeat Eddie Lloyd 9.93/141 to 10.81/128. Street bike was won by Tony Huck 10.78/133 to Jack Valentine’s losing 11.07/132. (Clive Rooms)
June A new British magazine was launched onto the scene. 'UK Drag Racing' was published by Tony Grace and edited by Tony Beadle.
July 3rd/4th SPRs Cannonball Funny Car shootout was plagued by timing equipment problems. Owen Hayward took the honours beating Allan Herridge in the final. Sammy Miller ran a weekend best of 3.81seconds. To see all class results from this meeting click here
July 11th York. PDRC Summer Nationals. Jim Read in his Pro Comp dragster was back again at York. This time, he was match racing Russ Carpenter with a handicap in favour of the smaller engined car of Carpenter. Russ took both races with a best time of 7.9. Jim’s best times were 7.66/192. An interesting match race took place between the wheelie cars of Roy Phelps and Steve Murty. Phelps took it with straight wins. Super car was a round robin between Tony Beadle in his 289 ci Ford flathead slingshot, Ian Lloyd’s Gonzo Topolino altered and Jean Tidswell’s T altered. Beadle took the first race against Lloyd with a 9.36/143 pass. Lloyd took the second race with a 9.95 to beat a troubled Jean Tidswell. The decider was between Beadle and Tidswell with the flathead taking it 9.68/141. Top car was won by Bob Holt taking out Adrian Booth in the final with an 11.25/114. Senior car final was between Dave Holmes and Bill Sherratt in his Sunbeam Tiger. Holmes won with a 12.03/112 pass. Dave Grady took Middle car running 12.70 in the final. Rookie was a twelve car field which was won by Chris Clegg in his Capri. Pro Fuel bike was a best of three between Terry Sidebottom on his Triumph and Steve Tong on his turbo Kawasaki. Sidebottom took it two to one but Tong equalled the strip record at 8.66 in the process. Pro Stock bike was a best of three also between Pip Higham and Andrew Clapper. Higham won all three races. Senior bike was an eight bike field which Gerald Power overcame. Middle bike saw Alan Atkin win the final against Peter Gothard. Dave Marsden won Junior bike.
July 16th/17th Zandvoort, Holland. The "Travelling Santa Pod Roadshow" hit town and compete on an 1/8th mile straight of the Zandvoort circuit which had very poor traction. Sammy Miller and Allan Herridge ran some side by side rocket car races, Sammy in Oxygen and Bootsie in Vanishing Point. Bootsie managed a best of 3.12/221while Sammy turned in a best of 2.82/226.74. Chris Filsell with the Satans Sledge funny car and Owen Hayward in the Houndog FC ran some match races. Felsell managed a best of 6.1/135.4while Owen recorded a best of 5.9/147.5. Other UK competitors present were; Andrew Hurdles Vampire and Steve Horns Hellbender jet cars, Priors Maiden Warrior Fueller, Russ Carpenters-Glacier Grenade,John Whitmore-Drag-N-Fly, Roy Webb-Spiderman altered, Malcolm Beken-Fusion rail, Jeff Martin-Oxford Builder, Herb Andrews-Magnum Force, John Chubb-Moonshadow, Dave Burfitt-Boss Cat, Rob Turner-Straight Shooter, Johnny Mullens Camaro and Roy Phelps with the Wheelie Stingray. For competition the cars were divide into three brackets. Bracket 1 was won by Kjell Johannson, 5.08/152.2, Bracket 2 by the UKs Malcolm Beken , 6.4/111.9 and Bracket 3 by the UKs Dave Burfitt 7.08/98.42.
July 23rd-25th NDRC. Long Marston. Transatlantic Drag Bike Challenge. Postponed until September 18th/19th.
July 30th/31st Mantorp Park, Sweden. Sko Uno Drag Festival. In Funny Car Dave Page qualified 5th in Panic while Owen Hayward made 4th spot. Page went out in the first round after he pulled a red light against Swede Lennart Ekering. After four years faithful service the motor on Houndog blew in the first round and Hayward lost to Rune Fjelds 6.68. Harlan Thompson won the final with a 6.44 against an axle breaking run from Lee Anders Hasslestrom. In Pro Comp Tony Douglas pulled a red light against Steve Read in the first semi final while Gerry Andrews beat Steinar Stolen in the second. In an all Brit final Andrews beat Read 6.92 to 7.09.
August 1st SPR. This meeting was apparently arranged with less than two weeks notice and many regular competitors didn't even know it was on! Only 51 entries were received and the lack of publicity led to 'spot the spectator' being the main activity of the day. It was dubbed 'The Secret Nationals'.
August 15th York Raceway. PDRC/Superbike Northern Nationals. Star attractions of the meeting were the two Santa Pod raceway jet cars, 'Vampire', driven by Karen Westman, and 'Hellbender', driven by Steve Horn. Both cars suffered problems, (two tyre blowouts for 'Vampire' and a fuel pipe blockage for 'Hellbender') but Steve Horn went on to set a new strip record of 7.49/227 on his final run. Pip Higham entered three bikes in three classes, and won all of them! He took Pro Fuel on his 'Suzuperbike', Pro Stock on his Katana and Street on his GS1100. Ian Lloyd added another trophy to his growing collection by winning the Super Car final in his 'Gonzo The Great' Topolino altered. Commentator Paul Hogarth described him as the man with the strongest mantlepiece in drag racing. For all class results click here.
August 28th-30th Santa Pod Raceway. Supernationals Including The Flame & Thunder Jet car Nationals. Four Jet cars were entered in the competition. The idea was to find the quickest two jets over a 1/2 mile and pair them off for a final round. Steve Horn in the SPR "Hellbender" ran 7.32/232 to Malcolm Olleys 9.43/189 in the Pink Panther. Andrew Hurdle then ran 7.28/226 in "The Scorpion" to Mark Woodleys 8.36/205 in the "Vampire". Steve Horn then made it to the final with a 7.15/232, giving him an accumulated 14.53, while Andrew Hurdle ran 7.55/218, giving him 14.83 and the other final place. In the final both cars red lit and with the subsequent non-activation of the timers only the drivers know who won! Dennis Priddle ran a new personal best in an attempt to beat Peter Cranes long-standing E.T. record of 5.97. He ran a 6.02/229 in his fueler. Gary Page took the Funny Car win in the "Panic" Monza with a 7.03/190 while Dave Stone got out of shape and shut off while heading for the centre line. Page had beaten Chris Filsell in the "Satans Sledge" Datsun 6.97/196 to 7.09/203 to make the final. Stone had defeated Owen Hayward in "Houndog" 7.44/186 to 7.26. Top Modified went to the "Meanie Minor" of Richard Wolszek after Sylvia Hauser stalled on the line. This win put Richard on the top of the JWR Top Modified Championship table. In Pro Fuel Bike Bob Webster received a timing slip that read 7.75/150 but failed to come anywhere close to that again on his double engined Kawasaki. Most of his times were nearly a second slower and the seven second run was dismissed as inaccurate. Webster himself refused to claim the title of the first Brit in the sevens and would not collect the prize money on offer for the achievement. Jeff Byne made the final alongside Rod Pallant. Byne defeated Phil Brachtvogels "Quarter Scorcher" 8.68/168 to 11.31/124, and Bob Webster 8.19/173 to 8.84/150 to reach the final. Pallant took his "LA Hooker" Kawasaki to an 8.38/163 solo followed by another solo of 8.72/156 in the semis after Johnny Munn had mechanical problems on Hobbses "Hobbit" and had to shut off. Pallant then had problems of his own in the final when his primary chain tensioner failed leaving Byne to solo for the win with an 8.52/170. Brian Johnson took the Pro Stock win on his 1320cc Kawasaki with a solo 9.31/144. His opponent and team mate Mick Carter suffered a broken brake line prior to the final.
August 28th/29th Long Marston. NDRC Meeting. Four cars entered for the 4th round of the NDRC/Gauloises Top Fuel Championship. Andy Craddock headed qualifying with a 7.22/185 in the 'Frontline Video' car. Tony Boden was at #2 with a 7.49/207 and Doug Bond made #3 with an 8.12/150. Alan Ritmeisters retired from the competiton with transmission problems. Craddock soloed in round one to a 6.85/209, the fastest speed of the meeting, while Boden defeated Bond with a 7.40/206 to an 8.34/155. In the final Craddock took the win with a low E.T. of 6.81/202 to Bodens wild 8.00/204. A flag start had to be used for the final after one of Bodens crew accidently kicked over the lights after the burnouts. Tony Beadle tok the Super Comp win in his slingshot with a 9.55/144 win over Graham Peakes 'Plum Tuckered' at 13.06/97. Dave Mingay met Graham Barrs in the Top Modified final and won with an 11.46/127 to an 11.49/127. Top Bike went to Olly Thatcher with a 10.28/137 win over Jim Balchins 15.56. Mitch Neville ran 12.09/112 to take the Senior Bike win from a 15.25/69 from Simon Glover.
September 3rd Le Mans. France. The Blue Way Dragster Festival. dennis Priddle set anew track record on the 'French 1/8th' 200metre strip. In qualifying he ran 4.211 seconds to set the record. A solo in round one saw him better this with a 4.126. He backed it up in the final with a 4.196/262kph win over Tony Bodens 5.2 to give him both E.T. and speed records. Funny Car was a best of three match race between the alcohol powered 'Blue way' Datsun of Ronnie Picardo and the nitro Citroen of Kent Persson. Persson won all three with a best of 5.004 to Ronnies 5.242. Gerry Andrews and Jim Read were in the four car Pro Comp field. Both went out in the first round to Swedes. Andrews to Torbjorn Strom and Read to Kjell Johansson. Andrews however made it ot the final, after Strom blew his motor, only to lose with a tyre smoking 5.081 to a 4.620. Pip Higham took the Pro Stock Bike Series A title with a 5.873 win over fellow Brit Andy Capper who was using a Higham engine and clocked a 6.189. Sylvia Hauser won Modified Car in another all-Brit final. She beat Alan Newton with a 6.566 to a 7.456. Roy Webb won the Altered class with a 5.872 to Bob Wests 6.273. Pete Woods made his way to the Competition Bike Series B final on his 500cc Triumph after his opponent, Graham Nash, had transmission problems on his Kawasaki Funny Bike. There he met Henk Vink who took the win with a 5.316.
September 18th/19th Long Marston. NDRC Meeting. Andy Craddock secured the 1982 Gauloises/NDRC Top fuel Championship with a win over Doug Bond. Qualifying times were 6.93/213 for Craddocks 'Frontline Video' car, and 8.14/150 for Bonds 'Shoestring' entry. The first round saw a 6.93/213 for Craddock and a 7.91/169 for Bond. In the final Andy smoked the tyres for the full quarter and took the win with an 8.13/196 to Bonds 8.20/175. Super Comp saw Russ Carpenters 'Glacier Grenade' take number one qualifying spot with an 8.29/173 followed by Tony Beadles slingshot. Carpenter made his way to the final by beating Bob Jarretts 'Stripteaser'  8.51/169 to 11.43/121 and Rick Fieldings 'Imagination' 8.36/176 to 10.29/133. On the opposite side of the ladder Bob West in 'Slick Willy' defeated Tony Beadle 9.55/143 to 9.93/138, and a red-lighting John Hunt 9.48/144 to 11.47/120 for his place in the final. This never happened as rain brought an end to proceedings. John Mulligan took the Street Car win with an 18.61/74 to Dave Baldwins 16.61/79. Eamon Hurley gave his HME rotary engined 'Concorde' bike its last ever outing before retiring it to the show circuit. He qualified second in Top Bike with a 10.21. Dave Cross was at number one with a 9.57/137. Hurley and Cross met in the semis and Hurley took the win with a 10.37/119 to Cross' 10.78/106. In the final Hurley met the 740cc 'Tom Foolery' Triumph of Tom Vivian and took the win with a 10.78/122 to a 10.99/125. Senior Bike went to Brian Howell on his 'Darth Vader II' 720 Honda with an 11.44/103 win over the Triumph of Barry Pheonix at 12.51/108. Mark Puddle won the Street Bike eliminator over Alan Jacksons 'Zed One Bee' Kawasaki, 11.40/121 to 11.49/121.
September 19th York Raceway. PDRC Meeting. Three Funny Cars were present for the final full PDRC meeting of the year. Nobby Hills and Owen Hayward made their York debut with the Houndog Dodge Charger. Joining them were Ronnie Picardo with the 'Blue way' Datsun 280 and Tony Boden with the 'Hit Man' Omni. picardo suffered some clutch damage in the pits which put an end to his day. The first race saw Tony Boden fail to find reverse after the burnout leaving Hayward to put in a wild solo run. Boden re-fueled, re-started and put in an out of shape low eight pass. The Houndog had suffered a cracked block after the first run so Boden put in another solo which resulted in a 7.7 second ticket. Other cars suffereing damage were Ian lloyds 'Gonzo The Great' Altered, which dropped a valve during a burnout, and the 'Revel Rebel' Pop of Des Taylor which had rear axle problems. Steve Murty took the clubs wheelie car off into the field after losing control. He returned with a large grin and a large amount of grass hanging off the car. For all class results click here.
September 24th-26th SPR. World Finals. Dennis Priddle qualified at #1 in Top Fuel with a 6.23/225. He had a bye run in the first round and, instead of taking it easy for the next round, stormed through with a 5.99/230, the first five second run in the UK since Peter Cranes 5.97 in 1976.  He narrowly failed to back this up for the record with a 6.10/230 in the next round. The meeting was rained off before the final which was to have been Priddle against Andy Craddock. (Dennis Priddle) For Top Fuel & Funny Car qualifying and elimination ladders click here.
October 30th/31st Long Marston. NDRC Meeting. Saturday afternoon was reserved for run-what-ya-brung and included ex F1 driver and journalist Tiff Needell taking a drive in Russ Carpenters "Glacier Grenade". He was researching for an article in Autosport magazine and he recorded the best numbers of the afternoon, 9.23/157. On Sunday the sixth and final round of the NDRC Gauloises Top Fuel championship took place. There were only two entrants, Dennis Priddles "Insurance In Motion" and Doug Bonds "Shoestring". Priddle took the wins in both races with tyres smoking the whole quarter. The times were 7.67/201 to 7.99/173 and 7.76/222 to 7.86/178. The Sunday eliminations were run as brackets with the fastest eight comp cars/bikes in Bracket One, the next eight fastest in Bracket two and so on. Bob Jarrett took the "Stripteaser' Minivan Altered to number one spot in Bracket One with a 10.99/124. Jarrett made his way to the final by defeating John Chubb 11.16/125 to 12.01/96, and Dave Burfitt, 10.91/126 to 11.42/98. There he met Tom Laffey in his A/Modified Capri who had a solo in round one and beat Dave Chapman in 12.09/133 to 12.93/86 in the semis. The final went to Jarrett who recorded his best numbers of the day with a 10.84/126 to Laffeys 12.73/115. Tom Vivian took his "Tomfoolery" 740cc Triumph to the Bike Bracket One win with a 10.61/131 victory over a troubled Dave Emerson whose Norton recorded a 16.66. Steve Bentley won Senior Bike defeating George Kessack 11.53/117 to 12.39/109. Middle Bike was a best of three between Paul Grosvenors 500cc Triumph and the 398cc Atco of Sam Talbot. Grosvenor won two rounds with times of 13.29/101 and 13.13/99 while Talbot won round two with a 13.54/101.
November 6th/7th Santa Pod Raceway. Firework Spectacular. Dave Page ran the quickest E.T. of the weekend in the "Panic" Funny Car with a 6.61 in a match race with Dave Stones "Stardust II" Mustang. The throttle jammed open on Stones car after a 3/4 track burnout leaving Page on a solo. Chris Filsell and Bill Sherratt paired up for the next race. Sherratt got out of shape before shutting off to a 10.61/90 in the "Cannonball" Plymouth Arrow while Filsell in "Satans Sledge" shook off the line and recorded a tractionless 8.53/170. Next up were Owen Hayward in "Houndog" and Tony Pearson in the "Maiden Warrior" fueler. Pearson pleased the crowds with the events first flame burnout which required the startline crew to extinguish flames where the parachute pack and under-panelling had caught alight. On the run Houndog took the win with an engine destroying 9.88/188 while Pearsons motor died on the line. Steve Horn took the SPR "Hellbender" jet car to to its best ever time of 6.98/225. Two rounds of the Top Modified Challenge were held before the curfew put paid to any chances of a third. Alan O'Connor was having problems with his new 5-Speed liberty transmission in "Als Gasser" and failed to get a run in. Sylvia Hauser ran the best times of the competition. having recently secured the JWR Top Modified in her "Sunoco Dodge" she ran a solo 10.88/138 and defeated Mick Cheley 10.20/128 to 10.74/124. Ash Troop was the first fourth competitor. He lost to Mick Cheley before running a solo 10.75 in his "Madness" Camaro. The second day was a washout. Dennis Priddle and Andy Craddock came out for a match race but the appalling track conditions reduced them to side-by-side burnouts before shutting off.

1983
May 15th Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting.
July 2nd/3rd This years Cannonball event at SPR was sponsored by Budweiser. Gary Page in the Panic Funny Car beat Tony Boden in Hitman in the final. During the break between the funnies, Dennis Priddle debuted his re-bodied fueller as a computer designed wind tunnel tested 'Streamliner', sans rear wing. The creation being the result of an experiment for the BBC Tommorrows World programme. Pitted in an out of competition run against Gerry Andrews in the Hemi Hunter, Dennis suffered tyre shake off the line before hooking hard right onto two wheels narrowly missing the Hemi Hunter. A superb driving job by Dennis had the car straightened up before nearly hitting the armco. Pundits declared the lack of rear wing as the cause, Priddle put it down to clutch settings. Whatever Maggie Philbin (Tomorrows World Presenter) was all suited up to drive the car next! Her drive being postponed Until Dennis had checked the car out with a crack at a full pass........which never came about! (Darren West)
August 7th Blackbushe. Street Machine Summer Nationals
August 27th-29th SPR. Summer Nationals. Barry Donn, debuting the ex- Dave Collis Frenzy D/Comp Altered Firenza, pulled an amazing 9.03 in qualifying! and proceeded into the Super Comp semis with another low nine in round 1. The car then decided to show another side of it's character, with first a very hairy 180 degree spin at the end of the rolling burnout, and then, after the car was re-fired and the race run against Paranoia, as Barry clicked it off and applied the brakes the car bounced up and into the barriers, careering onwards onto it's roof and rolling 2 or 3 times before coming to rest. Barry emerged shaken but uninjured. The car was totalled and Barry never returned! Tony Boden and Allan Herridge held a best of three match race in their nitro Funny Cars. Boden took the first race in his 'Hit Man' Dodge Omni 7.64/184 to 7.82/181. Bootsie took the 'Gladiator' Trans Am to the second win with a 6.75/195 to Bodens 7.46/191. In the third match up Herridge took a solo win as 'Hit Man' had spun a bearing. (Darren West)
August 27th-29th Long Marston. August Bank Holiday Speed Spectacular. 100 competitors entered for this event. Pro Comp was represented by Doug Bond in his 417ci Donovan 'Shoestring' rail and Ronnie Picardos Datsun 280 bodied Funny Car. The pair held two match races on the Monday. In the first Picardo had an oil seal fail while Bond soloed to a tractionless 8.02/179 win. Picardo replaced the seal and came out again to run an 8.48/177. In the second match race Bond took the win again with an 8.02/175 while Picardo lost traction off the line, smoked the tyres, threw two rods through the block, oiled the slicks and spun through 360 degrees before coming to rest against the opposite crash barrier. Super Comp saw Malcolm Beken qualified with a 9.17, breaking his own G Class Dragster track record of 9.84 and defeated Bob West 9.87/135 to 10.32/125 in the first round. West later came out for a solo demonstration run in his recently rebuilt 'Slick Willy' Altered. After a strong launch the car veered towards the centre line at mid-track, crossed lanes taking out the timing lights and flicked onto its roof before rolling end over end. Bob emerged unhurt but the front end of the car was torn off completely and Bobs return to racing was over for the year.  The Super Comp final saw Malcolm Beken, second in the NDRC Points Championship, meet Bob Jarrett, the man who was leading the championship. Beken took the win, and the points lead, in the 'Fusion' rail in 9.86/125 to Jarretts 10.88/120 in 'Stripteaser'. Senior Comp honours went to Dennis Cheredens Vauxhall VX/490 bodied Altered 'Mischief' at 10.57/128 over Frank Bennetts 'Phantasm' Pop left a cherry on the tree. The Top Modified win went to John Stables VW in 12.74/104 to Graham Barrs Pinto in 10.60/134. In the second division Modified bracket Gerry Cookson in 'Super Joker' missed a shift and lost out with a 15.44/74 to Roger Duffield Hardings 15.12/90. (Steve Collins)
September 23rd-25th SPR. World Finals. For Top Fuel and Funny Car qualifying and elimination ladders click here
October 2nd Blackbushe. NDRC Meeting.
November 6th Fireworks Meet. Santa Pod Raceway.
Allan 'Bootsie' Herridge made his last ever run. He was debuting a new Jet Funny Car called 'Midnight Cowboy' which he had built himself. For reasons which still have not been fully explained, the car did a hard left at the top end of the strip, running straight into the crashbarrier. Bootsie was killed instantly. He was an original, an innovator, a hero to many and a very sad loss to the world of Drag Racing. We all miss him.

Also at this meet Nobby Hills and Owen Hayward debuted the latest of their Houndog funny cars in unpainted white base coat. Using the same Hills built chassis as their Houndog 11 the car now carried the only '84 Corvette body in the UK, a 484ci Keith Black motor, 8:71 blower and a "clutchless" Crowerglide transmission. Not actually clutchless of course but the car was the first fuel car in the UK to have no clutch pedal.

Ironically the name of the Stardust Funny Car disappeared this year also. The Stones team, who had carried the name into the eighties with the Mustang version of Stardust, suffered a massive fireball and the car was destroyed. The Stardust name was never used again.

1984
March 31st/April 1st Season Opener. SPR. The two Top Fuel Dragsters of Steve Read (Team Read) and Andy Craddock (Frontline Video) spent the weekend in the pits without a run after a dispute with SPR over run money. In Comp Eliminator Steve Johnsons Motor Mouse took the win with a 8.27/167.2 over Paranoias 9.68/137.7. This meeting saw the UKs first ever Super Gas eliminator, the final going to Sylvia Hauser with a 10.11/135 over Clive Mechealls Corvette roadster with a breakout 9.86/147.7. In Modified Eliminator Tim Cook in his '55 Chevy recorded a 12.02 to take the final win and in Roadster eliminator the victor was Steve Greens Rover powered MK1 Cortina with a 12.91/101.
April 20th-23rd SPR. Easter Nationals.
This event saw the tragic death of Alan Ritmeister

Tony Boden ran a best of 6.27 in the Hitman funny car, a personal, and career, best time. The car featured a new Gene Snow inspired paint job and for the first time Tony had sponsorship to help with the running costs of the operation.

May Santa Pod owner and promotor Roy Phelps announced through Custom Car Magazine that Sammy Miller would be debuting a brand new black Trans Am rocket funny car at the end of may, and that UK funny car driver Wild Bill Sherratt would pilot Sammys Vanishing Point car at the same meeting. It was also announced that there would be a re-structuring of the prize money allocation for fuel funny car drivers who would be paid according to their performance. Running a string of 5.9s would send a racer home £1500 better off, while a string of 6.2s would net £1000 with other amounts decreasing as the E.T.s got slower. Roy also announced that SPR would soon have new toilets!!!
May 5th/7th Long Marston. May Bank Holiday Spectacular.
May 6th/7th SPR. May Day Holiday Meet. Clive Mechaell won the Super Gas final over Sylvia Hauser with a 9.93 to a 10.06. The Team Readspeed blown Daimler dragster Bad Habit took its second win of the season and ran its best yet of 9.3 seconds. There was a best of three match race between the new Houndog Covette Funny Car of Nobby Hills and Tony Bodens Hit Man. Both cars had traction problems but Boden won 2/3 with a best performance of 6.79/210. The second race saw Boden go up in smoke off the line and shut off for the win while Houndog drove into the barrier and scarred the new bodywork.
May 20th Blackbushe. Season Opener
May 20th York Raceway. PDRC Season Opener Challenge
May 26th-28th SPR. 23rd Annual Drag Race.
June 2nd/3rd Long Marston. NDRC Spring Nationals
June 24th York Raceway. PDRC Street Racer Championship.
June 23rd/24th Long Marston. NDRC Transatlantic Drag Bike Challenge. This meeting saw the British debut of US legend Elmer Trett and his Top Fuel Kawasaki. He took the event win against Swedens Stefan Reisten. Henk Vink, with the assistance of Sammy Miller, entertained the crowds with solo passes on his Rocket Bike.
July 7th/8th SPR. The Cannonball. Sammy Miller ran an amazing 3.583/386.26 in the Vanishing Point rocket funny car. This run still stands today as the quickest 1/4 mile pass ever on a dragstrip, anywhere in the world. (Tog) Eight funny cars battled it out on one of the hottest weekends of the year. American Harlan Thompson in the Budwieser backed Dodge Omni won the event with a 6.49 beating Tony Bodens Hitman with a 6.96. Thompson also ran low ET and top speed of the event with a 6.37/223. For all  Funny Car competitors and results click here. John Spuffard made his Funny Car debut in the ex-Komodo Dragon Vega., now re-named 'Showdown'. He only ran two rounds, shutting off with problems before getting into stage on both. Russ Carpenter made his return to the Super Comp class and ran some seven second passes before damaging his Daimler motor on the Sunday. With him out of the way the final was between Tony Merry in 'Stripteaser' and Brian Thomas in 'Paranoia'. Thomas took the win with a 9.64/133 to Merrys 11.05/114. Robin Read took Comp 1 with a 9.65/139 and Bracket 2 went to Paul Cummings. Super Gas saw Clive Mechaell defeat Sylvia Hauser 10.06 to 10.18. In Roadster the win went to the 'Old Yella' Capri of Chris Pegg and Mike Nichols won Production in his Plymouth. (Steve Collins)
July 28th/29th SPR. Summer Nationals. Allan Herridges Alleygator reappeared totally repainted in the Nightline Express service colours of delivery company Lex Wilkinson. After numerous minor ailments the crew got it together for driver Bill Sherratt to run a tyre shaking 6.57/198 pass late on Sunday afternoon. (Darren West)
July 28th/29th Long Marston. NDRC Summer Nationals. In the demonstration classes Andy Craddock drove the 'Frontline Video' fueler to the low E.T. and top speed of the meeting with a 6.99/197. 19 year old Stuart Prior (Son of Roz Prior) was making his first appearance at Long Marston in the 'Solarport' Chevy Pup Funny Car (The ex-Houndog 9). He recorded a 9.08/167. John Spuffard was present with his new Vega Funny Car, the ex-Liz & Ollie 'Komodo Dragon'. Dave Wilson ran a 7.92/163 in the Penthouse sponsored Krypton Pro Comp Rail. In the Super Comp final Dennis Chereden beat Bob Jarrett with a 9.51/147, his best ever E.T and a new track class record. Nigel Lewis won the Senior Comp final with a 12.79 in his Lancia powered rail, to beat the Chrysler powered Chevette of Dave Lomas. Top Modified saw the 'Bionic Beetle' of John Stables take the final win against Steve Cliftons Opel, Stables 12.87/95 beating a quicker 10.70/131. Roger Duffield won the Modified class with a 14.86/94 in his Elan 2000. Richard Fulton ran 13.55/94 in his Firebird to take the Street Car final, runner up was John Mulligan in his Rover powered Triumph Herald.
August 11th/12th Mantorp Park, Sweden. International Meeting. After qualifing with a 6.30 at an unprecedented 248mph, Dennis Priddle went on to record a quickest ever 5.89. He backed this up in the final round with a new European record 5.87/243.
August 12th Blackbushe. 20th Anniversary Of The Drag fests Meeting
August 12th York Raceway. PDRC Northern Jet Nationals
August 25th-27th SPR. Super Nationals including Flame & Thunder Jet Nationals. Dennis Priddle recorded the quickest elapsed time of the competiton cars with a 6.03/217, despite not winning any  of the eliminations. Saturday saw the long awaited match race between Priddle and Andy Craddock. Craddock took the win with a 6.19 to Priddles 6.15. Sunday saw the 'Heart Like A Wheel' Trophy Race between the Top Fuel and Pro Comp cars, which was held over from its original date of May 26th after a rain-off. The trophy was donated by Mainline Pictures, distributor of the film about the life of Shirley Muldowney. Craddocks 'Frontline' fueler had a broken chassis after the previous days race with Priddle. Priddle himself had starter problems and could not stage in the semis against Bill Sherratt in the Lex Wilkinson sponsored fueler. Sherratt took an easy 7.02/135 solo for a place in the final. The other final place went to Steve Read who had beaten the Houndog FC with a 7.13/193 to a 7.17/202. In the final Sherratt ran a 6.48/212 winner to Reads below par 8.51/101. On Monday the 13 car Pro Comp field was reduced to an eight car eliminator with the remaining non-qualifiers being allowed to run in a Pro Drag Eliminator headed by favourite Priddle. Priddle made it through to the final where he met Finn Timo Aartomaa in the ex-Steiner Stolen 'California Charger' Pro Comp FC. Aartomaa had got through the semis when his opponent, Bill Sherratt, had blown his motor in the burnout. In the final Priddle lost his concentration when his visor came loose as he tried to stage, he made a poor start and ran a slowing 8.30/120 while Aartomaa ran a  winning 7.54/165. Pro Comp was a Sweden vs Britain final between Jonny Lagg and Steve Read. In a very close race Read got there first with a 6.94/166 to a 6.95/191. For Pro Comp elimination ladder click here. Sammy Miller was also on hand with the Vanishing Point Rocket FC. He ran a weekend best of 4.80/283. The 'Blue Thunder' jet car honours went to Mark Woodley in the 'Vampire' car with a final time of 7.61/210. Two rounds of the Radio Luxembourg Super Gas Championship were held over the weekend. In the final of the first the win went to Des Taylors 'Revell Rebel' Pop, a 10.08/123 beating the 10.22/131 of Sylvia Hauser. In the second round Sylvia again made the final, this time she won with a 9.95/133 over Dave Wrights 10.67/123 in his Plymouth Roadrunner. (Steve Collins)
August 25th-27th Long Marston. NDRC August Bank Holiday Speed Spectacular. Two Funny Cars were present to put on a show for the crowds. Ronnie Picardo took his 'SuperCat' Jaguar bodied car to low E.T. and top speed of the event at 8.20/165. His opponent, John Spuffard in the 'Competiton Products' 78 Vega, ran a best of 8.33/160. In Super Comp Eliminator Graham Peake took his eleven second G/Altered to a final win, at 11.28/122, over Bob Jarrett in Stripteaser at 10.41/124. In the semi finals Jarrett had run the classes best terminal speed of the weekend at 128mph. For elimination ladder click here.  John Stables took his 'Bionic Beetle' to his third Top Modified title of the NDRC season. He qualified at #1 with a 12.83/92 followed by Steve Cliftons 'Hot Tomato II' Opel and Gerry Cooksons 'Super Joker'. The final was between Stables and Clifton, Stables winning 12.76/82 to 10.90/126. Other final winners included Nigel Lewis 'Blue Moon' slingshot in Senior Comp, 14.14/74 to a red light time of 13.89/67 from Steve Collins Ford powered dragster. In the Modified best of three match up Roger Duffield-Harding took his Elan based 112ci Ford BDA to three straight wins over Roy Farmers Rover powered C-Cab. During qualifying Roy ran a personal best E.T. of 13.93/95. (Steve Collins)
September 16th York Raceway. PDRC Grand Finals
September 15th/16th Long Marston. NDRC Autumn Nationals
September 21st-23rd SPR. World Finals. The eagerly awaited appearance of Shirley Muldowney never happened, she was recovering from injuries in the US. Americans who did make it included Tom Hoover in the Showtime Corvette and Harlan Thompson while Tony Boden had invited twice NHRA Champion Frank Hawley and top tuner Austin Coil to try and get his 'Hitman' FC into the fives. Friday was cold and damp and only a brave few made any runs. Saturdays qualifying was held up by more rain. Later Tom Hoover put in a single qualifying pass, pedalling his way to a low six on the cold strip. Monica Oberg blew the motor of her Top Fueler. Dennis Priddle put in a single pass late in the evening, another low six. On Sunday it rained again. The first round of Funny Car was completed, Harlan Thompson beat Frank Hawley who put a hole in the Hitmans block. The rain put an end to the proceedings. Custom Car magazine dubbed the meeting "The World Sub-Aqua Finals".
September 30th Blackbushe. NDRC. Autumn Finals. I believe this to be the last meeting ever held at this location as the owner, Douggie Arnold, sold the airfield for development in this year. It was now 20 years since the first meeting there. (Stephen Collins)
October 27th/28th Long Marston. NDRC Firework Spectacular
November 3rd/4th SPR. Fireworks Spectacular. Barry sheavills debuted the UKs first ever purpose-built Super Gas car, a 1981 Camaro with an all-glassfibre body and a big block Chevrolet motor. The car ran a best of 10.01. Barry sold it to a customer in Norway.

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