1985 - 1989

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.

March Screamin' Alley Raceway. Manston, Nr Ramsgate. A RWYB event was held at the former RAF site and regular meetings were held over the next two years, with the NDRC becoming involved in 1986. For an interesting and informative article on this venture on Niamh Frances Smith's 'Raceway Hussy" blog click here.
May 4th-6th SPR. Santa Pod debuted their latest, and possibly ugliest, exhibition vehicle. Roaring Thunder was a Funny Car chassis and motor with a scaled down glass fibre replica of a Kenworth Truck body. Wild Bill Sherratt took the driving honours.
May 4th-6th Long Marston. NDRC Season Opener. Jack Valentine was riding his new Pro Stock bike and he won the elimination. He qualified in the top position with a 9.04 and in the semis, he defeated Nick Pepper 9.75 to 9.78. In the final, he met Andrew Capper and beat him 9.24 to 10.17. Barry Potter in Palladin was top qualifier in Top Modified and he won the final defeating the Bionic Beetle of the Stables Brothers 12.64 to a losing 12.87.
May 19th Bitteswell. NDRC Inaugural Meeting. This was the NDRC's first outing at this Leicestershire airfield and it was no surprise that there was little traction. The Funny Cars of John Spuffard and Bob Jarrett both suffered with best times of 8.92 and 8.97. There were three Pro Comp dragsters in attendance; Dave Wilson, Doug Bond and Steve Read with each car making three runs including a qualifier. In Top Gas, Glynn Robinson beat John Davies in the final 10.86 to 11.15. The Super Comp final was contested between John Tebbutt Moonlight Bandit and Brian Thomas in Paranoia and Tebbutt ran 10.76 to win the race as Thomas redlit to another 10.76. There were five cars in Top Modified and the winner in eliminations was John Stables in the Beetle who defeated Bob Wick in the Lil Bug 13.25 to a losing 16.19. There were only three Pro Stock Bikes and they ran a round robin which Mark Clutton won. The winner of Senior Bike was Dave Glover in a two bike field. (Clive Rooms)
May 25th-27th SPR. The 24th annual Big Go. The Saturday was run as a practice with good weather. Sunday was qualifying and began well but by mid-afternoon, it was called off due to rain. Monday was a total washout. (Clive Rooms)
June 8th/9th Long Marston. NDRC Spring Nationals. Pro Comp was a round robin with Doug Bond firstly beating Mike Burt 8.06 to 10.30, and then Mick Picknell in Cockney Rebel 7.65 to 9.59. The Super Gas class was making its debut. Mick Cheley won the round robin. The Top Modified final was between top qualifier Ron Kiddell and the Stables Beetle with Kiddell taking the win. Modified was an eight car field with Cliff Puddle in his Ford Pop running 11.99 to beat Paul Eastbury's circuit car which ran 15.28. Super Comp also had an eight car field with both Robin Read and Steve Johnson in Motor Mouse winning through to the final. Johnson triumphed with 8.99 to Read's off-form 10.73. John Wright was the winner in Senior Comp with an 11.77 pass.
June 8th/9th SPR. Gary's Picnic. Brian Pateman took the final win for the second year running with a 10.61 win over a 10.85 from John Claydon. (Brian Pateman)
June ? Mantorp Park. Sweden. Brits Brian Pateman, Tony Gransden and Les Rickets were competing in Street Class 2. Pateman ran a new personal best of 10.47/127 and took the elimination win. (Brian Pateman)  
June 28th-30th Long Marston.NDRC Transatlantic Drag Bike Race.
July 6th/7th SPR. The Cannonball. An eleven car field battled it out for this years title. Harlan Thompson won for the second year running in a new Budwieser backed Trans Am. Thompson qualified #1 with a 6.23. #2 was Gary Page in Panic at 6.65. After the first round the format was changed to an elimination and Thompson and Page made it to the final. Pages chute shook out at 3/4 track slowing him to a 6.69/170 while Thompson took the win with a 6.50/190. For Funny Car qualifying and elimination ladder click here. In Street Brian Pateman dialled in at 10.47 but broke out of competition with a 10.39. (Brian Pateman)
July 20th/21st Long Marston. NDRC Summer Nationals.
July 27th/28th SPR. Summer Nationals. Qualifying on Saturday was problem free weather-wise but Sunday was rained off and the eliminations were eventually run at the August Supernationals meeting. (Clive Rooms)
August 18th North Weald NDRC Inaugural Meeting at this venue. This event saw Round 6 of the Belco Street Bike Challenge Series, Round 4 of the Eurobike Pro Stock Challenge Series, Round 5 of the NDRC Points Championship and Round 5 of the NDRC Manufacturers Championship. Dennis Priddle and Andy Craddock were the only two competitiors in Top Fuel while Funny Car had 6 entries including John Spuffard in Showdown, Bob Jarrett in Panic and Ronnie Picardo in Supercat. (Bob Jarrett). Dennis Priddle ran the top speed and low E.T. of the meeting with a 7.21/217 taking back-to-back wins against Craddock. Lesley Prior won her semi final against Tony Boden and John Spuffard took a one-sided win over Bob Jarrett at the wheel of Panic. One final that eventually reached a conclusion was Pro Comp when Dave Wilson took the win over a red lighting Doug Bond. The day was also remembered for the spectacular roll involving Ivor Roffey's Cosmic Canary Comp Altered. (Jerry Cookson) Apparently Henk Vink was on hand with his rocket bike and he set a new world record of 6.75 seconds. I can't find any confirmation of this. Can anyone help?
August 24th-26th

SPR. Supernationals.  Pro Mod was won by Dave Mingay in Hellraiser 2 with a 9.47/144 over a 9.58/140 from Sylvia Hauser. In Street Brian Pateman ran a 10.72/125 in his Firebird to take the final win against an 11.41/118 from the Mk1 Zodiac of Les Rickets. (Brian Pateman)

The eliminations for the rained out Summernationals of July 27th/28th were run at this event. Click here for results.

August 24th-26th Long Marston. NDRC August Bank Holiday Speed Spectacular.
September 14th/15th Long Marston. NDRC Autumn Nationals.
September 20th-22nd SPR. World Finals. Bob Jarrett won the funny car class driving the Pages Panic car. For Funny Car Elimination ladder and qualifying click here.
September 28th SPR. The Garys Shack Doorslammer Nationals. This was the first official running of this event as the previous years meeting was not officially recognised. In round one of Pro Modified Mick Cheley took a 9.59/139 win over a 9.70/143 from Dave Mingay. Ralph Hermansson ran 9.47/148 to a 12.84/70 from Bjorn Cronqvist. Jan Waerness progressed with a 9.40/134 over a 15.06/62 from Joran Persaker and Sylvia Hauser ran 9.52/143 to dispose of Magnus Wallin who ran 12.61/108. The semi finals saw Hermansson run a new European record at 9.27/148 but a holeshot from Cheley took the win with a 9.34/140. After a strong run in the previous round Waerness broke leaving Hauser to progress to the final with a 9.52/143. A close final saw Cheley take another holeshot win with a 9.53/140 to a 9.52/141 from Hauser. The Street Class was a 32 car eliminator, possibly the first ever in British Drag Racing. Andy Carter, Brian Huxley, Jimmy Boyle, Steve Rawlings and Steve Smy were among the casualties in the first round. Brian Pateman progressed through the next two rounds with a 10.31 and a 10.35 to make it to the semi finals where he met Per-Kristian Skinne. Here his luck ran out as his 10.42 was no match for a 9.82 from Skinne. Brits Dave Pollen and Tony Granson met in the other semi, Pollen taking the win with a 10.40 to a 10.53. In the final it was Pollen again with a 10.33 to an 11.45 from Skinne. (Brian Pateman)
September 29th Bitteswell, Leicestershire. NDRC Autumn Finals.
October 26th/27th Long Marston. NDRC Firework Special.
November 2nd/3rd Santa Pod. Fireworks Spectacular.The weather was fine for both days but there was a severe frost on Sunday morning. The fuel cars were making exhibition runs on the Saturday evening. Dennis Chereden in the Mischief fueller tried a fire burnout and just sat there for quite a long while getting singed. The FC's of Tony Boden and Bill Sherratt had trouble hooking up on the very cold track. Both Geoff Bosworth and the Page's Panic FC's lost fire. The best run of the evening came from Alan Bates in Houndog, 7.29/195. The fuel cars also struggled on Sunday due to the cold temperature with various drivers experiencing problems. The last run of the day at dusk was also the fastest of the weekend. It was between Alan Bates in Houndog and Bill Sherratt in Cannonball. Houndog took the win in 7.23/207 but Bill Sherratt ran 7.94 at a strong 234 mph. Sammy Miller was present in Vanishing Point but had various problems and didn't make a really good pass either day.
British Drag Racing Association Final Championship Positions 1985 click here
Andy Carter won Street Racer Championship at York. (Andy Carter)


May 3rd-5th Long Marston. NDRC Speed Spectacular. There were around 70-80 competitors for the first meeting of the year at Long Marston. Dennis Chereden didn't have a lot of luck in his TF dragster as he damaged the blower. He then borrowed the blower from Lesley Prior, and popped that as well. Ronnie Picardo was also present in his Supercat FC. Eamon Hurley was testing a new 2 litre rotary engine in his Concorde drag bike. (Clive Rooms)
May 17th York. Open Nationals. 
May24th-26th SPR. Big Go. Alan Bates in Nobby Hills Corvette was credited with a 5.99 second run. The run was dismissed by some that saw it as being a mid-six second run although it is often credited as being the first UK Funny Car five. Tony Boden, in the 'Hit Man' Funny Car was credited with a 6.27/207 in qualifying that was deemed dubious due to gremlins in the timing gear. (Darren West)
May 31st-June 1st Long Marston. NDRC Spring Nationals. 
June 7th/8th North Weald. NDRC Southern Nationals. A few of the big cars were at this second NDRC meeting at North Weald. Dennis Chereden had clutch problems but still went on to run a PB of 195 mph. Lesley Prior broke on the startline. Alan Bates in the JWR Rockney Racer FC came up against Tony Boden in Hitman. Gary Page in Panic was also there. (Clive Rooms)
June 14th/15th SPR. Andy Carter won Garys Picnic Saturday night Elimanations. (Andy Carter)
June 21st/22nd York. Street Machine Street Racer Championships. Entry List. Nick Mann qualified at number one of fourteen competitors in the Street Racer Championships with an 11.68 from his Rover V8 powered Morris Minor. Rob Houlston took his 429ci Anglia to number two with an 11.87. They were followed by Andy Carter's 469ci Pop (12.03) and the Corvette of Frank Mason at number four. It was these four cars that made their way to the semi finals where Mason stalled as the tree ran, handing the win to Houlston with a 12.30/112. In the other pair Mann went straight into stage as Carter was burning out. Carter made the line just in time but his 12.25/119 wasn't enough to beat Mann's 11.65. In the final it was Mann who took the win with an 11.82 to a quicker 11.76 from Houlston. John yardley ran a 12.91 to take the non-V8 trophy in his Marcos Marauder when his opponent, George Leitch's Lotus 7 pulled a red. In Pro Modified the only two competitors, Alan Flavell's Pop and Kenny Coleman's Maverick, managed one race before Flavell blew his engine. Coleman took the win at 10.33. Coleman was also running in Super Gas in a best of three against the Mustang of Nigel Carter. Coleman took all three wins with consistent times and speeds of 10.45/129, 10.24/129 and 10.41/123. In Top Comp The Phase III Dragster of Richard Lyon qualified at number one with an 11.13. He made his way to the final by beating the Camaro Altered of Phil Forth in the semis, 11.31 to 11.80. His opponet in the final was the Toyota Corolla of Brian Huxley who defeated Steve Heald's Dragster 11.17 to 11.75. Lyon took the final with an 11.07/116 over an 11.46/120 from Huxley. Senior Comp was won by the Highway Child Firebird of Andy Wright, who had qualified at number one and run a 12.34 in the semis to defeat the Mustang of Brian Peach. The final was a 12.42/101 win for Wright against a 12.59/101 from the Mighty Midget of Martin Cowell. In Middle Comp Brian Lewis' Buick Skyhawk dominated in a round robin with the Trans Am of Gary Kemp and the replica Jeep of Mike Fletcher. Lewis  won all three rounds with times of 14.05, 14.62 and 14.02. Jerry Smith won Junior Comp in his Plymouth. Having defeated Peter Snowball's Cortina in the semis, 15.22 to 15.55, he took the final against the Trans Am of Dave Aspinall with a 15.05/87. Peter Snowball was also running in the Super Street Eliminator, which had a twelve car field. He led qualifying with a 12.90 and made it as far as the semi finals where he lost out to Rob Houlston's Anglia 13.41 to 13.46. The final went to Martin Cowell with a 12.73 after Houlston broke out. Truck racing was a regular feature at York and in the Super Truck class Mel Bacon took his T45 Grand Prix racing truck to a win over team mate Dave Sray in the semis, 18.41/75 to 19.50/71. He then beat the racing ERF of Eddy Howarth in the final with a 19.59/75. The Seddon Atkinson of Jack Gould took the victory in Super Street Truck by virtue of running the quickest ET (20.34) in a round robin with Eddy Howarth's ERF and Paul Scase's Ford Cargo. Each competitor took one win in the handicapped rounds. Top Bike was a best of three between Colin Wilson and Lee Marsden. Marsden's Suzuki took all three rounds, 10.64 to 10.58, 10.40 to 10.28 and 10.24 to 10.24. Another round robin decided the Super Street Bike class. Ian Lyall, Andy Clegg and Martin Bootland, all riding Kawasaki's, each won a round and so Lyall took the title with the fastest ET of 11.09. Lyall also took the Senior Bike title with three wins of 11.50, 11.16 and 11.11 against Dave Smith, Andy Clegg and Martin Bootland in a four bike round robin. Bootland was awarded runner-up with two wins. Derek Atkinson took his Paradise Triumph to three wins against Ashley Bull to claim the Middle Bike trophy. He ran times of 12.00, 12.41 and 12.21.
June 27th-29th Long Marston. International Drag Bike Meeting.
July 5th/6th SPR. The Cannonball. Rain took its toll on the proceedings and Saturday was washed out. The rules were changed to an elimination format on the Sunday with the four quickest of eight cars from a single frantic qualifier going into an elimination. Alan Bates ran the quickest for #1 spot with a 6.27 in the Houndog Corvette but broke in the process. Bill Sherratt made #2 with a 6.35 in the 'Cannonball' car and #3 was Tom Hoover with a 6.35/216.40. #4 was Andy Craddock but he broke on his 6.47 run and #5, Tony Boden also broke on a 6.76. This meant that Rune Fjeld (6.79) and Dave Page (6.94) qualified at 6 and 7 respectively but made it into the four car field! Also among the casualties were John Spuffard and Harlan Thompson who both failed to qualify with breakages. The first semi final saw Rune Fjeld beat Bill Sherratt 6.64/212.7 to 6.90 while the second saw Tom Hoover beat Dave Page 6.31/221.7 to 6.80. In the final Fjeld took the win with a 6.32/220.3 over Hoover. (Chris Dawson)
July 19th/20th Long Marston. Summer Nationals.
August 2nd/3rd North Weald. NDRC Drag Fests. 
August 9th Hockenheim, Germany. UK driver Tony Boden suffered a serious fire in his 'Hit Man' Funny Car. The resulting loss of control saw the car go airbourne before hitting a solid retaining wall. Tony sustained major injuries and serious burns. He died in hospital almost a week later.
August 23rd-25th Long Marston. August Bank Holiday Speed Spectacular. 
September 19th-21st SPR. World Finals.
Mark Woodley was tragically killed in a top end crash while driving the Hellbender jet dragster. The car took a hard left into the crash barrier in a very similar way to the accident that killed Allan Herridge three years earlier. This turned out to be the last side-by-side jet car race in Britain.

(Mark Coles & Tog)

Lee Anders Hasslestrom ran a 5.99/235 in the first round of the Funny Car eliminations. This is considered by many to be the first five second funny car run in the UK. (Mark Coles) Five Top Fuelers and three Funny Cars were present. The two classes ran together for qualifying and the first rounds, and then had seperate semis and finals. The meeting was abandoned however, due to rain, before the finals could be run. In qualifying Monica Oberg set new UK Top Fuel E.T. and speed records with a 5.82/266 run while Tom Hoover made #2 spot in the Priddle fueler with a 5.84. For qualifying and elimination ladders click here. Sammy Miller was present with his Vanishing Point Trans Am Rocket Car, and put in some four second runs. John Spuffard took a turn in Bill Sherratts Cannonball, the first time he had driven a Funny Car since his Challenger bodied car had burnt to the ground in August. In Pro Comp Steve Read had made it to the final before the meeting was abandoned. He beat Tony Bryntesson in the semis. 

October 4th/5th SPR. Garys Shack Doorslammer Nationals.  In Pro Mod Jimmy Karlsson took the final win after Graham Barrs broke during his burnout. In a 32 car Super Street eliminator Brian Pateman ran 10.08 to take the final win against a quicker 9.80/156 from Lennart Olsson. (Brian Pateman)
October 18th/19th SPR. Street Machine Ultimate Street Car Weekend
November 1st/2nd SPR. Fireworks Meeting. Saturday was very wet with gale force winds and nothing ran up the quarter mile. Various stunts and show cars entertained the crowd. On the Sunday, there was a late start but it was very cold. Jack Valentine won Pro Stock Bike beating Steve Watson 8.92/143 to 9.31/146. Competition Bike was won by Phil Brachtvogel on Quarter Scorcher beating Paul Willis 7.79/166 as Willis virtually lost power on the startline. Modified was a best of three between Ron Kiddell and Dave Mingay but Hellraiser II of Mingay broke leaving Kiddell to take two solo wins. The Super Gas final was between Richard Eaton in Quick Draw and Dave Wright with Eaton taking the win 10.16/116 to a losing 10.48/128. Jeff Bosworth in the Cannonball FC was putting down long smoky burnouts. Gary Page in the Panic FC made a couple of passes; 6.44/217 and 6.74/206.


April 18th-20th SPR. Easter Nationals.Paul Willis was the winner in Funny Bike. He beat Barry Eastman 9.74 to a troubled 13.34. Paul Rose beat Nick Hatton with a 10.12/132 to a smoky 12.8. In the final, Rose ran 10.15/137 but was beaten by Willis's 8.77/155. Mark Wanstall took the win in Comp Bike beating Nigel Brooks 9.90/133 to 10.04/126. In the semis in Pro Stock Bike, Mick Beaumont beat John Clift 9.36 to 9.60. In the other semi, Jon Morton took the win over Len Paget 9.24/140 to 9.50/142. The final was an easy win for Beaumont in 9.32/143 as Morton snapped his chain. The Super Gas final was between Richard Eaton and Mick Cheley and it was a close race which Cheley won 10.03/114 to 10.16/120. In Modified Ron Kiddell overcame Dave Mingay's Hellraiser and then in the other semi, Graham Barrs gave chase and overtook Barrie Potter's Palladin. In the final, Barrs Pinto caught the Firenza of Kiddell and took the win 9.66/139 to 11.23/121. In Pro Comp, Steve Read took the win over Dick Cruse in the Stones Starliner 6.67/206 to 7.86/171. Bjorn Ardin then easily beat Mike Burt in Iron Horse, 6.75/174 to 10.98/99. The final was a win for Read as Ardin banged the blower. In Funny Car, Rune Fjeld beat fellow Norwegian Ragnar Nordli with a close to the barrier 6.25/179 to a smoky 10.32/158. The other semi was between Bill Sherratt and Gary Page. Sherratt wheelied off the line and ended up in front of Page who had to shut it off to avoid a collision. Page then nailed it to 7.20/192 as Sherratt coasted through. Rune Fjeld was unable to make the final as he had damaged the crank so Sherratt came back in. Unfortunately, both Page and Sherratt had staging difficulties and neither received times but Sherratt was deemed the winner. (Clive Rooms)
May 2nd-4th

SPR. Labour Day Nationals.This was the third running of the Labour Day Nationals and was held under threatening weather which kept the attendance down. There was also quite a small entry of competitors. The Pro Comp and Fuel classes were combined due to depleted fields. Steve Read ran 6.63/209 to down Dave Hartshorne with 8.69/164. Geoff Bosworth on the Cannonball FC went the long way round with 8.10/137 to down Ragnor Nordli with 8.40/112. Gary Page then ran 6.66/222. The third place winner was Dave Hartshorne who took the win over Geoff Bosworth as the motor in Cannonball let go in a big way. Gary Page was the winner of the final with 6.70/213 beating Steve Read who had blower belt problems on his 8.23/102 run. In Modified, Ron Kiddell took out Richard Eaton and Graham Barrs had a bye win. In the final, the clutch expired on Kiddell's car handing the win to Barrs Neon Star Pinto which ran 9.65/140. Reg Butcher was the winner in Econo when his Jag Topolino recorded 11.64/114 in the final to the 11.47/112 run of Steve Young. The Sportsman class was won by Ivan Birch who ran 11.24/116 to defeat Dave Burfitt's Boss Cat in the final who red lit to an 11.17/118. In the Super Eliminator first round, Geoff Martin won on a bye, Steve Warner beat Brian Thomas, Wayne Saunders defeated Barry Sheavills and John Powis took out Barry Giles. The semis saw Saunders in his Animal altered run a PB 9.29/131 to defeat the 9.96/131 of Powis. Then Steve Warner took the win over Geoff Martin 10.22 to a losing 10.41. The final was a win for Saunders in his debut meeting running 9.41/133 to a losing 10.30/134 of Warner. Funny Bike was a best of four match race between Barry Eastman and Paul Willis and it ended two apiece. Sportsman Bike winner was Len Paget who beat Andy Lambert in the final 11.04/112 to 10.87/130 which dipped under the 10.90 index. The Comp Bike final was between the Kawaski of Jules Boag and Ray Law on his double Triumph. It was a win for Boag in 9.97/129 to a losing 10.49/137. In Pro Stock Bike, Jack Valentine defeated Mark Clutton 8.78/147 to 9.02/148 and then Len Paget broke handing the win to Mick Beaumont. Valentine went 8.88/146 in the final to defeat Beaumont. (Clive Rooms)

May 2nd-4th Long Marston. NDRC. May Bank Holiday Speed Spectacular. Five cars were entered in the Super Modified elimination. Dave Mingay was the quickest qualifier with 9.34/155. No 2 was Dave Warne 9.52/135. He was followed by Mick Cheley 9.57/139, Tom Laffey 9.72/142 and Kenny Coleman 10.40/133. The first three qualifiers had bye runs into the semi-finals. Kenny Coleman took a solo win as Laffey had to shut-off with no oil pressure. In the first semi, Cheley pulled a big holeshot and held on to take the win in 9.55/139 to 9.29/154. The second semi winner was Dave Warne beating Kenny Coleman 9.59/139 to 10.44/133. Mick Cheley won the final as Dave Warne got out of shape. The times were 9.44/142 to 11.77/ns. (Clive Rooms)
May 9th/10th York. Open Challenge.The Open Nationals weather was chilly but dry. Super Comp was a round robin which Richard Lyon driving the Phase III dragster won with three wins. Ian Lloyd in Gonzo the Great was runner-up with two wins. The other two racers were Phil Forth and Chris Johnson. In the Super Gas elimination final, Des Taylor took a solo win as Dave Wright couldn't make the call with a flat slick. Comp 1 was a round robin between Barrie Potter's Elan, Julian Henthorne's dragster and Dave Peasant's Top Gun Manta. Potter was the winner with two wins. Roadster was a field of 24 racers which resulted in Brian Peach winning the final in 11.06/121 over Steve Green who broke out with 11.73/114. Steve Green had better luck in the John Woolfe Racing Rover V8 elimination as he ran 11.87/117 to defeat Phil Herrick's 12.92/112 in the final. Super Street winner was Tim Holmes in his Dodge Coronet who beat Daz Edwards in his Low Profile Mustang in the final. Mick Bettison was the winner in Street. Funny Bike was a round robin and the cool conditions were not conducive to lots of traction. Phil Blann took the win on his 1075cc Kawasaki with three wins. Paul Willis was runner-up. Top Bike was a best of three between Ian Lyall and Phil Blann. Blann took this win as well with two victories to one. Senior Bike had eight riders and the final was between Dave Smith's Kawasaki and Phil Hearnden's Suzuki which the Suzuki won in 11.02/131 to 11.39/119. (Clive Rooms)
May 23rd-25th SPR. Big Go. Two new Fuel Altereds made their debut at this meeting. The Draper's Ford Model T, with 534ci Keith Black power began with a 9.56 shakedown pass, followed by an 8.94/158. Also running a T Body was John Clayton's Well Mental which ran a 9.42/142 after an earlier wild shakedown half pass. The Funny Cars of Geoff Bosworth, in the Cannonball, and Gary Page, in Panic, were the only two present to contest the Heart Like A Wheel trophy. Both cars had problems. Panic suffered an engine seizure and The Cannonball had handling problems. In a four car Super Gas field Richard Eaton's Quick Draw Plymouth too the final win with a 10.076/119 to a 10.89/109 from the Chevrolet powered Maverick of Ken Coleman. Eaton had defeated John Chabik's Capri in the semis with a 10.07/120 after Chabik was disqualified after crossing the centre line. Coleman won his semi with a 10.97/132 against a personal best of 10.12/131 from Dave Wright. Graham Barrs Neon Star Pinto and Ron Kiddell's Lotus powered Firenza ran a best of three match for the Modified title. Barrs took the first race with a 9.45/138 against a troubled 19.40/37 from Kiddell. Round Two saw another victory for Barrs with a 9.53/137 as Kiddell suffered more problems. The third round was a solo for Barrs, resulting in a 9.73/133. The Sportsman Eliminator semis saw the 383ci Chrysler powered Marina of Rob Batten run a 10.87/122, followed by a 10.66/123 in the final against 10.61/127 from Lyndon Thompson. Super Eliminator and Econo Eliminator were won by Andy jackson and Steph Milam respectively.
June 6th/7th North Weald. Southern Nationals. This would turn out to be the last meeting organised by the NDRC as it would go under in a couple of weeks time. Conditions were dreadful on the Saturday with heavy showers and 40-50 mph headwinds. Some qualifying runs were made. In Super Modified, top of the pile was Dave Warne with 9.33/154, followed by Dave Mingay 9.49/147, Mick Cheley 9.50/133, Dave Collis 10.78/136 and Tom Laffey 10.86/123. The top three qualifiers all had bye runs in the first round of eliminations with Dave Warne running 9.32/150, Dave Mingay 9.35/152 and Cheley 9.60/139. The only race of the round saw Collis take the win in 10.46/142 to Laffey's misfiring 11.38/105. Mingay took the semi-final win over Collis 9.43/151 to 10.34/144. In the other semi, Dave Warnes car got out of shape allowing Cheley to take the win 9.59/139 to a losing 10.22/112. In the final, Mingay tripped the finish line beam first in 9.42/147 to take the win with Cheley close behind in 9.56/139. (Clive Rooms)
June 21st York. Street Machine Street Racer Championships
June 22nd After years of mounting debts, the NDRC finally ceased to exist and was replaced by the National Drag Racing Association which was cobbled together by some of the old NDRC membership. In the May 1987 issue of Drag Racing News, it was mentioned that NDRC Chairman Alan Wigmore had resigned in an effort to disassociate himself from some of the dealings the NDRC had been involved with. Due to a debt owed to the RAC, they had refused to issue a race permit for the May Day Long Marston meeting. The RAC would not deal with NDRC Promotor Keith Parker, so Alan Wigmore sacked him in a bid to gain a licence. A licence was issued at the eleventh hour. The Long Marston landowner was also owed a lot of money and had blocked off the track with rubble. He did remove it all when it was agreed that he could take all the gate entrance money. An EGM was held at the track and Alan Wigmore's resignation letter was read out. Keith Parker was then elected back as Promotor and also made Vice Chairman! (Clive Rooms)
June 27th/28th SPR. The Cannonball. Nine Funny Cars entered this year. Harlan Thompson, Rune Fjeld, Lee Anders Hasselstrom, Tom Hoover, Geoff Bosworth, Bjorn Ardin, Gary Page, Alan Bates and Lesley Prior. Americans Harlan Thompson and Tom Hoover made it through to the final with a string of low six second runs, Hoover only just making it after Hasselstrom ran a troubled 11.90sec. run in the last round. Thompson ran 6.05/228 to take the win over Hoovers 6.29/202. (Chris Dawson)
July 25th/26th SPR. Summer Nationals. There were some showers on Saturday, but Sunday was bright and warm. Sportsman Bike winner was Andy Lambert beating Paul Brindley in the final. The Super Street Bike final was between Bill Hunter and Steve Burns which Hunter took 9.64/151 to 10.39/142. There were only three bikes in Pro Stock and Tony Mills ran a 9.30 bye and then Mick Beaumont beat Steve Watson. In the final Mills ran a PB 9.00/145 to defeat Beaumont. Funny Bike final was between Paul Willis and Alan Jeffreys and an 8.10/160 from Willis was too much for Jeffries 8.86/137. Mark Wanstall was the winner of Comp Bike in 10.18/135 to the 10.26/135 of Martin Willimot. On four wheels, the Rover V8 final was between Steve Green's Cortina and the Midget of Martin Cowell. A 10.96/123 from Green secured the win over the 12.98/107 from Cowell. The winner of Super Street went to newcomer Jeff Manni who defeated Phil Englefield in the final with 11.32/123 to 11.49/115. In the semi-finals of Super Gas, Richard Eaton beat Nigel Carter and then Clive Mechaell defeated Dave Collis. A 10.08/138 from Mechaell was just enough to secure the final round victory over Eaton's similar 10.08/135. In Modified, Graham Barrs soloed when Tom Laffey blew off the line and then Ron Kiddell beat Alan Collins. The final went to Barrs in 9.58/141 to Kiddell's 11.61/127. Dave Wilkinson was the winner of the Super Eliminator. He first beat John Gibbons with 8.64/156 and then an 8.65/156 to take out John Powis. In the final, an 8.65/156 drove by Steve Warner's 10.65/125. Pro Drag was a mixture of Fuel Altereds and Pro Comp cars. Craig Lowes beat a red lighting Lesley Prior. John Claydon had to shut-off his altered after the burnout with oil problems. Charlie Draper ran 7.82/187 which was too strong for the 8.03/156 run of Dave Hartshorne. In the final, Draper had the lead until near the finish line when he got too close to the centre line and had to click it off allowing Lowes to take his first ever win in 8.78/176. (Clive Rooms)
August 29th-31st Long Marston. Supernationals
August 29th-31st SPR. The Sun Super Nationals. Sportsman Bike was a six bike field and the final was between Len Paget and Andy Lambert. Lambert took it with 10.99/121 as Paget went too quick with a 10.89/107 on a 10.90 index. Colin Rule won Super Street Bike beating Chris Hall in the final 9.93/NS to 10.09/147. Street Bike was a best of three between Andy Lambert and Andrew Fyfe which Lambert won 2-0. In Pro Stock first round, Jack Valentine took the win over Alan Ward 8.79 to 9.22, Jon Morton beat Andy Capper 9.46 to 9.57, Tony Mills won over Nick Pepper 9.08 to 9.13 and Mike Beaumont took it over Len Paget 9.07 to 9.51. Valentine beat Morton in the semis 8.99/149 to 9.48/139 and Mills took a holeshot win over Beaumont 9.06/145 to 9.12/144. The final was a good race with Valentine getting there first in 8.85/148 to the 9.16/146 of Mills. The final of Comp Bike was between the Triumph double of Ray Law and Brian Simpson. Law got there first in 9.54/112 to the 9.86/136 of Simpson. In Funny Bike, Paul Willis red lit handing the win to Chris Hampson and Alan Jeffreys had an easy win as Nigel Hatton broke. In the final, Jeffreys ran 7.86/171 as Hampson smoked off the line. Super Street car was a best of three between Keith Boiling in his Camaro and Phil Englefield's Chrysler powered Ford 5 window coupe. Boiling won 2-1. In Modified, Ron Kiddell ran a 10.61/130 bye and Graham Barrs defeated Alan Collins 9.43/143 to 13.80/99. It was a final round win for Kiddell's Firenza in 10.53/130 to the unsuccessful chase of 9.37/143 from Barrs. In Super Gas, Clive Mechaell beat Richard Eaton and Geof Hauser in his class debut was too quick for John Chabik. Mechaell came up with a 9.96/135 to defeat Hauser's 9.94/NS in the final. Barry Giles took the win light in the Super Eliminator with a 9.70/137 pass over the 9.90/136 from Geoff Martin's Reliant altered. There was a best of three alky match race between visiting American Rick Henkelman and Swede Peter Lantz, neither of who qualified for the Pro Drag elimination. Lantz took it 2-1. Pro Drag was again a mixture of Fuel and Pro Comp cars. Gary Page ran a bye 6.97/166 and then second visiting US racer Hans Kuesel Tempo alky FC beat Robin Read 6.95/209 to 7.29/NS. Craig Lowes ran 7.62/187 to beat Charlie Draper who crossed the centre line. Steve Read defeated Dick Cruse who snapped a blower belt. In the first semi, Steve Read took the win over Gary Page and then Kuesel ran 6.61/212 to beat Lowes. It was a final round win for Kuesel in 6.78/194 to Steve Read's 6.97/199. (Clive Rooms)
September 13th/14th

North Weald. This meeting was organised by the British Drag Racing Association after the demise of the NDRC a couple of months earlier. Saturday was almost a complete washout and the weather on Sunday was also threatening but all eliminations were run using emergency qualifying times in some cases. Pro Drag featured four cars and in the first semi the Read brothers came up against each other. Steve smoked his dragster off the line and let Robin through to take the win in 8.11/171 to 8.16/193. In the other semi, Gary Page easily beat an up in smoke Dick Cruse 7.65/176 to 10.50/71. In the final Robin Read broke a rocker shaft handing the win to Gary Page who ran 7.58/172. Lyndon Thomson was the winner of Super Eliminator, he beat John Tebbutt in the final 10.88/126 to 10.77/118.  The Sportsman Eliminator final was contested between Mark Riches in the Five Alive altered and Dave Beensen in his Topolino. It was a win for Riches 11.66/95 to 12.05/101.  Super Street was a best of three between Paul Englefield's Model A with Tony Merry driving and Colin Taylor in Starlight. It was one win each going into the third joust, in a tight race, Taylor just got there first in 11.14/112 to 11.26/116.  On two wheels the Competition Bike final was between Alan Ward and John Cruttenden and Ward was the winner in 9.53/141 as Cruttenden ran a troubled 12 second pass. Funny Bike was a best of three between Paul Willis and Barry Eastman on Tokyo Express. Eastman took the first race but had serious engine problems while slowing down and he was done for the day. The winner of Sportsman Bike was Andy Lambert who beat Ian Wood on a holeshot 12.92/94 to 12.72/104. (Clive Rooms)

September 25th-27th SPR.  World Finals. The lone Top Fuel entry of Norweigan Ludwig Bjornstad ran a fireballing 5.95/221 against the Corvette of Tom Hoover. Hoover claimed "I saw he was going to blow so I hit the chute early 'n' watched -it was a good run". Six Funny Cars were present including Hoover. Lee Anders Hasselstrom was #1 qualifier at 6.20/216 but broke and was unable to run in eliminations. Rune Fjeld, who qualified at #4 with a 6.61/224, also broke and was unable to make the eliminations. This meant that  #2 Harlan Thompson (6.26/235) and #3 Gary Page (6.53/220) were joined in competition by previous non-qualifiers Tom Hoover (6.64/183) and Ragnor Nordli(8.28/166). Thompson beat Hoover with a 6.10/231, the best FC time of the meeting, and Page beat Nordli with a 6.34/214 but broke in the process. This let Ragnor Nordli back in to face Thompson in the final. Thompson won with a 6.34/210. (Chris Dawson)
October 24th-25th

Long Marston. The highlight of the meeting was on the Sunday when Rod Pallant on his LA Hooker TF Bike blasted out a 7.88/216 run. One incident of the weekend was when Frank Griffin rolled his Pop at the top end. Amazingly, Frank was only shaken and the car was just dented and still driveable! (Clive Rooms)


February 27th Bob Phelps died. Bob and his son Roy (SPR owner for 25 years), built most of the fuel cars that ran at Santa Pod in the 60s, 70s and 80s under the guise of Fibre Glass Repairs at the location of Santa Pods head office. He was buried in Bromley, Kent on 11th March.
Long Marston dragstrip was re-named and became Avon Park.
April 1st-4th SPR Easter International. A Pro Drag field was run at this meeting, with a mix of alcohol & nitro Dragsters and Funny Cars. Qualifying top was Dick Cruse in the Stones Starliner rail, with 6.65/199, next up was Bjorn Ardin with 6.83/211. 3rd Steve Read with 7.39/202 then John Spuffard at 7.45/196. Alan Bates ran against Robin Read in a qualifying dual, Bates in the Lowes/Hills rail running nitro, resulting in Bates getting to the line first with a 7.61 over Robin Reads 7.72. In the final of Pro Drag Bjorn Ardin ran 6.61/212 to defeat Steve Reads 7.09/191. Two Fuel Fc's were match racing at the event. Harlan Thompson and Rune Fjeld taking a win a piece.Race 1- Fjelds 6.30/184 early shutoff defeated Harlans 6.75. In race 2 Thompson got it together with a 5.93 while Fjeld shut off. Phil Brachtvogel was testing his fuel bike at the meet and ran a best of 7.67/167. For all class results click here (Darren West)
 April 30th-May 2nd SPR. European Drag Racing Grand Prix. Barry Sheavills made his first appearance in Pro Comp. (Mark Coles) In Funny Car, John Niedowdz, a recent graduate of the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School in Florida, was driving Cannonball. He ran 7.02/191 to easily beat the 11.31 of John Spuffard whose Showdown car was not firing on all eight. Then Harlan Thompson faced Rune Fjeld, but Thompson had problems with his reverser leaving Fjeld to solo to 6.16/214. In Pro Comp, Peter Lantz ran a 6.79/198 bye. Bjorn Ardin took an easy win over Wayne Saunders in Animal with 6.96/204 to the 8.34 of Saunders. Steve Read red lit against Krister Johansson, and then Dick Cruse ran a 7 dead against the 9.73/138 from Barry Sheavills. In the semis, Ardin took out Lantz with a 6.82/176 to the losing 6.85/195 of the dragster. Johansson then threw away any chance he had of beating Cruse by red lighting. Cruse ran 6.96/167. In the final, it was the Starliner rail of Cruse that crossed the stripe first in 7.01/166 to the 7.11/157 of Ardin's Trans Am. The winner of Super Stock was new driver Julian Bienek who beat Steve Best, 11.18/119 to 11.15/119. Dave Grabham emerged the winner of Econo as he put down a 12.15/107 in the final to overcome the 14.14/80 of Craig Lewis in his Jag powered Topolino altered. Super Eliminator had first round wins for John Powis over Brian Thomas, John Tebbutt over Steve Warner, Geof Martin over Martin Tyman and Pete Borowick over Barry Giles. Tebbutt then took a semi-final win over Powis, a 9.59/138 beating the 10.29/129 of Powis. Borowick then red lit handing the win to Martin. It was a win for Martin in the Oxford Builder in the final running 10.07/130 to the 9.56/137 of Tebbutt. In Pro Modified, there were first round wins for Tim Hines 10.38/128 to the losing 10.90/149 of Geof Hauser, Mick Cheley 9.25 over Richard Eaton's 10.05, Dave Mingay beat Doug Gray 9.24 to 10.21 and John Everitt beat Dave Pollen 9.68 to 10.70. In the semis, Cheley thrashed Hines 9.14/141 to 10.29/136, and then Mingay saw off Everitt 9.17/150 to 9.58/143. In the final, Mingay got to the end first, but the problem was, he had red lit so automatically handing the win to Cheley who had run 9.31/136. Sportsman bike had a 10.90 breakout, and in the final, Sean Biddlecombe ran 10.96/121 to defeat the 11.22/123 of Michael Lee. John Messenger won Super Street beating Brian Emery in the final 9.79/138 to 9.89/149 lose out. In Competition bike, Mark Wanstall ran 9.58/138 to overcome the 11.13/131 of Bob Brooks. Then Terry Fisher defeated Andy Brewster 9.71/148 to 10.51/143. Wanstall emerged the winner in the final running 9.49/140 to the losing 9.50/140 of Fisher. In Funny Bike, both Paul Willis and Dave Cross had bye runs, and then Neil Knight took out Nigel Cheal 9.56 to 10.57. Graham Nash beat Martin Peck 8.57/155 to 9.42/146. In the first semi, Nash broke allowing Willis to take an easy win, and then Cross took the decision over Knight 9.54/146 to a losing 9.15/137. Paul Willis won the final with an 8.40/163 to the losing 8.60/149 of Dave Cross. (Clive Rooms)
May 8th York Raceway. International Open Challenge. Heavy drizzle and dark skies greeted the first International Meeting to be held there, the main interest being a round of the European Pro Stock Bike Championship. The weather let up at about 1:30pm and some frantic qualifying took place over the eighth mile. Jack Valentine was #1 qualifier in Pro Stock Bike with a 5.62, second was John Clift with 5.64. Dutchman Alfred Balm had the bump spot with a 6.40. Paul Willis was top of the heap in Funny Bike with a 5.50, bump was Mick Fancy with 6.20. Alan Flavell in the 'Pop Draggin' Pop, re-painted pink and now named 'Fatal Attraction' was top qualifier in Super Gas.Steve Green ran a 7.92 in his Cortina for #1 spot in Rover. The rain then returned and closed the proceedings. (Darren West)
May 28th/29th SPR. Fosters Lager Drag Meeting. Poor weather, a low turnout, and a small crowd left what was formerly known as the 'Big Go', Santa Pods longest running meeting, a shadow of its former self. Virtually the whole of Sunday was washed out, leaving an emergency qualifying session on the Monday. The Pro Drag class saw the two quickest cars meet for the final. Steve Read defeated Gerry Andrews in 'Hemi Hunter' 7.00/197 to 7.12/178. The other qualifiers were John Niedowitz in the Cannonball at 7.22/181, John Spuffard in 'Showdown' at 8.24/169 and Brian Cross at 10.77/165. Phil Brachtvogel was the only competitor in Top Fuel Bike and put in a best of 7.86/163. For the results of the completed classes  click here. (Darren West)
June 12th Long Marston Real Steel Nationals. This was the third round of the Pro Modified championship. In the first round, Dave Mingay beat Richard Eaton 8.93/160 to 9.48/146, Dave Warne defeated Phil Englefield 8.93/165 to 10.37/132, John Everitt took an unopposed win over Graham Barrs who broke his transmission linkage and Tim Hines beat a wheelstanding Mick Cheley 10.01/130 to 10.50/160. In the first semi, Mingay won with a 9.36/156 to the losing 9.57/160 from Warne. Then Everitt ran 9.55/154 to trailer Hines with 10.09/133. Mingay took his second win of the series with 9.24/124 as Everitt trailed with 9.52/146. (Clive Rooms)
June 18th/19th York Raceway. Performance Unlimited/Street Machine Street Racer Championship. The long running competition to find the UKs quickest car on treaded tyres was the main feature of the two day event. As always with this event with the chase for the £1000, controversy was never far away! The first round had a series of bye's and two actual races- Brian huxley in the 'Can Do 2' Toyota Corolla, 12.71/120 def Peter Snowball 14.43/93. Bill Brown Rover Minor 13.70/100 def Frank Mason Turbo Corvette 13.34/93. Round 2-Top Qualifier, BobSmith 'Laughing Cavalier' 12.55/111 def John Yardley 12.14/121.Brian Huxley 12.71/120 again, def Trev Langfield Mk1 Escort 12.06/NS. Pete Slights 6R4 rally metro 12.11/102 def Bill Brown 12.41/102. In a second round re-run between Andy Carter 'Resin Rocket' Pop and Sue Houlston 'rag-top' Corvette, where a tree malfunction was blamed for the red light appeal from Carter, Carter's pop was having head gasket trouble, but he made it to the line again, this time it was Houlston who pulled a red, while Carter was gone, running 11.75/129 on 7 cylinders! Another appeal by Rob Houlston this time was nullified when Sue, sportingly admitted she'd rolled out of stage. Semis- Brian Huxley 11.93/119 def Bob Smith 12.23/106. Carter's suffering pop 12.11/113 def Pete Slights Metro /NTS. Final- Drama when Andy Carter reached the line, but the motor finally died, leaving Brian Huxley to run 11.95/116 and take the £1000 cash! Dave Warne debuted the 'Mean as Hell' 500ci Sierra Cosworth Pro Mod, ran an amazing 8.13/160 on it's first full pass on the Saturday before running out of strip and wacking the side of the car under emergency breaking, calling for some panel bashing over the weekend to straighten it out! Running against Ian Lloyd in the 'Gonzo the Great' altered, Warne took two out of a possible three over the eighth - 4.78/129 to 5.94/120 and 5.02/131 to a red from Gonzo. Ian ran solo in the last race over the quarter 9.32/138. For all class results Click here (Darren West)
July 2nd/3rd SPR. The Cannonball. The weather caused problems throughout the weekend. Most of the Cannonball entries struggled to find traction. Early runs from Harlan Thompson and Tom Hoover saw the slicks light up on launch. Gary Page was driving the Purple Power Corvette for the first time as Hoover was driving the new Showtime car. Santa Pod favorite Lee Anders Hasslestrom was present and as he and Harlan Thompson prepared to run together the rain began again, this time setting in for good, and the meeting was called off. This was to be Hasslestrom's last appearance at Santa Pod. He lost his life at Pitea in Sweden a couple of weeks later following a blower explosion and subsequent fire.
July 16th/17th Long Marston Real Steel Nationals. Saturday was damp which put paid to qualifying for the Pro Mod cars. Emergency times were brought in to play for the 12 cars with the top 4 seeds receiving a bye. Receiving byes were Dave Warne 8.77/167, Dave Mingay 8.89/163, Graham Barrs 9.41/153 and Mick Cheley 9.72/141. The track was still a little damp in places. In the first match-up, Geof Hauser beat Doug Gray 9.81/147 to 10.21, John Everitt took out Tim Cook 9.52 to 12.22, Richard Eaton beat Burt Englefield 9.39 to 10.37, and finally Tim Hines was too strong for Andy Robinson 10.09 to 13.62. The next round was run under threatening skies. Mingay took an easy 9.22/156 win over the ill handling Sierra of Hauser, Hines won in 10.07/138 as Cheley's roadster had handling problems, Barrs beat Eaton 9.11/154 to 9.72/157. The last pairing was between John Everitt and Dave Warne. Everitt's Camaro went hard left mid-track and hit the barrier and rolled once and came to rest shiny side up. The weather was closing in at this point so it was decided to run the semis and final at the August meeting. There was also a 4 car Top Alcohol race over the eighth mile. Russ Carpenter took a shock win over Barry Sheavills 5.13/145 to 6.08/131 and Steve Read beat Craig Lowes 4.66/162 to 5.60/146. (Clive Rooms)
July 30th/31st North Weald. This Street Machine/Street Racing Weekend was organised by the British Drag Racing Association and was quite low key. There were no big nitro cars although both John Niedowdz in Cannonball and John Spuffard in Showdown were entered they were not allowed to run due to the lack of top end fire and rescue vehicles. The Sportsman Bike final was between Martin Cavicchioni and Steve Easter which Cavicchioni took 11.29/108 to 11.37/119. The Super Street Bike final was a solo for Brian Emery as opponent Andy Alexander lost fire. Jack Valentine was the winner in Pro Stock Bike running 8.93/145 to take it over Coll Rule's 9.99/134. Funny Bike had four entries. In the first semi, Dave Cross took the win as opponent Augy Harrison got crossed up and came off the bike in the lights. He managed to limp away! In the other semi, Paul Willis smoked off the line allowing Barry Eastman to take the win in 9.11/139 to a losing 9.24/156. Competition Bike had Phil Brachtvogel up against Jules Boag and a strong 8.14/168 from Brachtvogel beat the twelve second run from Boag. Then Terry Hines took the win over Nigel Brooks on his Yellow Metal Kawasaki. Brachtvogel took an easy final round win over Hines, 8.24/154 to 10.52/128. On four wheels, Steve Green took the win in Super Street, firstly beating Jeff Manni and then Pete White. Green's final round opponent was Paul Jenkins but an 11.13/105 from Green was too strong for the 11.10/125 from Jenkins. The Super Gas semi-finals had Richard Eaton take the win against Phil Englefield and then Mike Matthews beat Doug Gray. The final was an easy win for Eaton as fluid got under a rear wheel of the 57 Chevy of Matthews. Jim Seward was the winner of the Econo Eliminator beating Dave Beensen in the final. In Super Eliminator, Chris Worsell beat John Tebbutt, Steve Johnson took it over Geof Martin, Barry Giles took the win over Steve Warner and then John Powis took the win over Pete Borowick who red lit. In the semis, Giles beat Johnson 9.66/130 to 10.73/127 and Worsell beat Powis's Henry's Revenge. Giles in Tequila Sunrise took the final round win over Worsell 9.58/131 to 10.11/134. There were a few of the bigger cars making demo runs; Gerry Andrews in Hemi Hunter made a couple of half passes. Gary Willy in the Eliminator Topolino made a couple of sideways attempts to get down the track. (Clive Rooms)
August 7th York. Northern Jet Nationals.
August 27th-29th SPR. Super Nationals. Gary Page ran 5.90 in the 'Silver Showtime' Pontiac funny car, an ex-Tom Hoover machine.  Tom had previously run a 5.94 and a 5.88 earlier this season in Sweden. It is the belief of the owner, Showtime Crew Chief Bob Jarrett, that Pages run was the first "real" funny car five in the UK. (Bob Jarrett)
August 28th/29th Long Marston. NDRA Supernationals. Due to the meeting clashing with Santa Pod, there was a relatively small entry of competitors for this NDRA meeting. On the Sunday, the Pro Mod final held over from the July meeting was run which saw Dave Warne solo as Graham Barrs shut off with problems. On the following day, Warne repeated his Pro Mod win after seeing off Tim Hines and then Barrs again before coming up against Dave Mingay in the final. Warne took it in 8.58/167 to a losing 9.20/158. Competition winner was Dave Lomas beating Mark Forrester in the final 12.73/99 to 12.78/114. Dragster was run as a round robin between Roy Wilding, Martin Brown and Mick Hartshorn. Three wins to Brown saw him win. Modified winner was Frank Griffin in the Ford Pop who beat the Shogun Capri of Mick Francis in the final 11.19/124 to 13.00/104. Nick Stephenson was the Super Street winner in his Chevy Camaro with 11.26/104 to the 11.57/119 of Neil Grant's Ford Pop. Three Top Alcohol dragsters made demo runs over both the eighth and quarter; Steve Read ran 4.83/163, Craig Lowes ran 5.57/144 and Barry Sheavills went through the quarter in 8.73/152. Graham Dark dominated Competition Bike on his Yamaha and in the final, he overcame Peter Scott on the Kawasaki. Super Street Bike was a best of three between the Nitrous Obsession Kawasaki of Wayne Schreier and the Suzuki of Philip Henden which Schreier took 2-1. Street Bike winner was James Canvin's Kawasaki who ran 11.34/118 to the losing 11.82/111 of Garfield Maryons on a similar Kawasaki. Testing his TF Bike was Phil Baimbridge who ran a best of 5.97/124 over the eighth. (Clive Rooms)
September 3rd/4th Long Marston. This was the final round of the newly established AC/UK Drag Bike Championship as well as the finale of the Ultimate Street Bike Series. Some classes ran over the eighth and others over the quarter. In Competition Bike, Rod Pallant snapped the crankshaft during qualifying which sidelined him. In the first round of eliminations, number one qualifier Steve Woollatt on The Dealer edged out Mick Flatt's Suzuki 5.14 to 8.31/111. Phil Baimbridge took an easy win over Pete Legros 5.35/137 to 7.09/98 and Tom Vivian beat Vic Strugnell. Pete Scott took an unopposed win when Steve Jones failed to show. There were also wins for Kevin Marshall, Paul Grosvenor and Graham Dark. In the second round, Woollatt beat Vivian, Baimbridge defeated Marshall, Brachtvogel ran 4.98/137 to take the win over Scott and Dark beat Grovenor 5.72 to 6.44. In the semis Vivian came back in on the break rule as Woollatt failed to show but he was no match for Baimbridge 5.84/135 to 6.75/120. The final was an all Top Fuel affair with Brachtvogel beating Baimbridge 5.76/142 to 5.87/134 thus becoming the 1988 ACU Competition Bike Champion. In the Funny Bike elimination, there were only five runners. Graham Nash and Dave Cross made it through to the final and the result was Cross went up in smoke with a 9 second pass to the 4.88/140 of Nash which mean he was the 1988 champion. Eleven riders contested Pro Stock. In the first semi-final, Jack Valentine took the win over Col Rule and then John Clift did the same over John Goodman. Clift ran a holeshot 5.84 to take the win over Valentine's quicker 5.79 in the final. Super Street was won by Ron Russell who beat Chris Richards in the final 6.46/116 to 6.74/112. The Ultimate Street Bike machines ran over the quarter. In the semi-finals, Steve Burns Suzuki GSX defeated the Kawaski of Chris Easter and then John Messenger beat Ron Russell. In the final, Messenger lost fire which left Burns to solo to a 9.60/115 win. (Clive Rooms)
September 23rd-25th SPR. World Finals. In Top Fuel there were four cars present, those of Monica Oberg, Ludwig Bjornstadt, Pelle Lindelow and Liv Berstad. Oberg made it to the final, by virtue of a 6.01/236 win over Bjornstadt, where she met Berstad who had run 7.93 to beat a troubled Lindelow. Oberg took the final with a 7.94/193. Lindelow and Bjornstadt ran off for third and fourth place, Bjornstad winning with a 6.96/182 to Lindelows 8.95. In Funny Car three pairs of cars ran the first round but the elimination was cancelled due to lack of time caused by rain. Rune Fjeld ran 6.82 to defeat Gary Willy who had problems. John Spuffard ran 6.54/228 in 'Showdown' to defeat John Niedowitz in the Wynns Corvette while Gary Page ran the fastest time of the meeting, 5.89/229, to beat Harlan Thompsons 7.13/136. (Chris Dawson) It was at this meeting that the Bractvogel brothers, Frank and Phil, debuted their 'Quarter Scorcher' Top Fuel Bike. It was as yet unpainted and had been finished only two hours before arriving at the track.
November Alan O'Connor and Lesley Digby arrived in Florida for the start of a USA tour with the Als Gasser Chevy powered Ford Anglia. The car arrived two weeks later by container ship. Al initially ran in the Wednesday and Saturday Test & Tune sessions at Moroso Motorsports Park, where he had set up camp, to complete his observed runs in order to gain his license. The car created a lot of interest, one person asked if it was a London Taxi! The best answer turned out to be to call it an English Ford.
November 5th/6th SPR. Fireworks Drag Race Weekend


A new British Drag Racing Publication was launched with the March/April issue. Fire Up magazine was published by John Wright and edited by Jeremy Cookson.
March 11th Hollywood, Miami, Florida. Alan O'Connor entered Als Gasser into his first full meeting since arriving in the USA. This was a divisional points meeting which Al had to enter before he could compete in a National NHRA event. The NHRA pre-graded him with a 3 thanks to his experience in the UK. This meant that he would only have to attend one divisional event instead of 3 before entering a National.
March 25th-27th. SPR Easter Internationals. SPRs, and the UKs first side by side five second race, Darrel Gwynn won with a 5.78 against Liv Berstads 5.84.
April 15th/16th Avon Park. Springnationals. In the Rover V8 Series, in the first semi-final, Kevin Jenkins met Steve Green. In a close race Jenkins upset the form book and won 10.86/124 to a losing 11.04/125. The other semi-final winner was Steve Birchall. It was a win for Jenkins in the final as he ran 11.13/119 to beat Birchall's 11.69/118. Super Street winner was Phil Derwent who firstly beat Neil Grant and then Nick Stephenson before defeating Dave Russell in the final. In the final of Comp Car, Bob Patten in the Black Mass Fiat Topolino red lit and handed the win to Ian Lloyd in Gonzo the Great. In the semi-finals of Dragster, Dave Ellis in Exile beat Paul White in the Ol' Timer slingshot 10.49/119 to 10.66/134. Ellis' opponent in the final was Clive Napper but he red lit as Ellis powered through to 10.28/123. The first semi-final in Pro Mod saw troubled runs for both Dave Warne and Dave Mingay. Mingay won with 11.51. Geof Hauser had an easy win as Tim Cook had problems with a 15 second run. Hauser took the final in 8.67/167 as Mingay still had some gremlins. There weren't too many street bikes at APR as many of them had headed north to York for the first round of the Ultimate Street Bike. Street Bike was run as a 4 bike field with Phil Kent beating Ian Thomas and then Fiona Moor beat Vicky Steer. It was a win for Kent in the final over Fiona Moor. Pro Stock Bike semis had Mike Beaumont beating Phil Cordelle and then Len Paget defeated Jon Morton. In the final round, it was a win for Paget in 6.26 over the eighth. The Comp Bike final had Pete Scott lining up against Paul Grosvenor and it resulted in a win for Scott in 10.07/136 to a losing 11.67/108.
April29th-May1st SPR. European Drag Racing Grand Prix. Darrell Gwynn returned to compete again in Top fuel, but it was Liv Berstad who made the headlines with a new European quickest ET of 5.52. In Pro Comp Swede Krister Johansson dominated, winning the final round with a 6.66 at 222.7mph. During the weekend he ran a terminal speed of 224.7mph, only 1mph short of the existing NHRA record.
May 6th/7th York. Open Internationals. This was the opening round of the Euroseries Pro Stock Bike with riders from the UK, France and Holland. They were running over the eighth. Jack Valentine qualified top of the pile with Len Paget in second place. In the first round of eliminations, there was an upset as John Clift redlit against Dutchman Rene Vente. In the second round, Coll Rule took a solo into the semis as Rob Van Ginneken didn't make the call due to gearbox failure. Len Paget took the win over Dutchman Raymond Post and Jack Valentine beat Nigel Dowding. In the semis, Valentine redlit against Rene Vente and Paget overcame Rule. In the final, Dutchman Vente gambled on a quick leave and pulled a red light to hand the win to Paget who ran 5.67 seconds. On four wheels, in Pro Drag, Dave Warne was unopposed in Mean as Hell and made runs of 5.03/129, 5.52/123 and 4.56/136 over the eighth. Top Street winner was James Davis who beat Steve Thackeray in the final. Junior Street was won by John Ackless. Rookie Comp was a best of three between Barrie Potter's Lotus Elan Palladin and Phil Forth's 400 ci altered. Potter won all three. Senior Bike winner was Barrie Moore. In Middle Bike, Mike Bloomer was number one qualifier and he went on to win the class. Junior Bike was a best of three between Duncan Barron and Fiona Moor. Fiona won all three rounds. (Clive Rooms)
May 20th/21st North Weald. The BDRA held their "Big Go" at the Essex strip. The traditional Bank Holiday date at Santa Pod was taken by the SPRC for it's Pro Street meeting.
May 27th-29th SPR. Custom Car/Wynns Pro Street meeting. Santa Pod's inaugural Doorslammers meeting, organised by the Santa Pod Racers Club.
May 27th-29th Mantorp Park. Sweden. The Uk's Steve Read set a new Pro Comp speed record at the track with a 6.48/221.
June 3rd/4th Avon Park. Mountain Motor Nationals. Street Car saw an entry of 18 cars which ran as a 16 car field and resulted in Richard Davis in Cyclone 2 beating Mick Wood in the final 15.12/83 to 17.38. Super Gas was a four car field with Brian Huxley defeating Phil Drewitt in the final 11.12/124 to 11.21/127. In the dragster semi finals, Rob Emmett beat Martin Brown 10.27/134 to 10.39/128. Then Dave Ellis in Exile took the win over Mark Purscow 9.21/140 to 9.61. In the final, the Kawaski powered Exile was ahead all the way winning in 9.13/138 to Emmett's troubled 18 second run. Dave Lomas won Comp Altered beating Richie Francis in the final. In Pro Mod first round, Dave Mingay took the win over Mick Cheley, Dave Warne beat Colin Taylor and Tim Cook defeated Tim Hines. Geof Hauser had a bye run. In the semis, Cheley came back in as first alternate to beat Hauser who stalled on the startline. Dave Warne then beat Tim Cook. In the final, Cheley got a holeshot but Warne powered by him to take the win at 8.55/166. Pro Comp was a four car elimination over the eighth with Jon Lovett beating Craig Lowes who damaged his Rodeck block. Then John Dowse took a surprise win gainst Barry Sheavills. The final round was a win for Lovett in 4.82 over the 5.72 run of Dowse. In the bike classes, Paul Grosvenor on Racing Worm won Comp Bike 1 by beating Mick Flatt and then taking the win over the TF bike of Graham Dark. Comp Bike 2 final was between Kevin Marshall and Martin Bishop and it was a win for Marshall in 9.62/134 to 11.63/116. The SS Bike winner was Ken Cooper who defeated Mark Fossey. Street Bike was won by Steve Morgan's Yamaha who beat James Canvin. (Clive Rooms)
June 17th/18th York. Street Racer Championship. There was a £1000 prize for the winner of the Street Racer eliminator. It went sour for pre-race favorite Andy Carter when on a qualifying run, the Pop lost traction, veered across track, became airborne and spiralled twice in the air before landing on all four wheels. The final was between Al Packman in his AC Cobra and Steve Green in the John Woolfe Racing Rover. Packman took the win in 11.03/125 to Green's shut-off 12.65/83. Super Gas was won by Al O'Connor as Ian Merryweather pulled a cherry. Super Sportsman had a mixture of altereds, TAD and Pro Stock and the overall winner was John Dowse in the TAD with a 5.42 over the eighth. (Clive Rooms)
July 1st/2nd SPR. The Cannonball. A total of nine fuel coupes turned up for the event but the eagerly awaited return of the Houndog Team with their Chevy Beretta never materialised after the team dissolved. Peter Barnett returned to the driving seat of a Funny car, after a ten year break, with the ex-Houndog Corvette. He ran a best of 7.15/187.50. Bjorn Ardin was the sole Alcohol entry. In the first round of the Cannonball Gary Willy, in a run alongside John Niedowitz, lost control of his Toyota bodied car and turned hard right into the crash barrier. Due to the downtime caused by the crash the decision was taken to run the rest of the Cannonball as an eliminator with the fastest four cars going through. The timing equipment threw up some spurious speeds, including a 284mph for Gary Page and a 263mph for Ardins Alcohol car. The first semi was Bjorn Ardin and Rune Fjeld. Fjeld took the win with a 6.05/241 to Ardins 6.39/215. The second semi saw Gary Page beat Harlan Thompson with a 5.94/ns to a 6.05/185. The following report of the final comes from the 1996 Cannonball programme,"...all hell broke loose in the final as Gary Page pulled down a fraction late to face Rune Fjeld. In an audacious move, Harlan Thompson as first alternate fired up, burnt out and pulled alongside Fjeld, before Page could make the show. The large crowd showed their contempt by hissing and booing the Budweiser team. The cars went down the track with no green lights showing, no times recorded and no winner. The race was therefore declared null and void." In 'Pro Drag' Jonathan Lovett recorded his first ever 200mph run in his 'Catch 22' TAD, a 7.29/204.4. In Top Fuel bike Phil Brachtvogel qualified with a 7.47/184.1, followed this up with a string of 7.3s with a best of 7.32/194 and beat Phil Bainbridge in the final. Bainbridge ran a career best in the final of 7.64 but this was no match for Brachtvogels 7.39/189.3. In Super Street Bike John Messenger set a new E.T. record of 9.21seconds. Chris Webster had earlier set a new terminal speed record of 159.7. In Pro Mod the win went to Dave Mingay who beat Tim Cook and established a new SPR division record with an 8.20/169 (backed up by an 8.22/168 in the semis) to Cooks 8.55. Favourite to win the class had been Dave Warne who qualified at #1 with an 8.24/166. He won the first round against Dave Pollen with an 8.20/184, the top speed of the meet, but the cars hood blew off and damaged the windscreen. The RAC steward ruled that the damage to the screen was too bad to let Warne continue but he did allow him to come to the start line and collect his round points. Rob Turner took his 'Straight Shooter' to a new blown Fuel Altered speed record of 7.84/217. Clive Mechaell, also ran a new european best ET for a blown Fuel Altered with a 6.90.
July 15th/16th Avon Park. NDRA Summernationals
August 26th-28th SPR. BDRA Summernationals. Geoff Hauser broke into the seven second barrier for Pro Mod cars in his Ford Sierra. He ran 7.84, 7.85, 7.87 and then 7.88 in the final against Tim Cook, who had earlier also dipped into the sevens with a 7.97. (Mark Coles)
August 27th/28th Aintree Racecourse. 2nd National Powersports Festival.
September 9th/10th North Weald. Andy Carter ran a 10.91/128 and won the Custom Car Wynns Street Championship also taking the Bob Nixon Chassis award for the first street car into the 10,s on street tyres. (Andy Carter)  
September 22nd-24th World Finals SPR. Liv Berstad ran the fastest time outside of North America, 5.37/260.4. It was on an exhibition pass as she had earlier failed to qualify for the eliminations. (Mark Coles) In Top Fuel American Al Segrini, making a return to the driving seat after a few years absence, piloted the ex-Darrell Gwynn fueler to a 5.76/215 to put him in #3 qulaifying spot behind Tony Bryntesson at 5.50 and Pele Lindelow at 5.58. Conny Anderson was at #4 in the ex-Dennis Priddle fueler. The final was between Lindelow and Bryntesson. Lindelow cut a perfect light and won in 5.60/234 while Bryntesson had problems with a loose oil line at mid track. In Funny Car Gary Page qualified at #1 with a 5.87/241 in the Showtime Pontiac. In the first round he came up against the black Lonsdale sponsored VW of Norm Wilding, who was #3 qualifier at 6.07. Page broke on the run and coasted to a 7.58/115 while Wilding took the win with a 6.04/238. The other semi saw Harlan Thompson cross the line first at 6.03, but having crossed the outside white line, the win went to Charlie Draper at 6.54/224. Wilding took the final with a 6.09 to Drapers 7.79. Harlan Thompson and Al Segrini held a Funny v Fueler match race, Segrini taking the win with 5.73/242 to Thompsons 5.79/230. For Top Fuel and Funny Car elimination ladders and qualifying results click here. In a 16 car Pro Mod field Tim Cook was #1 qualifier with a 7.84/174 in his '56 Chevrolet. Dave Warne ran a personal best in the first round at 8.10/159 to beat Phil Englefields 8.94/150. Warne went on to meet Cook in the quarter final. Cook took the win with a 7.75/186 to Warnes 8.51/169. Cook went on to defeat Geoff Hauser in the semis, 8.07/145 to 8.60/149, and meet Graham Barrs Mustang in the final. Barrs clutch dragged him to a red light after waiting for Cook to stage following his double burnout routine. Cook ran 8.01/156 for the win. Britains Robin Read ran a personal best in the Top Sportsman class. He took his Daimler powered mini-fueler to its first six, and the #1 qualifying spot, with a 6.88/193. He went on to win the final with a 7.16/188 over Swedens Lene Olsson in her Stateside Rail. In Top Fuel Bike Phil Brachtvogel ran a string of consistent 7.2s at 190mph +. In the final against Phil Bainbridge he set a new strip record of 7.17/194. Paul Willis ran in both Pro Stock bike and Funny Bike and won both classes. he was #1 qualifier in Pro Stock with an 8.35 and won the final with an 8.48 over Mike Fancy. He also took #1 qualifying spot in Funny Bike with a personal best of 7.31/178. The final, between Willis and Graham Nash, was the quickest Funny Bike race ouside the U.S.A. with Willis running a 7.33/179 holeshot over Nashs 7.21/187. In Super Street Bike John Messenger qualified at #1 with an 8.96/156.9, the first ever eight second time in the World for a Motorcycle on a street tyre. In the final Messenger came up against Brian Emery and ran an even quicker 8.93/156 to beat Emerys 9.35/154. There was a special demonstration elimination featuring the best of the Scandinavian Pro Stockers, the first time this class had been seen racing in the UK, organised by the Nordic Pro Stock Associations Race Director Ronnie Krabberad. Finlands Hans Knuters won the elimination with a 7.51/185 over fellow countryman Hannu Santalas 7.69/178. In the final round of the Real Steel Rover V8 Championship Steve Green was victorious both in the event final and the Championship. In the final he took the JWR Cortina to a new Group One record of 9.87/137 to defeat Chris Pegg who clocked an 11.05/127. In Group Two the final was between Paula Aitkin and Martin Cowell. Cowell took the win with a new Group Two record of 11.56/120 (apparently his first ever win in 15 years of Drag Racing!) while Paula was runner up with 12.96/108.
November 4th/5th SPR. 21 year old Vicki Steer, riding for the Children In Need charity, became the first female UK Pro Stock Bike rider. She made her debut on Coll Rules JCB sponsored Suzuki and qualified at #2, in an eight bike field, with a 9.07 behind Mick Beaumont at 9.03. In the first round she beat Roger Upperton with an 8.93 but in the semis the bike crossed up on the launch and pitched her off. She was bruised but OK. Wayne Saunders also made his Pro Stock debut at this meeting, riding Len Pagets 'White Lightning' Suzuki. He took #3 qualifying spot with a 9.11. Yet another PS debutante was Graham Dance. Saunders ran low E.T. in the semis with an 8.75 win over Mick Beaumont, and took the final with an 8.80 over Les Prater. A mix of Funny Bikes and Top Fuelers made up the Competition Bike field. Paul Willis took the final win with a 7.74/173 to a 7.81/172 from Chris Hampson. Brian Emery took the Super Street Bike win with a 9.54 to Ron Russells 10.38. In the Sportsman Bike class the win went to Steve Crooks with an 11.42 to Richard Pettys 11.75. Pro Mod Championship points leader Dave Warne destroyed his transmission in qualifying putting an end to his title chances. Geoff Hauser in his Sierra took #1 position with an 8.13 while #2 spot went to Dave Mingay with an 8.20. After a slight hitch in the first round, when a dead battery caused starting problems, Hauser soloed to an 8.16/159. His opponent for the semis, Brian peach, had engine trouble and so Hauser had another solo to the final, this time a 7.93/173. In the final he ran a faster 7.98/186 to beat Colin Taylors 8.50/164. For the Pro Mod elimination ladder click here. Super Gas was won by Paul Jenkins 'Mopar Menace' over Jeff Mannis 'Pied Piper' Mustang, Jenkins breaking out the least with a 9.875 to a 9.806.
Thursday 9th November Jim Read died just four days short of his 64th birthday. Jim raced his way through the ranks from Production to to Pro Comp before handing over driving duties to son Steve. He then concentrated his attentions on the BDRA where he held the positions of Chairman for both the Executive and Competitions Committees and was their international liason officer.
For all 1989 Points Championship winners click here.

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