Latest News 11/8/21

Welcome to the latest update to Trakbytes. Since the last update I have had the pleasure to have been invited to Blackbushe to attend the Reunion of the 'Surrey Pioneers", the group of racers featured in John Hunts excellent series of articles, published on Eurodragster earlier this year. (Click here to visit). This event was preceeded in the afternoon by a meeting with UK Drag Racing journalists and historians, which proved to be very interesting and entertaining. I would like to take this further opportunity to thank John Hunt for the invitation, and Simon Groves and Eurodragster for sponsoring the event. You can read Simon's report of the event, along with a number of photos, on Eurodragster here. Nick Pettitt has also uploaded a video of the evening which you can view here on his YouTube channel.

On to this latest update. A total of 38 new entries, 84 programme covers and 4 entry lists. See below for details of what they are, and where to find them. The earliest this time is from September 1963, and the most recent from August 1998.

Whilst putting this one together I found myself comparing some of the quickest times recorded at Santa Pod since it's beginnings in 1966. This somewhat inevitably resulted in me trawling through the archive and compiling a list of all the strip records contained therein. This is entirely an unofficial list and, most likely, an incomplete one. If anyone out there has any dates and times that might qualify for inclusion then let me know. You can find the list on the Special Features page. I suppose the list could continue beyond the current reach of the Trakbytes archive. It's up to you.

I was contacted recently with a request for photos of the Anglia that belonged to Mick Collingham in the seventies. I put this out on the Facebook page a couple of weeks ago and had some good responses, but if anyone has any more to add you can find the request and contact e mail address on the 'Help Us Find' page..

If you're interested please check out the Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/trakbyte  I post the odd picture and bit of info on there from time to time. If you feel up to it give the "Like" button a click, just so I know somebody bothered.

If you would like to be added to the mailing list and be among the first lucky people informed of when the site is updated drop me a line at chris@trakbytes.co.uk

The Latest Updates

 

  • There's a new request on the 'Help Us Find' page for pictures of any of Mick Collingham's cars from the seventies. I have already received a few after posting this on the Facebook page, but if anyone has any more I'm sure they would be appreciated.

  • The 'Special Features' page has a new addition listing all the strip records at Santa Pod that I have in the archive. There may be more that I don't have listed, so if you have any details, including dates and elapsed times, then I can add them to the list. Click here to go straight to the list.

  • There is a small update to the profile of 'Slo-Mo-Shun" in the Vehicle Files section, provided by Chris Pattison.

  • 1963 there's some more detailed information from the Press Day at Silverstone in September, where Dante Duce and Sydney Allard, amongst others, demonstrated their Dragsters ahead of the First Transatlantic Challenge. There will be more information on the following meetings in the next update.

  • 1965 Addition of the programme cover for the BDRC's Gala Day at South Marston. Apologies to whoever sent this, I have lost the details.

  • 1966 Addition of the entry list for Santa Pod's inaugural meeting in April.

  • 1967 Having posted on the Trakbytes Facebook page on the 54th anniversary of Alf Hagon's first run in the nines, I was reminded that I hadn't updated the archive entry (supplied to me by Alf himself) with the full details of this event. Well, now I have.

  • 1968 Details from Santa Pod's August 17th/18th meeting which had previously not been listed in the archive.

  • 1969  Addtion of the entry list for SPRs Championship meeting at the end of August/1st September, and thanks to Clive Rooms for supplying the entry list for Septembers BDR&HRA 'On Tour' meeting at Hullavington.

  • 1972 Additon of a few more details from the NDRC event at North Luffenham in May, and some more details from Santa Pod's Big Go the same month which was the meeting that saw Dennis Priddle run the first sixes outside the US.

  • 1974 Addition of the entry list for SPRs Springnationals in April, plus a couple more results from the NDRC's meeting at Wroughton in June. Further information on this meeting is proving difficult to find.

  • 1980 My thanks to Jerry Cookson who has filled in some of the gaps with four programme covers, SPR's Easter International in April and Festival Of Speed in May, and the NDRC's meetings at Blackbushe in June and Long Marston on August 3rd.

  • 1988 A few details from SPRs Cannonball in July, this meeting was severely affected by the weather, so there doesn't appear to be much to add. Sadly this meeting was the last Santa Pod appearance of Swedish Funny Car driver, and Santa Pod crowd favorite, Lee Anders Hasslestrom.

  • 1996 There's a new entry with all the car class details from Santa Pod's World Finals in September. This was the last time this meeting was dubbed the 'World' Finals. It became the 'Euro' finals the following year.

  • 1997 Thanks again to Jerry Cookson who supplied three programme covers to help fill in the gaps here, North Weald in April and the Hot Rod Drags & Doorslammers in September.

  • The following updates have all been contributed by Clive Rooms.

  • I am continuing to add programme covers submitted by Clive, and there are plenty more to come. This time we have 15 in 1966 & 1967, 8 in 1972, 16 in 1973, 10 in 1982, 9 in 1997, 7 in 1998 and 11 in 1999.

  • 1979 Details from the NDRC (Midlands) meeting at Long Marston in June.

  • 1991 details from the first round of the FIM European Drag Bike Championship at Avon Park in June.

  • 1992 Pro Mod details from Avon Parks Hot Rod Drags in September.

  • 1993 a few details from the Fireworks meeting at SPR in November.

  • 1994 Details from Yorks Open Nationals in May and Santa Pods Saturday Night Specials in April and July.

  • 1995 Details from Yorks Open Nationals in May, Ultimate Street Bike, also in May, Midsummer Nationals in June and North Star Nationals in August. There are also winners from SPRs Mopar Nationals and Saturday Night Special in July.

  • 1998 Details from Santa Pods Main Event in May, and details of the Brits performances in Top Fuel, Top Alcohol, FIM Comp Bike and Pro Stock Bike at Hockenheim in August.

  • From the above updates I have updated the Trakbytes Hall Of Fame files for The Stones,  the Pages,  John HobbsSammy MillerAllan HerridgeTony Densham  and  Alf Hagon

That's all for now. Thanks for dropping by.

Latest News 9/6/21

Welcome to the latest update to Trakbytes. This time we have a total of 42 new or updated entries, plus the addition of (I think) 76 new programme covers. There are also a number of new entry lists added. I don't know what that number is, but I'll guess at ten. Yes I have a lot of spare time on my hands currently, and unfortunately, or fortunately, I am not able to do much else as I have my right arm in a sling so progress could best be described as leisurely currently. It just occured to me that if I took a photo as proof of my predicament it could be regarded as a 'Sling Shot'........ never mind.

Since my last update we have learned of the sad news of the passing of Dennis Priddle. I was lucky enough to have seen Dennis run many times throughout the seventies. At my first meeting, he was running the STP Avenger Funny Car, which to my young eyes looked outstanding, and it remains one of my favorite UK cars.  I was lucky enough to meet him 25 years later when I was crewing for Showtime. Tom Hoover, who spent the weekend with us, introduced me and Dennis was gracious enough to spend some time chatting and answering my questions, many of which he had no doubt answered countless times before. My photo of Dennis and Tom from that day can be found on the Trakbytes Facebook page. I'm pleased to say that the latest updates contain a number of references to Dennis' achievements and there are new updates to his Hall Of Fame file accordingly. Rest In Peace Mr Six.

Many years ago I had a page on the site with a list of questions that I was unable to find answers for. One of these was when did we first see side-by-side five second runs by two Funny Cars? Bob Jarrett once told me that he thought it was probably Gary Page & Harlan Thompson, but he couldn't be sure. One bright spark suggested that at the time of asking it hadn't happened yet.... I managed to find one or two contenders but I felt sure that it would have happened in the early nineties when Hoover, Spuffard, Thompson & Co were putting in some quick times. After putting the question on the UKDRN forum a couple of months ago I was none the wiser, but then Jon Spoard kick started the quest a few weeks ago by posting the question on the UK & European Drag Racing Photos Facebook page. Within 24 hours Simon Groves of Eurodragster came up with the earliest record he could find, which was Gary Page and John Spuffard at the 1996 Cannonball, which appears to be the date in question, unless anyone out there knows different. I have trawled through all the material available to me and can't find an earlier example. I've updated the relevant entry in the archive and am waiting to be proved wrong. It's happened before....

If you're interested please check out the Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/trakbyte  I post the odd picture and bit of info on there from time to time. If you feel up to it give the "Like" button a click, just so I know somebody bothered.

If you would like to be added to the mailing list and be among the first lucky people informed of when the site is updated drop me a line at chris@trakbytes.co.uk

The Latest Updates

 

  • 1964, Details from the Thames Estuary Sprint at Graveley, where both a half mile sprint, and quarter mile drag course were employed, side by side.

  • 1965 Details of some demonstration runs by the Dos Palmos Dragster at Croft Circuit in August.

  • 1966 Addition of all class results and best times from the BHRA's July meeting at SPR.

  • 1968 The Commuter makes an early appearance in Stockholm in February, along with Stripduster. Thanks to Mats Wallander for the dates.

  • 1972 Addition of all class winners from SPR's Season Opener in March, a few more details for the Grand Fuel Meet in August, some more details to the BDR&HRA meeting in September, and the addition of all class winners from Novembers Fireworks Meeting.

  • 1974 An addition in June to the NDRC's rerun at Wroughton of a rained out meeting in April. I've as yet only managed to find this one piece of information from this meeting. I was beginning to think it hadn't been run at all. If anyone has anything to add to this date please let me know. There's a rewrite of the NDRC's second International meeting at Silverstone in June. This meeting saw a number of firsts, one of which was noteable enough to make it into the Landmarks index. Both my older brothers made the trip to spectate at this meeting. For some reason they didn't take me. I've also added the entry list for this meeting. There's also a rewrite of SPR's Fireworks Meeting in November and details of SPR's Winternationals meeting which closed the 1974 season, and where a novel approach to drying out the startline area was employed.

  • 1975 Details from a pre-season shakedown meeting at Santa Pod in March, and all the detail worth reading from the Season Opener a week later. I had often skimmed past this date and wondered why I hadn't added any details there yet. Now I know why... There's a major rewrite to the Easter meeting at Santa Pod too. I got carried away.

  • 1977 saw the opening of the Pennine Drag Racing Clubs new venue at Melbourne in June, and the entry now includes details of an appearance of a crowd favorite who threw down a rather unusual challenge race. There's also the addition of the car results from Snetterton in July and a new entry, with a few details, at Long Marston, also in July. Finally for '77 there's rewrite to the SPR July Internationals where Don Garlits returned to collect his car and avenge his previous years defeat, plus the addition of the entry list for this meeting. I've also added the date for the demise of Alleygator at Drachten in August. Thanks to Jerry Cookson for finding it.

  • 1981 My thanks an ex-pat currently residing in the NE USA for sending the programme cover and entry list for the Long Marston Transatlantic Drag Bike Challenge in July. I've also included a profile of Bo O'Brochta that was printed in the programme, and three pictures of Bo's TVL bike from that meeting. They have also supplied a programme cover and entry list for the 1981 World Finals at SPR in September.

  • 1985 I've added an entry marking the opening of Screamin' Alley Raceway in Kent, after reading an article on the Raceway Hussy blog of Niamh Frances Smith.

  • 1990 Clive Rooms had already sent me some Pro Mod details from Avon Park's Whitsun meet, and then a race report came in from Jerry Cookson with some more details, including a couple of car debuts. I've cleverly combined the two submissions into one seamless entry, AND added the programme cover Jerry sent, AND added the entry list Jerry sent! Well done me! Jerry has also supplied some of the missing programme covers for 1990, one is the SPR Spring Nationals in May, which has also received addition of a semi-detailed write up and final results, (it was this meeting that saw the first six second pass on two wheels in the UK). The other covers are the SPR Whitsun Nationals (May), York Street Racer Championship (June), SPR Summer Nationals (August), and SPR World Finals (September) There are also entry lists added for some of these. No, I can't remember which ones, and I can't be bothered to go back and check.

  • Jerry has also supplied a photo from York in May 1990 when Jerry Gwynn (Father of Darrell) was Guest Of Honour at the grand opening of the resurfaced York Raceway after the Mac The Track appeal instigated by Pip Higham and Ian Lloyd. In the abscence of a programme cover for this meeting we have included it with the event entry. There's also some Super Gas Championship detail from this meeting taken from a report Jerry sent me, plus some more details listed below with the material from Clive Rooms.

  • 1994 There's an entry now for the Main Event at SPR in May plus the addition of the entry list.

  • 1996 A small additional detail to the Cannonball event in July where John Spuffard & Gary Page became (I think) the first two Funny Cars to run side-by-side five second passes. I have also added this to the Landmarks index.

  • The following updates all come from super-contributor Clive Rooms

  • There are a total of 60 new programme covers from Clive's collection. You will find the earliest in 1931, plus 13 in 60-65, ten in 1970, 11 in 1971, 13 in 1980 and 12 in 1981.

  • 1983 Details from the UK Drag Racing Magazine Bracket Nationals at York in July.

  • 1987, this somewhat sparse section has been bolstered up with the addition of 8 of Clives programme covers, to give the illusion that it actually contains something.

  • 1990 Pro Mod details from Avon Park's Whitsun meeting in May.

  • 1991 A few details from Avon Park in April for a meeting that very nearly didn't happen, some details and results from York's Open nationals in May, and all class results from SPR's Ultimate Street Bike in July.

  • 1992 details from SPR's World Finals for Top Fuel, Top Alcohol, Pro Mod and Top Fuel bike, plus a little detail from York's North Star Nationals in August.

  • 1993 Details from SPR's VW Spring Nationals in April.

  • 1994 Super Gas details from York's Open Nationals in May, plus details from Avon Park's Euro Drag Bike Series in June, and SPR's Saturday Night Special in September.

  • 1995 Top Alcohol details from SPR's Bug Jam in July.

  • 1997 Details from SPR's Main Event in May for Top Fuel (including a new European record) Top Methanol, Pro Stock, Pro Mod and Super Pro ET, plus Pro Mod & Super Pro ET details from SPR's Sportsman Nationals in July.

  •  1998 All class results from SPR's Season Opener in March, when you would expect rain, and details from a very soggy Sportsman Nationals at SPR in June, when you wouldn't.

  • From the above updates I have updated the Trakbytes Hall Of Fame files for Dennis Priddle, Clive SkiltonPeter Crane, The Stones, the Pages, John Hobbs Sammy Miller and Allan Herridge.

That's all for now. Thanks for dropping by.

Latest News 26/4/21

Welcome to the latest update to Trakbytes. Bringing you all the latest news about stuff that happened years ago... Contributions this time include a wealth of information from Super Pro racer Brian Pateman, for which I am very grateful, plus more from Clive Rooms and Jerry Cookson.

Not too much waffle from me this time, down to business. I've added a direct link on the front page of the site to the series of stories from the Drag Racing Pioneers on Eurodragster. As I mentioned in the last update this has been a superb series of articles, with a load of previously unseen photos, and is well worth checking out.

There's some news from the (surprisingly inactive) "I didn't think this through" department at Trakbyte Towers this time. When I sent out the last e mail to the mailing list I made an idle request for scans of programme covers that I could include alongside the corresponding events in the archive. On reflection I should have, 1. Checked the capacity of my mailbox before doing this, and 2. Anticipated a (most welcome) tsunami of covers from the (presumably now worn out) scanner of Clive Rooms. I've upgraded the mailbox now, to a much larger one. I've probably got enough capacity to receive a full size scan of the Bayeux Tapestry now. (I don't need one by the way, so don't be tempted) I shall be adding more of Clive's scans over the next few updates.

I make it a total of 38 new entries this time, plus around 82 programme covers. I think that's enough to be going on with. New material to be added continues to mount up, ensuring that I have something to occupy any upcoming spare time, and I have a couple of different projects I'm working on that will be appearing on here at some point in the future. Don't forget, if anybody has anything to contribute please feel free to do so. And don't be shy about correcting anything you think I may have got wrong. I've adjusted a few details here and there as I've been adding the new material. Some of these I will mention, some of them I won't, and nobody will ever know....

If you're interested please check out the Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/trakbyte  I post the odd picture and bit of info on there from time to time. If you feel up to it give the "Like" button a click, just so I know somebody bothered.

If you would like to be added to the mailing list and be among the first people informed of when the site is updated drop me a line at chris@trakbytes.co.uk

The Latest Updates

 

  • 1963, addition of all the best times of the day for the final round of the Transatlantic Challenge at Debden, featuring Mickey Thompson, Dante Duce, Sydney Allard and Tony Densham.

  • July 1964, Dante Duce flies in to discuss the upcoming Dragfests with officials and the UK motoring press.

  • 1968 there's an addition of the programme cover for SPR's October meeting. I can't recall where I found this one, possibly eBay.  Also in '68 there are a couple of corrections to the details of the runs made by Tudor Rose at it's debut appearance at Easter. Those updated details come from Keith Lee's excellent Mr Six book about the life and times of Dennis Priddle.

  • 1970 addition of all class results for the NDRC's meeting at Santa Pod in October.

  • 1975, I've added the last driving appearance of Mike Hutcherson, driver of the Houndog cars at SPR's Easter meeting.

  • 1977 and the entry for SPR's August Bank Holiday meet has had a rewrite and now contains the results for most classes. This was the meeting that saw the demise of the Houndog 7 Duster Funny Car.

  • 1978 sees a new addition of the first meeting of the year for the Pennine Drag Racing Club at York, with a few details and all class results. Also in '78 the addition of the NDRC(Midlands) opening meeting of the year in May. Thanks to Jerry Cookson for his help with confirming the date, which I couldn't find mentioned anywhere else, and also for supplying the programme cover and entry list, which I have also included.

  • Jerry has also provided a more detailed update, and programme cover, for York's May meeting in 1979, which includes a new strip record for Jim Read. He has also provided a programme cover for an NDRC meet in June, which is a date I didn't have in the archive, and another for the same venue in August. There are also another seven covers from Jerry, these have also been added to the 1979 section.

  • Super Pro racer Brian Pateman has been in touch. Brian has supplied a programme cover and details from SPR's Big Go in May 1982 (His debut race meeting)  and details of the entire 1984 May meeting, which aren't as extensive as you might imagine... Also from Brian, 1984, details of the 6th Garys Picnic at SPR in June, his first event win, details from York's Street racer championships in June, and details from the Street Machine Street Racer Championships at Blackbushe in August. This event was also the 20th Anniversary of the Dragfests meeting, which means I now have details of a lot of the class winners from that event. If anyone has any further details, for instance the bike classes, please let me know. Brian also supplied a report of Santa Pod's first International Doorslammers event in September '84, a meeting which did not officially take place. On to 1985, and Brian again took the win at Gary's Picnic in June, a trip to Sweden saw another victory, less luck (depending on how you look at it) for Brian at July's Cannonball event before a return to form at the August Summer Nationals. In September the Garys Shack Doorslammer meeting took place for the first time officially, there are now details of the Pro Mod and Street eliminations with the Street class running possibly the first ever UK 32-car elimination. Finally, a couple of details, including another win for Brain at the Doorslammers meet in October 1986. Thanks to Brian for taking the time to supply all the material.

  • Pascal Sarrazin recently posted some elimination ladders from the 1983 LeMans Dragster Festival on Facebook, a meeting which I had added on the last update due to the UK competitors who made the trip over. He has kindly let me add these to the archive.

  • There's a correction to the Cannonball entry in 1984. Nick Pettitt has pointed out an error with the terminal speed on Sammy Miller's record run, which I have now corrected, and added a couple more details from a snippet Nick sent me from Drag Racing News.

  • The following updates all come from much valued contributor (or collaborator) Clive Rooms.

  • Clive has supplied plenty of programme covers for me to add to the archive. You can find the first 70 (yes, SEVENTY!) of these from the 1990 through 1996 sections. Some of these are meetings I didn't already have in the archive. Those ones are marked as new entries.

  • Details from Pro Stock Bike and the Rover V8s at York in May 1990.

  • Results from the Ultimate Street Bike meeting at Blyton in August 1991

  • Details from Avon Park's ACU/UK Finals meeting in September 1992. Also details from the MCN Street Bike Series at North Weald in July and York's Open Nationals in May and Grand Nationals in September.

  • Details of the Super Gas action at York's Northstar Nationals in August 1993.

  • Details of a good day out for Steve Johnson at Avon Park's Judgement Day in May 1994.

  • Details and all class results from Santa Pod's Fireworks meeting in November 1995. plus a small addition to the Saturday Night Special a month earlier. Also in '95 Clive has provided a comprehensive write up of the Super Gas Shootout eliminations at Santa Pod's Saturday Night Special in June.

  • More details for Santa Pod's Summer Nationals in August 1997, covering Top Methanol, Fuel Funny Car, Pro Mod and Super Pro ET.

  • A big update to Santa Pod's Easter Thunderball in 1998 plus all class results from Avon Park's Super Series in May.

  • A little additional detail from Santa Pod's Fireworks meeting in 1999 including an impressive time for a Top Fuel car in November.

  • From the above updates I have updated the Trakbytes Hall Of Fame files for Peter Crane, The Stones, the Pages, and Sammy Miller.

That's all for now. Thanks for dropping by.

Latest News 9/4/21

Welcome to the latest update to Trakbytes. I'm beginning to get the hang of this again. Opinions may vary, but that's mine.

Thanks to all those who made contact after the previous update to show support, or appreciation, or ask to be added to the mailing list, or ask where the hell I've been. It's encouraging to know that someone else gets some enjoyment from all this. The site has grown from a little project of mine to put some of the events in this countries Drag Racing history into a timeline for my own reference (23 years ago if you can believe that!), into an archive spanning the first 42 years of it's development with far more detail than I ever imagined. It's not unrealistic to say that currently I can't envisage a point where there won't be anything left to add to the site. If that should occur I imagine I'll eventually be reduced to adding the names of the staff manning the gates before I give up and go off to start a blog about vintage sewing machines.

I'm sure you are all aware of this, but Eurodragster have been running an excellent series of stories about some of the pioneers of UK Drag Racing in their own words. Transcribed by John Hunt, these make interesting reading, and feature plenty of photos, many of which you won't have seen before. Currently the series includes Derek Metcalf (Wombat & Strip Star), Bill Haynes (Quarter Horse), Mick Wheeler (Scorpion), Tony Anderson (Trouble) and Keith Stacey (Whiskey Peddler). You can view all these from the links on this page. http://www.eurodragster.com/news/features/blogs/pioneers.asp

I've had a bit of a re-shuffle on the front page of the site. This should have made the front page a bit ..... narrower (not sure if that's the correct technical term?) for those of you that apparently have the ability to look at websites on your portable telephones. (Whatever next!) You will see the addition of some new banners for two of Jerry Cookson's Facebook pages, Memories Of A Warwickshire Dragstrip, and UK Drag & Sprint Strips Time Forgot. These are both fascinating pages that regularly get updated with photos and information from days gone by. Also there is a link for Nick Pettit's British Drag Racing & Hot Rodding Archive. This is a nostalgia addicts gold mine featuring hundreds of photos, articles and items of memorabilia, as well as links to Nick's definitive collection of Time Travel videos. Undoubtably the most comprehensive collection of early British Drag Racing videos in existence.

Quite a large update this time. I seem to have a lot of spare time on my hands at the moment. I've been working my way through a stack of magazines that I rescued from my brothers garage many years ago, mostly Custom Car titles. These are helping to fill some of the gaps in the archive and add a little more detail to some of the existing entries. Whilst their coverage of race meetings was quite frequent, the reports, although often a highly entertaining summary of the events and atmosphere of those times, were somewhat lacking in things like results and accurate timing data. Thirty years on there are fortunately now other resources online where these things can be double-checked, but there are occasional discrepancies and I'm happy for anyone to set me straight about any errors. Sometimes I'm faced with two versions of a result and, without a third source to check against, I have to make an editorial decision, and I'm not remotely qualified to do this. I'm spending a bit of time cross-referencing various dates and details currently, and correcting errors as they arise, hopefully before anyone else notices. Unfortunately the magazines weren't in great condition, but there were plenty of good covers and centrefolds, enough to enable me to wallpaper the back wall of my shed. There's a picture on the Facebook page if you want to see what that looks like, http://www.facebook.com/trakbyte  I post the odd picture and bit of info on there from time to time. If you feel up to it give the "Like" button a click, just so I know somebody bothered.

If you would like to be added to the mailing list and informed of when the site is updated drop me a line at chris@trakbytes.co.uk

The Latest Updates

 

  • I've added some details of the first BHRA shows in 1963 and 1964, also a little more detail to the first BHRA 'Big Go' in '64, this was the UK's first proper Drag Race meeting, the previous years attempt having failed due to lack of entries.

  • May 1965 has an addition of an advert from Kool Kams, the official journal of the BHRA, for a piece of American machinery that was left behind in 1963.

  • More show details in January 1967 where a very famous UK car made it's public debut. (Not unrelated to the vehicle mentioned in the advert above).

  • There's a couple of additions to the April 1969 entry at SPR, including a 'David Vs Goliath' match race, also details of what I think was Dennis Priddle's first class win in 'The Whistler' in May.

  • A couple of details to SPR's August Bank Holiday meeting in 1972, a meeting, it turned out, with many firsts.

  • The 1980 World Finals meeting at Santa Pod has received a major re-write, and I've sorted out the Funny Car elimination ladder which had somehow become misaligned and confusing. I've added some more times and speeds, but there are still a lot missing from the Funny Car qualifying list. If anyone can fill the gaps please let me know. Also in 1980, details of Dave Wilson's crash at York in September, which marked the end of the line for a historically important car.

  • There's a re-write of the eventful first Cannonball event in 1981, and I've added the results for all classes. Also in '81 there are details of how the UK racers fared in the second round of the Tor Line Pro Comp Championship at Mantorp Park in May. My thanks to Jerry Cookson for helping me find the date for this one. There's more on the '81 Pro Comp Championship in an addition to the SPR World Finals entry in September. This meeting also saw a memorable Santa Pod debut for a future German Top Fuel driver. 

  • 1983 sees the addition of the Pro Comp class details at Santa Pod's Summer Nationals in August, and some details of the British competitors at the LeMans Dragster Festival in September.

  • I've had another major Cannonball re-write with a load more detail from the 1995 event. Details from Top Alcohol, Pro Mod, FIM Competition Bike and Supertwins, as well as the Funny Cars.

  • I've added a few programme covers, SPR October 1969 World Records Preview All Stars Meeting (Grand title, dull programme cover), SPR Spring Nationals 1970 (equally boring), SPR BDR&HRA meeting April 1970 (A meeting that had eluded me so far, and a better programme cover) SPR Internationals July 1971 (Yawn) SPR Nationals July 1972 (Much better) The Cannonball 1991, some of these are very uninspired... I've gathered all these from a website devoted to British motorsport programmes which you can find here, https://www.progcovers.com/motor/index.html. There's also a scan of the cover for Santa Pod's Championship Meeting in September 1968 courtesy of Malc Dyer. If anyone has any scans of programme covers that I don't have in the archive, and you are able to send them, I would be very grateful.

  • The following updates have all been supplied by Clive Rooms:

  • 1990  details from Avon Parks ACU Dragbike Championships in September, which included a European record for a Scandinavian visitor.

  • A couple of details from York in May 1992 including an appearance from Fireforce.

  • Details of the 'Saturday Night Special' season opener at Santa Pod in 1994

  • There's finally an entry for the 1995 Main Event at Santa Pod with details including a new European best in Top Fuel. '95 also has the addition of some Pro Mod details from the Avon Park Goodguys Shootout in June.

  • 1996 has details from the Summer Nationals at Santa Pod in August.

  • Addition of the results from the third Avon Park Super Series in 1998, plus results from the Midsummer nationals at SPR, as well as a big update to SPR's New Summer Nationals in August, and details from the October meet (The detail being that it was rained out...),

  • From the above updates I have updated the Trakbytes Hall Of Fame files for Dennis Priddle, Allan Herridge,  Sydney Allard,  John Hobbs, The Pages John Hobbs and The Stones.

That's all for now. Thanks for dropping by.

Latest News 20/3/21

Welcome to the latest update to Trakbytes. I know, it's about time too.

I'm sure you're not interested in why there has been a seven year gap since the last update, suffice to say that I've been busy, but I now find that I have the inspiration to continue from where I left off. Spare time is at a premium though so I can't promise regular massive updates. I'll endevour to do as much as I can, when I can. The amount of historical information available on the internet today seems to have increased exponentially since I last updated the site. What I'm doing here is an attempt to present a timeline of events and details over the years that is accessible to anyone who is interested. I have never claimed this archive to be the definitive version of events and always invited fans and racers to correct mistakes and add to the site. Any details you feel should be included, no matter how insignificant you think they might be, will be added as, for some reason, people seem to like reading this stuff.

I was unable to retrieve the sites previous mailing list, so if you would like to be notified when I update the site, please e mail me at chris@trakbytes.co.uk and I will add you to the new one.

Things have moved on considerably during Trakbytes fallow period, and I find that I'm having to re-learn how to do this. Please be patient and bear with me as I'm beyond rusty, and I'm sure there will be errors along the way. I am fully aware that the format of the site is looking quite dated by today's standards, but the combined constraints of time and budget prevent me from addressing this currently. I will just have to hope that you will accept content rather than style for the foreseeable future. (Curiously this is the exact opposite of what you will get if you meet me in person!)

Sadly there are a number of people from the Drag Racing fraternity who have passed on since I last posted. Among them Stu Bradbury, who was a valued supporter of the site, and Bob Keith, with whom I exchanged a lot of correspondence about the Dos Palmas dragster, and who sadly didn't live to see the completion of the restoration of the car. At some point in the future I intend to update the file on Dos Palmas to include it's re-discovery and restoration.

I am re-starting by adding some material I've had prepared, but never used, and by opening a file from regular contributor Clive Rooms which contains no less than 74 entries from between 1979 and 1999 that I'm pretty sure I haven't used yet. Details of those that I've added so far, and where to find them are, in the "Latest Updates" section below.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Clive, Jeremy Cookson, Nick Pettit, Simon Groves and John Hunt for their support and encouragement in getting me restarted. Thanks also to all those of you who have messaged to say you're pleased I'm re-starting the updates. I'll try not to let you down.

Finally, as I always like to say, please check out the Trakbytes Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/trakbyte if you haven't already. I post the odd picture and bit of info on there from time to time. If you feel up to it give the "Like" button a click, just so I know somebody bothered.

The Latest Updates

 

  • There's an update in the 1962 section with one ET for the Allard dragster at Long Marston. This was found scribbled in a programme for the event that is now owned by Richard Coe. Thanks Richard.

  • 1977 has the addition of a couple of end of season notes.

  • Details from Clive Rooms of the Street Machine Racer Championships at York in June 1983.

  • The 1980 section recieves four updates from Clive Rooms with details from York in May, where Graham Hawes & Steve Read appeared with their Pro Comp cars, and June. Also two dates from Long Marston where Dennis Priddle ran a demo with Mr Six in June, and details from the Norman Hyde Superbike Challenge in August.

  • 1988 has two Long Marston updates from Clive. Details of the Pro Mod class at the Real Steel Nationals in June and July, the latter of which was brought to an early finish by encroaching bad weather and the rollover of John Everitt's Camaro.

  • The somewhat sparse 1989 section gets a much needed boost with new European bests for Liv Berstad and Krister Johansson at Santa Pod in May. There are two new race dates and a new Mantorp Park Pro Comp speed record for the UK's Steve Read. The Cannonball entry in July has been updated with the addition Clive Mechaell's new European best ET for a blown Fuel Altered. And the details that Andy Carter sent me, many years ago, about his Street Championship win, have been added to their correct date after annoyingly floating around loose at the end of the page for over a decade.

  • 1990, a small update to the Easter Thunderball at SPR and a Funny Car addition to the May Springnatioinals. The UK's quickest Pro Mod race (at the time, obviously) is added to the Summernationals at Avon Park in July, and the UK's first side-by-side 200mph bike race has been added to the SPR World Finals in September. This has also been added to the Landmarks page. I've also undertaken a major re-write of the 1993 Cannonball entry. A lot of the details I've added came from the Anglia TV Wheels coverage of the event that I still have on VHS. But, rather than hunt the tape out and set up the old VCR, I found a poor quality copy on YouTube.

  • Back to Clives updates and the 1992 section has details of a return to the strip for John Hobbs, albeit in a rather unfamiliar mode of transport for him.

  • Details of Santa Pod's Mayday Bracket Race in 1993.

  • 1994 has details from the Outlaw Anglia class at Avon Park in May, details from Santa Pod in May of Adam Hewitt's achievement of becoming the quickest and fastest Harley pilot outside the USA. There are also Pro Mod details from Avon Park's Powerfest in June, and Outlaw Anglia and Top Alcohol details from SPR's "Krazy Dub Fest" in August.

  • From the above updates I have updated the Trakbytes Hall Of Fame files for Dennis Priddle, Allan Herridge,  Sydney Allard and John Hobbs,

That's all for now. Thanks for dropping by.

Latest News 18/1/14

Welcome to the latest update to Trakbytes. Not a huge one this time, just the tidying up of some loose ends that I wanted to complete before the new year. So I failed with that ambition. Oh well, this is near enough. Happy new year.... The delay did however give me time though to discover a date that nobody has so far been able to provide for the archive, that of Alf Hagon's run at Suffolk's Honington airbase in 1968 which saw him become the first Englishman to top the 200mph mark on a motorcycle. Just over a week ago, in the course of my day-to-day work I found myself on the crowded industrial estate in Hainault, Essex, where Alf's business Hagon Shocks Ltd. is located and now managed by his son Martin. Unable to resist the urge to pop in and take a look at the famous bike I abandoned the truck and took a quick walk to the workshops. There a very helpful gent by the name of Tony took me upstairs to the quiet first floor room that is now home to the JAP and a dozen or so other notable machines. The bike I was interested in sat at the head of the room and believe it or not I had goosebumps when I finally saw it in the flesh. That's right, I've seen countless photos and written countless words about this legendary machine but this was the first time I had actually had the pleasure of meeting it. It was fascinating to finally get a few minutes to examine the beast. It's a brilliant piece of engineering, and a purposeful looking machine, but to imagine hurtling up a runway at 200mph with the rear cylinders open rocker arm hammering away like a demented sewing machine needle just a couple of inches away from your, erm, gentlemans area, is truly terrifying. I took a few pictures with my phone (what a strange world we live in) and Tony shared some of his knowledge of the bikes history, even going to the lengths of digging out the original mould for the famous Hagon nose-cone before I left. I was grinning for the next hour as I drove away. My thanks to Tony for taking the time to let me meet a piece of drag racing history and providing the date for that amazing 200mph run. I will be in touch when I replace the shock on my bike Tony!

On to the rest of this update. Regular visitors (Yes there really are some) will know that I've spent a while adding a huge amount of material that has kindly been compiled by Clive Rooms. Early in December I finally got to the end of his submissions which filled many of the gaps from the beginnings of the archive up to the end of the nineteen seventies. Within a couple of days I received a number of e mails from Clive with another mammoth, and I do mean substantial, amount of material that covers the years from 1980 to 1999. I'll get to work on these as soon as possible and in the meantime say a big thank you to Clive for all the work he has put in. It is very much appreciated, not only by me but by the visitors to the site.

There were a couple of questions on the last update which have now been resolved. Firstly my thanks to John Hobbs and his wife Cheryl for providing the date of Alf Hagon's 9.208 second run in 1968 which stood until 1974 when John had the cheek to beat it. It turns out I had the date all along but not the details for that meeting. Incidentally the aforementioned Clive Rooms also contacted me with the date a couple of days later. Jerry Cookson also got in touch, he of Shakespeare County Raceway fame, and sent an article from Custom Car Magazine which cleared up my confusion over the bike class results from the 1974 Long Marston meeting. Jerry also provided a scan of a flyer for a 1973 Fulbeck NDRC meeting which I have added to the archive. And long-time Trakbytes contributor Steve Collins answered an un-asked, but nevertheless valid question about the inaugural Snetterton meeting in the same year. Another racer who has been in touch is Zane Llewellyn who was searching the site for a mention of his crash at York in 1996. It wasn't there! But with his help this has now been rectified. Thanks Zane. That's the first time the 1995-1999 section has been updated in nearly thriteen years!

Details of all these updates and where to find them are in the "Latest Updates" section below.

My thanks to all those who have contributed material over the years. I have never claimed this archive to be the definitive version of events and always invited fans and racers to correct mistakes and add to the site. Any details you feel should be included, no matter how insignificant you think they might be, will be added as, for some reason, people seem to like reading this stuff. (If I was the sort of person who put smiley faces at the end of sentences there would be one here. But I'm not.)

Finally, as I always say, please check out the Trakbytes Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/trakbyte if you haven't already. I've added my recent pictures of Alf's JAP and post the odd picture and bit of info on there from time to time. If you feel up to it give the "Like" button a click, just so I know somebody bothered.

The Latest Updates

 

That's all for now. Thanks for dropping by.

Latest News 8/12/13

Welcome to the latest update to Trakbytes. For this one I decided I'd have a big push to finally get all of Clive Rooms submissions onto the site, and, I've managed it! A total of 39 new additions and a wealth of information. I'd like to thank Clive for all the work he has put in to preparing this material, it is very much appreciated. This final set of details has thrown up a few questions however, you can find them in the section below and I'll also post them on the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/trakbyte If you haven't seen it yet it might be worth a look as I post bits and bobs and the odd picture on there from time to time as well as items from the archives on the anniversaries of their original occurrence.... if that makes sense? The mailing list is still in operation also. If you would like to receive e mail notifications of any updates just enter your name and e mail address in the mailing list box on the front page of this site. Enough waffle from me, here we go.

The Latest Updates

 

  • 1966 has ten new dates added, many are sprint meetings held at Santa Pod with an alarmingly increasing number of "Slalom Sprints"! There are some details from the Motorcycling Club Sprint in September and a proper drag race meeting for the Mini Seven owners club in July. I also have added meeting titles for a couple of meetings where many class records were set in the latter part of the year, but these seem to also be club sprint meetings. Maybe Drag racers were invited to attend or used these meetings as practice sessions?

  • 1967 has the (time consuming) addition of details and all class results from the August Motorcycle Drag racing Championships where Alf Hagon continued his nine second form (even a flat tyre couldn't slow him down!) and details and all class results for the ambitiously named Motorcycle Records Meeting in September.

  • 1968 sees the addition of details and all class winners from Santa Pods combined car and bike meeting in November where the highlights included mid ten second runs from Harold Bull in Stripduster.

  • 1971 has details from Santa Pods Big Go in May, a meeting which strangely, until now, hadn't been included in the archive, and details from SPRs BDR&HRA meeting in June, Club Meeting in September and the October meeting which saw Dennis Priddle set a new European record and was possibly the last appearance of Tony Densham before his retirement from racing. To round off 1971 theres a few details from a heavily rain affected Fireworks Meeting in November.

  • On to 1974 and this was a big one. There was still a lot of Clives material to get through for this year. To kick off there's details from the May NDRC meeting at Blackbushe which saw a 12 year old car take the junior dragster win, and SPRs Big Go in May which looks to have been a very eventful weekend and was the scene of the first six second Funny Car run outside the U.S.A. The NDRC's meeting at Long Marston in June now has a date and more extensive details (including a Pro Stock vs Funny Car match race). I could do with some clarification of the previous detail that stated that the bikers refused to run their championship round at the track as they deemed it too bumpy. Clives report has results for the bikes but I must have got this information from somewhere. Also in June there's details of SPRs Wolfrace Trophy Meeting. It was here that John Hobbs finally beat Alf Hagons long-standing E.T. record. This threw up another question when I realised that I don't have the date of Alf's record in the archive. It would have been in late 1968. Does anyone have the accurate date please? Moving on to July and there's details from SPRs International which saw the quickest side-by-side Funny Car race outside the US at that time, and another eliminations win for that 12 year old car. Also in July The Pennine Drag Racing Team opened their own strip and there are a couple of details for that first meeting. Finally for July there's an update to the Drag Racing News Trophy meeting at SPR which saw the debut of a new top fueler, the demise of it's predecessor, and an unblown bike dipping into the nines for the first time. In August there's details from the G Max Trophy Meeting where Peter Crane was getting to grips with Stormbringer and Dennis Priddle set a new strip E.T. record. There's a large update to the Supernationals meeting which saw the demise of another Top Fueler and a new Funny Car E.T. record and the first six for a Houndog. This was the meeting where Owen Hayward stood the Houndog FC almost 90 degrees to the tarmac. There's a date in the archive for September the 8th at SPR but I have, and can find, no details for this date. Did an event take place? One that did take place, but until now didn't have an entry in the archive, is the International Meeting at Silverstone in September. Can't think how I managed to miss that one. There are now some details of the action that took place before the rain set in. There's also an update to the NDRCs first meeting at Snetterton where the circuit enjoyed their biggest crowd attendance of the year! Finally for '74 there's details of a soggy SPR meeting in October where a newly imported American Altered made it's debut. Here endeth the massive 1974 update. Phew...

  • Ok, deep breath and on to 1976. A new date and details of the Midlands division of the NDRCs meeting at Long Marston, There's another new date for the NDRC in August at Wroughton, and an update to SPRs August Supernationals which previously only contained one (incorrect) result. This meeting was rained off before the eliminations but was re-run two weeks later and there's details for this meeting added as well. There's also details from the Winternationals meet which saw the largest competing Swedish contingent Santa Pod had ever seen. Finally for '76 there's details from another soggy fireworks meeting where Barry Bowles rocket car made it's first run. This was the meeting that saw the final appearance of the UK Pro Stock class.

  • A couple of new entries for 1977, there's some bike detail from the NDRCs July meeting at Snetterton, this one has thrown up a question also, what was the christian name of Mr Brown who lost to Pete Smith in the semi-finals of Top Bike? My thanks to Keith Lee who has agreed with my suspicions that it may be Roger Brown and I'm going with that unless anyone can tell me otherwise? Also in '77 there's a load of detail from SPRs Winternationals where Henk Vink was dominating the Top Bike field and running a new personal best for good measure.

  • Oh........ and that appears to be that. That should be all of Clive's material uploaded to Trakbytes for now. From the above entries I have updated the Hall Of Fame entries for  Allan Herridge, Alf Hagon, Peter Crane, Dennis Priddle, The Stones, The Pages, Clive Skilton, and John Hobbs,

That's all for now. Thanks for dropping by.

Latest News 17/11/13

Welcome to the latest update to Trakbytes. It's nowhere near as large as the last one I'm afraid but I felt I should post something again so that you didn't all think I'd forgotten about the site.

In the interim though I'm very pleased to say that a collaboration I did some time ago with Alan Currans covering some of the quirkier machinery to have graced the dragstrips in the UK has been posted on Alans excellent Acceleration Archive. The photos in this article come from the extensive collection of Roger Phillips and it's well worth a look, as is the rest of Alans informative site. I've linked directly to the article here. Alan has also used (with my blessing!) my text on the 1973 series of internationals with more of Rogers photos.

On the subject of other sites I was sad to receive an e mail from Chris Blows who built and ran the Houndog Racing website with the news that he was no longer able to manage the site. But soon after Jon Spoard from UKDRN stepped in to take the reigns and the site will now continue under his control. Good news indeed.

I managed to get down to Santa Pod for one day of racing on the Saturday of the Euro Finals, and what a superb day it was. Plenty of excellent racing and I finally got to see a bike run under six seconds. Thank you Ian King, that was spectacular!

I have recently been in touch with a well known bike racer who appears frequently in the archives. It turns out he lives just across the fields from me and he is lending me some material that may be very useful for the site in the coming weeks/months/years??? I'll be posting a couple of teasers soon on the Facebook page. What's that? A Facebook page? Yes indeed, you can also keep up to date with the latest updates by visiting the Trakbytes Facebook page which can be found at http://www.facebook.com/trakbyte If you haven't seen it yet it might be worth a look as I will be posting the odd snippet and picture on there as well as, from time to time, items from the archives on the anniversaries of their original occurrence.... if that makes sense? The mailing list is still in operation also. If you would like to receive e mail notifications of any updates just enter your name and e mail address in the mailing list box on the front page of this site.

The Latest Updates

 

  • There are some new dates in the 1966 section, although these Club Sprint meetings may not strictly qualify as Drag Races I include them as they took place at venues that went on to become important in the development of the sport in the UK. There are a few times and speeds for some of the dragsters present at the Debden meeting in June and lots of detail on SPRs first ever bike-only drag race meeting in July.

  • 1967 has the addition of details of the drag racers performances at the annual Evesham Automobile clubs sprint in June.

  • A decade later in 1976 there's details of Santa Pod's Big Go in May which saw a 392ci engined Funny Car run under seven seconds for the first time to lead the qualifying,

  • 1978 sees the addition of details from the NDRC's 4th round of National Championships at Snetterton in June, which saw some record setting performances from some of the bikes, and the sixth round at Blackbushe in August. There are also details from the ninth round of the year which took place at Snetterton in September and this turned out to be the NDRC's last meeting at that venue. There are details too of the NDRC's next meeting which took place at Blackbushe two weeks later. I've also added the final NDRC meeting at Radlett in October although this meeting was badly affected by rain. The weather took its toll on SPRs Winternationals meeting in October too but surprisingly the Fireworks meeting was unaffected. It was at this meeting that Roz Prior set a new E.T. mark for a female UK driver that would stand for the next 20 years!

  • From the above entries I have updated the Hall Of Fame entries for Allan Herridge, Alf Hagon, Peter Crane, Dennis Priddle, Tony Dickson, The Stones, The Pages, Clive Skilton, and John Hobbs,

That's all for now. Thanks for dropping by.

Latest News 14/6/13

Welcome to the latest update to Trakbytes. It's a largeish one this time as I have been adding new entries in the odd spare moments I have and decided to see how many I could fit into one update. If I could be bothered to look back over the years I might discover that 47 new entries in one update is a new record. And I might not. But I can't be bothered to find out. And nor can you. So let's assume it is for now and leave it at that.

Once again the material added on this update has all come from the submissions of Clive Rooms. Although the wealth of new entries supplied by Clive hasn't run out yet, even after this (possibly) record breaking update, it can't last forever so if any of you out there have anything at all you feel should be included in the archives somewhere then please send it in. The sixties and seventies sections are well represented (although there are still gaps) but some of the eighties and nineties sections are still a bit sparse.

Since the last update I took the rare opportunity to spend three whole days at Santa Pods Main Event. It's been a few years since I got to spend a whole weekend lazing around as a spectator and very enjoyable it was too. Great weather, spectacular racing and I even bumped into a few old friends here and there just for good measure.

Don't forget you can also keep up to date with the latest updates (record breaking or not) by visiting the Trakbytes Facebook page which can be found at http://www.facebook.com/trakbyte If you haven't seen it yet it might be worth a look as I will be posting the odd snippet and picture on there as well as, from time to time, items from the archives on the anniversaries of their original occurrence.... if that makes sense? The mailing list is still in operation also. If you would like to receive e mail notifications of any updates just enter your name and e mail address in the mailing list box on the front page.

The Latest Updates

 

  • There are seven new dates added to the 1965 section, some with a few details, four new dates/details and an update for 1966.

  • 1967 has the addition of details and all class results for SPR's July bike meeting and the Drag Racing & Hot Rod Magazine Trophy Meeting for cars in the same month, again with all class results.

  • 1968 and we are a little closer to pinpointing the date of Alf Hagon's 200mph milestone. It seems to have taken place possibly in September. Can anyone provide an accurate date for this? Also in September of that year a sad addition with the tragic death of Ian Ashwell in Brighton, a fact that, I'm sorry to say, I was unaware of until now. Also in '68 there's details and all results from Santa Pod's second annual Motorcycle Championships and later on in October details and all eliminations results from the re-run of that September meeting. There's also details of a number of racers taking a trip to Silverstone for some demonstration runs, also in October.

  • 1969 sees another sad addition with the death of John Woolfe in June, a new Santa Pod date, also in June, and details and all results from the BDR&HRA "On Tour" meeting at Hullavington in September.

  • On to the seventies and 1971 has some details from SPR's Season Opener which saw the racing debut of the Page Brothers, some details from the May meeting where Mike Hutcherson had a slick blow at 140mph in the Houndog rail. Away from Santa Pod in '71 there's details in May from RAF North Luffenham which includes the quickest time recorded at an NDRC meeting at that point.

  • 1972 sees the addition of some details from an NDRC meeting at Martlesham Heath near Ipswich where the general public were not admitted as the meeting there two years earlier had attracted too many of them! Back to SPR for an August meeting that saw some notable performances before the reliable old summer weather took it's toll, finally in '72, in September there's a new strip ET record for Santa Pod and Bootsie ran the fastest speed in the UK at that time.

  • Skipping past '73 (even though it's not quite full, yet...) and on to 1974 we have details of SPRs Season Opener, Blackbushes Spring Smoker meet in April and also SPRs Easter meet where every Top Bike competitor ran in the nines, the first time this had happened outside the U.S. A week later at a rainy Wroughton there's details of a meeting that became downgraded to practice status where an ex U.S. Pro Stocker made it's debut, and back at SPR at the MayDay meeting the debut of another Pro Stocker, and more rain.

  • 1975 has the addition of details from a wintery Snetterton Easter meeting in March, the debut of the Uks Pro Comp class and a great looking new Funny Car at Blackbushe in April, there's also a correction to the date for the July meeting at Aintree.

  • 1976 and details of a Snetterton meeting that took place the day before the famous Santa Pod Easter meeting and saw the debut of another great looking UK Funny Car, many teams were at both meetings which must have been a hectic and tiring weekend for them! Also in '76 there's detail from SPRs May Day meeting and at the other end of the month Snettertons one day meeting that saw the Hillbillies Funny Car go out in a fireball.

  • 1977 and SPRs Season Opener saw the debut of a new rail for Roz Prior, who had the car running some very respectable times by the May Day Summernationals meeting, details of which are also added. Also for '77 details of the NDRC meeting at a windy Blackbushe in April and Snetterton in May which saw just one entry in Pro Comp and the absence of some regular names who were racing in Sweden that day.

  • 1978 sees the addition of details from Blackbushe's NDRC meeting in April, the Mayday Festival Of Speed at SPR saw a visit from two American bike racers, one of whom was making a return visit, which attracted a lot of attention, the meeting made it to the third day before the weather ended things prematurely. And on that same day the rain got the better of the NDRCs inaugural Radlett meeting where three new cars made their debut and a burnout competition was held instead of racing. Finally in '78 there's details from the NDRCs Blackbushe meeting in May.

  • Finally for this update the 1979 section has details of the NDRCs June Blackbushe meeting, a joint venture between the NDRC Midlands division and the Pennine Drag Racing Club at Long marston in August followed by a second meeting of the same format in September.

  • And really finally, from the above updates I have updated the Hall Of Fame entries for Allan Herridge, Alf Hagon, John Hobbs, The Pages, The Stones, Dennis Priddle, Clive Skilton Peter Crane and Tony Dickson,

  • Oh, and even more finally than that, the Help Us Find page has a request regarding information on wether John Hobbs ever built engines for anyone else?....

So that's it for this record breaking (possibly) update. Did you make it this far? Well done! Thanks for dropping by.

Latest News 12/4/13

Welcome to the latest update to Trakbytes.  I'm posting this update today to mark the 47th anniversary of the death of Sydney Herbert Allard on April 12th 1966. Interest in Sydney and his cars has increased in recent years, particularly since the Allard Chrysler Action Group began their restoration of his famous Dragster. This time I've departed from the usual random additions across the decades and concentrated mainly on adding as much material as I could find (for the time being) to illustrate just how hard Sydney and his team worked to promote Drag Racing to the UK public.  A look at the 1961 & 1962 sections of the archive will now reveal that pretty much every entry relates to the great man. It's sad to remember that having put so much effort into building the sport up Sydney died the day after the UK's first permanent dragstrip, Santa Pod, was opened.

I've gathered details from the Allard Owners Club website, Sydney's entry on Wikipedia and Brian Taylor's excellent book Crazy Horses and combined them with the entries I already had. Not all the details are clear, even when comparing many differing sources, but the entries between 1960 and 1963 are accurate as far as I can tell. Unless of course you know different? There may still be some gaps so I'd really appreciate any further information to help complete the picture.

Don't forget you can also keep up to date with the latest updates by visiting the Trakbytes Facebook page which can be found at http://www.facebook.com/trakbyte If you haven't seen it yet it might be worth a look as I will be posting the odd snippet and picture on there as well as, from time to time, items from the archives on the anniversaries of their original occurrence.... if that makes sense? The mailing list is still in operation also. If you would like to receive e mail notifications of any updates just enter your name and e mail address in the mailing list box on the front page.

The Latest Updates

As I've already mentioned the sections between 1960 and 1963 now have a dozen or so new or updated entries relating to Sydney Allard. There are also a few entries from the wealth of new material supplied by Clive Rooms I have added the following; a new Sprint meeting in August 1963 where a number of drag racers, including Sydney Allard, were making their presence felt, and to finish off, a few non-Allard entries: another new sprint date at Blackbushe in April 1965 and in the same month a motorcycle sprint on a certain airfield near Podington, in June of that year, at Graveley, what was to become a very successful dragster for Allan Herridge made it's on track debut after an eight month build.

From the above updates I have updated the Hall Of Fame entries for Sydney Allard and Allan Herridge,

Thanks for dropping by.

Latest News 24/3/13

Welcome to the latest update to Trakbytes. I'm working my way through the new material supplied by regular contributor Clive Rooms as and when I get any spare moments. I'll post them to the site when I think there's enough there to make a worthwhile update. I hope you find something of interest.

Don't forget you can also keep up to date with the latest updates by visiting the Trakbytes Facebook page which can be found at http://www.facebook.com/trakbyte

The Latest Updates

I have added a few new links to the Draglinks page, including the websites for Peter Crane and Team Pegasus. There's also a link to the site for the Blackbushe Reunion, an event which is creating a lot of interest. To be honest if you're interested in this nostalgia aspect of the sport you'll probably be aware of most of the sites I've listed but hopefully the links will be of interest to new visitors.

There's a new addition at the top of the Help Us Find page. A request from Brian Keating in the US who is researching the history of a very interesting looking Hagon-equipped BSA dragbike called Twiggy. I was unable to help him but maybe somebody out there knows something. There's a couple of pictures to help jog any memories.

From the material submitted by Clive Rooms I have added the following. 1963 details of Sydney Allard and Allan Herridges performances at a Long Marston sprint and a pinpointed date for what should have been the UK's first Drag Race in August. There's a new date to the calendar for June 1964, an update with some more Bootsie detail in June 1964, and another new date in September of that year for Dante Duce's return to Brighton. In 1969 there's an early meeting at Santa Pod that was downgraded to practice status after the weather took it's toll on the timing equipment, and in July the "On Tour" meeting went one step better by not taking place at all. The following week that year saw some UK racers take a trip to race in Sweden and Clive has now provided the correct date for this event. On to 1972 and a new date in March, a practice day for the NDRC at Upper Heyford, and a new best for Revolution III in April. 1976 sees the addition of another of those Santa Pod March season openers that suffered with the weather, and a number of UK racers took another trip to Sweden in May. 1979 sees the addition of details for the NDRC meeting at Blackbushe which saw the debut of two new Pro Comp cars, and more Blackbushe details in September where one of those cars, piloted by Trakbytes contributor Tim Claxton, took the top honours in the final.

Clive has also contacted me recently with another addition to the Pre 1960 page. As you will be aware if you've ever looked at this section of the archive a number of the early entries relate to sprint meetings which pre date UK Drag Racing. These are important because as people began to gain interest in hot rods and dragsters these meetings were the only places to run such vehicles. In fact the format of some sprint meetings suggests that they were drag races in all but name. As the popularity of Drag Racing gained strength there is a certain amount of merging and over-lappage between the two disciplines but this new entry, from 1899, has to be the earliest ever record of this kind of straight line motorsport.

From the above updates I have updated the Hall Of Fame entries for Sydney Allard, Allan Herridge, Dennis Priddle, Tony Densham The Stones The Pages Tony Dickson and Clive Skilton

Latest News 3/3/13

Welcome to the latest update to Trakbytes...... Wow, it's been a while since I last typed that sentence. So here we go. As long as I have new material to add I will continue to do so although I can't make any promises as to how often these updates will appear. I'm very pleased to say that regular contributor Clive Rooms still had in his possesion a large number of meeting details that he'd prepared some time ago and has now kindly sent me. These include plenty of new dates included that will help fill some of the gaps in the archive. I imagine there's a few updates worth of material there, many thanks for all your work in compiling these Clive. However don't let that stop you from sending in anything else you feel should be included. I will of course still be adding new material that I have researched myself, but will concentrate on adding readers submitted material first.

For anyone who may be new to the site here's how it all works. I have always encouraged visitors to add material to the site. Whether it be meeting results, programme covers, anecdotes, snippets or a single detail from a single meeting. If it's relevant it will be added. Corrections are also welcomed. I have never claimed that Trakbytes is the absolute definitive version of events. When researching details for the site they can quite often be found from only a single source, and that may not be accurate. So if there is anything here that you think may be incorrect, or you have any info you'd like to see added, then please get in touch.

It's easy to find the new entries in the archive pages. The year links in the updates section below will take you to the right year, then just scroll down and look for a  or anAlternatively just browse the archive from the links on the left of the page.

The "Search The Site" facility included on Trakbytes seems to still be working. If you are looking for details of a particular racer or vehicle then it could be of some use. You can find the link on the left. The search results will get you to the correct page but unfortunately you'll still have to search the text for the names you're looking for.

Don't forget you can also keep up to date with the latest updates by visiting the Trakbytes Facebook page which can be found at http://www.facebook.com/trakbyte

The Latest Updates

I have tackled the huge number of defunct links on the Draglinks page. It's a shame that some interesting sites have fallen by the wayside. This page looks a little deflated now but I'll be adding new links over the next few weeks.

In the 1976 section there's details of the UKs first every show devoted entirely to Drag Racing machinery. It took place in January where, unfortunately, the spectators were a little thin on the ground, unlike the snow.

That's the full extent of my own material for this update! But, continuing where we left off in the History Archives a few years back, there are a number of new entries from Clive Rooms. The Pre-1960 section doesn't get updated too often but Clive has provided entries for 1923 and 1924 relating to the Brighton Motor week event.

1962, a new entry for Sydney Allard and an update to Allan Herridge's 1963 entry. There's also details of a 1966 Graveley Practice Day which was attended by a well known visiting American racer.

1967 has details of Santa Pod's April and June Motorcycle meetings, the second of which saw the first appearance of the American Commandos team. There are also seperate results sheets for these meetings. Also in 1967 Clive finally locates the date for Alf Hagons nine second milestone run. This entry was originally supplied to me by Alf himself.

Two new entries in the 1978 section, both from Santa Pod. The season opener saw problems with a newly laid track surface while the Easter Internationals saw the return of Raymond Beadle and the first mention I can find of Swedens Lee Anders Hasslestrom in a UK Funny Car eliminator

There's an update to Santa Pod's season opener entry in 1979 but it's not all about SPR. There's details from the NDRC's Blackbushe meeting in April, and the first Midlands division meeting at Long Marston in May & Snetterton in June.

From the above updates I have updated the Hall Of Fame entries for Sydney Allard, Allan Herridge, Alf Hagon, Dennis Priddle, The Stones, The Pages, Tony Densham, John Hobbs and Peter Crane.

Latest News 27/1/13

Well it's been over six years now since I added any updated material to the site. Erm......sorry. Various changes in my personal life and work commitments meant that, despite my best intentions, I really couldn't find the time to put any more work into this project. My thanks go to Stu Bradbury and Lee Messenger from the British Drag Racing Hall Of Fame who helped with the hosting of the site during this time. I'm very happy that the BDRHOF website continues to carry a link to Trakbytes on it's front page. Stu's enthusiasm for Trakbytes played a big part in making sure that I would one day return to continue the work I have started here.

The first thing I need to do before starting to compile and add new material is go through the site and make sure all the links and pages still work. In particular a lot of the sites on the Draglinks page have disappeared or moved. I also need to re-familiarise myself with this page editing software and the FTP process. Please bear with me as I will undoubtedly be making the odd mistake from time to time. In the meantime if you have any material you think may be suitable for inclusion on the site please send it in. Additions to the History Pages, anecdotes snippets and articles are all welcome. I probably won't be expanding the Photo Galleries much in the future. As I have mentioned previously there are a number of other sites that cater predominantly for photos, and do a much better job of it than I ever could.  Alan Currans Acceleration Archive and Jon Spoards UK Drag Racing Nostalgia site are two of my favorites.

I'd like to think that this site is still read and referred to by people from time to time. It would be nice to hear from you if that's so. It may even give me a bit of a kick in the correct area to spur me into action. The e mail address for the site is now up and running again so feel free to use it.

One other thing. I fully realise that the Trakbytes website is not a state of the art piece of work. My webpage designing and building skills are still somewhat limited, and I daresay will continue to be, and this really is about as good and up to date as I can get it! I'm just going to have to hope you will accept content above style......

 

 

 

 

Previous Updates

Latest News 16/5/06

Welcome to the latest update to Trakbytes. I am pleased to say that in the four months since I re-launched the site I have renewed contact with many of the regular contributors and correspondents, and I have also heard from many people who have discovered Trakbytes for the first time, including some of the many racers featured in the archives. I am aware that lots of you out there are missing the regular updates to the site. As I have explained before I would like to add to the site on a more regular basis but time does not permit this. I hope that this latest small offering satisfies your thirst for nostalgia, for a short while at least.

There has been a particular interest in UK Drag racing nostalgia in recent months which has been helped along by Stu Bradbury's excellent idea to launch a UK Drag Racing Hall Of Fame. You can read the story of this in Stu's own words on Andy Kirk's Drag Rod And Classic Review here...

At the re-launch of the site I mentioned that I will not be concentrating too much on adding to the photo archive on this site. I will be continuing with the pictures that have already been donated to the site but after that I will be concentrating mainly on the other parts of the archive. There are a few other sites that cater predominantly for photos. Alan Currans Acceleration Archive and Jon Spoards UK Drag Racing Nostalgia site are two of my favorites. Jon has recently begun to update his site again and, as well as a huge set of photo galleries, has a nice collection of video clips, most of which you won't find anywhere else. On the subject of video (well sort of) Nick Pettit recently contacted me to tell me that his impressive set of Time Travel videos (of which I own a fair few!) are now available on DVD. In addition to this he has launched a website detailing them which also includes some photos from his collection. If you have never seen the Time Travel collection, and you have bothered to read this far, then you have to give them a look. Although with a current total of 48 volumes it will be a tough choice deciding where to start. You can find links to Nick's, Jon's and Alan's sites on the Draglinks page.

There is now a "Search The Site" function included on Trakbytes. I introduced it some time ago but didn't announce it as I wanted to see how well it worked first. I'm glad to say it seems to work quite well so feel free to check it out. If you are looking for details of a particular racer or vehicle then it could be very useful. You can find the link on the left.

Finally don't forget to visit the Help Us Find... page and see if you can help anyone find what they are looking for.

The Latest Updates

In the History Archives there are a number of new entries from Clive Rooms. The first of these is from 1905 would you believe. The next is bang up to date from 1962 (details of Sydney Allards entry in a Debden Speed Trial). There's more in 1965 with a FTD for John Lloyd at a Duxford Sprint in April. In the 1970 section there is a new entry that saw the Santa Pod strip speed record broken three times in one day in June. The 1972 section has details of a previously unrecorded meeting in March where the Stones debuted a new car. There's details from every class added to the Santa Pod European Drag Racing Grand Prix in April/May 1988 There's details in the 1992 section of an Avon Park meeting in April, of which I only previously had the winners list, and a huge report of Santa Pods Main Event in May.

Following on from the above updates there are now new Hall Of Fame entries for Sydney Allard, Dennis Priddle, Tony Densham and The Stones.

Some time ago Rupert Lloyd Thomas sent me a couple of scans from 1969. The first is from a Drag Racing show in Croydon, in January. Rupert kindly supplied some details to go with the programme cover he sent. The second is a flyer from the Elvington World Records Weekend in October. Both these events have been added to the 1969 archive. Rupert now lives in Canada but had an article published in the BDR&HRA newsletter in autumn 1971 about his trips to race meetings in the States. By chance a picture appeared in the November 1971 issue of Hot Rod magazine which caught Rupert on one of his visits. He is the young guy here with the bag that has London England painted on it.

In the Special Features section the list of Blackbushe race dates has been updated with some missing detail. A big thanks to Jeremy Cookson for the extra info which helps complete the story. Unless you know otherwise...

In the same section you will find the concluding part of the Dos Palmos Diaries, a unique look at the personal notes of Peter Godlee who looked after the mechanical side of the Dos Palmos dragster for the Croft Partnership. This section covers the arrival of Bill Weichelt, the re-naming of the car, the world records and the abrupt end to the story.

There's an update to the Photo Archive with another selection from Tim Claxtons collection. Included are some of UK Drag Racings most famous vehicles. The Skilton fueler, Tee Rat, The Gladiator and Stardust to name but four.

The second Photo update features another gallery from Dick Thompson. This includes such vehicles as Mickey Mouse, Mean As Hell and the Mantis wheelie truck with all wheels off the ground.

The third (yes third!) update to the Photo Archive features a number of pictures sent to me by ex-pat Bill Taylor. They all date from around the late sixties/early seventies. A lot of Bill's pictures have appeared on David Kiplings site (see Draglinks) but I don't think there is any overlappage (?) here. Some of the pictures are of a slightly dodgy quality but I make no apologies for that as the subject matter is exemplary.

Latest News 1/1/06

Perhaps if I just carry on like nothing happened nobody will notice...........

Oh alright then, I know you're not that daft. Welcome back to Trakbytes. It has been 17 months since the last update to the site and somewhere in the region of just under a year since the site vanished from the web. I won't go into details about the circumstances that were the cause of this, all you need to know is that it's back and hopefully won't be going away again.

A big thank you to all of you that sent messages telling me how much you missed it while it was gone. It's always nice to know that someone out there is actually bothering to read all this stuff. An equally big thanks to the kind folk who made much appreciated offers of help in getting it back. You know who you are.

What we have here is the site exactly as it was before it vanished. nothing has changed except this page and the URL. It took a lot of work to upload everything again and in the process I had to update and repair a lot of links between sections. It is possible, if not highly likely, that there may be one or two that I missed. I checked through as thoroughly as I could but if anyone discovers something I have missed then let me know. I am aware that the Draglinks page needs attention and I will be attending to that in due course.

For anyone who may be new to the site I have always encouraged visitors to add material to the site. Wether it be meeting results, programme covers, anecdotes, snippets or a single detail from a single meeting. If it's relevant it will be added. Corrections are also welcomed. I have never claimed that Trakbytes is the absolute definitive version of events. When researching details for the site they can quite often be found from only a single source, and that may not be accurate. So if there is anything here that you think may be incorrect then get in touch.

How often will the site be updated? The truth is I don't know. A change of jobs for me, not to mention the addition of two children to the family, means that spare time is a rare thing these days. All I can promise is that I will update it whenever possible. I have a mountain of new material to add, including many photos from Dick Thompson and another gallery from Tim Claxton. After those particular additions I may have to scale down any new additions to the photo galleries. These additions do take up a lot of time to prepare and to be honest there are some terrific photo-specific sites catering for this side of the nostalgia scene that do it much better than I ever could. Standing above all others is my buddy Alan Currans Acceleration Archive. A rapidly expanding wealth of photographic nostalgia. The only exceptions will be any really good rare stuff that comes my way that I don't want Alan to have. I'm sure you will be understanding mate!

If anyone reading this is signed up to the mailing list, and did not get a mailshot about the re-opening of the site before the news appeared on Eurodragster, then it is possible you did not update your details when changing e mail addresses. The subscription form is on the front page of the site. Any e mail addresses that bounced back from the mailing list will have been removed. So get yourself signed up again in case I ever get an update posted!

NOTE: If you have had trouble replying from the mailshot it is because I forgot to update the reply address (doh!) I have rectified this now.

So, enough waffle for now. A happy new year to you all. I am looking forward to hearing from some of my regular correspondents who I have lost touch with over the last few months, and hearing from new visitors to the site. - Chris

 

Latest News 17/8/04

What's going on?

Regular visitors to the site will have noticed the recent annoying appearance of advertisements and pop-ups on the site, along with the absence of any recent updates. Please accept my apologies for these, it is due to circumstances currently beyond my control. The main reason is that I am temporarily unable to meet the costs of renewing my host's fees and so the site has been downgraded to a free service host for the time being. Unfortunately it also means that I will have to suspend the updates to the site as the free service does not provide enough webspace for any new material. Bandwidth is also limited so you may not always be able to access the site. Another drawback is that the e mail address on this site will no longer work so please do not try to use it. If you wish to contact me you can do so by clicking here. I do hope to be able to have the site back to normal in the not too distant future. In the meantime thanks for your patience - Chris

 

Latest News 26/3/04

Welcome to the latest Trakbytes update. As you may have noticed they are becoming more regular again. The new additions to the site are listed below and I am pleased to say that the first of Dick Thompson's photo galleries has now been posted in the Photo Archive. I met Dick some time ago after he initially contacted me with reference to one of his photos that I had used on the Showtime site. I'm sure you will enjoy seeing some of his work over the next few updates. Continuing on the photo theme a previous contributor to this site, Chris Dawson, has contacted me to let me know that he has posted some of his photos on his own site. You can find them here; www.madhats.co.uk/dragpics. And if nostalgia photos are your thing don't forget to check out Alan Currans site at www.theaccelerationarchive.co.uk. Alan has been regularly updating his site, obviously he has far too much spare time on his hands! Finally for now Danne from Sweden contacted me recently to let me know about his Swedish Dragracing nostalgia site at race68.com. It's well worth a look if you haven't already seen it, the nostalgia galleries contain some vehicles that will be very familiar to UK fans, including some of "that Jeep..", in fact some of the vehicles there also appear in the latest Tim Claxton gallery update on this site. Finally there is a new poll now open for the Hall Of Fame. Take a look at the list of possible new inductees and vote for your favorite. The winner will be included in the Hall Of fame as part of a future update.

The Latest Updates

  • Be sure to check out the "Help Us Find" section and see if you can help anyone with finding the information they are seeking, or post your own request, the latest entries include requests for help on matters such as Tim Cooks Chevies, a film of the '73 Internats and the Tokyo Tart!
  • The next installment of the Dos Palmos Diaries has been posted in the Special Features section. The new material, from page 10 to page 14 records the teams performances at the 1965 Dragfests, the subsequent break-up of the Croft partnership and the arrival, four years later of a new driver. There are now links to various sections of the diaries at the bottom of the introduction page so you can jump straight to the new sections.
  • The Photo Archive has been updated with the addition of the latest batch from the Tim Claxton collection and the first in a series of galleries from Dick Thompson. Dick has supplied a number of photos that will appear over the next few updates. The first features some of his driver portraits.
  • Clive Rooms has supplied race reports for no less than 11 meetings in the 1981 and 1982 sections. These were badly needed as the eighties section was the least detailed section in the archives.
  • There are two updated entries in the 1975 section that I put together some time ago and never got around to posting. They are the GMAX Trophy meeting at the end of September and the September International a week earlier. Both these entries have been enlarged considerably and also now contain full results lists.
  • There are new entries in the Hall Of Fame files for The Stones, Allan Herridge, John Hobbs, the Pages, Peter Crane and Dennis Priddle. There is now a new poll available on the Hall Of Fame page so take a ok and vote for the racer you would like to see included next.

Latest News 8/2/04

Welcome to the latest Trakbytes update and the first for 2004. There are some updates this time that may not be too obvious at first glance. My thanks go to Clive Rooms, who has contributed before with help in compiling the list of Blackbushe dates. He supplied me with a list of 22 corrections and updates to dates that were incorrect throughout the archives. Fortunately there was nothing too serious, and correcting them took less time than I imagined, but I cannot forgive myself for getting the date of the 1965 Blackbushe Dragfest wrong! Clive then offered to compile some race reports for some of the missing meetings in the archive, and I naturally took him up on this. I need all the help I can get here! So the first of Clives reports are contained in this update. Many thanks Clive.

The Hall Of Fame vote should be back in action on the next update and I will have the first set of photos in the Dick Thompson Galleries. There will also be more race reports from Clive as another batch have appeared in my inbox as I type this.

The Latest Updates

Latest News 6/12/03

Another update so soon! You can tell that the long winter nights are drawing in.

The votes are in for the latest addition to the Trakbytes Hall Of Fame. It was a close thing again with two favorites heading the field. In the end it was the Page boys that took the honours and their page is now added to the site. I e mailed Gary Page and had him check out the entry before publication and he was kind enough to supply a few corrections. He also sent the following message:

...have read the feature and think it is great...thank you very much for this it is a great honour that people think so much of my family to vote for us, please thank them. - Gary Page

There will be a new poll in place for the next entry soon. If you have any suggestions as to who should be in the running please e mail me and let me know.

This update sees the first in a series of new additions in the Special Features section. There you will find the first four pages of a genuine 1960's drag racing diary which was kept by Peter Godlee who was part of the Croft partnership that owned the Dos Palmos dragster from 1965 onwards.

In memory of William Peter Dossett 1952 - 2003

The Latest Updates

  • Be sure to check out the new "Help Us Find" section and see if you can help anyone with finding the information they are seeking, or post your own request, the latest comes from one of the most well known and successful Altered pilots of the 1970's.
  • As mentioned above the Pages' are the latest entries into the Hall Of Fame. These files are a compilation of all the relevant details from the Trakbytes archive plus any additional details that I may have.
  • Also new in the Hall Of Fame are some of Dick Thompsons photos in the Sammy Miller section. I will be hosting some more of Dicks photos here soon so stay tuned!
  • In the 1973 season there is a short summary of some of the achievements of the drag racers that attended the Elvington records event. I don't have the date for this but believe it to have been in September. Can anyone clarify this? At the end of the '73 section there is a list of the eleven UK Drag Bike riders who had made runs under ten seconds.
  • 1975 sees a new entry at the beginning of August with details a visit to Sweden by some of the UK's finest. Also in August there is an updated entry for the Holiday Weekend Supernationals at SPR with an updated results sheet also. On to September at the Snetterton International and there is a major re-write of the meeting with plenty of new details including the climax of the TOR LINE Funny Car championship. Finally for '75 there is a new entry with details from the NDRC Championship Finals at Blackbushe.
  • The Special Features section now includes the first installment from the 'Dos Palmos Diaries'. A unique look at Peter Godlee's notes from his time with the famous dragster.
  • The Photo Archive has been updated with the third of a series of pictures from the collection of Tim Claxton. The Claxton galleries are now located in their own section which is accessible from the main Photo Archive page.
  • There are new entries in the Hall Of Fame files of The Stones, John Hobbs, Clive Skilton, Dennis Priddle, Peter Crane and Tony Dickson.

Latest News 1/11/03

Oh there you are! Where have you been? OK I know I said that there would be more frequent updates after the last one, but it's only been five months! It's been a busy year I guess and spare time with a new baby in the house doesn't seem to exist!

Over the past few months a couple of notable events involving famous names from the UKs drag racing past have taken place. Firstly John Hobbs made his annual appearance at the North Weald Sprint with his famous twin-Weslake fuel bike The Hobbit. Also present was Alf Hagon himself with his legendary V-twin JAP on display. Sadly this was the last of the Classic Bike sponsored events after eleven years at this venue. The organisers, Motorsport Promotions, have pulled the plug due to the rising costs of staging the event. A great shame. Hobbs went out in style though and brought the meeting to a memorable close. On the very final run of the day Hobbs lined up the Hobbit alongside the twin-engined Triumph of Terry Fisher and proceeded to set a new strip record for the event at 8.80/154.7. Another '70s Drag Bike legend Keith Parnell has also been back in action this year. At 67 years young he is claiming a place in the Guiness Book Of Records as Britains fastest OAP! At a sprint event at Woodbridge Suffolk he set a top speed of 204mph on his modified 200bhp Kawasaki ZX-12R. He has just got himself a new set of leathers too so he doesn't look like slowing down just yet!

I also purchased myself a copy of E. J. Potters book 'Michigan Madman' from the guys at Hot Rod Nostalgia. E. J. was the guy who came over here with the US Commandos team in 1966 with his Chevy V8 motorcycle and left a huge impression on the crowds as well as (on one occasion) the guard rail! The book is an absolute gem and I couldn't put it down. It has some serious moments but on the whole is hilarious. It's written exactly the way E. J. speaks, which adds to its appeal. In these days of computer aided design it's hard to imagine that someone could come up with some of the machines he created by just making it up as he went along. It's also hard to believe that E. J. has managed to survive as long as he has. I thoroughly recommend that you get a copy somehow. I also recommend that you take a look at the Hot Rod Nostalgia website. They have a great range of books, photos, clothing, posters and much more and the service is great.

I have been working through my collection of magazines for the most recent updates but I have so much new material from contributors now that I will be concentrating solely on archiving that for the next few weeks/months/..... One of my regular contributors, Jim & Janet Smith, who contributed a large amount of the sixties material already on Trakbytes, have come up trumps again with another vast collection of material for me to wade through. Also Bill Haynes, who used to drive the 'Quarter Horse' Dragsters in the '60s/'70s has been in touch with some stuff for the site, the first of which is included on this update. Thanks Bill! I have decided also that as there is so much 'old news' to catch up on, and so little time in which to do it, I will no longer be covering the current years results and details on this site. There are a number of places where these are covered in detail on the web, Eurodragster.com is a great place to start and The European Drag Racing Database has a wealth of information. Finally the first installment of the previously mentioned 1960s Drag Racing Diary will be appearing on the next update. Stay tuned!

The 'Help Us Find...' page has been updated regularly with new entries from people looking for people, photos, vehicles and stuff. be sure to check out the list and see if you can help anyone in their search. This part of the site is updated as the new requests come in so don't wait for a major site update before checking for any new entries. If you do post a request to be included on this page please be sure to include a valid e mail address. If you're the guy who sent a request for pictures of Craig Lowes Fast Forward team you forgot to include a working e mail address!

Finally the vote for the next Hall Of Fame inductee will be closing soon in time for the next update. But I'm not telling you when that will be. Suffice to say it will not be another five months! Seems to be a two horse race at the moment. Vote now!

Thanks for stopping by.

The Latest Updates

  • Be sure to check out the new "Help Us Find" section and see if you can help anyone with finding the information they are seeking, or post your own request.
  • The Photo Archive has been updated with the second of a series of pictures from the collection of Tim Claxton. The latest addition includes some memorable UK Funny Cars.
  • Also new in the Photo Archive are some of my own snaps from the 2003 Power Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway.
  • The 1970 section has some additions from Bill Haynes of 'Quarter Horse' fame. The non-qualifiers elimination results have been added to the NDRC meetings from Martlesham in May and Elvington in August. The Elvington meeting also now recalls Bill match racing with a motorcycle. Can anyone remember who the biker was?

Latest News 15/5/03

Wow, I think that's possibly the longest time I have gone without an update! You have all been patient though with only a few reminding me repeatedly that it was about time I put some new material up. (You know who you are!) For those of you who are unaware of the news here Jo and I had a new addition to our family early in February with the arrival of our daughter Samantha. As you can imagine the small amount of spare time I once had seems to have vanished completely! And, in a bizarre inverted twist of fortune, I have found myself with more new material waiting to be added than ever before. As usual the material that has been donated by visitors to the site will take preference and be added first. The next few updates will see the addition of some great photos and a unique look at a sixties drag racing diary!

Over the last few months the Hall Of Fame vote has become a battle between two favorites with many of the votes coming from the same people, despite the fact that this should not be possible! Well the latest inductee has been decided by the state of the poll at the time of this update, and you can see the results on the left. A new vote starts from now and some of the names have been changed so take a look and vote for your favorite. I have an idea who the next winner may be though!

The 'Help Us Find...' page has been updated regularly with new entries from people looking for people, photos, vehicles and stuff. be sure to check out the list and see if you can help anyone in their search. This part of the site is updated as the new requests come in so don't wait for a major site update before checking for any new entries. There are ten requests for help at the moment. The latest comes from Phil Brown who is trying to locate the ex-Keith Lee 'Mutant' Lambretta.

Hopefully the next update should be along soon. Thanks for stopping by.

The Latest Updates

  • Be sure to check out the new "Help Us Find" section and see if you can help anyone with finding the information they are seeking, or post your own request.
  • The Photo Archive has been updated with the first of a series of pictures from the collection of Tim Claxton. Tim will need no introduction to those of you who were around Drag Racing in the seventies and the first gallery of his pictures contains photos of some of his own cars and projects from that era.
  • The latest addition to the Hall Of Fame has been voted in and it's The Stones Team who become the twelfth inductees. As with the other entries their page consists of all their Trakbytes archive entries compiled in one place along with any additional biographical details where I have them. This entry also includes the Stones team drivers Gerry Andrews and Dave Lee Travis. Like all parts of the site contributions are welcome.
  • The Historic Vehicles section has a new entry with a profile of the famous 'Mighty Mouse' Vincent of Brian Chapman Thanks to Alan Currans from the Acceleration Archive for providing the photos for this piece.
  • There has been a small update with a few more figures from the  official press debut of the Allard Dragon in April 1964
  • The 1973 section has the addition of two new entries in October, both at Santa Pod. The first saw Clive Skilton setting a new European speed record while the second saw the alarming debut of Dennis Priddles new Funny Car. There are full class results for both these entries also.
  • The 1975 section has two new entries in July, both with full results, and one in August. Anyone remember Drag Racing at Aintree? Also, at the end of the '75 section, there are details of a new class for the following season.
  • There are new Hall Of Fame entries in the files of Sydney & Alan Allard, Allan Herridge, Dennis Priddle, John Hobbs, Tony Dickson, Clive Skilton, and Peter Crane.

Latest News 19/1/03

Welcome to the first Trakbytes update for 2003. I was unable to get any more updates prepared before Christmas so I was unable to wish you all a Merry Christmas etc beforehand. Tough! Happy New Year anyway :o)

Firstly thanks must go to my Brother Bill who has succeeded where others (namely PC World) had failed, and managed to restore my errant laptop to a fully working condition. The benefit of this is that I can work on new material for the site while out on the road. Hopefully you should all see the benefit with more frequent updates. Cheers Bill.

While browsing the site I came across the long forgotten "Questions" page. It seemed to have been dormant for some time and so I decided that it's time had come and made the decision to remove it from the site on the next update. Lo and behold within a couple of days I received an e mail from Clive Rooms with answers to 8 of the 10 questions! Clive has also updated the Blackbushe list of events and brought it to what we believe is a completed state. If anyone knows of any events that are not included please let us know. The Blackbushe list is now residing on a new page called "Special Features" which you can find by clicking the link on the left.

The "Questions" page has now gone however and in its place is something I have been considering for a while. I have dealt with many requests from people trying to trace old friends or vehicles and, with the help of visitors to this site, we have had some successful outcomes. Now the site has a page devoted to this subject. On the "Help Us Find..." page you can view requests from people who require help in tracing someone or something, or would like some information on a particular subject. I will also be using it myself for some of those unanswered questions that still bug me! There is also a form included for you to post your own requests for help.

Finally a big thank you to John Hutchinson who has single handedly provided enough video clips for me to launch a section devoted to them. If anyone else has any clips they would like to contribute they will be gratefully received. The Video page will be launched on the next update however as I have not had time to get it up and running yet. Stay tuned.

The Latest Updates

  • Be sure to check out the new "Help Us Find" section and see if you can help anyone with finding the information they are seeking, or post your own request.
  • The 2000 and beyond section has finally been brought up to date with the remaining happenings from the 2002 season.
  • The Anecdotes section has a new addition with a contribution from Ron "Too Small" McNeil. Ron has also sent me a small taster from his photo collection so expect to see more from him soon.
  • The 1966 section has details from the BDRAs June meeting where there was confusion over the new Altered class and Bootsie & Les Turner were setting the standards.
  • The 1975 section has details and results from SPRs October meeting which saw some unusual pairings (Hemi Hunter vs Stripteaser!), the Fireworks meeting which, despite the slick conditions, saw some record performances, and the Winternationals in December, yes, that's right, December! (thankfully we don't have those anymore!)
  • The 1982 section has details from SPRs August Supernationals which featured a sort of Cannonball for jets, and Dennis Priddle came within a whisker of a five second pass, the NDRC meeting at Long Marston in October, and the SPR Fireworks meeting in November.
  • Clives answers to the questions on the now defunct Questions page have also been added to the archives. They are; John Hobbs first 9 second run at SPR August 1st 1971, Colin Mullens Pro Stock record at SPR on 5th May 1974, Adrian Yorks Pro Stock record at SPR on 23rd June 1974, John Hobbs Top Bike record at SPR on September 28th 1975, Brian Chapmans 9.07 on 'Mighty Mouse' at SPR in September 1976, Roz Priors record that stood for 20 years at SPR on November 5th 1978 and Rob Turners Altered speed record at SPR in July 1989.
  • Another new section has been added to the site. The Special Features page is where you will now find things like the Blackbushe dates list and the Cannonball page.
  • There are new Hall Of Fame entries in the files of Alan Allard, Allan Herridge, Dennis Priddle, John Hobbs, Tony Dickson, Clive Skilton, and Peter Crane.

Next update; Launch of the video section, a profile of 'Mighty Mouse' plus lots more!

2002 Whats New Archive Click Here
2001 Whats New Archive Click Here
2000 Whats New Archive Click Here
1999 Whats New Archive Click Here
1998 Whats New Archive Click Here

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