Latest News 8/6/24

Welcome to the latest update to Trakbytes. 

Thirty new entries or updates make up this one, the earliest from Long Marston in 1966, and the most recent from the Main Event at Santa Pod a mere twenty years ago. This year was an anniversary for the Main Event, the roots of which can be directly traced back to the UK's first Drag Race meeting sixty years ago, The Big Go, organised by the British Hot Rod Association and run at Duxford. Fellow British Drag Racing Historian Nick Pettitt has produced an excellent article on that event, which has been published on Eurodragster and can be found here.

I sometimes get asked about the lack of photos on Trakbytes. I haven't ruled out the possibility of adding more photos in the future. There is a photo archive, and I have been very lucky to receive some great pictures in the past, and they will remain where they are. However I made the decision many years ago to concentrate more on the race reports and information. The main reason was that there are a number of UK sites which concentrate solely on photos, and do it much better than I ever could, you can find links to them on the front page, and there are also many pages on Facebook which have regular postings of historic pictures. I am well aware that in this age of short attention spans and instant gratification this puts Trakbytes at a bit of a disadvantage in the popularity stakes. But that's not really why the site is here. It began as a way of satisfying my own curiosity about the sports past in this country, and in order to see how it all fitted together I put the information I found in a timeline format, something nobody else was doing, and, as far as I'm aware, still isn't. Over the years it grew and grew, and now has possibly become the most "wordy" source of information on the subject that the web has to offer. As such it will remain as a source of reference for anyone who is interested. As I've said before, I would probably carry on even if nobody ever visited the site, but people do, and hopefully they enjoy it. A few actually bother to let me know that they do, which is always appreciated.

Details of all the new additions are listed below. 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

You can find the Trakbytes Facebook page at  I post the odd picture and bit of info on there from time to time and often post landmark events from the past on their anniversary dates. If you feel up to it give the "Like" button a click, it really does make me happy.

The Latest Updates

  • 1975 Jerry Cookson has written and submitted  a very comprehensive and well researched piece detailing the Castrol Dragster Challenge at Long Marston in July. This event marked the opening of the strip for the NDRC (Midlands) division, and many of the sports top names, who had been in action at Aintree the day before, made the trip to put on a show for the TV cameras. Jerry has included links to some relevant media to go with this entry. The second Midands Division meeting at the end of August has also been addressed by Jerry with another informative piece, which is remarkable as no formal results exist for this event. Jerry also noticed that Volume 7 of The Retford Scrapbooks had an advert for a meeting at Long Marston in March that he (nor I) had any details of. A little research revealed that said meeting had been cancelled due to rain.
  • 2004 My efforts to keep the archive a mere twenty years behind the current day continue. Dave Wilson and his Top Methanol/Alcohol team continued their very busy US tour at the beginning of the year. Their eight appearances that took place between January and April have all been added. These were a mixture of bad luck and great success. May saw the first meeting at Shakespeare County Raceway, The Excitement Nationals. This event was severly affected by the weather with most classes not progressing past round one of eliminations. May's Speedfreaks Ball at SPR got off to a slow start, also because of the weather, but saw plenty of two wheel action as well as some Jet and rocket powered performances once the clouds cleared. Finally, bringing the archive back to being only twenty years behind the times, there's also a summary of SPR's FIA/FIM Main Event at the end of May. This weekend produced the quickest side-by-side Top Fuel race in Europe so far, some record breaking performances, and only a little bit of rain. So little that I didn't mention it.
  • The following updates have all been supplied by Clive Rooms.
  • 1966 A few details from the Speed Trial Sprint at Long Marston in June along with the programme cover.
  • 1977 An update to the NDRC's meeting at Blackbushe in August, which contains everything you need to know about why I have never been able to find any results for it...
  • 1987 Details from York's Street Racer Championship in June and their last meeting of the season in September, and a wet Fireworks meeting at SPR at the end of October.
  • 1988 Details from York's Northern Jet Nationals in August and Grand Finals in September, and SPR's Fireworks meeting in November.
  • 1989 Details from the NDRA Summer Nationals at Avon Park in July and details of one of the entrants at the 2nd Powersports Festival at Aintree in August. Also there's details from York's Northern Jet Nationals in August, Avon Park's ACU Dragbike Finals in September and NDRA Fall Nationals in October. There's also elimination and final results from SPR's Easter meeting at the end of March, Avon Park's Drag Bike Internationals in June and SPR's Super Nationals in August
  • From the above updates I have updated the Trakbytes Hall Of Fame files Dennis Priddle  Clive Skilton  The Pages  and Tony Densham
  • All driver/rider entries from this update have been included in the Competitor Index, a rod I have made for my own back. This has gained nearly 200 new names since it was launched, and now contains 2174 entries.
  • That's all for now. Thanks for dropping by.

Latest News 12/4/24

Welcome to the latest update to Trakbytes. Twenty eight updates or new entries this time, which span thirty one years of UK Drag Racing history from 1973 to 2004. A lot of the material for this one has been submitted by two of the sites most prolific contributors, Clive Rooms and Jerry Cookson. I am very grateful to both of them for their efforts, and there's more to come. There's also some more updates to the 1975 section from cuttings in the seventh and final volume of The Retford Scrapbooks, and I've started the 2004 section with an entry detailing the Easter Thunderball and Pro Fuel Shootout. It's possible that future updates will coincide with new entries from twenty years ago also. It all depends on how much spare time I get. Details of all the new material are listed below. 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

You can find the Trakbytes Facebook page at  I post the odd picture and bit of info on there from time to time and often post landmark events from the past on their anniversary dates. If you feel up to it give the "Like" button a click, it really does make me happy.

The Latest Updates

  • The seventh and final volume of The Retford Scrapbooks has been added. Whilst this is the last of the completed volumes there are also a number of loose cuttings from various publications. As with the scrapbooks many of these are lacking dates, so sorting them out will be quite a time consuming task. But I will endeavour to work my way through them in time and upload them. If anyone knows where I can obtain scrapbooks of the kind we used to purchase in John Menzies and W H Smiths then let me know and I may even complete the set. I can't imagine that scrapbooking of this kind is still practised today though.
  • The Santa Pod Bike Strip Records list has been updated with the first of Danny Johnson's two records set in 1975.
  • 1973 saw the first UK drivers compete in the USA. I thought that this was an event worthy of adding to the Landmarks page. So I did. The archive entry for this event includes a link to an excellent article written for the site by Simon Groves. This also reminded me that I don't have the date for the NHRA Indianapolis Nationals in 1970 which saw the first UK competitors to race in the USA, namely Dennis Norman and the Pegasus team of Ian Messenger, Mick Butler and Derek Chinn.
  • 1975 Some more details added to the one day meeting at Santa Pod in June, which saw the first European rider take a bike into the eights, and a hairy moment for Mick Hand on his 250cc Honda. There's a small rewrite to brother Bill's entry for the NDRC meeting at Wroughton in June, which saw the largest gathering yet of Funny Cars in the UK, and the debut of a motorcycle that would dominate the scene over the next few years.I haven't gone to town on this one as there is a comprehensive article on Eurodragster, with links to relevant media, so I've included a link to this. I can't match that sort of detail... There's also a rewrite to the July meeting at Santa Pod which saw a new American Funny Car hit the UK, the return of a US bike racer with a record setting performance, and the first side-by-side eight second bike race.
  • 1980 Fellow Drag Racing Historian Jerry Cookson has recently been concentrating on this year with his publishing of photos from the Peter Jones & David Hardcastle "Drive It" collection which he has posted on the UK & European drag racing photos and Memories of a Warwickshire Dragstrip Facebook pages. He has very kindly compiled a number of entries for the archive from the research material he has been working with. You can find updated or new entries for Blackbushe in April, the opening of the NDRC's permanent strip at Long Marston in May, the Brit's performances at Mantorp Park in June and July, the Street Racer Championship at York in June, more NDRC action at Long Marston in June (plus programme cover), the Brighton Dragster & Custom Car show in July (plus programme cover), the NDRC meeting at Blackbushe in July, Long Marston's Summer Nationals in August, and another August meeting at York for which we currently have no information, but we do have a poster from Jerry, Long Marston's September Finals, in September, obviously, and Fireworks Spectacular in November.
  • 2004 Twenty years ago Santa Pod's Thunderball/Pro Fuel Shootout had just come to a close. Two rookie Top Fuel drivers were making their licencing runs at this event, one of whom was to become a future European champion, and one who is now running in the NHRA series. Andy Carter was the only driver to put in a four second run, although some of the other competitors came close, and for the first time in four years the shootout final did not feature one of the Fuel Funny Cars. Amongst the competitors were quite a few names who are still racing today, including Rob Smallworth, Lee Huxley, Barry Giles,Graham Dance, Martin Hill and Steve Woolatt. And Super Pro ET racer Collin Morrice was the winner in Junior Dragster having won the championship in 2003.
  • 1983 and the following updates all come from the files sent to me by Clive Rooms, starting with a washout at SPR's Spring Nationals at the end of May and York's Open Challenge Meeting in May which was also affected by the rain, but did run to completion.
  • 1984 Details from the Pennine Drag Racing Club's finals at York in September.
  • 1987 Details from SPR's Easter Nationals, where Bill Sherratt took a win in Funny Car despite a hairy moment in the semi finals. There's a new entry with details from York's Open Nationals in May, plus SPR's  Summer Nationals in July and Sun Nationals in August
  • 1990 Full results from Avon Park's Drag Bike International in June/July, and BDRA Finals in September.
  • From the above updates I have updated the Trakbytes Hall Of Fame files Allan Herridge  Dennis Priddle  Peter Crane  Clive Skilton  The Pages  John Hobbs  The Stones and Sammy Miller.
  • All driver/rider entries from this update have been included in the Competitor Index, a rod I have made for my own back...
  • That's all for now. Thanks for dropping by.

Latest News 6/3/24

Welcome to the latest update to Trakbytes. The first of 2024 and the largest update on here for quite some time. As I'm sure you've noticed the latest series of Pioneer Stories is in full swing on Eurodragster. If not you really should check it out. This fourth series has provided a great deal of information and stories surrounding the 1964 Dragfests in this the 60th anniversary year of the events that really kick-started the beginning of Drag Racing in the UK. I was privileged to be asked by John Hunt to attend his interview with Alf Hagon at Hagon Products HQ for his story. It was great to sit and listen to Alf recount his memories, with the awesome JAP sitting alongside us. After transcribing the recording John asked if I would take on the task of editing and compling the article, as he had numerous other interviews to sort out. I was happy to accept and  My thanks to John for entrusting me with this task, which was a big one, but something that I enjoyed thoroughly. I was also asked to edit and compile another of the articles, that being the Denis Jenkinson story, which had been written by Tony Madgwick, which I also enjoyed and led me down many different paths of research into the fascinating character known as "Jenks".

From the Hagon story emerged an interesting diversion that I couldn't help but follow up. A rather remarkable model of Alf's bike was built in the late sixties, and some pictures of it were sent to me by Jerry Cookson whilst gathering photos for the article. With the help of Martin Hagon we tracked down the current custodian of the model, and I made a visit to see it and take some photos. After much research I have produced an article with as much information as I could find about the model and it's history which you can find by clicking the photo on the left, or you can find the link in the Special Features section of the site. I've held it in reserve until now to coincide with the publication of the fifth and final part of Alf's story on Eurodragster. I hope you enjoy it.

The rest of the material in this update spans 42 years of UK Drag Racing History from 1961 to 2003. The details of all the updates you can find in the section below. Many events that were previously detailed quite sparsely have been updated, and there are plenty of new entries of meetings where I previously had no details. I've added quite a lot of new material to the 2003 section, which is as far as the archive goes currently. These events are now an astonishing 20 years ago, something I struggled to comprehend as I researched them. I was working on the crew of the Showtime Funny Car in those days, and it really doesn't seem that long ago.

If you've bothered to read this far, and are feeling up to it, why not also check out the Trakbytes Facebook page,  I post the odd picture and bit of info on there from time to time and often post landmark events from the past on their anniversary dates. If you feel up to it give the "Like" button a click, it really does make me happy.

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

The Latest Updates

  • The article on the Jim Gough model of Alf Hagon's JAP Drag bike has been added to the Features page.
  • 1961 Details of an early outing for the Allard Dragster at Riccall in Yorkshire. Thanks to Jerry Cookson for posting details of this event on his excellent UK Drag & Sprint Strips That Time Forgot Facebook page. A great source of information and photos.
  • 1962 Another update from Jerry's Facebook page came via Nick Pettitt who discovered a write up from Motoring News covering the June 24th Sprint meeting at Long Marston. As well as providing confirmation of Sydney Allard's 11.00s run over the standing quarter it mentions that Brian Witty's Chrysler rail did manage to get one practice run in before refusing to start. It was previously thought that the car didn't run at all on the day.
  • 1965 I have corrected a detail which had eluded us until now. Part five of the Wally Parks story mentioned that it was Doug Church who took care of the driving duities when the Allard Dragon went to the USA in 1965, and not Tommy Ivo as previously thought.
  • 1971 Addition of the entry list for the NDRC's one day meeting at Martlesham Heath. This is from my brother Mike's programme from the event. He hitch-hiked his way to the meeting, somewhat unsuccesfully as he tells me he ended up walking for most of it. He says it was worth it though and remembers it being a great day out!
  • 1975 A new Blackbushe motorcycle track record for Keith Parnell on April 13th, the addition of additional Motorcycle details from SPR's Easter meeting and a rewrite of a very eventful April 20th club meeting that saw a world record set that stood until the nineties. The May NDRC meeting also gets a rewrite. This was the meeting where the Liz & Ollie fueler sadly ended up in the farmers field. There's a rewrite to the SPR club meeting on May 11th which saw Peter Crane getting to grips with Stormbringer. The following weekend there was a meeting at Mantorp Park in Sweden which, according to a brief mention in a cutting in one of the scrapbooks, saw Dennis Priddle debut his new Avenger Funny Car with a best time of 7.6s. I had problems finding any other mention of this, possibly because the meeting was rained out, but thanks to Jerry Cookson, who posted my request for help on the Svensk Street & Dragracing 1968 - 1979 Facebook page, a gentleman called Jan Suhr confirmed that Dennis and the car were there. The Big Go at SPR in May has been lacking in detail for some time, ever since my brother provided a few times and speeds more than two decades ago. That has now been rectified with what turned out to be a quite comprehensive entry for a meeting that saw numerous personal best performances and no less than 29 new class records.
  • 2003 I got a bit carried away reliving this one. Details from SPR's Main Event in May, a meeting which saw records falling all over the place, the Power Nationals at Shakespeare County in June, the SPR Summer Nationals, also in June, the Brits details from the Veidec Nitro Festival at Mantorp Park in July, the All Star Nationals at SCR in August, The European Finals at SPR in September, the Doorslammer Internationals at SCR in September, the UK National Finals in October, the Flame & Thunder at SPR in November and Dave Wilsons exploits in the US at the end of the year. There's also lists of the 2003 FIA, FIM/UEA, UK National and Santa Pod Racers Club Champions for the year. The material for these entries was mostly gathered from the archives of the events page on the wonderful Eurodragster.
  • Listening to Ida Zetterstrom recently talking to Brian Lohnes on The Hot Rod Pod podcast reminded me that her current Santa Pod (and European) track record was set at 2023's Main Event and had not been added to the Santa Pod Track Records page. It has now.
  • The following 1980's updates have all been supplied by Clive Rooms;
  • 1983 Details from SPR's Big Go in May, a meeting which saw the demise of a much loved Funny Car. I have updated Clive's entry for this event with details that I already had in the Hall Of Fame files. There are also details from the Pod's Gary's Picnic event in June and the final meeting of the year for the NDRC at Long Marston in October
  • 1984 Details from York's Season Opener in May and results from Long Marston's Autumn Nationals in September.
  • 1985 Addition of the 24th annual Big Go, at the end of May. The reason this meeting hadn't been listed before is probably because the weather saw to it that very little happened. A similar fate befell the Pod's Summer Nationals in July which has also been added, and the rerun results have been added to the August Summernationals event.
  • 1987 Details from SPR's Labour Day Nationals at the beginning of May, and Super Modified details from the NDRC's Long Marston meeting which took place on the same weekend. Details from North Weald's September Meeting have also been added. This was the first meeting to be held at the venue after the demise of the NDRC.
  • 1988 Addition of the NDRA organised Street Machine meeting at North weald in July and Supernationals at Long Marston in August, another one of those weekends where there was a meeting at the Pod also,
  • 1989 Details from Avon Park's Springnationals in April and Mountain Motor Nationals in June, and York's Street Racer Championship, also in June, which turned out to be a bad day for future Top Fuel champion Andy Carter.
  • From the above updates I have updated the Trakbytes Hall Of Fame files for Sydney & Alan Allard Allan Herridge Dennis Priddle Peter Crane Clive Skilton The Pages The Stones and Sammy Miller.
  • All driver/rider entries from this update have been included in the Competitor Index, a rod I have made for my own back...
  • That's all for now. Thanks for dropping by.

2003 - 2023 Whats New Archive Click Here
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