The adventure started the in the middle of the night before the ferry departure from Gothenburg, when wiz Jörgen Karlsson
and I was out on the empty highway mapping the F.A.S.T. in a kind of violent fashion, but Jörgen was cool. We mapped
both with and without supercharger. Got no sleep that night but there's lots of time for sleeping on the ferry which takes
24 hours to Newcastle in the northeast of England.
First part of our vacation was up north in Scotland. I have a couple of notes here if you don't mind?
It's cosy to sleep in really old hotels like this one in Callander. It's also cosy to walk a tour at a single malt distillery
like the one of Glenkinchie outside Edinburgh, and drink all you want, and buy the whiskey for a good price. However it's
not that cosy to place your foot in cold Loch Lommond but I did it for good luck. Maybe that wasn't so smart...
And we visited the Scottish Highlands - the country of the famous freedom fighter Rob Roy MacGregor who was outlawed
by the English but fought back. In Rob Roy's town of birth, Callander, we saw this nice wax dummy of Liam Neeson who
played Rob Roy in the motion picture with the same name. Some miles north of Callander we found the hero's grave.
After the few days in Scotland we went south on dear ol' M1 and Axel knows the best way to use the time on the
motorway. Modifications for Santa Pod since the last race in Gardermoen included a belt guard. Little did I
know that it actually should save many things under the hood in another blower belt snapping!
Tuesday morning at Holiday Inn parking lot, York. This evening we will reach Santa Pod Raceway.
And there they were! Karl Ellwein, Maryland, Glen "Stumpy" Koenig, Philadelphia and crewchief Kenneth Feldthusen from
our hometown Gothenburg. What a team of super-mechanics! Karl and Stumpy went into their caravan and changed
clothes immediately and came out "What do you want us to do?" I thought they should sit in the chairs and relax with
a beer, but these guys really love to wrench an SS, not only their own. I picked up a couple of good tricks from them.
Kenneth decided not to race his AA/Altered at Santa Pod this year so I quickly booked my buddy to overlook the team.
First thing was to take the rear end apart and to shims the ring & pinion tighter. And refill the Amasol "bloody" oil.
That isn't a quick job which Stumpy remarked. Lucky us that we had bought some Budwater. We had fun.
Wednesday, Press Day - free trial runs. Europe's best dragstrip is Inviting and Waiting.
"If I'll brake my car now I should at least have given our American guests a ridiculous burnout!" were my thoughts when
smoking the slicks from the bleach box to far beyond the starting line (for a Sportsman). I could have done it to the
finish line, drift over to the other lane and back. You get away with jokes like this only at Press Day solo runs. Starter
official laughed and signed: "So, so...not bad" Click on the filmstrip and you'll see the situation filmed by Kenneth.
Sliding on ice...
This is how my buddy Andy "Tog" Rogers presents it on www.togsdragracing.com which is his
own website. Tog took a lot of nice pictures on Press Day since Sharkman - his partner at
Eurodragster.com - put his camera aside to be a voluntary official.
Launches were OK the first meters but then the real power came and as soon as the body leveled out it began to spin
and it spun for 50 meters! On this dragstrip! Kenneth cheered "This is silly, you don't understand how strong this engine
is!!!" Even if we still were on chicken settings, the use of crank trigger still made more power out of it than ever before!
Karl made me a guest member of ECIRS - East Coast Impala SS Racing Series - and put on
their Silver Stickers. Now I feel like in a family rather than a lonely rider. Thanks Karl!
Then the belt snapped! WHAT!!!!? Noooo, not again! I couldn't believe it happened again and this time there were no
clues to an explanation either. It SHOULD last! Many interested people in all ages visited us in the pit and they
remembered last year's "one run per belt" but those were rubber belts, these are made of polyrethane and kevlar!
Lucky me that we had built the belt guard which took a good smack! And lucky me that I bought all belts in
stock from "Gunzilla" at Gates/TeknikProdukter before this trip...
Burnouts are never a problem, even without water. But I calmed down and did more normal burnouts,
just to warm the tires and not the entire raceway... Still no better ET's than mid to high 11's!
Engine felt rough. Something was wrong for sure! And I did everything with the chassis
to get a better and longer hook but with no success.
Click to see some traction problems...
It was cool to cruise the pits in the evening. And very fun to meet Lars-Inge Johansson (leaning) and his
crew manager Micke Westberg behind him, not only for he is a long time friend since the early days of
street racing in Sweden but he also had a BAD full speed crash here last year in his Pro Mod Chevelle
-66 station wagon when the chutes didn't work. Lars-Inge was in a very bad shape for a while.
This is Lars-Inge's ride now. Most of the crashed car is saved and are still in good use. They are now
working to find "it". The blown Keith Black 526 ci has taken it to 6.,7's @ 210 mph (338 km/h) so far.
"Hey Agneta, have you seen the jack stands?" Also this time we were very spoiled concerning the food service. Agneta
and her lovely parents Thore and Sonia worked all the time to give us the best around the clock. Sharkman came by and
said Hello and gave Axel a Funny Car toy! Karl and Stumpy was glad to meet him and to congratulate him and Tog for the
excellent work with eurodragster.com which our American buddies are reading since last year's entry by the Blackout SS.
Our home for 5 nights and 6 days. We hired two campers. When Patrick Wikström's Pro Mod team arrived on thursday
morning we got our new 3 x 9 meter tent which they carried for us. We checked the SS to find out why the engine felt
rough. Kenneth wanted all new spark plugs just to get something done. And it worked, because then Karl found that
# 8 spark plug wire was burnt to the header and short circuited! *Sigh!*
With all 8 cylinders working it was a ball! Now - with the crank trigger taking care of business, all wires in shape, new
spark plugs - it was the first time in two seasons, with the Jesus engine, that I ran down the quartermile without any
misfiring! At last! It was beautiful! Took away a half second to 11.27 sec on the safe tune that Jörgen gave me on the
highway that night before leaving! Now it was time to tune it harder. A little less fuel, a little more ignition...
Next run 11.05 @ 126.87 mph. Still spinning tires but smooth engine! The trap speed is actually the best I've ever got with
the Impala so far! Now the international Blackout Team really began to like what they had in their hands. And Kenneth
was really excited about the engine built by Bagarn at Autoshop. "It's a lot of power waiting in there and it's really going
well, but still far too rich!" So, let's tune a little more and cut away 2 tenths again....hehe...and then...and then...and...
Meanwhile, Axel played with sweet Lauren again, they met here last year. Her dad Paul Sommerville is the
crewchief for Chris Johnson's Woftam Racing's MG X POWER-team competing in Super Comp 8.90 with
Chevy 540 ci, powerglide and Ford 9 inch. That's Morris Garage gone wild!
Last run. Thursday Pro ET Qualifying. Bettering the 60 foot a little but engine dies before the 1/8 miler!
"What the #@[€=?%&!!! Another blower belt snap!?!?!.....No, this time the engine really died! Gulp..."
What!? The crank is broken!? Yes, why not? It broke in the front snout, the whole package of ATI damper with blower
belt pulley and crank trigger wheel centrifuged until the crank trigger pick up lost contact with the magnetos so it died.
The scary thing that I immediately understood was that this must have been broken already in Norway!!! That would
explain a lot of things. Kenneth noted that this grade-12 bolt had saved me a lot of trouble by holding it all together.
The numerous belt shreddings last year and the belt snap in Norway were too much for the Callies crank in the long run.
Stumpy and Karl discussing
the broken crank...
Then on Thursday evening came Tony Döbrösi, our ordinary mechanic and helping hand! So he didn't see
a single run with the Blackout SS. "Hi Tony! The SS is broke. Have a beer!" Still, the Americans
wanted to see with their own eyes how Tony Tight managed to change all spark plugs from above in
40 minutes! Most interesting was of course the passenger side plugs, especially # 6.
Needless to say, we were saddened by the breakdown, but it could've been a lot worse! And we had seen the light,
and I'm glad that Kenneth got so hooked on this project! He began to talk about next year. Encouraging.
And still, we were on vacation at a very very exciting place! And we had beer.
Our thanks to European # 4 Pro Stock Team Magnus Hansson and Anders Johansson for letting us use
your view on top of your bus! 1st row!
A perfect view! Here comes the two quickest Pro Mods in Europe through the 1/8 miler in a late qualification round.
Håkan Nilsson in his nitrous 706 ci 1968 Veidec Camaro vs. Patrick Wikström in the blown 526 ci 2000 OFAB Camaro.
Patrick was first and it looked like this in the Final between them as well. Patrick won the event but came in second in
the European Championship behind Håkan, but Patrick and team won the Swedish Championship earlier this year and
owns both European records: 6.325 sec Speed: 226.46 mph (364 kmh).
Magnus Hansson who comes from my old hometown Umeå in the north of Sweden was not happy with
their performance. But a couple of 7.12's made it to the Semi Final anyway. And 4th place in the
FIA Pro Stock Championship is quality!
However, Jimmy Ålund is the King of European Pro Stock in 2004. He won 5 out of 6 races and was
already the Champion before coming here. He owns both records: 6.899 @ 200.21 mph (322 kmh)
Millions of exciting and fun high quality drag racing pictures produced
by the team behind eurodragster.com - Sharkman and Tog:
Another old street race friend of mine! Jöran Persåker, now in a Top Fueler! It began in a Plymouth GTX 440 in the 80's
and over the years he has stepped up via Competition and Pro Stock to this ultimate contract ride with owner Knut
Söderqvist who has several Top Fuelers in his stable! Jöran has used the 7000 hp to a personal best of 5,06 @ 290 mph
(468 kmh) so far and he became 4th in the FIA Top Fuel Championship which Andy Carter, England won. Andy is also
on top in Europe: 4.832 @ 306.36 mph (493.04 kmh). I am positive that this whole Top Fuel-thing is a revenge
from Jöran because of what happened here: Mora in 2001 when his Corvette C5 got beaten by my Impala SS... =)
Pro ET is an English Bracket class for cars between 9.00 and 11.99. All kinds of fantastic modded cars
meet here. It's really a nice community and you make friends all the time. Like Malcolm Motler, his wife
Marcie, newly born son Callum + many friends. Not only keen dragracers but there's always b-b-q and
loud music and dancing in their pit together with a giant waving Union Jack flag. Dragracing as a
lifestyle - I love it! In 2003 Malcolm won the event but now he lost in first round with a -0.001 redlight
due to malfunctioning transbrake. New SB shoots the Morris Minor pick up to really low 10's.
Chris Isaacs from Chris Isaacs Race Cars was the stylish winner of this years Euro Finals! He is very
professional in many ways, he builds race cars full time since 15 years, like his own 1963 Standard
Vanguard Station Wagon - one of few surviving in England! Body is a mix of original steel and glassfibre.
Chassis is 4130 chrome-moly to SFI 25.1d. Strut front suspension with tube A-arms. The rear suspension
is an experimental cantilever 3-link system which Chris is developing, designed to load the Goodyear
14 x 32" slicks evenly without the 'torque roll'. Rear axle is 35-spline Strange shafts and spool,
aluminium centre section in Chris own sheetmetal axle housing. Engine is a BB Chevy 461 c.i. with GM
D-port aluminium heads.A 5000 stall converter and TH400 with transbrake. 2500 lbs total weight with
Chris. Best ET on the motor 9.71 @ 137 mph. + NOS 150 hp have given a 9.02 @ 147.
He is also professional in driving! His R-times was between 0.010 and 0.036 all weekend! Hard to beat!
Congratulations to your convincing win!
Pro ET gathered 38 entries for the 32 Elimination ladder. Blackout SS came in 26th with 0.015 over.
Rick McCann in his and Carla Pittau's "Heaven & Hell" Camaro was the # 1 qualifier with 0.003 over
his Dial In of 10.32 @ 130 mph. So qualifying is based on your Dial In and not your R-times. Rick and
Carla share the driving seat between the events. Rick managed to redlight in 3rd round with a -0.006
when meeting Isaacs. But after this season this pair had won the National Pro ET series anyway!
Congratulations from Blackout HQ in Sweden! Go here to find out more: www.pro-et.co.uk
Vorsprung Durch Sleath Technik!
My absolute favourite car at this race was John Sleath's street legal 1990 Audi Coupe! Running wheelstanding mid to low
8 second runs on pump gas!! John raced in Super Pro ET and lost to a dragster in a very close race in the first round!
Aha! Keith Black aluminium 4.5" bore, Crower 4"
crank makes a Chevy 508 ci with Crower 6.53"
rods and Ross pistons. Weldtech Brodix-2 heads.
ProCharger D3R. F.A.S.T. engine management.
Own intake manifold, 160lb/hr injectors.
All steel original Audi panels, bumpers and glass.
Chassis: Chrome moly double rail with four link
and wish bone suspension.
BMW 3 series struts with 60/40 dampening.
Aluminium Koni shocks. M/T street legal full
Ford Lincoln 9" shortened rear end. Strange
center section 3 to 1 gears, 35 spline
Strange axles. Full 4" exhaust system with
Flowmasters mufflers and 2 1/4" headers.
TH400 trans, Neal Chance 10" Pro Mod torque
converter. Weight: 2960 lb's with driver.
All is built by John Sleath who is a well known
professional custom car builder in England.
Click to see when the dragster get the
handicap (!) and the Audi is chasing
it down to the finish line!
Stumpy and Karl were of course touched of the monument of remembrance for their fellow countrymen who came over
to Europe to fight the terror of the WWII and never came back. Santa Pod Raceway was once Podington Airfield,
built in the early 1940's for the American bomb planes.
With a team like this it's still fun even if you brake the car! From left Tony "Tight" Döbrösi, Thore Rooth. Kenneth
Feldthusen, Sonia Rooth, Agneta Rooth, Glen "Stumpy" Koenig, Sören "Fixar'n" Fjellstedt, Rob Roy. In the front
row you see Axel sleeping and Karl Ellwein. I wish I was back there again...and with a working set up! Next year!
PANIC! As a last trial we had an ice cold rainy storm attacking our pit on Saturday night! The new tent
almost blew away before we had it packed down and believe me - it was a quicker job than to build it!
All of us caught a cold during this one! So what's next!? A ban for Impala SS in drag racing?
If you want to know anything about getting tow trucks in England, call me.
Agneta said "We have to learn something from this".
The problem is that I'm totally romantic about driving to the races...
And thank you all that bought our Blackout t-shirt and hat!
Don't forget to send your picture to our Fashion Group Page!
Have ordered a new crank, a crank support and
everything that has to come along with that.
We'll open up and check Jesus this winter.