The FIA European Finals

“The best event of the year, The European Finals! I always look forward to this one, its a great atmosphere.

We started our time at the Pod with a mix up with the pitting space… we ended up in the Bike Pits, let me tell you those boys can party! We started our qualifying with a struggle, I couldn’t select reverse after the burnout, very strange as I always check gear selection during the warm up in the pits.

So we pulled out the Lenco and had a look at the reverser , and of course it needed replacing. We didn’t have a spare so had to ask around. Massive THANK YOU to fellow Pro Mod racer Andy Robinson who loaned us a spare.

By the time we had sorted it out we missed the second qualifier, so that was Friday finished.

Dennis makes the final adjustmentsSaturday saw us hitting the 3rd qualifier with too much power, almost crossing the centre line due to tyre shake, having to pedal it more than once, and ran a 7.5 at 161mph… I doubt that was going to get us in to the show!

The last session of qualifying saw some desperate concentration on our behalf, all the team were feeling it… we KNOW we should qualify here… but again I had gear selection problems, and had to shut off….. therefore we didn’t qualify!!

The bump spot was 6.99, we have run an easy 6.58 before and that was the hard thing for us, we should have been able to do it.

One things for sure in Pro Modified racing, get used to the hard knocks, this is tough sometimes.

We came home on Sunday afternoon, and already we are looking forward to the National Finals. The parts we needed were ordered on the Monday evening from Lenco, and we had them by Wednesday lunchtime… everything is now fitted and ready!

Big thanks to my crew, Dennis, Tony, Adam and Joe my youngest son. My wife Belinda also deserves a big thanks for taking care of us all.

Lets see what we can do before the season ends…”


Pole Position!

“We had a fantastic weekend at The Summer Nationals at Santa Pod.
Saturday saw us qualify with a 6.67 at 211 mph!!! This became our new personal best and, would you believe it, we were Number One qualifier!!!

Sunday saw us against the Plymouth Barracuda of Graham Ellis in round one. Graham had been struggling to get the car down the track on Saturday and it was unusual for him to be the last qualifier. We had almost identical reaction times, Graham then pulled a 0.99 sixty foot to our 1.03… the numbers were in my favour, and then Graham’s, and then mine, and then back to Graham… all the way up the track! I ran a NPB of 6.58 at 214mph but Graham pulled out a great 6.44 at 206mph!

Some great highs over the weekend and a great door handle to door handle race against Graham, who went on to win the event…. well done! We came away with a big NPB in both ET and Speed and there’s still lots more to come… plus, no damage at all!

Big thanks to Adam and Tony, Kev Slyfield and everyone who stopped by to wish us good luck, Dennis my hard working crew chief…. we were discussing ‘improvements’ on the way home, cheers pal… Belinda, who needs her own medal for her continued support, and Joe my youngest son, again, so supportive.

Also another massive thanks to our sponsors, Lucas Oil, Originals Hot Rod Supply Co. and AllyFab, cheers guys!”


The year so far…

Easter Thunderball 2011We have now had two race outings with the HEMI, the first event being the Easter Thunderball. I think its fair to say we had a few little issues to deal with but, overall, it was a very encouraging performance. 7.21 and 200mph with decent 60ft times but not exactly what we were looking for. The biggest issue was not having the shift light working, so shifting gear was a bit of guess work…

Next up was The Main Event, the first round of the FIA European Champioship. There were 25 entrants in Pro Modified, all trying to qualify for a 16 car field. Our mission was to qualify against some of the quickest cars in Europe and, of course, some of the most experienced Pro-Mod drivers.

We achieved our first full pass with the HEMI, running 6.71 at 210mph, which gave us the number ten spot!!

We were all very happy but our attention quickly turned to the next challenge, which was for us to get through round one… one step at a time. This was to be against Urban Johansson, one of the quickest cars in the class, previously having run 6 zeros!!!

We had as much chance as anyone else, as we were still very safe with our tune on the new motor.

The CrewCome race day, we got in to the pairing lanes all set to go and then… RAIN!!! Nothing happened at all, the weather never eased and eliminations were sadly called off.

We came home with everything in one piece, recorded some good data and a fair performance. LUCAS OIL have proved to be a great support with a fantastic product, the between rounds maintenance shows that LUCAS is doing a good job for us, very happy.

Leeds Cruise 2011We have also attended a couple of local car events, trying to get some more publicity for our sponsors and supporters and a way of showing our appreciation back to everyone involved.

The next event for us is The Summer Nationals at Santa Pod…. can’t wait!!!

See you there



Euro Finals 2010“Well the 2010 drag racing season is almost over for another year already. We are pleased with the performance of the car throughout this year and the Chevy engine we have been using, especially after running our personal best at the Summer Nationals! However, the motor did hurt itself during qualifying at the FIA European Finals. This was sadly its last pass in the Lucky Devil Corvette as we have decided to up the game a little… We have a BAE521 HEMI engine ready to go in the car over the winter. In fact, the Chevy is already out of the car!

The Chevy has come a long way and done us proud but we want to be more competitive in the British MSA Pro Mod rounds and the two European Championship rounds held at Santa Pod. Still, 6.69 at 210mph with a 510 Chevy is not too bad I don’t think..?!

Massive thanks to my crew, Dennis and Luke, and also to my family, Belinda, Gareth and Joe. I would also like to thank my sponsors, Opie Oils, AllyFab and Kerry Tate at Originals Hot Rod Supply co. We are definitely looking forward to next year and would also like to thank all the spectators for their support and good wishes.

Sponsorship is a big thing. Please let me know if you would like to get your company some great exposure and join us as we take it to the next level in 2011.

Be sure to keep an eye out for further updates before we hit the track next year!”


Back in the 6 second zone!

Photo by Ian Blackett“Great news!!! The Lucky Devil set a new personal best at the Summer Nationals at Santa Pod – 6.69 seconds at 210mph!! It’s great to be back in the 6 second zone and going quicker too. We are sure that there is more to be had from our Chevy motor and, the good thing is, we didn’t hurt a thing all weekend.

Pro-Modified isn’t a class to be taken lightly, its like getting in the ring with a Heavy Weight champ, its going to hurt quite a bit, but when things come good it’s all worthwhile! We managed to qualify 3rd and only just got beat in the first round against Graham Ellis, both of us having a “peddle fest” all the way up the track, great fun!!

Photo by Ian BlackettOf course all this would not be possible if it wasn’t for the support of my crew and family, and of course our sponsors. THANK YOU to all!

I can’t wait to get back in the seat!”



Thanks to Ian Blackett for the photos

2009 Season Review

“Well, this year has been very good for us with some unfortunate bad stuff thrown in. Racing in Pro Modified is in my opinion the best class there is in Drag Racing. You do HAVE TO DRIVE these things, 2000hp plus in a door car is a truly incredible experience. We had our first SIX second pass at well over 200mph and we qualified for the Main Event at Santa Pod in May which was a great achievement at a European event.

Burning out at York RacewayTo give you an idea of how quickly one of these beasts accelerates, we recorded 1.01 seconds to the sixty foot beams at 79mph!!! So when somebody mentions the 0 to 60 time of the latest showroom supercar, just have a think about it?!

We had a couple of cases of engine damage this year, which unfortunately has to be expected to a certain extent at this level, so I must thank Kenny at E.D.A. for his usual support and Andy Mapes for machine work. Dennis and Luke, my crew, are both diamonds and I have to say they are tireless and I can’t thank them enough. Dennis also has the added benefit of being able to make me laugh at almost anything, his sense of humour is very sharp, cheers mate! Luke has a score to settle at some time, I am expecting it! I played a practical joke on him earlier this year which was absolutely priceless, his face was a picture!

We want to attend our first European event next year, hopefully at Hockenheim in Germany, so that’s something new to look forward to.

Euro Finals crowd 2009This winter will see some minor changes to the car and possibly a change to our support vehicle, so the off season won’t be boring at all.

I will also be approaching a number of companies for potential sponsorship, so if you get a proposal drop through your door take your time and have a good look!!

One last thing for now; we have a new team boss! Jimmy is Dennis and Stacey’s son, he has been to a few events with us this year and I think you will agree that he certainly looks the part!”

Dennis & Jimmy

One Lucky Devil…

“On our very last run of the season, I had an interesting ride! Usually, just as I cross the finish line, I reach up and pull the lever to deploy the twin parachutes and wait for the ‘hit’ of the chutes to scrub some speed off and then start to apply the brakes. This time nothing happened! When you are doing a little over 191 mph, you start thinking quickly, VERY quickly!

Photo courtesy of Phil GraystonI realised that for some reason the chutes were not doing anything, so I started to use the brakes whilst trying not to burn them up, so I was feeding the pedal in, easing off and feeding it in again. It soon became apparent that I was fast running out of tarmac before the field starts at the end of the shutdown area at Santa Pod!

The safety marshals at the Pod (who do an awesome job) soon realised that I had a bit of a job to do as I was hurtling up the top end. I soon took a lot of speed off thanks to the four wheel disc brakes, and made the decision to not try and make the return road turn off! The car came to a stop about 15ft short of the field and literally seconds later the marshals came running over, fire extinguishers in hand. “Are you okay?” was the question, quickly followed by the comment “your brakes stink!”.

Well, yes I was okay, good experience actually, and yes the brakes did stink, with quite a bit of brake dust floating about in the car, no harm done. I was pushed back and on to the return road and inspected the chutes. They had opened on the run, but just kind of fell on the floor, and didn’t catch any air until too late, so didn’t make any effect. The reason appears to be the pilot chutes are a little bit “rough around the edges”, so they will be replaced over the winter period. A few other bits and pieces will be updated / changed over the winter including a brand new supercharger!!

Photo courtesy of Phil GraystonThis will give us more available boost pressure, which in turn allows us to add more fuel to the mix and create more power, helping us to get in to the six second zone……

Thanks to everyone, we are looking forward to next season…….”


Photos courtesy & copyright Phil Grayston