Tag Archives: Hartnell

Follow that Eldorado – Shakespeare County Raceway

Chris Hartnell, Shakespeare County Raceway

A couple of months ago, on my way to Race Retro, I spent several hours in the back of mini bus with ‘Crazy’ Chris Hartnell seen here at the wheel of ‘Backdraft’ a sling shot dragster, in a very short time his enthusiasm for drag racing infected me and on Sunday I finally got a chance to to go to my very first Drag meet.

Cadillac Eldorado, Shakespeare County Raceway

The meeting was held at Shakespeare County Raceway, in deepest Warwickshire, so deep I managed to get so completely lost trying to find the venue, no Sat Nav in this weekends borrowed wheels, that the only way I found it was by following a Cadillac Eldorado I fortuitously came across while trying to work out where I was at a T junction in the middle of nowhere that I could not find on my Google Map.

Chevrolet Advanced Design, Shakespeare County Raceway

The sound of V8’s being tortured for up to 10 secs from the car park was unlike anything I have ever heard before, made 43 cars flying round Talledega at 190 mph sound quite tuneful by comparison.

Dodge Challenger R/T, Shakespeare County Raceway

Bevis the owner of a sumptuous red 450 hp small block road going Chevy Impala, complete with one piece California rear bumper, the subject of a future blog told me that the really big Drag meeting was actually at Santa Pod near Northampton in September, but I was happy enough easing my way into the scene on Sunday.

Morris Minor, Shakespeare County Raceway

Against my expectations there were a few UK bodied vehicles including this Morris Minor, a Rover 400 Funny Car, a standard looking TVR Tuscan, a Ford Anglia and a couple of Mark 2 Ford Cortinas, including an Estate / Stationwagon !

Shakespeare County Raceway

I had hoped to get a photo of Crazy Chris popping a wheely, unfortunately I was a bit slow on the camera shutter, still next time I’ll know what to expect. If you have never been to a drag meeting I’d certainly recommend a visit, the atmosphere is extremely friendly and relaxed in the paddock and the action is short but intense on the track, I look forward to future blogs on some of the wild rides I saw on Sunday.

Thanks to ‘Crazy’ Chris Hartnell infecting me with his enthusiasm, I hope you have enjoyed today’s Drag edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you’ll join me again for Ferrari Friday tomorrow. Don’t for get to come back now !


Sub 7 Second Family ? – Chevrolet Corvette C1

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After a thrilling Aarrons 499 in April ’09, my friends Throttleneckracing and Checkeredflagstilettos kindly took me back to Atlanta and put me up in a hotel using TNR’s loyalty points and we had a great meal at a local Cracker Barrel.

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That night my head still buzzing from a combination of jet lag, 3 days of Alabama sunshine and hundreds of laps of 200 mph racing action I found my self watching drag racing for the first time on the Speed Channel.

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Despite the fact I was physically exhausted, I was enthralled and fully engaged mentally by the sight of earth shaking top fuel drag cars spitting flames a good 10 to 20 feet into the air.

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A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I met Drag Racer Chris ‘Backdraft’ Hartnell on a Bristol Pegasus Motor Club trip to Race Retro at Stoneleigh and such was his enthusiasm for the sport I am determined to go and see a drag race at Shakespeare County Raceway this year.

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If I am lucky I hope to catch site of this outrageous pro modified Corvette C1 run by Ian Hanson and his family team comprising his wife Pauline son Richard, brother Colin, sister in law Karen and nephew Tom.

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Chris tells me that Ian’s car has this outsize magneto to deliver charge to the spark plugs in place of a battery which would be run flat by the electrical requirements of this humongous motor.

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The blurb on Ian’s motor read something like “8860cc / 540 cui all alloy New Century Chevrolet Big Block, with forged Arias pistons, Brooks alloy rods, Howards billet crank, and Aviade dry sump oil system that is hiding behind an Enderie ‘Big & Ugly’ injector hat and fuel system with an 8/71 Teflon Stage 4 Littlefield Supercharger”.

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Last year Ian set a new Supercharged Outlaws UK et record of 7.29 seconds over a distance of 402 meters.

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The record was set with the engine in a ‘mild state of tune’ producing around 1,700 (Seventeen Hundred) hp !

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This year Ian will be turning up the boost a little further…

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and attempt to cover the 402 meters in under 7 seconds.

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I am sure you will join me in wishing Ian all the best, with a little luck I’ll be there to see it, with a bit more luck I might just have time to take a photograph.

Thanks for joining me on today’s ‘mild state of tune’ edition of ‘Gettin a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !