The Shoe and Miss STP are coming back

Don Schumacher and Paula MurphyTo any UK drag racing enthusiast of a certain age, the names Don Schumacher and Paula Murphy conjure a special moment in time: Summer of ’73. Heading a band of American racers attending that year’s July Internationals at Santa Pod Raceway, the pair unleashed the first full-tilt American Fuel Funny Cars seen on these shores and seared the occasion into the minds of all who witnessed it. The spectacular, ground-shaking Funnies – essentially nitro-burning dragsters cloaked by lightweight, saloon-car-replica bodyshells – were all the rage across the Atlantic, drawing huge crowds to America’s dragstrips. Schumacher and Murphy together created a seminal moment in the sport’s British history.

The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is therefore proud to announce that Don Schumacher and Paula Murphy will be reunited on UK soil for the first time as honoured guests at its 2016 Gala Awards Dinner, to be held on Saturday 19th November at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel at London’s Heathrow Airport.

To a modern drag racing audience, Don Schumacher is proprietor of the most powerful team in America’s NHRA Drag Racing Championship. Since its foundation in 1997, Don Schumacher Racing’s drivers have won no fewer than 14 NHRA Championships in the Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car divisions, including eight Top Fuel titles for Don’s son, Tony, at the wheel of the US Army dragster. Yet Don once had an illustrious driving career of his own.Don Schumacher portrait by Mark Rebilas

Having set out as a Sportsman racer in 1963, he switched to the new, professional Funny Car class in 1966 and became one of its greatest stars as the class took drag racing by storm. A year after his Santa Pod visit in 1973, he retired to lead his family’s Schumacher Electric Corporation and develop the company into the world’s foremost manufacturer of battery chargers.

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2016 BRITISH DRAG RACING HALL OF FAME GALA MOVES TO SHERATON SKYLINE HOTEL AT HEATHROW

ssmainAfter just two years, November’s third weekend is now firmly established on the international drag racing calendar as “Gala Weekend” for the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame. The sparkling, black-tie occasion celebrates British drag racing’s past, present and future before an audience of racers, fans and contributors to the sport, along with a gathering of distinguished figures from home and abroad, and honours the year’s new roster of members inducted into the Hall of Fame.

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HOF TALK

The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame (BDRHoF) has launched a new on-line publication. It is called HOFtalk and is designed to improve communications with members and supporters of the BDRHoF. Its Editor is Simon Groves.

simonSimon has been a drag racing fanatic since 1970 when he attended his first race at Santa Pod Raceway. He joined the team at Shakespeare County Raceway in 2000, working as a member of the timing crew, club championship co-ordinator and marshalling.

In 2005 he became pit reporter, blog editor, points compiler and links editor at Eurodragster attending many events in the UK, across Europe and in the US. He also works with Dave Riswick of John Woolfe Racing, helping him archive items for his private drag racing museum in Bedford.

As a member of the BDRHoF Management Board, Simon’s duties will focus on Membership Liaison using HOFtalk as the focus of these new activities. Particularly he will be conducting interviews with members and others involved in the development of the sport since its early days in the UK so if you have any stories contact him at simon@britishdragracinghof.co.uk

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Don Garlits Returns to BDR HoF Gala

More good news has followed the announcement about Mopar being presented with the Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award during the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame (BDRHoF) Gala Awards Dinner at the Savill Court Hotel, Windsor Great Park, on November 21st. Yes – BIG IS BACK! None other than Big Daddy Don Garlits himself is making a return trip to the UK to make the presentation.

Don has been a Mopar Ambassador for 60 years and at the forefront of developing the Mopar HEMI engine in his series of Swamp Rat dragsters. He was the first to receive the 426 cubic inch Hemi ‘Elephant Motor’ that was installed in Swamp Rat 8 at the end of 1964. He received the Mopar President’s Award in March for his 60 years as a Mopar Ambassador and for this trip he will again be joined by his daughter Donna Garlits, Chief Financial Officer of the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala. And Donna’s son Rodney will also be making a return trip to the Gala Dinner.

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Mopar Hemi ® V8 Engine Honoured by British Drag Racing

The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame (BDRHoF) is pleased to announce that the 2015 BDRHoF Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award will go to FCA US LLC’s Mopar brand for the role played in drag racing by its famed HEMI® V8 engine. The crystal trophy will be presented at the 2015 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner being held at the fabulous Savill Court Hotel, Windsor Great Park, United Kingdom on November 21st and Mopar representatives will fly in from Auburn Hills to receive it.

Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, is expanding the brand’s global presence.

Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, is expanding the brand’s global presence.

Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO – Mopar Brand Service, Parts and Customer Care, FCA, said,
“We are very proud of our history at the strip and thrilled that the HEMI engine has been recognised by the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame in this fashion”.
“Our involvement in drag racing over the years has fed our production development as well, and still does. The strip and the street are forever linked together in Mopar’s DNA”.
“We look forward to meeting UK-based Mopar and HEMI engine enthusiasts in November and accepting an award that will have pride of place back home in Auburn Hills.”
Chairman of the BDRHoF Stu Bradbury said,

“The 2015 BDRHoF Gala Dinner has been made even more special with the honour of presenting this award to a company that has been at the forefront of the quest for improved drag racing performance since the beginning. The HEMI V8 engine has achieved legendary status within our sport and, with this year marking the 65th anniversary of the engine first being available on production line cars, it is even more special. It will certainly be a night to remember”.

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Lucas Oil Back 2015 BDR HoF Gala Awards Dinner

During the next few months there are many exciting announcements to be made about this year’s British Drag Racing Hall of Fame (BDRHoF) Gala Awards Dinner that is returning to the fabulous Savill Court Hotel, Windsor Great Park on November 21st 2015. There have already been press releases covering MQQNEYES sponsorship of the Sydney Allard Media Awards and the appearances of Ron Hope (Rat Trap), Waterbed Fred Miller (Blue Max) and Bob Muravez (Freight Train) as special guests. Once again it promises to be a night to remember and, as is the tradition, the announcement about this year’s inductees will be made in July at the Dragstalgia Event held at Santa Pod Raceway over July 10th to 12th 2015.

Another exciting piece of news that can now be made public is that Lucas Oil Products UK is again sponsoring and hosting the pre-dinner reception drinks and providing table gift items. Les Downey, Managing Director and Director of European Operations, Lucas Oil Products UK said, “We are delighted to be supporting this fantastic drag racing social event again. Last year’s occasion was one of the best we have attended covering any of the sports that we are involved with and I look forward to another great night this year. I know the attention to detail that the organisers give to this Gala Dinner and it certainly shows through”.

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