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Bristol drag racers

Neil Grant

  Neil started Hot Rodding in the late 70's, as a teenager, and throughout the years has had millions of hot rods and race cars (well almost!!) - most have been 'sit up and beg' Ford Pops. Neil started his Drag racing career in 1985 with the infamous ChartHire Ford popular with a Rover V8 engine. I think everyone from Bristol worked on the bodywork of that car.

Neil, a mechanic by trade, has built many of his own cars with the help of his friends. He has raced and won in many different classes from the heads up class of the Outlaw Anglias to the index class of Super Street. Neil is known for his startline prowess, and for his love of black stealth-like cars. Not an easy opponent to get a round win over.
Neil's Super Street Mk2 Zephyr at Santa Pod Raceway 2007  
After selling his last race Pop, Neil bought this Mk2 Zephyr from Richie Smith, then built a new engine, a 454 Big Block Chevy, with the help of Kenny Coleman and ZaNNetec Motorsport. In this car he has run 10.76 seconds at 135mph (with the throttle stop on).

He is also currently building a '32 Roadster with a small block Chevy, for the street.
The ChartHire Ford popular (left) pictured at Long Marston in 1987.

At right, the trailered and primered race Pop bears the local sponsor's lettering.
The Custom Car-featured 'Crazy Horse' Pop at the track.   Crazy Horse
Neil's last Pop ran a 355ci small block Chevy and ran 10.65 at 126mph. The Pop was built by Boot Soop racing (now ZaNNetec Motorsport), and now belongs to second- generation racer Chris Kenny.

John Grant

John "Hotch" Grant grew up with his older brother Neil having hot rods and race cars, and began crewing and helping out at an early age (if you look at Conrad's profile, in the background of Conrad's first car photo is a young John Grant, with hair).

John enjoyed playing football so the racing took a back seat for a while, but he was always at the track helping someone out. His first race car was the 100e back in the early ninety's and was one of the first fully tube-chassised race cars out of The Bootsoop (ZaNNetec) workshop.

John Grant's Big Block Ford powered 100E 
John raced the 100E in a few classes starting in Super ET running low eleven second passes. He had some success in the Saturday Night Special races that Santa Pod used to run, winning two of those events. As the classes in England changed John raced Pro ET, having some success in that class also. John then parked the 100E for a couple of years, and a few other people drove the car (Conrad Stanley and Neil Grant to name but two).

When John gave up playing football he had more time to dedicate to the car - he had a new 460cu in Big Block Ford motor built by ZaNNetec, to run in the Super Street class. This car has run 10.4 at 136mph with a throttle stop on it, so without the stop, the car will run nines. John was the 2005 Super Street UK Champion and was the runner up in the 2004 and 2006 championships, so is no stranger to buying the ice creams on the way home.

Mike Bentley

Mike Bentley - part of the Northern division
  Although Mike is not from Bristol, he formed a friendship with The Bristol Doorslammers early in his racing career, after having some work done by Zane Llewellyn (ZaNNetec). Mike currently lives near Blackpool, but is very much part of the Bristol Doorslammers at the track.

Mike has raced this car since the late 1990's - first in the Sportsman ET class, then in Super Street, winning the Championship twice and now running in the Super Gas class. The car is a Sierra Cosworth body and runs a big block Ford engine which runs on Methanol. Without the restriction of the throttle stop, the car is capable of running low nines.
Mike's his 460ci 'Brute Force' Ford Sierra  
Words and pics: Chris Kenny
Additional pics: Phil Mitchell
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