Taking a Walk on the Wild Side
New British Top Fuel Effort for 2002
by Jeremy Cookson
Fuel racing is the ultimate goal in drag racing and following the New Year announcement concerning Peter Knights new Top Fuel operation we've just received news of another new all British team set to debut in April.
Announced at the Autosport International Show at the National Exhibition
Centre, England Wildside Inc Top Fuel Team is a collaboration between ace fuel tuner John Wright and his wife Lesley, and former Top Methanol rookie Darryl Bradford. The team have acquired an '98 Brad Hadman chassis which last saw competitive duty in the FIA European Championship with Denmark's Jens Nybo at the controls. The car is currently at Hauser Race Cars, Rushden, England where the roll cage is being lowered and various other modifications are being made to bring it in line with the 2002 rules.
"We're really excited about this!" said Lesley Wright. "Top Fuel is where John should be. We're out to enjoy ourselves, and we'll have the most fun in Top Fuel although not as often! We're pleased with the car and its pedigree, and Darryl has impressed John as a driver."
Darryl, a former race track photographer and last years Top Methanol Rookie, finished a respectable 4th in the MSA British Championship and 7th in the FIA European Top Methanol Dragster series. "Everyone gets into drag racing for one reason, to drive a blown Fuel car, " said Darryl. "Our original plan was to run A/Fuel in Top Methanol, but after a lot of careful consideration we decided that life's too short!"
John Wright has been tuning Nitro engines for years and still holds the coveted prize of being the only current Top Fuel Crew Chief in Europe to have tuned a car to a 4.8-second elapsed time. This was achieved nearly 4 years ago with Sweden's Viveca Averstedt in America and it still holds firm today. "John is an engineer, so he has his own role. Darryl will fulfill the role of a pure driver, connecting with the sponsors and fans," said Lesley.
The team hopes to be out at the Easter Thunderball to upgrade Darryl's license before taking a shot at the opening round of the FIA series in June at Santa Pod Raceway.
Shakespeare County Raceway