Easter 2023

Due to an unusual amount of rain leading up to the traditional Easter season-opener the grass areas at Santa Pod were waterlogged, so the family-oriented Festival of Power was swapped with the race-focused Springspeed Nationals, usually scheduled at the end of April, to prevent spectators damaging the grass and having to be towed out. To avoid confusion, I’m simply referring to this weekend as the Easter meeting, as in programmes and online both titles are being used for the same event.

Over the winter Storm got its first ever full stripdown and rebuild with new primary gears, a repaired gearcase (damaged at the last meeting of 2022), a repaired and repainted fairing and, most importantly, a new steering neck to reduce the rake angle from over 45 degrees to a more manageable 42.

We also picked up some new sponsors in the form of Dale Leeks’ Suffolk Pool Company, hydraulic hose company Mobihose, and my employers, BMW tuners AC Schnitzer UK. Great to have them all aboard and joining our existing sponsors listed at the end of this post. We hope to reward them all with increased exposure for their brands during the year.

Our first qualifying session had some new figures in the controller aimed at speeding up the small turbo and slowing down the big one. 60psi manifold pressure needs around 22psi from the big one, but we had nearer 30 at the end of last year. Getting the small one to do more would speed up boost increase off the line too.

Our first pass was a rather disappointing 7.15 @ 183 with a 1.2 to 60′. Returning to the pits we found that the boost hose from the intercooler had come off the big turbo inlet. We tried again – 6.94 @ 199. Better, but still in the 1.2s to 60′ and still not matching the programming. Only 4psi from the big turbo wasn’t going to win us any races. Still, we were qualified #1 and had time on our side.

Saturday morning we had a couple more tries but the engine switched off in the burnout, traced to a loose ignition fuse in its holder (yes, we’ve been here before). In the afternoon a very flat 7.9 @ 138 warranted further investigation, where we found that the exhaust manifold had cracked three quarters of the way around the collector. No exhaust pressure – no boost pressure. Stripping the turbos, intercooler, wastegates and the related sensors isn’t a 5 minute job, but with the help of fellow racer Jake Mechaell from nearby JKE Race Works we got the manifold TIG-welded and reassembled by 11pm.

An early call Sunday morning gave us a the chance of an extra qualifier to gather some meaningful data, but a chance flick of the ignition switch by Simon gave nothing. Panic mode ensued, and a broken wire was quickly twisted together. A feeble burnout was followed by the bike idling down the track with no boost at all. Back in the pits a “leave it to me, I know what I’m doing” pressure line was found to have been left unconnected.

Nothing for it then but to try our best in the eliminations! A holeshot on Roger Moore wasn’t enough to save another low boost launch, followed by our old friend, the accidental 3rd to 1st gear shift. This doesn’t do any damage, except for losing all drive on the run. Roger sailed past and took the win.

Back home it looks like a split diaphragm in the small wastegate was responsible for the low boost all weekend. Without the other issues, we almost certainly would have traced this earlier, but it is what it is, as Simon likes to say!

Congrats to Roger for beating us and class winner by attrition Dave Peters. We’ll be back! Due to the steering changes the bike now handles far better than it ever did, with no tendency to flop towards full lock like it always had. The steering is lighter and more confidence-inspiring, so when all the other issues are sorted we know we can run quicker than our PB of 6.54.

Thanks to our tenacious team Mike Hand, Dave Woodard, Simon Campbell and Mick Bisson for sticking with it, and to all our sponsors listed below. There is still room on the fairing for a couple more if you would like to join them! Sponsoring us for a YEAR can cost as little as what you’d pay for a single ad in a magazine. Contact us if you’d like to be a part of our efforts.

AC Schnitzer UK – the premier aftermarket tuner for BMW & MINI

AS Transport – HIAB crane services. Need a lathe moved? These are your guys.

Auto Electrical Parts (AEP)

Mobihose – hydraulic hose and service

Leeks Landscapes – class sponsor

Suffolk Pool Company – design to completion

Owen Developments – suppliers of our turbos and wastegates for many years

Horsepower Factory UK – support with our electronics

Storm crew member wanted

If you live the West London / Surrey area, have a passion for motorsport and want to become more involved in a hands-on and practical way we’d like to hear from you.

Following the passing of Barry Eastman in 2019 and with the rest of the team not getting any younger, we need someone for the 2021 season and beyond to help run the UK’s quickest Funnybike deep into the 6s at over 220mph. This is a voluntary role.

Duties will include helping to build and prepare the bike at our workshop in Chertsey, Surrey (approx 1 day or 1 evening per week to suit you). Loading and unloading the bike and equipment into/from our van before and after meetings (6 or 7 times a year). Helping at National and European meetings at Santa Pod, race bike pushing/towing and maintenance between rounds.

You’ll get to learn all about operating one of the quickest and fastest turbo bikes on the planet and, if you want to, the boost, fuel and clutch control systems we use including AMS1000, AMS2000 and Motec M800.

You’ll need energy, some mechanical aptitude, a good sense of humour and endless patience. Maybe you already know one of us and want to help? Or maybe you’re studying motorsport and just need some practical experience. We only race at Santa Pod so this usually means camping overnight during race meetings.

Contact Mick Hand on 07947 802309 or handbell@btinternet.com or

Lorcan Parnell on 07947 569920 or lorcanparnell@gmail.com

A celebration of the life of Barry Eastman

A celebration of Barry’s life will take place at:

South West Middlesex Crematorium, Hounslow Rd., Hounslow, TW13 5JH

on 28th February at 10am.

All who knew Barry are welcome. Refreshments will be available afterwards at a separate venue to be arranged.

Please send any messages or memories you would like to be included to stormdragbike@gmail.com by 21st Feb for forwarding on to Debs.

Dress code: Barry was not one for formality so wear what you like. Funeral attire NOT necessary ๐Ÿ™‚

Flowers from close family only please. If anyone would like to make a charity donation in lieu of flowers please use this website to donate online:


Donations will go to the British Heart Foundation and Lymphoma Research Trust, in memory of Barry.

Alternatively donations by cheque can be sent to: In memory of Barry Eastman, Lodge Brothers, 7 Green Lane, Shepperton, TW17 8DP, and there will be a collection box on the day should anyone prefer to donate then.

Main Event 2018

With the Festival of Power at Easter being rained off the Main Event was the first chance for many teams, including us, to try their machines and dial in any changes made over the off season. It would also be our first runs on the all-new concrete surface laid by Santa pod over the winter.

Changes for us included the longtail seat (suggested by UWTSD as an interim measure while they work on the scans they took of the bike in the winter) and new high-friction clutch plates. A Thursday test run showed we weren’t too far off:

A 60′ test later on Thursday gave a better 1.17, but Friday was rained out, giving us a chance to test the new parachute system on Storm, the results of which were inconclusive ๐Ÿ˜‰

Saturday qualifying gave us a 10.4 and a 7.4, only good enough for 9th spot. Meanwhile,ย Fast Fil stunned everyone with his first passes on what was Ian King’s bike – 6.0 and 5.7 @ 236mph! This was on a “soft” setup with less nitro and ignition to let Fil get a grip on his new ride. He certainly did that, congrats Fil!!

For reasons I can’t remember we didn’t make first session on Sunday, which left the final session at 6.30pm. As Eurodragster put itย “Lorcan in the Last Chance Saloon stood up and started shooting the glasses behind the bar”, as we ran 6.85 @ 205mph to qualify 5th. We were back in the game!

Round 1 and Glenn Borg didn’t make it to the line with an engine issue, which was lucky for us as he had run 6.57 in qualifying. Storm moved towards the centre line for a poor 8.02 but was through to the next round against #1 qualifier Fil.

Fil left late, 0.37 to 0.14 but by 330′ he was past us and there would be no doubt about the winner from then on. We put on a good show though, running a PB 6.74 @218mph. Fil went on to win the event against Rikard in an epic battle, 6.01 to 6.02.

Photos from Callum Pudge:

Photos from Krissy:

Photos from Nitro Shutter:

Straightliners 2017

After missing the National finals the team worked hard to make new primary drive gears and get us to the Straightliners event in mid-October 2017. The effort was rewarded with a PB 6.74 @ 210mph, and then the bike immediately torched the head on the next run when one of the power rings let go. Even so, it was a good note to end the year on and we had 5 months or so to come up with a new plan.

Sarah’s video:

Photos from Blackett Photography:

Extreme Bike Weekend 2016

After repairing the boost hose and the broken chain we’re good to go at the last meeting of the year, the Extreme Bike Weekend at Santa Pod. A bikes-only event with around 80 entered, but late in the year so no chance of a warm track.


60′ 1.14
330′ 3.03
1/8 4.56 @ 159
1000′ 5.89
1/4 7.03 190mph #1 qualifier

Q2 6.99 @ 198mph

Q3 6.89 rolled off at 1000′ as moving towards the centre line, with this run keeping us at #1 qualifier, 0.6 seconds ahead of second place with the rest of the field struggling for grip.

Julian Hunt pics:



In Q4 the bike clutch didn’t disengage after the burnout, stalling the engine. The team stripped the clutch and gearbox overnight, and re-seated a bearing in the gearbox that could have been the problem, but in the first elimination round Sunday morning the bike did the same thing, putting us out. Despite the cold weather though the bike took 6 men to unstick it from the track after the burnout!

Yannick Richard photo:

Runs from the weekend (Sarah White video):

DR Photography photos:

Slo-mo from Blackett Photography:

See you next year ๐Ÿ™‚

National Finals 2016

The Storm team thrashed to get the engine and turbo repaired in time for the National Finals, including skulling the damaged head:

Skulled head

But it was not to be. On the first qualifying run the big turbo again popped its connector hose off. And on the second run the launch was very aggressive, snapping the drive chain.

Sarah White photo.

Sarah White photo.

Fans of Barry’s “Tokyo Express” CBX funnybike might remember a similar incident where the chain broke and almost sawed the frame (and Barry’s leg) in half. Thanks to Barry’s experience Storm has the chainguard integrated with the frame which is very strong and minimises the chance of the chain hitting the rider’s leg.

We had another drive chain but unfortunately the broken one went through the alternator and we didn’t have another one of those, so once again we were out! The overboost was later traced to the fire which had melted the braided hose to the wastegate on the inside, blocking it and preventing the boost controller from working.

European Finals 2016

Set up, scrutineered, everything good to go, right? Nearly…

On the first run the large turbo came off its exhaust connector on the launch. The turbo dropped about an inch and touched a wire, which caught fire. 7.39 with a PB 60′ of 1.087 though qualified us 5th after the first round even though most of the run was on minimal boost. The small fire was extinguished in the waiting area at the finish after a brief “FIRE…FIRE” moment.

It was a tad busy on the banking…

Unfortunately on our second run just edging forward to the burnout box there were some unpleasant noises from the motor before it stalled and locked up. Three valve heads in cylinder number 2 had come off, one lodging itself in its port and the other two damaging the piston and head so we were out of the competition.

One theory is that a valve was slightly bent at the previous meeting when we popped the manifold. Valve spring pressure can mean that a slightly bent valve will straighten up and seal properly when it closes, only to return to being bent again when it opens, This repeated flexing ultimately causes the valve to fail some time later.

We’ll need to get the head skulled or welded and fit all new valves but hope to be out again either at the National Finals or the Extreme bike weekend. In the meantime good luck to our fellow competitors in Top Fuel Bike, see you next time!

PS congrats to Rene van den Berg on a storming 6.15 @ 229mph!


Not another one…

Update Summer 2016

July and August 2016 were a bit difficult for us. We went to the Summernationals with the turbo repaired and some new EGT sensors in the hope of gathering some more accurate data but a loud pop on the burnout of the first run again killed the small turbo. The carbon seal hadn’t worked.

New EGT sensors

With the seal replaced with a stronger version we went to a RWYB at the Japshow but the same thing happened again, only this time on the first run and it blew the inlet manifold apart for good measure. The team decided to bit the bullet and move the throttle body from in between the large and small turbos to after the small turbo. Lots of time and fabrication, but it would mean the turbo wouldn’t need a carbon seal.

Old manifold opened like a tin can:




New manifold with throttle body moved: