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A Time For Respect

Its not the nicest thing to read in a drag racing magazine, but out of respect for the racers and their families we cover these occurrences offering our deepest sympathies.  Even as I write this I have just heard that Joey Dunlop has been killed whilst leading a 125cc race, now for those of you who know me you will know that I have spent most of my life living in Northern Ireland.  One of our main sports is road racing and there was no finer a road racer than Joey Dunlop, so to his family I offer my sympathy.

Lately in the world of drag racing we have lost Chris Hampson, Ed Shaver and Dave Graham, as I don't feel qualified enough to write an article on each person I have asked Jerry to provide me with the following articles.

Again Quick Times Racing News would like to offer its deepest sympathies to all the families.

Ed Shaver 1944-2000

I first came across Ed Shaver at a wind swept North Luffenham airstrip in 1972.  Ed, who made England his home after being stationed by Uncle Sam at USAF base Upper Hayford, was making his competitive debut racing the Mattel Hot Wheels AMX Javelin alongside John Woolfe Racing team members Dennis Priddle and owner Dave Riswick.

Ed was one of those guys who was crazy about the sport, and was anything other than cheerful.  One of my most vivid memories of Ed was a picture of him sitting on the toilet in a funny car suit reading a copy of Hot Rod Magazine.  Ed was not only a joker but a serious racer.

Soon after the JWR team split, Ed built his own Funny Car – an iron block Reliant Scimitar bodied show vehicle before being introduced to Mark Stratton and Europe's first and only rear engined Funny Car; an evil handling Vauxhall VX4/90 Ventora sponsored by Castrol.

Drag racing was his life.  He couldn't stay away, making frequent visits to Long Marston Raceway in the late eighties and beyond.  Ed's last visit to England was in 1998 for the John Woolfe Racing 30 Year Reunion Party where Dave Riswick presented him a 'Life Achievement Award' for his services to drag racing.

Ed passed away following complications after open heart surgery.  Ed is survived by his second wife Caroline, and children from his first marriage Michelle and Ed Jnr.  God speed big guy.  We know your looking down on us…

Jeremy Cookson

Ed Shaver 1944 - 2000

Dave Graham

Early Sunday morning of the last Super Series event at SCR we were very sad to hear of the death of Dave Graham of Kendall Oils UK. As most of you will know Dave was deeply involved in drag racing in the UK, sponsoring both racers and series.

Dave was one of our long-time sponsors of SCR, Super Series and Super Gas. In fact when donations for the tracks score board appeal reached its target Dave very kindly matched it to make the boards a reality.
Pro Mod racer Nick Davies, who was a long time friend of Dave's and whose car was sponsored by Kendall when he won the UK National Championship last season, writes with the following tribute.

"Ever willing to share his life's experiences and knowledge, Dave listened to amateur and professional with the same attentiveness offering advice and guidance when asked. His enthusiasm, optimism and flexibility knew no bounds. Like many business and racing operations, Dave supported I.C.E.'s product and racing development programs over nearly two decades, culminating in our shared Pro Mod championship success in 1999 in the Kendall Cutlass. Dave will be missed not only as a vast knowledge source but also as a true, solid friend."

Dave's family has expressed a wish that no flowers be sent, but a collection will be held for the War Child charity on the day.

From all at APIRA/FAST, we send our deepest condolences to Dave's wife Flo, his family, and his friends.

Jeremy Cookson

Chris Hampson –1957 to 2000

I first knew Chris after using one of his stories from the columns he used to write for Motor Cycle News. I sensed from our initial meeting that Chris was, like me, a dedicated enthusiast for the sport and bike sport in general.  His journalistic talents didn't just stop with Britain's top leading paper, Chris was also a regular contributor to 'Drag Racing News' as well as other publications worldwide.

However, long before the day of our meeting I used to watch Chris racing his first drag bike, a street based Suzuki in 1984 at places like Santa Pod, Blackbushe and Long Marston.  Natural progression up the ladder then led Chris to the turbo charged 'crotch rockets' known to you and I as Funny Bikes.

After a successful tour 'down under' touring the Australian Raceway's with the Multipart Suzuki Chris, somehow, managed to persuade his employers JCB to sponsor the most successful and longest running associations in European drag racing history.

With countless wins in British and European competitions, Chris shipped the bike out to the USA to take on the worlds best at the ProStar World finals at Bradenton, Florida.  There he had the world on tiptoe by reaching the final of Top Fuel Bike (at the time incorporating Funny Bikes), but lost out in the final to American legend Elmer Trett.

His association with the ultimate bike class in drag racing Top Fuel, began after a couple of years later after forming an association with rider/tuner Phil Baimbridge.  He was a natural.  In just his first full season Chris, with his skeleton like frame, proved to everyone that he'd got what it took in taming one of these 1000hp beasts.  And now he's gone.

To quote fellow drag racing journalist Roger Gorringe, to say this man will be sorely missed is an understatement.  Drag Racing has lost at least two talents, a brave competitor and a resourceful writer.

Our hearts go out to Jan with whom he shared his life, his sister, Phil and Teresa Baimbridge, Wilf, Ade and Duncan.

Jeremy Cookson

Chris Hampson Chris Hampson
Chris with the JCB Funny Bike

Maz Harris 1949 - 2000


Also as a mark of respect I would like to extend my sympathies to Maz's family and all the people he knew.

Ride free.


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