Dave Wilson was involved in the Supercharged Methanol racing category throughout his career and five times became FIA European Top Methanol champion, adding several British championships and many race wins to his name.
His Drag Racing experience began with Rod George, whom Dave helped with his transmission. A chance to drive Rod’s Creeper dragster hooked him on the sport. Creeper was replaced by the famous Stormbringer car, previously the first to run a five-second ET outside America. Renamed Krypton, the car crashed at York, injuring Dave seriously.
The team regrouped and Rod sold his share. Dave partnered with Steve Martyn and helped by Dave Fletcher, built a new Krypton. Steve drove the car in 1981, qualified low at that year’s World Finals and finished runner-up.
Dave resumed driving in 1982, racing Krypton successfully until 1986. Attending the US Nationals, he learned how to run the car much harder. Back home, the improved power produced severe breakage at his first race. It took three years to repair and update the parts needed to get the car back on track. Dave upgraded gradually and by 1997 could run as quickly as 6.009sec.
In 1999 Dave teamed up with the Redstone & Gleadow team who had imported a car named Nemesis from Finland. The team joined that season’s FIA European tour and clocked fives, qualifying no.1 and winning an event. Such success attracted team sponsorship from Lucas Oil Products. In 2001 Dave bought the car from Barry Redstone and sponsored by American Car Imports, Air Sea Logistics, Sony PlayStation and 76 Racing Fuels, formed a two-car team with Wendy Baker.
Increased sponsorship from Antony Cohen (American Car Imports) enabled Dave to buy a complete Bob Meyer car in 2002. Following a US debut at Pomona, he set new ET and speed records in Europe while finishing FIA Championship runner-up. In 2003, driving a new Brad Hadman car, he became the first racer outside the USA to clock 5.50s, 5.40s, 5.30s and 5.20s and to exceed 260 and 270mph. This form delivered five consecutive FIA Championships from 2003 to 2007, a period of dominance producing 14 event wins, 49 round wins and 19 number one qualifiers. On another USA trip, Dave became the first European to win an NHRA “Wally”. But did he rest on his laurels?
With Silverline Tools’ backing, in 2008 Dave changed his engine combination from supercharged methanol to injected nitro, a major move in terms of engineering, parts and tuning. In only his second A-Fuel year he finished second in the FIA championship and set the European ET record twice, later achieving a career-best of 5.2605sec at Tierp in 2012. Dave’s last event victory came at the 2015 Main Event.
Dave leads the all-time FIA Top Methanol table in championships (five), event wins (18), round wins (96) and low qualifiers (30). It is for his excellence in racing performance and for challenges overcome that Dave Wilson is hereby inducted into membership of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame
Profile By Simon Groves