The Gosporteers Challenge Trophy came into its own after the first of two meetings to be held at the Royal Navy Air Yard at HMS Daedalus, Lee on Solent April 25th 1971. This was the first on-tour Drag Race meeting of the year organised by the British Drag Racing & Hot Rod Association. 

Above Photo: Jerry Cookson

After plenty of pre-race publicity (including TV and static display’s in local car showrooms) over 10,000 mad keen motor racing, Drag Racing and plain curious fans braved the windy conditions to see plenty of close action in all of the eliminators run; highlight being the best of three match race against the two slingshot dragsters of BDRHoF members Clive Skilton with the Castrol sponsored Revolution 2 and Dennis Priddle in the John Woolfe Racing/Radio Luxembourg dragster both smoking the rear slicks for Clive to take two 8 second wins (8.6 and 8.4s).

Photos: Steph Milam 

Also running that weekend was BDRHoF members Tony Densham and Allan Herridge; Tony was taking his first outing in the Santa Pod owned Firefly slingshot dragster while Allan was seen with the SPR owned Gloworm Capri Funny Car. BDRHoF member Roy Phelps also entertained the crowds with the wheelie Stingray.

A second meeting took place at HMS Daedalus to form part of an International series of races sponsored by Petersen Publishing; the people that gave us Hot RodCar CraftRod & Custom and other great automotive magazines. The other two races were run at Santa Pod and starred Don Shumacher, Paula Murphy, Tony Nancy and Danny Johnson.

Left Photo: Lesley Prior. Centre Photo: Jerry Cookson. Right Scan: Clive Rooms

The Gosporteers Challenge Trophy was presented to the highest placed driver in the BDR & HRA Points series with the first recipient being the late great ‘King Harold’ Bull in 1971. The trophy, being an annual fixture at the BDR & HRA Presentation Evenings, ran for 20 years and was finally awarded to Super Pro ET racer Stephanie Milam in 1991, and it’s thanks to Stephanie for allowing the trophy to be displayed in this year’s Dragstalgia Nostalgia Marque honouring those individuals whose names are inscribed on its base, and alongside the prestigious SEMA Challenge Trophy and the HRC&UK Funny Car Eliminator Trophy which we are indebted to the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu and Matt Seamarks.

Gosporteers Challenge Trophy Roll of Honour

1971 Harold Bull – BDRHoF Member

1972 John Whitmore – BDRHoF Member

1973 Dave Stone – BDRHoF Member

1974 Gerry Andrews – BDRHoF Member

1975 David Page – BDRHoF Member

1976 Jason Smith

1977 Roz Prior – BDRHoF Member

1978 Steve Johnson & Team Panic – Team Panic BDRHoF Members

1979 Sue Coles

1980 Gerry Andrews – BDRHoF Member

1981 John Whitmore – BDRHoF Member

1982 Owen Haywood

1983 Steve Johnson

1984 Team Paranoia

1985 John Tebbutt

Jerry Cookson
HoFTalk Editor