A new Page in drag racing history
Article and pictures by Richard Stirling. Thanks to The Acceleration Archive for additional pictures
Dan pauses for a moment by the Mitsubishi. Note the (priceless) original Panic Funny Car T-Shirt
The Allstars Nationals meeting at Shakespeare County Raceway, over the Bank Holiday weekend, was indeed an excellent meeting. There were great crowds, the weather was fantastic and the track conditions were as good as have ever been seen. There was plenty going on over the weekend to keep everyone amused.
In amongst the racers and making his conspicuous racing debut, was the newest member of the legendary Page family to start racing, 21 year old Dan Page. Danís late father David with brothers Gary and Clive all took turns to race the family ĎPanicí Altereds back in the Seventies and early Eighties. Later, David and Gary raced the Panic Nitro Funny Car, with huge success and all under the steely eye of Danís Grandma, Iris.
Supported by Step-Dad Jon Morton, a regular Super Gas (and Super Comp) competitor himself, Dan was given the opportunity to earn his competition licence in the Sportsman ET category. Dan persuaded Jon to let him have the keys to his Mitsubishi GTO 3000 which was subtly marked on the rear window with the family ĎPanicí trade mark, before heading to the track. Itís a far stretch from a cackling Nitro race car, agreed, but it is the first and important stepping stone in what will, no doubt, be a glittering racing career. We wish him the very best of luck in the future and his next meeting is the FIA European Finals meeting at Santa Pod running from the 8th to the 11th September 2005.
As for Allstars weekend, Dan surpassed all expectations. His family and friends became more and more excited as he improved on every run, starting with round 1 of eliminations, where a demon light by Dan saw him dispatch the opposing and snoozing Camaro, with ease. Danís sister Heide was seen leaping around in the pit lane afterwards, whilst simultaneously threatening (seriously) to head off to Frank Hawleyís School of Drag Racing. Another racing Page? Why not, I say!
Danís second round of racing was a different matter. He was up against the very experienced John Parker in his quick Ford Mustang GT. John thought it would be amusing to have a friendly poke at Dan by writing ĎDonít Panicí in his rear window in opposition to the ĎPanicí family emblem in Danís. He also had a bit of a laugh and a joke with him in the pit lane, possibly attempting to unsettle him prior to the next round. Dan took it all in his stride and calmly wiped the smile off Johnís face by eliminating him from competition in the semi-final!
So to Danís first final round of competition. It was almost inevitable that it would be Danís improvements that would be his undoing and as he coolly got to the stripe first, with a great light as well, he broke out by a measly five hundredths of a second. Steve Phillips in his gorgeous Dodge Superbee, was the immediate beneficiary of Danís over-eagerness, which was a good job too, as he has cut better lights in the past. Never mind! It was the first of what we believe will be many final rounds for Dan and as such, bodes very well for a bright and exciting racing future.