The Word of Pod
Spring has sprung, and, here at The Pod, we are gearing up for Round One of the FIA/FIM European Championships. The Main Event is one of Santa Pod’s most prestigious drag racing meetings; we pull into the fast lane this May Bank Holiday (25th-28th) and witness the crème de la crème of drag racing hit the world-famous quarter mile, with over 200 teams, from 17 classes, representing over 14 countries.
Topping the bill are the iconic, nitro-burning 300mph Top Fuel Dragsters, which accelerate from 0-100mph in less than a second! This hugely popular extravaganza includes the monstrous Pro Mods, Pro Stock, Top Methanol, Top Fuel Bike, Nostalgia Funny Cars and, of course, features flame-throwing, thunderous jet action with both FireForce 3 and Firestorm in hot pursuit.
If you fancy a change of pace away from the strip, the off-track entertainment is just as compelling, with the stunt infested Live Action Arena featuring the Maltese masters of drifting, Team Maximum Lock, Monster Truck mayhem from Podzilla and Swamp Thing, breath-taking stunts and antics from Adrenaline Tour and Broke FMX, plus, last but not at all least, the Human Cannonball!
So buckle up, hold on tight and join us this May Bank Holiday to enjoy a weekend full of high-octane, exciting family entertainment! Book your tickets and view the full line-up at www.santapod.com, or call 01234 782828. Adult day tickets from £35, four-day weekend tickets from £85 (advance price, booking fees apply), kids under 16 go free (max three per adult).
with Jerry Cookson
With the Motor Sport Association’s (MSA) ‘Closed Road Permits’ for motorsport in mainland UK coming into force this month, I wonder how long it will be before someone takes up the challenge of organising a fully legal drag race on a stretch of dual carriageway somewhere?
Since 2010, the MSA have called for a change in the law to allow local authorities to suspend the Road Traffic Act for motorsport events, without requiring individual Acts of Parliament. A study by Sheffield Hallam University showed that local communities across Britain could generate up to £40m of additional revenue by closing roads to host a limited number of motorsport events. However, in drag racing terms this isn’t something entirely new.
Weston Super Mare and Brighton have had a long association with speed. Brighton still does, with its annual September Speed Trials since the 1900s. Looking back, a drag race demonstration did actually take place along part of Blackpool’s Golden Mile in 1991. The National Power Sports Festival was virtually a free access week-long event, with car shows, sprints, power boat racing, motor cycle beach racing, monster truck demos, air racing and a one-mile static display of street rods and custom cars.
When first announced, people said that it couldn’t be done, but promoters Steve Murty, Edwin McKnight and Karimah Karah set out to prove everybody wrong. Thousands of holidaymakers were treated to a free show, promoting all kinds of motor sporting disciplines, but the best part was that it had the full co-operation of the council, police, local hoteliers and sponsors making the event an unqualified success. It culminated in a drag demo with some of the UK’s top cars and bikes, pulling crowd pleasing burnouts and start line launches, all on a closed public road.
Who would have thought that a full-blown jet dragster (Colin Fallows’ Vampire) would be seen in full fire-belching anger on a public road, or Carlo Gandolfi’s wheelie Corvette Stingray doing just that? Well, it happened, and I’m pleased to say that I was there, covering the whole show for Fire Up magazine. Sadly, it was never to be repeated, but now, with this new legislation coming into force, an event like this might just happen again!
Although the Motofest in Coventry City Centre has been going for a few years, it’s only this year that the event has been granted a full motorsports permit to run a sprint circuit carrying full championship status. In fact, it will be the first time a UK city centre has seen competitive motor sport since the Birmingham Superprix of the late Eighties. Wales has been given the green light to close roads for rallies, and just this past month, Cornwall announced a speed hillclimb at Watergate Bay this coming September.
In Ireland, promoters have been running drag bikes on closed public roads at Cork, while the annual Ramsey Sprint in the Isle of Man still continues several times a year, but over in Sweden just Google the Stockholm Open. Now that’s a serious old skool doorslammer Street Outlaws-style drag race, held annually on a stretch of closed public motorway. It’s been going since 1982, with all kinds of craziness taking place. It’s so crazy that the other side of the motorway is still open to live traffic. You can often see two Pro Mod-style cars going at it one way, while trucks are going about their day-to-day business in the opposite direction! Totally unreal and totally unbelievable!
Outlaw Street 2018 Race Series
Round OS-1 24th-25th March
Santa Pod Raceway, RWYB & Peak Performance Day
Words: Mark Wallington, photography: Eurodragster.com
The start of the 2018 series arrived quicker than normal this year, moving to a March as opposed to late April season start. This caught a few members out, who’d clearly spent too long in their winter hibernation with not long enough spannering, several racers missing the first round due to their cars still being in 101 bits.
Considering it was a very cold March weekend, we had a high turnout of over 20 cars running, and 40 members attending to say hi and bench race. Everyone had one thing and one thing only on their minds: what was the brand new track going to be like? Well, hats off to the Santa Pod crew who worked from before first light every day to prep the track, and were constantly checking on racers for feedback on how it felt.
Our honest opinion? It’s going to be awesome! Bearing in mind that this was a REALLY cold weekend, with a stone cold track, everyone was running new tyres, which we all know take several meets to bed in, and everyone was rusty from the winter, most of the OS cars that ran over the weekend were either within five hundredths of PB or set new PBs in both ET and 60ft!
Of the 20+ cars running, we welcomed many new members and cars for this season in the usual vast array of Outlaw Street machinery. This included Arnie in his LS powered Mustang; Joe in his SBC powered Ford Capri; Barrie in his VW Golf R; Paul in his Hillman Imp and Simon in his newly acquired Nissan GTR, all of whom we’re going to have to watch closely this season judging by the times they were putting in.
The Joe & Co sponsored Reaction Time Trophy and prize money was won by new member, Joe in his Capri with a 0.1687 RT. It looks like its going to be a close season’s racing again this year.
Fastest RT Top 6:
- OS-27 Joe (Ford Capri) 0.1687 RT
- OS-19 David (Camaro) 0.1990 RT
- OS-50 Paul (Hillman Imp) 0.2536 RT
- OS-60 Mick (Ford P100) 0.2696 RT
- OS-57 Nathan (VW Golf) 0.2764 RT
- OS-16 David (Monaro) 0.2887 RT
Fastest ET V8:
OS-19 David (Twin turbo Camaro) 9.8790 @ 140.27mph
Fastest ET 4/6 Cylinder:
OS-12 Barrie (VW Golf R) 11.9670 @ 112.35mph
The next round of Outlaw Street will be at Santa Pod on May 11-13th, at the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals, RWYB, for pre ’73 OS members. If you’d like more information about the series, see www.outlawstreet.co.uk or follow us on Facebook at Outlaw Street.
Santa Pod Reschedules
Words: James Forster
Following on from an extremely wet Easter weekend (see overleaf), Santa Pod Raceway have had to make changes to some of their events, including rescheduling the Big Bang VW show.
The non-track based element of Big Bang (camping and evening entertainment) will join on to the new Doorslammers weekend (May 18th-20th) and the Doorslammers event will now enjoy another day of testing with the track now opening on the Friday for an All Torque Test day.
Unfortunately this means that the track activities previously scheduled for the Big Bang event, RWYB and MSA/ACU racing, has had to be cancelled. We are actively searching for ways to re-accommodate the racers that will lose a round of racing at a new date later in the season, with August being a possibility – we’ll keep you posted on these efforts.
All of us here at Santa Pod are very disappointed to find ourselves in this situation and making last minute changes to our events calendar – something we have never done before. But we can assure everyone that we are doing this with the best possible intentions for both the racers and spectators alike.
We are always looking to improve the facility for both the racers and spectators and will continue to do so for many years to come. Sadly, we cannot improve the weather – well, not just yet; that’s going to be our next big project. We have the staff – we just need to learn the rain dances required! We are sorry for all of you who had such a poor Easter at Santa Pod and those that will be missing out on racing at Big Bang, but we are sure that better times are ahead….