Due to ongoing work on the track, Dial-In Day at Santa Pod on March 3rd has had to be postponed until May 7th, May Bank Holiday Monday. See www.RWYB.com for details.
The Word Of Pod
Easter comes early this year, and Santa Pod’s season-opening Festival Of Power, over the weekend of March 30th to April 1st, will mark a new chapter in the Raceway’s history. After 52 years as an asphalt racetrack, Santa Pod goes all-concrete for the new season.
The Festival Of Power will see the new quarter-mile put to the test, as drag racers on two and four wheels subject it to serious competition for the first time. Experience the unmistakable sights, sounds and smells of not one but three ground shaking Top Fuel Dragsters thundering down the track; your first chance to witness this breathtaking spectacle this year!
The Easter weekend marks the beginning of the European racing season, kicking off the National Championships. Leading the way, the colourful and unruly Pro Mods take on the first round of The MSA British Drag Racing Championship. The Festival is renowned for hosting the spectacular Jet Car Shootout, and rarely are these 10,000bhp beasts seen side by side; we have six flame-throwing, fire-breathing jets tearing down the track throughout the weekend, including Gerd Habermann’s outrageous Jet School Bus from Germany!
Away from the track we continue to excite and surprise. Over in the Live Action Arena we have a seventh jet: Hervé Franquin’s Peugeot 205-bodied machine will be warming up the crowds as Monster Truck mayhem ensues. Gravity-defying Freestyle Motocross stunt riders, Broke FMX, will get pulses racing and jaws dropping alongside world record-breaking stunt driver, Terry Grant, and his astonishing precision driving show.
Award-winning Pinder’s Circus is back in town providing perfect family fun and frolics, Pedal Power Vs Parkour will showcase mesmerising choreographed performances, the only show of its kind in the UK, and there’s even a free-access military-designed assault course, plus much, much more for you to get involved with this Easter!
To book your tickets and view the full line up please visit www.santapod.com or call 01234 782828. Tickets start at just £22 per day (advance price, booking fees apply), and kids under 16 go FREE! (max 3 per adult).
Santa Pod are very pleased to welcome RedZoneSports, who specialise in American sports, as our betting partner for the upcoming Doorslammers. They are offering some great incentives for Doorslammers and drag racing fans. Take a look at www.redzonesports.bet/santapod.
There’s a long-standing association between betting and drag racing – teams and fans alike can be heard making predictions on the results of races, will the blue car beat the red car? Warren Llambias, co-founder of RedZoneSports.bet, said, “We are excited to join with Santa Pod and become part of the wider drag racing fraternity. As the British home of American sports, we’re working closely with our TrakBak partners to find ways of enhancing the unique thrill of drag racing!”
with Jerry Cookson
In all my years involved in drag racing and hot rodding in the Seventies, nearly every major town had a drag or hot rod club – or both – of some description. Living slap bang in the Midlands, I got to travel to a lot of events in Warwickshire with dad, as well as becoming a member of several clubs; the prominent being the Midland Drag Racing Association, formed by show promoter, Ron Clark. This later morphed into the NDRC Midlands, as a means of running local drag meets at Long Marston, alongside a nationally recognised club years later.
Formed in 1974, the MDRA held monthly club meets in the back room of The Gungate Pub in deepest Tamworth. These mid-week meetings consisted of the usual quiz and film nights, talks by some of the sport’s leading racers, and model competitions. Revell GB used to send us some of their latest releases as prizes, including a 1:16 scale version of Dennis Priddle’s Mr Revell dragster. Some nights we had model Scalextric-type drag meets, where members would bring along their latest slot car creations to display and race against a fully working tree. I was also Junior Secretary at the time.
I can remember, one month, we all met up at the Bowling Green Pub in Lichfield, which was, and still is, situated in the middle of a main traffic roundabout going into town, with a sizeable car park. This was the time that Top Fuel racer, Clive Skilton, and NDRC Chairman, Alan Wigmore, brought along the Castrol GTX dragster and fired it up in the pub car park. Tipton’s Brian Richards also performed a couple of wheelstands in his Jaguar-powered, rear-engined Vauxhall VX4/90, again in the pub car park. I bet that was a strange sight for the locals, looking out of their windows to see what the commotion was, as well as the motorists driving past!
Helping us run those eighth-mile drag meets back then were members of the Banbury Drag & Custom Club and the Severn Valley Drag & Custom Club who, if memory serves me well, ran their own Competition Altered called The Syndicate; a Jaguar D-Type-based Altered, powered by a Ford V8, raced by Chick Garfield.
The Banbury Club, run by Howard Ellis, was pretty much a mirror image of the MDRA, meeting up at several local pubs close to the famous Banbury Cross. They also got involved in the town’s Carnival as well as the Town & Country Show at Stoneleigh. The club also had their own Bedford van, decorated in the club’s colours, used for transporting members to the drags and the local custom shows, plus The Mutant; a six-wheel Mini pick-up, which came in handy as a solid object for the bikes to burnout against.
Club magazines and newsletters were another vital aspect of the association’s activities; publications which I’m pleased to say that I still have, as treasured mementoes of days gone by, especially as I got to edit a vast majority under the name of Fire Up (when it was in its A5 format) for NDRC Midlands.
Sadly, all this is now a thing of the past. You could open up the pages of Street Machine as was, and there would be two pages-worth of club information and dates of monthly meets. Today you look at it and wonder where all the clubs have gone, other than a few big players maintaining a presence in either the NSRA or NASC. When you look back, those really were the glory days of our sport.
2018 Race Series Pre-Season Update
This year sees Outlaw Street enter its ninth year. NINE YEARS! Wow, where did that go…? For those of you who’ve followed the series over the years, or who’ve seen members racing at Santa Pod or Shakespeare County Raceway, you’ll be familiar with the rules and format, but for anyone who’s not, or who fancies 2018 being the year they dip their toe into drag racing, here’s a summary of who, what and where Outlaw Street is all about.
Outlaw Street is an amateur drag racing series, open to anyone who owns a street legal car and wants to enjoy quarter-mile racing with like-minded people, and at the same time have an opportunity to win a trophy and be part of the fastest-growing drag series in the UK. The series is open to all marques of vehicles, four cylinders and up (which is part of the eclectic appeal of Outlaw Street). We do, however, have a strong grounding in anything American V8 powered, be it a Thirties hot rod, a Sixties muscle car, a pick-up truck, a modern day Mustang or Corvette, or old English tin with a V8 stuffed under the bonnet.
The series is spread across eight race meets throughout the 2018 drag racing season, with an awards and prize night in November. We traditionally hold rounds at both Santa Pod and Shakespeare County Raceway, at a mix of events including Run What You Brungs, Saturday Night Specials, lifestyle events and specialist weekends such as the Mopar Euronationals and VW Action. The series is actively supported by both tracks, with Outlaw Street invited to a number of ‘invitation only’ events throughout the year.
As you will all know, 2018 is a very turbulent year for drag racing, and, as of going to press, we wait to hear if Shakespeare County will be running this year. If it sadly isn’t, we do have a calendar of eight race meets mapped out solely at Santa Pod.
The added luxury with the series is that you don’t have to stay all weekend to be eligible for points; you can just turn up for a day and race for a few hours, which makes the series a lot more accessible to those racers with weekend work/family commitments.
Thanks to our sponsors Wisbech American Street & Performance Ltd, Joe & Co and many others, we’ve grown our vast selection of trophies and awards including reaction time trophies for each round, magazine subscriptions for points winners, Fastest ET trophies for both fastest V8 and non V8 cars, and others.