For most normal people in the British Isles, chugging to the shops in something dull, the idea of drag racing conjures up images of glamorous Yanks, sun-drenched desert airfields and blingin’ USA style showmanship, as ridiculously powerful nitrous-methane fuelled drag cars launch their sacrificial pilots into mind-numbingly fast races which are over in seconds.
Well, small English village Podington in Bedfordshire may not be Arizona, but Santa Pod lives up to the image in every other respect. Between 8-11 September around 300 race teams and up to 25,000 spectators will descend on this normally peaceful corner of England for Europe’s most prestigious high-stakes drag racing meet for the 45th European finals.
The event plays host to the Top Fuel class of drag racer – the sport’s answer to F1, but with the horsepower of a NASA launch rocket under every bonnet. Top Fuel ‘cars’ can unleash an incredible 8,000bhp to hit top speeds of over 300 miles per hour in just a quarter of a mile of acceleration. The investment is astronomical, as are the prizes.
Although these vehicles have more in common with the Space Shuttle than a family hatchback, it is the challenge of