Santa Pod Announces £75,000 Big Money Race






Santa Pod Raceway

Sat.19 – Sun.20 May 2018

When Santa Pod Raceway relaunches its ‘DOORSLAMMERS’ event – last held in the early 1990s – there will be a £75,000 prize fund on the line. The race is open to cars of all kinds with functioning (‘slammable’) doors – i.e. not Dragsters, Altereds or Funny Cars. Taking place one week before the opening round of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship (‘The Main Event’), the race and its mammoth prize fund are expected to attract the finest doorslammer exponents from across the continent, perhaps even beyond.

The announcement has been warmly welcomed by the racing community – “the sizing up of the opposition has already begun.”

Speaking about the new event, Trakbak Racing Ltd. CEO Keith Bartlett said, “We’re putting on an event that should appeal to every racer of a door car; the class structure we have settled on will provide a place to race for everyone, from Pro Mod to Front-Wheel Drive. There are six heads-up classes, plus a huge bracket class. With £75,000 at stake I expect the competition to be extremely fierce.”

The prize money and the atmosphere are what set the ‘DOORSLAMMERS’ apart in the past and they will be what set it apart in the future. Not only will there be a huge £75k prize fund for the first time in European doorslammer history but the format will be new and exciting for racers and spectators alike. With the last ‘DOORSLAMMERS’ race having run in its true format in the early 1990’s, this marks a long-awaited return for the event which takes place on the 19th and 20th May next year. Scheduled for the weekend before The Main Event, it will be eagerly anticipated by racers across Europe.

Saturday and Sunday mornings will host a sighting lap for contestants competing in The Big Bracket portion of the event, and elimination rounds will happen on the hour every hour with the field racing for £10,000 on each day. This will be a gamblers’ race – so there will be the traditional first-round buy-back available for those who want a second chance at The Big Bracket. Saturday will also be given over to an all-new format: open qualifying. Keith said, “There will be no scheduled qualifying sessions; if you get bumped and need to get back in the field you can attack the track as many times as you want. I’m already looking forward to the final few hours of qualifying; it’s going to get very interesting indeed.”







KB continued, “We are planning something very special for eliminations in the heads-up classes: a randomised draw to decide pairings with no ladder of progression in place. Number 1 could face number 2 in the first round which is very exciting; the identity of the racer in the next lane depends entirely on the draw – right up to the final round. I like the idea of drawing pairings and lane choice at random – it will really shake things up.”

A major highlight of the weekend will be the prospect of seeing the finest Pro Mods in Europe released from the rule book that limits their performance. With blower, fuel and weight restrictions lifted in the Pro Doorslammer class, we can expect to see some stunning times from the continent’s premier doorslammer racers as they fight it out over the £20,000 purse.

Further event information including classes, rules and entry details are available on the website


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Santa Pod Raceway goes concrete

Trakbak CEO Keith Bartlett is pleased to announce the undertaking of a major new project that will be a landmark in the continuing development and improvement of Santa Pod Raceway.

KB says “The current surface, along with all the previous racing surfaces at SPR, was asphalt (tarmac) and we have been long-term holders of many records set on asphalt but we have had numerous problems with the tarmac surface since it was laid in 2013. We have been very aware that these problems would need addressing at some point. I have made the decision to replace the tarmac with a full ¼-mile, wall-to-wall, super-smooth concrete racing surface.”

Partnering with concrete specialists Knights Construction, the consultation and design process has been under way for several months including fact-finding trips to top NHRA tracks in the US and liaison with NHRA representatives. “This is a very significant investment heading towards £1m for Santa Pod and I believe it shows our commitment to the sport of Drag Racing and to the actual racers. I am confident that we will start the 2018 season with an extremely fast track; possibly to become one of the best tracks in the world.”

Speaking as work on the track began, KB continued, “We are starting from scratch and the work will entail ripping out the entirety of the existing track including the 1943 WW2 runway that lies beneath the track and the foundations beneath that. Knights will then install an extensive drainage system to ensure the track’s integrity over the long term, then the process of rebuilding the foundations can start and I’m pleased to say that all of the old WW2 runway will be recycled and included in the foundation.”

Once Knights have removed the original track and the area is down to sub-formation they will begin to install more than 13,000 tons of construction materials including 10,000 square metres of concrete to achieve the new track design. Concrete for the project will be supplied from Tarmac’s Northampton plant where a close eye will be kept on the production process.

Knights Construction Group Managing Director, Matt Jones, said, “The consistency and quality control of material is of tremendous importance on a project like this. It’s just one part of a long line of processes that Knights will be closely managing to ensure the success of this very exciting project.”

Though Santa Pod hosts a variety of different types of event, it is the track itself that is the beating heart of the venue and the new surface will be welcomed by everyone involved in the sport. The prospect of presenting the European drag racing community with a new concrete track fills Bartlett with a sense of anticipation: “I don’t mind admitting that when Santa Pod records started falling to Sweden’s Tierp Arena it was distinctly unsettling. I’m looking forward to hopefully getting those headline-making records back – along with giving the drivers and race teams a much more consistent and predictable surface. I really can’t wait for the new season to start.”

The construction work will continue in stages throughout the winter period ready for the start of the 2018 season. Santa Pod’s “Festival of Power” held over the Easter weekend will be the inaugural Championship event on the brand new track and promises to deliver the first of many top line performances from a range of race classes including the ever popular Jet Car Shoot out.

Keep up to date with all the progress via Santa Pod’s Facebook page:

Visit for full details of the 2018 calendar and to book tickets.

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2018 UK Drag Racing Calendars are now available to pre-order

The 2018 UK Drag Racing Calendars are now available to pre-order

10 different types to choose from.







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Team Havoc win the 2017 California Hot Rod Reunion.

I thought I would write a report of what turned out to be a great weekend for British drag racing.
It wasn’t just special because it’s was about the most exciting drag racing class for me, but also all of my favourite fuel altereds including our very own ‘Havoc’ entry were doing battle at the best drag race meeting on the planet.

Click here or image for report

Image:Andrew Green

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Heavy Artillery Coming To Santa Pod

FIA/FIM European Finals

Santa Pod Raceway

Thu.7 – Sun.10 September 2017

The largest entry of supercharged, nitro-burning Dragsters and Funny Cars for a decade promises a true assault on the senses at Santa Pod Raceway’s FIA European Finals. Nine Top Fuel Dragsters will contest the FIA Championship decider; five fuel Funny Cars will race in their own competition.Fourteen blown fuel cars: that’s a staggering sum total of 140,000 brake horsepower about to be unleashed on the specially primed strip of north Bedfordshire tarmac. And that’s not counting a pair of Nostalgia Funny Cars on exhibition duty during the weekend – a little less bite in output terms but with their own, distinctive bark.

Fourteen blown fuel cars: that’s a staggering sum total of 140,000 brake horsepower about to be unleashed on the specially primed strip of north Bedfordshire tarmac. And that’s not counting a pair of Nostalgia Funny Cars on exhibition duty during the weekend – a little less bite in output terms but with their own, distinctive bark.

No dynamometer exists that can harness and measure this kind of power. Estimates grew over the years as performance figures advanced into sub-4-second, 300mph territory. An investigation by Race Engine Technology magazine in 2015 at last established the 10,000 horsepower fable as proven fact. A contactless torque sensor developed from Formula One technology by an Austrian high-tech engineering firm and installed on a leading American dragster recorded a peak reading of 10,156 bhp. Indeed, a later run in better atmospheric conditions nudged the reading above 11,000

Yet such immense power is valueless if it cannot be applied to the track, and still so if the driver is off the pace. Times and speeds count in qualifying, but once Sunday’s elimination rounds begin at Santa Pod it will be the first to the finish line who takes the prize.

The fuel Funny Car field includes two local teams, Kevin Kent’s West Ten Mustang from Higham Ferrers and the Rushden-based Gladiator of Roy and Jason Phelps, driven by Norway’s Birgitte Bremnes.

The European Finals takes place from Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th September at Santa Pod Raceway, near Wellingborough (NN29 7XA). There is free access to the paddock for a close-up view of the international crews working on these remarkable machines. For full event information and to book tickets, please visit or telephone 01234 782828. Tickets may be booked online and printed at home, with discounts available up to 1st September. As ever, KIDS GO FREE – under-16, three per paying adult.



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