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 Dial-In Day – Saturday 4th March 2017

Dial-In Day – Saturday 4th March 2017

The hugely successful Dial-In Day returns to Santa Pod Raceway for 2017 on Saturday 4th March, leaving plenty of time for attendees to prepare for the first round of the National Drag Racing Championships during Easter’s Festival Of Power weekend. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of hunting or being hunted on the drag strip and we’re inviting you to come along and give it a go. The concept of bracket racing (the entry level of drag racing) is simple. The slower car gets the green light first and a head start according to the difference in predicted finish times, meaning that unless both racers predict the same time, you’ll always get a cat-and-mouse scenario which is simple to have a go at, and near-impossible to master. Graduates from previous Dial-In Days have gone on to achieve great things in the National Championships in classes such as Sportsman ET, the VW Drag Racing Club and beyond. There have been multiple event wins, number one qualifiers, perfect ETs and reaction times and even a couple of championships won by those who started it all with a trip to the Dial-In Day.


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Combined age 170, pioneer drag racers take to the track one more time

dj-KenCooper v. HaroldBull-16.07.16.rsSanta Pod Raceway: Dragstalgia

Fri. 15 – Sun. 17 July 2016

It was a moment to savour for throngs of fans at Dragstalgia; perhaps the most poignant moment in Santa Pod Raceway’s half-century of history.

The plan for the Dragstalgia historic drag race meeting had been to recreate the first run ever made down the Santa Pod dragstrip: early on the venue’s opening day, Easter Monday 1966, Harold Bull and his little hand-built dragster, Strip Duster, powered by an engine lifted from a Morris Minor, had traversed the length of the track, the first of countless thousands of runs to be made over the next 50 years. Recently, Harold’s son, Simon Bull, had built a perfect replica of the car under Harold’s supervision (the original Strip Duster chassis is believed still to exist somewhere in Germany) and would mark that inaugural moment in Santa Pod’s history by piloting the car up the strip during Dragstalgia.

Alongside would be another modern replica of an early racing machine. Ken ‘Flathead’ Cooper was a drag racing pioneer whose activities pre-dated Santa Pod – his nickname arises from his predilection for Ford’s workhorse flathead V8 of that era. Son Bradley Cooper had lately replicated one of Ken’s cars, again with his father’s help, and races it at historic events. Simon Bull and Bradley Cooper would drive their respective mounts side-by-side up the strip as a fitting 50th Anniversary tribute.

That, at least, was the plan.

Yet as the two dragsters swung out from the pairing lanes and approached the start line, it was not the sons discovered at the controls but the fathers themselves. At 91 years of age, Harold Bull was about to become not only the first driver ever to traverse the Santa Pod quarter-mile, but now the oldest too. Ken Cooper, a mere stripling at just 79, might well be next in line. Decades have passed since either had last piloted a competition car.

Awaiting them on the line was Santa Pod’s onetime Chief Starter, Stuart Bradbury, wielding the flags he had once used in the days before the electronic ‘Christmas tree’ starting system was installed. With a wave of the flags, the pair were under way. Age plainly does not dampen the competitive fires, and what was intended simply to be an exhibition pass turned out to be anything but a meander. Harold Bull got the jump on his younger opponent and appeared to be ahead at the finish line too. Since neither car staged in the modern manner, times and speeds were not recorded. In their heyday, both racers were accustomed to clocking 10-second passes at over 130mph. Their 2016 performances certainly looked respectable by comparison. Applauded by spectators all the way to the finish, the pair received a further ovation from the track marshals as they pulled to a halt at the end of the shutdown area half-a-mile beyond.

For those onlookers old enough to have watched Harold Bull and Ken Cooper in their prime as leading lights in the formative days of British drag racing, this extraordinary match-up was an occasion none would ever have expected to see happen. Those too young to remember found themselves privy to a unique moment of motorsporting history that they will do well to treasure for the rest of their days.

Santa Pod Raceway’s 50th Anniversary season reaches its climax with the FIA/FIM European Finals, 8-11 September 2016.

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Dragstalgia meeting to recreate tracks first run.

1.1971-HaroldBull-actionSanta Pod Raceway: Dragstalgia Fri. 15 – Sun. 17 July 2016
In drag racing, the V8 is king and there is no substitute for cubic capacity. So says the received wisdom. Yet it is not strictly true, either today – when all manner of powerplants propel all manner of vehicles up the track – or in the earliest days, when eight-pot locomotion was a comparative rarity on the British scene.
Indeed, when Santa Pod Raceway opened for business 50 years ago on Easter Monday 1966, the very first car to traverse the quarter-mile packed all of 948cc into its four-cylinder engine. Harold Bull’s Strip Duster was a slingshot dragster powered by an engine lifted from a Morris Minor. It was an immaculate miniature version of the thundering V8-motored dragsters which had so impressed and inspired Harold when an all-star team from America had toured Britain two years earlier, though there was nothing miniature about the car’s performance. With constant modifications and improvements made over the next few years, Strip Duster would not only win races against opponents at Santa Pod but would set world records against the clock at the Elvington records meeting in Yorkshire which still stand today.

When Harold Bull and his fellow BMC-powered arch-rival, John Whitmore, pulled to the Santa Pod start line, fans would hurry from all parts to watch. The same response is anticipated when Strip Duster recreates its maiden Santa Pod voyage at Dragstalgia, the venue’s annual historic revival meeting taking place from 15th to 17th July.
When he made that inaugural trip up the track, Harold was already 41 years old. Half a century later and still living at Wymington within earshot of Santa Pod, the self-taught, expert engineer and tool-maker has supervised the construction of a perfect Strip Duster replica by his son, Simon, who will pilot the car on its Dragstalgia outing. The original Strip Duster, now modified beyond recognition, is believed still to exist somewhere in Germany.
Dragstalgia brings forth a veritable treasure trove of historic drag racing machinery. Some 300 cars and motorcycles of all shapes, sizes and vintages will be in attendance over the July weekend, many in action on the track and others displayed alongside. Top of the bill and visiting from America will be the spectacular Fuel Altereds, Rat Trap and the Bradfords’ Topolino, along with a bygone era’s array of Dragsters and Funny Cars, Altereds and Stockers, plus bikes of many classes and kinds. There’ll be no mistaking the moment, however, when Simon Bull guides Strip Duster on its historic passage up the fabled quarter-mile.

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Gladiator closes the FoS

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Who races Havoc? You Decide.

havoc600Santa Pod have a little poll going on to set which one of the Americans gets to race Nick in Havoc at this years Dragstalgia.

As you all know, we are all set to welcome back Ron Hope and the Rat Trap racing team to Dragstalgia 2016 and this time they’re joined by compatriot Randy Bradford and the Bradfords Topolino. Nick Davies and the Havoc team are busy preparing the armoury on this side pond too and we’re letting us decide which one of the Americans Nick gets to take on this time via a Facebook poll: … 333303961/
Cast your vote now and help decide the ultimate grudge race!

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