I don’t know if many Autocar readers have ever ventured to Santa Pod Raceway in Bedfordshire, to watch the drag racing, but having just enjoyed a day with the family watching the action there last weekend, I reckon it has to be one of the best-value, most-fun car things anyone can do in the UK.
Most striking is the absolute passion and commitment to cars, and car culture and, of course, highly tuned combustion engines and speed and more speed.
In particular no car fan should miss the chance to see Martin Hill’s awesome FireForce 3 jet car, capable of an astonishing 330-plus mph at the end of a quarter mile run.
Built around a Westinghouse turbojet, none of us could believe the clouds of smoke and steam that poured out the jet pipe as the turbine was spooled-up on the start line.
That was followed by a couple of minutes of super-loud popping and banging as it was readied for a run. Incredible. And seeing that thing cross the line at 257mph, was a memory that will fade very slowly. Hopefully my boys will never forget it!
At every point on the entry list at the National Finals was a remarkable machine driven and run by remarkable people. For example, some of the bikes crossed the line at 180mph-plus, although that’s slow compared to the bike record of 249mph set in 2010!