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Santa Pod & Drag Racing

Santa Pod is the home of European drag racing, the “Fastest Motorsport on Earth”.

Outside of America it is the most famous drag racing track attracting the top drivers and race teams in Europe. Also known as the ‘POD’ in the racing world; Santa Pod is the place to perform if you are a driver.

Located in Northwest Bedfordshire, Santa Pod is unique due to very few racing venues being able to offer such up close and exciting spectacles with over 35 different events taking place throughout the year. The events are also very family orientated offering something for all ages.

So just how did Santa Pod become so popular? It earned its reputation from being the home of European Drag Racing which involves some of the most powerful cars and bikes in the world, yet very few people actually know anything about the sport.

It all originated in the 1920s in the United States. Similar to the history of super boats these cars were first created for illegal drug and alcohol sellers. These sellers, known as the Moonshine Boys were men that hid powerful engines inside basic looking cars known as ‘Hot Rods’ to outrun authorities. After the prohibition, the creation of Hot Rods expanded and started the ‘my car is faster than yours’ debate, racing between traffic lights in towns creating the start of Drag Racing.

It wasn’t until the 1960s that Drag Racing reached Europe where old airstrips were used as racing tracks or drag strips. The Podington airfield was used as a wartime airbase by the USAAF during World War II and in 1966 was converted in to the first drag racing compound. The ¾ mile runway was named Santa Pod by combining the names of Santa Ana (a strip in America) and the village of Podington.

Santa Pod is now famous across Europe for the sport of Drag Racing. Events are held throughout the year including the FIA European Drag Racing Championships and fun events such as the 'Run What You Brung' (RWYB) race where anyone with a valid driving licence can drive their own vehicles on the track.

If you are looking for a fun event next month the FIA/FIM European Finals is taking place between Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th September. It involves the fastest drag cars and bikes from around the continent racing in 16 events with over 300 teams competing with 300mph Top Fuel Dragsters, 5 second Pro Mod doorslammers and Supertwin Drag Bikes. Grab some ear plugs and head down to the track for some adrenaline fuelled excitement.

posted by: Abigail Lavallin 19 August 2016
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