Santa Pod Raceway, Fri.30 March – Sun.1 April 2018
Easter comes early this year, and Santa Pod Raceway’s season-opening Festival Of Power over the late-March weekend will open a new chapter in the annals of British drag racing. After 52 years as an asphalt racetrack, Santa Pod goes all-concrete for the new season. Far more than a mere re-surfacing, the track will have undergone an entire new construction to match the standards of the finest dragstrips in America.
The Festival Of Power will see the new quarter-mile put to the test as drag racers on two and four wheels subject it to serious competition for the first time. The event combines national championship racing with a full programme of family entertainments. Bridging the gap between these two elements, the Festival is renowned for hosting the spectacular Jet Car Shootout. Six flame-throwing jets shattering the peace on the track throughout the weekend will include Gerd Habermann’s madcap Jet School Bus from Germany, while a seventh, Frenchman Hervé Franquin’s Peugeot 205-bodied machine, warms up the crowd in the Live Action Arena.
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On the track, some 250 entrants will contest 2018’s opening national championship round, headlined by the unruly, 240mph Pro Modifieds of the MSA British Drag Racing Championship and ranging through more than 20 classes of car and motorcycle right down to the youngsters in Junior Dragster and Junior Drag Bike. Expect to see 300mph Top Fuel Dragsters warming up for the forthcoming FIA European Championship, with nitro Funny Cars adding to the ground-shaking, multi-sensory spectator experience. As always, access to the pits is free for a close-up view of the remarkable machinery on hand.
Away from the track, the Live Action Arena hosts Monster Trucks and gravity-defying Freestyle Motocross stunt riders, alongside world record-breaking stunt driver Terry Grant and his jaw-dropping precision driving show. Award-winning Pinders Circus and Pedal Power Versus Parkour are just two of the additional family attractions and there’s even a free-access military-designed assault course for those with an excess of energy to run off.
The Festival Of Power takes place at Santa Pod Raceway, near Wellingborough (NN29 7XA), over Easter weekend from Friday 30th March to Sunday 1st April. Admission prices begin at £22 per day booked in advance, reducing to only £17.60 if snapped up in the Early Bird period ending on 31st January. Children under 16 are admitted free, up to three per paying adult. Full event information is available at www.santapod.co.uk/festivalofpower.php and tickets can be booked online or by phoning 01234 782828, or on the gate on the day.
[ Pictures: Daniel Smith/Callum Pudge, Santa Pod ]