Monday 21st August
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.
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’selimination 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 www.santapod.com 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.