Flame and Thunder

There’s nothing quite like the smell of drag racing. A paddock that has wafts of nitro fuel, burnt rubber and BBQs is surely the place to be? The drag racing community has something very special, a friendly and welcoming (despite it’s appearances) paddock of passionate drivers, riders and mechanics who just love their sport.

A lot of the cars competing have been lovingly crafted in sheds on weekends, but what’s the problem with that? There’s something for everyone here – a classic American Camaro, European style Mercedes and even a British Bentley brute with a 10.2 litre Chevy V8 that has 3082bhp and is totally road legal.

Of course much of the attention across this particular FIA/FIM European Drag Racing weekend was placed on the fight for the Top Fuel championship. Every time I see these cars (I use the term cars fairly loosely) it staggers me, quite literally in most cases, as these rocket ships blast down the 1/4 mile strip at Santa Pod in around 4 seconds with bits of engine and fire flying everywhere.

The destructive nature of the Top Fuel cars makes it such a spectacle as by the end of the run the engine is essentially ruined and has to be immediately rebuilt once the car returns to the pits. You’d expect an engine rebuild to be a mess of parts everywhere and mechanics running around but the reality is a very calm and collected process of stripping the engine down part by part and simply rebuilding it. No stress.

So drag racing may not be everyones cup of tea, but give it a go for a day. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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