Don’t Be Scared To Take Your Car On The Dragstrip!


Santa Pod

Ever thought of seeing what your car can manage on a dragstrip? Chances are the thought has scared you, but it really shouldn’t.

We attended this year’s Ultimate Street Car show at the legendary Santa Pod Raceway. The weekend event sees a huge variety of tuned street cars attending to show off an endless list of modifications, add-ons and tuning. Whether you’re happy taking a stroll around the merchandise stands or you want to see what your car is capable of over 1/4 mile during ‘Run What Ya Brung’ then USC is the event for you. Run What Ya Brung simply means that the Santa Pod strip is open to the public to run their car or bike up the 1/4 mile strip and see their best time. It’s just £20 for 4 runs – a lot cheaper than a speeding ticket!

You can make it as simple or as scientific as you like and the Run What Ya Brung event is usually split into several categories:

Class A – Front Wheel Drive naturally aspirated cars
Class B – Front Wheel Drive with Turbo, Nitrous and/or Supercharger
Class C – 4WD / Rear Wheel Drive naturally aspirated cars
Class D – 4WD / Rear Wheel Drive with Turbo, Nitrous and/or Supercharger
Class E – All cars with 8+ cylinder engines
Class F – Fastest Female (Ladies can also run in the other classes if desired)
Class X – Non Road Legal including cars on slicks

Supra burnout

Even if you have never visited a drag strip before, it’s worth it for the day out and experience of being a spectator, the atmosphere is lively and the sound of some of the cars is deafening.

Should you choose to run your car you’ll firstly and most importantly have to ensure your vehicle is safe to use (good tyre condition and no fluid leaks etc.). After visiting the signing on office and paying you can approach the start of the strip to burnout on the wet Tarmac if you wish, this cleans and puts heat in your tyres for an efficient launch and more importantly looks cool. But remember you’ll more than likely need to travel home on those tyres! When the marshal waves you forward to the start line until your ‘pre staged’ light is illuminated, at which point the next set of lights illuminates. You are ‘staged’ and ready to go. When both cars are staged and the track is clear, the amber lights then green will light up. Go!!! Timing slips can be printed out and collected from the same office where you signed on. If you need help at any point, the marshals are all very happy to give you advice or point you in the right direction.

4 pro tips for mastering the drag strip:

  • Avoid wheel spin on the run.
  • Avoid hitting the rev-limiter.
  • Change gear as smoothly and quickly as possible.
  • Race on a warm, but not hot engine.

As you can see here, a vast plethora of cars past and present showed off their power

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