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Old 02-08-2016, 05:55 AM
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Default FIA/FIM Finals @ Santa Pod

Its that time of year again soon
The European drag racing Finals at the UK's finest drag racing circuit.
If you want to see Top Fuellers, this is the time and place.

https://youtu.be/YRB8Cf1Trbo

8th to the 11th September.

I hope summer starts by then

Last edited by HOS; 02-08-2016 at 06:17 AM.
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Old 03-08-2016, 05:50 AM
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My claim to fame is beating Pip Higham's on his Turbo Suzuki way back in 1981-2 on a mates' Kawasaki Z1 that he had turbo's, He was going to race but broke his arm so put me in, instead! They were the days when you got in to the finals by "run wot U brung" if you were lucky to get that far. I beat the first and second guy quite easily as the kwak was fucking fast! All I could to hang and change gear! Then I got a bye into the quarter finals, and came up against Pip Highams. I beat him by a nose, but then there was some delay in announcing me as winner, then they declared me as jumping the lights! but when a video was re run ages later I had beat him fair and square. So we came to the conclusion that Pip Highams was declared a winner as he was a show highlight and was paid to appear to pull in the crowds. But who knows? That was my 11 seconds of fame though!
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Old 03-08-2016, 10:11 AM
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My claim to fame is beating Pip Higham's on his Turbo Suzuki way back in 1981-2 on a mates' Kawasaki Z1 that he had turbo's, He was going to race but broke his arm so put me in, instead! They were the days when you got in to the finals by "run wot U brung" if you were lucky to get that far. I beat the first and second guy quite easily as the kwak was fucking fast! All I could to hang and change gear! Then I got a bye into the quarter finals, and came up against Pip Highams. I beat him by a nose, but then there was some delay in announcing me as winner, then they declared me as jumping the lights! but when a video was re run ages later I had beat him fair and square. So we came to the conclusion that Pip Highams was declared a winner as he was a show highlight and was paid to appear to pull in the crowds. But who knows? That was my 11 seconds of fame though!
What a blast !!! Happy days mate
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Old 04-08-2016, 06:04 AM
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Oh they were. My mate used to work at Fords as a trainee tool setter. I haven't seen him since then, we all used to go around in a loose group of moped nutters, then sort of graduated on to various motorised MOT failures, be it bikes or cars!

This bike of his was an original really dog eared rat of a kwak z1, which we all told him to rat up (he was a very gullible chap but a bloody good mechanic/engineer!) so he did and it was a complete rat, a real bastard and bad at that. So we all s usual took the piss and told him he needed to go the whole hog: and as customary at that time told him he needed a Nico Baker frame, campiagnoli wheels, marzzochi forks and shocks, and a Mr Big Turbo (could've been a Mr Turbo not sure now!) and go to S&S performance in Hertfordshire and get it put together!

Anyway he sort of "disappeared" for about 8 months, just popped up to say hello now and again. Then early one Saturday he turned up at my house with this "beast". Complete with all the accoutrements as previously mentioned, plus a full racing fairing custom painted with a close encounters mural call " Close Encounters of the Turd Kind!". He did have a sense of humours! He spent a fortune on this bike, but then he did work at Fords lived with his Mum and didn't really do much but hang out with us loons at that time.

He chucked me the key and said take it for a "spin" but be careful and don't rev it too hard as "Things will start to happen!". I lived at home in Romford then and on a Saturday morning it was quite busy to say the least . now if you don't know Romford But there is a one way system with a Bus lane from Underneath railway bridge in south street leading up to a very sharp right hand bend with a pelican crossing at the apex! And there is a set of lights under the bridge as well.

I was leaning back with this beast waiting for the lights to change when this bloke came along side me on a Dunstall Honda revving the nuts of it! So the race was set! I lent forward gave a few handfuls of throttle, the lights changed, and then all hell broke lose! The bike cam up around me earholes and I shot forward just about teetering on the back wheel before flipping over backwards. I thought this is it I'm going to go home and tell him his P&J is lying up the High Street in bits! I just shut of the throttle and the bike instead of just dropping and going "bouncy, bouncy" it came down straight as a die, I remember looking sideways at a crowded bus stop with everyone gawping. Then I looked forward, and the lights at the pelican crossing had turned red! But all the people on it had stop to see what was making this banshee wail coming up the road! "OOH SHIT!" I grabbed handfuls of brake and did a near perfect stoppy!

My heart was in my mouth and my pants a decidedly brown colour! Then this bloke "poodled" up beside me on his Dunstall and was singing my praises saying he'd never seen a perfect bit of riding and what a fantastic machine.

I got back home and chucked the keys at my mate and said! "Ok, I believe you it does go a bit". I don't know why but I was only one he'd let ride the bike, hence the run at Santa Pod. If I had told him about the Romford incident I'm sure he would've changed his mind! It's not often I've been shit scared but that was one of them!
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:28 PM
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"....... a loose group of moped nutters"...
Yeah rings a bell here with me

I've noticed it a few times, that under adrenalin power your mind and body work together in almost Bruce Lee like coordination.

On me burfday a while back, I was taken for a days shootin and quad biking on a huge farm. We rode the quads out to the valley where they do the shooting. It was clays be the way. I started off and shot like a total muppet, 5th pull and still hadn't even winged one.

Then old boy Clive who we know quite well know, told me off and said.... FFS, get your act together, you're bloody rubbish !! That made me angry and the adrenalin kicked in and then I shot a clay on every pull of the trigger for the next box and a half of cartridges.
We had a good laugh afterwards and we became good mates after a few more days quad biking and shooting since, with him taking the piss and all of us having a good laugh.

He laughed so hard at me trying to put my foot down motocross style around tree's on a quad , that he crashed his 4 wheel drive quad into another tree and got stuck.

The adrenalin...... its bloody good how it works.
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:32 PM
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Yeah it was Mr Turbo back then
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Old 05-08-2016, 05:05 AM
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I couldn't remember. Knew it was one of them! He used to run the waste gate at about 10-12% and the turbo lag was something else. Sadly we all sort of went our own ways. Life got in the way, as it does. I moved away from Romford up to Northamptonshire...Corby! Of all places! The last I heard of this mate was just after I left Romford and he'd added NOS to the beast....
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Old 05-08-2016, 05:31 AM
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About 8 years ago I was at a Triumph dealers in Wellingborough and saw a z900 turbo. Ridden by an older guy, skinny with long dark hair.
I tried talking to him about his bike, but he wasn't very sociable.

Same guy?
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Old 06-08-2016, 05:39 AM
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No, pretty sure it wouldn't be him. My mate was a very sociable type. Unless the years had treated him badly...who knows?
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:41 AM
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Some people become grumpy old bastards as they get older.
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Old 07-08-2016, 05:26 AM
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I know the feeling! lol!
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:05 PM
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Bought our tickets.
Going on our own, everyone esle is skint or away or working.
So its the old crips day out next sunday.
Got 8 top fuelers in the final and our mate Thomas Granicca from Germany is racing on his turbo Busa. Team Joker Busa
Best take him some beer over then?

All sorts of malarky going on over the 3 days.
Jet cars and the mad Frenchman on his jet bike.
Monster trucks.
Stunt show.
Lancaster bomber fly over.
Helicopter rides.
Live bands.
Entertainment
Just loads !
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Old 04-09-2016, 05:48 AM
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Lucky sod!.....
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:55 AM
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Lucky sod!.....
I'll wait and see what the weather is on the day
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Old 05-09-2016, 09:53 AM
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I've been going to Santa Pod for near 35 years, but for anyone who hasn't been or got it on their bucket list to do? The top fuelers are the most incredible thing to experience and once you've seen them you will want to see tham again.
They are not just something you watch, you feel them and it hurts if you're not wearing the right gear: ie ear protectors, or ear plugs, or both if the person has sensitive hearing.

Top fuelers are easy to spot, but its likely you will hear them first.
Even 100m away, with it on low tickover, you can feel the ground shaking. Thats before they're anywhere near the strip or the start line.
The noise is why you need ear protection especially in the grandstand where we sit right next to the start line About 40 feet away from the dragsters.
They produce a wall of noise that goes right throught your body, you can feel it, its that loud. It shocks some people and leaves others mouths open catching flies.
But it is something you will never ever forget.

The build up to the launch and it is a launch sequence on those, is the dragster coming down the feeder lane to the back of the grid. When they are called up they move fowards to line up and start a huge burnout to melt the rubber on the tyres pre launch. The dragsters burnout for at least 50 or 60 yards and the smoke covers everything for a few seconds or longer if theres no breeze.
Then a team member will run on the strip to the front of the dragster and "walk it back" running to the start. You can hear the tickover chugging now ! YEAH ITS VERY LOUD NOW !
The team member has to run slightly to keep up with the dragsetr in reverse and his or her job is to make sure the dragtser lines up straight and in the right place on the width of the lane for best grip to launch. But it has to be straight and aligned with the strip because the 1/4 mile is so fast it needs to be bloody straight for launch !

Then its almost ready for the launch. The top feuler in the other lane has done the same procedure while the first is going on.
They try to syche each other by doing the most excessive noise and biggest burnout. Proper race style. You will not see a more savage burnout.
They don't need to hold the brakes, the vast amount of power through the huge rear wheels is sufficient to light em up.
Then they chug forward to the laser start line and have to be coaxed forward in tiny steps to get exactly on the marker. Not easy with that much power.
The christams tree as its called are the start lights.

This video explains far better than I can how they work.
https://youtu.be/7i_RnAiQzP4

So the top fuelers revs rise and they hold it. As the lights go through stage and downwards and go green, at that moment of green lighting up its all about reaction timing by the driver who presses the launch button on the tiny "steering" wheel.
Then sit tight as you go to 300mph in 3 seconds in a cocoon inside a prehistoric behemoth ! Got to be pumped to f with adrenalin !
At the moment the driver hits that launch button everything around you stops dead because of the noise.It takes over your world for a brief secod or three. After all the build up the actual run if all goes to plan is all over in a flash. The dragtser "explodes" down the strip then its shutes out and the times come up at the gantry at the 1/4 mile marker. Within seconds as you are looking down the track thnking Wow ! the next pair of top fullers cough into life behind the grid and are doing their rolling burnout in no time.
The ground crew at the pod do a hell of a job !!!
Getting the cars and bikes through the strip requires intense team work and great communication. Anything can go wrong and the crew have to react fast and be able to sort the problem out fast. Downtime is to be avoided or minimised.

Its brutal and yet it has an incredible beauty and a feeling of deep satisfaction to see it. Its just something you really should experience.

A 1/4 mile isnt a very long distance its 440 yards or 402 metres.
The top fuelers cover the distance in less than 3 seconds with a terminal speed of around 300 mph. From standstill and through the timing lights at the 1/4 mile stage, then they deploy the parachutes and brake like f**k

Just as an example of a 1/4 mile with a 317.6 mph terminal speed.
https://youtu.be/Tji8QAoaW9Q

"Terminal speed" means speed at the end of the 1/4 not what speed kills you.
"Breakout" doesnt mean guys from the local prison legging it across the fields, it means the tyres or a single tyre losing (beaking) traction on the strip when the power is on and can happen at any speed.

Last edited by HOS; 05-09-2016 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:18 AM
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As a regular to the Pod I will share a bit of very useful info with you.
Any disabled people who have a certian kind of disabled benefits can take a "carer" for free but only on the less prestige events.
Its two way traffic, the pod provides this out of good will so we don't take the piss. Respect.

There are a few disabled ex racers and disabled ex bikers out there.

The disabled person needs to take their up to date proof of benefits letter.
Check on the Santa Pod website for more details ofg the scheme and of which events it applies to. If in any doubt call Santa pod and ask.

But it works out that two adults can watch a days racing for 10 or 12 quid with free grandstand.



http://www.santapod.co.uk/g_accessibility.php

Disabled Admission
Santa Pod Raceway currently operates a 2 for 1 admission ticket concession for disabled visitors who require a personal assistant or carer. You will need to provide a copy without exception of your most recent DLA letter for care and/or mobility (higher or middle) or receipt of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) showing your current entitlement.
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Old 06-09-2016, 06:20 AM
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I was there when Sammy Miller brought his Jet Car over for the first time. It ran a 4. odd second run first time out. Incredible!
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:38 PM
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I was there when Sammy Miller brought his Jet Car over for the first time. It ran a 4. odd second run first time out. Incredible!

Seeing it for the very first time in the UK must have been spectacular?
Did you stand in the sheds behind the strip when the drag car was on?
We did it once. Kin ell !!

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Old 07-09-2016, 05:30 AM
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Several rolls of andrex would need to be put in the freezer for that!

I stood in the stands on the pit side about a third of the way down, ready to take a picture of the car as it launched of the line....erm... by the time I reacted and clicked the shutter... I got a good shot of the stands on the other side of the track! Ahem!
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:20 AM
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Been in the pits at the Bulldog when the Fireforce cars were showboating before lining up for a 'demo' run up the strip. Ya Fooka! I love the wall of noise as they pass you but fuck me when your stood virtually alongside the launch point, that's summat else man.
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:37 PM
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Been in the pits at the Bulldog when the Fireforce cars were showboating before lining up for a 'demo' run up the strip. Ya Fooka! I love the wall of noise as they pass you but fuck me when your stood virtually alongside the launch point, that's summat else man.
Same words as I use " a wall of noise", it slams you as they both fly past side by side. We were stood outside the Pod cafe talking to mates not paying much attention at the time.
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:39 PM
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Several rolls of andrex would need to be put in the freezer for that!

I stood in the stands on the pit side about a third of the way down, ready to take a picture of the car as it launched of the line....erm... by the time I reacted and clicked the shutter... I got a good shot of the stands on the other side of the track! Ahem!

So true Friar !! lol lol
The gantry where the commentators sit above the strip still shakes all over the shop when the jetcars warming up underneath it... nutters !
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:43 PM
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I'll do my best to get some photos up on here guys, but I've got a bit of a shit storm to deal with for the next week or so and thats going to take my time up.
Up against the system again.
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Old 09-09-2016, 06:03 AM
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Good luck!.....
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:55 PM
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Ello guys,

Well, long story short.
Satdee at the FIA finals were a total wash out. No racing at all.
So many races were moved to the sunday and some spectator tickets for satdee were reissued for sunday.
Sunday we set off not knowing what to expect.
We came to the stationary queue of traffic 3 miles from the Pod.
There are three roads to Santa Pod and one entrance, all three roads were blocked like ours.
In 40 minutes we moved just 150 yards and only because cars were U turning ahead of us and going back. I know from past experince, yeah its all started coming back to me that we were in for up to 3 hours queueing to get in.

I can't sit for 3 hours in the car or I would go bat shit crazy with pain in my spine and hips so we had to make a sad decision to leave it and go home.
So it was a big disappointment.

However..............................

Last edited by HOS; 02-10-2016 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 02-10-2016, 07:06 PM
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Unbeknown to me, my little lady had emailed Santa Pod the following week and explained we just couldnt get in for the reasons given.
She asked the Pod if we could have credit for thie tickets for a more minor event instead? As I say I knew zilch about this.

Anyway on the following thursday a thick white envelope arrived via postie.
My little lady seeemed to know what it was and she said "you open it?"
So I did.
Inside from Santa Pod were two full weekend tickest including grandstand for the pair of us to go to The National Finals that weekend !! You could knocked me down with a feather, blew me away !!! How cool was that

So we did go to the Pod and we had an excellent madness and ethanol filled weekend and the weather stayed fine all weekend. Friday afternoon and evening we were there, all day satdee and all day sunday. I think we were some of the last spectators to leave. One of those weekends where time stands still and nothing else exists part from the racing and nothing else really matters.

Got some photos to share inlcuding the Lancaster bomber and two WW2 fighter planes that did a fly past for the event.
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Old 03-10-2016, 05:16 AM
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Oooh, ya lucky jammy sod!
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:17 PM
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Oooh, ya lucky jammy sod!
We were jammy blightaz mate indeed

Nice promo vid of the day.

https://youtu.be/upQ2aqREkEo



You know that all the talk stops when you're at the line watching the start lights. Thats when the talking ends and the racing starts.
We witnessed a couple of low 7 second passes at the 200mph mark on superstreet bikes. (Almost street legal bikes, but not quite).
The top gas bike was just madness. 4 second 1/8 mile. Lets just say it f****d off.

Last edited by HOS; 03-10-2016 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 04-10-2016, 04:45 AM
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Bluddy 'ell! I remember when Henk Vink and John hobbs used to go down the strip and was happy with just 8s and 9s! 4 seconds, that's Sammy Miller territory ffs!
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Old 14-10-2016, 02:20 PM
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Bluddy 'ell! I remember when Henk Vink and John hobbs used to go down the strip and was happy with just 8s and 9s! 4 seconds, that's Sammy Miller territory ffs!
Even though weve been around bikes a good few years, I cant get my head around the speeds they do on the 1/4.

The guy who helped me build the supercharged Busa had his own drag bike.
He was using the large size Rotrex blower and progressive NOS.

He told me how from a standstill on the lights, he instantly dumps 300 bhp into the back wheel and as the bike takes off, the 70 to 80 more horsepower build up with the progressive NOS. 370 rear wheel brake horsepower in total or there abouts. But how the hell does the body stand that instant explosive dump of power and you got to hold it and race it. Think of the body shock?

OK he's been doing it for many years, but even so....... fark !

Here he is...... my mate Mark and his beast of a bike.
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