Talking with the organizers
We asked Caroline Day, Marketing Manager at Santa Pod Raceway and David Lloyd-Jones,  General Manager

to share their thoughts on the upcoming Main Event and tell us how the  preparations for the event are going at the moment, a week before the first day of qualifying start - they also share a few fresh photos from the venue with us - Check it out! 
Here is what Caroline and David had to say;

The first round of the FIA Championship “The Main Event” at Santa Pod Raceway is something that not only the fans look forward to greatly but with such a strong field of vehicles entered (especially Top Fuel), the staff are also excited by what should be a real stormer!


It’s only been a matter weeks of course since we held the annual Easter Thunderball event which is another major weekend in Santa Pod’s calendar. The short gap between these two events, combined with the seemingly endless public holidays (including the Royal Wedding!) has meant that there has been no time to waste!


Preparations have been on-going and as we speak, the track is being prepared with rubber removal and the baseline VP track prep is being applied. Unlike most of the other FIA drag racing venues, the track at Santa Pod is used and prepped every weekend between January and November therefore our base line track prep is always maintained as we can sometimes suffer from too much rubber. You’ll know that we have Peak Performance event this weekend coming so the track will, of course, be race ready by then. The race paddock has also now been marked and set out ready for race teams that test on Sunday and will remain set up for the following week.

You may be surprised to know that we have used over 900 litres of paint in the past two weeks making sure that everything, including the track walls and start line area, sparkles! Even Santa Pod’s collection of five sweepers are being serviced and prepped – which takes over a week to do!!

Santa Pod Raceway from above

For those who have not attended an event since last season, it’ll be hard not to spot some significant permanent additions and improvements to the venue in general. A complete new toilet block has been installed close to the main bar to cope with demand and over the Main Event weekend alone we will use over 160,000 litres of water! A new “bankside” hospitality suite is nearing completion and final touches are currently being applied. We’re very proud of the standard that this building has been finished to and we strongly encourage racers to inspect the facilities with a view to providing their sponsors with a hospitality option in the future. We’ve always dreamed of being able to offer private balcony suites and at last the dream has been realised!


Of course, it is no secret that UK has been enjoying some fine weather during the past couple of months and therefore the campsites and grass areas are looking in great shape. Long may it continue!


Much of the additional event attractions such as the funfair, the Live Action Arena, children’s play area, have started to arrive and are being assembled now ready for next weekend. Santa Pod attracts an ever increasing number of families these days and it’s our firm intention to maintain a diverse selection of “off track” entertainment to keep all ages happy. Of course, there’s no age restriction to enjoying the famous Red Arrows aerial show and we’re all very excited about their visit on the Monday of the event.


Finally, we’d just like to mention that the VP race fuel delivery has arrived and been logged so the pre ordered fuel by visiting teams is ready for them to collect or be delivered to them when they arrive.


We look forward to welcoming all our racers and spectators very soon.


Caroline Day (Marketing Manager) and David Lloyd-Jones (General Manager)

the Santa Pod Raceway website with all you need to know about the events.

Pro Stock Champion 2010 Michael Malmgren (near lane) and Jan Palmqvist will both be 
entering the Santa Pod track again during the Main Event  

Fresh photo of the track from today (May 19th 2011)

The VIP-suites are just by the startline area

About Santa Pod Raceway:

Santa Pod Raceway is Europe’s most famous dragstrip and hosts the first and last rounds of the FIA European Championship. For drag race fans in Europe and America, the UK track needs little introduction.

Santa Pod Raceway opened at Easter 1966 as Europe's first permanent drag racing venue. It is still known as the home of European Drag Racing. It was built on a disused World War II American air base, RAF Podington, once home to the 92nd Bombardment Group of the US Army Air Force. The track was named Santa Pod after the Santa Ana strip in California, combined with the name of the local village, Podington. Since then the name Santa Pod has become synonymous with the sport of drag racing in Europe. Started with only the ¾-mile (1,207-metre) main runway as a drag strip, nowadays Santa Pod is one of the best-equipped tracks with full concrete safety barriers, large grandstands, VIP suites, fully-paved pit area, camping facilities, etc.

Text: Santa Pod Raceway & Marketing Manager Caroline Day & General Manager David Lloyd-Jones
Photos: Stefan Boman, Julian Hunt and Santa Pod Raceway

This article is part of the Speedgroup Club Europe Newsletter #5/2011

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