Santa Pod Raceway
Santa Pod Raceway

Santa Pod News

FIM Press Release - 24/06/2013

Dear Drag Racing Fans

I believe it is important that the Drag Racing community is made aware of the full facts of the web broadcast cancellation, of FIM European Drag Bike Championship from Tierp Arena last weekend.

Tierp Arena made the decision in 2012 that they did not wish to pay for a TV production and did not sign a contract with Keith Bartlett, the FIM Europe Commercial Rights holder, due to insufficient budget available. It is a condition of holding a round of the FIM European Drag Bike Championship for all tracks to sign this contract. The reason for such commercial rights contracts is to be certain that the level and quality of all TV broadcasts remains constant and in the same format for all tracks that hold rounds of the FIM European Bike Championship. The result was that there was no contract in place with the FIM Europe commercial rights holder for the Tierp Arena event, as is required by the FIM Europe.

In order to allow the event to take place, the Commercial Rights holder permitted the round to stand since cancelling it would only hurt the riders and teams. This was made on the understanding that there would be no television broadcast of the event in any format, including web broadcasts.

The teams were made aware in writing, long before the event, by Trakbak Racing Ltd Commercial manager Geoff Myers, that there was to be no TV production at the first round of the FIM Championship at Tierp Arena. This information was communicated by Mr Myers to the class representatives for the Pro Stock Bike, Super Twin Bike and Top Fuel Bike classes.

Upon arrival at Tierp Arena it was discovered that Mr Robert Karström of the Swedish production company Smart TV, in conjunction with Tierp Arena, had set up a Web TV broadcast of the event without the formal agreement of the Commercial Rights holder.

The situation was then discussed with Mr Karström, who confirmed his view that there was indeed no agreement in place between Mr Karström and the Commercial Rights holder. Furthermore it was discovered that Mr Karström was transmitting a web broadcast which he and Tierp Arena had absolutely no right to be making or transmitting and also charging the public on a pay per view basis.

This is the third occasion of which Mr Karström and his company have completely disregarded the rules and conventions of International commercial copyright, despite being told on two previous occasions that he may not film and transmit without an agreement being in place.

The Commercial Rights holder pays a considerable sum of money each year to own the commercial rights to the FIM championship and was left in a position where there was no alternative than to take action to protect the commercial rights ownership. Regrettably the only course of action left was to instruct Mr Karström to cease the transmission. We understand that this was not a popular decision, but after discussion with Mr Karström this was the only route left for the rights holder to go.

The highly accusatory screen banner put in place during the bike race sections of Mr Karström’s web broadcast only told one small part of the story; you are now in possession of a fuller picture of the matter relating to the Tierp Arena round of the FIM European Drag Bike Championship.

In 2012 we had a similar situation where one track operator cancelled the whole TV broadcast of their round with just 10 days’ notice, loosing us the complete broadcast package that was in place with various International broadcasters, due to the production company not being able to supply the complete Championship with all rounds. The loss of confidence with TV broadcasters is very difficult to rebuild.

Please be assured that this is the very last occasion that something of this nature will occur. In the future when a Web TV show is advertised, it will be delivered with the full agreement of the Commercial Rights holder. The whole basis for such commercial rights ownerships and contracts is to be able to produce a consistent Championship with rounds that all are run, operated and administered to the same standard including all media coverage. This is the basis on which all other FIM and FIA Championships are run and administered and that needs to apply to drag racing too, if we are to move forward and secure new partners and sponsorships to the benefit of the whole sport.

Keith Bartlett
CEO – Trakbak Racing Ltd
FIM European Drag Racing Championship



Santa Pod supports National Motorsport Week with free track time for locals - 26/04/2012

Santa Pod Raceway may be Europe’s premier Dragstrip, attracting some of the world’s greatest drivers, but for National Motorsport Week  (30TH June to 8th July), the Northamptonshire venue hopes to attract some fresh talent from closer to home – by offering all local residents free track time!

The innovative move sees the FIA-approved track being made available at no cost to anyone from either an MK or NN postcode on Saturday the 30th June. On this day, The ‘Pod will be running one of its legendary ‘Run What You Brung’ (or ‘RWYB’) days, where anyone is welcome to turn up in their road car and race on the strip – all day long.

Local residents simply need to attend the day and show their driving licence to prove their postcode (it’s also a requirement for signing onto the track) before being able to perfect their launch technique and gear-changing prowess on one of the most superbly prepared track surfaces in the World, driving in the tyre tracks of some of the sport’s true legends like Andy Carter and Don Garlitts.

Commenting on the initiative, Santa Pod’s marketing manager Caroline Day said, ‘National Motorsport Week is all about giving motorsport a go, so we’re delighted to throw open our doors to our neighbours and let them see what an addictive buzz drag racing can be. It’s always been one of the most cost effective ways of getting into true motorsport, allowing you to run under full competition conditions all day for just £35. We hope that this entices a few more people to give RWYB a go and enjoy their car’s maximum performance in a truly safe environment. Our local drivers can get here with very little fuel cost, enjoy a full day’s racing with their friends and hopefully kindle a love for the sport. You can even run with a passenger if they bring their licence too!’

Make sure you enjoy National Motorsport Week and get involved on track.

For full Run What Ya Brung details please visit



Autosport International 2012 - - 17/01/2012

Santa Pod Raceway's General Manager David Lloyd-Jones brought up up to date with developments at SPR.

"We have installed lights in the shutdown area and I must thank Santa Pod Racers Club for their financial help. In light of a recommendation from the MSA we have put in a new and longer catch fence. Fencing from the end of the grandstand to 330 feet is now seven feet tall and the fencing has been replaced between 330 feet and scrutineering. There will be a new toilet block in the Family Camping area, just behind scrutineering, in time for the Easter Thunderball. We have also extended the Pod Shop with an area especially for racers' needs such as VP fuels, Lucas Oils, Ringers gloves etc."

"Although there is an extra day of Public Holiday on the Tuesday this year, the FIA Main Event will still take place on the Friday to Monday of the holiday weekend although the Tuesday will be used as a rain date if eliminations cannot be completed on the Monday. Whether or not the rain date is used racers and fans are welcome to stay at the track on the Monday evening and we will keep the bar open and put on a band. The offer of 20% off advance tickets for all 2012 events at Santa Pod is open until the end of January."

"Now that the rules allow Junior Funny Cars to run in Junior Modified we are having a Junior Funny Car built for hire. Although the Funny Cars can now run in Modified we will start a Junior Funny Car League if there is enough interest. All of the leading chassis builders are quoting ten thousand pounds for a Junior Funny Car plus about £1750 for the body. So either get one built, build your own, or talk to Santa Pod and if there would be enough of us can get together to place orders then maybe we could get a volume discount. If you are interested in Junior Funny Car then please contact Darren Prentice at Santa Pod.

"One of our jet dryers is currently working at the site of the Olympic Park in London. It us being used to bed in tarmac on the roads and other infrastructure such as anti-skid surfaces on footpaths and decorative finishing. Darren Prentice, Steve Horn and Martin Hill have been there for five weeks so far and will probably be there for another five weeks or so. We have set up a web site at with information about our services.

"Finally I would like to say a big Thank You to the Santa Pod Raceway staff, the Santa Pod Racers Club race officials and marshals, the racers, the fans, and the media, and everyone who puts in time and effort. Without your efforts and time, drag racing would not exist."

Chris Andrews said that this would be a development year for the F&A Top Fuel Racing team as it has been a few years since he has raced Top Fuel. "I have to re-acclimatise myself and the car has systems I've not used before", he said. "We're not going to expect to go out there and win the Championship immediately. We plan to contest the full FIA calendar and we will be testing before the FIA Main Event. We hope to be invited to the Easter Thunderball."

Another car making its début at Autosport International, having been delivered by builder Webster Race Engineering the day before, was Mark Todd's 1965 Pontiac GTO which will be contesting Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator.

Semi-naked on the Santa Pod Raceway stand was the new Showtime Fuel Funny Car which driver John Spuffard said is scheduled to make its on-track deébut at Easter. "The chassis is from John Force's 2010 car", said Spuff. "The body is a state-of-the-art Mustang which is brand new - never raced or rallied! The only change to the motor is a setback blower."

Jet Funny Car pilot Martin Hill said that the Fireforce 4 Jet Funny Car is under repair after its crash in testing last year. "The body is done, and the chassis is currently in the shop", he said.

Thanks to Tog at for the report.



The “Shovin’ Chevvy” is reborn at Dragstalgia! - 17/06/11

It was way back in 1964 that top American drivers including “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, “TV Tommy” Ivo and Tony “The Loner” Nancy first thundered down the Tarmac at Blackbush Airport, in Surrey, to bring the sound and fury of professional drag racing to the thousands of horsepower-hungry motorsport fans that turned out for the 1st British International Drag Festival.

Unlike today, there was no electronic Christmas tree, or top-end win lights recording elapsed times and terminal speeds. Instead, a brightly-attired starter in a funny pointed hat flagged both competitors off the line, while the commentator informed spectators of the winning and losing ETs and speeds. And in those days few dragsters had starter motors, so they required a push to fire-up; hence the need for start cars.

Out on the strip today you’ll see a 1957 Chevy Bel Air driven by Dave Hughes presented as a tribute to another ’57 that famously served as an official start car for the six meetings nationally that formed that first International Drag Festival. The ’64 Drag Fest car was owned by then British Hot Rod Association treasurer Pete Bartlett, who today lives in France with his wife Erica. Like Dave’s machine, Pete’s Chevy was a black and white two-door V8 that also ran in competition in addition to its duties as a “Shovin’ Chevvy” (as it was dubbed at the time).

Pete’s Chevy was also a stock 19-second entrant in the “Over 3,000cc Touring Car” class, while Dave’s re-born tribute car is a blown 461-inch big-block beastie, street legal, and potentially capable of knocking 10 seconds off that time. Even nostalgia can’t stop evolution!

The car will be on hand at Dragstalgia on the 16th/17th July to help start any cars that need a push!

Mike Lintern



Lego Santa pod - 01/05/2011

At the recent Main Event here at Santa Pod it was brought to our attention that someone had constructed a miniature model of the venue. 6 Year old Adam McDavitt has 2 big passions, Drag Racing and Lego. When you put the 2 together it doesn't come as much as a surprise when we found out that Adam had actually built this fantastic replica of his favourite place out of lego. Adam attended the event so we can only hope that he had a good time despite the weather.



Shelley Pearson to race at Santa Pod’s Autotrader Easter Thunderball - 14/04/2011

Shelley Pearson, the UK’s fastest female racer, has confirmed that she will be attending Santa Pod’s popular Autotrader Easter Thunderball between the 22nd and 25th of April. Not in an exhibition capacity this time however, but as a fully fledged racer!

Pearson, who rocked the sport last year with a record licensing run of just 4.98 seconds, at an incredible 278 mph, will be lining up against many of her childhood heroes in only her third full outing in her 8,000 horsepower ‘Top Fuel’ car.

‘Easter at Santa Pod has always been one of my favourite events!’ she explained. ‘But this year, it’s going be simply massive. I can’t wait to compete with so many of the sport’s legends and I’m hoping that I can maintain my form and put in some good times for the team and the fans. I am hugely grateful to Rune and Lindsey at RF motorsport for giving me the opportunity to pilot their Top Fuel dragster at my favourite strip.

Campaigning under the ‘West Ten Motorsport’ banner, Shelley and her partner Kevin, who will also drive the ex-Thomas Nataas Mustang Fuel Funny Car, will be joined by Shelley’s father as crew-chief for what all are hoping will be the ultimate family day at the races.

For more information on Santa Pod, or the Easter Thunderball, please click to or call the track on 01234 782828.



All News Items

Click on the relevant link below to display the news item here.

Fantastic Auction On Nitro FM at the 2009 FIA European Finals - 04/08/2009

Nitro FM is auctioning a package of goods with the proceeds going towards restoring Europe’s oldest dragster - the 1961 Allard Chrysler. The star item is a mounted print made from a painting by Paul Whitehouse showing the Allard Chrysler and Mooneyes in 1963. An example will be on display in the Pod Shop. It is signed by Allard Chrysler Action Group Patron Nick Mason of Pink Floyd and Alan Allard. Also included will be a copy of Crazy Horses – the history of British drag racing, and both the painting mounting and the book will be signed by some of the drag racing legends attending the event. The final part of the package is a complete set of Taylor Startup drag race meeting and show programmes from the 1970s.

Email bids to or text POD followed by your bid to 88222.

Listen out to Nitro FM for details of the current winning bid. Good Luck!


FIM Press Release - 24/06/2013 - Read Article
Santa Pod supports National Motorsport Week with free track time for locals - 26/04/2012 - Read Article
Autosport International 2012 - - 17/01/2012 - Read Article
The “Shovin’ Chevvy” is reborn at Dragstalgia! - 17/06/11 - Read Article
Lego Santa pod - 01/05/2011 - Read Article
Shelley Pearson to race at Santa Pod’s Autotrader Easter Thunderball - 14/04/2011 - Read Article
Beechwood Park School's South East Regional Results - 04/04/2011 - Read Article
Santa Pod Raceway Announces Partnership with Phoenix Personnel - 04/04/2011 - Read Article
Santa Pod and NISMO Partner for the 2011 Drift and Race Season - 29/03/2011 - Read Article
Draper Tools Signs as Official Tool Partner to Santa Pod Raceway - 28/03/2011 - Read Article
New Primetime Comedy Show, Calling all Couples! - 25/03/2011 - Read Article
Santa Pod Continues With Permatex For 2011 - 10/03/2011 - Read Article
FireForce 4 - The New Recruit - 18/02/2011 - Read Article
Toyota Technology Challenge in partnership with Rapid - 16/02/2011 - Read Article
Alamo becomes Official Car Rental Partner of Santa Pod Raceway - 14/02/11 - Read Article
Autoglym Continues as ‘Pod Lane Sponsor throughout 2011! - 19/01/2011 - Read Article
First 2011 Terry Grant Stunt Academy Dates Released - 06/11/2011 - Read Article
Club RWYB Event on Sunday 6th March 2011 - 14/01/2011 - Read Article
Santa Pod Offer Great New VP Race Fuel Deals - 06/10/10 - Read Article
Big Tops get better for Bug Jam and USC - 22/07/2010 - Read Article
Drag Racing on Channel 4 - 09/06/2010 - Read Article
Santa Rounds Up Alamo Rent A Car As New Commercial Partner - 21/05/2010 - Read Article
Bedford Schools' Grand Prix is on the fast lane to success - 18/05/2010 - Read Article
Rushden Powerfest - 11/05/2010 - Read Article
Terry Grant Launches Stunt School - 04/05/2010 - Read Article
Top Gear Magazine visits the Pod - 21/04/2010 - Read Article
Santa Pod goes West! - 20/04/2010 - Read Article
Santa Pod Get Fuelled Up By VP Racing Fuels - 07/04/2010 - Read Article
New Pod Shop to open this weekend! - 31/03/2010 - 31/03/2010 - Read Article
Santa Pod Partner with Permatex For 2010 - 30/03/2010 - Read Article
Santa Pod’s season-opener starts with a bang! - 23/03/2010 - Read Article
Motorsport Endeavour - 09/03/2010 - Read Article
Autoglym Continues as ‘Pod Lane Sponsor Until 2014! - 13/01/2010 - Read Article
NEC Autosport International Show – Jan 16th-17th 2010 - 23/11/2009 - Read Article
American Auto Barn Ltd - 12/10/2009 - Read Article
Fantastic Auction On Nitro FM at the 2009 FIA European Finals - 04/08/2009 - Read Article
Need for Speed SHIFT - 23/07/2009 - Read Article
Predicted sizzling summer will be bad news for car - 30/06/2009 - Read Article
Fast & Furious DVD - 24/06/09 - Read Article
New TV Show - 16/03/09 - Read Article
Death Race Competition - 07/01/09 - Read Article
Go Motorsport - 10/09/2008 - Read Article
Drag Racing USA with Grandstand Motor Sports - 21/05/08 - Read Article
Kings of Nitro - 21/05/08 - Read Article
Drag Slick Summer Sizzler From Toyo Tires - 20/05/08 - Read Article
Chop Shop - 06/02/2008 - Read Article
Ripspeed X - 18/01/2008 - Read Article
Don’t Wreck the Ride - 07/01/2008 - Read Article
Autosport Competition - 07/12/2007 - Read Article
NEC Autosport International Show Jan 10-13 2008 - 06/12/07 - Read Article
RWYB at Santa Pod Raceway - 31/07/07 - Read Article
Drag Racing’s Heritage Research - 16/05/07 - Read Article
Main Event Hospitality Prize Draw - 19/04/07 - Read Article
New Trip To America announced - 27/02/07 - Read Article
Driving Force - 29/01/07 - Read Article
MSA British Drag Racing Championship - 23/01/07 - Read Article
2007 Sponsors - 08/01/07 - Read Article
Autosport International Show - NEC 11th-14th January 2007 - Read Article
Webster Sets New Record at JapShow Finale - 08/10/06 - Read Article
Parade of Power - 01/09/06 - Read Article
British International Motor Show - 28/06/06 - Read Article
Power Tool Drag Racing - 31/05/06 - Read Article
Main Event - 30/05/06 - Read Article
More Site Improvements - 22/05/06 - Read Article
Santa Pod Raceway's Fan Guide 2006 - 05/04/06 - Read Article
Charity Auction - 17/03/06 - Read Article
Santa Pod at Xtreme Wheels - 27/02/06 - Read Article
Track Improvements - 21/02/06 - Read Article
More Site Improvements - 03/02/06 - Read Article
Lane Sponsors - 24/01/06 - Read Article
Looking forward, looking back - 19/01/06 - Read Article
European Finals Rain Off Values - 12/09/05 - Read Article
Parade of Power - 03/09/05 - Read Article
Santa Pod Developments - 30/08/05 - Read Article
A Dream Come True - 17/07/05 - Read Article
Additional Saturday Night Special - 13/07/05 - Read Article
Cash Machine - 16/06/05 - Read Article
Pod Improvements - 25/05/05 - Read Article
Pod Shop Reopening - 24/05/05 - Read Article
Testing and Promotional News - 23/05/05 - Read Article
Santa Pod Developments - 29/04/05 - Read Article
Ripspeed Donny Show - 11/04/05 - Read Article
VolksWorld Show - 04/04/05 - Read Article
Jet Car sets world record at Santa Pod Raceway! - 27/03/05 - Read Article
Santa Pod & CruiseSport Announce Partnership - 07/03/05 - Read Article
Charity Endurance Go Kart Race - 07/03/05 - Read Article
No Monster Truck Mayhem at Summer Nationals - 05/03/05 - Read Article
New Saturday Night Special Announced - 02/03/05 - Read Article
Xtreme Wheels Show - 21/02/05 - Read Article re-launched! - 07/02/05 - Read Article
Santa Pod Racer's Club Dinner Dance - 05/02/05 - Read Article
Santa Pod Developments - 04/02/05 - Read Article
Autosport International - 17/01/05 - Read Article

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