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28 October 2014

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Drag racing

A Day at the Races

Billowing smoke, revving engines, and some of the meanest machines around – this was the scene at Shakespeare County Raceway on Bank Holiday Monday where the Open Sport Nationals Drag Racing Championships were being held.

I walked through the festival-like atmosphere, seeing tents and caravans filled with families, food and merchandise stands, and more portaloos than you could shake a stick at. But this wasn’t Glastonbury – vehicles of every shape and size, with wheels the size of a small child and exhausts galore littered the venue and were ready to race.

I was standing beside the race track when I first heard the ferocious roar of an engine which sounded like it was ripping the Earth in two and managed to get a face full of the white smoke that engulfed everyone near it. Ear defenders on, I made my way to the side of the track where the other media personnel were filming or taking photographs and settled myself into a good spot.

To get a taster of the pulsating, high-speed action click on the link below.

Car after car sped by with blistering speed and the crowd clearly loved it. Thousands had descended to Long Marston for this event and they were not left disappointed as the third day of action began to take shape. The Fuel Altereds in particular, which seemed to me like something out of Wacky Races, were especially crowd-pleasing and drew a loud cheer whenever they appeared.

Drag racing

Jeremy Cookson, the Promotions Manager for Shakespeare County Raceway, and drag racing enthusiast, was commentating on the races over the weekend and I managed to grab an interview with him in the midst of another hectic day. See what he had to say about the championships and his love of drag racing, along with local racer, Jim Usher, by clicking on the link below.

Some of the fans I spoke to had been watching drag racing for decades, but even as a newcomer to the sport I could see its attraction. The noise, the excitement, the surge of expectation just before two cars are about to go head to head in a race… Let’s just say that the traditional Bank Holiday DIY should have been left for another time.

last updated: 30/08/07

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