Dragging Santa Pod
I’m flying off to the UK as this post goes live, so I thought it was worth looking at a little 1/4 Mile history from our friends across the Pond. The video below was shot at Santa Pod Raceway in 1967, when American Drag Racing was still little more than a novelty in England. So how did our NHRA-style drags make their way over there? The sport really didn’t take off in the UK till the late 1960’s when many of the defunct British military airfields around the country were converted to drag strips (as the US had done years earlier).
Podington airfield, 70 miles north of London, was a former RAF Airbase also used by the USAAF for Troop Transport and Strategic Bomber Command during WWII. In 1966, permission was obtained to use the decommissioned airfield as a racing complex, with the three quarter mile long main runway being used as the drag strip. The cool part is that the track name ‘Santa Pod’ was in honor of Santa Ana strip in Orange County (considered the somewhat birthplace of sanctioned drags), combined with the name of the local village of Podington.