Last weekend Santa Pod welcomed back its racers and dragster enthusiasts to enjoy the Green Light Nationals Event. However, an important yet predictable change were the new Covid-19 safety regulations. Friday Briefing This event was a major step forward for Santa Pod in its return to racing.
SANTA POD IS BACK AT FULL THROTTLE WITH THE GREEN LIGHT NATIONALS!
Last weekend Santa Pod welcomed back its racers and dragster enthusiasts to enjoy the Green Light Nationals Event. However, an important yet predictable change were the new Covid-19 safety regulations.
This event was a major step forward for Santa Pod in its return to racing. It was clear the safety of all who attended was paramount. For the first time on Friday evening, a briefing was held in the grandstands and hosted by CEO Keith Bartlett himself.
"I love this sport, I could’ve sold this place for millions a couple of years ago. Not interested. I’m just one of you and I want us all to carry on racing." - Keith Bartlett
Keith explained the battle the venue had been having with the local council in terms of its re-opening. This meant they were given the green light to run the event, but strict rules were put in place by the council’s health & safety executives. Keith emphasised “this isn’t going to be forever, but this is a really important test weekend”.
The council attended the event on Saturday to “tick boxes” and make sure that everyone was meeting the regulations. However, it was clear that even when the council weren’t there, everyone still had a great deal of respect for the rules. Keith stated that if the regulations and weather allow it, “I intend to run events in November too” to make up for the ones we’ve lost this summer.
“I want to thank all of you for your support, it’s just fantastic” - Keith Bartlett
It was important that the public had minimal interaction with the race teams. Therefore, spectators were not allowed inside the pit bays. To help enforce this, crews were encouraged to put up tape and barriers around the pits. Extra security officers were also deployed around the venue.
SCHOOL DAY SATURDAY
Saturday’s qualifying runs brought out a burst of dormant energy. Everyone was getting back into practice with their cars and the track after having such a long time without any events. This meant that there were a few breakdowns in each class, but also some unpredicted PB’s!
James Wotton (pictured left) ran a new personal best of 9.91 seconds during Sunday’s eliminations. He reached 143.94 mph in his #100 VeeDub Performance Beetle as a part of the Outlaw Flat Four Class.
During qualifying, the 5000cc ‘Crew Killer’ tried to live up to its name. Whilst doing a rolling burnout, the dragster unexpectedly veered to the left and closely missed one of its crew members. Luckily they managed to jump over the centre barrier just in time…that’s one way to get your adrenaline going!
It was wonderful to see all the junior dragsters paired up with their cars once again. Over the weekend, every run was a learning curve for the drivers. Their ability to adapt and learn so quickly at a young age is outstanding; particularly with the ever-varying conditions.
THE GIRLS ARE BACK
Another awesome sight to see over the weekend were the lovely lady racers! The rise in women getting involved in the sport is such a positive step forward. All the girls carried great confidence and showed true talent through their driving.
The pits buzzed with a positive atmosphere throughout the whole weekend. After speaking to several different race teams, it was clear they all had a high awareness of the new rules and ways of racing. Even with the threat of a pandemic, the way that the venue staff, spectators and teams worked together to create a safe and enjoyable atmosphere proves as a true testament to the passion and determination people have for the sport.