The Euro Finals Shootout
Santa Pod Raceway
Thu.9 – Sun.12 September 2021
Santa Pod Raceway will present The Euro Finals Shootout over the 9th-12th September weekend. In normal times, the weekend hosts Europe’s most prestigious drag racing event, the FIA/FIM European Finals, but Covid-19 has forced cancellation of the championships these past two years and has robbed Santa Pod of the vivid presence of teams from 16 or 17 nations who usually attend.
Now, loosening travel restrictions promise a welcome return of some of the colourful Continental entries so missed since the pandemic struck.
The outline programme features Pro Shootouts for Top Fuel Dragsters, Nitro Funny Cars and Nostalgia Funny Cars. Pro Exhibition classes are also planned for Top Methanol Dragsters, Pro Stocks and Scandinavia’s outrageous, outlaw Top Doorslammers.
Round 5 of the Motorsport UK British Drag Racing Championship – the fast, furious Pro Modifieds – will headline the event’s UK national championship programme, heralding the first competitive appearance of Bobby Wallace’s latest entry. Imported from the USA last year, the 14-litre, V8-powered, nitrous-boosted Chevrolet Camaro dipped into the 5-second zone, at almost 240mph, on only its seventh test pass. The event’s expected influx of European Pro Mod heavyweights will pose an exciting challenge for the Wallace team and their UK counterparts.
A potential new star appears on the horizon among the 10,000-horsepower, 300mph Top Fuel Dragsters. After rising through the Junior Dragster ranks, Finland’s Ida Zetterström switched to two wheels, winning Scandinavia’s ferocious SuperStreet Bike championship – ultra-hairy, 6.8sec/215mph, turbocharged motorcycles running on street-legal tyres without the benefit of wheelie bars. Back on four wheels and duly quarantined, Zetterström began her Top Fuel licensing process guesting at Santa Pod’s recent VW festival, Bug Jam, and is expected to complete the procedure with a single remaining full pass at The Euro Finals Shootout, allowing her to compete for the first time with the world’s fastest, loudest racing cars.
Among opponents facing Zetterström will be Santa Pod’s own Top Fuel speed queen, Susanne Callin. Guesting at the same Bug Jam event, Callin set new career-best elapsed times with three consecutive 3-second passes, to add to the 300mph terminal speed she had clocked while still a teenager in 2005.
In normal times, Santa Pod’s annual calendar of 75 or more events is settled by September of the previous year. Covid has made planning on the hoof an entirely new experience for the venue’s management, and fresh details of The Euro Finals Shootout will be unveiled as they develop. The programme will include all Santa Pod’s regular attractions, such as Jet Cars, Monster Trucks and stunt driving and riding displays. As the sun goes down, the Friday Evening Nitro Show will showcase Top Fuel Dragsters, Funny Cars and Jets at their most spectacular.
The Euro Finals Shootout takes place at Santa Pod Raceway, near Wellingborough (NN29 7XA) from Thursday 9th to Sunday 12th September, 2021. Advance adult ticket prices begin at £20, with children aged 5 to 15 at £5 per day. All tickets must be booked in advance – there will be no admission on the gate. Overnight camping is included with multi-day tickets and parking and paddock access are free.
Images: Santa Pod Raceway & UKDRN