Sunday, 11 September 2011

The European FIA Drag Racing Finals 2011

This weekend has seen the 5th and final round of the FIA Drag Racing Championships held at Santa Pod.  Having been to the Easter Thunderball event (photos from which I still have to post process and blog!!), we decided it was worth the trawl to Bedfordshire for this event as some of our friends were competing. 

I've mentioned in passing earlier on in my blogging that I have a history in motorsport that includes Drag Racing.  Whereas I competed in full race Minis and a Marcos, my brother raced a BDX rear engined spaceframe Mini for a while.  Dad was president of MDRA (Malta Drag Racing Association) for a number of years and therefore the drag raceway at Halfar turned out to be our second home, for a number of years as we visited the racing strip for different reasons. 

Hence it was only logical, that when we heard there was going to be a strong Maltese contingent this time at Santa Pod, that we were tempted to go watch the event.

It wasn't the first outing at Santa Pod for Maltese dragracers as the Mr Whippy Team and the Elbros team fought things out for a championship place back in 2001.  There has been a continued presence over the years from the Maksar Racing Truck team and also from Simon Giordimaina in his modded Hayabusa.  We were therefore quite keen to go and support our old friends during this latest venture as well as have a catchup with how things were going back home.

Initial doubts on whether we would be recognised, quickly erased themselves as we were welcomed to a nice cup of coffee and lots of smiles from the Joe Carabott and his Mr Whippy team.  Good to see dad's expression glow as he rekindled memories of his good (and often difficult and worrisome) times managing the Halfar raceway with Joe Carabott, who unfortunately confirmed things had changed a lot over the years and the carefree years of racing me and my brother enjoyed when we were younger were now things of the past.



My son, Matt, could not immediately understand why he was being introduced to so many Maltese speaking people who were grinning at him.  He later confided he had no idea my dad was so involved and that everybody in that circuit knew us well (pity you forgot Matt!).  

I managed to take a few photos of my dad, brother and Matt with Joe and his car/team, however as space was restricted (and I still mainly use my beloved 50mm 1.4) I sought a better perspective using a ladder they had.




Below are some action shots from the day, limited by the fact I was in a packed grandstand for the day. 

Some of the general racing...




and some of the Mr Whippy run, whilst we were surrounded by flags and general enthusiasm! :)








Well done Manty for the 5.5s run!  See you guys next year, hopefully!



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