The First British International Drag Festival

Anyone who saw the demonstration runs last year by Dante Duce and Mickey Thompson with their sling-shot dragsters will not forget “the sound and the fury” of this exciting form of sport. Drag racing, or paired sprints, has not yet got under way in Great Britain, though single-run sprints over the quarter-mile are popular. There is a growing interest in the building of special cars to accelerate over the quarter-mile, and in order to encourage this Sydney Allard and the Allard Owners’ Club are organising a Festival of Drag Racing next September. It is intended that ten of the top American Drag teams should visit Britain for a high-pressure series of events condensed into three weekends, and it is hoped that there will be at least an equal number of British cars to compete against the Americans. Aerodrome runways in Essex, Sussex, Gloucestershire, Cheshire and Yorkshire are planned to be used, thus allowing this spectacle to be seen by the greatest number of people, and the three weekends are September 13th, September 19/20th and September 26/27th. Anyone who saw Mickey Thompson cover the standing quartermile in 8.84 sec. at Debden last year will not miss the opportunity of seeing a number of such vehicles in action. The noise of 8 litres of Ford V8 engine, running on nitro-methane with a supercharger as big as a Formula Junior engine, is worth going a long way to hear. Just to keep a sense of proportion there will be six of the fastest motorcycles competing as well. A standing quarter-mile in 10 sec. on four wheels is exciting, but on two wheels it is truly impressive, and by September the three top British 1,000-c.c. machines may well be within sight of breaking 10 sec. for the quarter-mile. – D.S.J.