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Santa Pod Raceway launches its 55th consecutive season of high-speed racing action at this weekend’s Autosport International show.

Stand 2680 at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre showcases the Slick Tricks Top Fuel Dragster piloted by Susann Callin and Andy Bond’s 1956 Chevrolet, the reigning UK Street Eliminator champion entry. Nicknamed Ugly Sister, the turbo Chevy’s artfully ‘distressed’ appearance belies its 200mph potency and its road-legal status.

In an adjoining hall, Santa Pod’s two-seater Thrill Ride dragster will inject some noise into the daily Live Action Arena displays.

400,000 people a year pass through Santa Pod’s gates to attend more than 70 varied events on a calendar that runs from February to November. The championship drag racing season begins with Easter’s Festival of Power, an amalgam of serious racing and the family entertainment activities that feature at many Santa Pod meetings. The first and last rounds of the FIA/FIM European Championships are the venue’s marquee events, held in late May and early September respectively, with further national championship races for cars and motorcycles held through the year.

July’s ‘Dragstalgia’ is the highlight of the historic drag racing season. This year’s 10th Anniversary event features the return of the riotous Fuel Altereds in a transatlantic rematch between America’s Rat Trap, grappled through the quarter-mile by Ron Hope on his international farewell tour, and Britain’s Havoc, which Nick Davies wrestled to US championship victory in 2017.

Also in July, Bug Jam 34 is Europe’s largest Volkswagen festival and one of several weekends devoted during the year to the VW brand. Other marque-specific events include Honda, Ford, Vauxhall and BMW, and German, Japanese and American cars enjoy their own general celebrations. The calendar also includes modified car shows, specialist and family events and public track days.

Autosport International visitors can collect print editions of Santa Pod’s 2020 calendar from Stand 2680. Full information and tickets are available online at or by telephoning 01234 782828. Early Bird discounts for many events apply until 31st January. Santa Pod news is widely disseminated via major social media platforms and online at Admission for under-16s is free at many events, along with free overnight camping and free paddock access.

Andy Bond warms the tyres in his 200mph Ugly Sister Chevy