Racing lines: Annie Wallace writes drag racing history at Santa Pod

Waiting for no-one

Parachute snafu dismissed, Wallace finished her licence test and then got on with the competition, made up of six consecutive runs. Each time she headed out, she logged another personal best – which itself is unprecedented – qualifying third behind season front-runners Kevin Slyfield and Nick Davies.

The pair then opened the path to her victory by hitting trouble, Slyfield faltering in their semi-final and Davies incurring a broken fuel pump in the final, leaving Wallace to solo to the finish line. But she wasn’t about to back off; that’s not really in the spirit of what these racers are about. Wallace sealed her victory by clocking 6.133sec at 229.31mph – the fastest pass of her young career.

Santa Pod’s indubitable drag racing authority, Robin Jackson, reckons Wallace is the youngest female Pro Mod racer ever, and that includes records from the sport’s US heartland. More significantly, no driver – no matter their gender – had ever won a Pro Mod race on their debut. Suitably, Wallace has gone from zero to heady, eardrumsplitting, nitrous-fuelled glory in roughly the time it takes to read this sentence.

There are two more chances to catch the Pro Mods, Top Fuellers, Funny Cars and all the other drag classes at Santa Pod this year, Covid-19 and weather permitting: the premier FIA European Finals on 9-12 September and the National Finals on 25-26 September.

If you’ve never experienced drag racing in person, head to the former USAAF base in Bedfordshire next month. The shock waves from a Top Fueller leaving the line smacks you in the chest and forces you to recalibrate your understanding of what speed actually means. And whatever you do, don’t forget your earplugs.

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