The highest bidders in an online charity auction became the first drivers to traverse Santa Pod Raceway’s brand new, all-concrete racetrack on Saturday (March 17).
The auction, hosted on Ebay, raised funds to benefit two regional air ambulance organisations, The Air Ambulance Service (East Midlands) and Magpas Air Ambulance (East Anglia).
Each of the dragstrip’s two lanes comprised a separate auction lot, and members of the public were invited to post bids for either lane.
Car enthusiast Jordan Bradford was the highest bidder for the right lane and drove his immaculate Mitsubishi Evo 8 all the way from Sevenoaks in Kent, with his mother in the passenger seat.
He said: “I wasn’t going to let this weather beat me.”
The identity of the winning bidder for the left lane surprised everyone.
After six months spent steering construction of the new track from design to completion Santa Pod’s own project manager, Neale Saunders, was quietly determined to finish the job in style and, telling no-one his plans, purchased the rights to run in the left-hand lane.
Magpas Air Ambulance doctor Scott Castell was on hand to receive a £500 cheque presented by Santa Pod.
The same amount will be donated to The Air Ambulance Service.
The new track will be subjected to its first heavy-duty, competitive action at Easter, when the Festival Of Power hosts the opening round of 2018’s national drag racing championships for cars and motorcycles, together with the spectacular Jet Car Shootout.
Along with some 250 teams in national competition, a trio of 300mph Top Fuel Dragsters is scheduled to limber up for the FIA European Championship’s Round 1 in May.