Doorslammer at Santa Pod Raceway

So what, exactly, is a ‘doorslammer’? Simple: in drag racing parlance, it’s any full-bodied car with a sprung chassis and functioning doors – in other words, a saloon car.

But the doorslammers coming to Santa Pod Raceway for two weekends in May are unlike any other saloon cars on earth. How does 0-260mph in 5.5 seconds sound?

The first weekend presents ‘The Doorslammers’, a race revived last year after a long hiatus and now boasting a prize fund and performance standards unimaginable in its 1970s-80s heyday. This year £80,000 is invested among seven diverse classes. At the heavyweight end, the VP Racing Fuels Pro Doorslammer class. ‘Legal’ Pro Mods, though alarming enough, are copiously regulated. By contrast, the high-horsepower, ultra-lightweight ‘outlaw’ cars of the Scandinavian Top Doorslammer series observe modern safety standards but otherwise know few bounds. On home ground, they race just to the eighth-mile, 220 yards. Last year, their only representative at Santa Pod, Mattias Wulcan, re-calibrated his Blackbird Camaro to run the full quarter and stopped the clocks at 5.534 seconds, 262.67mph, by some margin the quickest, fastest ‘saloon car’ pass ever seen in Europe.

This time he’ll be joined by several of his kin, plus an array of other high-speed hopefuls. It promises a no-holds-barred quarter-mile shootout of an intensity previously unseen in Europe. Yet outright unfettered performance doesn’t necessarily win drag races. The mighty Wulcan never made it to last year’s money run. Instead it was a pair of legal Pro Mods which vied for the prize.

The Doorslammers takes place from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th May. A weekend later, it’s The Main Event (24-27 May), where some two dozen Pro Mods will compete in the first round of the FIA European Championship while the Scandi outlaws stay around to astonish the crowds with exhibition runs. It’s an exceptional, double-weekend treat for anyone with an enthusiasm for high-powered motor vehicles – saloon cars the likes of which you’ve never seen before.