Santa Pod, America, Anita Mccullough discussed on The Autosport Podcast
Today on the podcast we going certainly for me very much of taste the world motorsport after say drag racing scenario. I know very very little about two months with the company We've got here on your host. Ed Straw. Aw We say star guest with respect to my guests are star guest today. Is Anita McCullough full-time for Europeans fuel. Champion and reigning a legend Legend of Of drag racing. I would say thank you. Yeah I saw hits a educate. Educate me certainly I think would be the the mejet so I'm hoping to get as we end this hour side with a better understanding. I guess it's the challenge. Isn't it would drag racing of selling selling it to people because he's kind of a very specialized as Matt that's right. It's very small all sports. But they're caned I find it very enthusiastic and well. That's the sport I've been doing thirty years and I just love it accent. We will find out a bit more about that love of of drag racing. Surely we have brought in another specialist as well. In in Ruben Jackson of best describe of center pulled Santa Pod. I guess Yes yes I do. I work for them. And is it a part time basis. But I've been coming to Santa pod I it's been in existence for fifty four years and I- horrified. I've been going for fifty three of them and I've been working for them. I did essentially a forty year apprenticeship as a paying customer and then they offered me a job So I've been working for the now for twelve years. He is well prepared. You could say well yes. Yeah I hate to think how much forgotten put it lying. You fully forgotten far more than on on this topic take my final guest. Is Somebody with a little bit more knowledge of drag race in the neighbor still should we say relative Relatively inexperienced also magazine. It's a Kevin said now you have been you haven't not support relatively recently thanks to robbing a couple of times once when I was most news editor and then once this year and I put it down on my the three sort of standout wow moments in my most book career. If you like. The first one was watching for one contemporary along through magazines and Becca Silverstein. The second one is the first time I saw an anti walkout lemond and the third one was I taught field dragster leave the line. You've been going to multiple events for years and years and you kind of get a say you kind of get an idea of what's quick and and what you're looking at and you have to completely recalibrate that when you see Towfighi has could leave. The line is caught one of the most remarkable spectacles immutable. We'd say you sold it very. Well they're very very well. I'll have to get along failure. Facial let's come. What's a unique set? How how do you come to be at drag racing? Santigi asked but how do you how did you get into. It comes to be so successful over through years. I just got interested overall in muscle cars and a test wanted to test one of those dragsters. It was like a gas trickster and once you give you a small finger it will take your whole hand. And that's the way how the sport to me. I established this team myself. So I'm I'm very few of those ladies. Were having their own teams and maybe the most important work. What team owner can do is to choose the right people in right places and that's the area where I did succeed and that's behind off my success of these all thirty years so good team and These teamwork at its best. Everyone knows that in Motorsport Drivers need could team and By by the coup team. And when you're having success it will always take you even fast and faster cars Mohan running these ten thousand horsepower. Cars night to talk fueled tractors and they going from zero to hundred kilometers per hour feeding within one and we didn't have second so it's very quick half second and you're going already over one hundred kilometers per hour that's just performance and essentially you're saying about applies to all of radius about having the right people the right draw the right equipment is everything is made so it's a virtuous circle as we say but Robin perhaps you can put a little bit of context on on a neater for those not familiar with with our achievements. Obviously fulltime to European champion is a serious achievement. All in all in top fuel which is kind of the top ten. I guess. That's the category that people think of when Formula One of of drag racing. Yes I mean. It's exactly the same formula. Kilowatt is is the pinnacle of An enormous pyramid really with tremendous amount of stuff below that in top fuel is the same. I'm with drag racing. You know. There's a huge amount of Stuff below that me you can start out is of an extremely accessible sport You can simply come to Santa Pod. We have what we call our run. Walked your brand events where you simply turn up in your own road car Ten pound purpose on the gate. Twenty five pounds to sign on Ugo told a Running on the track and that's the basis of the thing. I mean drag racing started in in America after World War Two as essentially a road safety initiative. You had all these Sort of ex-serviceman coming back from the war often with mechanical article training and this hot running craze took off and the way that they approving their vehicles they weren't demonstrating clever driving skills hills or anything that was actually proving. The vehicles against one another was by racing on the streets. Perhaps some traffic light traffic light and so forth which of course was hugely the Illegal and dangerous and most people kind of wanted to horse with the people you know locking them up But a number of enthusiasts instead tried tried to persuade them off the public roads and onto in those days of course there are a lot of now disused wartime strips Around America so they. They used Those and they decided by chance on quarter-mile as being the classic distance that sometimes at that point thinking in terms of perhaps a half mile. And can you imagine imagine if we run into a half mile now what north the cause would be doing So it grew from that And that that element really continues as with the run Macci Brun Idea and you work your way up from that With top fuel formula me Lewan at the very top of it. I think it's worth putting some numbers on that. Actually because it's now the top fuel cars on over just a thousand feet now instead of the quarter. That's right cool from aw. Aw and even. So they're doing that. Distance in three point eight seconds and three hundred thirty three so I mean yeah the you couldn't. Ah Jason. Wasn't it for safety. Imagine what speeds would be being achieved. If for fifty years they've been doing over half mile. I mean the mind boggles the measure. I suppose is eight smile a to twenty yards at one point of course before they reduced it that was half track and certainly in America. Now they've been and 'cause hitting two hundred ninety nine miles an hour at the eighth mile and typically Ah dragster will will gain gene. Perhaps thirty to forty miles per hour over the second Hof war in this case the from the eight smile to the thousand foot point which even in that distance when an ordinary car gaining that amount of speed in that distance would be quite a lot but when the things during two hundred ninety plus in you know already The extraordinary the acceleration is extraordinary in the thing. So they get progressively slower in fact as they go up the track but that You know all things relative and a NATO I mean the forces involved must be unbelievable. So what are the biggest challenges on around one of the things. You're most concerned about most focused on from the moment that go. What what are the key things that you're dealing with? Of course first of all you have have to learn to drive this using miles per hour you have to use we we do normally so you have to get used to run over three hundred hundred miles per hour. You can't touch that step into the car and do it so it takes time to learn to do that. So you have to control the car all the way so On when launching the car under maybe at the beginning you visit is coming very narrow but when he learned to drive that kind of speed it will spread out a cane and you can make observations. And you see where you're going and that's very important because everything happens interceptor short time especially on the top end and You have to you have to know where you are and where the car is where you are going to take your car to and On the meat way the chief force es about five point five so it's at the biggest. Ah The midway and then it will come down until you call over the finish line and opened the breaking shirts but it's the it's the driver who needs is to control the car all the way but everything happens in the faster than you can think so. You have to respond of the feeling so I'm having like a spot in the middle of the track and I feel where my car is going. It's going like left or right. So it's my like recent with keep it in the straight straight line and my feeling with that and Tara shakes major thing as well. I mean that was just something I know your sister is yes. Sometimes you have to shut it off straight away because once that really kicks kicks in is carnival. I resonate so what can you do to to manage that in the first few y'all of the launch as dry. But you can't do anything it is done by the mechanics. Connex already the way how the car is going to behave. And Dia Sake assaulting that Because you have zero point eight the the pressure in the tires and it will grow when you push the pedal down but it. It doesn't have enough power to make the soft tire ground one. It will cause the tire sake and the tire say can be so severe that it will break the chess cut atrocities and of course. We'll oh keep you as a tribe of a very severe headache and that stuff so it's like hitting pipe baseball pat very heavily but okay. You can't drive. That's that's all you have to leave the pedal and The moment is gone. I'm interested in the the question of the of the amount of driving because people look at anything driving in a straight line but it. It's it's I guess when you're actually it's already as as so many adjustments estimates a make sure it's it's still going in the right direction election with amount of power incredibly challenging and kind of quite easy to underestimate from the from the outside and the most common thought ought after Iran is at. Why didn't I do like that because the moment is gone? You know you have to make the decisions so quickly and then you did the decision and you can't get the moment back anymore. Yeah so many things you have to concentrate and to and SAFETIES number one Easter in our sport of course and you have to realize that there's another car next to you and you have to keep your car in your own lane It's not the top speed. It's what can have which go what can call What can possibly go wrong in that kind of top speed with can cause the problems and you have to be prepared for that devoid of that that it doesn't get out of your control so I presume the problems that might manifest themselves when you walk license that subsidies they start early so you need to learn to recognize? That's a small problem now. The second half is going to be a unless a huge problem. That's when you that's that's right it out of it. Yeah I've had people say to me sometimes Real major sport has corners. That's what some shops had said to me. Once and I point out well I drive around corners every time I go out in my car and it's no big deal..