Power tool drag racing, whatever next?

High octane action at Silverline

Published:  29 September, 2009

YEOVIL: Sunday 13 September saw the Silverline Power Tool Drag Racing event take off in style. The crazy sport of power tool drag racing involves engineering hand held power tools into drag racing mean machines and the action packed day featured some incredible feats of engineering.

There are two sides to the event – ridden (funny car) and non ridden.

The funny car class takes place on the outside track and allows competitors to develop custom machines able to carry at least one rider along the track. Commonly used tools in the funny car class are petrol chainsaws and leaf blowers. The drive from the tool to the ground can be directly through the tool bit, custom gear, sprocket, axle or tyre system. Some competitors start with the frame of an existing vehicle such as a go kart, while others start from scratch.

The non ridden side of the event takes place on an inside track and involves the use of smaller power tools, this class does not require the dragster to be ridden and consequently, smaller tools such as belt sanders, angle grinders, drills and circular saws are commonly used. There are three sub classes within the non ridden competition; stock, modified and super modified. Tools of choice can either be left in their original state and entered in the stock class, or geared up with spikes, spoilers or any other potentially aerodynamic features, and entered into either the modified super modified class.

Saturday 12th September was a practice day for competitors – with free use of the tracks for testing and the start of a healthy bit of competitor rivalry. Competitors enjoyed a barbeque together on Saturday evening and camping facilities were available for people to stay overnight.

Race day began with a competitors breakfast between 08:00 and 09:00, this was followed by a drivers briefing, then the indoor racing began. Competitors went to great effort in making their dragsters and there were some absolutely superb entries across all classes.

Competitors of all ages took part in the races, with people ranging from as young as seven to over fifty. Everyone was determined to win, with bespoke trophies and a prize fund totaling £4,000 up for grabs.

Following on from all the fun and excitement of the indoor races came the funny car qualifying rounds. This years entries came in all shapes and sizes, some looked like cars, some looked like bikes, some looked like go karts and others bared no resemblance to anything ever seen before. Competitors in this class came from all corners of the globe – one competitor came all the way from America.

Tension mounted throughout the qualifying rounds and each competitor became more and more hell bent on making it into the final. There were some very close calls, with timing coming down to a tenth of a second between standings.

After some highky competitive racing, it was Toolstation that claimed the winners title. In light of the super fast time from Toolstation, the Silverline Trike was placed second and Robo Challenge were third.

Commenting on the events success, James Goddard-Watts, owner and chief executive officer of Toolstream – the company behind Silverline Tools – said; ‘The 2009 Silverline Power Tool Drag Racing event has been a massive success, everyone has had a fantastic, fun filled day. The amount of effort competitors have put into making their dragsters is highly commendable and there have been some truly awesome engineering triumphs here today. Every year the event gets bigger and better, and its now onwards and upwards to next years event, with plans already underway. I am certain the 2010 event will bring a whole host of even more amazing entries, its an exciting prospect and I am very much looking forward to it.’

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