Not a moment too soon has the 2012 Modified Show season burst into life, after what seems like an eternity of Winter and not enough snow to keep us occupied, we have been anticipating and looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and there is usually no better place to get the feeling and love back than the first show of the year which for most happens to be Santa Pod’s; The Fast Show.

Now, ever since the demise of the traditional season opener; ‘Donny’, The Fast Show has taken the reins and given modified petrolheads the chance to get out nice and early in the season, run their cars up the strip to test the new power, gauge trends in the show and shine area, watch some clever drifting and, let’s be honest, have a piss up with the rest of your club! Usually there is a price for this early enjoyment, no we’re not talking about the entry fee, usually The Fast Show is accompanied by hypothermia, wet feet, chattering teeth and the hard working Santa Pod crew desperately drying the track before the next downpour…

This year, however, the team pulled off the unthinkable; sunshine! We had near on 20ºC of glorious sunshine, not a cloud in the sky let alone a rain cloud, we came home without feeling like polar explorers, in fact we picked up Sunburn, that’s SUNBURN at The Fast Show! Top marks Santa Pod, we will take that weather for every event please!

RX7

Consequently the show was huge, by far the biggest Fast Show since I’ve been going and I’d be hugely surprised if it wasn’t the biggest ever, both fields were packed with campers on the Saturday night and reports from people entering the show on the Sunday claimed over 2 miles of modified cars queuing to get in. So with the sun on our backs and the place jumping with everyone full of enthusiasm, let’s get in amongst the action!

Firstly some housekeeping, the standard attractions that are a staple part of the Santa Pod diet were all there, we had the Terry Grant Stunt Show, including a rare slip up when he ‘parked’ his Legend race car into his TVR. The Drift What You Brung boys and girls were playing in the same pen as Terry, probably a bit small compared to what they are used to, but with the ongoing development of Santa Pod evident, the guys are running out of space! The ‘Pod’s very own Monster Truck was in action as well as the ‘Red Dragon’ giving you a chance to actually go out as a back seat passenger in a Monster Truck! No trip to Pod would be complete without various runs from Fireforce Jet car, an attraction that just never gets boring, I’d love to know how many times I’ve seen that car run, each time just as good as the last!

For those wanting to test their own car against the legendary Santa Pod quarter mile there was plenty of opportunity, with a full RWYB programme all weekend and no bad weather breaks to contend with. The cars kept coming round keeping the startline and timing staff busy all weekend. Sure, there was some cars run that don’t need to be mentioned in regards to their time but overall the level of RWYB seemed to be pretty quick with lots of cars running down into the 13, 12 and even 11s over the weekend!

Lights

As far as the RWYB winners went, Matt Marsden’s mighty, green Pug 205 took the Class A win (FWD N/A) running through in a 12.6. Class C (RWD/4WD N/A) saw Ian Tune’s Kadett run 11.9 and in the boosted sections Chris Green’s Golf went 11.8 in the B Class (FWD + Power Adder). I had the pleasure of being trackside when Stuart Nice launched his white RX7 on its way to the class D (RWD/4WD + Power Adder) win with a highly impressive 11.1. The non road legal class winner was Ian Cox’s Ford Escort Mk2 RS2000, who narrowly missed out on a 10 second pass.

Away from the track for a moment we swing our attention to the crowded Show and Shine Paddock, now we do have a slight grumble with this, no fault of Santa Pod’s or the Autoglym Show and Shine officials, but if you’re not going to clean your car and make the effort required for a show and shine competition, then go park somewhere else or leave it in the campsite. Too many cars were in that just weren’t presented to the standard that is required. And we’re not going on about taste and style here (otherwise there is a good few we wouldn’t have even let in the main gates!), just if you are Show and Shine-ing then make the effort to Show and Shine it, not use it as a convenient parking space!

205

The trophies for the Show and Shine were given out to some owners who had bothered to make that effort, with the top prize – Best Of Show, making its way to Anita Bestwick with her black and pink Vauxhall Tigra. The top 5 were worthy winners in our eyes, Scott Austin won USC overall in his Skyline and picked up a top 5 place at Fast Show along with another previous winner; Tony Nelson and his Fiesta. Aaron Taylor’s Signum is also no trophy stranger, if my memory serves me correctly he picked up Best Interior at USC, this time he was part of the top 5 and Chris Coghill’s smart Polo was the final recipient. The Judge’s Choice went to a rat look Golf, not our cup of tea, but we can’t fault Dom Clarke’s dedication and actually turning out a smart rat look car… if that’s at all possible!

There we have it, the Show Season is officially underway and what a start! The Fast Show was a huge success, and if one observation sums up just how good it and the weather was, it was that we’re usually one of the last ones to leave, right at the very end of all shows to avoid queues and because usually none of us can think of anything we would rather be doing, but on this occasion, we were far from the last out, the early rush hadn’t happened and everyone was still there… it makes us wonder if people are still there just refusing to leave and enjoying the weather!

For more information and reports on this year’s Fast Show head to www.thefastshow.com, for all other events and information it’s www.santapod.com and keep the 12-13th May free in your diaries to join us at Street Nationals, a new kind of event for Santa Pod!

Words – Ollie // Pictures – Ollie/Chris