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Santa Pod spectating advice

Santa Pod spectating advice

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CrutyRammers

Original Poster:

8,602 posts

122 months

Wednesday 7th June
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Hey all,
planning to go to the Euro finals at SP in september. Never been before so looking for some advice. I'm assuming that grandstand tickets are worth getting ? And is there anything else to look out for / avoid / take ?

Adz The Rat

8,851 posts

133 months

Thursday 8th June
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Suncream. Pod Burn is a real thing!

RWJ

228 posts

105 months

Thursday 8th June
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Excellent that you are coming along for the European Finals.

There is spectator banking that runs the length of the track on the right side. You can wander the length of it and view the action from wherever you like. The grandstand is located on the left (pits) side and runs part of the track length. Seats are inexpensive and you can book online in advance or at the track on the day. There is plenty of availability at the moment (three months away) but demand can be high for whatever is still available on the day. Different people have different viewing preferences -- I like to be close to the start line action; others prefer elsewhere. But you are not obliged to remain in your numbered grandstand seat all the time -- you can wander at will, and might find you like the finish line view from the spectator bank. Check it out from every angle.

Apart from the grandstand, everything else is included in the price of your entry ticket, including open access to the pits. Plenty to see there with some 250 car and bike teams at work. Also the Live Action Arena.

We hope you might want to bring suntan lotion -- fingers always crossed. Definitely bring ear protection. If you don't have any, plenty available in Santa Pod's shops and on the trade stands. Gas masks optional (I'm joking of course... sort of. It's a very sensory spectator experience.).

All the official event details here: http://www.santapod.co.uk/e_europe_finals.php. For daily news, have a look at www.eurodragster.com .

Edited by RWJ on Thursday 8th June 12:57

SpamCan

4,970 posts

142 months

Thursday 8th June
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Just to re-inforce what RJW said, take clothing for most weathers and an umbrella if it is a weekend trip, if you are day tripping take what the weather forecast says you might need. For example the FIA Main event this year went from blazing hot sunshine to a torrential downpour over the course of the weekend. Unless you are disabled or have a disabled passenger you will likely be parked in one of the fields that can be seen on the entry road just past the gates way in so wear footwear that you don't mind getting wet/muddy should it rain.

I've never had a grandstand ticket so I can't comment on that as when I have been spectating rather than racing or crewing I have always been on the bank.

Enjoy, its usually one hell of a spectacle.

coopedup

3,451 posts

63 months

Thursday 8th June
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I normally do at least one day in the grandstands over the weekend, at least if you have a good seat you can get some pretty good pictures. As others have said, it appears to have it's own microclimate there and you never know what you might get, be prepared for all weathers biggrin
If you are camping I would try and get there early and pick your spot well or the only ones left might be by the camp disco, or worse.................I parked in a nice quiet spot near the portaloos and it was remarkably peaceful hehe
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CrutyRammers

Original Poster:

8,602 posts

122 months

Friday 9th June
quotequote all
Thanks all. I don't really follow drag racing closely but it's been on my list to go and see for years, just because I'm a power we. smile
Used to spectating at circuits so the comments about dressing for all weathers totally understood. I think I'll get grandstand tickets and we'll have all options then.

RWJ

228 posts

105 months

Saturday 10th June
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Can't disagree with any of that. Hope you enjoy the show.

Pothole

24,145 posts

206 months

Saturday 10th June
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Ear plugs/defenders.

thatdude

1,809 posts

51 months

Tuesday 13th June
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When I visited for the Main Event a couple of weeks back, I intended to buy grandstand seats, however standing on the banking was more than good enough. It does get quite packed down nearer the start line (if you want to be near there, get early!) but we still found a gap towards the end of the day.

Get some ear defenders (I bought some from screwfix for £6, and they were more than adequate). Remember that the unit of noise (decibels) is logarithmic, which in simple terms means that going from 100 db to 140 db is several factors of ten (100 > 1000 > 10,000!!). It's not like 100 mph to 140 mph! The top methanol and top fuel cars are LOUD to the point of being able to cause actual damage to your hearing.

The shops at santa pod sell all sorts - my wife and I bought some little fold-up, three-legged stools there for £4 each which seemed quite reasonable.

Go and walk around the paddock and take in all the atmosphere - people prepping their vehicles, people prepping themselves.

And if you go on Friday and stay late into the evening, I believe they are planning on running a special qualifying session for the top fuel cars. Flames ahoy!

[edit] - absolutly no glass to be taken on site (except glasses for seeing things with). We saw the security at the gate checking peoples cars and confiscating glass bottled win, beer, spirits etc.

NitroWars

633 posts

135 months

Tuesday 13th June
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Santa Pod security staff love to drink alcohol purchased by other people in glass receptacles... The evenings between events pass so much quicker!

SpamCan

4,970 posts

142 months

Tuesday 13th June
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Oh and one tip if you are wandering around the pits (please do come and have a look around) be mindful that teams are moving cars and bikes around some of them require quite a bit of room so watch out when walking down the pits smile

CrutyRammers

Original Poster:

8,602 posts

122 months

Wednesday 14th June
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Oh, visiting the pits is most definitely on the list, probably more than the racing tbh. Basically, for as long as the missus can stand it smile

Bowler

887 posts

135 months

Wednesday 14th June
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Before you make any commitments that cannot be reversed, can I give you my 15+ years of unbiased opinion about spectating at the Pod.

The Bank and the Grandstand both have their pros and cons. Others will argue the other way, but this is what I would say to a newbie:

The Grandstand is great for a first timer. Your seat is relatively cheap, has a great view of the start line and is reserved for you all day, so you can come and go and you see fit. The paddock and other amenities are a just short walk away, so you will have the opportunity to see the teams working on the cars before you have a leisurely walk back to your seat, without an arguments with tts sat in your seat.

IMHO, the real downside with the grandstand seats are that when you watch the run, as they pass half-track and depending on what row you’re (un)lucky enough to have selected, your view is:

i) interrupted by a string of lamp-posts
ii) a totally obscured view of the finish line and timing boards, from a bunch of flags
and/or
iii) compromised by people choosing to stand up, in the seats they’ve paid for….

So basically, depending on your seat, it’s a lottery about the full view

Alternatively, you can choose to plonk yourself down on the spectator bank, which is completely free, as long as you have a chair/blanket to sit on.

If you get there early enough, you can virtually sit where you want and you are on the side of the strip with the majority of the food outlets, so access to (reasonably priced) food is relatively easy. There’s also virtually an unobscured view of the whole strip and the timing boards

The downsides of the spectator bank are:
• People do stand up
• By vacating your pitch, you run the risk of losing it (irrespective of leaving your chairs there)
• On good weather days it can get really packed
• You will need to be comfortable with the occasional whiff of, shall we say, “herbal” cigarettes, ahem, cough, cough

Me? Gimme the Bank every time. Plan your day and the bank is the best place to be. End of...

Just my 2 cents of course


Edited by Bowler on Wednesday 14th June 23:48


Edited by Bowler on Thursday 15th June 13:44

foxbody-87

1,515 posts

90 months

Thursday 6th July
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Don't stand at the gate looking towards the start line if a jet funny car is doing it's startup show, especially when eating an ice cream. The ice cream (or what hasn't ended up on your face) will be covered in lots of tiny bits of tyre rubber - I speak from experience hehe

onemorelap

673 posts

155 months

Thursday 27th July
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I am looking to go to the Mopar event on Sunday as my 1st introduction to drag racing,
The previous replies on this thread cover most of the Q's I had but what size of crowd does the Mopar event typically get? Is it comparable to the Euro event or on a smaller scale??

Turn7

13,717 posts

145 months

Thursday 27th July
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Much much smaller than an FIA meet,but still a very good meet to attend.
MSA pro mods and loads of yank muscle...

What's not to like ?

Chewbacca North

25 posts

29 months

Thursday 10th August
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Understand the ear defender points, especially for kids, but just once, you have to hear the top fuel motors with no foam in the way. Unless you have stood next to a Shuttle launch, it is the loudest thing you will ever experience.

CH3NO2

3 posts

5 months

Saturday 2nd September
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Hi,

Didn't see the original post until today. A few observations on Santa Pod spectating based on my own experience:

1. The FIA Eurofinals meet is one the biggest, if not THE biggest on the calendar. There will be a LOT of people there and the car park will be jammed. This is where you need to be aware of an issue - SP's car park management is not up to the job. We went last year and the stewards had some car park rows with barely enough room to get a car out and others with a football field in front. Mindful of the possible problems later on getting out, we left fairly early around 4pm, because the racing wasn't that great ( lots of bye runs due to breakages). It still took us an hour and a half to get out, because the stewards wouldn't let traffic out from our quadrant of the car park even when there was a break in the traffic coming down the main exit road. It was only when we all got on our horns and they realised that things might be turning ugly that they let us out.
So if you are going, don't make any commitments for the evening because you'll probably still be trying to get out at 9pm. See Trip Advisor for other comments on this issue.

2. Be aware that if it rains, racing stops until the track dries out. A couple of decent substantial showers or persistent drizzle can pretty well put the mockers on the day's racing.

3. No need to pay extra for the grandstand. If you get there early enough a space on the bank at about the half to three quarter mark will enable you to see pretty well the whole of each race as well as appreciate the speeds involved.

If the sun shines and the racing is keen it will be awesome, but just be prepared for some of the negatives.

I've been coming to SP on and off since the late 60's but after last year's Eurofinals I won't be attending any big meets again because the SP management appears to have learned little about customer care and car park management in the last 48 years.



Pothole

24,145 posts

206 months

Saturday 2nd September
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Chewbacca North said:
Understand the ear defender points, especially for kids, but just once, you have to hear the top fuel motors with no foam in the way. Unless you have stood next to a Shuttle launch, it is the loudest thing you will ever experience.
I find that description often applies to my tinnitus late at night when it's quiet outside.

Mark13

395 posts

102 months

Saturday 2nd September
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I would not pay too much attention to the car park comments. I have never experienced these problems and have been to every big meeting for the last 12 years.

My policy is to arrive early and use the time to get around the cars before the action starts and it becomes too busy. Likewise I see no point rushing off early.

I hope you enjoy the day.