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Speed freaks of Britain unite

Ever since the car was invented, people have sought to see who is the fastest. From unsanctioned tracks such as public roads through to the use of dry lake beds in California, then disused military runways after the wars, and eventually custom built tracks; drag racing has gradually evolved into the sport it is today. With today's amateurs taking their own customized or stock factory built cars onto the track at 'race what you bring' days, through to the spectacle of professionally driven all-out custom made vehicles, drag racing has ultimately transformed itself into one of the world's most popular motorsports.

It is not difficult to see why. In today's extreme sports world there can be few things more thrilling than the exhibition of all out power that is drag racing. The roar of the engine, the smell of the fumes, the extreme noise terror as the dragster fully opens up to begin its quarter mile blast, and that"s just the excitement that can be gained by the spectators as they watch someone else strapped to a jet or rocket engine pass by at speeds well in excess of 200mph.

The current crop of top fuel dragsters can attain terminal speeds of over 330 mph at the end of their quarter mile run, covering the distance in a blistering 4.5 seconds, making them faster than even catapult assisted jet fighters. The fastest of these pure adrenalin machines though are the hydrogen peroxide powered rocket vehicles. One of these extreme bad boys piloted by former stuntwoman, Kitty O'Neil, was recorded in 1977 covering the quarter mile in a mind blowing 3.235 seconds with a terminal speed in excess of 412 mph.

With the first organized drag race recognized as being held in 1949 at the Goleta Air Base north of Santa Barbara, California, and the main growth of the sport seeming to come from the States, it is often seen by many as principally an American sport. However, this thrilling spectacle has now spread around the world, with 325 drag strips currently in operation, including the

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