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Bug Jam

Drag Racing

Find out more about the classes at Bug Jam and drag racing in general below.

Racer Entry List: View the Bug Jam Drag Racing entry list at

Race Classes Running at Bug Jam

VW Sportsman  

VW Sportsman: Entry-level VW Drag Racing with dial-your-own-ET. Over 12.99 second.


VW Pro  

VW Pro: VW Drag Racing with dial-your-own-ET. Under 12.99 seconds.


Funny Car  

Euro Funny Car Series: Nitromethane-fuelled 8,000-horsepower funny cars, where the bodies sit on tube framed chassis and hinge at the back to allow access to the engine and drivers seat. 300mph in five seconds.

Funny Car

Street Eliminator  

Street Eliminator: The world's fastest street legal cars. Nitrous, superchargers, V8s and treaded tyres!

Street Eliminator

Outlaw Anglia   Outlaw Anglia: Body must be based on a "Sit-up-&-beg" style Ford. Heads up.

Sportsman ET  

Sportsman ET: Includes a mixture of vehicles running 12 seconds or slower. This is the entry level class for car Drag Racing and attracts a huge variety of race cars.



Explaining ET racing

“Drag racing is all about getting to the finish line first right?” Well yes and no. The simplest races to understand are “heads up” races, where provided no fouls are incurred (e.g. crossing the middle line or getting a red light for leaving too early) the first car across the line wins. However, many sportsman drag racing classes, including all VWDRC classes use the “bracket-racing” system to ensure that the guy with the biggest wallet isn’t always the winner. ET & bracket racing is designed to level the playing field, and put an emphasis on driver skill, consistency and reaction times, and take away the advantage gained by spending a fortune. Drivers have to select the ET (elapsed time) they EXPECT to run, and they have to get as close to it as possible.

Qualifying: Cars leave the startline together and as they go up the strip you will see their “dial-in” time displayed on the boards at the finish line. If they go quicker than this time, they “break-out” and the run is unlikely to earn them a good qualification spot. Any time slower than this is a valid run e.g. if a car dials in 12.00 seconds, and they run 11.90, they have broken out, and this is not a good run. If they run a 12.10, this is +0.10 seconds, and is an OK run. The driver with the smallest
difference between their dial-in and actual qualifying run gets the top qualifying position. They will go up against the worst qualifier in the first round of eliminations, making qualifying very important for easy progression to the finals.

Eliminations: Cars leave the line in a game of “catch-up”, where the car dialling in the slowest time leaves first, and the faster car will leave the line after. Theoretically, if both drivers are doing a good job, they should cross the line at almost the same time, regardless of who got the green light first. In reality, someone will have better reaction times, or driven in a more consistent manner to be closer to their dial-in at the finish, and this person will be declared the winner. If both drivers “break
out”, the person who did it by the smallest amount will go through to the next round.

Finally: Although bracket and ET racing is designed to level the playing field, having a quicker car can be of use. For example, a 10% error on a 10 second dial-in is 0.1 seconds. On a 20 second dial-in, it is 0.2 seconds… an age in close competition! A quick car can also be used to make up on lost ground, and some racers like to hold a bit in reserve in case they make any mistakes.


An Introduction to the VWDRC by the VWDRC

So how does the Volkswagen Drag Racing Club (VWDRC) tie in with the British VW Scene? Well the VWDRC have been holding a championship since 1988. Yes, they do have huge horsepower race cars but it has always been the budget cars that have made up their numbers. The 90's were the biggest era for the VWDRC with 75 cars fielded in the old street and modified classes at Bug Jam and the Beetle Bash events.

During the VWDRC's history there has been a number of racing classes and rules that had to be adhered to. From 2009 the club has swept the history aside and adopted two class racing format, both classes are based on E.T.'s (Elapsed Times - or Dial In times). All you need is either a VW powered vehicle or a VW with any other engine. If your vehicle can run quicker than 12.99 seconds down the quarter mile you enter VW Pro. Slower than that and you run VW Sportsman. Couldn't be simpler!

Although the biggest fields are always at VW shows, the rest of the championship rounds are held at national drag racing events, so racers get to pit and race in the same program with 4 second Top Fuel dragsters and the other pro bike and car classes..... Great fun!

So what can I race in the VWDRC?

Any Volkswagen so a Bug, Bus (Bay, Split and the T25 be it camper or van they are all eligible to race with us!), Type 3 (Notchback, Squareback and Fastback) or a more modern VW, we welcome the Golf, Corrado and even Audi/Seat/Skoda, if it's part of the VAG group we want you to race!.  You can also enter in a different vehicle (e.g. Beach Buggy) providing it is powered by a VW engine. The club would also consider any vehicles on a case by case basis.

So just how do you get to race?

Your regular street car that is taxed and MOT'd is almost ready for racing anyway. You need to make sure your seat is secure and the battery/leads and fuel lines need to be checked more thoroughly than for an MOT (but that's good practice anyway really!). You need a fire extinguisher for your pits and to wear a race suit and helmet. The last thing you need is an MSA National B License. Most of the rules are based on safety and currently, any car running really quick times or has an open body or cut roof will need an MSA spec cage. So if you want to know the finer details, all the information you could ever possibly need is contained in the VWDRC starter pack. If you are serious about building a full-on race car, please seek advice from the committee members and racers (who are happy to help) so your car can be built to the correct specification and pass scrutineering.

So, what does it cost?

To get you and your car up to MSA racing spec, it should cost less than a set of twin carbs! One important misconception needs laying to rest. It is NOT expensive to participate, all that's needed is a car (obviously), a cut-off switch if your battery is not in its factory position a two layer race-suit, a helmet, a fire extinguisher an MSA License so for less than £400 you're ready to go!

Oh and you'll need to enter the race meeting, for which you get four entry tickets to the event, these can be distributed to your crew (i.e. helpful friends) to share the cost of the race entry. On top of which you get to be involved with all that it is to be a 'racer' in the pits! To find out more about drag racing check out, your spring board to hundreds of drag racing websites and information from around Europe but especially here in the UK.

To find out more about the VWRDC or to join them check out the VWDRC website,

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