Since its origins in illegal street racing in California, drag racing has intoxicated motorsport fans for whom speed is everything. This weekend, around 40,000 people will make their way to the Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire, the home of the sport in Britain.

The heat is on: "The Lucky Fisch", the Pro-fuel dragster, warms its tyres before the racing begins at Santa Pod. Using nitro methane fuel, acceleration can be as fast as 0-100mph in less than a second

Warming up. A set of tyres costs around pounds 500, while the fuel costs pounds 13 per gallon

An owner's child looks on as an RAC scrutineer (hidden) conducts his pre-race examination

Fay Fischer, who runs "The Lucky Fisch" with her husband Paul, prepares for action

Pro-fuel dragster and transporter. The sport was born after the Second World War when Californian kids began illicit street races between traffic lights. In 1964 the British Drag Racing Association was formed