The aim is simple: to go as fast as possible from a standing start over a quarter of a mile.The action usually lasts less than 10 seconds.
A weird and wonderful variety of vehicles - some are even powered by jet engines - tackle the straight-line course and provide an extraordinary spectacle of speed and power.
The season at the Santa Pod track in Bedfordshire lasts from spring until autumn. This year's events finished with a grand finale last weekend, the Flame and Thunder Show.
After the experts had their go on Saturday, it was the turn of the amateurs to try their luck the following day. Members of the public were invited to bring their own vehicles to the track and race against all classes of dragsters.
Over the next few months the drag racers will have to content themselves with fine-tuning their vehicles in preparation for competition next year. The new season will begin in March with several public testing days leading up to the first major meeting of the year at Easter.
n Copies of these photographs - and any others by the Independent's sports photographers David Ashdown, Peter Jay and Robert Hallam - can be ordered by telephoning 0171-293-2534.Reuse content