Features Beat the Heat: Are you faster than the cops?

Features

Alan Boiston

Founder & Website Editor

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Last Thursday VVV Gamer were invited to The Fuzz & The Furious, an event set at Santa Pod Drag Strip where members of the public were given the opportunity to race against the US Police Force in the form of Lt Tom Brown, while also supporting the launch of Fast & Furious on DVD and Blu Ray.

Known in the US as Beat the Heat www.beattheheatinc.org the project was started back in 1984 with a goal to combating illegal street racing, bringing it off the streets and into a real racing environment giving entrants a chance to race the police as well as each other in a safe controlled environment. This having the beneficial effect of protecting both the public and the drivers themselves with correct racing safety procedures. While also introducing entrants into the spectacle of racing in front of large crowds, gaining a respect and following that just doesn't exist outside of a racetrack environment. Expanding the range of racers, educating on safe driving while working with the community in better developing relationships with the Police force. Everyone thinks they're hot behind the wheel so if you think you can beat the cops,and if you think you've got what it takes, take it to the track.

This UK event is currently a one off, already successful in the US and Australia Lt Tom Brown President of the Beat the Heat is current looking for support in the UK. We took the time to meet Tom in a revealing interview gaining some great insight into his career in the police, his love of automotive sport while giving a human face, finding his passion both for racing and ultimately saving lives.

Following our chat it was time to hit the track and I took the opportunity to join Tom in his tuned Subaru WRX for my first experience of professional drag racing action. A grey day but every event is full of colour where Tom is concerned and as a talker myself he's certainly got a lot to say, he's a Texan through and through with a presence and personality to go with it.

Onto the racing and it was clearly taking some time for him to get used to the car, having never driven a Subaru or right hand drive. He also revealed his own car is a 1983 Mustang with 602bhp that makes 131mph in 10.45 seconds, this powering him to victory as world champion in both 1999 and 2006.

So a seasoned veteran then, climbing in I felt way too tall, then turning to Tom "lets bust some criminals" Rolling onto the start line and that anticipation builds, the moment I love of motor racing it that first burst of acceleration, it goes through your whole body and its that rush that becomes the racing addiction. Boom away from the lights and as ever its a great feeling and can't help but give you that smile, reaching the end of the straight and the car is pretty much maxed out, it's over before you know it. So I turn to Tom "and that's how you bust the criminals" Tom responds " "pull over, put your hands on the hood", there's a certain American twang to he accent that just sounds so right and always brings a smile.

A range of highly tuned vehicles were on display, from Skylines to MG's, Mini's to Triumph's, with the latter surprisingly being very visually similar to an MR2 MK1. Big engines, big tryes and bags of power, these are fierce machines and will wow anyone in the crowd. Reason yet again for street racers who think they're quick to come along and loose gracefully to the real racing masters.

A great day had by all, the Heat brought a colour and flare to the event and its certainly something we would love to see again, alas no UK police were brave enough to attend this event but maybe in the future? We'll have a video interview with Lt Tom Brown in the coming weeks and will continue to report on the progress of this scheme, in the meantime you can have a browse below and find more shots in our gallery.

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