LIFE’S a drag in Keith Lee’s new book.

The mechanical design engineer and photographer from Martinstown relives experiences from 20 years involved in the world of drag bike racing during the sport’s heyday. Keith, 58, was introduced to the adrenaline-fuelled sport 36 years ago when his father took him to an event at Blackbushe in Surrey.

He was instantly hooked and followed drag racing events around the country as well as spending ten years commentating at Santa Pod raceway in Bedfordshire.

Keith said: “It’s just one of those things – if you haven’t been along to experience it’s difficult to explain.

“It’s the noise, the power of it, the smell, it all combines to be quite spectacular and it got me hooked on it.

“As a mechanical design engineer I like the build side of it.

“The races are very short but a lot of work goes into making the machines and tuning them, and there were so many different ones.”

Keith’s book, Drag Bike Racing in Britain – From the mid 60s to the mid 80s, recalls some of the people, machines and major events during the period and features a number of his own pictures.

He said: “It’s not a history book, it’s more of an enjoyable read.

“I like things to be factually correct but I very much looked at making it something that could be read by people who were either into racing or not.”

Keith penned numerous magazine articles covering drag racing events, with articles appearing in publications in Europe and America as well as in this country, but this is his first book.

His involvement in drag racing also led Keith to meet his wife Anne, who was involved with drag racing teams in Bridport. The couple met when Keith came down to write about the team.

The couple settled in Bedford before moving down to Dorset around six years ago.

Anne, 54, said: “Drag racing has always been a big part of our lives.”

Keith wanted to find a publisher that would understand his enthusiasm for the world of motor sport and stumbled across Poundbury-based Veloce Publishing. He said: “I had always had in mind that a some point I would write a book and certainly the motorcycle side of drag racing was crying out to have a book covering it.”

For more information on Keith’s book visit www.veloce.