FIA / FIM European Championship Finals
Santa Pod Raceway, 4th-7th September 2014


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Top Methanol Funny Car racer Steph Milam ran a 6.40, 6.11, 6.04 and 6.07, remarkably consistent. She said 'The car is going really well and pulling hard up at the top end'.

Top Methanol Funny Car racer Gareth Ellis suffered bodywork damage in session three when the blower belt came off. He said 'It was on one but the blower belt came off just as I shifted. It was shaking slightly through second and I saw the shift light then it went and I got off the throttle. The burst panel is still there'. Gareth's runs were 6.23, 5.75, 6.07 on the blower belt-breaking run and a superb 5.69/250 in the last session.

Top Fuel Bike racer Steve Woollatt suffered a shredded blower belt which lost teeth on his session three. On his first run no.2 cylinder went out, with valve damage the result. He said 'I lost the cylinder at 3.1s and shut off at 3.4s'. Repairs meant that Steve didn't come out in the second session and ran a 6.59/176 with the damaged belt.

Top Methanol Funny Car racer Johan Lindberg is 2014 champion and congratulations to him. He said 'The car is dialled into the track, although there is a bump at 100m in both lanes'. Johan's last three runs in qualifing were 5.518, 5.528 and 5.516, outstanding consistency and the team now a force to be reckoned with either side of the Pond.

Pro Mod racer Wayne Nicholson was again on the outside of the qualified field with more car problems. 'I had an oil leak on that last run', he said after session three. It doesn't feel like what I expected it to', he said after a troubled eight second pass.

Pro Mod racer Kev Slyfield said 'The new car is working well and running nicely. The main problem we have had is the convertor leaking which meant we missed the second session. It felt good, but we are still running it soft'. Kev's run in Q3 was his best of qualifying, 6.56/214.

Pro Mod racer Norbert Kuno said 'The track was a bit slippy for us on the left hand side and we got some sand in the car. We pedaled a little and try to go straight but it is a little bit rough'. Norbert improved to a 6.33/219 in session three and 6.10/214 in the last session.

Pro Mod racer Roger Moore had an unfortunate incident when Bobby Wallace's parachutes got caught up with the wheelie bar on Roger's Viper and caused Roger to take instant avoiding move on to the rear deck. The wheelie bar was broken off but sponsor Andy Robinson offered help to fix it right away. Roger's best time was in session 2, 6.457/215

Pro Mod racer Bruno Bader was delighted to run his first five in session three, a 5.987/230. He said 'This is great, I have run more than twenty 6.0s and it is fantastic to be in the fives at last'. The run kept Bruno in fourth place.

Pro Mod racer Tero Laukkanen said 'The track is really good and we have been putting a lot of power in down track. On this run we tried feeding more power in at the start and it wheelied, it was a wild launch. Next time we will try to keep the ponies inside and not put the power in too fast'. Tero's times were 6.17/234 in the third session and a best of 6.13 in the first session at a huge 250.99mph.

Pro Stock racer Thomas Lindström said 'We broke our main engine on our first pass. Our spare engine has run a best of 6.59 and to run 6.63/207 is good for the conditions and avoided tyre shake. We need no.2 qualifier because of the points'. At the end of qualifying Thomas was in no.3 position.

Top Fuel racer Micke Kågered said 'The car was moving around the track just like a funny car and we had tyre shake too'. Micke's run in the third session was 4.25/264 which placed him fifth in the seven car field.

Top Fuel racers Chris Andrews and Thomas Nataas share congratulations after Thomas ran 3.949/316 to better Chris's run of 3.979 for no.1 position in qualifying.

Top Fuel racer Thomas Nataas's car was carrying some of our late colleague Ed O'Connell's ashes to a record breaking run. Car owner Carsten Andersen said 'Thank you Ed!'

Fuel Funny Car racer Kevin Kent's team were delighted to have run the class's quickest time at 1000ft.

Fuel Funny Car crew chief Dave Bryant and racers Jason Phelps and Gordon Smith remarked on their run which Gordon ran 4.59/223 to Jason's 4.983/221, great performances in the conditions.

Pro Stock Bike racer Roy Olsen ran his sole pass of qualifying when the engine broke. He said 'I got a replacement from Norway and late shifted on this pass. I have run at Hockenheim and the Nordic series this year and plan to do the FIM series next year' he said after a 7.775/166 pass.

Pro Stock Bike racer Martin Bishop also had trouble with a blown engine after a 7.378/177. He said 'It was a pity as it was on a good run. We have put the spare engine in and I shut off early to a 7.53/167'.

Pro Stock Bike racer Allan Davies is on a borrowed bike from Gipp Racing with support from sponsor Psycle Workz. He said 'I usually ride a Comp Bike and this is lower, a lot lighter and goes much harder off the line. The clutch has been slipping but it has been a reasonable weekend and I ran a 7.779/162'. Allan is first alternate in the PSB field.

Pro Stock Bike racer Mark Smith of sponsor Draper Tools ran a best of 7.648/171. He said 'We had some ignition problems that caused the engine to stop but are happy we are in tomorrow'.

Pro Stock Bike racer Fredrik Fredlund ran 7.14, 7.05 and 7.07 to go no.1 in each session.

Supertwin racer Martijn de Haas ran a new PB of 6.632/209 and gained the no. 1 position in the third session. He said 'The pistons were damaged yesterday and now we repaired the engine the bike is running better than ever'.

Supertwin racer Christian Jäger had a torrid qualifying with a 6.95 best in the first session, having a rerun in the second session after his time was annulled by a lane-crossing Samu Kempainnen and then rolling the beams in the third session. He said 'We changed the throttle cable and the travel is so short that just changing my seating position on the bike caused the throttle to engage. We have a good baseline from the first run though'.

Top Fuel Bike racer Ian King is provisional champion by virtue of his no.1 qualifying position, congratulations to him. He said 'The bike has run well and it's great to have my eighth European Championship'.

Fuel Funny Car racer Kevin Kent has John Smith tuning this event. A planned half track pass in yesterday's night-time session became a launch. He said 'It was my first time running in the dark and I wasn't going to be a hero'. His run this morning of 4.42/280, the best to 1000ft in Europe so far, displayed the potential of the team. John Smith said 'After this event I will be crew chief for Kebin Kinsley at the NHRA Dallas race'.

Nostalgia Fuel Funny Car racer Wendy Baker's team Phil Leamon, Chris Eyre and Dennis were working and hoping for another chance to run depending on the schedule. Dennis said 'On the burnout the car went to the right with too much rpm and then to the left on the run, Wendy tried to correct but it just went further over and and hit the reflector - we found part of the sponge in the diaper. It was the first time Wendy has ever hit a block.

Top Fuel racer Chris Andrews ran a great 3.979/290. Crew Chief Mike Damagala said 'The track conditions are good and we think we can run better. But the tune up is in the sweet spot and we are going to repeat and hope to be consistent. It's similar conditions today, adjusted altitude 1015 but slightly lower barometric pressure'.

Top Fuel racer and sponsor Urs Erbacher was fitting new front tyres as we passed and Noah Stutz gave us some details. 'Urs had driveshaft problems and had such bad shake we had to give the chassis a check'. In nine days time Noah will leave for a three month stay in the US, being based with the Lagana brothers in Atlanta and licensing before the NHRA Las Vegas race which he will contend in a car alongside the Lagana operation with Steve Torrence. He said 'I'm really excited about racing in the US and hope I can go rounds'.

Top Fuel racer Thomas Nataas suffered smoke in the first run. Car owners Carsten Andersen and Per Andersen said 'We had a blower issue and the team member responsible has been identified. We got too aggressive on the second pass and there was tyre shake. Today is a new day and we will see what happens'. Our late colleague Ed's ashes went for his quickest pass this morning, a 3.944/316 stormer.

Fuel Funny Car racer Jason Phelps' team includes Jake Clayton, Andy Raw, Chris Barnes, Karl Harrison and Adam Clayton. Jason said 'The track is excellent, last night we went 180 foot then it shook, I pedaled and that made it more angry, I couldn't do more but better than expected. I hope there will be more late sessions, funny cars are meant to be driven at night'.

Pro Mod racer Mattias Wulcan is in the 6.0s but still leading the championship. He said 'We are hopeful, we want to win the race and will take it one step at a time. We need to do it our way and hope we are good enough. We aren't looking at anyone else'.

Super Gas racer Malcolm Motler, pictured with wife Marcie is celebrating twenty five years racing his Morris Minor pickup. He said 'This year I have made the car street legal again with silencers and lights and put an anti roll bar on for straighter launches. The engine is the same and I am lifting at half track to try to run 9.90. It's great fun'.

Super Comp racer Paul Hudson, running the appropriately named Money Pit, had a transmission explode during his burnout yesterday. He said 'The shield worked as it should have, it made a lot of noise and smoke though. Thanks to Roy Walker for loan of his TH400, Nick and Nigel Hale for various nuts and bolts, Andy Robinson for welding and Graham Ellis for tools. A big thank you to my team Diana, Andy, Jack and especially Sandy for working all day on the car. I'm back. If it doesn't break, you're not trying hard enough!'

Super Pro ET racer Amanda Cox's crew Tony Underhill, Paige, Matt and Billy McDermid (owner of sponsor Topspeed Automotive) were delighted with the car's performance at its first event running turbos, 7.31/197. Tony said 'We are running very little boost, just enough to liven it up and are making small changes. Thanks to Rob and Nick from I.C.E. Automotive, the engine builders who have been instrumental in the car. They have been looking at the data to the stage where we can now make a full pass. Unfortunately the car is way off its dial-in. We have more to look at and check and will then put in more boost. There is zero damage and the team took 50 minutes to turn the car around including a bottom and top end check'. The plan for 2015 is to license for Pro Mod at Easter.

Comp Eliminator racer Kev Perkins had a problem when the front of the propshaft lost a circlip and the universal joint came off, ripping off the rear of the gearbox in the burnout. He said 'Fortunately there is no engine damage and thanks to Andy 'Fred' Hone for the loan of his gearbox and propshaft to get us running again'.

Super Pro ET racer Johan Ooman has suffered nitrous problems and only managed to achieve four runs in qualifying. In the final session he had solved the problem and ran a 7.512 on 7.50 dial in and went 17th in the 32 car field.

Super Pro ET racer Gary Gooding had breakage in testing on Wednesday and was expecting to struggle. He said 'We had issues with crank triggers and the car was gutless and running lean. But we put six new pistons in it and a new crank sensor and have run down to a 8.04/173. We will be in Street Eliminator next year and look forward to it'.

Super Pro ET racer Martyn Jones had to miss qualifying yesterday following a broken rocker which caused damage to a lifter and the cam. He said 'We fixed the problem and it has run fine (6.049/196). The chutes didn't deploy on the run however it was quite manageable to stop. We have gone for two chutes this year to save the brakes but obviously that didn't work this time'.

Super Pro ET racer Tom van de Wijden was grateful to Martin Hill for loan of a PSI blower restraint. He said 'We are happy and have run a best of 6.07. All we need now to go TMFC racing in FIA is carbon fibre rotors in the blower and the electronic chute release mechanism, and additional sponsorship'.

Super Pro ET racer Nick Good was happy with his times this weekend. He said 'We ran three PBs, 6.74, 6.73 and 6.70 but broke out on each of those runs. So we decided to play safe and run a 6.777 on 6.76 to go 23rd. It is a very tight field'.

Top Methanol Dragster racer Dave Wilson showed diappointment with the car not being able to run quicker than 5.8s. He said 'It's been off the pace all week and wish it could have worked better for Peter Walters' licensing runs. We haven't discovered what is causing it'. More positively, former crew member Andy Bissett who has worked for John Force Racing in the NHRA has been co-opted from a holiday visit. Dave said 'It is useful to have an extra person to help at the track and we are trying not to overwork him'.

Top Methanol Dragster racer Jonny Lagg ran his best pass of the event in the first session, a 5.436/262. He said 'We have a new combination using a Bullet Racing cam which worked well in the first session, however we have had shake since then'.

Top Methanol Dragster racer Chris Polidano ran 5.48, 5.43, 5.38 and a superb 5.28 in the final session. He said 'We have improved every session and not had too much shake'.

Top Methanol Dragster racer Timo Habermann went up in smoke in session 3. He said 'We are using the same setup that we ran 5.24 in May and have had our PSI blower repaired from Hockenheim. But on that run we had too much power. We would love to do some races in the US as the car is all NHRA legal but we are looking for a sponsor to do that'. In the final session Timo improved to a 5.2568 backed up by 5.2999 for a new European ET record.

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