FIA / FIM European Finals
Santa Pod Raceway, 3rd-6th September 2015


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Latest update 18:45

Competition Eliminator racer Robin Orthodoxou went 7.27/188 on a 7.56 class index to go no.2.

Competition Eliminator racer Kev Perkins ran a 7.58/179 against the Super Modified index of 8.00 to go no.1.

Super Gas racer Tim Moore had some car problems and also couldn't get under the index. His run closest to the index was a 9.68, leaving him qualified ninth.

Super Gas racer Jan Hardekopf from Germany has appeared annually at NitrOlympX for many years but this is his first time in the UK in a long while. He ran a 10.01 to qualify seventh.

Super Pro ET racer Steve Kellett ran his best pass so far with an 8.12 on 8.11 dial-in. Crew chief Trevor Hirst said 'Steve shut off at 1000ft and the incrementals to that point look consistent with a 7.5 run. We've had no problems apart from a stuck injector. Next year we will stay in Super Pro and step up the performance'.

Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Steve Neimentas was delighted to run his first 200mph terminal speed. He said 'The day started down as we didn't make Q1 but we went up from there, running a best of 7.433 in Q3 compared with a PB of 7.301 and then the 202mph which had a 7.5s ET as it hit the rev limiter and wasn't a clean pass. We've been trying for the 200mph for a while, the last 2-3mph are so hard to get, but the tyres are fine at that speed'.

Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Martin Smith is at his first event since the Summer Nationals following gearbox and engine problems. 'In Q1 with the transbrake on the engine wouldn't rev to more than 2800rpm and we found a sprag in the convertor had broken. We changed it twice and the crank damper then broke, the keyway became scored and the nose of the crank became chewed up. We had to take the engine out, mend the crank and do a full refresh. So I am delighted with our 7.60, particularly as the boost was only 1.7-1.8 bar compared with 2.2 bar on our PB of 7.58/190. Our goal is 7.3. The team is over the moon as Gary Gooding ran his first seven and brother Matt ran a new PB of 8.16.

Pro ET and Super Gas racer Alex Mahl from Austria is out with a snapped crank. He said 'Last year the engine had a snapped rod and now this. I'm not sure Santa Pod likes me or the car!' Alex had an all new engine apart from the block and heads and the crank shouldn't have snapped. On the run the engine just died and I couldn't restart it. We looked at the distributor which was ok and then discovered the gear of the cam was not turning.

Pro ET racer Bob Molden set up as part of the assessment of SCR trainee race director Jane Read a fictitious incident where he requested a rerun after an opponent went into full stage before Bob had lit the pre-stage light. 'It was set up with Tony Smith and Glenn Stockton' he said. 'Jane did brilliantly, went about all the right steps to resolve it and had her race director's license signed off after the event'.

Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racer Billy Everitt was displaying this motivational message in the rear of his racecar trailer.

Pro ET and Super Gas racer Jon Turner ran a 10.0 in his first qualifying pass but then discovered that a rocker had snapped in half. He said 'We are looking to see if there is any other damage. Dave Milam has an endoscope which can look inside the engine and we will take the head off. I hope someone has a spare rocker for a Chrysler engine'.

Super Pro ET racer Willy Reerink from Utrecht is at SPR for the first time with a neat and very rare Ford Taunus Coupe from 1965. He said 'There are only 150 of these still in existence. I bought it in 2012 from Sweden and have raced it in Holland and Germany and ran a best of 9.3 so far. After being built as an eighth mile race car, it had a Volvo turbo engine and then was rebuilt for a 377cu in SBC with turbo but never completed. I did work on the brakes, shifter and rear axle to complete it. It is a 1050kg car with 1000hp so should be able to run 8s'. Willy is crewed by brother Bert and Tom de Jong.

Super Pro ET racer Thomas Haas has had a short season this year, but still went no.1 in the first session. He said 'My first race was the Mopar Euronats when there was a lot of rain, and my second was Hockenheim. Going no.1 for the time being is great, the car was built in the US in 1991 and I haven't changed much on the chassis. I did build the whole drivetrain myself so I know it well'.

Super Pro ET racer and sponsor Scott Hauser missed the recent Open Sport Nationals due to waiting on engine parts. He said 'The engine broke a rod at Springspeed in May on the first burnout. We then used a spare 632cu in engine for two meetings. In the meantime we did a deal on a new block but found on delivery it needed custom pistons. They didn't arrive in time so we had to get a Dart Big M 598cu in short block which arrived last Wednesday and build it up over the bank holiday weekend. We then got it dyno tested at EDA on Tuesday, arrived back home at 5pm, installed it in the car and get it into the trailer by 8pm and then test yesterday with a 7.67 and 7.68 off the trailer'. Scott is building an electric dragster for a Latvian team who entered and won Pikes Peak hill climb with a similarly powered machine and have their eyes on getting it to 200mph before legend Don Garlits does.

Super Pro ET racer Mark Flavell suffered a very bouncy ride on his first run. He said 'I was too cautious in the burnout and had some tyre shake on the launch too, as I didn't leave hard enough. I tried to keep it on part throttle but it was hard, fortunately the engine was ok'. A harder launch in session three resulted in a 8.17/161, good only for no.29 in a 32 car field at that stage.

Super Pro ET racer Billy Gane is running close to his 8.22 PB on most runs, but he still hasn't switched the nitrous bottle on. He said 'Once I get to the right side of my dial-in we will use the nitrous at the end of the day'. He achieved that by running a +0073 on a 8.22 dial. 'I will start with just a single stage with 175hp although the engine has three stages which can give 600hp'.

Super Pro ET racer Jayne Kay, who has been conducting licensing passes in Gordon Smith's Shockwave Funny Car recently, is back in her BBC altered for this event. An initial try was hampered by too high idle speed preventing reverse being selected, then on the restart the car made a sharp move to the right at the 60ft mark which she corrected and went 8.5s. Her team confirmed 'She finds driving a Fuel Funny Car easier'.

Super Pro ET racer Laura Turburville acquired her new 'Bad Blood' rear engined dragster from Johan Ooman at the Main Event and after a repaint by Nefarious she took it to VW Action to test. After two tyre shake filled runs it was clear the setup was wrong and we decided to replace the MSD and put lower revs on the launch compared to those used when Willem Van Baalen was driving. Laura said 'That worked well and we had a 8.2 and then a 7.9. It will be good to race ub a car that can run consistently and thanks to my sponsors Kleenfreaks, Bloodlines and Central College Nottingham'.

Super Pro ET racer Gordon Northway's '73 Chevy Stepside truck, called 'The Mad Hatter' made its debut for him in the Summer Nationals, running an off the trailer 8.56. He said 'I bought it from Jan Scheppers in the Netherlands and then took the Lenco out and replaced it with a Powerglide. The engine is a 632cu in BBC with twin Dominator carbs but no nitrous for the moment. Jan ran a best of 7.1, but when it was running in the US as a Pro Modified its best ET was 6.67'. As a result of having to go through standing water in the pits, Gordon suffered water getting under his tyres on his launch in the first session.

Super Pro ET racer Deborah Laugher was working the bugs out in her pretty 'Vette. Before a wild ride which ended with the car on its roof but without any injury, she said 'We are chasing the odd oil leak and also down the track it doesn't want to run properly. We took the blower off yesterday to see if that was the problem but it is still misfiring down the track. It is launching a treat though'. The unusual Flying Toilet on GMC blower was developed in conjunction with US firm Killeroms, and Deborah admitted 'We had one to hand, Killeroms said it would work, so we thought we would use it.' The immaculate paint is by Richard Walters, and there is a matching buggy with lace-effect roof.

Pro ET racer Tony Harter is racing a Mustang formerly run in 2008 by Vic Amato. The 598cu in engined show-worthy car went 9.89/140 to go no.5 in the third session.

Pro ET racer James Forster was no.14 by the fourth qualifying session of five scheduled for today. He said 'I'm running a much smaller engine than most in the class at 247cu in and without nitrous. I was broken for one round and missed another as I was busy at work but apart from those have been able to race at all rounds and hope to do so next year'. James organises lifestyle events which are such an important part of Santa Pod's programme and says some special things are planned for next year, the track's 50th anniversary.

Pro ET racer Udo Becker from Germany has suffered mechanical breakage earlier this season. He said 'I had a broken gearbox at Dragstalgia and the back axle broke at Hockenheim. I have had to put in my spare engine and gearbox and so a low ten second pass is our objective, although I have run 9.9. Over the winter I will build a race engine for next season, as engine building is my main business'.

Pro ET racer Geoff Cowley ran his multi-championship winning Camaro in Sportsman ET at last weekend's Open Sport Nationals. He said 'It was a matter of logistics - my team Jordan, Polly and Candy were all working last weekend and I need more people to run the Pro ET Nova which has a best time of 9.01'. Even though it is a few years since he ran the Camaro, Geoff managed to run within seventeen thousandths of his dial in at 14.99. The Nova is six seconds quicker, and he is qualified eighteenth here. His winter plans are to get the transbrake working although he admits 'I have got used to driving with both feet'.

Pro ET racers Carla Pittau and Rick McCann (now based in Sweden, near Tierp) arrived at SPR at 1am after an odessey accross Europe. Carla said 'Last weekend we were competing at Alastaro and were planning to come direct to SPR. But Rick's Super Stock engine broke - the legal iron heads have become porous and we had to patch them up, and we discovered water in the engine, which gives rise to a risk of it hydraulicing. Thanks to our neighbours Timo and Anne Kokkonen, we were able to get our ferries rebooked and go back home to change the engine so that both cars could run at SPR. They are fantastic neighbours, when we start a race car up they come round to give us the thumbs up'.

Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Jonny Smith, who is a presenter on Fifth Gear and motoring journalist, is running a very rare electrically powered Enfield 8000. A fan of the sport for fifteen years, he wanted to run a car with an alternative power. He said 'I was inspired by the White Zombie Datsun in the US. Once I decided on one it took me 18 months to find a Enfield 8000 - there were only 120 made and 30 of those remain. It was flood damaged but went to Webster Race Engineering and Jon said after looking carefully at it that it could work'. The power units were supplied by Sam and Ollie Young. The batteries took a year to source as they are military grade ones made in South Korea and the two motors are highly modified forklift ones. with a six inch prop shaft leading to a Ford 9" axle, the car has a 60:40 weight distribution and has gone a best of 11.67 with the help of crewman Nick. Jonny said 'The throttle response is unlike any of the supercars I have driven and that is with higher 2.49 gearing'.

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