FIA / FIM European Finals
Santa Pod Raceway, 8th-11th September 2016


Click on a picture for a large size image. The latest updates are at the top of the page. Click on your Browser's Refresh key to be sure of seeing the latest news.

Click here to go back to the event index

Latest update 17:50

Fuel Altered racer Nick Davies ran a great 6.5704/218.98 to defeat Randy Bradford in a close race. He said 'We've been working on the fuel system to stop cylinders going out at the hit'. Nick and Rob Loaring announced their intention to take Havoc to the US in 2017 and run the March Meet and California Hot Rod Reunion at Famoso and a couple of other races including the Bowling Green Kentucky NHRA Hot Rod Reunion.

Fuel Altered racer Randy Bradford ran a 6.6013/224.75 alongside Nick Davies. We will be seeing the Fuel Altereds with the Apache Nostalgia FC at around 7:15pm for the night-time session and then twice on each of Saturday and Sunday, conditions permitting.

Pro Stock Bike racer Martin Bishop was no.1 in the first session with a 7.4843/177.11. Eight bikes made the session although a couple shut off early.

Pro Stock Bike racer Alex Hope tested successfully to a couple of 7.2s on Wednesday but shut off early in session one to 7.9229/136.46. Jackie Bryce said on the track commentary that it would benefit the points chase if either of them took out Gert-Jan Laseur early. Alex is currently second in the championship with 113 points, 43 behind leader Gert-Jan Laseur and only one point ahead of Fredrik Fredlund.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Liam Jones reset his personal best time and speed in session one to 3.9890/306.91, his first three and first 300mph. 'It felt really fast and knew it was going to be a quick one. Happy isn't the word, I'm ecstatic. And there is no damage, so it is a great baseline'.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Stig Neergaard has been joined as a guest by his parts supplier and US racer Richard Hartman who is at SPR for the first time, arriving this morning. Stig said 'It was a good run to start with and I am looking forward to continuing well'. After the first qualifying session Stig needs 15 points to catch leader Anita.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Steve Ashdown drove through shake but shut off early to a 5.0086/188.15. Son Tyler licensed in Super Comp at the age of 16 and feels confident after switching from a Junior Dragster to a larger and much more power rail.

Pro Stock racer Stefan Ernryd suffered from a loose clutch which prevented the car even reaching the burnout. He said 'I tried twice to start but it was no better and I knew I could not get wheelspeed. I tested on Wednesday and feel comfortable in the car now. It will be good to get more runs in the car here and I am looking forward to running the full championship season next year'.

Pro Mod racer Norbert Kuno has both his cars here but driver of the second car Hussain al Shammari and crewmen were not able to enter the UK due to a visa issue. This left Norbert short of crew and fortunately Spencer Tramm, himself co-owner of the Isaacs & Tramm Pro Mod entry and noted crewman, was able to step in with a 6.3005/225.89 as a good initial run. 'I have known Norbert for many years', said Spencer, and have been able to look at his data so we are looking to improve next time out. Norbert said 'Thanks to Spencer for his help, I shifted early out of first gear and so I know there is more to come'.

Pro Mod racer Andy Robinson has been a victim of shake on both his runs although he drove through both times to go 6.207 and 6.133. He said 'When I shifted the shake disappeared but I had to drive through it in first. I now have a baseline and the better I qualify the better it is for my UK Championship chances as Bert is starting to put me under a bit of pressure'. Andy has also been spending time at this event with Ian Brown's 'new' car for which he prepared and welded a much used block formerly owned by Gordon Appleton and Colin Lazenby. 'We put it under twenty tons of pressure after we welded it and spent a lot of time on it'.

Pro Mod racer Kev Slyfield ran a new PB of 6.313 in the first session. He said 'It was also my best ever 60ft and eighth mile time so we know that the key to better performance in the future is more power at the top end. The championship is tough this year with others running strongly so we will need to go even quicker next year to be a contender'.

Super Pro ET racer and sponsor Peter Walters has had different problems at the last two meetings. 'At SCR we suffered shake off the line and had a burnt piston which we traced to a fuel system problem leaning it out. So my dad Richard put in the new engine that we had built for next year. That ran well here at the start but yesterday had brake caliper damage following tyre shake in the burnout. This morning a shift timing wire became loose and we lost second gear. We just hope things come together soon'.

Top Methanol Dragster racer Timo Habermann went no.1 in the first session to 5.338 with brother Dennis not far behind at 5.430. Dennis said 'My car is for sale turnkey or as a rolling chassis. We are seeking sponsorship to take Timo's car to the US where we would share the driving at a few events, but haven't settled on our plans finally'.

Pro Mod racer Mats Eriksson, despite running a 6.057/236 was unhappy with the track which he found bumps affecting the car. 'I drove towards the centre line but it was more bumpy and I felt the car flying through the air. We are using a spare engine with a lot of old parts including camshaft so there is not as much power, but will do what we can'.

Top Methanol Dragster racer Rod Harrison recovered well from torque converter and transmission damage sustained at Hockenheim to run a 5.9016/230.10. Wife Kim said 'We have a new torque converter and rebuilt gearbox thanks to Jeff Bull for arranging shipping of the new converter. The tyre shake wasn't as bad this time so we're pleased to be back on track'.

Pro Mod racer Michel Tooren ran a 6.197/232 after rolling the beams and we found the team in the middle of detailed clutch pedal adjustments to prevent it recurring. He said 'We had the cylinder heads repaired after a spark plug came out at Hockenheim and it was a great job'.

Top Fuel Dragster racer and sponsor Urs Erbacher is busy with two Top Fuel cars and one Top Methanol. 'There is lots going on, we are using this event as a test to see if we can handle it'. Urs was happy with a 60ft time of 0.87 but then thee tyres started spinning at the same point that they did at Hockenheim. 'We will make adjustments to the clutch and the fuel system' he commented. The team's plans for 2017 are for Urs to run the whole championship and secure funding for Jndia to have her own car in the FIA championship. Urs is joined this weekend by US crew Ron Douglas, crew chief for Courtney Force, and veteran crew chief John Stewart who has worked for many of the top US teams.

Top Methanol Dragster racer Jndia Erbacher licensed in the US and then had a difficult Hockenheim when the car's engine refused to run properly on nitro. She said 'A lever on the fuel pump to switch it between methanol and nitrous became loose and it was bad enough to turn the fuel off when I came to a stop after the burnout. We fixed it at home and now works fine. Today I came off the throttle after I thought the tyres shook but it was actually the clutch engaging so I will now keep my foot in when that happens'. Her second run was her best in Europe to date, 5.946/246. Jndia is being crewed by car owner Anthony Dicero.

Top Methanol Dragster racer Jonny Lagg is looking confident for the championship when the sole remaining contender Chris Polidano became unable to attend. 'Engine wise we have been lucky, we have only taken the heads off once in two races, took it apart on Friday at Tierp because we wanted something to do and only found one valve spring needed replacing. We can get the speed as we have run 275mph here but need to improve the first 60ft and will get more aggressive with the tuneup'. His time in session two of 5.591/265 moved him up to no.3 qualifier.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Anita Mäkelä, defending the points lead, is joined by Donnie Bender who was crew chief for Don 'The Snake' Prudhomme's Top Fuel team. She said after a 4.549/217 that put her fourth, 'A burst panel cracked at the hit and the crack just got bigger on the run and then burst. It didn't hurt any other parts so my combination is safe'. We will get the chance to see the cars running at night time in the session due to start at 7:15pm.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Micke Kågered said after a 4.156/247, 'The car started to nose over as I lost a cylinder and blower boost was down. It was a good first run for data though and we are using this meeting to try some new things'. Team member Mark Turner said 'We have new primary clutch levers which put more weight in and our 60ft was 0.86. We are missing Scotch Rob who is at a new job'.

Top Fuel Dragster racers Liam Jones and Steve Ashdown were happy meeting fans after round one of qualifying. Liam is no.1 qualifier and Steve no.5. The other Brit on the entry list, Tethys, had a broken fuel pump cable which prevented the car from launching. Hopefully we will se them all run at the night session.

Super Pro ET racer Nigel Turner is driving sponsor Derek Flynn's Gold RV rail this weekend. Derek said 'Nigel offered to drive here and at the National Finals after my planned driver Lisa Selles' work commitments delayed her appearance to next year'. Nigel's first time in the six second car, last driven by Gary Jenkins in 2006, was a half pass yesterday. 'It's my first time in a car for about six years', he said, 'We will be out tomorrow but today found we lost oil pressure and had to fix that'. The car still holds the Drachten quarter mile track record at 6.54/215 but in its current tune, the team are hoping for 7.3s. Crewman Nobby is pictured in the centre. The car went 7.23 on its first run to Derek's delight.

Super Pro ET racer Barry Giles is also racing in a unusual car for him, the S&K Racing dragster usually driven by Roy Wilding. Owner Roger Sinclair (pictured left) said 'Roy is racing at the Hot Rod Drags this weekend and as Barry's son Daniel is driving the Giles & Hartley rail, we offered Barry the drive'. Barry said 'Apart from a drive in Tony Morris's car in the US in '87 this is the first time I have been in a race car other than mine for thirty years'. Although similar in appearance, the two rails do behave differently on the track and Barry was finding his new ride moving around down the track and the team are looking at tyre pressures.

Super Pro ET racer Marc Henney was no.12 after five sessions. He said 'It's incredibly competitive, to run 7.707 on a 7.70 dial in and still only be twelfth is incredible. We love coming here and although the wind slowed us down earlier our performance has improved during the day'. His was the nearest to dial in session no.5.

Super Pro ET racer Thomas Haas, pictured with partner and crew Natalie, also improved performance and broke out in the final session with a 8.198 on a 8.23 dial. His previous best was 8.227 on 8.22 dial in session three which placed him eleventh.

Super Pro ET racer Jack Brewster, pictured with crew member Babs Saunders, had a few small issues with the car. 'We managed to do the first three passes and then had to straighten the steering arms which had become bent'. Jack's best was a 8.30 on 8.25 dial in which was good for 22nd place. Babs and husband Steve plan a return to the track next year in their 'Hi-Speed-Gas' Zephyr after a couple of years out.

Super Pro ET racer Mark Flavell sends greetings and best wishes to crewman Mal who is at home unwell. Mark adjusted the clutch after some very bouncy runs earlier and a 7.69 on 7.20 dial placed him 32nd, on the bubble with 33 cars having run yesterday. He said 'By the end we were within 100th of our best 60ft time'. The team recently had a great outing to the Isle of Man. 'The Manx Drag Racing Association headed by Ian Merryweather and Mac Forbes are the best hosts in the world and we had a record crowd for our six burnouts and launches'.

Pro ET racer Glenn Pallant is 17 hundredths off his 9.49 dial in to go eighth, after a big move up in session four, which we have seen at the previous two meetings. 'It's a busy time for Lisa and me, after this event we have our hen and stag dos, then the National Finals the following weekend and we get married on 1st October'.

Pro ET racer Rick McCann has returned to the UK from Sweden where he runs Stock/Super Stock. After going top in session four only to be edged out by Nic Williams in session five he said 'It's good that the first two cars in the qualifying lists are legal Super Stocks. The car is behaving well after coming down from the wheelie because of the Koni shocks from a friend of ours in Finland that we've had on the car for a couple of years'. Rick is refurbishing his and Carla's spacious garage at their home near Tierp to be a full workshop housing their three race cars.

Rick McCann's transmission was discovered with this alarming crack in the casing. 'It's surprising as it is an aftermarket component. We were hoping to relax this evening but will be changing the transmission instead, we've got a spare that we have used in the past'.

Pro ET racer Carla Pittau ran a 9.75 on a 9.72 dial to go eighteenth after the end of day one. 'The car is fine, we just missed one round due to a water pump being fixed. We are happy to be here and see all our friends and to have both cars as well'. Carla is planning to convert the car to Stock Eliminator D/SA spec. 'We will need a new engine, steel body panels, doors, wings, glass and interior - there's a lot of work involved. The work is done by the Williams Bros and I'm very excited about that'. Also Andy Stroud of Hairy Designs will be updating the iconic paint job and applying chrome bumpers.

Pro ET racer and sponsor Nic Williams went ten thousandth of a second perfect in the final session with a 10.1200 on a 10.12 dial in. He said 'The shocks we have on for the first time are Santhuffs Suspension Specialities and after adjustment they do a great job of preventing bounce after wheelies'.

Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Jonny Smith ran a 9.869/122 at Dragstalgia for a new world best for a road legal battery powered vehicle. The motoring journalist and broadcaster said 'We are hoping to back that up here. We have new brushes and want to bed them in. Arcing at high output burns the contact point so we will drive the car around the public roads for a few miles to get them to an ideal condition for quick times. Jonny has also installed a cooling system to avoid heat build-up that can happen on the cruise. Jonny's crew on the Enfield 8000 is Nick Farrow.

Reports and pictures ©