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


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Latest update 22:15

Super Street Bike racer Jemma Venables tested on Wednesday to a new PB of 7.282/190.48. She said 'In qualfying there was a headwind and this slowed the ET to a 7.59 and in the second, the bike wheelied off the line and then came up again but kept on it for a 7.7'. Jemma's bike runs on E85 Fuel which reduces flames on gear changes.

Super Street Bike racer Mogens Lund earlier in the season at Hungary ran a new PB speed of over 200mph. Here, he suffered a cracked fuel tank which he had welded by Rickard Gustafsson. 'I did a 1.19 60ft time but then went out of the groove and the tyre started spinning and damaged my engine. I had to change to my spare.' Many thanks to Steve and Julie Moxley for their help in providing information for us to follow up on.

Top Fuel Bike racer Bob Brooks has made many changes to his Yellow Metal bike after a cracked sump last year caused an early end to his season. 'We have had new higher compression pistons, revised combustion chambers, a new fuel system, sped the blower up, increased the intake manifold volume and a new Goodyear tyre. The fairing is now mounted on the chassis rather than the handlebars, I cut both plates so I can take the engine or gearbox out independently of one another, there is a new carbon fibre primary cover and an aluminium belly pan. With the bigger wheel the bike wheelied away from the start although the 1.12 60ft time was slower than before. We plan to run at the remaining two ACU rounds to develop the bike.

Super Twin racer Ronny Aasen said 'We are trying something new with a change in compression ratio and the engine's behaviour is positive. Our second run yesterday was a 7.26 and the data showed it wants more fuel. So we are starting to tune the engine rather than having to rebuild it each time. So although a 7.2 was not quick the bike picked up after the eighth and it is a step forward. We will give it more fuel and then look at the data'.

Top Fuel Bike racer Phil Crossley ran a new PB ET of 7.261 to go sixth but will not be racing as he has not previously run a six. 'We struggled to find a setting at SCR and then got one that enabled us to run a 7.2 there. We are now trying to move forward the goal even though we are ahead in the ACU championship. Thanks to Jason who is my stand in crew for this event'.

Top Fuel Bike racer Stuart Crane is working at setting up his new-for-2016 chassis and qualified no.8 with a 7.40 but has previously run a six. One radical development is a new titanium exhaust that Stu constructed himself with an eye on the European market. He said 'There is only one company in the US that supplies these types of exhaust and I saw a gap in the market. The challenge is the amount of welding and the skill involved. The benefit is it is much lighter and I can offer them for £1500 rather than £4000 for importing them from the US. I have even had lots of enquiries, even from the US as the exchange rate helps if you are exporting.

Top Fuel Bike racer Dale Leeks was ninth and not qualified for eliminations. He said 'Now we are working on a 6.9s time which Stu Crane ran on this bike. I ran a 7.58 but shut off at 5.3s. It was my best front half with 1.09 60ft, my quickest to date, and 2.99 330ft. But after the grandstand the wind pushed me towards the wall. The chassis built by Stu is superb and easy to ride. I'm sure we will solve the puzzle soon!'

Top Fuel Bike racer Otto Knebl, pictured with wife Yvona and team members Michael Rajcani and Radej Krejbich, is qualified in fifth with 7.13/170 after having to lift in session two as he came close to the wall. He said 'The bike is running well after we had ignition problems at Hockenheim. It follows a year when we were not really on it and it felt good to do two runs despite lifting, and we are looking forward to being back in the sixes.

Top Fuel Bike racer Filippos Papafilippou, qualified fourth with 6.87/198 said 'We are really enjoying the British weather. I am concentrating on riding better, I lost some focus and motivation earlier in the season. We are preparing a nitro bike for the future. With Glenn we work as a team and have both run in the sixes'. So despite being eleventh in qualifying Glenn will be first alternate and will be racing in the first round as Lorcan Parnell suffered two broken valves and head damage.

Top Fuel Bike racer Rene van den Berg ran a storming 6.153/229 to go no.1. The team found a crack in a carbon fibre front wheel. He had promised his old wheel to Nick Milburn who kindly lent it back. Rene said 'Our quick runs are on soft settings and thanks to my amazing team'.

Autograph sessions are being held in the Nostalgia Display Marquee. THe display of slingshots comprised Harold Bull's Strip Duster, the Allard Chrysler, Commuter, Bill Sherratt's cackle car Yesterday's Dreams, Mark Bishop's Grey Vegas and Jon Webster's Hephaestus.

Legendary Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car racer and constructor Dennis Priddle was on hand with his trophy from the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame and gave a highly entertaining interview on Nitro FM later.

As well as the IDRHoF trophy, Dennis received a specially engraved ring at the presentation held in Florida in March 2016.

Four-time FIA Top Fuel Champion Andy Carter was present with son Albert, who is making great progress in the world of circuit racing and wife Sarah.

Dennis Priddle, Barry Sheavills (first to 300mph in Europe and four seconds in the UK) and Andy Carter each dominated Top Fuel Dragster racing during their respective eras and enjoyed signing fans' memorabilia and hero cards.

The three Top Fuel legends were joined by Pro Comp racer Sue Coles (not pictured) and also at Sunday's signing will be Sylvia Read-Hauser, Gordon Appleton, Peter Bennett, and Brian Hazleton.

Reports and pictures ©