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


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Latest update 19:40

Top Fuel Dragster racer Anita Mäkelä is the 2016 Champion after both she and Stig Neergaard went out in the semi final, Anita having amassed more points. 'It wasn't they way I wanted it, my fuel system has been causing problems after Sweden and I wasn't running the numbers I wanted. I am as good as my team and in the end it was a team contest'. Anita's daughter and son arrived yesterday as a great surprise. 'That made my weekend', she said.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Duncan Micallef now holds the SPR track record with a pair of 3.896 passes in the first two rounds of eliminations. 'We have a new engine which is fantastic, but we had to take the clutch apart after the warm up between rounds as it had locked up. I am thinking about next season already'. Also before the finals a bearing leaked into the flywheel and clutch even after checking the seals and so Duncan was unable to race Micke K˚gered for the event title.

Pro Stock racer Jimmy Ålund won the Championship with a margin of 16 points, one of his narrowest. 'It's great to keep going and my Ken Black built car has performed well'.

Pro Stock racer Bengt Ljungdahl has been massively successful in his first year in the class running a Shane Gray built Chevrolet Camaro and winning the last two events. He ran a 6.53 in the final which sets up a fascinating rivalry for next year.

Top Fuel Bike racer Ian King won the championship when his main rival Rikard Gustafsson lost in the final, Ian having gone out in round one to Stuart Crane. 'It wasn't the way I wanted to win but it feels good anyway to have won another one'. This is Ian's tenth championship.

Super Twin racer Martijn de Haas won his second consecutive championship when year long points leader had major problems and even parts sent over by courier from Canada. He said 'Losing two runs on Saturday was a problem we had to surmount and we had clutch problems in the semi final and knew we needed to go full on in the final.' His 6.71 defeat of Roman Sixta in the semi was followed by a 6.66 bye in the final when Chris Hannam suffered an engine explosion. Martijn is pictured with crewman Joeri.

Top Fuel Bike racer Filippos Papafilippou won the event with a 6.75 over a no-show Otto Knebl, 6.68 over Rene van den Berg, and 6.73 over Rickard Gustafsson.

Super Street Bike racer Garry Bowe won the FIM championship in style with a 6.9806/209.13 over other championship contender Steve Venables, who himself had run 6.9464 for a new European ET record.

Retired Pro Mod and Super Gas racer Gordon Appleton was a welcome guest at the autograph signing session. Gordon's three cars raced over a period of a couple of decades are all still in competition at this event.

Top Fuel racer Smax Smith found enough time in his racing schedule to attend and met up with many old friends. The ever-youthful Smax said 'I've been racing for 42 years and now the NHRA want me to compete, we arrive with an old trailer and play up the bucks-down nature of the team. My son Aidan is also a great Top Alcohol Funny Car racer so life is great.'

Pro Stock Bike racer Fredrick Fredlund had to get the trio of win, ET and speed records to take the title. He got the ET record at 6.978 and won the event but was short on the speed so the title goes to Gert-Jan Laseur, congratulations to him.

Pro Stock Bike racer and sponsor Martin Newbury was delighted to have reached the final after defeating Len Paget and Maurice Bertrand, scoring a 7.25/179. 'You always want more and the gearbox wasn't perfect on the 3rd 4th and 5th shifts. I had a new tyre on but with the rain had no chance to bed it in. This bike is going to be proper quick!'

Super Pro ET racer Gordon Northway was frustrated by a large puddle just outside his pit and fortunately the SPR sweeper came and removed it in time. He then went on to win his first round matchup with Austin Jaques running 8.56 on an 8.51 dial in.

Junior Dragster racer Frankie Fordham has racing in his blood as dad Matt Fordham said Frankie's grand parents were part of the team that built Avon Park with the Midlands Drag Racing Club in the early 1970s. Frankie who is eleven years old qualified ninth, the furthest up he has been and defeated Daniel Weir with a 9.6775 on a 9.66 dial in.

Junior Dragster racer Jordan Payne went through round one of competition, defeating Thaliah Gibb with a 8.08 on 8.06 dial-in. He said 'We have been delighted to entertain guests Freddie Turza and Mark Tycen of VP Racing Fuels who sponsor us (and and Simon Cox of Simon Cox Marketing Solutions'.

Super Pro ET racer Johan Oomen is being crewed this weekend by former Pro Mod racer Henri Joosten. But there were problems in session six for Johan when he suffered a nitrous burp. 'We have no oil pressure at the top end of the engine and that resulted in the nitrous burp when the nitrous came back through the manifold. It's a new engine and the nitrous burp didn't damage it but there is damage from the low oil pressure. The bottom end is fine, but we're finished for this year'.

Pro Mod racer Thomas Stiefel qualified seventh with 6.189/229 and the car has run consistently all season. But tyre shake set in, the car made a big move to the right and he had to lift against Norbert Kuno's 6.306.

Pro Mod racer Wayne Nicholson ran a smooth 6.82/207 but in two qualifying sessions this was only good for seventeenth. The team were ready as first alternate but all the top sixteen started, so Wayne will make his next pass at the National Finals.

Pro Mod racer Mick Payne suffered the loss of two sessions when he had a transmission leak in session one and after that was fixed the car wouldn't start in session two. He said 'We are looking forward to the National Finals, we would stay here if we didn't have to go to work.'

Pro Mod racer and sponsor Marco Maurischat has a new engine and has only run at Malmö, Hockenheim and here so far. 'We need more runs to figure out the new setup. In qualifying we set up to be safe and ran a 6.31 but it was not quick enough to be really competitive'. Marco's run with shake and smoke slowed to 7.01 which fell short of other sponsor Andy Robinson's 6.25.

Top Methanol Dragster racer Rod Harrison wanted to go quicker than his previous best of 5.79 and so Charlie Draper, who was tuner for Manty Bugeja, was asked to advise. Overnight the fuel system was rebuilt and the team went into the race with Dennis Habermann with it untried. Rod had to lift to 7.11 with the car leaking fluids, leaving the team to wonder what might have been.

Top Methanol Dragster racer Dennis Habermann, pictured warming the engine, suffered tyre shake which reduced his ET to 5.65 in round one. Brother Timo ran a 5.34 and has a bye to the final, where he will meet Dennis.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Micke Kågered ran 4.36/264 to defeat Tethys in round one. After shake and smoke, some body panels came off Micke's car but landed behind Tethys' dragster. Micke met and defeated Stig Neergaard in the semi final and Anita Mäelä was defeated by Duncan Micallef.

Top Fuel Dragster racers Anita Mäkelä and Stig Neergaard were the championship contenders but when they met up in the morning it was good humoured. Anita ran 4.0350/290 in round one against Steve Ashdown who shut off, and Stig ran 4.050/292 in round one to defeat Urs Erbacher's 4.444/247. Although both were defeated in the semi final, Anita's higher points tally meant she became champion for the second time, the first being in 2000.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Tethys went 4.3591/208.88 in round one after problems in qualifying. He said 'My second run went ok but the car was sluggish as it dropped cylinders at the hit and the reverser went. I've been out of Top Fuel for a year and a half and admit I need more seat time to get comfortable'.

Funny Car racer Gordon Smith planned to qualify with 2016 series Champion Kevin Kent twice on Friday, twice on Saturday and once today. But the cars only appeared once on Friday and weather caused yesterday to be cancelled. Although Gordon got off the line, the car went towards the wall and he had to lift, recording 6.330 to the 1000ft marker but at least qualified. The final between them will be later.

Fuel Altered racer Randy Bradford suffered broken rods and crankshaft on Friday and didn't have enough parts to make repairs for today. He said 'We are trying to figure out why as the car had 120lbs of oil pressure on the line. But we don't carry a lot of spares'. Randy said he had greatly enjoyed his European tour.

Randy Bradford and Bill Sherratt had time to chat in the Fuel Altered marquee. Bill had given a great display with his cackle car which would not look out of place at US nostalgia events, as indeed would any of the slingshots on display this weekend.

Fuel Altered racer Ron Hope has had a great year, touring internationally and encouraging UK racers to go on the wider stage with the Havoc car going on a US tour in 2017 with Nick Davies and Rob Loaring, and Geoff Stilwell of Beech Underwriting running at Bonneville. Ron's performances are electrifying with a 7.0294/214.10 pass against Havoc earlier.

Pro Mod racer Kev Slyfield defeated Marck Hartefeld in round one with a 6.3387/221.23 and then came up against Mats Eriksson. A 6.3146/214.82 was no match for Mats' 6.0478/236.56.

Pro Mod racer Bruno Bader ran 6.0273/232.84 in round one to defeat David Vegter and a 6.0257/230.20 bye in round two when Andy Robinson was a no-show.

Pro Mod racer David Vegter was hopeful of an upset against Bruno Bader. 'At our last two races against him our engine broke', he said. David's car running with a less than perfect power unit still managed a 6.09 but not enough for Bruno.

Pro Mod racer Mats Eriksson ran a 6.03/236 to defeat Jean Dulamon in round one and 6.04/236 against Kev Slyfield in round two. After Johan Lindberg was a no show in the semi final, Mats went through and will be runner up in the 2016 Championship.

Pro Mod racer Jean Dulamon was pleased to have improved performance with a new engine this season however a slowing 6.93/199 was short of his best qualifying effort of 6.38/221.

Pro Mod racer Roger Moore qualified fifteenth with a 6.446/214 and then Roger experienced engine problems, flames out of the exhaust and then a nitrous burp on the pass and he shut off.

Pro Mod racer Johan Lindberg qualified in no.2 position and defeated Roger Moore in round one and Norbert Kuno in round two. But valve and cylinder head damage meant he couldn't make the call for the semi final against Mats Eriksson.

Pro Mod racer and sponsor Andy Robinson ran a winning 6.25 in round one but was unable to return in round two as he had major engine damage. A lifter dropped, with consequent valve and camshaft damage. But Bert Englefield's loss means Andy's lead in the MSA Championship is extended after this event.

Pro Mod racer Marck Harteveld has a clear 'For Sale' sign on the car as a newly acquired Superbird is prepared for next season. Marck suffered huge shake in round one which was the end of his day and possibly, season.

Pro Mod racer Michel Tooren's Mike Janis-built car is capable of fives and almost proved it with a fantastic 6.005/240 in round one. He experienced shake in round two against Micke Gullqvist but the team look stronger at every event.

Pro Mod racer Bert Englefield, second in the MSA British Championship was up against Michel Tooren. Bert ran a near PB 6.28/226 but Michel stepped up and put a dampener on Bert's Championship expectations.

Junior Dragster racer Holley Marshall had a broken rod in the engine of her dragster, so opted to change for the Junior Funny Car in the final session. However she found the cockpit too tight and decided to withdraw to avoid possible injury.

Pro ET racer Alex Mahl from Austria was a winner against Dave Nicol in round one when he ran 10.52 on his 10.45 dial to David's 9.73 on a 9.40 dial. There was a cloud of smoke from the engine at the finish line but nothing was found on track.

Pro ET racer Lee Guy in a Sierra won his first round match-up with Glenn Pallant running a 10.21 on a 10.20 dial in when Glenn broke out 9.38 on a 9.42 dial.

Pro ET racer Steve Hudson won his race against Tim Stanbury when his Model T altered ran a 9.14 on a 9.10 dial in and Tim, much quicker off the line broke out by 0.0027 with a 9.187.

Pro ET racer Ethan Lisle was the winner against Steve Unsworth with a 10.46 on a 10.20 dial in as Steve ran a 11.38 on a 10.93 dial in.

Pro ET racer Jon Turner won against Laura Baynton when Laura red lit by 0.07s. Jon's ET was 9.74 on a 9.83 dial in.

Pro ET racer Geoff Cowley was also the victor in a red light match-up as Gino Bernadine went 0.04s too early and Geoff was able to run a 9.14 on 9.20 dial to go through.

Pro ET racer and sponsor Nic Williams went 10.15 on a 10.06 dial in as Annie Wallace was 0.16 over a 10.20 dial in.

Pro ET racer Rick McCann had fitted a new gearbox and he was the winner against Leigh Morris in round one with a 10.18 on a 10.08 dial in.

Pro ET racer Mark Bailey went 8.92 on a 9.00 dial in, one of his quickest runs yet, and lost to Dave Cherrett who ran a finely judged 10.91 on a 10.90 dial in.

Pro ET racer James Forster won against Eddy van den Bos with the lesser breakout, 11.890 on an 11.90 compared with Eddy's 9.55 on 9.62.

Pro ET racer Carla Pittau went 9.731 on 9.70 against Bob Molden who broke out by 0.09s.

Pro ET racers Annie Wallace and Dave Cherrett were pushed down the fire up road before round one which commenced early. Due to the rain-off yesterday, five rounds of Pro ET, Super Pro ET and Junior Dragster will be run throughout the day.

Pro Mod racer Micke Gullqvist is joined by retired Funny Car racer Leif Helander. After a lot of work on the car which suffered breakage at previous rounds this year, the car is running well now and qualified no.1 with a 5.917/242.87. Leif said 'We have done our job and now just need the driver to do his'. Micke went 6.0519/242.88 in round one against Marcus Hilt's 6.49 red-light and after winning against Michel Tooren and Bruno Bader, his 2016 Championship was assured. Congratulations to Micke on his sixth FIA Championship.

Super Pro ET racer Mark Flavell was delighted with his team figuring out the clutch settings to run a 7.28 on 7.20 dial in for his best ET ever in this car. He said 'My guys are fantastic. Our inspiration has been Jonnie Lindberg's Indy win'. He ran a 7.39 on a 7.15 dial in round one but Marc Henney went closer to his dial in for the win.

Super Pro ET racer Marius Blackburn was looking forward to his first round race however he went 0.05 under the 8.94 dial and Brad Jackson was the winner.

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