FIA / FIM Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway, 27th-30th May 2016


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Latest update 16:45

On Monday lunchtime an autograph session took place with legends from the track's past. Fans had the opportunity to meet and get the signatures of Kevin Pilling, Peter Crane, John Hobbs, Barry Sheavills, Ken Cooper and John and Brian Hazelton who are rebuilding the Thunderbird altered that was so popular in Pro Comp and was the first car in the class to record 200mph.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Steve Ashdown ran his best of the weekend in round one, a 4.23/283 defeating Stefan Gunnarson's 4.93/148. He said 'The car performs on every run and Rune being based at Santa Pod gives me confidence. He and his team know how to run the car in a wide range of conditions. A round win makes the weekend and gives me another ride. I need to brush up on my lights but we are taking baby steps. Many thanks to my crew, Jamie Willis, Stig from Norway, Stannah and new guys Scott, Christer and Luke.' Steve had a recurrence of his early chute deployment in the semi-final.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Liam Jones had a pedalfest against Urs Erbacher in round one. Crew member Gary Page said 'We were paring for the blower belt not to break in the run. The engine was fine apart from a couple of flattened bearings. Liam did a great driving job there.' In the semi final Liam ran an excellent 4.11/278 but went down to a fantastic pass by Stig Neergaard.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Stig Neergaard had a bye-run when Bjorn Martenson had a starting problem. Stig said 'The tyres shook before one second so I shut it off early. Up until then the launch looked good. We have the power but need to control it. It's not easy but we will do the best we can do.' In the semi final Stig ran an outstanding 3.97/299.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Micke Kågered suffered engine problems in round one against Anita Mäkelä but still made it first to the finish line. The clean up work got repeated in the semi final when having replaced his engine he idled down and fluid came out of the car in the shut down area. So the final is Stig vs Micke.

Pro Stock racer Bengt Ljungdahl came close to upsetting Thomas Lindström with a 6.61 to Thomas's 6.64. He said 'It's a tricky track and I am having to pedal the car going from third to fourth and fourth to fifth gear. The engine is producing great power and the car is reliable'.

Pro Modified racer Thomas Stiefel was a no show in round two after qualifying seventh with a 6.16/232 and defeating Norbert Kuno in round one. He said I lost a gear in the first round and tried to fix it. I found the bearing had disintegrated so it was one of those small parts that defeated us. The car runs great and others are saying how straight it goes, like an arrow. We will try to do all of the FIA races but nothing is 100% likely and we need to order sufficient parts to keep the car running ok.'

Pro Modified racer Bruno Bader ran 5.94/234 to qualify no.1 and then a 6.63 to defeat Chris Isaacs in round once, 6.02 to defeat Bert Englefield in round two and 6.19 to get around a red lighting Mats Eriksson in the semi final. He said 'It's been a great weekend, starting off so well for us with a smooth pass. Today we started to get tyre shake but the second round was better. We are aiming to run the whole FIA series and made the decision after Hockenheim last year so we could get enough parts.

Pro Modified racer Bert Englefield and his team were delighted to have run new PBs in the 6.2s 'The car has been running much better since last year's Summernationals. But then the rods came out at Euro Finals and at Easter. We are running all we have got left. It's good stuff but there's not much of it. Many thanks to Bob Jarrett for getting us some parts and to Jon Salemi for hekp with the fuel system. Now all we need is financial assistance to get us through the rest of the season.'

Pro Modified racer Kev Slyfield is happy with the result of the meeting. 'We went out in round two but have solved a lot of problems in the car and got rid of the shake. It wasn't so much of a problem last year but everyone seems to have stepped up in 2016. It's a fine line between running really well and not running. We are a bit short on parts but hope that it will all last.'

Pro Modified racer Mats Eriksson changed the supercharger back to his new Mike Janis one last night. 'The other blower worked better on paper and has moore boost but I feel this one is superior'. Mats went 6.01 and 6.04 with the new supercharger but red lit against Bruno Bader.

Pro Modified racer Micke Gullqvist was visibly shaken by the incident on Saturday involving Roger Johansson but today is in 'racing mode'. A 6.02 defeat of FIA newcomer Hussain Al Shammari in round one was followed by an early shut-off seven in round two and then he was up against Johan Lindberg. Micke said 'We need to step up, we can get down the track and I selected the lane that I think Johan will put us in for the semi final.' Micke did step up and run well in the Auto Glym (right-hand) lane and will meet Bruno Bader in the final.

Pro Modified racer Johan Lindberg has run two five second passes in his first competitive outing with the Old 51 team. 'It has been hard for me with a new car and team. But Magnus Petersson who owns the car knows it well and has run it for a long time to some great numbers. I am getting used to it and it feels good to drive. The track is tricky and it can be difficult running five second passes particularly after half track. But I am happy and looking forward to the next race.'

Top Fuel Bike racer Rikard Gustafsson ran a PB 6.04/212 early shut off in round one to defeat Stu Crane. He then defeated Steve Woollatt with a couple of throttle blips after both bikes broke traction early on.

Super Twin racer Samu Kempainnen had a bye in round one and crossed the centre line after winning by taking the green. He said 'We tried to steer away from the centre line after I had done 200mph to the eighth but it felt strange. I had a problem with the rear tyre and found chunks had come off it after only four runs when we got back to the pit. In the semi, Samu with another used M/T tyre, went 6.79/175 to defeat Chris Hannam.

Super Twin racer Chris Hannam who uses a Goodyear tyre improved his performance in each successive session. In round one he defeated Ronny Aasen with a 7.38/177 after Ronny's engine expired. Crew Chief Neil Midgley said 'Chris was on full throttle for a second and a half and then on two thirds throttle for the rest of the way down the track. We are all learning the new bike but are making good progress.' In the semi final against Samu he ran a great 1.16 60ft but then the bike drifted when the front wheel came down and he shut off.

Super Street Bike racer Erich Gruber's Kawasaki machine ran a best of 7.838/181 to qualify fourteenth. He said 'It's great to be back and getting the bike to good times, just a tenth and a half off my PB.'

Super Street Bike racer Mark Wells is against Shawn Buttigieg in round one. He said 'We have had some electronic gremlins and no shift light so the engine hit the rev limiter. We did have one half decent clean pass on full throttle'. That was 7.80/173 which placed him thirteenth.

Super Twin racer Chris Hannam is against Ronny Aasen. Chris said 'He is much more experienced than me but I have lane choice so I put him in the left lane as the wind is coming from the left. I have to take any advantage I can and I just want to get all the way down the track.'

Super Twin racer Hans Olav Olstad is looking at cylinder head repairs after problems with his spark plugs. 'We will be using the undamaged items out of our two sets of heads and try to repair the damaged ones before Tierp in two and a half weeks' time. When it was running well the power was so much it kept on wanting to spin the tyres.'

Pro Stock Bike racer Kenneth Holmberg had a broken intake valve meaning he is out of competition. He said 'We have no spare parts or spare engine, hopefully the damage is not too bad and we can repair for the nxt race.' Kenneth is nursing some torn ligaments in his left hand after coming off his mountain bike. 'The doctors wanted me to wear a plaster but I said I couldn't because I will be racing. So they strapped my hand up and I am removing that to get my hand in the glove. It does hurt a bit in the braking area.'

Pro Stock Bike racer Fredrick Fredlund suffered a broken first gear in his run in Q1. Alex Hope then lent Fredrick his spare box and he ran 7.32/182 in session three to go fourth, but there was more gearbox damage on that run so five time European PSB champion Fredrick was a no show in Q4. He did make it to the semi final but the bike hit the final timing block to disqualify him and send Gert-Jean Laseur into the final.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Anita Mäkelä is joined by NHRA car owner Dom Lagana and Jake Sanders who runs a Nostalgia FC in the US. Anita said 'We are hoping for good conditions and to get down the track. Yesterday wasn't so good but today is a new day.' Dom said 'I hope to go four events with Anita - running our car more regularly in NHRA is making me very busy and I am going to get a lot of air miles.'

Pro Stock racer Thomas Lindström has two engines, one that came with the car when he bought it and a new one from Alan Johnson. 'Our new engine is in the trailer and we will only run it a few times this year, as we are doing a limited number of races and so aren't in the championship. I will be wearing the no.1 on my car right up until the last race though!'

Thomas Lindström said the track is 'for tuners'. 'We've been struggling with the ignition and fuel systems and there hasn't been much time for fine tuning. Also third gear has been a problem. Our best run was 6.64 in Q4 which is only 0.05 off my best with that engine, which we were pleased with'.

Pro Stock racer Michael Malmgren said 'We have a lot of new things on the car and the track is tricky for us. We have dialled in the new things and are optimistic about our performance this year. It's good that more cars are coming into the class and we need more competition, it's always good for the sport.' Michael's best so far is 6.69/205 which places him fifth.

Pro Stock racers Magnus Petersson and Stefan Ernryd were fourth and sixth respectively. Magnus said 'We are hoping to get down the track in a good time as it is cold today'. Stefan ran his first passes on the track and said 'We did lose traction in our early runs as the track is unfamilar to me but am excited about my first race day in PS.'

Funny Car racer Patrik Pers is crewed by Mark 'Animal' Bodimeade and Sarah Senderski. Animal said 'We planned to do a 60ft test on Friday but run out of time. On Saturday we had a blower issue and oil pressure problem, so aborted, and then didn't make the second session. On Sunday it struck the tyres at the hit and then in the final session shook on a planned 300ft. But it was a solid start to the final qualifying run. It's great having Dave Fletcher, DSR's track specialist from the US, to help us'. The car was bought from Leif Helander as a rolling chassis and Patrik's Top Fuel Dragster is still for sale, also as a roller.

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