FIA / FIM Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway, 26th-29th May 2017


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 15:25

Top Fuel Dragster racer Antti Horto ran 3.974/298 to defeat Micke Kågered in round one. He said 'It was great to run a new PB in this car. It wheelied off the start line and made a great move, and at the hit of the last clutch lock up I knew it had stayed stuck to the track. I am looking forward to my race with Duncan.'

Top Fuel Dragster racer Duncan Micallef went 3.997/302 against Anita Mäkelä's 4.037/297 in what is the quickest side by side pass of the 1000ft era in TF. He said 'I pushed all the way, it was a nice run, but with tension after the problems in qualifying. There was a lot on my mind but I focused on doing the best I could against the reigning champion. I knew I had to be sharp on the lights and drive down all the way'.

Top Fuel Dragster racer and sponsor Urs Erbacher ran a 4.548/192 in a defeat against Stig Neergaard. 'The car spun the tyres again, it hasn't been an easy track for us this weekend. We hope that Jndia will be able to do another licensing pass, she has done really well. Yesterday in her second pass, the tyres spun and she corrected it very well, many other drivers would have had it in the wall'.

Pro Stock racer Thomas Lindström ran 6.692/203 to defeat Robin Norén in round one. 'We started with soft settings on the first run and made small adjustments to the fourth session where we ran 6.669/206 to qualify second. We have a new fuel system of our own design. But Robin, who's a good friend, put up a good fight and ran a PB of 6.764 against me'.

Super Street Bike racer Mogens Lund qualified tenth with a 7.412 and defeated Jemma Venables in round one with a 7.242/197. He said 'We were having issues down the track with spinning tyre, but yesterday the track started coming in and so tuned the bike up and waited for the track to come to us. There is more to go in terms of performance'. Mogens will run the FIM and EDRS Pro series, meaning a busy season with eight events.

Super Street Bike racer Rick Stubbins ran the low ET of round one, a 7.142/200. He said 'The track is amazing and has now come in fully. I am up against Steve Venables in round two and he improved to 7.18 in round one'. Rick is joined by crewman Ryan Davis.

Top Methanol Funny Car racer Steph Milam ran a great 6.04/235 to defeat Jonny Lagg in round one. Husband and crew chief Dave said 'We are just servicing the car for round two and nothing has broken. The FIA rules have changed the blower overdrive from 225 to 192, which is in line with what NHRA have, but we have kept the same mph but need to get the ET down to what it was. It's been hard being away from the class for 20 months but good to be back in competition.'

Pro Mod racer Marcus Hilt has had changes on the team, recruiting Pro Mod racers Rolf Amman and Thomas Stiefel on to his team for this year and retaining doorslammer legend Camp Stanley from the US. He said 'We are progressing well and in the final session did an 'a to b' run of 6.555/175. We have rebuilt the engine, have a new blower which we lifted twice during qualifying including at 5.8s into our best qualifying pass'. In round one, Marcus ran 6.386/225 to defeat Norbert Kuno's 6.421/225.

Pro Mod racer Kev Slyfield ran a PB in session one of 6.15. In session four he suffered shake, but the team had a handle on it and ran his second PB of the weekend in round one, a 6.111/229 to defeat Håkan Persson's 6.14.

Pro Mod racer Wayne Nicholson has done a lot of testing and run a new PB of 6.458/218 at this event. In round one, he had a lucky break, as depicted on his car, as Bert Englefield had staging problems and was bulbed. Wayne made a good start but for the first time at this event ran into serious tyre shake and had to lift. Wayne's wife Belinda said 'We will take it down the track in the next round as we need the data'.

Pro Stock Bike racer Charly Abraham from France qualified no.2 with a 7.286/171. His bike is a Buell XB12R with a S&S engine of 160 ci, Holley fuel pump, MTC clutch and R&D Transmission gearbox.

Pro Stock Bike racer Mark Smith had a torrid qualifying session with a engine breakage. He said 'We broke the cam, valves and pistons on a new engine. Then with the spare engine we had an electrical fault. In session four it sounded amazing on the warmup but then an airline blew and we had no air pressure to change gears with. The Pro Stock Bikes were queued up to run when the drizzle came.

Pro Mod racer Jon Webster achieved his aim of bringing his new Mustang to the event and he plans to make a couple of test launches today. He said 'It's been frantic and we had quite a perplexing time when the engine wouldn't fire. There was fuel, spark and compression. But the new ECU needed some debugging. We are still learning the setup and need data from the launch to analyse. We will be talking about arranging some testing at SPR. I am really pleased with the result, OCS Paint turned the car round in amazing time and the finish is incredible. '

Jon Webster continued 'I need to thank Dave Rowe at EPS Motorsport for supplying the Motec M1 Control System, which is a combined fuel, ignition and boost control system. There is one gigabyte of data storage which means we could have the logger on all weekend, and there are hundreds of channels for data recording and also a warning system to pre-empt problems. Thanks also to Racelines, who supplied fuel hoses and fittings, Steve Clark at Nimbus Motorsport for product support, Jeanette and Shelby for their patience and my team Jake Mechaell who was instrumental in building the car, Chris Perkins who will be crew chief and Alex Mackintosh as permanent crew. We're all upbeat, and I designed the car to be as easy to work on as possible with an uncluttered cockpit.'

Super Street Bike racer Garry Bowe had a TV interview as we passed. Son and crew David said 'It all came together with a no.1 qualifying time of 7.061/207. The track is better to day and we were able to turn the bike up to get a good number'. The bump spot is 7.83 compared to the all time record for 16 SSBs of 7.744 at the 2014 Euro Finals.

Super Street Bike racer Dave Thomas improved to a new PB 7.820/182 in the final session, securing no.14 spot and well done to him.

Top Fuel Bike team King Racing's Engineering Manager Marius van der Zijden was an interested observer as the team will be spending the year running the USA National Championship. Marius said 'Martin Brookman and I pick up the bike before the event and then service it after the event, so we are over in the US for slightly longer than the rest of the team. The traction at Valdosta was not that good but we are looking forward to the second round at Memphis'. Ian King is also at the event, providing colour commentary for Top Fuel Bike racing.

Top Fuel Bike racer Rickard Gustavsson qualified no.1 with a 6.114/220 but suffered main bearing failure in his run in session three, so the engine was out of the bike for a rebuild yesterday evening. Rickard commented that he has an ambition to be one of the quickest bikes in the world, and his first five cannot be far away.

Super Street Bike racers Bianca and Robert Nilsson have had a challenging weekend, with a low point of Bianca exiting the back of her bike after a vertical wheelstand on Thursday. Nevertheless she bounced back by borrowing the bike of Anders Gerdtsson, which was still at the track after last weekend's Race, Rock'n'Ride and getting on it the same day. Meanwhile Robert qualified fifth with a new PB 7.218/198.

Top Fuel Bike racer Lorcan Parnell saved his best run to the fourth session, a new PB 6.871/193. He said 'We have a new air clutch with no arms and have just done nine runs on it. We are now back to where we were with the previous clutch and are able to run the bike more efficiently with less boost'. Co-owner Barry Eastman said 'The bike has 105 inch wheelbase and long wheelie bars so that he steers the bike rather than ride on the bars down the track, he does a great riding job.'

Top Fuel Bike racer Otto knebl had to miss Sunday's sessions because of a gear selection problem for second gear which the team had to fix, eventually traced to a sticking valve. Otto and Yvona are pictured with team members Jiri Lukes and Radek Krenbich.

Pro Stock Bike racer Kenneth Holmberg qualified in third place with a 7.289/179 in session three after changing to his spare engine. He said 'Our main engine broke yesterday and we put a soft tune in the spare, as we didn't have data for the tuning and clutch setups. The vacuum pump broke and we repaired that. The main engine was newly built with all new parts and is sadly junk. The gearbox we used was an old one from last year. At least we are happy that the spare engine is quick.'

Top Fuel Bike racer Steve Woollatt has had problems getting the clutch to work properly this weekend. 'We have had tyre shake and when that happens the bike doesn't want to go in a straight line and the clutch can't work as it should. We adjusted the clutch but it was the wrong way. We aren't used to being no.7 qualifier.' Steve's best run was a 7.599/130.

Top Fuel Bike racer Rene van den Berg tested on Thursday, suffered a broken belt and a skull in the cylinder head also broke. 'Marius van der Zijden brought a part over from the Netherlands and we fixed it on Friday. After a half pass, the bike lost oil pressure when a relief valve stuck open, and a rod welded itself to the crank and punched a hole in the front of the engine. We had to use a new crank, rods, and cylinder block and worked until 4am, starting again at 6:30am on Sunday. When we fired the engine in the pits an oil plug leaked as the hole was larger than the old block, so we used Loctite to repair the hole which, incredibly, cured the leak. We set the bike up for a hot track, but conditions cooled so it overpowered the track'. Nevertheless Rene got back on the throttle, as he was not in the ladder at that point, and still ran 6.98/216 which placed him fifth. 'Tomorrow is Shark Day!' the team concluded. Pictured with Rene are Craig Lee Boulton and Roy Dijkstra.

Super Twin racers Gert-Jean Laseur had a blown head gasket and Ronny Aasen suffered engine breakage with pieces of aluminium on the track. Both teams are out of competition for this event.

Pro Stock racer Robin Norén is at SPR for the first time having raced in the class for a year in Scandinavia in 2016. He said 'The track surface is different here to Tierp and it has been hard to tune the car to the track, but we have now figured out something good. We are just servicing the car routinely. We missed out on session four as we had some engine and chassis work to do after tyre shake in session three. We have a new Bob Ingles engine for 2016 and plan to do all rounds this year thanks to our main sponsor STS, Scandinavian Tech and Lubrication Service'. Thanks to Ian Hart for advising us that the car refused to start after Q3 and the problem was traced to battery damage resulting from the tyre shake, a new battery being found and fitted before eliminations.

Pro Mod racer Norbert Kuno is being helped by chassis expert Adam Lambert from the US. Adam owns Precision Racing Suspension. Norbert said 'I met Adam when I was in Bahrain attending a race, Adam has worked with Hussain and Al Anabi Racing and we have become friends'. Adam said 'I attended Tierp in 2014, working with Thomas Lindström and Stefan Ernryd. I've made a lot of changes to Norbert's car, changing the suspension and four link setup and putting in new Penske five way adjustable shocks'. Adam supplies a lot of Penske shocks for the drag racing community and Norbert is now his agent for Europe.

Pro Mod racer Hussain al-Shammari was not able to make a pass at the meeting due to a number of issues raised in the scrutineering process. However the team are looking forward to racing their car in Tierp and will be looking to fix all the issues before then.

Reports and pictures ©