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


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Latest update 16:40

Top Fuel Dragster racer Urs Erbacher ran 4.954, 4.723 and 4.224/263, on the throttle for the longest in the third session. 'We spun the tyres in the first run but it had a good 60 ft time (0.86) and 330ft (2.24) but then spun, it would have been a 3.90 if it had held. The second run was hurt by a leak in the air system that operates various things like the clutch solenoid. The team is headed up by US tuners John Stewart and Ron Douglas. I hope we can have two more licensing passes for Jndia today and tomorrow'.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Duncan Micallef had problems culminating in shutting off on the line in session three. 'When we fired up yesterday we had a problem with a plug and the engine would not fire for the first session. In session two cylinders were out on the launch and I had tyre shake but still ran 4.26 then this morning there was a throttle problem and I shut off because I knew the run would be useless with a malfunctiong throttle' (most of the clutch and fuel timers are started by stepping on the throttle). 'I have the same setup as Liam so should do well on the next run'.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Antti horto is also running under the Rune Fjeld Motorsport banner, with his own crew from Eagle Motorsport. The car has a new chassis from sponsor Hauser Race Cars with a new front end and updates. The engine has a new fuel system. Antti said 'Thanks to my new sponsors SKM Service and Streamteam, I am able to do more races this year and will do Tierp in June and Alastaro before reviewing to do Hockenheim. We are having new car problems, it takes time to find the right setup but we share equipment and data with other RFM cars and the track looks good.' Antti ran a best of 5.01 with lots of shake before the last session when he ran a great 4.067/293.

Pro Stock racer Michael Malmgren ran a 6.68/205 in the final session to go fourth. He said 'It's been a difficult track for us, we learned nothing in testing and it pointed us in the wrong direction. We are also struggling with electrical problems'. unusually the engine cut out on this morning's pass after a lot of shake, which the car also suffered in Q1.

Pro Mod racer and sponsor Andy Robinson ran 6.65 and 6.31 yesterday to go seventh. Crew chief Mark Balzaretti said'The fuel timers didn't work on the second run so Andy had to pedal at 300ft and then get back on it, so we were quite pleased with the time and 235mph speed.' Andy's daughter Stefani said 'On the first run there was a lot of tyre shake and we didn't get all the data recorded, Luke made some chassis changes and he was able to drive through it for the second run'. This morning the shake returned and Andy had to lift off.

Top Methanol Dragster racers Timo and Dennis Habermann have a new primary sponsor, Misuboshi supercharger belts, and have also installed a MSD power grid on both cars. Dennis said 'The power grid helps control tyre shake by programming in ignition changes down the track at pre-set times which we dial in depending on when we expect the tyre shake to happen'. The results were very impressive, identical times in sesson two to five decimal places (5.526) and 5.46 for Dennis and 5.48 for Timo in session three this morning.

Pro Mod racer Micke Gullqvist had traction issues. 'On the first run the car overpowered the track, on the second after the burnout we noticed there was no air in the air shifter unit. So I backed it up, not being able to see the guages, went into stage and went in first gear. The car is largely the same as last year but we have three new team members who are good'.

Pro Mod racer Bert Englefield ran a 6.309 in session one for a good baseline. 'On the second pass the clutch dragged the car through the beams. We had planned to go quicker and instead ran 6.69. We want to run with the same settings for session two this morning'. The run was 6.232/228 which placed Bert fifth.

Pro Mod racer Wayne Nicholson had a successful series of testing passes last week and Thursday and these translated into a personal best performance. Yesterday the Corvette ran 6.52 in session one at only 198mph and improved to 6.458/218 in session three this morning. Belinda Nicholson said 'We want to replicate and improve on the previous runs, the track is good and the team are all smiles'.

Pro Mod racer David Vegter is qualified no.1 after three sessions. He said 'We built a new engine over the winter and are working to set it up. The car's handling is good and the track is good'. A 6.226 and 6.303 yesterday were followed by a 6.101/235 this morning.

Pro Mod racer Marck Harteveld came to the event with a lot of promise. His heavy car from last year has been replaced by a state of the art car from Pete Farber in the US which has been converted from a Dodge Daytona to Plymouth Superbird and the team's distinctive livery applied. There are a new set of cylinder heads from Post & Dros. A conservative 7.04 in session one was followed by a team shut-off in session two and a shake-filled nine second run in session three, leaving him in fifteenth place.

Top Methanol Funny Car racer Sandro Bellio is getting to grips well with the Danny's Racing Team Chevy Monte Carlo. He said 'I have done seven passes so far including an eighth mile and full pass for the license. All I have to do now is another pass at 6.40 or better. The car handles ok, we will try to run it quicker once I get my license. But we are still fighting the ignition and timing issues we have had for the last four years. When you drive you learn more about how the car performs compared with looking at the data. I want to take bigger steps and to do both Tierp events and Hockenheim as well as the Finals.

Pro Mod racer Michel Tooren is struggling to stay in the event with problems following a burst panel blowing. Crew chief Jaap Oonincx said 'The inlet manifold was damaged and we have fixed that with the help of Marck Harteveld. But a spacer plate broke as well and we are struggling to get another one'.

Top Methanol Dragster racer Jonny Lagg had work done on the car's chassis which had been back-halved and a new clutch fitted. He said 'In the first session the car went before the tree ran which is a shame as it felt good both in the burnout and on the run, going unbelievably straight and stable. We shook badly on the second run so we have put more power in to get wheel speed up on the launch and it will either go or smoke the tyres'. Jonny's sponsor, formerly US fuel brand 76 is now a rebranded Philips66, the same group which produces Kendall Oil, Sunoco Fuel which are to be renamed as well.

Pro Mod racer Jimmy Ålund is at his first Pro Mod race, after having won ten FIA Pro Stock championships. 'I decided that I had no drive for an eleventh championship and to do the full tour, which included me driving the transporter as well as working on and driving the car. And then Magnus Petersson (crew chief and car owner) called me saying they needed a new driver after Niclas Andersson retired. I was curious to see how it was to drive a Pro Mod and we tested in Malmö two weeks ago recording 4.09, 4.08, 3.95 and 3.99. It is different to drive from a Pro Stock, there is 1000hp more and an animal to drive in comparison, and the gearshifting is different. But there is less work to do in the Pro Mod cockpit'. Jimmy has clearly acclimatised very quickly and ran 6.305/164 yesterday and 6.210/227 this morning to go third in the order.

Pro Mod racer Freddie Fagerström is delighting the crowd with a 6.898 and a wild pass this morning, both preceded by long burnouts and fast reversing. He said 'On the first pass the points box broke and the engine cut out after five seconds. Fortunately we have a spare points box. The track is getting better and better. We have calmed the car down since testing. The main change from last year is having a Leanders clutch for the first time.' Jörgen Leanders is in attendance looking after his customer.

Pro Mod racer Bobby Wallace has had a great meeting so far with times of 6.408/28, 6.306/218 and 6.303/215 to place him seventh. Crew member Annie Wallace said 'All is very positive and we are setting the car up for a 6.2 run now. The setup is basically consistent and we are hoping for better air.'

Pro Mod racer and sponsor Marco Maurischat is dialling in new shock absorbers. 'On our first run we pedaled it to get to the finish line and recorded 6.968/208. I made chassis changes for the second run, still had to pedal but improved to 6.315/226'. Marco's new shocks are Penske Triple Adjustable items. 'They are the same as those used by Andy Robinson not computerised but highly adjustable. We want to be able to fix the tyre shake by adjusting the chassis rather than taking power out. We have had a power grid for a few years and with only a few races we want to use our Jonny Lindberg engine fully.'

Top Fuel dragster racer Liam Jones started strongly with a 4.313/219 then suffered traction loss. 'I was off it by the eighth mile in the first pass, the second was a planned full pull and we put more weight on the clutch and ran our best ever 60ft of 0.845, but it was too much, it started to smoke and went sideways so I got off it'. This morning Liam ran a 3.975/301, a new PB and into no.1 position.

Super Twin racer Petr Ceska was faced with an oil pump repair overnight following a lack of oil pressure. A 8.670 in session one is his only time so far, but good for no.4 in a field of six bikes. Peter's bike shares a pit with the Junior Dragsters of Dominik Novak and Sara Valesova.

Super Twin racer Gert-Jan Laseur is running the ex-Chris Hannam bike, having moved up from Pro Stock Bike where he was 2016 FIM Champion. Problems started with a lane swapping launch (1.15 60ft), then a launch and idle to get him in the field, and this morning an enine explosion after a straight launch.

Pro Stock Bike racer Alex Hope, crewed by dad Chris (pictured) has reverted back to the family bike after the ex Dave Beck machine refused to run straight. A tyre shaking, lane changing pass in session two was followed by a much improved and straight 7.76 this morning. Chris said 'We are trying to get back to where we were'. Alex is defending event champion from 2016.

Super Street Bike racer Mark Hope said 'We are chipping away at the settings. We refreshed the engine over the winter and changed the sensor settings. We have spent most of the last two seasons trying to understand the EFI and are getting there. There is not enough power for the track to give us problems, just a bit of slippage at the top end'. This morning he improved to 7.834/183 which placed him fifteenth.

Super Twin racer and 2016 FIM Champion Martijn de Haas was quick in two sessions so far, 6.878/199 in session one and 6.949/202 in session three. He said 'We are using moderate settings and in sesson two lost grip. We are now on the right side and will give it more power. We were going to install a new fuel pump but couldn't complete it in time and so have re-installed the old pump. We have also changed the clutch and exhaust.' A successful start to his championship defence.

Pro Stock Bike racer and sponsor Martin Newbury, crewed by wife Cindy (pictured) went 7.424/176 in session two to go second after the bike got close to the guardrail in session one. An improvement to 7.369/177 placed him third after three sessions. He said 'We have put in new pistons but otherwise the bike is as it was last year. The wind is the issue that has slowed us.'

Pro Stock Bike racer Fredrick Fredlund is qualified no.1 after three sessions said 'We haven't run the bike since the Euro Finals last September which I won with a European ET record of 6.978. We did no testing and got the bike out 90 minutes before session one after normal servicing. We have just one engine and need to be careful with it and can't be too violent on the launch. I am running on a reduced budget for this year, but am looking forward to the FIM World Drag Bike series next year'. He recorded 7.226 and 7.031 to go first after three sessions.

Pro Stock Bike racer Martin Bishop (pictured right), said 'The track is slippery and the wind has hit us hard, but once the power comes out well we get the revs up and have a good terminal speed. Once the track comes round we will run fast. But the surface is odd and we cannot generate smoke in the bleach box'. A 7.800/170 was followed by 7.600/178 in session two and 7.451/178 in session three which placed him fifth.

Top Fuel Bike racers Stu Crane (pictured left) and Dale Leeks are both trying to run sixes to get in the field for eliminations. Dale said 'Our main change is both tyres because we had a problem with both the front and rear washing out. On our first pass I shut off at 5.2s and still ran a 7.5s pass. The air is good today and we will give it more power.' Stu said 'I ran my PB to 60ft of 1.03 and we have changed the front end and nitrous to get down the track. We are running two valve engines with nitrous but it gives good power'. Stu ran a new PB of 6.951/188, whereas Dale has had a best of 7.587/174 with one run left to make that crucial six.

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