FIA/FIM Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway, 25th-28th May 2018


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Top Fuel Dragster racer Liam Jones won the pedalfest against Stefan Gunnarson in the first round. He said I had bad shake about 100-150 feet out and pedalled three or four times and tried feathering it. It worked, Stefan was unlucky, and there was no damage whatsoever'. Liam red-lit in the semi final against eventual winner Stig Neergaard.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Antti Horto also lost traction and pedalled his way to a first round victory against Björn Mårtensson. Then in round two he came up against Anita, lost traction and the race.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Anita Mäkelä ran consecutive 3.9s in the first two rounds of eliminations. She said 'I want to thank Keith Bartlett for investing in the new track and it was brilliant to see four cars in the 3.9s after the first two Top Fuel sessions with a new surface. Santa Pod is my home and we love the fans here. Our setup has given us confidence but each round is an empty page to be written on'.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Stig Neergaard pedalled against Duncan Micallef whose car shook and then lost all power after 60ft. He said 'I had no idea what happened to Duncan so I pedalled five times, at one stage all four wheels were off the ground. The only engine damage was one main bearing which was a little scorched half of the way across'. In the semi final, Stig was the beneficiary of a Liam Jones red light, so the final was Anita v Stig, which Stig won with a shaking 4.23/202 to Anita's 4.39/199.

Pro Stock racer Robin Norén ran new personal best times both yesterday and today and beat 2017 Champion Bengt Ljungdahl in the first, and semi final, round. He said 'It feels good as it is my first round win in the class as well. My 60ft time of 0.977 was my best ever and that contributed to the PB ET of 6.65. My thanks go to Gray Motorsports who have provided power for this year, to my team including my father, and to my sponsors, the largest of which is STS'.

Top Methanol Funny Car racer Jürgen Nagel was on five second form and defeated a tyre shaking Sandro Bellio in round one. Crew chief Frank Schwimmer said 'We were pleased to run a 5.847/247 in our first race since last year. We rebuilt the engine over the winter and fixed the problems which the team brainstormed. These are our best times ever, the car responded well to the new track and our combination proved perfect for it. We can go faster but not at the moment, we want to do that step by step. We already feel as if we've won!' The team will be at just three races this year, two at SPR and Hockenheim.

Pro Stock racer Stefan Ernryd said 'We're delighted to reach our sixth final in a row. The car became loose in 3rd and 4th gear and that may be due to us having less downforce than other classes, so our aerodynamics are sensitive. To run a PB on this track is good'. He met Robin Norén in the final and ran another great 6.670/207 coupled with a 0.007 RT to win the event.

Supertwin racer Ronny Aasen ran the first half of a new ET record in round at 6.385. Crew chief Vincent Pels said 'We started a project after last year's NitrOlympX and found the cam galley which operates the lifters was basically the same as a 1956 H-D Sportster and this was giving us issues right through the valve train. We traced the problem with the help of S&S who developed a new camshaft. We knew the lifters would not take the extra load and so bought a new model of lifters from Jesel which we modified to be adjustable. We started with everything soft and then aimed to run a six in qualifying. Today we knew we had to step up and made changes to the clutch, ignition and supercharger'. In round two Marcus Christiansen stepped up to a 6.33 and a softer launch and 6.46/228 wasn't enough in spite of the immense speed.

Top Methanol Dragster racer Jonny Lagg defeated Rod Harrison in round one with a 5.42/259 to Rod's 5.80/241, both Jonny's A/Fuel and Rod's blown alky car running straight and true. In the semi final he dropped a cylinder but still ran 5.57/262 in a losing effort to Timo Habermann.

Supertwin racer Marcus Christiansen qualified no.1 in his first race at SPR with a 6.42/215. In round one, his form continued with another straight run, this time a 6.45/223. He was no longer quickest in the class though after the round finished...

Supertwin racer Neil Midgley ran a great 6.56/183, the speed down due to Neil shutting off just after half track. Team owner Chris 'Cannon' Hannam said 'The engine detonated again and broke another drive belt, that's four we got through this weekend. On that pass the detonation damaged the rear piston. We're thrashing to get a new piston fitted in time for the semi final. We have the parts but don't know if we've got the time'. Chris reckons that the time would have been around 6.1 if the engine hadn't detonated. 'We're after Jaska's ET record', he finished. The bike's problems continued into the semi, slowing it down to 6.76/161.

Supertwin racer Hans Olav Olstad improved to a 6.533/220 in defeating Gert-Jan Laseur who drifted to the left and shut off. There was a clean-up in Hans Olav's lane afterwards, but he returned to run a 6.67/223 to defeat Neil Midgley.

Top Fuel Bike racers Rikard Gustafsson and Filippos Papafilippou are the performance stars of the event with Rikard running over 250mph, a feat only done by Larry McBride and Korry Hogan in the US before - and backed up, which no-one has done before. Filippos ran the first half of a new European record of 5.78 but in the humid conditions yesterday that was difficult to

Top Fuel Bike racer Rikard Gustafsson ran 5.99/250.55 in qualifying to go no.2 and in round one improved his ET to 5.96/250.45 in a defeat of Stu Crane. In round 2 he had to lift but still beat Eric Richard, who left on him, running 6.65/207.

Top Fuel Bike racer Stuart Crane qualified no.7 with a 6.988/184. He said 'We had shifting issues earlier in qualifying, and the nitrous activation switch failed. The air was off yesterday and we richened our spare engine up. As a spare engine, it's performing well'.

Top Fuel Bike racer Lorcan Parnell had new friction plates in the Storm dragbike's clutch. 'They have higher friction in order to get the power to the track more effectively, and we needed to make it progressive and smooth. The setup was too aggressive on Thursday, we calmed it down on Saturday, and it was enough to qualify with a 6.85/205'. In round one he had an easy run when Glenn Borg shut off, but in round two against Fast Fil he improved his PBs to a 6.74 at a storming 218.

Top Fuel Bike racer Glenn Borg (standing to right of bike) qualified fourth with 6.57/206 on the General Lee Funny Bike. He had done a succession of runs at Hal Far Raceway during the off season for FIM, and recorded great times in the sixes. His form continued into qualifying but in round one he shut off in stage giving the win to Lorcan Parnell.

Super Street Bike racer Steve Mead ran PBs in the 7.2s region at the test session and qualified ninth with a 7.33. He said 'Walter Sprout is helping me tune the bike this weekend but remotely as he is at a race in Tulsa and is tuning a few bikes there as well'. Steve ran a 7.31 to defeat Rudi Zorzi in round one however a consistent 7.33 wasn't enough against Steve Venables' 6.92/208 in round two.

Super Street Bike racer Franklyn Borg qualified fourth with a 7.12/200, off his best (but not backed up) 6.916 from last year's Euro Finals. He said 'The new track is fantastic and we have just had a number of small problems'. He went 7.65 to defeat Mark Hope in round one, but went down to first alternate Robert Häggblom in round two.

Super Street Bike racer Erich Gruber was second alternate when Garry Bowe suffered engine damage yesterday and got through one round when Jake Mechaell had handling issues on the run. Erich said 'We are just glad to be here, the track is fantastic, we don't have any tracks in Austria so it is amazing to be here'.

Super Street Bike racer Daniel Donat Lencses from Hungary qualified seventh with 7.18/204. He ran 7.24/210 on the test day, close to a European speed record. This morning he defeated Rodulfo Maduro in a very close 7.21/198 to 7.23/198 but was defeated by Mogens Lund in the quarter final.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Stefan Gunnarson was grateful to borrow a flywheel from Anita Mäkelä. Crew chief Peter Lantz said 'We only discovered the flywheel problem last night and now we're back to where we were on Thursday on car setup'. Stefan, like every other first round competitor apart from Anita, had to pedal the car in a losing effort to Liam Jones. Stefan and Peter are supported by Mike and Michelle Domagala of Premium Motorsport Products who source parts direct from the US to drag racers around the world.

Pro Mod racer David Vegter qualified fourth with a 5.93/240 and went up against Bobby Wallace, who he defeated with a tyre-shaking 6.13/232, with some smoke, possibly from the front tyres rubbing, at the top end.

Pro Mod racer Bobby Wallace struggled with tyre shake during qualifying, his best pass being 7.05/196. In round one the problems continued and he was off the throttle by half track.

Pro Mod racer Freddy Fagerström had a broken rear axle snout yesterday and put an appeal out on Facebook which was responded to and Roine and Mankan Karlsson got the replacement parts over from Sweden in time to be fitted. The car shook in the first round against Bruno Bader and despite an opening passenger door, Freddy kept with it for the win in 6.60/231.

Pro Mod racer and sponsor Andy Robinson's team tried many changes to get the car back in the fives. In the final session he did just that, the team having changed gear ratios after Saturday, to run a 5.92/244. In round one it sounded as if he had driven through the clutch but his was the straightest and quickest pass of the round, to defeat Marcus Hilt with a 6.01/239.

Pro Mod racer Jan Ericsson ran a PB of 6.01/242 in his Tami Brander-built Camaro to qualify sixth. Then in round one he holeshot Wayne Nicholson who put up a great effort to catch him, but Jan's 0.07 reaction and 6.66/221 were just too much for Wayne.

Pro Mod racer Wayne Nicholson had run a PB of 6.34 in qualifying with power that overcame a few handling issues, but he was a bit late against Jan Ericsson and a better 6.62/207 didn't quite catch up with Jan. Nevertheless Wayne's performance is showing big improvements.

Pro Mod racer Bruno Bader had a lot of problems this weekend gaving to change engines and cylinder heads, and could only manage a 6.22/226 to qualify tenth. The problems continued, in the handling department this time, as he shook and got very close to the centre line and pedalled a couple of times to a 7.13/220 defeat at the hands of Freddy Fagerström.

Pro Mod racer Kev Slyfield had run multiple PBs this weekend culminating in bests of 6.100 and 232.52 and he qualified eighth. But this morning the engine refused to fire up despite a valiant attempt by the team to crank it over, and he took no further part in proceedings.

Pro Mod racer Norbert Kuno was the beneficiary of Kev Slyfield's non-start, and Kev had to watch going down the return road as Norbert suffered what looked like a transmission failure as the car slowed and there was an explosion from underneath the driver's compartment.

Pro Mod racer Marcus Hilt, who had run a best of 6.64/208 in the previous weekend could only muster a 8.11/177 to qualify 14th. So in round one he hit tyre shake again and shut off against Andy Robinson.

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