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


Click on any picture for a large image. Click here to return to the Event Index.

Top Fuel Bike racer Eric Richard qualified fourth with a 7.246/189 following successful test passes of 7.08/196 and 6.96/190 which means he is eligible to take part in eliminations.

Super Comp and Super Gas racer Ronald Huis suffered a tow truck breakdown which meant that he spent 26 hours making the trip from Holland to Santa Pod. He said 'I managed to get four runs in however scrutineering noticed my seat belts were out of date, so I borrowed some from fellow racer Mike Hol and will qualify using those'.

Funny Car licencee Kevin Chapman ran an initial 7.70 pass this morning. He said 'It was really good, I was in control and the team were happy to stand in front of the car when I went through the burnout procedure. The car felt solid and I just got a bit close to the wall. I plan to have four more passes'. This afternoon he suffered a mechanical problem resulting in a pool of oil on the start line but controlled the car admirably to keep it off the wall.

Funny Car racer Kevin Kent acts as diver (bottom end specialist) as well as driver. He ran a 4.52/265 in the second session with a solid launch and 3.62/232 eighth track time. John 'Bodie' Smith is acting as tuning consultant as before.

Top Fuel racer Stefan Gunnarson is joined by Mike Damagala of Premium Motorsports Products who supply US Top Fuel parts to teams around the world. Crew chief Peter Lantz said 'The car went well for a test run, the tyre shake Stefan experienced indicating that the power going down wasn't enough. We reduced the power after going up in smoke on Thursday but the track's grip got better. We have to do a full pass with nine cars here'. The car's best was 5.99 which made him seventh in the order.

Top Methanol Dragster A/Fuel racer Jonny Lagg said after the first shake-filled run of 5.82/254 'The car left well then moved around but there was not enough power. We are using Top Fuel tyres for the first time, and couldn't hear my burnout as we did ours at the same time as Jürgen. I am using our spare engine which we have not had in the car for a couple of years, but it works well'. The second run was an improved 5.41/261.

Top Fuel dragster racer Jndia Erbacher has a new car comprised of her Hadman A/Fuel chassis and new running gear. She said 'The car is really amazing to drive, it's my baby. The crew have done a fantastic job in building it to get me to run a 4.74 on my first pass and I was only on the throttle to 800ft. It was a straight pass and I can run harder next time'. The team is joined by Tony Shortall, who has worked on NHRA Top Fuel cars with Richard Hogan and Torrence Racing.

Top Fuel dragster racer Duncan Micallef was the first car to run a three second pass on the new track, a 3.92/309. He said 'I asked Rune whether he thought I should do a half pass and he said 'see how it feels' and it felt good. The tyres did spin a little at the top end but I was able to keep on it. It was my third fastest pass. Over the winter I did four half passes in Malta, there were some electrical problems but it was a good warm-up for the season'. Duncan plans to contest the whole season.

Top Fuel dragster racer Liam Jones was pleased with a 0.85 60ft time in the first sesson. 'Then it shook and I pressed the button to release the chutes. We'll have more weight in the clutch next time. We're joined by Joe Taylor from the US who is aiding us at every round this year'. Liam, who will be competing in the whole championship for this year, is displaying the colours of his company CBD Asylum which produces cannabidiol health products in the form of water solubles, e-liquids and tinctures.

Top Fuel dragster racer Stig Neergaard said he is running a reduced Top Fuel season and running his new Nostalgia Top Fuel car at two races in Denmark and the NitrOlympX. 'I will contest only the Santa Pod Top Fuel rounds and Hockenheim'. He had problems on both his passes, losing traction on the first to tyre smoke and then on the second to tyre shake. 'Over the weekend I'm sure we will get a handle on the track', he said.

Pro Stock racer Bengt Ljungdahl ran 6.668 and 6.645 to go top of the qualifying. He said 'The first half times were quite bad in the 60ft. But it's my first race this year and we will do better. We use data from Tierp to tune for here as it's a similar surface. The track is going to be good but we don't want to push the car too much at this stage'. Bengt has a refreshed engine from supplier Shane Gray in the US.

Super Pro ET licencee Matt Peters from Hampsthwaite (pictured right with team-mate Johnny) has teamed up with Norbert Kuno in a three year plan to get into Pro Mod. He said 'Before this event I've never been down a drag racing track but have done motocross for some years and spectated here for 27 years. I plan to finish licensing at the Summer Nationals and then do the NitrOlympX and Finals, run Super Pro ET in the car for next year and start in Pro Mod in 2020. I did three starts on Thursday and it was eye-opening but much nicer using the two step and ran a 1.23 60ft, not quite as quick as the 1.2 that was required'.

Pro Mod racer Norbert Kuno ran 6.93/206 and 6.32/228 to go ninth. He said after the first pass 'We are trying to find a new setup we can use with the relaid track, the data is telling us to give it more so we will increase the clutch weight and the power'.

Top Methanol Dragster racer Dennis Habermann has new heads on his Arias engine and a new intake manifold. The result in the first qualifying run was a 5.323/270 and promise of more to come, but in the second session there was shake, smoke, and a burst blower panel.

Top Methanol Dragster racer Timo Habermann ran a 5.387/263 and 5.448/264 with a car equipped with older heads but capable of more. He said 'There is tremendous potential with the new track and we want to run a 5.1 but are aiming for a 5.2 at this event'.

Pro Mod racer Jimmy Ålund was the winner of Pro Doorslammer last weekend and was in no.2 position after two sessions with a 5.915/241. Car owner Magnus Pettersson said 'It's been fun, the crowd and track crew have been fantastic. The first run last weekend was quite marginal, but we had enough luck to win the event. SPR have done a marvellous job on the track'.

FIM Supertwin racer Ronny Aasen ran 1.266 to 60ft but shut off after 300ft looking like a planned test launch.

FIM Supertwin racer Neil Midgley went 8.37/102 on his first qualifying pass with a great 1.06 launch and 4.40 to the eighth, lifting when the bike drifted left.

FIM Supertwin racer Gert Jan Laseur went 10.034/104 with a 1.21 60ft time and lifting when the bike headed towards the centre line.

FIM Supertwin racer Martijn de Haas got a full pass in to go 6.889/204 which placed him second behind Marcus Christiansen.

FIM Super Street Bike racer Mikael Olen from Sweden making his debut at SPR was qualified sixteenth with a 7.936/184. He tested on Thursday and went 7.98 with a slightly slower 177mph terminal.

FIM Super Street Bike racer Rudolfo Maduro tested on Thursday but had problems, however in session one he improved to 7.75/187 to go 11th out of 23.

FIM Super Street Bike racer Thomas Granica is pictured with his team, brother Peter being unable to join them at SPR. Thomas who tested on Thursday suffered a transmission problem on his second run after an initial 7.95 and also had problems in session one of qualifying.

FIM Super Street Bike racer Robert Haggblom tested to 8.38 and 8.08 on Thursday and went 8.10 to go 19th in session one.

Pro ET racer and Perfect Light award sponsor through 'Bad Habit' Racing Dave 'Tig' Napier is back with his Dodge Challenger after a break to refurbish the car. Wife Cath said 'We are having problems not getting third gear, have had a look and see what will happen'. He ran an improved 9.83/137 on a 9.72 dial, to go 33rd in a very competitive field.

Pro ET racer and sponsor of the Labelling Products Perfect ET award Al Platt is back with wife Linda. He went 11.54 on 11.52 to go thirteenth by session four. Many thanks to Al and Linda for their support of the Perfect ET award.

Pro ET racer Nick Barnett, who usually runs in the Gasser Circus, went 11.72/114 on a 11.68 dial to go 24th by session four

Pro ET racer Bob Molden is on top of Pro ET qualifying after four sessions with a perfect ET of 9.650/137. He is thus the first winner of the Labelling Products Perfect ET award of £50 and congratulations to him.

Pro ET racer James Oliver is picking his front wheels up on a regular basis now, and a 9.83/135 on a 9.80 dial placed him 18th after four sessions.

Pro ET and Super Gas racer Jon Turner had suffered engine damage last weekend, but the team made the necessary repairs and were rewarded with a new PB of 9.41/147 on a 9.30 dial-in which placed him 31st in the 32 car field.

Pro ET racer Rhiannon Bellenie has a turbocharger atop her Hayabusa engine. Dad Pete said 'We're just doing test runs on low power before we try to get the ET down'. Rhiannon went 10.19 on a 9.80 dial in which placed her in 37th.

Super Pro ET racer Laura Turburville, whose birthday it was yesterday, was delighted to go no.1 qualifier in the Bloodlines dragster, running a 7.901 on a 7.90 dial-in.

Super Pro ET racer Dave Russell came to the test day but unfortunately the gearbox broke. So on Friday, the team with the help of the Hales family, a new gearbox borrowed from Andy Thetford was fitted. 'Our thanks to Andy and to the Hales for all their help', said Dave.

Super Gas racer Rene Kloss changed the rear suspension over the winter and fitted a pair of new Strange shock absorbers. He also has an electronic throttle stop installed. He said 'We had a few problems on the first couple of runs, but I went 9.79 in the third session which is more or less where I wanted to be - it's easier to slow down the car rather than quicken it'.

Super Comp racer Paul Hudson is in 11th with a 10.447. He said 'We changed the carburettor over the winter but the engine was running lean, so we have fixed that. The car is a little bit squirrely going down the track, but it's me rather than the track, I'm still used to driving a doorslammer and was overcorrecting on the steering'.

Super Comp racer Martin Curbishley will be joined today by sponsor Stuart Cameron of Fix Auto from Penzance. He said 'Thanks to Stuart, without his help I wouldn't be able to race. I arrived from Penzance on Thursday and was straight into qualifying on Friday. The track is so smooth, the main adjustment we made for the new surface was to increase the tyre pressures, particularly on the front, which seems odd but nevertheless has worked for us'. He is qualified 6th with an 8.97, whereas Mick Howling, who is driving the dragster in Super Pro ET is qualified third with a 8.482 on a 8.48 dial. Car owner, and crew chief for this weekend, Paul Marston sends his best wishes to crew chief Sefton Whitlock who is at home suffering from shingles.

Reports and pictures ©