FIA / FIM Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway, 24th-27th May 2019


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Super Pro ET racer and sponsor Peter Walters is back in his Re-loaded dragster with Big Block 496ci power in the rear. After some problem filled runs, he ran his first seven in the car in qualifying, a 7.955/165 in round five and then qualified on the bubble with a 8.101 on a 7.98 dial. He overcame Ron Bartlett with a 8.029 on a 8.00 in round one, and defeated Laura Turburville with a 8.041 on 7.95 dial in a battle of the former Junior Dragster racers in round two.

Pro Stock racer Michael Malmgren is in his second year of using Gray Motorsports engines and these have given him the power he has needed to go number one in qualifying for the first time in five years. He said 'We are very pleased with the outcome, we have worked hard on the setup to get a bigger window of tuning than we had last year. The class looks more competitive and with Jimmy back full time in the series, there are several drivers looking to better their performance'.

Fuel Funny Car racer Steve Ashdown, pictured with Kirstie Giles and her son Owen, has improved performance here, running 4.475/256 and 4.606/252 in his best qualifying passes. Crew chief Dave Bryant said 'We are back to where we should be. The car has new blocks and cams and a new fuel system. You can sometimes get lost and our improvement is from a lot of hard work, and also thinking about how we want to approach the setup'.

Fuel Funny Car racer Kevin Chapman, pictured with daughter Ellie, said 'We have had lots of issues with the engine and scuffing of pistons; we have had to change cylinder liners every pass. But it was better last time and we're looking forward to the final against Steve'. Kevin's best times so far are 4.949/174 and 4.734/199 in qualifying and a 4.726/198 defeat of Jason Phelps in round one.

FIM-E Top Fuel Bike racer Filippos Papafilippou has had a big change to the setup as explained by previous owner and 10 time champion Ian King. 'The bike has been converted to a direct drive setup and we are trying to find the right clutch settings by adapting the existing clutch. We also put the bike on a weight loss programme by making a carbon fibre body'. The engine setup is as before, but the team are treating the event as a test session to find ideal clutch settings. So the best times in qualifying were 6.31 and 6.34, both with speeds in the 170 mph region, indicating an early shut off. In eliminations, he faced Thomas Pettersson in round one, and won with a 6.505/194 pedal and early shutoff; his next match is against Rikard Gustafsson in the semi final.

Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racer Lukas Schmidt is son of Comp Eliminator racer Florian Uebel, and is a member of the Bavarian Drag Racing Club in Germany. He has raced at Hockenheim, German airfield tracks and Rivanazzano in Italy. He is qualified 11th with a RT of 0.0295 in his Junior Modified car.

Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racer Felix Schmidt, brother of Lukas, runs a Junior Stock car and is qualified 21st with 0.0715. Lukas and Felix's cars were built by Dad Florian Uebel.

Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racer Purdie Hadfield is at her first meeting in her own Half Scale Junior Modified Advanced car, having used a SPR rental car at the Festival of Power. She is tutored by Dad Andy 'Fadster' Hadfield who kindly sponsors's Perfect ET award. Her qualifying position is 15th with 0.415.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Stig Neergaard concentrates on tuning his car, now with the aid of Mike Domagala of Premium Motorsports Products. Stig's best time in qualifying was a 3.917/301 in Q2, but three other attempts had tyre shake problems, so the consistency of Anita Mäkelä and Liam Jones is not there yet. In round one, the tyre shake returned and he lost out to Maja Udtian.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Anita Mäkelä said 'We have been lucky with the weather, but for session four we were in the lineup for a long time, and by the time we ran the track was too cold for our setup. But I'm confident of my car and crew, and I'm glad that we're back in action after a long winter. The racing will be tough this year, that's for sure'. Her performance in qualifying was 4.093, 3.870 and 3.974 in the first three sessions and she meets old foe from the Top Methanol days Micke K&arin;gered in round one, where a 4.059/289 won.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Susanne Callin said 'It's good to get down the track and I was pleased with a 4.01 in session two. It was my only decent run, but in the other sessions there were problems outside my control which I couldn't do anything about'. She was against Jndia Erbacher in round one, and the car shut off early to a 5.91 against Jndia's 4.500/172.

Top Fuel Dragster racer Micke K&arin;gered was the only racer not to succomb to tyre shake in the cold conditions in session four, but overall was disappointed in the car in qualifying. 'There was no damage, but we had dropped cylinders and the car was not going as well as we wanted. The last run was not bad, although the blower belt went. Our main change is a new five disc clutch'. In round one he suffered mechanical gremlins against Anita.

Super Pro ET racer Nick Good who has a three car operation, chose to leave his supercharged six second car at home to drive the Windscreen Wizards carburretored dragster. After eight qualifying sessions he was in 12th place with a 7.577 on a 7.57 dial in. In round one however he was out-run by Dave Fulton who had an outstanding 0.06 package.

Super Pro ET racer Brad Jackson had a problem on his last qualifying run. Dad and crew chief Wayne said 'He heard an odd noise coming from the rear of the car, and on inspection car owner Nick and mechanic Cristiann decided to strip the rear axle and found 3 teeth had broken off the pinion, In an amazing act of generosity Scott and Geof Hauser offered to go back to their workshop and fit a new crown wheel and pinion to the axle, Scott returned the parts at 10:30pm and Nick and Cristiann put the car back together, what a great effort by everyone, a great big Thankyou to everyone involved!' In a battle of champions, 2018 Super Pro Champion Brad beat multiple Junior Dragster champion Joe Kellett in round one.

Pro Modified racer Dmitry Samorukov had a big moment in session four of qualifying when the Camaro went sideways and suffered violent fishtailing, needing big steering input to avoid impacting the wall. He said 'This car is different to drive from my Dodge Viper which was automatic, and the Camaro has a Liberty manual shift. There is a lot of power but the window of tuning is small'. Adam Flamholc, pictured right, built the engine with up to date parts including a Mike Janis supercharger and we look forward to seeing Dmitry in the whole FIA tour this year. In round one he suffered an explosion and fire on a losing 6.163.

Competition Eliminator racer Kev Jenkins has run 8.38 personal bests at this event, but without their best race engine, designed to run sevens. He said 'I have been doing observed runs since Easter, when the number four rod shook loose and the piston smashed into the head. We had the head repaired and rebuilt the engine, but the same thing happened at Springspeed and this time the block was windowed. We sent the engine to Malta, where the chassis had been constructed by Ladmu. So the battle to build a spare engine began and we used a standard crank, main cap and block to go into the eights and win the Doorslammers four cylinder class'. Kev says the boost on launch is 28psi but keeps to 21psi during the run. 'The oil has been getting cold in the conditions at this event and we have had to disable the ECU feature which kills the ignition when it gets too cold'. His engine is a Vauxhall C20XE which explains the car's title 'Fraudster'.

Pro Modified racer Roger Johansson had tractions difficulties until the last session when the car ran 5.91/222. He said 'We made small changes to lessen tyre shake and go down the track smoothly. The car is the same setup that ran a 5.7 last September'. In round one, a holeshot 6.239/201 beat Dmitry Samorukov's 6.163/211, but in round two a 5.963/212 was not enough for Jimmy Ålund's 5.877/240.

Pro Modified racer Marck Harteveld was delighted to have run his first five in qualifying after a 6.046 in session two and missing session three. He said 'We had found a broken lifter when the engine made a strange sound on warming up for session three and when we lifted the blower off and rotated the engine, the lifter came out. So we were confident and the 5.934/243 was great'. In round one, he had to steer to keep straight and Mats Eriksson extended his lead to Marck's losing 6.272/208.

FIM-E Pro Stock Bike racer David Simon from France is at his first Santa Pod event, having last raced in PSB at Hockenheim in 2015. He said 'I built my Suzuki GSX-R 1000 myself and have raced in France too'. His best PSB time is 7.81 and here could only run 8.80, but is in competition with a field of seven bikes. In round one, he failed to get off the line.

FIM-E Top Fuel Bike racer Thomas Pettersson ran a new PB ET of 6.524 in the final session. He said 'The conditions here have been good, and the cold air last night suited us. We want to repeat'. Thomas has an air-assisted clutch and Vipec Link EFI. The main problem he had was a broken turbo in Q3 'so I went back to my old one, but it still delivers'.

FIM-E Top Fuel Bike racer Stuart Crane suffered ECU software issues which resulted in the ignition being retarded on the burnout. 'We had to reinstall the software. Running on our new nitrous setup is now nearly back to where we were'. The bike has a vacuum fuel pump and single stage nitrous which Stuart expects will propel the bike to 6.7s times. Other planned events this year are Hockenheim and the Euro Finals.

FIM-E Super Twin racer Allan Davies had damage to the top end of the engine, which resulted in the barrels going to Dad Pete Davies and Frank Brachtvogel taking the cylinder heads to lap in the valves. 'The bike had damaged its back piston on the second run and a ceramic piece from the plug went through the valve seats. We put it together yesterday but didn't go out in Q4, as we didn't want to risk damage'. Although there was a round one loss to Neil Midgley, Allan and team was pleased the bike ran in the sixes for the first time for 6.806, and had left the startline better.

FIM-E Super Twin racer Martijn de Haas runs a new bike with a Donald Johnson frame imported from the US and has built up the machine since February, a rapid build for a new machine. In qualifying he went 7.95 and 7.31/180 in sessions three and four, after problems on Saturday, but in round one he stepped up and ran 6.929/199.98 in a losing effort to Samu Kempainnen.

FIM-E Super Street racer Graham Dance was pleased that the bike went 7.40/193 to qualify thirteenth, and didn't make the final session - which was cancelled anyway due to the curfew coming in. 'The oil pump broke in Q3 and it produced a lot of mess in the sump, teeth from the pump and more stuff besides. We could have made Q4 but it was a bit hit or miss, so we decided to have beer and pizza on the bank instead and didn't regret it'. In round one he was against Mathias Bohlin and Graham's 7.451 lost out to Mathias Bohlin's 7.192.

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