race reports

FIA/FIM-E NitrOlympx at Hockenheimring, Germany

Es War Aufregend!


Words and photos by Ivan Sansom and Rose Hughes

Liam Jones 


The 2017 NitrOlympx on the Rico Anthes Quarter Mile at the fabled Hockenheimring in picturesque Rhine Valley as it winds its way through Baden-Württemberg, Germany, was a bit of a barn-burner. The track surface was in fine condition, particularly for race day and the weather was conducive to quick times in all of the professional FIA and FIM-E classes, although a short shower curtailed qualifying on the Friday afternoon. Big crowds and great racing delivered up a pretty spectacular event to kick off a frantic four weeks as we head towards the culmination of the European season.


FIA Top Fuel Dragster


With seven fuel cars on hand, qualifying wasn’t as frantic as perhaps it could have been, and ended with Liam Jones on top with a 4.040 at only 258 mph from the Arxell/Rune Fjeld Motorsport entry, closely followed by the Lucas Oils-backed Eye of the Storm digger that propelled Stig Neergaard to a 4.056/282.48 whilst Jones’s RFM teammate Antti Horto dropped in with a 4.076/279.09. The rest of the field stretched from Anita Mäkelä’s 4.184, through Duncan Micallef’s 4.274 and Mikael Kågered’s 4.789, to class debutant Jndia Erbacher with a 4.952.

Mikael Kagered 


With the field set, Jones progressed to the semis on an early shutoff solo and then the fun started. Kågered ripped off a PB threatening 3.965/267.32 to defeat Horto who was up in smoke at the hit with a presumed clutch issue, points leader Micallef extended his winning streak with a 3.991/281.42 and continued Mäkelä’s miserable season with the number 1 plate on the Levi Iglu entry as a 4.183/281.30 resulted in yet another first round exit.


The final pairing was over before the start as Neergaard continued on after the burnout handing Erbacher her first-round win in the Indian Motorcycles/Midland Oil ride.

Jndia Erbacher 


And so to the final four. The top side of the ladder had RFM team mates blasting to the finish line with Micallef getting the win with a 3.961/306.75 to Jones’ 3.993/287.04 in the quickest pairing in Europe over 1000 feet. Micallef’s opponent would be Erbacher after both her ride and Kågered’s Bacho Tools Express briefly lit them up at about the eighth mile and then rolled to the finish line in a 4.720 to a 4.861 coaster.

Duncan Micallef 


Erbacher betrayed no nerves in the final, getting the jump over Micallef off the line, but the Bajada Energy bullet gained ground and pulled past with a 3.997/302.82 to Jndia’s 4.056/280.31, leaving the Maltese Lion with his third event win on the trot, undefeated in 2017 and an almost unassailable lead in the FIA Top Fuel points chase with two events remaining.

Unfortunately, Christiansen’s motor expired after a troubled burnout prior to the final, with opponent Martijn de Haas taking the win with a 6.795/210 solo, which gives the Dutch rider a chance at a third class title in a row.


FIM-E Pro Stock Bike

Fredrik Fredlund 

Alex Hope


The stocker cycles had a bumper seventeen entries trying to make the cut, with sixteen gaining a time slip and thus into a four round eliminator for the first time this season. Åland’s Fredrik Fredlund made the best of the conditions, leading qualifying by two tenths with a 7.090/189.71, taking the class speed record with a 7.078/191.45 mph ticket in the opening round of eliminations, setting class low ET with a 7.059 in the quarters, resetting the speed record with a 7.097/191.53 in the semi-finals, before defeating a resurgent Alex Hope with a 7.105 to the Brit’s 7.406 (getting to the final after a couple of days of woes was good enough). When Fredrik is in this kind of mood it is difficult to look beyond a seventh title.


FIM-E Super Street Bike

Mogen Lund 


Twenty-eight bikes for the Super Street Bike Cup representing eleven countries (isn’t it time to make this a full championship class?) had Rick Stubbins low with a 7.034/204.97, Mogens Lund second with a 7.041/208.07, current champion Garry Bowe 7.047/210.17 (top speed) in third and incoming points leader Franklyn Borg at fourth with a 7.063 at only 186.95mph.

Richard Stubbins


With such a strong field it was something of a surprise for the ladder to deliver Stubbins and Lund into the final. Lund had arrived there with a string of consistent 7.0s including a new PB of 7.008/209.88, and Stubbins was on similar pace. Come the final it was the latter that held it together with a 7.013 taking the honours whilst Lund slowed to an 8.865. Both will be challenging for the points come September at Santa Pod.


Remaining FIA/FIM-E 2017 Championship dates


24th – 27th August, Scandinavian Internationals, Tierp Arena, Sweden [FIA]

7th – 10th September, Euro Finals, Santa Pod Raceway, UK [FIA+FIM-E]


FIA Top Methanol

Timo Habermann 

Sandro Bellio


The combined Top Methanol category was led into eliminations by Timo Habermann with a 5.303/265.95 from the Mitsuboshi Star Racer and was closely folded (thanks to the 0.26 handicap for the floppers) by Sandro Bellio’s 5.576. The two would meet in the final, Bellio continuing his hot streak after taking his first FIA event win in Sweden back in June, but the fun for the class rookie would end in Hockenheim as the Dyno Unlimited Monte Carlo was shut-off by the Belgium team before staging, handing Habermann yet another trophy in front of his home crowd with a 5.308/267.79.


FIM-E Top Fuel Bike

Rikard Gustafsson 

Stuart Crane 


The quickest of the four FIM-E bike classes contested at the NitrOlympX, Top Fuel Bike saw Rikard Gustafsson back in action after swapping out the new for the old in terms of crank layout with the RG Engineering Puma after being bedeviled with oiling problems earlier in the year. The revision worked pretty well, with low qualifying honours picked up after a 6.147, the top speed of the meeting with a final session 6.158/244.69 (making the Swede the third quickest rider in TFB history), taking the FIM-E speed record on a 6.086/240.72 (just missing out on the back-up for the earlier faster run), setting event low ET with a 6.044/239.56 in the semi-finals, and then taking the event win over Stuart Crane with a 6.107/238.25 to a 6.929/192.05 from the British nitrous bike.


With championship contenders falling by the wayside to give Rikard a boost in the points with one event remaining for the bikes, it was a pretty good weekend with only his first five second ticket left on the table, but it’s coming.


FIM-E Super Twin Bike

The Super Twins had a new face leading the field with Dane Marcus Christiansen blowing his personal best away with a stunning 6.572/216.06 from the very differently configured (the basic chassis setup is more akin to a Pro Stock Bike than most of the fuel Harleys with the motor way up front) Basement Performance machine.

FIA Pro Modified

Jimmy Alund 


The doorslammer gathering at the NitrOlympx was slightly depleted with a short 13-car field that would be reduced further by breakage during the three qualifying sessions, but on the top of the pile was Jimmy Ålund with a 5.914/243.28 (a new speed best for the Summit backed Old 51 team) with David Vegter also in the fives with a 5.994/239.06 from the Pedal to the Medal Camaro. Alas for Vegter, his day was done in the first round of eliminations when he left before the tree activated, whilst Ålund was able to progress to the semi-finals with a pair of consistent low 5.9-second clockings, but a further 5.917/242.19 wasn’t enough against a 5.894/248.15 that Micke Gullqvist dropped on him (Gullan had earlier broken the track record with a 5.893 in the quarter finals).

Michael Gullqvist


The final would be an all Swedish affair with Håkan Persson and his blown Viper on PB form with a 6.005 in the semis against Bruno Bader, but a consistent 6.007/239.23 wasn’t enough to hold off a 5.936/245.27 from the Pampas Marina Camaro.

Hakan Persson 


“We struggled in qualifying and it did not help that the atmospheric conditions changed dramatically between Friday and Saturday. Looking at the competition, I was very impressed by Ålund in the Old51’s performance, who was running extremely consistent and fast. I knew we had to do some magic with what we had to beat that and I believe we surprised a bit with a 5.893 at 400.4 km/h (248.76 mph) in round two.


“The semi against Alund was an exciting affair. I knew I had to leave on time and I did get a few hundred on the tree. It all ended up in our favor after a 5.894 against their 5.917. It was one of those races that you will remember for a long time and they said it was the quickest and fastest side by side run ever in FIA Pro Mod.”


FIA Pro Stock

Bengt Ljungdahl 


A quartet of Swedes comprised the Pro Stock field, headed at the end of qualifying by points leader Bengt Ljungdahl with Shane Gray power tuned by Markus Svensson pushing him to a 6.588/209.65. The remaining trio were Stefan Ernryd and the Dico Dodge at 6.602, Michael Malmgren at 6.690 and Robin Norén at 6.750.

Stefan Ernryd 


The top two progressed to the trophy match up and in one of the most dramatic races we’ve seen in a while Ljungdahl appeared to be charging ahead when the VP Racing Fuels Camaro darted sharp left entering the timing traps, taking out the finish-line blocks and crossing over in front of Ernryd who, somehow, managed to avoid a collision and kept the Dart the right side up whilst sliding sideways down the shutdown area.


“First win in FIA Prostock for us, didn’t plan to do it at two wheels sideways at 300 km/h (186.39 mph) but that’s racing!”




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