VOLUME XX, NUMBER 8 - AUGUST, 2018
DRAGRACINGOnline will be published on or around the 8th of each month and will be updated throughout the month.
DRAGRACINGOnline owes allegiance to no sanctioning body and will call 'em as we see 'em. We strive for truth,integrity, irreverence and the betterment of drag racing. We have no agenda other than providing the drag racing public with unbiased information and view points they can't get in any other drag racing publication.
Editor & Publisher, CEO Jeff Burk
Managing Editor, COO Kay Burk
Editor at Large, Bret Kepner
Editor at Large, Emeritus Chris Martin
Bracket Racing Editor, Jok Nicholson
Motorcycle Editor, Tom McCarthy
Nostalgia Editor, Brian Losness
Contributing Writers, Jim Baker, Steven Bunker, Aaron Polburn, Matt Strong
Australian Correspondent, Jon Van Daal
European Correspondent, Ivan Sansom
Poet Laureate, Bob Fisher
Cartoonists, Jeff DeGrandis, Kenny Youngblood
Senior Photographer - Ron Lewis
Contributing Photographers - Aaron Anderson, Scott Bessee, Donna Bistran, Steven Bunker, Pam Conrad, Adam Cranmer, James Drew, Don Eckert, Steve Embling, Mike Garland, Joel Gelfand, Steve Gruenwald, Chris Haverly, Rose Hughes, Bob Johnson, Bret Kepner, "Bad" Brad Klaassen, Jon LeMoine, Eddie Maloney, Tim Marshall, Matt Mothershed, Richard Muir, Joe McHugh, Dennis Mothershed, Ivan Sansom, Paul Schmitz, Dave Stoltz, Jon Van Daal
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Director: Dave Ferrato
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Editor & Publisher
CEO Jeff Burk
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DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Director: Casey Araiza
Director: Dave Ferrato
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That’s a wrap for Europe
The weekend saw the completion of the FIA and FIM-E European drag racing ...
Paschal brothers sweep Top ET ...
McLeansville, North Carolinas’s T.G. Paschal is not unfamiliar with the ...
Funny Cars News and Notes
The Agent found a note in the mayo jar this morning written on the back of an ...
‘Black Sunday’ event at Gateway ...
Officials at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, IL, have rescheduled this ...
Top Fuel racer McMillen ...
It was quite a weekend on the European drag racing tour at the Nitrolympx ...
New partnership for Stringer ...
Stringer Performance, the owner of the Great Clips, Parts Plus, ...
New engine gives Gaydosh hope for ...
Qualifying at the historic U.S. Nationals has eluded John Gaydosh during his ...
Team Aruba to debut new Pro Stock ...
Ten Mountain Motor Pro Stocks were invited to be a part of the most prestigious ...
ET DRAG RACING
Words and photos by Ivan Sansom & Rose Hughes
Svein Olav Rolfstad appears to be burning down the tree…but he didn’t.
The penultimate stop on the FIA tour, and following hot on the heels of the Nitrolympx the previous weekend in Germany, the Summit Racing Equipment Internationals treated us to a world first in Super Twin Bike and a European record feast in FIA Pro Modified. The track proved to be very good for some, tricky for others, and the event helped shape a number of the FIA championships before the tour arrives for its finale at Santa Pod.
FIA Top Fuel Dragster
After the quick field the week before in Germany, Top Fuel was a very hit and miss affair, with many passes in qualifying falling very much into the latter category. A trio of Finns found their way to the top of the qualifying sheet with Anita Mäkelä and Antti Horto being the only two to get into the three second zone with Timo Lehtimaki carding the solitary four zero.
One of the many things we learnt over the weekend is what would hap-pen if you leave a fuel motor running for too long, it was predictable and certainly wasn’t pretty, but outgoing FIA champion Duncan Micallef and his RFM team couldn’t shut the car off on what was their last attempt to make the field.
With variable track conditions catching a lot of teams out early, the first round of eliminations saw a momentum competition as Patrik Pers got past Micke Kågered in a “fabulous” 21 seconds to gain a spot in the semis. Mäkelä, Horto and Lehtimaki almost inevitably made up the remaining trio at that stage with the former pairing progressing to the final which made up for the rest of the event with the lead changing a couple of times before Mäkelä opened up a small gap at halftrack and powered to a new European ET record of 3.8770/309.82 to cover Horto’s game 3.9708/302.83. Mäkelä looks certain to pick up her third TF championship at the Euro Finals but we are pretty sure the poultry farmer won’t be counting her chickens just yet (sorry, we don’t believe we have just written such an awful pun).
FIA Top Fuel
1. Anita Mäkelä (Fin) 3.8956/304.76 (winner)
2. Antti Horto (Fin) 3.9457/302.56 (runner-up)
3. Timo Lehtimaki (Fin) 4.0761/294.59 (semi-final)
4. Patrik Pers (Swe) 4.9413/176.88 (semi-final)
5. Mikael Kågered (Swe) 5.1263/144.63 (1st round)
6. Björn Mårtensson (Swe) 5.7817/116.38 (1st round)
7. Liam Jones (GB) 6.4441/105.28 (1st round)
8. Stefan Gunnarsson (Swe) 7.6627/80.54 (1st round)
9. Duncan Micallef (Malta) 7.8016/78.88
10.Joran Persåker (Swe) 9.3634/73.15
Low ET Mäkelä 3.8770s
Best TS Mäkelä 309.82mph
FIA Pro Modified
If Top Fuel lacked strength in depth, Pro Modified was a bit crazy with the top seven of the sixteen car qualified field in the five second zone and Andreas Arthursson sitting on top of heap after teasing us with some very low 5.8s from the PPF turbo Chevelle and breaking new ground in Europe with a pair of seventies on the Saturday with a best of 5.7569/257.91 (and picking up the Swedish championship race within a race).
Jimmy Ålund, on tin top double duty in Pro Mod and Pro Stock, pulled a 5.8594 from the Old 51 Chevy coupe and Roger Johansson made a mess of the European nitrous best numbers with a 5.8606/245.10. Sunday Sunday Sunday and the record books were trembling with fear. First round of eliminations and Johansson smashed out a 5.8112/246.54. Second round and Arthursson, Ålund and Johansson punted out a trio of five eights, but Johansson departed the scene with a cherry on the tree. Round three and five eights were on order again, this time Ålund producing a FIA blower best with a 5.8150/244.56 to defeat Jan Ericsson’s 6.0 whilst Arthursson (now running like a bracket car) took his spot in the final with a 5.8075 over a no show from David Vegter, the Dutch PedalToTheMetal Camaro having chucked a rod in the quarter finals. Final time and Arthursson simply wasn’t hanging around, cutting a 0.017s RT and powering away with a 5.7512/258.30 to reset the ET record again and leave Ålund trailing in his wake to a 5.9774. Jimma would head out of Tierp Arena with a very healthy lead in the points after Micke Gullqvist went out in the first round (and as we write Gullan has withdrawn from the finals after ignition/electrical issues).
FIA Pro Stock Car
Jimmy Alund also drove a Pro Stock car.
The Pro Stock field wasn’t quite as dramatic and record setting as the other doorslammer category, but there were important points to be picked up and some familiar wild cards to rattle up those contending the championship. Bengt Ljungdahl qualified low and nudged away from Stefan Ernryd in the points with a semifinal finish after Ernryd lost out in the opening round of eliminations. Ernryd fell to Ålund who then punted out Ljungdahl (both wins coming with 6.5s) and he saved the best to last to card a 6.5524/212.91 to take the event trophy, the win light having already been lit after opponent Thomas Lindström and the Street & Strip Magazine Dodge had taken a shot at the tree and missed with a 0.0105s red.
FIA Top Methanol
The Methanol class had an unusual look to the top of the qualifying sheets with Sandro Bellio’s 5.5416 on pole after the TMFC 0.22s handicap was applied and Jonny Lagg’s A/Fuel dragster (new PB of 5.3474/272.35) pushing both of the Habermann brothers out of the top two for the first time this season. The first round of eliminations had a bit of a puzzle as points leader Timo Habermann’s chutes eject-ed before staging and Lagg rolled through the staging beams, whilst Bellio cracked out a 5.471/264 to defeat Ari Pielitä. The semifinals had Bellio on a bye into the final and Linn Engan Karlsen (the Norwegian newcomer being on personal best form over the weekend recording 5.7s) falling to Dennis Habermann’s 5.361 although she welded him on the tree.
The final pitched funnycar against dragster and the short wheel-based ride left hard and then hooked sharp left into the wall just past the 60-foot mark handing Habermann (D) his second win of the year and is now less than one elimination round behind his elder brother with the Finals coming up.
EDRS Nordic Pro bikes
Top Fuel was a thin affair with only four entries, rapidly to three when the speedy Norwegian Sverre Dahl withdrew after one attempted at getting down track damaged the valvetrain. Jan Sturla Hegre qualified low but lost out in the final after dropping cylinders and Thomas Pettersson hauled the mail on his funnybike to a 6.674 personal best and his first event win of the year.
If Top Fuel was thin then SuperTwin was very…errrmmm…fat indeed. Vesa Lipponen (5.9205) and Jaska Salakari (5.8372) lit up the dragbike world with the first two twin cylinder cycle passes deep into the five second zone in history. With changeable conditions they weren’t able to progress through the final eliminator from the quickest SuperTwin field in Europe (the bump being a very stout 6.6599) where it was a battle of the normally aspirated ultimately taken by the Czech Republic’s Roman Sixta (the aforementioned bump spot holder) for the event win and the increasingly great Dane Marcus Christiansen took the series title and probably should add to it with the FIM-E European crown at the imminent Euro Finals.
Pro Stock Bike was again a short field, but Kalle Lyrén wasn’t com-plaining when the Drag Specialities/Parts Europe Suzuki carded the quickest ET outside of the US with a 6.9543/192.29 in qualifying and a 6.9748/190.75 to take the event win over Thomas Lysebraate Olsen.
PHOTO EXTRA SLIDESHOW
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