FIM-E Drag Racing Championship – Euro Finals Preview

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FIM-E Drag Racing Championship
Santa Pod Raceway, England
7th-10th September 

Euro Finals Preview

Words & Pictures: Ivan Sansom & Rose Hughes

This weekend sees the dénouement of the 2017 European Drag Bike Championships at Santa Pod Raceway in the UK. The destiny of all four titles will be decided over the course of the event and Track Group Europe will be providing a free of charge, high definition webTV cast starting on Friday evening at 7pm British Summer Time and available here:

 

FIM-E Top Fuel Bike

With Rikard Gustafsson consistently six zeroing the Hockenheimring Top Fuel Bike field to open up a healthy points lead over nearest chasers Rene van den Berg and Stuart Crane (runner-up in Germany), we can tip the Swede as title favourite provided we haven’t jinxed the RG Engineering Suzuki fueler and the crank oiling issues don’t re-emerge.

Rikard Gustafsson

Gustafsson’s position is further strengthened by the last minute withdrawal from the event by van den Berg as the Dutch Shark Attack team haven’t been able to source the parts need to repair damage suffered at the NitrOlympX in time for the weekend’s activities.

Dale Leeks

Of the remaining nine entries, it is only Eric Richard and Allan Davies who don’t yet have the requisite six second tickets from their funnybike and pro mod rides respectively to make them eligible for eliminations; Crane’s Warpspeed Racing team mate Dale Leeks being the latest to pick up the golden ticket for raceday fun on an out of competition test pass in Germany. Of the other contenders for the event honours, Greek Fast Fil Papafilippou has been producing some big speed from his PXM mount with 212.07 mph being a world best terminal for the breed in Germany and will be looking to add some mid six second consistency to pick up back-to-back Euro Finals trophies.

Steve Woollatt

Veteran Steve Woollatt and the Dealer team can’t be counted out on home soil, whilst the six second Funnybikes of Lorcan Parnell and Thomas Pettersson (the latter fresh from a runner-up finish at the concluding Nordic round in Sweden a couple of weeks ago) could put a dent in the aspirations of others.

Thomas Pettersson

 

Current Top 5 in the points:
Rikard Gustafsson (Sweden) 137 points
Rene van den Berg (Netherlands) 89 points
Stuart Crane (UK) 88 points
Otto Knebl (Czech Republic) 64 points
Filippos Papafilippou (Greece) 51 points

 

FIM-E Super Twin Bike

Martijn de Haas

Of the top five in the points, unfortunately, the flying Dane Marcus Christiansen and Czech Petr Ceska are not entered for the Finals so it looks like Martijn de Haas and Roman Sixta will be pushing for the series title; de Haas looking to three-peat after taking the crown in 2015 and 2016 whilst Sixta has been covering some road miles to be at pretty much every Super Twin event across Europe with the Euro Finals being the fourth in a month, all being a long way away from his base in the Czech Republic.

Roman Sixta

Bruno Salesse

Other contestants include Bruno Salesse and Gert Jan-Laseur, both still on a learning curve in the class, whilst one UK wildcard in the shape of Neil Midgley getting into FIM-E race mode on board the blown Cannon Motorsports bike that has been showing some nice incrementals in testing.

Neil Midgley

Current Top 5 in the points:

Martijn de Haas (Netherlands) 128 points
Roman Sixta (Czech Republic) 88 points
Marcus Christiansen (Denmark) 66 points
Bruno Salesse (France) 44 points
Petr Ceska (Czech Republic) 42 points

 

FIM-E Pro Stock Bike

Alex Hope

Fredrik Fredlund

The clash in the Stockers will be between Fredrik Fredlund (looking for his seventh FIM-E title) and Alex Hope, with Len Paget a long shot in 3rd spot for honours, whilst Charly Abraham will pass Kenneth Holmberg as soon as he clears scrutineering as the Swecomposite principal has had to sit out the rest of the season after destroying a motor at the previous round in Germany; Abraham is having a very solid season in his first year in the class on the ex-Laseur championship winning Buell.

Charly Abraham

A late entry to pull the Pro Stock Bike field up to eleven is Robban Karlsson, fresh off the back of a win at the EDRS Nordic round in Sweden a couple of weeks ago when he ripped off a series of six second passes that were both under and over Fredlund’s FIM-E elapsed time and terminal speed records.

Robert Karlsson

Len Paget

Current Top 5 in the points:

Fredrik Fredlund (Ålund) 167 points
Alex Hope (UK) 134 points
Len Paget (UK) 96 points
Kenneth Holmberg (Sweden) 80 points
Charly Abraham (France) 74 points

 

FIM-E Super Street Bike Cup

Rick Stubbins

Super Street Bike will form a 16 bike ladder with considerable scope for movement in the points.

Franklyn Borg

Rick Stubbins has a healthy lead after taking the NitrOlympX trophy last month, whilst Franklyn Borg will need to regain some of the early season consistency that took him to the event win at the Cup opener in Hungary back in May, otherwise Mogens Lund and Daniel Donat Lencses will be chasing him down for second spot and, if Stubbins has issues early in eliminations, may be in with a shot of the Cup series points win.

Daniel Donat Lencses

Defending champion Garry Bowe is too far behind, we think, in fifth to pick up enough points so won’t be repeating the heroics of last year when he took the title on the final pass of the season.

Mogens Lund

Current Top 5 in the points:

Rick Stubbins (UK) 263 points
Franklyn Borg (Malta) 217 points
Mogens Lund (Denmark) 199 points
Daniel Donat Lencses (Hungary) 191 points
Garry Bowe (UK) 110 points

 

2017 FIM-E Drag Bike Championship Schedule
7th-10th September European Finals, Santa Pod Raceway, England

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