Invasion of EDRS Pro Nordic MC riders at Santa Pod Raceway
With only three weeks to go to their 2017 season opening round at Tierp Arena, a large number of EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship riders took the opportunity to make some extra runs so early in the season and travelled to England for The Main Event, the first round of the FIM Europe European Drag Bike Championship at Santa Pod Raceway.
There were eight riders from Sweden, one from Denmark, one from the Czech Republic and two from England at Santa Pod who also have the intention to run the full EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship. Some of them will double up with the full FIM Europe European Drag Bike Championship as well, and for other riders The Main Event was the ideal opportunity to make some extra runs with their new equipment and try to find the right set-up for their motorcycles before the start of the EDRS Pro Nordic MC at Tierp Arena, June 15-18.
After a season he wants to ban from his memory, Kenneth Holmberg started the 2017 season with new enthusiasm at Santa Pod. But once again the Swecomposite rider was hit by bad luck as his number one engine was badly damaged in qualifying. But his spare engine performed better than expected and with an elapsed time of 7.28 seconds Holmberg stormed to the number three qualifying position. In the first round the Swede defeated Len Paget, improved to 7.22 seconds and should have faced number two qualifier Charly Abraham in the semi-finals. But long before it was time to run the semi-finals, rain brought an early end to The Main Event.
Alex Hope will do at least three of the four EDRS Pro Nordic MC rounds in Pro Stock Motorcycle. The Hope Racing rider was the number five qualifier (with 7.37 seconds) at Santa Pod, improved to 7.32 seconds in the first round to defeat Martin Newbury and should have faced number one qualifier Fredrik Fredlund in the semi-finals.
In Top Fuel Motorcycle Rikard Gustafsson claimed the number one qualifying position with 6.11 seconds. Reigning EDRS Pro Nordic MC Top Fuel Motorcycle champion Thomas Pettersson had to sort out his new engine and gearbox and was the number eight qualifier with an elapsed time of 7.63 seconds.
As the number one and eight qualifier, the two Swedes had to face each other in the quarter final, and as expected, Gustafsson took the win light in 6.43 seconds.
Roman Sixta from the Czech Republic is on the entry list for the Tierp Internationals and will also do the full FIM Europe tour. Sixta finished qualifying in second position with 6.89 seconds, only 0.02 seconds short of the leader and reigning FIM champion Martijn de Haas. The first round in Super Twin was also their semi-finals and as Sixta (7.08 seconds) defeated Bruno Salesse, he was in the final where he should have faced De Haas.
With 19 entrants for a 16-bike field, Super Street Bike was the most competitive motorcycle class at The Main Event. Mogens Lund will have a busy season with both the EDRS Pro Nordic MC and FIM Europe Super Street Bike Cup on his calendar. With his great looking Sunoco and HMC supported bike, the Dane scored the number four qualifying position with 7.20 seconds, to beat Jemma Venables in the first round with an elapsed time of 7.24 seconds. As the quarter finals couldn’t be completed before the rain was back, the first round was also the only round for the SSB riders.
The next EDRS rider was Robert Nilsson with the number five qualifying position (7.21 seconds). Like Lund, Nilsson also won his first round (7.28 seconds against Rudi Zorzi) and advanced to the quarter finals.
Mathias Bohlin was the number ten qualifier after four runs with 7.39 seconds and was defeated in the first round by Steve Venables.
The same could be said about number sixteen qualifier Mark Hope (7.83 seconds). Although the Brit improved to 7.65 seconds, Hope lost his first round against number one qualifier Garry Bowe.
Anders Blanck was the number eleven qualifier (7.42 seconds), but had to withdraw from eliminations with engine problems.
Robert Häggblom recorded the 18th elapsed time (7.97 seconds) and was not qualified for eliminations.
That was also the case for Bianca Nilsson. The 2016 EDRS Pro Nordic MC Super Comp Bike champion was the number 19 qualifier (8.90 seconds), but took part in eliminations as one of the alternates. Bianca Nilsson improved to 8.46 seconds but was beaten in the first round by Franklin Borg.
Nilsson had a hectic weekend in England as she had a huge wheelstand on Thursday’s Test and Tune day. She hurt her foot, damaged her bike and had to regain confidence. As the team still had Anders Gerdtsson’s bike in the trailer, Bianca could continue her racing program on the test day and could take part in qualifying as well. For all EDRS Pro Nordic MC riders it’s now time to prepare themselves for the first round at Tierp Arena.
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For More Information on the EDRS Pro Nordic MC Championship visit EDRSPRO.com
|Article and photos by Remco Scheelings|