European Finals : Final Round at Santa Pod Raceway
FIM-E European Drag Racing Championship
Final Round, Santa Pod Raceway
FIM-E Top Fuel Bike
Top Fuel Bike attracted eleven entries, with multi-time series champion Ian King qualifying in the number one spot on his final attempt after some traction woes in the earlier session and duly recorded the quickest run of the event with a 5.9000/242.77mph run, with the home rider then progressing to reset the terminal speed record at 236.21mph (as a consequence of the latter being over the previous record but not being within one percent of the faster time). King progressed to the final, with a bit of a scare in the semifinals when he started to churn the slick before regathering to defeated Rene van den Berg in a mid six battle, where he would meet incoming points leader Rikard Gustafsson with the winner determining the outcome of the championship.
Gustafsson had already picked up the scalps of a pair of nitro burners in the shape of Nick Milburn and Steve Woollatt in the quarter and semi-final respectively with runs of 6.6349/205 and a very nice 6.4779/212.08; although the veteran Woollatt had lowered his PB elapsed time to a 6.2306 at only 200.67mph in qualifying and nearly repeated in his first round victory over debutant Glenn Borg with a 6.2850.
The RG Enginnering Funnybike left the line first in the title decider, but within a couple of hundred feet the power of King’s nitromethane supercharged Gulf Oil/Grand Prix Originals Puma Yamaha drove Gustafsson past to take the event trophy and his ninth European title with a 6.0583/231.57 victory lap.
FIM-E Super Twin Bike
The FIM-E Super Twin title was decided at the very start of the event when Martijn de Haas put in what would prove to be his only run of the meeting, with the Dutch team then being sidelined with driveline breakage.
This would be something of a theme in the class for the rest of the event in the class with low qualifier Ronny Aasen (at a sub-Euro record 6.3740/202.57mph from the Norwegian and the third quickest pass in class history from the Zodiac blower bike of Ton and Vincent Pels) having to withdraw after the throttle shaft broke in his semi-final victory.
This cleared the stage for Roman Sixta to take his first FIM-E event win on a solo pass, the V60 powered entry having earlier recorded a pair of seemingly comfortable sixes giving the Czech rider grounds for optimism for next year and marked a substantial turnaround from the season opener at the same venue where he failed to record a time.
FIM-E Pro Stock Bike
Defending FIM-E Pro Stock Bike champion Fredrik Fredlund managed to take the championship with his PAF Suzuki having qualified low with a 7.0136/190.45mph (and resetting the FIM-E PSB speed record into the bargain) and ending up as runner-up in the 14 bike eliminator; the top ten qualifiers recording numbers that were quicker than the class record for an eight bike bump.
The event win went to Anders Larsson with a 7.1861/181.40mph handing victory to the Swede after Fredlund’s engine failed in the latter half of the track slowing the Åland racer to a 7.4600/141.26mph clocking, and rewarding Larsson’s decision to travel to Santa Pod for the first time in quite a few years.
FIM-E Super Street Bike Cup
The FIM-E Super Street Bike Cup saw record-breaking and personal best performances throughout qualifying and the early rounds of eliminations, with Steve Venables being the first rider into the six second zone with a spectacular 6.9509/212.84mph (the former would be backed up for the elapsed time record, whilst the speed record would also fall to Venables at 209.95mph) to head the sixteen bike ladder.
Dave Holland (7.0147/209.16mph), Garry Bowe (7.0362/202.57mph) and Rick Stubbins (7.0663/201.52mph) would all dip deep into the 7.0s in qualifying. Having set low ET through each stage of eliminations, Venables onboard the Ven Racing/D.M.E. Hayabusa took the event win with a 7.0463/205.99mph run defeating Garry Bowe’s 7.1301/199.87mph in an all Suzuki final; Bowe’s run to the final gave him sufficient points to take the Cup series title.
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