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FIM-E Main Event Results at Santa Pod Raceway

FIA European Drag Racing Championships Inc FIM Europe Drag Bikes

FIA/FIM The Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway
May 26-29, 2022

SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS

FIM-E Dragbike championship, The Main Event SUNDAY, Santa Pod Raceway

Words and photos Ivan Sansom & Rose Hughes 





Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! And eliminations day for the opening round of the FIM-E championship which delivered quite a few surprises, some first-time winners and some seriously quick times notably in FIM-E Super Street Bike and a barrier busted in FIM-E Super Twin.

FIM-E Super Street Bike 

Running on a sixteen bike ladder, the all-run 12-bike field in Super Street Bike inevitably had a few gaps in the opening round (not helped by a couple of no-shows) but Steve Venables ripped off a 6.7932/219.05 to double the membership of the six seventy club.

Steve Venables

Second round and Daniel Donat Lencses punted out a 6.7418/224.74 to maintain his membership credentials and reset the class ET mark in doing so. The final quartet had a titanic match-up between Venables and Jake Mechaell with the former using a hole shot (0.0594s RT to a 0.1213s) to light the win arrow on a 6.8000/220.37 to a 6.7982/210.93 (making Mechaell the third member of the six seventy collective) in the quickest side-by-side race in class history. On the other side of the ladder Lencses only just got by the surprise semi-finalist Mark Dainty with another holeshot 7.2499/218.21 to Dainty’s game 7.2144/199.66.

Mark Dainty

And so to the all DME Racing final with Lencses building up a lead early on as Venables stuttered a bit off the lead and despite slowing dramatically after he broke a chain to 166 mph at the stripe with a 7.0883  to a hard-charging 7.2108/217.18 from Ven. Lencses thus takes an early lead in the championship in what will be a landmark year for the Super Street Bike class and expressed that he was “very happy and still learning how to ride and tune the bike”.

Daniel Donat Lences

FIM-E Top Fuel Bike

If Super Street Bike went someway to the form book, Top Fuel Bike was a bit of a shocker with Neil Midgley bouncing off the bars hard and then spinning the slick to lose out to a 6.7853/196.42 new PB for Mark Smith and the Draper Tools Funny Bike.

Rene Van Den Berg

Rene van den Berg’s 6.1998/223.32 defeated Al Smith who broke off the line on a frustrating weekend for the Rocket team. Louis Davies, like Smith, was handed his first round win when Stuart Crane red light away another six thirty (and then lunched the motor into the bargain).

Rikard Gustafsson

And to round out the opening round Rikard Gustafsson took the win light after Dale Leeks broke off the startline but the head torching woes reappeared after the RG Engineering team had built a new engine overnight in spectacular and dispiriting fashion.

Mark Smith

With Gustafsson out, Smith staged for his spot in his first final alongside van den Berg who ran a 6.377 to overcome an ailing pass from Davies. The final saw the Dutchman ease to his second FIM-E event win with a 6.419/205.22 to Smith’s consistent 6.880/182.88.

FIM-E Super Twin Bike

Only two riders made the call for the first round of eliminations with Samu Kemppainen noticeably staging to the left to accommodate any tucking right after a lot of changes to the Harsh blower bike overnight including putting more fuel through the motor off the line.

Samu Kemppainen

Well it appeared to work as the Finn went arrow straight until it started torching the head after part of the wiring loom failed but despite the accompanying flames Kemppainen dipped into the fives with a 5.999 at only 202.42mph (short numbers suggesting a 5.7 was on the cards with a full pull). Nonetheless the quickest pass in FIM-E competition. Martijn de Haas took the event win with a 6.716/208.87 and a 6.668/210.89 on semi and full final byes which was a pretty good return for the Dutch team and their first outing in a couple of seasons.

Martijn De Haas

FIM-E Pro Stock Bike

Martin Bishop

The strange weekend in Pro Stock Bike continued into eliminations with low qualifier Martin Newbury gifting a first round win to Aswin le Noble with a big red light, while Martin Bishop took his place in the final with a somewhat wayward nine second pass as opponent Bertrand Maurice coughed and spluttered off the line. Bishop then benefitted from le Noble breaking before stage and eased to a 7.486 to take his first FIM-E event win since 2005.

Aswin Le Noble

FIM-E Junior Dragbike Cup

Meg Talbot

Hollie King wrapped up a very good weekend taking the event win over Meg Talbot with an 11.0559 on a 10.95 dial-in to get to the eighth mile finish ahead of the Rise racer’s 8.0651 on a 7.95.

Hollie King


SATURDAY QUALIFYING

Quite a delayed final qualifying day at the Main Event but the European dragbikers showed signs of stepping up the pace with some European record pacing runs in Super Street Bike and an exhibition world best on two wheels as the major headliners.

FIM-E Super Street Bike

Daniel Lencses

So lets start off with the no slicks no bars brigade and the pack leaders have started to get phenomenally quick. After struggling yesterday Hungary’s Daniel Donat Lencses smacked out a 6.7664/225.76 in the first of today’s sessions and then pretty much repeated with 6.7656/225.52 from his D.M.E. Busa to get a hold on both ends of the FIM-E class records.

Jake Mechaell

Jake Mechaell is second on the ladder with his 6.81 from yesterday whilst Steve Venables improved to a 6.8811 (and a 223.41 on a 7.0).

Steve Venables

Mark Hope

Mark Hope is in fourth with a new PB 7.0208/205.34 and Ross Morrison rounds out the top five with a 7.0641/201.46. We were going to provide a list of shock non-qualifiers for the eight bike field but a decision to run the 12 bike field as an all run ladder will come as welcome relief and who would complain about an extra round of Super Street Bike?

Ross Morrison

FIM-E Top Fuel Bike

Rene Van Den Berg

Fuel bike saw Rikard Gustafsson carry over his five eighty from yesterday as top qualifier which was a bit of a relief as a torched head on the Swede’s first shot this morning has provided a long day of repair to make eliminations. Rene van den Berg dropped in behind Gustafsson on the ladder with a 6.2377/228.18 from the Eurol backed Puma. In third spot and lowering his own European best for a Funny Bike is Stuart Crane and the Warpspeed turbo GSX cranking out a 6.3312/211.09.

Stuart Crane

Neil Midgley carded a 6.6330 on a very early click off for fourth, Mark Smith fifth with his 6.805 from yesterday and in sixth Louis Davies ripped off a superb 6.8749/188.21 to demolish his own PB and get that all important six second ticket to the Top Fuel Bike Ball err eliminations ladder.

Neil Midgley

Louis Davies

FIM-E Super Twin Bike

After yesterday’s blow up put Marcus Christiansen out of competition, things remained pretty much as was with only a trio of bikes carding tickets again Martijn de Haas improving to a 6.7913/208 to keep the low qualifying spot, Chris van Nimmen improving to a mid eight and Samu Kemppainen still fighting to keep the blower bike in a straight line.
 Martijn De Haas

FIM-E Pro Stock Bike

Struggles continued in Pro Stock Bike but at least all five entries have now made it down the track with Martin Newbury some way ahead of the rest with a 7.0912/187.43 from the Psycleworkz Suzuki.

Martin Newbury

FIM-E Junior Dragbike Cup

Junior Dragbike is as per yesterday with Hollie King number one although another session tomorrow morning will give Meg Talbot and Anouk Burgering a further opportunity to improve.

Exhibition

And that world record? How about a shocking 6.6197/206.24 from Hans-Henrik-Thomsen and the Silver Lightning team for both ends of the very best marks for two or four wheeled electric vehicles over a quarter of a mile.

Hans Henrik Thomsen


FRIDAY QUALIFYING

FIM-E Dragbike championship, Main Event FRIDAY, Santa Pod Raceway

Words and photos Ivan Sansom & Rose Hughes

Resuming after over two years of deferral it was perhaps to be expected that the opening day of FIM-E qualifying at the Main Event would be something of a hit and miss affair and this wasn’t exactly aided by a stiff cross breeze that will hopefully dissipate overnight.

FIM-E Top Fuel Bike

Rikard Gustafsson

Rikard Gustafsson punted out an off the trailer 5.834/243.75 to comfortably lead the field at the end of two sessions. Fortunately an abrupt shutoff before the second pass was little more than a loose bolt so the RG Engineering team will head into tomorrow in fine fettle.

Mark Smith

The Warpspeed Funnybike trio were always likely to be a threat when the nitro bikes were stumbling and a jubilant Mark Smith finally made it into the six second bracket (a necessary prerequisite for the funnies to make the race day ladder under FIM-E rules) with a 6.805/198.91 from the Draper Tools backed ride. Team leader Stuart Crane is currently in third spot with a wayward 6.815 at only 143mph as he took evasive action while threatening the blocks.

Stuart Crane

FIM-E Super Twin Bike

Martijn De Haas

Only three of the five entries ended Friday with a time (pre-event favourite Marcus Christiansen having a catastrophic engine failure shortly off the start line). Of those that got to the finishing line Martijn de Haas was the only one with something approaching a respectable time (6.951/192) but Chris van Nimmen looks to be making great strides in his opening efforts as he learns how to ride a big tire twin.

Chris Van Nimmen

FIM-E Pro Stock Bike

Martin Newbury

Not too sure what was going on in Pro Stock Bike but only Martin Newbury 7.255/181 and Martin Bishop (a troubled eleven second ticket) got to the finishline although there appeared to be a lot of swapping of motors and checking things over across the field as we were leaving the pits this evening so hopefully tomorrow will deliver better things.

Martin Bishop

FIM-E Super Street Bike

Jake Mechaell

Jake Mechaell heads the SSB field after two sessions with a startling 6.813/207.23 (‘I was hoping for a high six eighty at best’) putting the JKE built bike ahead of Steve Venables in second spot with a 6.970/217.91 and Mark Hope slightly distant at a 7.192/199.76.

Steve Venables

Mark Hope

FIM-E Junior Dragbike Cup

Hollie King is currently on top of the Junior dial ins and we suspect she might hold onto the slot as it will take a very good run indeed to better a +0.0019 on a 10.95 dial-in.

Hollie King


Main Event Preview

FIM-E Dragbike championship, Main Event Preview, Santa Pod Raceway

Words and photos Ivan Sansom & Rose Hughes

A bit of a chilly and overcast start to the European season with the resumption of the FIM-E championship after a 2 year hiatus thanks to, well, we think everyone has had enough of the C word for now, so it was good to catch up with some of the contestants setting up and getting ready for qualifying to commence tomorrow and Saturday before we head into eliminations on Sunday.

FIM-E Top Fuel Bike

Nine entries will be looking for spots in the eight bike ladder during qualifying with 2019’s runner-up Rikard Gustafsson yet to arrive when we had our wander around the pits so instead we caught up with Neil Midgley, newly installed as owner/rider on the 2019 championship winning bike that propelled Fil Papafilippou into the 5.6s.

Neil Midgley

Neil is in the early stages of understanding what the bike wants from the rider and is currently seven runs under his belt (after a longer career in the Super Twin, Funnybike and Super Street Bike ranks) and a 5.8 ticket to his credit. Changes to the Cannon Engineering/King Racing Lucas Oils backed machine have included an adjusted riding position and a tweaked fairing that will hopefully keep Neil a bit more comfortable in the breeze. A new manifold design on the Puma has also delivered increased fuel atomization at the hit keeping the motor very happy indeed so we’ll be keeping an eye on the scoreboards as Midgley progresses further down track.

Al Smith

Five years into the development of the wonderful PBR Rocket triple, Al Smith and the team are looking to see what the heftier sparks delivered from the uprated twin PM44 mags installed after a frustrating domestic meeting earlier in the month. Team owner (and the brains behind an awful lot of the ‘out there’ thinking that has gone into the Rocket) Phil Baimbridge is looking for the two ingredients of ‘keeping it stuck to the track and keeping it running well’ to come together this meeting. On the back of a 6.012 late last year and a 6.1 at Easter a five second ticket will only be a matter of time.

The rest of the field will see Steve Woollatt and Rene van den Berg hitting things hard with their nitro burners and the funnybikes of Louis Davies and the Warpspeed trio of Mark Smith, Dale Leeks and Stuart Crane mixing it up with those on pop. The funnybikes really can’t be counted out lightly as Crane has dropped some very impressive numbers in UK competition with a 6.325/213 taking over from Rikard Gustafsson at the very pinnacle of the European funnybike charts.

FIM-E Super Twin Bike

Five bikes are entered for Super Twin with there being something of a Low Countries feel to the class with Martijn de Haas representing Holland and Chris van Nimmen and Marc van den Boer making the short hop over the channel from Belgium. From slightly further afield, Marcus Christiansen and the super quick Speedy’s Racing twin have already got some testing in Denmark (where they also accompanied by van Nimmen and van den Boer) under their belts this year at Mosten so will no doubt be hitting the ground running when qualifying starts.

Martjin de Haas

The longest distance traveler in the bike pits this event is Skull Racing’s Samu Kemppanien but this time without his usual naturally aspirated V60 or the inline four Honda he is developing. Samu’s ride for this weekend is Vesa Lipponen’s five second blower bike, the Main Event being used as a shop window as Lipponen is looking to sell the barrier busting bike. Kemppanien’s known pedigree as a rider and the grunt in the supercharged Harsh bike could shake the field up quite dramatically over the course of the weekend.

Samu Kemppainen

FIM-E Pro Stock Bike

Another quintet makes up the Pro Stock Bike field with veterans Martin Bishop and Martin Newbury representing the UK, accompanied by the French duo of Bertrand Maurice and Simon David. Aswin le Noble is debuting at FIM level as part of the Shark Attack ensemble from the Netherlands. Unfortunately, the Pro Stockers were either down at scrutineering or sheltering away from today’s wind on our pit stroll this afternoon hence no pictures which we’ll make up for over the rest of the event.

FIM-E Super Street Bike

Twelve entries in SSB, somewhat diminished from the bumper fields we were treated to pre-Covid and pre-Brexit (we’ve made it this far without mentioning the B word) but we’re anticipating a very quick field (probably of eight bikes although we’ve yet to have that confirmed) with a very healthy domestic entry. Steve Venables has the number one plate on his Hayabusa and has run some very nice 6.8s and hitting 218mph but is expecting some fierce competition from fellow D.M.E. equipped racer Daniel Donat Lencses who has been in the 6.7s at over 220 and also Jake Mechaell who defeated Ven in a very quick 6.8 pairing in the final of the preceding ACU championship round.

Steve Venables

The usual suspects of Mogens Lund, Garry Bowe, et al. will also be very much in the mix while Margot Schmidt will be looking forward to making further progress on the Schmidt Performance Hayabusa, ‘we’re hoping for some quick numbers’, from the Dutch entry.

Margot Schmidt

FIM-E Junior Dragbike Cup

The trio of Junior entries were again, quite rightly, out of the breeze when we did our pre-event tour, but Hollie King and Megan Talbot will be looking to uphold domestic honours while Anouk Burgering will be looking to take the event trophy back to Holland.

Exhibition

While outside of the FIM-E championship, one additional two wheeler we’ll be keeping an eye on is the Silver Lightning electric bike of Hans-Henrik Thomsen and the True Cousins team. They’ve already put in a run at very close to their own world record pace, with the short numbers already suggesting they should whizz past their 6.86 PB with something to spare. Oh, and, after a couple of year’s hiatus, Eric Teboul will be seeking some very quick times with his world leading rocket bike in what may be his farewell tour.

Hans-Henrik Thomsen


Entry List

Jet Cars & Rocket Bike
Eric Teboul
Hans Henrik Thomsen

FIM Top Fuel Bike
Richard Gustafsson
Steve Woollatt
Mark Smith
Al Smith
Louis Davis
Rene van den Berg
Stuart Crane
Dale Leeks

FIM Supertwin Bike
Marcus Christiansen
Samu KemppainenSamu
Martijn de Haas
Chris Van Nimmen
Marc Van Den Boer

FIM Pro Stock Bike
Martin Bishop
Martin Newbury
Aswin Le Noble
Simon David
Maurice Bertrand

FIM Super Street Bike
Steve Venables
Alan Morrison Jnr
Mogens Lund
Garry Bowe
Jake Mechaell
Ross Morrison
Stephen Mead
Steve Wood
Daniel Donat Lencses
Mark Hope
Margot Schmidt
Mark Dainty

FIM Junior Drag Bike
Hollie King
Megan Talbot
Anouk Burgering


Santa Pod Raceway
www.Santapod.co.uk
Airfield Road, Podington, Wellingborough, Northants, NN29 7XA, England
Tel: 01234 782828 / International Tel: +44 1234 782828

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