European Finals Summary from Santa Pod Raceway
The last event for the season included in the FIA European Drag Racing Championship was run at UK´s Santa Pod Raceway, during the European Finals.
Already before the finals it was decided who the new European Champions would be: Sweden´s Michael Gullqvist in Pro Modified, Jonnie Lindberg, Top Methanol Funny Car and Jimmy Ålund Pro Stock. In the fastest class Top Fuel Dragster the European Champions title goes to Thomas Nataas from Norway
TOP METHANOL FUNNY CAR:
The most uncertain scenario before the event was in the Top Methanol funny car class where Adam Flamholc, Sweden was in the points lead, but had after long consideration chosen to run his second race car in the US the same dates instead of competing at Santa Pod. So the Champions battle was to be between Leif Andreasson (who was second ranked before the event) and thirds ranked Jonnie Lindberg, both drivers from Stockholm, Sweden. During the eliminations Andreasson was defeated already during the quarter finals, while Jonnie Lindberg had a successful event at Santa Pod and won the event. This is the first champions title for Jonnie Lindberg. The 2012 champion Andreasson stays in second place and Adam Flamholc is third although not on site to compete during this last event of the race season.
In the championship´s biggest class, Pro Modified reigning champion Michael Gullqvist, from Stockholm Sweden managed to secure a new title during qualifications, after the points lead was too high to catch up for the second placed driver in the ranking, Mattias Wulcan also from Sweden. Wulcan stays second, while Marc Meihuizen secured the third place after a fine last event where his car was the quickest, but he had to withdraw in the semi-finals due to broken parts that could not be replaced in time for the run. The final at Santa Pod was between Bruno Bader, Switzerland and Robert Joosten, the Netherlands. Joosten, who had outrun Michael Gullqvist in the quarter finals. Gullqvist was testing new equipment and overpowered the track in the run against Joosten which resulted in lost traction and a slower time. The points lead is however clear for Michael Gullqvist, who is the new 2013 European Pro Modified Champion.
In the Pro Stock class the 2013 European Champion is Jimmy Ålund from Sweden, who last won the championship in 2011 and now hold no less than eight champions titles among his merits. He was in the lead before the event, the European Finals at Santa Pod, which he also won in an impressive way running consistent times through the event. Last year´s champion Thomas Lindström ends in second place, while Michael Malmgren, ends in third place in the championship points table. Both Lindström and Malmgren are also from Sweden.
TOP FUEL DRAGSTER:
In the fastest class Top Fuel Dragster the new European champion is Thomas Nataas from Norway, who pilot the race car for the Danish/Swedish/Norwegian team of Andersen Racing. Finnish veteran Anita Mäkelä have well deserved the second position in the points ranking, while Stig Neergaard från Danmark earned his third place in the championship by performing well during the last event. Neergaard lost the final against UK´s only participant in the class, Chris Andrews. Champion Naatas event at Santa Pod ended in the semi-final with disqualification due to a too quick reaction time (so called red-light) while Anita Mäkelä had to leave walk over in the quarter final due to a technical problem.
In the Top Methanol Dragster class, which is also included in the FIA European Drag Racing Championship, no champion was crowned this season due to none of the drivers had complied with the regulation to compete in all countries where championship events were run. In points lead after the final event Jonny Lagg from Sweden who is new in the class 2013.
photos: Lena Perés/Speedgroup