Third round of the European Drag Racing Championship
The event traditionally known as the NitrOlympX attracted teams from 17 nations and a massive crowd of spectators.
Round #3 of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship took place August 8-10th at HockenheimRing in Germany.
The track conditions did not hold for any record level performance but nevertheless presented many thrilling and tight races.
No 1 qualifiers:
Top Fuel Dragster: Thomas Nataas (NOR) 4.51 sec/432 km over 1000 foot distance
Pro Modified: Mats Eriksson (SWE) 6.32 sec/389 km
Pro Stock: Thomas Lindström (SWE) 7.79 sec/284 km
Top Methanol Funny Car: Johan Lindberg (SWE) 5.94 sec/404 km
Top Methanol Dragster: Dennis Habermann (GER) 5.55 sec/424 km
ELIMINATIONS Sunday August 10th
In the fastest category, Top Fuel Dragster championship leader Stig Neergaard and second placed Anita Mäkelä Finland lost already in the round one. Thomas Nataas from Norway was low qualifier and he won the quarter finals over UK´s Chris Andrews. In the semifinal Nataas was outrun by Noah Stutz from Switerland. On the other half of the elimination ladder it was Micke Kågered from Sweden (ranked number four in the championship), who managed to take the other place in the final after having won the first round over Anita Mäkelä. In the semi final, Duncan Micallef from Malta was defeated by Kågered who continued to perform steady. The final between Micke Kågered and Stutz ended in Kågered´s favour. Winning time 4.80 sec/363 km/h and with that Kågered will advance in the championship points standings.
In Top Methanol Funny Car, it was to be an all Swedish final between championship leader Johan Lindberg and Leif Andreasson (also Sweden)who did his first event for the season and performed consistent throughout the event. In the final Andreasson´s car lost traction and Lindberg was first over the finish line. Winning time 6.56 sec/392 km/h and Lindberg in continued lead.
In FIA Pro Modified it was Mats Eriksson, Sweden who was quickest during the qualifications and he started the eliminations successfully passing round one and making it into the semifinal to face David Vegter from the Netherlands. The other semifinal pair consisted of the 2013 European champion Michael Gullqvist and current championship leader Mattias Wulcan, both from Sweden. While Wulcan managed to run 6.50 sec, Gullqvists car lost traction and time and Gullqvist shut off early realizing there was no way to pass Wulcan. Mattias Wulcan to face David Vegter in the final. The final turned out a spectacular run when Vegter struggled with traction problems and passed the center line and finished the race in the same lane as Wulcan. As Wulcan was ahead of Vegter from the startline, he was never in danger. Win for Wulcan who keeps the championship lead also leaving Hockenheim.
In the Top Methanol Dragster category it was German Dennis Habermann who was quickest after four qualification sessions. He enjoyed a bye run in the quarter finals and faced Chris Polidano from Malta in the semifinal. Polidano was second in the championship ranking entering Hockenheim and won the quarterfinal over championship leader Monty Bugeja Malta. In the semifinal Dennis Habermann ran a one quicker time 5.57 sec to Polidano´s 5.58 sec, but it was Polidano who passed the finish line as a winner after having the better reaction time of the two. The other semifinal was between the two German drivers Timo Habermann and Peter Schöfer. Schöfer made his only planned entry for the race season 2014 at Hockenheim and it was his first race since 2012. Team Schöfer performed steady and managed to outrun Timo Habermann in the semifinal, but it was Chris Polidano who won the final over Peter Schöfer.
The FIA Pro Stock car class was cancelled after one round of qualifications. A united decision was taken by all drivers in the class to not run during the remaining event. The reason being the track conditions were not considered up to standard and safe to run for the Pro Stock cars. As a result there were no eliminations run in the class at this event.