EDRC: Rain brings early end to Santa Pod’s season-opener

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Rain brought an early end to the eliminations of round one of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship at Santa Pod Raceway

After a rain delay in the morning, the FIA classes Top Fuel, Top Methanol and Pro Stock completed their first round of eliminations, and Pro Modified their second round when the rain returned several times. Although the Santa Pod Raceway crew did their very best to dry the track, it was impossible to start racing again.

Numerous showers during the day caused many delays. When the rain returned later in the afternoon, the race director had to cancel the remaining elimination rounds.                             

In Top Fuel number one qualifier Jndia Erbacher from Switzerland had a bye run in the semi-final to advance to the final. In the other semi-final, Duncan Micallef had a bye run as well as number two qualifier Susanne Callin suffered so much engine damage on her last qualifying run on Sunday, that the Swedish driver had to withdraw from eliminations. Due to the rain, it was not possible to run the final.

In the first round of eliminations of Pro Modified David Vegter once again proved his great form. The number one qualifier from The Netherlands stormed to a great 5.76 seconds, by far the quickest elapsed time of all elimination runs. In the quarter-final, Vegter had to face Andres Arnover from Estonia. At the start line, Vegter was triggered by Arnover’s stage light and pulled a red light, handing the win and semi-final position to Arnover.

Bruno Bader, the number four qualifier from Switzerland, also advanced to the semi-finals after defeating Bobby Wallace in the quarter-finals. Jere Rantaniemi, the number three qualifier from Finland, advanced to the quarter-finals but was there defeated by Stian Rusånes, who recorded a great 6.05 seconds to secure, to his own surprise, a place in the semi-finals. Another major surprise was Andreas Sjodin. The driver from Sweden and number ten qualifier defeated Peter Kunc in the first round and saw Andy Robinson pull a red light in the quarter-finals to advance to the semi-finals. In the semi-finals, Bader would have met Arnover and Sjodin Rusånes. We will never know who would have been the finalists.

In Top Methanol the number one qualifier, Tony Bryntesson, defeated Jonny Lagg in the semi-final to advance to the final. In the final, the driver from Sweden should have met Sandro Bellio. The multiple champion from Belgium defeated Silvio Strauch in the semi-final. Still, an engine explosion at the finish line caused so much damage that Bellio could not return for the final. Therefore, Bryntesson would have had a bye run in the final.

In Pro Stock there was a major surprise in the first round as number six qualifier Stefan Ernryd defeated reigning FIA European champion Michel Malmgren with a great 6.65 seconds. Richard Sundblom surprised Simon Ekengren to advance to the semi-finals where he should have met number one qualifier Jimmy Ålund, who had a bye run in the first round. In the last quarter-final Robin Norén defeated Lasse Britsmar to advance to the semi-finals, where he should have met Ernryd.

The FIA European Drag Racing Championship is set to continue in June at Tierp Arena, Sweden.