Drag Racing 2016

Bruno Baders 63 Chevy Corvette Pro Mod
Top Fuel winner Stig Neergaard starts his burnout
The ‘Flyin Fyfer’ Ford Pop of Colin Millar
Patrik Pers nitro funny car
Alex Hope on his way to victory in Pro Stock Bike
Oldsmobile Cutlass of Kev Perkins
The world’s fastest drag bike Frenchman Eric Teboul on his rocket powered missile


May 30th finals day for the 1st round of the FIA FIM European Drag Racing Championship at England’s Santa Pod Raceway.  I have been going to drag racing events since the mid 70’s and I still get a big rush of adrenaline when top fuellers start their engines and perform ground shaking, ear splitting burnouts.  Times have changed, the pro classes are slick well run outfits, but the sportsman classes are still great fun especially with the E.T handicap classes where anyone can win if your reaction times are spot on

The weather was fine and a days great racing was enjoyed. Some of the winners were – Top Fuel  Stig Neergaard of Denmark.  Pro Mod  Switzerland’s Bruno Bader.   Nitro Funny Car  Kevin Kent England.  Top Methanol Dragster  Jonny Lagg of Sweden.  Pro Stock  Jimmy Alund also Sweden.  Top Fuel Bike  Ian King.  Pro Stock Bike  Alex Hope.  Super Street Bike  Steve Venables all England.


26th of June.  Finals day for the Summer Nationals at Santa Pod Raceway.  Usually plagued by rain today was sunny and warm.  I really like these sportsman events, although there are no Top Fuel cars running, which probably explains the small crowd, there is a full programme headed by the mighty MSA Pro Mods.  Entry costs are cheap and the grandstand is free, which is great for photographers like myself as you can move around to get better angles.

Nice to see the expansion of the ET class in the bikes, this allows smaller less powerful machines to compete on an equal footing.  I think a brief explanation of the rules of ET racing would be helpful, it took my long suffering wife a while to understand.

ET racing allows two machines to race each other on a handicap basis.  Both teams will submit an elapse time (ET) and the slower team gets the advantage on the lights, say one team is 6 seconds and the other 8 that is a 2 second starting advantage.  In theory both machines should reach the finish line together, so it is down to the reaction time of the rider / driver to the lights.  However you must not go quicker than your stated ET (dial in time) if you do it’s called a breakout and you lose. If both go too quick the nearest to the dial in is the winner.  Simples.

It was nice to see the Fuel Altered ‘Havoc’ of Nick Davies putting on a show.  This nitromethane burning car brings back memories of the 70’s.

Pro Mod winner Andy Robinson in his 69 Chevy Camaro
Pete Walters beautiful Pro ET dragster
Junior Dragster, for under 18s run over 1/8th mile. This is winner Shannon Kiddell
Craig Lee Boulton ET Bike
Graham Balchin on his Super Street Kawasaki ZX12
Havoc a nitro burning fuel altered of Nick Davies


Sunday 11th of September 2016.

Eliminations day for the FIA /FIM European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway.  With several champions to be crowned racing was going to be close and exciting, and so it proved.  Standout performer on the day was Malta’s Duncan Micallef in Top Fuel, two 3 second 300mph passes, unfortunately engine damage prevented him from taking part in the final.  Unlike in the States where the top teams seem to have an endless supply of parts in Europe budgets are much tighter.

A great win in Top Fuel Bike for Filippos Papafilippou of Greece after the horror show of the 2014 Euro Finals when he ended up on the wheelie bars of Steve Woollatt!

Shame to see so few Top Methanol cars.  These used to be great classes and is one where the Europeans can more than match our American friends, witness the outstanding success of Sweden’s Jonnie Lindberg in winning back to back NHRA titles in TM/FC, and setting records on the way!

Winners on the day.  Top Fuel — Micke Kagered.  Top Methanol Dragster — Jonny Lagg.  Pro Mod — Micke Gullqvist.  Pro Stock — Bengt Ljungdahl.

2016 Champions.

Top Fuel.  Anita Makela

Top Methanol Dragster.  Jonny Lagg

Pro Mod.  Micke Gullqvist

Pro Stock.  Jimmy Alund

Top Fuel Bike.  Ian King

Thomas Stiefel of Swtzerland in Pro Mod
Steve Woolatt launches The Dealer Top Fuel Bike (image from 2016 National Finals)
Jens Eklund from Sweden entertained with wild smokey burnouts in his Audi A5 and won Comp Eliminator
Jimmy Alund in his Summit Racing Pro Stock Camaro runner up on the day but finished as champion
Fireforce 5 jet dragster piloted by Martin Hill has reached 300mph
From the U.S.A Ron Hope and his near 50 year old Fuel Altered ‘Rat Trap’

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