Santa Pod Raceway
Drag Racing
FIA/UEM Eurpean Finals 2005 Report
September 8th/11th 2005

FIA European Drag Racing Championships Inc UEM Drag Bike

The European Finals 2005 Event Report

The European Drag Racing Championships are now over! Never before has the championship been so badly weather affected, but Santa Pod Raceway was still able to host a packed meeting with multiple rounds of qualifying and a full race elimination in all the European classes, supported by as much sportsman racing as the intermittent showers allowed.

Lex Joon   Marc Meihuizen

The new four-day format for the event allowed a full and packed programme of national and international drag racing to take place on three days, but Saturday sadly suffered badly from heavy downpours, and despite the valiant efforts of the track crew, only a handful of cars and bikes took to the track.

However, the final day of racing ran its full course in the European classes, and there were no holds barred once the track was made dry in the early afternoon, with some amazing action in all classes, including new European speed records by Krister Johansson in the Top Methanol class (262.79mph) and Andy Robinson in the Pro Mod class (227.19mph). Both the track crew and the race teams showed they were the best in the world, with their super-human efforts to keep the track in top condition and the cars and bikes ready for the quick-fire elimination rounds as racing was crammed into the latter part of the day. Unfortunately on Sunday, wet weather in the morning meant that there was less time to run the days racing, and some of the Sportsman eliminations did not reach their conclusions.

Svein Gottenberg   Jan Muren

Make sure you have a look at the European Finals Photo Gallery, featuring loads more photos from the weekend.

Roger Gorringe's Race Report 

Battling torrential rainstorms that killed off half the qualifying opportunities and flooded both pit spaces and the race track, the FIA European Drag Racing Series finally managed to complete all its professional classes to gain the Champions of 2005 late on Sunday night. It was almost the fourth European event out of six that was terminally hit by rain. Holland's Lex Joon - FIA Top Fuel, the FIA Top Methanol Dragster saw Britain's Dave Wilson win again whilst FIA Top Methanol Funny Car had Swiss man Urs Erbacher take a repeat Championship and finally the FIA Pro Stock saw a second Championship for Sweden's Jimmy Ålund.

There were upsets and surprises in all classes with Top Fuel no exception as Britain's Andy Carter red lit himself out of Championship contention in round one, a move that allowed opponent, Sweden's Tommy Möller to go on to take the event win. Other round one British casualties included Gary Page and Jon Webster falling to Lex Joon and Susanne Callin respectively, whilst Swede Jöran Persåker failed to find reverse after the burnout.

Round two action took place in the gathering gloom of an overcast evening and this time the points leader Joon went out, shut down with a fluid leak allowing Sweden's Micke Kågered an easy 7.97/113 win. A dual of smoking tyres and throttle peddling occurred next as Callin went into deep tyre smoke as she overpowered the track as did Möller who stabbed the throttle four times lighting up his lane with eight foot header flames each time and getting a 6.16/180 win to Callin's 15.21/70.

The final pitted Micke Kågered in his Bahco Tools machine against the might of Tommy Möller's Pennzoil car, it was another throttle stabbing exercise in almost total blackness, Kågered shook and had the parachutes out by the 400 foot mark as Möller continued down track visible only by his header flames to take a 7.00/131 event win.

The Top Methanol Dragster class had a better entry than of past with Dave Wilson in a commanding points lead and not surprisingly ending up in pole position with a fine 5.491/257 just ahead of Krister Johansson's nitro car which has suddenly unlocked the power key with a great 5.4496/261 both well ahead of the pack. In round one Wilson quickly dealt out class rookie John Parkinson as did Johansson with German Timo Haberman with a 5.45/260 win to the wheels up weaving 6.38/221 and a decent holeshot by Rob Turner stayed ahead of the other German, Peter Schöfer in a close 5.579/248 win to the 5.576/255 lose.

Wilson took a bye to the final but not before he hurt the clutch on the solo. Turner managed another good leave ahead of Johansson, 5.53/252 win to 5.55/262.79 (a new European record for the latter).

The final was a solo staging only of Rob Turner's car for the event title as opponent and newly crowned European Champ Dave Wilson could not repair in time.

Top Methanol Funny Car held some big surprises but not in qualifying as current Champion Urs Erbacher from Switzerland claimed pole with a 5.71/249 over a tenth ahead of the pack. However in round one he was beaten by the red light allowing Swede Ulf Leanders to step ahead, but Erbacher was declared Champion once again in the points chase. Number two in the points, Dan Larsen from Denmark also managed the red light way out giving the win to Kjell Sjoblom and another big name, Leif Andréasson was beaten by a lesser mortal in the points race, Norway 's Arvid Grødem whose use of the whole of his lane delivered the winning 5.88/246 to the losing 5.92/241.

In round two Grødem enhanced his win ratio with a 5.95/239 trouncing of Sjoblom's 6.30/214 and Leanders' luck held as he caught and passed Niclas Andersson's 6.03/236 with a 5.90/240.

The hard charge by Arvid Grødem throughout eliminations ended on the money run with a cherry negating his 5.96/218 allowing Ulf Leanders IRONCAD Firebird an eased up 7.01/136 event win.

Six cars all Swedish bar the one Finn made up the Pro Stock class and was led by defending Champion, Sweden's Jimmy Ålund with a 6.95/198 just ahead of Michael Malmgren's 6.97/197 the only two sixes in qualifying. In the first round Ulf Jonsson's holeshot got the win with a 7.13/193 as Malmgren could only follow with a losing 7.11/194. Jan Murén lost power shortly after his launch and the win went to Magnus Hansson with a 6.99/198 in the dark and finally Ålund made good with a 6.98/198 as Finnish driver Rickard Sundblom got close to the wall with his losing 9.40/105.

Ålund could have taken an easy bye to the final but he ran an all over his lane 7.32/175 to get there. Jonsson went out with a red light 7.20/192 allowing Magnus Hansson an easy 8.38/119 win having seen the win light in his lane.

It was side by side racing literally in the final as the repeat Champion Jimmy Ålund crossed the centreline to run with Magnus Hansson's ex Greg Andersson Grand Am, Hasson held on to get the win with a 7.01/197 as Ålund wrestled his car back into his own lane for runner-up.

Pro Modified is at last going to be an FIA class next year and not before time as the number of these magnificent machines increases with each event. A full sixteen car field was whittled down to a run off between England and Sweden under the track lights. With no fear of the gloom it was Andy Robinson's '53 Studebaker that led from the start with Patrick Wikström backing off at half track and watching Robinson score a great 6.283 at 226 mph for the event win.

Race Report by Roger Gorringe © September 2005.

Visit Eurodragster for their indepth live report and more photos.

Finals Info and Event Winners:

Lex Joon  

FIA Top Fuel Dragster:

Tommy Möller 7.009/131.99 defeated Micke Kågered 10.453/67.25

Lex Joon  

FIA Top Methanol Dragster:

Rob Turner fired-up and staged to beat Dave Wilson who didn't make it to the line.

Ulf Leanders  

FIA Top Methanol Funny Car:

Ulf Leanders 7.018/136.38 defeated Arvid Grødem 5.964/218.48 red light

Magnus Hansson  

FIA Pro Stock:

Magnus Hansson 7.012/197.64 defeated Jimmy Ålund 7.917/128.23 (Disqualified)

Gary Jones  

FIM/UEM Top Fuel Bike:

Gary Jones 7.464/170.50 defeated Jamie Sneddon 8.433/164.18

Hans Olav Olstad  

FIM/UEM Supertwin:

Hans Olav Olstad 6.955/207.31 defeated Ronny Aasen 7.601/133.51

Anders Abrahamsson  

FIM/UEM Pro Stock Bike:

Anders Abrahamsson 7.394/176.61 defeated Roger Pettersson 12.034/66.07

Andy Robinson  

NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified:

Andy Robinson 6.283/226.26 defeated Patrick Wikström 8.087/115.95

Championship Winners:

FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Lex Joon
FIA Top Methanol Dragster: Dave Wilson
FIA Top Methanol Funny Car: Urs Erbacher
FIA Pro Stock: Jimmy Ålund

FIM/UEM Top Fuel Bike: Ian King
FIM/UEM Supertwin: Ronny Aasen
FIM/UEM Pro Stock Bike: Roger Pettersson

NDRS Bilsport Pro Mod: Patrick Wilström

Congratulations to the event and championship winners! The sportsman championships conclude at the National Finals on October 1st & 2nd.

Rain Off Values:

Despite the majority of the racing taking place, and some excellent action in all classes, rain-off values have been announced for the following ticket types:

Saturday - £27
Sunday - £20
Sat & Sun - £25
All Days - £25

There is no rain-off value for grandstand seats.

We apologise that the weather affected the action, especially to fans of the national classes, but we can assure you that our track crew did absolutely everything in their power to master the conditions. We hope you enjoyed the event anyway, and we are sure you agree there was plenty to see and do, even when the track was unusable.

How to take advantage of rain-off values: HOLD ONTO YOUR TICKET! You will need to bring this ticket to Santa Pod to get a discount on the next event you attend (excluding some events held at Santa Pod by other companies). There is no cash alternative, but the rain-off values are valid up to and including The European Finals 2006. Rain-off tickets can only be used pro rata.

European Finals Menu:

European Finals 2016: Preview / Photo Entry List / Running Order / Live Web Broadcast
European Finals 2015: Report / Photo Entry List / Photo Gallery / Live Web Broadcast
European Finals 2014: Report / Photo Entry List / Photo Gallery / Live Web Broadcast
European Finals 2013: Report / Photo Entry List / Photo Gallery
European Finals 2012: Report / Photo Entry List / Photo Gallery / Photo Competition
European Finals 2011: Report / Photo Entry List / Photo Gallery / Photo Competition
European Finals 2010: Report / Photo Entry List / Daily Galleries Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
European Finals 2009: Report / Photo Entry List / Daily Galleries Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
European Finals 2008: Report / Photo Entry List / Daily Galleries Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
European Finals 2007: Report / Photo Entry List / Daily Galleries
European Finals 2006: Report / Entry List / Gallery
European Finals 2005: Report / Gallery
European Finals 2004: Report

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