EDRS Pro Nordic MC riders make some extra (quarter) miles
With their season in the EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship just finished, four regular competitors took the opportunity to make some extra runs and travelled all the way to England for the European Finals, the last round of the FIM Europe Drag Bike European Championship. Robert Karlsson, the 2015 EDRS Pro Nordic MC Pro Stock Motorcycle champion, and Kenneth Holmberg were both successful semi-final finishes.
Two weeks after winning the 2015 EDRS Pro Nordic MC Pro Stock Motorcycle title, Robert Karlsson already faced his next challenge, the European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, the last race of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship and the FIM Europe Drag Bike European Championship.
Riding Elvira’s black ‘www.kullager.se’ bike, Robert was accompanied by his daughter Ellsa. Kenneth Holmberg was the third regular EDRS Pro Stock Motorcycle competitor in England.
For Ellsa, the race was already over by Friday afternoon after the second qualifying. Running in the right lane, the runner-up in the 2015 EDRS Pro Nordic MC Pro Stock Motorcycle Championship hit the wall after the finish line on the left side of the track. The crank bolt was damaged and without spares, she had to withdraw from competition. Significantly, it was the second time this happened (the Scandinavian Internationals at Tierp being the first), and the team wanted to take a better look at the frame before making more runs anyway.
As already seen before this season, Robert Karlsson was one of the top qualifiers of the weekend. After two 7.15 second runs, the last run was 7.09 seconds, good enough to claim the second qualifying position behind FIM EC leader and reigning FIM champion Fredrik Fredlund. After defeating Mark Smith in the first round (7.05 seconds), Karlsson stormed to a stunning 7.02 seconds in his bye run in the quarter final, and had to face Anders Larsson in the semi-final.
Larsson had the better reaction time, and although Karlsson was a bit quicker in the run, it was not enough to catch his countryman, who also was at three of the four EDRS Pro Nordic MC races. Larsson made his weekend even more perfect by defeating Fredlund in the final. The Finn, who retained his FIM title in England, suffered severe engine damage in the final.
Kenneth Holmberg had some problems in qualifying, but came back to his regular form just in time to step up to 7.36 seconds, good enough to jump into the number ten qualifying position. In the first round Holmberg defeated Alex Hope, and after a bye run in the quarter final, the Swecomposite rider had to face Fredlund in the semi-final. With 7.12 for the multiple champion and 7.17 for Holmberg, it was a close race, but enough for Fredlund to advance to the final.
In Super Street Bike, Leif Larsson had to face the tough competition of the extremely quick British SSB riders. Richard Stubbins already showed how quick they can be in the EDRS Pro Nordic MC races at Tierp. But that was still nothing compared to what happened at the European Finals.
In qualifying Steve Venables made history by running Europe’s first ever 6 second SSB pass with a stunning 6.95 seconds at 212.84 mph. It was no surprise that Venables won the race with a series of 7.0 second runs. Larsson’s best in qualifying was 7.86 seconds, good for the number eighteen qualifying position. With sixteen riders in elimination, Larsson was sidelined on race day. Mogens Lund, another regular EDRS SSB competitor, qualified ninth, reset his personal best to 7.30 seconds in the first round, but had no chance to beat Venables in the quarter final.