Title number five, but a special one for Leif Andreasson
With a runner-up position at the Scandinavian Internationals, and his closest rivals not attending the European Finals, Leif Andreasson was the only number one in the point standing who had a relaxed trip to Santa Pod, knowing the title was already his. But the Swede did what he had to do, made his runs and won the race. That the Disab sponsored driver only had to beat Stephanie Milam, who smashed her personal best at the Euro Finals was not something Andreasson was to blame for.
Top Methanol Funny Car was the only category of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship where the title was already decided before the European Finals. With runner-up and 2014 champion Johan Lindberg on his way to the States with brother Jonnie, and number three Johnny Oksa not attending the race in England, nobody could stop Leif Andreasson from winning his fifth European championship even before the first run was made.
But although it was number five for the Swede, this was a special one. After the devastating crash at Tierp in June, nobody gave Andreasson’s title hopes a chance. But together with his team, the multiple champion refused to give up, built a new car from what was left of the wrecked car and an older car he had in the workshop, and was back at Alastaro, to claim the title with a win at Hockenheim and a runner-up finish at the Scandinavian Internationals. It was not without reason Andreasson dedicated this title to his team members, who worked so hard to make this all possible.
Andreasson’s first qualifying was also his best run of the weekend and with 5.80 seconds the 2015 FIA European champion claimed the number one qualifying position. In her second run, Stephanie Milam reset her personal best in a big way, to bring it to 5.83 seconds. With only three competitors, the already small field was reduced to two when Jürgen Nagel suffered severe engine damage immediately after the start of his first run and was out for the rest of the weekend.
With two competitors left, Andreasson and Milam only had to run a final. But it was a close one, as with 5.85 seconds for the multiple champion and 5.90 seconds for Milam, it was a tight finish, but still in favor of Andreasson.
Behind champion Andreasson, Johan Lindberg stayed in the number two position, with Johnny Oksa in third, Ari Pietilä in fourth and Nagel in fifth position.
European Finals statistics
Low ET: Leif Andreasson, 5.803 seconds
Top speed: Stephanie Milam, 246.759 mph
Link to final qualifying list:
Link to elimination ladder
No elimination ladder available
Link to final championship points standing 2015
For more photos see: FIA European Drag Racing Championship facebook
Text: Remco Scheelings
Photos: Remco Scheelings