Malmö, Sweden (April 9, 2016) – A change to the driver’s seat has been announced from The Old 51 Drag Racing Team. Magnus Petersson, owner and crew chief of The Old 51 Chevy Coupe Pro Mod, and driver Niclas Andersson had to make a tough decision this past week with Andersson’s back problems preventing him from competing on the FIA European Drag Racing Championship series.
The former European successful driver Adam Flamholc has already got the hang of the IHRA racing over in USA. This year he goes for the whole series. In Europe we will see him around some of the European FIA teams. But not in any own car, so far. Lucky american spectators will have this guy for their sight in the race car. And first win is already home.
As the 2016 FIA European Drag Racing season approaches, kicking off at Santa Pod, England in May, there is much news in the class to relate.
For the 2016 season, NHRA have mandated the use of Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) engines. The familiar hood scoops of Pro-Stock cars are no more, at least for the American racers of the NHRA. In Europe, the teams will be allowed to continue with naturally aspirated, carburettor power plants for the 2016 season. An EFI team would be allowed in to competition this year, however there are no such equipped teams therefore it is a largely irrelevant point. Continue reading
Pro Modified – outstanding times and speed
It can´t be better when it comes to drag racing than it was at the Scandinavia Internationals at Tierp Arena. A whole weekend without a cloud, filled grandstands, perfect track and a record number of participating teams, 330 to be exact, along with records in speed and ET. Pro Modified saw 26 teams entering the arena.
Friday started off with some awesome racing at once. Tero Laukkanen is outstanding when it comes to speed. Straight out in first round he started with a PB at 414 km/h which was a first part of a new European speed record. Bruno Bader broke the finish line with a 5.98 and Niclas Andersson with a 5.93, 0.003 sec from his personal best. Anders Nilsson started off great with a 6.10 round.
Things were not so good for Mats Eriksson and Michael Gullqvist in this first session. Both had tyre shake but Gullqvist drove through his and got a time at 6.56 sec. Not his usual quick and inspiring runs. Mats had to lift and roll to the finish line. It seemed that some of the teams misjudged the track and got tyreshake in this first round. The grip was just too good. Johan Westberg also with a PB at 6.18 and the team was jumping and hugging at the start line. The most unlucky team this round was Mats Logren who had to roll away the car from start line and Jan Brännvall who didn’t come to start.
David Vegter did a long burnout that made his back-up girl Elin to run a little bit extra for take him back to startline. Then he lost traction and went into tyre shake. This first round produced a very wide differential in times, Niclas topped the list with 5.98 sec/ 374 km/h and Andreas Arthursson ended up at the other end on 20,77/53 km/h. But first round is hard when you don’t have a clue what the track is like. Next round was a bit better the gap between top and bottom narrowed considerably.
Second round Gullqvist didn’t shake at all and did an amazing 5,88 sec/404 km/h round. First part of a new European record in both ET and speed was on here! But then Tero came and beat both himself and Micke in speed with a 6,02/ 418 km/h round. This is now the new European speed record, 418.60 km/h 260 m/h backed up and clear for Tero Laukkanen. The fastest door slammer in Europe! Congratulation Team Laukkanen!
Elsewhere Mats Eriksson took fifth qualifying place this round at 6.04 sec. Odd Erik Fossum, who we are more used to seeing in Top Doorslammer, did a PB in the Pro Modified with a 6.15 round. Marko Lantto did a little pirouette this round and stop the car crossing the centerline just after he passed the 60 ft. A new driver Erik Andersson, with a really nice Mustang was in the bump spot this round at 7.03 sec/281 km/h which showed that this class on this track is a really tough field to work with.
Per Granqvist made it out in Q3 for his first round and he did a 6.94 with some pedaling during the run. Still no time for Janne Brännvall but Matts Logren got a 7.50 round and the team was very happy that they got the car rolled down the lane and a time on the board. Åke Persson took the bump spot from Micke Johansson in this round. Freddy Fagerström also outside the ladder so far. Niclas Andersson couldn’t get reverse gear in after the burnout and rolled down the lane. Bruno hit some shake in this round as did Roger Johansson but Roger drove through it and recorded a time, but did not improve his position. Micke Johansson did a PB round at 6.44 as Samuel Andersson at 6.29 sec. But Micke Gullqvist improved again, now with a 5.84 sec/400 km/h round. He won’t give up the speed record that easy, but he will have a bit to go to beat Tero. On the other hand Tero has a way to go to beat Gullqvists 5.84 sec ET. So for sure there is a battle going on between those two gentlemen for both halves of the record.
Fourth qualifying round was a bit odd. Neither Gullqvist nor Laukkanen got off the startline properly to get a better time than they had before. The same for Niclas Andersson and a few others. This round was much better for Mats Eriksson, who was back on track and hit a 5 sec round and climbed up to a third qualifying place. Åke Persson, in his lovely Viper, did a nice straight run and ended up at 6.05 sec which lifted him up to a Q 6 place. Samuel Andersson hit the 16th place and was in the ladder for Sunday’s elimination. Out of the competition were Per Granqvist, Fredrik Lund, Micke Johansson, Freddy Fagerström, Stefan Gustafsson, Marko Lantton, Jöran Persåker and Matts Logren. Freddy took the first alternate position and was on stand-by if someone fails to start. Some of those racers we will see at the Pod in a few days.
Elimination day started of early with Super Street Bikes at first, then first round of Pro Modified. Anders Nilsson took out Robert Joosten who had problems from start with tyre shakes and shut off. But Anders is having a great time now. Another 6.0 run with a very quick start at 0, 09 sec at the tree. Next pair was Roger Johansson vs Per Granqivst who was first alternate for Marco Maurischat who didn’t come to start due to a broken engine. Per and Roger both made a quick start but Roger had a faster time at the end and had a finish time at 6.11 sec due to Per’s 6.42.
Odd Erik Fossum took out Åke Persson straight away at the start line with a 0,069 holeshot over Åke Persson’s 0,24 sec. Åke slept in a little bit but he really tried to keep up with Odd Erik. But even though Åke got a really good time at 6.03, Odd Erik was first over the finish line and took the win.
Tero Laukkanen had David Vegter in this first round and they were away at just about the same time. David a little bit slower, more like 0.0051 sec and David really gave Tero a match but halftrack Tero’s Turbo power kicked in to take him across the line in 6.00/413 km/h vs David’s 6.14/379.
Bruno Bader didn’t have much luck in this round where he red lit against Håkan Persson. Håkan had a good run at 6.12 sec.
Next up was Mats Eriksson and Johan Westberg. Mats was late into stage and a bit slow on the tree but had caught up at halftrack and took the win at a 6.05 time.
Niclas Andersson was back at the 5 sec runs again vs Andreas Arthursson. Niclas took Andreas on a hole shot and Andreas didn’t have chance, even thug he had a 6.08 sec round at the end this time.
Samuel Andersson had a hard nut to crack and he did whatever he could to beat the fastest man in the field, Michael Gullqvist. Michael almost slept away this round as Samuel was a way at 0,1077 sec to Michaels 0,2120. But had no thought about give this one away so at the end he passed the finish line at 5.84 sec/400 km/h. In this round there was six PB for either ET or speed!
Round two started off with a 5.85 round from Gullqivst vs Anders Nilsson who red lit. but you have to try and be fast on the tree when you race Gullqvist. Sometimes you’re lucky, sometimes not. Tero did the same in next round vs Håkan Persson. It isn’t easy to stage a turbo car so it might have been a problem here for Tero. Next red light was Niclas who really gave the win away to Roger who had trouble with tyre shake and shut off right after start. Pity for Niclas as he got a time at 5.95 sec /388 km/h. Mats Eriksson picked up some trouble after last qualifying round Saturday and had to fix the blower but they managed to get it all in shape and through the first round. But this round something went very wrong and Mats couldn’t get the car to roll at all when he was supposed to make the burnout. The gearbox problem meant they had to push away and give this round to Odd Erik Fossum.
The quarter final saw steady 5.8 round from Gullqvist. But Håkan Persson who was up against him had a good round anyway with a 6.04 sec time. He did whatever he could to beat the Smurf at the tree, but had no chance this time. Roger up against Odd Erik that had big problems from last round with the car. But did a try anyway vs Roger but had to let him go. Roger didn’t just roll to the finish line, he hit the pedal and got a 6.03 sec/385 km/h time.
Roger Johansson and Michael Gullqvist in Finals. A fast straight nice and fair run. Roger a bit faster on the tree, but then Michael hit the pedal and took the win at a 5,88 sec/401 km/h bracket time for Michael. Roger had a 6.06 sec/379 km/h. Congratulation to Michael Gullqvist to the win of Pro Modified and a fantastic racing weekend.
This makes the table a bit different until the Finals at the Pod. Michael is the new leader, with just three points, over Mats Eriksson who has held the lead all season, until now! Bader who was no 2 in the table when the weekend started was out in first elimination round, slides down to a third place, Tero stays at number four but will have a good chance to take the third place as Bruno is just 16 before him. The battle at the Pod will be a thrill.
Text & Photo by Lena Perés/edited by Ian Hart
This weekend taught us the sport is very safe, but however anything can happen. And we can also tell that the racers who were involved in the weekend incidents are, under the circumstances, well.
The event started out with very good weather and the forecast promised that this should continue except for some small showers. That wasn’t really the truth. Saturday ended in rain and heavy wind. And Sunday wasn’t much better. Only FIA classes, EDRS Pro motorcycles and Top Doorslammer had one elimination round before the rain ended the event. The track was very good from start, which made it a bit hard with the settings in first round, except for a certain Old 51 –car. Continue reading
In the Pro Modified category more than twenty teams have entered the season opening event at Santa Pod. A good mix of teams from seven countries where some will do the full championship and some are in it for a few rounds. A We have caught a few of the teams for an update.
Bruno Bader, Switzerland tells that he will do the whole FIA Tour this season. He is very confident with the car and has made no big changes since last season. -The car was running fine last season so we only changed the start number and cleaned the windows, states Bader.