Scandinavian Internationals, the EDRS Pro Nordic MC finals at Tierp Arena
The Scandinavian Internationals is the fourth and final round of the EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship. Two and a half months after the championship kicked off at Tierp Arena, the EDRS Pro Nordic MC is back at the state-of-the-art drag race facility north of Stockholm. Samu Kemppainen (Super Twin Motorcycle), Kalle Lyrén (Pro Stock Motorcycle), Henri Kolehmainen (Super Street Bike) and Rikard Gustafsson (Top Fuel Motorcycle) enter the final round as the leader in their respective categories. Bianca Nilsson is the favourite to become the first EDRS Pro Nordic Super Comp Bike champion and you don’t have to be a fortune-teller to see that Janne Koskinen will be crowned as the champion in Super Gas Bike at the Scandinavian Internationals.
The third season of the EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship kicked off in June at Tierp Arena. After the first race the teams visited Alastaro in Finland and Gardermoen in Norway and now they are back for their final race of the season at Tierp. Unfortunately, all three events were affected by rain and not only were qualifying runs cancelled due to the weather, but some eliminations were also cut short. Let’s hope the season will end on a high with four days of racing in perfect weather conditions. Looking at the large numbers of entrants in almost all classes, and some ultra-fast non championship contenders, the Scandinavian Internationals will be exciting.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Kalle Lyrén is the man to beat in EDRS Pro Nordic MC Pro Stock Motorcycle, and as nobody has done that so far this season, the Veidec Lyren Motorsports rider is the clear leader in the championship. Lyrén has 215 points and is 48 points ahead of Thomas Lysebraaten Olsen.
The Norwegian is followed by Timo Savolainen. The Finn is improving every race and is only six points behind Olsen. Fredrik Kempe is fourth and the so far very unlucky Kenneth Holmberg fifth. Elvira Karlsson took over the riding duties of her sister Ellsa at Alastaro and will do her very best to score some extra points at Tierp after missing the Gardermoen race.
Special attention will be paid to Fredrik Fredlund, the reigning FIM European Pro Stock Bike champion from Finland. It’s his first EDRS Pro Nordic MC race of the season and Fredlund undoubtedly wants to beat Lyrén and break the 7-second barrier. Jörgen Bengtsson and Bo Thorselius take the field to nine for an 8-bike elimination ladder.
Super Twin Motorcyle
Reigning EDRS Pro Nordic MC Super Twin Motorcycle champion Samu Kemppainen has had some strong competition this season, but being both quick and consistent, the Finn is still the clear leader with 213 points.
Tierp Internationals runner-up Greger Johansson is in second position, but 64 points behind. Only three points short of the number two position is Vidar Ravnsborg, with Hans Olav Olstad in fourth and Vesa Lipponen in fifth position. Lipponen was very quick in qualifying at Alastaro and Gardermoen, but missed the opening round. Still the Finn is only 46 points behind current runner-up Johansson.
Special attention will of course go out to Tommy Grimes, the 16-time NHRA Wally winner and four time season champion in Nitro Harley, who will take over the riding duties of Per Bengtsson’s ‘The Beast’ after the Swede suffered a stroke (see related story).
Ismo Mäenpää, Marcus Christiansen, Trond Jostein Høiberget, Erling Opheim, Harri Piensalmi, Svein Olav Rolfstad, Stig Olof Svensson and all the way from the Czech Republic, Roman Sixta, take the field to fourteen for an 8-bike ladder.
Super Street Bike
There are no fewer than 19 entrants in Super Street Bike at the Scandinavian Internationals. Henri Kolehmainen started the season with a victory at the Tierp Internationals and extended his lead in the EDRS Pro Nordic MC Super Street Bike Championship to 58 points over Mogens Lund at Gardermoen. Richard Stubbins, who had to skip the Gardermoen event, is in third position. The UK rider is extremely fast and will be out for revenge after he lost in the final in June.
Anders Blanck is in fourth position, six points short of Stubbins and nine points ahead of Vesa Ruhanen. Alex Hope is doing the whole EDRS Pro Nordic MC tour this season, but has been very unlucky so far and is sixth in the championship. If Hope can solve his problems, he is a race winner. Björn Friström will not renew his title as the 2015 EDRS Pro Nordic MC Super Street Bike champion couldn’t make enough runs to find the right set-up for his new bike and is only 14th in the championship. Almost all of the other regular EDRS Pro Nordic Super Street Bike contenders are also at Tierp and will try to end the season on a high. From Sweden we see Nils Ola Andersson, Leif Larsson, Roberth Häggblom, Ida Johansson, Pelle Lakmaker, Robert Nilsson, Nils Lagerlöf and Emil Östlund, while Jani Kumpulainen, Kimmo Pulakka and Kim Hilander are all from Finland. Dag Wagenius (Norway) will take part in his second race of the 2016 EDRS Pro Nordic MC after he made his comeback from a shoulder injury at his home race at Gardermoen.
Top Fuel Motorcycle
Rikard Gustafsson is the leader in the EDRS Pro Nordic MC Top Fuel Motorcycle class, 34 points clear of Thomas Pettersson. Reigning champion Jan Sturla Hegre is third, 70 points behind the leader. But as Gustafsson will probably not take part at Tierp Arena, Pettersson and Hegre can go for the championship. The two Peter Anderssons make the field to four.
Super Comp Bike and Super Gas Bike
Super Comp Bike and Super Gas Bike will crown their first ever EDRS Pro Nordic MC champions at Tierp, as it’s the first time these two classes have been included in the championship. In Super Comp Bike, Bianca Nilsson has been the most consistent rider this season and is leading the title race with 208 points. Tomas Jonsson is second with 168 points, Kimmo Rantala third (159 points), Kathrine Wagenius fourth (157 points) and Emil Östlund fifth (151 points). Behind Nilsson, the rest of the field is so close together that everything is still possible. Super Comp Bike has 16 entrants at Tierp.
It’s almost certain that Janne Koskinen will be the first EDRS Pro Nordic MC champion in Super Gas Bike. The Finn has been by far the most consistent rider this season, taking part in all of the races and is 95 points ahead of Tore Hanzal. As this Norwegian rider is not on the Tierp entry list, Magnus Pollack is Koskinen’s closest rival, but is 96 points behind. It’s great to see that Super Gas Bike has ten entrants now, a big improvement compared to the four we saw at the first Tierp race in June.
Scandinavian Internationals, Tierp Arena, August 25-28, entry list:
EDRS Pro Nordic MC Championship points standings:
Text and photos: Remco Scheelings