Stig Neergaard, Johnny Oksa, Bengt Ljungdahl and Jonny Lagg win at Scandinavian Internationals in Sweden
Stig Neergaard raced to victory in Top Fuel at the Scandinavian Internationals, the fifth round of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship. The Dane defeated Anita Mäkelä in the final and is now 17 points behind the Finnish championship leader with only one race to go. In Top Methanol Funny Car Johnny Oksa took the championship in style with a dominant win. In Pro Stock there was double success for Bengt Ljungdahl as the Swede won the race and reset the European elapsed time record to 6.491 seconds. In Top Methanol Dragster Jonny Lagg won his home race at Tierp Arena, while in Pro Modified the final between Bruno Bader and Mats Eriksson couldn’t be contested as rain brought an early end to the eliminations of the Scandinavian Internationals.
Tierp Arena hosted the fifth and penultimate round of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship. The state-of-the-art facility north of Stockholm once again proved its quality as at the Scandinavian Internationals many personal bests were reset and in Pro Stock even a European elapsed time record was reset.
In Top Fuel, Anita Mäkelä defeated reigning FIA European champion Michael Kågered in the quarter final, and with 3.98 seconds Mäkelä once again broke the 4-second barrier. In the semi-final, surprising number two qualifier Duncan Micallef was the next victim of the Finnish championship leader, and in 4.09 seconds Mäkelä advanced to the final. In the final Mäkelä had to face Stig Neergaard. The number four qualifier defeated Liam Jones in the quarter final. The Dane suffered serious traction problems in the semi-final, but had a lucky escape as number one qualifier Stefan Gunnarsson pulled a red light. In the final Mäkelä ran into problems and although Neergaard didn’t have his best run of the weekend either, the Dane’s 4.18 seconds was enough to take the win.
In the championship, Mäkelä is still in the number one position, but Neergaard is only 17 points behind. The European Finals will be a thriller in Top Fuel.
In Top Methanol Funny Car, number one qualifier Johnny Oksa took the FIA European championship in style with a dominant win. With 5.541 seconds at 419 km/h and 5.56 seconds, the Finn reset his personal best and advanced to the final.
In the final, Oksa had to face countryman Ari Pietilä, a replay of last weekend’s NitrOlympX all-Finnish final. Both drivers ran into problems after the start, but as Oksa could get his car in a straight line again, the 2016 FIA European champion won his third race of the season.
In Pro Stock, number one qualifier Jimmy Alund advanced to the final with wins over Magnus Petersson and Michael Malmgren. But even more impressive were the elapsed times number two qualifier Bengt Ljungdahl recorded. In his first round win over Sampsa Palos, Ljungdahl reset the European Pro Stock elapsed time record to 6.491 seconds. In the semi-final, Ljungdahl beat Stefan Ernryd in 6.51 seconds to face Alund in the final.
While the 9-time European champion had some traction problem immediately after the start, Ljungdahl stormed to 6.494 seconds to take his first ever Pro Stock victory in the FIA European Championship.
In Pro Modified there was a major upset in the quarter finals as number one qualifier and championship leader Michael Gullqvist couldn’t start after suffering technical problems in the first round. That opened the door for some other drivers to close the gap to the Swedish reigning champion. Johan Lindberg, the number two in the championship, couldn’t catch up with the leader as the Swede was defeated by Bruno Bader in the first round.
After a disastrous qualifying, the Swiss racer was back to form in eliminations as he beat David Vegter in the quarter finals. The Dutchman recorded a 5.96 seconds in the first round. In a bye run Bader advanced to the final. There he had to face Mats Eriksson. The number four qualifier was on a mission, as in three 5.9-second runs, the Swede defeated Fredrik Fagerström, Håkan Persson and a surprising semi-finalist Andreas Arthursson.
With Bader and Eriksson in the line up, it started to rain at Tierp Arena, and so the final couldn’t be contested. In the championship, Gullqvist is still in the lead, but Bader is only eight points short of the leader. Eriksson is third, 26 points behind Gullqvist.
In Top Methanol Dragster, Jonny Lagg was the only competitor this weekend, so the Swedish driver had an easy job to do to win the race, the trophy and the championship points. Lagg is also the leader in the FIA European Top Methanol Dragster Championship, with Chris Polidano 100 points behind in second position.
The FIA European Drag Racing Championship continues September 9-11 with the European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, England.
Link to the results: http://dragracing.eu/results.asp
Link to the championships standings