Duncan Micallef, Timo Habermann, Åke Persson and Bengt Ljungdahl winners at FHRA Nitro Nationals at Alastaro
Duncan Micallef from Malta raced to victory in the Top Fuel final of the FHRA Nitro Nationals, round three of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship at Alastaro, Finland. In Top Methanol Timo Habermann was the quickest all day and claimed the trophy. Åke Persson was the winner in Pro Modified and that was the Swedes first ever victory in the FIA European Championship. In Pro Stock Bengt Ljungdahl defeated Stefan Ernryd in the final to take the win.
After the problems in qualifying, race day at Alastaro was almost trouble free and eliminations could be completed under cooler but excellent conditions.
In Top Fuel Duncan Micallef bounced back after a far from trouble free qualifying by beating number two qualifier and reigning FIA European Top Fuel champion Anita Mäkelä in the first round of eliminations. In the semi final the Maltese Rune Fjeld Motorsport driver had to face his team mate Antti Horto from Finland. Micallef defeated the Finnish fan favourite to advance to the final where he had to face number one qualifier Stig Neergaard. The Danish driver had a bye run in the semi final when Janne Ahonen couldn’t start after he was hit by problems in his first round win over Michael Kågered.
The final was decided at the start line as Neergaard pulled a red light, handing the win to Micallef. It was the second consecutive victory for Micallef, as the Maltese number one in the FIA European Top Fuel Championship also won the Tierp Internationals two weeks ago.
In Top Methanol there was a major upset in the first round of eliminations when number six qualifier Mikael Larsson defeated number one qualifier Dennis Habermann. The Swede advanced to the final with a bye run in the semi final. On the other side of the elimination ladder, number two qualifier Timo Habermann defeated reigning champion Jonny Lagg with an elapsed time of 5.35 seconds, the best ET of the event at that moment.
But there was more to come from the German former FIA European champion as he improved in the final to 5.33 seconds to take the win in a bye run as Larsson had a fuel leak at the start line and couldn’t start.
In Pro Modified number one qualifier and championship leader Michael Gullqvist had traction problems in the semi finals and was defeated by number four qualifier Åke Persson. On the other side of the elimination ladder number two qualifier Jimmy Ålund ran into problems in his quarter final run against Andreas Arthursson and was eliminated.
Number three qualifier David Vegter was both quick and consistent and after defeating Bruno Bader in the quarter final, the Dutch Camaro driver also defeated Arthursson and advanced to the final, where he had to face Persson. But in the semi final run, Vegter had suffered mechanical problems that could not be fixed in time for the final, handing the win to Persson who had a bye run in the final. It was the first win in an FIA European Championship race for the Swedish driver.
There was a major upset in the semi finals in Pro Stock as 10-time and reigning FIA European Pro Stock champion Jimmy Ålund ran into problems at the start line and was defeated by Stefan Ernryd.
With Bengt Ljungdahl defeating Michael Malmgren with a better reaction time in the other semi final, the Alastaro final was a copy of the Tierp Internationals final two weeks ago. And again it was Ljungdahl who took the win as Ernryd ran into problems and had to abort his run.
The FIA European Drag Racing Championship now has a summer break and continues August 18 – 20 with the NitrOlympX at Hockenheim, Germany.
For all the results: https://www.dragracingeurope.eu/fiaedc/results-2017/
For more photos, see: https://www.dragracingeurope.eu/fiaedc/photo-gallery-fhra-nitro-nationals-alastaro-2017-fia-classes/