David Vegter up to speed at Tierp Arena and Santa Pod Raceway
At Tierp Arena and Santa Pod Raceway David Vegter once again proved that he is a force to be reckoned with. The Dutchman and his new coloured Vegter Pro Mod Racing ’67 Chevrolet Camaro recorded quick elapsed times at both tracks. At Santa Pod’s Euro Finals Shootout Vegter claimed the number one qualifying position with 5.87 seconds, to advance to the final with 5.86 and 5.85 second elapsed times. In the final the Dutch driver was in the lead when the flexplate broke and he had to sit by and watch Bruno Bader pass him and take the win. Scoring a runner-up position and looking at the numbers, Vegter once again proved to be one of the frontrunners of the European Pro Modified category.
When the coronavirus pandemic caused the cancellation of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship for the second consecutive year, David Vegter and his team Vegter Pro Mod Racing seized the opportunity to enter the Summit Racing Scandinavian Nationals at Tierp Arena, mid-August. With 17 entrants from five countries and counting for the EDRS Pro Series, EDRS Bilsport Pro Mod Series and the Swedish Pro Modified Championship, the race at Tierp Arena promised to be a great meeting.
After a 2-year break, it was immediately loud and clear that Vegter and his team were well prepared for the meeting. On his second run the Dutch driver and his ’67 Camaro recorded a great 5.941 seconds. Among the Swedish Pro Mod home favourites, that was good enough to claim the number six qualifying position.
In the first round of eliminations Vegter improved to a great 5.92 seconds, defeated the French driver Jean Dulamon and advanced to the quarter finals, where he had to face multiple FIA European champion Michael Gullqvist. In the quarter finals it was the notorious 2-dollar part that ruined Vegter’s chances. A small part that hardly ever breaks, broke down in the burn out, causing the oil pressure to drop. To prevent further damage, Vegter turned off the engine of the Camaro. Although he was very disappointed, it was the right decision because making the run would have caused severe and probably fatal engine damage.
In the second weekend of September Vegter Pro Mod Racing travelled to Santa Pod Raceway for the Euro Finals Shootout. This race for the Motorsport UK Championship was not only a good opportunity to face the British competition, but also Jean Dulamon from France and Swiss Pro Mod veteran Bruno Bader.
On his third qualifying pass Vegter immediately shook up the competition by recording 5.87 seconds and claiming the number one qualifying position. In the eliminations the Dutch driver proved that he could improve on this performance by coming close to his 5.804 second personal best.
In the first round of eliminations Vegter improved to 5.86 seconds to defeat Jon Webster. On another great semi-final run against Kevin Slyfield, Vegter improved to 5.85 seconds, putting the second British driver on the trailer. In the final the Dutchman had to face Bader as the Swiss driver advanced to the final after recording two personal bests in the quarter and semi-finals. With a reaction time of 0.017 seconds for Bader and 0.018 seconds for Vegter, the two drivers left the line almost at the same time. After a few meters Vegter pulled away and it looked like he would claim the win. But 100 meters before the finish line the flexplate, the connection between the motor and the converter, of Vegter’s Camaro broke. The Camaro immediately lost speed and Bader was able to pass the Dutchman just before they crossed the finish line, claiming the win with 5.91 seconds against 5.95 seconds for Vegter. The top speed of the Camaro showed the problem as that was 226 mph (363 km/h) in the final, while Vegter used to cross the finish line in 243 mph (391 km/h). Vegter was of course very disappointed, but claiming the runner-up position and looking at the numbers they recorded, the team could still be satisfied.
But the major blow came after the event. Where Vegter was afraid for became reality as the broken flexplate had caused severe damage. The blower had come loose from the engine and the flexplate parts had damaged several other parts, including a tube of the chassis. The team will send the blower back to the United States for a check and there is lot of work to be done by the team in the next couple of weeks.
But once again, Vegter and his team proved that even after a 2 year coronavirus pandemic break, they are ready to face the European frontrunners. When the lights turn green for the first round of the FIA European Pro Modified Championship in May 2022, they all know that Vegter Pro Mod Racing are a force to be reckoned with.
Vegter Pro Mod Racing are also on Instagram as vegterpromodracing and Facebook as Vegter Pro Mod Racing
Photos: Remco Scheelings, Julian Hunt