FIM-E Dragbike championship, Main Event Sunday, Santa Pod Raceway
Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! And eliminations day for the opening round of the FIM-E championship which delivered quite a few surprises, some first time winners and some seriously quick times notably in FIM-E Super Street Bike and a barrier busted in FIM-E Super Twin.
FIM-E Super Street Bike
Running on a sixteen bike ladder, the all run 12 bike field in Super Street Bike inevitably had a few gaps in the opening round (not helped by a couple of no shows) but Steve Venables ripped off a 6.7932/219.05 to double the membership of the six seventy club.
Second round and Daniel Donat Lencses punted out a 6.7418/224.74 to maintain his membership credentials and reset the class ET mark in doing so. The final quartet had a titanic match-up between Venables and Jake Mechaell with the former using a hole shot (0.0594s RT to a 0.1213s) to light the win arrow on a 6.8000/220.37 to a 6.7982/210.93 (making Mechaell the third member of the six seventy collective) in the quickest side-by-side race in class history.
On the other side of the ladder Lencses only just got by the surprise semi-finalist Mark Dainty with another holeshot 7.2499/218.21 to Dainty’s game 7.2144/199.66. And so to the all D.M.E. final with Lencses building up a lead early on as Venables stuttered a bit off the lead and despite slowing dramatically to only 166 mph at the stripe with a 7.0883 to a hard charging 7.2108/217.18 from Ven. Lencses thus takes an early lead in the championship in what will be a landmark year for the Super Street Bike class and expressed that he was “very happy and still learning how to ride and tune the bike”.
FIM-E Top Fuel Bike
If Super Street Bike went someway to the form book, Top Fuel Bike was a bit of a shocker with Neil Midgley bouncing off the bars hard and then spinning the slick to lose out to a 6.7853/196.42 new PB for Mark Smith and the Draper Tools Funny Bike.
Rene van den Berg’s 6.1998/223.32 defeated Al Smith who broke off the line on a frustrating weekend for the Rocket team. Louis Davies, like Smith, was handed his first round win when Stuart Crane red light away another six thirty (and then lunched the motor into the bargain).
And to round out the opening round Rikard Gustafsson took the win light after Dale Leeks broke off the startline but the head torching woes reappeared after the RG Engineering team had built a new engine overnight in spectacular and dispiriting fashion. With Gustafsson out, Smith staged for his spot in his first final alongside van den Berg who ran a 6.377 to overcome an ailing pass from Davies. The final saw the Dutchman ease to his second FIM-E event win with a 6.419/205.22 to Smith’s consistent 6.880/182.88.
FIM-E Super Twin Bike
Only two riders made the call for the first round of eliminations with Samu Kemppainen noticeably staging to the left to accommodate any tucking right after a lot of changes to the Harsh blower bike overnight including putting more fuel through the motor off the line. Well it appeared to work as the Finn went arrow straight until it started torching the head after part of the wiring loom failed but despite the accompanying flames Kemppainen dipped into the fives with a 5.999 at only 202.42mph (short numbers suggesting a 5.7 was on the cards with a full pull).
Nonetheless the quickest pass in FIM-E competition. Martijn de Haas took the event win with a 6.716/208.87 and a 6.668/210.89 on semi and full final byes which was a pretty good return for the Dutch team and their first outing in a couple of seasons.
FIM-E Pro Stock Bike
The strange weekend in Pro Stock Bike continued into eliminations with low qualifier Martin Newbury gifting a first round win to Aswin le Noble with a big red light, while Martin Bishop took his place in the final with a somewhat wayward nine second pass as opponent Bertrand Maurice coughed and spluttered off the line.
Bishop then benefitted from le Noble breaking before stage and eased to a 7.486 to take his first FIM-E event win since 2005.
FIM-E Junior Dragbike Cup
Hollie King wrapped up a very good weekend taking the event win over Meg Talbot with a 11.0559 on a 10.95 dial-in to get to the eighth mile finish ahead of the Rise racer’s 8.0651 on a 7.95.
Words and photos Ivan Sansom & Rose Hughes
Free web stream replays via Santa Pod’s Youtube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/SantaPodTV
ET slips available here:http://etslips.co.uk/Home.html
Qualifying sheets and eliminations ladders are available here: https://santapodresults.com/2022/