Strong start of the season for David Vegter with runner-up position at The Main Event
David Vegter can look back on one of his best ever starts of a season. At Santa Pod Raceway the Dutchman claimed the runner-up position at The Main Event, the opening round of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship. On his road to the final, Vegter and the Vegter Pro Mod Racing ’67 Chevrolet Camaro improved their elapsed times on almost every run. This once again proved that after all the updates and modifications, the team made major steps in the right direction during the weekend. In the final Vegter had to acknowledge that reigning European Pro Modified champion and European recordholder Jan Ericsson from Sweden was a bit quicker.
After the coronavirus caused a 2-year break, the 2022 FIA European Drag Racing Championship kicked off with The Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway. A restart to which competitors and fans alike had been desperately looking forward. With sixteen competitors from seven countries, the Pro Modified category had the strongest and most competitive field of all FIA classes at Santa Pod.
David Vegter and his team Vegter Pro Mod Racing had to work around the clock to get the ’67 Chevrolet Camaro race ready in time for The Main Event. Last winter the Camaro had been to Robinson Race Cars in England for repair and several major updates, and the team also made some major changes to the engine. In fact, the team had to start from almost scratch with a new combination and the most important thing they had to do was to work towards a fitting new set-up. When the car rolled out of the trailer, there was another surprise as the Camaro had a fresh new design.
Like almost all combinations, Vegter had a difficult first day of qualifying. He had to abort the first run due to severe tyreshake and the Camaro was not able to make the second run due to electronic problems.
On day two of qualifying Vegter was immediately in the spotlights when he had a huge wheelie at the start of his first run. The Dutchman was able to let the car make a soft landing, so there was no damage to the Camaro. Now it all had to happen in the fourth and final qualifying run, as Vegter was in 14th position after three runs. The final adjustments to the set-up worked as Vegter recorded a great 5.880 seconds and jumped into the third qualifying position. The Camaro was back in the 5.8 second zone, a promising start as those were also the numbers the team ran at the end of last season.
In the first round of eliminations Vegter had to face Wayne Nicholson. In a good 5.92 seconds Vegter defeated the British driver and improved to 5.90 seconds in the quarter final to beat Kev Slyfield. In the semi-final Andres Arnover was the next opponent. This time Vegter improved to 5.86 seconds, his best elapsed time of the weekend, to defeat the Estonian driver and advanced to the final.
In the final Vegter had to face Jan Ericsson, the reigning FIA European Pro Modified champion and also the European recordholder. Vegter surprised the Swede with a better reaction time and took the lead. But on the second part of the run, Ericsson started to catch up and crossed the finish line first with 5.79 to 5.90 seconds. Vegter and his team were still happy with the runner-up position as it was so early in the season, knowing that there was far more to come from their combination, the difficult start of the weekend and the progress they made in such a short time.
The next outing for Vegter Pro Mod Racing is from June 17 to 19 at Tierp Arena for a race of the EDRS Series. There will be at least 18 Pro Mods at the Swedish track. The FIA European Championship continues in August, also at Tierp Arena.
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