Pro Dutch Racing kick off the season with the double at Santa Pod Raceway
There are only a few days left and Pro Dutch Racing will make the first runs of the new season at Santa Pod Raceway. The Doorslammers kicks off the season on May 20 and 21, a week later followed by The Main Event, the opening round of the FIA European Pro Modified Championship. This title fight is the main goal for Michel Tooren and his team Pro Dutch Racing. Last season, the Dutchman had his final breakthrough in this most important drag racing championship in Europe by winning the prestigious NitrOlympX at the HockenheimRing. Thanks to this victory, Tooren finished in fourth place in the final standings of the championship. The preparations for the new season have now been completed and Pro Dutch Racing are going for more victories and an even higher ranking.
After the successful 2022 season, it has been a busy couple of months in the Pro Dutch Racing workshop in Rotterdam. When the last race was over, the team immediately took the ’71 Plymouth Barracuda apart. Where needed, new parts were ordered, while other parts were sent to America for updates. With all that work done, there seemed to be more than enough time to get everything back in time to rebuild the Cuda way before the start of the 2023 season. Seemed to be, because even with thorough preparation, you never have everything under control. The team had planned to use the Festival of Power at the Easter weekend at Santa Pod Raceway as a test weekend. But one week before the race, essential parts like the blower and the fuel system were still in the States, so the first meeting of the season had to be cancelled.
However, there was a good alternative with The Doorslammers. The advantage of this race is that it is on the calendar only one week before The Main Event. The track and weather conditions will probably be more comparable to those during the opening round of the FIA European Championship. Apart from that, there is the fact that there will be a more competitive field at The Doorslammers, which can make clear what the position of Pro Dutch Racing is in the international field. Still, Michel Tooren wants to see The Doorslammers as a test weekend to work towards a good setup for The Main Event. This season, Pro Dutch Racing will again focus on the FIA European Pro Modified Championship, which kicks off with The Main Event. Three weeks later, there is the second round of this prestigious championship at Tierp Arena, Sweden. After a summer break, Tierp Arena will be back on the calendar in mid-August, two weeks later followed by the NitrOlympX at Hockenheim, with another two weeks later the fifth and final round at Santa Pod Raceway. Tooren experienced his greatest success in the FIA European Championship so far at Hockenheim last year by claiming the victory, watched by many supporters and business partners of Pro Dutch Racing in the grandstands. In the end, Tooren finished the title fight in fourth position.
It should be clear that Pro Dutch Racing want to carry on from where they left off last season. “Of course we want to win more races and go for the championship. But there are more drivers and teams with the same idea. The competition will be tough this season, but we are well prepared. The blower and fuel system are back from the States and we also received all the extra parts we ordered. The second engine is also ready, so we will have two complete engines race-ready in the trailer. And about the setup, we now know what to do and what we should not do. I’m sure that we will go fast and quick again,” Michel Tooren said about the fast approaching season.
Pro Dutch Racing Calendar
May 19-21, The Doorslammers, Santa Pod Raceway, England, test
May 26-29, The Main Event, Santa Pod Raceway, England, FIA European Championship
June 15-18, Tierp Arena, Sweden, FIA European Championship
August 10-13, Tierp Arena, Sweden, FIA European Championship
August 25-27, NitrOlympX, HockenheimRing, Germany, FIA European Championship
September 7-10, European Finals, Santa Pod Raceway, England, FIA European Championship
Pro Dutch Racing are supported by: Arton USA Cars & Parts, Breko Shipbuilding & Repair, Burger Ferry Agencies, Dockmarks Signs BV, Dockside Shipfacilities B.V., Driemaas Shipping, Duraship BV, DW Pumps, Electric Marine Support BV, F.E.M.M. Rotterdam BV, Flanto Shipping BV, Heftronics, Hoogendoorn maritieme betimmering en interieurbouw, Horrel Shipping, Maritiem Media, Noordtrans Scheepvaartbedrijf, Oonincx Scheepsonderhoud BV, Petrostar AG, RBC Nederland BV, Rotyle Dakbedekking, RTR Barging, Scheepsservice Beljaars, Sinttruije Marine Service BV, Tribute Space BV, Tristan Shipping BV, Verhaar Omega, VKV Service BV en Vrooam Powersports Lubricants International BV.
For more information about Pro Dutch: www.produtchracing.nl, Facebook en Instagram.
Text and photos: Remco Scheelings