Midgley, Morrison jnr, FIM-E Dragbike championship, Main Event Monday, Santa Pod Raceway

Eliminations day and the closing of the first chapter on the 2023 FIM-E Dragbike tour saw some spectacular races, great numbers and some pointers for the rest of the season.

FIM-E Top Fuel Bike

Carrying on from the outstanding numbers in qualifying, the sharp end of Top Fuel Bike eliminations delivered some great racing. Low qualifier Neil Midgley (far lane)would emerge victorious over Rikard Gustafsson (near lane) in the trophy round after both had turned the wick up from their semi-final 5.847/215.84 (to defeat Mark Smith) and 5.775/256.22 (to take out Stuart Crane) respectively. Neither racer could get the settings to stick once past 100 feet, although Midgley’s 0.029s RT and fabulous 0.957s 60 foot clocking gave him enough momentum to hold onto the lead in a seven second pairing. Gustafsson had also improved his speed record with a 5.864/260.65mph blast in the opening round of eliminations, with Crane resetting Europe’s best funnybike mark with a 6.252/218.14 at the same stage.

FIM-E Super Twin Bike

The opening round of Super Twin had a major shock as low qualifier Vesa Lipponen’s ride failed to fire handing a freebie to Chris van Nimmen who used a 7.030/205.19 to take his spot in the final. On the other side of the ladder Marcus Christiansen rumbled to a 6.291/225.92 over a slowing Martijn de Haas. The final had van Nimmen getting off the line slightly ahead of Christiansen, but thereafter it was all the Dane who eased to a 6.224/224.75 for the quickest ET of the meet and give the rest of the Super Twin field food for thought as the tour moves to the class stronghold in Scandinavia in a few weeks time

FIM-E Pro Stock Bike

After low qualifier Martin Newbury ran into gearbox issues which led to a no show for eliminations, the eliminator proved to be a bit of a lottery. Bertrand Maurice defeated Martin Bishop in the opening elimination, while Aswin le Noble took a bye thanks to Newbury’s no show. The outcome of the final was one that took a little bit of time to sink in, Maurice’s Suzuki coming to a halt off the line but having taken the green gained the event win thanks to le Noble’s -0.004s red light.

FIM-E Super Street Bike

Super Street saved the very best until the final when the number one (Alan Morrison Jnr) and number two (Daniel Lencsés) qualifiers met in a superb match up.  Morrison Jnr had been consistently in the 6.8s in the earlier round but stepped up to a 6.761 at a huge 230.22mph which thanks to a holeshot kept ahead of a quicker and motor chewing 6.743/214.11 from the Hungarian champion.

FIM-E Junior Dragbike Cup

The tight field in qualifying suggested the Junior trophy could be anyone’s, and Richard Willcox (number eight on the ladder) taking out number one qualifier Harry Isaacs in the opening round opened the door, but it was Willcox that would benefit the most, holding off Alia Lester in the final to lift his first FIM-E Cup trophy.

Words and photos Ivan Sansom & Rose Hughes

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