Hot and fast in places, FIM-E Euro Finals qualifying completed, Gustafsson, Christiansen, Mechaell, Maurice and Willcox on top
After an engine rebuild overnight, Rikard Gustafsson suffered more damage on his one pass today but carried over the 5.9 from yesterday to keep the top spot in FIM-E Top Fuel Bike.
Behind him there was some substantial improvements with Stuart Crane recording a 6.270/214 from the Warpspeed Funny and Al Smith moving up to three with a 6.292 that was clicked off when Smith noticed the oil pressure dropping on the PBR Rocket. Eric Richard improved ET wise with a 6.5038, as did Mark Smith (6.5325) and Mike Olie (6.9062); indicating the rude health that European funnybike racing is in. Rene van den Berg and the Shark Attack fueler nipped in ahead of Olie in sixth spot with a 6.735.
Marcus Christiansen is somewhat distant at the head of the FIM-E Super Twin trio and produced a thing of beauty in the first session with a 6.118s/217.92 to deliver the quickest injected twin pass outside of North America. A second shot at Bob Malloy’s world best mark drifted off a bit when the fuel shutoff was accidently deployed (but we’ll see what the Danes can do tomorrow in eliminations). After a lot of damage yesterday Martijn de Haas bounced back with a 6.7402 and Chris van Nimmen sits at third with his 6.8 from yesterday.
FIM-E Super Street Bike once again delivered in spectacular fashion with the top three swapping around when Jake Mechaell dropping a PB 6.6601/216.91 in the final session to jump up from third to first and close to the European ET record. Neither Daniel Donat Lencses (the overnight leader at 6.7252) or Alan Morrison Jnr (6.7576) were able to improve which sets up the potential of a semi-final tomorrow that could decide the championship. The eight bike bump sits at 7.1084 with Peter Ostlund who has the unenviable task of taking on Mechaell in the first round tomorrow morning.
The FIM-E Pro Stock Bike field is still led by Bertrand Maurice, the French champion improving to a 7.244 in the first session today and was very happy having rediscovered the consistency in the Light Speed Suzuki that was certainly AWOL at the start of the year.
Richard Willcox held on to the number one spot in FIM-E Junior Drag Bike and improved with a +0.0024s over his 9.42 dial-in in the final session. The top six of the eight bike field are in the +0.0X range and, as has been demonstrated previously, any one in the qualified field can take the event win tomorrow.
Text and photos: Ivan Sansom & Rose Hughes