Pro Modified Review Tierp Internationals
This weekend taught us the sport is very safe, but however anything can happen. And we can also tell that the racers who were involved in the weekend incidents are, under the circumstances, well.
The event started out with very good weather and the forecast promised that this should continue except for some small showers. That wasn’t really the truth. Saturday ended in rain and heavy wind. And Sunday wasn’t much better. Only FIA classes, EDRS Pro motorcycles and Top Doorslammer had one elimination round before the rain ended the event. The track was very good from start, which made it a bit hard with the settings in first round, except for a certain Old 51 –car.
Niclas Andersson set a 5.98 time at 280 km/h in the first round on Friday which gave him the number one qualifying place for the rest of the weekend. He and team are in very good shape and continued to produce 5-sec rounds. But it could have ended very badly in the second qualifying round, if he hadn’t gone into tyre shake.
Mattias Wulcan was very happy to be back in Europe and he just got his car back from Qatar, where he has been racing during the European off season. He qualified as no 11 after the first round. But in the second qualifier he went into bad tyre shake and the car turned hard left into Niclas Anderson’s lane, missing Niclas by just millimeters but hitting the guardrail. A hard hit, then the car slid over to the right side of the track and hit the guardrail long sides and finally stopped. Mattias was taken care of very fast by the rescue team and was taken to hospital.
The team later told us that Mattias had ten broken ribs and a punctured lung. So it will take a while before he will be back on track. We wish him and team all the best and a fast recovery for Mattias. We will be here waiting for them, whatever shape they will come back in.
Anders Nilsson sat a new personal best at 6.09 sec/375 km/h which placed him a second qualifier in first round. “It feels really good to bring this numbers with us to Finland in about three weeks” said Anders.
Anders was pushed back to fifth place in the ladder as first Mats Eriksson came as a bullet from down under at 6.00 sec/389 km/h in Q2 and then Roger Johansson at 5.99/388 took over the second place Tero Laukkanen also squeezed in on a 6.05 time for fourth place just before him.
Michael Gullqvist set the first half of a new European record of 5.844 sec and an impressive 400 km/h, before the race was cut due to the rain. Michael was testing some settings during the qualifying rounds which explains the unusually low qualifying position of 8th. But on race day he was back on track and set this stunning time. Unfortunately the weather stopped him backing up the second half of the record.
Per Granqvist and Team Pitchblack Racing, are back on track again after a year’s break. We have seen him in Pro Extreme and Top Doorslammer earlier, but now he is focusing on the Swedish Championship and EDRS Pro Modified series in his nice -38 Plymouth Coupé. Per set his best time in Q1 at 6.31 sec/375 km/h and ended up qualifying number seven after the third round when the rain stopped further racing on Saturday.
Freddy Fagerström didn’t come out in Q1 when he was missed off the call sheet for Pro Mod as someone thought he was racing Top Doorslammer. Well, that was soon fixed and he was allowed a late solo run right after Top Fuel. Freddy now has a turbo set up in the famous pick-up truck and with the master of turbo Martin Lundkvist by his side, he will for sure get that truck down the strip in a 5 sec run before we know it.
Elimination day started with sun but ended very wet so just one elimination round was able to run. First out was Niclas Andersson vs Micke Johansson and Niclas took Micke on a hole shot and continued with his, steady as a rock, 5.98 sec rounds. Sad the rain spoiled next round between Niclas and Michael Gullqvist. That would have been a race to see.
Bruno Bader got a bye run as he was supposed to get the injured Mattias Wulcan in this first round. Bruno did step on it anyway and got a steady 6.04 run.
Mats Eriksson was up in next round against Andreas Arthursson. Andreas just entered the Pro Modified field with his new high performance new 1969 Chevelle. He is supposed to do low numbers at the track, but with just one testing event completed, there still is hard work to be done to get the right settings. He qualified at number 14 and in first round against Mats the car didn’t want to serve Andreas at all and would not start. We all would love to see this streamlined new car racing but it wasn’t to be, so we wait until the next time to see what this Chevelle can do. Mats would have raced Bruno in next round.
Next pair was supposed to be Robert Joosten with his brand new Barracuda against Jan Branvall, but Jan’s car would not start and so the alternate – Håkan Persson raced instead. Robert hasn’t been able to test the new car at all before Tierp and his team were a bit nervous. In Q2 it ran just fine at 6.54 sec “But we need more runs to get it where we want” says Robert. Both drivers hit shake, and both got off the power before they both realized that the other one was also in trouble. Both drivers pedaled their cars down the strip with Robert making the line first.
Anders Nilsson seems to have got the hang of low 6 sec times now and took out Åke Persson with a 6.12 sec run. Anders had a nice 60 ft. at 0, 9939 sec. He was supposed to meet Tero Laukkanen in next round.
Johan Westberg did whatever he could to beat Tero in first round, but beating Tero isn’t that easy. Johan turned the red light with just -0, 0009 of a sec. Annoying things happens now and then. Well, Tero disappeared in to the future in a 5,99 sec/ 397 km/h run. But on the other hand Johan Westberg and team won this events award of Best Appearing Team given out by Classic Graphix.
- What a surprise! Johan said. And cool as we just received out new shirts.
Micke Gullqvist had kept us on a limb during the qualifying rounds. But this first elimination run he was really back as normal. He was up against David Vegter who had problems all weekend. Qualifying as number nine at 6.40 sec time is not what David expected. But with new settings on the car and not being able to do too may runs it´s hard. And it is also not optimum to have Gullqvist in first round. Gullqvist came out and did what he is best at, a stunning 5.84 sec run, which was the first half of a new European record. Unfortunately he couldn’t full back up that record, due to the bad bad weather that won the second European round this year. Mats Eriksson still leads the table before Tero Laukkanen and Micke Gullqvist. Now all racers and everyone else that´s working in this circus is very busy to get ready to next round at Alastaro Motorpark in Finland and looking forward to come to this nice arena again. It´s very exciting with the new track. Hope for some good numbers there as well.
Text & Photo: Lena Perés