Johan Lindberg storms to victory at Alastaro
Reigning champion Johan Lindberg was the man to beat in Top Methanol Funny Car at the FHRA Nitro Nationals at Alastaro. Together with a number one qualifying position and both low ET and top speed of the weekend, the Lindberg Bros team gave their new sponsor Rovalin AB their first victory. In the championship Lindberg is number two, but closing in on leader Leif Andreasson.
After the horrifying crash at Tierp Arena that involved Leif Andreasson and Mikael Larsson, and the extensive damage to their cars, it seemed impossible for these drivers to be ready in time for the third race of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship at Alastaro.
But Andreasson and his hard working crew did everything they could, and made it. The Swedish multiple European champion gave all the credits to his super crew that make a new race car out of all the parts the team had. And as if nothing had happened such a short time ago, the car, covered in new beautiful deep red colours, rolled out of the trailer at Alastaro.
As expected, Larsson couldn’t make the show and so with reigning champion Johan Lindberg and the two local Finnish heroes Johnny Oksa and Ari Pietilä, four cars were entered for the FHRA Nitro Nationals. Not the field everybody had hoped for in this popular class, but still, with four cars the show was great.
As the team didn’t had the time to fire up the engine in the workshop, Andreasson and his team used the Friday to fix the last details and start the engine for the first time. But on Saturday everything was ready and with 5.85 seconds Andreasson jumped into the number two qualifying position. Only 0.037 seconds behind Andreasson, Oksa was third. The popular Finnish driver was already fast in the last few races, but is getting more and more consistent now too.
Pietilä had some problems and with 6.02 seconds, the Panox sponsored driver was fourth. And number one? That was of course Lindberg. Tuned by record breaking brother Jonnie, the reigning champion stormed to 5.609 seconds and was the dominant number one.
In the first semi-final Andreasson had to face Oksa. The Finn gave his home crowd something to cheer about by defeating the multiple champion. In the second semi-final Lindberg did what everybody expected him to do and beat the second Finn, Pietilä. So after two Sweden-Finland confrontations, there was another one in the final between Lindberg and Oksa.
Oksa did the best he could do and was away first. But nothing could stop the Rovalin AB Monte Carlo of the Lindberg Bros at Alastaro. In 5.567 seconds, the best ET of the meeting, Lindberg stormed to a glorious victory. Oksa’s 5.89 seconds was also good, but this time not enough to stay ahead of Lindberg.
After three races Andreasson is still in the lead of the championship, but Lindberg could make up 51 points and is now only 28 points short of the number one position. Oksa is third with 122 points, 63 behind leader Andreasson.
FHRA Nitro Nationals statistics
Low ET: Johan Lindberg, 5.567 seconds
Top speed: Johan Lindberg, 417.28 km/h
Link to final qualifying list:
Link to elimination ladder
Link to championship points standing after the FHRA Nitro Nationals
For more photos see: FIA European Drag Racing Championship facebook
Text: Remco Scheelings
Photos: Remco Scheelings