Anita Mäkelä, Mats Eriksson, Jimmy Alund, Timo Habermann and Leif Andreasson provisional leaders at Santa Pod European Finals
With a great 4.01 seconds Anita Mäkelä stormed to the number one qualifying position in Top Fuel at the first day of qualifying for the European Finals, the sixth and final race of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship. In Pro Modified Mats Eriksson leads the field and in Pro Stock reigning champion Jimmy Alund is the provisional leader. In Top Methanol Dragster and Top Methanol Funny Car Timo Habermann and Leif Andreasson are the leaders after day one at Santa Pod Raceway.
Cold, but dry conditions at the first day of qualifying for the European Finals, the sixth and final round of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship at Santa Pod Raceway. Especially in Top Fuel, where Micke Kågered and Anita Mäkelä, and in Pro Modified, where Michael Gullqvist and Mats Eriksson are separated by only a few points, the outcome of the championship is still completely open and qualifying is already extremely important.
Stig Neergaard was the leader in Top Fuel after that first session. But in the second qualifying in the dark it was Anita Mäkelä who stormed to a great 4.01 seconds to take over the lead. The number two in the championship was the only driver in the night session to run an almost full pass on an already cold track.
Stefan Gunnarsson was in the first pair in the night session and recorded 4.86 seconds, enough to jump into the number two qualifying position. Neergaard couldn’t improve on his first qualifying performance and is in the number three position after day one. Behind Jari Halinen, championship leader Micke Kågered is the provisional number five qualifier.
In Pro Modified Mats Eriksson was in a class of his own as he was the only driver to make two 5.9 second passes. With 5.98 seconds the Swedish title candidate stormed to the number one qualifying position. There were major problems for Michael Gullqvist, the leader in the championship before the European Finals. The Swede had traction problems in both runs and is the number fifteen qualifier in the eighteen car field after day one.
Bruno Bader claimed the second qualifying position with 6.04 seconds, with a surprising Thomas Stiefel, also from Switzerland, in the number three position with a personal best of 6.19 seconds. Rick Garrett is also a surprising fourth after two runs.
In Pro Stock it is Jimmy Alund again in the number one qualifying position. The number two in the championship recorded 6.56 seconds. Michael Malmgren is the number two qualifier (6.62 seconds), just ahead of the leader in the championship, Thomas Lindström (6.65 seconds).
In Top Methanol Dragster Timo Habermann is leading with a great 5.35 seconds, with his brother and championship leader Dennis Habermann in second position (5.40 seconds). Local hero Dave Wilson, winner of the Main Event, is third after day one.
In Top Methanol Funny Car Leif Andreasson was fastest in his first run of the day and with 5.80 seconds the Swedish 2015 FIA European champion claimed the number one qualifying position. Stephanie Milam is second and reset her personal best to 5.83 seconds. Jürgen Nagel suffered severe engine damage in the first run of the day and is out of competition for the rest of the weekend.
Qualifying for the European Finals continues Saturday morning.