Stig Neergaard, Michael Gullqvist, Bengt Ljungdahl and Johnny Oksa provisional leaders at Alastaro
Stig Neergaard raced to the number one qualifying position in Top Fuel at the first day of qualifying for the FHRA Nitro Nationals, round three of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship at Alastaro, Finland. In Pro Modified reigning champion Michael Gullqvist was quickest in both runs and leads the field with two more qualifying sessions to go. In Pro Stock Bengt Ljungdahl surprised favourite Jimmy Ǻlund and is the number one qualifier, while in Top Methanol Funny Car local hero Johnny Oksa leads the field after day one.
The sun was shining and nice temperatures at Alastaro, Finland, on day one of the FHRA Nitro Nationals, round three of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship.
In Top Fuel Stig Neergaard was quickest in round one with 4.19 seconds and as none of the other drivers could beat the elapsed time of the Dane in round two, Neergaard will enter day two as the provisional leader. Ski jumping legend Janne Ahonen surprised with a number two spot in his first run of the 2016 season.
Championship leader Anita Mäkelä is number three qualifier with 4.38 seconds. As Antti Horto is the provisional number four, there are three Finns in the top four and so there is an extra reason for the fans to come to Alastaro Circuit tomorrow.
In Pro Modified Michael Gullqvist from Sweden was quickest in both runs and with 6.05 seconds the reigning champion is the leader after day one. David Vegter recorded 6.10 seconds in his first run and although the Dutchman couldn’t improve on this performance in round two, he stayed in second position. Ǻke Persson is third qualifier with 6.21 seconds and Thomas Stiefel from Switzerland fourth.
In Pro Stock, Bengt Ljungdahl made some impressive runs earlier this season and is now the provisional number one qualifier at Alastaro. The Swede surprised favourite Jimmy Ǻlund with 6.61 seconds. Ǻlund is not far behind with 6.62 seconds and reigning champion Thomas Lindström is third (6.71 seconds).
In Top Methanol Funny Car Jonny Oksa from Finland impressed once again with 5.83 seconds and is the leader after two runs. Leif Andreasson is second, but the reigning champion damaged the heads of his engine and as the spare parts are in the USA, Andreasson is out of competition for the rest of this weekend. Arie Pietilä is number three qualifier.
Qualifying for the FHRA Nitro Nationals continues Saturday with another two runs.
(scroll down the page to see the results)
Text and photos: Remco Scheelings