FIA European Drag Racing Championship

Sandro Bellio and team want to be back at their former level

After two consecutive FIA European Top Methanol Championship titles, Sandro Bellio lost the number one plate last year to Linn Fløysvik. Due to all sorts of mysterious problems, the for many years so dominant driver of the family run Danny’s Racing Team Chevy Monte Carlo didn’t even win a race. Now that the problem seems to be solved, the Bellios hope to be back at their former level, which means winning rounds and races, low ETs and high end speeds.

After a dramatic start of the season, without even one elimination round win in the first three races of the season, the NitrOlympX at Hockenheim was more or less the turning point of the 2023 season. After a runner-up finish in Germany, with some luck and a good result at The European Final, even a third consecutive title was still possible. But the last race of the season ended in the semi-finals and a second position in the 2023 FIA European Top Methanol Championship behind Linn Fløysvik was all the Belgian team could get. Not winning races was hurting, but not even coming close to the ETs and end speeds they were used to, and the lack of consistency, were extremely frustrating for the competitive Belgian team.

“Although we won championships, since 2019 we have been looking for the reason why the car was not as quick and fast as it was in 2017 and 2018. Okay, it was more consistent, but that was all. At The Main Event last year we had a serious problem with a melted head gasket and at Tierp we had too much pressure in an air bottle which caused electronic gremlins . At both Tierp events we had a lot of rain so we couldn’t make enough runs to sort out the problems and collect more points, so it was not our season,” said Sandro Bellio about this frustrating period.

But that might be different this season. “We checked everything last winter and we think we found the problem in the engine that caused all the gremlins. We tested the engine on our dyno and everything looked much better. Last weekend we fired up the car for the first time this season and that sounded great as well. But time will tell if that was really the problem that hampered us the last couple of seasons. For now, our plan is to run The Main Event and Tierp in June. If everything goes according to plan in these two races, we will do the other races of the championship as well,” said Sandro Bellio, asked about the plans for this season.

If they have solved the problems, Bellio is for sure the favourite to claim another FIA European Top Methanol title, and if they are back to form, don’t be surprised to see European records fall this season.

Danny’s Racing Team will once again be supported by Dyno Unlimited, the family run company with the unique engine dyno for engines up to 4,000 hp, Danny Cars, the garage and workshop of the Bellios and EVChargeking.

Text and photos: Remco Scheelings

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