Santa Pod Raceway
Drag Racing

FIA "The Main Event" 2006 - Report

Friday 26th - Monday 29th May

FIA European Drag Racing Championships Inc UEM Drag Bikes

Top Fuel Dragster

The MAIN EVENT kicked off the European drag racing season this bank holiday weekend, and despite bad weather forecasts, the event was largely unaffected by rain and ran its full course with thrilling racing in all classes. The Main Event also hosted stunning fly-pasts from WWII RAF aeroplanes, stunt planes, traders, children's entertainment and motorcycle stunt riders. It really was a packed start to the season for both hardcore drag fans and casual mototorsport fans alike.

The winning programme number was 8393 and the winner was Mrs Barnham. The answer to the VIP tickets competition was Smax Smith and the winner was Clair Hammond.

Top Fuel Bikes

Main Event 2006 Race Report

FIA Top Fuel

With all the new boys gaining their licences just ahead of the meeting, qualifying and eliminations was for some a baptism of fire and for one lucky first timer a dream come true. Top Fuel rookie Håkan Nilsson experienced an initial blast as he came out of the first qualifier with a fine 4.860/306 that put him in pole position but by round two he had been deposed by the 4.818/303 from Tommy Möller. The other two new faces were Håkan Fällström with a number six place on a 5.205/282 and a fiery debut by Urs Erbacher gave a 5.555/195 DNQ, an unenviable place he shared with Denmark's Rene Hersland on a 5.877/175. Canada based Brit Smax Smith sat on the bump spot with a 5.422/236.

Sweden's Tommy Möller fell foul to a broken fuel pump and could not get started, allowing in as alternate, Switzerland's Urs Erbacher to start round one against Smax Smith. A good leave by Smith coupled with a 5.366/217 got the better of Erbacher's flame trailing 5.746/170 then Norway's Thomas Nataas lit the tyres up at the four hundred foot mark, slowing to a 9.744/80 only to witness stable mate Andy Carter forge ahead with a good 4.894/297 win. Håkan Nilsson blazed the slicks around four hundred feet out slowing him to an 11.816/72 as Micke Kågered suffered a big fire at half track that trailed his 5.444/185 right to the end of the track, he sustained a few burns to his fire suit and helmet. The last in the round was a duel between the 2005 Champion Lex Joon and Håkan Fällström with Joon losing a belt on a 5.821/160 pass watching as nothing was going to stop Fällström from taking his 5.019/283 win.

Round two was rather a disappointment to not only the fans but to Andy Carter who suffered the almost unheard of indignity of a jammed starter that left him unable to fire up allowing Smith a chance to perform an engine saving idle through for the win light. The other contest was to have been between Kågered and Fällström and that did not materialize as the former was unable to repair from the big fire in round one giving Fällström an easy solo to the final.

With rain ever threatening in a mixture of sunshine and dark clouds Smax Smith's British owned 'Bulldog Bash' car came up against rookie driver Håkan Fällström in the Pennzoil dragster and it was all won on the startline as Fällström led out of the hole and stayed ahead to record a winning 5.023/282 as Smith followed closely behind with a 5.087/288 for runner up.

Smax Smith

FIA Top Methanol Dragster

Initially leading the fray was defending Champion Dave Wilson with a 5.677/238 but in the last qualifying session Rob Turner nipped in with a 5.632/232 to head the six strong field.

Round one was opened with Rob Turner beating the game try from John Parkinson, a 7.720/175 was no match for the 5.752/233 that caught and passed the quicker leave. Germany's Timo Habermann shook hard off the line paying the price with a 6.507/228, as Dave Wilson powered past for the win with a 5.503/252. The fears that the nitro injected car of Sweden's Krister Johansson had left from late last year were to prove unfounded so far as the team struggled to repeat their great times, a 5.963/245 was no contest to the 5.518/255 from Peter Schöfer winning pass to end round one.

Turner could have taken an easy engine saving pass as he gained the rounds bye but that did not happen as a 5.680/229 was recorded. It was all won on the startline in the next pairing as Schöfer led all the way with a .142 light along with a 5.504/256 win as Wilson tried everything in his power to catch up with a better but losing 5.481/244.

A German English final had the crowds on their feet but again it was the superior leave that got Peter Schöfer's 'Bavarian Thunder' the nod as his great 5.460/258 gave notice to all teams and stayed well ahead of the 5.616/236 from Rob Turner.

FIA Top Methanol Funny Car

After the first qualifier Sweden's Leif Andréasson sat on the top of the pile but it was Ulf Leanders 5.859/242 that ruled the rest of qualifying in the five car pack.

As top qualifier Leanders took the first round bye with an easy 6.567/147. It was no contest for the next pair as Kjell Sjöblom slowed at about the four hundred foot mark only to watch as number two in last years points, Denmark's Dan Larsen zoomed to a 5.829/244 win. Germanys Jürgen Nagel stuffed his best e.t. of the weekend by pulling a red light on a 7.046/158; Leif Andréasson kept his cool and took the win with a 6.230/212 to finish the round.

The second round saw Leanders despatch Larsen in a close contest with two good leaves, a winning and best e.t of the weekend 5.772/245 beat the 5.827/245. Andréasson ran a very bouncy 5.803/244 bye to enter the final.

An all Swedish final pitted Ulf Leanders Iron-CAD Firebird against the Kamasa Tools/Swedish Armed Forces backed Dodge Stratus of Leif Andréasson and it was the latter that triumphed with a stunning holeshot coupled with a stout 5.773/245 that broke several years of bad luck, Leanders lost with a 5.930/246.

FIA Pro Stock

It all went wrong for Sweden's Michael Malmgren during his first pass on Saturday evening as inexplicably on shifting the Pontiac Grand Am into third gear the car turned violently right smacking the guard-wall, crossing the track to contact the other wall and finish just past the lights back in his own lane. Malmgren emerged shaken but fine and stated he hoped to repair the car for the next round in Finland . Magnus Hansson recorded a 7.073/190 for pole then bettered it with a 7.004/197 to remain head of qualifying.

Hansson's day ended in round one as he carded a red light and wasted a 7.064/169 leaving Finland's Eero Knihtila to gather the win with a 7.130/175. Another victim of urgency was Richard Sundblom as the bright cherry shone in his lane counting his 7.097/193 for nothing but pushing Jimmy Ålund into recording the first six of the event, a 6.961/198 winner. Kenneth Söderström's welcome return to racing got no further than round one when his below par 7.526/180 never caught up with Tommy Leindahl's 7.173/194 charge.

Round two saw Knihtila take a bye run of 7.032/192 to gain a finals place, meeting him on the money run would be one of the following, 2005 FIA Champion Ålund or Leindahl. Odds were on for the Champion and he did not disappoint, another six, 6.961/197 saw off the quicker leaving 7.038/195.

Fresh from his DNQ's at both NHRA events in Bristol and Atlanta Finland's Eero Knihtila and his new plain white '04 Cavalier overturned the applecart when his 7.032/192 caught and passed the '04 and '05 Champion Jimmy Ålund's Klintberg & Way Firebird's slower 7.151/194.

FIA Pro Modified

Those stunning doorslammers with added attitude wowed the fans once again and with a full twenty three participants, action was hectic and guaranteed to be all out or those failing to make their mark on the top sixteen would be going home early. Three different cars led each qualifier, firstly Holland's Marc Meihuizen with a 6.518/214 then Sweden's Freddy Fagerström on a blistering 6.337/220 that was in turn blasted by a 6.296/221 from fellow Swede Urban Johansson. Bump spot was a 7.081/156 from Seppo Saapola.

There were a number of surprises both in qualifying and round one as names like Andy Robinson DNQ'd and round one victim's included Gordon Appleton, Freddy Fagerström and Roger Johansson.

Round two sorted another pack of known names out Mats Eriksson went out to Urban Johansson, 6.309/225 to a red light 6.570/222, Marc Meihuizen in a real close call with Niclas Andersson now in the Chevy Coupe that Kent Trenneman drove last year, 6.483/214 win to the 6.416/216 lose. Danny Cockerill England's last hope in the class did not return after round one problems leaving Norbert Kuno to take a 6.788/212 win. Jan Arve Nygard pushed his 'Vette to a 6.637/210 but to no avail as Micke Gullqvist was already there with a brilliant 6.286/223 win.

The semis provided a new European FIA Pro Modified e.t. record as Urban Johansson despatched Andersson with a 6.247 at 223mph to the losing 6.559/210. Kuno was disappointed when he could not fire his Dodge Avenger up allowing Gullqvist a solo 6.339/218 to the win.

For the final it was the '63 Corvette of record setting Urban Johansson against the '57 Chevy Bel Air of Micke Gullqvist, Johansson left first and was unstoppable as he racked up another great 6.2 with a 55 at 225mph leaving Gullqvist to trail in with a 6.332/220.

UEM Super Twin Bike

Sweden's Anders Karling made his mark on his return to the full tour, a 6.882 at just 163mph led qualifier round one, this was then stolen in round two by a great 6.649/201 from Switzerland's Lorenz Stauble before a 6.573/190 got Karling back the pole position in the seven bike class.

It was Karling that opened round one on an easy 9.750/83 bye run. In an all German pairing Gunther Sohn ran the winning 7.035/183 as Joachim Riemer had sparks appear under the bike at half track but not slowing him from a 7.149/192 lose. Stauble managed a 6.976/188 to get the win light as Norway's Hans Olav Olstad trailed with a 7.166/171. Last pair of the round was the defending Champion Ronny Aasen against fellow Norwegian Svein Gottenberg who went into immediate smoke off the line slowing to a 10.140/109 lose as Aasen go a 6.817/197 winning ticket.

Karling's showing against Sohn was brief, even a good tail wiggle did not disrupt the fine 6.690/184 winner as Sohn took the 7.084/191 lose. Stauble on his way up track had to lean heavily to keep straight but the 6.918/171 was eclipsed by Aasen's storming 6.674/200.

Anders 'Charley' Karling and his 1850cc Uddeholm backed machine faced the current Champion Ronny Aasen in a Norway Sweden battle for the final, Aasen came out of the hole first with the front wheel hovering until it grounded at half track as he came off the power allowing Karling to stormed by to gain the second quickest of the event, a 6.577/181 win.

UEM Top Fuel Bike

Holland's and current number two in the Championship Roel Koedam set the pace with a top qualifier of 6.575 at a mere 155mph to lead the seventeen strong contingent, it was only in qualifying round three that others got close to him and it was the Funny Bikes of Tim Blakemore and Neil Midgley at 6.877/165 and 6.943/190 respectively.

England's Ian King suffered shredded belt woes that destroyed his chances against the might of Koedam's 6.214/214 to start round one of eliminations. Chris Hall stalled as he launched and watched as Luigi Ferretti punched out his first six a winning 6.965/199. Shaun Branch came in as alternate for Tim Blakemore but shut off on the line with problems allowing Frenchman Eric Teboul an easy 12.221/81 solo to the next round. In the last pairing Neil Midgley got crossed up on his leave slowing down to a 20.834/29 as Steven French powered to a winning 7.200/180.

Not surprisingly Koedam's domination continued as he spoilt the rest of Ferretti's weekend with a 6.251/216 win to the slowed up 7.911/126 lose to start the semis. French came off the power at half track in his battle with Teboul who astounded all with a 6.269/202 winner.

Roel Koedam waited till the last to show his best and it was on a solo final as Teboul did not show. A superb 6.108/227 zipped up the Top Fuel Bike win for the big guy.

UEM Pro Stock Bike

With current Champion Roger Pettersson not in the frame the number two grabbed the opportunity with both hands, Anders Abrahamsson first ran a 7.471/177 then bettered it with a 7.314/176 to clinch top qualifier. There was a full eight bike eliminator with two alternates waiting in the wings should anyone drop out.

All but one of England's hopes went out in the first round despite giving it their all. Abrahamsson made short work of Italian Luigi Chinarello with a 7.614/162 win to the 8.296/154 lose. Len Paget's off pace 8.097/150 was runner up to Örjan Gustavsson's 7.718/172 winner and Martin Newbury had to see defeat when his 8.004/164 fell way behind the hard charge of Anders Jakobsson's 7.386/174. Ending round one was the battle between Martin Bishop and Paul Watson, Bishop got a better light and with it the win on a 7.829/172 as Watson trailed with an 8.454/108.

Semi final time had Abrahamsson lay down another quickie, 7.351/177 to oust the hopes of Gustavsson and his 7.804/165. Bishop was left on the startline as Jakobsson shot out and recorded a 7.475/173 win to the 7.860/155 that failed to catch up.

An all Swedish final pitted an unstoppable Anders Abrahamsson against the new threat, Anders Jakobsson and it was Abrahamsson who turned in the better leave and then the win with the best figures, a 7.295/178 got the prize as the 7.785/157 had to be content with a runner up place.

Super Comp was led all weekend by Belinda Bull and the Chevy S10 truck with an 8.902 at 160mph. The final was another German-England battle with Jens Riehl in his little dragster running a 10.606/112 lose as Dave Day managed to get the nod with a 13.154/80.

Tim Adam and his Brogie Roadster made a 9.901/145 pass count as top qualifier in Super Gas then made it to the final to face Holland's Wouter van Leersum in his Chevy Nova. It was too much for both party's as a double breakout was shown with the least awarded to Leersum, 9.895/139 win to 9.878/136 lose.

The Super Street class was led by Bob Lees in his big Mustang on a 10.901 at 126mph though he went out in round two courtesy of the eventual winner. Another Dutch win was wrapped up by Ful Lievaart in a Chevy Bel Air with an 11.099/95 as Nick Griffin's Chevelle runner upped with an 11.130/87.

The massive thirty four entries in Super Pro ET was headed in qualifying by Steve Johnson in his 'Motor Mouse' dragster with a 7.301/178, however a red light in round two saw his demise. The final was between two old adversaries, Barry Giles and Martyn Jones in their trusty dragsters. It was Jones that picked up the win with a .008 under index 7.692/173 as Giles red lit to an acknowledged 9.506/106.

If Super Pro was packed then the popular Pro ET class was rammed full with forty one entrants led by Lance Richards in his Capri with a 9.602/139 but he never made the eliminations. The final came down to a run off between Lee Huxley in the Team Top Banana roadster who got the winning ticket with a 10.606/112 as John Atkinson in his Cortina Estate went under index by .069 to a 9.311/131.

Michael Smith pushed his Camaro to a 12.224/110 to lead the Sportsman ET racers but fell foul to Anna Metcalfe in round one. Dad, Brian Huxley made a father and son double win when his 'Can Do' Mustang ran a 15.993/83 win over the 12.588/107 from Jon Turner's 'Greenfish' Barracuda.

Nick Mugridge managed the Junior Dragster top qualifier on a .000 r.t. coupled with a 7.960/82 to lead the strong twenty six international contestants and lasted till the semis. Charlotte Watts had to take on the might of Scott Hauser in the final but ran under index by .036, 12.614/50 to Hauser's winning 7.936/82.

9.50 Bike was led by Andy Bird on his Suzuki GSXR with a 9.501/129 and he survived the big field until round two. It was in round two that current Champion Fred Furlong came off his bike in the lights; at time of writing we understand he broke an arm, all good wishes and a swift recovery please. The final was down to the 1300cc Suzuki Hayabusa of Martin Walker and the 1340cc Suzuki GSXR of Chris Reed. A 9.625/139 from Reed was not enough to catch the holeshot and winning 9.712/132 from Martin Walker.

©Roger Gorringe. May 2006.

Our best wishes go out to Tog from Eurodragster who missed the Finals day due to illness. We sincerely wish him the speediest of recoveries. More photos and coverage of the Main Event are available at

European Finals

The European Drag Racing Championships now move on to Alastaro in Finland, and return here to Santa Pod on the 7-10 September for the European Finals.

The Main Event 2006 Winners

Hakan Fallstrom   Top Fuel   FIA Top Fuel
Håkan Fällstrom
Smax Smith
Urban Johansson   Pro Mod   FIA Pro Modified
Urban Johansson
Michael Gullqvist
Eero Knihtila   Pro Stock   FIA Pro Stock
Eero Knihtila
Jimmy Alund
Leif Andreasson FIA Top Methanol Funny Car FIA Top Methanol Funny Car
Leif Andreasson
Ulf Leanders
Peter Schofer Top Methanol Dragster

FIA Top Methanol Dragster
Peter Schofer
Rob Turner

Anders Karling UEM Super Twin

UEM Super Twin
Anders Karling
Ronny Aasen

Roel Koedam UEM Top Fuel

UEM Top Fuel
Roel Koedam
Eric Teboul

Roel Koedam UEM Pro Stock

UEM Pro Stock
Anders Abrahamsson
Anders Jakobsson

Dave Day super Comp

Super Comp
Dave Day
Jens Riehl

Wouter van Leersum Super Gas

Super Gas
Wouter van Leersum
Tim Adam

Ful Lievaart Super Street

Super Street
Ful Lievaart
Nick Griffin

Martyn Jones Super Pro ET

Super Pro ET
Martyn Jones
Barry Giles

Lee Huxley Pro ET

Pro ET
Lee Huxley
John Atkinson

Brian Huxley Sportsman ET

Sportsman ET
Brian Huxley
Jon Turner
(Photo: ©Roger Gorringe)

Scott Hauser Junior Dragster

Junior Dragster
Scott Hauser
Charlotte Watts

Martin Walker

9.50 Bike

9.50 Bike
Martin Walker
Chris Reed

Rain Off Values

Saturdays racing was affected by rain and did not finish till 9pm, as a result rain-off values have been announced for the following ticket types: Saturday - £15, Sat & Sun Ticket - £10, 4 Day Ticket - £10. There is no rain-off value for grandstand seats.

How to take advantage of rain-off values: HOLD ONTO YOUR TICKET! You will need to bring this ticket to Santa Pod to get a discount on the next event you attend (excluding some events held at Santa Pod by other companies). There is no cash alternative, but the rain-off values are valid up to and including The Main Event 2007. Rain-off tickets can only be used pro rata.

FIA/FIM Main Event

The Main Event 2016: Preview / Photo Entry List / Running Order
The Main Event 2015: Report / Facebook Photo Galley / Photo Entry List
The Main Event 2014: Winners / Facebook Photo Galley / Photo Entry List
The Main Event 2013: Winners / Photo Gallery / Photo Entry List
The Main Event 2012: Report / Photo Gallery / Photo Entry List / Photo Competition
The Main Event 2011: Report & Gallery / Photo Entry List / Photo Competition
The Main Event 2010: Report / Photo Entry List / Daily Gallery Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
The Main Event 2009: Report / Photo Entry List / Daily Gallery Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
The Main Event 2008: Report / Photo Entry List / Daily Gallery Thu | Fri | Sat
The Main Event 2007: Report / Photo Entry List / Daily Gallery Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
The Main Event 2006: Report / Gallery
The Main Event 2005: Report / Gallery
The Main Event 2004: Report

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