FIA "The Main Event" 2009
Friday 22nd - Monday 25th May
The 2009 Main Event had four days of sunshine and fantastic racing. View photos from the weekend on the Daily Gallery pages. The winners of each class were as follows.
FIA Top Fuel Dragster: Winner Andy Carter, runner-up Stig Neergaard
FIA Top Methanol Dragster: Winner Timo Habermann, runner-up Fred Hanssen
FIA Top Methanol Funny Car: Winner Ulf Leanders, runner-up Leif Andréasson
FIA/NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified: Winner Andy Robinson, runner-up Urban Johansson
FIA Pro Stock: Winner Jimmy Ålund, runner-up Jonas Dantanus
Fuel Funny Car: Winner Gordon Smith, runner-up John Spuffard
FIM/UEM Top Fuel Bike: Winner Ian King, runner-up Rene van den Berg
FIM/UEM Supertwin: Winner Lorenz Stäuble, runner-up Job Heezen
FIM/UEM Pro Stock Bike: Winner Ulf Ögge, runner-up Len Paget
Comp Eliminator: Winner Roland Bolleter, bye
Super Pro ET: Winner John Everitt, runner-up John Morris
Pro ET: Winner Mark Bailey, runner-up Chris Hodgkins
Super Comp: Winner Pete Cresswell, runner-up Frank Mason
Super Gas: Winner Jon Morton, runner-up Conrad Stanley
Super Street: Winner John Grant, runner-up Leigh Morris
Junior Dragster: Winner Matthew Seamarks, runner-up Lisa Selles
Winners Trophy Presentations
This event will be the talking point for years, after all the rain of the last couple of seasons the first round of the 2009 European FIA and UEM Drag Racing Championship was held under glorious California style sunshine for the best part of the event. Personal bests and records tumbled, sometimes in the same round and new names came to the fore. Top Fuel was at times relegated to the lesser headlines as Top Methanol Dragster, Pro Stock and Pro Mod vied for history-book places.
FIA Top Fuel
It was the Swedish team of Micke Kågered that held down the first two sessions of qualifying with a 5.110/222 until Holland’s Lex Joon picked up the pace with a 4.833/282 closely followed by Finland’s Risto Poutiainen with a 4.839/307 and in the fourth and final session were joined by Micke Kågered 4.895/280 and England’s Andy Carter with the last four, a 4.915/255. Norway’s Linda Thun Tønseth recorded her best, a 5.328/223, Denmark’s Stig Neergaard a 5.591/190, Finland’s Anita Mäkelä, a 5.772/159 and England’s Jon Webster sat on the bubble with a 6.510/129.
Round one saw Jon Webster sidelined after a pop on the burnout allowing Lex Joon a shaking, smoking and pedalling 7.291/123 solo. Linda Thun Tønseth did not manage any better numbers as she shook and pedalled losing to an early click off lap by Andy Carter, 5.016/248 to a 5.832/178. Anita Mäkelä also fell victim to the tyre shake gremlins recording a 5.109/178 as fellow Finn Risto Poutiainen ran a winning 4.860/282. Micke Kågered got the leave on Stig Neergaard but suffered a small fire at half track Stig also slowed but took the light 5.192/204 to the 6.380/130.
The two rivals, Lex Joon and Andy Carter faced off in the opening second round with Joon getting a good leave on Carter but he hazed the slicks and started to spit flames as Carter drove round him to get the nod 4.802/307 to the losing 5.198/254. Risto Poutiainen left just before Stig Neergaard but hit smoke at around four hundred feet and pedalled twice as Neergaard despite an early click off took the 5.071/269 win to the 5.699/174 try.
It was the self proclaimed ‘King of Europe’ Andy Carter the defending FIA Top Fuel Champion that led away from the line hazing the slicks a little at half track as Stig Neergaard went into tyre shake and then smoke shutting off to a 7.871/100 as Carter notched up the 4.908/293 win for Lucas Oil and the point lead.
FIA Top Methanol Dragster
Records tumbled and were traded between teams for most of the weekend with exciting personal bests being notched up virtually every round. Germany’s Timo Habermann led the ten car field with a 5.351/259. Also in the 5.3s were England’s Dave Wilson at two with 5.353/263 and newly licenced Fred Hanssen from Norway on a 5.380/263 pass leaving current Champion, Germany’s Peter Schöfer on the bubble and two very disappointed DNQs that of Esko Raisvou and Derek Flynn.
Peter Schöfer’s luck did not improve as he fell victim to Timo Habermann’s 5.398/263 to a 5.524/250. Sweden’s Krister Johansson seems to have got a handle on his A/Fueller as his 5.441/258 easily beat a wheel standing, tyre rattling and crossed up try from Dennis Habermann. Norway’s Paul Ingar Udtian was not having much luck he left before the tree ran making Dave Wilson get the lesser evil of a red light but record ET setting win of 5.304 at 265mph. Fred Hanssen held onto his luck as he left on Britain’s Rob Turner who had his wheels up six inches but the 5.506/238 from Turner was no match for the record speed setting Hanssen who took the win with a fine 5.377 at 266.47mph to end that stunner of a round.
In the second round and Timo Habermann caught and passed the leave from Krister Johansson, a 5.393/258 beat the 5.668/242. Dave Wilson was almost left for dead as Fred Hanssen left a good light on the tree and stayed ahead to clinch the win with a 5.445/264 as Wilson charged to a losing 5.380/258.
A German Norwegian battle ensued in the final as Timo Habermann in the Böhm Solartechnik backed machine faced the rookie Fred Hanssen in one of the Islanders dragsters, Habermann was lightning on the lights and coupled with a 5.428/242 despite a little tyre shake took the win as Hanssen came a close 5.428/263 second.
FIA Top Methanol Funny Car
The eight car class was led by the late entry of current Champion Ulf Leanders on a 5.749/250 pass and he showed he was still the boss as he led all the way to the final in the Leanders Clutches Firebird.
Round one opened with German Jürgen Nagel red lighting away any chance against Ulf Leanders who took an easy 7.010/147 win. Newly licenced Norwegian, Per Håkon Troa lost to Denmark’s Dan Larsen in his new Dodge Stratus a top end reflector destroying 5.928/213 lost to the 5.897/214. Belgium’s Danny Bellio had to pedal on his run and was chased down by a late leaving Stephanie Milam who had a happy 6.310/208 win to the 6.778/231 lose. Norway’s Arvid Grødem launched into a red lighting wheelie pulling try, shutting off to a 24.751/21 as Sweden’s Leif Andréasson took the all important win with a 5.722/248 to end that round with the quickest numbers of the eliminations.
Dan Larsen was still getting to grips with his new ride and was beaten with a 5.790/245 to a 6.090/236 by Ulf Leanders in the opening of round two. Stephanie Milam unfortunately left late again but would have been very lucky to beat Leif Andréasson’s 5.774/246 against her 6.279/233.
An all Swedish battle in the final contested Ulf Leanders in the Leanders Brothers unpainted Firebird against the Swedish Armed Forces/ESAB backed Dodge Stratus of Leif Andréasson. Leanders left first and held on across the stripe with the winning 5.808/246 as Andréasson charged to another 5.7, a runner up 5.795/244.
FIA Pro Stock
Another stunning outing from the Factory Hot Rods with some very surprising surges in personal bests and perhaps not so surprising records. Defending Champion, Sweden’s Jimmy Ålund gave the others something to think about when he recorded the quickest and fastest numbers in Europe to head qualifying, 6.694 and 206.84mph.
Michael Callin was the first victim to fall to Jimmy Ålund in round one as the 7.024/177 was no match for the winning 6.704/205 to open the account. Magnus Hansson stepped up running a winning 6.769 to see off the 6.828/201 from fellow Swede Jan Palmqvist. A real surprise was when Michael Malmgren’s 6.781/203 was beaten by the great 6.775/203 from Jonas Dantanus in another all Swedish battle. Finally, to end round one Finland’s Richard Sundblom shook out his ‘chute at half track slowing him to a 7.131/158 and allowing Tommy Leindahl a clear path to round two with a 6.976/201.
Into round two and again Jimmy Ålund was taking no prisoners, a 6.738/204 overcame the holeshot leave and 6.880/204 from Magnus Hansson. Jonas Dantanus kept his luck going as he just kept ahead of Tommy Leindahl’s losing 6.892/202 winning with a 6.833/200.
The final, as in most cases in Pro Stock was all Swedish as reigning Champion Jimmy Ålund in the Klintberg & Way sponsored Pontiac GTO took on the Stenvall Trä AB Grand Am of Jonas Dantanus. Knowing he was up against it Dantanus left first with Ålund chasing and finally overhauling him at the stripe with a 6.785/204 to the 6.877/201.
FIA Pro Modified
England’s Andy Robinson got back into form and dominated the class with a top qualifier of 6.102/226 but he was not alone in the 6.1s as Patrik Wikström, Bruno Bader, Micke Gullqvist and Mikael Lindahl all joined him with the last man in at sixteenth being Bert Englefield with a 7.262/211 but an encounter with the wall cost Bert any further participation. Round one saw Roger Johansson, Urban Johansson and Rolf Amman go through but on that last pairing with Amman, Dutch driver Robert Joosten turned hard left at the three-thirty mark crossing lanes behind Amman and spectacularly hitting the wall ending up on the roof, he emerged fine vowing to get repaired as soon as possible. Other drivers getting through to round two were Micke Gullqvist, Mikael Lindahl, Bruno Bader, Patrik Wikström and Andy Robinson.
An all Swiss battle started round two with Rolf Amman becoming another victim of the new unleashed power that Bruno Bader seems to have found, a holeshot 6.199/226 to the weaving 6.510/200. Nitrous versus blown with and Andy Robinson’s supercharged car left first and zoomed down the track recording a new European ET record of 6.100/229 as Sweden’s Roger Johansson tried to catch up with a 6.297/223. Two Swede’s faced off but Patrik Wikström shook and lifted at half track, his 6.957/154 proof and allowing Urban Johansson the 6.168/233 win. It looked a classic case of I saw the red light as Micke Gullqvist left before the tree and Mikael Lindahl stayed calm before an easy 9.970/95 secured him a place in the semis.
The semis of the FIA/NDRS/Bilsport Pro Mod class had the reigning Champion Mikael Lindahl go into tyre shake as Andy Robinson kept up his lead and crossing the stripe first with a 6.110/229 to the close 6.201/230 try. An all Corvette bout put Urban Johansson in the lead out of the hole with Bruno Bader chasing, a bang in the lights ended the life of Johansson’s motor but his winning 6.205/228 put him in the final as Bader followed with the losing 6.188/225.
The final was a fine holeshot from Urban Johansson as his colourful ‘Vette complete with new bullet lead but by half track Andy Robinson’s Studebaker Commander had taking over the pace and a 6.106/228 got the win light as Johansson slowed to a losing 6.470/220.
Just three nitro floppers and with perennial leader John Spuffard on pole with a 5.050/309 it set a hard task for anyone else to beat. Gordon Smith managed a 6.051/188 and Gary Page with some handling problems a 6.563/157. Spuffard had the first round bye running an easy 5.935/163 before Smith put an end to Page’s day with a pedalling 5.685/232 win to an up in smoke and shut off 12.483/94. The final looked all in favour of Spuffard but the ATI Showtime Mustang went into hard tyre smoke at half track that allowed Smith in the Mapai sponsored Shockwave Firebird a welcome win with the 5.696/244.
UEM Top Fuel Bike
Sweden’s Peter Svensson lead the twelve strong pack with a 6.225/202 followed by defending Champion Ian King on a 6.330/203 with Steve Woollatt on a 6.467/204 and Rene van den Berg a 6.695/201. German Funny Bike rider Christian Jager on the bubble leaving several other riders DNQ’d.
Christian Jager unfortunately did not make the move first in his first round battle with Peter Svensson and a 6.340/197 told the tale as the 8.188/164 was not enough. Steve Carey was beaten off the line by Dutchman Rene van den Berg who went on to coast over the line for the win 6.915/198 as Carey’s lane using below par 7.237/192 came second. Frenchman Eric Teboul suffered cylinder loss on his losing 7.244/166 pass as Ian King ran a flawless 6.240/204 for the ticket. Last pairing pitted fuel against Funny Bike with Steve Woollatt holding on to his lead before winning with a 6.608/185 as Tim Blakemore had problems and shut off to a 21.197/37.
The semis was a big disappointment for Peter Svensson who could not ready in time for his run against Rene van den Berg arriving a few minutes late and giving Berg the unopposed and easy 7.024/198 win. Old rivals Ian King and Steve Woollatt faced off in the other pairing with a slight lead for King as he held on to take the nod with a 6.369/212 as Woollatt followed with a 6.546/198.
It was a lonely run on the final as unfortunately Holland’s Rene van den Berg on the Eurol Lubricants Puma shut off after his burnout handing the automatic win and a point lead to Ian King on the Puma Engineering fueller with a cylinder losing 6.477/210.
UEM Super Twin Bike
Sweden’s Per Bengtsson who sat number three in last years point system showed the way here with a 6.680 at a whopping 255.99mph. Bengtsson’s nearest rival was Norway’s Hans Olav Olstad at 6.800/192 then Holland’s Job Heezen 6.827/200 with the remainder of the pack stretched out down to last man in on the eight bike eliminator being Dutch rider Martijn de Haas on a 7.781/159.
Round one kicked off with double-trouble as firstly top qualifier Per Bengtsson’s motor went bang loudly on the burnout sidelining him and Sweden’s Tommy Möller who came in as alternate to a broken Martijn de Haas suffered a huge flash of flame about eighty feet out but still taking the win light. Once more trouble before the startline as unfortunately Svein Olav Rolfstad failed to start the motor allowing Switzerland’s Lorenz Stäuble the win with a usual wild and close to the wall 7.085/205 pass. Big Chris Hannam chased hard after Hans Olav Olstad better leave but had to lift and get back on as he got close to the centreline, the 7.525/161 lost to the 6.788/199. Norway’s Matti Vahasaari was shut off on the line with a fluid leak allowing Job Heezen the solo 6.832/205 win to end the round.
Tommy Möller had torched his motor and failed to repair in time for round two’s bout with Lorenz Stäuble who took a red light win of 7.022/205 with a little engine smoke on the latter half of the track. A good leave by Job Heezen despite the motor sounding strange but the 6.898/203 told all was well with the win as Hans Olav Olstad seemed to lose power on his losing 9.831/87 pass.
Switzerland versus Holland in the final and it was a better leave and the win light for Lorenz Stäuble on the Midland Oil/Techno AG backed machine out of the Urs Erbacher stable, a 6.969/208 beat the cylinder losing 7.953/132 of Job Heezen on the Godfather 6 Harley Zodiac.
UEM Pro Stock Bike
A smaller than usual field of bikes this opening round but it was led by Sweden’s Ulf Ögge with a great European record ET 7.161/183 well ahead on England’s Len Paget on a 7.367/177 and defending Champion Finland’s Fredrik Fredlund.
Ulf Ögge had the first round bye recording a 7.313/184 as the next pair of Fredrik Fredlund and England’s Martin Bishop ran with Bishop getting the lead but succumbing to a power loss well into the run losing with a 7.871/173 as Fredlund grasped the win on a 7.452/173 pass. An all Brit pairing next with Ray Debben upping his power with new bodywork after his tumble at the Springspeed Nationals a couple of weeks earlier but his 7.779/168 was not good enough as Len Paget put a 7.355/177 on the boards to take the nod.
Numbers one and two in last years championship point battle came together for the semi final, Fredrik Fredlund and Ulf Ögge with the latter chasing a better leave by Fredlund but it was Ögge who got the lights on first with a 7.285/179 as Fredlund’s 7.427/177 came second. Len Paget had this rounds bye run and got himself a place in the final with a 7.423/176.
Len Paget knew he was up against it facing Ulf Ögge for the money run and left a great light on the tree but his 7.452/173 from his White Lightning Suzuki GSXR was not quite good enough as Ulf Ögge on his Bike Line backed Buell ran him down winning with a 7.296/170.
This unfortunately succumbed to much mechanical attrition as the Ford Probe of John Tebenham broke along with the two HKS runner of John Bradshaw’s Nissan and the Mazda RX7 of Chris Impey. It left it all to Swiss competitor Roland Bolleter in a blown Mustang to take the honours with a final solo pass of 7.895/174.
Qualifying was led by Dave ‘don’t call my car a barbeque’ Day with a near perfect 8.9004/150. The final of the fifteen car eliminator came down to a run off between Peter Creswell and Frank Mason. It was Creswell’s Mustang all the way from the start with a good light closely followed by Frank Mason’s Corvette, at the stripe it was the 8.930/141 from Creswell that beat the 8.924/150.
Jon Evans took the all white Camaro to number one figures with a almost perfect 9.9002/143 to head the fifteen strong pack. It was Jon Morton’s Camaro that in the end came through with the winning numbers, a 9.938/138 secured the title as Conrad Stanley the defending Champion failed to catch and pass clocking runner up figures of 9.937/154.
Leading and on pole position was Martyn Sanger in his vintage Mustang with a great 10.9008/119 in the eleven car conflict. The final scuffle came ended up with John Grant in his Ford 100E taking the win light as Leigh Morris’ E Type recorded no numbers.
Super Pro ET
Commiserations to competitors Lee Cohen after he ended up on his roof in the shutdown area in his beautiful Ford Pop and to Martyn Jones who slid in his own liquid and wrecked his stunning new dragster in the lights. Ashley Bell in his Cobra took top qualifier with an 8.73/146. The final was between the Alien altered of John Everitt and the Animal Magic Racing Probe of John Morris. It was Everitt who clinched the win with an 8.004/157 to the 9.129/150.
A mammoth international field of thirty-six had eleven sessions of qualifying led by Mark Bailey with a 9.52/141 and he did not end his day there he took his silver Barracuda on to take the trophy with a 9.600/142 over the 9.847/138 from Chris Hodgkins dragster.
Anna Stanley led the fifteen strong contingent with a 0.0010 R/T coupled with an 8.078/81 pass. The final though came down to a run off between England’s Matthew Seamarks and Holland’s Lisa Selles with Seamarks getting out first and turning in a time of 8.013/73 to put Selles into runner up place with a 7.919/82.
© Roger Gorringe. May 2009. www.eurodragster.com & www.nitroexposure.co.uk .
View photos from the weekend on the Daily Gallery pages.
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