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Race Reports

FIM Championship Round 1 / FIM Cup Round 2
FIA Round 1, Santa Pod Raceway, England, 23-26 May 2014

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Report

Santa Pod, UK, May 27, 2014 - The 2014 FIM European Drag Racing Championship season was scheduled to start on Saturday at the spring Bank Holiday weekend. Unfortunately, the weather did not comply with the key requirement for drag racing - a dry track.

The first day of FIM qualifying rained out which made for a hectic Sunday where the organizers worked hard and made it possible to run three rounds of qualifying for all of the European Drag Racing Championship classes.

The track was in excellent shape which made for world class numbers but the three qualifying rounds turned out to be the the end of the weekend as far as the racing, there was no stopping the rain on the day of eliminations.

Pro Stock   Pro Stock   Super Street   Super Street

In FIM Pro Stock Bike, reigning champion Fredrik Fredlund of Finland showed good form in starting a season that has him chasing a fourth FIM championship. Fredlund qualified number one with an elapsed time of 7.06, followed by Gert-Jan Laseur from the Netherlands at 7.21 and Martin Bishop from the UK in third place with a 7.42.

Ian King, 7 time European FIM Top Fuel Bike champion, was back in Europe after having attended and won the first round of the Manufacturers Cup in the USA earlier this spring. He headed up a solid field of bikes in the FIM Top Fuel Bike class with a best time of 6.06 seconds, so very close to a 5-second run but the wind pushing him towards the centerline causing an early shut-off. Rikard Gustafsson from Sweden in second place and Steve Woollatt in third.

Bike   Bike   Super Street   Super Street

FIM Super Twin Bike again proved Finland as an established powerhouse in nitromethane fueled drag racing. Samu Kemppainen, runner-up in last years FIM Super Twin championship, ran the quickest times and fastest speeds in two out of the three qualifying rounds. He ended up the number one qualifier with an ET of 6.61 seconds, a new personal best for Samu. Long time FIM Super Twin racer Martijn de Haas of the Netherlands made the run of the weekend in getting the number two qualifying spot. His time of 6.78 is not only the first 6-second run for that team but also close to 0.3 seconds better than his old personal best.

The FIM European Super Street Bike racers showed up in force. This was the second round of the FIM Super Street Bike Cup, 19 bikes made the call and gave the fans a good show. Graham Balchin was the points leader going into this race but after three rounds of qualifying he found himself as the sixth qualifier with Dave Holland a surprising number one qualifyer. Dave Holland having gone over to running E85 as fuel which takes considerable re-tuning of the engine. Dave did definitely not expect to get the bike in tune this early in the season which makes his #1 time of 7.21 that much more impressive. The racing was tight as usual, Gary Bowe in second place at 7.24 and Shawn Buttigieg, all the way from Malta, in third place with a 7.27.

Super Street   Super Street   Super Street   Super Street

Although eliminations were cancelled due to rain, there were a few changes in the top of the Super Street Bike points table. Balchin leaves Santa Pod still in the number one spot, Gary Bowe moves up into number two position and Pete Field steps up to third place.

The second race of the 2014 FIM European Championship series is the FHRA Nitro Nationals, Alastaro, Finland. The qualifying starts on Friday morning, July 4.

The third race of the 2014 FIM Super Street Bike Cup is the NitrOlympx, Hockenheim Ring, Germany. The qualifying starts on Friday morning, August 8.

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