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Race Report

FIM European Drag Racing Championships - European Finals, Santa Pod Raceway, UK

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Santa Pod, UK, September 7, 2014 - The final round of the 2014 FIM European Drag Racing Championship was held at Santa Pod Raceway in the UK. The weekend turned out to be one of the best FIM drag racing championship races in modern history with great weather and an excellent track.

Super twin   Top Fuel   Pro Stock   Superstreet

Pro Stock   Super Twin   Top Fuel   Superstreet

FIM Pro Stock Bike: Fredrik Fredlund from Finland has had a tremendous season and clinched his fourth European title, third in a row, by getting the points for passing inspection on Thursday afternoon. Fredlund has qualified #1 at all races and won every event so far. The team was still highly motivated and went all out in hopes of winning the event breaking the European ET record. The ET record stayed put due to a carburation issue but Fredlund qualified at the top of the pole and went on to win the event.

Gert-Jan Laseur of the Netherlands was second in points coming in to this event and finished his season in a solid fashion by resetting his own personal bests, a runner-up finish and a second place in the overall championship. Karl-Heinz Weikum of Germany has had big problems with his engine material this season but got it all together for a good race weekend at the Finals. New personal bests for Weikum as well and he collected the points to finish third in the championship.

FIM Super Twin Top Fuel Bike: It 's been a wide open season with no single rider taking a strong lead. Three teams went into the final with a shot at the championship, Samu Kemppanien in the points lead, Christian Jäger in the second spot and Ronny Aasen in third. No matter that, Martijn de Haas in fifth place stepped up on an already strong season and qualified as the #1 with a new personal best elapsed time of 6.63 seconds just ahead of Kemppainen. Ronny Aasen, the 2013 champion had his worst race of the year with serious engine problems and did not make the eliminations on Sunday.

Jäger took out Kemppainen in the quarter finals with the quickest ET of the weekend, 6.52, and with that was now only one round win behind the championship leader Kemppainen. Jäger against Job Heezen in the semifinals where Heezen won while pulling his quickest ET of the weekend so far which put an end to the championship hopes of Jäger. Kemppainen is now the FIA 2014 Super Twin Top Fuel Bike champion with an insurmountable points lead. de Haas ran through two strong solo runs in the other side of the elimination ladder which made for an all-Dutch final. And what a fitting final it was, side-by-side racing at its' best, Heezen ran his best ET of the weekend but to no avail as de Haas went on to win the race and the event, again improving on his personal best.

FIM Top Fuel Bike: Ian King has dominated the 2014 season by winning all the events so far. He carried enough points to clinch his 8th championship by qualifying number one with a 6.06 second run. That kind of performance has always heralded 5 second ETs before but it was not to be this time. In the first round of eliminations against Otto Knebl, the King fueler let the engine go in a big fashion with two rods pushing its way out of the engine block. Number 2 qualifier Rikard Gustavsson had a solo run in the quarter finals as Rene van der Berg did not show while the pairing of Steve Woollatt against Filippos Papafilipou made for the most bizarre race ever in the history of Top Fuel Bike racing. The two bikes came together at over 120 mph and Papafilipou was thrown onto the wheelie bars of Woollatts bike and rode as a passenger all the way to a safe stop in the shut down area. Woollatt came back in the semifinals, won against Gustavsson and equalled his personal best in winning the final round and the event. Ian King the champion, Rikard Gustavsson finished second in the total points just four points ahead of Otto Knebl in third place.

FIM Super Street Bike Cup again pulled a big entry. 21 bikes ran qualifying runs vying for being in the top-16 that would race in eliminations on Sunday. The points race going into the European Finals was tight to say the least, 1 point separated the leader Mogens Lund from the rest of the pack and no less than 15 of the qualified riders had a shot at the total championship at the start of the weekend.

The track was in excellent shape and the spectators were treated to quick and fast racing with numerous personal best times and speeds set over the whole weekend. Anything could happen and it did, points leader Mogens Lund lost went out against Garry Bowe in the first round of eliminations as did #2 qualifier Dave Holland who lost to #12 Graham Dance. It continued, second in points and #1 qualifier Shawn Buttigieg lost to #8 Luke Farrugia in the quarter finals. When it was time for the semifinals there were still three contenders for the overall championship, Garry Bowe, Steve Venables and Graham Balchin. Bowe had run a class best of 7.17 seconds in the quarters and continued to show form by going to the finals with a win over Luke Farrugia. In the other semi final it was Steve Venables who won over Graham Balchin which set up that one last final round that would decide the championship. Bowe against Venables and Venables picked the right time to run his quckest ET of the weekend, taking the round win, the event win and also becoming the 2014 FIM Super Street Bike Cup Champion.

Super twin   Top Fuel   Pro Stock   Superstreet

Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to all the racers for your commitment to FIM drag racing.

The first race of the 2015 FIM European Championship series is the Main Event, Santa Pod, UK. Qualifying starts on Saturday morning, May 23, 2015.

View final points standings on the Points page.

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