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Race Report

FIM European Drag Racing Championships Round 2 - NitrOlympX, Hockenheimring, Germany

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If the year opener at Santa Pod was notable for the cool conditions, the mid point in the FIM-Europe season was warm in the extreme, with a heatwave the like of which hadn’t been felt since the 1880s descending across Germany which put paid to seriously quick runs at the revitalized Rico Anthes Quartermile at the Hockenheimring.  

FIM-E Top Fuel Bike attracted nine entries, with Ian King taking the top spot with a 6.143/201.40 mph with Filippos Papafilippou being the only other racer to dip into the sixes (an indication of how many were struggling in the heat) with a 6.797/199.70. Points leader Rikard Gustafsson resided in third spot with a 7.137 and Nick Milburn completed the top half of the field with a 7.237, whilst Otto Knebl and debutant Antoine Coupiac struggled to put down representative passes from their nitro bikes to place fifth and sixth respectively. The remaining trio of Steve Woollatt, Rene van den Berg and Frederic Lepine were excluded from raceday competition as the result of crank breakage, damaged clutch pulleys and a failure to meet the requisite performance level required for funnybikes in the class.

The top half of the eliminations ladder was essentially a tale of six threes from King and the Gulf Oil Yamaha fueler, putting a 6.302 on the board in a first round bye run, defeating Knebl with a 6.354 at the semifinal stage and defeating Gustafsson with a 6.372 to a 6.700 from the Swede in the final. The event win narrows the points difference between King and Gustafsson, but the latter still has a healthy lead of over a round of eliminations going in to the European Finals in September.

The six entries in FIM-E Super Twin were comfortably paced by Martijn de Haas with a 6.841/199.16 onboard the de Haas Brothers injected V-Twin with Ronny Aasen sitting a slightly distant second with a 7.278 from the supercharged Ton & Vincent Pels’ Zodiac entry. The lower half of the ladder saw Aasen and Job Heezen defeat Bruno Salessa and Petr Ceska respectively in the first round of eliminations, Aasen improving on his qualifying figures to a 6.980. Unfortunately a fuel union failed prevented Aasen from challenging Heezen in the semifinals with the latter progressing to the trophy round on a bye. On the other side, de Haas benefitted from a pair of competition byes (taken with a 6.741/208.36 and a 6.780/208.43 for low ET and top speed honours), after Roman Sixta being shutdown before staging and a scheduled solo in the semifinal thanks to the short field. The final against Heezen had de Haas score a consistent 6.756 to take the event win whilst Heezen suffered a frame damaging explosion when the front head lifted off the cylinder at half track. With the event win, something very strange would have to happen at the Finals for de Haas not to be crowned series champion.

Super Twin   Top Fuel Bike   Top Fuel Bike   Super Twin

The presence of fifteen riders nudged the FIM-E Pro Stock Bike elimination day field into an all-run sixteen bike ladder. Despite the expanded field there were a trio of familiar names at the top of the heap after qualifying with Gert -Jan Laseur picking up low with a 7.152, closely followed by reigning champion and points leader Fredrik Fredlund (7.173) and Robert Karlsson in at three with a 7.186. During eliminations these three would be joined at the semifinal stage by Karl Heinz Weikum who nearly caused an upset by pulling a huge holeshot on Laseur but the Zodiac/Eurol/Star backed Buell managed to ride around the German with a 7.141 to a losing 7.266. The race between Fredlund and Karlsson was over before it started as the Swede’s bike was shut off before the burnout enabling Fredlund to progress to the final. Once again Laseur had to power around a holeshot (the Dutch rider greatly benefiting from a strict weightloss regime this season, together with some new parts from Star Racing’s George Bryce just prior to the event) and a 7.148 to a 7.198 put him in the winner’s circle for the first time in FIM-Europe competition. The runner-up spot coupled with the opening round win at Santa Pod puts Fredlund in with a very strong shot of taking the championship title back to Åland for the fourth year in a row.

In FIM-E Super Street Bike Cup competition the UK’s Garry Bowe was setting the performance marks, leading the nineteen qualifiers with a 7.210, then lowering the track record in the first round of eliminations to a 7.164 and subsequently picking up class top speed honours with a 202.76 terminal speed on a 7.219 at the quarter final stage. Although he appeared to be odds on favourite in the final it was points leader Rick Stubbins that prevailed after improving numbers all the way through eliminations and matching Bowe’s ET track record in the trophy round whilst his opponent slowed to a 7.409.

Super street   Pro Stock   Super street   Pro Stock

Remaining FIM-E Championship Rounds
September 3rd – 6th FIA European Finals, Santa Pod Raceway, England

View points standings on the Points page.

Words and bike pictures Ivan Sansom and Rose Hughes. Thanks to TSI Timers (Europe) for access to the timing data.

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