FIM-E Euro Finals, Santa Pod Raceway, England
It was a long end to the FIM-E European Drag Racing Championships at Santa Pod Raceway over the weekend, with some quick racing punctuating an event dominated by delays due to the weather and a seemingly endless series of oildowns. However, these will have mattered naught to the event winners and the champions who were crowned over the course of the meeting.
FIM-E Top Fuel Bike
Greek racer Fil Papafilippou wrapped up his first FIM-E Top Fuel Bike championship by qualifying low with a 5.8143 at a new PB speed of 240.29mph, trouble in the shutdown area put the newly crowned champion in the field at the end of the track and left the Gulf Oils/King Racing scooter looking very sorry for itself and both out of competition for the rest of the weekend. Eric Richard was the only one who might have with a mathematical chance of passing Fil, but a European record in both speed and elapsed time would have been somewhat jaw dropping from the French funnybike as well as winning the event and we are not sure even then that this would have been enough. Such speculation was purely academic of course, and Richard redlit in the opening round of eliminations, handing Stuart Crane the opportunity to take second in the points, but he was unable to return for the final round. In the event it would be British veteran Steve Woollatt outlast the rest of the field with his comparatively small capacity and old school setup PBR fueler ‘The Dealer’ taking him to a seventh European event win and a second straight EuroFinals title.
FIM-E Super Twin Bike
It has been quite a year for the Christiansen family and their uniquely configured naturally aspirated V-Twin. Although Marcus wasn’t able to contest the final at the season opener in May thanks to a fuel leak, the team have been on a hot streak ever since, winning in Germany and then back at Santa Pod for the finals, qualifying low with a 6.5955/192 and then working their way through to final against outgoing Super Twin champion Martijn de Haas in the best head-to-head of the class eliminations. de Haas got the jump off the line but the Danish rider rumbled past with a 6.565/197.15 to a 6.781/203.41 to add yet another trophy to their rapidly growing cabinet. We are not too sure what father Speedy and Marcus are plotting for next season, the bike is up for sale, but they are up to something.
FIM-E Pro Stock Bike
Alex Hope came into the event on the back of a win at the Nitrolympx and with a decent but not decisive points haul. Things went slightly awry for the CBD Asylum rider at the hit on the first qualifying session when the rear sprocket shattered just off the line. This put the British team behind the curve and in sixth spot in qualifying. The other championship contender Bertrand Maurice was having better days with a 7.3632/175.74 placing him in third meaning a first round match against Hope. Alex chopped the tree down with a 0.001s RT but a mid-track wobble put him behind at the finish line. Maurice faced his French compatriot Charly Abraham and his Parts Europe Buell who was on consistent 7.2 second form, if the Suzuki won Maurice would be champion, and Abraham took a shot at the tree and missed by a mere -0.005s red. Bertrand’s final round opponent would be Martin Newbury who had qualified low at the last round in Germany and backed that up with a PB 7.1484/185.13 to top the sheets on home soil. The final would be Newbury’s, racing to his first FIM-E event win with a 7.191/184.32 over Bertrand’s 7.495.
FIM-E Super Street Bike
The Super Street Bike field was a cough and a spit away from the quickest bump spot (7.6380 v a Euro Finals 7.6547) set back at the Main Event, although the schedule shunted them into potentially five sessions on the Sunday including the fourth and final qualifying session first thing in the morning. Low qualifier Garry Bowe vaporized a motor in the opening round of eliminations and wasn’t able to return for the quarters, and Rick Stubbins eased his way to a semifinal finish to secure the championship for the second season in a row. The final was a rematch of the Main Event with Mogens Lund (second in the points for second year in succession and gained a spot in the trophy run off when Italian Rudi Zorzi was a no show) this time emerging victorious with a 6.991/206.12 to a 7.059/200.77 from Steve Venables whose holeshot gave Lund a real chase to the stripe which the Dane crossed just over a bike’s length head. Ven had set class low ET with a 6.969/208.17 at the quarter final stage.
FIM-E Junior Dragbike Cup
Sitting at the top of the qualifying heap for the second Santa Pod FIM-E round this season was Blade Dummer although he would lose out in the first round with a fairly substantial breakout against Meggie Talbot. Meggie picked up the first FIM-E Junior Dragbike Cup championship by the end of qualifying and the Shark Attack racer finished the season as runner-up to Liam Holgate (Liam having earlier defeated Marie Rosen who had made the trek over from Germany) in the Euro Finals finale.
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.