Euro Essentials from FHRA Finland


America's Tommy Johnson Jr. won his 2nd FIA Top Fuel race of 2011


2011 FHRA Nitro Nationals – 30th June – 3rd July 2011 – Alastaro, Finland 

F.I.A.: Name ET MPH Country
Top Fuel (1000’)        
Winner: Tommy Johnson Jr. 4.185 269.06 USA
R/UP: Antti Horto 5.169 248.69 Finland
Low ET: Tommy Johnson Jr. 4.185   USA
Top Speed: Tommy Johnson Jr.   278.04 USA
Bump Spot: Andy Carter 5.128 150.07 England
Winner: Fred Hanssen 5.370 258.18 Norway
R/UP: Dave Wilson 8.897 109.17 England
Low ET: Dave Wilson 5.393   England
Top Speed: Derek Flynn   264.71 England
Bump Spot: Esko Raisvou 5.928 254.16 Finland
Winner: Ulf Leanders 5.710 247.66 Sweden
R/UP: Arvid Grødem 6.047 239.55 Norway
Low ET: Ulf Leanders 5.710   Sweden
Top Speed: Ulf Leanders   248.66 Sweden
Bump Spot: Jonas Staflund 6.191 225.28 Sweden
Pro Modified        
Winner: Mats Eriksson 6.125 231.18 Sweden
R/UP: Micke Gullqvist 5.988 240.25 Sweden
Low ET: Micke Gullqvist 5.988   Sweden
Top Speed: Micke Gullqvist   240.25 Sweden
Bump Spot: Linda Thun Tønseth 7.214 169.68 Norway
Pro Stock        
Winner: Jimmy Ålund 6.813 203.85 Sweden
R/UP: Thomas Lindström 15.096 54.94 Sweden
Low ET: Thomas Lindström 6.746   Sweden
Top Speed: Richard Sundblom   205.15 Finland
Bump Spot: Michael Callin 6.945 199.60 Sweden


If you wanted lightning reaction times, there were some. If you wanted lightning strikes there were plenty all around along with the accompanying vociferous thunder claps and copious amounts of rain and hail. It stopped the second qualifier sessions on both Friday and Saturday as the storms came and went. This and the high humid temperatures cheated many teams out of data acquisition and bettering their positions in qualifying. Officials battled knocked-out timing equipment all Sunday morning, then managing to obtain a later curfew, the eliminations were started mid way through the afternoon and finished late in the evening, the long summer nights providing plenty of light but it unfortunately left the Sportsman racers with only part finalized ladders.

Top Fuel

The rookie of the class lead the qualifying throughout the two sessions that were able to be run, Antti Horto from Finland, in only his second event ran a 4.274/266 over the one thousand foot distance keeping ahead of fellow Finn, Timo Lehtimäki on a 4.315/272 with the US driver Tommy Johnson Jr. sitting in third on a 4.344/222. Surprise DNQ was Finland’s Risto Poutiainen whose 5.260/137 along with Sweden’s Micke Kågered on a 5.957/117 did not make the cut.

There was major damage done in round one as Switzerland’s Urs Erbacher lost as he hazed the slicks well into the run slowing him to a 4.626/228 as Sweden’s Håkan Fallström took the win light with a track oiling 4.493/267. Anita Mäkelä was the next victim as she red lit away a 4.55/191; allowing Tommy Johnson Jr. a 4.209/264 win. In an all Finnish battle Timo Lehtimäki, despite putting some oil on the track took the win deleting a tyre hazing Jari Halinen from the programme. It was England’s Andy Carter that suffered next when the car took its time starting then did no burnout and smoked off the line only to watch young driver Antti Horto take an easy 5.014/149 win to the 10.293/72 lose.

Round two opened with Fallström blazing the slick away from the line leaving him to slow to a 13.433/72 as Horto recorded a 4.732/170 win. In the other frame Lehtimäki was a little slower off the line and lost with a 4.850/171 as Johnson Jr. clinched the win with a 4.224/278.

Finals time came late in the evening for Antti Horto and Tommy Johnson Jr. and it must have been the culmination of many dreams as young Horto in one of Rune Fjeld’s cars faced a US legend in the Karsten Andersen and Per Andersen Sunoco backed fueller. It was all over on the start line as Horto’s eagerness beat him with a red light allowing Tommy Johnson Jr. a 4.185/269 win to the 5.169/248 lose.

Top Methanol Dragster

The six car field was led by England’s Dave Wilson with a 5.421/255 closely followed by Norway’s Fred Hanssen with a 5.437/254 and the other Brit in third with a 5.447/264.

Norway's own Fred Hanssen prevailed in TMD

Round one kicked off with England’s Dave Wilson getting the better of Finn Esko Raisvou as the latter was slower off the line and lost some cylinders en route to a 6.482/245 lose to a 5.393/260 win. Current Champion, Germany’s Timo Habermann has found this year difficult and it unfortunately showed as his 5.539/255 was beaten by Norway’s Fred Hanssen with a 5.479/242. Like older brother Timo, Dennis Habermann is also struggling somewhat as his 5.555/255 red light time was beaten by England’s Derek Flynn on a 5.485/261 winner.

Wilson found his place in the finals courtesy of a bye run, stage and break the beams but Flynn had a battle on his hands getting out in front but suffering tyre smoke past the halfway mark and watching as Hanssen streaked past for the win with a 5.447/255 to a slowing 6.377/165 lose.

The Black & White blown dragster of Fred Hanssen certainly seems on a roll this season with the help of US tuner Will Hanna and it showed again in the final as he faced Dave Wilson’s Silverline Tools A/Fueller. Hanssen got a great light and zoomed off to take the event win with a 5.370/258 as Wilson struck the tyres at the hit, blaming only himself for not making a tuning decision as the air cooled prior to the final.

Top Methanol Funny Car

Paucity in numbers did not detract from the great numbers achieved with qualifying being led by Sweden’s Ulf Leanders on a 5.773/248, the only machine of four in the 5.7s.

Ulf Leanders (near lane) won over Arvid Grodem in the TMFC Final

The first bout saw Ulf Leanders face fellow Swede and Tierp, Sweden Internationals winner Jonas Staflund run off and it was Leanders 5.840/242 that beat with a holeshot the weaving 6.141/230 from Staflund. Next came Finland’s Jarmo Kuutniemi and Norway’s Arvid Grødem with the latter on a better leave coupled to a 5.857/243 that beat the close 5.820/243.

The final saw Arvid Grødem in his Sunoco backed Mustang against the IronCad sponsored Dodge Charger of Ulf Leanders, Grødem seemed a little loose off the line showing in his 6.047/239 as Leanders stormed off to a 5.710/247 win.


Pro Modified

Plenty of action and a few surprises occurred in this doorslammer class as Mats Eriksson seems to have tamed his sometimes errant ’56 Crown Victoria putting in some straight passes and securing the top qualifier place with a 6.159/236 clocking with fellow Swede Micke Gullqvist obtaining second place on a 6.167/236 and in third place Micke Lindahl with a 6.239/232. On the bump was Norwegian lady Linda Thun Tønseth gaining a 7.214/169.

Big names going out in round included England’s Andy Robinson on a red light to Marc Meihuizen, Swede Urban Johansson getting loose at four hundred feet and losing to Jan Gunnarsson and Sweden’s Johan Lindberg on a close one with a winning Micke Lindahl.

Round two saw Mats Eriksson take a wild ride despite the no-show from Dutch driver Robert Joosten; a 7.906/118 took the ticket. Marc Meihuizen from Holland grabbed a good holeshot coupling it with a 6.218/204 as Sweden’s Adam Flamholc guessed he’d never catch up slowing to a 10.301/85. Sweden’s Jan Gunnarsson in the wonderful ‘Badillac’ Coupe de Ville lost with a red light allowing fellow Swede Micke Gullqvist a 6.068/238 win. Lastly in the round came Switzerland’s and Tierp winner Bruno Bader who faced Johan Lindberg but Bader took a wild ride that crossed the centre line ousting him and giving the win to a slowing Lindberg.

Mats Eriksson in his Green Goblin Crown Victoria was a popular winner in Pro Modified

The semi finals saw three Swedes and a Dutch competitor race for honors. Mats Eriksson took the win with a 6.119/232 as Holland’s Marc Meihuizen lost with a close 6.218/221. Micke Gullqvist got closer to a five with a 6.001/239 win defeating Johan Lindberg’s slowing 6.829/144.

The final put the two Swedish adversaries together, Mats Eriksson in his Green Goblin Crown Victoria and NHRA trophy Wally winner Micke Gullqvist in his Stavdal/Peråsaker Speed Shop Camaro, Eriksson left way ahead of an indolent leave by Gullqvist, and although Gullqvist recorded the first five of the weekend, a 5.988/240 Eriksson had already crossed the stripe winning with a 6.125/231.

Pro Stock

Many time Champion, Sweden’s Jimmy Ålund started the ball rolling in qualifying leading for the first two of three outings, a 6.778/204 was bettered with a 6.770/204 then along came new to class Thomas Lindström with a neat 6.759/204 that put Ålund back in second and in third was Finland’s Richard Sundblom on a 6.790/205.

Many time Euro circuit winning Jimmy Alund won again in Pro Stock

Round one dealt out Finland’s Sampsa Palos, his 6.827/203 not being enough for the 6.808/202 holeshot from Sweden’s Jan Palmqvist. Jimmy Ålund then defeated Jonas Dantanus, 6.755/204 to a losing 6.855/200. Richard Sundblom ran a 6.821/202 with a good leave as Current Champion Michael Malmgren failed to catch up losing with a 6.844/202. Thomas Lindström progressed further in his new career with a 6.746/203 win over fellow Swede Tommy Leindahl whose 6.907/199 was not enough.

Round two and Lindström added another notch as his 6.751/204 beat the 6.877/200 from Palmqvist and ending the semis saw the win go to Ålund with a 6.759/203 to the 6.790/203 from Sundblom.

The Klintberg & Way backed Pontiac GTO of Jimmy Ålund had all the experience and left the line in the wake of a big cherry on the tree from the Ernryd Cars backed Dodge Stratus of the still learning Thomas Lindström, a winning 6.813/203 to the known wasted 15.096/54 lose.

Story and Photos Copyright – Roger Gorringe – July 2011