Euro Update – Deutschland Drag Racing!
DragRaceCanada’s European Correspondent Roger Gorringe files this report from Germany’s largest annual drag racing event – the NitroOlympX held last weekend at Hockenheimring….
Once again, the recent Formula 1 event track preparations scoured all rubber from the drag strip causing major problems for all Pro racers. Despite heroic efforts by the track crew spearheaded by the Santa Pod Raceway team a far from perfect race surface had Crew Chiefs frantically adjusting power for each round. In a rather bizarre effect the attending Pro Stock class racers refused to risk further damage after their first qualifier and did not race. It was however, a well attended event that was successfully finalised under sweltering skies and despite a thunder storm occurring an hour after the final pair ran down the track.
FIA Top Fuel not surprisingly saw Norway’s Thomas Nataas lead the pack with a 4.510/268 by the fourth session, improving by .088 seconds from the first try and scoring not only top speed but best ET of the event. Nataas fell in round two by way of a broken throttle linkage to eventual runner-up, Swiss youngster Noah Stutz who made his way to the final shooting down his teammate, an up in smoke Urs Erbacher in round one. Carving his way to the money run was Sweden’s Micke Kågered coming from seventh qualifier to take out Finn, Anita Mäkelä who failed to leave the line earning a red light. Malta’s Duncan Micallef went into tyre smoke around one hundred feet out handing Kågered his second win of the day. The final ran with Noah Stutz in the Formex Swiss Watches/Midland Oil backed fueller leaving first but he hazed the slicks and the blower belt broke slowing him to a 5.009/152 as Kågered literally scorched past well on fire winning the event with a 4.801/229 clocking in the Bahco Tools/Bilsport sponsored rail.
FIA Top Methanol Dragster had Germany’s Dennis Habermann managing to secure top spot in the seven car field with a 5.555/263 qualifier ahead of fellow German Peter Schöfer who carded a 5.564/255 returning after a two year break. It was the blown cars that managed to get a grip on the track as the injected nitro machines struggled. It somewhat changed in the eliminations as Malta’s Chris Polidano in a nitro burner trailered the younger Habermann to get a finals place. Coming up the other side was Schöfer whose blown car still knows how to score as he took out Sweden’s Stefan Gunnarsson then Timo Habermann to face Polidano. Peter Schöfer showed he had not lost his touch as he left on a great light but then the tyres hazed around the three hundred foot mark as Chris Polidano in the Kalanc machine stormed past winning with a 5.637/265 against a losing 5.875/250.
FIA Top Methanol Funny Car was led by Sweden’s Johan Lindberg on a 5.943/251 clocking just ahead of fellow Swede Leif Andreasson who made a return to racing for the first time this year with a 5.959/246 and Britain’s Gareth Ellis on a 5.993/245 the only three in the fives. It was no surprise that Lindberg powered his way to a finals place as he had a round one bye, then took out the tyre shaking German, Jürgen Nagel to enter the trophy decider. Andreasson showed he remembered what to do as he secured his finals place by way of a round one win over Belgium’s Danny Bellio then a bye to the final. Johan Lindberg’s Pålplintar ’10 Monte Carlo got the better leave holding on to trip the win light with a 6.565/244 as Leif Andreasson’s Disab Vacuum Technology backed ’07 Monte Carlo spun the tyres at one fifty feet out recording a 6.822/231 lose.
FIA Pro Mod saw Sweden’s Mats Eriksson take control of qualifying with a 6.326/241 in his ’56 Ford Crown Victoria leading the fourteen car field. Eriksson made it all the way to the semi final only to go out to Dutch racer, David Vegter who was making his way to the final by defeating fellow Dutch competitor Marc Meihuizen in round one then an instant up in smoke Bruno Bader from Switzerland. Sweden’s Mattias Wulcan took the event win clawing his way through the ranks beating Britain’s Andy Robinson in round one, Swede Roger Johansson in two and a shaking Champion, Micke Gullqvist in the semi. Mattias Wulcan got the better light in the final in his ’08 Firebird and despite bad tyre shake took the trophy with a lowly 8.577/110 as David Vegter in his MPM Oil backed ’67 Camaro crossed lanes and disqualified himself.
Funny Car saw three machines, all from Britain vie for the European Funny Car Series points and Jason Phelps took the top qualifier with a 7.172/175 then went on to runner up in the final. The TeamRock.com Mustang of Phelps suffered a loose connection and failed to fire on the money run leaving Gordon Smith to solo to a 7.391/144 win in the Shockwave Dodge Stratus.
Post and photos by Roger Gorringe. www.nitroexposure.co.uk
Copyright: August 2014.