FIA EVENT ESSENTIALS:   Nitro Nationals — Alastaro, Finland – July 1-4th 2010


F.I.A.: Name ET MPH Country
Top Fuel (1000’)        
Winner: Timo Lehtimaki 4.151 279.33 Finland
R/UP: Risto Poutiainen 4.156 279.94 Finland
Low ET: Risto Poutiainen 4.118   Finland
Top Speed: Urs Erbacher   288.07 Switzerland
Bump Spot:   4.466    
Winner: Timo Habermann 5.534 254.38 Germany
R/UP: Dennis Habermann 5.577 253.16 Germany
Low ET: Dave Wilson 5.378   U.K.
Top Speed: Dave Wilson   273.97 U.K.
Bump Spot:   5.562    
Winner: Arvid Grodem 5.936 213.98 Norway
R/UP: Jarmo Kuutniemi 6.015 238.98 Finland
Low ET: Jarmo Kuutniemi 5.935   Finland
Top Speed: Arvid Grodem   242.72 Norway
Bump Spot: N/A      
Pro Modified        
Winner: Micke Gullqvist 6.030 242.78 Sweden
R/UP: Johan Lindberg 6.114 232.74 Sweden
Low ET: Micke Gullqvist 5.911   Sweden
Top Speed: Micke Gullqvist   245.77 Sweden
Bump Spot:   6.845    
Pro Stock        
Winner: Michael Malmgren 6.865 194.76 Sweden
R/UP: Jan Palmqvist 6.959 196.59 Sweden
Low ET: Michael Malmgren 6.767   Sweden
Top Speed: Michael Malmgren   204.82 Sweden
Bump Spot:   7.523    
Sportsman Winners:   ET KMPH  
Competition Martin Lundqvist 8.939 150.29  
Outlaw Hannu Kalliomaki 7.622 272.66  
Stock/Super Stock Hannu Palasmaa 10.62 198.11  
Super Comp Joonas Pesonen 8.953 248.14  
Super Pro ET Hannu Tekoniemi 9.290 224.14  
Jr. Dragster Jenna Kakkonen 13.92 72.85  


BY: Roger Gorringe

Finland, the land of lakes and pine forests and the most northerly track on the FIA European tour was bathed in wall to wall sunshine with temperatures in the mid 80’s F that gave some teams problems in dealing with the heat and track. The fans packed the Alastaro sand banking and bleachers at the Nitro Nationals over the long, hot weekend and were rewarded with some great racing. It proved to be a particularly pernicious event for a number of drivers as they battled for a qualifying place and despite the track having a long run off, several managed to end up off the end. However, the most spectacular scenario was the coming together of the Top Fuel Dragsters of Denmark’s Stig Neergaard and Finland’s Risto Poutiainen, both cars lost cylinders that pushed them toward each other after the finish line and Poutiainen rear-ended Neergaard that wrote off Poutiainen’s machine and damaged Neergaard’s.

 Top Fuel

A 9-car entry with no less than five Finnish teams were led by Finland’s Risto Poutiainen after he brought out his old car after the crash and qualified on pole with a fine 4.179/279 over the one-thousand foot distance. Stig Neergaard managed to rebuild his injured machine but the crash numbers were disallowed and he failed to qualify. Poutiainen however performed well in front of his home crowd dispatching Sweden’s Micke Kågered with a 4.118/277 in round one, then England’s Andy Carter who blazed the slicks at half track slowing to a 4.425/248 to the winning 4.202/279. Timo Lehtimaki from Finland made some big performance strides from last year, in almost bracket-like times he ran a 4.152/284 to defeat fellow Finn, Janne Ahonen’s 4.514/231 then beat winner of the round in England in May, Urs Erbacher who struck the tyres at half track slowing him to a 4.513/234 to the winning 4.271/279. The final was a delight for the home crowd as the two Finns, Risto Poutiainen in the ‘Bad to the Bone’ car and Timo Lehtimaki in his backed machine faced off in the evening sunshine. It was a stunningly close race as both left together with Lehtimaki just getting the nod with a 4.151/279 as Poutiainen runner upped with a 4.156/279.

Top Fuel Winner: Timo Lehtimaki

 Top Methanol Dragster

 It was a reversal of the first round of the Championship at England’s Santa Pod Raceway as once again a family final ensued. The eight car qualifier was led by England’s Dave Wilson with a 5.378/268 just ahead of Germany’s Timo Habermann on a 5.385/255 the only cars in the 5.3s. Timo Habermann entered the final by way of another 5.378/260 beating the 5.590/239 from Swedish A/Fuel driver, Krister Johansson. A shake ridden, body panel tossing 6.066/152 gave Habermann a lucky win as fellow countryman Peter Schöfer slowed with problems at three hundred feet. Dennis Habermann the younger of the Habermann brothers made his way to the final with a holeshot win over Dave Wilson in round one, the 5.519/256 beating the chasing 5.384/273 charge. England’s Derek Flynn was the next victim as his reverser failed to deliver after the burnout allowing Habermann junior a 5.745/250 using his entire lane to win. As said it was a reversal of fortunes in the final as Dennis Habermann who took the Championship opening round in England in May against his brother lost with a red light and severe shake to a winning 5.534/254 for Timo Habermann.

Timo Habermann TMD winner

Top Methanol Funny Car

With engine damage and awaiting parts several teams did not make the trip to Finland giving the TMFC class just two participants, local driver Jarmo Kuutniemi and Norway’s Arvid Grødem with Kuutneimi sitting on pole with a 5.935/238.73 as Grødem struggled. It all changed in the final as Arvid Grodem in his Sunoco Mustang charged to a 5.936/213 as Jarmo Kuutniemi chased hard with a losing 6.015/238.  

Arvid Grodem won in TMFC

Pro Modified

This was a stunning event for this class with Sweden’s Micke Gullqvist driving the Roger Burgess R2B2 Camaro that Melanie Troxel drove at Santa Pod Raceway during the tours first round in May – needless to say everybody was racing for second place as the car is almost in a class of its own. Gullqvist took top qualifier with a 6.026/244 ahead of England’s Andy Robinson’s 6.105/228 it left four DNQ machines and a full sixteen car eliminator. Robinson suffered a thrown rod that caused a big fire at the top end in the last qualifier ending his weekend. Micke Gullqvist however powered his way past some big names to make the final. First victim was Sweden’s Freddy Fagerström, 5.911/245 to a loose and tyre smoking 6.374/221. Bad tyre shake put paid to the 9.519/102 from Mikael Lindahl as Gullqvist zoomed to a 6.065/242 win; the last bout saw Sweden’s Adam Flamholc slow after sashaying at the halfway

Micke Gullqvist dominated Pro Mod in the R2B2 Camaro

mark as Gullqvist made his way to the final with a 6.044/240. Meeting Gullqvist for the money run was winner of the Main Event first round in England, Johan Lindberg who saw off Jan Perén with a 6.140/230 to a 6.801/198, and then a 6.120/232 beat the loose 6.692/214 from the nitrous Mustang of Roger Johansson. The semi final pitted Urban Johansson against Lindberg and despite a bit of a half track weave Lindberg’s holeshot made good the 6.158/232 to a 6.214/219. An all Swedish final had Micke Gullqvist leave first and deliver a 6.030/242 to see off the 6.114/232 from Lindberg’s Rockstar Energy Drink Firebird.


Main Event winner Michael Callin notched up pole with a 6.803/203 over the eight car near all Swedish field. This round saw the return of 2009 FIA Pro Stock Champion Jimmy Ålund but not in his usual car and it showed as he qualified fifth on a 6.939. Making the most of Ålund’s part-time showing is the top runners in the class including Michael Malmgren whose 6.811/204 was second in qualifying. Malmgren made the best of his weekend pushing the Lahega backed GTO through the field beating Bo Pettersson in round one with a 6.767/204 to a 7.108/193 then a 6.818/204 to a weaving 6.924/203 from Finland’s Richard Sundblom. Coming up the other side of the ladder was fellow Swede Jan Palmqvist in his GTO who had a solo round one as Ålund no showed with engine damage, a 6.896/190 was all it took next to fall was Michael Callin who red lit away a 6.856/202 handing the win to Palmqvist’s 6.883/203. The final saw Jan Palmqvist go slightly off song, he led out of the hole but slowed to a 6.959/196 as Michael Malmgren caught and passed to take the win with a 6.865/194.

Sweden's Machael Malmgrem won in Pro Stock

 Text & Photos Copyright — Roger Gorringe: July 2010. &