DragRaceCanada and partner VP Racing Fuels continue International drag racing coverage with a report from Germany’s premiere annual event…

Europe’s FIA & FIM drag racing series met up at Germany’s fabled Hockenheimring just a couple of weeks after the F1 Grand Prix. The place was packed full of racers and fans with even more cramming into the grandstands for the 2018 version NitrOlympX event.

Over the 3-day event fans and racers had to contend with seriously warm and humid temperatures but managed to put on a great show and reshuffle the championship points.

Top Fuel — Qualifying was initially led by the defending champion from Malta, Duncan Micalleff with a 3.946/306 but this was surpassed by England’s Liam Jones with a 3.943/310. It was Jones’ weekend as he drove his CBD Asylum backed machine to victories over Swiss man, Urs Erbacher making a rare appearance. A 3.914/309 dispatched point leader Anita Mäkelä’s slowing 4.413/187 before facing Finland’s Antti Horto in the final. Horto made his way through the ranks from third qualifier to see off Sweden’s Micke Kågered then an easy bye as Kenni Neergaard in the team’s number two car failed to show due to engine damage.

England’s Liam Jones was an upset Top Fuel winner at the NitrOlympX event.

The final saw Liam Jones get a good holeshot coupled with a 3.994/304 that clinched his first event win leaving Antti Horto to runner-up with a 4.074/277.

Top Methanol – Defending champion, Germany’s Timo Habermann lead the pack in his Mitsuboshi Blower Belt sponsored blown dragster closely followed by younger brother Dennis, 5.315/264 and 5.358/269 respectively. Timo Habermann netted a bye in round one then took out a centreline crossing Sandro Bellio’s alky Funny Car to get a finals place. Meeting the defending champ and point leader would be brother, Dennis Habermann who had claimed wins over Linn Engan Karlsen’s Funny Car then a win as Jonny Lagg red lit.

Germany’s own – Timo Habermann – scored convincingly in Top Methanol class racing

For the money run it was Timo Habermann’s race as little brother red lit away his chances, a 5.401/261 secured the trophy.

Pro Stock – Four entries were at the event  and was led defending champion Sweden’s Bengt Ljungdahl on a 6.648/203 that was then bettered in round three by Michael Malmgren’s 6.637/207. It was neither Malmgren nor Ljungdahl that made it to the winners circle; it was new to the class last year, Robin Norén in his ’05 Pontiac GTO.

Robin Norén – a new emerging Pro Stock racer in Europe – won his first race.

He had earlier seen off  Malmgren, a 6.700/205 beating the 6.699/207. Meeting Norén in the final was Bengt Ljungdahl in his ’15 Camaro and it was all over on the start line as Ljungdahl popped a cherry on the tree both cars slowing aware of the fact.

Pro Mod   Qualifying was initially led by Sweden’s Micke Gullqvist the defending champion but was pipped to the post in the final qualifier by arch rival Jimmy Ålund on a 5.956/244 pass. Micke Gullqvist’s Stavdal/Pampus Marina backed Camaro battled his way through the fourteen car field, notching up wins over Jean Dulamon, Roger Johansson, a red lighting David Vegter to come up against Jan Ericsson’s Camaro. Ericsson had earlier taken out Marcus Maurischat, Kim Kristiansen and Jimmy Ålund.

Sweden’s Micke Gullqvist continued his amazing winning ways with European Pro Mod class competition.

Micke Gullqvist seems almost unbeatable these days and he did not fail in the final, a good leave coupled with a 5.976/243 got him the event win as Jan Ericsson followed with a 6.045/240 clocking.

Top Fuel Bike – Class racing witnessed a bad crash when after a stunning pairing, Greek, Filippos Papafilippou and Sweden’s Rikard Gustafsson recording a third qualifier of 5.980/226 and 5.918/248 respectively.  But Gustafsson came off his machine where the track narrows in the shutdown area; he suffered a broken arm, ribs and some internal injury but was quite keen to get back racing. 

Filippos Papafilippou (from Greece) won in Top Fuel Bike with his amazing machine.

Papafilippou went on to take the event win seeing off Glenn Borg then Stuart Crane to face Frenchman Eric Richard in the final. Richard had got by Dale Leeks and  Thomas Pettersson. 

The final was a non event as Richard accidently hit the kill switch and Papafilippou won but recorded no times.

Super Twin Bike – Denmark’s Marcus Christiansen take pole with a 6.477/218 to lead the eight bike field that included Japanese national Takeshi Shigematsu who sat in second place with a 6.723/183. It was this pairing that faced each other in the final. Christiansen making easy work of a centreline crossing Christian Jäger then a 6.523/222 beating of Dutch racer, Martijn de Haas, 6.937/204. Shigematsu took out Belgium’s Marc van den Boer, then a crossed up Gert-Jan Laseur.

Marcus Christiansen (from Denmark) won over the very competitive 8-bike Super Twin field.

The money run ended with Takeshi Shigematsu going bang and oiling the first hundred feet as Marcus Christiansen scored the 6.434/222 victory.

Pro Stock Bike – Featured a ten bike eliminator led by England’s Martin Newbury with a 7.162/186; however his luck ended in round two with a red light against eventual winner, England’s Alex Hope. Hope had stayed ahead of Greek rider Charalambos Bousinis in round one. Meeting Hope in the final was Germany’s Karl-Heinz Weikum who had taken out Bertrand Maurice and Charly Abraham.

Alex Hope – from Great Britain was the event’s Pro Stock Motorcycle winner.

Alex Hope aboard his CBD Asylum backed GSXR 1100 cut a great light and matching it with the win light as Karl-Heinz Weikum charged hard to catch up, a 7.452/182 beat the 7.429/182.

Super Street Bike – A very strong twenty-one bike entry list was finally led by Denmark’s Mogens Lund on a 7.090/197 clocking. The final would be a battle of the Brits as Graham Balchin and Rick Stubbins faced off. Stubbins had earlier taken out Mikael Ölen, Rudi Zorzi and Steve Mead as Balchin stayed ahead of Sotiris Tsakiris, Mogens Lund and fellow Englishman Steve Venables.

Graham Balchin rode his machine to victory in the highly popular Super Street Bike category.

The final was a one bike show as Rick Stubbins failed to make it having broken so Graham Balchin put his Kawasaki in the winner’s circle with a 7.949/189 ticket.

Post and photos by Roger Gorringe