Event Essentials – FIA European Finals  Santa Pod Raceway, England – 8th – 11th Sept. 2011.

F.I.A.: Name ET MPH Country
Top Fuel (1320’)        
Winner: Urs Erbacher 7.845 166.65 Switzerland
R/UP: Risto Poutiainen 8.654 105.79 Finland
Low ET: Urs Erbacher 4.795   Switzerland
Top Speed: Risto Poutiainen   313.80 Finland
Bump Spot: Patrik Pers 5.157 300.19 Sweden
Winner: Timo Habermann 5.416 254.77 Germany
R/UP: Fred Hanssen 5.520 228.16 Norway
Low ET: Fred Hanssen 5.402   Norway
Top Speed: Fred Hanssen   264.20 Norway
Bump Spot: Oliver Azzopardi 6.219 242.88 Malta
Winner: Rob Turner 5.809 236.05 England
R/UP: Ulf Leanders 7.090 130.57 Sweden
Low ET: Ulf Leanders 5.653   Sweden
Top Speed: Ulf Leanders   251.81 Sweden
Bump Spot: Arvid Grødem 8.684 68.17 Norway
Pro Modified        
Winner: Urban Johansson 6.204 223.39 Sweden
R/UP: Johan Lindberg 6.137 234.07 Sweden
Low ET: Micke Gullqvist 6.068   Sweden
Top Speed: Johan Lindberg   234.99 Sweden
Bump Spot: Jean Dulamon 7.084 202.45 France
Pro Stock        
Winner: Richard Sundblom 7.074 195.42 Finland
R/UP: Michael Callin 7.476 193.05 Sweden
Low ET: Jimmy Ålund 6.750   Sweden
Top Speed: Jimmy Ålund   204.28 Sweden
Bump Spot: Ulf Wagnhester 6.966 198.81 Sweden
Sportsman Class Winners:        
Competition Not contested      
Super Comp Collin Morrice 8.896 145.76 England
Super Gas Stuart Morrice 9.937 143.84 England
Super Pro ET Nick Good 7.380 146.18 England
Jr. Dragster Zak Johnson 8.192 78.54 England


Despite dismal weather reports and having to deal with a stiff down-track wind courtesy of parts of former US hurricane Katia the event was spectacular with Championships going almost down to the wire. Disappointment was that popular and point leader in Top Fuel, Tommy Johnson Jr. was ousted before the event for using a prescribed medication, okayed by the NHRA but in the event, not the FIA, it became rather a debacle and was taken ridiculously by some as anti-American!

 Top Fuel Dragster:

With Tommy Johnson Jr. sadly not in contention it left the door wide open to several Top Fuel drivers to chase for the lead. Switzerland’s Urs Erbacher took full advantage taking the number one qualifier place with a full quarter-mile pass of 4.807/309.27 then going on to decimate the opposition in fine style. A first round win of 4.795/313.59 saw off the try from Swede Patrik Pers whose 5.938/157 was not enough, this was followed by an easy 5.830/157 win when Finland’s Jari Halinen sadly could not get out of reverse. As Erbacher made his way forward so too did Finland’s Risto Poutiainen, taking out fellow Finn Timo Lehtimaki who would have been in with a chance at the Championship, a 4.867/313 was enough to beat the 5.126/279. Sweden’s Micke Kågered was struggling with engine fires throughout the event then on facing Poutiainen in round two he was shut off with an oil leak before his burnout leaving Poutiainen an easy 5.756/162 win. The final had to be witnessed to be believed as it turned into one of the biggest pedal-fests ever as Urs Erbacher in his Midland Oil machine took on Risto Poutiainen’s Bad to the Bone car, both hit smoke early into the race and both pedaled between four and six times before Erbacher clicked on the win light with a 7.845/166 to the losing 8.654/105 giving the Swiss citizen the event win and the FIA European Top Fuel Championship.

Switzerland's Urs Erbacher prevailed in a exciting and controversial European TF Championship chase

Top Methanol Dragster:

Norway’s Fred Hanssen managed to stay on top for most of the weekend getting top qualifier with a 5.4022/260 then ploughing his way through the tough field with wins over Malta’s Oliver Azzopardi, then fellow Norwegian Paul Ingar Udtian, 5.526/259 to a tyre hazing 7.521/133 which put him in the final. The 2010 TMD Champion, German, Timo Habermann came from third qualifier to beat England’s Derek Flynn in his A/Fueller in a close chase, a 5.726/255 got Habermann the nod as Flynn came in with a losing 5.813/254. It was then a brother’s race as Timo dispatched sibling Dennis who after spinning the slicks travelled all over his lane, the 6.464/232 was not good enough as Timo clinched the win with a 5.651/256. Old adversaries faced off on the money run, Timo Habermann in his Uni-Fit backed car recorded the event win with a 5.416/254 as Fred Hanssen who clinched the FIA Top Methanol Dragster Championship despite deploying the chute early becoming event runner-up with a 5.520/228.

Norway’s Fred Hanssen is the 2011 FIA Champion in TMD

Top Methanol Funny Car:

The FIA Top Methanol Funny Car Championship was taken by Sweden’s Ulf Leanders, he sat on top of the qualifying pile with a 5.653/251 then rampaged past Norway’s Arvid Grødem, 5.914/241 to a shaking and chute deploying 10.276/54. A close race ensued next between Leanders and Germany’s Jürgen Nagel, Leanders 5.981/225 beat the burst panel popping 5.908/244 both smoking well in the lights. Surprisingly, after not racing for most of this year England’s Rob Turner turned up the heat getting the car into the fives with great consistency dealing out Swiss man Dezsoe Krivan who shook and got crossed up, then Finn Jarmo Kuutniemi who shook and bounced up the track to a losing 8.322/128 as Turner notched up another win, this time a 5.835/242. On paper it should have been no contest as Ulf Leanders in his IronCad backed Charger stood against Rob Turner but Leanders pitched the blower belt high at half track slowing to a 7.090/130 as Turner’s Monte Carlo collected the event win with a 5.809/236 ticket.

Ulf Leanders prevailed in the TMFC points chase driving his cool Dodge Charger which is based from Sweden

Pro Modified:

Sweden’s Micke Gullqvist posted a 6.068/234 into the strong head-wind to top the Pro Mod qualifying pile and with a couple of wild passes managed to record a win over Frenchman, Jean Dulamon in round one but was then disqualified as he hit the centre timing blocks against out-going Champion Thomas Lindberg. It all turned out well as by the end of eliminations Gullqvist had the FIA European Pro Mod Championship in his hands. There were no huge surprises in round one and going into round two as well as the Gullqvist loss, Brit, Bert Englefield who came in as alternate to Andy Robinson (broken rear axle) in round one went out to Marc Meihuizen, 6.365/231 win to a 6.936/213, Sweden’s Mats Eriksson managed a neat 6.078/234 to down the troubled 9.301/91 from Roger Johansson, the final pair pitted consistent Swiss driver Bruno Bader against Swede Urban Johansson with the latter carding a 6.159/230 to Bader’s losing 6.526/221. The semis saw Holland’s Marc Meihuizen red light away his chances, a wasted 6.219/232 giving the win to Johan Lindberg’s easy 16.171/68 and in a pair of tyre shakers Mats Eriksson went out via a 7.829/155 as Urban Johansson got his place in the final with a 6.621/223 win. Johan Lindberg’s luck went away in the final as he put a cherry on the tree, his 6.137/234 all to no avail as Urban Johansson ran the event winning 6.204/223.

Sweden's Micke Gullqvist claimed the highly competitive Pro Modified championship title

Pro Stock:

The FIA European Pro Stock Championship went back to its multiple owner Sweden’s Jimmy Ålund, he led qualifying with a 6.750/204 and beat fellow countryman Ulf Wagnhester with a 6.788/204 against a trying 7.018/197. Round two though had the usually consistent racer go into tyre shake slowing him to a 7.144/202 as Finland’s Richard Sundblom took the win on a 6.935/200. Sundblom went on to meet Sweden’s Michael Callin in the final. Callin had seen a surge in power over the last couple of events initially beating a red lighting Jonas Dantanus in one then beating a tyre rattling  Michael Malmgren the outgoing Champion, a 7.448/201 beat the 7.422/199. On the trophy run the 7.476/193 from Callin was soundly beaten by Sundblom’s 7.074/195.

Multi-time Euro Pro Stock champion Jimmy Alund prevailed again for 2011

Event Report and Photos by: Roger Gorringe – Copyright September 2011.