There was a huge crowd turnout for the European FIA/FIM Championships, AKA the European Finals, at Santa Pod Raceway.
Rain delayed the start of qualifying on Saturday morning and Super Street Bike had their final qualifying session on Sunday morning of race day. There was record number of oil downs, which led to two nights of qualifying on Friday and Saturday.
Note: Steven Moxley apologizes for not having the normal detailed report, due to his press pass restricted to only two days by the Santa Pod staff. Please express your concerns about restrictions placed on Steven’s access to Santa Pod’s Nicola Hart at firstname.lastname@example.org
Top Fuel Bike
Filippos Papafilippou ran 5.814 at a personal best speed of 240.29 for #1 Top Fuel Bike qualifier, but he had a problem in the shutdown area and parted company with the bike in the field and Fast Fil was out of the show. But the bike has been repaired and is on it’s way to Valdosta for the Man Cup Finals.
Steve Woollatt qualified in number two spot with a 6.276-202.59. Rene Van Den Berg’s engine block split in two on Friday and a spare motor was fitted.
Championship contender Eric Richard qualified in fifth spot, then he redlit against Stuart Crane in round one of eliminations. That meant Papafilippou was the 2018 European FIM Champion.
Woollatt won the event when Crane was a no-show in the final.
Marcus Christiansen became the 2018 EDRS Pro Nordic MC Champion in SuperTwins two weeks before this event. He qualified number one at Santa Pod with a 6.595 and with bye run in round one of eliminations, became the 2018 European FIM Champion as well.
Martijn De Haas was the nearest challenger with a 6.664. Neil Midgley was in number three spot at 6.717.
Allan Davies damaged a piston and barrel on Friday on the Puma V-Twin, so his dad Pete went home, turned the machines on at 6.00 pm in his workshop, and machined a piston and barrel. He finished at 9.30 pm, had tea and biscuits then to bed. He was back at the track early in the morning, the team rebuilt the motor and ran 7.312.
In round one Davies, ran close to his p/b with 7.182. Christiansen knocked Davies out in the semis and De Haas beat Midgley in the other semi-final.
The final saw the new champion against the out-going champion. Christiansen capped a successful season with a win, 6.565 to De Haas’ 6.781.
Pro Stock Bike
Martin Newbury dominated Pro Stock Bike qualifying with a personal best of 7.148 at 185.13. Points leader Alex Hope destroyed the rear sprocket on Friday and finished in sixth spot.
Title challenger Bertrand Maurice ran 7.362 for third spot and faced Hope in round one.
Charly Abraham ran a personal best of 7.219 for number two spot. Martin Bishop had a brand new motor/transmission and ran 7.424-178.
Hope put a holeshot over Maurice (rt 0010 to 0777) at the start, but Maurice took the winlight 7.462 to 7.695.
There were rumours that this meeting is the last that Mark Smith will compete in Pro Stock Bike, that he is moving over to Funny Bike next year. Smith gated Abraham, only to have an issue at the 300 foot mark and shut off the motor.
Reigning ACU Pro Stock Bike champion Len Paget redlit against Martin Bishop in round one.
Bishop lost to Newbury in the semifinals. Maurice had to beat Abraham for the championship and Abraham redlit (-.005), so Maurice is the 2018 European FIM Champion.
Newbury won his first FIM event with a 7.191 to Maurice’s 7.495.
Super Street Bike
It hasn’t been a good year for former Super Street Bike champion Garry Bowe. After qualifying number one with a 7.032, he blew another motor in round one of eliminations.
Steve Venables, Richard Stubbins and Mogens Lund all qualified behind Bowe.
Newcomer Mark Dainty (7.545-194.61) and Margot Schmidt (7.548-185.13) ran personal bests during qualifying.
In eliminations, Steve Venables ran the first six –second pass of the weekend with a 6.999 to beat his daughter Jemma. Rudolfo Maduro ran a 7.111 p/b. Dainty ran another p/b of 7.515.
In round 2, Venables ran low ET of 6.969. Stubbins beat Maduro to become 2018 European FIM Champion.
Rudi Zorzi was a no-show in the first semifinal, giving Lund a bye run. Venables beat Stubbins in the other semi.
So a repeat final of the Main Event, only this time Lund ran 6.991-206.12 to win his first event at Santa Pod to Venables’ 7.059-200.77.
European FIA Championships
Top Fuel Car
The 2018 European FIA Top Fuel Champion Anita Makela was on record setting pace during qualifying with a 3.894 and then a European ET record of 3.870. Antti Horto was the only other driver in the threes with 3.935.
This may be Urs Erbacher’s last race, with his car up for sale. He had Aaron Brooks crewing for him and ran 4.181 for third spot.
Makela ran 3.872-312.44 on a bye run in round one. Jndia Erbacher faced her dad Urs and ran her first three with figures of 3.992 to meet Horto in the semis.
Makela ran 3.899 to beat Stig Neergaard in the first semi. Erbacher made it an all-female final, beating Horto 4.001 to 4.348.
Erbacher had tyre shake in the final and Makela capped off a super weekend with a win.
2018 European FIA Pro Modified champion Jimmy Alund set a new track record of 5.827, but a couple pairs later Roger Johansson ran the first 5.7 second Pro Mod pass at Santa Pod with a 5.794 at 245.01.
Andy Robinson ran 5.913 to beat Jan Ericsson 5.924 for third spot, then redlit against Alund in the semi-finals. Ericsson beat Mats Eriksson in the other semi.
Alund won the event 5.873 to Ericsson’s 6.050.
Pro Stock Car
Bengt Ljungdahl ran low ET of 6.608 to win the 2018 European FIA Pro Stock Car championship during qualifying.
Stefan Emryd’s 6.638, Michael Malmgren’s 6.645, and Robin Noren’s 6.687 were the four-car field for this event.
Ljungdahl won the event when Malmgren had tyre shake in the final.
Sandro Bellio was the number one Top Methanol qualifier with a 5.452-264.06 in his Funny Car. With the handicap start, this means means 5.232.
Dennis Habermann ran 5.270, Timo Habermann 5.316, and Jonny Lagg 5.430.
The title was between the Habermann brothers—who ever wins their race would be champion. The title went to Dennis with a 5.307 to Timo’s losing 5.445. Lagg won the other semifinal.
Habermann won the event with a 5.345 to Lagg’s best run of the weekend 5.429, and will have the number one plate on his car next year.
Funny Car Series
Kevin Kent ran 4.357 at 283.32 with Kevin Chapman’s 5.057 his nearest challenger in Funny Car.
Steve Ashdown ran 4.999 in round one. Birgette Bremnes beat Jason Phelps with a 5.445, but damaged her motor.
Semi-finals and Ashdown had engine damage so Kent had a bye run and ran 4.399. Phelps had a brief fire just off the start line, fire went out. Chapman ran 4.803.
In the final, both cars had tyre shake and Kent took the winlight.
story and photos by Steven Moxley