2019 FIA MAIN EVENT - SANTA POD RECAP
The 2019 European drag racing season finally kicked off at the famous Santa Pod Raceway with the „Main Event“ from 24th to 27th May 2019.
Over 270 teams had entered the event eager to shake off the dust and hunt for wins and new personal bests. After two days of qualifying with a couple of rain delays in between, reigning Top Fuel champion Anita Mäkelä was sitting in the top spot with a 3.870 at 311.38 mph run, a repeat of her current record. Brit Liam Jones went 3.887 at 311.18 mph seconds to become number two, followed by Stig Neergaards 3.917 sec at 301.78 mph.
Twenty-four teams from seven different countries battled for the 16 car field in Pro Modified. David Vegter from the Netherlands took the number one spot with his strong 5.804 at 240.30 mph run bettering his personal best in the process. Closely followed by Jan Ericsson who ran a 5.844 at 243.84 mph. The top 4 cars all ran in the 5.80 zone and the bump spot was a 6.299 posted by Jean Dulamon.
In Pro Stock Michael Malmgren took the pole position running a 6.573 at 210.12 mph followed by Jimmy Alund with his 6.575 at 211.84 mph.
Due to some weather hiccups the schedule for the elimination day was quite delayed. But thanks to the superb work from the well routined Santa Pod track crew the delays were kept to a minimum and all rounds were finished within the 9 pm curfew.
On the way to her title defense Anita Mäkelä beat Mikael Kågered and Jndia Erbacher to meet Maja Udtian in an all-female final. Maja, who got the upset first-round win over Stig Neergaard and second round win due to a red light by Liam Jones, went into stage for the final run first but backed out of the staging beams it and earned a red light herself. Anita, already the event winner, stayed with it and ran a 3.842 at 296.72 a new European ET record to top off her brilliant weekend.
Sandro Bellio went 5.533 at 253.80 mph in his Monte Carlo bodied Methanol Funny Car to defeat Maltese Monty Bugeja in his Methanol Dragster who came up short with his 5.451 at 268.24 mph.
In Pro Modified it all came down to an all Swedish final between Mats Eriksson in his Ford Jukebox and Mike Gullqvist in the Camaro. Eriksson turned on the red light and Gullqvist ran a 5.8357 at 245.03 mph for the win.
Pro Stock number one and two qualifiers also met in the final round. Jimmy Alund took the win over Malmgren with a 6.596 at 209.95 mph to Malmgrens 7.967 at 122.07 mph who had to lift before the 1/8 mile.
Steve Ashdown in the „The Undertaker“ Nitro Funny Car defeated Kevin Chapman who had to abort his run. 4.755 at 188.14 mph to 5.582 at 134.02 mph.
Other winners included:
Top Doorslammer: Caroline Strand
Comp Eliminator: Kev Perkins
Super Pro ET: Stu Doignie
Pro ET: Nic Williams
Super Comp: Martin Curbishley
Super Gas: Simon Fulton
Junior Dragster: Matthew Dowdy
Street Eliminator: Andy Bond
Top Fuel Bike: Rikard Gustafsson
Supertwin Bike: Marcus Christiansen
Pro Stock Bike: Janne Koskinen Super Street Bike: Steve Venables
Junior Drag Bike: Blade Dummer
It’s been a great start to what looks like to be a fantastic season. Thanks to all the hard working women and men at Santa Pod facility, especially the track and safety crew who did everything in their power to keep the event going. We’re already looking forward to the next stop of the FIA Championship which will be at Tierp Arena in Sweden 6-9 June