Santapod Raceway, England 24-27th May 2024: The first round of the FIA/FIM championship kicked off at Santapod Raceway during the spring bank holiday weekend. It was a four-day event with close races, new personal bests, and stunning wheel stands. While the Sportsmen classes started on Friday with the first qualifications, the FIA/FIM kicked off on Saturday. It was quite a chilling weekend, with heavy Sunday afternoon rain that put the races on hold until the following day. But rain showers continued on Monday, and in the afternoon, the track marshals decided to continue races on the 1/8 mile instead of a quarter-mile to at least finish the elimination. But then it started raining even harder, and the organization canceled the remaining races. Pro Stock Bike (PSB) and Junior Drag Bike (JrDB) managed to run in the finals, and the winners were Jorg Lymant and Hollie King (JrDB).

Text: Benjamin Wefer
Pictures: Remco Scheelings

Duncan Micallef and Jndia Erbacher were the last racers in the Top Fuel Dragster (TFD) ladder. Due to parts shortages worldwide, only a handful (three entries) of cars were at the starting line. All three drivers were struggling with the weather to set a good time. Hence, Jndia Erbacher secured the number one spot during the second qualification round with a 3.86-second run at 303 mph. Duncan Micallef from Malta was supposed to meet Susanne Callin in the semi-final but got a bye run as Callin’s car broke down beyond repair. The race between Jndia and Duncan will need to be settled another time, but for now, they both collected valuable points for the championship, where Jndia takes the lead with 64 points, leaving Duncan in second place with 61 points.

Jndia Erbacher

Duncan Micallef

Top Methanol (TM)- was another category with a low entry. Only four cars competing. Also, the top methanol competitors needed help to get a decent pass. Therefore, Sandro Bellio met Silvio Strauch in a close race during the semi-finals. Sandro had slightly better reaction time than Strauch (0.1447 for Bellio over 0.223 for Strauch) and clocked a 5.302-second run at 231 mph against a 5.51-second run for Strauch. On the other side of the ladder, Tony Bryntesson met veteran Jonny Lagg. Unfortunately, Johnny got disqualified at the start line as one of his team members toches the car after Johnny had already pre-staged. Bryntesson and Sandro Bellio would have met in the final round, but it never got to that. Bryntesson is currently leading the class with 66 points.

Sandro Bellio

Tony Bryntesson

Pro Modified competitors reached round two before the races were canceled. Top Qualifier David Vegter met Andres Arnover from Estonia in the first elimination round. Unfortunately, when Arnover staged his car, it bumped back out, but Vegter had already engaged, and the car launched before the timing system could react and got a red light. Competitors who made it to the semi-final were Anders Arnover, Bruno Bader, Andreas Sjodin, and Stian Rusenes. Bader is currently leading this class with 77 points, leaving Stan Rusanes in second and Anders Arnover in third position with 73 points.

David Vegter

Bruno Bader

The Pro Stock competitors also got to the semi-final on the elimination ladder, where Jimmy Ålund (12 times Pro Stock Champion), Stefan Ernryd, Robin Noren, and Richard Sundblom were supposed to meet each other. During the quarter-finals, one of the thrilling races was the side-by-side race between Stefan Ernryd and Micheal Malmgren. Ernryd’s left reaction time to three was 0.09 vs 0.07 for Malmgren. Stefan crossed the finish line in 6.656 seconds and Michael in 6.709 seconds at 202 mph. Currently leading the championship is Jimmy Ålund with 67 points.

Jimmy Ålund Stefan Ernryd

The last men standing in Super Pro ET were top qualifiers Callum Swinchatm, Colin Millar, Frans Aschenbrenner, Robert Brown, Scot Hauser, Fabien Dubois, and Collin Morrice. Barry Giles, who qualified third, got eliminated in the first round because he left the tree too early and gave the race away. One of the Personal Best ran during the weekend is from Fabien Dubois, who clocked 6.997 seconds at 189 mph. Fabien will return to Clastres Raceway in a few weeks for the second round of the French championship, which is currently number four in the standings.

Fabien Dubios

Jake Mechaell and Chris Reed were the finalists for going to the final race in Super Street Bike. Jake Mechaell was the man who beat during the Main Event weekend at Santapod Raceway. Mechaell qualified first with a 6.797 second run at 216 mph. Mechaell met Erich Gruber in the first round, won the race with a 7.572-second run at 144 mph, and met Mogens Lund in the semi-finals. The race between Jake and Chris will need to be settled another time, but for now, they both collected valuable points for the championship. Dutch Rider Margot Schmidt qualified in sixth position with a 7.032 second at 208 mph. Unfortunately, Margot left the tree too early in the first elimination round and gave the race away.

Jake Mechaell

Chris Reed

Margot Schmidt

The European championship kicked off during the spring bank holiday weekend, with a lot of rain and unfinished races. However, all competitors on the ladder collected valuable points. The next race will be in a few weeks in Tierp, Sweden, for the second round.