Neergaard on top as Brits get close

Motor Sport News - - Sporting Scene - By Ivan San­som

Or­gan­iser: Santa Pod Race­way When: May 28-30

The six-event FIA Euro­pean drag rac­ing cham­pi­onship opened up with The Main Event at Santa Pod Race­way.

In the premier FIA Top Fuel Drag­ster cat­e­gory, both Bri­tish en­tries made it to the semi-fi­nal stage. Class rookie Steve Ash­down beat Swe­den’s Ste­fan Gun­nars­son in the first round of elim­i­na­tions with a 4.236s/283.75mph run. Liam Jones, now in his sec­ond sea­son, de­feated multi-time cham­pion Urs Er­bacher in a match-up that was char­ac­terised by a fran­tic search for trac­tion. Jones emerged vic­to­ri­ous with a 4.996s/213.10mph tim­ing. Un­for­tu­nately for the home crowd, both Rune Fjeld Mo­tor­sports team­mates would have to wait for their first fi­nal round ap­pear­ances with Ash­down be­ing shut­down be­fore he could get to the start­line against 2015 se­ries cham­pion Micke Kagered, whilst Jones’s 4.112s/ 278.51mph lost out to low qual­i­fier Stig Neergaard’s 3.972s/299.76mph charge (which also stood as the quick­est and fastest run of the event). The Den­mark vs Swe­den fi­nal was de­cided fairly quickly as Kagered’s Bahco Tools Ex­press ride broke trac­tion and Neergaard pow­ered and flamed his way to a 5.4298s win­ning ticket.

The elim­i­na­tions lad­der for FIA/MSA Pro Mod­i­fied didn’t make for pretty read­ing for the do­mes­tic con­tin­gent as only Kevin Sly­field and Philip En­gle­field made it past the open­ing round be­fore fall­ing at the quar­ter-fi­nal stage. The tro­phy match-up fea­tured Swe­den’s Micke Gul­lqvist and Switzer­land’s Bruno Bader (who had qual­i­fied low with a 5.946s/234.08mph). Bader emerged vic­to­ri­ous in 5.939s/235.28mph to a 5.964s/245.07mph in one of the quick­est Pro Mod fi­nals in Euro­pean his­tory.

FIA Pro Stock boiled down to Jimmy Alund and Thomas Lind­strom, run­ner-up and cham­pion re­spec­tively in last sea­son’s se­ries. Lind­strom left too early and gifted Alund the tro­phy although a 6.458s/213.07mph would have been very tough to beat.

FIA Top Methanol Drag­ster Jonny Lagg took a solo to pick up his first win of the sea­son when op­po­nent Chris Pol­i­dano failed to fire.

Re­sults FIA Top Fuel Drag­ster Fi­nal: Stig Neergaard (DEN) 5.429s/ 127.00mph def Micke Kagered (SWE) 7.866s/95.09mph FIA/ MSA Pro Mod­i­fied Fi­nal: Bruno Bader (CHE) 5.939s/235.28mph def Micke Gul­lqvist (SWE) 5.964s/245.07mph FIA Pro Stock Car Fi­nal: Jimmy Ålund (SWE) 6.458s/213.07mph def Thomas Lind­ström (SWE) red light start FIA Top Methanol Drag­ster Fi­nal: Jonny Lagg (SWE) 5.425s/275.33mph def Chris Pol­i­dano (MLT) did not start

Top Fuel ace Neergaard

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