Nitro Nationals Winners

Ulf Ögge, Pro Stock Bike

Pro Stock Bike driver Ulf Ögge seems to be hard to beat. At Alastaro he took his third win this season and of course he gives us his biggest smile.

UÖ: In the 4th qualifying round the battery was out and I didn't get of the starting line, says Ögge. That was frustrating but we ended up at no 2 qualifying anyway so that was good.

Ögge delivered his smile when he went to the pit area after the no-run. But at Saturday night he exploded in a couple of bicycle runs around the whole pit area to get rid of the frustrations. Then the smile was back again.

UÖ: - To this event we putted in the new engine and new cylinders and we have some good help from Charlie Carling to tune the engine. And we have improved every run, so we're very happy. WE also did test some different fuel graphs and clutch system and we do better and better every time we upgrade. It´s been a fantastic weekend. I want send all my love to everyone I know, but most of al to my daughter Wilma that now is waiting for me back home. Next round is Mantorp so I see You all there.

Hans Olav Olstad, Super Twin Bike

Hans Olav Olstad had some bad luck at first qualifying round. The time was good but he ended up in the sandbox and missed next round as the whole bike had to be cleaned.

HOO: It was sand everywhere so the whole bike had to get down in pieces. We had problem to get the power down and was spinning al the weekend but now it seems to work. We putted in a new crankshaft and we lost some power after that. We also had some problem with the ignition. But I got a great team and everything was sorted out and here we are. Else it has been a great weekend. Now we're preparing for Mantorp, say a happy Olstad as he hurry away to get the big cup of the weekend.

Petri Paljakka, Top Fuel Bike

Top Fuel driver Petri Paljakka was one of the happiest riders at Nitro Nats last weekend. Last year he bought Ian Kings Top Fuel Bike and this weekend he took the win. He also did he's personal best at 6.66. That was he's first 6 sec round ever.

PP: We have taken everything step by step, he says. And we have got more and more power and learned more for every start we have done. I got a marvelous team and when they told me to drive fast I did drive fast. It was a good feeling to win here at Nitro Nats and I want to thank everyone that has supported me, team, spectators and al others. I have a dream that is to race against Ian and hopefully I can beat him. Maybe at Mantorp, but tonight I´m am the King Ian.

Next race is Mantorp, and then the tour goes to Norway and then Germany and hopefully the Finals in September.

Timo Lehtimäki, Top Fuel Dragster

Timo Lehtimäki and his TIL Racing crew were all big smiles when we had a brief chat just before the prize giving ceremony. Crew chief Ulf Hultholm says they are very happy with their weekend. Timo qualified 2nd quickest with 4.20 sec over the 1000 foot distance and on his way to the final defeated tough competitors Janne Ahonen and Urs Erbacher. The final was the closest seen in a long while and was won by Lehtimäki with a small margin, just 6 thousands of a second similar to a 89 cm advance over the finish line, running 4.151 seconds at a speed of 449 km/h. Ulf Hultholm, Timo Lehtimäki and crew is proud to have achieved this great start to the season with only their own knowledge and tuning put to work, they are now eager for the race season to continue two weeks from now at Mantorp Park.

Timo Habermann,
Top Methanol Dragster

In England Timo ended runner-up in a final against his brother Dennis, in Finland the story was amazingly the same with the two brothers in the finals, just this time the outcome was different as Timo had the winning combination, a fast car and a stunning reaction time (0.011).

Timo was also the low qualifier at Alastaro and on his way to the final outran Krister Johansson and Peter Schöfer. In the semi-finals against Schöfer Timo´s car hit tires shakes, he tried to pedal with a burst panel and fires as result. Hard work to make it to the final where brother Dennis knew he had to manage a hole shot to beat Timo, took a chance but redlit (-0.066)

Compared to the Main Event adjustment on Timo´s car is mostly about fuel setup. The car is fast and he says it is amazing that it went down the track at 5.37 sec at 419 km/h under the weather circumstances. About the track Timo says he saw clear improvements compared to last year both something that performance in classes like Pro Stock and Pro Mod showed (as well as his own perfomance). Timo also wish to mention Dennis achivements this weekend, as he qualified number 8 and won against Dave Wilson in the quarter finals by a better reaction time. To end Timo says not many thought both brothers would end up in a final at Santa Pod and even less that it should happen again in Finland. The Habermann´s had a truly successful weekend at Alastaro.

Michael Gullqvist, Pro Modified

Pro Mod racer Micke Gullqvist arrived at the scene with the R2B2 Camaro. He qualified #no1, set the low ET of the event in the quarter finals with 5.91 sec and high speed of the event and new speed record of 395.52 km/h (245.76 mph) 

MG: It was a great weekend and I could not imagine that the track was going to be that good. They have really stepped up with the track prep and that made all the difference. We could really run hard, even when the track was hot. I won the event for the second year in a row, so Alastaro is definitely one of my favorite tracks. We had great harmony in the team, the car worked just perfect through the weekend and it all came together very well.

Arvid Grödem, Top Methanol Funny Car

Winner Arvid Grödem arrived to the first event of the season with a new race car, bought from Jeff Burnett of JBR injectors. In England the team had problems with a construction fault to the head gaskets, causing damage, not least to the body that they had to repair in time for Finland. Performance with the new car after two races so far down to 5.93 sec, and still more to expect as the previous owner Jeff Burnett ran a 5.66 with the same car (Arvid´s personal best is 5.80 sec in his old car). What Arvid is most happy about is that the tires shake that was a major problem with his old car is non existing so far this season. It is such a smooth ride says Arvid, a completely new experience. At Alastaro his best run was 5.93 sec, with a 60-foot time of 0.95 sec, but then the blower came off at 5.8 sec. Arvid was off racing for most of the 2009 season, when the chassis of his old car gave up from age and team Westside Racing simply had to retire it. Our goal for now is to run at a consistent level and Arvid laughs and admits that he is a bit rusty and need more runs to work on his driver skills to match the car as well.

Michael Malmgren, Pro Stock

Micke Malmgren managed the task to set the low ET and high speed of the event as well as winning running fast and consistent all through the weekend. The low ET 6.76 sec and high speed 329.63 km was set already in the quarter finals and despite the considerable heat Malmgren managed to stay ahead of his competitors performancewise in the very close field. Malmgren qualified 2nd quickest just one hundred of a second slower than the Main Event winner Micke Callin, Sweden. On his way to the final Micke Malmgren outran Swede Bo Pettersson, and Richard "Nixxon" Sundblom Finland and in the finals defeated Jan Palmqvist. Malmgren commented it started bad and he struggled with a fuelregulator problem both at the Main Event and at the beginning of the Alastaro qualifications. Once sorted nothing or nobody could stop him on his way towards the victory and it was a very happy looking, smiling Micke Malmgren who received the well deserved trophy in the winner circle after a long and hot day at Alastaro.

Text: Lena Perés & Åsa Kinnemar/ Robin Jackson
Photo: Åsa Kinnemar Lena Perés & Patrik Jacobsson

This article is part of the Speedgroup Club Europe Newsletter #4/2010

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