NitrOlympx – fast and furious

This year’s NitrOlympx played host to the fastest Top Fuel field ever seen in Europe. That isn’t surprising after 25 years of fast and furious cars at this historic venue. Unfortunately the finals were rained off and the decision made to give the trophies in each class to the No. 1 to 4 qualifiers instead.
Anita Mäkelä is now the Queen of Top Fuel, having run the fastest time of 4.80 sec. All her runs were low 4.80s , with the slowest being a mere 4.88 and the first qualifying round where the tires went up in smoke . Well done lady! Andy Carter wasn’t far behind. In the 3rd qualifying session he beat Anita by just 0.001 sec and moved into the No. 1 qualifying spot, but next round Anita was back on top. She went through eliminations without problem until the finals, when the rain stopped the meeting, just as it had at the Veidec Festival a couple of weeks ago. Micke Kågered had another engine fire at half track, but he was unharmed, although maybe feeling some pain in his wallet  paying for more parts.

Anita has a good chance to take the coveted FIA trophy home to Finland this year as
she´s currently in third position in the Championship on 194 points. In the leading with 249 point is Urs Erbacher in 2nd place is Risto Putiainen on 231. Breathing down Anita’s
neck is Andy Carter and nobody knows what will happen until the Finals in a few weeks

In Pro Mod there was a no-holds-barred race this weekend. US racer Melanie Troxel set the standard in the first round of qualifying with a 6.18. At that point the hunt for the thousandths of a second started. Every round the racers went faster and faster. After
the 4th round Patrik Wikstrom was on the bump spot at 6.46. The first five drivers ranged from 6.04 to 6.18.

There’s no doubt that a 5 second run is imminent for many of the Pro Mod drivers. It didn’t come at Hockenheim but Melanie only just missed it with her 6.00 run vs. Urban Johansson (6.36) in the semifinals. Mats Eriksson improved every run, starting with a 6.16 on Friday and then he worked his way down to 6.08 in the semifinals vs. Micke Gullqvist, but that wasn´t enough, losing to a 6.04. It was incredibly close, with just 0.005 sec between them at the finish line.

A welcome return to the class was Andy Robinson, back on track with his Studebaker, rebuilt after the fire in Finland. It’s not purple this time, but red and it’s still stunning to look at. Robinson showed that he’s still a major contender in Pro Mod. His best time this weekend was 6.16 in the first round of eliminations. Well done!

There is a tie at the top of the Pro Mod points with Gullqvist and Lindberg both on 329.
Next is Urban Johansson on 243 and Mats Eriksson with 235. In 5th place is Roger
Johansson on 209. It’s tough at the top and the race at the Finals is going to be a real
thrill to watch. Anything can happen in this class. 

The bad news at the NitrOlympX was the fire experienced by Fredde Fagerström in the
Pro-Mod pick-up during the first round of eliminations on Saturday. The fire started just
after the eighth mile and it could have gone very wrong as the front of the car was
burning fiercely and the safety net on driver’s side melted so the locking pin wouldn’t
come loose. Luckily Fredde was strong enough to force it to split and got out in time
with only a slightly singed eyebrow. All of the electronics, wiring and the data logger
were destroyed, as well as the parachutes and the unique paint scheme. This team
have a lot of work to do…

“I told myself not to get panic”, said an upset Fredde the evening after the accident.
“Now the car is burned, my blower is burned, and now even my potatoes are burned”,
he continued with a little smile on his face. He showed us the blackened potatoes that
got a ‘bit’ hot in the stove, even his dinner was burned that day.

We’re all happy that we still have this crazy man in the pits. What would we do without

In Pro Stock Jimmy Åhlund continued to prove that he’s back on track in Europe. Michael
Malmgren isn’t far behind but Jimmy is hard to beat, as he qualified No. 1. He didn’t
have it all his own way, as Janne Palmqvist beat him in the semi, while Michael Malmgren beat the other Michael (Callin). The Final was to be vs. Palmqvist vs. Malmgren but the rain put an end to that. Malmgren has a good lead in the championship and if nothing much goes wrong for him he should go home with the FIA trophy.


The Top Methanol Dragsters were just about to run the second pair in the semi-finals
when the rain started. This means that this round of elminations doesn’t count for
championship points. Timo Haberman was at the top of the qualifying list after the first
round, but ended in second place when Fred Hansen took the top spot with a 5.38/428.
Brother Dennis was not in good form and was beaten by Peter Schöefer in the first
round. When the semi was about to start the ladder had Fred Hansen vs. Krister
Johansson and Timo Haberman vs. Peter Schöefer. Fred Hanssen has a chance to take
home an FIA statue if he can beat the two brothers from Germany.

There were some impressive Elapsed Times in Top Methanol Funny Car. In the last tow
qualifying sessions there were good five-second passes for Dan Larsen, Jürgen Nagel
and Jarmo Kuutniemi. Dan Larsen has shown great improvement since he and car had
the big incident at Main Event, where the car literally went up in smoke. He couldn’t
race in Finland because of that but he was back at Veidec Festival and ended as no1
qualifyier when the rain stopped further racing, as it did here in Hockenheim. For the
second time this year he qualifyied No. 1 at 5.85/395. Jürgen Nagel was right behind
him with a 5.88/377 and Jarmo Kuutniemi, 5.93/388. Dan Larsen is now leading the
championship but only 2 points in front of Nagel, then Grodem is close behind in third,
but he couldn’t close the points gap, having big problems and going out in round one of
eliminations. Another racer now in the points is Dezsoe Krivan from Switzerland, making
a welcome return to the class after 7 years away. He showed that his new operation is
competitive straight off the trailer. Watch out for him in competition !

Text: Lena Perés - edited by Robin Jackson
Photos: Lena Perés, Åsa Kinnemar & Aila Striem

This article is part of the Speedgroup Club Europe Newsletter #8/2010

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