Main Event information
From the very first FIA European Drag Racing Championship in 1999 The Main Event has been the opening round of this high rated series. After a long winter drivers, teams and fans are all looking forward to the race. New cars and bikes will have their first outing and will all the hours in the workshop pay off? A new season is to start, important points for the championship can be gathered and everybody has to start from zero again.
But still, for the first time in history there is a difference. The UEM European Drag Bike Championship already had its first race in Hungary so The Main Event is round number two for them. For the cars in the FIA European Drag Racing Championship The Main Event is as it has ever been their ‘first’. Teams made big investments to improve their performance and with an almost perfect Santa Pod air at the end of May new standards can be set.

Last years Main Event war blessed with perfect weather condition resulting in a capacity crowd and stunning performances. No less then seven European records were reset! Numerous personal bests, record fields and runs won on a hole shot, too many highlights to mention them all. In Top Fuel Andy Carter gave the home crowd something to cheer about by beating Stig Neergaard in the final and taking a first step to a new European Championship. Top Methanol Dragster made a stunning come back by resetting the European record several times. At the end youngster Timo Habermann and first-time TMD-pilot Fred Hanssen advanced to the final where the German defeated his Norwegian opponent. In Top Methanol Funny Car a classic final between Ulf Leanders and Leif Andreasson with Leanders taking the win light on a hole shot. In Pro Stock Jimmy Alund made history with the first European 6.6 second run. The (at that moment) five times European Champion went straight to the final to beat Jonas Dantanus. In Pro Modified Andy Robinson took the win by defeating former European Champion Urban Johansson. In Top Fuel Bike Ian King was too fast for René van den Berg while in Super Twin the struggling Lorenz Stäuble came back to form in the final and left Job Heezen with the runner-up position. In Pro Stock Bike Ulf Ögge was a class of his own. On his Buell the Swede took the win light against home favourite Len Paget. To say last years Main Event was filled with action is an understatement. What about the breathtaking accident of Tommy Rostgaard when he could not stop one of Stig Neergaard’s Top Fuelers and landing in the field. Or in round one of eliminations where Dutch Pro Mod title favourite Robert Joosten rolled his Corvette ending on its roof at the finish line. Both drivers were unharmed but Joosten’s car was so badly damaged it was the end of his season.

Santa Pod Raceway website...

A new chance.
In Top Fuel Andy Carter will start the season as the title favourite but Urs Erbacher is back from the States and eager to get the crown back. And what will Risto Poutiainen do with his new Top Fueler? Will Anita Mäkelä benefit from the presence of American top tuner Donnie Brenner? Or Micke Kågered, Stig Neergard, the other two Rune Fjeld cars with Jari Halinen and Easter Thunderball winner Janne Ahonen at the wheel? In Top Methanol Funny Car reigning champion Ulf Leanders will get competition from Dan Larsen who got back to form at the end of last season and Leif Andreasson. Arvid Grodem will debut his new car he acquired from the States. Can Rob Turner surprise in his first Funny Car race after so many years in a dragster? Talking about Top Methanol Dragster; Timo Habermann is the champion but could find his biggest opponent with his brother Dennis in his own team. Also from Germany and always fast, and not at the lights only, is Peter Schöfer. And of course the Scandinavians like Fred Hanssen and Per Ingar Udtian. The A/Fuelers stepped up last year and if they are a bit more consistent Dave Wilson can go for another title and Krister Johansson and Derek Flynn for event wins.

Pro Stock will have to start without six times European Champion Jimmy Alund. His car is still in the States and will be back for Mantorp. But this gives new chances to championship runner-up and winner of the European Finals Richard Sundblom. But Michael Malmgren, Michael Callin, Jan Palmqvist and Jonas Dantanus can also improve and be a real championship contender Last year the margin between the number one and eight was only a split second and don’t be surprised a personal best is necessary to qualify. Last but not least Pro Modified, where maybe ten combinations have the potential to win the championship. Mats Eriksson made history last year with his first European five seconds runs and is the favourite, but will he be able to do this all over again? Michael Gullqvist showed his driving skills in the States but will get competition from Andy Robinson, Mikael Lindahl, Urban Johansson and the fastest nitrous man Roger Johansson. Bruno Bader showed great form last year and can win races and a championship. From Holland Marc Meihuizen will be back after the freak accident he had at Hockenheim. But the dark horse might be Robert Joosten. He made some test runs in the States with his state of the art ’70 Camaro. This stunning looking car might surprise as it hits the European tracks. We will know it on Monday evening, May 31.

Eurodragster is the source of direct information on site from the races. Round to round comments and timing results, completed with pit notes and photo galleries at the end of the day.

Eurodragster website....

Text: Remco Scheelings
Photo: Remco Scheelings & Markus Münch

This article is part of the Speedgroup Club Europe Newsletter #1/2010

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