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Hot Joon Seals FIA's Main Event


6.6.05. The 2005 FIA European Drag Racing Championships were launched at Santa Pod over the end of May (27-30) Bank Holiday in a mixture of weathers starting with sultry Mediterranean heat then turning to strong gusty winds at well below the season's norm.  It was a stunning event, successfully completed after four hectic and sometimes mechanically pernicious days.

Lex Joon wrapped up Top Fuel
  Photo: Roger Gorringe copyright 

FIA Top Fuel Dragster drew in a record ten machines with contenders from Sweden, Norway, Holland, England and a Brit from Canada. It was Lex Joon from Holland in his ex David Baca car that shone throughout eliminations after surviving an almost blowover wheelie during qualifying that bent a couple of A arms at the front of the car.  It was thought that the strong headwind that helped lift the car gradually cushioned his return to earth! A first round 4.96/289 left a broken Jöran Persåker on the startline, then a 4.93/288 beat the shake and tyre smoke from Swede Tommy Möller. Englishman Jon Webster was also having a good weekend getting by a breaking ’04 Champ Andy Carter with a 5.07/259, whilst in round two a 5.08/264 took out number one qualifier Norway’s Thomas Nataas. The final was a disappointment for Jon Webster as he lost drive and saw a flaming Lex Joon drive all the way from half track in a fireball to take the win with a 5.41/219 in the MPM Oil backed machine.

Dave Wilson set a new Euro E/T record
Photo: Roger Gorringe copyright

FIA Top Methanol Dragster had a healthy entry that wound up with two Brits and old adversaries in the final. Dave Wilson had a bye run to the semis then faced another old foe, German Peter Schöfer.  An off-form 5.93/220 from Schöfer was heavily defeated by the record setting 5.455/249 from Wilson. Rob Turner meanwhile was overcoming threats from class rookie German Timo Habermann, a cool 5.54/252 was all that was needed as Habermann slowed after losing the blower belt to a 10.74/68.  Turner then had an easy bye into the final but his 5.60/249 was no match for current Champion Dave Wilson, who recorded a 5.422 as a new European record to add another win for the American Car Imports team.

Urs Erbacher dominated T/M Funny Car
Photo: Roger Gorringe copyright

In the FIA Top Methanol Funny Car ranks Swiss man Urs Erbacher, the reigning Champion, laid down the law and took the event win in his Midland Oil Pontiac Firebird with a 5.72/252.37 European  speed record as Denmark’s Dan Larsen charged behind with a close 5.78/244 lose. Erbacher had earlier despatched German Jürgen Nagel then had a lucky break as Sweden’s Niclas Andersson was shut off with a leak on the startline, allowing an easy solo to the final. Larsen however had to fight tooth and nail for his place with a 5.90/229 win on the 5.94/239 from Jörgen Johnsson then onto a 5.85/235 drubbing of Sweden’s Leif Andréassons’ 6.04/234 to get him to the final.

Jackie Hansen's dominated Pro Stock
Photo: Roger Gorringe copyright

FIA Pro Stock saw all the heavy hitters fall by the wayside leaving Denmark’s Jackie Hansen to take the trophy with his Chevy Cavalier - a 7.05/195 beat last year’s Champion Jimmy Ålund’s 7.07/195. In round one Hansen took out the two times Champion Michael Malmgren with a 7.09/194 win compared with the losing 7.12/196. A red light shone in the next round as Ulf Jonsson fouled away his chances giving Hansen a 7.10/195 win to enter the final. Ålund had a better run through to meet Hansen, a 7.21/192 holeshot beat the 7.32/188 of Finland’s Richard Sundblom, then an easy bye run of 7.23/198 put the Champion into the final.

Roger Johansson's Mustang
 Photo: Roger Gorringe copyright

The ever increasing popularity of the fabulous Pro Modified class attracted a huge entry that made an exciting sixteen car eliminator and was eventually won by Roger Johansson in his nitrous Mustang, beating record setting Patrik Wikström’s blown Camaro with a 6.59/208 to a below par 7.93/135. In a series of wins, Johansson powered to the lights over the likes of Rolf Ammann in round one, Håken Fallström in round two, before catching and passing Danny Cockerill’s holeshot 6.69/211 with a resounding 6.49 at just 193 mph to reach the final. Opponent Patrik Wikström meanwhile scored wins over Peter Wacker and then a tyre shaking Andy Robinson in round two before setting a new speed and e.t. record in the mauling of Freddy Fagerström - 6.255/227.17 to 6.68/209.

Svein Olav Rolfstad on his way to Twin Top Fuel Bike honours
Photo: Roger Gorringe copyright

UEM Super Twin Top Fuel Bike win went to Norway’s Svein Olav Rolfstad with a 6.92/202 as German rider Joachim Riemer broke on the launch. Rolfstad saved his best till last, running off a string of 7 second passes en route to the final.  His 7.69/189 beat Czech Republic rider Tomas Sulek, then a 7.05/199 sidelined fellow Norwegian Hans Olav Olstad’s 7.35/196. Opponent, Riemer managed to beat current Champion, the mighty Ton Pels, on a holeshot 7.31/168 compared to the ‘Godfather’s’ 7.32/178.  Then a 7.43/157 run kept him ahead of Norway’s Hans Christian Nilsen’s 7.96/157 to enter the final.

Ian King launches in Top Fuel Bike
Photo: Roger Gorringe copyright

The UEM Top Fuel Bike category was an all British affair with Ian King running consistent numbers all weekend, a fine 6.38/206 beat off the 6.59/212 charge from Steve Woollatt to take the event win. Earlier defeats of Shaun Branch, 6.33/205 to 7.62/139, then a 6.39/200 smashed Neil Midgley’s 6.82/193. Woollatt meanwhile dispatched Dave Holland with a 6.61/212 to the 7.25/165 in round one then a 6.59/211 saw off the 7.72/162 from fellow Brit Gary Jones to get Woollatt into the auspicious final.

Martin Bishop gets ready for another 7 second run
Photo: Roger Gorringe copyright

The UEM Pro Stock Bike event win went to Martin Bishop in another all British contest, a 7.67/168 beat Richard Gipp’s 7.82/169. Bishop had got his finals place with a trouncing of fellow countryman Chris Hope in a 7.59/171 to a 7.91/160 in the initial round, then a lucky solo as multi champion Roger Pettersson broke leaving the way clear for Bishop’s 7.67/172 to the final. Gipp’s pathway saw the eradication of Martin Newbury in round one, 7.70/171 to the 8.77/158 and a 7.66/170 win over Ray Debben’s 7.91/164 put Gipp against Bishop for the money run.

Elisabeth Bredal drove alone all the way from Norway with her 1968 Mustang in tow to compete in the Super Street category at The Main Event. The hot 289 motored 'Stang, dubbed "Grandma's Toy" was also wrenched by Elisabeth. An almost perfect weekend saw her make it through to the semi finals where she was eventually beaten by class winner John Grant - 10.980/114 to a winning 10.924/119.

Talking of Mustangs, ACI wheeled out this modified 05 version which they are developing as an ACI special edition complete with hi-po engine, body styling and other tweeks

Junior dragster is now extremely popular - 23 entries no less!

Geof Hauser lends a helping hand. Sons Scott and Jay both compete

Ian Hook's '34 Ford Super Pro ET ride

Dutch competitor Wouter van Leersum's Super Gas Nova

Jon Turner's Sportsman ET Barracuda

Kevin Slyfield's Pro ET Plymouth Belvedere

Chris Johnson's Super Comp MG ZS

Story: Roger Gorringe Copyright
Photos: Roger Gorringe Copyright (as captioned) & Andy Kirk 


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