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European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway

Wednesday November 8, 2017 at 2:34pm
European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway
The final round of the European FIM Championships were disrupted by bad weather, rain fell off and on during both qualifying days.  Race day and the classes reached the final stages before rain returned again and the meeting was called.


Top Fuel Bike.

Top Fuel Bike only had one qualifying session, due to the weather and that prove to be a nail-biting situation for championship points leader Rikard Gustafsson.  On his only pass a brand new chain broke at mid-track and Gustafsson limped over the finish line 11.965 for fifth spot.  It would be a four-bike eliminator.  Steve Woollatt led the field 6.344-210.93.  Filippos Papafilippou was second 6.704-209.04 with Stuart Crane 7.174 and Dale Leeks 7.836.  Allan Davies ran 7.280 but has not run six-second pass on his bike. (rules say Funny Bike must have run 6 second pass to be allowed in the eliminations).  Eric Richard parted company from his bike at the 1000ft mark. Richard was ok, but there was some small damaged to the bike.

First semi-final and Woollatt had no front brake when he came into stage and pulled a red light and clicked it off at mid-track.  Leeks had reached his first FIM Final.  Crane would make it an all Warpspeed final, when Papafilippou had traction problem off the start line.  Crane was storming down the track when at the 1000ft mark a camshaft broke and a huge fireball erupted with Crane standing on the frame in the shutdown area.  Crane had a minor injury and ran a personal best of 6.818 and decided not to race in the final.  That made Gustafsson the 2017 European FIM Top Fuel Bike Champion.  Rain fell before the final and Leeks broke the beam to claim the event win.



Neil Midgley ran 6.761-164.25 his best figures to date riding the bike.  Roman Sixta was second 7.167-188.06 ahead of championship contender Martijn De Haas 8.468-167.92.  Bruno Salesse was on the bump spot 10.069 after handling problems.  Gert-jan Laseur had a front cylinder hydraulic and recorded 15.449 and was first alternate.

Sixta had to beat De Haas and win the event to be the champion.  Facing De Haas, Sixta put a holeshot on De Haas and went on to beat De Haas 6.926 to 7.105.  Midgley had traction problem at the 200ft mark, Salesse took the win and was in his first FIM final.

The rain curtailed the final, so De Haas retained his championship.


Pro Stock Bike.

Fredrik Fredlund was the number one qualifier 7.097.  Robert Karlsson was a very late entry and was after the et record and ran 7.324.  Alex Hope was the only rider who could stop Fredlund winning another championship and qualified 7.376.

Martin Bishop ran well in testing and qualifying and beat Charly Abraham in round one.  There were wins for Fredlund, Karlsson and Hope.  Fredlund beat Bishop in the semis to become the 2017 European Pro Stock Bike Champion.  Karlsson beat Hope in the other semi-final.  Fredlund broke the beam in the rain, when Karlsson was a no show in the final.


Super Street Bike.

Franklyn Borg ran the quickest time outside the USA in the second qualifying session 6.916 at 204.22.  Mogens Lund was the nearest rider to Borg with 7.184-201.41.  Championships points leader Richard Stubbins was in eleventh spot. 

Erich Gruber was first alternate for 2016 champion Garry Bowe who blew his engine up big time.  He knocked out Jemma Venables and then Steve Venables to face Steve Mead in the semi-finals.  Mead had beat Borg in the previous round.  Mead won his race against Gruber to reach his first FIM final.  In the other semi-final Lund had a problem at mid-track, leaving Stubbins to take the win light and become the 2017 European FIM Super Street Bike Cup Champion. 


Report by Steven Moxley.

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