Monday June 11, 2018 at 10:20am
The opening round of the 2018 European FIM Championships got off to a cracking start with glorious weather and record setting performances on the new all concrete track, which saw two European Records set and many personal bests over the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend. Top Fuel Bike. The star of the event was the performance of Filippos Papafilippou on the ex Ian King championship winning Top Fuel Bike. Papafilippou ran 6.099-214mph first pass on the bike and then ran a jaw dropping 5.782-236.16mph to lead the field. Reigning European FIM Top Fuel Bike Champion Rikard Gustafsson became the first European Top Fuel Bike rider to run 250mph. During the final qualifying session Gustafsson ran 5.995 his first five second pass in Europe at 250.55mph. Reigning ACU Top Fuel Bike Champion Steve Woollatt was next 6.367-193mph. Glenn Borg ran a jaw dropping personal best of 6.574-206.29mph. Eric Richard recorded his first six-second pass during testing (day before the event started) 6.965. He qualified with another personal best of 6.909-196.40mph. Gustafsson ran 5.966 at 250.45mph in round one of the eliminations to set a European speed record. In the semi-finals Papafilippou beat Lorcan Parnell who ran personal best figures of 6.740-218.00mph. In the other semi-final Gustafsson beat Richard who ran another p/b 6.907. The final turned out to be the quickest and fastest side by side race in Europe with Papafilippou taking the win light 6.013-227 to Gustafsson 6.027-240. Super Twins. It was Marcus Christiansen first visit to Santa Pod and recorded a personal best of 6.429 for number one qualifier. There were five bikes in the six-second zone with Neil Midgley 6.566, Hans Olav Olstad 6.725 Martijn De Haas 6.877 and Ronny Aasen 6.988. Christian Jager debut his new bike the ex Joachim Riemer bike, but didn’t qualify. Reigning ACU Funny Bike Champion Allan Davies debut the Puma V Twin that his father constructed and built twenty years ago. Round one of the eliminations saw an all UK race Davies lost to Midgley 6.583 to 7.923. Christiansen ran 223.38mph and Aasen ran 6.385 (under European ET record of 6.409) to defeat De Haas. In the semi-finals Christiansen turned the wick up and ran 6.337 to beat Aasen 6.462 at a personal best speed of 228.92mph (the race was the quickest and fastest side by side run in Europe). In the other semi Olstad reached the final with a close win 6.673 to Midgley 6.767. Olstad solo to the winner’s circle when Christiansen had a fluid leak on the start line. Pro Stock Bike. Kenneth Holmberg damaged his number one engine during qualifying after recording a best of 7.434 to lead a small field of four bikes. Bertrand Maurice just edged Martin Bishop for number two spot 7.471 to 7.475. Alex Hope was having handling issues with his bike and qualified with 7.512. Mark Smith damaged his engine in the second session. Holmberg red lit against Hope in the semi-finals and Maurice had a bye run when Bishop was a no show. Maurice was in his first ever FIM event final and won the event when Hope red lit against him. Super Street Bike. Round 2. Round one was run in Hungary. Reigning Champion Richard Stubbins won the event. At the Main Event it was former champion Steve Venables who took the limelight with a record setting performance, with a qualifying run of 6.968 at 214.82mph (Europe’s fastest rider). Thirteen riders recorded personal best in either et or speed during the event. (Twenty-four riders entered the event). Mogens Lund was Venables nearest challenger with 7.024. Garry Bowe ran 7.081 at the expense of an engine and transmission. Jemma Venables was on the record bump spot for the class with 7.638. Round two witness a new European ET record by Steve Venables 6.928. In the semis Venables ran 6.934 to beat Robert Haggblom. Lund beat Stubbins in the other semi 7.100 to 7.332. The final turned out to be the quickest and fastest side by side in Europe with Venables taking the win light 6.934-210.00mph to Lund 7.038 with a personal best speed of 210.81mph. Report by Steven Moxley.