At the start of the four-day event the weather was hot and humid. But that changed on race day when rain fell over night delaying the start and then rain fell later in the day and after the track crew worked very hard to get the track dried, a deluge of rain fell late in the afternoon bringing the event to a close. Only the first rounds of Top Fuel Bike, Pro Stock Bike and SuperTwins were completed and during the second round of eliminations of Super Street Bike, rain fell ending the event.
Top Fuel Bike.
Rikard Gustafsson led the field 6.114-220.17 at the expense of a spun main bearing. Motor was repaired for the eliminations. Filippas Papafilippou suffered traction problems in the first 1/8 during Saturday’s qualifying, but ran a superb 6.687-205.34 for number two spot. Lorcan Parnell had an oil leak issue, but ran a jaw dropping 6.871-193.07. In fourth was Stuart Crane who stunned everyone with personal best figures of 6.951-188.90.
Round one of eliminations and Gustafsson took the win when Thomas Pettersson took out the finish line timing blocks. Parnell slowed at mid-track against Otto Knebl. Papafilippou broke at the 30ft mark against Steve Woollatt. The best race of the day saw Rene Van Den Berg chase and beat Crane 6.543-194 to Crane 6.973-172.
Reigning European FIM SuperTwins Champion Martijn De Haas led the small field 6.878-199.76 just ahead of Roman Sixta 6.891-206.12 (top speed of the meet). Newcomer Bruno Salesse riding the ex Lorenz Stauble bike qualify 8.220-172.39. Petr Ceska ran 8.670-139.40 but had an oil pump fail. After repairing the pump the starter motor broke and that put him out of the competition. Also out were the 2016 European FIM Pro Stock Bike Champion Gert-Jan Laseur who bought Chris Hannam V Twin but blew the rear cylinder head in qualifying. Ronny Aasen motor blew up in spectacular fashion at the 50ft mark in the opening qualifying session.
De Haas had a bye run and ran low et 6.721-206. In the other semi-final Sixta beat Salesse 7.087 to 9.918.
Pro Stock Bike.
Former champion Fredrik Fredlund had nearly 3/10ths over his next challenger in qualifying running 7.031-189.00. Newcomer Charly Abraham riding last years championship winning bike of Gert-Jan Laseur ran 7.286-171.73 for number two spot. Kenneth Holmberg damaged his number one motor and fitted his spare, running a best of 7.289-179.16. Martin Newbury had clutch issue and ran 7.359-177.84.
Fredlund eased pass Fredrik Schack 7.062 to 7.621. Alex Hope riding last year’s bike beat Newbury 7.324 to 9.263. Martin Bishop was a no show, so Abraham had a bye run into the semis. Holmberg ran his best of the weekend 7.225 to beat Len Paget 7.382.
Super Street Bike. Round Two.
The final places in qualifying were set in the last session. Rick Stubbins ran 7.097-203.23 and that was the run for number one spot. A few moments later Reigning European FIM Champion Garry Bowe came to the line and ran 7.061-207.04 to be the number one qualifier. Pete Field ran back to back personal bests 7.14 and 7.112. Fourth was Mogens Lund 7.209-200.78. Mark Hope on the bump spot of the sixteen-bike with a p/b of 7.834.
In the opening round of the eliminations Dave Thomas ran a jaw dropping personal best of 7.765 to knock out Pete Field who had traction problem off the start line. Daniel Lencses ran a p/b speed of 198.98mph against fellow countryman Kristian Jasz. Mark Hope ran another p/b 7.655-185.12 but lost against Bowe.
Round two and there were some shocks. First Lencses 7.488 beat Bowe who slowed at mid-track. Next Thomas knocked out Franklyn Borg on a holeshot win 7.849 to Borg quicker but losing 7.798. Stubbins beat Steve Venables 7.153 to a slowing 8.046.
The race between Lund and Robert Nilsson didn’t happen due to the heavy rain that fell.
Report by Steven Moxley.