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European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway
Tuesday October 1, 2019 at 2:12pm
There was record setting performances at the European Finals and many riders recorded their personal bests. Friday had rain in between the opening two qualifying sessions, which put back the running order. That meant Top Fuel Bike, SuperTwins and Pro Stock Bike didn’t run in the second session and would have to do three sessions on Saturday. But in the last session on Saturday there were some stunning runs in Super Street Bike class. Top Fuel Bike. Rikard Gustafsson got the show started with an off the trailer 5.966. But broke a crankshaft in the next session. A new crankshaft was sent over from Holland and the team worked late to get the bike ready for the eliminations. Reigning champion Fillppos Papafilippou was the story of the meeting with back to back 5.663-233.94mph and 5.662-246.74mph for a new European FIM Championship ET record. Becoming the quickest Top Fuel Bike rider outside the USA. Eric Richard ran personal best figures of 6.522-204.27mph and then 6.485-209.92mph. Al Smith riding Phil Baimbridge three cylinder powered motor ran 6.275-194.70mph career personal best. Dale Leeks was on the bump spot with 6.941-197.94mph p/b. The title was between Papafilippou and Gustafsson both reached the semi-finals. Gustafsson was a no show in the semis leaving Smith a bye run to the final. That meant Papafilippou was the 2019 European FIM Top Fuel Bike Champion. Papafilippou beat Steve Woollatt in the other semi-final 5.701-244.22mph to 6.454-206.11mph. Smith didn’t make the call for the final so Papafilippou soloed to the winner’s circle. SuperTwins. Marcus Christiansen dominated the class at the European Finals and during qualifying ran 6.299 to become the first European rider to run 6.2secs with a normally aspirated motor. Former champion Martijn De Haas was the nearest rider with 6.613. Marc Van Den Boer ran personal best figures of 6.912-193.03mph. There were some shocks in round one with Allan Davies beating De Haas. Christian Jager ran his first six-second on his new bike 6.937 to knock out Van Den Boer. Neil Midgley beat Gert-Jan Laseur to reach the final. Christiansen turned the wick up and ran 6.233 to back up the 6.299 for a new European FIM Championship ET record in the semi-final race against Jager. Christiansen won the event and was crowned the 2019 European FIM SuperTwins Champion. Pro Stock Bike. Fredrik Fredlund was the number one qualifier 7.045 followed by Martin Newbury 7.108 and title challenger Janne Koskinen 7.242. Fredlund had a bye run in round one and another bye run when Martin Bishop broke in the burnout box. Koskinen had a problem at mid-track and lost in round one against Bertrand Maurice. With the championship wrapped up Fredlund was hoping to win the event. But Newbury put a holeshot over Fredlund and held on to run a personal best of 7.053 to win the event over a losing Fredlund with a quicker time 7.047. Super Street Bike. Steve Venables was on top form and set new European FIM Championship ET and Speed records during qualifying of 6.806-216.99mph. There were many personal bests during qualifying. Daniel Lencses 6.941-204.21. Graham Balchin 6.977. Garry Bowe 6.973. Stephen Mead 7.099-205.23. Mark Hope 7.330 and Yannick Richard 7.425-196.31mph. Alex Hope had issues during qualifying and then his title hopes came to an end when he lost to Mogens Lund in round one. In round two Mead ran a p/b of 7.022-206.26mph to win on a holeshot against Balchin 6.983. Mark Hope ran p/b of 7.289 against Venables 6.825. Richard ran p/b 7.347 to beat Lensces. Lund had run 6.977, 6.994 and 6.979 to reach the final. Venables turned the wick up for the final and won the event and reset the European FIM Championship ET record 6.804 to win the event and is the 2019 European FIM Super Street Bike Champion. Lund ran 7.029 and finished third in the championship. Congratulations to the following European FIM Champions. Top Fuel Bike. Filippos Papafilippou. SuperTwins. Marcus Christiansen. Pro Stock Bike. Fredrik Fredlund. Super Street Bike. Janne Koskinen. Report by Steven Moxley.