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MSA British Drag Racing Championship

Championship Rounds Race Reports

Round 2:  Main Event - 24th to 27th May 2013

Sweden’s Michael Gullqvist won his second Santa Pod race in consecutive visits. Having struggled uncharacteristically to victory at last September’s European Finals, this time Gullqvist took the trophy in imperious fashion but missed out on the event’s best performance marks.

That honour fell to Marc Meihuizen, whose 5.913sec low qualifier at 242.51mph netted both Low ET and Top Speed of the Meet plus career-best figures for the Dutch racer, and surprised even the team itself. Many had expected that Meihuizen and his Andy Robinson-built Firebird might dip below six seconds sooner or later, but not by such a margin in one go.

Gullqvist faced a double Dutch challenge. Sadly, Meihuizen broke after his burnout in the second round of eliminations but it allowed his opponent and fellow countryman, David Vegter, to advance to the semi-final, where he beat Bruno Bader, and thence to the final, where he faced Gullqvist in a repeat of September’s European Finals trophy match. Vegter set personal-best ETs twice in eliminations, clocking 6.101 on the solo pass following Meihuizen’s breakage and lowering it to 6.093 against Bader. His consistent 6.106 against Gullqvist would have won many a final round, but not this. Gullqvist hit 5.987/241.24 to snatch a close win.

Mats spacer Schneider spacer Andy Frost

Marc Meihuizen’s 5.91 would now be the new FIA European record had he managed to back it up within the required one percent, but will simply have to stand as Santa Pod’s track best. Instead, Gullqvist’s 5.945 in qualifying set the new FIA standard, supported by his 6.001 from the previous session and by his 5.98 in the final.

It was an encouraging event for the Dutch, with Robert Joosten also setting a fresh personal-best ET, 6.153, in qualifying before losing an exciting match to Switzerland’s Marcus Hilt in the first round.

Two Swedes made first appearances at Santa Pod. Mattias Wulcan’s blown Firebird became a five-second runner two weeks earlier at Tierp and clocked 6.003 here to qualify third before getting crossed-up in a first-round loss to Germany’s Norbert Kuno. Mats Wicktor set a personal-best ET (6.666) in his nitrous-boosted ‘atmo’ Corvette, with tuning assistance from Trevor Langfield of Wizards Of NOS, to qualify 10th but succumbed to breakage sustained on the pass.

Robinson spacer Hilt spacer Wulcan

It was an encouraging event too for the British, at least for two of them. Wayne Nicholson’s silver ‘Vette really began to look the part, bettering both ET (twice) and speed personal bests to qualify sixth before breakage on the burn-out robbed him of the chance to take on Kuno in the first round. Andy Frost and his amazing Vauxhall battered previous quarter-mile standards for street-legal cars even further out of sight, clocking 6.506/226.91 to qualify seventh. Frost benefited from Mats Wicktor’s no-show in round one before Gullqvist overwhelmed him in round two.

Rick Garrett and Andy Robinson can confidently expect better days. By his own admission, Garrett was on a stormer on his first trip down the track when a cylinder problem caused a backfire which blew off the hood scoop and rendered the Willys Coupé hors de combat for the weekend. It was a corrective low after the high of victory at Easter in only his second Pro Mod race, but Garrett is sure the damage can be fixed in time for his fourth Pro Mod outing at the Summer Nationals.

Hilt spacer Jean spacer Steve Hall

Andy Robinson Race Cars machines abounded. Testifying to their strength, Kevin Slyfield’s Willys Sedan should not really have made it to the race at all following its apparent season-ending smiting of both walls at Easter, but Slyfield and his crew worked night and day to ready the car for competition and were rewarded with 14th qualifying spot and a narrow first-round defeat in a hairy, swervy thriller of a pedalfest against Mattias Wulcan. Graham Ellis’s Robinson-built, turbocharged Plymouth Superbird still encounters staging problems and left before the lights against Gullqvist in the opening round. Including the Dutch cars of Meihuizen and Vegter, there were six Robinson-constructed Pro Mods in the race.

France’s Jean Dulamon twice managed to get his unblown Camaro down the track unscathed to qualify on the bump spot, but its all-too-familiar problem returned with a vengeance in Dulamon’s opening match against Meihuizen as a massive nitrous bang blew the hood scoop higher than ever into the air and showered the start line with bodywork debris. Start-line staff and officials pray fervently that Dulamon finds a cure for his car’s ailments, out of genuine concern for the popular French driver’s wellbeing and frame of mind and, increasingly, for their own health and safety.

Michael spacer David spacer Michael and David

Germany’s Norbert Schneider, an experienced Comp and Super-Pro racer, made his Pro Mod debut driving Norbert Kuno’s second Lucas Oil Dodge Avenger.

If the sun continues to shine on Santa Pod’s fine new track as it did from Saturday to Monday at The Main Event, there’s an outstanding MSA British Drag Racing Championship in the offing for 2013.



Po. Driver Home Town / Country Time MPH Best MPH
1 Marc Meihuizen NED 5.913 242.51  
2 Michael Gullqvist SWE 5.945 239.94 241.47
3 Mattias Wulcan SWE 6.003 238.59  
4 Bruno Bader  SUI 6.106 219.30 222.29
5 Robert Joosten NED 6.153 234.08  
6 Wayne Nicholson GBR 6.456 219.20 220.12
7 Andy Frost GBR 6.506 226.91  
8 Mats Eriksson SWE 6.588 234.88  
9 David Vegter  NED 6.599 232.75  
10 Mats Wicktor SWE 6.666 204.40  
11 Norbert Kuno DEU 6.771 205.35  
12 Marcus Hilt SUI 6.933 199.76  
13 Steve Hall GBR 6.974 206.07  
14 Kevin Slyfield GBR 7.332 167.29  
15 Graham Ellis GBR 7.522 199.75 202.59
16 Jean Dulamon FRA 7.566 205.06  
17 Andy Robinson GBR 7.596 214.10  
18 Norbert Schneider DEU 8.187 158.48  
19 Rick Garrett GBR 11.032  77.49  

Round 1:
David Vegter 6.388sec, 222.54mph def. Mats Eriksson 11.869, 75.44
Andy Frost 10.091, 106.68 def. Mats Wicktor no show
Norbert Kuno 14.519, 73.08 def. Wayne Nicholson broke
Marcus Hilt 6.780, 179.96 def. Robert Joosten 6.845, 152.64
Mattias Wulcan 8.113, 186.58 def. Kevin Slyfield 8.168, 148.56
Bruno Bader 6.581, 220.03 def. Steve Hall 7.069, 188.93
Michael Gullqvist 6.019, 232.43 def. Graham Ellis no time, left before lights
Marc Meihuizen 6.307, 213.88 def. Jean Dulamon broke

Round 2:
David Vegter 6.101, 232.87 def. Marc Meihuizen broke
Bruno Bader 6.130, 227.77 def. Marcus Hilt 6.941, 182.14
Michael Gullqvist 6.020, 233.77 def. Andy Frost 9.681, 97.77
Norbert Kuno 6.299, 225.89 def. Mattias Wulcan 8.041, 110.04

David Vegter 6.093, 234.08 def. Bruno Bader 6.186, 225.64
Michael Gullqvist 6.128, 222.33 def. Norbert Kuno 6.820, 156.83

Michael Gullqvist 5.987, 241.24 def. David Vegter 6.106, 234.07

Low Elapsed Time of the Event:  5.913sec. – Marc Meihuizen
Top Speed of the Event:  242.51mph – Marc Meihuizen

Personal-best performances set during event:

Andy Frost 6.506, 226.91
Robert Joosten 6.153 -
Marc Meihuizen 5.913, 242.51
Wayne Nicholson  6.456, 220.12
Norbert Schneider  8.187, 158.48
David Vegter 6.093 -
Mats Wicktor 6.666 -

The 2013 points table is on the Rounds & Points page.