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MSA British Drag Racing Championship

Championship Rounds Race Reports

Round 2:  FIA European Championship Round 1, 23 - 26 May 2014

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Report

Another frustrating weekend at the drag races... For the second MSA round in a row, rain put paid to eliminations, and this time disrupted qualifying too.

Weatherwise, this has been the poorest start to an MSA Championship season since Pro Mod became the designated class in 2007. In that time, rain has triumphed on ten occasions. Its closest human challenger is Andy Robinson, a race winner seven times. Rain won twice each year in 2008 and 2012 but not at all in 2009. Never, though, has it washed out the first two events of a season. The remaining four races must all finish in the dry if an unwelcome new record is to be averted.

It was an odd weekend, for sure. Thanks to the weather, qualifying kicked off at 7.15pm on Saturday evening and ended abruptly not long after when Mats Eriksson managed to punt his Crown Victoria into both walls. The new chassis beneath the familiar Green Goblin body had been tested successfully with several eighth-mile launches in Sweden, and Eriksson elected to let rip first time out over the quarter-mile, with unfortunate results. The driver was fine, the car less so. As it was being cleared from the top end, the rain returned and the session, only partly completed, was annulled.

Mats spacer Tero spacer Roger

Three qualifying sessions were then crammed in on Sunday, which stayed dry throughout. There were two 5sec/240mph passes, Marc Meihuizen’s 5.981/241.25 which was good for low qualifier, Low ET and Top Speed of the Meet, and Michael Gullqvist’s 5.990/240.31 in his virtually unrecognisable Camaro, now coloured ‘Richard Petty blue’ and sporting a remodelled tail end. Norbert Kuno scored a new personal-best ET at 6.201 to qualify sixth, and fresh PBs for Chris Isaacs produced the biggest cheer of the weekend. Isaacs needed one more sub-7.4sec observed run to complete the licensing process in his new, Isaacs & Tramm turbo Plymouth Duster, but had fallen short with a 7.80 and a pair of 8’s in the three previous attempts including the annulled session. His last shot yielded a 7.068 at 198.99mph, to the evident pleasure of all around.

Roger spacer Michael spacer Norbert

Keen Pro Mod watchers will note – and fans of motoring mayhem may be disappointed to see – that Jean Dulamon seems at last to have cured his ‘nitrous burp’ problem. Starting with his final qualifying attempt at Hockenheim last August (his last track appearance) and continuing with three passes here this weekend, Dulamon now has four consecutive runs to his credit without a single explosion. Advice from Europe’s nitrous maestro, Roger Johansson, has plainly helped the popular French racer. Dulamon even dipped down into the 6’s for the first time since 2011’s Easter Thunderball; this weekend’s 6.876 was good enough to qualify him 13th. Johansson, meanwhile, clocked 6.122/224.75 to qualify fifth but found his gleaming black Mustang tricky to handle, missing the right-side wall by a hair’s breadth on a squirrelly last attempt.

Andy spacer Mattias spacer Chris

The Netherlands’ Robert Joosten continues to head the MSA points table, with a fourth-qualifying 6.108 this weekend to add to his Easter low qualifier. Joosten probably will not attend the forthcoming MSA Round 3 at the Summer Nationals (28-29 June) so – weather permitting! – it promises an opportunity for the likes of Andy Robinson, Rick Garrett, Roger Moore, Andy Wright and even rookie Chris Isaacs to march into the lead.

Qualifying    

Po. Driver Country Time Speed
1 Marc Meihuizen NED 5.981 241.25
2 Michael Gullqvist SWE 5.990 240.31
3 Bruno Bader SUI 6.106 227.95
4 Robert Joosten NED 6.108 236.14
5 Roger Johansson SWE 6.122 224.75
6 Norbert Kuno DEU 6.201 231.55
7 David Vegter NED 6.218 231.66
8 Mattias Wulcan SWE 6.316 198.88
9 Andy Robinson GBR 6.338 228.92
10 Rick Garrett  GBR 6.687 198.82
11 Tero Laukkanen FIN 6.758 181.40
12 Roger Moore GBR 6.825 192.98
13 Jean Dulamon FRA 6.876 202.35
14 Chris Isaacs GBR 7.068 198.99
15 Andy Wright GBR 7.239 213.08
Non-qualifiers:
  Mats Eriksson SWE    

Eliminations:

Rained off.

Low Elapsed Time of the Event:  5.981sec. – Marc Meihuizen (Q3)
Top Speed of the Event:  241.25mph – Marc Meihuizen (Q3)

Personal-best performances set during event:

Chris Isaacs 7.068, 198.99
Norbert Kuno 6.201

The 2014 points table is on the Rounds & Points page.