in the world of drag racing
The latest update as of September 11, 1999
Big news from both sides of the "pond" today. First, from Santa Pod's "FIA European Finals" comes news of Gordie Bonin's qualifying pass in Top Fuel today. Off the trailer, he sped to (so far) Low ET and Top Speed of the meet with a very strong 4.997 - 284.83 to snare the number one qualifying position in the six car field. Considering that this was his only qualifying attempt, and that he hadn't run at Santa Pod since May, and that this was the first (and only... so far) four-second pass this year in Europe, Gordie and crew are to be commended.
His first round opponent tomorrow will be Pelle Lindelow of Sweden, who, after blowing up everything at the final stop on the Top Fuel Tour of Sweden two weeks ago (and briefly contemplating retirement), regrouped, ordered in a crate of new engine parts and finished assembling a new bullet in time for a couple of 330 foot runs during qualifying. Obviously, Gordie has lane choice in the first round, and providing he gets past Lindelow, will have an automatic bye into the final. And with an insurmountable lead in the FIA Top Fuel points standings, tomorrow could see the successful conclusion of yet another chapter in Gordie Bonin's illustrious career.Even bigger news than Bonin's efforts (at least for Top Alcohol, or if you prefer Top Methanol...) was the final qualifying run of Finland's Eero Kilpelainen (sure hope I spelled his name correctly). Eero set the other alcohol racers on their collective backsides with the quickest and fastest pass ever recorded in Europe: 5.708 - 247.30. Providing he can back it up within one percent in tomorrow's eliminations, there could be a new FIA European Top Methanol Dragster record in the books within 24 hours. By way of comparison, the current Aussie T/A record stands at 5.703 (with the quickest ever run being a 5.700), so Eero's run was within a gnat's hair of being the quickest ever outside North America.
The eight-car dragster field was fairly tightly bunched for the first few positions behind Kilpalainen's awesome effort, with the top four cars in the fives, and five cars with a legitimate chance to win tomorrow. For all the results in Top Fuel and Top Methanol from Santa Pod, visit our Results Menu tomorrow. (We currently have the final qualifying positions posted; eliminations results should be posted by early Sunday afternoon).Now for some news from the rain-delayed (Friday's qualifying was "monsooned" out) "IHRA Parts Pro North American Nationals". For all those fans of local hero Glen May and his very successful "Cranberry Connection" Pro Mod.... The first qualifying session at New England Dragway is over, and Glen's new Ford Ranger Truck is sitting in the # 2 position. Great start, eh? The numbers were 6.408 at 214.38 and the description of the run is as follows:
"May's new truck shook so hard at Norwalk (two weeks ago) that it broke the swingarm and cracked a couple of body parts, so it went back to the shop (Cannon-Pittman Race Cars) between races. Looks like they got the new truck fixed pretty well, a nice pass".
We'll be back tomorrow with the final qualifying results from New England Dragway and later in the day with the final eliminations results from both Santa Pod Raceway and New England. Stay tuned for more news from both venues; it should be very interesting to see if the performances reported above can be duplicated... or even improved upon. PS: We've managed to update the Top Ten Lists with a few new items; check it out for some "high performance humour".