2013 FIA European Drag Race Championship Round 1 England

Silly season is finally done and RF Motorsport is well prepared for the 2013 European Drag Race Championship. Round one is the main event at Santa Pod Raceway in England, our hometrack and where we have our workshop as well. This year we are entering the championship as defending champions, and that makes everything a bit more tricky. We arrived the track saturday morning in fairly good conditions, which means partly sunny and not that windy. The racetrack has got brand new surface, all 3 drivers and race cars are ready and the crews have been working out all winter so of course we had some expectations for the season opener. It turned out to be a completely Scandinavian battle with only drivers from Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

The RF Motorsport line-up this weekend is TF1 Risto Poutiainen, TF2 Jari Halinen and TF4 Antti Horto.

Qualification 1.


Could not get the car started and was pushed off from the track.


Blew a headgasget and rolled passed the finish line with the time 8,12@74mph.

Drives through a tire shake but had to shut off because of a sudden blaze which pulled the car to the right. Number one qualifier thou with 5,48@121mph.

Standings after Q1:
1 Jari Halinen
2 Anita Mäkelä
3 Stig Neergaard
4 Micke Kågered
5 Risto Poutiainen
6 Thomas Nataas

Crew chief Tony just before start-up

Risto on a burnout

The battle of Finland. Jari VS Risto


Qualification 2.

Track condition is getting much better as we enter the startline after some delays and track preps. 


With a 0,18 reaction time he launched ok but after 250 feet he went up in smoke. He tried to pedal it once and got some grip to cross the finish line in 5,35@139mph. Currently number 3 after Q2.


0,14 reaction time and 0,87 in sixty foot was good enough for Risto to leave before Antti, but he also went up in smoke with some shakes. He tried to pedal but the blower belt broke. 6,33@100mph. Currently number 5 after Q2.

0,89 on the sixty foot for Jari ending in some hard tyre shake and a fast shut-off at 100 feet. 8,42@67mph. Currently number 4 after Q2.

Standings after Q2:
1 Stig Neergaard 4,2019@281.84 mph
2 Anita Mäkelä 4,4624@240.03 mph
3 Antti Horto 5,3553@139.93 mph
4 Jari Halinen 5,4808@121.41 mph
5 Risto Poutiainen 6,3391@100.83 mph
6 Micke Kågered 6,7495@102.78 mph
7 Thomas Nataas 8,1554@73.00 mph

Jari on green light with tyre twist


Qualification 3.

Santa Pod is a good place to be today, the weather is good and the grandstands are full.

Risto: 5.6201@116.25mph

With a 0.1320 reaction time and a storming 0.8577 on the sixty foot Risto blasted away half way down the track. Suddenly his tyre started spinning, not by overpowering but probably some oil, and the blower belt broke.

Antti: 4.2813@236.22mph 

A bit slower off the start line than Risto, 0.2080 reaction time and 0.9061sixty foot, but the crew had tuned the car perfect so he just went storming down the track, moving him into the number 3 spot. The blower belt broke just before 1000 feet.

Jari: 6.2365@97.98mph

A 0.1550 reaction and 0.8776 on the sixty foot Jari left a holeshot on the startline. At about 100 feet he hit some tyre shake and backed out.

Standings after Q3
1 Thomas Nataas 4.1020
2 Stig Neergaard 4.2019
3 Antti Horto 4.2813
4 Anita Mäkelä 4.4624
5 Jari Halinen 5.4808
6 Risto Poutiainen 5.6201
7 Micke Kågered 5.7311

Risto getting ready with Steffen

Antti Horto

Jari and Jamie getting ready


Qualification 4.

20.000 spectators packed around the track cheering for the fuelers is quite a good feeling for all us speed junkies that are investing a lot of time and money into being the fastest of the fast. Without you, the fans who pays to see us, this would not be possible and we salute you all!

Risto: 5.0451@203.48mph

The last qual turned out to be a disaster for Risto`s crew and they do have some work ahead coz the engine blew up completely. A new engine is to be fit before running eliminations tomorrow..

Jari: 5.1197@145.81

Left the line hard but after 250 feet a wall of smoke covered both cars and Jari safely shut off.

Annti: DNS

With a clutch canon stuck Antti was not able to back off after burnout. He left his ride and jumped over the wall while the other lane staged. He is still number 3 qualifier into the finals tomorrow. 

Final qualifying standings after Q4.

1 Thomas Nataas
2 Stig Neergaard
3 Antti Horto
4 Anita Mäkelä
5 Micke Kågerd
6 Risto Poutiainen
7 Jari Halinen 

Risto Poutiainen VS Jari Halinen Q4


Antti Horto Q4

Antti and Darren talking.

Elimination 1.

We where supposed to enter first elimination with 3 cars, but due to some complications Risto did not start. Antti and Jari on the other hand was ready, and as Risto dident race Antti knew he had a bye run through too the semifinals.

Jari was up against Stig Neergaard, he went out first, but for the 5th time this weekend he got tyre shakes and sadly had to shut off.

This leaves RF Motorsport with one car in the semifinals, Antti Horto. The other 3 is Anita, Stig and Thomas.

Antti Horto Elimination 1

Jari Halinen VS Stig Neergaard Elimination 1

Elimination 2.

Great side by side racing when Antti was up against Stig Neergaard. Both leaving the startline almost identical with the RFM car with a slightly faster reaction time. At halftrack Stig almost catch up when Antti started losing grip but with a 0.0091 difference Antti crossed first and is in the first final of the year. The time he run was 4.2434@248.02 mph.
Now the crew has to prepare for one more big push..

Antti Horto and crew

Antti Horto VS Stig Neergaard

More updates to come..