Chris Andrews made 4 strong runs in qualification with a personal best ET of 4.074. This made him the number one qualifier, though Thomas had the exact same time, but with lower speed. This was the first time Chris was the no. 1 qualifier in the FIA championship and you could sure tell he was exited. Eddie Corr was Co-tuning the RFM dragster this weekend and Steffen, Kevin, Otis, Luke and Leon was the crew.
When elimination day came it was very hot in Hockenheimring. Track temperature was reading 100 and the drivers were up for a challenge sitting suited up in the staging lanes. Chris and Urs Erbacher were first pair out. Everything went as planned untill Chris redlit. hitting the throttle as the stagelight came on. He stepped off the gas, but the car rolled the beams and that was it. Looking back we still think that it was a good weekend for Chris. First qualifier and a personal best was not something we expected, though he really wanted a round win, and we might suspect that to come next round in Sweden.
Jari Halinen has been doing ok all this season and we were kind of ready to see Jari pull some really good numbers out of the box here in Germany. He qualified as number five with a strong and consistent 4.27 run. It was US tuner Jim Walsh who was in charge of the car, with Jari’s long time experienced crew, Laurie, Paul, Mark, Gary and Jamie. Erja was overlooking everything as usual as the team boss!
Jari was up against Swedish racer Micke Kagered, who has driven one of the RFM dragsters earlier this year. As soon as Jari hit the throttle he goes up in smoke. Micke leaves him on the line but the engine lets go, and we were all hoping for Jari to catch up at the end, but this never happened, and Jari was also out of the competition.
Antti Horto entered this competition as the championship leader. And with this in mind we hoped for a good turnout for Antti. 4.36 was his best Q time at 7 position, not the best position to be in for a championship leader, but the Eagle Racing Motorsport crew with Tony Pearson in charge did not let their heads down for so small details.
Antti was last out, pairing up against Thomas, who he is fighting for the championship against. They both left the start line good, but just before the finish line Antti was up in smoke and Thomas pulled away. The times was 4.66 to 4.35. So this made the weekend for Antti as well, and it also leaves him further behind in championship points.
Duncan Micallef and his crew from Malta were also running an RFM car this weekend. This was the first real test for Duncan in a new car and in a FIA championship round, so with that in mind we brought in another good RFM friend of ours, the US crew chief Michael Domagala, to lead the happy Maltese crew to some small victories along the way.
Our team boss Rune Fjeld was tuning the car and overlooking everthing, as he did with all 4 cars this weekend. In Q 1 there was something wrong with the data so Rune and Mike desided to skip the first qualification. This left Duncan with 3 shots to enter the strong field in the eliminations. But with a 4.59 in Q4 he was left out and the race weekend was over on Saturday. At present time Duncan will race the last round of the championship, he wants to race Sweden as well, but we’ll see how it turns out.
All in all Germany was a big disapointment for us, but the track was good, the 70 000 spectators on the grandstands were great, the weather was good, so we can't blame anyone but ourselves and we’ll promise to get back stronger at Tierp 22nd of august.
See championship pointstandings here.
See pictures here.