2018 FIA European Pro Mod Championship, The Old 51.

Race #6, The European Finals, Santa Pod Raceway, UK

"The Champs!"

Norrköping, Sweden, September 12, 2018 - The final round of the 2018 FIA European Drag Racing Championship was held at Santa Pod Raceway in the UK. As always a very good track and crowd, this year with an all new concrete racing surface.

Like last year, Ålund competed in two FIA drag racing classes for 2018. A full season in Pro Mod driving the Magnus Petersson-owned Old 51 Chevrolet and the three northern swing races in Finland and Sweden in his own Summit Racing Pro Stock Camaro.

The season started out in good fashion at The Doorlammers, a pre-season special event held at Santa Pod Raceway. Ålund and the team won the whole event which was a hint of things to come.

The following weekend was the first FIA championship race, The Main Event, at the same track. Ålund qualified as the #2 and finished the event as runner-up.
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Next up, the Tierp Internationals in Sweden. Ålund raced both cars here and this event also included the first round of the Swedish Pro Mod Championship. A solid showing in Pro Mod, Ålund won this round of the Swedish Championship and qualified #1 with a new personal best elapsed time of 5.84 seconds. The Old 51 went all the way to the finals but an electrical gremlin ended the weekend in the line-up, Ålund thus the runner-up but with a points lead of 9 points.

In FIA Pro Stock, Ålund qualified #2 with the fastest speed of the event and lost out in the quarterfinals.
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Third event of the season, the FHRA Nitro Nationals, Finland. History was made. Ålund in two cars again, rough qualifying, The Old 51 only got one full power run though good enough to finish in the top spot, but Ålund was dead last in Pro Stock with lots of issues.

Sunday, eliminations shaped up nicely. In FIA Pro Stock, Ålunds team had sorted out all the prior problems. The car was quick and fast, went all rounds and Ålund won the event.

In FIA Pro Mod, Ålund went to the finals against reigning FIA Pro Mod champion Micke Gullqvist. Ålund and the team were in the zone and won the race and the event.

History of course, this was the first time ever that one driver has won both FIA Pro Mod and FIA Pro Stock the same afternoon. "Unbelievable" says Ålund, "to say that we struggled in qualifying would be the understatement of the century. But like the saying goes, 'it ain't over 'til it's over' and Sunday turned out just perfect for both the Old 51 Pro Mod Car and the Summit Racing Pro Stock Camaro".

Ålund left Alastaro leading the FIA Pro Mod championship by 33 points.
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Race number four. The NitrOlympx, Hockenheim, Germany. Again, problems in qualifying, in position #10 after day one and down to #13 after Q3 but a solid effort by the whole team set things straight. In Q4, Ålund qualified as #1 with a new best speed for the car with 391.53 km/h (243.28 mph).

The Sunday for eliminations was not the best of days, Ålund went out early with a loss in the semi-finals.

Very tight in the points for the Pro Mod championship, Ålund dropped to second place, now 8 points behind the championship leader.
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Back to Sweden and Tierp Arena for championship race number five, the Summit Racing Equipment Internationals. Ålund racing in both FIA Pro Mod and Pro Stock here.

Qualifying. Pro Mod, another tough first day, Ålund qualified as number 16, on the bump spot. But as has been the case at earlier events, day 2 made for two good runs and second in the qualifying list.

Qualifying. Pro Stock, not enough time to care for all the Camaro needs made for only one day of qualifying and the number 4 qualifying position.

Eliminations Pro Mod: Ålund went to the final by the way of a 5.81 second run in the semifinals, at 393.59 km/h (244.56 mph) which was a new best ET and speed for The Old 51 but was stopped in the finals, another runner-up.

Eliminations Pro Stock: A picture perfect day for the Summit Racing Camaro. Ålund was quickest and fastest in all rounds of elimination and finished off the day by winning the final with a 6.55 at 342.64 km/h (212.90 mph) which was both the low ET and top speed of the whole weekend.

Though runner-up in Pro Mod, Ålund was back on top of that championship, he left Tierp Arena with a 57 point lead.
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This made for an exciting season ending event at Santa Pod Raceway, The European Finals. The FIA Pro Mod championship trophy very much within reach of Ålund and The Old 51 team.

Exciting indeed, in overhauling the engine for this event, the crew found a cracked crankshaft which made for a busy week.

Ålund with two good runs in qualifying, ending up in the #2 spot going into eliminations. A relaxed Sunday in a way, Ålund had gained enough points during qualifying to be the 2018 FIA Pro Mod champion, but all work and no play for Ålund and the crew. Ålund went all rounds to the final, fastest speed in three of the four rounds and quickest ET in all elimination rounds, bettering his elapsed times and speeds through the semi-finals. It turned out a perfect day to end this championship season, Ålund drove The Old 51 all the way to the event win in the final to cap off an unforgettable year, winning the European Pro Mod championship.

Congratulations. "Thanks" says Ålund, "be sure it was an all-out team effort and that it was pretty tough going there in the mid-season but we pulled together and got the first FIA Pro Mod championship for The Old 51." Ålund continues, "what a great season in all, and to be able to finish it off like this with an event win at The Finals. The whole team has tuned the car so well, we've been running 5.8s pretty much at will this year. Back to the Future, last year we were in the 90s, this year in the 80s and next year we'll be in the 70s".

The Summit Racing Pro Stock Camaro only raced at three events this year. "I think we did good, we won two events including the historic double-header win at Alastaro and cleared the table with the event win at Tierp which was very satisfying, again proving that we can go all in for a whole event with that car".

The Big Question, 2019? "Well, this partnership has worked out real well, #2 last year and European Champions this year" says Ålund. "I'd really like to run the full championship with both Magnus Peterssons The Old 51 Pro Mod car and my own Summit Racing Pro Stock Camaro. We have to let the impressions from this season sink in for a while. So as not to cause any undue speculations, I'll go with 'the future will show' for now".

Summit Racing Equipment, Viking Industrimålning and Exclusive Cars are sponsoring both the Old 51 Pro Mod car and the Ålund Pro Stock Camaro this year. This is in addition to Sverigedemokraterna, KB Racing, Camaroskroten, P.O:s Harley Davidson, All American AB, Vadstena Klosterhotel, Stigs Axle and Parts, Hydraulakuten, VP Racing Fuel. Jimmy Ålund Racing is very grateful for the continuing support from such great companies.

The first race of the 2019 FIA Drag Racing Championship series is The Main Event, held at the historic drag strip Santa Pod Raceway in the UK. The qualifying starts on Saturday morning, May 25, 2019.

/PiPPi


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