2019 FIA European Pro Mod Championship, Jimmy Ålund

Race #6, The European Finals, Santa Pod Raceway, UK, and a 2019 recap

"A busy season indeed"

Norrköping, Sweden, September 13, 2019 - The final round of the 2019 FIA European Drag Racing Championship was held at Santa Pod Raceway in the UK. As always a very good track and crowd, the concrete racing surface from last year has gotten even better and made for record-breaking world class numbers all around.

Like last year, Ålund competed in two FIA drag racing classes for 2019. But this year with a twist. Not only did he run the full season in The Old 51 Pro Mod car "as usual" but Ålund also went for gold in FIA Pro Stock by contending all six races of the championship in the Summit Racing Camaro.

Busy indeed, the season started out well at The Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway.

Loads of new stuff in The Old 51. #4 qualifier with rounds in the 5.8-second region and good speeds. Good first round in eliminations, a win with an elapsed time (ET) of 5.87, another win in the quarter finals at 5.87 but it ended in the semis with tire shake.

- Next up, the Tierp Internationals in Sweden.

Rough going. #5 qualifier and it continued into eliminations where an electrical gremlin put an end to the weekend after round one. Ålund now in 6th place in the standings.

- Third event of the season, the FHRA Nitro Nationals, Finland. Now held at the new track in Kauhava. The virgin track made this a very challenging event for all.

Ålund drove The Old 51 to the #2 qualifying position but it wasn't pretty, the car only made it down the track once under full power during qualifying.

Ålund won the eighth-finals with the best ET of the day. He won a pedalfest in the quarterfinals but it hurt the transmission and The Old 51 was put on the trailer in the semi-finals. The new track made for a lot of upsets and Ålund gained two places in the standings. Now number 4.

- Race number four. The NitrOlympx, Hockenheim, Germany. A very good race, very good. Another double header win.

Ålund in points trouble coming here but the team and driver did everything right. New personal best speed during qualifying, 400.55 km/h (248.89 mph) and #2 qualifier.

Eliminations was a dandy, the lead words being "quick" and "consistent". In his elimination rounds, Ålunds best and worst ETs were only 0.048 seconds apart, all in the low 5.9s. The strong performance and consistency proved too tough for the competition with Ålund going all rounds and winning the event. He also won the event in the FIA Pro Stock class. Ålund and The Old 51 team left Hockenheim in second place in the points table, moving up two places from Kauhava.

- Back to Sweden and Tierp Arena for championship race number five, the Summit Racing Equipment Internationals. Mixed results.

Again some very rough qualifying. Ålund was not even in the field after the first day but things got better on the Saturday. The Old 51 rebounded into the #3 place in as tough as field as you can find.

Eliminations, not a good day at all. In the eighth-finals, Ålund hits tire shake right at the hit and the event was over. The points chase in jeopardy, Ålund loses one place in the standings, down to #3 with one race left to go.

- This made for a nail biting season ending event at Santa Pod Raceway, The European Finals. The FIA Pro Mod championship trophy was far away but still within a mathematical reach for Ålund and The Old 51 team.

Every single point makes or breaks the championship. Ålund with a good start, 3 bonus points for being #1 after Q1. No points for the Q2 run and now the #2 qualifier. The Old 51 bounces back in Q3, 3 more bonus points and back to the number 1 spot. More trouble in Q4, no bonus points here but The Old 51 stays as the #1 qualifier. There's still a mathematical chance to take the championship. Noteable is the ET in Q3, 5.7806 seconds, it made The Old 51 the first European Pro Mod blower car into the 5.7-second region. That run also made for the quickest ET of the weekend.

Eliminations. Again a very tough field which made for some interesting developments. #2 in the points standings lost in the eighth-finals but the other top-runners hung in there. Including the points leader, Jan Ericsson of Sweden. Ålund dodged a very large caliber bullet by winning a pedalfest in the eighth-finals.

In the quarter-final, Ålund won his pair with the second quickest ET of the round but Ericsson won his round as well and "that's all she wrote" as the saying goes. Ericsson from Sweden had now gathered the points needed for winning the 2019 FIA Pro Mod Championship. First championship as well, congratulations.

The fight for the event win continued with no luck for The Old 51. As bad a semifinal round as there could be with a red light, followed by a tire shake and hard move to the right with a shut off at the christmas tree.

The smoke has cleared after a long and challenging season and Ålund and The Old 51 end up as number three in the 2019 FIA Pro Mod Championship. "Well, it's two places down from last year" reflects Ålund, "but what a crowd to run with. 38 teams were in the championship and it was all decided at this last race". Ålund continues, "huge congratulations to Jan Ericsson and his team for winning the championship. As funny and crazy as he is at times, he's a fierce and serious competitor and ran real strong throughout the whole season. And of course, he comes from the Pro Stock ranks".

Summit Racing Equipment is sponsoring both the Old 51 Pro Mod car and the Ålund Pro Stock Camaro this year. The Old 51 team is very grateful for the continuing support.

The first race of the 2020 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 23, 2020.


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