Santa Pod (England), September 9, 2014 – A strong semi-final finish was the end of a great European Finals for MPM-driver David Vegter at Santa Pod Raceway. In a quarter final where Vegter showed his great driving skills, the MPM-driver defeated the at that moment still reigning FIA European champion Michael Gullqvist. In the semi-final the Vegter Pro Mod Racing ’67 Camaro was hit by tyre shake once again and Vegter had to lift, to see the just crowned new champion Mattias Wulcan win the race. “This was the best we could do this weekend. We tried everything to solve the tyre shake problems, but also made some mistakes”, said Vegter. Despite having to skip one race, Vegter was the number seven in the FIA European Pro Modified Championship. With the last race finished, the preparation for the new season will start very soon for Vegter and his team.
As usual the European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway was the (fifth and) last round of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship. Weather conditions were great and as the Santa Pod track was good too, everybody was looking forward to a great race with many fast runs. But with so much traction, there is also a great risk of tyre shake and that’s what happened to many drivers in the first qualifying session. MPM-driver David Vegter could ‘drive through’ the tyre shake and so the ’67 Camaro crossed the finishline in 6.168 sec, the provisional number seven qualifying position. Vegter Pro Mod Racing knew they could do better and after some adjustments, made their second run. But the new set-up didn’t work, with even more tyre shake as a result.
The team changed the set-up again, but still tyre shake and a 6.37 sec at the second day of qualifying for the MPM Camaro. With the 6.16 from the first run Vegter was ninth qualifier in the nineteen car Pro Mod field. In the first round of eliminations the MPM-driver had to face Tierp Arena winner from two weeks ago, Tero Laukkanen from Finland. In a great 6.10 sec Vegter had the far better run, defeated the Finn and advanced to the quarter finals. There he had to face reigning FIA European champion Michael Gullqvist, who had to win the quarter final to keep himself in the championship race. Immediately after the start Vegter was hit by tyre shake and was a few meters behind. But Gullqvist had traction problems too and as the MPM-driver reacted very quickly and steered the car back into the groove, he could fight back and defeat Gullqvist in one of the most spectacular runs of the day with 7.20 to 7.34 sec. No new title for Gullqvist, but he was not the last Swede and champion Vegter and his team had to face. In the semi-final the just crowned new FIA European champion Mattias Wulcan from Sweden was the next opponent. Again tyre shake for the MPM-driver and as Wulcan had no problems at all, the Swede won the race and the semi-final was the end of Vegter’s European Finals.
“We made some dramatic changes to the set-up to solve the tyre shake problems. If it didn’t work, we knew we had to go the other direction. We learned a lot, but also made some mistakes. At this moment this was the best we could do. Wulcan’s 5.98 in the semi-final was too much”, said Vegter, looking back at a weekend where he once again was in the top four of the Pro Mod category. Although he had to skip one of the five races, Vegter was the number seven in the FIA European Pro Modified Championship and the best with only four results.
At the European Finals Vegter Pro Mod Racing had to say goodbye to their long time crewchief Dick Koster. Although it was his last race as a crewchief, Koster will be back at the dragstrip next year, but then as MSD and Racepak consultant and specialist for Post & Dros Racing Engines and Parts. “I would like to say a big THANK YOU to my hard working crew, MPM International Oil Company, Post & Dros, HKR Techniek and George Parson. Without all these people and companies, I couldn’t do this”, said Vegter, looking back at another hectic season.
The Euro Finals was the last race of the season, but preparations for the new season will start very soon. After so many tyre shakes the Vegter Pro Mod Racing ’67 Camaro will be stripped completely. Apart from looking if there is any damage, new adjustments will be made to make the car even better and faster. So again no time to relax this winter.
David Vegter Dragracing FIA European Championship FIA European Finals Main event MPM Racing MPM Sports Pro mod Santa Pod
- Remco Scheelings
- Remco Scheelings