May 7-8. We witnessed the first race at the best dragstrip in Europe!
Friday May 6
M A J E S T I C !
Humble arrival - at idle speed - inside the enormous compound! You can only see it for the
first time once...and it was...majestic!
The wet look and mirror feeling. Lars-Inge Johansson and I were amazed over the finish on the first
all-concrete track in Europe! And it wasn't as sticky and thick as a "normal" dragstrip.
Kjell Pettersson tested the new PA system the night before the premiere! He was happy as all of the
rest around-the-clock working staff. The Kjell must be the European person with most experience
of track facility building and hands on track preparations! He have spent years both in Sweden
and England doing this and knows the right people in the USA. No one over here have more
experience. Simply put, he's The Kjell.
Evening pit action, Urban Johansson, Gotland put on the letters of the new driver in his 2-car Pro Mod
team. Linda Thun Tønseth from Trondheim driving Urban's Camaro -68 will be the first lady in European
Pro Mod. Or was it anyone in there years ago? Anyway, Urban still competes in his Corvette -63.
Top Fuel Thore is the clutchman and more in Urban's 2-car team so goodbye to chitchat breaks
during racedays. Race ace photographer Markus Ek is a lucky guy who lives in Gävle!! Only 50 km
away! That's one tenth of the distance of what we have from Gothenburg, or they have from Umeå.
The New Generation - Lindberg Bros. They are as professional you can demand from the FIA European
Champions of Pro Mod in 2010 (their first full PM season!) You can't get the championship without being
professional to a high degree. And I think that include their whole team and entourage who make their
excellent designs, website and films! Their website is - beside Eurodragster of course - the best
place to be during races to get updated results, ladders, comments and pictures from Pro Mod!
Saturday May 7
The same day the news and dates of the races at Tierp Arena were relesed I called Tierp Gästis and
booked room for both races, just in case we wouldn't have a chance to sleep in the pit. This was in
February 8 and we got the very last room of 14. With an extra bed it isn't much left, but I have slept
outdoors on the ground under the stars to get to drag racing so everything with a roof is good!
"Tierp Arena almost ready for race" Breakfast with the local newspaper, as bubbly as ourselves.
The strip and all the race things was ready, it was parts of the building, stands and areas that wasn't.
It will be a more finished Tierp Arena when it's time for the big FIA race in June.
Two nights at Hotel Gästis in downtown Tierp. Who could ever have imagined that a year ago!?
Exactly what it felt like!
I had to approach him and shake his hand even though I didn't know him - the constructor of, and one
of the the initiators of Tierp Arena - Lars-Erik Lindberg. Thanks again! He and Ritha are also the parents
of the Lindberg Bros, and at the receiving desk in the backround daughter Jessica Westning.
And here you can see Lars-Erik together with Jay Leno discussing Lars- Erik's "Cheemer"
which Lars-Inge Johansson has been involved in building! Have you thought about that Lars-Inge
seems to have been everywhere and helped out building winning cars!
Aha! They're gonna have car shows all the way from the gate (to the right, not in the picture). Nice!
Have you been into the new wooden church in Tierp?
Roomy stands with seats for 20.000 people! The angle is pretty steep so the overview is fantastic and
it absolutely compensates for the distance to the strip. Just bring your own cushion to sit on!
Natural! Stands are made in glued laminated timber - by the leader on the market - Martinsons in
Bygdsiljum, Västerbotten, the same county I'm from, which of course made me even more proud!
There must be a large clear-cut area in the middle of Västerbotten county now...
Mats "Masken" ("The Worm") Karlsson from ol' hometown Umeå in his Super Gas roadster was one
of the first racers I saw going down the brand new quartermile in Sweden. All concrete - it doesn't
bleed like asphalt if it's too hot, it doesn't get affected by weather in any way - and it's flat like a floor!
Another Umeå team was Albin Frank in Super Comp. Daddy Anders "Brälla" Brändström overlook things
during this qualification run. This was the best photo angle on this race since the west stand wasn't
finished and therefore empty of people, and you don't want empty stands like in
"The Worm's" pictures do you?
Quick learner ;-) Patrik Jacobsson. He is a nice guy who always let me use his pictures from different
races to the www.blackout.nu site when I can't take pictures myself. His site: www.racebilder.nu
He travels around to many races and is now also supplier of pictures to Speedgroup
It was lonely with all the west stand for himself. This guy measured the noise level, for an authority in a
normal procedure for when you build new arenas and things. I wonder what the result was?
At the concrete barrier I met many smiling people, like photojournalist Lena Perés who of course take
extra interest when her family is out racing like her man Mats Eriksson in the Green Goblin Crown
Victoria Pro Mod, first into 5's and European Champion in 2009.
Old colleague Olof "The Professor" Sveningsson from the Wheels magazine smiled even though he
didn't recognized who I was at first! When he found a small Blackout print on my clothes he finally
Hot shot Per-Erik Lindgren was No1 last year in NDRS Comp Eliminator series. This Pitbo is using a
Pro Charger F1-R on a Chevy 4-banger! A Bantam -32 body on his car named "Under Cover"
or is it "Northern Raider"?
Running 9.24 on a 9.150 index put him in eight in Qualifying where he's not used to be! Low 8's are
much better. Then he got even worse engine problem in 1st round to send him home to Piteå.
One of the most awaited for debuts was of course Per Svedberg in his V E R Y good looking Dodge
Demon Pro Mod. To this he has also hired multiple world record performer and IHRA Pro Mod
champion Scotty Cannon and his son Scott Cannon Jr to crew for him this season!
Jan Gunnarsson and Adam Flamholc seen from the stands. It were points to earn in the Pro Mod
Swedish Championship which started at this race.
On the top of the east stand you can see this if you stand up. Click it if you have a good internet
connection and want to see who is steering "Snöbollens" yellow Pro Stock...
The Tierp Arena pitlane is as fantastic as the rest of the facility! Good atmosphere with many different
food vendors mixed with shopping. And restrooms with WC! And taps with running water...
You could find pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, pasta and ...thin bread rolls! A typical thing from the north
of Sweden! Well, we're only half an hour to the Norrland border! You could also find pasta that was made
by a local Tierp restaurant - which had moved all action to the track on racedays - and that pasta
was made with love! Agneta, Axel and me went there many times over the weekend. Hm...now I got
hungry! That restaurant also had the service in the big official party tent and could sell alcohol.
I think Tierp Arena is looking to build a permanent restaurant.
Raggare of course, but no too drunk people and fights anwhere we saw. It's not like football. Axel loved
every minute at the Tierp Arena and especially when eating fresh waffles! And he still loves his hat from
Grand Canary. At a drag race no one is even recognizing that funny hat, everybody has a funny hat.
Pro Stock was invited to test. Here are Jimmy Ålund and Jan "Snowball" Palmqvist's pits.
If Axel was gone he was surely with Albin Frank and his SC dragster. Or preferable in it. Albin said he
didn't bother them, he was so helpful. That's nice I thought, I should have a son like that myself?! ;-)
Take note of the guys on the left building the new BBQ grill. It was a popular mission and there
were more guys involved in that who happened to be out of the picture.
-Hello Bengt! I haven't seen you since the 70's or early 80's?! Maybe at the Hudiksvall airstrip?
Back then Bengt Stafberg raced everywhere in his own built "Competition Altered"
And he kept the car stowed away all these years! It was exactly like this, paint and all! Great fun!
Thanks Bengt! And as a bonus for this he got this drag strip arena built at home, he lives in Uppsala!
Saturday afternoon. Anybody who thinks this is a bad event, raise a hand!
This facility, what a dream come through! It makes me think of those who never saw it, friends and
racers that are gone.
The saturday ended with some refreshments in the big party tent which had both restaurant and a
live band on stage.
One (1) small beer in a plastic bottle was an unholy 50 Swedish crowns! - 7.85 USD - 5.66 EURO -
4.86 Pounds - 42 danish crowns - 43 Norwegian crowns - so we went home pretty soon, thank you.
As a pro I always bring own beer. Actually the only drawback all weekend - that ridiculous beer price!
Sunday May 8
No race without Kjell "Ståkkhålm" Ahl! Yes, he's from Stockholm and always in a good mood!
It took a couple of runs for Svedberg and his team and the Cannons to sort this Demon out. He didn't
succeed to qualify, he ended outside the 8-ladder with a 9.33. But the organizers offered free runs
to the FIA classes beside the Eliminations if they found any space, so...
Tog and Patrik discussing the brand new, never before seen Press passes of Tierp Arena.
Andy "Tog" Rogers is the mastermind of Eurodragster which is the hub of all drag racing information
in Europe. And the highlights are of course the live event coverages that he and his handpicked
team do better even than the American counterparts!
When some Pro classes are running he writes "Keep on refreshing" which means that if you press F5
you'll get the times/speeds a couple of seconds after they ran over the finishline! Even the excited staff
of the live video/audio cast can miss it, but Tog doesn't! The facts are there for you! That's LIVE I think
and every race without it sucks! And he also notes what happened during the run!
Did you know that Tog also is an excellent photographer?! "Ah the new camera is so good..."
Tog...it isn't the camera! :-) Yes, Tog loves Tierp Arena too. (I will tell you if I find anyone who doesn't!)
Sun was baking us, quite unbelievable for early May! Thanks Stefan Boman for lending us your
umbrella. So tip for visitors of Tierp Arena: cushions, umbrella.
Aha! There you are Axel! Want to follow us up on the stand? OK, do you have money left if you want
to eat? OK, don't forget to drink water! Take care!
Leif Andreasson in his TAFC Top Alcohol Funny Car! Hadn't been out racing for at least a year and
just had to be here on the premiere on his own track! And that...he did with flying colors!
Leif noted a better ET than Ulf Leanders' European TAFC record of 5.687 from Santa Pod in 2009! Leif
didn't back it up but the indication of the performance is there - both of Leif's car and the Tierp Arena!
First overall track record too! Everything he must do himself, Leif! :-)
Leif Andreasson to the right. Thanks Leif for taking European drag racing to the next level!
Now also please make the price of beer in the party tent come down a level!
Speedgroup is a couple of years old but feels like a new thing for 2011 since the activity is booming
and you see more and more staff in their outfit. Behind the desk you see Åsa Kinnemar who I think
is full time and do most of the work? At the races she get assitance of a lot of people like
Lena Perés and Tog to the right. The official Speedgroup website.
Guys clockwise from noon: Fredde and Micke "Gullan" Gullqvist watches a Svedberg run, Micke is the
initiator and CEO of Speedgroup. Stefan Boman is the freelance photojournalist with most equipment
attached to his body, it's like a camera shop with shorts. He makes good looking, interesting and
serious stories about the sport of drag racing for both Bilsport and Wheels. Henrik Modig in white shirt
once was a professional rear end builder and is now a speaker at races like this one and is also a host
for "Motorsoffan" (The engine couch) which airs wednesdays from Nitroz.se with different guests.
Lars-Erik Lindgren again, now with the fine Tierp shirt on, lucky to see every run down the concrete
track which he and his tough staff built this bloody cold winter! Per PiPPi" Willén knows everything
about the dragbikes and is involved in their racing and can be heard over the PA at Santa Pod, UK when
the bike classes roll in. (PiPPi knows everything about the cars as well) and he is also a "sidekick" to
Modig at Motorsoffan web-TV. Carl-Erik Kihlman in Speedgroup shirt is one of the persons
behind the success of building a drag strip in Lindesberg close together with the local community,
now 1/8 but possibly 1/4 in the future. He talks to Lennart "Lelle" Olsson, the owner of the nitroz portal
and Time Tree which hires or sells complete timing equipments, like here at Tierp Arena.
It is close from the seats to get something to eat and drink, like coffee and waffles. Santa Pod is
equally comfortable, not too far to get a cornish pasty and a drink.
Svedberg and Fredde of course loved the Tierp Arena. Everybody did! And in the last free run Svedberg
pushed a 6.300 @ 377 kmh (234 mph) which was fine compared to earlier runs! And now they had
a baseline for this beautiful car! And Circus Fagerström is as entertaining as ever!
Jimmy Ålund noted in his testing the highest speed of a Pro Stock in Europe with 334.37 kmh
(207.8 mph) which was faster than his own European record of 333.12 kmh! But he didn't back it up.
He said that this Arena was the best thing that have happened within Swedish drag racing in the
25 years he has been racing, and we all agreed.
Winners Parking at the starting area was nice idea! Not only can the people on the stand have a
glimpse of the winners but all media can take the opportunity to pick up both pictures and interviews!
Twins won Pro Mod on strong 6.12's! That was something to call and text mess home about. Except
for driver Mikael Lindahl who isn't married and therefore have no family back home in Vargön to call :-)
Peter Svensson in Top Fuel Bike chased the 5's as usual but stopped at the gate at 6.08 and at that
run he got off the throttle at the 1000 feet as planned!! Then 0.99 to 60 foot! 1/8 at 318 kmh!
Personal bests all the way. The 5's will come again.
"Brälla" and Lena från Umeå like to travel around to different drag strips in their bus and support their
son Albin, who actually is a basket player by heart! When it was time to disassemble that popular grill
(now used) faithful " Håkansson" (Håkan Persson) seemed to be the only one left with the duty...
It was just as fantastic to visit Tierp Arena as we hoped for, or even more!
We can recommend a visit to everyone that have any interest in motorsports.
And we're looking forward to bring our own car to race here.
Thanks for reading!
You will find our own racing at Tierp Arena in 2011 here: >RACES_2011