After a perfect Friday with optimal conditions for teams and fans, Saturday is traditionally the day, with over twelve hours of action and pure adrenaline.
In the Pro ET and SuperPro ET classes, the fields are fiercely contested. The first seven ProEt starters are separated by just ten thousandths of a second after four qualifying runs. This is motorsport at its best.
The action is no less fierce among the pros. In the Super Street Bikes, the top two break into the magic six-second times. In the end, Jake Mechaell from Great Britain is the first to qualify. In 6.95 seconds and 342km/h fast – on street tires and without a wheelie bar. Madness.
The Pro Stock Bikes are led by Frenchman Bertrand Maurice. In the last qualifying run he manages the big jump from last to first place. At 7.23 seconds the clock stops his best time.
Marcus Christiansen gives himself a dominant performance in the Super Twin Top Fuel bikes on his birthday. His 6.29 and 354 km/h puts him over half a second ahead of the rest of the field.
Sweden’s Rikard Gustafsson is able to improve on his performance from Friday and as a result his Top Qualifier time is now 6.04 seconds at 394km/h, just a blink away from the two magic limits – five seconds and 400km/h.
The cars in the Pro Stock Cars class are the most expensive racing machines on the circuit. The purchase and maintenance of these cars is more expensive than in any other class. So it’s no wonder that the field shrinks a bit in times like these. The quality, however, is as usual at an incredibly high level. Three Swedes – Jimmy Alund, Michael Malmgren and Stefan Enryd – fight their duels in the range of hundredths and thousandths of a second. Jimmy Alund uses up the most material in the form of a defective engine. However, this is also rewarded with the first place in the qualification, and the corresponding points in the championship.
In the Top Methanol class, Funny Cars and Dragsters compete against each other. The difference in weight and aerodynamics is compensated by a time handicap for the dragsters. Thereby this exciting class gets a great upswing again in the last years. The reigning champion Sandro Bellio takes the lead after Saturday. The performance of the team is to be valued all the higher, if one considers that Sandro suffered two weeks ago at the championship run in the Swedish Tierp a classical oil fire like the Funny Cars in the 80’s, and the car had to be rebuilt afterwards once almost completely.
Pro Mod – the biggest of the FIA classes are absolute crowd pleasers. 3000hp in a short wheelbase make these insane bullets rodeo bulls for their drivers. And an extremely exciting class for the spectators. This is a closely contested championship in which everything is still possible for some drivers. Every point from qualifying can make the difference in the end. And Dutchman David Vegter takes the most points from qualifying. 5.91 seconds put him just ahead of defending champion Jan Ericsson from Sweden, who with his 5.489 is only one thousandth ahead of compatriot Matts Eriksson. This promises to be a hot battle on Sunday.
Pure girl power in the Top Fuel dragsters. Three female drivers and two male drivers are fighting for places and the Swiss Jndia Erbacher is on top at the end of the day. Her 10,000hp bolide flies through the finish line in 3.89 seconds at 482km/h. The Swede Susanne Callin drives her fastest run in the Night Show, but this only counts as a show run and therefore not for the qualification.
The first race laps and the spectacular Saturday Nightshow let the Motodrom tremble until late in the evening. Sold out grandstands, festival atmosphere with stunts on the track and in the air, jet cars with huge flames shooting out of the afterburner, making Tom Cruise in Top Gun look like a schoolboy with a folding bike, world records on two wheels and 50,000 fans turning the grandstands into a gigantic party. That only happens once in the world. At the NitrOlympX at the Hockenheimring.