Courtesy of GirlRacer.co.uk
American drag racer Melanie Troxel had a busy Saturday at the 25th annual FIA Nitrolympx at the historic Hockenheimring, qualifying No. 1 in Pro Mod with a track-record pass and cruising to a first-round victory over Robert Joosten.
“It’s nice to know the car can go down the track and consistently run a good number,” Troxel said. “We’re excited about the handle we have on the race car, and I’m real comfortable in it. We’re ready to go for Sunday.”
Troxel blazed past Joosten in their elimination matchup with a run of 6.045 seconds at 241.14 mph, which tied the ET record she had set earlier in the day. Joosten had problems off the start and crossed the center line at half track, resulting in a disqualification.
“I think (crew chief Al Billes) was tempted a little to try and run a five-second number here,” Troxel said. “But we knew the smart thing to do was go down the track.
“I didn’t see (Joosten) at all, which was probably for the best. It’s never fun to see another car come over and get into your lane.”
Joosten, of the Netherlands, was the first alternate in Pro Mod and got his chance when No. 16 qualifier Patrik Wikstrom of Sweden couldn’t make the call. Joosten’s qualifying lap was a 6.526 at 194.14 mph.
Troxel faces No. 9 qualifier Roger Johansson of Sweden when eliminations resume Sunday morning. Johansson beat countryman Jan Gunnarsson in the first round with a lap of 6.216 at 226.29 mph to Gunnarsson’s 6.291 at 229.95 mph.
Warm conditions in Germany haven’t bothered Troxel or Billes as the R2B2 Racing Camaro got quicker with each successive qualifying run during the weekend. In her first qualifying effort on Saturday she broke the track record with a pass of 6.052 seconds at 241.38 mph.
“I don’t think we could have asked for anything more this weekend,” Troxel said. “We were the quickest car each session, improved each session and gone down the track each time. We’re very happy with things.
“The car is doing what we wanted it to do and the weather has held up.”
Troxel followed her final qualifying run with her 6.045 at 241.59 mph to improve on the record. The No. 2 qualifier was Troxel’s teammate Micke Gullqvist of Sweden, who drove an R2B2 Racing car to a win at the Get Screened America Pro Mod Series in Atlanta earlier this summer. Gullqvist had a best qualifying pass of 6.107 seconds at 234.63 mph.
Gullqvist faced Norbert Kuno in the first round on Saturday and won easily, running a 6.113 at 234.55 mph to Kuno’s 6.378 at 226.18 mph.
In other racing at Hockenheimring, Anita Makela of Finland held on to her No. 1 qualifying spot in Top Fuel with a best pass of 4.800 seconds at 299.94 mph. Fred Hansssen took the top spot in Top Methanol Dragster with a top lap of 5.381 at 266.02 mph.