Robinson Race Cars at Alastaro Nitro Nationals 2009
Pictures and text by Bob Roberts

See below for photo gallery. sponsor Andy Robinson went on a European tour of Pro Modified events until 2011, after which the team's Studebaker Commander was sold and work commenced on a Chevrolet Camaro. In 2009 their tour included all FIA rounds. Alastaro was the second event, held between 2nd and 5th July, and the entry list included a great 18 car field of Pro Modifieds. Two British cars made the long journey, Andy and Graham Ellis. was represented by Christer Abrahamson as race and pit note reporter and Roger as photographer. After a lot of rain on Friday morning and what Christer cuttingly described in his race report as a 'long-distance oildown from a stock car', Andy qualified with an off-the-trailer 6.227 which put him at the top after session one. The following morning, Andy lost traction off the line and his time was bettered by Urban Johansson's 6.206 and Mats Eriksson's 6.113 (which presaged Mats' first-in-the-fives performance at SPR in September). The third session, which started at 17:35 on Saturday, was immediately halted by rain. In round one of Sunday's eliminations Andy ran a 6.187 at 219mph to defeat an out of shape Terje Håkonsen. He then ran another consistent time of 6.208/218mph as Patrik Wikström had broken. But in the semi final Andy came up against evential winner Micke Gullqvist, suffered tyre shake from the start and saw Micke passing as he clicked it off. Bob continues with the behind the scenes story:

To be honest I don’t remember too much about the race although it did rain a lot on Friday and Saturday so Pro Mod only got two qualifying sessions. The track was tricky because of the rain and lots of cars went up in smoke off the line, ours included. Andy was number three qualifier and lost out in the semi-finals when he spun the tyres off the line. During eliminations Seppo Saapola’s monster Chrysler 500 had a breakage on the line which required a clean-up (Pics 20 & 21).

I do recall driving for what seemed hours in pine woods to get to the track, which seemed to be miles away from any habitation. Some team members stayed at the track in tents (Pic 40) but four of us went to a kind of lodge about 6 or 7 km away (Pic 6). Once again it was pine woods with no real landmarks at all. The return road from the top end was another trip through the pines.

This was one of the first events where I tried to cover work in the pits as well as on track (Pics 24 & 25). Because we went out early the team did basic maintenance ready for the next meeting before packing up (Pics 31, 33, 34, 35 & 36).

Thanks to the Eurodragster archive for filling in much of what I had forgotten.

I posted to Youtube a compilation video from the event; good start line access meant some close-up shots were possible.

Other reports in this series:

Hockenheim NitrOlympX 2005
Gardermoen Summer Nationals 2006
Mantorp Park Veidec Festival 2007

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