A Norwegian drag racing champion and female racer prodigies / Entertainment / The Foreigner

A Norwegian drag racing champion and female racer prodigies. 1978 saw Norway's Rune Fjeld make his drag race debut victory in Telemark’s snowy Fyresdal in the Pro Comp competition class. A regular at the top of the European drag-racing following this remarkable win, he has helped one of very few female drag racing drivers speed to initial success. Drag racing came to Europe in the beginning of the 1960s. Races spread from England to Scandinavia through Sweden in 1968 – at the "First Go" meeting at Anderstorp Raceway – and then to Norway ten years later. A famous Norwegian racer, Rune Fjeld, whose 1978 victory “in the middle of the Norwegian mountainous landscape” before 18,000 spectators, is currently head of professional drag racing organization RF Motorsport (RFM) – eight times European FIA Champions. Mr Fjeld’s team currently runs four 4 Top Fuel Dragsters in FIA competitions in Europe competing in the UK, Finland, Sweden and Germany.              

dragracing, uk, cars, norway



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A Norwegian drag racing champion and female racer prodigies

Published on Monday, 22nd September, 2014 at 09:58 under the entertainment category, by Martyna Kwaśniewska.
Last Updated on 22nd September 2014 at 11:12.

1978 saw Norway's Rune Fjeld make his drag race debut victory in Telemark’s snowy Fyresdal in the Pro Comp competition class. A regular at the top of the European drag-racing following this remarkable win, he has helped one of very few female drag racing drivers speed to initial success.

Santa Pod
The racing facility in England.Santa Pod
Photo: Ian Blackett


Drag racing came to Europe in the beginning of the 1960s. Races spread from England to Scandinavia through Sweden in 1968 – at the "First Go" meeting at Anderstorp Raceway – and then to Norway ten years later.

A famous Norwegian racer, Rune Fjeld, whose 1978 victory “in the middle of the Norwegian mountainous landscape” before 18,000 spectators, is currently head of professional drag racing organization RF Motorsport (RFM) – eight times European FIA Champions. Mr Fjeld’s team currently runs four 4 Top Fuel Dragsters in FIA competitions in Europe competing in the UK, Finland, Sweden and Germany.              

Drag racing
Drag racing
Colin Donisthorpe
Several Norwegian female drivers have graced RFM in its history. Liv Berstad joined RFM in 1988, starting to drive a Top Fuel car. Before then, she was known as a racer of crazy wheelies with a Chevrolet Chevelle in the Modified Standard Class. Another significant female member of RF Motorsport is Siw Nystad from Hønefoss in eastern Norway. She joined the team in 2005. Linda Thun Tønseth from Sør-Trøndelag County’s Røros became another female racer for RFM in 2008.

RFM also runs one junior dragster team in England. It is here they take care of young generation of this particular type of drivers. The organization aims to promote drag racing among people in younger age group.

One of the young people whom Rune Fjeld has helped is Gabrielle McDonald. The 21-year-old drag racer, known as “Gabby”, took part in the Jr dragster in England in 2010 and won the triple British Championships. Gabby was the first non-UK national and first girl who had won it. Mr. Fjeld, who owns the car she drives, has also taught her how to drive a Top Fueler. She races for RF Motorsport, based at Santa Pod in England.

Gabrielle 'Gabby' McDonald
Gabrielle 'Gabby' McDonald
Ian Blackett
Gabby is now the second female Top Fuel Driver in Europe at a time when driving sports are still commonly perceived as men’s sports. The Foreigner asked Gabrielle about the challenges female drivers face. According to her, women are pretty lucky to have a very supportive group in drag racing.

“New spectators are pretty shocked when come and watch and see it is a woman driver, though for the most part, everyone is very supportive. It's mainly people who don't know the sport that are shocked,” she explained.

At the same time, Gabby told The Foreigner she does what other girls her age do in their free time.  

“I love shopping and I love to get my nails and hair done. I also love to read. Nothing, other than drag racing of course, beats a really good book! [But] Drag racing is more than just a sport to me, it's my passion. Whenever I go through the gates of the Santa Pod Raceway I get the feeling of home. I have such a big family at the track; it's just like home to me. I just love it,” she concluded.

Facts

  • Drag racing is a type of motor racing that is a straight short line track.
  • Competitors in both cars/bikes in the Bracket Racing category try to get to the finish line without starting too early, getting a red light, and racing quicker than the time they stated.
  • Pro classes involve trying to get to the finish line first as quickly as possible.
  • The most common distance is ¼ mile, but others are also possible, such as 1,000 ft (305 m) for Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars.


Published on Monday, 22nd September, 2014 at 09:58 under the entertainment category, by Martyna Kwaśniewska.
Last updated on 22nd September 2014 at 11:12.

This post has the following tags: dragracing, uk, cars, norway.





  
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