Four in four for King at NitrOlympx
Four in four for King at NitrOlympx
Litlington, Cambridgeshire, UK, 30th August 2015
Following their shock first round loss at the previous FIM European Championship championship round it was important for the Gulf Oil Dragracing – Grand Prix Originals Top Fuel team to make a good showing at this, the 30th anniversary NitrOlympX at the Hockenheim-Ring in Germany.
Subsequent to the problems experienced last year after the FIA mandated thorough cleaning of the rubber from the `Rico Anthes Quartermile’, the condition of the track surface was of concern to a number of racers leading up to the event. However, a combination of the controversial cancellation of a German Formula 1 race and the superb efforts of the ace Anglo-German track preparation allayed those fears.
However, despite the optimal track surface the adverse weather conditions proved a huge impediment for the track and teams who struggled to find a tune for the stifling +40C heat.
The team opted to calm the power delivery of the 1500HP Puma machine for the first qualifying round but a delay whilst waiting to run in the blazing sun due to an oil-down and a subsequent local bye-law mandated break in racing conspired against the Top Fuel Bike class runners. An out of character error by the team resulted in a failure to enact the timer system controlling clutch, fuel and ignition functions and King ran the track with a minimum of engine control leading to a modest (by their standards) 7.234 secs @ 147.04 mph (but good enough for #2 qualifying position) after King clicked off early to prevent any damage.
Second round of qualifying was a different matter despite the extremely hot conditions when King carded an impressive 6.14 secs @ 201.4 mph whilst struggling to keep in his lane on the loose track surface, once again clicking off early after the bike made a move towards the wall at the top end.
With the #1 qualifying position safely under his belt the team elected to sit out the next round in readiness for his appearance under the lights at the world renowned `Nightshow’ in front of a huge crowd of more than 70,000 excited spectators.
King’s run was widely anticipated as the track and air conditions cooled, and following the 6.14 under adverse conditions a five second pass was on the cards. However, disaster struck when a bolt holding the supercharger drive sheared at the launch dislodging the pulley and King slowed to a halt a few metres out in front of the disappointed but hugely appreciate crowd.
Race day dawned with slightly cooler conditions and the vagaries of the elimination ladder after the withdrawal of Dutch rider Rene van den Berg due to breakage meant King had the benefit of an unopposed `bye run’ into the semi-finals. A `soft’ pass saw Ian run an early click off 6.30 sec @ 192.2 mph, good enough to take lane choice in the next round.
The semi-final saw Ian paired against Czech rider Otto Knebl on his ex- Brian Johnson `Imperial Wizard’ Puma Yamaha. Despite Knebl’s best efforts he was no match for King’s consistent low six second performance who recorded a 6.35 sec @ 207.4 mph despite rolling off the throttle at the top end.
The final saw King paired against current championship points leader and Funnybike world record holder Rikard Gustafsson of Sweden. The Swedish ace was characteristically fast from the line on the lighter and hence quicker reacting turbo methanol powered Pro1 Puma but King overhauled him by mid track to take the win light with a 6.37 sec @ 203.2 mph blast to take the event win.
This was the Gulf Oil Dragracing – Grand Prix Originals Top Fuel team’s fourth consecutive win in as many years at Europe’s biggest dragrace and was all the more sweeter for being achieved at the 30th Anniversary event whilst closing the points gap on the championship points leader.
The team now travel to the final round of the prestigious FIM European Dragracing Championship at their home track of Santa Pod in England. Once again an exciting climax to the season awaits as their second position in the championship requires they must win one more elimination round than their nearest opponent to clinch their ninth FIM European Championship.
Pictures courtesy of Ivan Sansom & Rose Hughes.
The Gulf Oil – GPO Dragracing team uses and endorses exclusively Gulf Oil greases and lubricants in their history making machine.
The team is extremely proud to be supported by many leaders in their chosen markets in their quest for a 9th European Championship:-
APE – The world’s most innovative manufacturer of aftermarket parts for race bikes
COMETIC GASKETS – The Premier Manufacturer of racing gaskets
DRIFT INNOVATION – Europe’s leading source for action sports cameras
GATES – The world’s most trusted name in drive belts, hoses and hydraulics
GOODRIDGE – The most innovative and the best in fluid transfer systems
GRAND PRIX ORIGINALS – The brand for drive and lifestyle, past and present
GULF OIL INTERNATIONAL – The world’s most iconic brand in automotive fuels and lubricants GRAPHITE ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING – A leader in 3D printed technologies and rapid prototyping
HOTROD HANGAR – Home of the world renowned custom artist Knud Tiroch
HYPERPRO – The leading producer of progressive suspension products for motor bikes
JE PISTONS – The world’s premier manufacturer of high performance forged pistons
JOHN AND DEA MORGAN RACING – The creators of the world’s most advanced New Age Funnybike KIBBLEWHITE PRECISION MACHINING – The highest quality valve train components available KING RACING – The most successful Top Fuel Bike team in European Dragracing
MICKEY THOMPSON – Simply the best drag race tyres in the world
MRE – Leaders in trackside support for drag race components and air shifting systems
MTC ENGINEERING – Manufacturer of clutches for the fastest motorcycles in the world
NITROSHUTTER – Europe’s leading dragracing photojournalists
NCTENGINEERING – Manufacturer of the world’s leading non-contact motorsport torque sensors NGK SPARKPLUGS UK – The world’s number one spark plug manufacturer
PAR WILLEN – Master webmeister and proprietor of HarleyDrags.com
PORTABLE SHADE – The best custom branded collapsible canopies available
PRO ALLOY MOTORSPORT – The UK’s leading fabricator of alloy tanks, intercoolers and radiators PUMA ENGINEERING – Manufacturer of the world’s most powerful motorcycle engines RSG CUSTOMIZE – The UK’s most creative website designers and vinyl artists
SUPERTOUGH – Custom cases and covers for the Film, TV, Music and Motorsports Industries
SPIES HECKER – the world’s leading supplier of paint for car, commercial and industrial finishing.
TRYKA LED – the UK’s cutting edge LED lighting manufacturer.
VAN ES MOBILITY – The leading manufacturer of telematic products for management of moving objects
VANSON LEATHERS – The most iconic brand in motorsport leather goods
WEB CAMSHAFTS INC – Simply THE company for Top Fuel Bike camshafts
WORLDWIDE BEARINGS – The world’s leading supplier of ceramic bearings for racing
ZODIAC – Europe’s largest supplier of performance and aftermarket HD parts
Only registered users can comment.