Nitrous Junkie Racing

Motorcycle Drag Racing Team

The Easter Thunderball 2011

22nd - 25th April 2011

"Where do we start with this report? With all the work that has been going on in the background, it would be only right to thank Craig and Binzi for all their hard work over the past few days, to get us out on the track this weekend. Thanks seem inadequate, but thanks!

We got to the track on Thursday night to get set up early, and go over the bike thoroughly, and gave us all a chance to chill a bit, before Saturday. The weather was very kind to us compared to last year, Lizzy got to see a lot of racing before the stress of me going out (she is not too fond of top fuel at the moment, but I’m sure this will pass!)

Bike all ok, and rest for the first outing on Saturday – where the bike spun off the line, and headed for the wall, so I shifted gear and rolled off the throttle, great start! (It transpires that after speaking with Ivan Sansom about the first run, I had done the right thing, as through his lens, I was heading right for him!) So a 16 second first qualifying run it was.

Second run was so much better, 6.9, the long way round, the bike went one way, I over corrected, and went the other... And still managed 199mph, and Number 2 qualifier. Bike back looked over all seemed to be ok, and onto Sunday.

Sunday first run, I thought the sprag had let go, and the crew thought I had not shifted soon enough; I am still learning, and understanding new sounds and noises. The bike launched hard, but then nose dived, so shifted into second, and that possibly hit the clutch in the gearbox real hard, frying the internal clutch and working the clutch really hard, I had damaged the gearbox.. The second run was the nail in the coffin, the sprag didn’t hold it, and the worn out gearbox is now really worn out, and a new one is needed.

We did a deal with Eric Teboul, for a newer B and J gearbox, with sprags we can now buy off the shelf, plus a good selection of gear ratios and spares. After much discussion between ourselves, we decided to take the broken gearbox out and see if the new one would fit in, to be delighted that yes it would, but unfortunately needs new mounting plates for it, which we could have totally bodged at the track, but at about 10.30 pm, I reluctantly decided to call it, and get the machining etc done properly at the workshop. Lizzy, Jake, Rene and the crew were gutted, when Chris who had been thinking (one eyebrow was up!) and said “Can this thing launch in second? “ Craig looked startled for a moment, and the excitement went back into the meeting again, I felt awful for asking the crew to take the new gearbox out and put the old one back in, but they seemed keen to do this. We wrapped up the evenings re build at about 1 o’clock is, and was up again at 6 am to finish off...

We were still finishing off in the morning when we got the hour call, but had the time to start it up, sort of the timing, and grin (a little) over what we had done!

So against Shawn Rodman with only second gear I burnout, launched, and flew, Shawn had an excellent run, had me on the tree and the 60 foot, and I thundered past him, but only just! I beat him by 0.2995. Myself running a 7.28 sec, and my first plus 200 mph pass (206 mph!) to Shawn’s first 7 sec run, 7.73 @175 mph.. A fantastic PB for him, nice one. I had a bye into the final, where I now had to wait to see if it was going to be Steve or Christian, Christian taking the win previously against Cannon.

It was Steve! He had been so consistent all weekend, with times averaging pretty much in the 6.4’s every run. To get this far was more than a rookie racer could have hoped for, so to race in Top Fuel in the final was quite a big deal for me.

Best burnout of the weekend, very happy with that one. Steve beat me, deservedly, a 6.34 @ 218 mph to my 7.31 @ 205 mph. Another 200 mph + for me, and the last two runs done with only second gear! I felt my runner up was honourable, I don’t think the team, Rene or anyone could ever have thought we would get this far, but we did, against considerable odds.

I also had the privilege of meeting Mark Pemble who built the engine set up and campaigned the bike, and ran a 6.9 on it 20 years ago. I was understandably quite surprised when he came to congratulate me on mine!

The bike is now off to get the engineering work done, new gearbox, and move the foot pegs back about 5 foot (Rene has very little legs!) We will be out again testing hopefully before the Main Event.

Big thanks as always go to the amazing crew I have inhertied and we are all learning a lot. The Boss, Rene, Craig, Binzi, My team, Chris, Lizz and Jake... You are all tops. Who have thought I would ever have a trophy for top fuel! It’s a great class but terrifying! (Even Lizzy is beginning to enjoy it more)

I would also like to thank everyone who has phoned and sent us messages, to congratulate, it is very, very humbling.

Thanks also to Eurodragster for the excellent coverage, the hardworking track crew, and the lovely Kathy Taylor (you know why)."