The Gulf Oil Dragracing – Grand Prix Originals team headed to the second race 2014 FIM European Dragracing Championship calendar with a slim Championship lead and with the comfort of an unusually optimistic weather forecast.
The `Nitro Nationals’ were hosted as usual on the multipurpose Alastaro circuit around 150 miles Northwest of the beautiful city of Helsinki.
However, they and their peers were faced with a very tricky track, in a precarious green state with its asphalt surface having been re-laid twice before the meeting (courtesy of an innovative racer funded project by the people at Drag Race Finland). The second instance was forced shortly before this weekend after the original composition was found to be out specification.
Rain over the preceding days meant that optimal track preparation was all but impossible and although there were signs that the track was improving by the end of the event, most of the cars and motorcycles struggled to get down the track without smoking their tyres for part, if not all of their runs.
However, the new super smooth surface bodes well for the future, and helps consolidate its position as one of the Gulf Oil team’s favourite venues.
While the track was some way off holding five second passes rider Ian King produced a series of numbers that often exceeded those he set last year and a 6.164 was on track record pace to head qualifying. King’s first round victory over Jan Sturla Hegre saw both bikes in the sixes with King prevailing in the all Puma match up with a 6.159 to further surpass his own track record.
Against Rikard Gustafsson’s Puma Pro1 Funnybike the Gulf Oil/GPO team looked to improve on the first round numbers but the top end performance fell away to a 6.261 whilst Gustafsson was caught out by the auto start when trying to hit the sweet spot during staging.
A new track record on a difficult track and the event win to further increase their lead in the Championship was a satisfying end to an enjoyable weekend for the team, but a customary wet end for the class winners….
The team move on to Hockenheim, Germany for the NitrOlympX on the 8th – 10th August for the penultimate round of the FIM European Dragracing Championship.
Pictures courtesy of Ivan Sansom and Rose Hughes.
For more information about Gulf Oil Dragracing go to www.gulfoildragracing.com
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 winning the 2013 European Championship and in their 2014 endeavours:-
APE – The world’s most innovative manufacturer of aftermarket parts for race bikes
ACTION CAMERAS – Europe’s leading source for action sports cameras
BLACKCAT MOTORSPORTS – The leading V Rod Harley race team
COMETIC GASKETS – The Premier Manufacturer of racing gaskets
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.
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