The Gulf Oil Dragracing – Grand Prix Originals continued their amazing win record in the FIM European Championship when rider Ian King clinched his 8th European Championship at his home track of Santa Pod Raceway, UK, and the team’s third in succession.
The team traveled to the last round in the prestigious Championship with the knowledge that although it was mathematically possible for their great rivals and good friends Rikard Gustafsson of Sweden and Filippos Papafilippou of Greece to push them into third position that it would take a truly superhuman effort and an unnatural set of circumstances for them to lose their Championship lead.
The European Finals weekend started brightly with great weather, a huge crowd with the stands and banking packed. The team got off to a great start with an off the trailer 6.1038 secs. run to put King a significant distance ahead of the rest of the field and in the number one qualifying position that remained intact into the second day of qualifying where he ran an even quicker 6.0619 secs. to consolidate top spot into race day.
Expectations were high amongst fans and supporters that the team would repeat their 5 second performances on the well prepared track.
However, the team suffered a number of uncharacteristic issues for the remainder of qualifying, and a drop in oil pressure in the first round match-up with eventual finalist Otto Knebl ended in a fiery blaze after the bike broke two conrods that exited through the engine block resulting in an oil and fuel fed blaze and a series of nasty electric shocks through the handlebars as the fire burnt through the high energy ignition system.
Notwithstanding the premature end to the race for the team their number one qualifying position had earned them an unassailable Championship points lead and the disappointment of the first round loss was quickly forgotten as the team celebrated their continued Championship success.
At the Gala Presentation team rider Ian King said:
“I am honored to have had the privilege of riding the awesome Gulf Oil Dragracing machine once again this year. This has been a year of superlatives, winning the first event of the year in the US Championship, leading both the US and European Championships at the same time, running our quickest ever time of 5.8 seconds, taking the final position in the prestigious MTC Top Fuel Five Second Club and now to win our 8th European Championship title is testament to our fantastic race team of Michael Beaumont, Marius van der Zijden, Martin Brookman, Nick Pepper and Debbie King, and the direct support of Gulf Oil International and Grand Prix Originals. Despite the set up problems we suffered this weekend the machine has been unbelievably reliable, the quality of the world leading parts supplied by our fantastic team of product support and the help of our service supporters has been immense. A special mention must go to John and Dea Morgan, our primary US race partners along with Mike and Sandy Marsh who made our US trip such a success and Ivan Sansom and Rose Hughes who are not only great photojournalists but also good friends and invaluable sponsors.
Finally I must thank my wonderful family of Debbie, Georgina and Alexandra who have sacrificed so much to support my race endeavours through thick and thin, my awesome friends and fans across the world who provide so much help and positive energy and my fellow racers who make this Championship the greatest in the World – I thank you all so much!”
See the team run low qualifier and quickest time of the event on this video of qualifying coverage at around 3hrs and 52 mins. by clicking here – http://new.livestream.com/SantaPod/EuroFinals/videos/61301321
See the team suffer their first round woes on this video at around 3hrs and 12 mins. by clicking here – http://new.livestream.com/SantaPod/EuroFinals/videos/61384625
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 2014 European Championship:-
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