“We have struggled just to qualify,” said the driver of the new Nitro Fish/Tonglet Racing Suzuki GSXR. “Now we are going to try to move up to the middle of the pack” starting Friday in the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. “We really need a good race weekend.”
Improvements came slower than team owner and bike chassis designer Gary Tonglet hoped because this prototype needed quarter-mile runs to make it competitive. In early June, GT registered his quickest elapsed time, 6.951 seconds at 191.19 mph, to qualify 15th at Englishtown, N.J. and get his first competitive start since 2009.
He was 16th at Norwalk, Ohio, and defeated top qualifier Hector Arana Jr. in the opening round on a big holeshot. Tonglet was 16th two weeks later at Joliet, Ill., and met Arana Jr. again, and lost.
Bandimere Speedway is 5,820 feet above sea level and poses a stern tuning challenge. “The tune-ups are completely opposite of what we run at most tracks,” GT pointed out. “We’ll be working on it this weekend.”