27 SEP 2011 - Nitro Voodoo Wins Fuchs Nationals Top Bike Two Years Running
ANDRA Pro-Series Championship
9-11 September 2011
Round 1 – Sydney Dragway
Nitro Voodoo Wins Fuchs Nationals Top Bike Two Years Running
Chris Matheson’s Nitro Voodoo Team have won the opening Round of the Pro-Series Championship, wrapping up a win at the recent Fuchs Australian Nationals held at Sydney Dragway over the weekend of 9-11 September.
Matheson also came away with Lowest ET for the Round, giving the Team a solid foundation for the new Season Championship points chase.
Matheson arrived in Sydney early to test on the Wednesday, only to suffer engine problems, ruling out critical testing on the newly ground Sydney track.
“We were keen to try the new surface after hearing glowing reports from other Group One racers, that the new works to the track were producing Personal Best’s, with strong numbers”.
Over the next couple of days, we resolved our engine problems and repaired the damage to ensure we had a full arsenal of engines for the upcoming round.
The last two seasons we have won the opening Rounds and have been able to lead and win the Championships from the outset. The Team has clear goals this year and to accumulate points early is high on the list.
Friday was a cool wet day, with showers upsetting Qualifying, resulting in the cancellation of the Top Bike first Qualifier. Saturday quickly arrived with cloudy skies, but a dry track. First round qualifier was around lunchtime, with the second of two only, later that afternoon.
The Team were apprehensive, as we were nervous that the engine gremlin may reappear to upset our race strategy.
The first pass was a wild one, seeing Matheson snake down the track on a solo, only to take out centre line cones in the process. Regardless, the mechanical difficulties had gone and the data from the run was pleasing, albeit relatively slow.
Despite Matheson taking the long way down the track, the bike ran a 6.527 at a soft MPH of 182.62. Returning to the pits I knew the crew had sorted the engine, knowing all we had to do was refine the set up to punch out some low numbers.
The Nitro Voodoo Team have had good success at Sydney Dragway, setting the Track Record in the opening Round last season with a 6.111 and consistently running in the low six second range.
Sydney is also the scene of Matheson’s infamous crash where he glanced the wall at over 370 klms, eventually crashing in the sand trap and causing considerable damage to the bike and himself.
Matheson said he still suffers from the accident, with injuries he will need to deal with for the rest of his life. I don’t have a fear of any Track, particularly Sydney, knowing the accident was the result of a mechanical failure, spraying oil onto one side of the rear tyre, resulting in me glancing the wall and eventually running out of track, unable to brake. These bikes are dangerous, however, like most things in life, if you take the right approach, you can minimise the risk.
The recent accident in the States, with Korry Hogan being blown off his machine while attempting to press the parachute release button at well over 200mph, is a sobering reminder of how potentially dangerous these bikes can be despite a Rider or Teams experience.
The second qualifier saw us paired with Graeme Morell, however Morell suffered problems at the start line, with Matheson on another solo. The second pass was consistent with the first, only this time straighter resulting in a 6.574.
This gave V-Twin racer Mark Drew from K Trans Racing and the Wild Card Team, Top Qualifier and set a new V-Twin National Record in the process.
Matheson said the Top Qualifying run of Drew’s is a great result and is the second time in the Pro-Series at Sydney Dragway a V-Twin has top qualified.
Roger Bloor, Matheson’s Crew Chief was chasing track conditions, as the data was showing wheel spin the length of the passes, adding critical time to the ET.
We knew we had stiff competition from two of the quickest Twin Cylinder Fuel Bikes in the country, both capable of cutting sharp trees and low ET’s.
Elimination one was a bye, due to a depleted field, however Matheson ran a 6.30, giving the Team critical lane choice for the next eliminator.
After a quick splash and dash in the pits, we quickly headed back to the staging lanes to face Craig Bonwick in the Semi Final. Again, Matheson had a bye, due to Bonwick’s engine damage from the previous pass. Bloor used the opportunity to run the other lane as we knew if we maintained Lowest ET, we would have lane choice in the Final. This became a critical tactical move from veteran Bloor, as we reduced ET and gained crucial data on the pass.
The final saw Matheson up against Top Qualifier and new V-Twin Record holder Mark Drew. As the two Teams exchanged banter in the staging lanes, Matheson and Drew were both keen to get the win.
After a long solid burnout, Matheson launched off the line with sharp reaction time, then blasted to the finish, carrying the front wheel beyond the 1000ft mark, to take the win with a 6.393 at 204.05mph versus Drew’s 7.649 at 202.15 mph.
Matheson said he could feel the bike moving around on the tyre as it struggled to hook up, regardless, we got the win and scored Lowest ET for the Round.
Well done to Mark Drew of Wild Card Racing and all his Team. It’s a great result for them getting a record and running consistently quick all weekend.
We struggled with traction and were lucky to get away with the win in the final, as Drew smoked his rear tyre.
Set up is critical if the tracks not quite there, it’s very difficult to get the wins, especially when you’re trying to hook up 1500 BHP through one rear wheel.
A great result for the Nitro Voodoo Team and hats off to Mark Drew and his Team.
We are looking forward to the next Round in Perth, knowing full well we face a monumental task up against some of the toughest Fuel Bike racers in the country. The meeting will be fantastic as it always is, Chris Porter of Bad Bones Racing will debut his rebuilt Fraser Motorcycles sponsored machine, after a massive engine explosion last season.
Porter will be keen to throw down the gauntlet to us and other close rival V-Twin Teams in the quest to accumulate critical points after missing Round One of the Championship.
We expect as many as 15 Fuel Bikes at the “Plex” all chasing a result and keen to take the win. All the Nitro Voodoo Team are looking forward to the Perth Round in December.
Thanks to all our sponsors and supporters:
WebCam, Red Line Oils, RB Performance, Rocket Industries, CRC Industries, PDS Graphics, Kitten Car Care Products, GT Radiators & Machining, Hi-Side Leathers, PR Factory Store and special thanks to Larry “Spiderman” McBride & Steve McBride.
Nitro Voodoo Website: www.nitrovoodoo.com.au