Australia’s quickest man on two wheels, Chris Matheson and his team have been testing his Nitro Voodoo Top Fuel Motorcycle in readiness for the first round of the 400 Thunder season opener for the class.
"The East Coast Thunder event in Sydney will be our first chance to test our theories on a good track,” said Matheson. "We are constantly developing the bike, improving the combination in our quest to run quicker. We spent all of last season testing our new Voodoo engines, which withstood the entire season of punishment - some 60 passes without any problems, unbelievable for a nitro engine."
"We struggled with our clutch combination throughout last season however - pre-season testing has helped unlock the secrets to our engine improvements. Last season we ran a best of 6.14 at the Winternationals, which is a tenth off our Australian National record of 6.04."
We were happy with the result, considering we haven’t explored the bikes full potential as yet. Despite the inconsistent results during last year, we ended up third in both the ANDRA and the 400 Thunder series, and posted the quickest pass in Australia for the season by more than two tenths."
"The new engines are more powerful, more reliable, and much more maintenance friendly, giving us more time between rounds to concentrate on our tune for the next pass. We have been experimenting with gear ratios in the off season to help get the bike down the track without de-tuning the motor or to slow it down. The whole idea of going to an improved power plant is to go quicker - not to dog it up, just to get down the track.
Matheson is eagerly anticipating a return to the track that has seen a few lows, but many highs.
"Sydney Dragway is one of my favourite tracks, we have run a number of 6.0s there and have held the track record for a number of years at 6.07. I have also had a couple of dismounts there over the years - which still hurt first thing in the morning, or maybe that’s just old age. Regardless, it is a great track, great spectator crowds, and we will step it up to put on a good show." he said.
Matheson eyes class newcomer Damian Muscat a major threat, with the rookie coming off a string of event wins.
“Muscat’s Nitro Harley has a pedigree history as a championship winning machine, formerly owned by Damian Cownden of Canada. Now in Muscat’s hands, Damian has already recorded a couple of good wins and has registered his intentions, running a strong 6.3 second pass at last season’s Winternationals,” he said. "It’s exciting times for Top Fuel Motorcycles in Australia, as we start to see eager new comers entering the sport to raise the bar.”
Matheson thanks his sponsors: GT Radiators & Machining, Kitten Car Care Products, CRC, Rocket Industries, Performance Wholesale, WebCam, PDS Graphics, Worldwide Bearings, Hi-Side Leathers, Boninfante Friction Inc., Ballistic Racing, Aeroflow, BlackAdda with special thanks to Steve and Larry McBride.