One of the legends of WA drag racing makes a return this Saturday at the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car event, as the ‘White Knight’ Jay Upton brings his nitro Top Fuel Motorcycle back to Perth Motorplex.
Upton has been missing in action for several years now as he took a break to concentrate on business and rebuild the amazing machine.
For his first laps back, Upton said the team would be over the moon with getting to half track with the motor in good condition and are going to take things at their own pace. But even getting off the power at half track will still see this bike run into the six second zone, with fives the eventual goal.
“We are not planning to letting the day get in front of the program,” he said. “If we decide in the first round we are going to half track we are going to half track. We are very much on an exploratory mission.”
The technical arsenal has increased with new gear including improved data logging capability and advanced combustion analysis.
“(Top Fuel combustion analysis) costs a fortune and it is a nightmare to get it to go but if it does what they say it will it could be priceless,” he said.
“The engine has been updated a bit. We had a bit of trouble before, the thing was fast in the first half but hurt itself in the second half.”
The amazing thing about Top Fuel Motorcycles is that they are one of the last unrestricted drag racing categories around and Upton’s problem is not speed, but too much speed. With just two wheels to brake on and a small parachute, stopping a nitro drag bike is the hardest part of a run.
“For Australian shutdown areas 230mph is about as fast as you want to go and I don’t care if we never get over that, it makes little difference to ET,” he said.
Though Upton has been racing for over three decades, he is looking forward to one first and that is bringing toddler son Dayton to the drags for the first time in a team capacity.
“He is very excited – he’s bringing his toolbox to help out.”
Upton will be one of an exciting eight Nitro Bikes in attendance, in addition to the 12 Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars, wheelstanders and drift demos.
- Perth Motorplex Media Release