One of the greatest gatherings of nitro bikes ever came together at South Georgia Motorsports Park for the Man Cup World Finals on October 15-19, 2017.
With an influx of European teams, the global feel of this event was really something special. But in the end it was America's own Larry McBride making all the headlines with astonishing marks of 5.61 seconds and 258mph (on separate runs) putting him in another league of motorcycle drag racing.
McBride's first strike was this stellar 5.677 run in a Saturday's qualifying session, taking over the five year old record of 5.709 held by Sweden's Peter Svensson.
McBride wasn't done with the record books on Saturday, with his final qualifying pass recording a speed of 258mph, bettering his own existing 255mph personal best and world record. Just seeing this bike in the flesh should be on every drag racing fan's bucket list. McBride made it to the final of the event where he would rocket to a mind blowing 5.61, leaving little doubt as to his legend status in the sport.
There were seven Top Fuel Motorcycles in total, with five of them qualifying in the five second zone. Here Sam Wills takes on Chris Hand. With the category often times reduced to near exhibition status, it was great to see a competitive field!
David Vantine runs McBride motors and it shows, with a big speed of 246mph from the team and a 5.84 best in qualifying.
Fourteen Top Fuel Twins turned out. While the class allows for Top Fuel Harleys, it also allows for parrellel twin cylinders. Japan's Takeshi Shigematsu was oh so close to the first five second run from a twin, going 6.02 at just 194mph, after going 3.88 and 196mph to half track. He had to shut the pass off early when a handle bar broke, sending the bike towards the wall and giving it, and his foot, a decent scrape in the braking area.
Jaska Salakari had a weekend to forget with lots of parts damage, not least of all this fireballing run during Saturday qualifying (also see top image on this page).
Top Fuel Motorcycles are all examples of bespoke engineering - you need to be an innovator in this class!
Australia's own Niki Zak lowered her own women's motorcycle world record to 6.40 and upped the speed to 207mph, not to mention top qualifying in Pro Open.
Niki has been making plenty of new fans in the USA!
A huge Pro Street field was in attendance and while modern bodies and turbocharging fill most of the class, we have a real soft spot for Richard Gadson's 6.7 second, 200mph nitrous Suzuki.
Make sure to check out the full gallery of photos below!