Mildura drag racer Kingsley Kuchel may be relying on some warp drive speed when his swooping dragster beams down to Fuchs South Coast Raceway, Portland on January 5 and 6 for the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship.
Kuchel’s unique race car, competing in the Modified class, has been compared to a UFO and even the Batmobile by young race fans, something the 29 year old takes as a compliment.
“Since having the new body finished people have had trouble describing it,” he said. “My father and I spent the past five months totally forming a one off aluminium body. It is one of a kind.
“I’ve wanted a dragster like this since I was eight years old. I’ve called the car Sweet Sensation to give it some identity and stand out in a crowd, as well as bringing some of the feel of the sixties, when many cars had their own names, into modern racing.”
While the body may be hand crafted, the dragster itself was imported from the USA. Kuchel said the front-engine arrangement, different to many of his competitors who use a rear-engine configuration, fit in with his preference for ‘old school’ racing.
Kuchel got his grounding in drag racing by spending time helping out the current Australian Top Fuel champion Darren Morgan. It was back in the days when Morgan was still racing in the Modified class himself.
“Before Darren had a family of his own I was the ring in kid and he was a hero to me,” he said. “To be racing at the first Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship round back in Victoria is going to very overwhelming for me. Not only is it my very first time attending a championship round as a competitor but as it is also the same class as my hero was in when I first saw championship racing in the nineties.”
The Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship marks the first time since 2001 that Victorian competitors have been able to race for national points in their home state.
Being able to race in his home state means Kuchel will be able to show off his skills not only in front of a national audience but his local family and friends. Drag racing teams are often family based and Kuchel said his is no different.
“My pit crew work very hard and allow me to relax at a race meeting and just drive the car,” he said. “My racing is very family orientated as my father paints my race vehicles and helps do modifications and set ups on race day while my youngest brother takes over and becomes my crew chief. Without my family I wouldn’t have as much fun as I do in the sport, which I think is the greatest on earth.”
Fuchs South Coast Raceway in Portland will host the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship on January 5 and 6.
Click here for more information about the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship at Fuchs South Coast Raceway in Portland.