Kate Harker is ready for return to Australian drag racing, following in the footsteps of her famous father, Steve Harker, driving the Kenda Tires Supercharged Funny Car at the 2014 Fuchs Winternationals.
The former NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver, with a career best elapsed time of 5.22 seconds at 278 MPH (440 KPH), hung-up her American race helmet some three years ago and made the move back to Australia with her sights set on establishing her own race team. Harker is now making a much anticipated return to the 1⁄4 mile but with a twist.
￼A long-time veteran dragster driver, Harker purchased the 2005 NHRA spec McKinney Top Alcohol Funny Car owned by Frank and Dan Parker out of Michigan, USA in 2012 and has spent the past year setting up the car and equipment to ensure a very competitive race team is fielded in the ANDRA Drag Racing Series.
The Kenda Tires Supercharged Funny Car team will make their debut at this weekend’s Fuchs Winternationals held at Willowbank Raceway in Ipswich, QLD in the super-tough Supercharged Outlaws class.
Harker’s machine completed testing at this past weekend’s Wintenats Warm-up event which saw the team make same fast and consistent passes allowing Kate to get the final sign-off from ANDRA officials for her competition license.
“I’m excited to be making my return to Australian drag racing,” said Kate. “The fact it’s Australia’s biggest drag racing event makes this even more special as we have been working hard to prepare the car for competition and have received some great support from sponsors, family, and friends.
“Dad and mum have taken time out of their USA schedule to help my partner, Daniel Rice and I field our funny car for the event. It’s been a long year getting ready but we are confident in our ability to be successful this weekend. I’m really privileged to have experienced firsthand competition in the NHRA and will be calling on my mental training and lessons learnt to ensure I can deliver consistency in my driving for the team.”
On-board Kate’s funny car for the Winternationals will be new sponsor Kenda Tires along with Speed City Performance, Bridgestone Select Coopers Plains, Lucas Oils, and NGK. Harker is a big supporter of Kenda Tires whose range includes performance, passenger, SUV, 4×4 and light truck tyres which are available from most tyre stores across Australia.
“It’s going to be a fantastic weekend to display the Kenda Tires Supercharged Funny Car to race fans and to get them excited about the products as we’ve got some great giveaway packs for the fans just for watching us compete,” she said.
“What I like about Kenda Tires is that they offer a quality product that delivers on consistency, performance and budget from their complete range of performance, passenger, 4×4, and light truck tyres, there is a product in the range for everyone.”
Harker plans to make several more appearances this year at her home track Willowbank Raceway competing at the remainder of the Queensland Track Championships events. A full list of dates, photos and more information about Kate and her sponsors including Kenda Tires can be found at www.kateharker.com.