Matheson hunts “five second” mark at Easter spectacular

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Three-time ANDRA Top Bike champion Chris Matheson is set to hit Willowbank Raceway later this month (29-30 March) in pursuit of becoming the first ever ‘five second’ nitro-powered bike pilot in Australia.

While Matheson – the reigning champion and elapsed time record holder for Top Bike in Australia – will not be officially racing at the Santo’s Cranes Super 3 Extreme Drag Race event, the Brisbane resident is scheduled to perform four exhibition passes per day for the new event at Queensland’s premier drag racing facility.


Anticipation for the Easter event is certainly heating up with NHRA Top Fuel royalty Larry Dixon and Lee Beard confirmed earlier this week as heading ‘down under’ for the event which will feature an exciting new three-round format for the Top Fuel and Top Alcohol brackets.


“I think the new format they are going to be running at Willowbank Raceway this Easter is going to deliver a fantastic show for the fans,” said Matheson.


“It is definitely good news for the drivers and teams as well, as it not only gives them more track time but it sees another important step forward taken in promoting the sport we love.


“With Dixon and Beard confirmed as heading over from the United States and of course the significance of the event with the Louie Rapisarda Top Fuel memorial race – I just know this event is going to deliver for the fans and I am really pleased we can be a part of the show with the Nitro Voodoo Top Bike!”


With a tumultuous start to the season, the property developer will be hunting not only a new personal best result but will also be looking to become the first two-wheeled pilot to break through the ‘five second’ elapsed time barrier.


“We always love getting on track at Willlowbank Raceway, we set our Australian record elapsed time there with a 6.058 second pass and quite a few of our best results have been set there,” said Matheson.


“This event at Willowbank Raceway represents a great opportunity for us to get on the bike and test in cool and crisp weather conditions with a killer track under our wheels thanks to the track preparation crew, so what better opportunity is there to get on track and really chase after that new PB while being part of a great new event and putting on a show for the fans.


“We have a Race Transporter loaded with fresh Billet RBP engines and parts – so you can be assured we won’t be holding back, we will be throwing everything at it to go after that ‘five second’ mark.”


Easter at Willowbank Raceway also presents valuable opportunities for the Nitro Voodoo team when it comes to defending their ANDRA Top Bike Championship title.

“Earlier this season we have enjoyed the highs and lows of our great sport – achieving maximum points at Sydney’s opening round before Perth saw us break two superchargers in the pits with not even one track pass completed,” said Matheson.


“Since Perth we have replaced the blowers and gone on to win the Adelaide round – thanks to top qualifying on the way to the win we were able to bag the maximum points on offer, which means we now sit in close second on the championship ladder just five points adrift of Chris Porter and his Fraser Motorcycle sponsored Nitro Harley.


“We are very passionate about continuing our title defense and so testing at Willowbank Raceway this month is also important in the scheme of the championship. We definitely have a target on our backs, so we need to keep our wits about us and ensure we get as much time on the bike as possible so we can be absolutely prepared for anything the rest of this season throws at us.”


Announced at the end of 2012, the Santo’s Cranes Super 3 Extreme Drag Race concept, featuring the Louie Rapisarda Top Fuel Trophy Race will see professional drag racing return to the Easter timeslot (29-30 March 2013) at Queensland’s premier drag racing facility for the first time in years.


The concept will operate on the idea of two individual championship rounds in one event for the Top Fuel and Top Alcohol categories, with a winner to be crowned on both the Friday and the Saturday of the event.


Racing will begin with the first pass for all Top Fuel and Top Alcohol cars at approximately 5.00pm followed by an elimination round for all cars later in the evening. From this round, the third and fourth quickest winners will proceed to the ‘Preliminary Final’ while the two quickest winners battle it out in ‘The Final’, as per the Special 3 Round Format ratified this season in the ANDRA rulebook.


Once the winner is crowned on Friday, the full field for each bracket will get ready to do it all over again on Saturday, while the winner for the Louie Rapisarda Top Fuel Trophy will be decided at the conclusion of racing on day two using the combined points from both Friday and Saturday.


Joining the Top Fuel and Top Alcohol racers on-track will be an array of sportsman competitors across the Outlaw 10.5, Pro/Modified Street Blown and a range of fixed index, heads-up pro start categories; who will complete three qualifying sessions on Friday 29 March before racing in a Chicago Shootout plus final format on Saturday 30 March.

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