Matheson quashes nitro funny car rumours – for now

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Chris Matheson has a plan for 2014, but it does not involved a much rumoured moved to nitro funny cars, instead a focus again on the elusive five second zone for his Top Fuel Motorcycle.

The team missed the opening round of the 2014 ANDRA Top Fuel Motorcycle Championship in Perth, helping to feed the rumours.

“As much as I have thought of driving a fuel funny car, my immediate goals haven’t changed and we are still focused on the fuel bike,”said Matheson.

“After the success of the 2013 Santo Cranes Super 3 Extreme race we knew we were heading in the right direction and felt the old bike had the potential to run even quicker. The 5-second zone is something we have had our sights on and we were hoping to run some big numbers at the Nitro Champs (last year). To be the first to break the barrier would be a huge achievement for Australian drag racing and the team. I get to ride it, but the crew are the backbone and have given up a lot of their time to get this far, for which I am always thankful.

“Mind you, if Jay Upton and Athol Williams are listening, how cool would it be to have them back and in the chase for the five. I know there have been special drag racing performance clubs in the past, so why not a 5-second club for Top Fuel Bikes? What an incentive and reward for an exclusive milestone!

“After the Nationals, while we did have a few issues, overall we were happy with the new bike especially in the clutch area. When we first came out with the old bike all those years ago, I was shutting it off at 1,000 feet and still running low sixes. We’d lost it for a few years, but the new bike is showing the good early increments once again.

“So with this in mind we have become a bit selfish as we target selected tracks and ideal seasonal conditions in our chase for a five.

“The plan is to test this weekend at Willowbank and run some short numbers to make sure we are heading in the right direction. Then we have been invited back to run at the Santo Cranes Super 3 Extreme event in April, the X-Champs in Sydney and the Winternationals in June.

“These events are held in the cooler months of the year, which makes for good horsepower.

“So that’s basically the plan. Sorry to some of our fans who may miss out on seeing us race, but we believe this plan will provide us with the best opportunity to run the numbers we are chasing.

“The other question that is asked is when will we see the “Jack Hammer” out on the track. To be honest with you, I would love to have a squirt on the Harley. It’s a fast bike and it would be cool to ride against the rest of the nitro Harley riders. But I can’t step from one style of bike to another, so until we achieve our goals on the four-cylinder bike, the Harley will need to remain under wraps.

“However, I can say we have gone over the Harley and given it a new look, that will open up some conversation from some traditionalist when it is revealed in the near future.

“So stay tuned and we hope to see you all again either at Willowbank or Sydney over the following months. Now what was that about a nitro funny car?”


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