Two times ANDRA Pro Series Top Bike champion Chris Matheson says start line reactions will be all important as he gears up for the upcoming round three of the championship at Adelaide International Raceway on 13-15 April.
The event in Adelaide marks the return of championship drag racing after a decade-long absence, with Adelaide motorsport fans to enjoy three days of nitro-fuelled speed.
The start of Matheson’s season has been perfect with event wins from both rounds so far and the Queenslander is aiming to make it three from three when he takes to Australia’s first ever championship drag race over a 1000 feet distance, versus the traditional ‘quarter mile’ (1320 feet).
Though Matheson has typically relied on the big speeds of his machine to run down opponents, he says the focus will need to be more on the start line to have a chance.
“The short track format will suit the guys who can react well to the starting lights, making it very difficult to run them down,” he said. “You really need to be right on your game, otherwise you will lose the race at the start.
“The team are eager to race at Adelaide, as first timers over the 1000 feet format. We have been testing over the break between round two in December and are fired up for the challenge.”
Adelaide International Raceway has a different surface to most drag strips, with an asphalt start line as opposed to concrete giving the team a tuning challenge. Matheson’s nitro motorcycle accelerates to over 300kmh in just four seconds, so traction is all important.
“If we can hook up well, we will run hard over this format, assuming we can pull the bike up in the braking zone,” he said. “In excess of 600kg hurtling down the track at 320kmh takes a bit to pull up, so it will be exciting.”
Matheson said he expects a full field of Top Bikes which will be great for the fans in Adelaide.
The last time the big nitro-fuelled bikes were in Adelaide was when a group of Americans came out in early 2000.
Adelaide will be a baptism of fire for new crew member Troy Thompson who has recently come on board with the Nitro Voodoo Team to learn about nitro Top Bikes.
A 27 year old Perth-based Modified Bike racer, Matheson said Thompson has the right attitude, is a nitro bike junkie and a good fit to the championship winning team.
“It’s important to pass on the knowledge to the younger generation, as they are the future of our sport,” Matheson said.
Matheson currently leads the ANDRA Pro Series by 50.5 points ahead of Western Australian challenger Mark Drew (231).
The Pro Series 1000 (April 13, 14 and 15) at Adelaide International Raceway will feature ANDRA Pro Series rounds of Top Fuel, Top Alcohol, Top Bike and Pro Stock Motorcycle plus over 200 sportsman racers.
Racing starts from 10am Friday and Saturday and 9am Sunday and tickets are available at the gate for just $35.
Click here for a high resolution image of Chris Matheson.
Click here for more information on the Pro Series 1000 at Adelaide International Raceway.
Current ANDRA Pro Series Top Bike points
1 Chris Matheson 281.5
2 Mark Drew 231
3 Phil Parker 142.5
4 Chris Porter 99
5 Craig Bonwick 66