Former national Top Bike champion Gavin Spann is hoping he gets the opportunity to match up against current 400 Thunder champion Chris Matheson in a battle of insane nitro motorcycles during the Santo’s Super Thunder event on Good Friday, March 30 at Willowbank Raceway.
Queensland’s Spann will make his first appearance for this 400 Thunder season at the event and believes that his supercharged and nitro fueled four cylinder has the performance and the consistency to figure in the results.
“I am happy I have got to the age of 60 and can still ride a nitro bike,” he said. “I still want to go a couple of tenths quicker than our best of 6.6 seconds, but we are happy just to be out there and racing.
“My years of riding these bikes are running out now, but I still want to win a couple more meetings yet.”
Spann acknowledges that there is a level of insanity needed to climb aboard a motorcycle producing 1000 horsepower and capable of accelerating to well over 350kmh in just six seconds – if you can keep the throttle open that long.
“I don’t know how we ride them to tell you the truth,” he said. “You need to be positive, you know what you need to do, what you can do with these bikes what you can’t do.
“It is wild to ride but stopping the things is an issue. I understand why guys like Chris Matheson have come off their bikes over the years. I haven’t even got up to their kinds of speed yet, but I have done 180mph and even that takes a fair bit of effort to pull up.”
With Chris Matheson leading the championship and racking up another win recently at the MacTrack Westernationals in Perth, Spann said he would love to upset the reigning champion as they fight for home town bragging rights.
“In the front half of the track that is not much difference between us and Matheson, my bike is really quick on the first half. Believe it or not I have never raced Chris in eight years of riding this bike so I would like to line up. He comes in leading the championship and we come in without any championship points, so I think the way the format goes we will get to race each other in the first round.
“All we need is a clean run and this bike will be in the 6.4 second zone straight away. We just keep on trying to make it go quicker and find the gremlins. I am still having a lot of fun.”
Though he is running a part time schedule for this season, Spann is hoping next season will see him compete on the full tour across the country, from his home track Brisbane to the beautiful Perth Motorplex.
“I’ll probably call my drag racing career soon so before we do that we would love to race at all the tracks and see how we go running a full season,” he said. “Before we do that we will need a spare motor which I am working on now – but at this rate I might be retired before it’s finished!”
Santo’s Super Thunder on Good Friday, March 30 at Willowbank Raceway will feature not just the nitro Top Bikes, but also the ground shaking Top Fuel Dragsters, Pro Alcohol and the 400 Thunder Sportsman Series.
Tickets start from just $35, for more details head to www.willowbankraceway.com.au.