November 16, 2017: Multiple Australian Top Bike Motorcycle Champion Chris Matheson leads the 2017/18 400 Thunder Championship following Round 2 at Sydney Dragway’s AC Delco East Coast Thunder event on November 3-4.
It was a huge week leading up to the event with Matheson and crew camped at Sydney Dragway early, taking advantage of test and tune opportunities. The conditions were perfect with plenty of sunshine; however, the Nitro Voodoo team were not completely satisfied with their results.
Matheson, a 4-time Australian Top Bike champion and record holder said, “We came to Sydney early to try a number of different combinations in testing to help us on race day! It’s no secret that we are here to win. The bike is the best its ever been and we are trying to get back into the performance zone we know the bike is capable of running. We had some goals during the week trying out a new fuel system, along with multiple gearing combinations.”
Friday saw the conditions change with cold temps and rain forecasted over the weekend.
“The track was fresh with little rubber so the plan was to not rotate the earth and get down the track to ensure the “Nitro Voodoo” machine was in the field come race day”, said Matheson.
“We did exactly as the plan running a 6.316 ET at 189.26 mph, after shutting off early.
“At the end of qualifying, we were in the No.1 position with local nitro Harley rider Adam Layton in the second position with a run of 7.12 seconds.
The following day the schedule was bumped back after some rain in the morning, however thankfully the skies cleared allowing racing to commence. The field was reduced to four bikes with Matheson facing off against former champ Chris Porter in the first round of competition.
Matheson said, “Chris is no slouch and always keeps me on my toes. Even though he struggled in qualifying, I know his Harley Davidson would give us a run all the way to the finish line.
Matheson left the line first with a lazy holeshot advantage .132 reaction to a .170 for Porter. However shortly after, a primary belt broke, shutting the engine down and leaving Porter to complete the run and take the win.
Matheson was philosophical despite the loss knowing he still had some handy points going into the next championship round.
“We lost and that’s disappointing for the whole team. We tried our best but it just wasn’t to be on this occasion.
“We will regroup for the next round. It’s a long championship and these early points can make all the difference at the end of the season.
“The bike is strong and reliable. We just need to fine-tune our clutch program and the ETs will drop dramatically.
Matheson finished by saying, “My team of guys worked hard all week testing and racing. It’s a big commitment and a huge effort. Well done and I’d also like to thank our sponsors for their support.”
Matheson leads the championship after two rounds with 171 points, with Chris Porter on 150 and Mark Drew third on 112.
Round 3 of the 400 Thunder Top Bike Championships will be held at Sydney Dragway on January 20th, 2018.
Chris Matheson Racing is proudly supported by the following sponsors – Kitten Car Care Products, Rocket Industries, CRC, Web Cam Racing Cams, Larry McBride, World Wide Bearing Company, Boninfante Friction Inc, Performance Decals & Signage, Bill Furr Orangeburg Cycle Racing, Hi-Side Leather Repair, Performance Wholesale, GT Radiators & Machining, GT Radiators, Boninfante, Great Southern Diesel Services and Ballistic Performance Parts.
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Image by John Baremans