Finnish track record and victory for King
- Credit: Archant
A new track record and a victory to stretch his lead at the top of the 2014 FIM European Dragracing Championship made for a fine weekend’s work for Litlington’s Ian King.
The Gulf Oil Dragracing - Grand Prix Originals team headed to the second race of the championship calendar in Finland with a slim lead.
The `Nitro Nationals’ were hosted as usual on the multipurpose Alastaro circuit around 150 miles Northwest of Helsinki.
However, they and their peers were faced with a tricky track, in a precarious green state with its asphalt surface having been re-laid twice before the meeting.
The second instance was forced shortly before this weekend after the original composition was found to be out specification.
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Rain over the preceding days meant that optimal track preparation was all but impossible and although there were signs that the track was improving by the end of the event, most of the cars and motorcycles struggled to get down the track without smoking their tyres for part, if not all of their runs.
However, the new super smooth surface bodes well for the future, and helps consolidate its position as one of the Gulf Oil team’s favourite venues.
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While the track was some way off holding five second passes rider King produced a series of numbers that often exceeded those he set last year and a 6.164 seconds was on track record pace to head qualifying. King’s first round victory over Jan Sturla Hegre saw both bikes in the sixes with King prevailing in the all Puma match up with a 6.159 to further surpass his own track record.
Against Rikard Gustafsson’s Puma Pro1 Funnybike the Gulf Oil/GPO team looked to improve on the first round numbers, but the top end performance fell away to a 6.261secs whilst Gustafsson was caught out by the auto start when trying to hit the sweet spot during staging.