It's King's highway
PUBLISHED: 12:16 27 September 2007 | UPDATED: 15:16 12 May 2010
Ian King won the European Top Fuel Bike Championship in one of the most exciting finales for years. King s TVR Power Top Fuel Bike went into the finals, which were held at Santa Pod, in second place and trailed the Italian Ferretti team by two points. T
Ian King won the European Top Fuel Bike Championship in one of the most exciting finales for years.
King's TVR Power Top Fuel Bike went into the finals, which were held at Santa Pod, in second place and trailed the Italian Ferretti team by two points.
The 2006 champion Rikard Gustafsson of Sweden was in third place, trailing Royston's King Racing by two points.
After having mechanical problems during their last race on the German Hockenheim track, King Racing bounced back and finished in a modest fourth spot in the eliminations with a time of 6.51 seconds and at a speed of 203.85 mph.
However, with both Gustafsson and Ferretti recording slower times, King had done enough to seal the extra points and levelled with the Italian on overall points.
When Gustafsson and Ferretti were paired in the first round of eliminations, it meant one of King's closest rivals would have to bow out.
And it was the Italian who came out on top and set up a tricky semi final showdown with French number one Eric Teboul.
King met fellow UK rider Steve Carey in his first round race and rolled across the line 1.66 seconds in front of his opponent to secure a place in the semi final against Suzuki rider Neil Midgley.
Facing the rapid Midgley, who left first and recorded a days best of 6.81, King flew home and rode away from his rival by 0.1642 secs and set up a final with Ferretti.
A win for either would have guaranteed the championship honours.
However, King went into the final as the underdog with damage to his exhaust valves unable to be fixed before the off.
King said: "The team decided to go for broke and run in the final, although we had little hopes of making it to the end."
However, when the lights dropped, King used his superior reactions to steal a lead on his Italian rival, and from then never looked back, crossing the line with a time of 6.44 secs and at 191.46 mph to seal the team's third European Championship.
King said: "After setting two new European records en route, it's just reward for the team's superlative efforts in what has been an extremely arduous season.