The 2018 Season Kicks Off To A Great Start!
After their foray in the USA Manufacturers Cup series in 2017, the team returned to the opening round of the FIM European Championship with a new rider and significant changes to their traditional tune.
Greek nitrous Pro Mod rider, Filippos Papafilippou aka `Fast Fil’, steps into the seat traditionally filled by 10 time European Champion, Ian King, whilst King continues to run the team with his experienced crew formed over almost two decades. With Filippos fulfilling riding duties in the European Championship, King will still be seen in the seat for some of the additional events, including the 115th Anniversary HD event in Prague, Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Manufacturers Cup Finals in Georgia, USA in November.
However, any illusions that the team had for Filippos to spend a few events getting the feel for riding the 1500HP machine (and prescribed first half pass) were quickly dispersed when he ran an outstanding 6.099s @ 214.08mph on his very first pass on a Top Fuel Bike to put him immediately as number one qualifier, a position he did not relinquish for the entire event.
But the best was yet to come when he ran a fantastic 5.783s @ 236.16 in only his second ever run on the bike, the changes the team had made to the bike over the winter clearly working and with Filippos, a `rookie’ but competent rider, able to handle the new tune.
The final was a nail-biting affair for the Gulf Oil team, but Filippos took the event in his stride with a 6.017 @ 227mph (despite the chute being deployed just after the 1/8th mile) to see off the current FIM European Champion on a similarly powered nitro Puma.
Filippos takes his lead in the championship to the next round in Hockenheim, Germany for the NitrOlympX but the next outing for the bike and team will be at the Harley Davidson 115th Anniversary event in Prague, Czech Republic in conjunction with Lubrand followed by the Goodwood Festival of Speed the very next weekend, both events with Ian King assuming his regular riding duties.
Gulf entered into partnership with Europe’s foremost Motorcycle Drag Racing team, King Racing at the beginning of the 2011 season.
Ian King was already a multiple European champion in the sport’s top category, Top Fuel and, by the end of 2016 Ian King had clinched a record tenth European Top Fuel Championship, sealing victory in the final run of the final meeting of the season.
Rider and team principal, Ian King, is also the man behind Puma engines, which power most of the world’s leading Top Fuel Drag Racing Motorcycles – the most powerful motorbike motors in the world. The engines in these incredible machines produce almost 1600BHP, making them almost twice as powerful as a Formula One race car.
Ian KIng’s Gulf Dragracing Top Fuel Bike will accelerate to to 100Miles Per Hour (160KPH) in under a second and will be reach almost 250MPH by the time it crosses the finish line. The blue and orange rocket covers its race distance – a quarter of a mile – in less than 6 seconds, from a standing start.
Incredibly, the flame breathing monster runs on absolutely Standard Gulf Road Lubricants, as used by millions of motorists around the world – surely the ultimate testimony of the quality of Gulf products.
In 2016 Ian King smashed or established numerous European Records for both elapsed time and finishing speed and, in one meeting, he set no fewer than five of the twenty fastest runs of all time – his fastest being 5.83 seconds.
At the end of 2016 the Gulf Dragracing Bike was to go one better, establishing a new Motorcycle World Land Speed for a quarter mile from standing start, making Gulf the oil of choice, not only for the world’s most powerful motorbike, but also officially, the world’s fastest.