Four-time Euro champ Erbacher returns to USA looking for more LAS VEGAS (Oct. 28) -- Switzerland's only Top Fuel pilot, Urs Erbacher, has earned four FIA European championships in his drag racing career. Now he'll travel 6,000 miles from Geneva...
Four-time Euro champ Erbacher returns to USA looking for more
LAS VEGAS (Oct. 28) -- Switzerland's only Top Fuel pilot, Urs Erbacher, has earned four FIA European championships in his drag racing career. Now he'll travel 6,000 miles from Geneva to Las Vegas to add another piece of hardware to his trophy case -- a Wally from an NHRA national event.
Earlier this year, prior to the start of the FIA season, Erbacher competed in four NHRA events and earned the distinction of becoming the first European-based racer in more than three decades to win an elimination round. Erbacher did so in impressive style, taking out No. 1 qualifier Alan Bradshaw at the O'Reilly Spring Nationals in Houston. Prior to Erbacher's big win, the last European to claim a round in the U.S. was Clive Skilton in 1977.
"That was one of the biggest round wins of my career because of what it meant back home," Erbacher said. "When we returned for our regular season in Europe, everyone was very excited for our team. All the other racers and crewmen came to us with congratulations. They were happy to see one of their own have success in America.
"We race hard in Europe. It means just as much for our teams as NHRA does for the teams here. But, it is a bit different. We don't quite have the numbers of American drag racing. The effort and the competition are just as high, but the tracks are a change from here in the USA.
"We will be ready to win again in Las Vegas. I am very excited to race once again with my American friends and to see our fans over here. Our team is really working well right now and I expect a strong outing this weekend."
Erbacher showed well in his four NHRA starts, successfully qualifying his rail at all four venues. His advantage on American soil comes from his crew chief, Wayne Dupuy, a Louisianan that has tuned numerous pros on the NHRA tour, including the late Darrell Russell, Whit Bazemore, Don Lampus, and Morgan Lucas.
Dupuy traveled with Erbacher to Europe for this year's FIA schedule, which was plagued by bad weather. Even so, the wildly popular Erbacher maintained his rock star status thanks to another full season of his reality television show, "Kings of Nitro," a smash hit on Discovery Channel EMEA, which airs in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The show follows Erbacher's Top Fuel race team and his work at his custom motorcycle shop in Arlesheim, Switzerland.
Erbacher's custom motorcycle shop, Fat Attack Cycles (www.FatAttack.ch), will share sponsorship space on his dragster at this weekend's eighth annual ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals with Tahiti Village Resort of Las Vegas, Midland Oil, and SCSIT.