Pomona II: Urs Erbacher preview

Euro Top Fuel champ Erbacher returns to Pomona POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 12) -- Across the pond, Urs Erbacher has the kind of following afforded to many of Europe's top celebrities. A four-time FIA drag racing champion, Erbacher owns and operates Fat...

Euro Top Fuel champ Erbacher returns to Pomona

POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 12) -- Across the pond, Urs Erbacher has the kind of following afforded to many of Europe's top celebrities. A four-time FIA drag racing champion, Erbacher owns and operates Fat Attack Custom Bikes, the European equivalent of Orange County Choppers or West Coast Choppers, and has his own reality TV show -- Kings of Nitro -- that is shown in 124 different countries on Discovery Channel EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa).

He's kind of a big deal...

But for all the stardom he enjoys on the mainland, Erbacher has been keen on translating his success to the United States and he feels as though he already knows the secret to success.

"We want to follow the same plan that works for us in Europe," Erbacher said. "Our bikes got us to a certain level of prominence and that spilled over to the drag strip. The synergy between those two things was perfect and we grew from there."

To that end, Erbacher loaded several of his hand-made motorcycles in the same ship that brought his race rig and dragster back to the U.S. and displayed them at the recent NHRA drag race in Las Vegas as well as the SEMA show. The response was overwhelming and he's already taking orders for more.

As for the second half of the equation, Erbacher also finds himself moving in the right direction. Earlier this year, before returning to his home in Switzerland to prepare for the 2008 FIA season, Erbacher became the first European racer to win an NHRA elimination round in more than 30 years. (Englishman Clive Skilton was the last in 1977).

"This will be the biggest challenge as the racing here is the best in the world," Erbacher admits. "We've been able to qualify for most of our races here and we made some news when we won a round earlier this year, but this is not our goal. Our goal is to get our car in position to win every race we enter. In FIA, we contend at every event. We need to reach that level over here as well.

"Once we get our racing to that level, it will also help the bike business. Just as it is in Europe, the two things can work together very well. I think the biggest thing is that people see our passion for racing and for building the coolest bikes in the world. We do things differently and people relate to that. The people that have become our fans here understand what we're all about and it's exciting because we want to do more and more in the USA."

Erbacher will take another crack at advancing his NHRA cause at this weekend's 44th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals. With American crew chief Wayne Dupuy calling the shots, he is dreaming big in the birthplace of drag racing.

"Maybe we can surprise some people," Erbacher said.

-credit: ur

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Series NHRA
Drivers Urs Erbacher