European drag racing 'royalty' to battle in Pomona POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 4) -- Top Fuel driver Urs Erbacher has a reality TV show called "Kings of Nitro" that plays in more than 150 countries around the world. This weekend, at the season-opening...
European drag racing 'royalty' to battle in Pomona
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 4) -- Top Fuel driver Urs Erbacher has a reality TV show called "Kings of Nitro" that plays in more than 150 countries around the world. This weekend, at the season-opening 49th annual Kragen Oâ^a^ÙReilly NHRA Winternationals, the 2007 champion of the European FIA Drag Racing Series will face the man who knocked him off the throne in 2008, fellow Top Fuel ace Andy Carter, who just released a book entitled "Andy Carter -- King of Europe."
"It looks like we'll have lots of royalty in Pomona," Erbacher said in his Swiss accent. "Maybe the two European 'kings' will get to race and see who is the best.
"Andy is one of our main competitors on the FIA tour and he won the championship last year so he's the guy we're all aiming for this year. We're both using NHRA races to warm up for the FIA season so it's a great chance for American fans to see how we do things over there.
"Of course, the American racers are all very tough and we'll have a lot of work to do to keep up with them. We did reach the semifinals here in Pomona at the NHRA Finals last November so maybe we can carry over some of that momentum."
Erbacher, a four-time champion on the FIA circuit, is excited about the brand-new Hadman chassis he'll debut at this event. The car was built specifically for him and is considerably lighter than the one he raced in 2008.
"We tested in Las Vegas this past weekend and had very good results," Erbacher said. "Our American crew chief, Wayne Dupuy, says the car is responding well to everything he's trying with it, which is very good news. We didn't make full passes in Vegas because we didn't need to but the incremental times we ran were our best ever. We're very anxious to run this weekend and see how we measure up with the others."
A custom motorcycle builder by trade, Erbacher will run the first four NHRA national events before deciding if he's going to stay stateside or return to Europe.
"It all depends on sponsorship," he said. "We are working very hard to find a company to align ourselves with. Just as it is here, the economy is very down at the moment in Switzerland, however, business must continue around the world and we feel as though we have a very unique opportunity to offer potential sponsors, especially with the success of the TV show."
Discovery Channel's "Kings of Nitro" follows Erbacher and his team to various drag races as well as motorcycle rallies and car shows where Erbacher is treated like a rock star by his fans.
"Our hope is that the TV show will get picked up here in the states," Erbacher said. "It would give people a chance to get to know us much better and I think everyone would like it very much. If it helped in getting us a sponsor, all the better."