Scott White will be making something of a homecoming at Nitro Up North this weekend, racing his 350 horsepower Pro Stock Motorcycle at Hidden Valley Drag Strip against Victoria’s Locky Ireland.
Though only taking part in demonstration runs, it is hoped that the runs will generate interest in a full championship round for the Pro Stock Motorcycle division next year.
White recently moved to Queensland with his family, but with plenty of friends and supporters still in Darwin, he explained it very much feels like coming home. For many years White was one of the few professional drag racers from the Northern Territory who pursued a national championship.
“I may not be a local anymore since shifting but I still have work here, still have friends here and it will like racing in front of a hometown crowd,” he said.
“I know this track very well and I am probably the only Pro Stock Motorcycle racer in the country with data so that puts me at an advantage as I know what base settings to use right away.”
White expects his Suzuki to be able to cover the quarter mile (402m) drag strip in just 7.3 seconds at over 300kmh.
“We are planning an engine upgrade soon so this will be our last event with this combination and we really want to see what it is capable of.
“I’m very evenly matched with Locky so I think the fans are going to see some really close races.”
For Ireland, Darwin is very much foreign territory and it will be the furthest tow his team has ever made to an event. Ireland was the youngest rider to ever win a Pro Stock Motorcycle national championship when he claimed the 2012 title at just 24 years of age.
“We have always been impressed with the continual investment by Territorians to make Hidden Valley a national venue,” he said. “It’s our first time to Darwin and have heard it’s a great place to live and Nitro Up North is a great event to attend.
“Unfortunately our racing commitments mean we won’t have time to see much but we’ve still got friends who want to show off their city for us.”
Ireland hopes to run a little quicker than White, with expectations of a 7.2 second run, so long as he can overcome some recent mechanical dramas.
“Last season we were plagued with minor problems at each event. We had one event where the bike couldn’t shift into top gear, another meeting where the ignition would not take any programming and wouldn’t let the bike rev to the 14,200RPM we need and then at another event a piece of aluminium closed up an oil hole in the cylinder head.
“Hopefully those problems are behind us now and we can give Scott a good race.”