Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Alan Thoresen: Black Thunder at Bonneville

Alan Thoresen’s 50th birthday was a wakeup call. He was running out of time for all the adventures he wanted to experience. One of those adventures was to follow in the footsteps of a famous New Zealand racer named Burt Monro, and race on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Monro is an inspiration to many racers, but for New Zealander’s, it is a special honor to step upon the salt where Monro rode the World’s Fastest Indian.

Thoresen returned to drag racing in preparation for Bonneville, and he had a very successful first season. Thoresen came in second overall in the NZ Drag Association (NZDRA) Points Series for Modified Bike, winning the Season Points series at Meremere for Modified Bike, and Breaking the NZ National Record for Modified Bike twice, as well as a successive series of wins at other venues.Last year was Thoresen’s first attempt at setting a record at Bonneville on his modified Kawasaki ZX1400. Thoresen was doing well, improving his times with each run. His attempts ended abruptly, however, when he crashed through a timing tower at 180 mph.

Undeterred, Thoresen has returned to Bonneville Speedway with a goal of hitting 197 mph. His ZX1400 has been repaired and reconfigured to run in the stock class. We caught up with this very spirited Kiwi at the starting line on August 19, 2008. Thoresen spoke of his crash last year and what he is doing differently this year in this video podcast.

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