Quench your thirst for speed on the track

DRAG RAC­ING LEADER’S PLEA TO MO­TOR­CY­CLISTS:

Isis Town and Country - - Sport - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

DON’T use the streets, use a rac­ing track.

That is the im­pas­sioned plea of Childers mo­tor­cy­clist Flame Howard, who has urged Fraser Coast riders to join her on the track.

Howard has stunned the Cen­tral Queens­land Drag Rac­ing Cham­pi­onships Twin Se­ries to be lead­ing the com­pe­ti­tion with three rounds to go.

She is also one of the most re­cent ad­di­tions to an elite Amer­i­can club that hon­ours riders who cover the quar­ter mile (402m) in less than 12 sec­onds.

Howard reached 116.57 miles per hour – about 187.6kmh – in an 11.702-sec­ond ride down Be­naraby Race­way, near Gladstone, to join the ex­clu­sive club.

While Howard is stoked to have reached the fig­ure on her street-reg­is­tered Har­ley David­son, she has urged driv­ers to use the track.

“I lost a son to hooning in 2002, and I know peo­ple are go­ing to keep (push­ing the lim­its) any­way but you need to do it where it is safe,” she said.

“We want to get the mes­sage out there that the roads just aren’t good enough.

“They should go to a track rather than us­ing the streets.”

Howard has been around bikes her whole life, and owned her first bike at age seven.

“I was brought up on a sheep sta­tion, so that was a 1.7-horse­power bike that we used to muster sheep with,” she said.

“I’ve grown up with them and learned to re­spect bikes very quickly.”

From her begin­nings on a sheep sta­tion to tear­ing down Be­naraby’s drag strip, Howard has stuck with Har­ley David­sons for more than two decades.

While she con­tin­ues to cam­paign for rac­ers to get off the streets, Howard is fo­cused on fin­ish­ing the Twin Se­ries with three big per­for­mances.

She leads clos­est com­peti­tor Peter Leggo by only four points af­ter four rounds and, with the help of 666 Per­for­mance’s Viv Jocum­sen, is tin­ker­ing with her ma­chine to main­tain the lead.

“The whole en­gine had to be re­built as it wasn’t pre­cise enough for what we wanted it to do,” Jocum­sen said.

“She’s gone un­der that time for the quar­ter mile since she recorded that time.”

Howard’s next race is on July 25, but her cam­paign to move hoons from the street to track is never-end­ing.

“Peo­ple who have that need for speed want to get out there and test their ma­chines, they may as well do it prop­erly,” Howard said.

Flame Howard ... the roads just aren’t good enough

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

THERE’S A PLACE FOR IT: Childers mo­tor­cy­clist Flame Howard has urged Wide Bay riders to quench their need for speed on race tracks. She is the cur­rent leader of the Cen­tral Queens­land Drag Rac­ing Cham­pi­onships Twin Se­ries.

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