Ian King, Top Fuel Racer, England
Our last contact with Ian King before he visited Gainesville, Florida was a Cyber Interview. I've included that introduction below because it contains relevant information. I (Dwight) had the pleasure of having my questions zip across a very wet portion of the planet so we could know more about this brave racer: Ian King
Aboard cyber vehicles we looped across the giant pond called Atlantic to the shores of the United Kingdom to contact dedicated and brave racers from the Old World. Our cyber interview is with Ian King who has been gracious to join us in cyber space from his home in southern England fifteen miles from London and Cambridge.
The UK has three permanent dragstrips, one in the south (Santa Pod), one in the midlands (Avon Park raceway), and one in the north (York raceway) The ACU British championship takes place at the first two strips as York is too bumpy for the Pro classes.
Ian King races in the European Championship in England, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Finland, but has also raced in Ireland, France, and Holland. When not racing his top/fuel bike he co-ordinates rules for the ACU UK National Championship. (British Dragbike championship) He is also a FIM International Dragracing scrutineer (The FIM is the governing body for all motorcycle sports in the world.)
Meeting Ian King in person is a real pleasure. He exhibits the proper British attributes we might expect, but he possesses an outward personality that is entertaining and brisk. Please welcome this worldly guy with the same courtesy he has extended to us.
Do you have a nickname?
"At school I was known as 'Kingy."
Who are your Heroes?
"Pete Davies (Puma Engineering, the one-man company that produces the fastest engines on Earth), anyone who drag races a motorcycle, and anyone in the nursing and caring professions."
What are your scariest moments?
"The first time I had to ride my Top Fuel Bike."
Do you work out?
"I play Soccer three times a week (when work and racing allows)."
Do you have a special diet?
"I wish I did, but I like eating (second favourite pastime next to racing!)"
What mental routine prepares you for each run?
"Normally, we're so busy between rounds, I have little time to think about anything, but I talk to the other racers and their crew in the staging lanes, joking and just relaxing."
Do you have time for a hobby?
"Well. Between my wife, two young daughters, and Soccer…no!"
Many motorcyclists ride to unravel, what do you do to unwind?
"Playing Soccer helps, but just enjoying the company of my family and friends is the most effective."
What personal quality (one trait) would you want your fans to admire most?
"My integrity, and willingness to help."
What's most important?
1.Fame 2.Money 3.Thrill/fun 4.Winning
Are you happy?
What could make you happier?
"Apart from the normal wish for peace and an end to all wars, I'd like to see a true World Championship for Motorcycle dragracing."
If you could change one thing about motorcycle drag racing, what would it be?
"That it had a much higher profile in World Motorsport."
When driving a car, do you always wear a seatbelt?
1. Yes. 2. No. 3. If yes, really?
" 4. Normally."
Where do you find the most peace in your life?
"When I'm staying away in a hotel, on my own, on business."
When do you find the most peace in your life?
"In the same hotel, after I've finished all my paperwork!"
Do you have a full-time occupation?
"I'm a Sales Manager for Regspec, Harlow, UK."
You're a skilled racer…What one factor, what one reason separates you from the fast traffic on smooth public highways?
"I'm racing for enjoyment and can choose to ride. People on the highway are driving because they have to get somewhere."
What does 185 mph (plus) feel like on a motorcycle?
"Strange. Stranger above 200 mph."
What got you started in motorcycle drag racing?
"Cub Scouts. We had a trip to a drag race."
When asleep, do you ever dream you're riding a motorcycle?
"I don't get much sleep. I've got two kids. I dream about sleeping."
When not wearing leathers or racing garb, what's your choice for clothing?
"I have to wear a suit at work, so I prefer jeans and T-shirts at home."
Name one other sport, you believe you could excel at?
If you could make one part of your body stronger, what part would that be?
"My stomach. Cause I like fun drinking."
When frustrated, what do you do first?
3.Try to be cool
"Number three. I try."
How long does it take you to come off an emotional high? Like a winning high?
"I lose so often. Not long."
What are your preparations for next year?
"New clutch. New set of tools."
What do you plan to do in the off-season?
"I play a lot of soccer."
"Let's all pull together to raise the profile of motorcycle dragracing."
Before meeting Ian King, I based my assessment of the man by the way he answered my questions as follows:
Our experience with cyber contact, is that just like real human to human contact, the best stands out, the rest doesn't. Same reality here. Ian King stands out. It didn't take long to find an adjective to fit Ian King, our brave ally: Tenacious
After several encounters with Ian King in person, I realized that I had chosen a word worthy of his demeanor. We decided his word stands tall:
Mick, Ian's Crew Chief