The 2013 Nitro Champs was an event that gave Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Scott White something to smile about. He was able to qualify in the top half of the field and got past the first round of eliminations. In fact White was so happy to have gone into the semi-finals that for the Darwin racer it may as well have been the finals.
“We came to the Nitro Champs with some hesitation because we have had a possible ignition problem that was effecting the timing on the AMPAC Suzuki, but having found someone in Darwin who gave us some advice we came to Sydney with our fingers crossed,” said White.
The first qualifying pass on Saturday saw those fingers uncross when White put down a solid run of 7.400 seconds at 179.18 mph. At the end of the session that was good for No.1. The second session White recorded a 7.617 at 172mph and while it was no improvement White remained number one heading into the third and final qualifier. Unfortunately White, as well as a few other riders, struggled in the left lane and spun the tyre at the hit and resulted in a 10-second pass. In the third pairing Luke Crowley who was in the right lane put down a pass of 7.38 seconds to bump White into second place.
“It would have been fantastic for the AMPAC Suzuki to have stayed in No.1 but we were still wrapped with the number two as we felt the position would still give us the edge to give us one of the teams long standing goals to get past the first round,” said White.
Round one saw a match-up with number seven qualifier Mark Hancock. On the green Hancock was away first with a quicker reaction time and the result was a close race in favour of White. “That was a tight race,” said White. We had some new clutch plates in but they torched themselves immediately so we almost pretty lucky to have got through that round. We felt like the Masters of the Universe and had just won our first gold ANDRA Christmas Tree trophy. Well not quite (grin) but at this stage we felt like winners as far as we were concerned.”
For the semi-finals White was up against the number two qualifier - Maurice Allen.
“We’d been learning a lot about the carburettors on the bike and why we were torching pistons and little did we know that we had a lot more to learn. Before E2 we had one that was sticking a little bit higher so I leaned it just a touch on the needle but it went away in the race against Maurice and torched a piston in fourth gear.”
White recorded a 7.55 ET to a winning 7.44 from Allen with a margin of .0786 of a second.
“On the green the bike was in the right lane and went a little wide towards the outer wall but I stayed in it and felt that I was gaining on him just as the piston went away.”
The team headed back to the pits were it was confirmed that the engine had burnt a piston. With the next round of the championship at Willowbank Raceway’s Winternationals, White and his crew worked on swapping the spare engine and by midday the following day they were packed and heading up to Brisbane where they would leave the bike before flying home.
“We are already chasing up new pistons and hoping that they will arrive before the Winternationals so we can rebuild the good motor.