Bikes: Gast Looking for Third Championship Aboard Suziki GSXR
16 December 1998Grand Island, New York -- Following the AMA/Prostar World Finals, 1997 and 1998 Pro Stock Bike National Champion Paul Gast returned home a broken man. A favorite to have won the final event of 1998, Gast's engine suffered crankshaft failure in the second round and registered a loss to Shawn Gann.
Recognizing that the '99 season would start in just a few weeks, Gast and his crew returned home and put the final touches on a brand new chassis that had been in the works for several months.
The bike is a standard "off the shelf" Trac Dynamics T4, outfitted with a '98 Suzuki GSXR 1100 body." explained Dave Earll, President of Trac Dynamics, "Paul has always used one of our older styled chassis and, simply put, the new bike is much more rigid."
Earll explained that the new bike ultimately requires quite a bit more clutch, which results consistently in .004 to .005-second improvements in elapsed time.
Once the bike was complete, Gast and his crew drove 1500 miles, back to Gainesville Raceway, for a private test session. He would not elaborate as to the details of each run, but Gast did say that his testing went "very very well", and that his bike ran as quick as 7.28-seconds, 183 MPH.
"Obviously we had good air conditions due to the cool winter temperatures" explained Gast, "but certainly we were pleased with the performance of the new bike. Once we get the new chassis all figured out, we'll have a killer combination on our hands."
Gast made predictions as to having a bump spot in the 7.40-second range next season, and noted that for his motivation. "All of the bikes out there are buying better parts, learning more secrets, and are simply just trying harder, it's going to make for some great racing in '99."