Cranbrook bike ace Mitchell can’t wait for green light to get back on the track

PUBLISHED: 09:39 25 May 2020 | UPDATED: 09:39 25 May 2020

Mitchell Rowe with his hayabusa which is all set for action once drag racing returns. Picture MITCHELL ROWE

Mitchell Rowe with his hayabusa which is all set for action once drag racing returns. Picture MITCHELL ROWE

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Cranbrook-based Mitchell Rowe is looking forward to the day when he can finally get back on his bike and race to top speeds once more.

The hayabusa bike which Cranbrook-based Mitchell Rowe has got ready for action once the green light is given to drag racing making a return post Coronavirus pandemic. Picture: MITCHELL ROWEThe hayabusa bike which Cranbrook-based Mitchell Rowe has got ready for action once the green light is given to drag racing making a return post Coronavirus pandemic. Picture: MITCHELL ROWE

The 42-year-old is a drag racer and he has just completed work on his third ‘sprint’ bike.

He explains how he first got into the sport saying: “I have been into motorcycles since the age of five as I come from a family of bikers which is handy when you need help!

“I started out with trials competitions from an early age and, when I ventured across to the Dakota track at Smeatharpe, to watch a sprint meeting, I was hooked and I have been racing ever since!”

As to Mitchell’s first ‘self-made’ machine, he explained saying: “My first effort was a Honda cbr1000. I installed a nitrous kit and managed to get a second place with the machine and a best time of 10.03.”

The hayabusa bike which Cranbrook-based Mitchell Rowe has got ready for action once the green light is given to drag racing making a return post Coronavirus pandemic. Picture: MITCHELL ROWEThe hayabusa bike which Cranbrook-based Mitchell Rowe has got ready for action once the green light is given to drag racing making a return post Coronavirus pandemic. Picture: MITCHELL ROWE

He continued: “I was stuck down with illness and , needing money, was forced to sell that bike, but once I was back on my feet health wise, I brought a zx9r for £500 and spent the next three years – and some £300 - developing it into a sprint bike in my shed at home.

“I extended it, lowered it, and built another nitrous kit for it.

“The bike ran okay for one season, but was clearly being outclassed and then, last year, it went ‘bang’!”

With his bike out of action it meant Mitchell missed the final outing of the season and had to settle for a fifth place finish in the final standings.

The hayabusa bike which Cranbrook-based Mitchell Rowe has got ready for action once the green light is given to drag racing making a return post Coronavirus pandemic. Picture: MITCHELL ROWEThe hayabusa bike which Cranbrook-based Mitchell Rowe has got ready for action once the green light is given to drag racing making a return post Coronavirus pandemic. Picture: MITCHELL ROWE

Mitchell says: “That’s racing for you. Mind you I also had a fire in which I lost one bike but did manage to save the Kawasaki, but it topped off a ‘disappointing’ season for me. However, I was grateful for one very important fact – I now cannot recommend having a fire extinguisher to hand in your shed enough!”

Having had his fill of ‘nitrous’ racing Mitchell opted to go down the ‘turbo’ route.

He says: “I saw a Hayabusa for sale in London. In terms of it being a project it was ‘half built’, but the turbo element had been completed.”

Mitchell got the machine back to his East Devon home and has spent the last few months modifying the fuel system, frame, bodywork and electrics.”

He says: “The bike is now what I’d describe as ‘a missile on wheels’ capable of being even faster than I have travelled before and I am now looking at a wheelie bar, quick shifter and maybe a good old fashioned ‘paint job’ to finish the project off.”

He continued: “For me, it’s a big jump from 180bhp to 280bhp, so, if and whe new do get some sort of a racing season in 2020, I will run it as it is, to get myself acclimatised to its handling and power.

“In terms of the competitive side, I’d like to think that once we get the next season underway, I’d achieve a top three spot in my category. That said, while I am ‘hoping’ for top three, I am of course fiercely competitive and targeting winning – let’s face it, that’s why we all race as we do. It’s all aimed at being the best at what we do.”

As to what sort of performance he will get out of the new machine, Mitchell says: “I think it’s capable of running in the low nine seconds over the quarter-of-a-mile drag distance and that would take us to a top speed of well over 200mph.

“On the immediate horizon is the fact that my eyes are set firmly on the track record at Dakota of 9.05.

“This is all ‘work in progress’ for me, but I am hungry for success and trophies and cannot wait for the green light to get racing again.”

Mitchell is always keen to hear from potential sponsors and backers and anyone who would like to get in touch with him, can do so via email at mitchell_rowe@yahoo.com


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