Calgary’s Ethan Barkley made history at the CMDRA’s most recent round at Mission Raceway Park, becoming the quickest Canadian Pro Street racer in history after a 7.505-second quarter-mile lap at over 187 mph.
The cool, dense sea level air at Mission combined with a smooth sticky racing surface allowed Barkley to finally begin turning up the boost on his turbocharged Suzuki GSX-R1000. Out of the box in early testing Saturday the bike ran a nice clean 8.0 at a mere 170 mph with a mild “off the trailer” tune. After a soft 7.7@185 in the first qualifying session, Barkley made some slight chassis adjustments and the engine tune was left the same. The Gixxer, dubbed ‘Eleanor’ shot off the line with the front tire hovering above the track. The result was a historic 7.505 @ 187. Barkley couldn’t go quicker in the final qualifying session.
As the elimination rounds came around on Sunday, Barkley wanted to push Eleanor even harder. To back up the 7.505 as an official CMDRA record he needed to make another run within 1% (7.580 or better). Sunday’s opening test pass was strong as the air was cooler than on Saturday, allowing the team to make more power with less boost. A medium tune was selected and the fuel maps were enriched slightly to compensate for the now “thicker” air. A smooth launch and a clean pass flashed 7.6 @ 177 on the boards, not in record contention.
Ethan had the bye in round two and knew this was the run to make a record happen. The bike launched well but down track it was headed for the centreline and forced Ethan to make aggressive corrections. A firstname.lastname@example.org flashed on the boards, just six thousandths of a second outside the 1% needed for the record! Later in the day Ethan found himself in the finals against Ken Morrison on his turbocharged Kawasaki ZX-14. The two left the line with nearly identical reaction times, but Ethan pulled away quickly, taking the win by posting a solid 7.61 at a mere 176 mph as the bike had major a major ECU glitch at half-track, killing the power for the latter half of the run.
All in all it was a very solid weekend for Barkley with new personal bests as well as posting an unofficial record ET. In three weeks the team will head back to Castrol Raceway for the CMDRA Season Finale and another shot at the record books.