In a world that measures racing prowess a quarter-mile at a time, where a single FIA Championship often suffices in defining a winning career, four-time FIA European Top Fuel Champion Andy Carter is indeed - The drag racing king of Europe.
Carter knows how to win championships - winning in 2001, 2004, 2008, and 2009
Cater is a fierce and focused competitor and he's gunning for at least two more FIA European Championships
Carter got his start racing in the sportsman ranks, then switched to supercharged, nitro burning racing in his seven second Ford Popular, running it in the Outlaw Anglia Class. In the mid-90's Carter toggled up one more time, to the top-tier of the sport - Top Fuel Drag Racing. Carter's early years in Top Fuel didn't come as easy as his early successes, but his fierce competitiveness and focus refused to be hampered for long.
We caught up with Carter to see what future challenges sizzled within him.
K&N. We see from your schedule that you divide you time racing here in the states and in England, what are there some of the race differences worth noting? Also, do you actually ship your car back and forth?
Carter. The biggest difference in the FIA European Championships and the NHRA Championships is the money and sponsorships involved, but having said that, drag racing in Europe is seeing enormous growth. Although, compared to the USA, companies in Europe still don't seem to understand that you can get a great return for your money in drag racing. Performance wise, we are about 2/10ths behind the top NHRA teams. And I don't actually ship my dragster to the USA, it is more cost effective to hire a USA teams' Top Fuel Dragster and drive that.
K&N. If all goes according plan, what are your ultimate racing goals for the near future, and how did your last race go?
Carter. My ultimate racing goal is to win six FIA European Top Fuel Championships, having won them in 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2009, I know how to win, I've just got to keep doing it. My last race was in the USA at the NHRA Phoenix event, it didn't go great, I qualified 16th and lost in the first round to Tony Schumacher, but it was a great experience.
K&N. How do you see your relationship with K&N going?
Carter. The relationship with K&N is fantastic both here in Europe and the USA. K&N are great supporters of drag racing and I'm lucky enough to have been supported since 2003. And, I've never had one issue with any products we have used on the Top Fuel Dragster. We currently use K&N oil filters and specially made K&N filters on our five disc clutch system. We also use K&N oil and air filters on our support vehicles.
K&N. Any other plans for the coming season that you'd care to discuss, and where do you race next?
Carter. No new plans for 2010, same as normal. I would like to win the FIA Championship and do the best to get exposure for Lucas Oil, K&N and all my associate sponsors. Our next race is the first round of the FIA Championships, at Santa Pod Raceway (Northamptonshire, England), that's in May. I can't wait for that one. But, before that, we still have four static shows to do first.
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