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Exclusive Feature on Dave Beck
It's on to two wheels for this Team Feature as we take a look at possibly the only true Transatlantic team in Europe, that of Dave Beck. UK fans will know Dave for his stunning 7.2/180+ performances in Pro Stock bike in the UK, but what they might not be aware of is the fact that Dave also races regularly in the USA in the Prostar series on board an MRE-prepared Pro Mod bike.
Many thanks to Dave Beck and Stephen Moon for their assistance in putting this feature together, and for supplying the additional photos used in the feature.
Eurodragster: Tell us a little about yourself away from the track?
Dave Beck: I live in a great part of the country near Nantwich in Cheshire and for a living look after the machinery on a large dairy farm. Most importantly of all, I recently got married to Charlotte, in Florida, a few days after the 2003 Prostar World Finals.
Eurodragster: When did you first go to a drag race?
Dave Beck: I first went to a race in 1987 and was immediately attracted to the sport, competing in my first event that year on my Kawasaki 750 Turbo street bike.
Eurodragster: When did you first take part in a drag race?
Dave Beck: The same year, 1987
Dave Beck: It's a Kosman/Star Racing Pro Stocker which I bought in 1995. Over the years I've spent thousands of hours preparing and modifying it. As you know, Pro Stock is probably the most competitive class, where the tiniest advantage can make a difference. So I like to think that although the current bike is quite old, it contains all the knowledge I've picked up over the years.
Eurodragster: What is the powerplant and who built it?
Dave Beck: I've got a pair of 1640 Suzuki motors, prepared by Roger Upperton. I think that Roger is one of the best tuners in the sport on either side of the pond. Hundreds of hours go into each cylinder head and it's a pretty thankless task for Roger spending those countless hours on the flow bench. But the results speak for themselves.
Eurodragster: Approximate BHP?
Dave Beck: I'm guessing it's a reasonable way over 300bhp, given the performances I've been lucky enough to turn in last season. We hope to get the bike on the dyno over the winter to see how potent the new motor us, and then I'll report back.
Eurodragster: What drivetrain does the bike employ?
Dave Beck: The bike uses a five-speed Orient Express gearbox, which although expensive, has proved reliable, plus a MTC multi-stage clutch, with a few modifications.
Eurodragster: What is the bike's race weight?
Dave Beck: The bike weighs 600 lbs, in line with the ACU rules and Prostar rules. I only wish that at 600 lbs it was in line with the FIM rules as well, to give us all a level playing field.
Eurodragster: How the bike has developed since you first got it?
Dave Beck: As mentioned earlier, it's easy to look upon it as an old bike, but our performances prove otherwise. There are many, many tiny modifications which all add up to making the difference at Championship level.
Dave Beck: 7.295 at 183 mph, making it the fastest Pro Stocker in Europe and the fastest ever to have competed at Santa Pod. This isn't an official European record as it was set at a National event, but I hope to reach that goal if sponsors can be found to fund the two FIM events at Santa Pod in 2004.
Eurodragster: Who is your current crew?
Dave Beck: My new wife Charlotte, Mum and Dad, Rich Fielding and Andrew. Many thanks to them for making the success of recent years all possible.
Eurodragster: What plans do you have for the future?
Dave Beck: We're always improving the bike, whether it be Roger making another tiny but crucial mod to the motor, or another small tweak we've learnt from the last run. For 2004 the major (visible) changes are a complete new dual disc front end, plus carbon/kevlar TL1000 bodywork. And this year I promise to have a complete paint job!
But the real goals are to keep resetting the European marks - I'd like to run into the seven-teens early in 2004 and look to join the 7.0 club before year end. Ultimately, a six-second run would have to be the goal.
Eurodragster: What is your favourite story/moment involving the bike?
Dave Beck: Being the first Pro Stocker to break into the 7.2s and 180s. Bagging a sixth ACU title recently, after missing two rounds - there's nothing like the buzz of securing a title on the very last run of the season.
Eurodragster: What is your favourite story from the pits?
Dave Beck: I got married in November, and for some reason my mind's gone blank on this question!
Eurodragster: What do like most about the sport?
Dave Beck: Almost too many to mention: the speed, the adrenaline, the rush, taking the win light; the comradeship amongst all the competitors; and the sense of adventure every time I set off to another race - this sport always has something new to offer.
Dave Beck: Without doubt the late, great John Myers. He was years ahead of his time and he inspired me and countless others. A true legend in the sport.
Eurodragster: Any people you would like to thank?
Dave Beck: I'd sincerely like to thank the countless people who have helped and supported me over the years. There are genuinely too many to list, but you know who you are. Without all of you, this last sixteen years wouldn't have been possible.
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