Modified Bike rider Paul DeKlerk is riding a wave of momentum into the third round of the WA Drag Racing Championships this Saturday at Perth Motorplex.
DeKlerk leads the points chase following a win at the opening event of the season (his first ever) and a quarter final appearance at the Goldenstates just under a fortnight ago.
Despite coming away with the silverware, DeKlerk said that his first victory did not come easily aboard his Kawasaki ZX14.
“We made changes to the bike during the off season but with no real testing time we didn’t know where we were and the times were off,” he explained. “During qualifying I was still fighting the bike and the times were showing us that.
“In eliminations I never thought I was going to make it though to the next round. The key to a win is different for everyone and for me it was having the old man there telling me to stop thinking about it and just ride the bike.”
DeKlerk has spent much time riding alongside his father, Murray Grant.
“Dad used to race bikes at Ravenswood, a supercharged Honda, in the 70s and early 80s, so I spent all my childhood there around bikes. It’s something we’ve always talked about over the years. We’ve always raced together or against each other from motocross to go-karts. This is just another avenue of us racing together again after having about six years off.”
The ride of choice is a first generation ZX14, with the factory 1352cc motor remaining fairly stock. It has been lowered and given a swing arm extension, but DeKlerk said changing the shock absorber showed the most benefit.
“This year we got a custom valved shock from M2 Shocks USA to get some consistency out of the bike on the launch. This has made a massive difference to the bike and I’m glad we did it.
“As with all aspects of racing we all want to go bigger, better and faster but funds are always the guiding factor. This year as like last year we’ll ride the bike to the best we can and have some fun on the way.”
When it comes to retaining his points lead, DeKlerk will be keeping it simple.
“To be honest my plan is to make it through the first round. Thirty plus years of racing has taught me to take it as it comes and race every race like it’s your last one.”
The WA Drag Racing Championships features the headlining Top Comp bracket with doorslammers, dragsters and funny cars doing battle for the event win, as well as Supercharged Outlaws, Outlaw Radial, Competition Bike, Top Sportsman, Modified, Super Sedan, Modified Bike and Super Street.
Qualifying begins from 12pm with the feature program running from 5.30pm.