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Drag Racing History & Origins

The Dragster is a 1/8th (201.16 m) or 1/4 mile (402.33 m) acceleration race in the United States. This mechanical sport came to France in the 1980s, on the prestigious Le Mans circuit. Its success was immediate, attracting more than 50,000 spectators in the first year.

Then, the magic of the Dragster conquered also other French spaces like Brittany, Beauce, or Alsace for example; the evolution is progressive, the number of demonstrations and drivers increase. An event is organized on the circuit Paul Ricard; a motorcycle demo is given in the premises of the P. O. P. B in Bercy, some articles/documentaries are regularly published in Paris Match, moto journal, VSD, M6, etc.

In 1984, after presenting at the FFM, the French championship was organized, under the tutelage of Fernand and Dany Dieudonné, emblematic and dynamic couple, who believed in the potential of this discipline. Two queens categories: Pro Stock and Top Fuel, which are modeled on the European regulations, at that time, four young Manceaux come out of nowhere, they are Eric Demengel, Jean François (adept of the Off-Road Dragster), Thierry and Frédo Lépine. These names tell you something?! Indeed, the famous “band du Mans”, has been present in the paddock since the first hours.  The French Dragster is in it, so much, so that big names of the European Drag come to face each other on a round, organized on the Circuit of Monthléry (Dragster Mania), in 1987. Due to the variety of preparations, the ” TF “becomes” CB ” in 1991, the number of entries in Pro Stock is in full force ( about twenty motorcycles equipped with wheely bars). Meanwhile, the Promotion categories A, B, and Wheeling are very successful. The grids are full and good poster heads like Joss Hars move on the “French Championship”.

Danny_dieudonne at the beginning of the 90’, some tricolor drivers go to try themselves at the European Championship, Eric Teboul and Dany Dieudonne in Top Fuel, Dominique Fo animates the Pro Stock category, for his part, Jean-Yves Vetsch is a serious outsider in Funny Bike. On the national side, a regular of the Wheeling: Yves Chudoba talks with Dany and Fernand Dieudonné at the end of 93′, the trio develops a new category : the Street Bike, is born at the beginning of 1994, Didier Fridel, Frédéric Belhomme, and Yves Chudoba are the trio of state, they evolve in 6.8′ regular. On the big category, Jean Claude Draper, Dany Dieudonne, Philippe Lemaire, and Freddéric Lepine animate the CB, Patrick Miazga, Philippe Poulard, Philippe Runge and Eric Demengel, do the show in Pro Stock.  The race of Orgères in Beauce, for its part, becomes a real American show, the motorcycle club Ecurie Orléans organizes in parallel of the race of Dragster, several demos of “stunt”, dragster TT, race on the prairie, reactor Feeler / Perrot and aerobatic.

In 1997, the city of Bordeaux invested in a space dedicated to the ” runs “, the 800-metre-long Laborde track. This space allows young people from Bordeaux to unwind safely on their machines, it also allows the organization of an event of the French championship of Dragster. Meanwhile, Yves Chudoba, street Bike heavyweights leaves to try his hand at the SB English Championship, during the last race in Santa Pod, Yves manages to climb to the final. On the dark side: the number of championship participants is in decline, the number of races is in decline, Annecy, Chimay and Guisgriff are no longer included in the calendar of Drag competitions, the grids empty considerably.

ac1 yet, at the end of 97’, a young student: Antoine Coupiac, mid-pack driver in PSB invests in an American machine : a 1327 Cc (which becomes a 1640 Cc originating from Team Star Racing in 2003) ex Dave Schultz, an extremely powerful motorcycle for Europe, since it is able to cross the ¼ mile in 7.2 s ! He raises the bar a notch, since he will drop France records by 0.3 s at the 1 / 8th mile ! On their side, Antoine’s opponents take the sides of this machine and progress, which leads to a new momentum of engine preparation and chassis, the Chronos attest, the level is up a notch. Meanwhile, Philippe Kozaka, used to the SB on a red and blue 900 CBR, created his own structure : the KOKA team. A professional and serious structure, a huge red, yellow and white car with the colors of the partners carries six identical motorcycles, the team drivers like Tony Deriemacker for example, ride at a high level.