Seven-time land speed record holder Valerie Thompson plans to compete for a full season of NHRA drag racing next year with a Star Racing built Pro Stock Motorcycle as an independent team owner and driver. Thompson will also continue seeking new land speed racing records with her team’s BMW S 1000 RR at select events in 2016.
In addition with technical support by Star Racing, Thompson’s team will be led by recently appointed crew chief, Chris Rivas. Rivas is a former Pro Stock Motorcycle racer with four NHRA event wins and six land speed racing world records.
“Chris Rivas has been successful in drag racing while setting new land speed records. As a crew chief, he will be one of my biggest assets. He understands the difference between quarter-mile and land speed racing, so he can help our team with everything from bike set-up to my riding technique as I transition back to drag racing,” added Thompson.
Thompson’s motorcycle-racing career began in the All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA) where she finished third in the V-Rod Destroyer class in 2007 and was featured in a Super Bowl commercial with Danica Patrick. She also entered several NHRA events in 2008 with a best elapsed time 7.05 seconds.
“I have a real passion for land speed racing, but I can’t express how excited I am to return to my ‘racing roots’ with a bike built by George Bryce’s Star Racing team. George and his wife Jackie, operate one of the most successful NHRA Pro Stock motorcycle teams in the history of the sport, so I’m confident we will do well next year,” said Thompson.
“I’m delighted to see Valerie returning to drag racing and thankful she chose Star Racing to help her new team. We are also looking forward to working with Chris Rivas again,” said George Bryce, Star Racing owner.
Thompson formed her own land speed racing team in 2012 and recorded a personal best top speed of 217 mph at the 2014 Texas Mile. This year, Thompson became the first female member of the Colorado Mile 200 MPH Club on her Quicksilver Powersports Lubricants/CTEK BMW Motorrad and is now a member of six-land speed racing 200 MPH Clubs, including the prestigious Bonneville 200 MPH Club. As a result, she is often referred to as “America’s Queen of Speed.”
The 2016 NHRA schedule includes 16 Pro Stock Motorcycle events with the first scheduled for March 17 – 20 at the Gatornationals in Gainesville Florida.