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Who is Nikki Hepburn?

Queensland drag racing legend, Nikki Hepburn, spared a few competitive seconds to catch up with Link ECU about where it all began, her 2018 USA trip, what ECU kit the team are currently running and where to next.

Where it began for Nikki

Since a young girl Nikki has always been into drag cars and street racing. But six years ago things got serious when she started racing in her dad’s twin turbo big block gemini. “I competed in Super Sedan and then Outlaw 10.5 and managed a best of 6.88 at 218mph.”

Two years later Nikki and her fiance Luke, began building the 86 and has been running it as a radial car ever since, whilst still competing against the slick cars.

From there, masses of driving time and skill honing has been the key to her impressive achievements

Current records

Nikki is known for her steely nerves and level head which has helped her reach exceptional career heights, “We are currently the world’s fastest import radial car and I am also the world’s quickest female sport compact racer”. That’s no mean feat given her currently held PB is 6.55 at 217mph with a speed PB of 219mph.

Nikki’s 1FZ powered Toyota 86 drag car

2018 USA Tour

Nikki’s 2018 USA tour took her and the team on two incredibly successful trips. The first was for the World Sport Compact Challenge in Orlando which saw some incredible firsts. “During testing we broke our own world record three times, bringing it down to 6.55.” After that, Nikki made top qualifier in the street rod 10.5 class and also broke the class record.

The record breaking team & car in Orlando, USA

The second trip was for the World Spot Compact Finals, again Nikki qualified top in the class.

The team then took the car to Indianapolis for the PRI Show to display at the Supertech Valves stand, to which the audience gave many “ooo’s and aah’s”. During the show the car was nominated by an independent panel for the JE Pistons ‘Masters of Motors’ competition.

The car also made the top 25 and won the ‘best import motor’ class for which Nikki and the team received a trophy and $1000 in pistons from JE Pistons.

Winner of Best Import at PRI 2019

Nikki and Link

Although Link has been onboard as a sponsor for two years now, Nikki has always run Link gear in her race cars. “Our local guys, Justin & Michael from JW Automotive introduced us to Link. They’re a Link dealer but also manage the tuning and electrical package on the car.”

As well as the top service from JW Automotive Nikki reaches her exceptional speeds by running 2 x Link Xtreme ECUs, Link pressure sensors and Link EGT’s

Nikki’s Link ECU package is tuned by JW Automotive in QLD, Australia

What’s next

The 2019 race season is set to be a winner for Nikki. “The car’s due back in February with an immediate start of two events in March; the Sydney Jamboree in which Link sponsor us and the Kenda Tyres 660 Drag Radial Series. And after that another six events or so for the remainder of the year.”

When asked what her words of wisdom are for your racers she doesn’t disappoint, “Be prepared to spend the money to get things done right the first time and do it because you love it.”

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