Thomas Cronan Posts 262.161 mph Land-Speed Record
Earning the honor of being the eighth-fastest human on a sit-on style motorcycle, landspeed racer Thomas Cronan moved into the elite record books on July 15, setting a new APS/BF-1650/4 class record with the Loring Timing Association (LTA), of 262.161 MPH, on a turbocharged 1991, Suzuki GSX-R1100, owned by Eric Paquette’s DAS Performance.
It took two days of trying for Cronan and his team to reach this goal at Loring AFB, in Maine, initially fighting a high-speed wobble on the 1.5-mile course, before they earned the new record in the Altered Partial Streamliner/Blown Fuel-Under 1650cc/Four Cylinder (APS/BF-1650/4) class.
Cronan, from Mill Spring, North Carolina, was riding for Dracut, Massachusetts-based DAS Performance, hooking up with the team last season after proving himself on another bike. This modified GSX-R1100 produces over 400 horsepower with its 1276cc turbocharged engine.
Prior to achieving this record run the bike needed to be tamed, showing the serious effort it takes to secure this sensational goal. Cronan said, “I was only able to do the last two runs at full throttle. On the earlier runs, at around 200 mph, the bike shook and I had to let off. On my second to last run Saturday, as I slowed, the brake line got caught on the front tire and was ripped off. On Sunday we rerouted the brake line and changed to a Michelin tire and the shaking was gone.”
The record that Cronan bested was his own, set last year at 250 MPH, on the same bike. Cronan added, “With the Michelin tire the bike was smooth and stable. At 230 MPH it seemed like I was going slow. We also adjusted the boost controller to keep from chunking the tire by putting down too much power too quickly.”
According to Cronan, this record also makes him the fastest motorcycle rider from the Carolinas. That’s something considerable to say because Lee Shierts lives in North Carolina, and is well known for regularly raising the record bar.
Adding interest to Cronan’s record is the fact that his wife Kim gave birth to their son just six months ago, and she’s worked full time for the last nine years as an emergency room nurse. About Thomas’s landspeed record racing she said, “It’s what he does. It’s who he is. So I’m encouraging. And I have a motorcycle too.” A new dad, a nurse, a baby; it’s a family that’s truly fully living life’s many adventures.
Making Cronan’s record possible is a crew of professionals, alongside owner Eric Paquette, that includes Mike Zerofski, Eric’s son Kyle, brother Ray, and their cook Roland. Team sponsors include, Harry’s Machine Parts, G&G Engineering, Rick at Exile Turbos, Capone Racing, Electromotive Engine Controls, Jung Kwon Martial Arts Academy, World Wide Bearings, and Doc’s Cycle Worx. Watch for them at the next Loring AFB event as the team and Cronan attempt to set the record for the world’s fastest supercharged motorcycle.”