The acrid smell of burning rubber, whine of turbochargers, buzz of smelly two-strokes were just a few of the elements prevalent at at the Aamby Valley air strip near Lonavala last weekend. The air strip had turned into a temple of speed for all sorts of petrol heads who had gathered for the Valley Run 2013. The last, full-fledged drag racing event that the country saw was held in 2008, which is why the Valley Run was nothing short of a blessing for fans of the quarter mile drag. There were bikes, superbikes, cars, supercars and a lot more! With over 200 entries collectively, the Valley Run was sure a festival of speed - the entries included everything under the sun - right from Yamaha RX100s to the Rolls Royce Phantom. Spaced in between were exotics like the Lamborghini Gallardo, an Audi R8, a Nissan GT-R, a BMW 760Li Mansory edition, a couple of Bentleys, Audis, Mercs, several heavily modified Indian and imported tuner cars, the usual hatchbacks, and sedans, well-tuned Yamaha RD350s, litre-class superbikes et al. The sound of these machines ricochetting in the valley was definitely not to be missed, but it was ten time world drag champion Ricky Gadson who stole the show with his performances. Ricky had come down from the USA specially for the Valley Run, courtesy the organisers of the event, Elite Octane Inc. Ricky was riding a Kawasaki ZZR 1400 that had been tuned to his liking and put up a few exhibition runs over the weekend wooing the audiences. His fastest time for the quarter mile run was 10.088 seconds with an exit speed of 229.01kmph, but this was far slower than his personal best of 7.2 seconds that he has clocked in the USA on a specially prepared Kawasaki. Ricky even popped a monstrous wheelie on the Kwacker, carrying it over the full 400 metre distance, which though a demo run, was the fastest wheelie over the weekend. The helicopter engine powered Y2K that was fired up at the India Bike Week last month was present at the Valley Run too, and this time she wasn't just fired up, she ran on the air strip as well!
The Valley Run was thus an event that hundreds of enthusiasts from across the nation had been eagerly waiting for. It is not often that you get to see some of the fastest cars and motorcycles in action, going flat out to complete the proverbial quarter mile run in the least possible time. That we are already waiting for the next edition of this festival of speed is all we can say for now.