Floridian Defeats Reigning Champion Elaine Larsen
MELBOURNE, FLA. — With a speed of nearly 287 mph, Larsen Motorsports driver Katarina Moller beat Elaine Larsen in the finals of the 2015 IHRA Nitro Jam Mardi Gras Nationals on Sunday at State Capitol Raceway in Port Allen, Louisiana.
It was the second consecutive finals battle for both Moller, a mechanical engineering college student in her second year of racing for Larsen Motorsports, and Larsen, the team’s co-founder and the 2014 Nitro Jam Jet Dragster champion.
In the season opening Good Vibrations Nitro Jam Southwestern Nationals in Tucson, Arizona, last month, Larsen prevailed.
“Last race, I had Elaine in the final and she beat me to the finish line, so this race I’m glad I got to beat her. I’m super excited about the victory,” said Moller, who is sponsored by Matrix Systems. “So now we’re even and we’ll see who wins next time.”
Moller won with a time of 5.584 seconds at 286.53 mph. Larsen hit 277 mph in her 5.801-second run.
The Matrix Systems Jet Racing Team was led by 18-year-old Crew Chief Andrew Larsen, the son of Chris and Elaine Larsen of Melbourne. Andrew was crew chief for his mother, Elaine, during her 2014 championship season.
Larsen Motorsports, an affiliate of Florida Institute of Technology, operates from Florida Tech’s new research and development center in Palm Bay.
Shea Holbrook, driving the recently unveiled Florida Institute of Technology dragster, hit 265 mph in her best run at Mardi Gras Nationals. An accomplished grand prix road racer, she is successfully acclimating to jet dragster driving as well, said Larsen Motorsports CEO Chris Larsen.
“There is no race car anywhere that drives like a jet car. Shea is a living testimony that the LMS driver development program continues to be a success,” he said. “Even with a brand new dragster, engine and driver, the overall performance of the Florida Tech jet racing team is exceeding all expectations.”
The next race on the IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series brings the Larsen team back to its home state. The IHRA Nitro Jam Southern Nationals will take place April 17-18 at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida.
Follow the Florida Tech Jet Dragster Racing Team at http://jetdragster.fit.edu.