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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

Drag bike racing tribute for The Cannon

Date: Friday 29 September 2023

Lucas Oil has paid its respects to one of its sponsored racers and brand ambassadors who died in a road accident, last week.

Chris Hannam, 57, a drag bike racing team manager and former Top Fuel rider was killed while on a motorcycling holiday in Spain.

“He was our main sponsored drag bike rider for many years before moving into team management. He was a terrific ambassador for our brand and he was intensely proud of his association with Lucas Oil,” said sales and operations director Dan Morgan. “My sympathies go out to his brother Harry and partner Julie."

Chris Hannam was a well-known figure in drag bike racing. Among his major personal racing achievements was a 6.8 second pass at 193 mph on a Top Fuel nitro Puma at Gainesville, Florida, in 2004. It was a feat that earned great respect amongst his fellow riders and inspired many other riders of an equivalent stature.

Affectionately known as “Cannon”, the term reflected his similarity to the physical build of a 1970s TV detective (Frank Cannon), as much as the speed of his bikes on the track. He appreciated the sentiment. He raced as Cannon Motorsport and later incorporated the name into his Cannon Engineering business, a Leeds-based firm that he had recently sold.

The twelve-time FIM European Top Fuel Drag Bike Champion Ian King raced against Chris and co-managed the Lucas Oil-sponsored drag bike racing team alongside him in recent years:

“Chris was good friend for more than three decades. He was a larger than life character both on and off the track. He will be sadly missed. Godspeed Cannon.”