The travelling circus.

Step right up for the Sultans of Sprint.

When the Sultans of Sprint ride out onto the dragstrip, things get wild. Initiator Seb "The Lucky Cat" Lorentz has rounded up Europe's motorcycle freaks in order to unleash a fireworks of fun and speed. Attention! Low-flying dragsters.

"All Sultans, please, all Sultans!" A man with a turban, tunic and a pink sunshade runs like a headless chicken between the pimped bikes. Gesticulating frantically, he tries to catch the crazy gang of Sultans of Sprint for the riders' briefing. When everyone – more or less – has gathered in front of the wheel of fortune, the draw for the starting grid begins. Zombie versus yeti, Frankenstein versus Hercules.

The Sultans of Sprint are known for phenomenal acceleration and speed. But they are just as well known for crazy outfits and ludicrous acts – using the dragstrip as a circus ring. Besides the race result, there are huge points up for creative designs and party behaviour. Not to mention the scary factor for the best frightening strategy. Those referred to as freaks can definitely be proud of it as this is the intention.

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A class of its own.

A class of its own.

Seb Lorentz and his wife Lolo came up with the idea to put slapstick out on the dragstrip. The French couple founded the custom shop The Lucky Cat Garage in Chartres a few years ago. Seb entered drag races with his legendary Sprintbeemer and noticed that there was no suitable category for his radical acceleration monster. So in 2016 he started the Sultans of Sprint, a class for air-cooled twin cylinders with a creative design and a proper portion of style. The reception is tremendous. This year, there are already 26 teams lining up, including the greats on the scene like Krautmotors, Edelweiss Motorsport, VTR Customs, Kraftstoffschmiede, St-Brooklyn Motorcycles and Bcan Race.

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Killing you softly.

Killing you softly.

Seb Lorentz is letting his wife go first this year. Lolo enters the race with the BMW Bombinette, which they assembled together in the Lucky Cat Garage. As the name already implies, the drag racer may well be a bomb, but a very nice one. "It will kill you, but in a soft and gentle way", Lolo explains, assuming a smiling death stare. She then proudly shows the details of her bizarre BMW Boxer, which is fitted with a rocket on its left side. "I restore old, golden furniture items. This is why I painted my Bombinette golden as well – and blue with metal flakes, because I am a girl. I tried out a lot of different colours before I found the right ones."

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Party monster with style.

Party monster with style.

Ultimately, the Bombinette is also fast, and this is important for Lolo. The engine comes from a 1978 BMW tuned by Edelweiss Motorsport. "In drag races, I operate like a machine. I am in a tunnel for 200 metres." Nevertheless, it is tough to beat the competition – especially as the only woman. In the end, Lolo took fifth place in the overall rankings after four races. The bonus points away from the dragstrip had a part to play here: for each event she collected the party monster bonus. Added to this were 50 extra points in the Style & Engineering award. "They weren't expecting this. I am the Bombinette, the style woman."

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The travelling circus.

Monza, Monthléry, Spa, Glemseck – wherever the Sultans stage their sprints, the whole gang comes with them. Regardless of distances or weather forecasts. "We simply have so much fun", says Lolo, "no one wants to miss out." The Sultans know how to combine creativity with racing, fun, design and technically sophisticated motorcycles. The teams come from France, Italy, Germany, the UK, Switzerland and Belgium. "We are an international travelling circus and go from drag race to drag race", says Lolo, "we are gypsies. The gypsies of the 1/8 mile."

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