in the world of drag racing
The latest update as of March 14, 1999
Earlier today I received a very interesting fax from an "official" source within NHRA, detailing the other changes proposed for Top Alcohol (remember, that's the ONLY fuel to be permitted in Federal-Mogul racing next year) Dragsters and Funny Cars for the year 2000. There is still a "window for response" open for those who don't agree with, or would like to change or amend the proposal, but it closes very soon so if you want to respond, you've got to do it NOW.Federal-Mogul Funny Car and Dragster Proposed Rules Changes
The following changes have been proposed for Federal-Mogul Funny Car and
Federal-Mogul Dragster classes, effective January 1, 2000. All input, responses,
etc. must be submitted in writing to NHRA Technical Services. FAX responses
should be sent to (626) 924-7551, written responses to NHRA Technical
Services, PO Box 5555, Glendora, CA 91740-0950, attention: FM Changes,
and e-mail responses can be sent to Jim Skelly.
Not sure what I can add at the moment in the way of comment, but, off the top of my head, it seems like a very definite step in the right direction. The changes will go a long way to ensuring the future of Top Alcohol racing in NHRA and will be an incentive for racers to step up or at least aspire to stepping up to the Top Alcohol (yeah, okay, Federal-Mogul) classes in the future.
It will be very interesting to see how much the performance(s) drop next season from the heights achieved under the current structure. My guess is probably less than two tenths of a second, which, let's face it, will be gained back over the following two or at most, three, seasons. Progress never stops. The fast guys will continue to be the fast guys, but the slow guys will have a chance to gradually step up without having to risk their life savings to do so.
The comparison between these (proposed) changes and the current ANDRA (Australian) rules is interesting. For an example, my new car has a 468 cubic inch engine and under Aussie rules has to weigh 2060 pounds and run no more than 87.2% overdrive with a PSI blower. Buying two new blower pulleys and putting 90 pounds of ballast in the car would put us almost right on the money for NHRA racing. Admittedly, we'd be giving away seven cubic inches, but when the time came for another new crankshaft, rods and pistons (an all too regular occurence in today's world) a few changes in that department would put us right on the 475 cube limit.
Still, the changes don't alter my plans in the least. I'm still more than committed to racing in Australia, but the opportunity to bring the car back to North America to race over here occasionally will exist. Truly international competition may be getting closer than we realize. At a minimum, the year 2000 will be one of the most exciting and memorable twelve months in our lives.
We reported yesterday on the efforts of local, (Richmond, BC) Pro Mod racer, Glen May, at the IHRA Winter Nationals in Darlington, South Carolina. While the final eliminations, scheduled for today, were rained out and rescheduled to May 7-8, Glen did make the field yesterday on his third qualifying pass. A great 6.45 at 211 mph, put Glen in the elite field in the #12 spot, matching him against expatriate Australian, Troy Critchley, in the first round of eliminations. An Aussie and a Canuck racing in America, quite a strange meeting indeed. Let's hope that somehow Glen can return for the rain date and give Troy, in Johnny Rocca's "Iron Horse", a real run for his money.
The biggest news to come out of the first IHRA event of the season was the new IHRA record for Pro Mod, set by Al Billes of Barrie, Ontario, CANADA. Yes, you read that correctly, a major IHRA record by set by a Canadian. The numbers: 6.268 at 222.59. This was backed up by a very good 6.291 in the final qualifying session Saturday night, on a track surface that very few cars could negotiate successfully, let alone with performance like that. The air temperature was 37 (F) and the track temp was down to 46 (F) and shortly afterwards rain began to fall, curtailing the night's activities. Continued rain and cold temperatures today forced the cancellation of eliminations and the subsequent rescheduling for eight weeks from now.
Final note on the Pro Mod show at Darlington: A total of 47 cars attempted to qualify and the the 16 qualifiers all ran 6.49 or better. Even the tenth alternate ran a darn good 6.57. In fact, a 32-car field would have "bubbled" in the 6.70's. Too bad, for the fans at least, that NHRA can't find any room for these cars to compete. Of course, with the push coming for a "stand-alone" Injected Nitro Dragster class next year, the "space to race" is becoming more limited all the time.