Sunday, September 02, 2007

A day at the Drags (Drag racing).


It's Father's Day here today (sadly, neither I nor my wife have ours round to share today with). Partly because of F'sD, partly because I haven't been for a while, the wives packed myself, brother-in-law, and some of the nephews off to Eastern Creek to 'the Drags' yesterday. 'Twas the Eastern Nationals, and a great day was had.

I loooove drag racing. Formula 1 and roundy-round racing don't do much for me (Bathurst is of course exceptional to that!). With drag racing, you get to see the whole race, right in front of you and it's Quick, very, very quick.

Over 450 entries, so a very healthy competitive field, most classes raced.

In these days of (some say) of a looming fuel crisis/shortage, many question motor racing. The competitors use little fuel as compared to the daily use of the crowd there - or of any similar number of cars in daily use. And the group 1 cars don't use petrol (gasoline) as their fuel at all anyway, they use methanol or nitro-methane (liquid explosive basically) as their fuel.

There are some awsomely fast cars there which are street registered. But the crowd favourites are the group 1 class divisions. Especially Doorslammers, Top Alcohol, and Top Fuel. These last are awesome beasts. Using 'pop' or nitro-methane as their fuel, these race vehicles cover a quarter mile (400m) from a standing start in under 5 seconds (4.6 sec being the fastest last night), and in that distance reach over 300 mph (520+km/h). (And Australian competition is a little tamer than the American NHRA T/F events!). Drag racing and Top Fuel does also seem to have a following in Europe too though.
A Top Fuel race, or the first time you hear one run even, is one of life's experiences.

(Read this piece on a run and the engine rebuild that occurs between runs for a US -Tony Schumacher drag car. Last night, they were rebuilding and test running an engine in the less than 2 hours they had between heats, semi-finals and finals).

Have a look at this YouTube clip of TopFuel racing.

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