GLENDORA, Calif. -- NHRA announced new technical specifications for 2005 as part of the world's largest sanctioning body's ongoing effort to combat escalating costs to compete in the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories at NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events, as well as improving the margin of safety and maintaining the quality of the show for its ever-growing fan base.
NHRA announced for 2005 that all cylinder blocks must be forged and a blower overdrive maximum of 50 percent. NHRA also announced the mix of nitromethane on Top Fuel and Funny Cars will remain at 85%, and will introduce at the Gainesville race a fixed RPM timing controller to be set within the current range obtained by the top teams in the respective classes. For consistency purposes, NHRA will allow the use of electronic timers to be used for fuel and clutch management systems, in addition to the pneumatic system currently in place. NHRA will maintain a moratorium on engine development and require teams to use only one style of NHRA-approved nitromethane fuel engine.
"The cost to compete, not only in NHRA, but all other forms of motorsports, has escalated significantly in the last few years," said Graham Light, senior vice president of racing operations and chairman of the NHRA Competition Committee. "As a result, and as the sanctioning body, we must maintain a balance between all competitors in the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories while focusing on providing entertaining and exciting side-by-side racing for our fans.
"The measures being taken are designed to continue the trend we saw over the last part of the 2004 season to provide fans with close racing and place the outcome of the race not solely on technology, but on the ability of the team to tune the car and the driver's ability to navigate the track," said Light.
At a recent conference in Detroit, the heads of the world's major motorsports sanctioning bodies - Formula One, NASCAR, IRL, SCCA and NHRA - discussed the pressing need to control escalating costs in motorsports while improving and maintaining the quality of the show. The steps being taken address some of the most important issues facing all of motorsports, including NHRA Drag Racing.
In addition, NHRA also will budget research and development dollars to look at other ways to maintain parity in the sport, while working with teams to develop methods to improve safety. Among the things to be tested in 2005 include carbon fiber driver enclosures in Top Fuel vehicles, as well as mono-strut wing technology.
"We are working with all of our current manufacturers to find ways to provide exciting, close racing for our fans, while emphasizing and developing a vision for the future to improve the margin of safety and manage the inherent costs associated with racing in NHRA," said Light.
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