NORWALK, Ohio -- While 2014 is all about the return of competition and tradition to the International Hot Rod Association's Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series, one element that veteran Nitro Jam fans have grown accustomed to will also be returning to the dragstrip this season, although in a bit of a different form.
"We are very excited to partner with the IHRA and Nitro Jam in 2014 to bring our unique and exciting brand to a whole new group of fans all across the United States," said Chris Larsen, owner of the Larsen Motorsports Jet Racing Team. "Among our goals is to bring new people to the sport of drag racing. I believe there is a huge opportunity for us to introduce a new generation of racers and fans, which is so important if we want to see drag racing continue to develop and bring new life blood to the sport. This partnership will go a long way in helping us continue to achieve those goals."
Propelling the Larsen jet team are four talented women with varying backgrounds. From a young lady balancing life on the road and her schooling to a veteran drag racer with dozens of years of experience, the Larsen team features a unique collection of talented drivers, all women, and all with a desire to usher jet dragster racing into a new era.
Elaine Larsen is the driving force behind the creative and show business side of Larsen Motorsports. Her efforts have taken the company outside of the status-quo to a whole new level of jet racing. Her hope is to bring jet racing out from under its exhibition status to a real form of competitive motorsport. And with her collection of marketable young racers and the Nitro Jam forum, there is no reason to believe that the Larsen Motorsports team won't top the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series headlines this season.
"We want to bring something new to jet racing," said Elaine Larsen, driver of the Miller Jet Dragster. "There are a number of really good teams in our business and we think we can help bring some new life to this very deserving category."
Powering that innovation is a unique partnership between the team and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, a pairing that is creating nearly unlimited possibilities for the team and jet dragster racing in general.
The Larsen team operates out of the Larsen Motorsports High Performance Vehicles Research and Development Center located at the Embry Riddle Research and Technology Park in Daytona Beach, Florida. There at the Larsen Research Center, students from Embry Riddle work daily in a number of roles ranging from administrative positions, research and development, fabrication and advanced technical applications.
"What our students are doing is real," said Chris Larsen. "Here, only a few thousand feet away from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, we can apply all of the things they learn in class each day to real world applications.
"Our racecars are built completely from aerospace materials to aerospace standards and practices. We are literally creating future generations of jet racers."
In addition to featuring the incredible talents of the Larsen team and some of the most state-of-the-art jet machines in the motorsports industry, Larsen Motorsports will also be bringing that learning experience on the road in a huge interactive Fan Fest area at all 12 Nitro Jam events. The interactive experience will include a number of stations dedicated to the technology and just plain cool factor of jet dragster racing and it is all presented by Embry Riddle and its many partners.
"Our category is worthy of contributing some great new innovations to racing," said Chris Larsen. "We are not constrained by having to risk not being competitive like other drag racing categories. Often other classes are not able to try new ideas because it could affect their ability to remain competitive. For us, we are able to be at the forefront of racing technology."
IHRA will follow the Larsen Jet Team in 2014 and take an in-depth look at all four drivers as they compete all across North America. Watch for articles and features throughout 2014 and stop by the Larsen pits to meet each driver and their team.
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