Australia’s professional drag racing series, 400 Thunder today confirmed that commencing at the AC Delco East Coast Thunder event to be held at Sydney Dragway in early November, Top Fuel Dragsters will race to 1000 feet, rather than the traditional 1,320 feet (one-quarter mile).
Australian Professional Drag Racing (APDR) Chairman Tony Wedlock noted the change had been considered for some time and was undertaken for reasons of safety.
Wedlock stated “Top Fuel drag racing in Australia has been outstanding over the past 400 Thunder season, however the performances have heightened safety concerns for both tracks and competitors. We have been working with our principle sanctioning organisation IHRA in reviewing the safety aspects relating to Top Fuel”.
Top Fuel dragsters are the quickest accelerating racing cars in the world with 8 litre supercharged engines producing over 10,000 horse power.
The world’s largest drag racing organisation the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) changed to 1000 ft racing in 2008. The world motorsport body the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) adopted the 1000 ft standard Top Fuel distance in 2012 for all FIA World Championships.
The Managing Director of sanctioning organisation IHRA Australia Maurice Allen stated “With speeds regularly exceeding 530 kilometres per hour we are facing the limits of the venues with regards to the braking areas and also with vehicle components. The reduction of the racing distance will now afford the driver an addition 100 metre of braking area.”
400 Thunder General Manager Kevin Prendergast added “Top Fuel drag racing delivers one of the world’s most awesome motorsport experiences. We believe that with Top Fuel racing over the shorter distance, the bracket will continue to provide great racing for Australian drag racing fans and will remain the most spectacular form of racing on the planet.”
This change relates only to Top Fuel racing with all other classes still to compete over the traditional 1,320 feet (one-quarter mile). The next round of the 400 Thunder Professional Drag Racing Series is the AC Delco East Coast Thunder, featuring all six professional classes – Top Fuel, Pro Alcohol, Pro Slammer, Pro Stock, Top Bike, and Pro Stock Bike. The event will be held at Sydney Dragway on November 3-4.