A performance benchmark circulated since 2005 involving the Top Fuel and Funny car engines might be outdated.
This, according to an ESPN2 report during Sunday's NHRA coverage with a couple of drag racing’s leading tuners.
The current 8,000 horsepower estimate could actually be closer to 10,000 in light of recent parts upgrades and performances.
“I’d say it’s closer to 9,500 – 10,000,” said Jimmy Prock, tuner for two-time NHRA Funny Car series champion Robert Hight. “The biggest reason is the amount of fuel you burn once you lock the clutch up and get down the track combined with the amount of fuel the engines can burn. The timing you run affects the horsepower output quite a bit.”
Prock believes if you take into consideration the current half-track speeds (660-foot) and acceleration and amount of drag on the car to pull, the down-force provides a clearer picture.
The report confirmed some teams have installed a torque meter on the driveshaft and those readings have suggested the horsepower number exceeds 10,000 horsepower.
Mike Neff, who pulls double duty as a tuner and driver, agrees with Prock in his estimations.
“The car weights have gone up by 300 pounds in the last five years,” Neff explained. “The cars are running quicker. When you look at the mass they are moving, the distance and elapsed time … the formula will tell you the number. Based on the ETs now, they have to be making more.”
ESPN Color Commentator Mike Dunn used a formula of horsepower, weight, drag co-efficient and wheels/tires to estimate the number at 9,640.
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