Glen Gray, NHRA’s Vice President, Technical Operations told Competition Plus.com, Tuesday morning the sanctioning body has approved a cockpit canopy submitted by Aerodine Composites Group (Aerodine), originally designed by Don Schumacher Racing, for competition.
Gray and Tim White, NHRA director of engineering, visited DSR’s shop Monday afternoon in Brownsburg, Ind., and gave the innovative canopy, mounted on Tony Schumacher's dragster, NHRA approval.
“It’s good to go at the next race, which is Brainerd if they want to use it," said Gray. "We just needed to see everything on the car as it would run in competition. The location of the fire bottle, how that was all going to work and where the fresh air system was going to be mounted and where some of the release handles were going to be located.”
The Lucas Oil Nationals are scheduled for Aug. 16-19 at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway.
“Representatives from Aerodine were there, and obviously all the Schumacher team that was involved with this also was there,” Gray added. “They were there to answer any questions that we had and it was a little bit of a formality, this final inspection. You can look at drawings all day long, but we just needed to see the final piece in person.”
Gray said the meeting at DSR took about a half an hour.
“There is nothing mandatory about it (the approved canopy),” Gray said. “Anybody who wants to purchase it can purchase it from Aerodine. It comes with a kit with some assembly required. There is a little bit of welding that has to be done. So the teams that can weld can do that and the teams that do not have welding capabilities, they can have their chassis builders install those pieces for them.”
Gray also said Aerodine Composites Group (Aerodine) is the sole provider of the approved canopy.
DSR tested an innovative fully-enclosed canopy on Tony Schumacher’s dragster at Palm Beach (Fla.) International Raceway Jan. 15-21.
The initial prototype component was reviewed by the NHRA Technical Department and the NHRA Safety Safari. In addition, NHRA contracted Purdue University Center for Systems Integrity (PCSI) to perform an aerodynamic competitive analysis assessment. Based on the assessment from all three entities, several issues and modifications needed to be resolved prior to Aerodine Composites Group submitting the final production package.
One element discovered during the preliminary analysis was the prototype canopy created an aerodynamic advantage, which has been addressed.
NHRA, DSR, Aerodine and PCSI teamed up and eliminated the aerodynamic advantage by designing a 0.75-inch wicker bill into the top trailing edge of the canopy. On July 25, the NHRA Technical Department granted conceptual approval of the prototype cockpit canopy.
Currently, should a team use the canopy it will not change rules which govern the top fuel dragster - the minimum weight will remain 2,320 pounds.
“We have no plans at this time to change the minimum weight to increase the weight to include the canopy,” Gray said.
All articles and photography published in CompetitionPlus.com are protected by United States of America and International copyright laws unless mentioned otherwise. The content on this website is intended for the private use of the reader and may not be published or reposted in any form without the prior written consent of CompetitionPlus.com.
|< Prev||Next >|