As an interim safety measure in the wake of Scott Kalitta's fatal crash, the NHRA has decided to shorten the length of the race in the Funny Car and Top Fuel classes from 1320 feet down to 1000 feet. This comes as part of an effort to reduce speeds; plus, with the shortened racing distance, the drivers are left with more track after the finish line, allowing them more time to slow down after the race. The measure is said to be temporary, but the NHRA is looking into several other ways to increase safety and decrease the risk of another tragedy.
Further measures the NHRA is considering include:
- What might be done to reduce engine failures
- Altering parachute mounting techniques and materials as well as identifying a parachute material that could be more fire resistant
- Exploring whether there is a way to increase brake efficiency when cars lose downforce due to the loss of the body
- Analyzing additional methods that might be developed at the top end of the race track to help arrest runaway vehicles
- Considering whether current speeds should be further limited or reduced to potentially improve safety
So what do you think of this temporary change, and the prospect of future changes? Certainly there's inherent danger that comes with drag racing such beastly machines, so should safety come first or be sacrificed in the quest for all-out speed? [NHRA]