The NHRA has announced that, for safety reasons, rear carbon fiber brake rotors and pads will be mandatory for Top Fuel Dragsters, Funny Cars, Top Alcohol Dragsters and Top Alcohol Funny Cars, effective July 21, and front carbon fiber brakes will be mandatory for Funny Cars and Top Alcohol Funny Cars by Aug. 11, 2010. The vast majority of vehicles in these classes already use this equipment.
As an additional safety enhancement, NHRA is also working with manufacturers on a secondary tethering device for parachutes in the Top Fuel, Funny Car, Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car classes. This is in addition to an enhanced specification for parachute mounting – for the same four classes – that was introduced earlier this year.
A radio frequency-activated shutoff device, which shuts off the fuel supply, cuts ignition and deploys the parachutes if the driver has not done so after passing the finish line, will be mandatory beginning in 2011 for the Top Alcohol classes. This device has been mandatory in Top Fuel and Funny Car since earlier this year. Top Alcohol drivers may install the receiving device on their vehicles and use it immediately at all of the national events remaining on the 2010 schedule.
The sanctioning body said it is continuing its investigations into the tragic accidents that have struck the sport this year and to actively address safety issues.
The latest changes follow a series of safety enhancements for Top Fuel, Funny Car, Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car implemented this year. These include a burst-panel activated safety shutoff system, which releases parachutes automatically when the manifold burst panel breaks; the use of a cable around the main element of the rear wing to automatically deploy the chutes if the wing breaks; improved oil catch can systems; use of the Eject helmet removal system; and fireproof tubing around brake lines.