Upon conclusion of the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, NHRA in cooperation with Tim Wilkerson Racing and John Force Racing tested a 60-gallon-per-minute (GPM) fuel pump as part of its ongoing power reduction program.
The test was designed to reduce the volume of fuel that can be delivered to the engine in the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories. Both the teams and NHRA worked together to develop a separate tune-up strategy for each vehicle and the tests were staggered to give each team time to share information and make adjustments prior to making another pass.
In all, five test passes were made, with Tim Wilkerson making three passes in his Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Shelby Funny Car, while John Force made two passes in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang. The team working on the testing session included from NHRA: Glen Gray, vice president of technical operations and Dan Olson, director of top fuel and funny car racing, JFR crew chiefs Austin Coil, Mike Neff, Dean Antonelli, Jimmy Prock and Bernie Fedderly, and Tim Wilkerson of Tim Wilkerson Racing.
The results were encouraging, as both Force and Wilkerson made fairly successful 1/8-mile passes. The best test of the day resulted in John Force clocking an elapsed time of 4.359 seconds at 1,000 feet, which would have been good enough to qualify him 10th at the recently concluded event in St. Louis.
“We recently tested the proposed NHRA combination and 60GPM fuel pump,” said Force engine man Austin Coil. “During the St. Louis test we ran a best time of 4.35sec in the 1,000 foot with minimal damage while functioning on all 8 cylinders. We learned a lot from the test session, but continue to work with Dan Olson and NHRA to find a way to slightly improve the performance numbers. We plan to test a variation of this combination following the Chicago event.”
Based on the results of the testing following the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, NHRA, John Force Racing and Tim Wilkerson Racing will test a slightly different fuel flow combination. This next power reduction test will occur after the United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Chicago, June 7. Currently, NHRA is working to include a Top Fuel team in the testing session at Route 66 Raceway in June.