MASTERCAM REDISTRIBUTES BOTH WEIGHT AND DRIVER FOR POMONA by Cole Coonce, NR Mojo Wire 7/28/00, Los Angeles CA--There are a couple of ways to create downforce with a front-engined Top Fuel Dragster. One is to consult an aerodynamicist; another...
MASTERCAM REDISTRIBUTES BOTH WEIGHT AND DRIVER FOR POMONA
by Cole Coonce, NR Mojo Wire
7/28/00, Los Angeles CA--There are a couple of ways to create downforce with a front-engined Top Fuel Dragster. One is to consult an aerodynamicist; another is to add weight to the particular locations in the car itself.
Until now Frank "Root Beer" Hedge and his Mastercam AA/Fuel Dragster team have relied on the first approach this year as their main shoe, "Techno Tim" Gibson is an aerodynamicist by trade. During their partnership this year Gibson and Hedge have riffed on ways to create more traction by planting the 12" M&H slicks on the pavement with more pressure. Their experiments would have to be subtle as the nostalgia drag racing sanctioning bodies frown on some (but not all) aerodynamic accouterments that obscure the aesthetics of the traditional appearance of "slingshot" dragster.
When Gibson signed on, however, it was with the caveat that he had prior commitments during the season and the team would have to find a pinch hitter for a race or two; this weekend is just such an occasion as "Techno Tim" will be at the NHRA Nationals in Seattle, competing in Top Fuel with the Bill Miller Engineering dragster as well as consulting with John Force racing about various aero algorithms as applied to the Y2K "Bat'stang" that Gibson designed for Force.
So this frees up the Mastercam braintrust to try another approach to planting the stern of the 220" long racecar this weekend at the Goodguys 5th Hot Rod Happening in Pomona: that is to add ballast. How so? Well temporary replacement driver Mike Boyd is built like a real badass, with a taut and muscular physique that would wow 'em ringside or in the World Wide Wrestling Federation.
Boyd currently drives the infamous "Marcellus & Borsch Winged Express" AA/Fuel Altered in exhibition matches across the country, the racecar with a massive inverted airfoil over the cockpit that creates as much downforce as Boyd hisself. He has also campaigned the "Nitro Warrior" AA/FD during the last decade or so and is notoriously quick off the starting line.
To compensate for the mass that Boyd will provide Hedge has taken to the Karen Carpenter approach with other elements, such as removing the aluminum nosepiece (good for 15.5 lbs he notes) and converting the oil system from a 24 quart dry sump to an Al Barnes wet sump with a 12 quart capacity that will gather in a pan designed by Billet Fabrication.
Between the removal of body work and the various hardware with the oil system, Hedge says he will trim 65 lbs. off of the fighting weight of the Mastercam entry, a number more or less compensated by Boyd's girth.
And if this rearrangement of mass proves advantageous who knows? Maybe when Gibson returns to the Mastercam cockpit for the Boise Nightfire Nat¹ls in August he will be sitting on a copy of the massive 693 page tome "Theory of Wing Sections." You know... for downforce.
Mastercam Notes for 5th West Coast Hot Rod Happenin¹, July 29 & 30 ‹ Pomona, CA :
Saturday. 8 AM gates open. Pro Qualifying 11 AM and 2 PM.
Sunday: 8 AM gates open. Eliminations 12 noon. k