Don Schumacher Racing works on cockpit saftey

Work continues on enclosed-cockpit design


INDIANAP0LIS, – The year-long research and development work by Don Schumacher Racing to design and implement an enclosed cockpit to increase the safety for drivers of Top Fuel dragsters continues at a measured pace with no specific deadline for introduction.

Team Owner Don Schumacher
Team Owner Don Schumacher

Photo by: Ted Rossino

According to Mike Green, crew chief on Tony Schumacher’s U.S. Army dragster and DSR lead on developing the unique safety design which borrows technology from fighter jets, the project is moving forward because a positive outcome will reduce the risk of racing the 320-mile-per-hour-plus cars.

“We’re looking to improve driver safety for everyone in Top Fuel,” explained Green. “The enclosed-cockpit design would seriously reduce the risk of debris – or even fire – getting into the cockpit, thus making it considerably safer for the driver.

“Our work in reducing debris intrusion has led to our redesigned, slightly different angle, windshields and shrouds introduced this season on the DSR dragsters driven by Tony, Antron Brown and Spencer Massey. We believe this new windshield goes a long way to keep out flying debris as well as fire, but, of course, is not as effective as a closed cockpit, which is why we will continue the development of it.”

Green has worked with James Brendel, who builds capsules for racing boats and supplied the one which DSR tested in the off season on Schumacher’s car. In addition, the NHRA has been kept up-to-date throughout the program.

“When it’s ready to go, we believe the enclosed cockpit will be much safer for everyone involved in Top Fuel, as well as any racing category in which the driver is exposed,” Green said. “We are still working on making it cost effective and weight conscious, as well as easy to adapt to our current race cars.

“And we take this program very seriously in light of the potential safety benefits for all drivers.”

-source: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Tony Schumacher , Don Schumacher , Spencer Massey
Tags top fuel. cockpit safety capsule