Occupant Compartment Updates for Side to Side Vibration in a Fuel Funny Car
Nitro Fuel Funny cars have 7-8,000 hp and travel 330 mph in a quarter mile. These cars experience extreme forces in normal operation. One phenomenon familiar to drag racers is tire shake. Mild cases can cause loss of traction and vision. Extreme cases can cause injury or death. In March of 2007, a study and subsequent revision of the passenger compartment in a Fuel Funny car was performed after a fatal accident due to extreme tire shake. Tire shake on a drag race car normally occurs when the force on the rear tire causes the tire to roll over itself causing a loss of traction and side-to-side vibration. In other cases, if the tire fails at high speed, the tire may partially separate, causing an extreme vibration in the cockpit of the car. The vibration may set up a harmonic in the chassis, which is transferred to the driver since the rear end is bolted directly to the chassis with no suspension to absorb the energy.