In an effort to fortify the class, improve participation and drive innovation, NHRA officials have announced the addition of an A/Fuel engine program to the Top Alcohol Funny Car class starting in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series in 2023.
The Top Alcohol Funny Car class features some of the best drivers in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, with cars capable of reaching speeds in excess of 270 mph and covering the quarter mile in under 5.4 seconds.
With the addition of the A/Fuel (nitromethane injected) engine program to the class, NHRA aims to increase class participation and provide drivers and race teams with another viable, efficient option to drive in the exciting category.
NHRA officials have released a full ruleset for the new combination, which can be viewed at NHRARACER.com.
“We are very excited to introduce the A/Fuel engine program to Top Alcohol Funny Car in 2023,” said Josh Hamming, chairman of the NHRA Technical Services/Top Alcohol Rules Committee. “This is something we’ve been working on for a number of years and it’s all about building new enthusiasm and a sustainable business model for the category. We think there will be strong interest right away, costs for interested teams will come down and we would like to see this class continue to grow.”
Prior to the announcement, NHRA officials worked closely with teams, drivers, team owners and NHRA division directors to develop an A/Fuel engine program that is economically efficient for interested participants. As an added benefit, the rules and opportunities offered by the injected nitro combination can also serve as a viable path for drivers, teams and crew members to eventually progress to the nitro Funny Car class in the Camping World NHRA Drag Racing Series .
“We wanted to come up with an option that is more efficient for teams,” said NHRA vice president of competition, Ned Walliser. “We are confident there will be significant savings over the course of a full season with the A/Fuel program. The ruleset also allows teams to purchase bodies, chassis, engine parts and other items from nitro teams, allowing for significant cost reductions.
“It will also be a better stepping stone for drivers, crew chiefs and crew members if their goal is to race in nitro Funny Car. That is a major development and we are happy about it. Our goal is to continue to build participation at every level and this addition to Top Alcohol Funny Car should only help with that.”
Drivers in the Top Alcohol Funny Car class were also enthusiastic about the decision to add A/Fuel to the category, believing it will contribute to success and long-term viability. It also remains a major class that tracks can promote at regional and divisional events of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
“I think it will be a good thing for our class and it’s a step in the right direction to increase participation,” said Doug Gordon, Top Alcohol Funny Car 2020 World Champion. ideas are coming to add more cars to the class I’m looking forward to it I want fields of 16 cars and I want to fight for the win against a full field.
“By introducing the A/Fuel program, I think it will help someone jump into one of these cars and be competitive right away, and that will bring more people to the class. I think it will be a good addition to be.”