JACK Harris’s rail is one of the fastest and quickest front-engine fuel dragsters (AA/FD) in the world, and has been for the past 10 years. Jack was the first to go over 260mph in an AA/FD back in 2004, and ran a spectacular 265.09mph at Baskerville in 2005. A few years later at the same strip, he ran a blisteringly quick record 5.56sec ET, and was only recently pipped for the quickest of all time by Tony Bartone, who went 5.53sec in March this year.
Jack reckons the perfect conditions on the day was one of the big reasons why nobody has gone quicker until now. Another factor is the tyres, he says; back in ’05 he ran a different tyre that gave a higher top speed. These days the car is also 50lb heavier, but Jack and the Nitro Thunder team are playing with the aerodynamics to retrieve that top speed. Driving duties have been passed on to Jack’s son Brett, while Jack still manages the team.
Their Nitro Thunder dragster is based on the Top Fuel dragsters of years gone by, but these modern replicas are both safer and faster than anything that ran back in the day. The class is strictly limited to 3000hp early-style Hemi motors and Roots blowers in a 240in-wheelbase slingshot chassis.
Even though the modern Top Fuel cars have more than triple the horsepower, Jack reckons the old front engine-style cars are more of a handful, and in this video you can certainly see plenty of nose wiggle as the car powers all the way to the finish line.