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NHRA announces 2010 tech regs
NHRA has announced its technical initiatives for 2010, which are designed to improve safety as well as reduce unwanted downtime at events due to leakage on the track.

Highlighting the changes in 2010 will be the implementation of a new Eject Helmet Removal System in all four Professional categories, Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car, and in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. The system uses an inflatable bladder located in the top of the helmet to make removal of the helmet by safety personnel after an incident easier and safer.

In addition, all participants in the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes will be required to use an Electrimotion Safety Shut-off Receiver. The device, when used in conjunction with the Electrimotion Shut-off Transmitter and Electrimotion Safety Shut-off Box, will automatically shut off fuel and ignition as well as deploy the parachutes once the driver has passed the finish line if the driver has not done so already. The system will activate when the car passes a wall-mounted transmitter.

Other safety measures in NHRA?s top two classes include fireproof tubing on brake lines and, in Top Fuel, a required cable wrapped around the rear wing main element that will deploy the parachutes automatically in the event the rear wing becomes separated from its supports. The same mechanism will be required in the Top Alcohol Dragster class. Beginning March 11, 2010, in Pro Stock, cars will be required to have formed and foamed seats as well an NHRA-accepted lateral head-support system, the same that is required in Top Fuel and Funny Car and in the two Top Alcohol classes. In addition, an rpm limiter set at 4,000 rpm will be activated after eight seconds into a run to slow the car in the event the driver is unable to do so. Finally, drivers will be required to wear SFI Spec 3.2A/15 firesuits.

The Electrimotion Safety Shut-off Box, which was made mandatory in Funny Car and Top Fuel in late 2008 and 2009, respectively, will be mandatory in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car in 2010. Also in the alcohol classes, requirements for oil catch-can systems will be similar to those in the nitromethane-burning categories to reduce track oildowns.

Affecting all classes in 2010, where applicable, and to reduce the chance of fuel leaks, all NHRA-accepted fuel lines will be required to use ends that are specifically designed for the type of fuel line being used to reduce fuel leaks. To prevent transmission leaks, all cars running 10.99 seconds or quicker must have an NHRA-accepted locking-type dipstick in the transmission.

To improve the strength-mounting point of parachutes on all vehicles running more than 150 mph, NHRA announced that parachutes must have their own independent mounting sleeved half-inch-minimum steel bolts or pins. Material around the holes for the bolts/pins must be equal to or greater than the bolt/pin size.

The Sportsman classes will have increased requirements for firesuits. All drivers in cars running 7.49 seconds or quicker will be required to wear SFI Spec 3.2A/15 firesuits. In addition, E.T. Motorcycle riders will be required to use Kevlar-lined gloves or gloves equipped with slide buttons, the same requirement currently in the Pro Stock Motorcycle category. For improved fire protection, Super Street drivers will be required to wear SFI Spec 3.2A/1 pants in addition to the SFI Spec 3.2A/1 jackets already worn.
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