Look for Toxic Rocket, http://www.toxicrocket.com/home1.html this weekend at Lake Irvine May 2nd – 4th in the biggest and baddest class in drag boat racing, Top Fuel Hydro. PBN invites you all to check in on how things are going for the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Series.http://www.lucasoildragboats.com/
On 1 Apirl PowerboatNation.com’s Don Heldoorn met up with Top Fuel Hydro Team Toxic Rocket at their San Francisco headquarters to follow up on the progress of the new Bullet Hulled 22 foot hydroplane race boat. Don was given a tour of their awesome facility located in South San Francisco which covers more than 60,000 sq. feet. Owner Joe Cassidy is the owner of Granite Construction a demolition company that contracts services including the demolition of old buildings and the construction of below ground parking garages.
Don gives us a overview of his tour.
After a few cups of freshly brewed coffee, which Glen Wilson brewed up for us we were off to the fabrication area where the boat sat. We set up so video gear while Sean and Glen unloaded the transport trailer of its contents which were 30 feet of custom tool boxes custom fabricated by Sean and painted by Glen. This labor of love for the sport is what it takes for this team to compete at this level. Glen told me that we have to get this boat on the water. I need my speed fix. He quoted to me that “my addictions are not drugs but coffee and drag boat racing”.
I asked Sean a few questions about Lake Ming and if there were able to get any answers to questions about the boat while there. Sean’s reply was ” yes we are happy with the placement of the twin screws and feel that the boat (smoke on the water) took a good set on the final test run” Sean felt that they need to throw more horsepower to the engine to get a harder launch which will produce a softer landing on the sponsons.
Looking at the boat without the engine I noticed the stainless steel fuel line coming from the fuel cell, a 3″ stainless steel tube that splits into a “y” adapter before going to the blower. That carries the 14.5 gallons of fuel needed to start the engine at the line and allows it to idle for 30 seconds and launch off the line and hammer down the track for 4 seconds or less 1000 foot pass.
Looking at the fuel cell there was a bit of black soot on the back side facing the engine. Sean was laying out a piece of aluminum to put in front of the fuel cell to act as a deflector. I asked him what that was for and explained that on the last pass at Lake Ming that the motor ran to lean and blew a head gasket and the fire from the hole that it created in the block blew open flames on the cell. So as a precaution I’m making this diverter as a safety net. Nitro methane is burns hot and fast. We got lucky and fortunate that there was not more damage to the boat.”
Glen was removing the prop shafts and checking alignment in preparation of the upcoming race. I had more questions but felt the need to let these men go on with their work. I’ll have more to the story in my next article. Time to get out of here before they put me to work.
Look for much more from this weekend at Lake Irvine!