Sometimes the most outrageous things occur at the most unexpected times.
NHRA Funny Car driver Ron Capps was minding his own business, just motoring along on what should have been another routine qualifying pass Friday at the season-opening Circle K Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., when he experienced every Funny Car driver’s worst nightmare:
A motor explosion — and resulting fire.
The explosion blew off the entire top of Capps’ NAPA Funny Car, but thanks to NHRA’s fire suppression safety features built into race cars, the blaze was fairly short-lived.
Fortunately, the veteran driver was unhurt.
Check out video of the explosion, courtesy of the NHRA, from a number of different angles:
SMP Racing has publicly unveiled its new BR1 LMP1 car that will enter the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2018.
SMP Racing opted to pull out of racing full-time in the WEC for 2017 in order to focus on its preparations for an LMP1 entry the following year, with the decision being taken long in advance of Porsche’s exit announcement.
Officials from the Russian-backed SMP Racing, as well as drivers including recent IndyCar racer Mikhail Aleshin (sporting a broken arm in a sling), Vitaly Petrov and Sergey Sirotkin were all on hand to unveil the car on Friday in the Bahrain International Circuit paddock ahead of this weekend’s WEC finale.
The BR Engineering BR1 features a Dallara chassis and an AER engine, and has completed over 2,000 km in private testing, with further running set to be completed in the coming weeks.
SMP Racing plans to field two cars in the WEC’s LMP1 class next year, and is keen to get as many Russian drivers as possible in the seats from its wide pool of talent.
Even with Porsche’s departure from LMP1, the class is set to feature a bigger field thanks to the increased number of privateers moving up, with Toyota set to remain the sole manufacturer in the class.