There is not much on earth like the thrill of a jet dragster. From the firestorm before staging that puts heat on your face, the percussion of thrust, or the blink-and-you'll-miss-it 300+mph passes, jet dragsters are often the highlight of any racing event for fans.
One of the biggest names in jet dragster racing, Al, Ellen, & Rich Hanna of Hanna Motorsports Jets, have been bringing their over 50-year professional drag race experience to the class. Yesterday, the team announced the coming debut of what is described as a “True Revolution” in the jet dragster category; the all-new semi-streamliner “Queen of Diamonds II” 300 MPH Jet Dragster.
The original “Queen of Diamonds” debuted in 1997 and has dominated the jet dragster arena for the past 15+ years. Running a best elapsed time of 5.04 seconds at 311 mph, the current “Queen of Diamonds” driven by Jill Canuso, has always been a consistent, high-level performing racecar, with safety at the forefront.
The new machine features a totally different design, with the driver sitting similarly to the
driver in a traditional jet funny car.
“The car, with a 270” wheelbase, and offset driver location, is designed to have the engine run easier and cooler” said Rich Hanna. We started running ‘RacePak’ (data acquisition) on-board computers in late 1989, and have learned, with certainty, that the engines in our funny cars run much more efficiently than the engine in our dragster. With the limited availability of parts, and the rising cost of those parts, our goal is to allow our car to run at a high level but with less heat and stress. The design of this car accomplishes that goal.”
The other goal of Hanna Motorsports Jets is to remain at the forefront of the jet car
category with this new machine.
“We’ve had the design for this car on the drawing board for more than 6 years”, said Al Hanna. “We’ve worked with our chassis builder, Dan Page, our designer Larry Williams of Williams Graphics, and Gary Eaker of the ‘A2 Wind Tunnel Complex’ outside Charlotte, NC to achieve the ultimate semi-streamliner design. We’ve also consulted with Ron Main, owner and designer of the ‘Speed Demon’ LSR machine, who’s run close to 500 MPH at Bonneville. Special thanks to Dan, Larry, Gary, Ron and all those who’ve supported this incredible project.”
The new car will again be driven by Jill Canuso of Pottstown, PA. She recently was fitted into the cockpit of the new machine, and feels right at home.
“Jill has done an incredible job of driving for us, she is a true racer”, said Al Hanna, owner of Hanna Motorsport Jets.
The new car is a ‘pod design’ with the top fuel style drivers’ compartment in a pod on one
left side of the center of the car, and the fuel tank in an aerodynamically matched pod on
the right side. The car features a carbon fiber body, multiple titanium features throughout,
and the use of an aircraft-style canopy over the driver’s area. The ‘BASF’ paint and
lettering will be applied by ‘DragGraphix’, North Brookfield, MA, who’s worked with the Hanna group for many years.
“Continuing to drive for Hanna Motorsports Jets is special. I recognize this opportunity as being one of the most 'special moments' in my racing career. The ‘QD II’ will be the quickest, fastest and most technologically advanced race car I've ever driven. Undoubtedly, 2013 will be one of the most memorable years for myself, my team and for all of the fans that experience the ‘QD II.’" --Jill Canuso
The completed machine will go through wind-tunnel testing at the A2 Wind Tunnel
Complex in North Carolina before testing begins at Maryland International Raceway. Afterwards, the team plans on debuting the Queen of Diamonds II at Summit Motorsport Park’s season opener April 27th.
“We expect many of our competitors will look at this machine, understand what we’re accomplishing by the new design, and join us in the future with cars similar to ours.” said Al. “This is far from the first jet dragster built of this design. In fact, the first known side- driver jet dragster was built in the ‘60’s by none other than Art Arfons, and many have followed over the years.”
Hanna Motorsports has support from their terrific marketing partners on all their programs. ‘GOJO Hand Cleaner’ is in the third year of marketing with Hanna Motorsports, ‘BIC Lighter’ is in the 10th year. The newest member of the marketing team is the ‘Excel Dryer Corporation’,maker of ‘XLERATOR Hand Dryers’. All are world leaders of their respective industries. The team also has support from BASF, Daigle Truck Master, and Simpson Safety Equipment.
“Without the support of these incredible companies, we could never have the success we’ve had in motorsports. We thank them for their support and belief in our family, and our race team”, said Rich Hanna.
For further information on Hanna Motorsports, visit hannamotorsports.com.
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