Watching a sprintcar race in the 1970s, Formula 1 legend Jackie Stewart commented that… ”It is the last true spectacle left in auto racing.”
Over forty years later, it's likely Sir Jackie will still be blown away by the 21st Century generation of the world's fastest speedway class as they roar and snarl, slip and slide on the compacted clay of Cromwell's Central Motor Speedway.
With their distinctive wings between the front wheels and above the driver's roll-cage, these 'winged demons od speedway' never fail to get spectator hearts thumping and adrenalin rushing as often in excess of 160 kph they race tyre-to-tyre around Cromwell's relatively short 500 metre oval.
Just 3.5 metres long with a US manufactured V8 blasting out 750 to 900 plus horsepower, the downforce exerted by the wings is the only thing stopping Sprintcars from flying. In the almost certainty of a flip or roll during a season's hard out racing, the wing over the cockpit can also work to help protect the driver. This is just one of many of a long list of safety features and equipment that includes fire retardant race suit and gloves, fire retardant balaclava worn under the full face helmet, neck brace, speciliast racing seat with head restraints and a multi-point harness that includes head, neck and arm restraining straps. The Sprintcar chassis is a spaceframe engineered from aircraft standard turbing to withstand high speed impacts. If you want to race a Sprintcar you'll need big whatsits and a big bank account. Purchasing and keeping these bad boys in top racing form doesn't come cheap.