Video: The Stunned Response To 11,000 Horsepower

If you’re on this site and reading this story, we have to assume there’s a decent probability you have an affinity for drag racing and have witnessed in person, at least once, a modern or vintage nitro-burning Top Fuel Dragster, Funny Car, or Fuel Altered. But if you haven’t — and this is by no means a shameless plug for our friends at the NHRA — we cannot recommend highly enough that you take the next opportunity that comes your way to do so, because nothing you think you’ve ever seen, felt, or heard can rival the sensory overload that is a fuel car (that is, unless you’ve witnessed a space shuttle launch, but we digress).

Not even television does this deal justice — the first time you hear 11,000 horsepower at full song, it’ll scare the ever-loving daylights out of you. At close proximity, it’ll cleanse your large intestines right on out. And that’s what it did to about half of this crowd over in Europe, some of whom we’d have to guess were standing within arms reach of a running Top Fueler for the first time in their lives.

That beauty of drag racing, almost universally, is the access that the fans get to not just the drivers and crews, but the cars themselves — NASCAR, Formula 1, they can’t compete. And that means for the price of admission you can get closer to what is quite literally a bomb than you ever could without enlisting in the military.

This group of fans at Germany’s Hockenheimring stepped right up to Anita Mäkelä and Tommi Haapaanen’s Top Fueler during its pre-run warmup at an FIA event and got their nitro initiations, reacting in stunned fashion and scattering as the team seated the clutch by whacking the throttle. You can of course, spot the hardcore folks who have been there and done that and remain in place as if stone statues. Statues with grins a mile wide on their faces.

Video by Marcus Moller

About the author

Andrew Wolf

Andrew has been involved in motorsports from a very young age. Over the years, he has photographed several major auto racing events, sports, news journalism, portraiture, and everything in between. After working with the Power Automedia staff for some time on a freelance basis, Andrew joined the team in 2010.
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