The secret may be out: Western Technical College has acquired another race car! While this newly acquired car is categorized as a funny car, its capabilities are quite serious. Check out these stats for starters according to Jack Werner, Director of the Automotive Programs at Western Technical College: the car is capable of starting from 3,000 (running on alcohol) horse power and has the potential to run at 8,000 horse power (running on nitro)! It is expected to run the quarter mile in 7.5 seconds, and that is just the tip of this funny car's V8 Keith Black Hemi. While the Performance Tuner program has its own race car, now the Automotive Technology program has a car to learn from as well. Let's compare and contrast the two cars; however, as different as the two cars are, the benefits for students of both programs will be the same, real experience.
According to the designated funny car project head, driver, and Auto Instructor, with over 30 years racing experience, Ernie Carbajal: "This project will expose automotive students to the performance end of the program; it's going to be a really neat project for students to watch. Additionally, it will give the automotive department a chance to show what we are made of." While students won't directly be working on this car, it will become a part of their instruction in addition to their basic curriculum, and they will have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge base in terms of additional training material in the areas of suspension, brakes, transmission, and supercharger. Jack Werner comments on the benefits the car will hold for students: "This car is going to give students an outlet to practice their skills on something beyond OEM (original equipment manufacturer). It will also expose them to the rigors of the racing industry."
The points of major contrast between the Automotive (Funny Car) and the Performance Tuner (Perf. Tuner) Racing Cars include:
- The Funny Car- Weighs 1,700 lbs, where the Perf. Tuner Car weighs 1,440 lbs *The Funny Car is supercharged where the Perf. Tuner Car is turbo charged.
- The Funny Car is rear wheel drive, where the Perf. Tuner Car is front wheel drive.
- The Funny Car is mechanically tuned, where the Perf. Tuner's Car relies on computer/ electrical components for tuning.
The Performance Tuner race car driver and instructor Rick Alarcon talks about their race season so far this year: "Our race season is going pretty well. We've had two events, and the car has been running consistently. We are running the quarter mile in 10.6 seconds, which is exactly what we were tuned to run. We wanted to lower the power for bracket racing. We are currently working on a new transmission to step up the speed." According to Alarcon, "The two race cars are completely different; our car is newer in terms of technology that can be used to tune a street car, where the Funny Car is purely a race car."