Federal-Mogul Corp. and John Force Racing Inc. (JFR) have announced a technology partnership for the development and testing of next-generation performance spark plugs on nitromethane-fueled drag racing engines and other demanding applications. One of the most successful professional drag racing teams, JFR will campaign one Top Fuel Dragster and three Fuel Funny Cars in the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Each of the team’s engines will be powered by Champion spark plugs.
"Even the most sophisticated computer-based simulations and other advanced engineering tools can’t begin to match the operating environment of a nearly 8,000-horsepower Top Fuel Dragster or Funny Car engine," said Mark McMurray, bearings and ignition technical specialist, Federal-Mogul Powertrain. "This new relationship will enable us to develop and test a variety of next-generation spark plug technologies to operate in very challenging environments."
JFR, like many leading professional drag racing teams, has used Champion racing plugs for more than 10 years. "Champion has been the gold standard in racing plug technology for nearly half a century, and Federal-Mogul continually develops new ways to help teams push their engines to the very edge," said Mike Neff, crew chief for John Force’s Castrol GTX Ford Mustang Funny Car. "We’re excited to work even more closely with Federal-Mogul engineers to help Fuel teams break new performance barriers."
Few applications match the demands of a Top Fuel engine, where each spark plug must direct nearly 60,000 volts and 1 amp of power into the combustion chamber to ignite the nitromethane charge. Simply surviving the 4-second run down the track is challenging in terms of plug design given the extreme temperatures, combustion pressures and intense vibration associated with a Top Fuel or Fuel Funny Car engine.
"There is a very narrow window in which a spark plug can survive and properly perform in a Top Fuel engine," McMurray said. "In fact, if the team just barely misses in the engine tune, they can burn the plugs all the way back to the threads."
In addition to Force’s Castrol GTX Funny Car, JFR will campaign the Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang Funny Car, driven by Robert Hight; Courtney Force’s Traxxas Funny Car; and the new Castrol EDGE Top Fuel Dragster, driven by Brittany Force.
For more information regarding Champion spark plugs and other ignition products for the original equipment marketplace, visit www.federalmogul.com. To learn more about Champion spark plugs for the replacement parts and service market, visit your Champion dealer or visit www.AlwaysaChampion.com. To identify the right Champion plug for any engine, simply use the www.FMe-cat.com electronic catalog.