Florida Tech Jet Driver, Dragster Ahead of Schedule as Summer Nears

Holbrook Overcomes Afterburner Challenge to Post Low Times at Palm Beach

MELBOURNE, FLA. — With a new engine afterburner assembly on her Florida Institute of Technology jet dragster that created challenges early on, driver Shea Holbrook and her team worked to adjust and ended up posting speeds as fast as 264 mph at the just-concluded IHRA Nitro Jam Palm Beach Nationals in Jupiter, Florida.

Holbrook’s strong times, and the winning run by her Larsen Motorsports colleague Marisha Falk, came before dozens of Florida Tech students, faculty and staff who traveled south for the races on Saturday.

Falk, scoring her first jet dragster victory of 2015, defeated 2014 Nitro Jam champion Elaine Larsen in the finals.

Though she did not make the winner’s circle, Holbrook did make something else: progress.

“Shea’s progress is very good,” said Larsen Motorsports CEO Chris Larsen. “Seat time and actual passes in competition are now the most valuable component of her continued evolution as a jet car driver.”

And Holbrook’s vehicle, Larsen added, is progressing as well. “Tune-up and drivability progress are on or ahead of schedule and the team expects to have a highly competitive race package ahead of the original July 1, 2015 date,” he said.

Holbrook said Florida Tech Jet Dragster crew chief Justin Elliot and Florida Tech aerospace engineering student Zach Castello are getting the car where it needs to be, even as she continues to make the transition from road racing to the 5,500-horsepower jet dragsters.

“What a powerful and influential weekend for Florida Tech and the entire Larsen team. To have the Florida Tech family out at the races truly made it a winning weekend for us,” Holbrook said. “Although we’re still working on our jet dragster’s tune-up and this weekend we did not make it to the final round, we made massive strides to reaching our end goal.”

Up next in the IHRA Nitro Jam series is the Summer Nationals May 29-30 at Cordova International Raceway in Cordova, Illinois.

For more on the Florida Tech Jet Dragster, visit http://jetdragster.fit.edu. Find more information on the Nitro Jam series at www.nitrojam.com/.

And here’s a video featuring Florida Tech driver Shea Holbrook:


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