Florida Tech’s Larsen First at Four-Wide Nationals
North Carolina Event Featured Four Jet Dragsters Racing At Once
MELBOURNE, FLA. — The 30,000-plus people packed into sold-out zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C., over the weekend had a unique sight before them: four jet-powered dragsters lined up side by side, preparing to rocket down a 1,000-foot stretch of track at 240 mph.
When the jets cooled and the race was over about 5 second later, the results were more familiar: two-time world champion Elaine Larsen, who drives the Florida Institute of Technology car, had prevailed again, hitting 242.06 mph.
But it was the fact that all four jet dragsters were from Larsen Motorsports, and that some of the most important folks on the track Saturday were seven Florida Tech student interns working for the racing company, that stood out to Larsen afterward.
“It is always exciting to pilot my Florida Tech jet dragster down the track, but this weekend it was excitement times four. To go side by side by side by side with all of my girls was amazing,” she said. “And it was great for the student interns to experience this first hand. At the end of the day, my team gave me the car that it took to come across the finish line first. What a weekend!”
The Florida Tech interns at the race were Paige Sanchez, who is Larsen’s crew chief, as well as Corey Weigand, Michelle Rodriguez, Chelsea Reichard, Zach Costello, Brian Tocci and driver Kat Moller.
The Larsen Motorsports teams took time to travel to Charlotte, N.C., to tour the wind tunnels of local company AeroDyne Inc., as well. “It was fun to see the students interact with other race teams and the engineers at Aerodyne,” Larsen said.
Up next is the NMRA Ford Motorsport Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pennsylvania, April 28-May 1, where Larsen will attempt to break the state’s land speed record.
Get more information on that event at www.nmradigital.com and find everything you need to know about the Florida Tech-Larsen Motorsports affiliation by visiting http://jetdragster.fit.edu.