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Hanna Motorsports Reveals New Jet Dragster and Sponsor

Hanna_Canuso1Hanna Motorsports Jets, a 50-year professional organization that’s recognized as one of the premier performers in the jet car category, has unveiled an all-new, semi-streamliner “Queen of Diamonds II.”

The original “Queen of Diamonds” debuted in 1997, and over the past 15 years this machine has dominated the jet dragster category at all the events it has participated in.  The current “Queen of Diamonds” has run a best of 5.04 seconds ET, at a best of 311 mph.

“Over the years, there have been other cars that have performed better than our car from time to time but, our goal has always been to be consistent, performing at a high level, with safety at the forefront of our operation”, stated Al Hanna, President of Hanna Motorsports Jets.

Jill Canuso

Jill Canuso

The new machine features a totally different design, with the driver sitting similarly to the driver in a traditional jet Funny Car.

“The car, with a 270-inch wheelbase and offset driver location, is designed to have the engine run easier and cooler,” said Rich Hanna.  “We started running ‘RacePak’ on-board computers in late 1989, and have learned, with certainty, that the engines in our funny cars run much more efficiently than the engine in our dragster.  With the limited availability of parts, and the rising cost of those parts, our goal is to allow our car to run at a high level, but with less heat and stress.  The design of this car accomplishes that goal.”

The other goal of Hanna Motorsports Jets is to remain at the forefront of the jet car category with this new machine.

“We’ve had the design for this car on the drawing board for more than 6 years”, said Al Hanna.  “We’ve worked with our chassis builder, Dan Page, our designer Larry Williams of Williams Graphics, and Gary Eaker of the ‘A2 Wind Tunnel Complex’ outside Charlotte, North Carolina, to achieve the ultimate semi-streamliner design.  We’ve also consulted with Ron Main, owner and designer of the ‘Speed Demon’ LSR machine, who’s run close to 500 miles per hour at Bonneville.  Special thanks to Dan, Larry, Gary, Ron and all those who’ve supported this incredible project.”

The new car is a ‘pod design’ with the Top Fuel-style driver’s compartment in a pod on the left side of the center of the car, and the fuel tank in an aerodynamically matched pod on the right side.  The car features a carbon fiber body, multiple titanium features throughout, and the use of an aircraft-style canopy over the driver’s area.  The ‘BASF’ paint and lettering will be applied by ‘DragGraphix’ of North Brookfield, Massachusetts.

“We expect many of our competitors will look at this machine, understand what we’re accomplishing by the new design, and join us in the future with cars similar to ours.” Al Hanna said.  “This is far from the first jet dragster built of this design.  In fact, the first known side-driver jet dragster was built in the ‘60s by none other than Art Arfons, and many have followed over the years.”

Hanna_CanusoThe new car will again be driven by Pottstown, Pennsylvania’s Jill Canuso, who recently was fitted into the cockpit of the new machine.

“Continuing to drive for Hanna Motorsports Jets is special,” she said. “I recognize this opportunity as being one of the most special moments in my racing career. The ‘QD II’ will be the quickest, fastest and most technologically advanced race car I’ve ever driven. Undoubtedly, 2013 will be one of the most memorable years for myself, my team and for all of the fans that experience the ‘QD II.’”

Hanna Motorsports enjoys support from several marketing partners on its various racing programs.  ‘GOJO Hand Cleaner’ is in the third year of marketing, while  ‘BIC Lighter’ is in its 10th year as a marketing partner with the Hanna family.  The newest member of the marketing team is the ‘Excel Dryer Corporation’, maker of ‘XLERATOR Hand Dryers’.  All are world leaders of their respective industries.

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“Without the support of these incredible companies, we could never have the success we’ve had in motorsports.  We thank them for their support and belief in our family, and our race team,” Rich Hanna emphasized. The team also has support from BASF, Daigle Truck Master, and Simpson Safety Equipment.

The completed machine will go through wind-tunnel testing at the ‘A2 Wind Tunnel  Complex’ in North Carolina before testing begins at Maryland International Raceway.  The planned debut for the car will be Apr. 27, at the season opening event at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

This story was originally published on February 19, 2013. Drag Illustrated

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