Drag racing! The acceleration contest to end all acceleration contests. Where two cars sit at the end of a quarter mile strip, revving their engines until the light goes green, at which point they put their foot down as fast as possible and who ever makes it to the end of the strip in the quickest time is the winner. It’s big in Bahrain, very big. Your early 90’s turbo charged Altima is no longer going to make the cut. Bahrain has stepped it up a level with the likes of professional racing teams E Kanoo Racing and SMS Racing who currently hold world records. Not only this but our famous drag strip has also been visited by the professional international teams from America to England. Now the drag underworld of Bahrain is looking in one direction, these 300kph doorslammers, running on petrol or methanol, hooked up to some kind of Nos tap, meaning that they are the fastest class of drag car with working doors second only to rail Dragsters and Funny Cars. But don’t worry, if you are a novice with these sort of things we are going to give you a brief lesson in Pro Mods, and as an added treat we sat down and had a chat with up and coming drag racer Ali Hani about his beautiful Pro Mod Ford Mustang.
Ali Hani’s nitrous-huffing Mustang filled with top-shelf parts has been making a name for itself recently down at the world famous quarter mile track at the BIC. Coming in second at the Bahrain Drag Racing Championship last month, it originally came from the US and master drag builder Larry Jeffers and his team at LJRC, who have made a name for themselves in the Pro Mod world by crafting some of the most elite of race cars. We sat down and had a quick chat with Ali moments before he went out for his second batch of test and tune.
AM: Why did you decide to start this project?
AH: Since I was a teenager it’s always been a dream of mine to be a drag racing driver. Thankfully I have reached a time in life where I am able to start working on fulfilling that dream. I studied Automotive Science in high school and made my BSc degree in Mechanical Engineering. After graduation, I built my first racing car in 2006 and started racing in Street Class, then I built my second racing car in 2013 and participated in Index Class. In mid 2015, I decided to go for the Pro Mod Class and started searching for a professional well-known car builder in the field.
AM: When did you begin and how long did it take?
AH: I officially began this project at the end of 2015, and completed it around mid 2017, then it was just a case of adding the livery. Which was a task in itself as initially I used a wrap, but after testing, the vinyl came back with a lot of bubbles, which is when I decided to get the entire body hand painted.
AM: Tell us about the build?
AH: The car was built by Larry Jeffers Race Cars (LJRC) from the chassis to wiring, plumbing, and even paint. The car features all of LJRC’s chassis innovations and touches such as their special design rear-end, safety gears, headers and interior finishing. The car was built as per National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) specification/rules and meets all SFI safety standards. Providing the grunt under the hood is Sonny’s Racing engine that measures well over 900 cubic inches. The big dose of nitrous comes courtesy of Speedtech and features one of their custom fuel injection systems. The car also uses LJRC’s new line of safety gear inside the car, with their seatbelt systems, and helping bring the car to a stop will be a pair of their parachutes.
AM: What difficulties did you encounter with the build?
AH: Apart from the duration of car building and lengthy tuning process, which is always on going. We as a team are constantly trying to get the best performance from the car, even if it’s just a few nano-seconds. Other than that there have been no major difficulties encountered from my side.
AM: How did you expect it to perform vs how did it perform?
AH: I expected to get an estimated time of 3.7sec. So far the best timing we have achieved is 4.0sec, which won me 2nd place in Round 2 of this year’s BDRC. As I mentioned fine tuning is still in progress, but so far we have had some very good runs.
AM: Are you working on any other drag cars?
AH: I am also racing with my other car, the 2016 Cobra Jet, that you guys featured on your cover a few months ago. Another new toy. So far that has managed to win me third place in Index 8.5 Round 2 of the BDRC this year as well.
AM: Do you plan to make any more adjustments or modification to the car?
AH: With this model just the chassis and motor tuning, I don’t want to give out my secrets.
AM: Are you happy with the drag car, and with the results so far?
AH: Very happy with the results so far, its indicating that after a few more adjustments we should have a very successful season. It’s something I’m really excited about and am looking forward to seeing how it performs and compete’s with the existing racers.