It’s not often that a PIRTEK technician is summoned to a classroom to make hoses, but this is no ordinary school. PIRTEK Space Coast tech Bobby Kennedy fabricated hose assemblies for the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne and one of its jet-powered dragsters. Through a partnership with nearby Larsen Motorsports, the school supports the drag-racing operation by offering hands-on internships and research opportunities for budding engineers and fabricators enrolled in the university.
Students report to Larsen Motorsports’ high-tech workshop, which includes $8 million in inventory and equipment. Each jet engine needed for a dragster costs $250,000 – used. But it’s a $6,000 hose assemble that helps power these dragsters, which can reach speeds of 300 miles per hour in a quarter-mile.
The 15- to 23-inch-long hoses connect to two tanks – one diesel and the other biofuel – to shutoff valves in the cockpit of these 1,500-pound vehicles. Bobby says it’s not an overly complicated call, but one he enjoys nonetheless.
“It’s remarkable what they are doing with these dragsters,” said Bobby, who joined PIRTEK Space Coast in June. “I’ve never experienced any call like this before.”
Incidentally, these jet dragsters are not just an expensive hobby, but race on a National Hot Rod Association circuit. Driver Elaine Larsen, co-owner of Larsen Motorsports, is a two-time International Hot Rod Association world champion while racing on the Florida Tech team. The team also has been featured on “Jay Leno’s Garage.”
PIRTEK Space Coast Team Ensures the Vroom for Jet Dragsters