These extremely fast race cars were banned from motorsports, here’s why


  • Race cars are meant to fast, which eventually translates into being unsafe. Hence, there are some guidelines that have been laid down for the protection of the driver and the spectators. But, there is such a thing as too much power and smart off the line starts. Click on the following slides to find out about some of the cars that have been banned in motorsports and why.

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  • Sneaky Pete Robinson's Jumping Jack Dragster: This car, the racing officials said had crossed the line. The Jumping Jack, as the name suggests, two jack stands at the back on which the car could be lifted, and the driver could build up revs before setting off the line. The jacks were controlled by a lever. When the light went green, Sneaky Pete would drop the rear end and the car would hit the drag strip with its wheels already spinning, while the other drivers would only be beginning to rev. After one race, the jack device was banned by the National Hot Rod Association, the governing body of drag racing. (source: Philpot) (Image source: Insomnia Cured Here)

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  • 1977 Brabham BT46B: Spoilers are installed at the back of cars to produce downforce. This Brabham had one too, but along with that it had a giant fan, which was not just meant to cool the engien but also provide massive downforce. It went on to be called the 'fan car'. According to F1 rules, any equipment used for downforce has to be fixed, but a fan certainly isn't. Hence, the BT46B was gone as soon as the era of fan for spoilers ended. (Image: Howstuffworks)

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  • Chaparral 2E: Another case of ban because of immense downforce. On a race track, you need downforce on corners and not so much on straights as that is where you need speed. Spoilers split these benefits so you compromise some and gain some in both situations. The Chaparral 2E, however, had a spoiler that could be manipulated by the driver to best suit the requirement. Hence it was banned after a spoiler that moved. (Image: Howstuffworks)

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  • Group B Rally Cars: While we've spoken of some of the cars that have been banned from motorsports, here is an entire class of racing cars that was banned. However, the reason here differs from the others – it was not prowess in terms of power, but safety. Group B rally cars were raced on public roads, dirt roads and other trails, testing speed, control and communication between driver and co-driver. Spectators didn't sit in stands, they lined up by the roadsides with little or no protection. (Image: Howstuffworks)

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  • Hendrick Motorsports' 1997 T-Rex: This car was designed by Rex Stump, a former Corvette engineer. He designed the T-Rex to be as fast as possible. While, the car gets its name after Stump, it also had a Jurassic Park-themed paint scheme to promote the movie release. It was a very fast car, outperforming others at NASCAR. After it had run a race, NASCAR officials said the car can not be used in the races again, though it complied with all rules. (source: Hendrick Motorsports) (Image: Brian Snelson)

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  • Williams FW14B: As mentioned above, a moveable spoiler was is not allowed in races as requirement for downforce can be manipulated through it. Comes in Williams FW14B, which had an active suspension. It used hydraulics to adjust the suspension depending upon the load on all four tyres. The car has been featured on our website for one another reason too. Find out here: From a roaring lion to pretty pink: Eight of the strangest Formula One car paint jobs (Image: Howstuffworks)

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