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Firebird International Raceway April 24, 2009 Test & Tune


What was expected to be the lightest and fastest Top Fuel Hydro on the water became a wild ride when Glen Wilson of Granite Racing powered up the Carbon Fiber Boat called Toxic Rocket and blasted down the track at 217 mph.

Toxic productions (TP).....The new Toxic Rocket started to come apart as soon as Wilson got off the line . If it had not been for the exceptional handling by Wilson, the run could have had a very tragic ending.

Wilson stated that he knew something was wrong when he had to fight to keep it going straight. He said, "It was a gut wrenching experience just to get it stopped, but once I pulled the chute, it started settling down." When Wilson exited out of the capsule he almost immediately discovered water coming in at the sponsons and bubbling from the main part of the boat (what is also commonly referred to as the tub). Glen signaled to the rescue crew who immediately hooked on to the boat to keep it from sinking.

As soon as the crew pulled the Rocket out of the water they were stunned at what they discovered. Little did anyone one know, the hull that was purchased by Granite was defective, and after an intensive structural investigation it was found to have been produced without the slightest regard for safety or structural integrity.

“You have a 6000 hp engine pushing a 3000 lb. boat, and reaching speeds in excess off 200 mph in 3 seconds, it has to be right“ said Wilson.

The engineering of these boats is critical, not only from a structural integrity standpoint, but most of all, for driver safety. The carbon fiber layup and construction was performed by Rob Qualls of Speed Tek, Phoenix, Arizona for Dan Ellison who is the original designer of the Ellison Outrigger style boat. Dan Ellison arranged the sale in 2008 to Granite Racing and once received over 3000 man hours were put into building and rigging the new Toxic Rocket Top Fuel Hydro Boat.
Now back at the drawing board, Granite Racing and the entire 2009 season is in jeopardy.

Hopefully, a positive resolution will come out of this almost tragic event.

Check back often for updates to this evolving story.

Watch the video click here


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Granite Racing Inc.160 South Linden Ave. Suite 100 South San Francisco, CA. 94080 650-737-8700

“Racing is Life......Everthing before and after is just waiting”
                                                                       Steve McQueen