Every racers worst nightmare is to lose their investment or be injured while racing, and fire is definitely one of the worst ways for that to happen. The Unicorn C5 project is no stranger to issues and complications like any project car, but no one was ready for the car to erupt into flames on the top end of the track! Running in the Stick Shift class of the final I-29 No Prep of 2017, the Unicorn C5 was finally getting some SOLID passes after some suspension & wheel/tire changes and some much needed seat time! Thankfully the track team at I-29 Dragway was able to stop the fire from taking a beautiful C5 Chevrolet Corvette into a pile of ash, but there was still significant damage done. The Unicorn C5 will live to race another day and we’ll be here to keep you updated as the rebuild progress unfolds!
For people curious about the cause… It’s hard to say exactly what happened, but the fire was fueled from an injector o-ring that was protruding out of the top of the fuel injector spraying fuel towards each fender under the hood. It wasn’t leaking when we started the car (with the hood open) before that pass, but once fuel pressure increased with boost (on the 2-step) the fuel started spraying, and was ignited about 100 feet down the track as you can see in the mid-track footage. The car died on the shut down as I was stopping the car and preparing to eject, so I didn’t think about turning the key off (this is where a battery cut off would be helpful) so the fuel was continuing to be pumped out of the injector until the ignition was shut off completely. The root cause was likely in one or two components of the fuel system not being 100% tight… in the end we’re going to redo the fuel system just to be safe with components that fight much more naturally.
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