Of all the dragstrip carnage we'd expect out of a 3,000 bhp, all-wheel-drive monster, this was at the bottom of our list.
Drag racing might be the most abusive, destructive form of auto racing on the planet. In the space of just a few short seconds, and travelling only a quarter of a mile, cars can see more abuse than they'd face in an entire season of road-course racing.
Drag racing relies almost exclusively on horsepower and torque. Drag racing cars are typically far more powerful than even the most powerful circuit racing car. Couple that with a ferocious launch from a standstill, and you have a recipe for lots of broken parts and even more broken dreams.
Such is the case with this 3,000 bhp Nissan GT-R, which, fresh off a rebuild, ran the quarter mile in a blistering 7.25 seconds. Once warmed up and broken in, this GT-R was running in the high 6 second range. All-wheel-drive cars launch even stronger than rear-wheel-drive or front-wheel-drive cars, with prodigious grip that's capable of turning gearboxes, transfer cases, differentials, and axles into scrap metal.
Surprisingly, the failure that befell this monster of a GT-R affected none of those components. As far as we can tell, even the engine's internals were safe. The unexpected failure, in this case, was the turbine impeller wheel from a turbocharger – launched clear across the dragstrip into the catch fence like a 10,000 RPM shuriken. It narrowly missed a cameraman before bouncing off the fence and coming to a rest on the ground, looking chewed-up around the edges but otherwise intact.
When it failed, it launched out of the exhaust, which, in this case. was nothing more than a 90 degree elbow exiting out of the front bumper. The noise it made when it let go sounded like something out of a bad sci-fi movie, and the driver, Gidi, immediately shut the car down.
Thankfully, the wound was merely superficial, and after some repairs, the GT-R was back up and running, ready to win more races and break even more records.