Modern race cars may be extraordinarily powerful, but they're also safer than they've ever been. One key component to a modern race car is a fire suppression system, and in a video from Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds, we see how the system works.
The test car is a Dodge Viper ACR-X, which was a special-run Viper ACR of just 25 cars built for 2010. It boasted extra gear for improved downforce and another 40 horsepower over the stock Viper ACR's 600 ponies. The fire suppression system works in two areas: the engine compartment and the cabin. If the driver knows there's a fire under the hood, he or she pulls a lever to release a mixture of dry and wet chemical agents to try and put the fire out before it spreads.
If the fire makes its way to the cockpit, lever number two is the ticket. When the driver pulls the lever, the cockpit is immediately filled with the same chemicals. In this case, Johnny Bohmer himself is behind the wheel and pulls the lever for the cockpit fire suppression system. He notes it's very easy to run out of oxygen because the chemicals fill the cockpit so quickly.
In any case, it's better to be alive and not burned due to a cockpit fire. At high speeds, though, the driver hopefully has some way to breathe if he or she needs to use the suppression system. Just how quickly the chemicals douse the cabin is impressive.
Check it out in the video above.