Coming soon to a drag strip near you! Canada’s KonRodz/SK Racing plans a return with serious and major upgrades….
The Canadian-based KonRodz/SK Racing NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car class is poising itself very nicely for the future. The operation (which was first founded by Spiro Kontos in the early 2000s) is undergoing a major metamorphosis this season in both machinery and manpower which includes the debut of Spiro’s 20-year old son Stepan as the new team driver.
After campaigning Chevy-bodied Funny Cars with a series of skilled racers very successfully over the past few seasons, it was first revealed early in 2015 that a deal had been struck by to team to acquire the very potent Ford Mustang TAFC formally raced by California’s Jay Payne.
After an unanticipated delay earlier in 2015 (when Jay Payne crashed that car at an event in Las Vegas), all that development is now coming to fruition with the team who have now taken delivery of the car, landed some new primary sponsorship and finalized their team members for going forward.
While the actual timeline for a competitive debut for the new look race car is still to be announced – all the pieces are falling into place for the team which while based from the Toronto GTA area, will also run racing operations out of Phoenix Arizona.
For Stepan Kontos who is the President of KonRodz Racing/SK Racing — the future is literally at hand. Recently he made his first limited runs in the car during an initial licensing phase.
“Basically we are still in the testing process,” said Stepan. “After purchasing the car from Jay and getting it back after the repairs that were done at Murf McKinney’s shop, we got into building the car. So this summer we’ve been busy setting up an entirely new shop, assembling the race car, and aligning our entirely new crew. Our new team still includes Randy Anderson and is also comprised of an ex Schumacher employee, 2 aerospace engineers/machinists, and a guy who worked for some TAD cars on the west coast.”
“About three weekends ago we finally got to test and overall everything went really well,” he continued. “Everyone did a terrific job and I can’t thank them enough. I tried my best to do a great job for them in the seat. The first run Randy wanted me to take it to about 100 feet. As I have never driven anything and had absolutely no idea what to expect – that was incredible for me. It was my first time ever in a race car! Overall I kept my goals realistic and we made a total of 3 partial runs that evening.”
For both Spiro and Stepan the upcoming racing venture has been on the horizon for quite some time.
“It has been a dream of my father and I to have me in the seat some day and although the process has moved a little slower than we initially planned, we are very happy and very excited for the future,” he admitted. “I am very lucky to have this opportunity, as well as having the support some really great sponsors.
That important dimension and list includes Sta-Lube/CRC Automotive, Big Rig Power, Goodyear Tire, Clevite, Bell Racing USA, Sparco, VP Racing Fuels, NGK Spark Plugs Canada, Clean Boost Performance Oils & Additives, 360Fly, Advanced Power Systems, Aeromotive Inc, DragRaceCanada, Peter Walters Race Design, Quarter Mile Components.
For the rest of the year 2015 the team has plans to continue forward in a very calculated fashion. That will include Stepan finishing up the licensing process and getting more seat time in the car testing. The general public will then be afforded it’s first official look at the stunning new Ford Mustang during the SEMA show in Las Vegas (in October) as part of the CRC Automotive display.
“We are very excited to continue to work with Sta-Lube/CRC Automotive & Big Rig Power,” Stepan added. “Our objective is to grow our relationships and continue to get the news about their fine products and services out there to the general public and the racing community. We have lots in the works for the 2016 season including some fun contests, giveaways, promotional materials as well as a very extensive racing schedule.”
For more information and updates on KonRodz/SK Racing click: HERE
Posted by Bruce Biegler
Photos courtesy of Mark Rebilas