Two second generation drag racing brothers are charting impressive future courses within Canada’s drag racing spectrum….

By combining some seriously emerging very raw talent and drawing from an internal team pool of vast racing experience — both Brody and Austin Van Der Geld continued to carve niches within Eastern Canada’s Napa/AutoPro Ultimate Showdown drag racing series this past season.

The pair are designated drivers within an impressive 2-car Top Dragster class racing team which is based from their father’s vastly successful and highly reputed Lowdown Hot Rods race shop located in Cambridge Ontario.

Austin (left) and Brody Van DerGeld are already popular Top Dragster fixtures within Eastern Canada.

Austin (left) and Brody Van DerGeld are emerging as popular Top Dragster fixtures within Eastern Canada.

Brody (23 years) and Austin (21 years) campaign that race car shop facility’s flagship cars. Brody races a 250 inch dragster and Austin a 245 inch machine which both run supercharged on alcohol motor programs (and which both have fuel systems from Atchison Machine).  Brody has been racing dragsters for 5 years and Austin graduated up to his dragster from Junior Dragster class competition during 2015.

“Both of our team dragsters are similar — full suspension cars with big block motors and 2-speed power glide transmissions,” revealed Brody. “Both of the these cars have had chassis’ upgraded to suit our purposes. Each have their own special LowDown Hot Rods tech application.”

Brody's machine is low six second capable

Brody’s machine which is a 540 CID — is very low six seconds capable

“In 2016 we did upgrade Austin’s car from a naturally aspirated motor program which ran high sevens to what it is now,” he continued. “But my dragster still has quite a bit more blower to it – and about 500 HP more to work with.”

Now both dragsters are six-second capable with Austin’s car a potential 6.7 secs runner while Brody’s can run 6.2’s.

Brody too is former Junior Dragster driver and he revealed that he and Austin do have a rivalry that dates back to those days in that class.

“We’ve had lots of competition racing against one another,” he continued. “We ran side-by-side in the Junior class many times and now we are getting to do that in Top Dragster. We both have a lot of fun when that happens.”

That's Austin and Brody side-by-side in competition last summer at Grand Bend Motorplex.

That’s Austin and Brody side-by-side in competition last summer at Grand Bend Motorplex!

Brody and Austin have quickly become popular fixtures within the Napa/AutoPro USDRS circuit’s Nick & Dan’s Top Dragster class, where they focus most of their racing attention. That series is fast gaining a reputation for providing a very positive place for developing young racing talents. In 2016, Brody and Austin both finished in the Top 10 in Championship points – placing 6th and 7th respectively.

In just his second season - Austin Van DerGeld finished 7th in final USDRS points.

In just his second season – 21 year old Austin Van DerGeld finished 7th in final USDRS points.

Both Brody and Austin do benefit from some truly terrific mentorship which includes their father Tom Van Der Geld and mom Linda, as well as long time Lowdown Hot Rods team player and former Pro Mod driver Gary Irving (who tunes Brody’s dragster). The team also has a very close association with long time Eastern Canadian 1/4 mile racing proponent, Joe Boniferro, who’s Boniferro Speed & Custom company oversees and tunes the engine program for Austin.

Tom Van DerGeld and Joe Boniferro (right) are major mentors.

Tom Van DerGeld and Joe Boniferro (right) are major mentors.

“With my Dad, Gary and Joe (all pioneer Pro Mod guys) being extensively involved it’s pretty cool the experience we can draw from,” Brody added. “Were learning a lot about tuning and driving – from some of the best.”

When not at the race track — Brody works as an architectural tech while Austin is pursuing a degree within the medical profession.


For more information on LowDown Hot Rods click:  HERE

Post and photos by Bruce Biegler