A super slick Corvette is the latest venture for Toronto-based fast street car proponent John Carinci…..
And along with his son James, expectations are that this highly dedicated race team could reach a next level within North America’s 10.5 tire racing genre.
Late in 2015, John and James first made their debut with their latest racing project, a Skinny Kid Race Cars built 2004 Z06 Corvette. This Outlaw 10.5 car was formally run by New Jersey’s Todd Fontana.
That move was made following an unfortunate incident for the team with their previous car – a Pontiac Trans-Am.
“In 2014 we had a pretty bad accident with the Trans-Am at Cecil County in Maryland while testing for the Yellowbullet Nationals,” John reflected. “That car (which was previously raced by Mike Yedgarian) was beat up pretty good. The amount of damage that would have to be repaired was to the point of rebuilding the car from scratch. It just became unfeasible and we decided it was time to move on. So this Corvette was purchased from Todd who is a very good friend of ours. The Corvette actually had very few runs on in – maybe 10 full pulls at the most. So we basically transplanted the drivetrain from our Trans Am into the new Corvette.”
Since that transition the team has worked very hard making some refinements and the dividends of that are starting to show.
“We can tell already that the new car is much faster than the Trans Am was.” John added. “And this upgrade to the new and fresh Corvette gives us much newer technology to work with.”
This C5 (5th generation Corvette) is powered by a motor program from industry leader ProLine Racing – a 540 CID BB Chevrolet equipped with twin Precision Gen 2 94mm Turbochargers. Other important components include a ProTorque Torque Converter, M&M 3 Speed TH400 Transmission, Billet Atomizer Fuel Injectors, Davis Technologies Profiler AMS 2000 Boost Control tuned by Patrick Barnhill of PTP.
John and James debuted the Corvette at Atco Dragway in New Jersey in late summer of 2015 and the car went 4.19 secs on it’s first first full pass. Then a bit later they were rewarded with a career best 4.13 secs at 191 mph while racing at the U.S. Street Nationals (Bradenton Florida) during last season’s final outing.
That has the race team pretty optimistic for their chances in 2016.
“This season we plan on running the local Outlaw 10.5 series in Canada as well as travelling throughout the U.S. Northeast,” John revealed. “The PDRA is hosting a few races that we will be attending. Also some of the larger independent events are on our season radar (i.e. Yellowbullet Nationals, Norwalk’s Shakedown and World Cup Finals). We are hoping to get the car into the 3 second zone, but more importantly make it run consistently in the 4 flat range. There is definitely more to come.”
One of the very nice dimensions to this Canadian race team involves a very close bond between John and his son James, who is certainly being groomed to be a class player for the future.
“It’s cool to have my son James involved — he has been around the sport since he was very young,” John added. “I am very fortunate to have him as involved as he is and we enjoy the sport together. He has learned a ton over the years and we have become very self reliant. Because of that we have the freedom to pick up and leave to go racing whenever we feel like it. I am not sure if he will drive at this point — he really enjoys the tech and the tuning aspect of our sport.”
Prior to racing this Corvette John Carinci’s did develop a very strong reputation in Canadian drag racing over a career that spans 30 years, racing a variety of machines.
After a couple version Camaros early in his career, John’s aforementioned 2002 Firebird was his first turbocharged car. His team had some great success with that on the OSCA circuit and recording a best time of 6.59 secs at 223 mph. Their biggest claim to fame in that car was in 2013 winning at the Canadian Nitro Nationals 1/8th mile feature — recording a best time of 4.20 secs at 183 mph.
Before that car, he raced what was arguably one of the coolest cars ever campaigned from Canada – a unique 1970 Barracuda that was a huge fan favourite.
That Barracuda first debuted in 2005 was originally built for OSCA EZ street class competition and at first was naturally aspirated with a 500 CID Pro Stock Hemi. With it John was the first OSCA EZ street car into the 7-secs zone and it set a circuit record at 7.85 secs — which was far ahead of the competition. That performance was ultimately it’s demise in the EZ class — as it led to them being outlawed from it the following season.
Following that development the Barracuda was converted to go Super Street 10.5 class racing and more success soon followed. They ran a 6.97 at 199 mph making them the first OSCA Super Street car in the 6-second zone. Over time the 500 CID motor program was retired and replaced with a 737 CID Sonny’s engine. With that combo the Barracuda ran a career quick and fast 6.79 at 212 mph on the 1/4 mile.
Post and photos by: Bruce Biegler