An Ontario-based team has evolved into one of the most feared entries within North America’s Fast Street Car racing genre….
Racing a nitrous-assisted 1968 Camaro that is driven by Jerry Mitrovic and owned by Mike Pereirra, an Toronto-based group has become serious impact players within drag racing’s demanding Outlaw 10.5 category — arguably becoming (during 2015) Canada’s top overall rated class entry.
“It was originally built with the intention of one day maybe becoming a real race car,” Jerry revealed about his Camaro. “So it was constructed a with a bunch of tubing left out of it that could later be put in later if I ever went in that direction. When we made the decision to run Outlaw 10.5 – the car went to Joe Vanoverbeek’s shop where basically we did open heart surgery on it. The chassis was brought up to satisfaction (including a Funny Car cage) and we did all the carbon fibre work that the rules allowed. Then it came back to our shop and Alex Tadic went to town on the car – to make it as light as possible. He did all the custom machine work and welding and we spent about $10G on titanium.”
In 2014 the Camaro made it’s first runs down track during a season which was saw the team in mostly test mode and staying close to home. To begin the 2015 campaign the team made a major upgrade when they installed a Pat Musi-built 903 CID motor which they acquired from Pro Mod racer Tommy Franklin.
Then, as the saying goes “the proof was in the pudding”. That became very apparent during the just past 2015 racing season when the race team scored multiple high profile event wins.
After completing some early season testing in Maryland, the race team proceeded to reel off a series of impressive performances. They got they first season win during Canada’s high profile Nitro Nationals at Cayuga in July, which was in fact the car’s true competition debut event. Next time out they entered the PDRA’s North Vs South Shootout event held at Maryland International Raceway (the first ever event that the PDRA presented the Outlaw 10.5 class category). That appearance resulted in low ET of the event (4.11 secs) and season win #2 for the team, marking the first time they had won an event outside of Canada.
In August last summer they returned to Canada to race at Joe DaSilva’s annual Canadian Street Car National event (at Cayuga Dragway) where again they were victorious while qualifying #1 and settling low ET of the event.
Next up was the highly prestigious Yellow Bullet Nationals held at Cecil County MD over the Labour Day weekend — considered by many as the most prestigious Fast Street Car racing event in the East. Jerry and the team came very close to to winning that – setting low ET of the event at 4.06 secs but lost out on a holeshot to Chuck Ulsch’s Corvette in the semi-final round.
The race team then moved on to Norwalk Ohio’s high profile “Shakedown at the Summit” event later in September and they came away with their 4th big win of the season. They qualified #1 with a 4.044 secs and ran low ET of the race at 4.042 secs while beating fellow Ontarioan Frank Pompilio in the memorable “all Canada” championship final round.
The team closed off their very remarkable season with a appearance at the season ending PDRA Finals held in Virginia during October. At that race, using a new Musi engine program (of undisclosed CID!) they entered the record books following an astounding 3.991 secs at 189.26 mph round during qualifying.
“In Virginia that second qualifier was not only our personal best — that made us the first Canadian 10.5 car in the 3’s,” Jerry added. “We were the first and only Outlaw 10.5 NOS car in the 3’s and the quickest and fastest NOS 10.5 in the world.”
Needless to say, all of that incredible season momentum holds well for this aspiring Canadian team going into 2016.
Jerry, who has been involved with fast Street Car racing since age 18, confirms that his team, which also consists of members Ed Varao, Andy DeSilva, Paul Scarlato, Ron Carle, Mario Velho, Phil Sliskovic, Alex Tadic and Joe VanOverbeek, are highly optimistic and have set some high standards, goals and expectations for themselves.
“At this point we are not sure of our exact schedule because there are still some racing dates that are yet to be released,” he added. “But you can bet we will be at all the PDRA races and the Outlaw Yellow Bullet Nationals and Shakedown at the Summit events are on our radar. Our primary goal for 2016 is to win at the Yellow Bullet Nationals and reset a new ET record for Outlaw 10.5 cars.”
When not at the drag strip, Jerry Mitrovic works for a transportation company OTD (Ontario trucking and disposal). Car owner Mike Pereirra is a Manager at JCL group which main business is concrete pumping, but who also has a vast fleet of dump trucks, role off trucks, and stone slingers.
Posted by: Bruce Biegler
Photos by Bruce Biegler & Brennan Shortall