Eastern Canada’s drag racing scene will feature some new Alcohol Funny Car class participation this season…
The husband and wife team of Lyle and MaryAnn Williams, who are from Strathroy Ontario, will enter that class fray this summer with an interesting build.
Driver Lyle Williams, who has been a long time drag racer within Ontario and is also an advocate of the sport, plans to vacate his most recent ride in Top Dragster for new cockpit confinement under the shell of a great looking new Pontiac Firebird.
The team plans to hit some Eastern Canadian drag strips with a car that had been formally raced on a limited basis by Ron Bankes.
“This was formerly Ron Bankes’ funny car and was purchased as a roller only,” Lyle revealed. “But now this chassis is housing a 526 CID Hemi, with Veney heads, PSI 1471 supercharger and an upgraded 2-speed power glide transmission. This chassis has also been more or less rebuilt.”
Over the last few season’s Williams’ has been a popular attraction within Ontario’s Top Dragster circuits racing a supercharged Race Tech Race Cars built car.
Williams was personally looking for something that is a bit more of a challenge to drive and his new Funny Car ride will certainly help to full fill that objective.
“We raced our top dragster for 3 years,” he continued. “But I decided to make the switch to AFC for two reasons. I was finding I was becoming a bit bored with the dragster because it’s more or less a point and shoot machine; point it straight and it goes straight. I’m also more of a heads-up racer and there really isn’t head-up racing for the Top Dragster class within Ontario.”
The 2016 season will see the team for the most part focus on local NDRA races (at Cayuga and Grand Bend Motorplex) as well as some other booked in match races at tracks in both Ontario and Quebec. At this point they will not partake in any NHRA Lucas Oil Divisional level races.
“This year will likely be a learning and tuning year of us,” Lyle added. “Right now we would be happy to get it tuned properly and running consistent 5.8’s (secs). That would be our immediate objective. We would then tweak from there and plan our future accordingly.”
Lyle and MaryAnn will fund their team from their highly successful business, Williams Mobile Service. Since 2001 Williams Mobile Service has been mobile hydraulic service specialists with mainly aerial man-lifts and mobile crane units.
In addition to Lyle and MaryAnn, the team’s crew is also composed of their son Austin, Al DeBoer, Lori Rocheleau, Sandi Vrbos, Harry Gregory and Gerry Kane.
Williams Racing also cited www.ThePhotoGuys.ca for their continued team support.
Expectations are high that the paint scheme for this Funny Car will make it an immediate fan favourite.
Featuring the airbrush expertise of Bevin Finlay Artistry & Design (from Mount Forest Ontario) the car features a stunning and stormy finish which is in fact very applicable for the team, particularly to MaryAnne.
“I am a storm chaser (Tornado chaser), a lightning photographer, and an aurora borealis photographer,” MaryAnn revealed. “Every few years I venture down to tornado alley in the USA plains to chase and photograph storms and tornadoes. Because of that on our dragster — lightning is a constant theme. So now with the Funny Car, we are continuing that. We also chose to go with Zeus, the Greek God of the sky, lightning and thunder on the hood.”
For more information on artist Bevin Finlay’s work visit: www.bevinfinlay.com
Over the last couple of seasons Lyle’s commitment to supporting Canada’s drag racing scene has also included involvement as a presenting sponsor for the IHRA’s Mopar Canadian Nationals event at Grand Bend Motorplex. That IHRA association however is now being put on hold.
“We did have a close association with IHRA when under the leadership of Scott Gardner and Steven Cole,” he added. “But this year they’ve underwent massive changes and we are going to take a step back and let the dust settle down. So we’ve suspended our Williams Racing sponsorship of the Nationals at Grand Bend for the next 2-years until we see what direction the IHRA is taking within Canada.”
Posted by: Bruce Biegler