Long & Loud License

Canada has a new official Top Fuel racer.  London’s Paul Noakes is now good to go in the class following a weekend stint at Grand Bend Motorplex…

Noakes, who has spent the majority of his racing career within the ranks of Top Alcohol Funny Car, and who is widely regarded as one of Canada’s most competent drivers, made two laps in the Paton Racing machine during last weekend’s Stratford Spectacular event.   His best full run was impressive too – hitting 4.06 secs at 297 mph to the required 1000′ mark — to complete his licensing upgrade.

For Noakes all of this has been about being in the right place at the right time — but it also sets a possible foundation for the future.

Paul Noakes has successfully upgraded his license to Top Fuel after last weekend.

Paul Noakes has successfully upgraded his license to Top Fuel after last weekend.

“To be honest for many years out there I wasn’t sure that my efforts driving got me noticed,” said Noakes.  “But then last year I got a call from Barry Paton who asked me to drive his car in some testing.  Initially for the first four runs  he asked me to get off the throttle at certain points on the race track.   He was trying some new stuff but that also helped me to be always  be sure I knew where I was on the track.  I had been hitting all the points — so Barry was happy.  Then he called me back to drive again this year.  So that set up this very real opportunity for me to actually complete my Top Fuel license.”

“I also have to thank Scotty Wildgust and all the people behind the Stratford Spectacular event,” Paul added.  “They provided the venue and the support so this could happen.”

While Paul’s ultimate future and destination involving Top Fuel is still to be determined — let there be no doubt that his desire to do it combined with his deep racing experience could both be factors.

“Most of the racers I know would like to end up in this class or in a fuel Funny Car,” he continued.  “But the reality is that financially it is out of my grasp right now.  My current sponsors including Meritor & Euclid might be an option if I can keep the ball rolling.  My goal is to progress things from this point and see where it takes me.  I do know that my team and Barry’s team (both family & crew members) mix well so there is some real chemistry there.  I really enjoy working with the crew on the car too — help with the clutch, bottom end of the motor – whatever is necessary.  I want to learn every aspect of the car and be a complete part of the team — that’s what I’ve done all my career and it’s what I like.”

GBM-SS-2- Noakes

Noakes took the vastly improved Paton Racing dragster to a best of 4.07 secs at 297 mph.

While Paul’s next trip down the race track in a Top Fuel car is schedule unknown — he plans to bide his time and complete the 2013 NHRA season behind the wheel of his potent Mustang TAFC.

“I don’t know if 2014 will be the year (for Top Fuel) or not,” he concluded.  “But now that I’ve got my license — that’s a great first step and I’m ready if I get another call.  I am going to keep my fingers crossed and also work at stirring up some interest.”

For more background information on Paul Noakes – visit his official website:  www.noakesracing.com

Posting and Photos by:  Bruce Biegler