Paul Noakes and Tim Martin team up and ready to do battle in PMRA Pro Modified racing
By:  Tim Miller

 Former Funny Car standout to drive Corvette Pro Modified for 2010 season

 Tim Martin and Paul Noakes have pooled their talent and racing equipment to form a new Pro Modified team which brings a lot to the table in Pro Modified Racing Association competition…..
After racing in the PMRA last season, Martin, of Barrie, Ontario got together with former Alcohol Funny Car driver Paul Noakes of London, Ontario recently and began this alliance which will see Noakes drive the Corvette Pro Modified for the remainder of the PMRA year.
Noakes, who was a top contender in the IHRA Alcohol Funny Car ranks for over 20 years, decided to get into the doorslammer after the IHRA closed the door on the Funny Car class.
Martin has been experiencing back issues, and has been advised not to drive.
“Paul will drive the rest of the season,” Martin stated recently during some Pro Modified competition and shake-down passes at the Grand Bend Motorplex. “He was our first choice. No-one else will be in the car.”
And with a broken engine in the Corvette, Noakes took the engine and drivetrain out of his Funny Car, stuffing the Paul Noakes Racing 526-cubic inch Veney Supercharged Hemi into the G-Force Race Cars built Corvette. A PSI Supercharger sits on the engine, and a Lenco three-speed gets the power to the rear wheels.
Other than one year in 1998 driving a Pro Modified for Bill Denney, Noakes said he was getting comfortable with driving the Sting Ray.
While power between an Alcohol Funny Car and Pro Modified is similar, and they are both short-wheelbase, front-engined cars, a Funny Car has a central driving position while a driver opens a door and gets into drive a Pro Modified like a street car.
“I’m getting used to the driver’s seat,” he said. “It’s nice to be able to see the track,” alluding to the center-placed seat in the Funny Car where the engine and blower inhibit the driver’s view.
“This has worked into an ideal situation,” Noakes went on. “We came to an agreement just 10 days ago. We’ve thrashed every night for a week just to get here. I really have to tip my hat to the crew.”
The team consists of crew chiefs Les Mellows and Len Price, with Brian Noakes, Terry Buffett, Bill Denney, Gina and Brooklyn Noakes, Wayne Martin, Brad Winter, Gerry Gilligan, Rob Middle, Chase and Sheri Martin providing help and support.
The effort is sponsored by Harman Heavy Vehicle Specialist, Castrol Oil, Dr. Brock Rondeau and Northland Dental Centre, The Dungeon Fitness and MMA Club, NGK Spark Plugs, Performance Improvements, Prosigns and Crisp Interiors Plus Inc.
Noakes, who has many racing accolades to his credit in both Canada and the US, had driven the car well enough during the RPM Magazine Family PowerFest & Media Weekend to go up against New York’s Mike Stawicki in the final, but tire shake kept him from the winner’s circle.
Noakes mentioned the PMRA schedule should work out well with his family.
“Although we would run four or five IHRA nationals and did well, we were away a lot. Now I don’t miss the long-distance travel and I’ve got lots of family time. I’m going to enjoy this. My Dad is back with me.”
He also mentioned that he has learned a lot in the driving of a Pro Modified the past couple of weeks, but felt confident the team will be a contender.
“I’ve been on a learning curve and I hope I’m a fast learner,” he said. “We’re going to run all the PMRA events and I want to thank the PMRA for a solid class and working with the teams at the races.”
The Noakes and Martin Racing Team will be just one of many PMRA Pro Modifieds to take to the track this weekend at the Canadian Nitro Nationals July 2-4 at the Cayuga Dragway of Toronto Motorsports Park. The PMRA race will be round two in the race series for 2010.