Significant Alliance Brews

Two of Canada’s most reputed names in Alcohol Funny Car class racing are aligned  and the future potential could be significant…..

During the recent NHRA national event at Concord NC., London’s Paul Noakes was behind the wheel of Larry Dobbs’ new Firebird TAFC based from Welland, ON.  That unanticipated development may just be the start of something bigger for the two veteran Canadian drag racers.

Paul Noakes

“Larry and I had some conversations a while back about his ride being for sale,” said Paul Noakes. “I do have my own car – but I am also looking to do something different going forward.  We decided to go to this race together to see what would happen.” 

At the conclusion, the North Carolina start did afford Paul Noakes with a number of career firsts.  For the talented and experienced driver, who had IHRA national event wins to his credit, it was in fact the first time he had ever raced at the NHRA national event level, and it was also the first time he had ever driven a “screw-blower” TAFC. 
— And it’s safe to say that Paul was impressive during his debut performance.  Not only did he qualify well #9, he ran by far his career best speed and ET – 5.607 secs at 259.61 mph — which was also the quickest and fastest Dobbs’ new Firebird has run to date.  That quick run was accompanied with a win-light — during round one of competition over Lou Sgro.   Paul did lose out however in round to John Bojec when his car smoked the tires.

But overall the experience and the experiment went well.

“I ran three NHRA divisional races back in 2009 but this was my first time at the NHRA nationals,” Paul continued.  “It was really cool – that’s a wonderful facility and NHRA treated us really well.  There are no bad pit areas ( LOL!).  NHRA is where Larry wants to race and that is his focus and that might be my future as well.”

The team will be venturing together again this coming weekend racing at the NHRA Lucas Oil Divisional Points race at Indianapolis.  Should that be successful too the odds are higher that a more formal alliance between Dobbs and Noakes may come to be.

Paul did confirm that his highly valued sponsor – Harmon Heavy Vehicle Specialists (Kitchener/Waterloo) — is behind the concept of his new joint racing venture 100%.  

Posted by:  Bruce Biegler

(Photos by:  Dave DeAngelis & Bruce Biegler)