Eastern Canadian Pro Mod proponents Roth Racing have debuted a very revolutionary new race car aimed directly at the USDRS circuit…
Based out of New Dundee Ontario, this team which includes founder and patriarch Jim Roth, driver Jeff Roth, co-crew chiefs Dave Bankes and Larry Summerfield, did make a much anticipated drag strip debut with their new venture, recently.
Built by Georgia-based race car construction experts Vanishing Point Race Cars, this wild looking and supercharged ’41 Willys is a major step forward for the team which had enjoyed good success racing another model supercharged Willys for about 7 seasons.
“We loved racing our previous race car which was built by LowDown Hot Rods,” confirmed Jeff Roth. “But that car was now a bit past it’s life expectancy for the Pro Mod class. We made the decision to go with a new car later last summer – ordered it in the fall — and took delivery in March. Ever since then it’s been pretty much a non-stop challenge getting it ready.”
“Jim Geese and his guys at Vanishing Point did a great job on it,” Jeff continued. “This is longer wheelbase car and we really like the added dimensions of their company – like the custom body work capabilities which they did for us. That is a service that’s pretty unique direct from a chassis builder.”
The Roth Racing group have also loaded up this Willys with a lot of new tech in the engine and tuning department. They are moving forward with the latest engine program offerings from London’s Atchison Machine (an alcohol burning 526 CID AJ 481X motor) that will deliver power through a 3-speed Lenco and Bruno drive. But for sure the biggest tuning development is the fact this car will be evolving from a mechanical delivery to an EFI fuel management system – which is being overseen by **Robert Zarcone (@Protech Racing Engines).
“Robert is heading up our EFI program,” Jeff added. “He is using all FAST XFI products. For now the plan is to switch back and forth between conventional mechanical and EFI until we work all of the bugs out of the new car. But for sure going forward – EFI will be our future.”
“We are certainly in an iron out period right now,” Jeff continued. “This is a significantly different car but the chassis really responds well and we’re all very excited about it. I can’t wait to make my first runs to the 1/4 mile under full power.”
For the present the team plans to take some baby steps with their new Willys as they chart forward. The majority of their event appearances will be within Eastern Canada’s own Napa/AutoPro Ultimate Showdown Drag Racing Series – with plans to enter all five of those season races.
“Our first commitment is to the USDRS and to educating ourselves how to properly race this new car,” Jeff affirmed. “Then depending on how things progress we might venture out a bit further later in the season. Norwalk’s “Shakedown” in September is certainly on our season radar and if we can get the car running in the 3.7-3.8 secs zone – I’d like to try out a PDRA race too.”
Roth Racing has a close knit and experienced support staff too that includes both family and friends. Jeff’s mom and day (Kim and Jim) and his wife Ashley are all deeply involved as are crew members David Bankes, Larry Summerfield, Mike Jarman and Rob Zarcone.
The team’s important sponsors include Wayco Multi-lift, Oak Grove Cheese, APC, Bright Water Systems and Shellborne Fuels.
During the past off season – the Roth Family did loose their grandfather Tristano Langenegger (who was the founder and owner of Oak Grove Cheese) and thus this 2016 drag racing season is fondly being dedicated to his memory (see photo below).
For more information on the Roth Racing team visit their official website: HERE
**A Project Pioneer! — The EFI application aspect to the Roth Racing Willys is for sure a story that is worth paying attention to for race fans this summer. Rob Zarcone who is at the spearhead for that is navigating through some previously unchartered racing territory.
Rob (who is from Markham ON) has had extensive experience with various other EFI applications – but adapting that tech to a supercharged entry is new for him.
“I’ve had this in mind for Roots and Screw blower cars for a while,” Rob revealed. “But finding someone that could commit to the learning curve and time needed to make it work was a challenge. Versus a more conventional turbocharged program – a supercharged combination has some pretty unique requirements. But Roth Racing wants to do this and I’m up for the challenge. We are doing a lot of flow bench work – building our tune up there first – and then applying it dynamically to the race car. Teams are few and far between in drag racing out there currently doing this (Snyder Motorsports, Jon Salemi and Pro-Line Racing) but we are the first in Canada trying it with a screw blower.”
“But there is no denying that EFI is the future for drag racing,” Rob added. “In the end with this we will be smarter turning the race car and because we can be more accurate – there will be more consistency.”
Post and Photos by Bruce Biegler