A very prominent Canadian racer is taking things to the next level both on and off the race track….

Ontario’s Eric Latino, who has steadily and surely risen his reputation within Pro Modified class racing since first coming on that scene in 2010 — may very well be poised to hit things out of the park — this coming season.

Eric Latino

Not only has the talented Whitby-based businessman and driver debuted an all new race car this season, he has also announced plans for a very much higher profile corporate involvement with his drag racing endeavours.

During the recent NHRA Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals held at Gainesville, Latino entered his all new GESI 1969 Chevy Camaro car for competition for the very first time and managed to qualify for what was the quickest assembly of Pro Mod cars so far — for our particular planet.

That swift performance (a 5.753 secs qualifier) came despite the fact Eric was really only cutting his teeth with his new race car.   He had entered the Gainesville race after only some limited testing the previous weekend.

“My first full pulls in the new car came at Gainesville,” Eric confirmed. “This is a brand new car that we ordered from Tim McAmis and took delivery late last summer.  This is an “ultra” ultra-light weight car that we have spared no expense with.  It has titanium parts literally everywhere.  In fact — with me in the car it still scales at just under 2500 lbs.  That offers us a chance to move around 120 lbs where we need to (and stay at legal weight) — and that’s a nice option to have.”

Eric confirms he is particularly impressed by the quality and overall finish of his Tim McAmis-build.

Eric Latino’s impressive looking and built new GESI Camaro Pro Mod — came out of the season gate recently at NHRA Gainesville.

“Tim’s workmanship is simply outstanding,” he continued.  “It just has that extra nice something everywhere you look. And down track the car feels really smooth and confident.”

With the new race car configuration however, Latino is also facing a bit of an evolution with regards to his driving style.

“Up to this point in my career I’ve raced nothing but clutch cars,” he revealed.  “But this car is built for both a clutch or for a torque converter option.  Right now we have a converter in it and that’s been a challenge to learn — I still have a ways to go.”

Latino’s new Camaro features the very latest “tech” from expert race car builder – Tim McAmis

Eric also confirms that Canadian drag racing guru Al Billes (CDHOF member) will be playing even more of a prominent role within his race team this coming season.   Billes, who with his own race car and with driver Tommy D’Aprile at the helm, prevailed to win the PDRA’s Pro Boost class championship last year, will be a guiding light with Latino’s planned full season NHRA national event effort.

“Al is about as good as you can possibility get for a torque converter car,” Eric emphasized.  “He will have full control for all the tuning decisions.  With Al and with all my talented guys coming back (including key players Paulo D’Alimonte – Team Manager and Peter Olin – Car Chief) — I’m very optimistic.”

Very key roles are played at GESI Racing by Paulo D’Alimonte – Team Manager (right) and Peter Olin – Car Chief.

But while all those new bells and whistles within the team’s pit area may initially grab headlines — Latino’s business side to racing will this year also feature an equally impressive expansion.

Eric is the President of Global Emissions Systems Inc., which has expanded exponentially and impressively in recent times.  

“Up to this point – I’ve alway drawn a line between my business and my racing,” he admitted.  “But we’ve grown to the point that we are now making emission controls for so many companies, it’s amazing.  In fact 80% of all the exhaust manufacturing done in North America — we make converters.  So the time came to create a team for marketing and exposure — and so we’ve done that.  GESI’s G-Sport Emissions Systems, has a full line of emission controls for performance cars and now we are introducing a new line for heavy duty “Class A” trucks.   We offer extensive replacement options for both.”

And directly because of that business success, Eric himself will be concentrating on a bit of a different role come race days going forward.  Instead of being a very hands on team member like in the past — his priority will be (between those 5.7 secs runs down the quarter mile!) interacting with corporate guests and customers.

“At all of the NHRA races — we will be using our car within our marketing campaign,” he affirmed.  “This is going to be a new level of consciousness for our team — all part of a bigger strategy for us moving forward.”

Eric Latino was also quick to cite the continuing support of his other valued partners who continue this journey with him, including Quality Plus Compressors, Northstar Battery and Kook’s Headers.

For more information on Global Emissions Systems Inc. – click:  HERE

Post by Bruce Biegler 

Photos by Bruce Biegler & Dave DeAngelis