Saskatoon’s Mike Gonziola takes his show stopping Corvette to victory lane during a rousing “Doorwarz 7” event…

Doorwarz has become the biggest all-door car race in Western Canada, and the seventh edition was successfully completed this past weekend at Mission Raceway Park. With some great sponsors led by Pioneer Auto Group, there was plenty of cash up for grabs, and that attracted good fields in several categories.

The BelAir Power Pro Mods of the Western Drag Racing League were, of course, the headliners. What had started out looking like about 20 cars to be on hand was reduced by several not being able to attend for various reasons, and then further reduced by two when regulars Joe Delehay and Tom Meheden suffered irreparable damage on the test day Thursday. That left 12 cars making a run in qualifying.

Dal Sangha of Surrey made the biggest noise over the five rounds of it. He had long had a turbo small-block Ford under the hood of his orange Mustang, but last year made the switch to a full Pro Mod-spec turbo hemi engine. It has taken a while to get the handle on it, including some good progress at Las Vegas last fall, but he fired a big shot here with a 5.80 that held up as No.1. Actually, on the last qualifier Saturday night, he ran a 5.78, but hit the mph foam box, which, it was decided, tripped the ET light of the driver in the other lane, Kelly Madore, giving him an unlikely 5.89 time slip after his previous best 6.29. Both times were disallowed. Garrett Richards, Mike Gondziola and JR Lazic were all firmly in the fives, too, so it looked like it would be a good fight for the $10,000 winner’s cheque.

Racing his simply stunning nitrous injected C7 – Saskatoon’s Mike Gonziola pocked a cool $10G while winning the Pro Mod portion of Mission Raceway’s “Doorwarz 7” event.

Sangha, Richards and Lazic, driving Dean Bettenson’s “rusty”-looking ’57 Chevy, all received singles in Round One when breakage hit all their opponents, while “Gonzi” served notice with a 5.91, low ET of eliminations, defeating Dan Vogt.

The road to the final for the nitrous Corvette from Saskatoon would pit Gonzi against Lazic in Round 2 and Richards in Round 3, and both those drivers ran 6-flat with semi-slow lights, not enough for the consistent 5.94 and 5.99 passes turned in by the ‘Vette.

On the other side of the ladder, Sangha was dealing with a Mustang that didn’t want to go very straight, and he was fortunate that his opponent in Round 2, Steve Horne, had an even earlier shut-off than he did. He had the bye run in the semis, understandably shutting off early on a loose pass, so Gonzi looked to have the momentum for the final.

Sangha found the handle on the Mustang in the final, though, running a 5.94 at a booming 253 mph, but unfortunately for him, it was initiated with a -.294 red light that happened when the car crept through the beams before launch, and Gonzi’s consistent 5.98 at 240 was the winning run. 

Surrey’s Dal Shanga recorded career best numbers while advancing to the championship round for Pro Mod.

The other most anticipated class at Doorwarz was one which has grown strongly the past few years – Outlaw 10.5. The top five runners here really separated themselves from the rest of the pack, all running at least in the 4.00 second range – and one even quicker. With $1,000 posted by Hard Core 365 for the first racer to run under 4 seconds, the primo conditions late Saturday night for the last qualifying session would probably be the best opportunity for it. And that’s the way it turned out, as Ken Sihota of Langley wheeled his 833-inch nitrous Firebird to a 3.98 / 187 for the Number One slot. Just behind were Nick Duda (4.05), Paja Agatonivic (4.07), Steve Nicholson (4.08) and Jay Syvertsen (4.09). 

In a marquee Canada vs USA finale — Ken Sihota (far lane) defeated Paja Agotonivic for the event’s coveted Outlaw 10.5 title.

In the first round, each of the top five won their races, and two were quicker than Sihota’s 4.12, tightening things right up. In Round 2, Sihota drew the 4.30 car of Kyle Marriott and dispatched him, while the other four would duke it out in two huge races. First, Syvertsen couldn’t fire his blown ’57 Chevy, leaving Duda to spin the tires on the single and shut off. Then, Paja ran a good 4.15 to beat Nicholson’s 4.23.

The semis saw Sihota get another gift, with the bye run, while Paja beat Duda at a consistent 4.14, and the final was set between the two old rivals. It was worth the wait, too, as Sihota gated Paja by .042, and then ran 4.19 beside the nitrous Camaro from Oregon’s 4.16. So the margin of victory was .011, and Ken Sihota took home $6,000.

In BDL Automotive X275 Drag Radial class, the two racers to beat were last year’s finalists, Neil Richards in the “Cream Dream” ’79 Mercury Zephyr from Edmonton, and Daniel Rodrigue’s evil black ’81 Malibu from Yarrow, B.C.  Richards dominated every session, qualifying low at a Canadian record 4.49. After the first round where he shut off early, he had low ET each round, and was the only car over 160 mph, on each full pass. Meanwhile, Rodrique slowed in Round 2, allowing the unheralded No. 8 qualifier Mark Jakab from Kelowna a path to the final. There, his 4.78 / 149 was no match for Richards’ 4.56 / 166, and the $5,000 went to Edmonton in the Zephyr.

Neil Richards in the “Cream Dream” ’79 Mercury Zephyr (from Edmonton) won the X275 class feature.

Other winners included — Grant Howell (Victoria BC) who won in the fiercely competitive local Canada West Doorslammer series racing his popular and bright orange painted ’37 Chevy.  Other weekend titles included Jay Graw (Limited 275) and Darryl Tippe (604 Top Street).   

Grant Howell (Victoria BC) won the latest round within Mission Raceway’s very own Canadian West Doorslammers tradition series.

Dan Provost’s multi-car RAD race team (based from Abbotsford) again flexed it’s muscles locally with a couple of impressive victories.  Dan himself scored in the Top Sportsman category with his Chevy Camaro while his son Darien rolled his dragster to victory in one of two Electronics ET Bracket racing programs.

Dan Provost’s local RAD racing team was impressive – putting two race cars into victory lane last weekend.

Scott Sikora (Electronic Brackets) and Paul Fode and Ross Walker (Non-Electronics Brackets) – also emerged victorious.

Posted by Gerry Frechette 

Photos by Gerry Frechette and Les Puchala 

Link to the LMLCMedia “Doorwarz 7” event photo gallery : HERE