Dazzling new “door car” continues trend for Canadian drag racer….

Since first emerging on the Pro Mod class scene back in 2013 – Halton Hill Ontario’s Jacinto (Jay) Santos has a well established reputation for fielding not only very competitive — but also “car show quality” drag racing machines.

During the 2023 season Jay debuted his latest Pro Mod class effort – yet another “top shelf” entry – when he hit the circuits with all new Jerry Bickel-built supercharged 1969 Camaro.

“We have campaigned 4 cars prior to this new car that we have now.” Jay affirmed. “That included 3 different ’69 Camaros all built by G-Force Race Cars and a ’67 Mustang built by Tim McAmis.”

Jay Santos enjoys the Pro Mod class – needless to say!

“A reality now in our category is the majority in competition run Bickel-built cars. For this season we also decided to go with a new motor program – it’s Noonan their 4.9 engine combination. We feel that is a great motor well built and robust and the customer service at Noonan is next to none.”

After assembly, Jay then added another signature design scheme produced by Greg Z to his newest entry.

“I pretty much get him to design all schemes — we work well together and we came up with what we both thought was badass! The wrap for this car was done by Wrap Pro and Gino from Monster Graphics did all the detail lights, moulding and badging.”

Santos revealed overall this car also has more versatility including that he can go either 1/8th or 1/4 mile racing should he choose to.

Jay Santos’ new Bickel-Built Camaro has recorded a 3.68 secs at 204+mph best – so far!


But as impressive as all those plans already are – there is still even more to come for the fast-tracking Canadian team. Santos revealed that yet another car — #6 — will too become reality.

“Jerry Bickel will soon have a 2023 Camaro ready for us and that should be done around the end of the year,” Jay winked. “It will have a Noonan 4.9 motor as well but this car will be for us to run some NHRA 1/4 mile events next year — which is a venture we’re really pumped about!”

Coming for NHRA’s Fuel Tech Pro Mod Series in 2024!

Jay’s impressive and 100% self-funded racing team equation consists of a few key players which have been with him all along during his racing career path.

“My crew chief is Angelo Aceto who also tuner. His work ethic and dedication to this team is second to none and without him I wouldn’t be doing this anymore — simply. — he is the heart of this operation. Joe Roy is our suspension and chassis guy who is also an expert fabricator, and Mike Jarman does all the wiring and helps with trouble shooting on the car. Al Billes has played a big part on our team with all his knowledge and expertise and he also takes care of our motor program. Hutch from Hutch’s Transmissions does all our converters drives and transmissions. Miles Aceto and Andrew Blazic are also crew members and behind the scenes is Gary Rego who also plays a huge part away from the race track.”

Santos Motorsports crew chief – Angelo Aceto

Jay Santos race team is a 100% self-funded operation with his own founded companies Brampton Pallet Inc. and J&M Recycling providing the financial sponsorship.

“I do want to thank all the people back at plant who work extremely hard and keep the place running like it should — when I am not there — which allows me to keep this crazy dream of mine going,” he emphasised. “Also thanks to MJ Tinio for putting up with me through all of this and her support and help at and away from the track.”

Prior to newest entry – Santos had last raced a Ford Mustang GT (2022) preceded by a G-Force-built Yenko Camaro (2017) – both supercharged.

Jay Santos’ life path to the Pro Mod class category of present is a true testament of both serious determination and self preservation that traces back to truly humble beginnings.

He is of very proud Portuguese heritage, born in Sao Miguel Island Azores and didn’t come to Canada until 1969 (age 9).

“I remember it being a tough time for our family when we first came — because we didn’t know a word of English and had very little money. But we stuck together and I started working to help support our family when I was 12. It wasn’t until I was 20 that I actually finally started to keep my own paycheques. But I think all that established a hard work ethic within me which allowed me to stay and thrive in Canada. I now have made it to where I can afford to do what I adore doing which is having a Pro Mod team and owning my own business.”

Posted by Bruce Biegler
Photos by Steve Embling & DragRaceCanada file photos