Hail to the Champs — This Weekend

Eastern Canada’s thriving PMRA, Napa Q32 and PBSS circuit will recognize top achievers during their season wind-up function in Burlington Ontario this weekend…

Nail-Biting Pro Mod Chase Won by Montesano

For Vito Montesano, winning the 2011 Pro Modified Racing Association Marydel Homes Championship Point Award Series presented by Magnum Auto Parts, Patio Passport and Global Emissions Systems Inc. was a nail-biter right until the last race in the last event, but the Maple, Ontario-based driver held on to win his first PMRA championship.

And he won the title by a mere margin of only one point.

“This has been a great year,” said the driver of the 1969 Chevy Camaro Pro Modified. “We are very happy,” he continued. “Not only did we win our first PMRA race, we also won the championship. We are just ecstatic.”

2011 PMRA series champion Vito Montesano

In his second year of PMRA competition, Montesano stayed at the top of the points race throughout the six-race season, but it was close as second-place finisher Bruce Boland of Hamilton,Ontario, and third-place Eric Latino of Whitby,Ontario, whittled into Montesano’s lead. When Boland won over Latino in the final of the last race at Cayuga, the points were tallied, and Montesano won over Boland 1534 points to 1533.

Bruce Boland

Qualifying for each race, Montesano put down some killer laps in qualifying number one for race two and race three, posting a meet low ET – top speed of 5.889-second, 245.81-mph in race two, and a 5.909, 245.54 to start on the pole in race three.

He went to the semi-finals in four races, lost in the final to Latino in race two, but took the win over Boland at Grand Bend for race five.

The Cynergy Composites Camaro body sits on a G-Force Race Cars platform and is powered by a ERD (Engine Research & Development) 526-cubic inch Brad Anderson (BAE) Supercharged Hemi utilizing an ERD fuel system and a PSI supercharger. A Lenco three-speed and a Coan Racing torque converter is couple to the engine, and this combination set the record last season for the quickest quarter-mile converter car at 5.88-seconds.

“I have to thank crew chief Carl Spiering for his work and tuning the car,” Montesano said. “I also want to thank Sal Vavala for all his work, as well as the help and support from the rest of my crew, Elisabeth DosSantos, Jon Daniel Montesano, Nino and Minnie.

“They all put in a lot of hard work and it paid off this year.”

Montesano said he plans to return to PMRA competition in 2012.  “We have some things in the works for next year,” he said, not getting into specifics yet.  “The PMRA has been a fantastic series. I’m glad I moved over to it a couple of years ago.” 

Chaos in Quick 32 

The Chaos Racing Team was hoping to finish in the top five in the Quick 32 Sportsman Series presented by NAPA Auto Parts Championship Point Award Series Standings for 2011, but the Top Sportsman entry ran well all year to with the championship.

“This has been a fantastic season,” noted team driver Phil Sampson. “We had started out going for a top five finish, but obviously we went all the way.”

Headed up by Phil and Bud Sampson, the team fields a Jerry Bickel Race Cars 2002 Chevy Cavalier, powered by a 572-cubic inch Reher-Morrison Racing Engines running racing fuel through a large 1200-cfm Holley. Behind the big engine is a Powerglide two-speed from the shops of Hutch’s Transmission.

Napa Q32 points champion - Phil Sampson

The team ran a consist and steady season, qualifying in the upper half of the 16-car fields for most events, and posting times in the low seven-second range with speeds of 185-190 mph.

This year was Sampson’s second in Quick 32 Sportsman Series competition.

The season was highlighted with two event wins. The team started the year on a high note at Cayuga, winning the Top Sportsman side and then beating Top Dragster finalist Jamie Bridge of Napanee, Ontario in the event final. Sampson found himself paired off with finalist Jeff Moser ofBamberg,Ontarioin event five at Grand Bend, and eliminating the Top Dragster driver to win his second event of the year. Sampson also went to the Top Sportsman final in the second event, losing to Darrin Grubb ofPine River,Ontario.

Crew chief is Bud Sampson, while others on the team include Dan, Jessica, Rob, and Scott. Sampson also wanted to that Dale, Brad, and the Coull family for their support this year.

Sponsors for the team include Rycor Countertops, Matco Tools, NAPA Auto Parts London –Oxford Street Eastand Rust Check of London. “I also have to thank Performance Unlimited in London, and Hutch’s Transmissions for their support this year,” Sampson noted.

“We came up with a new game plan for this year from the previous year, and it worked well,” Sampson said “This series is great, and the racers are a good group of guys.”

 Inaugural PBSS Winner

A solid performance has given Randy Hope the Pro Bike & Sled Series Championship Point Award Series Standings for 2011.

Presented by Wiseco Performance Products, the season was the first for the PBSS, which features Pro Bike and Pro Sled racers competing on a Sportsman-style ladder.

Randy Hope (from London) won the inaugural PBSS season chase

“I really enjoyed the Series,” noted the Kawasaki Pro Bike rider. “We’ve needed a series like this for 10 years, and I’m fortunate to be the first guy who wins the championship.”

Noting that consistency was a big part of his team’s success, Hope, who rides for the Lil’ Hope Racing team out of London, qualified for all six PBSS races in 2011. His season was highlighted with overall event wins in the second and fifth races of the year, along with three wins in the Pro Bike division. Unfortunately he broke hisKawasakiafter the fifth race, and being a true racer, tried to race his streetbike in the sixth event, but to no avail. His racing machine would compete in the mid-eight second range, with speeds of 150 to 160 mph down the quarter mile.

Powered by a 1500-cc 8 Plug Head 1978 Kawasaki Z-1R, father Bill Hope, to whom Randy credits with his interest and success in the sport, built the chassis for the Kawasaki. A five-speed automatic transmission is part of the winning combination, as well as a fuel system from Fast by Gast featuring 40-mm Lectrons. 

The senior Hope is also crew chief for the team.

“I have to thank my Dad Bill for everything,” said Hope. I also have a big thank you to my wife Karen along with Taylor and Samantha.”

 Hope mentioned he thinks the PBSS is a good venue for racers such as him, and provides an enjoyable time both on and off the track.   The PBSS provides a good family atmosphere,” he said. The six event format is nice. You can plan your racing around them.”

He also said the interest in the PBSS will continue in the coming seasons.  “There is a camaraderie which is coming together,” he continued. “Not only is it good to see other racers, we’re having fun.”

The Annual “Night of Champions” Championship Point Award Series Banquet for the Pro Modified Racing Association (PMRA), the Quick 32 Sportsman Series and the Pro Bike & Sled Series (PBSS) will be held at the Burlington Hotel & Conference Centre in Burlington, Ontario this Saturday, November 19, 2011.

Posted by:  Tim Miller

Photos by:  Bruce Biegler