Late Season Flurry from Montesano

By:  Tim Miller

Rookie PMRA circuit Camaro driver qualifies #1 during season finale using torque converter combination….
Pro Modified Racing Association driver Vito Montesano (from Maple ON) had a benchmark weekend during the recent Teamsters Union “Thunder by the Beach” event at the Grand Bend Motorplex.
The driver of the 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Pro Modified nailed down the number one qualifying spot with a 5.887-second, 238.53-mph in the large field of cars during the Marydel Homes Qualifying Session.
With his pass, Montesano becomes the second driver in PMRA history to run under six seconds. 
But the Montesano Camaro is equipped with a LencoDrive converter driven transmission in place of the more familiar Clutch with a Lenco three-speed gearbox, and this is the first time a car so-equipped has reached the 5.8 second barrier.
“That’s the fastest we’ve ever gone,” said Montesano about his number one lap. “I could feel it. I knew I was on a good run.”
The car is powered by an ERD (Engine Research & Development) 522-cubic inch hemi with an ERD fuel system and PSI supercharger.
He added the car had run a 5.99 the day before in testing, and the team was ready.
“Kudos to Vito and the crew,” said ERD’s Carl Spiering, who has been working with the team throughout the season doing the tuning. 
“We have worked hard to get this package together, together with Jason at Coan Racing to accomplish some goals, one of which was to qualify number one at a PMRA event.” And also to conquer the 5.80’s with a converter.
Spiering also noted that to all available information, the Montesano number one qualifying pass is the quickest ever for a torque converter car.
“To the best of my knowledge, this is the quickest door-slammer on the planet in the quarter-mile with a torque converter,” he said.
But in the first round at Grand Bend, Montesano was eliminated by opponent Bruce Boland of Hamilton, Ontario in a close side by side race.
“It was a great weekend,” noted Montesano.
Although a rookie in the PMRA, Montesano has raced for more than two decades, and decided to step up to the Pro Modified class this season.
And he said he has already made plans for next season.
“We’re planning on being back,” he said. “The PMRA is a fantastic series, and we’ll be back, bigger, better, and quicker,” adding he is in the process of obtaining a new ERD powerplant along with a new Camaro Pro Modified body from Cynergy Composites.
Montesano also wanted to thank his crew chief Sal Vavala, and fiancé Elisabeth Dos Santos for their support and efforts, along with a special thanks to Carl Spiering and his team at ERD.