Canada’s newest Alcohol Funny Car racing team is planning for more progression forward in 2017….

After getting his feet wet in the class on a couple occasions last season, Lyle Williams (from Strathroy Ontario) is looking for more participation. With his wife and teamate Mary Ann, the former Top Dragster driver has made a number of upgrades to his truly great looking “Shock Therapy” Firebird during the off season. With all that, the Williams’ has some expectations for improved performance percolating.

Mary Ann & Lyle Williams

“During my first year I learned pretty quickly how much difference these cars are to drive compared to my Top Dragster,” Williams admitted.  “Year one was all about getting some seat time and getting used to this type of car. We ran a powerglide in the Funny Car with a milder tuneup while I tried to gain experience.”

With that part of a learning curve now behind him — Lyle has confirmed some major changes to his race car operation this season – the biggest being within the transmission and drive train compartment.

“We did put a PSI supercharger and new fuel system on it so now the car is a legal NHRA TAFC,” Williams continued. “But we’ve also gone a very different route with a 3-speed B&J Transmission with one of the quick drive torque converters. We’re the only team in Canada with that — it’s a duplicate to what Tony Bartone had in his Funny Car. Basically a very fast releasing trans brake (25 milliseconds) instead of a clutch.”

Lyle was quick to point out still however that for 2017 season he will still be a “walk before run” mode. He is going to use the season to continue to gain experience and with that goal will stay racing locally for most of the time. He plans to enter at all three of the scheduled NDRA circuit events to be held at Cayuga Dragway for sure but there is also a possibility of him racing his car during Grand Bend’s Mopar Canadian Nationals in August ( if a deal for the TAFC class for there can be finalized).

This Ontario-based “Shock Therapy” Firebird will utilize and experiment with a pretty unique driveline in 2017.

“We’re not yet at a point where I can consider running any NHRA Divisional stuff,” he added. “That’s maybe on the radar for 2018 but I don’t have plans to go there until I’m fully ready. My focus for now is to get the car into the 5.8’s or so and to do my part to help grow our own Funny Car series here in Ontario.”

Lyle reported too that he has now sold off his Top Dragster chassis to a fellow Canadian racer who plans to run that in the USDRS circuit. He also revealed that the supercharged motor from his Top Dragster was sold to a Northeast US based Pro Mod driver (Rick Hansen) who with his car will likely too be a participant at some USDRS events in Ontario this summer.

Posted by Bruce Biegler