Unorthodox Racing = Fan Favorite Status

The sport of drag racing is well known for innovation. Competitors come to battle with cars of all shapes and sizes.  Innisfil Ontario’s Randy LeBlanc is yet another cool example… 

Randy LeBlanc with his unique VW approach to drag racing

Randy LeBlanc with his unique VW approach to drag racing

LeBlanc has been busy mixing it up within Eastern Canada’s Super Pro racing scene driving a very unique 1998 VW Beetle.  His VW, which tips the scales at 2273 lbs is a stock all steel body car that is motivated by an alcohol injected 540 CID Dart big block engine program, and 2-speed powerglide transmission that is fitted into a full chrome moly chassis. The car was originally built by Gibbons Race Cars (Gastonia, NC) and completed in 2005.

“This VW  has never seen a single mile on the road and has never been registered for the road,” revealed LeBlanc.  “It was donated to a school brand new and the body was cut off and the original chassis was used for teaching purposes.”

Randy has run the car to a best time of 8.61 secs at 161+ mph so far.  He made only four passes with a new engine combination last year and is confident that the car is capable of quicker and faster times beginning in 2012.

LeBlanc's VW features some interesting aerodynamics

LeBlanc's VW features some interesting aerodynamics

The car features a unique engine placement which LeBlanc does admit does make the car a bit difficult to work because that engine is located right under the windshield. 
The fan reaction to Randy’s VW has been pretty much over the top wherever he goes to race. 

“People love the car and are always surprised by its overall performance,” he stated.    

LeBlanc’s car did in fact receive some very major exposure last year when it was chosen as one of 12 feature cars out of 500 entries during the Pinks All Out event held in Martin Michigan.

 Each feature car chosen was given a dedicated staging lane for the TV crews to concentrate on footage for the TV show (Pinks All Out Takes).

 “I think that says a lot for the car, style, workmanship, etc. — to be invited to Pinks and then be chosen as a feature car,” Randy added.  

Randy’s fan favorite machine does receive some valued associate sponsorship including Post Production Automation, Trans-Ware Transmissions, Competition Tire Canada and Jet Electrical Mechanical.  Randy is also financially backed and maintains a close racing association with Dennis Walker. the owner and operator of Walkers Plumbing and Heating (Keswick ON) who races a truly unreal Dodge Challenger SRT8 turbo 10.5 tire car. 

To date -- the VW has run 8.60's at 161+ mph.....

To date -- Randy's VW has run 8.60's at 161+ mph.....

LeBlanc plans to continue having a lot of fun with his VW Beetle this coming season with plans to race at select Ontario events in Cayuga and also St. Thomas Dragway.  He did admit however that he would like to also schedule a trip to Grand Bend Motorplex at some point in 2012 and line-up against Canada’s only other VW Beetle – raced and owned by Ken Hebert – for bragging rites.  

Now that sounds both like a challenge (!) and also a potential match-up that would be something for sure local race fans would be eager to see.

Ken Herbert's rival Canadian VW Beetle - could there be a summer showdown in the works?
Ken Herbert’s rival Canadian VW Beetle – could there be a summer showdown in the works?

 (Bruce Biegler Photos)