Mother Nature tested the patience of Southern Ontario’s PTRA circuit drag racers with a mixed bag of weather this past Victoria Day long weekend….

But in a show of support for the race organization and the St. Thomas Raceway Park track, racers of the Pro Tree Racing Association stuck it out on Saturday as rain would delay the start of their first event of the season. By mid afternoon the rain ended and track staff worked vigorously to get the track dry and ready to start Saturdays program which they were able to run and complete in a timely manner.

Sunday would get started under sunny skies as racers took advantage of the cooler temps to run some impressive and record setting passes.

PTRA’s East vs West heads up shootout would see a couple of well known street car competitors Paul Silva and Ernie Zambri battle it out for bragging rights and the monster trophy. Zambri would qualify his nitrous powered PSP prepped 86 Mustang in the #1 spot running an impressive 4.93 at 141mph in the 1/8. When the light turned green Zambri would get out first. Silva was slow off the line but made a hard charge as Zambri got out of the groove slowing just enough to let the ProCharged 94 Mustang by, giving Paul Silva the win light with a 5.05 at 144mph to Zambri’s 5.15 at 137mph. Silva’s final round pass of 5.05 at 144 was a St.Thomas Raceway Park record for quickest and fastest pass on drag radials. Congrats to Paul and the whole PSP crew.

Paul Silva would run a SRP drag radial record time of 5.05 at 144mph to take the East vs. West ShootOut.

The PTRA is becoming well known for its endless prizes as well as large payouts which again was the case both Saturday and Sunday. With 20 cars entered in Open Comp on Saturday the payout was $700 to win with that fortunate racer being Dan Pepper who made his way through the rounds with his immaculate 1983 Camaro defeating Jarrod Kolne in the finals.

Other Saturday winners included:

• Pro Comp Winner- Doug Hoffman R/U- Rob Vandermeer

• Trophy Comp Winner- Mark Cooper R/U- Travis Wright

Sundays Results:

• Pro Comp Winner- Rob Vandermeer R/U- John Green

• Open Comp Winner- Bob Heans R/U- Dan Pepper

• Trophy Comp Winner- Nathan Cooper R/U Todd Maitland

• Misener Motorsports Limited Street Winner- Zack Cudizio R/U- Elan Imseis.

In some event side notes : Bob Heans victory in Open Comp was his first career event win in 15 years of racing. On the other end of the spectrum Nathan Cooper entered his first ever race using a loaner car, the Camaro of Jarrod Kolne and ended up claiming victory in Trophy Comp. Congrats to both racers.

The weekends fastest pass belonged to the impressive Top Sportsman Cavalier of Rick Alvaro who off the trailer ran a stout 7.68 at 176mph in the 1/4 mile during testing.

It took 15 years but Bob Heans finally put himself into the winners circle taking Sundays Pro Comp victory.

Be sure to check for event photo highlights.

Post and Photos by: Mark Ackert