The North Island’s Schulte Racing Team (SRT) finished a respectable second place in the 2018 Canada West Doorslammers racing series, held at Mission Raceway Park. The Doorslammers is a fast drag class with cars capable of running at least 8.70 seconds in the 1/4 mile. The primary rule is that the cars must have working doors, hence “Doorslammers”. In other words, no dragsters.
SRT campaigns a 1,200 horsepower 2005 Cavalier drag car. The team won the championship in 2017 but was unable to defend their championship this year.
“If you would have told me on July 22 that would be our last race of the season, I would have laughed,” driver Otto Schulte said about the odd season. “But I’m not laughing now. I’m still rather shocked.”
The July 22 race was the fifth out of an eight-race series. The team anticipated three more races to battle for points. At that time they had just relinquished their top spot from race #4, sliding back a few points to the number two spot.
“At that point we knew we had a lot of racing left, so we were gearing up to up our game,” crew chief Leslie explained.
What followed was indeed strange. Race #6 was the biggest race of the season for MRP, the very popular Smoke, Fire & Thunder event. It was rained out totally, a big blow to MRP. The Doorslammers race was consequently also rained out.
Next was Race #7 on Sept. 23. This particular weekend is run by the Canada Motorcycle Drag Racing Association. The CMDRA invites the quick Doorslammers cars to their event in order to lay down rubber for traction. However there had been rain and the weather was cool. Track personnel attempted to prepare the track surface but on Saturday the Doorslammers were having major difficulties getting down the track. Sunday arrived with racers concerned about the track, but mother nature took over again with another rainout.
Finally the last race of the season came on Sept. 29. The day started off with an incident in the pits which required the BC Air Ambulance helicopter service, creating a major delay. That was followed by a computer failure in the tower, causing another long delay. The forecast was for rain coming in the afternoon, so track management decided to go straight into eliminations with no time trials for any of the classes to speed up the program. The Doorslammers held a drivers meeting and a vote to decide what course of action to take. The majority of drivers voted to not race without the time trial. And that quietly ended the anti-climatical season.
“Hey, we are super happy to end up on the podium again,” Otto said. “Rainouts are just a part of racing. However the main bummer is making the expensive six-hour trip across the ferry down to Mission only to return home not having raced. That is why we are really looking forward to a 1/4 mile track being built right here on the island in Campbell River.”
The Vancouver Island Motorsport Association (VIMSA) and the City of Campbell River are looking at building a major motorsport facility at the Campbell River Airport. The City recently held an open house to gather feedback.