The Schulte Racing Team (SRT) has done it – they won the 2017 Canada West Doorslammer drag racing Championship.
The Black Creek-based racing team had a stellar year, winning half of the points races held at Mission Raceway Park, leaving the competition in the smoke.
But it wasn’t as easy as the results show. Driver Otto Schulte says, “We had our struggles. We had some car issues and, well, I had issues too along the way with less than great driving performance. But at the end of the day, with a bunch of luck, we brought home the gold. Things went our way.”
Crew Chief Leslie Schulte is less guarded. She says, “This is awesome! We did it! A fantastic year. I mean, we won the first three races in a row for a hat trick. How cool is that?”
In fact, the Schultes kept the championship on the Island. In 2016, the Lance Racing Team from Campbell River won the series.
Otto says, “There are a ton of great drag racers on Vancouver Island. Sometimes it seems like the Doorslammers have more Van Isle racers than Lower Mainland, even though it’s in Mission. That is why we are counting on the Vancouver Island Motorsport Association and the City of Campbell River to build a major facility at the Campbell River Airport. We have been told by a number of racing friends that if this facility is built they will sell their high priced homes down there and move to the Island. It would be a big deal. All it would take is a proper track.”
Otto explains that drag racing is a whole lot different than almost anyone realizes. The term conjures up visions of roughnecks speeding on back roads.
“It can’t be farther from the truth. It’s actually called bracket racing and it has nothing to do with the fastest car. Every car ‘dials’ their own number and the slower car gets a handicapped start by exactly the difference in the dials. It’s all about which car can run closest to the dial to the nearest 1,000ths of a second, plus the driver who reacts quicker to the tree. It’s a technical sport won or lost by thousandths of a second. And there are hundreds of thousands of bracket racers across North America. It’s the most popular automobile sport on the planet, yet largely unknown to the public.”
The SRT has been drag racing for 28 years and this marks their 12th team championship, but the first in their new RJ Racecars 1,200 horsepower Cavalier. Otto calls it “the quicker grocery getter.” They bought this car in 2016 and spent last season getting use to the fast 7.40 second quarter mile passes at 180 mph (300 kph).