Thornton Racing poised for Triumphant return in 2011
Four Time Pacific Street Car Association Pro Street Champion Ed Thornton is excited about his 2011 campaign. That is because he sat out most of 2010 to concentrate on his business S U Sand Cars. Near the end of 2010 he was getting restless after watching at all but one of the PSCA regular season races from the grandstands. His crew chief Doug Stewart and car chief Tom Esbri had gone on to assist the Hairston Motorsports team and tuner Shane Tecklenburg was with Scott Oksas’ Payless Water Heaters team. Then in October, Thornton had a chat with his friend and mentor Derrol Hubbard regarding his desire to compete again at the Street Car Super Nationals. With Hubbard’s assistance and with help from a few other friends, Thornton was able to piece his twin turbo ’63 Corvette back together and make the necessary upgrades to compete. Tecklenburg joined the fray after Oksas car was destroyed in a testing mishap and Esbri and Stewart fresh from tuning Hairston to the PSCA Championship announced they were prepared to run with Thornton at SCSN. Suddenly, the “Band” was back together again.
At the SCSN event Team Thornton had some early struggles with their new combination but managed to qualify albeit in the 26th slot. But come Sunday the team pulled together and looked as though they had returned to their Championship form with a first round upset win. Second round saw the team lay down top speed of the event for the shortened 1/8 mile event and another win in round 3 setup a semi final round appearance with eventual winner Rod Burbage. Burbage was there for the taking but the miscues with the new clutch system on Thornton’s car from earlier in the weekend finally took its toll and all Thornton could do against Burbage was watch the win light slip away in clutch dust. All things considered, Thornton and company were very proud of their showing.
“I am really stoked at what we accomplished this weekend,” explained Thornton from the press room at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. “Hopefully we can get some help for 2011 and make a hard run at the championship.”
With their new found enthusiasm the team went on a sponsor hunting campaign looking for partners for a 2011 run at the PSCA Pro Street Championship. The team created a website www.turbovette.com and started both Facebook pages, Youtube pages and Twitter Accounts under the Thornton Racing heading. Finally the team began a blog at www.turbovette.blogspot.com to keep sponsors and fans alike up to speed with their team’s progress. Early on in the process the team was able to secure associate sponsorship from both Accufab Racing and Brandt Racing Enterprises. Injector Dynamics returned as an associate sponsor and East West Engineering came aboard as well. Doug’s Headers agreed to be a part of the 2011 campaign and soon a deal came up with a company named Comp Turbo Technology of San Dimas, California.
Comp Turbo, as the name implies, is a manufacturer of turbochargers for all forms of motor sport. They have been in business since 2007 in their 8000 square foot facility which features an assembly room, quality control room, high speed balancing machine and the CNC equipment required to manufacture turbochargers on site. Comp Turbo is the only company in the industry to offer the “Oil Less” turbocharger technology and they offer turbochargers for applications ranging from 80 Horsepower to over 3500 horsepower. With everything being made in house and engineers working directly with the Thornton Racing team their 2011 partnership couldn’t be better.
“I was really happy after I had a meeting with Joe over at their facility in San Dimas,” said Thornton. “We are getting first class treatment from these guys and they want to use our program as a basis to further develop their product. If all goes to plan, we will be able to give them some exposure into this market and they can give us the power we need to reach our goals of running in the 5 second zone at 250 miles per hour and winning another title.” referring to the PSCA Pro Street Championship.
The beginning of the 2011 season looms on the horizon with the first race set to take place in mid February at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The team continues to search for new and innovative ways to showcase their associates using their race car and team and although they have acquired some additional help they are still seeking opportunities to represent additional partners. With new technology, added support and a renewed sense of focus, the Thornton Racing team appears to be on track to achieve their goal of an unprecedented 5th Pro Street Championship.
“I don’t want to go just to run,” mused Thornton. “I want to look back at 2011 and have no regrets. I want to win.”