THE NORTHERN FORCE AWAKENS
The year 2016 was a record breaking one for the Star Wars franchise and its latest edition, The Force Awakens. The Northern Force drag racing team, which gained its namesake from the quote “May the force be with you.”, made famous in the early versions of the franchise, hopes to draw on some of the latest installments good fortune and have an awakening of its own as it eyes the upcoming race season.
"A lot of people don’t know that the name of the team came from the height of the original Star Wars craze,” mentioned team driver Jory Elliott. “My dad’s partner with the first Funny Car, Vince Vanni, wanted to capitalize on the success the movie franchise was experiencing at the time, and thanks to a suggestion by my mom, they ultimately landed on Northern Force as the name, which proved to be a really strong marketing play for years to come, even after the Star Wars buzz had worn off.”
The team is looking to rebound after a very challenging 2015 season. “We suffered through a tough 2015 with mechanical gremlins limiting our season to a July fourth conclusion, at which point we only had one round of racing under our belts,” noted Elliott. And while there’s no doubt that was a tough season, the team comes into 2016 with a fresh perspective on the nature of the beast that is motorsports competition. “If last season taught us anything it was that we have to enjoy the good times when they’re good, which we’ve had plenty of, and that we can persevere in the face of adversity,” concluded Elliott.
The team, although not having a definitive schedule mapped out at this point, is armed with a strong engine program from Engine Research and Development (ERD), based in their home province of Ontario. “We’ve always hoped to find an engine builder close to home that could give us the power and reliability that we need out of our engine program,” stated team owner Bob Elliott. “We definitely saw the horsepower numbers on the dyno this offseason that should translate to strong performance on the track, and we are confident the reliability that we’re looking for will follow.”
Just as the force has awoken in a big way for the Star Wars movie franchise, expect big things from the Northern Force team in 2016 both on and off the track.