The Northern Force Awakens in 2016

The Northern Force Awakens in 2016

Written by  Jory Elliott on Saturday, 06 February 2016 09:12

FEBRUARY 5, 2016 - LONDON, ON – 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 made famous in the early versions of the franchise, “May the force be with you.”, 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.

Northern Force Racing

Founded in 1981, when team owners Bob and Gloria Elliott purchased their first Funny Car, the Northern Force name became one of the most popular names in drag racing throughout the 80’s and early 90’s. With Bob at the wheel, and Crew Chief Vince Vanni making the tuning calls, the team led the NHRA national point’s standings during two separate seasons on the strength of several divisional wins. In 1989, driving John Rossitter’s Alcohol Funny Car, Bob set the NHRA world speed record for the class, during an event in Florida, at more than 233 miles per hour. Bob also campaigned one of the most successful Jet Funny Car’s of the 80’s and 90’s, frequently setting the world performance standard for the class and being a part of the quickest and fastest side by side contests in class history. In 1993 Bob qualified his Northern Force Nitro Funny Car in, at the time, the quickest and fastest fields in the history of the sport, including a 15th place qualifying position during the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana that year. Bob Elliott was inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame in 2011.

Since 2010, second generation driver Jory Elliott has been at the controls of the teams race car, garnering two wins over that time, including the IHRA MOPAR Nitro Jam Nationals in 2012, at his home track in Grand Bend, Ontario.

For more information about Northern Force Racing visit

Media Contact: Jory Elliott

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