Frank Maiolo’s New Pontiac G5 Set for Debut at Gatornationals
NHRA Super Stock racer Frank Maiolo recently took delivery of a 2010 Pontiac G5 built by B&B Race cars in Hoenwald, Tennessee and its debut is set for the Gatornationals. The car is powered by a small block Chevy 350 built by Tilburg Racing Engines and fits in the NHRA GT/BA class. NHRA created the GT classes to introduce more late model cars into a class that was heavy on classic muscle cars like the Camaro, Mustang and Challenger.
Front wheel drive to rear wheel drive conversions make up the majority of cars competing in the SuperStock GT classes. GT class cars are complex car builds and their are only a few shops that will tackle this type of car.
They typically start from a stripped down front wheel drive street car and undergo a rear wheel drive transformation that includes; an extensive chrome-moly roll cage, drag race tubular front k-member, front strut suspension and a four link rear suspension anchoring huge drag slicks. The factory frame rails are kept intact, but room must be created for a small block or big block V8 and race transmission where an inline 4 cylinder once resided. In building these cars, B&B Race Cars has the process down to a science and has created several welding jigs and build manuals to help speed-up the process.
The late model GM Delta platform’s light weight and aerodynamic profile make them very competitive cars when combined with a well tuned race engine. A driver with big cojones helps them go fast as the short wheelbase can be challenging to drive in certain conditions.
B&B Race Cars built the car in only four months and Maiolo plans to debut the car at the NHRA Gatornationals next month. The burgandy and white “shredded” paint scheme was done in-house by B&B Race Cars paint shop. We anticipate this car will be in the running for the Best Appearing Car award at the Gatornationals.
The G5 features a Select Performance automatic transmission and matching converter. With this combination, the car should run well into the low 9 second zone. The car rolls on a set of Phoenix F/X Racing tires and Weld Racing Rims. Interior updates include a Kirkey seat, Racepack digital dash and Grant steering wheel.
Maiolo has raced in several NHRA Sportsman classes over the years, last year driving a Super Stock Pontiac Grand-Am, he finished 7th in Division 1 Super Stock Points. For 2010, look for the new Pontiac G5 to hit Gainesville and most of the NHRA Northeast Division events.