For Jim Piggott of Salmon Arm, drag racing is a chance to push a car he loves as well as his driving skills to the limit.
Piggott, a member of the Detonators Car club from Enderby, raced to victory in the pro bracket at the final race day of the Wine Country Racing Association on Oct. 8.
Competition was stiff — 94 cars showed up to race the 1/8 mile drag strip set up at the Osoyoos airport, 30 of which were in Piggott’s division.
Piggott pulled up to the start line in his 1971 Plymouth Duster which he has owned for 18 years. The Duster has always been a street car until Piggot decided to prepare it for the track last year, fitting it with a ProCharger Supercharger.
Even while idling in his driveway in a rural area of Salmon Arm, the car’s supercharged V8 produces a thunderous noise.
“It feels pretty good. It launches pretty good,” Piggott said about the sensation as the muscle car leaves the starting line.
The type of drag racing Piggot competes in, called bracket racing, is about consistency and skill rather than raw speed and power of the car.
In bracket racing, drivers win not by crossing the finish-line first, but by crossing it as close to a predetermined time as possible, without finishing faster than the time.
“You try to pick a time you can run all day,” Piggott said.
“It makes it so the richest guy with the most powerful car doesn’t win every time.”
Running a consistent 1/8 mile is a difficult skill to master. Piggott’s consistency is especially impressive because his car is fitted with a stick shift while most of his competition are equipped with automatic transmissions.
Bracket racing often comes down to the reaction time of the driver. A perfect launch off the start line is important as fractions of a second at the start can translate to a full car length at the end of the track.
After a long day of racing the pro bracket came down to Piggott’s duster and Mark Sheriff from Sumerland in his Deputy Diesel 2005 Chevrolet pick-up truck.
Piggott won the race and brought home the trophy. He says he will be back on the track when racing starts up again in 2018.