Million-dollar car hitting the track

JF Launier is putting his 1964 Buick Riviera (Revision) to the test at the Richter Pass Motorplex

Million-dollar car hitting the track

Drag racing fans will get the chance to see what a million-dollar car can do at the Richter Pass Motorplex in Osoyoos Sept.28.

JF Launier is putting his customized 1964 Buick Riviera, called Revision, that won the coveted Ridler Award at the 2014 Meguiar’s Detroit Autorama, to the test during the Wine Country Racing Association (WCRA) Rumble in the Valley.

A week away from the race, Launier admits its not the smartest thing to do because he doesn’t want to crash it. Launier is not sure how fast the car will go, but the 6.2 litre, V-8 engine has more than 850 horse power.

“It’s got way more horse power than it needs,” said Launier, who does drive it casually. “It also makes it quite dangerous.”

Launier said he’s not going to go out there and “beat the balls off of it right away,” but he plans to work progressively at trying to make the car go faster.

“It’s more to see a car of that calibre perform and do what it was meant to do,” said Launier, who owns JF Kustoms in Osoyoos. “It’s still something I’m excited about.”

The Osoyoos resident is doing it to give back to the Coachmasters Club of the South Okanagan, which helped him finish the car.

“Hopefully we can get a big spectator count,” said Launier, who is giving away free Hot Wheels cars to every kid who comes through the gate. “It’s something, if it was done in the States, there would probably be 20,000 spectators. They would want to see that event unfold.”

Launier has 200 toy cars ready to give away. If more come, he will make sure they are taken care of.

“We want to entice a bunch of kids to come out and enjoy the hobby, become future enthusiasts,” he added.

“Rarely, if ever, does a car-lover have an opportunity to see a Ridler-winning car be driven, much less raced on a drag track,” said Chip Sabyan, a member of the WCRA in a press release.

Launier joins a group of WCRA racing enthusiasts as finishing touches are put on the fifth annual challenge.

“Fans will be delighted to see beautiful vehicles from car clubs throughout the Okanagan Valley, settling their grudges on the drag track,” said Sabyan.

The drag racing takes place at the Richter Pass Motorplex with gates opening at 9 a.m. Racing begins at 11 a.m. with the final elimination rounds beginning at 1 p.m. Admission is $10, free for those 12 and under.

Any drivers interested in racing their own vehicles must come early to register and pass through safety inspection. For more information, check out www.winecountryracing.ca or call 250-498-6443.