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Team History

A Brief History of SilverHorse Racing

SilverHorse Racing #88 Moroso 1997
SilverHorse Racing #88 Daytona 1999

    SilverHorse Racing can trace its roots back to an autocross event in mid-1990. The event, held in Palm Bay, Florida, was team owner Marcello Canitano's first exposure to SCCA racing. At that event, he saw camaraderie that was not evident in other forms of racing he had seen up to that time, and wanted to become a part of this organization. Over the next two years, he learned the basics of car control, setup, and made many inroads to true road racing competition. In the summer of 1992, eager to try his hand at racing on an open race track, he attended the first of two required driver's schools needed to receive his Novice Permit driving a Datsun race car owned by Mark Larsen. Just two short months later, he attended his second school, and was issued his Novice racing license. In the next two years, Marcello would drive for Malabar Exxon, driving their # 67 Datsun 610 in Improved Touring competition. At the end of 1994, it was decided that the next step towards professional road racing would be forming his own team. With a partner from the early days of autocross competition, No Excuses Racing was formed in 1994, and fielded what would become the #88 Mustang in early 1995. Unfortunately, competitive minds rarely can agree on how to achieve the same goal, and the team did not perform on track as initially planned. While renting the car in mid-1997 to a student attending a driver's school, the car was seriously damaged in an accident, and it was left untouched for the remainder of the year.

     Undeterred, Mr. Canitano purchased his partner's share of No Excuses Racing in early 1998. With newfound enthusiasm to make a go of racing, SilverHorse Racing was formed. First, repairs to the #88 were completed, and a fresh paint scheme laid out to reflect the new image. In August of 1998, the team made it's first appearance, at the famed Daytona International Speedway. While not a podium finish, the car did complete the race, and fellow competitors began to notice the new team. In 1999, the team made more races than in the previous three seasons combined, and earned the chance to compete at the SEDIV championships. At that race, the team finished 6th in class, boosting morale among the team members, as well as visibility to others.

     In early 2000, Mr. and Mrs. Canitano welcomed their firstborn son into the world, and SilverHorse Racing was growing as well. But without larger financial investment, it was difficult to keep up the pace of fielding a competitive car throughout an entire season. In the fall of 2000, Arthur Machinery Inc. became the first full-time corporate sponsor of SilverHorse Racing, changing again the picture of the team. Rather than racing only when personal finances allowed, the team now was given the capability to race a complete SARRC season, covering 14 race weekends, and exposure and advertising capabilities continued to grow. Within three races, the second 2001 sponsor, MasterCam CNC Software was brought on board, and the 2001 Season netted a 19th place finish in the season long point chase, in a field of over 100 teams!

     For 2002, SilverHorse Racing's presence became better than ever. With returning sponsor Arthur Machinery, and new sponsors ProForce Integrated Solutions, who replaced the leaving MasterCam dealer, and SuperChips, the team had an excellent season, ranking as high as third in the divisional championship points standings, and finishing 6th in the points championship despite a hard crash at the championship race. Video of the accident has a permanent home in our video section of the website.

     In 2003, the team expanded to the North with driver Don Bailey manning the proven and repaired #88 Mustang, while driver Marcello Canitano took the reigns of the new #93 Coupe, built to American Sedan / GT-O/U specifications. Also, added to our growing list of sponsors was Evolution Motorsport, a suspension design company that really helped with the Mustang's lack of grip in corners. Within 2 races, the new car had already finished in the top 5. With the cost of the new car's construction much higher than anticipated, an abbreviated schedule was run in 2003.

     2004 was a rough year for many in the Southeast, and although the homes, workshop, and equipment of the team were spared the brunt of 4 hurricanes, the racing schedule was turned upside down. Still though, the team managed to put together a string of top-10 finishes, enough to garner an invitation to the SARRC championship race. There, Marcello Canitano drove the #93 Mustang to a sixth place finish, giving the team a tenth place finish in the 2004 points championship.

     For 2005, the team has added a new facet to our ever-growing race team. A brand new 2005 Ford Mustang was purchased from Paradise Ford, and development of new products for the car has begun while we prepare to convert it into our future SEMA show/track car #05. Meanwhile, the team continues to race the track-tested #93 Mustang in the SEDIV Championship series.

     2006 ushered in a new era for SilverHorse Racing. Prior to this, our team purchased everything we needed from suppliers, both for appearance and performance products. Now, we have become the manufacturer, and have taken the lead in bringing a new level of quality and craftsmanship to customers that before had only limited options in the marketplace, all while making everything in the USA. This shift has allowed SilverHorse Racing, LLC to grow quickly into a leader of premium aftermarket products for the Ford Mustang and other vehicles we have raced for so many years. We now arrive at the track in style with our new 32' custom race trailer towed by a Dually truck, and our website has grown exponentially, both with the addition of our new webstore, and with the number of visitors who come to our site on a regular basis to see what's new.

     2007 brought big changes for SHR as we moved to our first real commercial location, shared with friends at Pistol Dynamics in Palm Bay Florida. With our growth making weeds envious, we became a supplier for Saleen, producing parts for their halo model Parnelli Jones and Dan Gurney models. Releasing more new products, we continued our meteoric rise in the aftermarket, and attended SEMA to see what the "big show" was all about, firmly planning for 2008.

     2008 was yet another record year for SilverHorse Racing. Our growth was so explosive that while we enjoyed the company of our friends at Pistol Dynamics, we simply outgrew the facility, and moved into our own facility located in Melbourne Florida. Carl L. and Darcy W. both joined our team, and we added 4 new CNC machines and a late model forklift to the mix to help move raw material and finished product.  We've made a name for ourselves in the automotive aftermarket in just a short period of time.

     2009, while a difficult year for many, turned out to be yet another good year for team SHR.  Dan H. joined our team as lead programmer for our CNC department, and we added yet another 40x20 VMC machine with 12k RPM spindle and 1,000 psi coolant system to the mix to keep up with increased demand.  Producing and developing more new Tru-Billet components, we learned that there are a lot of companies that are all too eager to just copy our work rather than design their own products.  Rather than just let this happen without response, we discontinued products that we felt had been copied by too many competitors and once again upped the ante in the game by releasing new and updated versions of those parts, taking 3-D machining and finishing to a new level in the aftermarket.  Even with these advances, the year was still difficult for everyone, and we were happy to be able to keep our heads above water and all of our staff employed while others were laying off people by the thousands.  We sold our 2005 development car at the 2009 SEMA show as it was nearing the end of development, but have replaced it with a 2010 Mustang that now serves as our development platform.

     For 2010, we dug in our heels and released more new products in a single year than ever before.  Our annual Open House continued to grow in popularity, and our remodeled front offices and displays showcase just some of our capabilities.  With all the equipment needed at the moment in place, we're able to go from CAD file to functional product in less time than ever before, and render everything in the computer world before making even the first test prototype.  We're planning on yet another good year, and we're continuing to grow while others have either had to scale back or completely disappear from the market.

From 2011-13, we continued to manufacture products not only for our retail customers, but also for other big names in the industry (and in other industries) that needed our quality and attention to detail on their components as well, adding to our capabilities with in-house laser engraving, physical engraving, and more machining centers. Unfortunately though, in April of 2013, Ford Motor Company accused us of trademark and trade dress infringement for using photos of our own cars (like the ones on this very page) in an attempt to scare us out of the market that we helped create so that they could flood the market with "officially licensed" copies of our products, made who knows where instead of proudly in the USA. This in itself was not the real problem though, as they went and slandered our name to our dealers throughout the USA, and as well threatened them with legal action for selling our products, resulting in a drastic drop in sales of our products through normal retail channels. This resulted in a 2015 Federal Lawsuit, filed by SilverHorse Racing, against Ford Motor Company for our right to continue to manufacture our products and sell them to you, our customers. Of course, Ford has counter-sued our company and our founder personally, and so it is left up to the courts now to decide who is right in this case. As of 2017, the case is still working its way through the Federal Court system.

     Meanwhile, the simple goal of making products for everyone that we're proud of having on our own vehicles, as well as producing our products 100% in the USA has been the reason that you, our customer, has made us the "name brand" that we have become, and we want to take a moment and thank you for that!

SilverHorse Racing Daytona #88 2001

SilverHorse Racing #93 Daytona 2005