AND THEY’RE OFF!!
xBy Terry Waterfield
Now that spring has arrived, it’s time for Atlantic Auto’s annual preview of what you can look forward to as the motor racing season gets into high gear. Traditionally, the majority of Atlantic Canada’s tracks open for racing in mid-May and run to mid-September, although there are a few who extend the season by starting earlier and running as late as mid-October.
Most of the tracks operate on a weekly basis, with local classes running in separate championships, while throwing in several special events, featuring touring series, or special events, including longer than normal races for their weekly series.
The region’s premiere touring series, the CARQUEST Maritime Pro Stock Tour, runs an eleven-event series in all three Maritime Provinces, appearing at Scotia Speedworld outside Halifax three times, including the season opener May 26 and the season finale September 8, a 200-lap event that often decides the overall points championship. The May 26 event, as well as a race July 7, covers 100 laps.
All other races in the schedule are 100 laps in length, with three dates at Riverside Speedway at James River, NS, June 9, August 4 and 18; two trips to New Brunswick International Speedway, Geary, NB, June 16 and July 28; two at Raceway Park, Oyster Bed Bridge, PEI, Jun. 30 and Aug. 18 and one visit to Prince Edward Island’s Centre for Speed at Shediac, July 14.
The New England based Pro All Stars Series, also running in pro stock class, and a popular visitor to the area for several years, especially at Scotia Speedworld, where the series has been presenting two races per summer since its inception in 2001, has expanded its schedule in Atlantic Canada to four races.
That schedule includes the two annual visits to Scotia Speedworld, for the Forbes Chev Olds 200 on June 23 and the Atlantic CAT 250 Aug. 10-11, plus an early visit to New Brunswick international Speedway for a 150-lap event May 19, and the PASS Riverside 250 at Riverside Speedway July 21, the second straight year the tour has visited the renewed track near Antigonish, NS.
Here’s a quick look at what you can expect at the area’s auto racing facilities this summer:
Scotia Speedworld runs their Budweiser Weekly Racing Series on Friday nights, from June 1 to September 14, with races in five divisions, Sportsman, Hobby Stock, Legends, the entry-level Thunder and Lightening Division, and the Bandolero Division, a new class, started last season, designed for drivers eight to 16-years old. SSW also runs a number of special events, including three CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour events and two Pro All Star Series races.
Riverside Speedway, James River, NS. Completely refurbished last year, including a newly paved track and new grandstands, will home five special events this summer, including three CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour weekends, on June 9, August 4 and 18, a Pro All Star Series event July 21 and a visit by the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series September 14, 15. Riverside has also announced a Sportsman Super Series which will race as part of the five special events mentioned above.
Island Speedway, Sydney, NS runs three classes, Street, Thunder and Lightening Bugs and have added two new classes for 2007, a truck class and 6-cylinder class. The 2007 schedule wasn’t available at press time, but the track usually runs on Sundays from late May till the end of June and from late August till late September, switching to Saturday nights in August.
Lake Doucette Motor Speedway, Lake Doucette, NS runs Sundays, beginning at noon, from June 3 to Oct. 14 in Stock and Modified classes.
In addition, the Nova Scotia Drag Racers Association operates a drag racing facility at the South Shore Regional Airport, known as the Greenfield Dragway, on NS Highway 8, not too far from Liverpool, NS. Events are run on the facilities 3,937 foot runway, which is shut down for drag racing events.
Greenfield Dragway runs five events, one per month during the summer, with 2007 races scheduled for May 26-27, June 16-17, July 7-8, August 18-19 and September 22-23.Nova Scotia has the Atlantic Provinces only road course, the 2.5 km, 11-turn Atlantic Motorsport Park near Shubenacadie, NS, which runs sedan and open wheel formula racing classes, as well a full motorcycle racing schedule. Car races in 2007 will be run on May 27, June 24, July 15, Aug. 27 and Sept. 23.
New Brunswick boasts five paved ovals, plus one drag strip.
New Brunswick International Speedway runs from May 19 to September 22, with local classes, mainly on Saturday nights, including Street Stock and Sportsman divisions, plus a number of special events. Special events at NBIS include a visit by the Pro All Stars Series to open the season May 19, two CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour events, June 16 and July 28, a two-race “Best of the Best” Pro Stock series, with the Coast Tire 100 June 2 and Irving Max 100 June 23, plus the Firecracker 150 August 11, part of a NBIS/Riverglade home and home series.
Riverglade Speedway at Riverglade, NB (photo above) runs races Sundays from May 20 to Sept. 30, with competition in Sunday Drivers, Warriors, Street Stock and Sportsman classes. The track also hosts Legends Tour events and the first race of the Firecracker Challenge, the Liteco 100 on July 1
Miramichi City Speedway, Miramichi, NB. At press time Miramichi City Speedway was still working on its final schedule, but has scheduled races of seven Saturday nights, June 16 and 23, July 14 and 21, August 11 and 25 and September 8. The track runs racing in four-cylinder, dukes and legends divisions. The facility also operates a drag strip, but the 2007 schedule wasn’t available at press time.
Blue Mountain Speedway, Big River, NB (south of Bathurst) Again, the 2007 schedule for this track was not available at press time. Last season they ran races in four-cylinder, mini stock and sportsman classes, running from June to September, on Sunday afternoons.
Centre for Speed, Shediac, NB. Centre for Speed features the longest schedule for Maritime tracks, running from mid-May until mid-October. The track begins the schedule on Sunday afternoons, moving to Saturday nights at the end of June. Centre for Speed has scheduled as a long list of special events in addition to their local classes, including Super Series for Sportsman and Late Model classes and a round of the CARQUEST Maritime Pro Stock Tour, July 14.
Centre for Speed closes out the season with their ever growing and popular “Atlantic Speedweeks” September 24 to Oct. 14, which includes the Super Series “Finale 25” featuring 125 lap Late Model and Sportsman races, and the “Atlantic Championships” Oct. 5 to 8, which includes 250-lap Pro Stock/Late Model Stock, 100-lap Sportsman, 100-lap Street Stock and 50-lap Mini Stock Atlantic Championships.
Raceway Park at Oyster Bridge, PEI is the only racing facility on Prince Edward Island and features both a paved oval and a paved drag strip. Stock Car divisions include Hobby, Street Stock Modified and Four-cylinder classes. The drag strip offers competitions in Super Pro, Pro, Street and Bike divisions. The track has yet to publish its 2007 schedule, but normally operates weekly races in all classes. In addition, Raceway Park will host two rounds of the CARQUEST Maritime Pro Stock Tour, on June 30 and Aug. 25.
This is a condensed schedule for the tracks mentioned, and Auto Atlantic suggests you contact your local track for complete and updated schedules.
Also, you can find links for most of the tracks mentioned at the Auto Atlantic racing site here. Terry Waterfield can be reached here.
Targa Newfoundland includes hybrid cars in 2007 rally
The Targa Newfoundland international road rally will break ground with the introduction of a competitive class for hybrid vehicles in the 2007 edition, the organizers have announced. The new class will make Targa among the very first organized motorsports events in North America to offer a class for gasoline/electric hybrid vehicles.
The class will be for new models from existing manufacturers and will be part of the Targa competition. The rules will be based on the existing Modern Division regulations for “standard specification” vehicles. In addition to the safety and other regulations that govern the Modern Division, the rules for the new hybrid class will restrict modifications that might otherwise compromise the vehicle’s fuel economy.
“Hybrid vehicles have always been welcome in the Grand Touring competition, but now we have expanded the invitation to include the Targa competition,” says rally organizer Robert Giannou. “In the future, we’re prepared to look at classes for conventional cars converted to hybrid operation, at alternate fuel vehicles and other technological evolutions.
We see this as a great platform for manufacturers, for university engineering schools, or anyone interested in using Targa to explore new technologies. We don’t expect a flood of entries the first year, but we do expect this class to grow and be an important part of our appeal.”
The sixth annual Targa Newfoundland will run September 8 to 15, 2007, starting and ending in St. John’s and covering more than 2,000 km of public roads, including more than 400 km of closed-road, flat-out Targa stages.
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