By Cole Parkinson
The smell of burnt rubber will once again be noticeable come September as the Street Wheelers Car Club will be bringing back their “Race Warz” event to the Vauxhall Airport.
After a successful first go last September, a delegation from the club was present at the M.D.’s regular meeting on Feb. 26 to request usage of the Vauxhall airstrip for the event in 2018. The club, which was formed in 1976, has a rich history of hosting car events throughout southern Alberta, with Race Warz being their latest.
“Along with the large three day weekend in Lethbridge, the club also hosts Drag Racing Days in Medicine Hat and Fort McLeod. The past three years we have hosted drag racing events at different airstrips in southern Alberta. The premise of the event is a grass roots, heads-up style of drag racing. In 2017, with the approval of M.D. council, we held an event called ‘Race Warz’ which pays homage to the name of the race in The Fast and the Furious,” said Dean Parker, treasurer for the club. “We held it at the Vauxhall airstrip and it was a great success. We had 60 cars come out to race and we had 150 spectators come out to watch.”
One of the bigger concerns with holding the event at the Vauxhall Airport last year was the damage the cars would create on the tarmac.
Upon inspection after the races, there was very little done to the airstrip.
“While in the planning stages of last year’s event, there was some concerns on how the runway surface would hold up. After the event we inspected the airstrip and confirmed with Jeremy Wickson (M.D. director of public works) that there was minimal impact to the runway surface,” added Parker.
Another positive for the club was the attendance of both drivers and spectators.
Usually with these types of events, the club breaks even with costs but the Vauxhall races were a different story.
“In the past when we’ve run this event, it usually just breaks even, the cost of putting it on. This last year we actually made some money so we were able to donate to the Vauxhall Fire Department and we also donated to the Vauxhall Food Bank,” said Parker.
“The goal of the event isn’t necessarily to make money, it’s to have fun and get some of our drag racing buddies out.”
For the event the club provides all necessary equipment as well as volunteers for the whole day.
Some feedback they got from spectators last year was they wanted bleachers so the club has already done some digging to bring in seating for fans.
“We also contacted the Vauxhall Agriculture Society for the use of their bleachers and they’ve approved for us to use them for a fee, we just have to move them,” said Parker, who also added the rental fee was a reasonable cost.
M.D. council unanimously approved the request for the event to take place again this year.
This year’s edition of Race Warz will happen on September 22.