A truck in the Pro class takes off from the starting line during the 2017 Thunder in the Valley event on Stamp Avenue. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)

A truck in the Pro class takes off from the starting line during the 2017 Thunder in the Valley event on Stamp Avenue. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)

Alberni Valley drag racers ask for test-and-tune weekend

Annual drag race won’t take place, but racers want members-only event

Drag racing could be back on Stamp Avenue in Port Alberni this summer. Sort of.

The Alberni Valley Drag Racing Association has received tentative approval to run a test and tune for members only on Sunday, Aug. 8. That would require a road closure from Saturday, Aug. 7 around 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

“We want to run something this year so we can keep our name out there,” AVDRA vice-president Dave Beecroft said Monday. Beecroft appeared in front of Port Alberni City Council via Zoom to ask for the road closure and permission to hold the event.

The event would be a few hours on Sunday, with single cars racing less than one-eighth of a mile down the track that has been established from previous events, he said. There would be no burnouts so no need to lay down any solution on the roadway. Club members would powerwash the roadway when their event is finished so the city won’t have to take on that responsibility, Beecroft added.

“We’re not actually going to race cars, we’re going to have single passes,” he said. The side-by-side racing is what attracts fans. Councillors were concerned the event would attract too many people to the site.

Beecroft said the AVDRA is requesting to race the same weekend as always so they don’t lose that date on the racing circuit. Councillor Ron Corbeil had asked why the association didn’t postpone until after Sept. 7, when it looks like all COVID-19 restrictions might be lifted in B.C.

The AVDRA had been given tentative permission by the city in February 2020 to run their event in August 2020, prior to the novel coronavirus pandemic being declared. They also received tentative permission to move the date to 2021 if public health regulations permitted.

Beecroft said insurance for the test and tune is already in place. The association has some fencing and is prepared to have security in place to discourage people from gathering at the site, depending on public health restrictions on crowds.

Council approved the proposal in principle, and asked Beecroft to prepare a letter with more detail on crowd control and a COVID-19 safety plan to be presented to council at its July 12, 2021 meeting.

“We’re not giving up,” Beecroft said. “We want to keep racing.”

auto racingPort Alberni