A doorslammer completes a run at Alberni Valley Regional Airport during Thunder in the Valley 2012. The airport will close to air traffic and open to quarter-mile drag racing Saturday morning (Aug. 10

Thunder in the Valley comes to Alberni Aug. 10-11

It's away to the drag races in Port Alberni this weekend, as the airport transforms into a quarter-mile drag strip.

The weather promises to be hot and the cars even hotter as the 13th annual Thunder in the Valley kicks off Friday, Aug. 9 with a show ‘n shine at Harbour Quay and culminates in two days of quarter-mile drag racing at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport.

As happens every year, the racing classes filled quickly and there is a full slate, event spokesperson Darren Willis said.

This year’s race features the largest contingent of doorslammers—about 25, Willis said. Raising the prize money helped boost numbers  in the popular category.

Other classes of cars that run include street cars, mod, pro, super pro, doorslammers and bikes. They will run in that order, Willis said.

This year’s feature car is Alaska-based Derek Snelson’s jet-powered funny car, Warhawk. “That’s likely going to be the fastest thing we’ve ever had run out there,” Willis said.

The car can top out at 483 kilometres per hour (300 miles per hour), and Willis expects the thrust-powered car might reach 435 kph (270 mph) on the quarter-mile strip.

“With the jet car, because it’s all thrust he can run as fast as he normally does,” Willis said.

Some of the past feature cars rely on traction, and with Thunder in the Valley only running once a year—and being used as an airport runway the rest of the time—there isn’t much traction on the track.

Warhawk will run in the late morning on Saturday, after all the classes have run, then again in the late afternoon.

Willis said he hopes Snelson will run a similar schedule on Sunday.

◆ GATES OPEN 8 a.m. for tech; racing starts at 9 a.m.; gates close at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10 and 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11.

◆ TICKETS available at the gate: $20 for adults. Kids 12 and under admitted for free.

◆ SHOW ‘N SHINE Friday, Aug. 9 at Harbour Quay; gates open 4 p.m., show starts at 5 p.m.

◆ MORE INFO at www.thunderav.com

Something new this year that racers will appreciate is the event website: www.thunderav.com. “We’re going to be able to automate the registration process,” Willis said.

Elaine (Mani) Blight has been handling the registrations by hand every year until 2013; now that the system will be automated, Bight is retiring as registrar.

“The automated system will allow (racers) to know how many cars are registered in a class,” and racers will receive immediate confirmation of whether they are registered.

(Registrations open in May and are always full by June. There is always a waiting iist, Willis said.)

After 13 years of holding the drag racing event at the airport, the Alberni Valley Drag Racing Association finally completed its return road.

The 10-foot-by-1200-foot road connects the end of the drag strip with the existing taxiway of the airport, and eliminates the need for racers to return via the dirt.

“A lot of people stepped up and made big contributions for the return road,” Willis said.

Those donating more than $2,000 to the road project included the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, Catalyst Paper, Bowerman Excavating and Holtzman Construction.

TECH TALK…Lordco is the title sponsor for Thunder in the Valley…Casler Ventures created the new website, www.thunderav.com.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

City of Port Alberni ponders future of uptown train station

Developer interest in heritage building prompts discussion on uptown revitalization

Join a food asset mapping focus group in Port Alberni

Learn about food mapping heritage in Port Alberni and Clayoquot Sound

Somass River sockeye fishery estimates cut in half

Local fisheries closed; poor ocean survival a prime suspect

‘Lightning’ hits Sproat Lake for annual regatta

Alberni Valley Regatta Association hosted sixth annual races

Port Alberni track and field athletes excel at BC championships

Pair brings home titles in javelin, hammer throw

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

15-year-old with imitation gun caused ‘dynamic’ scene at Nanaimo mall

No one was harmed in Monday’s incident, say Nanaimo RCMP

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

Most Read