Vancouver Island racing community mourns loss of Westshore Motorsports Park

Vancouver Island racing community mourns loss of Westshore Motorsports Park

Racing enthusiasts across British Columbia will have their final chance to see a car race at Westshore Motorsports Park before it shuts down.

On Saturday, the trophy dash and main event races will include all 12 categories of vehicles in what will be a spectacle for those in attendance.

Jim Steen is an 85-year-old participant who’s been racing at the park since its inception in 1954. He plans to retire after this weekend’s race. The motorsports park will award Steen with a final gesture as a way to acknowledge his dedication to the racetrack.

“They’re going to give me the last lap and that is really special,” said Steen. “I had one of the first laps here and I’m gonna get one of the last laps, I just feel great.”

Steen is among many who’ve been part of the motorsports park for quite some time that are saddened by the track being shut down. Daryl Crocker, the motorsports park’s general manager, says its absence from the community will be felt.

“It’s really heartbreaking that a place like this which is such a massive part of the community is not going to be here after this weekend,” said Crocker.

This final season has drawn in people from all across the province, including one man who’s taken part in every race despite living just outside of Whistler. Kirk Forest, one of the racers this weekend, says although the 600 km trips were gruelling, he wouldn’t take any of it back.

“I would do it every week if I could, I would do it next year, and I would do it the year after,” said Forest. “The people that make this track happen and the people that race here are like family to me.”

As for what will happen with where the motorsports park is currently located, the land nearby will be turned into a film studio with other development planned for the area. However, there are talks about finding another location for the motorsports park in the long-term future.

READ MORE: CHEK Upside: Westshore Motorsports Park preparing for final season

Mohammed HussainMohammed Hussain

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