The group looking for the West Shore Motorsports Park’s next home is eyeing four options in Greater Victoria and the surrounding region.
Steve Copp, president of the Vancouver Island Safe Speed Association, said one of the sites is fairly close to the existing park in Langford, while another is a 35-minute drive away. The other two are in the Shawinigan Lake area. Each have their perks and drawbacks – some are without water or electrical connections, while others would require rezoning applications which could delay construction.
“Trying to find something right where in the area of Langford is difficult and tough, even though we do have a lot of Langford support, it’s still residential in a lot of cases. So we’ve had to look a little further up to the Malahat.”
A lot is set to be packed into the new site: the familiar oval track will be connected with a road track to create an oval area that would allow for other kinds of racing.
Copp said they are also looking at including tracks for drag racing, go-karting, mud bogging, rock climbing and potentially motorcross biking – as well as building a new home for the Victoria Motorsports Hall of Fame.
“We’re trying to make it a complete area for racing. We can see with the West Shore Motorsport Park, (it’s) been around for 60 some odd years. So we’re trying to find a new home for another 60-plus years.”
Copp said people are calling all the time offering up different potential locations.
The six-member volunteer team is busy assessing those, as well as planning for the end of the current season at the West Shore Motorsports Park.
The hope is the grandstands, tire walls and much of the other equipment at the old site will be able to be salvaged and stored for use on the new site. Organizing a team of volunteers and finding land for storage is the priority for now, Copp said.
“We’re continuing on because a racetrack doesn’t get built overnight, as you can imagine, maybe it’s going to be six months sort of thing. Even if we got it rezoned and okay to start tomorrow, we may or may not have a ready for next season.”