On July 27-28, 2019 the Sports Car Club of British Columbia (SCCBC) will be celebrating 25 years of road racing with the Mission 25 Grand Prix at the Mission Raceway Park’s road course. Racing both days will include sportscars, sedans, open-wheel formula cars and high-performance GT racers.
The feature races of the weekend will be the return of the Northwest Formula Continental series for winged open-wheel formula race cars with competitors from British Columbia, Alberta and the US.
The SCCBC has been organizing road racing events since the early 1950s. First on unused runways at the Abbotsford and Blaine airports and then at Westwood Motorsport Park in Coquitlam, BC, which was built by members in 1959.
For 32 years, the SCCBC operated the only club owned road racing facility in Canada. In 1990, the BC government cancelled the lease and Westwood closed. A golf course and houses now stand on the Coquitlam mountainside and is known as Westwood Plateau. In the fall of 1992, the BC Custom Car Association (BCCCA), who own and operate Mission Raceway Park generously allowed SCCBC to hold a driver training school on the cool down section of the drag strip, the existing return roads and a new paved section called the Cascade Curves, funded by the Cascade Sports Car Club. Those curves are now turns 4 and 5.
The school attracted just under 20 new students and a dozen racers wanting a refresher. The steps from schools to racing required cement barriers, tire walls and more pavement. In 1993, the club negotiated a contract with the BCCCA, held two more driving schools with increasing enrolment and several test and tune days. Funds were raised and with support of the Molson Indy Vancouver, blocks were acquired.
The road course was completed in the spring of 1994 and six successful race weekends were held. Road racing was back in BC and continued to grow. In 2001, the track was extended and the current turns 1 and 2 were added. In 2008, several corners were reconfigured as the facility continued to be improved.
Twenty-five years later, the track has 9 turns, 126 paved paddock spaces, new grandstands and a washroom building. The track now hosts seven race weekends and two driver schools each year, as well as many corporate, club and private track rentals.
The SCCBC works hard to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for racers and fans alike. The seven race weekends are aimed at attracting drivers of all calibres, from novice to professional and cars of all vintages, old and new. Every event is a showcase of past and current racing technology and vehicles, and for motorsport enthusiasts it is not to be missed. Spectator viewing is second to none with a large grandstand at the west end of the paddock overlooking turn 2 and offering a view of 75 percent of the track and a new grandstand in the paddock, allowing a view of the racing pits, turns 7 thru 9 and the front straight, including the start/finish line.
The races run from April to October rain or shine. Visit sccbc.net for the complete racing schedule.
They may look busy, but racers love nothing more than to spend a few minutes with their fans to talk about their cars, their experience and their love for the sport of auto racing. Spectators are encouraged to tour the paddock, view the cars up close and talk to the drivers and crews. There is no charge to wander the paddock area as it is included with the price of admission ($10 a day for adults, $25 a carload and children under 12 are free). Thanks to Mazda Canada, all Mazda owners and passengers also get free admission to all 2019 SCCBC events. Additionally, Parking is free.
Without a doubt, auto racing is one of the most exciting sports ever devised. There is an indescribable, visceral feeling as a jostling crowd of brutishly powerful and highly engineered automobiles thunder by, each one daring the other to step beyond the physical limits that tie them to the asphalt.
Information on racing at the Mission Raceway Park road course, driver training, corner marshalling, safety crew and other rewarding volunteer positions is available on the Sports Car Club of B.C. webpage at sccbc.net. What are you waiting for? Come on out to the races and see what you’ve been missing!