Re: Application to return auto racing to Langley Speedway.
I started going to Langley Speedway as a nine-year-old in 1967, attending until the track closed in 1984 when I was 26. Over the years my stepfather and five uncles drove regularly at the speedway.
My family and I spent a considerable amount of time at the track; I take pride in telling people “I grew up at Langley Speedway.”
I am who I am today because of the environment I was raised in. I am thankful for that opportunity. Such an environment does not exist today anywhere near what it was; that is unfortunate.
I believe the foundation of the racing life style has four pillars of equal value: respect, safety, competition and fun. If I was to add a fifth, it would be generosity. I believe I am living a successful life because, for the most part, I like to keep things in line with these values.
I know many other successful people that have shared a similar experience. They feel the same way and are looking forward to the possibility of having a track again to enjoy and share all the benefits such a facility would bring.
A legacy of the speedway that was closed in 1984 is the strong reputation Langley still has for being extremely friendly to car enthusiasts, and the economic benefits of that well-deserved reputation.
Many local businesses that employ a large number of people exist today because Langley Speedway existed yesterday. It really is that simple.
Langley is a diverse community that is the self-proclaimed “Horse Capital of Canada” but could just as easily proclaim themselves the “Car Enthusiast’s Capital of Canada.”
I remember how threatened the racing community was when the track was sold for the purpose of becoming a park. Even though assurances were given, complete with long-term lease and renewal options, the proverbial “stuff” hit the fan and ultimately, for a variety of debatable reasons the track closed.
I have seen some of the responses to the application for an investigation into the feasibility of returning racing to the facility and I understand the fear. I remember how I felt as a kid when I thought I was going to lose my racing.
I truly believe all issues can be worked through. The racing community’s contributions to the park will actually enhance the experience in a variety of ways for the equestrian people and other park users.
All the motorsports community is asking for is less than two per cent of the park for less than four per cent of the year.
In exchange they will restore the facility to racing and spectator safety standards at no cost to the tax payer and pay a negotiated percentage of sales to Metro Vancouver.
Dan Olson, Maple Ridge