As much as anyone, Malcolm Curtis is relieved to see lower prices at Metro Vancouver-area gas pumps.
The BMW 325i he races at Mission Raceway Park is frequently filled with premium-grade fuel, meaning more expensive weekends when gas prices are sky-high, like they were in this region several weeks ago.
“The fuel is one of the biggest expenses, no question,” he said. “We use close to 100 litres in a weekend, so that’s just $200 in gas when prices are as high as they’ve been. The entry fee is almost $300, and tires are about $1,000 for a set, and they last about half a season, so that’s three weekends of racing.”
Such costs come with the fun of racing for Curtis, a South Surrey resident who currently sits first in the Sports Car Club of B.C. Grand Touring Championship.
On the club’s road course in Mission, Curtis and his Redzone Racing team will aim to widen his points lead on fellow Surrey-based driver Tony Pregal in a “Dash for Dads” event this weekend (June 15-16). On Sunday, admission is free for all dads.
Sponsored by Liqui-Moly and Werner’s Auto Klinik, the #67 car driven by Curtis was modified heading into the current season. “We’re running a bigger engine now,” the driver said his quick Beemer, which he stores at a barn in Delta.
Curtis got back into racing about eight years ago.
“I used to do rally races in South Africa, and I immigrated (to Canada) about 25 years ago,” he explained. “I quit (racing) when I had kids and all that – just not enough time. But then I started volunteering as a track officials and in the corners at Mission. It’s all volunteers.”
Racing there “is an absolutely blast,” he added.
“You don’t have to go for therapy after spending a weekend at the racetrack. Our team, there are four of us involved – mainly just three of us. We all go there and camp out at the track, it’s a great weekend.”
Redzone Racing’s web page (redzoneracing.ca) lists racers including Curtis, John Gillespie, Werner Berger and Raymond Torres.
In B.C., the Confederation of Autosport Car Clubs (caccautosport.org) is the governing body of the Sports Car Club and dozens of others across the province, in several disciplines – road racing, ice racing, auto slalom, karting and more.
“In the CACC region, which encompasses all of British Columbia, road racing events are held primarily on the River’s Edge Road Course at Mission Raceway Park in Mission, BC,” the confederation’s website explains. “The legendary Sports Car Club of BC (SCCBC) is the principal host club for the province’s road racing events and has been performing this role since its inauguration in 1951.
A map of the course in Mission is posted at caccautosport.org/race.
The long-established Mission Raceway Park also hosts drag racing events, including a “NHRA Summit ET Racing Series Night Race #2” on Saturday (June 15). Event details are posted at missionraceway.com, or call 604-826-6315.