The 50th season of auto racing at the Saratoga Speedway track in Black Creek gets underway May 5. Photo by Douglas Waller/Blackwolf Photopro

Saratoga Speedway celebrates its 50th opening night of racing May 5

In 1968 the central Vancouver Island communities and business came together to build a 3/8’s mile (2/3’s of a kilometer) race track.

Since 1980, that track has operated as Saratoga Speedway and this year, the racing community is celebrating its 50th anniversary in that location.

Saratoga Speedway is the largest outdoor seating venue on the Central Island, accommodating 2,800 spectators. It has one of the highest participation of car drivers in British Columbia with more than 200 car and drivers competing in 2017. Saratoga is the only speedway to offer racing education for youngsters aged 11 years and older – 36 kids raced last year that were not old enough to obtain a driver’s licence.

With a mission statement of “Speed Where It Belongs” and “Family Entertainment” with real family values, Saratoga has blossomed into a great facility located between Campbell River and Courtenay in Black Creek.

The first race of the season will be featured on May 5. Gates open at 5 p.m. and racing action starts at 7 p.m., featuring Hornet cars, a four cylinder entry division, by far the largest class, Road Runners, an eight cylinder car, and the new Mad Max extreme racing, where rubbing is racing and it is encouraged. Then there’s the perennial crowd favourite, Crash to Pass cars. Just like it sounds, if you want to pass a car, you have to hit it first.

More information can be found on the website, saratogaracing.ca.