After 40 years of owning and operating Saratoga Speedway, the Hargrave family has sold the Black Creek racetrack to Rob and Lee Leighton.
Rob, who owns Leighton Contracting in Courtenay, is no stranger to racing cars. In 1999, he won the bomber car championship title at Saratoga, and the stock car title in 2005.
He and Lee are in discussion with the regional district about building a campground, and a new go-kart track on the site.
The speedway was constructed in 1968. The Oyster River Racing Association operated the track until 1978, when it closed. The Hargraves purchased the site, with plans to build a sawmill, which instead was constructed on the Island Highway. The track was re-opened as Saratoga Speedway in 1981. The first event featured 16 race teams in one division.
Last year, more than 300 teams competed in 22 divisions. Some racers are as young as 10, thanks to the introduction of a young driver’s training program in 2005.
There are tentative plans for a ‘test and tune’ event on the Labour Day weekend in September. Otherwise, the goal is to re-open the track in 2021.