It’s tough to believe the summer is nearly winding up, but things aren’t slowing down at Forestburg’s Area 53 Raceway with a slate of action-packed weekends coming up.
For starters, the weekend of Aug. 21-22 will feature the regular bracket races, plus they will be hosting a nostalgia class as well, explained Corey Kozey, Area 53’s manager.
“We used to be ‘72 and older but I think we went to ‘80 and older just to get some more guys out,” he said. “It’s a separate class, so it runs a 400 pro tree and it’s no electronics – so it’s kind of like an ‘old-school type event’. So we run that class in conjunction with all of the other classes as well,” said Kozey.
“The tech starts at 9 until 10:30 a.m. and then pretty much from 11 until whenever we are done is when the racing starts,” he added.
Kozey said it’s been a full summer of events at Area 53, and the lifting of restrictions in July helped bolster business as well.
“We could always have more cars, but you have to remember there are however many other tracks running and trying to get in as many days as possible as well. There are only so many races to go around,” he said. Still, as mentioned, there have been plenty of goings-on, including the Miles of Mayhem event in July, which included Area 53 as one of the stop-off points on July 8.
“It was good – it went really well,” he said, adding there was a solid turn-out and the weather couldn’t have been better.
Miles Of Mayhem Drag n Drive was a five-day competition where street legal drag race cars ran 1/8 mile time trials every day at four different tracks, while driving on public roads between each track unassisted by support vehicles, travelling over 1,700 km.
It kicked off in Rimbey, then headed to Medicine Hat, then went east to Saskatoon before coming back to the Area 53 Raceway and finally wrapping up back in Rimbey.
And speaking of Miles of Mayhem, there is a ‘Miles of Mayhem No Prep Series Weekend’ coming up in September. No Prep mayhem is described as a series of multiple races at different 1/8 mile race tracks around Western Canada.
The fun event will run at Area 53 Sept. 11-12. According to a release, “Western Canada No Prep Series will be presenting live feeds and videos series of each event and will be aired on our Miles of Mayhem Youtube channel all season long.”
Kozey also expects the Labour Day weekend (Sept. 4-6) to be a busy one as well. As to the season wrap-up, that is set for the weekend of Oct. 2-3 but of course, it’s weather permitting, he said.
Other featured events at Area 53 run Sept. 18-19 as well.
Looking back, Area 53 got its start when a group of local people wanted to utilize an airport that wasn’t being used anymore.
That work was launched about three years ago, and since then it’s been a building up of awareness about the line-up of events that take place at Area 53 each season.
According to the Area 53 website, “The long stretch of pavement that was the Forestburg Airport was just begging to have people race down its runway.
“At least the club thought so. The airport was decommissioned by the Municipality and a twenty-five year lease was signed giving control of the site to the Forestburg Power Sports Association.”
For Kozey, it’s not just about managing Area 53.
“People really like it out here – it’s kind of a family-oriented racetrack where we are all friendly – we work as hard as we can to keep everyone accommodated. It’s a fun atmosphere.”