By Kevin J Sabo
For the Independent
The adrenaline and exhaust of the Stettler Magnetos Car Club Drag races is coming back to the community, but it will be doing so without the fans.
Like many things that have been affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the drag races, taking place July 18th and 19th, have had to make some changes due to the 200-person limit for outdoor gatherings. The club has made the difficult decision to host the event without spectators.
“Due to AHS recommendations, we would like to limit the amount of people in the space to what they recommend, 200 people,” said Scott Roenspies, one of the event organizers.
“It’s basically races for racers.”
The lack of spectators isn’t going to be the only change seen by the club or the race participants.
Drivers and their pit crew will have to go through a COVID screening once they arrive on site, self-declaring if they have been out of the province or been sick lately.
The screen forms will be held for two weeks after the event, then destroyed.
The information in the forms will only go to Alberta Health Services in the event that an outbreak can be traced back to the event.
Sanitization is going to be big on site, with all event organizers wearing masks and gloves when in close proximity to others.
“There’s going to be lots of sanitization of bathrooms, pens, tables, that kind of thing,” said Roenspies.
“Some volunteers will just be taking care of those things.”
Another departure from years past will be a lack of grandstand and food trucks.
“It’s a bit of an inconvenience,” said Roenspies. “But it keeps us rolling.”
The Stettler Magnetos Car Club has been a long supporter of multiple charities in Stettler over the years. Despite the hit the club has had to its finances due to the pandemic, they are still hoping to donate some money this year.
“We’re not making any money off this,” said Roenspies.
“We are hoping to help donate to some charities this year, but unfortunately we didn’t make any money. We’ll just be digging into our piggy bank to help with those donations.”
The hope is that restrictions will lift enough by 2021 to be able to run the full event, however for the moment Roenspies is focusing on this year.
“Everybody has been locked inside, and we’re hoping to just get out and have have some fun with our cars, and keep everyone safe while doing it,” said Roenspies.