“It’s just getting on the track to see how you stack up,” said Andrew Dobbie, a Langley resident who discovered a talent for driving very fast in race cars.
Dobbie, who has been dreaming about racing since he was a kid, finally managed to put himself to the test last year when he began racing his Formula Ford.
It was “a bigger learning curve than I thought,” he said.
The methodical Dobbie kept at it, and kept getting better, to the point where he was “within a couple of seconds of the fast guys.”
By the time he finished the season, Dobbie was named “Novice of the Year” by both the Sports Car Club of B.C. and the Confederation of Autosport Car Clubs.
This year, his goal is to win the Formula Ford championship and qualify for the SCCA runoff national championships in California.
His race team is mostly “self-funded” with assistance from his dad and sponsor BRG projects, which has provided the vinyl wraps for his car.
Dobbie said the next “most obvious step” is to advance to cars with “wings,” airfoils that provide downforce and allow faster speeds
This weekend, Dobbie will be racing his #93 Van Diemen Formula Ford at the biggest vintage racing event in Western Canada, the B.C. Historic Motor Races (BCHMR) Aug. 18-19 at the Mission Raceway Park road course.
So will his dad, Ewen, who decided to follow his son onto the track and will be competing as a novice racer in a vintage Porsche.
“It’s a nice father-son thing,” the younger Dobbie said.
“He’s always been a car guy.”
The Mission event will be the 31st running of the British Columbia Historic Motor Races, the annual marquee race weekend organized by the Vintage Racing Club of British Columbia, (BCHMR).
It is billed as Western Canada’s largest vintage race event and a significant one in the Pacific Northwest, with typically 100 vintage and historic racing cars and several thousand spectators.
The BCHMR was first held in 1981 at the famous Westwood track in Coquitlam.
After several years, it moved to its current home at the multi-purpose racing complex at Mission.
For 2018, the BCHMR plans to again feature the Hagerty Formula Festival for open wheel racing cars, combined races for vintage sedans and sports cars and the popular “Ride in a Real Racing Car.”
For a nominal contribution to a local charity, the Mission Hospice Society, fans can go for a ride on the track with a racing driver in one of the day’s cars during the lunch break on each of the two race days.
A 120-car display will be featured in a special spectator area, known as “The Field of Dreams.”
The VRCBC is a non-profit club of enthusiasts that aims to encourage the restoration, racing and exchange of information concerning vintage sports and racing automobiles.
For more information about the big weekend, including sponsorship opportunities, visit www.bchmr.ca.