The Sports Car Club of BC (SCCBC) celebrates 25 years of road racing at the Mission 25 Grand Prix taking place Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28 at the Mission Raceway Park road course.
Racing both days will include sports cars, sedans, open wheel formula cars and high performance GT racers.
The feature races of the weekend will be the return of the Northwest Formula Continental series for winged open wheel formula race cars with competitors from B.C., Alberta and the U.S.
The SCCBC has been organizing road racing events since the early 1950s. First on unused runways at the Abbotsford and Blaine airports and then at Westwood Motorsport Park in Coquitlam, which was built by members in 1959.
For 32 years the SCCBC operated the only club owned road racing facility in Canada. In 1990 the B.C. government canceled the lease and Westwood closed, a golf course and houses now stand on the Coquitlam mountainside now known as Westwood Plateau.
In the fall of 1992 the B.C. Custom Car Association (BCCCA), who own and operate Mission Raceway Park, allowed SCCBC to hold a driver training school on the cool down section of the drag strip, the existing return roads and a new paved section called the Cascade Curves, funded by the Cascade Sports Car Club.
The school attracted just under 20 new students and a dozen racers wanting a refresher. The steps from schools to racing required cement barriers, tire walls and more pavement.
In 1993 the club negotiated a contract with the BCCCA, held two more driving schools with increasing enrolment and several test and tune days. Funds were raised and with support of Molson Indy Vancouver, blocks were acquired.
The road course was completed in the spring of 1994 and six successful race weekends were held.
Road racing was back in B.C. and continued to grow. In 2001 the track was extended and more turns were added. In 2008 several corners were reconfigured as the facility continued to be improved.
Twenty five years later the track has nine turns, 126 paved paddock spaces, new grandstands and a washroom building. The track now hosts seven race weekends and two driver schools each year as well as many corporate, club and private track rentals.
The race weekends are aimed at attracting drivers of all calibres, from novice to professional and cars of all vintages, old and new.
The races run from April to October rain or shine. Visit sccbc.net for the complete racing schedule.
Spectators are encouraged to tour the paddock, view the cars up close and talk to the drivers and crews. There is no charge to wander the paddock area as it is included with the price of admission, $10 a day for adults, $25 a carload and children under 12 are free.