Calgary

Hot rod drivers say Calgary needs a legal place to race

Some Calgary hot rod enthusiasts are pining for the days when they had a place to legally and safely race their souped-up vehicles without any legal hassles.

'All we want is somewhere to enjoy our passion and hobby'

Codey Knudsen poses with his GMC truck, which he thinks has about 500 horsepower. But in the absence of somewhere legal to race it, he's not sure just how fast it really is. (CBC)

Some Calgary hot rod enthusiasts are pining for the days when they had a place to legally and safely race their souped-up vehicles without any legal hassles.

Calgary police have been trying to put a stop to late-night street racing that's been happening lately in the city's southeast industrial zones.

Calgary's only proper racing track, Race City, shut down eight years ago.

That leaves Codey Knudsen with no place to legally find out just how fast his GMC truck really is.

"We don't have a track so I don't know how fast it actually is — it's about 500 horsepower right now. It's nothing special but it's fun," he said.

Sgt. Brad Norman of the Calgary Police Service says the ongoing crackdown on illegal racing became necessary because drivers have been racing in the city's industrial parks.

Calgary police say they are are cracking down on street racing on city streets late at night. (Canadian Press)

"We're not just out there to hassle these guys. We want to educate them as well and just to deter it. I get it, they spend a lot of money on these cars," he said.

He says that on some nights, hundreds of drivers have been seen showing off in a southeast parking lot.

"I've personally seen that — guys lined up watching them race. They're drifting and coming within metres of hitting these people," he said.

Norman says a local track would curb some of the bad behaviour. Knudsen agrees and says he'd like to see a street shut down for races on a regular basis — until a track comes back to Calgary.

"The nearest designated 1/4 mile tracks are both roughly 2.5 hours away and an 1/8th mile track about 1.5 hours away. So it goes without saying that our options are very limited as to where we can enjoy ourselves," Knudsen said in a Facebook post.

"All we want is somewhere to enjoy our passion and hobby, all we want is to get our Racecity back."

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