By DON SIMPSON
The team at Autodrome Granby has been working hard with local officials to get the famed speedway up and running during the COVID -19 lockdown.
In recent weeks, Dominic Lussier managed to convince government officials to allow the track to hold a day of practice. This practice was strictly controlled and went over very well with all the local racers.
Lussier, who has worked tirelessly for years to keep the track in operation against growing cries from locals to have the track closed, thought that this health crisis lockdown might have been the final blow for this historic track.
This season would be the 35th year under the banner of Autodrome Granby. The track, built by Marcel Guillemette in 1960 and began its operations in 1961, has seen the biggest and brightest stars on dirt race on this historic track.
Drivers like Jack Johnson, Brett Hearn, Pete Bicknell, Pat O’Brien, and J.P. Cabana are just a small fraction of drivers who have passed over this clay at Autodrome Granby.
Dominic Lussier, a man who never gives up, presented officials with his vision that a race could be held safely with no fans.
With the recent event held at Cornwall Motor Speedway, with no fans in the stands, this set a precedent to health officials that such an event could be held in a safe and controlled manner where fans could see the race via live telecast .
I spoke with Charles-Olivier Lampron of Autodrome Granby early this season and he explained, “The season is really up in the air at this point. We’re going day-by-day, doing some minimal work right now to get some of our things ready. We’re going to follow the lead from the government as to when we get the green light or if we get the green light this year. Obviously, we’d love to be able to host some races, but health and safety come first, so it’s in the hands of the government, but we’ll keep ourselves ready.”
The key plan and persistence of Lussier have paid off as government officials have granted the go-ahead for the track to hold its first official race of the 2020 season, with the “COVID Destroyer 50” on Saturday, June 20.
This will be the first race in Quebec for the DIRTcar Modifieds along with the Sportsman Modifieds, which will draw in cars from Quebec and Ontario to this historic event. Also on the schedule will be the Pro-Stocks and Sport Compact. Simultaneously on the small inner track, the Slingshot will also get their 2020 season underway.
The race can be viewed live by visiting the Autodrome Granby website and ordering the live broadcast at a cost of $30. There will also be the possibility to watch the races in the Autodrome Granby parking lot, like the old fashion drive-in, with a limit of 100 cars and tickets will go on sale on June 11, 2020.
Once again, the team at Granby Speedway has come through and fans will once again be treated to a once-in-a-lifetime event with dirt track racing under the lights, with no fans in the stand, like an old-time drive-in. Track spokesman Charles-Olivier Lampron said, “We are very excited to go back racing and to have our racers back. It’s going to be a fun night. We will have a drive-in theater in the parking lot with 100 cars allowed, plus our live feed which can be ordered on our website. Gates will open at 4 and practices will start at 6.”
So mark your calendars, June 20, 2020, will see the return of racing at the historic Autodrome Granby.