The closure of Westshore Motorsports Park is leaving not only race cars looking for a new place to burn rubber.
Metchosin Fire Department will need to find another location for its driver training program, with the park permanently closed after the last day of racing this past Saturday (Sept. 17).
The department had used the big parking lot outside the track – not the track itself – for its emergency vehicle operators course, required training for firefighters offered by the Justice Institute of British Columbia.
“We need the big space because the training gets you ready for going fast speeds and taking corners quickly,” said Metchosin Fire Chief Stephanie Dunlop.
Dunlop said they had done the training at the Boundary Bay Airport in Delta in the past, but that it cost more money to do the training on the Mainland and an Island location would be better.
She added Metchosin had hoped to do training before the end of the speedway season, but that may not be possible at this point. Other departments had used the area in the past, although Langford Fire Chief Chris Aubrey said the department hadn’t used the space in a decade.
Other departments have used different spaces. Road Masters Safety Group is a private company that runs driver training courses and has done training for the Highlands, Langford, Colwood and View Royal fire departments. Owner Terry Florin said they ran courses in the parking lot at Camosun College and planned to continue using the space in the future.
The Vancouver Island Safe Speed Association is still looking for new sites to rehouse the Westshore Motorsports Park. Volunteers are gathering this week to dismantle the grandstand and clear the sight as development by Langford Heights continues.