By Jeff Gard / Total Sports Quinte
Another exciting season of racing is planned at Shannonville Motorsport Park.
With some upgrades to the track complete, it’s time to wave the green flag and get the action underway.
“We did some paving so our competitors are going to be very excited to get out on fresh new asphalt,” said owner John Bondar, a 2021 inductee into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame.
One of the major events at Shannonville this year is the Canadian Superbike Championship series. Round one of the 2023 CSBK schedule runs May 19-21 during the Victoria Day long weekend.
“That is going to bring the top riders from across Canada to our track,” Bondar said. “This is some pretty serious competition with some of the best machines in the country.”
General admission tickets are $40 and are valid for the entire weekend. Parking is also included. VIP tickets for $150 are also available and include Friday general admission as well as Saturday and Sunday access to the Nelson Event Centre, which will have live video of the racing action, lunch, snacks, water, non-alcoholic beverages and two free beer or wine beverages that can be consumed inside the venue.
There are five rounds of competition for the CSBK championship (csbk.ca) with the series concluding its schedule back in Shannonville Sept. 15-17.
“We’re going to book-end their championship, which is going to be really cool,” Bondar said. “These are real serious riders. If you think our local riders are fast, you ain’t seen nothing. These guys are just another notch above.”
There are a number of opportunities to see Shannonville’s local motorcycle action, known as the Super Series, which is the Super Series, from May until September with five weekends of competition. Motorcycle racing school is planned for May 5 for prospective riders to test their skill in organized competition. Unlicensed riders must attend a school before applying for a racing license.
Bondar said the Super Series features five different bike classes from novice to amateur and pro levels.
“Motorcycle racing is incredible here,” he remarked. “The track was built as a motorcycle track so you really get to see these bikes stretch their legs and it’s really something to see.”
Meanwhile, the SMP Cup amateur road racing weekend will be held June 2-4. Spectator tickets are $20 at the gate. There will be a full slate of races, including Formula 1600 and Formula Libre open wheel cars as well as GT 1, GT 2, GT 3, GT 5 and GT 5 sports cars.
Bondar said the sprint races last about 20 to 30 minutes each and the event is “a great opportunity to see some of the cars that you may drive day-to-day on the track in a race prepared condition.”
A unique car racing experience, from Lucky Dog Racing Canada, also comes to Shannonville. In fact one event was already held in April with another scheduled for July. The events feature seven-hour endurance races.
“The way they do that is by having a large team, but also a whole bunch of drivers,” Bondar said. “They’ll stop their car about every hour-and-a-half to two hours to fuel up and change drivers so they can continue to the end of the seven-hour stint.”
Lucky Dog returns to Shannonville July 29-30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Other popular features at Shannonville include Car Lapping Days, Drifting, Track Nights, Motion Monday, Motorcycle Lapping Days, Two-Wheel Tuesday and Shannonville Drags. See shannonville.com for full dates and details for each.
Shannonville Drags is a partnership with RaceWindsor and has events scheduled for June 17-18, July 15-16, Aug. 26-27, Sept. 23-24 and Oct. 7-8. Divisions include Pro, Super Pro, Street, Bike, Sled and Nostalgia with each day consisting of two time-trials followed by eliminations and one buy-back.
“The drag racing action should be fantastic,” Bondar said, noting the great partnership with the promoter and sponsors for Shannonville Drags. Also, the regular monthly drifting program runs one weekend a month until the end of October with drivers able to use either the drift track or drift pad. The program is growing following an exciting 2022 season, which had 40 new drivers turn out in September and 25 more in October.
“There could be some novices all the way up to pro level drifters here and a variety of cars, from just streetcars to pro level cars, which are highly modified with a very unique suspension and engines,” Bondar said. As exciting as the action will be on the track, Bondar is also excited about the future of the Nelson Events Centre, which opened last year. The facility is named after John Nelson, a motorcycle and racing enthusiast, who built the Shannonville Motorsport Park in 1974.
There were a couple of successful events during the inaugural season with more scheduled this year and already a wedding booked in 2024. Bondar hopes the Events Centre, which has a capacity for 150 people and has full amenities, will appeal to anyone looking to host an event, including corporations. He likes the proximity of being located between Montreal and Toronto and close to areas like Prince Edward County.
“We’re very confident we’ll have a lot more bookings in the months to come,” he said.
Also scheduled for this summer is the Kartstars Canada National Championship from Aug. 12-14. Watch for more details as the season progresses.
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