Pitt Meadows driver speeds up for the race – Maple Ridge News


A Pitt Meadows race car driver can’t wait to get back on track and take part in a road race next weekend near his home.

The Sports Car Club of BC is gearing up for its next race at Mission Raceway on July 24-25, and wheel-to-wheel action will feature up-and-coming local driver Jason Wesson.

Wesson, 47, has a deep love for racing – in various capacities – but is still considered a relative rookie in the field of racing cars and will be taking part in road racing next weekend with his 1990 Acura, Integra # 217.

READ MORE: 6-year-old drag racer wins race at Mission Raceway Park in very first competition

The daytime transit driver said he “can’t wait to get back to racing in front of family and friends.” Like so many others, he hasn’t been on the track much in recent months due to COVID restrictions.

The SCCBC was able to run races late last summer, when the COVID-19 rules were relaxed at that time, and Wesson had her first race this season in June, although she didn’t was open only to people living in the Greater Vancouver area.

When asked to explain his racing past, Wesson had to go back decades.

“From a young age racing cars are something I always want to do,” but other commitments, opportunities and activities kept him from sitting behind the wheel of a racing car until more. recently.

He made his debut almost four decades ago on the saddle of a BMX bike.

“BMX racing, I don’t think there is any other way to put it that for most of my life it was my life,” Wesson said, noting that he had tried to other sports in his childhood but he had always liked to ride and jump in them. bicycle.

“So when we found out about BMX racing it was just right. I ran from the age of 10 until the age of 28 with only very short periods of absence from sport. In fact, I became the youngest professional runner in Canada at the age of 15 (a record that still stands as they changed the rules after me) and raced at that level, until I retire at 28.

He was the pro of the track and coached on the local Ridge Meadows BMX track for several seasons then returned to the sport as an adult competitor at 38 years old running locally at first then progressing to the provincial and national levels winning my multiple of age division. times and traveled to the world championships in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Even though he has retired from BMX racing again and his children, who also raced BMX at one point but have since moved on to other activities, Wesson said the Ridge Meadows BMX track will be still her second home “and the BMX folks will always be my extended family.

Then he entered the world of motorsport in 2003, but admitted that competition in motorcycle and motorcycle sports circles was relatively short lived. IT only lasted a year and a half.

“Financially, it was not the right time in my life to stay involved,” he explained.

Wesson returned to motorsport in 2010, once he discovered autocross was – at the time – owned by local clubs at the Pitt Meadows Driving Center. Autocross is a timed event in which a car / driver navigates a course made up of cones.

“It’s not a high speed event with speeds usually reaching a maximum of 100 km / h for very short moments as the courses have many changes of direction and speed. It teaches you the limits of your car in a very safe environment, challenging your ability to control your car at the limit of its traction at speeds slower than you are driving on Highway # 1. It’s a great way to dip your toes into the world of motorsport. “

He remained active – intermittently – in autocross until 2018, when he finally competed in high performance driving events at Mission Raceway.

In the fall of 2019, he took the plunge.

“I decided it was time for me to take the plunge to fulfill a lifelong dream of racing cars. My life was at a point where I believed I could compete in car races at the local club level. / from the base, ”he explained.

That’s when Wesson signed up for the Sports Car Club of BC racing driver training and got his novice racing license in March 2020, just in time for the COVID lockdown.

Granted, COVID has restricted shopping, but in search of the silver liner he said it allowed him to buy, repair and revive a racing car that had been parked since 2012. As it gave him the chance to get the car ready, acquire all of his safety gear and to deal with what he calls “off-road requirements” he is now ready and eager to hit the track and race as much as possible .

“Do I have a passion for speed? I would say it’s more that I have a passion for racing, it’s not just about speed, because racing isn’t all about who’s the fastest. Even in a 35 second BMX race, there is a strategy that comes into play. In a 20 minute car race, the car can only give you a certain amount of traction, braking and acceleration at one point. given time, and that changes throughout the race. I’ve always enjoyed controlling and working with cars and motorcycles to explore their limits, ”Wesson told The News.

“In racing you can only control your own performance and will only reach the finish you deserve on any given day by staying on top of your limit, minimizing mistakes when they do occur and keeping a cool head on the moment, “said the athletic man who started BMX racing at the age of 10 and became a BMX expert before retiring a few years ago.

“In racing your competitors are trying to do the same, for lack of a better way to put it, they just move obstacles to what you’re trying to achieve. You can’t control them, they can’t. To control yourself, yet you have the same goal.You are all striving for perfection and generally, on an equal basis, whoever makes the fewest mistakes wins.

He doesn’t mind being called a newcomer.

As for aspirations in the racing world, he said he wanted to have fun and enjoy every possible moment on the track. “Whether it’s while I’m behind the wheel, hanging out with my crew in the pit, or interacting with other wonderful members of the racing community.”

He describes himself as a grassroots runner, running on a low budget locally and hoping to show others that they can do the same.

“While race cars don’t come cheap, they don’t have to be expensive either – if you keep your expectations realistic within the budget you have,” Wesson said, thanking his wife Nikki Potter, friend and boss of the company. team George Kreuzkamp, ​​fellow runners Bonnie and Kevin Wall, and the local running community at large “for the way they welcome new runners to the club”.

Ahead of next weekend’s competition, Wesson said he didn’t care too much about his good place.

“I just want to run a clean race and continue to learn and grow as a racing driver,” he said, noting that results are secondary at this point in his racing career.

“Racing cars are something that I have always dreamed of doing since I was a child and now I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to live that dream. So even though I am a competitive person and that I will do my best, in terms of race results it doesn’t really matter, since I’m not in the stands to wish, but in driving I have already won.

the Sports car club welcomes runners, as well as spectators, back to the track, admission being a donation to the Mission Hospice Society.

RELATED: As Petition Rises To Nearly 8,000, Mission Raceway Park Still Awaits Province Response To Operational Proposal

The action spans two days. Each regional group will have one race on Saturday and two races on Sunday, with vintage vehicles being driven on Sunday only.

Mission Raceway Park has been around for 69 years and has grown over the years as a drag track for road, motorcycle and motocross races, and rental space for private drifting events.

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