Don Spencer gives a bit of a smoke show with his 1971 Dodge Challenger RT during a previous Thunder in the Valley drag racing event. ROGER HAGGERTY PHOTO

Drag races will not return to Alberni Valley airport

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District makes final decision

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District has denied an application from the Alberni Valley Drag Racing Association (AVDRA) to hold the annual Thunder in the Valley drag races at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport (AVRA) in 2019.

This comes only two weeks after the drag racing assocation received tentative approval from the ACRD board, pending an agreement with ACRD staff.

READ: Drag races headed back towards Alberni airport for 2019

The final decision was made during an ACRD board meeting on May 8 after “a lengthy review of technical and legal information,” according to a press release. The AVRA is nearing the completion of its $8 million upgrade, and this “difficult decision,” says the ACRD, was made to protect the interests of users and leaseholders at the AVRA and the ongoing capital investment made by the taxpayers.

The ACRD states that the board “understands the importance of this event to the region” and has asked staff to present options for a financial contribution towards the 2019 drag race event.

The board has also directed staff to assist the AVDRA in exploring a feasible, long-term home for the drag races.

The drag racing association has already received approval from the City of Port Alberni to hold the races on Stamp Avenue in 2019.

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