By Amy Fendley
If you build it, they will come.
The Pemberton Stock Car Association is awaiting the go-ahead from the provincial government to begin construction on a three-eighth mile, dirt-track stock car racing oval.
The property the track would be located on is 7 km south of Pemberton in Tisdal, the site of a depleted gravel pit previously operated by the Ministry of Transportation and Highways.
The PSCA was established in August, 1996 as a means for stock car racing residents of Whistler and Pemberton to formally establish themselves in stock car racing society.
Richard Miller founded the association, which finally got an application in March.
"We had about 100 interested residents at our first meeting who go to Lillooet to race," said Miller. "We received another 100 letters from those who couldn’t make the meeting because they were at baseball. There are about 10 local families who have built cars, but it takes two hours to pull a trailer and car 100 kilometres to Lillooet.
"Four of us went to Reno to a race car convention," he said. "We met a lot of people who would be interested in coming to this area from the States to race, which would certainly have economic benefits."
The PSCA has received support from the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, the Ministry of Environment Lands and Parks and the Pemberton Chamber of Commerce for the develop of a local track.
Susan Gimse, chair of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, says many high school students want an alternative recreational activity.
"Students have identified the track as something they’d like to see in Pemberton," said Gimse. "A club was set up to work with students interested, as long as they have a driver’s licence."
The only delays, says Miller, are provincial government delays.
"We’re beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of progress," said Miller. "But whether this will take six months, or a year, I don’t know. We have a lot of potential sponsors, and enough donated materials to build the track, we’re just waiting. People are interested, but we need to get use of the land.
"This is the best spot to have a track, it’s isolated, it’s not on agricultural land and it’s away from residential areas. They’ve depleted the land, it’s not a nice raw piece of land with trees and rivers and spotted owls," he said. "It’s a scrubby old gravel pit."