For the past 15 years, Daryn Cahill has been coming down to what’s now known as Westshore Motorsports Park to race in a series where drivers must balance the need for speed with the need for destruction.
On Saturday (Sept. 10), he was getting his car ready for the Demo Championship Night which is set to be the last-ever demolition event at the track.
“It’s too surreal being here for the last time. It gives us all goosebumps knowing it’s the last time. I think most of the racers here are ready to just send these cars tonight and not bring them home,” said Cahill. “It’s been a good time, we always come prepared and do good.”
Cahill said he and his pit crew, which includes his father Keith Cahill, spend plenty of time ahead of each race to get their car ready.
It’s a ritual which is repeated more times than anyone can count, as the rough and tumble nature of demo racing means the cars never come back into the pits looking the same.
More than a few don’t make it back under their own power, and some are totally destroyed.
While there is undoubtedly honour in totalling a vehicle during a demo event, many of the drivers speaking to Black Press Media in the pits ahead of the action said this race was likely to be a little different given there won’t be another in Greater Victoria for quite some time.
“I’d give my car a 50/50 chance of making it out of here alive tonight. I’m shooting for the championship, so I’ll try and keep it in one piece until the last moment,” said Kyle Cott. “It’s pretty amazing to make it this far in the series, I’ve had one of my best seasons in all my years of racing here.”
Cott said the real challenge from the driver’s seat during races like this is balancing the need to encourage the other racers to crash, while also limiting how much damage you do to your own car in the process.
Of course, some racers live for the destruction without much care for podium finishes.
With the track set to permanently close at the end of the season, there are only a handful of opportunities left.
Sept. 15 will see an open practice from 5 to 8 p.m., with free grandstand admission for all, while the final race weekend runs Sept. 16 and 17 with everything from wing sprint cars to stock cars, dwarf cars, hornets, and even go-karts.
The full details and schedule are available at westshorespeedway.com/schedule with a special feature in this week’s editions of the Goldstream Gazette and Victoria News.