April 7, CanadianRacer.com visited the Canadian Motorsports Expo
in Toronto. At the show I had a chance to talk to Eugene Croken
who was manning the Cayuga Speedway Park booth. I took the opportunity
to find out what was happening at the track.
Readers of this site will remember this
article from last summer when the new Cayuga owners held a press
conference to announce their plans for the track. Since that time,
the management of Cayuga have been seeking feedback from fans and
drivers for their thoughts on the future of Cayuga. This feedback
has been instrumental in forming the future plans for the Speedway.
Firstly, the overwhelming message from fans and drivers was not
to change the character of the track itself. This means there will
no major changes to the length, width or banking of the speedway.
Cayuga will remain a 5/8 mile oval for a long time to come. This
length is a good balance to allow the widest variety of racing series
to compete. It can accommodate local classes such as Thunder Cars,
Legends and Vintage Mods but still be a good size for Super Modifieds
and everything in between.
This doesn't mean that Cayuga will stay stagnant though. Plans are
on the drawing board that will implemented over the next ten years
or so. The huge, all-at-once plans have been modified and changes
will be made in phases. This is a better approach for the fans because
there would not have been a 2007 season under the original plans.
The immediate plans for 2007 include a rodeo arena, a motocross
track and an off-road racing track. The request to build these facilities
has been submitted to the town council for approval. The rodeo arena
is slated for the area beyond turn 4 of the oval. The motocross
and off-road tracks are being built at the north-east corner of
Farther in the future will be a road course incorporating a drag
strip. The road course will be a multi-config layout with the largest
track configuration being 2.5 - 3.0 miles in length. The timeline
for the road course / drag strip is approximately 2009-10. It will
be located on the east side of the property, just behind turn 4
and the back straight of the oval.
Future plans also include a go-kart track and ATV / snowmobile trails.
A pool is being added to the camping area.
Plans are in place for grandstands that will surround the track
from the back straight, through turns 3-4 and connecting to the
existing grandstand. Total capacity in the future will be 80,000.
Turns 1-2 will be have a muti-tiered structure called the Convention
Centre. Once all this is in place, it will necissitate the building
of a bridge to access the infield.
One of the most interesting, non-racing related items in the plans
is the installation of four wind turbines to supply power to the
track. The intention is to be completely energy self-sustaining.
The 2007 season at Cayuga Speedway Park starts on May 19-20 with
the Fan Appreciation Weekend. Admission is free. There will be demonstrations
of the cars from the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, Ontario Legends
and Open-Wheel Modifieds. The first race will be on Saturday May
27 with the opening event of the new NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.
The Cup Lites series will also be on hand.