Peace Auto Fest holding region's first drift competition

The second annual Peace Auto Fest will be shifting gears next weekend when it holds the region's first-ever drift competition.

The event, put on by Fort St. John Car Culture and the Peace Region Motorsports Association, will feature autocross on Saturday, July 25, and drifting on Sunday July 26. Both will be held at the Big Bam chain-up.

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"It's been a dream of mine to be in a drifting event like this. Even though this one is small, just being able to have one like this up here and to do it safely is great," said Justin Lagasse. 

Growing up on Vancouver Island, Lagasse was around these kinds of events a lot. He worked with the clubs to plan it and make it happen. 

"I'm very excited about it. It's the first one the area has ever attempted to do, and it kind of makes us feel like a bigger place. This is the kind of thing they do in bigger cities," said Kaylyn Senft of Car Culture, one of the main organizers of the event.

The drift competition will begin at 9 a.m. on July 26 and run until 3 p.m., when prizes will be awarded. 

There will be no spectators allowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was originally hoped to have vendors, with up to 200 people watching and enjoying the event. Instead, the number of drivers has been capped at 30, and the gathering will be limited to 50.

Still, the two clubs are used to having to tackle the odds and aren't letting this dampen their excitement for both this year's event and Peace Auto Fests to come.

"It's definitely not easy to hold events right now, especially for the little guys like us. But our club has grown rapidly in the last four years, and it's been really cool to see the community come together in support of it. We've had a bunch of sponsors, from strictly small local businesses and they are all really involved," said Senft.

Added Lagasse, "It's usually hard to get to a place that actually has these event," he said. "Having one right here, that won't be taken too seriously, it's really cool. Nobody judges anyone, and we welcome anyone who wants to be in it.

Drivers will have to register ahead of time, bring their own helmets, and sign a waiver. For more information, go to Fort St. John Car Culture's Facebook page.

Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca.

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