After more than a year of without the roar of an engine, karting in Lombardy, Ontario is set to return. The newly formed Lombardy Raceway Karting Club is set to host their first race of the 2020 season on June 21 after striking a deal earlier this year with the Lombardy Agricultural Association to become the new managers of the karting circuit.
The new guy in charge, Che Smith, is no stranger to competition karting. Smith has operated his NR Kart Store race team for nearly a decade and brings plenty of karting knowledge into this new venture. Still, it’s been an eye-opening experience leading up to the first race, with the COVID19 global pandemic as just another hoop to jump through.
“I have learned a lot in these last few months since confirming the deal with the Lombardy Agricultural Association. The track and facility needed a lot of work to bring back to competition standards, plus all of the behind the scenes work required to launch a karting club. With the support of a board of directors for the club, I have a great team behind me, helping ensure the success of the entire program. It has been an interesting experience so far, but seeing the enthusiasm around those who can’t wait for our first race is the reward. It’s going to be a fun season, I’m sure of it.”
With the track shut down for the first month and a half of the Canadian karting season, Smith was able to spend a little more time getting everything ready and after a weekend of open testing that attracted more than 20 racers to the track, he is ready to host the first club race.
“In a way, the pandemic has been a little bit of help for us here. It allowed some extra time to work on things around the facility and the club and to be better prepared. Now I’m really ready to go racing and judging by those who have already come here to drive, they are too.”
The club will focus on the Briggs & Stratton 206 program, offering classes for Cadet, Junior, Senior and Masters. In addition, there has been some interest from two-cycle racers, so they are welcome as well.
“I really just want to see karting thrive here in Canada’s Capital Region and the let the racers race. We want everyone to feel welcome to come here and compete like the racers they are.”
Given the close proximity to the province of Quebec, the LRKC has carefully selected their club race dates to not conflict with the Coupe de Montreal, allowing their racers to support some bigger races if they are interested, and also leaving an open invitation for racers from Quebec to join them for a club race or two.
For those interested in competing in the inaugural LRKC race on Sunday, the club has revealed their guidelines they will be following due to the COVID19 Pandemic. Be sure to view them here. Pre-Registration is also mandatory. Racers can sign up by clicking here.
To learn more about the Lombardy Raceway Karting Club, visit their new website, http://lrkartingclub.com.