Canada is losing racetracks on a regular basis. Race City in Calgary (1/4-mile dragstrip, 1/2-mile short oval, 2-mile road course) closed in 2011. Closer to home, Barrie Speedway (1/3-mile tri-oval) an hour north of Toronto, ran NASCAR sanctioned events from 1965 to 2015.
Street racing is very much an issue. The decreasing number of venues for young speed-demons to take it to the track can only mean that racing will continue on public roads.
Circuit Mont-Tremblant, north of Montreal, is a favorite destination for weekend track warriors. The wealthy town of Mont-Tremblant sits in the middle of the track, and the facility has always been mindful of noise levels. However, Mont-Tremblant residents have won a class-action lawsuit, and it’s going to cost the 56-year old track millions.
A former owner of the track asked the town of Mont-Tremblant to re-zone portions of the land for housing development. At the time, the track’s use was in decline and the town assumed that track activities were to remain very limited. Following considerable renovations in 2000, track activities took off but the increase in race weekends and racing schools was not appreciated by those who live nearby.
Many residents who bought homes in the area between 1990 and 2000, it could be argued, were not warned that Circuit Mont-Tremblant was going to become so busy. But they knew they were moving next to a racetrack!
However, the courts have decided that track neighbours were entitled to compensation for the nuisance that noises louder than 55 decibels created, contingent on when the residents moved to Mont-Tremblant
- $750 / person / year from August 1964
- $675 / person / year between August 1964 to July 2001
- $300 / person / year between July 2001 and December 2006
- $150 / person/ year after December 2006
According to preliminary calculations, the cost of the court’s decision could reach $3,000,000 which would bankrupt most track owners. However, Circuit Mont-Tremblant is owned by Lawrence Stroll, the billionaire Canadian businessman.
Stroll is the father of F1 driver Lance Stroll, owns the Racing Point F1 Team, who recently paid $210,000,000 for a 25% stake in luxury automobile manufacturer Aston Martin, taking over as chairman, with plans to rename his other asset the Aston Martin Formula 1 Team.