Mud race organizers ‘tickled pink’ by Merritt event
This weekend’s North West Mud Racing Association’s “Merritt 2012” was such a success that organizers plan to bring it back next year.
Dave Biddlecombe, past president of the association, said the club is looking to designate Merritt as an annual stop.
“We are tickled pink by the whole thing,” he said. “The feedback we got from the participants, the landowner and from the people talking to each other was very positive.”
He estimated between 300 and 400 people attended the races on Saturday and Sunday.
The event could be hosted here on Father’s Day weekend next year, he said.
“This is such a great site that has potential for other motor sports, such as motor cross, rock crawling events... the sky is the limit,” he said, noting he’d like the event to come to Merritt for at least the next 10 years. “Noise in the town is not a problem; dust in the town is not a problem.
“We’ve had a lot of business owners saying they’d like to be a part of this next year.”
Organizers were anticipating between 300 and 350 people at the inaugural event.
Approximately 50 people participated in the races, including Merritt’s own Jack Maunu, who placed first in the pro cut class, which features vehicles with cut tires.
“It was a great event,” he said. “The crowd was good and I’m looking forward to it next year.”
Biddlecombe said the only area that needed improvement was the water system, which failed about 20 times over the weekend.
Water is important at mud racing events to keep the ground wet and decrease the amount of debris in the air.
The club would like to have an underground access point for the water so that the damage done to the water stations, either by people or by animals, is minimized.
However, crews have provided the water access this year to make next year’s setup more seamless.
Racers took their three fastest runs and added them up to uncover who completed the fasted runs.
Two cars are matched against each other in each race.
“It was super safe,” Biddlecombe said. “There were no incidents and our club has a very long history of safety.”
Tickets to the event cost $20 for an adult, $15 for youth and children seven and younger were free.
The non-profit group hopes to lower the price for attendance with next year’s expected increase in spectators.
NWMRA is also scheduled to host events this year in Quesnel, July 21-22, Valemount, Aug. 4-5, Chilliwack, Aug. 18-19, and 100 Mile House, Sept. 1-2.
Races were held at the West Gate Lower Bowl on Midday Valley Road, which is the former Mountainfest location.
Nearly 500 racers, family and crew camped out at the location, in the social and competitive event.