The rumble of engines and scent of burning rubber filled the air in Porter Creek on Sunday.
Nineteen drivers put their rides and skills through the paces at the August Auto Slalom, hosted by the Klondike Cruisers — an automobile enthusiasts club — in Porter Creek Secondary School’s parking lot.
“It’s your entry into auto racing,” club president Randy Grantham. “We’ve been involved with the Western Canada Motorsport Association and (ASN Canada) FIA, which gives us our insurance to put on these events and they help us with the set-up for safety and quality of the track we’re doing.
“Whatever car you’ve got, we do a basic mechanical inspection on it — you’ve got to have a stunt-approved helmet. Then we go, one at a time on the track, and see how your driving skills are.”
At the slalom event, the club’s third of the summer, drivers raced a short slalom course filled with twists and hairpin turns that took most between 45 and 50 seconds to complete.
There were some fancy cars — a Ford Cobra and Dodge Challenger — and some less fancy cars — a Dodge Colt and a VW Golf. They’ve had everything from pick-up trucks to station wagons to classic cars to sports cars to muscle cars “to whatever” race their events.
“Whatever you’ve got, if it’s got wheels on it, come on out and enjoy the club,” said Grantham.
Aaron Brandt drove his Mazda 3 to win the front-wheel-drive four-cylinder class and was first overall on the day.
Grantham and his Miata took first in the rear-wheel four-cylinder class.
Ben Gaetz and his resonant Mustang topped the rear-wheel eight-cylinder competition.
Terry Hayden gave a demo of his Can-Am Spyder three-wheeled motorcycle and Adam Rose was alone in the all-wheel-drive division with his Chrysler 300.
The Klondike Cruisers host show-and-shines and weekly cruise nights. They will next hold a Poker Run — in which participants drive to five different locations, collecting a playing card at each, and the person with the best poker hand at the end wins half the pot of entry fees — and barbecue on Aug. 30.
This past Thursday the club hosted a “Cruising for a Cause” to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis.
“We’re trying to promote auto enthusiasts and at the same time make donations to charitable organizations or funds,” Grantham said.
Contact Tom Patrick at